• Published 3rd Apr 2013
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Five Score, Divided by Four - TwistedSpectrum



As a fan of the show, I always loved Rainbow Dash and her cutie mark, but I never wanted it to appear on my leg! Now that it has, all sorts of things are getting weird around here. I'm a guy, not a mare! Cartoon ponies aren't real... right?

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28. Subtle message.

Chapter 28: Subtle Message

I cuddle with the mare at my side. “Rarity, you awake?”

She shuffles and slowly turns to face me. “I am now. What's the matter Shining?”

“I just woke up from a dream I had. We were together.” I kiss her on the size of her muzzle. “And, well, we had foals together.”

Rarity chuckles, “Oh god, all I can say about that is my parents would kill me.”

I laugh nervously. “Ha, yeah, that would really be something.”

She shakes her head. “Hey Mom, hey Dad. Sorry your son was gone for while. He's back now, only he's a horse. A female one. Oh, and he gave birth to two foals, so congratulations, you're grandparents now!”

I shake my head in amusement. “Your parents sound like wonderful people, I'd love to meet them sometime.”

Rarity gives me a sideways glance. “As a human or as a pony?”

“Gonna have to be as a pony.” I grin. “How else will I be able to ask your father for his daughter's hoof in marriage?”

She gives my a playful shove. “Oh, don't you dare!”

“Hey, I might have to do it if we're stuck like this forever,” I say and then kiss Rarity on the muzzle.

She blushes but doesn't argue, and we cuddle knowing that we’re safe in each other’s arms and—

Our peace is shattered as the door flies open with a BLAM.

I squint over at the open door. Honestly now, who is crass enough to barge into our room at this hour? I’m not even really concerned by this intruder, just annoyed. I know I’m not in any serious danger, or else my special talent would have sensed it.

A cyan pegasus lands at the foot of the bed. “Shining! Get up! This is huge!”

Of course. Of course it’s Dash. I grit my teeth gently. “Rainbow, I’m sorta with my girl.” I gesture at Rarity cuddling my side, her legs wrapped around mine.

Rarity smirks. "There are better ways of asking to join us in bed, Dash. This is a bit bold, even for you."

I join her annoyance. “Yeah, who do you think—” I stop to blink as my brain replays the last half of Rarity’s dialogue.

My pause gives Dash a moment to speak. “Wait, really? Wow, I’m going to have to--ah, no, come on Dash, focus here!” She turns to me and clears her throat. “Shining, a thing happened. I need your help to plan something. Something big.”

I lean forward a bit. “What do you mean ‘something happened’? It’s 5am and we’re safe and isolated on this farm. What, did Timmy fall down the well or something?”

The pegasus rolls her eyes. “Let’s just say I confirmed a certain aspect of Season Three, Episode Six.”

“Season Three... Sleepless in Ponyville?” I rack my brain for episode details. “What, there’s a headless horse outside?”

Dash facehoofs. “Who does the headless horse turn out to really be in that scene?”

I tilt my head. “Princess Luna? But that’s because she can dream walk and... ” My eyes snap open. “You’re not serious.”

Dash nods slowly. “Come on, get your pants on, I got news to share.”

I kiss Rarity on the cheek before leaping out of the bed and making for the door. “I’ll make some coffee, let’s get talking.”

The pegasus looks at the pile of pony garments on the floor, then back up at me. “Uh, aren’t you going to put on your boxers or whatever? You said you weren’t comfortable going around ‘naked’ like that.”

I glance at my nude flanks. “Eh, whatever. Big Mac seems to get along fine without clothes, and I feel pretty well covered with just fur.” I look over at Rarity and blush slightly. “Sorry, milady, but I don’t think I need to wear those comfy shorts you made me.”

Rarity waves a hoof at me. “No worries, I figured it was bound to happen. Now you two go and talk about Luna. I’ll get a few more hours of sleep and catch up with you two later.”

I nod. “We’ll get breakfast going.”

I start to trot into the hallway but Rarity’s voice stops me. “Oh, and Shining?” I look back at my mare and see her smile. “Behave.”

