• Member Since 29th May, 2012
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Knackerman


I am the Knackerman. Most of my writing deals with horror, suspense, and tragedy. And yes, there will be gore.

T
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Twilight Sparkle has been crowned the new Princess of Equestria! With all the fanfare, and introductions to foreign dignitaries she hasn't had much time for the ponies nearest and dearest to her heart. That all changes when she receives an invite from Pinkie Pie for a weekend get together that will reunite her with her friends! But everything may not be as it seems. Maybe this time it wasn't the pink pony that sent out the party invitations after all...


(Based on the manga Doubt by Yoshiki Tonogai/SQUARE ENIX Co. LTD. and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic by Lauren Faust/Hasbro)


Cover Art by kvernikovskiy

Chapters (13)
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Comments ( 66 )

I'm not usually a fan of gore, but by Celestia this was great! Brilliant work on it, don't wanna spoil anything for any other readers but...DAT ENDING! I loved it! <3

3226951
Wow, you're a quick reader. I'm glad you liked the ending! It was one of the things I struggled the most with, but in the end I really wanted something with some real bite to it. Thanks for the comment :pinkiesmile:

3227129 Kept me awake until 7 in the morning, be honoured ;) Have you considered a sequal or spin off? Perhaps a 'new game' :P

Oh my.

Bravo, congratulations on writing Fluttershy's fate, it invoked a wide range of creepy images, disturbed thoughts, and memorable comparisons to other acts of violence: Sometimes Implication is just the way to go.

Then again, maybe the second chapter is from Fluttershy's perspective as she's tortured to death, I'll see, anyway, love the first chapter!

That, and Pinkie Pie seems... off, I honestly thought she was going to be responsible for the tragedy when she actually showed up for the party (the description of the story implies that perhaps the invites weren't sent by her) and muttered creepy comments like "Tonight, huh?" And then she's drugged... Threw me for a loop.

Where did Pinkie Pie get a Sigil? It wasn't mentioned in the last chapter.

Why can't Rarity illuminate her horn? All of a sudden, she has trouble doing that? Show us your Changeling magical-aura, Impostor!

How come Applejack can suddenly lie so well?

Since when were Fluttershy's wings pinned to the wall? Weren't they hanging loose in chapter one as well?

And what happened to the creature that Twilight (apparently) bucked into unconsciousness? She hit it, saw Rainbow Dash already down, and found Applejack, but the creature wasn't there when they carried Applejack out, and Twilight never mentions it to the others (Which either puts a lot of suspicion on Twilight or Applejack, or you forgot to write it in.)

Twilight also seems to be too analytical in the face of her friends death, but shock causes you to retreat to the familiar, in this case: lecture-mode.

You seem to be drawing the ponies remarkably out-of-character, and while this makes it extremely hard to guess which (if any, this kind of story is actually rather cliche) is responsible, it also takes some of the fun out.

Twilight's senses as blood suddenly poured out of her noise and dripped down her face. Her wings faltered and she slumped to the floor, losing consciousness once again.

Also, blood pours from Twilight's nose, not her noise.

Strange shapes floated in a formaldehyde that the little ponies tried very hard not to look at too closely.

in formaldehyde, or perhaps in formaldehyde filled containers.

Let's see: Why did no pony else notice the Sigils? All of the sudden, everypony has one, and only Twilight goes; "Oh hey, I didn't notice." The switch from Ms. Smarty-Pants to Little Miss Ignorant is astounding.

Applejack, you idiot! You shoved Rainbow Dash into the only room that had a door already opened, and then you shut it, knowing full well it would waste one of your two remaining Sigils to open again? Moreover, you just said you wanted to use those Sigils on two other doors, leaving Rainbow what, trapped forever?

Why is there a bathroom, why does Twilight feel the need to wash her hooves from just pulling her clothes off, since when was Twilight wearing clothes? Why does Twilight dart out of the bathroom because something spooky and likely pony-cidal is in there, and then dart back in to wash her hooves? Why is drying them so important, important enough to delay fleeing from whatever other being is in the bathroom yet again? What did she wash her hooves with? Any soap would long since have separated in osmosis from sitting there long enough for the surroundings to rust. (And then it would have likely congealed into something rock-solid from evaporation, and it's container may have rotted away.) Why does she not mention the spooky monster to anyone?

Nopony else but Pinkie, not even Rarity, is taking Fluttershy's death without even a tiny smidgen of grief that lasts longer than five seconds.

And now Rarity is just so ecstatic *nudge nudge* to use her magic, and Pinkie Pie stops being morose enough to identify Geodes with her bare hooves and tell everyone so that Rarity *can* be ecstatic and obsess over them? Poor Flutters, abandoned for a bunch of rocks.

