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Lyra Heartstrings has always known that humans exist, even if none of the other ponies in her life have ever appreciated that fact. But aside from a few enigmatic ancient prophecies and a popular fantasy series, there haven't ever really been any authoritative sources on what humans were really like. Years of discouragement begin to take their toll on Lyra's faith in the strange and wondrous beings with their strange limbs and ways of sitting.

Until one day, when Lyra finds a strange device on the ground outside Ponyville, and it starts talking to her with short messages printed on its tiny screen. So instead of search for the device's proper owner, Lyra takes it home, hoping for the chance to talk to a real human.

Takes place ostensibly in the universe of My Little Apprentice, though very little connection with that story is expected. Familiarity with that story and its sequel are neither expected nor required.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 95 )

Best thing I've read all week! I loved it and the screenshots were a great touch. I can't wait for part 2 so you deserve this like and subscribe! 10/10 this story was brilliantly written with no errors I picked up on, great layout and very clear to read what could have been a confusing story due to the text element involved. Keep up this and you'll make lots of people happy!

Wow, already in the Featured Box? You must feel good about yourself.

Twilight has an apprentice!:rainbowhuh:

Good story. Can u make a sequel, like rob or Lyra falling into a portal and going to the others universe? It would make an interestng read.

Thanks! It really was a pleasure to write. Not sure about when we'll see a part two... I guess that depends on how many people express an interest. At least the part we've seen so far was fun!

Pretty excited, yeah. Not sure if I deserve any credit, though. I'm just lucky to have such a fantastic editing team that stories like this stand even a chance of getting noticed.

That's one of the few references to the other stories I wrote, as per the last line in the summary: "Takes place ostensibly in the universe of My Little Apprentice, though very little connection with that story is expected. Familiarity with that story and its sequel are neither expected nor required."

I mean, I could've written this completely stand-alone, but since I already had my own take on the universe, I thought I might as well use what I already had instead of building something completely new. Although if you read the whole thing, you'll see it's a pretty minor element. I didn't want to make it impossible for people who haven't read those stories to enjoy it.

Thanks! There is a very strong chance of a sequel eventually if there is enough interest to make it worth writing. Or maybe a second part. I guess we'll see.

Great story. I liked it.

A very well-written, sweet little side story. And the ending was just...:fluttercry:

4881788 I'm interested to know how/if they resolve the issue with the battery, though...

It's not bad. Kinda felt like it was leading up to something more, though.

I can't decide that if the Iron Tower knew of this incident if they'd find it humorous or as a cover-up for intelligence operations and respond in kind.

Well, if wasn't a exactly expecting this weird AU communication thing, thought it'd be something else. Still a fun read though.

This warrants another chapter or at least a followup story ^.^

That was a beautiful story.:fluttercry::heart:
You should do another one after the other story finishes.
It would be awesome to read about them getting back in touch with each other or even have them meat face to face.:pinkiehappy:
Lyra and Rob, one playing the lyre and the other playing the piano. That would be awesome.:twilightsmile:
Oh, one last thing! Lyra's mane and tail is a desaturated green with a white strip.:facehoof:

Oops, my bad!:derpytongue2:

I just found out that not only is the other story finished but you wrote it.:facehoof:

This was pretty sweet, even if the ending was sad.
A lovely little read, thank you for that :twilightsmile:

Excellent! Bravo! Good story and it would be nice to see Rob and Lyra meet up. :moustache:

This was surprisingly deep and emotional for Lyra finding a smartphone! Awesome execution, and how does that phone work across dimensions? >.>

"Rob's not even a pony, he's a human! He's just a colt! A kid, I mean...

Human child + internet = FBI agent.

This was a brilliant little fanfic. I went into it thinking it'd be a silly little comedy fic, and that the text messages would end up being a prank on Lyra, or at least not be exactly from the kind of source that she had expected but it instead proved to be much more deeper and potent than that. You end up really feeling for Lyra's situation pretty quickly and become very emotionally attached to the tale, eagerly reading on to see what happens next. The ending was wonderfully crafted and perfect, I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Oddly, even though it's a bit of a sad ending, it cheered me up (who woke up in a very glum mood today). Gave me a kind of heartwarming feeling, y'know?

