Am I dead?
No. I can feel my limbs. They're numb. I can't move.
Have I been captured?
There's a sound. Voices. Women. Talking about me.
Oh God—there's something attached to my spine!

* * *

Audiobook by Scribbler Productions.
An entry for The Most Dangerous Game.
Speedpaint of the cover art.
Edited by GaryOak.
The Royal Guard

Chapters (4)
Comments ( 108 )

New Horse Voice story? Oh lawdy, it must be Christmas! :pinkiehappy:

The title still makes me think of The Room. :trollestia:

Oh my.
Good one, as always. Much emotion. A little fast (picky, picky, picky). But ... You actually succeed in not making a bad story based on the subjects. It's good. Well done.

So far, I don't know what to make of this. On one hand, there's alicorn OC, summoned-hero OC, ponification, jumpcut to a relationship with a mane char, and seventh element of harmony with an element that has bugger all to do with friendship. On the other, it's supposed to be read like that.

Yeah. :applejackunsure:

... holy shit.

Balls. Now I'm really glad I soldiered on, because this was genuine grade-A Horse Voice storytelling. No more details because spoilers.

Neh, I didn't really like this. The idea behind the story was good, the twist was fine, but the whole thing happened far too quickly for me to ever become attached to any of it. I never really became involved with the plight of the protagonist because I never had a reason to care about him as a character; indeed, I didn't really have much opportunity to see him develop or grow as a person. Thus his struggle, his betrayal, and his sacrifice all meant nothing to me.

I was wondering why you thought it was a good idea to throw in essentially everything back in chapter 2, and it was a clever way to use all of those things... but the pacing just killed the story for me.

Oh, nicely done. I feel an incremental sense of relief that I decided even before this was posted that I would skip out on this contest.

Great to see a new story from you again!

It was a lot of fun to edit, I tell you what.
Honestly, I wasn't bothered with the pacing when I looked at this. It's meant to be compact; lengthening the story by a significant amount would change its complexion, not to mention possibly violate the 15,000 word limit of the contest for which this was written.

Solider in Equestria, human turned alicorn, OC 7th Element...they should call you the Trope Breaker

Ah, Metropolis.

What this guy said. Even if we didn't learn his name, I still think we could have felt for the character a little more.

I'll come back and read this again tomorrow, because there's usually something about Horse Voice stories that will hit me like a sucker punch the second time I read it.

Well, some stories are hard to tell in short story format. In this case, I needed to care about the character in question, as otherwise their sacrifice is meaningless.

The only response I can come up with is, "Holy Shit. Well, there goes my quota of mind-fucks."

Don't have time for reading at the moment, but am I off base, thinking of this?

This story would have benefited from being longer. At least, that's what I think this story is missing. For instance, take a look at this quote:

"Please understand," Celestia says, "what we have done is against everything the royal family has always stood for. But we had no choice."

Celestia echoed this idea throughout her conversation with the narrator, but we never really got to understand just how desperate she was. Compare that to the crisp rationalization in the decisions made in Biblical Monsters, and I think that's the root of why I think this story suffered. I guess the story tells us a little too much for my tastes.

I did like that we were given just enough details to reasonably guess Battle of the Bulge, but I don't think it was interesting enough to make us care about the narrator's fate.

I still think this story is very under appreciated. :applecry:

And so it begins.

This was interesting. Your twist was interesting. However, because of your word limit, said twist lacked the impact it should have made on me.

Hey everyone. Please pardon the late reply; I've been loaded down with work. Now, then...

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You know, I think you all have a point. The trouble is, I'm a slow writer at the best of times: It would normally take twice as long to write a story of this length. So something had to give. Luckily, my next one won't be a rush job.

And yes, I was thinking of the Battle of the Bulge. :twilightsmile:


Partly. Also this song:

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Muchas gracias, everyone. :pinkiehappy:

Author Interviewer

Well dang. :O I was actually kind of expecting, given the title, that our POV character was the "Johnny" that represented British soldiers in folk songs, etc. That he was literally the embodiment of a hundred thousand soldiers who died in the war and were brought to Equestria to appease Moloch. :B Instead, I almost feel like there wasn't quite enough here to give that final decision weight, though you certainly did justice to the various prompts. Good work nonetheless. :)


That was sort of what I was going for, but only symbolically. I'm almost kicking myself that I didn't make it literal as you say, but I can't seem to hack a way of having it make sense. Ah well.

Author Interviewer

Just lose the whole "fifth sacrifice" bit, have him think the Princesses are sacrificing themselves and then find out at the last moment that he was very wrong. :B Not that this is feedback you can act on now, of course. But I'm pleased with myself for catching those unused threads, if that makes you feel any better. :D

I'll say. If this weren't chapter 2/4 of a Horse Voice story, I probably would have bailed.

What's really got me knackered is the, um, "forshadowing". I hesitate to call it that, because it's wielded with all the subtly of a hammer. I suspect HV's doing that on purpose, but to what end, I can't imagine from here.

Holy shit, HV. Guess you really know how to end 'em.

I'm going to have to go back and read this thing like a dozen times to get all the bits, aren't I?


