• Member Since 3rd Feb, 2014
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Mr Extra


I just wanna do a thing, make it cool, and get better at it. Constructive criticism is always appreciated.

T
Source

A surprise visit from Twilight prompts a conversation about Celestia's unusually long life, and the implications for the young Alicorn.

But immortality comes at a cost, and no immortal would wish it upon another.





6/15/2019: Oh my goodness. Featured. :yay: Thanks all!

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 48 )

I've got an idea for a short epilogue and I'm wondering if people think I should tack it on.

Pretty nice. I can see Tirek representing Gluttony. Better yet, Hunger or even Greed. Each one is a Sin I suppose
?

9680540
There’s too many of them to correspond to a particular Deadly Sin; there are at least 8 mentioned here.

9680503
In the words of a certain meme.

YES YES YES YES.

9680503
This sums it up for me

https://m.

I liked this. I'm glad there are others out there who see immortality for what it is.

This is a wonderfully moving story, and a well thought-out approach to the question of Twilight's immortality (or lack of same). Like others who've commented on the story, I'd like to see the epilogue, to see where you go with this.

Nice job! :twilightsmile:

Immortality being intrinsically a bad thing is pretty nonsense, unless you're constantly in pain or something.

If people really thought death was a "good" thing, we'd see a great deal more suicides. If the loss of our friends and family were really so great a burden it literally made life not worth living, people who find themselves in that situation - as regularly happens the world over, whether through accidents or simply old age - would regularly commit suicide. Instead, we by and large choose to keep on going, with immortality being portrayed in fiction as a curse ultimately being nothing more than a species-wide case of sour grapes, because no one likes to think about how much it sucks that we're going to die.

That isn't quite what's happening here though - the immortals are described as having essentially broken down over time, becoming caricatures of their former selves. Presumably, this condition comes hand-in-hand with the setting's immortality, in which case Celestia is right in this specific context - immortality combined with some serious degenerative disorder probably would be a curse. I wouldn't want to live forever if it meant being cursed with super-dementia.

This turned into a big comment. TL;DR: Immortality being portrayed as intrinsically a bad thing is pretty nonsense that happens to be a pet peeve of mine, but this story sort of averts the trope with a reasonable and unpleasant side effect.

An interesting story, with quite a strong premise and well done characters. However it has plot....complications I struggle to ignore.

As Celestia said, Starlight Glimmer got close, but didn't quite cross the threshold.

This implies that every immortal being has committed a Sin WORSE then almost destroying all time and space for a simple act of vengeance.

And I struggle to believe that. Especially considering Celestia implied that while they committed a sin, both Discord and Sombra originally were good.

She also implies that the Sin is reflected in their immortal self. Sombra lusted for power for a good reason, but his immortality cursed him to lust beyond any reasoning.

This leads to a major problem with Luna and Celestia as whatever their horrific sin (as it likely happened at the same time for both) it only drove Luna mad.

I enjoyed the tale, but am left with more questions then answers at the end. While its okay for a story to leave the reader wanting more, and still having questions, I feel like it started with the question of immortality and only answered it to give 50 more, and expects us to accept Twilight will accept Celestia going, "Its just the way things are."

However in saying all that, I particularly loved the portrayal of each of the enemies and how Celestia acknowledges her role in her fellow immortals suffering.


9680503
I know I am in the minority with the, "This story is full of holes" view, but I would gladly see the Epilogue. Perhaps it would reduce my objections to the story.

9680566
Technically there are 8 Mortal Sins. The seven you know (Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Avarice, Wrath, Pride, Envy), and an eighth that was dropped some time after the Council of Trent (Despair).

9681373
Why the fuck is despair a deadly sin? Who came up with THAT?

9681445
Probably those wacky Catholics.

“Celestia?” Twilight asked, turning back one last time, “What was your, um, ‘sin’?”

Celestia winced, but answered anyway. “I kicked a puppy.”

Specifically, her assassination of the King of the Diamond Dogs, which led to centuries of insanely bloody civil war between the fractured packs vying for power.

9681445
It, like most parts of holy texts, are more about the idea of the community, than for the individual(It's why most books have grooming or health tips, like how the bible says not to wear two different types of fabric, as that could cause allergic reactions, not that they framed it as such).

