• Member Since 4th May, 2013
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Estee


On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)

T

This story is a sequel to Tales Of The Canterlot Deportation Agency: A Typical Day


There's a motive behind every deliberate human incursion into Equestria. For the humans coming from Jack's world, it tends to be profiteering, combined with a total lack of empathy and inability to care about anyone who's not making at least three billion dollars per year. Every day, the sum of that equation is measured as lost lives in the shadowfell, and all which keeps the total from climbing higher on the pony side is a single high school student and his newfound friends. Or rather, a group of assistants and the bundle of chemicals which sometimes wears Jack's skin.

The chemicals may be insane. And that madness just might be the only way for Jack to survive.

(Has a TVTropes page and character sheet. New edits welcome.)

Now with author Patreon and Ko-Fi pages.

Chapters (8)
Comments ( 83 )

I know he's meant to be younger, but I'm still hearing his lines in Mark Hamill's voice.

In any case, eagerly looking forward to more. I especially love the chemicals' apparently potion-based loadout. Very appropriate given one possible past. Meeting the rest of the team should be fascinating, as will determining just who he is.

Hmm, this was kind of strange. I'm not entirely sure I got everything that was going on, either ... like, there's some reference I missed.

>green hair
>pale
>Jack
Not Jack Napier?

It's interesting to see how much more brutal all the characters are in this compared to what Estee usually writes. Lot more gore.

Wow, this new Joker looks even more interesting that I thought it would be.

Okay, that's all for tonight. I hope to finish it sometime after the 4th: tomorrow is set for a Triptych update, and then I'm going to lose the weekend to the holiday. But these chapters should get everyone started.

I have had this mini-AU cooking in my head for years. It's a little weird to unleash it like this.

Welcome to the flipside...

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I know he's meant to be younger, but I'm still hearing his lines in Mark Hamill's voice.

In any case, eagerly looking forward to more. I especially love the chemicals' apparently potion-based loadout. Very appropriate given one possible past. Meeting the rest of the team should be fascinating, as will determining just who he is.

Never say 'loadout' and 'meet the team' in the same concept.

Team Canterlot Deportation Agency: Meet The Heavy

(Actually, that would probably get page views.)

(A lot of page views.)

(...not doing it.)

(Today.)

So hear him as a young Mark Hamill. At any rate, when it comes to why he's using chemicals, the rest of his origin will be presented before the end of the story. How did things get like this? Well, that would be the question...

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Hmm, this was kind of strange. I'm not entirely sure I got everything that was going on, either ... like, there's some reference I missed.

Cultural osmosis should set in shortly.

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Y'think?

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It's not one of the happier worlds -- but I wasn't sure the fight justified the Gore tag. We don't exactly have intestines on display: just cuts and broken teeth. Thoughts?

Fuck, that's awful. I don't have any knowledge of comics, but if this has any basis in the canon, it makes me glad I never got into it.

Not knocking the story obviously, but this is supremely grim for an origin story.

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Hey, never got any notification for this reply, weirdly.

I just thought that it really had characters act more violently than I'm used to seeing from your works. It makes sense for the darker CDA universe, but it's still kinda jarring. Not really worth the gore tag unless it gets way worse than this in the last chapter, just my opinion.

"You'll live."

The first body he'd found...

The first body...
A damnably effective threat.
Whoever he is, they seem a very bad person.

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With the number of reboots and re-imaginings there've been, there are a few different origin stories.
They've once said that they prefer to have a multiple-choice past, but this origin story seems quite different from any of the origins I've heard of.

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Yeah, that's true. Comics can vary wildly from writer to writer.
And it really does feel different, especially for the character it's based on. I wouldn't expect him to have been a basketball star in his youth at all. It's an interesting twist though.

Is this the Joker of Earth 3?

Yeah, I really think this is Earth 3 Joker now. Looking forward to more of your work Estee.

She was, in many ways, the night. 

