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Forbidden Knowledge · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
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The Sparklator
Colours. Weightlessness. Dampness. Drifting in the warmth of the primeval womb.

“But Pinkie, you know that—”

My world of colours. Variegated patches of light, bright and dark. They swaddle me, floating, hovering, swerving, swimming in an ocean of muffled sounds: squeaks, shrill babble, meaningless clamour.

Now something else, a shape, far away. Just an outline at first, then more distinct. Two eyes, a nose, a mane, a large smile. Blue, deep blue. Rumble rolls, like thunder. Were that… words? How do I know that? Who taught me? Thunder again. What does it mean? I’m afraid. Why did you disturb me? I feel so good in my world of crazy colours. I wish I could drown into it. Leave me alone. Return to the void whence you came from.

“Twilight? Do you feel all right?” Pinkie asked.

Twilight, sprawling on the ground amidst the splinters of the flower pot that had just fallen on to her barrel, groaned.

“Twilight?” Pinkie insisted. “Please tell me something!”

“Ouch my back!” Twilight whined. She winced and jiggled her hind legs. “But nothing broken I think.” She stirred. ”What happened?”

“A flower pot fell from the window of Roseluck’s house and—” The door of Roseluck’s house flung open and the proprietor popped up on the threshold. Her eyes locked on the lying alicorn. She bit her lips, then leaped over the stoop and landed smack-bang ahead of Twilight.

“Princess Twilight? How do you feel? I’m so sorry,” she spluttered. “I was putting those new pots on the ledge, so I let the window open, but there was a sudden draught that shoved it outwards and—”

“It’s all right Roseluck,” Twilight cut in, mustering her legs back under her chest and clambering to her hooves. She shook the last tiny motes of earthenware off her barrel, then looked around at the strewn remains of the missile that had slyly bashed her. “Hopefully, my spine is quite solid. As a matter of fact, that’s because I drink a lot of milk. As you know, milk contains tons of calcium, and calcium gets assimilated by the intestine, then is transported through the blood stream to the bones, where it—” Twilight broke off as Roseluck’s front door shut with a soft sound. She sighed.

“Why didn’t you listen to me?” Pinkie said. “I’d told you something was about to fall.”

“But, Pinkie, that sense of yours is… is… illogical. There are no fact, extrapolation of facts or theory that can explain it. Therefore…” She hesitated. “Your sense doesn’t make sense!” she screamed and shook her head in denial.

“Well, if you prefer being a landing carpet for falling objects,” Pinkie chirped as she bounced away, “next time choose a giant cupcake rather than a flower pot!”

Silently, Twilight watched Pinkie recede. Until a grin materialised on her face, followed by a purple aura around her horn.

The distant shape of Pinkie Pie glowed, took off and made a swift U-turn.

“Hey!” Pinkie squealed. “That's not fair! You sore loser!”

“Life's not fair,” retorted Twilight, “and this has nothing to do with losing. Pinkie, I declare you the subject of my next investigation.”

“Investigation? Like in the Friendship express? Will there be cakes? Oh yummy yummy! Macaroons? No, Donuts? No, no, cookies? Chocolate chip. Wait, no, what about muffins? Yeah, muffins. Blueberry ones…”

Twilight ambled away, towing an airborne Pinkie lost in a sugary daydream.

Awkwardly sitting on a garish hassock, Pinkie jerked and shifted and yipped. She looked like a four-legged spider in the middle of its cobweb. A four-legged, pink spider with a colander on its head. Wires ran in all directions from the colander (those were the gossamer threads of the cobweb), linking it to a ragtag collection of devices whose dials jiggled as sundry objects crashed all over the place. Other boxes belched strips of paper on which invisible needles had scribbled jagged curves. Occasionally, a bell rang.

In the midst of that clatter, Twilight Sparkle jockeyed a row of coloured plugs bulging out of a wooden panel. Every now and then, she glanced at an hourglass.

A last bough smashed right behind Pinkie, who shuddered and yelped anew. Twilight flicked a switch off, and all the machines shut down. An unexpected hush descended.

“Wonderful!” Twilight said. She stood up, sashayed to Pinkie, unplugged the wires one by one, then took the weird colander off, unveiling a pink mane that had lost most of its usual puff. “Thank you, Pinkie! I appreciate your help in this matter.”