Dash turns to follow me out the door. “Don’t worry Rarity, I’ll take good care of him.”

~~~~~~~

“We have to do something!” I pound my cyan hoof on the table.

Shining grimaces. “I don’t know, Dash, that sounds really, really risky. I mean, I’m ecstatic to hear Luna’s alive and well here on Earth, but that plan of hers? I just don’t know.”

“What plan, of who?” Fluttershy asks as she trots into the kitchen.

I sigh. I had just finished explaining this all to Shining. I look up at the unicorn and he nods, summarizing the story for me. “Dash here was contacted by Luna in her dream. Luna’s here on Earth, and asked Dash to do something to make herself known. She said there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of other ponies out there, and we need to do something to get their attention.”

I pour some more coffee from the pot. “Luna said that knowing that the Mane Six are here on Earth will make a lot of the other ponies feel better, feel safer, whatever.”

Fluttershy trots towards the table slowly. “But why not Luna? Why doesn’t she do something? She’s a better symbol than we are.”

Shining nods slowly. “Luna is not only a better symbol than us, but she’d have an easier time making a global announcement. She could go to the UN as 'a diplomat of Ponykind'. I mean, she’s technically a Princess, so she should be the face of our public image.”

I shake my head. “It’s not that simple. First off, Luna’s not just sitting there twiddling her thumbs. Err, hooves, whatever. She’s got her own problems and conflicts right now. Secondly, it’s not as easy as just going to the UN and giving a speech. There are other forces at work here, and from what I gather, the people in power are already aware of the pony thing. They’re intentionally keeping news of us suppressed for some reason.”

Fluttershy sits on her haunches. “What? Why?”

I shrugged. “Not sure. We’re not getting the full picture, here. Not even Luna fully understands everything going on right now.”

Shining looks at me. “How does she expect you to make yourself known? Does she expect us to go to the local TV station and do an interview on camera?”

I bite my lip. “Not quite. Luna said that’s been tried before these past few days. She’s heard whispers of ponies going on the news in Australia and Germany too. But every time a pony tries, it doesn’t work for some reason. It gets censored somewhere, and the news doesn’t spread. Same thing with the Internet, every time a blog or video of ponies is made, it get’s quickly blanketed and doesn’t spread like you would expect it to.”

“Is it...” Fluttershy’s voice waivers. “Is it Discord? Is he stopping it?”

I sigh. “I don’t think so. I think it’s just humankind fearing what they don’t know. Or maybe its the individual governments clamping down on the reports. It might not even be malicious. They just might not want people panicking over fear of the unknown.” I pause and scratch my chin with a hoof. “Sort of like if aliens landed in Kansas. The government would probably try their best to keep it quiet, not for the sake of being evil, but because knowledge of advanced aliens coming to Earth would incite panic and riots across the world.”

Shining nods. “Not to mention the military applications. If aliens landed, or if they met a powerful unicorn, the government’s first thought would probably be keeping it secret and seeing if they could militarize it.”

I scratched my cheek. “Pretty much, yeah. Which is yet another reason why we need to make the knowledge of ponies public. We need to spread the news to every pony that they’re not alone, and that they shouldn’t hide.”

Shining raises an eyebrow. “Um, so, stupid question How does Luna expect you to inform the world about ponies... when news of ponies is always stopped before it can spread?”

I chuckled. “Oh, I have an idea.”

Fluttershy cocked her head. “And what would that be?”

I pace around the table. “You know how news of ponies is always stopped before it can spread to other ponies?”

“Yes.” Shining nods, not quite catching on.

I smile. “It’s simple. We create a global news event that isn’t ponies, and let that news spread to every pony on Earth. I mean, since it’s not ponies, the news won’t be stymied.”

Fluttershy blinks a few times. “I, um, I think I missed a step. How will this tell the ponies of the world that the Mane Six are here, if the news isn’t about ponies?”

I flex my wings. “I think I have just the thing.”

Shining’s eyes go wide. “Oh hell, no.”

~~~~~~~

I smack my lips lazily and open the door to my room with a puff of purple magic. God, I hate mornings. Well, I suppose that’s why my name is Twilight; I’m literally named after the very opposite time of day.

I yawn and make my way towards the kitchen. Thank God for coffee, that’s all I can say. Although, I wonder if I’m supposed to say ‘thank Celestia’ instead of ‘thank God’. I mean, I know Celestia is the Goddess of my kind, but is she really a true god? Like, did she create the world in our mythos? I don’t think she did, which means she didn’t create coffee, so why should I say ‘thank Celestia for coffee? Seems pretty silly if she didn’t—

“Dash, that’s insane!” The voice of a stallion yells from the kitchen. “You can’t do it over a city! People will see you!”

“That’s the exact point of all of this!” A raspy feminine voice rebutes.

