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OPENING - ARROW MISSION 18: LOG DATABASE
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[B.Brooks ********* I agree]
October 26th, 2257
A lot has happened in the last few days. A lot more than I would have expected from just trying to recover my stolen tools. It’s taken me some time to collect my thoughts, but I’ve had a doozy to think about for the last few days. And It’s…
Let me just get it off my shoulders.
The sun and the moon... The system… It…
They CONTROL it.
I’m not joking. I’m not insane. I didn’t dream or imagine it. I took one of the doctor’s special mental health assessments, and aside from the onset of paranoia, I scored fine. See the data file marked ‘NOTINSANE10232257’ for assessment details.
I know it still seems insane, but I watched it unfold. I have no scientific basis for it either, that’s the worst part.
The two princess ponies are more than just monarchs, they literally control the day and night cycle. The taller, white one controls the movement of Omega Centauri Prime, while the smaller, dark one that’s been following me for some time has control of the orbital trajectory of the local moon.
How? I have no Earthly idea. No scientific principle I know of can account for a creature that weighs less than 400 kilograms being able to yank a one-solar-mass stellar body across the sky short of being drunk under the table by Zang and doped up on half the stuff in Doctor Zepher’s medicine cabinet at the same time.
Considering that both Doctor Zepher and Mr. Xiaou are about 3,750 lightyears away at the moment, that rules being drunk and high out.
Unless I got into some kind of toxic plant or fungus, but most of the stuff here just gives me a rash… Especially these blue flowers I came across in the forest a while back. I don’t think I mentioned them in any of my previous logs. Nasty little buggers are sky blue and show up really well even in dim light. I picked one for analysis a while back, and the little vicious thing stung like bull nettle and itched worse than poison ivy. All I know beyond that is Twilight said they call it something like ‘Poison Joke’.
I didn’t find it funny. Maybe Rarity had been using that for a color dye when she made me that one shirt. Twilight seemed to think it odd I only got a rash.
But I digress…
As far as I know, no scientific principle known to man can explain how the princess can control an entire star. All I’m left with is the field of science Twilight calls ‘magic’. Honestly, calling it magic seems the right decision at this point. I mean, it’s just not scientifically possible!
Okay, new approach. I know what I’m typing is practically a ramble at this point, and Twilight Sparkle is looking over my shoulder and laughing. She’s been with me the last four days keeping me company while I’ve been fighting off a total mental breakdown. If she’s laughing, I must be letting this get to me again.
Let me start with what happened on the 22nd.
After the being lead to the little ‘clubhouse’ and discovering the presence of the two rulers, the situation went a bit surreal. I remember the blue one. I’d barely caught glimpses of her over my stay on this planet, but I’d recognize that midnight blue, sparkling mane anywhere.
Introductions were a simple affair. Twilight Sparkle seemed unfazed by the presence of her nation’s leaders. In fact, she almost seemed affectionate to the larger one, and the princess in return.
As far as Sparkle could translate for me on the fly, their names are Princess Heaven, and Princess Moon, respectively.
Like just about every other pony name I’ve come across, they fit like a glove.
That point wasn’t lost on me then either. Considering the rather disturbing correlation between pony names and their abilities, I had to ask.
Twilight explained it. And at the time, I thought she was just slipping in translation again. It had become clear that I wasn’t going to take what she said literally, so after a few minutes she just gave up and moved on.
The reason for the disappearance of my equipment was simple. The princesses were curious, but didn’t want to disturb or frighten me. Apparently princess Moon had been in contact with the small, rocky-road colored pony child. And from there, that child had gotten the help of the other three to make this - I guess club house - into a little ‘forward base’.
Apparently there was more they weren’t telling me, but judging by some of the objects in the room (a few gold trinkets especially), they had been ‘paid’ for their cooperation.
Now while that strikes me as a bit of a dumb move to have children go and steal weird objects from the alien, Twilight continued to explain that the one responsible for the thefts was actually princess Moon. She apparently swiped the objects in the dead of night and brought them here. And she had the children in on it to make sure they wouldn’t blow her secret.
