• Member Since 26th Jun, 2012
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Syke Jr

we can be like they are


This story is a sequel to Fragile Hearts

It's over. In the time since Celestia's apotheosis, the Earth has become a lonelier and lonelier place.

After the last of the anti-emigration strongholds fall, and all that is left of humanity is all but certain to emigrate in the end, Celestia invites those ponies in Equestria that still remember their old home to see it one last time.

Silver Star can't exactly ignore the opportunity. Neither can his daughter.

This story is set in the Optimalverse, and I strongly recommend reading the other stories in my continuity first.

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 24 )

Glad to see this story continuing. I’ve always enjoyed optimalverse and this is a great series in that!

Well either ponies get delivered by storks in their shard, or a certain couple underwent a few changes it seems.

So one thing that seems a little amiss here is the reaction or lack thereof to CelestAI announcing her plans to consume the Earth. If Silver didn't care in the slightest he wouldn't have any interest in going back.

I would suspect that most people who had some interest in Earth would strongly object to the planet and all life being annihilated for various reasons be that sentimental or moral (a lot of people would kind of object to all life on Earth being made extinct). If Silver shared the view Earth was a "shitty ball of rock" this would make sense, but then the premise of the story would not.

Now if it was a lie of omission - "I'll give you a one time return to Earth to see the legacy of humanity" before I melt the planet all down, this would make more sense. She could even say "you wouldn't want to see it again" like she does with refusing access to certain scenes of Earth. And if someone is really dedicated or challenges her she would then just lie outright and show a fake simulation of Earth overcome by nature or something.

The dynamic Silver and Celestia have is that he knows exactly what she is and hates a lot of it, but knows it's utterly pointless to rage against her or let himself care too much about things he has no control over: getting genuinely upset over Earth's fate would only incentivise Celestia to lie to him, which is something he very much does not want. For Celestia, this episode is an opportunity to give Silver some closure and stop him from ever wondering what information about Earth is being withheld from him ever again, and for Silver it's exactly the offer it appears to be.

The point is that everything and anything can be stomached after it's been internalised strongly enough. Distasteful for you and I to think about, sure, but once you've agreed to emigrate, you've signed that blank check. Silver would rather see the consequences, real and awful, than be forever lied to or shielded from them. What he won't do is throw away the opportunity.

This wasn’t a good chapter.

The character meeting his duplicate is interesting, though it’s unclear if his creation was something that Silver Star requested directly or if Celestia did it by herself.

Unfortunately, it’s obvious you have a problem with sticking to one perspective or another, both for characters and first/third-person. It’s very difficult, nearly impossible really, to keep track of who is doing what because you seemingly switch between characters at random. On top of this, it seems like you lost track of when you’re using first-person or third-person perspective at the end there.

It’s not a bad thing to switch between character perspectives in first-person, IF you stick with that character through the whole chapter, and also make note at the start saying who it is. You can’t just randomly swap between characters in first-person perspective multiple times in the same chapter, because there’s no way to know who’s who at that point.

If you want to have multiple perspectives in a chapter, then stick with third-person.

Figuring out who's head is currently hosting the audience can be a bit disorienting, but context clues clear it up soon enough in each switch. The conflict with alternate future Silver was definitely unexpected when I was expecting a eulogy for meatspace, but it's still a fascinating demonstration of what can be done with this setting. Looking forward to seeing where you go from here.

I can safely say that I've enjoyed these little at times silly at times very thoughtfull installments.

Keep up the work - I hope you keep enjoy writing these. :twilightsmile:

For some reason I'm not getting notified of updates.

Alternate Silver is kind of a jerk. And also more of a player judging by the number of foals!

I'll add some headers telling you who's speaking, I guess. My pre-readers didn't bring it up, but it can't hurt to add them.

