• Published 3rd Jun 2012
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Lunar Rising - azore24



SG-1 explores a world filled with odd aliens on the eve of one of their largest holidays.

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Chapter 4

Now that the mayor was the one leading SG-1 through town, they ignored back roads and deserted paths in favor of the most direct routes. This had two interesting side-effects as far as O’Neill could tell. First, Jack was able to appreciate how truly bizarre the pony aliens were. Sure, they had been able to see colorful specks flying through the air, but to actually see it up close was something else entirely.

The unicorn magic was weird, to be sure. If O’Neill hadn’t seen similar feats from the goa’uld and other aliens, he would have been entirely thrown by it. What he hadn’t seen before, though, was a creature the size of a human if it were to stand on two legs, soaring through the air on wings that looked like they’d have trouble lifting a chicken off the ground. Every time one of the pegasus ponies flew overhead he’d look up at it in disbelief, thankful for his cap and sunglasses whenever they flew too close to the sun.

The other side-effect of taking the main streets to Town Hall was that all the ponies in the town could, and did, gawk at SG-1. The handful of rubberneckers quickly turned into a convoy of ponies with nothing better to fill their time before the holiday. Even some of the ponies still preparing for the festivities put down their work to observe the strange creatures while others hurried through their chores in order to do so themselves.

The ponies initially shied away from talking to the humans, even though both the mayor and Cheerilee assured them that SG-1 wouldn’t harm anypony. After about a minute of letting Cheerilee and Mayor Mare handle the questions, O’Neill decided that he’d like to get to know the townsfolk himself.

“Howdy, folks,” said O’Neill, waving at the crowd. “Lovely weather we’re having, isn’t it?”

Before any of the ponies could respond, a rainbow streak swooped down from the only cloud in the sky. The cyan pegasus struck a mid-air pose, puffing herself up in a show of pride. “I know, I know. I am pretty great, aren’t I?”

“Huh?” was all the colonel could think of replying, amazed that the pegasus could hover like that, much less pose or brag. Besides, he’d complimented the weather, not the blue pony.

The pony looked confused, just as confused as O’Neill felt, for an instant before recovering. “I am in charge of the weather in Ponyville, after all. I suppose since you’re new to Equestria, you haven’t heard of me yet, so I’ll cut you some slack this time. I’m Rainbow Dash, fastest flyer in all of Equestria!” The name certainly reflected the pony well, or perhaps it was the other way around, O’Neill wasn’t exactly sure. She was the same height as any of the other mares, probably four feet tall on all fours, and had a sky blue coat. Her most striking feature was her hair: both her main and tail were rainbows, arranged with each color distinctly separated from the others. Her cutie mark was a cloud with a tri-colored lightning bolt, probably representing the fact that she was both polychromatic and very fast.

“Is that so?” asked O’Neill. “How fast are you, then?” He chose to gloss over her being in charge of the weather. Carter might have a conniption fit trying to explain it. Besides, at least two other planets they’d been to had some form of weather control, so he was willing to buy it.

“Well, besides the fact that I can clear the sky in ten seconds flat, I’m the only pony alive who can make a sonic rainboom, maybe the only one ever!”

“A what?” O’Neill looked to Carter, who shrugged back at him.

“Only the most awesome thing EVER! It’s when I make a sonic boom and a rainbow at the same time!”

“Really?” said Jack. “Because I’ve been supersonic before and never once has it made a rainbow. Carter, does going supersonic make rainbows happen?”

“No,” came the flat reply. After a second, Carter appended, “Well, if the conditions were just right, the concussive wave could force water in the air to condense enough to refract the ambient light. But it’d only last a second, and it wouldn’t be very visible or spectacular.”

Rainbow Dash waived a hoof at Carter, “Pshh,” she said. “Enough of the egghead talk, and besides, this isn’t just any sonic boom, it’s the Sonic Rainboom. It’s at least eight or nine times cooler than a boring old sonic boom.”

“Could you show us one? I’d love to see how it works,” said Carter.

