Heh, good to see this one updated. Definitely one of my favorite takes on the "humanity is an alien civilization" concept.
Hmm.... And thus, Trixie committed suicide - brutally into molten metal. Twilight and Co. continue onto confront Mandeville. The main question is, why is Mandeville doing all of these atrocities? Fear? Conquest? Lack of trust? A perverted quest of knowledge? Spike's death will be avenged but, the underlying reason must be found in order to gain understanding.
Great job J-Dude on such a powerful fic.
I haven't seen this story in quite a long time, good to see some updates.
Holy shit, this story came back from the dead! Me Gusta!
the descriptions of this facility just SCREAM aperture science. kinda trippy...
NEED. MOAR. NAOW.
Excellent story, anticipating moar.
you know what would be so fucking hilarious?
him telling Twilight what Trixie did, even more so if he has her voice recorded.
Twilight would either never forgive herself for driving a pony to suicide or she would truly and irreversibly fall into the darkness by not caring
a win-win scenario
im such a horrible human being. oh well, i guess that the internet rule is correct. the more beautiful and pure a thing is, the more satisfying it is to corrupt it
That would indeed be pretty fucked-up, but truth be told, Mandeville isn't made of stone. While he IS going out of his way to cause misery, he has his reasons for what he's doing. He's no mad-dog, and he does feel some lingering regret concerning Trixie. He had no intention of letting Trixie leave, but he never dreamed that she'd actually choose death over facing the consequences of her actions.
yeah but im thinking that he didn't want trixie to actually commit suicide, right?
and she did it because what twilight said, right?
and if i was in his shoes then that would make me mad at twilight.
and then i would show her the recording of it as revenge for driving trixie to suicide.
also, i mildly hate you. in every single fic where trixie gets shit i feel sad beyond imagination, dunno why but trixie is definitely my favorite she does not deserve what twilight said to her. she had been through hell after what the mane 6 did to her. she was just running her show and they just tried to put her down and now when her very freedom was taken from her i don't think it is anyones place to judge what she did. she could not know that spike would die as a consequence. she was promised that nopony would get hurt and she had no reason to believe otherwise.
hell, after i read this i had to create a x.5 chapter where trixie got to afterlife and meet spike and he forgave her just so i would stop feeling depressed.
but know this, the fact that you made me feel this strongly means that you are doing something right.
keep this up or trixie died in vain
Haha, well I'm glad to know my writing is effective thus far.
You're right of course. However selfish Trixie's actions, while it IS essentially her fault, she couldn't have known. She never intended that anyone get hurt. I think I made THAT much clear. Twilight will find out about Trixie one way or another, mark me. Her feelings concerning her are nowhere near over.
Also, I'm not the sort of person that believes in afterlives. But where the story is concerned, I approach it like I approach the real world: it almost certainly doesn't exist, but I can't outright claim it doesn't either. I leave it to your own imaginations.
Wow. This was seriously an amazing chapter. This story's antagonist is definitely one of the best I've ever seen. Keep up the awesome work!
YES A HUMAN WHO ISN'T BENT ON DESTRUCTION! No, wait he still is, and he is morally ambiguous, perfect .
"He was younger than Mandeville, certainly."
just how old is Mandeville, anyway? I don't recall it being specified at all, so I'm just wondering...
>>12011141201114 Early thirties. I know, that line almost makes it sound like there's this grand difference in years between them, but Corey is mid-to-late twenties.
It's a shame this doesn't have more views. It's really good.
This is Minjask, right?
But yeah, I think part of it might be my fault. It's hard to decide on an effective synopsis when I want so much of the fic to be a surprise. As it is, you DO kinda' have to take the leap that you'll like what you find. And on the other hand, the EQD post uses the chapter art for chapter one, and I think that might be what's hurting me here.
