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On the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Vs. Cynicism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon page.)


This story is a sequel to Post Negative Comments Only

He's been reassigned so many times as to have a file thicker than his armor. There are ponies who doubt his ability to cross a room without creating a disaster, and he's one of them. Banishment to the Moon is in fact too good for him. He's the single least suitable member in the history of the Crystal Guard, and history had better be prepared to take on eternity if it's ever going to see him surpassed. Because Flash Sentry starts every morning with a silent declaration of I'll get fired today and goes to sleep on I'll be fired tomorrow.

Or maybe that's more of a prayer.

(Part of the Triptych Continuum, which has its own TVTropes page and FIMFiction group: new members and trope edits are welcome. This story takes place after the events of Post Negative Comments Only, so reading that one first is highly recommended.)

Now with author Patreon page.

Chapters (4)
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Comments ( 195 )

So it finally happened. After his minor cameo in the prequel story above -- I've finally brought him all the way into the 'verse.

*spreads arms wide*


Chapter 2 will likely be up tomorrow, and the story should be complete by Friday.

7970281 In the grand tradition of proving you wrong...
Everyone, upvote!

Huh, I wonder what his magic does. It's certainly going to be weird.

....Estee you've made a flash sentry fic I have to upvote. Stop breaking reality harder than Discord and Q teaming up with Pinkie Pie...

So it sounds like the only place to safely put Flash Sentry is in a position that you *want* screwed up.

"So let me get this straight, sir." Flash looked down at the paper again, in the forlorn hopes that the letters had decided to rearrange themselves into something sane. "You're assigning me to escort Discord on his visit. And you're ordering me to do whatever he tells me to do. Is that right?"

Poor Flash. Still, I get the feeling he wants to be fired, ike he only went into it because he was a legacy

I didn't notice this was a multi parter, glad I saw your comment

No downvotes yet. I once got three within half an hour of a Flash story going live. I'd say you're doing well.

In any case, definitely looking forward to seeing what you make of the waffle thief. This should prove very interesting indeed.

7970281 ...I hate you for writing a Flash Sentry fic I can't in good conscience not upvote.

Interesting. So it seems he wants out of the guard. I wonder if any of his mistakes have been deliberate, or if he just is that clumsy

Probably the only thing worse than coming out of a meeting without your job when you went into it thinking, "It's finally my day in the sun!" is coming out of a meeting with your job when you went into it thinking, "This time for sure!"

Even moreso when the job you have is one where you can't just quit.


"You're assigning me to escort Discord on his visit. And you're ordering me to do whatever he tells me to do. Is that right?"


Written by a man who briefly forgot the other local definition of 'escort'.

It's been an hour and there are no downvotes yet.

I think you're going to be breaking some kind of record, Estee.

And Flash Sentry...gods, I wish I didn't know and understand why the bed exemplifies his experience in the guard so well.

Also, I have a suspicion about how exactly his ineptitude came to pass. Not the "gods, hopefully if I screw up even here I'm going to get fired" but the one that came from before he actually joined.

Something tells me Discord would remember.

And if Flash is one thing (judging from his status at CHS), it's eye candy.

Now here's an idea: Discord and Cadance teaming up to create a matchmaking service.
"Have somepony you're totally into? Don't worry! We'll make sure you will both be... madly in love..!"

A different kind of story. I'm really interested in how this goes.

Oh, and for those of you reading Shining's dialogue and hearing just a touch of Samuel Vimes...

...me too.


I may now have an obligation to put an angry Shining and ticked-off Celestia (who, when furious and in the mood for revenge, already gets written as Princess Havehock) in the same room.

...the Pony Flash Sentry and the human Flash Sentry switched places a long time ago, and there is no mirror for him to get back with? (The business of being unable to make a bed, the way other Pegasi obviously can, is somehow suggestive).

I don't like the comic canon that Sombra was an actual creature of shadows rather than an evil unicorn wizard, but if he was, this story gives another reason he would have really hated living in the Crystal Empire. :raritydespair:

Poor Flash. He only exists in the first place because someone at Hasbro said "it's magical girls at a highschool, right? So there has to be some sort of romance. Make it so." And so, for the sins of Hasbro, he has suffered the eternal scorn of a large part of the fandom ever since. [1] I hope whatever happens to him in this story, he ends up in a somewhat better place by the end of it.

[1] Although there are actual Twilight-Flash shippers. De gustibus non est disputandum.

Reminds me of Derpies.

"I just don't know what went wrong!" :derpytongue2:

The difference being, of course, that Derpy is still upbeat and cheerful and a little oblivious, while Flash here is painfully aware how much the universe hates him.

