• Member Since 15th Jul, 2016
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forbloodysummer


The Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai'don.

T

Three sirens sit backstage immediately after Rainbow Rocks, publicly defeated by the Rainbooms and stripped of their magic jewels. Will they regroup and attack from a different angle? Find a way to fix their pendants? Self-destruct? Or find redemption?
How do you keep going when you sing the line 'Nothing can stop us now,' and then something does?

There shouldn't be any spoilers for anything post-Rainbow Rocks.

Chapters (4)
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Comments ( 61 )

Two firsts for me, here. My first MLP:FIM story, but perhaps more importantly, my first time flying blind. By which I mean that I have no idea how this story is going to turn out, in terms of plot, character or length.

While it's generally good to have an idea of where you're going with a story, I'd say this is fine so far. All three of them feel pretty rounded, I don't see any of the villainous cliches (angsting about it being all each others' fault, Sonata being thrown out, etc.) so far (Aria and Sonata's thoughts on arson were a teensy bit psychotic, but it came across more comedic than as an actual obvious-consequences-be-damned lust for vengeance), and they're actually talking very reasonably about where they stand and what to do next.

I'm not sure where it'll go from here, but count me intrigued. :pinkiesmile:

7464803 Thanks, that means a lot. I was trying to steer away from the things that I generally don't like to read, happily that includes quite a few of those cliches. I read somewhere that all Dazzling fics either start with them running through the streets having not stopped when they fled the stage, or coming back to school a few months later, so I was just hoping to avoid either of those in the opening chapter, hence backstage. But I'm sure there are plenty of others I'll walk straight into.

Do you mind if I hold off saying anything about Aria and Sonata at the end there, given that that's likely to be more in focus in the next chapter and I don't want to spoil anything (and haven't written it yet, so it might turn out quite differently to how I currently envision it)?

Intrigued sounds good - I'm not sure either, so that's two of us :yay:

7464873

Thanks, that means a lot. I was trying to steer away from the things that I generally don't like to read, happily that includes quite a few of those cliches. I read somewhere that all Dazzling fics either start with them running through the streets having not stopped when they fled the stage, or coming back to school a few months later, so I was just hoping to avoid either of those in the opening chapter, hence backstage. But I'm sure there are plenty of others I'll walk straight into.

I wouldn't worry too much, because if you cut out absolutely all cliches, you'd probably have a very short story. Besides, some cliches are plenty of fun. :eeyup:

Do you mind if I hold off saying anything about Aria and Sonata at the end there, given that that's likely to be more in focus in the next chapter and I don't want to spoil anything (and haven't written it yet, so it might turn out quite differently to how I currently envision it)?

Not at all! :pinkiehappy:

7464873

Is not bad if you think some of them are bound to happen for the very nature of the setting and characters: Celestia allowing the Sirens to remain in Canterlot High ( as she did with Sunset) , the Humane Six eventually trying to befriend them (as they did with Sunset), etc...
The point is, cliches are acceptable as long as you justify them in story rather than cram them into it.

7465926 I tend to agree, mostly. I've spent enough time on TV Tropes to know that nothing hasn't been done before, and you're right, especially with characters like the sirens who were a one-off villain, and there's only an hour and a half of source material to go on. Furthermore, I don't think originality is top of the list of reasons why we read fanfiction; I think we read it mainly because we want to enjoy more from the characters we already like from the show.

I was reading a big debate about the whole thing on another story here yesterday, so was probably thinking about it a bit much.

I thought the dialogue and decisions made by the sirens were believable, and I loved the 'burn their houses down' tidbit at the end. :pinkiecrazy: You get an upvote and a favorite!

:twilightsmile:
I liked it! The portrayal of the Sirens and their dialogue was absolutely perfect!
Keep writing!

7479538 Thanks very much! Getting their decisions to be believable was the whole reason for this chapter, really (and probably a few after it, too); so that whatever they decided to do, we'd at least understand where they were coming from and why they chose to do it.

I loved the 'burn their houses down' tidbit at the end

Thanks, I really enjoyed having that line too, so much so that I decided to split the opening scene into multiple chapters so that chapter 1 could end on that thought. Ideally that would have been the final line, but Sonata's line follows straight on from it, which I don't think would have worked as well immediately opening the next chapter.

7479559 Thank you! :yay:

I was worried that the way they sounded in my head didn't quite match up with how they are in the film, so I had to go over each line of dialogue in the chapter just to make sure it wasn't too far out. Thanks for reading!

This looks like a pretty good start. I can't recall reading another story that has them sticking around after the battle, so that was new and exciting. I personally tend to hope for happier endings for the Sirens so I hope that whatever they end up doing goes well in the end, but the characterization and dialog is pretty solid so far, so I think I'd be satisfied however it turns out. More than anything else, I'd love to see more.

7500808 Thanks very much, that's kind of you to say.

I'd like to see more of it too. The next bit is perhaps 1/4 done, and I've been working on it fairly steadily over the two weeks since this chapter went up. I think I used to write faster; I don't quite know why it's harder going here, it might be because I don't quite know where I am going, or it might be just trying to keep the right tone and mood for the scene.

I know the ending I'd like them to have, it's just finding a way to get there that's proving a bit challenging. I think last night I may have stumbled on the answer, I now need to go over the details of making it work.

Is it worth it?” she asked softly. “Is it worth throwing away any hope of a life in the future, any remaining chances of world domination, even any dream of freedom or self-determination?

Thank you for having them demonstrate the sense to not be as short sighted as they are in most stories where they want revenge. :pinkiehappy:

“they did beat us.”

Yes, if you just ignore all those pesky details, it was a clean win on their part. Subject I've rambled on too much as it is... Of course, as Adagio is trying to dissuade them from inevitably suicidal vengeance here, I can see why she'd put it this way.

“...but we’re sirens, and we just lost a singing contest.”

I just love this line. :heart: Really puts a lot of things in perspective and I'm shocked now that more stories don't at least mention that train of thought.

Apart from that, they've got a good dynamic going on here. I like how meticulous Adagio's being even about little things like how she acts and presents herself and the way she phrases things, and I think it's nicely balanced by the other two being more impulsive. She also has a fair number of insightful remarks in her narration, which shows that she knows her audience pretty well. I'm curious as to how the other two are going to act in the future, but I'm really liking your version of Adagio so far.

Out of curiosity, are you planning on keeping the story from Adagio's perspective or are the other two going to get turns in the spotlight?

7766107 Firstly, thanks, I'm really glad you liked it, this is a chapter I was always going to write, and in my eyes it turned out even better than I expected, but I became worried as to how it would be received by readers.

Yes, if you just ignore all those pesky details, it was a clean win on their part. Subject I've rambled on too much as it is...