Heh heh ha-

It's the little things that make me love you.

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If Hunger Games wasn't turned into a Adult Book for violence, you should be fine.

And now it's time to play: Annoy Estee with meaningless questions! (My favorite game)

Sooooo:

1: Is this an entire mirror universe, or are the flips relegated to Gotham/Shadowfell?

2: Building on that, has the entire world gone to hell, or is it just Owlman's domain?
2a: is he Owlman, or more of a Lex Luther type?
2b: If he is Owlman, does the Court of Owl's exist here?

3: How much more of (Red Hood? V? I can't think of a name better than the Joker, but...) story can we expect to see with the CDA?

4: Are their currently any plans to include a broader series of DC threats in the CDA?

5: Would it be possible to hear your pitches for the Earth 3 Justice League? Especially Wonder Woman, because I can't think of anything to do for her at all. I've been wanting to do an Earth 3 League, but I never got past my version of the Joker, who honestly is kind of a knockoff of V for Vendetta. I did have a solid pitch for Superman, but then I realised that it made more sense to change Ultraman into Zod and make it a Superman origin.
5b: If you don't feel like it right now, I'll wait until I have money again and buy a blog post. It's cool.

6: I have never been more exited to for an AU ever thank you thank you thank you thank you-

EDIT: Holy crap, how much do I sound like Comic Book Guy in this?

It's also nice to see that anti-human Racism is softer than I thought it was. Luna's moment was really sweet.

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Never say 'loadout' and 'meet the team' in the same concept.

Team Canterlot Deportation Agency: Meet The Heavy

You say this like it's a bad thing.

In any case... yowza. That's one hell of an origin. Still not sure who he is, though I have a few guesses. And the shadowfell itself seems like some sort of blot on the local metaphysical landscape. Its nature may permit Jack to travel between worlds, but it's definitely doesn't sound like a pleasant place even when one removes his influence from the equation.

And Bree's world... It was certainly teetering on the brink, but for one of the several brewing apocalypses to actually hit... It may be a mercy if she never wakes up.

As for the chemicals, I suppose it remains to be seen how it will feel about being told it doesn't have the right to exist anymore. I can't imagine it's going to be especially happy about that.

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I can give you this much of a preview: Bree will wake up. The CDA story set for after this one and the too-belated conclusion on Law Machine?

Tales Of The Canterlot Deportation Agency: Survivor's Guilt

(Currently working on that new Triptych chapter. It should go up tonight.)

8265047 Agreed, which makes Him Owlman.

So the constant bolding of "he/his/him" is getting a bit annoying, I can understand why it is being used but at somepoint someone would use something other than that, such as "the man" or maybe "the guy in charge". The constant use of "he/him" is a bit distracting.

So, Bree was from Old World of Darkness, I'm wondering if her world ceasing to be is because of the global retcon into New World of Darkness or just one of the many world ending threats finally getting the upper manipulating appendage and, well, doing whatever it wanted to do once it hand the power to do so.
I'm also curious as to if we'll be seeing any sort of "alternate version" world, where it's not Bree's version of Old World of Darkness but it's still an Old World of Darkness world. And if her world was changed to New World of Darkness if she'd be able to access it or not. I'm sure we'll get some answers, and a whole lot more questions, in the other story.

As for Jack and his, lets just call him a "chemical companion", I don't think either of them are going to accept Luna's decision and one or both of them are going to come up with some sort of plan to try and either get her to change her mind or make it a moot point, be it though full cross merging or just going out with a loud bang.

As an overall comment: people forget that there are so many things worse than death. More people need to read I have No Mouth, and I Must Scream for an actually rather tame version of just how thoroughly your life can be made a living hell.
But, well, people are crazy and crazy people will fool themselves any way they can into thinking what they are doing is morally correct.

Looking forward to more of this setting, especially how Jack and his chemical companion deal with this royal mandate.