“Wee Twilight! You’re very welcome,” Pinkie answered with a grin. “I love roller coasters!” She started hopping but flopped back on to her hassock amidst a rustle. “Twilight, are you sure those are still necessary?” she asked, pointing with her head at a big hoofcuff moored to the wall by a strong metallic chain.

Twilight blushed, and the cuffs opened magically. “Sorry Pinkie. You may go,” she apologised. The pink mare bowed, stood up, shook her head to restore some of the lost puff to her mane, stretched her limbs and bounced across the room to the door.

“Goodbye and good luck Twilight!” she declared before vanishing through the doorframe.

Twilight inched to the door, closed it and turned around, looking at her living room, perplexed. There was debris everywhere, and yards of paper with precious recordings printed on. She would need days to collect, interpret and distill significant figures from this clutter of data. Yet, the game was definitely worth the candle.

But first things first: cleaning that mess.

“SPIIIIIKE!” she yelled at the top of her lungs.


Moonday, Fieldmonth 34th


Overnight, a high wooden fence has sprung out of nowhere in a vacant lot near the road to the barren moors. Pegasi flying over the place reported a magical aura darkens all the area and nothing of the inside transpires. A large gate commanding the admission to the lot is watched over by burly, hooded guards equipped with weapons and dogs, who have been told to keep every nosy visitor at bay. No movement in or out has been reported yet, but some sort of bustling activity is going on, if noises heard can be of any trust.

Asked whether she had any relevant information about those works, Mayor Mare declined to comment.

Princess Sparkle reported missing

Consistent rumours report that princess Twilight Sparkle has abruptly cancelled all her appointments and official duties in the last 48 hours. The Princess has not been seen by anypony since early Earthday morning, when she took off from her castle to some unknown destination. A spokepony for the Canterlot Royal Office said nor the office nor the royalties themselves were currently aware of the Princess’s whereabouts. We will report further as soon as we get more information.

I love my world of colours. It is warm. It is soft. It is cozy. It is mine. Light rays twirl and twine in endless patterns of vivid shades. It's a mesmerising spectacle.

I love getting lost in the clouds, chasing those cotton balls that fill the universe. I fly after them as they flee before me and when I catch one I swallow it whole.

Sometimes I feel an emptiness into my tummy, like something needs to be replenished. It's painful. I don't like pain, it makes my clouds dark and ominous. I’m afraid, so I cry, and when I cry usually in the distance a small object appears that is not a cloud. I grip it and take it to my mouth and nibble it and it’s hot and it’s sweet and it feels good.


Starsday, Cornmonth 3rd


Last night, around one in the AM, a hooded intruder forced his or her way into Sugarcube Corner. The intruder’s motive remains unclear as nothing was robbed, not even a tool displaced. However, the mysterious burglar was presumably spotted on the road to the Everfree forest by a stallion who, suffering from insomnia, had gone for a night stroll. The witness, Fitful Slumber, has declared to the police that: “…turning home from his short walk he had made out in the distance a menacing, hooded shape silently trotting towards the Everfree forest. The ghostly pony appeared to tow a big object of sorts hidden under a curtain.” Police has filed a case and is actively searching for any other witnesses to help it collect more evidence about this unusual misdemeanour.

It was a blast for an alicorn such as Twilight Sparkle to pick the lock of Sugarcube Corner, get silently inside, walk to the first floor and grab Pinkie in a levitation spell while she slept. The conclusions she had drawn from her experiment were amazing, and she intended to exploit them. But, before she could do that, there was a last step to take.

Once she had walked deep enough into the forest, she stopped, dropped the curtain that had served to conceal her quarry, and delicately put Pinkie down on it. She lit her horn to dispel the surrounding shadows.

“Pinkie!” she whispered. “Pinkie, wake up!”

“Uh?” answered Pinkie. She cracked her eyes open, and jerked in wonder. “Twilight? But where have you been?” She looked around. “And where are we?”

“Pinkie,” answered Twilight. “I cannot give you all the answers yet, but even the few elements I’ll be obliged to tell you must remain secret. Pinkie promise?”

