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The Unsung Skies (closed)


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The hum of the airships engines vibrated the ship as she cruised along at a respectful clip. Still slower than the old flagship but nothing some more tuning up can’t fix. She was about the same size overall and had plenty of room for upgrades, armaments and such things. All in all… It felt like far too much. What did she do to earn this? She still did not understand why Twilight did it, the mare asked for nothing. Wanted nothing. It was… Well, something Tempest just can’t understand. But the joy she felt being in the sky again and hearing the endless beat of props in the air was something she did understand deeply. Some part of herself was… alive again. She had no master. No boss… Just herself and her crew. She was free. Truly free. And that was something that can never have a piercing put on it. 

 

Looking down at the passing landscape as she leaned on the railing she let her mind wonder. So much has happened in her life. Even in the past few years… Now here she was back in the sky. This is where she belonged and she knew it. But what of… others? She was not a lone mare now. She had friends, some very close… And two more on the way. Growing inside her. It was weird to think. Scary was putting it gently. Yet she did not stop, she never can stop. She’d not abandoned them… She can’t. She knew what that was like, never again. For now she had time, months… that were passing far too fast. 

 

With A deep breath she pushed off the railing and walked down the deck. Thunderhead was a ship of respectful size and had a crew to match. She’d have no way to even dream of paying for a crew like that if Twilight did not slip her a jaw dropping amount of bits like it was nothing. She had about a year's worth of pay for them, ship costs and other things. She’d have to make the most of this time and make a solid base of income. How she’d do that was… unknown for now. Merc work? Traders? She had no damn clue. 

 

Pushing open a door she walked in to her cabin and moved to a desk full of maps. They were plotting a path south, yet she didn't know which way south yet. Leaning over to a brass pipe she taps it a few times. “BLOOM! MY ROOM!” She yelled at it. The young mare was doing well, farm work raised her well for this hard life. Yet Tempest did treat her differently. Never more easy, but more like… family. She had to look after the mare like one after all. AJ will hunt her down too the end of the world if that mare got hurt too bad. And… Well, she was a good test bed to learn more… motherly things. Not that Temy felt like calling it that. But soon she’d have two calves on her hooves to look after. She needed too learn all she could. And so did Bloom. 

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Apple Bloom heard her name bellowed and ran to her captain as quickly as she could.
Across the middle deck which was staffed by creatures that were universally older than her, who gave her sometimes awkward glances as they wondered why such a young mare was on what was in all reality a mercenary vessel. She jumped over a repeating magi-ballista, nearly tripping over one of the bolts but landing on all four while the parrot who was working on it squawked. She pushed through two large doors, swinging dramatically as she dodged through some rough stallions who were heading into the two small rooms that were adjacent to the bridge. The bridge itself required a few moves as a host of sailors prepped it for long-distance travel. She trotted through one final door and then up a staircase, eventually ending up in the Captain's Cabin which was above the bridge, affording her a joint view of the sky in front and the bridge below.

 

"Reportin' for duty!"

Apple Bloom said as she snapped off a salute. She was happy that Tempest had her on the ship. Fact was, she needed to be on this ship. She loved Ponyville and she loved her family but she was too young to commit herself to the farm life forever. She yearned to see the world. How well could she decide what to do with her life if she didn't try something? She wanted to see the world. Experience danger and actually have the chance to do something. Be the heroine her sister always was, maybe? Unlikely. But the experience itself was what she was after, and she was gonna learn from the best in the whole world. Nopony had the experience of running this sort of outfit as Tempest had. She could think of no finer leader to take her around the world.

 

It had been a little hard worming her way in, though. Tempest was looking for a crew and Apple Bloom knew she could make for a good crew member. She didn't have any serious daily ambitions. She could cook, she could clean, she could follow orders, she had a mean bucking leg and a right hook, even been part of Task Force Suntrot. And if she didn't know, she could learn. What more could a Captain ask for? But she had needed Applejack's approval. Not because she actually legally needed it, not anymore. But Tempest had needed it because the mares had grown to be friends and there was an element of danger involved that meant she could not fully guarantee Apple Bloom's safety. So, they had talked and talked and talked and eventually Apple Bloom received Applejack's blessing.

