• Member Since 20th May, 2012
  • offline last seen Sunday

Zennistrad


Card game enthusiast, overambitious writer, Jeskai tempomancer, and general nerd of various kinds. Check out my works if you like adventure, card games, crossovers, or other random happenings.

E

Sunburst has a sudden realization about Starlight’s age-reversal spell.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 109 )

I should have expected that ending but didn't. Nice story.

Very nicely done story. :-) It took me a moment to figure out what Starlight realized when they got to the end there, but I suspect that was more just me. Almost want to see what Twilight has to say about this, though... heheh.

:rainbowlaugh:

Now Celestia you need to share it with Twilight becuase she will not be this stupid and figure out what has happened. Then again Starburst will need to be baught off as well has he has studied it as well.

Short and sweet.:rainbowlaugh:

I was SORT of expecting this.
What I actually expected was a zebra cartel, but this is okay too.

Celestia giggled lightly, covering her mouth with a hoof. “Of course. You didn’t think we’d lived this long naturally, did you?”

"in that case why did you ask me to come alone? Twilight and Sunburst both know about this spell too; wouldn't you have to give them the same treatment? i mean sure Twilight is already a Princess but not like this"

Ri2
Ri2 #7 · Jul 30th, 2018 · · 3 ·

So, they have a spell to cure death, and naturally decide to keep it all to themselves. Yeah, that sounds about right.

expected it but also expected Twilight and Sunburst to get the same treatment. Especially Sunburst... Gotta keep starlight happy afterall.

...wouldn't it have just been easier to wipe Starlight's memory or something, Celestia? :ajsmug:

9078824

"Yes, but then it would't be funny." :trollestia:

mishun #11 · Jul 30th, 2018 · · 5 ·

Ponies all across Equestria will demand we use this spell to keep them young!

She kinda speaks about it in a way like it's a bad thing :rainbowlaugh:

9078900
Well, if no pony ever dies......

9078994
First, it's an age-reversal spell, not a true source of immortality. Disease and injury are still available to take ponies down.


And even if it were true immortality, why would that be a bad thing? They've solved the senescence issue with this spell; and while there are other problems with an eternal populace, they'll have legions of ponies permanently in the prime of their lives who can work on fixing them. It's kind of difficult to fix an actual, full-blown case of 'dead'.

9079036
At least it wouldn't be a permenent thing. Immortality might be nice at first, but there would probably more then a few who would get tired of it. Remember that one Q on Star Trek Voyager who just wanted to die?

9078824
She would just come up with it again.

9079098
True, but when you get right down to it, Celestia's solution ultimately wouldn't fix the problem either, because eventually other ponies are bound to figure out the immortality spell further down the line too, and there's only going to be so many immortal princesses you can establish before somepony starts to suspect something and start prying into things in ways that only so much could be done to prevent. The fact that Celestia and Luna don't already have this problem is actually rather surprising when you think about it, but basically, I'd think promoting the continued exploitation of the immorality spell by letting it spread to others when they uncover it ultimately will only worsen the problem in addition to delaying it unhelpfully.

But as the author pointed out in an earlier reply, where's the fun in all that, right? :rainbowlaugh:

Nice job on this story, but I'm really not a fan of the implications that this entails. If both Celestia and Luna know an easily reproducible and scalable method of reversing the aging process, and refuse to distribute it, then they are responsible for every single being that has died of old age in the time frame that they've had it. Even at the extreme low end of the spectrum (same lifespan as humans, a total sentient population of 100,000,000 including other species, and only counting the 1000 years we're certain of), based on some back of the napkin math, they'd have more blood on their hooves than 100 hitlers combined!

As for the social repercussions, it appears to be scalable, so fighting over it could be avoided as long it's given to everyone. And yes, there would be major societal shift resulting from not having to die of old age, but that's like saying we shouldn't distribute a cure for cancer because we'd need to restructure the healthcare system! The problems that would be faced would be unquestionably outweighed by everyone not being limited to only 80 years if you're lucky! So their solution of hiding it is not only ineffective (as someone else could find it just as easily), but could easily be considered downright evil!!!

Sorry if I ranted a little bit, but it really bugs me when people talk about death as being a good thing.

