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Justice3442


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Twilight and some of her friends drop in on the new changeling hive for a visit. Problem 1: It’s mating season for the changelings. Problem 2: This is far less sexy and a bit more dangerous than one might imagine.

Thanks to Steel Resolve for his edits and suggestions and special thanks to Nova Quill/Firimil for her edits, sugestions, and the hilarious piece of cover art and the video/coversation that kicked off this insanity!

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 100 )

I can just hear David Attenborough:

"Some cultures give flowers, others, wine, still others choose to show their love by yeeting their intended like a beach ball at spring break."

......I don't- I-WHAT?

I haven't even READ the story yet, but that Cover Art spells Funny shit ahead I just KNOW it!

... Yeah, sorry, but no. I barely got halfway through this one before I decided I couldn't go on. Once Twilight tries to advise Thorax, this gets borderline unreadable. This Twilight just doesn't work for me at all, and the cringe comedy is weighed far too heavily towards the former. Sorry, this one's a miss for me.

Okay, this was oddly hilarious...except for Twilight being so blind. Admittedly, that's kind of required for the comedy...eh, still a fun read.

This one was rather meh. About the best part was Spike setting up the defeated male changeling brothel.

Ri2

And here I was concerned the Changelings had gotten the wrong idea about romance from hearing about Shining throwing Cadance that one time. Good to see I was wrong.

I have to agree with Fan. The cringe Twilight went on far too long. The concept was great and I liked the ending, but idiot ball Twilight was just too much. Maybe having different characters have different ideas to try might have worked.

Is it bad that I read that title like the song Spring Time for Hitler from The Producers?

Yeah, pushed it a little too far. Can't all be winners.

Not a huge fan of the cringe Twilight either, but everyone else more than made up for that. Not my favorite story by far, but I got a few really good laughs out of it, and that's all I came for.

I didn't and probs won't read it (not my kind of read no offense) but the cover...

I could just say "YEET!"

I have a strong need to both upvote and downvote this many times.

What’s the practical purpose of the post-coital throwing? I only understand the doing it before as a “Survival of the fittest.”

This is one of those stories that's destined to get a crap-ton of likes... and also a crap-ton of dislikes.

This story gets its dislikes in a similar way to that of the previous divisive-fic-of-the-month, "Twilight Sparkle Vs. Social Justice", in that the humor relies on the story "bending" Twilight's personality for the sake of the plot/comedy. How forgivable this is depends of the reader.

As for me... I'm stuck in the middle. I don't hate Twilight's characterization enough to dislike the story (there were some decently funny bits in there), but it did feel a too irritating for me to really enjoy the experience as a whole. As a result, I'm not going to Like or Dislike this story. I'll leave that to everybody else.

9467000
I honestly can see Twilight behaving like this, otherwise, I wouldn't have written this with her in the position. We have entire episodes around how she gets an idea in her head and can't be dissuaded until she falls flat on her face. At this point, I feel like it would have been better received had I put Starlight in the position of 'correcting' everything, but that would have felt like character assassination to me (keep in mind this is Starlight I'm talking about).

Just for the sake of explaining why Twilight drove this plot with her bullheadedness and not, say, Starlight as I mentioned above. Twilight has a long, LONG history of quickly evaluating a situation then making a snap decision and working it like a hypothesis until her "experiment" completely fails, or rather disproves her hypothesis, and she adjusts her worldview appropriately. This is her greatest strength and weakness. Strength, because her refusal to back down can topple the hearts of villains and she can even work solutions with say, old friends like Moondancer even after Moondancer initially made it clear she no longer wanted anything to do with Twilight. It's a weakness when Twilight's view or strategy is completely flawed and, while that may be obvious to those around her, SHE still needs to push things to a rather extreme before she's ready to change how she sees things.

Starlight, on the other hoof, takes the initial time to examine the various angles and usually comes up with a plan of some sort... It's just a plan that ran through her internal thinking process, so it's kind of a crap shoot if it's a good plan or something that will make things much worse. She's also dosen't tend to have a 'plan b', so there's that.

9467025
I can kinda see that. I was just trying to provide an explanation for this fic's apparent polarization. At the very least, it feels like Twilight's persistence was slightly exaggerated. It's all the eye of the beholder, though, so take my words with at least one grain of salt.

