• Story: The Dread Chitin

    [Sci-fi][Crossover] Battletech!

    Author: Karazor
    Description: Stranded on a hostile, alien world, Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash must depend on one another and a fellow alien castaway if they want to return home to Equestria.
    The Dread Chitin

    Additional Tags: Human, desert world, original setting


    1. refreshed my page so many times for this opportunity.

    2. ANOTHER BattleTech crossover? Hope is lives up to the other one.

    3. Sounds like District Nine.....but with ponies.

      District Neigh, perhaps?

    4. Twilight and Dash trapped in another world?

      ...Sounds familiar.

    5. Dreaded Chitin? Perhaps.... Tyranids?

      No, that wouldn't end well for anyone involved...

    6. Having read it a while back, it's not actually a battletech crossover so much as a 4 way crossover with battletech thrown in as a location :P

      The thing that annoyed me however was not the story itself(It is in fact very good) But the simple fact that the author set up a large amount of backstory for one of the settings then only used a mere fraction.

      ...Kinda like Lord of the Rings I guess, how many people even know about the backstory for that series anyway?

    7. @sewagebiscuit

      I like that idea. I like it a lot.

    8. It's already midday and no Nyx ; A ;

      But this does look promising

    9. Yeah, the BattleTech appears not really anywhere but the setting.
      As the author states in his note at the very, very beginning, it makes a minor appearance at most.

    10. About time it appeared here :)


    11. Well, I just finished reading it, and it was pretty good. The ending made me feel... well... Erm... yeah. I'm the kinda of guy who wishes stories end with: And everyone lives forever and never stops being awesome.

    12. Oh, hey, it made the cut! :-) Color me flattered. When Thessalonica Legacy came out while I was still working on this, I got all concerned. I was using BattleTech technology as a plot element, and I was pretty shocked when an actual BattleTech/MLP crossover came out before I was done! Hopefully, people won't dismiss it, since the actual plot has nothing at all to do with Thessalonica. (which is itself an excellent piece)

      To the anon that mentioned the underutilized background setting: That setting is more developed than you may realize. I do worldbuilding more than I do actual writing; there's a colossal amount of background for the Tethinar Imperium, but I couldn't work very much of it into this particular story. I'm sorry if that bothered you (it annoyed me a bit that I couldn't use more of it, to be honest) but I didn't see a way to incorporate more of it without degenerating into largely unneeded exposition.

    13. not a bad piece of work, well done.

    14. I have to say, one of the better stories out there. It kept my interest all the way through. If it was a crossover, I didn't recognize it, but it was written so it didn't matter, which I consider a big plus.

      Now to criticize? Well, personally, I think it could have made their stay on the deathworld a little longer and detailed, to cement the friendship more. Also the epilogue seemed rushed in and it was rather unfulfilling, but that's just me.

    15. I'm hearing Duran with an Irish accent for some reason. GREAT STORY. Also hooray Lyra cameo

    16. That was simply amazing. I thought the pacing was just about perfect all the way through, and I enjoyed the conflicts over ponies using weapons.
      The Epilogue... I'll just agree that it's optional reading.

    17. twilight screwed up a spell....

    18. Brilliant work. I've so many more positive things to say about it than I do negative, that's for sure. The Epilogue did seem incredibly rushed, and I wished you had just stopped it at a nice cliffhanger of an introduction to Equestria to leave his future up to our minds, but that's just my opinion on it. It's still well written.

    19. Nonsense, Twilight followed the instructions to the letter. Not HER fault the letter was wrong :D


    21. Sounds more like Warhammer 40K, but with a little battletech mixed in. It's no Thessalonica Legacy, but it's not bad.

    22. Two great Battletech crossovers? Me Gusta.

    23. I adored this! I really appreciated that, while there is a whole bunch of gory bits in the story, they were used to accentuate the personalities and emotions of those involved, and not treated as important just because they were gory.

      The 'shipping' part was probably the best part of the whole story. What better way to wake a person out of 15 years of isolation than realizing you're feeling someone up.

    24. I remember reading this when it first went up. I liked it then, and I liked it now. Also, for those of you discussing the epilogue, you may not have seen the original one... Less of a happy ending, more status quo. I thought it was a very interesting way to end the story. Of course, I'm a sucker for happy endings, so I liked the new one even more.

