• Member Since 6th Jul, 2012
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Arad


A Midwest brony who enjoys writing about adorkable unicorns and alien invasions. Come join me for XCOM 2 livestreams!

T

This story is a sequel to Stardust


Twilight has finally returned home from the harrowing challenge that Discord set upon her, and the residents of Ponyville and the Elements especially look forward to having their dear friend returned to them.

Twilight, however, has changed. Still suffering from her injuries, almost incapable of using magic and haunted by the memories of her time on Earth, she becomes increasingly withdrawn from those who were closest to her. Will her frustration at her current state and her friends inability to understand her experiences cost her what she valued most before Discord's bet?

(Sequel to Stardust, familiarity with this is recommended!)
(Proofread by Arzoo!)
(Coverart commission drawn by the amazing KairaAnix!)
(Crossover with XCOM: Enemy Within, though the crossover and human elements are minimal)
(Featured 4/28/2014, thanks folks!)

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 184 )
Arad #1 · Apr 29th, 2014 · · ·

Good evening folks!

So here it is, the long promised Broken, and second interquel after Stardust. I had a lot of things to cover for this comment so you'll have to forgive me if I'm longwinded.

This story was hard for me to write because of my personal experiences with mental illness. I doubt very much that anyone here would make this mistake, but mental illness is just that: An illness. If left untreated it can ruin your life or end it. The horrible things that go through a person's mind can be absolutely terrifying for them, especially when they think they have no one to turn to. They will often convince themselves that even if they do have someone to confide in, they either would not understand or they just wouldn't care.

If someone in your life, a friend, family member or even an acquaintance or coworker confides in you about something that is seriously bothering them, the best thing you can do is listen and take what they say seriously. More often than not they aren't asking for criticism and misplaced advice can often result in a negative result and for the love of god don't try to belittle what's happening to them.

Well, I don't intend for this to end up like a public service announcement so I'll just tie things up here. I hope everyone enjoys!

IT'S HERE! ALL PRAISE TO ARAD! :flutterrage:

I was wondering when we'd see more Stardust

and I wanted to sleep tonight...

For some reason I thought this was going to be a one shot.

4308046

It is. I just forgot to flip the story to completed. >_>

4308049

Troll level: :trollestia:

So, Mente Materia early next month right? That's what you said? The Hype Train keeps on rollin'!

-smiles- This is why I loved Stardust.

But I am confused, are both sequels to stardust atm important to read for what I hope is a sequel that isn't a one shot?

4308147

Fortitude Amicitia and Broken are interquels, technically sequels to Stardust. The -true- sequel to Stardust will be Mente Materia, which will start next month. :)

Lab

Good read, Arad. It's good to have another fic to stave off the hunger for Mente Materia.

“Do you really think that you get complete control over friendships? That you get to choose when they end because you think that it’s no longer convenient for somepony else to be friends with you? No. I am not here to judge you for making a hard decision in an impossible situation.”

I'mma be straight with you Arad. That brought a tear to my eye.

This series has quickly become my favorite on this site, and this did not disappoint. Tying in universes, closing up plot arcs, seriously, I can't wait for the next multi-chapter installment. I hope you enjoy writing this as much as I enjoy reading this, because it is magnificent.

4308163 Thank you for clearing that up for me.

So Awesome!:rainbowwild:

I hope the Little Mat Doll makes an appearance in the sequel. Lana will die laughing at the embarrassment of Mat.

SO MUCH HYPE!!!!:pinkiecrazy:

4308012 I too used to suffer from a severe mental illness: depression. I didn't tell anyone (friends, family, etc), the pain and sorrow festering in my heart like an infected wound... weighing down my soul like a stone that was dragging further into the cold and icy darkness with no light of hope in sight.

It got so bad I even left a note for my mother telling her that by the time she read this note I would be gone from the world... she came up the stairs to find me a sobbing mess who felt like such a coward: a coward who couldn't plunge the butcher knife he brought with him through his heart to make the 'pain' go away forever.

