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I am a mighty thesaurus. Rawr! Also I have a website now, check me out!

Comments ( 209 )

This was supposed to be my Halloween fic. And it looks like our lord all-knighty beat me to the punch by like, one day. Funny how things work out.

Anyway! Tell me what you think.

22,533 words in one file, huh?

Time to get comfy, I guess.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

I want to hate this. It was disturbing, chilling, a look into a shattered mind. I could barely read the climax. I really, really want to hate this. But this has to be one of the best fics on this site. Congratulations.


this has to be one of the best fics on this site.

That's incredibly flattering! Thank you.

I figured I might evoke a strong reaction from people with this. As long as you feel reading was worth it, it's all good.

5376884 I should apologize; I think that first comment came across pretty dickish, especially for a first (non-author) comment of the thread, which was not my intent. I prefer being able to stop between chapters but I definitely wouldn't bail on this after looking forward to it. I was pretty surprised by the length, too -- no wonder it took you longer than expected!

Anyway, it was really good. You did a whole lot of little things that played against each other nicely -- the way everything outside Twilight's head stays show-like even while Twilight's mental state reaches despair, which then gets inverted to even creepier effect when she talks about killing herself before mentioning it in narration, and all of that darts in and out of what we see in the show, and then there's Discord's ambiguity about the exact nature of fate... it all adds up successfully.

5377035 I thought Celestia's disappearance was meant to be a complete return to course -- i.e., she was kidnapped by evil plants, etc., just like in canon. It'd be interesting to see whether she even remembers everything that happened when she's freed, although I imagine Twilight won't be able to get herself to give much of a shit.

Anyways, JawJoe, brace yourself for a bit of a shitstorm. I didn't realize in the run-up to this story how much you'd be incurring aftershocks of the S3 finale.

Well, it seems that destiny is a bitch, it doesn't care that a living being doesn't want what it has, it only cares that things go right. Thank god I don't believe in destiny.

Warning to potential readers: SPOILERS in this comment.


What was your reasoning why spreading a norm of "don't fight fate" is a good thing?

Perhaps it's a bit of a personal headcanon. Before Magical Mystery Cure, "destiny" in Equestria seemed malleable. Ponies got their cutie marks, unlocking their "destinies," but they could still choose to do whatever they wanted. Pinkie Pie's destiny/special talent is making ponies happy and throwing parties, but she still works as a baker/waitress (and part-time world saver). Rainbow Dash is super fast, but has an ordinary weather pony job.

Then came MMC, showing that if they were doing anything else, they'd fail hard at it and in general hate it. There's also Celestia's line to Twilight: "It's time for you to fulfil your destiny!" -- it's like everything so far has been building up to that moment. Everything was preordained. Things had to happen that way so that Twilight could fulfil her destiny.

So came this fic: if Twilight's life really was preordained, and destiny follows a rigid path, what if she doesn't like it? How would she try to escape it? This was supposed to be a Halloween fic, so I wanted to go for a "horror" aspect: the horror of having to live a life you hate. The realisation that there is no escape.

Being unable to fight fate is depressing, and that's the point. In this story, at least...

Celestia killing herself/exiling herself to the sun seems like a pretty big "bump" in history.

Not sure where you got that from. The ending of the story is the beginning of S04E01, where Celestia and Luna disappear and the "plunder seeds" sprout.

Definitely a mixed bag, for any pony else these actions would be a death knell, and tragic ending to life of great potential. Twilight faces a horrible and wonderful double edged sword, I don't doubt she will eventually recover from her mental break down accepting her lot in life, but learning to live with what she tried to do will be another struggle all by itself. Happiness and acceptance will be a long and rough road she will never really reach the end of. She can miraculously recover from devastating and potentially fatal injuries, mental and physical, but that also means she'll constantly be "repairing" her mind, so she's going to get weirdly "quirky". Fic like to focus on the tragic aspects of immortality when it comes to outliving family and friends due to time, but you chose a different route, the tragic consequences of being able to survive massive damage, no physical long term effects sure, but there will be mental ones.

