“That’ll be four bits, hun.”
Lyra threw four coins on the counter and levitated a paper bag next to her. Behind the desk was Bon Bon, smiling cheerfully as she put the money away. It was a normal day at the candy store, and Lyra was picking up her usual snack. The unicorn grinned as she peered into the bag, then said “Thanks a lot, Bons. I’ll see you later, alright?”
“Of course, Lyra. I get out at my usual time,” Bon Bon replied, poking at the cash register.
“Got it!” With that, Lyra walked out of the store with a bag of candy and a spring in her step. She pulled one of the treats out of the bag and popped it in her mouth, savoring the sweetness and flavor of it. Bon Bon’s candy shop was one of the best in town, second only to Sugarcube Corner itself, and even then, it had confections that the Cake’s place didn’t. It was the place to go if you wanted to get your candy fix, and Lyra needed one daily.
She hummed softly as she trotted down the road, observing the town as she usually did. Today, though, she had the sudden urge to look into the sky. When she did, it was clear as usual, but something was different. She focused harder and noticed a speck in the distance, which was quickly growing in size. Her trot slowed to a stop as she stared into the sky at the strange object.
It was dark, circular and falling at an alarming rate. Her eyes widened as the object soared closer, and it wasn’t long before she realized it was coming right for her. Lyra started to back up, frantically trying to figure out where it was going to land. This backing up transitioned into a full gallop as she ran the way she came. Moments later, a loud thud came from behind her, followed by a rumble that shook the ground.
By this point, numerous ponies were staring at her and whatever had hit the ground. Lyra turned and looked at the object, which was jutting out of the ground from a large impact crater. She approached it tentatively, taking several steps at a time and pausing to get a better look. She eventually reached the crater, where a meteor rested. At first, it seemed harmless, but as Lyra took another step towards it, the rock cracked open and let out a hiss of steam.
Lyra gulped, but stood her ground. She watched the meteor slowly open up and fill the surrounding area with a fine mist. Then, a shadow appeared from within. It rose from the smoke, and Lyra bit her lip thinking of the possibilities. She had read about life beyond Equestria before, but she never thought she would see it with her own eyes. The creature could’ve looked like anything, and the suspense was eating away at her.
Then, a patch of green poked through the veil of grey smoke. Following it was a bulbous green dome, which was revealed to be the head of the creature. Large black eyes adorned it’s face, with a mirror-like shine to them. It’s nose was nothing more than two slits and it’s mouth was in a constant, pursed frown. Around its shoulders was a long, dark cape which reached down to its feet.
The alien turned its head to look at it surroundings, but did not seem impressed. It blinked a few times before brushing its cape off and walking forward. It was much taller than Lyra, and she was forced to look upwards to keep looking at its eyes. In turn, the alien looked down at her.
It put a three fingered hand into its cloak and pulled out a small, silver, circular device. It then attached it to its neck and gave a cough, as if it were testing the instrument. The creature then spoke to Lyra. “Hello, Equestrian. That is what this planet is, correct?” He looked around him once more as if to confirm his assumption.
“Uh... yeah... this is Equestria,” Lyra mumbled, pupils small as pinpricks as she looked into the creatures dark eyes.
“Excellent, then I’ve arrived as planned.” He looked back to Lyra. “Tell me, who rules over your quadruped kind?”
“Princess Celestia and Princess Luna do.”
“Two feminine subjects ruling. A matriarchy. How peculiar. Regardless, it is my highest priority to have an audience with them.”
Lyra blinked several times. “So... you want to meet them?”
“That is correct. Your level of comprehension is acceptable. Do you know where I can find this ‘Celestia’?”
A faint smile began to crawl across Lyra’s face. “Sure, everyone know’s where the Princesses are. They live in Canterlot, which is that city on the big mountain over there.” She turned and pointed at the city, which was just visible over the Ponyville rooftops.’
The alien turned his head and looked, then faintly nodded. “Canterlot. Name of equine origin. How clever.” He then looked back to Lyra. “If you know how to get there, might you assist me? Take me to your leader, as it were.”
Lyra nodded as her fear began to turn to excitement. This alien seemed friendly! All he wanted to do was meet the princesses. “Sure, I can bring you to them!” She turned and started to trot along with the alien close behind her. Everypony around stared, but she didn’t mind. She just met a new creature!
So began the most awkward train ride ever.
- - -
Many stares were given, but none dared approach the alien who walked behind Lyra. Even the royal guards weren’t sure what to do in his presence, but Lyra’s happy demeanor and quick explanation got them to tentatively allow him within the castle walls. It was only several more minutes until he and Lyra had gained an audience with Celestia.
The alien stood before the princess and gave a soft nod. “You appear unphased. Am I not a surprising visage?”
Celestia narrowed her eyes, then cleared her throat. “In my many years, I have seen stranger sights. An otherworldly creature such as yourself is not foreign to me.”
“Horn and wings. Unique,” he said, glancing over Celestia’s features. His eyes then widened for a moment and he brought his hand to the device on his neck. After a moment, he spoke. “My time is limited, so I will make my request now.”
“And what might that be?” the princess asked, raising an eyebrow.
“My kind require a new source of fuel and energy, and this planet is rich with it. They have scouted this planet and determined it is applicable. I have been sent secure cooperation.”
“And just what is this cooperation needed for?”
“It is simple,” the alien said. He then motioned to Celestia’s nearby guards. “Your species must harvest the resources and deliver them to us, for we cannot survive long in your oxygen rich climate.”
Celestia gave the alien a cold stare. “And what if we refuse?”