Since a lot of people tend to pick fics by glancing at the titles and the cover image, I figure "Black Equinox" tells you very little as a title. And in an image whose only ponies are a pair of OCs, chapter one's cover art might register as an unconscious "pass" to people skimming a story-updates post. They might think, "oh, it's a story about some shitty OC's. Whatever..." and just pass it by.
I'm actually wondering if my paranoia about spoilers is really hurting me in terms of viewership. I chose that synopsis, title and image so as to avoid giving the readers expectations about things that SHOULD be surprising or shocking. Spike's death was supposed to come off as a "never saw it coming" moment to hook the readers and motivate the characters. When people actually take the leap to READ it, it's usually the proper reaction. But not a lot of people BOTHER, so what's the point?
Spike's death NEEDS to be surprising. The reader can't be allowed to see that coming, so I can't even ALLUDE to a "tragedy" in the synopsis. Using Chapter 2's art of the burning library is probably my strongest image, invoking an immediate emotional reaction. I'm fearing that I might need to use THAT image for my EQD post. Yes, it gives away that this happens, but then, it's the first chapter, and it doesn't necessarily hint that something will befall him. I fear the more astute readers putting all of that together and guessing what happens when Spike is left alone in the library for a long time. I fear the "Dun dun DUNN!!!" reaction from seasoned readers.
But I suppose it's either that, or leave Black Equinox to rot in general obscurity... It's worth a shot, anyway.
Glad to see an update, though.
Welp, that ending was depressing. This is why superheros shouldn't wear capes.
You had me faked out and I should have known better. I thought things were going to go in one direction for a certain character... and then it didn't. I guess that's life though. You set up expectations and sometimes, those expectations are not met, no matter how hard we want to reach them.
Anyway, not too bad for a human in Equestria story. Really sadistic though.
One note of criticism is that when you have several characters talking, sometimes is not always obvious who's talking. I have to re-read the section over again to get clued in. A few identifiers here and there would help.
A very dark way to deal with ponies and I have a feeling that it's not going to get any better. We'll see.
.....wow. Jeez, what a tragic turn. Not a bad thing for the story, but just... wow. The moral of this story? NO CAPES.
This actually looks scary and sad... To the point where it warrants investigation
I have to say that I found Mandeville's little sob story unconvincing. His motivations are messy and unrelatable in my opinion.
>>12443921244392 Mandeville isn't wholly forthcoming about what's going through his mind.
You're not wrong. With due scrutiny, it's easy to see that he isn't even SLIGHTLY justified in doing what he's doing. That little "sob story" is his attempt to justify himself. Which isn't to say he's lying, more that his motivations are far pettier than he's willing to admit.
Also, he's not much for taking responsibility. He fell into wealth as an electronics prodigy, yes, but unlike other infamous, rich CEO computer geniuses, once he had CAIRO, he just had to sit back and watch him work. CAIRO does just about everything for him, so he's never really learned much respect for the business aspect or even how to handle the kind of power he wields. With an army at his command and a serious, ever-building case of depression, you can imagine the sort of damage he could do with so much power at his fingertips and no proper respect for it.
*Sigh* Celestia, you'd think being a couple millenia old, you'd realize by now that usually attempts to prevent prophecies, end up causing them.
Minor issue: How exactly would the ponies be able to determine an age difference of only a few years between two members of a species they had only just seen for the first time? I get how there was a noticeable difference in their physical activity, Corey moving around a lot more while Mandeville is much more static, but are there no lazy, out of shape ponies? I've been around humans my entire life yet I still have considerable difficulty guessing someone's age--I consider getting the right general decade a victory. This seems like an artificial introduction of a familiarity with humans that ponies should not have, and to make a point about relative ages that I don't see going anywhere relevant to the story. Why does Corey's age matter?
That said, it's also only a minor bit of nitpicking on my part. Your general style is great, and seems to be improving as you go. All in all, this is a pretty good story, although it does make me feel like finding someone called Mandeville and kicking him in the face. Or maybe that's a mark of a good story?
(Apologies to anyone actually called Mandeville.)
