CHAPTER 8

AFTERMATH

Captain's log, Star Date 5194.2 – It's been seven days since the battle between King Sombra's Army and the combined forces of my own men and the ponies of the Crystal Empire. After that hard fought victory, Dr. McCoy instituted a planet wide vaccination program to combat the Vegan Chorial Meningitis strain that has been plaguing the inhabitants of Equestria. The inoculation program was a huge success, and the disease is now in full remission.

On the eve of our departure, Princess Celestia has invited myself and all of my crewmembers who participated in that fight for freedom down to the Palace of the Imperial City for a special ceremony.

Captain Kirk was standing in front of the small dresser mirror in his quarters, putting the finishing touches on his dress uniform. The buzzing sound of the doorbell from the entrance to his quarters told him that someone was outside looking to get in. "Come…" he said.

The double doors SWISHed open to reveal Dr. McCoy. The double doors SWISHed close as soon as he walked in. "Are you ready?" the Doctor asked as he came to stand next to Kirk.

"Almost…" Kirk said as he continued with his final grooming.

"I hate having to wear the dress uniform!" McCoy complained. "I feel like I'm about to choke to death…" He used a finger to momentarily pull the collar of his dress shirt away from his neck.

"Princess Celestia specifically asked for it, so there must be a reason…" Kirk smiled and shrugged.

"Well, no doubt it's to… congratulate us on a job well done. But didn't she also say that there would be a 'little surprise' waiting for us?" McCoy asked.

"She did…" Kirk smiled.

"Another stained glass window done in our honour?"

"We'll find out when we get there…" Kirk shrugged again as he started to leave his quarters.

The double doors SWISHed open to let both men out, and SWISHed close behind them once they left.

Minutes later, in the hallway of the Crystal Palace just outside the Throne Room, the warble of the transporter beam could be heard as the forms of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy and Lieutenant Rowe, the Enterprise's Chief of Security, materialized into being.

The sixty surviving members of the Security Force who participated in the battle against King Sombra's Army seven days prior had already beamed down and were waiting for the arrival of their leaders.

Twilight Sparkle and her friends, the other wielders of the Elements of Harmony, were also present and were chatting with some of the Enterprise's Security Officers. They wore the same outfits they had at Twilight's recent coronation. Twilight Sparkle herself looked particularly regal in her pink and white dress with yellow trim and white bows, gold coloured hoof shoes emblazoned with her six pointed star cutie mark symbol. She also had her Princess' crown on her head.

"Welcome to the Crystal Palace, gentle…men…" said a dark yellow coloured male Earth pony with dark blue mane and tail as he came to greet them. He wore a gold coloured suit of armour with matching Roman style helmet.

Kirk bowed to the Earth pony. "I thank you… uhh…"

"Oh! Flash Sentry, sir…" the Earth pony replied.

"You're new here, aren't you?" McCoy asked.

"Yes, sir!" Flash Sentry smiled and nodded. "My garrison was one of the two who were transferred here from Canterlot as reinforcements after the battle…"

This was true! Since the Royal Guard Unit assigned to the Crystal Empire lost a thousand of its members during the fight against King Sombra's changeling army, two units were sent from Canterlot to replace them. Prince Shining Armour also launched a recruitment campaign among the crystal pony population, which was most successful. Captain Kirk figured that this young Earth pony must be the Usher who will lead them into the Throne Room.

Flash Sentry turned his attention to the gathered crowd. "Is everypony ready!?" he asked.

"So are we…" Dr. McCoy said realizing that Flash Sentry said "everypony" rather than "everybody".

Flash Sentry smiled at the Doctor, but said nothing. "Follow me!" he said as he motioned for the two guards at the foot of the huge double doors leading to the Throne Room to open them.

Trumpets resounded throughout the huge expanse of the Throne Room as the entire party walked in. At the Throne sat Princess Celestia- the ruler of all Equestria, her younger sister Princess Luna, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza and Prince Shining Armour, her husband and Twilight Sparkle's older brother.

Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, or "Cadence" as she's better known as, was wearing the same dress she wore at Twilight's coronation, which consisted of a light blue dress with purple trim made to mimic a crystal pattern. Her mane was tied in a bonnet. Shining Armour wore the bright red blazer with gold coloured collar and cuffs that once belonged to his father. He also had a light blue sash running from his right shoulder and was criss-crossed over his chest.

