Songs of the Spheres: Extended Multiverse 150 members · 41 stories
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GMBlackjack
Group Admin

Hello everyone! This is a place where you can talk about, suggest, and post short fiction set in the Songs of the Spheres multiverse, specifically for inclusion within the Enchorus anthology. (Both an encore and a chorus, I know, I'm so clever :pinkiecrazy: .)

There are actually no rules for what you can post here, but if you want to have any chance of being included in the anthology your story will fit within the T rating and be of decent enough quality that I'm willing to associate it with myself. I'll try not to have too high of a bar, but I'm known to be fickle. Unlike Sombra's Clipshow submissions, there's no need for you to restrict yourself to comedy. The genre can be whatever the heck you want. You can also write pretty long stuff (though if you exceed a SotS chapter by much, just publish it as its own story) and pretty short stuff. Just have fun!

Shamelessly inspired by FanOfMostEverything's Group Precipitation.

So what are you waiting for?

-GM, master of the Enchorus.

Well, I was thinking of making a "Prophet's Lounge/Ask the Prophets" thread, for people to come pester everyone who's contributed to SotS who isn't called GMBlackjack, but this works too, I guess.

Admin question for GM: which folder does Enchorus go in?

Not a short in and of itself, but definitely something I could see happening in this multiverse.

The question is, who is Elmo working for?

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6835758
Look at me, a worthless scrub who has not watched game of thrones. Woe is me, for I am too prudish to subject myself to such things. :raritydespair:

-GM, master of West...place.

6835763
You mean you haven't seen the eminently spherical opening title sequence?

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6835766
I've seen the title sequence. I think. A long time ago. I at least know the song. THATS everywhere.

-GM, master of songus.

I definitely want to do something with the Portal games. Perhaps a short story about the primary team and how they stumble into a version of gold old Aperture?

Self-Absorption Spectrum

In Applejack's mind, the best demonstration of how much Ponyville had changed was how she spent time with her friends. Back in the day, they could all pick one of several beautiful picnicking spots around town, and it would've been like the whole wide beautiful world was there for them to enjoy, along with each other's company.

These days, those picnicking spots were buried under the city's unending growth, and a hole shared by everyone's schedules was harder to find than Trixie's humility. Not that Applejack begrudged all the wonders Eve had made possible. She just felt a mite nostalgic at times.

That nostalgia found itself competing with confusion as she found herself in an Internet cafe looking over Rainbow Dash's withers. "So, lemme see if I got this right. You go on this here site to find other versions o' yerself, an' then you date 'em?"

Dash flinched back. "What? No! What do you think this is, Mirror Matches?"

Applejack nodded. "Good t' know. I knew you were fulla yerself, but I didn't think you'd wanna be... y'know, fulla yerself."

"Nice."

An eyebrow rose like a hoisted guillotine blade. "Though how'd you hear about that Mirror Ma—"

"Look, the point of True Parallels is that it's just neat to see how things might have gone, or what it'd be like if I were a stallion or a squid or something." Dash looked away, her fidgeting wings betraying the casual airs she was putting on. "And, you know, maybe take the opportunity to let them know what they're missing out on."

This prompted careful contemplation of everything Applejack knew about her friend, a full mapping of the intricacies and inner motivations of Rainbow Dash's mind.

The conclusion took less than three seconds to reach. "Yer just usin' this as another way to brag about Prism, ain't ya?"

To her credit, Dash didn't even try to hide it. "I have the best daughter and the coolest friends. I am winning at being Rainbow Dash, AJ. The other mes need to know!"

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6851902
Okay, yes, this is totally something Rainbow Dash would do. I'd totally accept this, with one caveat. No, that caveat is not that it needs a title (though it does need one, what do you want?)

The caveat is the issue of 'self-dating' in Merodi Universalis. None of the stuff about it has been published explicitly yet, but in both LSB and Chapter 100 there are going to be some things about Merodi having a bit of a societal taboo about that sort of thing. Not 'oh no we'll lynch ya' sort of thing, but the kind of 'well, that's... disgusting and weird.'

For a solid example, the LSB is known to actively discourage self-hookups for A) the societal 'ick' reason B) they have a tendency to completely tear apart Sweetie teams and C) making the air of the League more 'safe'. (You actually heard Allure mention this in The Allure of Time when she kissed Squeaky in the Time Loop.) There ARE a pair of Sweeties known as the Lovers who get power from their feelings for each other, so they get a pass. And Mattie isn't a Sweetie.

Totally my bad for not talking about it explicitly yet. But yeah, self-dating is a very AWKWARD subject in Merodi Universalis.

However, I can absolutely guarantee the Mirror Matches site exists anyway. Have you SEEN our Internet?

-GM, master of qs.

6851966
Adjusted for titles and taboos.

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6851987
Aight! uploading to Enchorus...

Unless you want an Author's Note or something.

6852000
Nah, I think it speaks for itself.

6851902
Ooh, new story!

The following is set after the nineteenth arc of the League of Sweetie Belles.