Such a saddening end. The Mane Six + Corey made it out (I think) only for Trixie to get tragically caught. So close... Let's hope they will finally able to gain support and finally bring Mandeville to justice.
spike dead? me gusta... ( i love spike, but i love the reactions deaths cause even more)
Love it, you sir have outdone yourself. This is one of the best fics I've read. I really enjoy the god like power the antagonist holds, while I can't say I agree with his views. In my opinion, he's a just being a whiny little bitch because he didn't get enough daddy love as a child. I really look forward to reading more of this glorious story. Slightly disappointed that Trixie had to die. As much as I love when humans in Equestria have god like power... I can't wait for Mandeville to get his weak shit slapped. Oh and btw why is a simple anti magic enchantment so strong? shouldn't someone like Sparkle be able to bypass it?
I was thinking yesterday, and I realized how flawed Mandeville's logic is. So... he's mad that he got kicked off of earth even though he was trying to create peace and stuff. Yet here he is destroying the peace that this planet already has because he was a spoiled little kid who wasn't loved. Now I just hate the main antagonist. There's no logic to his plan, he's just whining because he had a "hard" life. GOD I would love to throw him somewhere in the middle of Africa and show him what "hard life" really means.
Release your anger! I can feel the hate swelling in you now...
But yeah, you're not wrong. Mandeville's reasoning is rather more petty than he'll let on. Not to mention, he doesn't get a whole lot of detractors. His only company is a sycophantic computer that plays yes-man to his every beck and call, after all. He's got good reason to be angry, sure, but not to take it out on the natives.
Yeah, at first I thought he had an actual plan, but now I see he's just a little spoiled kid who too much power. Oh BTW, is the facility supposed to be based off the Aperture Science facility?
Oh, Mandeville has a plan, but it only goes so far.
And yeah, it's pretty obvious what with the preposterous enormity of the facility and the differently designed but no less derivative hydraulic platforms that Mandeville Arms is very inspired by Portal... Notice I never refer to the tiling system using the word "panels". To deny that inspiration would probably be to insult your intelligence.
So you might ask, well, why not just make a Portal crossover? And the answer is... well, it's been done, really, and to pretty great effect I might add.
Besides, GLaDOS might commit atrocities to ponies out of the curiosity of science, but other than that she pretty much wants to be left alone... except when she doesn't. Not a whole lot of room for the kind of far-reaching invasion story I wanted to tell. Going into this story, the mission statement in my mind was, "if Aperture Science got dropped into Equestria, and if Aperture was run by a Bond villain."
Mandeville actually started out as a pretty hollow character in the original drafts. He was sadistic, he was selfish and he just plain didn't care. He was always going to be a coward, but he used to be a snide bastard who would kill a pony just to see them bleed. Similarly, Corey was just going to be a straight-up good guy who tried to heroically take down the villain. There was none of the moral ambiguity you see going on between the two human characters.
Just by fixing Mandeville up to be more... well, human... taking the philosophy that everyone wants to be a good guy. Nobody CALLS themselves evil. People who do evil things always think they're justified in what they're doing. By fixing up Mandeville from the ground up, I made him a bit more complex, something worthy of pity more than outright disgust. Meanwhile, Corey reaped the character benefits of trying to execute a man convicted with no crime, and throwing another world into peril as a result. It's really amazing what things can grow into, even from very simple starting goals.
Yeah, but I still fail to see the logic in his plans. They seem so pointless, not to mention they would fail, simply because he wouldn't be able to rule such a large population, regardless of how much robots he has. For someone so seems so smart in the past, he's pretty damn stupid. You can never rule by force, even Ceaser had to fear the mob.
Uh... I think you might be surprised.
Mandeville is only limited by his resources. If he has the materials, he can fabricate insane amounts of whatever he likes. Back on his Earth, he would be stymied by a very limited supply chain that could be easily cut off. In Equestria? The land is LOADED with rare earth minerals. He can mine beneath his very facility and yield enough materials to constantly create drones, expand his drone creation facilities, and pretty much whatever he can fathom.
