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  • T When Suddenly a Manticore...

    So what is the deal with all these humans who go to the Everfree Forest and fight manticores anyway? Well sit down, kids, and let grandpa tell you the whole story.
    7,344 words · 2,132 views  ·  246  ·  3
  • E Discord: House of Chaos

    A recently freed Discord tries to reform a pair of thieves in a chaotic game.
    10,435 words · 2,651 views  ·  158  ·  4
  • T Discord: End of Empires

    This is not the story of how the Dragon Empire fell. This is the story of why it happened.
    8,120 words · 417 views  ·  59  ·  1
  • T Decomposition

    The last moments of King Sombra.
    4,439 words · 604 views  ·  82  ·  3
  • T Van Helsing

    The life and adventures of a famous vampire hunter.
    16,642 words · 726 views  ·  74  ·  4 · gore
  • T War Machine

    After a mysterious phantom reveals to a young unicorn that many of his memories are false, he sets out with him to make it right again.
    54,420 words · 950 views  ·  65  ·  8

Blog Posts104

  • 6d, 7h
    DANNYJ REVIEWS: MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: EQUESTRIA GIRLS: RAINBOW ROCKS: REVENGE OF THE UNICORN GOD-SLAYER: PART 2: THE RETURN

    I guess since it's all we have to talk about in hiatus that actually has something to do with a show, we should discuss the latest Equestria Girls movie, which I finally had the privilege of seeing the other night, thanks to a based /mlp/ anon who uploaded a high-quality rip to Dailymotion. You know who you are, anon. You're a cool dude.

    So anyway, before I get to talking about Rainbow Rocks, I should probably talk a little about the first movie, since I didn't do a review-style a blog like this after I saw that, even though some of my long-time followers will remember me making a blog around that time telling the sandwich-board doompaulers to calm the fuck down.

    To make a very long story short, I thought the first Equestria Girls was a mediocre movie that I nonetheless had a lot of fun with. I went in giving it a fair chance, hoping (if not expecting) that it would be genuinely good. It wasn't, and if you want my exact reasoning, I think it best to point you towards Tommy Oliver's four-part video series on the movie, which broke down the core issues for me pretty conclusively (while also being a pretty funny homage to Red Letter Media's (also hilarious) Star Wars prequel series reviews). But despite how seriously I treat my writing, I very rarely get super srs about my horse cartoons, and I didn't become part of the ball of rage that most of the rest of the fandom at the time turned into. I just thought it was kind of stupid, in the same way that True Blood is stupid, or Shadow the Hedgehog is stupid. But I enjoy that kind of stupid just fine. So I guess I liked it.

    Now, Rainbow Rocks in comparison is a far better movie in pretty much all the technical aspects. The story was tighter, characters were more interesting, the soundtrack was great, and think even the animation has been stepped up a level, too. Additionally, I think a lot of the fan references this time were simultaneously both a lot more overt but a lot more well-handled. A lot of them seemed to have actual purpose this time. Like, Octavia, Vinyl and Lyra all have music-themed cutie marks, so it makes perfect sense for them to show up and get some screentime here. And Trixie was actually a fairly important character here, with her own B-plot and everything.

    Sunset Shimmer and the Dazzlings were the real highlight of the movie for me. The Dazzlings had really good villain songs, and Sunset was well-used as a character. I'd argue that she's actually more of a main character than Twilight is this time, and I wouldn't mind her carrying forward the EG series as the new protagonist, because she's clearly got the potential for it.

    Flash Sentry was in the movie less this time, which I guess is a positive for anyone with a hateboner for that character. Personally, I never really minded him in the first movie and just thought he was kind of bland. For what it's worth, his few scenes in this movie did go some way towards giving him something resembling a real personality, even if it's kind of undone by the fact that it was all magic from the Dazzlings. He still doesn't really have much of a point to being there, but after EG1, his presence kind of had to be addressed.

    My only real point of contention is that the main six minus Twilight in this world were all a lot more aggressive towards each other than was warranted. I'd heard plenty of talk before watching about how Rainbow Dash was a cunt in this movie, and I just kinda rolled my eyes at that; Dash is probably the one pony who gets the most undeserved flak from the fandom, largely because a lot of the people who so deeply despise her utterly fail to grasp the point of her character and look at all her actions the wrong way. However, in this movie... yeah. She was being a cunt. Almost to the point that I'd call it out-of-character. The other four have much the same problem, just in a less pronounced way. I get the purpose of emphasising their negative traits this way, but it still feels disingenuous to me.

    Other than that... really, I think most of my remaining core criticisms for the movie are rooted in its concept and in things carried over from its prequel, which is hardly a fair thing to critique it for, as there's little it can do about that. But those carryover elements are still mostly of the "enjoyably stupid" variety, at least for me, rather than anything that caused real irritation. And everything else was handled about as well as I could really expect. There are minor plotholes and a few small elements I could nitpick, but overall, it was pretty solid compared to the last movie. It was the difference between laughing at Spiderman 3 and laughing at an early Simpsons episode, if you get my meaning.

    So I was satisified. It's not so brilliant that it transcends its concept and allows you to take it as seriously as the show (so if the concept is the main reason you hated Equestria Girls, it may not change your mind), but anyone who was willing to give the first movie a fair chance should know that this one delivers in a way that EG1 did not. Give it a watch.

