• Member Since 18th Jul, 2012
  • offline last seen Yesterday

HalfTangible


Celestia's day keeps Chaos away, but Luna's night is quite the sight

T

Tirek gave Twilight a choice: give up her magic, or lose her friends. Twilight chose the latter.

Now, the last of the rebellion has been brought to justice. And Twilight is their final judge, juror, and executioner.

She never expected that the Crusaders would still be alive.

Thanks to Rated Ponystar for help with this story. Wouldn't have finished it without ya.
Also, someone did a reading of it here, if you're into that sorta thing.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 200 )

D-d-d-d-DROP THA BASS!!!

(That's the only way to make me feel better. You have depressed me. Great job, author.)

Wait.... did the crusaders die or get set free?

Wow. First fanfic in three years. Absolutely delish.


6359856

Allow me to answer that. Twilight spared their lives, but changed their memories. They'll probably have no recollection of their previous other than that they are all still friends. The exact details of those and the current Princess' circumstances I cannot wait to indulge in more here.

It would have been better without the mask drop part at the end. Like a lot better. That's just my opinion though*

A little bit of underhandedness with Dash. She'll be making trouble with the Gryphon Kingdom, taking some pressure off Equestria. :twilightangry2:

6359856
They had their minds wiped, memories rewritten, and exiled to a foreign nation, but they got to live. She also kept their friendship intact.

The confusion might come from the fact that she also faked the Crusader's deaths

6360400 Twilight had to get Dash out of Equestria, but wouldn't have been able to stop her from rebelling in wherever she was. Anarchy/rebellion is etched onto Dash's flank - it's who she is now. So Twilight sent her to the place eyeing up Scootaloo's former home like a slab of raw meat.

6359846

6359883

Thank you both. I try.

6360211 Meh. I probably should have just left that implied.

6359856

The Crusaders are dead. Only three ponies created by Twilight's magic from their bodies after their "Death Of Personality " remain. :fluttercry:
I admit, it was smart from Princess Twilight to send them to destabilize the Gryphon Kingdom.

Sir we're ready to assassinate the princess.good fire.* Loud 50cal shot through twighlits head*good is she dead.affermative sir.good lets get out of here.

6360996 She still has the power of four alicorns in one body. You wouldn't do much more than tick her off.

But yeah. Twilight doesn't have much choice if she wants all 3 of them to live, but that doesn't make it much better.

6360799 *shrug* Twilight left their personalities essentially intact, if it helps.

:fluttercry:

That last line where Twilight realizes that she's truly alone now...

Bravo. :heart:

So, Twilight instead of performing the entirely legitimate execution that she should have done (and these Crusaders entirely deserved), goes on instead to perpetrate mindrape via memory wipe. Which is a soul-crime worse than murder.

(Though it is perhaps unsurprising, since this Twilight apparently utterly failed everypony on just about every level, why should she stop now?)

No, I'm sorry, HalfTangible; mind-wipe is an automatic deal-breaker for me. It was terrible when Star Trek did it, it was terrible when Babylon 5 did it (and B5 at least made some attempt to show why it ISN'T a mercy). Frankly, if that is this Twilight's modus operandi, I'm rather inclined to agree with the gentleman with the .50 cal, I'm afraid. I find the concept of "death of personality" just about as morally repugnant as anything I can think of. (As yes, that's coming from ME.)

6361155 She doesn't really want for them to live, but rather she can't bear the guilt of killing them. So she lets their bodies survive, allowing her to lie to herself that she didn't execute them. Selfish and cowardly... what a bleak Twilight. :pinkiecrazy:

A very sad story. I give it a thumbs up for being well written.

This is the only story I've ever been conflicted on whether to upvote or downvote it...It is good, but...What happened with the crusaders and what Twilight did with the Tirek incident. Not to mention the other three princesses died. So...I'm unable to do either. I'm sorry.

6361386 The three's personalities were left intact, but I get where you're coming from here. *shrug* Fair enough, Commander. I find mind horror to be particularly disgusting myself.

"Modus Operandi"
Whoa whoa, hold it. This is ONE instance in very exceptional circumstances. This isn't something she regularly does, or WOULD do.

