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Blue-Haired Babe

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The Document of PGS: 15 (Outside of Battle) · 6:07am Jun 27th, 2017

I'm prompted to complete and post this Document for 15, because 16 is completed and awaiting revision. :pinkiehappy: How long it'll take, exactly, is unclear; it depends on how Editor Man finds the draft, and how heavily it needs to be rewritten to make up for my general incompetence. I'll spend the meantime working on a few other things, among them, 17.

Like I said in the last doc, 15 is a break after the stressful extravaganza of the Dodge arc, so that we can all stop, take a deep breath, and remember where the hell I left all these characters when I vanished without explanation in 2014. It consists mostly of material that was either supposed to be inserted into other chapters, but didn't work, or material that I wanted to use for interludes. Rather than shove a bunch of cutaways to irrelevant scenes, however, I decided to shove them all into one chapter, creating a turducken of irrelevant shit.

Then again, turducken is pretty irrelevant and shitty as is.

It doesn't really pay to give a general overview of the chapter's events, since it's broken up into smaller, self-contained vignettes. That in mind, I'll be taking this a little bit differently than usual, breaking up the commentary into smaller chunks for better digestion.

Scene One: "Ruminatin' On Mah Crimes"

PGS started out with an unusual focus on Applejack (when I first picked up the show, she was my favorite character), and her family drama, which seemed perfectly reasonable back before subsequent seasons established Applejack and Apple Bloom as having the most stable sibling bond out of all the sibling pairs in the series (yes, I am counting Shining Armor and Twilight). Obviously, my focus has changed since then, but was fun to go back to her perspective for a spell. And Rarity is always a delight to write for, naturally. I particularly love her tickle-monster antics with Sweetie Belle in this scene.

I'm less enamored with the fact that someone, somewhere, might've construed it as fetish fuel...

The conversation between Rarity and Applejack was primarily exposition (some, if not all, of the characters Applejack name-drops may or may not be significant in future chapters), but there was a creamy nougat center of character building underneath it all. If you read PGS before the re-write last July, then you might recall that I initially wrote Applejack as an unhinged drunk, who was also a lot more violent and sadistic during a few key scenes. She got toned down severely over time, but one thing I decided not to alter was her exchange with Twilight in chapter five about using lethal force to save her loved ones. That doesn't gel with the character as I perceive her now, but that tension between who Applejack is, and who she's written to be in that scene, is intentional, and something I want to deal with.

Scene Two: Fluttershy Bonds with a Talking Robot that Shits Green Stuff to Walk Better

Hey, fun fact! Much of this scene was already written years ago. The narration and the action are pretty new, as is some of the dialogue, but for the most part, it was done before the bloated, four chapter Dodge arc was even a twinkle in my eye. It was supposed to go at the end of 10, and would have ended with IRVING's death. I didn't feel I nailed the scene, however, so I postponed resolving the GEKKO's fate until after Twi and Snake came back from Dodge. The decision actually paid off, because I changed my mind about killing the GEKKO, paving the way for it to play a role in the story's final act.

Back when I resurfaced after my hiatus, I said that MGSV did a lot of stuff that, as a writer of shlocky crossover horsewords, delighted me. The inclusion of The Boss's A.I. was one such element that I appreciated. If nothing else, it canonized the Mammal Pod being salvaged, so let's all thank Hideo Kojima for helping to enable me.

Regarding the GEKKO end of things, when I conceived of the XMG as a prototype for the MGS4 GEKKO, one thing I put a great deal of time into doing is making them pale in comparison to the MGS4 GEKKO. There are numerous design flaws in the XMG platform to set it apart, one example being the legs. Thinking about GEKKO, it makes sense (in a non-sense-making sort of way) that they'd be able to regenerate and regrow muscle tissue to get them back on their feet in the event that someone takes out their legs with sustained gunfire or explosives. But I also figure that something needs to be done with dead or mortifying tissue, the stuff that the new tissue is supposed to replace.

So I got it in my head that a modern GEKKO would be able to slough away dead tissue to help with regeneration. But a prototype GEKKO might not have that ability, and would require service/maintenance to keep its legs from rotting after taking heavy damage, one of many flaws with the platform which led to AT Corp boxing them up and demanding revisions to the platform. So that's how I have my cake and eat it too, with IRVING regenerating its battle damage while still requiring Fluttershy's help to recover.

Scene Three: Sunset Shimmers (or "Dashie Strikes Out")

Somewhere along the line, I just decided that Rainbow Dash should have an unrequited crush on Twilight Sparkle, and that Twilight should be completely oblivious. It was "Jelly God," I think, that made me decide this; I wrote those scenes with the two of them, and thought "wow, this is, like, super gay." And then that creeped into PGS. It's not especially relevant, just a detail for Dashie's character that I like working in where I can.

Besides that, I dunno, this scene is something of an odd man out. We've been with Twilight for the last four chapters, and we didn't really need to check up on her again. But I wanted to follow up on the optimism of the previous chapter's ending, and I wanted she and Dashie to have at least one meaningful conversation before they rejoined the others.

What they talked about was originally different. Dashie was going to awkwardly change the subject after Twilight shot her down, and the two of them would talk about how the others back in Ponyville were. I felt it was too same-y, seeing as Applejack and Rarity had a similar conversation in the first scene, and that it didn't really justify its inclusion very well. Editor Man thought that it would be a good way to reintroduce those plot threads and characters to the reader, and remind y'all of where they stood and what's going on with them (since, if you've been reading since 2014 at the latest, then you've been separated from the rest of the Mane Six for as long as Dashie), but I don't pay him for suggestions. I pay him to stand around and look pretty while I toss horseshoes at him.

