• Member Since 25th Feb, 2012
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I Thought I Was Toast


Insanity is just creativity to the nth degree.


T
Source

"I asked a changeling once why they would think peace with Equestria was possible. Their response was the title to this book. I had asked a question on politics and gotten a calculus equation in response. Changelings are odd like that sometimes. They see things differently than the rest of us. I ended up pondering his response for a long time and even dusted off my old calculus books to look for an answer. One day it just clicked in my head what he was trying to say.

Changelings are capable of change.

It was a somewhat redundant answer, and it was a really bizarre way to give it, but I understood what he meant. Changelings, just like ponies, are capable of both good and bad, We could make peace with them, and help them learn to better themselves. That was what the changelings wanted, and ponies everywhere were fighting it. It is for that reason I began creating this book. Within this tome you will find a collection of essays, more like candid stories really, directly from Princess Twilight Sparkle, the Princess of Friendship, and Prince Morpheus, leader of the Changeling Hive. These reports detail their lives from the day negotiations began. That is the day the Prince himself began living in Ponyville, and it comes with the story of how he and the little town came to adapt to each other as negotiations were occurring. It is my hope seeing their story will show anypony reading this there is no reason to distrust the changelings so, and, perhaps, it will give you insight into the strange little changelings as well. They truly want peace, and, despite the treaties being signed, we can only truly give it to them when we let go of our distrust."

-Changing Times, Author of dC/dt ≠ 0

Cover Image by Void Heart who's work is awesome.
Currently Editted by: Dreams of Ponies, zimmerwald1915, reprovedhawk, Malefactory
Previously Edited by: Twilight_Scratch, Zeta040, StainlessKey, Flink

Chapters (63)
Comments ( 1022 )

5681391 It basically means that the attitude of a changeling is not parallel to the "ground", that changeling is not a fixed thing but a living, breathing being, always in flux, and capable of and sometimes major changes.

The Equation origins from calculus (Differntial calculus) where you calculate the angle to the reference axis, in this case time. The equation means that if you plot C (Changeling), it is not parallel to the t-axis (time).

(I'm putting this story in my bookshelf but I promise to read it)

5681405 I still don't quite understand but i guess I'll see what I can do. Only thing I want to know is where Chrysalis is in this story. Hmmmm....

5681391
Basically in calculus there's something known as the derivative. The derivative is basically a function that gives you the rate of change of another function. If the equation equals zero, then the other function is incapable of changing. Thus -- as the title is not equal to zero -- it roughly equates to "Changelings are capable of change over time".

5681427 That makes sense. You see I am Greek and we have different terms for math than you guys do. We are rarely taught what these terms in english are. Sorry...

When I looked over the title for the first time, I thought it said that changelings weren't nothing. It went like this "Hmm... okay... so if d= a number, it can't equal zero, as having it equal zero would lead to dividing by zero. And by that logic, C cant equal zero either... OOOOOHH..."

5682258 d[Var] is a calculus term.
dy/dx would be the instantaneous rate of change of y in terms of x. (Meaning the tangent line of the equation at that value)

So if given a position function "f(t) = t^2", the velocity function would be "dx/dt = 2*t".

In this case, the title means the change in Changeling Population over Time isn't zero.

You will find that Equestria was never at a disadvantage in the negotiations. In fact, we were in complete control.

Don't you think that's a little bit too arrogant of a statement to have? Even with the contract being what it is. Like it's putting ponies on a pedestal as if they're the holy protectors of the changelings are the whimpy whimps.

To be honest you can't control a nation, a species, or whatever say whatever you want to say about that you just can't. Contract or not.

It's the same mistake other changeling fics do... they put either side upon a pedestal of righteousness in order to have the other recognize their mistakes. I pray that this won't be the case.

There was no denying that the changeling in front of me belonged to whatever caste Chrysalis had been.

How does Twilight know there are even changelings caste? This is a big assumption from her part.

Chrysalis’ minions had been

You think Twilight would have remembered that Chrysalis called them "subjects".

“That is why my mother, Queen Chrysalis, abdicated the throne to me. Having failed to both provide for the Hive and to discover why she had failed she passed that charge onto me.”

Wait wait wait... are you saying that... this is all Chrysalis's fault? You know how unrealistic that sounds right? Not only that but it also sounds like Chrysalis is being used as a scapegoat and a coward. Though I don't like her as much as the next person I don't like using scapegoats to escape my guilt.

The executioner’s axe is hanging over our heads, and if we don’t get a pardon soon the changelings will go extinct, so excuse me if I don’t want to answer every one of your hive forsaken questions right now! If you can’t handle that, just tell me now and I’ll leave without bothering you with my proposal.

So wait... Chrysalis somehow does feel guilty, but instead of facing the problem or doing something about it... she goes away and lets others handle it? Oh yea Bravo Chrysalis Bravo! You know you could go by yourself? In fact why doesn't she go? Too much for her ego?

“In this case, the punishment to be inflicted on me should I not carry through on my end of the bargain is death. It would be instant and painless, but it would be death nonetheless. You are starting to understand just how determined I am for peace now, yes?”

Don't you think you're making a big deal out of a geis? Yes a Geis or Geas is like a magical contract that is an "obligation" that the signed one must do. It's like the magical contracts one does with death and stuff. The only way to break the Geas is to break the contract itself but in general though stuff like that are important they CAN be broken. Also it's not so complex spell which is why I am saying you're making such a big deal.

I couldn’t help but wonder for years if he realized just how much power he had given up by admitting he had that spell.

Which is why it's alienatingly mind-numbling on why he would even do it. Is he willing to risk it being abused by the ponies? Does he trust them so much? Why the such change even in desperation? Why not do this earlier and not risk binding a whole race with him in this?

Morpheus... you should have acted sooner. Also you and Chrysalis are not being smart in this fic.

In today’s day and age, the author asserted our international ‘herd’ had grown so large that warring with us is simply too detrimental for other nations to consider.

Globalisation.

“When I drafted it so your party is getting all the benefits, I’m expecting you to at least give me a chance.

Unconditional surrender? You're going to regret it Morpheus I tell you this much. You're going to live but as the saying goes is it really a victory if you lose 3 hooves instead of 4?

“Well, it’s pretty simple. The first sigil depicts that this inscription’s purpose is to bind a creatures magic. The second sigil tells you how many types of magic the creature has total in addition to how many types of magic are going to be sealed. Next comes details on what types of magic are to be sealed, and, finally, comes details on how to release the creatures binds.”

Woah woah woah... he's going to seal the entire race? Has he asked his own changelings for something like this? Are they okay with that?

I get it you're desperate but duuude... NOT COOL. You're really acting stupid right now ((you as in changelings))

The room was silent as Celestia put forth her judgment.

FUCK THE HELL YES! This is the first time I've said it in this fic but in any case Princess Celestia is acting right. Calling Morpheus on his bs of absolute surrender and vows and all like she should.

I think you tried to put your OC in there since you couldn't figure out if Chrysalis was capable of doing this. Her personality ruined your fic but you ended up having "betrayed" her character a bit. This basically and bluntly put ((no offense)) is a copout. From Chrysalis and from you. I am not sure it's even good to say she's even alive in this fic. It would be best ((but ultimately sad)) to say that she was dead. It would also make an impact.

