• Member Since 14th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen 8 hours ago

horizon


Not a changeling.

T
Source

There's a crime wave gripping the sleepy town of Apple-Morepone, and nopony on the City Watch seems to care. Corporal "Rainbow" M. Dash naps through her patrols, her partner Dobby is an infamous kleptomaniac, Captain Rhymes is a drunkard, and the entire Watch is a group of burnt-out misfits.

They're about to meet a batpony (adopted) by the name of Carrot, visiting town to return an overdue library book.

And none of their lives will ever be the same.


A crossover/homage to the "City Watch" books of Terry Pratchett's Discworld, written to be readable without any familiarity with the series (though they're excellent, and if you do read them you'll catch my Pratchett in-jokes).

Winner of Aragon's "Comedy Is Serious Business" Contest! "I was quoting this offline for days, forgetting where I was remembering the lines from. … This story made me legitimately jealous, both of its cleverness and of its funniness." –Contest judge MrNumbers

Rated ★★★★★ by Louder Yay! "The best comedy I've read in a long time."

"Highly Recommended" by Super Trampoline! (Video review here @ 09:17) "It's 13,000 words long, but it doesn't feel long, because so much fun stuff is happening."

Thank you to Themaskedferret and Caliaponia for prereading, and GaPJaxie for motivation/inspiration!

Chapters (5)
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Comments ( 137 )

First comment reserved for author's notes!


Terry Pratchett is, it must be said, a wizard of modern storytelling. I'm borrowing some of his glory here, and I'd like to think I've done it justice, and I hope that you enjoy this homage.

At the same time ...

I go into this knowing that lifting material from the masters is touching the third rail. So many of you are going to have read the source, and are going to have a favorite character who I necessarily didn't do justice to in my 12,000 words.

This is NOT a retelling of a Pratchett story. It's not even a direct-to-pony translation of the characters. I've remixed the source material with what pony has given us, altering and omitting things as necessary where odd corners stuck out in the joining. This story's Carrot/Vimes/Vetinari/etc are NOT carbon copies of Pratchett's Carrot/Vimes/Vetinari, because that's not what I'm trying to do: I'm trying to adapt him into a universe that works under different rules, using character bases that have to be contorted for the overlay.

So, please: if you're a Pratchett fan, enjoy this on its own merits. I've tried to let Discworld shine through as much as possible given the framework, but if you don't see it in a particular place or in a particular way, it's because I had to put the framework's struts somewhere.

If you're not a Pratchett fan? You should be, because I'm working as diligently as possible with this to show what makes him great. :twilightsmile:


Also!

There is an epilogue!

Edit: Now that the contest is over, it's been published and the story is 100% complete.

You can't read it yet, though. I've marked this story "Complete" — and published without it — because in order to meet the contest's limitations, this has to be a complete story in under 12,000 words. The story above is that complete and sub-12k entry. Relative to it, consider the Epilogue ~600 words of bonus material (though I think it adds closure the core story benefits from).

If you want to read the epilogue, track this story! I will push that bonus material to FIMFic after the contest judging completes.

I admit, I was just reading it as "Patrician" until I got to her nameplate.

You fiend! Ok, admittedly a clever fiend! Here I was *just* about to be productive and you hit that darned Publish button. Darnit.

Shops Selling Two Things Avenue -- Immediately accepted as canon.
Orthodox Chiropterans -- Also.

It's half past two at night, I got a busy day tomorrow and you just had to post a bucking Discworld crossover! :flutterrage:

This is not over yet, and by "this" I mean my night because like hay I can go to sleep now with this story hanging over my head.

I haven’t been this hype to read something since Skywriter finished Spa and Order!

Exquisite. A fantastic blend of Discworld, Equestria, and unique spins on components of each that result in a wonderfully ridiculous blend all its own. Thank you immensely for this. I'd say good luck in the judging, but you definitely don't need it.

R5h

Oh. Oh man.

I am not winning this contest.

Fantastic job, if that wasn't already clear!

Considering how many times I’ve read or listened to Guards! Guards!, this just made the top of my RiL list!

...you know it’s illegal to steal the souls of fantasy authors right?

Everything about this is glorious.

