• Member Since 18th Mar, 2012
  • offline last seen October 23rd

Inquisitor M

Why 'Inquisitor'? Because 'Forty two': the most important lesson I ever learned. Any answer is worthless until you have the right question. Author, editor, critic, but foremost, a philosopher.


  • TI, Paladin
    The reformed Luna stands strong among trusted fellows that laugh, and grow, and bleed alongside her. They are all flawed, and they are all hopeful, but they are equal. They are Paladins: One path. One destiny. One whole heap of trouble for Luna.
    Inquisitor M · 6.1k words  ·  28  3 · 603 views

Much of Luna's life has returned to normal in the short years since she returned. It takes a pony very close to her to spot that something is haunting the princess again and that she's been sneaking off after nightfall for some time. When that pony has all the tact of a battleship, the only thing for certain is that things are about to get heated.

"We are teased by the reveal with an interesting premise that could easily expand much, much further... and it does not. The author has said their piece, revealing this small vignette. The audience is left satisfied, yet hungry for more. That’s basically kind of exactly what you are always aiming for, as an author."
—Pav Feira, Seattle's Angels

(For those that share my sci-fi tastes, yes, the title is a small tribute to Babylon 5)

Cover by RikiTheSuperZeldaFan.
Dramatic reading by Illya Leonov

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 64 )

This is rather different. Also, I'm not sure if it was intended or not, but I'm laughing my head off right now. Good fic and consider it approved for Twilight's Library :rainbowdetermined2:

As a major B5 fan who has seen the series all the way through no less than 6 times... I shall be judging you when I read this.



PS: I'm laughing at myself right now cuz it's funny. :derpytongue2:

2781574 I honestly couldn't decide whether to bite the bullet and put the comedy tag on it. I think in the end I probably succumbed to a lack of confidence, but the rationale was that it used comedy rather than being a comedy.

I'm glad it seems to be giving people a laugh, though. (Then again, I don't exactly know what you're laughing at, do I?)

I see.

Artemis is a bit of a combination between Garibaldi and G'kar, primarily the parts of their personalities where they managed to root around and learn of secrets.

>>>Honestly, there’s only so many times a girl can hear some inane tale about how you used to arrange the stars each night before she wants to very loudly point out how any filly paying attention at school knows that astronomy couldn’t have existed back then if that were the case.”>>>


You have no idea how much that irks me when the star-arranging thing is in stories about the regular show-canon Ponyverse. It's just thrown in without any supporting detail 'because fanon'. :facehoof: Luna moves the moon. But we have seen no evidence at all that she can move the stars. Exactly 4 stars in a particlar alignment led to her escape, but note: She herself didn't move them! "The stars shall aid in her escape", which actually implies that the stars themselves took the action if we wish to interpret it in a literal fashion.

Now, done in entirely different mythos, it can work if attention is paid to the details, such as the effects on astronomy and so forth.

In the clever stories, the astronomers would read the stars' arrangements each night and seek to interpret them. Indeed, astronomy was more like astrology in those tales. Stellar-based navigation could also be disrupted in those stories if Luna misplaced certain key guiding stars, which those ingenious authors also remember to make note of where relevant.



1. To be clear, the title is a tribute to B5 (S5E17: Movements of Fire and Shadow). Any resemblance to Mr. Garibaldi is purely functional, and any resemblance to G'Kar is just because he's totally one of the best characters in anything ever. Seriously—all the best quotes.

2. Yep. I was having an unrestrained dig at fannon here. It annoys her because it annoys me :P

3. The other dig was the Nightmare Night costume. While I have no issue with grabbing something small from the show and running with it, I hate that it seems to be the default that there are bat-ponies. Occam's Razor, kids: they appear on one episode where everyone is in costume. Work it out!


2786784 Hmm, the bat ponies is an open question. Luna didn't know about the costumes at that point in time. She was quite oblivious to the details of the festivities until it was explained to her.

We shall only know for sure if we see them again or if it is otherwise clarified.

At this point we have no factual information to work from other than seeing them once for all of a few seconds of screen time. Whether they were a subspecies of pony (thestrals?), wearing a magical guise, or just a throw-away plot device for that one episode which will never be spoken of again (Poor Stephen Magnet :trollestia:), we can't know!

