• Member Since 10th Mar, 2013
  • offline last seen February 3rd

SpinelStride


T

Sometimes, things work out better than expected. Sometimes… they don’t. And sometimes you need a little help to make it all work out in the end.

The Mage. The Farmer. The Daredevil. The Party Pony. The Animal Caretaker. The Fashionista. They're always there. What spirit takes on each role can change. Some combinations work out even better than the world where Twilight Sparkle became an alicorn. Some combinations work out much, much worse. Princess Luna guards the places between - and so do all the other Princess Lunas. When one calls out for help, another responds.

Xenophile sociology applies, and a version of Lero did get found in the Everfree in both of these realities, but don't plan on seeing HiE.

Chapters (8)
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Comments ( 65 )

this is madness

I forsee great things

I certainly hope that we will have a way to properly distinguish the various duplicates at some pont down the road so we don't get hopelessly lost.

Also, i am horrifyingly behind on the winningverse stories.

This is going to be so confusing so fast. I doubt anyone who hasn't read Divided Rainbow will get this story. It kinda feels like an inside joke for DR readers. Maybe providing a summary of DR as an author's note might help. Or at least citing it right up from so people know the story may not make sense unless they read DR first.

Coolmom, Awesomom, letter for you from Princess Luna!

Great, we've got transcontinuity leakage. I'll get the wrench...

In any case, this looks like it's going to be a great story. Even if it does play merry havoc with my model of the greater Equestrian possibility space...

Oh well. Looking forward to more.

Interesting premise, I'm interested to see where this goes. And good luck keeping your characters straight! I imagine I'd write a chapter, then on read-through go "Wait, Rarity is the party pony now, not Pinkie. Ah well, replace all...shoot, that did it for miseryverse Rarity too... and now they're all... and I have to... AAARGGGHHHH!" :raritycry:

Unless... ooo, writing it with "mRarity" and "aRarity" for misery and awesome, then once you're done editing just replace them with plain Rarity. That way you have a non-contextual way of telling which character is which while you're checking things... you probably don't do this, but it's my headcanon for your writing method now. And I'ma stop rambling now. :derpytongue2:

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Nope! Just keep it clear from context which one is which. If I lose track without any more than that, then I couldn't expect my readers to be able to follow along either.

Ha ha ha! This is so cool! I'm very curious to see where this goes.

The fourth derivative of awesome is . . . still awesome! awesome = e :twistnerd: :pinkiehappy:

one reality was only a potential reality until they but it still had its own history

I know this is party pony speak, but I still think there is something missing between "they" and "but". I would guess "merged"?
Whew. Timey wimey explanation in party pony speak. It took me a bunch of read throughs but I think I've got it. :twilightsmile: Starswirl's spell caused awesomeverse and normalverse to fuse; the elements separated them. From the perspective of the awesomeverse, the spell confused every pony else, while the mane 6 remained the same; the elements reversed the general confusion. The awesomeverse remains realized and accessible through the dreamlands. Got it, Rarity. Pass me one of those triple-coffee brownies -- they smell awes- naturally delicious!

You are as real as any ponies have ever been.

Nice double entendre. :trollestia:

Hope to see more of this story. I like where it's going, and more of the Divided Rainbow 'verses are always welcome.

o/~ Behold, behold, the Awesome Bearers cometh! o/~
(Trying to be more creative than "first post" or "it's alive!")
I still have no idea what's going to happen.(Awesome should curb-stomp misery, right?, but that doesn't make much of a story.) I can't wait to find out.

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There are degrees of awesome :rainbowdetermined2: and degrees of misery :pinkiecrazy:. But at least Luna thinks they can do some good...

Good to see this update. The Awesome Bearers are already injecting some much needed hope in this rather nasty permutation, but from the sound of it, there are some consequences that will take more than a few smiles and promises to solve...

I look forward to more.

Comment posted by Mike Teavee deleted Aug 14th, 2014

"Rainbow Dash, get back inside. You’ve got work to do.”

The blue-furred tailor struggled back up to her hooves, tears still running down her cheeks as she watched shards of color still dancing in the sky. “Yes, Captain,” she said meekly, and backed away. A moment later, her face appeared in the window, watching.

Ouch. I imagine that must be HARSH for Awesome Twilight and Awesome Dash, watching this version of Lyra, (their beloved herd-sister) treat Misery Dash so dismissively.

Lyra said flatly. “It took both princesses to throw her out last time, and she’s still got that amulet, wherever she is.”