    4 comments · 145 views
  • 1w, 6d
    This Is Bad And You Should Feel Bad: Episode 4 - The Holy Trinity, Part 1

    I've many times espoused the belief that anything can be done well in the right hands. And while this is true, there are a lot of ideas that can only really be done well if they were literally written by God, and even He would probably only do it as a self-challenge. What I mean by this is that there are some ideas that, while you probably could make them work, you probably would be better off not trying. Not everything deserves to be salvaged, you see. And by that guiding principle, in this trio of blogs (in which I will cover the three central elements of a story that I spoke of last time: characters, plot and themes), I'll also take the time to explain the don'ts as well as the dos. Some story tropes are so overused as to be cliché. Some character ideas are just plain terrible. And yes, there are ways that you can screw your story at the theme and message level too. Let's talk about that.

    We are, in this scenario, writing MLP fanfiction. Let us ask then what distinguishes MLP? Every work of fiction is set apart by its characters, its setting, its story, and its themes/messages/tone etc. In MLP's case we have the characters of the ponies, the setting of Equestria, the story of the show that we build our own stories around, and the feel of the show is generally a light one, being either warm or comic or just fun.

    Remember that last one, because it's important. In a serious context, you wouldn't write a Strawberry Shortcake fanfic about the futility of human existence, and you wouldn't write a story in the Cthulhu mythos about how love and friendship conquers all. MLP is a little more malleable than either of those, and you can stretch it a little more. The world of Equestria has just enough implied darkness that you can get away with writing a horror story or a war story or what have you. The basis is there. But you really can't push it.

    People generally read MLP fanfic because they like MLP, I assume.  Therefore, fanfiction will usually be expected to make use of at least two (preferably three) of those four elements. In your humanised AU, we're no longer in Equestria, so you'd better keep the characters' personalities intact and make it still feel like MLP. In your crossover where Twilight Sparkle visits the grim world of Warhammer 40K, you have neither the feel nor the setting, so Twilight had better be in-character and you'd better have some story elements that link back to MLP other than just Twilight being in this world, otherwise she's out of place and you might as well be writing 40K-fic. In your OC-focused adventure story, we don't have the main six, so use Equestria as a setting strongly and either keep the feel of the show or take advantage of story elements (like if it were set in the ancient past and you're exploring the history of Equestria). I'll stop listing examples now. You get my meaning.

    So as one of the big four, the feel of the show is something you generally don't want to drop unless you can't tell the story you wanted to tell without it. But the fact is that it's the one that amateur writers of fanfic ignore the most.

    Trouble is, and I'm just going to say it, most fanfic writers are teenagers, and teenagers can be some moody motherfuckers. I would know. But your personality tends to bleed into your work, no matter what you do, and if you're a generally cynical person, then what you write may come with a darker edge to it. It's hard for a cynic to write an optimistic story, and it's hard for an optimist to write a depressing and cynical story. Or at least, it's hard for them to want to write from the perspective of an ideology they oppose. So if you're a moody teenager writing fanfic, chances are that your fanfic is going to be pretty moody too.

    Like I said before, you have a lot more wiggle room here with MLP. There is plenty of potential for sad or tragic stories set in this world and with these characters, and there are plenty of dark undertones for you to explore if you want to. That's why we have those tags. But (and I cannot stress this enough) there is a limit to what you can get away with if you're trying to keep a tone in line with the show. If you have graphic depictions of death or rape or other similarly horrible things, for example, then you've probably left the show's tone behind.

    Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, because if you have other elements of the show in play, then you still have the potential to make a compelling story that's worthy of being called an MLP fanfic. Fallout: Equestria and The Immortal Game are both examples of ultraviolent stories that feel nothing like the show tonally, but which I think are still way closer to FiM in spirit than a hundred other fanfics I could name. But that's because they have other parts of the "meta" of FiM. Both of those stories maintain the themes and messages of FiM, primarily the importance of friendship and virtue. They share FiM's inherent optimism, even amongst all their grimdark grimness.

    This is another of those things that you want to stick closely to. Keeping the show's tone is hard, but keeping within the spirit of it is quite easily done. You don't want to always do that, of course; a horror story without a sense of crushing despair wouldn't be much good to anyone. But if you don't need to drop that aspect of the source material, it's good to keep it. Those themes and messages are characteristic of the show, and if you're here reading fanfic of it, I assume that you like the show and want to see something that could plausibly be called an offspring of it.

    In fact, many readers do. Some readers even refuse to read grimdark or stories with sexual content because the whole reason they're on the site is for stories that capture the feel, rather than necessarily using the characters or world of FiM. Are those people being overly picky by that? Well, let's not judge others' tastes. But know that such people will level the accusation of "not feeling like FiM" towards your story as a criticism, and if your story didn't need to do that, then that would be a completely valid complaint.

    This is one of the big reasons behind a lot of the hate for a number of big concepts or stories in this fandom. The "herding" headcanon started by Xenophilia, the Fall of Equestria universe, Conversion Bureau or similar stories featuring wars between humans and ponies where either of the sides are depicted as horrible, irredeemable monsters... All of these are criticised for (amongst other things) not keeping within the spirit of FiM, instead twisting their worlds to accomodate wish fulfilment or some ideology of the author. You might think "Humans, fuck yeah! We'd totally steamroll ponies in an actual war!" But not everyone particularly wants to read about ponies getting slaughtered by humans so you can make a point, and you need to know that before you start writing.

    Don't be grimdark if you don't need to be. Don't put in swears that we wouldn't hear on the show if you're trying to present your world as the normal Equestria we know. If you're writing a story that's been fairly light until now, don't start suddenly dropping casual character death. If your own outlook is more cynical and your personal morality strongly disagrees with the ethos of the show, try to divorce yourself from the narrative and don't impose your own opinions over your fic. And especially don't try to insert weird headcanon that contradicts what we actually know of the world.

