The Smuggler and the Princess

by DocDelray

Chapter 3: Off to a rough start

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

Hyperspace, scientists and eggheads would tell you that it’s an alternate state of existence that one could use to travel faster than light. Simon didn’t care about that or any of the technical jargon that went along with trying to explain how it all worked. All he cared about was that it did and now he and his “guest” were more or less home free.

Speaking of whom, Simon could still feel those eyes on the back of his head glaring a hole straight through him. Still, he couldn’t just ignore her for the entire trip, granted things would probably work out a lot easier if he did.

Rarity had stopped grunting and snarling her words through the gag that had been tied around her snout, the wasted effort was starting to make her throat sore anyways. She had given up on struggling against the bonds that held her as well. A pair of binders around her forelimbs kept them pinned behind her back while another set restricted the movement of her back legs.

Uncomfortably left in one of the crew chairs of the cockpit, all the indignant fashionista could do is glare daggers at the back of her host’s head while she awaited her fate. As the blackness of space quickly became replaced with a strange blue tunnel of light, it dawned on Rarity that she may not have to wait much longer.

Her eyes quickly darted about the cockpit for something she could use to her advantage. Computer consoles gave her no leverage, while she’d finally learned the ins and outs of using communication devices the use of higher functioning computers was far out of her breadth of knowledge. She caught glances of a short stocky metallic being rolling about the ship just beyond the cockpit whistling to itself. There was no way that thing could be of use to her, especially that far away. Finally was that over sized rag he called a jacket that seemed to be haphazardly hanging from a vacant chair, perhaps it could come in handy. Something beneath the jacket however was what truly caught her keen eyes for detail, a hint of something solid and metallic with a very familiar shape to it.

With a sigh of relief, Simon finally turned his chair to face the less than happy Unicorn slouched in the chair behind him. Cautiously he drew closer to her. His mind raced for a way to explain his actions and hopefully reassure her that things weren’t going to be playing out as he’d told Serif. This being a less than ideal social situation however made this more than a little hard. That look she was giving him didn’t make it any easier. It was like her eyes could probably melt carbonite.

“Okay, I know you're mad right now,” Simon said in a calm even tone, “but I promise I’m not going to hurt you.” Even he thought that clichéd line was forced.

Rarity let loose a stream of muffled grunts and noises that he could only guess were probably laced with one or two curses judging from the tone of them. “Okay, this isn’t helping, we need a dialogue to straighten this mess out.” Simon admitted with a sigh. “Now, if I take that gag off, do you promise to talk with me in a civil manner?”

With one last glare the captured Unicorn finally relented and nodded in agreement. Simon couldn’t help but smile a bit at her cooperation. He probably should have guessed she’d be a lot more willing talking things out after their first meeting. Kneeling down next to her he started undoing the rather roughly tied knot around the back of her head.

“Good, most people in your position would be more inclined to screaming their heads off.” Simon stated as he began removing the mouth restraint. “I think we got off on the wrong foot anyways.”

The gag finally out of her mouth, Rarity gave her jaw a few flexes to get the sore feeling worked out of the muscles. Her deep blues zeroed in on Simon’s eyes, they suddenly seemed unusually calm and welcoming after glaring so harshly at him for the past twenty minutes. Even more oddly out of place was that alarmingly soft smile she suddenly possessed.

“I agree completely, darling.” She stated in a far too honey sweet tone as she batted her eyes at him.

Simon stared at her in blank confusion as he tried to make sense of this odd woman. Unfortunately, before it could hit him, something else hit him even harder. With a swift motion Rarity reared her back legs into her stomach before launching them forwards into Simon’s unprotected stomach. With a gasp of pain, the human doubled over from the driving force of the blow as it tore into his gut.

The attack on her home town and the fight at the capital had taught Rarity quite a few lessons, first and foremost, the need to protect one’s self. Having befriended quite a few of the Mandalorians that have made their homes in and around Ponyville, the fashionista had learned quite a bit about how to defend herself.

Not wanting to lose the momentum of the situation, Rarity pulled her back legs as tightly against herself as she could. Her back buried into the chair behind her as she let her legs rocket outwards for another blow. Simon, having dropped to one knee from the first hit, now had his chest right in the path of the irate Unicorn’s second blow. As her hooves connected at full speed he felt as though his ribs buckle under the weight of the blow as he was knocked backwards into the control console behind him.

Rarity’s horn flashed a blue aura that quickly enveloped her restraints. Clearly none of her captors had read up on Unicorn magic, or Force, or whatever those galactic types had taken to calling it. Pouring quite of a bit of her magic into the binders, they quickly shattered under the pressure freeing her. Her aura quickly grabbed one more, very important item while the advantage was still hers.