I yawn again and head for the voices. I really don’t have a choice. They’re in the same room as the coffee maker.

Fluttershy is heard through the door. “Can’t we do something subtle first? And if that doesn’t work, take it up a notch?”

Dash replies, “I don’t know if that’s a good idea. If all we do is get the attention of the local authorities, but not the global press, then the only effect we have is making it harder for us to do the next, larger stunt. We have to hit them with the large one right away, it’s the—”

Her voice stops as I open the kitchen door and trot in. My brother gives me a shy look.

“Oh, hey Twilight. Sorry about last night...” He trails off.

I lock eyes on the coffee maker and head over there after lazily waving a hoof at my brother. “Mmhmm, yeah, sure. Coffee first.”

Fluttershy looks at me, worry evident on her face. “Oh, Twilight, you have to stop her! Rainbow Dash is going to go make herself known to the general public!”

My eyes go wide. “Oh, come on. You’ve got to be kidding me!”

Fluttershy nods. “That’s what I said, but Dash wants to—”

I pick up the coffee pot with my magic and wave it around before repeating myself. “You’ve got to be kidding me! Who took the last of the coffee and didn’t start a new pot?” I glare as I look at their faces, trying to find the culprit. “I mean, come on! House rules, people!”

Shining gives me a blank stare and Dash smirks slightly. “Yeah, that is pretty unbelievable. I feel your pain, Twi.”

I threw up my hooves. “Thank you! At least someone here understands. But that still leaves to question who’s to blame here.”

Fluttershy raises a hoof. “Umm, Twilight, I think we have bigger concerns at the moment. Dash is planning to—”

I glare daggers at the quiet pegasus. “AH HA! It was you, wasn’t it?!”

She squeaks. “Well, yes actually, and I’m sorry. I was going to make a new pot but then I heard about Dash’s—”

“Gah! No excuses! This is serious business!” I shake my head at her and turn back around to start making new pot. “House rules are there for a reason! It only takes a minute to put in the grounds and start a new pot. But if you don’t do it, the next person who wants coffee has to sit here and wait for a good five minutes while the coffee drips through!” I shake my head as I use my magic to fill the filter with grounds and flick the ‘on’ button.

Shining ignores my tirade and turned back to Rainbow. “I don’t know about this. I know Luna said she wants you do something to catch the attention of the world, but there has to be a better way.”

Dash shakes her head. “This is important. This is bigger than us. Luna said there are hundreds, thousands of ponies out there that are waiting for something like this. Thousands of ponies, Shining! We have to help them!”

Shining rubs his temples. “How? Even if we get their attention, then what? Do you honestly think this farm could house a few thousand ponies over the winter? This isn’t our fight!”

The coffee maker starts to bubble and the life giving fluid starts to slowly drip into the pot. Finally, Jesus Christ. I was about to say, these farmers really need to invest in some new appliances. I already miss my coffee machine back in Vancouver. Pop a single serve capsule in there, push one button, boom. Coffee made in twenty seconds with no clean up. Hmm, come to think of it, that’s a good motivation to master long range teleportation. I could port back to Vancouver, get my real coffee maker, then port back here. Tempting offer, that’s for sure.

Dash yells over my thoughts. “This is our fight! We’re the Mane Six! You’re the captain of the guard! We were the protectors of all the other ponies back in Equestria! We can’t ignore those duties, we have to do everything we can to help out the scattered, lost, and scared ponies out there.”

Fluttershy bites her lip. “But what if something happens? What if you get caught?”

Dash raised her chin. “It’s a risk I’m willing to take. It’s a risk I’m always willing to take. Twenty-five years ago, we failed at our task to save everyone. I’m not going to do that again. This is our destiny, our very purpose in life!”

She slams her hoof on the ground in determination. “We are going to help ponies. We are going to help them in their hour of greatest need! It what’s we have to do.”

The coffee maker beeps to signify the pot is full, and I waste no time in pouring a cup. “Ah ha, finally!”

The three ponies turn to stare at me as I’m oblivious to them and fill my mug. Fluttershy stammers and turns back to Dash. “Well, if you feel so strongly about it, we’ll support you.”

Shining nods slowly. “As crazy as it sounds, I suppose you’re right. And besides, this is at the request of Princess Luna. The crown falls to her with Celestia not here.” He straightens his back and does a salute to no one in particular. “I’ll fulfill my oath and serve her, and her wishes, whatever they may be. If she wants you to make a signal like this, I’ll do everything I can to help.”

