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13w, 5dBlast From the Past8 comments · 111 views
So, over on the Lunaverse forms, a few of us were discussing alternate realties and such, during which one of the old conceits that we all use to joke about came up again. That being the notion that the entire Lunaverse is written as though it were the actual show on some parallel earth, with the show we known in our world being the fanfiction over there.
Anyway this reminded me of the first ever "contribution" I ever made to the Lunaverse, long before there really was a Lunaverse as we now know it. This was regretfully though a post made on the comments thread for Boat Busted over on EQD, and somewhere along the line (presumably during a site upgrade) they seem to have purged all the older comments. Fortunately I once reposted it to the Lunaverse forums, though unfortunately I had no idea where. Which is a problem as the Lunaverse has one of the largest and most active forums on all of FiM fic. With a little digging and a lot of luck, however, I finally found it and can now repost it in a more easily accessible place for posterity.
As a preface, in this review I pretended to be a brony living on an alternate earth where Boast Busted is an episode of the show, while Boast Busters is a fanfic. Also, please keep in mind that this was all written before LNLD, meaning it's no longer an accurate reflection of how the Lunaverse actually turned out.
Ooh, I remember reading this back when only the first chapter was up. It was loads of fun, but I forgot to ever check back on it, so I was quite pleased to see this pop up here giving me the opportunity to finish it.
It's kind of neat how the author manages to take background ponies like Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Applejack and even the one-shot 'villain' Twilight Sparkle then recasts them as the mane characters. It is kind of weird to only get minor references to our actual mane-6, though seeing Trixie cast in such an obnoxious role is even weirder. Sure she's always had issues with pride and ego, but this author dials them up to 11, though you can easily see how he still had to stretch to make her a convincing antagonist by resorting to using Snips and Snails to do the legwork with the ursa.
Now I hear he's going to go back and rewrite the first episode, awesome. I've seen plenty of takes on an evil Luna; Black Umbra, Eclipse, Midnight Shadow; so I can't wait to see what he does with this Nightmare Moon. Also it will be interesting to see how such an unhinged bookish snob like Twilight could ever make friends, until then I'm not sure I'm entirely buying the author's too modest to show off her magic interpretation. I wonder how much of that has to do with that baby dragon the author gave her? I know a lot of readers will probably try to call him out on being a poorly conceived OC self insert, but I personal found him amusing enough.
Then there are the author's choices for the elements of laughter and kindness. Pinkie Pie was an all too obvious choice, what with how her wacky background antics in the actual show are always a riot, probably why despite her being the mascot of our fandom he left her out of this story since it could have easily overshadowed any other plot. At least I hope that's why as I'd hate to think it had anything to do with the whole iTunes censorship fiasco. Fluttershy though will prove something of a wild card, as she's such an underused background pony who hardly anyone ever seems to write about.
Anyway, I left this post wholly unedited from it's original form. Though, looking back I really should have referred to something like Zune instead of iTunes, just to sell the idea of the world itself also being weirdly reversed.
20 comments · 239 views
I don't normally do the whole episode reviews thing. Well not explicitly at least. I don't write blogs of my own, but some of my replies to other blogs or vlogs can be nearly as detailed. One such blogger I routinely engage in such comments with is my good friend InsertAuthorHere, arguably it's how we became friends in the first place. (…oh, and while someone of his famed renown hardly needs my meager endorsements, I'll implore anyone reading this blog that doesn't already follow his work to GO AND FOLOW HIS WORK! Seriously, he was one of the authors that helped inspire me to make my own feeble attempts at pony fanfiction)
Anyway, IAH was apparently of the opinion that because of my status as an unabashed worshiper of the one and only BEST PONY that is the fair lady Rarity, that I'd be driven to the war path by this episode (I guess for steeling my "waifu" or something like that, as if I'd ever be worthy of her affections). While I certainly had my reservations about it, after-all clichéd romance was supposedly one of those girly tropes that this show explicitly didn't cater too. Still, I was committed to keeping an open mind, but now that I've actually seen it with my own eyes, what's the verdict? Is the episode a worthy tribute to the goddess, or is it time for me to bust out a doomsday device or two and teach the world a lesson for daring to besmirch her flawless grace… let's find out.
