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It's up to us to tell their story now. Let's make it a happy one. :twilightsmile:        The ending has loopholes. Use them. Make an even brighter future. :raritywink:

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"Dragon Science", Immortality, and how to save the ones you love in a world of magic. · 6:12pm Dec 2nd, 2019

It took years, and Twilight hadn't even expected it to happen anymore at this point.

Out of all her friends, Rainbow Dash was the first to ascend.

"You know of my plans for Equestria," Celestia said. "To someday end the scourge of mortality upon our little ponies."

"It is not good that some few should be blessed with endless youth, while so many of our subjects wither like flowers cut from the vine," Luna said somberly. "Long have we sought to share our gift of longevity and youth with others."

- RealityCheck's "The Great Alicorn Hunt"

...I don't know about the chances of literally turning everypony in Equestria into alicorns, or how plausible that would be as a story without jumping the shark. :rainbowhuh:

Well, unless it is a 60+ chapter epic just to achieve that goal long-term. (See: The Great Alicorn Hunt) :ajsmug:

So alicornhood may be achievable for Twilight's friends - but not necessarily for everypony.

But alicornhood is far from the only method of staving off the allegedly inevitable.

Case in point, Maran's "Earth Ponies are Overpowered":

EEarth Ponies Are Overpowered
Twilight Sparkle is an expert in unicorn magic, but earth pony magic remains a mystery to her. She's determined to uncover the earth tribe's secrets. What she learns will change her life . . . And it just might change Applejack's life as well.
Maran · 22k words  ·  1,393  24 · 16k views
EEarth Ponies Are Blessed with Suck
As Twilight works to improve her life infusion treatment, Maud stops by to offer her expertise. There's just one problem: Maud isn't as thrilled as Twilight and her friends about using earth pony magic to make everyone immortal.
Maran · 19k words  ·  91  2 · 1k views

Would Twilight really let her friends die? Any of her friends? Or her friends' families? Her own family? Wouldn't she pull out every trick in her books, and even those not in her books, to save them? :derpyderp1:

From Twilight and Starlight finding clever new ways to combine existing spells, to re-purposing magical artifacts using modern ways to circumvent side effects and spread their benefits to the masses, to international cooperation leading to the greatest achievement in Equus' history — it's a world of magic. Use it. :raritywink:

What follows are just a few examples, coupled with story prompts, free for grabs, since I'm too slow to write 'em myself. :twilightblush:



Smolder comes to a horrifying realization.

Then she gets angry about it.

Her friends are her hoard.

And if there's one thing dragons absolutely can't stand, it's when somecreature would dare to steal from their hoard... :twilightangry2:

Dragon Science

Dragons live for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Other creatures usually don't.

One dragon is planning to change this.

"...What is it about dragons that makes us live so much longer? And how do we give it to other creatures?"

Image from here. I'm guessing that's the artist? I can't find another source. Would've picked Smolder for the picture, but, for some reason nopony's ever drawn Smolder in a lab coat yet. Tsk, tsk. :-/

From a dragon's perspective, ponies, changelings, griffons, kirin, hippogryphs, yaks - they all die young. A century or two? That's nothing! Some dragons take longer naps than that! :twilightoops:

And Smolder wouldn't be alone in her thinking.

If nothing is done, a mere century or two from now, the dragon nation will secede from the Friendship Union, much of its population struck with grief. :unsuresweetie:

"This is why dragons shouldn't make friends with non-dragons!" :twilightoops:

But what is it about dragons that makes them so incredibly long-lived? What quirk of their magic, or biology, would gift them with what, to most ponies, would seem like neigh-eternal youth and life?

Fortunately, Equestria now has something it didn't have in the past: An ample supply of willing dragon test subjects who don't want to lose their friends, and the combined lore and magical resources and artifacts of multiple nations all working together. :twilightsmile:

Let's science this! :pinkiecrazy:


Wouldn't Twilight, Cadence, and Flurry Heart do everything in their power to save Shining Armor from dying?

If everything else had failed, or progress on permanent age-reversal was simply too slow... all they'd need to do is to buy time.


[vectors used: Shining and Cadence by 90sigma, background by Mandydax, image compiled by me]

I will wait for you

Shining Armor, unlike his sister, wife, and daughter, is not an alicorn.

He knows he won't live forever.

