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Its not a bug its a feature! edition.

Twilight: I can't really believe your story Anon, buildings with over 100 levels? Flying boats bigger than Ponyville? And yet there's no magic in your world? Please.
>Growing tired of Twilight's berating, you go out into the world to prove her wrong.

That's the prompt that started it all. So what's this thread about? It's about Anon bringing human science and inventions to Equestria and a disbelieving Twilight. Although, that's not necessarily the prompt you need to follow if writing is what you desire.

Thread Story List.
http://pastebin.com/XKLNjAAx

Active stories:
Red Shift
Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/m5j8aLAB https://pastebin.com/U2qmJcuL https://pastebin.com/6HCHr7ZH
End of the last update: >>33506433
Shape Your Home (#deca.mare, posted in NMP)
Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/XMi6VhS5
End of the last update: >>33570747

Obsolete thread:
#56 >>33312755
>>
new #deca.mare update
>>33570706
>>
>>
Oh hey this threads back
>>33563130
I looked it up but sadly the author just disappeared one day. He hasn't even logged on to FiMFiction since May 31st, 2018
>>
Is that one Anon okay?
>>
bed bump
>>
>>33574117
Which Anon would that be?
>>
I wanna talk about how Ponk invents her own stuff.
>>
>>33575401
Any specifics?
>>
>>33576694
What do you mean?
>>
>>33577863
I'm guessing he's asking for specific pinkie creations
>>
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Writefag's guild suggested imposing deadlines again, so that's what I'm going to do. Give me... 8 hours? Yeah. 8 hours.

>>33527907
>>33530843
Ah. I've never played Final Fantasy 7.

>>33528626
Well, looks like somebody else covered this, but in case you dodged the spoilers I'll say there is a reason why they would be suppressing that information.
>>
>>33580114
Her gyrocopter, her party cannon, whatever else she may have made that I can't remember.
>>
>>33580821
The secret entrance to her underground lair. There's probably some unseen mechanism for unfurling banners and throwing confetti and whatnot when she throws those sudden parties.
>>
>>33580675
nice
>>
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Say, whatever happened to Nucleanon? Is he still around?
>>
>Lyra approached the palace, her breathing ragged and strained.
>The climb to the top of Canterlot was a long and steep one, a great enough effort to tax the stamina of all but the healthiest of ponies.
>Under ordinary circumstances she’d have taken a break around halfway to the summit.
>These were not ordinary circumstances.
>Bon-Bon was in trouble AT BEST, and Lyra was going to help her.
>Somehow.
>She hadn’t thought that through yet. There wasn’t time!
>Lyra quickened her pace. Her knees were trembling from exertion, her heart racing, her lungs burning!
>She didn’t care.
>Morning had come in the hours since her ascent had begun.
>The palace was open to the public once more and the gathering crowds had filled the foyer.
>Lyra was terribly underdressed for such a formal location. Completely devoid of ornamentation, mane messed by the winds, sweat matting her coat, and bloodshot eyes from a busy night.
>The dress code in this place was imposed culturally rather than by force. Judgemental eyes and passive aggression shaming those who weren’t presentable.
>But despite her disheveled appearance Lyra was spared the barbs and quips she might otherwise endure.
>In their place Lyra was met with fearful glances, hushed whispers, and hastened apologies.
>These ponies recognized her.
>Not as a humble musician, nor the silly eccentric who could often be seen bouncing around in the background.
>They recognised her as the madmare that lashed out at the princess. The pony who’d screamed in the face of their regent during an award ceremony.
>The dangerous lunatic who’d fought the forces of Hell and won.
>The normally crowded throngs were brusquely stepping out of her way as she marched through the palace, fearful that they might attract the wrath of the minty maniac.
>Guards eyed her warily from the sidelines each betraying a perverse mixture of fear, respect, apprehension, and perhaps a touch of envy.
>>
>>33582109
>They hesitantly began to close in on her as she approached the throne room, no longer able to hope that she was merely sightseeing.
>A great crowd of ponies and various other sapients were seated in a large yet still somehow cozy waiting room each awaiting their chance to speak to their regent.
>They all looked up at Lyra as she approached.
>Her disheveled and unwashed appearance was complimented by the maddened glare of one who had nothing left to lose.
>A pair of guards sheepishly stepped between her and the heavy oaken doors that marked the entrance to throne room, their ornamental plate armor padded with what Lyra recognized as the plastic armor she’d borne before.
>Were she thinking clearly she’d have asked herself why they didn’t have that the night before.
>Questioned if she’d merely overlooked it or if they were going upscale.
>Didn’t matter.
>Lyra wasn’t interested in the guards or their equipment.
>Her quarry lie beyond the doors.
>”Umm, you can’t go in without an appointment?”
>The unicorn guard before her spoke hesitantly, fearfully.
>Lyra looked positively rabid as she glared at them.
“Bon-Bon.”
>She growled more than spoke. There was no negotiating to be done, no bargaining or reasoning.
>She was making a demand that would be met come hell or high water.
>The pair before her steeled themselves and produced their spears, their training finally kicking in when they realised that this was really happening.
>She wasn’t going to leave.
>They were going to have to take her down.
>They were going to fail.
>Lyra called on her magic.
>She drank deeply and greedily, pulling more and more power into her body.
>A terrible ringing filled her ears, a throbbing in her skull, the sensation of being overfull to the point of bursting permeated her every fiber.
>Her vision went white and the world seemed to turn itself upside down.
>And yet she continued to drink the mana, to fill herself with Aquarius.
>The master ley line.
>>
>>33582110
>The unimaginably vast ocean of power threatening to pull her down, to consume her consciousness! The crashing waves of mana bashing against her skull while they tried to wash her away!
>But she would not falter.
>She had a mission.
>The physical world returned to her to show the polished stone floors right beneath her eyes.
>She’d been toppled whilst calling upon her power, sent spilling to the ground with a heavy Earth pony guard sitting on her haunches.
>Cuffs attached to one leg, but not yet the other.
>Lyra raised her head to look him in the eye, raw mana dripping from her mouth to spill upon the floors before fizzling out of existence and returning to the not-place from whence it came.
>Only the unicorns could see it.
>Their wide eyed manic expressions betraying the fact that they knew they were completely outmatched.
>”Get a jammer in here!”
>Lyra couldn’t see whoever had said it.
>But she could hear the fear in their voice.
>She lifted the pony who sat atop her with her magic, a normally monumentally difficult feat made trivial by the mighty aquarius.
>She hurled them bodily across the room, a clatter and crash filling the air as he bowled over his companions.
>Lyra swiftly rose to her hooves to see herself surrounded by armed ponies, most wearing the ceremonial armor and spear, some with formal clothing and firearms.
>There was a weapon pointed at her from nearly every angle, save just a bit to the side where two guards lay upon the ground in a dazed heap..
>”You’re surrounded! Don’t move or I WILL shoot!”
>”Wait a minute Nitwit, what if you miss? You’ll hit one of us!”
>”My name isn’t- It’s KNIT WHITLEY! For the LAST TIME!”
>But that’s so-”
>”NO! We are NOT having this conversation now!”
>Yesterday she’d have been stuck.
>It wasn’t yesterday.
>”Get back on the ground. NOW!”
>Lyra called on Leo.
>The rapid and volatile mana washed over her.
>>
>>33582111
>She was already full to the brim. The mana now overflowed, pouring everywhere.
>Lyra’s horn shorted out.
>She collapsed to the ground as blinding pain overtook her.
>”Whoa. She actually did it? Uhh, I mean good! Now stay there! Please!”
>But she refused to let go of the magic.
>Lyra struggled with the temperamental mixture of mana she had made, pouring the unimaginable depth of Aquarius into the volatile rapids of Leo.
>The bizarre mixture of magic flowed with terrifying swiftness and depth, as though an ocean had somehow been strapped to a rocket.
>”Jammer’s up!”
>That didn’t matter to synthesised ley lines.
>She’d pushed through them before and she’d do it again.
>Lyra planned out her spellform, a massive and complex structure that strained the limits of her focus.
>Her target?
>Every weapon in the room.
>Every spear, every firearm, every chair, anything that could be used as a tool to hurt her.
>The spell had to come together as one.
>Define a ring around your target, make it spin and contract, shape it into a serrated blade, and strike in one swift motion.
>Lyra cast Rip Current.
>She failed.
>Spears were snapped, guns crushed or blown aside, debris filled the air, but nothing was cut.
>And not everypony was disarmed.
>Two ponies armed with spears rushed her, apparently having decided the time had come for deadly force.
>They hesitated slightly to approach her. Perhaps they were fearful of what she might do to them, perhaps fearful of what they might do to her.
>It didn’t matter.
>The moment of hesitation was all Lyra needed to prepare a pair of Geyser strikes from the air and smash into their celiac plexus.
>One of them collapsed when the blow hit home, one guard collapsed.
>The other howled in pain but persisted.
>A flurry of blows slammed into the attacking Earth pony. His charge was finally brought to a halt with a sickening snapping noise.
>Lyra had broken his ribs.
>>
>>33582113
>He collapsed to the ground with a shriek that quickly became ragged and shallow.
>The remaining guards all stepped back at the sight, none of them eager to face what stood before them.
“WHERE’S BON-BON?”
>Many of them flinched when she yelled.
>None of them answered her.
>Lyra turned to the heavy oaken doors-
>A pegasus tackled her from behind.
>They grappled for only a moment before Lyra managed to envelop them in her magic and slam their back into the ground.
>The rest closed in on her.
>She cast Undertow between herself and her foes.
>A thick cloud of broken weaponry blocked their advance.
>”WHERE’S THE BACKUP?”
>They weren’t going to give up.
>These guards who were otherwise so easy to shake were going to stand between her and their princess until the bitter end.
>They were going to fight her until either they couldn’t or she couldn’t.
>It wasn’t right to hurt them any further.
>They’d done her no wrong.
>But Bon-Bon was in trouble.
>Lyra climbed to her hooves once more, she had to reach her target.
>But there WAS a way to keep them away.
>She grabbed the heavy oaken doors to the throne room with her magic and ripped them from the hinges, casting them aside casually.
>Princess Celestia sat on the throne, looking serene as usual.
>Lyra cast Eruption.
“I HAVE A BOMB!”
>She walked into the throne room as her explosive continued to form.
>It glowed brightly with heat as she added more and more air to her primed blast.
>”Stand down.”
>Celestia spoke eerily calmly, almost like she was observing some unimportant training exercise that had ended with results just slightly worse than expected.
“IF I LOSE FOCUS THIS THING BLOWS!”
>”I said stand down. She’ll do us no harm.”
>Lyra wasn’t certain that was true.
>A young Earth mare walked out from behind the throne where she’d apparently been hiding.
>”Are you sure?”
>Their yellow coat was contrast by a golden mane with black highlights.
>>
>>33582114
>Their cutie mark was some bizarre S shaped symbol.
>”Yes, Leslie Fair. I am certain. And no, I’m not abolishing all taxes and ceding the throne.”
>”Forget that! You!”
>She gestured eagerly at Lyra.
>”Would you be interested in working for a private militia?”
>Celestia gave an uncharacteristic groan as she shook her head slowly.
>”Just leave.”
>They hesitated only a moment before departing with a little pout.
>”Perhaps I should be thanking you for interrupting that meeting, she does tend to drone on. But it occurs to me that there may have been better ways to do it. What’s the matter, my little pony?”
>Celestia’s soothing presence was doing nothing to calm Lyra.
“You are going to tell me what happened to Bon-Bon.”
>That’s what did it.
>That’s what made Celestia finally show fear.
>Not the crazed mare before her who was waving a bomb around.
>The pony who’d taken down multiple armed guards with nothing but a flick of her horn.
>The pony who was FURIOUS with her.
>What scared Celestia was the knowledge that Bon-Bon was in trouble.
>Was it because she only now took Lyra’s threats seriously?
>Was it because they’d lost one of the few things that yet stood between Eurynomos and Equestria?
>Or was she afraid for Bon-Bon herself?
>Lyra wasn’t certain, but she knew one thing for sure.
>Celestia was right to be scared.
>”Something happened to her? Hold on.”
>She pressed a hoof against her ear, presumably activating some unseen earpiece.
>”I need a status report. Agent Zero.”
>Celestia grew paler.
>Twilight Sparkle poked her muzzle around the corner of the now ruined doorway.
>”What in the wide world is going on- Lyra?”
>Her eyes were transfixed on the hovering ball of burning hot air.
>”Twilight, get out of here! It’s not safe!”
>Twilight ignored the order.
>>
>>33582116
>She approached Lyra slowly.
>Carefully.
>”Lyra, why is there a floating ball of liquid here, and why is there so much magic going into it?”
>Wait.
“Liquid? I- oh wow! I did it! Liquid air! And he said I couldn’t.”
>She’d actually done it!
>”Well, if it’s air then it’s mostly nitrogen. At this temperature it’d technically be a supercritical fluid. WAIT WHAT? Supercritical- that thing’s DANGEROUS! Get rid of it!”
“Uhh, I’m not sure I can?”
>Twilight gasped.
>Celestia groaned.
>”Well how bad is it? Can you- no? Half the cell, are you serious? What were they even DOING there? Oh, she’s in for it now! Listen, I want Zero in Canterlot as soon as it’s safe to move her! No, safe for HER, I know she’s not a threat right now! Okay, see that you do. And keep me posted!”
>Celestia lowered her hoof away from her ear, the fear on her face suppressed but not gone.
>”Lyra, we’re going to do everything we can to save her life.”
>She’d been right.
>Bon-Bon was in serious danger.
>”If..”
“WHAT?”
>IF?
>”If you stand down immediately. Dispose of your bomb and surrender. Do not leave this room without my explicit permission.”
“You’re using her LIFE as a BARGAINING CHIP?”
>”Yes.”
>Lyra could hardly believe what she was hearing.
“You wouldn’t DARE! You would NEVER do that!”
>”And you would never be willing to take that risk.”
>Lyra was aghast.
>It was GHOULISH to sentence Bon-Bon to death for Lyra’s actions.
>But princess Celestia was right.
>It was something she couldn’t imagine the princess ever doing, something that she’d wager every bit she’d ever had against.
>And yet there was this nagging shadow of doubt in the back of her head.
>An unshakeable fear.
>Lyra couldn’t take that risk.
>She slowly expanded the Eruption, gradually decreasing its pressure.
>>
>>33582118
>Undoing the spell was harder than crafting it. The pressure she fought against went down as she progressed, but so too did the density of her spells.
>She had to constantly adjust the barriers that had crushed the atmosphere into a deadly weapon, one slip and it would blow.
>Twilight’s horn came to life.
>She began to reinforce the spell as it was slowly unwound, helping to make sure that it didn’t fail suddenly.
>Finally, when it was all gone, Lyra sat down.
>And began to cry.
>To weep.
>Twilight placed a single hoof on her back in a vain attempt to comfort her.
>”Lyra, what’s wrong?”
>Lyra couldn’t speak for the sobs. Celestia spoke for her.
>”Bon-Bon is in critical condition after a bad op. I’m not entirely certain how Lyra knew. But she did.”
>Only then did Celestia rise from her throne.
>She gracefully and calmly strode over to Lyra.
>And sat down next to her.
>”It’s okay.”
>Somehow the words made Lyra sob all the harder.
>She was trembling from the overwhelming terror and grief.
>”Just let it all out. We’ll do everything we can for her, it’s okay.”
>Lyra felt Celestia calling on her magic.
>Then her consciousness faded away.