Princess Heaven actually had no active part, and only happened to be here because she wanted to see what had her sister (sisters?) so excited. There was talk that princess Moon wasn’t as good in social situations, and that the larger sister was actually here to try and talk her into returning the tools before problems occurred… It’s like princess Heaven was expecting me to hop back in the raven, head into space, and call for my endlessly huge alien invasion fleet.
Okay, Sparkle’s laughing at that one.
Anyway, the explanation was hurried, and Twilight apologized on her ruler’s request multiple times. I wanted to be angry, really. After the trouble I went through, I was kind of looking forward to giving a couple of kids a big old ‘angry alien’ scare… Who wouldn’t?
But princess Moon’s enthusiasm for my measurement equipment soon spilled over to the rest of the group.
When all was said and done, I ended up showing them what each tool did, and why. Let me just say that I had the entire group wrapped around my finger before I’d even finished having Twilight explain the seismograph.
Twlight just hit me!
Okay, so they love the advanced technology. I would say that’s obvious the way Twilight Sparkle’s been obsessed with the Raven’s computer terminal.
She hit me again!
yOu brought It oN yoUrseLf.
Okay, now she’s typing with her TK. And horribly at that… I’m going to leave that right there just so everyone can see just what I have to deal with.
yEs, I hIt him AgaIn.
October 26th, 2257
Hello every human! It’s me, Twilight Sparkle! I think my ability to type words in your language has gotten better since the last time I got to try this. I can’t tell unless Randy checks it for me. But he’s not going to do that right now. He tried to lock me out when all I was doing was, what’s the word? Bopping? I think that’s it, bopping him on the head for saying such mean things about me. Seriously, I’m not that bad… am I? Please don’t hate us because I was hitting Randy. We’re not evil or mean or anything. What did I do? Well, he can’t lock me out since I can teleport, and it seems that humans, as I am sure you know, don’t respond very well to electric shock. That little wire thing he did to me a little while back works just as well on him as it does on me. So here I am typing for Randy since he can’t do it at the moment. Something doesn’t look right about this though. I can’t put my hoof on it. I’ll just get to the point. Randy’s been a little scared the last few days after we finally showed him how princess- I’m not sure how you would pronounce it in human. I think it turns into princess ‘Heaven’, but don’t quote me on that. My human english isn’t perfect and I had to learn this language from scratch. I think I’m doing a pretty good job just getting these weird contractions I think you call it down right. I don’t get it but I get it. You shorten sets of words by putting that apostrophy mark between them. It just seems lazy but I think I like it. Where was I? Oh yeah! We showed Randy how the princess raises the sun each day, and he just sort of freaked out. I’ve been around him for several of your human ‘months’ now and I’ve never seen him so… how do you phrase it? Shaken up? I’ll just say I was worried. I think he finds the idea of the princesses controlling the sun and the moon scary for some reason. I wonder who controls it on your world. Oh! I know! I’ll look it up! I’m sitting right in front of this computer after all! So Randy’s a bit upset. I didn’t want anything bad to happen so I stayed here to make sure he’d be alright. I know princess Heaven is still feeling bad for scaring him so badly, and she’s keeping princess Moon from coming to talk to him about all the machines. She just lovedsbhmnty
October 26th, 2257
Well, I can definitely tell unicorns aren’t psychic. Twilight’s glaring at me for using the 'taser' on her again, but she won’t be able to use her ‘magic’ for a little while, so maybe I can get this log finished in peace.
I really need to change my password though. She must have a photographic memory or something. Looks like she managed to break my password and logged in to type her own log entry.
I need to inform her about the importance of line breaks.
But what she said is pretty much right on. I did lose it a bit for a while there. After the events on the 22nd, Twilight told me that I needed to wake up early the next day to see what she meant with Princess Heaven.
As you might note from the log above, I’m still not quite to grips with it. I stood there and watched while Princess Heaven RAISED THE SUN.
I don’t mean metaphorically either. We’re talking ancient mythology, Greek god, supernatural-styled ‘make a dramatic gesture and up pops the sun, right on cue’ type of raise the sun.
And she didn’t stop there. I wouldn’t have believed it as anything other than a well-timed bit of trickery to fool her subjects, but she then demonstrated the ability to halt the sunrise and reverse it, back and forth at the horizon and a few other motion tricks, just to prove she was indeed in control.
