• Published 19th Sep 2013
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The Mane Six Discover Human Music - Blissey1



Twilight has developed a device that can detect strange signals coming from outer space; signals from aliens! She gathers her friends so that they can all listen in. But they may not like what they hear...

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A Rock?

The interior of the Books and Branches Library looked almost the same as it ever did, with the exception of a strangely shaped object covered by a cloth lying on the table in the middle of the room.

The door burst open, and Twilight and her friends quickly entered.

“Whatever this is had better be pretty awesome, egghead,” Rainbow Dash said with a frown. “I had a nap scheduled about now.”

“It is, Rainbow! This is going to be the breakthrough of the century!” Twilight Sparkle replied enthusiastically, her wings quivering against her sides with excitement.

“That’s what you said when you tried to tame that parasprite, sugarcube,” Applejack said, more than a hint of amusement clear in her voice.

Twilight’s enthusiasm noticeably decreased a notch and a small blush appeared on her face. “Alright, I know I can get a little overenthusiastic sometimes, but this time I’m serious! This is going to change everything!”

“Ooh, ooh! Is it this thing!?” Pinkie had seemingly teleported next to the cloth covered object on the table. “What is it? Is it a surprise? I love surprises!”

“It sure is, Pinkie! This is the result of nearly a month of work! Girls, let me present to you… the Subspace Transceiver!” Twilight dramatically removed the cloth, revealing a box like object. The front was covered with gauges, dials, and knobs, and one corner had a long, cylindrical shape sticking up into the air, like a wildly elongated unicorn’s horn.

Twilight’s friends were all silent. Applejack was the first to speak. “Twilight… that looks like a regular ol’ radio to me.”

“I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree with Applejack, darling,” Rarity added.

“Umm… but it's a very nice looking radio…” Fluttershy mumbled.

“That’s the thing, girls! It looks like regular old radio, but it’s not! I’m going to have to give a bit of background to explain this, so bear with me a moment.”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes in exasperation as Twilight began. “So for the last couple of months, I’ve been working with Princess Celestia to find ways to harness electricity, and—”

“Electricity? You mean like lightning?” Dash interrupted. “Twilight, pegasi can already harness lightning! And you can too, now!”

Twilight gave a frustrated sigh. “Yes, I know, Rainbow. I mean ways for non-pegasi to harness it as well.” Her face lit up again. “Just imagine how useful it would be if everypony could harness the power of lightning for use in their homes! We could use it for heating, or lighting, or any number of other things!”

“Well, that does sound mighty useful, but what does that have to do with yer fancy radio?” AJ asked.

“I’m getting to that! So, anyway, we were doing a lot of experiments with electricity and magnets. One of those was a way to see if we could use lightning to instantly send messages over long distances, just like with dragonfire. We created a prototype of a device that should be able to receive these messages, and the most amazing thing happened! We began receiving signals from outside the planet Equus!”

She now solidly had the attention of all her friends. Even Rainbow Dash was listening intently. “But that’s not even the best part!” Twilight continued. “After studying these signals, we came to the stunning conclusion that they weren’t natural! Something was making them!”

“Woah, woah, hold up, time out,” Rainbow Dash said while waving her hooves about. “You’re telling us that you picked up signals from aliens?”

“Exactly!” Twilight said as she leaped up in the air with excitement, her wings unfurling to keep her there. “This is the most amazing discovery ever!”

“My my, that is rather exciting,” Rarity said. “Actual proof of aliens… I wonder what kind of fashion they have?”

“Do you think they like parties? I bet I could throw a party an alien would like!”

“I hope that they’re nice aliens…”

“Ok, I gotta admit, that is pretty awesome,” Rainbow Dash said. “But you said that these signals were supposed to be like messages, right? So what did they say?”

“Well, that’s the thing, Rainbow,” Twilight replied. “We we were able to detect these signals, but we couldn’t actually make any sense of them.” She grinned victoriously as she turned back to the radio on the table. “That is, until now…”

“So then this fancy radio of yours is supposed to pick up alien signals?” AJ asked, clearly intrigued.

“Right! I’ve spent the last month modifying the universal translator spell used by diplomats to work with these electrical signals, and I think I’ve finally got it working!” Twilight turned back to her friends. “Girls, we’re going to be the first ponies on Equus to listen to an alien message!”