Thus, Despair is a Sin because it's like a disease, it can spread, and by being a downer, especially when times are tough, and you need the community to come together to save itself, someone acting as a lead weight just for being a realist needs to be shunned and/or excommunicated from the community. Saying they've committed some grave sin is an easy way to mark them as such.

Heck, most of the Seven Deadly ones we see are outward facing. Oh, they can screw with a single person, but Lust, Greed, Envy, Sloth, Pride, Gluttony, and Wrath could wreck utter hell on a closed community, especially if those emotions were turned on the leadership, so you make those Sins, to help suppress the individual, so the community can survive. See also, Tragedy of the Commons.

9681373
Citation, but the reasoning is sound and I will accept this answer even without a citation.

9682294
There was also vanity. But it alongside with with despair got just combined into other sins ( vanity into pride and despair into sloth). And envy was added as a sin. To become the modern 7 deadly sins we have today.

And this was done by Pope Gregory I in 590 AD at the start of his term or so , almost 1000 years before the 1545 council of Trent.

9681119
If you didn't say it, I would have. I am so sick of the 'immortality is bad' trope. This dips into it, but thankfully doesn't play it straight.

Though I do wonder what Celestia was thinking at the end. For some reason, I can't help but think she's old enough to have opened the pony equivalent of Pandora's box.

9680806
Immortality, like all things, is highly dependent on context. I think it would be cool to have the time to explore the entire world or learn every instrument, but I would find it considerably less fun to spend eternity drowning in a well.

Take for example the Christian version of Heaven and Hell. In one you live forever bathed in the benevolence of God's will and in the other your immortal soul burns forever in a lake of fire. One is paradise and the other is, well, Hell. Both are immortality.

9681312
I always appreciate well thought out and insightful critiques, so thanks for the comment!

I know I left a lot of unanswered questions, and that was mostly intentional. In part I think it adds to the mystique of the story (I've very much enjoyed some of the discussion) but I also don't believe that I'm a good enough author to wrap up all the loose ends. Adding more likely would have hurt more than it helped and this story languished at the 99.99% completion state for far too long.

I think both Luna's and Celestia's sin was pride, while Discord was sloth, Chrysalis envy, Sombra lust, and Tirek gluttony. If Grogar were to be included, he'd likely fall under pride as well. Celestia and Luna's sin was the pride of believing they could control the celestial objects, Grogar's the sin of attempting to control death, Discord's was likely to do with the fall of his nation, and how he seemingly just stood by while they were at war. Chrysalis envied the love and children others had, while Sombra's lust for power led him into dark magic. Tirek gluttonously devoured all magic he came across.

“I know what getting old means!” Twilight yelled indignantly.

Ah, the good old Trollestia. :pinkiesmile:

“Think about it, Twilight. If alicorns never aged then how would young Flurry Heart have grown into the wonderful- if sometimes willful- foal that she is?

Simple: they age only until their physical prime.

Of course, that's not how this story goes, so let's get along.

Celestia winced, but answered anyway. “I kicked a puppy.”

I sentence you to eternity in prison! :trollestia:

Oh wait... you're already in a similar situation, aren't you? :applejackunsure:


I have a bookshelf named "Immortality" for stories just like this. There's a wide range of emotions one can draw out with the concept.

Certainly interesting. Immortality coming only so that the immortal can experience Hell on Earth on the sense of eternal, everlasting torment... Well, it raises quite a few questions. Can redemption and an end ever come? How do Celestia and Luna suffer? Simply watching their ponies wither and die around them, or is there more? Was Luna's sin Nightmare Moon or something else? How does alicornization work in this system, and what does it mean? Were the diarchs immortal before or after their change, assuming they ever transformed? Why wasn't Starlight's omnicidal chronoclasm bad enough?

Please do write that epilogue. You've raised some fascinating ideas, but Celestia refuses to do anything with them.

Huh, I didn't know that Equestria was under the jurisdiction of the Darck Powers of Ravenloft.

9683959

Ah, the good old Trollestia. :pinkiesmile:

The best thing about Trollestia is that she's canon.

