• Member Since 27th Aug, 2013
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Fixation on death aside, this is lovely —Soge, accidentally describing my entire life


Strange symbols have started appearing all across Equestria that nopony can read, except Discord. As he comes to grips with what this message means, he is determined that nopony find out its secret. If they do, absolutely everypony in Equestria will die.

This story is a cosmological crossover with The Three Body Problem trilogy by Cixin Liu, and thus contains spoilers for that universe. But can be read without prior knowledge of that story.

Audiobook available on YouTube!
Featured on Equestria Daily!

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 74 )
Ekhidna #1 · Oct 26th, 2016 · · 1 ·

Holy fucking shit....




...Bravo, sir. Bravo. This is truly amazing and heartouching. I really, honestly, no joke, cried when Discord yelled he loved Fluttershy and all the way down to the end.

I applaud you, and I demand the highest of fives for you.


That was an excellent read. :twilightsmile:

I admired this one's ambition in the Writeoffs -- IIRC it wasn't far from the top three in my slate -- and I look forward to seeing how it's changed when I'm not about to board an airplane. Time to queue it up for offline reading! :pinkiehappy:

I'll try to think of a better word that more faithfully expresses my impression of this story and its effect on me, but that's all I can articulate right now. Sorry.

Thank you for sharing this story with us.

I REALLY want to make a crack fic version of this.

Only the yellow symbols are emojis and when someone translates them they get cancer.

Anyway, beautiful story and premise it was touching that he cared that much for his friends.

That was a great story. Beautiful in its own way.

This story was beautiful. A tale of the end, and surmounting the odds.

7672563 Super AIDS cancer.
This needs to happen!

Twilight: "I finished translating the message. It says, 'Bad Wolf'."
Discord: "Yes, that's what it says."
Twilight: "So...who is this 'Rose' it speaks of?"
Discord *smiling*: "Fluttershy"


That was an awesome melding of ponies and sci-fi so hard it could cut diamonds. Excellent work.

What's this crossing over with?


The Three Body Problem trilogy by Cixin Liu. This is set in the same universe as that story, but with a few of my own twists thrown in there. It's really only spoilers for the last few chapters of the final book in the trilogy, and the existence of The Dark Forest psychology at the end of the second book. So not too much is spoiled if you're interested in reading the awesome Sci-Fi that inspired this.

This was possibly the best story I've ever read. It made me cry, both good and bad. Well done. I want to go rethink the universe now.

Brilliant. I loved the books and I love this. Thank you for providing this to everyone here.

That was so good. Unbelievably good. I am going to go read the source material now.

I'm not familiar with the story it's crossing over with, but it was a beautiful story nonetheless. :twilightsmile:

That got pretty sci-fi real fast. But it was an incredibly enjoyable read. I'm not normally one to read stories longer than 5,000 words due to lack of attention span. However, this was a good read. Loved it.

Alondro finds out what the symbols mean and spreads the knowledge all across Equestria!

Nothing happens because crossover aliens know better than to F-around with Alondro's ponies.


"Good news, Twilight! You don't have to worry about the problem any more."


"It turns out the universe just needed to borrow our atoms for a little while! I know, I was surprised too. We just went through the Big Crunch and came out the other side, right as rain! Okay, technically we all died and were replaced by identical clones -"


"Oh, don't look at me like that! I'm not the one who did it. That particular Discord died along with the rest of you! Them. And they went out peacefully, in their sleep! Really, you should be thanking me! Him."


"Oh dear. Fresh out of the cloning tank, and already having brain problems. Fluttershy 2.0, would you mind bringing some tea and cookies? I think she could use them."

7675745 Headcannon accepted.

Damn. That was an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end. I was riveted from the beginning and it did not disappoint. I really thought you were going to have an end with Equestria erased, but then you pulled a happy ending out of nowhere-a believable one-that just perfectly capped off this story and made me feel all fuzzy inside.

Yeah, that's my headcanon for this story now.

“No, we need to be here,” said Deity. “We need to take Equestria back. To save everyone, everypony has to die.”

In order for this to make sense, my understanding of what it means to die has to be retweaked. As if death doesn't equal destruction then it must equal change in some form...

