• Member Since 15th Aug, 2014
  • offline last seen March 5th

Midnight Ice Cream


I come from UK. Recently I've had the pleasure of enjoying MLP and figured that it would be a good idea to create an account here and give writing fanfiction a pop.

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Funny isn’t it? Everypony thinks Equestria is a utopia, a place of friendship and magic where everything is just fine. But all you see is Ponyville and Canterlot. Wonderful cities to be sure, but didn’t you notice how the rest of Equestria is different? Unfortunately all your world sees are propaganda reels from our universe. But even then, you can surely see the difference.


Perhaps you’ve noticed how the country isn’t run as such. Of course we have princesses, but when they hold court all they do is solve small disputes, little issues, they help two enemies become “friends”. They resolve matters of the greatest important to the individual, but of no importance to the nation. If they did anything it’d involve stumbling into a town, forcing ponies to shake hooves and hoping for the best. There are no real laws, the only law here is friendship.


Perhaps this system works. I’m certainly no authority on the matter, but I’d like you to entertain the idea that it could be improved. Just a thought. Oh but what do I know? I’m only a lieutenant in Her Majesty’s Royal Guard. I am a pawn in their machine, ready to do their bidding, absolutely loyal to my celestial masters.


All I suggest is that someone should help them fix Equestria. Someone who can look beyond friendship. Who me you say? Forgive me, but I am but a guard. I pledge only to do my duty, that is all. Whatever that may entail...
____________________________________________________________________________

Disclaimers and additional notes:

One doesn’t need to have seen or read either version of House of Cards or have an intimate understanding of politics to understand this story. It is only a parody in the loosest possible terms, that being it is about power and politics.

This story is not meant to endorse or reflect any real world political opinion or candidate. It is a work of fiction based on my observations of the political landscape in Equestria and the absurdity of such a society.

As I began writing this in 2014, the canon may differ from the show. I have attempted to keep it accurate up to at least season 4. There are certainly references to things that happen later than that, but beyond a certain point I’m pretty loose with show canon.

Not sure if all tags are correct, will edit as required.

Art by: Nightjarish
Instagram: http://www.imgrum.net/user/nightjarish/3448427025
Deviantart: http://viv-chibi-love.deviantart.com/
I don’t think I could have ever asked for such a good artist. It’s such a pleasure to have your work as a cover for mine.
Prereader: Azure Drache
I cannot give enough thanks to this guy for putting up with my crap and helping make this the best story possible. It’s been a real labour of love for the both of us and a real pleasure working with him.

Chapters (27)
Comments ( 120 )

Interesting! Get tracked.

7718743
I thank you.

I hope you continue to enjoy this one. There'll be a chapter every week.

I will attend them shortly, but first I need to asses the situation.

Quite certain you meant "assess."

I'd also suggest you have a consistent method for indicating perspective shifts. You one just the one space for switching to Miss Soda and back to the lieutenant, but many for looking through Luna's eyes. A horizontal bar and maybe underlining who's next might be a good move, but however you do so, make sure it's the same each time.


Minor spelling and formatting aside, I'm curious where you're going with this. Keep it going.

7722076
I shall edit that right away.

I see what you mean. I'd forgotten to underline all of the names and titles of each of the characters on the published version of the story. On the original document it's all underlined with only space between them. Thanks for bringing that up, I'll change it, and make sure to sift through the Fimfiction version before I publish anything.

Well I hope you continue to enjoy this, there's plenty more waiting to be published.

I must say, this story sparked my attention from the very beginning. Mostly because I adore when authors look at the ponies and events from different perspective and generally think outside the box.
Also, Earthheart is a really realistic and enjoyable character. One of the best 1st person POVs I've ever seen.
The chapter itself is packed with so much emotions, thoughts and details I would think isn't even possible...
The only problem storywise I had was Sparkling Soda. I understand that she's a daughter of butler of one of the most classy ponies in Canterlot, but... I sort of felt her the formulations of her thoughts belonged to much older pony. I think this is because of the first scenes with her, where I got the thought of her being really young, if I were to relate to human age, about 4-5 y.o.

From the written side, I can't say much. There were some commas/ full stops missing, for example:

Now if you don’t mind, I believe that translates into an early night for me there should be something goodnight.

Also, when someone is stammerring, it's usually like this: "I-I..." not just "I I..." But those were just a minor troubles.
As for Luna's Shakespearean English, I didn't have troubles reading even if I'm not a native English speaker. Though I have met this form before, so maybe it's because of that. If you are going to change it in future chapters, I suggest you change it here too.

I'm really glad you made that promotion thread, because now I have one more interesting story to read :twilightsmile:

Looking forward to next chapters!
-Ever

7724236
I'm so glad that you liked it.

Earthheart was and remains to be a character I find truly enjoyable to write. Even in the history of this chapter he's gone through a lot of changes, from being a cold calculating psychopath to what he is now.

You've got a point about Sparkling. I'd say more about that but I'd be giving too much away. There's plenty in store for her though.