I think after that I had a nervous breakdown.
Wouldn’t you? I know sitting there, reading what I’m saying just doesn’t have the same impact as watching it happen right in front of you. So maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll question my sanity. I know I did. Heck, maybe I’m sick from when that Cockathrace stared at me, and I’ve been hallucinating this entire time…
I need to calm down again. Twilight Sparkle can’t use magic, but she can still bop me on the head.
Anyway... The implications. There’s more to controlling the sun than just ensuring a nice day and night cycle. There’s the fact that this star system functions in a geocentric model. (Antiquity would have a fit if they found out about this.) The star is kept circling the PLANET, rather than the other way around. The forces keeping this system in equilibrium must be colossal. And then there’s the acceleration factor involved in making an entire star the size of the sun jump several degrees of elevation in the matter of a few seconds.
I might be able to start unraveling it at some point, but right now, the best I can come up with is the unicorn TK ability. Princess Heaven and Princess Moon are both larger, and appear to be a different species from the rest. So it’s possible they possess much more powerful forms of unicorn TK. Though if that’s true, that’s… Well, the term ‘godlike’ comes to mind.
I know someone at the department of defense might be looking at this and trying to figure out what kind of threat level this could be. I think it’s a no-brainer. We have a creature that can throw a STAR at you. As far as I’m concerned, I would say antagonizing it would rank somewhere between stupid and monumentally suicidal on a global level.
I mean seriously, it’s just… I don’t know. I’ve got too many questions, and I’m completely stressed out. I’ve been like this for days. I don’t think I’ve even slept properly since then, and I can’t even remember what happened to those children ponies. I guess given how Earth-like this world was, I got complacent and forgot just how strange the star system was on a fundamental level. It’s the whole reason I’m here in the first place.
I think I’m going to take this one back to square one. Before I can rationalize what’s going on, maybe I should look at things piece by piece. There’s an order to this system, so if I just relax and take it one step at a time, I can figure things out. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll start by trading Sparkle information on how a normal celestial model works. Maybe if I can determine WHY the ponies control the system rather than Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, I can start to figure out HOW they do it.
But for now, I must sleep. Twilight made this strange honey smelling drink for me. She says it’ll help me sleep better and calm my nerves. God knows I need it.
October 27th, 2257
I don’t know what was in that stuff Twilight gave me yesterday, but I think it worked. After four days of insomnia with my mind going a million miles an hour, that was the best night’s sleep I’ve managed to get.
I also think waking up to find Twilight taking a nap at my feet rather cute. It’s a strange kind of feeling, like having a pet, slash little sister, slash daughter being worried about you and falling asleep making sure you’re going to be okay. I’m glad she’s not in here to read this at the moment, it’s a little sappy. And when you guys read this, I don’t want to hear a word about it.
So today I thought about how I’m going to tackle this problem. Like I said in yesterday’s entry, before I go about figuring out how the princess controls the motion of O.C. Prime, I should first figure out WHY the ponies are controlling it.
This is important. Under natural planetary motion, this world should be rotating on its axis and revolving around the star, much like Earth. In its current configuration however, the system makes a total joke of physics. If whatever’s holding the system together falters, the star would fly off in a random direction based on its last observed motion. At the same time, the planet would be hurled into deep space when normal orbital mechanics take over and the Oberth Effect kicks in.
That means there has to be a reason the ponies have the system set up like a game of celestial tether ball. Otherwise, they should or would be using a far less risky celestial configuration.
I think I’m going to start by seeing if there are any ‘stellar’ reasons. If I map out the motion of the nearest stars, I can see if there were any celestial close calls, or other cataclysmic events that would warrant effectively grabbing a star and slinging it around. I’ll also see if Twilight can get me any ancient pony history. Maybe there’s a clue there as well.
Rainbow Dash came by this afternoon after Twilight left. I’ve been seeing more of her recently. Though the last few days I haven’t been in the state to entertain her, or be entertained. She seemed happy to see me out and about the Raven doing what I guess would be my ‘normal’ routine of checks at this point. I’ve got weeds growing around the tires on the landing gear. That can be fixed with a few seconds of hover-thrust.
