• Member Since 23rd Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen 5 hours ago

pjabrony


My name's PJ. I'm from New York. I write pony fics. I go to parties with bronies. I'm not good at self-introduction.

E

Many years after the barrier has swept over Earth, one of the converted ponies barely remembers being human. But he does remember his conversion, when he needs to.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 28 )

It's cool that we're on the same page re: the stars. I enjoyed it.

3066606
Thanks, and I'm glad you're following me. I hope to bring you some nice stories in the future!

3066764

Likewise. If I ever get my Optimalverse story out. Making interfaces with

is killing me.

400 year life span huh? Thats... Different. Definitely the largest I've seen.

Nicely and very sweetly done! :twilightsmile:

Huh. This certainly puts an interesting spin on "the stars will aid in her escape."

In any case, an enjoyable story. The journey continues, as it ever does. But ponies get tour guides.

It is good to finally see this story out. Well done.

Mrgh. The whole 'the Barrier is an extension of Celestia's will' thing just kinda... kills the whole fic for me. I know that's terrible and unfair, but if the Barrier IS Celestia, then it means she destroyed Earth quite deliberately. That shifts Celestia in my head from 'compassionate savior' to 'genocidal psychopath.' And then that's all I can think about. So long as it was something beyond her control I can accept her as a good guy, but...

3068865 This guy over here gets it

3068865

That struck me too. In most CB scenarios, Celestia at least claims she didn't create the Barrier and can't stop it. Some people (HLF) may think she's lying, but at least there's the pretense that it's some sort of natural disaster ponies are saving us from.

3070780

Well, I mean, it's not inaccurate. Plenty of Conversion Bureau stories suggest that Celestia is intentionally destroying the earth, so it's not beyond the pale to suggest it in a story. Granted, I also find that character portrayal obnoxious, but it's to be expected.

3068865 She's neither, I think. What Celestia, in the TCB universe, is to me is the blind forces of nature. She comes across Earth bringing neither justice nor goodness. All the best Conversion Bureau stories are bittersweet or tragedies, IMO. Mankind dies out, but before doing so, he descends into a sugar bowl.

3076575

Well, that's a unique take on the matter, I suppose. I guess I can respect that.

Added to two categories in the TCB Group: Sad stories and Bittersweet stories.

That was just lovely!

I've only just read this, and it's really wonderful in that bittersweet way you know how to write.

3068865
What about if you were an all-powerful goddess, within your own realm... but were allowed just a peak into another. Another world that resisted your attempts to change it, both by being devoid of magic, and devoid of reason. What if you saw it was dying, poisoned by its own people, set on an inexorable, unstoppable slide into mass extinction. What if you saw a way to save billions and billions of lives, but the only way was to give them a new home, in new bodies... would you let them die? Would you call it saving them, to watch them perish, and murder to let them live?

3743369

Well, wanting to save lives is certainly a credible sentiment. And within the context of the Conversion Bureau universe - which I do not concede is equivalent with that of the real Earth - there is a reasonable argument to be made in favor of Celestia's actions. It's true, for example, that we sometimes make the argument that mentally ill people are not competent to make decisions regarding their own welfare: they need to be treated, behaviorally modified, before they are fit to govern themselves. There is an argument to be made in the TCB-verse that this case applies on a species-wide scale. We're all at least a little sick on the inside... and some more than others.

I can forgive a lot if it's done for the sake of compassion. One of the ideas I've toyed with for a while is writing a pony who befriends a human who refuses to be converted. As time goes on and she gets to know him better, she eventually snaps under the strain, joining the PER and forcibly ponifying him simply because she cannot bear to watch him die, irregardless of anything she might have to do to avert that fate. If that was how I read Celestia's actions, I might be able to support them.

But it's not. Try as I might, I don't see any compassion in Celestia's actions, nor regret over what she is doing. The Barrier - in stories where it is a deliberate creation on her part - is an act of war, a gun held to the collective head of humanity to force them into an impossible decision. Never does she explain this in any except the most abstract of ways, never does she explain her actions as motivated by love, and never does she express any remorse for the act's necessity. Instead, she seems to go more down the route of, "Everyone is going to become a pony because humanity disgusts me and what I say, goes." See how matter-of-factly she describes the deaths of anyone who refuses her vision.

I would admire Celestia if the Barrier was beyond her control, and she was offering people a way out while still respecting their wishes as sovereign beings. I would respect her if she won humanity over to her side through charisma and guile, demonstrating how much better their lives could be as ponies, by example rather than coercion. I would forgive her if she hated what she was doing, but did it anyway because she legitimately thought she was saving lives, and souls. But as it as, I can only see Celestia as a bully - one who dispassionately turns to force and threats to get her way when reason and logic fail.

And while I know your question was intended to be rhetorical... if I was in Celestia's shoes, I can't say for sure what I'd do. But I'd like to believe I would respect humanity's wishes, and leave the door open for them to change their minds for as long as possible.

3744055
so you'd say letting everyone die was "saving them", and giving them an option of living as ponies "murder".

Yeah, that sort of stupid is why I stopped writing these stories.