“I think I have a side project now,” Rainbow Dash noted to her friends. “The Alicorn Amulet here still has the curse on it. It’s not Trixie’s fault she went mad here any more than it was in our world.”

Intriguing. Things started going south in the Miseryverse BEFORE that spell book came, it seems.

Pinkie couldn’t help noticing a three-button logo on the majority of those overdone outfits - and a very familiar delicately-patterned purple cloth all over. She sniffed and lifted her nose, refusing to look further.

Suri's taken Canterlot by storm, here. Whoa.

Rarity trembled. Applejack charged forward, shoving right between a pair of unicorn guards before they could react, and held the white unicorn. Rarity began to sob. “Promise! Promise you mean it! Promise!”

I feel so bad for this version of Rarity. Before, I'd always figured that if Rarity were swapped into the Element of Magic role, at LEAST they'd have a magic who could CAST magic, so everything should be okay. But this… and to think that her version of Lero isn't as loving to her, either…

And I feel just as bad for Celestia, too...

Rares took a deep breath and looked up for a second, then discarded her usual form of promising and nodded instead. This was, after all, a promise to herself, not to anypony else. “I promise. By mom and by dad, by Sweetie Belle, by all my friends, by you and by me, by the Elements of Magic and Laughter, I promise.”

I wonder what the relationship between Laughter Rarity and her sister Sweetie Belle's like. Does Awesome Sweetie try to emulate her elder sister, still, (and thus, would that Sweetie be more jokey and party-throwing?)

Stupendous stuff, Spinel. So glad to see this story back in action. Gotta say, what I'm really looking forward to is when they go to see Misery Fluttershy; I'd LOVE to see things get patched up between her and Misery Lero.

From Luna's scene, it seems that the reinforcement Bearers came just in time.

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Well, Awesome!Lero is off on a trip with Lyra, and Misery!Lero is extremely busy at work. It's quite possible that neither of them will get much screen time. Or any.

Also, Misery!Lero is not the one who appeared in the dream. The Lero in the dream was from a 'standard' Mane Six, who had succumbed to despair over how poorly everything was going in his efforts to keep them together. The Miseryverse's own Lero has never tried to 'fix' Fluttershy or Rarity because as far as he's concerned, they're perfectly normal - even if they're going through a rough time, and he's working like crazy to support them. So he doesn't have that distance that the 'Swap-fighting' Lero's despair had induced. The Miseryverse and the Awesomeverse are the universes where those 'swaps' really *are* how destiny said it should be. Fashionista Dash isn't swapped - she's loved sharing beauty ever since her first rainboom. And so on.

And, yeah, the Miseryverse was not going so brilliantly even before the Swap brought some temporary chaos to town. Sweet Apple Acres never got wagered on the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy because they were in sufficiently dire financial straits as to have to take the rip-off 70/30 offer in the first place. Rarity's never been able to reproduce the magical surge that got Celestia's attention in the first place, and neither encounter with Trixie went well. Fluttershy's appearance at Best Young Fliers was a complete flop, overshadowed by Dash's rainboom winning Fashionista Dash the prize. And so on. Not everything has been a failure... but they have to cling hard to partial victories there.

4850429

Well, Awesome!Lero is off on a trip with Lyra, and Misery!Lero is extremely busy at work. It's quite possible that neither of them will get much screen time. Or any.

Well, it's your story. Still, whether or not either version of Lero makes a personal appearance, (though I hope he does) it'd still be cool seeing what sort of things Fluttershy The Weatherpony has to say about Lero.

Also, Misery!Lero is not the one who appeared in the dream. The Lero in the dream was from a 'standard' Mane Six, who had succumbed to despair over how poorly everything was going in his efforts to keep them together. The Miseryverse's own Lero has never tried to 'fix' Fluttershy or Rarity because as far as he's concerned, they're perfectly normal - even if they're going through a rough time, and he's working like crazy to support them. So he doesn't have that distance that the 'Swap-fighting' Lero's despair had induced.

Gotcha.

The Miseryverse and the Awesomeverse are the universes where those 'swaps' really *are* how destiny said it should be. Fashionista Dash isn't swapped - she's loved sharing beauty ever since her first rainboom. And so on.

It's enough to make me wonder… remember the 'dream' that Lero described to Rarity in Chapter 10 of Divided Rainbow?

