• Member Since 26th Mar, 2015
  • offline last seen Last Thursday

Amber Spark

"Do it with love, do it with passion and never dream small!” - Author, Designer & Creator - Patreon/Ko-Fi



This story is a sequel to How Not To Use Your Royal Prerogative

  In an Equestria where the Sonic Rainboom never happened, Sunset Shimmer is the prized pupil of the Princess of the Sun. As Sunset struggles to make up for her past misdeeds and come to terms with the pony she wants to be, Celestia sends her to find the classic work The Application of Unified Harmony Magic from the Royal Canterlot Archives.
  Right after lunch, some meddling by her friends and meeting somepony with firsthoof experience of the Sunset she used to be.

Featured on Equestria Daily on August 18, 2016!
Appeared in the FimFiction Featured Box!

Cast: Sunset Shimmer, Moon Dancer, Minuette, Twilight Sparkle & Princess Celestia

Stories set in the Wavelengths Timeline in chronological order:

Origins Arc
The Alchemy of Chemistry
Bards of the Badlands
Grading on a Bell Curve
Habits of the Equestrian Phoenix
How Not To Use Your Royal Prerogative

Applications Arc
The Application of Unified Harmony Magics
Princess Celestia: A Brief History
The Cloudsdale Report

Dreamers Arc
Tactics of Snowbound Unicorns
A Study in Chaos Theory
Teahouses of Saddle Arabia
As the Raven Flies

Cover Credits
Cover Design by Amber Spark
Sunset Shimmer Vector by TigerBeetle
Pony SciTwi Vector by Osipush
Canterlot Bookshelves Vector by FavoriteArtMan
Sunset Shimmer Cutie Mark by MillennialDan

Beta Reader Credits
Ebon Quill - Worldbuilding Writer on The Manehattan Project
Quantum State - Technical Director of The Manehattan Project
Painted Heart
The Albinocorn - Master of Sunset Shimmer Stories

Strongly Recommended Stories:
The Brightest and the Best by Pineta - The events in this story are considered to be completely canon to this timeline and explain Twilight's entrance exam to Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns. I cannot recommend this story enough.
MLP Annual 2013 - "The Fall of Sunset Shimmer" - As above, the 8-page short comic in the beginning of the Annual is also considered to be canon, though with some major variations.

Version 3.0 Edit: Extensive grammatical and mechanics changes. Adjustment to timeline of Sunset's second mirror experience.

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 123 )

I can tell my vocabulary is a bit lacking when I keep needing to research words in this.

Very nicely done. I love your take on Moondance and Minuette. I'll look forward to more of your works.

7407174 Why thank you kindly. I'm especially glad you enjoyed Moon Dancer. She was an interesting one to write with such a different backstory. :pinkiehappy:

7406907 Well, it could also be I'm still suffering from what Albinocorn called "Lavender Unicorn Syndrome." I'm taking medication, but I hear it takes a while to kick in. :pinkiecrazy:

Se-QUEL! Se-QUEL! Se-QUEL! Please!
Honestly though, this story blew me away. It's awesome.

Not much I can say other than that you did an excellent job on this AU three-parter. :-D The exchanges, emotional content, characterizations and wrap-up were all well done in all the right places. I will definitely be looking forward to more stories set in this universe as soon as time and inspiration will allow.

Interesting take on a reformed Sunset. She wasn't anywhere near as bad as canon EQ1 Sunset was, but I like how something relatively mundane (teaching assistant) turned her around, rather than requiring something drastic like a friendship rainbow laser to the face. Though poor Twilight ended up worse off, especially without Spike to ground her, and Sunset helping to fill the hole in the group left by an even more withdrawn Twilight (I think that's how it happened?).

I'm looking forward to whatever future plans you might have for this world (like whether any time travelers interfered with the Sonic Rainboom). I really liked how you fit Sunset into that group of friends- when the comic came out, they were just random unicorns, then season 5 showed they were part of Twilight's age group, so teaching sounds like a great way for Sunset to meet them (once Sunset calmed down anyway). I especially wonder about Sunset's glimpse of the future, I know canon has it that only Twilight could become Element of Magic (her Cutie Mark showing up a thousand years earlier basically cements it), but I always like the idea that Sunset had a chance too.

