• Member Since 8th Oct, 2011
  • offline last seen June 10th


Former author and proofreader/editor/fanfic troubleshooter.



They can foster beauty. They can drive us insane.

Crossfade lives a dual life: one filled with passion, and one constructed out of necessity. They were two tracks that were supposed to form a harmony, but now, they're falling into a chaotic struggle of two beats.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 35 )

Heh, I think I lived up to Nick's legacy for this. Writing this piece was a tad hard. Here's hoping you all like:pinkiehappy:

Good first chapter, thanks for sharing. I very much want to see where this is going.

Well, this is it for this. There really is no follow-up to Two Beats; at least not in a story form. There might be a drop and reference in Equestria Noir, but this is it for Crossfade's tale, sorry.

Sir, your rebuttal has driven me to the arms of vice. :pinkiesick:

great story so far! i cant wait to see the ne- wait... complete?


And here comes the optimism! I know he made the right choice. Thanks for the read =)

Huh. Interesting piece that manages to examine the whole thing without conclusively coming down on one side or another.

The very first MLP fanfic I've ever read. And now it's back and remastered... Oh man, thank you so much for this, Garnot (and you too, Nick, wherever you may be).
This is one of the best kinds of stories. The ones that force the reader to wonder. Wonder about Crossfade and her choice. Making me go back through the text and looking for clues that would hint to A or B. And the best part is: There is no way to know! It leaves us hanging by a thread and, I can safely say that leaving it unclear is not a cheap tactic just to get the reader hooked. How? Because if her decision were to be shown to us, we would still yearn for more. How do I know so? Well, you could write a bible about Crossfade's life, from her first memory to her last, and we would still feel that hunger. There is never enough when something reaches this level of quality.

The methodical way Crossfade describes her daily life tells us a lot about her without the need to use any words. She really is dead inside, even when she feels alive (clubbing). This duality right here, dead and alive, is what propels the plot further without the use of cheap tactics that most authors commonly use. When reading, I can almost picture her character and feel her emotions. This is how you do fanfictions right! It is a great shame that it doesn't have any more viewers. But then again, I think that your goal was to create such magnificent tale and let it reach the eyes of a few deserving rather than having some second-hand fanfic that makes it into the featured box and is constantly raped with "moar" comments.
(Not wanting to take away the merit of some featured fanfics, of course)

This is a very, very, very good tale about how a character matures throughout her life and I recommend it even to those who are not into MLP. Seriously, I can't stress out enough how beautiful this fanfic is. And not just because of my [pseudo] nostalgia.

"I can't think of anything to say except... I think it's marvellous!"

Aww yeah. A friend of mine talked about this fanfic, but as of that time, it wasn't on fimfiction and impossible to find. :raritydespair: I really enjoyed it, only one thing bothered me, and it has more to do with my own philosophy on writing ponyfiction than anything about the work itself. As a rule of thumb, I think people should use the established and background characters unless there simply isn't anypony to fill that role, and I see no reason, barring a few details, why this couldn't be a Vinyl Scratch fanfiction. :rainbowhuh:

But yeah, that's just the way I prefer things, and its mostly a guideline to keep from writing sues, which isn't a problem here, where the OCs are pretty good. :twilightsmile: And I can see the argument for wanting to show more of the DJing culture in Equestria, so it doesn't seem like Vinyl is the only pony in all of Equestria with a pair of Technics SL-1200. :derpyderp2::derpyderp1:

Anyway, I'm glad this is finally on fimfiction again, because this fanfic has been a pretty inspiring one, and it's underrated as hell, so I'm glad that I'm able to incude it among my favorites. :pinkiehappy:

Bitch, yeah.

Thank you Lucefudu, your thoughts on the story really do make me feel as if I did Nick justice. You are right in that my goal wasn't to make some hyper-popular story (though that would be nice), but rather to deliver a message. Nick's original idea had that, but I refined it as much as I could refine it. All in all, I believe I've succeeded, but that evaluation is no longer in my hands, but rather the hands of the viewers, who speak with their votes and their views.

