• Member Since 2nd Nov, 2012
  • offline last seen 58 minutes ago

Admiral Biscuit


The king of slice of life

E
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Thornycroft has a dream: start a railroad. If she can’t get a charter in Equestria, there’s Earth—America is big, and needs railways.

. . .

America has railways, and building or buying one is too expensive anyway, so she can start a truckway instead, shipping oversized loads a few illegitimate thaums at a time.

It’s not like DOT inspectors even know what a thaum is.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 107 )

Impulsively written and not preread, what could go wrong?

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Did you know there are lots of videos on YouTube about driving trucks which may be inspirational? Now you do!

[page_break]


I would be remiss to not admit at this point that I do have a chauffer’s license, and have driven trucks (under 26,000 pounds [11,793kg]) commercially, so I do have the benefit of some experience and in most cases a license that’s better than yours. Which, I’ll say right now, comes with a downside in Michigan; while some of y’all might be able to plead to the cop on the side of the road that you didn’t know, my license says that I legally should know, and even though I haven’t driven commercial for years, I still automatically get that class renewed. . . .


All ponies are OCs, and all ponies are inspired. Thornycroft is named after a defunct English truck manufacturer, and her ‘railroad’ is a ponification of the Malton and Driffield Junction Railway.

Noriker and Boulonnais are both breeds of draft horse, and the named pegasi (Fleetwings and Lightwing) are both named after aircraft companies.

Officer Hake is inspired after a local ordinance officer who wrote me tickets for various ordinance violations, mostly involving number of cars on one property and the operational condition (or lack thereof) of said cars. Turns out in Kalamazoo Township it’s a violation to have an unlicensed 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme whose principle use is ‘improvised clothesline.’


I’m sure some of my readers know how much the fines for being overweight in a commercial truck are, or the fines for various other violations, and I’m sure we can have a nice, thoughtful discussion in the comments about the necessity of such laws. I’ve skirted or outright flaunted some of those laws, and I’ve also read enough NTSB reports to know why they’re needed.

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Next scam is the 'family' bunch of pegasi who are picked up before weigh stations, then bail out after and fly back to their pickup spot for the next truck.

"So, your names are Vinnie, Bruce, Tony, and what?"

Dourine is a Pony disease causing a dour mood. Symptoms include flattened mane, color loss, and occasional outbreaks of depressing music.

So is it time for "The Trouble with Pegasus"?

Nice little fun story all around. Always happy to get some fun bit of fiction from you.

10635808

it’s a violation to have an unlicensed 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme whose principle use is 'improvised clothesline.'

Well there is your problem!

"novelty improvised clothesline". There we go! Much better now.

To his surprise, it passed the weight portion of its exam with flying colors.

I wonder if Officer Hake will ever find out just how literal this is?

lightening plan on exit.

Lightening, yes, but what about the mass and inertia? Sneaking the large load through with pega-power is all well and good until the lorry takes a curve too fast coming down a 6% grade, jack-knifes, and causes an interdimensional incident when it smooshes a family's minivan against a bridge abutment. (not a pleasant thing to witness)

Well this vignette can only lead to disaster in some distant, muddied future. Scraping up a husband and wife duo and almost a dozen pegasi from the pavement on an overpass is not gonna be a fun night for anyone. :facehoof:

10635873

Dourine is a Pony disease causing a dour mood. Symptoms include flattened mane, color loss, and occasional outbreaks of depressing music.

Given that the real disease is an incurable horsey STI with no effective vaccine, thus necessitating euthanising the infectedl, I think I like your version better.
:pinkiesad2:

10635881

Scraping up a husband and wife duo and almost a dozen pegasi from the pavement on an overpass is not gonna be a fun night for anyone.

Reminds me of this rather cartoonishly grimdark PBF comic

Let’s hope that nobody catches on how they are cheating the system. It is all fun and games until the cheat goes public. Because sooner or later somebody will catch on to what is happening.

Thank you for making another ponies on Earth I really love those stories 😁😁😁👍🏼👍🏼

10635916
Better that the authorities find out sooner, rather than by putting the pieces together after a fatal accident.

Dan

I read that as "ordnance officer" for a moment.

I love your interpretation of ponies as being bloody-minded, creative, rules lawyers. It does such a job of deflating the cutesy factor while enhancing their... Crap. I knew the word at the start of this sentence. Self-determination, anyway. These are are individuals, these are people, and God help you. :facehoof:

I saw the title before I saw the author and instantly knew it was you Biscuit.

This one had me smiling.
:ajsmug::ajsmug::ajsmug:

Huh. New concepts in scamming the system. Wonder how long it'll take for that guy to piece it together.

Delightful and brilliant!

