• Member Since 25th Dec, 2011
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The trauma of having his mind twisted and controlled before his wedding had a larger effect on Shining Armor than he first thought.

After an innocent conversation, Shining Armor is feeling uneasy about his wife’s special talent and even more worried about something he learns regarding Princess Celestia. However, luckily for him his sister is one of the most talented ponies in Equestria.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 81 )

I- uh.
That was dark.

Have a thumb and fav'.

HOLY MINDFUCK, Twilight is a murderer!

This story indirectly touches on the ideas of individuality and interventionism. Bravo! A chilling tale! I would not mind seeing a sequel in long form focusing on rebellion touching on the very real themes of control freaks in governments/corporations and the other hidden manipulators of society.

Wow. That was pretty evil and messed up.

A-n-n-nd she ruined it. Look, morality isn't black and white, yes and no, it's shades of grey. There are no lines aside from the ones we make ourselves. Is mind magic wrong? No more wrong the manipulating the earth, or the weather, or the cosmos...

Magic can be horrifying, same thing with science, both of them allow you to change the way things work, and that's a big responsibility. It's up to the individual to go "no, that's wrong, I won't stand for that," and sometimes that means making a hard choice. And now for the big question, is Cadenza's magic "wrong?"

No, I don't believe it is. If it was she'd effectively have a cutie mark for mind rape, which she doesn't. Her ability seems to work more along the lines of empathy than mental domination. Same thing with Luna and Celestia, what with the latter having an effect somewhere in the ballpark of "everyone takes their medication on time," and the former acting as the muses of old; neither is really anything sinister unless you make it out to be that way, and since it seems to be a natural effect of having an alicorn around you can call it the price they pay in order to live in Equestria, if they're so uncomfortable with it they can leave. Part of the reason Shining Armor is so hostile is because he's been brutally traumatized.

Now, onto the second part. Is the way they used mind magic correct? No, I don't believe it is. Once you start taking away, once you start making people forget, you are damaging a person. To use an analogy you're lopping off a limb to fight cancer; sure, the cancer's gone, but so is everything else. Now, you can do other things that while morally questionable, aren't quite so bad, like: helping someone emotionally distance themselves from a source of trauma, convincing them that a traumatic incident was a dream and/or nightmare and helping them deal with it from there, help them ignore certain parts of their history all together, or even shift their focus to better parts. And that's just off the top of my head, sure, most of it is still pretty iffy, but it's miles better then taking away something that helps make a person who they are.

Mental modification is not, necessarily, a bad thing. There are people who would desperately want parts of themselves to be changed, and I believe they have that right. But it is, as it should be, their decision, not something you just... do because you see a problem and want a quick way to fix it. It's kind of like deleting infected files on your computer, only to find out afterwards that you can't replace the missing files. To some people that's a risk they're willing to take in order to help them sleep at night, but it's not something you do without a person's explicit permission.

Raistlin #5 · Jan 2nd, 2015 · · 5 ·

There is no gentle way to say "Celestia has been magically lobotomizing entire generations of ponies for a thousand years".
That would explain why ponies are so childlike and immature: their mental development has been permanently crippled via neuromancy waves, making them forerver dependant of a "motherly" figure aka Celestia to guide them.
I don´t think I´m going to sleep this night :pinkiesick:

P.E: what is Twilight going to do about Trixie?

How legitimate would a friendship be if it was based on "I need to work with you to defeat an ancient evil. Every ponies lives depend on it. "?


of course you'd have to know why they what they were like before Celestia to know if they are childlike, and there is the question of why it doesn't seem to affect other species.

It's been a while since I originally read through Equestria's Twilight, but I recall her slide into coocoo banana town being gradual—earned, even. I haven't hit the rewrite just yet, so there is that to consider. Which isn't to say intrinsically crazy Twi is bad Twi, by any means. It makes sense. It just clashes with my memory. We'll see how it all sits after I re-read.

But, her ascension upsetting the ponies in-the-know, as it were, is a pleasant touch. The nuclear bomb with an unstable personality is now immortal and in charge.

Edit: I just properly contextualized everything with reference to Equestria's Twilight. I'm tired, so I didn't process that this isn't explicitly canonical. Obviously. Silly brain.

