• Member Since 9th Oct, 2012
  • offline last seen Yesterday

ScopeEva


Author, ocassional editor and always supper insecure about every creative work I touch. Make my day and leave a comment!

T

For aeons the 49th Galactic Colonisation Flotilla has proudly wondered the galaxy, spreading Earth's many children among the stars and bringing life to so many barren worlds. Unbeknownst to their crew however they have picked up a most unusual hitch-hiker. A bitter exile whose undying ambition and jealousy burnt her old life to cinders, now determined to make the most of herself in a galaxy so much larger then she first thought. However the paths of Earthling and Equestrian are destined to cross on a much grander scale, and perhaps the burning ambition of our angry exile might just yet provide the torch to light Equestria's darkest hour and guide two peoples to a bright future... if she can put aside old grievances.

Chapters (5)
Comments ( 46 )

Looking good so far, i wait the next chapter to see more

D48

Well, that’s very interesting. Taken on their own, both the description and first chapter seem to have a lot of potential, and the fact that they don’t immediately connect implies this is going to be a wild ride. Throw in the fact that you managed to throw a major curve ball to subvert expectations, and I’m definitely looking forward to future chapters.

This is an interesting premise.

But you need a proofreader to deal with the malapropisms all over the place.

10533420 Yes, I expect so. They're a weakness of mine. :fluttercry:

D48

Well, that's an interesting twist, and I like the direction you're taking Sombra. As expected, the plot is thickening in interesting ways.

That said, there was one big flaw I noticed. Sunset initially asked about what the invaders looked like, but that line of questioning got dropped so we don't know if these are humans or something else.

P.S. Was that Chrysalis in the crystal, or some other changeling?

10535491 Ah, was supposed to be Thorax. Guess I want to clarify that in the story some how given it's supposed to kind of indicate the time frame of the story in the show.

D48

10536188
Oh. I associate him with that hideous technicolor moose thing, so there's no way I was going to figure that out.

Also, the alien appearance issue still stands. Was that ambiguity a deliberate choice, or are you going to edit it to clarify that?

10536225 I'm saving that for a little latter. I originally had some description of them in there but it kinda dragged things out more then necessary. As it is I kinda feel I have Sombra a little too patient and willing to answer Sunset's questions.
For now? Helps add to the mystery. Gotta keep you all hooked somehow. :raritywink:

D48

10536694
Ah, that makes sense, and reading between the lines it sounds like the aliens are not human. Of course, it wouldn't matter if it was humans because we all know there are lots of different factions of humans and these are presumably not Sunset's faction (assuming she cares about her government at all which strikes me as unlikely), so whatever.

As for the "mystery", it's really not important enough to matter, but this is the kind of thing that reduces interest rather than building it. Leaving things unanswered creates stress points in the narrative, so unless they're obviously important (e.g. who's the criminal), they tend to just cause frustration and weaken the story. Worse yet, if it's a major setting detail or character motivation you're making a "mystery", you'll actively drive readers away because it prevents them from forming an emotional connection with the story as characters seem to do things for no good reason. For example, I recently dumped a story because the author refused to give any information about why anyone was doing anything and the main character's only apparent motivation was a "beloved" who came off as being so unimportant he didn't even merit a name thanks to all the "mystery".

10536844 I see. Thanks for the tip, though it honestly wasn't something I was going to keep to my chest for too long or anything. At the same time they're a threat that's going to remain just over the horizon for the time being.

D48

10537274 I'm glad you found that helpful, and I definitely get where you're coming from on keeping them over the horizon for the time being. In story it sounds like they're not focusing on the north at the moment so Sunset's cloak should be enough to avoid their notice for now, and you also need to keep them sidelined from a narrative perspective to establish the baseline setup with Sunset and Sombra so holding off on a major introduction for now is definitely the right call.

I really like this so far! The characters are great, the setting is spooky, the writing is excellent, couldn't ask for anything more :) I'm especially liking Sunset and Sombra's dynamic. Really looking forward to the confrontation in the next chapter!

D48

This was another solid chapter, although it understandably didn't have quite the same bang as the first two since it was a bit of a bridge to what I expect to be a fantastic introduction of the rest of the cast next chapter. That said, I do like how you showed that Sunset is clearly no hero since this is pre-EQG and she's very much not happy with Equestria which I'm sure will have interesting consequences in the future.

As for the author's note, if anything it's odd Sunset's magic is so good. She presumably hasn't actually used it in years so she should be rusty even if she tried to go over it mentally in preparation for going through the portal, and given her obvious shift in focus to technology it's honestly surprising she cares about it like you show at this point (you could have gone deep into magic vs. technology with this setup). I don't know how you intend to handle this since you could easily make most of her "crazier stuff" technology-based, but if you want to kick her magic up even farther it would be easy to throw in a bit of a refresher/practice session beforehand (which would also be a good setup for a conversation with Celestia or Twilight). Also, Sombra was supposed to be a serious threat so it makes sense for him to dramatically outclass her in terms of magic.

