Thoughts on Monty Python · 7:46pm
Reporting live from Leesburg Cobb 12, where Ayne and I are watching the global broadcast of Monty Python (Mostly) Live. Intermission now, and I have to say this final show is incredible. It's going to be a sad moment in time when it's all over. Palin, Idle, Cleese, Gilliam and Jones still have their touch.
More thoughts at the next intermission, and when it's all over.
Well, back from the show now. I has a sad. Seriously. The last Monty Python show was very bittersweet, though the guys did their best. Some of the sketches have not aged well, and many of the others are timeless, but in the end, it will be sad to see them go.
Thinking About... · 1:08am
The final chapter of Book I!
The drive back to Canterlot was as quiet as a tomb. Sunset sat there, uneasily, not knowing what to say.
“You really are worried about her, aren’t you?” Octavia said, her voice sounding a little guilty. “I’m an idiot, I swear. If I’d just listened to you, I’d….”
“It’s okay,” Sunset said, giving Octavia a wan smile in reply.
“No, it’s not okay! She and I have been together through everything, and for her to just think I abandoned her….” The guilt was ripping through Octavia now that she’d heard about everything that had happened to her best friend and cousin’s near-suicide two weeks before. “We’ve always been as thick as thieves before, and for the past couple of months, I’ve pretty much just abandoned her!”
“Tavi!” Sunset’s voice was sharp. “Be there for her when she gets back. It’s too late to do anything now, but it’s not too late once she gets back. Trust me, do you remember what I told you when we first met? That a friend of mine once told me that friendship is magic? Being there for her will be the strongest help you can give her.”
From the driver’s seat, Evening said, “Yup, listen to Sunny, Tavi. She knows what she’s talking about.”
“But I should have been there for her!”
“Don’t worry – in a couple of days this will all be over,” Sunset said in a tone that brooked no argument. Octavia looked at her with surprise; even Ballad, peeking over from the passenger seat, wondered what the older teen was talking about.
“How can you be so sure?” Octavia asked.
“Because this has to end one way or another,” Sunset said in a firm voice, “and I’m going to do my damnedest to make sure it does.”
What will Sunset do? Stay tuned!
AKA Proof it's being worked on.
The four sat in Button’s and Ginger’s hotel room, looking like a bomb had gone off in the middle of their workplace.
“What the hell are we gonna do?” Layne asked, completely floored. “Our game looks like an exact copy of Bradford and Rider’s, and people are going to think because we’re ripping them off because we worked at the same company!”
“But Radioactive broke up over a year ago!” Button told him. “How could anyone think that?”
Ginger sighed. “Didn’t you say you were working on the engine in your spare time? A good lawyer could easily tear us apart via that, especially if the software on your personal system has the same tags as the one at Radioactive,” she groaned.
“Well, thankfully the convention center had that catastrophic power outage and the rest of it had to be cancelled,” Rev said weakly. “Of course, that puts more pressure on us to come up with something for CapitalGamesFest.”
“Plus, we’re going to have to tell everyone back at work – you know how they’re going to feel about it? Some of them are in worse spots than we are, and we’re going to have to come up with something, and fast,” Button answered.
“Look, man, I am not in the mood to be another Daikatana, Duke Nukem Forever or Half-Life III. All those games took forever to come out, and when they did, they were huge disappointments.”
“But at the same time,” Rev said, “we don’t want to be like Mega Man Reprogrammed or Metal Gear Chromecannon Valiant Xed. Those were highly anticipated games and they were rushed to market and almost destroyed their companies as a result. We don’t need that kind of reputation!”
“How long do we have between now and CapitalGamesFest?”
“About two weeks. We were going to use that time to tour Washington DC, a—”
“No time,” he sighed. “We’re going to have to buckle down and get an idea and make some retools.”
“Retools to what?” Ginger sighed. “Sweetheart, we’re over a barrel on this one. We may as pull out of the CapitalGamesFest and hope we can come up with something by E3.”
“I’m in agreement, bro,” Layne said. “Ginger’s right. No way we’re going to pull this off.”
“I hate to say it,” Rev added, “but they’re right, Button. You know I respect you, boss, but this might even be above your skills.”
Button’s voice was a resounding sound bursting throughout the room.
“No! We won’t give up! Did Link ever give up when it came time to save Princess Zelda? And did the ship that blew up asteroids ever just go home and leave those asteroids unblown up? Did Pac-Man ever just run away from the maze and decide to go on a diet? Did Beck say it wasn’t worth it to blow up Mightys Nos. 1 through 8? Did Ryu ever decide that he was going to stop Street Fighting and just take up Street Not-Fighting? And did Ridge Racing ever stop racing on ridges? No! And neither can we!”
