• Member Since 12th Jul, 2014
  • offline last seen Sep 7th, 2019


Just a little, old baby kitty...


Sunset Shimmer is finally happy, or so she thinks. Her perfect world gets turned upside down one night when she receives a visit from a former siren. What happens next explains quite a lot.

cover art by harwicks-art

Chapters (10)
Comments ( 112 )

Thornwing, you know you can upvote your own story, right? :derpytongue2:


very intereting.....please continue kind sir-urmm.......manticore?

Though I don't agree with the groundhoggy prison concept, I think I'll keep reading this.

Interesting concept. Kinda reminds me of The Matrix.

Thanks for looking out for me TQ! :raritywink:

Next chapter will be out in a week.

We're getting past that without even having to deal with it. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised where this is going.

It's Starswirl - he's a bit of a loon, but has really good intentions.


I'll try my best to earn that "barely recommended" review. That way I know you secretly loved it.

Well, I guess I'll track this then. *click*


Celestia knew, and let Sunset to rot there forever... That's cruel :fluttercry:

Also , what age will Sunset adopt once she crosses the portal? the previous one from when she was Celestia's student, or the fifty ones Aria claim she has?


Good questions!

I'm pretty sure the next chapter will help answer them both. :pinkiegasp:


What was supposed to be Starswirl's lesson anyway? Friendship? Because making friends for life just to discover they and their relationship were a lie, actually tends to create the opposite effect. I can imagine Sunset snapping hard.

Wow... this is dark... and messed up... I'd like to see where it leads. TRACKING! Not bad.

Hmm. very interesting concept, a bit dark, but it has potential. I have liked several of your other stories and they always seem to be well written; lets see were this goes.

I wrote a review of this story!

It can be found here.

6257644 Well, Starswirl didn't exactly understand friendship...

6257929 Very true. But he should have had some understanding of the mind; such an experience can break a person beyond repair.
6257644 I think her snapping is the best case scenario where she takes it well. A normal person would break and go insane and never believe in friendship again. But, yeah, you're on the right track.

Here's a thought: if Sunset Shimmer has been here for so many years, then she's been gone from Celestia's side for an equal amount of time. And yet, Celestia has not seen fit to inform Twilight of this fact... of course, that assumes that Twilight Sparkle actually arrived during the latest cycle, and isn't simply another portion of the construct. Or, worse yet, deliberately helping keep Sunset imprisoned.

Well, this is definitely an interesting premise. I have no idea if anyone did this one before, but it's the first time I see it for myself, and I'm definitely intrigued.
The world being a prison... throws a completely different light in the whole universe, and also explains how Sunset could've been Celestia student before Twilight was, especially considering the virtually non-existent age difference in the show. And even more so since Twi was her student ever since she got her mark.

Definitely following this to see where it'll go! :twilightsmile:

So far it's interesting 7/10

It should have taken over seventy years before that happened.

Woah, that means Princess Celestia knows something and is hiding it. When Sunset came back she should have noticed the strange age gap but never told Twilight.

“That…makes total sense,” I said, exhaling along with my dwindling disbelief. “Why didn’t I see it before?”

Only ponies can use magic.
Sunset and her friends as well as the Dazzlings all used magic.
Therefore the Dazzlings, Sunset, and her friends are all ponies.
But Sunset's "friends" are part of the world so therefore constructs and not ponies. Just what happened here?

“We we young. We were stupid.”


This is an interesting concept but I feel there are two issues that need to be addressed; both of which I pointed out above. (Not the typo.)

Celestia allowed her student to jump unknowingly into a prison. Though, lets assume Celestia didn't know this. She still should be surprised when her ex-student shows up some where between 50 and 70 years later and seems relatively young. This should get her thinking about what the mirror actually is. She later learns about Sunset's reform from Twilight and lets her ex-student remain in this strange mirror that has kept her young for dozens of years.

Aria knew Sunset was a pony cause she could use magic. But didn't Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash also use magic a couple of times? It is implied that they are just constructs of the world and will reset in soon. (How this reset works I am unsure, it seems hinted that they will continue on and only Sunset will become a freshman again.) But if they are constructs, how did they use magic, or was their use of magic only an illusion and all magic was channeled by Sunset and Twilight? Maybe the magic somehow made them real? And why hasn't Sunset questioned this?

I am extremely intrigued by this and wish to see more :)


Why didn´t Aria meet Sunset way before to try joining forces to escape the prison (Also, Miss Pigtails should have banged her head against a wall after discovering Shimmer has a way out from the beggining)? Why is Adaggio obsessed with "ruling the prison" if the other Sirens (and Sunset) are the only real people around?

Aria could have been working up the courage to confront Sunset about the strange world. Adagio still could rule the constructs, Sunset did mind control a school of them. We just don't know what would happen to them if they left this magical prison.

And we don't know if Sunset and the Sirens are the only real ones. THere is still that clause about using magic that could make the rest of the Elements real.

Sooooo they're in the MLP version of the Matrix?

Not exactly, but there are many parallels that could be drawn.

6258970 6259066 6260474 6260704 6260797
I love the speculation going on here. The next chapter should help answer a lot of this, but there's quite a bit more to come even after that.

Remember that we have the Dazzlings that have been imprisoned for significantly longer than anything/anyone else that we've seen from the more recent movies. They were imprisoned by Starswirl himself according to the backstory legend in RR. AJ also raised the question, "But Starswirl must have sent them there ages ago. How come they're just surfacing now?" That's something to keep in mind as we go. Also, the fact that Twilight had no idea who Sunset Shimmer was until the portal opened up in the first movie, even though they had both been Celestia's "personal" students. Celestia only mentions that Sunset was her student "a short time before Twilight", but we are talking about someone with a bit of a different perspective about time.