Finally, while I can't guarantee anything due to my unstable schedule, I may be able to edit future chapters for you. Just let me know when you're ready and I'll let you know how things are looking on my end.

10899778 Thank you kindly! You make it sound like I actually know what I'm doing! :twilightblush:

10900121 Good to know it comes in at solid. I certainly spent enough time mulling over it. And yes, there's going to be a lot of fun next chapter, and not just with more characters to finally interact with. Unless I end up needing to chop it in two but I doubt that.
Good to know I got Sunset's magic kinda right? I know I implied she's been visiting Equestria semi-regularly so she's not as rusty as she might otherwise be. There are a couple of other reasons but... that comes later~ As does exactly what Sunset's been playing at on the other side of the portal.
And thank you for the offer! I'll let you know when I have something complete to look at.

orp

pace his way around Sunset in an unnerving manor

"manner"

orp

11039449
Also:

“What manor of magicless contraption
...
neither manors nor patience.”

text to voice reader is supper handing for catching all those malapropisms

Goad two here.

11039538
LoL, yeah, you don't want to know how many were buried in there before I used text to speech. I need a proper editor/proof reader.
Anyway, thanks. Hope you managed to enjoy in spite of my mistakes.

orp

11039605
Oh yes. Intriguing, well-written beginning.

One thing that comes to mind is that the current description looks like it might be a bit of a spoiler. (Also, "A bitter exile who's undying ambition" - whose. English spelling is freaking weird.)

11039625
Tell me about it. As a native speaker (admittedly with a touch of dyslexia) I still can't get my head fully round it.
As for the description being spoilery... well I thought I would have a lot more out by now. Everything that's happened so far is supposed to be prelude to the meat of the story. I'm not nearly as fast a writer as I wish I was.

11245938
There will be. Soon TM.

...seriously, been working on the next chapter for awhile and it's a big one. So big I'll probbably need to find a way to chop it in half somewhere. But still not quite finished and will need a good bit of editing.

11246222
Ah wow. Good luck with that, can't wait to see what you come up with :)

I know my read-later list is long, but still, dropping this in there for now.

Been looking forward to this for a while. Love the developments! I wonder what's up with Flash though... Still, great update! Can't wait for the next one :)

D48

Now that I've gotten around to procrastinating other things I need to do and read this, I'm really liking this chapter (half) even with the typos. There are lots of good interesting interactions here, especially with Flash (who I assume had a crush Sunset ruthlessly exploited), and I'm expecting to see her brutalize Sunburst (who's apparently not her brother here) in a similar way because that did not look like real interest to me. The interesting hiccup is that the mane six weren't around, meaning Sunset either deliberately left them frozen or they're not here and that tag indicates upcoming shenanigans on the slave side of things.

11404401 Glad you enjoyed! The charecter interaction was what I especially enjoyed writing after all.
As for the mane six, well they just weren't in the empire when this all went down. Where they really are... well, spoilers darling. :raritywink:

And if you don't mind, I would be greatful if you could shoot a DM my way with any of those typos you remember. No worries if you can't though. Just frustrated because I thought I had caught everything this time.

D48

11404523
Well, that certainly makes the tag interesting then, doesn't it? It's hard to see them avoiding sensors operating on principles they've never heard of, so an all-expenses paid tour of the galaxy seems like the logical conclusion in this setup, especially since sidelining them like that would make perfect sense and let the other characters run things. However, the fact that they're tagged implies they'll be playing a major role, as does your comment, but I would have expected their side of the story to have started already if you were going to show it, making the structure a big question mark at this point. Welp, time to hurry up an wait I guess.

As for the typos, I unfortunately didn't write them down. That said, they were mostly fairly obvious wrong words so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding them in a future editing pass.

Ay, update! Been looking forward to this. Keep up the good work!

It's ALIVE! I'm liking how you are portraying Sunset. Also Thorax's reaction was great 😂.

Love this quote! "...Drop the tough old tyrant act already! If you haven’t noticed, it’s a bit late to save face with me, smoky.”

Ayy, the story really kicks in! I love this new setting, though I wonder if it's practical for all the space inside this (presumably hollow) cylinder to go unused. Who knows, maybe the humans like the aesthetic. Can't wait to see how everybody reacts to this environment, and - importantly - where Sunset fits in on this ship. I'm so excited!