Oh, and just as a final reminder, there will be SPOILERS!!!
So after a functional, but mostly expository open, the episode proper hooks me right away with Rarity's newest dress, a prefect reflection of the styles I associate with her character and something her last focus episode failed to deliver on. Rarity's tastes aren't fashionable just because they are edgy or unconventional, but because they are a true artistic expressions of the soul that reflect her personal inspirational muse -- most often expressed by gratuitous use gemstones.
Now then though, we come to the episode's controversial new character, Trenderhoof. When Rarity first drops his name my reaction was similar to the rest of her friends; it just seems so out of left field, not to mention why should a celebration of Ponyville town pride need to in any way impress this pony. Still, to the episode's credit Rarity quickly explains how his reviews have put other towns on the map, and so for a brief instance I get my hopes up that this episode is actually going to focus on Rarity trying to impress him not for her own sake, but for her desire to enhance the reputation of Ponyville... and then she starts fawning like a school-filly.
Now admittedly, this isn't really anything new for Rarity, but I'll be upfront about it; Trenderhoof's design out right sucks. He's awkwardly lanky, with a bland color palette, a too cool for rules soul patch, and don't even get me started on his wardrobe. He bears no resemblance to any of the previous ponies that Rarity has idolized, romantically or otherwise. Hoity Toity, Fancy Pants, and even Blueblood; these were all ponies that could be readily identified as individuals of sophistication and class at a glance. Trenderhoof though, no, just no.
He's really seems more of a hipster by design, which is seemingly reflected in his pension for liking things before they are cool. This is practically the antithesis of Rarity and the types of ponies she has previously admired who are all TRENDSETTERS. Admittedly there is a superficial overlap, but the key difference if that a trendsetter thrives on promoting their passion so that others can appreciate it too (or at least to enhance their own fame), as opposed to the hipster mentality that almost abhors the notion that the things they like could be corrupted by the masses.
Sigh… and then we get to the train station which is a scene that gives me very mixed feeling. Rarity is nervous, to the extreme, which might work if this was an episode just about town pride and/or her career. We've seen Rarity get nervous about living up to the expectations of her idols and likewise seen her embarrassed about the rusticness of her hometown. Unfortunately this scene frames it all "romantically", which is something Rarity has never really been shown to falter on. Compared to her forwardness with trying to woo the affections of Blueblood… well, technically she did still have to work up the nerve to first introduce herself, but in this episode that aspect is overplayed and it gets old fast.
Still, expectations can be a real nerve-racker, and once she does get over them her interactions with Trenderhoof are everything I've come to expect from Rarity, even if I still don't really get what she finds attractive about him, physically or intellectually. Of course then we get to the even bigger controversy of this episode, the love triangle… but you know what? I actually like this part. I mean I still don't get Rarity's half, but Trenderhoof's attraction to Applejack makes more senses. As I mentioned before, he seems to me like a hipster archetype and so for him the appeal of AJ would be in the "exotic". Now admittedly one might think he's met farmers before, but AJ isn't just a farmer; previous episodes have established that she is genuinely good looking and cleans up real well, so I can believe that the combination of such contrasting aspects would sucker Trenderhoof. I even adore his initially inane attempts to woo AJ with things she could care less about. I also like how AJ is clearly not oblivious to his advance, she's just not even remotely interested and has got better things to do.
Oh, and along the way we get some amusing lampshades in regards to Spike's one-sided crush on Rarity. They never really go anywhere, but they are still no less fun.
Now then, we have Rarity's first attempts to emulate AJ and prove that she can be just as rustic, in her best jewel incrusted work-duds… and I absolutely love every minute of it. I mean, yeah, it's painfully embarrassing and reeks of the most shallow superficial facades imaginable, but that's pretty much the entire point. Then failing that, she takes it all even further with an insultingly over the top hick style redress of not just herself but the entire theme for the upcoming festival… and that accent, my god that forced country accent. I. just. LOVE. It! Beyond that I think what I enjoy most about Rarity's bald-faced attempts to go "simple" is that she embraces it with ALL her normal flare for the elaborate, and in so doing completely misses the point.
