• Member Since 18th Mar, 2012
  • offline last seen Nov 22nd, 2021

Inquisitor M


Why 'Inquisitor'? Because 'Forty two': the most important lesson I ever learned. Any answer is worthless until you have the right question. Author, editor, critic, but foremost, a philosopher.

E

You've made a lot of assumptions. You've been told a lot of lies. Could you even know the truth if you read it? After all, everything depends on your point of view...

"There is a dark edge to everything underlying this fic. Like a stone caught in the threads of one’s sock, it grates against the comfortable coziness that is the show, a niggling point of misanthropy against the heel of the reader’s perceptions."
—Belligerent Sock, Seattle's Angels

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 38 )

Consider yourself trolled with intent. Ain't nothing in here that isn't just as plausible as some of the batshit-crazy assumptions that many fans make.

I just had the urge to write something short and silly while slaving away on larger projects, but I hope you enjoy it for it's silliness anyway. Please rate, comment or counter-troll. It's all good!

I may add other, equally absurd, ravings if I get bored again later. You have been warned.

-Scott

That would explain a lot, actually. :pinkiehappy:

And, in stark contrast to the batshit-crazy retcons and agenda-heavy revisionist fics out there, it doesn't really contradict canon at any point.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

I am slightly disappointed by the ending, though if I'd paid more attention I wouldn't have had any doubts. Instead, I waffled again and again over who was speaking, like a dumb. :V

I enjoyed this, though. The voice is good, and the dark and cynical analyses of the characters have the ring of hard truth to them. Not bad, bro.

Huh. Actually... fair enough. Haha. Ridiculous, though!

1467841 I don't think you have any right to call this ridiculous... I'm just getting you back for Evicted.

1468043 :pinkiegasp: Evicted was a very serious dissection of the tyrannical forces at work within Equestrian society! I don't know why on earth you would think it was... ridiculous.

:trollestia:

1472167 And yet you included no shipping. Clearly you have no understanding of the forces at work!

This fic encompasses a surprising amount of ideas in a surprisingly short length of words. It doesn't drag at any point, and the narrator's tone carries through wonderfully.

I think I like being trolled. I may have a problem.

Wait, I was trolled?:rainbowhuh: I thought being trolled was being bothered by someone deceiving you, but this was fun and the whole point was the "surprise" at the end, right? By the middle I thought the speaker was either Spike, Pinkie Pie or some random pony that made no sence. Now that last one would have ruined the story and that would have been trolling.

Great concept in general, the Equestria you paint is quite intresting. Love your description of Celestia.

Hmmm... interesting, interesting...

*last line*
*click* :rainbowderp:

BRILLIANT!

Ha! Called it! :pinkiehappy:

What? You're not the only one who's ascribed quasidivine power to the pink party pony. How else would she know how Equestria was made?

Quite interesting. Many thanks to Seattle's Angels for recommending this!

I'll admit, the line about truth toward the beginning had me thinking the narrator was Applejack, not Pinkie, but that does make a certain amount of sense. I at least was right about it being one of the earth ponies in the Mane 6.

I especially like the interpretation of the reasons each of the six have their elements--that they aren't exemplary of their respective virtues, but rather terrified of being without them. That may have to become a new part of my headcanon. Good job, much happiness upon you!

WHAT THE-??!!!


SON OF A HORSEAPPLE. :pinkiegasp:

Well, this was odd.

Not bad. But I don't think there's any word that fits this better than "odd". It's not quite any genre, not even random in my opinion. It was sort of a character study, but I can't really call it that either because it only briefly touches on everything. It's just odd.

And that's fine by me. I like odd.

A masterpiece of deception. I applaud you, amazing sir.

That being said, I think that somehow, I ended up with more questions than I started with. Is that a bad thing?

1752351 Never! Questions are the lifeblood of creativity and discovery.

Called the ending after the first paragraph! :rainbowlaugh:

Love the analysis of the Mane Six's relation to their elements, by the way.

Ah! Awesome!
I think it's totally plausible. And your descriptions of why those six are the bearers of their certain Elements of Harmony is so accurate, it should be canon.

