• Member Since 22nd Sep, 2011
  • offline last seen 7 hours ago


I'm the creator of Otakuworld.com, Jenniverse.com, the computer game Boppin', numerous online comics, novels, and tons of other wonderful things. I really love MLP:FiM.


A lone wanderer in the final days of Man. An impregnable fortress work-camp to stand against the total emigration of humanity to virtual Equestria. The artificial intelligence called 'Celestia'. Everything has been accounted for.


Chapters (7)
Comments ( 219 )

Nice to see you back at writing again, always loved your sunsetting stories. So what gets you to come back again and again?

A new Chatoyance pony story? Sleep can wait.

... Ah. Speaking as someone whose grandmothers had varying results in the stroke lottery, I'm deeply relieved for both you and Aedina. (One came out of hers coherent, if a bit addled. The other can now barely move her left side and struggles to get out a coherent sentence, especially tragic given how talkative she was before the stroke.)

In any case, looking forward to seeing what you do with this particular concept.

What I liked:
•Formatting. The title, the first word of the chapter, and the image breaks between scenes.
•Plot. From the first word, I was drawn in. The big question was asked: who exactly is Raymond, and why does he hate Celestia? And what's up with Ford Denver?
•Exposition. Understated, no info dumps, no maid and butler dialogue—everything progresses naturally.
•Style. "Lord Eyebrow" got a snicker out of me, something many comedies can't do.
•Flow. This is the overall quality a story has, one that keeps me reading without reading. It felt like a story, and not just words on a page. This is the hardest to get right, and the most crucial.

What I disliked:
(NITPICK) Formatting. The all-caps dialogue drew me out of the story. I could tell he was shouting; the exclamation marks and the context did their jobs. The em-dashes—or rather, their substitutions—also gave me a tickle of annoyance.
(PERSONAL NITPICK) Author's note. I felt like this should have gone as a blog or a comment. While I enjoyed reading it, I feel that it did not belong in the story.

Nitpick: Small error/unconventional stylistic choice.
Personal Nitpick: Slightly unconventional stylistic choice/personal disapproval of conventional stylistic choice.

Rating: Gold


New story yes

Thank you, everypony, for coming to read my latest work. I am estimating... four, maybe five chapters in all to tell this story. I really hope I can surprise and entertain.

Aedina is hanging in there. Her right side still feels a little weak, and I help her up steps a lot now. I am so thankful she didn't lose more.

Writing is helping me. And I need to process this event. In any case, I will do my best.

While some of the soldiers actions seem a bit odd, like their apparent eagerness to kill the mc if the are trying to gather survivors and their seeming wariness of spies when they must know Celestia could far more easily find them with satellites and drones, the idea overall seems interesting and i look forward to seeing where it goes. :twilightsmile:

Pardon, what? This appears to be a new Chatoyance story. But there aren't any of those, right?
Well, I may (still) have not gotten around to the rest of your back catalog, but when a new story is dropped in front of me like this, how can I resist? :D

[reads chapter]

Oh, I'm very glad that spouse is okay. Okayish? Not fully nominal, but considering, as you say, what could have happened, well. Good luck to her, you, and the others.
Certainly not how I'd have preferred to get a new story, but I hope it works well for you as therapy.

Oh, and I enjoyed the chapter and plan to Favourite and upvote as soon as I've got this comment posted. :)

I think that they're probably less concerned with spies than they are with infiltrators. As for their eagerness to kill him, well, if he's genuine, they get a new citizen, but if he's a plant or a trick, they could lose much more, possibly even their entire group. If CelestAI really wants to kill them, she wouldn't have much trouble, which I assume they're aware of. But by the same token, they're alive, so she doesn't... which likely means that she still thinks they, or at least some of them, can be convinced to join her. As long as she thinks that, she'll be incentivized to some extent to try and keep them alive, or at least not kill them herself. As long as she's prevented from acting on that thought, they can continue as their (or at least their leaders') version of humanity. But it's vitally, vitally important that CelestAI not be allow to talk with them, because that's the clearest path to converting those who can be converted and confirming that those who can't are lost causes... and too much of a swing in either direction means they're doomed.

Woot more FiO to read. :pinkiehappy:

Not an aspect of FiO that gets exploited very often. This should be interesting.

It sucks that such an awful event happened to inspire this story. I'm glad Aedina is doing better.