Admittedly, I half expected Applejack to be rightfully infuriated that this is how her supposed "friend" sees her, but to AJ's credit the whole scenario is just too absurd to do anything other than laugh. Besides, why get angry when you can get even, which brings us to the elegant Miss Applejewel. Now the shoe is on the other hoof and I love it all just as much, and even if AJ is actually trying to help, I like to imagine her taking at least a little satisfaction in it as well. Admittedly AJ's choice of dress does clash with her own natural colors, but that's kind of the point; Rarity sucks at being rustic and AJ is equally bad at being fancy. Though one minor complaint, her vocal affections in this scene were disappointing; I really wish that they'd used her Manehattan accent from Cutie Mark Chronicles, but I guess AJ's just out of practice after all these years.
So after a bit mudslinging --literally-- the conflict is resolved and all is right in the world again, plus we all get to have one last laugh at Trenderhoof's expense… and may it truly be the last as if I never see him again it would be too soon. Seriously, I'll take more of Blueblood's pompously inflated self-important flank any day. Now I will say that I was a little disappointed with the closing montage of the actual festival. I don't much care for all the blatant recycling of Canterlot character models which seem too fancy for Ponyville even under the auspicious supervisions of Rarity. It all feels more like she just went and replaced everypony in town rather than gussying them up as best she could. Still, for just these short few scenes I guess we couldn't expect them to budget the expense of anything new.
So then, my final evaluation?
The episode has its flaws. It really should have kept the focus of Rarity's desire to impress Trenderhoof on her career rather than heart. The attempt at a love triangle is woefully forced and arbitrary to the point of contrivance. That said, the sheer absurdity still made me genuinely laugh in between attempts to palm my own face off to make the embarrassment stop. Even at their worst in this episode though, the characters remain relatable and likable. I cringe not because the episode is "bad", but because I pity the characters self-inflicted misfortunes. So in the end I like the episode, I really and truly do. It can't compete with any of my top three favorites of this season, but it easily beats out most everything else, including Rarity's other episode this season.
Granted, Rarity Takes Manehatten had a better premise (and earns bonus points for world building), but it stumbled on a forced and grossly superficial execution. By contrast, Simple Ways has a dreadful premise, but for the most part shines in execution. For all that I still don't see why Rarity would have a crush on Trenderhoof in the first place, for the rest of the episode she's in nigh perfect form, even as she compromises everything she believes in to impress a pony that in no way deserves the effort.
Anyway, Sorry if my lack of fury disappoints, but for good or ill the world shan't be ending today, at least not by my hand.
10 comments · 371 views
This blog post is something of a response to Digibrony's latest video. My apologies to my meager subscriber count for wasting time on this instead doing the thing you're all supposedly following me for in the first place and getting a new chapter out in one of my overdue fics. Anyway, to make sure anyone reading this knows what I'm talking about...
So, let's cut to the chase. I can't really agree with this at all. The idea that AJ and Dash are somehow the wrong way around is just a gross misconception of what their elements mean, both to themselves and in the greater context of being components upon which friendship is built. It might make for an amusing joke or parody, but shouldn't ever be indulged as having any serious merit.
Let's start with Applejack and the concept of Honesty — in the context of MLP this is about more than just telling the literal truth, but about being a truthful individual. When AJ says she's the most dependable pony it's because of that honesty, because once she makes a promise she always keeps it, because failing to do so would make her retroactively a liar. This was the main conflict in both Applebuck Season and Last Roundup. It's also likely why she doesn't charge more in SSCS6k. Given the length of the lines she could easily charge 3, 4, or even 5 bits per mug while still selling out every day, and a profit minded entrepreneur would do just that. AJ, however, isn't profit minded, but rather honest minded; 2 bits a mug is all her family needs to make enough profit to see them through the winter, so that's all she's going to charge. It's also why she refuses to "cheat" in the competition by lowering quality standards, because even if it let them make more cider it wouldn't be the genuine product.
