• Member Since 22nd Sep, 2011
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I'm the creator of Otakuworld.com, Jenniverse.com, the computer game Boppin', numerous online comics, novels, and tons of other wonderful things. I really love MLP:FiM.


It is Year Five, and Dr. Calloway Kotani is stuck in evacuated Peru. The Barrier moves relentlessly inland at 14 kilometers per day. It never stops. It never slows down. No Potion. No rescue. South America is 4353 kilometers wide. Run, Dr. Kotani. Run for your life.

Chapters (23)
Comments ( 468 )

Well this is already very good. I can't wait to see what happens next and I'm eager to see who this Calloway Kotani is. I really like those little graphics at the top and bottom too.

Well never mind then looks like I should have just read the chapter first rather then speculate in the blog. Sorry Chatty got carried away.

Anyway I'm loving this so far. I'm definitely loving the native pony perspective here since we're seeing that infinite dunbar number in action right now. This is why I love your version of Equestria Chatty the fact that these ponies see our race and all its flaws yet are willing to forgive us and accept us. Never fails to give me a warm fuzzy feeling.

No human left behind. Ideally. Sadly, all the magic in the world isn't guaranteed to overcome Murphy, though that doesn't mean Dropspindle isn't going to try. I look forward to the ensuing cross-continent race against time and an alien cosmos.

In a world of magic, nanomachines, cybernetic soldiers and star-commanding princesses, you're the charitable unicorn weaver and spindly human archaeologist.

Run... Run from the trees.

Another wonderful scenario, Chat! 14 km per day. That's three hours brisk walk. In a straight line. On flat terrain.

The Andes! The Amazon!

Oh, pumpernickel!


Don't miss this summers greatest blockbuster Cross the Amazon Rated PG-13 in theaters July 10th 2087

Oh, if it rolled over her right now, she would be fine. She would be in Equestria, in the exponential lands, there would be grass presumably, and water, and probably even trees and who knew what else. She would live a long, long life with a full belly.

Oh dear. Dropspindle, sweetie, the Exponential Lands aren't the Everfree. If you get stranded in them alone, there won't be any ponies to make rain, or grow crops, or call for help. You'd be escaping one desert to wind up in another. Please don't try that. :rainbowderp:

6131804 Good point - as outlined in 'A taste of grass' - you're drinking your own urine in a few weeks if the environment is not modified.

It's not quite implausible that this would have changed on realisation of what had happened post taste-of-grass, with the magic tweaked to result in a more earth-natural land, rather than one that will certainly kill any small group translating over.
It seems very unlikely that safety briefings wouldn't have been given. Of course - it would be entirely in char for her not to have listened.
Also - literal square light-years of space is an interesting concept.

There's one thing that I love in stories, if only because it's such a rarity (not a :duck:), and that's a really good Sci-Fi concept. Even if it's not necessarily part of the story. For example, I once read a story where a person needed to hide information, and he did so by having a robot carve a notch in a wooden bedpost. How did it work? Because the percentage of the length along the bedpost, when calculated out to some ridiculous decimal place, and then converted to binary, contained the information. Sheer brilliance.

And that's how I feel about the "approach the barrier from space" concept. You took the restrictions and capacities of this subsection of fan-fic, and had the characters come up with something brilliant. Worth the price of admission.

Now, with the gushing praise over, one correction:

and the timber was all grating and tinny too

Timber is wood. Timbre is sound.

I'm not sure tweaking the Barrier's conversion system would help. In Taste, we found out that the land comes with the basic necessities, but without active maintenance of the land and weather systems by ponies, the land dies and turns into a permanently overcast desert, kinda like the pony version of Venus.


For a mind-bending hint of just how big the Exponential Lands are:
-Earth's total surface area is around 500E6 km^2, land area is around 150E6 km^2.
-A full Minecraft world is 3.6E9 km^2, so about 7 or 24 times the size of the Earth, depending on which measure you use.
-One square light-year is about 90E24 km^2. That's 180E15 times the total surface of the Earth, 600E15 times the land surface of the Earth, or 25E15 Minecraft worlds.

That's ONE square light-year. We don't know how many there are in total, but it's probably at least as many as there are Minecrafts in one ly^2. As far as analogies go, we're already WAY beyond "one km^2 for every star in the human UNIVERSE" and pushing into "one km^2 for every ATOM in the universe". This is at year FIVE. The rate increases exponentially (duh) for at least another two years, more if that's just to eat the Earth's surface and not the core, the Moon, the solar wind getting blown at the Earth, etc.