    I leave it up to the individual writer to decide what rules to break and when. Follow or ignore this advice as you see fit. But be aware of the perils of choosing to create something that stands in ideological opposition to its source material. You can write all the Prototype fics you want about Alex Mercer eating people and throwing babies at helicopters, and I'll laugh with you just fine, but once he starts doing the same thing in your FiM crossover, you and me have a problem, y'hear?

    Next time, we'll talk character.

    And yes, I am very much aware of my own hypocrisy in this blog, thank you very much.

    5 comments · 191 views
  • 2w, 15h
    "Story idea up for grabs" threads

    If you'll permit me to be an asshole for a few minutes of your time, I'd like to complain about a behavioural trend I've noticed.

    Being a writer requires creativity. It's not the only skill you need, but anyone here who actually writes will agree with me that it's pretty much essential. Right? You come up with an idea, and you write it, because you like the idea and want to see it realised. Like, that's most people's motivation to write, isn't it? I'm not crazy, am I? I'm not the only one who writes a story because I want to realise my visions?

    Okay, so, with that in mind, I need to ask about this, because this keeps me up at night: What's the deal with this trend I've seen of people making group threads where they detail an idea they've had, and then "release" that idea to the group for anyone to pick up?

    This galls me because these threads are so often written or phrased as if the OP is doing the writers a favour. Like "if there are any writers out there who have the skill to write, but are having trouble coming up with an idea, here's a free one for you". Creativity doesn't work like that. Anybody can come up with ideas, even if the ease with which they do it is variable. It's the ability to write well which is the rare skill in demand. If writers do indeed write because they want to realise their visions, then any writer with the skill to realise these "free ideas" will probably be using their creative brain to write the ideas that they came up and that they are interested in. Even a writer who does have trouble coming up with ideas will probably rather look for vague prompts from group contests that can give them the inspiration they need, rather than copy someone else's idea verbatim.

    As a writer, I come up with a new story idea maybe every two or three days. I abandon many of them when I think on them more and realise they won't work, and if I don't, then I write up a planning document and set it aside in case if by some miracle I ever find the time to actually give it some attention and get to work on it. That's how I end up with a folder with 60+ documents filled with nothing but in-progress story projects. Never in a million years would I see a thread like that and see someone else's idea and think, "Oh, what a wonderful idea! And you're giving me the privilege to write it? Well sign me up!"

    Granted, I'm not representative of all writers everywhere, and I'm sure there are some creative writers out there who do take these threads up on their offers. But I don't think it's common. I think that if you come up with an idea, you should really be writing it yourself if you care that much about it.

    And I know, not everyone is a writer. Not everyone can do that. But if that's you, don't make threads like this. Because the truth is that if another writer with their own creative story ideas and their own ambitions are writing your idea for you, then they're the ones doing you a favour. There's a reason that most artists do commissions instead of requests, is all I'm saying. I don't resent people who have ideas but can't or won't write their idea themselves for whatever reason, and I don't resent such people trying to find someone else to help realise their idea for them. I just resent the attitude and tactics on display in threads like these. It's manipulative, it's demeaning, and it's ungrateful. If this is you, please just stop.

    [/ranting]

    9 comments · 104 views
  • 2w, 2d
    I have never seen anything so beautiful

    The 24th issue of IDW's MLP comic just released, and this one was none other than a time travel story featuring Discord, Fluttershy and the Crusaders. Anyone who knows me could tell you that I was bouncing in place from anticipation practically since the thing's announcement, and it was everything I hoped it would be. I could pick it apart if I were feeling more critical, but this issue just put me in such a good mood, I'm still smiling now. It really does have everything I wanted. There's multiple time periods (including the future), there's foreign countries, there's worldbuilding, there's humour, there's continuity from previous comics, there's a sprinkling of backstory for Discord himself, and there's even a Doctor Who reference, and a pretty damn explicit one at that. My only real gripe is that there wasn't more of it.

    Anyone who is a big Discord fan owes it to themselves to get this issue. It's a tonne of fun.

    [/fanboying]

    7 comments · 83 views
  • 3w, 6d
    Human - How its sequels would've gone

    Although in my previous blog I spoke at length about how everything would've gone had I continued Human, I didn't actually cover everything, even when I did go into the side-stories. In truth, the plan for Human deliberately left a lot of unanswered questions and hanging threads. That's because there were plans to resolve most of them in the sequels. I gave little details about it in the comments of that blog, but nothing major. In the blog itself, I specifically avoided talking about it, citing elements of it that I couldn't tell you about without spoiling parts of Shades and Van Helsing, both of which are still being written.

    However, I can just leave those parts out and specifically address the parts pertaining to Human, for those wondering about how the story goes from where we left it. So for my one-hundredth blog (yaaaay), let's do that. This is how the sequels would've gone:

    Phase 1: Countdown to Secopolis

    Before actually getting to the proper sequel to Human, we would've had a series of smaller stories to ease the transition and set-up certain elements. There were five of them planned. While all of them underwent numerous working titles, the names most commonly attributed to them are Black, New Frontiers, Highest Price, Legend of the Apocalypse, and Lord Brian.

    Black and Legend of the Apocalypse were planned oneshot sequels to Shades of Grey and Van Helsing respectively, so I can't speak much about them. Suffice to say, they would've carried over elements (not necessarily characters) from both of those stories and shown how those elements would return in Secopolis. These stories may still be written one day, albeit with significant alterations, so I won't be divulging details.

