|Millennia: Eye of the Storm|
|Date published||September 17, 2016|
|Type/genre||Dark, Drama, AU, Mystery|
|Part of||The Millennia Saga|
Struggling through two-week medical leave, Star Shooter copes with nightmares and stress created by recent traumatizing events. On his fourth day, Star heads out to get something to eat when he bumps into Rose. The two talk for a moment, and then leave. He goes to a local cafe, and while waiting in line, he is stopped by a curious pony who asks him numerous questions, which then causes Star to turn on the pony and go into a small outburst in which startles the whole place. When Star realizes his mistake, he goes to apologize, but is then bombarded by multiple ponies. He wakes up from a nightmare, fully accepting he needs help.
The following day, Star writes a letter to his commanding officer, also his friend, informing him on his progress during leave. He lays back down, then out of the blue is struck with yet another nightmare. When he wakes back up, it is dinner time, and he heads out to go grocery shopping, only to find it closed, and that it was actually morning. He goes to the cafe where he had his 'outburst', despite it being a dream, and is confronted by a royal guard, and then Ray Blitz, a pegasus he met just days earlier in Whitetail Woods. The two discuss plans, and later determine to hang out with one another at Star's apartment. Star prepares for the night, then when Ray comes, the two relax and watch a movie, when Star finds himself in the middle of another panic attack. This time, Ray comforts him in a way Star never expected would help.
Leave passes, and Star returns to Manehattan, immediately checking in with Doctor Haywalker. He explains to the doctor about what had happened while he was on leave, and Haywalker refers him to a psychologist in the city to further help his situation. After the appointment, Star returns to the barracks, laying back down in bed. He encounters yet another nightmare, but it is cut short when he wakes up. He heads into Manehattan, locating the psychologist's office and checking in to see the mare. He enters the mare's office, being introduced as Doctor Pastel, and the two talk for a bit as an introduction. Star initially feels iffy about her, but warms up when Pastel learns Haywalker sent him.
That evening, Star lays in bed reading a book while his roommate, Nightpath, cooks dinner. The two reconcile in discussion. The following day, Sergeant Hardstaff hosts a meeting that informs the platoon about a battle simulation taking place at Fort Fetlock, an Equestrian Army base near the city, and the rest are sent back to prepare for their departure, which would last just over a week. During a ruck run at the base, Star meets a soldier from Appleloosa and befriends him.
Days later, the Marines are brought to the practice range for live fire exercises. While operating machine guns, Star experiences a nightmare out of the blue and comes to find out he did not shoot at all. They then switch to grenades, which Star quite nearly accidentally kills everypony after smacking his hoof into Ash's when preparing to toss. Ash jumps atop the grenade after fumbling to reinsert the pin, relieved when the grenade does not explode. Embarrassed, Star parts himself from the others and stays in the tent. There, Ash confronts him, and Star lies about feeling fine after the incident earlier. At night, they are awoken by an alarm that an air raid is imminent, only to learn signals had been crossed and it was a false alarm. At the end of the week, Star says his goodbyes to Skillshot before him and the other Marines return to Manehattan. Once back, he visits Pastel for a follow-up appointment. Back on base, Nightpath informs Star of Hardstaff, as well as Shadow requesting him at the conference room. There, the two hire Star to aid with investigating mysterious earthquakes around Manehattan.
Days later, Star receives a letter from Ray, who states he will be in Manehattan soon, and upon realizing the message was sent days ago, he scrambles to meet Ray at the train station, but he does not come. He becomes worried, and goes out for a walk, only to bump into him at a construction site by accident, learning he arrived by airplane rather. The two go off to spend Hearts & Hooves Day together.
In the days that follow, Star attends Shadow's pre-deployment briefing, where he among other crew members learn of mysterious energy signals originating from the ocean, where they are to sail out to in order to investigate. Star and Sea Watch are assigned to plot the fleet's course over the next week, when Night informs Star that him, Anchorage, Ash, and Silver are headed to Valor Lake to visit Solar's grave.
The group comes across his grave upon arriving, where Star sulks the most and goes through a boot camp flashback (not featured in Beginning, and was done to fix plot holes) of a time when Solar helped him out in the gas chamber. After some time, the group heads out to eat and then to a motel, where Star and Anchorage talk outside in the rain. By the time they return to Manehattan, Star finally finishes his work.
At the end of the week, Star and Nightpath leave their barrack and gather beside the Eclipse along with Anchorage, Ashfall, and Silver Edge, where accidentally, Star learns of Anchorage's past regarding his parents, primarily his father. They board the ship and later sail out of the harbor along with the rest of the Lunar Fleet. Later on, Star apologizes to Anchorage, and the two talk over dinner. Anchorage then reveals a form of communication through specialized computers aboard the ship for sailors to use, and Star video calls Ray. Although, as Star heads back to his bunk room, he is ambushed by a sailor named Rondache, accusing him for hiding his relationship with Ray from Anchorage and forces him to sleep with chloroform.
Star comes to, not realizing what had happened, and shrugs off his mysterious slumber. He reports to the bridge for work, just as the Eclipse sails into a tropical cyclone which is named by the fleet as Aquarius. While sailing through high seas, a distress call from a nearby ship is sent out, and is picked up by the fleet. It is found out that the ship has lost propulsion and is threatening to be swamped by rogue waves. Shadow then orders Star, Anchorage, Night, Silver, Ash, and Ash's squad leader, Sunset Haze, to fly out via helicopter to the stricken tanker to repair its communications array and restart its engines. They stand by as Anchorage sets up a tracking beacon to put the ship back on regional radar, and then head down to the engine room while Nightpath stays put with the remaining crew. On their way down, they discover pools of blood mysteriously in the halls, but no bodies. Continuing on into the engine room, they soon find it to be wired with explosives on a remote detonator that must be disarmed immediately.
Sunset manages to disable the bombs, but before they can relax, they are ambushed by strange figures silhouetted by the dark. While running up-deck, the ship is thrown onto a shoal where it becomes temporarily beached until the waves can capsize it. This causes the group to be taken down by a thrown flashbang, but they are miraculously spared by the figures and left behind. They pull through, returning to the bridge to collect Night and the crew as the chopper loops around for emergency extract, right as the ship tears in two and is taken under violent seas mere moments after everypony boards the helicopter. Back on the Eclipse, the group--especially Sunset--is treated for any injuries sustained, but Sunset is expected to be decommissioned for some time, much to Ash's dismay. The Eclipse returns to Manehattan, and Star pays a visit to Pastel. During the appointment, a tremor shakes the office, startling Star and setting off an anxiety attack, which Pastel manages to quell before it worsens.
Days later, Star prepares for an opening party in the penthouse of a new skyscraper recently finished in the city. He heads in to the geology office early for a short shift, discovering there to be no recent activity, in spite of the quake he felt at Doctor Pastel's office. That night, him and Nightpath get dressed and head out, where they, along with Anchorage, Ash, and Silver, are brought to the tower and up to the top floor, where countless other soldiers, sailors, and Marines have gathered to enjoy the party. The group splits up, mainly to head to the bar, while Star finds Shadow to talk to casually for once. Meanwhile, Arc Nobis sneaks through some of the lower floors, searching for a server room.
- Star Shooter: Star is a young pegasus in the New Lunar Marine Corps and the main protagonist in which the story takes place from his point of view.
- Nightpath: Night is a large earth pony and one of Star's best friends, despite their rough start in the first story.
- Silver Edge: Silver is a unicorn Lunar Marine and another one of Star's good friends. Originally a trainee for the Lunar Navy, he is mixed up and is made a Lunar Marine instead.
- Ashfall: Ash is a muscular earth pony and a Corporal in the Lunar Marines, in the 1st Infantry Division, 3rd Marine Regiment. Despite constant arguing, like siblings, he is best friends with Anchorage. Between them, Ash is the toughest.
- Anchorage: Anchorage is a pegasus sailor in the Lunar Navy, ranking at Petty Officer 2nd Class. He has northern-Equestrian roots, making his accent most notable about him. His best friend is Ashfall, and the two constantly argue. Between the two, however, he is the most intelligent.
- Shadow: Shadow is the Captain aboard the L.R.S. Eclipse, the largest aircraft carrier in the Lunar Fleet, and is also Star's friend whom inspired him to enlist. He is also Star's commanding officer. The origin of their friendship remains unknown.
- Arc Nobis: Arc is a Second Lieutenant in the Lunar Marines and Shadow's second-in-command. Out of everyone by far, he has the most experience in battles and missions, and Arc supposedly suffers from multi-personality syndrome created by his post-traumatic stress. He is highly expectant of Star and the rest of his friends, but realizes how well disciplined and trained they are in situations.
- Snow Storm: Snow is a Lieutenant in the Lunar Marines, and leader of a squadron specializing in eliminating cyber threats and real-world ones. His personal belief is that current Lunar Marines do not receive the same amount of training he did at the start of his military career.
- Hardstaff: A pegasus sergeant in the Lunar Marine Corps and Star's squadron leader.
- Ray Blitz: A pegasus voice actor whom Star met in the epilogue of Beginning, the two once more meeting each other in chapter 1. The two quickly befriend over the span of just a few months.
- Armet Mace: Wealthy and famed CEO of GenTech Incorporated, a company with a recently-constructed headquarters in the city of Manehattan.
- Aphrodite: Sergeant Major Marine that runs the geology office at Joint Naval Station Manehattan, and is Star's "second boss". She wears her mane in a bun.
- Magnus: An earth pony Marine working in Aphrodite's office.
- Argonne Lunis: A unicorn stallion that stands "a few inches taller" than Star. He also works in the geology office, and was given the nickname "Argony" between the four.
- Solar Wave: The deceased friend of Star and his fellow Marines/sailors, the main concern of Star's post-traumatic stress. He was a yellow unicorn stallion, having been killed after leaping atop a cooked grenade during the Battle of Manehattan. He is only seen in flashbacks.
- Rose Shine: Star's upstairs neighbor in Canterlot. The two formerly had interest in each other, but a shift in events changed that and the two decided to simply remain friends.
- Star Scraper: Star is a rough, stoic former-military stallion and is highly expectant of his son and constantly scolded him, and is the primary reason behind Star Shooter running away to begin a new life.
- Diamond Spice: Diamond is a caring, worrisome, average mother that despises Star's decision to leave, but accepts of his decisions.
- Sea Watch: Quartermaster aboard the Eclipse. His rank is finally established in EoTS as Petty Officer 2nd Class.
- Vernon: The Eclipse's bridge communications officer.
- Doctor Haywalker: Star's base doctor from Beginning and moving into this story. He refers Star to his old acquaintance, Doctor Pastel, to help handle his post-traumatic symptoms.
- Doctor Pastel: Owner of a psychology office in Manehattan whom Star is referred to by Haywalker. Both her and Haywalker previously knew each other.
- Doctor Davenport: Unicorn base doctor at Naval Station Manehattan.
- Skillshot: A soldier Star meets at Fort Fetlock, who is from Appleloosa.
- Sunset Haze: A sergeant in the Lunar Marines, assigned to lead Star and his unit during the 'Crisis' sub-climax. He is part of Ashfall's unit, the 1st Infantry Division, 3rd Marine Regiment.
- Flawless Rivet: ???
Millennia: Eye of the Storm has received mixed to positive criticism with 10 likes and 3 dislikes, and has 410 views with over 6,800 total views. It is praised as an improvement of writing in the first-person perspective, imagery-building, and pacing, but criticized for occasional repetitive use of words and important events seemingly becoming forgotten by main characters throughout the story.
Just like Beginning, it can be assumed the lower-than-average ratings come from users believing that it is another Lunar Republic-Solar Empire war story and leaving dislikes without reading.
Although Eye of the Storm is still very much a work-in-progress, Thunderblast has shown interest in further expanding into a third, and possibly later, a fourth story, stating, "I don't exactly know what I want to do with Millennia. Quite a bit was left out or altered in the training sequence of Beginning, which I plan to fill in throughout Eye of the Storm in little bits. I have ideas to possibly last the series until a fifth story, but I have to decide what is right, and to me, the right thing is conflicting. Side stories would be fun to write, but they don't give the feel of a full-blown book, much like what Beginning and Eye of the Storm are meant to be, and I want to keep this series in a pair or trio of consistent-length stories that build atop one another. I do not want to keep the series going longer than it should with ideas that may be recycled from previous stories, but I don't want to end it prematurely, either."
In April 2017, Thunderblast confirmed a third and possibly final story in the Millennia saga to come in the future and stating it will take place "some time after the events of Eye of the Storm". The following month, the third story is confirmed to be titled Millennia: Starfall and is due for release in mid 2018, and is expected to be the longest of the series. On June 12th, it was confirmed that Starfall will have 56 chapters total, 14 more than Beginning and Eye of the Storm, and will introduce many new characters. However, it is now hinted toward the possibility that Starfall could be split up into two individual stories of equal length. Thunderblast said "that will only happen if I have so many (perfect) ideas I want to fit into one story. If it is split up, it will be the same story, just with different beginnings. The second part would pick up almost immediately after the first, if not a small time period between ends and beginnings. It's the finale, after all. I want to make it the best one yet."
- The prologue of Eye of the Storm starts off one week after the epilogue of Millennia: Beginning.
- When completed, it is expected to become Thunderblast's longest story in word-count, somewhere around 160-175k+ words. Originally, only 36 chapters were planned, but in late 2016, six more chapters were added to the list to accommodate more story, bringing it to 42 chapters total, much like Beginning.
- Rather than training and introduction to military life (Beginning's plot), Eye of the Storm revolves primarily around Star struggling with war-related stress, depression, and sexuality acceptance as the primary internal conflict. It is also a major improvement from Beginning in terms of how it is written in first-person POV, and covers inconsistencies overlooked in the first story.
- While it is not the first story written by Thunderblast to feature homosexuality, it is the first he has written with an extended relationship of said type.
- Chapter 6 was posted at exactly 12:00:00 EDT on January 1st, 2017 in the United States, making it the first story to be updated in the U.S. in 2017.
- Characters from The Veins Run Deeper, including Night Shadow, make a brief cameo in chapter 20.
- The P.T.S Alder, as mentioned in chapter 12 and seen in chapters 13 and 14, is derived from the real-life USCG vessel, the Alder, based in Duluth, Minnesota, on Lake Superior.
- The name Eye of the Storm is derived from one of Thunderblast's favorite songs.
- The story's theme song is Battlefield 4 - A Theme For Kjell, with the secondary theme being Beyond Music - Digit by Digit.