I am still reading but I'm far from liking how the changelings are so stupidly behaving right now. I mean seriously... put all your lives at risk like that? ARE YOU INSANE? Not even in desperation do you do that! Have some dignity!

And what I don't want to see is either side put with "the holy duty" and put upon a pedestal. Because seriously your "intro" gives of that vibe. Okay the changelings are capable of change but giving the air that at any moment a species could blackmail them even with the laws in place makes them look like beggars. I seriously would like you to dispell that for me in future chapters.

5682762

Don't you think that's a little bit too arrogant of a statement to have? Even with the contract being what it is. Like it's putting ponies on a pedestal as if they're the holy protectors of the changelings are the whimpy whimps.

Huh... I meant that more as hyperbole. So yes it was supposed to be arrogant, but not only arrogant sounding. Thanks for pointing that out. I'll try and avoid that in the future.

As to everything else, yes it's a completely idiotic move, but subterfuge can't save them now and that's all they know. Chrysalis made the first completely idiotic move in revealing changelings to ponies in a military conquest. That's why they're that desperate now. Yes it is stupid, but they didn't exactly have an option. What I have failed dismally to do though is give the impression that not all changelings are going along with the idea. They submitted yes, but only out of necessity.

cataloged and stored the day’s events in the Archives.

May I just point out the sheer magnitude of organic material that such a memory would require and how I believe this is a bit unrealistic? Where is the Hivemind? Can it be destroyed? What happens without it? Did it always exist?

Regardless of our failed musings, I woke early that morning, refreshed and ready for the day.

You realize that sleep requires minimal activity of the brain to function and is more about resting the mind than everything and you just had the changeling run simulations all night long? How is that a rest for the changeling? I am sorry but i am confused.

There was no telling what the side effects to the castle or myself would be.

Which brings me to another point. CRYSTAL HEART!!! FEED OF IT! Seriously if you scratch the Cadance reaction that would likely be the same can you tell me how much easier it would be in Ponyville? And I doubt the "Discord" thing is enough excuse since some time earlier Discord had equally or worse tortured Ponyville himself.

taxidermic collections

Odd thing for a pony to have. You think they'd prefer not to do stuff like that.

Emergency Morning Elixir

Wait... Did Twilight turn coffee magical? GIMME DAT SHIT!

That was what led to this whole integration idea.”

So the changelings will annex themselves as a nation to Equestria or something? Do I have to even mention how bad of an idea that is and what it could do for the changeling culture?

The last report tried to impress the devotion the changelings have for peace upon you. It may be dark to think how they were willing to essentially sign their death warrant just to convince us to give peace a try, but isn’t that at least somewhat our fault for being so distrusting of them?

Okay questions...
One:I don't get it... all changelings agree to this? Clearly that is not the case so how did Morpheus even get all signatures? What did Chrysalis do during all the coups and all? Where the hell is she? Did she get dethroned? Also to me, and possibly to Celestia that's not devotion... that's ((if I may be blunt for a moment)) stupidity... and yes distrust doesn't warrant this much surrender. If the ponies were hunting them or killing them then I'd say yes do it with the Princesses... but not otherwise.

Oh and the discussion about the reproduction never happened which makes me kinda sad.

I will track this... but I don't know if it has earned a like or a favorite yet. Especially when the change we are talking about is in danger of being largely dictated by the ponies. No offense good intentions and all but dictating someone's goodness is as bad as brainwashing. I certainly hope I am proven wrong.

5682853 Given what you have said about the changelings I think Chrysalis did a desperate/illogical move. Not exactly stupid... Well how can i say this? It's like when you have been forced to a corner you can only go one way... forward. I bet given the rest of the nations being distrustful of the changelings that Chrysalis considered that conquest is an alternative they have to consider.

As for the matter of having a choice. I'll take an extreme example and tell you about whores... no "exotic dancers". Remember the movie independence day? How the mother says that "it pays". Similarly here it's not a matter of survival trust me... it's a matter of dignity. Sure the changelings need to establish trust with other creatures but that doesn't mean they have to relinquish independence and make their lives forfeit to have the ponies trust them right? Don't you think that goes way beyond a hyberbole? To my eyes that's worse than a mother being a dancer at night clubs.

You're free to prove me wrong and I won't mind accepting my mistakes.

5683104

May I just point out the sheer magnitude of organic material that such a memory would require and how I believe this is a bit unrealistic? Where is the Hivemind? Can it be destroyed? What happens without it? Did it always exist?

Okay, I'm much more comfortable discussing the Hivemind here because even if I do info dump too much it's outside the story. Still, I will attempt to avoid it. The simple answer here is that the Hivemind is as much a magical thing as it is a physical thing. Information gathering and storing is the domain and focus changeling biology and magic. The Hivemind is like their passive earth pony strength. I did mention them having small pools of earth pony, pegasai and unicorn magic in addition to their changeling magic, but it's a rather pitiful amount, and it also tends to be focused on sensation or gathering as well. They don't really get any extra strength from their earth pony magic or agility from their pegasai magic. You'll actually get a taste of just what their pony magic can do next chapter or so hopefully.

You realize that sleep requires minimal activity of the brain to function and is more about resting the mind than everything and you just had the changeling run simulations all night long? How is that a rest for the changeling? I am sorry but i am confused.

Hmm... Okay, let's try a metaphor I normally use when thinking of changelings for this story, namely computers. The Hivemind is kind of like a giant mental version of the internet, and when changelings go to sleep they pull out of their bodies and head all the way to the "server". As to what the "server" is... Well that's a secret.

Oh and the discussion about the reproduction never happened which makes me kinda sad.

Oh it will... While I personally refuse to ship Morpheus in any way, I have a very specific mini-arc in mind somewhere down the road that involves that discussion... I don't want to elaborate on that unless it happens though.

One:I don't get it... all changelings agree to this? Clearly that is not the case so how did Morpheus even get all signatures? What did Chrysalis do during all the coups and all? Where the hell is she? Did she get dethroned? Also to me, and possibly to Celestia that's not devotion... that's ((if I may be blunt for a moment)) stupidity... and yes distrust doesn't warrant this much surrender. If the ponies were hunting them or killing them then I'd say yes do it with the Princesses... but not otherwise.

...it hurts so badly trying not to info dump on this right here and now... and if I do it'll spoil important stuff...

EDIT: Also, thank you for the critique. It's refreshingly useful.

What is that equation, Distance multiplied by Changeling over Distance multiplied by Time does not equal zero?

5683307 Right... If you wish to I welcome pms in this. My skype is dionysiosbbbb btw.

5684089
it's actually a calculus equation known as a derivative. The d roughly represents delta -- as in the difference between Changelings over the difference between time -- but that is not an exact translation. It's easier to think of it as this as I posted in an earlier comment:

The derivative is basically a function that gives you the rate of change of another function. If the equation equals zero, then the other function is incapable of changing. Thus -- as the title is not equal to zero -- it roughly equates to "Changelings are capable of change over time".

5684436 Question why is Spike swearing like a sailor? Isn't that a wee bit overkill? And also "Our brother"? When did he ever know him to call him that? I mean I get it if he would call Twilight his mother or sister but they haven't gotten that intimate.

And the paragraphs in the first chapter... they seem a little... the whole text is placed in the middle.

