• Member Since 30th Oct, 2013
  • offline last seen 14 hours ago

Doctor Fluffy


struggling new hampshire college student.

T

This story is a sequel to The Slow Mutants


This is a reboot of my earlier story Light Despondent. Or, like I'm going to call it, a remix! It's got a lot of the same beats, but some parts happen earlier, and there's entirely new parts added. With more chapters from the perspectives of others, a little more plot, and the benefit of not making this up as I go along.

Viktor Kraber is one of the worst of the HLF. He's a traumatized Afrikaner, former father, and former surgeon with an appetite for destruction and big guns. But one day, wracked by guilt at an HLF checkpoint, he lets a lost filly and her mother live. From that point on, his life goes to hell (more than usual, anyway) as he tries to cast aside hatreds in a world gone mad, and maybe, just maybe, become a good person. Can he? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CAN HE?! Of course he can, it's a prequel.

Aegis is going to be Kraber's best friend. But he doesn't know (or want) that yet. All he wants is a quiet life where he can help on the farm, and raise his foals away from the Solar Empire's propaganda, from an Equestria that's become unrecognizable to him. But, with the PER and HLF coming to blows, the PHL and US Government struggling to maintain order, and the slow collapse of society, it's not going to work out and he knows it.

Yael Ben Ze'ev is a member of the heroic Ponies for Human Lives, (or PHL) a group of humans and ponies, supported by the UN, who work tirelessly to save humanity by blending technology and magic. Putting it bluntly, she's the person whose job it is to shoot people like Kraber. She's seen every terrorist group and then some cause trouble even before they turned evacuation from the Barrier into a nightmare - and she's absolutely convinced she can't trust any of the HLF because of it. She has no idea how wrong and right she's going to be, as the PHL resorts to more and more extreme measures to confront the threat of both PER and HLF.

Heliotrope used to fight for the Solar Empire, during the Crystal War and Changeling Purges. Then she quit - or, more accurately, was stranded on a planet she was growing to like. Now, she fights for the PHL alongside Yael, her best friend. Though she doesn't know how long that'll last, as she's frightened of her friend's growing radicalism.

Dayoung Tengku grew up knowing the HLF were heroes. Idolizing them for fighting where the PHL wouldn't. Nursing a fierce grudge against any pony for what their race has done. She's going to have a hard lesson in just how the HLF aren't the best heroes to follow.

Leonid Lovikov is the man who leads Kraber's HLF branch, the Menschabwehrfraktion. He's been a major player in the HLF, ready to kill anything in sight, run protection rackets, and do anything to protect the HLF. But he wants more, and he has plans that could shake the world.

Shieldwall is a PER pony who answers directly to Celestia, and one of the most dangerous potioners out there, with a list of ponifications and confirmed kills a mile long. But, like Lovikov, he wants more. He has designs that could destroy the PHL, in the form of the mysterious Project Fillydelphia...

Chapters (12)
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Comments ( 77 )

Insert "Its Alive!" YouTube video here. Just as soon as I have a working computer again.

8633150
Thanks for the fave, and also the like.

or alternatively

Wonderful first chapter! Thanks for the update!

8633738
Thanks so much, man! It's good to have you back.

Nice to see a new chapter! I loved the battle foals! I mean they are a much more believable threat I guess than just the Zerg rush of a horde of zombie newfoals. Thanks for the update!

8773620
Thank Jed and Royalpsycho for that - it wouldn't be the same without them ^~^

And it was a pleasure! There's more updates coming SOON (tm)

“Oh, you’ll be happier soon enough when we get you out of that ugly human body and make you into a pretty little filly! How can you be happy with that body, yuck! Human bodies are icky and big and ugly and...and mean! Humans are mean!”

I see what you did there. Also I just loved the addition of this scene overall.

He repeated the words, almost as if it was a mantra. Time and again he spoke, invoking the name of the Ponies for Human Life as if it was an invocation, a warding spell of protection.

And Kraber? Kraber...

