We are officially on thread #3 and are not even halfway through the book yet. Just kill me now.
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Continuing from last post: >>304593 →
Currently on Chapter 21: The Heart of Twilight Sparkle:
Page break. The last microscene in the chapter appears to be a transcript of the recording that Littlepoop found floating around in the clouds (this is never actually stated, but it makes the most sense). Several lines of dialog follow each other, with no clear indicator as to who is speaking, how many characters are speaking, or whether or not we are meant to interpret these disjointed lines as a conversation. Eventually the author clarifies that Gilda (presumably the griffon, though we have not yet encountered this character in FoE) and Rainbow Dash are carrying a sleeping Spike away shortly after the bombs went off.
No wait, scratch that. Apparently most of the conversation is Dash talking to herself, or maybe narrating this sound recording for posterity or something, while carrying Spike. She mentions that a mercenary has been hired to kill her. It turns out that the mercenary is Gilda. Before the transmission ends, presumably with RD's death, she asks that Gilda join her in singing the song they used to sing from way back, about Junior Speedsters or whatever. The recording abruptly cuts off. Nothing else happens, and no context is provided for any of this. End of chapter.
Chapter 22: The Earth Pony Way
Today's Fortune Cookie:
>“I pray for the safety of all good ponies who come to Fillydelphia, even slaves. But we can’t expect the Goddess to do all the work.”
I assume the meaning of this is that the slaves, and probably not the Goddess, will be doing most, if not all, of the work. As to what work is being done, and who is speaking this line, and in what original context, we are still in the dark. I have little faith that we will be any less in the dark by the time we reach the end of the chapter.
Apparently, they actually are going to Fillydelphia this time. I was more or less expecting them to get diverted onto another side quest. Also, I've completely forgotten why they even wanted to go to Fillydelphia in the first place; I think it had something to do with busting up another slaver camp.
Anyway, most of the journey from Junction R7 to Fillydelphia has been skipped, and they are now close enough to get a glimpse of the city on the horizon and to receive its radio broadcasts. The author makes no attempt to clarify whether they are walking or if they took the airship, or how much time has elapsed between the end of the last chapter and the present. However, that is pretty much par for the course. Meanwhile, Littlepoop focuses her attention on listening to Red Eye's radio broadcasts.
Page break. The microscene opens with some italicized text that is presumably meant to be one of Red Eye's broadcasts. I'll go ahead and dump the whole thing:
>“…we have Uncle and Aunt Fruitcup, a peaceful and loving couple, married for nearly a decade now, living in their quaint little house with their tiny garden on the outskirts of Roamer. No children, two dogs and a sunflower that Aunt Fruitcup has named Celestia.
>“What kind of monster, I have been asked, would root up Aunt and Uncle Fruitcup, tear them away from their peaceful, pointless lives, and set them to work hauling carts heavy with scrap metal?
>“A monster, indeed. But one with his eyes open and cast upon our future. The future of Equestria. Two hundred years ago, we lost our great nation, but we will have it again! And what would the Fruitcups and their little homestead be in two hundred years? Nothing, meaningless, not even hoofnotes in the annals of history. But… what will have meaning two hundred years from now? This factory!
>“And it is from this factory, and the others like it, that Equestria will be rebuilt. It is from the work that Uncle and Aunt Fruitcup do now that a new national infrastructure will be created and a new golden age will be born -- the golden age of Unity! Equestria will rise like a phoenix from her own ashes! But not without our help, and not without our labor.
>“This is what is important. This will make a difference. This will last!”
So far, Red Eye seems like a pretty shitty propagandist. Usually, the idea is to gloss over whatever horrible thing your regime is doing or else just not mention it, and focus instead on hyping up your accomplishments; either that or just flat out make stuff up. For instance, I'm assuming Chairman Mao's addresses to the nation didn't dwell much on crippling food shortages or struggle sessions. Here, we have Red Eye flat out referring to himself as a monster, and bragging about taking a couple of yokels off their land and forcing them to work in some factory he built. It's...a rather unorthodox approach to being a maniacal dictator, to say the least.
Also, I'm a little skeptical about "Uncle and Aunt Fruitcup." Apparently, before being conscripted to do God knows what, they lived in a "quaint little house with their tiny garden" with two dogs and a sunflower. Is there an apocalypse or isn't there? How would a garden work if the soil is irradiated and there's no sunlight? Wouldn't raiders have raped and disemboweled them by now? There is little consistency in how the author approaches this setting.
Anyway, after all of this silliness, the author finally sets the scene. The group is flying in their magic school bus: Velvet is curled up with her balefire phoenix (which doesn't burn her for some reason), Calamity is pulling the bus, and SteelHooves is looking out the window. Calamity announces that the bus is beginning to run out of magic or electricity or whatever it runs on, and they need to find a place to land so he can swap out the batteries. Apparently, the concern is that there may be "hellhounds" about.