• Published 19th Sep 2013
  • 36,702 Views, 2,827 Comments

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...

  • ...

No Rest At All?

Rarity was laying down on a bench with her hooves tucked underneath her in the sauna room at the Ponyville Day Spa. Her tail and mane were each wrapped in a towel, her face was covered in a green, mud-like substance, and a pair of cucumbers covered her eyes. On the other side of the sauna room sat Fluttershy, who was similarly attired, except she had only two small dabs of the green mud on her cheeks, and no cucumbers.

They were chatting as they relaxed. Or, to be more precise, Rarity was chatting.

"...then, Blossomforth stared me right in the eyes and told me that it was none of my business! Can you believe that?"

Fluttershy didn't respond. This wasn't entirely unusual for one of their spa time conversations, but something about this particular silence caught Rarity's attention. Her horn glowed, and the cucumbers floated away from her eyes as she turned to look at Fluttershy, who was staring down at the sauna floor.

"Fluttershy, dear, is something the matter? You seem awfully distracted.”

Fluttershy looked up at Rarity, a slightly surprised look on her face. “Oh! I’m sorry Rarity, I didn’t mean to worry you.” She looked around the room quickly to make sure that they were all alone before looking back down to the floor. “I just can’t stop thinking about what we’re going to hear when we all go to visit Twilight tonight…”

“Hmm, yes, that special radio of hers…” Rarity responded, a slight frown on her face. “There’s no telling what may come up next… Are you truly that interested in it, darling?”

“Oh yes, I am,” Fluttershy said with a small smile and a nod of her head. “It’s like I’ve discovered a whole new animal I’ve never heard of before, and now I want to learn everything I can about it.” Her eyes widened slightly in alarm. “N-not that I think that the aliens are just animals! They’re clearly just as advanced and intelligent as we are! A-and not that there’s anything wrong with being just an animal either! I just mean that—”

“There’s no need to get flustered, dear,” Rarity interrupted with an amused smile on her face. “I understand exactly what you mean. I have to admit, the existence of aliens has me very intrigued as well…" Her smile faded. "But…”

Fluttershy ventured a guess as to what Rarity as thinking. “...You don’t like what we’ve heard so far?”

Rarity frowned. “Of the two songs we’ve heard thus far, one was rather depressing, and the other seemed to be total nonsense. I wish to learn more about these aliens as well, I’m just not sure that this music is the best means to do so. We have no way of knowing how much of what we hear is literal and how much is gross exaggeration or metaphor."

“I don’t see any other way we can possibly learn about them…”

Rarity gave a resigned sigh. “I suppose that beggars can’t be choosers, can they?"

"Maybe you should ask Twilight about that when we see her tonight," Fluttershy suggested.

"Yes… yes, I believe I will!" Rarity said. “I’m so glad I got the chance to talk to you about this, darling. This has honestly been bothering me for the last few days.”

“Oh, it’s no problem at all, Rarity,” Fluttershy responded.

“Now, as I was saying earlier…”

Twilight was fiddling with the Subspace Transceiver when she was startled out of her wits by a knock on the door. She looked up at the clock on the wall, and was shocked to find that it was already time.

“Spike, door!” she shouted. Then she looked behind herself to find that Spike was already standing at the door.

“Way ahead of you, Twilight,” Spike said as he opened the door.

As expected, their five friends walked in. “Girls!” Twilight said. “Perfect, you’re all right on time! Unless anypony has any questions, I’d like to just jump right in.”

Rarity raised a hoof. “Actually, Twilight, I do have one small concern.”

Twilight gestured for Rarity to go ahead, and so she did. “You see, I was wondering just how reliable this music is for actually learning about these aliens. As I think that last song we listened to demonstrated, we have absolutely no way of knowing how much of what we hear is accurate and how much of it is symbolism, exaggeration, or just total nonsense.”

“A very good question, Rarity, and a valid concern as well,” Twilight replied. “I’ve been thinking about the same thing myself, and fortunately, the answer is very simple: repetition! We just have to keep listening to more and more music!”

“And how’s that supposed to help us?” Applejack asked.

“We need to keep track of various things we hear in these songs,” Twilight explained excitedly. “If we hear the same things in multiple songs, then there’s a very good possibility that those things are actually reflective of reality for these aliens. On the other hoof, if we hear something in only one song and never hear it again, then it was likely just a bit of symbolism, exaggeration, or nonsense specific to just that one song!” She calmed down somewhat as she continued. “That, and of course, we have our own common sense. We could tell that last song sounded funny even without knowing anything about them.”