Sorry, I absolutely know what you mean, but I have to disagree with you here. :twilightoops:

This view certainly has its place, I think - Technically, it's hard to see what they could have done to improve. Not many of the reasons for the Dazzlings' failure were predictable, but they may attempt a fault analysis in a few chapters' time, so I'd rather not say too much here about where they might have gone wrong, or what they could have done differently. I definitely think this view is a good counter to individual sirens being blamed, as it is with Adagio in I Can Smile, or should have been in all those stories where Sonata's thrown out for somehow dragging the rest of them down. And I think it's telling that in this chapter Adagio is not-unconfident of their chances in a hypothetical rematch if their necklaces hadn't been smashed, which suggests it's more ill fortune than poor planning.

But, however we feel about the odds of the Rainbooms' success in the film, and the methods the writers chose to achieve it, either we can rewrite the end of the film (or turn it off shortly before the end), or come to terms with it and move on from there. And the film ends with the Rainbooms achieving their aims, and the Dazzlings worse off than when they started, which empirically can't be called a win in my book, however great the plan was in theory. And personally I think Adagio would know that lamenting the failure of such a brilliant plan would do nothing to help her regain her power, and so she'd accept it and move on. Hence her line 'You can argue that they got lucky, or that seven on three is hardly fair, or that we’re down but not out, but...' (I think some of that, definitely the outnumbered bit, may have been explicitly inspired by those ramblings you mention :twilightsmile:). And in future, she'd either be even more careful that all eventualities are covered, or accept that there are some things she can't plan for, and can only adapt to as well as possible when they happen.

Thank you for having them demonstrate the sense to not be as short sighted as they are in most stories where they want revenge. :pinkiehappy:

Thanks! I concede that in some situations I think it would make a bit more sense, depending on the selected headcanon (what is a human life-sentence, or even several, to an immortal, after all?), or if they're so dependent on their reputations that word getting out about beating them going unpunished would be more damaging than the consequences of dealing out punishment for it, but at least in my headcanon they'd lose far more than they'd gain, and it wouldn't bring them any closer to their goals. :twilightsmile:

7767404

Sorry, I absolutely know what you mean, but I have to disagree with you here. :twilightoops:

Sorry for any confusion, maybe I could have worded it clearer, but by "it was a clean win on their part," I meant the Rainbooms, and by "all those pesky details," I meant Spike conveniently not having been in sight when they were dropped down the stage, Sunset pulling her crystal-godzilla-level power out of nowhere, and Vinyl in her entirety. There might have been a bit more, but those were the big ones. Or is that the part you disagree on?

It's perfectly clear that the sirens were beaten, I've never contested that, but it's the usual response and recollection to their loss that confuses me; people in-universe and out behaving as thought it was a straight fight from start to finish and the Rainbooms won fair and square. To me, it looked more like two people in a foot-race, one dragging their feet and falling on their face for most of it, and then getting a rocket surfboard from nowhere to ride straight to the end, slicing their opponent's legs off on the way, with everyone acting as though they'd won entirely under their own power.

But now I'm rambling again. :applejackunsure:

7766536

I just love this line. :heart: Really puts a lot of things in perspective and I'm shocked now that more stories don't at least mention that train of thought.

Thanks! :heart:

I was thinking about how they might return in a new film, and how circumstances would either have to be carefully engineered by the writers to set up another musical battle, or the Dazzlings might have to try a different tactic (I honestly think that Rainbow Rocks was so much better than the other EG films that I'd happily embrace a repeat premise that's essentially RR2, providing it's at least as good as RR1, but somehow I can't see the writers going for that). And then I thought what else sirens were suited to do (guessing 'seduce them' won't be high on Hasbro's list), and realised that they'd already fought on their home turf using their greatest weapon against the Rainbooms, and lost, so they'd stand even less of a chance using other methods.

I'm glad it had the impact it was meant to - I was reasonably confident it would, but thought it might also just be obvious - that's the whole reason the sirens were chosen as the antagonists for that film, after all. Maybe in EG5 the humane seven will win a staring contest against gorgons?

Out of curiosity, are you planning on keeping the story from Adagio's perspective or are the other two going to get turns in the spotlight?

I don't want to say too much, but, at least looking at the next few chapters, I wasn't going to break from Adagio. Then someone did me a favour and pointed out something I really shouldn't have missed - that several more similar chapters of planning might get old :raritywink: Also I realised that as the next discussion chapters would be smaller segments of a whole, each wouldn't have so much of an arc of its own, certainly not to the extent that this one does, and so I started writing the next one from a different perspective. At the moment I'm still undecided as to whether that will work, but if it does I think it'll be a good way to add more variety to chapters with the same ongoing conversation and location, and might just possibly allow me to use each siren's journey through the night as the character arc for their chapter, if I manage to get it just right.

Apart from that, they've got a good dynamic going on here. I like how meticulous Adagio's being even about little things like how she acts and presents herself and the way she phrases things, and I think it's nicely balanced by the other two being more impulsive. She also has a fair number of insightful remarks in her narration, which shows that she knows her audience pretty well. I'm curious as to how the other two are going to act in the future, but I'm really liking your version of Adagio so far.

Thanks! It's hard to know from looking at characters on-screen without hearing their thoughts quite how much of their skill at manipulation is instinct, and how much is calculation (everything like that which I overlook in this story, but should have mentioned, that's instinct, and definitely not me forgetting to mention Adagio thinking about things), but given that they're biologically far from human (and didn't grow up around humans either, ruling out both nature and nurture), and (especially being aquatic) probably naturally have very different body language, I'm thinking calculation is more likely. We know there was a six-month gap between the rainbow blasting Sunset and the Dazzlings turning up at CHS, and yet they didn't appear to know about the musical showcase, so either they were lying, or in six months they didn't bother Googling the school, or CHS has a terrible website (I think probably the last one is the case). So six months of research before their target can hardly have been exhaustive, unless it wasn't the school, the students and the magic they were researching, but more human interaction. I originally thought that'd be so they could try to fit in, but watching the film highlights how bad they are at that, so perhaps it was more aimed at manipulating people into doing as the Dazzlings want.

So there's an analysis engine at work in Adagio's head, although I'm not sure how much is natural sirenness and how much is consciously trained, and that engine gets turned on her companions sometimes, to try to fully understand them, particularly with no fixed chain of command or external force keeping her in charge of the three of them.

7767443 ...That makes a lot more sense. Sorry, my mistake, I had misunderstood the clean win to refer to the Dazzlings.

Yeah, there are some handwavy excuses here and there for those things, but they're problematic to say the least. And it bugs me that the Rainbooms got as good as they did at music for a one-off thing, and it's only mentioned once since, like doing so didn't take pretty serious time and effort - and yet they beat the professionals.

