I dare not write this in any of my other journals. Already ponies have called me mad for my theories of a city beneath the sea, and any evidence I have presented has been laughed at instead of challenged scientifically. If anypony caught wind of this discovery- But I digress. My name is Coral Situ, unicorn mare and scholar of all things under the sea. I have discovered a specimen that I have dubbed a "sea pony". Upon closer inspection I determined that she was wounded, unconscious, but still alive. To call this the discovery of a lifetime would be diminishing its importance. It's more like the discovery of the century. I enlisted the help of Carrot and his wife and we loaded her into the cart. I am eternally thankful that I convinced them that my expedition to the cove was little more than a day out by the beach, I would have never managed to transport her on my own. We are now approaching Ponyville and I can barely contain my excitement. All of my research, all the clues pointing towards the existence of such a creature, have finally been vindicated.
After some effort we managed to transfer the sea pony to a tank in my research lab. The fish can stay in smaller tanks for the moment, I refuse to keep her in a glass coffin while there is still a chance to save her. Her skin dried out considerably on the trip and became slightly dull, which leads me to believe that keeping her submerged is the best option. I will now document what little physical information I could gather without aggravating her injuries.
The subject, the sea pony, looks to be about the size and age of a school-filly. Her scales and mane are different shades of pink. The scales aren't covered in a thin layer of slime like most fish but are instead incredibly shiny and smooth, perhaps from being in the sun for so long. I'll check again in a few hours. Her mane appeared at first to be very fluffy and curly but the moment it came in contact with the water it straightened out considerably and moves in a way similar to seaweed. Camouflage perhaps, or maybe it was simply the way in which the water in the tank was rippling. In place of legs she has fins and a tail, reminiscent of a seahorse. Whether they are used in the same way for swimming or if a sea pony has developed a different method of movement is entirely unknown. Her cutie mark appears to be a set of balloons, which confuses me considerably. Perhaps given enough time to study her I can determine which property of the balloons her special talent is related to. It might lend great cultural insight into the lives of these... They aren't creatures though, are they. They are ponies. Our aquatic brothers and sisters. Her wounds appear mostly superficial save for a single gash from her lower abdomen to where the right shoulder would be. I stitched her up to the best of my ability. There is no apparent organ damage and the waterproof bandages we used on the dolphins is proving to be a very effective method of keeping the salt water out of her bloodstream. I don't suppose I'll be sleeping too well tonight. I've prepared the operating table just in case, but hopefully I won't require it for her again, either to save her or autopsy her.
I suppose it would be pertinent to include my notes in this journal, along with my research. Better to keep everything in one place, yes? My fascination with the possibility of life beneath the sea began when I was just a filly. The oceans cover so much of our world that the idea of there not being life within it was an idea I quickly rejected. There were too many myths and tales of sailors out at sea seeing things that could only be explained by a world we knew nothing about. Almost all of my information so far stems from boiling down such stories to their basic details and comparing them, looking for similarities and differences. It's likely very silly, but given the few clues I had to work with I set out looking for proof. Underwater ruins, coral reefs that have been reshaped as though cultivated or sculpted to serve as housing and other such finds began to form large piles on my desk and maps became covered in overlays of possible territories and habitats. A history began to form in my mind, all pointing to a once-great marine kingdom, or perhaps several, undisturbed by the sun and the moon. Perhaps they even have their goddess, just as we have ours? Whatever the case may be, until now I only had a vague hope that the residents of this kingdom still existed. The writing samples from the ruins indicate some kind of language, spoken or otherwise, descended from the same linguistic ancestor as out own. Perhaps long ago we were the same race, or coexisted? In any case it should be a simple matter, with her help, to bridge the communication barrier when we reach it.
The floor of the lab is now soaked but at least this time it wasn't another leaky tank. The subject is wide awake and had a panic attack. She is now mostly calmed down and I placed a blanket over half the tank so that she has privacy. Two of her bandages came loose and I'm having a difficult time convincing her to leave the others on. I think the only thing keeping her from pulling them off is fear of the pain removing them would bring. I really wish there was a waterproof adhesive that wouldn't cause her such displeasure, but at least it means she's keeping the wounds covered so they can heal.
I've been making attempts all afternoon to get her to come out from behind the blanket but she seems too nervous to do so right now. She's certainly clever, though. I put some kelp and seaweed in the tank to try to observe her eating habits and instead she dragged it with her under the blanket and wove the fibers together into some kind of cloth. I can see the edges of it drifting out into the open from time to time. Is she cold? Or perhaps she wanted something to comfort herself with? Either way it's proof of her intelligence.
