• Member Since 20th Jan, 2015
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TheDriderPony


"Only the most subtle of references." -No fanfiction writer ever

E

Special talents.
That thing that sets ponies apart from each other and gives them a path in life. The one thing that they excel at, broadcast to the world by their cutie mark.
The spectrum of special talents is as wide as the day is long and twice as varied as you think it is.
But, interesting talent or mundane, everypony needs a job to put food on the table and not every talent lends itself to one.


After all, not everyone can be blessed with specific high-demand talents like "growing plants" or "cleaning" or "flying". Even less often does a pony get a particularly nebulous concept or multi-faceted skill like "magic" or "partying" that can apply to any number of jobs.

Sometimes, no matter how good you are at what you do, it's just not something you can make a career out of.

But for those unlucky few, there's a group filled with other ponies who face the same problem that they do.

---

Editted and proofread by the wonderfully helpful NecroHorse!

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 88 )

A wonderful story,I'd love to read more about all of these ponies lives!

Hey that's pretty good :pinkiesmile:

Definitely a unique take on pony society. I never would have thought of ponies having talents that would be considered unemployable, but most ponies also aren't tied to their cutie marks being their only talent. The cutie mark was supposed to not only signify a unique talent, but also the joy that ponies feel while doing it. To think that some ponies would have talents for things they would love doing, but couldn't find work with them is a topic i hadnt considered.

That's quite the intriguing subject. I would like to continue hearing about their misfortunes and talking about their problems. Like there are probably jobs that don't care for your cutie mark. Thankless jobs, dangerous jobs, horrible jobs, disgusting jobs, illegal jobs, degrading jobs, etc. How working those and how it affects them, how their co-workers with appropriate mark treat them, etc. There is more to tell on this subject...

I was surprised to not see a pony who was court appointed to join the group because he was caught doing something illegal because he could find a job.

Or it could be interesting to see a pony from Starlight Glimmer brain washing village who lost their cutie mark for a while.

"My life was perfect until she showed up." The aged stallion adopted a mocking falsetto. "This star, which thou dost calleth Lapin-4, one of middling brightness in the southern sky? Nay, the stars be-eth my domain, yon knave. We decree its name hence to be Archer and it shall be the brightest of lights in the east for this fortnight."

His ears flattened against his scalp as the mocking energy left him. "What is the point in charting the heavens if they can be changed on a single pony's whims? You might as well hire somepony to chart the location of fireflies or water skimmers for all the lasting good it will do you."

For some reason, I now picture Luna making (faraway) stars explode via supernova "because it looks pretty" on a whim as a fireworks "event" or something.

Well, when you have a subset of people, they're still people. I read Pinch almost like Cozy for some reason.

Heartwarming :twilightsmile:

"That's amazing!" Melody exclaimed, her imagination running wild with childish ideas of the applications of such a skill. How could a stallion with a talent, no, a gift like this need to be in a support group? "Why haven't you taken this to Las Pegasus?"

Somepony swore under their breath and another chuckled. Bits discreetly changed hooves out of the corner of her eye.

"You are not first to suggest this," he replied with a small smile, "and I tried, but it is seeming like games were made with my kind in mind. I can tell I have lost slot machine before spinning stops, and you cannot bet on roulette after ball has been dropped. Ponies lie and bluff with cards, so I know nothing."

At least in our world, you can bet on roulette after the ball is released, there is a point as it slows down when they close betting. Though the rules are clearly different between the worlds.

As for Las Pegasus, he's thinking about it the wrong way. You don't go there to win, you go there to stop others from cheating. He knows that the result of the dice or ball should be, so if it starts coming up different... well that's worth looking into. Does it only work for immediate events? Can he look back at past events and work out what the outcome should have been? That could also be useful for catching cheaters as well, or trying to find where lost things ended up.

I would also wonder if his ability would work in reverse? Can he work out what the properties should be based on the actual outcome of events? That could be useful in investigations of all sort, both criminal and academic. Twilight would love to have someone who she can tell all about an experiment from two centuries before and have him be able to tell her what caused the outcome.

