Discussion in 'The Index' started by The Dark Gods, May 21, 2012.
Making the CB attempt a independent effort helps because then nobody has to act out of character.
I gave up on reading anything by Chatoyance awhile back. How can anyone have so much self-loathing and still function?
To the ones trying to make the fics that are the opposite of CB..... wouldnt the ponies having to turn into humans be a much better inversion then a stomp fic?
It probably started with friendly PMs to the guy with a pony avatar didn't it?
No matter, welcome to the herd, buddy
You are infected.
You, of all people.
Crap, those idiots were actually right about the world ending in 2012.
I. Hate. You. ALL.
The word you are looking for is "love". "Love" and maybe "tolerate".
Don't make me break out the AM quote.
A few thoughts on an AU version of CB, since I've had time to think about it. I'm trying to keep what I view as the main assumptions, but with an eye towards reworking them into something vaguely acceptable.
Premise: Equestria is dropped onto Earth, magic does Bad Things (TM) to humans and other nonmagical lifeforms (I love how these fics just ignore the rest of Earth's ecosystem). Humans are the main thing for obvious reasons here.
Premise: Conversion to pony-form negates the effect.
Backstory: Thanks to some malfunctioning Plot Devicium left over from the Handwavium Wars the continent the ponies are on gets dropped into the Pacific. There are some background weather and climatological fallout effects to deal with, along with the sudden loss of a decent chunk of ocean. This is bad on its own, but humanity got some awesome neighbors so it balances out. Except no, the actual apocalypse comes with the unfortunate fact that entering the assorted "Magic Field" makes humans seriously sick. As in fever, stuffy nose, vomiting, bone deep arthritis/sciatica aches, etc. Nasty flu like (and worse) symptoms for the better part of two to three months before everything acclimates properly. Long term side effects are unknown, but projections are fairly positive. The incapacitating sickness is universal, but it's so bad for ~30-40% of the population that they need serious medical care to survive. The rest can muddle through with major preparation, serious pain medication, and the knowledge that there's literally nothing else that can be done. It is survivable, though.
Unfortunately the magical field has an exponential expansion factor. The first 5-6 months it'll take to expand fully across the Pacific, but when it hits Japan/the West Coast of the U.S. it'll reach a critical mass and expand across the planet in less than three weeks (Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Indonesia receive the dubious honor of being the test subjects). Leaving aside the medical care issue, humanities' infrastructure can't take three months without maintenance. Simply put: This is the end of humanity's civilization (and most humans) unless drastic measures are taken. The ponies are, frankly, universally horrified at what's about to occur and are willing to put 150% effort into stopping it. They just don't have the numbers to nurse everyone, or the technical expertise to maintain everything that needs it. Low tens of millions of ponies (Plus whatever else is willing to help) just aren't enough to prevent even a fraction of what's looming.
Obviously, we need more ponies. Hence: Conversion Bureaus. Mind rape into happy little slave drones isn't on the table. Unfortunately, there are side effects since this is an emergency solution with less than zero time to iron out the kinks. Transformations have to be done inside a magic field, acclimation and training to work inside pony form takes time. Different body, different senses, different brain chemistry, different hormones, etc. To say nothing of learning to use and deal with the conscious and unconscious things magic does to someone (Oh yes, it does things, you didn't think CMFIS was universal or a problem type exclusive to ponies for no reason did you?). There isn't a reverse serum yet, and there wasn't time to make the current serum friendly to reversal, so it might never happen. Moreover, it's power plant technicians, field maintenance guys, doctors, nurses, emergency workers, etc. that are the highest priority. Civilization is going to have to nearly stop for a while, and these are the folks that have to keep it ticking over enough to be brought back in the aftermath.
Needless to say, making the conversion is openly a potentially life long commitment. There are upsides: longer life, enhanced and magical (literally) abilities, diseases are cured, etc. That said, you're becoming a pony. Also, there's the horrible doom and months of extreme effort looming behind all this.
