Fan Fic / ARTICLE 2
When an alien craft crash lands in Equestria
, the Princesses struggle to keep the one surviving crew member from death. After it wakes from a coma, they find this creature, a human, is much more volatile than they expected.
This fanfic deviates from the usual Human in Equestria
in several aspects. For one, the human is far from friendly. Secondly, the focus is a lot more concentrated on politics and the culture clash than on the human's character and life in the new world. Thirdly, the point of view is that of the Equestrians
. Fourthly, the pace of the narrative is extremely slow — at almost 80k words, about two days have passed in-universe since Shane's awakening.
It can be found at Equestria Daily
The fanfic shows the following tropes:
- Anti-Magic: Humans, or at least Shane, are highly resistant to most spells, and seem to be able to dispel magic by skin contact alone.
- Artistic License – Gun Safety: Shane, a handgun is not a headscratcher. Especially not when it's loaded. Both Shane and Muppetz are Marines and therefore drilled in gun safety, but Shane's lost most of his sense of self-preservation come this point.
- Bait-and-Switch: At one point, Shane seems to be showing the guards porn, with one of them commenting that he's not sure what he's looking at but he likes it. Turns out it was a car magazine.
- Balance of Power: Major Doran has, at last count, a few thousand bullets in his arsenal. Canterlot has a few thousand magic users, two of which are the Princesses. Neither side wants to set off the other one.
- Berserk Button: Don't say that magic is magnets to Twilight's face unless you want to piss her off into a rant.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Attempted by Shane in the first chapter. Luna manages to stop him.
- Big Brother Instinct: Shane towards Twilight, ironically against her own brother. Shane's response to her being "attacked" (Read: tickled) is a gun stock to Shining Armor's face.
- Black Comedy: Shane's sense of humor, when it shows, is grim even by human standards.
- Blunt "Yes": Luna's response to Rainbow Dash incredulously asking if she's saying aliens crash landed in Equestria.
- Cutting the Knot:
- When being tested to see if he's intelligent, Shane has to open a glass box that shocks him each time he touches it. He puts on the offered oven mitt and is expected to use it to try the various keys without getting shocked. Instead he punches the glass until it breaks.
- One of the boxes that survived the crash has a keypad lock. Celestia is contemplating a spell that would run through every possible permutation of codes when Shane asks her to stand aside and blasts the lock off with a shotgun.
- Deadpan Snarker: Rarity shows shades of this, and both the princesses are openly so, especially Luna. None of them trumps Major Doran, though, who snarks all the time, and very frequently in a hostile manner.
- Denser and Wackier: Chapter one ends with Shane trying to kill himself. Chapter fifteen ends with a wrestling match between Luna and Shane because she wants him to wear a dog collar.
- Determinator: When completely surrounded, wounded, and telekinetically pinned to the ground by Luna, Shane still struggles. It takes a knockout spell to subdue him.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Goes both ways. Shane isn't amused when Luna remarks that he's legally closer to a pet than a prisoner, while Luna isn't happy that Shane jokes she tried to rape him when she walked in on him bathing.
- Due to the Dead: John, the pilot of the ship, made a fifty-dollar bet with Shane that there would be life in Equestria. After the crash, when Shane finds his body at the morgue, he feels obligated to pay up.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: The ship had eleven crew members. Shane was the only survivor. He falls into a Heroic B.S.O.D. when he's told this.
- Every Scar Has a Story: Subverted. Major Doran is indeed the bearer of a number of these, but most of them have rather mundane explanations. See Noodle Incident below.
- Flat Scare: Shane can't resist giving a little 'boo'. It still manages to scare certain ponies shitless.
- Flipping the Bird: Despite a creature with wings being present, they don't understand the gesture.
- Furry Reminder: Shane will occasionally run his hands through the manes of the ponies or scratch behind their ears. It's almost always with Pinkie but he will occasionally get someone else.
