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In the far future of Equestria's history, ponies and the other species of their world have ventured out to live in all the wondrous corners of their sparkling galaxy. Now, the spiral arms hold both the borders of six great civilisations and vast unclaimed regions of glittering stars.

Starships of all shapes, designs, and sizes now carry their crews as they seek adventure, fame, fortune, curiosity, or for some...to discover the secrets of the galaxy's turbulent past. But to many others, it's simply their day-to-day job to haul cargo and make a life in the space between worlds. To be one of the thousands who keep the galaxy running.

To be one like the cargo ship Claudia.

The crew of the small vessel all came from different places, desiring different things. Whether it was their wish to do this to prove themselves, their need for the money to save a loved one, their ambition to make a name across the stars, or having to make do with a path in life they hadn't expected to find their dream. But no matter their mixed origins, no matter their unassuming nature, they have one truth of the galaxy to discover.

That the black leaves few without trials if they wish to find a home within its both beautiful and foreboding expanse.

Chapters (12)
Comments ( 182 )

Murky No.7 will forever be in my top five favourite stories and I have nothing but excited anticipation for this.

I want to give Tam the biggest hug in existence.

Oh, from one of my favored writers on the site great to see you back at writing an original story, and it's especially even better when it's Sci-fi which is my bread and butter for inspection adding ponies to the mix just make it a whole lot sweeter for me, it practically begs me to do art for this story. Can't wait to have the time to read it.

If you are looking for chapter art for your story, especially ship or vehicle designs, I would be more then willing to break a deal with you.

The link to my DA gallery is in the link bellow, I hope you will take the time to take a look at my work, and PM me if you are interested.



Most of the players in the game have spent their downtime doing exactly that for her!


Ayy, sweet. I'll take a look for sure. Might pop you a note to see!

Looking forward to it:raritywink:

Awesome to see you bring out something new!

Thanks man! It's lovely to hear from you, missed you this Galacon. :)

Tai had tiredly complained, but they had been insistent that she could sleep in the car on the way.

'Tai' should probably be 'Tami' here.

More importantly... man, I don't even know this bird-horse and you got me attached.

This was a very poignant depiction of depression. How it hurt not just Tami but her parents was very real. It made the amount of effort of loopholes that Gaius jumped through that much more meaningful. It was a strong story both on its own and as an introduction to this world, probably because the emotional and character beats could be attached to basically any world. Even without us knowing the ins and outs of the League or Chrysolite or space piloting, we could empathize if not sympathize with Tami's plight.

That said I caught noticed a few bigger picture things. The war between the Republic and the Solar Empire were explicitly stated, but there appears to be conflict between the supposedly smaller civilizations as well. Also noticed those initials, 'S. A.' for a high ranking official of the Crystal League. I'm not saying I know who it is. I'm saying I probably know who it is, or at least know a likely relation between this person and another character.

This world seems interesting. I don't have time to look at the tabletop summaries right now, but I am absolutely looking forward to what comes up next.

I've been in the US since January so I missed Galacon. Next year is a must go, however!

"The Tammaran erupted from the atmosphere like a homesick angel, vapour erupting off of her shell until there was none left to spray."

Too tired to proof the whole thing, but you've got a few too many eruptions here.

An outstanding beginning! As with Murky, I see you've dragged us through some horrible depths before our first moments of joy. Of course, that tremendous contrast is what makes the greatest writing so effective.

Really looking forward to seeing more of the adventures of Tami and crew.


Thank you for the quick eruption spot, fixed it up. And thank you more for your taking the time to try it out. I'm glad that it's grabbed you in. It's a little odd to be doing a story that isn't persistently linear (since this is all 'stories on the side' at points of the game's main story) but I'm hoping there's still plenty to enjoy. :)

Cheers for the typo fix. Corrected.

And much appreciated of the comment on the subject matter. It took a lot of rewriting to make sure it was represented fairly and properly when it's such a sensitive thing to some. It was quite emotional to write for a few reasons. I'm glad I finally got to present it.

What a glorious beginning to what I have no doubt will be another amazing read. I haven't felt this way reading a story since reading MN7 and it makes me soooooo incredibly happy to feel that way again!

I'm getting an Expanse vibe here...

URK! Gah!! Ok, I'm following this story, if this is done by the same person who did MN7 (Love the long chapters), then I'm in!