Rainbow Dash’s confident appearance faltered slightly, her eyes darting between Jack and Carter. “Uh, heh... maybe some other time. I wouldn’t want to overshadow the sun raising ceremony or anything.” She had regained her poise by now, it seemed. “How fast did you say you could go, again?” asked Rainbow Dash, looking more comfortable being on the offensive. “Looking at you, I wouldn’t think you could get anywhere near the speed of sound.”

“Oh, you’d be surprised what we can do. Carter, what’s the fastest we’ve ever traveled?”

“Not counting hyperspace or Gate travel, I’d say somewhere a bit north of five percent of the speed of light,” said Carter.

Rainbow Dash’s mouth dropped. Literally, it fell to the ground from where she hovered. O’Neill had to look twice before he believed it, and even then he wasn’t sure. The alien seemed to be made of rubber, be without bones, and also be able to defy gravity. He watched in disbelief, his own mouth hanging open, though not to the extreme of Rainbow Dash’s, as the mare shook her head, causing her jaw to realign itself. Jack was barely surprised when she was able to speak without obvious pain or impediment.

“You can go that fast? Can you show me how?” Rainbow Dash’s eyes grew even larger in her head, catching more light and even glinting. She had thrown herself at Carter, somehow grasping Carter’s vest with her hooves, and was shaking the major as if the secret of near-light speed flight would fall out if only she shook hard enough.

“We’d love to,” said Jack, eliciting a hopeful grin from the pony as she stopped rattling Major Carter around, “but we seem to blow up every ship we get that can do it.”

Rainbow Dash’s face fell, not literally this time, Jack noted. “Uuuggh, you mean you can only go that fast if you use a boat? Seriously? It doesn’t count if you don’t go that fast yourself, otherwise anypony who’s ridden a train before could just say that they were as fast as a speeding locomotive or something.”

O’Neill raised his hands in mock surrender and said, “You got us, we’re just big cheats. All we really do is use tools to do cool things, like travel faster than light.”

“Phphhbt,” said Rainbow Dash, brushing off the comment, “everypony knows that Noble Stone said you can’t go faster than light.” Just as Carter was launching into an explanation of hyperspace physics and how they relate to general relativity, the group saw a flash of lightning and heard a roll of thunder.

Everypony, the three humans, and the Jaffa looked around for the culprit in the clear blue sky. Rainbow Dash was the first to see the thunderhead slowly approaching the town from the opposite direction of the Everfree. She slapped her forehead with her hoof and muttered, “Dang it, Derpy, I just cleared the sky. This is exactly why I was waiting, so dang that Twilight Sparkle, too.”

As Rainbow Dash sped off in the direction of the offending cloud, O’Neill followed her with his binoculars. What he saw was a grey and yellow dot, probably another pegasus, pushing the cloud towards town. He turned away from the sight shaking his head, thinking that he should be more freaked out by the sight than he was.

“What did you see, sir?” asked Carter.

“Trust me, Carter, you really don’t want to know.”

“Sir?”

“Let’s just say I know how they control the weather here, and that I’ll tell you later.”

“But sir, if you know how, why can’t you tell me now?”

“Because, Carter, I know you. You’re a scientist and you really won’t like the answer. So, therefore, I’m going to tell you later in a less public venue.”

Carter rolled her eyes at the colonel’s stubbornness and took out her own binoculars. As she was about to look towards the cloud, O’Neill raised a hand to stop her.

“Ehp,” he said. The syllable was slightly more coherent than a grunt, easily transmitting the intended message of ‘no.’

“But sir,” protested Carter.

“Ehp,” repeated O’Neill more sharply than the last time.

“I don’t see why--”

“Ehp”

“I just--”

“Carter,” said O’Neill in a tone that clearly ended the discussion.

“Fine,” replied Carter, lowering her binoculars. “The cloud’s gone already, anyway. You are telling me what you saw, though.”

“I said I would, didn’t I?”