Now here she was in, in the Captain's Quarters. Apple Bloom had spent much of her time below deck, her little naval uniform she had been gifted looking somewhat worse for the wear as she had made a habit of involving herself in just about anything that looked like it could use her help. It was mostly working out. Mostly. She had a lot of trust to earn. Most of the crew were experienced sailors in one way or another and she? Well, she was here as a favor. That much was clear. Apple Bloom looked around. Maps and maps and maps! "What do ya have lined up for us, Cap'n?"

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Tempest took the time for Bloom to her way up to look over the maps, she had no real aim for this trip. It was a shakedown after all. Head someware then head back, see how the ship does and test the crew. So… Her ears flicked at the door opened, she did not even look up as she heard the mare walking over to the table. She just aimed a hoof at the path showing three landed masses down south. “Maretonia, Saddle Arabia and Unyasi. We can easily make the trip to one of them before swinging back north for this shake down, a good long stretch of the wings to test this vessel and her crew.” She says before looking up at Bloom. 

 

The young mare was looking much older already, for all her youth she carried herself as well as any mare on this ship. She had the making of something, what that something is… Well, it is up to Bloom. But Tempest knew she’d make a name for herself. More than some farmer, that was for sure. “I want you to pick where to sail. And I want you to tell me why you think it's the best place to go. Can be honest as you want, even if it just sounds cool to go there.”

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Wow! She was the one who was gonna decide? Well, Twilight above hopefully that power didn't go to her head. Maybe she was the real Captain now! She tittered internally and made a mental strut of self-confidence behind a stony mask as she looked at the map. They had more than maps. They had breadcrumbs laid out for them already. Whether it was REN information that Twilight had passed on or something they had picked up while the crew was gathering, there was a small list of possibilities that were already pre-loaded. Some of it sounded more adventurous than others but she had to be smart. She had to be practical. They needed some gear and some money.

 

"Hmm...well, how about 'ere?" She said as she moved a small airship model- based off of the model of airship they had- near the coast of Saddle Arabia. "This is where tha REN Mustangia went down..." her eyes closed as she tried to remember the details she had overheard, "some three years ago? Came down close 'nough ta Saddle Arabia that they rescued the crew but the airship is still down there. Them Saddle Arabians gave Equestria tha right ta," she had to think again, "uhh, enter...enter their terra-tarial waters an' salvage it. 'Twas a fully loaded ship when it went down. Tha weapons ain't no good but..." she squeezed her eyes, "them magic ammunitions should still be good, an' a lot of tha cargo was enchanted so it should be safe'nough ta haul up. Plus tha ship itself should still have lotsa parts we could cut up and haul off for salvage!" She ended proudly.

"Ah bet Ah did real good, didn't Ah?"

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Tempest watched Bloom with an unflinching face. No smiles, no frowning. She did not react at all as the young mare looked over the map and started to piece together a game plan. She didn't want Bloom to have something to judge actions on, no hints to how she felt on what the mare was saying or offering up. And piece by piece Bloom did pull something together, backed it up with reasonably well-informed info and why it may be good too act on it. All in all Tempest was impressed by the young mares' tack for this. She’d go with the proper training and encouragement… And some part of her hoped her own two foals will have the same skill.