11480577 Unused is probably a relative term here. That space is storing an awful lot of breathable air for one. The open nature might also contibute positivly to people's sanity and preventing things like agoraphobia setting in for the magority of people.
That said, if it was a question of being entierly space efficent there would be an outer floor with considerable space with aroof progecting an image of an open sky and further lower gravity floors for... farming I guess? Low G sports arienas? Maybe some manufacturing?
But to be honest I decided to leave it as open air because it makes for the more impresive image.
:trixieshiftright:
:trixieshiftleft:
More fun to have pegusi flying around and getting confused this way too. :trollestia:

11480923
You could add that the inside of the cylinder may be several dozen to hundreds of layers from the outer hull.
Also, adding that the outer hull may be filled/covered with heavy industry, mining and more storage.

11480923
Do the pegasi retain their wings? I thought they'd all been transformed into humans.

Or is this foreshadowing...

11481432. :twilightoops:
How did you get your hands on my story notes?!
Heh, I do intend to drip feed more details about how everything works, but I also want to avoid some big boring infodump. That said you're barking up the right tree.
If this sort of stuff reall interests you, you might enjoy a seties of video lectures/podcasts exploring this sort of thing; Science and Futureisum with Isaac Authur. His material has been a big inspiration to the setting here. :twilightsmile:


11481458
Yes, the mirror portal certainly does transform them all into humans. :raritywink:
But not Changelings for some odd reason, so we have one natural flyer on Star Strider. Otherwise... spoilers darling.

D48

While there are a lot of great narrative bits in this chapter, Star Strider's engineering is what I find most interesting. The number one thing that stands out to me based on the design in general and the skyscrapers in particular is that its diameter is much, MUCH bigger than the ~1km minimum for a comfortable gravity ring. This is a bit of an odd design decision because it imposes a much greater load on the radial structure holding it together than a more conventional long and (proportionally) skinny habitat. This is made worse by incorporating a proper biosphere because the soil and bodies of water add an incredible amount of unnecessary weight which also has to be supported by that structure. That might all be achievable with semi-realistic technology if it were a station since you could just throw hilarious amounts of steel at the problem (we're talking I-beams with flanges multiple feet thick here), but as a ship you need some way to get god only knows how much weight moving, and that means the engines and propellant tanks need to be even bigger. To make things even worse, propulsion means acceleration loading, and that means that absurd structure needs to be even stronger to deal with axial forces in addition to the titanic radial loads, making this whole problem even worse. I'm really curious to hear what you're thinking of regarding the tech base, because it's hard to see how you can pull this ship off without getting technology like easy artificial gravity which eliminates the need for a gravity ring/cylinder.

Now, there are a lot of other technical and design details I could go into, but I think I've written enough for now so instead I'll just point you at the best source for practical hard science fiction information on the web, Atomic Rockets. I could point you at relevant sections, but I strongly suspect you'll do what I did when I first discovered that site and vanish into it for days, if not weeks, so I'll just say enjoy. :twilightsmile:

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/index.php

Well, that is one promising story.
Well written, with intrigue, mystery, marvel, drama and unwilling allies, disguises and secrets, and living characters, ambitions, base building, sci-fi, hidden dangers, genius protagonist, whatever else.

So many good tags...
I'm deeply intrigued.

11482629 Ho boy, lot to unpack here.  :twilightblush:


Honestly, I plan to keep a lot of the finer details at arms length simply because I don’t want to make a minor mistake that makes everything impossible.  I’m trying to take a more hard Sci-fi approach to human technology here but at the same time I’m no expert.  


Regarding the “city” I describe here, I’m not actually trying to paint a metropolis the size of a modern supper city.  In reality it’s more of a large town with a lot of tall buildings to give a more metropolitan feel.  I plan to make this much clearer when we actually go see the place up close later.  


As for size, yes I certainly have something larger than the bare minimum in mind, perhaps about 1.5K in diameter.  The explanation being that carbon nanotubes pan out as a practical material for construction, perhaps reinforcing a steel structure a similar way to how we reinforce concrete with rebar?  I haven’t settled on dimensions 100%, though I find it handy when trying to picture these kinds of dimensions to remember the world’s tallest building, the Burj Kalifa, is only (totally didn’t do a quick google to get the hight, honest) 828m tall and that thing is hecking massive up close.  I think it’s plausible to fit a cityscape like appearance  in a 1k diameter cylinder.  


As for the bio-sphere, perhaps something shallow, perhaps only a few metres of dirt with hills and so forth being more simulated via structures underneath, with tech to handle a lot of the problems like maintaining a decent water table.  Though the rivers, lakes and so forth wouldn’t be so shallow for, uh, reasons.  Spoilers.  :raritywink:


On a bit of a tangent, I think more typical artificial gravity might not necessarily make cylindrical habitats redundant.  Depends on how that artificial gravity works after all, a spinning cylinder, especially once it’s up to speed is probably not nearly as energy expensive as some gravity generator that has to bend space time just to make a surface walkable.  Similarly I don’t think thrust gravity should be discarded entirely, as even if you have some sort of inertial dampening system, why make it fight your own acceleration when you can just organise everything vertically and just dial back the gravity as you increase your acceleration.  