6361931 That's fine.

6361155 wait i forgot:rainbowderp: .sir shes back .oh sh#t take cover. Prepare orbital laser alicorn kille cannon.*a very big boom laser shot*ok shes maybe dead sir. lets get outta here. ps im a rebel

Luna, Celestia and Cadence were trapped in Tartarus for weeks before Twilight and the royal guard finally broke through the plane’s barriers. By that point, it was too late - all three had died.

Uhm... why would they die in Tartarus? Given that all the monsters in there, INCLUDING TIREK, have been there THOUSANDS OF YEARS!

And Tirek didn't have anything but his magic-sucking power... and yet he survived.

It doesn't make sense.

Oh joy, another one of THESE stories. I couldn't even finish reading it on account of how horribly depressing it was, and judging by the comments, the ending was even worse. I'm sorry, but wiping their memories and exiling them may as well be executing them, and there's no guarantee they'll even survive wherever they end up.

Sorry, but I'm just not a fan of bleak stuff like this. I won't downvote it, though; a story has to make me angry in order to get a downvote from me. This did not make me angry, just disappointed.

Here's my take on the matter: normally tragedy stories with Twilight becoming the only Princess of Equestria are insta-ignore for me, since a lot of times they fall into the same lazy tyrant trope. While what Twi did at the very end was morally reprehensible, I found it believable and well-written enough to not let it influence me as much as it did some. There is nothing wrong with that; literature (even fanfic) creates different reactions and interpretations in different people. This is simply one of those stories that will divide people into extreme camps just through its subject material.

Me, I found the grey areas to be refreshing. Too often, "Twilight ruler tragedies" tend to be very black-and-white: Twilight is automatically bad and anypony against her is good. While Twilight's not being a clear-cut villain can be debated considering the ending, at the beginning at least she appears to be nothing more than a pony who messed up immensely, not out of malice, but rather because she did what Twi does: she overthought the matter. She thought she could outsmart Tirek, and she couldn't. On the other hand, the Crusaders caused quite a bit of death as rebellions are oft to do, and I appreciate that you played up the Well-Intentioned Extremist angle in this. There is not really a right or wrong in this until we come to the end, and then it's up to the reader to decide.

But, all academic mumbo-jumbo aside, I'm pretty sure at least 25% of my reason for faving this is because of political rebel Scootaloo. The role fit her surprisingly well and I adore the idea of this. Her brashness and desire to prove herself would definitely make her the sort to just look a huge power in the face and say, "I'm not letting this happen." After all, well, she is a Crusader, perhaps in more ways than one. :twilightsmile:

6362632

I can think of two possible reasons why they perished in Tartarus.

The first is simply that Tartarus is a bit like the Pandorica from Doctor Who, from which no one can escape from, even in death. It forces you to stay alive. Considering Tirek merely ripped open a window into Tartarus and placed all three in there, maybe they weren't properly conducted into Tartarus' systems. I realize there an insurmountable amount of holes in this theory because it assumes alot, it's just this is what I immediately thought of when I read your comment.

The second idea that followed is that it had to do with their alicorn magic. It could be there is a direct link between Celestia and Luna's longevity and their alicorn magic. I actually don't know how old Cadence is and we know that Twilight's only had for a little bit so far, comparatively. So, maybe the alicorn magic is responsible for them living so long, maybe not. It could also be that in slight conjunction with the first idea is that since they were never conducted into Tartarus properly and just plopped in there, they were overlooked or something and left to starve. Has it ever been said that the alicorns were immortal, not just long-lived? Even if that were true, they gave up all their alicorn magic and if their godhood is tied directly to that then they were essentially regular ponies in a sense. They presumably didn't get any food and therefore starved to death.

I would like to know more about the circumstances about their death as well. There is actually a lot here that I could see being explained in another thrilling installment or maybe another story. So many questions
I mean, how did the other mane 6 die exactly, being crushed in the bubbles?
How did Tirek destroy Ponyville exactly, and who else survived its destruction?
Is Spike dead too, or did he simply leave Twilight for some unknown reason?
What happened to Discord? Did he die along with the other mane 6, and if so what happened to his chaos magic?
Also, why are the former Cutie Mark Crusaders rebelling? This one is very perturbing to me. I hardly think that the CMC were grief-stricken enough to launch a "rebellion" against Twilight. If not grief-stricken, then what else has Twilight done in here 20 years that ticked them off so badly.