Sorry, no conceivable way to explain how big Equestria will be when it's all done. WAY bigger than our universe, and it can all be made livable with a little time and effort from ponies. The land may be "dead" by the time they get there, but they can bring seeds, gather water from the cloud layer, and stretch the sunny grasslands out indefinitely, planting forests and growing mountains as they go.

Thank you for catching that! I always mess up that word. FIXED!

Light years, that's even bigger than I'd thought. If Equestria didn't have infinite space, it sure might as well have it now!

Seriously those equinauts better not pack up their suits just yet. There's this not so finite plane of soon to be uninhabitable wasteland, that they're going to have to get around on for one reason or another, for a long time until they gather everypony together, or the isolated ones die. And if the sky is a "dome," what's the curvature? Because you already have to get high on the Earth side, to get into the barrier, so with even the slightest curvature, how unimaginably high is the apex of the sky dome going to be once the Exponential lands are complete? They won't even be able to see their stars anymore!

If what Celestia had before is a leaky boat, what's she's going to have at the end of this isn't just a planet it's a whole freaking galaxy.


You are totally correct, and it means big problems... and one day, when I finally finish my Last Conversion Bureau Novel 'Fiddler's Green' (currently in hiatus until I write the books I always meant to write previous to it), the issue will become primary.


I enjoy making custom ornaments for my books. I've always enjoyed ornaments in hardback books, and I really think they add to a work. Plus, they serve the useful purpose of denoting the passage of time, or a change of scene in a very clear way.

I know that the ponification process is controversial for what it does to the mind. I know that some people say that it strips you of your essential humanity, while others say that only the unnecessary parts are changed, and it's the same "you" inside. For my part, I've always been ambivalent; I honestly don't know if the ability to kill is or is not a necessary part of being who we are. But please--Oh please!--tell me that the potion, in the glory its cross-world innovative techno-magic, can right this wrong, can fix this flaw, can correct this gross error of a cruel mechanical universe toward one of an ordered magical one:

Calloway preferred yellow mustard to deli,

I was going to say sadly no... but then I remembered that real life pony noses are 20,000 times more sensitive than human ones - and that I have portrayed Newfoals as gaining this incredible new world of sensory input when they become Equestrians. It's part of what makes First Meal As A Pony so spectacular.

So, with that said, yes. I think Calloway, as a pony, would definitely prefer deli mustard on his pastrami dandelion and watercress sandwiches.

OK, so we have a not-terribly-athletic unicorn (she's pooped out already) and a couch-potato who just spent the last few months eating junk food and playing video games at the bottom of a mine. They have to run across the Amazon Desert, complete with mountains and other fun stuff, staying ahead of the Barrier. Mountain climbing is slow, so they'd better make good time before they get there. When (if?) they get to the other side... um, I dunno? They're even further out in the Exponential Lands then, so they can't just go through the Barrier even if they find some Potion. I guess they have to find a settlement that hasn't been evacuated yet and get on a pegabus, with a minimum 30 minute lead-time to get the conversion done. I hope they have some extra seats left. :unsuresweetie:


Hey, I've seen this movie! It was the Crematoria sequence in Chronicles of Riddick! :derpytongue2:

Ah well that explains why you didn't start back up with Fiddler's Green. Still it does make me want to ask two questions now. If its not too much of a bother.

1. What kinda trouble you referring too? Sorry but I didn't quite understand what ferret nothing new though I don't understand half of this stuff. Just not my area of expertise.
2. When you say last novel does that mean that after that one your gonna stop writing conversion bureau stories? (if so I'm sorry to hear that I always loved your stories and to think the end is in sight makes sad :pinkiesad2:)

Anyway I thought you said before that for the most part people ate these nutribar things in this time period, but now you show Calloway possessing something akin to a Star Trek replicator so now I'm a bit confused.


Some forms of blindness transcend the boundaries of sapience and good taste, and for those afflicted, the conversion process is still a crap-shoot, a desperate wait to see if one will still prefer the yellow abomination to the zesty goodness of REAL mustard. As a Montrealer, I weep for those who would desecrate a good Smoked Meat Sandwich (or even its lesser incarnation, the pastrami on rye - and it HAS to be rye) with anything lesser than deli mustard. Oh, the very thought of it! :facehoof:

Great chapter, Chat! Of course I saw the end coming, but the whole vision of our pasty little gamer galumphing IRL to the long gone pegabuses did pull at my heartstrings, a nostalgic reminder of my own parenting years when our home would reverberate with the sweet phrase "Get your butt in gear - you're going to miss your bus!" in three separate languages. :raritydespair:

Dr. Kotani should be ashamed of his taste in mustards. Some things are sacred, regardless of the deities or lack thereof of a given universe.