9079334
Accept it's there formula/spell. So they are entitled to do with it what they want.

9079429
Yes, they are entitled to do with it as they please. But if it pleases them to use it only for themselves, rather than to help others, then they may still legitimately be charged with something resembling negligent manslaughter (or, presumably, ponyslaughter) - because they did not act, ponies died.

Yeah, I'm bothered by the whole "we have the solution to aging but refuse to share it" implications. I mean, even if they didn't figure out the overpopulation problem, it would simply replace death by old age with death by resource wars. That does sound worse, admittedly, but dead is dead at the end of the day, so the option that at least gives the possibility of people not dying is probably the better one. Also, like other people mentioned, if anyone really wanted to die, they just would have to stop having the spell cast.

9079429
Point taken, but if I had the cure to cancer lying around, I really doubt people would accept that (or any) excuse for not sharing if I could.

9079490
That's true, resource wars could very easily become a problem, but the difference is that it is a known problem, and steps can be taken to mitigate the damage, especially since not dying of old age would probably herald in a pretty big cultural shift. For example, people (ponies) probably would take more invested views on things like pollution and long term economic development if they were going to live to see it. Plus, even without immortality, people in developed countries are having fewer and fewer children every year, since they're now an economic burden and it isn't as required socially speaking. If you knew you weren't going to be unable to have children after 40 odd years, the desire, and therefore population growth, would probably diminish even more, so while it would be an issue, it wouldn't be as severe of one as would be expected. Plus, like you said, that way at least people would have the chance of really surviving.

9079557
According to actuary tables (you know, those arcane tables created by Life Insurance companies that let them make a profit selling life insurance to perfectly healthy people, and tell them when to raise the rates and drop people before they actually reach the point where the odds increase dramatically that they will die.) if you were to prevent the body from aging and have people take all the vaccines that prevent diseases, then the AVERAGE lifespan of a person would be 300 years.

And the only cause of death? Accidents. That's right, the average person will live 300 years before dying in a preventable accident. Some will die as children, some will die when they reach 10,000 years old. But the average will be 300 years.

You want to know who is funding all the research into preventing people from aging? Life Insurance companies. Want to know why? Imagine the profits on collecting monthly life insurance payments for 300 years before you have to make a payout!

9079617
That's quite interesting, I guess that would bring them down to 75 Hitlers in terms of preventable deaths instead of 100. I'd like to think that if people's eternity was at stake, and not just a few extra years, that we'd take greater steps to prevent such accidents, such as investing more in medicine and things like that, and that's at least somewhat supported compared to the last time our lifespan doubled (19th century spending on medicine and medical research compared to today), but I do see your point, agelessness is not the same thing as immortality. Still clearly morally superior to letting everyone die before they see 120.

Good for the life insurance companies, I'd say the best kind of selfishness is when you help others in the process of helping yourself.

9079679
It's called enlightened self-interest. -- people doing the right things for others because it directly, or sometimes indirectly, benefits them. In other words, don't appeal to other people to just do the right thing, they won't. Instead, show them how doing the right thing will benefit them.

Easy to solve, just pick one (or more)!

1. Can only be cast on each subject once; repeat castings fatal.
2. Each casting causes cumulative % chance of death / mutation / insanity in subject and/or caster.
3. They're trolling Starlight: her spell was a glorified glamour and didn't actually reverse aging.
4. Spell causes sterility.
5. Only works on alicorns or ponies destined to become alicorns.
6. Dark magic: Works as advertised, but somepony somewhere ages in proportion to the years reversed on the subject.
7. Darkest magic: Each casting is powered by the extinction of a (sapient?) species somewhere on the planet.
8. You get the idea.

Well that happened. :trollestia:

This isn't how the story went, but the first thing I thought was, what if Starlight Glimmer has known this secret for a long, long time? It could explain her power and why she's always seemed at least a little unhinged. :trixieshiftright:

Edit: Oh wait, I've heard that one before! :rainbowlaugh:

9079811

1. Can only be cast on each subject once; repeat castings fatal.

Starlight casted it twice.

2. Each casting causes cumulative % chance of death / mutation / insanity in subject and/or caster.

For old enough pony it's a net improvement. For caster: oblige each unicorn undergoing procedure to cast the spell on fixed number of ponies. Since Starlight used it twice, chances are not that bad.