More progress. I tapped the side of the tank to try to catch her attention while I lowered another assortment of possible food for her and she responded in kind, perfectly replicating my sequence. Even though she won't show herself to me she's more than willing to communicate through tapping on the glass back and forth. It's almost like a game, mirroring patterns and rhythms. Perhaps some music would soothe her. It'll take some time to convert the sonar equipment for use as a speaker, but it'll make for an interesting experiment. As a side note, I've noticed that she seems to prefer foods with more sugar. Do sea ponies prefer sweets?
The only music that she seems to react to is the heavy bass tones of that modern garbage, possibly because it makes the water resonate. She seemed much more active while it was playing and she moved a great deal more, but she didn't seem agitated. I think she was having fun with it, but now I have a splitting headache and a noise complaint from the neighbors to take care of.
I tried playing the music again and this time she swam out from behind the blanket. She seemed to investigate me for a moment before making a funny face and disappearing behind the blanket. I thought I heard a noise, like sobbing or laughter, but it was hard to tell what it was over the noise. I presented her some writing samples and she recognized them, or seemed to. I did my best to write in her language, imitating the letter forms and the few words I was able to distinguish. Either she was insulted or simply bored, but she swam back into hiding. I will go over my work and try to decipher more of the words, as well as the structure of the grammar, before making another attempt.
I don't know how I'm going to get her bandages changed. I need to figure out a way to explain to her their purpose and the need to replace them and tend to her wounds but my grasp of her language is rudimentary at best and I don't know if what I'm trying to tell her makes any sense. I've lowered my waterproofed notebook and a pencil into the tank in an attempt to get her to write back but so far it all looks like gibberish, or a dialect of the standard language. Still, I'm slowly getting the hang of things and I think with a little more work I can start talking to her.
She wrote me another note and I managed to decipher it, with some effort. Using that note as a basis for a revised grammar system I decoded the rest of her notes. She's terrified and confused and wants to know where she is. It breaks my heart to think of how worried she is, and how alone she must feel. I wrote her a note explaining things to the best of my ability. I wish I had a linguist on call to help me, it's such troublesome work piecing together the meanings of words based only on context clues.
She responded! I didn't notice her note at first, it was only when I brought her more food that I found it. So many questions, and a whole batch of new words to uncover. There are even characters I've never encountered before. It's incredibly exciting. I'm going to get to work right away.
I'm slowly growing more concerned. Based on her letter she's all alone. The last of her kind, or the last of her clan or family at least. I've saved her from death and brought her to a strange place far from her home all for the sake of my research. I'm composing a letter to her asking what she wants to do, and trying to offer my apologies and my assistance. It's going to be another sleepless night.
Now that we've established a method of communication things are going much more smoothly. Every time I bring her food I fish out her letter, read it and reply. She's decided to stay and rest for now, either out of loneliness or because she's simply that injured. I need to examine her again but I'm still missing a few words to explain it properly and none of my writing samples have anything close to the right terminology. Sometimes she peeks out from behind the blanket while I'm working and watches me for a little while. Whenever I let her know I see her she retreats, pulls her kelp blanket around herself, and tries to use it as camouflage. I think she honestly believes I can't see her when she does that, but it's perfectly fine with me.
Another breakthrough. She asked about the bandages and now I have the words with which to tell her I need to examine her. I wish I knew how eloquent I sound to her, it probably comes off as ridiculously simplistic language. "I need to look at the white thin things on your hurt places." Still, hopefully I can take a look and see how she's doing. I need to find a way to get her out of the tank safely though.
In all my years as a scientist I've always seen magic as a fact that can't be denied. The strange truth of the matter is that some things will happen with no explanation. And yet I still couldn't help but be surprised by her abrupt transformation. When I got her out of the tank using a specialized stretcher she rolled off of it and fell to the floor. Just before she landed her lower body glowed and her tail split into two legs. The bandages ripped apart under the strain and the adhesive probably caused a lot of pain for her, but she didn't seem to even notice her new legs. I fell off my ladder and ended up collapsing on top of a pile of books in shock. I had to get my notebook and write out that it was surprising to me that she could do that because she didn't understand my concern at all. I'm going to perform the examination now and try to steady my shaking hooves. Every moment with her raises more questions than answers.