. In the end, civilizations only have two choices: kill everyone else first, or hide.

Are you implying friendship is not an option to the princess of friendship?!:pinkiegasp:

I believe if we are so smart everyone would find a way to get along.:ajsmug:

There are millions, perhaps billions of pocket universes out there with their own mass stolen from the main universe. If most don’t agree to sacrifice their lives, then the universe won’t collapse into a big crunch anyway! We might as well live comfortably here!”

Now this one is actually a pretty good argument for saving Equestria.

Provided the pocket universes could still exist after the main universe doesn't which the message implies is not the case.

It is no longer a question of would you sacrifice your world to save a universe, it's now a question of would you sacrifice your world in a gambit to save a universe. Key difference is that the latter might not work so depending on how likely is that to happen it becomes a matter of risk vs reward.

“You forget the second law of thermodynamics, Discord. ‘The total entropy of an isolated system always increases over time.’

"Actually Twilight, the laws of thermodynamics are bull-shit. They where written by ponies who didn't understand how the universe really works." :moustache:


This was a very nice story, it pretty much incorporated the philosophy I expected.

Note, it's probably inaccurate that any hydrogen atom would repeat a pattern forever when in it's natural state it's bound to decay eventually, but assuming it doesn't for some time, for as long as that might be that would possibly be the most amazing most mass efficiency method to store information that has ever being imagined.

Love your stories, :heart:


This is a very good one-shot.

So Discords is probably going to need the help of his new pal Orb when he tries to convince Twilight that everything already has been fixed and that she doesn't need to worry anymore. :twilightsheepish:

holy this has a little SOMA feel to it

I feel like it's similar to the halo story,

but instead of storing away life, and destroying organic matter, it's storing away data about everything and everyone, where the pocket dimensions are like a flash drive holding your original computer system, that when you get the new computer, you plug it in and every thing goes on from where it stopped, but on a larger scale WHERE EVERYBODY HAS TO MAKE BACKUPS, OR FUCK, but nonetheless, I just got this new heart, right after I got halfway through another story
Forerunner= Strangers
Flood= The Universe ending
DNA storage= hydrogen atom storage
HALO wave= big crunch
I tried to make a few parallels here, or at least see them, it kinda helps me understand when I have something similar to work off of

It was hard to wrap my mind around it at first but once it clicked, I loved it! This was an awesome read! :heart:

So... am I right in assuming that Discord found a means of letting Equestria continue to live in this new universe?

Holy cow...

Um... my brain can't anymore. You broke it. Bravo good sir. Bravo.

Please tell me they didn't use emojis to send the universe's death message.

7681734 As a prereader I can confirm that he did. He was, in fact, very sad when he learned that fimfiction didn't support emojis and that he had to use an image.

And now to reply to a bunch of comments! .... a week later :facehoof:

I think this comment alone was the reason this story was able to make it into the featurebox. Thanks Ekhidna! :twilightsmile:

I'm glad you liked it!

Thanks so much for your comments during the writeoff! If you find the time, I'd love to know if this version of the story scored higher than the "Almost There" tier.

Nope, that all you need to say. I appreciate your kind words.

You have my blessing, good sir!


Thank you! That's what I was going for. :twilightsmile:

Awww... :pinkiesad2:
I gotta admit, I think Dr. Who has more than a little influence on my writing.

Mixing Sci-Fi and Fantasy can often have mixed results. I'm glad the fusion worked out.

Woah, now. That is really high praise! Thanks so much for the encouragement! :yay:

An actual reader of Three Body!? How rare! :D
I'm so glad you liked my twists on that universe.


No really, part of the reason I wrote this was because I couldn't think of a blog post that would convey my feelings on reading The Dark Forest and Death's End. But then this story idea popped up in my head at just the right time, and it all worked out. This was a better way of getting people interested in that Sci-Fi series than a simple blog post would.
Let me know if you get around to reading that series, I'm always up to talk about Three Body with people.

Perfect! I was a tad worried it would be harder to follow without a passing knowledge of Sci-Fi problems like the Fermi Paradox. I'm glad you liked it! :D

I love your username.
I'm glad you gave this story a chance!

