Heading into the Equus Kappa-Epsilon system, Prism started to feel worried. The scans revealed that there was nothing at all in the way of life here, and nothing can support it. "Make a note that this is the boring system. Maybe we can head back to Iota and learn about those aliens. Turn this ship around."
As the crew returns to their previous location and start scanning the alien battle debris, major news stories flash nearly simultaneously, the most notable being a pirate rebellion has formed, declaring war on the Holy Empress! "This is horrible!" Shouts the ensign.
"I know… look at all the news coverage they are stealing from-"
"Knock it off Prism! It looks like the pirates are stationed… in.. Equus Kappa-Epsilon"
"That's the one we just came from, isn't it?"
The crew freezes in their tracks as they hear a message alert. "High priority message from the National Exoplanetary Intelligence Gathering and Handling of Space and Aviation" rang out throughout the bridge. Prism quickly answered the transmission.
A stern looking pony appears on the monitor. "What in the name of the Most Holy are you idiots doing? I was hoping that you were captured, or even joining the heretics so I could have something decent to report back to my superiors once in a while, but all I see is a bunch of nerds sitting around watching their computers load and goof off when the security of Equestria is in jeopardy! You were supposed to have scanned the system THOROUGHLY! You just so happen to miss a makeshift space station! Are you trying to get us all killed?"
"We are terribly sorry sir."
"Sorry doesn't even begin to cut it. You all have been slacking. We recently send out a new scientist to help you catch up on some work, those anomalies you keep leaving behind. Turns out the one in Equus Gamma was the fact you didn't scan hard enough. The scanners reflected off a thin, seasonal gas storm, giving you false readings about the planet. It is uninhabitable, but not a gas planet like you reported. Our head scientists say that in the future, any planet that has a solid surface might be turned to a habitable planet. You are getting sloppy!"
"Sorry sir. I-it won't happen again."
"I'll be honest with you Prism Gem, I didn't want to give you a second chance, but we need scientists willing to do this job, and the Empress herself requested we not fire you. But you best bring results or we will send a replacement. Is that understood?"
Sirens and lights start going off in the background of the call. "What the? They are entering Equestrian space! End transmissio-"
The crew look at each other and tune into the news.
Several pirate vessels drop out of warp and head toward the mining facilities. The small defense fleet for Equestria is scrambled and intercepts the horde head on. Spiraling around each other, hoping to get the edge, our ships have but one advantage to the enemy, a new admiral. Marble Sparkle (no relation to purple) has trained in commanding a fleet for years. Nopony has ever been able to match the sheer efficiency she can produce in a fleet for maximum firepower and speed. She leads her ponies to sweet victory with absolutely no losses. A second wave of traitors begin their approach.
Meanwhile, Prism has been researching who is their new scientific competition. "I think I got it! He is… Swanky Sparkle. What kind of name is that?"
"That name sounds familiar. Wasn't there a Sparkle that got promoted to admiral a little while ago?"
"So that's their game. Ensign, don't you see? This is a political maneuver to get rid of us! Swanky's position is protected by a figure head, and a hero at that! We can't touch him and he has all of the power."
"Just relax. He won't be a problem if we-"
"If we what? It's over. This has been a disaster. Not only is our only chance at fame taken from us, but our hard work will be for nothing. We will come back as failures."
"I don't understand why this is such a problem for you. So what if we aren't famous?"
"Because it's my last chance to make of myself. I was an inventor before. I made several contraptions that used refracted light to encode several instructions. I know I was on to something, but it just never worked… I wasn't smart enough. I wasn't skilled enough. Then Fiber Twist came in and stole my thunder, using cables to transmit encoded light messages to make things run programs." Prism sighs. "I'm not going to let the Sparkles outshine me."
The news flashes that Marble Sparkle has taken the second wave by surprise with a incredible rally of the fleet, with several more additions constructed in light of the attack. She carried the fight all the way to the pirate base and razed it to space dust. Daybreaker ordered the construction of more bases to make sure the stars will never house threats to the empire. These events also formed a coalition to promote authoritarian values in our society. As we do what they want, we increase our influence.
Several things happened in this update and I will try to wrap up a summary in the next post.