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RealityCheck

Joined August 2011
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Stories (10)

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“I have complete confidence that you will save the Crystal Empire.  Now go... there is no time to lose.”  The doors to the throne room closed, hiding the royal sisters from view.

Stunned, Twilight turned to go.  Princess Celestia wanted her – her! – to save an entire Empire from the forces of Darkness...

She didn’t just... give me a thirty-second infodump and... send me on my way?

No, surely... I mean, she wouldn’t...

It’s not such a big deal though, really?  I mean, she... does this sort of thing... to us... all the time...

Slowly, deep in Twilight’s brain, levers and switches were thrown, and meticulously engineered gears began to turn.  For the first time, something – some little meter or warning light deep in her psyche that had remained utterly dark her entire life – went ping...

...or perhaps, snap.

The Princesses had just turned back and were walking to their thrones, murmuring to each other, when there was a sudden flurry of knocking at the doors.  Surprised, Celestia and Luna looked back – but before either of them could raise their magic, the doors flew open with a bang.  There stood Twilight Sparkle, wearing a very unsettling smile.

“Ohhh, Princess,” she said in a sing-song voice as she trotted into the room.  “Just a few things I wanted to ask before I go, aheh.  After all, before I go rushing off to the Crystal Empire, I should make sure that I’ve prepared, right?

Celestia and Luna stared at one another, then at Twilight.  Celestia regarded her pupil, eyebrow raised.  “...Yyyes, of course, my faithful student,” she said hesitantly.  “What were you needing?”

“Oh, nothing much, just a few teeny-tiny things,” Twilight said with forced cheerfulness as she trotted past the thrones, heading for the far end of the room.  Both Princesses trailed after her, bemused.  “And I’m sure you can spare them – I mean, after all, you’re the Princesses, right?”

Celestia’s brow furrowed slightly.  She wasn’t sure where this was going.  “Such as?”

Twilight beamed like a schoolfilly.  “Oh, let’s start with the basics.  Equipment, supplies, a few train tickets...”  The smile slid off her face like it was greased as she stepped up next to the door to the royal vault.  “...The Elements of Harmony...”

Celestia started to protest.  “And what makes you think that – ”

“Evil unicorn king, cursed empire, vanished a thousand years, call it a hunch,” Twilight deadpanned.  “We’re pretty likely to need ‘em, and it’s a long way to send Spike to fetch ‘em when we do.”

“We keep the Elements here for safekeeping – ”

Twilight channeled her Inner Spike.  “And how well is that working out for you?” she said, eyebrows level.  “Out of the last three times we needed the Elements, and I mean desperately absolutely immediately needed them, you had put them ‘someplace safe.’  The first time, my friends and I nearly got killed retrieving them from the Everfree Forest.  The second time, Discord got them first anyway, right out from under your nose.  All he would have had to do was drop them in the ocean or chuck them in a live volcano.  If he hadn’t been an idiot, Equestria would have been screwed.

“And the third time, we never got to them at all!  Chrysalis and her army nearly had Canterlot for lunch because we couldn’t get to the vault that held Equestria’s most powerful weapon, and we couldn’t have unlocked it if we had!

“The whole thing’s stupid anyway.  My friends and I are the only ones who can use the Elements, and they only work when they and we are all together.  If someone wanted to take the Orbital Friendship Beam out of the equation, they’d just have to kidnap us – and not even all of us, just one.  Which they wouldn’t dare try if we had the Elements at hand to defend ourselves.  You might as well just let us keep the Elements with us all the time; at least we’d stand a fighting chance when whatever Sealed-Evil-in-a-Can due to escape this week shows up and tries to eat us.”  Throughout her entire monologue, Twilight had kept a neutral expression on her face.  It would take someone very observant to notice the twitch in one of her eyes.

Celestia’s normally benevolent expression had gone rather neutral as well.  “I... concede the point.  Very well,” she said, stepping forward to unlock the vault.

Luna suddenly brushed past her.  “Allow me, dear Sister,” she said, her voice suspiciously sweet.  She lowered her horn and unlocked the vault; then, with a flick of indigo magic, she retrieved the box with the elements inside and passed it to Twilight who, after opening it and confirming that the Elements were in fact inside, nodded and slipped it into her saddlebag.

“Anything else?” Celestia said, her voice a little cool.

Twilight scrunched up her nose and smirked.  “Ohhhh, just a few teeny-weeny other little things...”

Celestia sighed.  “What?

“Guards.  Soldiers.  You know – big, burly, covered in armor, all over the place, spend all their time flexing their muscles at the noblewomen, supposed to protect Equestria from its enemies...

“Twilight, I’m not caring for this tone...” Celestia said warningly.

“I’ve been thinking about that a while,” Twilight continued as if Celestia hadn’t spoken.  “That having a few soldiers along for a dangerous mission might be a good idea, I mean.  At least since, you know, that one time you sent me and five other teenage mares up a mountain to evict a giant fire-breathing dragon.  Or when you sent us out alone to face Discord. Or that time – ”

Celestia’s face was red.  “You were in no real danger from the dragon...”

No danger?! That dragon nearly had hickory-smoked unicorn for a bedtime snack!” Twilight shrieked.  The change was so startling that the Princesses actually took a step or two back, hastily reevaluating just how close the high-strung little unicorn was to an explosion.  The last time Twilight had lost her grip, ponies had been turned into houseplants, and the School for Gifted Unicorns ended up needing a new roof.