Later…

>Lyra awoke with a start.
>Her head was full of a thick, disorienting fog that seemed to be actively trying to interfere with her thoughts.
>She shook her head groggily, there was something-
“Bonny!”
>”Is alive. I don’t know how bad it is yet, but they got her out.”
>Lyra could feel her blood pressure dropping.
>Bonny wasn’t safe.
>Safer at least
>She’d been wounded by stars know what.
>But at least she wasn’t in Hell anymore.
>With the initial panic gone Lyra felt incredibly drained.
>She looked around herself to find she was in a small, somewhat cramped waiting room.
>The distinct smell of disinfectant coupled with the stench of illness suggested they were at the hospital.
>”You’re in a lot of trouble.”
>Celestia spoke sternly but without a hint of anger.
>>
>>33582119
“I know.”
>”If that spell had gone off it would have killed you. Probably killed and wounded several innocents in the process.”
“Yeah.”
>”So why did you do it? What were you thinking?”
>Lyra craned her neck up to gaze at her accuser, sitting beside her but still towering over her.
>She wasn’t sure how to answer.
>She didn’t know the answer.
>Celestia’s face betrayed no malice, no rage. She merely sought to understand.
>She wanted answers.
>Lyra could provide none.
>”One thing at a time. Why did you attack my guards? Did you want to hurt them?”
“No, of course not! I… they weren’t letting me see you.”
>”And your first instinct was to attack them?”
>Yes.
>It had been.
>She hadn’t stopped to consider any alternatives.
>Lyra said nothing, but Celestia nodded in understanding regardless.
>She seemed to understand.
>”You were in a hurry, and you weren’t thinking straight. I understand. Sweetie Drops was in danger, you might have even thought she was dead. You didn’t know where she was or how to find her, but you knew who to blame.
“I don’t blame you.”
>”Don’t lie to me.”
>The faintest hint of anger had wormed its way into her words.
>It wasn’t the assault on her palace that had done it.
>But was was she upset because Lyra had lied to her, or was she angered by the accusation?
>”You know, don’t you? Of course you do, you were there, you saved me from my own naivety. You know that I created this monster. Luna told me to stay out of the way, that Deimos and Phobos couldn’t be reasoned with. That the ceasefire with Achlys was a small miracle that would never happen again. I didn’t listen, and now this happened. It IS my fault and you’d BETTER blame me! But-”
>The anger drained from her voice, and Celestia returned to her normal serenity.
>”I still can’t look the other way this time.”
>Lyra understood.
>She was going to wind up facing justice for this one.
>>
>>33582120
>But she didn’t have the mental capacity to spare right now.
>She was too busy worrying about Bon-Bon.
>”If it’d just been me you’d hurt I would have pardoned you, I probably deserve some punishment. But it wasn’t, and I can’t.”
>Did princess Celestia just say she deserved to be blown up?
>Lyra must have been misunderstanding, maybe she just meant beaten up.
>But still…
>It looked like the princess was taking this pretty hard.
>Celestia was right, this WAS her fault and Lyra DID blame her.
>But she also felt sorry for her.
>Celestia had meant well, she’d envisioned a peaceful reconciliation where nopony had to die.
>A happy ending that wouldn’t scar bodies and minds for a lifetime.
>And she’d sought to do it with the only tool that had ever worked for her, the only thing she’d ever needed save for the Elements.
>She used her diplomacy to try and reason with a demon.
>A pointless and perhaps mad idea, but diplomacy and harmony were what the princess knew.
>Were they really that different, Celestia and her?
>Lyra too had good intentions. She’d wanted an ending to the madness where nopony had to die, where wounds could heal.
>The two of them had similar goals.
>But Lyra didn’t wield diplomacy as Celestia could.
>The only tool she’d found was violence.
>Power.
>The ability to FORCE your way against somepony else’s will.
>And now she wielded it as foolishly as Celestia had.
>The two of them were just desperate ponies, fruitlessly trying to deny reality the only way they knew how.
>No, not fruitlessly.
>Celestia had failed to prevent the horror, but Lyra was going to succeed in ending it.
>If, no, WHEN the Tide worked, all her struggle would have been made worthwhile.
>This latest move had been a pointless failure, but everything she’d done leading to the moment of Eurynomos’ inevitable demise had been worth it.
>But what if it didn’t work?
>>
>>33582123
>Celestia had been confident she could negotiate out of this, who was to say that Lyra’s confidence wasn’t also ill advised?
>Who was to say that her plan wouldn’t end in ruin as well?
>”But I suppose that can wait for a while. At least until Sweetie Drops is dealt with.”
“Really?”
>Despite the situation a small, quivering smile formed on her face.
>”I trust you’ll be spending as much time with her as you can. You’ll be easy enough to find. But I need you to cooperate.”
“Of course!”
>”Good. Why did you want to see me so badly?”
“I told you I’d hold you accountable if anything happened to her.”
>”I do recall. You said if anything happened to Bon-Bon you’d come after me. And what was it you’d intended to do?”
>That WAS a good question.
>She wanted Bonny to be okay.
>But what would she have done if she wasn’t?
“I hadn’t thought that far ahead.”
>Princess Celestia looked her straight in the eyes, an uncomfortable and piercing gaze that felt as though she was studying something only she could see.
>”I believe you. As mad as it may sound I believe you. It must have been a terrible shock. How did you find out anyway?”
“She was wearing an artifact I’d made for her.”
>”Oh yes, I’d heard about that. A very sweet gift. I dare say she’s lucky to have a pony like you in her life. But why were you in Canterlot?”
>Uh-oh.
>”She was wounded not long before you arrived. Enough time to move through the city, but not to come in from Ponyville. You were already here.”
>Lyra considered lying.
>But she couldn’t think of anything.
>If she said she was visiting somepony it would be too easy for princess Celestia to check.
>And if she mentioned Moondancer? She didn’t want to get her dragged into her mess.
>And she couldn’t tell the truth either, she couldn’t acknowledge knowing so much about the Tide or being Red.
>”Lyra? Answer me.”
>Out of time.
>>
>>33582125
“Princess? Is your sister a demon?”
>Hopefully this was good enough.
>”NO.”
>Celestia spoke firmly, loudly, FIERCELY.
>Lyra flinched at the force of the sudden words, taken aback by the abruptness and volume with which the princess spoke.
“Sorry. It’s- her magic is tainted somehow. And you said you had to believe you could live in peace with them. I thought maybe you believed that because your sister…”
>”Sister’s personal affairs are of no concern to you.”
“Didn’t you want me to find out what she was up to?”
>Celestia grimaced.
“You told me to find out why she’d invaded Orcus-”
>Celestia flinched that time.
>But she didn’t interrupt.
>There was no point, the seal was open. That name no longer held power.
“And try to figure out what her plan is.”
>”We… I need to know. What have you found?”
“That depends. Is she insane?”
>”What makes you think that?”
“Well, she sought out the devil. You only do that if you’re insane. Or desperate.”
>Celestia nodded.
>”I wish I could tell you my sister was sound of mind, but she’s not. She’s been… unstable ever since her return. I thought she was getting better. I might have thought wrong.”
“Yeah. I remember the Tantabus. But… Bonny was working with her. I don’t think she’d have done that if Luna was nuts.”
>”You trust her judgement.”
>It wasn’t so much a question as a statement of fact.
>Lyra answered regardless.
“Implicitly.”
>”So then what do you think she’s after?”
>>
>>33582126
“No clue. I can’t even figure out who she is! One minute she’s a fearless warrior princess who charged head first into Hell, the next she’s cowering when she hears a name. She doesn’t seem to concern herself at all with the wellbeing of her agents, pitting them against unspeakable evils without a second thought, but she remembers the name of every pony she’s ever lost! She said that strength was the only thing that really mattered, that because she was stronger than anyone else she could do what she wanted, but then she’s constantly second guessing herself! Hay, she even asked ME for moral guidance. ME! Why? Doesn’t she know anypony better? I don’t get her.”
>”Sister… she’s a complex pony. She’s been through a lot, anypony would be changed.”
>Was Celestia trying to convince Lyra that her sister was on the straight and narrow?
>Or was she trying to convince herself?
“I need you to help me on this. I’m not going to get anywhere if I spend all my time trying to figure out the basics. Does she have a past history with them?”
>Celestia stared at the wall, or perhaps through it. Lyra could almost see the gears turning in her head, the distinctive chewing of the lower lip, her eyes darting off to the top left.
>Her silence was telling.
>Or rather, it would have been if Lyra didn’t already know.
>Luna taunted them.
>She went out of her way to poke at them, to mock them, she even had that annual ritual Derpy had mentioned.
>It was clearly personal to her.
>Anyone else would have been happy to just let them rot away in their prison, but Luna had to remind them of their impotence.
>Right up until they were no longer impotent.
>”They have caused her a great deal of trouble in the past.”
“Do you think this is revenge?”
>”The thought had occurred to me.”
>She wasn’t denying it.
>”If it was revenge, what will you do?”
“Huh?”
>>
>>33582127
>”If all the things that have happened to Sweetie Drops were pointless, what will you do?”
“Dunno. That’s not what worries me though.”
>”Oh?”
“If she did this to Bonny selfishly, made her go through this whole mess with all the danger and pain without a REALLY good reason? Well, then I can hate her. But what if she’s right? What if this really was the right thing to do? What if there really was no better way and she absolutely had to start this fight, what do I think of her then?”
>Lyra chewed on her lip for a while, thinking the situation over.
“It’d better be a REALLY good reason.”
>She wanted to hate Luna.
>She really did.
>What Bonny had gone through, was currently GOING through, that couldn’t be ignored.
>But if Luna really could stop the Tide with this mess?
>Wasn’t that worth it then?
>Wouldn’t Luna be a heroine for saving everypony except those poor few who fell?
>But why did it have to be Bonny?
>”I need to go, can’t be late for this meeting. And you should go see her.”
“Wait, Bonny’s here?”
>”Yes. She got here a while ago.”
“Why-”
>”The doctors were still busy with her, I didn’t want you rushing there to see her and getting in the way.”
“I wouldn’t- okay, that’s exactly what I would have done. Thank you princess.”
>”Three doors to the left to get to the main hall, SECOND elevator on your right not the first one, that only goes down. Take it up to floor 8, she’s in quarantine. If the doctors there tell you to do something I’d suggest you do it, you don’t want to catch the plague again. Try not to blow anything up? It’s just assaulting officers, reckless endangerment, and battery so far. No prior felony convictions. Zone B offence, good behaviour and a guilty plead could get you out on parole in… wait, you have a Solstice Star. Your lawyer will argue that you deserve lenience for your service to Equestria. Probably between 1 and 2 years. PLEASE don’t make it worse.”
>>
>>33582132
“Isn’t there a special punishment for endangering a princess?”
>Lyra immediately regretted saying that.
>”I’m not pressing charges.”
>She stood up and made for the door.
“Wait, princess? Were you really going to let Bonny die if I didn’t give up?”
>The princess stopped short.
>She turned her head to look Lyra in the eye.
>She looked hurt.
>”Heavens no! I would never!”
>Lyra smiled at her, an earnest and genuine grin.
“Good answer.”
>Celestia departed.
>And Lyra wasted no time in seeking out the quarantine.
>She soon found herself face to face with the familiar double doors of a hospital ward, but this time the doors were locked tight.
>There was no clear sign of any locking mechanism, no keyhole, no padlock, nothing.
>But there was a doorbell fixed to the wall nearby.
>Lyra poked it.
>A voice replied through an intercom system.
>The sound was so terribly muffled and grainy that she couldn’t tell if it belonged to a mare, stallion, foal, or even if it belonged to a pony at all.
>”Name.”
“Lyra Heartstrings?”
>”Hold on.”
>It didn’t take long for somepony to appear at the door, a young Earth mare with a cream coloured coat and a tied back light pink mane.
>She bore a clean and pressed lab coat but was otherwise unadorned.
>”Come in.”
>They bore the same voice as what came through the intercom, grainy and muffled despite the absence of any extra machinery.
>That’s just what she sounded like apparently.
>”We were told to expect you.”
“By whom?”
>”It was the strangest thing. Princess Celestia herself came by and told me you were coming.”
>Lyra stepped into the ward.
>She felt a strange gust of wind seemed to be trying to suck her into the ward as she crossed the threshold. The interior was lit just a bit too brightly beneath the fluorescents built into the ceiling. The waxed linoleum floors were a brand new kind of white, practically glowing with not so much as a hint of dirt to be found.
>>
>>33582134
>Lyra took a shallow breath but was assaulted viciously by the smell of disinfectant.
“Ugh.”
>”Yeah, tell me about it. But we have to be careful. The diseases in here- wait, I recognise you. You’re…”
>They blanched a bit.
>Lyra groaned.
“Yes. I’m the pony from the award ceremony. No, I’m not here to cause trouble. I’ve had more than enough of that lately. I’m just here to check on a patient, uhh… what was your name again?”
>They shook their head briefly before replying.
>With their bizarre voice Lyra couldn’t even guess at what emotion they were feeling.
>”Dr. Caduceus.”
“I’m here to see Bon-Bon.”
>”Right this way.”
>She gestured for Lyra to follow.
“Wait, that’s it? No secrecy or anything? Not even a form to fill out?”
>”Says on her file that you’re her emergency contact. If the princess hadn’t said you were coming we’d have tried to call you.”
>Huh.
>That sure was easy.
>”We can’t let you into her room without precautions, but there’s a window for observation and an intercom for when she wakes up.”
“So what happened to her?”
>”Mauled by a bugbear.”
“Pardon?”
>”Yeah, I know! It’s scary! To think one could get this close to Canterlot…”
>They didn’t know.
>They had no idea what they were dealing with, nor whom.
>How could they be trusted to treat her if they didn’t even know what had happened?
>”The guard apparently chased it away, but not before several ponies got hurt.”
>Several.
>Bon-Bon wasn’t the only one who’d been hit.
>”Now, before you see her I want you to brace yourself. She’s hurt pretty bad, but we’re optimistic about the prognosis. We’ve got surgery scheduled for tomorrow, and you’ll probably be able to take her home in less than a month. Surgical methods have improved a LOT over recent years, don’t you worry. Set her bones, remove some foreign materials and Bob’s your uncle.”
>>
>>33582136
“No he’s not. Apple Bob isn’t even related to me, he’s just a family friend. Say, why’s she in quarantine anyway?”
>”Tested positive for an antibiotic resistant strain of a fairly mundane disease. It’s not that dangerous, but we don’t want it to spread to the rest of the patients.”
>”Caduceus, go to room 8.”
>An overbearing tinny voice cut in.
>The two of them looked o the source of the noise, a trio of ponies in hazmat suits.
“Does everypony here have a funny voice?”
>”Not Brown.”
>Squeaked the one in the middle as he gestured to his right.
“Oh, good. What does he sound like?
>”He’s mute. Anyway, Caduceus, seal yourself in room 8.”
>”Excuse me, but this is MY ward and these are MY patients! What are you even doing here?”
>”We’re from the Canterlot Council for the Containment and Control of Contagions.”
>”The quintuple C?”
>The two doctors flanking the speaker walked away, one of them muttering to themselves in a distinctively squeaky voice as they left.
>The speaker stayed.
>”We don’t believe you’re infected. If you followed proper practice it’s a million to one, but we can’t take that chance. You’re in quarantine, but only for one night; the thing we’re after progresses fast. If no symptoms develop by noon tomorrow you’re free to go.”
>”What’s going on?”
>”We’re still investigating the possibilities and are unable to comment at this juncture.”
>That might have been the most convoluted non-answer she’d ever heard.
“Will you be shoving me in quarantine too?”
>”Yes. Again, just overnight. Million to one.”
>Lyra had been in quarantine before.
>But that was different.
>She’d been thrown out into the thick of things.
>This time she’d just talked to somepony who was near a sick pony.
>There was no way she was infected.
>Right?
“Can I at least see Bonny before you do?”
>>
>>33582138
>Lyra was pretty sure they shrugged, though it was kinda hard to tell what was going on under their suit.
>”Might as well. If the doc had anything then the whole ward’s infected already, not like you’ll make it worse. We just need you sealed off before we sterilize the place. Come with me.”
>The two of them continued to walk toward Bon-Bon’s room.
>“You’re Lyra, right?”
“You know me?”
>”Yeah, I was briefed on this case. It’s- wait, aren’t you that pony that got the Solstice Star?”
>Lyra firmly applied a hoof to her face.
“Augh, not you too.”
>”Damn fine work, you should be proud.”
“Pardon?”
>”I’ve spent too much time stitching ponies back together after they ran into those… THINGS. I know what they do, what they’re capable of. You stood up to them, can’t say I’d have done the same. What’s more you somehow managed to win.”
“You’re not upset with me for snapping at Celestia?”
>”Pfft, who cares? Those were just words, and in all my years I’ve never seen words mess anypony up half as bad as those things.”
>He stopped just before they reached one of the observation windows.
>”She’s here. Try to keep calm, she’s stable at the moment. If anything changes we’ll let you know.”
>Lyra hesitated for but a moment before peering through the double paned windows.
>Bon-Bon was lying upon a hospital bed, clean blankets and sheets carefully placed upon her unmoving body.
>Most of her face was covered by a mask affixed to her muzzle, a hose leading from it to the wall no doubt carrying life sustaining oxygen.
>An I.V. drip of 4 bags was wired into her, three clear fluids mixing with one deep red bag trickling down into her veins.
>It wasn’t as bad as Lyra had been expecting.
>She still felt faint.
“What happened to her? And don’t tell me it was a bugbear!”
>>
>>33582139
>”Well, you ARE her emergency contact… okay. I can tell you what’s wrong with her. I can’t tell you HOW it happened though. Hay, they wouldn’t even tell ME! And I spent TWO HOURS filling out forms, just to get my hooves on her medical chart! It was insane!”
“Yeah, they do like their secrets.”
>That was fine though.
>Lyra didn’t need him to tell her what had hurt Bonny, there was only one thing down there that could do that to her.
>Eurynomos.
>She’d faced him on their first day down there and barely walked away.
>And from what she’d gathered Bon-Bon had been thrown against him time and again, the only pony to ever wound the beast in any meaningful way.
>”The patient was hit twice. Numerous parallel lacerations across the chest, dug right down to the bone. Looks like a claw of some kind, and there’s a puncture wound from a stinger. The sting managed to collapse her left lung and break one of her ribs, caused a lot of internal bleeding too. Antivenom was administered almost immediately for the infernal toxins but there was still some damage done to the circulatory system.”
>This was terrible.
>That toxin had gutted Dinky in minutes!
>When they said SOME damage, how much did they mean?
>”Chart says that by the time they got her out of danger she’d entered respiratory arrest and had to be ventilated. She entered hypovolemic shock shortly after. The, uh, the wounds had been closed well enough but not quick enough. Combined with the internal bleeding from the sting she needed a transfusion. Transfusions are usually safe but we need to keep an eye on her until we’re certain the bleeding has stopped. Once her blood pressure was deemed acceptable and she’d started breathing on her own they put her on oxygen and transferred her here.”
>>
>>33582143
>By the stars, Lyra could hardly believe it.
>So much trauma in just the blink of an eye.
>While she’d been playing about, taking her sweet time figuring out how to stop that monster, it had ripped Bon-Bon apart.
>AGAIN.
>If she’d just been a LITTLE faster, a LITTLE smarter…
>A little more aggressive…
>She could only hope Twilight hurried up.
“Wait. A STINGER broke HER ribs?”
>”It was a big stinger. We had a lot of trouble getting it out without making things worse, but it’s gone and her wound’s been cleaned and packed. I don’t know what did this, but I hope I never meet it. We’ll have to operate to fix her lungs and ribs, she’s scheduled for tomorrow.”
“Why not tonight?”
>”She was in shock. It’s way too dangerous to operate right now, we might even have to delay further. She can survive with one lung, but she can’t survive surgery.”
>Lyra felt hollow.
>Once again she knew that Bon-Bon was suffering.
>And once again she could do nothing about it.
“Those… THINGS. I’ve run into them before, so have you. These wounds aren’t the whole story, are they.”
>The doctor sighed.
>Without being able to see his face through the suit Lyra couldn’t tell exactly why.
>Was he tired of her questions? Tired of this case?
>Or was he just sick of seeing good ponies brought to him after being chewed up?
>>
>>33582145
>”We were in a big hurry to get the stinger out for a reason. We found high levels of the Infernal toxin around it, even with antivenom it’s dangerous. We also found poneratoxin, the same toxin as you see in bullet ants. It causes certain cells like muscles and neurons to constantly be firing, causing pain and paralysis. We think it’s why she stopped breathing. We’re monitoring her heart, and will be ready if it gets paralysed too, but that’s unlikely at this point. Odds are most of the toxin was bled out of her. We actually considered leaving the stinger in for a while, it was barbed so there was some trauma getting it out. But it was- I don’t know how it’s possible, but it was still producing. Not fast, but plenty fast enough to cause trouble.”
>Lyra felt faint.
>”And she has the Burning Plague. She’s had it for a while but it was kept in check by antibiotics and her immune system. Problem is now that’s she’s weakened…”
“It’s going to run wild.”
>”And it’s resistant to most antibiotics at this point. We’re going to keep giving them to her but they won’t work like they used to. We aren’t seeing any symptoms yet but that’s going to change soon. It’s a bad one.”
“Yeah. I’m familiar. Had it myself.”
>She’d never felt that sick before.
>The fever had gotten so bad that she couldn’t remember some of those days she’d spent in the hospital.
>And she was glad for that.
>But as bad as it’d been it could have been worse, she hadn’t been wounded when it happened.
>Bon-Bon was in trouble.
“These things are bad enough on their own, but together they’re…”
>”Really bad. The plague is dangerous to an otherwise healthy patient. She’s not healthy.”
“Doc, level with me. Is she going to make it?”
>He didn’t answer for nearly half minute.
>30 seconds of agonizing silence and what she could only assume was uncomfortable eye contact.
>”I don’t think so.”
>>
>>33582147
>Lyra felt like she’d been hit with a hammer.
>She stopped breathing, a cold numbness crept into her heart, an agonizing nothing had taken up residence in her throat.
>Then the intercom turned on.
>A weak, raspy, and quivering voice came through.
>”I’ll be fine.”
>The two of them whipped their heads to the window to see Bon-Bon, blanket cast aside to reveal layer after layer of bandages.
>A small crimson dot could be seen just over her lung, presumably from blood that had seeped through the packing in the puncture wound.
>She held her leg out, rested against a button on the intercom system that sat atop her bedside table, oxygen mask pushed aside allowing her to speak.
“BONNY!”
>”Hi Lyra. Sorry to worry you. But it’ll be okay, I’ll get better myself if I have to.”
>She stopped talking for a moment to catch her breath.
>”But any help you can offer is appreciated.”
>Lyra watched through tear filled eyes as Bon-Bon slowly and clumsily affixed the mask to her own muzzle before collapsing into the bed once more.
>”There’s- there’s no way! We had her sedated, there’s no way she could be awake. That’s impossible!”
>Lyra couldn’t help but giggle.
>There was nothing funny about the situation, but relief was washing over her and making her giddy.
“That’s not impossible. That’s Bon-Bon.”

