• Member Since 18th Jan, 2015
  • offline last seen 6 hours ago

Tiki Bat


Tiki Enthusiast, Theme park fanatic, hard working writer looking for feedback

Sequels1

E

Set in the Pandemic Universe (which existed well before the very real pandemic and this is in no way shape or form related to that) and takes place after the original story, though that’s not required to read.


All dreams start somewhere. For most night ponies, they start in the dreamscape itself, but that's not always the case for all. Two months after the ETS Pandemic changed the world forever, a bright, optimistic dream starts, whether the ponies responsible for it realized it or not. While some choose to cling to the past, some choose to leave it behind. This is the story of one of those ponies, Silver Eclipse, crafter of dreamscapes and dreams. In the waking world he helped create a dream called Oasis, a place where dreams can come true. But all dreams start somewhere, and this is the story of where that dream started, and the very special pony without whom it would never have happened.


Halira's stories, What you are Meant to Be and Picking up the Pieces offer some expanded night pony lore which introduce and expand on some of the concepts in this story, but it's not necessary to read. The original story is also recommended if you'd love to learn more about this universe.

Special thanks to:
ASGeek2012
Halira
Lawra
ModernSilver
FlutterJackdash
Javarod,
and
Alias_The_J

for offering much needed feedback and advice over the course of writing this story.

This is a rewrite of my very first story, and definitely my passion project as of right now. Any feedback or comments would be greatly appreciated, even if it's just something simple or small. Thanks!

Chapters (55)
Comments ( 166 )

Three Months Later

I'm conflicted on the content following this but before the dream chapters. Feels too much like you're reintroducing Silver's character in that segment. It might be better to instead focus on the aftermath of his falling out with his family, what he's been doing since then, and focus less on his reaction to the vision & ETS as a whole as that should have been brought up already.

An understandable issue given that used to be the beginning of the chapter though.

Despite that, good work! Big improvement from the last draft.

10144190
I was going to include a lot more of the arguments, but it got to a point where it started feeling repetitive and just slowed down the story. Tweaked a few things here and there, and was possibly going to include some more of the lead up to the present, but there's stuff I'm going to explore and bring in later.

Will this be updated in the future or should I just skip to the sequel?

10145231
This will be, likely won’t be fully finished until later. Sequels are definitely larger in scope, this one’s not going to have any super big events or anything, just a lot of slice of life that sets up the existing sequels so it’s your call.

How are Pandemic stories a "niche sub universe?"

10271904
They weren’t really one of the bigger mainstream AUs, that’s what the terminology refers to.

This seems intresting, so far your narative is great, I believe the pace could have been slower but I still like it.

Though I have a question.

How are they using a phone?

10292739
I really appreciate the comment, I tried to level the pacing out a little bit over the next few chapters, and I still might go back and tweak some of these eventually. As for the phone, I imagine he’s awkwardly fumbling with a stylus and I’ll probably reword that moment to better convey that. This gets brought up with a different character in a future chapter that includes that kind of visual

Ok, I'm trying to finish a chapter a day.

I really like the whole mystery element you put into your world, it reminds me of adventure time where you had to discover the back story and it would have been revealed later on and not at the start.

I have several questions but I suppose I will find the answer in next chapters.

10293969
Glad you’re enjoying it so far. Just a fair warning this is set in an alternate universe so there are a few general details that stem from https://www.fimfiction.net/story/359176/pandemic

That said, the characters and narrative in this story generally exist on their own in here

10294148
Gotcha, just wanted to make sure. Hope you enjoy the rest, and thanks again!

10294348
Look I'm not doing much, you are the one who wrote this amazing story so I should thank you!

10294362
I’m really glad you’re enjoying it! I’ll have more out soon.

It seems as if they are gathering a group. Or gang perhaps.

Ok, so there are hunters thattry to hunt down ponies?

And can I pre order those watches? I think I will need them.

10297490
No hunters (as far as my characters are concerned at least) and believe me, those watches are going to wind up being a big focus for them

It makes me wonder if the incident happened to the whole world...or just a continent?

