• Member Since 30th Nov, 2015
  • offline last seen 42 minutes ago

Rambling Writer

Our job is not to give readers what they want; our job is to show them things they never imagined. --Walt Williams


This story is a sequel to Tantabus Communication Protocol

What started with laziness and a tiny slip-up in arcane intelligence creation has blossomed into its own being. With Luna's blessing, the second Tantabus is free to flit around the dreamscape as it pleases, unburdened by oversight. And what pleases it is making good dreams. Who couldn't be happy by making others happy?

As the Tantabus settles into its life, its horizons keep expanding, forever revealing more of the world and of ponies. There's always new things to learn. New dreams to spice up. New nightmares to beat down. New ponies to help. New ponies to annoy.

Don't tell Luna about that last part.

Chapters (44)
Comments ( 2128 )

Smashing stuff, I look forward to many more sleepy time stunts.


Me when tests starts

A fic I was following for a while recently ended, so I'm really looking forward to seeing this series continue. Can't wait to see what misadventures Moondog will get into.

...Still getting used to not calling it Tantabus anymore...



stop looking so forlorn and quit whining, young tulpa.

Moondog, Equestria's first tulpadawan.

Na na nananananna Moondog!

The adorable slightly Eldritch hero we need.

I loved your previous stories! I can't wait to see how this one goes. And it's multi-chapter!:pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:



Nice. Very nice. Following this one for sure.

-- dreamer[name] = "Rarity"
-- dreamer[desc] = SPECIES.Unicorn, SEX.Mare, COAT_COLOR.White_Matte, [...]
-- dreamer[interests]: "style", "fashion", "glamor", [...]
-- [...]

I wonder how it would handle something in the return like -- dreamer[name] = "" (or worse yet -- dreamer[name] = NUL since "" is still at least technically a string) or possibly even something odd like a UUID-equivalent in place of a name string, or a generic numerical value instead of a string?

Or cases where multiple values for the same description tag apply? (Or subvalues that aren't expected, or missing subvalues for the standard values...)?

I suppose for an oddity like a numerical value in the name it'd be as simple as handling the error with dreamer[name] = STR$(dreamer[name]) , and for things like multiple subvalues for the same description value it could be handled as a list of strings rather than a single string...

...and of course there's always the option of simply throwing an exception and calling Luna for help. :rainbowlaugh:

There's a Moondog pizza in my hometown, and also a pretty famous homeless musician by the name as well.

Even children made of dream stuff sufffer feelings of inadequacy when confronted with the incredible they see their parents do, it seems.

And also, 9386506 ? Nice.

So the dreamscape runs on what, Java? C++? One of those kinds of language.

And our hats are very, very large.

Wʜᴇɴ I'ᴍ ғᴇᴇʟɪɴ' ʙʀᴏᴋᴇɴ ᴅᴏᴡɴ
Sʜᴇ ʜᴀꜱ ᴀʟᴡᴀʏꜱ ɢᴏᴛ ᴍʏ ʙᴀᴄᴋ
Mᴍ ᴍᴍ ᴍᴍ ᴍᴍ ᴍᴍ ᴍᴍ ᴍᴍ
Mᴍ ᴍᴍᴍ ꜱᴏᴍᴇᴛʜɪɴɢ ɢɪᴀɴᴛ ʜᴀᴛ
Yᴇꜱ I ʟᴏᴠᴇ ᴍʏ ꜱɪꜱᴛᴇʀ

The name of the dreamer is just that: their name, given to them by their parents. It's strongly typed as a string, or else we'd get something like:

"What a cute foal! What's her name?"
"...Come again?"

As for the others, Luna's a smart pony. She put in all kinds of error handlers when making Moondog.

It's mainly based on Java, with the dictionary formatting and "self.method()" rather than "this.method()" coming from Python, since those are the two languages I have the most experience in.

You have no idea how happy I am to see this series continue. And it's more than just a one-shot! Woot-wooooot!
Oh, also:

You are rambling, attempting to cover up your own inadequacies with pointless trivia!”

I see what you did there, whether you meant to or not. :rainbowlaugh:

Moondog huh? Bit of an odd name but then again she is an odd character.

Sundogs are a visual phenomena, theres probably a lunar equivalent -googles- yup. Intentional?

Yeah. I heard about them and figured, "So it looks like a smaller version of the moon that appears under certain circumstances. Sounds familiar."


Nice story about the Tantabus again. The translatoins from spanish are really funny. It seems that the Tantabus still has a lot to learn about the dreamworld.

This was awesome! It's drifting into a slightly different style of fic as the series proceeds, but every bit as enjoyable. Great fun to see into Rarity's dreams and nightmares as well, even though it's somewhat background to the main events.

So was Moondog wrong about how sentient the nocnica would be? Was the nocnica masquerading as being less powerful to draw Moondog into following it?

One typo: "thought intelligent" should probably be "though intelligent". I think.

Yeah, the nocnica pretended to be weaker to lure Moondog into a false sense of security.

Oh! Nice mixing of code-stuff with story!

And it's a series, instead of a one-shot!

"Moondog"... Not the best of names, I think...

