• Member Since 2nd Dec, 2012
  • offline last seen Aug 2nd, 2014

Argel Tal


This is Argel Tal's bio. He likes Mixed Martial Arts, David Gemmell, Terry Pratchett, R.A. Salvatore, and ponies. That's...really all we know about him.

T

Humanity has fallen, and Equestria reigns triumphant. A few scattered members of the Human Liberation Front fight on, but they are gravely outmatched. In the aftermath of a pitched battle, a member of HLF and a unicorn filly walk among the dead.
One Shot, Complete

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 18 )

good story. i liked it. not much more for me to say

I stopped reading CB stories but randomly decided to read this one, its a nice one shot.

Glad you gents enjoyed it.
The idea for this has been percolating in my noggin for a while now, but I've been too busy to put words on..I was going to say paper but that's not quite right, is it?

People downvoting:
If it's not too much trouble, would you mind dropping a few sentences? If nobody bothers to tell me about my mistakes, I'll just keep making them, after all.

Is it because this is a Conversion story? (I'm aware saying that subgenre is controversial within the fandom is like saying the Titanic had a few minor design flaws.)

Lack of ponies? (Guilty as charged...this is the first time I've tried writing fanfiction, and I figured it was better to botch a character of my own design than one beloved by millions.)

Spelling, grammar, or other technical issues? (Please, point out so I can correct...if I could flawlessly edit my own work, I'd be a genius.)

Didn't do Celestia justice? (How? Why? What ways do you think I could improve?)

:fluttershysad::fluttershysad:
Any of that would be more helpful than a generalized "This story is bad and you should feel bad."

A nice little tidbit, I enjoyed it.

Also, since this kind of thing always grinds my gears when I find it in my writing:

“Thank you…thank you…” he managed to ___ the words out, through the darkness that was slowly wrapping all around him. “Princess?”

I think you meant to fill in this blank? :P

Elmagnifico:
Thanks for the heads up, should be fixed now.

You know, I realize that I spent my entire's Author's Notes rambling about another writer's stuff, and supplied almost no details about my own thoughts/experiences writing. Bad form, that. Might as well rectify it here:

Really, I came up with the ending before anything else. I can't remember who said "Hell is other people" but while I withhold judgement on that particular sentiment, I'd probably agree if he (she?) had added "And so is Heaven." In my admittedly layest of laymen's opinions, any afterlife that doesn't have a reunion with lost friends and loved ones doesn't hold much appeal.

Even granting that Ponification is every bit the paradise it's portrayed as in some stories, is it really paradise if it comes at the cost of being re-united with everyone you ever cared for? I think Celestia, any variation of Celestia, would understand that, given that she spent one thousand years seperated from her beloved sister, and so she would honor a single human's request to follow those he held dear, even if it was into oblivion.

Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori.

Good for a first attempt, but it seems extremely similar to Ten Minutes in both plot and prose.

Huh. I figured I'd get accussed of ripping off Graham McNeil's short story "The Last Church" (wherein the militantly atheist psychic warlord who has just conquered Earth conversates with the last priest of the last church his warriors are about to burn down).

It's been a while since I read TM, but I remember it as the frantic firefight against a pony hordes, I was shooting for more of the quiet aftermath of such a firefight. Admittedly "shooting for" and "achieving" are two completely different things.

I liked it, and it had a fun twist ending that I should've seen coming. I have no complaints about it. Good story.

It was pretty good, all told. The remembrance in the middle, involving the history of the suit, felt just a little clunky to me, but it resolved itself. I think what would have worked better for me there, at least, would be a stronger indication that Josh was in fact recalling an incident. Or, perhaps it's just me, I am getting over the flu, and maybe my comprehension is down.

Josh came across well enough, but it might have helped to have more about what he actually believed. That was one thing that I felt was missing for me - the story seemed to assume that I would comprehend or grasp his viewpoint and belief system innately. I get that he believed in souls and in some kind of god, but it would - I think - have made him more solid, more 'real' if we had been shown what that was, and what it meant to him. What you wrote works - it works well enough - but I just feel that it would have felt more powerful if he had a little more to say about the issue, and especially about how seeing - apparently - a living goddess perform horrific miracles fits into that.

He leaps to the conclusion that a bigger god must have made Celestia - I see no reason why. That would have helped, to understand that. my mind immediately jumped to - "OK, then, if your god made Celestia, then why are you defying Her and thus Him, and secondly, who made your god, if anything you say you believe is true?" That was a cognitive disjunct for me - he speaks of fighting the very sun, yet leaps to the conclusion that a god he has never seen is valid even when faced with a goddess he CAN see. That... was a bit problematic to me.

I did like the 'Morlock Suit', that was awesome, and a great reference besides. I also liked the writing on it.

I did not feel anything for Josh's brother. I needed more there, too. I needed a reason to feel bad about his brother being dead, other than 'It's his brother'. Perhaps an anecdote, or a memory? It seemed a bit shorthand for me, personally. Kind of 'insert relative: automatic emotion.' I would have liked to know something that would have jerked my tears more than a label of relationship, I think.

The dogs were a cool idea, I personally think you should have done a little more with them. A little more description, and a little more of their behavior on the battlefield, just to get an idea of what they fully represented. Not a lot, just a little more, to establish their value and danger.

That is all I can think of. It's a decent story, a little hyper-violent and not to my taste, but for those that favor war, well written.

