The scarlet pony in his white coat stood in the bleak room, alone, and away from the others in the main control room. He didn’t necessarily mind the company, even if they were noisy, especially with the launch at hand, it was just he wanted to see the landscape of the historic event to take place. His gaze was through the window, focused like a high-powered beam on the launch site, the view being nothing like he had dreamed of.
On one hand, he noticed the camera flashes dancing around like fireflies across the huge launch pad, on the other, he noticed the high powered spotlights that lit up the entire area, and the rocket itself.
Oh Celestia, the rocket was a magnificent piece of science, its nose protruded into the silent night sky with confidence and with much power behind it, almost 100 times of a dynamite explosive. The amount of power the rocket demanded and held would make even a pyromaniac tread with care and caution, as well as a certain sense of reverence.
The large contrast between the rocket and the sky was very much so, as the rocket wasn’t bothered to be painted, so reflected the whiteness of the lights hitting it, which would naturally be very different from the black night sky behind it. The only companion the vast veil of darkness had was the glittering of millions of stars, as well as the lonely moon. The rocket, in its appearance right now, was but a speck on the near horizon. As said before, it was wise to tread with care, since one of these machines has not been seen to go off for 15,000 years; no one knows the power that can be wielded, not even the Alicorn Princesses, whom were born as Equestrians, not Equinens.
“Excited, sir?” The pony turned around with his coat not getting too much in the way, to see that one of his acquaintances whom he did not hear come in.
The scarlet pony chuckled, “My dear Cal, this isn’t the time to be formal. This is but a time to rejoice!” And with this, he put a hoof on his friend’s shoulder.
The aqua pony named Cal simply chuckled, “Right you are, Ray, but there is never a time to not be formal.”
Ray whined, “C’mon, let us be like friends this one time.”
Cal rolled his green eyes, and sighed, “Since today is the day we see our work come to fruition, I’ll let it be…”
Ray laughed, but quickly composed himself, and turned to gaze out the paned window once more, “It’s funny how life treats you, at one point, we were ridiculed, and told to not even try. Now we are here, virtually celebrities, at the mercy of the media.”
Cal kept his face straight, “Don’t forget about the astronauts actually going out to space.”
“That’s true… But think of it!” Ray turned again to his colleague, “Princess Twilight Sparkle won’t have to regret ever having supported this venture, sticking her neck out in front of Celestia no less!”
Cal apathetically blinked once while chuckling, seeming almost distant, detached. Ray turned back around to the window, and a few moments of silence hinged on the two friends, until Cal finally broke it.
“You never did answer my question, are you excited?”
“Huh? Oh, well…” Ray thought about this for a second, then smiled as he began reminiscing, “I don’t think anybody here who has spent the full 10 years of getting here with us would not be.”
“Well said, after all, remember the first day of us starting this project?”
“Who could forget?”
Cal chuckled, “True, but I’m serious, we came up to the old building that had seemed to have been there at least 25 years before we showed up, to find a couple of ponies in there, working with run down equipment, with a horridly understaffed crew, and with some equipment seeming very maleficent.”
“And we wondered to ourselves, the ones who got the state-of-the-art technology, had the expert team, and had the funds to do this project, how they were able to procure the first half of the information which we needed to progress in the project with so little.
“I asked one of them, the head of the whole group, how they did it. He just smiled at me, and simply said, ‘we only carried out what had been worked on for several millennium now, this is the work, no, the spirit, of so many ponies.’ That’s what got me determined to get the first space craft into space with a pony on it. That’s what had me stay up those nights working on the formula on how to achieve the velocity to stay in orbit, had me stay on the job for 10 painstakingly agonizing years. I wanted to help make those ponies’ dreams, who dedicated their entire lives to this effort, become reality.”
Cal didn’t say anything after that, because as he was opening his mouth to continue the reminiscing, a mare’s voice boom across the hollow room, vibrating through the stallions’ heads.
“T minus 1 minute to launch, all personnel come into Command Center for debriefing and operation.”
After the voice subsided, and the ringing in their ears stopped, the two friends rubbed their head, “Wish they could at least lower the volume down,” Ray sighed.
Cal replied sarcastically, “Someone could be sleeping on the job.”
Ray melodramatically said, “This is the end of the world!”
They both shared a laugh, and they walked towards the room that went to the next, which was the Command Center.