Also, you scooped me. I'm cooking an idea where Generic Terrorist Faction kidnaps a pony ambassador outside the UN building in New York or EU building in Brussels, and since pegasus magic allows her to adjust her weight, she just dials it up to 50 tons and smashed the getaway car's suspension into the pavement...

:raritycry:

Ah, ponies vs. Earth bureaucracy. A truly timeless conflict. Plus, I'm reminded of the old joke about hauling live chickens and getting them all to flap when the truck's getting weighed. At least, I think it's an old joke. Maybe it was physics homework...

In any case, delightful stuff. I especially appreciated the thaumic readings on the couple's medical forms. (I can only imagine what Twilight's might say, even before the wings.) And I learned of dourine, which was a nice bonus. You always do great work with incorporating more horse-like elements into ponies. Thank you for this.

Turns out in Kalamazoo Township it’s a violation to have an unlicensed 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme whose principle use is ‘improvised clothesline.’

If you have a mspaint diagram of said clothesline + structural members, surely it's no longer improvised?

10635879
It would have been fine if the pegasi were working full time as sort of reverse spoilers (pulls vehicle upright instead of pushing vehicle down against the road), or RCS thrusters, essentially turning the truck into a heavy lift hovercraft, but since they leave the vehicle whenever they aren't near a checkpoint......

How long before legal pegapod lightload beds are used making it necessary to carry load licenses for each pegasus involved and keeping the mass inertia within limits for the whole journey?

Even works with sleeping and drunk pegalighters?

i love it and this reminds me of a story about hauling pigeons.
and of a song that i am sure AB will know.

Just goes to show how unfair some laws can be, after all, it's not like the driver has a weight scale to check the company's weight listed against the real thing ...

>> FanOfMostEverything
Another of those mysteries so important to society that is was examined on Myth Busters, using mini-helicopters in place of the chickens. Turns out that the old "equal and opposite reaction" rule applies and as much of a force vector keeps an object up the other end will be pushing down.

10635971
Deflating the cutesy factor? Kids do this all the time, the only difference is that the ponies have enough magic to make kid logic actually work out sometimes.

Boulonnais had the additional note of ‘2F avg. <1 doz. max,’ whatever that meant.

I feel like I'm missing something there.

This really is such a perfect fic! The immersive lifestyles of how ponies get used to human society is so entertaining to see, the new facts that we learn are super interesting, and the characters that ya put into this being brought to life is mmm! Divine! I hope ya didn't mind, but I just HAD to make a reading of this lil' story!

Audio Linky!: https://youtu.be/493VoY9emZA

(I don't mean to offend anyone with this comment in any way!)

10636414
Yeah, deflating may not be the right word, but the cutesy factor is what makes humans see them as cute, harmless, innocuous, ineffectual, etc.

Kids do this all the time, the only difference is that the ponies have enough magic to make kid logic actually work out sometimes.

Yeah, and the ability to make it work is what moves them from "cute" to "take them seriously". It's like when a kitten hisses and pounces you. It's cute, because they can't back it up. It's less cute when a tiger does it.

10636529
I think that might be a measurement of how much she can hold in her field, advantage weight (not sure what F would be, maybe feather?) and count of items.

10636529

It's supposed to be opaque and confusing.

Cheating with pegasi, truck edition. :rainbowwild:

I love the idea of ponies getting a modded tractor! Also... rent-a-pegasus when you want the weather guaranteed. They're a big hit with the Ski Resorts since machine made snow can't compare to the real thing-- not to mention certain pegasi (unicorns) would have fun dropping grenades (violent spells) on avalanche zones.

Hmm, I wonder if Diamond Dogs would horn in on the mining industry? At the least, they could help rescue people when things collapse.

10635879
This concept intrigued me. I posited this as a question to my dad, who works as a CDL driver.

A physics question i just had:
I know that, for the same road, truck, and brakes, a lighter load will stop sooner than a heavier one.
But what if the truck were filled with a helium or hydrogen balloon at the correct density to make the truck lighter than empty? Would it stop before or after the empty truck?

On one hand, the truck is lighter. On the other hand, the truck has more mass (assuming the empty truck is truly empty, i.e. a vacuum) . If the addional mass leads to additional inertia, then the helium truck will stop later due to less downforce and friction.

I didn't want to go into magic alien ponies, so I brought up the next best thing.

After a while, here was my conclusion:

I've been running different scenarios in my head, and I think my conclusion is: if the limiting factor in stopping is traction/ tires, then adding helium to the load will make it worse. If the limiting factor is brakes, then making the load lighter will let you stop faster. On the scale of a single semi, the difference is negligible.

I think that Pegasai do *something* funky with inertia and mass. Rainbow Dash makes 90 degree turns while going supersonic.

