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“History is written by the victors.” ~ Winston Churchill

Welcome to the new Equestria: Several decades ago it spanned a continent, now it encompasses an entire world due to an unknown phenomenon that occurred many years ago. Equestriani towns and cities now dot the planet. What many of its inhabitants try to forget though is that many of these cities were built over older cities that belonged to a now-extinct race: humans.

Crystal Clear, a fledgling researcher with a fascination of these beings, intends to publish a book; a comprehensive take on their race. His task is not an easy one as the event all those years ago has ensured that nothing tangible of their era remained. The only way for him to gain any information on mankind is via old unofficial accounts and interviewing the 'newfoals' and anypony who lived with humans back then. But the latter are far and few... and those who had agreed before are now mysteriously refusing to comment. Why?

In the midst of this, Crystal's grandmother passes away, leaving him several memory orbs of her times with humans. Is this the break that he has been searching for? Will he finally come to an understanding of this elusive species or will he learn of something that he wasn't meant to know?

This story has been reviewed by The Equestrians Critics Society. See the full review here.

Chapters (9)
Comments ( 280 )

I can't really string together words at the moment. That's how good this was for me.
If you were to expand this chapter, you could make it a story on its own.

I.... Words have no way to convey the message I get from this story...

Sweet baby jesus... I need more of this... NOW!
*pulls out a wallet and throws money at the screen*

Wow. The raw emotion... It's palpable through the screen.

Absolutely fantastic.

Couple of minor editing errors, but nowhere near enough to detract from the story's flow. And the amount of raw emotion that this story channels through the narrative and characterization is just damned impressive. The characterization, no less so: The human character was truly human, and you made us feel for his plight through the feelings of a conflicted main character.

The reality that is starkly presented here is harsh and no less engaging for its implied complexity and brutality. The idea that the ponies themselves are a product of their own dystopia is hardly new, but your spin on it and the way it's presented here is refreshing.

And, if your description is anything to go by, this is just the prologue...

With your permission, I'll be adding this to the group unless someone beats me to it. Hope to see a lot more from you very soon.

I already told you my thoughts on this, but I love it. The characters are believable, the emotions palpable, and the end is just soul-crushing. Great job Giulio.

Kyznetsov Sokolov, I salute you. You faced your foe, without disdain, nor fear of your own demise. For this you are not a martyr, you are a beacon of all that Humanity once was. If ever there was to be an end to Humanity, that was the noblest, most dignified.

GIULIO, you have set a high-bar for yourself. Do not let us down.

And that happens when an unstoppable force meets a soft, slightly squishy object.
Nicely done, the mixture of tear-jerking self-pity and gruesome, magical death was quite touching.

I think this is something that every person who has ever played a game with an 'Advancing Wall of Doom' mechanism wanted to do.

Just turn around, give the middle finger to the designer, and say "Piss off you bloody wanker"

This dude gets double props for doing it with his own self.

(This is also why my own story doesn't have an advancing wall of doom, the dilemma will stem from other means)

Humanity will not go without a bang

Thanks for the feedback everyone, it really means a lot to me. I did consider writing this as a one-shot fic, but then I decided to expand on this by making this as the prologue and write the story with a pony's perspective looking back at the era when humans were still up and about.

I must thank the authors of TCB: Ten Rounds, TCB: Not Alone, All-American Girl, and TCB: Last Man Standing for creating wonderful stories to inspire from. This'll be a bit of a trip for me, since this'll be my first attempt at a first-person PoV fic. Hopefully it'll meet your expectations.

You have my full permission. I'm flattered actually!

There is no adequate way to express the feelings I had as I read this story, any words I could conceive would only mimic the sentiments expressed by others earlier. Nothing really except to say that if I could, I would shake your hand and tell you "good job", and that I look forward to seeing this tale develop.


Oh my goodness, that was wonderful.

Keep up the good work. :pinkiehappy:

I already expressed my thoughts in the thread, but I'll say it again here, this came out very well, and yes, I am very happy that you posted it here on FimFiction.

Ah, pathos, you wield it so well. The only thing I would change is you have an atrocious grasp on tense - I would honestly go through and replace what you have now with honest, first person, past tense. It will be that much better if you do.

*EDIT: If I recall, the story was in first person. I will state this, and that is that first person generally doesn't go down as well as third person as it limits your character viewpoints far more than third person. The trick is, however, to stick to one or the other.

I have no real words. the emotional gut punch was just... damn. :fluttershysad: Kyznetsov, we shall remember.

There is nobility in dying on one's own terms, and that's been a central theme in what I've written in TCB so far and a core of what makes the setting so fascinating for me. The concept is probably alien to ponies, if not intellectually then culturally so. Using death as defiance would be the choice of many, many humans, I believe. It's not so much a message of hatred or disgust to Equestria, but a simple rejection of giving up our sense of identity, rejection of the idea that we are sick and need to be made well, and rejection of the idea that ponification is the only way to accomplish that in the first place.

