• Member Since 22nd Jan, 2012
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Zephyrus Scary

30/Male/Soviet Alaska


Side story to Love Mine that occurs after the events in chapter five.

The Bearers attempt to return to their lives after their first encounter with Alternate, but just as Celestia feared, he's thrown a far larger wrench into the works than either the alicorn or the Changeling at first thought.

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 92 )

ermahgerd! Another fantastic piece of a fantastic story. Now we just need to find a way to make you update faster.......

I'm curious about Celestia's thoughts though. How does she know Alternate is going to come back? Is it simply that she distrusts him, and changelings in general, so much that she automatically assumes the worst from him? Or does she know more than she's letting on? She obviously believes that he's a genuine changeling given that she refers to Chrysalis as "his queen", but maybe she saw more of his true personality than she showed? Or she could just be the speciest tyrant we all know and love (usually) :trollestia:.

I intend for this story to be more of a hint of what's to come, while being able to "operate" on its own, so I won't go into detail... but Celestia definitely knows more than she's letting on, as well as some stuff she believes she knows more about than she actually does. (Spoilers: For example, you might also notice that in her thoughts she calls him "Alternate" whereas Twilight calls him "that Changeling calling itself 'Alternate'")

Rainbow Dash is indeed awesome here.

1475132 I did notice that, but I had already assumed Celestia was aware of what that implies about their species. It always seemed to me that Celestia's vendetta against the changelings was more because of their abilities and what they mean for the perfectly trusting utopia she's tried to create rather than any belief that they're irrevocably tied to Chrysalis' will. After all, how can you really trust anyone when in the back of your mind you're always wondering if you're even really talking to who you think you are, or if it's just a changeling in disguise? Even if they have no ill intent and do nothing wrong, that's still a pretty heavy blow.

I like the story in general, however, I hate omniscient third person view.

By detailing every little thought that runs through the mind during the conversation, it breaks up the dialogue and emotional reaction to the story.
The reader doesn't get to come to their own conclusions about something, instead it is stated by the author. There is no room to let the reader imagine the scene. I don't think it is necessary to state All the physical reactions they have during the conversation, I can easily imagine them myself based on the tone, flow and intensity of the conversation. For instance...

“Papers? Studies?” Dash’s incredulous voice, suddenly displaying the emotions she had held back before, pulls Twilight away from the war with herself.

is that really necessary to get your point across? I think it could be shortened to

"Papers?! Studies?!" Dash stated incredulously.

At this point, I have already understood that Dash has interrupted Twilight's Reverie and the focus is back on the conversation.
All in all, it is a decent start, but this suffers from excessive wordiness and perhaps could use a more show, less tell.

Edits: I don't mind so much so much when the narrator states something about a characters current thoughts, but all the INNER MONOLOGUE gets really old for me, really fast.

For instance, take this snippet...

… Even if a pony’s mind is a “collective” of cells… she flinches, physically this time, at the unwelcome comparison and the alarming implications it brings, but she’s quick to console herself. No, it’s not the same. It can’t be. The ‘hive’ still doesn’t have emotions like a pony, first of all, so-.

Could be struck down to....

It dawned on Twilight, that, technically, the collective cells that made a pony's mind was eerily similar to a hive mind... etc etc.
My point is, there is no need to monologue.

One last thing, I notice you don't make use of what I call "the one reaction paragraphs." It's when, to emphasize an action or scene, you give it it's own line to separate it from the paragraphs and give it a more poignant and subtle emphasis. I would give an example... but I couldn't really find a place to insert one. Anyhow, Still looking forward to seeing the rest of the reactions.

-The Specialist

Glad to see focus back on the ponies. In all honesty, the recent chapters of the main story I just skip, due to their absence.

Sorry, but the omniscient third person is necessary to provide all the information I need to convey for the story to make sense. I'm not giving you every little thought the characters have, only important ones (such as what I've just been discussing with Aziraphael).

Either way, I don't get how that limits the readers' emotional reactions to the story, nor prevent them from coming to their own conclusions. You can still decide for yourself whether Rainbow or Twilight was in the right or wrong, which affects each person's reaction throughout the confrontation. As well, there is plenty of information not (yet) revealed, so any conclusions you think you arrived at may be in future proven wrong.

Also, I don't care for the idea of "shorter is always better" so many seem to tot as the best strategy. "incredulously" is boring; "pulling Twilight away from the war with herself" is vivid... but this is an aesthetic point, so I'm not expecting to be able to drag you along with me on this idea.