An Opening Statement

"Suzie 'Sweetie' Mash nee Belle." A hand as black and smooth as obsidian clapped on her shoulder. "So good to see you again!"

Suzie groaned. "Go away, Chrysalis."

"It's Kalyani now, actually. Well, when I'm talking to the multiverse at large."

"Please leave."

The obsidian-skinned woman rose her hands placatingly. "Fine, fine. I just thought we could talk a bit, but you're clearly not in the mood. Just thought I'd tell you, I got a message from somebody named Railgun this morning--"

Suzie's eye twitched. "Don't you dare bring my daughter into this!"

"I'm not," Kalyani assured her. "She brought herself into this by sending an e-mail to the Wholesome. And ordinarily, that would be strictly her business as she is a legal adult, but with my world only recently joining Merodi and you being a very important person I thought it might be best to have a discussion before I sent off a reply. Avoid any political explosions, you know. But I guess we can talk later--"

"Sit down."

Kalyani sat down across from her, smiling sympathetically. "How have you been, by the way? That whole thing must have been stressful for you."

"Oh no you don't," Suzie growled. "You brought up my daughter just to get me to listen. You're going to tell me exactly what was in that e-mail--"

"Are you sure you want to know that?" Kalyani asked with a teasing expression. "I mean, I know you're interested in her personal life, but I would assume you don't want to hear about--"

"Will you stop that and take this seriously?!"

Kalyani's smile vanished. "I am. You're asking me for information about a message sent to me in confidence. Literally the only reason I am even considering telling you what's in it is because it's from your daughter--frankly, even telling you about it is pushing the concept of privacy. I've read up on you, Suzie, but your public record doesn't go into your private life. I want to know for certain that telling you anything Railgun asked me won't ruin her life before we start down that road. And to do that," she continued over Suzie's protests, "I have to understand you personally."

Suzie opened her mouth for a moment, but no words came out. She examined the woman's expression, looking for any sign of mockery or deceit, and finding only genuine concern.

"You really care about... what will happen to her because of this?"

"I care about what happens to everyone," Kalyani informed her solemnly. "I only directly intervene when the fates of my children are at stake, but I am not so foolish as to think my actions do not have impact beyond that."

Suzie sighed. "...Can I at least ask if she requested... intimate assistance?"

"Her questions were not sexual in nature."

"...Fine. Fine, whatever." With a deep breath, Suzie rubbed her brow. "Let's... talk."

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6907185
Don't have much time, but two things:

1) Probably should keep this under wraps until the general public knows what, you know, happens in the CRISIS:Equestria arcs. We haven't even introduced Chrysy yet.
2) ...Railgun's a girl. I can't remember if I mentioned this before or not.

Suzie shrugged. “He’s fine - his games are doing… okay. And before you ask about Railgun in a way that’d make any sane woman want to file a restraining order on you, she’s at the Military Academy.”

Hey, looks like I did.

Seeing as I have not defined Railgun as a character at ALL, you're free to do just about anything you want, including what's shown above.. She's in the military, shares Suzie's religion, and is on really good terms with her parents. That's all I've set out.

-GM, master of mooks.

I just received the most interesting invitation to this forum and a very nice prompt to play with.

Just checking, but the Oversaturation-verse is gonna be a part of Merodi, yes? :3

"the sounds of sugar-fueled gears can be heard turning in the background"

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6910925
Will be, but you should wait for the CRISIS: Equestria special for the League of Sweetie Belles to finish.

EDIT: and probably a good idea to read the League of Sweetie Belles anyway to see how Oversat fits into it.

-GM, master of blades.

6911479
I already read both their chapters :3 Now I'm sorting through plot ideas.

6911994

The CRISIS arc is slated to take eight chapters, Speckle. Just so you know.

6912055
Actually I meant the first one where they hopped into the Oversatuarion-verse and the one where they met Winter.

Wait.
You mean CRISIS has the Oversaturated group too? :O

6912064

The CRISIS arc does involve the Oversaturated World, yes. It's sort of a big 'callback' chapter.

"goes off to read"

Set during chapter 106 of SotS

Oversaturated Remnants
A Zesty Flare of an Introduction

A cacophony of color, sound, motion.

It was to be expected, perhaps. Transit centers were by their nature intersections of many journies. And the Unicorn Cathedral was that multiplied--the chamber of the first portal was built almost reverently at its core, serving to mark the arrival spot of the world's goddess, and surrounded by various lesser chambers which either housed portals to other realms or served as neutral locations for portals to open. And the peoples--oh, they were myriad, even the natives had wonderous variation in their forms, and beyond that, beyond that were those who came through for trade or adventure or simply to see the sights, all walking the tiled floor or flying past stained glass windows or swimming through elegantly flowing waters that cycled through the installed plastic tunnels.

