My name is Midnight Aria, and I was never supposed to be here.

I joined the Rangers for adventure. I wanted to drive timberwolves away from frontier villages and soar over uncharted forests. I wanted to rescue little lost foals in snowdrifts and be a hero. I didn't want to be a guard or a soldier.

And now I'm chest deep in a war and I know for absolute certain that we are all going to die.

Art by the talented Backlash91

Chapters (9)
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Comments ( 53 )

Well written, as far as I'm concerned. Reflects the characters way of thinking.
The Rangers, and the entire war thingy I find interesting.
Keep it up, I'll be watching.

6861588 I had fun with bat Rangers.

Actually wrote the first bits of this on a link walk in New Zealand.

6862159 I'm honestly insanely curious how you'll like the rest.

"Road paved with good intentions" - although here these are not universally "good" per se.

6866929 I ended up singing this on the Milford track when I was up ahead of the fam. Was I delirious from malnutrition and dehydration? Yes

Well, they do like cats in Ulthar of yours, I see. Thanks for the postponed answer.

6869077 Thought you would like that.

Sarnath and Ulthar being the principle Western Batpony settlements started as a joke and now I have a whole like backstory that parallels the Lovecraftian tales.

This story....I am left with a lot to think about honestly. This story has a lot of viewpoints, all coming from midnight....I find my self seeing her in different times, different moods, forms, and ways of life just because of how this has been written. This is not to say that I dislike such discoveries....not at all

....but it has left me thinking.

I smile every time grizlebrand is mentioned. You are portraying him very acurrately.

"Luna is in the moon".......


For a moment there, I was afraid they were all going to......uh I mean, you know....."initiate the females"...... ..but then he just kissed their heads......great chapter.

6877761 that will be cleared up

you're right that would a been way better

I'm really enjoying this so far.

Do you have any idea how long this is going to end up being? Will we see more with Luna and others or will the story mostly focus on Midnight?

6880010 2-3 more chapters, I think. It will be less than 50K for sure.

6882831 Nope. Did someone add it to that group?

I'm loving Midnight as a character and loving the story. Some of the perspective shifts have been a little disorienting, but a great read nonetheless. Looking forward to more!

And - am I correct that this happens somewhen in a somehow different timeline, probably one closer to show - 'cause you said somewhere there that Twilight is alicorn ('horns and wings and all') - but then, it is somewhen not much later than Return of Crystal Empire? I'm confused and uncertain and unsure, how does alicornization work concerning you speak about cities and things that are clearly were referenced before in "The Night is Passing", but weren't alicorns where akin to different kind?

6898929 it isn't in Night's universe. It could be seen as a neighbor perhaps, but it's closer to the show's timeline than Night by far.

I really like Midnight and this story. Will we be seeing more of this universe or is its story told?

That was great. Brutal. I felt physically sick a few times. Ruby dying made me want to scream.


This story... any words I could come up with would not do this story justice.

Do you perhaps have any other stories in this world?

Such is a midnight aria, that it would caress my mind and inner sanctum when i close my eyes to reality.....just to be there for me, forever in dreams.

May you midnight, find peace in dreams forever.

.....may we see her again please?

6901885 I actually feel legitimately sorry for doing that.


Oddly, I do have an idea for what comes after for her. I'm not sure what it would feel like, if you understand me. It would be something of an undertaking to balance the future I see for her and the agony of being a survivor. It's really a story that would deserve a longer treatment, but I'm not sure I could hold out that long.

She actually shows up in a single sentence in the Night is Passing, but not in person


6915464 I can understand that. If you're really feeling up to it sometime you could always work on it and not release it until you're almost done, but that has it's own slew of problems. I do think this story is great how it is, and a story about afterwards isn't necessary, but it'd always be nice to see. If not, the ending to this definitely worked.

Thank you for the great story. I'll take a look at your others as well!

6915464 well I like her. so there......yeah. *puffs out bat pony chest and wiggles ears*

Gosh, this was brutal. This reminds me a lot of the movie Saving Private Ryan with it's absolutely brutal depiction of war and battle. I remember the first time i watched Saving Private Ryan and I felt physically sick for a month afterwards.
That knife scene has been a nightmare for many nights since then. *shudders*

Though I will admit I felt quite bored for the first 1 or 2 chapters and was contemplating to drop this story now that I'm done I'm very glad I stuck with it.

// Sphex

This certainly was an interesting story. That ending was rough.

Poor Midnight.

Poor Luna
(Fortunately the Tantabus was dispelled prior. This latest "failure" would have provided him with a veritable armoury of ammunition with which to torture Luna).

