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This story is a prequel to Sol Invictus


Just keep walking. So long as the sun is on your right, you'll stay alive. Just keep walking.


Thank you to Zontan, Red Parade, Atom Smash, Drider, Grand Moff Pony, Exodd, Aurora Dawn, Vis-a-Viscera, YourUncleFuncle, Shaslan, and a special shout-out to Seer, who wrote a phenomenal sequel, Sol Invictus!

Tied for first place in the Sketch Contest for the Quills and Sofas Speedwriting Group. The prompt was a few YCH-style sketches, and we were to write something that the sketch could be used for as coverart. We're on Discord here if you'd like to join us.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 49 )

This was a deliciously dark and spooky story. Excellent job!

Lovely horrifying story. I would love to burn everything aboard that ship they are on.

Artist #3 · May 18th · · ·

Is this a alternative universe?

I like it

I don't think what they're doing would even be considered living anymore.

Zuabug #5 · May 18th · · ·

... I need more of this universe omigod :o

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I've got great news for you! It already has a sequel and once I finish the coverart and the author finishes editing, it'll be posted! Keep an eye on Seer for when it comes out!

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Agreed! Isn't it great? I bet they can't even read. Dystopian sci-fi stuff is wild, isn't it?

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It is and I'm glad you like it!

10821437
Me too! Absolutely horrific situation. No good solutions to it. Isn't it fun to think about (even if your thoughts are "what the f*ck was that?")

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Thank you! I'm so happy you enjoyed it.

Artist #8 · May 18th · · ·

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I also hope that you will read my stories when you get the chance, I think that you will really enjoy them just as I have enjoyed your story.

And will you be writing more in this alternate universe? Would love to see more of it

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I'll have to check em out, though I've read some of yours already. I haven't decided if I'll continue writing in this setting, but that's okay because my good friend Seer has already written a fantastic sequel that should be coming out soon!

Seer #10 · May 18th · · ·

This is such a wonderfully creative story Silent
You have a truly enviable knack for coming up with very distinct and singular AU's that simultaneously feel so realised and organic, and this is such a superlative example of that
That's to say nothing of the excellent prose, the way your exposition never feels the least bit overbearing, and the deliciously dark plot
Really excellent stuff, you should be very proud of this one :heart:

I honestly don't know what to say about this. (Take it as a compliment, I was mildly disturbed.)

Oh now I want more backstory!

Comment posted by FarmFreshAppleTarts deleted May 18th

The only thing holding this back is Rainbow expositioning the stuff we should be thinking about on our own.

I kinda need more. I need to see these ponies freed

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See, while I agree, I'm kind of caught in a no-win scenario here. If I put in exposition explaining the thought process, people complain, but if I don't, then I get many comments saying "I'm confused." Still, if that's your only complaint, I'll take that as a win!

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I do take it as a compliment! It's a bit of a disturbing setting. Fun to think about, though!

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Thanks! Y'know, I've been getting requests to see more of this universe in the comments! If only someone would write a stunning and thought-provoking sequel...

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I'm glad you want more! There's a sequel on the way, though not by me! Check out Seer's work, because they'll be continuing the story, and it's absolutely incredible where they take it!

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You've got me thinking. Would it be worse if they were on a planet? They wouldn't get 24/7 sunlight that way, unless the planet rotated verrryyy slowly, and then you'll eventually run into a similar problem (not to mention oceans or other unpassable landscapes).
... you know, this entire situation could've been solved if the spaceship had just been fitted with grow lamps for plants. I'm just now thinking that. Eh, it isn't a dystopia if things aren't objectively messed up, right?

this is a really good story, and make you wonder a lot of things who rainbow wanna know, who made that machine, why don't spot spinning, why they need to keep walking, we have a pony who just keep living, and a pony who ask "why". I love it... :rainbowderp:

Current theory: this isn't malicious, but its the only way to continue pony life, using them as a self sustaining ecosystem. Yes, they're gradually worn down by both the plant's feeding and the endless walk untill they give up or die, feeding into the system to provide for the others.

Fascinating bit of horror... but part of me can't help but shake my head at the glaring design flaws. I know, I know, it was a rush job to ensure the survival of the species, but man, talk about a user-unfriendly experience. And that applies to both the ship and the biomancy. No wonder Dash is questioning matters.