5684616
Depends on how you want to interpret it. I kind of imagine Spike as being end of preteen to beginning of teenage years (on a mental scale at least) where you begin to act rebellious, but don't necessarily understand how to rebel, or what to do to rebel, or maybe even why you're rebelling. Living in a library and being raised by a scholar, it seems entirely reasonable to me that if he was told a word was bad he'd simply look up other ways to say it that aren't immediately offensive to anyone in a harmless act of rebellion. I can't just come out and say that in the story though. And I'm trying to avoid flat out telling within the story. Normally I have far too much tell and not enough show in my stories. It's something I've always struggled with, so I'm trying to balance it here, but I'm not necessarily good at the show part yet.

5684686 Show don't tell is just a writer's style just so you know. Sometimes there is no luxury in waiting things to be shown. Learned that from a friend. So in the end don't worry about chapter length... to be honest that could sneak in in one sentence and I perfectly understand that. E.g. "Wow wordy little dragon isn't he?" "Don't mind him... he's going through puberty." "Oooh... Yikes!" you could do that. :P And I would be fine with it. It would make WAAAAAY too much sense.

homiest not homeliest when describing the castle

If you hadn't invited criticism, I wouldn't have left this comment, because it could sound impolite if read the wrong way. My point isn't to insult; I'm just offering an opinion which I hope will be of use... So please don't bite. :c

I started reading, intrigued by the premise (and calculus! <3 ). I was excited by promises of a deeply intellectual take on the old changeling integration trope. So I read... and then I ended up skimming.

I understand that this is Twilight's perspective within a frame story involving a wordy scholar, but I think the wordiness is just too much. A reader could skip the first 2k words and not miss any of the actual story. The true brilliance here is buried underneath a facade of purple prose and expository tangents giving bits of lore and worldbuilding better left to implication than lecture. I'd wager a guess that a good third of the 16k length doesn't have anything to do with the story at hand, and when you're dealing with something as inherently deep as cultural integration, you run the risk of exposition overload without needing to add notes about bookshelves and architecture.

In the expository infodump, the changeling 've' is described and detailed, explained to the reader. Then, in the story itself, Twilight asks and Morpheus explains it to her. Why, then, do we need the explanation at the beginning? What purpose does it serve that character interactions cannot? You don't need to both show AND tell.

Not all of the exposition is a problem. Some of it is really good, the parts that are unique and relevant. The visualization of the contract fascinated me.

On a smaller scale, it seems like every sentence is made as elaborate as possible. My issue isn't the presence of elaborate sentences, it's that the whole thing is composed of elaborate sentences, and it becomes tiring to read.

Towards the beginning, the wordiness is ridiculous. I don't need to know about Twilight's bookshelves. I don't need a dissertation on wards; a few sentences would have been sufficient. It's not worth the time to elaborate that much on things that matter so little to the story.

Towards the end, it's beautiful. When Celestia and Luna are present, when the fate of a species is being decided through arcane contracts, it makes sense; it feels right to have sprawling sentences and elegant metaphors... It makes sense to have the narrative voice match the tone of the scene.

I really want to like this fic. The mystery, the suspicion, the intrigue... here's a changeling with a very strange offer; what does he truly want? How do the leaders of the ponies deal with this? That is the core of the story, but as I said, it just seems buried beneath excessive wordiness.

I'm not sure how much was intentional stylistic choice and how much was accident so I'll just conclude with a thought I hope will help either way: have faith in subtlety.

I'd be happy to PM if you want a more thorough/interactive discussion. I really hope something here helped and it doesn't seem like I just spent a few paragraphs being an ass.

Minor note: I would be more in love with the title if the changelings were more obviously mathematical thinkers. Ever read about game theory? If they have a hive mind with such breadth of knowledge and processing power, they could actually have mathematical decision making algorithms that work. Humans started trying it in the 50s but it never really came together... too many variables. Not a problem for a hive mind, though. If that sounds interesting, I would highly encourage that you go beyond the Wikipedia page on "Game Theory," because it's terrible.

5682477 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH... I didn't read the story, sooo.... yeah...

5688395
A more thorough discussion would be nice if you are interested. I could PM you the link to a google doc version if you wanted to comment more closely on individual sections or we could just do it via pm alone if you wished. Purple Prose, Show vs. Tell, and Tell vs. Show have always been a bit of an issue for me. Part of the reason Twilight is the one Narrating actually is because I figured my own wordiness would bleed over into the story and make it less believable if it had been somepony else. And I always welcome critique in those areas, although I have a tendency to get wordy in rationalizing myself back to any critic. I do, however, try to take any and all critique into consideration for future chapters and revisions.

This is thick and dry, but I really like it.

I like your invention of ve.

I was thinking the other day, that a language developed by quadrupeds, would have more than right and left in their language. There would be a quick way to note all for limbs, as well as both on one side, and opposite diagonal.

Still liking this. Still calling it thick, but I feel compelled to keep reading.

Did I miss when the "Contract" was signed? We let ch1 with Celestia refusing to sign it, but here we see the prince forced to obey it.

5713634
About the 5th to last paragraph or so in the first chapter. She refuses to condemn the whole species to the contract, but she also basically forces it on Morpheus as a punishment. Whereas before it was a sign of good will from Morpheus it is now a check on him since he violated Celestia's trust.

The room was silent as Celestia put forth her judgment. She stood tall with her wings spread imperiously, and she gazed down with the cold fury of condemnation. When she spoke I felt nothing but pity for the changeling as she used her ‘To the Sun’ voice. “You have placed me in a very difficult position, Prince Morpheus. I was willing to give you a chance before this little discovery. If it had just been you bound by this travesty of a spell, I would have accepted it as the offer of good faith you clearly meant it to be. However, I cannot and will not condone what you’ve done here. The only reason I have decided not to smite you where you stand is that I cannot, in good conscious, take the chance I am sentencing the rest of your species to an agonizingly slow death at the same time. If you truly desire peace, you will rewrite the Unbreakable Contract exactly as it is and sign it in your name only. You will also sign several Unbreakable Contracts I myself will be drafting. It is a bit extreme. I know that, but it is also probably the quickest and most efficient way for me to make sure you have not done anything else this despicable in the brief time you’ve had access to the spell. I will give you your month to convince me that I can let other changelings into Equestria. Just know that if you fail now it is most likely because of this stunt you pulled. Take that as you will.”

5714034

That's where she doesn't sign anything, telling him to draft a new contract. I would assume that think takes a while to recreate.

5714759
Huh... How'd I miss the implications of that? If she storms out of the castle, she can't have signed the new contract. Guess I'll need to modify that scene in the revisions. Good thing something already comes to mind. Thanks for pointing that out.

Although this concept has been done quite often, the presentation puts an interesting spin on it. Plus, I just like the concept. Well, time to nitpick the spelling.

Chapter 1

as I am not a superstitious mare, and I cannot, in good conscious,

stand is that I cannot, in good conscious, take the chance

conscience

Chapter 2

but ve were confidant he had been informed of the situation already.

Confident. Considering you got it right earlier, I'm assuming this is just a typo.

the one to let me feel what the castle’s feelings.

Get rid of that "s".