Anyway, thanks for the excellent read. Perchance one can hope for a follow-up to this sometime in the future? :pinkiehappy:

excellent and heart warming tale it gave me the feels

>the society's central tenant

Tenet. A tenant is someone renting their home.

Very nice. Add me to the list of those hoping for a sequel or a part two.

4884584 Think of it like black holes. I'd imagine that Earth and Equiss probably exist in the same place in their respective dimensions, meaning that data sent can be received by both ends relative to their place and time, but not their place in dimensions.

Either that, or magic.
ahh, magic, the cure-it-all for scientific outliers.

4885421 Science and magic together:
There exists scientific theory for wormholes. The logic is sound, and the math checks out. But it reality, no stable wormholes exist.
Magic is thus only required as a stabilizing agent. Makes sense?

So Lyra gets a phone and starts texting a random human. If she can understand whoever is on the other line, then they must not be using that atrocious shorthand text language we love to use.

But . . . it would be hilarious if Lyra started to believe that "IRL" and "IKR" and "TTYL" are actual words.

Well that's more Lyra's problem then the problem of the owner. I'm sure the one who really owns the thing has the hardware to charge it. They seem to have the transmission of data through the universal shief down to a science, and that's got to take some energy.

Well, it might eventually. I think this story stands on its own, but if another section showed up one day, I wouldn't be surprised.

I think we're all just lucky that they don't know.

Maybe one day! YOu aren't the only one to suggest it, so that's a pretty good indicator that there might be at least a few people who would enjoy it. I'll consider the story a stand-alone thing for the moment, but that doesn't mean we won't see another section.

Indeed I did! And as to your suggestions about hem meeting one day, by no means is that impossible. Eventually. Obviously that doesn't happen in My Little Apprentice, since that story takes place about three years before this one. Buuuuuut...

You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

One daaaaaaaaaay! It's possible, anyway.

Truth is relaying the messages through the little hole between universes Second Chance made when she showed up. He's transmitting radio waves back through to Luna-7. I'm glad it managed to provoke some emotion.

Somebody better warn Lyra.

I love reading a review like this, to see that the story had some level of impact... because when I got the idea, I first thought it would be a little comedy story myself. It hardly sounded like a very serious concept. I even wrote the summary then, the one the story is listed under now, before I wrote the story itself, and tried to capture the sortof wry tone I expected this story to carry. Then I thought I wanted a main character as different from myself as possible, since so many of these Lyra/human stories have this pungent odor of self-insertion about them.

This troubled kid made the story for me, at least in the writing. I think there may very well be some ground to cover for two additional sections, VoIP and IRL. Not a promise, but I'm thinking about them. There was plenty of material I didn't manage to get my hands on before the story was over. So yeah! Thanks for telling me how you felt... it's comments like these that make me want to keep writing!


Thank you! Not sure how this typo slipped past the editors, but it's fixed now!

Alright! One more name! Glad you liked it.

You're exactly right about Earth and Equuis being the same planet, in different universes. That's how I see it, anyway. There are just too many parallels between them. Of course, I go into that in much more detail in that other story I wrote, but it does get touched on a little here.

Also right! I don't go into detail about it much in this story though, since I wanted to keep this as lore-universal as possible. I do that more in the other two stories I wrote, where we actually see magic stabilizing wormholes.

Maybe the English-to-Equestrian translation program automatically filters shorthand and slang into their proper forms. It's hard to imagine a kid not using them otherwise.

Thank you! I can't think of a complement I take more highly than saying the story had an emotional impact. That's like the greatest measure of success I have. Of course I try with longer stories, but... sometimes it's easier with a shorter one. The entire story devoted to a single basic premise. I'm glad it worked. ^^

I used the MLP Wiki for description of Lyra's appearance, which reads:

She has a magic mint coat, brilliant cyan mane and tail with a white streak, sunglow eyes, and a cutie mark of a lyre.


I used the MLP Wiki for description of Lyra's appearance

Ok, I'll give you the win here but considering that the color "cyan" is also referred to as Rainbow Dash's coat color and it looks nothing like Lyra's mane color, you can understand the confutation right.:rainbowhuh:

4886272 Ah, well, I was close. I was more thinking the different dimensions are to effect the same distance as opposite sides of a black hole when it bends space. two sides of an invisible wormhole - technically taking up the same space, but also not.

