• Published 18th Jul 2013
  • 4,134 Views, 458 Comments

An Apple Studded Diamond - Sir Barton



They say in contracts the devil is in the details. For Filthy Rich, the truth of this contract, is that the fine details are a bitch.

Comments ( 44 )

Praise be unto Celestia :yay: Another glorious chapter :rainbowkiss:

Well here it is the final to a wonderful story, Sir Barton you have once again delivered another (long awaited) great chapter.
I have just a few questions and thoughts on the chapter. (If your willing to indulge me one last time.)

The only minor gripe I had was with the revelation that Diamonds parents where not the evil ponies they where thought to be and had Diamonds best interests at heart.
(I had a feeling that the story would turn out this way and I have no problem being proved wrong but for some reason I liked them better as villains.)

secondly I would like to thank you for fixing my major problem with the sex scene in chapter 6 by having Diamond take the lead during the love making and having her teach McIntosh.

Now to the questions

I may still be the learner in many things yet, but in the bedroom, I am the master.

Was I wrong to read this in Darth Vaders voice?

2. What happen to Applejack?
As I said in the comment section in the last chapter I thought AJ would redeem herself by bring Diamond back to ponyville and bury the hatchet with her but instead AJ just disappears, What happened to her? are you planning a sequel or does it have anything to do with that Epilogue you mentioned in your last blog post?

In closing I would like to say that its been a pleasure reading this story and I eagerly await your next one.

5492152 Glad you liked it. No pony in my view is perfect, and how good or bad anyone is is largely a basis of actions and of course perception. To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars, Things may be seen as true, from a certain point of view. Even my using Di to paraphrase Darth Vader is a variation, Diamond has been fooling around, innocently, with Silver Spoon for years and knows far more about how to please herself than Mac does. Hence she is the master in the bedroom, though Mac's life experiences and abilities give him the advantage in other areas.

As to AJ, the evidence is there, I think you can figure it out. (Past, Parents, Envelope, Family, Manehatten) And here's a hint from your own comment:

your next one.

:raritywink:

5492261
Oh good I can't wait to read it

As to AJ, the evidence is there, I think you can figure it out. (Past, Parents, Envelope, Family, Manehatten)

I'm guessing this means AJ has a contract as well, If true is it anyone we know?

Also I noticed the story is designated incomplete does this mean that your going to add something more to the story or is it just an over-site?

5492456 Oversight corrected.

Nope, AJ's not in Ponyville is she?

5492483
I guess not.
Now that I think about it the only ponies we know are from Manehattan are the orange family and Coco Pommel so it's unlikely that either of those so the most logical conclusion is the AJ's aunt and uncle drew up a breeding contract involving her.
(This is assuming that AJ's going to Manehattan have anything to do with a contract at all I don't know what your plans are with the sequel.)

So it's finally done!

Thank you so much for your story, kind of sad the tale ends here, though not because I feel the main plot is incomplete, I think it was a nice closure between Big Mac and Diamond, but I loved the world you setup trough out it that i can't help wishing there was more of it.

There were enough threads left open that one could be forgiven for believing there will be a sequel at some point, if that's the plan then again I eagerly await your next work, i know it will be worth the wait as much as this one was, definitely one of the most engaging exercises in world building and drama in this site.

So it seems Mac's parents already had pairings planned for each of their children. If Diamond was originally to be Apple Bloom's I can't help but wonder who was on Mac's original contract, and of course we don't really know what's going on with Applejack, but I guess that's a story for another time.

Again, thank you for the story and for pushing through and finishing it, it would have been a shame for it to be left incomplete.

5492833 Again, your welcome. :twilightsmile:

5492643 I wrote AJ's mom (Orange Bloom) as originally being from Manehatten, the daughter of a Stockbroker (JC Orange). AJ's parents drew up the contract, not her aunt and uncle.

So, it's done. I feel... strange, actually. A bit confused at times.

First by The Big Revelation, which, frankly, I don't understand.

“‘The gender doesn’t matter. If Diamond can’t grow enough to eventually take the reins of the company, then, filly or colt, it really doesn’t matter to us so long as Diamond doesn’t get the business.’”

... And? Where's the big difference? I don't understand. I literally don't understand. What does this mean that suddenly makes what her parents did not so horrible? Is it the possible caveat that Diamond actually could still grow into the role? I feel stupid, since I fail to make the connection that's obviously meant to be so... obvious!
I'm not one for spoonfeeding your audience information, heck no. But this is a case where I would've appreciated if any of the characters spelled out their thoughts. Because to me, it reads like exactly the same thing as before, only with more words. Put it in chapter 8 and I would come to the same conclusion as I had then, which is apparently wrong now.

