Disclaimer: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is owned by Hasbro
Everyone thought the world was going to end in 2012; nobody expected it to change drastically instead, eleven months ahead of schedule.
On January 7, 2012, a brilliant flash of light appeared over the northern Pacific Ocean. It caused mild tsunamis across the Ring of Fire, and an Aurora was visible for that first evening, centralized over the new landmass that seemingly appeared from nowhere...
“NOOOOO…” Discord cried as Twilight Sparkle and her friends unleashed the full power of the Elements of Harmony on him. Rainbow light leapt upward into the sky, arced over and came crashing down upon the embodiment of chaos.
It was easier this time. Before, Twilight and her friends had little knowledge of the Elements. They had activated them with the force of their will and inner natures and directed the unleashed power of Harmony on Nightmare Moon to do as it willed. But that one use acquainted the Ponies with how the Elements could be used. The Elements as such were amplifiers of their own inner magic, nothing more, and their magic could be controlled like any magic a unicorn ever wielded.
Twilight’s will backed by the will of her friends directed the power of Harmony into Discord. The rainbow light showered Discord, enveloped him and penetrated his very being, searching for some shred of goodness to bring to the surface and dispel the evil he had perpetrated upon Equestria.
There was nothing.
And because there was nothing, Discord could not be allowed to roam free to spread his brand of chaos. The power of Harmony began freezing him, transforming his physical being into a substance that could be mistaken for stone and trapping his mind within. With that complete, the frozen Discord fell over, his final pose as unbalanced as he had been when free.
But that wasn’t enough. Discord had wrecked grievous damage to Equestria. It wasn’t enough to simply lock him away again. The arc of rainbow Harmony split to create a dome of light as Twilight directed the power of Harmony. The dome the burst outward to undo all of the damage Discord had done to the world.
All of it.
* * *
“They’re doing it, Sister!” Princess Luna said excitedly as she and Celestia watched the dome form over Ponyville from the Royal Palace in Canterlot. “I can sense my Moon again!”
“And I my sun,” Princess Celestia agreed with a more reserved smile. A tear of joy formed in the corner of her visible eye. “I knew my faithful student and her friends were up to the task. All they needed…”
Whatever Celestia was about to say was interrupted as the power of Harmony washed over them. Unexpectedly, it began tearing at her connection to the sun and she gasped at the unexpected assault. Underneath the direct assault, she could feel the very fabric of the world twisting as hidden magics emplaced ages ago by Discord were undone.
“Celestia! What’s happening?” Luna cried, obviously being similarly effected.
“Oh dear,” Celestia replied, sounding half anxious and half… amused. “I do believe Twilight may have overdone things a bit.”
* * *
“Holy mother of God!” Captain John Alberson of International Flight 819 shouted as the entire horizon in front of him just vanished behind an unbearably bright wall of light. His first thought was that someone had just set off a nuclear bomb in front of him, but there was nothing to nuke but empty ocean in front of him for the next several thousand miles.
His second thought was that it couldn’t be a nuclear explosion because bright as it was, he hadn’t been rendered blind by it. But he couldn’t see anything beyond it either. But whatever it was, it covered at least a ninety degree arc in front of him and he couldn’t even begin to estimate how far away the phenomenon was. A quick glance at his instruments was no help. Both radar and navigational readouts were going crazy, but at least the altimeter seemed to be working fine, so he wasn’t in danger of crashing into the ocean.
But he could very well be in danger of crashing into whatever was blotting out the horizon.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking,” Alberson said as he keyed his mic and switched off the autopilot. “Please buckle in and put your seats in the upright position because we are about to experience some air turbulence and radical maneuvering.”
With that, Albertson grabbed the control yoke and hauled his 747 airliner into as steep a turn as he dared.
* * *
“What’s happening? Report!” Colonel Meyers, the watch commander of NORAD’s operation center demanded. It was the night shift and manning was minimal. And their job was to watch the world in case some loony decided to start tossing ICBMs and nukes around. Alarm klaxons blaring with no warning was something no one present had ever heard nor ever wanted to hear.
