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© 2012 - 2020 Cuddlepug
Chapter 7 of My Little Pony: Orange-Cross Empire, (OCE), entitled Sympathy in White Major.

OCE is the spiritual successor to Hospice, which can be found here: [link]

While it is not required that readers check out Hospice first, it is advisable, simply for the fact that it establishes a lot of what will be elaborated upon in this narrative. However, it is still very possible to view Hospice as a singular work, as its particular themes are concluded by the Epilogue. In addition, efforts have been made to ensure that OCE can be enjoyed by its own merits and content.

OCE follows the lives of two very different individuals, and how they are brought together through a common interest. In addition, the corporate world around them begins to spiral out of control, consuming all of Ponyville and, ultimately, Equestria in its wake.

Artwork by *Polar59
anonymous's avatar
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Rated-R-PonyStar's avatar
I love the meeting between Orange and Cross. You know they just want to kill each other, but can't. It's like a mafia meeting in a way.
Cuddlepug's avatar
Indeed it is. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
TurkeySM's avatar
TurkeySMHobbyist Writer
Ok, sorry I'm late with this comment, but here it is! I'll skip the pleasantries and dive into good stuff!

The title. It's musical...but that's all I can get from it. If you would like to explain to me again, then I'd appreciate that a lot!

I don't know if you watched the most recent Sherlock Holmes movie, the one with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law concerning the conflict between Holmes and Moriarty, but this chapter was very reminiscent of the events in that film. Orange and Cross would be Moriarty and Holmes of course, though who is who is up in the air for me. There was this one scene (apologies if I am spoiling) where Holmes first meets Moriarty in Moriarty's study and they're talking civilly while having an undercurrent filled to the brim with conflict and dark intentions. The dark intentions would be on Moriarty's part of course. Anyway, Orange and Cross do give off that vibe. Just chatting away nicely and waiting for a moment to strike. Not at the moment of talking of course, but at a later time. Orange has Cross' daughter working for him, and Cross has perhaps some, if not a lot, of influence in how Lusitano might respond to Orange's offer. With this in mind, both have bargaining chips against each other, though in my opinion, Orange has the upper hand at the moment. Regardless of what happens, we have two villainous characters interacting, and that's always something interesting to see. Backstabbing and betrayals are almost to be expected.

There is much irony concerning Orange in Cross' point of view. He is, of course, not so flimsy and weak as Cross thinks, and I think in the future that Orange will spring one, if not many, nasty surprises on Cross. There is already that other irony of Cross insulting his daughter without realizing it. "Nobody will hurt a Cross"; pfft, that's just doubly ironic because not only is Farleigh in a position to be hurt by Orange, Cross himself has already harmed her in his poor parenting and marital choices. That certainly got quite the laugh out of me. Anyway, both Orange and Cross do seem to share that disregard for mares; Orange with his cruel divorce and Cross with his..."Crossness" in general as shown in his later interaction with Clemency. Orange saying how he doesn't kiss and tell does bring to mind Rarity's possible "dealings" with him. Also, Orange does surprise Cross with his violent rhetoric, and that's kind of sad seeing as how Cross sees Orange as an "old friend". To not see that in someone you've interacted with for awhile is not exactly surprising, but one might think that Cross could avoid surprises if he pays more attention. Then again, Orange is a slippery fellow, and probably does not reveal things about himself unless need be. In sum, I guess I'm saying that I'm just waiting for Orange to pull the rug out from under Cross. But of course, things may turn out very different from how I imagine them to be.

I noticed the difference between the two in how they drink. That was something interesting to note. I also notice that "dominating" rhetoric Cross has; it certainly fits his character. I also noticed how Orange doesn't smoke. I suppose that makes him quite different from both Cross and his lackeys.
I'm not sure if Lusitano's name has some sort of meaning. Then again, I probably should have asked long ago if the names Friesian, Farleigh, Clemency, etc. had any meaning to them as well. Anyway, Lusitano seems to be an interesting fellow. I'll just have to wait and see how you portray him. But before I completely move on, I must say that Cross being disappointed in Lusitano reminds me of you being disappointed in that one fellow who turned out to work with clop. Just an interesting observation in my opinion.

As for Clemency. tell you the blunt truth, I care not too much about her fate. If anything, I find it rather amusing that she's so broken after her period of haughtiness back in Chapter 5. As I said regarding Orange, I enjoy seeing the great and powerful fall, though Clemency was never great or powerful I suppose. Then again, something interesting may come out of this violence. After all, she still throws in that jab in her poem, so she has some resistance left in her. Perhaps a thrilling tale of her vengeance and betrayal against Cross will happen in the future. Or perhaps not. It seems like Cross will break her even further judging by his current anger. Anyway, the poem is certainly out of place with the rest of the chapter, and perhaps especially with the letter Cross wrote earlier. It does bring back to mind the lyrical bits of Artemis and maybe even Hospice.

Oh yes, a small bit of nitpickyness here before I continue. In this sentence, "You'd need a map and a compass in order to even attempt to navigate your mind, old friend.", I think there's an extra space between the word "order" and the word "to". It may be just my own computer, but it's something I did notice.