Is the end result of this story gonna be Tantabus getting a good name?



adwl = Aetheric DreamWorld Location. or something...


surface = ???

hexID = random number sequence

"lucid = n" = dreamer is not lucid.

I.... don’t quite feel ready to call the Tantabus “Moondog” from now on, but great start to a new story all the same.

This is more an anthology than its own singular story. This particular one ends with Moondog learning a thing or two about fending off nightmares and, yes, getting a name.

adwl = Aetheric DreamWorld Location. or something...

Arcane DreamWalker Link.



surface = ???

The surface level of the mind, as opposed to deeper things like reflexes.

hexID = random number sequence

It's in hexadecimal. Find a hex translator for a secret.

"lucid = n" = dreamer is not lucid.


now I imagine moondog being a dream realm radio host at times

Moondog. Oh my lord. I was not expecting that.


It's in hexadecimal. Find a hex translator for a secret.

Ah, "Rarity". Makes sense. I though that'd be it. Cool!

So basically: the Tantabus is a programmer who makes minor tweaks to the code for the intended results; while Luna is a psychologist, helping ponies face the fears that originate the nightmare they are having.

Looking forward to seeing what her final name be. Don't know why but part of me thinks she'll give herself a name instead of overhearing for others. In previous entries and this chapter. It has always been other creatures that suggest her name.

It would be cool that as a sign of real independence, she creates her very own name.

My suggestion for a name would be Tanta though. Short for Tantabus like how some people prefer shorten forms of their long names

So dreams are object oriented?

Story new_sequel = new Story();
new_sequel.onreadystatechange = function() {
if (this.readyState == COMPLETE && this.status == PUBLISHED) {
new_sequel.open("WRITESEQUEL", "Tantabus Mk II", true);
new_sequel.setRequestHeader("Content-type", "awesome/story");

As someone's who's... somewhat familiar with coding, I like how 'Moondog' uses it to mess with others... also...

“Liquid Changeling Orgy”

For some reason, I can't get this line out of my head now

What started with laziness and a tiny slip-up in arcane intelligence creation has blossomed into its own being.

Hmm.... I don't remember "laziness" being a factor during the new tantabus's creation. Maybe I missed something.


Heh. That was a cute sequel.^^

"Hmm. Defending dreams is hard work. Maybe if I create a robot arcane intelligence to do it for me..."

Probably not the best word choice, but I thought it was funny.

Laziness is the Mother of invention. Don't let Necessity tell you otherwise. It's why all the best engineers are lazy. The whole job is finding different ways to do 400 hrs of work by only spending 40 hrs of your own time.

Comment posted by Dreadnought deleted Jan 6th, 2019

I concede that point. But from the way I read Tantabus 2.0, Luna was extremely careful in how she created the second Tantabus. She didn't take any shortcuts or chances. The tantabus's attainment of sentience was purely by chance.

BTW, I don't remember from the three previous stories. Did it ever get a name? Or will everypony just continue to call it "the tantabus"?


No traduzcas esto. ¡Lee el cuento!


Love this story.
Love this series.

The code was an excellent touch !

You must write more, dear author.
*wonders if Rambling Writer has a Patreon*

This was great. Rarity's dream especially so.

I mean, if dream sequences were like that, even without Moondog in there, they would be less likely to convince my brain to skim them.

Makes sense - assuming that Moondog will never encounter someone who hasn't been given a name for whatever reason, that is. Though even then, I suppose an empty string is still a string, not so sure about a null string though. (And someone only given a numeric designator as a name could still be handled by using a string representation of the number, as in the dreamer[name] = STR$(dreamer[name]) thought except handled earlier in the system (input sanitation, anyone?) before it reaches anywhere near that point.

Though even if cases like those can be handled without throwing any errors, I imagine that Luna would still want to know that such a thing came up at all, so that she could further investigate the situation herself... Likely resulting in some form of subsequent actions being taken outside the dreamscape, as well, since something has clearly gone quite wrong someplace to cause any of those sorts of things...


For our sensibility is just! Our weave is strong! And our hats are very, very large.”


I really hope they make that new muzzle rise effect optional in the settings in the newest builds of PB v3.0 It makes the BFG beam cannon and Unmaker laser and dual-revolvers almost unusable. Also, waiting on a fix for the inventory use item. The Final Doom levels have always been merciless, and now with all the new enemy abilities, there's plenty of times when the Swarm Pods would be very helpful.

Celestia suggested "Dreamweaver" as a name, but the Tantabus said it didn't want one, so it never got one.

Unearned entitlement must be the father of invention, then.


*wonders if Rambling Writer has a Patreon*

*does not have a Patreon*

To be honest, I'm a bit iffy on taking money for fanfic since I'd probably start feeling like I'd need to write this for money, rather than for fun. I appreciate the sentiment, though.

Perhaps the tantabus's name will become a running joke, like the Doctor's name on Star Trek: Voyager.


Not a writer, but I understand the feeling of creating for fun vs creating for money.

Sometimes the expectations and stress (even if those expectations are all in your head) can stifle your creativity.

Never have thought I have to rely on my C++ to understand the fiction.

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