4. Spell causes sterility.

For old pony it's a net improvement.

5. Only works on alicorns or ponies destined to become alicorns.

Make everypony alicorn?

6. Dark magic: Works as advertised, but somepony somewhere ages in proportion to the years reversed on the subject.

Age other life forward (or terminally ill 106 years forward) to make rest of population younger?

7. Darkest magic: Each casting is powered by the extinction of a (sapient?) species somewhere on the planet.

Starlight did 2 ponies per one cast. Figure out a way to do as many ponies as possible per cast? Direct the effect at parasprites and pop a few into existence before each cast?


9079617

And the only cause of death? Accidents. That's right, the average person will live 300 years before dying in a preventable accident.

Well, ponies don't have cars and probably are killing themselves and others significantly less often then humans. Hard to say about infections, but the fact that Rainbow Dash isn't permanently disabled yet suggests that they have pretty darn good medicine :rainbowlaugh:

You had it, then you lost it.

9079904
How would Sunburst be alive if that video were true?

9080373
Because he's normal, born in the presumed generation? Starlight setup pretend parents and aged herself down to fit in. Also, the video is just a silly joke comic, but taking silly things seriously is the basis of much fandom lore. :derpytongue2:

Damn. This is really dark.

Because what Starlight's spell is, is not the secret of immortality, it is just the cure to Senescence. Ponies could still die if you made the spell available to everyone then there wouldn't exactly be rioting now would there?

See, the most ethical thing to me would be making this as public as possible, so that any schmuck could know it, mainly because not any schmuck could actually do it. If this got out to a few ponies that just wanted to profit from it, then there would be nothing stopping the rich from living forever while the poor wouldn't, and that is much worse than if everyone could just live forever. If the spell was public knowledge than it wouldn't turn into a product.

9079811
The answer to 6 and 7 is simple if that were true, use trees. Seriously, noone cares if you put the detrimental effects of aging on trees right?

9079095
Then they would just stop taking that spell if they wanted to die. I really fail to see the problem in making death optional.

Aside from the issue of memory storage, that's a real problem I can see. Like it or not, after a while, the brain will simply run out of space and begin to overwrite your memories with new ones. I can see the problem in losing yourself, Alzheimer's patients are the prime example of this fear.

Main difference here would be that they wouldn't forget everything, they would simply make new memories, which becomes a different issue. One could say this new person with new memories is a different person entirely, so is it ethical to "kill" them so that you can die as you are?

“You mean the war for the Holy Trough?” said Starlight. “Wasn’t that more than eleven hundred years ago?”

:trollestia: "Honestly you use a public trough once and everypony treats it like a holy artifact."

In any case... yeah, the implications here are kind of worrisome. (Also, I can't help but feel that Twilight has a legitimate complaint. When does she get her ethereal mane?) Fun on the surface, but digging deeper takes you to uncomfortable territory.

Why is there so much Malthusian non-sense.

9080788

No Malthusianism here. It's not a matter of lack of resources, it's that the prospect of not aging is so enticing that ponies can and probably will go to war over it. And contrary to what 9079334 suggested, this spell isn't scalable at all. There are a finite number of unicorns in existence, and exceedingly few of them have the raw strength needed to cast any age spell, let alone one without restrictions. If the spell went public it would probably only be accessible to those rich and powerful enough to hire their own personal archmages to cast it for them.

9080690

"Funny jokes with dark implications" are admittedly something I'm fond of.

9078613
Throw in Cadence. The spell was submitted to the Crystal empire's spell archives. If Sunburst hides it from her, she can call it treason or embezzlement.

9078801
I'm still expecting the sequel to be based off that one Futurama episode.

"Granny Smith, we've all decided to have you Youth-anized."
Audience hears 'euthanized'.

Celestia giggled lightly, covering her mouth with a hoof. “Of course. You didn’t think we’d lived this long naturally, did you?”

OH MY!