The pegasus proved easy to entertain though. After what I learned about her the last time I let her into the ship, throwing some aerospace videos up kept her occupied for a while. I think I might have picked up on the pony word for ‘awesome’.
October 28th, 2257
I was glad to resume my exercise routine this morning. After this last week, the physical exertion did wonders for relaxing me and helped me think about where to start stellar traces.
I also met that yellow pony from the bridge again. The one with the pink mane that looked about ready to jump at her own shadow… She appeared to be caring for a squirrel (oh, I HATE squirrels… blasted tree rats) when I stopped my jog to take a water break.
I’m not sure as to how long we just stared at each other, but something about the timid pony’s eyes made it impossible to ignore her once we’d acknowledged each other’s presence. I tried to greet her the same way I’d heard Twilight greet her friends after a while, but all it seemed to do was frighten her.
Considering my track record with the inhabitants of this would, I really would like to add ‘befriend the timid pony’ to my list of things to achieve.
Until I find out what her name is, I’m going to call her ‘Dormouse’.
I left Dormouse alone after it was obvious she wasn’t up to interacting with the ‘alien’. I think it helped. She didn’t quite take her eyes off me while she continued caring for that rodent pest, but she didn’t cower like she’d done on the bridge.
Maybe it was my lack of toga.
I noticed not long after that I was being followed. One of the young ponies from that clubhouse, orange color, didn’t seem to have a flank mark like the adults. I must have missed that when I met the princesses.
She, yes it’s a she as well, followed me around on what seemed to be the equivalent to a skate board or small scooter. Strange considering she’s a pegasus. But maybe she’s cripple or lame. Her wings seemed a bit small if I recall. Perhaps it’s a birth defect, which would be sad if true.
I think I’ll call her Scooter, or Scoots for now. And given the intuitive nature of pony names, it wouldn’t surprise me if that was close to what it really is.
Now, the only real problem with Scoots is was that she was a bit annoying. It’s not that she got in my way or caused problems. It’s just that she seemed unable to make up her mind.
She followed me around for most of the day but never worked up the nerve to actually greet me. And every time I would attempt to take care of that for her, she’d zip away on that scooter faster than a cockroach when the lights come on. Then five minutes later, she’d be back, her wings buzzing like an undersized two-cycle weed-eater engine.
That buzzing sound about drove me to distraction when I went to check on my (returned) recording gear.
In the afternoon, two of the other pony children from the clubhouse showed up and seemed to join her. One was a ‘regular’ pony with yellow fur, and wore a bright red ribbon in her hair. The other was a white unicorn. The latter seemed to be familiar beyond just having seen her before.
In retrospect, perhaps she’s related to Rarity. But I don’t remember seeing the little one around when I got dragged into that shop of hers. Would that make Rarity a mother? I don’t think I‘ve looked into pony social and family relationships too much. There’s just so much here to go over I need a full crew to really get a grasp on.
Regardless, I have to call them something, so that makes it Scoots, Ribbon, and Pearl (since the unicorn has this pearly white gloss to her coat) respectively.
Sparkle’s going to have a field day when she finds out I keep giving ponies new names.
Given my experience with kids back home… Well, trouble with a capital T was afoot… ahoof… whatever. Sure as you put three kids in a room and put ideas in their heads, something bad happens.
Let me just say, three quadrupeds trying to mimic upright human locomotion, homemade stilts, giant rubber bands, springs from who knows what, a beehive, and the smartest swarm of bees I’ve ever had the displeasure of saving children from in my life. Human or pony…
But luckily for me, it seems Ribbon belongs to Applejack. Daughter or sister, I’m not sure. But the orange pony seemed sympathetic to the plight the younger pony and her friends caused me.
I need more ointment for these welts…
October 29th, 2257
IT was watching me again… and by ‘IT’ I mean Princess Moon. I appreciate how she seems to be ‘checking to make sure I’m okay’ as Twilight put it, but the whole midnight stalker routine’s long since gotten a bit old.
I mean, I get it. I’m the alien, I’m really interesting, and she doesn’t want to frighten me. But I’ve met her now, so she could just, well, knock on the hatch instead of lurk in the darkness. The rest of the pony inhabitants around here seem to have gotten the right idea.
