The "fine enough" parable

Feb 22nd, 2018
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  1. note: this first part just establishes where you are in the story if you wanted to read this. this few couple of posts are still kept into the story
  3. >After making it back inside the castle, you grab some of that clear caffeinated coffee you've grown accustom to drinking.
  4. >Then you go into the workshop, start on making something- but you've got writer's block.
  5. >You decide to just go to sleep.
  6. >When you wake up, You throw on a silk robe and head downstairs.
  7. >You chuckle when you remember that Rarity has the exact robe.
  8. >Nobody expected you to point at Rarity's evening gown and say 'Three of these please.'
  9. >Rarity herself just smiled and complemented your taste.
  10. >Drat, you're in your head again. What were you doing?
  11. >You realize that you're boiling some water on some magic heating pad of some sort.
  12. >It's operated strangely, and Twilight told you the process.
  13. You lightheartedly spout "Bring it aaarouund towwwn!" when making sure the water doesn't boil over.
  14. >You pour some oats, cut some apples, and pour the water over all that.
  15. >Then you put it down on the table and start going at it.
  16. >You hear the regular thud of Twilight falling on her face, off the bed, and on the floor.
  17. >She always does this. You don't know why.
  18. >Might just be a horse thing. Humans are built properly, the legs bending opposite of a ponies'.
  19. >Properly. >That word rings a bit. Are you becoming an elitist?
  20. >You were always an elitist.
  21. >You make a slight gesture of agreement to the air, like the hydrogen was convincing you and not your brain.
  22. >You hear the tap, tap, tapping of Twilight going down the steps.
  24. >Then she gasps. And you hear the signature *POOF* of her teleporting.
  25. >She's next to you now. You hear her whisper "Shit."
  26. >Then She Poofs away, you went to grab at her to get an explanation, but she was already gone.
  27. >Pinkie came back through the door in Twilight's absence.
  28. >"Tsar! Nonny! We need to talk!"
  29. >You look up, swallowing the last of your oats.
  30. "Hmm?"
  31. >"You were, uhh- We were… gone. For a while."
  32. "How long is a while, ponk-"
  33. >Twilight poofs back in the room in a panic, Rainbow Dash gets in too.
  34. >Through breaths, Twilight spouts. "We need to talk."
  35. "Way ahead of you there, Twiggle."
  36. >You turn your head back to Pinkie.
  37. "How long were we gone?"
  38. >Pinkie turns her head to Twilight.
  39. >Twilight gets the message, and breaths in.
  41. >"Four months."
  42. >"Four months and one week, for you" Twilight finishes.
  43. "What?!"
  44. >You breath in sharply and get up quickly.
  45. >"Take your time." Twilight sarcastically says.
  46. >You kick in.
  47. >You've taken your time.
  48. >You have a thought.
  49. "Even worse being that we told nearly nobody when we left."
  50. >"You're right- We were thought to have been kidnaped by you." Twilight tacks on.
  51. "That’s been fixed up hopefully."
  52. >A sharp pain crawls through your temple as you have a troubling thought.
  53. "How's the colony?"
  54. >"I've not an idea, we need to speak to celestia."
  55. "Is anything wrong? What's wrong?"
  56. >Your mind starts reeling at her next sentence.
  57. >"It's- it's really bad, anon. We need to go see Celestia- she can tell you."
  58. >You joust both your hands to your chest and out a little bit, making a 'hold it' gesture.
  59. "Oh, no- no, Twilight. You tell me. Is the colony a failure? Did my people die?"
  60. >"We have to see Celes-"
  61. "I need to know, Twilight."
  62. >"We don't-"
  63. "To hell you don’t! You know exactly what's happening! Why can't you just tell me."
  64. >"NONNY!"
  65. >You jump and get in a stance of stability.
  66. >You're taken aback a little bit. You've never heard Pinkies 'anger voice' before.
  67. >"Take a look at the mare in the mirror, Anon. You're starting to make Twilight cry. She didn't do anything!"
  68. >You had started to protest, but you know in your mind that you couldn't argue with Pinkie. That's just not the relationship between you two.
  69. "Fine." You say. "let's get to Canterlot."
  71. ____________cut part_________________
  74. "That’s a lot of red."
