• Member Since 10th Jun, 2014
  • offline last seen 2 hours ago

HapHazred


The greatest force in the universe is force of habit

T

Trapped in one of Starlight Glimmer's alternate timelines, Twilight must appeal to the guardian of this timeline: an Applejack who left her family to live in Manehattan in the hopes of a new beginning and found nothing there at all... And that was before an accident changed her further still.

Things are different in this timeline, and Twilight's friends are not as she remembers them. Instead of being warm and open, Applejack is as cold and unfeeling as the metal in her bones, and the only pony she trusts may not be able to convince her to put her faith in an alicorn she's never met before in a world filled with enemies...


An entry for the 'Second Chances' contest. Rated teen for teen-ish violence and horse-romance bits.

Chapters (3)
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Comments ( 20 )

8388173 Nope. Does it have a crossover tag?

Seems interesting, wonder where it'll go.

I was good with the story until Twi brought the diary back. She should know better.

It's not clear from the story that Applejack and RD are in a relationship at all. I didn't put the pieces together until Rainbow hands the diary over to Applejack. I know it's part of the A-D contest, but without that context, Twilight's dialogue with TJ and her RD make it seem that they aren't in a relationship in the main timeline. It makes RD's request to pass on this diary extremely selfish and disruptive to all involved.

This is pretty good. Titanium Jack has an interesting version of the typical tank powerset; emphasizing invulnerability over strength as well as being a cyborg without the other powers cyborgs usually get.

I feel like the length may have hindered it. It places a lot of focus on the romance part (Which is understandable) but that takes away from a lot of other, arguably more important stuff. Lip service is given to how Applejack's 'war on crime' is destroying Manehattan; but we don't see any of that, and moreover given how professionally TJ handles herself it feels hard to believe that she's causing more problems than criminals would be anyway. I suppose I'm biased; I read comics a lot and it never ceases to frustrate me how the heroes are often blamed for things that would have happened with or without their own involvement. Perhaps using one of the Mane Six turning evil in response to TJ instead of Mad Scientist?

Anyway, good luck on your contest! I don't ship this ship, but I wish you the best!

8392031
They aren't in a relationship in the main timeline. The diary gave main!Applejack and Rainbow the idea to try it out.

8392201

Perhaps using one of the Mane Six turning evil in response to TJ instead of Mad Scientist?

Actually, there was a version where Yellow Death was explicitly shown to having been Fluttershy. My problem was that, in the end, I wanted the story to be about Rainbow Dash and Applejack, and I didn't really want to get caught up in showcasing different villains in an alternate universe that, in the end, would end anyway. When I wrote it, it felt like it was a bit of a distraction I could do without.

Not sure if it was the right call, but it was the one I went with.

8393424

I figured the Yellow Death was Fluttershy due to the small detail of being able to control rats en mass 'Pied Piper' style. I had thought Pinkie Pie might have been alluded to as well, but that might have been wishful thinking.

8393343

Well, that's a whole other problem. Who starts a relationship based on a diary of an alternate you with no other consideration other than they're bored?

8393455 I didn't refer to Pinkie. The way I imagined it, she simply never left her farm. I thought it'd be a nice parallel to Applejack, who never went back to her farm. I thought it'd make more sense for Fluttershy, who never wanted public attention, to become known by many, whilst Pinkie, who loved being around ponies, to never even be mentioned.

In my mind, each of the characters got the opposite of what they were, depending on your point of view. Applejack, who was a family pony, ended up psychologically unable to open up to other ponies. Rainbow, who wanted fame and popularity from the masses, became obsessed with being loved and appreciated by a single pony. Rarity, who was all about appearances, turned out to be the pony who was the best judge of character (ie, what was on the inside). The only exception is Twilight, who I simply didn't consider in any great detail.

8392201
Fluttershy did go bad. She was the rat villain that got a short mention.

8393722
I meant as a central villain, giving Twilight's comments about this world being screwed up more weight than just a cameo.

8393932
Fair enough, I see how that could have made more impact.

8393455
The implication is that they're both into each other to some degree, but either are too nervous to get started or don't think it could work out. The diary gives them evidence that if they went through with it, there was the possibility that it'd work out.

Well, that was an intense story. Not at all what I expected when I came across a winner of the AppleDash Contest! AJ gets turned into a superhero (complete with tragic backstory) by unknown shifts in the timestream? Rainbow ends up as her lover and sidekick? All because Angel's a demon packrat without poor Flutters. I have to say, I liked the identity of Captain Cobalt (and I'm proud to say I did figure it out before the revelation!).

The entire story was unexpected, but freaking riveting. I've never been into comic books (though I enjoy superhero movies), but now I'm going through here and starting to understand them a bit more. I loved Twi's explanation of why so much of it was happening: because AJ herself was shifting reality around her without even knowing it (or even controlling it for that matter).

But more than anything, I loved the perspective of AJ and Rainbow at the end. Rainbow will rewrite reality to save AJ from the misery in her life. AJ doesn't want to lose the only thing that ever meant a damn. It ends with a perfect faceoff, an intense conflict... but it resolved through words. As it should be.

And a little message from another timeline to help things along in the original...

Well done!

8506651 Oh, I could never get into comic books seriously either, although I've read a few of them. Like most people these days, I've also seen the movies, though. I'm, like, aggressively casual.

I'm very glad you enjoyed it. I tried to keep the world-building to stuff that was immediately relevant to Applejack and Rainbow's story, but there were a lot of ideas that I had to scrap, including more villains, the appearance of different alternate timelines, and, originally, the diary wasn't going to explicitly make it to the original timeline, and the possibility of AJ and RD getting together in the end was left to reader interpretation. However, there was this rule about them having to be together in the end, and whilst I was all for subverting people's expectations, I didn't want to forfeit the possibility of winning mad $$$... Besides, I like sappy endings. I'm a big old softy deep down, under the beer-stained yet somehow impeccably good-looking outside.

I was actually rather surprised I had placed, all things considered. I'm very glad you enjoyed it, and look forward to squeezing out the time to read your own entry.

I put this on my “Read It Later” list, meaning to get to it relatively quick, but then it slipped my mind when real life stuff distracted me. But then I saw your blog post and decided to sit myself down and give it a read.

Overall, I enjoyed it. The comic book-style universe makes for an interesting backdrop, and the nice contrast between TJ and her arch nemesis made for some great scenes. I once wrote a story discussing the ethics of erasing a universe that had some merit to it, and the issue of erasing what Applejack and Dash have gives it some additional weight.

The one downside here is that it seems nobody except Applejack wants to stop Twilight. Even Rainbow Dash is more okay with resetting the timeline than I expected, so that takes away from some of that weight I mentioned. It makes it a lot less ambiguous that Twilight is in fact doing the right thing.

Even so, this was a fun little alternate universe story, and I’m just sorry it took me this long to get around to it.

8527355 I can see people having the problem you described. I actually remember trying to sidestep it and focus on the more personal conflicts as much as I could for the reason that the moral conundrum alone would take me a whole story. Perhaps later I can approach a similar idea differently in a later story.

Glad you enjoyed it somewhat regardless!

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