As for monologue... well, I admit I may use it more than strictly necessary, but when I do use it, what I'm trying to do is "direct" the readers' thoughts to certain fact(s). In that example, I wanted to emphasize how Twilight slowly (one of the key points there) admits to herself an uncomfortable fact, then tries to deny the revelation. Things like "dawning thoughts" and "eery similarities" can only cover that so well before outright telling her thoughts becomes better. You can go ahead and say "there's no need," but isn't your version just as much "telling" as mine, even if it doesn't have the monologue? ("Showing" and "telling" always seemed to me more of a sliding scale of how far "the words" are away from "the fact" trying to be conveyed--sometimes, especially to avoid ambiguity, you have to compromise and pull back.) Even then, you don't know the whole story yet, so, "What's important?" you can't say quite answer yet, I should think (not trying to sound condescending or anything like that, if it comes off that way).

If you skip chapters in "Love Mine," you're gonna have a bad time. Seriously, there's lots of >>~important~<< information you are missing and are going miss if you're not reading every chapter very carefully--especially the coming chapter eight.

The hive mind theory helps me accept the whole wings on posts bit. Propaganda with the intention of protecting the guards, psychologically. I've also got a guess on how they could scientifically support the hive system, assuming ponies have some way to compare genetics.

I can see how someone as old as Celestia would keep information from her subjects for their own good, Though I doubt she'll be able to sync up to the elements any time soon.

"cannot be lained from Twilight"
I learned a new word! I don't think reading the Torah aloud really applies here though. :rainbowwild:


Fair enough I suppose, I just think that the story feels really clunky and doesn't flow very well. But It is your story after all, and you have the right to show write it as you wish. I do want to address this though .

"Either way, I don't get how that limits the readers' emotional reactions to the story, nor prevent them from coming to their own conclusions. You can still decide for yourself whether Rainbow or Twilight was in the right or wrong, which affects each person's reaction throughout the confrontation. As well, there is plenty of information not (yet) revealed, so any conclusions you think you arrived at may be in future proven wrong."

In my opinion, when I was reading the story, it felt as though I was being fed a lot of filler information that I didn't need. It felt as though the scenes were scripted to evoke certain emotions at times, rather than just being naturally emotional, which really broke my concentration and focus in the story.

YMMV I guess, but I felt an emotional disconnect with the story that threw me off.

Heh, finaly finaly someone mentioned " so if they die from hunger it is fine as long as they are not ponies, but if they replae tham to not die, they are evil, and that they have no choice because no one give tham a chance ", finaly a logical statement made by RainbowDash, Twilight was far to focued on thinking of changelings like some sort of liveless robots instead of living byings.

I hope that Twilight now join RainbowDash on that matter.


It felt as though the scenes were scripted to evoke certain emotions at times

Huh?! Well, that wasn't my intention at all!...
... Huh...


I think the best way to describe it is I would read, and know what I'm supposed to feel, but I feel apathetic.
Mind you, this is simply my own feeling on the matter, you probably would want to wait for more feedback from other people before you decide whether or not to modify anything.

Huh, I was going to jump in here and send a good-feels comment about an extension of a fantastic fic without much thought of critique, but there certainly seems to be a lot of activity down here in this little comment war zone.

I guess I'll save that love for chapter 8 of Love Mine proper (really, it won't be much other than fan squeals translated roughly into English adoration) in order to focus on the matter at hand: the 3rd person omniscient style you've used here. Oh, and before I go any further I should mention my extensive (non-existent) background of writing blockbuster (unpublished) stories leaves me completely (un)qualified to really make much critique... (And if you aren't convinced yet, I'm an engineering student, so -1000 literary skill points)

Anyways, I feel that for the most part everything goes well until the Twilight-Dash discussion. In contrast with the first person of Love Mine thought, the narration is a bit rougher and less transparent, but not actually problematic. The descriptions can be a little thick at times, but they don't seem redundant or inflated. Monologues? I'm fine with them, and greatly prefer them to something like "Rainbow Dash had wanted to talk to Fluttershy first, but thanks to the spa trip instead went to Twilight's library" (Ugh, ignore the past tense). As for the show vs tell thing that folks are arguing about, I agree that you are most certainly on the deep end of the "show" spectrum for just about everything here.