2787323 Uh... I was thinking the exact opposite. She turns up seeming to have a fairly complete idea of what's going on. She knows it's a celebration, it seems to be the reason she's there, and she immediately recognizes Twilight's costume without any confusion as to the reason for it's existence. I can't find anything in the episode that implies that she doesn't know exactly what's going on; hence I always assumed that she was there because it was nightmare night.

What you certainly can't say is that she didn't know: you can only say that we don't know for sure whether or not she did (as you correctly allude to). I find the episode implies that she did know, however. Equally, you can't say that she was oblivious to the nature of the festivities. She may or may not have been, but aside from the party games, she seemed to know exactly what it was all about.

Still. Poor Steven magnet. :(


2787716 Well, it's clear at the very least that the bat ponies were not merely wearing costumes. Anatomically, it's rather difficult to see how they could stuff feathered wings into bat membranes. :trollestia:

That's why I say, if it was a disguise, it was an enchantment of some sort.

But nothing at all is ever said about them, so we just don't know!

2790816 Ahh, that's the standard for formal writing. Creative writing is not quite the same, and has a little extra room for flexibility to boot. To that end, there is a whole world of disagreement over the specifics, can I can say for sure that should you ever submit to EqD, then three dots and a space after is the format you'd be expected to use. It's certainly the one they held me to.

Sorry to hear about the file. This is why I keep works in progress on my HDD, a stick, and in GDocs, just to be sure. Been there; lost that.

And thanks for the comments. In truth, I'm not sure it's the style of story this group is looking for, but I guess we'll see.


I must confess that I enjoyed this. Not something obvious, but certainly not too far off the track of possibilities. To be frank your depiction of Luna is not at all working in my head, nor her relationship with her underlings, but I accept that as a different writer's perspective on the character and don't hold it against the story.

I somewhat feel like the dream could have been expanded a little - you have all this detailed description going on throughout the story, but then just seem to drop it off when you get to Octavia's dream world. I could just explain this off as dreams being less 'real' in a person's mind. I can see how in Octavia's head the specific things she's observing are the only things she notices, and thus the only things warranting description. Even so, it bugged me a touch.

I'm not so good at in-detail analysis (my specialty is plot development) so I'll just leave it at that. Overall I thought this was a great addition to the contest!

2791475 Luna's always going to be a tricky one because she's a major character with very little detail and much of what we have doesn't gel together terribly well. I found the writing and characterization in Luna Eclipsed to be pretty poor, so when I started writing her for Shades of Grey, I did a full character study based on what we know so that what I wrote was as consistent as could be expected with canon (I have a personal interest in psychology, and the philosophy of human interactions and child development, so I naturally tend to take it a little too seriously). I have the same trouble reading almost anyone else's take on Luna for that reason; as you say, you need to put head-canon aside for such ill-defined characters.

And yes, the dream sequence was meant to be a bit hazy in that regard: the meaning should always be more focused than the description. It was a tough to decide exactly how to write it, and I felt extending it would have lessened it's impact. I wanted to lay down the twist and end it fairly quickly to keep it punchy. So far the response has been fairly mixed, but I'm quite pleased that people seem to have understood the larger implications of the dream more readily than I had expected. I like to push a reader to think; if there's not some chance, however small, that my readers won't quite put it together at the end, I feel like I have failed in my aspirations. The reasoning is as simple as it being what I like to read, so it's what I like to write.

Overall, I enjoyed this. The relationship you portray between Luna and Octavia is fantastic and much more interesting than the one I created. I love the idea of the relationship building up in dreams. I actually have a story I've been planning to do based on that. Now, having said that, I do have some thoughts.

You did a great job quickly establishing a backstory for the relationship between Luna and Artemis without info dumping. Personally, I don't like the extremely informal relationship between Luna and the paladin, but that's just me. I don't have any friends I act that way around (or many friends at all, for that matter), let alone someone I work for.

The mood shifts were rather frequent and unpredictable. If this was intentional, well done; the female mind is a difficult thing for the male brain to understand. It was somewhat confusing how quickly they flickered back and forth between comedy and seriousness. Again, my confusion at this could be due to my own lack of social interaction.

