• Published 6th Apr 2012
  • 7,127 Views, 260 Comments

Equestria Trek: First Contact - MetBoy



A Starfleet ship discovers that the Orion Syndicate is enslaving ponies & her commander decides to do a good deed and return Rainbow Dash home. Things don’t go smoothly for the USS Judges, but what they find is one of their biggest discover

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Responses and Reactions (2 of 2)

While it had been over a year since Spike last saw this happen, he was familiar with the phenomenon. Twilight Sparkle was going into an Obsessive Studying Fit. She couldn’t be stopped in her single-minded pursuit of her topic, particularly when she had been directly ordered by Celestia to study this new topic; she could not bear the thought of failure. Spike’s responsibility in a time like this was to make sure that Twilight got around to everything else on her daily lists, and didn’t hurt herself in the process.

Each day began with dragging Twilight out of bed, and making sure she at least washed her face before leaving the library that was her home. Despite the difficulty of the first task (owing to how late she would stay up reading) Spike had found that combining it with the second task was contraindicated in any but the most extreme urgencies.

Once out the door, Twilight’s first stop was usually the town hall, where she would meet with the Mayor. As Winter Wrap-Up organizer, Twilight Sparkle played a big role in developing Ponyville’s disaster response plans. These wound up as checklists, starting with the checklists for figuring out what response checklist they needed to be using, then the notification checklists (preliminary and mobilization) then the checklists of what they might need to do.

With the meeting done, Spike would return to the library under a load of checklists needing to be copied and filed for easy access. At the same time, Twilight Sparkle would head to Carousel Boutique to consult with Rarity on the requirements of the next round of experiments. For the first rounds, these involved wearable equipment that would record the magic a pony was using. While these meetings were intended to be only a hour, they slipped into two or three, as the unicorn ponies’ mutual interest washed away their sense of time, and even when Spike showed up, he was often too entranced with Rarity to cut the meeting short.

On the other hoof, Rarity was less inclined to ignore the details of things. Details including the needs of daily life, among which regular meals ranked high. Twilight’s passionate energy for her studies and Princess Celestia’s assignment was forced into retreat by Rarity’s insistence that she take the studious unicorn out to one of Ponyville’s better restaurants for lunch.

Not that the Champion of Generosity had to worry about anything as crass as paying for her meals these days. Between the drive of all ponies to help their fellows and Princess Celestia’s Royal Decree, the entire population of Ponyville was eager to help in whatever ways they could. While only a few had the skills and specialized knowledge needed to help unlock the Lost Formulas, nearly the entire population was able to help with the experiments, and if only a small number were needed, the rest could do their parts to make sure that the necessities of life were not neglected. Sugar Cube Corner sent over a box of treats each day, calling them a “regular ration of smiles,” to be shared by researchers and experimenters alike. Spike had found that they were a useful way of determining when they should stop for the day.

Foremost among those in desire to help were the Cutie Mark Crusaders, lead by Scootaloo, the young pegasus driven by a need to help Rainbow Dash however she could. Applebloom was proving useful at setting up some of the hardware they needed. Sweetie Belle looked over the numbers from the trials.

The first days of testing were focused on confirming the models of Starswirl’s theories when it came to pegasus and earth pony magic. The volunteers wore vests studded with equipment that tracked what they did, as they did it. It was with surprising speed that the ideas were proved in action. Ditzy Doo’s failed attempt to perform Rainbow Dash’s famous Buccaneer Blaze had, just by itself, confirmed over a third of the Lost Formulas.

And honestly, they were going to need to clear those trees out sooner or later ANYWAY. It was a pity about the noodles.

The next rounds of experiments were dedicated to duplicating the effects under controlled conditions. Many eggs were broken in attempts to mimic the way pegasus ponies could stop so quickly without harm.

However, these experiments required less input from other ponies; giving out sensor vests would have been discontinued if Rarity hadn’t decided it would be a good way to let others feel they were helping. She didn’t expect that the logs from the ponies putting up the new housing would reveal a previously unsuspected application of earth pony magic.