This was a good story, but I personally think Kyznetsov Sokolov is a total idiot. No big loss.


Eh, whatcha gonna do. Some people can make the change, others can't, and a few more want to go out in a blaze of glory.

(I dare anyone just to let her comment lie)


Ha, I'll take you up on that dare!


I... disagree with your opinion but can understand why you believe that.

Please tell me this will have a regular update schedule!

Unfortunately as hectic as my life is I cannot promise regular updates. I will work on this as much as I can though.

So I suppose you think that Romas Kalanta, considered a national hero of Lithuania, who set himself on fire in public in protest of the Soviet oppression of his country's culture, language and people... was an idiot because he killed himself?

I also suppose you think that Thich Quang Duc, Vietnamese Buddhist monk who set himself on fire in public, as a means to protest against the Diem government's regulations of freedom of worship and the overall corruption... was an idiot because he killed himself?

Also that Emily Wilding Davison, an avid activist for women's suffrage, who killed herself in full view of hundreds of thousands of people by throwing herself under King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby, and now has the WSPU slogan, “Deeds not words” engraved on her gravestone... she was also an idiot because she killed herself?

Please. *EDIT (I was insulting here; extremely so)* One taking his own life is not being idiotic. It is a serious decision that shouldn't be glossed over by others. Many times it could've been avoided but sometimes... it's the only option they have left.

Suicide is nothing to be laughed at or treated as 'idiotic'.


Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, so they say, and I tend to agree.


While I personally agree that suicide is often never the best solution as there are alternatives (as I have experienced myself), I do believe in the right to die, only if there are no alternatives left.

This sort of suicide is different however. Sokolov had a permanent problem, so whatever he chose would've been a permanent solution. In this case his intention was to send a message, a message that would otherwise not have been made. I wouldn't scoff at a decision of this magnitude. Actions speak volumes.


I would argue that he wasn't out to solve a problem, he was out to make a statement. He had an opportunity to give ponies the most lasting reminder possible of the cost of Equestria merging with Earth, and he took it. I think any life he'd have had in Equestria would be tinged with the guilt of letting the last human loss pass by without incident or fanfare.

THANK YOU you've just stated what I meant to say but just couldn't find the words.

This was quite truely the most fitting way for humanity to go out. With one fat middle finger and a painful scream of defiance. We are nothing if not defiant folk that absolutely love taking the hard road for the sake of making a point.

Me too actually. I was going through clearing out stuff I didn't intend to read and found this again. Glad I did, very nice. In a world where humanity was being erased, even if the ponification thing in no way altered the person's personality and they could be considered the same person, just a pony, this is still how the last human would go. Even if Celestia wasn't responsible for the advancing barrier someone would still be there to give a big "fuck you" farewell to any force responsible for the complete destruction of humanity.

Excellent story, mate. Good choice with the statement made by the fellow's death. Despite what Chatoyance said, this fellow was going to die one way or another. The "choice" given by Celestia is basically an excellent rendition of the classic Ogre's Choice: Die fast and painless now or slowly and horribly later on? Either way he ends up dead. I love the emotions in this story. Really adds some kick.

One of these days I'm going to actually finish up my stories and write the TCB that I've always wanted to write. It'll probably end a little better for humanity.

So faving this. It moved me greatly.:pinkiesad2:


Only an idiot would believe that dying to give such an important message is foolish. Being willing to die for something is the hallmark for greatness. The greatest wonders have been created by people willing to die for the ideals they believed in.

So, this was the Renegade option? Or did the narrator just lack in Paragon? Seriously, I picture the Bioware conversation wheel rolling about through the entire dialog.

Ha! This actually made me laugh. :rainbowlaugh:

To be honest I'd say that Kyznetsov chose Paragon because it was the more difficult choice. Shooting himself would've been the Renegade option since it wouldn't hurt as much but still send the same message. Neutral would've been him giving up and taking the serum which he wouldn't do! :twilightangry2:

Nice way to interpret the scene.


Good stuff this. The premise is interesting and the writing is most competent. I'll be watching... Err, reading.


Been working for a while. It's late. Sleep is required. Will respond to any questions or concerns tomorrow morning.

G'night everyone.

"canid populations"

Oh you just know the world building is going to be exceptional when in the writer is more creative with the dogs. It really does make more sense to write the Diamond Dogs as a specific tribe or gang of dogs or just a nickname for them and then use something better sounding. reading on I'm continuously surprised by the level of world building as it's subtlety laid out. Are you using a map or something? Everyone likes to complain about the misanthropy but it's the lack of imagination in the world building that is the real crime. The one thing that I did enjoy from Chatyance's fics were the stories expanding the world of Equestria beyond Ponyville but then the bizarre construction of her Equestria as a never ending plane of desert, while interesting to an extent, just ruined the stories themselves and made them feel just as artificial. But I'm rambling now. Back on topic, I love the expanding of the fictional world. More fics in general should do this.

