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More Stories23

  • T Friendship Is Optimal: Caelum Est Conterrens

    Set in the Optimalverse, a middle-aged woman confronts what emigration to Equestria - uploading to a virtual existence - really means. But can she truly understand - and more importantly, should she trust the artificial intelligence Celestia?
    56,871 words · 15,273 views  ·  503  ·  126
  • T The Taste Of Grass

    Within The Conversion Bureau Universe, Newfoal immigrants face settling new lands within Equestria. Unfortunately, not one of them knows how their new universe actually works.
    114,602 words · 5,639 views  ·  355  ·  104
  • T 27 Ounces

    27 Ounces is the story of eight and one half ponies, set within the Conversion Bureau universe.
    78,013 words · 6,676 views  ·  371  ·  122 · gore
  • T The Conversion Bureau: Code Majeste

    Earth pony, pegasus pony, unicorn; a newfoal will become one. But there is provision for one other.
    56,897 words · 8,828 views  ·  365  ·  130
  • T I.D. - That Indestructible Something

    Gregoria Samson awakens transformed into an Equestrian pony - yet no other human being can percieve her new body in any way. What is the incredible, monumental truth behind her impossible change?
    97,700 words · 3,739 views  ·  349  ·  130
  • T The Conversion Bureau: Euphrosyne Unchained

    A young woman prepares for Conversion, but there is more she wants to change than flesh.
    16,364 words · 6,132 views  ·  200  ·  83
  • T The Conversion Bureau: Teacup, Down On The Farm

    Years after the last human is gone, a Newfoal must face that the past never truly vanshes.
    40,225 words · 4,477 views  ·  229  ·  97
  • E The Ice Cream Pony Summer

    This series of stories explores the many feelings of summer for the denizens of Equestria.
    8,144 words · 1,287 views  ·  121  ·  47

Blog Posts71

  • 12w, 3d
    In Hell, There Are No Desks

    I'm typing this from my lap, on a new keyboard I am unused to. Had to get a new one, we couldn't connect my old keyboard - they don't make those ancient connectors anymore, and the cable needed is still in a box. Everything I own is in a box, and will be for the next three to four months at least.

    Hah! How the mighty have fallen, eh? Once I lived in a palatial home, now I have no room of my own. My world, for now, is the far corner of what - in a normal person's house - would likely be the 'living room'. The house is filled with hundreds of boxes, and no way to unpack them. Why? It's a little bit Sokoban, and a little bit 'guess what's in the box' and a little bit 'we are so fucked'.

    Intel got caught with their fingers in the European cookie jar, as you may recall, and they had to pay billions in fines. Worse, they got very complacent and ignored the rise of mobile computing entirely, so the pacific rim ate their lunch with cheap, easily modified, dedicated chips for consumer goods. Desperate to look good to stockholders, they did the usual American Capitalist Trick: fire most of the workers who actually do the work in a way that denies them any benefits or severance of any kind. Suddenly, without employees, they look great on paper!

    The way they did this is to announce that if one wanted to work for Intel any longer, one must move to the region around Portland, Oregon. Naturally, this meant that more that 75% of their employees in the divisions targeted would be screwed, and 'choose' to leave their jobs of their 'own volition', thus making their quitting their 'free choice' and thus ineligible for any benefits of any kind - the slackers! The losers! Stupid peasants with homes and communities and family obligations and relatives and lack of resources to move at the drop of a hat!

    It was evil, but damn clever. Force people to have to quit because moving is not possible for most people. Brilliant. Dirty as hell, of course, but cunning.

    That still left tens of thousands of people flooding into a fairly small region, Hillsboro. It was sheer luck we found an overpriced house at all - there is a huge bubble going on as folks gouge the hell out of the influx of Intel folks. House-flip-a-go-go! Gold rush!

    Bottom line? It is impossible to get a contractor to fix a house or turn a garage into a room. And that is a problem, you see, since the entire plan was to convert the garage into my room. For me to live in. That isn't happening. It's so massive an issue, that the guy that set up our internet? He is part of a small army of folks brought in from Colorado just to hook up internet here in Hillsboro. They're letting him go back to Colorado for a week to see his family, then it's another month of hooking up folks like us... the Intel Invasion. They don't have enough native cable guys here to do the job. Consider that.

    My family is hoping that maybe by October or November, it might be rainy and miserable enough that the contractors here might be unable to work outside - or unwilling to work outside - and it might be possible to get some to do interior work at last, and thus finally build me a room to live in. It's a hope, anyway.

    Until then, I am the empress of cardboard boxes that I can't get into... because there is no place to unpack them. I have six pieces of clothing, my shoes, my computer and monitor, my 360 and PS4, a chair, my toothbrush and the medicines I have to take, one garbage can, and my purse with my ipad in it. This is my world. This is my life. I am slowly going through some of the mis-labled boxes, checking them, resealing them, and writing their contents down (the packing crew did a random job, just insane) to find, well, things. More clothes to wear. Even one game for my PS4 to play. But, it's rough going - the house is chock-a-block with boxes. We were entirely depending on having my room done, so that my stuff could get unpacked, so there would be room to unpack other things. That isn't happening. We also expected that the boxes would be correctly labeled too. Nope.

    If I had thought, even for a moment, that everything would be lies and bullshit, and that it would all turn out to be a clusterfuck... I would have done some things differently.

    So, here is my big lesson to you, in case you have to move:

    Expect that nobody is telling the truth about anything, that everything will be fucked no matter what, and that nothing and no man can be trusted. Prepare accordingly: take enough stuff you need to live normally in the car with you, and don't let said stuff get packed up on the moving truck. Even if you have to make six or ten five hour trips back and forth to do it, do it. Keep what you need close to you. Because it will all go horribly wrong. When it does, you will have all of your necessities with you in your fortress of cardboard boxes, and you will be alright until things eventually become rational again.

    I didn't do the above, so now, for the next many months, I must peer at a monitor stacked on six shelf boards balanced on two incomplete drawer shells and type from my lap.

    Because, in hell, there are no desks.

    Anyway, we are in a new house, there is a lot wrong with it, but it will get fixed in time, and maybe in enough months, I will have a room again. And a surface to type on. (In the mean time, I am experimenting with using boards across my chair arms, tilted boards balanced on the edge of my monitor base, and pillows with boards on them as ways to get that 'desk feeling' back. Something will work, eventually. Surely.)

    When I get used to my new keyboard (this one is USB! Huzzah! I am finally in the new decade!) I will continue with my writing.

    So, for the too-long, didn't read crowd: I am down and (relatively) safe, the move is sort of over, and I am the empress of cardboard boxes, all hail me in my palace of cardboard!

    Lastly, thank you to everyone who has been so supportive and kind to me during this fairly awful situation. You are wonderful, and I am grateful for you.

    All hail Cardboardia!