She spoke during the examination, words that I can only assume were either expletives or complaints. If they have a spoken language and it can be used outside of the water then I might be able to have a more direct form of communication with her. I'll need to do more research and get her to talk more. I managed to remove the bandages without too much trouble and her wounds have all closed up. It'll take a little while longer for them to fully heal but the danger has passed so long as she doesn't strain herself, which is going to be a difficult task considering that she won't go back in her tank and hops around everywhere instead of walking. It seems she's just as curious about me as I am about her. I'm hastily scribbling notes while keeping an eye on he- I'm going to need to restock my pantry. She got into my supplies and sampled or devoured everything inside. It tired her out a bit and I managed to get her back into her tank for the night. Her tail returned when she reentered the water and I have to wonder if she controls it or whether it's a natural process. I'm going to catalog everything she ate so I can work out what she likes and doesn't like.
She got out of the tank on her own this morning while I was still in bed and left a letter on my desk. It's almost like a shopping list of the foods that she says she liked, so I stayed up late for nothing. Oh well. At the very least I can compare the two lists and work out the nouns and adjectives she used. I'm starting to find patterns and similarities between her language and my own and it makes me wonder if the sounds are the same for the letters. I'll see if I can coax her out of the water for a little while to try speaking to her directly for a little while.
It's like speaking with one of my friends from the west. Her pronunciations are completely different from what I expected but despite the accents I think I've proven my hypothesis to be correct. We spent an hour teaching each other word sounds and writing things out for each other. I have to admit that I spent more time checking my notes than speaking when it was my turn but it was time well spent regardless. I even learned her name, "Pinkamena". I tried to teach her a little Equestrian as an experiment but it didn't go so well. She thinks that "the language of the land ponies sounds silly" and laughed at most of what I tried to teach her. I think the biggest development overall, aside from breaking down the language barrier a little further, was being able to question her directly. We're slowly coming to an understanding about the duration of her stay with me. I just need to get some funds together so I can meet her needs, but considering the nature of this discovery I feel comfortable taking out a loan to get her a better tank to stay in and get it properly set up for her. In return she'll be taking on the role of my assistant with my research on her kind.
It's getting late and she's fast asleep in her tank. I wonder if I'm doing the right thing, and for the right reasons. When I first went out to the beach that day I was dead set on exploring the cove with Carrot to examine that new species of coral and instead I found a mare who holds the secrets to a world I've dreamed of knowing about since I was a foal. I didn't hesitate to take her back to my lab, didn't stop to think that others like her might be looking for her, might be worried. And now I know she's all alone and I'm still keeping her here, far from her home. She hasn't said she wants to go back but I have to wonder- Carrot just came by to check on her. Apparently his wife has been worried about her and sent him over to see how things are going. The beginnings of a plan are forming in my mind. Maybe, just maybe, I can find a way to give her a new life here on the surface, a home of sorts. If she ever chooses to return to the sea then I'll let her, but I'm going to do my best to make her time with me as comfortable as possible. I suppose this journal is going to be a lot less professional from here onwards.
I've decided to teach her Equestrian. Partly because she wants to learn as much about me as I do about her and partly to help me get more information out of her. I can only talk to her in the vocabulary that I can decipher from her texts and while she's keen on trying to teach me she's not particularly good at it. That and it would let me find out more about the links between our languages. Some of the more obscure or esoteric words, terms that we'd consider outdated or even archaic in both our languages, are similar, prompting me to break out the dictionary time and again. Her first lessons will have to be simple, the alphabet and word sounds, but she picks things up fairly rapidly so it shouldn't be too much trouble. Time to see if I should have become a professor instead of a researcher.
She seems to be having a tough time fitting the word sounds together and I have to keep correcting her pronunciation. I think the only thing keeping me from getting frustrated with her is her laughter. It's intoxicating, and fairly contagious. Even when she's making mistakes she's having fun with the learning process, making silly faces and sounds and then giggling. It's delightful. In other news, her wounds are healing nicely. I've been experimenting with a new salve to reduce any scarring and it either works wonders or sea ponies are just naturally resistant to scarring. In either case once they heal it should be like they were never there to begin with. Perhaps I should sell the formula and make a little extra money on the side? The hospital would certainly pay a nice amount for it. I'll look into it.
After much deliberation I've decided to take her with me with me while I visit the Cakes. Social interaction might help her learn Equestrian more quickly and it would certainly give her something else to do besides lurking in her tank or helping me all day long. I'll record the events when we return home.