9467053
In your defense, most of my 'random' fics do tend to play up certain qualities of the cast, often for comedic effect, so that observation is likely spot on.

9466988
At least in terms of our natural world there are three very likely reasons why it could happen; one would be to ensure that the young aren't in the same area as the father to compete for his food source, the second that female may have to lay her eggs on the ground, and most of the rhino beetles that exhibit this behavior (where we got the idea from) are tree dwellers, so the male is just expediting the process of the decent, and the final option being because bugs are a bit dumb and driven by habit and instinct. :)

Ri2

By the way, how's Ocellus dealing with mating season?

9467149
She's younger than the rest, so likely not dealing yet.

I could certainly not get far into this.. The conversations were very rambling oriented that made them quite a slog to get through.

I'm just here to watch the bonfires start. Also, that bit at the end is what would probably happen in canon if:
1. Chrissy wasn't a massive manipulative c***.
2. Herds were a thing, and
3. Cadence was less family friendly.


9466772
No, I did that too.

9467149
9467174
That's one possibility.
Another possibility is that since the mating ritual is brand new and she wasn't around, she is being forced to come up with her own in order to have the best possible mate decided.
The third, and funniest (but almost most perverted), possibility is that she is that while Twilight and friends are visiting each other, Sandbar and Gallus are busy trying to throw each other for the right (winner depends on your own shipping preference).

really? a fic with a pun from the olde-ass movie called

dr. strangelove or how i learned to stop worrying and love the bomb,

? cool, :D also yea, sorry for all the H1 bullshit i left on

Sunset is MAD about EVERYTHING

Justice,

*Nods*
Ah, yes I see. I understand perfectly.

...

I understand nothing!

I think the biggest problem is how long it went on. This was a funny story, but it did not need to be over 13k words long.

Twilight let out a laugh. “Well, Starlight’s teleportation accuracy is impressive, but not something to be jealous of. Haha, no!” she said, stressing the ‘no’ perhaps a bit too hard and muttering something about Canterlot and Princess Celestia’s private bathroom.

You OK there?

“Who said I feel bad?” Trixie said. “I mean, I’m better looking and more charismatic than you.”

Well, you're half right.

Starlight cringed slightly. “Sorry! I get expositiony when I’m excited.”

That explains it.

“Okay, but seriously,” Twilight said, “what the heck is going on?!” Twilight asked as she watched a few more errant changelings get thrown one way or another, including a light purple changeling male that was screaming towards the group.

We're about to find out.

Trixie pointed her snout upwards with a big smile. “Oh, Starlight. That’s my secret. I’m always proud.”

Sounds about right.

“I do trust Spike!” Fluttershy said as her eyes followed Thorax and a changeling female into a cave where they disappeared together. “At least six out of seven days of the week, I trust him… But…er… Starlight well… uh… erm… I guess she at least tries hard.”

That is fair.

Trixie looked at Twilight, completely aghast. “Do you really think I’d stoop so low as to cheat Fluttershy?!”

Come on, she's Chaotic Neutral, not Chaotic EVIL.

“And I can make enough for everyone!” Starlight said with a grin as she took her position next to Trixie and magicked up four more buckets.

Yay!

Starlight chuckled nervously. “Butter… riiiiiiiight… absolutely regular butter from milk in this dimension... Her eyes quickly darting from left to right, she punctuated her sentence with a quick: “Totally.”

You worry me.

"Well… No, but you're one of two ponies here with a down-feathered back. And, I'm always a little afraid I might break Fluttershy if I climb up there."

She's stronger than she looks.

The scream of a lilac-colored changeling female caught everyone’s attention for a moment as a forest green changeling with a purple carapace and red wings and antlers raised a foreleg over his eyes as he admired his handiwork. “Ahh… another satisfied female,” he declared loudly.

Pharynx?

“Trixie, yes!” Trixie shot back. “Sorry, Starlight, the potential to annoy Twilight is too great.”

I love her. So goddamn much. Best. Goddamn Pony.

“Pharynx,” Starlight said in a warning tone. “That’s Fluttershy. If you’re mean to her I’ll vaporize you. No court in Equestria would convict me of any wrongdoing and I’d sleep very well that night.”

A fair point.

Pharynx sneered at Starlight. “You… I hate you slightly less than the rest of the ponies.”

Also a fair point.

