In the galaxy there are multiple planets which have been named by their residents as “The Earth” or the local language equivalent. Mostly because for most races still bound to a single planet, they are used to standing on earth, so it fits. It really is a very unimaginative name for a planet, which is why most races, upon making interstellar contact, swiftly change the name to something with a bit more attitude and pazzazz. The planet upon which Equestria exists, for example, is known occasionally as “The Earth”, but very few ponies would ever bother to think of themselves living anywhere other than “Equestria”.
This particular Earth was demolished immediately after another planet of the same name, but had the singular luck of being remade almost instantly, unlike the one unfortunate enough to not have a pair of pony deities to intervene. It is this remade Earth that our heroines escaped from, and it is a planet with a complicated history. After it’s initial creation, the sisters more or less abandoned the planet to go and enjoy themselves, booking a table at Milliways, crashing the Great Flying Party, and getting into heated arguments with the Asgard pantheon over correct toilet paper orientation (the Asgardians favouring “under” like the barbarians they are). During their absence the ponies they had left behind fractured into three nations: the Pegasi, the Unicorns and the Earth Ponies. The unification which brought about the nation of Equestria, under the flag of their absentee goddesses was marred by the appearance, several decades later, of the spirit of chaos and disharmony, Discord. Nopony knew where he came from, why he desired to rule, or why his rule consisted solely of making logic his eternal bitch. Suffice to say life in Equestria was both miserable and totally chaotic for a time, until the Royal sisters returned and found another god effectively squatting. His imprisonment enabled the nation of Equestria to blossom as it had never done before, with the sisters cured of their wanderlust and finally ready to take on the responsibility of running a planet properly. Until that whole business with Nightmare Moon, but We Don’t Talk About That Anymore.
But all that, as they say, is ancient history.
The Planet of Trivitor was slowly silencing itself. Every Settlement had seen the ship travel past, heard the ungodly-loud music coming from it, seen the ever-growing cloud of creatures beneath, and in every settlement there had been somepony smart enough to put two and two and two together. By the time our heroes arrived back at the original settlement, the tower had not only been shut off, but there was a growing argument over whether it should be left standing as a precaution, or the more popular option of tearing it down and smashing it to hundreds of pieces. Some of the ponies stepping out had expressions of wonder. Some had tears in their eyes. Everywhere earplugs were being torn out, door were being opened and conversations were being held at something less than a shout. As soon as the Heart of Gold touched down, those who had even the most basic understand of what had happened rushed towards it.
Inside, Zaphod was almost hopping up and down with glee. He wouldn’t because that was fundamentally uncool, but the thought was there. Here was his pay off, here he was finally going to get that ego stroking that he had been missing for so long. He had his gem encrusted boots, his best and most luridly coloured jacket, in which he had cut a hole so his smiling face was visible at his flank as well, he had turned up the volume on his teeth-speakers and his presidential sash was across his shoulders. Rarity eyes him with distaste, but it was clear she was happy to be going outside. Fluttershy, on the other hoof, took one look outside at the happy faces and shook her head firmly. “I think I want to stay inside actually.”
Dash turned an incredulous face. “C’mon! You’ve been in front of crowds like this before! Remember when we beat Discord?”
“I don’t think I can...”
“Oh for Celestia’s sake Fluttershy! What’s the matter?”
Fluttershy was obviously casting around for any excuse. “I really don’t want to!” She was looking upset, and backing away from the door.
Rarity took control. “Really Dash, I don’t understand you sometimes. Can’t you see she’s not up to it at the moment?” She looked at Fluttershy kindly “Do you want to come inside and talk to me about it?”
“Okay then, you two go outside and bask in praise to your gaudy heart’s content. We shall stay inside. We can leave as soon as you have received your required number of ‘bro-hoof’s for the day.” The inverted commas were placed around the word “Bro-hoof” with the delicacy of an upper class lady selecting the right fork at the dinner table, distancing Rarity from associating with the word.
Dash and Zaphod shared a look. “Sorry ‘shy, we’ll be back before too long okay?”
“So long ladies, this frood has some crowds to surf!”
They blitzed off the ramp into the outside town.
“Now dear, whatever is the matter?”
“Oh, I know we had to, but...” Fluttershy was looking increasingly stricken.
Fluttershy nodded. “I know we had to so those poor ponies could have better lives, but, oh it’s just so horrible!”
“Darling, I think we need to talk about the concept on sentience. Twilight gave me a long talk about it one day.”
“Why did she do that?”
Rarity grimaced. “If you must know, I saw Tom sitting there outside my house one rainy day, and, oh I know it’s silly but I just couldn’t leave him out there in the rain! Twilight caught me...” she paused “drying him off with a towel.”
Fluttershy suppressed a watery smile.
“You won’t tell anyone, will you?”
“Of course not” Fluttershy said, smiling through her tears.
“Anyway, my point is that these Parasprites, well, they can’t really think for themselves. They aren’t intelligent. And it’s not like they suffered dear...”
“WEGOTTAGOWEGOTTAGOWEGOTTAGO!” Dash burst into the room at top speed.
“Excuse me dear?”
“WE REALLY ZARKING NEED TO GO!” Zaphod was just behind her.
“What in Equestria is going on?”