Although I do find some respite in knowing that deus ex machina was the only way they could win, that's quite a compliment for their opponents, even if that compliment doesn't really help them stitch their lives back together.

7767678

Although I do find some respite in knowing that deus ex machina was the only way they could win, that's quite a compliment for their opponents, even if that compliment doesn't really help them stitch their lives back together.

Indeedy. The only times we've seen the sirens stopped are when their adversaries (Rainbooms and Starswirl, if one considers their comic remotely canon) are outright impervious to their power from the get-go, whatever the yet-ungiven reason, then said enemies pull out something that instantly stops them with not so much as a possibility of retaliation.

Of course, given the title of the show, I'm just happy as long as the stitching part happens at some point. :pinkiesmile:

7767738 That's a very good point, I haven't read any of the comics - that's FIENDship is Magic, I take it? Would you recommend reading them?

Of course, given the title of the show, I'm just happy as long as the stitching part happens at some point. :pinkiesmile:

One of the challenges I'm having with this story is that I'm genuinely not sure what ending would 'feel right' for them, in my opinion :derpyderp2: It might move a bit quicker if I figured that out, but no such luck so far.

7767932

I haven't read any of the comics - that's FIENDship is Magic, I take it? Would you recommend reading them?

I've only read the siren and Chrysalis volumes myself, and read a summary of Sombra's story. They're... okay, I guess? I have no idea about Tirek, but the sirens' comic doesn't actually feature their origin so much as the origin of their style and how Starswirl stops them, specifically. No questions are answered about their background, but it did give me some insight into what I had previously assumed to be a battle of Gandalf vs. The Balrog proportions, and, as I guess was kind of said already regarding the sirens' enemies, the pattern holds. :applejackunsure:

One of the challenges I'm having with this story is that I'm genuinely not sure what ending would 'feel right' for them, in my opinion :derpyderp2: It might move a bit quicker if I figured that out, but no such luck so far.

Depends on where their thoughts and musing take them, I guess. It'll probably come together eventually. :pinkiesmile:

7767977 That's fair, I'm not much of a fan of comics generally, so I think I'll give it a miss. Perhaps it's nicer to be able to imagine how things went down with Starswirl for yourself, I've seen several different battle takes in stories on this site, some of which have had a pretty good crack at it. I do like the idea that it was a last resort, and Starswirl didn't want to use the spell but he was otherwise fairly defeated, and so banished them when out of other options.

Thanks, I can but hope! And plan, and stuff...

7768067

I do like the idea that it was a last resort, and Starswirl didn't want to use the spell but he was otherwise fairly defeated, and so banished them when out of other options.

One point that really interested me and may even vaguely explain why we don't know what became of Starswirl was (spoiler'd for the sake of those who still do want to read it and haven't yet) that at the very end, after banishing the sirens, Starswirl notes that he knows it didn't have to end that way, that they could have used their power for good, but he couldn't get through to them, so now they're trapped in another world where someone else might help them. He considers the whole thing to be his greatest failure.

That last part makes me think he might have gone after them one day, just used the mirror he banished them with to go looking for them (would sorta explain why it opens every so often, as opposed to being sealed/destroyed), got lost/killed/trapped, and perished, alone and friendless as he was said to be in the show, in the human world without his magic. And the sirens probably never even knew anyone had cared enough to come looking for them. :fluttercry:

But that's speculation for another day. For now, I look forward to the sirens' next brainstorming session. :pinkiesmile:

7767536

I'm glad it had the impact it was meant to - I was reasonably confident it would, but thought it might also just be obvious

In some ways it is a little obvious, but in some ways not. I think we've talked before about how one of the things that makes the Dazzlings so interesting is that they know that they've lost before and are especially careful the second time around, but for whatever reason it never once crossed my mind that this particular loss would hit them even harder for precisely the reason you outlined, Granted, one could make the counter-argument that the Dazzlings were easily the better singers but that they simply didn't have the brute force that the Rainbooms pulled out of thin air, but at the same time it's a very reasonable train of thought for them to pursue. Given how intelligent Adagio seems to be, it's very possible that, given enough time and planning, she could figure out a way to get her revenge, but the thought that they were beaten at their strongest doing what they do best must be pretty demoralizing.

At the moment I'm still undecided as to whether that will work, but if it does I think it'll be a good way to add more variety to chapters with the same ongoing conversation and location, and might just possibly allow me to use each siren's journey through the night as the character arc for their chapter, if I manage to get it just right.

I tend to think that no Dazzlings story is complete without at least touching on how all three of them handle things, so I personally would be in favor of giving all three of them a turn. Of course, I've already said I love the way you write Adagio, so I can probably stand to see more of that too. Whichever ends up working best. :twilightsmile:

I originally thought that'd be so they could try to fit in, but watching the film highlights how bad they are at that, so perhaps it was more aimed at manipulating people into doing as the Dazzlings want.

Quite possibly. As we've discussed elsewhere, they might not have been all that concerned with blending in in the first place, so learning how to get people to do what they want sounds like a better goal.

So there's an analysis engine at work in Adagio's head, although I'm not sure how much is natural sirenness and how much is consciously trained, and that engine gets turned on her companions sometimes, to try to fully understand them, particularly with no fixed chain of command or external force keeping her in charge of the three of them.

I'd say it's about half and half, personally. There are certain actions she takes in the movie that seem pretty calculated, such as demoralizing Sunset and spurring Trixie's jealousy. However, it also seems like they basically did a little bit of research beforehand and then went straight to the school expecting to figure things out as they went, which suggests that even if some of her moves are quite calculated, Adagio's still really good at thinking on her feet and taking advantage of an opportunity when she sees one. As you say, she'd probably be somewhat baffled by human body language and facial expressions at first, so she probably had to take some time to consciously learn how to behave in the human world, which suggests a certain level of calculation, but there's also a lot to suggest that she's got a bit of a knack for playing people which suggests more of an instinctual talent.

Then someone did me a favour and pointed out something I really shouldn't have missed - that several more similar chapters of planning might get old :raritywink:

Whoever this person is, it sounds like they've got the right idea. You should listen to them more often. :coolphoto:

Or not. Still your story, no matter what anyone else says.

7768162

Given how intelligent Adagio seems to be, it's very possible that, given enough time and planning, she could figure out a way to get her revenge, but the thought that they were beaten at their strongest doing what they do best must be pretty demoralizing.