To the four newcomers it was chaos. Everyone was closer together than they were used to, hopping or running or 'excuse me'ing through a sea of living bodies like they'd never seen before. And yet there were patterns; loosening around eateries, crowds forming into lines when they entered marked chambers, the continual patrol of individuals bearing uniforms of red and gold. There was a familiarity in form, it was simply... scale, that overwhelmed. They stood gaping, their mental preparation barely letting them move out of the crowd's way, much less discuss what it was they were seeing.

"...wow." The youngest of them finally shook her head. "I mean... kinda puts the Argus Limited station to shame, huh?"

A loud groan drew their attention to a pair of people standing nearby.

"I told you," said the blue woman, holding out her hand with a smirk.

"Yeah, yeah." Her pink companion pulled out a wallet, handing over some coins. "I seriously thought the blonde would be the one to snark first."

"She'll have more quips overall, I assure you." Accepting her payment, the blue woman stepped forward. "You're the... Remnans? Are we going with Remnans?"

"Uh..." The blonde traveller shrugged. "Sure? People from Remnant, right?"

"Yep." The pink woman smirked. "I'm Lemon Zest, and this is Sunny Flare, and we are not married no matter what anyone says."

"Lemon..." Sunny pinched the gem in her forehead. "Seriously?"

"Just getting it said!"

The dark-haired traveller managed a faint smile. "You're Flurry Heart's aunts, aren't you? She said you would be waiting for us."

"Yeah, we're auntie Zest'n'Flare," Lemon confirmed with a pair of fingers and a tongue click. "Accept no substitutes!"

"Wait, hold on." The white-haired traveler held up a hand. "What was that whole thing with the coins about?"

"We had a bet on who would drop the first bit of snark," Sunny explained with a smirk. "Glad to see you didn't disappoint me."

"Right!" Lemon clapped her hands together. "So before we go any further, anybody need a rename? Just so you don't get confused with your alternates...."

"Well... we are team RWBY," the young one pointed out. "Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, Yang Xiao Long... it's, it's kind of our thing, so changing our name is... not something we're big on."

"Hmmm." Sunny cupped her chin thoughtfully. "You know, aside from Ruby their names are dissimilar enough from the others that no change is really needed. Would you mind if we called you Rosepetal while you were here?"

"Uh... kiiiiiind of?"

"You know what? We'll let the Rubys figure out who's Ruby." Lemon spun around and began to walk off, though she shot a smirk over her shoulder. "Come on, kiddos, time to walk through the looking glass!"

"zips back"

All caught up!
I'm now very worried about Earth Shimmer O_O

btw, when it was stated that Skaia's Dream is a place where any and all Players of SBURB EVER meet in one giant Dream Bubble....

….does that mean ANY and all Players? :3 :3 :3

6916588

Any who died, anyway. The ghost army is there. Players who won their game aren't there. I suspect players languishing in lost sessions aren't there either.

So, from a certain standpoint, ANYONE can be a ghost roaming about in Skaia's Dream? :3

As in, ANYONE from ANY reality that has had SBURB enter the picture?

6916600

There are no ghosts from the Oversaturated world because nobody played SBURB in the Oversaturated world.

Also maybe you should wait for Blackjack to clarify exactly how these mechanics work...

Hmmm, yeah, I think I'd better. I don't wanna make a mistake :(

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6916600
Masterweaver is right: Skaia's dream only contains SBURB players that died during their session. Living winners aren't there, they'd be on their victorious world in Horrorterror Space.

The Oversaturated World is not a SBURB session, it just works off Aspects sometimes, which is true of many universes in Horrorterror Space (including worlds that 'won' SBURB and then didn't experience a game of SBURB themselves because SBURB was shut down. This is probably not what the Oversaturated World is - it's just a world that happens to have the defining Aspects.)

But yeah, any players who died are there. There are, naturally, a few AUs of John and the others, though none where John got to go full retcon and stuff, and other players from Earth A since we know there were several sessions of SBURB being played on that planet.

There's a disproportionate number of trolls because of Aradia's love of doomed timelines.

-GM, master of blackberries.

Do you think that there are any Dead!Calliopes and Caliborns? Besides the Callie from the Alphaverse, of course.

And what about other instances of SBURB being played across the universe/multiverse? Are those ghosts in Skaia's Dream too? I mean, just look at Blink.

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6916670
Yes, there would be a few, though not the super!dead Calliope. Read the following Enchorus story to find out what happened to her (and most of the HS characters)

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/437182/13/enchorus/neither-meat-nor-candy-gmblackjack

Yes, all instances of SBURB played have ghosts in Skaia's Dream. There were a few pony worlds, other human worlds, and even some of the troll fanventures. (plus weirder things) Due to multiversal shenanigans, even a few 'fake aspects' probably exist. (There was a short in one of the group chapters about Vriska complaining that Aspects weren't consistent. Then another Vriska showed up and reminded her 'naturally, multiversal variation within SBURB.')

-GM, master of SBURBADERB.

6916773
Holy cheese! :raritystarry:
Now my juices are REALLY starting to flow. I might even have to sit down and write out a "dramatic gasp" schedule.

