This post has the following content warnings:
Jul 21, 2019 2:44 AM
and meets Peter Pevensie
+ Show First Post
Total: 211
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

Nightmare listens intently. Her ears occasionally flick, and she opens her mouth when Lucy says there are no non-human people on Earth, but she doesn't interrupt. She blinks once, then stares at Susan for a long moment, but doesn't acknowledge the condolences.

"Do you mean to tell me you are all the same species? You are at war with your own kind? Mistrust, unease, competition I can understand, but killing is... wasteful." She shakes her head in disgust. "As much as I'd sometimes like to lock every unicorn in Canterlot in a room together and let them fight it out, they are a vital part of our society and ecosystem. The reasonable ones, anyway.

"What does that mean, 'too old' to go to Narnia? It cannot be a land peopled entirely by children; from your description you aged while you were there. And -- God has a son? Is God the name of the creature or the species? Others of them could be more amenable to aiding us." She pauses. "I would also like to know what exactly happens if this Deep Magic is defied, since in my experience 'the end of the world' rarely actually means that. Presumably you don't know, or you would have said.

"If I should win the war for you, get rid of the Nazis or Germany or however you'd like, do you think your government would grant me, or Equestria, a boon? I could leverage that to our favor."

Permalink

"I would say killing people of any species is wasteful and much more besides. Aslan is more an aspect of God than a distinct entity; there's supposed to be only one of the species. The age restriction is as confusing to us as to you and defying the Deep Magic would cause the sea to swallow the land, the sun and moon to die, and an army of sleeping monsters to wake. And what boon would you want to ask of our government? I expect they would be willing to promise you quite a lot in exchange for aid."

Permalink

Nightmare Moon resettles her wings, in a sort of shrug. "We are not as far removed as you, I think, from our animal ancestry. Plenty of sapients would and occasionally will hunt ponies, given the opportunity. As to a boon, I would request uninhabited land be gifted to Equestria, and our sovereignty recognized. It need not be conventionally arable land, but we do need space. Ponies as a species are not fond of cramped quarters. Perhaps a few other, smaller things, once I have a better stock of the situation.

"You mentioned two others, Eustace and Jill. Are they also too old to reach Narnia? And--" Her mouth twists in thought, and she looks at the door. "What did Aslan say exactly when he forbade you from returning?"

Permalink

"I think our Empire's only wholly uninhabited lands may be in Antarctica. The problem with which is that it's cold and dark for lack of sunlight, which I gather isn't a problem you're well equipped to solve. Our government would almost certainly be willing to give it to you if you helped us in this war, but I don't know if you would get much use out of it.

And Aslan's exact words to us were- well, in our case he addressed them to Lucy in particular”

Permalink

" 'Dearest, you and your brother will never come back to Narnia. You are too old, children, and you must begin to come close to your own world now.'

I don't think Eustace and Jill are too old; they're much younger than we were the last time we came."

Permalink

"Well, that's condescending as -- uh," she says, belatedly remembering she's speaking to this species' equivalent of foals. "Never mind. If we get either of them here, do you think they'd have a chance of reconnecting to Narnia through Milliways?"

Permalink

"What would they need to have a chance of that?"

Permalink

"...Excellent question. Bar?"

They would need to either consider the destination as their home, or have an especially strong connection to it in some other way. Results of experiments such as these often vary.

Nightmare Moon reads the napkin aloud, to save passing it around the room, then frowns. "Hmph."

Permalink

"Perhaps we could reconnect to Narnia that way. Aslan said we wouldn't *return* there, not that we wouldn't- open a door there for someone else?"

Permalink

"By all means, do try it. More resources is never a bad thing."

Permalink

He tries.

"Still England. Is there a trick I might be missing?"

Permalink

"If there is, I don't know it." She purses her lips. "Let us assume for the time being that we must work with what we have. The population of Equestria alone is nearly a million. I have no clear idea how to estimate other nations' populations, so for the sake of possibly drastic overestimation, a million will suffice there as well. All told, we should plan to evacuate roughly ten million creatures. It will probably come out to significantly fewer than that, but I'd rather have it and not need it, so to speak."