Before Carter could respond, another pony stepped out of the crowd to talk to talk to the humans. As Daniel was busy waggling his fingers at a mint green unicorn and Teal’c was being asked about his ‘cutie mark’ and why it was on his forehead rather than his flank, the pony directed its question at Carter and O’Neill.

“Is it true you’re from another planet,” asked the pale yellow mare. Her mane was a mix of fuchsia and pink, noted O’Neill.

“Yup,” said O’Neill. Behind the mare stepped forward two others: one pink with yellow hair and a daisy tucked behind her ear and the other a much hotter pink with pale green hair.

“What’s it like on your world? Do you have flowers there?” asked the one with a daisy in her hair.

“Actually, most of the worlds we visit are very much like this one,” said Carter. “The aliens who set up the Gate network only put them on planets that were inhabitable Plus, we only travel to places on which we know we know we can survive.”

Carter had clearly lost the ponies early on, so O’Neill added, “Yes, we have flowers where we come from.” Noting their cutie marks, he continued, “We even have roses, daisies, and lilies.”

“What?” said the third pony. “But all the stories from Hopeful Wells and Tree Tipper Junior have the alien worlds being uninhabitable. Wells’ Meeting of the Worlds even has the difference between the Maresians’s home and ours as a plot point.” Her friends looked at her in confusion, as if she had suddenly started speaking another language.

“As I said,” Carter responded, “the planets we visit were all very similar when the original Gate builders established the network. Since then, travel between worlds has probably kept divergent biologies to a minimum. And, we wouldn’t have come here if it was too different to be safe.”

“But what about diseases? What would happen if you caught Pony Pox? Or if you spread some alien disease in Equestria?” continued the daisy-marked pony.

“Trust me, we’ve been doing this for years now,” said O’Neill, “and that’s never happened yet.”

“Sir,” said Carter, “what about that time we all regressed into cavemen?”

“Fine, it happened once. But that’s it, and we’ve been safer about it since then.”

“And what about that time you started aging extremely rapidly?” O’Neill was about to respond, but Carter cut him off and continued. “Or that time the Nirrti engineered a plague in a ploy to destroy our Gate?”

“Those last two don’t count, because those were goa’uld ploy,” said Jack. “So fine, there’s been one time we accidentally brought back a disease. Compared to hundreds of missions with no incidents? I’d say that’s a pretty good record.”

“Come to think of it, sir, you are always the one to get infected with something.”

O’Neill chose to simply ignore the comment and instead turned to the three flower-themed ponies. “Look,” he said, “point is, there’s not a lot of risk of transmitting diseases. I’d say the Gate probably filters out a bunch of them.”

The bright pink mare sighed, relaxing for a moment. Just one moment later, her eyes went wide as her pupils and irises both shrunk. O’Neill tried to ignore his discomfort at the aliens’ continually morphing bodies as the mare fell back into hysterics. “You’re not here to steal our stallions, are you?”

“What,” said the rose-themed pony, “take our stallions away? The horror, the horror!” She brought her hooves to her face as she wailed in terror. O’Neill almost thought she was acting a part, in a particularly hammy way at that, but there was a look of real terror in her eyes.

“Of course not,” said Jack dismissively. “What would we even do with a bunch of alien stallions anyway? Although,” he said wryly while stroking the beard he didn’t have, “now that you mention it, we might do well to take one or two.” While the rose and lily ponies ran away screaming in terror, much to the bewilderment and mild annoyance of the crowd, the daisy pony just blushed.

“I guess that does sound a bit silly,” she said bashfully. “I’m going to go calm those two down. I’m Daisy, by the way. Will I be seeing you all at the party?”

“Party?” asked O’Neill.

“Oh, you must not have met Pinkie yet. Don’t worry, though, with all this hubbub you’re sure to sooner or later. In case you manage to avoid her, come to the library tonight at sundown.”

