• Member Since 10th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen Jun 19th, 2018

Arkensaw Pinkerton

I am an owl driving a surprisingly sophisticated human robot.


Twilight's cutie mark is fading, and Celestia sends her a series of lessons to rekindle her passion for magic- and for friendship. Twilight must study the magics her friends possess, as well as casting a serious eye on her own gifts.

This is technically a sequel to "Fixing Up Miss Smartypants", so I totally recommend that you read that first. It's set five years later.

Chapters (8)
Comments ( 398 )

Woah... must find out what happened to everypony now, tracking for sure.

My god, you're a productive bost'tet. And the quality has clearly not given way to quantity. Always an inspiration, always a great read.

I wonder if Twilight's symptom has a time limit. To make things more exciting. Running out of time, must take lessons. :raritydespair:

I'd give this one a track. :yay:

Intriguing! A fading cutie mark is certainly an original concept. I especially liked the tantalizing clues about a previous relationship with Mac. Consider it tracked!

A dashing figure strides into a resteraunt, His Magnificence proclaimed to all. He's dressed impeccably, From his Gilded tuxedo to his Tower of Thirty-Two Tophats (crowned, ironically, by a bowler), From his Atomic pocketwatch to his Trio of Monocles. Truly Arkensaw Pinkerton (for it is indeed this Marvelous fellow we are speaking about) is a man of class, grace and poise. The same cannot be said for Lordlyhour who, when noting there was a new Arkensaw Pinkerton fic out Promptly Dropped his Mobile computing device, Hit himself in the face with it in the process and Wrote half of a Minific Involving a convoluted series of gags revolving around dressing up in drag(of which only the Descriptor of Arkensaw at the beggining of this post remains) to express his joy at said new Arkensaw Fic. Tracked and Thumb-upped before I read. I knew I was not Clicking in vain.

238886 How in blazes did you know about my Atomic pocketwatch? :rainbowhuh:
Seriously, though, this made me giggle. Thanks for reading!:rainbowkiss:

238897 The answer to your query is a long and harrowing tale, recorded thusly for future generations!; I sometimes follow you about sneakily. I occasionally make Forts out of your impeccable trousers, I sneak off with shiney things whilst your back is turned and I have a nest in your Basement. Your butler charges me no rent. I'd pay, but he says my presence keeps the restless ghosts of the Hobo's buried in the mass grave quiet and that's payment enough.

This... This is so far, awesome. It'll be interesting to see how yu handle the reunions/ explore the whys of Twilight leave and all.

p.s. I'll laugh if her mentor is 5cootaloo

Too many shadows, whispering voices
Faces on posters, too many choices
If, when, why, what?
How much have you got?
Have you got it, do you get it, if so, how often?
And which do you choose, a hard or soft option?

I believe these song lyrics sum this up pretty nicely :rainbowkiss:

The entire song: West End Girls

Hmmmmm.....given that her power is based on the magic of friendship, it seems to me that what Celestia is trying to get her to do is reconnect with those around her. Given that her preference is to sit in her library and ignore the world as it passes her by, Mystery Pegasus (:derpyderp2:?:rainbowderp:?:yay:?:scootangel:?) has her work cut out for her.

239353 or him. Let's not be sexist, here (though it's kinda a foregone conclusion... Wich would make it even funnier if it's, like, Soarin.)

It could indeed be Soarin'. Or, for that matter, Pound Cake......

238951 your comments on this fic have been the most entertaining ones iv read on this site so far

Losing one's cutie mark is a Bad Thing.

I'm curious if you will explore the 5 years in which Twilight and Mac both found their relationship, and then lost it.

Ack, and your first story was so heartwarming! This is a situation I could easily see happening to these characters, although I don't really like it. You tell a damn good story regardless, and I'm eager to see where you take this.

I hope this ends well for Twilight...

