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Blog Posts4

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Wishing to celebrate her sister's return to Equestria, Princess Celestia revives a competition long-forgotten to modern ponydom: a race over the kingdom's oldest road. Twilight Sparkle and her friends sign up to participate in what they think will be a fun diversion, but will their individual reasons for running breed cooperation or conflict?

First Published
20th Mar 2012
Last Modified
7th Jun 2012

I absoulutely loved it!

Can't wait for the race!

Btw, what was "Applejack-attack" for though, I don't get it.

Tracked and thumbs up!

Good day.:moustache:

Interesting...

Tracking!

>>347200

It might be a reference from the Pixar Incredibles short, "Jack Jack-Attack" I don't know.

1: How did part of this chapter end up on WTF Pony fanfiction before it was posted?

2: Is thee going to be enough time for all 15 possible pairings of 2 out of 6 mane 6 ponies to race together or are you being more selective?

3: This is really really awesome.

>>359115

1. ponyshrug.gif

2. I'm not going to put all 15 pairings in races together -- that would be suicide! I do plan on having shorter interludes between the races so that I can at least touch on those pairs. Stories change, however. We'll see what happens. XD

3. Thank you <3 Asking folks to swallow 12,000 words at a time is definitely a lot to ask, haha. dA gets pissed off at me for trying to upload them. X)

>>359399

DA has quickly risen to my least favorite site for reading fiction.

JAG

All right, that's how you start an adventure fic. Tracked, and I haven't even read the next chapter yet. Guess I may as well do that...

>>347200

Just Pinkie being weird, is my guess.

Long adventure fic? This is so right up my alley you might as well buy a house there--I've really enjoyed what I've read thus far, and I certainly don't mind the long chapters-- definitely tracking this one.

>>383583

Replying 'cause you seem to love using dashes as much as I do--but also to thank you for your support, too XD

And to everyone else who's read this little offering, thank you! I know there's a lot of fic out there these days, so I'm always humbled to think folks actually spend time reading mine!

>>385522

Anytime! And yes, a lot of the proof-reading I do to my writing involves me trying to curb my unhealthy obsession with dashes... [/wrist]

"As this is the firstSummer Solstice":  Check your spacing here, obviously.

Celestia's RCV for the win.  I'm not sure where this story is going, but the opening part has a nice elegant worldbuildy feel to it.  More as the spirit moves me upon reading the further parts.

"and the latter, friend to all living things and scared of even more"

oh man, that's gold.

You're doing a great job with Applejack's dialogue, too. One of the harder things for myself. On a broader sense, working actively with all six mane cast at once is always tricky. The show gives them very strong personalities and presences in conversations, and even the writers in canon tend to narrow scenes down to just 2 or 3 active participants among the mane cast. It is a challenge to juggle all six, especially for the extended period you are aiming for here.

Chapter two, and we have best pony called a mule by the competition. A mule. Clearly, they must be destroyed. Let me also note that this fic is what can be called a "simile rich environment." It reads beautifully, but I know as an author that it slows you down a bit. It can be hard to maintain that level of detail in your prose.

Rarity's charms crit-fail for once? Broncox ponies play for keeps. Ain't no pretty face gonna change dat. More seriously, you've got some very good interaction here. I had expected you'd do the entire chapter purely from a Rarity and/or Applejack point of view; Pinkie provided a little outsider diversity, and it was a good call. The little bit of backstory we get between Rarity and Applejack was also appreciated, and it helped frame the way they act around and see each other, in general and in the competition.

I'll have to add to my favorites list in FIMfiction. Looks like this membership is going to be handy.

"returning Rarity and applejack in their place"  Watch your caps here.

Loving this story.  Pitch-perfect A.J. and Rarity, looking forward to seeing your treatment of the others.

This is amazing. I think the best part is that since this is the second fic of yours that I read, I can start pinning down your style! Well, okay, that's a minor lie; the best bit is everything, that's what.

You use the full mane cast, you give them all glorious love and characterization, and you manage to induce tears that I can't even identify the cause of. The thematics and the issues etc., it's all so deliciously show-close and pure on a level that just has me smiling still. When I now use the word "harmless", I mean it as the highest level of praise that I can give on a subjective level.

And, you know, it's well written, expands my vocabulary (peloton? Merriam-webster ho!) and just... I don't know, it comes together so well. Guh. I love the antagonists of the chapter (though I must admit, more detail on their issues wouldn't have hurt), I love the way you can have ponies run for over 10k words and not make it boring, and love Rares and AJ's memories.