Bit late to the S3 finale drama party, I guess. But I saw the potential for a good story and took it. And yeah, you're right about the ending (Celestia's disappearance and the reason behind it).

And don't worry. I didn't think your comment was rude at all. I'm glad you liked it the story!

"The body may heal, but the mind is not always so resilient."

5377069 Well Cold in Gardez was a bit late to the S4 finale drama party, and he's been in the feature box for like a kajillion years. There's something to be said for aiming high.

Still not as late as I am, comparatively. And he has, what... 8 times my followers?

One day, pal... one day.

This story actually made me think of something. What if a stallion or a mare decided to prove that destiny doesn't exist, and that the Cutie Mark only shows your greatest talent, and prove it by not using his or her talent once for an entire year, and trained to get a job that once thought to only be done by ponies who specialize in it.

Would he/she be considered heretics, or would many actually believe that there is no such thing as destiny, and how would the princesses react, with Celestia believing that everything is destined to happen, and Twilight beginning to wonder if Celestia just wanted her to become a princess, and it was not her destiny.

I think your story started something that this site is not ready for.


you're putting your authorial stamp of approval on the idea "we are ruled by fate"

Well, that wasn't my intention. I, personally, don't like fatalism either. Whether destiny exists or not (here on Earth or in FiM) is ultimately beside the point. The point is Twilight asking herself that question, and her despair when it seems like destiny is irrefutable. In the end, after everything she's been through, Twilight accepts the answer she found.

If I throw my hands up and go "Death of the author, suckers!" then you're free to interpret this in any way you like. Twilight thinks she's found the answer, and that concludes this story. Is she right? Did she make the right choice? That's up to you.

Why do you think people should accept the idea they're puppets of fate?

I don't. I wrote a story about someone (somepony) who has. You are free to judge her and make up your own mind.

Sounds like you have a story that needs writing. :raritywink:

This is a decent story with plenty of good moments, but it just buries me under needlessly long passages. It feels like it could deliver the same message in less than half as many words. Perhaps even a quarter.

Also, by the time it gets to the conversation with Celestia, Twilight's frustration really starts to lose me. I get the whole "destiny vs free will" concept, but the way it unfolds goes completely against the personality of Twilight from the show, and since this isn't AU and takes place within the canon time period, I can't exactly "let that slide." The unicorn who clearly had huge ambitions ever since she was a filly suddenly decides she doesn't want the biggest thing a pony could achieve, all because of "destiny" and stuff? If anything, I'd imagine she would view the events that seem to bother her in this fic as springboards that helped advance her career. In other words: "I always wanted to be great. Now I'm a quasi-goddess. Why am I complaining again?"

Perhaps within a different context, I could have lived with the idea, but the one here just doesn't convince me. The worst I could imagine from Twilight -- even if we are talking about a story that intentionally tries to give the canon events a darker twist -- is that she feels like these are merely the trials she has to go through before she can fully embrace her role and find joy in it, akin to how pegasi (or alicorns!) cannot use their wings right away and have to practice a lot, suffering many failures, before it becomes pleasant in any way. In a different scenario, perhaps after many many tests and tribulations and with no happiness in sight when it comes to her role, Twilight's behavior would seem more plausible.

The only thing I could really connect with was her feeling that everypony around her was oblivious to her frustration. In fact, at one point, I became convinced that plot would be about some sort of spell that was working in the background, making sure nopony would take her seriously, à la the prophet Cassandra. In retrospect, I think that story would have made the length much more tolerable. 20k+ words as buildup to Twilight giving her wings the chop is just overkill in my opinion.

The conversation with Discord is the one remarkable high point of this fic (there are a few other shining moments, but those are buried under the aforementioned lengthy prose). If it were to, ahem... cut off right after that (*insert rimshot sound effect here*), I think it would have tied things up very neatly while also leaving some room for the readers to ponder. No need for anything else: "Twilight comes to the conclusion that nopony gives a damn about how she feels and what she wants, and instead they try to herd her toward whatever "destiny" they believe she has. She grabs a saw and a first aid kit. Fade to black. The end."