7114789 Luna declares Station 19 The Martyr'd Station, the only one with a name. I think she takes Midnight as her student, trying to piece her life together. I realized she couldn't die. Not the last, not alone, not after all of that.

Rangers Fly.

I'm going to have to read this again when I'm in a better state of mind. I couldn't stop, but I couldn't possibly hold onto the... Everything... That was in here. You think, "well death has taken her at least" at the end though your mind rebels at the entire story, screaming that it shouldn't have gone that way... That they deserve a small happily ever after or someone they could at least talk to afterwards but then you made it somehow worse! She survived, alone, horribly alone with every single comrad next to her dead! She has to LIVE with that nightmare now! That memory that she couldn't save ANY OF THEM! WHY THE FUCK? HOW COULD YOU BE SO CRUEL? This is literally the worst fear of any soldier, of any one who faces the prospect of combat! And YOU WROTE IT OUT IN PERFECT FORM! IN THE MOST PAINFUL WAY TO READ BECAUSE I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN!


7276841 I agonized over her fate.

I don't know what happens to Midnight.

I recall you telling me to assume that everything you write, until proven otherwise, takes place in the Songverse. I didn't see too much to confirm that it does except for the emphasis placed on 'western'. However this bit intrigued me:

Luna knows all, feels all, understands all.

Are the Songverse Luna and Celestia all-knowing, divine entities none can relate to that possess ultimate power or some-such?

Next to that the part that amused me the most was that Midnight Aria's (I think I might just call her Ari) gender was not confirmed until the chapter was almost over. I also took not of the different spacing when compared to your other stories (I enjoy obsessing over spaces, character, speech patterns, character philosophies, etc.). I'm also thrilled that this is in first person! :twilightsmile:

I wonder how many Biblical references will be lost on me as I continue. :trollestia:

Is this Old Colony mentioned by Ari important? I don't recall hearing of it in any of your other stories.

And I spotted this typo:

A thousand thousand children with happy faces and full bellies, and the rest could burn.

From this paragraph onward is a bunch of lore but I don't know what it's talking about.

With her, of course, were the remains of Grand Hive. Every loyal changeling. Every changeling who still called her Mother, after the Mother of old. Sometimes, Chrysalis thought of herself that way too. More and more, she did. Had not the Mother endured before the Ancient Father? Had she not preserved the First Hive? Even when those monsters and their hellish Father had struck her down, even then she had done what no other could and wounded Eternity. Or as close as anything with flesh came.

It's talking about Chryssi before going into what sounds like an origin story and then something about a very important forge. This continues as it alternates between the POV of Ari and the lore mentioned. I understand enough of it I think, it mentions Chryssi doing various forbidden experiments before destroying what she found but each time I read I feel as if this is connected to another story of yours that I have not read.

Anyway, this is getting very good as I go on. :twilightsmile:

7297183 not terribly important. There's not really explanations here in full for anything, just hints, but I can explain some stuff.

The Old Colony was the original settlement of batponies in the Central Continent, in Equestria. In anything touching the song, batponies originate in the West, in the cave city of Ulthar where their weeping Mother gave herself up to create them. The Changelings also originate in the West. They too had a Mother. If she was an Alicorn or not, who can say? No one is sure, and she exists more as an idea than a real memory in the shared gestalt dream of the Hives. She was killed long ago, scattering the hives originally, by a creature known as the Father. It is this terrible creature that connects the two races. It's also why normal batponies make changelings a little nervous and why Duskwatch full them with absolute terror.

Also the second thousand is intentional. 1000 X 1000. Not sure where I read that but it stayed with me for years.

7287566 quite a few. Not sure why I made Midnight's gender mysterious or if I even intended to. I *did* intend that with Sam in Alien Suns and that was written and released around the same time, so perhaps some cross pollination?

On the Song:

Dont remember telling you that but I'll agree with a caveat. From the beginning, part of the whole Song thing was the idea of multiple possibilities or worlds. Other planes of existence. The Maze in "Where the Sun is Silent" is in fact another plane of existence. Night is the most explicit about this, later on, but basically assume that they are all Songverse in that they share certain aspects and probably lore but don't assume continuity or anything unless proven or stated. A common creation story, mythos, common themes.

I thought about the beginning of the Inferno with the forest

So did I...:rainbowderp:

Oh, I see some mentions of Sombra here, which I haven't seen in any of your other fics so I'm quite curious on what your lore on him is. Is there another story with it?

And this line had me laughing so hard:

Opal that was, Sombra’s personal favorite and her Ninth legion.

Celestia was not the only alicorn who had wanted to have children the way that mortals did.

If I remember right, alicorns here are magically created god-beings from another part of the Song/world/void, correct? I do recall reading stories in another universes where Celestia and Luna were unable have foals because they had died and been brought back to life.

