• Member Since 18th Oct, 2014
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Trick Question

Being against evil doesn't make you good.


Applejack and Twilight Sparkle are on a mission in the deep sky, far from the comforting ground of Equestria, when disaster strikes. Together the two ponies fall into something from which there is no escape.

On an unrelated note, this story features a black hole.

Written for The Writeoff Association's "Great Expectations" contest. Preread by bookplayer.

This story has been featured on Seattle's Angels.

Now featured on Equestria Daily.

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 46 )

Oh horsefeathers. All of the comments were deleted when I resubmitted the second chapter! :facehoof:

Previous comments of note:

PresentPerfect posted a kind review over here.

bookplayer posted a glowing review here in the comments, which unfortunately I just deleted. :fluttershysad:

Author Interviewer

Wow, oops, don't do that I guess. :B I had no idea!

I knew it would happen; I just wasn't thinking. The comments were all tied to the second chapter, because if you post them on the main page they'll go to the last chapter. Apparently nopony commented on the first chapter without first continuing to the second. When I copied and deleted the chapter to indicate that the story had changed, all of the comments were on the original version of the second chapter, and so they flew the coop.

Author Interviewer

Ah. I guess the lesson is, just change the chapter, don't delete it. :B

It's my fault. I wanted it to pop to the "updated" section on the front page since the change, though minor, (guessing by several responses) might make the story read very differently for some ponies. :derpytongue2:

I deserve this bed, and far worse than it. :ajsleepy:

Author Interviewer

Your emoticon comes at the price of me thinking you're John or Jade. And you're not Jade, because if either of us is Jade, it is most definitely me. ;B

Interesting tale, but worth the time spent.

This was a really good read.
Thank you for writing it.

I suddenly remembered this story and how much if affected me the first time I read it. It is a skill to write something that genuinely tugs at the emotions like this, so I just had to add it to my favourites. I couldn't remember what it was called but fortunately searching for "black hole" brought it up.

Yay! I'm glad you were able to find it again. :pinkiesmile:

If you want, you can go read the first short story I ever wrote for Fimfiction, which I just revised today! I have a feeling you might like that one too. :twilightsmile:

It's just not common to shift into another reality until something as logically cataclysmic as death happens

This is not a convincing explanation for the coexistence of Tegmark-IV anthropics and a physics apparently consistent throughout time. I can accept the necessary existence of a parent simulator whether the child simulation can observe it or not, and I admit I've never been substantially brain damaged or died in a way that destroys my brain over a relatively long period of time, but I can't accept this sort of Platonic reincarnation of consciousness without a better explanation than death producing a more substantial discontinuity between some cursor of the conscious observer and its physically logical trajectory in our universe's statespace. Unless you elaborate on this:

The likelihood of destination depends mostly upon the simplicity of the abstraction function.

You're saying there's a complexity prior on the measure of universes and states that the observer's awareness finds itself in? Could you describe this?

How would the physical separability of a consciousness change this? I could temporarily lesion part of my brain. How much would have to be lesioned before it is more likely that I am actually in a different universe or state?

Or, since physics and my consciousness interact, is it more that I am a trajectory in mindspace apparently coevolving with a trajectory in our universe's statespace, and that that same trajectory also apparently coevolves with any number of trajectories in simulating universes and states? What defines my trajectory in mindspace? Are you saying mindspace is a differential equation, where position defines trajectory according to a complexity prior, and I happen to be a (class of) mind that is in the class of minds that most simply evolve in terms of our universe's physics?

It's difficult to go into depth without writing an entire book, which is why I'm writing an entire book. It isn't a 'reincarnation' of consciousness rather than a persistent probabilistic web.

As for the story, it's just meant to be enjoyed as a story. It might be better to take discussions to PM rather than get crazy technical on a shipping fic comment thread. :pinkiesmile:

I did a fanfic read of your fic! I hope you enjoy it! :pinkiehappy: I almost cried in this story. :fluttershysad: It was so good. :raritycry:

I cut out some dialogue of the fanfic so it's like an tv episode.

I appreciate the read! I don't know about the edits but I'm glad you enjoyed the story. This is one of my favorites, despite the fact it's my one of my least-popular.

Thank you! :twilightsmile::ajsmug:

It may not be very popular compared with my other stories, but it's one of my personal favorites.