Also, the last line felt like a punchline. It really didn't do the story justice. :trixieshiftleft:

Overall: 6/10. Good writing, teases me with good ideas, but doesn't quite scratch that itch.

It would seem we have vastly different interpretations of Twilight's character. I never took her for someone who enjoys the spotlight, and I never thought she'd want to build a "career." She was a student, someone who enjoyed learning about magic, and apart from that, she was just a librarian. If anything, she disliked showcasing her abilities. A quiet type. That is, I don't think she's ever wanted "to be great." Becoming a "quasi-goddess" would, I think, put a massive toll on her psyche and self-image.

RE: the length. I'll respectfully disagree here as well. It is a long read, make no mistake, but I don't think suicidal thoughts and self-mutilation are things to be taken lightly. Making Twilight's transition from "this is great, I love this!" to "I want to chop off my own bodyparts or die doing it" any shorter would've felt like undercutting the seriousness of the subject matter. You don't start contemplating suicide after a week.

Long story short, making this long was a conscious choice because I felt making it any shorter would've been disrespectful and hard to buy. I see where you're coming from, though.


I imagine her behavior in "Boast Busters" came to mind?

Twilight, to me, is the finest example of false modesty. She often acts like she doesn't want ponies to look up to her and think of her as some "special magnificent snowflake," but deep down she does crave being in such a position that demands great deeds from her, and I don't doubt she also craves the praise and appreciation that comes along with it. It manifests in subtle actions and details, just as how she herself tries to conceal her true motivations, which I guess earns additional praise for the writers of the show.

And when she is certain she is right, subtlety goes out the window, and her ego could rival that of Trixie. Just look at how she acts in the very first episode when she has to go to Ponyville right after sending a letter to Celestia about Nightmare Moon. Or what about the wedding episode? There are plenty of examples...

Of course, none of this is to imply that she is the villain here. Whatever her motivations may be, her deeds are still for the benefit of all of ponykind. All I'm saying is that I just don't see how Twilight Sparkle -- the one who struggled to be top student and make Celestia proud, the one who often helped organize things in Ponyville, the one who endeavored to save all of Equestria so many times -- would suddenly find her new role revolting. The way I see it, it's a boon to her ambitions.

Within a different context, however, the reaction you showed wouldn't be that much of a stretch.

Long story short, making this long was a conscious choice because I felt making it any shorter would've been disrespectful and hard to buy. I see where you're coming from, though.

The length is exorbitant compared to the time period it encompasses. In a way, she transitions way too fast to such a mental state, while the narration is busy hammering in how bad she feels. In other words: I would have been more curious about the process, one that is a bit less abrupt, yet the story seems to favor the conclusion a lot more.


Very well written though. Any "grimdark" author should read stuff like this or Reign of Queen Twilight Sparkle and if they can't answer "what makes these stories better than say Apple Corruption" and they should have a "clueless author" tag slapped on all their stories :facehoof:

This isn't "grimdark," so the comparison is moot. But just to humor you, in all honesty, I've read better "grimdark" than this fic.


I think your story started something that this site is not ready for.

This concept had been dissected, and its body has been exhumed countless times even before "canon Twilicorn," let alone this story (I won't even go into original fiction). Let's keep it real.

Oh shit it's here. :rainbowderp:
Time to read.

Oh fuck me why do I do this to myself? :raritydespair:
This was absolutely amazing, and extremely unpleasant to read precisely because it was so good.

