• Member Since 5th Mar, 2012
  • offline last seen Yesterday


A thirtysomething Brony from Pennsylvania with a library degree. I also have a Patreon.


This story is a sequel to Transdementia

This was not how things were supposed to go for Sunset Shimmer. Thanks to Pinkie Pie and her crew of interlopers, instead of returning to Equestria at the head of a conquering army, she was now serving time in the Ft. Featherworth Prison, with little prospect of any sort of parole thanks to her reputation. However, as far down as she is, she is most definitely not out: just before their return to Equestria, Pinkie and her friends let slip just enough information while she was in earshot to allow her to start forming a plan.

And Sunset Shimmer is never more dangerous than when she has a plan.

This story is a continuation of the plotline begun in The Petriculture Cycle. The first story can be found here, and the TV Tropes page can be found here.

Artwork by Page Turner.

Chapters (2)
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Comments ( 42 )

Ironically, I have Sunset as the magically constructed opposite sex clone of Sunburst in my own Sunsplit saga...

Somehow this does not surprise me in the least bit.

...Welp. Sunset is going to get a lesson in making your own monster. (Warning: the above is a link to TV Tropes. Read at your own risk!)

Looking forward to what's going to happen next.

I did not know Earth Ponies could fly like that. :twilightoops:

I like this origin story for Starlight better than the canon...

Wait, who did Sunset kill? Am I forgetting something from the last story?

This explains a terrifying amount. Of course, Sunset's still going to need to reify her new companion, and it's not like there are any handy cutiesynthetic surges or sonic rainbooms on hoof.

As for the philosophical angle... Yeah, I get the feeling that neither of these mares has fully thought through the implications here. Celestia's managed to stay on the throne for quite some time, girls. Maybe, just maybe, the millennium-plus alicorn knows something you don't.

In any case, eagerly looking forward to more. Hopefully someone will get around to pointing a Rainbow Beam of Fix Everything™ at Sunset; she's a lot nicer when she's had her nose rubbed in the error of her ways.

“So, if you’re Sunset Shimmer, then I can be called... Starlight Glimmer.”

Oh, you clever sun of a gun.

The moment Sunset decided to make her own thoughtform I knew who it was gonna be. This should be very interesting. Especially if the whole story is from Sunset's point of view.

Oh man... this is going to get interesting...


No one ever seems to assume that Celestia knows better than them despite being responsible for the world's continued existence and Equestria's insane prosperity and peace from the time of their great ancestors.

Or in stories where someone does assume that, for whatever reason Celestia knows basically nothing ever.
Or she's just wrong about everything and somehow a 20 year old is wiser and more intellectual than she is.
Or the author forgets that she's a (possibly) thousands of years old mare with untold accomplishments and great competence behind her (or Equestria would not still be standing) and a bunch of kids is far superior in every way.

Let's see how this'un turns out.

I notice that one of Sunset's concerns is that her imaginary friend would misinterpret and run away with her philosophy. And before actually creating her imaginary friend, she decided that she and her friends would be equals. And canon Starlight was obsessed with making everypony equal. :trixieshiftright:

More Petriculture! :yay: One of my top favorite AUs.

Some guards that were guarding forbidden magic books.

I realized who her partner was gonna be about halfway through. It's a pretty interesting idea for Starlight's origin, and I approve. Not that you need my approval.

She killed some Royal guards indirectly by using mind control to send them off on a dangerous errand, because she wanted a backup plan for defearing Nightmare Moon in case Celestia's idea of retrieving the Elements of Harmony didn't work out.

I dunno. "Two headcanons contradict" doesn't seem like a specific enough event to count as ironic.

Even if we're compare/contrasting two series with multiple stories, with the shared conceit that somepony was constructed rather than born, they're too different. Not only are the particulars of "how" and "how often" too far separated, but the sticking point--that Sunset Shimmer is creator here and creation in yours--doesn't stick. You have her in your premise, and Kwakerjack brought her in recently.

These two stories are like a handshake not met. Irony is more like meeting a handshake with a slap to the face, or meeting a fistibump with a handshake.


When did I ever say two headcanons contridicted?

Okay, fine, they don't contradict, they just say opposing things. "Sunset is (implementing/the result of) a magic process to create an artificial fully-grown pony." I just don't think there's any expectation with K's story that is subverted by your story. (Big fan of both, actually. Looking forward to meeting the other Sunsets!)

Maybe I thought you said they contradicted because, literally, they do. Your Sunburst created Sunset only after leaving Starlight's childhood home. So your Sunset remembers your Starlight, whereas this Sunset has to form this Starlight from wholecloth.

...Wait. What did you mean about irony, if not what I read initially?

About the point Sunset started thinking about a friend her equal I was like... "she's not...!" And we went further and confirmed, I was "she is! She totally is! Bahahahahahahaha!"

And, as people have already said, Really, That Explains Everything.



As I've occasionally observed, probably the only story (including canon) I've personally read that makes an attempt to show what a society ran by a single ruler for more time than most current natons have existed (and potentially nearly all of them) would probably be like is Princess Celestia Hates Tea; which does it sort of accidentally as the comedy.

But I suspect that after Some Time More than a thousand years, and without a fanon council or anything, I suspect hero-worship and borderline divinity would be the strong natural gravitatation for the majority of the populace. There's a hint or two in canon, in the way when both Celestia and Luna disappear at the start of season four, everyone panics and comes running to Twillight for orders, but that's about it.)

Or we could postulate that Celestia is SO FREAKING GOOD at manipulating ponies (chess-master nothing, chess-deity more like) that she has managed to engineer the current climate.