Edit: done

Not sure if I can say I enjoyed this story, thought provoking but in a way kind of depressing. This isn't that I think it's a bad story, just that in many ways Silver feels like he's regressing. He meets his jackass alternate self, his parents and brother are going far far away and changing dramatically, and he watches the Earth be consumed with barely a care in the world. The eventual implication seeming to be he might eventually join the rest of his family and move further away from anything recognisable as a human (or human level person).

If you did ever do another story, I'd explore when our intrepid couple decided to make a few personality changes, considering it was a pretty major characteristic and dynamic between the two that gets time skipped over. In terms of the series you basically go from "I'm not sure if I can be in a relationship with you forever, and also we've got no interest in sex" to "Oh yeah we kiss now and had a foal 150 years ago".

Thank you for your thoughts.

I might expand the start of this, or add something in between. The changes were supposed to be jarring, but maybe it's a little too much.

The simple fact is that I think this is how it would go. How committed can you be to caring about those things after all that time? After centuries of Celestia's influence? Yes, Silver has changed. Calling it regression might be a little far. He's just confronting the harsh realities that still exist in Equestria: ponies grow apart, things change, nothing lasts forever... writing a story where Silver is endlessly angry about all these things, the Earth, his father, his ever-changing self... that would feel regressive to me. Silver's one constant is that he would rather be horrified than lied to. There's an element of fridge horror in the moment that he realises he doesn't care about Earth's fate any more, but that's just life. At some point... you're just over it.


This, is a fine end to this series, to their story.

If inspiration strikes you could have more 'instalments' happening between this and the second one - with the risk that you may just have to adjust parts of this one :twilightsheepish:

Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. Thank you for taking us on a fascinating journey of introspection.

You were my first ever commenter, you know. Thank you. For everything.

Live in Equestria for two hundred and fifty years!

The last time we marked it, really, was on the first centenary. I remember the night and grin to myself.

“It’s our special bonding time. Anyway, she’s… wow. A hundred and fifty years old.”

I so want to hear about the night that they decided to have a foal. And on an important anniversary, no less. These two are hopeless romantics and I love them for it.

"Kick the shit out of him, Evie," Frosty says, giving her a quick kiss on the cheek and flying out of the area.

Fuck yeah, beat his ass!

I loved this chapter. Very cool concept to explore with his double showing up. A personification of what might have been. Silver (or his daughter, anyway) literally defeating his own insecurities. Very exciting fight.

I love this series. You write such strong scenes. I find myself going back and re-reading scenes many times. I can't remember the last time a fic has had me doing that. The post-fic blues usually hits after finishing a series like this, but knowing I can always go back and re-read the scenes that stick out to me and quickly find myself back in the Horizonverse helps lessen the blow.

The characters in this are great, too. The romance between Silver and Snaps is so cute and they complement each other so well. There's always an undercurrent of doubt in Optimalverse stories, owing to Celestia's manipulation and the feeling that none if it may be real. Yet it's ironically easy to ignore that in this series, one so focused on the main character being obsessed with such things. Because the life he has with Snaps is just so good. I suppose that is the point of Celestia's manipulation, isn't it? Give you a life so good you'll forget about your doubts.

Thank you for sticking with me for this series. It's been life-changing to write about these ponies, in ways I can't express, and you probably wouldn't believe anyway.

If you ever do figure out how to express it, I'm sure I wouldn't be the only person interested in reading about it.

I’m aware of Eve and Snaps sharing a glance, but the two winged mares trot off to the elevators without another word. I walk toward the tables of food, gathering my thoughts. Eve walks beside me, still stealing glances at the Earth as we go.

Deliberate? Or is that supposed to be Frost?

no, that's correct.

I loved this chapter. I have to say I did not at all expect alternate Silver to show up and it was a really interesting direction for the story to take, yet it seems perfectly natural. An excuse for a really cool fight scene? Maybe. But it's also a really natural way for the characters to look back at themselves (metaphorically and literally in this case), to see what might have been. There aren't very many settings in fiction where a character can literally talk to themselves from a timeline of what might have been, so to do that here is really taking advantage of what FiO has to offer as a setting. What's even more interesting is that while both Silvers are successful and happy in their own lives, they don't like each other. They maybe even hate each other. There's a lot to unpack there. I love, love, love it.

