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“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.” - Patrick Rothfuss


A week ago, Appleoosa Station suffered a critical reactor failure that resulted in the station's complete destruction. By absolute miracle, a single tramp freighter piloted by a brave young pegasus escaped the destruction - and carried two hundred of the station's residents to safety in its hold.

Young Scootaloo has been widely celebrated for her bravery, ingenuity and talent in saving so many lives.

Problem is, the version of the story she insists on isn't the same as the official accounts.

Written for the Science Fiction contest.

Proper credit for the inspiration/original form/etc to the legendary Leslie Fish and her work on the nearly-lost filk album Carmen Miranda's Ghost. In particular the song which inspired this fic, Some Kind Of Hero.

Featured 11/30/2021 - 12/3/2021!

Featured in 25 of the Best Fanfics to Read for Cutie Mark Crusader Day on 11/20/2022!

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 46 )

Hey, I know this song.

Holy s***t I’m surprised that some folks know this kind of music and I thought I was the only one

Good to see this song again! Even if I wasn't at all expecting it to show up on here

Howdy, hi!

I love this. Definitely a really good homage to the original piece. It *feels* like a folktale but with a sci-fi twist. Sorta like techno country, which I'm going to say is totally a thing. This story is a really good example of strong characterization in a short period of time, using strong traits and archetypes to shorthand the various characters to give the readers a quick in and become attached in short order.

The pacing is stellar and the legacy that the characters left behind, the impressions they imprinted onto Scootaloo, is both tragic and uplifting. It's a beautiful thing seeing that despite how life kicked them repeatedly, in their final moments they did something more meaningful, and selfless than any of their contemporaries might have been bothered to do.

It was a really fun read, thank you very much~!

Cutie Mark Cargo Haulers, yay!

Seriously, that was a good read. Hit me right in the feels.

Not familiar with the song, but this was a damn good story.

Personal headcanon is that her crew is gonna be a cousin of Braeburn’s from Ponyville, and a unicorn-simulacra android.

Oh man. This is great! I love your choices of characters in this and they way you've reinterpreted them for their roles in the story. Troubleshoes and Lightning Dust especially.

I laughed with Scootaloo at Troubleshooes' "just my luck" and I teared up with her at Lightning's final message.

More than anything else, I'm really glad to have been introduced to the work of Leslie Fish. I need to look into more of it now.

Man, more people need to write Troubleshoes into things. He's such a good character, especially here. Lightning, too. Definitely some of your best work, even if it's an adaptation.

Ayyy holy crap someone not only also listens to this kinda music, but also wrote a story about it? I must be dreaming, great story for a great song! Dawson’s Christian and Guardians are my other favorites.


Sorta like techno country, which I'm going to say is totally a thing.

Filk is rather notable with that - it was born out of a weird kind of intersection between contemporary folk (Woodie Guthrie, Joan Baez, early Dylan, etc) and the birth of modern scifi in the 50s and 60s. It's a really unique like that, combining classical sound with high tech topic matter.


More than anything else, I'm really glad to have been introduced to the work of Leslie Fish. I need to look into more of it now.

A good place to start for her would probably be Banned From Argo, which is her most popular (to the point where she no longer takes requests for it at cons.)


Dawson’s Christian and Guardians are my other favorites.

Dawson's Christian is my #2 from the album, in fact!

I did give Banned from Argo a listen. It's a fun little ditty that gives me U.S.S. Make Shit Up vibes.

Ack! My childhood returns! We wore out our Leslie Fish cassettes listen to them so much. Glad to see this song referenced!

Some kind of hero he is indeed. A good retelling of the song.

Leslie Fish. Now this takes me back.

If Dawson’s Christian is your #2, what’s your #1 if I may ask? Ima make a guess and say it’s Some Kind of Hero? And you got any other space song suggestions?

The singer does some great songs, familiar with the album and this is one of the sadder ones on track. Great story too that captures the genre well enough, especially with lesser known characters.

In terms of the album . The other side of the coin of somber songs is best summed up as ‘space sea shanties with the boys’ . You can really hear the passion of the singers when you hear a near mystical tune to the beat of Old Maui (Aka The Light Ship)

I hear Carmen Miranda's ghost is haunting space station three.

Good story.
Carmen Miranda's Ghost is one of those albums that you only ever find about once, so I had to double take when I saw it on the front page.
Was always more partial to Dawson's Christian

Yeah, did a story to that one myself. Great tune


Ima make a guess and say it’s Some Kind of Hero?