And the winner of the best comment goes to FredMSloniker!

No really, this was absolutely hilarious. And I am so tempted to just shout "CANON!" But I'll leave my options open just in case :twilightsmile:

Thank you for reading! :pinkiehappy:


I believe if we are so smart everyone would find a way to get along.:ajsmug:

I sure hope so. I'm still reeling from reading Death's End. The books really sell the point that the universe is not a happy place and will never be a happy place. And of course I immediately took this depressing Sci-Fi universe and tried to make it happy.

that would possibly be the most amazing most mass efficiency method to store information that has ever being imagined.

You always write things that make me feel so cool!

Thank you so much for reading all my stories! :yay:


So Discords is probably going to need the help of his new pal Orb when he tries to convince Twilight that everything already has been fixed and that she doesn't need to worry anymore. :twilightsheepish:

Actually, Orb died in the big crunch along with any memories Discord had from after his brain was copied. But changes in the speed of light, and an absurdly different night sky should be enough to convince Twilight that things are different. :moustache:

Man, I've never touched Halo before, but that sounds like an amazing plot. I should probably watch a Let's Play of the series sometime.

I'm always a little worried when I write really technical, obscure ideas out. I'm glad they made sense outside of my own head. :twilightsmile:

Yep. Just a bit of Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V.

I was wondering when someone was going to call me out on trying to using emoji's in a serious Sci-Fi story. :trollestia:

But really, the whole plot relies on the rare, rare, rare symbol based languages. Which, on earth we have Chinese, but that language system is so far removed from it's initial symbolic purpose. And so I hypothesize that there are alien races that would communicate using pictograms, which I represented in this story as emojis. Which I thought was fun, but hopefully it didn't murder the tone of the story.

Thanks again for pre-reading! :yay:

7688829 Thank you for writing it!

Yeah, the edits definitely made a big difference here to story coherence and to fixing the requires-reading-the-crossover effect. :twilightsmile: These days I don't like giving Writeoff tiers quite so much outside a Writeoff context, because I've sort of calibrated them toward the first-draft submissions there and it's a little bit apples-and-oranges, but if this story as submitted here had been in the Writeoffs it would have landed a Strong at least.

7688829 Hey, it's okay if you reply a week later. At least you replied. Anyway, I came back to talk to you about the story. I appreciate what you have done with this. It gives me many feels, some of which make me want to re-read a couple lines to make sure that I actually got what you were trying to say. For you to do that, must mean that you are indeed one of the better authors on FimFiction, as some just lose me entirely and no amount of re-reading can help. I did not really have the words to describe how much I liked your story as I was still somewhat reeling from it. So for that, I will give you my emotions, with song!!!

Thought chanting and violin put it together very nicely. In one word...AMAZED.

That is indeed a very epic song.

To be honest, I had these two songs playing on repeat the entire time I was writing this story.

Thank you very much for your thoughts. I'm flattered. :twilightsmile:

7688829 The truth of the matter is that reality is what you make of it.

You can look at the glass being half full or half empty, think positively or negatively, have optimistic expectations or cynical ones.

But if we are to gain a unbiased objective understanding of the true state of individual and group psychology and make a prediction from it. It can be and go either way.

Now to be idealistic, having the universe be a happy friendly place is more beneficial for each and everyone of us, not just the weak but also the strong, not having to waist each one's energy, time, and resources struggling with each other sets the whole to have as much freedom as possible. However in my experience, there is always potential for benefit in mutually constructive relationships and believing that ideal relationships are always a possibility helps to guide ourselves to make them happen.

Now to get back down to earth, in addition to that there is to consider that free will allows to choose one type of freedom over the other if one is able, and the universe allows for incompetence and mistakes guide individuals to act against their best interests. Being incompetent is possible, for as long as that is the case ideals will be kept at bay.

Now regarding perspective, calling the universe at it's best "a happy place" would be oversimplifying, the universe has the capacity to be a great many things that can at the same time each be viewed in a great many number of perspectives. Whenever someone calls something an abstract adjective such as happy, evil, chaotic etc... It means that it is mostly perceived that way, not that it only processes traits of that kind.

