• Member Since 18th Oct, 2013
  • offline last seen Nov 13th, 2017

Traintrack to Nowhere


These are words. They are written. They are readable... to some people and not... some others.

T

Once upon a time, humans did exist. A long, long time ago, in fact. And they left something behind.

In the present time, Twilight Sparkle gets herself horribly lost and discovers something that should have vanished forever. But would that have been better? Or worse?

Time will have to tell.

Chapters (7)
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Comments ( 72 )

Looks like it will be fun reading this. Please come out with the next chapter soon.

This sounds brilliant! I would very much like to read more. Be awesome and get that next chapter done so I can keep reading!

Way to peak my interest so fast! Loved the intro bit!

Dang Twi, you have had a rough day haven't you.

3368818 Well, thanks. Messing up the beginning is the absolute worst thing you can ever do... it's nice to know that the concept itself isn't ruining it for anyone. So far, anyway.

3369748 Fun? I don't know how to do fun. I'm sort of trying, but... well, one look at the next chapter should tell you how light-hearted it's already gotten! But if you have fun reading, that's great.

3371775 Thank you for the compliment. I'm far from awesome, I think, but the next chapter is up.

3379781 Thanks! It's nice to have some feedback on that part (I say that like there has been a lot of specific feedback otherwise... *Cough*) - I was trying to convey the OC's emotions and define her character a bit. Sort of. I don't really know how that turned out. But it's good that it peaked your interest. Doing that on the first chapter is always good... And yeah, Twilight had kind of a rough day. That's mostly because I'm trying to avoid being cliche, but realistic at the same time, so... She gets horribly, horribly lost in the Everfree. Because who knows what's hidden in its depths, right?

Huh. Does it say something about me that this last response was the longest?

Of course it does... I hope it's something good.

This chapter was pretty good.
Though I was a little confused by the character being so susceptible to flesh wounds. The guy slept in the ground for ages right?
Don't get me wrong I liked this chapter a lot (wish it was longer but you can't have everything your way.) it just seemed a little strange.

3382605 In order: Thank you. Her (Gender not explicitly stated in story, I think - sorry) vulnerability is something that will be explained, in time - soon, hopefully. And, although it wasn't necessarily intentional in this specific case, I intend for there to be several oddities regarding her before everything's explained. As an extra: She wasn't in the ground per se, she was in a self-made coffin, not that it matters much... especially considering the length of time - it's something of a stretch that the writing on the slab was still present, and that she wasn't totally buried alive, or something.

Again, thank you for reading, and taking the time to comment.

3382675
Ah, no you did allude to the character being female in the first chapter. I just tend to use male identifiers by default when I'm not 100% sure.

And writings on stone can persist for many thousands of years under the right conditions. And to me it would make more sense if she was indeed buried in the ground and was only recently (relatively speaking) uncovered by erosion or some other geological process.

3382719

Unrelated Question: Is it proper format / etiquette / common to add a return after the link as demonstrated here?

On the subject of stone: I didn't know it lasted quite that long. You learn something new every day... As for being buried... well, I mean to say she wasn't utterly encased - that is to say, she was in a space in the earth, and not just buried.

If that weren't the case I don't imagine she'd be getting out. Though I find the concept of stumbling across a half-buried, not-decomposed, not-quite dead corpse morbidly amusing. Oh,wait... In all seriousness, thank you for taking the time to read and comment (again!) and the tidbits of knowledge. I'm not quite sure what the odds of a stone coffin buried in the earth for... a long time... are, and it remaining in tact, but for the sake of the story it happened. Somehow. The contents within remaining in tact is another matter entirely, which has everything to do with your original observation.

So our lady friend is some kind of semi-organic android? That is outstanding!

This is going to be even better than I thought.

most likley a robot after that a android

3401504
A human shaped robot is called an android...

3401514
3401504

Well, technically, a female robot with a human form is called a gynoid, but that's not popularly used and android is still the general term. Even though android can be argued to have a male gender (andro - man)...

I'm not sure which of you is closer at the moment, lol.