9809295
His in particular is where you start to get into fuzzy territory of cutie mark cause and effect.
Does Twilight have a magic cutie mark because she's especially good at magic, or is she especially good at magic because she has a magic cutie mark?
I've read stories that argue it both ways really well, so I tried to stay mostly neutral on it with this. Though Lucky's does lean a bit towards the "granted ability" end of the scale.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders would be very interested in these guys.

9809213

On the other hand, are there Ponies which get Cutie marks for things they're good at at but they don't really want to do for a living? Imagine being the Pony who gets stuck with a sewer grate and a poop emoji for a cutie mark, or the one with a pickaxe and a ditch?

Do they have research labs in Equestria? Knowing in advance which new drugs/potions are going to work or have bad side effects would be extremely valuable...

As a person with a masters who is working night security at a park...I felt this.

This is actually quite fantastic. The pacing is excellent, the writing good, and the characters each unique and well described without having info dumps about them shoehorned in. A very enjoyable read.

Yep, this was the place. Canterlot Civil Community Center.

You probably mean “Civic” :derpyderp1:

"125... 127... 129..." she counted off the door numbers as she went, "Ah, 131. Here it is." Behind this door lied (lay) either the answer to her problems or one more stop on the train of embarrassment that was the life of Melody Memory.

Had a similar discussion about Cutie Marks on one of Estee’s stories
Let X = Number of jobs in a particular field) (brain surgery, mopping the floor afterword, or sending out the bill. Doesn’t matter)
Let Y = Number of ponies with a Cutie Mark for it

Now, as long as X <= Y, there’s competition & only the best get jobs at it
BUT if X > Y, then you’ve got a problem.
Consider the number of people needed to mop floors & scrub toilets vs
the number of ponies with a Cutie Mark in it
(Remember, you have to LIKE it to get your mark in it. Does anyone really like doing these things?)

So, you want a menial job? Garbage collector, chambermaid, janitor, waiter, etc. ?
They probably don’t give a rat’s ass what’s on your ass.
Their only question is “You willing to do it for what we’re willing to pay? You’re hired.”

On the other hand, you need an operation. If all goes well, you’ll be fine. One mistake & you’ll die.
Do you want a surgeon whose Cutie Mark indicates that they’re really good at:
A) Glassblowing
B) Floral arrangement
C) Watersports
D) Surgery, or at least medicine

In short, these folks could probably get a low paying, dead end job in any of a hundred fields
Just not one that takes any real skill & NOT one that they’ll like very much

there are a hell of a lot of gambling games where knowing how things would happen from Observed Starts would let you win. Heck, the "Look At The Funtionality Of my Ability" example you provided is basically Him Winning At Craps

9809838
The problem with it is that in Equestria, due to these types of cutie marks, they'd never really take off. No one would ever play them but the people with that type of cutie mark, due to not wanting to lose constantly, and then it'd die out pretty rapidly. Though, if his works how he says it does, in that once an event is set in motion, he knows the outcome, it could be very useful in dangerous experiments.

Lucky would probably have a good position within the Royal Guard. His talent may not be 'on demand', but it's the sort of thing that would tend to pop up and make itself unbelievably useful at random. I'm kind of surprised nopony'd thought of that.

Has Cosmic and/or his associates tried bringing their problem to Luna? I, honestly, hate the "bring all problems to the Princess" trope, but this seems like something she would take an active interest in, even if just for her own personal study.

Given the description of Melody's talent, it seems she would be able to know if she has heard a piece before and how it differs from other pieces. She might be able to find work as a historian of music, recording and studying how songs change over time. Given the musical nature of ponies, that could be a surprisingly important job.

Drizzle and Night are probably the two toughest. Drizzle simply has a talent too specialized to be generally useful, though if he lived somewhere that saw significant rainfall, he might be able to make a regular hobby of it. Night has a talent that is personally useful, but not useful to others, and therefor, difficult to turn a profit on. She may have some luck focusing on jobs/professions that require irregular sleep schedules.