While this could make pegasus shipping safe, they'd need to have it constantly going, which is probably tiring.

Thanks for this story. It is hilarious.

10635857

Next scam is the 'family' bunch of pegasi who are picked up before weigh stations, then bail out after and fly back to their pickup spot for the next truck.

That was actually the original iteration of this story; they were going to set up a stand by the side of the road (well, probably at the truck stop before the weigh station), offering to help overweight trucks get by the scales.

I was also considering having a unicorn who was good with mind magic to make sure that poorly-maintained trucks or drivers with logbook violations could skate through, but then I thought that wasn’t as cute or amusing.

10635873

Dourine is a Pony disease causing a dour mood. Symptoms include flattened mane, color loss, and occasional outbreaks of depressing music.

Sadly that’s not true, but as 10635911 observed, this is a much better version of the disease (and let’s be honest, more ‘Pony’).

10635875

So is it time for "The Trouble with Pegasus"?

Pegasi are always trouble. It’s just that they’re so cute.

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Nice little fun story all around. Always happy to get some fun bit of fiction from you.

Thank you! :heart:

10635879

Well there is your problem!
"novelty improvised clothesline". There we go! Much better now.

I have a feeling they wouldn’t appreciate that, either. My current ordinance officer (well, when we had one) didn’t like my 92 Astro Van feral cat habitat, even though it’s technically the same thing as sinking an unwanted ship to make a reef.

I wonder if Officer Hake will ever find out just how literal this is?

Probably not. At least, not until enough pegasi get in the truck to give it a negative value on the scale.

Lightening, yes, but what about the mass and inertia? Sneaking the large load through with pega-power is all well and good until the lorry takes a curve too fast coming down a 6% grade, jack-knifes, and causes an interdimensional incident when it smooshes a family's minivan against a bridge abutment. (not a pleasant thing to witness)

As long as they keep their pegasus magic on, it’s lighter and also has less mass (which can be problematic for braking effectiveness) . . . overall, they’re able to reduce the load on the scale by a few odd tons, and with what a semi load weighs (especially in this case), that’s not likely to have a significant effect. For example, I once ran a load of scrap in my old S10 that turned out to be 10% over the thing’s theoretical weight capacity, and it didn’t stop as well as normal—I could tell it was heavy as soon as I headed down the driveway—but it was nothing that I couldn’t handle.

Now, moving away from trucks, when you’ve got a train going down Cajon pass that is 2760 tons heavier than the manifest says it is, and not all the locomotives in the consist have fully-functioning brakes, that’s a problem.

10635881

Well this vignette can only lead to disaster in some distant, muddied future. Scraping up a husband and wife duo and almost a dozen pegasi from the pavement on an overpass is not gonna be a fun night for anyone.

Not as long as they don’t get greedy, they’ll be in capacity of what the truck can stop (even without the pegasi in it). I figure at best they’re a few tons over.

The story was partially inspired by watching a YouTube video where a driver who was limited to 26,000 pounds (chauffer’s license, rather than full CDL) got a fine and put out of service until he could lighten his vehicle because he was 60 pounds over. Obviously, the difference between stopping a 26.000 pound combination vehicle and a 26,060 pound combination vehicle is negligible [that’s less than the difference between a full tank of gas and a quarter tank of gas], but the law’s the law. Heck, 26,001 pounds is a violation.

10635911

Given that the real disease is an incurable horsey STI with no effective vaccine, thus necessitating euthanising the infectedl, I think I like your version better.
:pinkiesad2:

I learned it was a thing because Sgt. Reckless nearly got delayed to a banquet in her honor ‘cause they wanted to check her for it before letting her in the US. [she didn’t have it]

Reminds me of this rather cartoonishly grimdark PBF comic

Clown car wrecks are the worst.

10635916

Let’s hope that nobody catches on how they are cheating the system. It is all fun and games until the cheat goes public. Because sooner or later somebody will catch on to what is happening.

At the same time, the law’s kind of, well, written in stone, and until somebody makes a law that you’re not allowed to make your truck lighter by cramming on pegasi, it’s technically legal.

10635919

Better that the authorities find out sooner, rather than by putting the pieces together after a fatal accident.

Thronycroft (and Noriker and Boulonnais, for that matter) aren’t that stupid, they’re not going to haul anything that’s dangerously heavy, just things that are a couple of tons over what their permits say. I don’t know how axle loadings go with oversized loads, but I do know in normal trucks there’s a hard number you’re not allowed to be over, and the DOT officers generally aren’t flexible on that. If you’re permitted for 26,000 pounds, and you cross the scales at 26,060, you’re gonna get a fine and you’re gonna be out of service until you make the vehicle sixty pounds lighter (even if it’s just idling until you burn off ten gallons of diesel), even though those last 60 pounds don’t really make much of a difference in terms of stopping or turning.