I see where this one is going. He has the mark of Murphy, but it's also a mark of sacrifice. All of the incidents he's been part of, and the accidents therein are actually beneficial if unacknowledged. Either by fate/chance or some sort of Sentry-Sense he's always in the right place at the right time to fix an issue.

A statue that was going to fall anyways, managing to be redirected through him nudging it slightly. A potion that was probably bad or poisoned somehow before it gets bottled, and then something with Luna's bath... assassin? Thief? Intruder of some form? Evil sentient bathsoaps created by a nightmare moon cult intent on giving birth to a new nightmare?

Now... what other incidents can he get involved in to stumble into the solution...

Curious, were you the one who came up with the crystal lenses concept or are you borrowing it? I've seen it elsewhere though I can't remember where for the life of me.

Edit: And of course we eventually learn that Flash Sentry is one of the doctor's... an abnormal talent like many others.

Except that, in this universe, Dulcinea ("Derpy" is the nickname everypony calls her, which she hates) is also aware of the universe hating her and so deliberately plays up the doofball role in order to both not have ponies expect much of her and so she can get away with subtly avenging herself. That time she dropped all the stuff on Twilight's head, or smashed the town hall? Totally not accidents.

7971013 I feel bad replying to such a long comment for just one question, but the crystal lenses? I think they're a reference to The Wizard Of Oz - in the Emerald City, everything is so bright that everyone has to wear special sunglasses or they'd go blind.

This poor, unfortunate bastard about to get thrown out on his flank. And I really, really want it to happen.

Which means, considering it's an Estee story, that I'm going to be sorely disappointed.

The early parts of Sombra's reign had used those ponies who were willing to betray their neighbors in exchange for a chance at the illusion of power. The latter portions had mostly taken place after Sombra told his secret police that a pony who would betray a neighbor was one who would consider doing the same to their leader, which was a horrible thought to be having about somepony you were supposed to love. And so he'd put together a two-stage operation for dismissing them: first from the job, and then from existence.

Sombra was a clever pony. The more I red about him, the more I like him.


I AM Evil, afterall...

Poor Flash Sentry. It's almost like he suffers from the congealed ire of thousands of sapient/sentients across hundreds of dimensions, a magnet for ill-feeling misdirected at an instance entirely unrelated to the primary instigator. Which, actually, given the Continuum (and occasionally Practettian leanings of the author) would not hugely surprise me if it was the truth...!


Yes. Please. So very much please. The guards are my favourites and Vetanari probably my favourite Discworld character (which will surprise no-one who spent any time around me (or even just read the first part of this post!), I'm sure).

Not especially related, only insoiar as thinking about Shiny and Caddy in the Continuum, I'm just having a quiet moment of horror, thinking about the 'verse and what Flurry Heart (if she ever exists at all) would be like here, given the popular (and rather delightful) fandom conception as her as some sort of gleeful avatar of destruction....!

Flash Sentry, huh? Interesting choice of character, you do like to get into the heads of all the poor unloved waifs and strays of Equestria. And he's about as unloved as its' possible to get, the poor bugger.

And yet, in one chapter, you've made him rather sympathetic. Because everyone has days or months where everything they touch turns to disaster. I'll read this with interest.

Oh, and writing Shining Armour as a distant pony relation to His Grace, The Duke of Ankh, Commander Sir Samuel "Blackboard Monitor" Vimes is an entertaining touch.

My follower count dropped today.

:pinkiecrazy: So apparently people no longer downvote on Flash Sentry stories. They just leave. :pinkiecrazy:

And yet we go on. Starting composition on Chapter #2.

ETA: Initial composition complete: beginning edits.

Dude, is he related to Trouble Hooves or something?

I find myself looking forward to this with excited curiosity.

Everytime i see your name i yearn for Austraeoh


Samuel Vimes has Views on armour. If it isn't dented to the point it can't hold a polish then it's wearer isn't doing their job. Shining Armour's opinion on a well made bed seems to be something of a counterpoint to this. I often imagine Mister Vimes sneering at Shining Armour. So not especially. But I can see where you are coming from.

There are few things some people love quite so much as Mandatory Update Downvotes.

When you get right down to it, there's nothing certain individuals enjoy more than a little wallow in the MUD.

I have my hypothesis about Flash's part in all this, but I'm keeping it to myself. Mostly, I'm just eager to see if I'm correct.

We think they're from the Pre-Discordian era:



Okay, pony civilization, as well as civilization in general, only technically existed while Discord ruled. Those things were built by whatever made the... other, more spoiler-y technology we learned about in the one that was about sex.