5945108
It's sort of a matter of personal preference. When I actually say the title aloud I say "dC over dt does not equal zero" or usually just "dC over dt" for short. That's more informal but catchier than the actual mathematical equation which is "the derivative of Changelings in terms of time does not equal zero". And that, in turn is different from the symbolic meaning that is "Changelings are capable of change." that comes from the fact that the derivative of an equation is another equation describing the rate of change of the first equation.

5945280
5945108

For dC/dt, My math professors would say dee-see-dee-tee. I.e., just the letters.

5945730
hmm... I forgot about that particular shorthand. I think I like that one better than "dC over dt", It rolls off the tongue better.

protected by all of Equestria’s laws

That's a wrong thing to say. Not all laws are designed to protect people. There's no point to make all laws protect them. So remove the "all". Because if an entire legal system is designed to protect a certain group of people then how will you prosecute those people if they do something wrong?

Already, laws are being enacted to prevent this.

First you say that laws exist to protect them, then you say laws are enacted ((this is wrong to say. Laws aren't "enacted" laws are created. Enact means to do, to get something done. It also means to have the role of)) then you say that laws are being created right now.

just as importantly

important*

largest priority

highest priority NOT largest.

These essays, are thus,

Thus these essays are ((I think it's incorrect this way))

I’d need to censor or modify for the sake of state secrets.

Isn't essentialy the secret let out with this book a "state" secret? First you say you censor all secrets then you let one? You should say "all but one secrets".

She is a brilliant mare, Miss Sparkle, but she does have a tendency to go on tangents. Morpheus is harder to describe, but you will hopefully come to understand his peculiar tendencies more from his own reports.

Isn't it kind of ironic that a changeling understands better Twilight Sparkle than he does his own kind?

It's also really strange that you say this fic is going to focus on these two while the Queen that is in the cover. I am quite hopeful that you will have her play a prominent role. Otherwise the whole thing is the same as deceptive thumbnails in youtube.

In fact, we were in complete control. How much control? Enough that the secret I’m about to reveal to you was kept to protect the changelings from ponies, not the other way around.

The changeling writer is a changeling. Unless he considers himself Equestrian then how do you even suggest that the changelings were in control? Also ditch the world "complete". There is no complete of anything.

of zaniness

You mean crazyness?

maroon flavoured alfalfa

Something tells me those three are in the wrong order.

or my horn

and horn*

n ocean dumped on me

was being dumped* I doubt all the liters of ocean in that harbor moved themselves upon Twilight's castle.

would only be painful for them.

Painful? More like instant death. Unless you suggest the sun can be walked upon in Equestria.

On the few occasions I’d seen it used, the room would rumble as if the earth was about to crumble beneath me, and my bones had ached from the strength of the vibrations.

For the record why do you go around it like that? Just say "Royal Canterlot Voice" and be done with it.

Your ancestors certainly ended up retaining Luna’s temper down the family tree

Twilight is Luna's descendant? How... that would actually suggest she had a husband or... you know what? I'll let you reveal that. Cause it's quite distracting.

There were multiples of almost every room, enough sleeping quarters to rival Canterlot Castle’s bustling community, and even training barracks for the guard.

At this point I have to wonder what the fuck tree and what the fuck Celestia. Seriously are these two talking in some way? How did the tree know what to do? Isn't the tree like a force? How come Celestia's and the tree's opinions coincide? Why does the tree castle have the friggin map in it that directs them where to go and how does it know where they are needed? Seriously by now I know the tree is a gigantic plot device or it is created by Celestia. I doubt the tree was so close to the castle by chance.

But enough of that.

“Looking for me?”

By now you meticulously spent 4-5 paragraphs of describing ((please don't get offended)) utterly pointless stuff and succeeded in distracting me from noticing what's important. What you should have done is slowly describe stuff while the two were talking, and not dumpt the lot of this into my way. Also the sheer size of the chapters really takes a lot of time to read and that's something I don't like doing.

Having got past the shock of being snuck up on,

I spent two paragraphs getting into Twilight's thoughts, and NOW you tell me someone snuck up on her? How blind must she and Discord be not to notice someone like that? He must have been in the back of the door or something, otherwise I can't explain it.

and her lesser minions during the invasion.

You know it's funny how Chrysalis refers to them as subjects and Twilight as Minions but I'm going to give you a break since I've told you about this earlier.

whatever caste Chrysalis had been.

Caste is ((as far as I know)) a societal term. That would suggest Twilight thinks he is the same rank of Chrysalis. While that may be true she doesn't know/have confirmed it. I am sure she doesn't exactly know if this difference is an indicator of status or actual biological differencies.

he was still maturing.

Stop giving Twilight author insight. In any case I get that we're dealing with unreliable narrator but there's a small problem... Why couldn't this mean simply that he's shorter than Chrysalis?

“Well that’s what you get for surprising a princess!” It was nice to see somepony besides me glare at Discord for once.

Who is speaking here? It's not clear. And I assume Morpheus is glaring at Discord? Why? Also same for future lines. Make it clear who is speaking.

why we should have lost.

"should have"? Why should have? delete the Should have. I don't understand it's purpose either.

a more pragmatic language compared to more artistic languages such as Prench

pragmatic language? How is Prench artistic either? How is one more pragmatic than the other since both have latin roots? I... I don't get it at all.

“No.” His voice brooked no argument.

Who's voice?

taste like.

Where the ' " ' to end this here? Why is there even an ending if his speech continues immdiately? Moving on.

It was from the day he reformed – the day Fluttershy proved there was good in even the foulest of villains.

What does this have to do with anything...

“Ahem…” The prince banged his hoof like a gavel for attention.

Here in comparison I can say this distraction of one-two paragrapsh of Discord speaking isn't at all a distraction because it is in Discord's character to speak that way.

When they refer to thoughts, feelings, actions, or anything else that they do because of the knowledge they took from the Hivemind, that is when they refer to themselves in plural pronouns.”

Doesn't that actually make knowledge the hivemind gets precede over singular knowledge meaning that most of the knowledge one has about the world comes from the hivemind? And how do changelings even decide what gets in the hivemind and what doesn't? Or does this essentially mean that changelings instantly share everything? TOO MANY QUESTIONS. But I guess this is the "quick" explanation.

Ve came to trust our judgement from that, and I came to you

Wow wow wow... hold that thought. Does the hivemind as a whole have a personality or something? Didn't you say up until now that the hivemind contained only knowledge? I don't quite get it.

he opened a small pocket dimension to withdraw a piece of paper coated in a complex magical diagram.

I could just say here "Show don't tell" but... WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!! HOLD IT RIGHT THERE! Opened a small dimension? From where? What? And also WHAT? How did that look like? How did it happen? Don't just throw these!

a small bubble of hammer space,

A small bubble of what? What? And again WHAT? Seriously are you just saying that that space was the size of a hammer? Explain.

arcane writing scrawled across it.

How the bloody hell does arcane writing look different? Again... show don't tell! I get it it's a magical diagram but is the writing runes? Letters? What is it?

They were discussed – and only discussed, mind you – as a control mechanism for how we might be able to experiment with potential spells classified as apocalypse level or higher.

If it is theoretical it means it can't yet be done. If she has never seen it how does she even recognize it is a sub-circle?

touch with a ten-foot pole

Missing word "even".., with a ten feet* pole. Otherwise it's oddly specific.

