• Member Since 29th Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen September 12th

Chengar Qordath


I write lots and lots of horse words; everything from comedy to drama. If you like what I write, please support me on Patreon.

Sequels1

T

This story is a sequel to The Freeport Venture


Sunset Shimmer has established a good life for herself in Freeport. Sure, the city might be horrendously corrupt, but she makes a very good living as the Freeport's only officially sanctioned unicorn magus.

All that goes down the drain when somepony robs the richest bank in Freeport. And most baffling of all, after the heist the crook went to the poorest part of town and scattered the loot for all of Freeport's poor and deprived citizens. Now Sunset has to find the thief, and figure just why someone would rob from the rich and give to the poor...

Reading The Freeport Venture is not necessary to follow this story's plot, though you'll certainly enjoy it more if you have. Plus you should read the previous story anyway, because I'm quite proud of it.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 102 )

That was a fun read.

And was that perhaps a homage to Blood Rites to start?

"The slums were on fire, and it wasn't Sunset's fault

Meanwhile, In another universe, a very well-known wizard from Chicago suddenly feels a strange surge of proudness toward his latest apprendice, and doesn't know why.

Flippin' commies!
Great story!

I'm afraid that I don't seem to be having much luck thinking of detailed comments for this at the moment, but I enjoyed the story. :)

Almighty Sage You think you are joking, but in the 1950s there were places Robin Hood was banned. He advocated the redistribution of wealth -clearly a proto communist. (Saw it in a display on censorship)

And where exactly was she banished in Equestria to? Why, the Middle of Nowhere, of course, so that she could set up a communist town! Isn't friendship just magical? :pinkiehappy:

I love this interpretation of Starlight. And it's great to see Sunset still kicking ass and taking names.

Is this story and Freeport Venture going to tie into Tales from the Phoenix Empire at some point?

5961795

I don't believe it is possible due to all the timeline differences. Princess/Empresses and Sunset/Twilight.

Ohhhhhh this was good! Typically, wonderfully good, coming from Chengar. I must agree with 5961461: badass Sunset is what we're here for and damn, do you ever deliver. Also, I love what you're doing with magic. Experimental stuff like this? WONDERFUL!

I'm curious if this is an intermission before another big story arc revolving around Sunset's adventures in Freeport. Is there anything telling of this one-shot or are there more of these just going to be popping up from time-to-time?

I think I'm going to have to support you on Patreon; your literature is definitely worthy of my bits!

- AIP§ :rainbowdetermined2:

Yeah... Still hate starlight

That was everything I was hoping for out of more Sunset in Freeport. I especially liked the fire wings towards the beginning as well as her building on that graveyard revelation of what her talent really means, that darkness -> laser spell was aces.

Great backstory for Starlight, too.

That was a pretty fun read. Gotta love magic duels.

5962000
I've got another big story arc in the planning stages for Sunset, but her general lifestyle/profession certainly lends itself well to one-shots covering lesser jobs.

5963148
Off-topic question while you're sorta here: any news on Lunar Rebellion?

Without being rude or offensive...

Why do you ask for money through Patreon, author? Don't you have a job to help cover the costs of food, electricity and all of that stuff? You can't really be making money for your stories here, are you? Is that even allowed, or possible at all?

I ask because I have seen a bunch of people saying 'support me on Patreon' and I'm curious to know what exactly it is all about.

Nice story, by the by.

5963177 I have crushed the rebel scum with my New And Improved Death Sun (I learned to cover my damned exhaust ports and install auto-closing bulkheads in any tunnels big enough to fly fighters toward the main reactor chamber!)

Hence, the rebels were utterly helpless and our Solar Legions slaughtered them like pigdogs! BWAH HA HA HA!!

:trollestia:

5961265 Robin Hood wasn't a communist.

He actually did give the money to the poor!

REAL communists hoard everything for themselves while the masses slaving away on collective farms starve to death.

:trollestia:

5963353
sorry to butt in, but the hype was too great to ignore. :pinkiehappy:

The display wasn't about communism, it was about censorship. It also mentioned a lot of Dr Seuss is banned in China & Frank Zappa had a 100% instrumental album banned. (His comment was "Apparently, the lyrics can be obscene but not heard")

But, that's a digression. The original story was great & so was this one.

I know that this is an alternate universe, but I don't really like the way you pictured Starlight here. She's a very powerful unicorn. She is capable of removing cutie marks and I don't think this is an easy spell to cast. She is capable of raising shields and shooting powerful blasts. She had NO trouble to overpower Twilight, which is an alicorn and she took the cutie marks of the other five all at once. This is what we saw. What did Sunset do? Teleporting around and levitating stuff. I'd say that Starlight and Sunset should be equally powerful. Just my two cents.

I've noticed you've got an alternate universe tag on this fic; is this alternate universe compared to FiM's general universe, or is it Alt compared to the rest of the Winningverse?

