• Member Since 5th Dec, 2017
  • offline last seen Yesterday


Now with Patreon and Discord! PM, Discord, or Patreon, your choice, for commissions. Ko-Fi is dishonest.


When a starship is launched, there are a huge number of hoops for it to jump through to be cleared for launch- to be allowed to come even close to seeing the light of day.

Then one ship that came up short of all those hoops was granted an exception because of how unique it was- there likely wasn't any set of hoops it could hop through, simply because it wouldn't fit. It was too large.

Unfortunately, while it launched successfully, its builder- and owner- was already dead.

So, with nobody left with a claim to it, it fell into the ownership of the Navy- under whose authority it launched. And what is the Navy going to do with a starliner of this size?

Personnel movements, of course! If anyone wants a ride to fringe worlds at the warfront, or back from them, and doesn't mind becoming a cute magical pony for the rest of their lives, she can get them home and back three times over in the same time that even the fastest other ship would require just to get them home the first time.

Updates on Thursdays, when ready. Why didn't I have this note in here before...?

Chapters (9)
Comments ( 59 )

Looks to be an interesting trip. Certainly there's something funny going on with the generator I must say.

Actually reminds me of a novel by John Ringo, they build an improvised exploratory space ship out of a nuclear submarine and some scavenged alien tech. While the black monolith thingy might not have been intended to serve as a star drive, it does a pretty good impersonation of one under certain circumstances.

Yeah, when they found/visited this ancient space station built by some other long-forgotten race the competing fields produced an, unusual, effect. The ship and its crew experienced what could only be described as an archetype shift into the next closest literary concept for as long as they were docked.

Everything turned into its 80's Macross equivalent.

Very surreal.

Hmmm, why does this seem like a reboot??

Ah it is, the third of similar names ... better luck this time?

Yup, it’s a reboot. The First Equestrian Starliner and The Equestrian Starliner used the same, people-are-stupid approach; the first put the ship in Equestria for Twilight, the second brought it home for the idiots at home to blunder about with... and retconned itself not once but twice, before getting cancelled mid-rewrite.

This one uses a less proactive (but just as smart) ship AI, and people that actually seem to know how to do their jobs.

And funny names for people, of course, because I suck at human name generation.

He raised an eyebrow. “That’ll pass the requirements… but only because there is no maximum . If she has to return to dock, you can expect there will be a maximum by the time any relaunch comes about. Though, if she’s going to have a passive idle like that, what is her maximum combat time on stored power alone?”

Do you mean minimum idle time, not maximum?

This is a warship with fuel bunkers so large she will require at least three months to burn through it all at the maximum capacity of her power plants, let alone at power levels she might actually need for combat. Plus, with a powered idle time of a few thousand years, considering her size...

That means she has almost ridiculously large fuel bunkers. There is no max, so she'll pass... but necessity is the mother of invention, and once the policymakers realized she had that much bunkerage relative to her requirements, they'd probably put a limit on it, being afraid of having too much volatile hydrogen fuel stored on the vessel in the event of a catastrophic failure... or combat damage.

I was under the impression that you had a couple different versions of this in the running, so is this another AU or did you decide to rewrite one for some reason?

It's a rewrite of... Oh, I forget which of the other two, but it is a rewrite. The Equestrian Starliner just had too many idiots in high-up command positions... well, being idiots. And the ship AI was literally the smartest and most proactive thing on or near the entire planet... which is boring.

So it got rewritten. And too thoroughly, at that, for an in-place rewrite.

He had been ordered to commission it into naval service as well, meaning it had passed all tests, and been confirmed to meet all the minimum requirements;

The formatting went weird on you there.

And not through is personal phone, either


and even if we do, I don’t want to throw all of our women at her anyways

That one went weird too.
That's the one that also does a good impression of a doomsday weapon, wasn't it?

The wonky formatting... doesn't happen to be how FimFiction's automatic justification of the prose likes to insert newlines- as if by a hundred spaces- after italicized text? Yeah, I've noticed that too, and I hate it, but there's nothing I can do. I know, I've tried.

a press release connected to the two Navy vessels that had been caught supporting the Black Fang

That one went weird too

The third wave will be entirely medical personnel

And this one...

would be the purgatory she was expecting. It was a passenger liner… but it had internal gravity.

And that one too.

He tilted his head. “How’d they do that?”

“Well, I know his wife was involved, and that she’s expecting now…”

I have a feeling that someone is probably getting yelled at for that...
Whether it's him for not being careful, or for the testing department for overstepping their bounds I'm not sure!