...did not kill them. No, instead he shot ‘Comrade Lovikov’ in the balls and bitchslapped Blanchett to the ground with the gun. Then he’d carried the stricken family to a getaway vehicle and driven them to safety.

I love that you kept this from the original story. Of course there are other similarities like the scene where Kraber promptly prevents the injured guy from being ponified, but this was by far my favorite moment that you kept. (Also, Kraber bitchslapping Blanchett to the ground killed me, I would've been laughing till I choked if I wasn't reading this at work)

A lot of genitals getting blown off so far, I approve! (I think?)

8777306

I see what you did there. Also I just loved the addition of this scene overall.

I hate that quote with the burning intensity of a thousand suns, and I like getting to turn Chatoyance's own quotes against her. And thanks! It was kind of a spur of the moment thing adding that scene in, but I figured it made sense. Glad you like it!

A lot of genitals getting blown off so far, I approve! (I think?)

I blame Garth Ennis.

8777453
As a fan of Unicorn Jelly, I find all this backlash against Chatoyance to be more than a little annoying. Granted, her various blow ups over the years earned her that backlash from both sides of the TCB devide, but I still find it annoying all the same. *goes back to reading stories about Pretty Pastel Ponies defending Humanity from other Pretty Pastel Ponies*

8804818
Honestly, backlash against Chatoyance is at best tangential to a lot of the current crop of Alt-TCB. Although frankly from what little I’ve seen of Chat’s work, it’s got serious character derailment issues that are rightfully mocked.

8830885
An excellent question!

The old version of Light Despondent is canon to the old version of Spectrum, and writing in the same universe as that (while also being left behind from my friends as they make new chapters in a new universe) was just too painful to consider. Cause... I can't read classic spectrum. I can't enjoy classic spectrum. I can't look at Classic Spectrum.

Also, the first few chapters of classic Light were easily the weakest part, so I saw this as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, revising the weakest chapters and bringing this story into canon with my friends.

Just started reading this. It looks very interesting.

8866675
Thanks, man! I try my best to keep it fun.

Before I mention anything else, was the use of May 10th as the day all hell broke loose intentional? Hard to imagine that being a coincidence.

Nice, I liked the Wookieepedia reference. I'd be fine with more references to the internet in general cause the only times websites have really been mentioned is some HTF/HLF support forums, and the occasional mention of social media.

I don't believe we ever actually saw Rebecca and Richard Hatch in the ClassicVerse, so that encounter was a nice touch. Honestly the worldbuilding of Defiance in general here is much better, in the ClassicVerse it felt like the place may has well have been a few houses and trailers out in the woods occupied by a bunch of idiots with guns. I know the HLF have delusions of grandeur, but still.

Wait, Kate is black? Huh, if she was in the original story I must've missed that, cause I always saw her as white. Also, out of curiosity, where does the Sorghum get it's name from?

I've always been curious about Private Victory. I get that she's one of Kraber's "hallucinations," but the fact that it predicts the creation of the Pretty Privates is quite intriguing. Is she possibly Kraber's fate in another universe? Knowing Kraber it's probably all three.

I'm drunk and incredibly tired so sorry if this comment is me just rambling and not providing anything constructive.

Also, error. There were more errors but I can't find them now:

“ [url= https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ukXbjTr8NU ] There's a cold black sun Burnin' way down low Where the bird don't sing And the wind don't blow... ”

Yeah, I don't know what happened here.

It’s always interesting when Kraber starts hallucinating! Thanks for the update!

8884209
That was super weird. Thankfully, it's fixed by now, but that was.... just weird.

Before I mention anything else, was the use of May 10th as the day all hell broke loose intentional? Hard to imagine that being a coincidence.

Surprisingly, it actually was a coincidence.

I don't believe we ever actually saw Rebecca and Richard Hatch in the ClassicVerse, so that encounter was a nice touch. Honestly the worldbuilding of Defiance in general here is much better, in the ClassicVerse it felt like the place may has well have been a few houses and trailers out in the woods occupied by a bunch of idiots with guns. I know the HLF have delusions of grandeur, but still.