Well, Twilight, Applejack said "she" at the end of the last chapter, why don't you listen? Going calling the poor (not)-dead mare a stallion right at the start of this here chapter. :ajbemused:

...Poor Derpy, that has to be the most cruel and sickening thing so far, Author has upset Reader! Hold onto your hats.

Rarity, you jerk, I cannot believe you, and no I do not know what they say about postal workers, and then you hid a rusty scalpel in your mane, however that works, and whether you want to risk cutting yourself on anything rusty, and are you planning to stab your friends with it? You are a horrible mare.

Go Pinkie! Defend Dashie, stick it to Rarity, comfort Twilight as she tries to wash her dress in the spooky monster-filled bathroom that she should not, regardless of her frame of mind, be going into again, and for some reason has still not informed anypony of the spooky monster.

Why is Twilight wearing clothes again, and why doesn't she just ditch the dress? That dress seems to conveniently phase out of existence when it would hamper her movements, and come back just to shout: "Hey look at me everypony! I'm a prop!"

It took a moment for her to realize what it was, but unlike everything else in this room, the binder she was looking at seemed new and untouched by dirt or grime.

A binder sitting in the middle of dirt and grime doesn't stay untouched.

A scream of pain and fear rose and rebounded off the cavern walls. Even distorted by distance, Twilight and Applejack immediately recognized it as Pinkie Pie's panicked pleam "Twilight, Applejack, somepony help, HELP!"

Plea,

This later component Twilight tried not to let her mind dwell on too much, but there were only so many uses one could have for that much lye and she hadn't seen any soap down here.

Silly Twilight, you just washed your hooves a few chapters ago, with soap. (Otherwise, it is called "rinsing")

On the other side of a few inches of glass she could just make out a starry sky dotted with a few scraps of. A forest bathed in soft light stretched out below the window, leaves wafting in a gentle breeze. "But that can't be...this can't be right."

A few scraps of what?

Why is Rarity's rusted scalpel gleaming when she cut Pinkie Pie with it, but when she presses it to Twilight's throat, it is rusted again?

Why aren't the pipes that deliver the water to the sink and toilets, not to mention the mirror, rusted over?

Why is Pinkie Pie a liar? How will she be alright? Rarity didn't strike me as the type to go bonkers so easily... Oh well, has to happen.

If they are beneath Canterlot, why didn't Twilight even try to (or at least think) about teleporting herself out and getting Celestia before Rainbow Dash bucked her into a wall? Where exactly is her Sigil, and why can't Pinkie Pie ship with her? Witness tragedy, emotional reaction, try to make-out with your best friend on the let-down.


Also: The Chapter Title is genius, I was panicking thinking it was an actual 404 error for a moment.

Well, now they have to let Twilight go, or at least, Applejack probably will.

It was clear Pinkie had been crying, but her injury looked to be minor. A wave of relief flooded Twilight. Even if she was locked away, at least she was safe for now. Rarity, and more importantly whomever had kidnapped them, couldn't hurt her anymore.

Locked away, in the bathroom, with the aforementioned spooky possibly pony-cidal monster? Sure, Pinkie Pie won't get hurt anymore.

Twilight Sparkles head throbbed with pain. She tried to summon her magic

Sparkle's head, possessive, Sparkle owns her head, after all.

Rainbow... a botched beheading and then hanged, I feel sick. In some ways, it was more horrible than what happened to Derpy, and at least equally nauseating, made worse by the fact that the she was innocently sleeping after being locked up by her friend and suffering from a clearly exhausting bout of claustrophobia.

Oh Pinkie, you're so cute when you're rational, loving, kind, and totally mature, which is why you and Twilight belong together, always.

Hmm, what to say about this chapter besides how adorable Pinkie and Twilight are.

Twilight takes down Applejack, being an Alicorn she now has Earth pony strength, but it was still rather amusing.

Rainbow Dash scenes are practically begging for an extremely painful vengeance killing of the responsible parties.

Otherwise, much of the commentary is covered by Twilight Sparkle herself.

Oh, wait: Twilight, it was really nice of you to blanket Pinkie with your dress, but did you really need it back? Your odd fascination with that piece of fabric that you'll "never wear again" continues.

Oh great, the masks.

Magically cursed, infused with the suffering of the individual ponies that have died, looking to expand their collective consciousness with souls of more dead ponies?

Pinkie Pie seems an odd mixture of weakened and absolutely normal, considering her injury and the blood loss.

Why is the blood freshly leaking out from the make-shift bandage black? Black is the color of dead blood cells.