You flatter me, sir. Normally, it takes only three or four reads to catch everything. :raritywink: Glad to know I've still got it... somewhat.

A rush job with strange restrictions, and it shows. I liked it a lot, but, as others have stated, it lacked the characterization I generally associate with your works.

When I realized he was a human-in-Equestria/Alicorn/in a relationship with Rarity, I wondered why you hadn't just gone all in in the contest and made it second person.


I figured, it would have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

4636479 if you put a gun to my head and made me pick a winner in this contest, I think I'd give it to Cold in Gardez, because I think his story is better written (in second person!!) and made me care about the characters within.

Your take definitely has the moral and ethical questions I've done to expect from you, though. Makes me think about what is a lie and the justifications for telling one. Did Celestia steal a death, or take a life? She isn't prescient, so was she sure the protagonist was about to die? Would she be willing to sacrifice herself and the other alicorns instead of fighting, no matter how small the chance?

Now I'm not so sure who I would vote for.


Ah-ha! So this one did do what I intended, more or less. So it wasn't a waste.

Of course, I don't expect to win anything. The competition is just too good, and I'm out of practice. But I thought I could at least put on a good showing, and do something audacious while I'm at it.

But, um, I promise I'll work on character stuff with the next one.

Incidently that's a great pic of Discord on the cover there.

Well, I liked it. Granted, that's not saying much, but I don't see what some of the comments are talking about. I loved how you played with time to convey the unreliable memories, how you made everything mentioned matter, and how you left the ending ambiguous. After all, it's first-person perspective. We can't find out what happens next if the narrator is dead.

Also, you used best filly, so bonus points right there.

In all, most enjoyable. Thank you for it, and best of luck in the judging. :twilightsmile:


Thanks! And you as well.

Argh, and that's where it ends. Imagine me flipping a table while hitting the thumbs up.


Oh dear, I was afraid of that.

I'm planning on writing a blog post with my thoughts on the issues you mention once the contest results are in. Short version: I had to do this one in about half the time I usually take for these; the contest's prompts necessitated the use of bad ponyfic cliches; the production was constantly interrupted by unexpected IRL problems. I'm amazed I even got it done by the deadline.

I promise I'll do something completely different for my next story.


It's okay Horse-y. You can do it! You gotta BELIEVE!!!


For what it's worth, all those problems aside, I think you did a bang up job. Is this fic perfect? No. Does that matter? No, I don't think so. Perfection does not equate to enjoyment and I really enjoyed this story for what it was.

I generally disagree with most things MtM says in his videos (and his habit of talking loudly over his collaborators like their opinions can't possibly be as important as his grates on my nerves like billy-o). This was no exception. This fic might not be something you're as proud of as some of your other works but by no means is it a badly written fanfic and the premise is inventive enough to snag and keep a reader's interest on its own.

Tis an...interesting tale, and given you are you, entirely what I would expect when going Dark.

In the end, I think I'm walking away choosing to believe in the best ending - that he blew that sucker up once and for all. And that the entire thing was Celestia scheming, as always, to find someone who -could- do just that, to save not just Equestria, but other worlds as well, because I am a cream puff who likes as much light in the darkness as possible.

Well done, and glad it's not as painfully tragic as biblical monsters :heart:


That's the good thing about ambiguous endings. It's also why I make a point of not deciding which option is the "correct" one. :raritywink:

Thanks for reading!


It's kind of funny, because usually, I want something concrete, even if it's unpleasant. I think this one is an exception, mostly because I'm loathe to imagine a foe that is truly something that Ponykind could not defeat, that would require an immortal sacrifice. Not that I would doubt for a minute they would do it, but that in some ways - well, it's the old comment about 1 death is a tragedy, 1 million is a statistic.

This was okay. Not great, but solidly okay. The only real problem I have with it is the pacing. Slow it down a bit, add some more depth to your world, and this could be a top-notch story.

A little too predictable, but definitely interesting. Great job, especially considering the constraints involve,

Holy shit a HiE story that I instantly like.

It's definitely different than the usual ilk I see in that genre. Hope it keeps being awesome.


They told me it was impossible to make a Human story great. I said, "challenge accepted". In fact, I said it three times. :rainbowdetermined2:

Thanks for reading!

I think the reason why my view on this fic is so positive, is because it averts my problem with a lot of HiE stories. There's way too many stories that make me wonder "God, is this guy a self insert? Wish fulfillment?" Yeah.

I agree that the pacing could be better, but not to the degrees the naysayers seem to say. One or two more chapters expanding the.content in chapter 2, some more foreshadowing in regards to the big spoiler, and some insight to the protags past would have done it. Maybe 3,000...4,000 words tops?

Its still very good as it stands, regardless. The short length leaves me wanting more.

I hope they won, it would have been satisfying. After being manipulated, he comes back to aid those who toyed with him even if he despises them, only for things to turn out alright. It's kind of like the saying: "Living Well is the Best Revenge". It doesn't fit the story perfectly, but get's the idea across.

umm....I loved the story but, just to clarify. he went nuclear right? magic nuke? anyone?

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