      (For those wondering, the original ending did NOT have him recovering after his collapse, and without his help Twilight was never able to get the core working before the power ran out.)

    25. This isn't Battletech, beyond maybe a name drop and the armor suit being basically an Elemental power suit.

      HORRIBLY MISLEADING TAGS ASIDE (curse you ED) this story was rather awesome. 5/5

    26. I knew someone was working on another BattleTech story. I was wondering when it would pop up.

      This was an interesting story. The human was handled pretty well, as was his interaction with the ponies. I really like Rainbow Dash's characterization; true to her role as "element of loyalty" while playing on her brash ghung-ho attitude.

      I am wondering, though, why BattleTech? The human is not from the BattleTech universe but from (what I assume is) your own original universe. The planet with its magic-eating monsters is obviously not of the decidedly non-magical BattleTech universe, either. At that point, it seems like the overt references to BattleTech are almost... superfluous. If anything, it detracts from the world that YOU built.

      I sort of think it would have been better to leave the technology and setting as-is but strip out the explicit references to NAIS, myomers, and Kearny-Fuchida (since they were all passing references anyway) and leave it as a "generic sci-fi universe." Powerarmor and myomer-like artificial muscles are common enough in sci-fi to be considered generic. It would likely lose the "crossover" tag, but I don't think it would have hurt the coherency of the story any.

      All said, I did really enjoy reading it. I especially enjoyed from around chapter 4 onward. I wouldn't mind seeing more about this Tethinar Imperium.

    27. @Anonymous

      Less of an Elemental and more of a Tornado PA(L) initially and something akin to a Grenadier at the climax.
      But that's just my BattleTech nerd-dom talking.

    28. *starts story*

      *pops back to EqD for a sec*

      Because, as we all know, Twilight sucks at magic.

      Sorry, not trying to be rude or nothing, but I wish we could mix up our reasons for getting trapped on alien worlds every now and then.

      Okay I'm done. Going back to read now.

      *pops back into story*

    29. @ Anonymous right above me: Heh, I get where you're coming from, but Twilight only sucks at magic in the way that Marie Curie sucked at radiology. :-p When you try an experiment, things go wrong sometimes; when they do, one usually learns more than one does when things go right!

      @Dashukta: Nailed the Grenadier, though the lighter suit was actually supposed to be a Davion attempt to copy Purifier armor. As for why BattleTech? Well, I needed a science fiction setting, since I knew going in that I was going to use magically-sensitive predators, and I needed an element that didn't use magic at all so that I could make the monsters hilariously lethal and still not kill my human OC. I do have a couple of home-designed SF settings, but I kinda felt that doing a crossover that involved two of my own settings was vaguely masturbatory. I'm a fairly long-term BTech fan (been playing since I was a teenager in the mid 90's. Got started before the FedCom civil war; hell, Hanse Davion was still alive at the time!) and I'm familiar enough with the setting to be able to use its techs and tropes with a reasonable degree of skill. (This is only the third story I've ever finished; I'm very much a novice author. As a side note, I do my own proofreading too, so if you guys think I've missed something or find a glaring error, PM me!) I'd also wanted to use it to indicate one of the peculiarities of Hell's Reach; what are the odds of people from three separate, distinct, recognizable universes winding up on the same planet? That is actually because Hell's Reach is a high-probability endpoint for random interdimensional fissures; most of the creatures you see in that story didn't evolve there. Heck, the wrecked greenhouse Duran visits during chapter five and six actually predates the Davion expedition! This is the kind of thing I was talking about in one of my author's notes; I do far too much worldbuilding. I've got the entire ecology of the part of Hell's Reach sketched out, even though I knew I wasn't going to use most of it, since the story only dealt with predatory arcanovores. I've got a huge amount of stuff on the Tethinar Imperium, too; the history of the town Duran names as his hometown, a complete history of the Arcane Wars, even notes on the four major religions, one of which Duran follows. I know it's kind of silly, and one of my weaknesses as an author, but it does make me a hell of a gamemaster!

      @Fordorz: I'm glad you agree with me on the gory bits. Violence and gore should only be present in the story to advance the story itself; violence for its own sake is kinda pointless. As far as that scene in chapter four... I needed something that Duran wouldn't have pictured himself doing to shock him into reality. The reason he was talking the way he was would be a) he's going through conversations he's had in his head literally thousands of times and b) he tries not to actually talk out loud to his daydreams. He thinks it makes him a little crazy!