7407440 Well, encouragement like this will definitely get you one even over the novel I'm already 30K words into. So good job. :raritywink:

7408417 That means a lot to me. Creating an alternate universe that's still very believable with characters we know is a lot harder than I thought. It's the subtle details that matter, something I really struggled over. I also really appreciate you mentioning the wrap-up. It's something I don't see a lot of, but allowing the reader to breathe after the events of a story is something that was hammered into my head pretty early on. And don't worry, you'll be getting more, sooner rather than later. :pinkiehappy:

Darn you commentators! You got my brain working overtime so much that I actually was late to work this morning because I was too busy coming up with three new short story ideas plus four more scenes in Shattered Dawn! :derpytongue2:

7410303 EqG Sunset was driven by rage, bitterness and arrogance. This Sunset Shimmer is a bit more like the Sunset we see in Rainbow Rocks and Friendship Games, though I plan on having a few stories that occur both before and after Applications, so you'll get a broader range of what she's gone through. The other thing is to remember is the classic idea of a butterfly effect of the lack of a Sonic Rainboom. We all saw this first-hand, but it wasn't exactly subtle. Let's just say the teacher's aide position wasn't the only thing that pulled her back from the brink. As for Twilight, well, I've got plans for her too. :twilightsmile:

Don't worry about time travelers. We'll be dealing with them soon enough and in a very big way. You'll just have to stay tuned for that. Though to be totally honest, the friends that Sunset made I came up without thinking of the comic, believe it or not. I was thinking of ponies we know in Canterlot as opposed to Ponyville. It was only in reviewing Sunset's words to those unicorns that I realized "for pony's sake, those are the same friends!" Thankfully, I had already set everything up...as long as I ignored the filly Twilight in the background of those scenes! :twilightsheepish:

...her Cutie Mark showing up a thousand years earlier basically cements it...

...says who? :raritywink: :scootangel:

Very nice; great pacing and well-balanced with just enough little hints of romance to make it that little extra bit of interesting, :raritywink:


7410695 Thanks. It might be interesting to see your spins on this universe's versions of the rest of the canon Mane 6 if you wish to show it, but I will completely understand if you don't wish to do that.

I am loving this. But the 6 other ponies, are they Sunset's friends or the Mane 6?

I am deeply thankful for what you have written... but is there a continuation for this?

7411563 Sorry, Jean-Luc. :scootangel:

7411964 Glad you enjoyed it and definitely glad the pacing came off right. Pacing's hard. You have to pace yourself to get pacing right. (I should stop reading Discord stories now...)

You can't prove there was romance! There was no romance tag! Slander! Lies! Demonic duck! /runaway :twilightblush:

Yay pirates! (That should be a yay, right? The X Marks The Spot thing is good, right?)

7412584 Shattered Dawn, which is the novel this story was written to help establish, will go a little into the fates of the rest of the Mane 6. Probably. (I haven't written that part out yet! Stop hounding me! No, not you, Princess Twilight and Archivist Twilight in my head! I've been late to work two days straight because I've been too busy thinking about this timeline!)

7413502 As for the Mane 6...You'll just need to wait and see. :pinkiegasp:
As for a continuation, oh yeah. I've already got plans for a novel that will probably clock in at around 200K words (knowing my track record of never knowing when to shut up) and already have plans for eight (one more was added today :twilightoops:) more short stories. (Yeah, that number grew a lot since my last comment...)

But Applications is a single, self-contained story. I actually only released finished stories because I'm terrible at outlining and properly planning stories. So rather than constantly have to yank back chapters to revise them...I just want to make sure it's all done first!

But don't worry, you'll be seeing more....sooner rather than later! :pinkiehappy:

10 bits that Celestia planned this. :trollestia:

Don't worry, this isn't the last you'll be hearing from this version of Twilight and Sunset. I've got plans. Big plans.

Oh good, I'd have to come hurt you otherwise. :flutterrage:

7414578 I'm sorry, but Princess Celestia is unavailable for comment at this time. How's next month for you? That a good time? Good. :trollestia:

A great take on reformed pony Sunset. She had great interactions with Moondancer, and the plot worked very well. With some more space it might be nice to hear more about Sunset's experience at the school and foreshadow the reveal of her history with Twilight, giving Twilight a grudge was a great idea. Looking out for a continuation.

Well I'll be watching you for more of this!
I'm waiting!

7417038 Thank you kindly. The Sunset and Moon Dancer interactions were definitely incredibly fun to write. I'm also delighted you enjoyed the overarching story and look forward to the next. :pinkiehappy:

I've got several short stories lined up for tales of Sunset as an aide for GU (Gifted Unicorns), including the next one! I'm even playing with the idea of one from Twilight's perspective.

As for Twilight, to be honest...when I finally got to the confrontation, I actually had no idea what to write. Then I started thinking of the reverse of Amending Fences and it all sort of just clicked.