I'm not exactly sure what Artemis meant here, or if you meant to word it differently.

“But that won’t surprise to anypony.”

The same for,

"[...] Not ready to take a risk on a relationship that actually be completely mutual?"

I also noticed a missing comma when Luna greeted Artemis at the beginning.

When we get to the honest discourse between Octavia and Luna... Dang, the feels, man. I can relate to wanting something like that, but there's something else that has to get done first and it'll take a while.

One last little nit-picky thing: Did you really mean parchment and not paper? I'm curious to know whether you deliberately portrayed ponies as writing on animal skins. Or maybe it's just Luna. That could be creepy.


Personally, I don't like the extremely informal relationship between Luna and the paladin.
That seems to be surprisingly common. I'm very interested in why.

The mood shifts were rather frequent and unpredictable. If this was intentional, well done.
It was intentional from the perspective of mapping exactly what impulses Luna was responding to at any given moment. In that way, this stuff writes itself—easy peasy. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt on what you said after that, though, because it sounds incredibly sexist to me.

I also noticed a missing comma when Luna greeted Artemis at the beginning.
I can't find that anywhere, could you point it out?

Did you really mean parchment and not paper?
Not in the sense you mean, no. I never knew what parchment actually was, it was just the attributes of the object in my mind that sort of self-selected the word to use for it. That'll be my role-playing side asserting itself without comment :P

Thanks for the feedback!


2795240 Part of what makes me uncomfortable with their informal relationship is that there's no progression to it, so it's an OC with an immediate close relationship to the princess, possibly closer than any of the relationships Luna has in canon, let alone with her guards, who all seem to behave with the utmost decorum and professionalism.

I didn't intend to be sexist. As I understand it, biologically speaking, the female mind is wired more toward the emotional while the male mind is more toward the logical. That's not to say there aren't those who don't stick to these tendencies, but it seems to work as a rule of thumb. I once started reading a book which was from first person, male. Until the author specified otherwise, I was under the assumption the protagonist was female, because of the very emotional thought process. I was just getting an overwhelming sense that the character was female. I was unsurprised to discover that the author was female. I'm sorry if this is sexist, and I don't intend to be offensive, but there is a difference between male and female. It's a matter of biology. I haven't done much study into it, so if I'm wrong I'd be glad if someone pointed me to some materials so I can get my facts straight.
To be more politically correct, perhaps I should say I have never personally experienced such rapid mood changes, especially when dealing with such a serious subject, so I had a difficult time following what was going through their minds. I would have expected more clues to a changing mood. In my experience a bad mood tends to linger a bit longer, particularly that kind of bad mood, and it isn't softened so quickly by a bit of humor.

“Good evening, Artemis,” Luna said,

2795297 As I said, I was happy to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Having spent some considerable time learning about emotional development, I think you'll find there are very, very little difference, biologically speaking, between men and women's emotional core. It's at least 90%-ish societal indoctrination. Just like the pink thing: a hundred years ago, pink was a boy's colour, but now it's explicitly intended for little girls. It's all bullshit. The only major difference is how boys and girls are 'supposed' to be, culturally.

Now, you're quite correct to say that there obviously are differences, but not much of it directly affects emotions. I have a huge interest in philosophical parenting, and it's breaking down many long-held assumptions about core psychological makeup with the reality of actual... well, I guess experimentation really is the right word, regardless of how distasteful it may be. Also, the move from assumptions about genetic makeup to epigenetic reactions makes a huge difference to the understanding of emotional development, but it's not exactly mainstream.

This is my intellectual.philosophical stomping grounds and I could yap about it all day, so I'm going to hold myself back now. :)

2795356 That's really interesting. I'm always willing to learn, especially about subjects that are commonly misunderstood due to cultural B.S. like this one, so anytime if you want to discuss it, feel free to PM me so as not to fill your comments with conversation irrelevant to the story.

I think this is my favorite story of yours to date. You have a knack for believably showcasing damaged personalities without resorting to pity ploys or caracaturizations--something I wish I was better at, myself. And of course, I don't need to tell you what a world of difference there is in writing quality between those first chapters of Shades of Grey and this--in the words of a popular cigarette company, you've come a long way, baby.