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6907185
Changes accepted, will post with the other LSB shorts we have compiled.

6913032
Posting this one now, acutally, look out for it! :twilightsmile:

-GM, master of baskets.

warning, this rambling went on for a lot longer then I thought it would. Beware of text wall
I admit I’ve been interested in seeing how the universes of Fallen London or Cultist Sim would fit into all this.

Something about a search for the designs for the bomb to kill the Stars. An anarchist alliance to drown the indifferent powers of Light and Law in their own sorrow.

Something about a chat between a divine ruler and an Hour, or at least one of their Names.
One of the many princesses talking with the Watchman on the nature of light and if mercy can be found within it.
Pinkie discussing what makes the ideal party with the Flowermaker or Ezeem.
Aang or Iroh discussing the nature of Fire, Forge and Change with King Crucible or the Lionsmith. Teresa and any Twilight eggheading on the nature of fragmented timelines or if the Aspects are truly magic.

Skyfairers or Flukes in one of the big battles. Would be interesting to see how an army of giant sea urchins that speak the burning tongue of the stars, or a nation-sized swarm of space bound trains with a reality warping/upholding clockwork star, would do against the more advanced universes.

Know and Long from countless Histories banding together in some of the massive battles. Massive Forge Bombs. Mirror Maid armies. Evacuation to Port Noon. Dimension-spanning Grail parties of aphrodisiac-stuffed, cannibalistic, horny on main deviants.

Something about Starlai and some academics, Masters, or foolish priests attempting to use the Correspondence, the burning Language of the Stars in which Law written, to create functioning Arcs. The first doing so for knowledge, second the city, and the third to aid a Reckoning.

Maybe some slice of life between followers, other universes, and the Suppression Bureau. Neville getting to know some people. Ponies at the Ecdysis Club watching someone peeling off their skin and vomiting up a swarm of moths. Rando cultist attempting to preform a makeshift rite with artifacts from other dimensions.

Idk.
I’ll jot these down here, strike the uninteresting ones, and try to eventually respond with some opening bits. Might throw in some RPC stuff while I’m at it. Who knows.

Edit: on a semi-related note exact not really, has the Sun Eater universe been included per chance?

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6923152

I know not of Cultist Sim or Sun Eater, and I have only the vaguest of vague ideas about what Fallen London is. So far, none of them have been included, so GO NUTS with whatever kinda story you wanna make.

-GM, master of inclusions.

6923152
I actually got Cultist Sim recently. I have yet to get anything more than a minor victory, but the world itself is still quite fascinating. Go for it, dude.

6834723
In light of the latest chapter of SotS...

The Bacon Horse Protects

The video opens with Corona Shimmer seated and silently staring at the camera. After a few uncomfortable seconds pass, she smirks and says, "So. How many you have already clicked off and left a nasty comment?"

A flash of golden light briefly overwhelms the camera. When it clears up, Corona has been replaced by a nearly identical woman, though one with no wings and an oval (eye color jewel) embedded in her forehead. Her attire has also shifted to a T-shirt boldly proclaiming "CORONA DID NOTHING WRONG."

The smirk stays. "Okay," says Shimmy Shimmer, Spirit of Harmony of Earth Shimmer, "now how many of you have clicked off?"

Her expression turns serious, though the T-shirt stays. "Rest assured, this isn't another ploy to make myself despised enough to collapse my church. I'm not making that mistake again. However, I fear that the Merodi as a whole is making a much greater one.

"Put simply, you're all blaming the messenger."

She leans back, hands up. "Now, I know what you're thinking. 'Of course Shimmy's going to defend Corona. She's her friend. She's her.' And yes, we are friends. And the Gallop poll on what to do about Corona did specifically get the responses of other Sunset Shimmers, and we are more favorably inclined towards her."

The data appears to Shimmy's right. "More than seventy percent of us still favor the death penalty."

She lets that sink in for a moment before continuing. "Personally speaking, I support Corona not simply because she's my friend but because I've been in a similar position. I saw a flaw in reality few others could even comprehend, had to radically redefine existence to fix the damage, and knew I didn't have the right to make the choice on how. Obviously, the circumstances are very different, especially in terms of scale and who made the decision. The point is that I've been where she is, and I would be an awful example of a Sunset Shimmer or a Spirit of Harmony if I couldn't empathize with her."

Shimmy shuts her eyes for a few moments. "Even if I don't agree with her conclusion. Which I don't."

Her eyes reopen, and they all but burn with the need to get her message out. "But there is a difference between choosing to preserve the multiverse and hating Corona Shimmer. One does not necessitate the other. You can disagree with her on the collapse being an acceptable cost for freedom from ka and still admire her other achievements. She still created an immortality serum. She still unlocked the mysteries of the Shaping Mechanism. She was still instrumental in defeating countless menaces across the decades, many of whom would have leapt at the opportunity to destroy the multiverse as we know it. This one controversial choice does not and cannot erase all the indisputable good she has done."