Once Celestia’s sun was too low to provide light for experimentation, Twilight Sparkle and Spike would take the day’s results back to the library, where they would look them over, crunching the numbers to find patterns, testing theories against observations. Twilight would work late into the night, until she fell asleep under a book.

---=={***}==---

Just as Ponyville had turned out to support Twilight Sparkle and Rarity, Equestria was turning out to support Ponyville. The first to arrive were members of the extended Apple Family, there to help tend to the farm while Applejack searched and Big Macintosh helped Twilight. Others came in to help with the other farms, followed by weather ponies to fill Rainbow Dash’s gap, and animal caretakers to make sure Fluttershy’s animal friends were tended to.

---=={***}==---

Twilight Sparkle wasn’t the only one looking at the Lost Formulas.

Big Macintosh put down the chalk and took two steps back from the chalkboard, wanting to review what he had written before announcing his conclusion. He had a gift for what his sister called ‘fancy mathematics’ that went untapped most of the time, but that was turning out to be useful when thinking about advanced physics. At the moment he was looking at how mass caused space to bend, and how pegasus magic could cause space to unbend in ways that let them ignore gravity and inertia, allowing amazing stunts like when Rainbow Dash saved Rarity and the Wonderbolts at the Best Young Flyer Competition.

“Miss Sparkle, would you take a look at this?” he asked.

The lavender unicorn looked up from a sketch of Pinkie Pie’s flying machine. “Hmm? Let’s see... you’re looking at pegasus ‘unbending’” she muttered, using the words to change mental gears. She skimmed the lines of equations. “Unbending past the zero point,” she murmured. She came to a sudden halt when she reached the conclusion. She quickly looked over the formulas, looking for the zero divide, or other error that could have snuck in, that had to be there to take Macintosh to that place. When it didn’t reveal itself Twilight Sparkle started again from the beginning, carefully following the math and the logic. “But... that can’t be right? Can it? That shouldn’t be possible.”

“I reckon it’s the sort of thing the Princess wants us to look into,” the farmer said, before picking up the chalk to underline his conclusion.

If e > 1.21gW/m^3, then v > c

---=={***}==---

Most of the ‘application’ experiments occurred at Sweet Apple Acres, being far enough from Ponyville to be safe, close enough to be convenient, and with enough lumber and hardware there to set up the apparatus needed. A disused barn was chosen for the work, being sound enough to work in, but run down enough that no one would mind if they burned it down.

Today it seemed that safety was the most important concern, as the gem-studded array of planks overheated, smoke billowing from the wood. Twilight Sparkle was the first to escape the barn, followed moments later by Rarity, Spike, Applebloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle.

“And we were getting SO close!” Twilight moaned, as the others finished coughing and shaking off the soot.

With a final disdainful flip of her mane, Rarity snapped out the last of the visible soot. “Close? My dear, did you see the way the image of the test pattern distorted? We did it!” The alabaster unicorn’s smug smile slipped as she saw the expression on her lavender friend’s face. “Oh Twilight, it was just a little setback. There’s no sense crying over every mistake. Just keep on trying until we run out of-”

As she spoke, Rarity’s eyes wandered over to the little cart that held their provisions, and stopped as she noticed the empty plate. Her eyes flicked over to the three fillies, still smudged with soot, but as each in turn noticed Rarity’s expression, they assumed expressions of angelic innocence, ruined by the crumbs, frosting, and sprinkles that had managed to cling to their muzzles.

Rarity’s tone dropped from encouraging to resigned as she finished the sentence. “-cupcakes.”

Twilight heaved a sigh, Rarity’s words having taken her over the crash of failure. “No, we’re not going to try again today. You’re right, we are on the correct approach, but we need to re-think the hardware. Maybe metal can handle the energy bleed, or a spell to disperse it...” Twilight Sparkle trailed off into musings, beginning to amble off.

