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On a one way trip to the moon


Active duty as a magus in Equestria is a life of travelling and dangerous situations. As much as Twilight Velvet enjoyed her work, she couldn't put it before family; not now when she has two foals to take care of. Someone higher up agreed, fast tracking her retirement; except, there's a catch: she has one last job to do, from the princess herself no less.

But one last job before she can be with her family should be no problem, right?

Twilight finds that she regrets ever thinking so when she finds herself completely cut off from the rest of Equestria. It doesn't help that she has to take care of more than just her own needs in order to survive.

This was written for the Ancestral Tribute contest.

Special thanks to Perfectly Insane and another friend of mine for pre-reading!

Cover art by: reedman

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 12 )

That was a good story.

You do present an interesting conundrum in terms of whether the story actually fulfills the prompt. Velvet is certainly without her biological children for the vast majority of the story, but her role as a mother is, as you said, one of the main foci. I’m going to allow it on the basis that I flubbed the initial presentation of the prompt. Again, you fulfilled it as it was written, and it’s on me that it’s not quite what I intended.

As for the story itself, a fascinating and suitably achronic tale of survival and adaptation in bizarre circumstances. (I do wonder if Raven ever got to meet her adopted siblings; that must have been quite the experience.) The word limit forced it to leave a number of threads hanging, but it was largely an engaging read. Thank you for it and best of luck in the judging.

Thanks, truth be told I wasn't sure if it would make the cut.

I kind of just saw the initial post of the contest and then my mind started spinning this idea. It wasn't until I was almost done with story that I realised I might have just completely missed the point of it all. :twilightblush:

And yeah, I had a few more scenes I wanted to write, but I ran out of words. :twilightsheepish:

So lots of questions, first what is a Magus? It is not explained in the story and especially as this is the readers first introduction to Twilight's line of work that needs to be expanded up here.

Second is you put ideas out there but don't really expand on them or give any context like:

There were plenty of ponies who got stuck with a desk job, but this was one she *really* didn't want to interact with; and there was no doubt as to their identity with that bold pink mane with white stripes.

Why does she hate this stallion so much? Did something happen between them? Did he just give her crap assignments during her service? I don't know. The only thing I know is she put in for early retirement and it got delayed because of this new assignment.

Third question is what was the purpose of the opening section? Why are they going to a makeshift house? Are the running from something? Are they poor? I don't follow because later on the stallion (who's not named even though they have some sorted history together) points out that she clearly makes enough to be able to afford a nurse maid.

Fourth thing is how old is the filly (I'm assuming its Twilight but I'm not 100% sure) because Twilight says this:

"Two days? I delivered my foal just a couple of days ago, I still need to recover!"

If that's the case how is the filly able to talk? Mr. and Mrs. Cake have a filly and a foal at the same age and they are not able to speak. Unless a couple years had passed but that wouldn't make sense because the orders stated that Twilight needed to be at the station in 2 days.

I hope this didn't come across as overly negative. You have some quality ideas that just needed better execution or needed to be expanded upon a lot more.

First thing, you have to name your characters especially if they play a role outside of taking drink orders. This filly has been present for two chapters and I have no clue who they are. Are they Twilight's older sibling? Is it Twilight junior? Or do I have this whole thing wrong (which could easily be the case), but I don't know? I think for clarity for the reader you should have given Twilight Velvet a nickname or use her last name since Twilight (In my mind) is so heavily associated with Twilight Sparkle I cannot disassociate the two.

Part two of expand, expand, expand please! We get introduced to Night Light (who I assume is Twilight's husband) and we don't get to know this stallion at all outside of him being upset with the orders that Twilight received. That leads into the next section in which I have no clue what's going on, is it a flashback? Is it an adventure that Twilight Velvet went on? After that they find what I assume to be an abandon camp with two dead ponies and a crying filly (Again names because I have no clue who this filly is) and then the scene ends.

What I would have done in this chapter is introduce Night Light and delve into how he is responsible for looking after the kids while she is gone. They would go back and forth explaining how Velvet should have retired when she was pregnant instead of waiting because Night Light knew this would occurred. Let them have an argument because its a stressful situation that readers can relate to (I know I can being in the military with kids). It gives your characters more depth and makes them more relatable to the reader. I would continue with them calming down as the hold the baby filly talking about how they would get through this as a family like they have done with the other assignments and include the other unnamed filly in the conversations. Then I would have Twilight reading over the papers that were given to her so the reader knows not only whats going on story wise but what is going on in Velvets head before she heads out. I would cut the last two scenes because they provide no insight to any characters or provide nothing of value to progress the plot.

This is your best chapter so far. All the characters in here have names making it easier for me to follow along with who's talking and Minuette for the win, one because she's awesome :raritywink:, two because she actually explained what her role is in the narrative and what her job is.

However, this chapter still suffers from ideas not fully being fleshed out like Minuette should be able to tell us what her friend is doing down in Vanhoover even if she doesn't have the full details. The reader needs something to latch onto because we're still in the dark on this whole mission until Velvet finally reads the letter from Celestia (which in my opinion should have occurred last chapter at the latest).