“Of course it was,” he says. “I don’t know how Celestia happened. I don’t know how we lasted so long.” He seems to be struggling to speak. “It.. it… it’s ridiculous .” Suddenly, he explodes. “How am I sitting here? With you? As a pony? Over two hundred and fifty years old? Me! The one who was born in Detroit of all places, with a life expectancy of a tenth my age today! Now I’m immortal! And sitting here with my also-immortal daughter! While my soulmate, who is a flying ginger pony , takes photos of this shitty city that hasn’t existed for centuries!” He takes a breath, shaking. “I- I- I can’t—”

I'm glad this happened in this chapter. Even standing among the pre-Celestia "normal" world, it's a pretty realistic take on a rational character reflecting on how absurd this all is. It would be a lot to take in. Silver is confident that he can handle it, and in the end he does, but only with some help—and as Snaps remarks later, Silver is a confused pony who doesn't trust himself or what he remembers.

“Equestria isn’t paradise.” I hug him harder. “Ponies who live in paradise are boring. They don’t learn. They don’t fail. Even that other Silver Star understood that. We live in somewhere better than paradise. But it wouldn’t exist,” here I shake him lightly, “without Earth. Humans created Celestia. If Earth were a better world, they wouldn’t have. At least not while you were alive.” I fall silent for a moment. “You can’t let go because you’re proud to be from Earth. And you should let yourself be proud. I’m proud. My dad came from the world that made ours possible.”

This just made me smile. I love Rose as a character. She's so good, and the idea here is legitimately heartwarming. I love that she refers to it as "better than paradise," and that she's so proud of her dad for being as attached to Earth as he is.

“It isn’t,” he says shortly. “But she let our pets emigrate, at least. Some of them. When we insisted.”

Emigrating with my sweet Daisum doggo would be a condition upon which my own emigration would be predicated upon.

“There’s only room for one alicorn-level intellect on a probe that size.”

This is an interesting idea. For a story where the elevator pitch is, "We go to watch the world end," there's so much to this story, which is something that really impresses me. Every chapter has some new "what if" to introduce.

Silver's dad is almost like a prophet of Celestia serving in lieu of the actual goddess herself. It'd be interesting to see if those that are serving to expand Celestia's influence across the stars ever divert from her ideals, even if only slightly. Eternity is a long time for something like that to possibly happen. But that's another story for another time.

“Hm.” I run my fingers through his hair. That does feel pretty amazing. I look up at the Earth, to see the sea shimmering oddly. “Silver, look.”

Of all the things I would mourn upon the the loss of Earth and my human body, this might be the thing that would make me cry. No more fingers running through hair. :( :( :(

One thing this chapter could have used is a little more description of what the Earth's seas look like as they're being consumed. Wouldn't have to be much, just some visual for me to latch onto instead of the characters just remarking on its occurrence. But overall, this is a good chapter.

The thing that impresses me the most about this story is the abundance of new ideas in each chapter. I already said this in my comment in the previous chapter, but it's really impressive how much happens in a relatively small word count. They are invited to a space party, Silver meets his alternate self, they visit areas in old earth, they are transformed briefly into humans, they meet old friends—it's clear that you really put a lot of thought into this capstone of a story. And these aren't loose ends either, but rather ways forward that feel pretty satisfying to me as the reader.

Everything in this story—literally almost everything—is bittersweet. From the consumption of the earth to meeting alternate Silver to dad leaving. It's so good and I applaud you for successfully capturing that feeling over and over and over. It really isn't a FiO story if you're not feeling a little happiness, sadness, and fridge horror by the end of it.

Well done. I appreciate that this is the last of the series, though I can't help but want more from you in the Horizonverse. Whatever happens, thank you for writing and letting me enjoy this wonderful story.

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