FimFiction Link - Short ID: 238757/the-children-of-planet-earth
Published: Jun '21 — Aug '21
(As of chapter 5)
This is a language-barrier first-contact fic, and it's the highest-autism story I've seen in years. I love it.
The mission to Equus that's the subject of this fic isn't set in some vague sci-fi future. It launched in 1994, the culmination of an alternate-history space race that diverges with the discovery of a strange object in the outer solar system, which turns out to contain a wormhole to another system with a life-bearing planet.
The ponies on that planet don't speak English, of course. They speak a constructed horse language that the author has apparently been working on for the past five years. In the fic, it's rendered entirely in IPA, which is utterly incomprehensible for mere mortals. At least with Esperanto you can guess at the pronunciation, and maybe even recognize a word or two. Here, what the fuck does upside-down lowercase 'm' even sound like? (At least the narration uses the protagonist's best approximation of the ponies' names, so we get to read about his interactions with "Antir H'lsapa" rather than with [ɑ̃ˈtiɹ l̩sɑˈpɑ].)
They also have their own math, all in base 6, with their own symbols for everything. All that gets described in one of the earlier chapters.
Finally, the author apparently has OPINIONS about romanization of Russian words (Qazaqstan, Jurij Gagarin) and about umlauts (coöperation, whoëver). Not really relevant, but it certainly fits with the theme so far.
As for the actual plot, I'm sure certain anons will be triggered to hear that the first-contact procedures are garbage. The main character is supposed to be a linguist, but in two days he hasn't said or written a word to anypony aside from his name, and he hasn't made any real effort to learn the ponies' language either. He has, however, hit most of the major HiE milestones: meet Twilight, visit the treebrary, attend a Pinkie Pie party, and meet the rest of the M6.
In short: the plot is kind of dumb, but the fic is still incredibly interesting due to the absolutely insane level of detail that the author puts into every bit of it.