Oh now her blood is crimson, huzzah for sporadic color-changes.

Applejack had just finished sowing up the wound on her shoulder so now all that was left of the wound was a smile shaped scar of puckered, angry looking flesh and a little blood crusted fur.

Sewing up. It's not a scar until it's healed. All the bloody fur should have been washed or shaved off to reduce chances of infection, and they obviously have sharp instruments to do the latter with.

"The wound was startin' ta fester so Ah had ta lance it ta take some of the pressure off, but she ought'a be more stable for the time bein'." Applejack turned to Twilight. "Honestly after y'all ran off an' left me tied up like that, Ah can't believe ya came to me fer this."

It is not pressure that makes a wound fester, moreover, why can't Applejack believe that Twilight would drop everything to help her dying friend? It fits right in line with the motivations behind tying Applejack up in the first place, and Applejack would probably do the exact same thing if she needed Twilight.

Reluctantly she let the farm pony sink back to the floor. "Her fevers too high for it ta just be from the wound festerin'. It ain't much of a surprise given how unsanitary things are down here, but mah thinkin' is she might have gotten an infection.

AJ, festering wounds are caused by infections, and you should've noticed that Rarity was using a rusty scalpel when she confronted Twily. :facehoof:

Okay, Applejack, that was some canny slight-of-hoof, but you'd better not hurt Twilight.

Rarity's blue eyes stared vacantly from her decapitated head. Her mouth was a ragged, bloody mess. It seemed whomever had jammed her head inside the mask had first taken the liberty of removing all of her teeth to make sure the head fit without her horn being shoved through the fabric.

Manure hits aerosol dispersal device.

and bringing down the entire cavern on their heads might give them a way out but it would also most certainly crush them like bugs.

Obvious is Obvious.

"Wait...Fluttershy's corpses had a sigil carved into her leg. How could I have forgotten?"

Yes, how could you have forgotten? You'll need to bring something to saw her corpse into tiny pieces though, what will Applejack think, especially since you found Rarity dead?

A body that could only belong to Pinkie Pie hung from the ceiling just like Rainbow Dash, punctured repeatedly with sharpened stakes, one jammed directly into her heart.

No, unacceptable, denied.

Now to bring out a bit of speculation as to whether the body in chapter 1 was really Fluttershy, I didn't mention it before, but faking your own death is also rather cliche.

It is time to end this game, Twilight, you are the boss-Alicorn and will tear anypony that dares harm your should-be Marefriend to shreds.

Part of Twilight didn't even care if she died at this point. At least then this would all be over! I can't let her keep toying with me like this. I'm playing right into her hooves.

More gender assumptions, Twilight? :twilightoops:

Her light swept back and forth in the darkness. She's not here? Twilight paused. Had she just caught a flicker of movement, or was it a trick of the light playing over the crystalline walls? No. She might be hiding in one of the stalls.

Yea, you know, the one that has held a Spooky Monster since the beginning, great deduction.

"I don't understand...why would you kill everyone!? Are you really a changeling after all?"

Everypony.

"If you had only told the truth, honestly, I could just have let things run their course and then I'm sure from that point on, we could have been together. Just like always." Twilight cried out in pain as Pinkie bit down hard on her ear. Something warm and wet dribbled down her neck, blood or saliva, neither were welcome options. "But you lied!"

Kinky, and there's the TwilightxPinkie too, but it seems our psychotic little pink mare isn't content to elope with her anymore, the sadness, the negative feels, the weird motivation for killing off everypony else.

"My dad was way too nice to go on living in this world full of liars. Meanwhile the ones who lie go on living, and laughing without a care in the world. So I decided, if because of them innocent ponies will die, I'll just kill the liars!"

Well, that makes a twisted kind of sense when viewed through the patented psychotic magnifying glass.

You'd still better have an angry/bloody make-out session with Twilight, Pinkie, and decide not to kill her after all.

tril of blood leading back the way she had come.

Trail.

Well, I guess she's realized thought Twilight to herself as the murderous ponies scream echoed through the caverns.

Bad plural, bad. "pony's scream", possessive.

Regardless of whether what Applejack was saying is true or not, my next move is clear. I've got to find a way to force Pinkie to open the exit, one way or another. A loud thumping came from above. Good, she's checking the upstairs rooms. Now's my chance.

No you don't, her Sigil will work even if all you have is her corpse, remember?

"But that doesn't make sense. This is the 'changelings' sigil. It should be able to unlock all of the doors! Unless..."

You're right, that doesn't make sense.

As Fluttershy set her pet down and stepped into the doorway, she smiled. "What's the matter Twilight? Why, you look as if you've seen a ghost."