Maybe I should ask Twilight to contact the princess and tell her. She came in today, but she didn’t stick around long enough for me to ask her. Instead, she dropped by, printed a whole bunch of stuff off the computer, organized it into a folder, and made off with it.
I swear, you give a pony free run of a computer for two months and they act like they own the place. (I’m joking of course…) But after all that printing, my paper supplies are starting to run out. I’m a lone man on a mission in the middle of galactic nowhere. Technically I shouldn’t even need a printer.
After she left, I checked what she accessed. It looks like she printed documents on orbital mechanics, aerospace design, advanced mathematics, and it looks like sections of the Raven’s operations manual. I’m pretty sure she didn’t print the whole thing (I don’t have enough paper on board for that), but she got into SOMETHING.
The pegasi set it up to rain today, so aside from Sparkle’s visit, there wasn’t much to do but go over some celestial charts.
October 30th, 2257
Today was… Interesting.
I was just starting to think ‘what could possibly surprise me anymore on a magical planet filled with sapient spectral hued ponies’?
No, I didn’t actually think that, but I should have. Then it would have made Pink Pie’s little stunt poetically perfect.
After learning that Twilight Sparkle can perform active teleportation, I’m no longer surprised about Pink getting into the Raven despite a locked hatch.
What gets me is how she seems to end up in places in which she has no business fitting. Do ponies have a cat’s spine or something? Seriously, a 60 kilogram, cotton candy-pink pony half my size should not be fitting into the space between hatches for the main cabin and the crew habitat module. But there she was, face pressed against the safety glass, and her body wedged firmly between them while they were both sealed and secured. It’s a wonder she didn’t suffocate.
But that’s just the start. Pink was rather enthusiastic, more so than normal anyway, and managed to drag me out into the rain shortly after I’d finished my breakfast. We got soaked, but she didn’t seem to care at all. I probably would have complained, but it was a warm morning, so the rain was more pleasant than chilly.
We ended up on Applejack’s farm, in front of large, old barn of sorts. I was just about to label this as Pie going off the deep end when they jumped me.
Do you know what it sounds like to have ten, alien pony creatures from another world shout ‘surprise’ in English with pretty good accuracy? Well, I do.
As it turned out, I had been led right into a surprise party. The party was my official ‘Welcome to Equestria’ celebration.
No, I did not come up with that name. Twilight Sparkle did. Apparently it was something she’d done during the time she was trying to figure out Applejack’s name translation. So now at least I have something to call this land or world other than ‘Omega Centauri II’. ‘Equestria’ sounds nice. Hopefully it sticks.
They also had a banner, in English. Twilight said it was easy enough to put together with Rarity’s help. But I’m still impressed that she went through all the trouble to get that made.
Now, the party I have to admit by human standards was somewhat silly. If anyone has kids, this would have been perfect for them. I’m not going to type out details.
I also got to get a better handle on which ponies were Twilight Sparkle’s friends, or herd, or whatever grouping qualifies. I spotted all the ones I’d already accounted for, and some of the kids I’d met. And then there was Doormouse. I hadn’t expected her at all. It was nice to meet her in a situation where she didn’t look like she was going to die of fright.
There was also that larger stallion I remember Applejack talking to my first week here. Big, red… ‘Big Red’ sounds good.
At least, until Twilight sorts name translations out.
All in all, it was an interesting experience. I wish I had known about it ahead of time. Even a leak hinting at it would have been nice. Then I could have brought some recording gear. Social activities involving the pony folk would have been perfect to add to the data I’ve been collecting.
By the way, I managed to save a cupcake from ‘Pink: The Living Sugar Rush’. Really good... I also got to keep the banner. I think it’s made of something similar to satin.
October 31st, 2257
Well, maybe for you guys. Honestly, the days have been getting longer and warmer the last few weeks. Don’t ask me how. The planet doesn’t have an axial tilt or any significant rotation. The best I can do is collect as much data as I can and focus on the stuff I’ve already dedicated resources to.
