Deep Blue

by Meluch

Chapter 2: Chapter Two - Lightning Strike

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Chapter Two - Lightning Strike

Slamming into the railing of the staircase, Spitfire ignored the pain as she glided down the staircase. She exploded onto the main deck, her hooves making contact with the deck as she started galloping at the side door that led to the walkway outside.

Pushing the door open, she was met with the scent of the salty ocean breeze, cool against her face. Spitfire ignored it though as she rushed out to the bow of the ship.

"Hey! You!" Stumbling against the unfamiliar rocking of the ship, Spitfire almost collapsed in her rush to get to the body, but a careful flap of her wings kept her upright. Relief poured through her body as she laid her eyes on the body, a young mare. Even as she ran towards her, the fact that the body was female was obvious, as was the gentle rise and fall of her barrel. She was still alive.

"Hey!" She dropped down next to her, worried at the mare's lack of reaction to her calls. "Are you okay?"

There was no answer.

Spitfire pushed out the stress from her mind, instead trying to remember the first aid classes she had gone through so long ago.

“Hey, you!” She called again.

Sliding to a stop, she dropped to her haunches beside the figure. Reaching out, she rolled the mare over to find that she was a young looking unicorn with a light blue coat and a golden mane. She fell back in shock as the mare let out a gasping breath, shooting up. At the sight of Spitfire, her eyes widened, revealing dark green irises.

They stared at each other, Spitfire afraid, and the unicorn confused and tired. She opened her mouth, never taking her eyes off of Spitfire.

“What…” She stammered. “Who are… Where am I?”

“A ship…” Spitfire studied her a moment longer. “My name is Spitfire. Who are you?”

“Lightning Strike…” the unicorn murmured, pushing herself into a sitting position.

Lightning Strike held out her hoof to Spitfire.

Spitfire stared at it for a moment before taking it and giving it a firm shake. “It’s nice to meet you, Lightning Strike.”

“You too.” Lightning looked just as confused as Spitfire felt.

Lightning Strike stood, and Spitfire held out a hoof to help her up, but she didn't take it. Spitfire just held it there for a moment before awkwardly lowering it back to the ground.

Ignoring the Pegasus, Lightning Strike checked herself over, patting down her saddle-bags, reassuring herself that everything was where it was supposed to be. With a relieved sigh, she pulled out a journal and several folders.

Looking past Spitfire and at the Yacht beyond her, her eyes widened in surprise. “You said... we're the only ones on this ship?”

“Everypony left in a hurry.” Spitfire nodded, frowning. “Everything is right where they left it.”

“Where you part of the…” Lightning asked, unsure if that was even the right question.

Spitfire struggled for a moment to understand what she was asking. Realization quickly dawned on her and she shook her head. "No. I wasn't part of the crew, or a passenger."

"Then..." Lighting Strike eyed her suspiciously. "How did you get here?"

"Same way as you, I would imagine." Spitfire shrugged. "I have absolutely no idea how either of us came to be here."

Lightning Strike studied her for a moment longer before looking out over the sea, then up at the sun. She squinted against the glare, holding a hoof up to shield her eyes. She looked back down at Spitfire. "Show me."

"What?" Spitfire asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Show me," Lighting said, gesturing at the ship.

"Ah." Giving a nod of understanding, Spitfire stood. "Of course."

She led Lightning Strike off the bow of the ship and inside. Lightning paused just inside the doorway, taking in the opulence of the ship with wide eyes before she trotted after Spitfire as she led her down the staircase and into the hallway of the passenger deck.

"They're all empty." Spitfire gestures at all of the doors. "Clothes are right where everyone left them."

Lightning Strike stepped to the nearest door, pushing it open with her hoof and peeking her head inside. The room was indeed empty, and she looked back at Spitfire. "What's going on here?"

"I don't know, the entire ship is like this." Sitting on her haunches, Spitfire shrugged.

Lightning Strike checked the next room. It was the same thing, just like the room after that, and the one after that. She leaned back against the wall, closing her eyes as she tried to stave off the coming headache. "Alright... Have you tried using the radio?"

"Yeah." Spitfire nodded. "No one answered."