Ray stopped, and turned around, to take in the gaze of the room, “It feels like this is the last time we’ll be in this room for awhile, it was fun listening to Doc talk in his monologue about shit.”
Cal smirked, “Like you listened.”
Cal stopped shortly, but resumed walking with a question, “Sadiq?”
“Yea,” Ray said as he opened the door, but paused to explain, “It means ‘friend’ in the Zebra’s native language. We are in the southwestern most point of Equestria, right next to the Zebra tribal grounds.”
Cal waved off the explanation, “Yea, yea, I know we’re near the zebras, I don’t need to be given a lecture on our whereabouts.”
“Fine by me,” Ray said, chuckling in the process.
And with that, they entered the brightly lit room of command central. With a wave of voices that almost reached concussive force. All of the ponies in the room was chattering, and talking, giving orders, receiving them.
“Holy Celestia, I think I know why I went into the room in the first place…” Ray said muttering to himself.
Cal laughed as he went down the steps to his computer; he was in charge of making sure all of the systems on the rocket were sound and good to go. Ray, on the other hand, was one of the people calling the shots.
“All right stallions and mares, let’s get this launch underway.
“All good here, sir!” A small orange mare called out from the front.
“Launch systems in check?”
“Online!” A red stallion called out closer to Ray.
“How about the rocket sensors?”
“All sensors are working!”
Cal called out from the middle row, “Online!”
“Double check that our com links are good to go.”
A few moments of silence hung over as the green stallion checked, double checked, and did it all over again.
And with that, everything continued as planned, Ray simply wanted to make sure he had communications with the ponies on the rocket.
He pushed into the button for the com, and spoke into the microphone, “This is CC-1, how copy?”
A short second of static, then a mare voice came up, “CC-1, this is Alpha-delta-Niner, we copy you fine. No static seems to be of interference, we have full fuel tanks, our systems are reading normal, life-support is nominal; we are as ready as we’ll ever be, over.”
A sigh escaped Ray’s mouth; he smiled, “Copy, damn glad to have you as commander of the first rocket launch into space for over 15,000 years.”
The commander sighed, but had a hint of giggling in there, “Always the emotional one, sir, we’ll see you when we clear off and in orbit, over.”
Ray stood back up from having leaned over to the microphone, smiling warmly. He knew that nothing could happen to this launch, nothing horrid and out of luck. His team checked and re checked every little problem. And with that, he relaxed with ease into his chair. He watched the launch pad as the countdown from 10 seconds began.
“10, 9, 8, 7…”
This is it, he thought, the start of a journey for all ponykind.
“… 5, 4, 3, 2…”
I suppose it was worth it, but I can only hope that what happens afterwards, will be in our favor.
“… 1, 0, we have ignition.”
Ray flew open his eyes, in time to see the first signs of the rocket having ignited its fuel. The sight blinded the entire room, and flooded the dark night sky with light.
That was when they felt the shockwave from the ignition. They were too close.
Ray’s ears felt the wave pass through him, and noticed that his friends were fine as well, however, the glass for the windows had shattered, and scattered all over the floor, right up to the first row of computers.
“Damn…” Ray had said to himself, knowing that the onslaught of noise from the launch would subdue any attempt of screaming over it.
He sighed as he watched the rocket leave the pad, and slowly go over the horizon, and up into the sky. It wasn’t until maybe 10 minutes later that the sound of the rockets firing off had died down.
“Alright ponies… We got our work cut out for us, so let’s begin…”
10 years later--
“I’m telling you Cadence, the idea for space flight isn’t as arbitrary as you make it seem so!” Princess Luna shouted at her sister.
Since the first launch of ponies 10 years ago, space launches have become more manageable and more efficient, to the point where if someone wanted to go into space, they simply had to ask to put their name into the schedule.
The 4 princesses affiliated with, if not rulers of, Equestria gathered to discuss about the possible issues of space flight and going out into space. In the marble rotunda the Alicorns have met in, laid a conference table, made of hard oak, and accompanied with 4 solid wooden chairs, smoothed out to be comfortable to sit in. The air was cooler than the summer day outside, but the atmosphere had no intentions of being cool. Twilight Sparkle and Luna supported the notion of Space flight; opposing them was Cadence and Celestia.