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Hey, never got any notification for this reply, weirdly.

If someone doesn't reply on the same chapter a comment is on there is a high chance the person being quoted won't get a notification. Sometimes you'll get one but to make sure it always happens you need to reply on the same chapter as the comment, not a later chapter and not the story page comments list (which I think counts as the "last chapter" but I'm not sure on that one).

Man, these are always such obscure crossovers. No clue on my own what this one is from, though the comments have some hints.

Excellent as always, though.

Aw. From the description I was expecting something out of Nippon Tech.

Then again I'm not sure what would happen if the TORG hit the fan. I could see it going two ways, and I'm not sure the one where a Brightness Device just dropped a big purple stele in Ponyville is the better one.

As always, a nice exploration of two different viewpoints looking out. Looking forward to how this winds down.

I should have seen it the moment I noticed that Victor was carrying a torch for Nora, and that Jack had his own interests, but well done on that reveal. I can't imagine that Jack is pleased with getting kicked off the staff, considering that he truly does intend to do good -- and even the chemicals think that it's doing good, albeit for its own reasons and purposes. Luna's probably right, though: a split personality like Jack's/O²'s (I'm just going to make up a name for it, because pure oxygen is hideously corrosive) isn't in any way what you need in a department like the CDA.

Or maybe, just maybe, it is.

mini-ETA: Luna's need to place such sanctity upon the inviolability of a mind is understandable considering her own situation, but it also betrays the fact that while she's probably doing her best, she can't completely remove herself from the situation and the comparisons inevitably drawn. Plus, Nightmare or no, people do also change on their own, and O² seems to want to become its own person, to break free of that Pinocchio situation it's currently in. The best intentions she may indeed have, but she's so involved that she can't possibly make a fully reasonable choice.

Sooo...
Earth 3 high school AU? :applejackunsure:

He's on there side too. But never forget, that doesn't change the fact that he's an American criminal lunatic.

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Well, I do recall a young Mark Hamill character also coming down with a bad case of dead family...

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Yeah, goes to the most recently published chapter. Or, I guess, the highest numbered. I've never paid close enough attention to see if anything weird happened in a case where an earlier chapter was republished with a later date than the end-chapter.

Sorry - I have to bail on this story - I have no idea what is going on or who these characters are. I love the CDA universe, but not when I can't figure out who/what is going on. Good luck with the rest of it. I'll wait for the next one, tho.

:raritydespair: Sounds like Jack's got terrible taste in women. No wonder he's so bad to Harley in other universes.

How do you tell someone he's too dangerous to exist? Especially when you're in the middle of handing your body to him? I can't see this ending pleasantly for anyone by the end of the night.

Jack was -- closer. He hadn't walked across the distance, because there truly wasn't any. The stage, for the short times of its existence, was what they made it. He was simply closer, directly behind it, his right arm was coming up and --

-- guys didn't hug. Didn't really touch. So he didn't. He simply stayed where he was and watched, for it seemed as if there was nothing else he could do. Nothing he understood.

The way Jack instinctively reaches out to comfort someone, but stops himself -- because "Guys Don't Touch" -- might honestly be the saddest part of his character.

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Bree is... complicated. Not only is her body hypertrophied in certain -- assets -- due to some flaw of nature, genetics or magical working, but as a Euphanos Mage, she knows full well what the darkness can do, and drives herself, even punishes herself with such an austere lifestyle, every day, to prevent it from overwhelming her. As she put it, maybe one person in a thousand might be interested in her physical body, and mentally, there's even more trouble. In a way, she's glad for Crossing Guard, as at least he's one person who actively dislikes - even hates - her for who she is, rather than what.

That in itself doesn't really make Jack much better or worse than anyone else.

I like the culture clash between the humans and the ponies, that we don't have nearly as much stock in destiny like they do, yet are still beholden to it. The transition scene was really interesting, too.

