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/bootleg/: Bunker Edition Blondie 09/28/2021 (Tue) 22:05:02 No. 3505
Hey there, this is /bootleg/. Was told that this place would make a good bunker while all of that G5 stuff was going on so here we are. I'm presuming we'll be copying/pasting greens here, or writing if our usual general thread gets overwhelmed by shitposting and spam threads. Latest thread is: https://boards.4channel.org/mlp/thread/37597247 Here is the thread OP information we put in if you want some new greens to read. Welcome, we are the wild west of copycats & copyright infringement! >The BIG Green archive - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oRVzYT__ZrtEp1HdX8t_dZuy8_8qhUR_ziGspjuZDTk/edit# >Bootleg Pics archive - https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1r78zz2lXslL1JunYYS188jex5m9Nu9YQ?ths=true >Bootleg shorts collection - https://ponepaste.org/5037 So, what makes for a bootleg? They can range from sci-fi to supernatural and everything in-between. Whether it's new OCs or based off ponies we know, Earth, Equestria or another world anything goes. The bargain bin brings a ton of freedom, while some find a niche of defective products, others are just as real as any other pony, or may even push the limits of what knockoffs can be! Ready to give a pony a chance when things aren't quite right with her? Then a bootleg waifu might be for you. Newly binned shorts: >IF Scenario G: Growing Wings (Blondie) - https://ponepaste.org/5438 >Peetzer Pony (Anon) - https://ponepaste.org/5248 New or continuing stories from the last few threads: >Jacky Part 10 (Blondie)- https://ponepaste.org/5740 >Midnight (AutoPony) - https://ponepaste.org/5610 >Zooma (ReggieSomething) - https://ponepaste.org/5304 >Rosie Rock (FortuneFavors) - https://ponepaste.org/4579 >Condense (ReggieSomething) - https://ponepaste.org/4168 >Minky (NHanon) - https://ponepaste.org/211 >Tinny the Tinfoil Conspiracy Pony (NHanon) - https://ponepaste.org/3979 >SilentFriend (Nebulus) - https://ponepaste.org/4464 Recently Completed: >Angel Cake's Quest (Blondie) - https://ponepaste.org/5251 >Jacky Part 9 (Blondie) - https://ponepaste.org/1887 The best of the boot; >Apuljiyak (Mexicancactus) - https://ponepaste.org/3559 [Applejack] [Adventure] >Carpathia - https://ponepaste.org/3547 [Derpy] [Sad] >De-Meaning The Six (YukkiPalehorse) - start here : https://ponepaste.org/3176 [Mean Six] [AiE] [Lewd] [Romance] >Twibot (Ponk) - https://ponepaste.org/1516 [Twilight] >Jacky (Blondie) - start here : https://ponepaste.org/124 [Applejack] [SoL] [PiE] >/jacky/ IF Scenario M: Missy Pie (Blondie) - https://ponepaste.org/143 [Pinkie Pie] [Romance] >Patches (FONYpan) - https://ponepaste.org/3570 [OC] [Sci-Fi] [Lewd] >Punkfire Xmas (NHanon) - https://ponepaste.org/2702 [Spitfire] [SoL] >RamboFast- https://ponepaste.org/3550 [Rainbow Dash] [Sad] >Rare (Anon) - https://ponepaste.org/218 [Rarity] [Sad] [PiE] Have a broken pastebin link? Use poneb.in, just replace "pastebin.com" with "poneb.in" in the URL!
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>>3505 It's been a while since I've been in a bootleg thread. Have some classics.
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>>3506 Rare and Twill got me into writing greens. Been sticking to /bootleg/ for almost two years now. Was around since before we had a board but only relatively recently felt spurred to action.
>>3507 >Twill Any great classics of that? I kind of fell off of /bootleg/ shortly after it became a general.
Hope everyone enjoys the place! Don't forget to leave feedback on /qa/ if you have issues.
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>>3509 Thanks. I wasn't the one who knew of this place but it seems pretty comfy. Here's hoping we spread the glory, beauty and... nerdiness... of bootleg pone. Have some of the last two years of Jacky and her two sisters.
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>>3508 >Classic twill uessing these count in that catagory
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>>3511 Only three per post... I'll have to remember that.
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>>3511 Not quite a bootleg, but reminds me of this.
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>>3516 >>3517 Yeah, Sparking Shine is... she's quite a thing. Big freaking dork is what she is.
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>>3518 And some non-Jacky bootmares.
>>3517 just about on the nose of being a bootleg, that kind of dynamic is interesting to explore too
>>3518 The one in >>3517 is called Dewdrop Dazzle I guess? Was mainly drawn by one artist PonykillerX, though much of his art seems to be under a php label now. Someone on /mlp/ told me about it because at first I thought it was a recolored Twilight drawing. While Dewdrop is a Twilight recolor I guess it was on an official product somewhere at sometime.
>>3522 PonykillerX did a lot of great artwork.
>>3519 >green Fluttershy Is she going to tell me to stay out of her swamp?
>>3523 A lot of it seems to be pretty high quality. Definitely interesting seeing so many recolors that aren't actually recolors in one place.
>>3524 >"Hey Hey Hey stay out of my swamp" kek
>>3524 Flutterlime is a good girl, she just won't really be able to tell you anything since her voice box is a little borked.
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>>3505 It's nice to see another general set up shop over here. As the Anon responsible for the /bug/ threads on here and BuggyCYOA, I think it's cool that you found some inspiration from that. I hope you friends decide to stick around if /mlp/ continues to get worse. Even though there's certain people on /mlp/ who get completely buttblasted whenever this site is mentioned, I can't help but imagine what it would be like if every actual G4 poster moved here. I'd like to imagine it would be as close to a paradise like old 2012-2013 era /mlp/ as we could get, considering nearly a decade has gone by since those golden years. Pic from my ancient archives, thought it might be relevant here
>>3528 /mlp/ mods are starting to get trigger happy on nhnb mentions
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>>3530 We have artist amongus. >>3529 Why?
>>3529 as expected they always do this when hiro is threatened, there's a line between discussing it and shilling for it though that gets outright yeeted
Speaking of, since we have a lot of writers writing greens, should the greens be copy/pasted here too? Do many here care for/read green?
>>3535 I like green. Maybe wherever it gets written just put a ponepaste link or screen cap of it in the other place.
>jacky is still going damn. anyone here that can recommend a newer bootleg green?
>>3506 >>3508 >fell off bootleg shortly after what was it about the transition to a general that made you stop coming around? and Are you talking about the first classic general or the revival. /boot/ has gone through a lot of phases, but I think it's got a good balance now >>3543 You're lookin at 'er in the OP. Midnight is the newest bootleg and quickly becoming a hit.
>>3548 >what was it about the transition to a general that made you stop coming around? Hard to say really. I think with a lot of generals, they originate from a single or a couple stories and when they transition to a general they sort of become a little less special. But more likely I probably just got busy with some other horse projects. >Are you talking about the first classic general or the revival. Whatever came first. I was usually in the one off threads prior to any sort of general. >I think it's got a good balance now Good to hear. I'll definitely be giving it another chance.
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>>3548 Midnight is a pretty (and moody) mare.
>>3543 What can I say, I'm a fucking autismo. But I did spend a good month or two writing a story about a filly named Angel Cake. Thankfully you have Reggie and Auto writing their stuff too. For a while I really was the only writer there but it has grown a lot. Now I have evolved to the crazy guy who used to be endearing but is now just depressing.
>>3505 About Midnight. That is an excellent art in the OP. The story was a good read too.
>>3565 >The story was a good read too. it's still ongoing, check out part II in auto's bin if you want to get up to date
https://boards.4channel.org/mlp/thread/37597247#p37603018 For now I'll just link to any green updates.
>>3505 I like this picture very much!
>>3510 There was a short green about the cereal mare https://desuarchive.org/mlp/thread/37236567/#37246807
>>3577 >russian discount unicorn ponuts with sugar.png
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hello newfrens /bootleg/ is overdue for a trimming and our first FAQ. if there's anything you want to know about the boot, nows the time to ask
>>3584 >if there's anything you want to know about the boot, nows the time to ask I've been out of the /boot/loop so long I don't even know what to ask. What's your favorite bootleg poner?
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>>3585 >been out of the loop so long dont know what to ask b-but thats the kind of person who the faq would be for >whats your favorite boot? of all time? impossible to answer, like collecting a plushy pone pile. there's too many good ones though I can give you new darling. pic related
>>3588 who is that?
>>3597 Dat's Zooma, Reggie's bootleg. She may not be the correct color for Luna, and she may not be able to run in a straight line, but she has a heart of gold.
>>3584 I actually might have an idea. What about something like a bootleg family tree? A document containing a picture of and a short description of each? Maybe link a few stories as well.
>>3584 I'm totally new to /boot/, where do I start? Just pick one of the "best of the best" from the OP and start reading?
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>>3602 >family tree we are doing something a bit inspired like how snowpones OC chart is handled but it's a big work in progress and much more messy due to the nature of wildly different kinds. other than that there's no wiki like batpones but you can visit the "big green archive"gdoc link in the OP for a short descriptions >>3603 that's entirely up to you, Rare was what started the general, you can find the one off caps here >>3506 some older /boot/ stories hit hard, but bootlegs have been a thing here and there on /mlp/ throughout the years. what do you think youd like to see in bootleg?
Gracing this thread with greentext. Update to Midnight. Part 1: https://ponepaste.org/5610 Part 2 (current): https://ponepaste.org/5723 >You didn't bother keeping track of how long Midnight was in your arms. >At some point, she finally pulled away from you without a word, turned away, and lay back down. >All you felt you could do was move back over and give her space. >The whole time, Midnight made sure to keep herself as silent as possible - the only indications of her outpouring of emotions was the occasional hitch in her breathing, as well as the dampness that now permeated the right shoulder and back area of your shirt. >Now, you just sit in silence on the couch, once in a while glancing over at her now-slumbering form. >It's an awful feeling, not knowing what to do. >How do you help someone that doesn't want to be helped? >Or know how to accept help? >You already sort of figured a while ago Midnight had been putting on an act to hide any potential vulnerabilities - but you hadn't expected she had experienced any sort of trauma that was left alone to be bottled up. >Who knows what the hell else she went through? >She certainly doesn't want to share it. >Whether that be fear of reliving it or appearing "weak" to you - that was up for debate. >Hell, you had to play it off that *you* needed a hug just to try comforting her. >And she still had a hissy fit about it. >And you're also left with more haunting questions. >Midnight was the only one dumped here that was apparently alive - why? >You have to assume it was not done purposely. >So, did she escape? >Could EquisCo be looking for her? >Could you be in deep shit for harboring her? >That last question doesn't really matter much to you. >Like hell you're going to give her up to the shithole she came from if they come a-knocking. >...You sort of feel guilty for how you thought about her when she first arrived. >Wondering why they didn't deactivate her. >Now the mere thought makes you feel ill. >She's much more than a mass of circuits like you originally thought. >And... the pony thing doesn't really affect you anymore. >You just wish you knew how to help her. >Ignoring problems and lingering pain is unhealthy - you can attest to the first issue, and she's helping you with that. >But Midnight just refuses help. >Her boasting of superiority, of her being a strong pony... >Yeah, totally not insecurity. >Hopefully you've made at least some inroads with her tonight. >You glance over at Midnight again. >This time, you see a glint of a blue iris peeking through a crack in her eyelids. >"What are you doing?" she mumbles sleepily. "Sitting here, I guess." >"You're watching me, you freak." "No, I glanced at you," you calmy protest. >"Multiple times." >... "So you've been watching me while pretending you're sleeping. And I'm the creepy one." >Midnight fully joins the sentient world, opening her eyes and raising her head off the couch, glancing up at the clock on the wall above the tv. >"It's midnight," she states flatly. "Are you telling me your name, or the time?" you ask her.
