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“Literature has been the salvation of the damned; literature, literature has inspired and guided lovers, routed despair, and can perhaps, in this case, save the world.” ― John Cheever


In long forgotten storage rooms beneath Canterlot Castle, two ponies discover rare hidden objects. But how did those treasures get there, and why are there so many of them?

Concept: BlueBook ● Proofreaders: Rainbooms, Tigerose ● Pre-reader: Burraku_Pansa

Reviewed by Seattle's Angels in SA Reviews #90 11th Sep 2016

Chapters (4)
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Comments ( 13 )

It's way too early for me to properly judge the angle, but the fact remains that the only thing bugging me while reading this is that everyone is a pony. There just seems to be no need for it. Actually, it seems like you may have forgotten what they're meant to be yourself: not once can I find any mention of which race any of the characters belong to -- earth, pegasus or unicorn -- despite that being probably the first thing anyone looking would notice about them, and rather an important detail for a number of other reasons. Except for the naming pattern and one brief, specific mention of Canterlot Castle, there's nothing tying this in to the show at all. (Well, yeah, granted, it is on a site called "FIM Fiction", but that's not part of the story so it doesn't count. :ajbemused:)

Other than that niggling point, complaints are hard to imagine. You just know it's not going to stay this simple for long, but where and how it goes off the rails is still too far up in the air to guess. The principal characters are realistically sardonic without pushing into Whedonistic quip overdrive, and even minor characters like Wade or April seem vibrant and realized during their brief flashes across the stage. This is a fantastically promising start, and I look forward to reading more of it. :pinkiehappy:

It looks like the genocidal professor nearly wiped out the dragons, but his compulsion to keep their eggs as trophies saves them.

Let me guess, this is over over 100 years before S01E01 “Friendship Is Magic Part # Ⅰ”. With these eggs, Princess Celestia undoes the genocide, but 1 light purple egg with dark purple splotches stubbornly refuses to hatch. Princess Celestia figures that anypony who can hatch it must be destined for greatness so makes it part of the entrance-examination for her school for gifted unicorns.

After over an hundred years and over a myriad (10 thousand) attempts at hatching it later, a filly named Twilight Sparkle succeeds. Twilight Sparkle and her brother/son (emotionally speaking)* Spike The Dragon go onto great things and reshape all of Equus into a better world.

¿Am I right?

* Since Twilight Sparkle hatched Spike, she is like his mother, and since Princess Celestia and the family of Twilight Sparkle raised Spike, they are like brother and sister.

About all of the dead birds and eggs, killing specimens for preservation was a necessary evil in the past, but nowadays, ponies often document wildlife with cameras and collect genetic evidence from feathers, fur, shed skin, and animals who recovered remains such as animals killed and partially consumed by predators or who have died from disease starvation, dehydration, or natural causes. Almost never do biologists kill chordates for sampling.

Donald Rusk Currey is despised because he studied Prometheus, the oldest know organism at the time (1964) at an age of 4,862 years when he murdered it by felling the Bristleconepine. Even in 1964, the consensus of other dendrochronologists is that he should have core the tree. Nowadays, dendrochhronologists would lynch anypony who fells the oldest known tree on Equus.

Birdsong's hoof went to her throat.


“Maybe he had something against them.”

Maybe he did, but he isn't likely to have been the one to have stashed them all behind a hidden door in an obscure sub-basement, is he? :pinkiehappy:

As Twist would say, “¡What a Thwishth!” ¡Princess Celestia is an eggthief! ¡I did not see that coming!

:ajbemused: So I was right from the start: there wasn't any actual need for them to be ponies at all.

Oh well. Still a damn good yarn, even with the joke being overexplained at the end.

Well, while it's strictly speaking true that the characters didn't need to be ponies as such... for the story you'd need something like Equestria, or at least this version of it, anyway.

Wait, what? That's the end? What happened to Dusty? Was he correct, or was he being paranoid? Did he ever tell his story?

7560916 Same here. :derpyderp2:

Wait, what? That's the end? :rainbowhuh:

Huh? What?? :applejackconfused:

This... doesn't make any sense.

At first, Dusty suspects one thing, then it turns out he's wrong. So, when he gets new evidence after a week of psychologically draining work and two sleepless nights that clearly have left him in a rattled state, he immediately jumps to the worst possible conclusion that runs completely contrary to our own understanding of canon-Celestia.

So obviously, he's wrong again, right? I mean, obviously he must be wrong.

The entire time, I was waiting for the other horseshoe to drop.

For some random detail to suddenly make him stop and rethink his conspiracy. Heck, even as late as in the train-car with the mare and her foal I thought the mother/daughter interaction may suddenly have sparked a previously unconsidered thought.

Or for Birdsong to go ahead and read the letter anyway, then catch up to him and provide some alternative perspective on the subject, other than his sleep-deprived panicking mind.

Sure, it'd have been kinda awkward to turn around and go back to his appartment and explain himself to his friends, maybe indeed quit that job and rethink his life, but I fully expected him to come to his senses and then actually figure out the real truth.