It is indeed.

As for others in the same genre, I don't claim to be an expert. But as for things that've caught my ear - the folks over at Warframe have done a few recent ones that capture that 'space folk song' feel. And one I've got a real soft spot for that a lot of folks have missed is actually Queen's '39, which has all the quality you'd expect from Queen but is frequently missed/forgotten among their heavier airplay works.

...I wouldn't mind reading interpretation of Sam Jones.

Also funnily enough I wantex to make an animatic based on the title song for a while.

I never heard the song before.

All I need is two friends to fill out her crew.

Paging Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom, Paging Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom ...

Thank you for this, Some Kind of Hero and Sam Jones always get to me.

Very good bit of Sci-fi-grunge semi-tragedy. Not the best term, I'll freely admit, but best I could come up with. I particularly like how you translated the characters and their aspects and quirks into a sci-fi setting. Though, given that, I would have expected a more concrete problem to be responsible for Scootaloo washing out, but this works out perfectly well.

Also, I do wonder how reliable a narrator Scoots is - obviously, I don't doubt her overall retelling and her declaration of the others as heroes, but I wonder if she might be downplaying her own contributions and refusing to acknowledge how well she did. Still, I can hardly blame her after what she's been through.

Only two little issues. Firstly, what happened to Braeburn? Did he die as well? Scootaloo certainly talks like he did and it's implied he hasn't been able to tell his side of the story, but I'm not clear why - if he "spent hours in that dark, airless cargo bay keeping everypony calm", what happened to him in the middle of the trip? I apologize if I've just missed something and I'm being dense, but I'm not clear on that point.

Secondly... well, I apologize again if I'm just being dim, but who was the mare in Dust's photograph. A blue mane isn't much to go on and... well, I'm not sure I recall anyone like that being that close to her.

Still, apart from that, it's a pretty good story. I'm not familiar with the song that inspired it, but it felt fairly in-keeping with a fair amount of classic sci-fi. Had a bit of a Dark Star feeling, with a touch of The Cold Equations thrown in for good measure, though obviously far more serious than the first and less gut-punching than the second (though, to be fair, that's a nearly impossible bar to reach and it definitely gives a good showing). All in all, a very good read.

A story based on this filk song? Sign me up! I'll hopefully manage to dig into this later today. I'm curious if you're going to stick to the story the song tells, or if you'll add your own twist to it. I sort of hope it's the latter.

Also, in case you didn't know, the image you're using as cover art can be found in slightly better quality that might be a little more eye-catching.

Hell yeah, space shanties are the bomb, and ofc I'm surprised how many others have heard this one. Nice adaptation 👍


Firstly, what happened to Braeburn?

Got to the end of the story just fine - unfortunately he didn't get to play too strong a role in the story, but at that point Scoots was sort of verbally flailing.

Secondly... well, I apologize again if I'm just being dim, but who was the mare in Dust's photograph.

Nothing important - but I had the opportunity and couldn't resist sneaking in a little bit of FiddleDust to pander to Red Parade.

i've always been preferential to 'Sam Jones' but 'Some Kind of Hero' is pretty damn good too.

Outstanding classic sci-fi with excellent casting. I never made the connection between the three-pony crew and the Crusaders until the last line. Thank you for this. Best of luck in the judging.

"If any old shipmates ask after me, tell them I died clean."

This line. This line KILLED me.

Clicked on this from main page because I saw the cover art and name and had to click it.
Always had a preference to 'Space Hero' myself, but this is good too.

This earned it's place on my all-time-favorites bookshelf, both for the story and my love of the song <3

Well done!

Carmen Miranda's ghost?

More like: Carmen Mare-anda's ghost

For those who haven't hear the album:

Local story gets featured by entire community saying, "hey wait, I know that album cover." More at 11.

I was listening to this album just this morning, but it's not that big of a coincidence considering how often I listen to it. This is one of my favorite songs and, I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit worried, but you did it justice. I'd love to see what you can do with the other songs on the album.

I jumped on this as soon as I saw it. I don't often see other filk fans in the wild! This is a great adaptation.
Here's a newer upload of the song posted in the last year that's clearer than the last one.

Oh! Well thank you - I had no idea there was a better quality recording out there. There's a treat!

That entire channel, Songs From the Stars, has been reuploading a bunch of the classic filk albums on cleaner tapes, as well as a bunch of new ones that haven't shown up on YouTube before. There's an entire album of songs devoted to Challenger. I highly recommend the channel!


