• Published 3rd Dec 2016
  • 4,367 Views, 544 Comments

Wanderlost - GMBlackjack



The Immortals of Equis have been adrift in space for an eternity... And they are starting to lose hope as they continue onward...

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XII - Communication

“They’re coming again?” Celestia asked.

“That’s what I think he’s saying,” Twilight said. “I’m really not sure. But he seemed adamant about it.”

“I expected them to come back, yes…. I do suppose it’s been several hours,” She sighed. “Not like I wanted to sleep anyway...”

“At least they’ve probably used this time to study our language, as we have theirs. I’ve made some progress understanding their syntax. They arrange clauses in a parallel structure in relation to-“

“I’m sure I’ll have time to learn it at some point,” Celestia said. “You can probably transfer the information to my mind later. Until then, you can translate.”

“Of course. I… may only be of marginal use, however.”

“Better than nothing,” Celestia noted.

Lem poked his head out of the Lobby and yelled for Twilight. He said something about the screens.

"Duty calls,” Twilight said, teleporting over to him. “Yes Lem?” He was started by the teleportation for a moment, but recovered quickly with a shrug. He motioned for her to follow. Starlight and Luna were already in the room, looking at one screen in particular. Lem stood beneath it and turned around to look directly at Twilight – instantly, Twilight saw herself appear on the screen in a box alongside a red female who was talking.

Luna walked to the side of Twilight, appearing on the screen as well. “It’s a live feed. The red is talking about us, I believe, and sees us talking,” she said.

“Oh,” Twilight said, smiling. “Understand?” She asked Lem. He nodded slowly, but gave a waving motion with his hand that indicated uncertainty. Twilight cleared her throat. “Hello, I Twilight.”

The woman onscreen sat up, sparkles in her eyes. She introduced herself as… Ipsilon? Maybe?

Twilight took a breath. “Hello Ipsilon. No word good.”

Ipsilon nodded slowly. Twilight bit her lip – she knew the words she was speaking were off and oversimplified, but she was trying her best. Ipsilon continued, asking a question Twilight didn’t understand.

“No think,” She sighed. “This isn’t working, I can only barely tell she’s asking me a question.”

Luna watched Ipsilon and her gestures closely. “She’s pointing at her mouth and talking, then pointing at you. Something about you and the language?”

“Oh! Maybe she wants to know how I learn it? Well… Long time study. Good study. Listen. Watch. Word. Think.”

Ipsilon seemed satisfied by this, nodding again. She held up a piece of paper. She spoke aloud in heavily accented Equi. “We learn slow bookshelf Twilight.”

Twilight chuckled. “No Easy,” She responded.

Ipsilon picked up another piece of paper. “No Easy.”

“No easy indeed…” Twilight said sheepishly. “Ask?”

Ipsilon looked at yet another sheet of paper. “What want Equi?”

Twilight frowned. How to say ‘pace and a place to live?’ She furrowed her brow. “Good word. House.”

Ipsilon responded with a sentence Twilight couldn’t discern. Her face looked confused. Twilight looked to Lem and then to Luna, both just shrugged. Twilight got the impression Ipsilon was asking for her to elaborate.

Then she had an idea. She lit her horn and cast an image spell. She displayed a crude drawing of herself and Ipsilon, and depicted them shaking hand and hoof with a smile. Then she showed an image of the crystal bowl with a city inside it, fully functional and filled mostly with Equi, but dotted with a few of gari as well.

Ipsilon leaned in and read something else. “First house here?”

Twilight thought for a moment – did they want to know why they’d come here? Well, she could answer that.

She created an image of Equis, the sun, and the moon. Everything in Equis was green, vibrant, and happy. Then she made the sun vanish, and the entire world began to freeze. A representation of the Ark left the planet and began to explore star… after star… after star… The images began to blur, stars passing by the dozens, until eventually the Ark was in orbit around a green planet. Then a laser came from the planet and shot the back of the Ark, and it crashed into the ocean.

“That why,” Twilight said.