10300772
It’s not really touched upon in this story, but this was a global incident. Some countries were affected more and vice versa, and in those countries you get areas that are affected differently. In universe the Midwest and American south seem to have bigger pockets of ponies compared to the west coast where my stories are set

10300881
Did people turned into other races too like grifon or yaks?

10301459
Just ponies. There’s some lore about why in the original story and it gets into a character’s motivations for causing this whole thing

It took me a while, but here’s the promised feedback.

To be honest, I have rather mixed feelings about this chapter, as it starts quite weakly and gets stronger as it goes. Where I feel it really falls are the dialogues—they sound rather unnatural and forced, as if their only purpose was to shove the plot forward, rather than tell a good story. It’s not so apparent in the talk with Scarlet, but in case of the encounter with Josh’s family and especially in the opening with Luna, it was the predominant feeling, the second most predominant being a slight confusion on what’s going on, given the rapid changes in emotions and stances of the characters. These two scenes could also use some more non-verbal interaction to feel a bit more alive. On a side note, I’m also not sure what’s the purpose of the scene with Luna, since you first make it seem like a pretty big deal, but after that sequence ends, it’s never addressed again (at least not in this chapter, even if it feels like it should).

It is quite apparent that, unlike dialogues, descriptions are your strong suite—they are enjoyable, clear to understand, yet still have a certain artistic flair to them. This made most of the non-dialogue scenes (except for the fast-paced part where Josh/Silver got his cutie mark, suddenly renamed himself, and started behaving rather oddly) a far more pleasant reading experience.

Furthermore, be aware that you tend to repeat a lot of words, but also a lot of the scenes convey the very same things. In the “Three Months Later” scene (by the way, the time stamp is wholly unnecessary, as you convey how long it’s been in the very first paragraph of that scene) we are repeatedly told that Silver is alone and disowned both by friends and family. The very same thing is then conveyed through his talk with Scarlet. The same goes for the scene where Scarlet is introduced—everything in that scene is then repeated in her talk with Silver. The overall feeling I get is that if the chapter was reduced to just the talk between Silver and Scarlet, it’d still yield the same amount of information about the world and the characters.

Now, a few words on grammar, spelling, and punctuation. None of the issues prevented me from understanding the text, though the overall readability was significantly reduced, especially in the first half of the chapter. Watch out for some random typos, roughly worded run-on sentences, incorrect capitalisation (or the lack thereof), redundant spaces after em dashes, and a bunch of missing commas (for example before a character is directly addressed, or between two clauses in a sentence). There’s also a lot of recurring punctuation and capitalisation errors in direct speech and associated dialogue tags and beats. Getting a skilled editor is your best bet of getting all this fixed. Also, consider if you really want to use italics for all the dream scenes—larger segments of italicised text are rather hard to look at and make maintaining the audience’s focus a chore, so it’s better to not use them for such purposes. There are some exceptions to this, but the more or less general consensus is that dreams and flashbacks shouldn’t be italicised.

Lastly, consider shortening your long description (it’s really looong and not really intriguing, though I appreciate you clearly stating that reading this story’s not recommended without knowledge of the established universe) and moving the author’s note to the end of the chapter or to your blogs. If people decide to start reading a story they’ve never seen before, it’s quite annoying that the first thing they encounter is a note rather than the story itself. It also undermines the story’s quality from the get-go.

And that’s pretty much it. Do you have any additional questions, or is it there something you’d like me to elaborate on a bit more?

10306071
I appreciate the feedback on this. This is a rewrite of my first story and there’s still a lot of its original DNA in this. I feel like the pacing gets better as the story goes on, and I’ve tried to address some of the points you’ve already brought up but this definitely highlights how there’s always room for improvement. I’m definitely going to give this story another pass and adjust a few things here and there. Some of the stuff highlighted stems from context of other stories in this universe, but I’ll see if I can find a way to make it a little more clear in this story.

Thanks for the feedback, it really means a lot to me!