Zaphod was already at a panel, trying desperately to get the ship flying.“I may have made them a little angry with me somehow!” he grinned.
“What precisely did you do?” Rarity quizzed.
“All I said was we could replace the song with my autobiography (as written, edited and read by me, for a very reasonable 100 Altarian dollars. Order now and receive limited edition Zaphod Beeblebrox™ branded sunglasses) And play that constantly.” He grinned cheekily, as if making a whole population turn 180 degrees from hospitality to hostility was the sort of prank one would only be mildly berated for. He felt the ship hum into life as the first thrown rock impacted against the metal, where, coincidentally enough it left a smudge of dirt the exact shape of the city of Fillydelphia. This is noted not for any significance, it was just a thing that happened.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Dash, sounding almost impressed. “Not even ten seconds! Not even ten seconds to get from love to hate!” She respected speed in more or less anything, reasoning that if one was to do anything, even something stupid, it might as well be done rapidly.
The ship blasted away from the surface, quickly clearing the atmosphere to the point where the drive could be safely and humanely activated, and a few random objects were left floating in space. A cuckoo clock, several large rats and a poorly translated book of nursery rhymes. And floating with them, almost in the shape of a smile, a series of blobs of dark brown liquid.
Freesplorking is an extreme sport practiced in some of the more relaxed and less responsible parts of the galaxy, with varying legality. It is immensely simple, and consists of sitting oneself on an old fashioned Splorkrack 5000 miniaturised starship engine, and then attempting, by leaning and varying its thrust, to propel oneself at stupidly high speeds from point A to point B, with a maximum of style and a minimum of broken limbs. By very carefully adjusting thrust, it is just possible to hover, and by leaning forward and increasing the thrust minutely it is possible to move forwards, often with altogether too much forwards and either too little or too much hover. Freesplorkers who don’t find themselves dashed against the ground at high speed sometimes find themselves entering orbit at even higher speed, and it is a subject of debate which fate is worse.
It represents a near perfect "Extreme Sport", fulfilling almost all of the prerequisites perfectly; Highly dangerous, unnecessarily fast, and falling under many definitions of "Badical". Furthermore, any Freesplorker who survives long enough to continue his hobby past a certain age looks ridiculous, another important tell. Professional Freesplorkers have been logged at speeds of over 800 kilometres an hour, earning them prodigious praise, which is very occasionally not posthumous.
Dude is an avid Freesplorker, and had he the time he would certainly attempt to show off to his newfound friends. It is fortunate therefore that it was at this moment, as he was on the point of suggesting they come outside to view some of his most “utterly awesome tricks” that the laws of logic were happily put through the wringer.
It was only a mild wringer, and our four looked around as sparks of light erupted from every metal surface in the room, and a small pile of fish began to form in the middle of the room, only to wink out of existence with a whiff of the smell of roses, and , inevitably, herring. Everything settled down again, the moo of a small cat fading as the probabilities normalised again. Twilight shook herself.
“MAAAAAAN!” Dude called, leaning back further “Warn me when you’re going to use that damn thing! You’re freaking me out you crazy dude!”
“What in the hay was that?” Applejack said, having shaken her head to clear it.
“Just someone messing with the finite improbability generator. Crazy shit man, but fun!”
Applejack turned to Pinkie “Could that thing get us to the others?”
“I’m sorry, no. It’s not powerful enough, and it’s messing with the local probabilities in a strange way. I think it would be impossible for the infinite improbability drive to even get here while that thing is on!”
There was a whoosh.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is dismissive on the subject of luck, and the subject of coincidence. The Guide says that, in a universe that is, so far at least, infinite in size, anything can, and therefore eventually will, happen. However, it would be a strange observer who did not question the ridiculous convenience of being picked up by a passing starship, while not only on a planet, but inside a building, and it happening to be a ship one has been hoping to get picked up by.
This it was, however, that now happened to Twilight Sparkle and her companions, who now found themselves in a strange landscape indeed. For the moment, it seemed to be composed entirely of live monkey’s, who chattered cheerfully as they waved in a breeze.
“what.” Twilight’s voice was leaden.
“Um...” Pinkie Pie was staring around her. “I guess I sort of asked for that, huh?”
The world, as if in answer, closed in around them, then exploded neatly into confetti, revealing the interiror of a spaceship
“Two Hundred to one against and falling! And Oh! We have some new visitors guys! Isn’t that neat?” A loud, tinny voice broke through the room, as flowers sprouted out of the walls, only to each burst into purple flame with a tiny trumpet call. There was a pause. “Well I’m sorry buddy, we just picked them up! Don’t you like picking people up?” Another pause. “One hundred to one against and falling” The voice sounded a little sulky, as if it had just been insulted or told off.
“This is it, ain’t it.” Said Applejck, staring about her. “The infinite improbability ship or whatever the damn thing is”
“We hadn’t even got to Medius yet! And you said it was almost impossible! ”
“Looks like I was riiiiiiiight!” Pinkie sing-songed happily.
“Improbability Factor one to one, normality restored!” came the voice again from overhead, back to its cheery self.
Applejack and Twilight struggled for words.
“I don’t even...”
“WHAT THE BUCK?”
Pinkie smiled gently “It’s just how the silly thing works. Logic gets all funny. Now get ready, we get to see our friends again!”