    Highest Price and New Frontiers would've focused on the humans arriving in Equestria. Particularly, they would've focused on two villainous human groups, who would've gone on to become antagonists in Secopolis. A detail that these stories would've made clear about the humans in this setting is that none of them gained the same level of power as Second and First did, and that these are all, for the most part, ordinary people.

    Highest Price tells the story of a bunch of street punks from Detroit, led by a guy called Marcus, who form an outlaw gang called the Beasts and decide to become dragon-slayers. Being that there are little more than a dozen dragons still alive in this world, they're on the hunt for a long time, but eventually they kill one and attract the attention of Spike, who comes after them and annihilates most of the gang. Marcus escapes alive, though all his friends are dead, and he decides it's time for him and his gang to seek refuge in the cities, leading to them making exodus for Secopolis. The story would've been set against the backdrop of the rest of the human race gathering into various factions, either starting new settlements or heading to the already existing cities as refugees. The Beasts are initially formed in protest to that, as Marcus doesn't want to be like the rest of the "sheep" trying to just survive by running for safety, but wants to make something himself now that they're given the opportunity by being in a fantastic new world. Needless to say, by the end of the story, he has an attitude change, deciding that Equestria is way more dangerous a place than anything they knew on Earth, and that to not head for the cities is suicide.

    New Frontiers, meanwhile, would've featured a faction called the Human Republic of Tumbleweed. This story would've revealed that the humans who were drawn into Equestria from Earth were not all from the same time period, and in fact, the HRT is formed by a group of genuine cowboys from the old days of the wild west. Except that that comes with all the unfortunate social attitudes of those times. These men come from a time when slavery was still legal, and the HRT is still actively practicing it. Only instead of other humans, they're enslaving the locals, using ponies for labour and Equestria's sapient cows as food. Even their main town, Tumbleweed, was formerly Appleloosa before they came in with their guns and took it over. The story's main antagonist was going to be the leader of the HRT, Sheriff Grayson, while our protagonist is a Christian missionary from the same time period who recognises how fucked the whole situation is and tries to convince the Sheriff to see reason, to no avail. The story would've seen the HRT's beginnings and expansion, and eventually concluded with the missionary getting the hell out of Dodge to run for one of the human settlements not ran by dickheads, while the HRT is confronted with an impending war with Equestria itself that it cannot hope to win.

    Finally, Lord Brian would've been largely irrelevant to the larger story, being just a comedic oneshot for the fans while they're waiting. It would've featured the occasionally-mentioned sibling of Howard's who he had a fight with at their father's funeral, as he arrives in Equestria with the rest of the human race to find that his little brother is locally known as Lord Second, God of Destruction. We would've followed him around as he walks Equestria, meeting the locals, learning more about the absolute fucking lunacy that he just missed, and getting pissed off that he'll now never escape the shadow of his brother. Since Second is already dead, all Brian can do is rage at a statue of him in Secopolis and try to kick it down. The story ends with the statue falling over and crushing Brian to death, and a bunch of Second's worshippers wondering who the idiot was.

    Phase 2: Secopolis

    Secopolis would've been my true masterpiece, being just as long as Human but with a greater balance between the humour and the drama, and a tighter story that kept the plot less complicated and the focus squarely centred on one character instead of fifteen or so. To that end, it would've been a first-person story. Our perspective character is a former lieutenant of the Royal Guard by name of Meticulous Planning, known to his friends as Met, who deserted some time during the apocalypse when bad things went down at the research facility he was stationed at.

    He was referenced a few times in Human before it ended, most prominently during the afterlife arc in one of First's files. But the less direct reference (and the earliest one), was when Second entered the hall of mirrors and discovered a mirror for an unknown pony whose cutie mark was of a map with a pin in it. That was Meticulous Planning's mark, and so what Second saw in that mirror was in fact Met's greatest fear, not Chain Mail's. This is relevant, because Meticulous is about to live through his worst nightmare in this story.

    As well as our protagonist, the other major character of Secopolis is his best friend, an African American man from Miami who is exclusively referred to as Major Tom. The story behind this nickname is a long and convoluted one that he tries to explain several times throughout the story to several different characters, but the audience only ever hears snippets of these explanations, and none of the characters besides Tom seem to understand what he's talking about anyway. Met and Major Tom met sometime after the arrival of the humans and began travelling Equestria together, Met contributing his knowledge of the world, and Major Tom providing a luxury sports car to get them around.

    When the story starts, it's six months after the end of Human, and the two of them are driving towards Secopolis. The humans have since set up radio in Equestria, and one DJ Jazz Hands provides regular news reports over the airwaves to let the humans of Equestria know what's going on. The audience learns from his regular reports that besides the HRT, there are three major human settlements. These are Little Washington, New Melbourne, and Fivefinger. The former two are mostly just shantytowns set up in remote locations, while the latter was once a pony town called Hollow Shades that got wiped out by zombies and found abandoned. Almost everyone who didn't join one of these places either sought refuge in a pony city, or else headed for Secopolis, as Met and Tom are doing, because Secopolis is a technologically advanced wonderland filled with every luxury a man could dream of. However, the catch is that it's also a raging warzone, because since Second died, EVERYONE wants the city.