This would have been a really good story, the mystery had me completely hooked until the very end - except that there is no ending. Or, if there is, it makes no sense to me. Princess Celestia is evil? Huh? What? Why?


Even Dusty couldn't really come up with a plausible theory for why Princess Celestia was taking the eggs.

And this was even featured in a FiMfiction review? What?

Did I miss something?

Seriously, was there some extra chapter I missed? A sequel? A prequel? Am I misinterpreting something?

In the early chapters, my initial hypothesis was, that the eggs had some sort of self-replicating spell going on. Princess Celestia was planning to repopulate the species once a sufficient quantity had been reached..

Then we find out she's bringing them there, so they must've come from somewhere. Theory #2: Uh... maybe she's working with the dragons somehow? Maybe most dragons can't hatch their eggs themselves anymore and that's where the "hatch egg in magic entrance exam" came from? Clearly Spike is in that storage room somewhere, that much is obvious.

Okay, the only halfway "plausible" theory I have is that Princess Celestia is driving a hostile dragon-population to extinction, so she can re-start their species with pony-friendly dragons. But that still implies "Princess Celestia is evil", and you can't just drop that on the reader like that. At the very least, there would've needed to be a scene where Celestia explains her reasons.

It's like, as if you read a story that seems perfectly normal, and in the last chapter it's revealed Fluttershy is actually a murderer, the end. You'd also go "wait, hold on, what?", "That can't be right", and "wait, how does it go on? There's no way it can end like that! Why would she do that? Fluttershy wouldn't do that, this makes no sense! ...Was it in self-defense? Maybe it was 'just' a magical construct and not a real pony? Was Fluttershy under the influence of dark magic? Was it even Fluttershy who committed the murder, or a changeling disguised as her? Was the pony she killed a changeling trying to kill her? Poor Fluttershy must've felt horrible afterwards, how did she cope? Does she even remember doing it, or is there some sort of memory-erasure spell involved?" ...And so on and so forth.

In other words, it leaves more questions than it answers.

Heck, I'm sure you can make the "Princess Celestia is evil"-ending work, but then you need to expand upon it. Make Princess Celestia question her own actions. Make it a moral gray area rather than black and white. Make this somehow related to Luna's banishment, clouding Celestia's emotions and judgement. Hay, we only know that the story takes place before Luna's return, but not how long before it. It could be 10 years before, or 500! ...Are the dragons somehow related to bat-ponies?? Is she doing this for Luna for some reason?

All in all, you've got a really good story there... except for the ending. You still get an upvote from me. :pinkiesmile:

Very good questions, guys, ones in which I'm sure Dusty is wishing he knew the answers to.

Remember this, though. We see all the events through Dusty. He most definitely doesn't have all the information he needs to understand what is going on. But, he feels he needs to take action in some way and chooses this method. Is it the right method? Well, to him, it is.

Now, this does leave the story in a rather open-ended manner. But, I approve of this and it was one of the many reasons why I decided to feature it. Not all stories have to be tied up in a perfect bow. Life often doesn't grant us that luxury.

My challenge to you is to decide if you agree with Dusty's decision. If you don't, that's fine! It opens discussion, something that a story like this warrants.

Perhaps down the line, the author will feel inclined to expand on the story in a sequel. If not, it's left up to your interpretation.

Once again, nice story!

This was great, and I understand perfectly what you're implying with this epilogue. Maybe we'll see a sequel?

A great read! This was, in Rainbow's words, 'unputdownable'!

I can only imagine the fallout that occurred after Dusty spread the word like wildfire, if he was able to, that is. I have to wonder if Celestia wouldn't have already had a story up her sleeve to cover up her acts should they ever comes to light. Which also begs the question, why wouldn't Celestia have stored the eggs somewhere where no one could get in? Did she think it better to 'hide in plain sight'? Maybe she couldn't have a doorless room due to ponies getting suspicious? And maybe she couldn't have magical wards to protect the room due to unicorns being able to sense magical fields.
I'm not sure, but the open ending works. Sometimes it's best to leave readers with more questions than answers. I think making this story longer and providing explanations wouldn't really make this story better in my opinion. This mystery was solved, the reason behind it still unknown. I think that's delightfully ominous. Not all stories need to have everything explained to be great just as they are. Nicely done!

Count me as one of the readers who is a little confused by the ending. I would love to hear more about this story, but what perplexes me in particular is: What about Spike? I was kind of assuming the egg that Stone took would be Spike. But the egg Stone takes is headed out of the country, and the rest of the eggs are locked up in the basement of the castle. Either Stone fails and the eggs remained locked up until all the dragons go extinct (after the show), or Stone succeeds and Celestia is forced to return the eggs to the dragons. The set up of this story makes it almost impossible for any egg to be openly used as an entrance exam test at the Celestia's School.

Maybe this is nitpicking, but I thought this story would be giving an interesting take on a possible origin for Spike's egg, when in fact it feels like it precludes Spike's origin.

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