But if he lives long enough, he just might.


...And once a year, Shining is unfrozen, to spend a day with his family. :fluttershysad:

Oh, the potential for romantic drama! :raritycry:

Of course this isn't an optimal solution. But if you can keep somepony alive long enough, it gives you time to find a better solution. :twilightsmile:

Petrification as life extension, a form of "cryostasis" - a way of reaching a future where one can be made young again... or more. :raritywink:

(Although, come to think of it... Shining has an awful lot of alicorns in his family. By way of "sympathetic magic" alone, his ascension should be all but ensured. :ajsmug:

Or, maybe, all it takes is the combined alicorn power of Twilight, Cadence, Flurry, and Flurry's daughter and grandson and great granddaughters combined to brute-force the issue.[1] :trollestia:)
[1] Celestia, Luna, and the rest of the long-since ascended Mane 6 helped out too.

...And there is no reason this method can't be used on anycreature willing to undergo it! :pinkiegasp:

Put them on sedatives before petrification to make absolutely sure they aren't awake while in stone. Do shorter test-runs first, revive them and ask if they're okay. Visit their statue daily, on the off chance the sedatives somehow failed. Revive them periodically once a year anyway, just to check, and give them the option to opt-out. The source of drama could be the question to undergo the procedure in the first place.

It's not life. But they're also not gonna die, until a "cure" can be found. There, all-purpose death-prevention, and it already exists in canon. :raritywink:

It isn't limited to just "saving Shining Armor", is what I'm saying. :pinkiehappy:

Actually, now that I think of it, I do seem to recall a certain story... :duck:

EThe Thousand Year Romance Of Clover The Clever
Clover the Clever has found a love so pure and true that no pony can stop it. But even the greatest love cannot conquer death itself... so Clover will keep looking until she finds something that can.
Benman · 2.6k words  ·  316  8 · 4.1k views


Or the completely angst-free version: FanofMostEverything had a more positive spin on the idea - petrification combined with a spell of animation to effectively turn someone who'd been petrified into a golem of themselves.

I bet Maud would love that. :twilightsmile:

And, again, it could be used on anycreature willing to undergo the procedure. :pinkiehappy:

(Mudbriar could be a dryad if he wants to. I'm sure Twilight/Starlight/Mage Meadowbrook could wrangle something together using a spell of animation and that "turns you into a tree" plant. Trees do tend to live for centuries.)

(Petrification-golemancy may even be reversible, if a better option is found later! :scootangel:)


Or, just transfer somepony's spirit into a golem. Doesn't have to be made of stone.

Wait long enough - i.e., via petrification-stasis, or just live long enough through other means - and those'll grow quite... sophisticated. :raritywink:

(I suppose attempts at golemancy were made in the past, some even successful - but it was never an easily reproducible, side-effect- nor particularly "risk-free" procedure... until now. :derpytongue2:)


Oh, and ghosts.

"I think I'll stick around for a while longer. It's not like the afterlife's going anywhere." :raritywink:

You can easily write a romance involving a ghost who'd rather stay with their beloved than to "move on". Because...

"The afterlife can wait. But I could never leave you." :pinkiesmile: :heart:

...I could so see alicorn Pinkie, ghost Cheese Sandwich, and cyborg Lil' Cheese (and their many, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren) strolling down Ponyville's space port 600 years in the future buying groceries. You know, normal Cheese-Pie family stuff, nothing unusual here. :pinkiecrazy:

And come on, being a ghost would be just the best Nightmare Night costume, and soooo useful for all kinds of pranks! :derpytongue2:

(I can imagine him going "Boo!" at his own funeral. :scootangel:)

And you probably can still put a ghost inside a golem body later too if you want to get "physical". :raritywink:

(If you want justification, why this sort of thing doesn't happen all the time, then... are you seriously questioning the Cheese-Pie clan? :pinkiecrazy:
Or the determination and magical prowess of Twilight and her student(s) combined with modern achievements made through international collaboration to make it possible? :trollestia:)


"Are you here to pass on a message from beyond the grave to tell me someone put an indigestable piece of celery in your breakfast cereal that went down the wrong pipe, and as your final unresolved business you're here to help me track down whodunnit, but you have to do it in cryptic sharades because there's a-"

A translucent hoof on her mouth silenced her in an instant.