    May your boxes never crush

    A land not unlike Minecraft

    Someday the toilets will flush

    All hail the Empress

    ensconced in cardboard wall

    one day the mythical contractors

    will build her unicorn stall

    All hail Cardboardia!

    who knows what's tucked inside?

    Intel and life and human greed

    will ever take us for a ride!

    When you gaze upon a cardboard box, remember: the empress gazes back at you. (No, she doesn't. She's too busy feeling sorry for herself. The stroppy bint.)

    Yay.

    - Petal Chatoyance

    39 comments · 467 views
  • 15w, 1d
    This week and the next is moving.

    And I am in hell.

    Please, Celestia, CelestA.I. - I want to emigrate to Equestria.

    30 comments · 438 views
  • 17w, 2h
    It looks like we have a house.

    A little update on my life, it looks like we have a house to move to.

    Over the past... however long... we have been negotiating for a home in the Portland area. Hillsborough. We are just about to sign - this weekend, actually - and then we will own a home about six minuted from the Intel campus.

    It will need a little work - in order to provide me with a roughly equivalent 'Uniplex' room - the common place where my family gets together to watch or play, and the place I do everything in - the garage will be turned into a finished room with a proper floor and insulation and nice walls and skylights and suchlike. A replacement Japanese soaking tub will take a little longer, but it is in the plans.

    The house we are getting has some upsides and some downsides. It has enough rooms for a polyamoric family of four, which is good - one thing we have learned about being in a group marriage is that having enough private space is really a vital thing. People need some alone time. So a house for us has to have places where family members can just isolate if they need to. Say to work on something without interruption, or even just to chill out.

    The house is quirky, which is good. It appears to have been several houses, in a way. A house that was built on, then built onto again. The stairs are crazy in it, short stairs mostly, but strange in placement because of the haphazard way the place sort of grew over time. It has a moderate yard in the back, decent for gardening in, and a very nice front yard with a mature cherry tree. Mmm. Cherries.

    On the negative side, it is not very isolated - it is in the middle of Spielbergian Suburbia. It is next to the distant outer yard of a gradeschool, hopefully that will not be too awful. We are not 'kids' people, and we don't like noise and screaming and people breeding all over the place. Also, there is an airport nearby, somewhere. We have no way to know if we are on a flightpath that will be hell to suffer under. I guess... we'll find out.

    I tried packing some of my little, fragile things, and I broke down in tears. It was also hard on my stamina. Ever since my heart attack about a decade ago, my stamina has not been great. I'm going to need help packing, a lot of it, and I'm not sure how that is going to work out yet.

    But... the plan is that in three weeks or so, I will be living in a new house. When the shit hits the fan, it happens fast.

    That is the update, for those that care.

    I will keep working on my novel with dedication, but because of circumstances, I cannot promise, nor hope to always manage a chapter a day. I am sorry. I hate this unfortunate fact. I was really hoping to perform like I used to. But... life. The real world always gets in the way of ponies, and that is why real life is always inferior! :derpytongue2:

    Oh, how I wish that the Bureau Mythos, my own Pony Singularity, or the Optimalverse was real.

    But then, I doubt I am alone in that.

    - Petal Chatoyance, July 25th, 2014

    28 comments · 309 views
  • 18w, 3d
    Error Correction

    16 comments · 266 views
  • 18w, 5d
    Adrift Off Fiddler's Green: a new story is coming!

    We have a lead on a house. If things work out, then we may own a new place to live by the end of the month.

    This has cheered me enough that one day, I woke up, and... I wasn't completely sad. I had some energy. I had just a little joy in me. The bright day wasn't shining with despair anymore. I almost felt happy.

    And what powers my ability to write is feeling joy. Even just a little.

    And that translates to:

    Adrift Off

    Fiddler's Green

    A     C o n v e r s i o n     B u r e a u     S t o r y

                                                                  By Chatoyance

    It's coming. The first chapter is even now going through approval. It's a sort-of follow up to HUMAN In Equestria, and sort of it's own novel. It stars, with permission, a reporter character courtesy of Midnight Shadow. Why? Because while it is trivial to just invent a character, using his newfoal 'Frontpage' from 'Midnight's Tail' makes me feel, just a little bit, like the old days, when I was part of a community of writers all sharing the same mythos in joy and friendship. That sort of feeling is precious.

    A note on HUMAN In Equestria. For months and months, it has sat there, unfinished, a blot on my perfect record of always finishing every story. So, I set out to finish it. That was my initial goal. But... stories have lives of their own. Stories are living things, and what happened was that in doing more chapters of HUMAN, I realized an astonishing thing.

    I had already finished the book perfectly ( just as some readers did, in fact, point out at the time ) and I had failed to notice it. Or believe it. I think I didn't want that particular ride to end, really. But... it is complete. The 'new chapters' proved that to me. The book had a perfect, happy ending, plus an epilogue that tied everything up. It was complete, I was just unwilling to admit it. Silly, stubborn me!

    So, now I had two chapters and no book to put them in.

    That is remedied as of now... or rather, when the new novel is greenlighted and online. Soon, I expect.

    Please look for it. I would love to tell you a story, if I may.

    A story of the deepest secrets of Equestria... like what it actually is, what the princesses (and Discord) truly are, and... the little issue of what happens in my Equestria after ponies... and other creatures... die.

    Because an event, with a little Snow Bunny, from HUMAN In Equestria, needs to be followed up.

    Because stories, have a life, of their own.


    I guess... I'm back!

    - Petal Chatoyance

      July 12, 2014








    34 comments · 733 views
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An entry into the fifth Ponychan Conversion Bureau Writing Event as organized by Krass McWriter. Following the PROMPT: “Simply put, write a continuation, prequel, or spinoff of someone else's TCB story.” This continues BronyOfSteel’s classic short story 'Ten Minutes', taking it from nihilism to joy.

First Published
23rd May 2012
Last Modified
29th Oct 2013
#1 · 130w, 2d ago · 6 · 24 ·

After several requests, both on FimFiction, and by email and irc, I have finally decided to publish this piece. Needless to say, it was ignored in the writing event itself, but it did seem to have a few fans nevertheless. This version has some new, additional opening material as well as spot art based on the cover.

I hope it finds a warm audience here.

This also marks the only time in all of my stories that I have alluded directly to an Equestrian afterlife, which makes it special to me.

And lastly, this is not an attempt to minimize the original story by Brony Of Steel - I call his work a classic of the Bureau mythos for a reason, and I chose his story because I like it so much.

I just wanted to take it in a new direction, and see if I could take dark nihilism and turn it to something ultimately sweet and wonderful, as a personal challenge to myself, and my writing ability. Ten Minutes is pretty damn dark, so it was a worthy challenge, I felt.

