• Published 14th Jan 2013
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The Monster Below - Greenback



An earth pony seeks to transform himself into an Alicorn, but how far is he willing to go to get what he wants?

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Bonus Material: Original story idea and outline with commentary

When I was originally brainstorming The Monster Below, I only had a very vague idea of the story, namely, “An Earth pony will do anything to become an Alicorn.” I knew that it would be a dark tale, but still have a bittersweet ending. The very first outline I wrote (which I have since lost), went something like this:

“Silverspeak is an Earth pony who wants to become an Alicorn. To achieve this, he spends years becoming a scientist, and then gathers assistants and uses them to experiment new techniques and theories about attaching wings, horns, and magic. However, while he succeeds, his assistants are driven insane, and he comes dangerously close as well, despite already being a mad scientist. Bad stuff happens, and Silverspeak falls over the edge, and is imprisoned in the Canterlot dungeons. Princess Celestia visits him every year to try and snap him out of his madness, but Silverspeak is a wild animal, snapping at her every chance he gets.

Eventually, five hundred years later, Princess Celestia finally breaks through and manages to bring Silverspeak back. When he emerges into the surface world, it’s now a futuristic society, complete with technology and a heavy sci-fi feel. He’s also now an urban legend, a sort of boogeyman (The Monster Below refers to Silverspeak in the Canterlot dungeons, where he lost his mind). But despite the passage of time, Silverspeak’s assistants have survived, and are now rampaging around Equestria as Hulk-like monsters who have magic, and Silverspeak now has to sacrifice himself to stop them, and undo the damage he’s caused.”

This general idea had many of the elements of the final story, but still needed tweaking, and it felt too general. Thus, I wrote the following outline to refine things quite a bit. While the overall story is roughly the same, there were many points where I diverged and sought to try something different, either realizing there was a problem with the story itself, or due to getting an idea that was better than what I originally had.

Looking back on it, the original story is much darker, and has a more downer ending. I’m glad the tone was lightened, and that the real ending, while still bittersweet, is more hopeful.

My commentary on the outline, and notes on why I diverged from it every now and then, are in italics.

***

The story begins as Silverspeak lies on an operating table, having surgery to attach a unicorn horn, and the pain is so excruciating, he feels like he’s about to die. He never believed that your life flashed before your eyes, but it’s happening now.

The beginning. He was born in a remote village called Saddle Lanka along the Unicorn Range that was famed for having birthed the highest percentage of Unicorns in Equestria, and having ones of such great talent and wisdom. Starswirl the bearded was born there. But Silverspeak was the first, and only Earth pony born on record. As a result, he broke a tradition that had been going for centuries.

Silverspeak was quickly a social recluse and a curiosity. His parents were disappointed at him, for they wanted a unicorn child so badly, and even though they still love him, there’s always that little part that nags about what could have been, and although they hide it well, Silverspeak still senses it.

Worse still was the isolation. Though he went to school, he had no friends, for everyone thought he was a freak. He did well enough in classes, and graduated with good grades, but he was always alone. The school and the town’s main sin was pride. They were so proud of themselves for producing the best unicorns equestrian had ever seen that the pride drenched the halls.

When the Unicorns practiced their magic, all Silverspeak could do was watch…and occasionally be a test subject by some of the school’s most talented, yet arrogant and thuggish stallion, Mangus Bluehorn. Arrogant, and fully convinced of his own superiority, Mangus loves to torment Silverspeak, and the adults of Saddle Lanka are no help, for they believe Mangus can be the next Starswirl, and don’t want to jepordize that future with a black mark on his disciplinary record (similar to professors helping bullying football jocks get through school so that they can go onto the championships).

(Though Mangus was not directly based on any one person, he was inspired by football players at my high school who saw themselves as better than anyone else, and were very arrogant as a result. I was also inspired by reports and stories of colleges who would do almost anything to ensure that their football teams and star players can keep playing, including covering up stories of abuse and poor grades, among other things. The Penn State child sex abuse scandal was also a big factor in creating Mangus, and the desire of Saddle Lanka to create the next big Unicorn, no matter the cost.

Mangus’ name literally came to me out of the ether when I was wondering what to call him. I initially had the name, “Bluehorn,” but “Mangus” came out of nowhere. I thought it sounded powerful and threatening, so I kept it. I had never heard of it before, which made it a shock to learn that one of it’s meanings is, “A guy who gets so drunk he likes to sing to cardboard boxes.”)

Despairing of ever becoming important, Silverspeak writes to Princess Celestia, asking her for advice and help. Perhaps she can help him become a unicorn pony, and be important? She never writes back though, and Silverspeak gives up on her.

(While the letter does come into play at the very end of the story, I never thought of Celestia writing back to Silverspeak until I was working on the last chapter, and realized it would be a nice touch to have Silverspeak finally interact with the princess, even if they never meet face to face.)

Still, amongst the quiet despair of a lonely childhood, Silverspeak discovered his special talent more quickly than anyone else. He had the gift of the silver tongue. He could craft speeches that would leave crowds in tears, charm the birds from the trees, and persuade pretty much any normal pony to do what he liked. Bullies, the mean, and the stubborn were harder, but with enough time, he could do it.

Upon coming of age, Silverspeak quickly bid farewell to his home, and fled, crossing Equestria to reach Manehattan and start a new life. Using his skills as a speaker, he wrote speeches for politicians, election campaigners, and anyone who was willing to pay for his services. But despite earning a steady (if somewhat meager) income, he isn’t happy. He’s practically ignored and feels so lonely and unimportant. Even his own studies into possibly being transformed into a unicorn have gone nowhere. He watches Pegasi fly throughout the city, and watches unicorns performing all manner of magic and wonders. They’re so admired and beloved by everyone else. Silverspeak isn’t. He’s a nothing.

(The scene of Silverspeak biting Mangus felt like a nicer sendoff to Mangus, as I wanted to keep his later appearance a surprise, and realized that to have him just vanish without any comeuppance would be a cop-out.

When writing the chapter where Silverspeak starts off in Manehattan, I realized that it was a big step to have him start off by writing speeches for politicians, and that having him start at the very bottom of the social ladder would have a greater effect later on, when he manages to become an Alicorn, and the most infamous pony in the city. That was inspired by real-life tyrants, dictators, and other nefarious types who started out with humble beginnings, only to become monsters later in life. It’s more frightening to realize that anyone, no matter who they are, can go from nobody to nightmare, given enough time.

