• Published 28th Dec 2016
  • 7,237 Views, 701 Comments

Welcome to Batstralia - Damaged

A mare and her foal. A human family. A buck-load of magic. They are all coming to a sleepy little town.

  • ...

Full-Blown Invasion

Language check. Anything wrapped in < > in this chapter is spoken English, everything else is in Equish. Three fillies with four-on-the-floor, and one of them is the focus.

Maud was sitting, looking at the moon far off in the sky. She narrowed her eyes and tried to focus more on it. 'Humans say the moon is a huge rock.' The moon started to shimmy and move, giving Maud only a few more moments of it in the sky before the sun shot up.

"Hi Maud." Pinkamena trotted up on one side of Maud, leaving Marble to take the other. "Are you ready to go?"

Turning to face her little sister, Maud cracked the tiniest of smiles. "I am. I wonder if Mike has lots of rocks to look at?" Pushing forward with her back legs, Maud stood up and started walking. "Did you see that humans think that the moon is a big rock?"

"It said that the world is too, a big round rock." Marble trotted comfortably with her sisters, nopony around that would set off her anxiety. "And that there are other big rocks."

The thought that everything was one big rock actually brought a smile to Maud's face. She trotted along. "Where is Limestone? I thought she was coming too."

"She got really angry about it, so nothing new, and said we had all been to Mike's house before, and it was safe." Pinkamena kept pace with her older, and younger, sisters. "I think she is just being a poopy-head."

Maud turned her head to face Pinkamena in surprised. "Did you just say, 'Poopy-head'?" She waited for Pinkamena to nod. "Yeah, she is a bit, sometimes. Sometimes she is all kinds of cool."

"She is 'Limestone.' " Marble gave a shrug of her shoulders, as if the one word summed up their big sister completely. "Won't it be earlier when we cross over?"

"No, it will be later." Maud caught sight of the mine entrance. "Our time is behind them by nearly two hours. And our seasons are opposite." She led the way into the mine, walking down the slightly tilted shaft. No matter how many times she had walked through the mine, Maud always found something new and of interest. Her eyes traced every crack and fissure, every seam and protuberance; if it wasn't for her sisters, Maud would have stopped to examine each one.

She could tell the moment she had crossed over, simply by the change in the rock-types. Maud reached back, grabbing Pinkamena and pulling her all the way through. "Why do you do that?"

"Lets me see some craaaazy things." Pinkamena, for a few moments, had her mane go a little frizzy. It was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, and she was back to normal a heartbeat later. "You're right Maud, the rocks in here are pretty crazy." She picked up a little round pebble and passed it to Maud for inspection.

Taking the small rock, Maud held it up before her snout while she walked. "Hrmm. Sedimentary, with some odd markings. Who keeps bringing these in here?" 'Don't worry little rock, I'll get you a nice home.' She tucked it into her saddlebag.

"How are those stones doing?" Marble poked Maud's bag, right where she had stowed the rock. "I don't even know where you planted them."

"Not so well." Maud gave a sigh. "But they're getting better. They just don't know how to grow properly." As they marched out into the hot morning sun, all three ponies narrowed their eyes a little.

Maud focused her thoughts back on the little plot of Earth rocks she was growing at home. She had been honest, they weren't doing well, but with some care a few had started to grow. The idea of growing rocks that Equestria had never seen before excited her.

"Here we are!" Pinkamena's voice cut through Maud's distraction. "Can I knock this time?"

"It is Marble's turn." Maud stepped aside and gestured for her youngest sister to approach the door. She saw her sister suddenly look withdrawn and meek. "Remember, this is Mike and Miss Candela's house." Marble perked right back up from the reminder.

Stepping forward, Marble lifted a hoof and clopped on the door once, twice, and even as she had her hoof drawn back for a third, the door opened. "Mike!"

"Hey there Marble." Mike immediately crouched down to give the filly the hug she was diving at him for. "Maud, Pinkamena."

"Hi Mike." Maud kept her voice flat, but she couldn't stop a smile creeping on her lips at seeing her little sister so happy. "Hope we're not too late?"

"What? No, of course it's not." Mike let go of Marble when the filly started to pull back from their hug. "I hope you didn't have to get up too early?"

