• Member Since 17th Aug, 2014
  • offline last seen 25 minutes ago

Halira


I write a variety of stories in different styles. Some are basic slice of life stuff, some are dark. I occasionally take some risks in terms of telling stories by doing some unorthodox things.

T

This story is a sequel to Pandemic: What you are Meant to Be


In the aftermath of the ETS epidemic lives have been uprooted and changed forever. For the new citizens of Riverview, they are most often not even as the same species they were only a month before. Thousands of freshly transformed ponies and their human relatives must now start from scratch here and try to build new lives.

Every pony and human living in Riverview has their own personal struggles; from the human mother dealing with children who are now pony foals, a young earth pony thrust into a position where many humans and ponies depend on her, a scarred pony trying to make right on past mistakes, and many others. They must all now pick up the pieces of their lives and try to put them together into something new.

Having read Pandemic: What You are Meant to Be is recommended reading, but not necessary reading.

Part of The Pandemic Universe

No, this is not GTA with ponies, :derpytongue2:. I never played a GTA game so didn't realize the similarity in art when artist the presented this.

Art by Mr. Tech

Thanks to Pre-Readers past and present:

Candor
Shadows of Deity
Sandstorm94
Rhys
AATC Fanboy

Special thanks to ASGeek2012 creating this subuniverse and for looking over selective sections for approval that have impact on the Pandemic universe and for exchanging some notes as we both work on our respective stories.

Chapters (49)
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Comments ( 449 )

Ouch that sucks having a baby pony. I am surprised that diapers haven't fully been implemented yet but hopefully they will have them soon.

9087084
Since this all seems to be the migration into Riverview and Devon is talking about the busride here it might be safe to assume that this is happening before the conclusion of the last story. That means they aren't even a month past the end of ETS. That might make things like diapers for ponies pretty hard to find yet. :twilightoops:

I want to see what goes on with Tattered Wing. She seems to have a lot to make up for. Like the continuity with the Aftermath where the ponies there were talking about problems with the night ponies in the south, guess we know what those were now.

Hey! Congrats on getting featured!

"Find out who our neighbors are"

The "N" in harness seems missing several times, each one past its first mention.

"Her daughter's mess"

I love this mare. Like Fred Turner, Sarah Tanner, and her nephew Robert, and Remedy's father, she's seems to have made it through ETS unscathed more than most ponies have. I mean, her reactions are more natural, like the forced psychological alterations didn't affect her, or she does a good job at resisting them. Like the ones I mentioned, she didn't immediately leap at the chance to throw her name in the trash and fully adapt a new one. "That woman is dead." These kinds of ponies are the minority, but it's good to see they aren't scarce overall. Plus, how often do ETS victims miss their hands?

She also seems content to look at Devon as another person, period, and does not constantly draw attention to the species of every individual. It annoys me in reality when race is always mentioned in nearly every conversation when talking about just about anybody. Unless you are filing a police report, race is not relevant to any conversation, save medical consensuses, as some are at higher risk of this and that.

I also love how this chapter does away with, or downplays the inherent pony superiority that was none too subtly implied in the original, that all beings are effectively ponies in waiting, and the final form. The universe favors ponies more than the heroes want to admit. It's almost like the Consequences tale. I'm glad this averts some of that. Still messed up with the nocturnal/nonnocturnal thing. Real Equestrians have more range to them, and diversity among tribes. The tribal aspect is unfortunately embedded here far too deeply.

No, this is not GTA with ponies, :derpytongue2:. I never played a GTA game so didn't realize the similarity in art when artist the presented this.

I was wondering why you didn't bring it up :rainbowlaugh:

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Yes, I showed the art to some friends and they said "so, GTA: Equestria?" And I was like "No...", and then I looked at the boxart for GTA and said to myself "OMG, I need a disclaimer."

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This art is pretty awesome though. Holy heck. Did you draw it or did you have it commissioned?

So far so good. Interesting character development.

9087797
Oh, it was commissioned, Mr Tech was the artist.

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I'm like the art as well. That's definitely Tattered Wing at the top, you can see her scars when you zoom in on the picture. Wild Growth would be the green pony obviously, as well as the human obviously being Devon. Pretty sure the foal on the right is Robby. Top left corner has me a little confused, that is obviously Devon, but the pony is too big to be Robby. Interested in the flag that is flying in the top right; is Sunset Blessing going to stage her own independence movement?

awesome start to the sequel i will defiantly be watching close for updates.

Comment posted by Cander deleted August 7th

I'm liking where this is going so far. Looking forward to more chapters.

Obligatory Upvote.

9087632 Side question, is there a reason this isn't in the canon section yet?

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Don't think ASGeek has gotten around to reading it yet, and I have only released two chapters so far. Two more coming on Friday.