Might I recommend More Than You Know for more mental hijinks and moral ambiguity therein, and Cadence In A Minor for some exploration of the effects of the Changeling invasion on Cady and Shiny (it earns the "M" rating). You know, since you've been gone a while. For when you're finished, I mean. If you'd like.


“Celestia has allways, ALLWAYS


Welp, fuck.

This story is unrelated to Equestria's Twilight. I edited the author's note in case I gave the wrong impression. Some similar themes and what not, but when I started EQT Cadence and Shinning Armor still did not exist in the show.

Just read More Than You Know as per your recommendation. Definitely a good recommendation.


But it is, as it should be, their decision, not something you just... do because you see a problem and want a quick way to fix it.

Quite so. Just the sheer amount of control it gives to the party doing mind modification should make it illegal and harshly punished if it's done non-consensually. It's their thoughts and should they want help with it, they can ask for it. What if that past struggle you want to erase makes them what they are today? There's always room for human(pony?) error as well. Not to mention there's always a risk of slippery slope. First you help someone who really needs it, next you erase fights when you wrong someone just so you don't have to deal with it. Or you influence some diplomats if you believe it's for the greater good of Equestria. Or to silence dissension.

Probably the worst thing is that when you snip a memory, you can't remember it. How would you file a complaint if you don't even know why?

Those two are great recommendations. Cadence in A minor especially is my favorite fic about Canterlot Wedding aftermath. Really dwelves into the whole Chrysalis mind rape along with other insecurity/self-esteem issues.

So, wait, was this supposed to make us feel OK about mind-control and emotion-control magic?


If, on the other hand, you wished to put forth the idea that all* the princesses of Equestria are deeply flawed, mentally unstable, and actively dangerous individuals clinging to some extremely hazardous philosophical ideas and only barely avoiding the utter ruination of all around them by some sort of centuries-long blind luck, then I guess you succeeded. :twilightoops:

*Best pony is not mentioned, of course, but two words: Nightmare. Moon.

I've been reading so long I sort of forget what existed when what stories were started. Quite glad you enjoyed the recommendation. The ease with which Obsolescence unnerves me is, itself, unnerving.

I'm a bit curious how Cadance would have affected the course of EqT's run—that's how these things go, I suppose.

Kinda surprised by the ratio of likes to dislikes, considering it was a good story, even if it wasn't agreeable.

There were a few typos and other errors which were a bit distracting, but those can easily be fixed.

But wow. Yeah, a good story, in an ominous way. It's got a great ending. I suppose it most reminds me of George Orwell's 1984, which is worth the read. I don't typically read this sort of fic, though, as they tend to leave a sour taste in my mouth, regardless of quality. (Probably has to do with human nature of preferring happy endings.)

first paragraph, second sentence. 'soldering' should be 'soldiering'. Gave me a funny lil mental image of Shining Armour sitting at a rework station, though.

Edit after reading: Wow... That's... umm... wow. o.o;

I guess all the lead fumes are getting to me :derpyderp1: Thanks for the catch.

I'm glad I wasn't the only one surprised by that.

For some reason looking through my in-progress document folder.,. there are very few happy endings. I wonder why that is. I like happy endings, you would think I would write them.

If I had waited a few months before starting EqT and knew of the existence of Shinning Armor and Cadence, it would have been a very different story. I think if Twilight had another alicorn to share the burden with, things would be much better for her... Or perhaps not. I've been working on a story (there is a link to an early draft somewhere on my blog) of an AU where Twilight and Cadence rule side by side after banishing Shinning Armor to the sun, and Celestia ends up becoming Twilight's student. Some of the thoughts I had while writing it were sort of, "how would things be different with Cadence?" and Twilight still manages to make it hard on herself.

I would not argue that mind magic, as used by Twilight is OK. I mostly agree with the ideas put forward by: 5455888 and 5456584

In regards to the Princess of Equestria. Twilight is obviously insane, and Celestia is haunted. Luna, while not mentioned, had that whole Night Mare Moon thing (yea I know the comics turned it into possession, but really?) Cadence, though, I feel is half way healthy if incompetent (I know there is nothing in the source material to make us think Cadence is anything but a good ruler / babysiter, but for some reason I just imagine her being really bad at her job).

