• Member Since 17th Jul, 2012
  • offline last seen 14 hours ago

Listener


Not Today, Try Tomorrow

E

When a filly version of herself appears in the middle of the library, Twilight must figure out what happened. She must figure out what it means. But most importantly? She has to comfort the last person she thought she would ever have to.

Herself.

All while dealing with her own shattering reality.


Credit to Kaitou for the coverart!
Thank you Blankscape for massive amounts of help writing it.

And, of course, the person who has been waiting a long time for this story.
Happy birthday Foals! Thanks for sticking with me for so long!

Chapters (2)
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Comments ( 106 )

Dat cover art doe
Twilight: What time is it, mini-me?
Filly Twi: 4:20 :rainbowlaugh:

In all seriousness, it was great working on this. You really listened to my suggestion. Thanks having having me :twilightsmile:

Comment posted by Blankscape deleted Nov 4th, 2015
Comment posted by Lord Legion deleted Nov 4th, 2015

doesn't quite work because in the new timeline she isn't old enough to deal with Nightmare Moon

6598910
What? It's the same point of time, they're the same age. Besides, NNM doesn't even pertain to this story.

6598951
I was confused too. It took me a while to figure it out.

6598922 Filly Twilight sparkle gets moved forward in time from before she becomes Celestia's student to the present day. That means she skips all the intervening time periods which means she isn't around to become Celestia's student

Wow, this is sorta kinda dark..

6599892
No? Time went back to the test date. She still grew up to be same age whenever nnm shows up

This was probably one of the most profound things I have read in quite some time. The implications of such a feat, going forward in time and erasing your future self, are staggering. The fact that the library ends up acting like some sort of time nexus between Waning Star (by the end that's what she is, a waning star in the fabric of reality, it was a very fitting name for her to give herself.) and Twilight Sparkle, allowing Twilight so see into the alternate timeline, is astounding, and actually feels... right I guess. This feels like it needs a follow up, something where we get to read Twilight's letter to Celestia and Waning Star gets some continuing role, like maybe she looks into Waning's memories for insight into certain problems? Or maybe the fates are lenient and she can be saved from the eradication of her timeline? With the Tree acting as a nexus it could be possible... Anyways, it was a fantastic story and one I would love to see a continuation of:pinkiehappy:.

Time travel. How does I do it?

...

Something like this, I guess...

I'm confused. How did filly Twilight get back to the past?

This was lovely and as others said quite profound, Honestly I'm proud of the former Twilight and her final letter. Still it makes you think about what it means to not exist, which is a bit scary.

Now, I'm gonna hug my Twi plush, I'll see you at the next chapter.

my god this is the greatest thing i've ever read. you did the effects of time travel on reality perfectly

It was confusing at first. I thought it was going to be like creating an alternate timeline where Twilight's test had gone different, and present-Twilight would have a very awkward/cute conversation with herself.
You took a very different, yet enlightening path; Twilight's letter at the end was very touching, and left me thinking about... things.
Anyways, it was awesome, a bit rushed at the beginning but great nonetheless.

The FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I said it last chapter and I'll say it this chapter. Ehem... THE FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

my... heart... hurts...

but i like this...

this is awesome :fluttercry:

How the fuck did young Twilight get back to her timeline?
...
This pisses me. Lazy writing.

6601774 The same way she appeared in this time. Out of nowhere.

It's just those damn onions...

:fluttershyouch:

6601795 "Out of nowhere"

Time travel and alternate travel from universe stories need to still have clear cause and effect.

Having a "Back to the Future" time wave is good and all but it doesn't explain how the young version got back to her timeline. Did that Twilight cast some last magic spell to save young Twilight? The did the universe break? Why would crap in another universe break this universe?

You can't say this is a paradox because old Twilight doesn't remember this happening to her. Therefore young Twilight isn't from her past; she from alternate timeline. This shouldn't destroy old Twilight timeline.

Where is the logic? Discord and the other powerful beings wouldn't stand by while their reality is scraped. Normally I said to hell with cannon and let any crazy idea pass. Me like crazy! I'm easy like that (insert my moma joke here). Not this time. The time travel plot-hole kills any sadness I could feel.

I stand by my opinion: "This is lazy writing." It doesn't make any sense and that lack of sense damages my enjoyment of the story.

As for the "piss off" part... feelings come and go. Not telling any of the readers how to feel. Just explaining to Seven81493 my opinion (sorry about that) and why I feel the way I do.
6600304
*points ups* Not an attack on you. Just on what you wrote. Take what you can from it.