9681119
Life is finite, it begins a stream of events ensues and then it ends this is the process of experience through it we derive meaning. Urgency, morality, and humanity are based on Fundaments of Permanence to our actions, their value only needed by finite beings. Lives are valuable because we end, and thus matter. A creature without end is fundamentally worthless it can not die or conclude. Its actions are Impermanent all things even the universe can be out waited for the immortal. It is why I would prefer hell to heaven for at least in the oblivion promised in the utter separation the lack of all things, I am dead to all but myself, merely consciousness in a void of nothing no stimuli, no changes and no degradation. Eternally cognizant of my own permanence and their by extant in my torment. In hell I exist, in heaven? eternal life without end or pain, I am nothing. A eternal life is an intrinsically meaningless one, befrit of any value or impact. For even if you save others you can not enjoy it for their will suffer and die the same. Those who degenerate with age who's minds are still able to be crushed by eons of cognition are lucky for they can escape consciousness and their by logically return to it. In other words they can forget and thus begin again and again, those who can not, who's minds are permanent incapable of assilment by eons of cognition, so on are c cursed to be nothing more then a mutlicellur amobea incapable of escaping existance long into a world of a red star and scorched planet for eons on end till even that expands, and nothing but a cinder and darkness remains but the stars for all eternity is left to them, till the cosmos collapses back into nothingness and returns to the void to be born anew in the next big bang, again and again for all multiplicative eternities ad infintum.

Wow ah not sure where that came from guys, but not a diss, more a bored Theolgy/seminary student with depression rambling. Also "Fun" fact, Biblicaly speaking my budy the god of Judaism maybe not Christianity(fun debates that) is suicidal for the above reason,..(sobbing)

9683584
also no offense to you but the lake of fire thing is ah...extra biblical at best, at worst bad interpretation of Sheol and Abraham's Bosom the holding places for before the coming of Christ/The Messiah because prior to that point redemption is impossible so instead cosmic waiting rooms. nobody before that point is Biblically capable of going to hell without willingly choosing too, post the messiah again either Christ or not yet arrived. No real Idea how Islam handles that whole issue, but biblical hell? is a complete separation a total lack of existence or stimuli beyond consciousness a void devoid of even darkness for that too is of god beyond your own thoughts. The only lake of fire people might be thinking is revelations but that one is explicitly for demons to wait out the thousand years in the interim of Armageddon and the second Trail. Before they are finally killed. Basically for all the people who died before age of consent to get a chance to live and be offered temptation because god is unwilling to condemn anyone unable to consent yet. If you subscribe revelations to be anything more then someone tripping balls, being it itself is pretty extra biblical far more so then Kabbalah or Lilith, even, Also weirdly relevant OWOD VTMs writers had a solid grasp of our confusing field of study if not great execution on it, they did some of their homework, some extra credit and then ah didn't bother turning in the essay on what it all means....(giggling, at my own misery.)

9685770
This is pretty much nonsense - there's no reason why something needs an end to have "meaning", nor is there any reason why "meaning" is required. It sounds like something someone designing or proselytising a religion would come up with - empty words that sound meaningful but upon closer inspection are revealed to be unsubstantiated.

Oh look, what a coincidence, you're a theology student.

See At the end their i noted at the end that I didn’t mean Much by it just my depression talking. So ah A) rather uncalled for. B) gigglingly Really things don’t need to have meaning? Now who’s spoating clap trap? Sense to be down here disucussing things like this? You desireing validation of your idea so ahem meaning. That desire to discuss with other's is fundemtally tied to a desire for meaning. See no the universe or actully physical reality no dosent require meaning other then surival. But for most people that’s agonizingly pointless. It’s ah despair inducing for a large chunk of the populous who have ever had to think about it.

Religion is of course the art of creating meaning, its what we do. To help make the day bareable becuse honestly without meaning to their wreckage of an existence I call a life. Well I’d quite literally be happier dead. It’s a fundamental human desire, a reason for our pain and our joy. Some level of meaning to this existence an Immortal is denied any ability to belive in such things. And to even meaningfully impact those around him so yeah it would suck becuse he’d Out lové anyone he could manage to care about till their numb. So yeah no it’s a denial of meaning you nit.