Woah... A 5 year jump in time?! :derpyderp2:
Well there went another bit of sanity.... O well, didn't need that bit anyways. Being crazier is a lot more fun. Now where is that muffin button?
.... Darn can't find it. I guess the thumb up button and track box will have to do.:pinkiehappy:

Yeesh... The future sounds like its pretty bad from Twilights perspective, if the show does go on for five years, I hope it isn't like this

This is wonderful! By the second paragraph, I was already hooked.

My face when I saw this was a sequel to Fixing Up Miss Smartypants:

My face when I see that Twilight's relationship and social life have gone to hell:

? didn't fixing up miss smartypants end on a happy note?

240206 this this this! :twilightoops::raritydespair::eeyup::rainbowderp:

Oh dear. This will be good. I hope there's a happy ending. :unsuresweetie:

Awww, I hope everything works out for Twilight in the end. I'm assuming Mac's place as a major character will lead to that. It's sad to know that they're no longer together.

Easy track and Thumbs Up for me, I adored your first, so I shall read your second.

I see, she was consumed by her research

Whoa. What a bombshell. I had no idea Twilight would give up Big Red for studying. Makes me wonder what else happened. Tracked, and I will know more. I must. No excuses!

240237 It did end on a happy note! Fixing Up Miss Smartypants was a traditional comedy, where it is easy to see from fairly early on where everyone should be and then I tease you by making it look as though they won't end up in those places but then they do. Hurrah!

Because this is so much later than the first story, don't expect every relationship from Smartypants to go where you hoped it would. I'll admit some of this planning kind of broke my heart a little.

O,O someones about to be pissed off :pinkiecrazy:

Ack, well written but kind of depressing.

What did I do to deserve an update like three hours after I finished the first chapter?

Now you've got me hooked. Well, I guess I can wait for the next one. If I have to.

Oh, dear. We know what she did to piss off the pony who's about to yell at her dumb ass but what did she do to antagonize Scootaloo? And why haven't we heard about Sweetie Belle or Apple Bloom?

Thumbs up, well written and a little confusing at times but I love it.

You are an evil man for making them break up... I want more!!!

242381 There's a tiny hint in what scootaloo says as to why she's mad at Twilight. :twilightoops: As far as Applebloom and Sweetie Belle go, fret ye not! They'll return to the narrative eventually.

Ah....The "When I needed help, you had your muzzle rammed in a book and told me to not bother you with 'trivialities' " thing. Gotcha.

242369 At least she is becoming friends with Dash again. So there is hope for a happy end.
..... Of course everything could go wrong and it ends really really badly.......
We will just have to wait and see...... yep.... wait..... and.... wait.... and............ Sigh, there sure is a lot of waiting for these great stories, but it is totally worth it.:pinkiehappy:

Hrrrm. Either Spikkety-Wikkety-Woo Feels Under-Appreciated and vents to the CMC or Scootaloo has a Crush on the Purple Menace and He's being worked too hard for her to see him with any Regularity

I may have an idea on how this is going to end. Ain't pretty at first but that's how some stories go, right? :trixieshiftright:

Oh boy. Applejack is going to buck her pretty hard.

You're certainly good at breaking your readers' hearts, guy. But you're also good at making us feel pretty darn good, so I hope you manage to put both skills to good use.

But wait, why the hell was Dash delivering mail instead of seeing Twilight? That doesn't seem like her thing. And I don't see her getting so angry when Spike says she's not delivering personal mail, but a little annoyed. She can just go see Twilight, and all her friends are aware how wrapped up she can get in her work. Didn't THEY come see her? Friendship IS a two-way street, and it doesn't seem like they've been good friends either. If they were, they would have put forth the effort to bring her back, not just give up at the first sign of trouble. And Dash is the element of LOYALTY, so that makes even less sense...

