“Sir, Twilight Sparkle is asking when you are going to wake up again.” Aura pestered
Keyan groaned, “Dammit Aura, why do women have to be so impatient.”
“I believe the correct term is ‘mare’ sir.”
Keyan groaned again.
“How long was I asleep?”
“About 3 hours”
“I guess that’s enough. Tell Twilight I’ll be there in 10 minutes.”
“The captain says he will be able to talk to you in 10 minutes.” Aura said.
“Thank you Aura.” Twilight said with a smile.
The first few minutes of conversation with the A.I. had been interesting to say the least. Twilight was fascinated by the concept of a self-aware computer. Computers in Equestria were not entirely unheard of were not common place outside a research laboratory. She tried asking questions about her programming, but the A.I had refused to answer them. Twilight had made a note to ask Keyan about it.
She turned to the only other pony that was interested in a few hour long Q and A session with an alien,
“So Rainbow, why didn’t you want to go walk around with the others?”
The prismatic mare was snapped out of whatever day-dream she was in,
“Say what Twilight?” She asked.
Twilight rolled her eyes,
“I said why would you stay here when you can go walk around Canterlot with everypony else?”
Rainbow scoffed and waved a hoof, “As if I’d miss talking with an alien, Twilight. This is so cool! I got a few questions of my own so don’t hog him alright?”
Twilight giggled, “Alright, I’ll try Rainbow.”
The two mares then lapsed into silence,staring at each other. Awkward silence ensued as neither mare could think of a way to start a conversation. Eventually Twilight cleared her throat,
“So Rainbow, what are the questions you’re gonna ask him?”
Rainbow began patting around her searching for something, she soon pulled a pad of paper out and handed it to Twilight. She spoke nervously, rubbing the back of her head with a hoof,
“Its just a few things I’m curious about. They’re not in question form, just in a list.”
Twilight began reading things off the list,
“Explorer, space travel, speed of space ship, Daring Do, wonderbolts” Twilight raised an eyebrow with a grin, making Rainbow Dash blush before she continued, “domes, Equestria from space.”
Twilight smiled, “That’s a pretty good list Rainbow Dash, I got you into reading, next I’m going to get you to write dissertations.”
“Disser-what now?” Came the confused response.
Twilight giggled, “Research papers?” she offered.
Realization dawned on Rainbow Dash, “Yea, as if! I may like reading, but research papers … ughhh.” She started gagging.
Twilight broke out into a laugh, “It’s not that bad Rainbow. Don’t be so negative.”
Rainbow rolled her eyes, “Yea, ok.” She gave Twilight a playful shove.
“Rainbow!” Twilight shrieked as she lost her balance and crashed to the floor.
“Twilight” Rainbow shouted as she jumped up and checked on her friend.
She saw Twilight laying on her back, completely still.
“Twilight?” Rainbow asked, dread creeping in.
Suddenly Twilight’s eyes opened and her face contorted in an evil smirk,
Rainbow soon found herself to be on the receiving end of a pillow to the back of her head. She lost her balance and collapsed on top of Twilight. After a few seconds of scrambling the two mares found themselves almost face to face. They looked into each others eyes, no more than a few inches apart, and immediately a scarlet blush lept onto their cheeks.
“Twilight, Rainbow?” Came Keyan’s voice form the probe laying on the floor, “Am I interrupting something?”
The two of them immediately leapt to their hooves.
“NO NO NO!” Twilight shouted, trying to force the blush from her cheeks through pure willpower. Rainbow was trying to do the same but her forcing her wings down was added to the mix as well.
Keyan chuckled, “Where did the rest of your group go?”
Twilight answered, “Luna and Celestia had to go make an appearance in Ponyville to calm everybody down. And the rest of our friends are walking around Canterlot right now.”
“Ahh, so I assume Canterlot is the name of the city you are in right now.”
“Yes, its also the capital of Equestria.”
“What?” Twilight asked.
“What’s with all the puns?” He asked.
Twilight pursed her lips then shrugged,
“Not important, so are you ready to answer some questions?”
“Yep, let’s get going. If you don’t mind I’m going to have Aura record this for future reference.”
“Not a problem.” Twilight said levitating a list of questions and a blank pad of paper in front of her. “So, first question, you said you don’t like meeting ponies in person can you tell me why?”
Keyan’s face dropped, this world seemed so peaceful. He didn’t know if telling her stories of the gory universe out there was a good idea. He licked his lips,
“Listen Twilight, in the interest of trust, I’m going to be truthful with you okay? But, some of these answers you may not be prepared for. Judge me as you please, but know this, I do not go back on my word, I said I will not attack you and I meant it.”
Twilight and Rainbow exchanged a glance.
“Of course Keyan, we’re all friends here.”
‘Alright here it goes’ Keyan thought to himself,
“Well, last time I met someone in person who I didn’t explicitly trust they killed me.”
Both Twilight and Rainbow were thoroughly confused by that answer,
“What do you mean killed, you’re right here. Errr, there.” Rainbow said.
“Well, technically I died 55 times, which is rather few in the long run. I have an implant, basically a computer in my head, that sends all my memories and experiences to another genetically identical body in a station somewhere. I am essentially immortal. But now, for some weird effect of this system if I die I won’t wake up, I will be dead.”
Twilight took a second to gather her thoughts, her quill scratching furiously,
“So if you die, you come back to life in a second body?” Rainbow asked, trying to make sense of it.