All of her friends, now fully caught up in her enthusiasm, gave a small cheer. “So, how exactly does it work, Twilight?” Rarity asked.

“Well, pretty much just like regular radios. I just have to adjust the frequency until we pick up the signal. Only instead of the magical signals we use for our radios, we’ll be picking up electrical signals!”

“Electrical signals from aliens!” Pinkie shouted. “This is the most superrific stupenderlous thing ever!!”

Rarity gave a quiet sigh. “It’s just too bad Spike couldn’t be with us…”

“I know, Rarity,” Twilight replied. “I wish he could be here too, but Princess Celestia needed him for something back in Canterlot.” She turned to the device on the table. “Now lets see here…” Her horn lit, and the device was engulfed in a magenta glow. There was a click as it turned on, and a quiet static filled the room as she began tuning the device.

“Twilight, wings,” Dash said.

“Oh, right,” she responded with a slight blush. Her magic released its hold on a few of the knobs on the device, and she instead unfurled her wings and began using those to manipulate them. Rainbow Dash insisted that occasionally using her still somewhat new wings for fine manipulation was a vital part of keeping them in proper shape, but she was just so used to using her magic for everything that she always forgot.

As Twilight tuned the device and Dash observed her wing work, the others conversed quietly amongst themselves. “So what kinda signal do ya’ll think this is gonna be?” AJ asked.

“If it’s anything like our radio stations, It will probably be a advertisement of some kind,” Rarity said with a sigh. “I swear, they’re playing more and more advertisements and less and less music these days.”

“Ohh ohh! Whatever it is, I hope it's loud and fast paced! Like party music!”

“Not too loud, I hope…”

“Girls!” Twilight shouted. “Girls, I think I’ve got it!”

They all leaned in anxiously as Twilight made a final turn of one of the knobs and backed away. There was silence for a few moments, and then a few soft guitar strums became audible. They all listened in stunned silence for a few more moments, and then words joined the guitar.

“This… this is music!” Twilight said in a reverent whisper. “This is actual alien music!” Her voice was quickly starting to rise. “Do you know what this means!? About their culture and their society and—”

She was cut off by a white hoof being shoved into her mouth. “Dear, do be quiet. We’re trying to listen,” Rarity said.

Twilight nodded sheepishly and Rarity removed her hoof from her mouth. The alicorn’s horn glowed, and a stack of parchment and a quill appeared before her, and she eagerly started taking notes. Winter? That means that their planet has seasonal variations just like ours! And snow means that their global climate is also water based! she thought excitedly to herself as she wrote.

Dash’s face scrunched up in confusion at the chorus line. “Wait, so the aliens are rocks and islands?” she asked quietly.

Pinkie looked similarly confused. “I don’t know if I could throw a party for an island… But I do know how to throw a party for rocks!”

Twilight shook her head without taking her eyes from her notes. “I don’t think they’re being literal, girls. It’s clearly some kind of figure of speech, but I’m not sure what it could mean.”

“Huh, well they seem pretty industrious, building walls and fortresses,” AJ said. “I guess I can appreciate that. Unless ya’ll think they’re not being literal again.”

“Right. I get the feeling that was symbolic, AJ. I think that—”

Whatever Twilight was going to say next was forgotten upon hearing the lyrics that followed. The six all sat in stunned silence for a moment as the song continued. Twilight was the first to recover enough to say anything.

“...Friendship causes pain?” she squeaked out in a disbelieving whisper.

“What the hay!?” Dash shouted angrily. “That’s like, the exact opposite of what friendship does!”

“And they hate lovin’ and laughter, too?” AJ said, then snorted. “I don’t think I like these here aliens very much.”

“Now now, I’m sure that this song isn't a reflection on their entire species,” Twilight said, though her tone of voice didn’t convey nearly as much certainty as her words. To hear something that she held so close to her heart blasphemed against like that… it was a bit much. “It’s probably just the one alien that’s signing it that feels that way! ...I hope.”

“Well, I, for one, don’t see what reason this individual could possibly have for feeling that way about having friends,” Rarity said, disdain clear in her voice.

“I’m sure if we keep listening, we’ll learn more,” Twilight said, and hoped she was right. Part of her wanted to just turn the thing off right now, but another part of her wanted to see if the song explained itself.