“What is he—” Rev began.
“Just let him go, Rev,” Ginger said, both irritated and strangely proud of her coltfriend at once.
Button thrust a hoof in the air. “I did not come all this way not to get the high score in life! I did not come just so everything could be a great, big GAME OVER the first chance I came hoof-to-hoof with that final boss called ‘adversity’! Layne, how can you give up just like that without even trying to wow those game journalists?”
“But we’re not giv—”
“And Rev, I thought you wanted to be the first mare in the games industry? You’ve gone too far to turn back now!”
“But it’s not as though we were go—”
“And Ginger,” he said, walking right up to her and taking her claws in his hooves. “We’re supposed to be the co-op of life, you and me, Players 1 and 2, sweetie. Don’t leave me hanging without a token to continue.”
“Button…what are you even…no, don’t answer that,” she said, flustered.
Preview of the Next Chapter of 7DSJ · 11:40pm
The penultimate chapter!
As she tried to piece together what Trixie and Lyra had taught her about traditional Gematria and its Italian variant, she rifled through Google Translate on her phone, then filtered it through a Gematria app she’d downloaded. As expected, some of it made sense – one numerical value translated to “I am the eternal shadow” – while most of it didn’t – she had no idea what “the crystal heart sings proudly” meant, though it was likely random gibberish. Either way, she continued to take notes in the hope that some of it – any of it – would give her some clue how to proceed further in protecting Twilight.
“Curious?” Applejack’s voice rang behind her. As Sunset turned to face her friend, Applejack said in a soft tone, “Heard whut y’ did yest’rday. Ah have t’ say Ah’m impressed – an’ not jest ‘cause she’s yer sister. But…next time, jest be careful. Ah’d hate t’ see any o’ mah friends hurt.”
“I’m already hurting, AJ,” Sunset said in a small voice, “and it has yet to stop.” At the moment, she was feeling a sense of anxiety, as though she needed to run out of the room as fast as she could and never come back. She wasn’t sure what it portended, but whatever it meant, it was coming from the other side of the hall – where the mirror was.
“Sunny, Ah thought y’ understood y’ ain’t alone in this,” Applejack said, patting her friend on the shoulder. “We ain’t lettin’ ya go alone on this one.”
“Really?” Sunset retorted. “Because do you understand any of this? Because I am a unicorn, one of the best unicorn mages short of Princess Twilight, and I have no idea what any of this means! It’s all obscure references and ersatz comments from some weird guy who lived in the Florentine Republic and might have gotten ancient obscure wisdom from a unicorn who may or may not have gotten some nookie from the guy’s wife – the same wife the guy’s supposed to have killed!”
Applejack just looked at her friend, not knowing what to say. Finally, she voiced, “Doesn’t mean we aren’t here fer ya, Sunny.”
“I know,” Sunset said quietly, “and I love you all for that. But I’m already in over my head – you guys will drown in whatever’s going on.”
The look on Sarah’s face was crestfallen. “And we can’t tell anyone else, Mom?”
Faust looked at her youngest daughter, sympathizing. “No, sweetie, you can’t. I didn’t even want to tell you or Jon until you were both old enough.” The catch on her words indicated she was angry; while Sarah knew she wasn’t the source of that ire, it still wasn’t anything fun.
“But Betty McDaniels keeps talking about the fact that her uncle plays for the Indians and she makes a big deal about that,” the preteen replied. “And I can’t tell her I’m a princess? A real princess?”
“It’s…complicated,” Faust said, now regretting having told her younger half-human children about who and what she really was. She could have come up with any number of valid lies about Screwball and Screw Loose, a few of which they might have actually believed until they were old enough to know the truth. But she’d grown tired of the lies and though he’d never said anything, she knew Greg wasn’t happy about them either. Now the cat was out of the bag, and for better or for worse, they would have to deal with it.
Thankfully, both of acolytes of chaos were now behaving themselves – or as much as they could be considered behaving. However, given how violently ill Screwball became when trying to be normal or focused, the great alicorn wondered if it was a good idea at all having them over. Still, both of them knew how important her family was to her, so they’d hopefully try to tone down their usual insanity.
It also helped that Greg went to work, probably so he could keep a normal semblance of reality, the alicorn mused. Maybe I can drop things down to a dull roar by the time he gets back.
“Hey, Mom?” Jon called from the other room. “Um…Ms. Loose wants to see you.” But before Faust could go out there, Screw Loose came into the kitchen.
“Yes, Screw Loose?” Faust said.