What happened to Pinkie Pie? Wouldn't she be focused on making sure that stuff like this never ever happens? I know she could be in Canterlot with the princess, but you'd think that if she knew trouble was brewing in Ponyville, she'd be able to come right down. I mean, Canterlot isn't THAT far away, after all. I can see Fluttershy allowing herself to drift away, and Applejack, seeing her stubbornness and the whole thing with Big Mac, but not Dash. Not at all. Or Pinkie, as I've said. Rarity is somepony who gets caught up in her work all the time, and somepony that knows Twilight, so I don't see her getting hurt because she won't answer the mail or something. I see her as the one who understands her plight the most.

And it's not just that: ALL of Twilight's friends get her little quirks and deal with them, just as she deals with theirs. I don't see a compelling reason why they gave up on her instead of trying to work things out. She was one of their closest friends, and it sounds like they did fuck all in trying to keep her friendship, from what I can see. That's like if Pinkie went Pinkamina in Party of One and Dash just left her there to stew in her anger and then everything went to hell because her friends kept ignoring her. I can't see that happening either, because friends take care of each other. It's even less forgivable in this circumstance, because they know that Twilight can get caught up in her research, they KNOW she can have tunnel-vision sometimes and forget about important things. And Twilight has SPIKE, her assistant who knows her problems better than anything and has the contacts necessary to end this whole conflict and has done so when Twilight was doing weird stuff before.

And what about the bucking princess? Come on, she had to know what was happening! Twilight obsessively wrote her letters about friendship, and I daresay she knows about all of this. I mean, how can she NOT? You have Luna up there with Pinkie Pie, and Twi is one of Pinkie's closest friends. And I bet the others at least send letters up there, or that when she heard about all the troubles--okay, that might be too dependant on how characters wound up in the story, but based on what we know, it still wouldn't matter. Most of them are still in Ponyville, and there's no real reason put forth why they wouldn't try harder to save her than not at all.

You had a good ending, author, and I don't really see why you needed to go and make it really sad and depressing on us. But at least make it logistically sound, and don't put all the blame on Twilight for this. I don't know, maybe you have answers for all this concerns, but they REALLY stick out to me as a reader right now, and I can't see a single reason how things could have got this way if Twilight's friends were being her...well, friends. I don't really see a reason they wouldn't be, so it just seems like it was done just to have everything go to hell.

I can SEE Dash acting how she does now once Twilight gets to that point a little--no, I can't even see that. I can't imagine her and the rest of the gang not constantly mentioning her when they run into trouble and trying to make her come around, or even just in the day-to-day. I'm sorry, author, I LOVE your previous story, but this does not make any sense to me at the moment. I know you're a good writer, but I don't know if you can get me to buy this premise. And it's not because you're a bad writer, but I don't know if it's POSSIBLE given the scenario you have, them just drifting apart when a good chunk of them, if not all of them, still live in Ponyville.

I wanna hope that you can pull this off, but...I dunno.

I want to know if Spike is going out with Sweetie Bell... and when is Twilight going to befriend Spike again after becoming distant with him, she doesn't really know anything he does now.

242670 First things first- it is hell of heartwarming to me to see someone take this much time to deconstruct the fic. It means you've really read it and engaged with it, and as an author, I can't ask for much more. Let me see if I can answer your points one at a time, but bear in mind that I will occasionally say "Wait and see"- this fic has been planned a lot more comprehensively than Smartypants, and I think I've got answers for most of your questions.

Okay, first of all: why didn't Dash just go and see Twilight instead of writing? There's really two parts to this one. Firstly, i figure Rainbow did, for the most part and for a long time, invite Twilight to things personally. Twilight just keeps non-comitting and not showing up. Secondly, the mail she mentions not getting through isn't from her- it's from Rarity, on her behalf, when she's feeling upset. Rarity strikes me as the type to prefer a heartfelt letter when trying to reach a friend as opposed to the personal intervention. I figure Rainbow finds out, long after the fact, that Rarity wrote to Twilight and asked her to come visit. Rainbow is grateful to have a reason as to why Twilight didn't come visit her- the mail got lost! She finds Spike first and asks him what is the deal with not sorting out Twilight's mail properly so she loses her messages, and Spike reluctantly tells Rainbow he was under instructions not to deliver it. Rainbow sort of gets a double-whammy of rejection, and for her, that's the thing that makes her think hey, Twilight's not my friend any more.