“Because I’ll assume you meant both,” Trixie said smugly.

Probably.

“Twilight, I share living spaces with Starlight,” Spike countered. “How is knowing how changelings mate going to mess me up worse than that?!”

He's right.

Twilight groaned. “Fine, whatever! Pharynx, Just… help me fill in the blanks!”

Kinky.

Starlight chuckled. “I wish. If you think this is bad, you should try sleeping with her!” she answered Twilight.

Phrasing.

“Your voice is fine,” Starlight said, “I could do with being called ‘daddy’ a little less when you’re in the throes of passion.”

Huh. You know I can actually see it.

Trixie smiled in Starlight’s direction. “It’s funnier if you wear a hat and a cape all the time.”

You know, she's got you there.

“— we are all burdened with glorious purpose,”

Cool it, Loki.

Fluttershy frowned. “It’s not that I don’t think you’re wrong at times, I just hate to disagree with anypony... Anyway, I was going to say we shouldn’t make too many assumptions. This isn’t too far from how some insect species mate… For all we know this is completely natural for the changelings.”

She's right, you know.

“Hah!” Trixie cried. “Well, I know what saying I’m going to incorporate into casual conversation.”

You would.

Twilight narrowed her eyes. “It can’t possibly be that simple. There has to be more going on than just that!”

No. It's that simple.

“Thorax, this is wrong!” Twilight proclaimed. “This whole thing is wrong!”

Why?

“Only because the non-winged purple one has a strangely alluring mad glint in her eyes!” Pharynx countered.

HAH!

“That sounds stupid and you sound stupid,” Pharynx said without missing a beat.

You're right.

“Pharynx, you can’t fight in here!” Thorax called out. “This is the War Room!”

I love that movie. No seriously, it's fuckin' great.

Pharynx looked at Twilight, “I have hurt your feelings.”

Twilight nodded.

“Good.”

I get the feeling you don't like Twilight, Justice.

Thorax continued, “The urge to merge can rob us of our senses, and if anyone understands the deeper intricacies of mating, it’s got to be someone who knows a lot about friendship.”

I disagree.

Spike’s eyes widened as his face crumpled in awed fear. “It’s like watching a zeppelin burn up in super slow motion.”

Is it a Led Zeppelin or a mundane zeppelin?

Spike's smirk grew three sizes and became far, far toothier "No, but Sunset can."

I love this guy.

“Uh, let’s just put a pin in that for now.” Twilight said. “Look, until I’m sure you’re doing courting properly, I absolutely have a valid say in how you should conduct yourself.”

I disagree. Someone stop her.

"To be fair, Celestia teaches by hoofing over a fork, pointing at an electrical socket, and crooning motherly to 'go learn a life lesson,' " Spike mumbled around his popcorn.

Bit harsh, innit?

Trixie turned to Starlight. “Have I mentioned we should hang out with Fluttershy more? Because we should hang out with Fluttershy more.”

You are right.

Trixie chuckled. “That pony should be in a straitjacket.”

You REALLY don't like Twilight, do you Justice?

“NO!” Twilight insisted.

You fool.

Twilight’s face tightened. “Okay, I’m going in.”

That is a very bad idea.

“Oh! It’s Zeitgeist,” the changeling answered.

Interesting name.

“Thorax! That’s not the friendship way!” Twilight insisted as the rest of the group caught up. “You have to forgive your enemy. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

Changelings don't work that way.

“Hatred is a poison you eat and hope the other person dies,” proclaimed Twilight.

Probably literally in the case of Changelings.

“Yes, anything! EVERYTHING!” Twilight exclaimed. She turned towards Thorax. “It should be your avowed policy to never to strike first with conversation!”

You're a moron.

Trixie snickered. “Especially Twilight.”

You don't seem to care about her feelings, give her shit, chew her out, yell at her if you must.

“Okay! Neat!” Twilight said. “You have something to talk about if she decides to talk to you first about it! So… go up and talk to her, but don’t initiate conversation first, because she might not want to talk to anyone! Just… just hang around her and hope she notices you!”

You're incredibly dumb.

“But she hasn’t given me permission to ask her how she’s doing!” Thorax exclaimed.

“Oh, good point!” Twilight replied.

This hurts.

There was the audible smack of an open claw being propelled into a waiting forehead.

Quite.