As for 5377256 this discussion:

Twilight, to me, is the finest example of false modesty. She often acts like she doesn't want ponies to look up to her and think of her as some "special magnificent snowflake," but deep down she does crave being in such a position that demands great deeds from her, and I don't doubt she also craves the praise and appreciation that comes along with it. It manifests in subtle actions and details, just as how she herself tries to conceal her true motivations, which I guess earns additional praise for the writers of the show.

vs. 5377180

I never took her for someone who enjoys the spotlight, and I never thought she'd want to build a "career." She was a student, someone who enjoyed learning about magic, and apart from that, she was just a librarian. If anything, she disliked showcasing her abilities. A quiet type. That is, I don't think she's ever wanted "to be great." Becoming a "quasi-goddess" would, I think, put a massive toll on her psyche and self-image.

Isn't this one of the things that makes ponyfiction such an interesting thing to write? That each character can be characterised in quite different ways, and still recognisably be the same character? :unsuresweetie: Both versions advocated here seem perfectly valid, and both have interesting but different implications for her character and potential narrative development.

I don't think wanting to impress Celestia or being confident in being right implies she'd want to be the centre of attention. She does have an arrogant/snarky streak (which shines through especially in the earliest episodes), but that doesn't mean she wants to be, essentially, a celebrity. Looks like we see Twilight in two opposing ways, you and I.

It seems you're ignoring the body dysmorphia angle. Cases of people who undergo plastic surgery but regret it come to mind. Even if Twilight thought she wanted all this, seeing a completely different pony in the mirror could easily wreck her. This story asks "what if."

Ooh, new JawJoe story. I ought to be following you, so I don't miss things like this.

Quick question to 5376713

The title reminded me of the short story/obscure PC= game called I have no mouth, and I must scream.

Did you get your inspiration from that? Because that closing line, man.

It's actually a reference to BioShock. Which is a spiritual sequel to System Shock. Which may or may not have taken inspiration from I Must Scream. So, the title? Mmmmaaaaybe.

The cover pic? Definitely.

That's very flattering. I hope I don't disappoint.

Ah, there you are. Time to sit back and see how this does.

Also, you forgot the credits, dude. :trollestia:

Wow. This was good. The Discord bit was epic, and that one eerie part with Rainbow Dash was well done and unsettling.

Loved it. Too bad Twilight has a God-Complex in the show, so she wouldn't really have the dilemma that appears in this fic ("Stand back, everypony! I have a Fail-safe Spell, and I'm here to save the day! Gah! The Failsafe spell failed! WHO COULDA KNOWED?!?").

And so, unable to escape the cage of princesshood, Twilight hung herself, cursing everything about destiny and fate.

Sometimes you all have to remember that characters of the show change form episode to episode due to writers wishing them to fit the story, that said, this could happen with her normal standard personality, shes a conflicted personality she wants to be recognized for her deeds not the deeds of her place and rank, in all the episodes it seems to hold some water boast busters may be interpreted the same way. after all she has never been one to call her rank or spot on someone despite the ability to, has she brought it up yes, but never to control others, in fact she forgot to even use it at the archives! i think she doesn't speak of her family for the same reasons, her brother is captain of the guard babysat by a princess of love, and her parents are possibly minor or higher nobility, possibly. Twilight IS by all accounts prideful of her own ability but she fears to drive others away with it, that was what boast busters was for her, power doesn't always drive others away, and she mainly had that fear due to two reason. one she had only recently made her friends and they are her only friends which makes her afraid of losing them, add to that she saw their reaction to Trixie's boasting and thought she might end up like that. After all sometimes people of a feather are afraid of each other. :twilightblush:

Sorry for the rant but its what i understand of Twilight's character. at least to that part, I have a lot of this kinda info stuck in my head, so sorry again. :fluttercry:

Gentle breeze guide you path, a warm smile welcome you back. :twilightsmile:

Woah, I think you have made another neutral story.

I might give it a read later.

Thus the double edged sword bit, Twilight will forever be recovering, never quite putting herself back together fully, never quite fully accepting herself, and going on long stints of depression and bizarre behavior. Also it will effect her decision making style, she'll become more prone to violent conflict and reckless behavior. She has a Deadpool like level of regeneration, so being hurt her self will become less serious to her. Say an arrogant Griffion ambassador challenges her to personal combat over some political issue, no instead of telling him how silly that would be and trying to talk him down Twilight will agree to fight quickly, let him "wreck" her then just clobber him while he tries to figure out how she isn't dead. The unfairness and frustration she feels will also up her aggression, think about her battle vs Treik but with the added wrinkle that he can't really hurt her.