“I… suppose that does make sense…” Rarity said. “But it seems an awfully long term solution. We’ll still be somewhat left in the dark until we’ve heard quite a few more songs.”

Twilight shrugged. “There’s only so much we can do when we have only a single, limited medium for learning more about these aliens. So, for the time being, everything we hear we’re going to list as tentatively factual unless we have reason to believe otherwise. Now, does anypony else have any questions?”

Nopony raised their hoof (or claw), and so Twilight continued. “Great! Now, I’m sure you’re all going to be delighted to hear this next bit! Thanks to a suggestion from Spike,” she glanced at her assistant, who was smirking smugly, “I’ve decided that we should all take turns using the Subspace Transceiver!”

Everypony else smiled at this. “Well, as long as ya’ll got a fair way of choosing who gets to use it,” Applejack said.

“Of course!” Twilight replied. “We’re going to draw lots!” She levitated a bowl off the table that the Subspace Transceiver was on. “I have in this bowl here slips of paper with all of our names on them. We pick a paper out to see who gets to use it, and names won’t go back in until everypony has had a turn.” She gestured to Spike and herself. “Since we’ve already gone, our names aren’t included, so it’s guaranteed to be one of you all!” She turned to her assistant. “Spike, would you like to do the honors?”

“Sure thing, Twilight!” Spike turned his head and covered his eyes with one claw, and reached into the bowl with the other. He made a show of rummaging around for a bit before he picked out a piece of paper. He uncovered his eyes and looked at it. “Rainbow Dash!”

“Yes!” Dash shouted, and leaped over to the Subspace Transceiver with a flap of her wings. “Time for the most awesome pony to find us an awesome song!"

"Now Dash, you know you don't have any way of controlling what kind of song yer gonna get, right?" Applejack asked.

"It doesn't matter!" Dash replied confidently. "My sheer awesomeness ensures that whatever song I get will be at least as cool as I am!"

She dramatically extended her wings and lifted a hoof to use the device, but then hesitated. She gave what she hoped was a discrete glance towards Twilight, who rolled her eyes and then helpfully gestured towards the correct knobs to use for finding a song.

She turned back to the device, confidence fully restored, and began fiddling with the device. In only a short while, some sporadic guitar strumming became audible.

Dash leaned back from the device, a triumphant grin on her face. "Alright, now this sounds like my kind of song!"

“Well, I think it’s a bit early to tell, but this does sound pretty good,” Applejack agreed.

Personally, Twilight wasn’t to interested in how the songs sounded. She had never been that big a fan of music, although she had a small soft spot for poetry. No, she was much more interested in what they could learn from this song. She levitated a small notepad and quill over to her just as the lyrics began.

“‘A pretty little thing?’” Fluttershy asked, sounding slightly hopeful.

Rarity’s face screwed up in disgust as she continued listening. “Ugh, mares of the night…”

AJ also grimaced. “I remember seeing a few of them when I went to Manehattan… seems we got a thing or two in common with these aliens.”

“Well, at least he seems rather concerned for her…” Rarity said.

Spike looked between the two of them confusedly, but didn’t say anything.

Twilight was furiously scribbling on her notepad. There was a ton of information that could be inferred from the fact that these aliens practiced prostitution! And they had a monetary system as well!

As the chorus line began, Rarity's frown softened. “I may not approve of their choice of occupation, but I certainly wouldn’t call them ‘wicked’…”

“It’s just like the song says, Rarity!” Pinkie said. “I’ve chatted with some prostitutes at a few parties I’ve been to, and most of them really are only doing it to support themselves and their families. Same thing with strippers,” she concluded, nodding sagely.

The five other ponies in the room all looked at her with surprised expressions, while Spike still just looked confused. “Pinkie… just what kind of parties have you been to?” Dash asked.

Pinkie giggled. “I’ve been to every kind of party there is, Dashie!”

"Anyway..." Twilight said, "If we could please focus back on the song..."

They turned their attention back to the device. A few moments later, Fluttershy let out a meep and Rarity put her hoof to her mouth in shock. "Oh my, now the poor dear is being mugged!"

"What's a gun?" Spike asked.

"Based on the context, it's clearly a weapon of some kind. Beyond that, I can't say..." Twilight answered.

"Well, I’m thinking that ‘wicked’ is the right word this time ‘round,” AJ said with a scowl. “Supporting the family is important for sure, but there’s some lines that ya just don’t cross.”

As the second chorus ended, Dash responded. “I’ll agree with you on that one, AJ. Overall though, I gotta say that I’m really digging this song!”

“So am I!” Twilight said, which earned a surprised look from Rainbow. “There’s so much we’re learning about these aliens from it!”

