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Fanfic / Arrow 18 Mission Logs

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Arrow 18 Mission Logs is a the banner title for two My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfics written by Admiral Tigerclaw, depicting a First Contact scenario between Earth and Equestria. Arrow 18 Mission Logs: Sparkle's Notes tells the story from the ponies' point of view, using Twilight Sparkle's diary and correspondence, while Arrow 18 Mission Logs: Lone Ranger mostly uses the log of human astronaut Randolph Edwards.


Lone Ranger was completed in June 2015, with Sparkle's Notes significantly behind in the timeline.


  • Adorkable: Twilight, as in canon, but her reaction to realizing that Randy is trying to communicate with her using MATH is a standout.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Chrysalis has a rather tragic My God, What Have I Done?, and even her first appearance in her true form has her looking completely pitiful while trying to get out of a thunderstorm.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Twilight teaches herself English from Randy's ship's computer impressively fast. Otherwise averted — Luna tries to speak English, but only manages to sound like a horrifically malfunctioning toaster.
    • Later, Rainbow Dash gives it a try and fares even worse!
      I'tok! Uno-tok! Tok'i!
  • Anti-Magic: Much like in the author's other major story, Randy is essentially immune to all forms of magic, including Cockatrice Stares, Luna's Dream Walking and Changeling Love siphoning.
    • Changeling shapeshifting is also affected. When Chrysalis tries to shapeshift into Randy, the result just screams Uncanny Valley.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Randy is injured after the Ravenstar malfunctions while taking off, losing both legs. But he survives thanks to Luna, and has managed to help forge a good relationship between Earth and Equus (as well as between the Equestrians and the Changelings).
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  • Carnivore Confusion: Inverted at one point when Twilight mistakenly eats one of Randy's meat-based MREs and discovers, to her dismay, that she likes it.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Putting only a single person on the mission comes back to haunt Earth when Randy's ship malfunctions because he didn't check it thoroughly enough. Being Avionics rather than mechanical, he sees a broken part and replaces it, not thinking to track it back further to see why it broke.
  • Doing In the Wizard: This happens to some of the magic of Equestria. Unicorn magic (namely telekinesis and teleportation) has a basis in the stories version of FTL, Changeling's ability to feed on love is described more like feeding on energy (with love being a conduit by which they do so), and when Changelings shapeshift, they first hit their target with a small burst of X-rays, presumably to see what the full structure looks like.
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  • Entertainingly Wrong: Because Randy's pictures of unicorns, cockatrices, etc. are all drawings or paintings, Twilight assumes they've gone extinct on Earth, not realizing they're fictional there.
  • First Contact: The story as a whole. Actual initial communication uses math.
  • Heroic BSoD: When Randy discovers that yes, Celestia and Luna do in fact literally control the sun and moon, he kind of... breaks for a little while. Particularly noteworthy in that he was perfectly willing to consider it as a hypothesis; seeing actual evidence is a different experience entirely.
    • Rainbow Dash is discovered to be claustrophobic...when they're on a ship traveling over twenty times the speed of sound.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Takes place whenever Twilight fills in for Randy when he is incapacitated in some way.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Due to his Anti-Magic properties, even eye contact from Randy is described as an unpleasant electrical shock by Queen Chrysalis. Randy describes it as smacking a dog on the nose with a newspaper.
  • Magic Versus Science: An interesting take. Twilight manages to hack into Randy's computer with magic. Specifically, by using her magic to painstakingly track the electrical currents within the computer, poking and prodding at different circuits until she found the one bit that needed to be flipped which told the computer that the correct password had been entered. It apparently took her over eight hours to find it.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Or what did I almost do in Chrysalis' case. Doubles as a Break the Haughty moment for her.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Rarity reacts to Randy's apparently ugly uniform by having Applejack hogtie him and bring him back to Carousel Boutique, then stripping it from him. Twilight arrives soon afterward, having just learned about human modesty, and covers him up.
  • Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom: Canterlot's proper name translated to English is "Cantered Slopes Cliffside City of the Rising Sun". Twilight lampshades that a lot of Equestrian names become rather long when translated to English.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Randy resorts to this to make sure Twilight knows not to touch anything on the console. Unlike the computer, she could easily kill them if she touches the wrong thing.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Twilight steals two of Randy's spare pressure suits and has them adapted for ponies, giving them cutie marks and an embroided name tag reading "Sparkal (sic) Space Program", all before even getting his permission to take either her or Rainbow Dash into space with him. Randy can't help but be impressed.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Whilst Randy is immune to the Cockatrice stare, the nutrients of the Equestrian food he ate isn't. The result is the poor guy getting a titanic migrane until Twilight is able to give him a de-petrification potion.
  • Scrapbook Story: Both stories are complied from logs, letters and a transcript from a flight data recorder.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: After realizing she just ate meat — and enjoyed it — Twilight quietly excuses herself from the room and shuts herself in another, but Randall can still hear her scream...which is so strong that it affects the Arrow freighter's power as well.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Randall quickly notes that changelings keep a constant weight regardless of disguise. He's tipped off by the fact that according to his calculations (based on hoofprints) the pony he dubbed "Shifty" weighs less than half what she should.
  • Shown Their Work: To the point of simulating flights in Orbiter and linking the results.
  • Taser Tag Weakness: Randy tasers Twilight to get her out of his ship and into bed when he becomes concerned about her obsessive studying. He tries it on Rainbow Dash during her panic attack later, but it doesn't work — pegasi are more resistant to electric shock.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Rainbow Dash proves to be extremely claustrophobic once in Randy's spaceship, going into a panic attack during takeoff.
    • Later Justified by Twilight. Rainbow Dash is a pegasus and is used to flying under her own power. To be flying in an enclosed space not under her control is hell!
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Randy briefly wonders if Shifty/ Queen Chrysalis was using one in her true form due to her appearing to be partially crippled and clearly a victim of abuse. He deduces she isn't because she'd use fresh wounds rather than old scars if she wanted to garner sympathy.


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