Well I hope this single mother gets her support network going as she is going to have a big shift change with two kids on different day/night cycles.

So Phobia has just been attacked. Now we have a better timeframe of where we are compared to the last story. Now how will our favorite exmob pony help?

Looks like we missed one.

Devon was pretty sure that she could her hear the flick of Tattered Wing's tail.

9102333
Spent a while double checking over things this morning after 3 sets of other eyes went over it and still missed it. :facehoof:

Fixed now.

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Thing is I remember noting that one when I read it the first time and forgot to actually post it because it was the same error as when she was using the bathroom.

I think you briefly got "Jackie" and "Jessie" mixed up when you mentioned who woke up when. "Jessie got up and played with Jessica."

As I said before, ponies who don't reject humanity altogether like Fred, Sarah and Robert in the main story are always a relief to encounter, as they are the minority, but, as evidenced, not at all vanishing rare. Yet individuals who refuse to change their name for anything, mark or no mark, such as the aforementioned and Remedy's dad (and he just got it, didn't he?) usually are intent to hang onto some portion of their identity, and not become unrecognizable. Ponies will recognize those who also turned by scent even if they weren't together at the time, but humans don't have that. Pretty much the only thing left is the voice, which is unaltered by all except those with preexisting identity issues.

This brings me to Amber here. This is the first I've seen here an ETS "victim" didn't change their name because their coat and hair simply matches their existing name. I wonder how she would be classed. Is it simply because it's too perfect, or she's like Fred and Ted regardless?

Also, that nightmare was really something. It really makes the husband look like a bad guy, but she's probably projecting based on psychological trauma. Having not actually seen him, and the dream only following the most basic facts, I'd like to think after time has worn away the shock, he'll look for his wife, daughter and son again. Having no idea what he is like, I would like to imagine Paul, who I have heard of but not seen, is a decent and all around good man.

As much as she's left a bad first impression, then with passing minutes after meeting a stranger improved her mood (has she been taking notes from limestone?), I agree humanity's obsession with nudity taboos makes no sense. Protecting ourselves from the sun, and keeping everything that has no sheath safe is paramount, but this feeling of discomfort is one that does nothing to serve us in closed environments. It's just as much an overbearing instinct as ETS ponies' phobia of being alone for even a minute. Neither make sense.

Amanda has again shown herself to be like Fred, Ted, Sarah and so forth. Even more so, in fact. She's more like Remedy's father in that given the chance to alter her soul to its "proper' form, she'd do it. I do think it's just as much a matter of the soul being changed as it is the body, and if any part of it remains, it hasn't gone fully equine yet. You recall how Fred outright denounced Utopian pipe-dreams? It sounds to me like she likely did the same, as she doesn't speak about the vision with reverence, but like she's diagnosing clinical insanity, or a reprogrammed computer. And she has once again shown hand envy, as she can't use the phone (Touchscreens are the worst idea ever, even with hands, get the screen greasy).

Also, is it just me, or do ponies with wings have much greater eagerness to shed all ties with humanity as quickly as possible, and not look back? I noticed save Remedy's best friend, all of the ponies who aren't eager to segregate humans and ponies, or finish what SS started and convert what's left are earth and unicorn types. Except her, there's not a thestral or pegasus who hasn't altered their name and been marked ASAP. And with few exceptions, all tend to be militant Shimmerists. Nearly all who aren't are ground dwelling types. Sunset Shimmer must have really worked extra hard on anyone who got wings during ETS.

In actual FiM canon, pegasi are explicitly portrayed as being very intrinsically militant, more so than all others; there's no escaping that. But RD is like the only one whose whole character is built on tribal foundation. Outside her, Fluttershy seems to be closer to the average. Most of them don't seem to have that infinite energy RD has.

9094555
Sorry about that, I've been a bit busy this week. I will catch up on this Saturday (and answer your PM as well).

Also, is it just me, or do ponies with wings have much greater eagerness to shed all ties with humanity as quickly as possible, and not look back? I noticed save Remedy's best friend, all of the ponies who aren't eager to segregate humans and ponies, or finish what SS started and convert what's left are earth and unicorn types. Except her, there's not a thestral or pegasus who hasn't altered their name and been marked ASAP. And with few exceptions, all tend to be militant Shimmerists. Nearly all who aren't are ground dwelling types. Sunset Shimmer must have really worked extra hard on anyone who got wings during ETS.

We kind of got the mindset of winged ponies explained to us in the last story. They see losing their ability to fly as essentially being crippled. That makes them far quicker to accept being a pony fully and more likely to embrace shimmerist ideals as a result.