Just my two bits.:derpytongue2:

I feel Lucky could make a living predicting the stock market. If Melody can remember a beat and lyrics, she'd make a great storyteller or Shakespearian actor. Something where you have to recite something memorised.
As for umbrella repair man, umbrellas are used a lot in photography and there's also those big ones they use on tables. And what's great now is every time I see something umbrella related in gonna say to myself "would an umbrella repair man help here?"

9809913

Night has a talent that is personally useful, but not useful to others, and therefor, difficult to turn a profit on. She may have some luck focusing on jobs/professions that require irregular sleep schedules.

That is true, if she can sleep at the drop of a hat then her sleep pattern is whatever she says it is. Dunno about it being the lynchpin of a career, but it would probably make overtime hours much more bearable.

I liked this. Thank you for the writing.

I like this! I'd definitely love more. Melody seems like a really interesting character. A music-talented pony...with no actual musical talent. Maybe she could work for Octavia in some way? Copying her new compositions down? Or perhaps trying her own hand at mixing music? Vinyl proves that you don't need to sing or play an instrument to use musical talent. Melody might be a badass DJ. She'd be able to remember literally every song she played, so with her, no song would ever be played several times a night or whatever. Maybe she could apprentice under Vinyl.

9810026
The trouble with that is this: Would it cost me more time and money to get this umbrella repaired than it would to replace it outright?
In most cases, that answer is a resounding Yes. That's probsbly the major issue that Drizzle has, and why he can't get work. I suppose he could try and learn to fix more things, become a general repair pone, at least the prospects of that are a little better.

I'm getting the impression that some (all?) of them would be able to combine their talents in some way to produce something that there would be a demand for. Can't quite see the shape of it, though. Of everypony, though, Drizzle seems to be the linchpin. He's simply too specialized. I'd speculate that his cutie mark or talent is going to undergo a reinterpretation, perhaps a metaphoric one. He repairs or maintains things which protect ponies... that could be anything from shields to weather domes to economic policies. Or stopping ponies from getting affected by weather might extend to some kind of weather control ability.

Cosmic has the ability to catalog and recall (and correlate?) vast amounts of information about thousands of similar data points. That's got to be useful. Lucky's prediction talent could be useful for uncontrollable storms, effects of artifact magic, safety inspections, defect checks... I wonder if he could also break encryption just by looking at it and seeing the future result of (say) a thousand years of automated decryption attempts? And that's assuming he can't predict approximately based on incomplete information, such as sports betting, economic forecasting, marketing, political predicting, or just knowing what ponies are likely to say next.

Melody is the perfect covert data courier and storage device. Convert information to music, play it to her, and she could recite it back perfectly days or years later, without ever having to carry the information physically or even know what it meant. Pinch seems more like a food-industry chemical engineer or marketer than a bartender; a boutique one, perhaps, with maybe an adult pony as a front for the first few years (and maybe afterward, given that customer relations don't seem to be her strong point).

Night is interesting. She feels like she should be in Luna's service somehow. Or maybe she could learn to astral-project while asleep; that'd practically be a superpower if she could call on it at any time. Or maybe find work somewhere which requires onsite living but is perpetually hard to sleep in - constantly noisy, or bright, or afflicted with strong smells, or some such. Or... network sleeping ponies' minds together? Put that talent together with Cosmic, Lucky, and Melody, and they'd form an amazing data collection, processing, and predictive team. Add Drizzle to the mix and they'd be a near-unstoppable predict-and-protect service.

This needs to be brought up to Celestia. This is a support group, not a Crown-sponsored work program to get people jobs. Especially for the astronomers who were fired because Luna took back the night - there's no good reason Celestia wouldn't compensate them or create new jobs for them since apparently Luna couldn't be bothered to.

That aside this was funny and good feels, making an enjoyable read.

Someone tell Yearling about Lucky's talent and she'd probably drag him off on all of her adventures. He sounds like the ultimate trapspringer.