Off the top of my head, there are only a couple of ways she could get revenge in a way that would be satisfying enough to her to make up for losing the battle. The first is the rematch idea, and although winning a rematch never quite makes up for losing the first time around, however much you trounce them in the second performance, I think it would be close enough to make do. But she would need to beat the Rainbooms utterly, and at this stage it's hard to say if that would be possible without getting her magic back. The other way I can think of right now is for her to beat the Rainbooms at their own game, just as they did to her. So either with a giant magic battle - but that has the same problems as the previous option - or, more intriguingly, if she found a way to out-friendship them. Like maybe if the elements of harmony were all brought into the EG world, and attached themselves two to each siren, instead of to the Rainbooms? Or if she paid a call to the Rainbooms in twenty years' time, and pointed out that she, Sonata and Aria were still as close as ever, while the Rainbooms had lost touch or fallen out over the years. Both of those strike me as far-fetched, but engineering a scenario where they might happen could be interesting. The first one, at least - the second would probably just be depressing.

I tend to think that no Dazzlings story is complete without at least touching on how all three of them handle things, so I personally would be in favor of giving all three of them a turn. Of course, I've already said I love the way you write Adagio, so I can probably stand to see more of that too. Whichever ends up working best. :twilightsmile:

The more I think about it, the more that's how I'd like to go forwards. Further testing is still required, but I'm hoping that it works. I will miss the Adagio POVs I had planned in their place, but I think it'll be for the best.

I'd say it's about half and half, personally. There are certain actions she takes in the movie that seem pretty calculated, such as demoralizing Sunset and spurring Trixie's jealousy. However, it also seems like they basically did a little bit of research beforehand and then went straight to the school expecting to figure things out as they went, which suggests that even if some of her moves are quite calculated, Adagio's still really good at thinking on her feet and taking advantage of an opportunity when she sees one. As you say, she'd probably be somewhat baffled by human body language and facial expressions at first, so she probably had to take some time to consciously learn how to behave in the human world, which suggests a certain level of calculation, but there's also a lot to suggest that she's got a bit of a knack for playing people which suggests more of an instinctual talent.

I think there are definite shades of both. If you take as canon that they weren't playing dumb with Sunset, and were genuinely hearing about the musical showcase for the first time when she mentioned it, then they had about two minutes to prepare the song Battle, which they instead spent arguing. So I think part of their siren magic is that they can make songs like that up on the spot. And Adagio identifies Trixie's ego as something she can use before they even reach the first chorus, while she's preoccupied improvising a song in front of everyone. I think some level of instincts must be in play there; most likely informed by research into human behaviour and body language, but then honed until it becomes instinctive rather than conscious, because the conscious mind that could process assessing everyone in the cafeteria for exploitable weaknesses while composing, singing, dancing and generally putting on a performance (all perfectly) would put Sherlock Holmes to shame.

Whoever this person is, it sounds like they've got the right idea. You should listen to them more often. :coolphoto:

:pinkiegasp: I listen plenty!

Still your story, no matter what anyone else says.

Oooh, who's been talking about me? :raritystarry:

Are they teenagers like in the film or are they thousand years old?

7779592 Hi Jaroslav,

To me, the conversation they have at the beginning of the film is not one of people who've been on Earth for a thousand years. Aria's lines in particular suggest to me that at that point they've been there for a couple of months. There's then a six-month gap between that scene and their appearance at CHS (as I think is mentioned on the film commentary, but may have since been overwritten by the timeline of events mentioned in Legend Of Everfree) [minor Legend Of Everfree spoiler, if you haven't seen it].

So they're teenagers here. I didn't want to outright state that in the text, but there's a hint of it in chapter 1 with Adagio's thought on Aria acting 'like the frustrated teenager she often was.' This means Starswirl's spell must have thrown them forwards in time, although they may not realise that, but it might come up in discussion soon.

I struggle to pin down whether the Rainbooms in the film are closer to 16 or to 18; and it may turn out that characters here have to be 18 for legal reasons, so I haven't listed exact ages in the story, but I think having the Dazzlings the same age as the Rainbooms will make their interactions a lot more natural. I think it would lessen immortals to have them battling so tooth and claw against children (and still losing, and then dwelling on it), and there'd be an uncomfortable predatory vibe should any of the characters from the different groups hook up. Not that that's where this story is necessarily going, but it's nice to have the option.

7779656

And now I am pitching for a Dazzlings cover of Time Warp.... :D

7908440 Hiya, thanks for checking out my story after I so not-humbly posted on your page about it :twilightblush:

I started a fun conversation with some friends a few months ago about what films that were highly regarded and loved by everyone were they personally not at all keen on, hated, or just didn't get. There were some interesting responses (I remember someone saying Inception, and Borat, someone even said The Matrix, many said The Godfather), but I mostly just remember the ones I thought of myself: Dr. Strangelove, The Exorcist, The Big Lebowski (the one I probably shouldn't mention on a FIM site), and... Rocky Horror.

I don't mind Time Warp as a song, but the appeal of Rocky Horror generally is completely lost on me. I like Tim Curry, I like drag queens, just... not that!

I'd love to see them cover this, but it might not quite suit their style. :twilightoops:

This particular plot detail is giving me a headache in the chapter I'm writing at the moment, as the sirens at this point don't know they've been thrown forwards a thousand years, and think returning to Equestria will bring them face to face with Starswirl again.

Still, I much prefer it to the idea of them as immortals; my ChryLestia story was sort of my examination of how immortals must think, so I'm sure you can appreciate how much having all that here would change the story.

I'm glad you blogposted about this. It's a story I had passed over before, since it's not very far along and has few views and likes; but as it happens I was looking for some Siren stories tonight anyway. And now I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment. :twilightsmile:

8028914 I can completely understand that; I hope one day it will be fairly sizeable, and perhaps even seen by quite a few people, but for now it's the quietest story with my name on it. Thanks for checking it out and giving it a chance (and for the favourite :twilightsmile:), I'm really happy that you liked it, and only wish I didn't have to temper that with 'yeah, but the next update won't be coming yet.'