I'm going for the Stephen King's IT approach to worldbuilding. In the book (not so much the movies) Derry itself gets so much focus it's practically its own character, and by the end of the book you know it and its characters and have such a strong image of this Maine mill town that you might as well have been there, cause you know its history, its landmarks, its buildings, the people who live there. And then it gets destroyed, so it's hard not to feel something.

As for why you don't see the Hatches in the previous story, that's because... well, I was making that shit up as I went along. And I'm sorry for that.

Wait, Kate is black? Huh, if she was in the original story I must've missed that, cause I always saw her as white. Also, out of curiosity, where does the Sorghum get it's name from?

Yep, she's black! I don't actually remember where I said that in the original. Also, the Sorghum gets its name from the, uh, Sorghum mobile rig from The Scar by China Mieville.

I've always been curious about Private Victory. I get that she's one of Kraber's "hallucinations," but the fact that it predicts the creation of the Pretty Privates is quite intriguing. Is she possibly Kraber's fate in another universe? Knowing Kraber it's probably all three

Yes, she is a possible alternate fate of Kraber. TB3 added that in, and I've... well, I couldn't bear to get rid of her. Part of me wants to edit everything so it feels more me, but in a lot of ways, Light wouldn't be what it is without those touches. So she stays!

I'm drunk and incredibly tired so sorry if this comment is me just rambling and not providing anything constructive.

Don't even trip, dawg! It's plenty constructive.

An update! I love dancing day. She has a sorta of innocent vibe around her. Again thanks for the update!

8931796
You're welcome! And I'm glad to see someone who likes her this time. I kind of revamped a LOT of things about her - now there's no second-person narration, for example. It was just getting...

Well, it was an artifact of Calm Before The Storm. I just had to ask myself "Why do I actually have this?"

There's one instance where Rianofski is misspelled as Rianofsky.

There's also a rogue letter in this sentence:

“Are you quite finished?” Colonel Galt asked, glaring a down at him.

Don't think that "a" is supposed to be there.

The newfoal-who-is-not-a-newfoal, a former HLF fighter who attempted to assassinate Alexander Reiner in his bed, failed, attempted to escape through Zecora’s private greenhouse, and came out a pony.

Man, why is it that the baddies get the good stuff?! I want to be a pony! Crosses arms and grumbles

Also, I forgot to comment on the previous chapter, so all I gotta say is damn, poor Helmetag. There seems to be a pattern of high-ranking HLF getting terminated in brutal ways.

8950240

Man, why is it that the baddies get the good stuff?! I want to be a pony!Crosses arms and grumbles

It does sound pretty dope, doesn't it? If I get to be Pinkie Pie or... end up with something from the art of Engineskye, that would be awesome! Sadly, this is not the kind of story where I can have that happen. Well, except with Verity. But she's... different.

...Sometimes I feel like I've boxed myself in.

Also, I forgot to comment on the previous chapter, so all I gotta say is damn, poor Helmetag. There seems to be a pattern of high-ranking HLF gettingterminatedin brutal ways.

It is indeed a pattern.

Thank you for the comment! :pinkiecrazy: I'll get to those edits as soon as I can.

The newfoal-who-is-not-a-newfoal, a former HLF fighter who attempted to assassinate Alexander Reiner in his bed, failed, attempted to escape through Zecora’s private greenhouse, and came out a pony.

Good old Poison Joke. Best punishment an HLF extremist could possibly receive.

8954235

Makes you wonder if the actual Conversion Potion was based off of Poison Joke, in concept or even as a material. If i recall, the potion is purple, and PJ is blue... so what other ingredients could make up the "red" bits? Corrupted Celestia's blood?

8884875
8884189

I happen to be missing the joke here. What's the significance of May 10th, out of the impressive list that included Nelson Mandela's inauguration, that you were referring to?

8983269
I have absolutely no idea.
8983256
...Hmmmmm... an interesting theory.

8983256
The red ingredient meaning that instead of being a cruel joke based on the receiver, the potion transmits a cruel joke based on Celestia's idea of what a cruel joke is?

That... makes a scary amount of sense.

Loved the half life 3 reference! I look forward to the next chapter!