In the next blink Twilight had composed herself and was back to speaking in her normal voice.  “So I decided it would probably would be proper if, when I’m going out on a dangerous mission in the name of the Crown – like, say, now – that my friends and I have some backup.  Just a few someponies under my direction with more combat training and experience than a party planner, a dressmaker, a weather-pony, a veterinarian and a farmer.”  She held her forehooves apart.  “Juuuuust an eeny-weeny bit more.”

“Not that it’s particularly important,” Twilight went on breezily.  “I mean, my friends and I are only the Bearers of the Elements, it’s not like it would be a national catastrophe if we were stomped by a dragon, or eaten by an Ursa Major, or pincushioned with arrows by highwayponies, or kidnapped by buffalo, or – ”

“Point.  Made.” Celestia said tersely.  The Solar Diarch was developing a rather frosty demeanor as this little discussion went on.

The Lunar Diarch, however, was amused as hell.  “All quite sensible requests, Twilight Sparkle,” she said in a far-too-pleased voice.  “Canst thou think of anything else thou might desire...?”

“An expense account, maybe,” Twilight noted.  “And maybe access to some of the royal amenities, like the royal zeppelin or the chariot, seeing as we’re in a hurry?  Two or three unicorn mages from the Academy might be nice,” she added, without looking up.  She had laid out her saddlebags on the floor and was shuffling through their contents.  “In this case, one that’s versed in the Crystal Empire might be handy, seeing as how I know diddly-squat about the place.  If not, I could still use some magical help... and some scholastic.  Thus far the magical expertise on the team has been me – and a seamstress.”

She looked up.  “Come to think of it, we’re lopsided all the way through.  We’ve got the best flier in Equestria, and a pegasus who almost never flies, plus an earth pony who’s as strong as a team of oxen, and another who’s fifty percent cake by body weight.  It’s a miracle we haven’t been squashed like bugs half a dozen times.  Seeing as I’m trying to break a curse on an entire Empire, a few more ponies with some actual book knowledge might be, you know, useful.  Oh, and that reminds me: I have one more request...”

Twilight spun around and leapt forward, standing nose-to-nose with the Princess of the Sun.  Celestia stumbled back and fell down on her backside in surprise.

“Tell me what. The buck. Is going on.

Celestia, Diarch of the Sun, Princess of Equestria, the millennia-old alicorn ruler, babbled.  “What do you – I’ve told you – but I – everything you need to know – ”

Buffalo brownies!” Twilight said.  “All the way back to Nightmare Moon, you’ve been treating me like a mushroom; keeping me in the dark and feeding me loads of horseapples!”  Luna suppressed a snort of laughter.  Oblivious, Twilight went on speaking, mimicking the Solar Princess.  “Dear Twilight, get your nose out of those musty old books and go schedule a party... it’s not like Night Eternal is about to fall or anything...”

“I didn’t tell you about Nightmare Moon because if I had, the plan would have unraveled.  You had to make friends – real friends – for the Elements to work...” Celestia tried to explain calmly.

“You think maybe the time to start on that might’ve been a little sooner than the night before her return?!” Twilight yelled.  “And never mind that – a few heads-up notes someplace might have been appreciated!  ‘If you are reading this, Twilight, my demigod sister has returned from the moon, she can be defeated with the Elements of Harmony, here’s a map!’  ‘Dear Twilight, that ugly statue in the garden is an evil avatar of Chaos, be careful, don’t let him reverse your brain!  Here are a few dozen armed guards for when you face down a mad demigod of chaos!’  ‘Hey Twilight, guess what, my niece is marrying your brother!  But be on your guard, we’ve been threatened by the Changeling Kingdom!’  ‘Twilight, dragons can grow really really fast, keep an eye on Spike!’  ‘Oh by the way, Twilight, my pet bird is a phoenix, no need to worry if it looks sick or bursts into flame!’

“And now this time it’s ‘Dear Twilight, the Crystal Kingdom, previously ruled by an evil unicorn, has reappeared after a thousand years, it has a curse on it, go save it!’  What crystal kingdom?  What curse?  Where’s the evil leader, and how in Equestria am I supposed to save it?  I could get more information off the back of a hoofball bubblegum card!”

Celestia got to her hooves.  She towered over the ranting little unicorn, clearly losing her temper.  “You have been told all you need to know!” she said in the Canterlot Royal Voice. “I told you, this was to be a test – ”

Twilight was too far gone to even flinch. “A test?!” she shouted back.  “The fate of an entire kingdom at stake, and you want to make it a TEST?!

“All that tells me is that you already know all the answers, and precisely how to fix this, and you just aren’t telling me!  I don’t care what it is you’re ‘testing’ me for.  Forget it, I don’t care!  The welfare of other ponies is supposed to come first for us, no matter what.  So either tell me everything I need to know, or find somepony else to do this, because I’m not going to imperil hundreds or even thousands of innocent ponies trying to get a gold sticker from you on a TEST!

The throne room’s walls rang in the silence.  Celestia stood there in shock, staring at her pupil, mouth agape.  “So, what’s it going to be?” Twilight said, suddenly as mellow and cheerful as... well, truthfully, as she’d never been.

Celestia’s mouth closed so suddenly her teeth clicked.  She sighed, closed her eyes, and summoned her magic.  There was a pop!, and several items appeared in midair: a sizable book with a latch and an embossed cover; a large, ancient scroll; and several smaller scrolls with the royal seal.

“This volume is a brief history of the Crystal Empire, and is the most complete source of information we have on Sombra’s former kingdom,” she said.  “These scrolls give you the authority to recruit whatever troops you deem fit.  Show it to the acting Captain of the Guard.  This one is to the Headmaster of the Unicorn Academy, allowing you command the services of any of the scholars and researchers of the Academy for the duration of your mission... and this one is a blank check to the royal treasury.  Please keep all your receipts.”  The last item to go into Twilight’s saddlebags was the ancient-looking parchment.  “This... is a detailed description of the curse laid on the Crystal Empire – or at least, as much detail as we could ascertain – and some few notes on what might be necessary to break it.”  She looked down at her student, face impassive.  “Is there anything else you wish to say before you go, Twilight Sparkle?”

Twilight nodded.  “Yes.  I’m afraid I can no longer be your student.”  Pain shot across Princess Celestia’s features.  “I can’t be a pupil to somepony who is constantly misleading me, or deceiving me, or conducting little tests on me.  I can’t learn from somepony who is always... leaving me in the dark.”  She took a deep, calming breath.  “I don’t know what you had planned for me... and I really don’t care anymore.  After this mission is done... I quit.”

She put on her saddlebags, got to her feet, and bowed politely to both Princesses.  “I won’t let you down, your Majesties.”  And with a smile, she trotted out of the throne room.

The doors closed with a bang.  Celestia and Luna stared after the departed unicorn; Celestia, with an expression of shock and dismay and slowly dawning loss; Luna, with an enigmatic smirk.  Bewildered, Celestia looked at her sister.  She found little comfort in the seemingly-unfeeling grin on the Lunar Princess’ face.

“Oh, Luna... what has happened here?” she asked in dismay.

Luna gave a “tch!” sound and rolled her eyes.  “Thy own chess-playing and masterminding and oh-so-clever mummery has come a-cropper, is what has happened,” she said.  “Ponies speak of being unwilling pawns... but methinks even were they King and Queen, they would resent being played with.”

Celestia shook her head.  “But... I had such hopes for her,” she said.  “This test was to be such an important step...”

“Fie on thy test,” Luna said.  Her knowing smirk grew into a know-it-all grin.  “From what I did see, Twilight did pass the real test with flying colors.”  She sauntered past her unhappy sister.  “Will thou do as well on thy portion of the exam, I wonder?” she added, before vanishing into the shadows.

—— —— — —— — —— ——

Out in the hallway, in a dim alcove where nopony could see her, Twilight sat hunched over, weeping quietly.  After a few minutes her tears stopped; she wiped her eyes with a hoof and started walking again.  Places to go, ponies to see... enough time for regrets later.

There was a Crystal Empire to save.

King Francis was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport,

And one day as his lions fought, sat looking on the court;

The nobles filled the benches, and the ladies in their pride,

And ‘mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with one for whom he sighed:

And truly ‘twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show,

Valour and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.

Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid laughing jaws;

They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their paws;

With wallowing might and stifled roar they rolled on one another;

Till all the pit with sand and mane was in a thunderous smother;

The bloody foam above the bars came whisking through the air;

Said Francis then, “Faith, gentlemen, we’re better here than there.”

De Lorge’s love o’erheard the King, a beauteous lively dame

With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which always seemed the same;

She thought, the Count my lover is brave as brave can be;

He surely would do wondrous things to show his love of me;

King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is divine;

I’ll drop my glove, to prove his love; great glory will be mine.

She dropped her glove, to prove his love, then looked at him and smiled;

He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild:

The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regained his place,

Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady’s face.

By God!” said Francis, “rightly done!” and he rose from where he sat:

No love,” quoth he, “but vanity, sets love a task like that.”

The Glove and the Lions

By Leigh Hunt

Comments ( 55 )

#1 · 91w, 1d ago · 35 · ·

Dear Twilight Sparkle,

After you are done with your current mission, I understand that you will be without a teacher.  I believe I have a vacancy at approximately four times your previous salary plus gem allowance for any assistants you might need.

Sincerely,

Princess Luna, Diarch of Equestria, Princess of the Moon and Night, Keeper of the Stars and Planets, Matriarch of Dreams and Ruler of Shadows

#2 · 91w, 1d ago · · ·

If FIM wasn't a kids show Celestia would so had had it coming. Then again if it wasn't a tv show I doubt the main 6 would have made all that and escape unscathed...

Incomplete? Does that mean there is more coming or is that a mistake?

#3 · 91w, 1d ago · 2 · ·

Part of me wants to say Celestia's had this coming, even more so after how she walked out on Twilight in Royal Canterlot Wedding, and now it's as if it's all forgotten.

Part of me is sympathetic for Celestia.

Where do I go from here?

Your faithful watcher. :fluttercry:

#4 · 91w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

If FiM wasn't a kids show Celestia prob would have this coming to her... then again... if it wasn't a kids show she very well could be doing a lot more... so who knows?! :twilightsmile:

#5 · 91w, 1d ago · · ·

This is a comedy?  It comes off as blackly comedic tragedy to me.

While the premise is one rehashed again and again in the fandom, your execution is lovely and the emotional reactions of all three ponies are played out just perfectly.  I thought this was a one shot, but it seems to be Incomplete, so I'm looking forward to more!

#6 · 91w, 1d ago · · ·

Overall, a lot more believable than moping around about not being prepared.

#7 · 91w, 1d ago · 2 · 4 ·

While all your arguments though Twilight are logical they aren't ones she'd necessarily make, but then I don't think your writing Twilight in character.  That being said, I just felt the fic was "meh".

#8 · 91w, 23h ago · · ·

So, is this gonna turn into a series of chapters? Or is it just a one-shot and you forgot to set the status to Complete? I'm guessing series by the adventure tag, but for some reason the Story title keeps making me think one-shot... hmmm, a disturbance in the Pinkie Force, perhaps? :pinkiecrazy:

#9 · 91w, 23h ago · 4 · ·

>>1545500

Indeed, it's a bit out of character for Twilight. Largely because, as implied, she had a sudden overwhelming attack of logic.

>>1546015

Yes, there will be more. AFTER I see Episode 1 and 2 of season 3.

#10 · 91w, 23h ago · · ·

>>1546032 Alright. Thanks for clearing that up for me. I salute you good sir!

#11 · 91w, 23h ago · · ·

you know, I can think of a few reasons for Celestia's behavior.

As a very studious pony, she'll try to work using the information provided if you tell her things, instead of coming up with a solution on the fly.  When you may only get one chance best not to mess with trial and error.

Celestia probably had to manage things on her own and she wants to see if Twilight is up to the task.  Maybe she thinks Twilight could be her equal.

Normal ponies would slow the Elements of Harmony down.

#12 · 91w, 21h ago · 8 · ·

My perspective is that Celestia is so old--- thousands of years old--- that she's forgotten how to NOT treat other ponies like pawns in a master plan. She has the long, and I mean the looooooong perspective and she plays an equally long game.  At Celestia's age, anything not plotted out at least a decade in advance must feel spur-of-the-moment. Consequently she's forgotten how to let go.... how to let the chips fall where they may, to let ponies lay their own courses without secretly sticking her own hoof in someplace.

From another angle: to a 7 year old child, the planning an adult puts into even a simple outing to the beach would seem absolutely Machiavellian.... to say nothing of the planning they put into the child's future (sports, college, place in the family business, etc.) And when the child matures enough, that careful, well meaning yet horribly manipulative planning often produces great resentment, and even outright animosity.  Twilight just grew up--- hard and fast--- and realized that her loving mentor was manipulating her.

#13 · 91w, 20h ago · · ·

>>1547004

I almost feel like Celestia is letting the chips fall where they may by assigning these things to just the Elements of Harmony.  She's letting six random ponies determine the well being of Equestria.

Twilight is essentially bringing bodyguards along on this mission.  They could easily provide a layer of insulation from the Crystal Ponies that keeps Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie or Rarity out of their element.  And while Applejack and Rainbow Dash's honesty and loyalty may still provide support having to deal with the advice of the extra scholars and possibly be a bridge between Shy, Pinkie and Rarity to Twilight and/or the "professionals" she's bringing along is another distraction.  Of course I could also see Applejack getting a bit annoyed that she's being kept away from the farm for an extra long time because of any sort of procedures.  And if Dash's brashness is looked down on or Twilight spends to much time relying on the pros in a way that alienates any of the other Mane 6 she'd probably get pissed.

#14 · 91w, 18h ago · 12 · ·

>>1547363

every single thing Twilight has requested is nothing but common sense.  It's unknown territory, untouched by pony hooves in over a thousand years, filled with unknown dangers, recently (subjectively speaking) controlled by a dangerous enemy.... and let's not forget, apparently cursed.....

And she and her friends are, for all their experience, still just six college-age mares--- a student, a seamstress, a party planner, an animal caretaker, a weather pony, and a farmer. They have no diplomatic training, no arms or armor, no knowledge of the place they're going, not even a MAP.  In other cases--- Nightmare Moon, Discord, etc. it could almost, almost be argued that there were extenuating circumstances that kept Celestia from properly equipping and informing Twilight beforehand (though Twilight thoroughly punctures THAT excuse here as well). But this time there was no carefully hidden gamebreaker secret, no urgent emergency, no last- second urgency to even partially justify it.

It was as unconscionable of Celestia to send them into the Crystal Kingdom unassisted, unequipped, uninformed and unprotected as it was to send six unarmed girls to evict a sleeping dragon.

Real-life diplomatic/philanthropic envoys have a logistics tail a hundred times bigger than even what Twilight requested. And real leaders don't give a lone pony a Cliff notes breakdown of a national crisis, a pat on the back and a hearty fare thee well,  call it a 'test' and then push them out the door !

#15 · 91w, 12h ago · 6 · ·

I think Celestia just has that much faith in Twilight.  

#16 · 91w, 5h ago · 8 · ·

>>1549383

The point is that personal faith does not excuse royal foolishness. Celestia can have all the faith in the world in Twilight, that does not exempt her from making common sense decisions. And leaving your faithful student uninformed, unequipped and unsupported, much less routinely deceiving her, is not common sense.