3744062

Actually, no, that's not what I said.

3744093
It was.

This is the setup which obviously hasn't been made clear enough: in the TCB universe you are talking about, the Earth is dead. The entire surface of the planet is maybe a decade away from catastrophic, irreversible, uncontrollable, unstoppable collapse. A decade, tops.

Everyone alive on the planet will die, even the rich. The super-rich, the top 1%, might make it another few decades, but even then it is stolen time. Stolen, not borrowed, from everyone else.

There is no miracle solution, there are no second chances, no mistakes, no turning back. Just ecological collapse, societal collapse, population collapse, war, famine, pestilence and then death.

Without the barrier forcing everyone's hand, the people of Earth will march blindly to destruction in the same manner that a frog put in cold water will allow itself to be boiled to death. Without the clear and present danger of a relatively mercifully quick death at the hands of the barrier, everyone will die.

This is Celestia's choice - do nothing, and let nature take its course, offer something that regrettably few will take before said collapse makes the resulting flood of refugees impossible to handle, or manufacture a situation which will present the people of Earth with the impetus they need to either actively choose death or move to a whole new, healthy, extended, magical, comfortable, exciting and fulfilling life on the other side.

Let me make this clear, the analogy is letting a child run out in front of a moving car to teach said child a permanent lesson, or to restrain that child and act as a responsible parent. To bring it to a potentially more familiar setting, it's the old question of the Prime Directive. For all "noninterference" is a pretty phrase, one of the startling condemnations of the increasingly shitty "enterprise" star trek prequel series was that Captain Archer actively allowed the deaths of billions of sentient beings, through painful biological decay rather than "interfere with their society".

So again, in this setting, what is more wrong? Allowing billions to die, or forcing their hands such that billions may live?

If you're not going to talk about this setting then you're wasting both my time and yours.

3744203

Under the circumstances you listed? I suppose it could be justified... it would still be pretty grey, especially in light of the lack of explored alternatives, but it could be justified. The problem is, I've never seen it well-demonstrated that Earth is well and truly screwed - in fact in most versions of TCB, it really doesn't seem to be - and even if it was, Celestia seems less intent on saving people and more intent on conquering them. I've never really seen anything - well, very rarely seen anything - to make me believe Celestia is doing what she's doing out of compassion.

Instead, she comes across more as a fantasy version of Charlemagne, with his 'Convert to Christianity or be put to the sword' approach. This impression sure isn't helped by her complete lack of empathy or the deliberate forming of an expanding magical effect that is lethal to human beings. If Celestia really does care, if she really is trying to save people, she could at least attempt to make a case for that. Instead, she goes straight to, "Join us or die."

3744726
In the versions of TCB where the earth isn't doomed by mankind's own hands, then Celestia is not propagating the bubble deliberately, it's an accident. In the versions where she is, I can categorically state that Earth is doomed. No ifs or buts, that's the setting.

3744203

That's actually an urban myth about the frog. When the water gets too hot, they jump out same as if they were dropped in. Humans, though, are not always so astute.

3744203 3744830
In the original TCB that may have been the case, but there are plenty of stories that don't explicitly or implicitly feature the Earth on the verge of collapsing in on itself or any other sort of mass extinction event. Probably the most famous of these was Not Alone, by Starman Ghost. It's been taken down, but a bit of digging should find a Google Docs version of it.

4560527
You mean the version featuring goose-stepping gestapos goat-herding the unwanted into work-camps and cheering on the bombing of civilians? Thanks but no thanks. I read it and it was terrible.

Besides, you ignored the three important words to drag up some epic wankery of a strawman.

4561362
Sure, in the setting you refer to (where Earth is fucked) Celestia is somewhat justified in setting up the bubble. My point was that there are enough stories where that isn't the case that it can't be assumed until it's shown in the story that one is currently reading. Also, from what I've seen of it the original Conversion Bureau story was basically just wank itself, with a lot of misanthropy thrown in ("Human bodies are icky and big and ugly and...and mean! Humans are mean!"
—Pinkie Pie).

Also, in response to one of your other comments, Celestia isn't really giving them "new homes in new bodies". Even the original TCB included pretty drastic changes to who those people are. Are you familiar with the concept of "death by personality loss"? How much that applies seems to vary from one story to the next, granted.

4563236 Why is it all right to have true wank material, but not utopian wank material? Because that's what I'm going for here. It's not misanthropy, just that in this idiom the ponies have a perfect society, so of course the humans are going to come off second best.

4564352
I should have clarified, I didn't actually read this fic. I was speaking about Conversion Bureau in general, because I got the impression that Tinandel and Midnight Shadow were doing the same.

I should also specify that I never said I liked anti-CB wank, I just used it as an example because it was a well-known fic where Celestia creates the barrier for morally unacceptable reasons. I think there's been a miscommunication between myself and MidnightShadow, when he said "in this setting" and "that's the setting" I think he meant all TCB fics, he may have meant just this one here.

I also never said one type of wank was okay and the other wasn't. The bit about misanthropy was a shot at the original Conversion Bureau story, which is where that Pinkie Pie quote came from.

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