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Still tired. Still writing. Patreon


The foggy feeling like you're wandering through a dream, disconnected from the world around you. Sunset Shimmer experiences that every day. Ponies struggle to remember her, she suffers from random bouts of exhaustion, and at eighteen, she still has no cutie mark.

Despite the claims her mother makes, Sunset knows she is broken in some way. It isn't until her nineteenth birthday that she discovers why.

When her perception of herself and the world around her shatters, Equestria will face the consequences of the villain... or the hero, it was never supposed to have.

Chapters (14)
Comments ( 308 )

*Sees author*
*Insta fav*
*Gonna read when finished cuz it looks like another Sunset of Time and that one stomped and shattered and spat in my heart so hard I want to at least know I can instantly find a conclusion.*

*Loves Albi*

Looks like it'll be even harder on the heartstrings than Sunset of Time was. Celestia save us all.

Wow, heavy feels right there. I wanted to hug Sunset and tell her she does matter and everything is gonna be OK. That she's loved and she makes life so much better. Hits home hard given I know someone who has depression and anxiety. A very well written chapter and I hope things are going well for you. (HUG)

On another bit of interest, intriguing to see in the description things change for Sunset on her 19th birthday and this is your 19th story. :twilightsmile:

Wasn't this based off an idea you said you had but didn't go through with because it was too similar to Sunset of Time?

Nice to see Sunset has better relations with the ponies around her; it really gives her good support in her life, even if it is a bit much for her at times. And even here she can't get along with Moondancer. It's gonna be fascinating to see how things go for Sunset as we draw closer to Nightmare Moon. Great story, it really connects and draws us in. ^_^

Long Road, Sunset of Time, now this? You just so happen to write a lot of my favorite stories.

That’s all I was even after this many years. ‘Lady Sunset Shimmer.’ Despite being the princess’ daughter, I wasn’t a princess myself. It stung sometimes—became a full burn for a while when Cadence stepped into the picture—but I wouldn’t let it eat me alive as much as it tried. Celestia called me her daughter, loved me like she had given birth to me. Why should I complain?

AU where Sunset of Time never happened?

Wow. Existential/Identity Crisis coupled with Semi-Wallflower Syndrome + a healthy dash of "How Do I Accurately Describe This?!"

And this is only the first chapter.


Boy, you're granting us a new story, finding time even when you're actually doing fine to keep up with Spectacular Seven as possible x)
So keep going!

Oh, damn, I really wanna see where this goes now!

Well now. This should prove very interesting indeed. The genre tags have me wary, but the premise intrigues me enough that I'll keep an eye on it. Looking forward to more.

Need more
Regret not reading sooner

Very intrigued! The writing makes the mystery of her affliction have just the right amount of suspense without overdoing it.

Is the cause of her affliction tied to the mirror in more ways than one? Orrrr is it related to Nightmare Moon somehow?

Part of me feels like she may just be Sunset trapped in a construct world from when she jumped in the mirror, where she got everything she really wanted, but cant remember this is all fake.

On the flip side she could actually be a magical construct created by the mirror when Celestia looked into it, creating a 'daughter' figure...

I'm leaning towards the second, since she feels stronger around Celestia. Maybe Celestia sealed her cutie mark away right when she got it since she also had a rapport with the Sun, and her guilt made her adopt her? The side effect being she is less 'real'?

Gah the possibilities are endless, and I love it! Hope to read more of this soon!

Interesting... I have sort of a half-thought as to where this might be going, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what happens.

This story is really well written! Love it so far, can't wait for future updates.

... That was completely on purpose. Yes. Of course.

Indeed it was. Something told me to do it anyway. Hopefully I can make it not as similar.

Unless you head cannon pony hearts as spinning turbines, "RPM" should probably be "BPM."

I hope that mare doesn’t take it too hard.

Unfortunately, Moondancer will take it hard :fluttercry:

Ponies constantly forgetting her existence (including mere seconds after interacting with her)? No cutie mark at nineteen years old? Blackouts and fugues that drain her physically and magically (and may cause temporary paralysis)? The Sonic Rainboom (one of the cornerstone events of Equestria history) makes her worse?

