>Ponies become space-faring early in their history thanks to one brilliant mind accidentally making magitech.
>In hardly a few hundred years they go from living in huts to celebrating the success of their first space elevator. Interstellar travel follows shortly.
>They roam the galaxy looking for life, only to find microbes at most.
>More and more they look, only to find nothing.
>They aren't the only ones... right?
>One day, a scout team goes into high alert when their low-radios suddenly chatter briefly.
>Weird. Most ships use laser beaming or magic telepathovoice for comms. Why low-radio?
>They focus in and try to clear the channel, hearing a series of ping-like noises.
> 2, stop, 3, stop, 5, stop, 7, stop, 11, stop, 13, stop, 17, stop...
>The captain of the ship feels her eyes widen. This isn't just random interference, these are prime numbers!
>SOMETHING INTELLIGENT IS BROADCASTING!
>They quickly chase down the signal, parking themselves several hundred million kilometers from a small garden world.
>One teeming with radio signals and life signs.
>...But something is off here.
>They release some probes to investigate and wait.
>Some hours later, the little magitech gadgets return with unsettling results.
>The garden world before them is a high-gravity hellhole. The water is toxic, the air is a miasma of disease, the flora and fauna are hostile, natural resources are low, some of which NEEDED for spaceflight totally absent, the weather is wild, the sun is untamed...
>...And there is no magic. None at all.
>It's like something out of a horror movie.
>Yet the only intelligent life there, the humans, somehow survive. These lonely foals cry out into the void for help and attention with their radios, only for none to come.
>It would only take random one meteor strike or bout of crazed weather to kill them all. With no magic and their crushing gravity making pure tech rockets so costly, they'll never make it. Their home will be their grave without help.