    While it takes our hero several chapters to get a lay of the land, here's the gist of it:

    After Second died, the factions in the city began infighting almost immediately. Congress assert that they should be in charge, with President John Fist hoping to become the new emperor. They are supported by the Church of Humanity, who are now being ran by Archbishop Sun Rise. The Church have sway over a lot of the pony population of Secopolis, as they continue the old religion of worshipping the human lords, even though they're dead. Sun Rise himself makes regular broadcasts to the city through a series of jumbotrons, giving comforting messages to the locals and reasserting the authority of Congress. The Church also has a number of guardians, breakaways from the Knights of Man. The main contingent of the Knights stand on the other side of the conflict, making their base out of Fort First, and they are supported by the Mage's Guild. Meanwhile, Silver took her heavy troopers and set up headquarters in the city's nuclear plant, deciding that they listen to nobody, although they keep good relations with the Guild.

    In addition to this, there are a number of new guys. Equestria has a military base set up on the outskirts of the city, and the Elements of Harmony are there waiting to be called into action. They're there allegedly as a peacekeeping force, but it's no secret that they want to incorporate Secopolis into Equestria as they did with the Crystal Empire, and they're just waiting for the civil war to end before they step in and do so. In the city itself, meanwhile, we've got a group called the Colonel's Commonwealth. This is where all the human refugees go to, and it's guarded by a large number of human soldiers who all answer to a former U.S. Army colonel, called the Colonel, who keeps his people safe as best he can, which is no easy feat, as I'll get into later. A number of embassies have been set up in the city too, including ones for the changelings, the zebras, the griffins, the HRT and Little Washington, all of whom are hoping to take over the city when the civil war ends, just like Equestria.

    And if that weren't enough, there's also a local militia standing in for a police force, the Manehattan Mafia already own a few small businesses in the city with intent to expand, there's a social movement called the Undead Society being formed by the intelligent zombies that resulted from the second battle of Canterlot, the Beasts, and two separate groups of extremists that are classified as terrorists by Equestria. One is an all-pony organisation called the Heretics who hate humans and have been hiding in the city and striking at the Colonel's Commonwealth from the shadows. The other is an only mostly pony organisation called the Survivors who hate zombies, and have been harassing the Undead Society.

    Later chapters would also reintroduce the demon legion, and give is another new group called the Clergymen, who are a mixed human and pony organisation dedicated to hunting down demons.

    Now, with all this shit going on, the exact order of events and when Met and Major Tom would meet and deal with each faction was a detail that I never fully worked out. However, the general order of the first act of the story is that the two of them would enter the city, see how the civil war is exploding, and take refuge in the Commonwealth under the Colonel's protection, during which time they ask around and search for Major Tom's girlfriend, who he was separated from when they came to Equestria.

    This is their reason for being in Secopolis in the first place, but what truly sets off the adventure is a combination of three major events. Firstly, they nearly catch a mysterious pony who has been murdering humans in the Commonwealth, but he gets away. Secondly, they discover the Mafia's presence in the city, and Met goes to Chain Mail, his old boss, telling him to do something about it. Thirdly, while wandering the city, the two of them enter a park and find a cult who are gathered there to worship a mysterious alicorn, who claims to be Lord Second reborn, and who in fact perfectly resembles Second's alicorn form from the alternate ending of Human. This is only the first part of the many deceptions planned to confuse the readers as to which ending was the canon one. An unfortunate choice of words leads to this alicorn trying to kill both Met and Tom, but it does not go as planned for him, and they are somehow able to beat him back, so he runs away to lick his wounds and get over the humiliation of having been defeated by two mortals.

    Since the narrative is so non-linear, I'll explain the deal right away. In the aftermath of Second's death, Secopolis would've featured a number of imposters and pretenders to his throne trying to claim his identity. Loosely inspired by the Reign of the Supermen, each of the impostors would've been given a nickname spoofing Second's, and part of their character would've been based on one of Second's informal titles. The alicorn was inspired by Second's self-given title of Emperor of the New Human Empire. The alicorn represents the Emperor, his aspiration being power and control over Secopolis, and his nickname is Twice. He would've eventually have been revealed to be one of the surviving OC alicorns Second called into being for the second battle of Canterlot, who disguised himself and impersonated Second because he desired power. It is Silver who ultimately reveals his true identity, as she saw the real Second die before she escaped the time void. Twice is not a major major villain, but makes a later appearance trying to forge an alliance with the mafia, which fails due to Met's interference, and he later outright attacks Met in public, resulting in Twice's death.

    The hunt for the murderer, meanwhile, leads to Met going around to various factions while trying to track him down. We first meet the Beasts while Met is searching for information on where to find the Heretics, who are the main suspects for obvious reasons. Marcus gives up the information after getting a beatdown from Major Tom in their underground fight club, and Met heads into the sewers the following chapter to meet with the Heretic leader, who denies responsibility for the murders. What we do learn, however, is that the Heretics serve another power, and it is revealed that Discord is free from his stone prison again and is behind the group. Not canon Discord, though. Oh no. This is oldschool fanon Discord, based purely on season two, who could conceivably be imagined in a much darker light. He's lending his magic to the Heretics and encouraging them to spread conflict and bloodshed, because he plans to push humans and ponies into a Conversion Bureau-esque war that will end with the total collapse of all society. He even tells this to Met, but because of Discord's magic, Met is unable to say anything to anyone about it. And since he can't fight a being as powerful as Discord, he has no choice but to run away and leave them to it.