Well played, Fluttershy, well played. This was the first entry to my list of suspicions way back in chapter one, and I mentioned it a few chapters later, but I admit I thought it was Pinkie Pie until shortly after her Sigil failed for the last chapter or two.

What doesn't make sense is why Pinkie Pie went so dreadfully insane now, considering it's likely to be Fluttershy's doing that she had gone insane, but I'm sure a Villainous Monologue will clear that up, or maybe they just happen to be two psychotic mares that may have decided to work together, but probably not, or at least not together.

"The poor dear was a mess long before she came to my sanctuary. It really seemed like she was losing the will to live. I couldn't just turn away a friend. The sense of loneliness and despair after losing a loved one...in order to alleviate that grief, even just a little, I guide my friends to the path of revenge. For some it's the only kindness I can offer. All they have to do is look into my eyes and all their troubles melt away."

Mind = Raped.

Eventually though, the teasing and torment got bad enough that we moved down to the ground.

Look who lied to the CMC when they asked for your Cutie Mark story, Flutters.

The world had no business being so harsh and unforgiving to me.

Truth.

It's just I was already planning for a new 'changeling' to take over from her." At this Fluttershy stood and moved over to Pinkie Pie's sad, slumped form. The pink pony was still gasping for air as a steady stream of blood gushed from her throat. "She just couldn't compare to Pinkie Pie! There was so much pent up aggression behind her smile. So much suppressed pain and anger. But..."

The Feels for the poor abused manipulated Pinkie Pie take war to the fact that she still psychotically killed her friends.

She had stared down dragons. But never, in all Twilight's days, had she looked into a set of eyes so choked with such cold, controlled, hatred. A killing lust sprung up from the otherwise adorable pegasus, stabbing into Twilight's mind through her eyes. It let her know that here, sitting before her was death, and not a natural death but one long and protracted and filled with the kind of tender affection and attention to detail that could only be manufactured by the truly disturbed.

Best. Lines. Ever, make sure your death is catered with loving care! :twilightsmile:

Fluttershy opened her saddle bag and tugged a small package out of it. It was the present Twilight had sent to Pinkie Pie weeks ago. "You see, this was in motion for quite some time, but you just had to keep thinking of your friends. You, among all of them, just had to show that goofy, sweet pink pony the attention she so desperately craved. You ruined all my careful planning, Twilight."

You are Evil, Fluttershy, everything you are is horrible now, Pinkie loved Twilight. And you? You stole her birthday present and turned Pinkie against her. May you receive what you deserve for your unspeakable atrocities, Twilight needs her magic back to subdue Flutters without killing her, because really? Death would be merciful.

There were even a few Crystal Guards on loan from the Crystal Kingdom, in their more fleshy forms this far from the Crystal.

Fleshy, a disturbing word use, and a bit odd since most authors consider that anypony born as a Crystal Pony stays as one, creative writing points? Also. Crystal Empire not Kingdom, and you cut off your sentence at "Crystal".

"It's mighty suspicious her bodies gone though, Ah'll grant ya that, and even more so since there's no trace of it ever bein' there."

Bodies, plural. It should be "Body is", or "Body's", singular.


...The ending makes me want to cry, it is the embodiment of horror that made me wonder just where Celestia went, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Twilight.

What just happened?

3231040
Hmm this is going to take a minute...but okay. :eeyup: First off thanks for all the spelling and grammar errors you caught. My editors face is a bit red right now, but she'll get over it. (honestly I think a few might have been errors with spell check, but that's my fault for using such a lazy tool)

