Tag Archives: fim

Daily Derp – 4 Feb 2014


Pumped a few more hours into this vector wallpapery thingy. It’s taking way longer than my usual sketches and doesn’t look tons better? But it looks OK.


Played more Gameloft MLP. Got Github and Google+ Hangouts setup. Tweaked my Google Calendar. Updated weekly report for Games II. Listened to some more PH chapters, but I don’t remember which ones.  I think I heard a chunk of FoEPH ch 52 at some point.

Thinking about trying to write a very short fic for the ABCs of FoE project if some of the existing authors keep lagging behind.

When I do make more time for fic, I’ll be making less time for pics or something I guess. And I’m about to go to bed in a bit but I might slap a last-minute doodle online.


0:55 <Retl|Zzz> ohshi I just had the stupidest panic moment
00:55 <Retl|Zzz> Where I was like ‘what day is it’
00:56 <Retl|Zzz> And then I look at my calendar and see it’s Tuesday and then I’m like OHSWEETCELESTIA I DIDN’T GO TO ANY OF MY TUESDAYCLASSES WTF
00:56 <Retl|Zzz> And then I realize ‘oh it’s past midnight’


Daily Doubled – 2 Feb 2014

Artstuffs: Guess who just figured out how to vector stuff?

sandyvecme_inkscape_prev3_by_retl-d74vyynballoonpacket_inkscape_by_retl-d74r054 pinkiepieballoonrideadjusted_borrowedbackgroun_by_retl-d74r56k 

THIS GUY! Through a bit of bouncing back and forth between GIMP’s path tools and playing around with Inkscape’s Pattern Along Path tools and other node-tweaking whatnot, I now know how to make vectors that look relatively close to the show? But it’s still not spot on. It’s most noticeable if you look at the inner-body tapers. Still. I’m glad to have finally figured out a way to make lineart that doesn’t look super janky and to have an idea of how to make very MLPFiM-esque art. On the other hoof, I do not like how many hours it takes to do. It’s not hard. Just. Time consuming. Someone if I’d make the extra step on to animating this stuff. The answer was: Possibly but it’s really unlikely. Given that this takes me about four times longer than my usual slapping color on a rough sketch on a single image, going from this to animation would be kinda nuts. And I didn’t build these to be flash-animation puppets.  I could probably tweak and force them to be such with a lot more node-tweaking but they’re not designed for animation as is. (And trying too hard to MAKE it be a flash animation build is exactly why I kept struggling with vector art for so long.)

Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Reread Progress

40 – Recovery : Scotch is in a bad way… but P-21 gets a bit more fleshing-out, and it’s fun.  Mainly, Blackjack finally realizing he’s been addicted due to lifelong exposure to Med-X, and Glory having understandable frustration with even his presence.

[Oops!]  I fell asleep for a few chapters. Technically the chapter I mentioned above, I listened to yesterday. But I wasn’t in much of a rambling mood yesterday. And I’m not sure I care enough about this particular arc to go back to review these chapters right NOW.

43 – Lucidity :  It’s the Happyhorn Gardens chapter! Both one of my favorite chapters in that it does the most exploration of the potential benefits of future tech in the  Fallout Equestria Expanded Universe and one of my favorites in that it really lays down heavy what with the mindscrewery weirdness.  I woke up about half-way into this one. Though, as much as I like it, it has a lot of very gruesome and uncomfortable content like rape and child murder. Ultimately though, the good makes the bad worth getting through.

44 – Mares and Stallions : This is another one of those chapters in which we get a glimpse into an alternate universe that could have been in the form of Blackjack’s Littlehorn Massacre Nightmare with her party as young ponies on their way to their new school…

This chapter is also the chapter Stygyus first shows up. And… really this chapter is a great deal about sex and sexuality. It  doesn’t linger on it for the purpose of eroticism or ribaldry, but it’s a major theme in this chapter.

45 – Hightower : “Champion in Bed”.  Also, Mister Shears first appears. B-Team regroups at Meatlocker and then they go into Hightower.