“You know that spell that Twilight’s working on? The unfinished one from Starswirl the Bearded? Well, I dreamt that Twilight cast the spell in front of the Elements of Harmony... and it caused you, Rarity, and all Twilight’s other Element Bearing friends to switch cutie marks. You switched with Applejack. Applejack switched with Pinkie Pie. Pinkie Pie switched with Fluttershy. Fluttershy switched with Rainbow Dash. And Rainbow Dash switched with you. And when this happened, Rarity, you all exchanged each other’s roles in life.”

“Huh?”

And Lero confessed nearly everything to her; though his tale was heavily and carefully modified. Couched in the context of a dream, with all the names switched, since the bewitchment wouldn’t allow for the bald truth. In Lero’s story, Rarity was the dressmaker who couldn’t make a dress. Fluttershy was the animal caretaker unable to take proper care of her animals, and Rainbow Dash was... well, Rarity.

Suppose, somewhere in the multiverse, there exists a world where this IS the case, and everything's a complete inversion of what's seen in Divided Rainbow? Well… I'd imagine that the Swapped Verse-Lero would probably have fallen in love with Rainbow Dash the Weatherpony just like DR-Lero fell for Rarity the Weatherpony, and then he'd have bent over backwards trying to help Rarity the Fashionista while winning her heart. It's a comforting notion; the idea that the Original Five and the Swapped Five have merely exchanged places, and that even though this isn't their 'real' families, they're all still being cared for and loved.

And, yeah, the Miseryverse was not going so brilliantly even before the Swap brought some temporary chaos to town. Sweet Apple Acres never got wagered on the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy because they were in sufficiently dire financial straits as to have to take the rip-off 70/30 offer in the first place. Rarity's never been able to reproduce the magical surge that got Celestia's attention in the first place, and neither encounter with Trixie went well. Fluttershy's appearance at Best Young Fliers was a complete flop, overshadowed by Dash's rainboom winning Fashionista Dash the prize. And so on. Not everything has been a failure... but they have to cling hard to partial victories there.

That's an intriguing divergence; that the natives of the Miseryville just haven't known as much success in general, even before the unfinished spell came along into their lives. Certainly it'll make for interesting world building, through and through! Can't wait to see more chapters!

God damn rarity cheating

Also, man those guys are shafted

Damn, someone get a medic

"Angel and Demon" I like it

:twilightoops: Yeah, that's definitely not a good sign at the end there. I just hope the visiting Mane Six are making matters better, because the alternative...

Well, I suppose the alternative would be a dozen relatively well-adjusted Bearers of Harmony versus whatever's eating Luna. Not the worst case, but still not good.

Looking forward to more.

“That there was Demon,” Fluttershy drawled, holding up her right forehoof. “Ain’t a lot of ponies who’re real fond of Demon after gettin’ introduced.”
The screaming pegasus charged in. Two seconds later she was facedown on the ground with several teeth landing beside her.

“But nopony likes Angel,” Fluttershy finished, holding up her left forehoof. “Real ornery varmint, this one is.” And she kissed her hoof. Then she dropped to the ground next to the groaning yellow pegasus she’d just powerhoused out of the air.

Heh heh… still got a nasty Angel…

Then Fluttershy gathered up the four teeth that had landed and casually kicked her downed duplicate over onto her back.

“Ah said Ah was gonna enjoy makin’ you eat your teeth,” she said - and held them up on the surface of Angel. Then smashed Demon down on them, reducing all four to a powder…

:rainbowderp: Jesus Christ… I can only hope that pony dentists have tooth-regrowing spells...

and shoved Angel into the local’s mouth. “Bone apple-teat.”

Can't help but like this pun…

Ah don’t care what y’all have been through, that mare has been there through all of it with you, an’ you do not take one dang-blasted thing out on her!”

Words that ought to be spoken to abusive spouses everywhere.

The pegasus on the ground closed her eyes and began to cry. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m a bad pony, I’m sorry, Rarity, please, I’m sorry, I need help…”

God, I feel so bad for Fluttershy the Unemployed Weathermare...

Now I wonder how things have been like between her and Lero. Was he able to calm her down or was she just as short and temperamental with him?

I didn't care that rainbow could teach dash her special magic. I like the idea that the tribes are equal but different.

But more importantly all those scenes were absolutely heartwarming! I especially liked cloudsilk. And the twilight sparklers were pretty neat too. And that SONG was probably the most precious thing of all.

I agree with 4857120 on this chapter. It's really well done.

My only gripe is this:

you’ll fly above the rest,
and when you’re tired
look for me
and I will help you rest.