#2 · 130w, 1d ago · 2 · 1 ·

>>633835 I wouldn't worry about it being ignored in the writing event. Everybody ignores the writing event, even Krass :heart:

I liked it, although I am... sad, in a way, that the tone of the universe it is written for is changed so dramatically. I, personally, enjoy all the takes on the Conversion Bureau universes for what they are. I wrote a grimdark one where mankind nukes itself and Equestria ascends. Ten Rounds was the "cute and cuddly pastel zombie horde" type where horrific body-horror (mind-horror?) was the order of the day. My stuff where, as closely as possible, I was attempting to build a rational world that I see as relatively honest towards man and pony is basically pure escapism and inescapably light. Your own universe, far more realistic and gritty than mine, is much richer for examining what it means to be human, and then of course we get all the others that have fun with task forces and road trips and crazy monsters. I love them all, including the 1984-alike where mankind, in its eternal hubris, has triumphed over ponykind, with all that entails. And so back to this one; I enjoy this one, but it is not written within the universe it comes from. That lessens what the original was, but it was done for a reason I can agree with, in that it creates something else. Maybe lessening is the wrong word, it's rather negative, after all. Ten rounds was built on fear and paranoia, and the unassailable platform that Mankind Is Always Right, and Mankind Is Better. I don't have to agree with that to enjoy the scenario (strange as that may seem. Personally, if I was forced to agree with what I was reading, I could not), which is why changing that is unsettling.  It's worse, in a way, because that means that all the death and destruction was meaningless - and in a way, the life of those converted is meaningless - because it's all for the glory of Celestia, and the happiness is unrelated to any actual state of living.

But then again, all sacrifices like that are ultimately worthless. In a thousand years, the greatest hero and the greatest villain are just footnotes in a history book. In ten thousand years, nothing will remain. In a hundred thousand years, less than nothing. That is the timescale Celestia lives on. She saves, in her eyes, mankind from eternal darkness even at the cost of their mortal lives because she gains their immortal souls, and it is that immaterial gain which she seeks.

That's kind of frightening. Understandable, but frightening, and truly is something that only a god can appreciate in full: every sacrifice by a human was futile, every life for a pony was just a mote of dust in the wind.

I need to go lie down now, I've depressed myself.

#3 · 130w, 1d ago · 2 · ·

>>633835

Why not make an alternate ending for this?

#4 · 130w, 1d ago · 4 · 6 ·

Why so much hate?

#5 · 130w, 1d ago · 3 · 5 ·

Why is this being disliked so much? Am I missing something here? Because honesty; you have a lovely writing style. I don't even know what the prior story was about and even then you just sucked me in. Very lovely job. :yay:

#6 · 130w, 1d ago · 2 · 2 ·

I liked this take on it, Ten Minutes was a pretty dark story. Hope to see more from you Chaty :twilightsmile:

#7 · 130w, 1d ago · 6 · ·

>>635931Unfortunately, TCB is a very polarizing setting of ponyfic.

It's very hard to be one of the fence sitters, like me, who can (without necessarily "swallowing the Kool-aid"' as it were) appreciate the story for what it is: escapist fantasy. Unfortunately some of the themes leave a bad taste in some readers' mouth... and it isn't synthetic grape.

#8 · 130w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

>>633835

I don't agree that this is the first time you alluded to an Equestrian afterlife. While it is true that this is the first time that you (practically) outright said there was one, you also referred indirectly to it.

The first time was at the end of The Taste Of Grass, when Caprice is reunited with Alexi. The second time would be when Derpy/Ditzy mourned how humans would be completely gone after their deaths, on account of a lack of magic.

Again, I do admit this is the first time you outright claimed the Equestrian afterlife existed, and I'll stop my inane ramblings here before I unintentionally insult anyone. Loved the story, I have no idea where all the thumbs down come from, and now I'll go and read Ten Rounds/Minutes.

#9 · 130w, 1d ago · 3 · 16 ·

>>636048 "Man is something to be surpassed." — Friedrich 'Freddie' Nietzsche

#10 · 130w, 1d ago · · ·

>>636048

not all the stories have the ponies as the good guys. some of the best TCB stories have the humans who fight for their own right to be human.

it varies of corse due to each branch of the TCB universe..

the main one has the boundries of equestria expanding (under no ones control)  slowly so that it is inevitable that all the humans will be ponies or dead.

the Yellowstone variation has the boundries stable but magic is weaving through thus causing death and humans and ponies team up to help.

and then there are those that are out of the two. the ones that have variations. chats New Universe versions are some.

but basically.. there is no good guys or bad guys in the universes. just groups.

there is the normals

Equestrians: kind of like americans "bring us your tired, weary, huddled masses" but they dont demand you become one of them. the choice is yours.

humans: the average joe somebody. they choose either path due to circumstances (no jobs, survival against the barrier, or a better life)

then there is the extremists.

HLF: the human liberation front, they are the guys who if they lived in the time of segregation would be wearing white cones/hoods on their head. they hate because equestria is "invading" and "converting"

PER: ponification for earths rebirth. they are the ones who wont give a choice. they do underground tactics.. invading bases and underhanded tricks just to turn the average joe  or HLF member into a pony.

both sides have a bad streak. both sides have the extremists.. and if you think that is not how some people would react to this? i have four words for you to consider. slavery, segregation, gay marriage.

how many of those have faced opposition due to close-minded people?

#11 · 130w, 1d ago · 8 · 16 ·

>>636048  "Nazi-like genocide look like a good thing"

>>635913 "Why so much hate?"

I am unsure if technical genocide is actual genocide. The ponies themselves do not commit genocide - they offer conversion, which humans can take or leave. In my TCB stories Celestia is technically committing genocide, because she is responsible for the expansion of Equestria, but in the majority of TCB stories she is not to blame at all - it is just two universes colliding. That was the original concept and is likely the concept in the majority of stories. I am pretty much to blame for suggesting the notion that 'Celestia Done It'.

Don't paint the TCB mythos with 'Celestia Done It' just because I wrote a few tales with that spin.

But does it really matter - really matter - if a particular genome is lost, if the individuals themselves are saved? If there were a medicine, one that altered the human genome to prevent disease completely, and extend life dramatically, would not most people want it and take it if they could? If it were made available to all, in the end, the human genome, as we know it, would vanish forever. We would become a new species, and need a new taxonomic nomenclature. It would be genocide, but not a single person would die. They would just be changed at the genetic level.

Should we call the future doctors of such a scenario 'Nazi's' and condemn them? Should we mourn and shriek about the loss of the original, faulty, human genome so filled with genetic diseases and errors and mistakes? Should we cry over the end of babies being born without eyes or limbs or immune systems, or claim that we are not 'us' any longer?

Would it make a difference if space aliens came down and offered us this serum to change our genes? What if they looked like ponies? Or squids? Or anything else non-human?