Wow. This is really well written. But... It hurts to read. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not too pleasant. In the end I think I'm better off having read it, so thank you.

This explains things in the show in very disturbing ways.

5457450 My main problem with the story is that it is not merely reinterpreting canonically benevolent characters to be mentally unstable, dangerously misguided, or both at best, but that it is really implausible that such a nasty cocktail of wrongness could manage to maintain itself with the remarkably good results we see on the whole for so long.

If you'll pardon my going off on a tangent, I find a lot of cynical stories to be naive in this or similar ways. They are almost too one-dimensionally grimdark to be realistic.


In regards to NMM: Back during one of the dA Q&A by Lauren Faust, she originally intended for NMM to be Luna having been possessed by an entity known as The Nightmare. Long before the comics, I believe. Though it sounded like a somewhat willing possession.

Immoral results leading to effective, practical solutions and/or improvements is something that happens frequently throughout history, it's just really hard to bring oneself to acknowledge. It would be difficult, and inappropriate to list examples here since they would be offending, as they should be, but it does happen.

5458230 Practical? Yes. Pervasively good-spirited, happy, healthy citizens? Uhhhh.

You don't get Equestria with Roman* politics. Sorry.

*Stepping back a bit from the specific mind control stuff, although certainly I know of no case where actual brainwashing has resulted in any society which anyone would consider nearly as good as Equestria's, or even in the same league.


This was really good.

I really enjoyed the twist at the end on the whole who is the tyrant sort of thing. It's rare to see the whole Celestia is a puppet of Twilight sort of angel on this sight. The implications of the whole mind control are really disturbing and it's chilling how callously Twilight disregards the right to individualism and freedom from oppression.

Only thing is, where is Luna in all of this? Is she a willing member of the way things are run or is she another puppet?

Surprised this story isn't getting the attention it deserves or the credit. Good job.

Throughout a most of the chapter, I couldn't really get a sense of the characters; as if it weren't really the characters talking and only the author talking through them—and that really broke the world you were trying to write into being. Other than that, this was a pretty interesting concept.

Dang it, that business of Twilight and Celestia helping eachother sounded so romantic at first. And why did Twilight put so much emphasis on the fact that Celestia asks first, but then doesn't ask first herself? The impression I got from the end is that she thinks she's doing the right thing., but talking up a moral point only to ignore it herself seems more like intentional maliciousness. Especially when she knows Shining is touchy about mind control. So I guess she's evil then. But that's not as much fun as leaving it in a gray area :-/

non-vote from me.

Another problem, every solution/method discussed has been about opening people to positive change or reminding them of something important to them. Twilight in this outright removed something integral to who Shining is against his will and implied at the end she was willing to do it even when the issues weren't representing a immediate problem.

Tulip #26 · Jan 4th, 2015 · · 1 ·

Nice idea. Have a fav.

Qualitative difference between sun-based brain magic and secretly drugging the drinking water with sedatives? Yes or no?

I really liked this story. I'm admittedly not very surprised by the number of dislikes—it happens any time the main characters get reinterpreted as villains—but I enjoyed it. I especially liked the idea of Celestia being a "puppet" to Twilight, I've never seen that done before. It makes me want to read a story where that concept is more fleshed-out and justified.

Great work! :twilightsmile:

With a cover art like that, how was this not a comedy? :derpytongue2:

Nice, simple story.


Nooo..well, I always knew Celesta was evil...wait...I didn't...AAAAAARRHHHHH

Well, that was dark as fuck, and thoroughly enjoyable.

My only critique would be that towards the end you have a lot of dialog without attribution makes it a little hard to follow who is saying what, and you have to wait for another 'my brother' or 'my niece' to work out who is talking at the time. Said is your friend.

Also, I think technically, his nickname is Shiny, or Shiney, as Shinny would shorten the i sound to make it sound like shin-knee (which is only correct if the story is anthro, and your are describing his legs)

Other than that, it was a thoroughly enjoyable story. I can only guess that Twilight's 'scalpel' is what caused the rather large downvote ratio. It does bring up some pretty poignant thoughts about the nature of Cadance's magic (which I have also thought a little off in the past), so kudos on writing a thought provoking piece.