"Maud was up first. She was so noisy it woke everypony up. And she was outside before Princess Celestia even rose the sun." Pinkamena trotted forward to claim her own hug.

Maud blushed at the reminder, remembering her excitement at spending the day here. "So, what are we doing today?" Maud noticed Mike stood up before she could approach him for a hug, after he had hugged Pinkamena.

"Well, we got to do so much cool outdoors stuff at your place, so I figured we could spend some time inside here." Mike held the door open, like a gentlecolt, for the three sisters. "I have some…" Mike faltered a moment, "<movies>, and even some music if you would like to listen to it?"

"What kind of music?" Pinkamena was immediately interested. "A flugelhorn?" She actually bounced around Mike's legs.

"Uh… not quite." Mike pointed down the hallway towards his bedroom. "But we can listen to some stuff down in my room, I don't think anyone else would appreciate it if we made noise this early, today."

"Are you the only pony awake?" Maud looked down the hallway at the closed doors. Following Mike to his room, she saw something that made her eyebrow rise. "Is that some kind of guitar?" She pointed at the instrument that looked far too thin compared to all the guitars she had seen.

"Oh, yeah. That is my bass guitar." Mike's face brightened as he walked over to it and picked it up from its stand. "Would you like to hear me play something? I'll have to keep the amp down low."

"Please please please please!" Pinkamena was still bouncy, an odd counterpoint to her normal attitude. "Play something please…"

"No, please. Not the adorable eyes. I can't fight that!" Mike flicked some switches on a little box, and plugged a cord into his guitar. "Give me a moment to check the tune."

Maud froze when she heard the six clear notes Mike plucked from the guitar. It was deeper than any guitar she had ever heard before; nothing had ever sounded like that. She realized—in her mildly stunned state—that both her sisters were likewise amazed.

"This's a tough one to play, I am going to mess it up in places…" Mike's hand seemed to flick a strum on the guitar, striking a note as his fingers then plucked two more. Finally, his hand came down and slapped the vibrating strings. "Ugh, hold on, let me get this right…"

The three ponies stared in rapt attention as Mike began over, strum-pluck-slapping into a deep rhythm that the little box sang in deep notes. Pinkamena's hooves were the first to start tapping along, then Maud, and finally Marble.

"<Mike? I thought I said no playing that before noon>?" Joyce's voice cut Mike off suddenly, a moment later she opened the door. "<And what was that thump>—"

Mike blushed. "<Uh, sorry mum, got carried away showing Maud, Pinkamena, and Marble my guitar. I think they liked>—"

"It was awesome!" Pinkamena was full-on bouncing now. "Can I play next?"

"<Pinkie>," Maud began, setting a hoof on her sister's shoulders to try to hold her bouncing down, "<Miss Joyce doesn't understand Equish>." She turned and smiled up to Joyce in apology for her little sister.

"<Sorry>." Pinkamena lowered her head, ears tucked back, clearly realizing now that she had been rude.

"<Oh, that's alright. I completely forgot you would be here today. Mike, play what you want>." Joyce crouched down and used her hand to tilt Pinkamena's chin back up. "<Chin up, smile>."

"<Okay>!" Pinkamena smiled brightly, her mane going frizzy again for just a moment. Immediately her attention shifted back to Mike and his guitar. Spinning around, she poked a hoof at him accusingly. "<How did you do that thing with your hand>?"

Mike smiled at Joyce as she left. "What? This?" His hand moved so naturally as it strummed-plucked-slapped, that the chords wove together, even as the sharp thump sounded. "This took me two years to get this good with." He did a few more of the odd motions. "Most bass guitarists just do this…"

Maud's ears twitched, the sound was deeper than a normal guitar still, but with Mike just strumming, adjusting his fingers on the strings with his off-hand, it sounded just like normal playing. Even that sounded better than any guitar Maud had heard in her life. "That's the type of music rocks would like."

"Rock and roll." Mike strummed a few more times, now playing chords that struck heavy vibrations through the ponies. "Is what it's called, actually."

"You were right." Marble gestured to Maud, then giggled. "Rock music?" She laughed more when Mike nodded to her.

"Can you teach me how to play that?" Pinkamena's eyes were glued to the guitar, it was plain to see that she had found her first, true love. "Pleaaaassssseeeee?"