Regarding Chapter 1 ~ There is a LOT of foreshadowing in chapter one and I'm not surprised you caught onto it. This is intentional. Glad you liked the description of Fluttershy's 'fate', I confess I often get a wrapped up in such description.
Regarding Chapter 2 ~ The sigil is on Pinkie's neck in such a way it was hidden by her mane. It wasn't mentioned because no one noticed. Rarity has no problem illuminating her horn...I've just written her as slightly ditzy in this situation, hence the bit with the sunglasses. Applejack isn't lying directly, rather she is choosing not to mention something. While technically lying by omission, it's been shown that Applejack will sometimes bend the truth if she thinks it's to protect her friends. Fluttershy's wings were always pinned to the wall, they were just hanging slack, think like a hammock. If the ponies seem out of character here it's because this is an unfamiliar situation. If they reacted 'completely in character' that would be even more suspicious as it would seem they were just acting.
Regarding Chapter 3 ~ The sigils aren't obvious, they'd be easy to miss under their fur unless they looked for them. Twilight was wearing cloths in the first chapter, as was Rarity and Rainbow Dash. Little details. (Which is why I think the description of the 'monster' from the last chapter confused you so badly. The 'monster' was Rainbow Dash, whom Twilight clobbered. The glowing eyes were the light of Twilight's spell reflected off of Dashie's goggles that are part of her Wonderbolt's training uniform.) But yes, there was no soap, the washing her hands bit is thrown in as a little light comedy based on her fastidious nature and the fact people do silly things when they panic. Everyone deals with grief differently, during this chapter it's implied that the pressing need to ESCAPE takes precedence over dwelling on what happened (aside from in their minds of course).
Regarding Chapter 4 ~ I'm not sure Twilight had time to consider Applejack's words given they were trying to sneak attack the pony they suspected of being Flutter's killer. Also I'm sorry I can't constantly talk about Twilight's dress. I don't write grimdark stories about dresses (except that one time). If you want to, I'll edit it for you.
Regarding Chapter 5 ~ The binder being untouched implies a few things such as A.) It's a recent edition as it has had no time to become soiled B.) is massively suspicious. The lye was not used for making soap. Rarities scalpel isn't completely rusted or it wouldn't have an edge that could actually cut worth a flip...the gleam is along that edge. The pipes might be rusted, I didn't dwell on the plumbing. As for the mirror, some things seem new while others are very old, take from that what you will. I intentional put a limitation of Twilight's teleportation spell, as she didn;t know EXACTLY where beneath Canterlot she was, if she tried to port out she could easily end up in a wall...same reason she didn't port out when the Changeling Queen put her down there the first time. Glad you liked the title.
Regarding Chapter 6 ~ Everything about this comment is great.
Regarding Chapter 7 ~ You know, maybe Twilight just wanted to keep her dress around because she's gotten used to it. It's come in useful serving as a barrier to dying pony's blood and being a make-shift blanket. I dunno, people are weird about cloths sometimes.
Regarding Chapter 8 ~ I like your thinking on the masks. Reminds me of Ben Drowned. The blood is 'black' because it's mixed with dread blood and dead cells. It won't be black for long.
Regarding Chapter 9 ~ OMG! The blood isn't black anymore, astounding! Just because Applejack knows first aid doesn't mean she knows barber surgery...it's makeshift at best. And it's refereed to as a scar because that is what it will eventually become. Applejack relieved the pressure to relieve Pinkie's pain, not to heal her. And Applejack was surprised because she thought Twilight suspected her of being the murderer...would you ask a murderer to perform first aid on one of your friends? Applejack is implying that its not just Pinkie's wound that is infected, but that she has actually contracted some further illness FROM that wound...the festering is the least of her worries. Applejack didn't see Rarity cut Pinkie, they were alone when that happened.
Regarding Chapter 10 ~ There are examples from the show of her saying everyone.
Regarding Chapter 11 ~ Why would she want to kill Pinkie? Twilight isn't a murderer. (sometimes things make no sense for a reason, such as the theory of the changelings sigil being false.) Hooray for Villainous Monologues! Where would we be without you?
Regarding Chapter 12 ~ Everything about this comment is great.
Regarding Chapter 13 ~ Good catches on the Crystal Empire and the Crystal Heart. And yeah, I kind of thought that it was established that it was the influence of the Crystal Heart that rendered them crystal ponies, not just being born there. (otherwise why would the mane six have become crystal ponies? Aside from to sell toys I mean) Where is Celestia? Not in this story because a Deus Ex Machina has no place in a dark story save as to give false hope. What just happened? Judgement. :eeyup:

Phew...That was a lot of comments...fun to read. Hope my response helps clear a few things up.

3231948

Phew, uhm.

No, I totally don't need you to edit in references to her dress (Although if you felt like writing TwilightxPinkie to "make up" for this delightful horror story...), I just find the convenient clothing to be amusing.

I totally forgot that Rainbow Dash was wearing her goggles and uniform, I lose ten points. :ajsleepy:

And let's see, I'm still trying to get over the fact that Pinkie loved Twilight, that was horrible, romantic tragedy is the most distasteful thing, in a good way! In a very very readable way. It just leaves a bad taste when you really wish for a happy ending and you know it's not going to happen (even if you trick yourself otherwise.), because you paid attention to the tags of the story you were about to read.

Celestia said she was going to visit Pinkie Pie, so I just expected her to be there to stop Fluttershy.
Granted, enough time had passed by the time Celestia showed up for AJ's apple to spoil, but my expectations clung to the dying embers of hope.

Now then! I find it slightly odd that I actually requested something that is technically clop, but have ten of ten metaphorical stars for your story, and I hope the Likes outweigh the Dislikes soon enough!

