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A New Breed: Book 2: Chapter 10

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By TCPolecat7   |   
Published:
© 2012 - 2020 TCPolecat7
MLP (c) Hasbro

This chapter was a doozy, let me tell you. This is, so far, the single largest chapter I've written to date, clocking in at over 15 thousand words, 30 pages in Word. This is far and away larger than the 10-12k I tend to average writing Book 2. Of course, there's a good reason for the massive size. This chapter contains three big fight scenes, the closure to the Zilch & the Crusaders arc, and a guest appearance from an old friend from Book 1.

This was one of the more challenging chapters to write too. Zilch's final fight scene was difficult, mostly for the hyper-kinetic way it happens (three guesses who she's fighting), and I needed to introduce two new characters in such a way they seemed powerful, but not insanely so. Hell, I even think I managed to show what I've been saying since square one about Zilch, that she's NOT so overpowered, the team just had the wrong ponies to fight her.

Anyway, on to other news. There may be a slightly longer than usual pause between this chapter and the next one. Nothing is wrong, I just have some vacation time and won't be able to write on my usual schedule. if at all possible, I'll catch back up with my 2-3 week release pattern, but it may be 4 weeks. I'll still have access to respond to comments tho, so don't worry about me.

As always, comments, feedback, and critiques are welcome.

- Polecat

G-doc link: [link]
Comments40
anonymous's avatar
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fotland42's avatar
"Sometimes, ignorance is the best weapon to prevent atrocities. If a pony does not know such a concept exists, he or she is less likely to stumble across it themselves."
I thought this statement interesting. Interesting enough that I refused to comment upon it until I had a chance to think about it overnight. And if I hadn't made that choice, I would merely have my first reaction, of vehemently disagreeing. Inventing atrocities is easy; all the base ingredients like murder, torture, rape, et cetera are already familiar, so it's mostly a matter of mixing these ingredients together in sufficient quantities. And it's not like anybody hears about an atrocity and thinks, "I should do that, it sounds like fun." Atrocities happen because some individual or group in power has no sympathy for another group, and goals that they think are best accomplished by doing terrible things to that group. On the other hand, spotting atrocities in time to stop them is hard. It's natural to not believe such things could happen here. They're the sorts of things that happen to other people, in less civilized times and places, if they happen at all. And so you dismiss the warning signs and ignore the stories of what's going on, until it's far too late. Unless you know exactly where that sort of thinking leads. And so here is where knowledge has an effect. It makes people more prepared. Not as prepared as they will need to be, if they one day need to be prepared, but it's better than nothing.
Is this belief influenced by my being Jewish? Indubitably. Am I affected by having met Holocaust survivors? Obviously. Am I wrong? I doubt it. I'm better informed if anything.
But is it relevant? After some thought, probably not. Because 'Tia doesn't use "atrocity" the same way I use the word. She couldn't, to call what was done to Zilch, and only Zilch, an atrocity. And that makes all the difference. Cases like this, the goal has to be to make the victim suffer. And that is going to be meaningfully limited by the perpetrator's creativity. And it doesn't matter how many depraved things you can think of, you'll never expect them to happen to you until one actually does. Unless you're unfamiliar with the abstract concept of cruelty, knowledge of specific instances is (except in very rare cases) not going to help you spot when somebody means you ill. It is possible to psychologically torture somebody in such a way that they don't realize you're torturing them, but if we discard the ways that involve a certain amount of brainwashing, which would make foreknowledge useless, and the ones where the victim knows they're being tortured, but not by whom, we're left with a very exclusive group of very difficult techniques. And I think those are best kept unknown.
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
As a note, I don't agree entirely with what Celestia said either. But her perspective is that her ponies are inherently good. There ARE evil bastards out there, but sometimes ignorance prevents them from being even more evil. A lack of creativity in an individual can prevent seeing a specific angle or new way of applying the resources they have, and thus ignorance can play a role.
And, I will admit, this also means I can leave the specifics of what happened to Zilch left "unsaid". As a writer, that allows you, the reader, to come up with far more horrible things than I could have written down on the page.

- Polecat
fotland42's avatar
I figured part of it was to justify leaving what happened to Zilch ambiguous. And certainly her attitude fits her character; we all know how she loves manipulating her little ponies for their own good, rather than making her plans and intentions overt.

I just wasn't expecting to find myself pretty much agreeing with the idea after I got past her choice of words.
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Her words do seem a little odd. Relic and her argue about it a little later as well over a different topic, but I had to make Celestia's views her own. She is, in essence, a paragon of good and order, and her internal views need to reflect that...