The ending...*SQUEE*:pinkiecrazy:

For a minute there, I thought this was connected to a couple stories where Twilight and Trixie learn that they are sisters.

I have seen this in a number of other fanfics (some have done it better than others), and decided to throw it in. I like the idea of interconnection. There have been a few unrelated fics I have read on this site by different authors that, in my head, are all part of the same universe and are sequels of one another. This story is not that, not in any way. However, I like the idea of dropping things in to allow other readers to do the same.

I'm gonna go ahead and stir the hornets nest here and say, I personally agree more with Cadence's stance on Celestia's mind control. There is a saying that the two perfect forms of government are a benevolent tyrant and anarchy (yes, yes, I know the saying is bad). I don't see Celestia as a tyrant and don't consider what she does brainwashing (though it is manipulative). I could imagine such a system lasting for thousands of years with the type of continuity of leadership provided by an immortal ruler.

Twilight's behavior is something different however (and a new addition to this ancient government). I would agree that it is not likely that Equestria would be the Equestria in the show for long with Twilight's straight up brain modification (beyond even brain washing).

wlam #36 · Jan 7th, 2015 · · 1 ·


I'm gonna go ahead and stir the hornets nest here and say, I personally agree more with Cadence's stance on Celestia's mind control. There is a saying that the two perfect forms of government are a benevolent tyrant and anarchy (yes, yes, I know the saying is bad). I don't see Celestia as a tyrant and don't consider what she does brainwashing (though it is manipulative). I could imagine such a system lasting for thousands of years with the type of continuity of leadership provided by an immortal ruler.

Since you're self-admittedly asking for it: That would make you really, really, really fucking stupid. Who cares even how long that system would last? Propagating it isn't the end, you propagate it because it constitutes the means to provide the population with security and freedom to lead their lives however they see fit. Psychically violating the population to amputate its capacity for being free makes as much sense as setting yourself on fire to warm your fireplace and then considering it a great success because you're good at burning.

Calling Twilight worse is like saying that drugging someone's drink is a superior form of rape to beating them over the head and just shoving it up their ass.

I don't see how trying to enter the conversation from a honest point is stupid. I wanted to put my cards on the table instead of being all coy about things, while still making it clear that the story is intended to allow the reader to reach their own conclusions. Doing anything less just ends up with people endlessly arguing when it comes down to a fundamental difference in core beliefs. If you prefer I can lie to you in the future.

To be clear, I do not see what Celestia is doing as removing free will (What Twilight is doing is again, different). It is certainly manipulation, but I would hope you can understand the difference. As Cadence explained with her magic, it doesn't work on ponies who don't want to love. Celestia's magic is similar, otherwise EVERYPONY would be happy all the time and we don't see that in the show at all.

security and freedom to lead their lives however they see fit.

Security and freedom are often opposing diametrics. You also make the inherent assumption in your argument that freedom is the end goal of governments. It can be, but a system does not need to make freedom its highest goal. Notice at no point do I pass value judgment on what Celestia is doing, only that she is not a tyrant and that her rule could be stable. You seem to leap from that to me saying lobotimization is the best thing ever.

... What I don't get is, the way Twilight used her magic at the end here was clearly wrong, but Celestia tries to call her out on it and doesn't succeed, somehow. Like, Twilight argues back and Celestia rolls over and lets her do it even before Twilight approaches her ominously at the end. The fact that Celestia doesn't immediately stop Twilight seems to indicate that Twilight's actions are okay with this like she's okay with her own brain-changing.

And, the conversation in the middle with Twilight talking about living forever and how she's going to be as powerful as Celestia, and then talking about how much of a mayfly life that Shining now has, was a little scary even before she brainwashes him, but given that last part is bloody terrifying.

I should put a disclaimer that I am not particularly in favor of Godpowered Immortal Alicorn Twilight.

wlam #39 · Jan 7th, 2015 · · 6 ·


You also make the inherent assumption in your argument that freedom is the end goal of governments. It can be, but a system does not need to make freedom its highest goal.

Joining a conversation isn't stupid, blatantly self-destructive beliefs are usually the result of it, though. You could have just said that you're a fascist upfront, then I wouldn't have bothered trying to convey how a government doing this sort of thing goes against the intended purpose of it. That doesn't exactly matter much to anyone who doesn't believe you have a natural right to not have your body and mind messed with without your consent in the first place.

