• Member Since 28th Aug, 2011
  • offline last seen 19 hours ago

Cold in Gardez


Stories about ponies are stories about people.

T
Source

Strange dreams are haunting the night in Ponyville.

The dreams are lucid and clear, indistinguishable from reality. And sometimes, when ponies wake up, the dreams don't go away.

Hallucinations stalk the waking world. Reality is bending in ways that Twilight Sparkle doesn't understand. But she intends to get to the bottom of this mystery and save Equestria from whatever is hiding in the dark.

Twilight Sparkle wonders, sometimes, if the pony in her dreams is the real her. If that is her soul laid bare.

She's about to find out.


Written for the Distant Shores Writeoff. Cover art by CosmicUnicorn, used with permission.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 151 )
Lazy_ #1 · Sep 18th, 2015 · · 4 ·

Fav'ing for the premise, I'll come back to this later.:scootangel:

Well that went places.

That's definitely a different twist on what a thousand years of night means. And, to be honest, I can't exactly disagree with Luna's stance on this one. For form's sake though, I probably should.

The line The sun rose that morning like a pregnant pegasus – slow, ponderous and huge. made the fic worth the read alone.

This... is one of the very few stories that have managed to truly move me. It's going straight up into my all-time top favourites.

That was so good and twisted, the original Twilight Zone wants to make a movie of it. What a weird and wicked story! I like it.

Twilight Sparkle wonders, sometimes, if pony in her dreams

You accidentally a word.

6438326

Ha, you are right :) fixed.

That was...

Wow.

I think...I think I need to lay down after that one.

Now, this is a thoroughly believable take on what Nightmare Moon's reign would have been like. Dreams, poetry, madness, art, deception, and carnal urges... all the province of the various incarnations of the moon.

Well... Fuck me 'till I'm numb, that's a good story!

What the hell? What the hell.

Ri2
Ri2 #12 · Sep 19th, 2015 · · 5 ·

And once more Luna proves she's worst princess. Well done, Luna. Well done.

This seems to be the missing epilogue to "In the Garden of Good and Evil".

It's wonderfully written as usual, which goes without saying for a CiG piece. Personal bias towards Best Moonbutt prevents me from enjoying seeing Luna written like this, though.

You really knocked it out of the park there.

This story was so visceral you could almost feel the heat, and taste the blood. Every CiG Story is a gem to read, and each in such a unique way.

Also...
goodmanga.net/images/manga/berserk/304/6.jpg
goodmanga.net/images/manga/berserk/306/8.jpg
i5.mangareader.net/berserk/306/berserk-30797.jpg

Jesus H. Christ, Gardeyz.


Thanks for poking my worst darkest secret fears about the nature of dreams there

Some of the original flaws have definitely been smoothed out, and kudos to that. Still; the core concept is one I sit extremely ill with, and no matter how flawless the prose, I find myself unable to see this as anything but a horror story draping itself in a different shroud.

Twilight could start a betting pool on how much longer civilization will last before it all burns. I'd expect that Equestria could withstand no more than a decade of ponies' collective id running wild.

"The time would be easy to know, for then ponykind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all ponies shouting and killing and revelling in joy."

This was an extraordinarily intense and unsettling story, but good. I'm not sure if what happened here was a tragedy or a triumph; perhaps it was neither, more of a phase change than anything else. A unique take of the thousand years of night, certainly!

6438979 ayyyy


Bezerk is purdy gud

Huh.

What, five odd years?

Pretty much what it's taken to see anypony make a serious attempt at evil!Luna[1] (as opposed to Nightmare Moon). First time altogether I've seen her WIN.

(Something that I pointed out when I very first joined the fandom was a very real possibiliy. If Luna had been still evil and had any semblence of cunning, the fact she very actually did only needto shed a couple of crocodile tears to have virtually the entire fandom were ready to overthrow Celestia would have been rather,.. Amusing.)


(And I definitely class this as Evil!Luna. Dreams - particularly those sort - are not something you want escaping into the real world.

Mine most especially, else there would not BE a world to escape into...)


