• Member Since 12th May, 2013
  • offline last seen 2 hours ago

Kris Overstreet

Convention vendor, compulsive writer. I have a Patreon for monthly bills and a KoFi for tips.


This story is a sequel to Changeling Space Program

Twilight Sparkle's experimental interplanetary drive has malfunctioned, stranding Starlight Glimmer, Spitfire, Cherry Berry, a changeling and a dragon on a hostile planet in another universe. With limited food supplies, very little magic, no communications with home, and no way to leave the planet, they must survive until somepony rescues them.

Fortunately they crashed right next door to another creature with the exact same problem- a creature named Mark Watney.

They're going to science the buck out of everything- and do whatever it takes to survive Mars and get everybody home.

TVTropes page here! Thanks to GymQuirk for making it!

Commissioned art and fan works from the readers! Thanks, everybody!

This experiment in an updates-daily story was made possible by a generous grant from Canary in the Coal Mine and viewers like you.

(Sex tag for crude talk about sex, but no actual sex in the story.)

Chapters (290)
Comments ( 23997 )
Estee #1 · Jan 2nd, 2018 · · · Sol 6 ·

...well, this is ambitious. But everything should be fine as long as you don't wait until the last five paragraphs and then go all Iron Mare on us.

8643567 In the book Iron Man doesn't happen. And not in this book, either.

But that's a long, long, long ways off in any case.


I've never actually read the book. I have, however, listened to the audio edition, from start to finish, three times -- and so that part of the filmed version was slightly annoying.

I’ll like to see how this story will end with and how it will go.

I've read MOST of CSP (haven't gotten around to that latest chapter) and I've read The Martian. And watched the movie.

I'm glad I read the book first. Because otherwise some of it would've gone over my head. Like, that second sandstorm towards the end not being in the film and that SEAN BEAN DIDN'T DIE!

This is going to be a fun story.

Don't forget that drill. In other news, KO is adapting my favorite book ever to ponies.

Don't mess it up.

Okay. I'm watching this one.

So thanks for that.

Eagerly looking forward to this. That many more hungry, respirating, capable bodies will seriously throw off the timetables of survival. Hopefully they brought their own stored supplies as a housewarming gift. There's just the matter of what prolonged magic starvation does to organisms from their universe, and how the heck they're going to pull off a high-D teleport in a universe that, if they're extremely lucky, only has next-to-no magic.

Yeah that was a good one. And that one message in the first conversation after hacking the rover "hey look: a-" you know what I mean.

I have no doubt that KO will do a great job.

Pre-reading comment:

And now Matt Damon must be rescued from space (again) but the twist this time is that it's a TV show made for six year old girls

8643659 Sean Bean's character didn't die, but he committed career suicide. I think that counts.

Functioning as designed, not as expected. QA is hard. :facehoof:

I'm really looking forward to seeing where this goes. Without magic, the situation will go from bad to worse for all involved as there are now six people to pull resources instead of just Mark by himself. Also, it'd be interesting to see how they react to his more insane ideas (like how water was made), or how much swearing he does compared to their PG swearing.

I can't really see them surviving some of the problems that Mark ran into, and some of them were caused by wear and tear which will only get much worse with 6 instead of just 1 active astronaut. I can only hope magic and the resources of their ship can avoid a truly Bad End.

Though humans on Earth seeing these magical aliens in space suits through a remote camera would be the most hilarious thing I can imagine. How would they even respond to something like that?

Arn #14 · Jan 2nd, 2018 · · · Sol 6 ·

Good luck with this...I mean it.

It will have to, for the sake of his character's death in pretty much every movie he plays in.

8643659 But he *always* dies! Unfair!

I can see the discussion now.

"So..." Starlight looked the spell up and down. "Starswirl the Bearded's Faultless Portal Spell put us here? How in heaven's name can this be considered faultless?!"

"Well." Twilight squirmed a little, but felt forced to defend her favorite theoretician. "The spell refuses to open up a portal unless conditions on both sides of the portal match. So when you're on a rich, healthy world, you can't accidentally open a portal into a desolate, deadly vacuum."