6601941
I'm willing to take it. I'll be honest, for the first two comments I wasn't sure if you were trolling or not, which is why I sorta became defensive. And, yeah, it might not be explained, but in my opinion it didn't have to be, it could be inferred.

But different opinions exist, and I know that. I respect yours.

This is actually an interesting read and I really did enjoy it. Only criticism being its short length but I think that's just the little voice in my head wanting more. :twilightsheepish: Still I like the subject matter and I believe there's an opportunity here for this story to be expanded on but that's me, and even these two chapters are enough. Anyway, good job!

She should have cast a memory spell and then sent her back to the exam, with a little nudge to hatch Spike and create a stable time loop to save reality. This is more interesting though.

6600468 This! Please make this happen author! This story also broke my personal record for being the fastest added to my favorites.

6601941 I personally kinda sorta agree with your assessment of the time travel aspect. There are, however, some ideas I voiced in my last comment that could explain certain things about the story, specifically the time travel and paradox portion. Changes could be made to the timestream in small doses and maintain the current nature of the timestream. Take frequency for example, the characters made small changes to the timestream just by talking to each other. These small changes culminate in a complete change in the timestream, leaving the dad alive and the family whole. There was one drastic change to the timestream however, that was when the rapist/murderer got his hand shot off, you see it shrivel and fade from existence, and he appears shocked. This is due to him having no memory of losing it in the first place. Now, imagine something like this on a larger, more drastic, scale: You from the past travel to the present. For now lets assume there was some outlying factor (like the aurora in frequency) making the timestream malleable. Thus, your past self could be in the present and you would have no memory of ever going to the future. As the timestream becomes rigid again, the sudden loss of your past self from the timestream would result in the current rendition of said timestream unraveling. Your past self also can't just disappear, and so as the present unravels they are taken back to the past, in the same location as where they were when the present unraveled. This is just my theory on the time travel aspect, hope it helps:pinkiehappy:

the logic behind the time travel is key to understanding this story, and it's fucked up.
Thankfully, this story is probably better without total understanding.
This story very clearly depicts the internal emotional and logical reactions of it's characters is a way that is real enough that the relevance of each event is clear and easy to understand. The reactions are understandable and the actual events are well enough defined that the reality seems coherent in the face of not making scene. What I mean is, I am willing to believe that my logic is wrong wherever it seems to disagree with the story. I am willing to believe that I just don't understand what is happening whenever nasty time-nonsence appears on account of very clear actual events. I know what events are happening, I just don't know why, just like twilight sparkle doesn't know why things are happening. I get to face the same unknown as the main characters and have about the same reactions, minus the personal involvement.

When the reader feels like the character, that's good ya'know?

I don't really know how to feel about this. On the one hand, the writing is very well done and effective. On the other hand, the premise to the entire thing is so contrived and forced that it kind of just ends up feeling pointless.

I quite enjoyed this read. It was short and impactful enough and I think you did a great job on Twilight's (both of them) reactions.

However, I feel that there is just so much more that's still unexplored... A conclusion, so to speak. What is Celestia's reaction? What else has changed in this world? How are the other characters different?

A follow up chapter, in my opinion, would be great. Or even a few side stories exploring this world you've created.

But hey, it's your story and thus you're choice. Have a 'Like' in the meantime xD

Truly a heartfelt story, very good work. :twilightsmile:

This needs a sort of a conclusion, otherwise good story.

Now I need to do something. (Goes to his room, grabs his Twilight plushy and starts hugging it).

6601239

She didn't get back to the past, the past came with her.

When Filly-Twi appeared the timeline reset to her own, overriding the other. Since Mare-Twi was right next to the location of the teleport she was spared the changes for a short period of time, but when she went upstairs she faded rapidly.

6603584
Filly Twilight jumped forward 20 or so years. Either she made it back or from her parents perspective she vanished with no trace, then 20 years later appeared still as a filly in Ponyville. If she never made it back, who defeated Nightmare Moon?

Okay, since the chain of events in this story seems to confuse people (I myself had a bit of trouble to wrap my head around it), I'll try to sum it up for everyone:


First off, the story begins in a nondescript point of the show's timeline that could be anywhere during the first three seasons: Twilight is still a unicorn and Celestia's student (I hope everyone understood at least that).
Secondly, the point of divergence: because of the magic surge during her entrance exam, filly Twilight cast a spell which, instead of hatching Spike's egg, sent her in her own future (the aforementioned moment of the show's timeline).