Just caught up with this. This is very good slice of life stuff. I don't do that as well myself, so I'm glad someone can fill in that gap. I do have some ideas for my own short side-stories in this vein, but most of my time is tied up with the main story. In either case, I will be moving the story to the canon folder shortly and catch up on PMs.

All in all, a well-written story. Your dialog has definitely improved since the first story.

I have to feel bad for Number Crunch here. She was sitting there doing something good that brought her satisfaction and then Tonya walks in and basically mind controls her into making her do murder.

And the only pony that doesn't feel any guilt about them committing murder is Sunset Blessing. She feels bad about Tonya feeling bad, but doesn't seem to have any regret about the murder itself. Hope Tattered Wing gets her at some point.

Given they way there’re thinking in terms of punishment, I’m wondering just how much humanity they still have in them.

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That's about as human as you can get though. Or at least, the parts of humanity transformed like Blessing claim ponies are above. It's one of those things that exposes the hypocrisy of Shimmerist philosophy. Ponies aren't inherently better than humans, and taking justice into their own hooves and murdering another pony under pretence of 'punishment' or 'greater good' shows it.

Sunset wanted it both ways . Be better than humans and kill one who proved pony could be just as bad as one. No realising that would just proves she not in the first group at all.

Wow Tonya is quite the dangerous mare. I hope she doesn't become a villain as she would be terrifying.

I get the feeling that Tattered Wing will be a good pony for Luna to get to know and hopefully one day call a good advisor.

9116412
I see it as petty vengeance. Which makes her one of the most human ponies in all the wrong ways. She makes up justifications, but they are just excuses. Tonya at least is honest with herself about how it was just vengeance and knows she was wrong. Sunset feels no guilt though.

Maybe because the night she transformed she was holding onto so much anger it just became part of who she was as a pony rather than going passive like the others.

Also, Amanda seemed at first to be disconnected with being a pony, but all that hand envy seems like it is just a sign of her feeling some sort of inferiority as an earth pony. That's a bit different than we've seen so far. You can see where she gets it if her whole time as a pony has been a struggle dealing with a winged daughter.

The word “Quadruped” was misspelled.

Big sister “I am, or she is”

You said, “Tonya sobbed herself hoarse,” referring to her voice being messed up by crying.

As I suspected, loss of dexterity is the main complaint. But it would seem being specie or race swapped would both be pleasant alternatives, just to have hands, wings, or psychokinesis. I feel her. And that unmarked slowly becoming a minority seems incorrect. I’d say it was rapid.

S. Blessing clearly loves her daughter. She loves her daughter’s best friend and own current fiance. She sincerely weeps for their suffering. And likely buried that grudge she had with her ex, and hadn’t yet officially divorced him yet, though their marriage is certainly toast at this point beyond salvation. Why do I wish she was at the end of a rope? Why do I wish she was hanged?

Oh, dear. I noticed a recurring theme in this tale: Men are rarely portrayed in a positive light. Nearly all of them shady. Thanks for cementing Paul a bigoted holdout. I still hope his onscreen appearance will reveal himself better in spite of that. Hopefully beyond identity issues he is the sole straight guy.

I think I got it. She’s cunning, but well intentioned, not at all unlike her namesake. Given that this all requires showing a canon character in a very OOC manner in order to come to this, the way both are portrayed is off putting in two ways.

First, showing a well intentioned, but ill informed mare with an incurable case of hero worship, whose inspiration was power crazed and thought her country was being poorly run in canon is needed to get this plot running. The out of character element needed to make both of the tales’ plots happen leaves a sour taste in my mouth. There’s a notable difference between a greedy, ill tempered, power hungry mare who wants the throne, yet still cares for her country, and one who abandons said nation for two decades with no obvious means for connection, all based on an absurd hypothesis with no conclusive evidence, who is also pretty even tempered. One wasn’t especially concerned about the magic less populace, nor would she want them having it. They are but a means to an end. The other pities all beings without magic, and thinks it’s Equestrians’ duty to provide it to all who lack it, regardless of the universe, or how well or worse off any being is. In canon, she was impulsive, but never this delusional. And ultimately, wants to do the right thing, especially when it’s convenient to her. Just about the only constant is her pacifism. She’s hates violence whenever she’s not corrupted by magical jewelry. She’s is just out-of-character all around here, save that.