As for Atomic Rockets, I am familiar with it and its reputation.  Given how hectic and busy my life has been as of late I think I had best avoid it for the most part just in case.  Goodness knows what kind of mess would be left if I got sucked into it for months on end.  That said I do want to dive in sooner or later, I’m just not terribly confident in my ability to wrap my mind around all the maths involved.  :twilightoops:


11484281 Thank you kindly! I'm glad to know I've managed to catch your interest in so many ways and pulled of a lot of what I was hopping to achieve so far. :raritystarry:

D48

11484767
Yeah, keeping the finer details at arms length makes sense unless you're willing to do serious prep work to get things right. That work is critical in a visual medium where you can't avoid showing things, but for a single author writing a story you have a lot more room to bypass it.

That said, you do still need to think things through to a significant extent or you run the risk of implying something insane like you did when you brought in the anachronistic Manehattan (which is basically a modern metropolis dumped into Equestria) as a reference point instead of something more reasonable like Canterlot or the Crystal Empire. That implies buildings hundreds of meters tall which really don't work sensibly in this application. Gravity will fall off in proportion to the radius (half the diameter or 750m with your thinking/500m at the sensible minimum), and while we don't know the minimum sustainable gravity for health, my gut says it's somewhere between .5 and .75 g which would imply a maximum habitable height of 187.5 to 375m for your diameter (125 to 250m for the sensible minimum). However, it's important to remember that you also need a significant under-floor structure to tie the whole thing together, and you REALLY don't want to go any wider than 1 g if you don't absolutely have to because that will substantially increase your structural requirements (part of why I think gravity rings may be tuned slightly below 1 g in practice) and, by extension, your engine requirements.

What makes all this worse is that a cylinder isn't the most efficient gravity generation shape. The spinning doughnut space station is a classic for a reason. The circular cross-section is great for containing atmospheric pressure, and cutting out the largely useless central section dramatically reduces the structure's weight. A cylinder can make more sense for a ship since you can put things like fuel and engines in the middle, although even then you probably want the engines in a separate segment since it basically has to feature a nuclear reactor one way or another. I can't really go much further without knowing more about your propulsion plant and mission profile (especially FTL), so I'll leave the general layout discussion here for now.

However, there is one final engineering point I want to bring up before moving on to the lighter discussion, and that's carbon nanotubes. To make a long story short, they're not magic and they don't make these structural issues go away. Having worked with carbon fiber, I know those big strength numbers are mostly a lie when it comes to practical applications. They're strictly the number you get in tension, so after you add in the multi-directional layering, resin matrix (carbon will dissolve in most metals), foam spacers, and safety margins required to build up a usable structure, the resulting product weighs about the same as a comparable metallic structure. Carbon nanotubes might improve that some, but I'm very concerned about the brittleness implied by their stiffness because I can easily see tubes breaking under shear/torsional and vibrational loading. That could be accepted or compensated for with extra material in some applications, but in a long-life safety critical application like this it's probably disqualifying. Incidentally, fatigue is also a problem for carbon fiber, so you'll almost certainly be using titanium alloy since it has a true fatigue limit like steel so it can produce structures that won't wear out.

Regarding the biosphere, the right answer is simple. Don't. Tree roots typically go down about as far as the tree goes up so you need deep soil to support them, and any water body is insanely heavy. If I were designing a ship like this, it'd be mostly a maze of rooms and corridors with plants confined to scattered hydroponic pots in those areas, combined with a number of more open atriums/parks/malls which include significant numbers of bushes and other plants, once again confined to hydroponic pots. The only significant bodies of water would be a pair of swimming pools (mirrored across the axis for balance), although I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of very shallow (as in an inch or less) cosmetic pools in some areas. In general the habitable area should be a closed loop which doesn't need a water reservoir, although I would include emergency tanks near the reactor where they can double as radiation shielding.

You do bring up a good point regarding artificial gravity, and it's something I've considered as well. At least for space stations, rotation probably makes more sense than a gravity generator. It's far more efficient to spin the main habitation sections and only use the artificial gravity in the non-rotating docking section (whatever shape that takes) and the access elevator. Major production sections also don't need gravity at all since they'll be mostly automated and will probably want either zero g or funky gravity fields for material handling, and many of them will presumably also not be pressurized since there's no need for it. Similarly, I agree that it makes sense to orient the crew compartment so the thrust helps with gravity (unless its intended to land), although I do want to mention the small caveat that the actual crew compartment of most ships will be very small since you don't need many people to run these highly automated ships.

Finally, that's a very fair concern about Atomic Rockets, especially since the consequences of the math is explained in such a way that you can get most of the value without to be able to run the numbers yourself, dramatically reducing the barrier to entry.

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