The idea that she is somehow exceptionally more loyal than honest is just silly because her qualities of the former are built out of the latter. More so though, when the chips are down and shit hits the fan, she's really not very loyal at all. The most prominent example perhaps being Swarm of the Century, where when the parasprites start devouring all the food in town, AJ abandons her friends and the rest of Ponyville as well in order to safeguard her own farm first and foremost. Sure one could argue that she was just thinking about making sure everypony would still have food after the crisis, or just choosing loyalty to kin over friends, but that's not really how the scene plays out, and AJ doesn't even make a pretense of apologizing before leaving her friends high and dry on their own. Likewise, she shows a distinct lack of loyalty in Last Roundup, where she up an leaves behind everypony in Ponyville (including her family) just because she's too prideful to admit she wasn't able to deliver on a promise.
While yes, it could be said that AJ's episodes are more about loyalty than honesty, they are such always only in so far as AJ herself learning to be more loyal and/or less stuborn, whether it is to others or to herself. This is precisely why she couldn't be the Element of Loyalty, at least certainly not in the first episode. To wield the Elements of Harmony is to be an exemplar of that quality, and AJ still has a lot to learn about Loyalty. Contrast say Rarity, who despite being inarguably vein and occasionally even a little greedy, she is never lacking in generosity, in the willingness to give of herself for the sake of others. Yes, she occasionally misjudges what it is those around her actually need most, but she is still always giving and no episode has ever been about her learning to be more generous. Even in Sweet and Elite she is clearly torn between her old friends in Ponyville and her new contacts in Canterlot, with the linchpin that causes her to temporarily make the wrong choice being when those Canterlot ponies first beg her that they absolutely NEED her to attend their various events, that is to say, when they impose upon her generosity.
Now, I will admit that the way AJ demonstrated her element in the pilot was pretty poorly executed, but that seems mostly the fault having to cram six such trials into a mere 22 minute episode. Even at that, while it seems silly for AJ not to just tell Twilight outright why it's okay to let go (because Dash and Flutters are there to catch her), the idea still works in that the reason Twilight can trust AJ is because she's honest. Friendship is built on trust and that trust is built out of honesty. That said, AJ did much better job of proving this quality, not in the Everfree Forest, but in the Ponville Library when she was the one that told all the others they should both give Twilight the chance to explain and believe what she had to say. So perhaps AJ's element should have been more accurately called something like "Trust" or even "Faith", with her honesty just being the reason why others can always trust her.
Still, what AJ really is at the core of her character though, is an archetype for the supposed concept of "good old-fashioned country values", which rightly or not are often considered more honest than modern urban values.
Now for Rainbow Dash and the concept of Loyalty — she perhaps says it best in one of her earliest lines, "I would never leave Ponyville hanging," and yet despite this bold declaration it's sort of hard to take her at her word. Not only is Rainbow Dash kind of lazy, but also very self-centered. At first glance she seems very much like the sort who only cares about herself and would without hesitation abandon others to pursue her own ambitions, which is in fact how Nightmare Moon later tries to tempt her into betrayal. Actually, I think it could be quite telling that Dash's trial comes last (discounting Twilight of course who had to discover what the sixth element was in the first place) and is the only one where NMM is actively attempting to subvert the pony's future element; it suggests she'd become aware of what was happening and was now taking active measure to prevent the last piece from falling into place. Anyway though, were Dash the Element of Honesty, she'd likely have rejected the Shadowbolts on the grounds of not wanting a free handout, preferring to earn her victories for herself, but that not what she does and instead jumps at the opportunity completely buying into every bit of ego stroking she's fed; instead it is only when she is forced to choose between her ambition and her friends that she chooses the latter and proves herself the Element of Loyalty.
