• Member Since 7th Feb, 2014
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Starscribe


Student, Author, and Programmer

T

What's a pony to do when they know they've only got a year to live?

That's the question facing some of the ponies closest to the mane six, after a horrible curse has stolen all but their last year of life away. As Twilight Sparkle scrambles desperately for a cure, they're forced to face the awful reality that she might not find it in time.


This story was commissioned on my patreon by Vilken666! Cover by Zutcha.

Updates twice a month.

Chapters (8)
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Comments ( 45 )

You know I am kinda wondering why you choose Trixie to be the one cursed for Twillight. I figure Spike would have been a more natural choice

This story hits right in the feels.

I'm just leaving this here:

...You had a bad guy put a death curse on some of Twilight Sparkle's friends, and you gave her a year to figure out how to fix it?

Everybody knows that everybody dies.

But Twilight is going to try anyways, isn't she? Good on ya, Twilight!

8143188 You never know what may happen :trixieshiftright: Her tinkering with the curse might accelerate it! :pinkiegasp:

8143013

Having not read the story and perhaps missing crucial context, I would surmise that Trixie being the curse link to Twilight as opposed to her faithful assistant was due to the author wishing to explore the bond between them, and dabble into a headcanon of sorts. Lots of things can be done with the oddest kinds of things.

8143013 Well it seems to me to be a mistake on the part of the caster, with the exception that perhaps Twilight feels even more guilty because she's not actually all that close to Trixie, and yet she was picked anyways.

8143013
Dragons live for thousands of years if something like a nap can be 100 years long. Would be kinda hard to steal that many years from one being.

Well, curious to see where this will go. Kind of funny to see Applejack and Trixie have the same "impossible" thought about Twilight.

My first thought is make some clones. Its targeting who they will be, so it wont target an offshoot of who they are. This is incredibly nihilistic, but it could work. The spell might even accidentally target the clones, who knows.

As for why the spell targets Trixie, my guess is its targeting who will most devastate the mane 6 at the time of death without targeting any of the mane 6. Right now Trixie isn't much to Twilight. But because the spell is cast on Trixie, Trixie becomes more important to Twilight. This creates the assumption that its own casting is taken into consideration for the spell. Spike or any of her own family members wouldn't be surprising choices and it might also take that into consideration.

Quite frankly though, I think trying to follow that rabbit trail will lead to us doing more work than Starscribe thinking "Eh, Trixie is probably the better target"

...............WHY MUST YOU DO THIS TO ME?!:raritydespair:

The premise alone is enough to read this. Very clever. Great suspense.

None of them knew the worst magic of the curse was yet to come, sent forward into the future to steal the friends and family away from the ponies who had harmed Dirge most.

They harmed him?... Seriously, who was this guy?

Ugh, I'd forgotten just how obnoxious Zephyr was, front or not. And that's without the weird tribalism and polygamist stuff tacked on.

And there goes my idea, sounds like this spell searches if it can't find them at the right time, so temporary death at the time of spell won't do anything to help

Anyone else wonder what would happen if one of the curse ponies die before the year id over since the spell killed their future selves

I was honestly expecting it to be Sweetie Belle. At least this Dirge guy as some standards.

I was also expecting something a lot darker once Rarity got up to Coco's apartment...

I'm honestly starting to think that these ponies will end up killing themselves.

since this seems to be moving forward by two months each chapter... pinkie cant react well for her turn, thats going to be depressing without a last minute miracle

Hmm. I was leaning towards maybe one of Rarity's parents (or Sweetie, which I was really dreading), but Coco was my distant next thought.

...Rarity is just awesome.:pinkiehappy:

8237128
I had been expecting Sweetie Belle as well. Dirge has one more chance to be excessively cruel. We still have Pinkie Pie left. Given the trend, it will likely be a pony from her family, like Maud. But if he really wanted to not just cross the Moral Event Horizon but go megaparsecs beyond it, he could pick one of the Cake twins.

The Egglectic Cafe is to die for when it's...

Not helping, Rarity!
This situation is dead-serious!
I wouldn't kill you to show a bit more empathy.

I apologize for any minor mistakes that slipped through.

Sorry, but didn't notice anything amiss...

Honestly can't wait to see how this ends. It's a pretty unique piece, and I can see a few different endings happening.

If it lands on somepony's house, it isn't the fault of the engineer who decided to put it there.

I would rather write "the fault of the architect who designed that house", because if he build the house in an earthquake area, it will be (partly) his fault.

Fluttershy had come as much on Maud's request as Pinkie's, and had her own sinister guest waiting in a cage behind the farmhouse.

At first I thought the cage would contain Zephyr.


Damn, the tension is going to metaphorically kill me!
(But maybe Discord's plan will work...)

The feels...:pinkiesad2:

I'm not sure if it would be more anticlimactic for a cure to be found after all, or for it not to be.