A lot of changelings died to gather all the tiny pieces of information

Okay if you're trying to be crypto/dramatic like star wars then you're failing. Because I don't actually give a bloody damn about the changelings that had to die to get this. You know why? ((also I'm sorry if I'm being a bit rude)) Because I consider it stupid that they had to. Not because they had to get the spell I get that. I simply don't understand why they had to die... I know the reason they did it but I think it's quite stupid to see people die without there being any visible risk about it.

that there’s no going back once you sign that.”

Okay I have a question. Is this contract going to last until the end of times or something? Do we really need to doom another species to eternal servitude for a moment of desperation? You do realize that this is kind of subjugating all the races to the ponies slowly right? Add to that the herd mentality and you've got a globalisation effect that sickens me to the core.

The only records left now are those ve possess in our personal archives. And ve will most certainly not be telling others how to make one anytime soon.

Oh yes Morpheus. They were simply secret books before you found them and you've decided to make them public for a whole species! That's a step backwards. Also who guarantees me that there aren't still changelings ((like the ones you suggested performed coups against the prince)) willing to steal such knowledge and actually using it against others?

Even after I realized he was cut from a different cloth than his mother

How? I mean there's being cut from a different cloth, and there's being polar opposites. How does a kid turn like that? I just... you know you had better explain this. Chrysalis had better have her own voice in here cause you're gonna need it.

It often takes time for our new ‘predator’ allies to fully mellow into the ‘herd’ mentality.

Did you just say globalisation changes another species's mentality? How... they are predators. They have to "kill" something don't they? This is getting more confusing by the minute.

If they did something to instigate a war with another nation in the meantime, Equestria got dragged in, and we protect our ‘herd’ very obsessively.

You mean to tell me that they are going to agree to every and any war they intigate? Like really? It's better to say "if they were attacked in the meantime..." or something.

Ve thought about it, but I am not that stupid.”

Does that suggest the prince has some control over what is shared? I mean he just clearly said ((at least to me)) that some changelings thought of this. My question is this... why didn't they do it?

on mead and boar late into the night

Mead okay.. boar? Did you seriously just say Luna ate mandraboar? Isn't that still meat?

legalese

that a valid term?

We have a moderately sized pool of our own unique changeling magic and three much smaller pools for each of the three main tribes of ponies. Our pony magic tends to manifest in different ways than most ponies use theirs though.

You know that actually brings a problem as to why there would only be three. What happens when a changeling wants to imitate a creature that's not a pony?

I cannot help but be suspicious at your complete willingness to sign a contract that amounts to your enslavement for no price as far as I can tell.”

Or is simply and plainly stupid?

In addition to that, since they’re using an identity of their own making they’ll need even more time to establish a social network. If they don’t have a social network, they can’t harvest love. That will take even more time, especially since the social network needs to be as large as possible.

Okay now I REALLY have to ask. HOW THE HELL DID YOU SURVIVE BEFORE!!!

in good conscious

Consciousness

The contract burned in her magical grip. The sigils and stories of the changeling race that surrounded us melted before our eyes into the baser magic behind them.

Did she destroy the contract or the illusion of it? Also there is no such word as "baser".

Circle after circle appeared behind the princess as she forged a spell of incredible strength. She gathered the molten slag of pure magic left behind from the contract and began to craft it anew. What had taken Morpheus months by his own admission took the princess less than a minute to complete, and as she finished the spell the contract blazed with the light of the night sky as thousands of miniature suns formed where her signatures were needed.

Congratu-fucking-lations changeling prince. You just made the deaths of your oh-so-precious contract invalid. If you had just reforged or erased part of the signatures then it would be nice. But what you did just rendered a lot pointless and useless.

I will give you your month to convince me that I can let other changelings into Equestria.

With the time the prince said he has I bet one month is too late. *shrug*

This is a TIRING read to say the least. The GIGANTIC chapters that took hours to comment upon do NOT help.

Is there an actual reason for me to read this chapter? What has been revised?

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Isn't essentialy the secret let out with this book a "state" secret? First you say you censor all secrets then you let one? You should say "all but one secrets".

He's not actually censoring anything here though. He is in essence the first one allowed to publish the truth on the contract.

Isn't it kind of ironic that a changeling understands better Twilight Sparkle than he does his own kind?

Changing Times is actually a pony.

Twilight is Luna's descendant? How... that would actually suggest she had a husband or... you know what? I'll let you reveal that. Cause it's quite distracting.

Wait, you actually seriously digested that bit of info? You do realize that was Discord talking right? As in the being that can make your alfalfa taste maroon when one shouldn't even be able to taste colors? Not all the story is meant to be taken at face value, and not all of it has a deeper meaning. In fact, a lot of your comments seem to deal with a much more literal interpretation of something that's much more metaphorical or comedic in nature or vice versa.

Mandraboara for example was a random pun I came up with on the spot. It stems from Mandragora (A plant) and Boar(An animal). Is it really such an issue if Luna eats it when it could be either?

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No idea. It's about 1.5x as long with most of that being a new scene at the end. Given that most of your comments on the story are negative I'd argue that it may not be worth your time. It certainly doesn't sound like you're enjoying the story, so I'm not sure why you're asking whether you should continue to read a story it sounds like you have an issue with. Not that I'm offended by that. Everyone has their own tastes, It's simply that there's no point to reading a story if you don't enjoy it, and the evidence points to you disliking it.

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He's not actually censoring anything here though. He is in essence the first one allowed to publish the truth on the contract.

So wait... everyone knew that a contract was being made... they just didn't know what contract? Ah ok.

Wait, you actually seriously digested that bit of info? You do realize that was Discord talking right? As in the being that can make your alfalfa taste maroon when one shouldn't even be able to taste colors? Not all the story is meant to be taken at face value, and not all of it has a deeper meaning. In fact, a lot of your comments seem to deal with a much more literal interpretation of something that's much more metaphorical or comedic in nature or vice versa.

But... isn't Twilight under the bed? I mean covering her head with a pillow. Sorry it was just too confusing that I couldn't understand how to take it. Maybe I'm just an idiot that can't understand a joke. I'm sorry.

Mandraboara for example was a random pun I came up with on the spot. It stems from Mandragora (A plant) and Boar(An animal). Is it really such an issue if Luna eats it when it could be either?

No that actually makes much more sense and I should have known since I have encountered the plant in Harry Potter and the same kind of thing in Fruit Bats in Wanderer D's fics. No this actually makes too much sense and makes it okay. No really I mean it.

Given that most of your comments on the story are negative I'd argue that it may not be worth your time. It certainly doesn't sound like you're enjoying the story, so I'm not sure why you're asking whether you should continue to read a story it sounds like you have an issue with. Not that I'm offended by that. Everyone has their own tastes, It's simply that there's no point to reading a story if you don't enjoy it, and the evidence points to you disliking it.

Some parts are grammar, some I don't understand, some ((like the distracting paragraphs describing the room for which I don't care about)) are honest to god criticism because I've been told the same thing.

In all honesty about the room description scene:I have the same problem... I have a bad habit of totaly describing a place when I enter the author area. Since I've made the same mistake I kind of consider it an obligation that you don't...

