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A luminist in the employ of Her Royal Highness Princess Celestia.

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New student Lemon Hearts has come to Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns to begin again. Thanks to a kind stallion named Green Fields, and the careful tutelage of Sunset Shimmer, Lemon Hearts is going to do what no first-year student has done before.

She’s going to be a Princess.

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Historian’s Note:

Set in Novel Idea’s Wavelengths timeline, wherein the Sonic Rainboom didn’t happen, the events of Little Truths occur eighteen months before The Alchemy of Chemistry, during Sunset Shimmer’s third year.

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Cast: Lemon Hearts, Sunset Shimmer, Green Fields

Guest Stars: Raspberry Tart, Dean Silver Slate, Minuette, and Twinkleshine

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Entry for FanOfMostEverything’s Imposing Sovereigns contest, under the “Schemers” category.

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Cover art by Novel Idea

Sunset Shimmer art by Karzahnii

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Beta Reader Credits

Novel Idea, who inspired both entry and submission

Beltorn, who waited patiently

Little Tinker, who could give ninjas lessons

First Published
21st Mar 2017
Last Modified
21st Mar 2017
#1 · 1w, 2d ago · · · Magic ·

Ah yes, a story so good people already know that it's going to be good before even reading it, ever.

And the people that are smart (or haters) therefore click the dislike button.

But the people who actually like you and follow you hit the Like button.

Oh conformity, we can never escape you.

*hits the 'Like' Button*

#Conformity Is Evil.

(The above is a joke, do not take too seriously, please)

That being said, I look forward to reading this... eventually.

#2 · 1w, 2d ago · 2 · · Magic ·

>>8038982

Of all the comments I've ever received, this is surely one of them.

Real talk for a moment, I really can't figure out what you're trying to say with this.

#3 · 1w, 2d ago · · · Magic ·

>>8038995

Basically I'm saying that I have heard your name so often in association with other people (e.g. Novel-Idea) that I will automatically assume that it's good (like with any story) until proven otherwise.

#4 · 1w, 2d ago · 2 · · Magic ·

Do you think you'll win the contest?

#5 · 1w, 2d ago · 1 · · Magic ·

>>8039035

Hope springs eternal!

#6 · 1w, 2d ago · 3 · · Magic ·

I'll admit, while I did indeed give the green light for this story... it still scares the hell out of me.

If you wanted to know why things went down the way they did in The Alchemy of Chemistry and Bards of the Badlands, this is it. Ever feel that Lemon Hearts seemed to be overreacting? Why Slate simply hated Sunset? What was the deal with Raspberry Tart? This is it.

I could have never written this story. The sheer amount of guile and manipulation Sunset shows in this... well, when I first read it, I think I used the term "psychological terror." I still don't think that's too far off the mark. Ebon is a master at spinning complex tales like this. In fact, he's the reason the plot of Alchemy ended up working as well as it did. He helped me put it all together. He actually had this idea several months ago, but I shot it down. But when FoME's Imposing Sovereign contest came up... it called to him. And, I finally relented (though in truth, he could have written it anyway). I had two conditions: I get first crack at it and I get to declare if it's canon or not to Wavelengths.

You know what's interesting? When you can recognize just how freaking good a story is even while being horrified of the events that occur within. That's what happened with this. This is simply masterful... and I was completely swept in despite the fact that I knew everything that was going to occur. Hell, I even know what happens sixteen years from this story. After all, Sunset does have a flashback to the end of this story in Bards. But I still couldn't stop reading until I finished.

Now you've gotten to see the rest of it. Kinda gives everything that Sunset's gone through a whole different texture, doesn't it? Even now, this story gives me the chills. This is what Sunset Shimmer is capable of. And what the Sunset Shimmer in Wavelengths is trying so very desperately to get away from. If she succeeds in that or not... well, you'll have to wait and see.

I hope you enjoyed it. Because it's a damn good story... even if I had to read Alchemy directly afterward to remind myself of who my Sunset was. In the end, we all have our demons we have to face. You just got a glimpse on just how powerful Sunset's demons really are.