As to fear of the mob... Ever heard of Emperor Qin, first emperor of China? He ruled unopposed until his death, after he swallowed pills of mercury he believed would make him immortal... ironic. He was a vicious tyrant who used what we now call "legalism" to keep the citizenry in line. It worked. Oh WOW how it worked. Look into how legalism functions, and you'll understand why. Mandeville isn't stupid.
Ok... What about teleporting a bit of the sun into the center of the facility, I'm sure there isn't much he can do against that? And back to the point of why a Anti-magic enchantment made by a weak unicorn can't be broken by Twilight?
Teleport the sun inside the facility? As in bring a neutron star into the planet's atmosphere? A roiling nuclear furnace brought to bear on the surface of a life-bearing planet? It would be worse than setting off a hydrogen bomb. I'm also not sure if teleporting something that big is quite within Celestia's capabilities. At any rate, Celestia has to busy herself on defense first. If they can repel the first strike against them, she and Luna have a good chance of shutting the whole thing down.
As to anti-magic, it can be overpowered, but it takes a lot, even when cast by a relatively weak unicorn. The enchantment can also be undone, but it's a pretty deliberate action. It's worth doing against a large target, but with small fry it's usually less complicated to just disable them through other means.
Sigh, I can't help but feel you're making this up as you go
Regardless, I didn't say the WHOLE sun, that would just be silly... just a tiny bit
Well, you'd be incorrect. I've had this story planned out for a good long time now, and I've had to consider the things you've asked about on many occasions whenever I'm bored and decide to brainstorm.
As to the sun... how does she split apart the sun? As I see it, its a neutron star with an enormous friggin' mass to it. And I wouldn't even be able to tell you what that might do the the sun's stability
I've no doubt Celestia can influence solar storms or create a focused solar beam at a spot on the earth, but still. And like I said, Canterlot is on defense here first. After? Well, we'll see what happens
Your will is unquestionable, all powerful, and all knowing author.
*Shrug* I'm just going by how I figure things would work. Deciding the ultimate boundaries of something as obscurely defined as magic is often rather subjective to how the author sees things.
I'm not hand-waving criticism, by all means I welcome it. I'd rather fix a hole in a story than leave it there to fester like a decaying cavity and try to justify why it doesn't exist.
HAHA Sonic Rainboom Mandeville can shove that up his ass and smoke it
Definitely a turning point and Mandeville has got to be wondering just how the heck these ponies keep pulling things out of their butts to keep getting away.
Really touching scene with the grave. Manly tears... and all that.
I'm wondering if the ponies are not already traumatized by all the hurt that humans put out against others and themselves. If that doesn't work, a trip down a chimera's gullet should do the trick.
Nice work! The battle has only just begun!
Mandeville all i gotta say is SUCK IT
As much as I love humanity and their godlike power over the ponies... This was a pretty sweet chapter. Also, do I sense romance in the air?
Mandeville's new theme song
Damn. I've got to pay closer attetion to my favorites list. That's twice you've managed to make me cry, now. Not an easy feat, and for the same damn reason, too! Well done.
Awesome like always... though I'm disappointed in the Corey's reaction to Celestia. There is nothing 'special' about them. They are just bigger ponies with a sparkle show going down. Other than that, I have nothing else to say.
Okay, now I get to gush about the chimera! I jumped the gun a little last time. Sorry.
Nothing like getting on the wrong side of the Wonderbolts to get the nation pumped for war. It seems Corey's giving them the lowdown but I imagine that 1,000 years of peace will put ponies on the slow-end of grasping war. We shall see.
Nice interactions with the main group and the town. At least some ponies can get their hinders into gear when necessary.
this updates waaaaaaaaaaay too slowly!
i;m dyin' for more already.
Just a tip, sad stories can't be tragic.