Flash Sentry led the party up to about twenty feet in front of the Throne. Then he cleared his throat and spoke in a voice loud enough to be heard throughout the Throne Room. "Announcing Princess Twilight Sparkle, the other wielders of the Elements of Harmony; as well as Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise and company!" he said as he waved his left forehoof at them.

Princess Twilight Sparkle and Captain Kirk, being the leaders of their respective groups, approached the throne. Twilight Sparkle, being distracted by the lavishness of the Throne Room, accidentally bumped into Flash Sentry. "Careful there…" Flash Sentry said, smiling.

Twilight blushed as she smiled embarrassingly. "Sorry…" This caused a few members of the gathered crowd to giggle.

Captain Kirk and Twilight Sparkle stopped ten feet away from the Throne Room and bowed before the assembled Royals. All four Royals returned the bow.

Princess Celestia then stood up and walked over to the foot of the Throne platform, her hooffalls echoing on the marble floor of the platform. Captain Kirk looked up at her and all of her magnificence. He had forgotten how tall she really was! At six foot two, he was pretty tall himself; but even he seemed like a dwarf standing next to the six foot eight tall pure white alicorn Princess; seven foot five, if you included the alicorn's horn on her forehead.

"My dear friends…" she began. Her voice sounded soft and motherly. "On behalf of myself and my fellow Royals, I would like to officially welcome all of you to the Crystal Palace, home of the Crystal Empire…"

A smattering of applause from the gathered resounded throughout the Throne Room.

"Princess Twilight Sparkle…" she began after the applause had died down. "Once again, you and your friends, the wielders of the Elements of Harmony, have done us all a great service by helping our valiant troops defeat an invading tyrannical army and restoring peace to the Crystal Empire once more.

"Not only that, you yourself were instrumental in helping those same troops capture a ruthless enemy that has been a thorn in me and my sister, Princess Luna's, side for thousands of years. For all this, you and your friends have our eternal recognition and gratitude!" She bowed.

"On behalf of myself and my friends, I thank you, Your Highness…" Twilight Sparkle said as she returned the bow.

Another smattering of applause, slightly louder this time, reverberated throughout the Throne Room.

"Captain James Tiberius Kirk…" Princess Celestia continues. "You and your shipmates' aid in our time of great need shall be remembered for all eternity. Your exploratory nature has brought your space faring people and my people together in a bond of everlasting friendship. For that, you have our eternal thanks and gratitude!" She bowed again.

"On behalf of myself and that of my shipmates, I thank you deeply, Your Highness…" Kirk said as he returned the bow.

This brought more applause from the gathered crowd.

"I now turn things over to Princess Mi Amore Cadenza of The Crystal Empire for the delivery of our 'little surprise'". Princess Celestia said as she retreated back to her original place on the Throne's platform.

Princess Cadence then came forward. "My dear friends, as a token of our and the inhabitants of the Crystal Empire's appreciation for all that you have done, and your accomplishments, over this past week, we would like to bestow upon all of you a Medal of Valour embossed with our most sacred symbol, The Crystal Heart."

Thunderous applause resounded as Princess Mi Amore Cadenza herself came before each of Captain Kirk's men and personally pinned the medal on the chest of their dress uniforms using her alicorn magic. Each man bowed respectfully as they accepted the medal. The medallions themselves were made of pure gold; and, as Princess Cadence herself said, were embossed with The Crystal Heart effigy.

Captain Kirk and Twilight Sparkle were the last to accept the medal. As the leaders of their respective groups, they were the most important recipients of all. Kirk graciously bowed as the medal was pinned on his chest. As Twilight Sparkle accepted her own medal, Shining Armour came to stand beside his wife.

"I'm so proud of you, Twily!" Shining Armour said as he hugged his baby sister.

"Thanks, Shining!" she said as she accepted the hug. Then she noticed something on her big brother's face. "More liquid pride?" she asked tenderly.

"Y-you know it…" Shining Armour sniffed as used his hoof to wipe the tear that fell down his right cheek.

"Awwwww… The big brave Prince is crying!" Rainbow Dash teased.

Applejack put her hoof to her mouth to stifle a giggle. Captain Kirk did the same with his own hand to his own mouth.

Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armour shared a laugh.

"Congratulations, Twilight!" Princess Cadence said as she hugged the mare she once foalsat as a filly.