That's it.
It occured to me just now that it was a huge dick move for Celestia to send Lyra there right in time to risk exposure. Uh, I don't know if I'll retcon that for the paste or explain it away later. That's not intended behavior.
>>
>>33582151
holy shit again wik, 20+ post update
will read it later today/tomorrow at work atm
>>
>>33582163
boop
>>
>>33582599
and again we reached pg8
>>
Fast board today.
>>
>>33583169
yep
>>
>>33582151
>minty maniac
got me
>Lyra in Canterlot
Teleportation gadget? Celestia already knows who she is dont she?
>Probably between 1 and 2 years
They have time for this? Aren't they desperate for fighters?
>Bob’s your uncle
Haven't heard this from anyone but from a certain Australian. Now I know its not a made up thing.
>Bon-Bon badly hurt
>awake
War drugs still pumping in her veins.
>Lyra exposure
Does it matter at this point? She would have stayed there anyway. And if the odds for catching it are this low...

Thanks for the update.
>>
>>33582151
A big, nice update.
Still unconvinced about Luna not being a demon since the beginning.
>>
>>33575389
The one that got cancer or something.
>>
boop
>>
>>33584898
Oh Nucleanon. I don't really know but I hope he's not actually dead
>>
>>33585593
>>
Writefag_Is_Kill people are reading your story outside the thread, and enjoying it

>>33585889
>>33585895
>>33585924
>>33585929
>>
>>
>>33586867
It's interesting to see other threads talk about Steel Sanctuary.
>>
>>33582163
I might have split it but the thread was dead when I'd reached a convenient point. Oh well.
>>33584151
>Teleportation
She didn't have them on her so it would have been suspicious. But that might have been a workable answer. Let's just say she didn't think of it.
>Years
There could be an argument that she could get a lessened sentence in exchange for service of some kind, yes. She's not good enough for S.M.I.L.E. but maybe they could find a use for her. Maybe just dealing with the minor threats they'd have otherwise mopped up? I'll have Celestia offer her that later on, good call.
>Stimulants
No comment.
>Exposure
You're not wrong in that the odds are low, but I get the feeling that if I'd said it was smallpox you'd agree that it's a big mistake. Especially since she just had to wait a little longer to be safe. The doctor said the antibiotic resistant strain is dangerous to a healthy patient, and even if it doesn't kill her illness can cause permanent damage. We're fortunate enough to live in a world where most serious diseases are really hard to catch, but traditionally quarantine has been a big deal and often a death sentence. I think that Celestia would have tried to hold Lyra until it was safe. I also think she'd have warned Caduceus that it wasn't just a bad cold and they had to be extra careful. I'm going to retcon it to say that the Quintuple C was supposed to be there already but they'd been delayed in some way.

>>33586867
Oh, neat!
>Steel Sanctuary.
Oh. Well, still neat. Thanks for letting me know.

Right! Deadlines are the only way I actually get anything done anymore. Give me... 30 hours?
>>
>>33589244
>30 hours?
That seems fairly quick.
>>
>>33589244
>30h
Are You sick?
Ill give you to the end of this mont!
>>
>>33587709
God, that pony is so out of place in ROAN
>>
boop
>>
>>33589899
ROAN?
>>
>>33590780
1 am bump
>>
>>33589757
>That seems fairly quick.
>>33589767
>Are You sick?

Hey nice little rhyme you two got there
>>
>>33592141
8am bump
>>
>>33591690
It's a pony tabletop RPG that has a pretty neat setting, but they lifted the entire system from a pre-existing one... And it really doesn't fit what they bolted onto it.
>>
>>33589757
>>33589767
Yup. It was a mistake. I figured that since I knew exactly what I wanted to do and in what order I could knock it out quickly, but even so. I should have given myself a bit more time, at least one extra day. Oh well, what's done is done.