One one hand, Coolbond technically wasn't as specific with the terminology. On the other hand, Radon is assuming she's partially organic because she bleeds (probably) disregarding Twilight's rant at the end of the chapter starting because she, even with her sense of smell, couldn't smell all the 'blood' in the clearing.

I'll say as much now - Eternity is 100% synthetic. She's very close to human in many ways, but physically she is purely artificial. Her exact composition is... complicated... and the idea of making Twilight's head spin with the full explanation amuses me even though it's dangerous ground.

Oh, and digi-cookies for both of you, because you're both right. Faith in Humanity: -98. I'm glad the hints weren't too subtle... because they're about as subtle as a sledgehammer striking an aluminum sheet to me.

3401486

I don't know why you're quite so excited about it given the sci-fi came almost out of nowhere, but it's good you're excited?

3401805

I actually hadn't read your authors note till after I had already posted that comment but thanks for the cookies anyway!

And the reason I suggested she was partially organic wasn't due to her bleeding (many machines spill fluid when damaged) but instead based upon the fact that she was capable of being damaged by a creature made of wood.

Assuming she is utilizing an artificial musculature system that uses some form of non-compressible fluid instead of muscle tissue (the only reason for her to be containing anywhere close to the volume of fluid described) it would only make sense for the fluid filled sacs to be organic in nature because of how easily they were damaged. Have you ever tried to cut a rubber hydraulic line? It's tough to do even with a sharp knife. (Especially the ones that are reenforced with steel mesh or other materials)

3401879

Hm... that's actually a possibility I didn't entertain. She's out of 'blood' at this point, but it's essentially just a dye put in place to make her more 'real.' It is, technically, made out of the same stuff as the rest of her. The reason behind that is also the reason she's lasted so long, and the thought of explaining it is giving me a headache, let alone to someone only passively familiar with modern technology of any kind (edit: Twilight, not you, Radon - just in case it wasn't obvious). I'm going to take a guess here and say you read a lot of sci-fi, XD.

Eternity is self-regenerating and requires almost complete annihilation / deconstruction in order to be permanently destroyed. Burns take longer than most things but can still be worked around. Can you figure it out from that?

Edit: She does simulate human musculature / skeletal system, but she simulates it (in durability at least) to human levels.Again, all of it is made of the same building blocks. She can become more durable, and even outright change her 'frame' and shape, but is extremely adverse to doing so unless absolutely necessary (something that will be covered later, after they're out of the Everfree and everyone's at least aware of her.)

Edit 2: I fail biology forever (even with a constant A+...) so I'm going to handwave and say 'exaggerations from a person not used to seeing any amount of blood in the first place, let alone a large amount.'

3401900
Well it's sort of a combination of things. Yes I read a ton of scifi, watch technology documentaries almost religiously, and have played just about every scifi themed game ever made but I'm also an aircraft mechanic by trade so I know a lot about the real life function of machines.

So going by the clues you gave away in your reply, I'm going to say that she is about as close to a real human as you can get and still be an android. She is probably made up of nano machines (or has other more exotic methods of regeneration) so long explanation short : She is an almost perfect replica of life, machine immitating the form and function of biology.

Edit: Spoilers below. Kinda.

3401952

Have a digi-cupcake. And ten more digi-cookies. You're absolutely correct.

In principle, that's the way Eternity functions. In actual practicality, I'm not quite sure of the fine details myself - I'm not ashamed to admit I'm nowhere near as technologically savvy as you are, XD. The general idea is that her creator stumbled upon a way to fabricate matter from energy, and so, as long as she has one of her power plants in tact, she can regenerate lost matter almost indefinitely... including one of the plants themselves if damaged or destroyed, hence her durability. A note here is that her current frame is not the original, and was made at the end of her creator's days as a sort of last gift. Her body itself is constructed out of synthetic 'cells' or, simply put, nanomachines.

Plausibility? I don't really know, or particularly care -- as I said, I'm not ashamed to admit I have little background. My gift is vision, not construction.