As far as Loyalty goes? Rainbow shows a heck of a lot of that in this chapter. Despite drifting apart, Rainbow's still pretty sure Twilight's not a total jerk, that there's some reason why she's shut everypony else out. She shows a lot of loyalty to Twilight- she also shows a lot of respect for what she saw as Twilight moving on with her life and leaving them behind.

What I'm going to change, and it's a subtle change but an important one that you've highlighted- I'm going to change 'mail' to 'messages'. Spike's not just limited to the mail. He's under instructions not to let Twi be bothered, and I think that'll help clarify what I meant, so thank you for that!

Secondly, Pinkie is the focus of the next chapter, so I'm going to go into the hows and whys of her relationship with Twilight collapsing there. I can't give too much away now, but suffice it to say- I think you're right that Dash and Pinkie are the two ponies most focussed on keeping the group together. You'll see exactly what happened soon, but the points you raise are great ones. I'll go into it a bit more after chapter 3 when it's up!

Thirdly, you're right that Twilight's friends try to give her a lot of slack for her quirks. They know she can tunnel-vision. What I'm hoping to show as the narrative goes on is exactly how tiring it can be to constantly reach out to someone who keeps seeming to reject that friendship. I do promise I will go into the effort it's taken here- but there's only so far people or ponies will go to keep trying to be friends with someone who seems not to dislike them, but just not to be very engaged with their lives, constantly and consistently.

It's not all Twilight's fault, I promise- there are big segments of the narrative that deal with a lot of your worries and concerns.

Finally, why hasn't the princess done something? That was something I wrestled with during the planning of this story. Suffice it to say there are reasons as to why the princess is dealing with the situation as she is, with this series of lessons, and reasons why she did not interfere sooner.

I think that covers everything! Oh, wait, one more thing- why do a sad followup to FuMS? Because I've not written something sad before. I wanted to stretch myself- to see if I could credibly write a character who has fallen away from what they should be, and their attempted redemption (which may or may not be successful to greater or lesser degrees, I'm not giving away the whole plot!)

In any case, I would love it if you would bear with me on this one. Your criticism is well thought out and extremely constructive, and I think you will, genuinely, enjoy where I'm going with this.

yup, this is a track-worthy story. im interested to see how things worked out between pinkie and princess luna. :pinkiecrazy:

...Don't like the part with Filthy Rich. He didn't seem to be that kind of asshole in the show. He seemed to be on genuinely friendly terms with the Apple Family with only his daughter being a stuck up little brat.

242929 That's fair. For the fic, I figure he was on good terms with them but couldn't resist this particular deal.:applejackunsure:

It seems to me that the point of all of this is to get Twilight to see what her absence has done. I've been going over this in my head and I've come to the conclusion that while things would still have gone much the way they did, her presence would have made what couldn't have been prevented had she been there more bearable.

242929 This is essentially Filthy's fanon persona. The show itself lacks true flankholes, and the brony community tends to fit characters more towards what they would be viewed like in real life. For example, the common portrayal of Derpy as Ditzy, a surprisingly intelligent pony striving past her eye condition.

On a related note, I could totally see Scootaloo going somewhat punk as a young adult, as well as using technical to compensate for RD's superior natural speed. It shows she followed her intentions, but as she grew up she let go of the absolute hero worship of youth and did it her way.

The idea of pegasus magic being "fueled" by emotion is an interesting idea, and certainly meshes with the concept of pegasi's active attitudes. Not sure if Pinky Pie can be considered a good choice for earth pony magic though, since her fourth wall breaking borders on the psychic/astral well beyond "standard" earth pony magic. Or perhaps it's an extended conciousness of earth and sort-of beyond making her the perfect candidate. Looking forward to how this plays out.

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