This is another reason my own works are so under-viewed as well, because they are meant to be discovered and enjoyed by those who seek the out, rather than being shoved in everyone's faces.

Just one part kind of gets to me: How did you come to the conclusion that Crossfade is female? I'm not saying you are wrong, but the character, by its nature, is meant to be ambiguous. Heh, maybe I did fail after all...

Glad you enjoyed the story as well. More will follow soon, not for this piece, but for Nick's other work, which I'm working on.

Complete? Yes. Is this the last time you'll see Crossfade? No. Look for my other work, "Equestria Noir" to possibly learn of Crossfade's fate.

1438726 I kind of came to the conclusion that it is a she for a few reasons. None of them solid, mind you. The only one that would "kind of" make sense is the female/male ratio in Equestria being something bigger than 2 (or maybe 3).
Still, the text DOES leave it ambiguous... I myself filled her gender automatically.

Well, let's just say that while Crossfade's gender is neutral canonically, I too like to think of the character as female. Now, the real gender? That's Nick Secret, one I know, but cannot divulge :pinkiehappy:

I thought the character was male, actually, so maybe you did suceed on that front after all. :twilightsheepish:

Did two ponies take more drugs than Crossfade, or did they click just a little two far down? Regardless, how this has any dislikes in beyond me. I think the reason the two beats dilemma is so difficult is really both beats suck.

So I think the reason this doesn't have nearly as many views as it deserves is because of the synopsis. It's far too vague. Honestly I don't think I would have read this fic had somepony else not directed me here. The complete lack of the show cast obviously hurts you as well. This may not be a bad thing if you have a good reason to use an OC instead of say Vinyl, but honestly I'm not sure what the point of doing that is. I know this character is supposed to have an ambiguous gender but there again why? Characters don't need to be generic (though I'd argue in every sense except gender this character isn't) in order for people to relate to them. In fact, I would dare say that hurts the process.

Regardless, on to your synopsis. I'd recommend the synopsis review thread on ponychan for help. Go here http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/122131.html.


if you have a good reason to use an OC instead of say Vinyl, but honestly I'm not sure what the point of doing that is.

This story poses the question of, "Do I chose stability and delaying of instant gratification with the risk of never returning to my passions, or do I go big, bright, and loud at the risk of burning out?" If I made this story about Vinyl Scratch instead of a no-name OC, then that question's already answered, right?

I know this character is supposed to have an ambiguous gender but there again why?

Author discretion. It was fun to write that way, and it doesn't detract anything from the story other than, maybe four instances where I referred to "The Green Pony" as "Blue Eyes." But that can be explained as demonstrating Crossfade's objectification of partners, and Garnot pulled off something cool with that at the end.

So I think the reason this doesn't have nearly as many views as it deserves is because of the synopsis.

Someone pointed out to me that the tags probably have to do more of it: it's [Dark] and only stars OCs. The reason for the latter is given above, and... what would this story be without its [Dark]? Vinyl Scratch's hardship in breaking into the Equestrian nightlife? That's not what this story is about.

Honestly I don't think I would have read this fic had somepony else not directed me here

I find your name quite fitting here. Because I mean you no disrespect, ill-will, or other negativity. But if you hadn't read this, to me, you'd be Yet Another Brony who ignored this story.

Let me explain: Over the course of a year, this story has been posted on Equestria Daily twice, on Fimfic once, and recommended almost a dozen times across various forums and communities. I'm not entirely unheard of within the My Little Pony fandom, either—but for my other story. Or my review efforts. Or my drinking.

Yet this story barely broke 300 views.

At the end of the day, people read what they want to. If I write something that's outside their comfort zone, I can't force people to read it. Do they miss out? In my opinion, yes. But can I really do anything about it? You suggest a synopsis upgrade, but that would be cosmetic at best. I could go out and campaign for this story, but then I'd be "that guy," and while this story is good, I'm self-conscious enough that I don't think it's good enough where everyone has to read it.