“Twilight, I’ll finish cleaning up here,” Spike said. “And meet you at home later.”

Twilight responded to her assistant with a nod.

---=={***}==---

“Sister! Sister!” Luna’s voice was filled with excitement and joy as she raced to the balcony on which Celestia stood. “The Champion of Loyalty has re-“

Princess Luna broke off as she realized her sister wasn’t paying attention. Instead the solar alicorn was watching the afternoon sky. Even against the blue of day the bright flashes were visible.

Luna focused her own vision, looking past the scattering of sunlight in the atmosphere into orbit. “Sister... is there anything we can do?” Luna asked.

“What can the mouse do, when titans wage war, but hope to escape a wrathful eye?” Princess Celestia responded, her voice half resigned. “But there may be a chance- yes!”

The last word was a hiss, as Celestia’s horn blazed.

A huge flash of light, greater than all others combined, outshone the sun for a second, Celestia staggering in response.

“A chance,” Celestia whispered to her sister, the first true smile returning to her face after many long days.

---=={***}==---

“Twitchy-twitch!”

The two words were enough to put the entire search party on alert, looking around for local threats. The first time they had encountered the phenomenon Celestia’s guards had been confused. Applejack, more familiar with Pinkie Pie’s mysterious ways, was able to tackle the pegasus guard in time, avoiding the falling rock.

An explanation followed, and even if many in the search party were not satisfied with Pinkie Pie’s explanation that the feelings ‘just happened’ they were able to accept that the Pinkie Sense gave real insight into coming events. After all, it seemed no odder than what happened the night prior, when Pinkie had pulled from her saddlebags in one smooth motion a perfect cake (with personalized message in frosting), inflated balloons, and a blast of confetti, all to celebrate Sergeant Bulwark’s birthday. (The Sergeant, having been in the process of resigning himself to the way the current crisis had preempted any party, was deeply touched by Pinkie Pie’s gesture.)

The warning from the Champion of Laughter made the guards turn their attention from the lights flashing in the day sky to their immediate surroundings. The search party was standing on a grassy swell, that was located in a hanging valley, that was, in turn, nestled in one of mountains that made up the rugged range that formed the loosely defined border region between the Griffin and Pony kingdoms. This far from either the Pony metropolises of Canterlot, Manehatten, or Fillydelphia to the south, or the Griffin City-States to the north, the region was not ruled, but inhabited by monsters, roaming griffin tribes, and independent pony mining towns.

This particular valley had a spectacular view of the northern half of the nation of Equestria; it was easy to see the mountain-side towers of Canterlot, and a sharp eye could spot Ponyville, up against the wilderness of the northwest.

This part of the valley was also devoid of overhanging rocks, or trees with limbs that might fall. Some of the guards eyed the muddy brook that ran through the valley, wondering if one of their party was going to fall into it, but Applejack didn’t. That would have been signaled by Pinkie’s ears flopping.

Pinkie Pie was paying attention to her tail all a-twitchin’. “Twitchy-twitch! Twitchy twitcha twitcha twa ahh. aahh.” Pinkie Pie’s mouth hung open as she saw what was falling, her mind momentarily stalled as she tried to comprehend what she was seeing.

The rest of the search party turned to watch it, slowly spreading across the individuals.

Even in the extreme distance they could tell it was huge, at least the size of the stolen Weather Factory’s central workshop building. It was falling quickly, only their distance from it keeping them from hearing it whistling. It was grey, with parts glowing red, and blue flashes around the whole. It was falling apart; as they watched, small flecks tumbled away.

Now noise did arrive, but not from the falling object. Instead, it was much closer, as three clouds of sparkles began to form, one after another, near the search party.

“Teleport sign!” Sergeant Bulwark called out. The rest of the guardponies reacted quickly, surrounding the three pillars of blue lights with weapons, spears, swords, and wing-mounted blades, at the ready.