In retrospect, I don’t think Silverspeak could have afforded an apartment on a grocery store job, but I figure Equestria’s landlords don’t charge such outrageous rates as we do.)

One day, during a three day culture and arts celebration, Silverspeak watches the Pegasai and Unicorns perform. He uses a big chunk of his saved bits, and buys something wonderful…temporary wings. With an experienced guide (Soarin of the Wonderbolts, who mentions Captain Rainbow Dash), he takes his first ever flight. It’s beautiful and breathtaking…but it’s only temporary. And when his hooves touch ground once more, he make his choice.

Unicorn horns may be beyond his reach, but wings aren’t.

(This scene was moved to much later because I realized that Silverspeak should initially go for the whole package of both wings and a horn. That way, when he looses hope, it’s more effective when that hope is re-kindled after his flight.

One of my big desires in writing The Monster Below was to make it a stand-alone story that didn’t depend on constant appearances by the main characters, but neither did I want them to be completely absent as well. Thus, I wanted to sprinkle background and mid-level characters throughout, and thought that Soarin would be a good choice for this scene. If Rainbow Dash had been used, Silverspeak might have fallen into the trap of trying to outdo her, being in awe of her presence and becoming a fanboy, or treating her as an equal...which he obviously isn’t.

While I did plan to have the Mane Six show up very briefly at the climax, I did want to drop references to them every now and then. Having Rainbow Dash be mentioned as the Captain of the Wonderbolts works to suggest that quite some time has passed in Equestria since the events of the show, and that the characters have grown and changed, even if we don’t see them.

For anyone who’s wondering, I imagine that The Monster Below takes place about 50 years after the events of the show, with Twilight and the others now in middle-age.)

For a long time however, Silverspeak isn’t sure how to get his wings. Using what little money he has, he travels to Canterlot, to explore the royal library archives. He hopes to meet the princesses, but they’re out on official duties. Dejected, he spends three days searching through the archives, but all he finds is that while some different aspects of pony magic can be bestowed temporarily, no permanent transformations can be made, except with the bearers of the elements of harmony, which has happened in the past, when great threats faced Equestria.

Silverspeak tries to get into the restricted section, but he’s not allowed, as the information inside is sensitive and highly powerful, and he needs clearance to get in, which would take too long. Dejected, he heads back to Manehattan, tries to figure out what to do next.

(I changed this so that Silverspeak strictly stays in the Manehattan library, as having him constantly coming and going didn’t feel right, and I wanted most of the story to take place in one location. It would have been nice for him to be in Canterlot while the princesses were there, but it was more efficient to make the switch.)

A streak of luck. On his next commission, Silverspeak has to write grant proposals for a scientist, Beakbreaker, who is known for her fridge theories. She just can’t any work anymore, but thanks to Silverspeak’s proposal, she gets a grant, and joins a research group. She can’t offer much money, but says that if Silverspeak ever needs a favor, he just needs to ask.

(Beakbreaker was originally older than Silverspeak, and already established in Manehattan’s scientific community as the crazy gal who nobody takes seriously. I changed her to be the same age as Silverspeak, and to have her be a just-graduated student who is in the same position Silverspeak is in: trying to make a name for herself. That way, both she and Silverspeak could grow together and share many of the same disappointments and triumphs in life. Had Beakbreaker already been an established scientist, having a romance blossom between them would not have worked out nearly as well.

Glasseye was not in the original story, and was added when I realized that Beakbreaker would need to have some evidence pointing out that her ideas on limb growth and replacement could be done. Thus, I realized she would need to have worked on her ideas while still in school, and that she would need to have a professor-type character who had helped her out. I briefly toyed with the idea of Glasseye becoming a rival to both Silverspeak and Beakbreaker, but that would have cluttered the storyline, and he was allowed to leave without any further events, as he had no real place in the story.)

Silverspeak realizes what this means, and decides to play into things. He stays on as Beakbreaker’s writer, doing more and more presentations for Beakbreaker, who gains more prominence, and becomes a scientist/surgeon, all promising Silverspeak more favors. Silverspeak bides his time, because he wants to save up for the biggest thing of all. His dream to be someone, to be accepted and admired.

(Silverspeak’s dream was changed throughout the story before settling on wanting to be greater than who he is, as that was both more noble then just being famous, and makes him more sympathetic, rather then just someone who wants to be admired.

The majority of the Medicomp scenes, such as Greenhorn’s transplants, the press conference, and the public reaction, were written on the fly, as I had no idea how to get to the next story point besides, “Silverspeak writes stuff and Beakbreaker works.” This part of the finished story is a good example of writing by the seat of your pants, seeing what works, and discarding the rest.

The Summer Festival was also not in the original story, but was added to provide a place to move the Soarin test flight, and also gave an opportunity for Silverspeak’s parents to meet Beakbreaker, and begin the minor side-story of them trying to play Cupid and get the two together.)

(The Magic of the Rainbow chapter was not in the outline, but created entirely on the spur of the moment, as I relished the chance to not only do something for April Fools day, but to also act silly with the main cast of the show. While the reaction to the chapter was...unexpected, having Pinkie Pie screaming, “CHOO CHOO MOTHER BUCKER!” is one of my favorite lines in the entire story. The chapter also acted as the foundation for “My Little Sharknado,” as I wanted to try being silly for an entire story.)

Soon, Beakbreaker becomes highly recognized in surgery, and especially in creating and attaching/reattaching severed limbs and prosthetics, along with nerve-growth chemicals and gels. She even manages to create a completely self-sufficient, automatic surgical unit. And one evening at dinner, Silverspeak makes his request. He wants Pegasus wings. Beakbreaker is stunned. It’s accepted in Equestria society that you need to be the best you are. She explains that, but Silverspeak is persistent. He wants to be more then just a speechwriter. He wants to fly. He also wants to cast magic, but stays quiet, knowing that he has to take things one at a time.

(Mangus originally appeared later in the story, but I decided to move his appearance to this point to give him more time to torment both Silverspeak and Beakbreaker, and to also make Medicomp a bit more paranoid.

The dinner scene was expanded to have Beakbreaker get her award, and to include a small cameo by Octavia, one of my favorite background ponies. That also provided a more natural build-up to Silverspeak popping the question about the wings by letting the two build up to it...and also allowing me to include a sex joke. Crude? Perhaps, but I thought it would provide a good laugh, as sex seemed like the logical train of thought for Silverspeak being secretive and talking with Beakbreaker in private.)