Plus side, if Sombra's still around, one imagines he's going to have a FIELD day if he's got half a brain. 'Cos I'm pretty sure the Elements and the Crystal Heart are not likely to work in these environments...

For once, though, I would be rather afriad for all the nonponies in the world, since it sounds rather like they just got demoted to second-class citizens.


[1]I've only even seen a couple of stories that attempted to do it like she was some sort of hopelessly incompetant Saturday morning villain.

6439701

One of the reviewers in the Writeoff thread made this point about the other sentient races. If they aren't included in Luna's new scheme, suddenly the world became a very different place. Griffons went from being on the top of the food chain to having to compete with a race of omnipotent predators.

Dunno, though, maybe Griffons would like that.

Well shit, that didn't end the way I was hoping. Also, I'm no expert on this but should this have a gore tag maybe?

6439721

The changeings - and I can't believe I'm actually feeling something akin to sympathy for the Changelings, there's a first - are probably WELL screwed if they aren't included in the new order. Not only does one get the impression that suddenly love will be hard to come by (lust perhaps, but given the apparent cheerful disregard to the enivronment and general tone of the final paragraphs, plus the underlying thread of "indulge your fantasies" does not speak to a lot of empathy or compassion in monster!pony society), they probably won't be able to disguise themselves.

The Zebras are probably PROPER fracked.

(Oooooh. Zecora. And the Everfree's been carelessly set on fire, hasn't it? That ain't a happy thought...)



S'funny. I'd have thought I have been more in favour of this outcome, being Evil myself; but I'm sort of hoping Luna comes a nasty cropper after this. I think the idea of a waking-dream-world-order is just too chaotic (being of a tyrannically Lawful bend meself) for me to be comfortable with.

6439751

Well, as far as Luna is concerned, and probably most ponies as well, this is a fine ending. After all, their dreams are coming true. How often have we all wished for that?

6439760

I suspect no-one, if you stop and actually think what ALL your dreams coming true means. (I.e. your dreams, as opposed your waking fantasies and aspirations...)


(For a start, if ALL my dreams came true, the world would have flooded and everyone drowned (myself included, despite being a Lich) dozens of times over.)


(Edit: good job we had this conversation, I almost forgot to favourite this; it deserves that just for the take on Luna...)

My God, this was creepy.

TGM

I remember Discord's line asking Twilight how well she actually knew Luna, because she only saw and met her a handful of times, but I still can't see Luna wanting something like this to happen.

Especially with the Tantibus episode, she tried to stop dreams from escaping into the real world.

That doesn't mean this wasn't a good story all the same, well done.

Waiter,
I would like some bleach, please!

Out of all the authors that write Luna as evil on this site, I think you do the best job, Cold in Gardez. Evil isn't really even an adequate way of describing the characterization. She's more like an alien and uncaring eldritch horror. Mysterious and unknowable, ignorant and vile. A harbinger of darkness.

Every time I see her in your stories, I'm always internally bracing myself.

The strangest thing about this is that it happens exactly as it seems it will. Dreams appear to be taking over reality, and as details fill in it appears to be Luna's fault and very dangerous. And then at the end... it was in fact REALLY dangerous, Luna's fault, and dreams do indeed take over reality.

Kind of weird, actually. Like it was missing some opposition element.

I am disturbed, reading this. At the start, a few pebbles fell. Then a few stones. Then it became an avalanche that could simply not be stopped even by reading to the end.

Very well done story. Very well done indeed. Now excuse me, I need some Colorful Pastel Magical Ponies to help wash my brain clean.

I have one thing to say on this story:

Grando noctis aeternae plagam! Vivat perennis somnium!

I can easily see this as Nightmare Moon returning and taking over.

When I started reading..I realized the beginning reminded me of certain 'three' 'somethings'..

Childhood's End by Arthur Clark (the archetype for this type of ending..Hideki Anno said it inspired his NGE)
Blood Music by Greg Bear (basically..the above but soundly scientifically explained in terms that could make sense to even a CERN scientist)
Neon Genesis Evangelion (the original from the 90's) by Hideki Anno (..because this entire thing screams of the mindfuck ending from End of Evangelion)

..and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest when I finished reading.