Dash smiles. “Thanks, guys. I know what I have to do now. I just hope I can manage it.”

Shining gives her a small hug. “Of course you can. You have it in you.”

Fluttershy joins in the hug. “We believe in you, Dashie! Make us proud!”

I stir my coffee with two sugars and smile softly. “Hey Dash...”

All three of them look over at me, and Rainbow swallows nervously. “Yeah?”

I give her a sharp salute and a nod. “Godspeed.”

~~~~~~~

Time: 0925
Peterson Air Base, USNORTHCOM

“Sir, new unidentified aircraft detected in grid 3A, designating Zulu-Three-Zulu.”

The officer on deck steps over to his monitor. “That’s impossible soldier, that’s in the heart of the country. How could it have gotten there without being seen?”

“I don’t know sir, one moment there was nothing but civilian air traffic, then suddenly radar detects this object at 60,000 feet.”

The officer stares at the monitor. This has to be a glitch, it doesn’t make any sense. How could an enemy missile or jet just appear in the middle of Iowa? “Does NOAA report any weather balloons in the area?”

Another serviceman checks a chart. “That’s a negative sir, and radar would filter out slow moving objects anyway.”

“A meteor?” The officer already knew the answer, but was looking for something, anything that could explain this unknown craft. Whatever it was, it wasn’t one of theirs.

“Negative on the meteor sir, NASA would have reported it higher in the atmosphere, and it’s too slow to be a meteor. This is cruising at just under 200 miles an hour.”

The officer on the deck picks up his phone. “General, we need you in the war room, we have a situation.”

The radar man peers at the numbers on his screen. “Unknown target is headed west and— SIR TARGET IS ACCELERATING.”

“In what vector?”

~~~~~~~

I start my dive. I was absurdly high and moving faster that I ever have before, but I needed to go faster. Much, much faster. Let’s just hope I can pull this off before something tries to shoot me down, God knows someone probably found me on radar at this point. Oh well, this will all be over before they can do anything. Hopefully...

~~~~~~~

Time: 0926
Peterson Air Base, USNORTHCOM

The General arrives in the room. “Major, give me the SIT-REP.”

The Major hands control over to his commanding officer. “Unidentified enemy target, appears to have entered the atmosphere in zone 3A, is currently accelerating and heading on a north west vector. NOAA and NASA are not reporting any atmospheric disturbance.”

An alarm sounds across the room and the serviceman yells the numbers on his monitor. “Sir target is now headed straight down. It’s still accelerating sir.”

The general’s face turns white. An object entering their airspace in the middle of the country and accelerates towards the ground? “That’s not a jet...”

The major stammers. “What? No, how come we didn’t detect the launch? This has to be a glitch!”

Another officer bellows across the room. “USSTRATCOM has just reported track of presumed enemy ICBM in grid 3A, they are checking for confirmation from us and asking where it came from.”

The General feels his face sweat. He’s been training for this day his whole career but never wanted it to happen. This can’t be happening, who would order a First Strike against the US when the States were at maximal readiness? He racks his brain for scenarios that could explain this as something other than a preemptive attack. “What’s the vector for the incoming object? Does it have a target?” He prays it doesn’t have a solid target. If it’s a computer glitch or a falling satellite or something, then it shouldn’t have a target. Maybe this object is just going to crash in field somewhere. That that would explain this whole thing as an accident.

~~~~~~~

The air screams past my face. I accelerate and feel the air’s slipstream harshly brush over my skin. I squint to make sure I’m still on course. I have to make sure this gets seen. I have to do this over a place with people and cameras.

I smile as I see the metropolis down below me. Des Moines, Iowa, the largest city within five hundred miles and home to over a million people.

I flick my wings and aim for the city’s center.

~~~~~~~

Time: 0929
Peterson Air Base, USNORTHCOM

The room is in utter chaos. Dozens of alarms are blaring and phones are ringing. The General yells into the red phone. “No sir! It’s not one of ours and we never got a track on it! Yes sir, we’re doing everything we can to prepare for it across the board!”

Officers begin yelling across the room, “Stealth bombers at Whiteman are taking off!”

“President is boarding National Emergency Airborne Command Post.”

“THIRTY SECONDS TO IMPACT.”

“Target still accelerating, speed is at 335 meters per second and rising!”

“NORAD has sealed all blast doors. Command and control officers should head to their designated bunkers immediately. This is not a drill, people!”

“Prepare for secondary impacts!”

“WE ARE NOW AT DEFCON ONE.”

“Civil defense nuclear sirens are being activated at all major cities.”