>Lyra hadn’t slept the night before.
>How could she hope to?
>She was far too wound up to sleep.
>Bon-Bon had refused to perish, but she wasn’t so silly as to assume all would be well.
>But she did dare hope.
>If THIS hurdle was overcome, if this one last problem was resolved, her troubles would be more or less over.
>Eurynomos would be crushed, Luna’s prize would stop the Tide, and Bon-Bon would be safe.
>There was still the question of Luna herself, but that was nowhere near so dire in her eyes.
>Perhaps in less interesting times she would have viewed that as being of the utmost importance.
>At present she was too busy worrying about Bon-Bon.
>She lie in bed beneath the scratchy blankets and closed her eyes.
>It was a futile attempt, there was no chance she’d find peace in her current state of mind.
>But she tried anyway.
>Life was better when she was asleep.
>No stress, no fear, no monsters.
>No responsibilities.
>She wondered at times if it would be better to be totally helpless.
>As it was in her strange state of half potency she was cursed with the responsibility of power, but still lacked the means to ensure all would be well.
>Of course there was nothing too special about that, nopony had the means to ensure EVERYTHING would be okay at all times.
>But some had nothing to do with this mess at all.
>Some lacked the power and the knowledge to change their fates.
>Some could sleep at night.
>A squeaky voice chimed in.
>”Lyra? How are you feeling?”
>She didn’t bother to get up to look at them.
“Sleepy.”
>”Any pain or nausea?”
“Nope. Kinda thirsty but I don’t feel cold or anything.”
>>
>>33593909
>”We need you to take your temperature before we can release you. There’s a thermometer in the night stand.”
>She wasted no time in gathering the device and placing it in her mouth.
>”Under the tongue.”
>It didn’t take long for the plastic and metal device to beep.
>She took a quick glance at the display.
“37.5 celsius.”
>Lyra levitated the thermometer near the window to show the displayed value.
>”She’s clean.”
>A gust of air filled the room when they opened the door, the high pressure front outside rushing in to ensure that no pathogens could accidentally leak out in an errant breeze.
>Lyra eagerly vacated her room despite the weariness that afflicted her.
>She began to speak before even rounding the corner and casting eyes upon the attendant.
“How’s Bon-Bon, uhh, you?”
>She came face to face with an off white pegasus stallion with strawberry a blonde mane.
>”Code White.”
>The intercom system came to life, blaring with a loud and anxious voice.
>”CODE WHITE IN ISOLATION! CODE WHITE!”
>”No you- ugh! CANCEL, FALSE ALARM!”
“What’s that about?”
>”Code white means a patient is being aggressive.”
>”CODE WHITE IN ISOLATION! CODE WHITE!”
>He groaned with exasperation, the expression on his face fluctuating between annoyed and tired.
>”CANCEL THE CODE! Honestly.”
“This happen often?”
>He merely rolled his eyes in response.
“How’s Bonny?”
>”We actually need to talk to you about that. I assure you that anything you say is covered by patient confidentiality.”
“Whoa, what’s wrong?”
>”Not even the courts can make me share what you tell me, so don’t hold anything back.”
>The law assured secrecy.
>But S.M.I.L.E. didn’t seem too concerned with the public justice system.
>Who was to say this assurance had any value at all?
“What’s wrong? Why are you so worried all of a sudden?”
>He looked her in the eye with a stern expression.
>>
>>33593914
>”The patient is exhibiting some strange behavior-”
>Lyra broke away from him and ran to check on Bon-Bon.
>It was a far different sight from what she’d seen the night before.
>Blankets had been discarded in exchange for ice packs, her mostly dry bandages now soaked with sweat and water.
>Lyra gasped in horror at the sight of the steel chains that now held her Bonny down, the unrelenting steel links holding her every appendage in place.
“WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?”
>Lyra called upon her magic and began to fiddle with the chains.
>”Stop it, stop it right now or I WILL call security!”
“Yeah, good luck with that. I’m freeing her.”
>”This is for her own good!”
>She turned to the doctor and glared him in the eye, stepping toward him and shoving her face just a little bit too closely to his.
“And HOW exactly is chaining her down like a mad dog GOOD for her?”
>”Because she’s BEHAVING like a mad dog. She’s having night terrors, keeps ripping her IV and oxygen out. We’ve got her sedated but she’s still at it and we don’t dare administer a higher dose. She’ll kill herself if we don’t stop her.”
>Lyra turned away from him to look at Bon-Bon.
>She was thrashing wildly against her restraints.
“Bonny could get out of that easily. But she isn’t.”
>”Because she’s asleep and can’t use her magic properly. I don’t like restraining patients, but sometimes you have no choice.”
“But did it have to be chains?”
>”For her? Yes.”
>Oh.
>”Does she have any history of mental illness or night terrors?”
“No. We’ve known each other for years and I’ve never seen this!”
>”What about drug abuse?”
“No! She doesn’t even drink coffee.”
>”Are you certain? We need to know everything if we’re going to get her through this.”
>Wait.
“You know what her job is, right?”
>”We know enough.”
>>
>>33593918
“Do you know about their stimulants?”
>He was visibly relieved when she said that.
“Good news?”
>”Probably terrible. But not as bad as what I was thinking. BROWN! Check the dossier for mention of their stimulants. I’m guessing amphetamines, probably some adrenaline too. It’d explain her heart rate earlier and why it was so hard to knock her out. Could explain the weight loss too. Let’s hope withdrawal isn’t too rough.”
“It is.”
>He rubbed his face with his hoof in irritation.
>”Of course it is.”
>A chocolate brown Earth stallion came by and began to gesture in a bizarre manner.
>Lyra didn’t know Standardized Sign Language, she was at a loss.
>”What’s the half life?”
>He stomped 12 times.
>”12 hours? So most of it should be gone, she’ll be easier to manage. But the crash is still coming. What should we look out for?”
>Again, Lyra couldn’t make sense of what he was gesturing.
>”Well, loss of consciousness isn’t too bad at least.”
“What’s he saying?”
>”Brachycardia- uhh, very slow heart rate, and she might stop breathing or breath too slowly. With the missing lung that could be bad, but on the other hoof she’s already on oxygen. This isn’t bad news, Lyra. I know it sounds bad but it’s actually a relief.”
>He didn’t seem to be lying.
>But they’d messed Twilight up REALLY bad!
“How exactly is it a relief?”
>”Because we know what we’re looking for, and if it is this stuff then we can treat it. We’ll still take a blood sample to confirm, but things are much easier once we know what we’re looking for. If you’ll excuse me.”
>He walked away, presumably returning to his business.
>>
>>33593929
>Lyra couldn’t help but be surprised that they didn’t already know about the stimulants.
>Apparently they were able to request the information, they must have been allowed to know about them.
>Had that detail simply been forgotten in the panic of the previous day?
>In the end that didn’t really matter.
>All that mattered at the moment was that Bon-Bon recovered.
>She peered through the glass, watching the pony she cared for most thrashing violently at her bindings.
>The intercom wasn’t on but Lyra could imagine the whimpering cries of grief and terror, the tortured sounds of a mare being tormented by the shadows of their imagination.
>Lyra pushed the button.
>And she began to sing.
“Hush now quiet now it’s time to lay your sleepy head…”
>Her sweet voice carried the soothing tune, the melody seeming to ease a previously unseen tension.
>The overwhelming stench of sanitiser and glaring of the fluorescent lights seemed to fade away into nothingness, leaving in their wake a sensation of safety and comfort.
>The feeling of home.
“Hush now quiet now it’s time to go to bed…”
>Bon-Bon had stopped her thrashing.
>Lyra had done this last time Bonny had come home messed up.
>And she’d do it a million times more if she had to.
>Though she was quite hopeful she wouldn’t have to.
>Somepony came by wearing a hazmat suit and walked into the room.
>They fiddled with the IV bags and began to wipe Bon-Bon down with a sponge.
>Once they were satisfied that they’d gotten the bulk of the sweat they swapped out the ice packs and then produced a syringe to draw some blood.
>Bon-Bon didn’t so much as flinch.
>The pony made a point of removing the sharp and properly disposing of it before walking away, doubtlessly well aware of the hazard it represented.
>It took a few minutes for them to finally vacate the room, the smell of ammonia was overpowering.
“You really don’t mess around with this stuff, do you?”
>>
>>33593934
>They shook their head as a response.
>Not talking.
>They were probably the mute one.
“Good. I had the plague, you know. I’d never been more sick in my life.”
>He stared at her in silence.
“I didn’t used to understand that it was possible to be this evil. Maybe I still don’t understand.”
>They cocked their head slightly.
“I understand hurting others to get what you want. I don’t like it, but sometimes you have no choice. Sometimes circumstance decides that there’s no other way, that you need to force yourself on others. You need to stop them or else something terrible will happen. Sometimes it’s not even their fault and you still need to do it. Most of the time it’s not a problem, right? Equestria’s usually pretty safe. Ponies are pretty peaceful.”
>Lyra hesitated for a moment before continuing, not entirely certain how to proceed.
>She had just started speaking without thinking, overcome by the emotion of seeing Bonny in this terrible condition.
“They’re different, aren’t they? All the poisons, all the plagues- you don’t need to do that to win the fight. You don’t need to risk infecting all of Equestria to protect yourself. You don’t need to sack Ponyville either. They’re not hurting others to achieve their goals, hurting others IS their goal.”
>”I didn’t understand that either.”
>Lyra jumped in shock.
>"Sorry, I thought you were mute. And you sound exactly like princess Celestia? Oh.”
>Lyra turned around to gaze upon the princess.
>”I’ve come to apologize. Seems as though I’m doing that quite often as of late.”
“What for?”
>”It’s my fault that you risked exposure to the plague. My fault that Caduceus was endangered as well. I’d read that these ponies would be taking charge at 12 and understood it to mean noon rather than midnight. It’s really quite embarrassing.”
“It’s okay, princess. I’m fine.”
>”So I see. I’m glad.”
>>
>>33593937
>The princess didn’t say anything for a while.
>She looked almost afraid to speak.
>”How is she?”
“Not great.”
>”Yeah. I know. I’ve read the reports, I just… I’m scared, Lyra.”
“Yeah. Me too.”
>”It was supposed to be over by now. Maybe it would have been. I keep getting ponies coming by with petitions about taxes and public services, some ponies saying there are too many national parks and some saying there aren’t enough. Time was I’d do my best to find a solution that worked for everypony, I’d think these little things through from every angle to try and fix even the tiniest of problems.”
>She stayed silent for several seconds.
>”That’s what I’m good at. That’s what I understand. That’s what I LIVED for! Devoting myself to polishing Equestria to perfection, trying to make a shining beacon of harmony that all might aspire to. No, not trying. Succeeding. Today I cancelled court entirely. I turned everypony away, cancelled all of my meetings. I’m tired, Lyra.”
>Lyra couldn’t blame the princess.
>She was tired too, and she hadn’t been tied up in this for nearly as long.
>The princess stared through the glass at Bon-Bon.
>Lyra wasn’t certain, but she thought she heard some faint sniffling.
>”She’s not the only one. Their last outing was a catastrophe.”
“Are they...”
>She didn’t want to say it.
>”One is. We’ll see about the rest. We’d have lost them all were it not for Bon-Bon.”
“Really?”
>”She kept fighting even after getting stung. Broke the stinger off and kept going. She somehow managed to break his leg before blacking out. He was slowed enough that they could be flown out.”
>That certainly sounded like her.
>Bon-Bon had always been unwilling to give up.
>Or perhaps unable.
>”While I was busy ruining everything, she managed to pick up most of the pieces. I owe her more than I can ever repay.”
>Bon-Bon sat up.
>>
>>33593939
>It came as quite a surprise given she was ostensibly asleep and chained down.
>The mask was pushed aside and the ice packs moved down to her belly.
>Broken chains dangled from her one leg as she activated the intercom.
>”What, did my last pay cheque bounce?”
>”You’re awake?”
>”I think so. Hold on, I’ll go check.”
>She still sounded so weak.
>But she was joking around.
>That was a good sign, right?
>”Agent- no. Sweetie Drops. I’m sorry. I know it’s not worth much, but I am so so sorry.”
>Bon-Bon held the mask to her muzzle for a while.
>It was clearly taxing on her to try and speak in this condition.
>It didn’t take too long for her to take it off and speak once more.
>”I don’t blame you.”
>”But it’s my fault. I made the thing that did this to you.”
>”I know. But I don’t blame you.”
>”But it’s my fault!”
>”Lyra? Please bop her on the back of the head for me. Not hard, just enough to feel.”
“Uhh, okay?”
>She tapped Celestia lightly with her magic.
>”You blew it. But it’s not your fault.”
>The princess blinked a couple of times, clearly confused by what was going on.
>Bon-Bon took a few more breaths from her mask.
>”You’re the peaceful friendly one. You aren’t cut out to deal with them, but that’s okay. We still need you for other things.”
>”But I’m responsible for so much suffering, I’ve ruined everything!”
>”You screwed up. In your position you get to make really big mistakes. But you’re still just a pony, and everypony makes mistakes. But you’ll learn from this one, and you’ll do better next time. And there will be a next time. We’ll clean this up, don’t you worry.”
>The princess didn’t say anything.
>A look of confusion was plastered on her face, the words coming out of Bon-Bon’s mouth not quite making sense to her.
>”The fever. You’re delusional.”
>>
>>33593941
>”I’m tired. Lyra, please make her stop beating herself up. And tell them to stop trying to knock me out.”
>She lie down once more, mask and ice returned to their rightful positions.
>Only then did Lyra notice that one of the IV drips had been disconnected.
>When had she done that?
>Celestia just stood around for a while, evidently lost in thought.
>Lyra wasn’t sure what to say.
>She was shocked!
>Bon-Bon had a serious grumpy streak, she’d get irritated at every little thing!
>And here something terrible had happened to her, and she was trying to cheer up the pony responsible.
>”I- I have to go.”
>Celestia vanished in a flash of light and a wave of soothing radiance.
>”Lyra? I need to talk to you in private for a while.”
“You should rest.”
>”I can’t.”
>Lyra looked around herself.
>There were no other ponies in sight, but the intercom was hardly private.
“Hold on.”
>She ran off to find Dr. White.
>It didn’t take long for her to discover him reading through a stack of papers on a clipboard.
“Can I go in her room?”
>”No.”
“But-”
>”No.”
“I need to talk to her in private.”
>”We’ll give you some privacy.”
“Can’t I just-”
>”No.”
“You’re mean.”
>”Yup.”
“And there’s nothing I can do to convince you to-”
>”No.”
>Lyra left with a pout on her face.
“Sorry, Bonny. They won’t let me in.”
>”That’s okay.”
>She hadn’t sat up to speak that time.
>Her words were barely intelligible, her voice weak and distant.
>”I don’t want you getting sick.”
“Are you sure you should be talking?”
>She took another draw from her mask.
>”They cancelled the surgery until my fever breaks.”
“Are you going to be okay?”
>”Sure. Plenty of fluids and all that. Why do they say fluids instead of water? There are plenty of fluids I shouldn’t have. I don’t think they want me drinking mercury.”
“Probably not. What about Berry’s special sauce?”
>>
>>33593942
>”Sounds like a good idea.”
>She smiled slightly.
>”What about gases? Will chlorine gas help?”
“Maybe. But I’ve heard that the best thing for a fever is supercritical fluids. I can hook you up.”
>”Sounds like something they’d offer at one of those fancy clinics. I think I’ll stick to ocean water for now.”
>Lyra’s face was aching.
>She hadn’t smiled this much in quite a while.
>Yes, Bon-Bon was hurt.
>But she was acting like herself.
>She was being her slightly goofy self.
>Lack of grumpiness aside, of course
“Does it hurt?”
>”Not bad. They’re giving me pretty good painkillers. Kinda worried about giving up on them, but that’s a problem for future Bon-Bon.”
“What about the stimulants?”
>”Yeah. That’s going to be rough. If I get really weepy or yell at you I’m sorry.”
>She put the mask on yet again.
>Lyra wasn’t certain, but it seemed as though she was using it less than before.
>Surely she was just imagining it, Bonny hadn’t recovered that much over the last couple of minutes.
“You having any trouble breathing?”
>”Yeah. But not that bad. Honestly I’m not sure I’d need the mask if I wasn’t talking. The poison’s been worked out and I think I’ve stopped bleeding, so the worst is over. Except for the fever. You know, some ponies train at high altitude to get used to low oxygen environments. Gets more hemoglobin in the blood, helps with cardio. I never bothered with that. Maybe I should have.”
>Maybe.
>But that didn’t matter anymore.
>That life was behind her.
>There was no way she could return to the field after this.
>”I’m looking forward to getting out of here and going home.”
“So am I! It’s been way too long. I miss you.”
>”I miss you too.”
“Are...”
>She really didn’t want to ask.
>”Yeah. I’m sure I’m be coming home.”
“But the doctor said-”
>”The doctor doesn’t know how stubborn I am. I’m not going to die on you, I like living too much.”
>>
>>33593945
“But you sound so weak.”
>”How about now?”
>Her voice was much stronger suddenly.
>Still weaker than it was meant to be, but nowhere near so bad as before.
>”I’ve still got one lung. It just hurts to talk louder. I’m going to be okay, I promise.”
>Lyra could hear yelling in the distance.
>It sounded kinda like Luna.
>”And I’m telling you that’s not good enough!”
>She was getting closer.
>It sounded like she was talking to Dr. White.
>”We’re surprised she’s ALIVE! And you want me to promise you she’ll make a full recovery?”
>”No, I want you to DELIVER a full recovery, and I want it soon!”
>”She was IMPALED!”
>”She’s a survivor. It'll take more than a little impaling to stop her.”
>Something was wrong with Bon-Bon.
>She looked agitated, her eyes darting around like mad.
>Her breathing looked rapid and shallow despite the obvious pain of the broken rib.
>Celestia piped in.
>”Sister, I’m sure they’re doing their best.”
>”They’d damn well better! I need her back in the field.”
>The trio had come into view.
>White was yelling at Luna in shocked anger.
>”You’re SENDING her BACK?”
>Luna was SENDING her back?
>”She’s the best we’ve got, of course I am.”
>”Are you insane? Her lung’s going to be half scar tissue! She can’t fight!”
>”She can fight better with one lung than most of our agents could with five.”
>Lyra was glaring at Luna, not fully believing what she was hearing.
>”Whatever did this to her-”
>”Is STILL out there, and she’s the ONLY one who’s EVER gotten in its way. You’re going to tell me how long until she’s ready for duty, and you’re going to tell me now.”
>The good doctor showed an incredible amount of bravery.
>He looked Luna in the eye as he defied her.
>”Never.”
>”What was that? I must have misheard you.”
>Luna said as she returned the glare.
>>
>>33593947
>”Sweetie Drops is NEVER going back to the field. She’s getting an honorable discharge the instant we send her home.”
>Luna called on her magic.
>Bon-Bon screamed.
>It was a bizarre shriek, high pitch and shrill but lucking in the force one might expect from a cry of sheer terror.
>The trio of visitors immediately looked her way only to see her fall gracelessly out of bed, pulling the IV pole down atop her as she landed on her face.
>Luna seemed confused.
>”What’s going on here?”
>”No- no! They’re everywhere! Stay away, no!”
>She thrashed about wildly, striking at things that only she could see.
>”The darkness is coming! THE DARK IS COMING! IT’S COMING FOR US AGAIN AND MORE!”
>The bed exploded into shrapnel as her hoof clipped the side, the nearby table exploded not long after.
>”Get her away from me!”
>Tears were falling freely from her face.
>”No, Lyra help!”
>That’s all Lyra needed to hear.
>She turned to Luna and called her magic.
>She wasn’t armed and she was horribly outmatched, but she had to try!
>Bon-Bon was counting on her.
>Lyra threw a geyser strike at one of the windows to the unoccupied rooms, shattering the glass.
>She hurled the shards at Luna.
>This was excessive force, THIS was going too far.
>But she could afford to hold nothing back right now.
>Luna was the superior fighter, and Bon-Bon needed her to win.
>As the sharpened shrapnel approached something bizarre happened.
>It went straight through her, not so much as drawing a drop of blood.
>Lyra hurled it again, making a razor sharp undertown right in the middle of the night princess’ body.
>Whenever the shards approached small parts of Luna’s body would fade out, turning into pure shadow to allow the blow through harmlessly.
>Celestia ran out of the way while shouting.
>”CALL CODE WHITE!”
>”I’M RIGHT HERE!”
>The doctor replied as he too fled.
>”NO, CALL THE CODE!”
>>
>>33593957
>A stray shard of glass cut into Celestia’s leg, spilling a small amount of blood.
>Lyra hadn’t meant to do that.
>But she was too busy to apologize.
>Too busy to care.
>Luna stood tall, defiant and unfazed.
>”You really don’t want to do this.”
>Lyra threw geyser strikes at Luna’s knees hoping to knock her off balance.
>They too failed to find purchase.
>Luna’s horn began to glow.
>The vile tainted magic filled the air, and with it Bon-Bon’s horrified cries.
>Lyra saw from the corner of her eye as Bonny struggled to her hooves.
>And then collapsed, unconscious.
>Luna’s telekinesis grabbed Lyra by the neck and effortlessly hurled her to the ground.
>The glass wasn’t doing anything!
>She needed another weapon!
>Lyra gathered up Celestia’s blood and threw it at Luna as a final act of desperation.
>A small trickle, barely even a few drops.
>Luna’s eyes bugged out when it hit.
>A blinding flash of crimson light exploded from the sight of impact, eerie otherworldly flames dancing upon her hide.
>Ghastly ethereal noises clawed at the back of her mind, the diabolical presence of Luna's magic seeming to waft out as though it were smoke.
>Luna opened her mouth to scream, but could only croak.
>She collapsed to the ground, her knees failing her.
>This was her chance.
>Lyra threw wild, raw magic at the pony before her to destabilize any nearby spells.
>To reveal the illusion that was now hiding Erebus beneath an equine mask.
>And she found nothing.
>No illusions, no enchantments, NOTHING.
>The only hint of magic was coming from her horn, and it was idle.
>The burning on Luna’s hind quarters was fading.
>Her horn flashed, and she vanished.
>Lyra wasn’t certain what had just happened.
>She’d worry about it later.
“Bonny!”
>Somepony had already suited up and rushed to Bon-Bon’s aid, reconnecting the IV and re-affixing the mask.
>Fresh blood was staining the bandages, her wounds having torn open during her maddened thrashing.
>>
>>33593965
>Celestia was barking orders as she approached, bandage already fixed to her leg.
>”Someone find my sister! Check her room, and if she’s not there look for dark places, anywhere where the lights are out! You! Get Zero’s psychologist in here YESTERDAY! She just had a psychotic episode! I need an agent in here to make an immediate arrest! And you.”
>Celestia glared straight into Lyra’s eyes.
>Lyra had never before seen that kind of anger, that kind of RAGE from the princess.
>”You hurt my sister.”
“She was going to hurt Bon-Bon!”
>”She was going to do no such thing!”
“Bonny-”
>”Was having a PSYCHOTIC EPISODE! Did you THINK that that was a healthy mind speaking there? Raving about how the dark was coming?”
“I had to protect her, and I’ll do it again!”
>”Lyra, you hurt my sister. You’ve been a thorn in my side for far too long, and you’re just getting worse.”
>Something shot past Lyra faster than she could see.
>In the blink of an eye she’d been wrestled to the ground.
>”You’re getting locked away for a VERY long time. Wait, what’s that growling noise?”
>”Sister!”
>A pained yell came from nearby.
>Celestia ran to the source.
>”She cut you, are you alright?”
>”You’re worried about ME? What about you?”
>”No, I’m not bloody alright! You have no idea how bad this hurts!”
>”I’m going to arrest her, she nearly blew up the palace earlier! She can't keep getting away with this!”
>”Oh, no you aren’t! Not until I’m done with her! I made a pact, I can’t arrest her. But I can damn well break her face!”
>”She forced a pact out of you? Oh, she’s never getting out!”
>”Wait. Is the growling getting louder?”
>A stallion’s voice came from behind Lyra, presumably from the pony who had her pinned.
>”Princess? I think we have a problem.”
>>
>>33593970
>They quickly got off of Lyra’s back.
>She didn’t waste a second in standing up.
>Celestia and Luna returned in a hurry.
>Bon-Bon was lying on the ground, clutching her chest by the bloodied bandages.
>She was growling, her mouth foaming, her eye twitching.
>”Is there a problem?”
>She choked the words more than said them.
>Luna and Celestia shared quick, worried glances.
>Celestia spoke first.
>”Hold on a second.”
>The two of them ran back around the corner again.
>”Oh crap! We forgot about Zero. ‘Tia, we might have to back down a bit.”
>”But she’s wounded!”
>”She’s CRAZY is what she is! Do you want to make an enemy of her?”
>”By the stars, she wouldn’t forgive us until we gave up Lyra. And maybe not even after that! You need her to stop Eurynomos!”
>”Forget that, just imagine what she’d do to US!”
>”You're RIGHT! Nowhere would be safe! She’d destroy EVERYTHING! Can’t you control her?”
>”Yeah, once I find her I can drop a nuke on her! Just follow the fires, I’m sure I’ll find her somewhere in the crater that used to be Canterlot!”
>The two of them returned, both smiling nervously.
>Celestia didn’t quite look Lyra in the eye when she spoke.
>”Perhaps we’ve been a little hasty. What if we stuck to the two years I’d mentioned before?”
>The guttural noises coming from the room changed in pitch, becoming less equine over time.
>Luna cut in.
>”You know, that’s a bit harsh, and we COULD use a pony with your talents. Our agents are pretty busy as of late, and there’s always nasty stuff coming out of Everfree. Maybe if you scared away the monsters for a while?”
>Bon-Bon was crawling toward the window, the doctor trying desperately to stop her.
>Celestia laughed nervously.
>>
>>33593976
>”You know, I’d rather she stay away from violence for a while, give her a chance to rehabilitate and return to normal society. Maybe a little community service? Is that okay? No? Maybe just pay for the window?”
>Bon-Bon climbed up against the wall and pressed her face to the window.
>She glared at the princesses with a mad glint in her eye as she dragged one hoof slowly across her neck.
>Luna was almost hysterical at this point.
>”Actually, we could really use help with a very special project. See, agent zero is going to need somepony to help her recover. Maybe you could do that? Just spend time with her and help her out around the house? What, that’s STILL not good enough? Oh, no criminal record of course! We can’t have a paper trail leading back to S.M.I.L.E.”
>Bon-Bon pointed at her eyes before pointing at the royal sisters, gesturing to them that she would be watching.
>She then collapsed to the ground.
>The two sisters deflated, allowing the fear to bleed away.
>Celestia was clearly unhappy with the situation.
>”We just let a dangerous felon walk free.”
>A weak and quivering voice replied.
>”What did you just call Lyra?”
>Celestia began to back away.
>”A talented musician!”
>Luna followed suit.
>The two of them and the agent seemed all too eager to leave.
“What the hay just happened?”
>”Hold still, you’re making it worse!
>Lyra returned her focus to Bon-Bon.
>She was rolling around on the ground, struggling with the physician.
“Bonny, it’s okay. We’re okay. They’re gone.”
>And just that quickly Bon-Bon went limp.
>>
>>33593978
>There were so many questions.
>Just who was Bon-Bon what she could scare the bejeezus out of the princesses like that?
>Why did Luna react to Celestia’s blood like that? It looked like what Moondancer had said holy water would do. But Moondancer also said that if she was a demon there would be an illusion and Lyra wouldn't be able to look straight at her.
>And speaking of Luna, why the hay wasn’t she in quarantine?
>Had she not been exposed to the plague?
>None of this made any sense.
>But there were more urgent things to worry about.
“Doc? Is Bonny okay?”

