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This, this is why I spend so much time in the archives, Twilight thought, holding a dusty old book close in her magic. Inside the book were a number of advanced spells, each one more interesting than the last in some sort of circular logic that Twilight could only assume went to infinity

Twilight galloped through the doors to her tower and leaped onto her favorite reading pillow on the balcony. She opened the book to the table of contents.

Oh my gosh! They’re all so interesting! Ooh, an age spell! That…might be a bit beyond me. But here right below it – a duplication spell!

Previous Episode: The Brief Reign of Princess Twily
Current Episode: Season Zero – Episode Two
Next Episode: Works Every Time

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 141 )

I approve of this story :moustache:

Will read this later but I've liked every story you wrote so far so I'm pretty sure I will like this one aswell.

Loved it. Yet another great piece that will most likely be in the Featured box. You did a wonderful job telling the story, and the entire thing feels very natural and smooth. Keep up the good work, as I'm looking forward to seeing more. :yay:

Very nice.
And part of a series now? Also ni-- Wait. It just occurred to me. With Seeking Power, The Moon's Apprentice, and now this, your writing time is split three ways. And much as I want to read more of each of those, any time spent bring the next update of one closer is time the next updates of the other two aren't getting closer! Argh!
Well, though, I suppose that "I might get something I really want to read instead of something I really want to read" isn't actually much of a complaint. :)

I'm probably going to follow you now

How flattering!

But Season Zero is actually just a backlog of good story ideas that integrate well into canon that I need to purge or else they'll drive me insane. I plan to write them when I'm not in the mood to write Seeking Power or The Moon's Apprentice. I can usually write something of this length in a single day or two (given that I already have the idea).

Might that spell have had anything to do with the creation of the changelings? There are some obvious similarities, after all.

And whatever happened to Spike? Was he just too young for existential dread?

Ah, okay. That some fast writing, or so it seems to me.

Comment posted by Finn 4578 deleted Sep 26th, 2014

One-hundred-twenty-seven Twilights told Alpha to get on with it.


This story is so funny!

I looked at your joining date and thought it was a fluke, there's no way you wrote all those stories in just 168 days, but turns out you do. Since your first published chapter you have written 2000 words per day.

Are you sure you didn't use that duplication spell? Because I have no other explanation besides you being an amazing writer.

This was spectacular. You did great with the ending.
Edit: And look at that! Featured. Like all the rest of your stories. You've got talent and skill.

Huh. Okay, I was going to say how this really isn't a big deal, because they were all her, and she stills remembers everything, and are we not but the sum of our -- etc., etc.

Knowing that at least 70% percent of her incidents were in the process of realizing the cessation of their existence before being abruptly cut off, and remembering it as if she herself had thought those thoughts, because she did... changes things.

Existential dread. Heh. They really should put something like that in a bigger font, or at least bold print.

I think Twilight broke her mind into separate semi connected pieces that was inside of each Twilight, at the end of the spell she became one full Twilight instead of a collective. So I would not consider it a death but more of a change of state, but having all but one piece of herself experiencing what is effectively falling out of existence would lead to some trauma (see existential dread).

Not quite as awesome as Brief Reign, but still pretty good.

Nicely done. :twilightsmile:

I'd actually even suggest having a chat with the author of Under Her Wings. Filly Twilight antics are fascinating and I'd be curious to see the results of your powers combined. :twilightsmile:

That was most excellent. Well characterized, with the Twilights being able to organize themselves rather than descending into chaos like most ponies likely would with such a ridiculous number of duplicates. And Celestia remaining calm throughout the whole thing, even though she was probably terrified inside :rainbowlaugh:

Puts a strange flavor on Too Many Pinkie Pies.

I kind of wish we'd gotten some follow-up on Spike.

Well this was fun. Also very thought provoking. Nicely done, this gets you another gold star and upward facing thumb.

I'll see you at the next chapter.

a work of art! keep up the good work! :twilightsmile:

Another cute/awesome story of young Twilight.

She has moved up from coup d'etat to making copies of herself!

Loved the story. Favorite and upvote! :pinkiehappy:

Your stories are a bit weird and sometimes they lose something by being as short as they are, but overall I will enjoy reading more of this series when you write it.

Also Twilight never learned the most important leason. Change is destruction, but the difference between destruction and death is that a living being is an agent of change, affecting others and the world around them. What happened to the many Twilights was a destructive change but not death since the consciousnesses of the destroyed clones still persist in Twi, able to directly, consciously, influence change. There was destruction but no true ending. Chaos and disorder was organized and concentrated. That is life, not death.

“No, that…is not a good lesson to take from this. I am afraid Cadance and I are not quite enough company for each other.”

I... don't understand the implication here. I know it should be clear but I just can't quite grasp it.

Well, that was good story, but not as strong as Brief Reign.

Giving them names was her first mistake. A name is the first step towards individuality. Giving them different experiences was the second mistake. With new experiences, something inside us awakens.


Mumbling, Twilight answered, “Don’t create doomed life.”

“No, that…is not a good lesson to take from this. I am afraid Cadance and I are not quite enough company for each other.”

My take is this:
Twilight is saying that she has learned not to create life that is doomed to die.
Celestia's response implies that from the perspective of an immortal, ALL life is doomed to die, and that this is a very unhealthy attitude to have.
She mentions that experiencing death is desensitizing. How many times will an immortal experience the death of someone they care about in their lifetime? Thousands? Tens of thousands?

Even though the "life" Celestia would share with any mortal (regardless of the relationship) is "doomed to die," she still believes it is worth creating.