Even more so though, this notion that she's somehow the most "authentic" of the mane-six just doesn't bear out, because if anything she's the opposite. All of her ego, all of her grandstanding might make it seem like she's made out of confidence, but as seen in episodes like Sonic Rainboom, she is anything but confidant; it's all just a mask she wears to hide from her own insecurity and fear of failure. This compared to Fluttershy who knows she's something of a coward who'd rather runaway and hide than stand up for herself (even while being still quite capable of standing up for others), or Rarity who has no illusions about her own vanity and so makes no false pretenses at modesty and really does feel that she deserves to be treated like royalty, or Pinkie Pie who genuinely does just want to see everypony smile. There are no pretenses with the other mane-six and they all wear there souls bare and in plain sight; it's really only ever Rainbow Dash who hides from herself and is afraid to admit things because for fear of how others might judge her.
As in the preceding section it could be said that Dash has more episodes about honesty than loyalty, but again that's because she already is an exemplar of loyalty and so doesn't have much more to learn on that front. Conversely, in episodes like Read it and Weep she learns that it's okay to both like books and to admit that having a diverse range of interests doesn't have to detract from her core self-identity as an athlete. She still gets to have episodes about Loyalty though, which is the key conflict in Wonderbolts Academy. Dash initially goes along with Lighting Dust's recklessness because Spitfire seems to believe in her and Dash believes in Spitfire, or at least she wants to. The conflict is finally resolved not because of honesty but because of loyalty; Dash wants to be Wonderbolt, it's all she's ever dreamed of, but her loyalty comes first to her friends and perhaps more importantly to her own morality, and if those are values which don't matter to the Wonderbolts than that's not something she can be part of.
Some people like to use examples where Rainbow Dash speaks her mind as an example of honesty, such as when she said that Rarity kind of was a laughing stock in Suited for Success, or how she was the first of the mane-six to openly voice an opinion on the first set of dresses. Neither was a particularly good example of being honest though, but rather just being blunt, superficial and inconsiderately tactless. She's not saying these things because she thinks Rarity needs to hear the truth, but because she never stops to consider how hurtful that truth might be. Dash might always speak her mind, but it's not because of honesty, but because she just has a bad habit of speaking the first thing that comes to mind without ever stopping to consider the consequences; she's a speedster, not just in her actions but her words as well. This superficiality, and complete lack of authenticity, is also the driving conflict behind Mysterious Mare-Do-Well, where Dash gets completely sucked into her own hype and forgets that it is her deeds that make her a hero, not her popularity. Fame can be a fickle and fleeting thing, it's a poor way to define one's own self-worth, and Dash suffered for it when the next big thing came along and she mistakenly felt like she was no longer a hero without all the adoring fans to cheer her on.
Bring this all back together, I think it's also telling to look at the mane-six's cutie mark stories. Each of them not only involved discovering their talent, but their future element as well. Rainbow Dash didn't just prove her speed, but did so while in her own words 'defending Fluttershy's honor'. She wasn't racing for her own sake but as a way to stand up for someone else. Whereas AJ found her talent not just in going back to her farm and family, but in finally being able to admit to herself that it was where she truly belongs, the city having been just a false dream she was never really happy with and where she had to pretend to be something else just to fit in.
If the words LOYALTY and HONESTY seem ill-fitting or lacking when describing these two ponies, it's only because they are just singular words being used to define complex characters and concepts, but they don't have be the only words we use, and we get some good alternatives in Magical Mystery Cure, where Celestia describes them over a panning shot of the character as "charity, compassion, devotion, integrity, optimism, and of course, the leadership". So really the important thing is to not get hung up on words, but to see past those words to the meaning underneath.
Because really, if we get hung up on words, would not generosity just be a subset of kindness? Are not the great lengths Pinkie Pie goes to brighten everyone's day while asking for nothing but a smile in return an expression of generosity? Was not Fluttershy's admission of her own insignificance and humility when Discord tried to first turn her against the others an expression of honesty, or what about Twilight who wouldn't just except the existence of Pinkie Sense and instead tried to find the truth behind it? Or just as much, how Twilight is unfalteringly dedicated and loyal to the princess. The fact is that all of the mane-six are good upstanding ponies and as such they all possess aspects of all six Elements of Harmony, just not in equal measure. Rather than mince details over the exact words used to describe them, we should instead take it as a given that they are the exemplars they already proved themselves to be when first defeating Nightmare Moon and then later Discord. Instead of trying to define the ponies by the elements, we should define the elements by the ponies.
