• Member Since 27th Nov, 2011
  • offline last seen March 10th


Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.


On a journey to a place seven hundred fifty million miles away, Twilight yearns for home.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 61 )

I want more

Kind of sad that it says complete.

All of my yes.

I liked the pacing! The ending turned out great!

Why are there no long-range communications happening? It would keep twilight in a better state if interesting one-way messages were being tight-beamed out, like the latest scientific journals!

Is the Luna traveling faster than the speed of light?!

Might be I'm cruel, but I always like to hear that when I write short stories :raritywink:

Since she can see the light of the nearby star I doubt she's traveling in FTL. Plus I don't think you really slingshot during superluminal speeds. But just how fast is Twilight going? Let's use maths!

If Eranin Four is her final destination, two light-hours places the distance at 2.1585057 × 10^9 kilometers (that's a hair over two billion). 1261 days is 30,264 hours, so her actual speed (assuming a constant rate) is ~66,000 km/hour (18.36 km/second), or ~41,000 mph for us Americans.

So not FTL, but she's hauling ass. For context, a list of a few local escape velocities.

Now, we know the expected one way trip is 5 years, or 1825 days. So we can tell she's fairly early along in her journey. She's only been gone for about 18 months. Knowing she's so early in is kind of sad, actually.

I know that MLP:FIM happens in another universe, but in our universe, 750 million miles barely gets one to Saturn.

That's the idea

The fastest speed achieved by a manned spaceship was 39,897 km/h by Apollo 10. Considering the Luna has been on its voyage for roughly two years, likely coasting most of the way, its speed has been around 750,000,000 miles / (8765.81 * 2) (the # of hours in 2 years) = 42780 km/h, just above the top speed of Apollo 10.

In hindsight, "Eranin Four" probably would have had an actual name like the planets in our system, considering how close it would be to Equestria.


Twilight Sparkle is on her way to a place 7.5*10^8 miles away. 2 light hours have 1.3*10^9 miles. Your numbers are inconsistent. Maybe, Equestria uses hours of different length, different miles, and the speed of light is different in that universe. Maybe Celestia gave the path-length along the orbit instead of the absolute distance.

Thanks to your replies, it is now certain that this is primarily a publicity mission as their space program would have had satellites investigating the planet of Eranin 4 with extreme detail.

A possible science reason would be for Twilight to do in-person testing of the planetary magical field during the slingshot maneuver.

The only possible way that this could be extra-planetary would be if the Sun was given the official name of Eranin.

The only possible way this mission is extra-solar would be if that universe's stars are naturally tinier and weaker and closer together.

How advanced is equestrian technology? How advanced is their neurological understanding? Surely they would have discovered a safe way to cryo-sleep or enter suspended animation for most of the trip?! What about entertainment systems? Can Twilight even use magic? Twilight did not interact with anything! Either CelestiaAI or Spikebot handled any actual handling!
Twilight still has magic in space!

Twilight levitated a spoonful of the cereal into her mouth. “Now I know there were never any cigarettes on board,” she said, cheeks puffed up with cereal. “Celestia would have never allowed it.”

(Unless this is an author error?)

This opens up a load of plot holes that would actually detract from the story if addressed by the story! Magical cryo sleep isn't fun to write about, and FTL communication would retract the emotional impact, etc.

woops I did 750 million kilometers instead of miles

so I guess take that speed and multiply it by 1.6


2 light-hours have 2.2*10^KM. The Group “It’s For Science” exists entirely for answering scientific questions:

“It’s For Science”

I just realized how twilight will handle the pressure of deep space travel!!!

Twilight is gonna try to make an AI of herself! She's got all the time in the world to learn how to program an AI, and has Celestia's and Spike's source code to fork then use as a template, as well as on board medical scanning equipment to better model her own mental activity to code into her virtual self!

You're getting the numbers mixed up. She's 2 light-hours away from Eranin Four. She's not going to Eranin Four and she didn't come from Eranin Four, the fact they're flying almost orthogonal to it means they're passing by it (far away from it).

