1. Member Since 18th Jun, 2012
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If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.

Sep
25th
2016

Hey, this is crazy late! Sorry!

Anyway, if you don't know what this is, allow me to explain. Back in August, our friendly neighborhood lemur held a spontaneous contest for ponyfic, all based around the theme of princesses. The winner of said contest would then choose the prompt for the next one.

Well, spoiler alert, I won the princessfic contest, and shortly thereafter presented the Noble Jurists with the simple prompt 'Aliens!' to do with what they would. Alas, no one wrote a story about illegal mule immigration into Equestria, but hey, we still got four pretty nifty stories out of the deal! Whoever wins this can start another contest, or not, or whatever. I'm not your real dad.

I don't have anything of value to offer as a 'reward', but I've begun work on a fanart for each of the entries. I'll make a separate blogpost for that when they're finally done. Eventually(tm)

Enough nonsense! Here are the four 'reviews' of sorts, followed by the official winnership declaration:


Scoot 10

by AppleTank

“CUTIE MARK CRUSADER CAMPERS, YAY!”

They... still do that as adults, eh?

to her friend’s surprise manage to prove to Twilight that she was willing to work under her. A few months later, the Princess declared the yellow filly her apprentice. Her friends were quite surprised

Can you do that? Can you be surprised twice?

As she rolled, she spotted the silhouettes of her friends getting the campfire ready. Oh, right, I should drop off the firewood.

She landed, proudly shaking the cluster of sticks onto the camp floor. Apple Bloom stared back in disbelief. “That’s ... sticks.”

Reference to best episode?

Besides the orange flickers of fire, there was also a strange pulse of green light.

Oh, I just realized what the title means...

Distracted by her vigilance,

Is... that how that works?

Leather wings, too. Cool. Does this turn off? Don’t want to scare the girls.

She seems remarkably unaffected by all this, eh?

Anything that wants to catch her unawares is going to have to really work for it,

I mean, Applejack sent her out alone as a flightless child, so I feel like the woods probably aren't super dangerous around here.

A white hoof passed over her, grabbed her head and pushed her down. Sweetie Belle vaulted over Apple Bloom’s back and twisted in midair in order to shield her friend’s back.

Suddenly kung-fu Sweetie!

...I'm more than okay with this. ^_^

Apple Bloom snapped her head to the side, her pupils shrinking as Scootaloo darted behind a tree, ducking underneath a fireball sailing off into the forest.

And here I thought the mysterious creature was just Scootaloo being all dragon-y and stuff. Guess I was wrong about the forest being safe, too.

the demon

Whoa hey time out! What!? I feel like I missed a step here...

Too everyone’s surprise, Scootaloo was still standing, or more accurately, sorta kinda hovering.

This phrasing makes me happy though.

We may need to contact the authorities.

You don't say!?

Scootaloo opened her eyes, her limbs feeling like they haven’t moved in countless years. She tried sitting up, but found her limbs shackled to a stone plate. She sighed, yanking at them. They were pretty tight. She lazily looked to the side as a skeletal pony hopped down in front of her.

I... what... when... where... how?

She stepped down the hallway, casually stabbing it into the corner behind the door. When she drew it back, it was dripping with red.

She killed the hallway! :O

Shatterpoint!

...this feels like a reference to something.

Wait what the fuck did she just break the stone slab with her hair!? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa—

Apple Boom, was it?

Apple Doom, actually.

A black wristband ejected from a pocket hidden on her side

Now, I'm no expert on the deep lore of Ben 10, but I thought Scootaloo needed that thing to shapeshift in the first place, but she was a Hydralisk earlier...

Alright, so...

Hang on, I need a moment to reboot. I feel like I just had a siezure.

Okay, I'll tackle these 'reviews' in two segments each. Points to improve, and points to sustain. Let's do it like an AAR!

Points to improve: If I had to describe the story in one word, it would be 'disjointed'. There was no cohesion to any of it. This isn't a bad thing on its own per se ('specially for kaizo comedy fics, but more on that in a moment), but it is very much a jarring thing. My brain hurt just trying to process what was happening at any given point in the story. It jumped between scenes, locations, characters, tenses, fandoms, and even timelines fast enough to give any reader whiplash.