When we went from Cro-Magnon to Modern Man, Nature herself committed genocide on our previous form. Should we decry Nature for killing off an entire genome so that Homo Sapiens might exist?

The only reason to use the terms 'Genocide' and 'Nazi' with regard to the TCB genre is to insult it, to conflate it with 'Hitler', and in so doing to imagine ending the argument - for 'Hitler' is the final word, no?

No. Absolutely... no.

TCB stories are just the Singularity, transhumanism, painted up to look like colorful ponies. The war about TCB stories is the mortal luddite versus the gung-ho transhumanist who wants immortality and uploading and virtual worlds. If the Singularity future should ever occur, what humanity becomes will be far more different than merely becoming pastel ponies. Ponies are recognizable.

The real question here is not ponies - it really is "are we genes or are we thoughts?" My vote is clear - I vote we are our thoughts and memories, and the substrate, the meat, is not irrelevant, but it sure is faulty and needs an upgrade.

But for some, an invisible chemical compound, DNA, is more important than identity, it seems. They seem to think the console machine is the game, while I claim the game should exist on other platforms too.

What I think we may have here are console fan-boys. Only instead of arguing about how the PS-BOX is better than the X-3 or that the WEE rules all, it is fan-boys claiming that Homo Sapiens is better than Equis Sapiens, and I'm arguing for platform independence.

Celestia help these anti-TCB folks if uploading and machine bodies or genome-fixing medicines ever do arrive. Because it is the same story, and the same issue, and the same problem.

Yeah, I am in the transhumanist camp. I think we can do a little better than our broken genetic code. I want an end to mortality and deformed babies. I want a better species, and I support those even now working on trying to make that happen.

My stories are about that future, dressed up as ponies, instead of remarkably robust hominids, or completely unhuman machine bodies.

But I enjoy the 'fight the future' stories. I loved the original Ten Minutes. I don't think this work hurts that story - it stands on its own.

That does not mean, though, that I cannot enjoy writing an alternate ending that is happy. Why not? Why not a happy ending for those that might enjoy it, and to stir up discussion?

It can only end with more people reading Brony Of Steel's original work.

#12 · 130w, 1d ago · 21 · 3 ·

Chat, I think that people's biggest problem is that the Cellestia of this universe does *not* preserve the identity of people, and they have no choice in the matter.  Their thoughts are censored and shifted to match those that Celestia finds appropriate.  In that sense, they are not surviving at all.  They're replaced with a creature that has their memories, but whose thoughts are not theirs.  Moreover, it's an situation where dissension is impossible. No one can disagree.  Ever.  If they do?  Their opinion is "corrected."  They do not even have the option of ceasing to exist rather than allowing themselves to be mentally edited into a different, more palatable creature.  Ceasing to exist probably isn't a great choice, but it's clear here that it's not even on the table.  Get converted?  Great, then you're a pony.  Die?  Great, then you're a pony.  

The lack of choice combined with the thought censorship is what makes it seem so malevolent.  At least to me.

#13 · 130w, 1d ago · 17 · 2 ·

This doesn't work for me.  I mean, it's a nice try, but....

Despite all the speechifying about wanting Michael to accept their forgiveness, it really comes across to me as Celestia's desperate attempt to justify her own unjustifiable, unforgivable actions.  The original story was a horror story, and this attempt to spin it into something less horrific just ends up making it even creepier than it was before.

#14 · 130w, 1d ago · 16 · 2 ·

The problem here, and the reason I down-voted, was that this looks like you tried to change the ending not because you felt that you could take it in a new and interesting direction, but because you were uncomfortable with the fact that the original work portrayed Celestia as something other than a paradigm of virtue.

>>636451

This is the other reason why I down voted. What happened in the story didn't seem to be an intervention of any kind- it looked like the dude was tortured into accepting what Celestia wanted. I would have been fine with that, as it would have fit right in with the feel of the original work, I think, but because you treat is as the best thing that ever happened to him it just looks a little bit creepy.

Basically, this reminds me of Brave New World, with all the unsettling implications that come with it.  

#15 · 130w, 1d ago · 5 · 25 ·

>>636451

Well, then, YAY! Even more horrible answers the complaint that I did not follow the original intent!

#16 · 130w, 1d ago · 3 · 2 ·

You had me worried there for a while hun, normally it takes an apocolipse to keep you away from the keyboard.  Lovely continuation none the less Chaty, merges relitivly well with the existing story.  An amalgam between your version of the CBU and boss's.  A little preachy in places, but thoroughly enjoyable none the less:pinkiehappy:.

I'm very surprised this is receiving so many red points in such a short space of time though.  Other than the one horribly obvious troll (you can tell by the generic nature of his comments that he hasn’t even read the story:ajbemused:), there hasn't been a single negative comment, most peculiar.

edit- strike that, some more posted while i was reading >.<  

#17 · 130w, 1d ago · · ·

>>636362

with all due respect, you were referring to the post above mine.

and yes, I just spent a minute wondering how the hay I typo-ed THAT into my post.:twilightsheepish:

(no hard feelings, everyone makes mistakes.)

#18 · 130w, 1d ago · 5 · 17 ·

>>636681

There seems to be some sort of queer backlash against the Conversion Bureau stories going on right now. A sort of bizarre putsch to overthrow what some think is the dominant paradigm, but which is pretty much my little take on things. Anti-Bureau groups, people writing anti-Bureau stories, and generally getting all worked up crying 'Nazi'.

Maybe our tiny, pitiably under-appriciated sub-genre finally got noticed by rabid Shakespear fans?

"What a piece of work is a man, How noble in

Reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving

how express and admirable, In action how like an Angel!

in apprehension how like a god, the beauty of the

world, the paragon of animals."

Of course my answer is always the rest of the speech:

"And yet to me, what is

this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no,

nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seeme

to say so."

And... I think that is the problem, ultimately.

#19 · 130w, 1d ago · 3 · 5 ·

>>636723

Fixed. Sometimes the respond thingie gets messed up for me, I don't know why. Sorry. Sigh.

#20 · 130w, 1d ago · 2 · 2 ·

I like this story for its take on Equestrian afterlife. Chatty (again) takes a ninety degree turn and leads leads us... elsewhere.  I love it!

#21 · 130w, 1d ago · 3 · 7 ·

Nopony commented on the picture. Sad clown tears. Then again, I kind of screwed up the face of the soldier... he looks too much like Odo from Deep Space Nine or something. I re-painted that like five times. Maybe that's the problem, his face just became mush... I don't know. But the bomb! I'm proud of the bomb turned to stone in mid explosion! That worked, I thought!

#22 · 130w, 1d ago · 3 · 1 ·

I sure as hell ain't hating it, but I do like it a little. It's just that the ponies didn't realize what the f*** they were doing. They were destroying a species, a pure species, into human/pony beings. I honestly can say if my loved one was ponified I'd probably try to turn too but other than that, I'd prefer my humanity. Of course just in this situation I'd pick my humanity.

