• Member Since 11th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen 4 hours ago

Bad Horse

Beneath the microscope, you contain galaxies.


Derpy just wants to bring ponies their mail. She's not trying to save the world.

It's funny how things work out sometimes.

My "More Most Dangerous Game" entry (7th place). Thanks to Axis of Rotation and AugieDog for editing. Drawing of Derpy is by Celebi-Yoshi. Wasteland by lindbalk. Reviews by InquisitorM, Titanium Dragon, Burraku_Pansa, and Pen Stroke.

Chapters (11)
Comments ( 198 )

The Postman-inspired?

-heads in to read and find out-

Edit: Probably not! But a rather interesting look into a shadowy, context-driven setting from my perspective.

Intriguing concept, BH.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this is the first story of yours I've read in a while, and what pushed me into it was suspicion of Fallout: Equestria content. I think you're off to a great start and can't wait to see what's next!

Also: how is that ankle?

“Go out into the yard and bring me a switch, Sun, and it’d better be thick or I’ll pick one myself.”

Huh, switch. I'm guessing it should be stick?

However this is an interesting start. I like it. Hope you finish it by the deadline!

@Bad Horse...

An interesting story-premise, even if not original. I would say run with this fan-fiction to its end even if you do not make the entry in time.


Actually "switch" is correct, it is a branch that has been cut and trimmed to a single piece with no protrusions, generally used for physically beating ("punishing") someone with (not necessarily children, but often referenced so).

How does this story have more than twice as many thumbs-up as views? :derpyderp2:

Not that I'm complaining.

5530673 It's totally Postman-inspired, if you mean the David Brin novel. But the contest word limit is 15,000 words. I like The Postman's setup better, where the guy isn't a postman at all at first, and gradually comes to accept it as his mission.


Ah, sorry didn't know that. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I'll read this eventually, but right now I'm just curious what coincidence led the two-year-old incomplete (and fantastic) "The View From The Window" to be the only "Also Liked" story.

I like the concept and the execution of this chapter. Tracking.

I mistook Corn and Sun for the same pony initially. Sun's introduction just slipped right past me, though I guess that's more my fault than the story's.

target acquired, preparing to like.

target liked, good job boys, return to base.

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor cosmos-shaking cataclysm will stay these messengers from their daily rounds.

Derpy always seems to shine in post-apocalyptic settings. I look forward to more.

This is some solid writing. Good luck in the competition!

… I can say that, since (barring time travel and a great deal of boredom) I won't be competing against you. :trixieshiftright: Going to try to clear out some of my unpublished backlog instead.

Dark and adventure is my favorite tag combo!

Ooo, so you're entering the contest? I personally wasn't very interested in the idea of it, and if I recall I hadn't read any of the fics we were allowed to choose from.

Anyway, so far so good! I always have a sweet spot for Derpy-centered stories. I'm hesitantly tracking this, just because Dark isn't always my thing, depending on how it goes. Wild from chapter one has a strong voice and personality which stand out, and the change of heart wrought on him by the letter added some needed humanity to him (I thought) and extra dimension (he's no longer just your typical, post-apocalyptic-made-cynic, cold, harsh and narrow-minded (narrow-minded because we all know it is a mailpony, and so does Sun, and so Wild comes off as being thoughtless and a fool, despite his caution being a good thing and experience making his suspicion reasonable, while Sun appears the more open-minded one; the fact that there isn't much to warm us up to Wild until the end helps with this too; when you find yourself not liking a personality it's easier to stamp negative judgments on them)).

The danger to Derpy feels real in the second chapter, and the midair attack carried some great tension and fear, I thought, even though the sparse prose made it a bit difficult to clearly picture the moment in my mind. Speaking of that, the introduction to Sun confused me at first, because you try to be creative (always a good thing) and don't directly introduce him, instead attempting to naturally let him fall into the story. But because of his name, I thought the line, "Dammit, Sun!" was referencing the actual sun (despite not making sense that way), and so the line, "Wild should’ve whipped the colt last time..." seemed to reference Corn. It wasn't until Wild almost smacked him with his rifle and the name Sun is directly linked to a pony that I started catching on, getting confused as to who was who until I reread the whole passage and managed to figure it out.