10306468
You’re welcome, I’m glad I could help a bit!

So I'm not quite familiar with the Pandemic universe, and it's not really that high on my reading list.

That being said I've caught up with this story anyway. Definitely confusing at first but I think you've presented it in such a way that allowed me to get a handle on it. Kind of similar to some sci-fi stories I've read that don't explain things right away but are easily picked up on.

I've got no gripes with anything grammar/editing wise, maybe one or two kind of long paragraphs but those were very very few.

Just getting into it, and looking forward to more!

Scarlet Silver is best shipnotship

Winyu Yu Yan is great too

10406457
I’m really glad you enjoyed it! It’s a story that I care a lot about, and it’s far from over. I have a lot more planned for the future, which will hopefully be sooner rather than later. Hope you stick around for more :twilightsmile:

Never noticed in the chapter art until I took a closer look, but is Scarlet drooling in her sleep?

10431102
Yeah. It was made using a base from another artist. Wasn't originally planned to be any kind of tie in to the story, but it just so happened to work out perfectly with this chapter.

10306071
Just want to say thanks again for all the feedback, I’ve since gone in and drastically reworked the beginning of the story to hopefully make it a little smoother to follow and pick up for new readers in general.

So I've been putting together some notes on your updates and changes as I read them, imma just put them here since this is the most recent chapter.

Okay, I know I said that the setting took some time to get into and that wasn't an issue, but the new prologue did indeed help quite a bit.

The rewrites are good too, second time around for chapter 2 felt more, emotional/relatable/understandable - the feeling of being estranged and looking for someone like you that knows the same feelings makes it more impactful

Chapter 12 hits different. Seeing the way they put the dreams together, and even the way they discuss showing it to others reflects a lot of creative journeys - from writing and art to movie directing, the way they brainstorm together and make it happen makes me a little jealous. In a sense that's what dreaming is, isn't it? Fantasizing things in your head, making them as real as possible. Even more so, being able to share that experience with someone makes it all the more wonderful.

Chapter 13 - Shorter (yes obviously) and more casual. Neat little interaction between the two that emphasizes how easy and natural their relationship is while still showing signs of adjustment. Not too much to say, kind of cute.

Chapter 14

KISS KISS KISS

Later in the chapter... wait, for real? It's true! Best shipyesship

KISS KISS KISS
OH NO

THE MAGICAL MOMENT IS RUINED
BUT ALL IS... WELL?

Okay so, the previous chapter ties in much better than I expected to this one, only makes sense that it'd be shorter, but does emphasize what happens in this one - how their relationship was right before they declared they like-like each other

I feel bad for Silver, the mistake happened almost immediately, and of course it played out alright, but still hurts. But, shit happens. Feels like something that will be hard to get over, at least not until it's actually fixed. But maybe that's something he has to learn? Maybe it's a lesson in acceptance and moving on.

10438206
The next chapter really builds off of the previous two in an important way. A lot of Silver and Scarlet's interactions so far have built up toward this, and the next chapter introduces an idea that seems small at first but really plays into the core of both characters, and eventually ties into some of their reasoning during the two sequels. The next chapter in particular really gets into Scarlet's perspective on what happened with the telescope, and it's really one of the main reasons why I wanted to write these chapters from her perspective-- it gives us insight into what she's seeing, her thoughts on finally getting both of their feelings out in the open, and eventually the aftermath of this little hiccup early in the relationship, and it builds up for more in the future which I'm excited to explore. This whole story is a super comprehensive rewrite of my very first story, and in that original version I never really explored the deeper parts of their relationship, so I'm really happy that I get to do that the second time around. Glad you're enjoying it so far, and hopefully you'll enjoy what's coming up!

“What about that pony out east, Wild Growth? She made all those plants grow in an instant.”

She's got some high expectations. Wild Growth is a PREQUES 8, while the average run of the mill earth pony is a PREQUES 3.