Additionally, I mentioned how some 'randomness' isn't always a bad thing. Well that's true, in that kaizo comedy fics tend to leap about a lot as part of the style. Well, this story wasn't a comedy. Trust me, I had to check like six times to make sure. There's no comedy tag, but much more than that the story seems to just take itself quite seriously in tone. It could have been improved by reducing the whiplash, certainly, but I also feel like it could've been improved by embracing it and playing off the ridiculosity for humour. Instead it sort of sits in an uncomfortable zone of being ridiculous, but not really comedic, and it just ends up feeling strange.

As for the prose itself, it was very, very minimalistic. In some instances it worked out fine, but in a lot of instances the action was indecipherable without a second read-through. I know it was written quick for a contest, so I won't harp any further on that, but it's something to watch out for in future. Make sure the reader actually gets a full description of what is happening when they need it.

All that being said...

Points to sustain:You know, the camping bit at the beginning before everything went all epileptic was actually really nice! I would happily read a whole story of the CMC having a lighthearted camping slumber party (alien artifacts optional). The cuteness and friendshipness was nicely done all around. A lot of the action was really good, when the time was taken to describe it. It'd definitely be worth sustaining that sort of fully realized action in the future. Also, the actual aesthetic... feel of the third chapter was pretty decently done. That was where the minimalistic prose (mostly) worked out the best. I feel like Sweetie Bot shined the most as a character in this story, despite Scootaloo being the titular crusader. Although Apple Bloom got internal narration which was neat. Overall, it was fun to read, and that's what's most important. It could use some polish, and some gaps filled in for cohesion's sake, but it had plenty of ass-kicking and one-liners, and that's definitely a point to sustain.


Starling

by destinedjagold

A brown ear twitches to the sound of chirping outside the window. An annoyed mumble escapes a brown muzzle as a brown set of hooves grab a pillow to bury his head under it.

Present tense, eh? Intemeresting. We're taking the road less travelled here.

“Mom,” the stallion grumbles as he stands back up on four hooves.

Wait... brown coat... lives with his mom...

It can't be.

“For Celestia's sake, Jay, slow down!”

Oh thank god. Crisis averted. Carry on.

glancing at the news on their television, where the camera is focused on Princess Celestia standing in front of her castle in Canterlot.

Ponies have TV now? I mean... alrighty then I guess.

After washing and drying his face, Jay takes a quick look of himself on the mirror. “...Good enough,”

This is my morning routine in real life, so I already sympathize with Jay Jay Ponebrams.

Jay finishes eating his toast just as soon as he sees the white gates of the town's high school.

...for some reason, even with the traffic cops, it took me until just now to realize this story didn't take place in Ponyville. Guess that was my fault for immediately assuming.

guardponies stationed at the gate of the school.

I... don't... uh... I'm sorry what?

“Look who's early,” says one of the stallions

It kinda weirds me out to hear all these high-schoolers referred to like adults... but mehhhhh that's a quibble.

“Language, Gamma Hoof,”

Eyyyyyyyyyyy.

“Admit it, Blue, it was hilarious!” the white-coated stallion says.

A smirk flashes on Blue's muzzle. “Indeed it was, Zap.”

Oh I see what you're doing here...

“Hey Fourths.

“Starlings...” Blue mutters.

If these are anything like Dazzlings we're gonna have a bad time.

“I have gathered my children and traveled the cosmos in search for a new home, after...a-after...” She sniffed, eliciting curious murmurs from the offscreen crowd that have gathered outside the palace.

Is this story turning into an allegory about the refugee crisis in the modern world?

“I am sorry. I should have explained why I kept on telling how happy I am for you all in allowing us to live with you.”

“Mhmm,” Blue nodded. “I was curious about that.”

Well I sorta just figured the whole "not dying" thing was the reason they were happy...

“Isn't it obvious?” Zap asks. “They make an alien city and live there.”

A whole alien district! The... 9th district!

“Nope,” Gamma shakes his head. “We certainly can't.

Wait, what!? So... this takes place in a post-Thorax world, I guess? Guess that guy wasn't as unique as he thought.

“Well,” Zap says, looking at them both. “There's always piss.”