7318364 Alicorns can have children in stories that are connected to the Song. Cadance's mother was the Alicorn ruler of Henosia in Night.

Celestia has had kids in Night, but not in centuries. Luna has never had children in Night and probably here. I don't know her reasons if so in this iteration, but in Night it was because she was exclusively homosexual and very much disliked the idea of surrogates (not for others, just for herself) and while she adopted foundlings she really kept holding on for someone to be able to "create" foals with magic.

7318324 This is the only story so far to mention Sombra beside Night. Opal was there also, being badass and also actually sadistic. She's crazy.

Sombra in both was a handsome young Royal heir who was like third or fourth in line for the throne. He "befriended" Opal early on when she was still young, idealistic, and kinder and as she became a hero he incorporated her into a long bid for power. Assassination later, but at first he was just courting the people, making himself look fair and generous to commoners, kinda subtly saying, imagine what I could do for you as Emperor.

Eventually after lots of external and internal turmoil and a lot of death (only some he caused directly) and after brainwashing and twisting Opal into an almost suicidally reckless sadist o' war, Sombra took power and restored order just as he had promised. Then he was decent for a few months... And then outside tribes got a little pushy and in the aftermath of his unprecedented campaign of genocide he basically went from spoiled rich kid with lots of problems and issues to psycho-murderer with a god complex.

Opal would later lead the revolting commoners and the mutinying Ninth against him right before the end. Celestia and Luna helped a bit but the vanishing was the result of them trying to seal away Sombra when he pulled his fail safe.

7318554 Ooooh, that Sombra bit sounds interesting. Even if that isn't the most unique backstory for him that I've heard, it does sound like something I'd want to read. Thanks for clearing up the Luna bit too, I'm still trying to figure out just how powerful/omnipotent they are in here. Odd part is, I stopped sympathizing with Ari in the last three chapters which was a bit of a bummer, I went from enjoying her and what she had to offer and how she handled/described things and looking forward to what happened next to solely reading for the diction and what happened next. It's still a great story though.

As for why I found that line funny: In the Iceverse, the monarch before Sombra was named Queen Opal Charm, or just Opal if you wish to call her that. You can probably imagine what happened to her, and why she isn't very happy about it.

I don't read tragedy often, but this was incredible. The last part, with the long spaces before solitary names was absolutely heartwrenching. A nice little bright spot in the ending, though, which is very nice.

This story was cool, and now it's epic. Each chapter accomplishes so much. What it's like to be a batpony, what it's like to be a ranger, what it's like to run out of hope, to be a queen. Now this new perspective is a double edged sword. Equestria is probably going to be fine, and the column has the worst of it, but it doesn't make it easier to read about what's happening to her.

Also, I've always enjoyed the music you've posted (I bought an explosions in the sky record because you quoted it so much; you can guess which one), but this is the first time listening to the music really enhances the mood while not distracting from the words.

Lily's delirium and musings on humanity and loneliness and wanting to go home are very similar to the philosophical ramblings heard at behind schedule high school debate tournaments sunday night. Don't worry midnight, the nigh is, eh, how you say...going

There is much others have said here.
But I find something very poignant that through all of that, in the end their stand amounted to very little. A intimate look at their final hours, but not a heroic victory over dark forces or even a noble sacrifice.
And in the end, war is often like that.

A refreshing, intimate and at times painful read on the heartstrings.

A reminder of why you're my favorite author on fimfic (and outside of it come to think of it)

This.. this right here, this work of art deserves so much more attention than it received. Its merits deserve to be shouted from the rooftops. It ought to be featured in the top slot of the feature box until the end of time itself, and beyond. Its beauty is only matched by its hideousness, and it manages to be both endearing and gut-wrenching in equally satisfying amounts. It is, without a doubt, the most awe-inducing piece of fiction I've ever had the pleasure of reading on this site.


That was great. Brutal.


Been on a bit of a Nick Cave kick recently. His Weeping Song seems apropos for this story and captures the feeling quite well IMHO.

Go son, go down to the water
And see the women weeping there
Then go up into the mountains
The men, they are weeping too

Father, why are all the women weeping?
They are weeping for their men
Then why are all the men there weeping?
They are weeping back at them

This is the weeping song
A song in which to weep
While all the men and women sleep
This is a weeping song
But I won't be weeping long

Father, why are all the children weeping?
They are merely crying son
Oh, are they merely crying, father?
Yes, true weeping is yet to come


8200121 you always have the most perfect music.

To any observer bound to walk in that snow, they would invisible

How long does it continue? They come ess frequently now but more urgently.

Damn. Lets see what the epilogue brings us.

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