      @those who disliked the epilogue: I agree with you. The epilogue is easily the weakest part of the story, which is why I tried to make it clear at the end of chapter 10 (formerly chapter 9, for those who read it before I rewrote the last bit) that the story really ended there. I wanted to show what happened afterward, which may have been a mistake, plus I just... didn't feel right with everyone surviving! I'd got to the end of the story without killing a single character!

      I confess, I kind of struggled with the ending. The original end, before I even put the story up, was needlessly cruel. So was the original epilogue, for those who've read it. The current one is better, but far from perfect.

      Thanks to everone who's responded, and those that read the story! Your input is deeply appreciated!

    30. Holy horse manure! I just sat down an read this entire story in one setting... I put it into Word to save it, and it came to over 120 pages. This was an amazing story! The ending so so far out of cannon as to be unimaginable (ponies with space drives?) but within the framework of the story itself, every detail was beautiful. Regardless of what you said about choosing a poor narrator, I loved the world building, and the character building, that you did here. Every inch was magic.

    31. Sorry, I didn't catch any imperfections or mistakes, I was waaay too distracted by the AWESOME, EPIC story you wrote!

      Oh gods, that epilogue.
      Seriously, you saved the best part until the end.
      Tears of glee streamed down my cheeks most of the time.

      I love this story. I love your worldbuilding, your etheric sciences, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ending. Even though it ends with a sad event, it's still a wonderfully happy ending in general.

      I haven't checked yet, but I sure hope you're currently writing/planning to write the sequel to this! MLP in SPAAAACE! Yes. <3

      This fully deserves a six star rating, I hope it gets one in the near future.

    32. @Karazor

      I feel it necessary to repeat myself right now: I completely and utterly disagree with your opinion on the new epilogue. (I don't know the old epilogue, but the descriptions sound pretty shitty, glad I didn't have to read that.)
      The epilogue is not the weakest, but the STRONGEST part of the story. It was the most enjoyable to me. I can't even describe WHY I feel this way, I just... it's just so perfect. Not a true happily ever after, because there's hardships and even a death, but pretty close to it in a wonderfully believable kind of way that beautifully stayed true to your characterizations of both the main characters and the story in general.
      Basically, nothing went to waste and I am perfectly satisfied with this story the way it is.

      Also, I don't get the controversy about your use of BattleTech. The story would have worked just as well with an original nonmagical sci-fi setting. Your worries about it being masturbatory or some bullshit like that are just as unfounded as the complaints about your unnecessary use of a crossover. BOTH IS PERFECTLY FINE.

      Also also, don't you dare call your worldbuilding a weakness! It's what really made your story come to life for me. It's a strength that adds believability to your setting, and your story.

    33. Holy shit the "medical exam" scene was deliciously awkward.

      Poor Dashie.


    34. @ Macon glad you enjoyed it! I'm a little surprised that Word document is as long as it is; the copy on my hard drive is only a bit over 100 pages. Probably formatting or some such. For those who are interested, a bit of unintentional metahumor: the original version on FFN was a bit over 50k wordcount. When I rewrote the end, redid the epilogue, and what have you for the final (current) version, it wound up being a bit over 60k wordcount. That's right; the re-write to what you see now made it about 20% longer. God I love metahumor.

      @theuncalledfor I'm certainly glad you enjoyed it! I think my issue with the epilogue was that I had to switch from the 3rd person limited perspective that I prefer into a more 3rd person omniscient, since I just couldn't find a way to do it justice with the limited perspective. I really did struggle with the ending; the original version had the bug kill Twilight (didn't think it was actually aiming at Dash, didya? Twi looked much tastier to something that ate magic!) and the portal collapsed with Duran half-in and half-out, so Dash was the only one that survived. I hated that ending when I re-read it (Twilight's my favorite character on the show, though it may not seem so from this story!) so I changed that ending, and the original epilogue was a much more status-quo type thing. Thanks to the input of the folks mentioned in my afterword, I wound up doing a complete re-write of the epilogue to have the characters' actions actually matter, and I'm far more pleased with this version than the previous ones, even if it does seem a bit rushed. I'm not totally happy with it, but it's probably as good as it's gonna get!