8989445
Thanks! I've been in a huge half-life mood lately.

I think the phrase "things are going to get worse before they get better" applies here...

I'm surprised Gardner hadn't used the "so how much is Celestia paying you for this?" Yet. With all the low blows he's been giving, accusing him that he's doing Celestia's bidding (even if technically true) sounds like an easy one to piss him off.

(A few remarks on the last chapter, cause I didn't make my "bichapter" comment at the time)

Ah, El Mañana, my favorite Gorillaz song and quite possibly my favorite song ever that screams "psychological reflection." The lyric "Saw that day, lost my mind" says it quite well.

About Half-Life. This is a mistake I see a lot of people making; Episode Three was cancelled a long time ago, around about 2008. Gabe said that the episodic model was a failure, proven when Episode Two was delayed despite the model supposed to have prevented that, and that Valve were essentially going back to square one. Our only hope now is Half-Life 3, but... Considering the horror stories coming out of Valve, I don't think we're seeing it anytime soon. And on that note, Valve seems a lot less like a place any aspiring developer would want to work at.

“Still,” the man said, “we’re hoping that, once PHL R&D’s work on it is brought to fruition, she’ll be one of the first to receive the upgrade. And as she is now, if those bastards ever did oame looking for a fair fight, they’d get one. You’re looking at a milestone here, people.”

Fairly certain that's supposed to be "come." I also saw a few dividers that seem to be broken.

I always saw the creation of Reiner and Gardner as Renee being split off in to two different commander type characters that contrast each other. Put simply, Reiner is the character everyone wanted in Marcus, meanwhile Gardner is the type of character Red wanted Marcus to be. Albeit, it's actually remarked how much of an ass he is in-universe.

I can't wait to see Lovikov's death. That's all I have to say.

9074013
I'm glad you noticed - very few people ever say much of anything about the music references. So that means a lot! Thank you.

...Yeah, I plead the fifth on that one. I didn't know it was outright canceled, but after this time I'd be wayyyyyyy more surprised if it was still in the works. Hell, at this rate I'd be more surprised if Valve still made games. Disregarding everything people like (or liked?) to think about them being a small company a few years back, they basically have a monopoly on online distribution of games. A monopoly they're unwilling to do actual work at, seeing as their store has become so flooded with low-effort crap that other games have an uphill battle even getting noticed.

Pfff, course I wouldn't want to work at Valve if I was planning on making games. I'd want to work at a place that still made games. Like... the people that're making the Borealis mod. That looks dope.

Fairly certain that's supposed to be "come." I also saw a few dividers that seem to be broken.

Oooh, glad you caught that. Working on it as we speak.

I always saw the creation of Reiner and Gardner as Renee being split off in to two different commander type characters that contrast each other. Put simply, Reiner is the character everyone wanted in Marcus, meanwhile Gardner is the type of character Red wanted Marcus to be. Albeit, it's actually remarked how much of an ass he is in-universe.

I always saw it more as a bit different from that.... Reiner is what we wanted Marcus to be, with his flaws played for drama and making an effort to change for the better. Reiner may or may not be afraid it's too late for him to change for the better. He's.... well, Jed once referred to Reiner as "The broken mentor."

Gardner is (with some embellishment) what I began to see the character of Marcus Renee actually as: an abrasive, violent, overconfident, selfish, power-hungry (the list goes on) kontgesig with little respect for anyone he didn't see as his equal, and virtually never questioned any of the war crimes he perpetrated and thought nothing of... Well...
i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/hostedimages/1456779682i/18276148.jpg
Deliberately mangling a quote from the Dragon on this one, "using an ace when a two will do."

Or even an ace when a three or something will do. Or something. I don't play poker. That said, like the real Marcus, I intend for there to be at least some good in him. It's not very much, though, and he still gets... well, you'll see. I'm quite shoryuken imagine what I have in mind.