The pony, currently in her human disguise as an old matron, blinked twice in seeming incomprehension before speaking: “I suppose I should be asking what assistance I may be able to proffer, dear.” The pony’s voice was mellifluous, calm, and with a clear received pronunciation as though she was practicing her BBC English for a role on British television. In fact, she seemed as though she was a deranged version of Mrs. Doubtfire.
“I, uh….” For one of the rare moments in her life, Faust was at a loss for words.
“Oh, no need for that, your majesty,” Screw Loose said, a soft smile on her face that seemed homey and pleasant. “From what I gathered, I should probably put a spot of tea on for the guests that I’m presuming you’ll have shortly.” As Faust suddenly looked at the pony-in-human-form as though she’d grown a second head, Screw Loose laughed. “And now I suppose I’ll have to explain my…change, as it were.”
Not trusting herself to say anything further, Faust simply nodded.
“I was this way before Lord Discord blessed me with his anarchic grace,” the gray-haired woman told the redhead. “I had a husband and two foals. I also did not have the cutie mark I did, nor even my name. But during his brief sojourn into Ponyville, he saw me and knew I had the spark to be his follower. So he took me aside and…changed me.” Seeing the look on Faust’s face, Screw Loose added, “Oh, it was entirely voluntary, I assure you.”
Yes, yes it was, Discord rang in Faust’s mind. His tone was oddly nostalgic.
Ignoring him, Faust asked, “But what about your husband and foals?”
Screw Loose smiled. “I am still with them – Lord Discord duplicated me and sent my old form to remain with my family. Or maybe I am the duplicate and the original Skylark is still with her family. It matters little in the end,” she shrugged. “I serve my lord faithfully and he has asked me to serve you for the nonce, and so I shall.”
“Because the chaos and anarchy we sow is for the adult mind, not the impressionable ones of youth,” she explained. “Young minds are corruptible, and sometimes chaos does not beget chaos, but instead evil and madness – the two are different, you understand. Thus, I will temporarily be my old self while I am of service to you here. And please, don’t worry; I will keep Screwball to a minimum. Unlike myself, she is a being of pure chaos and so much harder for her to rein herself in.”
Toldja they’d be of use to you, Discord replied in her mind. No need to thank me; praise and poetry is all I need.
Preview of the Next Chapter of 7DSJ · 11:00pm
As she headed up the stairs, Sunset didn’t even bother to walk to Twilight’s room to check on her foster sister; after all, for the past few weeks, it hadn’t really been used. Instead, Sunset went to the bathroom, took care of her personal needs, brushed her teeth and washed her face, then looked at the new mirror – she really preferred the older one, but it was out of stock at Home Depot – and glanced at the plastered over scratches on the wall that would need to be painted over.
With that, then she went into her room, which already had a light on and a familiar form within the sheets.
“Twily…for the umpteenth time, please try sleeping in your own bed. Not that I mind you being here, but…this isn’t healthy,” Sunset said, sitting down next to her foster sister in what she already knew was a futile effort. It hadn’t worked the first time, or the second, or the third. Finally, when she put her foot down, Twilight just slept outside her door, hoping that being just around Sunset would be enough to keep the monsters in her mind at bay.
But for now, she sat there on the bed, looking haggard, as if she was almost as old as Sunset actually was. Her eyes were puffy and rimmed with dark bags underneath them, and her hair looked shaggy and unkempt. If anything, a casual viewer would have thought that it was Sunset that had lived a life here in the house on Golden Oaks and Twilight a refugee from the long-demolished warehouse. She finally turned to look at Sunset, with wild, fearful eyes, her normally beautiful violet orbs mere dots of fear. “Can I—”
“Sis, just…look, I have a test tomorrow, and I need my sleep,” the flame-haired girl began, knowing it was a lost cause the moment she opened her mouth. “Nobody’s goi—”
“NO!” Twilight yelped. “You don’t understand! Every night – every Goddamn night – it’s looking at me! If I close my eyes, it’s going to kill me! I know it!”
“Please!” Twilight looked at Sunset, utter fear in her eyes. What the hell was going on that was utterly destroying her…and why the hell weren’t their parents worried about it? Likewise, talking to Cadance and Shining hadn’t been much help either; both of them were so focused on other things going on in their lives – Cadance had a large case she was working on for the DA’s office, while the case that Shining was assisting the Red Bluff PD with had just gotten bigger, so he was completely absorbed by that. Even Octavia, who’d been incredibly stressed out, wasn’t over much, preferring to spend as much time with her parents before they moved overseas.
More and more, Sunset felt she was the only one dealing with Twilight’s currently shattering mind…and she was well in over her head.