Twilight wants to know when they are closest so she can "star gaze" at the planet, essentially. The time they'll be closest to it is when their flight path becomes orthogonal to it.

Not so many space fics on this website. It feels good to see another. :twilightsmile:


I figured that this is a flyby-mission like the Manned Venus Flyby, we could have done with Apollo-Hardware in 1973. If she will be no closer than light-hours, it is doubtful that her instruments could do better than ground/space-based telescopes could do.

Comment posted by bep deleted Feb 15th, 2015

More, please? If it's okay with you, that is... :fluttercry:

Interesting story and concept. Though there are a few things I question being in space (granite counter,) as well as how big this ship is.

I was wondering that too. She's going fast by the standards of our spacecraft, but she's practically crawling relative to the speed of light. I'm surprised there aren't any communication links. One-way wouldn't be that difficult if they're able to do manned (ponied?) interplanetary flight, and even if it requires quite a lot of power, being able to go two-way for an hour every month would surely have huge mental health benefits.

I'm reminded of the Twilight Zone episode "Where is Everybody?"

are you implying that there are at least 2 different stars in the radius of 0,15 light years from equestria?

I thought this was taking a very dark turn at first when Celestia paused at the return journey question. It's still an open question, I suppose, but there was the instant vibe of 'Something went wrong. Twilight isn't going home'

There seems to be a serious issue with this story.

It's marked as complete. :raritydespair:

/more please?
//this just begs for a continuation :moustache:

Well, that was very good. Like, real good.


I got that as well, it seemed like... an off response.

Would love to see a sequel to this... maybe an ending? But it also works well as a standalone piece.

Nope, just the one. The idea is that Eranin is the system Equestria is in. I felt like if I referred to it as 'sun' it would have caused more confusion.

Alternate Universe, alternate galaxy, right? :rainbowlaugh:

I dunno, isn't talking to yourself one of the first signs of insanity? I talk to myself all the time, so there's the proof for that one.

Please make another chapter that was a tear jerker I cried till the start to the end IT WAS REALLY REALLY A TEAR JERKER!

5634290 that makes sense. now that i think of it, twilight is propably heading to a planet on the outer part of Eranin system.. (something like Pluto)

That was nice, but the idea of sending someone off alone like that seems cruel. Surely they could have had a second person on the flight. Oh well.

With it being 10 years, I think storage/supplies is a concern. The idea is that Spike is meant to be that companion, hence the advanced personable A.I.


"Operations, Tower Tracking - I have a track bearing 030, distance .25 AU, speed sublight."
"Operations aye."

"Blue Wolf to T-Track, do you have a ID?

"Stand by Captain....Ion sublight drive, object approximately 200 feet in length, titanium alloy hull grade E6.....configuration and transponder looks Equestrian sir. Beacon identifies it as the Luna. Current trajectory puts it on course for orbital insertion of a planet on that bearing, distance two standard light-hours. All systems appear functioning, one lifeform and four automated units aboard.

"Hmm...bit of a long trek for a single crew - I think we could speed that up a little wouldn't you say?"

"Object remaining on course, speed unchanged.... I don't think it's scanned us yet sir"

"Alright....helm, put us on a parallel course and bring her alongside. Communications, see if you can establish an interface with their computer and get their attention. Operations, ready tractor beams....Let's go introduce ourselves to the locals..."

"Aye sir....altering course, increasing to 0.95 sublight. Interception in three minutes...."


5630312 I believe the response was more to keep from reminding Twilight that she still had about 8 years left in her journey, so that she wouldn't get too depressed.

This was pretty good.

I wrote a review of this story.

And I really need to start making badges.

Have a safe journey there and back again. God Speed

That was great.

I like this universe. A lot. Will there be any more stories in it? (When Twilight comes home, perhaps?)