Rockbiter, eh? Appropriate. After all, his world and his good, strong hands will soon be lost forever due to circumstances far beyond his control. Though in this case, from an Equestrian perspective, the Nothing is the one getting wiped out.

As far as "oh, crap" lines go, "That's not sky" is very high up there. As is the last line, in this context. Let the race begin!

6133431 As a New Yorker, the same. Would such mustard be suitable for a knish? And even a pony could eat a knish.


Anyway I thought you said before that for the most part people ate these nutribar things in this time period, but now you show Calloway possessing something akin to a Star Trek replicator so now I'm a bit confused.

Oh, no, not a Star Trek replicator. A food printer. Like the devices now, only better - they work like the replicators that spray plastic dust and then utilize lasers to melt and solidify it into shapes. 3D printers are often called replicators. Likely after Trek... but nothing like that level of tech. There's no matter conversion - just dust crap into patterns and then steam, bake, or laser it solid.

Kotani's food printer uses food goop instead of plastic, but the principle is the same. Such devices actually exist right now, by they way. The food they make sucks, but that's not the point. They show what could be.

Kotani is an upper level Twoper. He's blue level, not like characters such as poor Tikvah Feinstein from Teacup, Down On The Farm, or even the green level Twoper Gwen Boik from Recombinant 63. He gets an expense account, and he can order goodies from Googlezon. Why? Because Palynologists find oil and other resources that the elite desperately desire. Kotani interfaces with lesser elite clients. He has, in the Bureau future, a very desirable place compared to most people. That is why he can get away with stealing a free vacation from the Worldcorporation.


You must have the most amazing life experiences stored up. Truly you are... Dafaddah.


Goddess, but I miss a really good pastrami on rye with a touch of deli mustard. They don't have any delicatessens where I now live. The horror. The horror...

I may never taste borscht again.

The hoooorrrrrroooooorrrrr.


A potato knish! Fried in onions and serve with fresh cream cheese! The ponies would go ape horse over it!
You had already told me of your deprivations since moving, but Chat, I had no idea! At least tell me you can get a real croissant. (Shudders) :raritycry:

I noticed she didn't answer your questions. To speculate on the point of question 1: One does not expand a universe from the planet-sized to the galaxy-spanning size Equestria does in seven years without attracting unsavoury attention from the multiverse at large.

6133397 Shame on you for not answering him, you made me wax speculation.:duck:

Yeah I know she didn't my guess is that at least in regards to the second question the reason she didn't is cause she doesn't want to give away what she's planning. Anyway my guess is that after Fiddler's Green the focus of her tcb stories is gonna shift to the threat she is alluding to in that story and away from actual conversion stories and new foals adapting to there new identities. I think it will be that plus her exploring her version of Equestria. At least that's what I think

Either way probably shouldn't speculate on it just yet since we don't know how many stories she has lined up before she finishes Fiddler's Green. It could be years tell she get's to the point given her usual pace of writing.

As far as what you suggested that actually makes a lot of sense if other beings like Celestia and Luna exist in this version of the multiverse. For all we know the rapid expansion may attract all manners of malevolent beings. Example maybe Cthulu and the great old ones will drop in on Equestria or something.

Also Westphalian it might help if you reply to her for the second part of your message rather then to me again.

Ah I see well I guess that makes. Although suddenly I feel far less compassion for Calloway then I did before (he lives high on the corporate hog while most people struggle to survive, disgraceful he is without honor)

Anyway interesting I didn't know we had such technology in existence right now. Although I imagine said device is extremely expansive, is ginormous and barely works.

6134623 Fecal matter, I thought I'd done that. Editing messages doesn't send out a notification, so...

6134035 As I said above, shame on you for not answering the gentleman Nine Tail's questions, leaving me to wax speculation.:trollestia:


Actually, I sort of can. Not the best I have ever had, mind you, but decent, and as far as I can tell, made with actual butter. Oh Celestia, but I miss a knish. You just made me hungry for a nosh. A knish-nosh worth the dosh. Gosh!


Anyway interesting I didn't know we had such technology in existence right now. Although I imagine said device is extremely expansive, is ginormous and barely works.

For objects manufactured on the desktop:




Yeah I know she didn't my guess is that at least in regards to the second question the reason she didn't is cause she doesn't want to give away what she's planning.



Anyway interesting I didn't know we had such technology in existence right now. Although I imagine said device is extremely expansive, is ginormous and barely works.