 

“You did well Bloom but don’t go tooting your horn so soon. That will get you killed and fast out here.. Or at the very least hated by crew mates. But you made good points, with luck we can loot something of worth from that crash not too tainted by the sea.” She says back looking down at Bloom, she did give the young mare a small smile. “Now take a seat, I'm going too show you how to chart this ship. See the tools over there?” She aimed a hoof at the side of the table and the contents on it. Sextant, astrolabe, compass and more on top of tools to draw out the plotted path on the map were laid down. “I’m going too do the charting for now, but I want you to follow along ok? So first we need to work out where we are on this map…”

 

It took a few hours for the course to be fully plotted as Tempest walked Bloom along how to do so. The young mare was smart, very smart. She picked up on things fast and it made learning how to use all the tools needed for navagent much easier. At least somewhat, it will still be some time before Tempest trusts Bloom to do something like this alone. But for now… Tempest did enjoy teaching the younger mare. It felt… rewarding.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The small reprimand was taken in stride. After all, she was used to it from her farm life! Applejack was real quick with both praise for her good work but also with her admonishments when Apple Bloom let it get to her head. A humble sense of satisfaction in a job well done was the end-state for all good crew, whether that was as a farmhoof or a sailor in the high skies above. "Aye aye, mah apologies. Jus' got a lil' excited thar, heh," she said chagrined, rubbing the back of her neck. Hey, she wasn't perfect despite all of her sister's attempts at making her so. Besides, that small smile would sustain her.

 

She was a little shocked to be learning how to chart a ship so quickly but she reckoned if there was anypony to teach her it'd be Tempest. She had an intelligence that was well-seasoned by age and experience and Apple Bloom was lucky enough to have her here. The sextant, astrolabe, and compass were just the start of the process as she bounded over and watched Tempest get to work.

The astrolabe had an alidade or sighting rule. Apple Bloom learned that she'd hold the astrolabe by a loop at the top, turn the alidade so that she could sight the star along its length, and read the altitude off the scale engraved on the ring - difficult when the ship was heaving, so they'd do it multiple times or have somepony else get an astrolabe. In this case, Apple Bloom was the other pony and she did the same with an astrolabe she was given. The consequences of imprecise measurement were serious (a latitude reading just one degree off produces an error in position of 60 aeronautical miles), so Apple Bloom was used mostly to sight along the alidade, while Tempest steadied the instrument and took readings.

 

The sextant allowed for celestial objects to be measured relative to the horizon, rather than relative to the instrument. This allowed excellent precision, and with Equestrian stars and weather patterns being well-known in advance and consistent it made the use of both it and the compass so easy that she learned it in a minute. However, she was also aware that once they left the confines of Equestria that would no longer be the case. After that it was a long process of getting the right numbers and charting the right course that would avoid known weather patterns and minimize risk. It took several hours but, well, it had been pretty dang productive.


When they were done, she left with the Captain. "Well, that was pretty fascinatin'! Captain, whatcha want me ta do now?"

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  • 4 weeks later...

“You learn fast.” Tempest says as she rolled up some maps with her hooves. “Much as I worried about you being part of this… I think you may be cut out for this life. Maybe, it is still early. I’m going too keep testing you, pushing you.” She stopped, looking over at Bloom before letting out a deep breath. “If I go too hard, tell me. I need to learn some things as well.” She slipped the maps into a rack of tubes made just for holding a vast amount of maps. She did need to learn… How to teach. How to hold up a velvet hoof alongside her iron hoof.  Sooner than she’d like she’d have to put it to use. Sooner than later every pony is going to know something was wrong. Learn of her biggest mistake. 

 

She frowned and looked back at Bloom. This young mare was an unknowing test dummy. A dry run on the horrible idea that was Tempest ever raising some pony… Or bou. She honestly did not think she’d ever make for a good teacher. Let alone a mother. Yet she let Bloom on the ship, told AJ and family she’d keep Blood safe and look after her as if the mare was her own flesh and blood. So now what? She did not know. Spend time with her or something? … This was awkward, how long can she just stand here staring at bloom and say nothing? “I don’t know.” She spoke honestly. She really didn't know. “What do you want to do?” She asked, feeling foolish for doing so. She’s supposed to be in charge and know everything. Yet she kept drawing a blank.

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It was hard to answer that question. She didn't much know the goings on of a ship and its day to day operations, after all. She didn't have any specialized skills that marked her as being particularly useful in any specific area of the ship and she didn't have the knowledge for others. All she had was work ethic and a willingness to learn. So with that on her mind she went to work conjuring up a role for her.