But they were blaring now, and a big, solid white circle had appeared on the big world status screen in the middle of the northern Pacific Ocean. In the event of a nuclear strike, the board was supposed to display the fireball’s actual size. In simulations, that was usually a bunch of white pinpoints with the really big nukes appearing as small circles. This circle was far far larger and internally Meyers cringed at the firepower needed to make a fireball that big, because the first thing that came to mind was the term “Extinction Event”…
“Sir,” Major Polaski said, interrupting his train of thought. “The system’s reporting what appears to be a nuclear fireball in the northern Pacific. Estimated size is… holy shit… estimated size is thirty five hundred kilometers. Yield is…”
“Wait a minute, sir,” Captain Yates interrupted from the Meteorology Section. “That thing can’t be an explosion of any kind. If it had been, we should be seeing the effects of the resulting shockwave on the surrounding ocean. There’s nothing! Even the clouds aren’t reacting to this thing.”
“Analysis Section concurs, sir,” Captain Morris added. “A fireball should be rising and spreading out. This ‘fireball’ is holding steady at thirty-five hundred kilometers wide and about a hundred and fifty high… Hey, it’s gone!”
* * *
“Omigodomigodomigod,” James MacAllister said as he shakily pointed his video camera at the End of the World on the horizon.
It was ungodly late at night in Seattle, Washington. It was early still for the night club set, but no one had any business being out this late at the docks like James was. But James wasn’t just anyone. He was world a famous cryptozoologist! He’d spent better than half his life chasing after things most people thought were myths. He’d been called everything from a kook to a psycho and sacrificed his family and fortune in pursuit of proof for his theories. He’d been following a lead on a selkie sighting when alien Jesus had apparently decided to come back to Earth.
That brilliant dome of light was obviously his space ship on the horizon and it must be ginormous! True, it was way larger than what James had expected and James was perfectly in place to record everything… assuming of course that the aetheromagnetic fields didn’t fry his camera of course. But that was small price to pay for vindication and…
The light suddenly winked out, plunging the world back into darkness. Some light remained though. The lights of the city behind him continued to shine. And in front of him there was a curtain of rainbow colors spread across the horizon, dim compared to the previous brilliance, but undeniably visible. It was growing, rushing towards Seattle in a wave that must be the Rapture and James steeled himself to be taken by alien Jesus even as he continued recording. The rainbow light washed over him in a roar of noise and…
James looked around himself. He was still on the docks. It was still dark. He was still cold from the chill air. Behind him the rainbow curtain quickly swept over the towers and buildings of Seattle leaving them none the worse or better as far as he could tell. There was no Rapture, no alien Jesus greeting him. He was out here all alone with nothing but a cheap video camera and his voice.
The disappointment was crushing. What was he doing out here? What did he expect? Did he really think that finding proof of mythological creatures would get him his friends and loved ones back. He had a wife and kid. How long had it been since he had seen them? They needed him and he had abandoned them. James suddenly felt the need to go back and make sure they were okay, to be a husband and father again.
James would make it up to them for being a failure so far. The recording of alien Jesus arriving would be a good start. No doubt it would be worth a bit of cash from the News companies, which would make for a good start on his new life.
* * *
“…after two minutes and forty two seconds, the phenomenon vanished and left this behind, Mister President,” CIA Chief Parker finished.
A series of pictures on the briefing room’s screen followed Parker’s words. The first was an obvious image taken from an orbital camera. It showed some kind of island in the middle of the sea, partially obscured by a scattering of clouds. The horizon was visible beyond the island and was showing a very visibly curved. Above the horizon was a thin smear of blue separating it from black space.
The next picture was a computer generated atlas of the “island”. It could have been any island in the world, except dimensional markers insisted it was nearly as wide as the event that had brought it here and the President knew enough about world geography to know that there was no continent shaped like that in the world. Or there hadn’t been one before today at least. It was surprisingly mountainous with circular and partially circular basins and lakes dotting the continent as seemingly random locations.
“Are those… are those volcanic calderas?” the Science Advisor asked.
“Actually,” Admiral Stephenson, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs chimed in, “that looks more like the results of someone’s carpet bombing the place. You can see where the craters are overlapping each other. Except that they must have used some godawfully powerful bombs to get craters that big, bombs that make our own nukes look like firecrackers.”
“It can’t be!” the Science Advisor argued nervously. “Maybe it was the result of a meteor bombardment…”
“Well whatever happened, it must have been a good while ago,” Parker said, interrupting the burgeoning argument. “Because satellite observation also picked up this.”
