• Published 1st Apr 2016
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Group Precipitation - FanOfMostEverything

Stories set in the Oversaturated World, some silly, some less so.

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Counsel 2: Obstetric Boogaloo, by Masterweaver

"... So why did you need a local view?"


"That thing you talked to us about in the music room," Twilight clarified. "Why'd you need a local view? I mean, it seemed pretty clean cut, all things considered..."

Sunset chuckled awkwardly. "Um... well... it was the transgenderism angle. That's not actually... common in Equestria."

Twilight blinked. "It's... not?"

"No. You remember how I said sex change spells were supposed to be impossible, back when this all began?"

"...Kind of, yeah."

"Well, it's because... equestrian magic is based on harmonic resonance. And ponies are incredibly magical, to the point it affects development prior to birth."

Twilight blinked. "I'm... not sure what you're saying."

"From a genetic standpoint, ponies are actually sexless."

"...what? How does—wait. Let me guess, there's some magical thing that happens in the womb."

"Yeah. Fetal ponies actually start out with traits from all the tribes—enhanced musculature, wings, a horn—but past a certain point maintaining all those structures is a health risk. So the developing soul of a pony infant sort of... reabsorbs the extra material. Pegasi actually have fewer ribs then other ponies, unicorns have a less extensive magivascular system, and because earth ponies got rid of their extra bits they don't need to burn the muscles for fuel."

Twilight tapped her chin. "Okay, I can... see how that would allow for the range of physiological distinctions in the pony species. And... the soul affects the physical sex of the pony?"

"Only in the late game," Sunset replied. "Like a month or two before birth. Still, for ponies the idea of being born in the 'wrong body' is kind of strange to consider, given that our bodies are literally affected by our souls in utero. It happens, but it's only been recognized recently, medically speaking, and our research into the subject is... kind of hampered by the assumption that it's a fetal aberration, not something that can develop in adulthood."

"And here some people think the pony world is perfect," Twilight deadpanned. "What do you mean by fetal aberration, anyway?"

"Basically, sometimes the developing soul interfaces differently with the magical systems and the biological systems. Scootaloo's counterpart, for instance, is a pegasus pony, buuuut she was born with both pegasus and earth pony magic--if she had been born just three decades earlier, the conflicting magics would have put a strain on her system and she would have been doomed to a slow, withering death." Sunset sighed. "Nowadays the magics can be artificially balanced, but it has some side effects—her hydrorepulsion aura is too weak to interact with uncondensed water vapor, so even though she has really strong wings she's incapable of outright flight."

"And that affects tribe, but not gender." Twilight tapped her chin. "So pony research into gender mechanics is something that hasn't been addressed because gender is secondary to tribe in most medical instances, and the societal concern of genders are not as emphasized as a result?"

"It's so much of a non-issue that nopony even realizes it could be an issue. Right up until somepony brings it up." Sunset shrugged. "Here, though, there are genetic differences between sexes, and gender culture is... an increasingly tangled mess of tradition, variation, and prejudice. I wasn't confident that I had the mental equipment to handle all the implications."

"Don't worry, Sunset. I'm sure you'll get the hang of it as you go." Twilight patted her shoulder. "You certainly reacted better then the first time I heard about transgender people."


"Yeah. Crystal Prep still has the... explosion scars." Twilight winced. "In retrospect, I should not have attempted to use chemistry to research sociology."

Author's Note:

Broken off of the previous chapter since this one's mostly headcanon that I don't share or wish to incorporate into the setting, but still find fascinating.

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