Trope A Day-Rugby Is Slaughter

Rugby Is Slaughter-Well, not rugby exactly. Ponies don’t play rugby, they play hoofball. Hoofball has a very interesting history in Equestria, having been used to decide at least one major armed conflict(1), and having a history of extreme violence. Hoofball is probably the only sport where a major orbital bombardment would be considered a minor delay. The only real delay would be setting the goal posts back up again. It’s also one of the few places that the Equestrian love of honoring rules breaks down-it’s only half jokingly said that there’s so many officials on the field is for mutual protection when they try to enforce the rules.

Tirak could break out of Tartarus, and the only thing that would happen would be a fifteen minute time out. And one team signing him as a striker forward.

If someone was to introduce rugby or Australian-Rules Football to Equestria, it might be considered mild in comparison to hoofball.

(1)-Casualties from the game, and the post-game blitz was only slightly less than the worst battles of the war itself.

For Your…Cargo Hauling Needs

Flim-Flam Class Frontier Cargo Ship

This class of cargo ship, at 200 meters long in the fully designed system, is unique among cargo ships because of the mission profile for the class. Built by various Equestrian shipyards, the Flim-Flam is actually three ships in one, all assembled together to carry cargo to colony worlds and frontier worlds that are only irregularly supported by larger cargo ships.

The three major components of the ship is two separate cargo shuttles/landers in the form of the Flim-class and Flam-class cargo shuttle, and the main drive rail that the two cargo shuttles dock to.  The main drive rail, which is classified as the Grafter-class FTL tug, is built as an entirely space-only craft.  The Grafter mounts a Tunnel Drive for FTL operations, gravity drives for interplanetary transit, and the crew accommodations for the complete crew of the ship.  Docked to two sets of external clamps is the Flim and Flam cargo shuttles.

The Flim-class cargo shuttle is a massive cargo shuttle, built to carry forty-six cargo pallets or loose cargo in a single large bay.  The main bay hatch is a double hatch system with sufficient vector manipulators to unload cargo pallets without external aids.  The shuttle has a crew of three and sufficient passenger space for eight ponies without using the cargo bay. While the shuttle is rough-field rated-with large landing skids and sufficient anti-gravity lift to carry a full cargo load in a 2G gravity well-the shuttle works best with “improved” fields.  The Flim-class shuttle mounts a standard sensor array for planetary operations and full life support systems for landing operations.

The Flam-class cargo shuttle is smaller than the Flim-class, and is designed to carry four cargo pallets and a small amount of loose cargo or passengers.  The cargo pallets are mounted semi-externally for ease of loading and unloading, and mounts sufficient vector manipulators to rapidly detach, unload, and reload cargo pallets for cargo operations. The shuttle has a crew of three and can carry up to four ponies in the small internal cargo bay. The craft is fully rough-field rated, with very large landing skids and sufficient anti-gravity lift to carry a full cargo load in a 5G gravity well. The Flam-class mounts a full sensor array for planetary operations, including full IFR operations without external communications or active sensor systems.

Critics of the Flam-class cargo shuttle point out that the only difference between a Flam-class cargo shuttle and the REGF Lightning Dash-class infantry dropship is the Flam-class does not mount an ECM array, internal and external ordinance, and several classified sensor systems.

The primary critics of the Flim Flam-class are naval officers, whom point out the class is built as a blockade runner and smuggling ship. The ability of the Flam-class cargo landers to take cargos anywhere on a planet means that they can bypass customs and restrictions on contraband. In addition, the Flim Flam-class has significant acceleration with a full cargo load, easily in the same as most non-warship customs ships.

Proponents, on the other hand, note that the new colonies that the Flim Flam-class services are in the state of needing cargoes now. The Flam-class cargo lander can support and supply distant outposts on a colony world, that would require much more extensive transport of cargos needed. The high acceleration gives the class the ability to swiftly travel from the arrival point from Tunnel Drive and back out to the Tunnel Drive limit.  This allows colonies to quickly get their products to market and help deal with the cash balances that any new colony has to deal with. The acceleration also makes the class much more difficult for pirates to intercept the ship. In addition, from a military perspective, a Flim Flam-class ship can carry sufficient supplies to support a REGF battalion for thirty days of combat operations and deploy the cargo to forward operating bases.

Regardless of the issues, the Flim Flam-class can be seen across the frontier in various territories.  Several licensed versions are built in Griffin Moot and Imperial Zebra shipyards. A version built for the Senate and Minotaur Republic that can be operated without a sapient AI is also manufactured by various shipyards.