But one thing I'm sure I've mentioned to you before, which you seem intent on continuing to do despite my protestations, is having characters talk to themselves in a needlessly pretentious manner:

"Ahh, there you are, Princess. Altitude: isolating. Speed: despondent. The look on your face: utterly depressing."

That sounds like something that came out of an overwritten, mediocre TV drama, not something that a real person would let escape their lips when alone. Then again, it looks from the comments like Artemis might be based on a character from a TV show, so maybe "overwritten, mediocre TV drama" is what you were going for?

Eh, probably not.

That's pretty much my only complaint at a concept level, though. A few word errors and a "fairly unique"--for whatever reason, that brand of oxymoron particularly galls me--belie an otherwise excellently edited and constructed fic. Nice work on this one.

2853949 Artemis wasn't based on anything; she a natural progression from the end of Shades of Grey who seemed like good fit to play of Luna in this scenario. No sense reinventing the wheel, right?

I guess I know too many people who self-commentary like that (myself included) to find it remotely pretentious. In fact, to actually say it is strikes me as slightly weird and I'm very interested in why you feel that way. It's a natural facet of people with that sense of humour, but maybe that's a British thing; suffice to say that it covers the majority of the people in my inner circle of friends.

But thank you! It seems to have gone down rather well with everyone except the voters, but I can live with that :)



At issue isn't the wit Artemis displays, particularly; it's the fact that she's apparently speaking for the benefit of the audience. If I were in the presence of a friend (or at least, someone who might hear me), then I might loose a bit of commentary along those lines as well. If I were alone, I might think something to that effect to myself. But I wouldn't say the words out loud, any more than I'd look at your post while sitting alone at my computer and say aloud, "Scott, Scott, Scott... self-commentary is fine, it's the verbalizing in private that I object to!"

The reason it comes across as pretentious (and I'll interrupt myself here to acknowledge, since you're clearly too polite to, that me calling someone's writing pretentious is akin to Johnny Depp accusing someone of over-acting) is because the verbalization feels artificial. That's where the "mediocre TV drama" comment was going; absent talented writers and directors, TV (and movie) characters often resort to verbal declarations in unlikely circumstances, because those mediums generally lack other good ways to show complex character thoughts.

The other possibility is that you and your friends are simply too English for me to handle, but I think we both already know that that's true!

The subtlety is what makes the story for me. There's so much more to the words than is obviously evident, and you have a very solid grasp on your tone and words. The genre ambiguity in this is interesting, too - it's Romance written with a light, easy-going style that resembles something like Comedy. All in all, good show.

2879104 You just described my pre-writing brief perfectly; you must be my ideal reader!

Have a gold star.

This is a good example of why I hate tags. It's not romance, not really; it's a promise of things to come and burdens shared. It's not a comedy, yet it uses comedy in a way that is ingrained into the very essence of the wider story. I don't think I could phrase it any better than Chris did: "emotionally honest, intelligent drama." If I could have a tag for that... ho hum.


P.S. No, seriously. You made me squee. Thanks.

Excellent work, Inquisitor! I have something for ya, just gimme a min- ah, there we go: five gold stars! I wish I could offer you some actual commentary as well, but nothing in particular comes to mind

2880657 Awww. You beautiful Oatey bastard :)

A little ol' thumbs up will do!


See, I don't like shipping fics... yet that was so NOT a shipping fic. It's more like intelligent drama that plays off emotional character interactions. Sub text people! That's the key, and if you don't get the underlying meaning behind each well-aimed sentence, then you don't get why the tone changes how and when it does. Still, the only thing I'd change... aside from fixing a few errors in the grammar, is Luna being asked to stop Octavia from forgetting her dream. I'd have made it that Luna had restored all the memories each time she took Octavia out of her dream's usual progression.
Also, I TOTALLY got why her father was driving the train. That's genius!

2901166 I get what you mean about the dreams, but I wanted to keep the final big tone-shift as stark as possible, focusing on Luna's sense of deferred need. Personally, I think that allowing that one whiff of reward might have marred the overall effect; I have no problem being downright dastardly to my characters. Only cut them some slack for a happy ending or if you're going to screw with them for it later!