>>3645 >"Ha, ha," she replies sarcastically, shaking her head. "Seriously, what are you doing?" >Judging by the tone her voice carries with that question, there is only one answer she will accept. >If there's any chance Midnight is going to let you crack open a door into her emotional and psychological health, it's time to make a positive impression. >By being honest. "Concerned, I guess. I know you don't want that but - look, you're helping me out getting shit straight financially and getting my head on right. I just don't want you to feel like I'm not willing to listen to you." >"So... you don't listen to me when I say I don't need your help. Interesting," she replies coldy, rubbing her chin with a hoof as if pondering that thought. "Midnight, I'm not implying you aren't strong, if that's what you're trying to get at," you argue. "What you told me earlier tonight - that's straight-up nightmare fuel. I don't know if I could mentally handle that situation as you have for so long." >"I appreciate the compliment, whether you meant to do so or not," she replies. >Rather than reply, you just remain silent, staring at her. >The lack of any biting retort seems to frustrate her a bit as she sighs. >"What do you want from me? To cave and become your damsel in distress? Some submissive little pony you need to take care of? Is that your fetish?" "No. But stop putting up this facade that you're invulnerable to pain. Pretending it doesn't exist does not make it so, Midnight. Isn't that what you argued in my case?" you propose. "You told me I was stupid for doing that." >"That was different," she says sternly, once again averting her gaze to an opposite end of the room. >It's a tone and a gesture that lets you know anything else you try to use to battering ram your way into her psyche is going to be a waste of time. >Back to square one for now - but she seems to admit there are unresolved issues she keeps a stranglehold on. >Not that it surprises you. >It's just a reminder that there's more to the attitude than just being an ass for fun. "Alright then." >Your white flag of a statement catches Midnight by complete surprise, judging by her head whipping back to you almost instantaneously. >"What?" >You shrug. "You don't want to talk about it. That's fine, I can't force it out of you. I don't own you Midnight - you're your own mare," you explain. "All I want to put out there is if you need an ear to listen, I'm always available. Fair enough?" >Her eyes narrow at you, evidently suspicious of your intentions behind those words. >"This is supposed to be some sort of reverse psychology where I feel like there's an opportunity slipping away right now and I need to seize the moment, isn't it?" "If that's what you want to believe, sure. I'm not trying to argue with you Midnight. I'm really just... putting myself out there. Okay?" >"Riiiight."
>>3646 >You feel yourself starting to get a little irritated with Midnight now - and some of that probably has to do with your own fatigue. >Reaching over for the tv remote, you unmute the volume before flipping off the power. "You are right that it's getting late, so I'm going to get some sleep," you tell her, before getting up and shuffling off to your room, hitting the main light switch en route. >The kitchen light is still on, but you figure Midnight will get that when she's well and ready. >"Hey, Anonymous." >You stop as you reach the door frame and spin around. >Midnight's head pokes up over the couch back, her eyes giving off the faintest blue glow in the dim light. >"You didn't bring up anything else about... earlier tonight," she says uneasily. "Was I supposed to? I didn't think anything needed to be said," you reply, the back of your shirt still offering the slightest reminder of the emotions from earlier. >Midnight hesitates, mulling over your response. >Without a word, she disappears from your view behind the couch. "Goodnight, Midnight." >"Good night," she says, sounding a bit muffled by the obstacles between you. >You close the door to your bedroom, leaving it open just a crack. >"...thank you," you hear come faintly from the living room. >Well, that's new. >As much as you want to rush back out there and point out she actually thanked you - and you heard it - you leave it alone. >Rome wasn't built in a day. >Baby steps, Anon. ----- Short update, but the scene really didn't lend itself to a major update, considering how things play out. Also fighting a cold, which just makes it hard for me to focus. But I really wanted to get something out, especially since I was blessed with new artwork of the beautiful girl.
>>3627 >what do you think youd like to see in bootleg? I don't know, I guess I'll start with Rare and see what happens.
>>3588 >new darling Didn't realize anyone thought of my girl that way. Feels good man. I'm taking a short break from Zooma to focus on two stories I have going in other threads. Once I make some more progress on them, I'll be focusing solely on Condense for a bit.
>>3649 il recommend Minky for prime-comfy, it's a nice pick me up. also since the the bread is still alive on /mlp/ thats where most of the dead-activity will be at. but il check in here daily or so
>>3647 Nice to see some action here. Looks like I'm going to have another story to catch up on, thanks Anon.
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>decide to stop being a retard and learn how to use pastedown like all the other coolkid generals >trannie jannies ban me while I'm working on reworking on the paste and significantly trimming down the OP This is discrimination against bootlegs, but here's what I have so far. Just use the "bootleg shorts collection" https://ponepaste.org/5037
>>3692 >>trannie jannies ban me while I'm working on reworking on the paste and significantly trimming down the OP wut?
>>3692 I feel like sorting the stories by writefag so that you don't need to write their name 20 times would look a bit better, like here: https://ponepaste.org/5501
>>3696 Also, ponepaste is a bit retarded on phones. You can't really see the synopsis, and you can't scroll horizontally.
>>3692 What exactly did they ban you for?
>>3698 barbiefag janitors only work for the protected class. criticizing g5 was fine, but not g5 eqg.
>>3709 >criticizing g5 was fine They don't even allow this. I was banned for suggesting g5 posters move to one of the many g5 threads instead of trying to take over an explicitly fim one.
>>3709 >>3710 Watching what gets deleted on desu has been very enlightening.
>>3697 not sure what solution there is, but someone can try to notify ponepasteanon in the alternative fan site threads about it. >>3696 we can try it, i know a lot of generals go this route
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>>3577 Wasnt clear on how to get this to work and took a while but finally unraveled the mystery of embedding images into greens. the future is now https://ponepaste.org/5787 >>3697 >>3696 And here's a trial run of archiving by name https://ponepaste.org/5786
>>3577 Thank you for reminding me of this Anon. Was nice to see it again.
>>3718 I hope Ponepaste will be able to handle influx of media. It was made as a text hosting site and I have no idea how much more resources it will need to host images with greens if people will start to use this feature frequently.
>>3720 he could probably limit it to 1 per paste, or thumbnails only. as long as people dont go nuts with it, it should be ok
>>3725 Been a while since I've used Ponepaste, but do they actually host the images themselves or do they just link them from somewhere else?
>>3746 they don't host any images, but you can link from one of three external sources, I believe
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>tfw still banned making use of my vacation, the shorts archive pastedown is now just a regular archive, shorts included. I can hand the keys over to reggie if hes around for this cleanup job
>>3798 >>tfw still banned What did you post, anon?
>>3798 I gotta say, the Ponepaste formatting looks impressive.
>>3798 Sure, I can give it a once over if you'd like. I'm actually working on something similar for /moon/. Just let me know what you need me to do. Email is in the OP template if you'd prefer discussing it offline.
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>>3508 I went and converted some of the picture text into greens now. It's not much but here's some Twill, finally re-added to the list https://ponepaste.org/5703 >>3808 The new archive has the majority of descriptions and links all set now, so feel free shoot me feedback and use this as the main replacement for all the links above in the OP. https://ponepaste.org/5037
>>3852 >>3808 shit wrong link. thats the old structure, this is the new one thats still hidden until I get the greenlight https://ponepaste.org/5786
/bootleg/ hangout. We typically do these once a week. Come listen to music, chat with writefags, etc. https://w2g.tv/r4cci9qruvfldr797a
https://boards.4channel.org/mlp/thread/37597247#p37603018 Been posting more Jacky. I think if I do something new I'll post it there and here. For Jacky, I'm pretty sure 0 out of X people will know what's going on.
>>3852 That's some pretty nice art there. The PonePaste is looking good as well.
>>3852 >>3853 It looks really, really good. Very clean and easy to follow. I only have a few nitpicky items: >No link to FAQ. Should this even be in the story archive paste, or part of the OP template? We should probably try to start this discussion in the main /bootleg/ thread and see if we can come to a consensus of what should be in the FAQs. >Summary is misspelled as "summery" in the table column headers >In the "Shorts and One-offs" table, the first entry (Rare shorts) is listed without an author instead of being placed under "Anon" >Some stories are missing word counts or summaries. Not a big deal, as it takes time to read through a story and come up with a synopsis. >The link to Zooma takes the reader to line 114 of the paste. Delete #114 in the hyperlink and it will be fixed. >Please change Condense's status from "on hiatus" to "ongoing" Thank you for the time and effort you've put into making this.
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>>3905 >No link to the FAQ yet Doesnt exist yet, placeholder since people wanted to collab on it. I'm fine with putting either or spot in the OP or in the archive, it was just in the interest of cleaning up the fluff >Typo Slipped by because it wasnt in angry red squiggles. fixed >Missplaced Anon Due to a last minute decision to move kirko's shorts out of Anon. fixed >Missing information I /did/ say the majority not all of them, its hard to come up with summaries for all of them sometimes by myself, but i am aware of the gaps. as for the missing word count, its due to them being off ponepaste which doesnt carry a wordcounter but will eventually be dealt with. There's also the case of the case of not the full word count like 400k words of Jacky since it's just part 1. >Link takes reader to line# interesting, didn't know ponepaste can do this and might be useful later, do you know if this can work with pastedown or just greentext? fixed >Condense status to ongoing it isnt though, it's been on break since Zooma's driveby curves and swerves Ban should be up by tomorrow so I'll finally be able to rejoin the thread
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>>3906 >do you know if this can work with pastedown or just greentext? I don't think line linking works with pastedown, as pastedown doesn't show line numbers. I could be wrong, though. >it isnt though, it's been on break since Zooma's driveby curves and swerves After much thought, I decided to pull Condense off the shelf before I wrote >>3905 Started working on her for the first time in almost five months, pic related
>>3893 Even moar Jack has been posted. I'd stop since it's a month and a half away from being two years since I started but I'm not sure I know how to.
>>3921 Always good to see more content.
>>3943 reposting from /mlp/ finally unb& for now but didn't forget you guys and this is a great time to get started into /bootleg/ Next is a big boon for /bootleg/ people have asked for this for years. The thun parade has been fully pastebinned! this alone would be worthwhile to celebrate >mfw felt some real accomplishment finally able to connect the string of seemingly unrelated oneoffs, this has been a constant itch for years >It turns out there's actually had a sense of continuitiy and it wasn't long before I noticed a pattern of characters being introduced in the same house in a short many, many posts before. >How far back are we talking? The last time that he wrote it was in thread #36 but this man has been writing for the /bootleg/, the same house and the same Anon since #9! >Thun all starts with Dim Sum, and I even found the Aria bootleg that he talked about. I totally glazed over that in the middle of Dim-Sum's chinese, this was driving me nuts because I've gone back so many times in desu. >After staring at these short greens the style of writing and comedic play stood out to me too, I'm betting it's the same author as the fantastic Freedom and Commie >On their own its hard to rally around but when seen together like a big tapestry it's great. >No longer will kirko's work be invisible, and together with dusting these shorts off and piecing them together like a broken old stone fragments, I believe it deserves to be added to the best of the boot. >now that the full string has been united I'll be retiring the other pastes which only served as a small fraction and had bland awful names like "counting with bump" because it was hard to pin down what to call it >Unless someone gives me a better name I will be naming this House of boots to reflect on this madman's building of a family, and how he has been with us for the long haul >You may find the newly binned green here: https://ponepaste.org/5794
>>3946 Neat.