1780787 I've watched the show. It is canon, because that's how the characters actually act. What surprises me is the number of people who don't see it that way!

So... what, the story was written from the perspective of an Element of Harmony? The magical jewelry kind, I mean. Maybe I'm just slow, or maybe I'm letting my early assumptions get in the way, but after rereading the story a few times I still don't understand how the twist works or what it means.

EDIT:

Oh, wait, I get it now. I feel like I should criticize the use of Pinkie referring to herself in the third person at one point, but then I suppose actors refer to their characters much the same way.

Well played, I suppose.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

I found myself going, "All right, it's time to read something by the redoubtable Inspector M!" and then ending with "Why did I read this, I already read it once?" c.c Well, let's take a look at it in this new context!

Either you fixed up the ending or my initial dismay at it was assuaged by my actually paying attention to everything this time. Further, I've read quite a few "old being talks about Celestia/Luna/Discord headcanon" fics, and this one stands out not just because said headcanon works, but because the voice is, as I said five months ago, excellent.

I also like that the bit about Discord stands in a post-Keep Calm and Flutter On world. :3 Good work!

2201942 Thanks, PP. It's a shame there still isn't much else, and I continue to have a hard time taking any great pride in this—moreso after finishing Bitter Sweetie. Unfortunately, there isn't likely to be anything else, either, until I get my head strait and that 'real life' thing sorted out. If I go back to writing at all, I need to make sure it's for the right reasons, but that's probably exactly why this piece worked at all: I just had the feeling and did it, with little respect for the why.

Somehow, I imagine you'll get that.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Looking back at this story from the end, I like the premise. I really do. I like the outside perspective on the mythos of Equestria's history, and the tying together of its more high-profile characters, and the subtle hints at the narrator's identity. I even like some of the twists this interpretation puts on certain bits of canon, like pointing out that Discord isn't purely chaotic but wields chaos in service of his own motives, that Celestia is in fact probably the least likely candidate to banish Nightmare Moon and the story of her doing so only makes sense if there's no one else who can, and that a lot of the characterization of the bearers of the Elements suggests they're not pursuing virtues so much as avoiding vices.

But there are also things I don't like.

I can understand, and I actually really enjoy, the concept of Celestia as a generally laissez-faire kind of ruler, and the perspective that vision brings to the idea of her opposing Discord- the idea that the chessmaster aspect we usually assign to her after seeing the pilot episodes and Cutie Mark Chronicles simply doesn't exist, and things worked out by either luck or someone else's intervention; that Celestia's "order" is chaos in disguise, the natural rhythm of things with no interference from one of the most powerful beings around. But asserting that concept in ironclad generalizations isn't the way to go. "Celestia never worries about what happens tomorrow. She never tells a pony what to do. She’s just there." These are falsehoods, plain and simple- the second sentence most demonstrably. Celestia's been telling ponies what to do, in canon, since the first episode of the series. "Make some friends." "Run." "Stop Discord." In some cases it's arguable she only makes requests and lets other ponies make their own decisions (Fall Weather Friends, Cutie Mark Chronicles, Family Appreciation Day), but given the general attitude her little ponies have toward her, who would say no? And in A Canterlot Wedding (which we know is canon to this story from the depth of the Cadance references) she personally takes on the antagonist! So it's arguable that letting the seeds fall where they may could be her general policy, but the idea that she never intervenes at all simply doesn't fit with canon.

Which raises another question- why the [Alternate Universe] tag? This story reads like it's meant to fit right into canon- it argues that some points in the time before the show have been fictionalized in the history available to our heroes, but that doesn't contradict the show itself, only complicate the history that sets it up. It never visibly diverges from canon so far as to invalidate any of the events we see on screen; it's about as AU as any story set at some point after the events of the show- that is, not enough for the tag.