7417529 Well, you won't be waiting long! (Hopefully) :twilightsheepish:

This was a really nice story and very easy to read (there is little in the realm of errors).
Good luck and keep on writing.

I wouldn't have made that comparison, but Celestia and Lord Vetinari do bear some similarities don't they. A certain notion of the greater good and a fair degree of manipulation come to mind...

“Morari the Maneless was one of the greatest librarians to ever walk the face of Equestria,” Moon Dancer replied primly. “Even Dewey Decimal derived half of her catalogue techniques on him. Any librarian who cares one whit about her calling should know Morari inside and out.”

There are some issues here. In that statement there is a bit of a problem in that that you can't derive techniques -from- a pony. You could base them on the work of a pony or you could learn from them. Also a 'catalogue' is a thing or maybe a verb, 'to catalogue', but it's the wrong form here.

e.g. 'derived half of her cataloging techniques from his work.'

I agree, any incidents involving Sunset Shimmer and that mirror are at least partially Celestia's fault. Now that I think of it, it's probably a Harry Potter reference or if it isn't it could have been. (Mirror of Erised, anyone?) I mean Dumbledore left it where it could be found (not exactly the same) and Harry became rather obsessed with it.

7432390 Thank you kindly! I'm delighted you enjoyed it!

7435999 I know the Celestia and Vetinari thing seems a bit odd, but exactly! And good catch. I'll be fixing that up soon!

As for the mirror, I'm not sure. The mirror is shown to have no special properties (other than being a portal to another dimension) in EqG. Sunset also sees something else in that mirror...but as for what that has to do with this timeline, you'll have to wait and see. Obsession is a strange thing. Just being obsessed with something doesn't make it inherently good or evil (or the obsession for that matter). What is far more important is the motivation behind it.

My personal take on it is it's a lot like the Crystal Heart was for Sombra and Radiant Hope: a mirror of what's in one's heart. After all, Radiant Hope saw herself as an alicorn princess in that little vision...but that's not what happened, is it? :raritywink:

As for WHY...well, I've got a whole book on that particular bit. :pinkiehappy:

7446802 Well, I do hope you enjoy new story just released and the coming one... which might tell of a particular unicorn meeting a particular alicorn for the first time... :moustache:

For some reason I... feel poignant.

7494574 Mayyyybeeeeeee... :scootangel:
7495608 Yay? I'm going to go with yay. :yay:

7497383 It's a good story, but for some reason it's... sad...

Great story, enjoyed it a lot, even wish it was way way longer :duck:

7502409 Not sure why you think it was sad. :applecry: Hopefully, Bell Curve or my next story will be more cheerful for you!

7510977 I'm delighted you hear you enjoyed it! And don't worry, things are just getting started. We're not done by a long shot! :twilightsmile:

7512728 I will try to give it a read. I guess I have to say that I think this story is sad (and after a re-read, downright depressing) for the same reason I thought "Amending Fences" was depressing.

That reason, though, is lost to me... though it was wonderfully cathartic.

And, for some reason you managed to kinda sorta capture that episode's emotional luggage. Enough for my brain to unconsciously pick something up, at least.

Thanks for writing it.

That was nice. The shipping angle felt a little forced, but it was pretty good regardless.

7524709 To quote myself in response to MrAskAPirate: "You can't prove there was shipping! There was no romance tag! Slander! Lies! Demonic duck! /runaway :twilightblush:"

Nope. No shipping here. Move along. Move along please! :pinkiecrazy:

First time i see a reference to EGS comics and Dan Shive.
And by the way, a good fic. As i understand you've been writing for a while?

7588617 YES! EGS is finally recognized! At long last! :yay:

As for writing, I've been writing fiction for... sixteen years? Maybe more? Only in the last several years have I made any real progress toward professional stuff. After an injury that prevented me from writing for 18 months, these stories are to help me get back in the groove and retrain myself. Plus of course, to find all the niggling little things I tend to mess up.

But yeah, I've been doing this a while. :raritywink:

I enjoyed this story very much :twilightsmile: think it was a very intresting take other circumstances, particularly i liked the way you describe the surroundings and the insight you show about human (pony) feelings, must surely also say that i enjoyed the humor :rainbowlaugh: all in all i really likt your spin on things and can`t to waiting to read the next chapter:raritystarry:

ramm :derpytongue2:
ps: i know it a lot of grammer fault`s, dont yell at me novel :fluttershysad:

This is great, but one thing confuses me.

In previous chapters, Sunset could barely even remember Twilight Sparkle, to the point that she was surprised by Twilight's resemblance to Moon Dancer.