So when Lieutenant Commander Raat, Lieutenant Bindalla, and Ensign Oasis fully materialized, it was to be faced with stern pony faces, and pointy objects held by hooves, mouths, wings, and telekinetic control. Not that Pinkie Pie noticed the guards’ caution.

“Ooo, here comes a combo; ear flop, then knee twitch, then eye flutter,” Pinkie Pie said, ignoring both the Solar Guard and their captives, peering south, towards Ponyville.

---=={***}==---

Like many others in Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle was watching the fall of the U.S.S. Judges in a mix of fear, wonder, and awe. The timing had caught her on the path from Sweet Apple Acres and the town proper. Part of her mind was thinking that the object, whatever it was, was probably going to hit close by, possibly in the Froggy Bottom Bog- mostly; as she watched, an explosion rocked the thing, sending a large fragment tumbling away from the rest. Another part of her mind was frozen. She had made so many plans, so many checklists showing what she should be doing, but how did she decide WHICH one to use?

It was in this mood of paralysis that the unicorn heard her name being called out, the Doppler Effect shifting the voice up telling her who it was even as she turned her head in disbelief.

“Twilight!”

“Huh? RAINBOW DASH!? What is going-”

“I’ll explain later, we need to help the people on that ship, now,” Dash shouted, pointing one hoof at the fireball.

Twilight Sparkle blinked.

Okay, they needed to provide a search and rescue effort, to a place closer than the next town over. As she thought about it, that light show had probably been some sort of fight or accident or something but Dash said it was a ship. Thinking about it, that meant lots of ponies- (wait, that was an unfounded assumption, but if Rainbow Dash thought they were worth helping they were probably nice, call them people then) needing help.

She nodded. “Right. Emergency response plan Six stroke bee.”

Rainbow Dash gave the Champion of Magic a level, nonplussed look. “Did you just state that you had a plan for THIS?” she asked, one eyebrow risen.

“Well, not THIS specifically, but general plans for certain responses,” Twilight admitted.

Dash groaned, facehooving to cover her smile. “Twilight... I don’t know what to say. Th-”

The pegasus broke off mid-word as she was tackled by an orange and purple blur. The impact was not enough to knock her down, the blob resolving into a pegasus filly, clinging to her side, the filly’s eyes screwed shut.

Rainbow Dash was momentarily speechless, but managed a cheerful, “Good to see you again too, Squirt.”

“I- I thought... you were...” Scootaloo stuttered out.

“Hey, I’d never let those uncool aliens keep me from coming back,” Dash said, looking at her biggest fan.

Biggest fan... maybe...

“But dry those eyes, ‘cuz it’s time for us to be awesome! And I need you to be awesome too.”

Scootaloo gasped, as Rainbow Dash turned to Twilight Sparkle.

The Champion of Magic nodded to the Champion of Loyalty, then to Scootaloo. “I need someone to go to the City Hall and tell the Mayor we’re activating 6/B, then go to the Post Office and tell them we need to fully mobilize the town.”

“Think you can handle that?” Rainbow Dash asked the filly still holding onto her flank.

Scootaloo’s expression cleared, releasing her hero so she could zip into a rigid standing pose, one forehoof raised to her brow in a salute, her eyes hardened with determination. “YES, MA’AM!”

“Then go, and make me proud,” Dash commanded.

An orange and purple blur streaked away.

The weathermare turned back to the scholar, a confidant grin on her face. “While she gets the word out, and you get everypony ready, I’ll go find where the ship crashed,” Dash told her.

“We’ll be gathered in the Town Square,” Twilight told her, then looked past Dash to the path to the farm as a set of voices made themselves heard.

“Dash!”

“Rainbow!”

“Darling, it IS you!”

“Twilight, did you see- Dash?!”

Rainbow Dash could only smile as she watched Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, Rarity, and Spike approaching her, the ponies at a gallop and the dragon on Rarity’s back.

“Oh, it is just so good to be back,” Rainbow Dash said.

---=={***}==---

Author's Notes below in comments.