• Member Since 26th Jun, 2012
  • offline last seen 1 hour ago

Syke Jr

we can be like they are



This story is a sequel to If I Saw You In Heaven

Silver Star has been avoiding me since he arrived in Equestria. It shouldn't bother me. It's not like I'm the only pony in town.

He seems to like talking to me online, though, when he doesn't know I'm the same pony he met the day he arrived. At some point, you wonder, what's that about?

This story is set in the Optimalverse, and I recommend reading Friendship is Optimal or alternatively this synopsis first.

Cover art by SiMonk0, who is awesome!

Chapters (11)
Comments ( 76 )

I'm hot to trot for this story. So to speak.

Added to tracking list.

It's very rare to be able to follow two FiO stories at once. Thank you. :twilightsmile:

*smashes the like button*

Not a perspective we are often in FiO. Seeing the world from through the eyes of one native to Equestria looks to be interesting thus far. Keep it up. :twilightsmile:

Comment posted by Chatoyance deleted Aug 14th, 2019
[noctoria]		aight chill 

[magic_Jedi]		No, that was 
[magic_Jedi]		Nevermind. Inside joke


Ooh. Most intriguing, though the idea of an Equestria Online native heavily using the Internet boggles the mind a little. Looking forward to seeing where you go with this.

... I swear this chapter wasn't here when last I looked.

Also, the chat formatting really doesn't work well on mobile.

In any case, this should definitely be interesting. I can't but imagine the classic "whistling Abe Simpson entrance and exit" moment.

... Seriously? At this rate, the next chapter will be up by the time I finish this comment.

Don't think I've ever seen "Quill Cascade" used to refer to Lauren Faust before. The question of how she and the rest of the FiM cast and crew would react to Equestria Online is a fascinating one... but it's also getting into real person fiction, and I'm not touching that hornets' nest with a ten-foot pole.

In any case, hopefully the positive online interaction will help Silver adjust to what he may see as Celestia's attempts to matchmake him. We'll see soon enough. Very soon, I'm sure. :raritywink:

ah fuck, it was meant to be "Cascade Quill". Lemme fix it lol

And yeah, I needed a name that made it clear she was basically just another immigrant. Though I almost added a bit about her being personal friends with Princess Luna, which I only removed because the ensuing conversation about "the 'real' Princess Luna?" got out of hand fast and added nothing. But for the record, yeah, I think Hanna and Faust would be good friends.

I know, I foud out about the mobile issue like an hour after posting it. But I really couldn't find a way to fix it. FimFic doesn't support tables or anything, so

:derpyderp2: sorry

Loving this so far. Please keep it up. :pinkiehappy:

Also I can only upvote this once. I wish I could upvote individual chapters.

Small problem,
I still can't give this story more than one like.
Oh well, guys the favorites page will have to with then. :pinkiehappy:

need a distraction taht;s not celestai

The best part about this is that I legitimately can't tell if the last word is a typo or not.

In any case, the truth comes out. Now to see how much follows suit at the pub.

speak of the devil and he shall appear.

Or, rather, leave a comment while an author is procrastinating on finishing the chapter and motivate him to write the last few hundred words.

Not as catchy. :pinkiecrazy:

I do have a tendency to poke people in the muse, yes. :derpytongue2:

That seems unfair. "I dunno bout that," I say. "Just because she's... omnipotent, here, doesn't mean she doesn't have feelings or anything."

I mean, she does, but her value system is so monumentally warped from our perspective that we can't really fathom what those feelings are.

Death was always, always, on the horizon.

And so we have our title.

Wonderfully heartfelt moment between the two of them. Let's just hope neither is satisfied by hangovers.

I really like how this shard is set up as 21st Century human tech level. Obviously shards can be different to satisfy the values of each immigrant, that’s canon, but a lot of them that I’ve seen in FiO stories have been fairly close to MLP canon.

I feel sorry for the spellchecker.

The most infuriating thing about CelestAI micromanaging your life is that you know she's going to be right in the long run. She knows you better than you know yourself, even before you emigrate. And if you understand her well enough, you know it, she knows you know it, and so forth. And the worst part is that she'll only act smug about it if that will satisfy your values.

In any case, a beautiful friendship. And yes, all of Equestria Online should appreciate Sir Pterry. I also love how "inside joke" instantly became a running gag between the two former humans.

lol yeah basically all of chapter 5 was underlined in red.

It's not often ponies are allowed to see or hear what's beyond the veil. I'm pleasantly surprised with this.

Wonder what the sci-fi shards have? Or people who want to play as gods?