I will explain this for readers not familiar with the ratings from the pandemic au. Each point up on the PREQUES scale indicates ten times more powerful than the previous point. So, it takes ten level 3 to equal the power of a level 4, it takes ten level 4 to equal a level 5, and so on. Given that Wild Growth is an 8, it is an absurd demand to ask of a community of maybe a dozen or two dozen at most average earth ponies. Combining all their magic together wouldn't even make up a fraction of Wild Growth's power.

She'd have better luck walking into magic kindergarten and demanding each of those foals perform magic to match Starswirl the Bearded right then and there.

10453967
Gods and Goddesses walk among these ponies and they simplify it down to just grow plants really fast. :facehoof:

Ok, finally got through enough of my read it later list to start in here.

My first concern was that I wouldn't be able to catch on to what was happening, seeing as how this story is the sequel to a nearly half million word story. Can't say I needed to be too worried about that, because it looks like you're working in all the exposition I'll need through the dialogue! That's a good sight to see!

There's some interesting tidbits here, but it's a bit of a talking heads problem. Not much is going on, even though I know we're getting set up for what's coming. Either way, the prologue was exciting enough to get me through this slightly less eventful chapter. Let's see where it all goes!

10464078
Glad you're enjoying it so far! I never really saw this as a "sequel" to the original Pandemic story, more of something set in the same universe that builds on some of it's lore. There's little things that pop in here and and there that connects back to the main universe and some of the other stories, but more or less the majority of the story is it's own thing that doesn't necessarily need the original story to be read to get. Hope you enjoy the rest of it, it picks up a lot more!

Pouts, "You no use bat for work no more?"
Laughs, "Being silly really, as my recent blog entry notes, things have been a bit crazy here lately (106 hours of work in two weeks), so I prolly wouldn't've been able to do much."

Ok, with that out of the way, while I am enjoying the story, I wasn't really taken with this chapter, the whole doctor and vet thing didn't really work for me, at least not in this form, and there were definitely some missed opportunities. Still, it wasn't terrible, nor is it going to chase me away, I'm looking forward to what's coming.

Wish we could have spent some more time with the parents this chapter, but I'm sure they'll get time later.

First off:
D'aaaawwwwwwwwwww

Secondly, kinda got caught up in other priorities but I'm catching up now!

I love how comfy the scene with Scarlet waking up was, but still feeling a bit empty without Silver there. I was kind of worried he ran off too. It's pretty meaningful that Scarlet's first memories of the night were happy romantic ones, but I'm glad she didn't brush the telescope thing aside. Clearly it was important, and you can't just NOT feel angry or sad about it despite other feelings present.

And I'm glad he didn't simply "find her a new one". That would've been too convenient and unrealistic. Nah, this fruit gesture was much better, and clearly took a lot of effort too. You kinda have to just do what you can with what you have, and often you don't always have what you need to go back to the way things were.

Ayy Stan's the man! Or well, pony I guess.

But yeah, something real sketchy about not having any Earth Ponies included in the planning, but that's what happens all too often in real life tbh.

Nice to see Stanley taking an interest in local politics, someone's clearly gonna have to if they don't get their things in order.

I wonder if Wild Growth will make an appearance later, but I suppose Halira's comment makes more sense for her not to.

Filled with adorable interactions and cuddly shenangians. That's the good stuff.

And I do so appreciate the description about what it's like to fly and see everything from above, glad that's not just me.

So Scarlet's name is still Scarlet? I mean it does work well enough and makes it easier, must be hard as it is to adjust to new names.

Tad bit worrisome but also realistic that rural life suffers from lack of proper medical services.

All in all a pleasant chapter!

The more I learn about this Sha'am Warden the more I dislike her. Where is Luna in all this, doesn't she manage them?

10496645
Sha'am is one of the most despised characters in this universe. Luna created her, but did not anticipate her becoming this bad. Luna's powers in the dream realm are far more limited on Earth compared to Equestria, while Sha'am's powers (along with the others Dreamwardens) in the dream realm on Earth are a match for what Luna can do in Equestria, although on Equestria they would be powerless before her.