Sort of like the wormhole theory, but with different dimensions - if a universe and another universe interlay, parallel, all it would take is a very tiny deviation of spacetime - a small bump on the map of space and time, to bend it, and allow it to meld with the other dimension in some way.

4885596 oops! completely missed your reply, but yeah, I guess so. the problem is that magic appears to be, in it's natural form, chaotic. I've always thought Discord to be more a creature of nature, rather than chaos - otherwise he wouldn't have been able to survive his "reformation." friendship, after all, is natural. A stabalising agent.. maybe, under the right circumstances. perhaps the combination of natural magic combined with human technology - electricity having a strange, unicorn-like focusing effect on magic, or some such.

Dat ending!

Me: :raritycry::raritydespair::fluttercry:

You: :trollestia::moustache::yay::rainbowwild:

I can never get enough of Lyra stories like this. It's been a good while since I've been able to enjoy a Lyra story like this in a long while. Thanks for writing this. This is going straight into my fiction vault. I really hope to see more variety like this down the road.

So, is it 10 years before ponies meet humans but 3 years before starting communications with them? Felt like Twilight got her story mixed up a bit. A pinch of clarification there in the story would be nice. It just felt like it was changing to give Lyra a less sad ending.

I admit this story sounds like its due for a sequel, but if necessary it could stand alone as well. its all up to the author.

One thing really annoys me. Why break relativity?

I understand that FTL is often necessary for science fiction, but you don't need it here. It's all within one solar system. Having a preferred reference frame would be like having a preferred orientation. You wouldn't expect that the universe has three directions that are inherently up, forward, and right, and all orientations are relative to that, would you?

My Little Pony does have time travel, so you could claim that relativity exists since it's already a given that causality doesn't, but that's not the impression you give. If a message to Mars is instant when Earth and Mars aren't moving towards or away from each other, then under ideal circumstances, when they're far apart and moving away quickly, the message could arrive around a twentieth of a second before it leaves. If you keep bouncing the message back and forth, you can send a message to when Earth and Mars were last at their closest point of approach. Or you could build another Ansible, and set it up so there's always two moving away from each other, and send messages arbitrarily far back. Or you could just have two, but send one off into deep space. With it constantly moving away, it will be able to relay messages to the past until it runs out of power.

Yeah, I can see how anybody could be confused. I know I was. I stopped writing for nearly ten minutes while I thought about what I would say, eventually only settling on what the wiki told me because at least that way I could have some sort of source I could point to and say "it's not my fault, the wiki did it!"

Well I can't say I took things the way your diagram does here, which shows the same universe with a single hole through it. I did use wormholes, as they penetrate entirely separate yet coterminous universes... yet this is beyond the scope of this story, really. More a topic for the other one. This one is mostly just about Lyra and a cell phone.

Me: ^^

I'll take another look at the times being mentioned just to make sure, though I can't recall any specific ones. See if I can clarify things somehow.

I had to use the ansible mostly because the other stories this references contain FTL communication technology. I just wrote up a huge explanation on how the technology works and behaves, but I realized that information like that is actually beyond the scope of this story, and fits far better in the other ones I wrote, which I based the technology in this one on. Suffice it to say that my invented technology, through entirely fictional means, sends its messages instantly with no duration taken for transmission, so that behavior isn't possible. Messages never travel the distance in-between the two points. Since as you say this technology violates relativity, as this story goes it's basically magic and works according to arbitrary rules dictated by the author.

Sorry that's unsatisfying, but I wrote nearly three pages explaining the actual function of this thing in a more hard-science approach, and that's... really not what I want in the comments of my fun story about Lyra finding a cell phone.

4890413 oh, that image ins't mine. just imagine the same effect, except cut off the 'loop' part of the universe - one black hole, two dimensions.


I figured it was the other stories. Consider it a comment about them. Or do they have a reason to need FTL?

Hah! Well, maybe not now. But it's possible we'll see one.

They do, yeah. It's described in My Little Apprentice, but... a part of the story describes a time in the future where many of the nearby starsystems with habitable planets have been colonized. The technology exists in this story just as a point of continuity between the two. In that far-future time depicted in that other story, Lyra is actually one of the ponies working an Ansible. Small world I guess.