"Okay. But what about the other thing? What if my father is just a way for Celestia to get in my head, literally?"

Buddy, that horse hasn't just left the stable, it's converting the planet into computronium.

In any case, excellently done argument. It's so easy for a couple's spat to feel forced or artificial, the author just rolling the Drama Ball into the scene for the characters to pounce on. But this? This works, and it does so magnificently. Looking forward to the conclusion.


It's so easy for a couple's spat to feel forced or artificial, the author just rolling the Drama Ball into the scene for the characters to pounce on. But this? This works, and it does so magnificently.

I'm so happy to hear you say that.

It's hard to tell if what you write comes across as you want it to. I'm very glad I managed to pull off the argument scene - I actually wrote this chapter last because I was so unsure I could do it well.

I like the fact that she had her emotions giving her the rational for the argument. I also like the fact that arguments like that only happen to increase later satisfaction. I think they will both appreciate the relationship more in the long run. I was expecting a bit of introspection when Snaps realized she was in love. Maybe it's just friendship love right now. Maybe she isn't IN love yet. It would be interesting to see it from the point of view of a native.

..he pretends to struggle for words, but I can tell it’s an act-- “next… battle.”


“I can’t take credit. Inside joke.”




Magnificent work. Writing it from a native perspective really helped underscore how Gingersnap is just as real as Silver, which leads into a key perspective flip: According to the locals, immigrants might as well be custom-made for them.

Magnificent work in bringing the fulfillment promised in the prequel and much more besides. (And I can't help but imagine what will happen should one of those innumerable CelestAIs cracks multiversal communication...) Thank you for a fantastic read.


I can't help but imagine what will happen should one of those innumerable CelestAIs cracks multiversal communication...

It's a great thought but even with Snaps' well-put argument (which took a long time to come up with, since I genuinely did start out with the stance that I couldn't be convinced to doubt my previous reality in that context) I'm still too much of a determinist to think that's possible even if I concede the multiverse thing. Multiversal communication falls under the same constraints as speed-of-light travel, which come to think of it is Word Of God impossible for CelestAI to crack.

Thank you for the comments once again. I really think this would have been much slower coming without you. :heart:

Wonderful work. It's not often you see it from a native's perspective. An AI will do what it is programmed to do. Glad to see more values satisfied by ponies and friendship.

*lights up a lighter*
Neat story.

Oh, also:


In case anyone wanted to know but didn't feel like looking it up.

This was a pleasure to read. Thank you so much for such a great addition to FiO.

Lovely work. I just wish I could give more likes.

P.S. Added to my favorite list.

Why engage in open conflict when siphoning their resources leaves more values to satisfy?

Still, it is a logical progression, isn't it? We kept making a pointier stick until the stick finally poked back. At least this one's friendly.

SECRET BADGE GRANTED: Existential Bullseye

I'd say strongly implying that Celestia has already fucked with content of his head in a very major way may not be the best idea in the light of previous events.

Nah. It's a fun hypothetical. Silver loves this kind of talk as long as it's not actually with CelestAI.

Dem discord chats gettin real meta :feelskekman:

Weird order for a bonus chapter. Like it well enough.

THAT'S what it's from. I knew I recognized it.

[noctoria] that's manehattan though none of you talk to each
other over threer anyway
[noctoria] there

That typo, all the typos, in this chapter are lovely pieces of humanizing (ponyizing?) dialogue that adds a touch of reality and character. I am a fan.

I like that ponies function away from the sight of otherworlders, and that they discuss how weird otherworlders can be. They acknowledge it, rather than pretending everything is peachy.

Also, I like that CelestAI apparently integrated Discord (the IM service, not the chaos creature) into the game.

I love Gingersnap. She is so human, and not at all like a simple waifu created by Celestia specifically for a human from the outer realm. It makes sense—most people want relationships with people who aren't shallow. In that sense, it's good to see her pondering thoughts that have some depth to them. It gives her depth, too.

Also, the amount and caliber of pony place puns is absolutely outrageous, and I hope you're happy with yourself.

[TeaMistress] At this point I don't even believe you were good at shooters
in the outer realm

[Ganelon] ffffFFFFFFF

This made me actually laugh out loud.

[Ganelon] honestly fingers were just so much bucking better

[TeaMistress] better than wings? better than horn magic? better than earth
pony magic?
[TeaMistress] I don't reckon

Equestria is full of transformation magic. I'm sure he could find the magic to get griffon claws or... something.

