The Mane Six Discover Human Music

by Blissey1

The Entire Universe?

The door to the Books and Branches Library burst open and in stormed Spike, quickly followed by Twilight and the rest of their friends. Spike and Twilight had just returned from Canterlot, but despite having finally come home after a long absence, Spike seemed none too happy.

"I still can't believe that you did the first test run without me!" he said angrily.

"I know, Spike, I'm so sorry!" Twilight replied. "I was just so excited when I finally got that translation spell set up correctly that I couldn't help myself!"

"Yeah, that sounds like you alright..." Spike muttered under his breath, a scowl still on his face.

"Spike, dear, you know she didn't mean anything by it," Rarity said.

"Yeah, and besides, I don't think you woulda liked that song we heard anyway..." Rainbow Dash added.

Spike was still clearly upset, so Rarity decided to kick things up a notch. She walked up next to him and put a hoof on his shoulder. "Tell you what. I've recently acquired some fantastic sapphires, imported all the way from Estonia. I was meaning to use them in a design I've been dying to try out, but it's clear that my little Spikey Wikey needs them more right now."

"Ooh, even better!" Pinkie said. "You give me those sapphires, and I'll bake them into a super duper amazing cake, and we can throw Spike a Welcome Back To Ponyville party!"

"Now that sounds like a mighty fine idea to me!" Applejack said.

"Oh yes, that sounds lovely," Fluttershy added. "You and Twilight have been so busy helping Princess Celestia lately, that the seven of us haven't been able to get together and just enjoy each other’s company in quite a while."

"So what do you say, Spike?" Twilight asked anxiously.

Spike looked at the girls thoughtfully a moment before responding. "Alright, sure. I guess that sounds like it would be pretty fun." His face lit up a moment later. "And then afterwards we can all listen to the Subspace Transceiver again!"

The rest of the girl's enthusiasm, especially Pinkie's, dropped noticeably. "Wait, seriously? We're gonna listen to that thing again?" Dash asked.

Twilight sheepishly rubbed the back of her head. "Right, that's the other thing I meant to tell you all. You see, I told Princess Celestia about what happened, and now she's tasked us with listening to more of this music to try and learn as much as we can about these aliens."

Twilight's friends all looked apprehensive at the news, which is no surprise given what they had heard the first time around.

"Well, if Princess Celestia herself has asked this of us, then I suppose that it is our duty to see it through..." Rarity reluctantly said.

"I dunno, I don't think it would be such a good idea to listen to that thing again..." Dash said while glancing at Pinkie, who was quietly staring down at the ground.

Spike looked at the others in confusion. "Was what you all heard really that bad?"

"Now girls, I know our initial experience with it wasn't the best, but I'm sure that their music is at least as varied as ours!" Twilight said. "We're very likely to get a much more… upbeat song this time!"

"I'd like to try it again..." Fluttershy said quietly. "Um, if that's okay with you all..."

"Really, Fluttershy? You want to try it again?" Applejack asked, clearly surprised.

"Oh, yes," Fluttershy replied. "It's true that that song we heard was very sad, but I still kind of liked it." She looked off to the side. "...And I am very curious about these aliens..."

"Well, I ain't gonna argue with ya on that point, sugarcube," AJ said. "I gotta admit, I'm mighty curious to learn more about them myself. And if Princess Celestia wants us to do it, then I'm raring to give it another go!"

"I still don't know..." Dash said.

“It’s okay, Dashie,” Pinkie said, glancing up at her friends. “I’ll give it another try.”

“You sure, Pinks?” Dash asked, not quite convinced.

“Yup!” Pinkie responded, her mood returning to normal. “I was a silly little filly, letting that song get to me like that. I’ll be ready for it this time! And there’s a chance we’ll hear alien party music! There’s no way I can pass that up!”

“Alright then, sure. Lets give that thing another go!” Dash said with an eager grin.

“Great!” Twilight exclaimed. “So then tomorrow, after Spike’s welcome back party, we'll give the Subspace Transceiver another try!” Her smile faded and her expression turned more serious. “Oh, and one more thing, girls. This proof of the existence of aliens still isn’t public knowledge, and Princess Celestia would prefer if we keep it that way. So no letting anypony else know about what we’re doing here. Okay?”

Her friends all nodded their heads, and Twilight smiled again. “Great! Then I’ll see you all tomorrow!”

The next night…

The door to the library opened, and six ponies and a young dragon walked in. They were all talking and laughing with each other, and the dragon had an oversized party hat on his head.