#23 · 130w, 1d ago · · ·

Should of used mardadom and danger close instead of lightweight and scout pro.  

#24 · 130w, 1d ago · 19 · 3 ·

When it comes down to it, the thing that bothers me the most about this is that you clearly didn't get the reason Michael was fighting so hard in the first place.

He wanted to remain human. So did his companions. They didn't want to kill ponies until they got pushy with their forced conversion runs. "For their own good" or not, people have the right to be wrong. If Celestia is this all powerful goddess and ponies are truly "nice", they can respect others' wishes and let them live their own lives. Even if it is in the crap hole Earth has become.

I haven't read over all of this comment section, but I think I get the gist of it. Couple things I want to comment on.

People throw "genocide" around in these stories quite a bit, but that's not quite what's happening. Nah. It's more like those half-white aboriginal kids getting stolen from their mothers and being "raised properly". Or people being forced to convert to Christianity or Islam or suffer execution or banishment from their own homes.

Granted, my little spiel there isn't quite as valid once you write in the HLF Terrorist stuff. Swell move, there.

As to the technical aspects of your writing, the first half is a bit flowery for me. Not so bad when it comes to a short one-shot like this, but for a prolonged story it comes off as tedious and just tiresome to read. "Over-writing" can be as bad as over-dressing.

EDIT: Oh, and about your picture: Was he wearing combat gear? I always imagined him wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and maybe a bandolier and backpack. Armor and the like wouldn't really serve a purpose when you're trying to avoid getting hit with the Potion - it'd actually slow you down.

#25 · 130w, 1d ago · 14 · 2 ·

I love your writing style, but hate these stories.:rainbowwild:  Just saying.  I'm not saying Celestia commits genocide (which she kind of does, but it's not that big of a deal.)  It's the fact that she alters human nature.  That's fucked up.  From what I've read in your stories in this universe, new-foals are like, total pussies.  They can't stand up for themselves in a direct way, and they just... I'm trying to think of a way to say this without sounding stupid.:twilightoops:  I guess, they aren't cynical and sarcastic.  Snarky and playfull ass-holes.  All they do, is love and tolerate.  I'm not that kind of person.  And, if I were to fall in love with a cynical, sarcastic, snarky, and slightly bitch-like girl, I don't think I would love her if she wasn't those things.  And being forced to love someone is wrong.  But I guess it also depends on time-zone.  If this takes place during modern times, I'd rather kill myself than be a pony.  However, if it took place in a futuristic time, where life basically sucks and everyone is fucking misrable, I'd go along with it, but I wouldn't like it.  

What I'm trying to say is, I don't question the morality of converting a species, I question the converson of a mind.  The mind shouldn't be altered or changed.  Which, pretty much ruins the point of conversion (Unless like, Equestria's magic is killing people)  So I see why Celestia does it, to try and make people happier.  But she FORCES them to be happy through conversion.  

I get it's a choice to be converted, but if you alter their mind, then it's like, "My family got converted, okay.  But now they aren't the same people and they never will be now.  I don't want to be a pony, but if I don't, I'll be the black sheep of the family I used to love."  It's just wrong to force that kind of decision on people.  As a fifteen year old boy, I'd take suicide than go through with that.  I like myself just the way I am.  

Celestia want's people to be happy, we just want her to leave, so we can experience happiness on our own terms.  She also needs to realize that, not everyone can be happy.  Happiness is something that you must find and cherish, not be forced upon you, and taken for granted.

#26 · 130w, 1d ago · 1 · 2 ·

I can't understand why there was so many thumbs down for this fic, it was well written and had a good story.

#27 · 130w, 1d ago · 14 · 4 ·

Boo, sucks butt! :ajbemused: I would've rather SUICIDED!

#28 · 130w, 1d ago · 11 · 1 ·

First of all, let's try to keep some perspective. The story was born out of a simple exercise to take someone else's story and write a follow-up to it. Some folks seem to be treating it like it was a hostile action on Ten Minutes. It wasn't intended to co-opt, retcon, or re-canon Ten Minutes in any way. BronyOfSteel's story still stands on its own, and frankly I'd think any author would be flattered that their story was inspiring enough to get other writers to explore it themselves. This is just Chatoyance's musing on one of an infinite number of things that could have happened afterward.

The main criticism I'd level at it is that, like in many TCB stories, the human characters are not given strong convictions. Michael was fully prepared to die in this mission, having fought and lost plenty along the way, but a short ghost-of-Christmas-past segment was enough to erase all of the hardness that comes with experiencing such things. He was prepared to die out of necessity, so why not out of pride? Out of spite? We're certainly capable of that. Bitterness alone is enough to make a man endure many things far worse than Celestia's little time-out. The I-forgive-yous, no matter how sincere they might have been, would probably come off as more passive-aggressive in that context than anything else. When I first read this I was actually rooting for Michael to refuse Celestia.

Some of this showed up in the themes of my story Railroad Seven-Three, where a human tries to explain to a pony why winning isn't always the motivation behind resistance. It's a fatalistic viewpoint that ponies probably would never have needed to adopt in Equestria. It's utterly foreign to them. In Aftermath here, a former human even exclaims "welcome to the winning side!" even though, as a human, "joining the winning side" would have meant compromising his beliefs and convictions. Zed and Armalite seem to get this.

All of that probably makes it sound like I didn't enjoy the story. I did, though! It's possible to enjoy and even—dare I suggest it?—upvote stories that don't turn out the way you want them to!

Let us consider all TCB stories with either an expanding Barrier or an ultimatum and take them to their eventual logical conclusion, the behavior of the ponies notwithstanding. Whether Celestia is pacifistic in her benevolence or if you take on the more militant version of her present in stories like Ten Rounds, Ten Minutes, Not Alone, et cetera, there will come a certain point in time. At this point, the remaining humans on Earth have chosen not to get converted at all, whether this choice is merely implicit or not. Now the ponies have a choice to make: does their love turn to tough love, or do they respect a human's freedom, even if it makes no sense to them? The PER is great vehicle for exploring this. If humans are pushed, their natural response is to push back. If you need an analogy, think of the glasses fight from They Live.

tl;dr version: Disagreed with the ending, liked the story anyway, humans gonna fight, They Live is a pretty fun movie

#29 · 130w, 1d ago · 4 · 1 ·

While I don't deny that this is, as usual, well written, I do join in the feeling in that it wasn't quite in the spirit of the intentions of the event.  A few people have mentioned it and since its on my list of reasons, I'm restating it here:  This doesn't feel like a followup story where you're writing for BronyofSteel's CB universe, it feels more like you retconning the events of Ten Minutes into YOUR CB universe.  In Ten Minutes and Ten Rounds, the fic it was inspired by(or maybe its the other way around, not sure), the ponies and Celestia are clearly the aggressors.  Basically what you'd get if the PER was officially sanctioned by her and then turned up to 11.  Ponification not only remakes a person physically, but in major mental ways as well, not just in subtle ways like in your own fics.  Its unmistakably brainwashing.  I guess a lot of the 'thumbs downs' are coming from the fact that, in the context of the original story, Celstia's actions here do make her seem MORE monstrous than anything.  Instead of just letting the serum run its course, she actually pauses it, then essentially mind rapes him into accepting ponification.  There's no guarantee besides the word of those with him (all ponies, aka, the enemy which is already using a body and mind altering weapon as their primary means of combat) that anything he's seeing is real and not just a big illusion, which, Celestia being capable of flash-petrifying a nuclear EXPLOSION, would be easily within their powers, and actually more believable than believing what Michael was seeing was actually real.