And now we've added shades of The Question and/or The Creeper to our Joker cocktail. Interesting.

Whoa, the word fuck in an Estee story? Can't recall if this is the first instance of it, but still notable. Maybe even it could be considered a cluster of some kind.

I really like the dark tone of these CDA stories. They really go bloodier than the Continuum has so far, and hopefully that'll stay true.

I wonder if Jack ends back up in CDA employ at all.

Poor, naive Victor. It's a miracle he survived as long as he did. And that's on top of the miracle that saw Jack through the dump.

Destiny may not be just for Equestria.

Still, with this formative experience, the chemicals might, might not be as bad as Luna fears. But should they get that name...

Insufficient data, as Victor might put it.

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Poor, naive Victor.

One of the things which I was going to put in the next chapter was that Victor basically wound up having his innocence slammed out of him. For starters, there's more than one reason to create something which prevents any traces from entering a crime scene, and this gave him incentive for imagining some of the others.

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The word was used for the first time in Bree's story. There's just something about the CDA...

I just want to say that this story is so good, I literally had a dream about being in a similar world (granted, it wasn't a happy dream). If you ever decided to write this in a comic script format sans the ponies I would not be surprised if DC actually bought it for a mini-series. In fact, change things enough and you might be able to get this to stand on it's own.

Jack assumes in a previous chapter that the special cell in the asylum is meant for him. But, in a city with government-sponsored kidnappings from Equestria, that cell could actually be meant to hold a princess.

Why so many people had just -- forgiven.

He has friends besides Vic?

"Heat sink," Victor muttered. "Computers run too hot. I wanted a new heat sink. It works so well, it freezes itself up and just about anything touching it, until the components freeze and the whole thing shuts down. Which takes less than two seconds. It's worthless, Jack, and that's why it's on the reject shelf. I can't do anything with it..."

Oh hang on.
Vic. Victor.
Freeze.

...huh.
:trixieshiftright:

And it's back! Although I'm a little disappointed you're not including exactly what's being said. Oh well, clearly you intend to tell us eventually.

Funny. I was just thinking of this story.

In any case, I hope Victor asked the right questions. Given the terror of the Midwest you mentioned, I'm wondering about the general nature of this world. And if it's what I suspect, then the least likely candidate for the kingpin just jumped to the top of the list.

In the meantime, here's hoping we get to hear those words repeated.

Only Estee could write a story where I only remember half the details with no working knowledge of what's being referenced and still be engaged with the writing.

I do remember this is a variant on the Joker but set in like Shadowrun world or something? I like how the chemicals are bracing themselves/itself (pronouns are tricky, damn) and it turns out Victor just tricked them. There's naivety in something that's like a year old. That's a nice touch.

Yup. As I began to suspect last chapter, it looks like we've got ourselves a morally mirrored universe. Which means there's no question who he is. After all, he doesn't kill... the one who upset him.

Whether or not that spoiler block is correct, very interesting developments. And the disappearance is quite concerning. Ponies make sense as a multiversally hot commodity, but that doesn't make that status a good thing.

Cool, two chapters! So, I wonder if he'll end up confronting him at the site this time? That'll make for a fun climax. Even if he gets away, it might provide a potential solution for the pony-napping problem.

Someone on the west coast was supposedly trying to battle weapons made of light with a few bits of floating matter aimed just so. A whirlwind of midwest death would find its running path littered with caltrops -- ones made from a child's jacks. A length of glowing rope which took away free will was slashed at by retractable claws.

I don't think I know enough about DC villains to figure out who the heroes are here, other than the claws maybe belonging to Cheetah. Anyone want to clue me in?

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Hector Hammond (no alias)
James Jesse (Trickster)
Barbara Ann Minerva (Cheetah)

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Thanks, that helps.

Nice. Now I'm wondering why no one ever calls it Gotham in-story. Did it get a name change when the Equestria portals opened up or whatever was the divergence point for this universe?

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