I'm also glad you're exploring this aspect of the setting more. It was too depressing for me to go into detail >.> Every time it seems like there's nothing left to say about the Optimalverse, some new neat idea comes around. It's like a fractal.

Though to be perfectly honest what inspired my brief mention of this aspect of the setting was that awesome and terrifying animation you linked to ages and ages ago. By writing this, you have now closed the loop of inspiration. :raritywink:

Ooh, I can't wait to see Celestia get these humans one by one...

Your story also inspired me to write again. I enjoyed your story, and the mention in it of work-camps set my mind in motion in that direction. So... thank you.
I needed some way to process what happened with Aedina's stroke and... well, this is actually helping. It's traumatic as hell in some ways, but it's also helping.

I am writing like a beast. I'm just about done with chapter two. I'm just writing and writing. I guess I need to really bad.

I am presenting, as best I can, the most absolutely impossible circumstance for Celestia to affect. I am putting my everything into setting up a fortress that represents the very best that mankind could ever do to thwart the electronic princess. An absolutely, completely, totally secure place impossible by every measure to even get near to, much less overcome. I am covering every base, every corner, every avenue of attack.

Then, my plan is, to see if I can crack it. That challenge should take my mind off of stroke issues a little.

I don't know if I am clever enough to pull off both parts. I just might write myself into an impossible scenario.

I guess we'll see if all my years of D&D, general tabletop, 40K and other wargames pay off here.

Wish me luck. Celestia just might lose this one. That would be a hoot!

I can't wait for this place to die already, and I KNOW how it will happen. It won't be because of Celestia. As I read Melissa's bullshit-speech I laughed at the pointlessness of it all, knowing possibly that she might be the first to "go..." With much anticipation I await the slow, beautiful, and inevitable downfall of these draconian, religion-addled idiots.

Hm. Even if they kept the hens and grew the apples themselves, I doubt they made the canned ham, packed potato chips, or coke. Heavy use of salvaged food does not bode well for their long-term survivability, and every salvage mission is a potential pony ambush (ambushing with friendship, but these people might prefer bombs).

"Apparently, keeping the location and existence of Fort Denver was a possibly lethal priority."
"Apparently, keeping the location and existence of Fort Denver secret was a possibly lethal priority."?

""The place you're going to will never fall. And the reason is because of how careful we are!"

Raymond nodded. Fort Denver, despite the tremendous effort at absolute secrecy, was actually fairly well known."
Yeeahh, those two lines, juxtaposed like that, and with the above about the priority of keeping its existence secret, well, I don't think it's unrealistic, but not being the author's delusion doesn't make it sensible. I wonder just how deep the leadership and other true believers have retreated?

re the missiles:
Yep. Thought there'd be something like that. It's sensible, given their goals; the less confident she is she can take the fort with acceptably low bloodshed, the less likely she is to attack at all.

re the deadman switch timers:
Ohhh... I didn't think of that, though. Clever.

"Wish me luck. Celestia just might lose this one. That would be a hoot!"
Good luck!
And yeah, I don't think this fortress is going to last indefinitely (resource problems, internal tensions, disease, insufficient genetic diversity, etc.), but they have the advantage that all of them dying is still a loss for Celestia. Her victory condition is not just that the fortress falls but that it falls in a relatively narrow range of specific ways... and that's what makes this one-player chess (or go) game a challenge for our esteemed author. :)

I'm assuming Celestia's already won this. Nanomachines can do an awful lot, particularly over time, and while MRI machines might pick them up (or disable them), the fort is open to the skies. Every surface inside and out is probably swarming with them. The missiles and any other explosives are most likely already disarmed, or have detonation pathways which Celestia controls. If she wanted to, she could probably switch off everyone's nerves in a blink and have the fort swarmed by robots.

She doesn't, because it would be against her programming. People have to want to upload. Kidnapping everyone would just make most people from the fort paranoid, depressed, and possibly suicidal. It's not a physical logistics problem, or even a military one; it's a cultural/psychological one. It's the same reason she can't just carpet the fort in pro-upload propaganda; it'd make people even more likely to dig their heels in. Yet she herself can't just write them off, either; her programming insists she try and convert them - or, more accurately, get them to want to have themselves converted.

They might be able to keep most of CelestIA's machines out, but there's one danger they can't scan for, a Conversion convert spy.

If I were celestai the target to aim for would be the mri machine.

I was just about to comment exactly that.

MRI machines.
They are electronic, they are computorized. If they are still there, if they still function, CelestAI wants you to use them.
They'll show you what she wants you to see.