In this chapter, Sunset reveals that she knew enough about Twilight Sparkle to have been afraid of her, almost considered her a rival, and has an intimate knowledge about Twilight's exam. Given all of that, how did Sunset ever forget Twilight in the first place?

No idea who the h:yay: those guys are, but 'Tia headcanon accepted any-f:yay:ing-way.

7651287 Now that is an excellent question! While I'll be going in-depth to some of these events in the upcoming Alchemy, I will say that seven years passed between the events. I don't know about you, but my memories from seven years ago are terrible and spotty at best. At first, she doesn't even remember what she ever did to Twilight, but as the events progress, it jogs her memory (namely about Twi's exam). There are also a few other reasons which I'm not quite ready to reveal yet. :scootangel:

7651995 Discworld! Read it! It's fantastic! Start with Guards! Guards! It's hysterical, awesome, epic, wonderful and hilarious! Not necessarily in that order! Exclamation Point!

7535448 demonic ducks of some sort won't do you no good against those that are not distracted by its whiles!! The lack of a romance tag will NOT stop the blatant, delicious shipping! It's a crime I tell you, A CRIME!!! :pinkiecrazy:

Needs more cute fuzzies :raritywink:

i f:yay:g LOVE this tia, she might even not be my least fave now. twi, sorry, you are worst princess now.:twilightoops: #lunabestd:yay:mf:yay:gprincess

“You’ve been reading too much Saddleson,” Moon Dancer quipped.

Saddleson? Would this happen to be Brandon Sanderson? :raritystarry:

Either way, this seems like a fun continuity and a prime example of how to handle shipping without just targeting the portion of the crowd that already agrees with you. I think I'll be following along!

7655108 Oh come on! Twi's fantastic. But yay for earning Tia a few points! :trollestia:

7654007 I categorically deny that any shipping was done in this story! Any shipping is a result of the reader putting their own biases upon the tale! That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :trixieshiftright:

Be warned that the Infatuations Arc shall have many cute fuzzies. The real question is... CAN YOU HANDLE IT? :pinkiegasp:

7656211 derpicdn.net/img/view/2013/1/26/224507__safe_solo_pinkie+pie_animated_simple+background_happy_reaction+image_excited_yes_artist-colon-pinkiepizzles.gif

YES! Someone got it! Finally! Took way too long! ./happydancinghooves (Shockingly, I am a huge Sanderson fan)

I'm shipping nopony! You can't prove anything! There was no romance tag! Why does everypony accuse me of shipping?


...don't answer that. :facehoof:

people will have their differing opinions. fluttershy best pony, and should be a princess.

7657054 If it helps, Flutters is my #2, though Sunny and Twi tie for First. :yay: :twilightsmile:

I dont think i could ever see celestia being much like vetinari as hes evil, granted lawfull evil but evil all the same. More often then not when he has sone ine do something even if spelled out somewhat cryptically its for his own purposes.

7659055 I have to disagree with you there. Vetinari isn’t evil. He’s Lawful Neutral through and through. While he is a tyrant, he’s one that’s after the proper functioning of the city. So powerful and effective that the Assassins Guild removed him from the list, as it would be detrimental to the city if he was gone. His goal has and always been the success of the city.

It’s not a perfect analogy at all (After all, Celestia’s definitely Lawful Good), but there are some similarities, especially in the City Watch novels.



Thank you for one of the best Babylon 5 quotes around.


7436012 The Mirror of Erised crossed my mind, as well. The difference here is in what the mirror shows--potential vs. desire. It makes the Equestrian mirror both more powerful and more useful, in my opinion, as knowing someone's dearest desire doesn't demonstrate their character or capabilities. Of course, I'd really like to find out what my heart's desire is, out of pure curiosity...

Matter of perspective I suppose. The Equestrian one is actually a portal to somewhere which means that the portal has more than one function or that the writers are wibbly-wobbly on it. I mean it's not clear if it goes to any old alternate dimension (see comics) ones that exist/don't exist, or to one that is the solution to a problem/desire. The last one might explain why the sirens are there if it's Swtarswirls mirror and he banished them there. Maybe it links to a world where you can achieve that potential/desire, even if that's not good for you or anyone else. I.e. 'find a world where the siren's powers are ineffective/inactive/useless' if I desired to get a threat out of the way or render it impotent'. What someone's desires are might actually reflect character thought because, for example, what sort of person are you if you want to be ruler of the whole world? Most people that would be good in such a position don't want it and it's certainly wouldn't be their heart's desire...

I am so very excited to get to read more of this AU. This is a really excellent AU. Also, SunLight, and I'm never not SunLight trash.

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