Not only do 3D printers exist, but the prices have been coming down fast. The Tiko 3D will sell this fall for cheaper than a consumer color laser printer (under $200), for example. The state of the art in GOOD food printing is sugar and chocolate printing, cause it's far easier and the taste is defined by the raw materials. There is even a basic food printer that appears to be coming out at $1300 soon. Prices are most definitely coming down on these things.

Regardless of the state of the art, or the price... I'll leave you to drool at this! :rainbowwild:

That is one tasty, sexy cake topper! :trollestia:

Dropspindle should have left Kotani. He would have died in blissful ignorance. The Chatoverse TCB has established in other stories that being vaporized against the Barrier is about as pleasant a way to go out as one could hope for. Maybe that's not common knowledge, though. I mean, how would the information ever get back to anyone?

Of course, if she'd left him, we also wouldn't have much of a story, now would we?

Holy Luna that is a beautiful piece of foodprinted artwork! I would feel bad daring to eat it! Wow!

Thank you for showing us that!


Ah, that infinite Dunbar number my Equestrians possess. Dropspindle could no more leave poor Dr. Kotani to die - even painlessly, like gentle leaves of ash on the wind - than she could have left her own beloved mother... or herself.

"And that is what separates the apes from the ponies, boys - your basic shaved ape is about as likely to leave you to your doom if nobody is watching and helping is inconvenient as they are to rip you off in any financial deal. Which is to say pretty much always. Man is in it to win it, whatever it takes. But your essential pony - now there's a queer beast! - your basic pony would no more leave an unfortunate to fate than they would rip out their own eyeballs for sport. Ponies just can't do that, and that is why we will win!" - Leonard Reich, Northamerizone commander of the Human Liberation Front.

Well speaking through the voice of my avatar Tristem Saris I have this to say to Mr. Leonard Reich:

"And that is why you failed. A group or any organization who's members cannot work together and give up on there own selfish desires is doomed to fail at any goal it pursues. Instead of emphasizing how you were different from the ponies you should have instead took a page from their book and used their tactics. A great war strategists should never hesitate you adopt their enemies weapons and tactics and use them." - Battle Mage Tristem Saris Nidowan Union special forces "Radical Dreamers" CN 1,034 (3284 AD)

In case your wondering what this is Tristem is a character from a group of stories I wrote back when I was a teenager the series aim was to try and envision what a future space faring human civilization would look like although as you can see I mixed fantasy elements in as well. Sadly I've lost all of the writings on that at this point. I am trying to revive it as of late though.

6135361 Oh, don't worry, you can always print another! :derpytongue2:


I am very sorry to hear that you lost your writings. That is a terrible thing to happen. I've lost artworks before - some to a hard drive crash, some to moving, or to water damage (depending on the media!) and... losing something you've worked hard on is a tragedy.

I agree with Tristem - your battle mage is a wise warrior. It sounds like you too have read the Art Of War, or perhaps the Book Of Five Rings. Good on you.


A question: Is Equestria Euclidean? I always envisioned it as being hyperbolic (in more ways than one ;) ).

Equestria is a steady-state pocket universe that wraps around in a finite-but-unbounded way. The dome of the sky is the lowest layer of the ground. Dig down far enough and you would fall from the dome of the sky. The 'shape' is - I believe - an elliptic paraboloid with Canterlot Castle at the vertex, or perhaps the focus. Please forgive me if my terms are rusty, which I am sure they are. It's possible I am describing a pseudosphere instead.

Basically, it is an elliptical cone of finite area where the underside wraps hyperdimensionally to become a sandwich layer over the initial surface. The sky is the underside of the conical area. The 'edges' of the cone are capable of expansion, the focus of the cone is not and remains stable.

If you can more correctly define this, please do! My math is my weakest component. I suck eggs at math, even as I am entranced by the pretty shapes. Especially the shapes with more dimensions than are possible in our world. Help, if you can.

Ah so basically its like a Minecraft world that's interesting to know.

Anyway sorry I never responded to your previous comment couldn't really think of anything to say, I apologize in advance if it comes off poorly. to confirm your assumption yes I have read the Art of War. Although that particular piece of tactical knowledge which my avatar quoted is actually from old Roman Legion tactics. The Romans were often notable early on for there adoption of their enemies weapons and tactics at least during the time of the early republic. Anyway just thought I'd share that since you seemed interested.

Also no worries about losing those stories fortunately I remember most of them. So who knows one of these days I might rewrite them.