Ipsilon looked speechless and horrified, and Twilight wondered if she had done something wrong.

~~~

Celestia looked at the screens, her face contorting in concern. They were upset about something, and it was closely related to the image Twilight created of the Ark being shot down. Almost all of the screens showed images of either that or gari shouting and angrily pointing.

What did it mean?

Why did that image make them so angry?

Twilight had no idea – she could translate only scant portions of what was being spouted, getting only that it was called an ‘attack,’ not helping Celestia understand them any further.

“They didn’t know,” Discord said, suddenly appearing behind her.

“What?” She said, mildly baffled.

“They didn’t know we were attacked. That it wasn’t just a malfunction, or even intentional on our part,” He smirked.

“Why wouldn’t they know? We were shot by them.

“The attack wasn’t visible before it hit us, most likely,” He said. “If it was, at least one of us would have seen it beforehand and been able to stop it. But none of us did. Not me, not you. To anyone outside it just looked like crazy alien engines having technical difficulties.”

“So they’re angry at their own government…” She gulped as she realized the alternative. “Or they think we’re lying.”

Discord nodded. “Most likely both. They are not a united people – a race after my own heart. Though their skin is dreadfully bland, no complexion to speak of. They seriously need to consider investing in tattoos.”

Celestia’s frown deepened despite Discord’s jokes. “We really need to be able to talk to them…”

Discord shrugged. “Good luck with that. I’ve tried making a translation spell and a telepathy spell with Lem. Doesn’t work.”

“The Tree of Harmony doesn’t know the language,” Celestia noted. “I expect that’s why our mental spells work on us – but not them.”

“Eh, I don’t pretend to understand that thing. Too harmonious for my tastes. It could stand to loosen up a bit.”

Celestia stopped talking and just stared into the screens. To the side, Twilight was grilling Lem with projections in an attempt to learn how to speak the language better.

Seven mares watched Twilight frantically trying to decode an alien language. They all had concerned looks on their faces.

“I say, do you think she’s overworking herself?” Rarity wondered aloud.

“Yep,” Applejack answered.

"Not like she has much choice…” Sunset noted.

Fluttershy sighed. “She really has a lot on her shoulders…”

“But she’s going to do great regardless!” Rainbow Dash announced.

“I dunno Dashie…” Pinkie spoke up. “She’s pretty haggard. And I can’t get in to loosen her up!”

Starlight examined the Tree of Harmony. “Everyone is haggard Pinkie.”

Pinkie drooped. “Yeah, I suppose that’s to be expected from all this. It’s just, we’re all finally out at the same time and we don’t even get to spend time with each other.”

“It’ll calm down eventually,” Sunset said. “Then we can all finally spend some time together.”

“Yes, don’t worry Pinkie.” Rarity waved her hoof around. “It’ll all calm down and this dreadful tension will end. Then we can settle down into our new lives.”

“But what if the gari want us gone?” Fluttershy asked.

Starlight frowned. “I… guess we’d try to leave, but with the Ark in the state it’s in…”

“We could fix it,” Sunset said. “It would take a lot of time and resources, but we could do it.”

“That’d be lame!” Rainbow Dash yelled. “We’d have crashed on this planet for nothing!”

“The crashing was fun though!” Pinkie said.

Rainbow Dash pondered this. “…True.”

“Let’s just agree that whatever happens, we stand by Twilight,” Applejack suggested.

“Yeah!” They all cheered. Then they went to the replicators for some cider.

~~~

All of the immortals – save Cadence – were waiting for the arriving gari dignitaries. A few others stood alongside them – Ember, Thorax, and Lem the most prominent – but they took a back seat. The helicopter was a different color than the last one, a brilliant white, but was the exact same design.

The helicopter sank to the ground, once again revealing Waise and Arlowe. Behind them was a white male who introduced himself as Forseoo, smiling warmly at them. A sickly green-yellow male stepped out and called himself Stratm. Behind him was a tall muscular blue who stepped onto the ground wordlessly.

Lem immediately walked over to the blue man, smiling. Twilight gasped when the man knocked Lem alongside the head, momentarily considering a laser spell to protect him. However, before she could launch such a spell, the man embraced Lem. The exchange brought a smile to Celestia and Luna’s faces.

“…Family?” Starlight wondered.

“Who cares, that was gold!” Discord chuckled.

The man turned to Twilight and introduced himself with a bow. “Emin.”

Then all present heard a loud chipper voice from the helicopter, speaking as if to an audience. Out pranced a pink gari wearing sunglasses and a headset, talking nonstop. Then she introduced herself, speaking in rusty Equi.

“Hi. I Orgis. Good time!”

Twilight smiled. “Nice met.”

Orgis chuckled. Waise and Arlowe shot her death glares. Arlowe took a step forward and cleared her throat. “People of Equis, we come to talk.”

Twilight nodded. “This way.” She said, leading them into the Ark.

“Just checking…” Discord said, leaning in towards Luna. “You do realize that you are being an ambassador in socks right?”

Luna flushed. Despite her extreme embarrassment, she managed not to stop in her tracks. “It… It is of no consequence.”

“Keep telling yourselves that,” He appeared next to Orgis. “Why do you seem to be the natural at this?”

Orgis thought for a moment. “I like Twilight.”

Starlight choked on something and Twilight blushed. “Orgis? I am like Twilight. Good.” She corrected.

“Okay…?” Orgis said, not understanding.

“I is speaker for gari,” Arlowe said, glaring at Orgis.

“It matters not,” Celestia said. “You both may speak. It is better to have two opinions anyway.”

Twilight tried to translate. “Both word, two think good.”

Arlowe and Waise were obviously upset by this, but Orgis seemed ecstatic. She talked into her headset again – it became evident to Twilight that she was a reporter of some kind, or at the very least, someone with an audience.