Heh. "I'm a giant hive colony of artificial micro-organisms." How's THAT for a response, Twi?

Huzzah a new chapter!

Eternity did seem a little broken but I'm going to assume that was deliberate. The writing style helped the broken feeling as well, I will also assume that was deliberate.

So far the only thing I could hope for is longer chapters but I suppose if you want the update pace to be slow (but who in their right mind would want that?) it's alright.

3433050

Well... honestly...

Chapter length is always inconsistent when I'm writing. Usually it averages out. For this story, that average seems to be about 1.3 k. I prefer to get at least 2000 but if it's not going to happen relatively naturally, I won't force it. My preferred chapter length is 6k, but then we'd have maybe 2 chapters instead of 4 and... it helps me have a feeling of progress to be able to keep them coming in relatively consistent lengths.

If I end up writing something I get absorbed in, expect the length to jump. But right now the story is kind of... dry. I expect it to remain that way, because I don't really have much experience with this sort of story. Or this setting, for that matter.

As for Eternity being 'broken' well, yes. I'm trying to convey the sense that she's... 'broken.' Or, more accurately, disturbed. She did spend a couple thousand years completely alone, craving company. I want to make sure that there's a noticeable effect present. But I'm not sure if it's quite the one I'm intending... Oh well. Words march on.

Thank you for your comment and time.

3433070

Well it worked fairly well I think, to me at least she really felt like a glitchy machine. She has a very interesting psyche it's somewhere in between the way a human thinks and the commands, directives, and "thought patterns" of a machine.

When I write the chapter length varies wildly. I have chapters anywhere from 1500 words to 10k and beyond.

Beginnings are one of my favorite parts of an HiE they usually have so much interesting conflict that some stories don't manage to grasp again until the very end, or not at all.

When I write it tends to be quick in the beginning, slows down in the middle, and then speeds back up for the end.

3433089

Well, she is the glitchiest gynoid in existence... (of course, she's the only one in existence...)

Her thought patterns are why I like writing her so much. Eternity's always been one of my favorite characters, towing the line between science and fantasy -- possible and impossible. Does she truly have a soul? Or is it merely an extremely intricately evolved program? Writing her is always a fight to answer that question. I want her to have a soul, but I also want there to be room to doubt. It's nice to see that conflict being recognized.

3433108 Well done, i'm hoping to eventually reach a point where my own story is not rimed with cliche's, but anyway enough about my poor excuse for a story I have to say this was well done and I have not seen any story like this. It is good writers like you that show me what I could become with time and practice.

3437389

I don't consider myself a good writer of anything, let alone stories - whatever others tend to say - but it is the reader's prerogative to judge. Thank you for the compliment, and don't put yourself down so much. Keep at it, don't be afraid to shake things up, make an effort not to make the same mistake twice, and you'll improve.

And whatever you do, don't try to hold yourself up to a standard you can't match. At least, not immediately. Just write, and let come what may.

3437521 I know and I won't hold myself to a standard I cant reach, that would set myself up for disappointment(and then I would kinda deserve ) and i just plan when necessary and kinda wing it while checking for consistency, the rest of the time until I think of another good fitting plot idea. It has worked so far and I just like the sense of freedom to wonder with a story to see what shit the character gets themselves in.

One that I am just starting will have a lot more of this as he will have to move around during a multi-faction war the biggest being the NLR and SE the others fighting for survival or taking advantage of the chaos and just arm everyone. With this human now looking for a way back home and at the same time to survive in a war on a world where humans don't exist and his abilities make him someone that would be useful for all sides, changelings to give love, NLR and SE to fight, some nations to sell him as a weapon to the highest bidder and some kill because he is different and an unknown variable.

I want to paint every faction in a grey light No one is good nor evil they just view this human a means to accelerate their own plan, also I want to write how war and having to kill to survive can affect a person and how being weary of others can do so even more.

Also besides, is the whole point of fantasy to wonder hills and mountains to explore the unknown to delve deep into a realm of blades and magic?