On a related note, I have a newfound appreciation for the plight of Grass-type Pokémon.

Again, this was a great bit of quiet, terrifying helplessness. It's just that the deck feels a little too stacked against the ponies. (Of course, I have a tremendous bias towards lighter stories and happy endings, so take that with several grains of salt.)

I look forward to the sequel of this, but I must say that I do quite like where it left off. Love the horror of it all and the total helplessness- just a snippet into a fairly hellish world rife with implications.

I agree with the idea that Rainbow Dash exposited a bit too much regarding fertilizer, but I think it's something I can forgive.

A nice little dip into horror, but it still reminds me of why I don't usually read horror anymore: I like it when the protagonist wins, and with most horror, winning just isn't something they can do.

I recognize this is a strictly personal problem.

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A nice little dip into horror, but it still reminds me of why I don't usually read horror anymore: I like it when the protagonist wins, and with most horror, winning just isn't something they can do.

I recognize this is a strictly personal problem.

Used to love horror for that reason. It's the genera where the bad guy might actually win, so there's genuine stakes for the protagonists. They might win, but only at great cost & pain to themselves.

For a long while now the genera been the one where the bad guy will win, though, and it's one of those frustrating ideas that's fine when ONE story does it, but just gets bleak & uninteresting when nearly EVERY story does it.

So, yeah, definitively get your frustration with horror. At it's best, it's one of the most exciting & invigorating generas out there, at its worst, quite possibly the bleakest AND most stagnant.

Mostly moved to getting my horror fix from games nowadays for that reason. If Issac Clark gets his head ripped off or Torque gets the 'your a monster's monster' ending, it's my fault due to the interactivity, you know? Not JUST a sadistic writer/director/whatever.

this setting is the definition of hell.

Long response
Like what is the point of living in this setting. Its like an endless repeating cycle of nothing. Not only that its seeing a repetition of what looks like the same hallway with mist on front and back, forced to just walk most of the time. Literally no greater meaning, no entertainment, nothing but walking and drinking water till you just die. At least with life we have distractions but in this setting its just one gigantic monotenous walk. And dear god i pity the foals because this is everything they are going to know. They wont know anything about their culture history and civilization besides some oral tales that are going to get more and more distorted and forgotten. They probably wont get the expirences of going to school playing in a forest, seeing the city, all they are going to know is walking in a satelite around and around. And before you mention they bring books, yeah maybe those books might get preserved for a while until they get lost over time or literally decay. And theres also the fact that each succeding generation would have less percentage of knowing about things like sea, land, trees to the point that they wont be able to visualize other things except the satellite. And over time math, literature, science,cusine, art and everything is going to be forgotten. What literally made equestrian civilization ,a civilization is going to become nonexistant.

And whats stopping the satellite from malfunctioning and being destroyed or a random meteroite hitting the satellite

I mean unless theres some sort of library hospital and school wing of the satelite which i dont know how that would work well then equine civilization is dead. Sure the people live but everything else they built the identity they ve created is going to be gone. All that remains is literal cattle waiting for the last member of the species to give up and die. And even then there wont be evidence they existed since their remains are going to be converted to fertilizer.
And not only that there being no purpose to go on except living more in this utter hell for a long ass time, hoping for some change that probably wont come and refusing to die because the alternative non existance manages to make this hell look better.

I applaud the author for creating what is literally the definition of hell and one of the most horrific settings in this site

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the exposition kinda added character and tension to the story and i liked it though some people may not like that.

Comment posted by ramensoup deleted May 19th

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The funny thing is the story doesnt address what happens to pony urine and feces. And the thing about fertilizer is that some fertilizer is animal feces. :)

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They're clearly feeding themselves with water as plants do, so there's no need for a regular digestive system

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I mean they still need some form of digestive system to get rid of any toxic accumulation in the body. And before you say theres no way they can get toxic accumulation well early in the story rarity does drink the water which implies there is some form of digestive system intact. And the water isn't fully water and is implied to have fertilizer substances. And Fertilizer substances are known to posses toxins that are harmful to the body.

I hate everything about this.

So basically, good writing, and keep it up.