"Thanks, Cadence!" Twilight said as she accepted the embrace.

Then Cadence moved back up to the platform of the Throne and cleared her throat. "ORDER!" Flash Sentry called out, as the crowd was still applauding, and there was widespread chatter here and there.

As soon as the crowd quieted down, Cadence spoke again. "I now direct your attention to the far right corner of the Throne Room…" she motioned. Everybody turned in the direction that the Crystal Princess was pointing to.

Trumpets resounded as a huge tapestry nobody had noticed before was unrolled. Some of the crowd gasped in astonishment as it was unveiled.

"Let this wonderful tapestry designed by some of our most skilled weavers serve as a memento of everything that has transpired here over the past seven days in The Crystal Empire , and all throughout Equestria, for all time!"

Trumpets resounded again as the crowd erupted in thunderous applause. It was, in fact, a beautiful tapestry weaved in brilliant colours that had Equestria's sun at the very top left and Equestria's one moon at the very top right with a likeness of Princess Celestia and Princess Luna below each respective celestial bodies marking them as the Sun and Moon Princesses. Below that, in the center, was the likeness of the starship Enterprise based on previous descriptions from Chief Engineer Scott. Below that was the skyline of the Crystal Empire's Imperial City. Below that was a scene on the left hand side that showed Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Ensign Chekhov, Lieutenant Rowe and a few red shirted Security Officers firing their phasers at approaching changeling soldiers. One red shirt even fired his phaser at a winged changeling flying through the air! On the right hand side was the image of some Royal Guard pony soldiers engaged in hoof to hoof combat with other changeling soldiers. There were even Pegasi soldiers engaged in aerial combat with winged changelings in mid air! Underneath this showed Dr. McCoy inoculating a pony with his hypo against the Vegan Chorial Meningitis disease with several other smiling ponies waiting in line for their turn to be inoculated. There were even Pegasi and unicorns standing in line, as their horns and wings could clearly be seen! This served as a symbol of Equestria's diverse pony population. There was even an Earth pony mare carrying her infant foal waiting for their turn to receive the cure! At the very bottom of the tapestry was the likeness of The Crystal Heart with an effigy of Princess Cadence on the left and Prince Shining Armour on the right wearing the exact same outfits they wore today.

"I expect your volume recounting the entire events by the end of the week, Twilight…" Princess Cadence said as she joined her on the floor once more, pointing at the empty pedestal right underneath the tapestry.

"You got it, Cadence…" Twilight smiled.

Captain Kirk approached Cadence. "I'd like to say something…"

"Yes?"

"To… everypony…" he said as he glanced around the room.

Cadence smiled. "Certainly…" She then moved back up to the Throne's platform. "Everyone!" she called out as she raised a forehoof.

"Order! ORDER!" Flash Sentry called out, and everyone in the room immediately fell silent.

"Our friend, Captain James T. Kirk, has something he wishes to tell us all…" She then nodded to Kirk.

"Your Highnesses…" he began. "What you have done here today for me and my men is beyond any of our expectations. There is an old saying among my people: One good deed deserves another… In saying that, I would like to invite all of you on board the Enterprise for a tour of our wonderful starship…"

Murmurs of surprise went up in the crowd. Captain Kirk's announcement was certainly a surprise! Dr. McCoy's facial expression and Mr. Spock's eyebrow raise certainly betrayed that same surprise.

"This invitation is also extended to Princess Twilight Sparkle and her brave friends…" Kirk continued. "You already know what the outside of our ship looks like…" he said as he gestured towards the Enterprise's image on the tapestry. "I think it's only fair that you see what the inside of our ship also looks like…"

The crowd continued to murmur in reaction to this announcement. They were quickly silenced as Princess Celestia came forward. "Captain James Tiberius Kirk, we would be delighted…" she said.

The crowd applauded at this decision.

As soon as the applause died down, Kirk spoke again. "Wonderful!" he said with a smile. "I'll make arrangements for this afternoon…"

Princess Celestia smiled and bowed.

With the ceremonies now over, Flash Sentry ushered everyone outside. Kirk and his men stopped briefly to admire the wonderful tapestry as they walked out.

"Captain…" Spock said as he joined Kirk outside in the hallway. "I presume it would be pointless of me to argue this decision you've just reached with you, knowing your usual resolve…"

Kirk nodded. "You'd be right, Mr. Spock. Bones?" He asked the good Doctor, who had also joined him.