9809306
A nice little tale. Well done.

one of the fics that hits home. I was a bit worried about reading this. But it was funny in a good way. I feel I can relate to these characters.

Martial arts one of the few hobbies I do. Not sure how to make money with that. Yes yes I hear you say go "fight in the ring" no rings where I live and also even if I win a fight I would still get injured. Which would be fine a few times but I could not make a career out of it. Or go be a security guard. Martial arts is such a small fraction of a part of that. And also depending on the security guard job you might not even be allowed to get into a fight without having your job at risk. I have a few other examples but that one is the most cut and dried.

I like this, it's a great idea and premise for a story and has potential to become a full story and not a one-shot fic.

If she can perfectly recite the lyrics to any piece of music she hears.... surely she can memorize anything, so long as someone sings it to her?

She could have multiple doctorates from the mnemonics alone...

this is a great story, please continue it!

This is the problem of building a society were magical marks in your rump determine your position, rather than personal talent or efforts.

9809215

I wonder how Luna would feel abou ponies stopping studying the wonders of the night because of her. It would be quite the irony.

9809913

Has Cosmic and/or his associates tried bringing their problem to Luna? I, honestly, hate the "bring all problems to the Princess" trope, but this seems like something she would take an active interest in, even if just for her own personal study.

ummm.....
........
...

He scowled. "And then that infernal Princess Luna showed up."
He spat her name like it was poison, with the vitriol usually reserved for well-known criminals who got off scot-free thanks to a clerical error.

"My life was perfect until she showed up." The aged stallion adopted a mocking falsetto. "This star, which thou dost calleth Lapin-4, one of middling brightness in the southern sky? Nay, the stars be-eth my domain, yon knave. We decree its name hence to be Archer and it shall be the brightest of lights in the east for this fortnight."

Princess Luna is the entire source of his problems...?

Anyone else see Cosmic’s complaint and immediately think of Sharing the Night? Aside from that, what a lovely little story. The concept reminds me of Estee’s works, but in a good way.

9810881
Her return from banishment is the source of his problems, not her personally. I suspect that if he were to get past his grudge there would be a lot to learn from each other.

9810850
Well, in context to my comment, if that happens and the public stops caring about the night, she can probably make stars blow up on command just to garner public interest; there's 100 billion stars in the typical galaxy for instance; she can make an amazing display literally every single night for the next billion years and still have enough to show off. Dazzling supernova fireworks party every night. :pinkiecrazy:

Alternatively go Nightmare Moon again, but threaten to make the Sun go supernova if they don't love her.

Melody could probably get a job at a music shop. Especially if ponies were trying to find a certain song, but didn't know the title and artist. Sing her a line or two that you remember, and boom, she can tell you the name and artist, then just need to go see if the shop has it.

This is one of the best fics I've read on here in a while. Really took me back to that S4 feel.

I don't know why but I can suddenly see a sequel to this where Princess Luna is sued in international court for fucking up navigation for non ponies as well as basically making a mockery of the field of astronomy. A satisfying end result would be Princess Luna being given a permanent injuction that bans her from moving the stars without a supermajority vote in favor of it by an international astronomy association of sorts. Make the comedy be in that Luna has perfectly good reasons for changing the night sky but she's completely oblivious as to the negative effects of such actions.

Lol, I had an almost similar idea to this

A great read as always, here's hoping for Lucky to find a job, he's really out of time.

Also, if they don't have jobs (besides Drizzle) then what supports them?

9809913
Well, if Drizzle still wants to do weather stuff, maybe he can find a niche in Ponyville, predicting whatever weirdness is gonna come out of the Everfree next.

If he can get to our world though, I bet there are countless organizations prepared to pay thousands for his skills.

9811112
Given there's an entire observatory worth of people whose now defunct. I'm pretty sure it may have been brought up before.

I think perhaps this explains both why royal guard armor covers the flank and their general incompitence. The majority of the guard do not have military related marks, or have effectively useless marks. So they aren't very good at the job as it isn't their talent, and the armor hides the marks so enemies and the public can't tell which of the guards are actually effective ones. But sadly the handful of militarily talented guards are used to form specialist units or just can't make up for the lady of skill in the unit.