Thank you for writing this. It's almost enough to make a notorious shipper write normal fics.

Almost. :trollestia:

“And intestinal fortitude!”

I can imagine the awkward silence. :derpytongue2:

There is so much in this chapter to love. Celestia using the Royal Canterlot Voice to stand in solidarity with Luna, Celly correcting Luna about "guts" and just the interactions between the Mane 6. I'm looking forward to more of this.

You deserve a thoughtcake for this delicious chapter.

So I'm noticing something here. Most everyone has had something positive to say about the prologue chapter and that they were looking forward to the rest of the story. Then the comments stop with the first race through Whitetail Wood.

Am I scaring folks off 'cause these chapters are 12,000+ words? Or might it be because of some other issue? I'm definitely open to hearing from you guys on this, since I hate the idea of wasting your time with suboptimal fic.

Actually, I just finished reading. lol

I'm enjoying it quite nicely.  It was a surprising change of pace from the previous chapter.  I found it taken me aback for a moment.  The song was indeed, absolutely catchy!

Finally, Dat Cliffhanger! :trixieshiftright:

>>526350: Ho ho, sweet. Thanks!

>>526413: Ah: it then basically boils down to me being an impatient sonuvabuck and not letting people finish the chapter, huh? All right, I can buy that. Thanks for reading!

>>526447

Welcome, it's a darn good story.  Can't wait to see where it goes next.

Oh man these chapters are intense for how long they are. It's like the tension keeps building all the way through them, and then the end of the chapter comes and it's still there. I don't mind the chapter length at all. I love it, really. Did Pinkie and Fluttershy ever get that flower to her dad? Will that still be covered? Or did that last flower burn up after all? And what the hay? Shadow pony moving fast. Of course, dark body, no horn or wings, but wide white eyes? Makes me think of Mare Do Well. By the way, thanks for adding another fic to my already long list. I love adventure stories, and this one is easily going to be up there.

Aaand, moving from faves to topfaves.  You get slot #3!  I hope you like that number.

Seriously, you've got a beautiful blend of gorgeous scenery-painting and rock-solid character voice going on here, and the last chapter pushed 'er over the top for me.  Please keep this up.  :twilightsmile:

Also:

>>526351

Can't speak with certainty, but it's possible that 15k words pushes it into "read later" territory for many folks; but I also can't in good conscience advise you to make them shorter.  This piece seems to really beg for the longer entries.  I think you should let the story be what it wants to be, because whatever you're doing so far is really working for me.

I've been bouncing this chapter around in my head since I read it this morning, and it feels... off.  Fluttershy was done well, but I think it was at the expense of Pinkie Pie.

I mean, there's plenty of Pinkie "just being Pinkie Pie", being silly, partying, and singing, but it's like her statement at the end could be replaced with "Okay! from now on I'll try to be a character with actual personality and motivation and existing relations now!" None of those things were ever really acknowledged more than superficially, before, during, or after that conversation.

The biggest thing missing is the relationship between Pinkie and her father. Other than her initial reaction of laughing at his plight, there's no indication of what she's thinking. There's no scene at the farm to give us a whiff of an explanation, no real emotion during the race other than "Pinkie" and "Not-Pinkie".

Still watching, though. You did well with Rarity and Applejack, so you're basically three for four at this point.

(edit: Also, why is there a party at the top of the plateau?)

>>531817 Huh. To be honest, I thought I was having more trouble writing Fluttershy than Pinkie Pie. But I think you're right -- I can't really think of ways I reached meaningfully enough into Pinkie Pie's inner life. You're not the first person to bring up the apparently abandoned thread with her father, either, and the best answer I have at the moment is that I couldn't really find a place to fit in the scene where she delivers the cure to her papa. She's coming back  for a second race, however, and hopefully I'll know more about her by the time that happens.

The critique's appreciated, not only 'cause I can't get enough of it, but 'cause it meant you liked this story enough to suggest ways it could be better. In other words, sir, you've just about made my night, and I can't thank you enough.

Alright! Done with chapter 2, finally - it took me forever to get around to it, but once I read the first paragraph, it was kind of hard to stop. Luckily, I should say. I'm very glad I read it, and I'm a little sad this hasn't gotten more attention. You'd think the premise alone would draw more readers.