Since your author's notes mention me, I should say that the one big thing that didn't fit my universe was the concept of Celestia fighting, or allowing her ponies to fight. That literally could not happen in my universe - and not just because I portray Celestia as nonviolent, or ponies as being incapable of killing. It is intrinsic to my version of the Bureau that thaumatic energy diminishes with distance - Celestia is toast if she moves too far from the Barrier. Even earthponies and pegasai would feel weaker the further they got from Equestria. It's a pretty serious Achilles heel.

If I were to imagine - impossibly - ponies fighting, I would figure they would concentrate only on long-range attacks led by unicorns, likely using telescopes.

Peering through magically enhanced telescopes, unicorns could create tiny - say a few millimeters in size - hollow spheres of telekinetic force inside the heads, hearts, or spines of enemy soldiers and then move those spheres an inch. This would instantly kill, or at the least permanently paralyze any opponent at tremendous range. The attack would be invisible, unstoppable, and any unicorn - even untrained ones - could perform such a minor act. Put cloudwalked unicorns on strategic clouds positioned by pegasai, and total area awareness would be achieved. Enemy combatants would just start dropping, without any visible sign of injury - until autopsy, of course.

Machines could be disabled similarly, with patches of telekinetic force destroying circuitry, or affecting the pilots. If clairvoyance spells were used, the distance could be infinite - the attack could be run from within the Barrier itself, with no possible counterattack.

Yes, I admit I am stealing directly from Marvel Comics here, with their concept of just how truly dangerous Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four would be if she ever turned evil - Stan Lee once remarked that she was in theory the most dangerous character in their entire pantheon, for the reason I just gave for unicorn attacks. But, the principle remains - telekinesis is the most deadly sniper power possible. Unless teleportation is common, in which case, well. That would be worse, arguably.

All this said, though, a realistic appraisal of unicorn telekinesis from a military viewpoint leaves no room for any kind of glorious battle, which kind of cuts a story short. Ordinary unicorns from MLP would be unstoppable, invisible, hidden killers, and that is way too one-sided. Rushing waves of pegasai are far more interesting, I have to admit.

But - as a doctrine, it makes no sense. Just saying.

I've thought quite a bit about how Equestria would actually fight a war, if they intended to win it, and 'Unicorns at distance, or via clairvoyance' is just so utterly destructive that... no other doctrine even begins to come close. Pegasai and earthponies can't compete at all, and at best could only serve to position unicorns or act as support for their needs.

The power to generate instant aneurysms at any conceivable distance, with no conceivable barrier or shield possible... well.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Good effort!

First of all, I appreciate the critique, and I'll try and reply in at least semi coherent fashion:

Josh's Faith:
I was a bit wary of even putting it in in the first place, (since CB is a bit like juggling chainsaws, and discussing religion even more so) and I feared an in depth discussion would come across less as "This is fleshing the character out" and more "Here is the author getting on his soapbox to proselytize his own beliefs". As for the plausibility, well, there are a lot of anecdotes about people with religious convictions having them strengthened by surviving horrible wars or disasters (which is not to say that there aren't just as many or more who walked away from such convictions, merely that one response is not more realistic or believeable than the other).

As for a bigger God making Celestia, the relevant quote is "No matter how powerful you may become, there is always someone who will surpass you" but you are correct, that could be articulated in story better. Perhaps he explains that's how he can keep standing up to Celestia, because "There's GOT to be someone bigger." Any port in a storm and all that.

Bang on about Andrew needing more character than "Little brother, struggles with its/it's", the person who checked this for grammar before posting told me I had lavished more description on the Suits than Sunny or Andrew.

Oh, as for the ponies at war, I always thought Pegasus weather control is usually unappreciated, considering how Dash and her team whipped up a Tornado more or less by accident. Any sort of aircraft can be grounded by severe weather, and armored vehicles aren't great at maneuvering through deep mud (German officers in WW2 said they had more vehicles bog down in the Russian spring thaws than the winter snowstorms).

Not sure I agree with the levels of Unicorn TK..Twilight could probably pull it off, but I've always thought using her as what a baseline unicorn is capable of was like using professional strongmen Bill Kazmaier or Magnus Ver Magnuson as examples of what a normal human can do.

Expected gore and violence.
Got philosophy and self-reflection.
Feels good. :twilightsmile:

2120307Uh since when can unicorns do that? In Canon magic can't do everything unlike in your stories where you bash our heads in about how magic can do anything and how because we have no magic were soulless and have no heaven and did you forget we have long range artillery? Or bullets? Also, How are you certain magic can do anything to us? For all we know were immune to magic entirely, but then again magic will never exist since it's just a concept in fiction. And really? Magic is just something that has yet to be explained.

Magic is a fictional concept....
OH MY THRONE AND PRIMARCHS!
You mean talking equine lifeforms that can take down powered armor with Roman manipular legion weapons aren't a real thing?
:fluttercry:

2120307 No chat the ponies would not be an unstoppable force how ever you are right about one thing it would be a one sided fight for...us they would be complete annihilated

*Sees argument completely unrelated to story brewing*
We now have three comments disagreeing with the assessment of unicorn telekinesis. Any more would be lily gilding, garnishing the firmament of heaven with a lighted taper, and similar acts of excess.
Let it drop.

ashes to ashes
dust to dust
lay my head down so I can turn to rust
bound by fire. bound by steel
I lay my soul to rest

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