Also, when you're dealing with a group interaction in 3rd person omniscient, it makes sense to write from the perspective of the individual doing an action than from an observer simply because you're trying to avoid interpreting character reactions through particular characters. Shifting to a 3rd person limited (or sticking the omniscient "camera" arbitrary outside of some character's heads) would come with the trappings of that character's beliefs shading their observations, something that would be counter productive in this story trying to analyze everyone's individual biases without an observational bias. Um, at least, that's what I assume you're aiming for... (insert Fluttershy emoticon here)

However, I will admit that something feels a little off in the Twilight-Dash scene. Perhaps "head hopping" with an omniscient narrator just gets clunky with only two characters. Once more, I don't find any fault with the inner monologues and prefer them to the alternative. But I will say that some of the descriptions do get a little arbitrarily detailed. For example:

"Twilight is left stunned and blinking by this confession and all its implications, and for a moment is incapable of doing anything more than gapping silently—and she considers it quite lucky that Rainbow’s looking away from her leaves her unaware of what Twilight’s momentary silence means."

The first half of this sentence feels good, but the second half seems off. And after finishing my beer, I am less sure about what could be done about it. As you're trying to convey Twilight's perspective of her own appearance and how lucky it is that Dash can't interpret it because she looked away through an omniscient narrator, there doesn't seem to be a significantly better way to say it. But I also don't really feel that it's so important to say exactly that, since it feels so clunky. It's not the length, it's the number of times the focus of our attention (we have a really complex indirect object?) changes in the sentence (were I not so tired I would attempt a grammatical explanation of my concern, but I'm not sure I could even when fully awake). A phrase with similar effect, such as "—and she considers it quite lucky Rainbow didn't see her astonished reaction" might be better suited for the sake of flow. There are a few of these slightly distracting sentences in this section, but not enough to actually detract from the story telling in my opinion.

I really wish I had more constructive comments to make, but I can't hold back my Inner Fan any longer. YES! A new Love Mine story is finally out! WOOOOO! And why wasn't I watching the author of my favorite changeling story yet? Self flagellation is in order! And more exclamation marks!!

Any typos, poor punctuation decisions, terrible grammatical knowledge, and questionable opinions are the fault of that annoying part of my brain I generally don't approve of. I apologize in advance for its indiscretion.

Well all I can say is: Ponies much like humans are not rational nor objective animals. Twilight for all her intelligence has a wall that may or may not be cracking (RD's discussion) on her views about changelings, understandable, it's an emotional reaction linking changelings to bad feelings and events. It's worse because Twilight was more emotionally involved with the whole thing: her brother, her babysitter, her mentor, all getting basically whupped. Humans and ponies are guided by emotion first rather than logic and critical thinking. Thus her rationalism, objectivity (relative) and intelligence is being directed down one single thought line (changelings don't deserve a chance, subtext: for what they did to my mentor brother and sister in law) protect my friends from any association to changelings of any kind.

Whereas, if her thought process were not being focused by her emotions (and experiences) they would be more along the lines of the tactics, strategy, group dynamics, history, culture, philosophy, social interactions, ideas of friendship etc. of the changeling race and of course whether they can be friends. Which makes this story that much more intriguing, the conflict between the elements as a result of a situation in which they aren't on the same side, but rather split between them evenly. It also shows how well they balance each other out, where each of them can fill in for the others weaknesses, in this case: compassion and tolerance.

Thanks for presenting this side author, I am eager for the day when these two timelines, Alternate's and the Element's will collide once more.

Tracking. but you best update faster than you are now... :flutterrage:

I can hear Alternate screaming "Oh HELL no! I don't wanna be a fence!" at the top of his lungs as he runs away.

Aw, it's not a war zone! Just friendly (as much as it can be) critique! Thank you for all the input all the same, of course!

Twilight is left stunned and blinking by this confession and all its implications, and for a moment is incapable of doing anything more than gapping silently—and she considers it quite lucky that Rainbow’s looking away from her leaves her unaware of what Twilight’s momentary silence means.

Concerning this, it seems to me the point where everything falls apart is the red section... Now that I look at it again, it is a rather confusing cluster of prepositions and pronouns... :applejackconfused: I'll have to think awhile about how to fix that, though.

((Now to respond to those I've been... neglecting :fluttershysad:))

Uhm... What're you laughing at? :unsuresweetie:

Well, naturally! Any story without Awesome!RD is OOC! Not really, of course.

Indeed; Everything you said is more or less correct, but I'm not giving any more answers here, just pull together everything you know and maybe you'll be able to figure out Celestia's real motivations...

"Compare genetics?" ... ... ... ... You're getting waaaaaaa(a*∞)ay ahead of the story, there...

Well, Rainbow has been shown to have this side to her on occasion--using mostly Over A Barrel to justify my depiction of her.

Hit all the nails on all the heads there, sir or madam. I do like to think "the other side" is my forte--it is certainly what I like to write most, so I should hope so!

Oh, Celestia, Are you horrible! :rainbowlaugh: Horrible in a good way!