That thing with the Partician... brilliant double-bluff there, man. I'm impressed. :yay::pinkiehappy:

This is effing brilliant all over, but captain Z. Rhymes was truly inspiring. :pinkiehappy:

It's funny how the story we're all going to lose to doesn't actually have ratings that good (17:3 at the time of this comment). And thinking about it, there's only one obvious and plausible explanation.

"Dobby, did you steal upvotes from this story?"

"They was just lyin' around, a whole big pile of them. Didn't think nopony would notice."

"We've been over this, Dobby. Ponies don't notice if you take a few and leave the rest, not if you leave a few and take the rest."

Pratchett now looks do from his book throne on heaven, and he nods in British approval. This was GLORIOUS :pinkiecrazy:

Equestria's been protected by Princess-sanctioned plucky bands of heroes roaming the land to learn friendship lessons.

This here shows a most perfect blend of Discworld's logic and MLP's magic of friendship. It's perfect, and would have earned a favorite alone.

Thank you for writing this story. And I'd love to see more of this CarrotDash you just teased us with :raritystarry:

Hmmmmm. So there are brilliant gags here, notably the ones 8724042 mentioned. I’m having some cognitive dissonance getting to Dashie as Vimes, though... I’ll have to see how that one evolves.

Partician”, though. And “Lady Veterinarian.” *snerk* :rainbowlaugh:

Oh, and Dobbin rides again!!!

Okay, now I get who Dash is supposed to be! Awesome. I love the Vimes stand-in, and all the rest. The opening sequence here is also a really strong intro to the world as a whole.

I'm a little happy I didn't enter the contest. I'm happy with my story... but I'm also happy it's not being metaphorically beaten to death.

Is that iambic tetrameter Zecora's using? Mmm, she sobers up nice. :raritywink:

Dash facehooved. "Carrot. For generations now Equestria's been protected by Princess-sanctioned plucky bands of heroes roaming the land to learn friendship lessons. The entirepointof the City Watch is towatch crimes. Then we take notes on what we see, so that when a hero comes to town they can use the power of their friendship to confront the villains and foil their plots."

EVERY FIVE MINUTES THE STORY JUST GETS BETTER.

8725294

Lady Veterinarian

Strangely enough, if you look up PTerry's etymology of the original name, you'll learn I didn't actually pun this. I just took the source and pushed it a little bit sideways.

8724042
re Chiropterans: I have been waiting for a story in which I could make that bat mitzvah joke for literally years. :duck:

8724740

...you know it’s illegal to steal the souls of fantasy authors right?

Somepony needs to reread Celestial Code 93,714, section 11, paragraph 1. :trollestia:

8724793
Thank you!

Oh yeah, forgot:

8725294

I’m having some cognitive dissonance getting to Dashie as Vimes, though... I’ll have to see how that one evolves.

I know you commented next chapter that you figured it out, but for the benefit of anyone else making the same assumption, Dash is not my Vimes expy. Corporal M. Dash is in Sgt. Colon's place (although the way this story came out demanded that there be much more Dash than Colon in her).

8726090

Someponyneeds to reread Celestial Code 93,714, section 11, paragraph 1.:trollestia:

If this goes like the original... there's no way in tartarus I'm going to ask for your version of the Librarian for that book. I ain't that brave.

8725440
Yes, he did! Good eye.

Hence the joke about His Previous Speech making him sound like "death warmed over".

8725584
Zebra's gotta have standards, man.

8726105
Oh, that's... that's like next level subtle, man. I stand agog at the commitment to the joke there.

So I wanted to chime in with one bit of feedback about something that bugged me more than I expected. It might be a matter of taste, or it might just be nitpicking since I rarely read crossovers and this is one that I really really wanted to love without reservations. But as I go back and check it now, I think it's still relevant:

The opening scene struck me as a rather subdued introduction to the city, world, etc. Now some of that was from me mis-guessing that Dashie would be our Vimes character, rather than Colon, which is on me. But after getting my brain around that, I found passages that read like lovely, strong, and functional introductions to the setting at the beginning of the Vetinari scene, and then also at the start of chapter 2. I felt like either of those moments would have been an even stronger way to kick things off, as they compress a lot more worldbuilding into tighter (and, dare I say, more conspicuously Pratchett-esque) packages. The Dash/Dobbin scene does set important plot things moving, but I find myself craving a good, solid world introduction.