8030427
That's why I've got a Tracking list. :ajsmug:

8030487 Sure, and I can't see the update being so far away that you'd need to reread vast swathes of the rest of the story to remind yourself what's happened so far (not that there are exactly vast swathes of it to read). Still, if you found this story through that blog entry, I'm glad something positive came of me posting it :twilightsmile:

I like this Sonata; dim and very, very easily distracted (interjecting her lengthy, but slightly silly thoughts pretty often), but not obnoxious or... well, we all know the worst of the cliches by now. :twilightsheepish:
She seems almost dependent on Adagio at this point, too, and while I don't know if it was intentional, their interactions (particularly Adagio's possibly proud look) engraved a firm Mamadagio image next to the bickering sister dynamic she has with Aria, all without going to canon-stretching extremes! :pinkiesmile:

Never seen them work out their situation on their own like this either, but I think access to Google, some time watching TV, and Adagio's consistent use of genre savviness fit. That day in mind, looking forward to seeing how they address the question of going back 'home' for any length of time. :eeyup:

8230461 Thanks! :twilightsmile: Given how often I mention a certain well-known Sonata-centric story, you can probably guess where I drew inspiration from :twilightblush: She was quite fun to write, as long as you're in no hurry to stick to the plot :twilightsheepish: And stripping down the vocabulary used for her wasn't nearly as stifling as it was for writing Rainbow Dash, as she can be quite creative in her descriptions. 'Looked' comes up an awful lot in this chapter (53 times :facehoof:), rather than more varied and precise terms. I still smile each time I read the bit near the beginning of the chapter about a problem trundling along, though :rainbowkiss:

The long, silly thoughts are kind of how she balances into the problem-solving discussion. This chapter (and its second part) are particularly heavy on long-winded explanations and extrapolations from small details, and Sonata can only have so many so-dumb-she's-accidentally-clever moments, so the discussion is mostly the domain of Adagio and Aria (even in Sonata's chapter, Adagio still gets over twice as many words of dialogue as her), so Sonata's rambling internal monologue (sometimes on-topic, sometimes very much not) is kind of her counterpoint to that.

I'm really glad you mention Adagio having more of a mothering vibe here - it definitely wasn't intentional, and it's something I'm sometimes not too keen on, but even though I think I wrote Adagio just the same as in the last two chapters, I was worried she came across as a bit horrible when seen through Sonata's eyes.

It was very frustrating realising at this point in the story how little information they have to work with (canonically, assuming they didn't have further interactions with the Rainbooms we didn't see, or hear much from elsewhere). They certainly don't know about the portal, but they also don't know about harmony magic, or the Rainbooms being the counterparts of the Element bearers, or Princess Twilight being from Equestria, and probably not Sunset either. And then there's the whole time jump thing :facehoof:

Thank you for taking the time to go through the timeline stuff with me back in February, I was going to mention it in the author's notes but ultimately thought it would be more relevant to the next half of the chapter, so could go there instead.

I’m seconding the notion of this being a very good Sonata. There were times when I felt like you were skirting just on the edge of having her get too distracted, but I think you did a good job of reigning her in before she got completely out of hand :twilightsmile:

However, while her ditziness and attention span made her quite entertaining, I’m even more appreciative of how relentlessly hopeful she is, if in the childlike way of being utterly faithful in Adagio’s scheming capabilities.

This line of hers might be my favorite, though:

If the other sirens could take selfies, why hadn’t they done that instead of being painted?

since it leads to a perfectly legitimate insight despite the very childish rationalization :pinkiesmile:

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I find that writing Sonata doesn't necessarily require less dialogue to be less sophisticated, just different. Like fine wine served in a sippy cup. :pinkiehappy:

I guess it's kind of hard to have that at a formal dinner (other characters having an intelligent discussion), though, so it kind of has to find its own place somewhere, and the kids' table in Sonata's head is probably as good as it's going to get in terms of including her.

Don't give wine to children, in sippy cups or otherwise. :twilightoops:

And, I don't think there was a Mamadagio vibe in the last two chapters, but Sonata's vaguely childish (though not exactly innocent, high-fiving over someone having died and not apparently caring all that much about the rest, even her shiny shell cove) nature brought forward with her internal monologue and the patient parent kind of role Adagio takes at the start of their talk here are what brought it to mind. I could sort of see why she might seem bad at first, but anyone with sanity left to lose would get kind of tired of Sonata and her sippy cup ramblings sooner or later, and in most depictions, Aria and Adagio are long past later. :twilightsheepish:

I don't know how much difference the timeline stuff will make to them now, but am looking forward to finding out! :raritystarry:

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I’m seconding the notion of this being a very good Sonata. There were times when I felt like you were skirting just on the edge of having her get too distracted, but I think you did a good job of reigning her in before she got completely out of hand :twilightsmile:

Thank you! :twilightsmile: I completely agree about those bits almost going too far, I did at one point look over the document and realise I'd just accidentally written a whole page about whales :twilightsheepish: Hopefully I will manage a similar balance with the second half of the chapter, when it one day gets written :rainbowdetermined2: I'm pleasantly surprised you liked her, given that I know you lean towards her being more ditzy than stupid :twilightsmile:

...I did really enjoy just now putting a spoiler tag on that one particular word :pinkiehappy:

This line of hers might be my favorite, though:

If the other sirens could take selfies, why hadn’t they done that instead of being painted?

since it leads to a perfectly legitimate insight despite the very childish rationalization :pinkiesmile:

That one happened almost by accident, it was just going to cut straight to her realising they were gone, but I was very glad when I thought of the selfie thing as it does link it together much better.

It's a bit of a funny one, that - that point in the story is an unspecified time before Rainbow Rocks, but they've already set up housing stuff and are busy researching, so it's probably not more than four months before the movie. So at that point, the sirens have been in the EG world for between four and eight months. And while Adagio and Aria have doubtless realised it from research, Sonata may not quite instinctively have grasped that technology here is transient, with cameraphones being a relatively modern invention (or indeed the selfie as a cultural meme). Given the absence of technology in Equestria (and how cut off the sirens were from that anyway), mankind's history being one of slow technological progress is legitimately a lot less obvious for her than it would be for anyone else. So I think it's a nice childish moment, but it's also a bit more justified than some of her other (whale-related) stuff :twilightsmile:

However, while her ditziness and attention span made her quite entertaining, I’m even more appreciative of how relentlessly hopeful she is, if in the childlike way of being utterly faithful in Adagio’s scheming capabilities.

Thanks! I hadn't thought about it while writing it, but I do like how she's scared by quite a few things about her sisters, but never their intelligence; it's nice having her accept that they're both a lot smarter than her, but not feel threatened by it.

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I find that writing Sonata doesn't necessarily require less dialogue to be less sophisticated, just different. Like fine wine served in a sippy cup. :pinkiehappy:

I guess it's kind of hard to have that at a formal dinner (other characters having an intelligent discussion), though, so it kind of has to find its own place somewhere, and the kids' table in Sonata's head is probably as good as it's going to get in terms of including her.

It's an area I was surprised to learn was lacking, since the general fimfic trend is to have Sonata as the most chatty of the three, but I definitely have her talking the least in everything I've written for her (in fact this is the only chapter I've had in any story where she speaks more words than Aria). It's a lot more noticeable here since it's her POV, but it's something I'd like to improve on. I ran the numbers on Metasirens, there's one chapter where Adagio and Aria each get four times as many dialogue words as Sonata. And across everything I've published, Aria has double Sonata's dialogue word count, and Adagio double again.

So I think it's mostly just how I've been writing them, with Adagio and Aria sparring back and forth as the focus, and Sonata piping up from time to time to interject something. I would be interested in breaking that pattern, though, but I agree here the balance is probably this way for a good reason, and might be the best option for the chapter.