>>3647 >For the third time this morning, you hear Anon's alarm blare its electronic maelstrom of auditory pain. >You've been nice thus far, but this is getting a little ridiculous now. >Lazy bastard. >With a huff of resignation, you set aside the laptop you were perusing and slip off of the couch, heading to Anon's room blocked only by his door left slightly ajar. >It's not necessarily odd for him to hit the snooze button once in a while - but it's usually pretty quick. >In the back of your mind, you're a little concerned with the realization that it has been blaring for some time before the noise is silenced. >...Er, you're concerned for your own well-being, since he's basically hiding you here. >So you sort of need him alive. >Not that you're worried about that, either - after all, he has silenced his alarms. >They don't turn off by themselves, right? >You use one of your wings to lightly push open the door as you creep into his room. > It's rather barren, the walls a pale robin egg blue that has faded with time, and no decor to speak of - aside from a small window right above the bed. >Merely a bed, an end table, and a door which leads to a small walk-in closet grace this room as far as furnishings. >A lump you safely assume is Anon's slumbering form is nestled within a cocoon of blankets. >More than you would expect to see, considering the temperature in here, which is on the upper end of comfortable. "Hey sloth, stop hitting the snooze button. It's almost nine-thirty," you snap. >Anon's form merely shifts a bit, before letting out a fatigued mumble of unintelligible words. "I don't understand moonspeak, try again in English." >This time, you just get a groan in response. "Alright, enough of this." >You storm over to his bedside, leaning over and grabbing a hold of the end of the linens and tossing them aside to expose Anon to the sunlight. >He doesn't put up any sort of a fight. >Instead, he focuses on bracing his eyes for the sharp contrast of light by squinting. >He looks... very pale. >And slightly shivering from head to toe. >And he looks quite exhausted, by his sluggish movements in getting himself adjusted to focus on you. "You look awful," you finally manage to tell him. >"You were a lot prettier last night, too," he strikes back, shuddering particularly hard as he grabs those sheets to cover himself back up. "Stop being disgusting - what are you doing?" >"I feel like shit, Midnight," he groans. "Unless you cranked the AC down to the 50s, I'm gonna guess I'm suffering from the chills right now." >You blink. "So you're cold?" >"I'm sick. Ill. Whatever you want to call it. I can't be up and around like this. Probably got a fever, and I'm feeling dizzy just trying to look at you. I can't open today." "You can't afford *not* to open up - we just lost almost two full days due to weather last week," you protest, the thought of more lost revenue making you anxious. >"Alright, alright. Damn slave driver."
>>3955 >Slowly, Anon sits himself upright, still clinging to the sheets in which he's draped himself. >He pauses before actually standing up, seeming to sway back and forth a bit. >"Is the room spinning for you?" he asks. "No..." >While your first instinct is to believe he's screwing with you or playing it up, the look of utter exhaustion he sports and the continued slight swaying back and forth convinces you otherwise. >Frustrated, you motion with your hoof for him to lay back down, which he obliges - albeit slowly and with an accompanying groan. >"Sorry, I didn't ask to be sick, Midnight," he apologizes, shifting around a bit to find a more comfortable position. "I know, I know," you grumble in response, turning to head back out of his room. >Maybe you're overreacting a bit, considering the ease of access the website now provides leaves a vast majority of orders being placed online nowadays... >But still, not being open at all has to hurt business somewhat, and you want to make this place's financial foundation as rock solid as possible, as soon as possible. >And the hours open to the public have already been cut back out of necessity to pull parts for orders that are to be shipped out. >Of course, that's the transition - being here only to ship out and allow pickup maybe once a week... >You still don't like not being open at this point in time though. >You can't sit back and do nothing. "I'm opening up on my own," you announce, turning back around to face Anon >"You wha?" >He sits up right away - going just a bit too far forward before his delayed reactions stabilize him. "I'll open up shop for a little bit - answer any calls, deal with whatever few customers we get, and get caught up on the parts we need to pull." >"Absolutely not, Midnight," he sternly rebuts, not wasting a moment of thought. >Undaunted by his refusal, you pin your ears back with anger and step forward. "Why not? I'm more than capable of doing it, and it's not like I'm asking you to hand the whole business over to me," you argue. >"Have you forgotten you aren't really supposed to be here?" he says, pointing a finger at you. "What if - well, what if someone from the place you came from happens to walk in and recognizes you? It's game over." >Okay, he's evidently delirious with illness, judging by how little thought went into that argument. "What the hell kind of an excuse is that? Have you somehow forgotten the numerous times I was working on engines in the shop while customers walked in? As well as the few times I've actually interacted with them? Are you being stupid on purpose?" >Anon opens up his mouth to speak, but is unable to find any words that will help him. "I'm my own mare anyways, Anon - you said so yourself. I'm pretty sure I can manage without your expertise for a little bit." >"I don't like this idea," he continues to stonewall. "You still aren't supposed to legally be out on your own, you told me that."
>>3956 "Yet this is private property - *your* private property, might I add." >In the back of your mind, you've already decided this is something you will do, whether you have Anon's approval or not. >But you'd still rather have his blessing, rather than do this behind his back. >More out of a desire to avoid hearing his droll scowling voice later on in the evening when he finds out. >"Pull parts out back. That's it." >You shake your head defiantly. "Open till about one in the afternoon, answer any calls, and then pull parts out back." >He scowls at your counter offer. >However, Anon sighs after mulling his options for a few silent moments. >"I'm not going to win with you, am I?" >You shake your head once again. >"Be careful, Midnight," he says solemnly. "You act as if I'm going to get caught and get you in trouble," you chastise. >"Dammit, I'm not worried about that, I'm worried about *you*." >The way he emphasizes his concern makes you feel... >Odd. "Shut up," is all you can reply with, embarrassed by being thrust into the central focus like this. >"No, I'm serious. I want you around Midnight - I don't care if you think that's weird or makes you feel uncomfortable," he presses. "Well - come on, your business is-" >"I'm not talking about having you around to help me. Let go of your pride for just five minutes, please." "Then what is it?" you ask, feeling awkward as hell. >"I enjoy your company, Midnight. I want you around for - you. So yes, I'm worried for your sake." >You swallow hard at that statement. "You can't just keep me under wraps forever. That's not a life," you reply. >"I know, which is why I don't have a leg to stand on in this argument. And I realize it's a longshot that someone is going to recognize you, put two and two together, and come to the conclusion you're essentially a fugitive. But I can't vouch for you if I'm not there - I can't make up some quick excuse to cover your ass. So jus-" >You unfurl your left wing and gently shove him back down to a laying position. "You're doing way too much talking for someone as sick and out of it as you are," you tell him. "Shut up, get some sleep, I'll be fine, you candyass." >Without giving him another chance to speak, you trot out of the room, closing the door behind you. > It's only now you realize you've been holding your breath for some time, and you let it out in a big exhale. >'I want you around.' >You've never heard that directed toward you. >Not unless it was for someone else's shot at a massive ego boost. >Or prestige. >Or monetary gain. >Your whole existence is based on a gamble to gain influence within a company. >It was only in hindsight you understood that. >The few compliments and discussions shared were more or less to build up the ego of another, for their own betterment. >Something beyond you - you have always been a vessel for a further goal. >To be kept around for - well, you, your 'company' as Anonymous so eloquently described...
>>3957 > It's a wave of emotions you've never felt before. >A completely foreign feeling that is almost overwhelming right now. >Why? >In reality - what do you have to offer aside from your aptitude to learn skills at a rapid pace and your gift of making ferrous objects float in the air? >Your whole plan to fit here and make this your home revolved only around making yourself useful as a tool, not... >Whatever Anon thinks of you now. >Fucking rambling moron. >He even said so on day one, he had no interest in ponies, no interest in you or your past. >Which was fine with you - it's what you expected. >It was what felt normal. >What the hell happened? >Anon just keeps digging beyond what you offered and agreed upon - face-value facts, present day. >You don't want to delve into the past - you can't change it. >It doesn't matter anymore, and it's unpleasant to reflect upon. >... >And you hate who you are. >You hate *what* you are. >Anon pressing his way further and further into your past is forcing you to come to terms with that. >What does he serve to gain from it? >It's completely illogical. >Why do things suddenly have to be so damn complicated? >And why- >No, get a grip on yourself. >You have things that need to be done. >Stop thinking about shit that doesn't matter. >With another deep breath, you shove those thoughts and worries down into the recesses of your mind and head out the door. ---- Between being sick and not being at work, I didn't get much done on this update until last night.
>>3958 Good stuff! I hope you'll get better soon, Auto.
>>3958 Nice update, get well soon.
>>3958 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLATbzMutkc [Embed] >This is obscenely boring. >How Anon managed to occupy himself month after month sitting and waiting for customers is beyond you. >Almost an hour and a half since opening the front gates. And not a single person has popped in. >...you did get a few stares from passersby when fiddling with the lock and propping the gate open, though. >Despite your confidence you crowed about when convincing Anon to let you do this, it was a little unnerving. >Again, you aren't used to this attention. >You aren't used to being out in the open for all to see. >By design, you're meant to be quite striking in appearance. >...that's far from a boon right now, considering the circumstances. >But, no one stopped and shrieked in horror. >Sirens didn't begin to blare as the authorities closed in to neutralize you. >Just some double-takes. >There was never any thought put into what you would do outside of the facility once you made good your escape. >Tending to a junkyard certainly wasn't something that sprung to mind. >But beggars can't be choosers. >Now... >You have too much time to think. >What illness does Anon have? >With virtually no knowledge of humans, that question has you nervous. >Will he be okay? >Could it be fatal? >He didn't seem overly concerned about it... >But what if that was to allay your fears? >Fears that he probably doesn't know you have... >Yeah, trying to hide inevitable death is probably a reach. >However, you would like to see him back to normal as quickly as possible for peace of mind. >The least you could do is at least check on him a few times throughout the day, in case he needs anything. >After some time to let the thought settle, maybe it isn't so awful to think that Anon cares. >It's - well, it's sort of a relief. >It means you don't have to constantly be looking out for yourself in every direction. >Someone has your back. >Again, that's a new feeling. >Hell, interacting with anyone on a regular occasion is new. >You remember being virtually isolated from birth until arriving here. >'Birth' might not be an appropriate term, but the point still stands. >It was all part of the experiment, after all. >To be fully independent. >The creak of stairs draws your attention away from internal thoughts. >Anonymous carefully makes his way down the steps, still wearing a sheet like a cloak. "What the hell are you doing? Get back to bed!" you shout at him, aghast to see him as he tries not to fall the rest of the way down with his lack of balance. >"You want me to shit in the sink?" he croaks. "Not... particularly?" >You try not to gag at the thought. >"Then you're going to watch me stumble down the stairs. May as well see if a hot shower helps me at all, while I'm down here," he explains further, holding out a fresh change of leisure clothes out from under his cloak. >You don't say anything else as you warily watch him traverse the rest of the steps.