"Who was Phone Lyra?"
And here we are with Lyra's name being thrown out. I almost mentally rolled my eyes to the idea of the researcher on humans being related to Lyra, but what's this now? He's never heard of her? Now we're left wondering if it's some kind of code. Is someone trying to secretly contact him? Did his grandfather not get along with his grandmother and they split, probably because she was pro-human and he wasn't the same after conversion? You've succeeded G.I.U.L.I.O.. You've captured my attention and left me wanting answers without relying on cheep tricks. I swear everybody is leaving their biweekly chapters on cliffhangers this week. This one works though. There isn't enough for me to care for the character's well being this early, yet you were able to lay out such a simply and subtle thing to keep me reading. Nice. :yay:

Reassigned to Stalliongrad, hm? Something's up...

And Crystal Clear is Lyra's grandson? Not surprising.


Actually, I don't see this as a suicide at all. This was more akin to forcing the choice on the other party. He could have killed himself with that gun... the point was that he didn't pull the trigger. He chose to live and the barrier killed him.

When I read this I couldn't help but immediately think of Tank Man, valiantly facing down impossible odds and refusing to move. Refusing to compromise his beliefs and integrity despite the violence and death arrayed against him. And he was killed for it.

It's a powerful image, and the man is almost universally acknowledged as a pacifist hero. A parallel to Ghandi, and the many others like him who performed non-violent resistance, that came before. A wonderful thing, indeed.

There was nothing of the defeatism and despair of suicide here... only staunch refusal to go quietly into that good night. I'd like to think I'd do the same, given the opportunity.

P.S. Oh, and don't mind the naysayers. As Henry Miller once said:

"The man who is forever disturbed about the condition of humanity either has no problems of his own or has refused to face them."

Right, had about seven hours of sleep. Now I can look over the chapter properly...

Ah-hah! Caught two mistakes that nobody pointed out! :pinkiehappy:

Lotsa speculation here. All I'll say is that you've got one thing bang on but I'm not telling which! :pinkiecrazy:

World building, I feel, is easily one of the most important aspects that TCB authors should develop properly for a good story to work. Luckily in terms of using a map, I'm using the same one that most people in the world use: ours! What I'm actually doing is renaming real places and cities into something more pony-ish (i.e. The Azores -> The Azures or Graciosa -> Grazeiosa) or coming up with a new name entirely. As for Equestria proper I'll likely keep it vague when I do get to it. Expect little mention of Ponyville though.

Interesting you should say that, especially considering that I've never read any Lovecraft story (closest piece of work was a biographical graphic novel of Lovecraft). Crystal's narration style is mostly akin to the manner I write in most pieces. He is definitely scholarly, or at least he tries to be. In many respects he shares many similarities with Twilight, mostly in scholarly terms: the desire to know; some slight compulsive behavior (though nothing like Twi's OCD) and the want to teach.

'Course he does have his fair share of differences, though I cannot disclose them yet, top secret. :coolphoto:

Comment away!

86 favs and 66 likes? Woah, wasn't expecting my means to vent my frustration of the TCB universe to be a great hit. Y'all are crazy. Crazy I tells ya! :applejackconfused:

Hesitantly tracking, then Lyra. OK, you have my attention now. Let's do this.


Zed, I'll have to disagree with you here and claim it has more of a memoir vibe, as Lovecraft employed more of a stream-of-consciousness style with huge monolithic paragraphs and interruptions in his own narrative. This is much easier to read.

I'm enjoying the press of the generation gap here, as Crystal Clear has to record the stories and input from ever-dwindling numbers of true newfoals before all firsthand accounts of the conversion days are gone forever, in a rather stark parallel to the passing of the WWII-era generation in our own time. The setup is ripe for delivering powerful moments, much like the one given in the prologue. Onward!

Yes! Finally someone who shares my view of ponies being diurnal!
I mean, seriously. We know they're not nocturnal, but there has to be some reason they've got those huge eyes.

Nooooo! Best pony! Why did you have to die?! dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/emoticons/misc_Lyra_cry.png

Anyways, great chapter! You do, however have some spelling and occasionally grammar mistakes, but nothing too major.

Interesting. I too sense a conspiracy. Lyra... something's up there. They've got something for him there. And that dream was... eerie. can't wait for more!

Curses, I'll have to fire my editor!

*Looks around*

Wait a second. That's me! :twilightoops:

Mind telling me what I missed? :twilightblush:

Again, if anyone wants to be an editor/prereader just shoot an PM my way.


Well, for instance, 'newfoal,' is one word. Also, you quite often word your sentences a bit awkwardly. Are you, perchance, not a native speaker of English?

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