• Published 21st Feb 2013
  • 9,807 Views, 960 Comments

I.D. - That Indestructible Something - Chatoyance



Gregoria Samson awakens transformed into an Equestrian pony - yet no other human being can perceive her new body in any way. What is the incredible, monumental truth behind her impossible change?

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Acknowledgements

"Man cannot live without a permanent trust in something indestructible within himself,
though both that indestructible something and his own trust in it may remain permanently
concealed from him". - Franz Kafka, 1913

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

In the creation of this particular story, I feel it necessary to acknowledge the inspirations for certain aspects within it. Some important elements have been derived from the works of many dozens of authors laboring in at least three different shared universes approximately a decade ago. I wish to lovingly acknowledge the following inspirations:



The Blind Pig Universe (and its spin-offs) originally created by Mark van Sciver, and written within by over three dozen incredibly talented writers.

The Paradise Universe originally created by Jon Buck and written about by over two dozen astonishingly talented authors.

I also wish to acknowledge the influence and inspiration of the following resources and individuals:

The Transformation Stories Archive

Shifti

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Nick Bostrom, Professor, Faculty of Philosophy & Oxford Martin School

Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann, physicist



- Chatoyance, 2013

Side Notes:

The chapter titles come from quotations by Franz Kafka

Gregoria Samson is obviously based on Gregor Samsa

Comments ( 296 )

WOW. THE BLIND PIG! I haven't heard of them in AGES! :pinkiegasp:

Let us see where you shall go....:twilightsmile:

Comment posted by CDR deleted Feb 21st, 2013
CDR

2157879

HEY! HEY! HEY!
We Are All Blind

Naw I'm just messin with ya, but seriuosly, that is a scary ass coincidence.
Ima have fun reading yours.

Wow, i had forgotten about Paradise.

2156676
Protip: If you fave your own fic, it makes it available to others even before it is accepted by moderation. They have to go to your favorites collection to find it, but it is much easier than using a password if you want it available to show it to someone before it is published. This is a fantastic quick-and-dirty shortcut for when you want to have someone look over your work and provide opinions about what it needs before you release it.

Note that chapters have to be 'published' to be seen, but otherwise it works very well.

2158232
I will check out your story!

Oh man, this is going to be interesting. There's almost kind of a "Calvin & Hobbes" thing going on with Georgia's appearance. I wonder which eye level everyone is going to be looking at once she starts walking, or if they'll see her eating grass or being able to smell something she shouldn't and that'll start raising suspicions. ...Or if she'll be sought out by other Secret Ponies.

I dearly hope Canterlot wasn't the inspiration for Kafka's "The Castle," though. ...But I bet a ponified version of that could be awesome.

Also big ups for Nick Bostrom and Ludwig Boltzmann being influences - I can't wait to see where their fingerprints turn up.

And of course I can't resist posting possibly the best Onion video ever:

I remember the transformation archive. I used to read a few stories almost a decade ago or more from that site. I think it was linked from another site with the name Mia? I can't remember.:ajsleepy:

I have to be honest, this idea is something I haven't seen before. I am intrigued.
Continue.

Some real body-horror stuff going on, and well done it is too. Pleasantly unpleasant, I'd say.

Added to my favorites list, since I pretty much don't use the read later thing :derpytongue2:

Will get to this as soon as I am able. The premise holds an interesting promise.

HA! I knew the Paradise universe was an inspriation from the moment I read the description! On a random note, I've been meaning to invite you to the Pony Earth verse since you have such a distinctive writing style and I like to see juxtaposition.

2159185

Ah, yes, the Mia Story Archive... good times!

Holy woah, so many old archives that I know of. Heh, wow, i never thought i'd hear of any of these again.

2162507
Mia Story Archive? I don't know of this one. Is it transformation fiction? If so, may I have a link?

2162683

It's transformation, amongst other things. It's rather a dead place, last update was in 2003... but it's still good, and still hosts a lot of works.

here you go! http://furry.de/miavir/stories/index.html

2162726


Thank you noble cause. Yeah I read a few stories on that site

Not quite sure why this as the amount of down-votes it does, as this is one of the most well-done Human-in-Equestria-Pony-on-Earth stories I've read so far. You've piqued my interest.

2163008 Chatoyance has her own personal retinue of haters who make a point of downvoting her stories on principle. People need to find a different hobby in my opinion.