I will freely admit I was unsure about this chapter until the midway point. I'm still not entirely sold on Pinkie. I think the situation is entirely workable; the idea that she would be unable to face something serious, or rather, that she can't focus on it? I do like that, but I think perhaps some more clarity on that would've done wonders. Fluttershy's side of things was better, to me, by far. I liked her general mentality, and the lead-up to her little blow-out worked, too, but it's the same as with Pinkie in that I didn't see completely eye to eye with it all-

Until I reached the middle, about. Once we hit the aid station and such, I felt far, far more at home. You have this particular feel to the stuff you write; I don't know how to explain it, it's probably mostly an effect of your vocab and writing style, but everything clicked once we got back to Pinkie as she woke up. From there, it was smooth and delicious sailing. The song was very, very cute, even if many of the terms went straight over my head.

Please don't misunderstand me; I'm very curious to see how this goes, and it sucks to poke at (subjective) flaws, but I just figured I'd mention this. Oh, and I see now what you meant about having a license to throw whatever you wanted into your story, and you're twice as big an ass for the cliffhanger, hah!

>>553273Please don't ever confuse poking at flaws with rudeness or disliking their context! In all honesty, it IS very hard for me to take criticism on my writing (why would I want to put out anything that's less than my best, after all? And if my "best" is getting critiqued, well that's not the greatest feeling in the world to have) but I treasure each and every word of it. As I said to nifboy up there, getting critique means someone thought long and critically about my writing and cared enough to offer up ways on how to make it better -- that's how I know I'm writing a worthwhile story. Even moreso than the comments that just flat-out praise my stuff. Those are hugely appreciated, too, but I'm a big enough boy to know that resting on my laurels ain't the way to go.

I agree with what you said up there -- I never felt like I truly was able to latch onto Pinkie's inner world during this race, and I'm glad folks were able to confirm my suspicions. Hopefully the upcoming chapter will start making amends toward focusing Pinkie's thoughts, goals, motivations, and so on and so forth. If anything, I'm kind of entertained at the thought that I'm not quite there with understanding how to write all of the mane cast. Gives me stuff to work for.

Some day, I'd love to come back to this chapter and redo it with your considerations in mind, but the race needs to continue. I still cling to this notion that perfect stories can be crafted beginning-to-end without going back and doing stuff over, and rejecting that notion's the greatest challenge I've ever experienced as a writer. Can I finish an imperfect story and trust myself to clean it up later?

Oh, and I'm looking forward to resolving that cliffhanger as much as you do, too! Hopefully I'll deliver beyond everybody's expectations.

*phew* What a chapter you've got there.

Definitely liked your delivery of Fluttershy and her inevitable freak out: it's good to see the thoughtful side of these characters rather than the typical 2-D images we see on screen.

Also, can't help but come to a conclusion that each leg of this race will bring out some kind of mental/spiritual revelation between each of the Six, that is, if your cliffhanger allows for another leg. And since it looks like it might not, the journey to saving the day definitely should.

Liked how you established a time of reference there, by the way, I've seen many authors always trying to keep up with the episodes as they came out (with varying degrees of success), and even though the royal wedding has come and gone, you've stuck this in it's place and kept it there.

Just read this chapter now, finally. I was procrastinating.

As for chapter size I do think you could split them up. I'd recommend writing the whole thing then posting it as 2 chapters about 3 days apart.

Two things to mention that bugged about this chapter is 1: the lack of resolution of Clyde's cure sidequest; and 2: How did Fluttershy transport the flower?

"...Spotless as cheetahs vandalized by poison joke" is a brilliant turn of phrase.

That is all.

Unpredictable update schedules are the best kind! It's always a welcome surprise when a new chapter appears.

Oh brilliant. I love these well-written stories. They're just fantastic. Awesome. Good on ya, Rarity, for giving it a second and further go's.

