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CoffeeMinion


"Burninating the countryside... burninating the peasants... burninating all the peoples... and their thatched-roof COTTAGES! THATCHED-ROOF COTTAGES!! And the Trogdor comes in the NIIIIGHT!!!"

T
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Warning: the comments are rife with spoilers!


Starlight Glimmer's attempts to stop the Rainboom pulled Twilight Sparkle into many possible timestreams.

In one, Rarity and Rainbow Dash survived Nightmare Moon's victory over the forces of light, eventually attaining positions of prominence and comfort in the Nightmare's service. But when the unexpected visit of an Alicorn and Dragon sheds light on a growing conspiracy against the wicked mistress of the night, Rarity and Rainbow Dash may yet be inspired to risk what they have gained to join the fight for a better world.

Yet darkness lingers even in the hearts of some who would oppose the Nightmare, and not all agree on what a better world would look like...


This story would not have been possible without the indescribably vast help and unwavering support of Moosetasm, the pre-reading assistance of I-A-M and Waxworks, as well as the editing prowess of OnionPie and Pascoite! Cover by Novel Idea, using Rarity by miracle32 and background by Drakizora! Featured on Equestria Daily 17Jul.2016! :pinkiegasp: Featured on FimFiction 2Feb.2017 and many times thereafter! :heart:

Chapters (40)
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Comments ( 321 )

Cool. Rarity-centric spy stuff? Sign me up

6680791 Tightly curled hair makes me think Pinkie Pie?

voice of god is saying that the pony is male:

"The pony—who Rarity felt increasingly sure was a stallion—shook his head and started toward the stairs."

(readers should file this under 99% likely affirmative foreshadowing)
So probably not Pinkie

Cheese fuckin' sandwich would be dope though.

You've been on fire lately, Coffeedude. Keep up the great work!

Cheese Sandwich possibly but it doesn't feel right. Now imagine it's someone with a need to avenge Celestia. Imagine it's Fancy Pants or maybe even Blueblood.

I like where this is going so far. I have a feeling that this mystery pony could be the Tom Baker version of Dr. Whooves.

derpicdn.net/img/2013/7/29/385274/thumb.png

6680947

Yeah I was pretty much joking about cheese.

No idea who actually fits the bill but it could be someone villainous but aligned differently like Sombra (or even Discord somehow projecting himself -- he's someone with a lot to lose under NM as if they thought the statue were a threat they'd probably just destroy it).

I guess it could be Fancy Pants; Blueblood is less likely?

6681269 I like the idea that the old nobility is plotting against Nightmare and thinking of there options. A new Alicorn like Twilight has got to be tempting and using Rarity as a tool to recruit her or as a cats paw would be a given. But Rarity isn't no pawn in a game of the nobility chess games.

Oooo:raritystarry: A mystery with Alternate Universe Rarity(who so far is incredibly written well by the way;)) as the detective/rebel to Nightmare Moon's rule, sign me up!:yay:
In terms of the shadey stallion in the stair way, it's either Cheese Sandwich or Party Favor:raritywink:
I await the next chapter with great anticipation:pinkiehappy:

I love the idea of this! I'm thinking the mysterious stranger is either Pinkie with a voice-modifier (makes sense to me!), Fancy Pants (not so sure 'bout this one), or Cheese Sandwich (this one's most likely).

Interesting to be sure. I wonder how Zecora ended up there. And how Rarity bonded with Zecora since Zecora's rep at Nightmare Moon's return was still 'the witch in the woods.'

So many lovely comments... where do I even begin? :pinkiecrazy:


6680711 I don't see her as a spy exactly, but fear not, we're gonna get a little skulduggery before this is done.

6680791 6680852 6680909 6680947 6681105 6681359 6681823 -- I love the speculation. :coolphoto: The right answer has appeared (at least) once. But while this character is pretty well fixed in my head, I'm banking those other character ideas for future plot twists.

6680919 Thanks man! :pinkiehappy:

6682481 I ended up with the core of the story idea based on my 2 favorite aspects of the finale (Fancy Evil Rarity and Timeline Aware Zecora). But you make a good point; I should do more to explain how they made contact...