TL;DR: You insulted my choosen field of study and I’m okay with being personally mocked, Heck go for it tiger I’m a wreck of a human being, My family? sure. My actual Personal Religious/Philosphical/Poltical Belifs? Go for it, their not the best choices. But you Don’t Mock Theolgy to me. It’s the only tool this world provides me to help people. I try my bloody best to help people find which ever religion helps them deal with the utter lack of meaning in this life of ours. Regardless of my personal beliefs. Becuse i want to help people. So no offense don’t know you, but that was over the Line by a Mile. Mock Me, not Faith and it’s study. Faith gets Millions through the day And motivates people to be better. I’m just some grumpy asshole on the Internet.

Oh and for a final note I made pretty clear why being immortal would suck in the outliving all the cosmos Sense, which is really my point to be immortal is to be denied an end, which just on a basic logical level will suck. Becuse thé human race and the universe has an end point you now do not.

Celestia winced, but answered anyway. “I kicked a puppy.”

Ahh the sad part...

9681119
Death is a good thing, but not SUICIDE. NATURAL death. Immortality leaves you with many problems. Some of them are on level of person himself, some of them are global. So no. Death is good.

9756614
This remains nonsense. There are no real differences between suicide and a "natural" death beyond the cause - the effects are certainly the same, except possibly some people feeling a little worse if it's known it was a suicide.

Immortality leaves you with the "problems" associated with being alive - given that you are posting here, you clearly consider these problems to be better than escaping them through suicide.

9756965
There's a big difference. One is caused by depression/anger, whatever number of reasons, but main is DECISION. Another is caused by old age. NATURAL death. You have to have made some good logical gymnastics, to think they are the same.

YES, I do consider suicide a bad thing. Problems can be SOLVED. Depression can PASS, you can find someone else to love. Can you solve SUICIDE? As in, bring a person back?

Now, if you're done saying that everyone should go kill themselves over a few rough spots in life - get out!

9756965
Also, let me break down immortality problem. Warning, it's not something I though of, it's someone else's ideas, some of them. Unfortunately - I can't remember which are which, and who said them.

1) Overpopulation. When people stop dying, they stop creating space. It leads to a NUMBER of problems.

I) increased rate of pollution. What we have is bad enough. and that is what people do. They generally don't care for air, until they can no longer breathe. Rivers and soil polluted by industries, radioactive danger...
II) Shortage of food. Third world countries simply cannot afford to spend money to solve their problems, and it becomes a vicious circle, but even then, food for "us, normal people" is grown up in factories. It's no longer enough to simply rase cattle, they need to be fed with "power food", or something.
III) This is something I recently though of. Shortage of water. As we know, humans made up of roughly 80% water, right? Now imagine, less and less water is in nature, and more and more of it in us. Then, add cattle, they too require a LOT of water. This leads to a lot of changes, not really calculable, since I'm just a guy, not a scientist, and it's just my guess. I only heard that there's less and less drinkable water on Earth, but it's not something that really clicked for me, until YERS later.

2 Destruction of environment. People require more wood, more space to build, and that means they branch out to different regions. Forests are cut down, rivers get blocked with dambs, swamps are dried, and other stuff like that. This breaks up climate quite a bit, and for years I've noticed how weather becomes non-standart.

Earth is breaking down already, and that's only because of better tools and travel, SLIGHTLY increased life span due to medicine, and lowered death rate from different ilnesses.

9757454
9756965
Alright guys, it's time to take this to the DM's.

9680503
I agree with 9680597 here, this should continue to expand this. I would like to see where this goes.

9681119
Senescence would likely continue being a thing. You'd eventually reach the information capacity of your brain and develop dementia.
Also;
There is no ambition without the threat of death. You don't build great works so that in a thousand years other men may look upon them and despair if you have no reason to preserve your legacy beyond your own lifetime. Children as well preserve your legacy, carry on your name and values forward beyond your lifetime.
Arguably what separates Man from Animal is not just that we're sapient reasoning beings, but that we hear the clock of our life ticking away.
Animals that do not recognize that they too will die merely survive. Humans are overshadowed by the knowledge that we have but a short time, and this spurs us to create, to build, to laugh, to love, to live.


And dying makes room for the next generation. Just look at US politics and you can see why people living forever is a bad idea. Hell, open a history book and look at what people that have just recently died out (those born no later than 1900) thought of other people based on religious beliefs or the color of their skin and you begin to get an idea of why it's a good thing people live their short times and then eventually exit society one way or another, to let those that might come grow up and out beyond themselves.