It's not newlines, but really big spaces between words. It doesn't happen all the time either.

Yeah that's the one, hook it up to a car battery and say goodbye to your solar system.

So like I said, as if by hundreds of spaces. It's a formatting error of FimFiction's, and I hope they fix it soon.

First rough estimation of size given current numbers, and previous research into planetary evacuations, suggests approximately 10 miles in diameter, which is tricky to do on a T class planets surface but not currently impossible. You just have to watch out for global atmospheric disturbances when launching, which limits top lift speed to about 30 mph and so under 8 hours to LEO?

That's usually what my mind comes up with, though with less of a "diameter"... The base shape would be more of a "flat plane", roughly H shaped (a really wide & short one, specifically, opening to the sides) that is 10 miles long, 5 wide, and 1 deep. The front hammerhead hosts mostly engines and the spinal weapons; the rear "wings" are angled downards and reach out past the width of the rest of the vessel (so, past those 5mi) to mount some genocidal missiles half as long as the rest of the ship. The leading/trailing edges of these wings is also host to the main FTL control engines. Also, at the center of the back, there's a large "bulge" upwards, about 2/3 the main width and 1/5 (or so) of the overall length of the vessel, which rises half again the thickness of the vessel to the observation deck; the rear of the vessel is mostly engines. The top and bottom surfaces are basically carpeted in weapons- including broadside "spinal" weapons (referred to in Chap. 1 as "high-energy lateral accelerator weapons" because that's how they work), that span the entire width of the vessel in order to deliver a cee-fractional nuclear cluster strike (naturally planet-shattering) against something off either side of the vessel.

That said, I have never really calculated the size of the vessel. I am aware that the size/shape described above probably doesn't fit the cited passenger capacity, especially with the opulence described in-story, so scale up until it fits.

I have also never considered takeoff speed. Perhaps the energy shields/particle deflectors could be used to mitigate it some, perhaps the gravity drive was powerful enough to render atmospheric disturbances moot (as far as vessel handling was concerned), perhaps it just didn't care about its effects on global weather because the planetary weather control would take care of it... and, perhaps a very low takeoff velocity was adhered to. It did, after all, launch under computer control, so nobody was going to be getting bored.

Here, the nearest body of soil to jump to is too far away, since it can't jump nearly as far horizontally or upwards as it can downwards, and these farming bays are not vertically arranged.

Well, it wasn't made with magic (and earth ponies) in mind ...

Athena's never been one for subtlety, has she?

Cant fire a Spinal cannon that close to an occupied planet, would sterilise that half of the surface and case intresting deformations on the other side.

Firing At the planet would punch straight through and cause all sorts of caldera collapse catastrophe effects.

I think Athena was slightly annoyed.:trixieshiftright:

I think the Navy just found out how powerful those energy weapons are, and just how advance the ship really is. Those pirates never stood a chance.

Let the pirates board, to make more ponies.

She hasn't, has she?
Fun fact: That was one of her smaller ship-to-ship weapons.

And she technically can fire the spinal Starshot cannons near a colonized planet- it doesn't matter that the ball of plasma is so large the FTL drive is required to counter the kickback if it's moving at transluminal velocity. Just... pray it's not shooting something anywhere near the planet. They call it a Starshot cannon for a reason.

Oh yes. But, their main worry was that the energy weapons they had might be nice and effective... but were very short-ranged. And that which has a dismally short range is nearly useless in most space combat, since all the enemy has to do is keep the range open.

doesn't mind becoming a cute magical pony for the rest of their lives

Military folk tend to be pretty practical-minded about things, so the "magical" part probably qualifies as an additional incentive.

Bending energyis easy, its a mirage. Denser beam on one side andthe self interaction causes it to curve. The trick is getting it to curve enough.

To sense through the planet requires complex ultralow frequencies, which looks so much like magic.

Thats a Big ship, with a Lot of suprises. Theres no support craft in the hangers? Or the mana conversion reactors havent started creating them yet?

I wonder what is the range on those energy weapons, because of that stunt, Dang.

It was, after all, titled ‘AI Completion of Crew-Assigned Tasks’... and marked at a whopping eighty-seven percent. Its brief description indicated it to be the ratio of the number of crew tasks that had been completed by the ship AI to the total number that had been presented to the crew.

Dot's some toasty snark.

More than the diameter of Io (1726 km)

There are the support craft they brought aboard, but none pre-supplied.