Thanks very much for the comments, though. This seems to have trumped all my previous efforts by quite a margin. It's going to be hard to follow! (But don't worry, I have something bubbling away already)


P.S. If you can find any of the little errors, I would appreciate you PMing them to me. You know how it is, I've stared at it far too many times to see anything else wrong with it now!

Is it odd that the thing I really latched onto in this story is just how much Artemis moved around? How instead of standing at attention like your run of the mill, nameless, faceless guard, she was always fiddling with her hooves, rolling about on the floor, pacing about, and mucking with other ponies' stuff? Well, regardless if my noticing it is weird or not, I obviously enjoyed it; it made her seem like her own living and breathing character, as opposed to a sentient camera stalking the main characters.

A very nice touch for a very good story.

2931804 In a fashion, I didn't really give that much thought. On the other hand, I tend to build up very complete mental constructs of who my characters are, and Artemis is very physical while not being terribly bright—'take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves' as the saying goes. The character pretty much wrote itself after that.

Glad you enjoyed the story, and thank you for commenting!


Luna seems to have a rather morose personality. I'm afraid that this particular story went over my head. I've never been good at understanding hidden context in writing. Abstract thought eludes me once again. The story was well written, but my mind isn't wired to be able to understand it which is sad because the concept of a friendship between Luna and Octavia is one that I find interesting.

Sadly for me, the only hidden meaning I got was Octavia's dream possibly pointed to her having issues with her father.

I get that this is a one-shot and a self-contained story that hits all of its marks very well... but I really really really want this to go on. This is a new character interaction that I haven't really read before and I am loathed to give it up. Good story and I hope I can perhaps see a sequel.

2935331 Thank you very much, but as much as I love Artemis, I really don't see any space for a sequel here.


i.....huh im not entirely sure how i feel about this.
brilliantly written no doubt,every subtle emotion,every little detail of conversation and reaction, very precise.
both cold and warm,hopefull and hopeless but all around almost oppressively sad. that's not a bad thing by the way.
love the execution. ahh ive got it now. it feels like being lost in your own mind. just wandering with what you wish constantly out of reach by the barest of fractions,but still just lost.
never felt that way from a tale before. bravo.
just my thoughts, im probably dead wrong.

2935434 Sounds to me like you have it spot on.

2935456 literature is very subjective, i will never claim to have it right in a comment yet always rather pleased when i get it. thank you.faved by the way,ill be rereading this a number of times. not to mention recommending it to others.

2935502 My pleasure to be of service. Illya Leonov asked to do a reading of this, today, so expect to see that pop up in the future!

Not what I expected, that's for certain. Pretty long wind up too, with Artemis taking that much space, I'd think this story is several chapters long.
Nonetheless, you knew what you were doing, startup is fine, Artemis likeable, if generic character, the ending came as a surprise to me, but very nice at it.

Cheers for a good read. Both funny and moving. And grats on whole post on eqd dedicated to this very fic ;]


Pretty long wind up too, with Artemis taking that much space, I'd think this story is several chapters long.

I'm not quite sure what you mean, here.

What I meant, is:
As most fanfics, I did read yours on my Kindle. Without really seeing how much 'till the end, I found myself surprised, when I realised (halfway through 'Tavi and Luna conversation), that it's just short fanfic.

I mean, you put a lot of attention side pony. Wingmare and guard - anything but the very main cast. Usually, when people put much of an attention to side characters, write will be longish. For shorter stories, all space is taken by describing emotions, relationships and all.

You, however, compacted it to few simple, readable transitions, revealing complexity of emotions with great finishing line.
I mean all praise byu that.

2938842 Ahh, yes, I see. Concise application of show vs tell and a minimalist view of the point I'm trying to make. Artemis is like a stick to poke the world around her with so that the reader can learn all the things they need to for the 'reveal' to have the desired effect.

It's like telling a joke. Lead your audience into an assumption, then turn that assumption on it's head.

And thank you sincerely for reading!


Artemis <3

I'd say I wanted more, but I think what has been presented is a good length. Well written.

2962356 Thanks. Almost makes me wish I was a big enough whore to write more of her solely because people like her.


While I wish that the story had some more meat to it, it was a very fun read. Characterization was great (specially Artemis), and the roundabout way you went with the storytelling was interesting without feeling gimmicky.