I'm looking forward to more of this, and I hope you win. Since you're going with a more utilitarian, practical, and not-detail-or-emotion-laden prose, you'll have to seek emotional investment and impact through the hard-matter of the story, as you already know; the events, the character actions and dialogue; basically, everything you've been doing. I say this simply because there will be entries that are "prose-heavy"; descriptive, lots more words and usually less character action but more character thought, attempting to absorb the reader and be evaluative and thick with emotion, whether it's actually really there or just a slight of hand by the author. From what I've seen in the writeoffs, stories that do this well tend to gather a lot of favor, partly because they easily appear to be trying to say something grand and thematic; but so can the stories that stick more with character action, and they can pull heartstrings and shout their message just as loud and clear, if not more so, because they communicate to us the way in which real life does; by stuff happening to us.

Anyway, I'm just rambling now. I don't know when the deadline is, but good luck!

P.S. I wouldn't indent your paragraphs if I were you. Not because how you've formatted it is wrong, but because it's unusual compared to how fics are normally formatted (from what I've seen), and it caught my attention at the very beginning. And you just know there are going to be those in the group of judges who will get annoyed by what they consider weird formatting or anything that distracts them for even a second and dock points from your story, despite how ridiculous it is to do so. But it happens, so I just thought I'd point it out. :twilightsmile:

Duty is a heavy burden.

Excellent tension in both the midair conflict and the cliffhanger. I love your characterization of Derpy. Eagerly looking forward to more.

Nice little story. Hope Sunflower's letter gets threw... :derpytongue2:

... You're getting me extremely nervous for Derpy ... I'm really not liking this feeling ...

Best of of luck, stay healthy, and safe.


The duality of attitudes you have going on here is fascinating. How Derpy is valiantly trying to uphold the values of the former life, while the new life pressures itself in is well-worked.

There was an instance of 'letterm' instead of 'letter' in the middle, but otherwise, solid chapter :V

5539511 Agreed. Its a very well done piece borrowing elements of the Postman without being a word for word copy of it like some crossovers are prone to do.

Well done, all around... :derpytongue2:

Just wanted to say: it's kinda raw, but I'm kinda liking it. Hope you finish!

5541680 I expect it to be kinda raw, but it's too new and too far out of my comfort zone for me to tell where it's raw. Does anything in particular jump out as under-developed?

And why does "Also Liked" keep recommending "The Great Purple Unicorn Troll: Ultimate Edition"?

Pfft, this has my vote as a winner.

Sweet! A fellow Brin Fan. I loved that book pretty well, too, and was wondering if this story was inspired by it. Apparently my suspicions were well-placed. :pinkiehappy:

Welp, this is going into my imminent reads bin.

David Brin's "The Postman" is one of my all-time favorites, despite the strange "Sci-Fi" ending, so I expect great things from this.
Just a note to anyone who's seen the movie, though... Do yourself a favor and read the book.

Now, if I could find a pony story based on Neville Schute's "Trustee From the Tool room" my life would be complete ...er.

Sweet! Don't give up, Derpy. Hope never dies, at least not until you reach management level. :derpyderp1:

As much as I love the Postman dearly, wasn't one of the rules that you couldn't do a crossover?

It isn't one so long as you don't introduce actual characters or objects from it.

5542962 Hm. Technically, maybe. Oh well. Not my business anyhow, I suppose

Harassing a postal worker is grounds for suspension of service. Goodbye, Appleoosa. Hopefully, you'll all learn from this.

This is a great difference from your usual repertoire. I'm thoroughly enjoying it, especially the emotional background and tension.

