• Published 24th Apr 2012
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Ponies on Bronies - Ravenmane



Shenanigans return to a familiar house that sits on a hill overlooking the Everfree Forest

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6 - Lyra's Book

Thursday, the day Lyra would be visiting. It seemed so silly to be stuck in a room being interviewed about humans by a unicorn, but there were times on Earth when I wanted to do the opposite. To be perfectly clear, there were some days where I got so bored I wanted to study Pinkie Pie trying to sit still. That could’ve been either a very boring or a very silly study. Personally, I think it would be neither and I’d somehow get a cake out of it.

Just as she said earlier, Twilight intended to keep an eye on our obsessing unicorn. “Keep you long Twilight,” I asked as I came down the clock tower.

“Nope you’re right on time,” she replied cheerfully. I saw the bad pun coming a long ways away; I just had to get it out of her system.

“Feel better now that you got it out there?”

Her cheeks went a little pink. “A little, so where are we going for this interview session?”

“Lyra claimed she wanted to study ‘in my natural habitat,’ so we’re on our way back to my place. I saw Dash while I was cleaning up by the north-facing twelve and relayed it to her.”

*****

“So,” I asked Twilight as we made our way to my house, “what’s the weather supposed to be like over the weekend?”

“Didn’t you ask Rainbow when you saw her earlier?”

“She didn’t give me an answer, did you end up with one?”

“We’re supposed to get rain on Sunday, and I’m busy on Friday.”

“Leaves us Saturday right?”

“Yes, and I was thinking about that. Should we be moving like this?”

“We spent all that time together Twilight, time where we could’ve had more time to ourselves. I don’t mean like you should move in overnight but I think we should make up for some time we could’ve had together.”

“We’re waiting longer until next time,” She replied with a sound finality. “Besides, Lyra’s a little ahead of us and you have to actually have time with Rainbow so you can make your mind up.”

She was right, but I wanted just one day together where we had nothing going on, no problem to solve, no danger to Equestria, just us; together. “I’m not asking for much Twi,” I whispered to her, “I just want one normal day.” She passed me a very curt nod and picked up her pace, getting me to jog after her.

“Care to tell me why Twilight’s here,” asked Lyra. We went over this three times on our way to my house. Each time I tried to avoid the ‘jealous girlfriend’ card.

“Even cut off from Equestria,” Twilight responded nonchalantly, “I still had information I could find. I immersed myself in history books and plenty of fiction.”

“In short if I can’t answer a question then she can,” I added dryly.

“That does make sense,” replied Lyra as we neared the front door. “So, can either of you explain why she’s here?” She jabbed her hoof at the eagerly waiting cyan pegasus.

Twilight and I exchanged looks, but didn’t say anything. Whatever we said would make us sound guilty, even if what we said was nothing.

*****

Lyra had brought notebooks, quills, ink, and parchment with her, nearly enough to burst her saddlebags. For now, we just sat in the living room. Twilight and Rainbow found their normal seats on the couch while Lyra and I both took a seat. You see her sit that way in the show and you go ‘Lyra sits like a human.’ However, when you sit across a table from her, you think ‘that takes a lot of practice.’

“Where would you like to begin Lyra,” I asked.

“Let’s start with you in general Alex.” She sounded authoritative at least. “Tell me a little bit about yourself.”

“Well, my name is Alexander. I’m the middle kid of a three child family and both my younger brother and older sister served in the army of the nation I come from. My parents both died due to chronic illness and I graduated from a good school about two years ago.”

“Is your family about average size?”

“Human families vary in size, but the most common that I know of are one to four children with one or two children being the more frequent of them.”

“Both of your parents died from the same illness?”

“No, my mother had lung cancer. She managed to survive long enough to see me graduate from college, but not much longer. My father died shortly after her, due to complications related to his multiple sclerosis.”

“Care to explain?”

“Rather not, it’s a touchy subject.”

I’m not sure if Lyra caught up on it, but Twilight and Rainbow had. I never really touched on the subject when they were on Earth. I said they were dead and that was all I felt like saying.

“Alright,” Lyra resumed. “What about your brother and sister? You said they were part of the army right?”

“My sister was. She died in Iraq, a different nation than the one I’m from. My brother was still on active duty when I left. We could’ve parted ways on better terms.”

“Are you willing to explain that?”

“Well, I was transported, house and all, to Equestria and never said good bye.”

“Well,” interjected Twilight, “there isn’t much we can do about that right?”

“Wait a second,” interrupted Lyra. “Are you and Twilight close? I mean I hope I know you half as well as I think I do Twilight.”

“There’s more to it than that,” Twilight quickly responded as I went red. “I was the one who offered to bring him back, repeatedly actually, but that was my offer. If anything, Rainbow confessed first!”