I am still stuck on Pinkie Pie, though, it defines the entire story.

Niiiice, omg. I guess people just don't like gore that much? It had me utterly riveted!!

I noticed a few spelling and grammar errors myself... There was one chapter, I think it was the... third from the end, that had a mention of 'sow'ing. It's supposed to be 'sew', not 'sow'. Sowing is planting, sewing is with needle and thread. But this is awesome. At first I thought it was that one, then no! Then huh? Huh. Okay. No way.


This was really super awesome :D

3236899
It's because Applejack was doing it, clearly. I had reaping and sowing on the brain. :applejackconfused: I'm glad you enjoyed the story!

3236899

I'm pretty sure I already mentioned this.

3245656 O.. kay? You mentioned my entire comment? Or just the 'sow' vs 'sew' part? I figured someone had but I wanted to throw it out anyway. I'm not one to read the entirety of every comment on every fic I comment on.

I do apologize to the author, but the story just didn't grab me all that much. It's not cause of gore, or it being dark'n'stuff, just that it's based on the Rabbit Doubt manga, a manga which I frankly consider VERY weak and badly written, and I'd say downright laughable. I guess that was just one of the reasons this story didn't connect with me that much.

3310720
Well it does make sense that if you didn't like the original story you wouldn't like a story based on it. Frankly I applaud you for giving it a chance despite your per-existing dislike.

Well, I also read the manga some years ago and I also disliked it. Nevertheless, I spent several hours reading this (is 5:30 morning already) and I must congratulate you of how well you adapted it into the MLP universe. You managed to exploit characters' traits and match them with the manga ones so well. Also, that "on hiatus"... well played.

3428777
Thank you! Honestly It was the characters personalities and foibles that drew me to write this adaptation to begin with. It was hard for me not to read the original story and not think about my favorite little ponies (to torture :pinkiecrazy:).
In all seriousness though, thank you for the kind words and I hope you found the story a bit more enjoyable this time around :pinkiehappy:

:pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy:Stop Raping My Brain!!!!!:ajbemused::ajbemused:

There are no words to describe the proportion of how blown my mind is right now.

OK, I know that this is nitpicky on my part, but its been bugging me for a few chapters. Since Twilight's cutie mark is in magic and she is such a studyholic, shouldn't she know some sort of, you know, healing magic? Unless I missed something, there shouldn't be any interference for that.

4762132
While it would be within the realm of possibility for Twilight to learn healing magic, having the ability to learn such spells does not mean that she has studied them, and it certainly wouldn't mean she had mastered them. For instance, just because Twilight is an accomplished Mage, that doesn't mean she'd know Clerical spells that might lay outside her discipline or field of research.

I will grant that in the show it's often noted that Twilight has vast potential, and a lot of that is expressed in her voracious appetite for learning, specifically in research. Now, because of that, if you wanted to write that she had been learning about some kind of healing spells, you'd need to come up with a reason before hand that she would be researching such spells. In the context of this story, Twilight has only recently become and Alicorn princess and is still dealing with that sudden change ion her life. She hasn't been dealing with, say, an injured friend, or a war torn battlefield.

Add to that the fact that when characters have gotten injured in the show, nopony, not even unicorn doctors have just 'magiced' them better, they still had to take medicine, get bed rest, and wait for bones to set and heal.

TL;DR it's within the realm of possibility but has never come up in the show/comics and doesn't have any place in the framework of this story.

I have chosen to interpret that the fact I liked, and still like, this story's CONCEPT as proof that I have no soul. Anybody wanna debate that?

Argh, walloftext, walloftext! Double spacing, dude!

Ahem...

The opener feels iffy to me. The overabundance of catchphrases and behavioral patterns really gave the characters a forced feeling. The narrative style seems to be trying to make me feel a certain way, which shouldn't be necessary under the circumstances. It really interfered with the sense of horror I was supposed to have at Fluttershy's circumstance.

Well, the concept of this is solid at the very least. the problem is, none of the characters are acting appropriate to the situation. Or, to be more precise, some of them are, but the style of the writing hinders the connection between the reader and the characters. Everything's moving extremely quickly – that feeling of speed is partially due to the formatting – and as a result the characters' behavior doesn't feel real.

Calling it now: Twilight's the guilty party, having been brainwashed either while in Canterlot before the story or after they were knocked out. She may even unwittingly be a changeling already.

Obviously, it could be that AJ's the changeling, having convinced them to lock Rainbow in the small room to keep her out of the way – she might even know and thus needed separating from the others. It makes no sense that they locked rainbow in a room and now need to use a key to re-open it; how was the door opened in the first place, then? Of course, the door could have already been opened and sealed itself after they closed it, but I don't recall you mentioning that.