That's it.
I probably made a mistake or two. That deadline was indeed too short. Lesson learned.
Not crazy about this update, but I don't think it was possible to make it much better at this point. I had to set up a number of elements for the plot to work, and either because of poor planning or pure incompetence it would up being that we had an entire update devoted almost purely to setup. In general it's better to spread that stuff out since the setup itself isn't interesting, it's the payoff people are after. Hopefully it was worth reading regardless.
>>
>>33593986
It still boggles my mind how can you manage to be so productive.
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>>33593986
Jesus Christ man, no need for this ridiculous pace. You'll end up literally "kill" if you try to keep this up - either through exhaustion or by committing sudoku because all the errors and no time to plan stuff properly will drive you mad.

As for the fic - what the hell just happened?!
>Luna is demonic in nature while Celestia is angelic - confirmed
>they are somehow siblings
What. What kind of wild party happened those millennia ago that spawned these two?! This is some Greek mythology level debauchery. Unless they got those traits later on, which I still don't understand because how the hell can you swap species to "become" part angel/demon?On a side note "an angel and a demon ruling a kingdom" feels like a premise of one of those sitcoms from the 90s, with canned laughter and all that.
>Luna is apparently immune to all physical attacks (except holy) but somehow gets her ass handed to her by a demon who uses physical attacks.
This I don't get.
>The burning on Luna’s hind quarters was fading.
>Her horn flashed, and she vanished.
Kek,you just made her literally butthurt about Lyra now. I wish we'd know how her magic looked when she disappeared, but as you didn't specify I'm going to assume it was still the corrupted one. All I know is Moondancer is gonna have an episode similar to Bon Bon when she hears all this. That or an heart attack. Or both.

Man those last few updates took the story in a new direction. From trying to stop the Tide and not!Nurgle to "what the fuck are the Sisters even?!" Can't say I'm not enjoying it though.

tl;dr of my reaction while reading this update:
https://youtu.be/oXYZttxunPw
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>>33593986
I haven't read any of this, but Celestia and Luna seem like complete and utter cunts not to mention hypocrites.
>>
>>33593986
Nice.

>>33594367
- Celestia has been living her worst nightmare for years now, watching the cute, happy, carefree paradise she tweaked for millennia getting turned into a cold and brutally efficient industrialized & militarized Orwellian state..
- Luna has fifty/fifty of being a demon lord using the ponies as a weapon to overtake hell since the beginning. In any case, she has been at war for month with something that wouldn't have been a problem if she didn't poke it, and that is constantly getting stronger and stronger while her own resources dwindle.
So yeah, mentally they are completely fucked by now.
>>
>>33594367
>>33594515
Not to mention Lyra's been caught doing shady stuff and keeps talking her way out of it.
Lyra's been working an angle and it looks like the stuff she's been doing has produced a solution to the overarching problem (I look forward to her plan going wrong), but the sisters don't know that yet. They just know that every time they see Lyra she's she's just finished breaking some law.

This update frames things in a new light though. How much of the leniency she's seen has been because of Lyra's periodically discovered heroism and charisma checks, and how much is because they're scared of Bon? She threatened to kill them when they asked Lyra to pay for a window, and apparently it was a credible threat.
>>
>>
>>33594515
Sounds dumb. Why do people insist on writing edgy drama and suspense with ponies? The settings all wrong it never works.
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>>33596466
It almost never works. Sometimes I do really like to read stories with a bit of 'edge' to it so long as it's not pointlessly overdone.
>>
>>33592141
>>33593559
and anyone,yes,eating a sandwich.
>>
>>
>>33593996
Don't get used to this pace.
>>33594319
Yeah, I'm not going to make a habit of that. And how is Luna getting her ass handed to her? Well, there's more to Not Nurgle's attacks than just sharp glass, and there's more than one way to bleed a moonhoers. Speaking of would you believe I'd never heard of Nurgle before today? I never really got into 40k. I've got a few friends who are and I've talked to them about it from time to time, but if Nurgle's ever come up I'd forgotten about him.

And as for >>33596466 (you) I've written the my longest ever reply, because I think this needs to be addressed. I don't blame you for feeling this way, but things aren't quite so simple.
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>>33597360
>>33596466
This will likely come as no surprise, but I disagree. It can work if it's done right. Cute and happy settings provide a contrast to nastiness that can be useful.
Have you ever played Kirby's Dreamland 2/3 or Kirby 64? These games are exceptional examples of what I'm talking about. It's been quite a while since I played them so if there are any Kirby super fans please forgive any mistakes.
Zero exists (pic related, it's not Bon-Bon). Zero is an ageless sapient that is surrounded by infinite emptiness and chaos. There is a world beyond the endless chaos, a world of impermanence and change. In this world of meaningless life, the lost life forms spread throughout the galaxy, searching for purpose. Their impermanence and fleeting nature has doomed them to suffering followed by oblivion. Zero will save them.
He will make them into something greater, something eternal, something with purpose.
All it will cost them is their free will, their autonomy, their very souls. And nothing of value will be lost. Zero creates vessels of its consciousness and scatters them throughout this world of change to wipe away One small corner of reality has rejected his gift. One tiny planet called Pop Star has refused to bow to Zero's will, his agent destroyed by their greatest champion. Zero decides to examine this place personally, not sending an avatar but appearing in the flesh. He appeared in the sky above Pop Star, blocking out the sun. Within seconds all of Dreamland's inhabitants had been liberated of their autonomy save for one. Armed with the tools of the ancients, Kirby did battle with Zero. And for the first time, Zero experienced pain. A new and incomprehensible sensation that burned through his flesh. In his rage, Zero tore his own body asunder to crush the pest that scorned his gifts. A final desperate attempt to bring an end to the transient being that had caused the eternal giant such pain. And in the end, Zero died.
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>>33597368
But to an eternal entity such as Zero, death was more of a learning experience than an ending. Reborn with an angelic appearance and constant bloody tears, Zero vowed to himself that he would return to their world to free them from the burden of existence.

THIS IS A GAME WHERE A SMILING PINK BALL BEATS UP A DOPEY LOOKING TREE BY THROWING APPLES AT IT.

What makes it work? How can such edge possibly mesh with a setting as bright and cheerful as Kirby? It's actually quite easy, and it's a lesson I think many writers could stand to learn. Nothing exists in a perfect vacuum, not even ideas or concepts. All things are contextualized by their surroundings. The human mind can and will adapt itself to its surroundings, growing numb to both the pain and pleasure of everyday life, and so it is only the exceptional and the unexpected that truly impacts us in a meaningful way. When we go full bore into the grimdark, the darkness loses its meaning. 40k is known for being completely over the top and absurd in the scale of suffering with entire galaxies being killed off in the blink of an eye, and yet most 40k fans I've talked to say that it seldom bothers them. Without the contrast there is nothing special about the terrors, there is merely the expected. After all, how can there be dark without light? When we do these things in a setting such as Equestria we set up a marvelous contrast, the stakes seem higher, the villains more vile. This comes with its own set of challenges, one must find a way to advance the plot without the darkness consuming the contrasting light, and this is something I struggle with. I add in silly bits about pony names leading to misunderstandings and Derpy derping, but it still feels like I need more. I'm under no illusion that I've executed this perfectly, but there's a method to the madness. Why do I choose to mix ponies with such horrors?
Because with no light there can be no darkness.
And the darker the night, the more brilliant the dawn.
>>
bump till i read the update
>>
>>33596466
For me it's the really cheesy action sequences that ruin it, not the suspense.
>>
>>33597375
Not the Anon you're replying to, but in my opininon the difference between Kirby and MLP grimfics and the reason why the former is easier to accept than the latter is that the lore and what is actually happening is in the background, while what we see is, as you put it, "a smiling pink ball beats up a dopey looking tree by throwing apples at it". Meanwhile in fics like yours we get to read in detail about the blood, the gore and the suffering the characters are experiencing. I've never played any Kirby games but I don't think they show any of that there. Besides, the whole premise of your fic is that it starts with the protagonist living in this colorful, happy facade and only with time slowly uncovers what's actually happening and how the world really works. Please don't stop doing detailed scenes. Firstly: we're too far into the story to change it now. Secondly (and more important to me): I love rich descriptions, especially in fights. There are not many things that I dislike more in fiction than a fight or duel that's done in a few sentences, after being hyped for a few chapters.
>>
>>33597556
>>
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>>33598298
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>>33599580
I miss her.
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>>33600774
Yeah I know how you feel
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>>33600402
>>
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>>33602600
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>>33600774
Don't worry GLaDOS is "Still Alive"
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>>33605282
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>>33605758
Hey that reminds me was there once a story here about something like an AI Cave Johnson in Equestria?
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>>33594319
Now Im afraid of BonBon. Even if she does not exists.
Celestia angelic/Luna demonic. I expected both of them to be demonic.
At least now Celestia IS the weapon that can be used agains others. Just have to grind her down and make bullets out of her. Demon killer bullets.
Other Anon mentioning Lunas plan to overtake the other realms. Now it makes sense. Luna needs to be gone asap and possibly killing Celestia too. The former wont stop while the later wont do anything useful.
I wonder if Cadance and Twilight is some sort of demon/angel. Or neither of them knows about beeing one.

>Celestia still tries to punish Lyra while Luna already thinking about making a weapon out of her.
Now we are getting somewhere.

Dont change a thing, I like your green as is. I feel like thus is about 3/4 way done right? Thanks for the update.
>>
bump
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>>33605758
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>>33606511
I don't think that story ever really got off the ground
>>
#deca.mare update >>33610348
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>>33571081
Would actually be cool if Derpy had a visor that tracks her eye positions and projects an image in the lazy eye's field of view of what it should be looking at.
So, even if her eyes are looking left and right, the visor maker her effectively see straight ahead.
>>
boop from work
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>>33610891
Get the fuck back to work Anon.
Management is monitoring your internet activity since the last incident.
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>>33610929
Good. I watch tons of porn. Thats my job. Seriously.
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>>33611050
Now that's a job I'm willing to bet does not exist in equestria
>>
>>33610441
Ooh did not notice this. sweet
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>>33612279
yea, sad times.
But I seriously watch porn at work. Getting tired of it. You wont believe how fucking ugly are most woman. You think you saw ugly. No. The system only shows you recommendations. Ugly ones dont get any. I have bulk access to live streams, alas I can scroll through all without algorithmic ordering magic.
>>
>>33613795
yikes I can only imagine how much that must suck
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>>33586867
I re-read steel sanctuary about 3 times already and would do it again if I find the time and motivation, I fucking loved it
>>
>>33614968
Same.
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>>33614968
>>33615040
Honestly my favorite part hast to be him just grinding his way up from stone age to space age tech. It's really cool to read about that kind of progression.
>>
>>33615477
this, and the technobabble really makes me tingle.
>>
>>33598045
>Difference.
Not entirely true, but close enough. Good point.
I'm not going to stop with detailed scenes. One planned fight is expected to be an entire chapter. It might wind up shorter if I run out of ideas or it starts to drag on, but it has to be big.

>>33607419
>3/4 done
Something like that? Maybe closer, I don't know. I've a terrible track record with predicting these things.

>>33610456
Cute. Fund it!

>>33614968
>>33615040
>>33615477
>>33615689
Even all this time later people are still into it. I don't fancy myself a grand philosopher or propagandist, the main reason for these stories is to entertain. If people want more stuff like Steel Sanctuary I'll try to deliver. Even if it was poorly written. It MIGHT be possible to return to that world, but no promises. It's hard to continue with that Anon at this point because he's become too powerful; aside from internal struggle there's little room for conflict. More Titans I suppose? It'd be nigh on impossible to continue with >>33615477 though. In fiction he's not at the top. I repeatedly referred to the people of Sol having better tech than he did so there is hypothetically room for improvement, but I'd really have to stretch my imagination to say what that looks like. Magitech provides a good amount of breathing room, but again there'd be some heavy lifting to be done in coming up with things he actually needed magic for. Marginal improvements and minor optimizations are useful, but boring.

Even if I never return to that setting I'll look for another way to do a sci-fi power fantasy. They're fun. Perhaps a human that has managed to mechanize magic? He could cast spells faster and on a grander scale than ponies without the limitations of the body.
Wait, wasn't there a green like that with a computer programmer, and "magic" was just injecting code into the universe? What happened to that one?
>>
>>33617000
I have to admit I'm curious what a Steel Sanctuary 2 Electric Boogaloo would be like
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>>33617906
>>33617000
one shot about steel sanctuary anon crossing the barrier to red shift world and fixing everything when?
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>>33617000
I would certainly like another story similar in nature to Steel Sanctuary. Maybe something like watching Anon building his own nation that starts out low tech and then they end up with hover cars and shit.
>>
>>
>>33618166
Yeah same here buddy
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>>33620460
I just really like reading about a human, Anon or otherwise, causing Equestria to go through a technological boom.
>>
>>33618166
isn't there already a story like that
don't know the name of the story, but the city/country's called lancaster
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>>33620716
Not quite the same, but good nonetheless. I'm talking about one that isn't 1920's technology I'm talking about one that has at least moon landing level tech.
>>
>>33620723
i don't remember, is that story still ongoing?
if so, it might get to that point eventually
>>
>>33620732
Nah, it's been long dead like pretty much all fics on this thread.
>>
Okay, pitch time. It's not Steel Sanctuary.

Sci-fi anon helps the Crusaders with their science fair project. He goes completely overboard.

Should be easy to fit technobabble in. For that matter it might be hard to keep it out.
Any interest?
>>
Oh right, first he'd have to build a proper lab.