Assuming that societies are capable to get along with each other and work together to help better achieve each others interests, choosing not to do so would objectively be an insane choice even when one can still fair pretty well in a forthcoming conflict. The best choice would not only not have a conflict and have an allay instead. You can't have too many allies.

Diplomacy it's almost always a more efficient and beneficial for both parties as a whole. It's the exception whenever a party grows to be better from having/experiencing a conflict. (I can't even come up with one example where this would be unambiguously the case but in some regards such as experience it's arguably the outcome of some conflicts)

But most living beings are instinctually bias towards doing and being things that are best for them, the ones who aren't are less likely to survive, reproduce and are naturally selected out of the gene pull reinforcing the instictict to act and be in our best interests over time.

So it might be conforying to know that free will isn't the bigest obstacle in our way to a favorable universe, intelligence is. We are almost guaranteed to pursue whatever we believe to be our best interests it's just a matter of being able to know and understand how we can all be better off together. There is always a way. And there always will be provided the universe is limitless.

What I meant to say in my earlier comment, If we believe ourselves to be so smart everyone should be able to find a way to get along because getting along it's what's best for all of us even tho sometimes we rather not.

We can be stronger together. The only limitation lays in how well we can get along, Whether or not we are able to see how we can be better together and our ability to change inorther to get into a better place.

It's a matter of intelillece, whether you decide to have optimistic or pessimistic expectations about our intelligence in the future and by extension our ability to make our universe into something favorable there is no argument that it would be better if it was, If we manage to handle every obstacle that could stand in our way of that.

It is not beyond our selves, it is just never for certain whether or not we will do it.



What do you mean "your brain is broken"? You used a computer to send your message; you live in the information age. Even if you don't know the details or the name, you should be passingly familiar with Information Theory's more-obvious implications. If you've ever saved, copied, uploaded, or downloaded a file, then you know the necessary broad strokes to understand what Discord and Stranger did.

While Star Trek likes to throw around idiotic and incorrect technobabble for dramatic effect, this is essentially how Star Trek-style teleporters work.

My point is I find it hard to believe this could be brain-bending for anyone capable of commenting on this story. You're smarter than you think you are. You just need to start paying attention to what you already know.

marquee...you keep useing that word...i do not think this word means what you think this word means.

Fantastic read.

Personally, I think the universe is actually a very friendly place, and we probably scare the crap out of aliens.

Consider this: we get nuclear weapons, and we get FREAKISHLY close to annihilating ourselves with them, many times (3 different occasions, one person saying "no" when they had every reason to say "yes" prevented WWIII - a computer glitch in the Soviet Union, in NORAD, and a nuclear-armed submarine getting hit with warning charges that they thought was an actual attack. More situations happened similar to those).

Now consider a technology that is as common as an airplane, or even a car, and it can destroy the entire planet.

If a species has any violent tendencies at all, do you expect it to live very long?

Now consider this: planet-killing weapons are a byproduct of interstellar capability. If you can travel in-between stars, you can destroy planets with the energy needed to do so.

Now consider this: if the history of the universe is a football field, all of human civilization is less than a blade of grass' width. Fly an airplane over a football field, throw two darts randomly out the window - how likely are they to land on the same blade of grass? So you see, any other civilization will be WWAAAAYYY ahead of us, or behind - behind, they'd be animals, so if they're a civilization, they'll have such technology that they will be nothing short of magical gods to us.

Now consider you're trying to kill a god.

Monkey having a hard time destroying a car? Or a battleship? Or shooting down an ICBM by throwing a stick at it? Yeah, you get the idea.

Now consider this; 400 billion stars is a lot, but billions of years is a lot of time to colonize every one. Humans like to study things. If we found ape-like creatures in Africa building huts, we'd be interested. If we are an interstellar civilization and we find a planet with primitive creatures who have learned to wield fire, we'd be interested. So I think any alien life out there would be interested in us, in the same way we'd be interested in them.