Some things I complain about is me simply being "emotional" and "fiery" about this fic. If anything you should be happy that the characters are inciting emotion responses within me and getting me so passionate. E.g. Overcoming his own stupidity for Morpheus and the changelings might be something really interesting. In fact Morpheus shows his desperation is a flaw.

Some questions that I have that I don't understand can easily be answered in the future of this fic, and I probably shouldn't have asked them so... passionately.

My only REAL problem however ((past the distracting 3 paragraphs)) and something that is beyond taste is how you changed the scene with Celestia and I sorta don't understand it. Celestia just instantly rewrote the whole contract? One that took someone like Morpheus so much time to make? I mean Chrysalis had about the same amount of power when she was love-gorged so it begs the question... how did she even do that? In any case Celestia could have simply erased all signatures past his which would have been a lot easier. Because it rendered the unexplained((yet)) deaths of the changelings who hunted for this knowledge... pointless. It was like Daredevil regaining his sight after he lost it to chemicals. It was like there was no point.

Besides that I only have one question. Does the contract have a time limit? In any case if you want there are fics similarly using binding contracts that make it much simpler. I understand what you're trying to do with it but one thing I've noticed no matter what plot you're trying to achieve is that if you make it un-neccesarily complicated someone will pop a stupid question and say "Why not just do X?" like Magic in Harry Potter is sometimes so complex that people say "Why not shoot Voldermort in the face?" I mean there's even a trope for that.

Look I understand I was a little bit passionate about this but to be honest I am also a bit frustrated at the stupidity Morpheus has about this.

Past that a minor gripe is that if you intend to have someone in the cover pic that doesn't appear in the fic you're doing the "misleading thumbnail" thing. But in any case any of my questions ((past one or two mentioned above)) CAN be answered through the fic. In any case only real writer's gripe ((past the minor one about distractive descriptions)) is your change of Celestia's actions which could have been infinitely simpler and far more effective/smart.

By forcing me ‒ and only me – to sign the Unbreakable Contract the other lords were now free to interfere with our plans.

That's what happened? So what I said happened? Okay that's good, good...

Then there was the whole issue with mother and the plans I knew she was bound to be plotting.

Is she really going to go against her own son's actions? I mean if we count him as son and not some spawn. Don't do it Chrysalis... don't screw things up.

Filing our preliminary calculations away, a brief flick of my magic alerted the right changelings as to the location and access code of the data in the archives.

That is answering a lot of questions that I probably should have known earlier but I am glad they are being answered regardless. There is at least some control in the distribution of knowledge and that's good.

an uncomfortable silence or my own actions

I am sorry I do not comprehend. You mean he heard nothing else than what noises he made himself?

Traveling the room

I think it's a bit of an overkill to say "travelling" in a room. More like exploring. But that's ok.

Love is sweet as honey.

I wonder if love is honey then what is Royal Jelly? Royal Jelly is Queen Bee honey highly nutritious. I should know my father used to have bees and I learned from there.

the dreamer often has little control of the dream.

That is with the exception of lucid dreaming.

That was only if ve foalnapped Celestia and hooked her up to some copper wires and a potato clock of all things.

You sure you weren't tampered by Discord?

my body was still adapting to the Unbreakable Contract.

What how and when? What did it even do to his body? This had better be answered.

With the contract in place I could not personally defend the Hive, but that did not mean I couldn’t execute any of my plans via proxy. It would be even more of a necessity now that the dissenting lords were free to interfere.

I have a bunch of questions about this but they are too many and perhaps too vague.

The Minoans were gathering for war again, and I had almost found out who they were targeting. At only a 2% chance of invading either Equestria or the Hive, however, ve needed to monitor the larger problems at home.

I see your Greek reference here. Minos and Minotaurs. We are talking about Minotaurs right? Neat! Oh does that suggest that they have 2 percent chance of attacking either or just 2% chance of attacking in general? Does that also mean they know where the hive is?

I had forgotten to grab any crystallized emotions before coming here.

Aaah! Nice to see we share the same headcanon in this. I too use mana crystals to store emotions but I've personally said they are mined in the north, the Crystal Empire at times, since they are most abundant there. Doesn't stop them from coming from somewhere else but that's a good thing. Still forgetting to take crystals with you? Tsk tsk tsk... Prince that's among your first priorities. And you claim to think about self-preservation of the species. Don't let details like that slip darling.

and this was the library to top them all. It even topped the oldest memories ve had on the lost library of Star Swirl the Bearded..

Was the library really that great? I was given the impression that Twilight had to order copies of books and that she was still building it to her heart's content. I'll take that as unreliable narrator.

its centre.

Never really understood the difference between using center and centre.

taxidermic collections,

That's a bit... creepy for a vegetarian species. But I guess there's an explanation about this?

down through the trunk of the crystal tree.

The what? Wait... you mean to tell me the whole castle is a crystal tree? Huh... interesting.

a Kirin work that was as good as banned in this day and age given Equestria’s usual stances on war.

I'll assume the Kirin are like Lady Snow the dragonpony I've seen in deviantart? If so thumbs up for using them... the dragon ponies are SOOO cool.

Emergency Morning Elixir appeared in front of her in a flash of light.

I may be repeating myself at this point but... GIMME DAT SHIT!!! Also insert *snort* Mr Bean:Magic! here...

Oh! This’ll be so much fun.”

Morpheus... WHAT HAVE YOU DONE! Oh god I can already see it. *shivers*

our brother

Well this is a bit surprising. I thought Spike considered Twilight a mother. *shrug*

the Azure Veil,

The what now? Okay I really need to know what this is! EDIT:NVM! I noticed. Also Blue Screen of Death... really obscure thing in general as a joke.

the was a scaley

there*

“Unfortunately, we were just about to talk about changeling reproductive habits.”

Oh you had BETTER tell me about it later.

“From what I have to go on, you’re nowhere near as bad as Chrysalis, and you’re both miles below where Discord used to be.

Okay now I REALLY want to learn Chrysalis's relation with the rest of the swarm and what happened to her form when she abdicated the throne. She has at least some dignity to admit she is not the right ruler if she can't provide or she failed. But I don't exactly know/am sure that this Chrysalis will try something. To have abdicated her throne means she has a serious self problem that's not going to be solved easily.

how afraid Spike feels? Ve could feel waves of negative emotion coming off him even with the castle drowning almost everything else out. He loathes our very being here

Though I understand this connection I find it awkward that a strong defensive emotion can be shown in equal intensity together with a strong offensive one.

That was what led to this whole integration idea.”

Does that mean there will no longer be a changeling Kingdom? This could go infinitely times worse.

“Take my love, but only if there aren’t other options. –Friendship Castle” I paused to study Twilight’s face. It was scrunched up in what I was coming to realize was a sign of very confused, very deep thoughts. Chuckling, I continued. “P.S. Sir Spike ate your lunch to spite you when you guys took longer than exactly five minutes. P.P.S. Don’t take this as me getting too chummy with you. I’m still watching you, punk. I’ll always be watching you.”

Isn't that quite a big message to have in alphabet soup?

“P.S. Sir Spike didn’t actually eat your lunch too, milady. It was just getting too cold for you to comfortably eat, so I replaced it when I replaced Morpheus’. I am sorry for it being low-quality soup from a can, but I’m not the cook Sir Spike is. I blame the lack of claws. Grumble… Grumble…”

Okay let me get this straight. The castle cooked, brought their food there and replaced it. Okay... in what way isn't this weird? Also how do you explain all these things it can do if it doesn't have appendages?

a complete lack of observation from surrounding creatures.”