Permalink

"If you have enough aid to offer, the Allied governments might be persuaded to lend aircraft to assist in the evacuation. But we'd need a way to get them to Equestria."

Permalink

"Would your magic be able to help with that? By shrinking them, say, or teleporting them through Milliways? It would still only be tens of thousands of vessels to carry millions of people."

Permalink

Nightmare stares down at the table, thinking. "There are a few shrinking spells, but none of them are very efficient unless they're connected to a mark. It's hard to control when the spell wears off, too. The question is, are your aircraft more efficient than I would be if I simply teleported the distance, and can they carry more? I can safely teleport a group of five, myself included, approximately one canter every second, though I've never sustained it for any significant period of time -- a canter is the distance between the tip of Mount Canter and the tallest spire in Canterlot, I'm not sure what that works out to in your measurements but it's a considerable distance, perhaps twenty minutes at a brisk walk. The rule of horn for teleportation is that the energy cost increases linearly with the distance traveled. Actual teleportation is instantaneous; the time is an estimate of how long it will take the caster's magical reserves to replenish. Occasionally Celestia or myself would teleport to another country rather than sail or fly, but I never liked doing so. It left the capital vulnerable. Given Milliways' rather... dubious relationship with conventional physics, I'd prefer not to teleport between worlds unless there is no other option. And at any rate the mass involved increases the energy cost exponentially, so if it is much bigger than I am then I will need to rest for some time between trips.

"If only there were some way to tell every creature on the planet to come to Canterlot.... Many travelers converging on a central point would be chaotic, but much faster. There are spells for amplifying sound, but none...." She trails off, flicking her tail back and forth unconsciously.

Permalink

Edmund does some calculations in his notebook.

"twenty minutes for a horse would be a bit over a mile. But you're mostly ponies, aren't you, so say around a mile. Our planes fly around two hundred miles an hour, so a bit over a twentieth your speed. But we can have more than one going at one running at a time once you bring them through.

Another issue with our planes is they need fuel and they only carry so much, so they won't go past around a thousand miles- that is around a thousand canters- from the door."

Permalink

"Telling everyone to come to Canterlot- I don't suppose you can write on the moon?"

Permalink

"And do you expect people overseas will trust that a summons is for their sake and not for something nefarious?"

Permalink

"Write on the...." Nightmare blinks. "That could work. Not writing on the moon per se, but I could move the stars to spell a message. That only works for the night half of the planet, but those who can read will help those who can't. They already know something nefarious is going on, the sun hasn't risen in three days. Or set, depending. Chances are they'll be relieved that somepony else is in charge. That leaves the creatures on the far half of the planet...." Her horn lights, and she picks up a few napkins, a pen, and one of the books she was reading from the bar behind her. They orbit each other in a complex pattern, not as a visual aid but as the unicorn equivalent of tapping one's fingers on the table. After a moment they stop, and she cocks her head. "Bar, must the door to a world always stay where it is first opened? Could I, for instance, open a door to some other part of the palace, or another country on Equus?"

Theoretically, yes, a napkin says. In practice, it is possible but not easily accomplished.

Permalink

"How would we accomplish it?"

Permalink

"You suggested an eclipse before? Could you write a message in several parts of the sky and eclipse the sun so everyone could read it?"

Permalink

"I... maybe? That is, I could physically do it, I just don't know how effective it would be. I'd rather try the doors first, for simplicity's sake."

Permalink

A napkin appears.

Try.

Permalink

"So we have a provisional evacuation plan; you try opening doors different places and funnelling people through them one city at a time. If that doesn't work we tell them to come to Canterlot with the stars and funnel them through there. And you eclipse the sun and we hope that makes the stars visible on the other side of the planet too."

Permalink

"Speking of eclipses, didn't you say you thought you could keep the day side of the planet habitable using partial eclipses? So you can definitely get the message to the people who most need it. Of course, that still leaves the issue of travel time."

Total: 211
Posts Per Page: