Aw, so CUTE! I love how compassionate Twilight is to her subjects. True, life is painful, life is scary and cruel and short, full of blood and noise and we are all ephemeral and, really, perishable and leave a big mess behind when we go (not to mention the smell). But the pain and misery of life is punctuated with tenderness, compassion, aesthetic beauty and peace. Even in those moments of gore and grime, there can be found stillness and the pleasure of a kind word, a caress, a smile. I love this picture. ^_^ Twilight is not a Sadist, she is a true believer. In Science. ^_^ Yay Science!
The logistics of obtaining Lyra OR Bonbon would render this picture impossible. I cite none other than your own works: Twilight is clearly in a very remote (somewhat hilly) area of Equestria "where she won't be bothered". The only ponies we really ever see as being there are guard ponies. By Twilight's own admission, she has to go around a bit to get enough ponies to supply her twisted experiments (that don't seem to prove much).
Further, Celestia (and Luna) are after Twilight's head. The only reason they are unable to fight Twilight is (in Twilight's words) her lab is her domain. Outside of that, she would be absolutely destroyed in single combat with the Princesses even with her ill-gotten knowledge - she admits this.
And "hiking accident" doesn't work, as the area is stated to be under heavy patrols. As such, one can assume (rightly) that Equestria at large has been informed of Twilight's evil. And, obviously, if "horrible mutilation" is what you would find in those hills, they would be avoided by all except the guards.
If one were to make the argument that she 'got' her other friends, I would counter that she probably got them by luring them there. Whether it be to rescue another one of the group or it be to rescue (or stop) Twilight could be left to the imagination. Nonetheless, Twilight is not balsy enough to try something as stupid as going to Ponyville.
Now with all that AND the uselessness of the experiment, I find this to be 'pointlessly cruel', and rather removed from canon 'Researcher Twilight'. She just isn't this stupid or malevolent. "Can't survive getting cut in half" isn't anything to learn.
And why would Twilight be anywhere NEAR her? That is so horrendously stupid I can't fathom it. "Let's see, am I near unguarded whirling blades of death that I could EASILY be flung into by the pony in my lap who is clearly unstable and has nothing further to lose? Yep! Commence experiment! Surely this won't end up with me playing the role of a Bond villain!"
I dislike the content, dislike the fact that it makes no sense, and dislike the fact that Twilight is really stupid... but the technique is pretty well done. Twilight seems a bit 'flat' compared to Lyra though.
Shame I had to be so harsh. Of course, if it didn't actually happen in the Ask Researcher Twilight continuity... then my grievances are entirely moot. And I get the benefit of saving a pony.
Yeah, this is just the result of a live-stream. Not 'canon,' insofar as anything I make can be counted as such. That said, the content (excepting the fact that it's Lyra for no reason other than lulz - her cutie mark is even on the wrong ponyside) is rather intentional. Clearly Lyra has been broken psychologically to the point that she's not even attempting the slightest resistance, even in the face of imminent death. She merely curls into a ball, tacitly accepting what is to come. Letting herself be comforted by her tormentor, even. Ooooooo.
Well in that case, that comment was rather pointless, no? Ah well... always fun to do that anyway.
Ooo? Horrifying, perhaps... but - to me - not 'scary'. It falls too far out of the realm of plausibility for me to truly fear it.
Make no mistake, you do well with visceral horror and making Twilight prone to rather horrifying reveals. Sure, I am horrified by the gruesome lengths Twilight goes to (for often-indiscernible purposes), but I am not afraid of the acts. I hate them, wish they didn't happen... but fear isn't really a factor in that.
Slightly off topic: I don't know if this was intentional... but I can't help finding the "Apple Family Mafia" extremely amusing. The sheer absurdity of having a mafia based around an APPLE FARM is hysterical. I get where you were coming from - moonshine and hard cider parallels. But describing it as a "Apple Orchard themed Mafia" is Monty Python levels of absurd. I mean, I take them seriously... but it is still hilarious.
I would say something here... but I abridged it for I believe you would try to defy it for the visceral thrill of it. And I cannot do that.
It's interesting, you know? I know few humans that could be broken like that. Sure, they will likely collapse after the fact, but during the acts in question they would be far more likely to lash out in blind rage. Immediate physical survival trumps psycological damage in almost all cases. Rage trumps even that.
Fear? Do you know what's truly frightening? For all the horrors you subject upon the ponies in Twilight's capture... you have been outdone by actual people. You, who have no limits save for your imagination in the torture and 'experients' that the ponies can experience... pale in comparison to the sick experiments that real humans have subjected their own kind to. They knew full well that every bit of pain inflicted hurt a living being... and they did not care. They poked and prodded, murdered... for the purpose of figuring out how to make the suffering more horrible for the next victim. And they did not break. They were not repentant. They saw it as - ultimately - more beneficial than harmful. Yet they were humans: Sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. So how many children are truly blackened souls? How many would enact these horrors if given a chance? True - not often are those among the civilized world ever given the opportunity to do these things... and thus never do.
To know that a human being can see the same events... and be willing to enact horrors you or I would scarcely wish upon on our enemies... to know that there is utter blackness for no reason... that is something to fear.
I don't try to replicate the full depths of human horror. That is a dark, deep, and disturbing well indeed, all the more so for being real and right in our proverbial back-yard. Out of sight, mostly, for those fortunate enough to be able to relax in the parlor with a nice brandy and a good book. But even then, occasionally, when they chance to glance up and the light is right, when the wind blows the curtain of the back window a bit to the side, there is a fleeting glimpse. Nothing specific. Just a shape. A reminder that it is there. It isn't leaving. And it echoes with a human voice.
Nah, I'm just telling a story. The story has ponies in it! Yaaay.
No. It is a human. That is all. Do not cheapen it as though it were something that merely takes human form. The humans that do these acts are terrifying because they are otherwise ordinary. They are only slightly different in the mind. And they can be easily prevented from ever acting on their impulses... because they have 'no reason' to do so. They could, at any time, act on them... but they 'choose' not to.
It was a metaphor. The 'well' is meant to represent the human darkness in humans, the 'parlor' is supposed to represent a situation that is so comfortable that one doesn't need to interact with or be aware of this darkness, and the whole window thing is supposed to illustrate that even if lucky enough to be in this 'parlor,' people /are/ aware of the darkness, because there is no escaping its clearly present role in the human condition. I don't think talking about something, however serious, in metaphor, cheapens it.