"I don't hate her for bringing this choice to the multiverse's attention. The Dark Tower has had these plans, both the blueprints for the Tower Rings and the means of disseminating them, from the very beginning. It could have chosen anyone at any time to reveal them; it just happened to be her and now. She did the best she could with the hand she was dealt. And if you cannot forgive her for presenting the multiverse with this impossible choice, I ask that you at least acknowledge the signficance of giving us that choice at all, along with everything else she has done right.

Shimmy dips her head to the viewer. "Thank you for listening."


Shimmy bit her lip as she watched the video upload. "Do you think it'll do anything?"

Twilight took her wife's hand in her own. "I want to say yes, but you're using the Internet to ask people to be reasonable."

That got a sigh. "Well, we can hope."

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6997614
I'll take it! when I get time I'll probably edit it over with a fine-toothed comb though.

You are complete entry #2... for 127, and the first one was me. Lots of incomplete ideas thrown around, so congratz on getting one solidified!

-GM, master of Melnorme.

A Dark Wind

"So."

Eight icy blue fingers gripped the railing, as white hair whisked in the faintest breeze. Long, thin pointed ears twitched minutely, the sounds of cheering children refracted within. Golden eyes peered out across a calm sea, trailing a few gulls who flew about.

"Truly... is it so? Am I to be... finality?"

"Hey there! I got us ice cream and... uh..." The approaching figure slowed. "Is... something wrong, mistress?"

For a moment, there was silence.

"...Across the realms, peoples have always set importance of predicting weather--controlling it, in certain cases, with devices and meters and science, yet rare is it that they notice before the beasts. Great swathes of animals, feeling the wind, the earth, the water, move in tandem to avoid storms that would strike with ferocity. Their senses are attuned to that which the peoples need to learn to measure." A pointed face bowed. "So too it is with those born of Fay."

"You can... sense things?"

"Our kind are not 'aware', as so many others are. We do not read scripts from other worlds, we do not know facts hidden by the greats that would twist stories. Our senses are deeper... we feel the currents of fate, as those who live in the sea would feel the water shift. And so it is we avoid the sharks, the squids, and the... deeper things. We work with currents we cannot fight, and avoid the choices that would destroy us utterly."

"So..." The other woman leaned on the railing. "You can feel Ka? Around us, even now?"

"Ka. The sea of fate has always existed, though it only became marked when the Dark Tower formed... and in marking it, the currents changed." She shook her head. "The ancients were brilliant and foolish, seeking completion over growth, entirety over possibility. So afraid of shadows that they would make the greatest lighthouse, yet what irony that we call the Tower Dark! Now..."

Her voice fell low, almost silent. "We have seen great storms, the Fay. And another comes, building tightly, a hurricane that will rend destiny. It might be the storm. The one to finally end definition."

There was only the sound of cheerful beach-goers for a moment.

"...Wow. Uh..." The other woman swallowed. "So... this is big then."

"My entire culture has been crafted to shatter and rebuild indefinitely to survive this, yes. Even failures like myself would be... beacons, for the Fay to bridge their death and become reborn. To think, I would be the final link in a chain... It is not a duty I would have sought."

"Well, it's not a duty you have to face alone." A cream-colored hand covered hers. "I'm here for you."

"...always the loyal pet." Golden eyes scanned the horizon. "...I cannot guarantee that we will weather this storm, beloved. Even with my senses, I will be hard-pressed to survive the winds that come. There may be a time when the choice is one of us surviving, or both of us perishing."

"...This... this is more important than either of us. If your people need you to live, I--" A nervous swallow. "--I'm willing to do what I must."

"I... do so hope that choice never comes."

"Me too, honestly. Just because I'm willing doesn't mean I like it."

"Hmm."

The two looked over the sea again.

"...If we do survive this," said the blue one, "I believe I shall have to take a new name."

"Oh?"

"Names are the beginning of identity, after all. And all would be changed by this." The blue hand wrapped around the cream one. "...Perhaps... perhaps I shall take a name that will grant me swift energy, one that will give me direction and focus. Something short, but powerful... like a bolt, made of shadow."

"I--oh. I... I would be very pleased, to agree to such."

"...Thank you, beloved. Let us hope we shall remain."

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6999492
Accepted, might go edit chainsaw when I have time.

Only one thing: 127 snips get titles. Feel free to suggest one.

-GM, master of TWENTY.

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6997614
Here's the edited version I'll be putting in the 127 doc, unless you have some kind of objection. Should be just minor tweaks. Lowered it from seventy percent to fifty since these are Sunsets we're talking about, even if they want her locked up and punished death is not only difficult for them, but also a thing MU tends to avoid in the legal system. Still, over fifty is a majority.

Realized Twilight would have taken a name at this point given the commonality of the Census everywhere. She'd either take a standard Merodi name of some kind or a sequence of Census letters and numbers.

The Bacon Horse Protects

By FanOfMostEverything

The video opens with Corona Shimmer seated and silently staring at the camera. After a few uncomfortable seconds pass, she smirks and says, "So. How many you have already clicked off and left a nasty comment?"