Why you do this? Why you rhyme Rest with Rest? There's numerous words they rhyme with! Best Jest Test Crest Lest Zest Vest Pest Nest Chest West, to name all the ones I could think of.

4857285
It's repetition there rather than rhyming - notice the other verses repeated 'me' and 'you' the same way?

Awesome curb-stomp proceeds apace. :pinkiehappy:
Just as good, the real challenge is brewing on the horizon. I bet it's going to take all of them to handle. :trixieshiftright:

Oh man, you made me feel for discord. Almost like the feeling you get trying to help someone in a nursing home, that just eats you man.

I'm guessing that this is all already written out and you are unleashing it all at once, right?

Also, Rainbow Dash speaking with the mannerisms of Rarity is just HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGG.

4858304
Nope - on vacation, writing it out as I go. I'll probably do another chapter tomorrow, maybe two.

Oh crap. They were too wrapped up in their failures to address the plundervines. And apparently, there's something even worse...

On the other hand, it looks like that adversary will have to face a dozen awesome ponies... hopefully. The local Applejack may prove tricky, and Pinkamena managed to depress Discord. Getting her out of her slump may require the psychological equivalent of heavy machinery. Or rocket boosters.

Still, between Dash's Celestia-approved inspiration and Twilight Farmle pulling a Granny Weatherwax and communing with Sweet Apple Acres, things are definitely looking up. I look forward to more.

4855667 Medic? Why not the Griffon medic, Archimedes?

Interesting... It looks like the Miseryverse had problems far worse than "failure heros". It'll be interesting to see how two sets of them handle it. No wonder Luna said they needed help.

On another note, while it's clearly not their story, seeing how Lero and Mac respond to the situation would be interesting and nice- while the heroics are clearly outside of the scope of their characters, this is their wives coming out of self-destructive spirals, so seeing their actions and reactions would be nice. (and rather heartfelt, as Lyra's was.)

She put her hoof on Fluttershy’s shoulder and banished that voice to the darkness. “Sometimes we have to fall to move forward,” she said.

I'm so relieved that they reconnected.

The sign had been taken down, and there were wheel ruts in the road. One of the fenceposts had a new sign on it: “Suppliers to Equestria-Famous Flim & Flam Cider!” Twilight gagged. Okay, sure, once they’d got their Super-Speedy Cider Squeezy 7000 working properly, it turned out pretty good cider, and they’d bargained down to a fair price on apples eventually. As long as they got audited regularly and hard, they were okay. But still, their stuff just didn’t compare to the real Sweet Apple Acres hoof-made special stuff. And in this world, she was willing to bet they hadn’t exactly spent the time and money on upgrading from the old 6000 model and its quality-control issues.

To think, even Flim and Flam get a happy ending in the Awesomeverse... :ajsmug:

“Twilight Sparkle? I’m Captain Twilight Sparkle. And I’m here to make you awesome.”

God, I love Twilight Sparkle The Wonderbolt Captain.

She was awesome. Not in the sense that Twilight Sparkle wanted to applaud. In the sense that she was rapt, bound in a sense of awe that even Princess Celestia herself could not have inspired. That up there, that was… her. That was her potential. Maybe she’d lost time. Maybe she’d messed things up. But that was her in the sky, laughing amidst her own thunder and commanding more, and more, and more of the storm to give itself to her.

So beautiful... and it's just a glorious thing for everyone to remember. So many people think that their best years are behind them just because they reach a certain age, just because they've squandered time and been depressed, but that's only true if you let it be true.

Five stars, Spinel Stride. :pinkiesad2:

Rainbow Dash sat nervously in her boutique. Factory, really.

I saw what you did there. :pinkiesmile:

“Open your eyes,” said Rainbow. Dash did. And then her eyes went wide.
In a shimmering scintilla of rainbow hues, her scissors were floating in midair.
“Congratulations, Rainbow Dash,” said Rainbow proudly. “Let’s see Suri Polomare do that.”

And now on top of everything else, Rainbow Dash the Fashionista will no doubt be founding her own school for Pegasus Mages. Awesome.

“This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” the princess said without thinking, and set off a revolution in fashion overnight.

For the win. :heart:

There was also the matter of the other Fluttershy. Talking like an Apple, wearing AJ’s hat, those muscles like Lyra’d never seen on a pegasus, forcing the matter, jamming her Fluttershy’s face into her problems…
… Well, Lyra’d lost her own Fluttershy. She wasn’t going to go after some other version of her. No matter how hot. She closed her eyes and tried to let it go. To let it all go. Again.