The letter was solid and provide much needed info for the reader on potential what Velvet will be doing, but still does not tell us why Celestia singled her out amongst whatever organization Velvet is a part of. You need to give some validity on why Celestia hoof picked her when she just gave birth to a foal not even a week prior. It makes Celestia come off as insensitive and lazy because Velvet appears to be the simple solution to her problem.

These scene transitions come out of nowhere and kill the pacing of your story. It's like having a commercial coming in during the middle of an important scene killing the mood. You need to give the reader something to follow along that the passage of time has occurred. First, we are on the train with Minuette, Velvet reads a letter, and boom we are hacking at trees like Indian Jones in the Jungle until Spark shows up. Events happen way to quickly and abruptly that it gives the reader little time to process what is actually happening. Like why is Velvet in the forest/jungle? Where is Minuette? Why did they split up? What happened to the train? Why was Velvet so elated to see Spark that she hugged her? These are some of the questions that I have no clue what the answers are because I have no context or history to draw from.

Okay so in these scenes your writing is improving, you're providing clear and concise content that helps move the scene forward. However, outside of these specific scenes it's a mess. Each of these separate scenes needs to tie in with your overall narrative and so far the only one that has is when Minuette is involved. Outside of that the others only add to my confusion on what their intended purpose is and I will explain now.

First section is solid. You provide a nice introduction to Lemon and gave the reader some information on what is going on in the world around them, not enough in my opinion, but it's an improvement. But, you have still failed to explain to the reader what a Magus is and why they're so important or why Velvet is crucial to whatever it is that they're doing. Lemon explains it a little with they only require them when things get heated but outside of that the reader has to fill in the blacks.

Second section, I don't understand why it's here. Is this a flashback or flashforward? It's confusing and I don't know how it fits in with your overall narrative. Plus (going to be honest here as a parent) I don't know how Velvet could go all these years without naming her kid. I believe that you form a deeper connection with your child after you name them because you help create their identity and what makes them different from everyone else. If we disregard that and look at the scene as a whole, this should be a big emotional moment for Velvet as her daughter wants to have her name, but it falls flat for me. It could be because I had nothing to make me emotionally attached to these characters or I just don't know enough about them to become emotionally attached. They feel like acquaintances at this point in the story and it sucks because I would love to get to know them.

Third section falls in line with the previous section of why is it here? What is Spark's role in the narrative because I haven't been able to put my finger on it. I'm also lost on how Velvet is in the forest/jungle with Spark but also in (I'm assuming Manehatten) with Minuette and Lemon. This is why transitions are so important! It helps the reader follow along with your story and they don't get lost. You could have told me critical information in this scene, and I wouldn't even know because I honestly don't know why I'm here in the first place.

The last scene again suffers the same fate. I want to know why these scenes with Velvet and Twilight are important. Show me why they're important to you to include them. I want to me emotional close with these characters because it's not often do you see a story about Twilights mom, and I want to take full advantage of it. You got to dig deep and really ask yourself why is this scene important? How does it affect the overall narrative of the story? Do this provide quality information for the reader to understand my characters, or does it take away from that? These are things I ask myself with each chapter I right because I want the reader to form a connection with my characters. I want them to relate to them, understand their plights, and see their growth as the story progresses. I am not the greatest writer, but I hope this helps.

So far, your strongest sections that I feel close adhere to the story's description involve Minuette and Lemon and it holds true here. The only thing I would add is a couple of introductory paragraphs to establish what the team has been doing since the first time they met (again transitions). Other than that solid section.

So, a thought occurred to me while reading the second section. Because Velvet went into the anomaly it just jarred her whole world up and that is why we have these random scenes? If that's the case, I guess it makes sense, but I still find it really confusion (maybe by design). And here we're introduced to a new character, Raven. I don't know if it was a good idea to introduce another new character this late in the story, but it happened. Plus, I noticed that you did this for a writing contest and can explain why the story wasn't fully baked due to time constraints. If that is the case, I profusely apologize for being hyper critical on this, but I hope you do find some of the comments helpful.

Third section is a sweet scene with Twilight and Raven, but it still leaves me wondering why it is here.

This was a decent story overall, but I feel that there were a lot of things that you wanted to do with it that you didn't get the time to explore. You have some great ideas here, but they needed to be fleshed out more, as well as, given room to breathe. I would of love to explore more of Twilights relationship with Raven or her time in the jungle with Sparks or with Lemon and Minuette. You could also easily disregard this, because my story pales in comparison to your first story. I just wanted to give you some genuine feedback since you were asking for it on discord. Hit me up if you have any questions.

While my first story blew up, I don't think that's necessarily an indictment of my skill as a writer; I'm still a novice.

I did read your comments, but if anything they make me reflect more so on possibility that I failed to properly get across the notion of how the story is told. The narrative isn't told linearly, most chapters starts with a flashback that slowly progresses towards a pivotal moment, while the rest of the narrative takes place in the "present" time. Which very rapidly skips forwards in time, especially between chapters.

There's more I wish I could have squeezed in but time and word count limited prevented me, I do plan on writing an extended ending later. But now I'm wondering if more readers are confused as to how the story flows. The fact that you believe (at least from how I read your comment) that Raven was introduced in Chapter 5 is a huge blunder. Especially given that she is one of the central characters in the narrative and there from Chapter 1.

Ok this deserves a sequel.

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