Anyone who has had more than one close person pass away will tell you that living forever would suck ass, emotionally. Imagine how different your life and the world around you feels compared to ten years ago, fifteen, twenty.
Generation Z is defined as those that know 9/11 as something that happened in a history book and being too young to really have an opinion of the 2008 election, and having been at most 10 years old when the iPhone first came out- their entire teenage and adult years have been spent with a smartphone in their hands and they've mostly communicated with friends over high-bandwidth internet or cell data. Imagine how odd some of our old timers here feel talking to someone like me that wasn't born yet when the Challenger exploded, or someone that age that doesn't remember 9/11.
Imagine watching everyone you know, cherish, and love wither and die while you continue to live. Try having a couple friends and family members die and then come back and tell me you're ready to do that a thousand times over for the rest of your life.

9777606
I disagree with every point you've made - both individually and as a collective, which is quite an achievement - but the author has explicitly asked us not to continue this discussion in their comments.

9777836
Ah. I understand. You're dumb and attempting to debate something you have absolutely no knowledge of.

9758300
Apologies, but I don't particularly want to have to deal with a stream of idiots coming in and accusing me of being "dumb and attempting to debate something you have absolutely no knowledge of." I'm making one post for this moron and any like them to refer to, in future.

9778342
Alright, you want to lose an internet argument that badly? Buckle in.

Senescence would likely continue being a thing. You'd eventually reach the information capacity of your brain and develop dementia.

  1. People forget things. This is literally what forgetting things is for.
  2. That's a knock-on effect that might be curable, given time, assuming it's inevitable, which it is not proven to be.
  3. I explicitly mentioned living forever with such a condition would not be worth it.

Also;
There is no ambition without the threat of death. You don't build great works so that in a thousand years other men may look upon them and despair if you have no reason to preserve your legacy beyond your own lifetime. Children as well preserve your legacy, carry on your name and values forward beyond your lifetime.

Why would you be willing to "build great works" to be remembered, but not for fame and glory that you can actively benefit from? Success after death is a bittersweet pill, surely outweighed by actually benefiting from such.

Arguably what separates Man from Animal is not just that we're sapient reasoning beings, but that we hear the clock of our life ticking away.
Animals that do not recognize that they too will die merely survive. Humans are overshadowed by the knowledge that we have but a short time, and this spurs us to create, to build, to laugh, to love, to live.

This is just unsubstantiated sour grapes nonsense. No, understanding our mortality is not the thing that distinguishes us from animals. It's not even true, there are plenty of animal species believed to understand death.

And dying makes room for the next generation. Just look at US politics and you can see why people living forever is a bad idea. Hell, open a history book and look at what people that have just recently died out (those born no later than 1900) thought of other people based on religious beliefs or the color of their skin and you begin to get an idea of why it's a good thing people live their short times and then eventually exit society one way or another, to let those that might come grow up and out beyond themselves.

This is a separate issue, if a related one. Complaining about overpopulation - which may well be a solvable problem, in the long run - is like saying that we were better off before technological progress made it easy to get enough food and we had to spend our entire lives foraging and hunting for food in tribes, because now we're more likely to get fat. The creation of a lesser problem [it's easier to let old people die with intolerant views than put in the effort to change those views] does not invalidate the solution to a much larger one [everyone you know and love is going to die, and so is everyone else].

Anyone who has had more than one close person pass away will tell you that living forever would suck ass, emotionally. Imagine how different your life and the world around you feels compared to ten years ago, fifteen, twenty.

You say this as if this isn't something that happens to pretty much everyone 3 to 10 times in their lives, assuming they don't die unusually young. It's nice to have confirmation you're a kid, though I suppose we didn't really need it.

Generation Z is defined as those that know 9/11 as something that happened in a history book and being too young to really have an opinion of the 2008 election and having been at most 10 years old when the iPhone first came out

No it's not. Generation Z is pretty loosely defined, but you've actually given it an even looser (and less correct) definition here than it already has, which is pretty impressive, in a morbidly-curious sort of way.

- their entire teenage and adult years have been spent with a smartphone in their hands and they've mostly communicated with friends over high-bandwidth internet or cell data.