And finally we come to the big reveal. The twist is a good one, and it fits well with the characterization of the speaker as well as the canon evidence of her supernatural abilities, but again the execution bugs me. We start the story with an unidentified first-person narrator, so at least some fraction of the readership are going to approach this story looking for hints, and there are a few standard methods of dropping them- anything the narrator says about him- or herself narrows the possibilities to characters who fit that description, anyone the narrator references in the third person can't be the narrator, and so on. That being said, what bugs me isn't that you break these implicit "rules" by having the narrator refer to Pinkie Pie in the third person... it's that you do so in a way that has no discernible point and could be avoided so easily, and then reveal the solution with such a straightforward, deadpan phrase that it feels like it belongs at the beginning of the monologue rather than the end. There's such a small volume of text between the cheat and the real answer, and it could so easily be moved somewhere else- hell, about half of it is nothing but leading up to the real answer, including explaining the fact that there's a cheat. If you just shifted the other half from where it is now to someplace earlier (I'd suggest placing it after "that doesn't mean what you think it means"), you could avoid cheating entirely, allowing you to cut the rest of the would-be intervening text and just complete the list of the Elements with an explanation of Pinkie's problem(s) in the first person, which would be much more natural a method for both her discussion of herself and the reveal of her identity.

What do you think?

2276324 Thank you for the detailed feedback!

I can happily agree with your comments with the following proviso: it's called "A Certain Point of View." The narrator even warns you, as reader, to decide for yourself whether her information is true or not. I'd like to to think that leaves to door to 'unreliable narrator' wide open and swinging in the breeze. I do admit, though, that post S3 I wouldn't even try to frame Celestia that way, she was an absolute bitch throughout, but as you implied, it made for a nice counter to the common assumptions and assertions about Discord being the demigod of chaos. Plus, what we see in canon is only the tiniest of snapshots, whereas the piece makes a blanket statement going back to antiquity.

It is exactly what it was meant to be: food for thought. The primary thing that shaped it all was the reversal of the Elements as paragons of their virtue (except for Twilight, since magic isn't even a virtue anyway). Not only do I find it a compelling idea, but I actually can't buy the opposite for a second. Everything else was just whatever seemed to fit and run against common fan perceptions.

The AU tag is really just representative of me not understanding the tag system well. I don't like it, it doesn't make any sense to me, and I kind of assumed that people wouldn't much like the things put across unless it was tagged as AU. I don't think any of the tags fit, but you can't post without adding one or more.

As for the last point, I have two relevant reactions: 1. Yeah, it wasn't done that well, but as a quick bit of fun that was 24 hours from writing to posting, I'm not to fussed. 2. I'm not sure how you can speak objectively about a narrator who is conscious of being multiple personalities across an obviously extended life. She even refers to herself as 'playing' Pinkie Pie, which to my mind fairly clearly implied that it was not as simple as saying that she is Pinkie Pie in any traditional sense. To refer to a character you play in both first and third person based on context is not remotely unusual.

Still, Bugs the Curm called me out on the reveal a good while ago, and I was just as happy to accept that it wasn't great back then as I am now. Hell, I'm still surprised that anyone liked it at all.

-Scott

You basically dumped your head-canon on the unsuspecting reader. :rainbowlaugh:
Well played. :raritywink:

2284359
The tag system is retarded.
Tragedy and Comedy are mutually exclusive tags.
Slice of Life and Adventure (despite that being the show's MO) are mutually exclusive.

5074030 Well it's nice not to be the only one to think so. Thank you :)

5074046

I think a lot of the moderation stuff on submission is retarded. I actually put time and effort into writing, and it takes me two or three tries to get submitted, nitpicking over dumb shit that doesn't matter.
>*Explains premise of fic in description.*
> :derpyderp2: "Hurrdurr your description isn't.... descriptiony enough."

5074046
But absolute TRIPE not worth the electrons it's transmitted over makes it through. And gets featured.
:facehoof:

5074060 LOL>

Not that you're bitter at all.

5074065

Very. It's part of my charm. Cynicism and bitterness.

A type of headcanon.

It treats your mind like a piece of clay, Molding and shaping and manipulating it. Until suddenly the clay becomes an egg. Easy to drop and shatter. I like this story, and it had a lot of potential. But is it logical, no...it stands out but plays with us. Therefore making us second guess ourselves and thus breaking our perception of this story. It's confusing. But simple.

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