 

She could help the cook. She knew she could keep up with food service and it would be a nice and helpful way to learn how to deal with her crewmates. She could cook up something yummy on her own but wasn't so prideful that she couldn't keep to the meal plan. She was good at organizing and a diligent record keeper. Maybe she could work with the repair crew? She had a good hoof and a clear eye for faults and how to right them. Plus they seemed like nice stallions who wouldn't give her a rough time. Heck, the latrines needed clean. She wouldn't offer it, but a ship was a ship and work was work.

 

Or she could learn how the propulsion worked. The Thunderhead was a basic airship with a few modern conveniences thrown in. The sails were magical by design and could be used to catch and direct wind, helping the ship maintain steady courses  and change headings without too much concern about weather patterns. The same sort of magic used to help the sails catch and direct the wind helped channel the energies created by the steam engine. A bunch of coal was fed in and the resulting energy was used to power the ship, and the resulting power was transferred across the ship magically. The trick was to use the magic to direct the energy efficiently. It supplied power to other ship functions and overloading certain sides could help with hard turns in any direction in conjunction with the sails. 

'"Uhhh..." she rubbed the back of her neck. "Umm, could work on...cookin', maybe?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tempest just blinked a few times, looking completely lost. And in truth she really was. What in the world was she getting herself in too? She can’t even work out what to do with a young mare. What will she do with two calves? “Uh. ok. What do you like?” She asked, turning to head for her cabin door. “Hope yujor a better cook than me, Glitter is trying to teach me to be better at it but uh…” The older mare stops, cocking her head to one side as she looks back at bloom. “Do you like pancakes? I love pancakes… Makes me think of better times every time I have one.” She pulled a small smile back on to her lips, doing her best to relax as something clicked in her head. She did have one good mother to fall on to as a reference. Mama Stripey, the old servant her family had when she was a filly. That Zebra made some dang good pancakes… She can’t come close to making them that good but she’s gotta start somewhere. 

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Tempest reacted to Apple Bloom's choice oddly, as if anything other than food was on her mind. As it should have been: She had a crew for food prep, a cook. She was the Captain. If the Captain was down below making food and not doing whatever it was that leadership did during the day. As she hemmed and hawed and showed no small amount of confusion and angst about her cooking capabilities, or lack thereof, it dawned on Apple Bloom that the filly had failed to communicate well. "Oh!" She rubbed the back of her neck. "Err, Ah can help ya when it comes ta cookin', Cap'n. Ah've cooked with mah sister loadsa times before, so we can do that together," she said cheerily, "an' Ah certainly love mahself some pancakes. Y'all have any good praline on board? They go so good with flapjacks or apple pancakes, let me tell you that for free!" She laughed before tossing her head back in the general direction of the rest of the ship. 

"But Ah meant head on down ta tha kitchen with tha cook ta help out with tha ship," she said with a trailing sensibility. After all, her hope was to become a good crewmember, Palling about with the Captain was a good way to look like a spoiled rotten filly on a ship full of hardworking crewmares and she would be mortified if that was what they got out of her. Not that she wouldn't have preferred seeing what it was that Tempest considered a good pancake. Probably had a ton of rocks mixed in with gravel. That was how you mad grit, and she was one gritty mare most of the time. That was for later inspection though. It was her job to make sure that the Captain of her ship was confident with what she was doing with a crewmare, after all. "But if you reckon you'd rather me somewhere else, Ah'd do it, Cap'n!"

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“No, I’d like too do… this.” Tempest says back, ears flicking as try’d to work out how to say things. She was never good at this. Talking. She never got too do much of it growing up and it showed every time she speaks. Bloom and others had so much flow, life. Her words were flat and cold. She was thankful Glitter saw past the tone but she needed… to work on it. “Bloom… I’m no good at being subtle so I’m going to just tell you. I’m going to be… A…” She trailed off, the word stuck. Try as she wanted her brain was unwilling to say it. “I’m trying. How to do… Things like this. I need to do it now for later.” She took in a sharp breath. “I have two on the way.”

