• Member Since 10th Mar, 2013
  • offline last seen March 10th

SpinelStride


T
Source

Gus, an engineering student, suffers a life-changing accident. While trying to recover, he finds himself waking up, being prodded by some sort of black and white animal. The next thing he knows, he's in a hospital with more animals around him and one human... and Ponyville is about to find out just what a scientific education means back where Lero's from.

At least Twilight will be thrilled.

Chapters (11)
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Comments ( 429 )

THANK YOU for proving me wrong. I made the assertion(and partially retracted it) several times in Leroverse conversations that you can't write Xeno without...concentrating on certain objectives. You, in the course of a single chapter, mostly stream-of-thought(and brain-damaged, at that) have shown me that there is hope.

Thumbs up and faved. If you mess this up, I am hiring Fluttershy to Stare at you.:twilightsmile:

I'll wait for another chapter before i say whether or not i like this:trixieshiftleft:

This is really interesting, I've never seen a story presented from the perspective of someone brain damaged before- in a way, it reminds me of the segments of "Flowers for Algernon" where Charlie is writing with limited mental function, but it's still very distinct because there's not a lack of overall capabilities, rather specific limits imposed that are successfully recognized and attempted to be coped with- admittedly, with limited success, but still ingenuity.

I do wonder what happened with his transition to Equestria, though.

Turns out he's really just a butterfly that thinks he's a brain-damaged human.

Very good. Loving it so far. I almost cried when it got to the part where he saw his family and thought "Recognition: Lack of emotional connection."

Interesting. I will require more to see if I like it.

It should be interesting if Gus is able to determine whether the Ponyverse has differing laws of physics. The fact that the magic of Equestria doesn't work perfectly on Lero suggests that is the case but we'll have to see what time and experimentation proves.

Off to a good start.Will be watching to see where this goes.

Well, nothing if not interesting.
Would have expected the fractured speech to be more symbolic and less linguistic, though.

2832509

Maybe this is the closest we can come to understanding his thoughts.

Awesome... Please run with this and keep up the great writing.

2832730
(?)≈ {[(Knowledge)∆] < (Wellness)} ~ {(Math) ≥ (language)}

(Result) = (relevancy) ≥ 0

2833256

Oh, that's probably what he was actually thinking, but a hell of alot harder to read. What we saw was probably translated for our benefit while keeping it as close to the original as possible.

Very nice! I feel like I'm listening to Mordin Solus. Will keep tuning in!

Are YOU into engineering, Spinel?

Oh thank god his brain damage was fixed too, I dislike. If entire book. Writtenly Chopily. Break Computer. Realise computer lost. Be sad.

Get my point? Me no likey mental failurely!

Yay! More Xeno. Can't wait until an engineer tangles with magic.

2833337
Master of Science in Engineering, yes. I leave my specific field up for speculation, but it was not mechanical engineering (so I will be consulting reference materials as needed for specific formulae outside my field). I enjoyed my physics classes and plan to do some to-me interesting explorations of various properties of Equestria and, based on what the show has demonstrated, how those properties differ from Earth. Along with exploring Gus' remaining damage, the effects it has on him, and how it affects his relationships with others.

2832509
He's not thinking in formulae; he's actually thinking in quales, sensory impressions and concepts. He has to work in abstracts because he can't create the symbols needed for normal thought. He can experience recognition of things without being able to name them. It's a form of aphasia induced by his traumatic brain injury. Think of it like watching a TV channel in a completely foreign language; you may not know a word they're speaking, but you may be able to follow the story to some degree based on the actions of the characters.

2835270
If so:
The problem is that you didn't parse concepts, had patchy spacing and didn't separate scenes. There were plenty of one-liners up there that should have been their own scenes, and would have been just by pressing the Enter key a few times:

Attempt: walk outside. Refused. Request. Solution: escort. Agreed.

Attempt: walk outside.
Refused.
Request.
Solution: escort.
Agreed.

And then add concept parsing:

Self/Action(Attempt): walk outside.
(Front door): Blocked by other/staffer(orderly).
Self/Action: Desist.

Self/Communication with staffer(doctor): Desire of (Self) on (outside/gardens).
Other [Staffer(doctor)]/Action: Place (scribble/symbol/signature) on (Self/possession/badge).
Other [Staffer(doctor)]/Communication: Self on (outside/gardens) IF [Self + Staffer(orderly)]
Self/Communication: agreement.

Self/Action(Attempt): walk outside.
Other [Staffer(orderly)]/Action: check (Self/possession/badge).
Other [Staffer(orderly)]/Action: opens (front door) and walks behind (self).
Self/Action(Attempt): walk outside.

Besides, with him being largely unable to communicate meaningfully, but being able to understand numbers and maths effortlessly, I was thinking to something much more along the concept of him having become bottled-in, rather than aphasic. I found it particularly telling that he could still place a few "I"s and a few verbs here and there. Furthermore, it was also telling for him to be unable to understand Roman letter symbols, but be able to understand Arabic numeral symbols: symbols are symbols. It would have been much more believable if he had been unable to understand symbols altogether, but had begun remembering significant mathematical geometries and had begun drawing them, which would have eventually led to the shrinks calling a mathematician or a computer language expert, whom would have then taught him how to count on non-symbolic Mayan numerals, which would have then have him blazing through Sudokus and eventually tensor analysis, as long as somebody would have first replaced the Arabic numerals with dots, and his calculator with a Mayan abacus.

Don't sweat on it, though. I'm into Hard SF, and your chops are well within tolerance for Soft SF: nothing but a plot justification for him having been in a bad position before him having been healed by magic. You will likely need to get harder before you try to sell some writing to a SF magazine, though.