Sure enough, they soon got their answer.

“‘If I never loved I never would have cried’?” Dash asked.

“It means that somepony close to him hurt him so very much, that he’s afraid to ever get close to anypony again… that poor creature…” Fluttershy explained.

“...I think that answers that, doesn’t it?” Twilight said. She was relieved that the alien at least had a reasonable explanation for feeling that way, even if she still felt that his reaction was a bit drastic.

“I suppose so…” Rarity admitted, her tone now much more sympathetic. “That does seem rather tragic, doesn’t it?”

“I guess you were right about that whole ‘building a fortress’ bit being symbolic, then,” AJ said.

“I still don’t get that stuff about being a rock and an island...” Rainbow grumbled.

They remained quiet for a few moments as the song continued, Rarity being the next one to speak. “Books and poetry? Why, this alien almost sounds like you, Twilight.”

Twilight grimaced. It actually sounded uncomfortably close to what she had been like before coming to Ponyville and meeting her friends. Granted, she had avoided making friends with others only because she didn’t see much reason to it, not because she thought it would hurt her, but still...

As the song came to an end, Twilight reached out with her magic and turned the device off. They all sat in silence for a short while longer, thinking on all they had just heard.

“You know…” Dash quietly said after a moment. “I think I can kinda understand where they’re coming from.”

Her friends turned to look at her expectantly, so Dash continued. “I never really told you all this, but when Gilda dumped me like that, I… I felt really…” Her face scrunched up in confusion for a few seconds, trying to find the right words. She eventually gave up with a sigh. “Look, I’m just really glad I had you girls around afterwards, okay?”

“Why, Rainbow, I had no idea…” Rarity said.

“Yeah, I think I know the feeling, too. Or at least, have an idea what it feels like.” AJ said. “Last year, up near Manehatten, one of my relatives ended up publicly disowning the rest of the Apple family.” She pulled her hat down over her eyes. “I had only met the feller a few times at our reunions, and I still felt plum terrible ‘bout it. I can only imagine how the family up there felt.”

“Bleh, all this talk about being sad and stuff sucks!” Rainbow Dash shouted. “C’mon Pinks, we need to liven things up around here!”

“...Pinkie?”

It was then that they realized that Pinkie hadn’t said anything in an uncharacteristically long time. They turned to look for her, and found in lying in a corner of the room, her mane flat and her eyes on the verge of tears.

“Oh horsefeathers!” Rainbow said, and quickly dashed over to Pinkie, the rest of her friends quick to follow. She put a hoof on Pinkies shoulder. “Pinkie! Pinkie, c’mon, what’s wrong?”

“T-that alien…” Pinkie said, her voice shuddering. “He needs a big hug and a party and friendly ponies so, so bad. But he’s on a different planet, in another galaxy… and I’ll never be able to make him feel happier…”

“Aw jeez…” Dash said under her breath. “Hey, look, Pinkie. I bet that whatever planet that alien is on has their own alien version of Pinkie Pie, and that she threw him a party right after he sung that song! I bet he’s feeling just great now!”

“And besides, Pinkie,” Twilight added, “I doubt that that song is actually how he feels, or what happened to him. I mean, just listen to some music here in Equestria! There’s plenty of songs that aren’t based in reality! I bet that aliens is actually perfectly normal with plenty of friends!”

“...Maybe,” Pinkie said halfheartedly, though she at least no longer appeared on the verge of bursting into tears.

“You know, I’m absolutely famished!” Rarity said. “Pinkie, dear, why don’t we all head to Sugarcube Corner and grab something to eat? Some food is sure to make you feel better!”

“Oh yes, that sounds wonderful,” Fluttershy said with a nod.

“...Okay,” Pinkie said.

Rainbow Dash helped Pinkie up off the floor, and the six all made their way outside.

Twilight was the last to leave. As she stepped through the doorway, she paused and turned to look back at the Subspace Transceiver sitting on the table. This was not how she had expected things to happen. With a sigh, she levitated the cloth covering back over the device, then stepped outside and closed the door behind her.

Author's Note:

so this is just a random idea I had, and I decided to do something with it.

yes, I am completely ignoring that hydroelectric dam from mysterious mare do well.

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