- Going Native: Shane averts this with a passion. He resists every attempt of mingling with the ponies he interacts with, doesn't follow any Equestrian social rules he doesn't really have to, and his biggest interest is to return home. He's even stated that Equestria's interests don't superimpose his in any way.
- Grey And White Morality: Humanity's ubiquitous distrust in others and aggressive manners are appalling to the more amiable ponies.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It's almost impossible not to rile Shane up. Personal questions and attempts at coercion are definite detonators of his bad mood, and sometimes even innocuous comments are enough to set him off, as Twilight notes.
- He Knows Too Much: Invoked. Major Doran says that his own government would not hesitate to take his death into account (going as far as "kindly suggesting" suicide) if it ever got word that he's being held captive by another sovereign country, due to the amount of classified information he has.
Mj. Doran: Every minute I'm alive is a liability. I know things, lady, scary things. Things that should not be made public, and as far as they're concerned, I'm better off dead than risk being slowly tortured until I crack and start hemorrhaging information.
- Hidden Depths: Shane manages to surprise Celestia by not only recognizing that she has experienced a great deal of loss, but also expressing his heartfelt sympathies. She returns the favor later on.
- This also extends to the real reason why he listens to Twilight: She sounds like his sister.
- Hostage Situation: Shane holds Twilight at knifepoint when he's being chased by the palace's guards. He lets her go in favor of escaping, though.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Averted and Defied by the author. While Shane is a jerk at times, it's also made clear that he's just one person who is in a very stressful situation, so it's really not fair or right to use him as an example of all of humanity being evil. He also proves that for all of his bluster, he has some goodness deep inside him.
- Humans Through Alien Eyes: The story is told from a few different Equestrian perspectives, with the human never being the point-of-view character.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: In chapter 2, Celestia excuses herself saying she left her sewing machine on fire.
- Inhumanable Alien Rights: Inverted: Equestrian law was not written with humans in mind, and therefore it does not apply to them. Luna makes a joke that, legally, Shane would be considered more of a pet than a prisoner. He doesn't like it one bit.
- Innocently Insensitive: The Mane Six all beg to go along on an errand the Princesses and Shane have to take care of the next day. It's only after they're reluctantly allowed that they learn he's going to be seeing the remains of his comrades and deciding how to handle the funeral arrangements.
- Interrupted Suicide: Shane tries to put a bullet in his brain when he's surrounded. Luna doesn't let him.
- Insistent Terminology: Shane calls magic magnets seemingly just to bug Twilight.
- Jerkass: Shane comes off as this to the ponies. In fact, the only person he goes beyond simply tolerating is Twilight, as Luna notices.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Shane is completely right to chew out Luna after her playing with a machine gun nearly kills him and the Mane Six.
- Likewise, he calls out Celestia's hypocrisy of preaching that he has to trust her when she doesn't trust him enough to have a fork during dinner.
- Mind Control: How the Stare works on Shane. It's noted that it works even more effectively on him than on the animals Fluttershy uses it on.
- Morality Pet: Twilight seems to have shades of this to Shane, due to her sounding exactly like his sister. In general he listens to her more than he does anyone else, to the point of agreeing to do some things he doesn't like without being cornered into it like Luna and Celestia have to resort to doing.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Fluttershy to Shane, ever since she Stared him downnote . It manifests as an intense dislike of her - the first time she visited his cell, at first he wanted her out of there, but relented to her staying in the corner, facing the wall and without speaking. Later, at dinner, he walked off and would have returned to his cell had Twilight not convinced him to stay. Her trying to convince him to give Fluttershy a chance didn't work very well: he refuses to look her in the eye, and stays as far away from her as he can* . To say the least, the bearer of the Element of Kindness doesn't take it well.
- Fridge Brilliance: Highly trained individuals are all about being Determinators, being this the main reason they manage to get the skills that make them so capable, resist torture/interrogation or survive against the odds. Imagine being exposed to something that instantly overpowers your biggest asset.
