The sun was making its decent over the horizon, signalling the moon to take its place. Celestia stood on one of the many balconies on Canterlot Castle. A smile was on her face as the sun moved lower and lower over the horizon. Stars began to dot the sky as the last bit of light disappeared. This moment was one of Celestia’s favourites. It was the moment when her sister showed how beautiful the sky could be. It was these moments that Celestia shared with somepony long gone. She sighed as the stars continued painting the sky.
“Beautiful,” a male voice said above her. “It’s always breath taking whenever I see Lulu’s work.” Celestia turned around and looked up. Sitting above the doorway was the silhouette of an earth pony. Through what little light there was, Celestia saw that the pony had a brown pinto pattern on his coat. Her eyes widened when she saw the pony.
“It can’t be,” she said. The earth pony stood up and leapt from the roof. He landed on the balcony’s railing and turned around. The pony sat himself down on and looked to Celestia with a wide smile on his face. On top of his pinto coat, was a deep blue frock coat with a gold trim. A belt was attached to his waist and a scabbard with the hilt of a sword sat on his left. Over his head was a scarlet bandana that covered up part of a brown mane. Three scratches were over his right eye and a gold medallion with two swords crossing it sat on his chest. “Commodore Pipsqueak?”
“Commodore,” he chuckled. “I haven’t used that title in a long time, Sunny. It’s Captain Pipsqueak now.”
“You can’t be here,” Celestia said. “I saw The Albatross blow up!”
“Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated, as well as the deaths of my crew,” Pipsqueak said, “But I’m not an illusion or a hallucination. I’m really alive, Sunny.” A white hoof slapped his face.
“You don’t have a right to call me that anymore,” Pipsqueak rubbed his cheek. “Why didn’t you try to contact me?”
“What was I supposed to say?” Pipsqueak asked. “’Hello Sunny. It turns out that I’m not dead. I was just lost in the badlands for a year with my crew, and I’ve decided to leave the Equestian Sky Navy.’ Yes, that would have worked swimmingly. More importantly, how would I have contacted you?”
“You’re leaving the Sky Navy?”
“Sunny, both myself and my crew have been legally dead for a year, I highly doubt that we can get our old jobs back,” the medallion on Pipsqueak’s chest was held in his hooves. “Besides, I don’t think I’ll be happy there anymore. After the first treasure hunt, I couldn’t remember why I even joined the Sky Navy. The thrill of adventure and searching was intoxicating to me. I don’t think I could go back to working for the Sky Navy even if I tried.”
“Why are you here?” the medallion was left to hang. “Everything you do has a purpose. So what is this visit’s purpose?” A hoof was stretched out to Celestia.
“Come with me,” Celestia blinked. “You always told me that you hated being tied down to the throne. If you follow me, you’ll be free. You’ll be able to explore the open skies without having the chains of responsibility anchoring you down, just like you wanted.”
“Pip,” Pipsqueak’s hoof was pushed away. “I can’t. No matter how much I want to fly, I have to stay grounded. I have a responsibility to all of the ponies of Equestria. I can’t just…” an explosion in the east end of the castle stopped her sentence. A smirk appeared on Pipsqueak’s face while Celestia turned to the source of the sound.
“What was that?”
“That, is telling me that part of my crew has just finished looting the Canterlot Archives,” Celestia faced Pipsqueak with shock on her face. “And it’s also my cue to leave.” He leaned back and fell off the balcony.
“Pip!” Celestia ran to the end of the balcony and looked down. Instead of seeing Pipsqueak falling to his death, she saw him standing at the end of a pole. The red dot that was Pipsqueak seemed to be rising. Celestia stepped back from the balcony as the structure holding Pipsqueak reached her. Pipsqueak was standing on the edge of a copper pole attached to a large airship. The entire airship had been constructed of copper and its body shared the likeness of a galleon. Three sets of sails stood on the ship. Each of them had glowing yellow hexagonal patterns on them. The center sail had what looked like a pony skull holding a knife in its mouth sitting above a pair of cutlasses that crossed each other. The sound of large propellers moving was in her ears as the ship continued rising. She looked up at the end of the ship as Pipsqueak passed the balcony. “Stand down!”
“Can’t do that, Sunny,” Pipsqueak mocked. He blew a kiss downwards to her. “The Solar Tempest is set to land at Hollow Shades, and we can’t stop for anything, not even you!” Celestia’s wings opened up ready launch her into the air. Before she could fly up, a stone clamp wrapped itself around her wings. A slightly chubby grayish blue unicorn stallion had his horn pointed to her. Pipsqueak smirked at the solar princess. “Catch us if you can!” The air ship flew above the castle and headed towards its east end. Celestia turned into the castle and ran as fast as she could. Though she wouldn’t admit it to anypony, she was happy to see Pipsqueak again, even if he had turned to piracy. A game of Cat and Mouse, Pip? Very well, let’s play.
Though this was a touch confusing to read – ponies acting in paragraphs where other ponies are speaking can do that – the sheer concept of this made up for it in spades. Pipsqueak growing up to be a dashing buccaneer on a nickname basis with the Princesses of Equestria, and his using his heartfelt dialogue with Celestia serve as a cover for his heist of the Canterlot Armoury… that was inspired, Shingo. I loved the reunion between Pip and Celestia, the feelings exchanged were perfect, and the ending promising a lead into the greatest chase in Equestian history… Exciting stuff!