#7 · 1w, 2d ago · 2 · · Magic ·

That feeling when you see the Newly Posted queue on the front page with a sub-3 hour complete turnover rate and not a single story that's breached ten votes and just know something good is getting buried.

...I do feel Sunset was being a little tropey at the end, though. What I think would have made this story even better is if it was clearly demonstrated (to the audience, not Lemon) that at least one of these things she actually wasn't responsible for and was merely trying to take credit for as much as possible. Put the possibility in, but then let readers wonder exactly how much she really did. After all, villains who are evil because they can have no qualms with taking credit for others' crimes (and especially bad luck), just to bother the good guys.

#8 · 1w, 2d ago · 3 · · Magic ·

>>8039644

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

If you're interested, I'm planning a 'Director's Cut,' if you will, that expands on the surrounding events greatly.

Lemon is unlucky enough to be the central pawn in a chess game between Sunset and Dean Slate. Everything she says she did, she did. I can explain how. I can show each move, counter-move, and each gambit in its entirety.

I just thought that might get a little dark.

#9 · 1w, 2d ago · 2 · · Magic ·

>>8039649 I'll keep an eye out for it. Darkness is no problem at all!

#10 · 1w, 2d ago · 3 · · Magic ·

Ouch, that was painful.  Not because it was a bad story, quite the opposite, but because you know these characters are about to be run over and have no idea.  (Something like that, I'm not that good at analogies.)  This reminds me of a line from the first EQ movie, something Applejack said about Sunset- she'll play nice, then stab you in the back.  Yeah, this is a perfect example of that.  Honestly its kind of painful to read about Sunset in this phase of her life, especially from somepony else's point of view.  Who would ever expect somepony like that to change, especially without a friendship rainbow laser involved.

Curious to see the Director's Cut.  This is Sunset at her most ambitious (and amoral), I wonder if we'll see her thought process.  How someone like that could grow up under Princess Celestia's tutelage and turn out like that... then again Twilight missed many of those lessons too (and sometimes students just don't listen).  And the chapter titles are quite deliberate too of course, though I wonder about Empathy.

#11 · 1w, 2d ago · 1 · · Magic ·

>>8039917

Thanks for the kind words!

Who would ever expect somepony like that to change, especially without a friendship rainbow laser involved.

Believe it or not, this is in large part why this fic exists. During the planning/editing phase of Novel's Alchemy, we talked over and over about the emotional beating Sunset gets. I felt at the time that it didn't feel quite earned. Sunny gets this huge karmic bludgeoning, and we never get to see why she deserves it.

So I took the threads from Alchemy, and had an idea.

#12 · 1w, 2d ago · 1 · · Magic ·

>>8039470

I get to declare if it's canon or not to Wavelengths.

Just double checking then, but this is fully canon, right? Neither your comment nor the story description make that 100% clear.

#13 · 1w, 2d ago · 3 · · Magic ·

>>8039470

This was indeed a gripping tale. I could see the hammer poised over Lemon the whole time, and every chapter made me dread the drop more and more.

I iust have one question for you, Novel: Would Sunset have delivered that villain monologue at the end?  I find it hard to believe she'd admit her involvement to anyone, even when they were at their lowest.

Aside from that, this really shows just why Lemon took so long to forgive Sunset. And honestly? I can't blame her. Thank you for this, Ebon, and best of luck in the judging.

#14 · 1w, 2d ago · 1 · · Magic ·

>>8040407

Thank you for the prompt!

I find it hard to believe she'd admit her involvement to anyone, even when they were at their lowest.

If I can sidle in here, I can explain a bit. If you note the reaction of other students around her, she's not been hiding her methods regarding anything else. And, if we look at Moon Dancer's explanation for writing to Princess Celestia in Alchemy, theres a whole lot of students who've been on the receiving end of this kind of thing. Finally, taking EQG into account, she appears to stop hiding her involvement the moment she gets what she wants, since each of the huMane 5 know exactly what she's doing and how she works.