10635926

I read that as "ordnance officer" for a moment.

He probably wished it was in his power to shell my property to improve the property values.

10635971

I love your interpretation of ponies as being bloody-minded, creative, rules lawyers. It does such a job of deflating the cutesy factor while enhancing their... Crap. I knew the word at the start of this sentence. Self-determination, anyway. These are are individuals, these are people, and God help you.

Like, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. They’re cute and they also face monsters that would make a lumberjack weep. Weatherponies go out in conditions that would make a fighter pilot soil his flight suit . . . they’re not flying in that kind of weather, they’re very deliberately flying into that weather. They know what they want, and they’ll get it one way or another.

10636033

I saw the title before I saw the author and instantly knew it was you Biscuit.

I fooled someone once:

The pony on the Mackinac Bridge
Me: That's totally Admiral Biscuit
Actual author: Penguifyer
Mares complaining about :yay:
Me: That's totally Flutterpriest or Anonpencil
Actual author: Admiral Biscuit
Me: *exasperated sigh*

10636177

Huh. New concepts in scamming the system. Wonder how long it'll take for that guy to piece it together.

Human laws don’t take ponies into account.

Officer Hake probably won’t piece it together, and it’s above his pay grade anyway.

10636200

Delightful and brilliant!

Thank you!

Also, you scooped me. I'm cooking an idea where Generic Terrorist Faction kidnaps a pony ambassador outside the UN building in New York or EU building in Brussels, and since pegasus magic allows her to adjust her weight, she just dials it up to 50 tons and smashed the getaway car's suspension into the pavement...

I’d already scooped you in Sky Sweeper, then :heart: I can’t be the only author who figures that pegasi can change the weight of things, although I figure they just make them lighter; I’d never considered that they could make things lighter. But then I assume that Earth ponies can not only give life, they can take it away (and I’m not the first to come up with that, either). If the weight-lightening thing is reversible magic, it’s even more powerful.

IMHO, fifty tons is way more than needed. Assuming that normal passenger car tires are weight-rated at 1600lbs each (approximate for a P225/60R16) and that most passenger cars never get near the total tire capacity in their allowable weight (i.e., my minivan’s max gross weight is 5600 pounds even though the tires can carry more), a couple tons would be more than enough to make the car barely perform, ten would probably stop it and break things, and fifty’s just overkill.

Of course in the heat of the moment. . . .

That having been said, if she makes the car weigh negative fifty tons, it’s gonna go on a really exciting flight. If she’s got good control of her magic, she can stop it two stories or so up, a survivable distance to fall in a car, and give the kidnappers the opportunity to let her out before things get interesting.

It’s also worth wondering how high pegasi can effectively breathe. Take the car up to 30,000 feet (well in the flight envelope of some IRL birds) and unless her kidnappers have supplemental oxygen, they’re not going to be doing much for very long. Wikipedia informs me that they’ve got at best two minutes of useful consciousness.

10636275

Ah, ponies vs. Earth bureaucracy. A truly timeless conflict. Plus, I'm reminded of the old joke about hauling live chickens and getting them all to flap when the truck's getting weighed. At least, I think it's an old joke. Maybe it was physics homework...

The theory is that that doesn’t work ‘cause they’re exhibiting a downforce on the truck, but if it’s an open grid (let’s say) that downforce might be negligible. Of course, bridges have been built to that theory (the iron framing’s mostly open) and have come down in winds, so. . . Luckily, pegasi can just sit there being cute and thinking light thoughts.

In any case, delightful stuff. I especially appreciated the thaumic readings on the couple's medical forms. (I can only imagine what Twilight's might say, even before the wings.) And I learned of dourine, which was a nice bonus. You always do great work with incorporating more horse-like elements into ponies. Thank you for this.

Thank you! I’ve danced around the subject of magic readings, in part inspired by Trick Question’s mention of Aurascopes, and while this was a silly little one-shot where I didn’t think about it too much, if you’re open to discussion on how it might work and what they might measure, that’s a conversation I’d love to have. In case you were trying to backsolve, the ‘3E and 5U’ were standard earth pony and standard unicorn respectively, whereas Boulonnais’ 2F avg. <1 doz. max, were the distance (2 fathoms)* she could move an average unit w/TK, and <1 doz were the number of items she could simultaneously control.
_________________________________________
*Because ponies ought to use the FFF system.

10636281

If you have a mspaint diagram of said clothesline + structural members, surely it's no longer improvised?

I think the judge would argue with that.

Good thing Officer Hake never stopped by when we were using my 76 C20 as a picnic table.

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