Chapter one and two set the foundation for the rest of the story. I'd still love to hear what people think is going to happen and make sure we tie up any loose ends or questions you have on how it all fits together.

Keep the comments coming - I love reading what people think. I'll try and answer as many things as I can without giving away the whole story.

Oh don't worry. I like finding typos, grammatical errors, and... logic flaws!

Grats on two days in the featured story box!

Yeah... I know... sorry about that... :facehoof:

No need to apologize! Everyone has a fair shot at it, that's how it goes. :heart:

Well, somebody already said it, but this reminds me so much of the matrix right now. Sure it's a little different, but kind of the same concept. It's definitely a new angle on the human world though, so I'll give you that. Interested to see where this goes from here.

So many good questions in the comment section, now I'm really curious as well. Next time I should read this story before 3 am, so my mind doesn't shut down and ignore all the confusing moments haha.

So how Starswirl created this modern looking prison with preindustrial knowledge?

He created a construct that evolved independently, and without magic.

That would require some sort of inteligent mind behind it to evolve like this. And we mustn't forget the energies that would be needed to maintain this construct.

And there is the question how was he able to reverse age? If he was able to reverse age why wouldn't he use this kind of magic on himself? Or maybe he did?

I am also surprised that nobody made fic about Sirens living through human history. At least i didn't see one. It could be interesting.

So, you mean the construct that Starswirl built to reeducate those within, having ties to Equestria and that world's magic, resets itself every so often to help better educate those it is meant to help? Yes, I think that's what I meant to say. (The jail adapts to those within.)

It's not all that critical to the plot, but it is good that we make that distinction.

6256832 Morpheus: What if I told you just because Sonata said "Taco Tuesday" once that doesn't mean she only eats tacos?

6262577 Aria Blaze as Morpheus. That's new...

If the jail adapts to those within, does that mean there are people from different worlds? Because Equestria isn't so advanced.

A fun idea to explore... I've held a similar view of the EQG world. With the random mix of thousand-year-old characters and all sorts of age disparities, it really can only make sense as a magical construct rather than a full other universe. I proposed that it was something like the Equestrian version of a holo deck, running a program designed by a time-traveling Starswirl and intended for Twilight Sparkle specifically... But other ponies keep ending up there.

Yeah, I'm a nerd.

I'm looking forward to exploring the answers to all of the questions this opening raises!

Awesome! Thanks again for letting me borrow your wonderful artwork! It's a great help to have the inspiration that comes from it.


I've got a lot more coming your way. Tune in each Tuesday leading up to the new movie.

I feel I should help, but It’s been a week since she’s written to me,

Lower case.

So Celestia might not know it is a prison since she doesn't know all of what Star Swirl did. However, she must know something fishy is going on because oh how young Sunset remains. Though, great timing Sunset, amazingly good timing. Luckily Twilight will have not told Celestia since the princess will just read it herself.

Though my questions from the last chapter have yet to be answered. Why didn't Celestia bring up the age issue with Twilight; is she scared? And what are the human counterparts of Twilight's friends; are they constructs or ponies?

Oh I knew that was going to happen as soon as Twilight visited Celestia. Now she's going to see the words, "I'm coming home, don't tell Celestia," and it's going to break Celestia's heart... oh how cruel life can be at times.


So Celestia might not know it is a prison since she doesn't know all of what Star Swirl did. However, she must know something fishy is going on because oh how young Sunset remains.

Correct - Celestia doesn't have a perfect understanding of how everything works, but she has studied up on the magic and knows the basics, pretty much the same as what the Dazzlings have to work with.

Why didn't Celestia bring up the age issue with Twilight; is she scared?

This is something that goes into base detail that probably won't get a proper explanation in the story due to lengthy exposition issues, so I'll cover it here. Spoiler for those that don't want the background info and potential for upcoming info.

Celestia is old. She has no family except Luna, and Sunset by adoption. When she's working with Twilight, it's like she has a second chance at raising a child. She isn't perfect, and the problems that plagued her relationship with Sunset don't exactly apply in Twilight's case due to the simple facts of their (Celestia and Twilight) relationship and having learned from past experiences. Celestia also recognizes that Twilight and Sunset have a good relationship — something that has helped Sunset tremendously and may lead to a potential reunion with her daughter. To be fair, she wrote in the diary and never got a response due to Sunset's state of mind. In two and a half years before the portal opened again for the first time after Sunset went through, Celestia had plenty of time to read up on things and become as much of an expert as she could on the magic crafted world.

Double Spoiler warning:
Seeing as the mirror world preserves the state of the being entering, true age isn't really a factor when returning to Equestria, even after a long absence. So in the end, it doesn't really matter as a point to exhaustively explain or dwell on.

And what are the human counterparts of Twilight's friends; are they constructs or ponies?

What do you think, given that they were directly impacted by the magic of the Elements of Harmony? Could they be one thing, and maybe now something else? Are there stronger ties to Equestria than Starswirl intended? Does the mirror flow both ways? Perhaps we'll find out.

The age issue I was talking about was how Sunset should be near 100 but she appears much younger. Why did Celestia not tell Twilight this and explain that the mirror is a looping reality or, if Celestia doesn't know, question the reason why Sunset appears so young.

75 years, huh? That's quite a time. I thought it'd be longer, but that's still a very long time for a mother to miss her daughter, adopted or not, immortal or not.

I'll avoid the spoilers in the comments, and wait for the proper unveiling of the truth.
Can't wait!

In one IDW comic with Sunset Shimmer we can se in one panel Sunset Shimmer studying in a park and behind her is little Twilight still without cutie mark, Cadance and Shining Armour playing on the grass.

Good grief, the suspense! :pinkiegasp: Can't wait for the update. This is really interesting. Keep it up.

Login or register to comment