Simon’s vision was blurry, but it didn’t take a genius to realize what just happened. Those hooves of hers and the strength behind them, it was like taking a full on ogre punch from an angry Wookie. He could feel pain burning through his chest with every labored breath after that last blow. Simon was sure she had at least bruised his ribs with that hit. As he scrambled to return to an upright position, his hand quickly flew to the trump card hidden in his boot lining.

His hand immediately shot towards the holdout blaster concealed in his boot. Simon was understandably very angry about taking a pair of hooves to his gut and chest, but he honestly didn’t want to kill her. He’d already seen that a weapon pointed at her seemed to get her compliance, so why not give it try himself? Before he could draw the small blaster though, a cold metallic feeling pressed into his temple.

Cautiously, Simon turned his gaze upwards to find his sidearm suspended in an aura of blue energy pointed right at him. Beyond that he found the steely gaze of a less than happy Rarity glaring at him from behind the weapon. His mind quickly leapt to the copilot’s chair where he had laid his jacket over top of his gun belt. Quietly he cursed himself and his own thoughtlessness for making such a rookie mistake. Simon knew he was completely to blame for this current turn of events. He had underestimated the fashion designer, a mistake he would not be making again.

Rarity held tightly to that feeling of adrenaline rushing through her veins, it was the only thing keeping her from dropping the blaster and curling up in a ball like Fluttershy. She was in control of this situation and she had to keep reminding herself of that.

“I do apologize for the roughness, darling.” She said in a calm even tone. “But I’m sure you understand my position at the moment. Now, if you would be so kind as to turn this vessel around and take me home, I would like to take my leave of your company and depart immediately.”

Simon wanted that holdout blaster in his hand all the more now. How dare she give him orders on HIS ship! As angry as he was, he quickly realized that he still had a few more cards to play.

“How about no,” Simon replied with a defiant glare as he stared her down.

The look on Rarity’s face told him everything he needed to know, she hadn’t expected this as his answer. “I don’t think you realize your current standing in this negotiation, I have the gun.”

“No, I don’t think you realize the standings, Princess.” He said in a mocking tone, “Let’s assume you pull that trigger and burn a hole through my head? Then, you can try and pilot this extremely complicated piece of machinery back to that dirt ball you call home, assuming you can find it in the overwhelming vastness of space that is. Then you can deal with Serif, you know, that guy who wanted to pop your pretty head off your shoulders. I’m sure he’d LOVE to see you again.”

Rarity felt herself trying to back away from the human as he rose to his feet and took a step towards her. The blaster suspended before her began to waver and shake as her will began to crumble bit by bit. She had only wanted to scare him into compliance, never really to shoot him. Her once cool exterior was starting to crumble and her supply of adrenalin was slowing to a halt.

Seeing his chance, Simon quickly swiped the pistol out of her grasp while snarling at her, “Now give me that thing before you hurt someone!” He quickly went about removing the power pack of the weapon as he continued his angry rant. “Take you home, do you know how stupid of an idea that is? Serif is still on your planet, are you trying to get yourself killed!? What do you think he’s going to do if he sees you again, let alone sees that cargo pod he left with us?”

Simon’s rant was about to continue on until he caught sight of something that brought him to a grinding halt. When he looked back at Rarity he saw the look of fear and worry on her face as he tore into her so carelessly. In the back of his mind, Simon began chastising himself. Of course she hit you and took your weapon, she’s scared! She’s in over her head and you yelling at her is not going to make the situation any better.

Biting back on his anger, Simon returned to the controls of the ship keeping the back of his chair to her. “Look, sorry about the whole kind of kidnapping thing, but at the time it was the only thing I could think of to get you out of there.” He said in a slightly more civil tone. “As soon as we get rid of Serif’s package, I’ll take care of your delivery and then get you home.”

Rarity stared at the back of his chair with a touch of shock at his sudden shift in emotion. “You… you’re still going to complete my delivery, but why?”

“I took your money and the job.” Simon stated flatly as he pretended to work the controls. “You and I entered into a contract that clearly states that I have to get your goods to Nak Shinmor. I always complete my contracts, Princess.”

A smile tugged at the edges of Rarity’s mouth as a glimmer of hope returned to her less than desirable situation. Quickly though, something entered her mind. “I am very appreciative of your kindness, Captain Ortell, but just how long do you think this trip will take?”