This is also the chapter where it’s revealed that Psalm murdered the now-grown-up Pokey Pierce and Pinkie Pie… a matter of moments before the bombs fell. So I guess either way they were set to die? But it still only cements my dislike of Psalm. I question why didn’t make me dislike [Spoiler].  By matter of course, it also gives a brief glimpse into both the organization of the Ministry of Morale and of the Ministry of Arcane Sciences right in the final minutes of their relevancy. I’d still like to see a fic that explores what those structures were all like before the war started peaking, but I guess it really might just be on me to write such a thing. After chatting with Kkat in the IRC though, seems like the MoM in particularly had a very very loose structure built around a fairly simple and straightforward mission statement. And that as things became more and more about weeding out insurrection and whatnot instead of making more fun, things became worse and more frantic and harmful.

46 – Casper: Man, Blackjack abuses ghoul mental deterioration a lot. And I feel kinda guilty when she does. But it works! Also

“Well, he’s probably not personally running it, and definitely not the whole M.o.M., but he totally has his hooves all over the law enforcement branch.  I don’t think he cares about party reservations, balloon research, or theme parks, after all.  But we totally know who assigns our Hearth’s Warming Eve bonuses, and you just don’t go behind Quartz’s back.”

I would be ALL OVER that balloon research. Also this conveniently gives me an excuse to blame someone other than Pinkie herself for things going sour with her her ministry. Yay. Heck, I could split the blame between Twist for passing on drugs and GB for changing at least one branch’s direction… On the other hoof if Twist didn’t do what she had, then the MoM would have been doomed by bomb attack right at the start…  So… bittersweet? Eh. I blame GB.

Breaking down Project Horizons by Volume, Volume 1 seems to be the most about Security as an entity and our initial A-Team. I like that volume. Volume 2 has the whole Blood and Stars / Hoofington Rises thing going on. Seems to be less about individual level things and more about establishing and hinting at grand-scale plots. The dreams get more interesting and mysteries are getting setup, and it’s kinda cool but daunting. This is also were we start getting a bit more ‘gap-filling’ universe expansion with Blackjack getting involved with Watcher. Volume 3 seems to primary revolve around conspiracies and redefining Fallout: Equestria as a universe by making great use of knowledge of when and where the original story by Kkat- Fallout: Equestria- had left time gaps or explanation gaps and un-shown perspectives. Typically when people talk about PH playing too much with canon or why it’s so vital to FoE as a setting, it’s because of exactly this chunk section. The most obvious example: LittlePip’s memory gap is used right at the first chapter of this volume to give Blackjack and her A-Team an adventure with LittlePip and her team. And it fits. There’s nothing in the original story that would imply these events didn’t happen.

I haven’t recently reread Volumes 4 and volume 5 just started, but 4 seems to be mostly about escalation of power and scale, and Blackjack’s painful journey that shapes her into the so-called Maiden of the Stars. Some of the coolest action parts happen in this volume! Heck, even some parts of just plain genuine fun here and there. But by this point, it’s getting really REALLY hard to keep track of all the characters. And then Volume 5 starts off with an immediate and huge shift from everything we’ve seen before implying a breech of a point of no return. What this volume is meant to be is hard to guess from just the one chapter. But this will probably be the end volume.

Rambling and Other Stuffs:


I played lotsa videogames. Probably about 3 hours of Awesomenauts between today and yesterday. And I keep fitting in a few minutes of the MLP Gameloft game here and there, so I’ve probably played at least an hour of that total. The MLP game is kind of a dirty cash grab, but it’s not as brutal about it as some Piano apps I’ve seen or even compared to the same core team’s LPS game. It’s super cute and has a reasonable atmosphere though, so I keep coming back.

I was gonna ramble more about that, but then I ran out of steam. All you need to know is that Apple Bloom, Cheerilee, and Twilight Sparkle are all working on a carrot farm and Big McIntosh is cranking out lemons every three minutes.