Beakbreaker finally agrees to the surgery, but wants that it could have dire consequences. Nopony has ever tried it before, and she has no idea what the societal consequences may be.

(This was expanded to include her being worried about the effects on Silverspeak’s physical and mental health, setting the story up for when she acts on her own to remove Silverspeak’s wings and horn without his consent.)

The surgery takes place, and a pair of artificial, yet highly-realistic wings are grafted to Silverspeak’s back, along with the muscles to make them work. When the anesthetic wears off, and Silverspeak wakes, he’s stunned, yet delighted. Recovery is slow, but he tolerates it. He heads out to Beakbreaker’s remote cabin to practice. He’s bad at first, but at last the day comes when he finally manages to take his first flight all by himself. And it is blissful beyond even what he can describe.

(I realized that doing test flights over solid ground would probably be a bad idea, as falling would cripple, if not outright kill Silverspeak, and to do it over water would be a better idea. Yes, hitting water at breakneck speed would probably do the same, but that’s where the Unicorns and their magical cushions come in. Furthermore, I found the mental image of Silverspeak practicing in the calm, open sea with enormous clouds to be far more interesting than, say, a forest setting.

The idea of Silverspeak using high-altitude lack of air to knock Mangus out was not in the original story idea, but popped into my mind while writing him flying around. I wanted to show the dangers of flying that aren’t touched upon in the show, and when Silverspeak was knocked out, I realized that would be a way of beating an opponent who was superior in terms of strength and skill, but wasn’t necessarily smart. Another example of new ideas coming from the ether, so to speak.)

Upon revealing himself to the world at large, reaction is divisive and mixed. Ponies don’t know what to think of him. Some admire him, but most are repulsed. But Silverspeak doesn’t care. He finally has the affection he’s always wanted from his fans, as most of them are earth ponies like himself who feel like outcasts.

(I had very little idea where to go in the story based on this passage. I knew that I had to show Silverspeak showing off and meeting those who both adored and despised him, but had no idea how. Pretty much everything in “Celestia’s Abomination" was written on the spot, including the idea of going on tour, the heckler, and a stop in Saddle Lanka. Likewise, I initially had no idea what the objections to having wings would be, as they initially sound like a win-win situation. I had to think for a while before being inspired by current day conservative and liberal groups in religion and politics, and that they both feel threatened by changes to their way of life, and will find any reason to try and stop it, no matter how far-fetched it can seem. I tried to show all the conservative, moderate, and liberal points of view had valid points and counterpoints so as to avoid a black and white situation, but in retrospect I probably could have done a bit better at doing so.)

Silverspeak is paid a visit by Mangus Bluehorn, who, having been kicked out from Canterlot’s academy of magic (for being a bully, pretty much), has become the highest ranked investigator in Manehattan, and warns Silverspeak that he’s threading a thin line, and implies that if he has to take him down, Mangus will take delight in doing so, and hints that attempts to try and make himself too big, Mangus can pull strings and bring him down.

(As I noted before, Mangus’ reappearance was moved much further back in the story, because having him re-appear near the end of act two felt like he was coming in too late to do much besides being set up as the main bad guy, and Silverspeak’s nemesis. Having him appear much earlier gave Mangus more time to be set up as such, and also making him Silverspeak’s chief guard set up an interesting situation where he always needed to be near Silverspeak, regardless of their feelings for each other.)

Silverspeak ignores him. As the attention increases, he turns his focus to his dreams of becoming a unicorn. If he can get wings, why not a horn? There are artificial horns available, but the only work by channeling the magic within unicorns. He needs better. He heads out to a forgotten civilization, and breaks into the crypts. Sure enough, he finds the horn of an alicorn, and it’s full of magic. He takes several other horns too, delighted, and with a new idea forming.

(The idea of Silverspeak breaking into an ancient crypt was directly inspired by this picture. Initially, I had few ideas for this sequence, but imagined that it would be fairly short and easy. The difficulty would be in finding the crypt, but once Silverspeak accomplished that, it would be easy to just go inside and take the horn. However, that was too boring, so I figured Silverspeak should encounter some opposition, and that the crypt should be far harder to get. Ergo, Quiverquill was introduced to set up an ancient civilization, and a king who had gone mad with power, hinting to the reader that he’s what Silverspeak could become.

The thing that Silverspeak encounters inside the tunnels was never meant to be directly described, as I wanted to test out the idea that what you don’t see is scarier than what you do see, similar to how in the “Alien” novelization for the Ridley Scott film, the alien itself is never described. Therefore, there are no notes or lost revisions where I describe its appearance. I did imagine that when the king was entombed, those who did the act knew that there were creatures deep inside the mountains that could act as guards, and that the thing is one of those creatures. It’s intelligent, but more on the level of a chimpanzee than a human being.

The initial idea behind taking all the horns was to grind them up and mix them together to create a super-horn. It sound ridiculous in retrospect, but the idea was recycled for Mangus at the climax, and used magic instead of science, as Silverspeak would have done.

Whether or not the king is still alive at the time Silverspeak reaches his crypt is left for the reader to decide.)

Why not take the next logical step? Why not do what nopony has ever tried to do?

Why not become an alicorn?

Silverspeak’s parents come by to see him, and over a meal together, they say he’s messing with things that aren’t meant to be trifled with. They know he wants to be more, but this sort of thing is wrong. His mother tells him that there’s an old saying: within each of us is a monster that’s always ravished with hunger, and seeks to get whatever it wants. It’s a brute, and Silverspeak is feeding it. Silverspeak dismisses their concerns. He’s doing more than they ever could, and achieved more than they ever did.

Angry, he goes for a flight, to show them what he did by himself, without their help. But something goes wrong, and he crashes. There’s extreme pain from his wings, especially the muscles. A medical examination by Beakbreaker reveals that Silverspeak’s body is rejecting the muscles and wings, though Beakbreaker can’t explain why, theorizing that they just aren’t meant to be part of him. Eventually, the wings will be rejected permanently, and Silverspeak will loose them. Desperate, Silverspeak begs her to attach new wings, prosthetics, anything, but she refuses. In desperation, he threatens to quit, and shows her the horns, demanding that she attach them. He’s come this far, and is this close to achieving his lifelong dream, and he won’t stop now.

(I went back and forth on which roles Silverspeak’s mother and father were going to take, as I didn’t want his dad to be the gruff, muscular guy and his mom the sensitive type who cooks and is motherly. In the end, they can do both, but unfortunately, the stereotypes won out.