  75. >You sigh to yourself.
  76. >"They've moved upon Las Pegausus with very scary precision, they had-"
  77. >Celestia wrinkles her brow thinking on how to articulate her thoughts.
  78. >"They had outlandish war machines."
  79. >War machines…
  80. >You fear the worst.
  81. "Celestia."
  82. >She snaps her attention to you.
  83. >You pick up a piece of chalk.
  84. "Draw one of these machines."
  85. >And just like you feared, she draws a world war one styled tank.
  86. >You shake your head.
  87. "I know what those are, Celestia."
  88. >You power blink, keeping your eyes closed for a full second.
  89. "It's called a tank, princess."
  90. >"Is this technology human?"
  91. "Of course it is. And I actually have no idea how they got the ability to make these things."
  92. >They can just magic that shit together in an afternoon.
  93. >It's not above these horses.
  94. "So." you tap your stick on the map- "What are we looking at tactics wise?"
  95. >"Their forces will nearly always send these 'tanks' up front with nearly no ponies on the ground."
  96. >She continues- "In the battle for Los Pegasus they encircled the city with a hundred of these and blasted them with their cannons.
  97. "Cannons?" you think out loud, they must have turret guns then.
  98. >But if their doing that then that sounds awfully like-
  100. "There has to be another human on the other side of this." you simply say.
  101. >You point to the map, at Cykablyatovia
  102. "No ponies should know Blitzkreig tactics."
  104. >That colony is breathtakingly fucked right now.
  105. >You're pretty sure that Twilight had no idea how fucked it was, even though she had a week head start on you.
  106. >You feel bad for yelling at her, now.
  107. >You jump into your Canterlot workshop after some clever walking.
  108. >Twilight was there, waiting for you.
  109. >This particular forge and shop goes almost entirely unused.
  110. >It's kind of better than the one in ponyville, you guess.
  111. >You don't have to clean it…
  112. "Okay! Twilight, I've got a few ideas."
  113. >"We're in trouble now."
  114. "Shush-" you cheerily say back.
  115. "Get me my blue print thingies."
  116. >She smiles, and walks over to the dusty cabinet, where she pulls a few rolls of white grid papers and black markers.
  117. >it slightly upsets you that the blueprints are almost always on white paper.
  118. "This first thing we're making is called a ballistae."
  119. >"Is it human?"
  120. "It's Roman, and maybe Chinese."
  121. "So- uh, yeah."
  122. >You grab a piece of maple sapling.
  123. "A ballistae is simply a huge fucking bow pulled back by a ratchet."
  124. >"Ooh, does it fire huge fucking arrows, too?"
  125. "You bet. Here, come help me design this ratcheting system."
  127. >"What are we penetrating here?"
  128. >Twilight looks up from you, just a bit after making a tin ratchet prototype.
  129. "We should be able to break the rails on the train-track with this."
  130. >"Will this ballistae do that?"
  131. "I was hoping steel would do the trick here."
  132. >"Steel?"
  133. >She blinks a few times, before remembering what steel was.
  134. >"how do we get things so hot?"
  135. >You ruffle your hands through your hair.
  136. "The basic oxygen process back home."
  137. >"BOP!" Twilight quickly snaps out, laughing a bit.
  138. >"I like it, how does it work?"
  139. "Well, we need some pure oxygen."
  140. >"How pure?" she quickly retorts.
  141. "99%, then we need heat and a bit of limestone."
  142. >She laughs again, saying "We use limestone a lot."
  143. >You look at her and smile.
  144. >It's been a bit since you could just 'do this'.
  145. "Okay! So we need a furnace. How do you make iron around here?"
  146. >"Heat and rail rock." she says back.
  147. "And the heat? Coal or magic?"
  148. >"Magic most places. But in some areas they use coal."
  149. "Alrighty then, let me explain steel to you."
  151. "Steel is basically Iron but with little to no carbon, we can make steel by melting iron in a furnace, and introducing a powerful blast of pure oxygen."
  152. >"Okay." she says with a nod.
  153. "So we need a crucible, we need to fill it with melted pig iron." you gesture with your hands
  154. >You think for a moment.
  155. "Then we need to pipe in some pure oxygen from /under/ the crucible." your hands act out what looks like the process of pouring one thing into another.
