FimFiction Link - Short ID: 502815/the-doom-that-came-for-cloudsdale
Published: Sep '21
'The Doom That Came For Cloudsdale' is a two thousand and eight hundred-word oneshot featuring Rainbow Dash who's tormented by an ancient evil.
I have to confess that I'm not overly familiar with Lovecraft's works. Of course I've read The Shadow over Innsmouth, The Call of Cthulhu and a few shorts, but most of what I know comes from secondary sources. Still, even with my surface level knowledge, the story seems to do the genre justice for the most part.
As it turns out the factory, besides regulating Equestria's weather had a much more important purpose as well: The pacification of the elder god Cthulhu, who sleeps below the rainbow waterfall below Cloudsdale. As Rainbow Dash is forced to figure out a way to drive up Spectra production, - lest she needs to kill off a part of her workforce, - she commits the fatal mistake of turning off the waterfall. This causes the eldritch being to wake up and wreak destruction upon Equestria. With little hope left for Dash, she flees to Ponyville, where she leaves a letter to Fluttershy, begging her to warn the other cities and build a new factory that's capable of subduing the god for another millennia. Having realized that she's already tainted, she ultimately takes her own life in a final act of defiance.
From incomprehensible nightmares to the awakening of an indestructible horror, the word "futility" describes the atmosphere of the story well. I like that the factory becomes the far smaller evil in the grand scale of things as its destruction means destruction to the rest of the world too. I also like the way Dash is depicted in this story. While she still acts with a psychopathic lack of empathy, the author takes time to illustrate just how broken she is. The story also isn't afraid to really play into the cosmic horror genre, even being next to Cthulhu causes horrific deaths and even the princesses can't hope to take up the fight against it. Their only bleak hope is dragging things out long enough that another factory can be built to satiate it.
However, the story also requires some serious suspension of disbelief. Surely if the CWC was built to contain the elder god then its leadership wouldn't just forget about the fact and put easy-to-access valves to close off the waterfall. I'm also not really a fan of Cthulhu being named, I feel like it cheapens the story quite a bit. Another thing I'm not sure about is the idea that the factory balances its Spectra-shortage by sacrificing workers. Indoctrinated as they are, it's hard to believe they'd just accept being fed to the machine, since they aren't failures. RD writing to Fluttershy also doesn't make much sense, she considers her a failure and she's absolutely not the only pegasus living in Ponyville.
Overall: 7/10 Despite a few niggles, this is probably one oft he best RF-related fics I've read. Can recommend.