That sounds like all the horror movies where you turn around for a moment and shit has changed.

Problem is it Castle’s even better at it than me.

How can it be even better? How much intelligence and knowledge does it have and where did it get it? SO MANY QUESTIONS! Harmony Tree you're one BIG plot device.

I don’t have time to go into that this session, however.

Weren't those essays?

We’re already running late and ve have approximately half an hour at most until Celestia realizes ve sent another proxy to one of those dreadful dinner parties. I don’t know why she gets so upset when ve do that. It’s not like the nobles can tell the difference.

I am sorry I am a bit confused, but why does Morpheus even need to do this. They should have all the time in the world but it feels like we're on a psychologist appointment. Hmmm...

In any case what's the ETA on a next chapter? I have waaay too many questions to know about what happens in the future. And how come you sent Spike away? Was he not helping the plot?

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But... isn't Twilight under the bed? I mean covering her head with a pillow. Sorry it was just too confusing that I couldn't understand how to take it. Maybe I'm just an idiot that can't understand a joke. I'm sorry.

No it's fine. My sense of humor can be a bit... out there shall we say. As you pointed out with the Azure Veil joke I often delight in jokes that may be way too subtle for anyone without authors insight to catch. It's more my fault if they're misunderstood than anyone else's. I just wanted to point out that that was happening.

My only REAL problem however ((past the distracting 3 paragraphs)) and something that is beyond taste is how you changed the scene with Celestia and I sorta don't understand it. Celestia just instantly rewrote the whole contract? One that took someone like Morpheus so much time to make? I mean Chrysalis had about the same amount of power when she was love-gorged so it begs the question... how did she even do that? In any case Celestia could have simply erased all signatures past his which would have been a lot easier. Because it rendered the unexplained((yet)) deaths of the changelings who hunted for this knowledge... pointless. It was like Daredevil regaining his sight after he lost it to chemicals. It was like there was no point.

I changed that scene for two reasons. The first was that it was pointed out to me that if Celestia ordered Morpheus to redraft the contract before leaving then the fact that it took months before means it would take months now. Months that Morpheus doesn't have. Second, however, was that I felt I didn't quite do Celestia's anger justice before. Note that A) this is a magical surge on Celestia's part sparked by her anger and B) Morpheus is not love gorged. As to the deaths of those changelings being pointless... Yes and no. Celestia certainly wouldn't have admitted to the Unbreakable Contracts existence if the Changelings had just walked up to her and asked for it. They still needed to find it. And the reason I said changelings died hunting it to begin with is because it just logically makes sense that some would have died trying to find long lost secret scraps of a spell in who knows where. While I never thought up the specifics of where they looked it seemed fair to assume that they either needed to scrounge dangerous ancient ruins or raid highly guarded collections of magical artifacts -- both of which are dangerous.

Look I understand I was a little bit passionate about this but to be honest I am also a bit frustrated at the stupidity Morpheus has about this.

I honestly don't mind the passion or criticism. Just try to mix a little positivity in. Tell me what you think I'm doing right in addition to what you think I'm doing wrong. It doesn't need to be much. I just need something to let me know you aren't just bashing the fic.

Past that a minor gripe is that if you intend to have someone in the cover pic that doesn't appear in the fic you're doing the "misleading thumbnail" thing.

Sorry, forgot to tell you in the last comment. That's actually Morpheus in the cover art. Notice the somewhat shorter mane and blockier snout? That's a male changeling lord. All lords, including Chrysalis, look like that. The King/Queen/Prince/Whatever that rules is an assumed title the ruling lord takes rather than a distinct class of changeling.

How can it be even better? How much intelligence and knowledge does it have and where did it get it? SO MANY QUESTIONS! Harmony Tree you're one BIG plot device.

This is actually easy to answer, but harder to show in the story in one go. It's something I'm hoping to elaborate on slowly in the story over time. Changelings on their own are quite good at probability and are nigh unbeatable when they work on a problem as a whole. Individuals have limits however. That's why Morpheus needed a group of analysts early on. With games, however, it is considered cheating to ask for help from other living changelings. They may draw on the Archives for strategies and the mathematics involved in figuring out how to optimize play, but all the calculations and actions are on Morpheus. Castle is better at probability than Morpheus and other changelings on an individual level, but not the changelings as a whole.

In any case what's the ETA on a next chapter? I have waaay too many questions to know about what happens in the future. And how come you sent Spike away? Was he not helping the plot?

Hopefully a month. Maybe less if things go really well. As to Spike, all I'll say is he isn't being completely written out. He's simply going to be affecting the story indirectly at first. He should be back about halfway through the first month.

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I honestly don't mind the passion or criticism. Just try to mix a little positivity in. Tell me what you think I'm doing right in addition to what you think I'm doing wrong. It doesn't need to be much. I just need something to let me know you aren't just bashing the fic.

I'll tell you this. The single fact that you post so many questions for me shows that what you have to say is complicated and interesting. It's clear that with the sheer size of the chapters that you're putting effort into this. However in that effort a lot of the nifty details are lost and some things are in serious need of answers and need of being crystal clear.

Besides that there are wishes I have that are entirely subjective. Like Chrysalis just abdicates the throne leaving stuff to happen? No that doesn't feel right... I mean she's not just giving up after 1 failed attempt right? She's going to think these things through right? Find the answer? Contribute once again?

Second, however, was that I felt I didn't quite do Celestia's anger justice before. Note that A) this is a magical surge on Celestia's part sparked by her anger and B) Morpheus is not love gorged.

The main thing I am concerned with was she just reforging the spell anew from scratch in an instant. I imagine she just erased all but Morpheus's signatures?

All lords, including Chrysalis, look like that.

Don't they have distinctive features at all?

The King/Queen/Prince/Whatever that rules is an assumed title the ruling lord takes rather than a distinct class of changeling.

Does relation even do anything about this? I mean does relation of blood grant political power?

Hopefully a month. Maybe less if things go really well. As to Spike, all I'll say is he isn't being completely written out. He's simply going to be affecting the story indirectly at first. He should be back about halfway through the first month.

I'll be waiting.

A personal wish is that Chrysalis will learn of all this but that's up to you.

Still liking this. I do think you should break it into smaller, more digestible, chapters. It's very dense, and I can see that turning a lot of readers away.

great chapter as always

“The second reason is how easy it is for us to shapeshift. You need to realize changelings use shapeshifting for essentially everything. Sometimes it’s even an automatic response. The number of ways we have to change our body in miniature ways means we really don’t feel that attached to the original. Honestly, ve’d be surprised if you found a changeling that did. We toss on small changes like make up. Sometimes we don’t change them back.”

..what? no simple "Changelings as a species are mostly Genderfluid/genderqueer"? surely that could of saved some time....

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Thanks.

..what? no simple "Changelings as a species are mostly Genderfluid/genderqueer"? surely that could of saved some time....

It might have, but that wouldn't explain why they're like that.