- Polecat
fotland42's avatar
I can't wait to find out what results from apparently having three main antagonists, only one of which is known to the other two, and each has his own evil plan. It ought to work out to be quite spectacular.
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Things get far more twisted before they start lining up. ;)

- Polecat
Nova225's avatar
>“Thanks for coming on such short notice, Chief Thunderhooves,”
-Oh, hey, Thunderhooves is kinda back.

>the bison threw his head and stomped his forehooves, and the ground before him shredded itself apart
-Huh ? Wasn't his power like his name... you know, thunder stuff and all ?

>Celestia frowned darkly. “This mare is that powerful?”
-It would seem so... -_-
But, how do you bet that she's gonna be defeated by a cheap-shot (or something similar) ?

>closing one of her portals like a blade to… sever the mage from the mortal coil.
>but suffice it to say the deceased is spending her afterlife in the depths of Tartarus.
-I'm... really not sure to understand here ? I mean... what ?
Huh, sooo... ''Zilch/Zero'' killed somepony by closing one of her portal on the pony, and... huh... this dead pony ('s soul ?) was sent to Hell ? Huhhh ?
I don't get it.

Also, unless this ''dead pony'' was a 'bad' pony, why in the hecks (and by what bad logic) would she be sent to Hell after being to one to have been murdered ?

>Sometimes, ignorance is the best weapon to prevent atrocities.
-This pony was some kind of sadistic and immoral scientific ? Is that it ?

>“Oh. My. GODDESS!” came a cry from below >“I’ve died and gone to the Summerlands!”
>“The candy shop!” they cried in unison.
-Oh, dear Flourish. :3

>You know, only one of the most well known and powerful specials in all of Equestria.”
>“Shit…” was all Jett had to say.
-I kinda like that kind of reaction. ;)

>expecting to cold-cock her
-''cold-cock'' ? That's... one weird-looking English word, I must say ? And, yes, I checked the definition.

... Black is the new white, and ''Kaoh'' is the new ''super-unstoppable Zilch'', it would seem ? ...

-----

Huh, well... it was relatively good.

I suppose I was somewhat expecting the ''bad guy wins this round'' thing, with (a new unstoppable pony, after Zilch -_-) 'Kaoh', but still... it seemed way too easy, after the big stuff that had just happened.
Honestly, I was hoping for some KIND of set-back for the 'bad guys' (or even simply indicating that the thing with Zilch may not have went their way as much as they think) , I don't know... maybe even just some more emphasis on something like ''the good guys looked kinda friendly to her or something and/or showing some doubts on Zilch's side that only the reader could have been told''.
You know ?

Also, hopefully, we will not have a Zilch #2 with this 'Kaoh' zebra.
Nova225's avatar
Kaoh/Chaos : Yeah, I kinda knew that already.

>I don't think Zilch went down with a "cheap shot" here.
-Well, at that point I was saying ''>how do you bet that'', which was essentially me throwing a 'guess' based on what I often saw in other stuff... You know, the 'seemingly unbeatable bad guy going down by a sudden/lucky something, after the 2-3rd encounter' thing.

>Besides, everyone complained that the Imps weren't powerful enough last book.
-The imps were an *army* type of 'bad guy'... Invaders in the form of army(ies) are supposed to be the most threatening WHEN they are in large group, with the occasional exception(s) in the form of a specialized unit here and there.
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Brief note, it's Kaos, not Kaoh. As in an alternate spelling for Chaos.

Thunderhooves created shockwaves from his horns, same as he did in the first book. It just sounds like thunder when he does it.

I don't think Zilch went down with a "cheap shot" here. But again, it was a matter of finding the right way to combat her.

Yes, I hinted around with it, but don't want to spell it out. The mage that Zilch killed was a VERY bad pony, enough so that her soul was sent to the pony version of Hell (Tartarus). Zilch isn't blameless, but she also was defending herself, in a manner of speaking.

Flourish done found the sugar!

Heh. Yeah, Jett deadpanned that nicely. Needless to say, he was a bit player in this plan.

Yeah, it looks weird, but was used correctly.

And Kaos has been in the story since the epilogue of Book 1, so... He's hardly unstoppable either. ALL the villains have their weaknesses. Besides, everyone complained that the Imps weren't powerful enough last book.

Things still have a long way to go... but not everything is as it appears as of yet. Kaos & company will get more "screen time" in the future...

- Polecat

Nova225's avatar
(I, AGAIN, posted the comment at the wrong 'reply button'... sigh...)