"but with the added wrinkle that he can't really hurt her."
Until she has what destiny feels should be her final battle and she does die from it, finally realising the folly of her ways in wasting her life on pain.

Whoops. I'ma add them later.

I wouldn't call it a God complex... she's proud, not arrogant. Probably.

Ah, the Discord bit. I loved writing the Discord bit. I'm a bit proud of that bit, myself... :trollestia:

...I'm not sure if that's more or less depressing than what I really wrote.

Someone's pointed this out below, I think: it's kind of the beauty of ponific, seeing how different authors interpret these characters.

Yeah. Considering the huge practical joke destiny just pulled on Twilight, I wouldn't think she'd mess with it any time soon. She's supposed to be a princess, so destiny course corrected when that came in danger. Who's to say she isn't supposed to die in her next battle?

Well, if not a God complex, she has delusions of grandeur. I mean, which other pony on the face of the planet would read a book on an infamous villian (Nightmare Moon), and then immediately try to fight them on their own turf? Keep in mind that she DIDN'T have friends at the time she decided to do something about Nightmare Moon.


Well, those were not the destinies they chose for themselves now, are they?

That's the crux of the issue, no? Choice. The CMC don't get their marks because they are doing things at random rather than trying to find out what lies inside of them.

Also, if Star Swirl's spell changes destiny, why not use it again?

'Sides, if she doesn't want to fulfill it, I really doubt other will be able to force the crown on her head.

She can do many things, she just has to break things enough.

wow, just wow. really good. probably the best rendition of "I don't like my destiny"i have ever seen

It seems there are things ponies can do (what they're good at, what they want) and there are things they have to do (destiny). When the two don't align (MMC), the ponies are compelled to keep doing whatever destiny wants them ("...but it's what my cutie mark is telling me."), even if they don't like it or are bad at it. Which brings us to the horror of this fic: what if you don't like your destiny?

Before MMC, the answer would've been "just do something else." Except you can't. It's what your cutie mark is telling you...

By Celestia's reasoning, the spell didn't change destiny at all. It was always meant to happen so that Twilight could become a princess.
By Discord's reasoning, the spell did in fact change destiny, proving that it's possible.
Twilight decided to try and change destiny on her own (taking saw to her wings is a lot more direct than "cast a spell and hope for the best").
And destiny said no.

I think it would've been better for her. She tried to change her destiny and destiny said no. Better to die by your own hand instead of living as destiny's puppet.


Oh, and I guess giving up at the first sign of trouble is something Twilight Sparkle would do.

Either destiny breaks first and she wins, or she breaks first and she dies - metaphorically or otherwise.

Besides, destiny is not ponies, and like Discord said, one way or another, you can make things happen. Twilight might just be merely the first one to go to that extent.

You gave me an idea for another fic with this destiny thing. I better start writing, I guess.
But damn, I'm normally not a fan of tragedy, yet this is good.

I have read this in its entirety.


"Another"? ..."Neutral"?

Um... thank you, come again?...


Oh? Care to tell me what's it about? Just curious.

Maybe she suffered a huge trauma and needs time? You can headcanon that later she tried again, if that makes you feel better.

I'm still thinking about the details. A part of me wants to make it a human insert fic, another just wants to have it with two OCs. But basically it's about one or two ponies who DON'T have their cutie marks and DON'T give a damn, with one of them (if I make it two) being a bit extremer on that. Yeah, still making the blueprints so to speak.

This is a powerful story, and I congratulate the author.

However... The topics it raise could be explored further, or in different ways. It seems to me that Twilight is focused excessively on the changes to her body, and not as much on her title and duties as a princess, which is where the bigger problems lie.