6681323 This is beautiful. When I said comment-influenced, this is the sort of thing I was hoping for. :twilightsmile:

F:yay:ck it what have I got to lose?

Calling it now, it's Starswirl. Don't argue, just go with it.

6683172 figured Nightmare wouldn't be popular with the old nobility so her court would be a center of intrigue and plots against each other and Princess Moon. She seems the brute force type so this wouldn't be a area Nightmare would excel in.

But Rarity would.

I find the title more fascinating so far than what's going on. That is to say, we're getting some set up here as to what's going on. Heck there is a lot of potential here and I'm not actually so worried as to who the shadow is. I think it would be interesting if this story warped into some sisyphean meets Sartre type of Hell. The type of story where she knows what is going on isn't right, that it's so far off from what actually should be and yet she can't get any other pony to help her do what needs to be done. So she tries to do what she thinks is the right thing to do but every time she does the one thing that seems right she gets sent all the way back to square one. The repetativeness of this task and the hell of other "friends" not helping her ends up being what she's locked in for all eternity.

Well with RD in the royal guard and Rarity working to please NMM every whim I see a thousand interesting paths this could take.

6683882 Oh I do like this idea... :pinkiecrazy:

6684115 It's all good, man; comments, criticism, etc. are always fair. Sounds like I need to kick it up a notch. And I do like the Sisyphean idea, though it might not fit into this story.

6688553 One hopes! :pinkiehappy: I very much appreciate the reminder about RD; I find myself overlooking her, and I shouldn't. The big question on my mind is how she ended up with bat wings, and what that implies about other choices she's made...

6692678 Probably just some sort of enchantment or illusion. Captain of the royal guard is a pretty presdigious position.

most likely Pinkie is the court jester aka the fool to NMM and maybe a leader of a freedom fighter group in the background:pinkiehappy:

6695129 All I'm going to say about Pinkie for right now is that I have an extremely clear vision of her status in this world.

...and, lest anyone take that the wrong way, I want to be clear: it isn't Cupcakes.

That's a lot of italics.

Also, Merry Christmas!

A fucking bitch. That's how I describe Sassy Saddles. A damned mother-fucking bitch.:ajbemused:

Shrugs. Its kinda interesting. Although i cannot see how Zecora would end up in this situation. Can't imagine them crossing paths. Or why Nightmare Moon would do that. Cruel as she might be, she is also very possessive. Killing Zecora means killing something she could posses. If she was such a fiend, there would not be ponies who would serve her.

Also rather certain that these timelines were all redacted. Zecora implied that the timelines were in a sense 'false'. Each one had a hole in how it could logically progress. And while the sombra one had the most stability and differences, others had pinkie pie with curly hair, ponies with the same cutie marks as they did in the proper timeline, a lack of nightmare moon or plunder seeds, and flim and flam taking over equestria.
Guess the nightmare moon one and the sombra one could have survived. Sombra's was the most stable and Nightmare Moon's the most logical.

6765033

Remember, she's wearing :pinkiegasp: leather.

6765079

Zecora's cutie mark is a sun, I imagine she would have been one of the first to rebel against the New Lunar Republic.

6765335 She doesn't have a cutie mark. And why would she rebel when she was never close to the ponies till the mane six befriended her?

With chrysalis i suppose it makes sense. Ponies fled into the everfree and Zecora took them in. In nightmare moon's world it seems they adapted, probably implying that as dangerous as nightmare moon is, she is just sane enough to not drive ponies towards rebellion. Least not in the open.

The circumstances just seem rather odd.

What made Sassy's character is that she was a good pony wrapped up in poor execution of good intentions. She and Rarity wanted different things, yes, Sassy wanted a pure business model, (even if she made the mistake of thinking the fad of the princess dress would be perpetual) while Rarity still wanted to keep things personal.

Nightmare Moon has only been ruling for five years, I doubt Sassy turned into an out and out sociopath in this reality looking to backstab anyone to get ahead. And you think she'd realize the closer you are to Nightmare Moon, the more you're in her line of fire.

6765335 That and she likes the natural order of things. She's basically a not-African not-hippy not-treehugger that knows alchemy and potion-making.

6765397

http://mlp.wikia.com/wiki/Zecora

"Like other zebras, such as the group in the book The Journal of the Two Sisters, Zecora (notably the only zebra to appear in the show) has a cutie mark—hers is a gray stylized spiral sun."