Second, and more importantly, she’s actually more frightening when she’s being truly friendly. Her benign sincerity is more frightening then her rage monster. She’s even harder, nigh, impossible to reason with, even by Celestia, who she continuously worships. She has a spiritual successor who never met her, and is even more mad, and not beyond doing dishonest things to get what she needs. It really makes me wonder if Johnny wasn’t better than she is. He couldn’t conceal his incurable madness, and nothing short of merciful execution, or lifelong mad house incarceration could do him any good. His image as a timebomb was very public to the observant. She, by contrast, puts on a convincing facade that we wouldn’t even know about had this not been fiction, and we readers the observers. It sure doesn’t help that she’s cunning, highly influential, and has the means to use these to her full advantage, via the great amount of wealth she hoards away like a miser, plus personally knowing two ponies who are even more influential all their own right by magic talent. We’d be oblivious to her underhandedness, but his impulsiveness can be unmasked easily, and we would know were he real. She doesn’t think about what she’s going to eventually do, as she is convinced she won’t be alive to see it, nor any grand foals. Once she discovers the unlikely things she uncovers, I wonder if that will change her tune. Worse, it’d be a closely guarded secret only she, her fiance, current husband, and daughter know about, and have to guard. If those thestrals and pegasi out west find out about it, they’d stop at nothing to get ahold of what they have discovered, even if they had to kill them all to get it. They’ll be less concerned about the desires of the sane masses than Remedy and her family will.

9117262
You might want to break up your paragraphs a bit more, that was hard to follow. Wasn't even clear when you were talking about S. Shimmer and when S. Blessing.

To be fair the author doesn't have a lot of male characters, but overall the male characters are more decent guys than bad. Only John was an actual bad guy and we don't really know much about Paul to judge him yet. Both the fathers for Remedy and Rosetta are good guys even if Remedy's father had a rough introduction. I'd argue that Remedy's dad was most decent person in the first story and got a bad break.

And Blessing sleeping with her daughter's childhood best friend still kind of creeps me out. Made more weird knowing that they will end up marrying and Tonya will be Remedy's stepmother who views her as a sister. Tonya got her MILF

9117297
I did note these were all secondhand accounts of him. Neither Devon’s nightmare, nor Tonya’s attitude when talking about him make him sound unsavory. I want his actual introduction to disappoint the hype.

And agreed with the last thing. It’s still a pity the marriage of Remedy’s parents was ruined beyond any hope of recovery. I’d hope her father finds himself a new wife. For what I can see he deserves to be happily married. What happened to him wasn’t fair. This world altering event cost him more than his original species, which he won’t discard memory of, which is why she left him in the first place. I honestly wonder if other mares will be off put by his refusal to ever let go of his old name. Not all of them feel compelled to change their name, but a high percentage do. It may make finding a new fiance to start the rest of his life with a challenge.

So Tonya can manipulate people too. Her true colors are coming out now. Well, it looks like we have the beginnings of a pony maffia.

Number Crunch, don't do it you are so close to turning over a new better lief.
and the way it is looking Sunset is the one who needs put down.

quote from

John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you super-add the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.

yep Sunset Blessing needs dealt with,
in a way it is going to be sad as she does have the right ideas but is going about it all wrong.

it is going to be bade how Sunset is going to react when this all starts unraveling on her.

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Concerning the lack of good male characters: As someone who has been writing MLP fan fiction for a few years now, I can tell you that it is easy to fall into the habit of creating a lot of female characters as protagonists. This is largely because the show itself has a heavily female cast (in fact I believe this was Faust's original intent since the show was originally targeted for little girls). I'm guilty of that myself in the Pandemic series. It's not that I (or other writers) think that males are "bad" (I happen to be male myself) but that the influence of the show carries on into the fanfic.

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I admit I'm pretty female dominated in cast. It isn't anything against males though. Tom (Phobia's father) and Dan (one of the Broken Ones) will be getting perspectives later in part 1 and I consider them both sympathetic characters. I may be adding Paul's perspective in as well but haven't determined if I want him as a primary or secondary character yet.

Part 2 has perspectives still to be determined except for a few characters that I have already decided on, I am waiting for Aftermath to finish as there is a time jump and will most likely have events that I need to be aware of before continuing that part. There is still lots of part 1 left to go.

So. Not solely focusing on the lovers in this one? If that's the case, I can proceed with what I had planned, and say it's been about a month and a half since ETS broke out?

9118948
They will get their time later. I'm several weeks ahead on the writing and as of yet Phobia hasn't put in an appearance in what I've written. Though I get to Rosetta at chapter 13. This story starts on the same day as chapter 70 in the last story.

9118948
Which is day 21 after counterspell somewhere around day 40 so after ETS broke out. Need to go look at the math.

9118978
Okie dokie lokie! So my thoughts were ok? I crunched the numbers. Roughly.

9118985
So just checked, story begins day 37 after ETS breakout.

9118989
Ok... So I should look at a minor overlap in timelines? Oath will be down in Texas instead of... Wherever Phobia and co. are.

9118996
Out in the middle of nowhere in South Carolina, kind of to the southwestern part of the midlands to give a rough geographical area.

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