Lovikov, however, is a bit more interesting because he's Red. There's definitely some of Marcus at his worst in there, what with the same focus on him doing war crimes and anything necessary for success. But yeah. Predominantly Red. You can see this in the way he abuses his friends constantly then acts like he's still their best buddy, can be set off easily, has no tolerance for those who disagree, has a tendency towards big plans that spiral out of control, his willingness to cozy up to racists (That'll happen later.) and eventually drives a lot of his so-called friends away.

In future drafts of earlier chapters, Gardner had a bunch of similar traits, and to some extent he still does, but... nah. Not as much this time.

Figure this isn't much of a spoiler, but Kraber's not the only named HLF character from the last 8 chapters or so who leaves due to disgust with Lovikov. There's a few places in this chapter where I basically spell it out.

And, well, there's more HLF still in Portland who... shall we say.... take exception to Lovikov firing on Portland. When a large number of people working with him are still in the city. And went to all this trouble to make it near-impossible to leave.

9074008
...Shit.

That would have been super dope to include. Ah well, for another time.

9074480

...Shit.

That would have been super dope to include. Ah well, for another time.

Dang. Oh well, plenty of other HLF to whom the quote applies. Granted, Lovikov is kind of embodying it here (who the hell is going to win anything from shelling a city full of humans and Equestrian refugees besides Celestia?) and there are exceptions, like the Reavers with their "we hate ponies, but we're not going out of our way to kill refugees as long as they leave us alone" attitude, but everyone who has gunned down a human or refugee pony that was simply trying to survive in this screwed up world deserves to get their head dunked in this cold truth.

Not that Gardner has much room to talk right now, deliberately egging Lovikov to shoot so he has an excuse to end him and all. He pretty much pulled the pin of the grenade Lovikov threw.

9074537

but everyone who has gunned down a human or refugee pony that was simply trying to survive in this screwed up world deserves to get their head dunked in this cold truth.

In time, Keroko. In time.

Not that Gardner has much room to talk right now, deliberately egging Lovikov to shoot so he has an excuse to end him and all. He pretty much pulled the pin of the grenade Lovikov threw.

Oh, he totally did. Which was 100% intentional. I was going to be inspired by that one scene from House of Cards where Frank does something similar, but then the scene kept going on and I realized I didn't have to.

Comment posted by NTRSTC deleted Jul 28th, 2018

9074480
You're welcome. I don't listen to a lot of Gorillaz, but El Mañana really stuck out to me. I really need to give Demon Days another listen one of these days.

Toxic work environment aside, Valve is one of the best hopes in terms of advancing VR. I'm really invested in VR, and considering Valve's near-unlimited amount of resources, they seem like the best bet. Also, Half-Life in general has some great fan creations, I genuinely recommend the comic Half-Life: A Place in the West. It's a great addition to the Half-Life universe.

The way you put "Reiner v. Gardner" was along the lines of what I was thinking, although definitely a lot more well put than what I was trying to say, and I completely agree.

9074537
Point of order one: the Reavers never hated ponies. I’m anal about that one. They didn’t particularly care about them, but they didn’t hate them, and still don’t. 😉

Point of order two: the HLF aren’t the HLF of old Spectrum, otherwise known as the “stupid evil” HLF. I’d like to think (or hope) that the HLF in this story aren’t quite so “we’re all crazy evil who do evil things for no reason, bwahahahaha”. The Reavers, hopefully, aren’t quite the “exception that proves the crazy rule” that they used to be (which, ironically, means they can be a bit more characterful and nuanced now instead of the ‘always having to be good to prove they’re good’ characters they had to be in the original).🙂

9076139
Weeeell, not so much yet, no. Part of that might be that this story is focusing on the worst of the worst, but I'm still getting the impression from this story that the majority of HLF has a hateboner for ponies and the only difference seems to be whether they kill them on sight or whether they leave them alone as long as they prove themselves peaceful. This chapter alone already has social media feed of HLF threatening the ponies of the city, keeping them hostage as guns are pointed at them. Sure, social media, but that doesn't really shift the perspectives.

Of course, you're also fighting against years and years of TCB fics casting HLF as the worst of the worst of humanity. Not just Spectrum.