      The characterization was what was hardest for me. I'm better with action scenes than I am with character interaction, and since I was using established characters, I was trying *really* hard to keep them true to their characters. I even took breaks while writing to watch Twilight-heavy and Rainbow-heavy scenes in an attempt to get a good handle on their speech patters; Twi's slightly formal, vocabulary-heavy style was easy for me to write, but Dash has a much faster, more impatient contraction-laden speech pattern, and she has this habit of starting sentences with a sort of half-syllable when she's flustered that's *really* hard to get into text. I'll leave y'all to decide how successful I was!

      As for a sequel... I'm not sure. At this point, I can't really see what I could do with a sequel; I'll just have to see if something comes to me.

    35. @Karazor
      How about slightly Star Trek style space exploration?
      Except with less Rubber Forehead Aliens and more Starfish Aliens.
      Sometimes, I REALLY wish I wasn't so damn lazy. I have lots of ideas for fanfics that I'm never gonna write.

    36. It's an interesting idea, but I don't think I can do it justice at the moment.

    37. Contains Spoilers!!!!!!
      First I would like to say I just read the story in it's entirety and hugely enjoyed it.

      1: Not going with the original ending.
      2: All the background history for Dash that showed why she could act a warrior, not just an athlete.
      2: The interesting take on Dash's "reputation".
      3: The fact that you found a way to keep the ponies personalities intact despite the radically different setting.
      4: The perfect blend of the ponies' sugary sweetness and realistic mature themes you have accomplished. You brought in elements of extreme violence as well as references to sex and sexuality and handled them in a mature and common sense way while completely avoiding needless eroticism and or grimdark imagery.

      1:A few thing at the beginning seemed OOC for Twilight:
      1a: She is a student, not an inventor. Her doing the spell as an experiment is fine but her wanting to develop a new technology seems off.
      1b: It is unlikely she would attempt a spell like that in a populated area.
      1c: Twilight doesn't like to show off and is afraid of messing up in front of others. There is no way she would want that many witnesses around to try a new experimental spell.

      2: The part where Dash is trying to pull Duran through the portal confused me a bit as to whether he was still in the armor or not. Might just be me though.

      3: There were many things referenced in the story that basically did not reach fruition:
      3a: Duran's loss over his sister, the whole reason for him being stranded, was barely mentioned until a single paragraph near the end. A lot of this element could have been played up in the final battle.
      3b: The discrepancy between Twilight's knowledge of Griffon society and Dash's was interesting but never went anywhere, even in the epilogue.
      3c: The mystery of what happened to the occupants of the base.
      3d: Dash's curiosity about the missile silos.

      4: It would have been nice if Duran's neurological deterioration was more suggested or pronounced throughout the story instead of coming out of left field in the epilogue.

      5: I am a little disappointed you decided to stick with Dash's viewpoint throughout the whole story. I agree it was overall the most interesting viewpoint by default for the majority but I would have loved it if at least the last chapter and epilogue were from Duran's viewpoint as the Prologue and first chapter had been from Twilight's.

      6: While the epilogue was not bad by any means it was really more or less the opposite of what I expected. There was like I said a lot of foreshadowing in the narrative that never seemed to come to fruition.

      6/5 ******

    38. Sorry for double post but just wanted to mention the only continuity error I could find: It makes no sense that the cybernetic arm was malfunctioning due to antitoxin poisoning if the malfunctions were occurring right from installation, since the arm and antitoxin both came from the base and there would have not been enough time for degradation to set in.

    39. @DPV111 Wow, thanks for the critique! Detailed criticism like this is utterly invaluable for a newbie author like myself. Wish I'd had 'net access so I could have responded in a more timely fashion!

      I'll respond to your second post first: Yep, that was a continuity error, and a fairly big derp on my part. Oops! That said, I'll now try to weasel out of it by saying that Duran's journal isn't necessarily the most reliable source of information; in the earlier entries, he's still thinking about possibly publishing it, so he doesn't always put all of his more intimate thoughts down, and in the later entries his contact with reality is somewhat tenuous. He's probably forgotten that the arm worked right initially and has been steadily degrading, and is thinking that it's always been like that.