Nor is dumping the fate of the world on her shoulders at random intervals. It's small wonder Twilight freaks out so much over the most trivial things; she has no way of knowing what minor event is about to turn into a "test" or a full-blown crisis. She already has OCPD; living with a teacher who plays headgames with her and springs life-or-death "tests" on her without warning has probably given her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

#17 · 90w, 6d ago · 2 · 2 ·

>>1547004 I get enough of that attitude being towards Dumbledore, let alone my beloved Celestia. I enjoy the whole genre savvy Twilight thing, but I hate that it happens at expense of my view of Celestia.

Both mostly out of character...:trixieshiftleft:

#18 · 90w, 6d ago · · ·

>>1544708

omg all of my yes XDDDD

#19 · 90w, 6d ago · · ·

Heh, lovely.  Keep it up Twilight.  You might need to get hazard pay while you are doing this.  Oh and pay your friends for their time lost from work.  Hey, for that matter stop and 'borrow' some books from the Crystal Kingdom on your way out since you need a new source of information.

#20 · 90w, 6d ago · · ·

Okay. I have a number of issues with this. They know next to nothing about the Crystal Empire. The captain of the freakin' royal guard and a freakin' alicorn will be heading there. As far as they know Sombra is defeated and the curse does nothing except cause the kingdom to vanish. Then there is the fact that against super powered villains only the Elements of Harmony are effective anyway. Also, I think we can assume that a lot of assorted necessary materials are implied, after all having Twi spend literally five minutes of airtime on a checklist would be tedious.

#21 · 90w, 6d ago · 6 · 1 ·

>>1552753

The only one out of character here is Twilight--- because she has a stunning moment of sanity where she asks why the hell an all-powerful alicorn with her own damn ARMY keeps sending six ponies barely out of their fillyhood to face epic dangers with little more than their bare hooves.  Celestia? Pretty much par for the course.

>>1553791

-- yes, Shining Armor and Cadence are going there, it's Cadence's new kingdom. Doesn't change the fact that the Bearers of the Elements still need more than what Celestia is giving them. And since you want to get "meta," she scarcely has to read off a checklist of equipment, as two sentences from Celestia--- "here are the elements, keep them with you just in case" and "Take whoever and whatever you think you need"--- would fix the whole

TVTROPES.ORG has a trope just for this situation. "With This Herring."

#22 · 90w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

>>1556334

I've been thinking about this fic a lot.  

Honestly, Twilight having a breakdown is always funny, but it's not enough to make this a comedy.  And the fact is, if Celestia is going to hand off all these guards and researchers to Twilight she could just as easily send them and leave the Mane 6 to their lives.

If you're going to analyze they whys I think a better question would be why she has so little faith in anyone but Twilight.  Could even have a seen where she sends a letter and reminds Twilight rather forcefully that she is in charge.  Perhaps making a comment along the lines of "I hope your new found ability in standing up to authority remains in good use in this mission.  I would remind you that however experienced or educated the ponies who are accompanying you are, that you are the leader in this mission, it is you that makes the decisions."

#23 · 89w, 3d ago · 5 · 2 ·

THank, you, thank you very much, you just pointed out in this fanfic the bigest issue I find in the show, and you make Twilight to say Celestia in the face: " please stop bying stupid and start to act like a wise ruler ).

So yea, I totaly agree:

1) Element bearers are the only ones that can KO super villans, if one of tham die or get kidnapped, well, everythink is screwed.

2) Element bearers are normal ponies, very talented, yet young and greatly outnumbered, they are not super heroes and if one of tham is out, it is over, basicaly they are very vunerable and should be keep behind frontline, sheess, I wonder when army of villans and assasins will start to drop into Twilight library or flutthershy house ( I quess never, because it seems that just like Celestia is stupid, villans are stupid as well, and it is sad, because I realy want Celestia to be a good and wise ruler, not stupid ruler or manipulator who risk fate of her country everyday ).

3) Mane 6 are alown, they are alwais alown to protect Equestria, never get backup, even princesses do not assist ( even thought they are very durable and have huge power ), even if it is all for the sake of giving tham experience for future fight,  it still not change the fact that mane 6 are alwais alown in dangers and entire army do nothink, even Luna is kept behind and we all so much want her to assist mane 6 ( if I would be one of mane 6, I would think why do I risk my live and my friends live for a country what do not give a buck about us ), if you will drop group of comandos into enemy terytory and than tell tham that they will never get reinforcement and they need to take entire army thamself, ofcourse it iwll greatly afect morale of the team ( bying betrayed ).

4) When Cadence and Shinning Armor saved Equestria from changelings invasion, they right away are send with mane 6 to suicude mission, it is like Celestia want to send the most importand ponies into dangers and do not bother to send expendable forces ( it is like she do it just to gable, the more risk, the more fun ).

5) Mane 6 are veeery cool and fun, but why they have to do everythink alown, it is just a stupid clishey that heroes must fight alown again villans and they armies, after all we all would like to see Wonderbolts assisting RainbowDash on her mission, some background ponies helping out in time of crisis, Luna assisting mane 6 and protecting tham from dangers, Celestia kicking some flanks, yea, we all would love to see THAT, so why to cut out what would be cool ?

Link -  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6DXhqsBYy8   this is a short 5 minutes scene showing that hero do not need to fight alown to be cool. ( basicaly it was a test, hero was not alown, he learned his lesson and gained a reward ).