"Guitar lessons are a little… well… they're not so fun for a group of ponies to do together. So why don't we work out a day, after school, and I can teach you to play then?" Mike seemed to tickle the strings of his guitar, producing a steady stream of deep notes. "We could go and watch a <movie> now, if you want?"

"What's a <movie>?" Maud looked up at Mike, knowing the word tasted like an English one, but having never heard it before.

Dropping back to English, Mike tried to explain. "<Uh, it's… okay, you know how you have pictures>?" He got a round of nods from the fillies. "<Well, the pictures move, and there's sound too. That's why they're called 'movies.' "

Three pony faces stared up at Mike with confusion. "So it's a photo that moves?" Maud tried to wrap her head around it, figuring that it might be the first real magic on Earth.

"No… oh I am being silly, I will show you." Mike unplugged his guitar and set it back on its stand. A careful poke of the box the lead ran to had the lights on it go dim. "Come on, we can watch it in the living room."

Maud followed Mike, her sisters in tow. Reaching the living room again, she froze and stared at the square box in the corner. There were humans on it, talking. They were apparently caught up in talking about how amazing a broom was. "This's movies?"

"Kinda. <Mum, can we watch a movie>?" Mike looked to where Joyce was sitting, eating her breakfast at the kitchen table.

"<Of course you can, nothing you wouldn't show your sister>." Joyce's eyes narrowed a little as she looked to Mike. "<You know what I mean>."

"<What about Holy Grail>?" Mike looked at his mother with hope plain on his face. "<I really want to show them that kind of humor, I think Maud will love it>."

"<I will>?" Maud looked between Joyce and Mike, blinking a few times. "<Why me>?" She was sensing some kind of joke that she wasn't quite grasping.

Mike looked right at Maud, a big grin on his face. "You'll see." He turned back to Joyce. "<So…>?"

"<You'll wear that disc out. You know that, right>?" Joyce spared a grin and an eye roll to Mike and his friends, before getting back to making her brunch.

"Trust me, it will be awesome." Mike wasted no time in getting a small silver disk out and pushing it into a box under the big flat box. Grabbing something from the shelves beside the stack of boxes, he retreated to the couch. "Just sit down and relax."

"What's that do?" Pinkamena pointed at the device in Mike's hand. "Is it a magic wand?"

Marble poked her sister in the shoulder. "Pinkie, they don't have magic h—" She froze in place when she watched Mike point it at the boxes in the corner, and the top one suddenly lit up. She stared at the words appearing on the screen. "You said you didn't have magic!"

"It's not magic." Mike pointed at the end of his wand. "This flashes lights at the T V, which lets me control it from—. We are going to miss it. Hold on…" He fiddled with the wand again, and suddenly the picture seemed to go backwards, showing things that had just been on it. "Okay. So you know how on Earth, we have a lot of different languages?" He got a round of nods. "Right, so when we have movies, like this, sometimes they have writing at the bottom to explain what's happening."

"That makes sense." Maud looked at the screen. "So why are they written in English?"

"These are the names of the people who made the movie. The subtitles are… you'll have to read them. I can pause each time if you want?" Mike made the movie play again.

"Wait, those names can all be 'wik'?" Pinkamena pointed, a slightly confused look on her face. The confusion turned to a giggle when she kept reading. " 'Also also wik'!"

"That's spelled really badly." Maud gave up reading all the words, focusing on the silly ones at the bottom. It was going fine until she had to say. "Wait, that's too much."

Mike paused it, letting the fillies read the story of someone's sister getting bitten by a moose. All three of the sisters sat in rapt attention, unable to stop reading. Maud gave Mike a nod, and the movie started again. Suddenly, all three turned and looked to Mike, who instinctively froze the picture again.

"Were they really sacked?" Maud fought to keep the laugh out of her voice, she just knew it was a joke, but dearly wanted to turn it around. "Why would they sack them? They were interesting."

"Uh, that's… that's a joke." Mike pointed at the screen and started the movie again.

"But what about the moose?" Her joke wasn't getting through, and Maud decided to see how far she could take it. "Were they sacked too? What else could moose do on Earth?" When she saw the confusion on Mike's face, she couldn't stop a grin from covering hers.

"You," Mike gave emphasis to the word, "are learning entirely too fast. Okay, you got me. Keep watching." His confusion had turned to a ready smile.