      For your first post: 1. I think we may have differing interpretations of Boast Busters. Twilight is generally depicted as proud of her abilities, though somewhat shy, and the end of Boast Busters told her that her friends took pride in her abilities as well. (That's how I interpreted it, anyway!) While she may be a little leery of demonstrating her new discovery to the town as a whole, I don't think it's too far a stretch that she'd want to share it with her friends. Plus, she'd been really thorough in working it out, and was only really screwed over by her reality being slightly different from the way theory described it. My earlier comparison to Marie Curie was a considered one. Twilight actually thought her safety precautions were completely unnecessary; I was kind of trying to contrast her behavior with Duran's suicidally reckless actions in the prologue.

      2.Yeah, he was still armored. I added a couple of words to that scene to clarify, in case anyone else was confused.

      3 is probably my heritage as a gamemaster showing. I generally GM with the idea that there's stuff going on when the characters aren't there, and in literature that feels more like hanging plot threads. Sorry about that; I'll have to do better next time. Not sure what you meant by missile silos, unless you're talking about the paved area past the second entrance? If so, that's actually a spaceport, it's where the expedition's DropShips would have been when the base was still occupied. As for what happened to the Davion expedition, that's actually an intentional mystery! It didn't get much emphasis, since I couldn't see Dash caring all that much.

      4. I agree, honestly. I couldn't find a way to fit an expression of the kind of really slow degradation he was experiencing into a mere three weeks, and a longer period would probably have gotten boring to read.

      5. I do wish I'd given Twilight more to do, so I could have switched back to her viewpoint once or twice. It would have been difficult, though; she was feeling guilty for stranding Dash, and I can't see her doing much besides busting her butt to try and fix it. I'd never planned on giving Duran a viewpoint chapter, for a couple of reasons. First, he's more than a bit bonkers, and his internal references would be skewed far more heavily toward a setting none of the readers would have known anything about, and second, "human through alien eyes" stories are something of a vice of mine. :-D

      As for six; yeah, the epilogue was kind of weak.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the story, despite its myriad flaws! And thanks again for the feedback!

    40. Oops, I forgot to address the issue of Duran's sister. He never really dealt with that loss; instead he started off distracting himself with his work, and then got sucked into the wilderness and wound up dealing with things trying to eat him instead, so he's really spent most of the last thirteen years in denial. He almost never mentioned her in his journal, which is why his reference to her took Twilight by surprise.

      If I'd been able to figure out a way to do it, the last chapter would have been a good place to have a bit of his viewpoint. Having been reminded of what happened to Lyssa, that image was stuck in his head while he was trying to keep Rainbow and Twilight alive. Notice how the only time he really sounded scared was when he thought Dash had been killed? He was trying to be there for them the way he hadn't been for his older sister.

    41. @Karazor
      Thanks so much for addressing my post, I'm glad you weren't offended by my opinions. Despite it being a long post it was really very minor issues and only my elaboration made it so big :P
      Your responses have helped clarify many of the things that nagged me.

      I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you again for writing this. It was truly a grand experience to read.

    42. @theuncalledfor

      The idea of taking the story on through in a progressive fashion is delightful. Personally I had a similar idea, basically after Ch 10 I thought up my own ending before reading the epilogue. I would really love to see some more dimension hopping ponies, a la Sliders for instance.
      What Krazor comes up with next though, I will be sure to read. Even if it's forbidden shipping naughtiness: Bloomberg X Philomena. Can you feel the heat?

    43. @DPV111 Heh, if I was offended by constructive criticism, I'd probably have been chased off the internet long ago! Honestly, I'm flattered that you took the time to type out such a detailed response.

      I'm certainly glad you enjoyed it!

    44. Finished it in one sitting, then read it again. I would offer some criticism, but I was far too captivated the first two times to notice any. Perhaps I'll catch something my third time through. I've gotten my BT books out of storage and started writing myself after reading this. By far my favorite fanfic of any series.

      It feels awkward to just lavish praise without giving some kind of criticism ... so ... look inside yourself, find a weakness, and pretend I pointed it out. :)

      Keep putting pen to paper, comrade.

    45. Thanks, sombertone! It's nice to know folks are still enjoying this.

      And I'm certainly gonna keep writing; I've got another MLP story about 80% done. A Warhammer 40k crossover, believe it or not. Heh. Should be up on FFN before the end of the month.

      Also; EDaily isn't allowing anonymous comments anymore?

    46. Awesome story. Please make some more soon.