“Would you shut it for a second and listen to me?!” Twilight cried.

NO!

“Quiet, Spike!” Twilight hushed. “I appreciate your input, but this isn’t the time for snap-judgments based on casual observation!”

You are made of stupid.

Spike opened his mouth as if to speak and raised his claw. He worked his mouth a few times but exasperated befuddlement came over him before he could make a sound. He opted to rest his chin on is open claw and look on in defeat in lieu of speaking.

I've been there.

“YES!” Twilight cried. “Why is that hard to understand?!”

Because that isn't how Changelings work.

Trixie frowned. “Can I at least go back to giggling to myself and insulting Twilight quietly?”

DO IT!

“No, I mean Princess Cadance,” Spike said. “We’re not that far from the Empire. Maybe she can help sort out this mess.”

That'll work.

Twilight smirked. “Threaten me with a good time,” she muttered.

You worry me.

“Hey!” Cadance began in a protesting tone. “Unicorns aren’t the only ones who—” Her eyes widened as if she was truly seeing the pony in front of her for the first time. “The Great and Powerful Trixie?! Oh, I love your shows! Can I have your autograph?!”

This pleases me.

Cadence’s smile suddenly widened and took on an unnatural quality as she stared at Trixie with so much intent one might think the magician’s next trick would be to catch fire spontaneously and disappear in a cloud of ash. Yet, just as magically it disappeared as her eyes took on a more star struck appearance. “Well, not all of us pegasi have our heads in the clouds, if you catch my meaning. Hehe.”

*sigh*

Pharynx gulped as he looked up at the pony face hovering with malevolent intent above him. “Okay, you were right. I’m scared.”

Starlight put on an icepick smile. “Oh?”

“…Is this what love feels like?” Pharynx asked.

I fucking love him.

“Scared, who’s scared?” Zero asked. “Zero just prefers guys with a generous helping of self-esteem issues.”

Thorax, that is your cue.

Zero stared at Thorax as a smile spread itself across her face like syrup on hot pancakes. “Zero thinks she just dropped an egg… ER…” Zero’s demeanor suddenly became far more passive as she looked up at Thorax with wide hopeful eyes. “Be gentle with me Ni-san! It’s my first time,” she squeaked out in a high-pitched voice.

What.

“Oh, this is just like my Neiponese animes,” Fluttershy murmured.

You would.

Thorax turned towards Twilight. “Wait… Was your concern that women weren’t being asked if they wanted to mate? Because even Pharynx has been on top of that!”

Twilight in these stories isn't exactly smart.

“YEEEEEE-HAWWWW! YIIPPPIE-KAY-YAY!” Spike’s rather timely yelps came as the group turned in time to watch him ride the sunshine colored changeling across the sky in a neat little arc.

Goddammit.

Zeitgeist put on a manic grin. “I know she was a power-hungry despot that literally ruled us as if she had sole control of her lives. Basically, because she also had that, but you’ve got to admit she was way cooler than any of us!”

Also crazier.

The orange changeling male from before winced visibly. “Sorry about that! I’ll aim away from solid objects next time!”

“Okay, cool! That’s all I’m asking!”

That's fair.

Zero smiled at Twilight. “Look, don’t take this the wrong way, but if you succeeded in making these last few awkward exchanges typical for mating, I’m pretty sure we’d all become so grief-stricken and anguished we’d, well, envy the dead and not want to go on living!”

Ouch.

“Watching you fail gives me life, Sparkles,” Trixie stated with a Cheshire grin.

You would.

“Ba-but…” Something snapped behind Twilight’s eyes. “I can’t believe this! Friendship has to be the answer here, it just has to!” Twilight grit her teeth and pressed her forehooves against her cheeks.

Why?

“I’m in pain! And I’m wet! And I’m still hysterical!”

I love that movie too.

“Wait-WAIT!” Twilight cried as she found herself being somewhat forcibly moved. “I’m not done meddling! I have a plan!

You would.

“‘Do I think there are mares out there who want to have sex with someone who can transform to look like literally anypony?’ Yeah, I do. One doctor’s waiting room worth of ‘Pony’ and Celebrity magazines and I got this.”

He's right you know.

Trixie’s eyes lit up. “Can I pick all of them and can they all look like me?!”

Yeah that sounds about right.

“This is the best day of Trixie’s life!” Trixie proclaimed as she began feverishly writing stuff down.