Gah, got a little rambly there, sorry.  Essentially, my point is that, in the context of the original story, this actually seems like turning the horror knob up to 11 rather than a 'good ending' sort of situation.

#30 · 130w, 1d ago · 4 · 8 ·

>>637850

Anyone who invokes They Live, wins all arguments, in my opinion. That fight... Goddess that was a great fight scene. John Carpenter. Love John Carpenter.

And his version of The Thing? Just splendid. But I digress.

Defaloce - who's utterly brilliant Railroad Seven-Three (which sits in the top row of my own picks for personal favorites listed on my author page) was the first story I ever felt was genuinely convincing with regard to a human wish not to join the fairies... um... ponies. Now THAT'S a good not-converting-nohow story, and I cannot recommend it enough.

I couldn't do a non-tragic continuation of that story even if I tried. It made its case too perfectly.

Now I really like Ten Minutes. And Ten Rounds too, I might add. Love those two, and I think they are marvelous and needed works in the Bureau mythos. I wish I'd written them, frankly, but their authors beat me to the punch. That said, Ten Minutes has a couple of loose hooks to work with that I knew I could use to do a continuation into something new. I picked a story I greatly admired, that had a opening in the logic for me to work on. It's not a complaint... I just note it.

My 'Aftermath' as you'll find in that very first post up top, is not supposed to do anything but maybe get you to read the original, which I link to multiple times. Go read the original Ten Minutes. It is a great story.  

And go read Defaloce's Railroad Seven-Three too, while you are at it.

#31 · 130w, 1d ago · 4 · 6 ·

>>638019 "this actually seems like turning the horror knob up to 11 rather than a 'good ending' sort of situation."

If so, then by definition, I am continuing Steel's original premise, aren't I? Maybe I failed at making a joyful ending, and only proved that Steel's conception was too powerful to do anything but reiterate. If so, good going Steel!

#32 · 130w, 1d ago · · ·

>>633835Chatoyance

(^ How do people do this comment thing?  I hope I'm doing it right.)

I think I liked to believe that you'll be able to get a warm welcome from alot of your followers and your likes will eventually out number the dislikes as with most stories. I'm just wondering if that normally happens around here whenever a story gets uploaded here?  I'm just mostly concern that the people who disliked this isn't because you're somewhat infamous due to the nature of most of your stories and the fact that you have your own section of  TV Tropes and what they say about you.  

Anyway, I just came by to say that I find it admirable that you keep fighingt for your beliefs and never back down.  Just keep up the good work on your writing and your beliefs.

As for everyone else, she did it as fan tribute to BronyofSteels work and it's really no different from the "other alternate endings" that some bronies do with the actual episodes. In the end though, it's up to BronyofSteel's opnion on how he feels about this tribute story.  I think he'll be okay with this.

#33 · 130w, 1d ago · 3 · 5 ·

>>638139

Thank you Red Bomber (I love Bomberman, by the way. Just the best party game). Yeah, there could be some hate coming from the sources you mention. Even so, I do not comprehend how anyone can get so worked up about my silly, goofy, harmless stories.

For my entire lifespan, I have never felt like I belonged here, on this world. I've never identified with humanity as a species. I have always felt like... something else. I am told I have a unique view of things. Maybe I'm just encountering xenophobia. Hee! :rainbowlaugh:

#34 · 130w, 1d ago · · ·

>>638189Chatoyance

I actually missed Bomberman and his adventures to be honest, did you know that the Wii didn't have the adventure one on purpose.  That was a let down for me.  Anyway, I thought people were getting worked up because you were actually serious about your stories. ^^;  Then again if they were getting worked up and thinking deeply about them means your story is really deep and because they were serious is why people have conflicting opinions.  Good story is serious regardless whether it's being silly or grimdark... I think I just had an eureka moment.

#35 · 130w, 1d ago · 17 · 1 ·

>>636362 And here's the problem I have with most people who support the ponies in these stories. The prblem is not transhumanism. Hey, I'd be the first signing up at a clinic to get mechanical enhancements (Just ask Adam Jensen, or JC Denton). The problem with these stories is the fact that after you drink the fluid, "you" aren't "you".

You're an idealized, pacifistic version of yourself. The kind who can't think of eating meat without being disgusted. The problem, in it's base form, is not that of turning into a creature with no hands. It's the fact that your personality is so irrevocably changed, the you that inhabited your human  body ceases to exist. You mention that you think that the mind, the soul of a man is what he truly is. But what happens when that is changed, with force?

Here, I don't see a man becoming a pony out of his own free will. Rather, I see a man being brainwashed into thinking he wants to be a pony. He's confronted by those he let down, and put face-to face with a snide, controlling, egotistical "goddess". The world of ponies isn't a colorful candyland in these stories. It's, as TVTropes puts it, a Crapsaccharine World. One which has the appearance of a tastes-like-diabeetus Care-Bears-esque candyland, but under the veil is utterly horrifying and dysfunctional.

To be honest, you should be flattered. This is far more scary than the original. In the original, sure, there was body horror, but the characters stayed resolute in their beliefs. Here, you pull a Room 101. After all Michael, don't you love Big Sister and Celestia?

#36 · 130w, 1d ago · 4 · 2 ·

Not 12 hours, and The Most Honorable Lady Chatoyance has already rustled hundreds of jimmies with a beautifully written story. I read TM:A on Google Docs, and am overjoyed to see it finally brought over to FimFiction. Any praise that I could give has already been given, so I'll just walk to an empty intersection and yell "CRUSADE ME!" at the top of my lungs.

#37 · 130w, 1d ago · 4 · 2 ·

>>638306 "rustled hundreds of jimmies"

I have no idea what this means, and I could not stop laughing. I am out of breath from it. I guess I must be some kind of god damn jimmie rustler or something.

"Hey, Tex... ya wanna go out and rustle some jimmies?"

"Yeah, pard, so long's we don't get caught!"