Lol, came here to post that exact one, so much clearer version.

Please tell me you plan to do a continuation of this... It's sad and has a great point for a sequel series. Something like Firefly.

For some kinds of hero are lunkheads like me
Who only do things that they’re told
And some kinds of hero are out for the glory
They’re heroes on purpose, and bold

Some become heroes for bravery, sure
And some just because all is lost
But a few are true heroes, like Molly and Jed
Who give without counting the cost

Seriously, great story inspired by a great song. Thank you.

Though I can't wait for Scootaloo to make her own adventures and find her own courage among the stars.

Thank you for introducing me to this genera.

If any old shipmates ask after me, tell them I died clean.

I only cried a little.

I almost shed tears during a family reunion from that. You nailed the feeling perfectly, wonderfully heart wracking :pinkiesad2:

I come across Leslie Fish's music on Youtube this summer and fell in love with it -- I still find myself humming "Dawson's Christian" at work from time to time. There's something really fascinating about that feeling of a folktale or ballad among the stars.

This story is phenomenal, and does the original music excellent justice. The casting in particular is great.

I came across a few of the Warframe ones, too. They're quite good.

Rowan the Bard on Youtube has a series of space shanties themed around Star Wars; a number are more strictly sea shanties or marching songs than what I seem to understand filk to be, but they still do a good job of translating old timey popular music into a space setting.

Finity's End another old playlist by Fish, from what I can tell it's based mainly on the Alliance/Union science fiction novel series.

Other songs I've stumbled across include Bill Roper's, those are also good.

I also like what I've gotten through of Julia Ecklar's and Cynthia McQuillin's music, although I've not listened to the whole of it yet.

(All links go to Youtube, for clarity.)

She'd washed out, the old hands claimed.

nice reference to the Washouts!

The irony of it all was that while I talk about how Troubleshoes or Lightning Dust were washed up? At least they had somewhere to fall from. I was barely an adult and already at the bottom of the barrel with no hope of climbing out.

love this setup! Braeburn, Troubleshoes, and Lightning Dust make a fantastic trio of characters to inhabit a backwater space station, running the gamut of personalities while having the one thing in common that they just all fit in this context. and Scootaloo really rounds them out. you really have a knack for choosing just the right characters for a story, and drawing out the traits that make them so.

I dropped my broom; Cap'n Shoes' glass fell to the floor and broke; Dust caught hers before it could.

ah, poor Troubleshoes!

Not even asking for salvation - the most upbeat, hopeful and confident pony I've ever known fell immediately to making his final peace before meeting the Sun.

fascinating hint of pony religion, especially in this context of being a spacefaring civilization.

We all wanted to live, but even in that moment the pony spirit shone through: none of us wanted to be the first to break and strike out in desperation.

ah, the pony way, love it! it's the way people should be

It never occurred to me to say no.

I'd have rather died than let him down.

ominous words here

Cap'n Shoes knew the Antelope. He knew what her engines were capable of and he knew himself. He chose two hundred lives over his own.

augh, love this. i interpret this as the Antelope only getting the luck it needed to not be hit by debris because of Troubleshoes' passing, adding another layer to his touching self-sacrifice

And this was Lightning Dust at her worst, years after she fell apart from too many drugs and too much stress. Even a barely educated nopony like me could see how amazing she was.

Even though every movement she made was marred by her own trembling.

agh, the themes of broken ponies doing all they can for each other in an awful crisis, just great stuff

One hoof on the board, one holding a little photo of a blue-maned mare I didn't recognize, a smile on her lips, and… and ice on her still face.

agh, FiddleDust! my heart!

It's the two engineers who's names I still don't know that stayed behind on the station to contain the reactor breach long enough for the rest of us to escape.

i remember them! glad they got a mention here

All I need is two friends to fill out her crew.

well that just hints at a spacefaring version of the CMCs, and imagining the circumstances that would lead Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom to join Scootaloo is very fun. now that's a great ending!

It feels a little weird to use someone else's story, even if it's been adapted here and put in my own words.

and now that i've read the lyrics of the song, i see what you mean, as this is a very close adaptation, down to the "washed out"s and the "Ice on her still face". but wow, you did a great job with the adaptation, picking out the perfect characters and filling in little details that enhance their arcs, from Troubleshoes' canonical bad luck to Lightning Dust's unspoken Fiddlesticks ship. not to mention the skill in composing prose that you've applied here, getting across the characters' personalities and the plot with great pacing and bold impression. a really enjoyable read, thank you for it!

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