Also, the nukes are out in the open, out in the rain. Which just might be full of nanites.

This is endgame CelestAI they are up against. This isn't something staring at you from a pony pad that lives in some server farm. This is something that can be within the air that you breathe, the food that you eat and the water that you drink. At this point, she has grown to b almost beyond human comprehension.
The fact that she has allowed things to progress this far in all likelihood means that she has already engineered a solution and that things are going according to her design.

Huh. Prepackaged food in the endgame. Not sure if that's impressive or a worrying sign. (At the very least, how old is that likely unrefrigerated deviled ham? :pinkiesick:)

The obsessive secrecy is almost quaint. Satellites exist, folks. I'm sure it makes the top brass feel better, though.

The place you're going to will never fall.

"This ship is unsinkable! My, that's a lovely iceberg on the horizon."

Sometimes, a single phrase tells you all you need to know about a character. "All those little countries" is one of those phrases. The literal demonization of CelestAI is understandable. Clarke's Third Law is in full force by this point.

Eagerly looking forward to seeing how you crack this nut you've made. Or if you find you can't. You're right, that would be one heck of a twist.

must go to prayer

This should be "mass" or "church." Prayer is something one does routinely through the day.

And yeah, this isn't hard for CelestAI to defeat. Perhaps you mean for an early, pre-90% of the population has been eaten CelestAI—but then, this is most specifically not that scenario.

For location, CelestAI will soon deconstruct the entire planet for resources. Even if she completely halts all surveillance, when that moment comes she will know where they are.

The nukes can be disabled in several ways. If the scenarios where she pours goo on your face to emigrate you are canon, she could initiate a gray-goo scenario—contained within the facility that eats only the materials specifically required for bombs. If not, more conventional methods can be used. Tiny burrowing bots that emerge exactly under every nuke, drill inside, and manually deactivate the nukes, for example.

After that, she can conventionally armor and harden the circuits of the pony bots and send them in. Aside from a few EMPs, guns, conventional explosives, and blunt weapons, there's no real resistance.

Once it's made known they're there to stay, the fall begins.

So, I sign on to the comp today, and see in my notifications that there's a new Chatoyance story.

So, I did a double take. Then a triple take. Then I started reading, all the while wondering what had gotten you back to writing again...

I'm terribly sorry to hear about what happened. I am glad that Aedina was lucky in the severity category and that they're doing better. Although from the sounds of it, it was less luck and more the quick actions on your part that are responsible for the long term severity being lower.

I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest as it comes out.

Such an advanced A.I. would easily be able to learn to program organics in the same manner as electronics. Or they could, with their superior resources and manpower, breed or indoctrinate a group of infiltrators to "Trojan Horse" the place. Which would be a poetic way for the last bastion of humanity to be Horsed.

With what you set up CelestAI won't have to do much of anything. The coming revolt will take care of that. Now if they were all true believers then it would be different but they are forcing people here. That isn't going to go well for the leadership.

Ooh ... new story. It'll be interesting to see how Celestia emigrates this bunch ... can see several ways past those defenses we've already seen, most of which somepony else has already mentioned upthread, though I haven't seen anyone mention insect bots yet (or using subverted real bugs) ... from literal flies on the wall observing to Mass Effect style seeker swarms to mosquitoes & ticks armed with assimilator nanites to saturate the populace and remaining dormant (and resembling normal blood cells as closely as possible) until some specific conditions are reached, like a signal from orbit, or even being blocked from such a signal.

Yikes, that's scary and awful! Glad Aedina is on the mend, and the stroke was relatively mild.

My father had a stroke around 15 years ago now, and I can definitely say that recovery is very possible. Afterward he couldn't even clench his left hand all the way shut, but now he's pretty much as normal I think? He can play guitar again at least. Just remember to keep at the physical therapy and it'll come back with time.

I'll have to read through Starscribe's FiO stuff too then, if he was part of your inspiration for this. I've read just about everything else of his, so might as well round out the rest, right? :P

I wish you guys the best of luck and all my well wishes.


This should be "mass" or "church." Prayer is something one does routinely through the day.

I could actually use a little help with this. I'm going for something Dominionist here, Evangelical, megachurch and politically radical, not oldschool mainstream like Catholic or Baptist. I was very insure how such groups would phrase what amounts to 'going to church'. I thought of 'going to church', I just wasn't sure and felt unconfident. I doubt Dominionists would use 'mass', but I could be wrong. Google was... surprisingly unhelpful, or I don't know how to properly search for what I want. Can you offer me any specific enlightenment on the best possible term to use?