 

With that she looked back at the door as she walked closer to it, hood reaching out and stopping short. “I refuse to let them suffer like I did. My mother was heartless, cold and uncaring. I was just a tool, an item to win her more fame and clut. I don’t want to be that mare. I will not treat you like some foal, but I need some pony to learn with. You are a strong mare, fast of wits and a good soul… You had the family I wish I had. But I can learn and give my two that gift.” She glazed over her back, looking at the young mare with worry in her eyes. She felt like she told too much, and opened up too far.

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 Apple Bloom didn't rightly know what to say. Mostly she was just plum tickled by the concept of Tempest being a mama as if that has been on some bingo card somewhere. Who the hay was the father? She wasn't bringing him along now, was she? Abby wanted to know who the stallion was so she could do well by him and not get keel-hauled by an angry, pregnant Tempest Shadow. Which then brought her to the second part that actually brought her down no small amount. Had she been selected as a crewmember just to act as a surrogate child for Tempest to practice day to day life with? That wasn't part of the plan as far as Abby was concerned. She was here to work, work hard, and see the world as an adult. Still, despite her momentary feelings of being let down or even hoodwinked, there was a much greater sense of joy at the idea of two smaller Tempests running around. Tempests? Tempi? 

 

 

"Well, Ah didn't much expect ta hear that today!" She bellowed excitedly, hugging Tempest's forelegs. "Congrats! Who is that lucky stallion? Ah bet he's a real swashbucklin' fella, ain't he?" She asked with a laugh as she let go of her captain. Had to maintain some form of decorum, right? Wouldn't be a good idea to have everycreature else on the crew seeing that. "And ah'm totally down helping ya prepare for yer foals, no doubt about that! Yer gonna make a good momma just 'cause yer so worried about doing it right," She said emphatically before her brows furrowed ever slightly. "But...Ah'm a member of yer crew first and foremost, ain't that true?"

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Tempest just looked down at Bloom, her face settling back in to the same cold and jaded look she so often sports. Taking a deep breath she gently pulled the hugged leg away from the young mare. “I…” She held her words a moment, rain racing to give some… context. Something better than the truth. She knew some pony would ask yet she felt lost. “Don’t know. I don’t know the father.” She says shaking her head, part of her wish she didn't know him. He was… Well, just about everything she can ask and yet nothing of the sort. “I have hunches but they will do me no good. All of them are a sea away, maybe dead already. I just had too learn the hard way that bou can in fact nock a mare up.” She added with a shake of her head. “That’s how reindeer are made apparently, only learned about that later after asking around.”

 

With that she leans down, getting eye level with bloom. “And I can tell you think this was some trick, it was not. Foal or not you’d gotten on this ship I bet. Did not even learn about… this until after I got the airship even. You are a crewmate first, but a friend as well and all I ask is you help me as a friend. Yes, no matter what I will treat you with more care but that has nothing too do with this. I just don’t want your sister taking my spine out. You will work, sleep and eat like all the others. Just don’t act shocked if I put my flank in the line of fire to keep you safe.” With that she tapped the young mare on the nose and gave a small and short lived smile. With that she stood up and looked too the door. “And by the way, bou toss some amazing parties. Just don’t party hard as I did with them.”

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Ahh, so it was a caribou? Well, that was...not all that surprising, honestly. She knew that Tempest had an inkling of desire for the strong and strength itself, so it only passed that she would wander on yonder to the species who possessed the most acutely evident points of strength in the world. Of course, Apple Bloom didn't take her fir the type to just lay about with just any member of that herd, so her saying she didn't know the father was a bit strange. But frankly, who could blame her? Apple Bloom fancied herself open-minded but would be the first to say that she would have her guard up around a caribou stranger. Maybe Tempest wasn't worried about it because she was also really strong. Or maybe she got a little tipsy. Apple Bloom had seen some mores get a little too excited while drinking and it was a good enough warning for her.