"No." Cheese said, smiling.

Pinkie blinked, surprised, still silent behind his hoof.

Cheese looked at his son. At his wife.

"The afterlife can wait. But I could never leave you."

The two pulled him into a hug at the same time, unperturbed by his ghostly nature or lack of physical substance, as always.

"How... how is... how is this even possible...?" One of the nine other alicorns in the room muttered breathlessly.

With their attention on the stage, nopony noticed the sparkling projection in the form of a purple alicorn standing in the back. Nor, when she and Discord exchanged hoof/clawbumps.


And necromancy. Can't forget necromancy.

Now, usually, necromancy gets a bad reputation, involves waaay too much dark magic, and has a tendency not to work out in favor of the one being un-un-alived, which is probably why it was outlawed by the Celestia-government.

But when you have the determination, magical genius, and the funding from the new Equestrian government to do it right... :raritywink:

"Sorry it took us so long to resurrect you. Don't you worry, we'll have you fixed up in no time..."


...And the best part: You can use necromancy after someone already died. :applejackconfused:

"'Tis ain't natural... but Ah don' care!" :ajsmug:


The easy solutions, and how to make them feel plausible:

There are some solutions to the problem of mortality that are almost too easy. Actually, no, they are too easy - not just making for unsatisfying storytelling using a deus ex machine solution, but outright making you question ponies' motives for not using them earlier, not just for the Mane 6's closest family and friends, but for the general public. :twilightoops:

These "simple solutions" may work for a silly comedy where you don't ask questions like this - but not for a serious narrative.

...Which makes you wonder: What's the catch?

I've seen some people suggest that Discord could just snap his claw, and undo death like it was nothing. :derpyderp1:

(Pretty sure Sombra was already an immortal dark magic cloud horse. His horn surviving the blast from the Crystal Heart was usually enough in our old stories for him to return. So... I'd say he doesn't count.)

Okay, but if Discord can bring back the dead on a complete whim, why couldn't he bring back Applejack's parents? Or anypony else? Or to just stop all ponies on their death beds from dying altogether? :applejackconfused:

Or are you saying he could totally do that, with little to no effort, but he won't? :twilightoops:

'Cause that'd be pretty unforgivable. :unsuresweetie:

Wouldn't Fluttershy want him to? Wouldn't other ponies beg him to? Or, beg Fluttershy to ask him? :fluttershysad:

...Then again, we've seen often enough that even Discord's power is not without limits or equal.

What, if "bringing back the dead", or "stopping death" is something Discord could indeed do... but it was actually extremely hard, dangerous and risky, even for him. :rainbowderp:

It would make the story feel more believable, more "real", if it wasn't just a risk-free triviality for him.

But that doesn't mean he couldn't damn well give his best and succeed. :rainbowdetermined2:

And it doesn't mean he couldn't do even better, bring back more ponies, if he had help from his friends. :ajsmug:

The Afterlife Heist

"...And don't you try telling me it's against the, ughh, 'natural order'." Discord spat the last two words in distaste, one of which hit Twilight's cheek. It slid down with a wet 'glorp'.

Twilight didn't rise to the bait, wiping its residue off with the back of a hoof without ever breaking eye-contact.

"I wasn't going to stop you," she said in a tone carrying complex emotions.

Discord blinked. "You're... not?"

Twilight gave him a level glare. "You're planning a heist on the afterlife? You're going to need somepony to organize it."

Discord just stared at her, his mouth hanging open ever so slightly, his jaw very much not hitting the floor as a form of visual gag.

The Princess of Equestria levitated her long, long list of scheduled activities over to her. And then neatly tore it in half.

This time, Discord's jaw did hit the floor. Again, it failed to so any more than merely figuratively.

"In other words..." Twilight Sparkle's face settled on a thin smile that was determined and utterly no-nonsense. "I want in."

It is downright implausible that "age spells" exist, yet, somehow, nopony is using them to stop ponies from dying, or to even just revert the elderly back to their prime?! :rainbowhuh:

Maybe age spells aren't permanent, and they have lasting negative side effects if used too frequently? Maybe if you use them too much, for too long, its effect lessens, and you end up aging faster instead? :applejackconfused:

But then... why aren't they permanent? What's causing the reversal? And how do you prevent it? :trixieshiftleft:

...What about species changing spells?

