• Member Since 12th Aug, 2011
  • offline last seen 8 hours ago


"I will forge my own way, then, where I may not be accepted, but I will be myself. I will take what they called weakness and make it my strength." ~Rarity, "Black as Night"


Twilight, believing something has happened to her memory, seeks out Princess Celestia to see if she recognizes it and can offer a cure. But the answer lies far deeper in the root of her nature and her life as the Princess of Friendship than she would have ever expected.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 86 )

Someday Celestia needs to show Twilight the line of hoofprints she wore in the granite floor of the castle from where her routine was so unvaried for centuries at a time.

Hmm..Interesting I would like to see this continue

I can see Twilight getting emotional, though her retrospect should eventually conclude Celestia doesn't seem to be in control of her own Alicorn Time.

In contrast to 6830747 , I find the story got good closure. I'm curious why you marked it as incomplete... I guess I'll have to see when you post the next chapter.

6830798 You have a good point, but I commented that was because it said incomplete.

I can think of ONE way for Twilight to get out of this, she would need to be returned to a Unicorn, so she MUST give up her Alicornhood so she can become Mortal once more and live a normal Mortal Unicorn life and live along side her friends and family then.

What is sad is this is some what normal. How many of us can remember what we did on a certain day last week. Yes I have heard of people who can but it is not common. What is sad is that Twilight will forget many of the times with her friends but the important memories will remain forever!

I think one point Twilight is missing is she's confusing her long term and short term memory, it's more that her brain is deleting the unimportant bits, deleting the routine and monotonous moments of her life from her long term memory. She was absolutely herself, acting and feeling just the same when she lived though the moments she forgot, but now she can't recall the time because her brain declared it "unimportant" and deleted it Celestia said she had many spouses and while she doesn't remember everyday with them I'm sure she remembers each of them and the love she felt for them, she just has the "highlight reel" of their relationship in her long term memory. This particular moment, explaining Alicorn Time, Twilight and Celestia will recall because it's a standout moment.

Sadly this isn't JUST a aspect of the imagined mind of an immortal, we mere mortals forget massive portions of our experience because they didn't leave an impression. Memories can lie to us as we reconstruct them with incomplete information, because we forgot part of the experience, we fill in the blanks with "what would make sense" creating a mixture of what really happened and what we imagine happened.

Heck the show could very well be Twilight's memories of her times in Ponyville, we don't see the minute details, we don't see every day, only the things that stood out. What was worth recalling. We never see ponies use the bathroom, kind of makes sense, if her mind deleted "unremarkable" memories I doubt many bathroom visits would be worth recalling.

Whoops! I'm a derp. The story's complete. Just forgot to set it as such. :twilightblush:

wlam #10 · Jan 14th, 2016 · · 1 ·

This is depressing in a weirdly comical way. The whole idea just kind of makes me laugh for some reason, it's so completely ironic. Congrats, kid, you're immortal now - but can you really even call that living anymore?

I"m glad you guys liked it. Truth be told, this story is based a lot on my own experiences. Looking back on my memories of high school and college, all I remember are long blurs of routine. Like Twilight, I'd love to make every day unique and special, but it's simply not possible to sustain that for very long. (Or if it is, I don't know how to do it.)

6831531 What did you have for breakfast last week today?

What Twilight's going through is a slightly more aggressive version of what happens to all memories in all brains. Only novelty is retained. Routine is lost.

You don't consider yourself having lived less of a life for being unable to remember 90% of your childhood do you?

wlam #14 · Jan 14th, 2016 · · 1 ·

When was the last time you suddenly woke up from what's effectively a week-long blackout? I can't say that I have ever made that particular experience. Details are lost over time, but the conscious mind just all but shutting down and blanking out for periods of weeks, months, even years? That's literally not all that different from not having existed during those periods at all. She wakes up and finds the effects of having lived through that time before her, but in every practical sense? It wasn't her.

I was half expecting a twist ending where Twilight says her goodbyes because she needs to get back to her friends, only for the names to be somepony we've never heard of.

Still, as an immortal, this would be I suppose a blessing. Having a perfect memory over millennia could be quite maddening, not to mention necessitating huge offsite data stores.