She even got a gold star in Vestication - if Kotani needed to get dressed instantly, she could probably pull off a basic clothing apport even on his bizarre human frame.

Oh, Miss Dropspindle...I know certain Clubs where you could make a lot of bits with such a talent.

More seriously, I love when writers try to look at the downside of being a unicorn as opposed to one of the other pony subtypes.

Well the extraterrestrials are living up to their reputation of being more knowledgeable than the natives. :P


More seriously, I love when writers try to look at the downside of being a unicorn as opposed to one of the other pony subtypes.

My guide for this is the show itself.

Rarity is a unicorn, yet she has only been shown to know a tiny number of spells. She has Vestication, clearly - we see her instantly dress Twilight in a vest in my favorite episode of all time 'Winter Wrap Up'. We have seen her magically shape topiary leaf sculptures in "Look Before You Sleep'. We have seen her use telekinesis to manipulate cloth, needles, and her sewing machine - basic hand-equivalent actions, nothing more. And that is all. She can't do much, if anything else. And she is one of the Mane Six, a primary protagonist.

Twilight Sparkle is a poor example of the average unicorn, because she is not average. She is from the start exceptionally gifted and clearly marked for a greater fate. As a foal she goes full 'Akira' and nearly destroys part of canterlot until Celestia intervenes. She is an ubercorn, just waiting for inevitable alicorn status.

No other unicorn besides Trixie demonstrates power even vaguely near her level, and Trixie is nowhere near Twilight's capacities.

Next, what can even Twilight - the pony savior - do besides magic? Not much. She is physically weak and cannot help with anything physical in 'Winter Wrap Up'. In the 'Running Of The Leaves' she is slow and plodding, though she is smart enough to make what use she can of what little she has. She is not terribly graceful - dancing, she is a dork. At no time does she show uncanny balance, like Pinky the Earthpony.

Even as an alicorn, she can barely fly - she will never equal Rainbow Dash, likely she will not outclass Derpy... who can at least transmit flight power to a carriage.

I have become convinced that of the three breeds, unicorns are at a disadvantage in many ways. They are not strong, or graceful or capable of incredible balance, they are not able to transmit their power into objects, they get tired easily. Most unicorns only know a few spells at most, though all are capable of telekinesis as a basic ability. What spells they do know seem to only involve their profession or interest.

Unicorns are the weakest of the three breeds, but they are the only pony with the capacity for delicate, intricate manipulation of matter thanks to their telekinetic hornfields. This is a fantastic ability - they basically have a dozen hands - but most of pony day-today life doesn't require hands. Unicorns can potentially become the most powerful of the three breeds - magic being the great equalizer and even superiorizer - but it would seem that very, very, very few unicorns have the talent to achieve such potential. Twilight is clearly a rare case.

Unicorns, I think, are both the weakest, and yet still desperately necessary to the pony breeds. Most can only do one trick - manipulate objects better than hands ever could. Otherwise, they are wimps. But - in a world of teeth and hooves, that one trick is a vital one, because somepony needs to be able to pluck a splinter, shape molten metal into tiny perfect objects, sew and weave cloth, and all the myriad craft-skills that a post-agricultural society depends on.

Each of the breeds is vital for the survival of all. And, after a fashion, all are advantaged - and strongly limited - in ways that make them equal to each other, with none the true superior. If unicorns were also strong and had super balance, if they also could fly and impart flight into what they were connected to - they would be gods. Or rather, princesses. Hence the alicorns.

So, unicorns, for balance alone, are nerfed in many, many ways. And that is a good thing, from the position of harmony among the three breeds. Or so I think.

Ohhhhh, I'm getting all jittery! :pinkiehappy: You write like a lot of "real deal" writers, you know that? This is really good. I have high hopes for you.

It does feel a little silly to talk about a teetotaling Equestria when one of the Mane Six is named after a kind alcohol. :applejackunsure: Probably a translation artifact.

In any case, we have two fish far out of their respective ponds. Dropspindle isn't going to be rewriting reality any time soon, and Kotani has been living in the Earth's basement since he got to Peru. So we have a pony poorly equipped for a desperate race with a plains ape, and a man who is only now gaining appreciation for the reality he's facing. They fight crime! This will be interesting. At least they're going to be... fairly well supplied.

I just have one question as far as your comment is concerned. What does Vestication mean?

I find it hilarious how underrated earthponies are, because "they don't have [obvious] magic". Strength, endurance, balance, affinity for their attuned element, magical fertilizer powers that can grow ROCKS.... Earthponies OP, nerf plz. (Actually, no. I wanna be an OP earthpony! :ajsmug: )

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