So yea, all in all, I praise your story since it point out and fight everythink what annoy me in the show ( because I realy enjoy everythink else ), I will be looking foward to next chapters, only because MLP is kids show, it does not mean it have to be illogical and full of plot holes,  especialy if making stuff logical and fair for mane 6 would not hurt the show, or even make it far more cool ( basicaly do not take out what is good, just take out what is bad and replace it with somethink what is good ).

#24 · 89w, 2d ago · 2 · ·

I can see why you call yourself "Reality Check."

#25 · 89w, 12h ago · 4 · ·

This SO struck a cord.

Some personal history:

I don't fight dragons, or demi-gods, or invasions by shapeshifting predators.

I do a corporate job. An interesting job, mind you, where every 3-6 months you get a different client with a different industry and a different situation.

Now, we don't have managers per se - we form rag-tag bands for each project. We have mentors.

For the last 2 years my mentor has been throwing me head first into projects, telling

- Here's the client, here's his problem - now go and fix it.

You don't know a lick about the industry? Google it.

Need help? I think, someone out of 3000 people we employ did something like it at one point or the other. I think the name of the guy you should be looking for starts with an "H", but it might as well be an "N". Ask around."

For 2 years I had to walk into offices of people, who run huge enterprises, and pretend to understand their business better than they do.

I had to squirm and twist and squeeze any information source dry for info. I've lost sleep multiple times.

And I would at times send panicked e-mails to my mentor, claiming that we will be facing an angry lawsuit from a disgruntled client RIGHT NOW, if he does not help me out with some particular industry-specific question.

And  in a bout 33% of cases he would sweep in, give the client just enough to get them of our backs, but not nearly enough to get them satisfied - and then he would disappear in a puff of smoke. The other 66% of cases would be solved by me, my colleagues or divine intervention / pure luck.

Recently I've been introduced to the next wall, that I will be greeting with my face, I just had to ask:

"You do enjoy throwing me into water at the deep end, don't you? Not a single time for the last 2 years have you given me a proper lead-in, a proper setup or enough resources to do something right!"

And he answered:"Sure. But so far - have you ever failed ?"

At this point I see the end of the road.

Within our business we are rapidly running out of challenges, that are still new for me. Work did not get easy, but it becomes less surprising by day. And at one point I will be assigned by my company to mentor younger employees.

I have a pretty clear idea of how I will go around doing that.

#26 · 88w, 5d ago · 4 · ·

>>1625203

You should start by introducing your mentor to them, explaining how he mentored you and repeatedly risked the ruination of your company, and then punch your mentor in the balls.

My feel is that the guy was using you. Let you do all the work and the stressing and the panicking.... if you succeed, he gets another gold star on his next evaluation. If you fail, oh gee, so sad, YOU get fired and he gets someone else to pull the wagon.

Even if not, it was still a crappy thing to do. Just because throwing a kid in the deep end to teach them to swim worked from time to time, it's still a stupid and dangerous way to do it. People who recommend that teaching method forget that when it didn't work, and far too often it didn't, the consequences were a bit steep--- the kid either drowned, or  went from being a non-swimmer to being a non-swimmer with a crippling hysterical fear of the water. They also forget the people that invented that teaching method lived in a time when you could afford to lose one or two kids to drowning out of a family of twelve, and considered it a blessing that dysentery didn't get them first. Never trust anybody who advocates that method of training for whom the trainees are expendable.

#27 · 87w, 3d ago · 3 · 1 ·

This was, I don't know, kind of funny? It was incredibly preachy, to the point where Twilight might as well have been an SI.

Basically, you've run into the problem nearly every other author writing a story like this runs into. You're applying logic in a way that is completely pointless. What all these stories forget, is that this is a cartoon show. For entertainment. It almost never takes itself seriously, which makes me wonder why stories like this do the opposite.

Yes, all that stuff Twilight talks about does make sense (although many points could easily be countered, but that's beside the point). And if the show took itself more seriously and tried to be realistic, I'm sure it would do the same thing. However, that is not the case.

Sure, let them do the logical thing, and have every single episode solved in two minutes, or just not happen. Congratulations, you've ruined any chance at the show being entertaining, made the characters completely pointless, and have nothing else to talk about. Good job. :facehoof:

That's basically what this amounts to. You use obvious arguments in a situation that makes those arguments pointless. :facehoof:

I'm sorry for the rant, but I'm just tired of fics that seem so proud of destroying the characterization of everyone (especially Celestia. Authors love to hate her) in order to make arguments which, while correct, do nothing but completely miss the point.

#28 · 85w, 4d ago · 4 · ·

It's about time that somepony told Celestia that Twilight and her friends aren't chess pieces and that, no matter how noble the motives, sending them out unprepared into the face of one of history's worst dark wizards was asking for calamity.  I mean, let's face it, in the end it was a very tight margin between defeat and victory with Sombra.  A lot of this could have been prevented if Celestia hadn't decided that she wanted to use the opportunity to see just how good Twilight was at facing disasters semi- or un-prepared.

Something tells me that Celestia has been playing World of Warcraft for too long and has decided that a meeting with a single NPC with an exclamation mark over their head is enough to instigate a quest.  Unfortunately, real life isn't like that.