"Well, I agree with Spock for once; and I know I'm not gonna change your mind, once it's made up, knowing you too well, Jim…"

"In any case, I do not have time to continue this discussion any further…" Spock continued. "I have a… date… with Rainbow Dash that I must keep…"

Kirk was surprised. "A date, Spock!?"

The Vulcan nodded. "I have decided to take up her challenge for a race she made with me exactly seven days ago…"

"Hey, Spock!" Rainbow Dash called as she came to stand next to the Vulcan. "Still on for that race later on?"

"Indeed I am…" Spock replied.

"You know, I don't think even a Vulcan like you can beat somepony as awesome as me!" Rainbow Dash boasted.

Spock raised an eyebrow. "We shall see…"

"Now this I have to witness!" McCoy said as Rainbow Dash trotted towards the banquet hall where a brunch buffet was being served.

"Me, too!" Kirk admitted with a smile.

After brunch, a large crowd gathered outside the northeastern part of the Imperial City. Most of the gathered crowd were crystal ponies curious to see the end result of a race between who was greatly considered to be the most awesome Pegasus in Equestria and an alien Vulcan from another world.

An aerial course was set up for this occasion that would have the racers navigate through a forest, a cloud slalom course and some mountains of the North Pole Barrier before reaching the finish line.

Since it was already established from their previous mission that Spock's projected bat pony form was capable of flying, it only made sense that the race challenge between them would be an aerial one. Spock himself explained this phenomenon as being due to the magical energy fields forever present on the planet that his bat pony guise was capable of flight.

They saw the two racers leave the starting line a half hour ago. Spock was given a thirty second lead, as promised by Rainbow Dash. Once the thirty seconds were up, Rainbow Dash took off like a rocket after Spock. Now, they were waiting for the victor to cross the finish line.

"Look!" a pony from the crowd exclaimed. "Somepony's coming…" She pointed.

"It's Rainbow Dash!" the female pony sitting next to her said.

Indeed, it was Rainbow Dash moving very fast and looking as confident as ever! Within moments, she was almost to the finish line. When she crossed it, she lifted her forehooves over her head as a sign of victory, then she skidded to a halt and settled softly to the ground. The entire crowd cheered her victory as her closest friends gathered around her to congratulate her.

"Another outstandin' race, Rainbow Dash!" Applejack said in congratulations.

"Of course…" Rainbow Dash said arrogantly as she pretended to shine her hoof on her chest.

"Where's Spock?" Twilight Sparkle asked as she looked out over the horizon.

"I don't know…" Rainbow Dash shrugged. "Last time I saw him was back at the entrance to the forest area, eating my dust!"

"Ya we're SUPPOSED ta give him a head start!" Applejack exclaimed.

"I waited thirty seconds!" Rainbow Dash countered.

"Maybe ya shoulda waited thirty minutes…" Applejack said sarcastically.

Rainbow Dash glared at her.

"OOH OOH OOH! There he is!" Pinkie Pie jumped up as she pointed.

Everybody looked and they did, in fact, see Spock's bat pony form approaching slowly from the northwest. As he grew nearer, everybody saw that he was looking really tired and the simple act of flying was a monumental effort for him.

The gathered crowd shouted encouragement at him as he neared the finish line. The crowd cheered as he crossed the finish line, immediately crashed to the ground and slid to a halt. He was breathing heavily from exhaustion as the crowd gathered around him.

"All right, everypony, stand back! Give him some air!" Captain Kirk said as he intervened and motioned the crowd back. "You ok, Spock?" Kirk asked as he crouched down beside the prone Vulcan.

"Fine, Captain…" Spock breathed.

"I guess no amount of Starfleet training is enough to beat a pony as awesome as Rainbow Dash…" Dr. McCoy jibed.

"I am inclined to agree…" Spock said, still trying to catch his breath.

When he finally did get up, the crowd erupted in cheers and applause. "That was awesome!" Rainbow Dash cried as she gave Spock a congratulatory hug.

"But you were more awesome today…" Spock said as he returned the hug.

At least there was no bad blood between them, and they still remained friends.

Captain's Log, Supplemental – Having just been paid a high honour by Equestrian Royalty in the Imperial City of The Crystal Empire, I've decided to return the favour by inviting said Royalty aboard the Enterprise for a grand tour.