Speculation is fun.

6362632
6362874 I'm a firm believer in death of the author. Speculate away!

Though I will say: I didn't bring most of this up because I thought it would detract from the main storyline. (And yes, I assumed that Alicorns were immortal and that immortality was tied to their magic)

6362766 Thanks =)

6362753 'salright. This kind of story's not for everyone.

6362924

You're very welcome. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I personally found this story's strengths to exceed its flaws.

Too bad, Twilight. You made your bed, so you may as well lie on it.

I liked this. The CMCs attempted uprising wasn't successful nor was popular, and Twilight is a ruler just trying to do her job and maintain order. But at the same time, you know the CMCs weren't wrong with their grievances as the Princess indeed cross a moral line in the ending. It's a divergence from the usual Tyrant Twilight fics where the rebels are portrayed as the Rebel Alliance from Star Wars, with Twilight appearing as Pony Hitler. Don't get me wrong; she's still a morally abhorrent Tyrant practically ruling over Equestria through force of magic, but you can somewhat sympathize with her.

I can't help but want to know more about this world. What happened to Spike? Was the uprising completely crushed? Was it only a prelude to a greater event, like the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of '43 was to the Warsaw Uprising of '44? Which ponies survived? Were any of the CMCs old friends apart of the crushed rebellion? Will the resurgent Griffin Kingdoms ascend and take the place of Equestria as the dominant culture? Will Glimmer try to pull a Lenin and kickstart a Workers revolution with Equestria in turmoil? So many questions.

But it's my sincere belief Twilight's victory is only a temporary roadblock to the Equestrian revolution. Even now I'm betting the surviving Reb's are rearming, regrouping, beginning a campaign of resistance only momentarily cowed by the force of the Princess.

unifiedconspiracytheory.com/images/French%20Revolution%20Main%20Graphic.jpg

orig14.deviantart.net/e6a2/f/2010/355/7/1/german_revolution_1848_by_arminius1871-d35cd2s.jpg

s3.amazonaws.com/mtv-main-assets/files/pages/crossing-the-delaware-met-museum-2.jpg
Liberté, égalité, fraternité! We will be freemen, as our fathers were!

6363493 I think you're forgetting the fact that Equestria has a history of their monarchs being usurped or exiled without it preluding a wide-spread insurrection - for example, the attempted usurpation of Celestia by Princess Luna and the resultant banishment to the moon. Bear in mind that these two must have ruled Equestria for centuries jointly prior to this and that after the fall of her sister Celestia managed to maintain Equestria for another thousand years. The Monarchy is deeply ingrained in Equestrian politics and culture, I highly doubt that after centuries or millennia of such benevolent rule that Ponydom would decide to remove their monarchy entirely. It's part of a pattern in Equestrian history-

Two Sisters defeat tyrant/threat to Equestria, Discord - no revolution or turmoil after this due to them gaining a near- 100% approval rating from imprisoning a mad tyrant
Celestia imprisons her sister in the moon - stops the world being destroyed by Eternal Night, managges to retain sovereignty for a thousand years
Twilight Sparkle defeats Tirek at heavy cost, protecting and prevsering the Equestrian State from a magic vampire that could have conquered the whole nation single-handedly

I see no reason at all why the majority of Ponies wouldn't accept Twilight's new leadership, given that in the past their leaders have come into power via defeating grave threats to the safety and seurity of the nation as bad or worse than Tirek. There might be growing pains, such as the Gryphons testing the weakened Equestrian State or msiguided rebellions like the CMC but by and large the majority of Equestria's population has no need to depose Twilight. She's their saviour after all. Not to mention that the CMC's rebellion apparently did a heck of a lot of damage or outright destroyed anehatten one of Equestria's major cities. The last group of rebels killed over five thousand Ponies and over two hundred Zebra. That sticks in the public mind, I doubt they'd want to support more rebellions to that extent considering the last one killed so many civilians.

