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[EQD Featured - 10/04/12]  Derpy Hooves loses her job and home to personal failures and finds that her life of passivity and reckless indulgence have left her with nothing but an empty void in her heart.  When she cries out for help, she receives two answers—one from a concerned Twilight Sparkle who tries to set her life back on track, and the other from a phantom mare who lashes her spirit to that of Silver Cross, traveling warrior and refugee of a destroyed nation.  

The clumsy but well-intentioned optimism of the Elements of Harmony and the unshakable death wish of her new "soulmate" are challenging enough, but Derpy will have to contend with overzealous agents of the crown, romantic entanglements, wielders of impossible magic, an outrageously evil despot, and even the dreaded contents of Spike's Secret Stash before all's said and done.  Little does Derpy understand that her pursuit of a way to fill the holes in her heart and mind will only draw her ever closer to the forbidden truths of Equestria's Lost History . . .

Cover Art by the talented McLarenF1LM22

The following is supplemental material.  Do not read before finishing Episode 03.

APPENDIX

Character Ages

Ponies keep track of their age by seasons, not years.  Birthdays are still celebrated annually, but measuring age in years is an unreasonable choice for creatures with a lifespan of roughly 25-30 - there just isn't enough room for demarcations that any reader could relate to.  For clarity, the character's ages as of the time of this story are given in three categories below.

MLPL2 Character Age Chart [GDocs Format]

For reference, please note that MLPL2 begins about three years after the Nightmare Moon incident.

More characters will be added as they receive significant roles in the story.

Deleted Scenes

Episode 01, Scene 1 (Draft 4)

Episode 01 [ver. 1]

First Published
17th May 2012
Last Modified
27th Mar 2013

Don't have time to read it. But from what I have skimmed, it appears you know how to write, quite well at that. You get my like.

This is amazing and I love it. Go Derpy! :heart::derpytongue2:

Well I'll be. This isn't too shabby at all; it has an interesting enough plot and the description is nice, though I would mention that a few of Twi's lines felt a little OOC. One more thing, please, please indent your paragraphs!

I shall await the next chapter with interest! Keep up the great work.

Oh, wow, this one is INTERESTING...

First off, living in an apartment by myself, I could connect with how Derpy felt.

Second off, you NAILED Twilight Sparkle. Sometimes tactless, but well meaning, and quite a force when she turns her full mind to a task.

I counted at least two good mysteries, and while I was going to make a comment about how Derpy was getting tossed out of her apartment too suddenly, as I read further...

Added to faves. A well chosen image, a description that caught my attention, and a first chapter that's making me wonder about my guesses for what might come next.

I cheered a little when Twilight Sparkle stood up for Derpy.

OOOOoooooh. This is going on the list. We have a bad guy with a mysterious and evil motive, a hero who desperately needs direction in life and Twilight being freaking awesome!!

Oh man, I don't know what to say xcept this is AWESOME!!!:rainbowkiss:

Amazing writing, intriguing story, true to form characters, and a most interesting antagonist, I truly can't wait to see where this goes!

I've cried, lol'd and gotten pumped all in the space of 10 minutes, thats some good writing

Well, this just attracted my eyeballs. Did you use adhesive in the text? Because me eyes are glued to the screen.

I await more of this most intriguing gem. Yes.

Curiouser and curiouser. I wonder what it is that they want with her.

WEIRD...

Drug prescription bottles, in my experience, have information on the label identifying who they were for, and where they were filled, as well as the name of the drug. I can think of reasons why Three-Strikes might have blotted out all but the name, but that scenario opens up all sorts of more questions about the scope and scale of what she is up to.

>>645266

Three Strike didn't blot out anything.  It has a temporary label for in-hospital use that only lists the drug name, quantity, dosage, and a few bits of numerical errata for storage and inventory purposes.  We'll get a bit more into this as the story continues of course.  My particular interpretation of Equestria's medical system has more in common with the practices of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

By the way, thank you so much for reading this far!

<comment edited due to chapter shuffling>

All replies in this chain contain spoilers for Episode 02.

>>646310

Still, with that much information, there still should be some leads the investigators should be able to follow up on, which was my point.

As for the different direction... Very much so! The OCs in question are reasonable enough, nothing wrong with them, but I think they need more screen time to develop. I'm assuming that they are products of their cultural context, which would indicate something far removed from the world Twilight Sparkle etc. live in. The whole thing reminded me of Final Fantasy 8, when your perspective shifts to a different group of characters briefly, and the explanation doesn't come for a LONG while.

And on the subject of context... was the reference to the Bible (book, chapter, and verse) intentional? Because I looked up that verse, and it makes no sense in relationship to the events in the chapter, unless you make some hefty assumptions about what is going on in that vision Ditzy Doo was in.

>>646479

>Still, with that much information, there still should be some leads the investigators should be able to follow up on, which was my point.

I agree.  That's what I meant by "we'll get a bit more into this as the story continues".  I'm trying so hard not to spoil anything.:twilightsheepish:

Speaking of spoilers, I can't explain the Bible reference yet except for three things.

1. What's listed in most Bibles as "1 Kings" is not the First Book of Kings.  You might be looking at the wrong verse.

2. The book on the bed is not the Bible.

3. The reference is not something that you could reason out with the events in this chapter.

>>646515

Yeah, it'd be easy to ruin the good sense of mysterious buildup you seem to be going for... also not wanting to spoil things... I think I found the verse you were referring to, which is something that, while not necessarily connected to the events in the chapter, does make for MUCH better foreshadowing. *adds bookmark to study bible*

Awesome. The plot is thickening with a new host of interesting characters. Looking forward to what's to come!

Hmm... most interesting... I wonder what it means?

Silver Cross is best poni. Also, this is best story. Can't wait for more chapters! :rainbowkiss:

Just another day of grand adventuring for "Miss" Derpy Hooves

Good job

Well, some things need breaking. Things like Rarity's Big Wall-o-denial.

>>699145

Sorry the chapter's a bit late everypony, but the site gave me a lot of trouble over the weekend (even deleting one of the scenes and forcing me to rewrite it for no apparent reason).  Thank you all very much for your continued interest!  Remember to comment if you have any particular praises or complaints; every bit of feedback helps me write a better story! :heart:

Candiru, I wonder if you'd mind elaborating on your comment.  It sounds like a suggestion, but it's a bit vague.  I understand if you haven't the time; I'm just curious.  :duck:

>>701895

What I meant to say was that Rarity needed to hear what Derpy told her. She might not have wanted to and doesn't like what she heard but she definitely needs to see where she's going wrong in life.

(I should think that Applejack would probably be saying "About tahm SOMEPONY said that!!" about now.):twilightblush:

>>701925

I'm glad you think so!  I was actually afraid that I'd get a lot of complaints about Derpy's rant.  I tried very hard to write that scene so that neither of the two came across as unsympathetically wrong—I could actually make a good argument for either of their viewpoints.  

Also, if you've got a hankerin' for Applejack, you're gonna like Episode 05.  :ajsmug:

>>702027

Well, yes, both sides do have their merits and glaring flaws. Derpy's principal weakness seems to be that she really doesn't understand societal norms owing to her upbringing and Rarity, well, if Derpy knew how little the fashionista liked herself deep down, she'd have kept quiet. After all, most of what motivates Rarity is being ashamed of her origins.

As for Chapter 5, I can't wait.

This is Just Freaking Fantastic. I can't wait for the next chapter, you really made Derpy into a much more complex character, just from the few scenes she has in the series, and have done so magnificently, I might add. Seriously Keep up the awesome work!

>>708927

:pinkiegasp:  Wow.  I finally received a compliment on the execution of my primary motivation for writing this!  Thank you!  :pinkiehappy:

By the way, does anypony have any comments on the effectiveness of the humorous elements in this chapter?  Particularly the "Derpy in a Dress" scene?  I just got a complaint from a reader who thought that scene was "borderline pornographic".  Really? :rainbowhuh:

>>712870

I thought it was rather funny, Derpy trying to please spike by dressing up like one of his *cough* maids, not realizing what she was actually doing, if anything it just adds more lovable character to Derpy. Besides this is a story, you didn't describe it at any length being close to obscene, at least for my taste. That reader must have a pretty imaginative/dirty mind!  :trixieshiftright: hmmm?