At this point in the story, I also came across an unexpected problem: I had no idea what Silverspeak’s parents names were, as they had just been called Mom and Dad up to this point, and it would have been awkward to have Beakbreaker talk to them without addressing them by their proper names (which I realized after reading about Tarot’s mom in this hilarious article about “Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose”). I decided to try for a metallic theme when naming the family: Silverspeak, Brassbloom, and Goldplate.)

Beakbreaker decides that enough is enough, and says she won’t help Silverspeak anymore, and that she’ll report all this to the authorities. Panicking, Silverspeak tries to stop her, but she blasts him with her magic, and knocks him out cold.

(A Zebra using magic? Beakbreaker was originally a pony, but shortly before writing her first appearance, I wondered what it would be like to make her a different species, as two different races forming a relationship is far more interesting than two normal ponies doing the same thing.

In the final story, I changed Beakbreaker from acting somewhat aggressively, to acting from the shadows to take Silverspeak’s wings. Having her get firm and report everything to the authorities wouldn’t exactly work, as in the outline, Silverspeak hasn’t done anything illegal. While it would have made him more aggressive and angry at being betrayed, I felt it was a better choice to have Beakbreaker act out of concern for Silverspeak’s health, and making her more sympathetic while she was destroying his dream.)

When Silverspeak awakens, he finds himself inside an oversized test tube, his wings gone. A tube next to him holds the wings, and the alicorn horn, preserving them in nutrient rich fluid, apparently used for experimentation. Furious and realizing that this is his only chance to achieve his dream, Silverspeak manages to break out of his tube, and take the wings and horn, along with the others. Beakbreaker finds him, but Silverspeak manages to momentarily knock her out, and runs into a lab, locking doors behind him as he goes, even as he hears Beakbreaker activating the lab’s emergency lockdown feature, which will summon the police and Mangus.

(This is the first of the biggest changes made to the story from the outline. When writing this, I wanted to have a bigger buildup to Silverspeak seemingly reaching the point of no-return, and to have a bigger push to reach that moment, in the form of Medicomp turning against him, his own parents turning against him, and the public doing likewise. Otherwise, having him get the horn and wings immediately felt like the story was moving too fast. It also gave me the chance to show Silverspeak’s darker, more manipulative side when he goes into the Medicomp tower and takes the wings and horn while using his gift for nefarious means.

Furthermore, I realized that Silverspeak actually knocking out Beakbreaker, while plausible, was going too far, and would be the event that Beakbreaker could not forgive him for, no matter what he did afterwords.)

Reaching the main lab, Silverspeak runs to the automatic surgical unit, and proceeds to undergo surgery…even though there’s no anesthetic. This is the scene from the opening of the story, and he manages to survive, chemicals and drugs pumping through him (including nerve growth, so as to accommodate the wings and horn), changing his body, enlarging it so that he has the full body of an alicorn.

At long last, he’s achieved his dream. He has magic, and now he can fly. All is good.

Beakbraker breaks in, tries to inject Silverspeak with a sedative to remove his attachments, but Silverspeak attacks, stops her with his first blast of magic. Beakbreaker pleads with him, saying that this is too dangerous, and that what he’s doing will only make things worse, as there are no pony is meant to handle being changed like this. The police break in, including Mangus. Not only were they triggered by the alarm, but Beakbreaker warned them about what happened, having realized that Silverspeak is now a danger to himself.

A brief battle breaks out. Silverspeak isn’t interested in fighting. He doesn’t want to fight at all, even with Mangus. He just wants to get away. To that end, he blows a hole open, steals the surgical machine, and flees into Manehattan’s sewers. He’ll protect the machine, along with all the data imprinted on it. He’ll continue to tweak and perfect himself. He’ll become a perfect being, greater than any pony before him.

(Again, having Silverspeak attack Beakbreaker felt like he was crossing a line that I didn’t want him to go over, so that idea was dropped.)

Things turn sour, however. Mangus puts out a bulletin saying that Silverspeak is dangerous, and a huge threat to public safety, planting false photos and incriminating evidence of him killing homeless unicorns to take their horns. Furious, Silverspeak heads out to denounce him. But everywhere he goes, he’s attacked, or pursued by the authorities. He’s now feared; his dreams have become a nightmare.

(Much like “Celestia’s Abomination,” I didn’t know how to have Silverspeak get from escaping Medicomp to getting captured, so this chapter was, again, written on the fly. I also couldn't resist bringing the heckler back, and having Silverspeak managing to get some payback while also facing down a huge crowd. I also felt that having him face a moral choice in choosing whether to kill his parents and the police officers was more interesting then being relentlessly hounded and feared at every turn.

The main difference in this section, and the one before it, is that I changed Silverspeak’s motivation to bettering himself by helping others, instead of just wanting fame and lots of fans. This was done to make him more sympathetic, because I realized there was the real risk of making him seem more like a jerk, rather than a misguided soul with his heart in the right place.)

Eventually, after trying a press conference to explain himself, Mangus and his forces show up, overwhelm Silverspeak and arrest him. But when he wakes up after being knocked out, he finds himself not in a cell, but in the sewers beneath the city. Mangus has the surgical machine, and is transforming his own guards and subordinates into alicorns. He explains that he never wanted to be a mere guard. He wanted to be the most famous Unicorn who ever lived. And now, thanks to this machine, he’ll get that. He’ll absorb all the power he can, and then go forth and overthrow the royal sisters, and become the new leader of Equestria.

Silverspeak tries to stop him, but he’s quickly defeated. Mangus changes, and, overcome with excitement and joy, uses his own magic to drain Silverspeak, and takes off, but not before destroying the machine, so as to ensure no one else can use it.

(The sewers were cut out of the story because they didn’t seem like an interesting place to have a big fight take place, where having them take place in the Medicomp tower during a rainstorm seemed like a better choice.

Mangus’ sadistic choice for Silverspeak was also a spur of the moment thing, as it didn’t feel right to have him take the horns, and then dash off without tormenting Silverspeak once more. Originally, he did exactly that, threatening to come back and deal with both him and Beakbreaker later, but that felt too wimpy, for lack of a better word. He needed to do something crueler, and that sadistic choice seemed like the best choice. It was also the perfect place for him to secretly reveal the ending to the story, where the reader would assume Silverspeak would avoid exactly that.)

Silverspeak finds Beakbreaker among the ruins, badly injured, and on the verge of dying. He tries to heal Beakbreaker, but doesn’t have the strength. She dies.