  156. "Then we, we add the limestone, because the steel would be too soft without the carbon."
  157. >You think you're missing something.
  158. "Then I think we add manganese, iron and carbon, all melted together."
  159. >"in small amounts, right? Because we'd just end with what we started."
  160. "Yeah. Then we've got steel."
  161. >"So what would we be making this steel into?"
  162. >You start thinking out loud.
  163. "its all got to be tool steel, so we're going to have to case harden it."
  165. "We take some high carbon steel, then we heat it up again, then dip that- that goes into lime dust, not limestone."
  166. "Then when it cools we can make blades and our ballistae parts."
  167. >"But which parts will be steel?"
  168. >"Whichever is needed."
  169. "But will a big ass ballistae break through the iron plate of the tanks, is our real question."
  170. >You lean over the table, eying the prints.
  171. "if we sharpen the tips enough I think we can get them in the tracks."
  172. "Or the turret?"
  173. "A lot of things broke really easy on those old tanks. The Mostly kept them together with hope and prayer."
  174. >"Can we make the arrows explode?" Twilight interjects.
  175. "Like, an RPG?"
  176. >"A what?"
  177. "It's basically a human arrow that explodes violently."
  178. >"Can we engineer that?"
  179. "I can't. I simply don't have the explosives."
  180. >"I can enchant the gunpowder, I suppose."
  181. >You turn back to twilight.
  182. "Can we magic that shit together in an afternoon?"
  183. >"Probably. It's just one of these, except cast instead of steel?"
  184. "It's much more complicated than this, but can this magic- what is it, black powder? Can it explode on impact?"
  185. >She thinks for a moment, mumbling a bit.
  186. >"I think if I combine a few enchantments. Because there is an old war spell that caused arrows to light on fire on impact."
  187. "You think we can combine the two?"
  188. >"I just said that, anon."
  189. "Then we might as well just make the arrows wood in the front."
  190. >You look over to your prints.
  191. "You would think that you'd get a more directional explosion if we put iron or steel here-"
  192. >You notice Twilight is over in the other area of the forge.
  193. >After calling her over, you point out your thoughts.
  194. >You sit for a while before coming up with a proper projectile that would probably work.
  196. >"I'll call to some fabricators to make the molds for these iron reinforcements here, and send a few carpenters to make these arms there."
  197. >"And also we can get the invention department to make up that furnace you need."
  198. "Can we get some alchemists for the oxygen?"
  199. >"I've got a spell for that, anon- don't fret."
  200. >That's good to know.
  201. >And with that, she turns and leaves.
  202. >You start on the bindings and the wheels, putting bearings on the swivels and some easy to set adjustors.
  203. "Shit, we could've made mortars."
  204. "Or cannons."
  205. >Fuck it.
  206. "We'll do it live."
  208. >After a few days of getting the bases done, the arms and rails roll into the shop.
  209. >You get some bolts on there, and then some strings.
  210. >Then Twilight comes in and throws some 'unicorn strength shit' as Twilight calls it.
  211. >Then she brings up a few iron tubes, which you load full of that 'on impact' black powder, once again with some 'Strength shit' added as well.
  212. >You throw those in a bag, and place them on the cart.
  213. >Twilight puts it on a mobile base and takes it out the back door and into the courtyard.
  214. >You then wait on the princesses for you to begin your tests.
  216. >It's about four in the afternoon now, and the Princesses have finally gotten near where you are testing this, which is the landing pad you came on for coronation, as a matter of fact.
  217. >So it holds a bit of significance, you suppose.
  218. >You hear Twilight ratchet and load the ballistae.
  219. >You're not facing anything, just forest.
  220. >Twilight reassures you that blowing up that area is fine. She says 'You could nuke it.'
  221. >Still, you're scared tha-
  222. "Top of the morning Celestia!"
  223. >Celestia speaks, in a usual tone- "Hello, Tsar. Hello- Twilight."
  224. >"Hi Celestia! Hey Luna! Long time no sleep!"
  225. >Luna Yawns out "You can say that again."
  226. >Before you got turned around to begin the demo, you hear two other ponies hit the ground, via carriage.
  227. >The landing pad before you was fairly large, and it more than accommodated for Cadence and Shining Armour's carriage.