After that scare, she got me help. With the help of psychotherapy, medicine, loving family, and supportive friends I am now a regular guy: I can get sad without it crushing me.

So here's to you, me, and others who've gone through the dark maze that was a broken human mind... and come through the other side fixed (with the cracks still showing here and there) and able to cope.

I am afraid for my emotions at the mere sight of this story...:fluttershysad:

Nice read. Sadly it's going to take more than a new set of wings for Twilight to really fly. But, that's what good friends are for. Mine have surely helped keep me above the earth when I felt low enough to want to put myself under it.

Some demons never really die and can never truly be silenced.

Looking forward to more, keep up the great work.

I noticed this.

as her ship did not open

Probably meant "shop" there.

Also

I should check on her to make sure she’s doing okay

Should probably have single quotes around that or italics or something since it's a thought but that's one of the looser rules of writing.

Comment posted by BradtheBrony deleted Apr 29th, 2014

I’d be all the bits in the world that there’s a spell that can fix this
She tried to run from the center of the hall bout found that her front hooves

1. Bet.
2. But.

Oh Twilight, you are going to get through this even if you believe that violence is wrong, it really isn't. Wait, that came out wrong... Fighting to protect what you cherish the most does not make you a monster in the least. Hold strong Twilight because even if enemies are on the way, you know that some new friends will not be far behind to help.

Oh god why do I write such sappy comments when I feel such sad?!:raritycry:

Very well made. You said it, mental illness is just that, an illness. If anyone here argues with that? What do they know.

I could go on a lengthy tirade about every single thing you did right, but I wouldn't know where to begin. Plus I'm coughing up a lung so I really should get to sleep. Thank you for this story, eagerly :pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:looking forward to Mente Materia next month!

I’d be all the bits in the world that there’s a spell that can fix this!

Silly Twilight, unicorns can't be currency!

Edit: Darn, 4308397 beat me to it.

“Twilight is very tired can’t answer your questions right now. You three should go back to your slumber party.

I think you forgot to put an "and" here.

Its night out in case you hadn’t noticed,” Applejack answered doubtfully.

Should be "it's"

It also gave her some quiet time as her ship did not open for at least a couple of hours.

I hope that ship doesn't have any whales in it!

We have the points, all that is left is the next part. The Expansion is coming... we await "For What Lies Ahead"

"I’d be all the bits in the world that there’s a spell that can fix this!"

Should be bet

When ever I read these Stardust stories it makes me want to play XCOM. :pinkiehappy:

It makes me want to annihilate those doggone aliens,:rainbowdetermined2:

and then it reminds me of all those cool solders i've lost.:fluttershbad:

100+ Kills and 40+missions is a good long run. R.I.P. Col. Dekker.:pinkiesad2:

That was a fun read! And now we have answers to a few of the questions that the last chapter of Stardust brought up! Excellent!

Is, is, is this it??? Nononononononono, this can't be it, this can't be it for the series, please tell me there is an actual sequel in the works, pleeeaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssssseeee.

Sir, I would demand more, but that would be rude. So I shall email you a formal request to devote every second of your being to writing more and more of this.

HA! I BEAT GHOST HERE!!!:pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:

Anyways, that was... nice. A good set up for the future, but even with that understanding, I can't help but feel that there needs to be just a little more here, and I hate myself for it.:fluttercry:

Looking forward to what you do next!:rainbowdetermined2:

please continue

Looks like she was firing blanks (and Blancs) in multiple ways today...
Twilight never asked for this. (trip across the stars) Or this.(scar) Well, maybe this.(doll) But never these. (wings)
side note: XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Deus Ex: Human Revolution share a composer.
In the description:

Will her frustration at her current state and her friends inability to understand her experiences

Add apostrophe at the end.
Chapt. 1:

Several uncomfortable moments passed before she finally replied, “Its fine,”

It's

“I could ask Owliscious to help us look.