1743928 Yay, a reply! I suppose you probably have a point with that whole vinyl thing. It's hard to say he didn't already make as a dj it if he was playing at the Canterlot wedding. So there is a reason. Very well. I agree on the gender issue as well. So long as you weren't particularly trying to add anything with this and now that the not vinyl thing has been established, writing the role as ambiguous is fine. Shrugs, yeah the tags probably don't help you any, but they are accurate. You certainly shouldn't change the story to reach a wider audience or go on a promoting campaign. Hence why my focus was on the synopsis, because it is the one thing you can change without altering the story or being dishonest. Whether or not the tags are a bigger contributing factor then the synopsis I'm not sure I agree with. The vague synopsis would likely have held me back from reading this. While I realize a sample size of 1 (and a biased sample at t hat) is statistically irrelevant maybe you can gain some insight from this.

As for disrepect or what have you, I honestly have no idea what you are talking about. I see nothing here that I could in my wildest dreams regard as offensive. I in no way meant to suggest I am someone important or that you are not. Congratulations on getting featured on EQD. Incidentally, how did this get posted there twice? Nvm, tangent.

I agree that ultimately it comes down to whether or not people want to read this and obviously not everyone will. However notice your views to likes ratio is good, whereas your total number of views is bad. This to me suggests that people who read your story like it however most people gloss over it, which indicates more problems with synopsis and such things that with the story itself in terms of what people want. In short if people knew about this and gave it a chance they would love it. And I don't buy that its just the tags because other dark stories are well liked, even if they are the exception and not the norm.

[EDIT: Removed erroneous ?]

Sometimes, when I'm frank with people, they misinterpret it as disrespect and/or I go over the line. I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Hey, I know I'm a little late in commenting (I first read this a few months ago) but I just wanted to let you know that I love this story and I love your writing. I don't know why this story has so many views, since it really is a great story as well as being masterfully executed, but it really is great, and its just the right length to send across its message.
On a side note, I was wondering if you are still working on the sequel to "Heart of Gold, Feather's of Steel," as I am eagerly looking forward to more Gilda adventures.
Basically, I love your writing and keep up the good work! :twilightsmile:


I give a lot of people crap in this fandom for writing stories which, frankly, have no reason for being My Little Pony fanfiction. I've seen such stories posted on Equestria Daily and it kinda bugs me since the fact that EqD says that they're good sort of invalidates my opinion on the matter. You story, on the other hoof, is not like this at all. And at first I was fully prepared to give you the whole "Well, this is really good, but why are they ponies?" that I gave Beyond the Wall. But by the end of this I realized that you did have a good reason for writing this as a story about My Little Ponies instead of humans.

The main character in this definitely acted like a Pony. In fact the whole story felt a lot like an episode of the show in some bizarro world where My Little Pony airs at one AM on The Hub, sort of like some of the anime they air on [Adult-Swim]. I feel that this is exactly how good Grim-Dark stories should be.

I'm kinda surprised that this isn't more popular. I mean, with the exception of the show itself, Brony club music is the most popular kind of fanwork in this fandom. There are moderately popular Dubstep songs that are more popular than any story on this site. I feel like the musicians in this fandom would love this if they only knew about it.

But back to the story itself, it really resonated with me. While I've never taken drugs before, I have had to make the same kind of choice the main character did at the end. See, I want to be a published author. Not just published as in having EqD feature something I've written, I want to write books that you can buy at a store, or at least order online. Lesbian Romance novels to be specific. And I want people to read these books and say to themselves: "Gee, this sold how many millions of copies? Pfft, I can do that." To do this I have to have time, time which going to college or getting a job in retail will definitely not allow. So I had a choice: I could work really hard, learning how to write good stories. I'd get a decent first draft out, then try and convince the other members of /fic/ to review it, maybe with a promise of a cut of the upfront royalites. I know Casca wrote an original story once and Garnot reviewed it, so I feel like I have a sporting chance. Then hope to find a publisher who's willing to take a chance on what I feel is an untapped market just waiting to be feed.

Or I could take the easy way out. Go to college, study something involving computers (I've been told that I'm good with computers for some reason), get a boring desk job that I would have to drive an hour to get to. Use my very limited spare time to write Pony fanfics, maybe become a popular author on this site some day. But I'd rather not choose to have a large chunk of my life spent being completely miserable in exchange for a pay check.