We watch them - they watch us. We carefully gauge this rising civilization - should we cauterize it off the face of the galaxy? Absolutely not, that's brutal - people would be in an upcry if we went and tried to kill 7 billion harambes, just imagine, and this civilization is probably even more pacifist because they have this insane planet-killing technology and they still, somehow, haven't killed themselves off with it. And they know they could crush us like ants, anyways, even if we wanted to kill them (keep throwing those sticks at airplanes, monkey, I'm sure you'll shoot one down, one day).

So they watch, learn, hope we learn to be as nice as they are, and one day, when we're a big grown up civilization of our own, maybe they'll even welcome us, but until then, they let us develop naturally, or whatever.

Either that's the case, or... We're alone.

Absolutely alone in this entire universe - maybe we're the first, maybe most kill themselves off - I don't know, but seeing that we're still alive, it must mean that other civilization are either friendly, dead, or we're the first - that perhaps genetic molecules coming together to make life is freakishly unlikely, that we're the strange freak of nature in the universe - we only exist because if this freak of nature didn't happen with its 1/(10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000^10000000...) chance of happening, then we wouldn't be here to ask these questions and wonder about our state.

That's a fascinating possibility to me.

Either are quite wonderful, in their own way. Either we've got guardian angels watching over us - who knows, maybe even creating some kind of afterlife with magically-advanced technology - or we're so unique and special in the universe, that we shouldn't exist. Absolutely shouldn't, and the only reason we do, is that we wouldn't be here to wonder how we can exist if we didn't.

Or, maybe they kill themselves off most often, and it's important that we settle the stars and get out there before we do the same.

And, well, I'll just tell you I don't think we're alone. I lean heavily towards the "angels" idea, with perhaps others not quite that advanced, but still very advanced, just not to that level. There are reasons I think this that I think it best not to disclose. The real question to me is; is humanity ready? If we could unlock technologies that could make us an interstellar civilization, and simultaneously, in the wrong hands, could destroy our entire planet, are we ready for this technology?

In any case, I don't think a "Dark Forest" universe is even possible. Why are humans so gritty, nasty, and dark-thinking creatures, in such a beautiful universe? Nature is brutal, but we become a civilization when we transcend it. At any rate, the winner of the last war in a "Dark Forest" will go on to colonize space, get freakishly far ahead of everyone else, and become a galactic empire. With this power and sheer population, it wouldn't actually be hard to keep tabs on all potentially life-bearing planets - even colonize all of them - and destroy any primitive civilization in the 12,000 years it takes them to go from building their first huts to their first interstellar spaceship.

Simply speaking, if the "Dark Forest" thing were true, then either we're the first, ever, or we wouldn't be alive.

But I don't think that likely, because, again, if destroying the planet were as easy as buying an airplane ticket, then a civilization as violent as ours would never make it - we have a lot of growing up to do. Species will need to be incredibly gentle and responsible to not annihilate themselves with the technologies associated with being an advanced civilization.

Fortunately, we seem to be doing well with nukes. We had a little bump along the way, but I think our species is growing up. I hope.

...That was....
...That was one hell of an emotional mind trip.:rainbowderp:

That sure was something else. Great, beautiful and sad story.

i want a swquel !!!!!!!!!!!!!

My only regret is that I don't have two "YES THIS IS THE BEST" folders

7703456 It's repeated scrolling text.

a rooflike projection over the entrance to a theater, hotel, or other building.
a large tent used for social or commercial functions.

That and I already talked with the author about this.

Before I read this, what is the Dark tag for ?
And how bad does it get ?

It's philosophically dark.

Not sure what else to say without spoiling the whole thing, so here goes.
Everypony dies, but off screen, and for very good reasons. And it's only temporary.

This was a really really interesting idea, not sure how I feel about it really, and some disturbing things, some things that feel out of place with MLP, but as crossover, and seeing how things might work there, it is interesting to be sure. And a lot of intriguing ideas. Few questions and points of continuity I'd bring up but on the whole, looking at this as a kind of thought experiment and 'what if' it was very much a quiet interesting premise and execution.

My biggest question though is. Why did everyone die right away? Just need to be frozen, encoded as is, and then die? I get the issue was not enough mass to form a Big Crunch, but wouldn't that take a LOOOOOONG time to actually all collapse down once the mass was returned? [\spoiler]

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