Also, I don't buy the "Rainbow is claustrophobic" idea. I get why one might conclude that, but I think it's a rather weak case.

Above all else, I've got my eye on Pinkie; she's been largely useless save for feeling like crap, which is a great way to divert attention form her, which means I should be paying close attention to her.

Yeah, don't buy it, kiddos. this isn't over until almost all of you are dead. Because she's so capable, I'm picking Applejack to be next. It could be Rainbow since we haven't seen her all this time, but that feels a bit too easy.

WTF, Rarity? I get why you'd suspect Twilight, but was taking Pinkie out really necessary? Her "I'm sure she's quite mad" statement doesn't hold water, considering Pinkie's been fairly 'normal,' although 'normal' for Pinkie is itself unnatural. There's only one conclusion I can properly form: Rarity is the changeling. It makes even more sense when you apply the fact that Rarity called Pinkie a liar before going at her. Why?

The liar must die.

My only question is whether Pinkie's alive or not. I suspect not. You did apply that "She'd never forget the way Rarity looked at that moment for as long as she lived," but two problems arise with that as a buffer: 1) given the rather poor writing style, this could have been a mistake on the author's part, and 2) if Pinkie died right then, it would still technically be true.

I find it difficult to believe that Applejack sided with Rarity in this. Why is Rarity always depicted as the first one to crack and throw absurd accusations around? Her suspicions are so preposterous that Applejack should have seen right through them, and there's no excuse for her not to. Now, I'm willing to bet that this is the author forcing characters to do something they would never do for the sake of pushing the story in directions it shouldn't go, but if not then this just proves that Rarity is the changeling. What? The scrying crystal? You can't prove where Rarity is in that image; that could have been the real Rarity trapped in some side room, for all we know.

Also, why the heck would the killer wear some robe? Isn't the villain supposed to be a changeling? Why wear an extra disguise when you real identity is the disguise? Which means this is either another silly mistake on the author's part or the villain isn't a changeling at all.

On a related note, what are the possibilities of identifying 'C'? The obvious route is 'Chrysalis,' and that's why I'm dismissing it. It could always be Celestia or Cadance – the latter being more likely in my mind. Are there any other major characters with 'C' as an initial? Cheerilee, but that seems to be stretching things quite a bit.

5890711
Well lets see...there's Coco Pommel, Cheese Sandwich, Cranky Doodle Donkey, Caramel, Caramal Apple, Cloudchaser, and (Upper) Crust.

But I think this may have been a reference to Princess Cadance if I remember right. Or it could be from when Queen Chrysalis was masquerading as her. Or maybe it really was Princess Celestia? To be honest I'm not sure if I remember exactly why I picked the initial C. Maybe it's best if we don't dwell on it.

There are many mistakes in this story, but most of them are intentional and exist in one form or another in the original story that this is all based on.

5892914
Wait, you don't remember details in your own stories? That's... interesting. I've always been pretty good about recalling details to my old stories, but maybe that's just a 'me' thing.

Intentional mistakes? In other words, you forced the characters to do things that make no sense in order to keep to the original material? In that case, the reader needs to know the original material to understand the mistakes. It's always better to design such stories so that knowledge of the source material isn't necessary, and keeping bad story decisions just for the sake of repeating the original is, I would argue, even worse. Just because the original made some poor decisions doesn't mean you're obligated to maintain them.

AJ's behavior was pretty unusual and warrants suspicion. I'd like to say that there's no way AJ could be the killer, but since there's no such thing as 'in character' in this story I have to assume that all bets are off. Still, at the moment I refuse to believe it's her specifically because she's the one getting all the blame. As I said, the one the author focuses on usually isn't the one responsible.

Also, Twilight's reasoning is flawed. They think they're dealing with a changeling; just because she saw other ponies on the scryer crystals doesn't mean they were who she thinks.

Aaaaand sleep. Not good. Obviously necessary, but not good. Obviously, if Twilight's fallen asleep then how is she to know that Pinkie didn't get switched with the changeling (assuming there is a changeling, of course)? And of course, the AJ they have tied up in the clinic could have been switched out by the changeling, so they may have had the real AJ earlier but are going to talk to a fake.

Whelp, not much to add here. I give it 50/50 odds that Rarity's dead already, and 30/70 they'll find Applejack dead or missing when they get back to the clinic.

I can't believe Twilight left AJ tied up like that. "I can't leave Pinkie alone?" So what the hell is AJ supposed to do if someone attacks, scream? Way to guarantee that both your friends are easy prey, Twilight.