  228. >You all exchange welcomes, and that moment flies pretty quickly even though you're pretty sure that they're all related some how…
  229. >"Okay!" Celestia says, "Let's see it."
  230. "Alright, Princess, what you're about to see is what humans are more efficient in making- more than any other type of tech."
  231. >You smile a bit, even though it'll probably end for the worst.
  232. "This is the weapon side of humans. And this-"
  233. >You pull the string,
  234. "Is my boom stick."
  236. >You turn to see the blast.
  237. >You see a small flash of light about the size of a house.
  238. >Then you start to see the trees move your direction, you see the shockwave Is coming.
  239. >You start counting on your hands.
  240. >Cadence speaks up. Saying "It doesn't seem like much of a boo-"
  242. >The five of your guy's hair wooshes with the wind, Twilights especially.
  243. >You turn back to see the damage, about fifteen feet in either direction of the blast is obliterated with a bit of a fire going.
  244. >You look to see twilight gingerly flying the mile-or-so distance it takes to get to the blast zone.
  245. >Then you see her place some sort of area of effect spell, and you notice that it douses the flames.
  246. >When she comes back, the eyes of the princesses still haven't gone down from their astonishment and Shining's stupid smile hasn't left.
  247. >You put your hands up in a casual manner.
  248. "I've got like, four of those."
  249. >Shining is the first one to say "Who's down for a re-fire?"
  251. >The Train Rumbles along towards Los Pegasus.
  252. >You're sitting in your regular quarters when the train stops moving.
  253. >Your magical little communication device whurs to life next to you.
  254. >"They've blockaded the tracks, sir- about three miles out from Las Pegasus.
  255. "How do we know that?"
  256. >The comms lay silent, and you push to regain confirmation.
  257. >The communication device comes back to life.
  258. >"Bat guard, Sir!"
  259. "That makes se-"
  260. >THUNK
  261. "Oh."
  262. >The bat guard were actually boarding your train.
  263. >You turn back towards the comms.
  264. "Does that mean Luna, Maam?"
  265. >"No, sir… But I'm gonna start my deceleration. I'll be a moment."
  266. "Do what you need."
  267. >A couple of bats come into the train cart, you're sitting at one of the benches.
  268. >The trains gearing kicks in and you almost fall out of your place
  269. >You didn't get a royal train- it seems to not have to torque like these transport trains get.
  270. >They come and stand by you and remain stoic.
  271. "What are you boys in for?"
  272. >"Guard duty, sir."
  273. "Why are you here- eh, shouldn't you be asleep?"
  274. >"The Royal guard are all scattered, sir." one says colloquially. "We're mobilized to protect the royals for right now."
  275. "Who's side are you on?"
  276. >"Yours, sir."
  277. "You better remember that- or I will take a shit on you."
  278. >"Sir, yes sir."
  279. "Okay. Lets get on."
  281. >The train stops, and you get off and down the steps of the car.
  282. You had to hop down onto the grass, because there wasn't a platform, that- and you were on a slope.
  283. >The Bats jump off and flutter down a bit before standing on your side.
  284. >You can see the city a bit from where you're standing, it's deathly quiet where you are.
  285. >A quiet sneeze from behind you makes you and your bats jump and turn.
  286. >Twilight's tired eyes come back at your face, and you ease.
  287. "Which one of those has the ballistae on it?"
  288. >"I think the fourth one from the back." she says in response.
  289. "Yeah, that one's got a tarp on it."
  290. >You turn to your bat bitches.
  291. "Lets get that tarp off, please and thank you. Twilight's got me protected."
  292. >You look back to Twilight with a serious look.
  293. "Don't you?"
  294. >"Oh, yeah- sure."
  295. >You watch them get to work, barking cute little instructions at each-other as they open up your creation to the world.
  296. >The both of you start back to the ballistae when Twilight starts up a conversation.
  297. >"Why the machine?"
  298. "Ponies can't operate muskets."
  299. >"Muskets?"
  300. >Muskets!
  301. "Not until you're older, twilight."
  302. >She shakes her head, mumbling under her breath.
  303. >"Why one?"
  304. "I dunno. I guess that's the quickest path. Not like I was wanting to do anything besides blow up tanks and that blockade."