Starlight just stared straight ahead with a thousand-mile long stare on her face. “I have the weirdest lady boner right now.”

“Not me,” Fluttershy said dryly as she tapped on Trixie’s shoulder who passed the clipboard and quill to the butter colored Pegasus. “I have a perfectly normal lady boner,” she said as jotted down her own details of what she wanted.

This is getting better every line.

“OH!” Shining said as he floated the scroll over and unfurled it. “It’s from Cadance... Also, there’s surprisingly little difference between the pony aristocracy and the committed.”

Sounds about right.

Shining rolled back his head and laughed. “You know Cadance so well.”

She's predictable.

Shining’s eyes widened as he attempted to visually take in all of Chrysalis’s new form. “… Oh, I’m so happy I’m in a polygamous relationship with you and Cady.”

You would.

The title combines "The Producers" with "Dr. Strangelove"... I am obviously intrigued.

9466710 Dude, have you even read pony fanfics? The ponies being blind to everything around them is practically a prerequisite... especially if it's an HiE. Then, not only are the ponies usually stupid, they're also complete A-holes to everyone and everything.

This is also true with every single grimdark fic.

:trollestia:

9467896

I get the feeling you don't like Twilight, Justice.

I actually like her quite a bit, but, as I mentioned in below comments, she has a tendency to make snap judgments and run with them before really exploring all the facts which makes her a good focal point for episodes and fan-fics where she basically invents a problem that needs to be solved.

9467999

Be thst as it may, I think you overplayed your hand a bit.

Ri2

9467405
Maybe just Sandbar, Gallus is too busy flapping around and squawking like an idiot trying to attract a confused Silverstream.

Well, unless Smolder wants in, in which case Sandbar's toast.

Dan

We need art of Spike's Slim Pickens impression and art of Chrysalis' new form.

9468000
Maybe. I've gotten several comments expressing as much, but I'm also getting the feeling the underlining message of commentary on an idea and way of thinking is being missed. The length has also come up a bit, but that's largely in part to the 'rule of threes'. Had Thorax and Twilight had one botched attempt, and I say... moved straight to Zero after that, it would likely feel like something was missing, or rather, there'd be little build up until the changelings got sick of everyone running around and making things awkward. Though, it likely would have made sense to break this up into chapters rather than doing it all as one big piece. I kinda waffled on that a bit back when I was writing it, but there's no real rule of thumb for stories of this size.

Another issue is many of the references, which are taken from three movies, or rather two movies and a musical-movie based off one of the others, are mostly lost on this audience, which is really a shame.

The criticism I'm getting feel valid enough as to what individuals didn't like about the piece, but they're also mostly just on one aspect of the whole. Another aspect that some HAVE caught on is that the reader is supposed to be annoyed with Twilight, and it's fascinating to me to see what some do with that aggravation. :twilightsheepish:

“Erm… I’ve never even been here,” Fluttershy said.

Well, no, technically she was for the events of "To Where and Back Again." Though, to be fair, she and the rest of the Mane 6 did spend most of that stuck in changeling cocoons, unconscious...

“Pharynx, you can’t fight in here!” Thorax called out. “This is the War Room!”

Considering the fic's title, I supposed I shouldn't be surprised this line popped up. :rainbowlaugh:

Thorax looked at Twilight and chuckled. “We’re changelings, so yes. We engage in the odd roleplay sometime.”

Oh gosh, I'd imagine they'd excel at it. :rainbowderp:

“Oh… Right!” Thorax exclaimed. “Shoot, I messed up… Let me start all—”

“SNEAK ATTACK!” Pharynx screamed as he charged forward.

“Wait, wha-AH!” Thorax counter screamed as his brother positioned his head under him and propelled him far away from the conversation.

Pharynx turned and stared at Zwan. “Would you like to mate with we?” he asked.

The Zwan blinked away her confusion. “Okay!” she said with a smile.

You know, I'm surprised he even waited that long to do this.

“We’re not that far from the Empire."

As in the Crystal Empire? Official canon places that quite literally on the other side of Equestria from the changeling hive. Like, all of Equestria sits between it and the Crystal Empire. So I can't really say that's "not that far."

“You’ve seen the average changeling male or even average changeling, right? They’re kind of all about openly discussing their feelings and talking things out."