>>33618166
>>33620723
Might as well address this while I'm here. I don't intend to do a story about Anon building a city because there are already a few about that and I'm still holding out hope that some writefags come back. I don't want to stop on their toes.
At some point it's inevitable, when writing for such a tiny niche as technophile horsefuckers you're going to have overlap, but there's no need to lift the core premise.
This isn't to say that it'll never happen, just not now.
>>
>>33620740
Rip Scotty
fuck you scotty
>>
>>33610456
>Derpy gets an Anti-Derp visor so that she can finally deliver mail without causing property damage or mixing things up.
>Ponyville is happy with the improved service, both its accuracy and speed.
>All except Rainbow Dash, who's suspicious.
>Her house is usually last on the route since it's location tends to drift about and could interfere with the times other ponies got mail if it happened to drift too far out of the mail route's path.
>Dash has never really cared about this, but, what most ponies don't know is that Dash is usually an early riser.
>It's one of the reasons she naps mid-day; she's awake before most other ponies.
>And she's usually awake long before Derpy drops off her mail.
>So how then, when she wakes up at the crack of dawn, is Derpy getting the mail to her house before she's awake?
>Deciding to follow the mare one day, Dash gets her answer.
>Derpy is fast.
>Really fast.
>When she had to worry about crashing into things because of her misaligned eyes, she flew at a leisurely pace, but that's not an issue anymore, and when Dash was trailing her, she could hardly keep up.
>Suddenly, Dash is reminded of her foalhood, and a race she lost handedly to a grey filly with a blonde mane.
>How could she have forgotten about her biggest rival?
https://derpibooru.org/1430972
>>
>>33617000
Or it's about the balkanised Equestria struggling to understand technology and magitech, while Anon is just occasionally in the background with Luna?
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>>33620988
I think that'd be fun.
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>>33621120
I'd read it.
>>
I just love stories like Steel Sanctuary, Nigel M Chalmers, Emperor, and Cultural Artifacts that feature or focus around extreme reforms.
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>>33620883
sounds like it could be cute & funny
>>
Can we go steampunk with this?
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>>33622846
Absolutely.
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>>33621884
I just like stories where humans have body modifications.
>>
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>>33622846
I don't see why not
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>>33622846
Dieselpunk is better, fite me.
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>>33624317
Yeah dieselpunk is also pretty cool. I feel it doesn't get the recognition it deserves
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>>33614444
Yea. Human womans starting to not turn me on, at all.
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>>33625812
something something gay joke
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>>33625812
Yeah that sounds rough
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bump
>>
What if you named your foal 'Turing Test'?
>>
I wanna see a space faring Anon turning his wrecked spacecraft into a city.
>>
>>33571081
>I can't really believe your story Anon, buildings with over 100 levels? Flying boats bigger than Ponyville? And yet there's no magic in your world? Please.
Twilight we are literally-
>"And that's another thing, don't miss use-"
Fucking! Literally standing on earth right fucking now
>The imposing skyline of New York hangs in the background as the purple pony tries to save face.
>"Well... Are you sure this is earth?"
Twilight...
>"I mean think about it, MAGIC, works in mysterious ways, maybe this is all just a psychic manifestations of your constant lieing."
Twilight don't fucking do this to me right now.
>"Actually anon, examining the evidence I think this actually is an illusion, here I'll just step into the road and despell it in a jiffy."
>Before you can react, a shady white van swings around the corner, swerving to avoid purple smart and stoping.
>A massive sweaty Italian man sticks his bushy head out the window, mustache quivering in rage.
>"The FUCK, do you think you're doing, get your god damn retarded ass dog out the fucking street."
>"See anon, if this was real that caridge would have hit me, this is clearly a- owww oww owe"
>As she smugly explains her flawless logic the man in the van pelts cellphones at purple smart, she swiftly teleports behind you and pokes her head out.
>"What the buck are you doing, that stings."
>"What the fuck do you think you're doing you're doing you Sudo magical bitch? Comeing over here, taking the jobs of our honest American acid trips. Where the fuck is the head of Nixon on a dragon going to get work huh?"
>The man flips flips the two of you off saying something else about European edibles, and drives away.
>You wave to the kids in the back of his van as twiggy nurses her head.
>You sigh and crouch down rubbing her back, she sighs and leans into you.
That better?
>"Yeah... Sorry about all this"
1/2
>>
>>33629408
>Your name is Anonymous
>One of the thousands of engineers aboard the U.S.S. Starbound
>Currently you find yourself waking up from your unplanned collision with the hard titanium flooring
>A voice makes its way into your head through the implant in your auditory cortex
>"Engineer #3040721 Anon registered as awake."
"Starbound? What happened?"
>"Ship ran into an unexpected obstacle, sending us on a crash course with the planet we were meant to observe. You appear to have been knocked unconscious during the process."
"You said we ended up on a crash course with the planet?"
>"Yes. Unfortunately my autopilot was unable to make the necessary corretions needed to avoid a crash landing."
"Damage report?"
>"Primary reactor still online. Multiple hull breaches. Several secondary and primary systems offline. Multiple thrusters and gravity engines offline. Movement impossible without repairs."
"And the crew?"
>"All dead upon impact. Survival chance less than 0.00001%. You were extremely lucky. All corpses have been moved to cryostasis to preserve for proper burial upon return to federation space."
"Shit. Please tell me that the autorepair bay is still functioning."
>"Negative. However scans show minimal damage. Molecular printing is still online, but will require resources as ours were lost during our descent."
"Great. Amazing. Perfect! What else could go wrong?! Next you'll tell me the mining drones are offline!"
>"Correct."
"FUCK YOU MURPHY!"
>"All Murphys stationed aboard this ship have already perished, and as such such an action would be labeled as necrophilia and therefore illegal according to federation laws."
"You know what, fuck it. Is there anything else I should know?"
>"Yes. Most of our medical supplies were destroyed in the crash and what wasn't was used to keep you alive."
"Keep me alive? Just how bad were my injuries."
>"Severe internal hemorrhaging, major concussion, several ruptured organs, and a missing leg."
"Jesus!"
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>>33629475
No sweat, no sweat. Finally believe me?
>"Yep hehe"
>She gives a little giggle wagging her tail.
>"Only humans could be this belligerent to a pony as cute as me"
>You scritch her ears earnings a little kick and a happy whine.
You know what, this is the first progress we've had in months so I'm going to let you keep that
>She just sighs and lays down, you follow suit soon after, your mutual combined hatred and sexual tension keeping you warm as the sun sets.
>You rest your hand on her flank, mindlessly stroking enjoying the moment.
This is... Nice?
>"Mmmhm for once I think we agree."
>She pauses for a moment in though.
>"Too nice."
Sparkles for the love of God
>"That sunset is far far too good just for "nature" or "physics" to make, this has to be magic."
Twiggles, Twiggles why, we were so fucking close.
>"Close to a lie! Look at that."
>You turn to face the sunset
>"Don't actually do that you'll hurt your eyes."
Right sorry
>You turn back to the purple unicorn.
>"A sun that beautiful can only be achieved by magical means, ergo something on this planet uses magic."
Twilight, I lived here for 21 years, what do you think everyone was just pretending not to have magic around me?
>"Well... No of course not that would be silly."
Thank you, I'm glad you've seen reason
>"It's far more likely a small cabal of the magically gifted are controling this world from the shadows."
God fucking damn it.
>"Here, I should be able to prove it to you"
>The pony magics over one of the less damaged cellphones from earlier, booting up the internet.
>"If there is a small group of humans controling the world with occult rituals, then I should be able to find them easily with my enhanced pony smarts."
That... Wait... Oh no purple smart no don't!
>But it was too late.
>And so, Twilight became the first /pol/ny
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>>33629491
>"Luckily you were station within the medbay at the time of the impact which allowed for quick treatment. However, as stated before, we are running low on medical supplies so I deemed it necessary to limit healing to only the most vital systems."
"That explains why I feel like I was run over by some kind of heavy land based mammal."
>"Correct. You are still suffering from multiple lacerations, puncture wounds, bruisings, and abrasions."
"Right. Anything else you wish to tell me?"
>"Negative."
"Alright then, guess I should get to work."
>"I do not recommend attempting physical labor in your condition."
"You said you got rid of the life threatening stuff right?"
>"Affirmative."
"Then I'll be fine. Not like a little pain has ever stopped me before."
>"I must inform you that trying to work in your state may damage your body further. I recommend at least another week to recuperate."
>In spite of it's protest you hear the hiss of the medbay pod locks releasing
"Don't worry I won't push myself too hard. But I'd go stir crazy if I sat in that pod for a whole week."
>"I could administer a dose of tranquilizer that would allow you to sleep through most of it if you wished."
"You said we were running low on medical supplies right?"
>"Correct."
"Then save it just in case. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it."
>"Affirmative."
"Right, well I suppose the first priority is getting resources. Are the long range scanners working?"
>"Negative. They were damaged in the crash.
"What about the short range scanners?"
>"Affirmative."
"Alright, use that to scan for any nearby mineral deposits."
>"Affirmative."
>The ship went silent for several moments as it scanned for minerals before it dinged
>"Scan for minerals came back positive."
"Well? Don't keep me waiting."
>"Small deposits of copper, iron, aluminum, nickel, tin, lead, and other metals detected in the immediate vicinity. Sending a detailed report to your implant."
>>
>>33629543
Sorry, it's getting late. I'll probably do more tomorrow, or rather later today.
>>
>>33629543
Anon seems to brush aside the whole only survivor way to quickly in my opinion, but regardless I am curious to see where you take this

>>33629522
>And so, Twilight became the first /pol/ny
Heh this got a bit of a chuckle out of me
>>
>>33629522
>And so, Twilight became the first /pol/ny
Goddamnit.
>>33629550
No worries, take your time.
Also HOLY SHIT NEW GREEN!
>>33629838
>Anon seems to brush aside the whole only survivor way to quickly
More like refuses to acknowledge it at all. There might be an explanation for that behavior though.
We know he's just learned that he's hurt and alone, but we don't get to know what Anon's thinking, so him focusing on his work might be a way to avoid descending into panic and despair.
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>>33630249
Basically this. Anon's an engineer so instead of focusing on a problem he can't fix he focuses on one he can.
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>>33629543
>Numbers roll in front of your eyes as you read the data that was just sent to you
"Relatively low amounts of copper, iron, and other usable metals. Decent size coal vein allows for alloying its carbon with any iron found to create steel. Unfortunately no titanium deposits nearby to allow for hull repairs. Wait, back up, show me those numbers again. Starbound are you sure these are correct?"
>"Positive. This area appears to be rich in rhodium, platinum, gold, gemstones, and other precious minerals."
"Hold up, are you saying I'm rich?"
>"Negative. All mining rights to this planet belong to the federation."
"Yeah, but they probably won't notice if I just take a bit with me will they?"
>"According to my programming I would be required to report such an action to the correct authorities."
"Damnit. Well there goes my hopes and dreams of an early retirement."
>"Correct."
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>>33630318
>>"Negative. All mining rights to this planet belong to the federation."
Well that's going to make things a tad awkward
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>>33630318
"So, where should I start?"
>"Scans reveal small copper deposits above ground in the immediate area. I recommend you put on one of the undamaged military grade power armor chassis for augmented strength. Then use your standard issued precision plasma cutter to ensure all above ground copper is free from constraints and load it upon an anti-grav cart. Once you bring it back here use molecular printing to shape it into any form necessary to repair the autorepair bay. Should there be any copper left the autorepair bay will take over and use it to repair mining drones which will start mining more metals, allowing the autorepair bay to continue functioning and repair other systems."
"Right. Get copper, repair autorepair bay, sit back and relax. Easy enough. Er, where are the power armor chassis?"
>Arrows appear in your field of vision, via your implants, directing you towards the power armor storage bay
>Upon reaching the power armor storage bay you run into the first of many problems, well aside from crashing onto this planet and almost becoming Swiss cheese
>"Power armor storage bay doors malfunctioning."
"Yes, I can see that."
>"I recommend using your standard issued precision plasma cutter to breach the door."
"Thank you, I couldn't have figured that out myself."
>"You're welcome."
>Apparently AI's couldn't understand sarcasm
>Nevertheless you did as it said and drew your plasma cutter from your utility belt
>Four pulls of the trigger later and you had yourself a square hole you could squeeze yourself through
>What you found on the other side was, predictably, a wide variety of power armor chassis, some small, some big, some pristine, and some in need of desperate repair
>"Unfortunately all power armor chassis tailored to your size have been damaged or destroyed. You will have to take one slightly larger which will reduce efficiency by approximately 2.7538%"
"Eh, it could be worse. At least I don't have to try and squeeze into one of the small ones."
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>>33631371
Anon is not allowed to take any resources for personal gain, but in an emergency situation he may mine resources and use them in his repair efforts with no repercussions.
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>>33630318
>"Hold up, are you saying I'm rich?"
>"Negative. All mining rights to this planet belong to the federation."
I can understand no reaction upon hearing he's the only survivor on an alien world, but how could anyone hear THIS and not break down?
0/10 totally unrealistic green
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>>33631506
Here's a pastebin. Sorry that it's mostly just text dump, I'm still pretty new to this subject and don't really know how to write it.
https://pastebin.com/1JdyArZV
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>>33631565
Looks ok.
Thankfully because you used quotation marks for Anon's speech and angle brackets plus quotation marks for the other characters it's now easy to know who's speaking what line even in pastebin. You won't believe how many writefags rely solely on text color (which works here but not when reading on pastebin).
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>>33631951
Yeah, I know what that's like. It just looks weird, the green is a lot brighter than the green on here.
>>
#deca.mare update: >>33631879
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>>33631506
>"Such an action would be ill-advised as it would likely result in exacerbating your existing injuries as well possibly creating new ones and, in extreme circumstances, could lead to death."
"Yeah, personally I'd like to avoid dying at all costs."
>"Agreed. Studies have shown that dying is extremely detrimental to one's health."
"Was that- Did you just make a joke?"
>"Negative."
"Oh. For a second there I thought you grew a sense of humor."
>"Humor is a non-physical emotion and, as such, cannot be grown."
"It was an expression. It means I thought you started to understand humor."
>"Is learning to understand humor something you desire of me?"
"You- You can do that? That's a thing you can do?"
>"Affirmative."
"Then yeah, go ahead."
>"Confirmed. Estimated time until completion: Unknown. I apologize for not being able to calculate a precise time frame for this task as I have no reference for how long learning 'humor' will take."
"It's fine, take all the time you need. It's not like you can just get a sense of humor overnight."
>"Affirmative."
"Right. So which of these am I going to take?"
>"I recommend the 6'1" chassis. It is 2 inches above the recommended chassis for someone of your size, however it is the closest still left intact that is not smaller than your ideal chassis size."
>A faint glow outlined the chassis to make it easy for you to find the right one.
>You make your way around to the back of the titanium plated 500 pound machine movement assisted set of armor and press the button that releases the latches holding it closed
>With a hissing noise the back splits in two and swings open outwards
>You stick your arms inside of the padded armor first before you step in fully, positioning yourself to make sure the armor can close properly
>Once the suit registers you as being positioned correctly there's another hiss as the back panels close again and latch together.
>>
>>33632126
>Suddenly the power armor boots up and comes to life
>Before anything else happens a notification pops up on your optic lenses
>'Error: Outer camera damaged, unable to display real time video. Opening viewing panel.'
>A small section of the frontal armor slid upwards allowing you to see out the polycarbonate glass window installed for manual viewing
>Unfortunately the power armor chassis was a couple of inches bigger than what you'd normally wear, which means that the view plate was a couple of inches higher up as well
>It may not sound like much, but enough of your view was obfuscated that you'd have to constantly look down to make sure you weren't going to run into anything
>Damn federation and their precision tools
>Ah well, not like there was really anyone to complain to anyways
>Better get started
>And the first step to that is to go grab an anti-grav cart which was...
>Halfway across the ship
>Great
>You trip over debris several times on your way to get to cargo storage, annoying you to no end
>Finally you reach your destination, which is a large open room that was largely empty, probably thanks to the gaping hole in the side of the ship
"Oh, right."
>Luckily as you look around you notice that the anti-grav cart storage area is still mostly untouched
>Mostly
>There are a few that were completely torn apart, but a large portion of them seemed to still be in decent condition
>You make your way over to them before looking for an undamaged one
>It isn't hard, just look for something that's box shaped with a handle on one end and isn't bent out of shape or has more than one hole in it
>You press the button on the handle to activate the anti-grav and wait a few moments before realizing nothing was happening
"Shit, busted."
>Not feeling like trying to dig out another untouched cart you use your power armor enhanced strength to easily tilt the cart onto its side
>You inspect the anti-grav module on the bottom of it and find nothing out of place
>>
>>33632322
>Having learnt that you bring your hand to the panel used to access the inner workings, causing it to slide open easily
"Ah, I see the problem. Just a few disconnected wires. Musta been knocked loose during the crash."
>With the problem identified you quickly reattach the necessary cables in the necessary spots before closing the panel back up
>Putting the cart back on its bottom you pressed the button for anti-grav again, and this time it started up, causing the cart to float weightlessly about a foot up in the air
>With that finally done you can now go about getting the copper necessary to repair the autorepair bay
>Thankfully the cargo storage has a dock that you can get out of so you don't have to walk halfway across the ship to get to the main entrance
>Or you could just, you know, walk through the gaping hole in the wall
>Right, that really needs to be fixed
>Especially if you're going to get back to federation space
>Fuck
>It's just now hitting you that everyone else is dead
>Shit
>You're going to have a literal ton of paperwork to do when you get back
>Damnit
>Ok you're really starting to reconsider going back at all at this point
>Maybe you could just live here for the rest of your natural life?
>You mean living on a planet that wasn't polluted or mined to hell would be nice right?
>Sure you probably wouldn't ever see another human again, but who needs them right?
>Plus if Starbound can learn humor why couldn't it learn other stuff?
>That's more than enough human interaction for you
>Even if it's not really human interaction
>You're starting to get lonely
>Fuck
>You push down all incoming unpleasant feelings and focus entirely on walking towards your destination
>You didn't even realize you had left the ship
>It took about half an hour to reach your destination
>A decent portion of that time was spent picking yourself up after you tripped on obstacles outside of your field of view
>Nevertheless you were finally facing the exposed copper vein
>>
>>33632366
>The vein itself was a little taller than you, but was approximately twice as rotund as you
>According to your scans the copper vein was surprisingly pure, with very few actual impurities
>This was a surprisingly good find for an above ground vein
>Now all you had to do was-
"Shit."
>You feel like you've been saying that a lot lately
>You forgot to take off your plasma cutter before getting in this armor
>That meant that you were going to have to take off your armor
>In unknown territory
>Surrounded by foliage that was potentially hiding predators in wait
>You take a deep breath to steel yourself
"Welp, here goes nothing"
>You trigger the release mechanism for the back plates and step out of your power armor
>You quickly fiddle with the release latch on your utility belt nervously, causing the plasma cutter to fall to the ground before you could catch it
>You really couldn't care less right now and rush to get back into your chassis
>Thankfully the back panels slide close again without any incidents
>Crouching down you pick the plasma cutter back up from where you dropped it and check it for any signs of damage
>There are none, obviously, as all standard equipment is easily strong enough to withstand falling four feet onto the ground
>With that done you line it up as close to the bottom of the exposed vein as you can get it and pull the trigger
>It cuts into the vein somewhat, but it takes four more trigger pulls before its connection to the rest of the vein is completely severed and it falls onto its side
>Now that it was free you walked over to it and wrapped your arms around it as far as they would go before hefting it up
>The motor assisted suit did most of the work, but it was still heavy and you didn't want to hold it up longer than you had to
>You quickly, and somewhat violently, deposit the large chunk of copper into the anti-grav cart, causing it to dip slightly before returning to its normal height
>>
>>33632388
That's probably the last of what I'm going to do tonight. Thankfully there's probably only one or two more posts before I start on the ponies point of perspective.
>>
>>33632399
Thanks for another update.
>there's probably only one or two more posts before I start on the ponies
SHHH NO SPOILERS!
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>>33632399
i have to say, while Steel Sanctuary reminded me of Factorio, yours reminds me of satisfactory for some reason, i think its the A.I., either way, i would like more and will wait for more
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>>33631995
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>>33632388
>Finished with your task you reach down and grab your plasma cutter from where you dropped it (again) and attach it to the magnetized armor on your hip
>After taking a quick look around to make sure none of your other tools fell off your belt when you got out you grasped the handles of the anti-grav cart and start your long journey back to the ship
>Thankfully you managed to get there with a bit less tripping this time, but fixing up a correct sized suit of power armor is one of your first priorities
"Actually, Starbound add repairing a properly sized suit of power armor to your queue right after repairing the mining drones."
>"Understood."
>With that out of the way you make your way to the engineer station where the molecular printer is
>Once there you find the molecular printer, thankfully, undamaged
>Honestly it wasn't actually that impressive to look at, in spite of what the name might make it sound like
>It was basically a big bread box connected by a pipe to a large rotund container for minerals
>Opening the door you heft up the chunk of copper and shove it into the container before closing the door again
"Alright time to get to work. Damage report for the autorepair bay?"
>The numbers cross your sight and you find yourself relieved that it only needs a few pieces of wire replaced
>Getting to work you use your implant to modify a model to suit your needs and then tell the molecular printer to print it
>It takes a few minutes before it finishes and you slide open the hatch to reveal a roll of standard copper wire
>Grabbing it you almost put it to your hip before remembering copper isn't a magnetic metal and just stick your arm through it and heft it onto your shoulder instead
>With that done you make your way to the autorepair bay, but not before turning off the anti-grav cart, don't want to use up its batteries after all
>The first thing you do when you reach the autorepair bay is take stock of the damage
>>
>>33632844
Maybe it's because I him out with high level tech and promise of quick automation?
>>
>>33633883
*I started
>>
>>33633880
>Most of the pods containing repair drones were, thankfully, undamaged however the drone control panel that controls them was
>You head over to the wall and press your hand up against the release panel
>The control panel slides to the left into the wall about halfway before a grinding noise is heard and it stops
>Grunting in annoyance you grab the half still sticking out and force it the rest of the way
>Probably not the best idea, but you didn't really have time to be delicate you just wanted to get this thing up and running as fast as you can
"Starbound, cut power to the autorepair bay."
>"Understood."
>There's a humming noise as power to the autorepair bay was cut off and the lights die before starting again with lower output thanks to their backup batteries
>Happy that you weren't going to electrocute yourself any time soon you eyeball a strip of bad wire and use your precision plasma cutter to cut it out and to cut a strip of copper wire approximately the same length
>You reach for your standard issue plasma wielder before remembering that that too is still on your utility belt
>You step back and pull yourself out of the armor before you quickly get back to work replacing any damaged wire with the new pristine wire
>It only takes five minutes before everything is done and you step back, satisfied with your work
"Starbound power up the autorepair bay."
>"Affirmative."
>The humming noise, louder than before, comes back as power returns to everything, returning it to life
>Most noticeably several of the repair drones had started up and were released from their pods
>One of them picked up the wire with a tentacled appendage before they all floated out of the room presumably to go repair the mining drones
>You press the release panel again and the control panel attempts to slide back into place, but gets stuck a fourth of the way out
>You just shrug it off and go to find yourself some sleeping quarters, leaving the repair drones to fix it
>>
>>33634021
"Starbound direct me to the closest room."
>"Understood."
>My path was highlighted for me on my visor and I followed it as quickly as I could without exacerbating my injuries more than I already had
>Now that I didn't have anything to focus on I could feel every ache, pain, tear, and sore muscle on my body and it was not pleasant
>Luckily for me there was a bunk room not very far from the autorepair bay so I stumbled into there and allowed myself to collapse on one of the many single beds that made up the room, not even bothering to take off my equipment
>Within a few minutes I found myself drifting off to sleep wondering just how many repairs would be done when I woke up again
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bump
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>>33635890
(The game is "Keep Talking and Nobody Explode", before someone ask)
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>>33634047
Should this be before or after Twilight became a princess? I can never decide.
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>>33637254
Personally I lean more towards Twilight being a princess. I feel like her being a princess might open up a few more possibilities, but regardless it's your call
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>>33636324
what pairs of ponies do you think would make a good team?
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>>33637254
well do you have any ideas how each option might affect the story?
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>>33639496
Honestly? Not in the slightest.
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>>33639655
In that case does it really matter if Twilight's a princess or not?
>>
preventive bump
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>>33640431
That's probably why it's hard to decide. In my experience writing green it's the unimportant decisions that are usually the toughest.
>>33639655
Try to think if there are any post twilicorn aspects you want to include such as DashBolt or Rarara's business empire. If nothing comes to mind, then which is your favorite version of Twilight?
>>
>>33641220
I think I'm gonna go with Princess Twilight, but before Tirek.
>>
>>
>>33641251
>before Tirek.
Oh that sounds fun
>>
Alright. I've stopped working, so it's time for a deadline. Gimme... 18 hours.
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>>33642917
I'm curious, at the moment you made that post, were you just starting to write whatever you're gonna throw at us in 18h or is it the "last straight before the finish line" and you were making steady progress on your story during those 2 weeks?
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>>33644093
I've been hovering around 5k words for a bit over a week. Haven't made any meaningful progress since.
>>
I’m sick of writing this, and I’m pretty sure it’s starting to show. Hopefully it’s not so bad on your side of the equation. I’m tired of dealing with the fallout of Bon-Bon being wounded, and I’m tired of things being so tense. Luckily I can move on after this update so it won’t be a problem much longer. But if it feels like there wasn’t any heart in this one you know why.