Not today though… I woke up with a splitting headache. I’d swear I had a hangover, but as far as I know, there’s no part of the party I can’t remember, and the young ones drank as much punch as I did. So I doubt it was spiked with anything.
Maybe there was something in that cupcake I ate. I haven’t really been analyzing anything given to me for a while now. Everything’s turned up safe.
But enough hindsight. Not much to report today except Twilight coming by and writing notes down. She seemed a little burned out too.
November 1st, 2257
I took a nap during the day because of that ‘hangover’ yesterday. So I woke up some time in the middle of the night and just couldn’t sleep any more.
I popped the hatch to get some night air, and found Princess Moon lurking right next to the viewport. About scared the sparkles off her mane too. And of course, the sound she made when I scared her startled me nicely as well. Man that was loud… She’s got a set of lungs on her. I hit my head on the hatch as a result. You tend to forget just how solid a vacuum hatch is until you crack your skull on it.
But I guess that was a good thing. The larger pony’s concern for my pain outweighed her natural habit of disappearing every time I noticed her. There’s not much to say beyond that. Without Twilight Sparkle to translate for me, we just kind of sat there staring at the night sky.
Actually, I stared at the sky, trying to pinpoint the Arrow in high orbit. She just seemed to be busy trying not to look like she was pretending to hide the fact that she was inspecting me up close. I didn’t need to inspect her back though. I had her right in front of a camera.
That lasted until just before sunrise or so. Then she took off. My guess is that she’s the nocturnal one, being the princess for the moon, and her larger sister would be up during the day.
I did inventory checks, and I’m pretty much down to the nasty rations. Bumming the local cuisine has helped stretch things like I predicted. But it’s insufficient as a full substitute. At my given rate of consumption, I’ll need to resupply by, coincidentally, the 26th. Otherwise I really WILL have to bum food off the ponies. I doubt it would be too much trouble, but that’s not a game I should be playing.
Since I’m going to need to plan for a liftoff within the next three weeks, I ran diagnostics on the Raven and started doing physical inspections. The number two SCRAM engine failed a response test at the turbopump. That’s the number seven turbopump incidentally, which is the same one that had the sticking valve. I thought I fixed it the first time, but I guess there’s more wrong with it than just the mechanical fault. I’ve got to trace and fix that problem. If I don’t have SCRAMs, I don’t make orbit, end of story.
November 3rd, 2257
Rainbow Dash showed up with Twilight Sparkle yesterday while I was hunting for that SCRAM problem. With their help, I was able to pull the pump and the valve without breaking my back.
However, after inspecting it, I haven’t been able to determine what the cause of the fault is. The new valve on the turbopump isn’t sticking like the old one was, so I know it’s not that. It could be electrical, but so far, I haven’t found any wiring problems and the electrical checks came back clear. I don’t want to rule it as a fault-sensor malfunction, seeing as if I’m wrong, I’m stuck here. It’s going to take some work, but I’m going to have to tear the turbopump down to inspect it.
As for today, Sparkle came by again. She said that if I was willing, she was planning a short trip to the capital and wanted me to come along. Despite the work I’ve got to do, I think I can postpone my resupply run. Assuming the ponies are going to keep me fed…
A trip to their capital would be the perfect chance to record information about their government and society. I’m sure that’s something the anthropology department that’s going to appear shortly after these logs get proccessed will greatly appreciate.
Maybe while I’m at the capital, I can get some hints about how Princess Heaven gets the ability to invert the physics of an entire star system.
November 4th, 2257
I spent the day getting ready for this trip of Twilight’s. She dropped by about noon to inform me she’d wake me up early in order to catch the train.
Can you believe they have a railroad?
Twilight stuck around after that and spent the day wasting more of my dwindling printer paper supply. However, I was compensated for this with a really nice, fresh apple pie, courtesy of Applejack for putting up with her little sister a week ago. At least I know it’s her sister and not her daughter now.
And it looks like Twilight went through the Raven’s operations manual again. She accessed the procedures for orbital insertion, deorbit, reentry course management, and landing. You’d almost think she was expecting to fly this bird. I’m sorry, but passenger, maybe. Pilot… Not happening.
Ah well, I better hit the sack. I’ve got an early morning ahead of me.