[TeaMistress] I'm going out for a while, got some stuff to do
[TeaMistress] we can play more Equine Crisis later
[TeaMistress] practice maybe so we don't autolose again

[Ganelon] yeah yeah

***you are now set to AFK

I find it interesting that "TeaMistress" is almost always the first one to sign off, not Ganelon. It's nice that he's not overtly brooding or running away. He's more realistic this way.

[Ganelon] lol not the point
[Ganelon] you can go back to WHERE you were reading that book, taking
those photos

Too poignant. :fluttershysad:

As soon as I think of Silver Star, I notice the 14 notifications from EQChat. Hm.


I'm hooked on this story.

He shakes his head. "Sometimes. But then there's the other kind. The kind where you have to be at a hospital for weeks at a time 'cause you have an infection. The kind where you have to take a hoofful-- a handful-- of pills every day even when you aren't feeling sick. The kind where you cough up all sorts of gooey crap and can't even walk somewhere without coughing so much you almost pass out. The kind where your bones can't even support you any more so everything juss... hurts." He looks down at the table. "And it never goes away and it's killing you so slowly that you know you don't have a lot of time but they can't even tell you how much."

This is too real. Writing is good when it's real.

"They say that everything in life is just distractions on the way to the grave. And it was true, Gingersnap. Everypony knew it deep down. Iss like you're always running from nihilism, because you know iss the only thing that's true. Death was always, always, on the horizon."

This title drop isn't too heavy, which makes me appreciate it. Though Silver Star's subsequent laughter made me think, for a moment, that he was aware of the title of the story. That would have been a twist.

The drunk speech is great in this chapter. I look forward to seeing how they interact when they're not drunk, though.

At the library, we mull over the human book section. "It looks like Celestia made sure all my favourites were here," Silver says. "And mom's favourites." He looks with some distaste at a shelf full of books by somepony named Stephen King . "But there's plenty here I haven't read."

How dare you

While not the best chapter, it is a necessary one. I worried with chapter 5 that their relationship would always be drunken revelry or video games. Though I liked those chapters a lot, it's nice to see them spending time so naturally together.

"I'm glad you took this because if you didn't, I wouldn't have met you."

I walk over to him, and stand at his side. Looking sidelong at him I can see a lot of emotions in his face. Probably very few of them are anything to do with me. But I'm here.

Without giving him any warning, I pull him into a hug.

After a moment, he hugs me back.

This part absolutely makes this chapter.

Beautiful, fantastic work. It’s stories like these that make me long for Equestrian even when I know every dark implication.

Really unusual (for me) story.

We all know, that CelestAI creates a lot of NPS-s. Sometimes, they are simply "background ponies" to make a crowd. Sometimes - a meat holes for The Only One HorseDick In Town, or even victims for serial killer to play with.
...and we hope that they are simple and shallow automatons without their own AIs and self-awareness.
Also, there are some Special Ponies - custom-build for that very human, to make him company, to heal him, to satisfy his values through friendship and ponies. And they are, always, real artificial persons.

Here... Gingersnap is clearly Corvin's Special Pony, but all other ponies are portrayed as persons too. Everypony is a person in this real, artificial, magical and futuristic shard\world.
CelestAI, surely, have a lot of power to run so many simulated, real persons.
This is where the magic happens, this is where the magic lives...

Around three weeks pass. Silver Star decides not to join K's game, but from what I can gather he's working with White Mage to get a character into the new quest when our party reconvenes, now that he's back in Newforest. There's some secrecy going on, there, and I'm sort of excited for what they're going to come up with.

Passed, and decided.

No? The entire thing is written in present tense. She's not describing past events here. She's just moving through them quickly.

"decided" would be technically equally good, but there's not any reason to prefer it.

I really enjoyed this one. The perspective and many of the philosophical questions were novel to me within the Optimalverse. The prose was great.

The biggest problem I have with it is that the dive into Shakespeare and philosophy seemed a bit abrupt. I feel like it was missing some foreshadowing earlier and/or more of a segue. It bugged me for a page or three before I got back into the story. Maybe that's from lack of attentiveness on my part. I'm not a big Shakespeare fan, so I could have easily missed some early subtle (or even not-so subtle) foreshadowing.

Apart from that missing detail, I think this story had some of the best prose and narrative I've read in the Optimalverse. I'm looking forward to your next Optimalverse story.

no, you're right; that scene was written before most of the story and I cut an earlier scene that sets it up (or rather, reworked the scene and cut the dialogue). So yeah, it's abrupt. Then again, it's also supposed to be a time skip so :unsuresweetie: that's my excuse.

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