A flash of golden light briefly overwhelms the camera. When it clears up, Corona has been replaced by a nearly identical woman, though one with no wings and an oval jewel matching her irises embedded in her forehead. Her attire has also shifted to a T-shirt boldly proclaiming "CORONA DID NOTHING WRONG."

The smirk stays. "Okay," says Shimmy Shimmer, Spirit of Harmony of Earth Shimmer, "now how many of you have clicked off?"

Her expression turns serious, though the T-shirt stays. "Rest assured, this isn't another ploy to make myself despised enough to collapse my church. I'm not making that mistake again. However, I fear that the Merodi as a whole is making a much greater one."

Speaking once more, she says, "put simply, you're all blaming the messenger."

She leans back, hands up. "Now, I know what you're thinking. 'Of course Shimmy's going to defend Corona. She's her friend. She's her.' And yes, we are friends. And the Gallop poll on what to do about Corona did specifically get the responses of other Sunset Shimmers, and we are more favorably inclined towards her."

The data appears to Shimmy's right. "Though more than fifty percent of us still favor the death penalty."

She lets that sink in for a moment before continuing. "Personally speaking, I support Corona not simply because she's my friend but because I've been in a similar position. I saw a flaw in reality few others could even comprehend, had to radically redefine existence to fix the damage, and knew I didn't have the right to make the choice on how. Obviously, the circumstances are very different, especially in terms of scale and who made the decision. The point is that I've been where she is, and I would be an awful example of a Sunset Shimmer or a Spirit of Harmony if I couldn't empathize with her."

Shimmy shuts her eyes for a few moments. "Even if I don't agree with her conclusion. Which I don't."

Her eyes reopen, and they all but burn with the need to get her message out. "But there is a difference between choosing to preserve the multiverse and hating Corona Shimmer. One does not necessitate the other. You can disagree with her on the collapse being an acceptable cost for freedom from ka and still admire her other achievements. She still created an immortality serum. She still unlocked the mysteries of the Shaping Mechanism. She was still instrumental in defeating countless menaces across the decades, many of whom would have leaped at the opportunity to destroy the multiverse as we know it. This one controversial choice does not and cannot erase all the indisputable good she has done.

"I don't hate her for bringing this choice to the multiverse's attention. The Dark Tower has had these plans, both the blueprints for the Tower Rings and the means of disseminating them, from the very beginning. It could have chosen anyone at any time to reveal them; it just happened to be her and now. She did the best she could with the hand she was dealt. And if you cannot forgive her for presenting the multiverse with this impossible choice, I ask that you at least acknowledge the significance of giving us that choice at all, along with everything else she has done right.