Took me long enough to get to this. Another great update. However, is that Spike x Derpy shipping I see on the horizon? I'll be damned if it is; I have never seen that one before! Haha.

Keep up the great work, and I look forward to the next chapter.

Oh my goodness.  This is amazing.  The pacing was spectacular, the emotion was real, the characterization was brilliant, and the comedy made me laugh out loud!  :rainbowlaugh:  Very well thought out.  I'm already hooked on this well-written, interesting tale.  So many questions...

I am thrilled to have found this.  It deserves much more recognition.  Have you submitted it to EqD yet?

>>727783

Thank you!  I'm glad you're enjoying this, and I hope to meet your expectations in the future as well [strike]because I'm secretly a terrible writer[/strike].  :rainbowkiss:

>Have you submitted it to EqD yet?

No.  This story actually received quite a bit of criticism over on ponychan (mostly for being confusing), and I want to give EQD my best shot.  I plan to submit once I'm done with Episode 05 and have had a chance to see the effect that the first complete story arc has.  Besides, I can't submit a story w/o best pony :ajsmug:.  That's just wrong.  Seriously though, thanks for the vote of confidence!  I'm in the middle of writing Episode 04 as we speak!

I wish Mr. First Dislike had left a comment, though.  I'd be happy to know how I could improve.

OH MY FREAKING YES!

Okay, seriously... I've read a lot of stories on here, but this one practically takes the cake for me.  I'll tell ya why:

1.  OCs?  Awesome.  In the course of a single chapter, you've established Silver Cross's snarky wit (with an underlying madness), Feather Quill's stony loyalty, and Detective One Liner's (BAHAHA!) professional charm.  The names you gave to all the villains and side characters were excellent.  I always have a hard time coming up with pony names, but you nailed it.  Also, you're doing an excellent job already at making each character come to life.  You clearly have a gift for establishing solid, unique characters and showing them interact in a believable way.  I love this!

2.  Your descriptions are spectacular.  Really, you've found a way to perfectly blend action while painting a beautiful scene.  I really enjoy the paragraphs you use to break from the narrative and describe what's around our beloved protagonists.

3.  Derpy in Silver Cross's head?  GENIUS!  The way you described that was perfect; I immediately understood the strange sensations.  The "fairy" thing was very well done, too.  It allowed Silver Cross to immediately continue his life without freaking out while establishing a fascinating relationship between the warrior and the ex-mailmare.  I look forward to more of their exchanges.

Some questions (that I don't want answered, but I'm posing them anyway because they excite me):  Was that Derpy's ethereal sister from the first chapter that came to her bedside?  In what time frame does Silver Cross exist?  Is Derpy traveling into Equestria's past, as suggested by the apparent separation of the three races, or is it all happening right now?  Will the Detective's next "one liner" make me laugh as hard as this one did?

Sorry for the essay-review, but this is seriously AWESOME.  I can't wait to go read the next chapter.  Thank you for posting this entertaining, quality work!  I wish it had more views.  This is truly delightful!

Your avid fan,

Ponky

Oh.  My.  Gosh.

Oh my gosh.

Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh.

Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!!!

THIS IS AWESOME!  You're seriously my new favorite writer.  I love your style!  It's fun to read, perfectly descriptive, truly emotional, and the way. you. characterize. is. PERFEEECT!

Plus the story line is incredible.  And all the character interactions feel so real.  And teenage Spike is to die for.  And Derpy is so cuuuuute!

Oh, I'm freaking out.  I love this story to death.  So many things to love.  Can't wait for the next chapter!!!

When did this get a romance tag and Spike/Ditzy shipping?

...

ah... who cares?

>>795504

I . . . I care.  :fluttercry:

I was only going for friendshipping.  Do you really think this crosses the line?