5964574
They pretty much are equal in power--Sunset's edge has more to do with how refined and in control she is of that power; Starlight isn't weak, but she's more or less brute forcing everything.

This story was shallow and boring, plain and simple. You took something which could have been thought provoking and interesting, and instead just turned it into a bish bash against people who disagree with capitalism.
You used good imagery/10

5964669

Yes, Sunset had a pretty hard time to defeat Starlight, but I think Starlight deserves a better role than one of a common criminal. She could've been a much, MUCH bigger threat than in this story.

5964704

Agreed. If Winningverse Sunset was upgraded from her high school, queen bitch wannabe canon into a resorceful, persistent, hot-headed badass, so should have been Starlight.
Personally, I find Glimmer a far more disturbing villain than the average monster of the week. Turning an entire town into a cult of brainwashed stepford smilers? Figuring on the Six intentions, depowering and including them into the "Program"? Too much close to reality. That's the same reason Harry Potter fans hate Umbridge more than even Voldemort.

5964704 How do you know she doesn't show up again later on? It's outright stated that she'll get out of prison pretty quickly, and nobody says she immediately sets up the EQSR (equestrian socialist republic).

I think a little revenge sounds in-character.

5965061
Yeah, there are definitely more stories to be told with Starlight. This is her at the very beginning of her supervillain career, after all.

5965131

I am pleased to read this. :twilightsmile:

5964574
Let's also remember this is Starlight Shimmer who hasn't exactly ended up having her mental break go full loco yet. But it's obviously going there.

If it went from here, she'd end up exiled, studying her little heart out even further for the sake of revenge, and then find a little town out in the middle of nowhere to begin refining her ultimate equalizer...the Cutie Mark Curse. If we're lucky and she doesn't figure it out in Freeport and start planning some kind of mass-demarking-ritual to screw everything up.

5965131 She doesn't strike me as a supervillian like the mane-iac or Sombra. Just a normal villain/antagonist.

5965966

You mean if she gets luck. Trying to pull that stunt in Freeport is a good way to end with a noose in the neck... Or any other uncomfortable outcome from which Daddy couldn't save her.

5963148 "I've got another big story arc in the planning stages for Sunset.."

Thank goodness, Freeport Venture became my favorite story on the site.

5965131 Yeah, but Starlight is just not a very good villain in the show.

Of course, she did have to follow up Tirek, and that's not an easy thing to do.

More than a little disappointed with the flat characterization of Starlight in this chapter, had expected a bit more seeing as how you quite masterfully spun of a great take on Sunset herself. Perhaps you have plans for how starlight changes as a pony as the story goes on, and if so I'll look forwards to it.

Felt kinda underwhelmed here. The situation and circumstance looked like it was setting up some nice grey morality here, only to squander it by making Starlight a self-righteous hypocrite and make Sunset a simple vigilante/enforcer. Well I guess it still is grey, just not in the way it could've been.

Sunset especially felt off here.. The last third of The Freeport Venture had her make it a big deal to improve Freeport. Yet when presented with a Robin Hood-esque figure she immediately decides to bring her in even before Starlight's hypocrisy is made apparent. This despite how, even though the act was misguided, the supposed motivation matched Sunset's.

Finally this felt less like a self contained one-shot and more like a chapter in part of another story.

Starlight Glimmer is a fascinating case of hypocritical sincerity, rationalizing her failure to follow her own philosophy with incredible ease. She fails to recognize what she truly believes: She isn't as interested in making everyone equal as she is keeping anyone else from being better than her. You captured her well here, especially when blended with the impetuousness of youth.

Of course, despite Sunset's protests, the two of them aren't so different at heart. It's just that Sunset is a little more self-aware and a lot better trained. At least, she is at this point in time.

I've always been impressed by your ability to not only write the mlp characters well, but give them whole new dimensions in your stories. Thus, I was quite surprised to find that Starlight actually felt more 1-dimensional in this story than she did in the actual show. Don't take this the wrong way - I still enjoyed the story. It was fun to see her and Sunset square off, and the fight scene was pretty cool (you always make magic duels really engaging) but that was really it. There wasn't really any substance to the story or its conflict. It just kind of... happened.

Starlight seemed to be a tad less intelligent here than she was in canon. A mare capable of convincing others to give up their own talents should be smart, witty, and definitely not give up the ghost on a bank robbery so quickly and easily, to complete strangers, no less. Her magical prowess was on par with what we know about her, but she should be just as sharp, maybe even smarter, than Sunset, with the caveat of being even more blind to her own ego and false rationalisations.

That said, this is a younger Starlight. I can easily see her growing into a master manipulator, as she's already demonstrated she's completely manipulated herself already.

5973457
Yeah, her age is an important factor to consider. She's got some growing left to do before she's as scary as she was in canon.

That said, this definitely won't be the last time she runs into Sunset. An antagonist unicorn who can punch on Sunset's power level is far too useful story-wise to only be used once.