Simon glanced over his shoulder at her before going back to his work. “Should take about two days, maybe a few more depending on stops and any complications,”

Rarity’s jaw nearly hit the floor at this revelation. “Two days, is… is that an accurate assessment?”

Simon snickered a bit at her surprise. “I’ll take that to mean you haven’t spent much time out here.” He said with a nod towards the viewport. “Modern hyperdrive units can get you from one end of the galaxy to the next real easy. Just sit back, relax and you’ll be back in your shop in just a few days.”

His words made sense at least. Rarity hadn’t been as educated as Twilight when it came to scientific sort of things. She was smarter than your average Unicorn, in her humble opinion at least, but grasping the endless distances of space was more than a bit out of her realm.

“Quickly or not, Captain Ortell, we may still have a slight problem.” Rarity called to his attention. “You see, my friends and family will notice me missing very soon and I can guarantee you that they will do something about it.”

“Yeah, that could be a problem.” He said nonchalantly. “So what do you expect me to do about it?”

“Well, I assume that this vessel has some form of long range communication device aboard it.”

Simon could barely hold back the urge to laugh at her request as he turned his chair around to face her. “So, lemme get this straight, you knock me on my rear, pull my own blaster on me, and now you want to make a call? And just how stupid do you think I am?”

How indeed, Rarity mused inside her own head. “I don’t think you understand, darling. I happen to be a pony with connections that lead all the way to both Princess Celestia and the Mand’alor herself. My going missing so suddenly will not go unnoticed unless I let them know I’m fine. That is unless you’d rather take your chances with a Mandalorian Knight hunting you down to rescue me from your clutches.” She added with a smug grin.

Simon’s outlook quickly shifted to become a bit more serious as he looked her dead in the eye. “You’re bluffing.”

“I have no reason to lie to you, Captain Ortell,” Rarity pointed out to him as she examined one of her hooves. “I am completely at your mercy as of right now, so holding anything back that would be advantageous to me would be ill advised as of right now. And besides that, a lady, my dear Simon, does not deal in bluffs.”

Simon gritted his teeth as he fought back against his anger. Mandalorians were bad enough, but those Knights with their freaky Force powers were even worse. “Okay, fine, let’s say I believe you. How do I know you won’t trick me and call in some Mando hit squad once I let you have access to the holo-projector?”

“And how would I go about that?” Rarity asked with a look of growing annoyance. “I have no idea where you’re taking me let alone where we are right now. Believe it or not, darling, we may just have to learn to trust one another. Especially with how long we are to be spending time with each other.”

Simon found himself locked in an impossible staredown with the overly posh Unicorn. No matter how hard he glared into her deep blue orbs he couldn’t seem to force her to budge even an inch on the subject. Biting down hard to force himself not to resort to simply yelling his head off at her, he finally felt himself giving into her demands.

“Ugh, fine, Princess, I’ll get you into contact with your friends. But you double cross me and you’ll find yourself stranded on Tatooine.” He warned her.

Rarity gave an indignant snort at his comment as she turned her nose up at him. “Of all the nerve, really Captain Ortell, a lady does NOT go back on her word.”

She took a moment to glance around the cabin before asking, “Now then, since I will be spending some time aboard this vessel, I assume sleeping arrangements shall be made?”

“I don’t normally transport people,” Simon told her, “so the bunks have been pretty much turned into a storage closets. You can sleep in the common room for the time being.”

Rarity gave him a shocked, almost hurt, expression. “What, you can NOT be serious.” She scoffed at him. “You expect me to sleep out on the couch? Have you no concept on how to treat a lady?”

“Hey, I saved your life,” he was quick to remind her. “The least you could do is maybe be a little more grateful considering the situation!”

“Oh yes, I’m ever so very grateful to have been absconded with across the stars after having blasters pointed in my face yet again!”

“How was that my fault!? You’re the one who walked in on our deal!”

“And what is it we’re carrying?” Rarity asked with a sudden shift in mood to one far more calm and neutral.

Simon was clearly taken aback by her swift change in mood and the cold sternness in her gaze as she held his own in a vise grip. “I… No, no I’m not falling into that trap, Princess.” He snarled at her. “Look, you don’t need to know, and I sure as hell don’t want to know. First rule is to never look in the package.”

“So you have absolutely no idea what’s in that sealed crate?” Rarity asked with a hint of disbelief. “For all we know that thing could be a bomb or even-”

“I scanned it before bringing it aboard.” Simon cut her off, “There were no active electronics or any signs of explosive materials. I’ve been doing this for a few years now, Princess, I know better than to bring something like that aboard.”