Pinkie placed a hoof ahead of her neck. “Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye!”

“Okay,” Twilight picked up. “We’re in the middle of the Everfree forest. I need you to show me the way to the Mirror pool.”

“Ooooh! I see! Do you need more Twilights? Wee! Two Twilights? That’s going to be a lot of fun!” She put a hoof on her mouth and seemed to ponder. “Well, maybe not,” she added.

“No, Pinkie. I don’t need more me. I need more you.”

Pinkie’s eyes bulged. “But why? Don’t you remember last time there was many mes?”

“I need only three more of you, Pinkie, and…” She magically fished a big pen out of her saddlebag and drew a dark, thick circle around Pinkie’s cutie mark. “This way I’ll know who is who!”

“Ooooh! Very clever!” Pinkie scratched her head. “If I remember correctly, the entrance to the pool lies next to a bramble bush.”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Pinkie, the Everfree forest is full of bramble bushes!” She looked around and walked across the path to a prickly shrub. “How can we know if it’s that one…” She took a few steps ahead. “…or that one or…” She crossed the road back, aiming for another shrub, “that… Wooaaah!” she yelled as she fell into a hidden hole.

Pinkie bounced to the brink of the hole. “Squee Twilight! It seems you found it!” And, in turn, she plunged inside.


Waterday, Cornmonth 21st


It has been more than a month since Princess Sparkle vanished. About the same day, mysterious construction works began in a fenced lot outside down-town. We suspected that both events were linked, but never had any proof to underpin our suspicions.

Until last night we received a telegram from the Princess’s press office inviting us to “discover Princess’s Twilight newest and most remarkable achievement in her constant strife to make the life of every citizen of Equestria safer and more enjoyable.” This much hyped event is to take place at noon today in the premises of the new building whose construction she personally oversaw.

We will be sending a full team of reporters to cover this shindig in every detail. More in our morning edition!

“Welcome to all!” Twilight greeted from the rostrum where she had taken place. Behind her, glued or nailed on the wall, golden letters glared “SPARKLE PRUDENCE INC.” Gaggles of journalists sat in the room, ready to scribble down every word of the speech the princess was about to deliver. Sitting in the first row, her five closest friends were here too, and an armchair had been brought in for Mayor Mare.

Twilight rapped on the microphone to get the audience’s attention, cleared her throat and began. “First of all, I would like to apologise for my disappearance, and all the turmoil and concern it caused. I had to manage this project in the strictest privacy. I hope you will all forgive me when you know what it is about.

“Only one pony in the assistance was aware of my project—well, a part of it. I would like to thank her for her discretion.”

Everypony in the audience craned around, wondering who the insider could be, but Pinkie did not flinch.

“Did you ever experience the dubious joy of having your whole day ruined by a rogue object falling down from nowhere and crashing on your body or on your precious load?

“If yes, then let me brace you up. This is never going to happen again, at least in Ponyville. Ponyville is about to become the first town where nopony will ever bother again looking up for fear of being crushed. And that breakthrough in living standards stems from the unique combination of nature and technology. It is a fully patented system that I called ‘The Sparklator’.

“In a few words, the Sparklator is a complex machine involving thought picking and processing. At the end of a series of complex computations which, for the sake of simplicity, I shall not detail here, the machine punches and spits out a card on which the location of the next crashing object is indicated.

“If the Sparklator is the brain of the system, a team of unicorns, each one capable of instant teleportation anywhere within Ponyville, is its legs. Equipped with the proper gear, they will endeavour to evacuate and secure the area before the misfortune happens. And thus, anypony will be safe.

“But let me now show you the guts of the Sparklator.”

Darkness creeps into my world of fluffy balls. The lively colours fade out, they become shades of grey, drab and dreary. Why? Why has it to come to an end?

My eyelids feel heavy. I can hardly keep them open. Not that it matters anyway: I don't like my world overcome by darkness. I want it bright, bright and brisk. I feel weary. My eyes close. All is dark now. I plunge into nothingness.

But just before I lose consciousness I feel something warm wrapping around me…

Twilight stepped down from the rostrum and motioned the bystanders towards a steel gate that she opened using her magic. “Follow me, please!”