Time of death: 4:20

Strangely less anticlimactic than I had expected. I suppose when dealing with an inevitability like this, the real climax is how those left behind can deal with it. And Twilight, at least, seems to be starting to move forward, a struggle though it be.

On the surface, she would've been pleased never to see the mare again. But not like this.

s2.quickmeme.com/img/7e/7e2057d746cd3c99fff31a01c5ed0d21b6af93d8c5276a02f5fb1759e4530def.jpg

I'm not gonna cry... I'm not gonna cry... I'M NOT GONNA-

Twilight cried as she watched the graves lowered into the ground. She threw in a few hooffulls of fresh soil. Then they separated.

Out of the two endings for this series I like this one more. It gives a happy ending as well as a dark twist. I say BRILLIANT!

Sneaky and morbid at the same time. A worthy alternate ending.

8314358
As far as I'm concerned, this is the actual ending. It's darker, and reeks of Creepypasta.... I like that.

...Also, I cried uncontrollably when Maud died, but that has nothing to do with this I swear! *Shifty eyes*

Hell, you should change the last two chapters titles to say..."Bad End" and "Good End?" Just to drive home the whole "Not sure how to feel" reaction that Twilight had.

Oh, the way Discord solved the problem made me like this ending just a bit more. Just the idea of finding willing ingredients... That could be a story in and of itself.

Funny enough, I think that makes this ending the darker one.

I kind of expected the alternative ending where everyone lives to be out of place and not fitting for the story or worse than the original. I shouldn't have doubted you.
This is really good, probably as good as the original and I can't bring myself to decide which one is better.

Yet as she watched Applejack pass by, giving her brother a brief reflexive hug every few minutes as they walked away, Twilight realized the pony she was most horrified with was herself.
Not that she hadn’t been able to find another cure—Celestia had prepared her for that over a year ago. It was, rather, that she wasn’t angry at Discord.
What kind of pony did that make her?

It makes you a pony who doesn't want her friends to suffer. Screw this forced drama and Discord trying to claim the moral high ground.
...Seriously though, nice and creepy. Equivalent exchange really is the only way to go sometimes. And covering both outcomes was about the best way to handle this.

Wait, if I understand this correctly, Discord saved everyone by offering up alternatives (who were willing to die)? But I thought Dirge's spell couldn't be tricked or evaded?

8314716
So it wasn't tricked or evaded. It had to kill six particular beings at a particular spot of time. It did. It's like with the computer - it does exactly what you tell it to do, but it's not always what you actually want it to do.

the loophole is that he did indeed sacrifice Coco and Zephyr and Trixie and Maud and the other two, but but Discord's ingredients were alternate universe versions of the six target ponies that acted as his sacrifices.

This loophole worked because, as Twilight explained in Trixie's chapter, the spell was not cast by Dirge ON the target ponies, the spell was cast on TIME with Dirge's list of target ponies as the end recipients.

The magic was necromantic and so it could distinguish between the souls of its named targets and other ponies, but alternative universal duplicants would ALSO have the same name on their soul, and all Discord had to do was make sure the magic hit them first because it could only work once since it was linking the target's death to the caster's death, and since Dirge only died once, the spell could only operate once across the list of targets.

Also note that Twilight explicitly never stated that she found no Solution to the Spell's Effect, only that she found no Cure for the curse itself.

8314842
Okay, alternate universe versions of the doomed ponies would make sense, but that's not clear to me from the chapter. Perhaps Discord's talk about additional spatial dimensions is meant to convey that, but extra spatial dimensions doesn't mean parallel universes. Climbing the spatial dimensions takes you from point to line to square to cube to tesseract and beyond, not from cube to alternate cube.

This just creeped me out... Is it bad that I want the original and alternate endings to be true? THEY'RE BOTH SO GOOD! But I honestly preference this. Happy with a dark twist.:moustache:

8316886
They can both be true at the same time. Discord is no Element of Honesty, no one but him knows where he really got his "ingredients" from. Could be the reality from the first ending.

I like this ending better. The implications are terrifying though. There's confirmation that Discord has access to all (or at least, a large amount) of the other alternate universes, a large amount of which have terrible things going on. And he has reality warping powers, but doesn't fix it.

He doesn't fix it. This is the most terrifying part of this ending, because it implies that ponies really are just short-livid playthings to him. He accepts that everyone he knows is going to die, including Fluttershy. Bring this to its logical conclusion: he doesn't really care about friendship. He's just waiting for the bearers to die off. And he's much darker than in canon.

Between Discord: a being who exists to make reality his plaything, and Starlight Glimmer: a Unicorn who messed with time an incomprehensible number of times, I wonder how hard this spell is to undo. Also, is there a prequel to this story where the Mane 6 deal with Dirge? It would be nice to at least know why he has a beef with Mane 6.

Damn... the level of feels... :fluttercry:

Interesting...? The writing is strong but the characters are so forced it comes across as 'let's force the Mane 6 to cry cause puppy kicking or something '.

That said the alternate ending is awful. Twilight is so out of character she is pretty much an OC character.

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