Though hopefully if I do become a successful author I'll still be able to write short stories about Ponies, maybe still do reviews for /fic/ with the mindset that they help me to improve my own writing as well as the author's. Hmm, it seems I've drifted away from talking about the story itself again. Ah, well. This is how the story made me feel. Can't wait to see what you write next, Nick.


Nice. Very nice

Nicely done.


Man, I really should have read this story sooner. It's a huge shame that this doesn't have more views really. Whether it was because of the synopsis or because you used OCs instead of Vinyl Scratch, but who cares? The important thing is that you set out to write the story that you wanted to create, and you did. You took a risk, and made a choice, and that's just how it is. I kinda liked the fact that it was an OC, because it allowed me to create another picture for that character. Whereas if you used Vinyl, I'm sure lots of other people would have jumped at it, but at what price?

I guess it makes sense that the gender was ambiguous. I guess I just assumed it was a guy, but it's plausible to have been both. To leave that as well as the answer at the end vague leaves the reader with his or her own choices and headcanon. Many questions that the reader must find their own answers for as well as an interesting insight into this OC's character.

I kinda feel like it hits close to home because of the addiction thing, but that also helps the fic more real. I also was curious cause it sounded similiar, yet different to the other fics of yours I've read of yours, and that was because of Garnot. I didn't read the original so I don't know what the differences are, but I enjoyed this fic all the same.

Thank you for allowing me the pleasure of reading it. I'll remember it forever. :pinkiesad2:

I only came across this because of that satirical review thing, but... Huh. I rather like this. It really does deserve more views.

Until I read the below comment, it didn't even occur to me that a gender hadn't been stated. Lol, sometime I may read it again to view the MC as female.

I really do like the vagueness, and... Well, I'm not always the best at pointing out why I like something. But I definitely do like reading about a person or pony with a problem acknowledging that they have it and making a serious decision about what to do. Even if that decision is left up to the reader.

Thumbs up in general, I say.

That's always a criticism that I'm afraid of getting. "Why aren't these characters normal humans?" I kind of resent this argument, but I also don't have any real rebuttal to it, either. Then again, I'm not sure if it really applies to any of my story ideas either, so I suppose it doesn't matter. Point is, how can you tell if ponies are well-integrated into a fic or just tacked on?

Oh, and I love the fic itself. Making the choice ambiguous really sealed the deal and made it more powerful.

Author Interviewer

"My bed was empty."

And then I fell off the treadmill.

I commend you, sir, on having the gumption to build that ambiguous ending. I could feel it coming and I was not disappointed. :D


That was intense.

I've seen this story on a few favorite lists before and finally decided to check it out. I have to say that I'm glad I did as this was a fantastic story.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. :twilightsmile:

I wonder why I didn't follow Fain's advice and read this sooner.

Loved it, but I can't say I wasn't frustrated about the end^^ It was great, of course, but I really want endings to... well, end the story^^

I know you don't intend to write a sequel or the like, but I gotta say I'm curious about Crossfade's fate.

I've come back to read this time and time again, and every time I marvel at how well you take the human condition into account. Sure, it's a story with ponies, but that doesn't change the fact that the story addresses several of the core problems people have. I'm pleased I can still find this work over a year later.


I like the open ending here. A lot of times it feels facetious, but this whole story was a question... What would you do?

People will make their own ending to answer that one for themselves and that's the beauty of it

This is one finely crafted fic. It has just enough details to lead the reader along, but just enough ambiguity to appeal to every individual differently. I saw Crossfade as a male; others as a female. I tentatively like to think he stayed at the factory, drawn by a potential, and more stable, relationship with Steel Mills, and feeling that the club environment is a little too chaotic, a little too volatile for now. But then, I seem to go back and forth on that. To give up passion can be soul-crushing.

Then again, drugs are more soul-crushing, though only in a different way from constant one-night-stands. Both are inevitably destructive. I was raised to avoid both of them at all costs, and have stayed that way, though many of my friends have not. This feels a bit like a window into their lives.

I hope for better things in this character's untold future. Well done.

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