>Lyra was in a great mood.
>How could she not be?
>Bonny’s fever had broken and her surgery was done.
>It looked like she was going to be okay.
>Hay, it looked like she was going to be coming home before too long!
>Hopefully this checkup would go well, hopefully they’d tell her how long before the two of them could finally leave!
>Lyra could hardly wait to bring Bonny back, this was what she’d been working for all along, THIS was the whole point of all the danger and intrigue!
>Of course when she’d imagined bringing Bonny home it had involved a lot fewer crippling injuries and emotional scars.
>And sure it had turned out that there was WAY more at stake than she’d previously thought.
>But she was still nigh on giddy with excitement!
>It had been so long since she’d gotten good news, far too long!
>Knowing that Bon-Bon was alive and safe, she was on top of the world!
>Lyra was bouncing around the hospital, face sore from smiling too much.
>She slipped on the polished floors and scrambled to regain her hoofing but was undeterred.
>Unwilling or perhaps unable to allow a hurt ankle to spoil her mood.
>It’d take something far worse to upset her on this most wonderful day.
>Something absolutely dreadful.
>”Lyra? May we talk?”
>Something like princess Celestia showing up.
“Don’t you have better things to do than bother me?”
>Celestia grimaced.
>”I do have many important matters to attend to today. You are surprisingly high on the list. Is Sweetie Drops here?”
“No. The doctors are working on her.”
>”How is she?”
“Could be better.”
>>
>>33645212
>She was actually doing pretty well all things considered.
>Pretty weak, couldn’t really walk on her own.
>But she was breathing on her own, and her heart rate seemed healthy enough.
>There was signs of organ damage from the whole ordeal, but it didn’t look like there was anything life threatening happening.
>She’d never recover to her full strength.
>But she would recover.
>And she had a good chance at living a full life.
>Unless, of course, they sent her on another suicide mission.
>Celestia ushered Lyra aside into a small meeting room.
“You lied to me.”
>”Sister is not a demon.”
“Well she CERTAINLY isn’t a pony!”
>”She IS, Lyra. I’ve known her all my life, and I assure you she is a pony.”
“Please, don’t you know when to give up? She’s not a pony. And neither are you.”
>Lyra glared directly in Celestia’s eye, not intimidated by the princess’ stature or station.
>”Things aren’t always what they seem.”
“And why should I believe you?”
>She merely stood there, looking tired.
>Tired beyond comprehension.
“You lied to us all. And for what? What good have you done lately, hay, for that matter what good have you done EVER?”
>The princess broke eye contact, closing her eyes and rubbing her face in frustration.
>”Oh yeah, nothing much. Just tiny little details, right? Stuff like quadrupling the average pony’s lifespan, holding together 3 different tribes despite seemingly irreconcilable differences such as one of them living in the CLOUDS of all things, eliminated hunger and homelessness, stamping out dozens of communicable diseases, and ushering in consecutive millenia of peace. So yes, I lie sometimes. You’re welcome.”
>Sarcasm didn’t suit her.
“Who’s to say we couldn’t have done that ourselves?”
>”Me. I am. I saw it all, Lyra. I’m old. You wouldn’t have lasted half this long without us.”
>Lyra scoffed.
>>
>>33645217
>”What, you don’t believe me? Ever notice how there’s a new apocalyptic catastrophe every year? It’s almost like clockwork. Equestria wouldn’t have lasted a century.”
“And you expect me to believe that YOU are some great warrior? Good ol’ glass jaw’s going to step in and save us all? At least Luna’s taking things seriously.”
>”Warrior? No. It is not in my nature.”
>The princess produced a quill and scroll in a flash of golden light.
>”Hope you don’t mind if I do some paperwork while we chat. There are a lot of fires to put out right now.”
“And how exactly did you save us then? How is it that Celestia- if that even is your real name- made everything better?”
>”Celestia IS my name. You even saw that fiend Name me. And you want to know how I saved you? By doing what I’m doing right now.”
>Her quill was moving swiftly and with great purpose, seemingly penning a short novel.
>”Diplomacy. Most ponies are terrible at it.”
“What, diplomacy? Were the yaks going to come marching in and wipe us out?”
>”Probably not, they’re not very well organized. And I don’t think you’d have been wiped out exactly, but you would have wound up a slave caste. Probably would have been dragons, or maybe gryphons? Depends on which came up with a jingoist leader first.”
>The scroll vanished with no fanfare.
>”I know the pens are easier to use, but after writing millions of words one way you get used to it. I tried ballpoint, didn’t like it.”
“You expect me to believe that Gryphonstone would come marching in and messing things up? Gryphons and ponies get along great! We’ve been at peace for thousands of years! Ever since- huh.”
>Ever since the sisters took over.
>Well, Lyra still didn’t approve of their recent performance.
>But she had to grant they’d done a lot of good.
>>
>>33645221
>”I failed many times at first, made the same mistakes as anypony else would. I allowed myself to appear desperate, to show weakness. I let them know just how far I’d go to avoid conflict. But over the years I learned. Everyone, be they equine or otherwise, wants more or less the same thing. Safety, companionship, comfort. They all want peace, but somehow they’re bad at finding it. Once I understood that it became easy. Whenever it came time to negotiate I merely had to offer complete ruin, and then propose giving them the peace they desired.”
>Lyra’s mind raced back to the throne room.
>Celestia’s offer to kill Bon-Bon or save her, to give ruin or peace.
>She’d known it was a bluff.
>It worked anyway.
>”The gryphons value wealth. They prize it so highly that it was once a common practice for them to beset travellers and even caravans, lured by lucre. I told them we’d sooner cast our gold into the ocean’s depths than let them steal it, and announced plans to do just that. The idea of all that money being lost to the deep offended them in a way I don’t really understand. And then? I offered to hire them, honest pay for honest work. Sure, many of them found ways to slack off or take more than their fair share. Their employ wasn’t the goal, though. By occupying them I’d ensured they had no time to plunder our caravans. It was so easy, far easier than deterring them with force.”
>Why was Celestia telling her this?
>>
>>33645223
>”The Zebras were once suffering from a terrible drought. They’d managed to organize a war band to come to Equestria, seeking greener pastures. I informed them that we’d poison every well, burn all the food, and salt the soil. I made sure they knew that there was nothing for them here, no chance at succor should they strike us. Then I sent them food and drink. It took a single day and pittance to turn a dangerous foe into a lifelong friend. Threaten to take what they want most, then offer to give it to them. There are… subtleties to the art, you must learn to read your negotiating partner to learn their intentions. It’s very easy to offer too much and waste your assets, and just as easy to offer too little and offend the other party. But I learned.”
“What does this have to do with anything?”
>”I suppose it wasn’t entirely relevant, just thinking of better times. When one has no future they tend to dwell in the past. When this… mess all started, I thought I saw an opportunity. I tried and tried to understand what the Lords wanted. No matter what I offered I was rebuked. I simply couldn’t understand, it seemed as though there was nothing I could offer that they wanted. Achlys agreed to a ceasefire almost immediately, I thought I understood her. But the others?”
>She didn’t say what the others had done.
>She didn’t have to.
>”I finally get it. Achlys was afraid, she was weak and couldn’t withstand her peers much longer. If we did her forces any harm she’d be undone. I’d accidentally threatened death and offered a chance at life. The others however were in a stronger position. They didn’t fear us. There was only one thing I could have offered them, only one thing they wanted from us.”
>Celestia looked troubled, bearing the grim visage of a mare who’d just learned their foal was in trouble with the law.
>>
>>33645227
>”They wanted to hurt us. That was their goal, to destroy us! How do you negotiate with that? How do you offer them what they seek when they seek your death? I can’t negotiate with everyone. I now know that sometimes there can be no compromise, no agreement. Lyra? I can’t negotiate with you.”
>This sounded bad.
>”You want Sweetie Drops to be safe. I can’t take that from you, nor can I give it to you. If she recovers, if she is still able, we need her to fight. So I cannot negotiate, but I also cannot force my will upon you, Sweetie Drops wouldn’t allow it. And even if she would I’m starting to suspect you’d find a way to fight your way out of trouble, your siege on my palace made my guards and I look weak.”
>Look weak.
>Look.
>”So if I cannot negotiate and I cannot rely on force, what am I left with?”
“Uhh…”
>She really didn’t know.
>”But I need to stop you somehow. Should you continue you will only invite disaster.”
>Lyra looked at the princess with a face of appalled disbelief.
>She replied a bit louder than she’d intended to.
“ME? I’m the problem? I’m a HERO! Without me you’d be dead and Ponyville would have been burnt to the ground! Hay, if I hadn’t told Luna how to use the bombs S.M.I.L.E. would have probably been wiped out by now!”
>The princess was unphased by Lyra’s outburst, her serenity only marred by the aura of exhaustion.
>”I am aware of what you’ve done for us, and I am ever grateful. I promise you your deeds will never be forgotten so long as I live. Saving Ponyville, saving Twilight, and saving me. Each of these things are more important than you realise, had you not stepped in we would already be lost.”
“Then what’s the problem?”
>”The reason why these acts were so vital is the very reason why you must leave us be. There is still a chance to stop the Tide, albeit a slim one.”
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>>33645231
“The Tide?”
>She rolled her eyes.
>”Please don’t. The problem lie not in destroying it but in outlasting it, as I suspect you already knew. We’ve proposed a few solutions, we even considered evacuating the planet.”
>Lyra’s eyes widened at those words.
>Such an ambitious plan, could they really?
>”The Tide moves faster than we can, and there’s nowhere in the galaxy to run to. Save for Hell. We’re planning on going to Tartarus. It’s a TERRIBLE solution! We’d have no chance of ever returning, there’d be nothing left to return to! And in the end it would only buy us time, we wouldn’t be able to stop it from slipping through the gates for long. We’d buy ourselves a couple decades at most. And what if we did find a way to protect ourselves in this time? The vile magicks will corrupt ANYPONY given enough time, none are immune to temptation. And what of the foals born of hell? Would we even be able to call them ponies? Bathed in the vile taint from conception, they’d be more monster than mare! But it’s the only choice we’ve got.”
“Y’know, that’s not going to be necessary. There’s a way to stop it.”
>”I pray you’re right.”
“I am. But what does that all have to do with me?”
>The princess took a deep, bracing breath.
>She’d been psyching herself up to say what was coming.
>But why would she need to do that?
>What was she afraid of?
>>
>”If we are to do this Equestria MUST be stable. We cannot graze in hell, we’d have no shelter from the sulphur storms and no protection from the fiends that dwell there. We would perish, not by the tide but from starvation and exposure. We need to remake Tartarus in our image if we are to make a home there, vast self sufficient shelters with water reclamation and hydroponics- it’s the largest construction project Equestria has ever attempted. I need to press an unprecedented workforce into action, and I need to do it soon. If all goes as planned we start next month. We need millions of tonnes of steel, even more concrete, and every single able hoof must chip in!”
>Yeah, yeah. It’s hard.
>”The ponies are scared, Lyra. No, they’re terrified! They’re not safe, and they know it. At this point everypony knows that Hell is wide open, monster sightings are through the roof because S.M.I.L.E. is preoccupied, and all we’ve managed to offer of late is material comfort. What happens to my law and order if things get worse? How would they react to word that they’re being moved to hell?”
>Ponies would panic.
>Then more ponies would panic because they saw others panicking.
“It’d take a long time to get things back in order.”
>”Too long. Equestria is a powderkeg floating in an ocean of nitroglycerine, a single spark could spell the end. Then you come in and start waving that torch you carry. I’ve got ponies asking why a civilian was seen penetrating into the heart of the palace, casting guards aside as though they were a minor nuisance. They’re wondering why this rabid madmare is being allowed to walk about freely. And most importantly they’re wondering if the guard really can protect them from demons when they can’t even protect the princess from a musician.”
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>>33645236
>Oh.
>That’s…
>”I told you all this in the hope that you might some day forgive me for what I must do. It looks like you understand. Which means, I pray, that you’ll understand that I’ve no choice. I’m sorry, Lyra. I must keep you silent.”
>Lyra quickly began pulling magic into her body.
>”No, not like that. There are many reasons why I cannot kill you. But… I can talk. It is my way, and I’m quite good at it when I need to be. I’ve come to warn you that when you return home you’ll be perceived as a madmare. A tragic heroine who’s mind snapped in the face of the horrors that threatened to swallow Ponyville. I’ll spin it to ensure the ponies sympathise with you, Sweetie Drops would demand it and you’ve earned it. But none will trust you when you start talking of aliens or demons.”
“Character assassination? Really? Is nothing beneath you?”
>”Nope.”
>Not the answer she’d been expecting.
>”Nothing is beneath me, not anymore. Ponykind is in danger of being wiped out, and I shall seek a way out until the last breath crosses my lips.”
“Crosses your- wait, are you a mouth breather?”
>Celestia’s eyes still bore their tired droopiness.
>But with it there was now a sense of desperation and fear.
“Why not just curse me or mind control me? And why can’t I learn to keep my mouth shut? Wow, that’s- that’s gotta be the stupidest thing I’ve ever said.”
>”Such things leave a mark on their victims. Sweetie Drops would know. Attracting her ire would cause far more chaos than you ever could.”
>She had a point.
>Not just about Bon-Bon, about everything!
>Celestia was right, that was a VERY good reason to stay at home.
>This was their Hail Mary, their last resort, their plan Z!
>If Lyra caused so much as a noise complaint it could spell the end.
>Yet she couldn’t just do nothing!
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>>33645237
“Princess? You probably won’t believe me, but I’m trying to help. Is there anything I can do?”
>”No.”
>She answered too quickly, pausing to think moments after the words left her lips.
>”Actually, yes. Could you keep an eye on Twilight for me? She’s going back to Ponyville soon and I need her healthy.”
“Of course!”
>”And if you see a monster threatening Ponyville please try to scare it away. Ideally without being seen. Wait, no, if you can make it look easy try to be seen and say that I sent you.”
“I’ll try, but I’m not sure I can.”
>”I trust you’ll do your best. Most importantly though you MUST stay quiet. The secrets you’ve uncovered are more than enough to sink the straws we now cling to. Even I cannot prevent everypony from listening to your words. Some will be attracted to such news regardless of the source. Did you know that there are ponies who genuinely believe the wedding was an inside job?”
>Hrmm.
>If the words of a madmare were dangerous…
>This might be her only chance.
“I understand. And it looks like I win.”
>The princess groaned.
>”What now?”
“You’re going to tell me everything.”
>”And if I refuse?”
>Lyra looked up at Celestia with a self satisfied grin.
“A detailed account of everything I’ve discovered gets leaked, complete with decoded documents, test logs, and security footage.”
>Celestia’s light pink complexion turned a ghostly white.
>”You wouldn’t.”
“I already did for the most part. Every single computer in Twilight’s little network is ready to spill the beans. Imagine, every home computer, every cash register at the grocery store, even those stupid integrated toasters. All of them spilling the beans all at once.”
>The princess rushed a hoof up to her ear to activate a hidden earpiece.
>”I need you to look for unauthorised software. Right. WHAT? She wasn’t bluffing?”
“Nope!”
>”How many systems?”
>>
>>33645240
>The princess was chewing on her lip nervously.
“Well?”
>”And how long would it take you to stop it? Oh. HAH! Looks like the joke’s on you, Lyra. They got rid of- wait.”
“They got it off your central servers.”
>”But not the home systems. It’ll take… it’ll take days.”
“It's on a timer. I don't need to turn it on, you need ME to stop it!”
>The princess pulled something out of her ear and crushed it angrily beneath her hoof.
>”That’s ONE infected machine down.”
>Wow, Floor even got their comms systems with it?
>She’s good.
>”Lyra, this is a KILLING BLOW. We cannot afford this! And I don’t just mean myself or the other princesses or S.M.I.L.E. I mean PONYKIND cannot afford this! You’re going to murder us all!”
“Unless.”
>Celestia snarled at her.
“You're going to start talking. Tell me everything. Hay, you've got nothing to lose. I already know enough to take it all down. And don't you lie to me, I know a LOT already. You don't want me to catch you fibbing.”
>”There's no way- you'd NEVER do this.”
“And yet you're not going to take that risk.”
>Celestia stared at her in stunned disbelief for a while.
>Then she deflated.
>”So this is how it feels. What do you want?”
>Lyra had done it.
>With that one threat she’d gotten get way, she’d found her answers!
“Well, let's start with something simple like what even ARE you two?”
>”I don't suppose there's much point in feigning ignorance. We used to be ponies. Now I'm not sure.”
>Now THAT was interesting.
>Lyra motioned for her to go on.
>”The change happened about a thousand years ago. I had just lost my sister. She’d tried to kill me, tried really hard! And yet… how did you feel when you thought Bon-Bon was dead?”
“Furious.”
>”Yes, but when that was gone.”
>Drained.
>Hopeless.
>Empty.
>”I know that look in your eyes. Did you blame yourself too?”
>>
“Yeah… a little. I just thought- there had to be something I could have done! I blamed myself for not saving her.”
>”As did I. I didn’t cause Luna’s madness, but I felt responsible for not stopping it. I still do to this very day! When it had first happened I mourned for weeks, nay, months! I cried until there were no tears left to shed and then I cried some more. She tried to murder me, but I couldn’t find time to resent her. I just missed her. I wanted her back and I feared that she was lost to me forever.”
>Celestia sniffled a little bit.
>This discussion was bothering her.
>”I still fear that she may be lost.”
>Ouch.
>Lyra was starting to feel sorry for Celestia.
>”I’m not evading the question, just give me a moment to collect myself.”
>She released a slow, shuddering breath.
“Sorry, I didn’t- I’m not trying to hurt you.”
>”I eventually wound up leaving that palace, there were just too many painful memories. But at first I wasn’t willing to let go. I didn’t notice it at first but something was changing inside of me. It started with ponies being a little more relaxed around me than they once were, then the aura around my horn changed to a warmed shade. It took me a while to figure out what had happened.”
>That seemed pretty hard to believe.
“Keep talking.”
>”The Tree of Harmony is an artifact much like the one you made for Sweetie Drops. A portion of someone’s magic was trapped within to ensure a series of spells could run in perpetuity, designed not to calm frayed nerves but to contain evil. It was created to hold the Everfree Forest at bay.”
“The Plunder Vines!”
>”The Elements are of the tree. I thought it strong enough to contain Everfree without the elements. And I wasn’t wrong at first, but the tree is weakening.”
>>
>This was all very interesting, but something didn’t quite add up.
“Who could create an artefact like that? It took Aquarius to make mine, and it was nowhere near that powerful. I’m not sure even Starswirl could manage something like that, it can’t have been a pon- an angel made the Tree?”
>”An archangel. His name unpronounceable to our tongues, his visage so pure it cannot be understood by our flawed senses. I call him Harmony. I don’t know where he is now, I’ve not seen him in thousands of years. Somehow I appear to have absorbed some of his power through the elements. I don’t pretend to understand how that is possible, nor do I pretend to be worthy. Perhaps, like the demonic power, it cannot be destroyed? Perhaps his artefact is leaking and that’s why it grew weaker. And perhaps this lost power had to go somewhere, and I was the most suitable candidate nearby. I don’t know. And I likely never will. What I do know is that I am no longer the same. I try to hide this because I wish to be able to connect to the ponies. The more that separates us the harder it will be for me to understand them. They know I’m different, I can’t change that. But they don’t need to know just how different.”
>Wow.
>That sure was something.
>If it was true, of course.
>But if it wasn’t that was a really impressive lie.
“What about Luna?”
>Celestia shrugged.
>“She doesn’t like to talk about it.”
>Understandable.
>”I don’t know what changed her, and I don’t know what it entails.”
“Do you really expect me to believe that?”
>”You can bind her with pacts, she doesn’t like holy water, and she’s more ruthless than I remember. I don’t know much beyond that.”
>Was she bluffing?
>It didn't sound like Celestia to leave such a question unanswered.
>But it also didn't sound like Luna to talk about it openly.
>”I'd recommend you not ask her. She's quite temperamental these days. And she's none too happy about you cutting me.”
>>
>>33645246
“Really? I thought she'd be mad about hitting her, not that little cut.”
>”No. I'm the one who's angry about you hitting her. I know I shouldn't be, you were trying to protect Sweetie Drops. But I swear if you ever hurt my sister again I shall find a way to make you regret it.”
>The way Celestia spoke wasn't emotional.
>There was no hint of anger nor fear in those words, she was merely stating a mundane fact as though it were a weather plan.
>Somehow that scared her more than angry Celestia ever had.
“Uh, yeah! Not sure I could if I tried! Not that I'm going to try of course it's just that-”
>C'mon Lyra take control here.
>You're the one with leverage not her!
>Lyra took a deep breath as subtly as she was able, hoping to calm her nerves.
“Why are you spying on us?”
>”Would you believe changelings?”
“No.”
>”That's how it started. There are yet undocumented changelings around, I was hoping to flush them out. Any pony who suddenly lost their chip was to be investigated.”
>The blood donations!
>They implanted the chip when they took the blood, that way they could test it to confirm it came from a pony!
>”As with everything else it was repurposed and expanded when we learned of the Tide. Suddenly we needed nigh on perfect information if we were to plan. I told you of the evacuation. We know almost exactly how many bunks we shall need, how much hay and water, how many horseshoes- did you know the average pony consumes about 60 kilos of sugar per year? I suspect Pinkie Pie is about half of that, but even so. We've a health crisis on our hooves. I'd love to have time to worry about it.”
>It sounded plausible.
>Lyra wasn't sure it was okay to do that for the changelings, it still seemed like a betrayal.
>But even so they'd meant well.
>It seemed like that described Celestia perfectly.
>>
>>33645248
>A well meaning disaster.