I'm also mildly surprised AJ didn't die right then and there. Obviously the killer didn't want AJ to reveal their identity – however she figured that out, and assuming she was even right – so why do something that doesn't guarantee silence? Applejack should still have had the strength to at least say a damn name.

Aaaaaw, crap. Here I was hoping for something more original, and we get another "Pinkie is a psychopath" story. I am profoundly disappointed.

But there's still some mystery left. According to Applejack, she and Pinkie were attacked by a figure in the clinic. Since it seems likely she was telling the truth, who then did the attacking? There's another body in that room – a body Twilight mistook for Pinkie, so it must at least have the same coat color. Somepony helped Pinkie set this up, and then got killed for doing so, and I want to know who.

5893512
It's stated in the stories description that this is an adaptation of Doubt, but with ponies, largely due to my sick and twisted mind drawing parallels between the characters as I was reading the manga in question. I'm sorry if you didn't know what you were getting into, but as I said the stories nature is in its description. The 'mistakes' are largely hints and clues as to what is actually going on as both this story and the original are kind of a 'who done it' rather than a straight grimdark story.

And no, I was kidding, I know exactly who's initial that was supposed to be. The point is that you as the reader are not supposed to know.

5893993
It's kind of delightful to watch you draw all these varying conclusions as you read. Disappointed about Pinkie Pie's role? Heh...just keep reading.

5896633
I know this is based on Doubt. That's not the point. If you write a story that is related to another, you should try to write it in such a way that the reader doesn't have to know the source material to 'get it,' otherwise you are severely limiting your potential audience. While it's well and good that those in the know see any connections made, I don't think one should write such a story purely with them in mind.

I'm going to hold my opinion on these 'mistakes' lest I discover that I'm interpreting you incorrectly, but at the moment your argument only makes this seem worse.

5896645
Okay, now I'm betting Pinkie's actually a changeling, but we shall see.

Gonna start theorizing things now instead of at the end of the chapter, because it's pretty clear we're nearing the conclusion and I want to voice my thoughts before I get there.

Okay, after hearing AJ's story, I'm lead to believe that the Pinkie we're seeing isn't the real Pinkie, because AJ's right; she's got too much damage to be able to do everything she has been. So what happened to the real Pinkie? As a matter of fact, there's something else very wrong abut all this: Pinkie's had a blade in her shoulder, another in her chest, and took a hit from Twilight in the leg. How the heck is she still moving? And there's been no mention of these wounds in Pinkie as Twilight spoke to her.

...

Yeah, something's off here.


That's one weird way for an axe to fall. I'm sitting here trying to figure out Exactly how Pinkie was holding it to pull something like that off.

What the hay? Fluttershy? Okay, the explanation for this should be interesting.

Y'know, I did find it odd how Fluttershy flew back into her home on the first chapter right before the shit hit the fan. And obviously the rabbit masks were a strong clue by their very existence. Maybe I missed some further clues that it was Fluttershy all along; even so, I still think this is a bit too much 'dues ex machina.' Fluttershy had to go and explain everything in a whole chapter's worth of monologue, which to me is a bad sign. I'd have been more impressed if she instead put a bunch of pieces together from hints that had been thrown about through the entire story.

Still, not a bad twist. There's just one thing that still bugs the hell out of me: if this is Fluttershy, who was that they found pinned to the wall in the first room? From Pinkie's explanation in the earlier chapter, it seems she actually thinks she killed Fluttershy. Is that because Fluttershy mind-fucked her into believing it, or did some other unfortunate pony end up on the wall?

Okay, mixed thoughts here. On the one hand, I actually really like this ending. Appropriately dreadful. There was a lot about the delivery of this story that was so-so at best, but I think I'm happy with it overall.

What really gets me is that through 90% of this story, the emotions felt... bland. The ending made up for it, being appropriately terrifying and even sickening, but everything else? Not so much. Anyway, I'll have a proper review for you some time in the future.

5897936
The beginning and end of the story are where the most liberties were taken with the original material. The ending I gave it was a lot more gruesome, but I figured the audience deserved that kind of payoff and it really helps strike home exactly how horrible everything turned out to be. And yes, Fluttershy's monologue there at the end is a bit lame but it's to give you the idea that it's the ending, wrapping everything up with them trapped in the caverns forever... Except of course that's not the real ending.

Truth be told I had a lot of fun writing the ending, and I thought it would be neat to have a severely damaged and manipulated Pinkie Pie rather than a straight up evil one. As for Fluttershy, I know it kind of follows the trope of "it's always the quiet ones", but in this case she fit the original character perfectly in that regard.

If you have any questions about the story I'd be happy to answer them in private.

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