“Thanks,” said O’Neill. “We’ll do that.” The pink mare sped off after her friends and was almost immediately replaced by more ponies. At some point even their pastel colors managed to blend together; Jack couldn’t begin to remember them all. Carter began to talk astronomy with a pegasus Cheerilee introduced to her while Daniel’s time continued to be monopolized by the green unicorn. Teal’c’s conversations seemed to be short and uncomfortable, probably because he just didn’t fit with all the cute and innocent ponies. It was that or the fact that he always gave short, direct answers with no room for conversation. Jack really couldn’t tell.

The next pony to come up to Jack was a white unicorn with pink hair. “Where do you come from?” asked the pony.

“A little blue-green planet called Earth,” said O’Neill. “But a different one than yours. We just happened to name them the same thing,” he added when he saw her confused look.

The pony seemed about to ask another question when another pony cut her off. “What’s it like on your planet?” asked the brown-coated earth pony stallion.

“A lot like it is here, but less whimsical,” said O’Neill.

“Are you really from another planet, or are you some sort of weird diamond dog?” asked a third pony before either of the previous two could do so.

“I’ve never even heard of a... ‘ruby rottweiler,’ was it, before,” said Jack. It was a special pleasure to see the look on people’s faces when he acted like an idiot, and that pleasure was doubled at least by the more expressive faces of the aliens.

“Are there ponies where you come from?” asked yet another.

“We have animals that we call ponies, but they aren’t intelligent,” answered Jack, not even bothering with jokes at this point. He’d been at this since they left the mayor’s house, and the large crowd was starting to turn even the climate-controlled air stifling.

“Are you from Plotseidon?” asked another, giggling in much the same way an Earth child would at asking if someone was from Uranus. O’Neill couldn’t figure out exactly what was so funny about ‘Plotseidon.'

“How did you get here?” asked another pony from the crowd.

“We came through a stable wormhole formed by a superconducting ring made of Naquadah. By crossing the event horizon we travelled through a hole in space and came out at your Stargate just a few seconds after we entered ours. It’s simple stuff, really.” While he reveled in the blank stare this elicited, Jack could swear he felt Carter staring at him in disbelief from somewhere behind him. It was a very strange feeling.

“Did you actually come from outer space?” asked another.

“Yes,” said O’Neill. “From far out,” he raised an arm and pointed in a random direction. He wavered for a second, then slowly started moving his arm in an ever widening pattern connecting random points in the air. “... that way,” he concluded, leaving the pony with no more knowledge than that with which it had come.

After a few more minutes of fielding the same sort of inane questions, apparently O’Neill was more approachable than Teal’c and Carter and Daniel were, well, they were Carter and Daniel, they finally made it to Town Hall. With a sharp clop of her hoof on the aged wooden platform surrounding the structure, the mayor called the mob of ponies to order.

“My dear Ponyvillians,” began Mayor Mare, “While I am glad that you have taken a shine to our guests, the four travelers from another Earth, we do have business to attend to.” There was a collective groan from the audience. “But fear not, for they will be staying with us throughout the Summer Sun Celebration!” The ponies in the crowd stomped the ground, giving the mayor a hearty round of applause.

“Come on up, humans,” continued the mayor. “For those of you who haven’t met them yet, please allow me to introduce our guests. “Colonel O’Neill, Major Carter, Daniel Jackson, and Teal’c.” Each member of SG-1 took the stage with the mayor as she called them. The crowd cheered once more as the group turned to enter Town Hall.

“Cheerilee will meet you out back,” said Mayor Mare so that only SG-1 could hear. “We figured it would be easiest if the crowd dispersed a bit before you go--”

The mayor was cut off as two shapes charged out of the Hall’s main entrance. One seemed to be a white unicorn, and the other was some sort of purple catastrophe of hair. The white unicorn was half-pushing, half-levitating what O’Neill assumed was a purple pony into town at breakneck speeds. All the while she was shouting something about a ‘fashion emergency.’

“Well,” said Mayor Mare, with an amazingly small amount of surprise in her voice, “let’s get you those papers, shall we.”