Today was fantastic. I don't think I've ever seen anypony so happy before. The act of cooking fascinates her. Without fire underwater everything has to be eaten raw or boiled over the deep ocean vents. Baking is almost like magic to her, and she spent the entire day watching the Cakes baking and trying to help out. I had to translate some of the words for her and teach her some of the concepts but after a few hours she was making her very first batch of cupcakes and humming to herself. It seemed to come naturally to her, much to my surprise. It does make one wonder about all those hidden talents outside of your special gift and the hypothesis proposed by Steel Hawkwing about the nature of the cutie mark. In any case I've spoken with Carrot and Cup and they've agreed to let her visit them whenever she likes, a possibility she agreed to quite readily. The benefits of this are two-fold; the Cakes never had time for a child of their own so they'll readily teach her and help "raise" her, and her baked goods are delicious and make for the perfect snack to munch on while writing these reports.
I've started to notice her singing from time to time. Whenever she's working on something she'll hum to herself and then out of nowhere add lyrics, either in Equestrian or her native language. She's very good at making rhymes up off the top of her head. I feel like writing some of the verses down or getting her some CDs. I don't particularly like modern music but if how she acted in the tank is any indication she'd enjoy the gift. I'll add it to my shopping list.
I think I finally figured out why she likes music so much. While they might have a spoken language it's much easier to hear notes and tones under the water. Their means of communication relies on music to help express the points that the muted syllables can't, things like anger or sadness. It's no wonder she thinks Equestrian sounds silly, it's lacking the emotional texture of her native tongue. We must all sound like robots to her. Maybe all her humming and singing is part of her attempt to express her feelings to us.
She doesn't want me recording her songs. Not because she's against the idea, but because after showing her the music on the CDs she's been trying to refine her musical self-expression the way one would try to pick the best words to express a point. I get the feeling she's trying to translate her tones and sounds into the styles we use on the land so that we'll understand them, something I wouldn't have a clue where to start with. I'm a scientist, and barely a linguist, so I don't even know where to begin with music theory.
Today when she came back from her visit with the Cakes she asked me something. "What is a birthday?" How do you respond to something like that? They didn't have any kind of birthday celebration beneath the waves, apparently they didn't have a reliable calendar system and instead judged the seasons by the temperature and the ocean currents, and those nearest the surface used a lunar calendar that had to be adjusted constantly. It took me an hour to explain all the nuances and answer all her questions. It's given me an idea.
The Cakes had some extra time to help me plan everything. Tomorrow we'll find out how a sea pony likes a land pony party.
Breakfast as usual. Nothing new to report, although she was a bit upset at me for asking her to stay home instead of go to Sugarcube Corner. She was supposed to learn about making crepe cakes, but really I think she just wanted to eat one. I've told her that we'll go later, once the Cakes finish setting everything up. My excuse was that I wanted to go over some words with her and take some measurements of her in both of her forms. I've yet to work out the underlying magical mechanism, but she says she has to actively think about the change for it to happen and that she didn't know any other sea ponies who could do it. It leads me to conclude that her cutie mark represents an ability to breathe air not commonly found in sea ponies. Do all sea ponies have some kind of magic the way that unicorns do? Today I'll find out.
According to Pinkemina, sea pony magic is rare and generally relates to some kind of craft or skill for manufacturing or marine agriculture. Those without magic develop more physical talents, either because they have to use their bodies more or as an innate mechanism to compensate. Those with magic are actually lower on the social ladder because there is a disease that can rob a sea pony of their magic temporarily, rending them helpless in most cases, powerless against their more physically-able kin. She related the use of magic to flexing a muscle, and her transformation to performing a double-somersault then leaping, spinning and landing gracefully. Her demonstration of such a technique ended with her crashing into a glass cabinet and sending some books flying. I wasn't aware of her dexterity and agility with those legs of hers. It might be part of her special talent, the ability to fully make use of her legs while on land. It does make me keen to see her in skates though, Ponyville could use a new lake scorer when the winter thaw comes around.
I've never seen a pony with eyes that big before. She was completely shocked by the party and the presents we gave her. It took us a good minute to snap her out of it. I have to say, it was totally worth it. Despite all the baked goods ending up in her stomach there were plenty of snacks and good music to listen to. The addition of hot sauce to cupcakes is apparently something close to a traditional dish for sea ponies, involving sweetened seaweed wrapped around a type of spicy shellfish that I'd never heard of. I'll see if I can get her to point it out in one of my books so I know the Equestrian for it. I told her that it was only part one of her surprise and I don't think she's going to get much sleep tonight. Then again, neither will I. She's been playing her music non-stop since we got home. It's pretty catchy stuff, now that I've gotten over my dislike of pop culture. Tomorrow I'm taking her to where I first found her. It's probably far too melancholy for a birthday surprise, but the timing feels right for it. I've gotten so much out of her that I could write books on the topic for years to come, and all my research notes have given me a head start with translating the remaining texts. It's time for her choice, I guess.