Daily 26 Jan 2014


Drew a little new stuff. Scanned a few days-old stuff. Uploaded a bunch.

Read a bunch of chapters of Fallout Equestria: Duck and Cover.

Got in contact with the Team Leader for the SSE project and worked on stuff side-by-side for about an hour and a half. Still no team for GP2 project… Submitted Weekly Report 01.


Had a bad dream this morning. Had an unstable mood and shed some tears a few hours later in the day. Concluded that I’m a little stressed out, and not particularly used to the experience of being stressed out.

New phone should be arriving tomorrow. Admitted guilty that I pretty much begged $200 to get a device that can finally run Gameloft’s money-grab of a MLPFiM ‘game’. There’s a lot of other reasons I had been wanting to upgrade for a while too, but without the means to reliably pay phone service, the benefits are more akin to upgrading game consoles.

Kinda sorta wanted to do a 20 minute writing exercise. Never got around to it, and want to go to bed soon. Did talk to Kkat briefly about how the MoM became what it did in the FoE Universe. Turns out the primary operating directives are even simpler than the silly ones I had imagined, which makes the whole structure of it sound… chaotic, yet straightforward.

Earlier someone asked me ‘how are you doing?’

So-so. I’ve got tears in my eyes, and I’m not sure why. Had a weird kind of not-fun dream this morning. Also just ended up realizing that if my belongings got raided or taken for legal reasons or something, I’m not completely sure what I’d do. Most likely try to get more paper and pencil and draw more smut to make up for smut lost. Which was kind of an alarming/worrying thought.
[2:30:47 PM] Retl: At the same time, kinda happy because episode put lotsa fun thoughts in my head, and one of the fics I read is pretty much adding a new character based on my work, based on another character that I already liked. So it’s like. A cake of excuses for me to really really like this character.
[2:31:42 PM] Retl: Uploading a bunch of scanned pics and whatnot. Gotta hop on a bus in about 75m

[2:40:53 PM] Retl: The dream I had was kinda simple though. In it, my dad moved into a new, smaller place and invited me over. I was trying to play a PnP thing but couldn’t get in because my niece was on the phone? (she wasn’t there, and I don’t know why that stopped the net from working) and I took some kind of small single-use packet thingy which worked like a miniature laundry machine without asking permission. And was upset both about not asking permission, and about missing game.

okay bored now this is the part where I dump images.

anothersandybatch drawthisdrawthat diamonddogpracticecontines  sandypuppysmilesplotandstuff RetlLikesBunniesAndCats quickiegameideabunnycatapultsketches howdodiamonddogswork funkylookingponypose doggiesandybouncyfuns


Why do I care? When I read fanfiction, what is the trigger that makes me go from ‘Eh, I don’t have time from this’ to ‘Huh, I might check this out’ to ‘I am looking forward to the next update!’

Usually, my point of investment is the point when I have a question I want to answer, or an expectation of something I already know I like.

A general list of things I like can boost my opinion of a story, and sometimes if it’s the core of a story, it can be the primary reason I like a story- for example, mindscrewery- but for the most part I give huge huuuuge points to anything that makes me laugh. By the same token, the mere presence of a number of things can knock my opinion of a story down, but if it makes me laugh enough, I can forgive a lot of things I’d typically not like.

So below, I’m gonna have a list of fics I like with the biggest points of why I am invested in them (as of writing). If there’s a fic you think I should check out and mention below, let me know. I might give it at least an initial try.

  • Asylum

    • Insta-points for insanity mind-screwery type stuff.

    • So… Is she insane? Is she being manipulated by magic to hide reality? Did a magic accident of her own cause all this?

    • What if BOTH realities are both real and true?

    • What are the other pony counterparts like in the Asylum?

  • Equinoxe

    • Fetish Fuel – Maximum Level

    • Maybe I can help this be a better story? Or at least encourage the writer to do more?

  • Fallout: Equestria

    • It makes me laugh a little pretty much in every chapter.

    • What’s this world like?