This makes a lot of sense, everyone does this sometimes. Hay I am missing most of my life myself, its like in doctor who Ashilder is immortal because of the chip twelve used on her. Her brain could not retain multiple lifetimes anymore than anyone else could.

...Darn, that's a really good twist ending. Wish I'd thought of that. :pinkiegasp:

6833388 well in my experience I am miss years of my life as in no conscious memory of them and I can say that until you need to remember something from that whole in your memory it does not bother you.

Ah, thank you for sharing your story. I hope you don't feel as though this story is misrepresenting what you've experienced. If it is, I apologize.

6834633 No problem if anything many people have a similar issue and could use a chance to smile

I can't say I really feel the same way. I may not consciously remember every minute of my life, but I at least remember consciously living through every minute of it. I have never even once made an experience like waking up one morning and finding that I can't remember anything about what I did the entire last year. It's just kind of a fundamentally different thing than the slow loss of detail and definition that the passage of time usually brings with it.

6834770 No I meant a literal hole in your memory, being unable to recall anything no matter what. When the only parts of your past are stories others have told you is what I mean. A complete blank

I can't say I've ever made that kind of experience. If I did, I think I would have difficulty really thinking of anything that happened in that time period as done by myself. I'm not sure it would really feel like it's part of my own life to me, even if someone told me about it. Like something you've read in a book, maybe - the facts are there, but no real emotional association.

6835280 yep all the stories are just that stories, no matter how many time people try to remind you, it just feels disconnected and difficult to know what is true or not.

I suppose then you can probably see why I questioned if this can even be called really properly living. Hearing about your own life like it happened to someone else is kind of a few steps removed from what I think a real, fulfilled life is about. Even if they were happy stories, it's just not really the same.

6835321 true but it also means that any bad things don't feel like yours either and you can build a new life and reshape yourself

But you actually remember them. They're still there, memories that stay ingrained in you--not short-term memories that disappear once you "wake up" like a nice, fading dream.

Brains like to be efficient. Our mortal minds do exactly the kind of thing described in the story, but on a smaller scale. When you're a child, almost everything is new and you retain large portions of memory. As you get older, significant or unique experiences remain but when you've done something for the hundredth or thousandth time, even with a little variation, your mind efficiently skims over or combines it into a composite of previous memories. The older you get, the more it happens. If a human could reach Celestia's age they certainly could lose entire days or weeks that way, simply because they have done everything before, even if it was in a different order.

Yeah, my memory science is atrocious. In fact, looking back, there's more than a little weirdness in what's is actually happening. This isn't an exact 1:1 relationship between real brains and fictional brains.

Oh boy, if RealityCheck sees this he'll blow a gasket.

Anyway, decent short. Reminds me a lot of that scene in Interview With a Vampire; you know the one, "Decades passed like seconds."

I always wondered if Celestia and Luna remembered like this, or if they had some form of ethereal memory storage that surpassed the limits of our meatsuit piloting units.

What happened last Saturday? I woke up late ... uhm. That's all I remember.

Admittedly, I don't feel as though I've blacked out in the interim but I don't exactly remember what happened that day. Or that Friday. Or Tuesday. Or a year ago ... or what order my childhood homes went in. Live in the now, remember the important stuff and move on. Welcome to growing up! If you black out, though, that might be Alzheimer's.

6834324 ...I just felt a pain in my chest after reading that.

You have managed to convey quite a complex idea in a descent short. Bravo!

An interesting idea, if one I don't necessarily subscribe to.

Regardless, it's an interesting variation on how immortals might handle memory, and was delivered rather well in a surprisingly short time.

Well done.

Is it ok if I use this concept in my cannon? It's very good. :twilightsmile:

And thus was Twilight inspired to invent the magical brain VCR. :rainbowlaugh:

This was an alright little piece. Like so many Conversation Stories, however, it touches on interesting ideas without forging them into an actual plot. There a lot of beginnings of plotlines here, but none of them receive significant follow-through. The way it recontextualizes Twilight's relationship with Celestia, the comparisons and extrapolations of real life psychology, even the potential implication that perhaps not all alicorns do it.

One could argue that the entire point is to be open-ended and vague: after all, a story that offers a highlight and implications mirrors Twilight's "condition." I think that's a bit of a oversimplification, though. The idea still lacks weight.