Well...except Pharynx.

Twilight frowned. “I think even Fluttershy will tell you that’s a bad idea.”

“Erm, actually, it’s a great idea.”

“See!” Twilight said as she motioned toward Fluttershy.

It's like Fluttershy's not even there! :fluttershysad:

Actually, why is Fluttershy in this at all? I mean, I'm not complaining or anything, but it just struck me that all she's done is add to the comic relief (which, let's be honest, Starlight and Trixie alone have covered plenty on their own) and make thinly-veiled comments about how turned on she is by it all. If you were to take her out of this fic, you wouldn't really loose anything in the process that isn't already getting covered plenty by other characters. Just saying.

"Uh... We like being fought over," Zero informed.

"And thrown!" Zeitgeist added

"Oh yes. That's basically the best part,” Zwan chimed in.

“Can confirm," Cadence quietly murmured.

:rainbowlaugh:

“Spike! What are you doing with all these changeling men?!”

Spike smiled widely. “I’m taking them to Ponyville where they can pick up some girls the old fashion way… by not literally having to pick them up.”

Now, see, while Twilight's been busy making a fool of herself, Spike's gone and addressed an actual problem. :moustache:

I have to agree with some of the other commentators here about Twilight's stance being a bit...overdone and dragged out. I mean, I totally bought it for about the first third of the story, but after that, it started to get overbearing to the point of unneeded ridiculousness, and worse, makes her seem elitist and discriminatory to the changelings in basically demanding they gotta do it the "pony way" for no good reason she can give beyond the pony way is just "better." Yeah, the fic basically calls her out on precisely this in the end, but, delivered en masse like this, it quickly becomes more aggravating and annoying than it is entertaining.

She's not even doing it in the right way, anyway. If she were to really do this (assuming there really was even a problem in the first place, of course), she would need to sit down with most to all of the changelings and explain this to them all at once...not (haphazardly) explain it to just one and hope all the rest will play along without any prior explanation for what is going on. A large part of this happened simply because the other changelings had literally no context for what was happening or what Twilight was trying to do.

And it's not like any 'ling's really getting hurt by getting thrown around (except maybe their prides). If anything, they seem to enjoy it as all part of the fun, and those few who did get hurt in the throwing got addressed by the end too, so...

And Twi, of all ponies, should already know nature's way has caused critters to come up with some pretty bizarre ways to mate and that this should just be another example of such, considering how "well-read" she's always claiming to be. Don't deny that she doesn't have books covering subjects like this already. And anyway, she knows Flutter-"Nature's So Fascinating"-shy, after all. Surely it's not the first time the subject's come up between them. Especially since it seems Fluttershy here has...certain needs that aren't getting met.

I think I also have to echo that a large part of the problem is that the fic just goes on for a few thousand words too many, and that's mostly just for all the bantering dialogue. To be sure, it was all hilarious to read...but you could still cut out large portions of it and still achieve the exact same thing as you already have. Funny or not, it just made things drag on longer than it really needed to, all for the sake for a few more laughs. A simple example--if you had left out Cadance entirely and all that dialogue that went with her, you still would've been able to achieve much the exact same points as the fic already does. (NOT to say that you should've left out Cadance--I'm just giving an easy example). Basically, I think what's actually hurting the fic is that it didn't know when to stop with the comedic banter and let itself get distracted too many times from what it was really trying to do.

Further, because the fic does go on for so long, after a certain point, all the facts have gone against Twilight so effectively that, in order to continue, she's left with nothing to do but flat out deny them and just ineffectively repeat her same points again and again and again, to the point of it being unbelievable, even for Twilight, because she really has no argument left to support anymore. And it just gets...wearying. The way I see it, if you were to trim down the overall word count of the fic, you would've been less likely to reach that point as quickly.

I would also argue we didn't really need that bit with Chrysalis at the end, but maybe that one's just me.

I should also point out that it got confusing just where the cast is at towards the end there. One moment they're still in the war room, but then they're suddenly not anymore...? The story didn't clearly convey that they had moved, and the setting gets kind of lost in the chatting a bit. It's not game-breaking, it's just a little jarring.

And I guess while I'm at it, I should add there was a couple instances where the names for changelings would get mixed up, usually with Thorax and Pharynx, and you'd refer to one when it's clear you really meant the other.