"Did you happen to see the GPS?"

"No, I didn't. I saw you before I could explore anymore." Spitfire shook her head.

"Let's see where we are, then." Lightning Strike gestured at the staircase.

Spitfire led Lightning Strike up to the bridge of the ship, stepping aside to let the unicorn take a look around. She slowly walked around, taking a look at every single one of the monitors. half of them were simply showing static, and the other half she couldn't make heads or tails of.

Frowning, she looked back at Spitfire. "Where's the radio?"

"It's there." Spitfire pointed at it, flaring her wings uncomfortably.

Walking over to it, Lightning lifted it off its cradle with her magic, clicking the talk button. "Hello? Is anyone out there?"

Static was the only response.

"I already tried that," Spitfire said, shaking her head. "There wasn't any reply."

"Alright..." Lightning Strike dropped the radio and looked over at the monitors. "The radio isn't working."

"And..." She steps over to look at the monitors. "The GPS is offline. Wonderful."

Sitting down in one of the leather chairs, Lightning Strike started typing on the keyboard. Spitfire stepped forward and watched over her shoulder, watching as she laboriously worked her way through the unfamiliar system.

Lightning gave a small cry of success as she managed to pull up the last known location. Spinning in her chair to look at Spitfire, she had a triumphant smile on her face. "Okay, so we have a vague idea of where we are. The engines aren't running, so we've probably been drifting for awhile, but we shouldn't be too off course. Our best bet is to try and get to Hawaii."

Spitfire listened to her, but she was completely unfamiliar with technology, much less the ocean. Being a native of Cloudsdale did not allow much opportunity to use computers. They tended to be too heavy for the cloud homes of the city.

"We'll have to do this manually. Nothing else seems to be working." Lightning Strike jumped out of her chair, walking up to a map of the ship hanging on the back wall.

"Do you... do you know how to do that?" Spitfire asked.

"Do you?" Lightning Strike looked hopefully at the pegasus.

Regretfully, Spitfire shook her head.

"Well then, we're both going to get a crash course on sailing."

"I've never even been on a rowboat before."

"Really?" Lightning Strike looked at her incredulously.

"No." Spitfire stretched out her wings. "Pegasus. Water isn't really our thing."

"Wonderful." Lightning Strike scoffed as she turned back to the monitors, looking out through the windows at the rolling ocean beyond. "We better get started then!"

They both stood there awkwardly for a few moments.

Cocking her head, Spitfire grinned. "You don't have any clue what you are doing, do you?"

"Not at all." Lightning giggled, ducking her head.

They both looked around the bridge, looking for what, they weren't quite sure.

"Do you see a start button or something?" Lightning asked.

"No." Spitfire shook her head. "Do you?"

"Well... we better get started." Trotting up to the consoles, she started looking them over, searching for any sign of how to start the ship. Spitfire moved to help her.

Looking through the back of the bridge, Spitfire found several large cabinets inset into the wall. Opening them, she found they they were lined with books. Pulling one out, she held it up for Lightning Strike to see.

"Will these help?" Spitfire asked.

Turning, Lightning Strike looked at the book, grinning when she saw its title: Operations Guide, The Polaris. "Yes! Yes they should."

She took it from Spitfire, opening to page one, grimacing when she saw the size of the font. She looked back up at Spitfire. "This could take awhile."

"Can you read griffin?"She asked, looking at Spitfire for a moment, her eyes narrowing.

"I've met a few, but no. I never paid any attention in those classes." Spitfire shook her head.

"Right... that would have been just too easy." Glaring at the book, an idea occurred to her. "Can you cook?"

"Yeah, I can do that." The first year of bootcamp with the Wonderbolts had left her with a deep need to never be forced to eat such filth again. She had immediately taken cooking classes the moment she had free time to herself again.

"We're going to need something to eat. Would you be alright making something for-" She glanced at the ships clock. "-lunch."

"It won't be a problem." Spitfire stepped back out of the bridge and walked down the staircase behind.

The kitchen turned out to be on the main deck of the ship. When Spitfire stepped inside, she let out a low whistle at what she saw. Stainless steel everywhere. Top of the line.  It looked like the kitchen of a five star restaurant, and for all intents and purposes, she had. Whoever owned the ship obviously liked to eat well.