I'll just say that I disagree completely on what can be seen on the show: ponies are abridged, incomplete caricatures of real people, what with being characters in a cartoon for little girls. Which is also pretty much exactly what I'd expect the natural result of spending your life with part your natural emotional spectrum suppressed to be. You can't develop into a mature person, or have any idea what your real goals in life are, when deprived of getting to experience your real feelings all your life without even being aware of it. Everything you think you are is artificial, which is about half a step away from being dead, as far as I'm concerned. The real you never actually got to live or decide anything. Not passing a value judgment on that sort of crime against humanity is a statement all by itself.

allways -> always.

Very nice story. I'm very uncertain whether the alicorn effects are wrong, but Twilight's neuromancy clearly is. I think you may have been less than charitable regarding the effects of Twilight's intervention, but Twilight can be utterly coconut banana bonkers if you want her to be.

A lot of elements in this story actually remind me of my own, but that's a shameless plug and you shouldn't pay any attention to it.

Holy hell this is really chilling. The whole damn thing is just fucked.
Sapidus, why are you so good at writing things that are truly terrifying?

Maybe... maybe Twilight has been hitting Celestia with neuromancy before? What if her influence is strong enough that Celestia has been "trained" to concede to Twilight?

GOD this whole thing is just layers upon layers of horror.

Woah, just take it easy man.
It's a work of fanfiction on the Internet, you should probably tone it down a notch. Or twenty.

5477879 great , now thanks to your comment im both intrigued and afraid to read this fic , probably more afraid :c .....

What had her name been again? Starlight Lulamoon,

HAH! Trixie's your half-sister! :twilightoops:

That was great. An earnest conversation about the moral legitimacy of "neuromancy", followed by a thoughtful deconstruction of the "all mind control/manipulation is wrong" argument.
It goes deeper and deeper, layering on the excuses and rationalization, and then suddenly blows it all away due to the last pony you'd expect.
Beautiful and cruel.

The thing I found most weird, oddly, is that Shining Armor wasn't portrayed as much of a book lover or magic expert. He's pretty good with the magicks, and I figured he'd have to be pretty good at studying to manage it.

Don't let me turn you away from this fic! It's quite good!
Just, dark. One of those stories that makes you think.

I grew up in one of those old Eastern European socialist dictatorships and have pretty strong feelings on how valuable the freedom to choose is. They get the better of me sometimes, when I think someone (who never had to learn what not having it is like) doesn't appreciate that and how good they have it.

interesting and enjoyable.

meddling in other pony’s love lives


if you hear music you know its there


He wanted to buy into that, “love means sharing burdens” philosophy of hers, but that was not how he was wired.

delete comma after "that"

Of course its right.



I read this fic a few days ago and didn't realize it then, but no one seems to understand fully what happened between Twilight and Celestia. This is just a thought I had and figured I'd throw it out there.

Twilight said that she and Celestia would take turns, Tia would take in some of Twi's distress, combat it, and then pour some of herself, the good and the bad, back in to fill the space. Twi would likewise do the same for Tia. This back and fourth has caused both mare's stance on the issue to switch.

Twilight is still Twilight, but she acts more like Celestia in regards to using mind magic, likewise Celestia is still Celestia but she acts more like Twilight now. Unsettling thoughts huh?

everything. The important things she makes sure to tell me


The give me a chance to explain.”


“Did mom and dad ever tell you what the magistrates of magic regulation wanted to do after my ‘incident’ during my entrance exam?

Why do you think I had to go live at the academy?

It would be best if he went back home to the crystal empire. Afterall, Twilight would come and visit them in a few weeks.


Wow that's a bucked up use of one's powers.

This is possibly the scariest, unscary story I have ever read. That was bucking terrifying.
So, Celestia doesn't actually have malicious intent, but this ain't looking good for twilight. She's starting doing the 'making everypony forget incidents that put me in a bad light' thing. Soon, it'll be open MC. And then Twilight tyrant will happen.
Also, taking all his bad memories? You can't do that. people need to deal with their pain on their own.

One last thing. Is Trixie twilight's half-sister? Neato.
Take a well deserved like.

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