What if she renounced her royal titles and refused to participate in all the pomp and circumstance? What if she chose to follow the life of a scholar and researcher? Who would tell her she can't do that? Celestia? I doubt it. Her friends? They might be puzzled (especially Rarity), but I know they would support her. The general public? The nobility? Sure, there would be scandal, but it would pass.


This...is an interesting concept, Destiny seems an absolute. But Twilight, by virtue of her Destiny is more powerful than most. Discord, as my example, is chaotic, but his motivations and expressions of it could and did change. Moreover, while Rarity's cutie mark was in bringing out the beauty in others, she chose to go into fashion and being a dressmaker by trade. Likewise, Pinkie's talent is making ponies smile/parties, but where and how she goes about it are still her choice.

RD...well, let's just go with speed and her Rainboom and flight in general. In her case, she has all the talent, and she Chooses where she goes with it. Applejack has her strengths and weaknesses, but her fate is tied to the farm, and she's already felt the other side of the fence when she lived with her Aunt and Uncle Orange. Fluttershy as well found her calling and her destiny with the ground and her animal friends, and her destiny seems to allow for her to feel comfortable with this.

But Twilight, her talent is MAGIC!! Not being a Princess, though that happening seems to be Destiny's work. But...the power that Destiny anointed her with could also be turned to break it. The idea of breaking the Chains of Fate is something I always entertained. it can't be done alone, we all are subject to our own fate. But if enough gather together, say, the other 5 mares and they want to help her be happy again. Then those six...they could in my mind do just that. Magic I think, especially the Magic of Friendship, turns the impossible things into possible outcomes.

Turn that magic on Fate itself...I wonder...could it truly win then? And if it did, what would that mean for Harmony? What would that mean for Twilight?

I find myself interested in the outcome. Moreover, I find myself thinking Twilight isn't going to stop trying to fight fate. She wants to be herself, wants to be who she sees herself to be. She made a bold move with the Saw, but that was alone. With her friends, the ones that SHOULD stand beside her the whole way...well, that makes an interesting story idea, no?

Sadly though, I'm not sure I'm the guy to write it. Story board or ideas, sure, but I'm not that good beyond that without help. Maybe someone else wants to try? I'd love to see it happen.

Special thanks to Paul Asaran? This ought to be good.:pinkiehappy:

In regards to whether Twilight is ambitious... I've always seen her as genuinely humble, but she comes across as extremely arrogant sometimes anyways without realizing it, and I think the reason is that her frame of reference is completely FUBAR. She's been raised in the unicorn capital by parents who are probably minor nobility and the god-monarch of the whole country as her personal tutor, and the latter has probably been working under the assumption that Twilight is world-shatteringly amazing for most of Twilight's life, plus she genuinely has a ridiculous amount of raw magical power even as a unicorn.

Coming from that environment, it's no wonder she thinks in terms of "this dragon has to be stopped, Princess's orders" rather than "is it appropriate that I command my friends against a friggin' dragon as though I was their military CO?" (to use "Dragonshy" as an example, and that is one of the times where she most comes across as presumptuous in my mind). She doesn't even notice the ways she's been led to assume that she is above other ponies. But that doesn't contradict the idea that she dislikes being put on a pedestal. The only praise she seems to value is from above, i.e. Celestia; considering how shaky her social life is before and during the first season, it makes sense that she doesn't want other ponies to see her as any more than a peer (as in "Boast Busters"). She's just ignorant of how other things she believes or does contradict that, and it's neither an obvious nor a pleasant thing for her to get reflective about.

whut? another "woe is me, I am alicorn" thing? meh.

What about the fact that she decided to go to a school for Gifted unicorns? Surely that shows some kind of drive to be great or "career advancement"?

But on the whole, Twilight seems pretty humble.

At the same time, it seems somewhat out of character of her to reject "destiny". She's always struck me as somepony who would do what she was called to do, even if she didn't like it, for the sake of others.

More Twilacorn complain.

Comment posted by Derpinat0r deleted Dec 14th, 2014
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