Pinkamena was the first to crack into a gale of laughter when all the words turned to talk of llamas, but the three ponies all stopped and stared as actual moving pictures started. Maud stole a quick glance to her little sisters, seeing big smiles on their faces and smiling wider herself.

Maud was about to cut in and say something when things had turned dark. 'Bring out your dead? They all look sick...' Then she had to choke back a giggle when the jokes started again. 'This's really, really silly, but they pretend it's really serious… or most do.'

"Hey! He…" Marble stared at the screen in shock, when a sword got shoved through the helmet of one of the battling knights. She had to duck to see again because Pinkamena had moved fast to try to cover her eyes. "This's all just joking, right Mike?"

"I'm sorry. I should have said at the start. No one gets hurt, all that's just play acting. Monty Python often use serious bits to set up an expected outcome, only to do silly things." Mike pointed at the paused screen of a black-dressed knight standing over his defeated foe.

"Like the 'Bring out your dead' bit? They made it all serious, then made silly jokes?" Maud reached a comforting foreleg out to pull her youngest sister so she was between her and Pinkamena. "Okay, start it back up." Sure enough, as Maud had guessed, things turned silly fast, and even Marble was giggling at the limbless knight.

"So, how are you liking it?" Mike paused the movie again, just after the silliest song Maud had ever heard was played. "You seem to have the idea of the jokes down, any that you aren't quite getting?"

"Probably half of them." Pinkamena giggled. "But this's really silly. Is this what all jokes are like here?"

"All? No. This's just about the funniest thing of all time." Mike started the movie going again. "But they have done other things, we can watch those later if you want."

"No!" The young human voice startled Mike, Maud, Pinkie, and Marble. "<We are gonna watch 'toons next. I always watch afternoon 'toons>!" Robin glared at Mike.

Mike's face turned from confrontational to relaxed. "<Yeah kiddo, you're right. We can go and do something else, anyway>." Quick as a flash, Mike reached out to grab Robin and pull her, squealing, onto the couch. "<Did I ever tell ya how awesome a li'l sister you are>?"

"<Miiiiikkkke>!" Robin squirmed and tried to get free from her brother's grip. "<Ugh, you're the worst! Mom! Make Mike let me go>!" Her giggles and outright laughter proved just how expert Mike was at tickling.

"<Mike, let your sister go>." Joyce sipped a coffee, sitting at the table in the kitchen. She now had a scattering of notes, as well as a folded-open box before her. As soon as Mike relented in his tickle-assault, she folded the box before her closed. "<Robin, let Michael and his friends have some peace. You get to watch your cartoons next>."

The movie played on, and on. Maud put together a lot of the jokes, but knew she missed just as many. "Okay, you were right." She ran her thoughts over the events and structure, then giggled. "It was silly, and fun."

"What are ' 'toons'?" Pinkamena turned at the sound of two legs stampeding into the room.

"<Cartoons>!" Robin ran all the way up to the picture box and started pressing buttons on it. Instantly, bright and colorful characters appeared and started capering around as the box seemed to open the way into a whole different world. Picking up a picture from the shelves beside the boxes, Robin set it down in front of the buttons she had just pressed. "<Ha, no changin' the channel>!"

"<I wasn't going to, Squirt>." Mike tossed the wand over to Robin as the girl sat down on the couch. "<Hey, Animaniacs>."

All plans to do other things were put on hold, when Pinkamena and Marble started laughing uncontrollably, along with Robin. Maud focused on the box and relaxed beside her laughing sisters. 'It's really nice to hear them both laugh so much, but I think I prefer those other jokes.'

The day passed pleasantly, watching the 'toons. Mike had a lot to say about the merits of one cartoon over another, and was midway through such a statement when a beeping sound started in the kitchen. "What's that?" Maud turned to look, not sure what to expect.

"That," Mike began with a sigh, "is the alarm that it's getting close to nightfall, in Equestria. Do you want me to walk back with you?"

"Just as far as the mine." Maud lifted a hoof and booped Marble on the snout. "Come on, we have to go home now." When her sister turned to face her, Maud nearly gaped at the sad expression on Marble's face.

"Do we have to? Just ten more minutes…?" Marble's look was having the desired effect, and likely would have had Maud cave in.