That all said, the whole situation is an absolute train wreak. But at least it's still a train wreak that's very fun to watch play out. :rainbowlaugh:

“Hey you, let’s fight!”

“Them’s fightin’ words!”

Exact

9468413
Your comment, nicely written, by the way, hits on why it's kinda difficult to determine exactly how I could have approached this differently. I could have cut out Cadance, but I shouldn't have because she adds a lot of funny (and also helps wrap up the plot). Fluttershy is actually pretty important at the beginning in that she provides information regarding insect habits and sort of drives home the understanding there's a natural aspect to this, but then she's cheering/jeering from the background and I may not lose anything but some funny lines by having her go off somewhere (like Spike did at the end), but I'm still losing something. Cutting out a scene here or there might have worked, but then I'm sacrificing the build up a bit, other funny bits, etc... etc...

Obviously, the idea is I'd been gaining some streamlining in what is probably my most banter-heavy fic to date, that being said, the multi-movie source material has most of its comedy driven from the dialogue, so that was somewhat in the nature of the undertaking. One suggestion I read below is that I should have had the "idiot ball" passed around a bit so less is all on Twilight, but that undermines the type of behavior I'm trying to critique if more characters are susceptible to it, so there I'm sort of sacrificing my vision for streamlining.

Now, I'm by no means claiming I created a perfect fic or even that this is one of my best-executed fics, granted both those are wildly subjective measures, but more that this undertaking was a bit unique compared to my other pieces in that it A: focuses on social commentary quite a bit more than my average fic. B: Was also an homage to a few other specific pieces of fiction. So I'm definitely going to take to heart many of the comments I've read for future works, but this fic succeded, for me, on what I primarily set out to do.

I mean, to your points regarding how I could have done the Twilight stuff differently, I certainly could have explored the differences in culture in a still funny, but more open way, but then I'm no longer writing a satire to address a social problem I see, I'm writing more of an author tract that might get my view across, but doesn't hit the same emotional notes I want and ultimately probably doesn't quite get across the point I'm hoping to make.

But yeah, the banter stuff? Often a double-edged sword in most anything I write especially with a bunch of characters I desire to keep involved. I'm willing to admit that I cut myself on that a bit more than usual this time around, but lots of characters I feel I have a responsibility to keep at least a little relevant in one story or the other because the alternative seems to be to give TONS of characters 'B' and even 'C' level plot stuff that is completely pointless to the 'A' plot and not even all that entertaining (looking at YOU, season 8 finale). I mean, I'm all for setting some characters aside to do other stuff, but there should be at least be some tie-in to the main plot and entertainment value to those quasi-relevant side stories.

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As I said, I only used Cadance as a quick and easy example, not because I actually thought she should be cut--if you're going to have a fic revolving around the mating practices of anything, it does seem like a darn shame to not get the Princess of Love in on it, even briefly. :rainbowlaugh:

For Fluttershy, though, it's true she did have that line of dialogue about the insects, but if that was the only worthwhile line of dialogue she had, then it's not really worth keeping that one character around for just that, especially when it's not outside the realm of possibility for that line to be given someone else. I could see Starlight being knowledgeable enough to know something of that detail, or you could've given it to Trixie and have everybody wonder just how the heck she knew that. Or you could've saved it for the end and given the line to Cadance, to kind of add to the build up, because I'm sure she's familiar with ALL of the mating practices. But then, as I recall, hardly anybody even acknowledged she had spoken that line, and the topic never comes up again, so I question really just how valuable the line is to the fic. It's little things like that I'm really trying to point out on whether or not it's worth having in the long run, and those little things add up quick.

As for Twilight, make no mistake, I totally understand why you had her hold the idiot ball for this fic, and agree that she would be the sort of character who would pull this sort of stunt. The problem is less that and more the fact that the idiot ball starts to get bigger and bigger and bigger until she's not holding it, it's squishing her flat. It was pretty easy to see very early on that Twilight's stance was undefendable by all accounts leaving her no reason to continue to push it, but she keeps repeating herself anyway because she has to--it's the only thing still driving the story forward. I do see the social commentary you were making, but you could have still made that same point without sacrificing that commentary without taking Twilight quite that far.