Wait, so was Rainbow Dash actually accepted into the Wonderbolts, is she talking theoretically?:rainbowderp: Don't answer that - I just have to ask.

I'd say something like 'political misuse of science always makes me sad' but the truth is it happens all the damn time:facehoof:. And Twilight demonstrates why it works - comforting language wearing a landlady that tells you your fears are justified, that 'they' aren't even people. And that's it - it's science, right? Never mind peer review, never mind repeatability, never mind due process because the court of opinion has passed judgement.

Please understand I'm not judging Twilight, buying into this doesn't make heart a bad pony. Making justifications at this point and ignoring Dash's questions would be the start down that road - which she isn't doing, thank Cele fortunately.

It is in the nature of politics to control the populous--some more than others--and that means the control of certain things: first religion then, more recently, science... And perhaps this can be made just a little bit worse if you consider the fact Celestia has to know just how much Twilight values science, and the Princess of the Sun is no slouch in thinking ten move ahead (i.e. she had to have at least suspected that Chrysalis might go for the Bearers, especially after what happened during the siege).

1481775 yeah, all of that's true... except the 'recently' about science. The reason we have the word 'Racism' is because there was, at one point, an entire field of anthropology dedicated to the idea that there were separate "species" of human beings.:pinkiesick:
Celestia... well yeah, even in the show she can come off as manipulative and slightly condescending, but she had a pretty thankless job. When she's doing it right she's barely even notable, and when she makes a mistake she had to trust what are essentially children in her eyes to fix things. I don't know that I'd do any better in her shoes, and would probably do a whole lot worse.

Well, I meant "recently" as in relatively recently.


Willing or not, Alternate trolled both mane6 and Celestia. I always appreciate good trolling as it allows to show deepest part of the trolled character. And what is the best trolling? Yeah, one, that opens flame war that lasts for several thousands of comments. Well, maybe I will not see thousands of comments in this story, but I it still has great potential.

1481341 Well you're certainly on the right track there. Oh also, I'm a sir...hm I ought to at least put that info up on my page...meh, too lazy. Cheers!

oh shit twilight is a racist :pinkiegasp:

1489313 Naw, they have to count as people for it to be racism:trollestia:

And not a single thumbs-down was given...

Well, it is a rather unremarkable (in favs/thumbs/comments) story that is also a side story. I imagine all the thumbs down this story would have gotten has been, for lack of a better word, redirected to "Love Mine" (maybe? I haven't been keeping track of thumbs down, so I don't know if there was a "jump" in their number after I posted this... dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/emoticons/shrug_Queen_Chrysalis.png )

We got a tiny bit of your head-canon for pony society, and a better understanding of what Celestia thinks is going on with the Changelings.

It's interesting to see that Twilight needs to use a hive-mind theory to protect herself but Pinkie can much more easily condemn them without the justification that they're doing it to survive.

I also didn't realize until now that I have an insanely hard time picturing Applejack crying without restraint. It could be the similarities between our families coloring my judgement. Then again, there was Bic Mac crying when she abruptly decided not to come home, so maybe they aren't raised with that "bottle up your pain" mentality.

Could Celestia hear their thoughts at all? Probably not, just wondering if it was intended that the story was seen from her point of view.

I'm really glad that I found this. Love Mine was one of the first stories I started following when I got on this website, and I still consider it to be one of the really good ones. The only problem was not seeing an update for a long time. I look forward to your next chapter, in this story or in Love Mine.

Well, I did try to make each pony's reason to hate Changelings or trust Alternate different, otherwise it would have basically been the same scene three times in a row.

About Applejack: Maybe, maybe not. After all, so many things about ponies have attributes of American(/Western?) society "gender swapped" so that perhaps males would have less emotional restraint than females? Just throwing the idea out there, not saying that's how it is in my headcanon...

As for Celestia, the simple answer is "no", she wasn't reading anypony's thoughts, on "spying" in on them to keep tabs on the extent of the "damage" Alternate caused.


D'oh! :derpyderp1: Good thing you said that! It should be listed as "Complete" now, since it's only two parts...

I love the conversation in the sauna, the back and forth is excellent.

Have I already mentioned the song by Prince, Trust off the 1990 Batman Movie soundtrack?
Your 'Aternate Universe' always reminds me of it.:raritywink:

Ah, that's a relief... I was worried the sauna scene would come out... contrived, forced, OOC, stilted, weird, etc., etc.

I believe you have mentioned that song before, though I have not been in a rush to look for it...

"Alternate-"... "-Universe"...
... ... ... ... ...
Actually... That gives me an idea...