“So the reason you don’t want to see us in person, is because you think we’ll kill you?”
Put in that context, Keyan felt like a dick.
“Listen its a habit of mine to not trust anyone until I can be 100% sure they can be trusted. And even if I can trust you, I’m not sure I can trust everyone down there. And besides, I haven’t stepped foot on a planet in 15 years.”
Twilight decided not to press the issue, “So do you think at some point you’ll come down so we can see you?”
Twilight decided that that was the best she was going to get.
“Alright, next question, how are you able to fly the ship by yourself? Even with Aura’s help I assume it must be difficult.”
Keyan sighed, explaining pods to people is not easy.
“Its hard to explain, basically I plug myself into the ship and directly interface with it. In short, I essentially become the ship. I can’t describe it, you have to experience it for yourself.”
Twilight was of course interested, but there were other questions to ask. She opened her mouth to ask another one but Rainbow gently poked her,
“Hey Twi, can I ask one?”
“Oh sure Rainbow, go ahead.”
“So Key, you said you were an explorer, what did you mean by that?
Keyan smiled at the use of his nickname, Rainbow Dash was the only pony so far to use it.
“Well, I explore the galaxy. The big-ass metal object lying in front of you is a scanner probe. I use it to find the locations of all types of places, pirate bases, derelict stations, etc. Sometimes I find wormhole, I try to avoid those as they are extremely dangerous.”
“That’s pretty cool, so when you said you went to every corner of the galaxy you weren’t kidding.”
“Yea, And I really haven’t seen Rarity’s hair do anywhere else.”
Keyan and Rainbow snickered,
“Her face was priceless! I haven’t seen her that mad in ages!” Rainbow said chortling.
Twilight jabbed Rainbow,
“Stop laughing Rainbow, it wasn’t that funny.”
“Oh don’t be a spoil sport Twilight.”
Twilight silenced her with a glare,
“Would you mind explaining wormholes to me?
“Sure, just follow my instructions and I’ll give you the best analogy for a wormhole you’ll ever see.”
“Alright!” Twilight said enthused.
“Alright, get a fresh piece of paper and put 2 dots on opposite sides of it.”
Twilight quickly did so,
“Now what’s the shortest path between the two?”
Twilight cocked her head, “Well its obviously a straight line.”
Twilight’s face fell into a mess of confusion.
Rainbow poked her,
“It’s a trick question Twilight, let me show you.”
Rainbow then took the paper, folded it in half, and stabbed the quill through it, piercing both dots.
“Awesome Rainbow, I wasn’t expecting either of you to figure that out.”
Twilight started stammering but Rainbow shushed her with a hoof.
“Relax Twi, its not a big deal, you just over thought it.”
“Well either way, the math behind it is insane and I don't want to make either of your heads explode so, I’m not even going to tell you the formula. Next question.”
Rainbow continued, “What’s with all those strange domes on your ship?”
“Domes?” Keyan thought for a moment, “Oh! they’re actually doors, they open up and my turrets pop out.”
Twilight let out an eep, “So they’re weapons?”
“Very effective ones I may add. But don’t worry I don’t plan on shooting them at you.”
Twilight cleared her throat,
“So what weapons do you have?”
Keyan scratched his chin,
“Do you have any type of firearms? guns?”
“Yes, a few, the regular Equestrian army uses them to protect the border. It’s extremely rare to see one anywhere else. The guard has a few in Canterlot, but they normally carry spears. Its a ceremonial thing. They only hold one round, and are difficult to reload.”
“What caliber are they?”
“Yea well, my main guns, I have 12, are 425mm capable of firing 6 rounds a second.”
Twilight’s eyes bulged out of her head.
“I also have 24 125mm cannons, for smaller ships. And a mess of 75mm and 50mm for drones, shuttles, and boarding craft.”
“So your ship is basically a warship.”
“Oh ok,” Twilight sounded nervous.
Twilight and Rainbow then proceeded to grill him about every aspect of inter-stellar life and politics. To answer many of their questions Keyan played this video. They couldn’t see the video feed, but after explaining the 4 empires in more detail the got the message. One thing that annoyed Twilight is that when he asked about what he did before he was a capsuleer he would just dance around the question.
Then Keyan asked about their story and was extremely surprised to find out they were national heroes. And not once, but twice over.
“So Keyan, do you have any heroes in your civilization, which one was that again?
“Yea theres a few, this is my favorite, (video)”
Both Twilight and Rainbow had tears in their eyes by the time it finished.
“Why would anypony fight a war like that, bombing an entire planet? killing innocent ponies! Its horrible!” Twilight exclaimed
“Welcome to the galaxy Twilight. Don’t ask me how many people die when 2 big alliances go after each other, that could get extremely ugly.”
“I think we have enough information for now.” Twilight said, a few tears making their way down her face.
Rainbow swiftly enveloped her in a hug, gently rubbing the tears off with a hoof.
“Come on Twi, don’t cry. He did warn us we may not like what he tells us.”
Twilight nodded, “ I know I know, just give me a second.” She said, nuzzling her head into the crook of Rainbow’s shoulder.
“Listen, I really am sorry for making you cry Twilight. I have been exposed to this stuff my entire life. I should have been more considerate.”
“No, don’t worry about it. I understand.” Twilight responded.
Suddenly an alarm started sounding through the probe,
“What’s that Key?” Rainbow asked.
“One sec.” The line went silent as Keyan did his thing.
“It appears I have a guest girls, I have to go. Keyan out, peace."