• Member Since 28th Aug, 2011
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Cold in Gardez

Stories about ponies are stories about people.


You remember Canterlot. You remember the taste of victory. Across a thousand years and a hundred lives, it was the greatest joy you had ever felt.

And then, in a flash of heat and unbearable light, it ended.

Now you are alone. The rest of your kind are dead or scattered, and you cannot hear their thoughts.

There is a void inside you. A gnawing, endless hunger you cannot escape. It is killing you.

You need love to survive, but there is none of that here. Not for you. You can only steal it from them, these ponies for whom we are hungry.

[My entry in and winner of the "Most Dangerous Game" contest."]

Chapters (5)
Comments ( 196 )

This is beautifully written. Bonus for me that you gave it the ending I was hoping for. :twilightsmile:

I love how you painted the atmosphere of this story, not just in the description of the environment, but of Gin Star's emotions. It really offset the typical feel of a 2nd person fic. It was a little difficult for me to get past all of the "you" at the beginning of the story, but at the same time much of what would have felt as being "telly" if written in 3rd person was easily neutralized by that.

I knew you'd pull this off; obviously there's a good reason 2nd person fics fail, and for me at least it's because they often destroy immersion by their nature. But I was happy to see that you truly made this work.

EDIT: Removed errata

Whoops! I didn't catch the foot thing, CiG. I cry your pardon a thousand times, sai ;_;

Otherwise, Excellent! Still love it, still think that this little thing is phenomenal.


I can't say much more. I'm drunk, so I'd merely type words without meaning. It was... right.

Frankly, I'm tempted to give this a chance... but the 2nd person perspective really, really, REALLY prevent me from getting in it. It... no, it just drives me off. And that's too bad because it sounds interesting but I just cannot stand the 2nd perspective narrative.

Ooooo, I really like that vision range and colorful changelings idea. Same for the bit about them being reborn through the hive.

Some of these details are familiar, and I just realized why, they are callbacks to the Everfree chapter of Lost Cities.

What are these wet things leaking from my eyes?


Wow, that was so engaging I didn't even consciously recognize it was a second person fic until I read the comments at the end. Apparently I had already forgotten since yesterday that you had one of these incoming.

10/10 would read again.

Touching and evocative, though I think partway through I lost sight of the second person viewpoint and mostly thought of it in terms of third person. Either way, quite enjoyable.

I can't help but feel that "For Whom We Hunger" would be a less clunky title...

In any case, you have worked wonders here. This is some fantastic worldbuilding for changelings, from sensory details like color perception and emotional gustation to physical differences compared to ponies like temperature tolerance and copper-based blood. (Well, probably copper.)

But the best differences are the psychological ones. Instar is a stranger in a strange land, an alien with a truly alien mindset. That kind of thing is incredibly difficult to capture, but you pulled it off to great effect. He's just close enough to the usual mentality that we can understand and sympathize with him while still enjoying the different perspective. And his continuing confusion regarding pony genetics was fantastic. You're not the only one trying to figure that one out, pal.

Even his name was well selected. This is indeed a story of metamorphosis, of the awkward time spent between two stages of life. Seeing the transition was heartwarming. In all, a magnificent story from start to finish, and the various Everfree flora were just icing on the cake. I'd wish you good luck in the contest, but you clearly don't need it. Thank you for this story. :twilightsmile:

That was brilliant! You completely immersed me in Gin's world and perceptions with a masterful use of the second person. The plot was simple and quite predictable, but Gin's emotional voyage wasn't that straightforward, which made it very poignant for me. Very solid story, Cold.:yay:

I'll second everything this fine gentleman said. I loved the attention you gave to the little details, and you did a fine job making the second person perspective work well for the story. Overall, one of the better stories I've had the pleasure of reading in a good while. Thank you for making this and sharing it with us all. :eeyup:

Nicely done. The only part I didn't like was the Ponies crushing the skulls of helpless Changelings. That's going into Ponies Worse Than Humans territory, and I don't cotton with that.

i am loving this changeling story its awesome

Another brilliant dip into this complex canon you've woven, complete with a fresh spin on changelings and their inner workings.