The doors to the Transporter Room SWISHed open to reveal Captain Kirk. Chief Engineer Scott was at the console. He had just beamed aboard Twilight Sparkle and her friends, and they were all patiently waiting in the Transporter Room for the Royals to arrive.

"Scotty…" Kirk said as he approached the Enterprise's Chief Engineer. "Looks like you've made a new friend…" He smiled as he saw that Twilight Sparkle was standing next to Scott behind the Transporter's console.

"Oh! Well, the purple lass here was curious about the functioning of the Transporter console, so I thought I'd indulge her."

"I just find equipment like this to be fascinating!" Twilight Sparkle said with a smile.

"Yeah! You'd expect that from an egghead like her…" Rainbow Dash said.

Applejack frowned as she poked the rainbow coloured Pegasus in the ribs. Rainbow Dash laughed nervously as she flashed a toothy smile.

"Do you have them?" Kirk asked Scotty.

"They're at the coordinates, sir. Ah can beam them up anytime. Just give tha word!" Scotty said.

"Energize, Mr. Scott!" Kirk ordered.

The Transporter console WHIRRed as Scotty pushed down on the energizer levers. The Transporter warbled as the forms of Princesses Celestia, Luna, Cadence and Prince Shining Armour materialized on the Transporter's platform.

"Welcome aboard the Enterprise, Your Highnesses!" Kirk said as he bowed.

Shining Armour checked himself to make sure he was still whole as the alicorn Royals stepped down off of the Transporter platform. He chuckled. "That Transporter thing really works!" he said.

"Why of COURSE it works, lad! Ah woulda beamed ya up in pieces if it didn't!" Scott told Shining Armour as he places his fists on his hips.

Shining Armour looked at Scotty with equine alarm in his eyes.

"You must forgive my Chief Engineer." Kirk told Shining Armour right away. "He's quite touchy when it comes to the ship's functions…"

Shining Armour smiled. "Of course, Captain!"

"Aye!" Scotty said. "Ah'm the reason everything on this vessel is ship shape! Why, they'd be helpless without me as their Chief Engineer…"

"I do not doubt that for a minute, Mr. Scott!" Princess Luna said.

"Well, now…" Kirk said. "If you'd all follow me, let's begin our grand tour of the ship…" he motioned for everypony to follow him through the double doors leading to the hallway.

"See ya all in Engineering later on!" Scotty cried as everyone filed out of the room.

The double doors SWISHed close once everyone had left the Transporter Room.

The doors to the Enterprise's Sick Bay SWISHed open to allow Captain Kirk and his tour group inside.

"I gotta say there's not a lot of room to fly on this ship…" Rainbow Dash said as she hovered in.

"Well, it wasn't designed for that…" Kirk said.

"Yeah! Pay attention, Dash!" Applejack said.

Rainbow Dash just glared at her.

Kirk waited until everyone entered the room before he spoke. "This is the Enterprise's Sick Bay where we treat our sick and wounded…"

"Is this where mah younger sister an 'er friends got treated fer that disease?" Applejack asked.

"That's right." Kirk said. "This was also where the cure for said disease was patented. And there's good 'ol Dr. McCoy hard at work!"

"Welcome to Sick Bay, everypony!" McCoy said as he approached the group. "I don't mean to be boastful; but if it weren't for me, they'd have no idea how to run this place…" he smiled.

Nurse Chapel, who was at a nearby console, just shook her head at this.

Fluttershy came forward and looked around. "So this is where you spend most of your time, huh?" she asked.

"That's right."McCoy said. "When you're a Doctor, you sometimes have to work long hours. If you have time later, I can give you a full physical…" He told Fluttershy with a smile.

Fluttershy giggled. "Oh, Doctor!" She blushed as she waved a hoof at him.

Kirk turned to leave, but then remembered something. "Oh, Bones!…" Kirk began as he turned back to face McCoy. "I have some very special friends here to see you. They insisted upon beaming up to pay you a visit…"

"Oh? Who is it?" McCoy asked.

With this, three fillies galloped into Sick Bay. "HI, DOC!" they exclaimed in unison as they ran straight for McCoy.

"Well, I'll be damned!" McCoy exclaimed when he saw who it was.

It was Apple Bloom and her two friends Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, the very same fillies Dr. McCoy cured from the new Vegan Chorial Meningitis strain just seven days ago.