9076185
I think about 80% of that is the fact that this is the story of the worst of the HLF, unfortunately. The other 20% being the fact that, as you point out, trying to write the HLF being anything other than the most fucking ridiculously stupid faction in the history of fucking ridiculously stupid factions is swimming upstream against an entire stream of them being written as fucking ridiculously stupid. The entirety of Spectrum’s history is them being FRS (might as well make it an acronym, right?) to the point that you might as well start wondering how the hell these people function. Frankly, if I wasn’t knee deep in a sunken cost fallacy about it, ridiculously stubborn, and didn’t have Doctor Fluffy backing me up (seriously, Doc’s been keeping me afloat on my ‘make the HLF not FRS’ thing for a while), I’d have given up trying to fix that problem two years ago when I started. But hey ho.

(If you’re at all interested in seeing the HLF as anything other than ‘hateboners for ponies!’, I’m writing a companion piece to Light called ‘Map of the Problematique’ that’s basically some of the same events shown from a different angle, alongside an entirely new story that has an impact on this one - and vice verse, obvs)

9076331
Well, Spectrum stories -old and new- have another difficulty curve with writing HLF-lite: the PHL. If you don't write HLF as a pony hating group, or at the very least a group that wants nothing to do with ponies, you're essentially writing a different flavour of PHL. And it's a lot harder to write about two different groups and their near-irreconcilable differences when their ideologies aren't so different.

And I'll be keeping tabs on Map as well.

9076437
To me, the key difference in the 2.0 rebootverse is that one is essentially “people powered”, a military entity born from the need to organise resistance quickly, coalesced by a collection of fairly disparate people (from the good, in Algernon Spader and Maxi Yarrow, to the bad, like Mike Carter and Lovikov). The other, the PHL, is a political entity as well as an army. Ideally, the two would never come to blows, but one is a political entity that’s... well, very bad at taking criticism, and the other is unfortunately decentralised and has attracted the worst people with much less vetting than it ought to have had.

9076529
Not helping is that Lovikov is going to made that divide a whooooooooole lot worse.

9078660
Sadly. Still, he wouldn't be Lovikontgesig if he didn't

9074738
Another thing about Half-Life. As inspired by... well, maybe it was Half-Life? I forget. Anyway, as inspired by something, I decided to divide the chapters by episodes in classic Light, a touch which has stuck with me until now.

I'm still kicking myself for not making enough jokes about not getting to episode 3.

So I was reading the old Light Despondent (what fun things we do while we wait for updates) and a thought occurred: This whole hostage situation was always going to doom the HLF.

Let's picture for a moment everything going the HLF's way: The PHL caves to their demands, they get everything they asked and they leave the rig without killing anyone else. The HLF in this scenario is still 'the organization that held a city hostage.' Sure, they didn't shoot, but a hostage bluff only works if your target believes they would have shot. That means everyone would have believed the HLF would have been crazy enough to shell a city. Not only is this going to tank popular support for the HLF, the PHL can't let a crazy act like that stand. They're going to need to intervene before another crazy fraction of the HLF goes "hey, that worked, why don't we do this again?" Which, to make things worse, it probably would.

But let's say the HLF hostage attempt wasn't led by the insane, but rather more rational people like Verity. In this case, the HLF blinks first. Shooting was never part of the plan, and as I mentioned before: A hostage bluff only works if you're prepared to go through with it. If your bluff is called and you can't provide, your whole plan collapses. Worse, from now on every time the HLF tries to do big posturing, people will doubt your sincerity. The HLF's reputation doesn't take a slide down the shitshow, but it's still dented form not only trying to creating a hostage situation, but also failing to make it do anything. It'll just further the general public's thought that the HLF has become irrelevant. And of course it still would have accomplished nothing in regards to their goals.

9145983
I... did not think of that. But when you put it that way, it makes sense.

Maybe, in time, I could've made something more logical, something that wasn't so make-or-break... but, well, I didn't want to find myself making a completely different story. And both of these possibilities - one of which actually does come true - are intriguing to consider. Course, if the "PHL caves" ending happens, there's also the question of how the rest of the world see the PHL...

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