Now if that spell had been akin to the time travel spell used in "It's About Time" (which worked on the principle of a stable time loop, where the effects are their own cause), then filly Twilight would simply have been returned to the exact time and place where she left: at Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns where she would have hatched Spike's egg, been taken as Celestia's student, and where the rest of the timeline up until that point would have played pretty much in the same manner (with maybe the fuzzy memory of finding herself in a library with a friendly purple mare). Years later, grown-up Twilight would have received the visit of her past self, the memory of that meeting, forgotten amidst the excitement of everything that happened on that day, would have come back to her and she would simply have happily taken care of the filly she used to be (likewise without telling her about her identity, but knowing exactly what words of comfort to tell her) until the spell sent her back in her past. (*)

However, since Twilight (I'll call her Alpha-Twilight here) doesn't remember this event ever happening to her, she correctly deduces that the arrival of her past self (here renamed Beta-Twilight) has caused the timeline to change. And because of this change, the Alpha timeline gets erased. Both Alpha-Twilight and Beta-Twilight are brought back to the point of time whence Beta-Twilight came from, albeit in the same place where her spell sent her (in the Ponyville library, left in a state of disuse at that time). Somehow Alpha-Twilight survives the erasure of her timeline long enough to write her final letter for Celestia before she vanishes from existence (including from Beta-Twilight's memory, unless she simply forgets about her naturally).

The next day, Beta-Twilight is found by Mayor Mare, who sends a letter to Canterlot to inform Twilight's parents that their missing daughter has been found. The letter takes a week to reach Canterlot. In the meantime, Beta-Twilight is housed by Mayor Mare and bonds with her. She also meets Pinkie Pie, who introduces her to the rest of the Mane 6 with which she becomes friends. Then Celestia, who noticed Twilight's magic surge and mistook it (like everypony else) for a long-distance teleport, brings her back to Canterlot and has her becoming her student, like in the Alpha timeline (with Beta-Twilight probably more in control of her awakened magical power when she retakes her exam).
Beta-Twilight grows up in Canterlot under Celestia's tutelage, though with a friendlier mindset than her Alpha self, as she keeps in touch with her Ponyville friends (including Mayor Mare) and has stronger ties with her Canterlot friends as well.
As a result, when Celestia sends Beta-Twilight to Ponyville for the Summer Sun Celebration, she doesn't need to ask her to make some friends (since she already has them there). Beta-Twilight is probably housed by Mayor Mare once again instead of staying in the library, and after finding the Elements of Harmony in the Everfree Castle and using them with the rest of the Mane 6 to defeat Nightmare Moon (that part is probably not much different from the show), goes back to Canterlot because she still has strong ties there (Celestia, her family and the unicorn gang).
Finally, the Beta timeline catches up with the Alpha one about the same moment where Beta-Twilight, after deciding to move to Ponyville to be closer to her fellow Element Bearers and friends, settles in the library (who hasn't been used ever since Mayor Mare found her there).

That is when Beta-Twilight feels the phantom effect of her first magical surge in the other timeline, finds the scorch mark that suddenly appeared on the floor, hears the echoes of the discussion between her Alpha and past selves, remembers how she got comforted by a sad mare named Waning Star in a library that wasn't in a state of abandon, and receives all of Alpha-Twilight's memories from her timeline up until the point where she ceased to exist, before finally finding the letter Alpha-Twilight wrote for Celestia, which has remained there since her disappearance as the last and only material proof of her existence.



...At least that's how I understood it. Please correct me if I'm wrong. :twilightsheepish:


(*) And now I want to read that version of the story. Maybe as a short bonus chapter? Please?

Wait, so... what made time reset?

Twilight traveled forwards in time, meaning that the new timeline would have [Twilight's life up until the exam] -> [stretch of time where Twilight doesn't exist, rewriting everything] -> [filly Twilight now existing in the new reality].

During the period that Twilight traveled past, how was Nightmare Moon defeated?

6603724
As I said, filly Twilight came back to her time when the old timeline got erased. However, instead of being brought back to Canterlot (like with the spell of "It's About Time"), she remained in the library in Ponyville, which caused the timeline to change (her being found by Mayor Mare, meeting her friends earlier, passing her exam, hatching Spike and getting her cutie mark a week later, staying in Canterlot longer than she did in the OTL, etc).

6600016 Haha, you'll have me to thank/blame :ajsmug:

6601952
It's like I'm a kindergarten teacher watching a old student excel in high school :D

6603712

That's about that gist of it. If you want the first draft of the story, you'll have to ask Listener for that. He had it down in bullet form & there was a 3rd chapter. I'm just pleased & honored he took my suggestion to heart. It wouldn't be far-fetched to say this was more than just a collaboration. Let's just say I got super-invested in this :trollestia:

6601941 You need to look up what a "joke" is.

6603712
That's... exactly right. You've managed to summarize the story up xD.

6603711
Why, why would you do this to me?

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