Celestia's general reaction and paranoia honestly make me think one line.

"Wow, what a bitch."

Argh, Princess Celestia is one of my favorite characters, stop making me hate her. :ajsleepy:

Y'know, for a being who is thousands of years old, Celestia is being really narrow-minded.

Hopefully, I'll be able to turn your thinking around a little bit once I get to POV: CELESTIA and the scenes in "Love Mine" that lead up to her POV story.

There are reasons Celestia thinks what she does, including explanations for why (from our perspective) she's narrow-minded, some of which I've hinted at before and should become a little more evident in the next chapter of "Love Mine".

Simply FANTASTIC chapter! MOAR!!!!

Yeah, that makes sense, I guess. :twilightsheepish:
Looking forward to the next chapter then.

well, the only way to win the game is not to play...

1514901 The question is, does living for hundreds of times the lifespan of similar creatures give you more time to broaden your views or more opportunities for you to find evidence that your viewpoint is right.
Does spending time around ponies less than a tenth of your age affect how you view their ideas and perspectives?
I would imagine the god-queen of Equestria would have to actively search out ponies who wanted to tell her she was wrong on a philosophical level. Without opposition or an 'other' we have no impetus to broaden.

1521023 ... but where's the fun in that?:unsuresweetie:

1514404 Thankless job is thankless:ajbemused:

Extreme abuse of the ellipsis, 10 yard penalty. Repeat first down.

Wow, I found Celestia logic unbelivable weird.

It sounds like someone in a comedy movie where in goverment secret agency, someone get info that someone may be elite spy who is wroking for enemy goverment, when in reality he is normal unaware of anythink cyvilian.
And it result in suspecting him of everythink, this cyvilian give someone coffee ( oh no, it must be some sort of true serum or poison ), he kick a rock because he is angry ( oh no, it must be some sort of secret signal ), he asked his friend to go on a fishing ( oh no, it must be some sort of secret message about top secret meeting with enemy contact to send some informations or meaby an assasination plan, and the fish must be some importand politishin ).

My point is that you can do the most innocent thinks in the world, and if others think you are criminal or spy, everythink for tham will be hostile and evil.

And now Alternate is captured in all this madness, all he wanted was to feed to not die from hunger and Celestia think that he want to destroy bonds between elements of charmony, and I bet she was ready to kill him no matter do he was innocent or not, it is just impossible to talk with someone who not want to talk, or to explain to someone that you are not evil if he thinks that you are evil.
As result it does not matter do alternate will do good thinks or bad thinks, since everyone will expect the worse of him, and if mane 6 decide to trust him, Celestia will think that it was his plan all along, and if mane 6 will not trust him, Celestia will just proudly think that she was right all along and Changelings can not be trusted.

A loss to loss situation is not justice.

I liked it until the last line which actually broke the story for me. All the Elements are coming to grips over their altercation about Alternate and at the end you have Celestia acting like a pretty stereotypical Tyrant!Celestia. Don't bother mentioning it's a lead in to another chapter of an entirely different story as this is a self-contained story. Using the "Go here to see why I portrayed them like that" is a cop out excuse

Very well. If you insist on reading this without the story it's a part of... I didn't need to anyway. :ajsmug:
Look at these passages from Part One again:

Naturally and not without reason, Celestia inwardly fears that such is simply not possible given how far too close to home the events just past have hit, yet she cannot do more than ask them this.

How can one mortal render me so helpless?

Consider what these feelings might mean for Celestia. How they might make her... desperate, perhaps?

1686093 Then make her seem desperate. Here she just goes to full on bitch mode without stopping.

Naturally and not without reason, Celestia inwardly fears that such is simply not possible given how far too close to home the events just past have hit, yet she cannot do more than ask them this.

This phrase is part of the problem. Really wordy and awkwardly phrased. Simply state what she's feeling. "Celestia feared it was not possible due to recent events." Something like this. Short, simple and to the point. Excessive prose just drags the story down.

First of all, this is in present tense, but even "Celestia fears it is not possible..." sounds strange to me.
Secondly, "short, simple, and to the point" is just not my style, and I use particularly excessive prose occasionally to obscure a point on purpose. Note the first thing I quoted is obscure, then the second comes along and expands upon the idea presented before it; though the connection isn't obvious (it's not supposed to be), the implications are there all the same.

1686272 If you obscure the point behind excessive prose then be prepared to have people miss the point all together which rather defeats the point of subtlety.

ERMAGERD I found your Eureka! moment for "When They Found US". I'm happy now. Also, thank you for mentioning Love Mine in the comments, I would've missed this side story otherwise.

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