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"Burninating the countryside... burninating the peasants... burninating all the peoples... and their thatched-roof COTTAGES! THATCHED-ROOF COTTAGES!! And the Trogdor comes in the NIIIIGHT!!!"


Ten years after the Friendship Games ended in disaster, Sunset Shimmer’s self-imposed vigil over Canterlot keeps its survivors relatively safe. But one day a stranger comes to town looking to unearth a secret that Sunset had buried in the past...

This story appeared in the June 2017 Writeoff, "Under the Sun." It had a rough debut on FimFiction but was fully revamped with assistance by Dubs Rewatcher, MisterNick, and Moosetasm. AU inspired by Oroboro's "Sunset's Rest." Cover by Novel-Idea (via these sources). Featured on Equestria Daily 09Nov.2017! :pinkiegasp:

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 25 )

This story appeared in the June 2017 Writeoff, "Under the Sun."

Wait, this is a re-purposed story? I don;t know if I can accept this...

Ooo, bummer. :fluttercry:

...At risk of being "that guy," I'm pretty sure there are some other stories from the recent Writeoff that have been submitted as well... :unsuresweetie:

This is a pretty cool story really liked it.
But can i ask what happen at the Friendship games?

Thanks, and absolutely!

In the prime universe, Sunset talked to Sci-Twi at the end of Friendship Games, and managed to convince her to accept friendship instead of channeling the raw dimension-shattering power of Equestrian magic that she'd discovered.

But in this universe, at the end of Friendship Games, Sunset failed to reach Sci-Twi with her message of friendship, and the two ended up fighting in their ascended forms instead of reconciling. Sunset managed to defeat Sci-Twi and used her power to re-seal the dimensions, but the fight had been huge; words like "epic" and "catastrophic" come to mind. By the time they were done, stray bursts of unchecked power had wreaked havoc on the planet and messed-up its orbit. Note that one thing working against Sunset during the fight was that she channeled a great deal of magic into protecting the CHS students who had been unlucky enough to be present to watch the Friendship Games--including Ditzy.

But once the dimensions were fully sealed, Sunset found herself cut off from the Equestrian magic that she might've used to heal the ruined planet. So she did all she could think to do: rebuild Canterlot into a relatively safe bulwark against the savagery that rose amid the new North Amareican desert.

Wow! That so sad,,,,What about Sci Twi and how Cinch become relr foa empire?

Before I read this, what is the Dark tag for ?
And how bad does it get ?

The overall setting of the AU is (obviously) postapocalyptic, and Troubleshoes is after a guy who's implied to have done some Very Bad Things. He also spends the whole story with a proverbial sword of Damocles hanging over his head, which is introduced right in the opening paragraph. But IMO there's really nothing too bad that happens during the story itself.

Cinch was another survivor of the Friendship Games, but rather than being grateful toward Sunset for saving her life and trying to work together, she fled north and sought to establish her own defenses against both Sunset and the rest of the desert.

Sci-Twi is just gone. :fluttercry: Sunset doesn't know if she died during the Friendship Games fight, or if she was de-powered and fled into the desert, or if she ended up falling through the multiverse when she re-sealed the dimensions.

Will there be a sequel and Sci Twi's fate? could see she lived and fled too ashamed to face anyone after that.

It's an AU... of an AU!

AU-ception! :pinkiecrazy:

I liked it, it had an interesting premise and story. I just thought Trouble-Shoes would be a bit more... unlucky.

He seemed to have regular PI/Detective bad luck. I always see Trouble-Shoes as having Rube Goldberg style levels of bad luck. A scenario I imagine would begin with him taking precautions against his own luck, like say he carries his six shooter around unloaded. But then he trips, the gun falls in such a way that the cylinder pops open, the bullets fall out of his pocket, one bounces into the cylinder, which then snaps shut again due to the gun's own bouncing motion. The gun also manages to cock itself during the fall and then it fires, sending his hat flying. In front of the children. But then, I'm a huge fan of catastrophe. :trollestia:

I'm flattered that you would ask about a sequel, but to be honest I don't have one planned. I'll tell you what though, if you liked this and would like to read something similar that deals with Sci-Twi's fate, I can point you to the story that very much inspired this whole thing: Sunset's Rest by Oroboro. I hope to see that migrate over from the Writeoff site to FimFiction one of these days...