Owlowiscious

“Speaking of Pinkie? Where is she?

Use comma instead of question mark?

Please take this in the best way possible, but *fav'd before reading*.

Normally a bit of a no-no for me, but I liked stardust so much that I know it will be a forgone conclusion.

4308790
Nope. I read it right when it came out and finished it a little over half an hour ago. Just didn't feel the need to comment :trollestia: The story stands on its own, and doesn't need my commentary. Though I will say one thing, PTSD is a bitch.
Two songs that Sparks might find some comfort in:
[youtube=FtnWMCjHyQA]
[youtube=djVCwNVn1Uc]

Booo Alicorn Twilight.

Way to give a mentally unstable person the powers of a god, you dingus ponies.
Apparently the requirements for becoming an alicorn is remarkably low.

I mean come on, how long was she back for?
One day in Ponyville after all that shit on Earth and poof, wings?
Those scars she has run deeper than what little time she spent with her friends can fix.

Honestly, I think this chapter would have been better off with as a conversation between Twilight and Discord.
Because out of all of them, I somehow feel that Discord would be the most understanding.

4308993

One of these days Champ, I WILL beat you to a damned good soldier fic!:rainbowdetermined2:

4309038
Impossible. My intel services are better :trollestia:

As I thought, a very nice piece finishing twilights first tour with XCOM.

I have to admit, I'd theorized that some of her "episodes" (to avoid spoilers) might be discord giving her a little push, but it's really hard to say.

I definitely look forward to her re-uniting with her xcom friends. I'd love to see her talk out her problems with Ray, following up on their relationship on earth.

And I had to admit, I was half expecting pinkies surprise to trigger some form of PTSD, glad for her that it didn't.

Anxiously looking forward to the sequel!
~Shaiden

“Is this about the meanies you met when you were away? Which… uh, I totally didn’t hear about by eavesdropping in Canterlot,” Rainbow Dash asked

... Meanies? I never thought I'd hear Dash say that. Pinkie, yes. Dash, no. Jerk may fit better.
As for Alicorn Twi... I'm okay with it. The problem I did have with it was that I highly doubted that she got to be princess in the same way she had in the show, which she didn't as this chapter shows. As for the show's take, I felt she never really did anything to deserve the status or would make a good ruler. This Twilight is a bit more deserving I think. About the only thing I didn't like in this was the lack of Elements of Harmony blowing Twilight up. The way you portrayed it was Celestia being able to turn ponies into alicorns on a whim. I always figured the Elements had something to do with it, like their magic needs to be present for the transformation to occur.
Anyway, nice little piece and I hope to see a true sequel soon. I also would like to see Twilight tell her friends about Earth. It wouldn't be action filled, but it would be nice to see how they react to the stuff Twilight experienced.

4309115

Anyway, nice little piece and I hope to see a true sequel soon. I also would like to see Twilight tell her friends about Earth. It wouldn't be action filled, but it would be nice to see how they react to the stuff Twilight experienced.

That is a very good idea actually.

4308993

Thank you for posting those songs. Been listening to them since I saw the comment come up.

4309115
Given what's coming, there has to be a certain element of 'need more heavy hitters go go go' to Celestia and Luna's timing here.

And now I can see them racing around franticly, trying to find enough alicornication candidates to fit out a full squadron. And being forced to make ... hard choices.

"Blueblood? Ugh. Alright"
"Your maid? Really? Guess we'll take what we can get."
"Only one other Element-bearer qualifies? Well, could be wor- PINKIE PIE?!"

4309212
Military artists are some of my favorite musicians, bar none. Most of their songs are all about looking out for your brothers- and sisters-in-arms. I know several vets who are still alive today thanks to that kind of music.