"Nah, come on Squirt." Mike jumped up to his feet, reaching across Maud to poke Marble gently in the shoulder. "I'll walk you back to the mine, and next week I will come and visit again."

"You promise?" Marble looked with one eye, her mane covering the other, but that look was enough to melt the coldest heart.

"Yeah, of course I do… Uh… <Mum. Can I visit the Pies again next weekend>?" Mike winked to Marble, then pulled a funny face that had her giggle.

"<I guess. I might need to use you as an excuse again, if any of those miners don't come in for a checkup>." Joyce poked her head around the corner from the kitchen. "<So it'd be fine, so long as you don't mind being dragged out of the mine by your ear>."

"<Thank you Mrs. Joyce>!" Marble surprised everyone present, then covered her snout with both forehooves in shock at having been so outspoken.

"<You're welcome, Marble>." Joyce beamed at Marble, the words and expression going a long way in relaxing the filly back down.

Maud rocked forward and landed on her hooves. "<That couch is a lot more comfortable than a rock. Thank you for letting me sit on it>." Maud turned her expression on Joyce, keeping her features flat. While she spoke, she was riffling her thoughts for a way to build the conversation into a good joke.

"<Well, so long as you don't mind the side effects, it should be okay>." Mike chimed in after Maud, patting at the couch. "<You see, it has a tendency to invoke… a vocal tic>." Joyce was already covering her eyes with a hand, as if she could deflect the bad joke coming. Marble and Pinkamena looked on in worry, staring between their big sister and Mike.

Maud lifted one back leg, twitched it. Then she sent an exaggerated shiver from her tail all the way up to her neck. She turned to look at Marble. "<Ni>!"

Joyce turned and started to walk back into the kitchen. "<I really shouldn't have let yo>—"

"<Ping>!" Pinkamena couldn't hold a steady look as well as Maud could, and was giggling furiously.

"<Nu-wom>!" Marble stared at Mike, then leaned forward with a big smile on her face. "<Ni>!"

"<Noooo>!" Turning, Mike made a run for it. He was out the front door and pounding his legs, but three sets of four hooves galloped along after him. "<Not that, anything but that>!"

Maud lost her neutral facade, yelling "Ni," "Ping," and "Nu-wom" along with her sisters, chasing Mike but trying not to catch him. As they reached the mine entrance, all three sisters shied back from the wide, crazy grin Mike wore.

"<IT>!" Mike's yell had the desired effect, all three of his adversaries fell to the ground, covering their ears with their hooves. "<It>!" He danced around them, chanting the word over and over again.

"We give up! You can take all our shrubberies!" Maud tried to remember when she had laughed so much, particularly with her sisters, and couldn't remember a time. Her smile was genuine when she stopped and took a deep breath. Waiting for her sisters to calm as well, Maud looked up at Mike. "Thank you for a great day."

"Hey, no problem." Mike leaned down, offering his hand to Marble first, pulling the filly up and to her legs. "Oh yeah, we need to work out when you want those guitar lessons, Pinkie." Mike helped Pinkamena up next.

"Any night would be great!" Pinkamena bounced a little in place. "How long will it take before I can play as good as you?"

Mike turned to find Maud already standing. "Uh, once I can work out how you can play with your hooves, I think… maybe about a year or two?"

Pinkamena's face dropped at the news. "That long? But—"

"It means you get to visit here more often." Marble stuck her tongue out at Pinkamena. "Maybe I should learn the guitar too?"

"Okay." Mike surprised the twins by simply agreeing. "Monday and Wednesday nights for Pinkie, and Tuesday and Thursday for Marble." He turned to Maud. "What about you? Ever wanted to learn to play some rock and roll?"

"Real rocks?" Maud's attention was narrowed down to the topic. "Because that would be pretty cool, if you could teach Boulder how to play." Mike's confused look tickled Maud in a way she had never really felt before. 'I need to try this out on other ponies.' She turned, leading her sisters back to Equestria. "Maybe. We will see you at school on Monday."

Author's Note:

So I do this "Ask x" thing, x can be any pony within the story. You can ask them anything and I they will definitely hopefully reply. Keep the questions appropriate to the age-rating of the stories and of course, I they will answer the best question(s) in the author notes of the next chapter. The more votes a comment has the more likely I will get it to the right pony to answer, try and keep it to one answer per post! I They will pick one question per chapter.

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