What would be the long-term effects of turning a pony into, say, a dragon? :rainbowdetermined2:

Would their lifespan increase? :rainbowderp:

Or would they still just age the same? Their breezie-forms still have horns and cutie marks, after all - their bodies clearly still have pony-magic, rather than breezie-magic, at least to some extent.

And, I imagine, "being proud of your tribe" is something deeply ingrained in pony culture. Earth ponies shouldn't envy unicorns or pegasi, nor vice versa. So, permanently changing species would be... a little unsettling to most ponies. Definitely a source of drama.

Still... how is it, that this was not done before? :rainbowhuh:

Surely, throughout all of history, there were plenty of powerful mages capable of casting the spell who wished to live forever (or close enough)... so why wouldn't any of them have tried that? :applejackunsure:

Is the spell particularly difficult to apply to a pony when using a dragon as reference, and cooperative dragons willing to sit still long enough were in short supply? Seems... insufficient a cause. :trixieshiftright:

Does the species change spell simply wear off, and would have to be reapplied constantly to have any meaningful impact on life expectancy - a process possible to do, but extremely tedious? If so, could the spell be improved to last longer, or even made permanent? :rainbowderp:

Or does the spell simply not do much for increasing life expectancy after all? Does a pony not truly become a dragon, because it only changes their body... but not their magic? :trixieshiftleft:

So what, if "age spells" and "species transformation" spells were incapable of granting immortality on their own - but could they be used as a starting point for further research? :raritystarry:

...For instance, what, if, while turned into a dragon, a pony got a magic transfusion from a dragon? Would such a thing be possible? How would that affect their aging? Would it prolong the transformation spell or even make it permanent, or create some sort of long-lived hybrid once enough dragon magic has been infused? What would the result look like?

And has anypony really studied the exact effects of aging spells, something only the "highest level unicorns" can cast to even have a chance to study it? Can you gain insights into how aging works in general, and how to stop it on a biomagical level? :derpyderp1:

What, if you had access to an advanced human biology and genetics laboratory equipment and aging spells? :rainbowderp:

...And what if you also had the Princess of Magical Friendship on your side, telling human-world's magic to go behave, this is important.

Let's solve the problem - with Twience! :pinkiecrazy:

And once you have a scientific solution... you can share it with the world.

Once you have a workable solution, you can save everyone. :twilightsmile:

And they all lived happily ever after. :pinkiehappy:

All story prompts you see here are free for grabs - I mean, you know my writing pace. :twilightsheepish:

I'd love to see what somebody does with 'em, or if I can perhaps inspire others. :twilightsmile:

Lastly, a group relevant to the subject: "Twilight will STILL not outlive her friends". Title and group-folders are self-explanatory. (Although, be aware that both directions of the statement are explored! :twilightoops:)

Lastlily, a relevant story by FanOfMostEverything. But you all knew that one already.

EMemento Morient
Twilight finds a bit of free time after taking the throne. And then Discord.
FanOfMostEverything · 4.8k words  ·  315  9 · 4k views

Related blog posts and story prompts:

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Comments ( 31 )

I do hope you explore some of these possibilities in your own stories. Goodness knows you're passionate enough at the idea phase. :raritywink:

Yeah, age spells are down to maybe a single-digit number of potential casters at any given time, most of which would end up being heroes and dying doing something heroic. (Which is actually a potential answer to "Twilight will not outlive her friends" because Rainbow Dash made the question of natural causes irrelevant, and to my knowledge I'm only the first person to posit the second part of that)

Twilight will not outlive her friends

Personally, I special-cased each other member of the Mane 6 in a different way so that I didn't have to deal with the societal upheaval this sort of thing would cause. Shining Armor I don't have a definite answer for yet, but at the time he'd have logically been included in the statement so I sort of need one.

Awkward shuffle to recc Dorkness's <Sufficiently Advanced" and my own "Diary of the Dead" (in rewrites)

The ghost idea has already been done, in a way:

EThe Ghosts of Harmony
Twilight’s friends were getting old. It was only a matter of time until the worst happened. And what was that terrifying sound?
Forthwith · 1.8k words  ·  467  16 · 5.6k views

Honestly, I personally think the Mane 6 becoming alicorns would be the best solution. If Equestria had 6 ruling princesses, it meant they could rule in shifts, giving Twilight her well deserved time off to hang out with her friends again - well, minus the one or two currently handling the nation at that moment, but they'll rotate out with two others later, you get the idea.