I have a horrible feeling that Sunset is from another reality, and her current one is trying to remove her as "something that should not be". :fluttercry:

Interesting premise. Kept in the world by Celestias love? She begins to disappear when not acknowledged by ponies? Looking forward to seeing what's up.

This is so interesting I love it can’t wait for more :pinkiehappy:

Very nice. I look forward to seeing the adventures of Pony Anakha.

That's an interesting idea. I was thinking that Sunset and Twilight is fighting over the same destiny and Sunset is losing that's causing the attacks.

Would that make Celestia pony Aphrael.

But who would be Pony Zalasta?

She's not really there, is she? Where is her true body now? Serving as magical glue to send Eldritch seal? Banished beyond dimensions of mortal keen by an accident in her youth? A magical golem created by Celestia? And just who beyond me laugh her mother and bodyguard knows it?

On the timeline, only 19? How old is Twilight? Doce years is not enough for a little filly to become a grown mare. Just how long do Sunset's fading spells actually last? When will she become aware that Twilight grew way more than she should? Does she notice her mentor is away for days or weeks at a time?

Extremely curious. Have a fave and a like :twilightsmile:

Glad to see other Eddings fans. I’d say Celestia is probably closer to Sephrenia, as for Zalasta...maybe Kibitz will be in this? And evil?

Big Little Mother Celestia and the evil trusted friend Kibitz.
Yeah, I can dig it ^^


Who are Sephrenia and Zalasta? And Aphrael?

Hm. I’m intrigued. So far, I’m truly enjoying it (well, of course I am; your writing is always enjoyable!). I can’t wait to see where it goes!

Minor nitpick (that just happens to be a pet peeve of mine, so I can’t help but point it out...): you describe Twilight as a “prodigal student”, but “prodigal” really doesn’t fit with her. (prodigal, adjective: Spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant. "The prodigal child always spent her allowance the minute she got it.”)

We’re you meaning to use it as more of an adjective form of “prodigy”? Because there is no adjective form of that word (which is stupid! We should create one!)

Anyway, that was the only error I took note of, so good job! Looking forward to reading more!

"prodigious" is closest to "prodigy" (like "portentous" to "portent") but the meanings shifted apart over time.

They are all characters from a pair of trilogies by David Eddings. Reason they were brought up is that one of the characters in the series bears the title Anakha (one who’s fate even the gods don’t know). Of course in those books it’s more of a great power over the flow of destiny as opposed to a crippling existential nightmare.

“Actually, I haven’t,” I said, my impish grin growing.

I just have to tell you how much I liked that sentence, just because it is a different reaction from how it usually goes. I mean normally the main char/Sunset would have to be embrassed now, fell bad for some reason and they try to make it look as if Sunset was in love with Shining armor too.

It is so different to have them all exist at the same time, together in the castle I meand and the same age or similar.

I could image that they maybe say that suddenly Luna/Nightmare Moon is Sunsets true mother here, not sure how that would work together with the fainting spells, but I could image that really schocking Sunset.
I could image Celestias biggest mistake being that she hasn't told Sunset what was wrong. I could image that it would have helped in the end actually.

Seems "Destiny" really doesn't like her in this continuity. :applejackconfused:

Ponies not properly remembering her... yikes! :rainbowderp:

How thoroughly has this been studied? What would happen, if she published a book telling details of her life? Would ponies be unable to remember the written words?

Do ponies even know Princess Celestia has an adopted daughter? :rainbowhuh:

This is an intriguing premise. On the surface, it resembles Wallflower Blush's situation, but the Memory Stone merely effected the memories of others without effecting Wallflower. Here, Sunset is barely hanging onto existance. Perhaps the timeline split and she got stuck in the wrong one. Of course, there are a number of other possibilities to be explored. And I'll bet Celestia knows (or at least suspects) more than she's telling her adopted daughter, as per usual.

There's just one part that bothered me:

Lucky Twilight owned a young dragon assistant.

Sunset might want to rephrase that, because I can't believe that she would think of Spike as Twilight's slave. :twilightoops:

Still, there's enough mystery here to make me track this story. Though I hope you'll update "Ice Iris" soon as well.

Oh hey, more great Albiwords, sweets!



Sunset might want to rephrase that, because I can't believe that she would think of Spike as Twilight's slave.:twilightoops:

You mean he isn't?