5062601 All mortals are born to die.

5062601 Cadance and Celestia are the only immortal ponies. All other life in equestria is, by definition of mortality, doomed.

Ah, so this is why Twilight was so cavalier about nuking all those Pinkies.

Though I think enough Twilights would have the brainpower to figure out how to make the spell self sustaining. And then there would the Twilight Collective, a nigh omniscient and omnicognitive hive mind.

I would totally read the ever loving fuck out of that story.

Nope. Nope. Nope. One filly Twilight is too much. But two?! It's like someone got diabetes . . . and then got it again!

Thanks for the responses. I should have got that right away. What threw me was the reference to herself and Cadence. I kept thinking, why is Cadence significant and not Luna? I completely forgot the setting of the story and that nopony knows that Luna even exists at this point. So I kept trying to figure that out and confused myself.:twilightsheepish:

Why put the prologue in the story description?

5062807 Hold up, in this universe Cadance is immortal? Wasn't she just a Pegasus journalist in here? And already with a kid? Unless there's some sort of potion, ritual or even possibly rune that makes a Pegasus immortal, I don't think it can apply to her.

Though to be fair, my first assumption was that Celestia implied that Cadance was a duplication spell of her as well but with some obvious modifications. Though the story in canon can already deny this. Unless there is another sort of process/spell/ritual or etc that can actually separate their consciousness and stuff.

Theorizing is fun but philosophy gives a headache. Maybe. Obviously some Twilights never learned their lesson with coffee. Lest there be another coup d'etat. March the army of Twilights on the nobles and have Twilight learn about the horrors of war.

I think chocolate is possibly on of the hardest stains to get out of a coat, even more so for fur possibly so maybe that's why Twilight chose to turn ponies into chocolate statues. That or chocolate is good comfort food when the ponies realize that they've been rejected for an audience with Twilight. Again. Now if only they could eat their way out. Maybe starting from their heiney.


I'm pretty sure that Cadence is an alicorn. Where did you get that she's a pegasus reporter with a kid?

"We are Twilight. We are many."

5063081 It works pretty well as a hook.

A :twilightsmile: herd of Twilights running around the :twilightblush: castle. that would be :twilightoops: interesting to see. and the coffee reminded me of the comic :twilightsheepish: where she gets a hold of Shining's coffee and is bouncing :twilightblush: around chanting 'books' and 'coffee'. lol


Seeking power, chapter 3

If the two did not have to satisfy Shining’s in-laws then they would have lived much further from the castle and out of the influence of the nobility. After all, distance was no issue for Shining, who was a very capable teleporter, while Cadance had to walk or fly into town to meet with her publisher.

This is one of the points which I've mentioned a little earlier. Much further in we find out what article she runs for the paper she works for and many more things which I don't want to spoil people without going past chapter 5.

Twilight heard the approaching sound of little hoofsteps accompanied by claws just beyond a row of hedges. Turning to get a better look, Spike and Star Charmer appeared around the corner and stopped dead in their tracks when they saw Twilight.

The small pink and purple pegasus was the first to break away from Twilight’s admonishing glare and pulled Spike along with her as they fled back the way they came.

Now if this doesn't speak Cadance's kid, I don't know what does. About the same age group as Spike so it's safe to assume that she had an early one.

And just to clarify just in case: Seeking Powers is also published by Forthwith, the author of Twin Twilights and Fortwith themself has also mentioned that this story is canon to their bigger story. You could consider this as a prelude or the chapters where we see them from young and such.

Though prelude might be a little funny in this case because the original story also has a Prelude chapter... A prelude of a prelude? A preprelude?:pinkiegasp:


I'm pretty certain that this is in another continuity, dude.

5063638 Hmm... After checking the previous story of which filly twilight becomes princess for a day, you're right. This is canon filly Twilight and not seeking power Twilight. Oh well, you overlook some things from time to time.:facehoof:

Yeah, this is just season zero of canon.

This was adorable and a little bit sad, though I'm of the mind nopony truly died, so much as Twilight feels bad for the possibility. Great fic!:twilightsmile:

Nice story, very nice in fact, (:pinkiehappy:) but I gotta ask; how did Spike deal with his own existential crisis?

With an ice-cream coma. He's too young for existential dread and he slept through the unduplication.

Good enough for me! :rainbowlaugh:

This essentially reflects my views on cloning/uploading to a computer- If it's exactly like you, your memories are in it, it's you.

5060963 This one does not integrate that well, since after this experience Twilight wouldn't murder all the Pinkie clones.

Or rather, she came to accept the idea and was like "okay, whatever, let's get rid of them." Either interpretation works.

5064341 Canon Twilight has the excuse that she could believe clones are not people out of ignorance. But consciously choosing to murder a ton of children (as that's what the clones were mentally) because they were too bothersome is a monstrosity I don't think Twilight would commit.

But if she takes the lesson to heart, they're all Pinkie Pie (and not really children - although you could say they are new existences), so keeping any one Pinkie would do. However, the book suggested there was some reason to find the original specifically (which could be an existentialist warning rather than an actual one, or which could be indicating that the other Pinkies are not actually people [see the Come To Life spell {which will feature in a later episode}]).

It's also possible the Mirror Pool's duplication was not a permanent effect (I don't think the episode said anywhere if it was or not) which would make Twilight suspect it was a (mostly) identical situation to her own duplication. Celestia then, as she had in the story, would approve of Twilight's actions, and Twilight would go forward with confidence.

I kind of wonder if the 'Send Back to Pool' spell is a one-hit kill on anyone, given that it could send the real Pinkie back...

Edit: I'm not sure ignorance is a good excuse for canon!Twilight... Maybe that implies the mirror clones weren't people?

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