“You most certainly outdid yourself this time, darling,” Rarity said to Pinkie.

“Yeah, that party was awesome!” Dash said enthusiastically.

“And that had to be the best chocolate sapphire cake I’ve ever had!” Spike added.

“Aww, thanks!” Pinkie replied. “Now, after a success like that, I’m ready for anything those aliens can throw at us! Bring on the music!!”

“Alright, give me a second. I’ve got it stored downstairs.” Twilight opened the door to her basement and descended down the stairs.

Her friends continued idly chattering for a minute before Twilight returned, the Subspace Transceiver floating beside her.

She placed it on the central table and turned to her friends. “One last thing. I just have to place a sound damping spell over the library…” Her horn glowed purple, and the walls and windows surrounding them also glowed the same color for a few seconds, before returning to normal. “There, now nopony will be able to hear what we’re doing in here! Unless anypony has any other objections, we are ready to go!”

“Fire it up, Twilight!” Spike shouted.

“As you command, Spike!” Twilight replied enthusiastically. She turned back to the radio and dramatically extended her wings to begin manipulating the device alongside her magic.

In only a few moments, the quiet static was replaced with an extremely loud, blaring noise. The six ponies in the room immediately folded their ears back against their heads, and Spike covered his with his hands. Fluttershy took it a step further, and actually leaped underneath a small writing desk situated against the back wall.

“What the heck is that supposed to be!?” Spike shouted after listening for nearly twenty seconds, barely audible over the noise

“I-I don’t know!” Twilight replied.

“Turn it off, turn it off!” Dash yelled.

Twilight complied, and the room dropped into silence, much to everypony’s relief.

“Well that didn’t sound like any kinda music I’ve ever heard!” Applejack said.

“I… don’t think that was music at all,” Twilight replied. “It sounded more like… an alarm of some kind.”

“Well, it certainly alarmed me!” Rarity said indignantly. “I felt as though my life were in danger!”

“Hmm. that’s funny…” Pinkie said. “It made me feel like I had a twitchy tail!” She turned her head to glance at the aforementioned appendage with a suspicious glare. “Except my tail clearly isn’t twitching…”

“That doesn’t count as our try, does it?” Fluttershy asked as she creeped out from underneath the desk. “I’d still like to hear some actual music…”

“No. No, of course not,” Twilight answered. “Let me just re-adjust the frequency, and…” She stopped where she was, her wings half extended to use the device. “Actually…” She turned and looked at Spike with a smile. “Spike, how would you like to do the honors?”

His face lit up. “Really? You mean it?”

“Of course!” Twilight replied. “Think of it as one last gift to make up for leaving you out of our initial test run.”

“Alright!” Spike said, and ran up to the device excitedly. “So… how exactly do I work this thing?”

“This switch here turns it on, and then you just have to adjust these two knobs until we pick something up!” Twilight explained, gesturing at the appropriate areas with her hooves.

“Alright, that seems easy enough…” Spike said, and then turned on the device and began fiddling with the knobs.

The rest of the six all waited patiently while Spike worked, and it wasn’t long at all before the quiet static was replaced with a jaunty tune.

“Hey, Twilight…” Dash quietly said after the first few lines, “what’s a particle?”

Twilight didn’t answer immediately. Atomic theory was at the current cutting edge of Equestrian science. If this song meant the kind of particle she thought it did, then explaining to somepony like Rainbow Dash, or indeed, most of her friends, what a particle was would be a long, drawn out affair.

“Ask me again when the song is over,” is all she said.

“I don’t know what a particle is either, but I like this song!” Pinkie said, bobbing her head up and down to the tune.

Twilight couldn’t quite agree. While the tune was certainly fun enough, she was finding the lyrics somewhat infuriating. How could what this particle man is like possibly be not important!? And how can water “get” something?

Pinkie’s head bobbing was replaced with outrage at the next verse. “Wha- Hey! Why’s that stupid triangle man have to be such a big meany head!?”

“He does seem to be quite the ruffian, doesn’t he?” Rarity said disapprovingly.

“Yeah, a real jerk,” Rainbow Dash added.

“I hope particle man wasn’t hurt too badly…” Fluttershy mumbled.

“Oh hey, now there’s another man!” Spike said.

One of Twilight’s eyes twitched slightly. “This is absurd!” she shouted in frustration. “You can’t have something the size of the entire universe! That’s impossible!” This song was seriously starting to annoy her; nothing made any sense about it!