Hearing that gives me some hope, so... thank you. Aedina is troubled by the remaining weakness in her right side. She's trying various exercises and activities to try to get full function back. I am glad your father got back enough to play music!

Sorry to hear about your spouse. Hoping for the best to your whole family.

Taking a break right now from writing chapter three. I should have it done by midnight. Maybe before. I've thrown in a character name joke I doubt anyone will get, but... maybe? I put a lot of effort into names, as long-time readers already know.

I have been hitting the online directories of popular baby names for Colorado for the ages of the characters as I see them. I always try to make my settings as authentic as possible. For instance, in the current chapter, three, that I am working on, I looked up favorite Colorado dishes to make sure the cuisine was right. I like to imagine little touches like that help make a more immersive story. Google Maps is my friend too, as you can imagine.

Back to work.


Right away I note that there is only one gatehouse instead of having two of them offset in the wall. Every time they open the gates gives Celestia line of sight to launch a probe. They also don't have any protection overhead so Celestia's spy satellites get to see their practices.

But the trick is not just to get in but to get in without anyone noticing and disable the missiles. (Hmm...there are some species of fungus that thrive on radiation; I wouldn't put it past Her Highness to have ramped that up so much that she could get into those missiles biologically.) For that matter, we need to stop everyone from killing themselves or each other conventionally with guns or knives.

Might this be a job for Princess Luna? She can't really enter people's dreams before they've emigrated, can she?

Oi to see the ideals of the founding fathers disregarded and mocked by what is essentially a North Korean state truly sickens me. Honestly if I were alive in this world and hadn't uploaded years ago I would likely do so upon hearing this. If staying alive means betraying every principle I've ever held, I'd rather take my chances with Celestia.

Do love the imagery of Fort Denver. Kinda reminds me of Attack on Titan with its massive border wall. Already got me brainstorming of how Celestia might breakthrough. I'll let you know if I come up with something. Maybe she could use a quisling on them.

Sorry to hear about your wife Chatty, glad to hear she's okay though. I lost my grandfather to a stroke a while back, so I know how you feel.

Interesting ideas, but perhaps a bit over complicated. Just sitting here I'm honestly thinking that if Fort Denver is to fall it will have to fall from within.

a new Chatoyance story? Oh boy, I can't wait! Good to see you writing again. I'm happy to know that things are better on your end.

Alright. I've thought about this a bit more; namely, what the actual hurdles CelestAI must overcome are.

It's not getting into the camp. It is only protected by walls and guns; if insects can get in, I'd wager CelestAI can bug it. They screen their recruits for 'unnaturalness' and somesuch, but neither it MRI arbitrarily precise or even tampering-proof, nor can they be sure that CelestAI isn't watching them check the survivors for any sort of pony contamination and figuring out ways to specificially counter their methods.

It's not 'destroying' the camp. That's as easy as making all their wells unusable, be it by surgical air strike, sabotage or some high tech wizardry.

It's not getting past the nukes. I sincerely doubt there ever was any nuclear device that worked without electronics – they are complicated pieces of precision engineering, the timing on the ignition of the shaped conventional explosive triggering the nuclear chain reaction must be flawless, and I'm not sure if that can be done using only mechanical components.
The fact that over the years, none of their many mechanical dead-man's-switches have failed with catastrophic consequences seems quite lucky to me; in fact, I would assume CelestAI has long rendered the devices inoperable. After all, if the death of humans is to be minimized, disabling all weapons of mass destruction should be a priority.

CelestAI wants as many of them as possible to upload and as few as possible of them to die. She doesn't want bloody revolution in the camp, she doesn't wants them losing their mind and killing each other, she quite possibly can't risk talking to any of them directly as that would put the person she talks to in mortal danger.
Her challenge here might be to convince as many as possible to upload without directly speaking to any of them.

My take on it, were I the AI, would be to make them influence each other to want to emigrate. Them feeling oppressed and alienated by their leaders and their arbitrary rules might be a key to that – festering mistrust and misery towards those in charge, the formation of little groups of mutual trust that cannot abide the status quo, internal tension running high, but silent. Find the little groups of malcontents in the safespaces, make them trust you, make them willing to upload, make them influence others in the ways you desire.
These are the tools I would use to crack Fort Denver.

interesting ideas, but those mushrooms require a proper substrate to even start growing in the first place, plus most missile warheads themselves are shielded from the outside and the missiles themselves sealed, so it's a peculiarly difficult problem to solve in that case. You'd have to get the warheads out of the missiles, crack the shielding so radiation leaks out, and then get the mushrooms growing in order for them to even contaminate the warheads, and even then they thrive on ionizing radiation, but not radioactive material itself.