One way to turn this into an actual story might be to treat this conversation/discovery as the beginning of the story. Then the rest of the story is a sort of highlight reel of different moments that Twilight actually remembered. Perhaps she writes them down or something. Then, much later, perhaps the final chapter is Twilight reflecting on all the experiences she bothered to keep. Or something.

TL;DR: No Vote. Has potential but more of a piece of headcanon than an actual story.

I completely agree. It's a picture-perfect example of an "explain fic," where the only point is to delve into some part of the canon and attempt to explain how it works. Honestly, I didn't put too much thought into it. :twilightsheepish: Still, it's one of the most popular fics I've written, so... make of that what you will. :unsuresweetie:

7183352 I think the popularity of Headcanon Delivery fics is a function of the fandom more than anything else. I've reviewed a fair number of them, and they always seem underwhelming compared to the audience reception.

Now, obviously, a strong story isn't a crucial component of story-telling. I think the headcanon delivery stories I've enjoyed most focused less on plotline and more on emotional immersion. Something like Where Have the Stars Gone or Red Apples have nonexistent or token plotlines, but the characters and emotion is enough to carry the story.

Now obviously some stories are going to be glorified blog posts explaining the author's headcanon. One can make an entertaining character piece, however, by selling how that headcanon affects the characters involved.

You made me cry. :fluttercry:


I hope that you cried because you experienced catharsis about it. If so, I appreciate your response. :twilightsmile:

For some reason, the idea of "alicorn time" makes me deeply and abidingly sick. The very idea of it is abhorrent, and I don't know why I feel like that. I don't think I'd be able to handle it, an idea that was rather blindsiding to me considering everything I DON'T react like this to. So, I guess that's where my lines are drawn: permanent forgetfulness and free will.

There is a man, whose name I cannot remember. He kept a diary for twenty years, and every entry in the diary, mere minutes apart, all said the same thing: "for the first time in years, I am fully conscious and aware." Then, twenty minutes later, he wrote the same thing, again and again. Notebooks full of practically the same entry, repeated ad infinitum. I think... I think it would break me, like nothing else would. I don't know if I would last even a year, but would I remember a year had passed...?

This may be a weird response, but thank you. This is certainly meant to be disturbing. It's a subtle wrongness that plays havoc with the regular understanding of our own minds. I certainly wouldn't want to live like that, either, but... I don't remember what I did a week ago. I know I went to my job, and I know I went back home, but everything else is a blur. What was the point of experiencing that time if I wasn't going to do anything meaningful in it?

It seems like "Alicorn Time" is what our brains already do normally, except on a much grander scale. Very interesting story. :twilightsmile:

...Kind of. As I admitted in another comment, my brain science is not particularly clean--I'm playing fast and loose with the rules here. Basically, the idea of Alicorn Time is that the alicorn's conscious experience does not actually experience those moments. In a sense, they're regularly blacking out, with the added wrinkle that those memories are still in there. Like Celestia says in the story, it's as though another pony lived it. (Perhaps this notion will make more sense if I reveal that in the past, I read a lot into hypnotism and tulpa possession.) The difference is that where we conscious beings experience each day, then forget it afterwards, alicorns don't experience it at all to save on conscious processing power.

Again, I have no idea if this is actually realistic to any psychologist. It's just a quirky little story. :twilightsheepish:

...well, it's time to go drink heavily and be depressed. :pinkiesad2:

Good job on destroying the reader. upvote!

Of course you could always cheat. There exists a memory spell in canon (among other abilities that deal with both memory and history), just record everything you want to remember onto a physical substrate and set up a sympathetic connection to it so that you can parse through it at your leisure. After all, 'Alicorn Time' isn't you on autopilot, it's you forgetting all of life's little moments as they become more and more routine. You're still 'there' for all practical purposes, you just aren't forming the proper memories. But by hooking yourself up to a massive recording device that problem becomes moot. You no longer 'skip' time as even if the memory never forms naturally it's still recorded and you can still access it at any time.

Sorry if I'm coming off as critical, that wasn't my intention. This is an interesting idea, and mentally solving problems like this is something of a hobby of mine. :twilightblush:

Login or register to comment