Thank you for pointing out flaws like that. I read over everything I write, so I'm bound to miss some things. I've got a prereader too, but he's not a natural english speaker so please forgive us for mistakes like that. I'll edit anything that's pointed out.

I've changed the way Luna speaks because at this point in the story I cared about show accuracy. Beyond a certain point, I forget exactly where Luna started speaking in a more modern English, so I liked the idea of changing that organically.

I hope you continue to enjoy the story, the next chapter will be out on Friday I think. I'm going to experiment with Fridays and Saturdays to see which one works the best as far as activity goes.

7724236

As for Luna's Shakespearean English

It is not so much a problem to general understand what she says but the details are important in this story so it should be clear what she say. And of course for the nnes (non native english speaker) pre-reader it is difficult to adjust the logic of the scene if he have trouble understand completly what she say. Midnight really care for even small details and so I have to understand completly whats going on to find errors.

belonged to much older pony

The author is the boss in the end :raritywink:
7724342

I've got a prereader too

Pre-reader not editor! Gramma and punctation errors are your own Midnight :rainbowwild:

7724359

Well I had my reasons to keep Sparkling like that. Maybe they were right, maybe they were wrong. But whatever the case may be, that's what's happening with her character. I hope that she improves.

As for prereading, you're damn right. It's my responsibility, but some things will inevitably fall through the cracks. So I very much appreciate anyone who does find problems like that.

"Earthheart."

I'm impressed... :pinkiesmile:

7727270

"I'm glad you think so. It's a name I proudly wear, one of great martial prowess."

Enjoyable chapter. I'm curious which course will the plot take from here :twilightsmile:
Earthheart has now a serious rival in Sparking in the contest for favorite character. Also, brilliant Celestia :trollestia:

Noticed some typos, I'll send them through PM so they won't be stranded here even after corrections were made.

7731832

I'm so glad that you're enjoying it so much. Might I ask what your favourite part has been so far? Also was there anything beyond typos that you didn't like about this chapter at all? All for future reference to help me improve my skills.

Thank you very much for pointing out those problems like that. I very much appreciate it.

7731845 That's a tough one... a tie between the sisters teasing each other and Sparkling dealing with the officers. Also, the pokes into the princesses or the uncompetent officers usually propose a great fun and reasons to think.

Well, the people I proofread for can confirm my brutal honesty. Though I must say, I haven't found anything worth a sin here. But I'll make sure to tell you once a thing like that arises.

You're welcome.

7731866

I very much enjoyed writing Celestia in that Luna scene. I didn't want to pull the Tyrant Celestia trope, I didn't think it was accurate, or very entertaining to be honest. I wanted a Celestia that was probably deep down quite nice, just bored and by this point too tired to really care anymore. She's perfectly willing to just enjoy everything and make fun of it, with catastrophic consequences. I thought that'd be an interesting antagonist, not malevolence just decadence and decay.

Same with the officers really. They probably all signed up with good intentions. But they're bored, they're doing nothing, and they're not really being trained. Quite recently I was chatting with a guy in the army who was talking about his experience when he was stationed in West Germany during the cold war. During their off time they were incredibly decadent, they did whatever the hell they wanted. They smashed cars, got into fights, and made absolute wankers of themselves all because they had nothing to do.

This was really because I was disappointed in villains like Tirek or Sombra. I thought it'd be good to have a more complicated antagonist, and not one that can just be defeated in a fight.

7731900 Writing ponies from non-canon or non-mass-headcanon side is always fun...
And I agree, especially about Tirek. All he did was just mindless rampaging around. Though Starlight on the other end would make for a good reccuring villain if she wasn't redeemed.

7732007
I loved the Our Town episode and I liked what they were doing with Starlight until she was redeemed. I don't necessarily oppose redeeming. But the way they did it was simply terrible. I'd have had Starlight Glimmer as an idealist of sorts not just a power hungry cult leader. If you think about it, she addresses legitimate grievances with Equestria, but goes completely overboard with her solution.

What would have been interesting is if Twilight and Starlight both understood that both systems had problems and learned off the other.

7732023 You tell me. It's a pity they didn't explore Starlight's ideas more.

7732036

She could have been so great. That would have made such a good friendship lesson. Ah well, I guess that's what fanfiction's for isn't it?

7732040 Well, if we all were ultimately satisfied with what the show offers, we wouldn't be here, right?

7732068

To be honest mate, I gave up a few weeks before the finale. I forget which episode, but by this point the show really doesn't appeal to me anymore. I started writing this before Season 5, a lot has changed since then.

7732072 Some episodes are still good, but otherwise I can relate to that easily... To be honest, my "main" story has it's roots in the middle of third season.

7732116
I can respect that. Problem with Season 6 though is that the good episodes aren't really good by series wide standards. I watched Smile Song the other day and it made me realize what I was missing. Season 5 on the other hand was weird, it had some really good episodes but some really awful ones too. I hear the problem is that they've got so many people working on everything, that it always gets clustered.

7732126 Yeah, there were even some things contradicting each other and some episodes about nothing. This debate could go on and on. Let's cut it here to "preserve the space" that was left for the story comments.