Trope A Day-Disaster Dominoes

Disaster Dominoes-Spacecraft are very vulnerable to things going wrong and having them go wrong very quickly. To prevent this, maintenance and repairs and keeping up your hardware is vital. To ponies that haven’t ever been in space, spacer pony obsessions with cleanliness, maintenance, and working the schedule on making sure things as trivial as flashlight batteries are good seems weird.

The ponies that survive this lack of obsessive care about checking things when disaster happens usually either never go into space again or they start being just as obsessive.


“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.“-General George S Patton

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

Fifteen steps in tap shoes to cross in front of the memorial.

Lieutenant Sun Light of the Royal Equestrian Ground Forces wore the ceremonial armor for the post, polished brass to a fine shine, spear held in his vector controller, and helmet plume finely brushed and even.

Pivot. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

The memorial was one of the battles of the Horizon War, one of the few major land battles of that conflict. Three thousand seven hundred and ninety-two names were carved into the black marble, by name and mark, of every Equestrian that had fallen in that battle.

Pivot. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

There was also the names of the six thousand two hundred and sixteen soldiers of the Imperial Griffin Army inscribed on that memorial. Lieutenant Knurl Wing of the Imperial Griffin Army crossed his path silently, in full ceremonial armor and fighting claws on his front claws.

Pivot. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

The memorial was a half-circle built into a hillside, the names of the dead sorted only alphabetically. No ranks, only names and cutie marks , if they had any, adorned the memorial site.

Pivot. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

Every day, from dawn to dusk, there would be a guard for those that had fallen. They had all served to their very last, those that could not be recovered, their cortical stacks destroyed or too badly damaged for recovery. And, they would not be forgotten or left alone by anyone.

Pivot. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

Trope A Day-Derelict Graveyard

Derelict Graveyard-The one big one that usually referenced is the Kaladros Wastes. On the edge of the frontier between the Griffin Moot and Equestria, both nations maintained garrison forces on the only world in the system, and warship fleets in the space surrounding the Wastes. They did this even during the Horizon War, and kept the neutrality of the location throughout the War.

The reason for this is simple-the Kaladros Wastes is a Precursor graveyard. The job of the fleets and the garrison is not to keep scavengers and unauthorized exploration parties out. They do this, mind you, but it’s not their primary job.

Their primary job is to keep whatever is in the Kaladros Wastes in.

Trope A Day-What You Are In The Dark

What You Are In The Dark-It’s amazing how many being in the Equestriaverse will do the right thing when nobody is looking. Or nobody will notice, or care, or even take note of it. If they don’t, they’ve probably fallen so far down the slippery slope of morality that they’re a danger to everybody around them.

The question of this heightened morality is natural or built in is a major question that keeps being asked.

Trope A Day-Stop Worshiping Me/Unwanted False Faith

Stop Worshiping Me/Unwanted False Faith-Alicorns.

Full stop.

To say that alicorns are powerful is like saying the sun is a little warm, the sea is a little salty, and hard vacuum is short on breathable material. Twenty-seven beings that the Equestrian ponies revere in various degrees of worship from “the very hoof beats of Faust on the universe” to “very powerful beings that you should respect for that power.” The weakest can kill starships in orbit, the strongest and eldest among them are basically “do not attack, unless you want to prove there is life after death by direct examination.” They are capable of many things…

…but, some things are beyond them. They cannot bless. They cannot bring back the dead (the truly dead, not someone that died but has a cortical stack). They cannot heal beyond what is available by technology. And, the process of becoming an alicorn, Ascention, is something that an alicorn can only provide guidance once the pony has made it half-way there. Whatever counts as half-way for that particular pony.

But, this doesn’t stop ponies from trying to pray. To beg for a miracle. To ask for a blessing. To pour faith into twenty-seven being that for the most part…can only do what they can do and not much else.

For at least six hundred years, the alicorns of Equestria have been trying to reduce the size of the pedestals that they have been put on by ponies. So far…there hasn’t been too much reduction.

On The Transcend And Free Will

Alistair Young has brought up a great point here, and it’s worth answering in a much longer posting-

So, this gives me a curiosity: what would they think of the individuality-preserving type of collective consciousness, like the Transcend?

(One might think that “perfect liberty with perfect coordination” is a pretty decent way to say “Harmony”, after all.)

The average response to a member of the Equestriaverse to the Transcend and what it is…for the most part, it would fall into one of three categories.