Dash rolled her eyes in response, then turned her attention back to the device as the singing began again.

“T.V.?” Dash asked a few moments later.

“Whatever it is, you can apparently get the news through it…” Rarity said.

“And what’s a preacher? And a church?” Spike asked.

“I’m not sure what a church is, except that it’s apparently a place that would have money in it,” Twilight responded. “A preacher, however, is a profession sometimes practiced in the Minotaur Kingdoms. It involves knowing and teaching others all about their religion.”

“Religion?” Dash asked.

The song having ended, Twilight turned the Subspace Transceiver off. “Religion is…” She hesitated. “Religion is a very delicate and complicated topic that I wouldn’t feel comfortable explaining off the top of my head. If you’re really interested in it, though, I have some books I could lend you!”

“I think I’ll pass, thanks…” Dash replied.

“Alright then. Suffice it to say that preachers are supposed to be very respectable members of their community, so for one of them to have been caught stealing from whatever a church is is a fairly big deal.” Twilight paused a moment. “Assuming, of course, that these alien preachers are anything at all like minotaur preachers.”

“Hey, Twilight?” Spike asked. “Those things you were talking about earlier, prostitutes and strippers, what are those?”

Pinkie and Dash both put a hoof over their mouth in an attempt to not burst out laughing, Applejack pulled her hat down over her face, and both Fluttershy and Rarity turned as red as Big Mac.

Twilight only began blushing a little. Of course, she had already told Spike about the Birds And The Bees some time ago, but she had kept it all at a very basic level. She had since done her best to keep some of the more risque aspects of it away from him, but it had never occurred to her that the Subspace Transceiver might expose him to such things. Well, there was nothing to be done for it now…

“I’ll tell you about it later tonight, alright Spike?” Twilight said with a forced smile.

Spike gave her a questioning look. “Alright…”

“Anyway,” Twilight said, eager to change the subject, “this song was an absolute treasure trove of information on these aliens!”

“Information that is tentative at best until we hear more, right?” Rarity asked.

“Of course,” Twilight responded.

“I just think it’s so sad that they have to work until the day they die...” Fluttershy said.

“Hmm, yes…” Rarity added. “I have to wonder if they simply have to work so hard just to get by, or if they just value money that highly...”

“Maybe the aliens just really enjoy working?” Applejack said.

“I wonder what the elderly aliens do when they can’t work anymore…” Fluttershy said.

“Maybe the aliens don’t get old,” Dash said. “Maybe they’re all immortal like Princess Celestia and Luna.”

“If they’re all immortal, then how do they ever ‘close their eyes for good’?” AJ responded.

“Hey, there’s a lot of ways to die besides getting old! For all we know their entire planet might be as dangerous as the Everfree Forest!”

“Actually, Dash, the prevalent mindset among most modern scholars is that true immortality doesn’t exist under normal circumstances, so I highly doubt that the aliens are all immortal,” Twilight said.

“Seriously? Then what about Discord and the Princesses?” Dash asked.

Twilight frowned. “Discord, like with a lot of other things, is an exception to the rule. He’s not really an organic being like you and I, or even Celestia and Luna. He’s more of a physical manifestation of an abstract concept. As for Luna and Celestia, there’s still some debate on the topic, but most scholars agree that they’re only extremely long lived, not immortal.”

“Couldn’t they just ask them?” Dash said.

“They have, and even Celestia and Luna themselves aren’t really sure,” Twilight answered with a shrug.

“How can you not know if you’re immortal or not!?” Dash asked incredulously.

Twilight shrugged again. “Well, besides simply growing older, how could you tell the difference between being immortal and extremely long lived?”

Dash opened her mouth to respond, but stopped. She sat there a few moments before simply saying “...Huh.”

“Now, as for Cadence and myself, It’s even harder to say,” Twilight continued. “We both became alicorns via different means, neither of which are the same way that Celestia and Luna ascended. Aside from the obvious changes,” she spread her wings for emphasis, “and the fact that we can now utilize all three types of pony magic, there’s really no telling what kind of long term changes we might experience. Although, I’m personally of the opinion that at the very least, we’ll both have a much longer lifespan due to our increased internal magic levels.”

“So… you’ll probably outlive all of us?” Fluttershy asked.

Twilight, by now in full lecture mode, raised a hoof and opened her mouth to answer before she realized what exactly it was Fluttershy had just asked her. Her ears folded back against her head and her hoof slowly fell back to the ground. Of course, this very thought had already crossed her mind shortly after she had ascended. She knew that both Luna and Celestia had outlived numerous ponies that they had been close to in the past, but the realization that now the same thing might happen to her and her friends had almost caused her to have a breakdown. She had immediately gone to talk to Princess Celestia about it, and that was when she had learned most of what she had just finished telling everypony else.