Of course it could be just as likely that:

"Well hello there, sailor. New in port? How about you buy a lady a drink, and I rustle your jimmie for you, hey big boy? Ooh!"

It would be delicious on a calling card:

Lady Chatoyance

Professional Jimmie Rustler

"Let me rustle your jimmie!"

555-232-2323

#38 · 130w, 1d ago · 3 · 1 ·

LMAO! But that's not quite what it means. To rustle someone's jimmies is to really raise their hackles and to cause controversy and debate, civil or otherwise. and you have done that here, and done it well, O Most High And Excellent Queen Of The Ponyfic Writers. And a lot of people need that to happen to them, because if people don't get trolled or exposed to alternate viewpoints frequently enough, they tend to get on a high horse, pardon the pun.

#39 · 130w, 1d ago · 18 · 3 ·

Let's see here...

>Completely nullifying the original ending to the original story.

>The line "This continues BronyOfSteel’s classic short story 'Ten Minutes', taking it from nihilism to joy." implying this is somehow a better and happier version (It is none of these things).

>Paragraphs and dialogue devoted to nothing but how bad the humans are, including long pointless speeches about how because humanity is evil... because they are I guess, we're all bad and need to be ponified.

>Celestia a goddess who can do no wrong and cannot be stopped.

>TRU WUV between the main characters that makes me want to gag.

>Main human guy learning to go beyond his 'evil human self,' in the usual CB way that makes me want to call Simon Wiesenthal.

>Overly pretentious speeches on mankind and how we're bad.

>Lack of any support or even time given to the opposing viewpoint.

>Lack of any actual debate in the comments about the horrible ethics in this story and all TCB stories.

>Pointless ad hominems and discussions that don't discuss the quality of the story at all, with the couple of decent comments either ignored or those responding to them completely missing the point.

There, I've summarized the story and the comments for you all.

#40 · 130w, 1d ago · · ·

>>638433

This is a good good list of how to get an equally large number of upvotes and downvotes at the same time.

#41 · 130w, 1d ago · 5 · 1 ·

>>637396

Yeah, my thoughts on this story, right here.

...Not what I was expecting when I was told it would be lighter than the original, honestly. I guess it is indeed lighter, in the same sense that Brave New World is lighter than 1984. All of the horror is still there, it's just masked with kisses and apologies and pastel ponies. ...I have to read something happy, now.

#42 · 130w, 1d ago · 6 · 13 ·

>>638433

>Completely nullifying the original ending to the original story.

Yes? That was the point. It was a challenge to see if I could take it into a completely new direction. So, thank you.

>The line "This continues BronyOfSteel’s classic short story 'Ten Minutes', taking it from nihilism to joy." implying this is somehow a better and happier version (It is none of these things).

That depends on your point of view. To me, this truly was the happiest of all possible endings. Everypony happy. Everypony is friends. The world is saved. Even forgiveness is granted from the dead, along with the promise of an afterlife. It's like winning all the lotteries everywhere at once!

>Paragraphs and dialogue devoted to nothing but how bad the humans are, including long pointless speeches about how because humanity is evil... because they are I guess, we're all bad and need to be ponified.

Humanity is... humanity. I describe Mankind in terms of what it has done historically, what it does now, and what I personally have seen. The judgement of evil or good... is entirely yours. If you humans don't like what you see, stop doing it. Please. My characters don't approve.

>Celestia a goddess who can do no wrong and cannot be stopped.

Kind of in the job description of a deity. They say the same things about Jehovah, and I think that guy is a total dick. Tomatoes, to-mah-toes.

>TRU WUV between the main characters that makes me want to gag.

I worked with what was written in the original story. That was the point of the exercise. Come on, I didn't think Brony Of Steel did that bad of a job. It was just there as an established relationship.

>Main human guy learning to go beyond his 'evil human self,' in the usual CB way that makes me want to call Simon Wiesenthal.

Why? Do you think he'd like my story? Oh, that would be wonderful!

>Overly pretentious speeches on mankind and how we're bad.

I thought it was exactly as pretentious as it needed to be. I work in carefully measured pretentiousness. It's like salt. You have to rub just the right amount in.

>Lack of any support or even time given to the opposing viewpoint.

Oh my... I thought I was writing this solo. You know, from a specific viewpoint in order to convey a specific concept and a specific feeling?. I didn't realize fiction was democratic. My bad. How are we supposed to do this then? Are you coming over to my place to help me write, or do I go over to yours?

>Lack of any actual debate in the comments about the horrible ethics in this story and all TCB stories.

It all seems pretty clear to me - killing, torture, brutality and cruelty are bad, and kindness, love and tolerance are good. That's what I was taught. In the Bureau stories, Earth is toast, and the ponies are offering a lifeboat to an alien species. But, like any society, they expect the refugees to assimilate. Only reasonable, really.

Maybe someone should write a story where the Earth is doomed and the ponies refuse to convert any humans at all. They just watch them all die. Would that be better, then? Is that the more moral stance to take? If so... I don't think I can agree with your ethos. It seems really mean!

>Pointless ad hominems and discussions that don't discuss the quality of the story at all, with the couple of decent comments either ignored or those responding to them completely missing the point.

Yes, I noticed this too. I figure that there must be a lot of sad, lonely people who are just being Grouchy McGrouchy Pants types because they don't have any friends. I want to be friends. I hope they will try being nice because... it's nice!

Frankly, I don't understand all the acrimony. I mean, we're here because we all love the ponies, right? So, what could be better than getting to actually be the thing that is so beloved? Nothing! Especially if it comes with a guarantee of joy, peace, and friendship, and being able to get rid of all the dark, evil, scary, mean stuff inside.

Yet, when stories are written about just that fictional possibility, suddenly the ponies offering it freely are bad.

I have to say, sometimes it feels like there are a lot of fairly confusing people here sometimes. They like the ponies only as long as they don't offer a chance to become them. Wouldn't want that. That's all evil, somehow. Don't offer happiness and kindness! It's genocide!

I will never understand humans. Not really.

#43 · 130w, 1d ago · 3 · ·

*sigh

While most of Chatoyance's writings are very fun to read, the comment section was an ass to read

The picture needs more blood :rainbowwild:

#44 · 130w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

Since I've never read the original before, all I can do is post the kind of music I happened to listen to while reading this.

(In the same vein as Relevant Heavy Metal I suppose.)

Speed: 700 words per minute.

Dark Tranquillity - Single Part of Two

Dark Tranquillity - Format C: For Cortex

#45 · 130w, 1d ago · 2 · ·

>>636428 Well, the original spin was "cute and cuddly zombies", this ending presents "the truth shall set you free" instead. Do you accept the author fiat of "Celestia was right"? Well, you kind of have to - within the bounds of the story itself. Is the discussion of this sort of changes interesting? You betcha, just know where the author fiat line extends to.