The mystery, it's killing me!!! :raritycry: Just tell us what Sunset is already! :raritydespair:

She said it! She said the thing!

Very nice to see what Celestia was up to before sunrise. That crops up surprisingly rarely in stories set during the Nightmare's return. Looking forward to seeing what ripples Sunset causes, and if Nightmare Moon might have any insight into her condition.

Nicely done, even with knowing what's coming, you draw us in well as we follow a different perspective, getting to see how Celestia looks as we build up to the reveal as how Sunset sees it. It was also quite good to see Sunset's intelligence in motion, with her starting to question the possibility as well and looks into it to make sure. The ten year gap is very intriguing and makes me wonder how that occurred. Forgotten history? Missing time related to Sunset having trouble being noticed?

Also, I find it a nice touch in Sunset's dream while she still fancies herself being praised which is fitting of her, something more to what she wants actual friends who remember her name. I suppose when ponies have to struggle to notice you you start to have different thoughts on what friends mean to you. In canon, Sunset was noticed for how great she was, but she didn't want to be bothered with it outside her own ambitions. Here, though, between the struggle to feel like you exist and facing nopony noticing you makes her vie for actual relations. It's awesome.

Fantastic chapter and I look forward to seeing how things go. :pinkiehappy:

Ooh ooh ooh! PLEASE tell me (before everything happens like it normally does) that Sunset will ask NMM if she IS Celestia's sister? And then let slip she is Sunset's aunt?

Huh. With her earlier energy I was assuming she was gaining strength the closer Luna got to freedom. There goes that theory.

“Your stage at town hall is all set up, and we have our deluxe sweet ready in our finest inn. I know it’s a little rustic, but we’re still working on improving our tourism industry.”


Her spiral horned ended with a lethal point


I'm liking where this is going.


The ten year gap is very intriguing and makes me wonder how that occurred. Forgotten history? Missing time related to Sunset having trouble being noticed?

It's most likely that those ten years Luna just became more reclusive until Nightmare Moon took over, but when I read your comment another more intriguing possibility occurred to me. What if Luna was also fading or fainting the way Sunset is? That would be a nice parallel.

Hmm. Luna became Nightmare Moon because she didn't get recognition. I think Sunset Shimmer has Luna beat in that department. :applejackconfused:

Hay, if anything, I'd expect Nightmare Moon to pity her. That's hitting way to close to home for the night alicorn. :rainbowderp:

You know, it's funny - the Sunset in the main timeline had an extreme rebellious streak, a short temper, and quite a lot of self-entitlement.

This Sunset could actually take a slice from the "self-entitled queen-bee" Sunset. :derpyderp1:

She seems almost too accepting of her fate -- yes, what do other ponies see when they look at her? Has she no scientific curiosity to find out? If not, doesn't Twilight? Maybe there's some workaround she can use to get more ponies to notice her? To remember her? :twilightoops:

Again, what would happen if she wrote down her condition on paper, and hoofed that over to somepony? Something like...

"Hello. My name is Sunset Shimmer. You don't remember me, but we just talked only five minutes ago. I'm still in the room, but you probably won't notice me if you look around. Try to find me."

I kinda am waiting for her to snap at somepony, glossing over the daughter of the pony who essentially got foalnapped, again, and really going all out on a rant about how ponies just ignore her, how barely anypony can even remember her, about how she's scared that, one day she'll just stop existing, and to the rest of the world it'll be like she never existed... :fluttershysad:

You want to tug on our heart strings? Well, do make sure to tug on the heartstrings of other characters around Sunset as well, so that they can show her support and be there for her. :raritywink:

Welp, things have kicked into gear now....

As others have noted, it does seem like Sunset’s permanence is drawn from Celestia somehow. Which means the next few hours are not going to be pleasant for her.:twilightoops:

very good story so far please update soon

Hmm ... Sunset had three fading episodes (at least one of them major), the most episodes in one day ever, on the eve of another Cornerstone event ... I'm thinking there is a connection ....

Oh, the look on NMM's face wold probably be priceless :pinkiehappy:

Huh... and here I thought she wouldn’t make it through the night. :applejackunsure: I thought you would’ve spent more time on Nightmare’s return but I guess we’ll see what the consequences are next chapter.

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