He blinked, then gave something akin to a smile. “Oh, I am afraid you misunderstand. Your choice is between cooperation or eradication.”
The princess stepped back, mouth agape as she looked at the alien in horror. “You would wipe out an entire race?”
“For the preservation of my kind, yes. Now, will you assist us or be decimated?” The alien spoke without emotion or empathy. It only spoke with cold truths and absolutes. There was no reasoning with the creature.
Celestia closed her eyes and took a breath, then stepped forward and looked directly at the alien. “I cannot in good conscience submit my people to slavery, especially to the likes of you, who hold themselves higher than others. My ponies will fight, and we will not go down without a fight.”
“Such is the nature of lower sentient races,” the alien replied, with a slight nod. “Very well. If this is your choice, then consider us at war.” He touched the device on his neck again, and with a flash, a metallic object appeared in his hand. It had a grip, trigger and round end which glowed with energy. He calmly pointed it upwards and pulled, which caused a red projectile to erupt out of the end and shoot clear through the roof of the castle. Up above, it exploded, creating a much larger orb of crimson. Then, he brought the device down and pointed it at Celestia. “There will be no pain.”
The alien pulled the trigger. To his surprise, though, the shot deflected off of Celestia and hit a pillar, shattering the stone. The princess herself was surrounded by a glowing sphere, and her eyes surged with power. When she spoke, it was like that of a higher power. “You have forced my hoof, visitor, and now I have no choice but to summon the ultimate in Equestrian power.” Behind her rose a set of six gems, which circled slowly. “The Elements of Harmpony!”
“You have more strength than expected. Troublesome,” the alien said, lowering his gun and giving a soft frown.
“Never underestimate ponykind!” Celestia roared, rearing back on her hind legs. “And now, I call upon the bearers of the Elements of Harmpony!” The gems spaced apart from one another and began to glow. One by one, forms of ponies began to morph out of them.
“The Element of Laughter, Pinkig Poines!” Celestia said, as a pink pony with curly, darker pink hair materialized in the air. She hit the ground with a giggle, but then put a serious face on and saluted.
“The Element of Honesty, Applejaf!” Another pony materialized, this time orange with blonde hair tied into a ponytail. She wore a brown hat and a determined look.
“The Element of Loyalty, Rainben Danish!” A third pony appeared, this time light blue and winged with a stunning rainbow mane. In her hoof was a pastry, and her mouth was wide open as if she were about to take a bite. Then, she realized where she was and blushed, tossing the danish aside.
“The Element of Kindness, Fluntersky!” Another winged pony appeared, and she had pink hair and a faded yellow coat. She did her best to look intimidating but was shaking like a leaf.
“The Element of Generosity, Rarny!” A white unicorn fell gracefully to the ground and brushed her styled purple mane. She smirked at the alien and blew a kiss to him. He did not know what to feel.
“And finally, the Element of Magic itself, Twalin Sparkle!” A purple unicorn with a dark mane sporting two stripes appeared and landed in front of the princess, looking to the alien with fury.
The alien observed the six ponies that had just materialized in the room. “As you have assembled your warriors, so have I.” He pointed out the window, where the seven ponies followed. Outside, they saw the visage of massive spacecraft descending from the clouds and hovering above Equestria. Some gulped, others gasped, and others still suppressed the urge to cry.
“You’ll never win!” Twalin shouted, scowling at the alien. “Friendship will never die!”
“Friendship. Such a primitive notion. Regardless, we will see how long you can fare.” The alien raised his gun and Twalin’s horn lit up. Both mechanic and organic weapons flared up and began to fire before a voice rang through the throne room.”
“WAIT!” It reverberated through the room, causing everyone -- even the alien -- to stop what they were doing and look to it’s source. There, they found a dark skinned bipedal creature. He was wearing a black suit with a tie and had short, curly hair. Over his eyes were a pair of dark sunglasses, and in his ear was a small metal device, similar to that of the alien’s.
This new creature jogged over to them and bent over, breathing heavily. “Jus’... jus’ wait a sec...” he said, putting his hands on his knees. After a moment, he stood up fully and adjusted his tie. He cleared his throat and looked to the alien. “Greetings, extraterrestrial.” The creature withdrew a small black object from his jacket, which he unfolded to reveal a golden badge. “My name is Agent J, and it’s my duty to welcome you to earth!” He gave a toothy smile, then looked to the ponies. “And I suppose I should welcome you all as well, talking horses.”
Celestia and the Elements of Harmpony exchanged glances. The princess then approached Agent J and said “I believe you are mistaken, Agent J.”
“How so, Ms. Pony? And might I say you have a very fine lookin’ mane.”
“Thank you for the compliments, but I believe you are confused. Where did you say this was?”
“This here’s good ol’ planet Earth! You know, home to seven billion of the human race.” Applejaf and Rainben Danish stifled some laughter, but Agent J caught on and looked in their direction. “What’s so funny, ponies?”
“As I said, you are confused. This is Equestria, not Earth,” Celestia said, with a smile.
Agent J took off his glasses and looked around, observing his surroundings. He did this several times before throwing his hands up and yelling “Say WHAT?”
“That is correct,” the alien added. “This planet is classified as Equestria by it’s inhabitants and located in Sector 2045.”
Agent J’s eyes widened as he looked to the alien. “Did you say 2045? Shoot! I’m a whole thousand off! This ain’t Earth at all!” Pinkig Poines burst into laughter, which quickly set off the other five. Celestia broke down too, laughing wholeheartedly. Even the alien cracked a smile at Agent J’s situation. The agent himself eventually started to laugh.
Elsewhere, Bon Bon moaned as a certain light green mare put her head between Bon Bon’s legs.