Pinkie Pie came from nowhere at that point and grinned at Orgis. “Hi there! I think you need a croissant dipped in cherry sauce!” Pinkie pulled it from seemingly nowhere and gave it to Orgis.

Orgis was silent, disbelief in her face. But she recovered quickly, took the pastry, and grinned. “Delicious!”

“Glad you like it!” Pinkie grinned. “I’m sure we’ll meet up later! But bye for now! You have boring political stuff to do!”

She bounced off. Startm muttered something about a lack of security.

The whole group eventually ended up in the now empty Lobby, the screens turned off. It was just them, a table, and the Tree of Harmony in a large, quiet room.

Orgis instantly fell to her knees at the Tree of Harmony and bowed, saying something aloud. Starlight smiled as she sensed a feeling of appreciation wash over her.

“Let us call this meeting… now,” Celestia said. “You first.”

The gari began to talk amongst themselves about what exactly to say. They had obviously decided most of it beforehand but needed to hash out a new details based on what they had seen. Eventually, Startm began to speak (much to Waise’s annoyance) and Arlowe tried to translate best she could.

The question boiled down to thus: what did the Equi plan to do here?

Twilight gave the same ‘peace and home’ answer as before.

They pressed on – what did home actually entail?

Celestia decided to attempt an answer. “We would love to coexist with you. While this Crystal Bowl we claim as our own, our people would like to live among you, benefit from your culture, your cities, your resources. This can go both ways – you could also live with us here, in what is soon to be Harmony City, and benefit from our magic and knowledge." After another round of deliberation, another question came in response. “How many of you?”

Twilight let out a breath. “Twenty Million.”

There was silence for a moment. Even in an area as large as the Bowl, there was no way twenty million residents could live comfortably. It would be far too crowded – even if some of the Equi weren’t the size of mountains.

Discord leaned back and created a bag of popcorn, ready to watch the fireworks unfold.

Waise whispered something to Arlowe, but before the translator could say anything, Orgis butted in. “Help if you give.” She pointed at the popcorn. “Food not easy find.”

“You can’t just make food?!” Discord asked, somewhat perturbed.

Orgis shook her head.

“That’s just appalling! Outrageous! Absurd!”

Luna smiled. “We would be willing to make food for you if you needed it. We can’t make it appear out of thin air all the time, but we do have ways of mass producing it.”

After a round of translations and discussion, Arlowe articulated a question. “Power comes from where?” She pointed at her forehead while she asked.

“Magic?” Twilight asked. Arlowe nodded in confirmation. Twilight thought for a long while before sighing. “Don’t know where. Just is.”

Starlight glanced at the Tree of Harmony and pointed. “It might be the Tree of Harmony.”

“It’s obviously a part of it, but I don’t think that’s the whole story.” Twilight shrugged. “Maybe Tree.”

“Our turn to ask a question,” Discord announced, removing sunglasses he hadn’t been wearing a moment before. “Why did you attack us?” He said venomously.

Arlowe knew what to say to that without asking. “Lies! We did no attack!”

Orgis stood up. “Maybe we did.”

At this point the gari exploded into arguments about attacking and no attacking, lies and no lies. It was far too fast for Twilight to keep track of. They all obviously felt strongly about it.

Discord went back to eating popcorn.

“ENOUGH!" Luna slammed her hoof on the table, the sock annoyingly muffling the sound. “We are going to get along! And that can’t be done if you are bickering amongst yourselves!”

The gari had the decency to look ashamed – save for Waise, who was just sour, and Lem, who hadn’t been arguing in the first place.

“Orgis,” Luna said. “Explain what you maybe did.”

Orgis took a breath, but wasn’t allowed to finish. The Ark’s alarms started going off.

“What now?” Discord demanded.

“That’s the stasis bay alarm!” Twilight yelled.

Discord quickly teleported them all to the stasis pod primary control in the center ofa large room. The screens on every pod around them were covered with warning lights and blaring loud emergency tones.

“No!” Twilight yelled. “The pods are failing! The flow of power to them is too saturated!”

“Can we fix it?” Starlight asked.

“Not fast enough!” She yelled. “We’ve got to let them out!”

Arlowe gasped, relaying what she heard to Waise. Waise’s face stopped being sour and became furious. She yelled out, but nobody listened.

The Ark’s side hissed and split open – letting bright sunlight into the tremendous pod storage bay. Millions of pods glinted in the sunbeams, sparkling alongside the alarms.

Twilight, Discord, Luna, Celestia, and Starlight walked up to the large dome in the center of primary control. Starlight stayed back while the other four touched the dome, using their four unique DNA keys. It hissed, loudly popping open like a reverse bear trap.

Inside was a very large red button.

“No!” Waise yelled out.

“The world isn’t ready!” Arlowe yelled.

“No wait!” Twilight yelled, smashing the button.

The pods all began to open…

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