    • What are all the other stable experiments? What’s it like entering/leaving a given stable?

    • What was it like to be in the MoM? What other parts are there to the MoM? Where did the MoM go wrong?

    • Where are the divergence points in Equestria’s History that made it branch so far from FiM in the Ministry Mare’s youth?

    • Fetish Fuel (Occasionally)

  • Fallout: Equestria – Ashes

    • It makes me laugh a little pretty much in every chapter.

    • What’s the deal with Abby’s cutie mark? She puts on a cute and friendly-enough show.

    • What happened to Airheart that he’s like he is?

    • Why is Crunch so huge?

    • I wonder how (x) responds to scenario (y) with (z) team member nearby?

    • Occasional Fetish Fuel

  • Fallout: Equestria – Better Days

    • It makes me laugh a little in most (fairly short and easily-digestible) chapters.

    • What’s the deal with this Caltrop guy?


    • Occasional Fetish Fuel

  • Fallout: Equestria – Broken Soul

    • Wow, so weird! How does this paranormal stuff work, anyway? What are its rules?

    • Why does this guy get into so much trouble?

    • How is being dead gonna effect protag’s magic in the long run?

  • Fallout: Equestria – Burned Feathers

    • I wonder how all this weapons training whatnot works, anyway?

    • I wonder how the Protag keeps moving forward with what they have to deal with?

  • Fallout: Equestria – Duck and Cover!

    • There’s pretty much something worth laughing at in every chapter.

    • EVERYTHING EXPLODES! I wonder what will explode next?

    • I wonder how this ends? Hopefully not with a generic protagonist death.

  • Fallout: Equestria – Foreshadow

    • Makes me laugh occasionally.

    • Eeee, a filly, I wanna hug it!

    • [Outside knowledge about the intended goal of the story sounded interesting. Wonders where protagonists will adventure to? ]

  • Fallout: Equestria – Guise of Chaos & Echoes of Chaos

    • Makes me laugh now and then.

    • Mindscrewy and an amnesia plot all at once! I wonder if this new personality will win out,or

  • Fallout: Equestria – Heroes

    • It makes me laugh at least once per chapter.(After chapter 4, anyway.) Snarky protagonist helps.

    • Given Serenity’s behaviors and magic skills, was somepony in her past trying to make her into a thief? Was she already a thief before getting captured? Did she thief of her own free will? What even is her past?

    • How did Flare become like he is? Why does he do what he does?

    • Is there anything Hired wouldn’t kick?

    • What’s the history of the Clips and Clops casino? The layout? What branch of the MoM lead to its creation? What were the ponies thinking when they made it? Where are its decorative supplies coming from? The partillary and its ammo?

    • “The Moon everything is for sale” Does anything that enters The Moon instantly become fair game? What happens to goods dealt via transactions that happened in The Moon after The Moon is left? Personal Brute Force seems to be the only counter to monetary wealth in The Moon. Does that mean it’s easy for one to effectively become enslaved to its inhabitants by simply being bought out? If one can buy life, can they buy death? Photography?

    • I wonder how (Any mane party member) would handle (Scenario)?

    • If pretty much everypony in this version of the wasteland is both parts ‘good’ and ‘bad’ with traits, vices, and histories that drive them to do what they do, how does one know who is good or bad enough to shoot? Or is it simply ALL wrong to attack anyone? Is that why I seem to find something to like in almost every character that shows up?

    • Is Scootaborg actually an android/robot/guardianangel/magical/thing?

    • I remember not liking this story at all. What made my opinion change so completely since my first attempt at reading it? (All leads point to Flare and Serenity being the turning points for me, so again, chapter 4.)


    • Fetish Fuel.

  • Fallout: Equestria – Lawmare

    • I remember liking this when I read it months ago, but can’t remember exactly why…

  • Fallout: Equestria – Lesbians

    • It’s a really silly short comedy fic in an itty-bitty bite-sized wrapper. Yum!

  • Fallout: Equestria – Lobotomized

    • It’s a really silly somewhat surreal comedy that made me laugh a few times in a short package.