The first category, mostly embraced by the Senate and Minotaur Republic would be simply, “KILLITKILLITKILLITWITHFIRENOW!!!“. From a sociological memetic viewpoint, the Black Beast left massive scars. Any potential violation of free will and the ability to formulate free will is to be fought against, even if that means death. Any efforts by the Eldrae to try and point out that the Transcend doesn’t interfere with free will and determination will result in a variation of the quote from Mass Effect 2 on gods (dead or otherwise)-

“Chandana said the ship was dead. We trusted him. He was right. But even a dead god can dream. A god — a real god — is a verb. Not some old man with magic powers. It’s a force. It warps reality just by being there. It doesn’t have to want to. It doesn’t have to think about it. It just does. That’s what Chandana didn’t get. Not until it was too late. The god’s mind is gone, but it still dreams. He knows now. He’s tuned in on our dream. If I close my eyes, I can feel him. I can feel every one of us.”

The Transcend warps things, to their perspective, in ways that are like a force of nature. That it warps things to try and create the best possible universe is irrelevant. That it obeys the Coricál Consensus is merely the rules that us mere mortals know of the game of Gods. Who’s definition of the best possible universe? And, who’s a pawn and who’s a player in the game of gods?

(And, yes, alicorns worry the Senate and Minotaur Republic.)

The second perspective is “it’s neat, but who bells the cat?”, and this is mostly held in variations with the Griffin Moot, the Zebra Kingdoms, and the Changeling Omnivoracy.  From the bottom up-

The Changeling Omnivoracy would love the Transcend…if the particular Empress was the one in charge of it. After all, shouldn’t they be in charge of the general direction of the Changeling race? Creating and blazing their own path to the future and the ways of how the universe should work? This is one of the reasons why all of the other races do everything they can to prevent a Changeling Empress from evolving further. They theorize that an evolved Empress (what they call a Demiurge) would rule over Empresses like the Changeling Empress rules over the Queens and nymphs. And, that would be a black, black day for the rest of the universe.

To the Zebra Kingdoms, it’s all about politics. A human observer would call their internal politics “byzantine,” and that would not be an exaggeration. The Transcend and it’s nature would mean that the game would change. And, as long as those that were in power were the ones that were ahead when the game changed-and can keep being ahead when the game changes-they wouldn’t have a problem. It’s when the hoi polloi get above where they belong that there’s an issue. So, of course, things should be kept so that this doesn’t happen.

Ironically, the Griffin Moot could be considered a proto-Transcend in itself. When the Emperor speaks, he (or in two cases, she) speaks for the Empire through the Moot itself. Considering that the Moot’s main storage system is the single largest physical structure in the Empire (a heavily defended moonlet slightly smaller than Ceres) it happens to be a Very Important Thing indeed. And, this isn’t even talking about the various backup systems for the Moot and it’s organization and setup(1). But, the Moot and how it protects and serves the Griffins (and other races under the Moot’s responsibility) has aspects to it that would be familiar-if poorly developed-to the Transcend.

The final opinion is “we’re pretty close…” and that is the Kingdom of Equestria. This is the Wired, the world-spanning (and interstellar via courier ships) network of information, facts, data, advise, support, and a million and one other things that would aid and assist and help the Equestrians. The only issue is the Covenant, which has a huge amount of protections for free will (there’s even a specific Covenant about that). There’s a continual effort to work and develop the software that wouldn’t do things like active precrime predictions or manipulations to make ponies life perfect, because the Article Of Free Will.  But, for the most part, Equestrians wouldn’t mind a system like the Transcend if they knew about it and wouldn’t mind working towards that kind of system.

There’s also another factor.


Twenty-seven beings that exist somewhat outside of the system. Twenty-seven beings that are powerful enough to count as a Type Two Kardashev scale society in themselves. And, they exist in a relationship with their ponies that most Equestrians would-in an instant-embrace a full scale Moloch-slaying, circle squaring, actively intervening system that would assure perfect liberty and perfect coordination for all. With the alicorns in full and complete charge of it, forever and ever.

And, that little factoid scares alicorns.

Because, who bells that cat?(2)

(1)-One thing about the organization and setup? Parliamentary impeachment. If Parliament impeaches an Emperor, the Moot stops responding beyond “helping the former Emperor to pack and move out and maybe call a taxi.”

(2)If the alicorns ever learned of Mars, they would be putting their efforts to the creation of that kind of hive mind consciousness. One that was built on the existence of individual ponies, required ponies to talk to each other to trade information, and the networks exist because of ponies.

Trope A Day-Required Secondary Powers

Required Secondary Powers-Comedy usually happens when a unicorn (or anybody with a vector controller) forgets that while the vector controller or magic might be able to lift an object, if they aren’t braced properly…

Or, summoning fireballs and forgetting the whole thing about thermal bloom.

Or any number of things where if you forget that the laws of physics will find a way to get you in the end.