EDIT: Also... the French Revolution? You're using that as a basis for this? Really? A bloodbath of a revolution that slauughtered so many innocent people and then went on to establish a bunch of tyrants to rule France? One that led to the re-establishment of a monarchy under Emperor Napolean and the Napoleanic Wars. Bear in mind that France would experience another few revoltuons, vascillate between a republic and an empire until eventually settling on its present democracy. It practically took three hundred years for the concept of a french monarchy or empire to die out.

You know, I've never bought the line of thought that unmaking a person through memory wipes and false memories is A-OK when done by a 'good guy,' when the same exact act is a morale event horizon that means there's no mercy coming for a 'villain.' Frankly, that was no mercy, but cold-blooded murder of everything Scootaloo, Sweetie and Apple Bloom was, had become and even would have been.

They're now worse than dead. Those ponies have been erased, and strangers they wouldn't even recognizance forced to wear their skins.

An actual exile in memory of their sisters and for the sake of (partial) regret shown would have been just as good a solution, but Twilight didn't even consider the option because execution was apparently more dramatic.

Oh, and the accused has no say in their sentencing. A princess whose duty compelled her to 'let' her friends die wouldn't have been swayed by something so sentimental as that 'argument' the ex-CMC offered.

I'm sorry, but I'm down-voting this. The moral of this story is just far too wretched for me to in good conscience do anything else.

6363973 "I'm sorry, but I'm down-voting this."
Don't be sorry. Ya cared enough to tell me why, so i did SOMETHING right =)

6364008

I will admit I'm not that hot about this story due to the twist, but thanks for a level response. :twilightsmile:

I'm going to have to differ on the expressed opinions here that mind-wiping such as in this story is such a horrible thing.

Yes, it's bad, but it's not as bad as death, let alone worse. The three CMC still have their personality, and in my opinion, personality makes up much more of one's "self" than their memories do. If one gets complete retrograde amnesia, are they suddenly a different person? Do people in real life not generally prefer someone getting amnesia than them dying? Moving the cause from neurological to magical or technological doesn't change that whatsoever.

If I was a friend of the CMC, and I had thought that they had been executed, but later learned that their memories had been changed and they were likely living happily (or at least passably) somewhere else, do you know how I'd feel? I'd feel a great sense of relief. I'd know that their lives had not hit a dead end, but had rather been artificially shunted into another path, one where they could have another chance to experience living.

Furthermore, in the absence of details, I cannot judge whether Twilight was in the right or wrong with the rebellion, either. Hindsight is 20-20, and Tirek was a grade-A bastard; unlike what we saw in the show, there was no guarantee at the time that Tirek would honor his side of the deal, and I will never begrudge someone for not wanting to risk hundreds of thousands of sapient beings. The rebellion seems to have been implied to have started because Ponyville was destroyed in the Twilight and Tirek battle after that, but again, without details on how it happened, whether Twilight could have prevented it cannot be determined. Finally, we don't get any details on whether Twilight perpetrated any atrocities to put down the rebellion, or if she was only doing the bare minimum, so she can't be judged either way on that either.

It is implied that Twilight was in the right by the narrative, but given the PoV, we cannot fully trust it. The subject of whether Twilight is a tyrant in this story is completely sidestepped, leaving the tragic nature of it in full focus.

Bit torn on this one. So much I want to like, but so much in it that while left as is I just can't bring myself to say I can really see this happening. Especially the Scootaloo part, seems Twilight still manages to find a way to keep the 'bad influence' away from Sweetie and Apple Bloom while still giving her that bit of Rainbow Dash legacy and redirecting her hate towards the gryphons as a nice two for one deal.

I can't say this really works well as a tragedy though. They aren't dead. Twilight didn't go through with the execution despite the outpouring cries for seeing those three get hung, which I guess that public execution was faked somehow? Eh, details... who needs'em.

And the story is so open ended that it's possible those three might be brought together once more by their instinctual bonds and someday remember their real identities. It's possible at least.

Also hard to feel sorry for Twilight being alone since she's technically been alone for all those years after Tirek. Especially after she takes away what made them who they were, forgetting Rarity, Applejack, Rainbow Dash. The only Tragedy I suppose is that the Crusaders will go on living a lie designed by the very mare who they've vowed to overthrow.