Or divide responsibilities. Or something.

The point is, if there were more princesses, each princess could get more time off.

AND they'd be immortal to boot. Win-win!

Giving them extra anti-death protection besides that is always an option. Hay, it could just be because of whatever domain they end up being the alicorn of.


My problem is usually that I get stuck on transitions, either between scenes or even just individual paragraphs. I just don't have a good method of quickly figuring out how to connect certain bits in a chapter, yet am well-read enough to know something should be there. Often it ends up just being a trivial thing that's missing, too, like a completely non-plot relevant tangent that still needs to be there for making the world and characters feel "real".

Or I need to write some extra scene for "padding" to make two events feel "paced" right, instead of "important thing1imporant thing2important thing3", but I also want to make the padding interesting - "much ado about nothing" is something that I often find difficult though, or only able to do in very small doses, not enough to make "padding", and I find I can't bring myself to simply write "crappy, boring padding". :twilightoops:

This is why I often get a chapter done, like, 70% in the first month, then spend the next few months getting it to 90%, and the next few years actually finishing it. :twilightblush:

Ah, I remember reading this one. :pinkiesmile:

Though I'd have liked it if the story had gone and then showed us the "slice of life" of Twilight's ghostly friends just continuing their lives.


ghostly friends just continuing their lives

Should we tell him?

I like all of these. The Smoulder one is especially interesting because you could equally apply that to Spike's point of view. I mean the girls are equally as much Spike's friends as they are Twilight's....

Ah, oh well. Thought I'd make sure you'd seen it! :)

Heh. :)

Yeah. Though Smolder has a slightly different perspective - she's grown up among dragons, while Spike has grown up among ponies.

For Spike, his realization was "I'm gonna outlive them all, because I'm a dragon", and he probably already knew that for a loooong time on a subconscious level without it really hitting home. :ajsleepy:

For Smolder, her realization was something akin to learning all her friends are going to die of some "deadly disease" prematurely - because from her perspective, she considers one or two centuries to be too young to die. And she hasn't grown up among ponies, so she had probably heard about "short-lived creatures" before at some point in her life, but never consciously made the connection. So that realization would hit her in gut all at once in a single moment, not the creeping fear Spike might have been suppressing from conscious thought for most of his life.

Imagine learning that changelings, being insectoid, had a maximum lifespan of 15 - 20 years. That Ocellus had maybe 10 or so years left to live. She wouldn't exactly die tomorrow, but you'd still be horrified at the injustice of it, among other emotions. That's how Smolder feels. :applejackconfused:

So naturally, Smolder's immediate reaction would be "F%&K THIS!" and "how do I punch the grim reaper in the face?" :twilightangry2:

But yeah, I could see Smolder having a conversation with Spike, with Spike being put in an extremely uncomfortable situation - because he's grown up among ponies, his perspective is that "100 - 200" years is long, and he and Twilight are the outliers. So he suddenly, painfully, finds himself arguing the "other side of the argument" in an attempt to reassure Smolder that "it's okay" (because that's what Spike kept telling himself for most of his life - if he really believes it is a different thing), only for Smolder to throw it all in his face, which hurts.

So... big drama. :twilightoops:

I could even see Smoulder confronting Twilight in that scenario.
"You're the Princess of Friendship! How could you let the rest of your friends die without doing anything about it!?" Smoulder of course being very angry and irrational at that moment.


But yeah, I could see Smolder having a conversation with Spike, with Spike being put in an extremely uncomfortable situation, [...] [attempting] to reassure Smolder that "it's okay" [...], only for Smolder to throw it all in his face, which hurts.

"How - how can you just roll over and just take it?" Smolder snarled at him in outright disgust.

Spike spun on her, angry tears gleaming in the corners of his eyes. "WELL WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!"

"Irrational and angry dragon yelling at scientifically-minded alicorn" could actually make for a dramatic scene, and could force Twilight to think about the problem in a way different from how she's tackled it before. Here is someone blaming her for not finding the secret to immortality, and Smolder could say all sorts of hurtful things to Twilight in her rage.