    • Wait how the heck does all this futurey retro-science even work?

  • Fallout: Equestria – Merchants of Hope

    • Makes me laugh every now and then.

    • What are the different branches of the MoM and what do they do? Why? How did the MoM turn into what it is here? What’s going to happen to it in the future? Does this mean the MoM is not defunct after all?

    • A Ministry Mare living to see the wasteland? How will she handle it? How will the wasteland respond to her? Is she going to go back to her old ways? Is she going to try to fix things?

    • So how does Pinkie Pie and the Pinkie Sense work?

    • What is this unique version of the Everafter and how does it work?

    • Mirror Pool? What makes this clone different from the others?

    • Android zebras with transplanted memories? Is there more tech where this came from? How does it work? Who made it? Why? How does it affect beliefs and lifestyle of that android?


    • Fetish Fuel

  • Fallout: Equestria – Monsters

    • How does this character’s experience relate to and differ from my own experiences as a relatively inexperienced socially-inept newbie to a team?

    • Is any of this right? Is any of this wrong? What’s the point of the conflict these ponies are losing themselves to?

  • Fallout: Equestria – New Pegas

    • Makes me laugh occasionally

    • How will the story keep all of the shared-continuity parts coherent between so many in-progess Fallout Equestria sidefics that it takes as canonical?

    • Ooh, shiny technologies! How does it work?

    • Is Pink-E fully electro-mechanical? Is there magic at play? Some other force that makes something ‘alive’? (Does the nature of FoE’s setting facilitate the barrier between living and non-living creations being far more blurred than our world? WHAT IS LIFE!?)

    • Occasional Fetish Fuel

  • Fallout: Equestria – New Roam

    • This is a weird new setting. What is their culture like?

  • Fallout: Equestria – Oasis

    • I remember liking this story, but it’s been a while since I read it and longer since it last updated.  What was it I liked the first time again?

  • Fallout: Equestria – Operation Flankorage

    • Fallout Equestria: Heroes gave an in-world reference to this fic’s protagonist. Why was this character important enough to be mentioned there?

  • Fallout: Equestria – Pink Eyes

    • Every chapter makes me laugh at least twice.

    • Chapters are in short, easy-to-read chunks.

    • Is she gonna make it, or not?

    • How does all this magic work anyway?

    • Ooh, robots and AIs! How do they work? Are there more of them? If more AIs make more AIs, what would happen in the future? I want one!

    • How does immortality work? What is immortality in this context?

    • What is the Ever-After like?

    • Hi, I’m Rainy Days. Have you seen my daughter?


    • Occasional Fetish Fuel

  • Fallout: Equestria – Probed

    • It’s a really silly somewhat surreal comedy that made me laugh a few times in a short package.

  • Fallout: Equestria – Project Horizons

    • There’s usually at least one laugh per chapter in books 1, 2, 4, and 5.

    • Should I be interpreting this as a cartoon? As an anime? As live action?

    • Is this as Over the Top as the Devil May Cry series? What will they do next!?

    • So many factions and shiny flashy glowy technology and magic with its own rules and goals. How does it all work?


    • Fetish Fuel.

  • Fallout: Equestria – Second Wind

    • It makes me laugh every chapter, more or less. Snarky protagonist helps.

    • How does all this tech and magic stuff work? What is Necronet? What are Dead Mares?

    • What is the deal with [protagonist] and how did they become what they are now? How do they go forward from here? What do they want?

    • What is mortality and immortality in this context? Is PNK3 alive? In what fashion?

    • Fetish Fuel. Plenty of it.

  • Fallout: Equestria – Starlight

    • The first four chapters were kinda cartoony and silly and made me laugh.

  • Fallout: Equestria – The Long Winter

    • (Not to be confused with another fic of the same title).

    • What’s the deal with this mysterious  Pred-y guy with the name I can’t spell?

    • What is the protagonist repressing that every companion character is more interesting than her?