2835839
I'll just put it that I significantly disagree with you on what constitutes 'readable' in terms of representing non-verbal thought, that he's not turning into a human supercomputer (let alone starting to think in pseudocode), and that very different areas of the brain handle mathematics and linguistics.

2836496
And where is handled mathematical language? Regardless of how the internal processing is conducted, the interface is the same.
When the symbolic database is unreadable, the entire database is unreadable, simply because all of it is text on paper, regardless of context.
Is like a scanned image of a document: a computer with the appropriate software could then parse the image as 'text', but if say, it cannot access the database for 'Japanese', 'Swahili' or 'Occidental Cursive Handwriting', it will not be able to extract information from the text. Now, due to our way of education, we learn to communicate mathematics through mathematical language, which we learn simultaneously to writing our own language, thus becoming a single set of symbols.

And I do not believe that he was becoming a supercomputer. Quite the contrary: he was making use of a damaged version of the same supercomputer that every human being is born with.

Anyway, is like I already said: {[(Knowledge)∆] < (Wellness)} if [(Math) ≥ (language)]. That plot segment is in the past now, thus (relevancy) ≥ 0.

2836874
Actually, mathematics is handled by a different area of the brain. I didn't bring it up, but in some cases a difficulty with language processing can be ameliorated by using a different part of the brain - by singing. there are cases of people who could not speak normally, but learned to add some tonalities to trick their brain into using the healthy part to process sound.
But, yes, he is mostly over that part now.

Ah, I see what you did here. And coming from a science background myself i can comprehend this a little easier that I thought. It's true, the human brain functions like a very sophisticated computer. However, unlike our digital counterparts our own brains can't be repair easily if at all.

In the event of brain damage, the brain does some pretty interesting things. In some cases, the links and pathways to the areas that need access are simply bypassed. In the event bypasses are unable to form, new areas are allocated to serve as new location for the stimuli.

Okay, that went on for longer than I thought it would but it is fascinating. The moment I saw the words "drunk driver," my heart sunk. All in all, well done. I hope I get to read more of this story.

2837116
Besides, the effects of brain injury on brain function are as predictable as permuting dice tosses.
I'll say it once again: Whatever.

....Not sure if I'm riveted to my seat or bored out of my fucking mind...
Dammit make him run into the forest and strangle a manticore or something with his bare hands! I NEED CLICHES! :flutterrage:

A mark on your brain, that sounds like a horrible branding to live through.

If he ever leaves the hospital with his inability to feel emotions, there's a possibility that he could hurt someone. If he perceived his life in danger, and he can't feel guilt, he could kill without moral backlash.

"Since there are more stallions than mares, ponies form herds.

Think you swapped stallion and mare around.

2846343
Yes and no. The brain has no receptors for pain or pleasure. It only processes things. If I remember my biology right: a headache is caused by tiny variation of internal pressure inside the skull, which is then perceived as painful by nerves around the brain. Technically you wouldn't feel a poke to your brain, unless it causes pressure against the nerves around the brain. Which is why you have to be awake and aware during brain surgery.

To cause pain directly to the brain though would require either pressure variations or magic applied in ways I'd rather not think about. Truly a horrifying concept.

2846133
It's called build up and it's a bit slow yes, but so far it's still interesting.

There were no words. There were only numbers and pain.

I don't know why but that sentence gives me the shivers.

Excellent so far! Thank you for writing this!

2846133
I find myself very interested so far. The story's done a good job keeping me focused; I have the sensation of being pulled along by the story rather than just reading it at times.

There's something about the story that feels original and refreshing to me, and the integration of the "Xenophilia" world and lore seems quite solid.

I presume that Gus was abducted by the same aliens who took Lero. That comment about him being 'marked' is fascinating and suggests that, maybe, there was a specific experiment that they wanted to carry out with someone in his physical condition.

You're doing a good job of writing the inner monologue of someone who does not have the full functioning capacity of their minds anymore. Gus can't communicate properly, his emotional responses are stunted and he is unsure of the trustworthiness of his senses. All this creates a fascinating perspective from which to be looking at the magical land of Equestria and its people.

I think that Celestia needs to come to terms with the fact that her relationship with Lero will always be corrupted by what she did out of understandable caution and fear. The only hope for them both is to build forward from their current spot rather than spend an eternity worrying over the past.

2847241

Honestly, Lero's fear of Celestia is a fascinating character trait- but, Ironically, more for Celestia than Lero- How does a being that's used to being universally beloved cope with a single being that for reasons both her fault and not- fears her? She has to act differently around him than she does anyone else- She's actually somewhat deferential to him, because she wants to do everything she can to elevate herself in his eyes- whereas she's otherwise used to almost being fawned over in most other circumstances.

It's interesting to watch.

I await the next chapter with great anticipation

I guess going from vegetable to sociopath is a major improvement. I wonder what will happen when he gets his emotions back

2847241
Dont wanna know what Celestia did, Dont wanna know what Celestia did...

Rape....

2846473
And he'd probably get hit pretty hard with guilt once he can feel again.

2848324
She threatened to teleport Lero halfway between the Sun and Earth to die in the cold vacuum of space.

Even better than the first chapter!

2848547
Thats it?
I thought it would be something horrible that would last for a while and be real painful. That would just be like spontaneous death.

2848595
It's pretty terrifying considering that she could actually do it, she was the largest creature he'd seen in Equestria, and her hair gave him flashbacks of the monsters that tortured him and Gus.

Gus and Lero seem to be getting along swimmingly so far. Be neat to see what Lero's herd thinks of the guy!

I'm just second-guessing you here, Spinel, (as all readers will,) but I reckon that this 'mark' of Gus' comes from the Fae... or whatever it is we're calling those guys.

2848688
Obviously Gus is really Chuck Norris on vacation and as soon as he gets out he will form a Dragon from his beard to ride upon. :pinkiecrazy:

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