Magic is an oddity. Before the scientific minds of the galaxy collectively gave up on trying to understand the infinite strangeness of the cosmos, they spent a lot of time attempting to classify it. The best explanation, and the one that was subsequently taught across the universe was one scrawled by a desperate student who had forgotten to study for his exam: Magic is the protrusion into our dimension of an entirely different set of physical laws, or rather millions of sets, from millions of seperate impossible realities. Certain beings evolved the ability to force these laws to bleed into our universe, editing the physical reality around them against the usual scientific laws.
It is almost certain that this idea is a load of dingo’s kidneys, but it was good enough to be the last idea put forward before the entire physics faculty of Maximegalon collectively gave up on the subject and went down the street to the pub, where they spent the night smoking, drinking and bullying any magical arts faculty members they could find until it was time to be thrown out.
In its article on magic, and in a moment of insight due most likely to the occasional coincidence inherent in eight thousand billion or so articles, The Hitchhiker’s Guide notes that magic is a species wide thing, and varies in power not according to race, but rather to individual.
In the case of ponies, we see this magic manifestation has evolved in three basic ways. Unicorns have the ability to directly tap into it via spells, directing it as they wish, giving them great control at the cost of instinctive power. Pegasi have the inherent magical ability to fly and walk on clouds. The first is definitely magically attained, because leading physicists established that unless dark matter was involved somehow, wings that small could not support a full grown pony. Earth ponies do not have set magical traits, and therefore have the greatest variety of magical talents. Some can seemingly teleport at random or continuously pull a multi-tonne train for a whole day and night without stopping to rest. In the end it all balances out between the three, though arguments naturally occur between ponies who for some strange reason have unflappable faith that their group is best.
Alicorns, which are technically classified as a sort of god, are another matter entirely.
“Let me get this straight Pinkie, because that sounds like the most counter-intuitive thing
I have ever heard.” Twilight began pacing back and forth in front of her friends. “You say that somehow our friends were picked up by this “Infinite Improbability Drive” ship, which could currently be literally anywhere in the entire universe.”
“SO, you plan on getting us aboard too, by making it infinitely improbable that we get picked up, and then waiting for it to inevitably happen?”
“Indeedy!” Pinkie smiled happily. Twilight’s eye twitched, but she carried on.
“And you say that nopony has ever tried something like that before.”
“Nope!” Twilight’s eye twitched again, a single hair standing up from her mane.
“So you intend to hitch us a lift to somewhere, some place in the universe it is infinitely improbable it would ever be able to get to?”
Applejack stared at the two, then turned to spike.
“You gettin’ any of this?”
Spike shook his head. “Nuh-uh.”
“And then, you want us to do something dangerous enough to give this ship a very limited time to pick us up?” Pinkie leaped up, clopping her hooves together with joy..
“I KNEW you’d understand!” Twilight fought to keep her voice calm.
“Pinkie, there is no way I’m travelling halfway across the galaxy, travelling specifically to make it hard to get to our friends, then JUMPING OFF OF A CLIFF!”
Spike stood up. He had remained conspicuously quiet so far in the proceedings, but there was a gleam in his eye by now. Twilight knew that look. It spoke of lances, dashing steeds, of quests for glory and the light of adventure. His voice was filled with inspiration, and seemed for a moment to be that of an older dragon.
“If m’lady is in trouble, we must do whatever we can! Whether it be a glorious charge into the face of a thousand enemies, or a test that will pitch our minds against the infinite thingummies of... something or other, or even...” He trailed off “... whatever, we have to do it!”
Applejack nodded behind him.
“Sorry sugarcube, but Pinkie knows this crazy universe better’n we do. If she says it’ll work, I believe her. Besides, what else is there to do?”
Twilight opened her mouth, then shut it again.
“Oh Celestia.” she thought “Confound these ponies, I need a drink”
Aboard the Heart of Gold, Zaphod was making himself known. He saw it as his sacred and holy duty to inform these poor confused mares about the marvel that he was. Occasionally he let them get a remark in, but for the most part, he was doing the talking. He was gauging them for how impressed they seemed to be. That Rainbow coloured one was plainly still irritated and mistrustful, but the other two didn’t look hostile. The white one... she seemed to have appointed herself the leader of the three, and was doing most of the conversing. And as for the pastel yellow one... Occasionally he tried to get a proper look at her, but she would always retreat behind a wave of pink hair. Ok baby, he thought; one annoyed by how great he was, another entranced by how great he was, and the third intimidated by how great he was. He interrupted Rarity;
“Man, I’m great.” They stared at him. He didn’t even have the good grace to look ashamed. “I’m, uh, grateFUL that you lovely fillies got rescued by me. You must have been through a lot.” He laid a hoof on Rarity’s. “Why the zark did you go floating around in deep space?”
“Well if you must know,” Rarity began, withdrawing her hoof in the most polite way she could. “Some horrible creatures called “Vogons” had us thrown there.”
“Vogons? Ten out of ten for ugly, zero out of ten for basically everything else?” He made another movement to lay a hoof on Rarity, but she dodged. He passed the movement off by pushing his sunglasses off his eyes, and then his other sunglasses off his other eyes too.
“You ladies must have been through an awful lot, I’m afraid this ship only has one set of sleeping quarters, but...” He was interrupted by a cheery voice as Eddie cut in
“Sorry to correct you there buddy, but I think we have at least four other rooms which they could comfortably...” The voice cut out as a martini glass hit the nearest speaker.
Zaphod Grinned maniacally. “Sorry ladies, my... horn slipped.”
“Yeah.” Cut in Rainbow sarcastically. “It was weird. It seemed almost like you levitated the glass and violently threw it.”
“I think we can find those rooms on our own, thank you very much.” Rarity added. Zaphod sighed. He knew when the game was up for the night.
“Ok ladies, sleep well. Everything will seem better in the morning.” he winked “I promise.”
As the three ponies left, he turned his chair and spoke.
“Thanks a bundle Eddie, you just cost me a full bed tonight.”
Eddies voice came in through a separate speaker. “No problemo!” Eddie chirruped obliviously “Anything else I can do?”
“Get me another drink before I go and look for the largest computer virus file I can find and jam it down your input drive so hard you’ll be coughing up dodgy programming for weeks.”
“Right away, el presidente!”
Zaphod began to think. He would have to impress these girls somehow, but how? Something bold, something dramatic, something... centred around him if at all possible.
The unicorn, dragon and two earth ponies stood in the docking area, watching as ships of all shapes, sizes, colours and states of repair peeled in and out.
“And y’say these things can travel through space?” Applejack was looking at one that seemed to be barely more than a mountain of rust with engines.
Pinkie looked appraisingly at the ship, with the air of an expert. “I don’t think we want that one AJ, keep looking.”
“Well yeah, I wasn’t proposing that particular heap as ideal transport.”
“Oh! So you know about the Deglongs?” There was a pause.
“What the hay is a Deglung? I just meant it’s about as beaten up as a unicorn in a hick griffon town!” She caught Twilight’s offended look and blushed.
“Oh silly, it’s meant to look like that!” Pinkie could be maddeningly patronising when those around her had the wrong end of the stick. “Deglongs NEVER spend money on anything, they’d make us pay big bits to carry us anywhere, and I only have a couple of Altarian dollars to my name.” She smiled brightly at the hundreds of ships. “But don’t worry, you’re aunty Pinkie Pie has got it aaaall taken care of! Hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against mind boggling odds, win through, and still know where your towel is, all for less than thirty Altarian dollars a day; that’s the hitchhiker’s way!” She hopped into the air, seeming to levitate as her legs wiggled excitedly. “Fun isn’t it?”