Sunset's a creature of ego, especially when her Angry Little Pony's less of a passenger and more in control.

At least, that's my take on it.

#15 · 1w, 1d ago · 2 · · Magic ·

>>8040275 Fine. You caught me. I was still waffling. Yes. It happened. Little Truths is canon to Wavelengths on the condition that I never have to write this version of Sunset! :twilightoops:

...and Sunset will be paying the penance for her acts for a very long time. We've already seen Sunset trying to fix the wrongs she's done. Now I'll likely not go through everything. But the Sunset you come to know in Wavelengths is still fighting against this old Sunset... and that includes doing her best to repair the damage, as we've seen in Bards.

#16 · 1w, 1d ago · 3 · · Magic ·

>>8040407

I just have one question for you, Novel: Would Sunset have delivered that villain monologue at the end?  I find it hard to believe she'd admit her involvement to anyone, even when they were at their lowest.

I'd say yes. First of all, they're in private. If Lemon went forward with this information, it would be Lemon against her (and we all know who would win that battle).  

Second, this Sunset is arrogant as hell. She truly believes she cannot be touched. Her ego and pride allow her to enjoy the fact she utterly crushed her enemy. She wants to make sure her enemy knows it.

Third, in a twisted way, I think Sunset is trying to help Lemon Hearts. Now before you yell foul, hear me out. Now that's she destroyed Lemon, Sunset wants to teach Lemon how the world really works--at least as far as this Sunset is concerned. This is simply what's done (why she believes that is something I will be exploring). In a way, this is her trying to teach her about reality. Her final lesson, if you would.

Finally, if Lemon Hearts actually does read the book and "learn" what Sunset wanted her to "learn," then Sunset's actions are validated. And we know people like Sunset usually have crippling insecurity and fear (though I'm not saying that she has that... it just fits the typical mentality)... so to have her foe end up walking her own path would be validating indeed. While this could put Lemon Hearts on the road to being a threat, Sunset's sure enough of herself to make sure that never happens again.

Please note that this is written while I'm half-asleep, so I'm hoping this is as logical as I think it is.

#17 · 1w, 1d ago · 2 · · Magic ·

>>8040477 >>8041204

Makes sense to me, especially the aspect of twisted tutelage. Plus, we have seen that Sunset had a tendency to gloat even in the canon timeline...

Yeah, objection withdrawn.

#18 · 5d, 19h ago · 2 · · Laughter ·

Seabreeze

I didn't know breezies attended CSGU.

#19 · 5d, 17h ago · 1 · · Magic ·

>>8048395

Seabreeze

A lovely seafoam green unicorn whose special talent is in tidal manipulation. She's gonna work with pegasi to maintain the Equestrian coastline.

And not at all because I forgot breezies were a thing. :derpytongue2:

#20 · 5d, 16h ago · 2 · · Magic ·

Oh.

Well.

Ouch.

~Skeeter The Lurker

#21 · 3d, 13h ago · 2 · · Magic ·

Let's see, how do I want to put this...this is Sunset Shimmer at arguably her most anglerfish-y. In a dark world she casts a bright light that attracts others, putting on her bright and friendly persona who is all too happy to mentor a first year and help out and all other sorts of great things!

But it's all just a distraction from the big ol' mouth getting ready to eat you whole.

Very good work on this. For a moment I almost forgot that Sunset was inevitably going to stab poor Lemon Hearts in the back.

#22 · 2d, 15h ago · 1 · · Magic ·

>>8053186

Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

#23 · 2d, 9h ago · · · Magic ·

>>8048685

Yeah. The epigraph for "Magic" was supposed to be the warning.

Hope you enjoyed it!

#24 · 2d, 8h ago · 1 · · Magic ·

>>8055953

I did.  You've earned an applause and a giant middle finger from me.

~Skeeter The Lurker

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