At the very least it looked like they reached some understanding. It wasn't perfect but nothing ever was. She would take her victories where she could. Besides, it wasn't like she had a problem with being Tempest's friend, or helping her, and she certainly understood why it was that Tempest would be protective. Apple Bloom was pretty sure that Applejack was stronger than Tempest, even if the farm mare would never say so without extensive prodding. "Aye aye, Cap'n. An' don't worry, Ah'll be here for ya. Ah just don't want ya ta risk too much on mah account, but Ah reckon we'll see what's up," she said as she snapped off a friendly salute and started trotting out the door. Before she left she turned to Tempest with a mischievous grin, "What's a seafarin' adventure without  a little danger anyway?" She asked with a wink as she closed the door behind her.

 

=====One Week Later, Off the Coast of Saddle Arabia=====

 

Apple Bloom gave Tempest's door three quick raps of her forehooves, desperate to enter. It had been a hard week. Being a new crewmate was rough. Being young was rougher. Being a new crewmate who was a young mare was the roughest of all. She had to work her tail off three times as hard as anypony else to earn any respect and even then it left her feeling like a wet noodle, and that was just the start of it all. She hoped she was making the Captain proud and not feeling like a deadweight, but she had yet a chance to really prove herself and was looking forward to doing something epic for this salvage operation!
 

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“Glory, glory, what a bucked way to die

Glory, glory, I'm just lucky to be alive

Glory, glory, lets all fight another war,

Let's all just do it once more.”

 

Tempest sang to herself, her tone soft as she layed in the hammock that was her bed. The trip so far has gone well and the ship was raking in easy. The crew was skilled with the old air-navy vets pulling the greenhorns up to speed. Even Bloom has taken to the sky like a fish takes too water. 

 

“From Saraeighvo to Taraju I have seen a thing or two

And across my vast career I know there is one thing that is true

It ain't required to know just what the hell your fighting for

I'm just going to do it once more.”

 

Her ears flicked at the sound of desperate hooves on the door, small but strong. She knew them well all ready. “Come on in Bloom!” She shouted, rolling out of the hammock and landing on her hooves with a thump. The young mare must be done with today's list of jobs already, she’s gotten faster and faster at it. And with them off the coast today she knew the young mare will be pumped up to get things going. Good thing for Bloom, Tempest did have news on that front. Not too long ago her mail-runner came back with the response she was hoping for.

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Apple Bloom entered and snapped off a quick salute. "Cap'n, we're about ta reach tha salvage point off'a Saddle Arabia," Apple Bloom said quickly, desperately excited to get to work. She knew she was gonna go stir crazy if she stayed up here much longer with all the energy coursing through her veins, a drumbeat of excitability that shot through her and made her back tail swish about without thought. "Both underwater crews are preparin' ta scout it out an' tha anchor team is ready when you are," she added on with expectation of response. Already the engine had been turned off and they were operating purely on sails, which were being about in small amounts to help slow and turn the vessel.

 

Apple Bloom wanted to go on one of those underwater missions. They had an important job. First they would go down and scout the seafloor so they didn't drop the anchor on anything important. Then the ship would be slowly lowered closer to the water until it landed on the water. Salvage teams would then investigate the wreck, catalogue it, and then they would decide what to take and what not to take. Then Tempest would would make the decision what to take and they would go from there. If there was anything too big they would need to get the ship back in the air so the process of raising it didn't sink the airship, but that was a future problem. The now problem was making sure she was on those teams! "Ah've been studyin' tha area an' Ah think we're gonna score big!"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tempest let out a soft chuckle, goodness. Bloom looked like she was about to explode from how hyper she was. It was nice too see, off-set how cold and unflinching she acted most of the time. “Very good and I got word not long ago that we are cleared to do so. legal operations are so much easier to undertake.” She says with a roll of her eyes, not bothering to touch on the fact they were going ahead with this before they got cleared to do so. Details. “And you been ‘studyin’? What are you reading that’s got you so worked up? You are wiggling like a puppy that needs too pee.” She says back, walking over to a small window. From it she looked down at the calm sea. Good weather, plenty of sun to go. With luck they will have it down and the first reports from dive teams before dusk. Maybe even some loot. 