I've been known to say this in most situations.

“Whoa!” the stallion whoa's.

Snnkt. Okay this made me giggle.

Blue adjusts his glasses again. “I shall think of those as opinions and will respect them.”

I feel like Blue just suddenly transformed into a nerd.

“...I forgot she was with us,”

-The Author

Zap blinks. And then a sly smile slowly appears on his muzzle.

And then he links the eyebrow waggle gif in chat.

“And then I'll show her the great places here in Hoofingtown!”

So that's where this story takes place! I've been wondering, only because for some reason I thought it was some sort of AU Ponyville.

The brown stallion passes by students and guardponies

This still freaks me out...

It has heard other ponies referring to themselves as so, but it wants to be sure.

Sudden narrative shift to the Starling's POV.

“A shop.”

Whoever runs that store really needs to come up with a better name for it...

“The key is to keep on talking to them.”

Y'know, now I can't help thinking about how dark/depressing a story would be where some dude just never got along with his Starling...

I mean, hell, some people just aren't friendly.

Two battling Starlings.

Oh cool! It's Pokemon now!

“—so I believe these Starlings don't require to consume food in order to survive,” Blue finishes his explanation to his friends. He adjusts his glasses. “It also makes me believe that they really only rely on the bond they have with us ponies to survive."

...didn't the queen already say exactly that? Get it together, Blue! You're supposed to be the smart one, I think!

“It's almost a week now. You keep this up, you'll have no choice but to call her Anon or NoName. Brr...”

Or Missingno

“At least he's not into those ‘Startles,’”

I have no idea what this means.

“So...these Startles,” Jay says. He blinks. “Am I even saying it right?”

“Yes, you are,” Zap replies as he rises from his desk. “When Starlings and battles love each other very much—”

That's what it means. 'Starling' mixed with 'battle'. I... *sigh*

Okay, I'll give you bonus points for doing something new and original. But... well, there's a reason Pokemon battles aren't called Pattles. S'all I'm saying.

“To this very day, the princesses are unable to remove all of those negative energy. Normal creatures who get in touch with them of those energy turn into Wild Beasts, an evil and irreversible transformation that will attack anything they see.”

“So what you're saying is...” Gamma says, “...that us having Starlings is a blessing in disguise, that we should use them to defend ourselves if ever a Wild Beast suddenly attacks us?” He glares at the blue stallion. “Is that what you're saying?”

Okay this has gone from a story to just straight-up a video game now.

Alright, so...

You named the annoying character after me! 0/10! Disqualified! One million years dungeon!

j/k though. I don't really have a preamble for this one so let's launch right into points.

Points to improve: The prose in this is incredibly fast. It takes like three sentences to wake up, eat breakfast, and run all the way across town! Okay so maybe I'm exageratting a little, but the point still stands that you could slow it down a touch at times. As it stands the pace, especially at the beginning, was a bit blistering. There were times throughout the story where the action and scenes would pass so rapidly that it was hard to remember what was even going on. On another note, the conversations got confusing whenever there was more than two characters, simply because you often employed dialogue without any said tags (or referring to the speaker as "the stallion"). I'm not saying it can't be done that way... but in some parts of this story it shouldn't have been. And finally, the big one... This really did not feel like a pony fic. I understand that it's AU, but even Alternate Universes can have a reason to take place in Ponyland. This one really didn't, unfortunately. A little more effort could have been taken to make this a story about ponies, rather than a story about people who just happen to have hooves.

Points to sustain: I really enjoyed that you managed to work the Noble Jury into the story! This pleased me greatly, and at the end of the day that's the goal of this 'contest' thingie. At the start of the story, none of the characters really felt distinct at all, but by the end of three chapters they were starting to come into their own. I feel like with just a few more chapters these characters are gonna really start to shine, so that's good. Also, I really do enjoy the base premise. As I mentioned, some effort could be taken to fit it more smoothly into the pony world, but in a vacuum it's a really fun idea. I can't say for sure if it would work, but I will say that I find the idea of reading a story that feels like playing an old school rpg/Pokemon game to be very interesting indeed. You definitely captured that feeling expertly.