No plans to. It's just a short story set in a wondrous setting. It was written on a day when I was waiting for my editor to finish up the first arc of a fantasy adventure I've been working on. A first arc implies a second will need writing, and I've also foolishly started on a short multichapter fic alongside that, so... schedule is packed. :twilightblush:

5646090 Ah, alright. Maybe when you finish those?

:fluttercry: Sad really I cried hard

Read this a while ago, a sad little tale. And one that makes me think sending one girl out into space alone has got to have been thought up by some crazy pony in a backroom lab. You send a team or people go nuts!

But what if you're talking to a copy of yourself?

I'm rather left wondering what the point of this mission is...

If all she's going to do is rapidly loop around the outer planet and head back... that seems an awfully long waste of time to accomplish nothing more than could be tested in close orbit, allowing for rescue if something went wrong or cessation of the experiment if the solitary existence proved too much.

Once she's out there... 10 years with no help available... seems quite a risk with absolutely no sense that there's a reward or purpose to this journey.

Any propulsion system or study of this distant planet could be more safely done with probes. And the study could last much longer as the probe could sit in orbit for years. Given the distance, this planet is a Saturn analog, therefore I'd expect them to send a 'Cassini'.

Other than being 'first pony to go that far', there's nothing else accomplished. I echo others' cryosleep questions: why have they not tested a suspended animation system for such a long, boring trip? Or if they were testing isolation, as I already mentioned, why not send them in loops around closer bodies, more accessible for rescue craft or emergency return trajectories?

I'm just not getting any sense that there was a sensible reason the trip was undertaken. Without that, Twilight could just as easily be sitting in a simulator in Equestria undergoing isolation testing for 10 years for exactly the same result.

What's the mission? From the story it sounds like ten wasted years.

If you're talking to a clone of yourself, then you must do evil things to your friends and relatives.

'Fraid to say that I found the story a little disappointing, mostly because the plot is so simple that it could be done in any fashion to make it work, not just spaceflight. For one shot sadfic its not terrible, its just not terribly inspiring either, and to be frank if I was to put it up there with fics like "Hello, Sedna" -Which has remained with me for a good few years after I read it- It wouldn't hold up particularly well.

It has a lot of promise, but unfortunately it just isn't terribly interesting to read, the technology involved in space travel is overlooked, there isn't anything notable or even known about this mission, and the interaction between the characters is minimalistic at best, just seems like an excuse to write sad Twilight - IN SPACE.

To be perfectly honest, you could have done a hell of a lot more with this concept than you did, and its disappointing to see it go on such a mundane route.

The involvement of long-distance space travel brings so much potential to a story.
I liked it, it just feels unfinished.


I'm the only person I know who has seen that movie enough to quote it.


'Fraid to say that I found the story a little disappointing, mostly because the plot is so simple that it could be done in any fashion to make it work, not just spaceflight.

That was sort of the point going in when I wrote it. It's a simple story set in extraordinary circumstance. And,

the technology involved in space travel is overlooked, there isn't anything notable or even known about this mission

was intentional. The setting and space travel is meant to just be done "casually", while the story is about Twilight's loneliness. The A.I. on board are made personable, but with an artificial aspect about them meant to set them firmly in the uncanny valley. Celestia is capable of showing concern and acting for Twilight's well-being, but she goes about it in a robotic way. Spike acts human, but the way he shares multiple bodies--Twilight passing him on his way up the stairs and seeing him in the kitchen--is meant to be this small unnerving thing that keeps reminding you, and Twilight, that he isn't a real person.

Sorry about your disappointment. It sounds like you went into this story looking for something it wasn't, though I may be to blame with how I presented it.

It's just as you said: this story isn't about her mission. It's about Twilight being lonely in space. The story about her mission would be a much longer one, and one I wasn't looking to write. All I wanted to write was sad Twilight in space: something I thought would be a little different.


Mmm, fair enough, I ain't a follower so I didn't realise what was going into the story itself if you talked about it in a blog or somesuch. With the information you gave me I figure I can be a bit more forgiving, given I was looking for something which wasn't intended to be anything more than Twilight in space.

Anyhoo, for what it is, it's nice enough.

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