So, instead, you just get Dashie obliquely trying to confessing her feelings to Twilight, even after Twilight obliviously shoots her down.
Even THAT got rewritten, though; while the scene is pretty gay as is, the original draft was significantly gayer. Subsequent rewrites toned down the gay. Editor Man thought that having too much gay would lead the reader to believe that I wanted their "relationship" to "go" "somewhere," when my intention from the start has been to break Dashie's heart and keep it broken.

I am incapable of writing any romance besides failed romance. I wonder why that is?

Scene Four: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Luna

Or "Luna and Celestia Argue 2.0." Another major plot thread that I left dangling for years, which I'm just now picking up again. Celestia comes around to seeing the human presence as a threat that needs addressing, but still prefers to observe from afar and craft a strategy in response to it, instead of taking immediate action. So she designates a role for Luna to play.

If you've been following the story for a while, then you probably know that the Luna subplot was not part of my original outline; it was added at the suggestion of Editor Man 1.0 when I decided to incorporate nasty horse-zombies into my very serious crossover fanfic.

I kinda see Luna's and Celestia's relationship as being at an awkward phase during PGS's timeframe. The trust and partnership that they display from season three and onward hasn't really been established yet, and they're both still sort of groping their way into a proper working relationship (apparently, they haven't even really figured out how to distribute power between one another). I think that, in Celestia's mind, Luna's still a kid who's just now coming into her own, and she's cautious about piling too much power or responsibility onto her all at once. Hence boxing Luna into a situation where she has to bide time and play by Celestia's rules, rather than run off half-cocked again.

There's also some continuity, both in and out of universe; readers of Teach Me Goodnessmight've noticed the mention of Cummerbund the butler, as well as the continued awfulness of Spoiled Rich (Readers of Eyeball, which is also in the same continuity as Teach Me Goodness, may also have noticed the Lord of the Flies's cameo in that story). And Luna still hates the Operator, as she did way back in 9.

Scene Five: Commander Cain is Basically Stannis Baratheon Without the Charisma

This is the first time since 7 that anyone aligned directly with Pegasus Wings, besides Trenton, has appeared, and the first time in as many chapters that Cain's gotten the chance to show some character. Despite the chapter being told from the perspective of Delacroix, the chapter is really about Cain: how she sees him, how he plays off of and differs from Macbeth, and the kind of person he is underneath his hard, crunchy, mercenary exterior.

By contrast, Macbeth remains a clod. The dynamic between the two of them amuses me, because Macbeth insults Cain by telling him he has no sense of artistic flair or creativity, yet both of them have a mutual interest in the work of Shakespeare. That's the kind of thing that would probably serve to bring two people who otherwise share no common ground together, but it's only served to drive them apart, partially because of their differing interpretations of the same play.

The tension between the two of them, and their mutual disdain, has at its heart a disagreement over literature. It's the most Frasier thing I've ever written.

You also get to see just how dire things are for Pegasus Wings, if even the fuckin' deer are styling on them. Equestria is to Pegasus Wings as Vietnam was to American infantry; the only difference is that a second lieutenant in Pegasus Wings probably has a higher life expectancy.

...Fun fact, that stuff about the deer was added to the story at the suggestion of Editor Man, who dislikes the deer and their comic portrayal intensely. I haven't read the comics much, so I don't know for sure, but I think the same holds true for much of the fandom. That bit from Cain, about hunting down and cooking King Aspen, is my shout-out to the anti-MLP-Deer fandom.

Also, I just realized that Cain's fondness for cassette players in Equestria Gear Solid is an unintentional riff on the way this chapter ends. I really didn't plan that. Makes me wonder what else I accidentally referenced in that glorious trainwreck of a story...

Scene Six: Paz's Sick-ret Diary

(get it?)

Of all the sequences in this chapter, this one is probably the least important to the narrative, but one of the most vital from a thematic and character standpoint. It was also a late addition that I only inserted and outlined when I started blocking out the scene progression in the chapter. It changed little from its conception to its final form; I think Big Boss's dialogue went through the most revisions, whereas the banter between Cain and Paz is transcribed almost verbatim from how I envisioned it.

Also, in PGS canon, Cain took Paz's cat, Nuke, with him when he left Mother Base, and brought him back to England. It's entirely possible that the cat will appear in Metal Gear Survive, as its own shitty analogue to DD from The Phantom Pain, but as far as I'm concerned, the cat lived a long and healthy life in England, being fed tunafish out of Cain's hand while he recited Shakespeare from memory.

Overall, it was probably the most fun to write out of all these vignettes, and one of my favorite scenes in the entire story. :twilightsmile:

Scene Seven: Lord of the Arbitrary Literary References

Everybody's pretty much figured out who the POV character is, so I see little point in dancing around it.


But I'm afraid I'm going to remain tight-lipped on this scene, and let it speak for itself, for the time being. We'll revisit the Lord and his Disciple in a future document.

Comments ( 3 )

Commander Cain is Basically Stannis Baratheon Without the Charisma

Hate to say it, but Stannis Baratheon without the charisma is just Stannis Baratheon. There's a reason most of House Baratheon's bannermen rallied behind Renly instead of him at first! That being said, Stannis was one of my faves, and you may have just given me a definitive actor for me to cast as Cain in my head.

Insightful document, I look forward to chapter 16 whenever Editor Man is finished having his way with it!

4584847 I swear, I'm going to buy a spray bottle for situations like this...

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