  305. >"Seems fair."
  306. >She hops up onto the trailer car, and you follow forward.
  307. >You didn't have much in the ways of sights. You'd think that after a hit to the walls of one of these mortar things they'd disperse.
  308. >Not like you wanted your Cykans to go to war anyway.
  310. "Alright, lets get this over with."
  311. >"What do you mean?"
  312. >You jolt a look over.
  313. "Eh?"
  314. >"We've a battle ahead!"
  315. >But-
  316. "But we've no troops, Twilight."
  317. >She looks around, flying up and looking over the hills in most directions.
  318. >Then she comes back down
  319. >"My bad, how many of these do we have?"
  320. "I dunno, how many did we make?"
  321. >"Just the ones from yesterday."
  322. "So-"
  323. >You count on your fingers, thinking how many you shot versus how many were made.
  324. >You carry the one and add five.
  325. >Then you multiply by seven and take that to the third power.
  326. >Then you carry the one again.
  327. >Remainder leaves us with.
  328. "We've two rounds."
  329. >"And four battle ready. Two royals and two guards."
  330. "You play too many table top games."
  331. >She tips her fedora, at remembrance of the great DnD tournament of 04'
  332. "Alright, lets get on with it."
  333. >"Yes!"
  334. >She does some math, carries the one, and uses her magic to move the ballistae at the gate.
  335. >You realize, magic has some surgical precision, and you op to move the target of aim.
  336. "Ready!"
  337. >You get ready.
  338. "Steady!"
  339. >You steady.
  340. >Throwing your hand down, you shout "FIRE!" and throw yourself off balance and into the ballistae
  341. >The ballistae moves four inches to the right and then fires.
  343. >You watch the ballistae fire off, and scarily heads in an unsafe direction.
  344. >Two seconds into the firing, it hits the main gate of Los Pegasus, directly square on where the most of the blockade is.
  345. >Twilight bursts out "Direct hit!" and gets excited over her first real act of war.
  346. >She's getting ready to load another, but you stop her.
  347. "The blockade is clear, Twilight, lets get at that gate."
  348. >"Alright, fine."
  349. >She and one of the Bat Ponies fly off towards the front of the train, the other one accompanying you to the train as well.
  350. >You leisurely stroll to the internals of the train, it soon taking off toward the city. >You stop, and immediatley reliefed
  354. Theres a huge as crater, can't pull the train through.
  356. A bunch of Cykans come rushing out brandishing spears.
  358. They say something like 'you gave us the order to do this!'
  360. They find out that a couple of ponies named flim and flam had told them that they were appointed advisers at cykablyatovia and conned their way into what was left by anon
  362. Then they take the train to cykablyatovia, where they find a big ass wall that was built.
  364. A couple of tanks come rolling out, firing concrete cannonballs that twilight can't magic
  366. The tanks were built from copper, and a couple of ballistae rounds fuck them up.
  368. Find out that he fired upon Cykans and breaks down.
  370. Gets mad, blows a hole in Cykablyatovia's wall (maybe, idk if I want to put that there, seems ooc)
  372. Finds the 4 month old industry state that is Cykablyatovia, fit with factories and mines and such, built by copper-cog.
  374. The leader's mansion is tacked with the plaque FnF Bro's Headquarters
  376. Turns out flim and flam had joined the colony and conned the whole populous into believing that they had been given leadership of the colony
  378. They had gone and begun a imperialist campaign on west equestria
  380. Anon climbs the gate and forces himself into the mansion to where he finds flim and flam
  382. He has a meltdown on them, and kicks them out of the colony (maybe by gunpoint but is that ooc)
  384. He has a bit where he fixes everything that was broken, and we fast forward into where he's repaired everything,
  386. So this even is supposed to poision anon with a feverish fear that ponies will take his inventions and ruin everything human style, ending the peace that is only stopped periodically by outlandish fantasy villains
  388. Then we get into the next bit, story back on track
  390. (this seemed all very unnecessary and a shitty direction to go, and for me seemed unwriteable where it would make sense in the story, though I was half way down this path with what you see here. So I guess it's going to be alt reality, as I'm axing this part off and replacing it with a more natural path dealing with the naivety and dangers of copying human tech without knowing how to safely do so.)
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