Aileron was talking about recent jobs and answering questions on how the ship was getting along, while Tami simply looked around. The common room was stuffy and warm with the air conditioning turned off, but it was crowded with hanging drapes to cover the hull and pillows strewn around a games table and kitchen, transforming it into a colourful, comfortable space to meet within. It looked well used and untidy, but something about its personality really stood out to her.

This popped out at me fuzzy, hull is the term used to describe the outer shell of a ship. The interior walls would be called the Bulkhead. The ceiling is the Overhead and floor the Deck. Doors are commonly hatches and that may be it for now. Oh rooms would be compartments.

Your writing always pulls me in and I had to stop reading in intervals due to IRL things like work and eating and sleeping... Those periods are always exhausting. I cannot wait for the next addition.

You said your wrists suffered from your martial training, did you forsake training altogether or did you take up a style that doesn't rely as heavily on striking with fists and grappling? It was such a large part of your life from what I recall, and I can't imagine someone completely abandoning such a hobby.

Gah! I missed ya! I could have stayed in touch but hey we're here now. Glad you've been able to sort out your pains and ailments. Now I'mma guess it wouldn't hurt to make Bebop and Space Cowboy references, except call it "Beboop."

Thanks for the hints, ships have such wonderfully specific terminologies. It's great to have you reading my stuff again.

At the moment I am not training in it. Between injury recovery and finding a real passion for the gym, it's knida been put aside for now. But I'm still gettong on the bags and pads at the gym, not letting myself forget it too far. :)

Ah glad to hear that. Take car and see you in your next one

Oh, this is off to a great start. Just as a purely standalone story it has everything you want and packed to the brim with feels.

The universe it's set in sounds really cool too (although I'm willing to bet that's more the GM's side of things), sorta sounds like a crazy mash up of EVE (with the whole technology failing on an advanced empire making it fracture thing) mixed with a whole load of Elite and Firefly.

I winced a bit at a crash of that expense causing so many issues, especially since I once flew an Anaconda loaded to the gunwales with Palladium straight into an observation deck at the exit of a mining station at full speed (although not in a game I probably would have been arrested had my own survival suit not jumped me to a different system).

But what really was nailed here was the feeling of desperation from all the family, bringing everyone to the lowest of lows then back up to the highest of highs at the end, both figuratively and literally.

Now I get the urge to hop on Muny and see if there are any games starting up...

Thanks very much for the kind comments, a few of us related to the game (two of them Elite players) had a good giggle at your crash comment. It's love to see people connecting with its emotion. this one was very personal to write.

You're not actually a million miles away on the inspiration. We originally used the Firefly Tabletop ruleset, before switching to its more open cousin, the Cortex ruleset. The GM based a lot of inspiration I beleive from Battletech's lore as well.

I love them all! Sounds like a fun crew.

Quite a fun way of writing a chapter, and the characters really are a unique bunch!

Is this story based off of Firefly?

The original game this is based on/set within used the Firefly Tabletop RPG system (and later its offshot, Cortex) for a newly created "pony sci fi" world. As such, many of the things from it carried over out of amusement, since this originally was never going to be stories. Using the "black" as a term really was just for a bit of a giggle between us, and a nod to it.

Now that it's stories as well, the term stuck with it. But the story itself is unique. :)

Comment posted by Written fluke deleted Sep 27th, 2019

Great to see a new story from you. It seems off to a promising start! Looking forward to seeing how things develop from here.
Tami is pure adorable and quite relatable.

You and your giant chapters... The only other authors I've had with this 36ksizes are whatmustido and somber.

My name's kerfuffle with a double "ffff" in fuffle...

That's all that came to mind it was soooo adorable.

Its new engines were powering it to almost five hundred metres per second, a full thirty percent more than their old limitations, and they showed no sign of abating.

I hate to get technical, but 500 meters (metres) per second is basically MACH 1.46, rounded up. I do enjoy reading this story, but after playing Elite Dangerous for enough time, it just ruins my illusion. If the ship was travelling more along the lines of 5 kilometers per second, or even up to 500 kilometers per second, that would allow any ship to travel from planet to planet in a system within a few days at most, and hours, maybe even minutes, at best. I hope you understand that I'm just trying to be helpful.


Ah yes, this is one of those points when story/tabletop game don't wholly crossover with an explanation. But it is accounted for. What it referenced is the standard turbine drive of the vessel. ie - Conventional flight without using the SPESS ENGINE for long distance. They have other means of mobility to enhance their speed when not in a manoeuvring state. However this remains a grey area in the game for a while that never got a full answer, hence me staying no the vaguer side at the time of writing (about a year ago).