Twilight Sparkle gave her a weak smile, then closed her eyes. She’d never felt so… right. Never so satiated even when Big Mac did his best in her deepest heat.

I'm experiencing big George Takei moments from these two bits. :rainbowderp:

So the guards are wearing earplugs because... she's screaming? You didn't make that clear.

No more Tree of Harmony !?
And the bad guy is… Nightmare Scoots? :rainbowderp:
Okay...

Oddball thought: Rainbow the Mage resolved her version of the swap, or equivalent, yes? So, why isn't she an Alicorn?

4865715
They didn't complete the spell. They realized that they swapped in pairs - Dash/Twi, AJ/Fluttershy, Pinkie/Rarity. So they lined up so each pair was wearing both Elements at once (on their forelegs) and just used those.

4863336

Well, more specifically, a Scootaloo who never met her best friends, never had anyone to look up to, was he primary target of Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara's torment with no one to back her, as well as all the implied tragedy of her missing parents and impaired wings... Given a taste of Discords power.

So yeah.

Whoa! Only one chapter to go and the quest just begun?
Possible bad ending in sight! :coolphoto:

I'm surprised the last line of this comic wasn't references: http://www.prequeladventure.com/2014/05/3391/

"Schootalhu":applejackunsure:

And you were doing so well too...

Oh well, gonna stick around for the end anyways

Discord's little bit was a unique blend of dispair and comedy and I never knew what to think, we;ll done with that.

Still rather surprising for the "awesome" cast to be so unceremoniously killed off.

Also pretty certain he counts as one quarter pony (even less) rather than one half

The thing about grimdark is that one can and does build up a tolerance. The first failure is always the worst. The first fall carries the most pain. After that, you develop callouses. You learn how to roll with the fall, how to cope, how to adapt and move on. When your whole life has been natural 20s, that first 1 will hurt like nothing else. When the dice already hate you, it's just another day at the office.

In other news, I have apparently become a metaphor Cuisinart.

Eagerly looking forward to the thrilling conclusion.

“Welcome back, boys,” said Filthy Rich, beaming.

:rainbowlaugh: Victories great and small were won that day.

Fantastic work. I like how the best and worst of all possible Equestrias had their own solutions to the problem, and how neither of them managed to perfectly solve it. Makes me wonder how many Swaps were undone out of the 6! possibilities...

And really, Rarity, you didn't see the man with the beard becoming a wizard? Especially one married to the Bearer of Magic? Eh, I suppose it's only obvious in hindsight.

Thank you for a wonderful story. It hit all the right notes, including a few in the key of Cosmic Horror. Unexpected, but it definitely worked.

Wow, that was a ride! I'm glad to see this done, and it was a fun ride, but I'll toss in some c&c quickly while on my lunch break.

First, this comes off a bit rushed, ultimately, situations a brought up and resolved rapid-fire, when more impact might have resulted if more time had been taken, and certain elements come off as confusing because they're glossed over or dropped suddenly.

Of-the-head examples: the emotional impact of the visions of seeing Big Mac and Silver Spoon being attacked by the vines is limited, since very little time is set up establishing those relationships.

Discord essentially vanishes after his scene in the vines.

How Scootaloo transitioned from an angry filly with a touch of Discords power to the manifestation of nightmares is never explained.

Much of the final chapter comes off as "tell, not show." As a few lines inform us of what happens, rather than a scene showing it.

Ultimately, it's an enjoyable romp, but comes off as a outline for a more detailed story.

Okay, so an agile victory rather than a drawn-out conclusion.
Interesting.

Thanks for the story.

4871446
On the show, when they've got the Elements out and ready to go, they don't tend to waste much time rainbow-blasting the villain and heading for their celebration. It's all about overcoming the obstacles to get to that point. Even when it's not the Elements, usually the story is more a matter of 'figure out what to do' rather than 'do it.'

Except when Twilight had her Boss Fight with Tirek, but that was because All The Alicorn Power Put Together was a red herring and the REAL episode-winning power was up ahead.

I was honestly expecting them to stay dead, bringing them back feels cheap.

I liked that. It was good.

4873336
I thought it was pretty clear they weren't dead, when the Misery Six broke out of the despair and were not actually maimed and mangled as they'd experienced (and didn't have corpses of Big Mac, Silver Spoon, and Apple Bloom around). Pinkamena didn't get her spirit drained in front of Discord, even though he saw that. They were having their souls sucked out of them, but the vines didn't finish before the new Tree of Harmony sprouted.

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