Ha, insufficiently unlucky. :derpytongue2: I get what you mean though. The original version ended more ambiguously and left more things not-spelled-out, so it was less clear how things turned out for him, which was more thematically consistent with him being unlucky. But the feedback was that it was too unclear and I was losing people on key plot points, so I had to dial it back. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

If I can ever get that other one with him that I'm working on in the Pony universe done though, that should hit more at the level of unluckiness that we'd all like to see. :pinkiecrazy:

Still better: I've received a suggestion that I remove the dark tag because the background is dark but the story really isn't. I've now done that.

You do come up with the most amazing and random topics to write on. I selfishly hope you keep at it for a long time, they are such fun to read. Hmm, would Troubleshoes fit into a pony-verse version of "Cowboy Bebop" do you suppose? Yeah, I know, I'm just being silly... :rainbowlaugh:

Not the deepest mystery in the world, but still a gripping read. I admit, I'm a sucker for the catastrophe couple, and you manage to fit in a good amount of world building in a format that doesn't justify a lot of it. After all, there's little room for "as you know" here, especially given who Troubleshoes is talking to.

In all, this was a very enjoyable spark of light in dark times. Here's hoping they can keep rebuilding. Who knows? Maybe one or more Twilights are trying to restore access to this world.

I'm glad it worked for you! The perspective definitely limited what was possible, but it was (if nothing else) a heck of a writing exercise.

As for the mystery: it's interesting (at least to me) to compare this with the original Writeoff version, which preserved a lot more mystery by virtue of being a lot less clear about the who and the what of certain elements of the story. But I'll tell ya, I got an absolute thrill from the two or three people who were able to piece things together from the sparse clues that were there (one of whom was my non-Brony wife, who finally consented to read a pony story of mine without my needing to file off any serial numbers). But unfortunately, the preponderance of other feedback indicated that the story was opaque to the bulk of other readers.

Now, had I realized this was destined to receive a rather small group of "other readers," I might've chosen to leave it closer to the way it started out. :derpytongue2: But sometimes ya writes ya stories and ya takes ya chances.

Also, I am content to headcanon that at least one Twilight is out there somewhere, doing what she can. :twistnerd:

You know, I'm surprised that this story isn't longer.

Comment posted by CoffeeMinion deleted Oct 12th, 2017

I'm actually going to re-release an expanded version of this in the next few days. :pinkiesmile: The core ideas are still there but it should deliver a more satisfying payoff.

This story doesn't seem to have a lot of views / votes, and that is unfortunate. I enjoyed it immensely. It had a very good hook in the opening chapter, the narrative 'feel' of the story remained solid throughout, and the climax and denouement delivered nicely.

Well done.

Thank you for your very kind words! :twilightsmile: This story had a rocky start, as the original FimFiction version didn’t put its best foot forward. I wrote this at a time when I was rather ill, and I didn’t realize quite how rough it was turning out. Since convalescing, I’ve gone back and revised it as you see here, and I feel much more satisfied with how it looks now.

But hey, if praise for this one is less frequent, it’s that much more appreciated when it does come in. Have a moustache, good sir or madam: :moustache:

Okay, i just have to say: This was something special. A light read but still extremely engaging and kept me wanting to know exactly what was going to happen. Truth be told, I'm a sucker for a good Western and i don't too often find one so to see this performed as well as it was is a real treat. It also had a shade, to me, of New Vegas. If there was ever a continuation to this i would certainly be up to reading it.

Thank you so much! I love hearing that this did it for you. New Vegas influence is probably present, but my true overt influence was Sunset’s Rest by Oroboro (linked in the description), which you should definitely check out if you want to see more of this sort of thing.

This neads more likes. Have a moustache!:moustache:

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