(The biggest change to the entire story was that, originally, Beakbreaker did die, thanks to Mangus beating her to death to torment Silverspeak. However, as I continued to write the story, I found myself really liking Beakbreaker. And with readers liking her more than I expected, including many hoping to see her and Silverspeak as a couple, I decided to spare her, figuring that to have her die would just be too cruel in an already cruel story. In a way, this is a perfect example of how the opinions of readers can alter a story in progress, sometimes considerably.

This was also going to be a double-death scene: having come up with the CEO character earlier on, I figured that he was going to bleed to death after freeing Silverspeak from his gurney. However, I decided to spare him, as I wanted to have a benevolent, reasonable boss character survive. This was also because at this point, I wanted to show Silverspeak a little mercy, and change the tone of the entire third act from a downer tragedy, to a bittersweet tragedy instead.)

Horrified at everything that’s happened, and knowing that he started it, Silverspeak realizes that it’s up to him to try and stop it. He only wanted to be important and popular, not to hurt or kill anyone. It’s up to him to try and stop what’s happening. He takes every drug he can, every chemical, and manages to get some of his magic back.

Wings beating, he flees the sewers, and emerges into Manehattan during a rainstorm. Mangus, insane with power, has gone berserk, and is attacking the city, along with his men. Silverspeak goes after him, and the two fight. The battle takes place throughout Manehattan’s towers and streets, and ends with them fighting on top of the enormous bridge leading to the mainland. But while Silverspeak manages to defeat Mangus’ guards, he can’t defeat Mangus himself. With his alicorn horn, Silverspeak has more raw power, but Mangus has skill, talent, and practice, and finally beats Silverspeak senseless.

On the verge of defeat, Silverspeak tries once more to defeat Mangus, and only manages to drag him down onto the bridge’s streets. Mangus, injured, but not defeated, almost kills Silverspeak…and just then, Twilight and the other bearers of harmony appear; having seen the destruction wrought by the two, they unleash the elements without question, and turn Mangus and Silverspeak to stone.

(The finished fight mostly played out as I had expected it, with the exception of Silverspeak now trying to not only undo what he had created, but also having to protect Beakbreaker at the same time, which added an extra incentive for Silverspeak to fight harder, and to sometimes use his brains instead of his strength. Mangus was also going to be portrayed as the stronger in the two, due to his experience and skill, and would have killed Silverspeak had it not been for the Mane Six showing up. It felt wrong to have Silverspeak fail at practically everything he does, so it was changed to the two being about equal, all things considered. It also helped to avoid making the Deus-Ex Machina moment more blatantly obvious.

Beakbreaker’s momentary death and resurrection were directly inspired by a similar scene in the James Cameron film, “The Abyss,” but I wanted to have a more supernatural feeling to it, in that if there is an unseen force that’s guiding the events of the story, this is the only time when it directly intervenes, and at the moment where Silverspeak chooses love and family over his dreams...not to imply that dreams aren’t worth following, mind you. Granted, this does have the problem of making Mangus' sadistic choice be redundant, and in hindsight, I probably would have combined both into this later scene.)

Imprisoned within stone, Silverspeak has no sensation of time, only the feeling of being half awake, and half asleep. He senses being examined a few times, and the sensation that someone is watching him, but cannot make sense of what’s going on.

Finally, someone appears, and it is revealed to be Princess Luna, who can enter the dreams of those within statue, and she explains what has happened. His efforts to become an Alicorn have happened before, far in the past, but with disastrous results, which is why the current attitude of, “Don’t f*** with your genetics” is so strong among ponykind. Had it gone on longer, Silverspeak would have gone insane, and gone on a massive killing spree. Thankfully, it was stopped.

Remembering what Mangus did, Silverspeak asks Luna about what’s going to happen to him. Luna realizes what the true question is, assures him that after interrogating Mangus, all the crimes attributed to Silverspeak have been cleared. Turns out Mangus had been following Beakbreaker’s technological developments for some time, and saw Silverspeak as a threat that needed to be eliminated. Mangus himself is still in stone, and due to his crimes of killing ponies, he will remain there for a long time, but both Luna and Celestia hope that, given time, he can be rehabilitated, even if that day is far off.

(I wasn’t sure how to approach the stoning scenes, and whether to go for the perspective that you’re not aware of anything (like when Twilight was turned to stone by the Cockatrice), or aware of everything (Discord). I decided to go for a mix, and cut out the dream idea entirely.

Mangus’ fate was originally a little more lenient, but I decided that after all he had done, and all the ponies he had crippled and murdered, he needed a much harsher penalty, but I decided that the princesses would still want him to find redemption, even if he would never be freed.

Fun fact: I originally wanted to insert a small joke where Silverspeak gets an itch on his nose, and Luna has to scratch it for him, but it ultimately didn't fit in)

Luna tells Silverspeak that he’ll need to have his wings and horns removed, as his soul cannot endure such a radical, unnatural change. Luckily, they’ll be able to undo the surgery, and make him normal again. Silverspeak doesn’t want to go through with it, but upon realizing what will happen if he doesn’t, he decides that Luna’s right, and agrees with Luna.

(When this story was originally written, Twilight Sparkle had yet to become an alicorn on the show. When the book was revised to make it more canon-accurate, Luna's rationale was changed from 'you can't change who you are' to 'change is possible, but it has to be earned, not forced, and everyone who's tried that has failed')

Silverspeak is released from stone, goes to Canterlot, gets a few days by himself as magics, potions, and surgery is prepped. He doesn’t get to see the princesses, however, as they’re busy with diplomatic matters.

(The surgical scene originally took place in Canterlot, but I figured it would be emotionally better if Silverspeak had to deal with preparing to go to prison, due to it being an awful choice that no one should ever have to deal with.

Having survived the encounter with Mangus, the CEO got a chance to come back here, and I then realized that, much like Silverspeak's parents, I had no idea what the CEO's real name is, which was changed in later revisions)

The day of surgery arrives. Before Silverspeak goes in, he get to see his parents, who assure him that, even after everything he’s done, they still love and support him. He has to learn to love himself for who he is, and to focus on improving himself with friendship, not artificial means. And no matter how long it takes, they’ll be there to help him.

Silverspeak goes in for surgery. Before he’s put under anesthesia, he’s hopeful that he’ll be able to find himself, and hopefully uncover the good side of him, rather than the monster. When he wakes up, he’ll have a new chance at finding himself, and a new life.