“Now Twilight, dear, do calm down.” Rarity placed a hoof on Twilight’s shoulder. “It’s entirely possible that this particular song isn’t meant to be taken seriously.”

“I’m thinking that Rarity’s right,” Applejack said. “That watch just sounds plum crazy!”

“Yeah, not even Princess Celestia could use a watch with an eon hand!” Spike said, then continued listening. “And another kind of man!” he shouted. “Hey Twilight, what’s a person?”

Twilight sighed in defeat. “I have no idea, Spike.” She listened for a moment longer. “...But he sounds absolutely miserable.”

“Oh my, that poor person man,” Fluttershy said. “He almost reminds me of myself before I met you all…”

“Naw, you were never that bad, Flutters,” Rainbow Dash said.

“He just needs a good party to— Hey! It’s that stupid triangle meanie head again!” Pinkie said indignantly.

“And he’s being a total jerk. Again,” Rainbow said.

“And this person man character already had things bad enough, this is simply dreadful!” Rarity said.

As the song ended, Twilight turned the device off with her magic, and they all sat in silence for a few moments.

Spike was the first to speak. “So, that was… different.”

“Well, I just don’t get how somepony is supposed to lose a fight with a triangle...” Applejack said.

“You shouldn’t underestimate triangles, Applejack!” Pinkie said, then pulled a triangle instrument out of her mane. “They can be vicious opponents when angered!” She held the triangle against her body in a hug. “Of course, my triangles would never be big meanie jerk faces like those alien triangles! I’ve raised them better than that!”

The rest of the six all gave Pinkie questioning glances. “Right…” Rainbow Dash said. “Anyway…”

“Twilight, what’s a ‘man’?” Spike asked. “I know I’ve heard the word before, but I don’t actually know what it is…”

“‘Man’ is a word originating in the Minotaur Kingdoms used to refer to male minotaurs, and is interchangeable with ‘bull’,” Twilight explained.

“Oh, so that’s where stuff like ‘oh man’ comes from?”

“That’s right, Spike! That particular phrase has only come into use in Equestria in the last ten years or so.”

“Sooo… the aliens have got a song ‘bout male minotaurs?” Applejack asked dubiously.

“Uhh… well, that is one possible interpretation, yes…” Twilight admitted. “Much more likely, I think, is that they just happen to also call themselves ‘men’. And since the song only ever used ‘him’ and ‘he’, I think it’s safe to assume that that term only applies to the males of their species as well.” Twilight couldn’t help but wonder what they called the females…

“Well, they certainly do seem to be a varied lot, don’t they?” Rarity said.

“Oh hey, Twilight!” Dash said. “You said to ask you again after the song about what a particle is!”

“Oh, right,” Twilight responded. “Well, without going into a lot of detail, it’s something too small to be seen with the naked eye. In fact, we have yet to create any magnification devices powerful enough to directly detect them.”

“...Huh,” was Dash’s only response.

“So, then are all those different mans like the different types of ponies?” Spike asked. “You know, like instead of earth ponies, pegasi, and unicorns, they have particles mans, triangle mans, universe mans, and person mans?”

“...That is a possibility…” Twilight said, though she didn’t sound very sure.

“So some of the aliens are too small to be seen, some are as big as the entire universe, some are total jerks, and some are super depressed?” Dash asked, and it was clear from her tone of voice that she found the notion absurd.

Twilight groaned in frustration. “It’s also a possibility that Rarity was right and this song wasn’t intended to be taken seriously at all. For all we know, this was just a bunch of gibberish that doesn’t actually mean anything.”

“Gibberish or not, I thought it was a fun song!” Pinkie said with a huge grin.

“Well, it was interestin’, I’ll give it that,” Applejack said. “But it’s getting late and I gotta get back to the farm. Need to get some rest for work tomorrow.”

The rest of their friends also stated their desire to return home and get some rest.

“Alright then, I’ll see you all tomorrow. We should meet up for more alien music again next week!” Twilight said.

They all said their goodbyes, and soon Twilight and Spike were the only ones left in the room. “So, what did you think of your very first alien song, Spike?” Twilight asked her number one assistant.

“Well…” Spike said. “I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but I’m pretty sure that that wasn’t it.”

“Yeah, I think that this alien music is going to be catching all of us off guard for quite a while.” Twilight looked to the Subspace Transceiver thoughtfully for a moment, then turned back to Spike. “But enough of all that. It really is getting late, it’s time for bed, mister!”

They proceeded upstairs, both wondering what they might hear next time they tuned in.