    Despite that grimness, the search for the true murderer does continue, and Met goes to the other factions in the city, looking for help in finding the culprit. Earliest among these is a visit to the nuclear plant, where we are reintroduced to Silver and her heavy troopers. It is also at this facility that the second impostor is introduced. This is Squared, an intelligent supercomputer containing an imprint of Second's mind, and he has been running the systems for Silver and her group for a while. However, what Silver and the rest don't know is that Squared is even more insane than Second was, perhaps even more than Hyde. All Second lived for in his final days was the hope of seeing home again. For Squared, that is completely impossible. Now all he has is revenge, and his goal is nothing less than the total annihilation of all organic life, which he plans to achieve through launching all the remaining nuclear weapons in Secopolis. Incidentally, the title of Second's that inspired Squared was "Last Man Standing". Squared has been spending all his time since coming online trying and failing to gain control of the nukes from the plant's computer, but he finally gains the control needed shortly after Met and Tom arrive there. He is foiled by them setting off a convenient EMP in the plant, but Squared escapes by the wifi to somewhere else in the city.

    A visit to the Mage's Guild gives us our first encounter with the demons, who are led by one particular demon claiming to be Lord Second reborn. This is Minute, and he is based on Second's title of "the Reverend", which is something he would've called himself by in later chapters during all his dealings with the demons. Minute's true identity, although we don't learn it for a while, is Qramstarflokrinhir, and he spends the story trying to convince various factions that he is Second because he wants one of them to grant him access to Project Pandora. There, Tirac is still imprisoned after the events of Human, and Qramstarflokrinhir is making a play to get to Tirac and kill him so that he can be the new demon king. This subplot eventually ends with Met, Tom and Silver Vein storming the facility where Project Pandora is held with a force of Clergymen and heavy troopers, and battling the demons.

    During this battle is also when we meet the final of the four impostors, although impostor may be the wrong word in this case, as in a side lab locked away from the main facility, Tom and Met find none other than our old friend, Jekyll, also called Double. It is with Jekyll's help that they are able to reach the centre of the facility and open Project Pandora, releasing Tirac and allowing them to kill him themselves while he is weakened. Qramstarflokrinhir's succession plan fails, and the other demons turn on him and tear him to pieces, each trying to steal what little power he has instead, since Tirac is no longer around and the chain of succession is broken.

    Earlier than the battle for Pandora, the two also seek help from Congress, and Congress agrees to look into it in exchange for their help. Acting as an agent of Congress, Met carries out a series of jobs. Undermining Twice and the mafia is one of these, which results in the death of the mafia leader, the briefly mentioned Don Dynamite, who Explodey was mistaken for in one chapter of Human. Another of these jobs involves watching a meeting between the Colonel's Commonwealth, Little Washington and the HRT, and to protect the leaders of the former two. This meeting is broken up when the Heretics attack, and Sheriff Grayson is killed in the confusion here, but the president of Little Washington and the Colonel escape. The Heretics also wipe out the Beasts around this time.

    Squared reappears in the conclusion of the murderer subplot, and we learn that the killer was trying to provoke the Commonwealth to open war with the Heretics in the hopes that they'd wipe out each other. This is because the murderer is an agent of the Equestrian Secret Service, who were first introduced with Agent C in Human and who were revealed in Shades to be a secretive organisation with no oversight whatsoever, even from the princesses themselves. The ESS, in their wisdom, decided to try to drive the factions of Secopolis to kill each other so that Equestria could take over unopposed, but this agent came across Squared and decided to work with him to just wipe out the city the easy way, regardless of the fact that many Equestrians are still inhabiting the city, including the Elements of Harmony. The agent is killed in the battle with Met, and the flying fortress crashes outside the city as Squared makes his escape.

    After both this battle and the demon one, Met would've left Congress and gone out alone, only to be captured by Sun Rise and the forces of the Church, who are planning to make a coup against Congress using the nukes. However, since Silver and her troops control the nuclear plant, he wants to set them off remotely, using a control that can be found inside the wreckage of the Prometheus, which is still where it crash-landed during the events of Human. Since the Prometheus is a deathtrap and the crash zone is quarantined, Met and Major Tom are sent in alone to deal with it, where they have their final encounter with Squared, who downloads himself into the body of the robot chef from Human. In this form, he is finally killed. Met and Tom escape afterwards, but Sun Rise gets the control he wants and nukes Congress, not understanding just how dangerous a nuke actually is. Fortunately, it is a primitive enough model that a lot of the city survives, and the Elements of Harmony go off to purge the radiation shortly after. The heavy troops then mobilise against Sun Rise, and he is killed by Silver in the following battle.

    The Heretics take the opportunity to attack the Commonwealth, but by this point, the remaining factions minus Equestria have all united and been brought together, and they repel the attack. Their leader is killed in the battle by Met, but Major Tom also loses his life. Discord then finally makes his presence known and starts discording the surviving humans and ponies at random to reignite the conflict. His mistake in this, however, is that one of the humans he discords is Jekyll. The discorded Jekyll essentially becomes Hyde, and Hyde is able to channel the Lordforce, unlike Jekyll. What follows is a very destructive battle between the two that takes them across the city. While Hyde is in flight, Discord reverses the effect and turns him back into Jekyll, who falls to his possible death. However, Discord is injured by the fight, and it just so happens that he is found in his battered state by the Equestrians, who bring out the Elements of Harmony to turn him to stone again.

    Jekyll is found alive by Silver, this being the first time the two have met in-story, and she takes him away to safety to get him healed up. Miraculously, Jekyll looks likely to survive, and Met hands over Jekyll to Silver's care, putting her in charge of ensuring his safety. Met then leaves to bring together the united factions, both human and local, and they all stand against the Equestrians. Met tells Chain Mail that Secopolis will be remaining an independent zone, and tells him to get out of his city. The story ends with the Equestrian military withdrawing, and us seeing the beginnings of Secopolis's reconstruction.