Though. I cannot give it a high rating because you killed Celestia. That's like..WHAT!? Not even Celestia killed Luna last time..I was like..?!what!? :derpyderp2:

Interesting. There's no "right" person in this story. I do enjoy that.

Luna's a mad genius, freeing the people and giving them access to all their natural rights, but also unleashing anarchy and chaos upon the world.
Celestia's a tyrannical savior, protecting her people and giving them prosperity, but also oppressing them under her rule and brainwashing them to worship her.
Twilight's...well, just Twilight. A normal person. Able to think rationally and moderately, yet lacking omnipotence and liable to mistakes.

*reads*

. . .

:twilightoops:

That was terrifying. Reminded me of Akira.

6440006
If it wasn't for how she dealt with Tia..I would actually see this as interesting and perhaps positive 'change of pace' for Equestria so to speak..but I could be biased because I am an unabashed Extropian, Singulatarian and a great fan of Nikolai Fyodorov and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Both of them being priests (one an Eastern Orthodox Presbyter the other a Catholic Jesuit) and very much believing in God and fine examples of truly introspective piety and thinking..with very interesting notions about nature and future of Humanity..

How unnatural it is to ask, ‘Why does that which exists, exist?' and yet how completely natural it is to ask, ‘Why do the living die?‘ -N.Fyodorov

However convergent it be, evolution cannot attain to fulfilment on earth except through a point of dissociation. With this we are introduced to a fantastic and inevitable event which now begins to take shape in our perspective, the event which comes nearer with every day that passes: the end of all life on our globe, the death of the planet, the ultimate phase of the phenomenon of man. ...
Now when sufficient elements have sufficiently agglomerated, this essentially convergent movement will attain such intensity and such quality that mankind, taken as a whole, will be obliged—as happened to the individual forces of instinct—to reflect upon itself at a single point; that is to say, in this case, to abandon its organo-planetary foothold so as to shift its centre on to the transcendent centre of its increasing concentration. This will be the end and the fulfilment of the spirit of the earth.
The end of the world: the wholesale internal introversion upon itself of the noosphere (note by Durabys: aka Dreamworld/Imagination), which has simultaneously reached the uttermost limit of its complexity and its centrality.
The end of the world: the overthrow of equilibrium, detaching the mind, fulfilled at last, from its material matrix, so that it will henceforth rest with all its weight on God-Omega. ...
Are we to foresee man seeking to fulfil himself collectively upon himself, or personally on a greater than himself? Refusal or acceptance of Omega? ... Universal love would only vivify and detach finally a fraction of the noosphere so as to consummate it—the part which decided to "cross the threshold", to get outside itself into the other. ...
The death of the materially exhausted planet; the split of the noosphere, divided on the form to be given to its unity; and simultaneously (endowing the event with all its significance and with all its value) the liberation of that percentage of the universe which, across time, space and evil, will have succeeded in laboriously synthesising itself to the very end. Not an indefinite progress, which is an hypothesis contradicted by the convergent nature of noogenesis, but an ecstasy transcending the dimensions and the framework of the visible universe. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

"A hunter must hunt."-Eileen the Crow

Edit: funnily enough, this also reminds me of the ending to Dark Souls. Do you let the fire fade and bring upon the age of darkness man, or do you preserve the light for just a little longer?

6439751 I can see the Griffins forming a religion eerily similar to the Healing Church from Bloodborne or the Holy See from Berserk. Or maybe they'll even wind up having a Sigmar or a GEOM who creates a grand empire in order to defend the world from the madness of chaos. Thus becoming a force of order that resists the chaotic warp of the monster!Ponies.

I...I...I don't know how to feel about this. :pinkiesad2:

On the one hand, I will say this is very well written. An unsettling aura sets up shop very early on and just continues to escalate from there, and it was more than engaging enough to keep me hooked until the the very end.