If you have no marketable skills, you can always join the infantry. You'll fit right in.

"Fine then. My special talent is sleeping. I'm very good at it. Close my eyes for a few minutes and I'm guaranteed a good night's rest."

How long is "a few minutes?" If Night can get the equivalent of 8 hours from 15 minutes, that's an extra 7 hours and 45 minutes in the day. That's a lot of time she could use for a job with very long hours, or she could get a lot of extra studying done if she was in law school or medical school or something.

okay, real attempt at job hunting here. starting with the obvious and moving down

Lucky: one of three options depending on the limitations on his talent.
A, a CSI. imagine him walking into a crime scene and just, sherlock holmsing the exact chain of events that happened. "they came in that window, hid behind that dresser. there was a scuffle here. there's blood on that broken vent cover, try a tracking spell on that, and they left out the front door into the street."
B, if it can work with macro scale things, and apparently he used to predict crops and weather so it ought to. then economics and trade. the stock markets. he could make a killing there. or maybe let him in on some prophesies and whatnot, see if he can predict magical disasters.
C, com.bat. dude, can you imagine fighting a guy who can basically see the future. blocking and striking with almost robotic precision? imagine him in a boxing ring? Lucky would be an absurd prize fighter.

Night: mainly 2. but both for the same reason
A, enlist. I have a buddy who did right out of highschool. and apparently the one talent just about all infantry develop is the ability to get sleep wherever they can. if she can sleep on exposed rocks and under open sky, and be chipper and dandy when she wakes up. then yeah.
B, really anything involving the wilderness for long periods. like a park ranger or something. once she gets a handle on the other aspects involved, her ability will make things much. much easier

Melody: just the one really. but like.... it seems easy?
she can recite music, note by note and word by word. so, set something else to music, and she has perfect recall? if she were to set the periodic table of elements to the tune of the can can. then she now has them completely memorized. she can really go into whatever field she wants. just make little jingles for the hard data you need. like, math equations or chemical mixtures. hell, she could be a lawyer, little jingles and whatnot for every law act and by-law in the books and boom.

Pinch: hon. just .. just open a club catering to people who don't drink alcohol. or recovering alcoholics, your dad's in AA so like... easy market. when you get older, open a second floor or a late night menu and you're solid. mocktails are a thing. make them. the fact that her talent works with non alcohol means that she can like... mix her own sodas and milkshakes and whatnot. open a soda shop for now. and suck it up for a few years.

Drizzle: umbrella repair is pretty damned niche..... but. there's bound to be demand in more weather intense areas. plus, not all umbrellas are for keeping you dry. camera men use them to focus light. and there's some like, foldy satalite dish things for parabolic microphones.

Cosmic: .... wow he got made redundant Literally overnight. yeah, making some higher powers aware that they just totally invalidated a whole field of science. and getting foreign backing in the way of sanctions would help. like, night navigation just took a turn for the impossible. gather a list of names. potentially several pages thick. and go to Celestia's court. get the Zebra's involved. (and depending on the timeline) also the hippogriffs..... maybe the buffalo. they all probably do, or have in canon been observed using the stars to navigate. though we never heard what his Talent actually IS. just what he used it for......

9811908
No, I think what Night means is that he can sleep anywhere, as in, that is his special talent, not the ability to get a whole night's sleep in just a few minutes. You read the sentence wrong. It was meant as Night can close his eyes for just a few minutes and go to sleep no matter where he is and sleep for an entire eight hours.

Great story. The OCs were interesting. Here's to hoping a sequel comes with the CMC helping out

9811845
Or you're thinking way to hard and the "incompetence" is because if the Royal Guard went and beat all the enemies it wouldn't nearly be as much "Friendship is Magic".

I read a story about Starlight removing cutiemarks for cash...
like if you are very talented to ermm... be helpful with.... adult things..... and such stuff.
Just tattoo yourself a new one after ! (you get % on that^^)

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