Anyway, my two cents. I'll think more about this and maybe flesh out some more later.
Yeah nice idea. Pretty much only way to rework TCB into something "nice" that also isn't derogatory to one of the sides. Very similar to my TLDR post couple of pages back. Magic Zone (tm) is expanding exponentially on its own, ponyfication is only way for humanity to survive at all in any shape or form. Its not blatant and intentional mindrape, its waking up in a body of a magical sentient herd herbivore.
Sounds workable. I'm partial to the idea of extremists going around doing the CB plot to show why it's bad in that incarnation, but with volluntary conversion a legitimate option (though one the ponies prefer to use as plan B compared to actually stopping the expansion.
Yeah, the mind rape is the part that really pisses me off and I imagine is what makes most people reach for the big red NUKE IT button. I'm just not optimistic enough to think an emergency solution can compensate for different physiology/instincts/fucking (if analyzable) magic. It's also not a decent story involving transformation unless there's psychological drama too, as the great Jack L. Chalker so demonstrates. Basically, my opinion is that the body and mind are inextricably intertwined, and trying to separate out effects of one from the other is an impossible task.
That said, with enough time and applied engineering/magic it might be possible to make a transformation serum that would leave everything the way it found it. Neither side has the combined engineering expertise, and time is the enemy, so what comes out is this WW2-esque emergency half-assed clusterfuck design that'd never pass FDA testing in any other circumstances. Side effects are not only probable but expected, and there wasn't really time to test for allergies or whatever else. There's also not time to test the long term effects of ponification either. Fun, fun, fun.
I'd have to find some maps to figure out how much else makes the transfer, as I'd imagine that an undefended human city might prove a temptation for the less savory elements of pony-Earth. Dragons being one major concern.
Have the canon CB formula being a discarded by product and used by associated terrorists/extremists/groups that want cooperation to fail is entirely allowed for here. Say that this formula was created by Equestria's defense industry equivalent, and promptly shut the FUCK down by the Elements/Princesses/supervisory committee. Disaffected elements see to its distribution to..interested parties...and everything proceeds from there.
EDIT the second: I'd have actually stopping the expansion tantamount to altering physics. Elements of Harmony level power needed to do so, to be extremely precisely applied, and to be kept up for a decent period. Basically, it's a possible solution and if all resources were poured into it it might work. By the time the expansion is noticed, there isn't the time left. This is partly a story of tragedy, the second best solution, and everyone stepping up to help their neighbors in a time of extremes.
I'm starting to think more and more that the best bet would be to hope it fades into obscurity.
Also, since Mind Rape has been brought up, I'm going to run an idea for my seapony fic through you guys. If you'd been reading along with the story, would a single scene where an eldritch abomination attempts to break the Mane 6 turn you off of the story completely? Reply plox, I need to know people's thoughts.
I have an idea, based in chatoyances universe. Basically this. After the conversion of the earth The earth starts to eat up the magic of equestria to restore itself to its original state, leaving everyone and thing without magic. and theres no cure. at all.]
EDIT: OR better yet: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7027181/1/What_SHOULD_have_Happened_in_AtLA Make a conversion bureau version of this fic!
What type of mind rape? The TCB? Aka a general change of how you think and view the world. The Discord? Aka flipping you into you're opposite. Of the Lovecraft? Aka turning you insane.
What offends me most about TCB (and what hopefully offends most people) is the endless vilification of humankind. Story denies existence of every single positive aspect of human life, culture and civilization, and goes further ho endlessly vilify it all, and all who oppose conversion. I'd speculate author was going for a "rapture by Ponies" all who oppose it are the devil. What I find wrong with TCB is "humanity is beyond redemption, and sooner it can be erased/converted the better".
That is something we can agree on that is completely wrong and only related to original authors having a fucked up head.