She led the way along a dingy corridor, passing by several nondescript doors, until she reached a narrow stairway. There she stopped and, turning around: “This stairway leads fifty metres underground. The machine had to be protected from all kind of interference.”

Descending step by step and rounding every landing took a long time, but at last the procession arrived in front of another huge steel gate. The princess punched a code on a neighbouring keyboard, a green light lit, and the gate grated open. Behind it a metallic catwalk stretched out, on which the flock of ponies took place.

They all gazed around breathlessly.

They had entered a vast dome whose wall was a shimmering tapestry. Myriads of lights studded it, each flashing its own colour at its own beat; thousands of red, orange, blue, green, yellow, purple, white blotches randomly sprang from darkness, like a swarm of polychrome fireflies dancing to the clashes of an unearthly fanfare. Together they formed transient, interwoven patterns that came into being only to vanish the next instant, yet gave in turn birth to more intricate and amazing designs. It was light made living. The eye couldn’t help but being caught and mesmerised.

And yet, something more intriguing was talking place in that lofty hall.

In the middle of it, a lesser, glassy dome had been built, within which a ragtag collection of giant-sized toys, garish balloons and sundry unidentifiable objects were strewn all over. There was even a party cannon. Two large metallic pieces of furniture, about five yards in width, were facing each other across. What purpose they served was impossible to guess at first sight. The floor was covered in a thick layer of multicoloured foam balls, out of which a short ladder leading to a diving-board emerged. But yet more puzzling, in the middle of that mishmash, three Pinkie Pies were cavorting to the sound of a blaring, repeated riff occasionally interrupted by shouts of “Fun!”.

“What you see here,” Twilight begun, “is the heart and brain of the Sparklator. The three clones of Pinkie Pie whom you can watch frolicking are constantly, but subconsciously, tuned to the surroundings of this building and react ahead of time to any fall or crash that’s going to happen within the range of their perceptive field.


“Where do they come from? Why are they three of them?” one of the journalists interrupted.

”A very relevant question,” Twilight acknowledged. “Somewhere in the Everfree forest”—and at that name some ponies shuddered—“lies a pool that duplicates any pony who stares at it. That’s where the clones come from. Next, why three of them and not only one? Well, because they act in unison, and thus expand their individual sensitivity both in space and time. Not only do we get improved range, but they pick up on impending crashes up to ninety seconds in advance, instead of only a few second for a single Pinkie Pie.”

“I understand, but then, why only three and not more?”

“The simulation we ran demonstrated that the increase in performance peaks out at three. More Pinkie Pies wouldn’t improve the efficiency in a significant way. Does that answer your question?”

“Indeed, fully. Thanks.”

“Good. Let’s carry on then. Sensors embedded in the wall,” Twilight continued, “record the clones’ brain activity. Every light that you see here”—she made a gesture that took in the whole place—“mirrors the status of a single sensor. This formidable sum of information is forwarded to a central calculator which tallies everything up, then runs sophisticated algorithms to compute the exact location of the future mishap. The output, available in less than a tenth of a second, is, as I already told you, printed on a card expelled through a slot in a nearby room.

“As soon as a new report pops up, a team of unicorns immediately teleports to the designed location with the suitable gear and clears the area before anypony can be harmed. Once the item has fallen, the unicorns pick everything up and teleport back here, waiting for their next assignment.

“The service will be available 24/7 from now on. All Ponyville citizens can henceforth walk the streets and rest assured that nothing will conk them on the sly. It’s total safety, 100% guaranteed, all year round.”

Twilight paused and grinned. “Any further questions?”

Another journalist raised a hoof. “Yes?” Twilight said.

“How do you care for the Pinkie Pies inside that dome?”

“Ah. Another good question. You see that machine over there?” Twilight trained a hoof at one piece of the metallic furniture. “This is a cake and cider dispenser. It is refilled each morning with fresh pastry delivered from Sugarcube Corner and cider brewed at Sweet Apple Acres. This way our Pinkie Pies won’t starve or get parched!”

“And what about…” The journalist hesitated and blushed. “Well, you get my meaning… I mean… The other end?”

“Oh!” Twilight blurted and blushed in turn. “There are toilets, of course. There.” She pointed at the other piece.