Shimmy dips her head to the viewer. "Thank you for listening."

~~~

Shimmy bit her lip as she watched the video upload. "Do you think it'll do anything?"

Egghead "Twilight" took her wife's hand in her own. "I want to say yes, but you're using the Internet to ask people to be reasonable."

That got a sigh. "Well, we can hope."

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

6999492
Here's the edited version I'll be putting in the 127 doc, unless you have some kind of objection. Should be just minor tweaks.

Changed 'ancients' to 'builders' not because Winter wouldn't say that, but because it might confuse the readers. Mysterious as she is, I did feel the need to adjust it.

At the moment I haven't made Winter's name explicit, since it may not matter if people know who she is or not, but if you want people to identify her that might not be terribly familiar with LSB, I'd suggest naming her explicitly somewhere.

A Dark Wind
By Masterweaver

"So."

Eight icy blue fingers gripped the railing as white hair whisked in the faintest breeze. Long, thin, pointed ears twitched minutely, the sounds of cheering children refracted within. Golden eyes peered out across a calm sea, trailing a few gulls who flew about.

"Truly... is it so? Am I to be... finality?"

"Hey there! I got us ice cream and... uh..." The approaching figure slowed. "Is... something wrong, mistress?"

For a moment, there was silence.

"...Across the realms, peoples have always set importance of predicting weather—controlling it, in certain cases, with devices and meters and science—yet rare is it that they notice before the beasts. Great swathes of animals, feeling the wind, the earth, the water, move in tandem to avoid storms that would strike with ferocity. Their senses are attuned to that which the peoples need to learn to measure." A pointed face bowed. "So too it is with those born of Fay."

"You can... sense things?"

"Our kind are not 'aware', as so many others are. We do not read scripts from other worlds, we do not know facts hidden by the greats that would twist stories. Our senses are deeper... we feel the currents of fate, as those who live in the sea would feel the water shift. And so it is we avoid the sharks, the squids, and the... deeper things. We work with currents we cannot fight, and avoid the choices that would destroy us utterly."

"So..." The other woman leaned on the railing. "You can feel Ka? Around us, even now?"

"Ka. The sea of fate has always existed, though it only became marked when the Dark Tower formed... and in marking it, the currents changed." She shook her head. "The builders were brilliant and foolish, seeking completion over growth, entirety over possibility. So afraid of shadows that they would make the greatest lighthouse, yet what irony that we call the Tower Dark! Now..."

Her voice fell low, almost silent. "We have seen great storms, the Fay. And another comes, building tightly, a hurricane that will rend destiny. It might be the storm. The one to finally end definition."

There was only the sound of cheerful beach-goers for a moment.

"...Wow. Uh..." The other woman swallowed. "So... this is big then."

"My entire culture has been crafted to shatter and rebuild indefinitely to survive this, yes. Even failures like myself would be... beacons, for the Fay to bridge their death and become reborn. To think, I would be the final link in a chain... It is not a duty I would have sought."

"Well, it's not a duty you have to face alone." A cream-colored hand covered hers. "I'm here for you."

"...Always the loyal pet." Golden eyes scanned the horizon. "...I cannot guarantee that we will weather this storm, beloved. Even with my senses, I will be hard-pressed to survive the winds that come. There may be a time when the choice is one of us surviving, or both of us perishing."

"...This... this is more important than either of us. If your people need you to live, I—" A nervous swallow. "—I'm willing to do what I must."

"I... do so hope that choice never comes."

"Me too, honestly. Just because I'm willing doesn't mean I like it."

"Hmm."

The two looked over the sea again.

"...If we do survive this," said the blue one, "I believe I shall have to take a new name."

"Oh?"

"Names are the beginning of identity, after all. And all would be changed by this." The blue hand wrapped around the cream one. "...Perhaps... perhaps I shall take a name that will grant me swift energy, one that will give me direction and focus. Something short, but powerful... like a bolt, made of shadow."

"I--oh. I... I would be very pleased, to agree to such."

"...Thank you, beloved. Let us hope we shall remain."

7003961
Couldn't decide on a name for that Twilight until now. Since she's with the Divine Bacon Horse, Egghead Sparkle seems appropriate. :raritywink:

Another snip for the ongoing chaos.



The two women looked very different. One had a normal skintone, the other's flesh was pink. One had feathers crawling up the back of her neck, the other's neck was bare. While both wore cloaks of scarlet and corsets of black, the outfits bore different buckles and belts and pockets and shirts. It would be nearly impossible to mistake one for the other.

Nearly.

Their hair was the same short blood-red. Their faces, all but identical. And two sets of silver eyes, each locked in somber understanding.

"Life is beautiful," said the one with pale flesh.

"It is precious," replied the one with feathers."

"And it must," they chanted as one, "be protected."

A small, sad smile grew on the pale one's face. "You're not coming, are you."

"I have my own flock," the feathered one agreed.

"I hate that I understand where you're coming from."

"Do you? Really hate, that is?"

"...no," the pale one admitted. "No, I... it's more disappointment. I'm not sure if it's you or me that I'm disappointed with."

"This whole war is confusion," the feathered one said, shaking her head. "It's nothing simple souls like us should have gotten involved with."

"Simple souls." The pale one reached for her own eyes, glancing away--

--only for a pink hand to reach out, and turn her face back. "Not stupid. Not foolish. Simple. We know who we are, and what we do."

"Yeah. Thanks."

"...Here." The feathered one reached behind her, grabbing something. "You need her more than I do."

The pale one's eyes widened. "I've already got Crescent Rose, I don't--"

"This is a war of stories. And what's more dramatic than the beloved weapon breaking at the worst possible time? You'll... want a back up, just in case."

"She's yours, though. You made her."

"This isn't Remnant. We aren't naturally warriors. This weapon is... loved, but it's not a part of me just because I made it. I can always make another. It really isn't that important to me."

The pale one gave her a flat look, one partially marred by her wet eyes. "Isn't honesty supposed to be one of your core values?"

"...all things in moderation," the feathered one murmured.

Quietly, gently, the pale one took the offering. "I'm not using this unless Crescent Rose becomes irreparable."

"I wouldn't have it any other way."

"...will... will your bishops understand?"

"Sunny might not. Not at first." The feathered one shook her head with a grin. "But she'll come around. I know her."

"...Yeah."

"Yeah."

"...Good luck."

"You too. And... I'd say stay safe, but--"

"We'll try our best. We'll be... protecting each other."

"Good."


"Well?" Yang stood as Ruby approached. "What's the verdict?"

Ruby sighed, shaking her head. "She... has to protect her beacon."

"...yeah." Yang looked around the park. "Yeah, I can get that. Man... remember when we first got here?"

"Oh, I remember." Ruby took a deep breath, turning to the other two members of her team. "I'm obligated to give you a chance to back out."

"And I'm obligated to tell you hell no in the most emotional melodramatic way possible," Weiss replied, deadpan. "Let's just take that as read."

"Heh. Blake?"

"...If we die, we die together."

"Right." Ruby nodded. "Right," she said again. "So... we're huntresses. And what is the number one duty of a huntress? Saving lives. So..."

She shut her eyes. "We're going to go where the fighting is heavy. But we won't be fighting our opponents unless we have to, we--we're going to be the search and rescue team. Anybody too wounded to fight. Any civilians that got caught in the crossfire. We get in and get them out. That's... that's what we're going to do."

A mild cringe came to her face as she opened her eyes again. "Unless... we want to do something different...?"

The rest of her team exchanged glances. Then as one, they shook their heads.

"Okay." Ruby exhaled. "Let's go to the Merodi embassy, then. Maybe this time, I'll actually be the one to get impaled or dismembered or whatever."

GMBlackjack
Group Admin

7030652
Accepted. I'll have to edit for a few punctuation bits later. This section, for instance:

"It is precious," replied the one with feathers."

"And it must," they chanted as one, "be protected."

A small, sad smile grew on the pale one's face. "You're not coming, are you."

But it's good. Title, oh Master Weaver?

7030667

That period was picked consciously. It's not a question.

As for the title... "Every Rose Has Thorns."

Comment posted by GMBlackjack deleted October 23rd
GMBlackjack
Group Admin

7030674

'Every Rose Has Thorns'

By Masterweaver

Here it is as it will appear in 127:

The two women looked very different. One had a normal skintone, the other's flesh was pink. One had feathers crawling up the back of her neck, the other's neck was bare. While both wore cloaks of scarlet and corsets of black, the outfits bore different buckles and belts and pockets and shirts. It would be nearly impossible to mistake one for the other.

Nearly.

Their hair was the same short blood-red. Their faces, all but identical. And two sets of silver eyes, each locked in somber understanding.

"Life is beautiful," said the one with pale flesh.

"It is precious," replied the one with feathers.

"And it must," they chanted as one, "be protected."

A small, sad smile grew on the pale one's face. "You're not coming, are you."

"I have my own flock," the feathered one agreed.

"I hate that I understand where you're coming from."

"Do you? Really hate, that is?"

"...No," the pale one admitted. "No, I... it's more disappointment. I'm not sure if it's you or me that I'm disappointed with."

"This whole war is confusion," the feathered one said, shaking her head. "It's nothing simple souls like us should have gotten involved with."

"Simple souls." The pale one reached for her own eyes, glancing away--

--only for a pink hand to reach out, and turn her face back. "Not stupid. Not foolish. Simple. We know who we are, and what we do."

"Yeah. Thanks."

"...Here." The feathered one reached behind her, grabbing something. "You need her more than I do."

The pale one's eyes widened. "I've already got Crescent Rose, I don't--"

"This is a war of stories. And what's more dramatic than the beloved weapon breaking at the worst possible time? You'll... want a backup, just in case."

"She's yours, though. You made her."

"This isn't Remnant. We aren't naturally warriors. This weapon is... loved, but it's not a part of me just because I made it. I can always make another. It really isn't that important to me."

The pale one gave her a flat look, one partially marred by her wet eyes. "Isn't honesty supposed to be one of your core values?"

"...all things in moderation," the feathered one murmured.

Quietly, gently, the pale one took the offering. "I'm not using this unless Crescent Rose becomes irreparable."

"I wouldn't have it any other way."

"...will... will your bishops understand?"

"Sunny might not. Not at first." The feathered one shook her head with a grin. "But she'll come around. I know her."

"...Yeah."

"Yeah."

"...Good luck."

"You too. And... I'd say stay safe, but--"

"We'll try our best. We'll be... protecting each other."

"Good."