5965002 I agree on your take of Glimmer. The fact that she seems to believe her own ideology, and that she's acting for a cause, is what makes her such a unique villain. In fact, I was honestly surprised in this story Starlight Glimmer didn't dump the whole 200,000 on the poor (and end up causing even worse riots in the process). Starlight may have concealed her own cutie mark to make her Equalism cult function, but from what we saw of her, she lived in the same house and had the same stuff as everyone else, so material greed was never much of a factor for her.

5974937 "You see, I'm a mare of simple taste. I enjoy makeup, sticks, and loudspeakers! And the thing they have in common is, they're cheap."

5973256
Chengar's version of SG has a more subtle dimensionality than what is seen in the show, even while it is consistent with the show. See this guy's post which summarizes it: 5972725

5971735
But SG is a hypocrite through and through in the canon episodes. And this is coming from someone (me) who thought the Korra writers messed up with Amon by making him a semi-hypocrite. Chengar had a choice: Make SG his OOC mouthpiece for a grey-and-grey morality crapsack world, or write SG in-character. Chengar chose the latter.

5976327 idk, I didn't really see anything in her depiction here that wasn't already in the show, only done better. The most obvious parallel is SG's hypocrisy. When she's outed as a hypocrite in the show, she gives a very genuine reason for it (needs her CM's power to equalize others). The writers left it ambiguous on whether she actually believed the excuse she made for herself, and we never got to see whether she was willing to actually give up her CM because she never made it that far into her plan. When the other ponies of the village called her out on keeping her CM, she explains herself so quickly and with such conviction I wouldn't be surprised if she actually did give up her CM once she finally completed her equalization of Equestria.

In this story, her hypocrisy is entirely played for laughs and impossible to justify. Even she doesn't seem to believe in her excuse, and she overall comes off as a flat strawman character here instead of a person with a genuine cause that they believe in. Of course, this could be because this story takes place before she discovers exactly what her cause is, but in my opinion, the character in the show is still more interesting than the one seen here

5976421
SG's glib excuse does not excuse her of her hypocrisy. As with all politicians nowadays, we should judge her not by her words but by her actions.

(1) The commune is built in the shape of an equal sign... for everypony else except her, who lives at the head of the equal sign.
(2) She touts equality but she is the clear head of her commune, exercising constant watchful power over everypony else.
(3) She does not believe in her own ideology firmly enough not to bandy about an external authority. She claims her magic comes from a legendary artifact of the legendary Meadowlark. Which means she also claims the ideology comes from the legendary Meadowlark. Otherwise why would the wizard (supposedly) make an equalizer staff?

SG is a clear parallel to totalitarian communist regimes, where those in leadership shun traditional trappings of power such as the flaunting of wealth. Communist leaders thrive off of the actual power itself; material wealth is not (strictly) necessary.

Words mean nothing, actions everything. Here Chengar shows that in full with a SG who has not yet fully fleshed out her self-rationalized worldview.

5976580 I think you missed the point of my previous comment. I wasn't trying to defend any of SG's actions in the show, but merely explain why I think she's more fleshed out as a character there than she is here. The fact that her logic is at least believable in a twisted sort of way was what made her interesting as a character in canon, where here she's just a flat stereotype. In truth, much of that can definitely stem from the fact that this is a prequel of sorts; as we both pointed out, SG has yet to discover the ideology she has when she appears in Season 5, so it makes sense that she'd be less fleshed out in this story. Chengar can't be blamed for that, I just wish he didn't depict SG as such a strawman archetype.

What I enjoyed so much about Freeport Venture was how complex the morality was; that neither side of the central conflict was entirely right or wrong was interesting and challenging as a reader. Here, Starlight is entirely in the wrong and presents no real moral challenge to Sunset or the reader. Maybe that was exactly what Chengar was going for, maybe it wasn't. Maybe he just wanted to write a fun fight scene between Freeport Sunset and Starlight (in which case he succeeded), but after the greater character depth we saw in Freeport Venture, this one kinda feels lacking, even as a one-shot.

MLai #49 · May 14th, 2015 · · 1 ·

5976658
My point was that there's no point for Chengar to repeat what the show already did successfully, i.e. portray SG as "an interesting villain with a twisted but believable logic." Yes that's nice, but it's been done. By the show.

However, what the cartoon didn't do, and couldn't do, was clearly describe what SG really was. That's somewhat hidden because by season 5's time, SG is already so glib and convincing, as you noted. And Chengar also wants to Show Not Tell, which is difficult with a character good at covering herself and spinning things her way. So taking the character during her teenage years does that successfully. FanOfMostEverything nicely summarized SG's root.

5976902 Very good point. Even with that in mind, the fact that this is a sequel (more or less) to Freeport Venture had me expecting there would be more complexity to the characters like there was in its predecessor. Still, I see where you're coming from, and at the end of the day, Chengar's gonna write what Chengar wants to write. Can't expect more than that.

Login or register to comment