“Is your team authorised to intervene inside houses?” another pony asked.

“That’s a point I precisely intended to mention. The answer is no, of course. However, nothing prevents it. So, this is going to be offered as a premium, paying service, though the charge will be low. We are counting on a high number of subscribers to fuel this business and make it profitable.”

There was a hush, amidst the muffled sound of the circus music seeping through the inside dome. Twilight scanned the audience, but nopony raised a hoof anymore. Some journalists were busy shooting the Pinkie Pies below, other finished to jot their notes down.

“Very well,” Twilight said after a few seconds. “Don’t hesitate to contact me should you need further clarification. Let me now see you back to the exit.”

Strange things happen in my dreams, when I remember them. Sometimes I simply see my clouds, and I’m glad and I feel home and cozy. But sometimes I see other things, and I don’t like them. But what I fear the most is when I see that large hall crammed with ponies. They are neatly seated in rows, and they seem to expect something. But then, something else happen, though what exactly I cannot tell. All the ponies stand up at once and rush towards the door. And it’s like they’re all panicked, they’re all fleeing from something. And I don’t know what, but I know this is something terrible.

Then I hear shouts and yells and it’s scary and I don’t want to see more. I try to avert my gaze but it’s as if my head was gripped in a vise and my eyes were forced wide open. And I feel something, somepony looking at me from an unknown place, and that unseen presence pierces me apart and rips me into shreds…

During the first weeks, the inhabitants of Ponyville couldn’t help but startle when those blue-jacketed teams of unicorns would appear from nowhere with sawhorses and roadblocks. As soon as they materialised, they would gently but firmly push all the pedestrians out of the area and rope it off to block anyone from entering.

Then, a few second later, something would inevitably crash: a shingle, a flower pot or a heap of snow that had detached from a roof… if not pieces of flatware thrown out of a window by fighting couples or cranky teens. The dangers were numerous, yet a Sparkle Prudence’s team was always there to clear the area out and avoid any casualty.

In time, everypony got used to it. Roseluck’s house stoop was fenced once and for all with mobile sawhorses, and a sign was nailed to warn every trespasser of the hazard. More and more ponies subscribed to the private offer to extend the protection to their homes. With success came plans for extension, and soon a second building with its own trio of Pinkie Pies was built in downtown Canterlot, and made a big hit on the spot.

It was Starsday evening and the upper crust of Canterlot, nobility and go-getters alike, had gathered in the Royal theatre to attend the premiere of the latest Sapphire Shore’s show. The hall was chock-a-block. Numerous celebrities were scattered amongst the audience. Even Celestia and Luna had graced the spectacle with their presence.

Twilight Sparkle had taken seat with the two alicorns in the royal loge, from where she could watch the stage unobstructed. She had immediately noticed Rarity sitting in the first row. No wonder: Ponyville’s most famous designer had been working day and night for three months to imagine and create the star’s newest and swankiest attire.

When the hour struck, the artist emerged from the backstage under thunderous applause, bowed, and went on immediately with her first song.

The show had been going for about half an hour when someone rapped at the royal loge’s door. The princesses looked wearily at one another and, with a sigh, Twilight stood up and walked to the door. She opened it to reveal one of the employees of Sparkle Prudence’s local branch, who handed her a well-recognisable card.

A card from the Sparklator.

She cast a glance at it and yelped. CANTERLOT’S ROYAL THEATRE was printed on it. She turned around. Celestia and Luna gazed at her in incomprehension. She bobbled the card as if to show them what it was about, and teleported right away to the middle of the stage.

She raced towards Sapphire Shore, who had stopped singing in amazement, and magically snatched the microphone away from the artist’s hand. “EVERYPONY’S ATTENTION PLEASE!” she yelled in the mic. “SOMETHING’S ABOUT TO CRASH IN A FEW SECONDS. PLEASE EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY!”

The resulting panic was indescribable. Most of the unicorns, Rarity with them, simply teleported out of the building. Pegasi took off, darting to the high windows that the swiftest smashed asunder, gashing their wings and limbs against the jagged splinters. But on the ground, all the earth ponies rushed blindly towards the few exits with a deafening din in a ghastly rout. The strongest jostled the weak aside, who stumbled, fell and were trampled on by the rest of the mob. Foals squealed and were squashed by uncaring adults running for their life. Bones cracked; ponies screamed; warm blood streamed from the open wounds; dark grisly puddles stained the blue moquette.