Kaoh/Chaos : Yeah, I kinda knew that already.

>I don't think Zilch went down with a "cheap shot" here.
-Well, at that point I was saying ''>how do you bet that'', which was essentially me throwing a 'guess' based on what I often saw in other stuff... You know, the 'seemingly unbeatable bad guy going down by a sudden/lucky something, after the 2-3rd encounter' thing.

>Besides, everyone complained that the Imps weren't powerful enough last book.
-The imps were an *army* type of 'bad guy'... Invaders in the form of army(ies) are supposed to be the most threatening WHEN they are in large group, with the occasional exception(s) in the form of a specialized unit here and there.
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Whoops. Happens to the best of us.

Aye, I sort of figured that. But still, I thrive on feedback, and right now, you're giving me the best feedback outside of my editors, so I value the opinion too.

I will agree. but I got a LOT of comments talking about how weak they were. But admittedly, they were also generic expendables for the most part, waves of faceless minions. Where-as now... we have a more personal threat coming. They still need to seem more powerful than the heroes in a literary/dramatic sense, or else there's no tension or investment in the characters. I will admit I probably dragged Zilch on a little long, but I'll admit part of that is dragging my feet because of how difficult the next "phase" of the story is to write.

- Polecat
Nova225's avatar
You are a pretty fascinating author, I have to say.
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, I appreciate that.

- Polecat
Siarnaq21's avatar
Siarnaq21Hobbyist General Artist
So Zilch is less Rogue and Chell, and more Peter Petrelli? This makes me wonder if there's an original Chell Special out there that Zilch copied.
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Heh. In this case, no. The portal effects are all hers. But the second ability (the martial arts) was "borrowed" from another. Without constantly being around him, tho, she'll lose that ability in time.

- Polecat
Siarnaq21's avatar
Siarnaq21Hobbyist General Artist
So, she's Chell combined with a cross between Rogue and Peter Petrelli. Crehzy.
phantomdotexe's avatar
phantomdotexeProfessional Writer
:applause: Lovely!
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, glad you enjoyed it. :)

- Polecat
Pirtnac's avatar
I hate to do this, but I can't resist:

"then this threat is going to need some..."
(Luna puts on sunglasses)
"...special attention."

YEEEAAAAH!
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
*LOL*

- Polecat
Levia-the-Dragon's avatar
Hmm, Junkyard and Crosswind seem to make an interesting pair, Crosswind being a Douche and Junkyard being pretty down-to-earth professional. It was pretty cool to see him face off against Thunderhooves.

And those upstarts were most definately Teen Titans inspired, I'm embrassed it took me so long to notice it...

I didn't really notice any sort of skill-copying or mimicry from Zilch before, but that is some interesting additional info about her.

Ehehe, and Flourish has never been more Pinkie-pieish than she is now...

Good to see that Jett and Marmelade will finally get what's coming to them, that the Crusaders will finally be safe and this particular part of the plot wrapped up.

I am left wondering thogh just what the aim of Junkyard and Crosswind's attack was...
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like the dynamic between the two. It's a sort of "noisy skinny kid" and his "big silent" friend type of thing. Tho the more I write Crosswind, the more he sounds like the Scout from TF2 in my head. O.o

Yup, they were, intentionally so.

Zilch doesn't mimic like you're thinking. She can't just look at someone and borrow their power. She has to be around an individual for an extended period (like a week) and "absorb" it slowly over time. Further, she can only mimic one ability at a time that way. Thus her martial arts skills were mimicked from Jett....

Oh yeah she was. Flourish hit just the right spots for me this chapter. :)

Yup, that arc is wrapped up, and we hope that Marm and Jett get what they deserve...

Their purpose was simple (and outlined last chapter), distraction. Too many ponies against Zilch and she would have lost. She was pushed to her limits with the trio (Clockwork, Trixie, & Galaxi) and adding more would have lead to her defeat and capture. Kaos thus set up a way to keep the team spread out a bit so that he could snatch up Zilch for himself before they could lay her out.

- Polecat
Levia-the-Dragon's avatar
Heh, I can see that... does that make Junkyard the heavy?

Huh, fair enough then, I guess that does limit her enough to make her not broken, and give her the potential for a somewhat altered moveset in future.

Ohhh...
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Heavy is technically too talkative methinks. ;) Junkyard CAN talk, he just chooses not to.

Aye. She can always teleport, but the other skill will fade in a week or so. She'll literally "forget" how to do martial arts...

:D

- Polecat
anonymous's avatar
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