And so, once again on a hospital table, but this time to begin the healing, he closes his eyes. The gas flows, and everything goes dark.

(The reason this version of the ending is so abrupt is because I wanted to leave Silverspeak’s future after loosing his horn and wings to be uncertain, and open to the reader’s interpretation, and that anything could happen after he woke up. Thankfully, I realized that readers would want to kill me for ending on such a cliffhanger, and a more solid finale came up.

Looking back, it’s strange to think that Silverspeak would face no real consequences for what he’s done. At the time, I believed that Equestria was forgiving enough to realize the reasons for doing what he had done, and that the true tragedy of the story was loosing his dream. But considering some of the illegal actions he had done, I felt that Silverspeak could not get off consequence free. Still, I figured the Equestrian legal system would be far more merciful than ours is, and the story would end with the implication that Silverspeak will rebuild his life, and this time focus on what truly matters in life, and what will make him happy in the long run...family and friends.)

Author's Note:

And that's it! I hope you all enjoyed the story, and this little bonus chapter. My apologies to those who were hoping for a "50 years later" follow-up, but I figured a look at how the story might have originally turned out would be a nice way to finish things up.

So to one and all, thank you for reading!
































































This may not be the last we see of Silverspeak...

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Comments ( 246 )

do you have any future projets in mind?

...maybe!? You tease! Just kidding, you know we love it.:trollestia:

Such a tease :derpyderp2:

3653691 hehe, no worries. Sadly I didn't write it totally myself. The lyrics I did, but they are simply a parody of Billionaire by Travie McCoy (ft Bruno Mars). I was planning on writing it from my own perspective, what I would do with godly powers (hence why some of the lyrics are a bit ehhh), then a story update reminded me that Monster Below was a thing, and a thing I read often and I realised...

Silverspeak wants to be an Alicorn too.....

I felt the ending you gave it was fine as it is. It gives people closure (if they paid attention) and it wraps up a lot of stuff, though the potential for more is very alluring. <3

3653377 3654213

More or less what Fox E said. I will agree that sadly sometimes hard work and determination will simply not work... but the way the story is written right now doesn't feel like a failure on Silver Speak's behalf.

Rather then failing thanks to his own skills or those of others, he arguably succeeds at his goal but nature/fate itself smacks him straight back down to normal because he wasn't "destined" for or "worthy" of it.

I've gotten the feeling that vibe wasn't what you were going for, but that's more or less the impression I got from the story itself.

I'd have personally have had the story more or less as is, but have the implants fail from more mundane reasons. Tissue rejection, a infection that was missed, some variant of the problems with getting the wrong blood type but with magic types...

The only thing that would be different really is that discussion with Luna, but the vibe of Because Destiny Says So would be gone. Heck, you could actually have Luna be simply wrong in a theoretical sequel and it would be the same thing retroactively, really.

Still, thanks for explaining your line of thinking. I think that moral is a poor fit for a world were even somebody like Discord might find redemption and similar implausible things happen, but I can respect the attempt at adding something like it to a story.

That final message:pinkiegasp::pinkiehappy:

"Sadistic Choice"
I take it you're a Troper; that explains why your story is so compelling:
You know how to use the tools available to you.

I feel like through the changes you made to the story over time, you've managed to work it into a true masterpiece.
This thing you have created, it deserves to be recognized for what it is: Great.
In a just world this would be adapted into a film on par with Cloud Atlas, Avatar, or 2001: A Space Odyssey.
If only.....:ajsleepy:

I can't wait to see what you have in store next.

The ending was pulled off very good. You left in such a way that it could end here or have a sequel.

Might i say, this story is amazing! I loved every minute of it. Thank you so much for writing it!

Hey, I just wanted to thank you for finishing this story. I've been reading it since it was featured on some pony website like ten months ago. I forget which one. I've been following this story from the first time I saw it. I love your writing style and hope that at some point I too will be able to compose something like this. Your story has been an inspiration to my personal attempts at writing, and I just wanted you to know that I appreciate all the work that you've put into this. It was very meaningful and it, among other stories, has changed my view of fan fiction. It's sad that people who don't watch the show wouldn't bother to read this. I hope that your writing is as well-received outside the fandom as it is inside it.

Thank you.

Let me start by saying I really enjoyed this story and have been following it from (almost) the beginning. It's been almost a constant aspect of what "pony" is for me this year. Or rather, what it can be in one, weird, futuristic flavor anyway. That said, I want to offer a fair bit of criticism, as I think the nearly year-long investment both you as a writer (and me as a reader) have made here is worth some in-depth critique. Please though, keep in mind that my overall opinion really is positive; the negatives below are the exception, not the rule. Also note that as it has been the better part of a year, I may not be remembering all details with ultimate clarity, so it's possible I've forgotten key details or explanations.

A lot of the writing lapsed casually into "ponies are people on four legs." Not that you shouldn't have a characters which are relatable to human readers, but between the big-city setting, talks of apartment prices, libraries, skyscrapers, hospitals, etc. there were large stretches where almost nothing reminded the reader that this wasn't just humans on earth. You have phrases like "in hand", "handful of ponies", and "handed to you" throughout (and I just searched 4 chapters for "hand".) Not that a mere search/replace for key verbs and nouns is what makes something pony, just that the abundant use of phrases like those, combined with the overall diction, make it seem like you were picturing humans in action when you wrote, and painting them as ponies only when wings or horns became directly involved.

Mangus, for the most part, is the high school jock/bully you mention picturing in your early notes. That he ends up as a security guard is fitting, but the fact that he somehow weasels his way into always being nearby, in charge of Silverspeak's personal security, even gets into his parents house... that just stretches credibility. At some point, Silverspeak and Beakbreaker are the two most famous (and valuable) ponies at Medicomp, and Silverspeak's very talent is talking people into things. Yet he can't convince the (mostly) sympathetic CEO to get rid of this known troublemaker shadowing him? We're talking Bill Gates or Steve Jobs being stuck with a problem security guard that they can't get the company to pull. I understand in greater plot reasons why, but it needs to be "sold" better in those middle chapters. Mangus needs to be less obviously a "problem" or needs to be shown as the clever/scheming supervillian-in-waiting he is. Without that, it feels like deus (or diabolus)-ex-machina. Mangus suddenly transforms from "petulant jock with some blackmail" to "world-destroying supervillian" out of nowhere... he doesn't even use the blackmail in the end.