The second is MacIntosh's introspection, at which I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes. That's rather unkind, I know, but to me, it came across as him lamenting not being perfect enough to do more than compensate for how much the rest of his family sucks.

Despite that, I still liked the chapter and the story. Plus, I can't really blame it for when I fail to discern its meaning (re The Revelation)!

5494891 It's a long link for the chain, but one I had planned. For Diamond's story, in the very first chapter I had Filthy Rich openly acknowledge he was about to play the villain to his daughter's ambitions. It was out of a slightly muddled but genuine love of his daughter that he did this, and I'm not going to deny there were some selfish parts to it, no pony here is perfect. The task was hiding that fact by having Diamond look at things very negatively, especially regarding her parents. The whole plan was a hedged bet by Filthy to either get Diamond to smarten up or provide a safe alternative to support her if she proved unworthy of the family's legacy. One of the lynch pins was the scene at the spa where Diamond actually hears it, from the horse's mouth, but only the damning tail end, not the hopeful beginning of the statement.

If I've done my job well here, Obi-wan Kenobi's line to Luke about how things depend on one's point of view, should hold true.

One of Mac's biggest flaws for me is survivor's guilt, (basically Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, which I also suffer from in real life) and yes it can come off for Mac as being 'not good enough' at times (so does mine). Mac's eternal regret is he couldn't save his mother, in all the chaos that followed he never got treated for it. Instead he retreated into it, he took on more and more burdens and responsibilities and buried himself in his sense of obligation to his family, and they didn't realize what was going on. "Good for you, buck up and carry on. Your Ma and Pa would be so proud of you." It's hard to show it in writing at times, and I never knew how far I wanted to go into Mac's 'injury' in this piece. I hope that helps a little.

Excellent story. I just worry that it will never see the circulation it deserves due to it's "sex" tag and mature rating. Many people will skip over it assuming it is just clop rather than the romantic drama that it is (your, shall we say, teasers between chapters didn't help in that regard.) I hope people will give it a chance, as I did, and I am looking forward to the sequel that you seemed to have planned for AJ.

5494191
When Big Mac refers to Filthy Rich as "Uncle Fil".

On the television show Fresh Prince of Bel-Air James Avory plays Will Smith's Uncle and is constantly referred to as "Uncle Phil". It's pretty much an iconic name.

It also works two ways because Uncle Phil was also an extremely wealthy person.

Uncle Fil
Uncle Phil

Was a nice touch even if unintentional.

5497571 :rainbowderp: Oh wow, I see it now. (Now I have this image of Uncle Fil needin' ta t'row Snails out da house.)

A much missed actor. RIP James Avery

5495533
That's precisely my problem right there. I didn't get any hopeful beginning.

You see, when I said I didn't understand how the the entire sentence is different to only the tail end, I meant exactly that. To clarify:

‘The gender doesn’t matter. If Diamond can’t grow enough to eventually take the reins of the company, then, filly or colt, it really doesn’t matter to us so long as Diamond doesn’t get the business.’”

Read the same to me as

“… filly or colt, it really doesn’t matter to us, so long as Diamond doesn’t get the business.”

When I read it, I didn't know how this was any different. I'm still not entirely sure. The caveat I mentioned was just a guess after staring at the whole thing for like ten minutes and still not understanding why Diamond suddenly reacted like her whole worldview had been shattered.
Do you know the joke about the guy who stares at the puzzle picture where everyone but him sees a boat? That's me right now.

So, let me ask you a favour. It's probably pretty stupid since everyone else seems to get the joke. Does the whole sentence mean that shutting Diamond out of the company wasn't a foregone conclusion, even with all she's done?

Addendum: Well, I'd already commented on Mac and his lack of flaws before. That he's always in control, always smooth, (almost) always knows what to say and has everypony wrapped around his hoof with little visible effort. In that context, seeing him beat himself up over not living up to his full potential when it can very well be read as the rest of his family simply dragging his awesomeness down... there was a bit of a disconnect^^

A great chapter! waiting for the next story. :pinkiehappy:

5498702 I can sort of see where you're coming from with the confusion. The whole doesn't seem all that dissimilar to the fragment, but they are. The part Diamond originally heard,

“… filly or colt, it really doesn’t matter to us, so long as Diamond doesn’t get the business.”

is an absolute and factual statement of strictly consequence; Diamond's out, the foal gets it all. Diamond sees this as her being tricked, and never having had a chance in the first place.
The conditional statement near the beginning,

If Diamond can’t grow enough to eventually take the reins of the company

is what changes things for Diamond. It states a condition by which the part Diamond originally heard is negated. Its real impact is because Diamond's understanding of both choice and herself have changed. She realizes she can, and has grown, inside; that she meets the condition to keep the company. She's won, and not known she had or even could have, and it floors her.