9080878
You raise a good point, and it's impossible to give any hard numbers without more specific information on the limits on the spell itself. But Starlight was able to cast it at least 4 times in one day with no visible strain. Keeping to the pessimistic end of the end of the spectrum, lets say that Starlight was used her absolute maximum amount of daily magic to cast those. Since in Humans, 0.25% of people are certifiable geniuses, out of a total sentient population of say 100,000,000, which would suggest a unicorn population on the order of at least say 10,000,000, that would imply that there are around 25,000 Unicorns that would be considered genesis. Lets be very pessimistic, and say that of those, only half are even 1/4 as strong as Starlight, and only 1/4 of those are willing to go into the anti-aging business. That still leaves 3125 Unicorns able to cast the spell. And since each sentient being would only need the spell about once every 80 years. If all of them could only cast it once per day (Also very pessemistic, since some would probably be more than 1/4 as strong as starlight), then you could easily maintain an immortal population of around 91,250,000 sentient beings. With some dying due to accidents, some sentients choosing not to continue living, and a fairly low birthrate, this seems mostly sustainable in at least the medium to semi-long term. This falls short of the 100,000,000 target, but could be made up for and improved as the now immortal unicorn population has centuries in which to refine their skills and get up to the 1/4 Starlight level. Obviously these estimates would shift back or forth depending on the specific power requirements, population ratios, and other factors, but in anything less than an extremely pessimistic senario, it seems perfectly scalable to me.

9080878
Yeah, but didn't Starlight cast it multiple times in 1 day without really straining? Even for as powerful as Starlight is, I'd think the difficulty of the spell wouldn't be that out of reach from the average unicorn.

9081321

Yeah, but didn't Starlight cast it multiple times in 1 day without really straining? Even for as powerful as Starlight is, I'd think the difficulty of the spell wouldn't be that out of reach from the average unicorn.

Starlight Glimmer was able to go toe-to-toe with Twilight Sparkle, an alicorn, for an extended period of time without so much as even breaking a sweat. And this was while performing continuous self-levitation, which is probably quite a lot more difficult and precise than levitating other objects or flying. To say nothing of her managing to throw a giant-ass magical kamehameha at Discord in the latest episode.

I don’t think it’s exactly fair to judge other unicorns by her standards, considering how OP she is.

Great to see a topic close to my heart on the frontpage. And seriously, damnit Celestia :c

If she kept the spell a secret on our world, she would cause the death of 1 person a second - after years of crippling disability, pain and loss of dignity, each death being due to actual diseases such as alzheimers, heart attack (if you're lucky)...

On the topic of actual medicinal age-reversal, human trials are beginning now for one corner of it initially proposed by SENS, and i'm hoping to get involved there. Ask me anything you wish - things are looking exciting

EDIT:
9080878 Let's hope that Celestia and Luna are trying to make an easier to cast spell, then...

She's taller than Twilight.

Well that's horrifying.

I'd personally be up for just releasing the spell to the general public. Spread it as far as possible. And letting anyone who wants to change their age be able to change their age.

This version of Celestia and Luna are horrible monsters who LET everyone around them die while they remain young and powerful.

Aging is caused by the degradation of DNA, specifically, of the repeated, redundant end of the strands called the telomeres. Every time a cell splits, it loses a small piece at the ends, but the telomeres protect the vital information from being lost... for a limited number of divisions.
Once the telomeres are lost and the main part of the DNA sequence gets damaged, the cells can no longer divide to make new cells, leading to cellular senescence.
All this means that, unless Starlight's spell regenerates the DNA strands, she has not created immortality. I always figured her spell was artificial youth. The cells are the same age, but rearranged to give the organism as a whole the appearance of an adolescence.

All that being said, it was a... funnish story.
If RealityCheck was still around he would be absolutely furious by the actions taken here to suppress the immortality. That guy had a major boner for eternal life and would argue day and night how it would be an absolute good to make everyone immortal.

9081945
Remember that Star Trek DS9 episode where that one scientist believed you only got old because your cells got bored. 😅

9081901
Only so much room on the planet lol. Eventually, children will be banned, and only once someone else gets tired of living and kills themselves will a new child be born. Not to mention the complete restructuring of society required, as no one wants to do the same thing for eternity. Or however long they live.

9082129
I completely disagree with using those as reasons for not letting people live forever, but whatever.

The main problem comes from how in this story Celestia and Luna are hoarding immortality to themselves.

9082153
My main beef is the ability to hand out alicorn status at will. It completely devalues Twilight's crown and/or the sense of destiny present in the canon.

Login or register to comment