“Yeah,” added the daredevil proudly, “you should’ve seen the look she gave me when I said it too.”

There were gears turning in Lyra’s head, nopony could argue to the contrary, but I was wondering if they were ‘jealous gears’ or ‘drama gears’ whirling about. There was a good poker face coating that obsession. Lyra was still writing as we all talked about everything.

“How about we move on,” I asked.

“Okay then,” replied Lyra. “This house isn’t average is it?”

“No, it’s a Victorian house and it’s rather old, passed down through the family. Three floors and I think it originally had three bedrooms. I’m from a well off family so I have what some would consider ‘nice things’ but I don’t like to flaunt it. But back to your question, I don’t really think there is such a thing as an average human house.”

“Did you live in a town or a city?”

“I lived on the outskirts a city; I liked the privacy my home gave me. It also added to everyone’s concept of being the spoiled rich kid or eccentric loner. A misconception for the most part, I was a bit eccentric. If you’re willing to quote Pinkie she said it made me interesting, in a good way.”

“Yeah,” added Rainbow as she rolled her eyes, “claimed it gave you an ‘air of mystery’ or something like that. I think she was trying to compare you to Wayne or some other fictional rich guy.”

Lyra nodded absentmindedly. “And the normal means of travel for humans?”

“Vehicles that ran on an internal combustion engine called cars.”

Twilight got up. “I’ll get you some resources on them Lyra,” she said calmly.

“Thanks Twilight,” I said with a smile.

Lyra waited until she was out of earshot to speak up next. “How do you feel about dating outside of your species?”

I noticed the hopeful look from Rainbow and tried to feign ignorance of it. “All I’ll say on the subject is I’m content and I better be since I’m not on Earth anymore. That would mean that you shouldn’t be prying for something deeper. On a different note, how did you learn to sit like that?”

“Well, it wasn’t easy. One of my early theories about humans wasn’t even about humans at first. I was wondering about maximizing space on a bench. I tried to figure it out, and in doing so learned to sit like this.”

“Twilight told us you were kicked out of school for your theories about humans,” Rainbow asked, “care to comment?”

“That’s right, I had next to no evidence and what I had was circumstantial at best. Despite that complication, I’m still pretty smart. I did get accepted into the most prestigious academy in Canterlot after all. Speaking of, I saw you were in the newspaper.”

“Nobody sought you out to get an interview Lyra? I mean the papers all said you refused to comment but-”

“Well, I told them to find something else to occupy their time. I wasn’t going to go to the media without your support on it Alex.”

“Don’t release anything until you have a solid manuscript. I want to keep the media out of the loop for as long as possible.” As I spoke with a powerful degree of assertion, Twilight returned with several books for Lyra.

“I also brought a few books about other means of transportation: airplanes, boats, trains, and I even found a book with a little about magnetic monorail trains.”

I was impressed; I had a book that had monorails in it. How could I never know this until now? “Where did you find the monorail book?”

“I found that segment in this science book,” she showed me a thick natural science textbook, one I think I had in college for a filler science course. “In the chapter about magnetic fields to be exact, there’s a lot of curious things in here Lyra.”

Lyra smiled as she took the book from Twilight and idly flipped through the pages. “Would either of you two care to elaborate on magnets? No offense Rainbow, but they’re the brains right?”

Lyra only received a noncommittal shrug from the pegasus.

I chuckled. “I’ll take a crack at the basics if you don’t mind Twilight?” She gladly abdicated the stage to me. “Magnets are objects that produce, as Twilight stated, magnetic fields. These fields attract ferrous metals, like iron.” I got up, “let me get you a simple one.” I left for the kitchen and brought back a magnet from the side of the refrigerator. While normally a magnet like this would be found in a grade school classroom, I used it like a fridge magnet. I also grabbed a few coins and paperclips to help demonstrate.

“…trying to rush a relationship,” I heard Twilight say as I returned.

“He’s head over hooves for both of you,” Lyra replied casually. “I think he’s guilty for not saying something sooner.”

“Well I-” Twilight started.

“You two talk like this back in school,” I interrupted.

“Not really,” Lyra said offhoofidly. “There were moments though, getting to lectures early and just chatting.”

“Yes,” Twilight admitted. “Lyra was studying a bunch of different things, but we shared some common interests. In the sciences really, but she was focusing on social sciences and…”

“Twilight was studying every science,” Lyra finished. “We had a few lectures together and talked mostly about previous lectures, compared notes, quizzed each other, and even helped write each other’s essays.”

Twilight nodded. “Lyra had good information but could never cite anything properly.”

“And Twilight had great citations but a ton of resources,” Lyra added. “I had to teach her to cut back on the sources and some detail. ‘Our professors know a thing or two about their subject’ I told her a lot.”