    Phase 3: Reich

    Beyond this, my plans for sequels get a lot vaguer. There would have been another countdown series to set it all up, but the gist of it is that following Secopolis, the human settlements all united and formed their own nation with Secopolis as the capital, and most of the main characters from Secopolis went on to become prominent figures in it. Silver in particular did very well for herself, becoming the head of the military. This new nation is very multicultural, being a mix of humans and ponies, and thanks to the technology of Secopolis, it is also a very advanced one. Equestria meanwhile crumbles into a lot of sub-territories and rogue states thanks to its internal problems, but the central Equestrian state which is still ruled by the princesses survives and is gradually growing stronger again, benefitting technologically and culturally from having formed an alliance with its new neighbour.

    Reich was going to be set many decades after Secopolis and with a new protagonist, who is a government agent working for the human nation. The basic plot is that is Equestrian and human outposts and towns are getting hit along the border between their countries, and both sides assume that an unseen third faction is trying to push them to war against one another. The most recent Elements of Harmony are sent by Equestria's side to investigate and deal with the problem, while the humans send this story's protagonist from their side. The story would've basically followed their investigations, which take them all across both nations and would've given me a lot of opportunity to explore this new world's culture and do some worldbuilding. The unseen third faction is Nazis, by the way. You could probably guess by the fact the story's called Reich. It's some HYDRA kind of shit going on here, but I swear I came up with this story before Winter Soldier came out.

    Conclusion:

    Anyway, I think that about covers it. So now you know the ultimate destination of Human's story, not only to the end of that story, but into its sequels too. Now, I mentioned that Secopolis was going to contain elements from both Shades and Helsing, and that neither of those stories are cancelled, so you may be wondering what the full plan is from here.

    Well, for one thing, Draven has stated that he absoluetly plans to continue writing Shades, and I will continue to support him with that. And while Shades will likely take the rest of my future plans for Human as canon, I think it's fair to say that Secopolis isn't going to happen, so we may make changes to the plans for Shades so that it resolves all of its lingering threads within its own story, or at least so that everything is resolved by Black. Helsing meanwhile will be rewritten as an original story, or possibly folded into another project. And as for Secopolis, I have plans to salvage a lot of the ideas I had for it and write a new story. Now, I have spoiled a lot of details for Secopolis here, but to write Secopolis without the connection to Human would require massive amounts of revisions anyway, so I think the reworked story will be pretty different than what I posted here.

    Other than that, I now hand over Human to all of you. For all the many of you that have contacted me about wanting to write side-stories before, now is your chance. You know basically everything I intended, you know how the story goes, and you know the world you're writing in. So do as you please. Have at it. Make something excellent.

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In Equestria's far future, one thousand and five years after the return, a dysfunctional group of argumentative ponies must quest to defeat the most dangerous enemy of Equestria to ever live; the malevolent Lord Second, one of the only known members of the race of elder gods known as the humans, and the ancient cult who worships him, the Brotherhood of Man.

An over-the-top surrealist comedy, with slight serious elements. Expect a steady decline into insanity.

Cancelled, due to reasons of severe cranial trauma

Published on Equestria Daily, and now with a YouTube audio reading, and prequel spin-off stories, Shades of Grey, by Draven Eclipse and Van Helsing.

First Published
30th Dec 2011
Last Modified
8th Sep 2014

"Vault 3G, that's the Elements of Harmony...4K...the uncensored history books. 9F, the alien spaceship, 4Q, Luna's foalhood drawings, 4Z, Metal Gear, 3D, those damn glasses, 5T, the elder scroll, 2W, that compass that doesn't point north"

epic, so bucking epic :rainbowlaugh:

MOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!

"4Q, Luna's foalhood drawings, 4Z, Metal Gear, 3D, those damn glasses, 5T, the elder scroll" This right here :rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh:

Oh god this is awesome, I'll keep on reading it :pinkiehappy:

Also, I'm pretty sure that those glasses are mine :raritywink:

-Glassed

SO GOOD!MOOOAAARRRR!!!

Oh I loved this xD I couldn't help but keep smirking through the entire thing.

I hate Human in Equestria stories on principle, because they're all usually the same, and there are new original ideas.

But I see now, I was wrong. :pinkiesmile:

More please! :pinkiehappy:

Thats... interesting. Waiting for more.

"Their clothing would have disguised them perfectly were it not for that. Even though some were unicorns, some were pegasi, some were earth ponies, and at least one of them was a huge zebra"...wait a sec, A HUGE ZEBRA?!:pinkiegasp:

As may have said before me... MOAR, I NEED MOAR. (That means great fic, keep up the good work x9001)

I'm withholding judgement based on two things.

Number one, are we ever going to have ponies whose names aren't just things? (Iron Hoof, Gold Coin, Etc.)

And number two, has Second matured any since being statue'd? Because I'm sure as heck not going to sit through an entire fic of that if I can help it.

Need more! Just too awsome for words!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:

that was great!.. and alien spaceship? lol! and why would there be 3D glasses they don't even have television? or do they! this also proves those consperasy ponies were right after all!

can't wait for the next chapter:pinkiehappy:

*GASP* Metal Gear! We meet again!

Original idea, love how humans aren´t affected by magic

Buck, I left my window open...

:twilightblush:

5 stars and tracked!