From the stage, Twilight watched the rampage, transfixed.

Suddenly, there was a loud bang which detonated over the ruckus. A swarm of flashy confetti whiffled down from the ceiling, sprinkling the deserted seats in bright, merry coloured spots.

It was like a signal. Twilight’s gaze wandered about aimlessly, until it locked on the body of a young filly helplessly lying on the floor, her barrel smashed, her legs crushed, her pelt and outfit matted with blood. Then slowly, almost reluctantly, Twilight’s eyes rose up towards the royal loge, and they met Celestia’s, who hadn’t left her seat.

Something snapped in Twilight’s mind.

I hate that dark blue face with big blue eyes. Why are you here again? Why do you disturb me? What do you want? Can’t you let me alone, once and for all? I hate the noise you make. Go away! Scram! Scat! Leave my universe. Leave me alone with my clouds. They’re all I ever want to see. They’re all I care about.

Luna softly closed the door behind her and descended the short entrance stairway of Canterlot’s magic kindergarten, on the foot of which Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash were all waiting for her.

Applejack spoke first. “Any progress?” she asked.

Luna’s face was stern. She simply shook her head.

“Anything you can do for her?” Fluttershy added.

“I’m afraid not,” Luna replied, lowering her head. “I’ve tried to reach her subconsciously through dreams, but—it doesn’t work. It’s as if she had left our dreamland and created one of her own, in a remote part of the dreamscape I cannot enter. She is stranded in an alien word. The psychologist I talked to said she probably had chosen to regress in order to forget all that had happened. The guilt was too heavy for her to bear, so her mind self-protected by sheltering into oblivion. Alas, there is no way to know if she will ever leave her catatonic state and be herself again.”

“What can we do?” Applejack asked again. “Surely there’s something we might try?”

“Just hoping against hope,” Luna answered. “I will visit her next week. But don’t expect any change. I’m sorry.”

The blue alicorn sadly glanced at each mare, then, silently, walked away along the street towards the royal castle.
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#1 · 2
So this starts off as a sillier version of Minority Report and then rapidly veers out of left field into dark, dark territory. I was enjoying it up till that point, but the tonal whiplash spoiled the experience for me. I get what was trying to be done, but higher stakes than falling objects should likely be used, or some other way to elevate the likelihood of catastrophe, or...unsure.
#2 ·
I agree with Morning Sun, if the threats had escalated, with increasingly more dangerous things of varying degrees of absurdity falling, then the ending would have felt more justified.

I still liked it, and I feel it would be much better than it is right now with a few edits and an expansion of some sections.
#3 · 1
Hmm, so this is a strange story to review. Like a lot of fics that hit the 'almost there' category its hard to point a finger at just why it doesn't work. I think that for The Sparklator its all about tone, pretty much everything is out of kilter with everything else. The writing is solid and the story flows fine, but somehow the elements within just didn't mesh.

I'll explain.

So we have mad science Twilight (not my favorite Twilight but can be a fun one) going rogue and using the clones of her friend to predict the future (strange, boarder-line out of character even for mad science Twi, but I'm still with you) and using it to set up a subscription falling object insurance...

Okay. Not sure that that was the most logical outcome but continuing on.

The whole idea turns out to be fundamentally flawed as it turns out 'something is going to fall' is about as vague a prophesy as you can get and this ends with predictable calamity. At which point Twilight goes off the deep end and regresses to a childlike state completely out of left field. (Yes this is foreshadowed, but out of character even within the story's own continuity. This is mad-Twilight, who ran off for two months without telling anyone to work on a oracle, is one death really enough to break her utterly?)

So, starting out silly the plot meanders around a number of funny ideas, non-nonsensical conclusions before taking a hard right at the opera towards a brutal tragedy. Its this final tonal shift that knocks this down the rankings for me. If this was supposed to be a doomed edifice the story should have been tragic from the start, if it was supposed to be a comedy the ending should have been way lighter.
#4 · 2
· · >>ZaidValRoa
She magically fished a big pen out of her saddlebag and drew a dark, thick circle around Pinkie’s cutie mark.