You live! I knew you I'd see something by you again!

Wow. I never thought I'd see another 'Blind Pig' fan. I thought that was for internet oldtimers!

2163567
Sorry - I didn't mean to bug you. I chitin like it myself.

(Joke) Alt. Title: A.I.D.S. - Artificially Indestructible Doe Something
...And I don't care how many dislikes this gets. Also, this cover art seems vaguely familiar. Or maybe I'm just stupid.

2164111
Funny you should mention that... (stay tuned!)

2163976
Abby Road? Cool! Hadn't thought of that, but the stride is kind of similar.

Hahaha, finding out which direction mares pee was the research threshold I've heretofore been too embarrassed to cross. At least I guessed correctly.

I really like the way her reaction is portrayed - I think that's my favorite thing about these kinds of stories: The way they reveal character and the various things we all take for granted by juxtaposing them with other elements that are completely different. And they way they throw into stark relief how so much of life is determined by physical circumstances so banal we never even notice them.

I hope you don't mind if I still start releasing my own treatment of this theme starting next week - I don't want to steal anyone's thunder or jump on a bandwagon but I don't want to seem like an also-ran, either, and it's on it's final round of editing.

2164111
I know, right? I think my first priority would be to find out where this 'perception filter' breaks down, because that'd tell you a lot about how closely and intelligently you're being monitored and how large an area it's affecting, i.e. how many degrees of separation are being actively modified, and where in the chain of interactions it's happening. I think the first thing I'd ask is if someone would draw me, or even go pose for a life drawing class and assume a bunch of humanly impossible positions and see if everyone's match. Next would be photographs, then finally all kinds of elaborate double-blind schemes involving hoof-stamped flyers around town, twitter hashtags, pre-stamped nested chain letters, plaster casts of hoofprints filled with water, and samples of my hair and poop.

Of course, she's not me, which is a good thing, because otherwise why read fiction? Plus I don't think this is supposed to be a story about science experiments. (Even though I can't stop thinking them up :twilightoops: It's like a book of riddles: OK, so you pick two copy shops, then anonymously hire two different people on Craigslist. At each copy shop there will be a folder...)

Wow! Got my attention when I saw the OC on the cover... looks just like a rule 63 of mine :rainbowderp:
This is going well by the way. Will look forward to more.

2165134
FIXED! Thank you.

2165907
Actually... it's going to be a bit of a different take on the concept. It amounts to the same thing, but I am not copying 'Paradise' here. You'll see. My goal is to blow minds.

2164998
Her father actually touched her head, as did her mother. Next chapter we will explore things more, but this is not a situation where people are looking over her pony head. They look down at her short new form, they reach down to touch her. It is stranger than just seeing a ghost superimposed, or seeing an illusion of normality.

Wow...I was just thinking of this exact story the other day! Good job mind reading...Now get out of my head.

2166284
I was thinking it was more akin to the Someone Else's Problem (SEP) Field from the Hitchhiker's series.
Is it affecting you? No.
Can you do anything about it? No.
Would you be better off leaving it alone? Yes.
Is there someone more qualified? Most likely.
Hence, Someone Else's Problem.

2165976
I actually pegged him as a changeling - he's definitely got a "long finger" (could be a hoof) and can't sit straight in a chair (a tail), but what made me think "changeling" is... what would love him more than anything else in the world? And would make him feel so much better that it's noticeable even to others for something so trivial to a human?

2166372
I think I can see it, amusingly - a big bug-thing eh?

Also, 1924 didn't have mlp:fim, and THAT is why it's interesting.

2167228

ponies in the show sat on various objects, including floor, and it didn't seem uncomfortable. And I am not talking about Lyra-style sitting.

I think ponies can, but you have to get used to doing it right. Which should explain Gregoria's difficulties, but not Mr. Crown's (he should have had a lot of time to get used to his body). :rainbowhuh:

2168449 No, see, the joke is about Kafka's original Metamorphosis.

I have one itsy bitsy problem with this story:

Changelings as a race bring my inner xenophobe straight to the surface, and it snarls and it claws the air most alarmingly upon arrival. Giant shape changing bugs that replace your friends and loved ones and use mind control powers to make you ignore the inconsistencies?
BURN THEM ALL.:pinkiecrazy:

2171261
No. Perspicacity is just one of my favorite words for being intelligent. I also like:

Astuteness
Keenness
Sagacity
Acumen
Discernment
Savvy
Argute
And one of my favorites of all: Cognizant

I LOVE WORDS!!!