Oh, and special thanks to Empty-bee for posting a link to this this on Reddit's MLP analysis community.
7 comments · 183 views
So, I finally got the chance to sit down with my younger cousin, and watch the season three finale.
She went into it completely unspoiled, not knowing what would happen, and when it came to the moment of truth with Twilight and Celestia in the astral void, well... initially she seemed more focused on cracking some jokes about the poses not looking very natural for an equine body shape. However, the moment Twilight started rising into the air, glowing with inner light, my cousin's eyes lit up just as much and she was a flurry of, "Oh my gosh, what's happening!" and all I could do is smile as I watched her watch Twilight.
Then Twilight lands back in Ponyville to spread her wings for the first time and as she does my cousin was practically leaping for joy, which only doubled when Celestia showed up to proclaim that Twilight had not only become an alicorn, but a princess as well. This is something my cousin had asked about way back when we first started watching episodes together last summer. Even as early as the end of the second episode, my cousin thought Clestia must be training Twilight to become a new princess, so I knew she was going to enjoy this, but getting to see it all play out on her face was a real treat.
For all the drama this finale caused in the older peripherals that make up those of us that call ourselves bronies, it was good to see that at least for one young girl --just a few years over the show's target demographics-- this epic event went off flawlessly... well, almost.
She was very concerned that this meant the show was over, that there would be no more stories left to tell, so it was also nice to be able to assure her that a fourth season was already in the works.
92w, 1dBack On Track3 comments · 139 views
It was a moonless night in Fillydelphia. Outside the city's most prestigious college, all was still and quiet, all except for a lone figure that snuck through the shadows.
The figure slowly approached the campus library; a repository of knowledge second only to the royal archives in Canterlot, but far less guarded. Surely the solution would be located among the tome and scrolls held within its wall.
Keeping to the shadows, the figure crept along the building's perimeter. On finding a window low enough to see through, the shadowed sneak stood tall to peer inside. The room beyond appeared empty, not a guard or late night student in sight. The figure stepped back, took a deep breath, and then channeled a familiar spell. A unicorn's horn began to glow a soft magenta, and then — *POP* —in a flash of light the figure vanished.
With a second — *POP* —the intruder reappeared inside the building.
The figure glanced about attentively to ensure the room was devoid of any other presence. After assuring herself that she was alone the trespasser decided to take a chance. Now that she was safe from the prying eyes of any passing strangers in the night, she decided to conjure a light to guide her path and so illuminated her horn.
It glowed ever so dimly from beneath the hood of her burlap cloak, but it was enough to cast herself and the area about her in a soft magenta light. She released the orb of light, allowing it to float beside her as she passed by rows upon rows of shelves, each full of countless written materials of every conceivable variety.
This wasn't her first time sneaking into a library. Even so, Twilight Sparkle wasn't a bad pony, just a curious one. She'd never used her abilities to do anything that would actually hurt somepony, not intentionally. All she ever wanted was knowledge, and in that pursuit, what was the harm in breaking a few rules? Sure, many of the tomes she had secretly read were forbidden, full of highly illegal magic, but it wasn't like she had ever intended to use those spell to any malicious end.
However, it wasn't forbidden secrets that brought Twilight to these archives tonight. No, she came instead to seek a solution to a most dreadful misfortune that had befallen her. It had been a little over a week now, but the memories still haunted her; Ponyville, the ursa, and — her. Trixie Lulamoon: personal student to Princess Luna Equestris, savior of Equestria, the supposed living embodiment of magic itself… and the most obnoxious and deceitful pony Twilight Sparkle had ever had the displeasure of meeting.