Shouldn't she do that after making the Mirror Pool copies?
So, as soon as Twilight started taking the press conference underground, I had a general sense of dread about where it was going, and was correct, up to a point. I had actually anticipated and prepared for a darker reveal than that. Much darker.
And then Twilight learns why it's illegal to yell "Fire!" in a movie theatre.
Honestly, I expected the team of unicorns to simply catch whatever object happens to be falling, especially considering that, statistically, it's likely to be something small. I don't know. That seems more practical than trying to clear out the immediate area within ninety seconds.
I think, as we approach the end of the story, pacing becomes a bit of an issue. It is remarkably faster than the story had been up to that point.
This was interesting to read. The asides to Twilight's mindset after the events of the ending were... distracting, and yet I don't think the story would necessarily be better off without them. I appreciate that they're at least explained by the ending. As I said, this was interesting, and I think it was worth the stumbles along the way.
#5 ·
· · >>Remedyfortheheart >>Everyday
That seems more practical

You monster...
#6 ·
· · >>Everyday
-Raises torch and pitchfork -
#7 ·

...Okay, am I missing something? Some sort of joke?
What's monstrous about what I said?
#8 · 2
· · >>Everyday
The Sparklator

What is a ‘primeval womb,’ exactly? How does it differ from a regular womb? Curious minds want to know.

Well, there’s a lot of sections here. That’s the first thing that stands out. They don’t appear to be linked to each other, or at least, not yet.

(Though I wonder if the weightlessness described in the first section is felt by the falling flower pot? I think Douglas Adams used the sentient-flower pot joke.)

Anyway, back to reading, and we get to this line:

Sometimes I feel an emptiness into my tummy, like something needs to be replenished. It's painful. I don't like pain, it makes my clouds dark and ominous. I’m afraid, so I cry, and when I cry usually in the distance a small object appears that is not a cloud. I grip it and take it to my mouth and nibble it and it’s hot and it’s sweet and it feels good.

And, uh…


It’s a nipple?

Anyway, this story goes to some unusual lengths to set up its premise -- a machine that tell the future. We aren’t actually introduced to this machine until 3/4s of the way through the story, the entirety of which is consumed by Pinkie Pie using her Pinkie sense, and Twilight’s investigations of it.

Then, once the machine is unveiled, we never see Pinkie again. I guess she just went home?

I’m going to echo what everyone else said about the penultimate scene – it’s a flabbergasting tone change. We somehow go from a world where flowerpots land on ponies without any apparent harm, to a world where earth ponies stampede in panic and crush their children, all of which is graphically described to us.

And Celestia apparently just watches it happen. That’s cold.

And in the end, I’m left wondering, what was this story about? What is the author trying to tell me about science or pride or humans or the world? So much time is spent on Pinkie Pie, but then she simply vanishes from the story, and we’re left with Twilight going catatonic because of a poor experience.

But here’s the problem – Twilight didn’t go catatonic because she did something wrong. In fact, she was acting on what she believed to be good information in an attempt to save lives. There’s no tragedy here, because there’s no flaw. Twilight did what any reasonable person would have done. Rather than giving us a meaningful insight into consequences or values, we simply see bad things happen to innocent people for no reason. In that sense, this story might as well be about a graphic auto accident that kills dozens of innocent people.

Sorry, author. This one didn't do much for me.
#9 ·
>>Cold in Gardez
And Celestia apparently just watches it happen. That’s cold.

Well, consider Sonic Rainboom: Rarity plummets right out of the sky, and Princess Celestia didn't do anything then, either.
#10 · 1
Well uh, this was interesting.

I think, clearly, this piece is a critique of the brutal capitalist machine that rears workers from birth and addles their minds with false consciousness to serve as nothing but wheels for the vehicle of profit and oppression, oiling the machine with the blood of the proletariat—and Twilight feels guilty about her role in the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.


This was odd. It started like that one episode and then transitioned into this dark territory. The newspaper snippets, the other snippets, and the ending did confuse me, but Billymorph explained it. Not sure how to feel about this one, but it definitely did not work for me.