But then...then I actually reached the end: an absurd level Downer Ending wherein The Bad Guy Wins, made even worse by the fact that said villain is an evil (and honestly OOC) Luna who pretty much murders Celestia for wanting the ponies to remain as sane ponies instead of hellish monsters (which makes Luna worse than Discord, since as far as we know he never killed anyone!) before burning Equestria to the ground and plunging it into the deepest recesses of hell. Every living being in Equestria is now dead, twisted into horrible and barely recognizable abominations that will no doubt devour one another the second they are given the chance.

To say this ending gave me a serious case of mood whiplash would do a disservice to the word. This ending just feels...wrong. It's like at the end of a movie, while standing right outside the final destination that the entire film's been building up to, the entire cast is just suddenly caught in a avalanche and all unceremonious die. Roll credits.

6440897 6441100
Why do you think Celestia is dead? I don't see the story either saying or even implying that, just that Luna has won and now it's her reign.

Wow, ummmm.
Not sure what to say.
It's great yeah but...
Fuck I don't know.
8.7/10?

So Discord wasn't actually reformed and was just buying time until the world goes chaotic and apparently ponies go bloodthirsty.

*sees people's either half-ar***d self-rationalizations about Luna still being EVUULZ (is not) or Discord still being his old self (isn't actually) instead of acknowledging her alien mindset or go full FASCIST THEOCRATIC INQUISITION 'GETS SHOT! BLAM' Warhammer40k fanatical without a second thought*

*yawns*

..boring. Instead of actually thinking through the interesting idea of how dream interact with reality, people are going full OMG! WH40k nuts-o. Really. It is becoming so bad with the Warhammer and Games Workshop 'everyday roleplay' contamination of other non-WH40k topics that I think all topics WH and WH40k should get prison bound to 4chan.

Uh-huh...

So... like.... I enter this fucked up world and dream I'm Kid Buu and blow the god-damned thing to dust.

The end.

Seriously. Am I the only person on the planet whose dreams AREN'T totally screwed up?

Because I have never dreamed anything like this stuff. Ever.

This story... it seems to suggest that all the ponies have ever wanted is destruction and chaos. That they dream of horror. That they are as vile inside as the worst of the human race. Am I to believe that these little ponies seek more madness than the tyrants of our own world?

If there's one thing I have learned, it's that madness is only power to those who are fools. The wise and cunning can destroy the mad dreams with ease, for in madness there can be no reason. Without reason, no plan. Without a plan, no hope of success. And reason is what took us from caves where we shook in fear and darkness of the night as the beasts prowled about without.

Luna's gloatings are without reason. I would sooner believe that she'd taken control of their minds than that this was their CHOICE. What motivation would they really have? What experience with chaos have they not outright rejected every other moment? With magic at their beck and call, what dreams could they not fulfill with their own waking imagination?

And then, why would the Elements of Harmony have released Luna if she, this entire time, planned such a thing?

I find no logic in this story, something that could only exist in the random horror of a nightmare, which is dispelled in an instant by the glaring brightness of the reason of daylight.

I've noticed several people mentioning that the ending came out of nowhere, but it seemed to me to be a logical progression. Mostly. I think the story could have used a bit more about other ponies' dreams or subtler changes with a promise of something more extreme to come, though. I can follow the dream logic, but I agree with poison claw about the mood whiplash.

6441144 How would this world endure a thousand years of sheer madness?

Everything would be dead the moment a pony dreamed himself Death Incarnate.

This is an untenable existence, doomed to utterly obliterate itself in short order.

6440925 We scientists ask why things exist all the time.

We find very ordered and sensible reasons.

No dreams.

6439760 My dreams often entail traveling and learning.

If I were in this world I would have one final dream: in which I end it forever.

And mine is a will far strong enough to make it happen were dreams capable of being made manifest. A hundred methods and more would be at my disposal to do the only thing I could to prevent this disease of madness from spreading to other worlds. A kindness, a sacrifice, by one who would not see all reality eradicated by a mad god and her mutilated followers.

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