• Member Since 14th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen Yesterday


Not a changeling.


Crime was easy before Princess Twilight and the First Five ushered in a golden age of Harmony. Back then, any idiot could plan a robbery, just like any rat could sneak through the cracks in wooden granary walls. But now that everything is cloudstone and clearsteel, with magical countermeasures over the few remaining holes, it takes a different breed of rat to survive.

"Slippery" Jimmy the Grey is one of the rare few ponies who can still slip through the cracks — even with the legendary Rainbow Corps on his tail. Now he's got a billion-bit heist planned in the gleaming skyscrapers of Cloudsdale. If only he hadn't made the mistake of stealing from a dragon …

Now with a reading by Illya Leonov and Scribbler!

* * *

This is a crossover with Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat novels, but it assumes no knowledge of the series.

Winner of February's Writeoff Association competition! * Featured by Equestria Daily! * Featured by Seattle's Angels!

REVIEWS: "Highly Recommended" by Titanium Dragon; "Recommended" by Present Perfect; rated "Why Haven't You Read This Yet?" by PaulAsaran

"The Iridescent Iron Rat was not only my favorite story from the most recent writeoff... it's my favorite story of anything I've read in months." —Sharp Spark

"What a ride it is. This story is made of awesome moments." —Casca, Seattle's Angels

"[A]stounding on so many levels. … If there’s one story from this round you have to pick, make it this one." —Corejo, Seattle's Angels

"Absolutely beautifully done. It fits the style and feel of the books to a perfect T." —Themaskedferret

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 117 )

Thanks to Titanium Dragon for post-Writeoff editing assistance!

I'm tagging this Complete — it was written as a self-contained story — but feel free to fave or follow if you want more. I won't promise further updates, but it was fun to write, and I'm not even going to try to pretend that the ending's not a sequel hook.

Tracked this so hard I think it left a dent.

Don't worry, those hammer out. :raritywink:

This last writeoff produced a ton of really solid stories.

I wrote a review of this story; it can be found here.

Nicely done. I'll admit, it left me wondering who you had in mind as Angelina... :scootangel:

And adding into Tag-a-long's Book Club.



Really excellent! Now I'm going to have to go and dig out my old Stainless Steel Rat paperbacks…


Well, I didn't expect something like this this morning! I like it!

Nice story. Only problem I see is that you are overdoing with the "magic(traits, and stuff)", that will likely cause plot holes later on.

I swear, you write purely to make me fangirl at you.:derpytongue2:

Flowed nicely. I really liked the start of it. The airbus ride. And the finale, while not a shocker due to all the well placed clues, still had a small surprise that got me to smile about Mr. Rat's origins. Loved it.

> “ … prepared with a homeopathic solution of animal parts, … ”

¡Homeopathy! ¡Not even in the wide wide realm of Equestria could this ridiculous horseapples possibly work!

I recall the old books, having read them ages ago. I think i might have them somewhere, id have to dig them up.

But, as fail worthy as memory can be, this tries, to recreate that feeling. I think it does, in part, yet also has some of the charm that writers like laumer grabbed, but was true to harrison.

You can expand on this, you've set the bar to the level of doing so.

Nicely done. I'm glad to see that you backed off of the vaguely dystopian feel. The Harmonization process still has some creepy connotations, but now it feels like the Rainbow of Damocles wasn't the principal force in making society stable. Definitely looking forward to however you may choose to continue this.

Oh dang, this was one of my favorite book series ever, and definitely one of the best crossovers I've ever seen of it. Well done!

This is more like a prologue than a complete story. Really interesting too.

And now I'll go read those steel rat books. Sounds interesting.

5649479 Thats very true to the older steel rat books, the process was very horror inducing in what it was implied to happen.

Between this and "Space Princess Luna" you guys are just spoiling me with classic scifi lately.

The first thing I though of was the Stainless Steel Rat. Glad to see that someone still remembers ...

Will be following this story and you as well...

I loved Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat books, in particular the first trio. While it's been a number of years since I last read them, you've quite solidly captured the feel of the first and Jimmy is very much in line with Jim. Top notch world building, absolutely and totally loved what you did with the place. Certainly did feel like Equestria, just given a few generations of smoothing over and technical updates. It does work well to mirror the galactic civilization in the original books, too.

Oh, I do so hope that the Complete label is just perfunctory. After all, you've only covered the first section of original novel and done a truly marvelous job of it. I really, really want to see more of this world and its protagonist. Further cameos for the mane six I expect will prove interesting. And I want to see who winds up playing his Angela most of all.

Thank you for the fantastic read! Have a truly well earned like and favorite.

Hot damn its beautiful already!

My lord, that title alone is a kick in the reminiscence. I am looking forward to this in ways that can only be quantified in "Squee" code.

I slap my seal of aproval on this story so hard, it becomes the walrus crushing the robot officer through the floor.

Well, that makes his radio, safe. :trollestia:

Whooo Hooo, we got Crusader, now we got The Rat. the Golden Age is Back. :pinkiecrazy:

Favorited right away and hoping for more! Loved the Stainless Steel Rat books, and a pony version of the series would be awesome. Please give us more!

All of the science-fiction fans (and authors) I've talked to hate The Stainless Steel Rat. This story is probably *better* without knowledge of that series.

See i would think that a career criminal woulntd simply agree to work for the government that easily.

Dunno, I love that series. It's silly, yes, but still quite amusing.