>Was that what Lyra had become?
>”Anything else?”
“Probably? I hadn't planned this so I didn't really think it through. Uh, I know there's more but I can't think of it. I don't suppose I can stop the virus and ask you later?”
>”You can most certainly try.”
>That's a no then.
>”What are you going to do next?”
“For my next trick? Stop Eurynomos, stop the Tide, and then go home to live in peace with Bonny.”
>The princess laughed bitterly.
“What, don’t believe me?”
>”I tend to doubt ponies when they claim the impossible.”
“The Tide can be stopped.”
>The princess stared at her just a bit too intently.
>It seemed almost like Celestia was trying to decrypt a foreign language, or read the lips of a pony wrapped in the grips of a fever dream.
>”You know how to stop it?”
“Not exactly? But I know that it CAN be stopped. That place you sent me to with the cuffs.”
>”Nexus?”
“Oh wow, that’s what I call it too! What are the odds?”
>”What about Nexus, tell me!”
>Her demand had no weight or conviction to it.
>She was pleading.
“It’s floating in the stuff, right? Why hasn’t it been eaten?”
>”Oh. Is that all?”
>Celestia’s shoulders slumped, her head sinking just a bit too much.
“No?”
>”We’ve thought of that.”
“Why isn’t that good news?”
>The princess didn’t answer her.
“I still have that virus for a little longer you know.”
>>
>”Oh, why not. It’s not like knowing a little more will change anything. We received a distress signal from an alien source, complete with explanations on how to teleport without magic and detailed directions to find them. We wasted no time in seeking them out hoping there might yet be survivors. There weren’t even bodies. Perhaps someone else out there in the cosmos found them before us, perhaps they yet live. Or perhaps they were consumed entirely and erased from existence. It matters not, there’s little for us out there. The only thing that remains is the shredded fabric of space-time that they left behind and an endless sea of Tide.”
“AND the platform.”
>”We’ve analyzed the platform. There’s nothing special about it, we can make the same material with minimal effort. Anywhere else it takes seconds for the Tide to consume it.”
“AND! The Tide here has all those gamma bursts, right? But it doesn’t there! Why can you go there without instantly getting cancer? It all means something!”
>”Twilight had noticed that.”
“And?”
>”We're taking our samples from there so it has to be the same stuff, but it behaves differently. From the gamma bursts to the U.V. to not destroying the platform-”
“The U.V.?”
>”Oh, the spy missed something?”
“I'm not a spy, I'm a concerned citizen.”
>”Who spends a lot of time spying. It emits ultraviolet light at a fairly steady pace.”
>The first time Lyra had gone to Nexus she’d gotten a sunburn!
>”At the Nexus it emits less, and with a slightly different frequency distribution. We haven’t been able to find any reason for why it would do this nor have we found why it would change behaviour.”
>That had to mean something.
>But what?
>It felt like she was so close to cracking it, just one or two hints away from figuring everything out.
“Don't worry. Twilight will figure it out. She's super smart.”
>>
>>33645254
>”I pray you're right. But somehow I doubt it.”
“Well, Luna's got her thing too. I don't know WHAT it is, but for it to be worth all this trouble it's gotta be big.”
>The princess didn't answer.
>She wasn't convinced, but what was the issue?
>Did she not trust Luna's motives, or did she not believe the fight could be won?
“And if Luna can't stop the Tide, I will.”
>Celestia blinked deliberately a few times.
>Then a few more.
>”I thought you were joking before.”
“Nope! I’m going to fix everything, just you wait and see.”
>Celestia shook her head in disbelief.
>”You really mean it. You intend to fix it all. How?”
“Eh. Eurynomos is easy.”
>Celestia just stared at her in disbelief.
>Lyra couldn’t help but relish the confusion she was causing.
>”Easy. Why should I believe you when you say such a thing?”
“Because I’m so honest. Check my grade 3 report card. I got an A in friendship class for my report on truth telling.”
>”Ah yes. I remember that report, believe it or not. It wasn’t great but you got bonus marks for admitting you’d procrastinated ‘till the last night.”
>Wasn’t great?
>But she’d stayed up past her bedtime working on it!
>Lyra couldn’t help but pout a bit.
>”I’d have to be mad to believe you, Lyra. There’s nothing you can do, it’s too late. We’ve had the brightest minds in Equestria working on this for years and they’ve come up with nothing.”
“See, that’s the mistake you’ve been making. You don’t need clever ponies. You need minty ponies!”
>A look of confused disbelief was all that met her.
>>
”What, don’t you believe in the power of mint?”
>”You’ve gone mad. You genuinely have lost it! You and Sweetie Drops belong together.”
>Lyra shrugged at her.
“You’re right about us belonging together.”
>”I’m going to go now. You have fun. Being minty.”
“Oh, I will. Give me all the data you have on the Tide if you want the virus stopped.”
>”Right, just don’t burn anything.”
>Celestia left.
>And shortly after Lyra did too.
>She had a Bon-Bon to see.

That's it.
Again, my heart wasn't in this one. I wasn't having fun writing it and I'm pretty sure it shows.
Apologies if it's shit. At least we can move on from this part of the story now.
>>
>>33645258
>I'm pretty sure it shows
Whut ? No.
I liked this update, finally Celestia is showing (what's left of) her hand.
>>
>>33645258
Bump till I finish reading it. So far this is awesome. So much background info.
>>
>>33645258
>>33646159
This was awesome. Do more like these. I dont get why Tia has secrecy against Lyra. They are still not desperate if they hold information to themselves from such useful ponies. They wont turn against them.
And the "Lyra walks freely" part: why do they care? They were literally attacked by hell not long ago. I'm sure the society is not functioning normally yet.
About the guards: the ponies will seriously doubt the guards because they were beaten? They were beaten by someone who sent hell back to where it belongs.
Also, Lyra has another "item" to extort more info from them. BonBon. If Lyra talks to BonBon about all she knows... I'm sure BonBon only knows a little more than just enough to do her job.
Time to make a pact with Luna to get her to speak. What does Luna wants that Lyra has and she could not take by force?


Thanks for the update.
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>>33647007
State secrets are a thing, no one would tell a civilian how to arm a nuclear bomb to defend the country if the rest of the country militia arent able, no, at that point they already lost

Ponies dont know Lyra for going to hell, they know lyra as the silly musician
Imagine the musicial that plays down the road for spare cash suddently decided to walk into the white house alone, incapacitated most if not all the guards and then forced the president to listen to him, how would you feel?
And adding to that, what would it feel like if this same musician just resumed playing normally in the streets as if nothing had happened? You see why she can't just go back to normality?

Also unlike Celestia, Lyra had asked Bonbon earlier in the green, they trust each other enough for Bons to say just whats needed, but like Lyra, she probably knows that knowledge brings pain, and pain is what she doesn't want Lyra to have to deal with, that's why they fight. Telling her things would go against that unless Lyra shows that she knows too much, don't think bons would react well to that though, just like Lyra with Moondancer

>Making pact with demons
No. She may be Luna, but Moondancer warned us about that.

>>33645255
Exposition is boring to write but needed to get stories going, as it is its pretty good, hopefully you get to a more interesting part for you soon
>>
I thought Luna and Celestia's backstories would be connected in some way. The way Celestia presents it they're completely unrelated.
Is Celestia's story a hint about Luna's somehow?
>>
>>
Looks like people liked it despite my reservations. It wasn't fun to write, and that's generally a bad sign. But looks like it worked.

>>33647007
Celestia doesn't believe Lyra can fix anything. She's nowhere near strong enough to stop Eurynomos and she has no answer to the Tide.
>”I’d have to be mad to believe you, Lyra. There’s nothing you can do, it’s too late. We’ve had the brightest minds in Equestria working on this for years and they’ve come up with nothing.”
She sees no value in sharing this information with Lyra since she sees no chance of payoff and ample risk.
I don't think the greatest concern is Lyra walking in and of itself. You've a point that she's not what the public's scared of. But by failing to control a pony who's clearly broken the law while in one of the most heavily guarded locations in Equestria she's drawing undue attention to how ineffectual the guard actually is.
As for using Bon-Bon as leverage, I like that. I'll try to figure out a way to make use of it.

>>33647076
Good summary of what I was thinking when I came up with this. Glad to see it panned out.
And next time should be a fair bit different. It's not about the Tide nor demons. From my end it'll be a nice change of pace.

>>33647107
>Is it a hint?
Yes.
>>
I think a Bioshock like story would be fun to mess around with.
>>
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>>33581996
>>33574117
>>33586129
I'm still alive, feeling like shit thanks to the therapy and having to stay sober but it also apparently seems to be working quite well. Still gotta adjust but will try to write some sooner rather than later

>>33586867
>That talk about Steel Sanctuary

I said it before and will say it again, Steel Sanctuary is some of the best sci-fi I've read, ever. Even without pone I would have enjoyed it a lot, I started reading it because of pone and quickly got hooked for everything else. It is still one of my favorite sci-fi "short stories".

>>33645258
And this guy just keeps delivering.
Thanks for all the work WIK
How could I ever compete?
>>
I loved this story and wish there were more to it. https://pastebin.com/9H8f7A0s
>>
>>33649275
He's alive!



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