Does the whole sentence mean that shutting Diamond out of the company wasn't a foregone conclusion, even with all she's done?

Eeyup.

On Mac,

seeing him beat himself up over not living up to his full potential when it can very well be read as the rest of his family simply dragging his awesomeness down...

That seems to be a very negative way to look at things. Mac has created his own problem by taking on more and more obligations, the same way AJ did in 'Applebuck Season', he's just done it slower over time so it's gone unnoticed, even to an extent by him. It's allowed him to carry the burden better over time. He's only ever been able to show his inner self to a few ponies, and that doesn't necessarily include all of his family. He's never had a lot of friends, or time for friends, especially after his parents died. Mac is a pony of subtleties and even his flaws can kind of slip by unnoticed because of it, but they are there.

5499740

If Diamond can’t grow enough to eventually take the reins of the company

The whole thing is stated in the negative though. And depending on the tone of voice, which we can't know, it could be said in such a way as to imply that she can't or never will. Also, the story doesn't really tell us, for sure, whether she's changed enough for it to matter.

P.S.
Where do you get all this data/knowledge about horses you keep referring to and what does 'modern breeding' mean, anyway? It's hard to imagine under what conditions a mare could/would intentionally reject a stallion in nature particularly while 'in season'. I mean, I suppose it's possible, but I doubt it would ever be like humans (i.e. rejection based on emotional 'feelings' or rational thoughts).

5502106 Hmm, It took me a couple seconds to figure out what you mean, and its interpretation can depend on inflection a lot. I've really only heard it one way in my head of course. I may have to try to tweak that line slightly to correct the ambiguity without splicing too many qualifiers together. The main thing a speaker's tone and emphasis would do is convey their expectation as to whether the condition can be met, not change the fact there is a condition.

Regarding Horses: Reading, and some real life (cousins worked on a Thoroughbred farm). A friend's neighbor had a stallion he had to have gelded after it was rejected by a mare in season. Daft stallion proceeded to try to corner and mount a mare that wasn't in season and she let him have it. :fluttershyouch:

5502278
Well, I think there's a slight difference between 'if she can' and 'if she can't' as statements that implies a general though that she will be unable to. My point about tone and emphasis is as you say, unfortunately it's difficult at best to convey that in writing. I never suggested there wasn't a condition, just that the manner in which such a thing was stated would generally hold in the tone and emphasis an indication of whether the individual stating it believed the condition likely to be met.

RE: Regarding Horses
Yikes. Still, does that ever happen when the mare is in season? I'd have to assume that humans are always in season to some degree (if one can say such things) or at least often enough that it would be difficult to distinguish in/out like you can some animals. Important distinction I suppose when you consider the default, anthropomorphic nature of mlp ponies,

5504512 Ah, I see the hitch of what your going at. The statement as it is,

If Diamond can’t grow enough to eventually take the reins of the company, then, filly or colt, it really doesn’t matter to us so long as Diamond doesn’t get the business.

basically states the conditions by which Diamond would loose her right to inherit, in favor of the foal by her and McIntosh.
But what Diamond heard,

filly or colt, it really doesn’t matter to us so long as Diamond doesn’t get the business.

removes the conditional term and makes the disinheritance absolute.
When Mac reveals the full statement to Di, she realizes that the condition she was previously unaware of, is one she knows can now achieve, with Mac's assistance, and so not forfeit her family's legacy.

Re: Regarding Horses
I've seen footage of feral horses where a mare in heat has rejected a suitor. As animals go horses are pretty intelligent. Humans experience what is called concealed ovulation where the overt signs of fertility are not present. This is thought to increase the prevalence of long term pair bonds as the male must remain close at hand in order to fertilize the female. (Anthropology and Human Sexuality).

5504766
I guess that was my problem also; the reason why I didn't understand how this was any different to the apodictic interpretation. Well, now I know better!

5499740
I won't deny that. Still, the way it's presented, it can be interpreted as MacIntosh making enough money to get by, and—according to his own thoughts—mainly not making more because his little sister is a business failure and his littlest sister used to be a walking disaster zone^^

Maybe I've simply grown cynical. It's difficult for me to accept something as a character flaw when it's presented so subtle and long-term that any immediate effects are hardly noticeable; especially if they hinge on another character failing first. With Applejack, we could see her working herself to death while stubbornly refusing help. MacIntosh seems to sail through life, with the only real problems stemming from other people or being shadows inside his own mind. Compare that to, say, Diamond Tiara or Applejack here.

Again, though, perhaps I'm just being unfairly cynical...