2176516
Thank you, I got the Kafka quotes spelling wrong. All of the titles are from Kafka for this story. FIXED.

2177110
Yup, learning is fun! *looks around* "There's no such thing as too many books, just not enough shelf space." And not enough time, of course.

I like that particular version of the video. Even if you've seen the gorilla before, there's something there for you. Only 1 of 2 bonus points on my first go. :twilightblush:

2179268

Glad to help. Oddly enough, I've never seen Wallace Shawn's "My Dinner With Andre" -- I initially saw him in "The Princess Bride", then tracked him through new movies I've watched since then. He's one of my favorite voice actors in cartoons/animated features, with Patrick Warburton (Kronk from The Emperor's New Groove) being the other distinctive voice I've come to enjoy.

...okay, so I just finished the existing chapters and saw the acknowledgements. I have to know -- this is still ongoing, right? 'Cause if it's all done, you've barely whetted my appetite for the world and I still have a ton of questions.

2179591 idk lol. Everyone I talk to on the net is like ERMAGERD IT'S SERDA PERP NERT JERST PERP. :pinkiehappy:

2180525 Perhaps it's simply a big city thing.

2193346
I'll answer with Schopenhauer: Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants. Science tells us that the brain does not work like we think it does: The decision "from the gut" is first and then the brain construct a rationalization for that decision. That's one of the reasons why we do stupid things and why humans would rather ignore evidence than face the facts.

"Deferment of reward for greater future gain."

I somehow connected this to an explanation of how merchanting works. It was explained in an anime called Spice and Wolf, in a maybe 1600's setting; the merchant explained to his traveling companion. He would make a trade to a person in a town he traveled to, and accept the payment to be made in the future, so that he would have positive credit with that person in the town. This would allow him to have money in that town, that he would not need to carry with him, and he would do this in many towns. The connection to this story was made with the assumption, that deferment in your given context means to delay. I know that "reward" and "gain" are used in the wider scope, and not just monetary, but this is the connection I made.

I wonder if I'm writing this, just for the joy of communication. Because this is probably a bit off-topic. :)

Heheh, I said bit... Heheh... "Bit", has been amusing me lately, because of ponies and their puns. Bits being money, and also being used as a word for a small amount. Is a "little bit", a bit that didn't get enough gold poured into the mold? I laugh at my own jokes cause everyone doesn't always get them.
:rainbowlaugh::rainbowhuh:

2194312
Spice and Wolf is exactly correct. Deferment is the key to all human level social interaction. That capacity to imagine future gain, and to hold off on immediate reward makes every human advancement possible at all.

Yay forebrain, yay neocortex!

2194391
Understand that my background is in biology. For me, science is not something to... simply dismiss.

2194462
Is it the color change, or is it that it is difficult to avoid clicking the link?

I had thought it an elegant sort of hyperlink footnote to indicate my real world research.

Anybody else think that I should stick will old-fashioned footnotes at the bottom of every page, instead? If so, should I put a number after the sentence such as:
"I read once, on some science site, how we don't really see color."(3)

Would this be better or worse?

2194520
For me it's the bane of curiosity: You link to it, I'll click it. :facehoof:
I'd prefer ¹ style footnotes.

2193855
While I agree with your deductions there are some points I'd like to mention: Moral can not be watched without the relationship of the persons concerned. What is ok for some people might be outrageous for others. What you deem acceptable is a complex mixture of nature and the culture you grew up in. So while there are some absolutes that are universally "not okay" (killing, stealing, etc) the day-to-day life is governed by relative decisions. And for most humans that boils down to "with how little can I get away with?".
Which is a pretty great way to be a miserable friend.

What got me started about this whole thing is that you wrote all those things at the end of chapter six as an absolute statement instead of the feelings and inner reflections of Gregoria. Humans are not more or less deserving. Humans just have (very elaborate) ways to justify being assholes that a pony lacks. Those are hardcoded into our brains, just like the way we want to be social and well liked.
That's why I cited Schopenhauer: I want to be moral but my resource-calculating brain won't let me.
At least not without a conscious effort.

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