• Member Since 30th Jan, 2013
  • offline last seen 3 hours ago

Viking ZX

Author of Science-Fiction and Fantasy novels! Oh, and some fanfiction from time to time.



It's been three days since the Equestrian Railway Service incident, and things are finally calming down in the wake of the Dusk Guard's first mission. Three days since the team's first mission came to a successful conclusion. Three days since their first trial by fire. Three days since Sky Bolt, the team's engineer, had everything she'd created put to the test. And it all worked. Nothing went wrong.

So why can't she sleep?

First of the Side Stories to The Dusk Guard: Rise. Familiarity with Rise is not required, but recommended.
Side Stories so far:
Carry On
The Definition of Strength
Old Habits

The Saga has a TV Tropes page!
"This is 100% Approved by Twilight's Library!"
Added to Twilight's Library 12/5/2013
Featured on Canterlot's Finest
Special Thanks to Sonorus, Jorlem, Sinister Voice, Templar22 and Bronze Aegis for their help pre-reading and editing.

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 39 )

That is some pretty cool cover art.

Looking good!

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It was the closest I could find to a metal golem with what limited resources I had. It's not actually exactly what a metal golem looks like (for instance, they don't really have heads in my mind and only the one "eye" in the chest), but it does look pretty neat, I agree!

Glad all of you are enjoying "Carry On" so far. This is the first time I've given a female character her own viewpoint story (as opposed to a viewpoint segment in a chapter), so it's been a real experiment.

Congrats, Sky Bolt. Now you just need to invent an array (or set of arrays) that can be used to enchant other arrays or crystals, and you'll have a fully fledged magitech revolution on your hooves.

(I'm sure Mint won't come for revenge on you, when she sees you getting rich off of innovations she would see as her own. Nope, nothing to worry about...)

A difficult subject to talk about, especially by those who suffer it.

Do you feel I did it justice?

She'll never get that far, fortunately. No matter what, it will still take a unicorn to actually do the enchanting, so she's not going to go full out revolution over the course of the story. She will, however, have to deal with the ethics of her creation as the series progresses.

As far as Mint swearing revenge, well, technically Sky Bolt still came up with this, as Mint was doing it via an entire different route. Then again, Mint's unstable. I won't say anything here, you'll just have to keep reading.


I think you're off to a good start.

But theoretically, could a unicorn enchant a crystal with the spell to enchant a specific, other spell into crystals?

Well, in theory they could with a matrix of some kind, but it'd take a computer so powerful and advanced to govern the process that even we wouldn't be able to do it without perhaps some of the most advanced computers ever built working in tandem. Each crystal is unique, and part of the reason it takes so long to enchant one is that the enchantment must be done in sequence, with nearly every part of it repeated hundreds of times as it realigns the crystals structure to channel the spell. As the enchanter moves through the crystal, they have to alter their spell for each successive slice of crystal, while keeping in mind both the layers before that they've altered and what's coming. One can throw caution to wind and "brute force" it to speed, but then they expose themselves to magical feedback that can break ones sanity, damage ones body, or even cause destruction if not properly checked. An artificial system also wouldn't have the emotional ability either, as emotions are something nothing can imitate.

It's far more likely that in a few hundred years or so, someone will realize that rather than enchanting the crystals, it's easier to artificially make a crystal to be enchanted, But we won't see that happen in TDG unless the show itself shows it.

Ab, ok. I didn't realize how complex you were making the enchanting process. Still, more worldbuilding is always good. :twilightsmile:

There's a lot of background stuff I have in my back pocket that will probably never come up unless someone asks about it, just like most series. :pinkiesmile: But yeah, crystal enchanting is something that is best done organically, at least at this point in the series.

This will definitely be read by me when I'm not busy writing! :pinkiecrazy:

Erm, that was pretty cool
I mean....well done, seriously!
You well deserve that favorite!


Post Traumatic Stress? Oh dang....

I'm glad you enjoyed it. Hope you enjoy the rest of the series as well.

The PTSD was a tough one to tackle, but I think I did well at it. I had to do some research and whatnot, but I think it was worth it. Sky Bolt's struggle with her new job aren't over yet, as you'll see in "The Definition of Strength."

Nightmare after their first mission. PTSD much? Team shrink required. Lots of things on her mind.

Like how you're planning on giving characters spotlight stories.

Dying is a common theme in this. Wonder what Luna's up to or dealing with, if not handling probably the worst nightmare seen so far. Really really needs to talk to someone about this. Is why shrink definitely needed. Doc is good, but this is more mental health that requires specialist.

Hunter please at least voice your concerns over to Triage.

Wait. Blade escaped? Why?

Huh, keep at this and you will invent the magic circuit.
Imminent mental breakdown warning.

Now Luna helps. Well, better late than never. Memory lapses? This is not good. Does the mental degradation causing Radiant to go mad have anything to do with this? Ok, maybe not Luna, if she's busy playing poker. Or maybe she just took a quick break and fixed it.

Glad to see Bolt finally talking about her problems. Small steps. Won't be seeing her completely fixed by next story, unless there's some big time skip involved.

Huh, how much medical knowledge does Triage even have? Still think that Dawn will recommend a specialist.

Enchanting worldbuilding is interesting. Wonder how this would mesh if the unicorns / Bolt makes a circuit, while at the same time electronic circuits started somewhere else.

The memory lapse wasn't actually something she was suffering from in the real world, but rather the dreamstate, kind of like how you can do something one day, and then have a dream where it hasn't happened yet. Same situation. In the real world, she wouldn't be facing that scenario, but in a dream?