Don't give wine to children, in sippy cups or otherwise. :twilightoops:

Quite right, make them buy their own!

The mammadagio vibe is an interesting one... I think the difference between it in this chapter and the previous ones is that Adagio's perspective makes it more clear that she (at least in those previous cases, though not necessarily here) doesn't really behave that way out of love (in the traditional sense, at least), but a rational calculation of the best way to keep her unit together. The stretched patience thing I think completely understandable from Adagio and Aria's side, though I did still worry about it coming across as mean. There's a casual disregard, too: my favourite moment of the chapter is Sonata noting that whenever she approaches Adagio to ask her something, the latter's first response is usually to reach for her wine. There's also an unhealthy amount of fear, I think, that might get in the way of a mother/daughter-type bond to come across in a nice way, as Sonata seems very wary of upsetting Adagio. Again, that all seemed a reasonable response to canon Adagio snapping at Sonata about it not being the fruit punch, but reading it back does give it a slightly oppressive atmosphere. Thankfully, Sonata probably isn't bright enough to take it to heart :twilightoops: I'm now trying to remember in the film if she ever snaps back at Adagio, as she does with Aria.

I don't know how much difference the timeline stuff will make to them now, but am looking forward to finding out! :raritystarry:

The main thing was going to be how familiar they would have been with Princesses Celestia and Luna, and therefore if they'd be able to come up with the parallel universe explanation upon encountering the principal and vice-principal. I had scrapped that entire section of the chapter before I thought of using the human siren angle to bring out that side of the discussion :twilightblush:

8230912
Well, it might just’ve been this containing chapter that did this for me, but I didn’t really get the impression that she was stupid, at least not in the way so many other people inexplicably seem to enjoy. Maybe she was more stupid-seeming in the first two chapters, but in this one I think the highlights for me were her short attention span and lack of focus more than anything else; her thoughts are coherent and sometimes even fairly thoughtful, just not always relevant and not always particularly complex, so she’s more out-there, I guess, than stupid. With the whales, for example. Furthermore, as you noted, she’s capable of, when she’s actually thinking about on-topic things, deducing the time difference through cues that wouldn’t be intuitively obvious, such as selfies being modern while paintings tend to be old. Admittedly, there was a bit of a leap of logic she made in that not all paintings are ancient, but her reasoning still required her to make sense of things that she had very little familiarity with, which I think would require at least a certain degree of intellectual sophistication.

Thanks! I hadn't thought about it while writing it, but I do like how she's scared by quite a few things about her sisters, but never their intelligence; it's nice having her accept that they're both a lot smarter than her, but not feel threatened by it.

In a way, it might be a testament to her naivety; you mentioned in another comment that Adagio’s attempts to hold the three together seem more rational than loving, whereas it seems clear to a certain extent that Sonata adores her older sisters. If she overestimated the extent to which they reciprocate that feeling, it’s only natural that she’d be pretty accepting of them being much smarter. In a more callous environment, the intelligence gap would make for the most immediately obvious reason to cut her loose if Aria and Adagio decided they were fed up with her, but Sonata’s probably innocent enough to assume that’s never going to be the case (Similar to how she doesn’t quite make the connection between Adagio’s exasperation and tendency to drink), hence her lack of worry.

That might have been a little more cynical than where you were going with it :twilightblush: If nothing else, I do like how Sonata is afraid of the consequences of stepping out of line, but her reaction to said fear, as shown by this line:

With her cheeks tingling, Sonata was just about to back slowly away from Angry Adagio and go back up to her room

suggests to me that she’s more concerned about Adagio being mad at her than at any kind of serious threat, which is a dynamic I’m much more comfortable with than some others out there.

8231175
Sonata's whole reason for existing in canon, I think, was to help with exposition by asking questions and needing things spelled out as plainly as possible, for which a scatter-brained ditz was pretty much ideal. Given that she's exactly that and the ensuing conversation helps show the reader a few things here, I'd say you hit it on the head. :pinkiesmile:

They definitely aren't a touchy-feely family or anything, so not being too affectionate fits. There may be something to be said for Mamadagio not necessarily equating to the bake-cookies-and-sing-to-sleep kind of mother, and I can see where that might make some people uncomfortable. :twilightoops:

If it's any consolation, I'm not sure Sonata feeling totally free to say/do whatever she wants at all times is much better, because while she's apparently not wary at all of ticking anyone off in the movie, I've seen quite a few depictions in which her unchecked antics just make the other two miserable, with them never actually doing anything about it for unaddressed (and possibly nonexistent) reasons. I'd rather see a reasonable response from someone that doesn't find Pinkie Pie endearing than have them just resign themselves to being her chew-toy for no reason, if that makes sense.

I'm now trying to remember in the film if she ever snaps back at Adagio, as she does with Aria.

Only in the sense that her some of her responses cause them both some amount of psychological pain, I think. Aria complains about their situation and Adagio's plans and belittles Sonata on a regular basis, Sonata only ever getting angry/annoyed about Aria insulting her. Adagio gets annoyed about either of them acting stupid, which falls to one much more than the other, but Sonata never challenges/snaps at her in any way, giggling when Aria is shut down with the "My. Lead." moment.

“That once we reached Equestria, we’d revert to our 20-foot siren forms,” Adagio said, “which would lose us the ability to infiltrate and deceive.”

From what we could see in the fiendship comics, they aren't much bigger than ponies. Siren and pony height comparison.

“In fact,” Adagio said, sounding cunning, as she always did when discussing plans, “if you were trying to banish something to as far away as possible, so it could never return and” – her voice dropped to more of a growl – “wreak the vengeance it promised on you,” she paused for a moment to smile at them, showing all her teeth, “wouldn’t you throw it through distance and time, if you could?”

There is also a posibility, that the Equestria, Sunset and Twilight came from, isn't the same, the sirens were banished from. Time doesn't have to have the same speed in every universe. There could be three paralel universes in play.

“So,” Aria shrugged, “we’re in a parallel world, a thousand years in the future.”

Wasn't stated that the painting is three thousand years old? So how did she deduce they are thousand years in future? Yeah we know from the film that they are thousand years in future from the Equestria Sunset came from. But Aria couldn't know that.