Stepping through the kitchen, she trotted to the two walk in refrigerators at the back. Cracking open what appeared to be the largest of the two, she peered inside. The fridge was filled to near overflowing with food.

Stepping inside, she wedged the door open. She started searching through the racks to find something to make for lunch.

It took a little less than an hour to make a simple meal of a Zebrican peanut soup. She set two bowls on a tray which she expertly placed on her back, balancing it with her wings.

Spitfire walked carefully back up the staircase and onto the bridge, careful not to spill anything. Looking around, she didn't find any sign of Lightning Strike.

With a sigh, Spitfire head back down the staircase and all the way down to the passenger section. Stepping into the hallway, she looked up and down it but she didn't see any immediate sign of the unicorn.

"Lightning Strike, are you there?" Spitfire called.

There wasn't any reply.

With a sigh, Spitfire walked back to the staircase. She looked up it, then down. Climbing back onto the steps, she started walking down, all the way to the lowest deck of the ship.

"Lightning Strike?" Spitfire called.

A moment of silence passed, followed by a muffled curse.

"Buck!" Lightning Strike poked her head out from behind a door. "In here!"

Trotting over, Spitfire stepped into the engine room to find Lightning Strike, or at least her legs, poking out from underneath a bunch of machinery. She poked her head out, annoyance plain on her face, though it was obviously at the machinery, not Spitfire.

"Lunch." She turned so Lightning could see the trays.

"I could use a break," Lightning said gratefully, standing up. She leaned back against the machine she was working on, gratefully taking one of the bowls off of Spitfire's tray with her magic. Pulling the cover off and setting it aside, she took in the wonderful aroma coming from the meal. "It smells wonderful. Is that peanuts?"

"Yeah." Spitfire eased the tray off her back and onto a table opposite the engines. "It's my favorite, a peanut soup."

Lightning Strike took a bite, nodding her head in approval. "It's good."

"Thank you." Taking a bite of her own, Spitfire looked over the engine. "Have you figured out how to turn it on?"

"Sort of." Lightning Strike looked back at the machine, glaring at it. She gestured over at an array of books propped open across from her. "Trying to figure out these instructions is a lot harder than it should be. They weren't written for beginners."

"The book makes sense," Lightning said, patting the engine. "But it's just taking longer than I thought it would."

"I have faith in you."

"Misguided though it may be, thank you." Lightning Strike laughed. She finished eating, and Spitfire held out a hoof for the tray. She handed it to her before laying back down and scooting under the engine. "Thanks."

"It wasn't a problem."

"Back to work..." With a sigh, Lightning tried to figure out the engine.

Taking both of the bowls, Spitfire stepped out of the engine room. She walked back up the staircases, pausing when she saw the living room of the ship. Stepping forward, she walked to the messy tables and set down her tray. She started picking up the dirty glasses up from the table, setting them on the tray.

It didn't take long to fill the entire thing, and she carefully slid it onto her back, walking back to the staircase.

Spitfire stepped into the kitchen. Setting the tray into the sink, she started to clean, setting everything on the counter to dry. She froze when a slight judder passed through the ship. Smiling, she set everything down, trotting out of the kitchen.

Stepping out into the main living room, Spitfire watched as Lightning Strike danced triumphantly up the staircase. She shot the pegasus a big smile and jumped forward to wrap her in a thankful hug.

"I did it!" She crowed.

"That's good news," Spitfire murmured, extracting herself from Lightning's grasp.

"Twelve hours from now, we'll be on a beach in the Silver Islands," Lightning said, trotting to the staircase.

"That sounds wonderful." Spitfire nodded, watching her go.

Lightning Strike trotted up the staircase. Spitfire watched her go until she had disappeared up the next floor before stepping back into the kitchen. The sooner that she could get back to Cloudsdale, the better. Sitting still wasn't doing her any good. If it was just her, she'd fly back to land herself, but as a Wonderbolt she had to keep a watch over civilians. It was her duty to protect them.

Damn her sense of honor.

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