>>795524 No, actually, it's still friendshipping at this point, but it is natural for the readers to at least consider a shipping transference from the girl that dumped the guy to the girl that comforts the guy. That's just common sense talking. On the other hand, if you avoid laying it on too heavily, it will come off as friendshipping, and no worries. I guess at this point, it's just up in the air and with the shipping in the chapter the readers (or at least me) will think in terms of shipping in the future, not friendshipping.

That being said, your intentions have been stated, so I'm cool.

I like how this sounds a lot like the dialogue out of a crime drama.

This is fantastic.  I'm consistently impressed with this story, and with you.  Well done.

One Liner is a great character.  You've done very well at creating original, interesting ponies that interact with familiar ones flawlessly.  More than flawlessly!  You use Twilight's and Ditzy's personalities as a backboard for the OCs, allowing them to show us who they are by their believable interactions.  Goodness, I wish I could write like you.

I really love this story.  Can't wait for "What You Wish For"...

This was a most excellent first chapter. I'm very, very curious as to what happened to Derpy's sister and where the hell they were. Additionally, I'd like to know more about this ominous Three Strike. This is very good. Well done. :twilightsmile:

Oh hoho! Did Three Strike give them the slip? Time to read on!

That was very interesting, this whole flashback sequence. I really want to know what's going on now, both past and present...

Discontinued drugs and traces of sulfur? The mystery grows.

>>795524

No. I still see friendshipping, not shipping. It's more than reasonable to see Derpy as simply comforting her friend Spike. Contrary to popular belief, this simple comforting tends to remain platonic and not evolve into something romantic.

Welp, this was a great story. I felt Episode 03 was a little weak at times compared to the rest of the story, but that's my only complaint. This was fantastic, and I eagerly anticipate future chapters. Happy writing! :twilightsmile:

I see that One Liner attended the Horatio Caine Police Academy.

Yay! An update! :yay:

Anywho, this was great. I really like Silver Cross now. Derpy continues to be awesome. And these flashbacks to the distant past are awesome.

A couple things:

1. Dat Fell Deeds. What a jerk. :ajbemused:

2. What exactly do these necklaces do? I'm quite curious now.

3. Why is Derpy's sister able to go incorporeal (at least, that's how I'm assuming she was able to get her hoof out of Derpy's embrace)? Is she... a ghost? :unsuresweetie:

Well.  Worth.  The wait.

Hoooooooly crap.  This story is awesome.  I think I'm beginning to wrap my head around all of its interweaving side-stories now, which is good.  Not that it was ever too confusing, mind you, but things are beginning to come together exactly when they ought to.

Silver Cross is best pony.  No question.  I'm still amazed at the depth and diversity of your original characters, from heroes to villains to antiheroes.  They're all spectacular, intricate, and delightfully entertaining to "watch", as t'were.  Thank you for putting time and effort into making each of them believable and interesting.

That said, well done on incorporating G3 ponies so seamlessly/humorously.  Before Fell Deeds' unseemly entrance, this chapter had several hilarious moments.  I laughed out loud more than once (and expected nothing less.  You have a gift for incorporating humor within the epic).

I saw no glaring errors, as your blog seemed to suggest.  There was an extra quotation mark in the middle of one of Deeds' lines, and there are a few instances were a comma is followed directly by the next word without a space, but those are very minor and did not detract from the wonderful complexity of the story itself.

"Everypony's on a journey to the place where they can truly smile."

Wow.  Floor me some more, why don'tcha?

Excellent chapter.  I look forward to learning more about the Tome, the History, the Spires, the (almost steampunk!) Amulets, and Derpy's forgotten past.

Did I mention Silver Cross is best pony?  What a stud (I see what you did there).

That scene... One of the sweetest things I have read. :fluttershysad:

Honestly; in my opinion, there is just so much shipping on this site that when I read something as well written as this, the scene actually feels like it holds a deeper beauty.

Gah too many questions need answering I hate mystery!

(because I wanna know NOW!)

great writing interesting and original. Need MOAR!

I'm liking this so far. Will definitely finish when I next have time.

Interesting premise. I look forward to see where it all goes from here, and how it all ties together. The contrast between the more slice-of-life Ponyville segments, and the journey of Silver Cross (in the past, I wonder) makes for interesting reading.

Detective One Liner:moustache:

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