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Apple Bloom couldn't deny it, not one bit. She was really excited and it was leaking out of every pore of her body. Part of it was nervousness. She had never done anything of the sort before. Who was to say that it would go well now, she'd be any good at it, or that she wouldn't be hurt in the process of it? She couldn't be sure of anything. All she could and would know is that she wanted to try, and she needed Tempest's approval to do so. "It's just...Ah'm really excited ta prove mahself. Can I be on the salvage teams, please? Pretty please?" She asked, her professional demeanor falling to the wayside ever briefly as she begged for what was needed.

 

"Anchor down!" Came the cry as everything was in position. The anchor was lowered and once it hit the bottom- far from the wreck, as the magi-sensor told them- the ship started to descend. As they did so, everypony was hard at work. The recon teams were suiting up to investigate the wreck while the salvage teams were checking their gear, making sure the cargo hold was ready, and they got good and liquored up. Apple Bloom looked around the crew and everypony with their teams with great anticipation when finally the ship settled with a gentle loosening of the anchor.  "Underwater recon one, going down!" Yelled the first officer, and one by one the five members of the recon team started sliding off the side of the ship and into the water.

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Tempest took her eyes off the window to look down at Bloom. As ever her face betrayed almost nothing of her feelings, yet something was going on in her eyes. A look of worry as she studied the young mare. She trusted Bloom, yes. But this request was far more than just working on some engines or pulling sails. Dive work on wrecks was very risky and at times deadly. All it takes is one mistake to be trapped without air. It was too risky to send Bloom in on such a thing… How much swim time did this mare even have? Whatever it was it was far short of the trained divers she was sending in. Hell, they even had a hippogriff leading that team. He can stay down as long as needed without the need of air tanks. But Bloom? “No.” It was flat, unwavering. 

 

“You will not join the salvage teams. But I will let you dive and look at the wreck but only from the outside. If you so much as poke a head inside one hole I will ban you for life from ever even getting a hoof wet. Do you understand?” She added as she leaned down to get more eye level with the young mare. Grown as Bloom was, she still looked like a filly next to Tempest. And in Tempest's eyes she’d see no room for argument or pleading. They were standfast and unwavering. Even AJ may have a hard time laying down a glare this unfluching in its totality.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Apple Bloom saluted her captain without giving any hint to her problems, though she guessed Tempest would know about them. She had really desperately wanted to head down there but she reckoned that Tempest knew better the dangers of the deep and wasn't gonna slot Abby in just yet. Still, she wanted to do something, something useful and was starting to feel the walls close in around her. Maybe it was an Apple thing. She just hated feeling useless, a waste of space. She knew she wasn't one but today she did as she watched everypony else work their tails off while she sat around waiting to be told to do something by somepony for some reason somewhere, not actually involved in the main task of the day. "Aye aye, Captain," she replied evenly, finishing her salute and keeping close to the Captain while she awaited some orders.

 

The recon would take some time. The team moved slowly and methodically, using specialized rods for light and a quickly cast memory spell each to keep track of what they saw. Once in a while a diver would come up with a problem- the cord was getting tangled, they were waiting for a shark to leave, they needed a stick to shoo-away curious seaponies- but for the most part it was pretty gentle. The salvage team continued their prep but the rest of the crew started playing cards, doing busywork and in general the deck was abuzz with randomness until the time came for the work to progress. In time the divers came up, one by one, met by a crewmember with scroll each. They started rattling off what they had seen of worth in the different sections they had seen, followed by any problem areas or critters that were hanging about. The papers would be collected and then taken to the Captain. "Here you go, Captain. Full accounting of what we have down there! Sounds like it should be a good haul."
 

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