I've adjusted the line a bit, less specific if not given any further detail may be better. Cheers for pointing it out where it's perhaps not clear as to the intent.

Thank you. If I plan on writing anything similar to this story, I'll try to briefly explain everything as well while not taking away from the story's flow.

This is beautifully done, the whole time while reading I was on the edge of my seat, nearly shedding tears of joy throughout. Keep up the great work Vee !!! :rainbowkiss:

Is glass ceiling a double meaning? Both her job limitations from her record and also the glass bubble of the Tammaran (or maybe space itself).


Its primary reference is to her feeling like there's one around her planet, keeping her from the place she wants to go more than anything else.

Kerfluffle is precious. He's a very good bird.

Ponies and a griffon running what a minotaur designed ship? If nothing else the heavier equipment will be good exercise...?

Hair Trigger seems relaxed for a ship captain. Actually, except for Jelly being a bit youthful, they all seem really chill. For a group thrown together by a pirate raid at the edge of space that's some darn good luck. Or maybe this is just a very sensitized showing of the other characters, given it's Tami trying to sell them to her parents.

Ch.1 20k words

Ok that’s a pretty big chapter, it’s needed for a start to a story. All normal.

Ch. 2 7k words

Wow. That’s actually more like a normal chapter from any other story, not like Fuzzy. Maybe it will be diff-

Ch. 3 37k words

Nope. There’s the big chapters I know!


Don't you keep me in suspense! D:

Where'd it all gooooooo?

I'd written up this long lovely thing with some comments about the pacing and how delightfully reminiscent it was of something serial like Firefly, and how while it was predictable in many places, when it delivered on those predictions the execution was so delightful that I didn't care.

Also, Hair Trigger's eruption when the twist flops was absolutely magnificent.

Now i'm disappointed. I was all set with a deeply insightful #2 comment and here I am at the caboose end of the train trying to rebuild it from memory. :6

In any case, enjoying it tremendously and looking forward to more.

Aw, man, I'm gutted for you losing so much there. I'd have loved to see it! I know how that feels genuinely gutted for you. there'll be more to come though, I'd hope to hear your thoughts on the change in theme per each 'episode' as you put it. Next one sure is a shift to another genre I love writing...

OOTD I can see where you come from on some predictable elements. I think I even thought to myself "People will spot this..." until eventually just having fun and playing it straight. I'm glad that feeling transferred across. It was a whale of a time to write it.

If you remember anything, I'll be totally selfish and request you toss it in a quick comment anyway, given this wasn't originally meant to be a public thing. I thank you for coming back to offer that here again though.

awwww... I'm being thoroughly shipteased. TamTrigger would've been adorable and funny ^^

Midnight Haze, in the tabletop game it's based on, is a young Duke that Tami has been getting closer to. Only his role and her distance away in space has stopped them perhaps trying out a relationship...but it doesn't mean Trigger doesn't tease her about it. Was briefly referred to in the other stories, but it's more a game side reference. :)

Hoho, an official comment section ship name for it now? That's great. What can I say but that I have plenty of ideas for those two going forward.

Well, this is the first of your stories I'm reading

I'd say Trigger loves teasing Tami since she must be a breath of fresh air for the crew, and that she doesn't want Tami to lose her cuteness and playfulness, kind of like a little sister she never had.

what can I say, I'm nothing if not crazy about my ships^^
Kerfflaudia is pretty close to OTP status, too ^^

in all seriousness, I want to see where this is going, and I love your writing. You're the reference I use when I think I discovered a bad writing habit for myself. "Hmmm, how does Fuzzy do it?"

Aye don't worry too much about it. It was a throwaway reference to a thing from the game it's based on. Nothing more. :)

Quite accurate. The Captain and pilot relationship is one of the more adorable and fun aspects of the cast. It was great to get to bring it into written form. "TamTrigger" is a popular one even among the players. If only I could show some of the teases HT's given her in those sessions...they have a very unique chemistry. ;)

Aww, that's a lovely thing to hear. I'm glad it helps. I can't always take credit, those who edit for me catch a lot of mine. I'm hoping to get more from these written soon. I have at least two others planned, and one short FOE story I need to do between the gap (which I aim to do Nov-Dec). In the meantime, there may be a guest chapter or two by the GM of the original game coming next to fill the gap a little and offer a deeper look at one of the characters.

I assume the FOE short will be a new thing, not connected to Murky Number Seven?

also, in the space pony rpg, who did you play? Im thinking Tami.

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