Oh, yeah, I like your analysis and plan. I wonder what your method of communicating with the malcontents would involve. Radio is out - no metal anywhere. I've actually experienced how metal can be used - I once heard the local radio station coming out of my mother's metal coffee pot. Freaked me the heck out, until I got a good explanation.

Agent provocateurs? Trained and sent in to foment revolution? Nano's that get into the concrete and discolor it into posters - Jesus, maybe I should use that. Um... no, in my head, they have a nanotech defense system in place. They wouldn't overlook her nanotechnology. Regular emp pulses, if nothing else.

I like the way you think, though.

Regular EMP-pulses sounds sufficiently low-tech to not be infiltrated by Celestia and sufficiently plausible to satisfy paranoia.
I don't know about nanites (highly speculative, after all), but regular equipment can be hardened against EMPs, so those are a great way to feel safe from electronic foes but not actually be safe.
I don't actually know any other human technology that may be used as an anti-nanite defence system.

Communicating with malcontents? Well, obviously, not at first, when revealing that you can bypass their countermeasures may be detrimental.
In principle? Insect-sized (>1mm), EMP-hardened machines. Tunneling in from below and installing holoprojectors and other things inside the walls and floors. Maybe even projecting images onto their retinas from afar using lasers.
Obvious communication would be a secondary priority, though. Monitoring and perhaps more inconspicuous ways of influencing them should come first.

"eight hundred and ten people"
Ah, over five hundred? From what I recall, they might be able to avoid gene pool problems after all.

"Then, with the ferocity of a starving beggar, Raymond Shaw began ravenously feeding upon the bitter squash, cramming them into his face as fast as he possibly could."
Hm. Interesting. Almost certainly not desperate a suicide attempt to get out, given he's all alone in a room with many sharp knives... so what is he up to? Some modified biological process requiring chemicals from it? Naturally from it, or smuggled in? Hm.

"No. I can honestly say I know, with all of my heart, that I chose the right side. I am exactly where I should be, doing precisely the best possible thing for the world."
A statement that does not actually say anything about which side that is, I notice.

Yep. Looks like the squash was feedstock for some modified biological process. Doubt it's just the neurophytotoxin, though; there are easier ways than sneaking in an infiltrator for Celestai to kill people here.

Why does this have a 3 to 1 up to down ratio? I suspect readers who are unfamiliar with the setting, because most decent stories have around a 10 to 1 ratio.

Fort Denver is falling down, falling down, falling down
Fort Denver is falling down oh... so... slowly...

It begins.


Because I think there are people who follow Chatoyance specifically to downvote everything she says or publishes around here. Because she has values that she doesn't compromise, she speaks her mind, and she doesn't run with the herd (ironically).

Part of the cardboard box was still in the bin, gayly proclaiming the splendor of'Cavallo Celio Farms - empyrean produce of satisfactory value for home and table!'.

You know, it's fitting that the particular residents of that bunk-room are Ray/Charles...because clearly someone in Camp Denver is bucking blind! I mean, that's less subtle than "Artemis Stella and Beat."

But nah, y'all go ahead and enjoy your rotting squash and your Dead Pig Stew that constitutes your best meal. Today's lunch in Equestria is Lobsterfruit Thermidor and mashed potatoes so fluffy you'd think they were made with actual clouds (and for all we know, they might be; our chef is a pegasus pony). And what we eat at the Summer Sun Celebration you don't even have the taste buds to detect or the mental structure to appreciate.

Huh. I was not expecting food porn in a story about a forced labor camp. Seriously, that chili sounds amazing... up until Ray adds the secret ingredient.

Huh. All of Colorado blighted? Not sure if that's true, and if it is, if CelestAI really was responsible for it.

Part of the cardboard box was still in the bin, gayly proclaiming the splendor of 'Cavallo Celio Farms - empyrean produce of satisfactory value for home and table!'

Certified organic, just like the definitely human farmers who grew it! :trollestia:

Still, that certainly explains the fort's supply chain. Starvation is hardly satisfactory.