Axz

I like this story, its going to be fun to see what happens when they revive the human, will he be resentfully, hatefully or forgiving, friendly, will he hate evryone for imprisoning him... etc

regardless this is gonna be a blast reading whatever you have in store for us:pinkiesmile::pinkiesmile:  

Love the vaults, cannot wait to read more!:pinkiehappy:

Wow very different from most HiE fics as Axz said. Need moar. :pinkiehappy:

Sir, your story is way too amazing. I especially like the characterization of the humans (from Celestia's recalls). Theres also this sort of sacarstic replies made by different characters that really makes me laugh IRL. And this sentence is awesome >>>> "When ghosts wanted to scare each other, they told human stories"

MMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAARRRRRR

:pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:

Great set-up and the humans. I especially love the humans interacting in Celestia's memories. It really seems that they weren't very malicious but could also be incredibly malicious. Gives an air of mystery to the humans. Can't wait for the next chapter!

Already, I can tell I'm gonna like this! I personally (ponyally?) think we need more human fics on this site. Maybe even add it as a category.

i lol'd at the dragon heart reference:rainbowlaugh:

Sounds good, will read.:rainbowkiss:

Holy 9,00 words Batman! I better get started

They sung this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLnWf1sQkjY

To this :trollestia:......That's golden

"Let's see," she muttered, "Vault 3G, that's the Elements of Harmony...4K...the uncensored history books. 9F, the alien spaceship, 4Q, Luna's foalhood drawings, 4Z, Metal Gear, 3D, those damn glasses, 5T, the elder scroll, 2W, that compass that doesn't point north, 7S...Oh. Oh dear."

Celestia looked up from her record book.

"Somepony check 7S! I swear if they took anything from 7S then we're all-"

"They didn't take it your highness!" one of the pegasi on the upper levels called back.

Celestia breathed a sigh of relief.

"Thank goodness," she said, "The colonel would kill me if I let somepony steal his secret recipe."

Oh my god :rainbowlaugh:

Make moar of this please :rainbowkiss:

Great first chapter, hope ch 2 will be upload soon.:raritywink:

If they have Metal Gear why wouldn't they just destroy the statue to prevent any possibility of him returning?

Sounds like a pretty good insurance policy to me.

>>98332

Wouldn't that involve... you know, killing him? Alternatively, the magic might break to prevent it, which would explain why they never broke Discord's statue.

The author has my attention, I shall withhold the judgment of the stars until I have a better sense where it is going. I find the human's attitude to be entertaining, and the idea of a pair of friends bumping around ancient equestria entertaining themselves while having little major impact on history (despite being essentially unstoppable) amusing. That being said, something happened that ruined that happy dynamic, and I can't help but wonder if 'the reapers horn' isn't a firearm. Of course, it being a horribly powerful magical artifact is more likely, but then from whence did it come?

I LOLd at the vaults :rainbowlaugh:

I would imagine at the vault were would be The dragonstone or something other than The elder scroll.

O my sweet baked beans... MAKE MOAR!!!!!  Please, it's sooooo good!  Here take my stars.  All of them.

Wow, I thought the "awakening of ancient evil" would stale after Past Sins, but here it's better than ever! :yay:

Gotta say, the humour is very attractive, and the plot is promising, so for the love of all that is good, keep up the amazing, work, cause I want MOAR! :rainbowkiss:

They'd better not steal mah secret recipe. :pinkiecrazy:If they do, I might just have to start making cupcakes instead.

Let me guess: He can manipulate Equestria by drawing in the air?

So Spike became a badass huh? Wexellent :moustache:

Celestia: "That thing that shall never be named"

VOLDEMORT?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?! :pinkiegasp:

This is really an interesting story and I await the release of the next chapter.:pinkiehappy:

Personally, I liked the pop culture references. It made the humans look like they were just a couple of idiots who just happened to fall into Equestria, and got in over their heads when they tried to have a little fun. Honestly, that outcome would seem to be the most likely. Most of the stuff the characters in HIE stories pull would get them trapped in stone.

Also, I think it's great that the story takes place a thousand years after the show. I  love the characters to bits, but it's nice to see someone doing something original with the setting.


Fluttershy is still best pony. Even if it's not actually her at all!

Although Explodey McGee is a close second, even if his powers turn out to not be real.

I actually liked First (Anthony?) and Second's antics. No angst, just two dudes messing with everyone in a "Well, we're here, might as well have fun" sort of way. And since the duo didn't actually get all that much screen-time, it never got annoying.  Looking forward to chapter three.

Eagerly waiting for more.

I cannot wait for Second to go badass on these ponies.  Seriously, this is one of those stories that I have to root for the villain(Second) in.  I get the feeling Sliske is going to be more a secondary comedy villian.  Finally, Spike the Eternal?!  Just plain awesome.

lol... i bet the other humans name is Ian. I bet it is SO Ian. :trixieshiftright:

This story is absolutely brilliant, only two chapters in and I am already hooked.

First and Second's conversations and sarcastic demeanors are utterly hilarious. The characters you have created fill each of their niches in the story well. What I like best about this story is that it's not predictable; the scene changes are so jarring at times it scrambles my thoughts as I'm reading it, but that's a good thing! So much information is put into each chapter, and it flows well.

I demand that you continue this superb, thought-provoking work that gives HiE stories a good name. :twilightsmile:

The comedy works, and the plot is interesting. I like how the chapters are big, but will new chapters take long since the chapters are long ? I didn't expect to see ch2 soo early.

>>99325

I'm a fast writer.

I want the second to win he is just to awesome and they killed his best friend even though they never actually killed any pony.

the false goddesses need to pay for their crimes.:trixieshiftleft:

Great so far, looking forward to more.

Keep up the awesome work.

:twilightsmile:

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