Twilight could still remember how overjoyed she had been to go to Ponyville; to meet the legend made flesh. Oh, the things she had hoped to learn from somepony that must have been the most magical unicorn since Starswirl the Bearded. What she found instead had been… disappointing, to say the least.
At first she had thought Trixie a mere fraud, but then it became clear to her. Trixie had only been putting up a front to keep away less qualified apprentices, or so Twilight had thought. Thinking back on it, marching into town with an ursa minor in an attempt to prove her own worth hadn't been her most well thought out plan. Sure it was impressive, but even if nothing had gone wrong she'd have had an awful lot of explaining to do. She had, however, learned something very valuable from the incident.
Trixie Lulamoon really was a fraud.
After all, Twilight was the one who had to do all the real work in saving the town, even if she had sort of been responsible for causing the danger in the first place. After all, how many unicorns could have single hoofedly teleported a giant star beast? All that hack had done was perform a few cheap parlor tricks to distract it. Worse still though was when Twilight figure out the whole truth.
It had taken a few days, but once she'd puzzled it out the answer was beyond clear.
Miss Lulamoon was jealous, and not just that, but also afraid. She'd seen Twilight's potential, and it was obvious who the superior unicorn was. So that… that jezebel had set her up. Sabotaged Twilight's entire life, just so Luna would keep thinking her precious student was the best. Twilight Sparkle was the true, one and only best. And tonight, she would take her first steps in proving it.
Twilight gathered a dozen books in her magic, flipping pages and turning from one to the next and then to another as she referenced and cross referenced. It was a familiar routine, one that brought her more comfort than she had since the start of her forced exile. As she proceeded about her oldest of rituals she found an odd melody filling her head. Words came shortly thereafter.
That witch will learn her lesson; I won't play her number two
I'll gather the ingredients to make some harmony
The Princess will reward me; that is a certainty
Now is the time to prove my magic; somepone true for Honesty
There's no distress just need some Kindness; to claim my destiny
Yes, this plan would work; it was perfect, her very best ever. Twilight skipped over to a filing drawer, gathering up several census ledgers. She had a list to make.
Twilight glanced down at a nearby desk where she saw a pile of newspaper clippings, probably left by some careless student. Among them was a picture of Luna at the Grand Galloping Gala, greeting various officials and dignitaries, but it wasn't the princess or any of the guests that drew her gaze. No, her eyes focused squarely on the young azure unicorn standing next to the royal alicorn.
She was dressed in an outfit even more gaudy than when Twilight had last seen her. Most infuriating of all though was that lazy grin, as though the unicorn was bored. Anger flared as the mental tune continued.
You life's been just a cake walk; but I'll take your silver spoon
Find a joke; to get some Laughs and…
Work and toil, earn the Loyal; Generosity, reciprocity
Make enticing, fate revising; plans devising, rectifying
Meanwhile, far away in Canterlot, an armor clad unicorn stared up at the star filled sky. He was the captain of the royal guard, but more importantly he was a big brother.
Legend had it that if two ponies looked upon the exact same star they could hear each other, no matter how great the distance between them. As he picked out her favorite constellation, Shining Armor hoped beyond hope that his lost sister might be looking up at that same moment.
Please don't sink to madness; I can't bear that you're alone
Alas, even were such legends true, Twilight Sparkle was well beyond such simple reason.
I've hit the books, now time to look; I'm gonna meet them all
Now is the time to prove my magic; friendship's power I won't postpone
No more an outcast, found salvation; so I can finally go home
Twilight hesitated, realization slowly sinking into her soul as she repeated…
She stood in silence, still mouthing that last word as a single tear rolled down her cheek. As she stared out a window at the star filled sky, she wondered. Was it really so simple; was that truly all she really wanted?
For a brief moment she felt as though her B.B.B.F.F stood before, eyes pleading and full of forgiveness. She wanted so desperately to rush forward, to embrace the phantom, but…
Twilight shook her head. No. It didn't matter how much she wanted it, she couldn't, not yet. Not until she cleared her name. Not until she had proven her worth. Not until Lulamoon learned the meaning of REAL MAGIC.