>>4070 [Whoops, it appears I'm retarded. Nevermind the extra [Embed] there.] >"Any customers yet?" he asks upon reaching the bathroom door. >You shake your head negatively, which elicits a frown from him. >"Sorry. How many orders came in overnight?" "I... hadn't thought about checking that," you reply, appalled that simple task had slipped your mind. >"You worrying about me?" Anon suggests with a smirk. >That face instantly draws your ire. >Even if he is kind of right in that assumption. >Are you sure you didn't just come down here to annoy me when I'm supposed to be rid of you for the day?" >He shrugs while walking into the bathroom and closing the door behind. >"I'm a man of many talents," his muffled voice echoes from the other side. >Smartass. >While Anon does his thing, you check up on emails on the computer for orders, as reminded by him. >And there are quite a few new ones in the last fourteen or so hours. >Most of which seem to be engine parts, just from a glance. >Fairly simple, as your work has left shelves full of sorted parts in the building. >Pontiac 400 heads, Ford 351 oil pan, Jeep 360 four-barrel intake... >You don't recall doing any Jeep stuff. >But there are some parts you know - at least, that you know are marked. >Book smarts don't necessarily translate into instant visual identification - not like Anon can do. >You still need reference tags for most of these things. >That knowledge likely comes with experience. >Almost in time with the sound of the water being turned on, you pad over to the storage room and make your way along the narrow corridors. >The lighting in this room is awful, but you have no issues seeing in the dark, thanks to your eyes. >You can't help but laugh when Anon stumbles his way along in here when he's looking for something. >Like other aspects of his business, it was something he noticed, but never bothered to improve. >With as much stockpiling as the two of you have accomplished, reaching and replacing light fixtures will be a tall task. >Maybe someday... >You manage to find the engine heads fairly quick, trotting back to the entrance just to place them down outside the door. >But before you turn back to head for the oil pan, someone comes around the corner of the entrance to the shop. >A customer! >Just as you start to feel excitement and anxiety build, you get a better look at your visitor. >Carrying a large box, the man is clad in a drab brown uniform... >Just a delivery. >Dammit. >"Well good morning, miss," he greets you with a smile and in a voice that is borderline baby talk. "Your owner wouldn't happen to be around to sign for this package, would he?" >Owner. >You clench your jaw at the utterance of that insulting word being directed toward you. >And the way he says that! >Like you're some sort of imbecile! >You have half a mind to- >"In here, but I'm a little occupied at the moment!" Anon shouts through the sounds of the shower. "She can sign for it, can't she?"
>>4071 >"Of course, sorry about that," the delivery driver announces back, his gaze drawn away from you and toward the closed door behind. >It gives you a moment to scowl at him in an attempt to relieve some of your anger. >Just as he starts to focus back on you, you bring yourself back to a decidedly more approachable appearance. >"Where do you want this?" he asks politely, motioning to the large package with a nod of his head. >The box is large enough to require the use of both hands. >Well, he can shove it wh- "I'll take it," you reply, sensing at least some sort of ferrous material inside you can grasp. >It's strange how your ability works, but you can 'feel' when something can be moved or drawn toward you. >From that, you can get a sense of general shape, as well as any separate pieces. >Feeling the presence of four cylindrical objects, you gently grab them and motivate the box to the floor, much to your visitor's surprise. >"Whoa, that's trippy." >It takes a moment before he reaches for some sort of device on his hip, tapping through a few things before holding it out to you, as well as some sort of plastic pen. >"Sign here," he directs. >You frown, knowing full well you can't handle that object. >Your eyes divert their attention to other nearby objects, before spotting the thin metal wire holding the tag to the engine heads you put down. >The wire unwinds itself under your silent instructions, before weaving through the air and wrapping around the stylus pen. >"Man, they keep on coming up with crazier inventions, don't they?" he says, wide-eyed and astounded. "Something like that," you absently reply, taking a moment to scrawl your name on the touchscreen. >'Midnight.' >That sort of makes it official now, doesn't it? >It was a quick thought to avoid Anon from using the cringe-worthy 'Turbo' moniker, but you're come to prefer the name now. >It sure beats an alphanumeric project code. >As he puts the device away, he renews his smile and waves, heading back out. >"Have a good day, Midnight." >You half-heartedly wave with a hoof, waiting for him to disappear beyond the brick-and-mortar door frame. >A growl of pent-up ire escapes you once the coast is clear. >You don't think you'll ever get over that term. >For more than one reason. >"Sorry, Midnight." "What?" >You turn to face the bathroom door after hearing Anon's apology from the other side. >"I was a little worried you might not take too well to him asking for your..." >He trails off. "Owner?" you suggest, keeping your audible bitterness to the minimum you can muster. >"Yeah. I figured I would just speak up." >You could berate him for that. >After all, this is supposed to be your day flying solo. >Perhaps he came down here to 'shower' because he doesn't trust you... >Even if that were true, he's right. >That comment really pissed you off, even if that is the cover you need to hide behind.
>>4072 >"I probably would have had to fetch you for approval anyways. And no, that did not sit well with me," you sigh. "Thank you." >You await the gasp or comment pointing out your rare manners. >But aside from the water shutting off, all is silent. >That's... unsettling. "Anonymous?" >"Yeah? I'm here." "Oh. I was expecting you to be a smartass about that," you admit. >"Should I?" "Normally you would have. Is this part of being ill?" >You hear him chuckle slightly. >"No, but I think I know why I feel like shit," he announces. "Do tell." >You're admittedly anxious for this piece of news. >"You remember that chicken bacon ranch pizza I had about a week ago?" >That looked like a horrendous concoction when he opened the box that night. >You didn't touch it. "That was last week, though." >"And there were still leftovers. Maybe a little too old to eat safely..." "Dumbass." >"Yeah, I deserve that. But it means I'll probably be feeling better once it's out of my system, so hopefully tomorrow." >The door opens, greeting you with a wave of steam that rolls outward. >Anon shuffles out in his new change of clothes, his hair still looking slightly damp. >"Anyway... to tell you the truth, I guess I see now that you've got your own demons to work through. As much as I like to pick for fun and enjoy getting it back, that's not fair to you. You're trying." >Try as you might, it's impossible to keep stoic. >You feel your face grow hot. "I'm... we all got the little things that bother us. You're making a mountain out of a molehill." >"Maybe. Let's just leave it at that. I still feel like everything is moving while I'm standing still." >A cooling wave of relief washes over you with that gentle dismissal, leaving you with the mystery in the package just delivered. "What did you order, anyway? Whatever it is, there's four of 'em, and I can tell they're some sort of metal tubes." >Anon, wide-eyed, looks at you incredulously as you describe the contents. >"You figured that all out just by picking it up?" "Still sealed, isn't it?" >"Cat's basically out of the bag, and I don't want you thinking they're the keys to your own private fun time," he comments, wiggling his eyebrows. >Metal tubes as private fun ti- >You take a step back from him upon realization and snort, aghast by the idea. "Don't be a pervert! Fucking sicko!" you shout at him. >He bows as if being applauded, almost losing his balance in the process as he takes a half step to correct himself. >"Shock absorbers for the Trailduster. Leaf springs will still be another week, I think," he finally explains as he stands up straight with a serious face. "You actually went and bought that stuff?" >That was something you expected would be forgotten. >Or something that was meant to be taken as a joke. >"Said I was gonna do it, I'm not going to lie and pretend I didn't. But you're gonna help me replace them, right?" "Absolutely!" >You can't help it, but the fact he remembered and did this thrills you to your core.
>>4073 >Evidently, your excitement is infectious, as a grin spreads over Anon's face. >"I am going to take note that I think this is genuinely the happiest I've ever seen you, and the biggest smile you've ever sported." "Still unsettling?" you shoot back, stretching your grin just a little wider to show off your teeth. >"Maybe not as much. I still wouldn't trust you with my fingers near your mouth, though. "Get back to bed, sicky," you snidely snap back. >He wearily salutes you, and carefully heads back up the stairs. >As he reaches for the doorknob at the top of the landing, your mind shifts back to an earlier dilemma. "Anon, one of the orders is for a Jeep intake, 360 four-barrel. Do we have any of those?" you shout up to him. >"Yeah, should have at least one or two AMC intakes in there," he replies, pointing to the storage room. >You shake your head, confused as to how he misheard you. "Jeep, Anon." >"Yeah, I know - that's my bad for not explaining," he says, rubbing the back of his head. "Jeep was owned by AMC - American Motors Corporation - starting in 1970. AMC and Jeep shared the same engines." "Oh. Alright then," you reply. >"Yeah. Whatever we got down there for AMC intakes, that will work. The intake is the same across the board, from the 304 all the way to the 401. All those engines are virtually the same - same block, cylinder heads, the whole nine yards. Just different bore and stroke combinations." "Well that's awfully convenient," you muse. >"I thought so. Them boys up in Kenosha, Wisconsin had some damn good ideas compared to the Detroit Big Three. At least up until forming an alliance with the French and Renault in the eighties. Damn shame." >With that, he opens the door to the living quarters, stepping in and turning one last time to face you. >"Don't be afraid to ask if you need any help. I'm going to try to get some more sleep and power through this crap," he says. "I'll be fine. Just get better - and don't eat any more expired food, stupid," you lecture him. >"You're no fun," he scoffs, before shutting the door. >Now, back in isolation, you can't help but think... >Maybe having someone that cares isn't so bad after all... -----
>>4074 Thanks for another update. Out of curiosity, what sort of time frame is this story set in I've yet to catch up on the previous updates. Kind of feels like it might be a bit futurish, but maybe that's just because a lot of bootleg stories tend to be that way.
>>4074 I've been wanting to share something regarding this all day, but today was a really long and busy day for me, so I'm only just now getting to this before I head off to bed. Last night, I was engaged in a lucid dreaming session that started to go out of control and become very stressful. I ended up terminating the dream and waking up around 6:30 my time, which was about an hour after you posted this update. I was feeling distressed and didn't want to go immediately back to sleep, because I usually end up resuming dreams when I do that, and I really didn't want to go back to the place I just came from. So I grabbed my phone and went straight to here to see if there were any new posts to do a little light reading, since the dark theme here is easier on the eyes. I've never really read any bootleg stuff, and I don't know the context behind Midnight and the story, but it was an enjoyable read, after which I was able to get another hour of dream-free sleep. None of this really means much beyond that it was comfy to read and helped to clear the mind. Thanks for that.
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>>4104 hey friend, most of the activity is still on /mlp/ but im sure auto will be happy about yrou feedback. hope you sleep better, have another comfy bootleg. And stick around because we're in the process of making AQ for what makes bootleg, bootleg easier to understand. SOON™
>>4095 I'd say it's more of a present-day timeline, just based on the simple fact that there has to be a market for old cars, and still old cars available to be collected in a salvage yard. So evern, then, we're taking some liberal steps, if I'm to be honest. 15-20 years ago in the past would be a better fit at minimum, but I'm just rambling at this point. But yeah, present-day alternate reality, since ponebots exist That's not to say that is what Midnight is, mind you - just that they are in existence... >>4104 Thank you, I'm glad to hear it. Believe it or not, it means a lot that I could help you out, even if it just happened to be by chance. >>4105 I'm not sure how many others frequent, but I do try to keep tabs on this place, especially since I decided to post every update that gets put on /mlp/. Last night was awful at work, so I didn't get to check in. Or do any writing. Or take a seat at any point.
>>4109 >it's more of a present-day timeline Neat. >I do try to keep tabs on this place It's nice to see you around and to see your updates here as well.
>>4095 >feels like it might be a bit futurish, but maybe that's just because a lot of bootleg stories tend to be that way. this is due to the original thread, specifically people thought Rare was a robot (she isnt). and then there was Twibot which was lowtech bots but really good so alot of people followed in that footsteps of cheap+fake = robopone in future where waifubots already exist but anon's not rich enough to afford the real deal. we dub this kind of greens the classic bootleg era. But things are still evolving, future stuff will still make an appearance, but there's going to be a lot more variety in the future. flutterfrog >>3530 would be an example
>>4118 You're saying there will be less future stuff in the future? How ironic.
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>>4119 kek yeah pretty ironic, the classic bootleg will still stick around and theres gunna be future stuff still im sure but theres plenty of non-future or non bots ideas that people talk about tinkering with like bootleg toystory kind of like how the Dollar Tree short, or the returning stuff that was never bots but got put on the backburner
>>4118 People thought Jacky was a ponebot at the start due to that old mindset. That said, Missy Pie and the other Missy gals are ponebots. And Flutterlime is really just a very hi-tech toy.