“And I always had to remind her that ‘the Princess is counting on me to do my best,’ I always thought I had to be perfect so I overdid it a lot.”

“Wait, so you were always real fixated on every detail Twilight,” Rainbow asked as she tried to return to the conversation.

Lyra simply rolled her eyes. “She’s Princess Celestia’s prized student. She’s always had to stress that she doesn’t want to let the princess consider her unworthy of teaching.”

“I get it,” I said before returning to my seat. “Okay, I have a magnet here. It’s just a simple one, but not the most simplistic one I’ve seen. I don’t have normal fridge magnets.”

I set the coins on the table and Lyra paid close attention. “And those are?”

“Not all of these are magnetic and we can go into currency some other time if that’s okay with you.” Lyra nodded and let me continue. “Pennies,” I pointed out one of the copper coins, “have a copper exterior and a zinc core; both the copper and zinc have very weak magnetic properties so they aren’t great for really weak magnets. Iron is the best example but a lot of metals have some magnetic properties. These paperclips are mostly iron so you’ll find they’re drawn to the magnet.”

Lyra paid close attention as I brought the magnet close and the paperclips soared right to it, once it was brought close enough. “Can you go into more detail for me?”

“Well, I’m no real expert on magnetism and I don’t pretend to be a scientist or anything. I’m more of a computer person anyways. That doesn’t mean I don’t use magnets though. Actually, I use magnets without really being aware of it Lyra.”

“Got it,” Twilight said as she darted back upstairs.

“She’s going to get you a basic computer book,” I explained.

“It’s probably really dated,” added Rainbow.

Lyra didn’t seem to be paying attention after she took the magnet from me and was just pulling the paperclips away and letting them slide back to the magnet. “This is so weird,” she said absently. I just smiled and watched her simplistic fascination.

Once Twilight returned with the book, she began staring at Rainbow and I staring at Lyra with the magnet. “She’s lost her train of thought hasn’t she?”

“That would be a safe assumption Twilight,” I said.

“She might be like that for a while,” Rainbow added.

*****

The three of us sat there waiting for the curious unicorn to get bored, but it took hours even with us trying to get her attention. I mean, it wasn’t like magnets are completely alien. For pony’s sake, any compass would have one.

“I’m sorry,” she said shyly. “Let’s see if I have anything else I’d like to ask today.” She flipped through a few pages of parchment. “Ah, how big are human cities and towns?”

The question gave me pause. I never really thought about things like that. “I think population density has more to do with the definition and differences between the two. Cities are more closely packed together, with high-rise apartment structures, while towns are usually a small downtown area with most residential areas thinning out as you go further away from the downtown area. Another part of it could be the amount of activity in the place, but I really wasn’t that great at things like demographics.”

Despite looking defeated, Lyra nodded and closed her notebook. “Thank you very much for this opportunity. If you don’t mind, I’d like to meet with you every other Thursday like this and get more information.”

“I don’t think that’ll be a problem Lyra, thank you for visiting.” After helping her get everything in her saddlebags, new books replacing everything she couldn’t use, I showed her to the door.

“I’ll swing by a little later on for everything else Alex,” she said before giving me a wave and heading back towards town.

“I think we need to sit down and have a little talk now,” said Twilight from behind me.

“Agreed,” added Rainbow sharply.

I closed the door and nodded. This might get a little messy, I thought.

*****

We all returned to our respective seats and I waited for what they had to say.

“I think Lyra has a better grasp of our relationship than any of us,” Twilight said calmly.

“What was everything she said?”

“Well, she told us that you’re head over hooves for us.”

“Yeah,” interrupted Rainbow, “Twilight and I also had a little chat about how we feel about you a couple days ago.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Well I… you know I want this to work. I don’t want to seriously hurt anyone’s feelings.” Just how much social sciences did that girl go through, I thought.

They just stared at me, trying to get a fix on my attitude.

I got up and sat between them. “It’ll be okay.” I pulled them both in tightly. “I promise I’ll do everything I can to make it okay. Can you both do the same?”

Twilight nodded and returned my hug. “I’ll try my hardest,” she said with a sniffle.

“How about a little less than your hardest,” Rainbow added as she also draped her forelegs around me. “We don’t want a repeat of anything now do we?”

“Alex,” Twilight whispered to me, “library, ten o’clock.” She broke our embrace and, flushed face aside, left.

I looked over to the clock and leaned back with a groan.

“Friday’s going to last forever isn’t it,” asked Rainbow as she leaned in enough to knock me onto my side.

“Think you’ll be doing anything after work?”

“I think I could pencil you in between naps Al.” Despite how serious she tried to sound, she looked like she was losing the fight to keep a straight face. “I’ll swing by the tower around one alright?”

“Sounds great,” I told her. I was just happy I could at least weasel time in with both of them over the weekend.