DAM!

by Device Heretic Shortskirtsandexplosions

It was a nice day for nice people.

Nice.

“Cowichan River Provincial Park”

Whoa hey now! I know there!

freckled face

golden tresses of blonde hair

emerald eyes

O-Oh my...

Yes please.

POWWWWW!

And here we go!

“Guhhh!”  Jessica fell on her rear, cradling her camera to her plaid bosom and hyperventilating.

I think this is the only time I've ever seen the phrase 'plaid bosom.' I don't really have anything to say about it. I just thought it was... noteworthy.

A beam of lavender light opened up.  A suited figure shuffled out... crawling on all fours.

The ponies are the aliens. Clever girl.

Within seconds, five other shapes climbed up the smoldering crest and joined its side, including two that were hovering with the use of miniature rocket-packs.  Their tiny little legs dangled adorably beneath them as they surveyed the landscape

Gawd yes.

Jessica blinked, and it occurred to her that the objects inside the cart resembled speakers—more like guitar amps, really.

...Pony rock concert?

Practically cat-sized.

Oh goddamnit...

The leader tapped it several times to the collar of her space-suit, smiled, and then proceeded to whinny, snort, and raspberry into the receiver.

This is the single greatest execution of pony language I've ever seen.

“I  BEEN  TWICE  LIGHT  FROM  ECHO  DIGESTION  AND  WE  EJACULATE  IN  TRANQUILITY!”

...

“WE  BEEN  PYGMY  HOOVES  FROM  MULTIPLE  STAR  BURPS  AWAY  ABOARD  MISSION  BELONGING  TO  HUG  ACQUISITION  BECAUSE  CUDDLE  DEFICIENCY  GALACTIC  CRISIS  AVERSION!”

10/10 plot. Masterpiece.

Its colorful horsefriends whinnied cheerfully.

See this is the sort of sentence that just makes me smile.

...another object fell from the sky, this time shaped like an ominous black nose-ring.

“FECAL  MATTER!”  The lavender one shrieked, ducking low.

Snnkt.

red slicey death beams

That's the scientific name.

A tender squeak.  The beaver saluted briskly, then spun east and scampered away.

I... uh... okay!

At last, it reached a patch of low-lying landscape where the Red River met with the Assiniboine River.  The beaver took one look at the funky architecture of a city located there, fidgeted slightly, then ultimately took a massive detour to the south.

Going a little far there, eh little guy?

Yawning, the beaver flung the sweat from its eyes and continued scampering across a massively populated sea of concrete.  Gigantic skyscrapers stretched overhead, including a five hundred and fifty meter tall tower that overshadowed the downtown district.  Zig-zagging through the legs of bustling citizens, the beaver made its way down a flight of stairs, navigated a metro station, and hopped into the first available subway car.  It patiently gripped to a support bar as the train cruised along.

This has... taken an unexpected turn.

A phalanx of ceremonial guards in red jackets and bearskin hats approached the rodent, armed with bayoneted semi-automatics.  They saluted the beaver.

The beaver saluted back.

Sure why not!

With a creak, the door opened.  A handsome forty-four year old curly-haired man in a suit-and-tie looked out.  His blue-eyed gaze fell upon the beaver.

Oh no. You're not... You couldn't...

The record player spun, warbling with the voice of Geddy Lee.

Nimble fingers rolled up a joint, lit it, and handed it over to the beaver.

The beaver sat in a plush chair, eagerly taking a hit.

Sighing, the man rolled his own joint and slumped back in a sofa.  Inhaling, he kicked off his shoes, revealing rainbow-striped socks.

“Mmmmmm...”  He exhaled, filling the cottage air with more haze as Tom Sawyer hit a major guitar solo.  “Fukkin' space horses, eh, bud?”

The beaver nodded.

The man nodded back, coughed, and smiled... before taking another hit.

Bwahahahaha! You fuckin' guy.

Alright, so...