A new picture appeared on the screen. It was also computer generated. But instead of terrain features, this one featured icons for roads, railroads and cities. The densest urban areas were in the Eastern mountains oddly enough in a crazy quilt that followed numerous river valleys and extended from several coastal cities and towns across the mountains and then slowly thinned out to nothing in the central desert regions.
“It’s inhabited?” the President asked, then mentally kicked himself for asking such a stupid question. Of course it was inhabited! The phenomenon that had brought it to Earth was hardly natural.
“Yes, Mister President,” Parker replied. “Not only is it inhabited, but it’s also filled with what appear to be forests, swamps, and everything else that makes a functioning ecosystem. Obviously, we’re still gathering information so what we have right now is far from comprehensive, but the going theory is that either these people survived whatever bombardment happened long ago or moved in afterwards.
“Whatever the case may be,” Parker continued “we haven’t received any greetings or demands from these people. In fact, we haven’t seen any use of radio at all from these people. Quite frankly, sir, we don’t even know for sure if these people are actually responsible for moving their land here or if they someone else did it. And quite frankly, I don’t want to piss off anyone who can move whole continents around willy nilly.”
“On the other hand,” Stephenson chimed in, “we need information badly.”
“If nothing else, we need something solid to tell the media other than that ‘We’re looking into it,’” the President’s Public Relations aide added.
“Well I don’t know about that,” Stephenson said, “but I do have something we can do to remedy our ignorance. By sheer luck, the USS Enterprise’s battle group is less than five hundred miles off the coast of this… place. Give the word, Mr. President and we can send them in.”
“The Enterprise? Going to go greet a new civilization and go where no man’s gone before?” the President asked whimsically. “Don’t tell me there’s a man named Kirk or Picard in command over there.”
“Ah, the name’s a coincidence, Mister President, I assure you,” Stephenson said quickly.
“I’m sure it is,” the President agreed. Then he turned serious. “Do it. And… make sure they do their best keep things friendly. As Mike said, we do NOT want to piss off anyone who can move continents around... or carpet bomb them for that matter.”
The Griffin Aeries were not used to stunning light shows. When the light show cleared, they were also not used to an ocean on the western slopes of their mountains.
Gilbert clacked his beak in amazement, then returned to his preening. He wanted to be at his best if he was going on an exploratory flight. A dark shadow overhead told him that old Smoke Snout was also looking at what had happened.
'Well,' he thought. 'Better for some lame old dragon to find out if there's any bigger threats out there... I wonder if I should send my daughter into Equestria proper to find out if they know what's going on. It'll do Gilda good to get out of the nest for a while.'
Waving farewell to her friends, Twilight Sparkle turned and entered the Books and Branches Library. Spike snored softly in his basket, bringing a smile to the unicorn's face.
"Oh, Spike," she said gently, "you've had a rough day, haven't you?" She sniffed the teacups arranged on the table and winced at how strong the wintergreen scent was. Apparently the indigestion brought on by the deluge of friendship reports had been severe enough for Spike to bring out one of Zecora's concoctions he and Pinkie Pie had needed after a Nightmare Night candy binge.
The sky chariot ride back from Canterlot had filled Twilight with a modicum of nervous energy, but she was too tired to study anything. A strange state of affairs, but one she was prepared for. Moving slowly, so that her hooves striking the stairs wouldn't disturb Spike, she made her way to the balcony where she'd set up her telescope.
Readying her quill and notepad, Twilight took some standard readings to orient her stargazing. "Hm... that's odd," she mused. The moon looked a little larger, and the shadows and craters formed a slightly different pattern. "I wonder if Princess Luna is trying something new?" She tried to figure out what it was supposed to be. "A frog? No. A rabbit with something on its back? No. I'd almost think it was a pony's face, but there are no ears and the nose looks weird..."
Her musing was interrupted by something bright moving from west to east across the sky. Curious, she trained her telescope on it. Instead of the expected globe or star shape, she was stunned to see something that was all sharp angles. It was a long form, with four cross-like arms. What was more disturbing was, that while she had watched it, lights seemed to flicker along its length, almost like the windows of Canterlot when viewed from Ponyville.
"What is going on?" she wondered.