Friends With Benefits is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic written by L0rd0f7hund3r on Fimfiction.Net. The cast in this story revolves around a human, lost in Equestria by mysterious means, and the pony inhabitants of Ponyville, including but not limited to, The Mane Six.
The story is of the Human-in-Equestria. It is the story of man named Steven Ambrose, who is his way to his fifteenth high school reunion. On a flight from Laredo, Texas to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, his plane suffers a catastrophic disaster and subsequently explodes mid-air. When Steven is next conscious, he finds that he survived the destruction of his flight, but is now wounded severely and lost in an unknown forest. Just before passing out, he hears voices that he believes to be from inhabitants of the place he has landed. He passes out at this point to due trauma and blood loss.
The next time he's awake, he discovers his rescuers are not human. Indeed, they are strangely hued, anthropomorphic equines that are diminutive in stature. He is initially in disbelief that such creatures could exist and is positive that he is either has become comatose or is in some manner of painkiller-devised hallucination. Despite evidence to the contrary, Steve is unconvinced that the ponies that saved his life are real. For the first phase of the story, he is struggling with the idea of an intelligent civilization that lacks opposable thumbs and/or the technological sophistication that he is accustomed to.
Eventually, he will integrate himself with his equine saviors and learn of the culture. He will make friends with and even fall in love with some of these creatures. All the while, he is hunted by powerful forces that seek to make this world their own. It is steven's duty to thwart those fiends and prevent the likely genocide of the equestrians he will grow accustomed to and protecting the world he now calls home.
- Abusing the Kardashev Scale for Fun and Profit: According to Word of God, the Terran Empire once controlled at least ten Dyson spheres. And yet, they still lost to the ancient Equestrians.
- Advanced Ancient Humans: Steven eventually discovers that the planet the ponies inhabit was once a human stronghold. Those humans were capable of near Faster Than Light travel, used nanotechnology for nearly everything, used directed energy weapons, and even used Dyson's Spheres to power their empire. They referred to their civilization as the Terran Empire. The Empire fell, after nearly two-hundred thousand years of existence, when it engaged in a war with the early Equestrians whose magic canceled out the humans technology. Humanity as we know is actually the result of Terran Imperial humans mingling with natives of our planet.
- Ancient Astronauts: The old terran empire were a space faring people, as Steven eventually finds out. Even better, when the remnants of the Empire fled to our Earth, the had attempted to rebuild their civilization with lackluster success. Many of the most historical sites on earth are either Imperial construction yards or abandoned Imperial settlements. The site of Stonehenge is actually the construction platform for a new Terran Imperial Dyson Sphere. They were unable to devise it due to lack of materials and local hostility. But mainly local hostility. The same thing happened on Easter Isle; the tiki were actually transportation nodes for the Imperial gateway system, but locals defaced and damaged the nodes using an Imperial Nanoformer.
- And Man Grew Proud: House of Proletariat all but guaranteed this when they set themselves to eradicating the Equestrians.
- Artificial Intelligence: Part of the plot for "Friends With Benefits" is derived from two ancillas Steve interacts with over the course of the story. "'Hand That Mourns'" is the first intelligence that Steven meets. Bearing a female personality, she gives Steven advise, warnings, and detailed history concerning his peoples forgotten heritage. She is also responsible for acclimating and reclaiming Steven from magical damage he receives from Terra Firme's ambient mana. The other intelligence Steven meets is Esmeralda, his personal ancilla. She is responsible for aiding steve in learning about the ancient human civilization and assisting him in defining his magic.
- Functional Magic: The early Terran Empire was ruled through magic, and guided by sage-monks within the House of Endymion. After House Endymion died out, the practice of magic ebbed away from Imperial society. Steven has regained the use of magic but his knowledge of it is woefully inaccurate. he eventually get into contact with previous House Endymion members and they will teach him about the magic he can use.
- Lost Technology: Much of the Terran Empire material is Lost Technology. Directed energy weapons, molecular replication, nanotechnology and a mass scale, and faster-than-travel are just some of the hallmarks of Imperial technology. Even Steven can't properly explain how most of it works, and he's far more technologically sophisticated than the ponies.