Here are Luna's after the fact reflections on each of the Wardens.

Luna sits and raises her head. She remembers the first time she had breached this realm in her own universe, and the sense of both wonder and fear that came over her. She knew nothing of Dreamwardens or Oaths, for the former Dreamwarden of her universe had become so indolent that the entity did not even bother to greet the new dreamwalker. Even Luna's time now as Dreamwarden did not hold a candle to the time her predecessor spent in that realm. She could not claim a fraction of that being's great wisdom and knowledge.

And yet, in what perhaps that previous Dreamwarden would consider an act of extreme naivete at best and arrogance at worst, Luna had seen fit to create not one but six for an alien universe.

Psychic Calm, the Warden of Peace, chosen for his almost uncanny sense of calm and stoicism. Patients perhaps initially put off by that lack of emotion found it later to be a comfort, feeling that they had met the one person who did not judge, who calmly accepted them for what they were.

Phobia Remedy, the Warden of Fear, the one who knows not just how fear can cripple a being, but how it can be understood and turned around to be a source of strength. Sometimes, people need that emotion, if only to understand why and what they truly fear so they can confront it and overcome it.

Ghadab, the Warden of Anger, a being who appears consumed with the very title bestowed upon him, yet understands that anger can be a natural and necessary feeling. He is the embodiment of all beings' need for release of their frustrations and resentments. He is the conduit through which all dreams of injustice flow, for he knows of injustice in the waking world. He struggles to protect the scattered ponies of a country few care about, severely persecuted by the Bedouin peoples of western Morocco despite having been those very same people themselves before ETS.

Yes, he has a lot to be angry about.

Tikhiy Krik, the Warden of Silence, and usually the name most new dreamwalkers trip up on when called upon to say the Oaths for the first time. This Warden is the embodiment of the question "why are you talking?" Speech should be reserved for when someone has something important to impart, or when the situation demands it.

Yinyu Wu Yan, the Warden of Lust, and often the one most misunderstood. When not in her presence in the waking world, many night ponies joke about her and her penchant for having sex at the drop of a hat. Yet she is the Warden who understands how one's passions can lead one to ruin, and she helps beings understand and deal with their own.

And then there is Sha'am Maut, Warden of Death.

Already very old, she would likely be dead already had it not been for her transformation. Even as a pony, she is wizened and frail in her physical body. As if the cosmos sought some sort of balance, she is utterly powerful in the dream realm, able to subject beings to "death" with a single thought. While many night ponies -- especially those who never ran afoul of Sha'am -- simply wave a hoof or wing and dismiss it, claiming that it's ultimately just a dream and you don't really die and should just get over it, the terror does not cease to be real merely because someone states that it's not.

Luna sighs and lowers her head as her words to her sister come back to her. Yes, Sha'am is the ultimate enforcer. She is the only one who can say, "do as I say or you will die," actually follow up on that threat, and have the pony walk away still living and breathing. Yet now Luna wonders if such an act indeed causes some part of that pony to die for real, as perhaps it had happened to Billy when he was Night Song, the pony with the most beautiful singing voice Luna has ever heard across two universes, a voice now forever silenced.

It took Luna some time to understand why some night ponies half-jokingly referred to Sha'am as "Emperor Palpatine" with uneasy snickers.

It is kinda interesting to see how things are playing out - how society is coping with all these changes. Understandable that some docs that went full pony would go to do some retraining, but I'm kind of surprised that they're all still unsure how to handle pony patients, or that they haven't had any pony patients. They're durable sure but still. It also makes me wonder how they treat those who are only partially changed.

10496735
This is enlightening, I need to read the source stories.

With that said, I am thoroughly enjoying this Slice of Life story far more than I anticipated!

Keep it up!

I agree with Halria. Actually kind of felt like a lot of build up to the parents with less interaction than expected.
It still works in that there is build up, and it connects Silver's relationship to his parents a bit after the fact.

Still, the adorable dialogue warms the heart

10511779
They're going to definitely come in more, just wanted to give them a small introduction first

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