Before I finish up, there are some things regarding the story in general I must ask about. Will you be bringing in any fashion characters such as Hoity Toity? It's certainly an avoidable idea, but if things get busy in Canterlot, I'd be intrigued to see how you might work with characters established there. Also, the elephant in the room, at least for me, that I must address is how the monarchy will deal with this issue(s). Your description does say that "the corporate world around them begins to spiral out of control, consuming all of Ponyville and, ultimately, Equestria in its wake", and I expect that the government will not simply ignore a problem like this if it is on a nation wide scale. But of course, you may write it so that it's all very discreet and underground, so the government may avoid finding things out completely in the first place. It's just an interesting thing I'm curious about.

Great work again as always! I shall comment again in the next chapter.
Cuddlepug's avatar
Hey bud,

The chapter title, Sympathy in White Major is the title of a poem by Philip Larkin. I liked how the connotations of the poem gel with what happens in this chapter. For a start, the 'sympathy' in the chapter that Orange shows towards Cross is clearly fake, which is a theme of the poem. In addition, the 'whitest stallion' part fits with Cross really well - Clemency's poem is a slightly altered version of the last stanza of Larkin's - as it reveals that she can still disobey Cross, and that even though she can't physically resist him now, she can still disobey him through writing.

I have seen the Sherlock Holmes film, and I know the sort of interaction that you mean. It's a fairly common trope of exchange between enemies acting civil around one another. I agree that Orange's remark about not kissing and telling brings up ideas of him and Rarity together; that was certainly a possible implication of Hospice and it can be seen again here. You'll have to wait and see about who ends up having the upper hand: Cross or Orange. At the moment Orange is in the dominant position, but we'll see what happens!

The drinking and smoking differences are also a good clue into how their characters behave. Both vices were designed to be representative of their personalities: Orange is reserved and doesn't personally like getting his hands dirty, while Cross is more indulgent and impulsive. As for name-meanings, a lot of thought does go into the names. Some, such as Farleigh, are there because they sound unique and unusual. Others, such as Friesian and Lucitano, are breeds of horse. However, Lucitano was chosen because it has an almost Italian sound to it, and I like the idea of a business world with multiple ethnicity amalgamation. As for Cross' disappointment in him, I didn't personally think of the person in question who you mentioned, but I can see where you're coming from. I guess you're calling me Cross in this situation: I'm not sure if I should take that as a compliment or not!

With Clemency, at this stage she's not meant to be a very likable character. In general, none of the cast are likable, bar, perhaps, Farleigh: some are more sympathetic than others, but most of them are selfish and greedy in their own ways. Naturally, there is more to Clemency than meets the eye, and her significance will gradually increase. Oh, and as for the additional space, that's a formatting error in the program that I use: it always happens when I paste into DeviantArt. Thanks for pointing that out.

As for the future of the story, I prefer to avoid canon ponies when I can, simply for the fact that I don't like to portray someone else's character as much as my own. If I bring in Hoity Toity, for example, I have to mediate my language and style based on how he behaved in that episode. Moreover, I risk irritating people if I portray him in a way that they don't like. You may, however, be seeing at least one more pony from the show in a role, so keep your eyes out. As for the monarchy, all of this is happening on the underground: the only reference so far to the monarchy was Gazette's article about Princess Luna that he became famous for in Hospice. I have no plans right now to bring them in, but we'll see where the story takes us!
FredAFKTH's avatar
FredAFKTHStudent General Artist
I'm truly amazed with this chapter.

We've seen both Farleigh and The Secret Stallion have narrating chapters, we also saw Clemence once, but I never thought that you would have a chapter with Cross as the narrator. And it was absolutely perfect.

Your story is turning into one of my favorite movie generes, a battle of witts. As much as I like action or adventure, seeing people plan out and device against one another for control (like Mr. Orange, Mr. Cross and maybe Lustiano are starting to do) is what I really enjoy, and if you can write a story where that happens, and still mantain the humanistic side of the story by giving the characters development, then this may be your best story yet.

From Hospice , I've learned that every action each character takes, has a repercussion later on in your story. Here, we see how Clemence was punished, and eventually becomes "obedient", but what I think is the most impressive (and probably important later) is how she still "stands up" to Mr. Cross with her poem. How this will affect later on, well, I'll be really looking out for it.

The story moves greatly with each chapter, and I don't feel it drags on on one particular point or event, rather, you make the narrative alive and makes each chapter great to read, great work!
Cuddlepug's avatar
I'm glad that you enjoyed seeing Cross as the narrator in this one. It's also good that you're enjoying the creative avenue that OCE is going down: rest assured that the story will twist and turn, but it will always retain the heart of the characters that we love. I plan for Hospice and OCE together to create an excellent package, and I would hope that this will ultimately be the best story that I've written so far.

Certainly, every action, point of interest and piece of description has a wider significance, often the kind that takes a few chapters to figure out. Looking into the conflicting relationship between Clemency and Cross will certainly continue to remain a significant part of the story. Thanks for the feedback as always.
anonymous's avatar
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