- Noodle Incident: Shane attributes one of his scars to "a fistfight with a dumpster", and that's the only information he felt like revealing to the Equestrians. When questioned about another one, the only answer he gives is "steak knife".
- No Hero to His Valet: Shane to Luna and Celestia. Due to being from another world and being a soldier Shane doesn't care how famous, powerful, or old the two princesses are so he treats them like he does everyone else. They seem to enjoy this, Luna in particular.
- Not Afraid to Die: Again, Shane. He seems fascinated with his own death, to the point of mimicking a corpse when he sees an empty gurney, and hints at one point that he might attempt suicide again. It leads to Luna privately questioning Celestia if they can really force him to live.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Shane assumes the role of one while apprehending Amethyst Star's bio-research reports. Shane, being who he is, finds a way to let her keep it.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Pinkie Pie appears straight out of nowhere in Shane's cell to offer him a batch of cupcakes. He and Luna hang a lampshade on it, as does Rainbow Dash later on.
- Only Electric Sheep Are Cheap: Shane says that real sugar is very expensive back on earth, as much as fifty times the price of synthetic substitutes.
- Pet the Dog: While Shane is very insistent he has to destroy all weapons and ammunition recovered from the crash, he does offer to the unicorn in charge of salvaging it to dispose of the ammo "one round at a time".
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Being a Marine, Shane acts like this. He's proud of being a jarhead and loves a good fight and gets along well with other military types (except for Shining Armor), while being unused to the general demeanor of the ponies.
- Reckless Gun Usage: Luna nearly kills the Mane Six and Shane when she fiddles around with a machine gun.
- Russian Reversal: Shane is about to reference this when Pinkie decides to have a piggy back ride on him, but stops when he believes that nobody else would get the reference.
- Saying Too Much: Luna accidentally blurts out that they could only save Major Doran during one of their first talks. All the humor in the room evaporates at once.
- Scars Are Forever: Shane holds a surprising amount of those. Not all of them are related to his time in the military, though - see Noodle Incident above.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Used for humor when the Princesses show their control over the sun and moon. Shane's only response is mutter "I'm done" as he walks off towards his room.
- Semi-Divine: After the above happens Shane eventually asks Luna if she and her sister are goddesses. This trope is essentially her response.
- Semper Fi: Shane is a Marine.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Shane turns out to be one after he finds out that he's the Sole Survivor of the crash landing. Even captain Aegis, a character that doesn't have personal interactions with him, recognize it.
The entire time the alien eyed him from his sitting place on the cot. It was not a threatened or hostile gaze, which surprised Aegis. He simply looked tired, tired and defeated. Aegis set the plate down and looked at the creature. It looked back. Aegis knew this look. It was the look of a broken soul.
- Sherlock Scan: Shane manages to figure out quite a bit about Equestria just from looking around. That his cell door is steel means they know metallurgy. The rivets being identical indicates they have factories capable of producing standardized equipment. Leaving his sidearm in the room with him shows they're either insanely trusting or unfamiliar with firearms.
- Likewise the ponies pick up a lot about humans from casual remarks or simple explanations, such as him explaining the relative price of fake sugar versus real sugar.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Shane and Shining Armor.
- Shown Their Work: The author is a U.S. Marine and thus knows exactly what kind of SOPs, equipment and training Shane would be bringing with him on his mission.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Shane and Luna anytime they talk to each other.
- Super Window Jump: Subverted and deconstructed at the same time. Shane shoots the glass panel first to only then dive through it, and even then suffers cuts that turn out to be minor plot points.
- Survivor Guilt: Shane feels strongly that he shouldn't have been saved, and makes it quite obvious to everyone within earshot, multiple times.
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Celestia's response to the fact that Luna's attempt to get Shane to allow treatment of his injuries via dangling a bottle of wine worked.