5506428 Well, I'll say slightly cynical.

But regardless, you've been a loyal reader and a constant helpful source in reminding me to keep myself grounded and not stray to far from the grounded tale I was trying to tell. (Even if we didn't always see eye to eye.) :twilightsmile:

Thank you.

5513073 That, is a distinct possibility. :ajsmug:

5502278
Interesting, that last bit.

It ends as it ran, a fascinating take on romance, sexuality, and social obligation in Equestria. I'm sorry to see it end, but I very much enjoyed the journey. Thank you for it.

5670889 Thank you very much, and I'm very glad you enjoyed it. :pinkiehappy:

5677010
Oh yes humans have done almost every abhorrent act imaginable over the years, and some civilizations have been anything but civilized as we perceive it. The fact that we have done it doesn't make those actions any less atrocious of course, and that's what first made me unsure since I tend to read pony fics to escape such realities.

However, you write well so I am giving it more than a fair shot. Also, it is somewhat interesting how you disassociate your universe from the fluffy world of Canon and try to make a society which while clearly not human, still has the same failings as we do in leaning on tradition and having, as you say, a biology driven culture base which is clearly still quite primitive.

So yeah, onwards, for now.

5680947 I took up the whole pony fic thing as an exercise in writing and decided to write as if the 18-29 year olds were the actual target audience. It seems to have yielded an interesting result. If you like a little more up-beat this fic actually had a one shot spin off spurred from a comment in the chapter 'With Their Traditions', regarding the pegasi marriage traditions.

5681053
Yes the next chapter was far better, both technically and how the story flowed. Though Big Mac is not actually being kind. I suppose he is within the twisted moral framework that is in place, but it's still rape under duress in a sense. He is the best of a bad bunch though, in my opinion.

And I will probably leave this story here and go check out that other story you suggested. I might come back later if I feel like it.

kind of sorry to see this end...i feel theres at least one chapter left here to deal with. making up with Applefack for starters, and then perhaps a time skip, eleven months or so...?

6039676 Oh, you mean the sequel I'm working on. :twilightsmile:

6039690

Sweet looking forward to that story!

6039690 is the sequel still being made?

6416330 Yes. The timing is just bad.:applejackunsure: I'm stuck on a different project and have been running short on productive writing time from work over the summer. :ajsleepy:

I have a basic layout for the first couple of chapters, but am actually missing a rather important character it seems, the would-be stud/father. :facehoof:

6416759 That sucks I hope you are able to make the sequel I like the story

6416800 Thanks, I like the story too. :twilightsmile:

6416759

I would recommend something like a Sam and Diane type of relationship. That never gets old, plus it would be great when they finally fall in love.

yep, that was dam good.
4/5

7332478

I remember seeing an artistic interpretation of, um, the male genitalia of the different tribes, and its theory was that pegasi have very small balls because aerodynamics. So your story planted an idea about Big Red having an accidental dick-waving contest with a unicorn,,, maybe. Anyway, sorry it's taken me so long to get back to this, but I'm so glad I did! Also, Spike's hibernation... do animals dream when they hibernate? What would Spike's dreams be like if they could go on for months?

There is a lot to dislike about this story, but I felt sufficiently engaged in the story to read it through to the end. Overall, it's decent enough. I'm glad I read it.

7845900 Thanks very much for the honesty and complement. Glad you made it through the end.

Shit like things happens in real life. Currently in society I feel it's part of the cool kids club to shame or shout out against anything you don't ethically agree with. Living a life where I was both refused an education and parental guidance after reaching puberty, I learned that life doesn't respect your desires and how you voice things, regardless of how right or wrong you are, and that sometimes good intent can lead to pain for both oneself and those you love around you. Like telling off your Grandma for sowing drama and distrust in the family, and in response proceeds to abuse your dying mother because you upset her.

Point I'm getting at here is my weird life situation has lead me to have no respect for good intent, but instead well thought action to make the best out of a morally gray situation. With that in mind, this story almost feels soothing in that sense. I really do love it. I know people dislike the Ponyville community their actions as a whole, but that happens in reality a lot, and I feel the grace Big Mac handled it all with was far more touching than most stories "Morality wins in the end, go team good!"

I also might projecting into it a bit, and I'm sorry if I did in a way that makes you feel I don't appreciate your story for what it truly is, but I really do love this story.

I loved this story I'm glad I found it and read it is a master piece in my books I wish there was a sequel to it this is going into the favorites

This story explore culture and biology of a species that is different than humans. Ponies are not just pony shapded humans, but their own creatures. You can't replace ponies with humans, because without ponies this story loses it's sense.

I am happy that this story is included in Xenofiction group

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