That was quite a ride. Before I get into points, I want to talk on something quickly that doesn't quite fit into either category. This story felt very much targeted. It was very specifically directed at the contest here. I'm not saying that the other entries somehow weren't written for the contest. They were. But... I feel terribly selfish typing this out, but this story in particular felt like it was written specially for me. Now, that's absolutely a valid strategy. Me is the judge of this contest after all. Is it completely a good thing to write it in such a way, though? That's harder to answer. I certainly enjoyed it, but I can't help but wonder if the story stands on its own to the uninitiated reader. So in short, this story really appealed to me personally. Is that a good thing or bad thing? I dunno. I'm not your dad. Now let's not waste any more time.

Points to improve: It's hard to criticize a story that plays off a lot of its issues for comedic effect. The story is silly and stupid, but it's supposed to be, and it manages to pull it off well. This leaves me with not much to criticize that can't simply be pointed at and dismissed as part of the joke. To that end, let's get real nit-picky! So, dialogue. Jessica's dialogue, in particular, was just sort of... there. She pretty much existed to spout off cultural references and slang. She was to be our only real source of wit or commentary, given that the ponies' dialogue was used up for another joke, but all Jessica could muster was Canadianisms and "What?". And I know I said right off the bat that it's hard to criticize stories like this, but I'll say this next thing anyway. If wacky random comedy is not your thing then this story has nothing for you. There's no real plot or even really a story. It's just wild and silly events, but they're funny so it works for what it is.

Man, I really am getting nit-picky...

Points to sustain: Well, first off, it was funny. That was clearly the goal of the story, and it succeeded. I, for one, am generally a fan of silly comedy, and this story was no exception. In fact, I'd say it did a good job of being absurd without just becoming incomprehensible. It's a tough line to straddle in this sort of comedy, trying to avoid being 'too absurd,' but this fic balanced it well enough. The pony element (however small) was downright adorable, as well. Plus, the story was clearly well researched. It was actually almost surreal reading about locations that I know from real life. Even the slang, while a bit over the top, was at least used correctly. Big kudos for that. Oh, and one last point, I liked that none of the ponies ever said anything in English but you still managed to toss in one small bit of 'understandable' dialogue for each of them. Overall, the story was a lot of fun, and it had a lot of heart.


Extra-Vehicular Activity

by alamais

Complete nothingness.  Not sleeping, not dreaming, not sitting with your eyes closed—just a complete lack of sensation.

This is what it feels like to chew Five gum.

It takes a few minutes for your lungs to adjust, your body violently objecting to the air as you cling to the side of the open stasis pod.

As is tradition in every space horror ever.

"Having Applejack would help, yes, but her section has a breach right to vacuum.

Oh, you fuck. I swear I'll find you—

She's stuck in her pod.

Oh... okay, fine.

"Just make sure I don't disable the lights in here, okay?"

"Of course."

...I bet the lights get disabled.

Heck, I've got enough shares in Stable-Tec that I know for a fact how tough these pods are.

Heheh, I understood that reference.

"…it appears to have taken quite a bit of damage, not dissimilar to what we've experienced."

I'm enjoying all this set-up. Things are already starting to feel all creepy space hulk, Dead-Space-y...

I've been fiddling with our orbit

I like to imagine that in the pony world, that's the technical term.

the whole shebang self-fits and seals, tightening around your joints, shrinking to be hide-tight in some areas

Someone cut off and tanned Rainbow's skin!?

seems about right from what you remember from training.

Plus... y'know, apparent extensive EVA experience, right?

a thick, hundred-meter wide domed cap of over a hundred tons of ice to the fore, originally for absorbing incoming debris strikes when the ship was cruising around between asteroids.

Huh... clever ponies.

From the chairs, tables, and a few pictures scattered around the rooms, they were bipedal, and rather tall compared to you.

Yeah, I figured as much.

Silence.  You are alone.

And here... we... go.

"Nah."  You smirk, even though she can't see it.  "This all happened ages ago, it's no biggie."

You know, that's exactly the sort of attitude that gets people into trouble in these stories. If this story was really about me as the narration implies, I'd search a non-bloodstained deck first.

She fell silent for a moment.

Suddenly past-tense!

Now this is an engineering bay!

Now this is what I call pod-racing!

...sorry.

Also, is that a corpse?

H'oh shit! We gettin' real now!

Swiftly, a bunch of stuff flows across the screen, none of it understandable.  You're peering at it, trying to figure out if you could somehow record it onto your PDA, when it goes black, except for a long white rectangle.  Then a little bit more of it turns white, on the left of the bar.