We only briefly see the NMM universe, and have no idea if there's a covert rebellion going on. She's a sun pony (okay, fine, zebra) and would be on top of that.

Sassy did strike me as the type who wants to get ahead, but not going as far as she is being shown too. I can see her though acting the part for others though. Perhaps using the Sun Worshipper trick to get rid of Nightmare Moons more loyal but less essential ponys. RD's reaction though confuses me. Five years shouldn't have eroded her loyalty that much.

Well folks, the writing process for chapter 2 was a bit rough but I certainly appreciate everyone's feedback! I think the hardest thing for me was just moving from that very "complete" first chapter to laying the groundwork for having something more. Subsequent chapters should be able to build on this foundation.

6772640 You've raised a wealth of interesting questions and possibilities, so thank you! :pinkiehappy: Dash is going to get a lot more attention, though I appreciate knowing that I could have presented the wrongness of her reactions better. (RD with bat wings--and all that they could imply--was one of the key things that inspired me to start writing this.) And your thought about Sassy potentially doing a heel-face-turn is too delicious not to consider, especially given:

6765437 Not buying Sassy in the role of a villain thus far? I'll take that as a failing on my part to adequately sell it, and I'll have to come back and do more to justify it in subsequent chapters--or I'll have to make her do the suggested heel-face-turn. :pinkiecrazy: And of course, she wasn't really a villain in her debut episode; but that episode created a dynamic I thought would be fun to twist and play with in an AU. Speaking of which:

6765079 In both chapters thus far, I've tried to draw attention to the fact that this universe should not exist. I realize it's asking a lot of the audience to take this on faith, but that's gonna keep coming up. Also, you've given me a good reminder that I need to come back and tie-in Zecora's involvement better. Which reminds me:

6765335 Based on the role she played in the Chrysalis timeline, I also feel (as 6765923 indicates) it would seem reasonable for her to take an active interest in defending the natural order, even if she wasn't otherwise close to those who might end up on her side.

6765026 Merry (belated) Christmas to you too! :pinkiehappy:

6765120 Genuine. :twilightoops:

6777009

The only thing more genuine than the leather itself was how she was wearing it. :raritywink:

Does that even make sense? :rainbowderp:

It is too late to be replying to these... :pinkiecrazy:

6777009

"Not supposed to exist."

"WHETHER THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO EXIST OR NOT ISN'T THE POINT! THE POINT IS THAT THEY'RE HERE NOW!"

You know, if NMM is sending out lots of ponies to search for Twilight, it's not going to be pretty for the native version when/if they find her, especially if NMM doesn't believe her when she claims no knowledge of the situation.

The real interesting thing that might be shown is how Nightmare made this world like she did in a recap. Using Pony slave labor to rebuild her castle, the politics of the nobility as she moved the Capitol away from Canterlot. The alchemy or magic involved in turning pony's into batpony bother voluntarybor forcefully. Or the current status of Ponyville as the closest town to the new capitol. Which is where she would get her workforce, past and present from. Would she draft heavily from that town for her workforce? Which means all the girls but Twilight might be heavily involved in some way with Nightmare Moons regime or just ignored completely.

I like this chapter. I'm interested in seeing where you take this story. But for now my planet needs me. I'm off!

Ì am very curious on the plot now. It is great that you gave them all these fancy titles and included Sassy as an overseer. This suits her. Cannot wait to see what happens next.

OHHHH CRAPPPPPPP!!!!:applejackconfused:

Update! And I have a feeling knows already. But she wants the good oats too.

DANG SON SASSY!!!!!:0 I'm speechless, that's all I can say:twilightoops: A great sign for a great comeback chapter:pinkiehappy:

Do you know when the next chapter is coming out??

7345036 July 1st. Chapter's all ready and waiting to post. :coolphoto:

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Thanks guys! It feels great to be back on the proverbial horse with this one! :derpytongue2:

7345690 :raritydespair: "Why are you on me! Your heavy!"

Scoots, nooooo! Why'd she be in Tartarus?!

I have a feeling many were thrown into Tartarus when NM took over. Which begs the question. What got out at the same time?

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