As far as Dawn's knowledge of psychology, she holds a capable range of education in it. In the Rangers, mental trauma isn't a surprise (after all, they deal with a lot of dangerous wildlife) and accidents happen. Hunter isn't the only one to lose friend or family in the Rangers, and Dawn has dealt with all manner of survivors guilt, PTSD, and other mental trauma as a result.

Um, not sure what to make there, I half expected her to wake up midway through and find that her success was a dream, but this chapter seems... rushed. I moves forward very quickly with little cohesion, and Blade and Mint escaping?
Blade wouldn't betray her honour like that, she was beaten fair and square, contract terminated, and while she'd be exiled, it wouldn't dishonour her, whereas running from a fair cop would.
As well as Mint? the meekest of the two sisters, granted still as smart but seriously.
Besides that, the escape, how? I highly doubt that the princesses and guards would let such a dangerous enemy go, unless she had another teleport crystals, but since they knew she had made those wouldn't they have searched her for them. Not to mention the delivery "Hey troops, the criminals that we spent all of our time since our first assembly trying to apprehend have just escaped and I'm only telling you about it now, also we're not pursuing them under any circumstances even in the periods not compiling gear and skills for our next op."
Okay that was a bit harsh but my point's there, a bit rushed. However this is the first of your side stories, so maybe I'm being short-sighted.
Good so far though
Honora Imperator
Edit: Incidentally just realised that I barely said anything good, but wow, so Sky Bolt finished designs that would not only preserve the Dusk Guard Budget, but turn the entire field as a whole around? Sweet. Great work Sky Bolt :pinkiehappy:

So I double-checked ... and it looks like you missed the Epilogue of "Rise," since your last post was on chapter 42 of 43.

Don't you know? You always check after the credits for a stinger! :pinkiehappy:

As far as the questions raised ... all I can say is "MANIACAL LAUGHTER!"

Which isn't really saying anything, but I can't very-well give stuff away now can I? :raritywink:

Honestly, I think my favourite characters are Nova and Sky Bolt. Nova because he is just so "chill with a side of badass", and Sky Bolt because she is quite a bit like me. We both like to tinker with things in our own little workshop space, and then proceed to completely confuse someone with a long winded explanation of how our latest creation works, whether we were asked or not.

Also, does she have ADHD? If so that would be another commonality.

As a veteran with PTSD I am impressed with how well you seem to grasp the impact it has on someone. Not sleeping, flashbacks, the effect it has on one's life. You really did it justice.

Thank you. I'm glad to hear that I did well with it. When I set out to write "Carry On," I knew that handling Sky Bolt's PTSD would be a delicate issued that deserved careful treatment, and I ended up doing a lot of research into PTSD and reading accounts of those who suffered from it in my search for accuracy. I'm very glad to hear that I seem to have succeeded in giving it the weight it needed.

And on another note, thank you for serving in the armed forces.

Ah ha! It looks like Sky Bolt will be dealing with the stress going forward in the Saga. I feel that it's a very nice development of her character, and could open the door to a lot of meaningful interactions with her friends.

I mean in addition to what's in this story, of course.

You gave me a little double-fake-out. At the end of Rise I was happy to see the long awaited ride with her parents taking place, and was simultaneously sad that you didn't want the ending to overstay its welcome with another scene. So at the beginning of the story I thought, "Oh yay! We get to see the flight!" Then Sabra showed up and I thought, "Oh, dangit! It's just a dream."

And then the nightmare turned out to be utterly terrifying, so I'm not complaining so much as saying, "D'oh! You got me!" :pinkiehappy:

oh wow. nice story. I m impressed with how deep you have gone with her psicology, maybe this the first or one of the most of the fic I have read that make a character so rich

Yeah, I knew from the very beginning that despite her words when she first met Steel, she really didn't know what she was getting into. She'd never actually faced death before, not in that way, and I knew right away that her dealing with the mental effects of what she'd signed up for would play an important part of her character. It'll continue to be a part of her and who she is, along with how she and the rest of the characters grow. :pinkiehappy:

Thanks! It took a bunch of research, but it paid off.

It's been said but I have to say it again. You did a wonderful job here with Sky Bolt, and a great starting look at a very difficult and extremely real scenario and situation for her. Really looking forward to seeing how this progresses.
Also a great job of working the whole 'was that really Luna in the dream' angle. I think it works really well keeping that vague from Sky Bolt's perspective.

very nice. the PTSD is very deep, which enriches sky bolt's character. the whole dusk guard has nicely 3d personalities. i love it. overall very good job. the second chapter felt a bit rushed, but thats probably just me. :applejackunsure:
so overall :yay: :rainbowkiss: :rainbowkiss: :twilightsmile: :moustache: :moustache: :moustache: 7.8/10

Where's Luna, dangit?

Once again I'm sucked in, you can definitely see the PTSD poor Sky Bolt has.

Very good story...not sure why I took a 4 month break in between the first chapter and the last two, but I'm glad I decided to come back to it. 10/10.

“It doesn’t matter!” Nova said. “Even if it was after three uses, you just cut the cost by a third!”

Shouldn't that be "cut to a third" ?

As I'm reading this, my brain is making ALL the connections to the Stardust series.

A word of caution. I am glad you're enjoying the saga, but don't forget that the Dusk Guard's cameo appearance in Stardust is canon for Stardust but not for The Dusk Guard. The two universes stated quite independently, and while the crossovers are fun, they are not canon for The Dusk Guard Saga. Also, the crossover was in effect as of the first two side stories and makes use of the characters, but not the overarching plot of TDG.

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