And then, the whole room shakes.

H'oh shit!

"I take it back!" you shout to nobody in particular.

That actually made me snicker audibly.

As you start moving, you remember the weird shadow.  You look again, and decide that it seems oddly curved for this room full of sharp angles, so you creep around the corner, trying to see what's casting a curved shadow.

It's…an egg?

..facehugger?

The top of the egg looks like it was cut open in a cross, and peeled back

Facehugger!

You turn, but it's too late, and something wraps itself around your helmet.

Facehugger!

Its movement is slow—so slow you almost miss it at first.  Predatory, like a hunting griffon.  Two long digits—maybe better described as claws—reach around the door frame.  The skin—if that is skin—is all greys and blacks, and shiny, looking either polished or wet, and you can't tell which.  The claws are knobbly, looking like they contain bones and sinew, just without any sort of fat or other padding.  The claws grip onto the frame, and then something pushes against the door, smoothly sliding it open.  It crawls into the room, clinging to the wall.

Yes yes yes yes yes!

A loud, frantic metallic banging sounds from the other end of the room.  What the...?

For the first time in this entire story, the me of the narration and the me of the reader are in agreement.

You look down through a grate, and see the creature clawing at the same locker you had shoved the spider thingy into.

Oh... yeah, that makes way more sense than what I thought it was.

a wire is plugged into it, which ends in what looks like almost like headphones

Unrealistic! Everyone knows that the future is all about tiny, shitty, $160 wireless headphones that Dash wouldn't have seen because they got lost ages ago!

You spread it over your entire face, and down your neck, using your improvised mirror to try to be as thorough as possible.

Cam paint! Nice! I'm proud of me.

Antimatter—and You!

lol

Step 1: Don’t Panic!

I hope that bullet point was written in large, friendly letters.

It's thin, but long

eyebrows.gif

You just have to disconnect it, and you can get the heck out of here!  Easy peasy.

monster snot

You know, calling it that just makes me giggle every time.

It's not enough, and you wince at multiple heavy crunches as the creature is crushed between the edges, its blood spraying out, instantly smoking and beginning to melt through the door.

Time to go.

Me likey that whole tense action chase sequence. Hope we see a li'l more of that before the end. I get the feeling we're not out of the woods yet.

As you slam into the floor of the Deck 4 air duct junction, your right wing is still pointed down.  You feel a snap, and everything goes red.

And then, dark.

Yeah, I knew it couldn't be that easy.

Nopony knows how long the five of us are going to live; all they can say is that we're not immortal

I mean, until proven otherwise...

You rush back to where you'd fallen, shouting, "Twilight?!  You there?  Don't send anypony—there's things over here!  It's dangerous!  Twilight?"

Yeah... probably should've led with that, eh?

"Oh, Dashie."  She sighs, and blinks some of the tears away.  Finally she sidles up close, pressing against your side.  "I know you can handle yourself.  It just…it still distresses me to see you get hurt, or in danger."

I get a shipping vibe from pretty much this whole exchange ever since Rainbow opened the door.

...I approve. Carry on.

Twilight tries one more time.  "Please, Rainbow.  What's this about?"

You smirk, as the door slides closed.  "If I'm right?  Something awesome."

Well then...

Now I'm curious.

You stare at it for a moment, then gently hug your new best friend, hoping your grin isn't too manic.  "I'mma call you Spitfire the Second."

Oh look, this part of the story is actually about me!

Reservations

'dorable.

Rarity just sighs, and gets a bit closer to your side, gently holding you.  "We always see such interesting things when we travel, Dashie."

"Mmm…" you muse, "then I blow them up."

Snnkt.

You know, just as a side-note: I still don't actually know why Rainbow Dash went back to the ship and didn't just leave with Rarity...

Anyway, let's roll right into shall we?

Points to improve: Okay, so, second-person. I'm not just gonna wave my hand and dismiss it as bad 'because it's second person'. That's not fair at all, especially in the context of a contest. For fairness' sake, I'm gonna tell you exactly why it's bad!