8231555 I think if she escaped seeming overly stupid in this chapter, then I suspect she's probably ok in the other two as well, she's not nearly as prominent there and doesn't get as many silly or distracted moments? I remember when we were discussing her in the second chapter of Resplendence Revoked; I realised that past a certain point I'm not sure of the difference between stupid and ditzy, so it may well be that I aimed for one and ended up with the other :twilightsheepish:

The logic leaps in the painting thing unfortunately I think are failures more on my part than hers :twilightsheepish: I perhaps should have included more description of the painting itself, a dark oil canvas masterpiece with an ornate gold frame, which, even if it had been done in modern times, would have been fair for her to stylistically describe as old-fashioned. I wasn't quite sure how to describe that in Sonata terms, but I definitely should have mentioned the frame :facehoof: She's certainly baffled by the idea that anyone would want a painting when they could have a photograph, so she's doing an Applejack and letting her own prejudices get in the way of her objective reasoning, but that was intentional :trollestia:

I'm happy with the balance of her intellect here, so if it reads as ditzy more than dim, that's great with me :pinkiehappy: Might also make some of the future moments a bit more convincing, if she has to act a bit smarter at any point (I wrote out some dialogue ages ago about Sonata's assessment of Aria's personality that goes quite a bit further than 'frowny cloud,' so if it helps that seem more in-character when it comes up then that can only be a good thing :twilightsmile:).

In a way, it might be a testament to her naivety; you mentioned in another comment that Adagio’s attempts to hold the three together seem more rational than loving, whereas it seems clear to a certain extent that Sonata adores her older sisters. If she overestimated the extent to which they reciprocate that feeling, it’s only natural that she’d be pretty accepting of them being much smarter.

That's true, I hadn't thought of that :twilightblush: One of the problems of spending this long on a story is that I sometimes forget where I'm going with certain things, so I may have overstated the Adagio not loving them angle. Rereading it, I think it's about right, but the phrasing is very important: she's not acting out of love, but that doesn't mean she doesn't love them (perhaps in her own way, very, very deep down). Someone asked the question yesterday 'What would Adagio do if Darth Vader kidnapped Aria and Sonata?' and my answer was 'Send him flowers with a note saying 'They're your problem now :-)',' and I do like that level of detachment, but I also like the warring sibling angle of them loving each other but not liking each other (or maybe I have that the wrong way around, I'm not even sure).

I do like how Sonata is afraid of the consequences of stepping out of line, but her reaction to said fear suggests to me that she’s more concerned about Adagio being mad at her than at any kind of serious threat, which is a dynamic I’m much more comfortable with than some others out there.

I agree :twilightsmile: I certainly hadn't imagined any greater conflicts happening between them than a lot of shouting. On the one hand I can't see Adagio making empty threats, on the other I don't think any of them would physically hurt each other. And Sonata would happily shout back at Aria, but I'm not sure either way if she would with Adagio. Either way, I'm fine with shouting, and I'm kind of surprised I wrote Sonata as being so afraid of it :twilightoops:

8231849

If it's any consolation, I'm not sure Sonata feeling totally free to say/do whatever she wants at all times is much better, because while she's apparently not wary at all of ticking anyone off in the movie, I've seen quite a few depictions in which her unchecked antics just make the other two miserable, with them never actually doing anything about it for unaddressed (and possibly nonexistent) reasons. I'd rather see a reasonable response from someone that doesn't find Pinkie Pie endearing than have them just resign themselves to being her chew-toy for no reason, if that makes sense.

True, I'd much rather go this way than the opposite. I'll see how it pans out in the next chapter. And it may well be necessary for Adagio and Aria to try to restrain her like that, if even after that kind of conditioning she still blabs to Sunset about singing to get what they want, so one can assume that if they have been training her not to do that as in this story then she'd have been even worse without it. But if the main impression the chapter leaves isn't that her sisters are fairly horrible to her, that's a good thing :twilightsmile: Neither overly horrible or overly caring was intentional, but it's probably better if the latter happens accidentally rather than the former :twilightsheepish:

Only in the sense that her some of her responses cause them both some amount of psychological pain, I think. Aria complains about their situation and Adagio's plans and belittles Sonata on a regular basis, Sonata only ever getting angry/annoyed about Aria insulting her. Adagio gets annoyed about either of them acting stupid, which falls to one much more than the other, but Sonata never challenges/snaps at her in any way, giggling when Aria is shut down with the "My. Lead." moment.

Hmmm. I'm genuinely not sure if Sonata would shout back at Adagio - this version of her or the canon-only one. I suspect so, she's probably a bit too act/speak-before-thinking to show that much restraint when she feels strongly about something, as we only see her holding herself back here when she's mildly interested. I'd prefer it if she felt she could shout back, it seems more fair. But then one probably doesn't want to get into threat escalation with Adagio :twilightoops:

8231877 Hi Jaroslav, how are you?

It's probably best if I just say flat out that I'm completely ignoring the comics; I can't say I've been impressed by the bits of them I've seen or heard about, so I'll take the handy not-official-canon justification to say they don't exist as far as this story is concerned :twilightsmile:

I know the projection forms they have during the final battle could be larger than their real life siren forms, but they're pretty huge in the fairytale sequence too.

vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/mlp/images/d/d4/Storybook_page_about_the_sirens_EG2.png/revision/latest?cb=20141029010852

It could be metaphor, having them looming over Equestria like that, but with so little to go on it could also just as well be an accurate depiction. So, given that both times we see them in the film as sirens, they're huge, I'm going to take Twilight's book illustrations at face value and say the sirens were the size of buses, and that the projections are actual size (they're still completely dwarfed by the sky alicorn though).

My main size reference picture is this one below, which shows their shadows on the ground in comparison to Vinyl's car, which I think puts them at about twenty feet (although I can't remember what measurements either the EG films or the FIM series use, so 'feet' may be an anachronism).

vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/mlp/images/4/43/Siren_Aria_and_Sonata_flying_above_the_Rainbooms_EG2.png/revision/latest?cb=20141029082231

...Incidentally, as I've stuffed two images into this reply already, I never liked the appearance of their siren projections - they looked too rounded and cartoony, and considerably less malevolent than their human forms, their hybrid ponied-up forms, and their storybook forms. I adored how they looked in Twilight's fairytale, so beautiful and alien but also so ominous and threatening.

This is the only time I've seen them done in MLP's usual style and still look scary (source - by couchcrusader):

derpicdn.net/img/2016/9/29/1261017/full.png

There is also a possibility, that the Equestria, Sunset and Twilight came from, isn't the same, the sirens were banished from. Time doesn't have to have the same speed in every universe. There could be three paralel universes in play.

Hmmmm. That is entirely possible. I think it depends how many different universes use the term 'Equestria.' We in the fandom usually talk about 'the EG/EQG world' or 'Equestria,' and Adagio definitely says in the opening scene that they used to be in Equestria. And we know from Twilight's book that Star Swirl once banished three sirens from Equestria. I don't think it could be absolutely ruled out they're not the same sirens in the book that we see in the film, but I think it would take quite a lot to rule it in, and I'm not sure what difference it would really make if storybook Equestria is so similar to FIM Equestria?