>>4148 To be fair, coming in a box and just suddenly springing to life upon removal makes it a fairly reasonable conclusion to draw. I thought that for the initial hundred or so lines. It does become clear that Jacky doesn't fit that mold, though.
>>4150 True. I had always thought that was a good way to ship her, since she was sold as a product. One step below pets because at least they're not stuck. Given what we've seen of Nona and where the dorks came from, it certainly isn't the most legit of business practice. It doesn't help that there are ponebots in that setting. It's easy to believe that there may be some deeper connection there. And I guess we've never seen anything concrete either way.
Hi everyone. For those of you who don't frequent the /mlp/ bootleg thread, I'm the author of Zooma and Condense. I've recently resumed work on Condense and hope to have a new update in a few days, so I figured I'd link to her story in case you want to know what the hell is going on when I post a new section here. https://ponepaste.org/4168
>>4151 The way you did it was perfectly reasonable in mind since, like you said - it was supposed to be a product from a business, no matter how dubious that facade would come to be. I think it added an extra bit of intrigue once things started rolling with getting Sparks and then Prism - but as readers we like to try to connect the dots and form our own conclusions as we go.
>>4154 >try to connect the dots and form our own conclusions as we go I like pushing that. It may seem like it's me being lazy... and to an extent it is, but there are a lot of clues out there that I think are clear if you're looking at things from the right angle. There are a lot of little details that I like seeing that can mean something when piled up; little pebbles that can lead up to a real hill. I think the current Part, with Jacky having dreams of what is her past(?), is going to be pretty important and give some more history to her. At the same time I smile because we already know a lot of her history, it's been such a long time since the story started and she's grown in her own ways. Her finding about her origins matters as much as it does to us; it doesn't really matter and doesn't change who she is now.
>>4156 That's the best way to do it though - make the reader think, get them involved. I like how you've done that thus far. We're also seeing it with Condense, which I'm looking forward to diving into once more, and I'm trying to keep it vague with Midnight, as well. It doesn't have to be something super important as far as a plot point, but it's something with which to engage the reader's imagination and thoughts. Those and heavy feels are what make a particular story stick in my mind. I do try to avoid heavy feels more often than not, since I'm a sensitive little bitch.
>>4153 Very cool.
>>4159 > I do try to avoid heavy feels more often than not, since I'm a sensitive little bitch. and you chose to join the general that specializes in feels?
>>4167 Listen, I didn't choose, it chose me. That and Reggie's influence. Avoid that man - he is crazy. It doesn't really matter where I go, though. When I say sensitive, I mean to the point I've broken down writing my own shit. Blood Moon in /moon/ violated my soul in ways I didn't know were possible.
>>4168 thats fair. bootleg can hit me with inspiration hard too, pretty much no other general has the same effect. i did like bird pones though, short lived as it were wish it would come back
>>4074 >You're pleased to see the number of orders that continue to roll in via email notifications. >It means your initial idea to make a proper ordering form on Anon's website was a strong one. >However, that does mean success may have been well within his own grasp this whole time, had he put an effort forth... >Oh well, his loss. >Maybe you could make a case for taking over the business. >...though you don't know what that would gain you, other than bragging rights. >That doesn't sound too bad. >Regardless of future conquests, the slowly building log of emails has kept you trotting back and forth around the shop when the items are something housed in the storeroom or coincidentally right outside. >There's a fair amount to be done out back, too - you probably won't be able to get it all done today by yourself. >Not a big deal, but it is sort of a personal pride thing. >So, while there's been virtually no activity in terms of walk-ins, it's quite likely that is a result of the shift toward stripping this place of the self-serve moniker. >You spotted people and overheard them taking items that they had no intention of paying for or mentioning to the owner when you still lived in the van. >Well, the owner being Anonymous, of course - but you didn't know his name before. >Nevertheless, keeping your head on a swivel, hiding in the shadows - there's a lot that can be observed living like that. >Even if it can be a bit taxing. >There is something to be said for being that way though - maybe you should keep up on your skills of skulking around unnoticed. >Fate has a way of throwing twists and turns in the path ahead. >Can't be too safe. >Putting thoughts of honing survival tactics aside, you are mildly disappointed to have not had any walk-in customers. >Well, disappointed and a bit relieved, maybe. >You've not really interacted with anyone aside from Anonymous. >So there is some anxiety there. >Your social skills might be a bit lacking... >But fuck it, you can wing it. >Adapt and survive. >However, the few phone calls you received today went well enough, so it isn't like you're completely blind. >They went well aside from mentioning your name, anyway. >That came with some... questions. >'Erm... Midnight? That's an odd name...' >Mentioning your mother had a degree in gender studies rectified the situation fairly quickly. >Thank the stars for Anon's laptop you've basically taken over. >Aside from more automotive knowledge, you've spent a fair amount of time learning and exploring the outside world via the internet. >The perks of living on an abbreviated sleep schedule. >After all, there's only so much you can overhear that allows you to paint a picture of what surrounds you beyond these gates. >The facility certainly didn't offer any information. >You hardly ever got to see the sun. >The last phone call or two, you did decide to use another name, just to avoid the hesitations. >Maddie.
>>4171 >God, you hope Anon didn't hear that. >Hopefully he's been asleep the whole time. >You checked on him once, and he was slumbering in bed. >... the pungent odor that greeted you upon opening the door to the living space told you whatever contents that were ailing his stomach made an evacuation back up at some point into the kitchen sink drain. >Ew. >Hopefully that helps, though. >If he's going to be that stupid and stubborn, you're going to start going through the fridge and throwing leftovers away. >With the silence that pervades while you idly tap away through various internet searches on the computer. >The sound of footsteps outside amidst the dust and gravel reaches your ears. >Your eyes quickly dart to the open garage bay door, a few seconds before a man comes around the corner. >...and he seems vaguely familiar. >Wearing a beat-up denim jacket and with graying hair and mustache, the older gentleman waves as he approaches, apparently unfazed by your appearance. >"Hi - Nightmare Moon?" he asks with a warm smile and a slight foreign drawl to his words. >But more significantly, you tense up upon hearing that name. >You obviously aren't wearing a nametag - and you aren't Nightmare Moon. "Hello, can I help you with something?" you ask, pretending to be oblivious to anything other than his initial greeting. >"Yeah, looking for some more parts - I don't have the time to pull em myself today, so I was wondering if I could just request em for pickup later?" "We can do that - what are you looking for?" >While you bring up the inventory catalog on the computer screen, you keep a watchful eye on your guest. >Maybe you're being paranoid, but he seems too comfortable... >"Where's your buddy at? I'm surprised to see you attending the counter," muses the customer, attempting to make idle chat as he scans the building. "He's around. Stepped out for a bit. What was it you needed?" >"Sorry. Uh... well, I need a radiator fan shroud, first of all, a heater box if you got one in decent shape." "For what kind of car?" >Your voice comes out a little rough, but you can't help it as your heart rate speeds up. >He at least knows your basis, and he's trying to chat nonchalantly. >...which is probably better than freaking out about seeing you. >Chill out, girl. >"Oh, duh. I'd forget my head if it could unscrew," he replies with a chuckle, slapping his forehead. "1972 Cutlass." >That particular car jumpstarts your memory - Anon helped this guy a few weeks ago, while you were coincidentally tearing down an Oldsmobile engine. >It made you speak up, in case the stars had aligned and he needed some of the parts you were in the midst of disassembling. >...and then Anon referred to you as a guard dog. >You never did pay him back for that, even if it was a spur-of-the-moment attempt to cover for you. >That fucker. >Regardless of past unavenged transgressions, you breathe a small sigh of relief as you connect the dots - this man has seen you before. >Here.
>>4172 "Alright. Anon hasn't done a very good job keeping everything tidy on this computer, so just give me a second," you explain. >More or less, you're just checking to see if that shroud is stashed away inside here... >And it is not. >Worth a try. >Instead, you bring up a document form to jot down everything that he needs quickly, followed by the year and model. "Name for this?" >"Theodore. But everyone just calls me Teddy," he says, leaning on the counter. "I take it you don't go by Nightmare?" >You look over at him after typing his name. >You still remain a bit wary. >Does he really need to know your name? >He seems nice enough... >So many different thoughts go through your head now in regards to your safety, now that you're interacting with strangers. >Face to face. >Of course, you did earlier today taking that delivery, but Anon was down here... >...and what, you can't protect yourself? >Going to rely on him to keep you safe and warm? >Grow a fucking spine. "Midnight," you tell him, garnering a nod of acknowledgment. >"That's a nice name," he compliments, leaning in just a bit more. "You aren't a custom model though, are you?" >The hushed question makes your blood run cold. "What would make you say that?" >"I don't mean anything by it," he says in an attempt to reassure you. "I've just seen my fair share of ponies and bots. You're a different breed entirely." >He says it so calmly and nonchalantly, as if discussing the weather. >But his conviction is solid. "Is there a point to this rambling? I have other things to do," you sharply reply, eager to be rid of this man and this sudden shift in conversation. >Your unwanted acquaintance just chuckles. >"You've got spirit, and that's something that can't just be made from circuits. Look, I'm not here to harass you or out you - I assume you aren't... verified." "Then why are you here?" you challenge. >Teddy stands up straight once again. >"I do actually need those parts. I'm retired... mostly," he replies, unaffected by your cold tone. "I don't want to go into too much detail as I'm clearly getting off on the wrong foot, but I do want to say that you aren't the only one of your kind - though you're more advanced than any other I've encountered. Where did you come from?" "The backseat of a first-gen Dodge Caravan. Turbocharged, no less," you spitefully hiss, making sure to bare your weaponized dental work for him to see. >It doesn't really seem to affect Theodore at all. >He doesn't flinch in any way. >You don't trust this guy for a second. >He's asking a lot of questions for someone interested in vintage car parts. >Even Anon was scared shitless by your appearance and threats upon first meeting. >Not this guy. >This Theodore, or Teddy fellow - if that's what his name even is - finds you intriguing, if anything. >He was hardly deterred upon your initial meeting, either, come to think of it. >You were just distracted and paid no mind. >But this doesn't feel right at all.
>>4173 >A thought crosses your mind, one that you have to wrestle back down with every fiber of logic... >After all, you could make this a non-issue with any sort of sharp metallic piece of scrap... >He wouldn't see it coming aside from the slight glow of your eyes. >Or if need be, you could go for his windpipe. >It would be nothing for your canines and incisors to pierce his throat... >No. >Nothing good will come of that in the long-term picture. >Someone will come looking for him, no matter how well you hide your tracks. >You can't kill him, Midnight. >"I suppose I deserve your skepticism, Midnight, I'm sorry for upsetting you," Teddy apologizes. "I'll be back in a few days to get those parts. You probably want my phone number, don't you? For the order?" "For the order," you repeat. >He rattles off a series of numbers, which you seamlessly transfer to the keyboard. >"Hopefully next time, your buddy - Anonymous, yeah? The business owner?" >You slowly nod, keeping your wits about you in case he tries something funny. >The fact that Anon's name is mentioned only tenses you further. >You don't want to kill. >But you will if need be. >Any threat to Anonymous is a threat to you. >"Hopefully he's around as well as you when I return. Assuming he's a nice fellow. Does he treat you well?" "I can take care of myself, thank you very much." >That gets a cheeky grin from Teddy as he lightly slaps the counter. >"Anyway, I might be able to help you and Anonymous. Or just you, if this place and he aren't to your liking. You have my number - and I'll be back in a few days otherwise." >With a wave, he heads back out into the sun of the afternoon. >You give it a few moments before dropping to all fours on the floor, making yourself low to the concrete. >Silently, you make your way toward the open garage door from which Teddy just departed. >It's all muscle memory from here. >Every step, every movement is calculated and purposeful. >Just like months ago, when hunting vermin. >You might be doing just that right now. >Reaching the doorframe, you pause and listen intently for any sounds indicating something that lies on the other side. >You catch the sound of a door opening, followed shortly thereafter by the slight creak of springs meeting a new weight before the door slams shut. >Even with the characteristic sounds of the mysterious man getting into his vehicle, you carefully poke your head out from beyond the frame, enough to catch a glimpse of what you can see of the parking area. >Beyond the privacy fence, you hear an engine start up, quickly proceeded by spying a weathered Chevy pickup amble away from the open gate and out to the road. >You manage to glimpse the graying hair and a bit of a denim jacket in the windows to give you some semblance of assurance the coast is clear. >Despite that, you still watch the truck leave properly until it's out of sight. >You honestly don't know what to make of the encounter, especially after his farewell address.