Also genderfluid is somewhat incorrect in this case. It is more like they are sexfluid? I'm not sure there's an official term for it and it's been awhile since that particular psychology class. Looking back at this part of the chapter it seems I never really had Morpheus clarify the second part of the second reason... Although that might be a good thing... It would have made things even more lecture-y whereas I can now bring this up later.

As I see it shapeshifting makes them care less about the technicalities of the physical body, but not necessarily the mental ones. The sex of a body is the physical aspect, but the gender is a mental one. Changelings wouldn't care about sex because they can change it at will, but gender isn't necessarily determined by sex. Morpheus views himself as more masculine than feminine, so his gender is male. He's perfectly comfortable having his sex be female, however, since he sees the various parts involved as having nothing to do with how he actually thinks and acts. Even when forced to act in a feminine way in a disguise he readily accepts that it's part of a facade and has no bearing on his actual gender.

Come to think of it... I believe there might be seperate terms for gender classifications and sex classifications... I should probably look those up and make sure the phrasing for this chapter is right, although I'm not sure how many people would notice the difference.

that wasn’t a come on, right?

What?!

The number of ways we have to change our body in miniature ways means we really don’t feel that attached to the original.

I think that is sad. If anything because you're able to change so much you should treasure your first form.

One of mother’s generals was so enamored with swordplay that he figured out how to morph his leg into a permanent blade.

Wouldn't that make it rust eventually and infect flesh? In face I'd like to know how the body handles the excess minerals. I suppose you would have to explain if the morphed balde is metal or not.

Question... random one at that. Changelings having created living metal or living statues that change form would that be possible? I was considering living armor supposedly created in limited amounts by the ancient changelings.

All it took was a single paper proving the average pony simply doesn’t care enough about coat color to judge any difference between obscure and common colors.

I am sorry I don't understand that. At all.
6188824 *slaps you* TUMBLR GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE!

No seriously bro. No.

In any case that's terms used by us... doesn't mean it is used by them. It also doesn't help that nobody actually TRULY knows what genderfluid or genderqueer means. It's better to describe than actually use fad terms that have no extensive scientific usage. Not to mention this simply isn't the case since they are shapeshifters. The term was used for humans... changeling society as I understand it here is too alien to simply abide by such terms. That is mostly because those terms suggest that the gender is stable, or were originally created for species whos gender is mostly stable. Genderfluid and genderqueer suggest conflict with the actual gender of the person, but when that is interchangeable then those terms are invalid.

I realize I might have repeated myself at some points but the point is still there. It also a big tick of mine that gender terms are abused and overused. Forums have multiple gender selections when only two actually matter. If I care what you feel like as gender is concerned I will ask or you will tell me... Official information like that has a function. I want to know what to call you... a "he" or a "she". That is all.

Sorry for derailing.
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As I see it shapeshifting makes them care less about the technicalities of the physical body, but not necessarily the mental ones.

Again at the same time wouldn't that make it even more important to remember their original form?

In my headcanon phrases like "Fake it till you make it" and "Those who wear masks become their masks eventually" ((or something like that)) are too true. Not I wouldn't like to lecture you about my headcanon but it is necessary to make a small point. So... there is a real life experience/phenomenon called "Immersion". The effect is that if someone is absorbed for too long in an experience they forget about their grasp on reality. That concept also existed in the Mass Effect universe with how the Drell had perfect memory. In regards to the changelings transforming for too long in one form could cause one to be absorbed in it especially if they are attached to the form. So wouldn't they value their original form if it could cause such mental instability? It is not imporbable either that they might simply transform to keep their bodies from getting "rusty" per say so they can transform easily.

as having nothing to do with how he actually thinks and acts.

I think you are well aware as I am that having a different gender changes perspective and thinking on things. Or perhaps it grants perspective as well?

Even when forced to act in a feminine way in a disguise he readily accepts that it's part of a facade and has no bearing on his actual gender.

Doesn't that just have more to do with confidence on his real gender though? Or maybe asexuality or whatever?

Come to think of it... I believe there might be seperate terms for gender classifications and sex classifications... I should probably look those up and make sure the phrasing for this chapter is right, although I'm not sure how many people would notice the difference.

Well yea... genderqueer, asexual e.t.c. there are also romantic terms. One might be conflicted in gender, or have no actual sexuality but still be romantic. Well not all three at once I suppose but I have read a fic where an asexual Rainbow Dash has still romantic feelings about Soarin.

6211762

Again at the same time wouldn't that make it even more important to remember their original form?

Not really. There are parts of their shapeshifting that can be used beyond disguises. Unlike the show which showed it as one burst of magic I've been treating it as a bunch of smaller steps -- several illusion and transmutation effects and spells that can be cast at once sloppily and hastily or over time for a more fine tuned result. The part with probably the most applications is the ability to shift the mass of their carapace around. The "sword" is a result of this. A blade made of reshaped chitin that can periodically resharpen itself by reshifting the mass to reform the edge. That is an extreme and difficult example, but the point is that they see their physical bodies as essentially tools.

Because of this, changelings define their individuality almost entirely based on mental differences. Things like the gender of a body become much more important than the sex of a body. What I see in both your responses is the typical human view on gender. We often tie the sex of a body to its gender. This is why sex change operations are a thing for our society. If our gender conflicts with our sex we try to change it so that isn't the case, but gender identity is technically an entirely mental construct. There are only two natural sexes. Someone can be a boy or a girl. There are a multitude of different genders as far as society is concerned though, and they are all based on our perceptions and stereotypes of the two natural sexes. That's why the most common genders are male and female with the others often being viewed as outliers. As a society we tie sex to gender because we can't change our sex at a whim like changelings. The same sort of system would likely arise in ponies or any other species that evolved intelligence because two natural sexes is sort of the standard of evolution as far as we're concerned. The rate at which changelings shapeshift though suggests that they would have completely different standards on they're gender identity. I originally debated not giving them genders, but thought the idea of them "stealing" genders was far more fitting. The fact that they're forced to infiltrate and live among other societies to gain love means they would have been introduced to the concept of gender as ponies/humans view it. They would see gender as another way to promote individuality among changelings and bring it into their society. A Changeling basically defines his/her gender off of the current stereotypes and models of gender that other species have. So rather than tying gender to sex like a standard species would they tie gender to other species concepts of gender.

Granted, I've overthought this a lot. There are probably simpler paths I could have taken, but this felt like the most logical that wouldn't hopefully force their differences down readers throats. The toughest part about trying to make the changelings seem alien in nature is that they still need to be relatable enough that it isn't just a garbled mess of nonsense I spout about them.

Clever title.

5681391

It means "the derivative of quantity C with respect to t (time) is not equal to zero." In calculus, the derivative expresses the rate of change of something with respect to something else. A quantity that does not change with respect to something else (i.e., constant) will always have a derivative zero with respect to that something else; a quantity that does change with respect to something else will have a non-zero derivative with respect to that something else.

So the title means: "Quantity C changes with respect to time" or, rather, "Quantity C is not constant with respect to time.

6212546 I'll admit I understood only half of what you said. But in all honesty I would think that transforming into something that's not you would make what "you" are more valuable. If you can modify what "you" are then fine. But shapeshifting into something you're not and taking the identity of another? Wouldn't that clash with what "you" are?

Comment posted by nioniosbbbb deleted Oct 8th, 2015
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