His words brought her just a small fraction of comfort. True, he no doubt had experience that she lacked in the field of interstellar transportation and he’d come this far in life without getting himself killed. Even worse still, should she somehow wrench control of the vessel away from him, she had no idea how to pilot it let alone get back home to Equestria.

With a sigh of defeat, the Unicorn bowed her head to him. “Alright then Captain, I will defer to your judgment on the subject. However I will still require a place to rest.”

“We’ll take care of it after we get this holo-call out of the way.”

“And don’t forget Fluttershy, darling, please don’t forget to brush Opal’s coat, she gets soooo matted if it isn’t groomed regularly.” Rarity instructed the holographic image of her friend who had been frantically trying to take notes.

Simon leaned against the doorway keeping himself out of sight of the projector’s camera. For the past hour he’d monitored Rarity as she called what he assumed to be every damned resident of that village she came from. True enough though she’d kept her word and not once mentioned the incident at the spaceport or her technical kidnapping. Part of him wanted to believe she could be trusted because of this, but cynical spacer in him brought up no fewer than twelve moments where his trust had been betrayed, seven involving a pretty face.

As the image finally faded away with her final goodbyes, Simon let out a sigh of relief. “Alright, are we done calling every single person you know yet?”

Rarity glared at him inwardly while keeping on a pleasant face, it had only been three calls. “Not to worry, I just have one last call, darling, then we can be on our way.”

“By all means, not like these cross galactic calls cost me anything.” He grumbled as he watched her dial in the number.

After a few moments the image of what Simon could only describe as a miniature version of his guest appeared over the projector. The key differences being her hair and tail were mess of natural curls as opposed to Rarity’s stylized look.

“Sweetie Belle, I was hoping I would catch you.” Rarity proclaimed joyfully.

Simon did what he could to avoid eavesdropping on her conversation as she happily shared words with the tiny Unicorn. From what fragments made it his way, he’d learned that Sweetie Belle and Rarity were very close. They had gone on for what felt like an eternity talking about every little thing in the younger one’s life, school work, friends, something called Cutie Marks, and he could have sworn he heard something about a rocket powered sled. All Simon could really hear, though, was sounds of credits being sucked out of his pockets as the conversation went on and on. Then something caught his attention towards the end.

“Goodbye little sister, I love you.” Rarity said in a calm restrained tone to keep her emotions in check.

Simon glanced towards the posh Equestrian as she hesitantly ended the conversation. A pang of guilt entered him as he watched her stare sadly at the holo-projector where the image of her aforementioned sister had been. His jaw clenched as an all too familiar face and name entered his mind. How long had it been? No, he couldn’t let himself dwell on this, not now. Not when he had a job to complete and absolutely not in front of her. Simon quickly squashed those rampant feelings as Rarity turned around to face him, it wasn’t hard to spot the raging emotions behind those wide sapphires of hers.

A soft smile slipped over Rarity’s face as she trotted towards him, “Thank you Simon, I know those calls were no doubt expensive and I promise I’ll do whatever I can to pay you back.”

“Yeah well, it’s better than having them send a bunch of trigger happy bucketheads after us right?” He replied in a cold tone. “So, that’s all of them right?”

“Yes, my movements are accounted for now.” She assured him.

“Good, I don’t like complications to a job.” He stated flatly as he made towards the cockpit. “By the way,” He added with his back still to her, “been thinking. I guess I can put Z7 to work on clearing out one of the bunks, make it a bit more comfortable for you. Till then you can use my room.”

Coming to a full stop he quickly turned on his heel and brought himself eye level with her. “One rule, do NOT touch anything in there.”

Rarity suppressed a chuckle at his attempts to seem imposing and intimidating, “Of course darling. You shan’t find even a speck of dirt out of place upon your return.” A pleasant smile returned to her features as she trotted past him, “Now that we have that settled, all we need do now is take care of the issue of my lack of clothes.”

Simon could feel his eyebrow starting to twitch. “Pardon?”

“Well you can’t expect me to go traipsing around in public with people thinking I was naked.” Rarity said in a bemused tone.

“You mean you aren’t already?”

“It’s complicated dear.” She said with a wave her hoof. “Now, if you would be so kind as to provide me with a few supplies to work with I’ll be able to get to work immediately.”

Simon did what he could to massage the throbbing pain in his temple away. “For the love of… it’s just one thing after another with you isn’t it?” He grumbled in frustration. Something told him that this was going to be a VERY long trip.

Next Chapter: Not so simple anymore Estimated time remaining: 4 Hours, 6 Minutes
Return to Story Description


Login with