>>4174 >What could he possibly help with - whether it be you and Anon, or you alone? >It's unsettling that he made you out for something far beyond your traditional ponybot. >Are you that obvious from just a glance? >Visually, it shouldn't be a difference, perhaps the mannerisms a bit, but... >He certainly knows more than just 'having been around a fair share.' >Furthermore... >Are there really others? >Of course, there were the remnants of those that you rode with to this destination, but those were basically parts, pieces, and experimental normal models. >You don't recall any others like you... >The thought is troubling. >The thoughts regarding this whole encounter and the ensuing conversation are troubling. >You dismissed Anon's concerns about your well-being earlier today. >You aren't so sure of yourself now... -----
>>4159 >make the reader think You gotta. I think so, anyway. I still pretty much just write as I go, there isn't much in the way of more broader/longterm planning. I suppose I'm writing the sort of things I would enjoy reading. I also can't divorce from the heavy feels, I know them far too well. It's the sort of hurt I'd rather be able to feel than not.
https://w2g.tv/rooms/ajikxa2kvtxdodvjlf?lang=en Since it's Friday night, here's a hangout place. Lot of people writing their greens or talking about writing so it might be a good time to chat up some stuff.
>>4175 Thanks for another update Auto.
it's been asked on recommended stuff for bootleg newfriends. this is part 1 which is where the old stigma comes from, but there's still a lot of good stuff in here even if a good chunk is sad.
>>4230 Looks like it's starting to come together.
>>4175 > For the first time today since initially waking up, you feel somewhat healthy. >You are never eating chicken bacon ranch pizza again. >Maybe it was too old - doesn't really matter. > It's ruined for you now. >After essentially sleeping the whole day away aside from rushing to the sink to upchuck twice and getting up to use the bathroom downstairs once, you decide you feel well enough to try to put some sort of food in your stomach. >Toast is on the menu. >Whoopee. >You haven't seen Midnight since taking a shower earlier. >At some point during the day - possibly while emptying your stomach - you recall hearing Midnight on the phone. >Apparently she decided to adopt a new name for the occasion. >Maddie will certainly enjoy you giving her shit for that. >Or perhaps Middie... >The other time you headed downstairs was well into the afternoon - the computer was off. >More than likely, the slow day never got better, and she went out back to strip parts early. >Though not knowing for certain was a bit unsettling. >She's resourceful - you've seen it firsthand. >You shouldn't really be that worried. >Still have that uneasy feeling in your stomach though. >Aside from nausea, obviously. >Approaching six in the evening now, you would expect her to pop in sometime soon. >Maybe - with as stubborn and as driven as she is, you're well aware of the possibility of Midnight trying to hero her way through the whole list of orders in one shot. >You glimpsed outside - the Trailduster isn't in its usual spot. >She's moved it a few times, it doesn't come as a surprise she would have enough comfort and confidence to take it. >Ha, comfort. >Probably not the best term for it, considering she bitched about how unergonomic the seating position was for her. >...she didn't think that comment through too well. >Of course, you gave her shit for it. >And you got it right back. >A wonderful circle of love. >With the volume of the tv turned down low and awaiting the toaster in the kitchen to pop, you finally hear the sound of the old war wagon rolling up to the building. >It allows you to finally relax, before jumping in surprise. >Fucking toaster. >Waiting for it this whole time, and the bastard still caught you off-guard when it popped. >Now feeling the mild shame and embarrassment for being caught out once again by the cursed appliance, you begrudgingly fetch your toast from it and toss the slices onto a paper plate, wandering back to the couch. >As much as you're glad Midnight is back, it's best to give her space. >She was clearly taking a lot of pride flying solo today, let her have it until she heads up here. >It will probably be a bit, offloading parts from the back of the SUV. >That being said, you stretch out on the couch, using the whole length that would otherwise be shared with you two occupying either end - buffer space in between.
>>4252 >Pleasantly, there are some reruns of the Dukes of Hazzard playing right now. >...brings a tear to your eye too. >They went through a lot of Dodge Chargers and Plymouth Fury cop cars. >Not to mention Daisy's Plymouth Roadrunner... >Still, the end result was entertaining. >Much to your surprise, you hear the doorknob of the door in the kitchen click open just as you take a nibble of food. >You quickly turn your head in time to see the door swing open and Midnight trot in. "Hi Middie!" you shout. >While not surprised by your voice, the name certainly gets her attention. >Her initial wide-eyed response narrows into one of mild annoyance, exhaling rather sharply through her flared nostrils. >"You fucking ass." >She kicks the door shut with plenty of force to spare. "Hey, easy on the hardware now. That comes out of your pay if you break it," you jokingly scold. >"Good thing you don't pay me. How long have you been up?" she asks while sauntering her way toward you. "Not long. Not even an hour, I don't think," you reply with a shrug. "How long were you out in the yard?" >"Few hours. I called it quits around two or three in the afternoon, at least when it came to standing at the counter looking pretty. "You do pretty a lot better than me." >"I didn't take you as one of those creepy freaks that sexes up pony companions, that's new," she snidely muses. "Maybe you aren't a pickle smoocher like I expected." >You quickly regret your smart comment as your face grows hot. >"Oh, seemed to have touched a nerve." "Shut up." >"That's what you get for the name." >Spreading out a wing, she motions for you to scoot over. "Nuh-uh, I just got comfortable," you half-heartedly argue before obliging her request. >You merely bend your knees and scoot back toward your normal cushion, taking up some of the usual buffer space. >You really were starting to get comfortable. >She gets to deal with your legs and feet invading that space. >Midnight plops down in her usual spot, though facing you rather than draping her forehooves off of the front of the couch. >While she eyes your dinner plate in your hands, it's with only passing curiosity. >She looks tired. >To be fair, you would expect it - this is probably the most she's ever done in one day, aside from overexerting herself on the first day of moving that pile of engines. >That drained look in her eyes goes deeper than mere physical fatigue. "Today go okay?" you ask, trying to mask any concern from seeping into your voice while shifting your eyes back to the tv. >You've learned playing it casual will get your farther - just playing it off as idle conversation. >"It was quiet. Got quite a bit done - as much as I could while inside and manning the phones and counter." "Great - sounds like you're more productive than I am." >"Doesn't that go without saying?" she jests. "Man, you're cutting deep on a sick man. That's cold," you prod back as you shoot a glance at her. >"Truth hurts sometimes."
>>4253 >The exchange at least puts a little bit of light in her eyes, but she just feels off. >Distracted. "You didn't deal with any rude assholes today or crappy situations, did you?" >"That's sort of an odd question to ask, isn't it?" Midnight suggests. "Maybe. But you didn't instantly reply with no, either." >Her muzzle scrunches up a bit with your reply, realizing you caught her out. >But, she does relax that tense response - you don't think she will completely shut down. >"There wasn't anything 'bad,' I suppose," she reluctantly admits. "Okay. But something that wasn't particularly comfortable?" >Your attention is completely drawn to her now, whether you and her like it or not. >You can't help but watch as her eyes shift back and forth as she mulls her response as if visually picking out her words. >"Do you... it's been a couple of weeks, but do you remember that guy that came in for parts for a Cutlass? Older man, the same day you started asking... questions about me." "You mean the day you chipped a good chunk out of my brick wall by chucking a piston at it? Yeah, I remember," you chide >"You called me a guard dog, dickhead," she adds sourly. "Apologized for it, too - but anyway, yes, I remember," you reply, quickly trying to get this train back on the rails. >"He came back today," she blurts. "Isn't... that a good thing? Repeat customers?" you ask, utterly perplexed by the significance. >Midnight's wings ruffle in tune with her discomfort as she stares down at the couch cushion she lays upon. >"He did come in for more parts, at least initially." >The way she says that makes you sit up and take notice. "Did he do something to you?" >"What? No. I can handle myself, Anon," Midnight quickly snaps back as her gaze momentarily flips to you. >You relax a bit, but still feel a little concerned. "Then what, Midnight?" >"He knows what I am. He knew I wasn't a custom model, he knows I'm not verified, and he said he knows more that are like me, because he's been around his fair share of bots, and he knows I'm not one. He could tell just by looking at me, listening to me - said I was more advanced than any other he's seen, and said he could... 'help'." >It all comes out in a cascade of frenzied words and pent-up anxiety, to the point that you need a moment for your brain to sort it out. >Someone else knowing she doesn't have an RFID chip on her chassis is very troubling. >But you're lost on the rest. >She said she was a bot. >You would expect there to be experimental models and shit, and that's what Midnight is. >Right? "Midnight, what do you mean by he knows what you are? I don't follow - I get that the missing RFID is a big deal, but I don't see the significance of... all that." >She shakes her head fervently. >"I don't want to talk about it." "It's obviously bothering the hell out of you - and I don't think you need to be carrying that baggage." >Midnight continues to trying staring a hole into the couch. >You've had enough of it.
>>4254 >Leaning forward, you reach out with a hand and gently place it under her chin, directing her to look at you. >The gesture makes Midnight jump, though the surprise of it makes her momentarily yield to the pressure quite easily. >"What the fuck are you doing?!" she shouts defiantly upon regaining her wits, pulling away from you. "Midnight, I can't help you if I don't know what's going on - talk to me." >"I can't!" "Do you trust me?" >The question freezes her instantly. >Those faintly glowing eyes remain locked upon you. >Like a window to her mind, you feel like you can see the trouble and turmoil within she's fighting to keep wrested away from you. "Midnight, I know you're strong, I know you think you need to deal with - whatever shit you got going on - alone." >"I ca-" "Don't tell me you can't. You delved into my personal bullshit, got me sorted out - I'm doing the same for you. Do you trust me?" >"I'm a freak!" she roars, her voice suddenly ragged. "I'm not a pony companion bot, I'm a genetic science project sideshow!" "I... what?" >Between Midnight's abrupt shift in demeanor and the words she spouts, it's all you can respond with right now. >"I don't have an RFID because I don't have a chassis - I'm not a robot... not completely." "Well... what's wrong with that?" you speak up. > Midnight's eyes begin to glisten with moisture as the pain slowly begins to escape her. >"Do you know what it's like to be a group of arrogant asshole's off-the-books bioengineering project? Do you know how humiliating it is to find out your perverted birth was in a giant test tube? How that experiment in itself is not only prohibited by law, but they managed to fuck up the coloring in their attempts to create a living, breathing Luna, sans wings?" >Midnight chokes back her tears as best she can, while you inch closer to her. >"Already a fuck up beyond the bio-pony experiments ongoing in secret - those are dumb as mud, but at least the colors are right on the ones thus far. Why not go further with this one? Jam some wires and chips from a couple of discarded Twilight and Luna bots, try to put some intelligence and personality in this retarded animal, and if it lives more than a day or two, that's a bonus, right?" >The torrent of words she viciously spouts is slowly beginning to be matched by the liquid sorrow that runs down her cheeks. >"That's all I ever was - a test subject! Crudely dyed wings grafted on from the unpopular Princess Twilight bot because they couldn't genetically engineer proper wings, the electromagnetism, the eyes to fit the theme, the teeth and digestive system for better efficiency - am I supposed to be proud of that?! Being a mishmash of rejects and junk?!" "You're alive, aren't you?" you remind her. >Midnight stops her rant, quivering after the stress of her outburst. >"And that's good," she states bitterly.