3437727

Well yes, no one is good or evil, but by the same token not everyone is niether good nor evil and, furthermore, not everyone has an agenda. When you're trying to be neutral, that seems awfully cynical and hobbe-like in thinking. Personally, I think if you were to try and present moral ambiguity you would need to have clear motivations for each faction, and all of them would have to have an understandable motive. All of them would have to be at least somewhat sympathetic. The end result is something like a mob of well-intentioned extremists.of varying degrees of 'extreme.'

On other notes: I have difficulty seeing a human being treated specifically as a weapon. They'd have to be pretty-well equipped to warrant it and at that point one wonders why his weapons aren't what's treated as... well, weapons. Any sort of manipulator with a plan doesn't remove a new variable just because it's unknown. It just doesn't work like that. They remove them because the unknown is a potential threat, not because it's unknown.

More relevant to your comment, though... The whole soldier in Equestria thing seems to be a blaring cliche in and of itself on site from what I've gathered, though I could be wrong. The idea itself seems interesting. I'd have to see it implemented to call it unique.

The point of fantasy, in my opinion, is less to explore the wonders of a fictional world and more to escape the tedium of the world we know. That's not to say exploring the unknown isn't a motivation, but in most cases, I think, it's an escape outlet.

Please take everything said above with a grain of salt, I'm merely rambling about my observations. If you'd like to discuss this in-depth with me please send a message.

Well, they're not quite out of the woods yet, but they're on the path. Look forward to a change in setting next chapter.
...probably.

You better not make us wait months for the next chapter.

3731455

Would I do that?

What kind of author do you take me for?

...

Yeah, I'll try my best to get it out sooner, XD.

Would it be better if I made you wait 'years' perchance?

Interesting fic, update more frequently or I'll sic the narwhal horse wolverines on you.

3731673

I fear no evil, for I acknowledge that all things are evil, just as all things are good, and nothing is either.

See prior comment.

3731722 "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." - Some philosopher I can't remember the name of.

3731727

Nothing is inherently good. Everything is inherently neutral. All alignments are assigned, not inherent. Therefor there is no absolute good or absolute evil. Knowledge can be dangerous, just as ignorance can be beneficial.

The scales are the same, the difference is one is one hundred one gram objects, the other is one one-hundred gram object.

3731738 ... How the fuck did we start becoming philosophical over me threatening to unleash biological super weapons on you?

3731741

Because I fear no evil, for evil is only what we make of it.

...huehuehuehue.

3731746 Then it's a damn good thing I'm not evil, nor good, nor neutral.

3731755 *Pokes Traintrack To Nowhere with a Motivational Stick* Hey, less talky more writey.

3731759

But, you see, this comment here?

I'm not speaking it aloud. I'm writing it.

3731763 *Pokes with Motivational Stick again* Less commenting, more writing.

3731772 *Pokes with cattle-prod Motivational Stick for a third time* I have do have more "Motivational" devices if you don't get back to writing.

3731775

You've got a coding error there, ;p.

3731776 *Cracks a multi-whip tipped with diamond razers* Less falsifying information, and more falsifying fiction.

3731780
Is it even possible to falsify fiction, I wonder?

3731799 Yes, you are falsifying it by writing it, fiction is generally bullshit mixed with imagination and iced with falsities.

3731802
My you're such an optimistic person.

...you do realize that engaging me in conversation runs contrary to your stated purpose, ne?

By the way, you had an extra 'have' too.

3731813 Where? I was busy replacing all the oxygen in the room, as my lactose intolerant dog had some milk earlier, and was in the room with me. I may never smell again.

3731817
I have do have no earthly clue what you're talking about.

3731819 *Shrugs* Whatever, My birthday is over in five minutes. Now get to writing more on this fic whilst I bathe in money.

3731840

3731819

What the hell is going on? Anyway 'twas a good chapter, (even if I did have to repeatedly shove you at the Gdoc to get you to actually write it.)

3739499

Hm? So far as I can tell someone else was trying to do the same thing. I had far too much fun replying to them.

Thank you for the feedback.

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