For ease of assigning names to different universes, I'd rather just say there's only one Equestria seen in the franchise and one EG world, with the sirens having crossed from one to the other :pinkiesmile:

Wasn't stated that the painting is three thousand years old? So how did she deduce they are thousand years in future? Yeah we know from the film that they are thousand years in future from the Equestria Sunset came from. But Aria couldn't know that.

Thank you for catching this! I wrote that line ages ago, when it was just a dialogue skeleton without prose, and must have just typed it out into the proper chapter without thinking about it :facehoof: I have gone back and changed it in the chapter text :twilightsheepish: 'three thousand years' doesn't quite have the same casual ring to it as 'a thousand years' (I did consider 'a few thousand years' instead, but since they have an accurate figure at three thousand that even Sonata uses, I thought Aria would too).

Ah, but are they only a thousand years forwards from when they left Equestria, canonically? How do we actually know that? Everyone assumes, but I did quite a bit of digging into it in February, and unless there's a line in Rainbow Rocks I've missed, it's never properly confirmed. I think - and, again, unless there's a line I've missed, in which case I'll feel like an idiot - we only assume a thousand years because it was Star Swirl who banished them, and he knew Princess Luna (since she mentions having known him in Luna Eclipsed).

The only concrete number we really know in Equestrian history (going just on the show - not the comics, the journal, or what anyone has said on Twitter) is that Luna was banished for a thousand years. But before that, she reigned alongside Celestia until she grew jealous, and we're never given a figure for how long that lasted (as we see in the first episode). Before that, there was the reign of Discord (shown in Princess Twilight Sparkle), and again, we have no evidence to suggest anything about how long he ruled for.

We do know, however, that he ruled Equestria, so the trouble with the windigoes must have been before that, since that's what led to Equestria's founding. Again, we have no idea how long Princess Platinum, Commander Hurricane and Chancellor Puddinghead and their descendants ruled Equestria for before Discord showed up. The only thing we do know is that Princess Platinum's assistant, Clover The Clever, was a protege of Star Swirl, so he was at least around from Equestria being founded to Luna being banished. But he was also a wizard with access to time travel, so a normal pony's natural lifespan doesn't seem like much of a limiting factor there.

I think it most likely that the sirens came to Equestria after the windigos (since Adagio refers to it as Equestria, rather than whatever the previous pony land had been called) but before Discord, since it's Star Swirl and his unicorn magic that deals with them rather than Celestia and Luna wielding the Elements of Harmony. It could be that they were at the same time as Discord and before Celestia and Luna arrived on the scene, but it seems funny that Star Swirl would take the time to banish the sirens when he couldn't deal with Discord, who was kind of a bigger problem, or would even notice the strife they were spreading in a kingdom ruled by Discord.

So! Sorting all this out in this story would involve the sirens sitting down with Princess Twilight in her library with a lot of books (which would have had to survive - unaltered - through Discord's reign), and even then they'd be at the mercy of inaccurate historically recorded detail and so on. I have no idea how the story will end, but that's not something I'm planning to happen, and if it did happen it wouldn't be for a while. So all the sirens know is that they're in the EG world in the year we'd call 2014 (all dates in the rest of this post will use that calendar, though it is not used in this story), and the sirens native to that world were there by at the latest the 8th century BC, since that's when Homer's Odyssey was written. Adagio's history lesson starts in 282 BC, but that means the human sirens and the Equestrian ones are a good 2,800 years apart.

That leaves us with a pre-Nightmare Moon gap of 1,800 years in Equestria, so if you think it's feasible that the post-siren-banishing reign of the descendants of Platinum, Hurricane and Puddinghead, then the reign of Discord, and then the peaceful reign of Celestia and Luna together could have added up to 1,800 years, then that's the easy answer.

If not (and it's a much longer figure than I'd like - I'm inclined to suggest that Luna was banished for longer than she and Celestia had already ruled together, for example), then it could be that time flows differently in each dimension, but I don't really like that take on it as it means all sorts of timeline hassle for Twilight and Sunset going back and forth (not to mention writing to each other). My preferred alternative solution would be that something about Star Swirl's spell depositing the Equestrian sirens in the EG world in the future also displaced the human sirens back in time, sending them further back into the past. So the human sirens might naturally have been around in, say, 600 AD, and were then magically zapped back to 800 BC when the Equestrian ones arrived.

But that would be very difficult for the characters here to discuss and confirm, since no one would be likely to know for sure. I hadn't before really thought about how long the Equestrian founders' descendants ruled before Discord showed up; that could conceivably be a long time, so I think I prefer that explanation, with the sirens banished from Equestria 2,800 years previously and without time displacement for the human sirens.

Sorry for the massive post; the discussion in the chapter was my attempt to explain as much as was necessary for the story without needing this huge discussion, but it probably would have helped if I'd had Aria say the right thing :facehoof: Thanks again for catching that! :twilightsmile:

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Hmmm. I'm genuinely not sure if Sonata would shout back at Adagio - this version of her or the canon-only one. I suspect so, she's probably a bit too act/speak-before-thinking to show that much restraint when she feels strongly about something, as we only see her holding herself back here when she's mildly interested. I'd prefer it if she felt she could shout back, it seems more fair.

Sonata is a bit more the fly-off-the-handle type than the others, isn't she? When arguing over fruit punch, Sonata is the one to resort to slapping (to which Aria retaliates by adorably messing up her hair), from which it's not hard to picture that she might go off if provoked about something. I'm not sure calling her stupid would do it, however, because right after "You'll have to excuse them, they're idiots.", she just smiles brightly, almost as if to say "Heh, yea, what can ya do?"
And now I'm picturing a slightly masochistic Sonata actively trying to get yelled at. .-.

But then one probably doesn't want to get into threat escalation with Adagio :twilightoops:

If that's part of the reason Sonata never snaps back, she might actually be smarter than Aria, in her own way. :twilightoops:

8232881 Yeah, I think so. Impulsiveness cuts both ways :twilightoops:

Ooh, that's a very good (and alarming) thought! I'm now wondering what Aria would make of that if Adagio pointed it out :derpyderp1:

So before I read this I have one very important question ask-Do they sing and if so, are they original songs or songs someone else made? I'll still read it regardless but I like to know.

8277553 Hey, only give it a read if you want to, if it doesn't sound like your thing then don't feel bad for giving it a miss.

When you ask if they sing, do you mean generally, like 'Aria sung a few notes to herself on her way to work,' or a big scene of them singing an actual song with words and all?

To answer: Adagio blasts a single note in a flashback, but that's it so far. I'm not at all keen on songs written out in print, so there's none of that.

8277578 Even better. I'll check input when I can

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