(Which would suggest that literally every single thing she has done in the show was (part of) a deliberate front, up to an including everything in A Royal Problem is, at least in part, something she has assessed, calculated and then allowed to be expressed to maintain her visage of not-perfection to prevent that exact outcome. I.e., in a Royal Problem, this theory would suggest that while the feelings were genuine, she could have dealt with the problem herself, but didn't and alowed things to happen, because it ultimately brought her closer to Luna - who has a thousand years LESS experience at it all. (This theory says she might even have helped create the conflict...) And that, like as has been said of Emperor Palpatine, she is master of Plan B.)

Comment posted by Aotrs Commander deleted Oct 2nd, 2017


These are all things I can agree with. There's also a couple of canon instances of potential religion in Equestria, and hints that it is Celestia-based. How far that goes, and how much Celestia is okay or not with this we'll have to see.

That said, by general theo-mythology terms, she and Luna are goddesses. Effectively (possibly in truth) immortal, they tend the heavens and protect those who swear fealty to them, massively powerful beings.

Interesting. I've read a lot of interesting alternate universe stories, and this is the first one I can remember that seems to have ended with things "worse" due to the actions of the protagonist (in this case, worse being Sunset in prison instead of learning friendship at CHS). I'm really interested to see where this goes.

I also love that Sunset, creating a powerful unicorn tulpa loyal to her because they are best friends for the purposes of having access to additional magic, has just demonstrated "friendship is magic" more distinctly than anyone else ever has before.

Out of context, this is hilarious with your profile pic :rainbowlaugh:

Well, that's an interesting idea. It makes disturbing levels of sense.

Kind of weird that Sunset ended up in prison, while Nightmare Moon ended up getting a job as an artist.

Well, I probably should have seen this coming before but did not. This could go any number of interesting places....

The "Secrets and Pies" episode made me think of your continuity. Too bad you already picked your new thoughtform-antagonist.


To be fair. Pinkie spent a very, very, very long time in dream time convincing the Nightmare to reform. And there were safeguards to her being free.

Sunset on the other hoof, has 0 remorse, 0 interest in reformation, and is more than willing to keep on carrying out her plans. Mostly since unlike Discord (who didn't care about right or wrong), nor the Nightmare (who was jealous of Tia's existence and knew she was doing wrong to get her way), Sunset is 100% assured of the moral rightness of her choices.

It was almost as if it had been prepared by somepony whose cutie mark had been altered either in a misguided effort to give them competence as a cook, or to remove their unique talent. But that was ridiculous; if there was any sort of magic that could tamper with cutie marks, the pony that wielded it would be...

“...incredibly powerful,” Sunset mumbled to herself as her eyes widened. Maybe prison food isn’t so bad after all.

Starlight damnit still she's is powerful but not invincible.

Except for the fact the Map knew they couldn't deal with the problem.

You know, I am in firm belief that if ponies have a choice in the matter, they will overlook punishing if they do honestly wish to change. Unlike humans, ponies, at their core, are fundementally good. That's why Luna, Starlight, and Trixie never deserved to be punished. Humans have no right to say they should, if the ponies believe they shouldn't. Pony values > human values

Humans are just too eager to punish everything.

By the way, it's kind of sad that people still think Celestia can send ponies to the moon or turn them to stone whenever she wants. She can't. In every case that was the EOH themselves choosing what to do.

as magical as ponies are I don't know that I believe that casting magic internally on yourself would be useless in an escape attempt. tive yourself the abilty to breath fire, things like that

You know, I really thought she would escape due to Tirek. Oh well, guess I was wrong.


My point, if following that particular postulation/line of thinking, would be that Celestia engineered or at least sustained the problem specifically to get Starlight to fix it - something she could have done herself, but instead deliberately manipulated a situation where Starlight would do it, because it would a better learning experience for Starlight and Luna. (And yes, that implies that she would be consciously manipulating the map[1].)

(As that one thing in Futurama once said to Bender, if you do it right, no-one knows if you;ve done it at all.)


Actually, in light of the movie, Celestia deliberately repeatedly Worfing herself expliciltly to let Twilight et al get all the XP and level up makes a rather frightening amount of sense.

[1]As the map's function is sketchy at best, if it is nothing more than a warning system that would actually be easy. Of course, the alturnative is that the map is very much exactly as manipulative as Celestia in this hypothetical instance... But my inherent distrust of the Magic Table (where does it keep its brain?) is a whole other rant.


But my inherent distrust of the Magic Table (where does it keep its brain?) is a whole other rant.

I always just assumed it was Commissioner Tree of Harmony's Bat Friendship Signal.

Ohhh glad to see an update for this. Wow I wish I had the mental fortitude too keep at something for months on end.

Nice Discworld reference.

I have to appreciate how Sunset's first escape idea wouldn't work because she didn't have enough (or any) friends among the other inmates. And now, she's had to learn to work with her magic rather than bully it into doing what she wants. With every step she takes, she's refuting her own philosophy. Silly pony.


Yep, and she's still ignoring that. Just seeing it as her own genius at work rather than a life lesson. She'll see the light eventually though, but not till the Glimmer Shimmer tag team stirs up a nice deal of chaos.

Finally I can give this the attention it deserves.

It's not often we get to see Sunny think things through like the prodigy she is. Great stuff!


How did I miss this?!

Whooo! This is good! And magical theory! ... Hmm... Pinkie Pie is a shapeshifting prodigy, maybe...

Excellent setup :moustache: You have gotten me very interested once again :rainbowkiss:

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