~~~

"Well?" Yang stood as Ruby approached. "What's the verdict?"

Ruby sighed, shaking her head. "She... has to protect her beacon."

"...Yeah." Yang looked around the park. "Yeah, I can get that. Man... remember when we first got here?"

"Oh, I remember." Ruby took a deep breath, turning to the other two members of her team. "I'm obligated to give you a chance to back out."

"And I'm obligated to tell you hell no in the most emotional melodramatic way possible," Weiss replied, deadpan. "Let's just take that as read."

"Heh. Blake?"

"...If we die, we die together."

"Right." Ruby nodded. "Right," she said again. "So... we're huntresses. And what is the number one duty of a huntress? Saving lives. So..."

She shut her eyes. "We're going to go where the fighting is heavy. But we won't be fighting our opponents unless we have to, we--we're going to be the search and rescue team. Anybody too wounded to fight. Any civilians that got caught in the crossfire. We get in and get them out. That's... that's what we're going to do."

A mild cringe came to her face as she opened her eyes again. "Unless... we want to do something different...?"

The rest of her team exchanged glances. Then as one, they shook their heads.

"Okay." Ruby exhaled. "Let's go to the Merodi embassy, then. Maybe this time, I'll actually be the one to get impaled or dismembered or whatever."

-GM, master of carnelians.

7031004

A small, sad smile grew on the pale one's face. "You're not coming."

Why did you get rid of the "are you."? That was an important part of setting the tone. Now the sentence is purely declarative instead of a statement of understanding...

Sorry if I come across as snippy. I've apparently been unable to communicate what my writing means for a while these days.

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