"And when you're stranded on a near lifeless world, without hope of rescue?" Starlight looked out the window at the small fleck of metal far away on the Maretian plain.

"Yes." Twilight smiled a frantic gritting of teeth. "See, it worked perfectly!"

Off to a good start. It'll be interesting to see in what ways magic will (or won't) affect their circumstances. The implication seems to be that their magic does regenerate, but slowly, which leads me to wonder just what they're actually capable of.

So this is a noncanon spin off kind of sequel right?

I can't wait for the rest. And I hope there are references of Earth-stuff that the alien group doesn't understand.

they said it themselves, magic is stronger around life, if there is any value of magic present, it will be under the effects of that meagre multiplier.

There IS magic around, as a universe without magic would have been entirely incompatible for the Equus-ians' existence after exiting the teleport.

This is a canon sequel to the main story, written simultaneously, just as hiw LoTR is canon sequel to the Hobbit yet was penned simultaneously, even if published seperately.

A microasteroid, about the size of a coarse bit of beach sand, floated into the Amicitas’s flight path.

The Sparkle Drive’s teleportation spell automatically displaced the ship to avoid it.

Wouldn't be better to displace the microasteroid instead of the ship?

Also all characters should feel exhaustion without magic. They are all magical beings that gain strength and special abilities from magic.

This could be intresting, given Ive read the book but not seen the movie.

Dont potatoes do really well in manure? Also, horse hair etc was used in wattle and daub for building materials? So say horsehair reinforced ice and you have concrete? If the magic is low, can the dragon still eat martian rocks for sustenance, and if so, what it dragon waste product?

First, take the flight plan, and rip the cover off. :twilightoops:

You know, the Sparkle Drive reminds me of the Liir Stutter Drive from 'Sword of the Stars', which works "by teleporting the entire ship in tiny spatial increments of a millimeter or so", making faster if its drive can manage more teleports per second.

The premise and chapter had me hooked. I can't wait to see more! :twilightsmile:

8644362 I am curious myself to see how the Equestrian characters will react to 70's television.

8644403 It would have been, yes, if the ponies had thought of that, but they thought the standard failsafes in the teleportation spell would be enough.

Also, Starlight was the first one to feel the effects because, as a unicorn, she actively taps into and manipulates her magic reserves. For pegasi and earth ponies it's not usually a conscious act. And Starlight Glimmer's first instinct for solving any problem, from "the roof is caving in, we're all about to die" on down to "the sugar bowl is inconveniently far away from me on the table" is to use magic. So she used her reserves up almost immediately after the drive crashed, and spoilers- it won't be the last time.

8644679 So I'm told, though I've never read/watched/played/whatever Sword of the Stars.

It's a 4X (aka Civilization-style) space game where you try to conquer the galaxy as one of several alien species. Among other differences, each race has its own FTL travel method. Humans, for instance, have to find and travel along jump nodes, while the Hivers slowboat to new systems at merely relativistic speeds, then set up a gate; their ships can travel anywhere in the gate network in a single turn.

I persume that basic teleport spell pushes atoms out of the place where you teleport or the other way around if the object is too dense. The ship shouldn't even need to avoid microasteroids. The teleportation spell will simply push them out of the way or will be pushed out of the way when reapearing. And they teleport so fast that microasteroids are simply moving too slow to be danger for the ship.


it won't be the last time

So, they can recover their magic reserves even in a world without magic? How does that work? Specialized magic-generating organs or something?
Maybe something analogous to that cloud-shaped thing near Rainbow's pelvis?

...huh. Well, minor spoilers for CSP I guess, but that was to be expected. I've only ever seen the movie, how different is it from the book?

8644962 The book has a lot more detailed science, several more Watney-almost-dies moments, a lack of Iron Man beyond the suggestion, and a total lack of full-service bathrooms in the Ares IV MAV. Among other things.

The book was great, can't wait to see how you intersect the two.

i think its fair for Mars to tell Huston that "we have a pony..."