Interesting, I shall read on!:pinkiehappy:

I KEEP CLICKING THE UP THUMB BUT THE NUMBER DOES NOT INCREASE MORE

WHY DOES THE NUMBER NOT INCREASE MORE

Seriously, still loving this.  Intellectually and objectively, I can observe that we lose any semblance of the plot about a third of the way through, and that your metaphor engine was running a little rich at some points (unlike the previous commenter, I found "cheetahs vandalized by poison joke" just a teeny bit much) but really, this all is sort of like me saying that intellectually and objectively I can tell you that a plate of crispy bacon has a high saturated fat content.  Most of your figurative language was quite good and funny, and I was swooning over the Opera Concordia at the end of the last chapter and hoping we'd see more of her at some point; you've basically fulfilled my every dream here.  I'm drooling a little at your ability to describe the magnificent airship and all its wonders, and I'm more than happy to spend as long a time as you'll let me watching you spin words about it.  I have the niggling, sorrowful fear that terrible things will befall her over the course of this story, however.  Maybe it's just my Titanic insincts kicking in.  So if the story demands that you do bring her crashing down, do 'er justice, m'kay?

Anyway.  TL;DR still not regretting the topfave.

(Oh, and "soothe", not "sooth".)

>>561790Thank you very much for your patience with my love of character exploration XD I wish I could only do this kind of thing in less than 12,000 words a chapter, but eh. Hopefully that cliffhanger you mentioned at the end of the last chapter got a little more complicated for you, too :rainbowwild:

And re: keeping this story in its own time -- I really like picking and choosing which episodes have or haven't happened, just because most episodes tend to stand on their own and aren't always presented in chronological order. Plus: I sincerely believe it's less fun and more frustrating trying to maintain a "master" canon over the course of the show's run: I'm sure Season 3's going to bring more in-canon violations than Season 2 did and we'll still love the show. Thanks for your comment!

>>689129 Hope this chapter answers #1. As for #2 -- she hides it in her tail. I rewrote significant portions of PP's and FS's chapter in the middle, and I think that detail got left out. As for the suggestion on chapter length, I can't say I'm not tempted by that prospect. However, if I can sink my claws into a reader within the first 1000 words, I can keep them around for another 11,000-14,000! And these ultra-long chapter lengths are a kind of fun in themselves -- I'm sure I could trim excess words every now and then but I'll defend the rest.

>>708765 Thanks for coming back! Hope my Pinkie improved over last time, haha!

>>709108 I really appreciate you sending those corrections along! I'm not surprised those little goofs slipped me by: I'd proofread this story after an all-nighter, so I missed a lot of little details. Re: the update schedule -- sounds like Pinkie broke immersion there fairly tolerably, then?

>>711944 Every time I write her, I love Rarity all the more. I'm fairly certain she's definitely departing from her canon personality by this point, but I hope I can at least keep her believable and consistent.

>>711991 Please feel free to take your time. :twilightsmile:

>>712075 You spoil me with your praise and observations, sir. Thank you! Yeah -- when I titled this chapter a "repose", I meant it. I decided close to the start of developing this story that I wanted to pick any two ponies from the mane 6 and put them together to see what emerges, and 15 unique pairings put a fire in my friendshipping machine. Hope you enjoyed reading about ponies just spending time together.

I do think I may have miscalculated by allowing some of the "A" plot to spill over into this repose chapter, and I've had to convince myself a couple of times while writing it that, even though it WAS filler material, the characters were strong enough to carry side stories of their own. I'll have to think on what I want to do about that. Thanks also for calling me out on over-use of figurative language, I'll try to watch out for that next time.

And am I that transparent concerning my plans for the Opera Concordia? Welp.

>>714932

Eh, as implied above, all points apologized for here are totally all right in my book.  Yes, as this part was intended as an interlude, it might have been good to keep the interlude pure, but the cliffhanger on the last part was delightful enough that to sully it with the short non-resolution here would have been problematic -- and then afterwards, there wasn't enough material about that subplot to stand alone in a chapter by itself.  I think the compromise here was about as good as you're going to do without tearing the entire structure of this segment down and starting from scratch, which would IMO be an overreaction.

And don't tone down the metaphors too much, because they're normally quite funny and good; just be mindful that you don't let them turn into language slapstick.

EDIT: And, re: transparency... it's not you, it's an entire cultural mythos.  Huge Beautiful Ships Get Wrecked is practically a foregone conclusion in the Western literary mind.  It's a wonder that the actual cruise ship industry still exists at all, given this, but I guess perhaps it doesn't wholly transfer over into real life.

>>714932 For the corrections: you're welcome as always. I'm glad to be of help.

Pinkie: Oh, yes. I wasn't exactly in love with Pinkie from the previous chapter (aside from the song), but this one seems to have done much better in that regard. She's a little out of left field without being over-the-top and utterly random about it*; most of all, she's funny! I had a lot of laughs from this one, including at the break. Pinkie's certainly rattled off odder things in the show after all and having no one even notice it was just right as far as I'm concerned.