Anyway, now I wanna see that epilogue. I'm guessing Lady Veterinarian shows herself again? :duck:

Speaking as a huge fan of his work, you have done Sir Terry proud! :pinkiehappy:

...That makes two stories I think deserves the win. Well done. Have a bloody fav.

8726093
See? Set Dobby straight and the upvotes start piling up as they should. :raritywink:

You finally wrote a story which uses "bat mitzvah" properly.

Took you bloody long enough! :pinkiehappy:

8726099
Y'know, I was about to comment on how Dash seemed more of a Colon than a Vimes. :rainbowlaugh:

I was twice surprised and twice bamboozled by your choice in Vetinari stand-in. Good show.

I never read any Pratchett, so most of this went over my head. But it was still pretty good. :twilightsmile:

everyone insisting i start reading Pratchett in 3, 2, 1....

She didn't just put Carrot to work, she absolutely Moisted her!

And that is not a typo!

A big part of me thinks 'Carrot' should've had a crown for her cutie-mark.
"It's how I knew I needed to be a proper example for the colts and fillies to follow when they're growing up."

This was fantastic. The first chapter had me worried, because it felt like it was 97% Pratchett and maybe 3% pony, but the police office scene did a great job bringing things to a nice balance. How many references to silly bits of fandom lore were there? I lost count, but I laughed at each one. Good luck with the contest; this should be a top-contender.

Whoa there.

So Dobby stole the non-existent cutie mark from a species which isn't real and who don't even get cutie marks?
:derpyderp2:

Good horse Dobby.
Dobby good horse.
:derpytongue2:

Wow. That bit with the henchponies working on their CRVs was such a perfect marriage of MLP and Ankh-Morpork. Color me impressed.

I was thinking, "Pinkietrician is the best thing ever!", and then I was like "wait, what *checks* you clever bugger!" and then I got to "Vetinariain" and then I hit the favourite button only barely, because I was too busy laughing.

Well played, Horizon, my good fellow, well played.


8724030

I did until I read your comment, was puzzled, and looked.

And it's a shame I missed it, because that would have been even more convincing!

Glorious.

And, like a true Pratchett novel, some of the subtlies are sufficiently subtle I would have missed them were it not for them being pointed out in the comments section.


The character choices were inspired; the sort of parody crossover stripe I occasionally toy with and aspire to in my own head, except given form and, actually y'know, REALLY GOOD.

A standing ovation, my good chap.

I'm impressed. You are one of the few writers here who bothers to write zebra verse with some sort of actual meter, rather than just slapping rhymes together and calling it poetry.

And then there's all the other glorious art you've made here. I really should be watching you more closely...

And I saw that jab at the plot of a certain book on guards. :trollestia:

Also, the bit with Reginald completely caught me off-guard.

Again, this was beautiful.

But 12345?! That's the combination on my luggage!

As much as I want my fanfic to win a prize, if your story wins first place, I won't be (too) disappointed. It brilliantly fuses Discworld with Equestria, and the casting of Capt. Z. Rhymes is inspired. There are a couple of parts that I could nitpick, but they're so trivial that I don't even know if I should bother mentioning them. I'll be tracking this.

Words cannot describe how much I adored this story. Because it was the perfect fusion of Discworld and Equestria without being derivative (somehow). I need to give this a proper followup, so expect a super long blog comment thingy! I freaking LOVED IT. It was GLORIOUS.

...now, I want 40+ novels set in this world. Now. Like... right now, now.

The Partician

Sometimes a pun is so perfect in how absurdly specific it is that its mere existence is a thing of beauty, and this is one of those times.

This was a pitch perfect tribute to both of its inspirations, and the funniest contest entrant I've read so far to boot. Well done, and good luck. :heart:

8739199

And I saw that jab at the plot of a certain book on guards. :trollestia:

Ah, but did you notice that I phrased it ambiguously enough that it also describes Twilight Sparkle's backstory in MLP?

:trollestia: :trollestia: :trollestia:

8760386
No, I did not.

Now that's an analogue I'd have liked to see. :rainbowlaugh:

I'm not a fan of Fluttershy as the chessmaster tyrant because even in service of benevolence it's still way out of character for her, but the veterinarian pun made me much more on board with it.

nice fakeout, you had me thinking that Pinkie was the patrician!

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