Well that was an adventure. Nicely done.

Wow! A Stainless Steel Rat homage. I'm adding this to my faves.

And if you like that sort of thing, I have a Retief/MLP mashup I'm working through.

What made you think of this?

It's true to the source material! Slippery Jim usually has an improbable array of sleep-gas capsules, smoke bombs, micro-explosives, adrenaline pills, &c up his proverbial sleeve.

yeah I normally don't do this but the internet does have meme's for a reason


dang was this good

Lemme just say that I LOVE stories that blend the fantastical with the scientific in the way that you have with this thing. The whole "traits" thing reminds me an awful lot of the Gene Tonics of the Bioshock series (although I assume you're just using a magical equivalent of something in these "Steel Rat" books) and many of the other things you've described (Cloudstone and whatnot) giving me some interesting world-building ideas. Also, I like how you implied that the rest of the Elements of Harmony became alicorns rather than dying or whatever. I look forward to seeing whether or not you continue this series.

And now, I'm off to look up these "Stainless Steel Rat" books (and see if they're worth buying on my Kindle).

Man, I'm just on a roll with your stories today. Certainly a deserving win in the Writeoff. Kind of glad I didn't enter this one :)

Next month's coming up soon, though. Another minific contest, which is inherently unpredictable, but still fun. Sharpen your knives!

It's been a long time since I read the Stainless Steel Rat stories (the old story - the original stories were very good, but he went off in the last few). This was a nice take on the style.

If you do decide to write more, I'll read it.

Gotta catch up on comments ...

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It's really heartening to see so many people recognizing the crossover going in! AugieDog was the only one to recognize the source material in the Writeoffs. I didn't think it was that obscure, but these days it's definitely filed with the classics.

I can certainly understand mixed feelings about Harrison -- he was something of a pulp author. Personally, I cut my teeth on the Rat books and loved them (and reread one before I wrote this; it has largely aged well, but you can definitely see the social attitudes of its era), but I was never able to get into any of his other series. 5652067 clearly isn't alone, though.

You probably have enough information from these three chapters to guess at where I would go with Angelina ... and you'd be mostly right, but it wouldn't be a horizon story if it didn't subvert your expectations somehow. :duck:

Thank you! It was neat seeing how easily the galactic civilization became future Equestria; I walked back the ubiquitous surveillance some, but the quasi-utopia (with the unfortunate implications 5649479 and 5649784 mention) seemed rather show-tone to begin with. As for Mane Six cameos, I hadn't specifically planned any, but given that Rarity is still around, it stands to reason that the Rainbow Corps might stand for friendship in more than just name ...

I'd have to diverge some from the source material to give them roles (unless I did something really weird like making Applejack the Morality Corps and Pinkie Pie the Time Corps), but there's certainly room for Jimmy to work not-quite-alone with a lot of background support. And of course I could always do the Saves the World thing and send Jimmy back to the days of the show and/or the Celestial War.

You know your Harry Harrison! :pinkiehappy:

5654297 You carry the spirit of the books well. I hope that muse continues to inspire in this regard.

You got the Rat down pat! More, pretty please! :raritywink:


And of course I could always do the Saves the World thing and send Jimmy back to the days of the show and/or the Celestial War.

During any point of the show, could be interesting, especially if you attack it from an unalterable-timeline POV. Sending Jimmy back far enough to mess with a younger Celestia, before she became the experienced princess we all know? With pre-Nightmare Luna running around?

Oh, that sounds far too fun! I could see him jumping at the opportunity to take a shot at Celestia before she hit her prime, when the world was much, much more rough and tumble.


I know it would be difficult to really equate, what with the huge change in actual technology between the series, but how would jim deGriz do against, Special Circumstances? :trollestia:

Or any other company or group, that had access, use of full and proper working atomic von neuman machines? and quantum linked to a Mind?

Got around to listening to this while I was out on a run earlier today, and it ended up being exactly what I was hoping for. It's been a good few weeks for sci-fi ponies.

5647006 Congratulations! Tagging this story "complete" qualifies you for admittance into the Evil League of Evil.

IMHO if you have Rainbow Corps, you can make someone introduce Crime.net as a counter. If there are crime fighters spec ops(CRIME FIGHTER CUTIE MARK YAY) the criminals have to evolve as well, get ORGANIZED. And the best thing about people like Bain is that he actually can be a law-obiding little clerc during the day ... and the biggest crime boss all around with First Five on his tail at night. And an armed assault is a trademark of PAYDAY crew.

I tend to avoid crossovers, it just seems that most of them are video games I'm to old to recognise or other material I have no interest in.

But a Stainless Steel Rat pony crossover? That's something to sink my teeth into.

I'm looking forward to future Slippery Jim diGriz The Grey stories.

Wow. I wasn't paying attention when I clicked through to this story, and I had no idea that it was a crossover until I re-read the full summary. God, I wish there was more just so I could soak in more of your words, but the way it just wryly powers through to the end without losing steam is satisfying in its own way. :raritystarry: This is easily the best thing I've read on this site so far.

I have never read the books this was based off of, but reading this has piqued my interest.
This was very well made.
I can't really say much more than that.

5655697 The problem for me is different, sure I might have been old enough to play but I never did. I wasn't allowed to have many video games growing up. But now I can go and find and play the really old games just for the heck of it! And to understand the crossover I guess. That's a bonus too. Now time to find out about this Stainless Steel Rat. To Wikipedia!

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