"WHOA, don't bowl me over!" McCoy cried out as the three fillies crashed into him. They giggled as they embraced him.

While this was going on, an Ensign walked into Sick Bay and handed three black cases to Captain Kirk. "Ah! Right on time…" Kirk said as he accepted the boxes from the Ensign.

"Uhh… Excuse me… girls…" Kirk told the three fillies, who interrupted their revelry with Dr. McCoy to face the Captain of the Enterprise.

"I have something very special here for all three of you." Kirk said.

"What it is, Mr. Kirk?" Scootaloo asked.

"It's a replica of an ancient medal of honour among my people called the Purple Heart."

Kirk brought out one of the medals to show it to the girls.

"OOOOOOOHHH…" the three fillies said in unison in reaction to how beautiful it was.

"Historically, it was always given to someone among my people who showed great courage and accomplishment during battle. You three fillies showed great courage during the epidemic that plagued your people seven days ago, and it was thanks to you three that we were able to discover the cure against that disease. In other words, you've BATTLED the disease that plagued you; and if that, in itself, is not a great ACCOMPLISHMENT, I don't know what is."

As Kirk moved to place the gold plated medals tied to the purple coloured ribbon necklace around the fillies' necks, he said the following final phrase. "I personally can't think of anyone else more deserving of these medals than you three!"

All three fillies held up the medals they were just given to examine it.

"WOW!" Scootaloo exclaimed as she held up her medal.

"This is really GREAT!" Sweetie Belle said as she held up hers.

"Ah'm NEVER gonna lose THIS medal!" Apple Bloom said as she held up hers.

"Now isn't that a great honour!?" Applejack said proudly.

"It sure IS!" Apple Bloom said. "But… Who's this guy on the front?" she questioned.

"Oh, that's George Washington." Kirk said in answer. "He was a very important man in our history. He was what is called a 'President', and he was the very first one of the country on our world known as the old United States of America…"

"So what do we say, girls!?" Applejack prompted.

"THANK YOU, MR. KIRK!" the three fillies exclaimed in unison.

Kirk smiled. "You're quite welcome!"

"Y'know, girls, ah've been thinkin' 'bout becomin' a Doctor when ah grow up." Apple Bloom said. "So whatdya think about a Doctor's cutie mark, Sweetie Belle?"

"I seriously doubt it, Apple Bloom!" Sweetie Belle said.

"Well, we could always try for that space exploring cutie mark again, girls!" Scootaloo said. "I still wanna try-"

Sweetie Belle used her unicorn magic to pull Scootaloo's face close to hers. "Don't even think about it, Scootaloo!" she said as she glared at the Pegasus filly, who smiled nervously.

Everyone in the room laughed at this exchange.

When the laughter died down, Kirk spoke again. "Now, if you'll all follow me,let's continue with our grand tour. Next stop: Main Engineering! The virtual heart and soul of the ship!"

The double doors leading to the hallway SWISHed open to allow Captain Kirk to leave.

"That was a real nice thing ya've done for the girls…" Applejack told Kirk as they walked into the hallway. "Ya've just made three new friends fer life!"

"We aim to please…" Kirk said with a smile.

The group continued down the hallway towards Main Engineering. Apple Bloom and her friends were at the back of the group chatting away happily as they continued to admire the Purple Heart medals they were just given.

Later that day, the entire group was back in the Imperial City of the Crystal Empire gathered at the Imperial Square where the Crystal Heart was back on display. The Enterprise wasn't due to leave until a few hours, so they all decided to spend their last moments together on the planet. The Princesses and Shining Armour left to return to the palace, but Twilight Sparkle decided to stay with her friends. Spike had joined them, having arrived at the Crystal Empire only a few minutes ago.

"That was a most super duper luper FANTASTIC tour, wasn't it, girls!?" Pinkie Pie asked, still bouncing with excitement.

"It most certainly was!" Rarity said in answer.

"I was most impressed by the Main Bridge…" Twilight Sparkle admitted. "Seeing all those control panels, watching all of those people work…"

"You would…" Rainbow Dash with a roll of her eyes.

"Aw, come on, Rainbow Dash!" Applejack said. "There musta been somethin' ya liked 'bout that tour?"

"Well… The Shuttle Bay was pretty neat… At least you had room to fly in there."

Applejack sighed. "Ya ain't never gonna change, are ya, Rainbow?"