... They're technically not mana conversion reactors. The mana is creating plant matter, which the matter/energy conversion system (those reactors) then converts into whatever it needs at the moment...

... Not quite.

First, that's the radius of Io.

And second, that's if she were shooting through Io. To estimate the length of the weapon's curved trajectory, we would want half the circumference- pi/2*3643.2, or 5722.7km. Which, at 0.019 light-seconds, is really, really short for a spacefaring vessel. I imagine the limitation of energy weapons would be how long the projectile or beam took to break apart or scatter rather than the accuracy of the targeting... and given a space-age precision, we can assume that standard laser beams could conceivably do damage at distances that you might start measuring in light-seconds. Sensors would likely see things at distances measured in light-minutes- and missiles would have no fixed range cap, just a fixed amount of acceleration available...

My bad, just grabbed the number without looking, but I did say 'more than' (and d=2*r) plus your math is also off -

C=2*pi*r2 so the arc is more pi*(r+o)2 since the orbital height needs to be added (and this is the orbital path), the shooting curve is less as it's a sharper arc (or curving chord) ...

[* this is an approximate arc as the orbit(s) of the targets weren't given other than being in a separate/different orbit(s) *]

... Circumference is 2*pi*r, area is pi*r^2. We're looking at about half the circumference of the roughly circular slice of Io that intersects with the projectile's orbital plane (which does not match either the ship's or the target's orbital planes, but intersects them both at the appropriate points)...

I chose to ommit the orbital altitude since I imagine it being a fairly low-altitude exercise, giving those probes a rather wide freedom of orbits to be parked in... therefore, the orbital altitude is a matter of fifties or hundreds of kilometers, and so small enough to be safely ignored (creating a margin of error of about the width of Texas depending on orbit, so ~20%). In the end, Io isn't really all that large of an object to shoot around...

Yeah :facehoof: realized that after I was elsewhere and couldn't change it :derpytongue2:

That wasn't just your regular old stupidity, this was advanced stupidity.

Bring in the clowns, then enter the gladiators?

Those fools should get dishonorable discharge and twenty to forty years in prison for gross misconduct and nearly killing everybody on board.

You bet they got that.

They might even be lifers, or even facing capital “airlost” punishment...

Or, on this ship? Plasma cannons powerful enough to deorbit battlecruisers.

More like Darwin award level stupidity ... :facehoof:

Definitely. They:

  1. Got burned by some superheated plasma
  2. Got frostbitten by something cold enough to freeze the plasma- my guess is something with a (very) high SHC and thermal conductivity, but single-digit temperature when measured in kelvins and an even lower melting point. Supposed to be trapped inside the reactor by the containment field, but that failed here...
  3. Got crushed by a very large, very heavy and very frozen piece of the reactor
  4. Nearly got themselves shot at by a column of marines
  5. Were sent straight to the brig.

... There must have been some earth ponies. There’s no other way they’d have survived the weight of steel. Any Pegasi might have broken backs to worry about, and wings that had been frostbitten off... same for unicorns and their horns.

When is the next chapter coming out?

After I finish writing it, unfortunately.

I’ve been dealing with writing environments that are... inoptimal, at best, lately. I do have an idea for where it will be going, though- so hopefully next week, possibly a week after that if it takes that long.

Edit: Just checked the doc, it’s just about ready for my editors now.

I'm curious where this is going, specially with the captain now heading the ship can talk.

She's one hell of a passenger liner though :rainbowlaugh:

How about firing two more times? It should pretty much evaporate the remaining debrees. Or not?

Any chance for a new chapter?

It would, yes. The AI didn't see any reason to do that, apparently- perhaps it would break up completely in the atmosphere, fall overseas... or the software just wasn't programmed with that in mind?

Got it, thanks.

Ah, yes!

Is the fic in some sort of dead-end?

No, it isn’t. My attention has just been…. Elsewhere.

Ok. Fic is followed. I'd be happy to read what happens next as soon as it's released.
🖖 Live long and prosper!

He sighed. He couldn’t say he hadn’t expected that- every one of his calls to the testing crew from the surface had failed, so he rather suspected the testing crew might have either abandoned the controls, or abandoned the ship altogether. He’d even looked for personal numbers, but been unable to find any names for the testing crew- as far as his computer was concerned, the ship had been tested by a crew of air .

The ship had been tested by a crew of air.
I think it is on a level of Automation, AKA computer, or Silicon?

Login or register to comment