To ease my urge for more I started reading My Little Apprentice :twilightsmile: I'm at the chapter 6 and love it so far!
A little off topic (probably should post it under My Little Apprentice but whatever): I really adore your scientific way of describing magic :heart:
"She felt the energy coursing through Twilight’s horn, an impressive reservoir of non-probabilistic… Particles? Waves? It was hard to tell which when it felt so much like both."
^ I love how you put wave-particle duality of de Brogile in the chapter 5. It's these little things that make the story "scientific" (as scientific as it is possible in the world of MLP anyway).

this has to be the best short one shot I've ever read. Absolutely loved the hell out of it.

Now I have to go read your other fics.

Okay, I'll be honest... this was a well written story and I liked it for the most part, but I don't really see this as a standalone story. What I mean is that as some who hasn't read any of My Little Apprentice, I feel like there's still a lot of the story behind this that I'm missing. I had questions, but they didn't really get answered. Why is there a sci-fi setting when it could have worked just as well with a present day human, especially since the phone is already a modern phone? How could a human phone be able to translate Equestrian? Why was the apprentice texting Rob? Why did he/she just leave the phone on the ground in the middle of texting? How did they even get a human device in the first place? Okay, I get that these questions probably have reasonable answers... I just didn't get them from this one story, so it doesn't feel fully complete and satisfying. Although, there may be a bit of a positive side to this... I'm feeling a bit curious now about the rest of the story. (I may not get around to it though :twilightblush:)

Am I the only one getting a sort of "Ender's Game" vibe from Rob's end of this? And I haven't even read the books. :rainbowhuh:

Also, Lyra wasn't going to get to talk to Rob for much longer anyway- that battery was almost drained.

All of the feels, man.:fluttershysad: Hopefully they can get in touch again after the war.

There were also "best military minds are children who think out of the box"
and Ansilble...
I was thinking for a moment it is communication made by (later with) something like The Game (and rogue selfaware A.I. ) from Battle School with all that "translating", instant replies etc.

First book is the best, others were "meh" IMHO.
Film adaptation was terrible, but comic one was good and even made Ender's Shadow OK.
The comics can be read instead of the books and you wont lose anything.


She had to wonder what he thought about all the strange-sounding things she had said over the years.

and here : "for the last week or so"

Thanks! It sounds like my evil plan is working, muhahaha! I wouldn't pretend to anything like hard science from my stories, but I would be proud to say I bring a scientific perspective to the supernatural aspects of the show. It's not that hard when Twilight already does. Glad you enjoyed the other stuff! I suppose this story can be a gateway drug! ^^

Good luck! Hopefully you find them as entertaining as this was. I know they were as much fun to write, though it's hard to say if that means the story itself will be as fun to read.

By no means will every question be answered by reading this story, as you've learned. Only the core is self-contained, Lyra and her adventures with the phone can stand on their own so long as you don't ask any questions. All of those are answered in MLA and its sequel, should you ever get around to reading them. :scootangel:

You're absolutely right. As advanced as the battery technology seemed to be, it was only a matter of time before it ran down. She seemed to understand that too, focusing entirely on the messaging app to conserve as much power as possible. As to Ender's Game...

Hey, I liked Ender's Shadow! Can't speak for the rest of the shadow series, with all that wandering around and doing stupid things and... I suppose I shouldn't spoil even the books that weren't terribly good. Never read the comics, but I've read the rest of the series... all of it. Except for the Formic Wars. Probably by the end of the week. I digress.

You're not the least-bit wrong to see parallels in that statement. Not that we'll ever see anything like Battle School in this story (or My Little Apprentice that's actually an complete novel with much more information about human civilization). That story has already been written. Still, I couldn't resist dropping some sort of reference, since in principal some of what Battle School did (screening for intelligent and capable children and making sure their abilities aren't wasted) would probably be something that a well-run government would do. That, or maybe they read Card's series too. Plenty of good ideas were in science fiction before they actually happened.

By no means is that impossible. Not sure if it would happen here or in H.D. though.

That was supposed to say "over the last few days." Thanks for pointing that mistake out, it's been fixed!

I've read far more tragic stories before.

...Yet somehow, this was still one of the saddest.
Excellent work, I can't think of anything more deserving of a feature.

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