*Too often she's written as just being completely random with no sense to it. My view is she makes sense, in her own odd way. Such as how the 'random' act of lifting a friend over her head and shouting to the crowd to be noticed was fueled by her knowledge of Rarity normally wanting publicity coupled with her obliviousness to Rarity's disguise rather than simply... because she's Pinkie. Hrm, Hell of a footnote. I'm probably over-thinking things again, oh well.

Some of the scene between Twi and Dash was difficult to read. Mainly her internal processes. I rarely have to slow down my reading pace or reread anything, but I did here. Not sure why.

>>724527

No, that part was clear. I meant while she and Dash were at the Royal Chambers. And she was freaking out about the Princess' perceptions because Dash was making wild claims in front of the Royal Guards.

>>724552 Oh, gotcha. Hmm. I'll probably take a look at that, then. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

>>724562

I'm not sure what it was. I followed my train of thought down many paths trying to find any legitimate issue that was making that scene grate on me, but found nothing. I guess... I guess I just would like it simpler, more blunt, less existential. Like Twi took too long to decide what to do from a reader's perspective, while the entire thing was moments from theirs.

HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS STORY UNTIL NOW!? I will read this... probably tomorrow as I plan to game tonight. BUT FIMFIC NEVER TOLD ME YOU UPLOADED A NEW STORY AND NOW I'M BEHIND. ;A;

-adds to read later-

Ok... Sorry Couch, but I need to get this out of my system. I've had this in the back of my mind, festering away and nagging me for weeks now. I should be asleep now, I just got home from the first in a week of night shifts an hour ago. But It's at the front of my mind now and it won't leave me alone till it either eats a hole through my skull or I let it out, so I'm letting it out.

I am bothered, to a disturbingly persistent degree, by the interaction between Twi and Dash in the last chapter. I can safely say that they are my 2 favorite characters by far, and any interaction between them is something I crave and revel in. But right now I want to punt Twi in the face. It's that bad. I hate that scene. I hate Twi's attitude toward Dash. I can reconcile her motivations and actions based on the immediate circumstances, but only if that moment exists in a bubble with no connection to past experiences.

Wasn't it rather recently that Twilight was in the position of being the only one aware of a grave threat to Equestria, yet having her warnings and concerns go apparently unheeded until the calamity she was trying to herald befell the kingdom? Yet in truth the only reason her warnings were dismissed was due to the foreknowledge and machinations to save Equestria of the very one she sought to warn.

Now with Dash (brash and reckless, but no less devoted to Princess and nation than Twilight herself) finds herself in that very same role as Twilight once was, and also finds her warnings dismissed and unheeded, but this time by one who should flippin well know better. If an old mare's tale about a dark alicorn trapped in the moon was serious enough to bring to the Princess' attention, and turned out to be legit, you would think something an Element of Harmony bearer saw with their own eyes in person would be enough to act on as well.

And then, even with a reproachful degree of condescending consent to at least inform the one the threat is leveled against, she refuses to even allow the ONLY WITNESS to the reality of the threat itself speak to the likely intended victim, despite that witness being one of the victim's most trusted champions. Since when does Twi think she has the clout to unilaterally make decisions like this?

That's not friendship. I'm not sure I can reconcile this characterization with the character I know.

Not sure why Dash felt the need to appeal to Twi's devotion to the Princess. Dash may not know her as personally as Twi does, but I'm pretty sure her own patriotism and love for her monarch should be what drives her with Twi faltering. After all, she stood up to one good friend just for being rude to her other friends. With the Princess' safety on the line I don't see her letting anypony stand in her way.

Damn this was bugging me. Sorry for the wall of text tl;dr rantyness. If I'm missing the point or just being a dumbass, feel free to let me know. I just couldn't go on any more without venting. At least it's fun to know you made a story with enough impact to weigh on my mind to this degree.

>>808544

Can I go ahead and tell you that the most ridiculous smile lit up my face when I read your comment? I don't think I've ever been this amped about critique before in my life, and you raise some excellent points. I hope I'll be able to address them -- hopefully to where you and I can agree to disagree, at least.

>Wasn't it rather recently that Twilight was in the position of being the only one aware of a grave threat to Equestria, yet having her warnings and concerns go apparently unheeded until the calamity she was trying to herald befell the kingdom?