To start, this is a horror story, and you've really gotta suck the reader into it. On paper, second-person might sound like a decent way to do that; the reader is in the story! The reader is automatically pulled in right from the get-go! Except that's not true here at all. (And we'll ignore the fact that we're reading a story about a horse and I, personally, find it impossible to immerse myself when someone talks about my wings and hooves, or refers to me as Rainbow.)

So, ignoring all that we're still faced with a major obstacle to the reader's immersion.The lead character is Rainbow Dash. It's not the reader at all, so referring to me as Rainbow Dash (or Rainbow Dash as me, whatever...) is like an instant throat punch of the immersion. Bam! It's gone. I'm now pulled out of the story, and you've just made it a lot harder to scare me or give me the creeps.

Now, to finish up the second-person portion of this review, let's talk about exactly why it was the lesser choice under other perspectives. Third person immediately gives you someone to root for, and that's pure gold when it comes to immersing your audience in survival horror. Just look at Alien. It's probably the quintessential example of spess-horror, and never once does the movie try to pretend that you are Ripley. Instead, you watch her journey, you cheer her on, you shout futile warnings at the screen. And it's fun. And you're totally immersed, even from your position as an audience member. So I'm not saying that second person is always automatically bad. I just think it wasn't a good choice for this particular instance.

TLDR: second person is not bad. It's just less good.

Sorry, that went way too long. Let's touch briefly on one or two other points. The action was a bit fast-paced for how it was set up in the story, I think. I mean, we spent a long-ass time building up suspense, but when the shit hits the fan it's mostly kicking and shooting, and even those pass in a bit of a blur. I feel like there were a large number of quickie scenes, when perhaps it would've worked out better to have fewer, slower-paced, more suspenseful scenes. Even the shooty-boomy action could've been reduced in number and described in greater detail.

Points to sustain: Despite how long the above section may look, this story has a lot of good going for it. Where to begin?

So, the prose. It threw me off for a moment, just at first, but before long I was jiving with the informal stream of consciousness thing you had going on. (The stoy sorta blends together mostly stream-of-consciousness with bits and pieces of omniscient narration.) It's a horror story, and making it feel visceral is a big step up. I think this unique(ish) narrative style helped with that. I know I mentioned above that some of the action was a tad too fast, but I have to mention the locker scene specifically here. Good gawd, that scene was tense. Really well done. (The scene where she's going out to meet Rarity and you're waiting for something to go horribly wrong also had me curled up into a ball.) Moving on, I also felt this story did a surprisingly good job of feeling like a pony story, despite being so out-there. I liked the unique design of the pony ship, and the integration of magic and the like. I was ready to complain about this story being barely pony related, but in the end you proved me wrong. Oh, and I can't neglect to mention the atmosphere of it all. The story does a remarkable job of capturing the feeling of an Alien movie. Derelict space hulk, dark corridors, buttons! Honestly, this story had me hooked front-to-back just with pure aesthetical atmosphere. On a similar note, the world of this story was pretty nifty too. Kinda vaguely reminded me of Outside The Reaching Sky, which I also love. So that was neato. I'd be totes down to read more stories in this fictional universe in the future. Plot-point-wise, it was pretty by-the-book survival horror, but it was executed really well. So that's a plus, in my book. Last but not least, it was just fun. In spite of the choice of perspective, I really felt pulled into Rainbow's exploratory trip around the freaky space hulk. Makes me want to go play the original Dead Space again...


And now the moment you've all been sorta half-assedly anticipating! And the winner of the second Noble Jury Contesty Thingy is...

Alamais, with Extra-Vehicular Activity

And that's all the nonsense I have for you, for now.

This was loads of fun.

Peace.

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Art by the illustrious Tehursus.

Additional art by the smexy RedVelvetine.

    

Music by the talented MayoTone.

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You're special, and this world can be very hard on special things. They'll pick on you, they'll hit you, they'll dump you, diagnose you and develop you. And there will be days when you wish that everyone was like you, so that everything could be easy.

But that's how they think.

They spend every day wishing that everyone was the same, and it's that wish that keeps them from being special. So when they come for you with their knives out, you just smile and forgive them.

Because ordinary things say, "Hello," and "Goodbye," but nothing that's special can ever die.