She had thought about it on and off since then, and she had thought she had mostly come to terms with it. However, now that it was out in the open with the rest of her friends, she wasn't so sure.

"W-well..." Twilight began reluctantly, a slight quavering in her voice. "Assuming that nothing unfortunate happens, then yes, that is somewhat likely..."

"Well that sucks..."

"Shoot, I hadn't thought of that..."

"Oh dear..."

Fluttershy simply looked down at the floor. The only one who didn't look distressed at this revelation was Pinkie Pie, who was casting a critical eye upon everyone else in the room.

"Will... Will you even outlive me?" Spike asked, his lip quivering slightly.

Twilight’s eyes began tearing up, but she did her best to put on a smile anyway. "That's much less likely, Spike. Dragons live a very long time. In fact, before I became an alicorn, you would have outlived me!” She tried to laugh, but it came out as more of a hiccup and her smile faded. “But... Well, if I end up living as long as Celestia, t-then..." She found herself unable to actually finish her thoughts.

Spike, now tearing up as well, simply walked forward and hugged Twilight around her leg. Twilight leaned down and returned the hug. “Spike…”


Twilight and Spike both looked up in surprise at Pinkie Pie, who looked back at them with a slightly disapproving glare which she then turned to everypony else in the room.

“Are we really getting all down in the dumps over something that might happen a really, really long time from now? Come on, cheer up!” She leaped forward and wrapped both Twilight and Spike in a hug. “You’ve got us all here now, and that’s all that really matters, right?”

The rest of her friends all quickly joined in on the group hug, and a smile slowly returned to Twilight’s face. “Y-you’re right, Pinkie. Thanks.”

Pinkie somehow managed to free one of her legs and did a quick salute. “Just doing my job!”

After another few moments, the pony hug pile collapsed.

“I’m sorry for asking that, Twilight…” Fluttershy said.

“No, i-it’s alright, Fluttershy,” Twilight responded while wiping some remaining wetness from her eyes. “It was going to have to get brought up sooner or later, after all.”

“Darling, if you ever want to talk about it some more…” Rarity said.

“I appreciate the offer, Rarity,” Twilight replied, then looked to her side at Spike, who had sat down on the ground and still seemed somewhat depressed. “But I think that right now, I just need to be alone with Spike for a while.”

Rarity looked at Spike as well, and a pained but understanding look crossed her face. “Of course, Twilight. We’ll see you sometime tomorrow, then.”

The rest of their friends all said their goodbyes and departed. Pinkie was the last to leave, and gave Twilight a hard glare. “Are you sure you’re not gonna get all depressed thinking about the future again? Because I’ll know if you do!”

Twilight smiled. “I promise I won’t dwell on it too much. Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.”

Pinkie hmm’d thoughtfully at this, then turned her gaze towards Spike.

Twilight leaned in closer to Pinkie and whispered “Don’t worry, I’ll talk to him about it.”

Pinkie seemed satisfied with that. “Okie dokie lokie! I’ll see you later!” She left and closed the door behind her.

Twilight turned and walked up to Spike, then tucked her legs beneath her as she laid down on the floor next to him. “Twilight? If I was going to outlive you, t-then does… does that mean that I-I’m going to outlive everypony else, too?” he asked while staring down at the ground.

Twilight sighed. She hated seeing him like this, but it was best that he got the truth. “I’m afraid so, Spike. Dragons just naturally live much longer than ponies do. There’s really not much either of us can do about it.”

Spike sniffled and his eyes began watering again. “B-but I don’t want to lose them…”

Twilight wrapped her wing around him to pull him closer and leaned her head down against his. “I know, Spike, I know. I don’t either. But what Pinkie said was absolutely correct. We shouldn’t let the possibility of loss in the future distract us from what we have here and now, in the present.”

Spike rubbed his eyes and took a deep, shuddering breath in an attempt to bring himself under control. “Yeah, I know... but... that’s a lot easier said than done…”

Twilight lay there against Spike for a moment, thinking what to say, when her face suddenly lit up. She lifted her head and looked at him. “I think I know something that might help take your mind off of it...”

He looked up at her questioningly, and Twilight stood and turned to face him. This was going to be extremely awkward for her, but she felt it was worth it.

“Spike, you asked me earlier what strippers and prostitutes were…”

Author's Note:

things will get more positive next chapter, I swear.

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