    • OMG A HOLO FILLY AI. Are there more AIs? Is there more tech like this? What do the others do? How does it work? What are its features?

    • Occasional Fetish Fuel

    • It gives me a chuckle every once in a while.

  • Fallout: Equestria – The Mysterious Strangers

    • Why do these changelings do what they do?

    • Interesting setup in a small package.

  • Fallout: Equestria – Treasure Hunting

    • Makes me laugh occasionally.

    • What’s the deal with Rose? What measure is a moral? What does it mean to be a clone? What is just when one’s creator no longer wants their creations anymore?

    • Bugpony reminds me of Xellos from slayers. The question? That… is a secret~.

    • Mindscrewery. Gotta wonder how much of the time spent captured actually happened, and how much was falsified or lied about to confuse and farther break the perception of protagonist.

    • Hidden Pony is not a ‘thinky pony’. Is it because of her emotions? Is it because of her training? Is it because of a lack of discipline? Is it for reasons that have no narrative purpose for the reader?

    • What is the Wire Pony? What is Zebra Culture like?

    • Occasional fetish fuel.

  • Fallout: Equestria – We’re No Heroes

    • I laughed. Occasionally.

    • SO MUCH TECH. SWEET CELESTIA SO MUCH TECHNOLOGY how does any of it work? How does ALL of it work?

    • eeee cute little filly I wanna hug it!

    • Will the stable mares be able to adopt to the wasteland? What will become of them?

  • Fallout: Equestria – Wild Wasteland & Side Stories

    • It’s really silly and makes me laugh at least once per chapter.

  • Fallout: Equestria – Wish Machines (This is being rewritten as of writing. : / )

    • How did the pony named Balloon get his name?

    • I wonder what the rest of the MoM is like?

  • For Love of Manican Food

    • It makes me laugh. Which is kinda the point of the story.

    • What is Manican culture like, anyway?

    • What are other ponified cuisines?

  • Here’s to You, Pinkamena Pie!

    • Explicit fetish fuel.

  • My Little Pony’s Little Ponies

    • It makes me laugh at least once each chapter.

    • I wonder what’s (character)’s approach to playing with toys? What about when they’re playing with (other character)?

  • Ponyville 911

    • Makes me laugh pretty much at least once every chapter.

    • What’s up with these two protagonist characters? Why are they the way they are?

    • What part of Equestria’s government benefits from the duo’s collateral damage so much that it’s beneficial?

  • The Best Night Ever

    • Mindscrewery. Which theory is the correct theory? The true theory? Is none of this real?

    • What does mortality and immortality mean in this context?

    • How would I deal with this scenario, and how does he doeal with it? How does this all compare?

    • Will he ever break free? When he does, will he still be sane? Would anyone believe him?

  • The Immortal Game

    • Sir Unimpressive is in this fic.

    • There’s usually at least one good laugh in every chapter.

    • How does magic work in this realm? Why is Bladecasting so powerful? How does this three-class system of magic work? What is the magic of friendship and harmony?

    • What is mortality and immortality in this context? Why does it matter? What is just when one’s own creators no longer wish their creations to exist?

  • The Popping Pupil

    • Fetish fuel.

  • The Sweetie Chronicles: Fragments

    • It makes me laugh at least once per chapter, even in fairly serious chapters.

    • What is Sweetie anymore? What will she become? When did she change and how? What of her origin world? Is any world the ‘right’ world anymore?

    • What would she do in a world like her original world but where she had never existed? Would she be happy to reintegrate in a world where she hadn’t messed things up and can start fresh? Would Sweetie’s abscence simply result in some other incident triggering a different pony’s grand adventure?

    • What universe are we visiting now, and how does it differ from the others? Why should I read the story that the present chapter is based on?

    • What happens when foreknowledge of the rules of one universe are carried on into that of another?

  • This Platinum Crown

    • This story has ties to The Best Night Ever and could be considered a sequel to it. Where do things diverge? What are the consequences of the initial story being held canonical?

