/mlp/ Fanfic Reviews

Written in Synthetic Blood

FimFiction Link - Short ID: 509734/written-in-synthetic-blood

Published: Jan '22

Review in No. 38036304
'Written in Synthetic Blood' is a two thousand and six hundred word oneshot. Silver Spoon is the perfect patient, she can mimic any disease or injury, be it mental or physical, making her the perfect test dummy. And, in case of others, something more.
Don't let this story's shortness fool you. While the story is tiny, it does not pull its punches and the short length perhaps just plays all the more into the weight of this fic. From the moment we're introduced to her, Silver Spoon or rather the android modeled after her is immediately a very sympathetic character. Despite the fact that almost everyone only wants to hurt her and considers her - a thinking, feeling being - as nothing more than a tool to be used, cleaned, and then put away, she does her duty with a smile and dedication. What's brilliant about this story is that it doesn't even bother to mention the character flaws it presents, but with just a tiny bit of thinking, they all become obvious. Starlight is egotistical. Redheart deludes herself into thinking she's still a top surgeon, despite actually working like a butcher. Diamond Tiara projects her dead friend onto the android and misuses her to cope with grief. Cozy Glow is implied to be taking delight in torturing her, under the pretenses of healing. Every interaction portrayed shows a facet of abuse and the author doesn't shy away from making it all feel gut-wrenching. The prose itself plays very heavily into this and I'm especially a fan of how alien Silver feels after her scene with Redheart.
There aren't many negative things I can bring up about this story, but there is one aspect I feel like wasn't elaborated on properly. That is, why is Silver Spoon sentient by default? While it makes sense that during pretending to be a patient unpredictability has to be uncounted for, but the fact that she feels very real fear and emotions even before starting the simulation feels more grimderp than grimdark. Perhaps if the author implied that the ponies don't realize what they created is an actual sentient being and not just a very good simulacrum, but I don't really get that feeling, especially due to Cozy Glow's behavior. I am also unsure of the meaning behind the dream sequences. While they deliver a sense of unease and are vaguely connected to the events happening in the main story, I'm not really sure what the purpose of them is. My only guess is that this is how the author intended to show that Silver is truly sentient? "Do android fillies dream of themselves?" I'm not really considering this a negative though, because it just as easily could be an issue of my own retardation.
Overall: 9/10 There are parts of this story that could've been expanded a little, but all in all, it's very impressive how horrifying a story the author was able to write in so few words. Highly recommended.