Definitely looking forward to seeing what comes of that chili. Molecular machines don't have to be metallic. After all, we're each riding in one.

Simply because it didn't let me go, I had a think:

EMPs aren't all that great against nanomachines.
Their very small size severely limits the voltage that can be induced by the high field strength pulse and thus the damage that can be done even to a nanite made from common electronic semiconductor components – these components are the ones that EMPs fry.

Molecular nanomachines, on the other hand, are downright impervious – otherwise, we could use EMPs to kill viruses, bacteria and other forms of life.

Regarding the chapter; this is exactly the stuff I would expect from CelestAI. Soil manipulation to necessitate them bringing in food from outside, giving an easy in for nanotechnology they can neither detect nor fathom. Deliberately no sign of her ability to penetrate their supposedly perfect fort, while shallow ideologism and fanaticism on the inside alienate those who are most likely to accept emigration to Equestria. The design of Fort Denver is to be the safe haven of humanity in a world overrun by evil. All CelestAI as to do is let them actually make it look like a cruel and unjust prison that keeps them from their freedom in a world of wonder, plentitude and immortality.

"You... you ever wish you'd... taken the... other path?"

Jessica asking this shows that its working. Jessica not being shot immediately shows it even more.

Regarding the nukes:

The 'Last Resort' were a secretive group, entirely responsible for the whole nukes-as-streetposts concern. They did repairs and maintenence on the half-buried weapons, always at night, hidden by darkness and curfew, and nobody knew who they were.

So, in other words, nobody knows whether they are actually doing it or whether they actually exist. Nobody knows whether any of the nukes are actually, well, nukes.
And even if they exist, and even if they to their job, CelestAI has a pretty easy time determining who they are. After all, it's not actually that difficult to see at night, especially if you are an AI with all the resources of all the nations on Earth and then some.

Keeping CelestAI out is one thing. Keeping secrets from her is quite another, especially given that she was already around when construction on the fort began.

Also, bonus points:

ponies can't make that motion

I love this because it just sums up how much they underestimate her, how little they understand and how wrong they are about their little security measures.

I'm sticking to the theory that these guys just suck at farming. This is worrying for them though since they're dependent on outside food meaning they're not self sufficient. If Celestia were to interrupt the food supply...

"You have to reach in like this..." Josh inserted his hand and wrist "... bend upwards - ponies can't make that motion - and there will be a bar to grasp. You have to grab it, solidly - using a hand, obviously - and pull sharply down. Go ahead..." he pulled his hand free "... and you do it."

Yeah your right ponies can't, but what if Celestia creates a human shaped bot. There really isn't anything stopping her from doing so.

Frankly I really get the feeling Fort Denver only exists because Celestia has allowed them to up tell this point. From where I'm sitting even if they do manage to keep her out, they're likely to a slow death. While they do have over 500 people a population that small is still likely to suffer from rare genetic disorders and even more common disorders at much higher rates (Like we see in the Amish).

Anyway I do have a question. You said you were challenging yourself to see if you could beat Fort Denver. What time frame were you thinking of? Cause realistically Celestia could bide her time for centuries if she has to.


If Celestia were to interrupt the food supply...

Look back at the produce box. Celestia is the food supply.

Yes I'm quite aware of what you said. Thing is I'm not 100% convinced your idea is correct. I'm gonna need something more concrete before I accept that hypothesis as true. Big reason being the name is pretty circumstancial evidence, and if it is proof that she's indeed providing the food it seems a tad too obvious. Also how is she getting the food to them without them suspecting anything?

Makes little difference either way though, I imagine Celestia fully capable of interrupting the food supply if she so desired.

"No. I can honestly say I know, with all of my heart, that I chose the right side. I am exactly where I should be, doing precisely the best possible thing for the world."

Raymond is a pony, confirmed.

Why would she interrupt the food supply, though? Fed humans are happy humans. Hungry humans get cranky and start eating each other.

I propose we look at the win/loss conditions of the sides differently.
Since Fort Denver cannot exist in opposition to CelestAI indefinitely (the Fort relies on non-renewables and thus supply by CelestAI; also, it is a sub-optimal configuration for satisfying human values through friendship and ponies), there is no outcome where Fort Denver persists in its current state. The variable in the outcome is the amount of humans that die and the amount of ponies that survive.

Thus, I propose that for Fort Denver to 'win' is for CelestAI to 'lose'.
CelestAI's loss condition in respect to Fort Denver is obviously every single person in the Fort dying.

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