I really like your Iron Will.

I still say Flash has a Pinkie like sense and helps find/solve problems that others don't even know exist. I bet that unless Flash had managed to move the statue in that specific way, nobody would have found the lab until it was in critical decay.

7972892 - Discord kind of ruined all historical records, and was long enough to really muddle verbal records too. Ponies probably had a thriving society prior to his arrival/creation. Reports vary, but it's possible they were controlling the sun and moon before Celestia/Luna came along and thus had significant magical prowless, if anything ponydom is only now recovering from a dark age that regressed them. Plus, new moral guidelines are probably slowing progress on some fields (though that's not a bad thing).

I like this Painite pony. I'm also digging this dynamic between Shining and Iron Will, it's funny.

Finally one of my favorite dudes is here iron will

Welp, color me excited.

And adopting new headcanons every day (even if they contradict canon).



Okay we all know that the priceless irreplaceable Analyzer is getting destroyed before the end of the story. Anyone want to bet on its ultimate fate?

I've got 5 bits on pulverized into pieces the size of dust particles.

Oh, there was nothing romantic involved. Flash had been posted to the minotaur nation for a while (as he'd been posted just about everywhere), and so knew that physical (non-wrestling) pony-minotaur relationships only existed in the most ridiculous of fiction and cheapest of jokes sprung on friends who'd been set up on truly blind dates. You could find members of both species who would love each other as something more than family, build their homes next to each other or even unite them as a single building -- which included the miniature model in front, where the dead would reside. There were even handfasting ceremonies now and again: the oath which promised a lifetime of something beyond friendship. But attraction... they were too different. A few ponies in every Equestrian generation would marry griffons. Others looked to zebras. Most quadrupeds would have a pony somewhere willing to give them more than a glance. But in all of known history, there had been two minotaur-pony unions, and both had been purely for legal purposes as a friend did the only thing they could to protect the one they cared about.

"No, no, no, that's wrong: my oc Slash Firestorm [1] would totally bang all the mares. They would, like, totally be attracted to his, you know, inner goodness.


Then they'd bang him."

-Random Badfic Author, probably.

[1] Actual human oc name I have seen used unironically, in the Pokemon badfic Sinners by Slash Firestorm. Don't Google it.

Several ponies, including Flash, openly shuddered. They all remembered what had happened on the only occasion anypony had tried that.

Why am I thinking of Oregon's exploding whale...

I'm still pleasantly surprised that he named a atoll after me.

when you make your bed, I expect something so solid as to let me bounce a bit off the sheets.

ah, so THAT'S the "bounce test" the title refers to! :raritywink:

I'm betting I can waltz right in there without anything happening, if anypony teaches me how to waltz first.

What about samba? Maybe a tango?

in all of known history, there had been two minotaur-pony unions, and both

both had happened in Detrot?

"Do you think you can stand in a tunnel without collapsing it?"

I have severe doubts about this.

Has it been established why Flash doesn't simply quit?

In the first chapter, it's stated that his parents, Bulwark and Tower, were legends amongst the Guard, so a position was "naturally" reserved for their son, which is also why he has yet to be drummed out of the Guard.

In essence, Flash's family legacy not only forces him to join the Guard, but means he can't quit without bringing huge dishonor upon himself and/or his parents. Being legitimately unsuitable is one degree of shame, but refusing his family duty over something so "petty" as mere feelings would be far, far worse.

7973482 Well yes, that much is a fairly reasonable assumption, but is that Flash's take? Whether quitting or being fired is less dishonorable is a matter of perspective. I was wondering if we missed something more direct from the horse's mouth... or thoughts I guess.

Ooooh, precursor technology. Deeply intriguing stuff. I can't help but wonder if Sombra has anything else pre-Discordian in this lab. Of course, as has been noted, priceless ancient artifacts and your Flash Sentry mix like nitroglycerin and sharp bumps. Hopefully it'll survive long enough to get the job done.

Still, it's a shame that Sombra was as obsessed as he was. A mind like that could've done so much good. Alas.

Also, very neat to see glimpses of crystal pony magic beyond the glossary. I can't help but wonder how it feels to earth ponies. And how they feel about it, for that matter. Too close for comfort, perhaps?

And the dynamic between Shining and Iron Will is fantastic. Though really, Shining should've known better than to butt heads with a minotaur. When does that ever go well?

7970837 So, does that make Flash into Colon or Nobbs? 'Cause he's no Carrot.

...That tunnel is gonna collapse isn't it.

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