“We aren’t even of Equestria for heaven’s sake, our home world is Equine! We came here through space, one way or the other, so why can’t we go back?” Luna said as she was getting back down, composing herself in the process.
Cadence rebutted, “If we came here, it was for the good reason of our ancestors, and I’d think they wouldn’t want their posterior to go back making whatever mistake they made.”
Luna muttered, “Mistake they made,” She slammed her hoof on the table, “that was 15,000 years ago, none of us are of Equine, we are all Equestrian born ponies, so whatever their reason for coming here isn’t known to us, it might’ve been something more than a ‘mistake’!”
Celestia cleared her throat, “Basically, the problem here is whether to go back to Equine, because we ended up here instead of there, whether it was because of our ancestors’ mistakes or they simply had to? What if we pushed aside going back to Equine, what are the advantages to going into space then?”
And as if on cue, Twilight smiled, and chipped into the conversation, “We have found indications of an abundance of resources on the moon; Luna has agreed to let us have a colony there, to mine those resources. Particularly because the ingredients we need to cure this… IDI that’s been plaguing Equestria, is found there as well. We can also build a space colony near the sun to gather the solar radiation there and convert it to solar power, energy we need for the energy demand we’ve been barely able to keep up with, the colony would give us elbow room.
“And I hate to bring Equine up again, but aside from colonial intentions, going there would mean additional land for our crowding population, and, depending on its state, even more natural resources, those that have been somewhat strained here on Equestria.”
Celestia pondered on this, which Cadence couldn’t stand, “If someone accidentally goes out of a space ship in mid-flight, them, and the entire population in the ship would be killed. To say nothing of freak ionic storms or a rogue comet that comes and finds its way to a ship…”
Luna quickly replies, “We’ll have detecting, radar, and safety systems on before we even discuss bringing civilians into space. Celestia, this is a chance to explore not just our world like never before, but other bodies of mass that we can visit now.”
“And what about the Griffon-Technological War Treaty?” Cadence asked.
Both Luna’s heart sank a little, as she knew that Cadence could nullify the entire argument thus far, with the treaty after the first tech war.
“I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, Luna, but to be sure, why don’t you explain?” Cadence said with her head tilted higher than usual, and in a very snotty way.
“It’s the treaty that resulted from the first Tech War that we had with the Griffon Alliance… It’s where we competed with the Alliance in an effort to best them over with technology. The result of this war was the destruction of the Zebra Republic, which went into a cascade effect, and landed back in the Stone Age. So, to prevent that, both sides of the said war had to hand over technology to each other, so that no suspicion would form and cause a second tech war to break out.”
Luna thought her hooves were suddenly interesting, and observed them, as Twilight began her argument, much to the other Alicorns’ surprise.
“Who launched the space program?”
Cadence was visibly baffled by the question, “You?”
“And not by Equestria, right?”
“The treaty was signed by the Equestrian Empire and the Griffon Empire. If the space program resumed under only one of the leaders of the Equestrian Empire, then it wouldn’t be able to be considered Equestrian Technology. If it went under my name, or the Crystal Empire’s, the same effect would occur.”
The other Alicorns blinked once, thinking over what was said, then twice.
After a few moments, everypony turned to face the supreme ruler of the Equestrian Empire, waiting for her decision.
She looked up from her pondering, and smiled, “Let it be. Whether it continues under Twilight or my sister, so be it. And I’ll allow for all space traveling, unless it threatens the Empire in any way, and/or threatens the civilians of the Empire. As for the institutions to be formed after this, I’ll only ask to have control of the space colony, as well as the civilian space travel institution, am I clear?”
The two Alicorns nodded eagerly, not able to wait any longer to begin, but much to their surprise, Cadence sighed.
“I’ll supply resources to the project, if needed. But for the time being, I still think this is a bad idea…”
And with that, Cadence left the room, leaving the Sisters and Twilight.
Twilight sighed, and began, “Well, I’ll get right back with my team, and see if we can’t start experiments with more advanced space flights.”
And she left through another door, opposite of the one Cadence left in.
The Alicorn Sisters turned to each other, and they knew just how things would fall in place. They knew the challenges that would occur over the years, the dissident movements against them, but they knew it was well worth the risk, to see Equine again, and see Equestria flourish once more.
They both silently nodded, and teleported to a deeper part of the Canterlot castle. Alone, and thinking in deep thought, pondering how things may play out.