The reactions of the populace and minor characters seem to be somewhat arbitrary. This may be mostly due to limited word count spent on this, or due to seeing things just through Silverspeak's perspective, but my overall, general "impression" of things was that public opinion for the limbs, wings, horn, etc. was always shifting without any real reason. Same with Silverspeak's own parents. He goes from loving family (or so it seemed) to "let's drug them while I sneak out" without (in my opinion) enough shift in their attitude to think he couldn't trust them with the truth. I wanted to say "unreliable narrator" being as it was first person, but Silverspeak himself went from rational and well-spoken to paranoid seemingly without cause too. If that was intentional, then maybe it just needs to be painted/colorized better so the user feels the shift in the narrator's attitude.

Lastly... and this is really more opinion than proper "criticism" but... I just thought the final solution was a cop-out. This story was tagged Tragedy, and Dark. The title has "Monster" in it. I set into this story, knowing from the beginning that big, bad things were coming. I figured that was either awful, awful failure, or subversion of that into some new glorious dawn. Instead, it wraps with our protagonist riding peacefully in a royal train car next to his love interest. (Two years of prison is treated as absolutely inconsequential.) I'm not saying you have to kill the hero in a tragedy, but... years spent pursing an impossible dream of self improvement, subtly steering an entire company to that dream, changing the lives of ponies around the world, riots and protests all over on psuedo-religious grounds, then a massive battle, billions in property damage, hundreds of ponies dying... All epic. But... all for Luna to sweep in and remind him "It's important to just be yourself"? Not only is it anti-climatictic, but the very message, that trying to rise above your station... above your birth... is "not natural" somehow, that just doesn't sit right with me.

If he'd failed spectacularly, that'd be one thing. If ponies had torn him apart in jealousy or hatred, that'd work. If he'd succumbed to his own hubris (like Icarus) but other ponies behind him succeeded, I'd take that as well. I'm reminded of a song by the Violent Femmes called "Machine." The key lines are "I got a machine, and I took over the world... But nothing changed." This feels a bit like that. Mangus and Silverspeak both were trying to change the world, but in the end, nothing changed. The bully was finally outed as the jerk we (as readers) always knew he was, and the hero gets a slap on the wrist and a lesson about being himself.

Okay, I said it at the start, but I'll say it again now. I really DID LIKE this story on the whole. You wrote some very interesting and unique characters, and (until the very end) had a very interesting and awesome premise going. Your characterizations of the Manehatten that might be and the world of Equestria that go with it were fun to read and imagine. Keep writing, and don't let my criticisms above discourage you. :pinkiehappy:

I think in the actual series itself that Alicorns are at least somewhat predestined. Twilight's cutie mark on Star Swirl's journal and now on the Tree of Harmony paints a pretty clear picture that her life was planned out long before she was born. And, destiny aside, Silverspeak did prove himself to be unworthy of being an Alicorn through his selfish and dangerous actions. It really took Beakbreaker to snap him out of it before it was too late.

This doesn't mean that I'm not disappointed that his whole quest boiled down to "you weren't pre-chosen long ago to be one of us, so too bad". Far from it. I just wish that Luna's reasoning at the end would have been something more like that everyone does have the potential to become an Alicorn, but most never attempt to and that nearly all who try are rejected because they don't measure up to what is truly required. And once you are rejected, that door is closed forever and you don't get another chance. So in this way, Silverspeak's dream wasn't impossible or wrong from the beginning, but he ironically made it so he never could truly achieve it by what he did.

3654968 Oh right. That chapter. :facehoof:
That happens when you have 252 stories on the reading list.:twilightblush:

It was great :fluttercry:. I can't believe it's over. :raritycry:

Thankfully, I realized that readers would want to kill me for ending on such a cliffhanger, and a more solid finale came up.

Thankfully, yes, thankfully. :pinkiesick:

The changes really made it shine.

In an unofficial Eminem cover, I "sing for the moment" that this story ends up. I don't know. It just feels right.

This may not be the last we see of Silverspeak...

You damn tease, you... Now i know i want a sequel.

Edit- That's what i get for writing my bbcode tags myself...

He wants unicorn wings.

Shouldn't that be pegasus wings?

3655523
Yes, and I'm outlining/brainstorming them, but my next work will be to resume "My Little Sharknado."

3656011
Ah! Well, it's still a catchy song, so in the end, that's what counts! Thank you again for doing it!

3656429
That's a good, thoughtful reply, and upon further reflection, I think you're right (along with Fox E) about how the whole "Destiny" aspect doesn't fit as I had intended. It's something I'll keep in mind when incorporating the same theme in any of my future works.

3658579
Yep, I'm an avid Troper. Perhaps too much at times, but the site did help out a lot with writing this at times. And thank you for your kind comments! It would be great seeing this adapted into a movie one day, and who knows? With all the great stuff coming out of SFM, it just may happen!

3659078
Thank you! I'm glad it worked, as I'm with Michael Bay on endings: Sequels should be self-contained, and not end on massive cliffhangers.

3659251
Thank you! And you're very welcome!

3660393
Thank you so much for writing that, CosmicDerp! What you wrote hits quite close to home for me, as it was a really well-written fan novel that really got me into writing a long time ago. I never got the chance to thank him (or her), so to read what you said is like coming full circle. It may take time (it's been just a little over ten years since I started writing), but I assure you that with practice and effort, your writing will get better. As proof, I offer an unedited segment from the very first fan-novel I ever wrote (but don't ask me where you can find it! I felt physically ill just looking it up!:raritydespair:)