Now don't get me wrong, you've gotten a like from me on this one, but I must say, the process of the little orphan foal warming the heart of the wary fugitive - although well crafted and evocative - seemed...somewhat less fresh to me. Tired, almost. But, like I said, it was presented very well, so I still consider this a successful endeavor, Cold. :pinkiehappy:

This is a beautiful work of art portraying a unique (at least as far as I know) take on the changeling society, psychology and the aftermath of the invasion. I would eagerly read a sequel if you ever decide to write one.

10/10 will read again :)

This story is wonderfully written, but I just can't get into second-person writing.

Have a thumb though.

This is a great story man, I usually don't like second person writing but you pull it off great! Good job.

Great, now I want a sequel... Great story :P

I usually don't like second person because it rarely depicts my reaction to a situation. However, every detail in this story fit the personality you've given this character perfectly. I fell in love with the character the moment it wished the spider good luck because of the reason you chose to have it do so.

Amazing, an overall great story...


~Crystalline Electrostatic~

Sounds tasty.
Will read later.

Bedsprings creek, and you hear the heavy thud of his hooves on the floor.

"Creek" should be "creak", as detailed here.

You heard their first mewling thoughts, so like yours, incohate and disoriented.

Should "incohate" be "inchoate"? As far as I can tell, "incohate" isn't a word.

4617585 i think the word the author was thinking of might have been incoherent

4617964 The two words can have somewhat similar meanings, but within the context, inchoate is a much better fit.

Brilliant work, Gardez. Like Lost Cities, a very atmospheric piece that I found myself utterly absorbed in throughout. A rare case, I think, of second-person style actually working to enhance immersion rather than break it. I get that not everyone will feel comfortable stepping into the protagonist's shoes, as some people do carry an unstated expectation for second-person stories to literally be about them, but I've never really had any trouble stepping into the role of a character. Call it a carryover from my days in drama. Call it a result of playing so many video games. Point is, this worked for me in a big way, and I applaud that.

I think it also helped that the subject matter of the fic is something that second-person style works well for. As another commenter put it, in any other style this would feel substantially more tell-y. But given that it's about changelings, a lot of the emotions that other characters are feeling do need to be outright stated, because our perspective character is one who doesn't rely on subtle cues to tell emotions like we do. To him, it is obvious and in his face, and the second-person style actually helps greatly. We can truly see the world how he does through it. That's clever, and a good example of turning your limitations into strengths.

As well, it's also just some very well-done worldbuilding, both for the changelings and the Everfree, and that's always something that I can appreciate.

This story is the most beautiful collection of words to grace the fimfic feature box in a long, long time. I am at a complete loss to describe how impossibly amazing this is. Nothing I could possibly say would do justice to the wonder that flows from the diction of these chapters.

Awesome is what describes this story very well. Very well. And not only because of the fact that I am a changeling lover, but also because I believe this is a work of art, and an inspiration.

This was a terrific idea and spectacularly executed. The pacing was right on the money, exposition-wise, and the atmosphere you created using a fairly monotone narrator was excellent.

It’s a long time since I have read a Changling-story. And your story is a nice one. :pinkiehappy:
The "you"s didn’t brother me, the story was more a third-person-one for me.
I wish you luck for the contest!

Comment posted by H3lios deleted Jun 30th, 2014
Comment posted by H3lios deleted Jun 30th, 2014

Loved it but I cant help but feel there could have been a lot more. I also like that you didn't do what so many other changeling fics do and contradict the comic cannon. At least not directly as it is conceivable that any changeling that didn't regroup with Chryssalis would be cut off.

I miss Instar and Saw Dust already.

i somehow...thumbed this up twice... huh...

This is one of the most fantastically written pieces I've ever seen. Bravo good Sir/Madam. Bravo


I need to have you read these things before I publish them.

Marked for correction. Thanks!

this was great I was half expecting him to have his name changed to red fern or something
it would have been nice symbolism

Second person? Op, I have a question for you...

Are you a fucking retard?

Oh man. Second person is hard to pull off, but this was done so well I didn't even notice it. This promises to be excellent.

Have you even read the damn thing? And if you have, why is second person an inherently bad thing? Why couldn't a story written in the second person be good (as, I would claim, this story is)?


Because second person is the equivalent of fluffed greentext. If the story's worth writing, then it's worth writing in first or third.

This is really good. :yay: yay

Beautiful. Nothing less. :pinkiesad2:

Such a nicely refreshing perspective to, rare to see the alien hive mind not as some malevolent side of a bug hunt.

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