7732136

Fair enough. Good chatting to you.

7731866

Well, the people I proofread for can confirm my brutal honesty. Though I must say, I haven't found anything worth a sin here. But I'll make sure to tell you once a thing like that arises.

Midnight at least listen every time you adress something that may be wrong. That´s good. Anyway there will be some parts that are open for discuss later but the author had always the last word :raritywink:

Comment posted by Midnight Ice Cream deleted Nov 19th, 2016

7732742

Of course, it's a great process. We get chapters edited remarkably quickly.

And the plot thickens! I must admit, I was a little confused by Earthheart's behaviour, but now I'm hyped to see it continue. Whatever happens, this is gonna be intense! :yay:

7749962
Well I'm not going to spoil a thing so it's very difficult to respond to this kind of comment. I'm just glad you're enjoying it. Really appreciate it.

This is a good story. I'm going to enjoy reading this. :pinkiehappy:

7765300
Thank you very much, I hope you do. There's plenty more of it.

Wow, more questions arise with the amount of revealed answers. Nice chapter!

7765343

Good to hear. When I edited it, I didn't think it was nearly as bad as I thought it was. Very heavy on the old dialogue, I suppose it's no spoiler that I modify that style a bit. It's still similar, but I like to think it improves in following chapters. I also think it's a bit short to be completely honest. I think I've got a few chapters that are only a thousand words, and for those I might upload two in a week, but this is long enough for that not to qualify if only by a little.

Nice to hear from you as always.

Review for the story: Horse of Cards

Pros:
The author really cares for politics and this is very noticeable in this story.

While complicated the story is sometimes interrupted by nice little events that let you mind recover and allow you to focus on the politics again.

Very deep character development throughout the story.

There are a good amount of characters, enough to be interesting, but not too many for it to get dull or overcomplicated.

Logical ongoing world building, many things have effect on each other.

Critical but fair viewpoint on Equestria’s political system.

Some surprising stuff happens now and then you didn´t expect.

Well created main character who acts logically and in character.

Cons:
Sometimes a bit dry due to the themes.

One of the later main character is simply boring if you’re not interested in economics.

A few plot issues.

You should have at least a limited understanding and interest in politics and economics to enjoy the entire story.

Comment section:
Horse of Cards is a political story that will entertain you a lot if you are open for alternative views on Equestria’s political system. It deals with many aspects of rulership and political power. The main character is a good example of how a politician should be according to Machiavelli’s 'The Prince'.However if you don't really care about politics or economics it might be advisable to give this one a miss, even if there are some very good character scenes here and there. The main theme is rather dry and political.

So if you’re up for a game of kingmakers and behind the scenes intrigue you’re in the right place.

7770567

Thank you very much for that review. I'm glad you enjoy it for the most part.

My respect to you for all the rhymes. It was extraordinary!
Then Luna the Drunk Realist and Sparkling. I'm glad she doesn't seem to be after Luna's flank anymore. At least not that much.
Also, fourth wall just exploded into my face :pinkiegasp:

Given the hints, the next chapter is gonna be intense...
Sunday afternoons sound good :twilightsmile:

7783012

I'm so glad that you liked them! As I recall they were quite a trouble to write properly.

I think Sparkling is more than anything fearful. Celestia she sees as actively dangerous, while Luna is just to her just something to pity.

I loved the fourth wall scene, it was just such a joy to write. I still chuckled while looking over it this evening.

You might very well think that Everfree, but I could not possibly comment.

One doesn’t need to have seen or read either version of House of Cards

Where can I read the other version?

7783487

Both television versions are on Netflix, I haven't read the original book. But I'm sure you can get it on Amazon.

Whoa, you fleshed out the entire political system of equestria in this.

Oh Earthheart, you are one interesting imp. Still, you did it for the good of Equestria. Or at least for the guard.
I hope that lots of alcohol and changeling spells aren't a lethal combination. I'd hate to lose Luna...
Also, where have Cadance gone? Or is the princess of love to soft to fight?

This whole part was just opening? *faints quietly*

7787213
"I'm glad you can see where I'm coming from. It was entirely justified."

I shan't comment on your second point.

I don't think I really did Cadence any justice. It is assumed she was either defeated or fought offscreen. I wish I'd thought of that while writing. That's just a flaw on my behalf.

Yup, this is just the start... Of Part 1

This will be a long and interesting ride, and I will stick with it till the very end.

7787294
That's wonderful news, it makes me very happy that you're enjoying it so much. I hope it continues to satisfy you.

Celestia is an imbecile in this.

7897544
Forgive my late reply, for whatever reason I wasn't notified until now.

What do you think of her? Do you like the character?

7933504 I think she's a ruler who's gotten so used to finding peaceful resolutions (relatively anyway) that she's forgotten that that's not always an option and that sometimes a lethal option is the best one.

7934054
Well she's pretty much that in the show isn't she? Except friendship always prevails in the show.

I think you've got an interesting perspective on this. I'll ask you this though, how much of Earthheart's rhetoric is true? Is Equestria really crumbling or is he just justifying his own existence?

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