You have my full and undivided attention.

Unhappy dragon at least has better tasting wrapper than contents of MRE, but would be even unhappier if he was Kirk. Three alien females and nothing going on.:trollestia:

Depending on the camera resolution etc, accessing GOCHE ion drive atmosphere flight data, telepphoto optics, they should get not just better than a metre resolution, but compensating for relative angular velocity by pivoting the camera, taken from spy planes data, they could get down to inch per pixel res or so. But that would be like 256 Meg camera, 18 inch diameter optics, 100km altitude ? Then again, theres a neat trick with multiple slipped fast photos computing the phase difference between them to increase the effective resolution, sort of like super sampling?

I forgot the overall delta V of the Hermes, but Ive read Azimovs Lucky Starr, and Clarkes 2063, and so even when an ion drive can give you a short flight time direct accross the solar system, like the local road network, theres this horrendously impassible structure in the way that just has to be avoided. And it aint Granny Weatherwax. :trollestia:

It will be typical that the magic exudate of the Equestrians will keep causing compact dust devils, preventing direct detailed viewing, but could end up making Wells? style writing communication just by wandering out for a few letters.

Pity noones got a corner reflector to make a self tracking laser radar heliograph.:derpytongue2:

Oooooooh, I like this. Keep going.

Also, he’s not a quadrupedal ungulate, he’s a bipedal reptilian, standing on two long rear legs that would be almost human except for a few minor differences, like clawed feet, scales, plantigrade legs - you know, trivial stuff like that.

Wait, are you sure you don't mean digitigrade? The sentence structure suggests that his plantigrade legs are counted in the list of minor differences, but humans are plantigrade, too.

8645747 Thanks, I get those mixed up too often.

Oh, Featured. #4 overall, #3 without mature fics.

8645791 I'm pleased about that, but for the moment I'm chalking that up to carryover from CSP. We'll see how things look after a week or so of this. I have high hopes.

You are really nailing Mark Watney's voice in the log updates. I think the Hermes crew being aware of something off from the very beginning of the story, before they even left Mars, puts an entirely different spin on the rest of the story. Their options are still really limited, but there is the potential for near-instant communication between Hermes and Mars while Earth talks to Hermes on a slower line.

Well, you definitely continue to hold my interest. :)

Reading CSP is needed to understand this?

Ares III, Houston. What do you mean, you have a pony? Everyone since Apollo 11 knows that only the Moon has a pony on it.

I hope this continues to do well in the feature box, too. :twilightsmile:
I've chipped in a little on Patreon as well, hope it helps. It's certainly past time for me to start supporting an author whose work here I've been enjoying so much.

Comment posted by emanwe deleted Jan 3rd, 2018

"just what we said, Huston...and not just one...four of them...and i dragon!"

Well, he got half of one name, so he's already decoded (assuming Equestrian has all the same words as English) almost six thousandths of a percent of their language! Good progress, at this rate he'll get done in only 470 years or so.

Comment posted by Rhombicosidodecahedron deleted Jan 3rd, 2018

This was magnificent, you beautiful human of an author.

I find it amazing that on Chrome for mobile, there is an Articles for You section right below your most visited sites when you open a new tab. I don't know how it works, but it recommended this story the moment it came out, and I can't believe that it's something I'm actuslly interested in. The ladt time it did this, it also recommended The Musings of an Old Fool by Monochromatic, which I also plan to read very soon.

I guess Google Chrome is on it's shit. :rainbowlaugh: I don't even need to be on site to find good stories.

Spitfire is my favourite pony so I am so glad you included her. I hope she finds something to smile about sooner or later :unsuresweetie:

I will be eagerly reading this each day when it updates. It's one of those things where I could easily see 3K+ words of chapters building up when I miss a few days, but right now I'd happily read a lot more :twilightsmile: I've only seen the film of the Martian, but as the plot changes anyway I imagine that'll be ok. I definitely recognise how you've captured Mark's character, he was engaging enough on his own and imagine he will be just as good when surrounded by stranded ponies.

Great job with this!

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