    • It has similar ties to The Sweetie Chronicles. The same questions apply.However, TSC:F in turn has ties to several other realms of Equestria that do not all comply with each-other. How does that affect the implications of the nature of this story’s realm?

    • Yay, another Pokey Pierce / PinPrick pony! I wonder what he’s like in this universe? Does he work in the party industry? Is he a merchant? Does he like balloons? Was the thing in Call of the Cutie a fluke, or a common behavior? Why was he even at that party? What is his party like?

    • The stylings of the narrative are more like that of a movie than the cartoon. What causes this feeling? Is it valuable?

    • Is the post-Antimony arc necessary? Is it better with the two held as a whole, or split into dedicated tales?

  • Twilight Sparkle Gets a Free Salad

    • I laughed to tears. Hard to top that. Extrodinary Laughs per Hour score in a fairly small chapter size.

    • This story had a slight crossover with The Immortal Game. Where does the divergence hold and break? How much of TIG’s events did the characters in this tale retain? Are they merely actors on a stage? Did all of the events in each story happen, and each of them only vaguely remember them?


Blowups! (1/?)

(Tried to see what would happen if I did a 10m challenge instead of 20m. It doesn’t really give enough time to think. : /  But a half-hour might be a little too long to make it feel like a small investment. Also, I wrote this with my head kinda swimming and on the edge of sleeping, so uh. Stuff/)

“It smells like butts!” The blue colt wriggled his nose and then was promptly plunked down on a wooden stool. An orange filly’s green tail rearranged things at the table with the deftness of any other familiar limb momentarily before she whirled around and filled his vision with her large pink eyes.

“You’re not supposed to smell it!” The filly gingerly tapped the colt’s nose with a forehoof. “Be glad it only smells like butt! I think somepony used to use it as a chair. I’ll sell it to you for five caps if you want it.  don’t need it anymore.”


(I cheated and actually spent 23 minutes on this.)

As I glanced at the gift, then back to the mare who was offering it to me, I felt an odd shiver run down my spine. Like something was wrong about this, to be accepting what amounted to a symbol of adulthood with all the trappings of a friendly birthday exchange. I knew what it was before I unwrapped it.

A Pipbuck.  A slim, sleek pink ring of heavily enchanted plastic, measure to right right around a pony’s foreleg. Three large balloon-shaped buttons: two blue sandwiching the yellow in the middle of the row. A clear-as-ice rotillary dial flush with the upper rim. A particularlly shiny and oh-so-eyecatching section of the panel which was clearly intended to reduce that area’s magical insulation.

“Happy Birthday, Memory Editor! And congratulations on getting your cutie mark. You’re now officially an adult member of this Stable!” I thought Code Breaker, and how proud she’d be. I thought of Game Shark, and how he’d mouth off at length about the technical features of the device, and explaining how grateful I should be that such things were around for mere ponies to experience. I felt cold again. My unease must have been showing, as Catch Exception spoke up.

“I know it’s hard, having to do this so soon, but you’ll be fine. It’s in your blood. They would be proud. ” As if I didn’t know.  “And you’re not being given this to replace them-” Oh really? Then why me? Why today? “- but you have a special task ahead of you today that calls for your particular talent.” So you want meme to do what my Mom used to do? How swell. Wait, that’s not how this ceremony usually goes.

“Wait, what?” I started to slip the Pipbuck onto my hoof. It slipped smoothly up my left foreleg until I stopped. I felt a brief squeeze as the resizing talisman worked its magic, then a momentary prick, a small electric tingle that ran from my hoof to my heart then all around. And there went the overlays, one after another, displays informing me of my physical condition, my equipment, and a compass all started to pop into view with a rosey pink tint. Just like in the simulator, but quite a bit faster.

“Head to room 2B. From there, you’ll get your house-clone, your next special present, and from there just do what your Pipbuck says. ”

New Quest Added: Cheaters Never Prosper

Objective: Report to room 2B to be given your next parting gift and instructions. Good luck, Emmy.

“Well, fragbasket!”