This was a good story. I gave it a thumbs-up. Unfortunately, I am not feeling very creative right now, so this will be kinda short. I liked the terminology, going to the deep sky in your skyship, wearing deepsuits. I would love to use the terms deep sky and deepsuit for my own fiction.

I didn't find a single typo! Lucky you!

Astrophysics sure can make for some trippy love stories. I like it.

So basically they hacked reality with the power of love. That's so damn scientifically sappy that I can't but like it a lot :raritywink:

It's rather cute. Have a deserved like, good sir! :twilightsmile:

Is Twilight's spell pushing them away from the black hole? It looks strange that it is powerful enough to blue-shift stars into frying them but not powerful enough to return to their ship at the very beginning.

The way the spell works is it uses the gravitational pull of the black hole as its energy source (which I think the fic hints at). The closer they get to the event horizon, the faster they accelerate away from it, so it will barely keep them from entering the event horizon. Twilight doesn't have a way to increase the acceleration more than that, so they can't get back to the ship.

While they are not far away from the ship and far away enough from the black hole, in ship's free falling frame of reference compensating constant fraction f of gravitation pull is roughly equivalent to applying acceleration fGM/r^2 away from the black hole, which could be significant (in comparison to their speed relative to ship) even if f is tiny. If black hole is not rotating like crazy problem with angular momentum loss still persists.
In any case nothing of above can change the simple fact of this story being awesome.

Trick, what’s your majoring and masters?

I have degrees in psychology and computer science. Masters is in the latter.

Nice! Last question: why is Pinkie being able to look through all manner of bright lights your pseudo-leitmotif?

Not sure I understand, but when Chrysalis was defeated for the first time only Pinkie was able to watch the love beacon. Not even Cadence had her eyes open.

It’s just something I noticed in several of your stories. The bright lights always cause others to flinch, but not Pinks.


Yep, it's Best Pony's special personality. :pinkiehappy:

Damn right it is, son!

Also, you’re cool, Author. And you write the goods goodly. Keep on bein’ awesome!

"Not if it's part of the simulation!" said Twilight, grinning.

This is good place to ask questions like: "how did they find such a silent supermassive black hole and how did they detect it?", "how did they get to black hole?" and "why Applejack didn't know what black hole is while being part of expedition to one?"

Still, she thought to herself, this was significantly less cramped than a singularity.


Is it somewhere somehow possible to read this book?
I've heard about quantum immortality but it has the same vague point as regular many-worlds: some worlds are more "real" that others. I don't really understand how this interacts with notion of "being consistent from pony's point of view".

Well, I have to write the book first. :derpytongue2: I'll definitely post on it someday when I do.

It isn't quantum immortality, not precisely at least. Quantum immortality actually doesn't work.


I'll definitely post on it someday when I do.

So awesome!
You mean post here on fimfiction?

"Vanilla" quantum immortality from Wikipedia seems to work as good as "classical immortality". I.e. if I play classical russian roulette for some time (with nuclear bomb just to be sure) I would never end up thinking something like "Oopsie, looks like I'm dead. No more ponies for me I guess". Immortality! :yay:

If Fimfiction is still a thing, I'll def post here about it, yes.

That's one optimistic way to put it :twilightsmile:

"Wait a minute, though: wouldn't that give them more than enough time to save us?"

"If they could find us, absolutely," Twilight said.

I've forgot everything I knew about general relativity (and it wasn't much in the first place), but there probably should be area from which it's impossible to catch up with them and return even at light speed (outside of light cone of the moment they're crossing event horizon)

Twilight's spell is accelerating them faster and faster, preventing them from entering the event horizon. It's the time dilation from their increasing acceleration that would allow them to be rescued, not the black hole doing it.

Yeah, if they're hovering just above event horizon that should work, although with \sqrt{1 - \frac{r_s}{r}} to get at least 10-6 of time dilation even for biggest ass black holes (r_s \sim 1013--1014) one needs to be like 10--100 m from horizon. And Twilight said:

"In this case, no. A strange interaction between the black hole and the spell will kill us before we enter the event horizon. When I die, the spell will end," said Twilight. "Then our corpses will fall into the hole."

Also, I rewrote the story for clarity since you recorded that (I think), just FYI.

I might make a redux reading for this fanfic at some point.

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