#46 · 130w, 1d ago · 5 · 22 ·

>>638234 I've said it before, and I'll say it again. And again. And again. Etc... anyway:

Some readers loathe the idea that there could be anything better than mankind. Man is, after all, the apex predator of our world. We like to think we're angels (even as a good number of us condemn everyone to a burning hell of torture forever unless they believe in the right beard in the sky, even if said people have or even had no chance to so much as hear about said beard in the sky). We like to think we can do anything, become anything, take on the universe.

That indomitable spirit is what makes me proud to be human, but what that means we have done is something that makes me ashamed. Mankind really is great at poisoning this planet we live on, torturing, maiming and killing members of our species and others, and falling to the depths of depravity whilst doing it. The curse and blessing of being human is that we have free will. Animals cannot perform evil, man can. That evil, mind, is also defined soley by us. I don't see a need to absolve sins I have nothing to do with and don't believe in in the first place to an invisible friend. There are sins enough, based in practical ideas of pointing out failure to increase happiness, than to contemplate some imaginary avatar eating a non-existent fruit in some fairytale garden and thereby condemning everyone, everywhere, to an eternity of suffering.

When you look at misanthropy, it is saying "mankind is evil" by fiat. Despite myriad calls that Chat's stuff is misanthropic, I have to disagree. She is brutally honest, and that honesty leaves a bad taste in the mouth of many. I just have to shrug and accept it, because I also see how wonderful people can be, something which is also written large across her adventures.

I wrote a whole blog post on this a while ago, I'm not going to link it because this is the TL;DR version - and it's still too long - which ends with "this is a story, presenting fairytale creatures which are, by fiat, better than mankind. Demonstrably. They offer what the religious right say we should all be doing to avoid eternal damnation, which is to give ourselves up to a higher power that loves us, and who will absolve us of our sins so we can live in a land of plenty forever, want for nothing, and be eternally happy and good.

What the neighsayers are bleating about is that heaven is Equestria, and angels are ponies.

I don't see the problem. Me, in my eternal hubris, reads a story like this and says, "Wait, so if I drink the potion, Celestia will take me under her wing, forgive me from my sins, wipe away all my tears, give me happiness and plenty forever, and I'm supposed to think this is a bad thing?"

#47 · 130w, 1d ago · 4 · 17 ·

Midnight Shadow is sense among the senseless.

#48 · 130w, 1d ago · 12 · 2 ·

>>639458 It's not that I think humans are superior, far from it, I just wouldn't want to be altered mentally.  I could live being a pony, but I could NOT live being something that I'm not.  They didn't jus wipe out the human genus, they wiped out humans totally.  no more human mentallity, no more humans.  I don't have a problem with a world full of overly happy, innocent ponies; I have a problem with them forcing me to become that.  I'm not an overly happy, innocent person, and the thought of turning me into that kind of per-... pony...  I'd rather die.  My entire being is centered around me being a sarcastic cynical dick; take that away and what am I?  Just another face among the billions.

#49 · 130w, 1d ago · 4 · 8 ·

>>639617 "My entire being is centered around me being a sarcastic cynical dick; take that away and what am I?"

I find this sort of sentiment fascinating, and a bit scary. To define identity as one tiny thing, or one tiny cluster of behaviors... to make such a small thing the definition of self... to me, that is weird, and also kind of sad.

It's a scary thing too - one transient ischemic attack, or worse, a full on stroke, could take that cluster away. And then what? You aren't you anymore? Eeek!

Worse though, to me, is the idea that the only individuality is some quirk. There are tens of thousands of cynical dicks in the world... actually probably millions. If that is your definition, you are already a copy of a copy of a clone of a standardized cliche.

I guess the ponification changes in my stories are not scary to me, because I consider my identity, my selfness to be quite expansive. It isn't just one thing. It isn't my drawing, or my painting or my sculpture or my music or my cartooning. It isn't my writing, either fiction or nonfiction. It isn't my model crafting or figure painting or even just being artistic in general, neither is it the fact I like tea but hate coffee, or that I like savory but am not overly fond of sweet. It's all those things, and more and more and more, a vast cloud of qualities no single one of which defines me.

There are things that matter more, of course, but losing any one, or any cluster is not a loss of 'me', any more than losing a leg would mean I was not myself anymore. I am more than my legs, just as I am more than any one cluster of personality traits. I have many facets to my self... there are moments when I am an adult, and a child, and silly, and serious. I cannot be pinned down as one thing all the time.

If I were ponified, then, and my mind changed as much as my body, to me, it would be the same as the leg issue. Losing a leg, or gaining two new legs, is the same as gaining a sense of 'herd mentality' while losing primary apex predator aggression. I am not defined by such tiny modules. I am a larger machine, more complex than how my aggression is set. My free will is not dependent on how strong my drives are, since I already have to deal with that as I am, like anyone.

I wonder if all the readers who think 'Ponification is killing people and making them into zombies' are not just selling themselves short - thinking of themselves as tiny little creatures lacking any complexity. I cannot accept that as true. You have to be as complex as me, because surely I am not THAT special or unique. So that means that you too have to be a thousand amazing things, and countless states of being and countless traits... not just one tiny, little thing like whether you are considered 'cynical' or whatever.

Being cynical is just one mood. Moods change, because the mind is vast, and the self immeasurable. Mine is. Yours has to be too.

Maybe that is all the fuss here is, about ponification.

People selling themselves short, imagining they are only some single, simple mask, rather than a rich, complex emotional and mental life. If one saw oneself that way, then even the slightest change would seem like death, wouldn't it?

Nobody, surely, is so simple. Can't be. I can't accept that.

Realize you are more than just an attitude. That's what I say.

#50 · 130w, 1d ago · 2 · 3 ·

>>639617 Well, you're looking at a limited viewpoint character from within the story, as well as a not-entirely omniscient viewpoint from without. Body horror forms part of the narrative (can you say body horror when it's mental as well as physical?) and it forms a lot of the fascination with the idea: just what would be be like to become something else?

There are few things we cherish quite so much as our minds - it's understandable, we spend our entire lives locked up in our own head, so something which fiddles with that is the ultimate in terror. There are diseases which eat away at the mind - dementia and alzheimers for example - and they are generally looked upon as amongst the worst ways to go because with every passing minute, more of you is gone.

If you can honestly look at a universe like this and say "that scares the crap out of me" then the writer has done something brilliant, even if you don't agree with it. Agreement isn't necessary, understanding is. Thus forms the basis of groups within the universe like the HLF, as well as PER, each with viewpoints and convictions held most strongly, and builds that essential milieu upon which the writer works his or her craft.

If you take away from this the decision you would not want to convert, then let that thought percolate through your mind until you understand yourself better. Stories like these, make believe, help us understand the world we do live in.

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