The rainbow coloured Pegasus just smiled and shrugged.

"Well, I know I really liked the Sick Bay…" Fluttershy said softly.

"Oh, PLEASE! The only reason you liked the Sick Bay was because Dr. McCoy was there!" Rarity said.

"Oh, no!" Fluttershy said, shaking her head. "It was because… Okay, it WAS because Dr. McCoy was there." She admitted as she patted the Doctor's hand, which rested lovingly on her back.

"Well, I, for one, wouldn't be caught dead in a place like that!" the white unicorn said as she fluffed her mane.

"Tha only tahm ya'd be in there is if ya WE'RE dead, Rarity!" Applejack said sarcastically.

Rarity ignored her, however, and turned her attention to Captain Kirk. "So I guess this is goodbye, isn't it?" She looked up at him sadly.

Kirk pursed his lips. "Not necessarily. It's true that we have to report to Star Base 9 because some of our crew is to be reassigned; but all of the Senior Staff, myself included, are due to have two months' worth of shore leave while the Enterprise undergoes resupply and maintenance; and I see no reason why we can't spend it here…" He smiled down at Rarity.

Rarity smiled lovingly back up at him.

"But… how can you get back here without your ship?" Fluttershy asked.

"Well, with fourteen other vessels like it in the Fleet, we can always ask another starship to drop us off… The U.S.S. Potempkin, for example! Captain Michael Fisher owes me a big favour."

"But you owe big favours to everyone else, Jim! Including me…" Dr. McCoy said.

"In due time, Bones…" Kirk told him.

"So are you gonna come back and spend your shore leave time with me, Doctor?" Fluttershy asked McCoy hopefully.

Dr. McCoy bent down to face her. "You know I will, Fluttershy. You can call me Leonard, you know."

"I'll look forward to it… Leonard." Fluttershy said with a soft smile.

McCoy then reached over and kissed Fluttershy on the cheek. Then they both embraced, Fluttershy humming softly as she still savoured that kiss.

"So are you gonna come back to spend some time with me, Chekhov!?" asked a still bouncing Pinkie Pie.

"Of course!" answered the Enterprise's Russian Navigator.

"YIPEEEEEEE!" exclaimed Pinkie Pie as she bounced around in excitement. "I'll be SOOOO looking forward to it! Wecangoforpinicsintheparktryoutnewandexcitingbakin grecipesetogetherI can'tWAITtotakeyoutoSugarcubeCornerwherewecan-"

Chekhov surprised the bouncing pink coloured Earth pony by grabbing her face and pressing his lips against hers in a kiss. When Chekhov released the kiss, Pinkie Pie was speechless as she maintained that look of equine surprise. Her look of shock quickly turned to infatuation as she smiled lovingly at the young Ensign Navigator. She sighed contently as she took Chekhov into her forelegs in a loving embrace.

Chekhov smiled and sighed. "Works every time…" he said over her shoulder as he wrapped his arms around Pinkie Pie.

"Well, Mr. Kirk…" Rarity began.

"You can call me Jim, you know." Kirk told her.

Rarity smiled back. "Well, Jim… Since we still have a few hours to go before you leave, perhaps you would care for a little tour of the downtown area?" She fluffed her mane. "I can show all of the hot spots, and everything…"

"I'd be delighted!" Kirk said as he stuck his arm out for Rarity to grab with her forehoof, which she did.

Spike grumbled angrily. "I hate him!" he growled as he crossed his arms.

Twilight Sparkle giggled. "Oh, Spike!"

"You're all more than welcome to join us, of course!" Rarity said over her shoulder to all those assembled.

"I think we will!" Dr. McCoy said.

"Come along, Spike." Twilight Sparkle said as she moved to follow the group.

"Humpf!" Spike said as he followed Twilight Sparkle, still looking angry and keeping his arms crossed.

The merry bunch of humans and ponies made their way to the downtown area. The couples Kirk and Rarity, as well as McCoy and Fluttershy, were walking along arm in foreleg; while Chekhov kept his hand on Pinkie Pie's back as she bounced along beside him.

A few hours later, at dusk, they all said their goodbyes and promised to meet each other again in seven days' time in Ponyville where Kirk and his friends are to begin their shore leave.

The Enterprise left orbit a short time after Kirk and his friends beamed back up, and set a course for Star Base 9.