Actual ponification itself... Damn it's starting to look like it really depends on who you ask. TCB stories themselves (but I've read more or cupcakes than of this human hate fest, so I may be wrong) affirm that "self" is continued, but personality is changed. People flaming TCB keep making accusations that conversion causes full personality death (or makes mindwiped zombies or whatever). Behavioral change, even major change, does not need entail the loss of self or of continuity of "I".
More traumatizing than actually driving them insane. The creature trying to break them is pretty Lovecraftian, though. It comes in the form of a torrent of horrifying visions from the ancient world when the abominations ruled the world, waaaaay back when. It also comes with sensory assault (cacophonous noise in their heads), and leaves them shaken and kinda useless afterwards for a little while.
Yea, I don't understand how one can even hate his own species so much, let alone paint them as the devil, and how Blaze uses that as a justification for genocide, happy pony genocide, but still genocide.
And well depending on who you ask, the mind change is worse then cease of self being, and can seam as a fate worse then death.
So like a mix of Reapers indoctrination and Lovecraft then?
So... Like a sentient and angry crossbreed between a hallucinogenic gas and a flashbang grenade. Well, trauma could work provided it's realistically handled. Trauma can work here, but it depends, and each pony would handle it differently. Try to keep that in mind while you write it.
In my view, one's self is tied into personality and memory. The former is certainly erased by the canon formula, the latter might end up outright altered or at the very least the emotional cues tied into it changed completely. If you want to read TCB but not deal with concentrated stupidity use the MST of it. It's mocked very nearly line by line, and makes reading the fic bearable.
That's more or less how I see it, yes. I'm not sure where exactly it came from, but I do know that both sides worked it out together. It was then shelved as a "worst case scenario" plan for use in emergencies only in favour of finding a way to halt the spread of the Equestrian ecosystem. Extremists on both sides start using it to push their agendas, be it "ponies are clearly the superior species" or "there's no time to try other stuff, this is the best way to save everyone".
Stuff where somebody is going to die if they don't get the stuff could still be valid, as would be volunteers. But only the extremists would go around forcing it on people, and their doing so would likely result in massive trauma to their victims due to how unprepared and unsupported they'd be in dealing with their new body.
As for how it effects the mind, you'd probably be best to treat it as roughly the same thing as a transgender operation. There are different hormones influencing your actions, but you're still you. Add in some extreme sensory dysphoria from having completely different anatomy and you've got something that could seriously mess up a person who isn't ready for it, without resorting to serious mind rape.
It's my personal interpretation of an aboleth's 'enslave' ability. If you're not familiar with it, it's a Lovecraftian creature from Dungeons & Dragons and the ability breaks them to the aboleth's will.
I've got that in mind, plus I was planning on writing brief shots of the different ponies reacting. 'Traumatizing' might not be the best word, maybe just horrifying. I wasn't planning on it lasting for a long time, just being something that leaves them drained.
Yeah, the exact definition is a little odd here. But I could see it working.
Though I still agree with most of the people here about the TCB. Though I have a few ideas of my own for personal spite.
What if a human faction managed to get hold of the conversion process and made it open source?
It seems that the main objection over the ponification process is that it wasn't really a choice at all and that it brainwashes the subjects. What if some ponies saw it this way as well? Assume that some of the Bureau's employees decided to side with the humans after deciding that the whole Conversion Bureau business is morally iffy, and help the humans to reverse engineer the ponification serum and published it.
Now that the Bureau is no longer the sole producer of the serum, and a mindrape-free version out in the streets, alongside others that were tailored for species other than ponies. Even more radically, is the version that involves no physical transformation at all and merely adapt the human body to a magic rich environment, or the ones that turn ponies into humans.
Well this is something I can disagree strongly. We constantly change, and with our memories and experiences our personality and behavior change, but we never doubt that its always "us". Me from 10 years ago was a quite different person (from outside point of view), but its me by the very definition of the word.
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