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Baal Bunny

Part of the AugieDog family of companies


After learning about their human counterparts in the world beyond the mirror, Cadance and Shining Armor begin to wonder about the pony counterpart of Abacus Cinch.

The original minific version of this story took 11th place in the October, 2015 Writeoff Association contest, "Illusion of Choice," and the cover artwork is courtesy of poecillia-gracilis19.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 54 )

Very interesting take on Cinch's counterpart.

I sincerely doubt Cinch /Chisel will grant the Royal Pair the privilege of making a false move, specially with Sombra gone. She will likely spend the rest of her life hiding from her past like so many real life dictatorial-state criminals.

6535005 Gotta agree. I wish there was more to the story, but what's here is keenly interesting.

A novel idea, smoothly expanded from the Writeoff version, just as long as it needs to be to plant the seed of its idea. Good reading!


Thanks, folks!

Now I'm starting to wonder about the other characters we've seen in the movies who don't seem to have counterparts on the show--those two guys who can't manage to build a birdhouse in "Friendship Games," for instance. How do they fit into the actual Pony world? :trixieshiftleft:




Though I'm thinking a sort of teeth-grinding, "Cask of Amontillado" thing from Cinch's POV would be fun.

Well, not fun... :twilightoops:


Wait, what?:rainbowderp:
The Cinch in the pony world is implied to have helped Sombra?!

Mind blown.:eeyup::ajbemused:
Headcannon accepted:trollestia:

Interesting in all regards.

Though something I would suggest is maybe having it turn out Human Cinch had some connection to Human Sombra, like before she became a Principle she was his Vice Principle.

Just a thought.

"She played an integral part in keeping Your Highness on His Majesty's throne, did she not?"

OKAY, if she's basically an escaped Nazi war criminal, there's no way in hell she'd be dumb enough to called Sombra 'His Majesty' in front of SA and Cadence.

I don't get how they made the connection with Cinch being Chisel, when the Chisel in the human world would have no reason to change her name.

And Sombra REALLY gave the impression to me of being a one-stallion show.

6535988 Chisel sounds like it could have been an alias.

Seeing as Cinch in the movie was dumb enough to unleash a completely unknown energy for the sole purpose of having an edge in 'Find the Flags', I can believe her pony counterpart would make a mistake like referring to Sombra as His Majesty.

And of course, ponies are always more competent than their human versions.

Thanks, folks!


Yeah, my thought was, in the mirror world, Cinch was Sombra's vice-principal when he was strongly encouraged to retire for various shady shenanigans.


My impression of Cinch from the movie was that she was more than a little arrogant and more than a little inclined toward belittling those she sees as beneath her. And since at the beginning of the piece, as far as she knows, there's no evidence connecting her to Sombra except as an accountant who worked in his administration, I could easily see her being passive aggressive toward the upstarts who have dared to take his place...


I reviewed this story!

My review can be found here.

"We don't exactly have proof that Principal Sombra was the mastermind behind the crystal meth trade, nor that he conscripted his students to act as drug couriers. But, let me tell you, when the bastard goes, there will be cops from five jurisdictions at his funeral to make sure he won't be coming back."


So now I'm imagining:

"CSI: Canterlot" or something along those lines... :pinkiehappy:


I like the idea of Chisel, and also how cool Cinch played it. But I'm also rather disturbed by the Equestrian authorities using the mirror as a form of pre-crime monitoring out of The Minority Report.

Back in Ponyville, is Twilight Sparkle having plainclothes guards following Snips and Snails around at every turn, waiting for their inevitable maturation into teenage thugs and criminals?

To be fair, in Chisel's case, it is less "precrime" and more "we're pretty sure this person is a war criminal and we're keeping an eye on them."


That's the reason:

I thought this story went well with the theme of the Writeoff: "Illusion of Choice." Is a bad guy on one side of the mirror necessarily a bad guy on the other side?

And besides, ev'rypony knows that Snips and Snails are destined to be the Lenny and Squiggy of Ponyville: more wanna-be teen hoodlums than the actual sort... :pinkiehappy:


6535528 My theory is that Sombra is the school's Superintendent and Cinch is his Second-in-Command.

The way I read it is:
1) Twilight tells Shining Armor that Abacus Cinch was a Principal in the human world, and that even though she didn't commit any crimes, she was a jerk.
2) Shining Armor investigates to see if the Crystal Empire has any Abacus Cinches, maybe for personal curiosity, maybe for some other reason.
3) He and his wife discover Cinch has been an accountant for many years at the palace, but there is no evidence of her doing anything wrong.
4) Shining Armor wants to arrest her on the ground that because her double is the principal of a school in a different universe, this Cinch must be the evil 2nd in command. Cadance however, makes him agree not to arrest her and instead just meet her.

Investigating someone on the basis of their mirror universe double seems pretty creepy to me. Keep in mind I'm not talking about the investigating Shining Armor is doing at the end of the story by having her tailed with a plainclothes guard, he saw her flinch at the mention of the Chisel, that makes sense to me. But the earlier investigation into her was creepy, since it was solely based on the actions of her double.

6541987 So its even worse, Snips and Snails will never be able to rent an apartment, because no landlord wants a bunch of idiots shouting up and down through the dumbwaiter! :trollestia:

Very good story! I've been wondering a lot about Cinch's counterpart, a pretty neat idea you've had there!
Also, "Truth and Reconciliation Commission"? Are you a Halo fan by any chance? :D

I think it really says something about Cadance that even though she has all but a confession a to who Cinch is, she still is willing to let bygones be bygones, still willing to forgive the past, just so long as Cinch chooses it. Also nice to see that, despite that willingness to forgive, she's not a fool.