Darkness...
light and wave sounds...
the long tunnel and the light at the end...
Ivan was fighting his way towrd the end of the tunnel and away from the urge to go to sleep forever, he wanted to live and live long. He continued tword the end of the tunnel, he was almost there he was..."AHHHH" he yelled in pain. He slowly and painfully opened his eyes to see if he was still alive. Satisfied that he was he got up and looked around for a moment, trying to get his senses back. After a few minnutes he looked around and to his astonishment he saw that he was on a beach! "How did I get here" he thought. "I dont remember if we were supposed to land and.. oh shoot the plane!" Forgetting the pain he ran down the beach to look for the plane. After a few minnutes he finally found it.
The boy awoke. He was very tired and sore. "Darnit" he thought. "Darnit the plane had crashed nowhere near the site I want to be in, Darnit" "Oh well" he thought "At least the bomb did its work, now all I have to do is find those disks, get off the island and retire at age 11". He started to walk around when suddenly he thought he heard Ivan calling his name. Curious he started to walk towrd the sound. He did not notice the large eye wathching him from the shadows.
Ivan could not belive the sight in front of him. The plane was totaly demolished. He stood, staring at it for several minnutes before thinking about how it had gotten there. All he remembered was the plane falling, the explosion and him yelling "Oh God" before he had blacked out. Now here it was totaly destroyed in front of him. Carefully he decided to check the inside out. Maybe he could find someone alive. He climbed into what was left of the cockpit and groaned in disgust. The radio was trashed and the pilots were slumped over in their chairs. Ivan reached over and felt for a pulse. After 15 seconds he sighed, said a quick prayer and placed some jackets over thier faces. The passenger area was not much better. The chairs and tables were broken in two and the windows and emergency hatch were open. There was no sign of anyone. However he did find his backpack with all of his books in it. He found some food but could only carry 1 of the supplies so reluctantly he took out the books and put the food in and put the pack on. The cargo are was compleatly inacsesable but he found what was left of a strange beeping object. Intrieged he placed it in his pack and finished with his search left the plane and went onto the beach. He looked around at the island. It was lage and a tropical jungle. Out in the distance he could see a tall structure but ignored it for now. At the moment he had to find the others. He started yelling out other peoples names. "Brutis!, Jonathan!, Thomas!, Steve!, Edward!, Marvin!, Elvis!, anybody!?". He thought for a moment and then reached into his pocket and pulled out his wistle and blew as hard as he could.
It traveled through the jungle, hungry and looking for prey. It had not eaten sence the last 2 moons. All it knew was that it was hungry. It was huge so smaller creatures fled before it. It was looking, listining and smelling when suddenly a sharp sound inveded its ears. It turned towrd the sound and started to walk twords it...

Oh sweet Celestia, I want to hurl...oh wait, where was I? Oh yes, writing. If I can go from writing that piece of drek (committing terrorist acts and retiring at age 11? REALLY?!) to "Monster," then you can too!

3660787
Thank you for your critique Xepher; it's this kind of in-depth, honest, and not-mean-spirited critique that I'll pay far more attention to than, say, someone who just writes, "This story sucks!" It's also very good from a writer's point of view, and you do bring up some logical problems that I should have addressed.

In a way, I was kinda writing the ponies as people, as I was frequently using real debates and confrontations in our world to try and frame some of the narrative, but it wasn't my goal to make them seem like human beings in pony bodies (and all those references to hands were unintentional slip-ups, considering how often I use the word in non-pony stories).

I have to be honest: regarding Mangus managing to weasel his way and stick near Silverspeak and Beakbreaker, I hadn't thought at all about how that wouldn't work in real life. Your Bill Gates analogy is perfect, and it simply didn't cross my mind once when I was writing it.

The ending, when taken in regards what you and others have said, is probably the biggest mistake of the story, and I think you put it best in that it should have been the results of Silverspeak's actions, not destiny. I think you're also correct about the story not really being a true tragedy, in the long sense, considering how lightly things ended. I became aware of that problem when I came up with the new ending, but figured that the tragedy of the story was Silverspeak loosing his life-long dream after all he had poured into it. It's similar to Enigo Montoya: he spent so many years trying to avenge his father, that he didn't know what to do with himself after he succeeded. Or, in Silverspeak's case, failed. But I figured it would probably work if, while loosing his dream, he did gain the acceptance/love he had truly been searching for. But considering the feedback I've gotten, I didn't pull it off as well as I hoped.

I'll take everything you said and apply it to my future works, and again, thank you for writing this. I wasn't offended by it, and your insights were indeed very helpful. And of course, I'm happy that you enjoyed the story!

3661383
That's a good way of looking at it. And as it turns out, your analysis there is one I hadn't thought of myself, so it's really interesting to read it (along with all your other comments throughout the story, which I've found to be fascinating and quite insightful).

3661785
252?!:rainbowderp: Wow, that's a lot of reading you've got there!

3663308
Thank you! But if you're feeling gloomy, you can always move your mouse over that little spoiler space there at the end!

3663334
Interesting...I'm personally not a fan of that type of music, but the lyrics do fit quite well!

3690344 What can I say.... I like my ponies adventurous and silly . Also, I love books :twilightblush:

3754169 Your welcome. :)

I enjoyed this story a lot. I'm also happy the story had a happier ending than I expected. As for your comment that his punishment is lenient, I'll point to Twilight Sparkle mind controlling people and causing a riot with all the associated injuries and having NO PUNISHMENT AT ALL. Stupid want-it-need-it.

Just found this on EQD, Fav cuz concept is awesome.

3805681 Probably but he wouldn't have had the added enthusiasm to give to Beakbreaker, so she never would have acquired the resources she needed in order to make her dream into a reality.

Charles Everett Ogmier?
Carl Earnest Oak?
Hundreds of other pun names that fit?
im really bored now that i finished this story.... read all 29 chapters at once:pinkiecrazy:

3805131 EXTERMINATE!!! EXTERMINATE!!

Yes, my creations! You are quite correct!

Alondro's true form: fc00.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2012/298/5/b/davros_by_silverband7-d5iyo6u.jpg

:trollestia:

3809139
Two words:
Fantasy Narrative in a Magical Setting about Pastel Ponies.
......I'm not good with numbers. :derpytongue2:

Anyway, because this is a fantasy setting containing various degrees of magic, most if not all of your points could be hand-waved away with a simple "It's magic, it just works" from Greenback. Greenback however, decided that this was how Silverspeak's tale should be, and thus it is.

And what a story it is.

3805782 Wow. That is pretty insane. I went a bit crazy on the story but finished the first twelve in one day but finished 13-29 in the second day. My eyes hurt like hell after I was finished reading on the second day. I can't imagine reading the entire thing in one day though. Your eyes are probably gone after all that!

3821790 no, still here; can't say much for my sanity anymore, considering my nonstop fimfiction binge:pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy:. i have so far read 20+ stories, many of which were atleast 15+ chapters

I crunched through this fic in three days, and all I have to say is, wow. That was a powerful fic. Pretty dark at times, too. A couple of parts were so gut-wrenching, I almost stopped reading. But I didn't, and I'm glad I finished it. You deserve every one of those upvotes.

Also, this fandom needs moar scifi. Stuff like this is quite cool, but sadly rare. Now, off to read something a bit lighter so I can actually sleep tonight.

CHOO CHOO, MOTHER BUCKERS! xD

3767221
That's one thing I hadn't thought of when writing, but you've got a good point there.

3788641
:pinkiehappy:
Glad you liked it!

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