*reads feature box description*

ohh that's some hot SadPorn right there, gimmie

*clicks*

:rainbowhuh:

sequel to STARDUST, WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT-

*punches hole in tablet from trying to favorite so hard*

uhhh... I'm not really sure what just happened with the wings there... why was it necessary for Twi to get Alicorned' in this continuity? if it was just to get her body/ magical power back to full strength, it seems a bit overkill. i suppose it could have been to align with canon, but I think that ship sailed.... a while ago. unless you have a better reason, in which case more power to ya!

Yeah i definitely like this version of alicornification more than the cannon one. :trollestia:

4309021

What Celestia and Luna need now are ponies capable of standing up to the Etrhereals when they come knocking though, more than anything else. Twilight is obviously an immense asset in this regard, especially with her newfound determination to do whatever it takes to protect her home, even if she finds killing distasteful - or more like, it's especially because she finds it distasteful that they feel confident about unlocking her nascent alicorn potential.

And let's face it, this doesn't "really" change Twilight's threat level as leveraged against ponies (but helps against the aliens, which is the prime concern) - if she were to go on a madness inducted murderstomp through the streets of Ponyville, no one would have been able to do a thing about it anyway, regardless of her being an unicorn or alicorn. You would need Celestia and/or Luna either way to reign her in, were she to go on a rampage - in this sense, she wasn't granted anything that she couldn't already do anyway.

And she hardly needs Discord of all things to bother her now, considering he is at the root of all that she went through. Unless he plans to serve as a punching bag. Approval from Celestia means the world to Twilight though, and considering how long they have lived and what they have done in the past, the princesses should be perfectly capable of understanding what Twilight is going through and how to talk to her about it.

Especially considering the hints about Celestia's darker past - Twilight probably hasn't even made a dent in her teacher's killcount, and if Celestia were to volunteer the information that she has killed before (not necessarily the circumstances), that would be all the confirmation Twilight's mind needs that she can and will turn out fine in the end - after all, despite what she has had to do, Celestia is the most perfect pony she knows and the guiding light of Equestria, right?

Eh, Fulfill Your Destiny does free up a suit of Archangel armor, but if you've got a Unicorn in the first place it's for the spells. Arcane Stockpile is the superior Colonel promotion.

Mind you, if it comes up in the roulette all bets are off.

“Why would I throw a party?” Pinkie Pie asked. “Twilight isn’t really back yet.”

i1368.photobucket.com/albums/ag163/AlphaChurch0/HumanizedPinkiePie-TearsandGummysComfort_zps30b873fe.jpg

Damn. Not even Pinkie was immune to Twilight's absolute despair. That line is probably my favorite not just for the raw emotion it entails but because it hits so close to home for a lot of people. When people experience a crisis of this magnitude (war veterans returning with PTSD, life-threatening diagnosis and severe depression to name a few) friends and family can sometimes see it eating away at them, consuming the person they once knew.

And although I agree with your advice about being an open ear for those in distress, I think anyone in such circumstances has a vital role to play in their own recovery. I believe Fluttershy said it best near the end :

“I’m here because I consider you my friend and it hurts when I see my friends in pain. Nothing will change how I feel, Twilight.”

Being a pillar of support usually comes with its own injuries and those with the trouble need to realize that, not only are they loved, but their pain harms more than themselves. Establish empathy with those trying to help and the one in trouble is more likely to admit something is wrong and help take steps to fix things.

And on that note, I think having Fluttershy drive this point home was a great touch on your part. Celestia said she'd be the one to show Discord the true power of friendship and it came to pass. Despite all the horrors Twilight witnessed and inflicted, Fluttershy refused to let that break them apart and stood fast beside one she cared for. Celebrating each other's triumphs and supporting them in their darkest hours. That, for me, is what makes friendship magic.

I can imagine Discord watching the scene from above and admitting he lost his own bet.

Well played, Fluttershy. Well played.

i1368.photobucket.com/albums/ag163/AlphaChurch0/wellplayed_zps934eb8c4.jpg

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