>>4255 "I think so. You obviously felt it was good - otherwise, you wouldn't have escaped, right? You felt your life was worth protecting." >She doesn't say anything as her breath hitches repeatedly. >With as downtrodden and utterly defeated as she looks right now, you take your chances. >Seeing the facade of this tough-as-nails mare crumble to dust is just too much. >You scoot up next to her and take her into your arms. >"Why?" >She asks the question but doesn't resist you. >You stroke the fine fur of her neck, feeling the pain and anxiety deeply seated in those lean muscles that she continues to fight to keep inside... >You can see in those misty blue eyes, she sees herself with shame. >She hates what she is. >Even as she crowed about how great she was - it was all a lie to herself, to convince herself that's how she felt. >And she fears what you think of her. >By the sounds of it, she wasn't even expected to live. >Yet here she is. "Midnight, what you are - what your make-up is or whatever you want to call it - I don't care," you tell her, trying to alleviate her concern. "You got out, you survived, and I'm grateful for that." >"Did I make it out? Because it feels like I'm still trapped. Like my past is still pursuing me," she spits out in a half sob. "Then anyone out for you is gonna have to go through both of us. This guy, if he's bad news, he's got a fight in his hands if he tries something. I promise you that," you reassure her. "You're here now, unfucking the mess that I've made. You're making this your home, and you're going to fight for it with the same grit and determination you've been displaying to me since I met you." >You brush away some of her tears that have continued to gather under her eyes. >With a slight nod, her resolve hardens, honing in on your words and your promise to her. "You're not a mess of discarded parts and gene manipulation or whatever - you're better than that. I don't see that. I see Midnight in front of me, and that's all you should worry about." >Midnight emits a sharp exhale of amusement amidst the occasional sniffle as she wrangles herself under control. >"That was really fucking corny. You know that, right?" she mumbles. "I'm a simple man. I cut to the chase, even if it isn't very elegant or original. But I'm not saying anything I don't mean." >Much to your surprise, she leans into your petting a bit as you keep up your physical reassurance that what she is doesn't matter to you. >If anything, it's even more amazing. >And horrifying, depending on how ruthless these people were while doing "modifications" for the sake of science. >She certainly doesn't make it sound very kind. >Fucking hell, this world can be evil. "We'll get the parts this guy needs tomorrow, try to nip this whole situation as quickly as possible if we can contact him to pick up. I'll be there with you, alright? I know you can handle this but..." >"Moral support," she suggests.
>>4256 "I'm moral support. You said he mentioned 'helping,' any idea what that meant?" >You only get a negative shake of the head in response. "Got a name?" >"Theodore - 'Teddy' is supposedly what everyone calls him." > It's a long shot, but maybe you can find something online about this guy. >You feel a bit anxious now as well, but you aren't going to let that stop you from protecting this mare with every last ounce of strength if need be. >Via 'moral support,' of course. >That's fine. >Midnight is strong - far stronger than you gave her credit for. ----- That was not a fun update to push through - I knew it wouldn't be, once I reached it. Probably the reason I couldn't sleep.
>>4257 >sad pony ^:( But thanks for keeping us in the loop. At least Midnight seems better put together than someone like Rare, hopefully she will remain so.
Something much lighter than the end of the last update. >>4257 >Well, is it really that surprising to find nothing? >Having slept virtually the whole day away, sleep tonight really wasn't an option. >So much of the overnight hours have been spent slaving over Midnight's laptop, trying to find some clues as to this mysterious man named Theodore. >You hardly get to use this thing anymore - for all intents and purposes, this computer is now hers. >Speaking of Midnight, you had her sleep in your room tonight, since you knew you wouldn't be using it. >You rather be out in the living room to have the tv on for background noise, even if it was turned way down. >And you want Midnight to get some truly restful sleep after unleashing her burden. >You didn't tell her that, but she likely felt you were taking pity on her anyways. >Hence her reluctance - but you insisted. > It's only after she calmed down and eventually retired to bed for the night you could absorb what she told you. >You feel sick - and not because of the remnants of your battle with food poisoning today. >How in the hell can anyone justify hacking up a living being for their own personal gain, or in the pursuit of "science?" >No wonder Midnight is so maladjusted. >How she's even functional is... >Amazing. >The mental image of her eyes being literally scooped out to be replaced with something artificial to fit a theme or aesthetic... >Man, it's probably good you emptied your stomach earlier today. >How the hell long did she even have to endure that misery? >Going through that, you doubt she wanted to keep track of time even if she could. >You certainly aren't going to ask her. >What Midnight already shared was too much. >Now, having escaped that and being able to live an even vaguely normal life... >You can't help but feel a lump form in your throat. >It takes a moment for that to pass without letting it go any further, aside from a bit of dust irritating your eyes. >But she's not out of the woods yet with this fellow poking his nose where it doesn't belong. >Even if he coincidentally could just tell from looking at her she wasn't a bot, you wouldn't expect anyone to just casually bring it up like Midnight described. >There's more to it than that - that's a certainty. >First instincts tell you this guy works for EquisCo, assuming that is indeed from where Midnight escaped. >Could be they still want her back for more fun with their macabre science project. >Over your dead fucking body. >Maybe they just want to erase her from existence, to avoid getting caught doing illegal genetic experiments. >You have the same feelings about this as your previous theory. >Keeping up on the news isn't something you bother to do, so much of what you hear is just offhand. >Been at least a few years, but you vaguely recall a whole debate about "engineering" pets or something like that. >Never heard the conclusion of that, but according to Midnight, it's illegal.
>>4397 >You're inclined to believe her - though you don't know how she knows that. >Could be like you - just happened to overhear it during everything going on. >But Midnight also mentioned he wanted to help... >If he's been in the business of - pony-making? >Sort of a weird field, now that you think of it. >Regardless - there is always the chance he legitimately wants to assist Midnight with her predicament. >Especially since he apparently knows of others like her. >What he means by "others like her" is left up to the imagination for now. >First and foremost, he is a legitimate customer - he put in an order, and you will fulfill it. >What comes after that comes down to true intentions... >"Are you seriously still up?" >You practically jump about a foot in the air off of your seat with the sudden quip from Midnight. >As you turn around, you jump again, finding her snout mere inches from your face. >Her bemused grin only grows wider with your second near heart attack. "Damn, are you trying to kill me?!" you shout in exasperation. >"More or less curious if I still have my sneaking skills properly honed. I'd say so, judging by those reactions I got," she explains calmly. "I'll put a bell on you if you keep pulling that shit," you taunt her. >"I'd like to see you try," she dares. >Midnight casually walks around the sofa, taking her normal seat. >That doesn't last too long, as intrigue over the laptop you're holding draws her to scoot closer to you. >"I thought you were trying to take pity on me, and you've really been up pounding the keyboard, haven't you?" she asks, trying to make out what you have in the search bar. >You delete it quickly, just to fuck with her - and give her a smarmy grin when she looks up at you with disappointment. >"I can handle whatever you're trying to find," she mutters. "I'm sure you can - but I've come up empty on our mystery man, anyway," you admit. "And of course I'm still up, I slept all damn day - I might sleep for a couple of hours before work, but I don't need any more than that. Why the hell are you up?" >"Not needing sleep was a lie, but I don't need much of it," she replies. "A few hours here or there is about all I do. Tonight though, that was probably the longest I've slept in... " >She trails off, looking up at the clock while pondering her answer. >It's almost three in the morning now - and she retired to your room at a quarter till ten. >Five hours, at most. >Damn. "Habit from keeping an eye open for danger?" you suggest. >It garners a nod from Midnight. >"Old habits die hard. But it goes a bit beyond that time frame - I just have a hard time... shutting my brain off, I guess. Relaxing." "Do... you think it's because of..." >You have to stop yourself from going further into explanation, instead tapping the side of your head with a finger. >Midnight sighs as she stares at you. >No, more like beyond you.
>>4398 >"Probably. My memory isn't that great with anything before then - very fuzzy," she explains quietly, keeping that same far-off gaze. "Twilight bots are known to be quite high-strung, always looking to learn something new." "And that's one of the chips, I'm assuming?" >"Mmhmm." "I probably shouldn't be asking this shit, sorry," you apologize, suddenly feeling quite guilty about opening up this wound again. >"It's funny, normally I would berate you for digging," she muses, cocking her head as her eyes focus on you once again. "Why aren't you?" >"Feel like a weight got pulled off of my shoulders earlier tonight. Don't get me wrong, I will flay you if you turn into an soft little bitch, and don't expect me to be an emotional cuddlebug-" >"But it felt good to tell your plight to someone else," you finish for her. >"Yes." "At least let me say I'm sorry you had to go through all that. Can't imagine it." >"I appreciate it - but again, don't make this all mushy," she instructs. "What's your plan going forward in regards to this 'Teddy?'" >You have to just shrug instinctively, which causes Midnight to frown. >"That's not reassuring," she says in a flat tone. "Well, I'm not going to just lie to you - there is literally nothing I can find of anyone named Theodore or Teddy who's a renowned scientist or mad genius. It would probably be easier if I had a last name, but even then, no guarantees. For all intents and purposes, this is just your average guy that may or may not have been involved with the line of work that dabbles in making bots or..." >"Making things like me." "Beings like you. Not things. Have a little more respect for yourself - remember how you pushed yourself as this image of a superior being before," you encourage her. >"Well, I *am* better than you, but that goes without saying," she jabs. "Now hold on there, that wasn't what I meant," you snap, playing up the facade as being offended. >"Perhaps not, but the point still stands. I'm turning around your business, aren't I?" "I suppose," you pout. "But anyway, you and I are gonna get the parts for that order tomorrow, and I'll give him a call to notify him - maybe see if I can't get him to talk about what this is all about." >"And if he doesn't?" "Wait for him to pick up the parts - he said when he did, he'd talk to you, right?" >"Yeah." >Midnight's lack of enthusiasm makes it clear she doesn't like what you're laying out. >But you certainly can't just crucify the guy for knowing something. >There aren't really any options. >You know Midnight understands. >But it certainly throws her back into an uncomfortable situation, and for good reason. "Don't stress about it - I mean it when I say I got your back. Remember that," you reassure her, going to pat her on the side. >Midnight is keenly aware of your movement, and eyes you disapprovingly. "Sorry," you apologize while pulling your hand back. "So you're really done sleeping?"
>>4399 >"Yep. And I'm not going to listen to your alarm go off two or three times before you get your ass up in the morning, so call it a night," she instructs. "Fine. What are you gonna do?" >Midnight merely points a hoof to the laptop that rests upon your legs. "Gee, what a surprise," you say with a huff, setting it down in front of her. >"Oh shut up and get to bed already. And you better not be sick tomorrow when you get up." "Man, I hope not. I'm not even going to joke about that," you reply, rising up to your feet and stretching. "You want the lights on, or nah?" >"I'll get them at some point," she says dismissively, already beginning to delve into information on the screen in front of her. "Alright then. G'night." >you shuffle off to your room. >"Hey Anon?" "Hm?" >You turn around. >Midnight sits upright on the couch facing you, her forelegs draped over the back of the furniture. >"Thank you for listening to my bullshit," she says solemnly. >You wave your hand, reminded back to when you said the same thing to her. "I figure it comes with the territory of having someone to help me out with this place. Don't worry about it." >The response surprises Midnight at first before the realization hits her. >She grins, just wide enough to show her canines. >"G'night, doofus." >That's about the nicest thing she's ever called you. >How cute. -----
>>4400 I know Midnight might not be keen on it but I do hope she gets a hug at some point.