And maybe something Smolder says eventually clicks in her head and starts her going down the path that ends up leading to discovering the secret to infusing dragon longevity into other creatures.

It'll probably be a long road of discovery and trial and error - which is, why we haven't seen any immediate effects in that future. But it doesn't mean they can't still develop a procedure in time. I mean, everypony may have had aging wrinkles, but they weren't that old yet. More like, first signs of aging. There's still time. (That, and there's always petrification as a middle step to buy time until a cure is found.)

Cybernetics ho

Nice thoughts here. I've had a thing for roboticization myself at times. And I was also ticked off at the creators apparently lying to us, or telling us a 'certain point of view.'

That being said, I can imagine some ponies on the Other Side, being annoyed at their loved ones refusing to step through the door already (though being family they won't press the issue.)

I'm reminded of the cartoon Fraidy Cat, where of the ghosts of his eight other lives, his seventh life, an undertaker named Jasper, is the ghost that is the LEAST troublesome, is the one that wants Fraidy Cat to just join his other eight lives in the spirit world already, but never actively tries to bring about Fraidy's end.

True which is why I kept it to Twilight's close friends in my fic.

That would be a very heated conversation and also very fun to write.
"Honestly Princess how can you be so selfish?"
Twilight gazed down upon the obviously very angry dragon in shock. Selfish? Her? How could she be selfish?
"You might be willing to bear the loss of your friends due to some pony notion of 'destiny' but Spike doesn't deserve to outlive his friends, he doesn't deserve to outlive Rarity.."

In my fanfic's epilogue, there are a LOT of Alicorns around and OTHER kinds of ascendants (Spike becoming a Ryujin). Gilda was a notable exception, as she called immortality and godhood both "a sucker's game."

Oh, that reminds me: the changelings have gone through such a massive shift in both biology and quality of life that nocreature could possibly know how long any given changeling has left until at least one of them keels over.


Yeah, it was just an example for the sake of making an example. For all we know, a changeling's body now runs on "perpetual motion machine" logic and can sustain itself virtually forever. :derpyderp1:

Yeah, I realize I phrased that badly. What I meant to say was:

Though I'd have liked it if the story had gone and then showed us the "slice of life" of Twilight hanging out with her ghostly friends afterwards, and what they do in their regular day-to-day un-life. Like... Rainbow Dash would be even faster now, since she no longer has mass or wind resistance to worry about. Applejack, on the other hoof, would find a new way to work on the farm - some clever way to use her ghost-powers to benefit her growing family.

And then just hanging out with Twilight, doing stuff.

Twilight finding ways to make their un-lives easier, constantly improving tools for them to better influence the world, working her way up to a full-body golem that'll satisfy both their needs.

Just slice of life, you know.

...Though personally, I'd prefer the options that don't require them to die in the first place. Alicornhood, preventative new medical treatments, cybernetics / golemancy, and so on. Alicornhood preferred for Twilight's friends, since it solves multiple problems all at once, and alicornhood simply makes sense for them.

It's also possible to combine the "Twilight's friends still become alicorns" scenario with "finding a cure for aging for the rest of their friends and family". AJ and Dash have each other, but Pinkie wouldn't want to be without her husband and son. :pinkiesad2:

The whole "petrification to prevent death" concept still is an option, if nothing else is found in time.

Heck, if Shining Armor goes through with it, I could see others imitating him.

The tale of "The Princess of Love and her Prince in Stone" would be told and retold across the world, after all. It'd sound romantic.

I could see Flurry's future husband following his example, after talking with him a few times, as well.

And there would be others - other couples who'd want their love to "last forever" in stone, because it sounded so romantic in the novels. There might be some close calls at the start, some ponies who don't think things through right when running off to find themselves a cockatrice. But once the idea is out there, and ponies are doing it, better for Equestrian medical institutions to provide aid and make sure they do it as risk-free as possible.

Heck, petrification could easily become a standard medical treatment option for the terminally ill. Waiting for an organ donor? Waiting for a new cure or treatment to be discovered? In imminent danger of dying?

Petrification solves all those problems. :twilightsmile:

Admittedly when I first wrote my two stories I didn't really take those two into account. Now looking back at it I feel guilty not considering those two and just shipping Pinkie with the others. :(

Also I wanna plug in another option admittedly stolen from my other obsession Sailor Moon. In the far future of Crystal Tokyo everyone lives for an extremely long time, thousands of years due to the abundance of magic slowing their aging. Perhaps the Crystal Heart or a similar artifact could have a similar outcome that's discovered post epilogue?