"A Canterlot Wedding" hasn't happened yet in this continuity. I know that's a terrible answer, and that's made even worse by the notion that I'm cherry-picking which episodes have and haven't happened. "A Friend in Deed", for instance, comes after the timing of this fic, as does "Baby Cakes" and "Putting Your Hoof Down". That "Luna Eclipsed" HAS happened in this continuity, however, probably doesn't help my case either. I'm justifying this by arguing that there isn't one coherent timeline all episodes fall into, and some even contradict each other: see the explanation for Ponyville's roots in "Winter Wrap Up" and "Family Appreciation Day."

So, that aside, Twilight hasn't been cast as a Cassandra just yet.

>If an old mare's tale about a dark alicorn trapped in the moon was serious enough to bring to the Princess' attention, and turned out to be legit, you would think something an Element of Harmony bearer saw with their own eyes in person would be enough to act on as well.

That's a fair point. My argument to that would be that, in both cases, Twilight would be the one reporting to the Princess because she's used to being i that position. You bring up the fact that Rainbow Dash is a bearer of an Element of Harmony, but the Element of Loyalty doesn't affect her day to day life at all, and she really doesn't use her status as an excuse to see the Princess any time she pleases. Her interactions with Princess Celestia have been much, much less frequent and developed as those between Celestia and Twilight. At any rate, I plan on revealing more about what happened between those two in the next chapter; there's a reason Twilight and Dash hugged at the end of this one.

>And then, even with a reproachful degree of condescending consent to at least inform the one the threat is leveled against, she refuses to even allow the ONLY WITNESS to the reality of the threat itself speak to the likely intended victim, despite that witness being one of the victim's most trusted champions. Since when does Twi think she has the clout to unilaterally make decisions like this?

I think another reason Twilight kept Rainbow from seeing the Princess was that she literally had no idea how that meeting would go down. Even with perfect information, I still believe Twilight is just as capable of making incorrect decisions under pressure as any other pony. See "It's About Time", for example. She hates being made to look like a fool in front of the Princess, and if the Princess didn't act on Rainbow's (admittedly alarming) word, she'd have basically wasted the Princess' time. Remember that Twilight doesn't know what Rainbow Dash saw, and that before everything else (except for Pinkie Sense, which Rainbow doesn't have), she believes in the fruits of logical inquiry.

Twilight very much has a tendency to take matters into her own hooves, too -- she wanted to confront NMM alone, Want-It-Need-It, trying to prevent the Tuesday disaster... with obvious consequences.

>That's not friendship. I'm not sure I can reconcile this characterization with the character I know.

Friendship is never without disagreements, especially disagreements over events of potentially cataclysmic importance. Friendships are about reconciling these irreconcilable views and being the closer for it. At any rate, I think what Twi's going through here is attempting to be Rainbow's anchor to reality before the latter goes off embarrassing herself in front of the Princess. Have you ever kept something hidden from someone else out of a fear of being ridiculed or hurt, even if you think expressing yourself was the best thing to do in the long run? I know that's happened to me.

>Not sure why Dash felt the need to appeal to Twi's devotion to the Princess. Dash may not know her as personally as Twi does, but I'm pretty sure her own patriotism and love for her monarch should be what drives her with Twi faltering. After all, she stood up to one good friend just for being rude to her other friends. With the Princess' safety on the line I don't see her letting anypony stand in her way.

Yeah, Rainbow does try to go up on her own against Discord on Princess Celestia's behalf in the Tower of Canterlot, and all she got for her trouble was a stained glass facial. So why did Rainbow go to Twilight instead of Princess Celestia at the soonest possible moment? Could you, fresh off the floor and dazed, crawl over to the Princess' door, knock on it, and spill the beans right then and there to the most powerful and wise pony in all of Equestria?

I only taken one psychology course, and so I won't profess to have a perfect understanding of coping mechanisms. But, confronted with an event this absurd (a really creepy pony able to take out a retinue of guards writing ominous things on the Princess' chamber doors), people will go to great lengths to convince themselves what they saw wasn't real. As I said before, Rainbow's dealings with the Princess are comparatively limited, and she not only goes to Twilight to enlist her as a liaison, but as another pony to share her experience with --and as a friend she knows better, too. And when Twi remained unresponsive, Rainbow had to pull out the big guns.