#29 · 81w, 5d ago · 4 · ·

I think I cried after her rant...it was beautiful

#30 · 70w, 2d ago · 4 · ·

>>1690554

Who do stories like this do the opposite? Because it's amusing to see Celestia get stood up to, and be put in her place. Because it's amusing to watch all the logical fallacies and fridge logic collapse upon themselves in a tangled mess.

In short, these stories exist not to reprimand the original source, but to explore what might happen if such an event happened logically. They're here for fun, and you should take into account the MST3K Mantra.

#31 · 69w, 3d ago · 4 · 1 ·

Princess Celestia's Status: Told.

#32 · 69w, 1d ago · 4 · 6 ·

This here neatly summarized every single problem with Celestia's rule. Kudos to you :twilightsmile:

Also, Luna and Twilight need to stage a coup and form a New Lunar Republic :pinkiecrazy:

#33 · 67w, 1d ago · 2 · ·

Buffalo Brownies...phffffft Bwahahahaha!!:rainbowlaugh:

We all know what that is!

#34 · 66w, 5d ago · · ·

Down with Trollestia!:trollestia:

#35 · 63w, 1d ago · · ·

>>1625203 I wish you luck In you're business.:twilightsmile: It sounds like you'll need it.:twilightoops:

#36 · 62w, 3d ago · · ·

I some how just pictured Luna looking at Celestia and making this noise.

#37 · 60w, 3d ago · 1 · 2 ·

Wow. . . just wow. Twilight is actually using her reasoning skills! It's a miracle!:twilightblush:

All I got to say is this fic might just be a rant against Celestia, but then again we do need to be pointed out the plot holes.

#38 · 60w, 2d ago · 3 · ·

This is without a doubt one of the single greatest fics I've ever read.  And I only read the first chapter so far.

You, my friend, have a fav AND a new follower.

~Skeeter The Lurker

#39 · 59w, 19h ago · 3 · ·

"Dear Twilight, get your nose out of those musty old books and go schedule a party.....it's not like Night Eternal is about to fall or anything... "

episode 1 in a nutshell

#40 · 58w, 6d ago · 6 · ·

>>1552753 Dumbledore turned out to be a douche. He kept misleading and under-informing Harry the entire series, even after it had long proven to be a stupid and counterproductive thing to do. And underneath it all, it turned out that, thanks to that prophecy, he was planning solely on using Harry as a sacrificial lamb.

World's greatest wizard and he couldn't figure out how to deal with one disaffected homicidal goth sorcerer better than that.

#41 · 58w, 3d ago · · ·

Wow, Celestia just got served. While I can think of justifications for the other incidents (Nightmare Moon, Discord, the dragon smoke) this one I got nothing.

Aside from the deconstruction rant, there is good writing. Emotion and characterization and such. My favorite part is Luna's snarking.

#42 · 56w, 6d ago · 7 · 18 ·

I honestly cannot get behind this fic. Firstly it's framed without an AU tag which I think it should have due to it's AU nature; but seeing as it is not then from my understanding fics without the AU tag are meant to fit with the canon even when they are "for want of a nail". But Twilight is using terms she's never seen using before and has access to a large amount of information she did not have in the premiere;.Additionally Celestia's initial warning made no mention of Sombra returning and Cadence and SH seemed rather surprised and ignorant of exactly who/what the threat was, so it seems likely that Celestia did not know he would return either and considering she and Luna turning him into shadows that seems fair enough.

But also  using the word "infodump" or orbital friendship beam, ETC are not a term that has ever been used in the series, nor are they really part of a normal persons vocabulary  so much as internet slang; so it feels odd for a pony like Twilight to be using them. I know this sounds minor, but this sort of thing turned up a great deal through-out the first chapter and can take a person out of the scene when they do.

Additionally, I don't think Twilight or her friends are teenagers, or just barely out of fillyhood, considering  all of her friends have full time work and live out of home, i'd say they are at least adults; also soldiers seem unnecessary considering they have the elements of harmony, something they forgot to ask for when they left in canon, and kind of risky. The guards haven't proven themselves much use against any of the other threats that attacked the ponies and without things like the Elements of Harmony, they'd essentially be serving as meat shields that the mane cast don't need so Twilight asking for them seems kind of needless and risking their lives.

Now onto the dragon, Celestia's mission involved the mane cast having to go and ask the dragon to move away form the town it was poisoning with smoke, the mane cast did not do this and instead attacked it and tried to rob it; the dragon attacking them in response seems quite reasonable in self defense. By this I mean it was not Celestia's fault, she was right, the dragon was no threat and would not have been had the cast simply spoken to it rather than assault it; so blaming her for their danger seems odd. Additionally, none of the other events that Twilight listed can be tied or or are/were Celestia's fault in many cases they were circumstances beyond control or the mane casts fault.

Now onto Twilight's discussion about Celestia not giving her information when she needs it. Starting with NMM, perhaps Celestia could have sent her out to make friends sooner, in the same vein it seems Twilight showed no interesting in friends and ran away from them and even when she had orders from Celestia and reassurance that an old story was nothing but that still ignored her orders. Plus telling Twilight to make friends to stop NMM wouldd probably have been counter productive, something that was brought up later I will concede.