Also not actually true, given a the existence of a public education system where they spend most of their day with other kids. (I'm pretty sure this was an exaggeration meant as a rhetorical device, but I wasn't kidding about everything you said being wrong some way or another.)

Imagine how odd some of our old timers here feel talking to someone like me that wasn't born yet when the Challenger exploded, or someone that age that doesn't remember 9/11.

This is entirely irrelevant to the argument you're trying to make, beyond your wish to have a second "imagine" statement for added emphasis, but most people like explaining things they care about to people who don't know about them.

Imagine watching everyone you know, cherish, and love wither and die while you continue to live. Try having a couple friends and family members die and then come back and tell me you're ready to do that a thousand times over for the rest of your life.

Not did I explicitly previously cover this - you'd handle it as well as everyone who's ever had that happen to them in real life, which is to say you'd go through the grieving process and move on with your life, as is normal - but I actually have had loved ones die. I appreciate that as a 12-14 year old this may seem strange to you, but statistically most people you know have had family and friends they care about die. They're all still going. I'm still going. It's a terrible thing, but you move on. I would note you're the one explicitly arguing that this is the preferable state of affairs, since you're the one arguing for people dying, so on this one point you're an idiot several times over.

TL;DR: You're wrong, every point you made is wrong, and accusing me of "being dumb and not understanding what you're talking about" because I explicitly didn't want to shit up the author's comments section with, well, this, doesn't make you less wrong, so you're both wrong and an idiot.

I'm not responding to this anymore, though I confess I did rather enjoy typing this up. Any future readers who disagree can read this comment, and if they still disagree... well, suck it up.

9778440
I'm 26. I can prove it if you'd like.
What I quoted about GenZ is from the Pew Research page on the cohort, i.e. the people who determine where generational cohorts begin and end. In 2016 a firm beginning year of 1996 was established, based on the things that I mentioned.
You do not actually forget anything. The only quantifiable difference between someone like me who remembers everything they've read and written, someone with a truly eidetic memory that can remember everything ever, and a normal person is ability or pathway of recall.
But it's impressive that you think someone who has been active on this site for almost 9 years is 12-14. I guess I made my account and started writing and commenting at the age of 5. Also impressive that you waffled for a few hundred words and then the crux of your argument is that I'm a child.

9778477

  • I don't really care how old you are.
  • The Pew Research Centre is not a body with the authority to define the boundaries of "generations" which is an informal measure with many conflicting definitions.
  • That's not what our current understanding of the brain indicates.
  • I don't know why you think I'd be checking your account for anything.
  • The "crux" of my argument was in my original post - this was just me going through your claims point by point and debunking them, which I have, and pointing out the fairly obvious idiocy of someone who called me "dumb", which I also have.

Having once again rebutted each and every one of your claims, I expect that you will once again double down on those points you think might make a comeback on and make new unrelated points, dropping those you recognise as beyond all hope of salvaging. It's what you've done this time after all, and it's a pretty common tactic online. As such I will now be putting you on ignore, because otherwise we'll just be locked in a cycle of you saying things that aren't true and me responding, and I wasn't kidding when I said I originally said I didn't want to continue this argument after the author requested the topic be dropped. You may respond however you like, and be assured I won't respond! That's sort of like winning the argument, right?

9778342
Please don't be antagonistic towards other commenters. At best you'll make them angry and get told off, but you're more likely to drive them further into their entrenched beliefs. It really doesn't help.

9778497
Thank you for trying to respect my wishes.

I will be deleting any further comments in this vein. Please keep discussion in this thread related to the story. Keep any fighting to the DMs.

Interesting, haven't seen this take on immortality in the mlp fandom before. Celestia is quite well written with a smidgen of jest and a batch of lessons.

Twilight however feels fairly ooc for her lack of curiousity and uninsightful conjecture on why immortality would be a curse (She's been a princess for years at this point, surely she's contemplated outliving her friends and has better observations/questions than 'seeing loved ones die of old age is sad.' She has parents and elderly friends, this is inevitable anyways so bringing it up as a point of why not being immortal is good is just... distractingly poor logic)

Comment posted by Mr Extra deleted Nov 21st, 2019
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