The Cakes came with us to the cove. I guess they wanted to be there if she decided to say goodbye. I don't blame them. The trip to the cove was almost silent and Pinkemina thought she had done something wrong. It couldn't be further from the truth. When we got to the beach and she saw the ocean she started to cry. She thought we were trying to get rid of her and send her away from us. I think I saw her hair start to straighten, but on land the effect is much sadder than the way it looks underwater. She looked so desperate for something to hope for. I told her why we had come to the beach, why I was letting her make a choice to stay with us or not. She didn't say anything for a while, she just walked to the water's edge and stood there, staring out at the ocean. We set up the picnic blanket nearby and watched her. I wonder what she was thinking, what she was looking for. She just... dove in. We each raised our glasses and toasted to her. It was probably better that it was a silent goodbye. So imagine our surprise when a few minutes later she returned and shook herself off, trotting over to us. Clutched between her teeth was a sea shell on a length of braided seaweed. Engraved on it was a word, carved by hoof. She draped it around my neck and tied it there. I've never been called "mom" by anypony before, not even close. I didn't know what to say to her so I just held her for a while. Whether it's a cultural thing or just her personal feelings, I don't think I care at all. I have somepony to watch out for now, somepony precious to me. It's been just over a week since I found her, but I guess I was waiting for her a lot longer than that, waiting for that spark of happiness and laughter to enter my life. She called me Momma Cora on the way home, so I've decided that I'm going to call her Pinkie Pie from now on if she's so insistent on pet names. She's going to stay in my bed tonight. I think we could both use the company.
I awoke to the sound of Pinkie sobbing in her sleep. I think she was having a bad dream, a nightmare of some marine terror. I led her downstairs and showed her the scariest monsters in my books, the strangest sea creatures I've ever heard of. And I laughed at them. I told her that sometimes when things scare you, you just have to realize how silly-looking they are and laugh and you won't be so afraid anymore. Dragons, for example, have really long necks. I know from a biological standpoint why they have them, but they just look so goofy to me so I chuckle when I see them in textbooks, and always have since I was a filly. We stayed up the rest of the night and made up a song together so she can sing it when she gets scared at night. I think I'm getting the hang of this "mom" stuff already.
I don't think I'll be writing for very much longer. Clever doctors with fancy clipboards have told me so and I think I have to agree with them. Burns over most of my body make it hard to do anything and it's only thanks to my magic that I'm able to hold the pen at all. There was a fire. Pinkie didn't mean any harm, she just wanted to bake me something to thank me and she got sleepy while she was cooking and ended up napping on a comfortable chair. Whatever she was making burnt, ignited and set the stove on fire. By the time either of us realized half the lab was going up in smoke. All my notes. All my research. A lifetime of effort turning to ash. We tried to salvage what we could but the roof was giving out and we got trapped. A piece of wooden beam struck her in the head and there was a kind of cracking sound. Even now I don't know if she's alright. I put her in the tank and put a cover over it. If the blow didn't kill her she's probably alright, but I have no idea what kind of state she might be in. I've asked the Cakes to look after her for me if I don't make it through the next round of surgeries. Hopefully they can do something about my lungs so I don't have to be hooked up to this damn machine anymore.
They screwed something up. My lungs are aching all the time now, it's worse than when I was in the fire. But what hurts worse is Pinkie. She's alright. She finally woke up and there's no permanent damage, no scarring from the blow. But she's lost her memories. Somewhere inside her brain got smacked and she forgot who she was and where she came from. I told the Cakes not to say a word about where she's from and what happened, and to just make up stories to fill in the gaps. If she's forgotten about her life as a sea pony, and never turns back, she has a chance to start a new life with a proper family, so far away from the loneliness she experienced before I found her. I want her to have that opportunity. The only down side is that I won't see her again before I go. If you find this journal I beg of you only one thing. Let her live in peace. Even if you feel compelled to find the truth for yourself, or want to follow in my hoofsteps, don't make her remember. Let her be Pinkie Pie, an earth pony who loves to sing and be happy and who doesn't have to be lonely anymore.