As you say, though, the banter's a double-edged sword, and it makes you appreciate just how complex writing humor actually is. You can't just dump all the funnies in a box and call it done, you have to find that sweet spot between too much and too little, and that takes practice. Not even the pros can get it exactly right all the time. But knowing how to self-edit, and having the nerve to do it, is part of writing--knowing when to include something, or cut it out entirely for the good of the greater story, no matter how much you like how good or funny it is.

At the end of the day, though, I don't blame you for not feeling inclined to address the matter too seriously with this fic. It manages to pull through in the end still, and that's what matters. So long as you acknowledge things to keep in mind for next time, that's more important, really. :twilightsmile:

Now you've got me wondering just what part(s) exactly you're referring to with the season 8 finale...because I'm realizing it could be more than one. :rainbowlaugh:

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Both what happened to the mane 6 and the CMC in that two-parter where ridiculous and felt lazily done just because whoever came up with the meet of the story clearly only needed the new six for it but probably took in the criticism of people missing the mane characters in much of the more recent season finales and decided to tack them onto the story in a way that ultimatel accomplished nothing.

Mane six going to Tartarus to see Tirek? They got trapped there and while Tirek filled them in on Cozy Glow, the characters who could have used this information figure it out the hard way BEFORE the mane six even get out. And the CMC? Well, putting things in closets is what you do when you have no need for them at the moment. Heck, you can argue the entire mane six were put in a closet, it was just a lot bigger and they spent more time building up to them being locked away from having any agency in what happens next.

This actually helps highlight why Fluttershy just kinda stuck around in this piece (outside of also being useful for some scenes I wanted to fit in references to both Producer movies and Dr. Strangelove). I'd rather have her stick around and maybe clumsily try to juggle more characters than I need then resort to hack writing techniques to fool the audience into thinking they read something that was holistically good. I'm not saying it's inherently bad to push characters aside if they're not serving a purpose, but one has to be very careful in how they handle THAT, as well. Otherwise, one may be creating massive portions of the story that truly serve no purpose to the narrative. In my case, I felt Fluttershy could add things to in some place that other characters could not, and if I wasn't going to include her, it would at least behoove me to address her absence like some of the early MLP seasons did well with Spike and some of the later MLP seasons completely failed to do, also with Spike.

Aaaah, I laughed so hard! I love this MAD mad mad mad world you've made.

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Yeah, they really didn't need the CMC in the finale at all. I guess they felt obligated to because they had a history with Cozy Glow and all that, but their role amounted to basically nothing. They could've used that time instead to focus more on either the Mane 6 or the Young 6, helping to address a little the issues of both of those. At the very least, they could've had Spike stay at the school and had him fill the CMC's role instead. He feels better suited for it anyway--the Young Six have had more interaction with him than they had with the CMC anyway (I was a little surprised it was the CMC they turned to for help after all. Had they even appeared in the same scene together before then?)

I'll also agree the Mane 6's role in the finale didn't amount to much either, but I can't really blame them for wanting to squeeze them in as well. They probably could've come up with a better set up that would've put the Young 6 in a position to save the day than what they did, though.

:raritystarry: THROW ME SPIKEY WIKEY!
:twilightangry2: SPIKE!
:moustache: PIMP YOUR OWN RIDE!
:twilightoops:
:duck::raritycry::raritywink::duck::raritystarry::raritywink: Okay boss is this purple one bothering you?
:raritywink: girls?
:eeyup::eeyup::eeyup::eeyup::eeyup::eeyup:
:moustache::raritywink: We'll be back after diner, don't forget to clean up after yourselves....don't do what I we do....
:facehoof:
:moustache: think she'll go for it this time?
:duck: not on your life...
:eeyup: talk hurts!

TDR

This is a glorious train wreck

“HAH!” Twilight yipped.

Damn that's cold blooded

Trixie pointed her snout upwards with a big smile. “Oh, Starlight. That’s my secret. I’m always proud.”

Captain moon

Trixie nodded. “Yes, it was! Now, Rarity I might cheat, and Rainbow Dash I’d cheat in a heartbeat, but Fluttershy?! Not ever!”

Yeah flutters is too nice to cheat.

"Well… No, but you're one of two ponies here with a down-feathered back. And, I'm always a little afraid I might break Fluttershy if I climb up there."

That's fair

Fluttershy thought for a moment. "Er... That's fair."

Shit even she agrees

Can I just..
But..
How did..?
What?
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