Huh. I guess in that last sense, yeah, I guess it does work as a tragedy in that angle.


Still, nice glimpse into a What If scenario. Would work better if they somehow came full circle again and still, as if destiny willed it, pitted Twilight against the Crusaders again. Would be something to see her subjects react to finding she faked their deaths despite all the loved ones they've lost to the rebellion converting them to go against Twilight. Scootaloo's destiny would really shine at that moment.

Oh well, that's wishful thinking at this point. Story still had some nice stuff before all the "But let's fake their deaths" part. Felt like a real copout. Yet so much that can be done with that if one were to take it further.

Twilight's a self-righteous Dumbledore.

This is truly a tragic tale for all involved.

The mind wipe thing was this Twilight's small attempt at trying to atone somewhat for the mistakes she made on that day. She could have easily just executed them for the rebels they are and had done with them, but that small part of her that is still the Twilight we all know still had an influence to show a bit of mercy for that past. While at the same time, being manipulative enough to use that mercy to also further the stability of Equestria. She gets to feel that there is some part of her past remaining, while at the same time possibly disrupted a rival nation. It's a win-win for her.

A pity she had to do something she regretted to get that win-win. Such is the nature of those who have to look out for the all over the few.

...Did you read Tyrant by Paul Asaran? Because this really reminds me of Tyrant by Paul Asaran.

This raises questions on how the Crusaders managed to raise a rebellion against a presumably benevolent and fair ruler. Lying obviously, but, like, what were they claiming that the recruitees could see supporting evidence for? "Twilight eats babies!" maybe?

6364322
Just the destruction Tirek caused and the 'convenient' deaths of the other three alicorns might have been enough to inspire some ponies to whisper that Twilight had taken the opportunity to seize power.

With time, such a conspiracy theory would become an underground 'truth'. Young ponies would look at each other and grin knowingly when they were taught of 'Tirek' (or, as they saw him, an Emmanuel Goldestein-style myth to cover up Twilight's depowering of ponykind so they would be unable to protect their true rulers and the sadistic obliteration of her old hometown to test the limits of her stolen power). Everypony knew what they thought really had happened that day.

So, when three pain-driven rebels urged ponies to stand up and drive the murderess from the Solar Throne, there were far too many who already had a ready-made narrative in their heads to justify it.

6359846
Yeah!

Bass are heavy fish.

Clone Commander CT-9537, Margo, reporting for duty! I have orders to assassinate Princess Twilight. Who is ready to join me? Or are you a bunch of wusses?

6364361
Don't forget that they could argue that Twilight sacrificed her supposed "friends" in order to keep her power, which can very easily be spun into the actions of a tyrant.

6360497 They did not get to live. Their memories, their names, their personalities, the beings they were, are gone.

I feel no compassion for Twilight in this scenario. May she live forever, and never know happiness again for the rest of her days.

6364539
Their personalities are still the same, and names and memories are only supplemental to identity.

6364546 Who you are is the product of many things. Their memories and identities are gone, altered by invasive use of magic at Twilight's whim.

My stance remains.

6364564
It's true that identity is made up of many things, but not everything that makes up an identity is of equal importance. Lesser things being changed or removed can alter the details of your identity while leaving the core intact; my grandfather is still my grandfather even though he has Alzheimer's now, and only rarely recognizes me.

Memory erasal is much less invasive than execution, which erases the identity completely.

6364539 My post was in response to a question about whether the Crusaders were set free or executed. It could be argued that rewriting a person's memories is akin to killing them, but from a purely physical standpoint, no, the Crusaders were not killed.

6364608 I recognize that, but your body is a piece of meat, flesh and bone and blood. It is not you.

6364577 It is just as absolute, yes, and Twilight would have been just as wrong.

6364842
I'm just doing my job.

*Reads the comments.*
Okay... So it's gonna be one of those kinds of stories?
...
*Puts on ballistic helmet and grabs a pony plushie.*
Alright then let's do this.

Characters in Lord of The Rings have loved ones, so victory wouldn't be anywhere near as enjoyable if the war was won but Sam died. This is a good demonstration of that mentality.

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