And I'd agree that at some point, Rainbow would've bypassed Twilight and gone straight for the Princess once the evidence of the knocked out guards dissipates. That's why Twilight had to port her back to the stateroom.

Anyway, wow. I think my keyboard's smoking a little bit from all this typing. I don't expect my views on these characters to match up with yours, and that's fine. I want contrary opinions. Most of the time, they grow me as a writer. And, with any luck, I'll be able to defend my writing choices to the point of plausibility, even if that's not your headcanon. Hope this explained some things.

Note that my responses here are not for the sake of argument, just clarification and closure.

"A Canterlot Wedding" hasn't happened yet in this continuity

Actually, I was referring to Nightmare Moon's return.

I was under the impression this was a mid-Season 1 fic with total disregard for Season 2's continuity.

in both cases, Twilight would be the one reporting to the Princess

Never questioned that. She's the logical choice.

but the Element of Loyalty doesn't affect her day to day life at all, and she really doesn't use her status

I was referring to this in a more logical sense as in "When somepony who helped save the Princess from the threat of an evil alicorn is now trying to warn the Princess of a new threat from another evil alicorn, you may wish to take her experience in such situations seriously."

I think another reason Twilight kept Rainbow from seeing the Princess was that she literally had no idea how that meeting would go down.

...she believes in the fruits of logical inquiry

God dammit, I think I finally figured out what was bothering me.

It's the contradiction!

You're having Twilight use LOGIC to justify another of her ILLOGICAL Princess-related freakouts.

No wonder I couldn't wrap my head around the characterization.

Dash acts like a flippin puppy around the princess; they all do. They have so much reverence and love for her it would make no sense for Twilight to assume Dash would be anything but adoringly respectful.

As far as logical inquiry is concerned, logic dictates that while there is no solid evidence of Dash's claims, there is no way she is lying. Any threat to the crown must be reported immediately; to do otherwise is tantamount to treason.

If Twilight had personal image related reservations, they would by necessity have to stem from her personal overachiever insecurities, not any logical train of thought.

I could understand her taking Dash seriously, or having a "Bird in the hoof" style paranoid freakout; but not acting cool and collected, basing her judgements on "logic", yet being so wrong in her motivations.

At any rate, I think what Twi's going through here is attempting to be Rainbow's anchor to reality before the latter goes off embarrassing herself in front of the Princess

At a tea party for the Princess in Ponyville: Dash teased the Royal Guards, Pinkie stole Celestia's cupcake, Applejack suffered crippling social anxiety, Rarity had a total freakout about the safely of her dress, the hosts were overcompensating and Fluttershy stole the Princess' pet. I can definitely see her being concerned about her friends' behavior around the Princess. Just not when one of them is trying to inform of a dire threat to her safety.

Have you ever kept something hidden from someone else out of a fear of being ridiculed or hurt, even if you think expressing yourself was the best thing to do in the long run?

Of course. Just not if doing so endangers someone else.

Could you, fresh off the floor and dazed, crawl over to the Princess' door, knock on it, and spill the beans right then and there to the most powerful and wise pony in all of Equestria?

What? That happened? At the end of the last chapter she was rushed, at the beginning of this one she's getting Twi's help. I assumed she barely escaped the thing and ran to Twi for backup. If she'd been taken down and woke up in the hall with the thing gone OF COURSE she would rush up to the Princess' door and start pounding on it for all she's worth. Not only would she want to make sure the Princess is OK, but the Princess is way stronger than Twilight. I assumed she only went to Twi because the thing was between her and the Princess.

(On a side note I was also wondering when Amber Swift got knocked out since he just shoved Dash through the door and bucked off.)

And, with any luck, I'll be able to defend my writing choices to the point of plausibility, even if that's not your headcanon.

I never, if I can help it, let fanon or headcanon influence my character interpretations. As much as possible I try to apply only objective interpretations of direct canon.

Awesome stuff! Really liking Lemon and Lisbon too.

but the newcomer diverged from his counterpart by wearing his sand-colored mane cropped close and his tail docked. How are you defining docked? because from my experience with horses Big Mac *does* have his tail docked.

  I'd love to hear a differing opinion though. :unsuresweetie: *Tries to stop nerding out*

>>1124938 Huh. Good catch. I'm pretty sure that's what I was thinking when I concepted Meyer, so that's just an unfortunate word derp there XD Thanks for pointing that out, and for reading!

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