But on some of Twilight's other complaints, while Celestia is a great strategist, I don't think she could have accurately predicted where Twilight would be exactly when NMM returned in order to leave her a message; that also could have risked drawing NMMs attention even sooner than in canon. A map may well have been counter productive, as Twilight, considering her personality and powers, likely would have dismissed the need for helps from the others had she had a map and some sort of guide from Celestia which would have implied she was meant to do it alone, or at least didn't need others to help her.

Now onto the other villains; i'm not really sure how knowing about Discord being a statue would have made a difference in matters seeing as the mane cast had never seen it or interacted with it on screen and were not tied to his release and Celestia herself did not actually expect his return, believing him to have been beaten long ago. Also considering how easily Discord took out the mane six, including Twilight armed guards don't seem like they would have been of much use and would likely have been like serving gems to a dragon.

As for the changelings, it was specified that a threat was made against Canterlot but not necessarily by what, considering Cadence felt the need to explain what a changeling was and even Celestia seemed surprised she may well not have known exactly who/what the threat was.

I'm pretty sure it's also been stated that Celestia wanted to learn more about dragons as she knew very little about them which is why Spike was around in the first place, so it doesn't seem unreasonable for her not to know they grow quickly when greedy. Considering Philomena is the royal pet, it's always seemed odd to me that every character, especially Twilight, knows nothing about it, Celestia herself may well have assumed they knew and not realized; seeing as she did bring him so others could see him do what ever it is phoenixes do when they restart it seems likely she did not think it would be a problem, or that someone would steal it.

Considering Celestia's personality it seems unlikely she would willing endanger the lives of others if her plans had not already taken everything needed into consideration, that she has access to at the time and seeing as Celestia made no mention of Sombra returning, her "knowing" is a creation for the purposes of the story. Additionally Celestia did say that she knew little of the crystal empire, so again her having access to all this information is something created for the purposes of this story.

A story that seems to exist almost entirely to bash Celestia.

Now as for Luna;s reaction, that seems, rather OOC (though I feel everyone behaved OOC in this story. Sorry) But Luna especially, it also seems rather hypocritical for her to insult Celestia's strategies since Luna tried to destroy the entire world because she felt under appreciated and was only saved thanks to Celestia's gambit. So her insulting Celestia, her sister both of whom have expressed a great deal of affection and love for one another, and her methods, treating her as the bad guy seems extremely hypocritical and OOC.

In conclusion, I find this story to be mean spirited and inconsistent with the established series, with a number of changes made to the source material to suit, what I consider to be a bias attack on Celestia's character. The grammar was goof though.

Just to note I did read the ending, but while that takes some of the sting out, it doesn't really change my issues with this story. I am sorry if I have offended.

#43 · 34w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

My reaction throughout this entire chapter:

#44 · 26w, 5d ago · · ·

>>2793330

Honestly, it's a fiction of a fictional story that obviously looks like a satire, why would you expect it to 'fall in line' with proper story?

Personally, i adore the first chapter (the only one i read so far). Sure, it's not 100% Twilight Sparkle in character and all that, but i felt gargantuan flood of satisfaction after seeing Twilight blurt out most things that annoyed the hell out of me during the show. :yay:

Good show. :moustache:

#45 · 24w, 4d ago · · ·

I might want to use that poem in a story I'm writing. Did you write it? If not, who do I ask for permission to borrow it?

#46 · 23w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>1544708

Dear Princess Luna

I accept your generous Offer.

Sincerely,

Twilight Sparkle, Element of Magic and Librarian at the Ponyville Library.

Nice move Twilight! Finally she has thecommon sense to wonder what is with her teacher's manipulations! Buffalo Brownies, we all know what that means in english. Have a stache.:moustache:

#47 · 20w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

A lot of this stuff I don't think Celestia can actually be blamed for, but I am happy to see someone other than myself is annoyed by the "plot" of Crystal Empire. Why does Twilight needed to be "tested" on whether or not she'll sacrifice her grades for the sake of thousands of innocent ponies? If Twilight cared more about her grades than countless innocents, she wouldn't be the sweet, likable character we fell in love with back in the pilot, and she has made way more selfless sacrifices throughout the series. Heck in one episodes, she didn't care if her birthday party was ditched so long as she got to help a friend advance her career.

So either tell me everything I need to know, or find somepony else to do this, because I’m not going to imperil hundreds or even thousands of innocent ponies trying to get a gold sticker from you on a TEST!”

Bingo, had I been in Twilight's place, I would have been seriously offended. I think Celestia's getting blamed for a bunch of stuff that's not her fault, but this episode by itself needed something like this.

“No danger?! That dragon nearly had hickory-smoked unicorn for a bedtime snack!”

To be fair, that wouldn't have happened if Rainbow Dash hadn't provoked him

#48 · 17w, 4d ago · · ·

DAmn, i read this story three times now and this chapter never, EVER gets less satisfying. :rainbowdetermined2:

#49 · 17w, 3h ago · 1 · ·

>>3921909

The poem was written by an English poet back in 1800-something. I'm pretty sure it's open use by now.

#50 · 12w, 5d ago · · ·

>>1546032 I know, right? It's like a wizard in Harry Potter suddenly gaining logic or common sense. Once you do, everything just falls apart with how stupid and/or manipulative everything is.

Not sure why it's taken me this long to read this, but I know I'm gonna enjoy it! :eeyup:

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