6545752 It's more likely that refers to post-apartheid South Africa's T and R commission.

Really liked this one. While the plot itself was a hit thin, it sold me with its precise character work.

Well, that was a great improvement over the write-off entry, the extra words made this really shine. Also, while it was a more peaceful change in administration, I got the same vibes as with the ex-stasi members of the DDR.


Thanks, folks!

I'm not much of a fan of ambiguity in stories, but I can't deny that I'm using great steaming dollops of it here. :twilightsheepish:

And I was surprised by how many countries have had "Truth and Reconcilliation Commissions" active in the recent past: South African, Rwanda, various Balkan countries, even Canada. :pinkiegasp:


They are somewhat needed if you want to avoid lynching and interrupt the chain of death and revenge that follows less ordered power changes. It is also something incredibly hard to do. I sincerely have no idea if I would be strong enough to to forgive, having never been in a situation where such a thing is required.

6549712 Add pretty much all the South American countries to that list. Some of us are still discussing the dictatorships during the 60s and 70s.


It just seemed like:

Exactly the concept Cadance would gravitate toward in the aftermath of Sombra.


It absolutely is, and as said, it is also the only way to break a vicious circle of bloodshed.

Like: The royal couple actually doing things beyond acting useless and failing to use a condom properly. Truth and reconciliation meetings. Having the ruthlessness, or at lest practicality, to agree to the third guard.:twilightsmile:

Dislike: Giving Cynch far too much credit. She's mean and ruthless and not above cheating. But going from that to war criminal is a SoD breaking leap for me.:twilightoops:

Okay, Cinch is a selfish, self-deceiving and antisocial piece of work, but the Pony equivalent of Heinrich Himmler? That's pretty hardcore!

Worse, she's a Sombra loyalist; I'm sure we all caught her slip when she made it clear that Cadance was a usurper on her late master's throne. So, yeah, she's ultimately a danger to the Empire. A swift and unfortunate 'accident'... maybe 'died whilst the terrorist device she was constructing prematurely exploded' or 'killed whilst resisting arrest with lethal force'... may be sadly necessary.

6607948 What do you think Cinch would be like if she lived in say, the 1940s Soviet Union rather than a liberal democracy modeled on the United States?


I was basically:

Trying to make Cinch as despicable as possible to emphasize the line of conflict between Armor and Cadance, then show how their love and respect for each other keeps the conflict manageable.


I honestly think she'd given so little character in that tvmovie that it's impossible to judge how she'd act in any given situation. However, since you asked, then statistically...

If she lived in the Soviet Union in the 1940s, then on balance she'd be too busy either fighting THE FUCKING NAZIS you retard, and/or trying to survive in the aftermath. Or possibly dead, since USSR civilian and military casualties were obscenely high. There is a high chance she's a widow, because more than half of women were in the USSR at the time. She has probably lost more friends in the past few years than she has fingers. There's a good chance she's a rape victim. Because Eastern Front in WWII really was that horrible. Now are there any other ridiculously poorly thought out question's you'd like to ask?:ajbemused:

Twilight Sparkle says: Go read a history book! You apparently really need it! :facehoof:

6627503 Miss Cinch is a highly intelligent, ruthless and ambitious woman who I'd estimate to be over 50. No. She wouldn't be fighting on the front lines. She's Commissar material at the least.

if Cinch is Chisel she might appreciate having guards following her if some less.. forgiving Crystal ponies discover her secret the guards might be the only thing to keep her safe. I think Cadance and Shining Armor know that too, the guards as as much there to stop Cinch if she's a traitor as they are to protect her if she has changed and vengeance seekers target her.

As an idea it's interesting. However, as a story this is bad: you only got enough wordcount to raise the iidea but didn't do anything with it.

Somehow I feel that this isnt everything


It's as much:

As I was planning to do. Like I said, Cinch/Chisel is just a plot device, what Alfred Hitchcock used to call "a magguffin." All I wanted to do was a little character study of how Shining Armor and Cadance would react differently to a national security threat but still reach a consensus. If anyone wants to go the full "John LeCarre" route with all this, feel free. :twilightsmile:

Finally got time to catch up on my "Read It Later" list!

Some may feel this story is incomplete, but I rather like the small hints that Cinch might be someone more villainous, but with everyone treading lightly around the subject. I do wish there was a little more, maybe to drive home a little extra tension, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless.

Very glad I finally read the Fimfiction version of this story. I incorporated it into my headcanon during the Writeoff. Seeing it as it is here is a delight. Thank you for an excellent portrayal of pony Cinch.

So from what I gathered, Pony Cinch is a Sombra loyalist who appears to be content with Cadance's rule regardless.

Author Interviewer

At first, I was all like, "Oh, well obviously she is" until I realized it's more like probably she is, and therein lies the tension. :)

In a way this is frustrating, in that there's so obviously far more going on here than can possibly be fitted into so few words. That's not actually a complaint, though: I found this very readable indeed, and the occasional (and uncomfortable) echoes of human society added another layer. Despite your explanation elsewhere, I still found "Armor" a little distracting, but this was still great.

Good show!

...giving those who once served Sombra a safe space in which to come forward, make amends, and begin the healing process.

I'm sure there's a veritable Flood of them.

I kinda wondered about her but never gave it thought...

Gets through reading this* hmmm I should have thought more into that.... great story!!!!

Neat idea, definitely a good way to use Cinch in Pony World.

Though honestly, I almost expected to find out that Cinch had manipulated her way into running the empire behind the scenes rather than being a hold over from the old guard...


Perfect way to involve both worlds in a story.

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