Interesting how you kept the outcast pegasus ideals from FoE and worked them in your favor. I love the internal dialogue in this one, it's a great accent on the whole thing.

Keep this up, Bad, I'm all over it.

Really liking this story. I have no idea what she's planning on doing now though, since she just threw away the closest thing she had to a plot hook by which she might "help stitch an Equestria back together" last chapter.

Why the shorter chapters?

5542955 I'll be very cross if they consider this a crossover. The only thing I took from the book was the same basic starting point.


Nothing stands out as underdeveloped, it maybe just needed some copyediting. Your sense of narrative and character seems strong.

"Raw" has several meanings, and I'm beginning to realize I wasn't quite sure which one I meant. Not all of them are bad.

This is very good. You have me very VERY worried for derpy a few chapters back.

Finding out it was "Postman"-inspired moved this from "probably read it later but maybe let it drop into the abyss of my Read Later list" to "at bat".


This is the first time I've seen a comment section with two people having horse avatars, and I couldn't stop laughing at the thought of horses gracelessly pounding away on keyboards critiquing other horses' literature.

Hmm... I wonder what's going to kick Derpy back into gear?


It's inspired by, not a crossover. There are no names from The Postman, be it locale or person or thing.

There but for the grace of Celestia, goes Derpy.

And now there are copycats. It begins.

What manner of divine providence has given Derpy a second wind? Perhaps the future will tell us how that letter found its way to her, or perhaps it will remain a mystery.

I don't get it. Who's copying whom?

5549063 I thought it was pretty clear. She found a letter that didn't come from her mailbags, addressed to her, on the floor next to the mail slot. Just as if someone had delivered it.

Haven't had an opportunity to read this, but the premise reminded me of something:

'The mail is sacred, and sacred is the trust between the Post Man and the recipients of his precious parcels. You have made a solemn pledge to deliver this letter to the doctor, just as soon as you determine where this address is, or find any sort of discernible mailing address in this wasteland, for that matter. The mail is freedom. The mail is life. The mail is civilization. The mail is the one final hope for resurrecting a dead planet from its ashes, and the letter carriers are the brave soldiers of God in this righteous crusade. They are the defenders of the light of knowledge, free communication, and the exchange of ideas. They are the bold toters of all those little papery conduits of freedom, the white postmarked angels that whisper a message on their deliverance, a promise to the yearning: "There is hope yet."

Liberty. Reason. Justice. Civility. Edification. Perfection.



I liked the movie

I'm really liking this story so far, particularly with how personalized the end of the world seems to be. We're following Derpy through post-apocalyptia, not having a grand description of what went wrong with the world.

At least, that's what it's seemed like up until this chapter. I don't know, Derpy seems like she's living life from day to day at the moment, so it feels out of place that she is reflecting on the issues plaguing ponykind that led to Equestria being what it is currently. That in itself is not the root of the issue though. I think that the major issue is that it doesn't seem personal, which is a major break from everything that's come up so far.

The sickness didn’t come from here, she thought. It came from us.

Everywhere else, where ponies had ordered wind, clouds, rain, and plants to their liking, it had all died the minute the guiding hoof was drawn back. They had tamed everything, and in taming it made it weak and helpless.

We were so smart. Thought we knew better, knew how to run everything. But eventually, everything fought back. And once the Princesses and the Elements of Harmony were gone, ponies were revealed for the vile, petty, stupid creatures that they were.

I dunno. I'll try and figure it out while I read these next few chapters.

It wouldn’t try to frighten her, or justify itself to her, or try to make her confess that she deserved it.

And damn, this is one of the strongest lines in the story so far.

I believe that he thought you meant that this author had copied this kind of story or another author had copied this one, as the Your Human and You ones went, same with that cosplay people ending up in Equestria stuff went and basically all good original ideas on here go.


I think that the major issue is that it doesn't seem personal, which is a major break from everything that's come up so far.

Good point. I think that was a new theme trying to emerge. I've tried to beat it back down now.

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