There’s more going on here that I understand, that’s nothing new, but you haven’t looked this lost since I’ve known you.

Should "more that I understand" be "more than I understand"? The context seems to imply it.

Awesome Story, I'm almost sad to see it go. I'd ask for a sequel, but I have no idea how you'd continue it.

Meh, I'll settle for reading your other works instead.


Eh, I dunno, I'd mutter that on occasion if I had the right context for it.

Not sure how I missed this before, but not bad.

2786784 Regarding #3, if the comics count, we've now seen one show up in the first half of Mac's two parter.

Seattle's Angels steered me here. Where do you get all those wonderfully verbose commenters? :rainbowhuh:

The opening is a little rough. The entire first three paragraphs are really saying that Artemis has minimal intellect or imagination, which contradicts the rest of the story. It has mysterious inserts, "—albeit of questionable taste—" and —not to imply there are lines of ponies tromping through Luna’s bedroom, not at all" that stick out as if they're trying to say something, but I can't figure out what. And they're followed by Artemis talking to herself, twice, which strikes me as it strikes Chris.

Other than Artemis talking to herself, those little inserts are the only things that pricked at me as I went on--words or phrases whose purpose I couldn't divine. The largest was,

Amongst the smooth transitions from quick clusters of notes to long, bleak ones, another sound joined the musical lament. It was something altogether different—almost like an out-of-tune pluck on the strings. “That’s weird. I can’t imagine she’s making mistakes… ahh.” A few more such notes joined it, flat and soulless like hailstones against glass too thick to even notice.

Which means... Luna is howling along with the music? That's hard to credit, but I can't think of anything better. It seems to be very important, so I stop, and study it, and appreciate the "hailstones against glass" simile, but still can't figure it out.

The writing is beautiful. I like the descriptions, and I like the variation in sentence length, with short punchy sentences in just the right places. The blocking gives a good picture of who is where and doing what, not just putting talking heads in a room, but not falling into the opposite trap of over-describing twitches and head movements either. The person who pointed out that Artemis keeps moving about is right; it gives her characterization, and more life to the story. You avoided the word "said" mostly without looking like you were avoiding the word "said". I would like the three characters to have had more distinctive voices. Artemis could have spoken less formally, without saying things like "upon investigation", "whether", or "much as".

The story is quite creative, and the different parts revealed gradually and effectively. I gather that Luna is taken with Octavia, but Octavia fears a relationship would interfere with her composition, and so Luna waits. I do see it more as the first chapter of a long work than as a standalone story. Nopony has changed here; no one has learned anything; no one faces any great obstacles or confronts any philosophical dilemmas.

3099687 Yeah, I saw Lauren's comment about assuming they were a race from underground where they protected Luna's palace.

To be honest, that saddened me. I think the comment at the start of the EqD discussion thread made the point pretty starkly: "What's more interesting, some costumes or a whole new breed of bat-pony?" My answer was the former, but clearly I was in the minority of one. The costume thing held a whole world of nuance and implication that I found interesting, the addition of bat-ponies I found positively dull.

3100028 Lack of individual voice is probably my biggest weakness, at this point. Initially it was written on a timer, but after that, it just worked so well that I didn't really want to change anything.

As for Artemis' interpretation of the music, that was a tough bit for me. I literally know fuck and all about music, so using Artemis (who knows equally little) as a PoV meant interpreting it entirely non-artistically. It was the most sensible get out of jail card I could think of, and I can certainly appreciate how it might not have come across well. The intention was that Octavia was essentially playing two entirely dissonant 'tracks': one with the bow, and the other by plucking strings seemingly at random. Like many aspects of the story, some people really took to it, and some people missed it completely.

Anyway, thank you for the extremely positive comments!


3103983 Having an actual race of bat-ponies, with apologies to Georg, who loves them even more than he loves changelings, would have made it onto my list of The 8 Creepiest Things About My Little Pony if I were convinced they're canon. The implication is that they were an isolated secret society for a thousand years, loyal to a Luna they believed to be Nightmare Moon. A race of ponies, whose ancestors were magically altered by Luna a thousand years ago in ways that would keep them from ever living happily with other ponies, and who have no choice but to live to serve Luna. DEEPLY creepy. :twilightoops:

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