~~~~~~~

I can practically feel my fur ripping off my face, but I continue the dive. I push myself faster and faster. I know I need to hit this quick. I’m only a few thousand feet over the city now. I probably should have started out higher.

Then, I feel it. Something in the air pressing against both my front hooves. I press myself even faster, and I feel a pressure engulf my front legs and make its way down my body. It feels like I’m trying to squeeze my way through a giant sheet of plastic wrap.

The city below is so close. It takes up my entire peripheral vision, but I know I can’t pull back. The wall of pressure closes around my entire body and pushes against me like an elastic wall. I grit my teeth and push through the resistance. Tears whip off my face and my body feels like it’s on fire.

“Come on... come on... I know Dash can do this, she has it in her. Rainbow Dash has done this before...”

I grin wide. “I’ve done this before.”

~~~~~~~

Time: 0930
Peterson Air Base, USNORTHCOM

Every eye in the room stares at the main screen as the object hits the center of the city, then disappears.

The officer stares at the screen. “Detonation?”

A technician nods. “IR satellites are showing a massive explosion of some kind.”

“May God have mercy on their souls.”

~~~~~~~

There is an utterly deafening blast. It instantly gets cut off from me as I shoot forward at speeds I can’t even comprehend. I immediatly bank east and weave between downtown high rises as I make my way out of the city. Two seconds later and I’ve flown out of downtown. Ten seconds later and I’m completely clear of the entire city. I stay at the height of the treeline to avoid radar, and all I can do is smile as pure endorphins and euphoria flood my veins. The ground is nothing but a blur of greens and browns, and I see entire rivers and hills appear then disappear behind me in seconds.

~~~~~~~

Time: 0931
Peterson Air Base, USNORTHCOM

“Sir we have confirmed air detonation, but...” The serviceman trials off.

The General looks up from his call with the Pentagon. “But what? Talk to me soldier.”

The serviceman triple checks his report and reads it to his commander. “There is no reported damage. We still have contact with Des Moines Station. It didn’t even knock out their electricity, sir.”

“But there was an explosion?”

The serviceman stares at the video feed showing a spectacular, full spectrum rainbow filled sky. “I... I think you better see this for yourself sir.”

~~~~~~~

I see a much, much wider river appear before me and I sail over it a few seconds later. Wait, was that the Mississippi? There’s no way I could be there already. I’ve only been flying for two minutes! I ease myself into u-turn and turn back around, only now seeing the vivid rainbow trail that was probably stretching the full two-hundred miles back to Des Moines.

I flare my wings and break my speed sharply. Part of me is sad I’m going to lose my rainbow trail and ludicrous speed, but I can’t go back to the farm with that. It’d be like a robber leaving a trail of red paint back to his apartment. I want ponies around the world to know Rainbow Dash is on Earth, but they’ll have to find the farm’s exact location some other way.

I come down low as I cross the river and make for the Farm. It’s less than fifty miles from here. Hopefully by the time I get there this will be on the news.

~~~~~~~

Fluttershy lifts her head. “Shining, do you hear that?”

I lift my head at the distant rumbling. “Fluttershy, I feel that.” I don’t just feel the faint vibrations either, my horn itself feels all tingly for some reason. I’d feel more mystified about it, but I’m pretty sure I know exactly what this is.

“Is that what I think it is?” Fluttershy asks as we both hop off our chairs and trot towards the front door. “Oh, I hope this works, I hope it’s visible.”

I open the front door and step out to face west. “Yeah, hopefully it’s big enough that—”

“Oh my...” Fluttershy joins me in starting incredulously at the sky. The entire western horizon is erupting in a full spectrum of magical glow. It’s nothing short of breathtaking.

My sister appears besides me, sipping from her coffee mug. “Well, she did it. I knew she would.”

I nod slowly. “We got the world’s attention. Now the question is what we’re going to do with it.”

Author's Note:

I'm still working on replying to emails to set stuff up for side fics. (apologies to the following, I'll reply to you guys sometime tomorrow: Von Snootingham, Marcus Centurian, Maulkin, kahtoc, Sparkz, Kaas, Speckle, Fox Blitz, Shadow Varia,)

Also, special thanks to Cyborg Samurai for his additional editing help on this chapter!