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Do you love Mare?
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>>4469 Yes, this one in particular.
>>4469 That's why I'm here.
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>>4469 I sure do.
>>4469 What do you think shed be like? There was one bit about her having a heavy italian accent.
I agree with anon from cereal mares thread on /mlp/ >I feel the same way you do. Not so much that there's anything wrong with mac and cheese, but because someone came up with that unicorn on the box and her life will be unfulfilled; >there will be no stories written about her and she will end up in the trash as soon as the macaroni is poured out of the box. >Best case scenario here is that her image manipulated you into buying that box vs. the one on the shelf next to it. It feels dirty. Can we do something for poor marketing mares?
>>4400 "Holy shit, you did all of this yesterday?!" >Midnight doesn't reply, but with the way she holds her head and puffs her chest out, she's basking in your shock. >You managed to get a little bit of sleep last night - but again, you really didn't need it. >A quick breakfast later, and the two of you set out to empty the back of the Trailduster. >Midnight wasn't kidding when she said a lot of backlogged orders were knocked out. >"There might have been a couple of items that were in the back before I started yesterday, but other than that - all me." >You don't know if she was trying to be humble, or just gloat further. >She failed at the former, but you will let her have this victory. >Regardless, the ass end of the Trailduster is legitimately sagging from all of the weight in the back. >Sure, the shocks and springs are worn out, but this is still a rare sight. "Guess we have our morning planned out - see if we can't get all this packed up and ready to ship." >A few parts shuffle about on top of the pile, before levitating out lazily to the counter. > It's only now as you round the corner to get started sorting this stuff out that you see the pile of boxes off to the side ready for shipping. "Wait, you did this, too?" you ask, turning back around to face Midnight. >"I started on it - that's not all of them, though." >Jesus, she's really shown you up. >That really isn't hard to accomplish when you spend your free time fucking around on the internet. >You'll take this as a lesson. >She's got good reason to take pride in yesterday. >Let her gloat if she wants. >At least a little bit. >After booting up your computer, you start going through orders, matching up names and addresses with parts laid out in front of you, double-checking with the packing slips Midnight has already placed within each box. >All looks good thus far. >You've shown her a little bit of what you do - the rest must just come with observing you and connecting the dots. >As much as she protested in the beginning about how little you mattered in her mind, you always caught her watching what you do. >It was a little creepy at first, you won't lie. >Figured it was something to do with her programming, being a robot and all. >That's out the window. >Sorta. "So, did you actually get all this accomplished because you were bored, trying to get ahead of the game, or just to show me up, Middie?" >"Are you seriously going to start using that name?" she whines, halting her unloading for a moment to stare at you. "Aww, come on, it's cute," you tease. >"In case you hadn't noticed, I don't do cute," she snorts. >As she has done in the past to prove her point, she bares her teeth and pins her ears back - while fanning out her wings, as if preparing to leap and savagely attack. "What would you do if I said that was cute?" you press on, enjoying where this train of stupidity is heading. >That makes her hesitate.
>>4480 >"Then I'd have to assume there's something very wrong with you mentally," she replies, dropping her act. "I figured there was. Huh, guess that proves it," you shrug, getting back to packing up parts. >"How did you even catch wind of that?" she asks. "What, 'Maddie'? I don't really know, yesterday is sort of a blur. Probably one of the few times I was up. I'll give you props - I'm assuming there was questions about your real name?" >She nods. >"It was annoying to have to explain it every time, so I just came up with something. I was afraid you would run with it if you overheard me." "Luckily I'm not doing that - I called you 'Middie,' which conveniently can be a shortened nickname for 'Midnight'." >"Uh-huh. Even though there's the same amount of syllables?" she challenges, as another wave of parts is heaved onto your counter. "It's fewer letters," you point out. >Midnight stomps a hoof, though it appears more out of playing along than actual frustration. >Her face has lightened up - to the point you see the ends of her mouth barely ticking upward. >"That doesn't matter when you're *saying* it!" she cries. "Alright, I'll go back to 'Turbo.' How does that sound, Turbo?" >Her muzzle scrunches up at that nickname almost instantly. >"Fine. Never utter that stupid name again, and you can use Middie - *sparingly*," she replies, making sure to emphasize her point. "Works for me, Middie." >"Smartass." >After the stress of yesterday, even the slightest return to normalcy and banter is a welcome feeling. >...that's sort of odd to think, with the journey you've been on for close to a month now. "So I take it the stuff you didn't get to yesterday afternoon is heavier shit?" >"I wouldn't say that - after all, I proved to you I could lift a whole engine, didn't I? Repeatedly?" "You did, and then you ran out of juice." >"Hence why I picked my battles," she explains, looking just a bit ashamed of her folly you just brought up. "Hey, at least you learned that just because you can, doesn't mean you should, yeah?" >You hear Midnight chuckle. >"Listen to you trying to pass out nuggets of wisdom," she chides. "Every once in a while I got something remotely intelligent to share that isn't car-related," you argue. >"True. I'll give you that - you know a lot of silly little things about cars," Midnight muses, halting her progress to trot over. >She rears up and rests her hooves on the countertop, inspecting how your side of the job is going. >"The other half of what I didn't accomplish was parts and pieces I was unfamiliar with," she adds, casually looking over a distributor as it twists and turns within the invisible force she wields. "Trim pieces?" >Again, she nods in affirmation.
>>4481 "Yeah, depending on the car and what particular pieces they are, that can be a miserable task, I don't blame you there. I know you ran through every manual I have - but unless it's drivetrain or running gear related, they can be rather vague, especially when it comes to little shit like that." >"Just comes with experience I'm assuming?" "Pretty much. Sometimes you find a neat little trick that works just by screwing up a time or two. Some pieces are just going to be a lesson in misery every time to try to remove it - like drip edge molding around the windows." >Midnight's ears perk up at the last bit. >"Oh, what a coincidence - that happens to be one of the orders I didn't complete!" Midnight exclaims, a hint of mischief in her eyes. "Aw piss - guess you get to see how awful that job is. Glad you didn't tackle that one, otherwise that would be either a twisted mess or a car flipped over." >"And what would you base that assumption on?" she demands, suddenly not finding this conversation so amusing as she slightly bristles from your criticism. "The first few days of you tearing apart motors in the shop," you remind her. >"And I improved on reeling in my frustration, did I not?" "You did. I'm just fucking with you. Mostly." >"Mostly, huh?" she repeats, seemingly unamused. "Well I suppose, in that case, you'll have to forgive me if I do somehow lose my temper and try to flip a car over." >"No, you won't," you say, crossing your arms. >"Oh? And why would that be?" she challenges, standing up just a little bit higher and straightening her next as she grins even more mischievously. "Are you going to tell me no? Step in and stop me?" "I'll pet you," you quietly warn. >Her arrogance and taunting instantly falter at the same time you manage to wipe that smile off her face. >"You wouldn't dare." "I would." >You quickly reach toward her with a hand to demonstrate. >She recoils quickly in reaction, but not before nipping at the air near your outstretched fingers. "Oh no, we aren't done here," you say, stepping around the corner while you keep a straight face. >"Anon, I swear, don't you-" >You reach over toward her in a deft movement, but she merely sidesteps with surprising agility, ending up behind you while you grasp for thin air. >"I said stop it, you dumb bastard." >You feel something small and solid smack off the back of your head. "Ow," you grimace, rubbing the back of your head while trying to locate the item that clatters across the floor. >A small rusted bolt finally loses its momentum and stops, spinning for just a brief moment. >"I warned you," Midnight sasses. >You turn, finding her now reared up and resting on the other side of the counter where you were moments ago. >Once again, that same lazy, devious smirk lines her face, while her raised brows offer an air of confident nonchalance. >She offers you a shrug as your eyes meet hers. "Touche," you relent. "But I don't think you had to throw that."
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>>4482 >"That's a matter of opinion - I could have thrown it harder," she jests. "Please don't - I don't want to find out you can put a hole clean through my head. That would be messy," you reply, the pain having subsided as you drop your arms back to your sides. >Midnight chuckles. >"Oh, that's the issue you have with it," she muses. "I really wouldn't have any issue with it since - you know, I'd probably be dead." >At once, Midnight's face grows cold as she stops laughing. "Uh, you okay?" you ask, unsure what suddenly has her tripped up. >"Let's not joke about that," she replies quietly. "...what, death? Wasn't that what you were just joking about pointing out my issue with-" >"I know what I said. That was my mistake," she admits, sounding rather uncomfortable. "I didn't think about it." "Alright then, sorry," you manage, dumbstruck by the bizarre shift in tone. >You'd rather not deal with an awkward silence, so you ready the self-deprecation humor. "To be honest though, I have a pretty thick skull - I don't think you could do much damage," you announce, as if proud of the implications. >It gets the desired result, Midnight perking up just a bit. >"I don't doubt it," she retorts. >Mission accomplished. >... you don't know why that was your mission in the first place. >Of course, you don't want it to just resort to the pall that has hung in the air since last night's discussion and what lies ahead in that respect. >But... >Going to bed this morning, turning around and seeing that face. >That genuine smile as she thanked you for listening to her. >You'd like to see that more often. >Seeing her happy just puts you in a place you don't ever recall being before. >"Hey." >Midnight's voice breaks you out of your train of thought. >She stares at you, befuddled and a little concerned. >Or maybe creeped out. "Sorry, zoned out. What's next...?" ----- Also, 1000 spent in MS Paint. It's a recolored vector, I'm no artist. I prefer Luna's full mane and hair style - but regardless, obviously it wouldn't billow like in Equestria. And I don't think the blue and purple wouldn't be so strongly separated like that, be sort of like blue w/ highlights, I would imagine. Basically like what I can make out in the OP image. Tiff did amazing work.
>>4483 >Another update Woohoo! >Midnight vector I thought she would be a bit lighter than that. Something like a dark blue more like in the OP. Nonetheless, pretty cool.
>>4486 Midnight's color is very much tied to her name. A casual glance at the midnight sky, looks black. You take a moment to look, and realize it's a very dark blue - and that becomes more noticeable depending on the lighting, such as on a bright moonlit night, particularly around the moon itself, as well as near stars. The OP is great - but there's a lot of different lighting at play there. My simple recoloring of a vector is just flat color, so overall - yeah, it doesn't pop like Tiff's work, imo.
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>>4478 marketing mares have been part of bootleg since at least 2018. this is often overlooked for MLP bootlegs but market mares are very much welcome and fit easily into the thread. I like the idea the cereal sisters all being related like the apple family and found a new one to add in that thread.
>>4499 The russian cerial mare was pretty cute. Guess I'll have to keep an eye out for any pony themes products.
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>>4500 Talking about 'big schloppa' the green with her named Ceres the uniCORN?
>>4501 YES. The original art was actually pretty good if I recall, though I don't have it at the ready.
>>4499 Got any of those full images? Any way, what about mares from those crappy and very weird flash games, or whatever they're made in now?
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>>4505 >>4506 not a big fan of the style, but theres some underlying cuteness to her, so dont see why not. the pudding mare came from catfood mcfly's mobile game. pic unrelated So while it's definitely outside the norm for the thread, nobody would probably have a problem if someone wanted to do some green or draw some ponified
Fucking shit, ponepaste got hacked again.