After doing this for so long… would they ever be able to leave this veritable hell? It’s all they know, marching forward through those circular hallways, drinking “fertilizer”, and leaving the weak behind. I’m sure at least a few of us imagined showing up to save them… but would they even look at you, or would they just continue to March past. At this point the need for movement is so instinctively engrained they do it while sleeping! They might give you a wide berth, but I doubt they would stop. Heck even if you could move them down onto a fertile and hospitable planet… could they even survive there anymore, outside of their monotonous controlled environment?

Wow, what a hell you have created for ponies. Honestly, not much different than real life. I almost question when it is horror at all: their predicament is so much more clear than ours. Bravo

I always knew plants were secretly evil.

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The real question is "is that better or worse than drinking the corpses of your friends?"... and that's not a question I feel like answering! Thanks for the in-depth look at the horrible world I created, and your comment of

the exposition kinda added character and tension to the story and i liked it though some people may not like that.

made me feel a little better about including it. Can't please everyone, you know? I'm glad it at least made you think.

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I woke up to 10 comments and like 54 notifications and this comment was my favorite because it made me laugh, so thank you.

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10822592
Both of your takes are entirely fair. I have to be in a certain mood to enjoy horror at all; otherwise, it just makes me depressed. And yeah, this is one of the ones without a feasible happy ending I can think of, but there are some with happier ones out there (or at least less awful settings!). I appreciate both of you giving my fic a shot regardless. Horror's not for everyone and this setting is dark as heck.

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... okay I lied, this is my favorite comment now

10823074

Same here!

Poor roseluck...

It's like a bad fever dream. But damn if it isn't a well written fever dream.

This is the most overly-and-needly-complicated method of keeping plants alive I've ever seen.

Sheesh, it's like they've never grown pot in the basement! :rainbowlaugh:

On that thought... Tree Hugger ABSOLUTELY would have a cannabis plant growing on her... which means a trollfic is required now. :trollestia:

Twilight gets a coca bush... YOU KNOW WHY!! :twilightoops:

10821559
Ooooo!! Excited!! T__T

Celestia. Celestia is the one doing this, isn't she?

Whoa. Just whoa. That was short but super heavy and very well written.

I had to read it a second time to truly, get everything. But damn, this is some crazy shit. Really outside the box.
Makes me want to see an origin story for this AU, and judging by the comments it looks like we’re getting a sequel, so can’t wait for that

This is one of the coolest, most original sci-fi concepts I've ever seen! I'd love to see this move away from ponies and be published so more people could see it, it's awesome!

Oh hey, you write about generation ships! Awesome. But I don't understand how you've got the lighting situation set up such that there's a sunset and sunrise.

Another thing, that they need constant light suggests they drifted away from the sun, which is mildly concerning.

I wonder if there's a library you can check out once every cycle. That's important for culture, after all.

10830895
I imagine it has something to do with the rotation providing artificial gravity or something. If they're walking on the inside of a rotating ring and the ring is edge-on to the sun for the most part then if they stopped walking the ring would take them into the darkness.

10822118
Oh no...

Grass pokemon were evolved to function that way. We have a thousand pokemon (give or take) and how many are prehistoric fossils? 20? 30? I am under the impression by how few are grass based that most pokemon were "works in progress" back than by the legendaries.

Sadly it seems pony kind is both doomed and flawed. Even if their bodies cope with the editions (Rarity never once noted discomfort) there is still only one pregnancy per mare. It sounds like those who do it twice don't make it so the population is going to half with each generation assuming no health problems. These plants cannot even survive one night.

This isn't a bad ending, just a sad requirement of circumstance. The solution is unfortunately hindering any potential for change.

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Good news, friends! The sequel has been published! You can find it here!

Sometimes I scroll through Fimfiction and pick things based on the title alone. This was one of those times.

AMAZING work!! I was invested through the entire thing, and the world you created for the ponies to live in is beautiful and dark. I can imagine all the amazing art that would come from these ponies being intertwined with these living plants. The idea that they have to keep walking for eternity or they'll die is a great plot-driver of an idea, and I'm sure there's tons you can do with it. As an introduction to this little world though, this fic was absolutely perfect.

I LOVE Rainbowdash's theory. I hope she's correct, purely so I can see what happens next, and if the water supply really is tainted with the bodies of their dead friends :twilightsmile: This is one for an MLP creepypasta audiobook from TheLostNarrator or ScribblerProductions. Seriously, great job.

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