It might mean Twilight's friends might be bound to the borders of the Crystal Empire for awhile at least until they figure out how to extend it across Equestrian/the whole world but that could be a feasible stop gap measure. :D

You know, I think the best way to tell a "happy future" story would be, ironically, to let the whole "mortality" issue take the backseat as the "B-plot" of the story, and mainly focus on the "happy" part of the future itself.

The best way to do that is alicorn ascension - it automatically implies immortality, without a need for skipping decades ahead to see it. And if Equestria had 6 ruling princesses, it'd mean they could rule in shifts, divide responsibilities, and each could get more time off individually, since Equestria doesn't need six princesses on the throne all once. Finally, Twilights gets some free time again, and gets to hang out with her friends more. :twilightsmile:

  1. Set the story a few months after Luster Dawn arrived in Ponyvilly, one or two years tops. That isn't too far into the future, and there's still plenty of time to save everyone.
  2. Shenanigans befall Equestria, or Ponyville specifically, and "the old gang" is once again involved in saving the world.
  3. This (un)expectedly results in Twilight's friends (finally!) ascending to alicornhood / whatever was stopping their ascension this whole time is finally overcome.
  4. Instead of ending the story with their ascension, make that the beginning of the story. (Chapter 1 or 2)
  5. Follow the Mane 6 as they juggle newfound alicorn-powers, everyday life, and the prospect of ruling the kingdom more directly. That's, how we used to write our "the Mane 6 become alicorns" stories, that's how we should do it again.
  6. See, how the change affects their lives over the next few days, weeks, months. Months, tops. Absolutely no big time skips.
  7. The entire question of mortality and outliving their loved ones is brought up - but it isn't the main focus of the story. Twilight already has several research teams working on it, different plans for life extension - they just aren't quite ready yet.

    This also allows listing off the different life extension projects in a story-setting, or could bring up Shining Armor's petrification plan as the "last resort" fallback plan that is already ready-to-go if need-be.

The main bulk of the story could toy around with the alicorn Mane 6 getting into various shenanigans in this future Equestria. Slice of life stuff in Ponyville and Canterlot, life changing stuff, romance, adventure, the whole spectrum.

Not sure what the "overarching" plot would be, but there's plenty of things to chose from. Dealing with an antagonist trying to undermine Equestria's government and seeing the recent change as their chance, some big threat to the world that requires the intervention of veteran heroes, etc.

Thanks for the shout out! "Everyone becomes a dragon" is an interesting alternative to "everyone becomes an alicorn," especially in a story that focuses on the Young Six. Or maybe Smolder could find a way to give whatever part of her magic that allows her to live for centuries to her friends and they could still look the same.

Also, it's unclear how long changelings live. According to the comics, Chrysalis is over a thousand years old, but it's possible that only monarchs live that long.

Or maybe even "Everypony becomes a Draconeques" ;)

Twilight stared at the five former ponies and the smirking Draconeques floating in the middle of the council chamber. She slapped her hoof against her forehead, wincing slightly at the impact of her golden horseshoe. Discord offered her a mischievous grin.

"Why Twilight, if I had known you were working on re-assembling the elements I wouldn't have resorted to such drastic measures."

Rainbow looked back at her lengthy and serpentine body complete with a dragon and insect wing.

"This is going to make the wonderbolts awkward."

5178499 5176226

You know, turning them all into draconequu, that'd be fun. :twilightsmile:

Imagine Cheese, Lil' Cheese, and Pinkonequus Pie together. :pinkiehappy::pinkiecrazy:

Rainbow Dash's powers would probably relate to speed somehow. It'd actually be difficult to "fly slowly" for her - she absentmindedly thinks of going someplace, and the next thing she knows she's already there. Going warpspeed and bending space into a noodle salad rather than simply lame old point-to-point teleporting. Literally faster than light. :rainbowdetermined2:

AJ... Hmm. Actually, I remember reading an alt. univ. "pre-reformed Discord" fic (but written sometime after s3) where AJ accidentally absorbed all of Discord's powers into herself... and got very, very miffed that she couldn't get "an honest day's work" done without somehow accidentally getting all labor done instantly just by thinking about it just a bit too hard. :ajbemused:

Rarity... well, at first she'll be devastated for having to get an entirely new wardrobe. That is, until she figures out she can literally create dresses from her imagination in an instant. :raritystarry:

(Just like that dastardly "Inspiration Manifestation" book, but without all the dark magic. :duck:)

Fluttershy... well. Let's just say... things will get interesting for the two of them. :yay:

Of course, a story where this happens would have to explain why Discord can't just do this for everypony all the time. Though... with six draqonequu and several alicorns working together, who knows what can be achieved to help even more ponies... :derpytongue2:

Also, obligatory mock-up story description:

Twilight has been diligently working on a way to ensure immortality for her friends. After 20 years, her plan is just about ready.

Then it turns out she wasn't the only one working the problem.

"DISCORD! What did you DO?"

Also Cloning/Lazarus Pits are also an answer.

Twilight merely rolled her eyes as Rainbow Dash emerged from the spawning pool gently cracking her neck from side to side. She gave the Princess of Equestria a winning smile.
"You're lucky the mirror pool doubles as a Lazarus pit. Trying to see if you can survive re-entry after hitting light speed fried you until not even ashes were left."
"Well that's another stunt I won't try again, how many deaths does that make again?"
"Three hundred. Now come on home, Applejack is making nachos."

I am somewhat reluctant to abuse Mirror Pool clones for this, but otherwise, the solution would be easy:

Step 1: Create a batch of Mirror Pool clones
Step 2: Petrify them to stop their aging process

Several decades pass.

Step 3: De-petrify one Mirror Pool clone.
Step 4: Use Body-swap potion to swap into younger body
Step 5: Make more copies using existing clones as needed

...But, uhm, that would be just a tiny bit unethical. :unsuresweetie:

Especially if you're a strong believer in Mirror-Pony rights. :twilightoops:

Without knowledge of events taking place in Ponyville, a cheerful Pinkie-clone wanders out of town by simple chance – and stumbles straight into a traveling circus. A few months later, she returns to Ponyville...
Ultra-the-HedgeToaster · 11k words  ·  59  1 · 1.4k views


...Unless you can modify the pool to produce "empty" clones instead of ones that are basically just inexperienced newborns in adult bodies with rudimentary memory imprints (:applejackconfused:), I'm sure there's some extra step that could be taken to ensure that. It'd be ... a bit shady to do that, but sort-of okay? :rainbowhuh:

...All of the above things are mine, btw. :moustache:

Actually I was thinking more along the lines of Twilight (or someone else) having a spell cast on the mane six to where when they eventually pass away of old age/die in defense of Equestria their spirit travels to the mirror pool and they walk out a few minutes later as young as they used to be. Essentially a mind upload/backup. Not actually erasing another clones mind. A bit convoluted sure but I remember a similar concept being used in a story I cannot seem to find now.

I wanted to say in regards to the header image perhaps Rainbow Dash ascending first is what causes the rapid chain reaction of the others ascension. Perhaps the reason why Twilight hadn't made them Alicorns by the epilogue is because she would feel guilty asking that of them? Like to her it was a burden she and she alone should bear and didn't want to force that on her friends, and vice versa perhaps the others thought Twilight didn't have any means to raise them up since the elements got smashed and have been feeling guilty these last twenty years that they'd have to leave their friends alone?

Which of course could lead to a very rapid scrambling of the cast to try and find triggers for the rest of their ascension. Because obviously Rainbow Dash does not want to outlive her wife.

Dunno could make for some great character moments and drama.

"TWILIGHT YOU GOTTA HELP ME!!" the rasped voice of the kingdoms air commander rang out through the halls of New Canterlot. Gallus and Twilight had just finished a game of checkers when the doors of the throne room flung open. The two friends looked as the blue Pegasus flew frantically around the throne.

"Rainbow what are you...." Twilight began before being embraced by her trembling friend. She surveyed the trembling pony and was it just her or was Rainbow softer? The terrified pegasus looked up at her with noticeably younger eyes and.....

"A horn." She whispered in disbelief.

Rainbow Dash looked up at her, on the verge of tears. "Twilight what do I do!? What about APPLEJACK!!?"

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