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Hold your ground but do not be unkind. (Ponyphonic, "Shy Heart") · I still like the show. A lot.


A magical accident at a castle garden party leaves Fancy Pants, Rarity and Fluttershy apparently separated from their friends and stranded in the middle of... somewhere. Their initial concern gives way to cautious optimism when they find they're still in Equestria. But it's not quite the Equestria they were expecting...

Note: I write Fancy Pants' name as two words. Always have done, always will.

Chapters (4)
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Comments ( 38 )

I'll be honest--it's a little hard to keep track of what's going on. The two different definitions of 'coruscation' especially confused me, particularly since Fancy Pants seemed to understand what had happened after they mentioned mirrors. Maybe this is deliberate, though. I'm definitely tracking, and I want to see where this goes!

Two different definitions? I'm referring to "sudden gleams or flashes of light" throughout, though it is true that none of the characters understand what's happening in quite the way Twilight would, so to that extent the lack of precision is deliberate.

Well, at first it's the flashes of light from teleportation and other powerful spells, then it's the flashes of light from breaking a mirror--at which Fancy Pants acts as if he suddenly understands something.

Ah, I see your point. However, that isn't a mistake. Let's just say for now that (for once!) I know what I'm doing there. :raritywink:

Certainly an interesting opening. Though I'm not sure if Rarity is cross with Fancy over just the accusation or something else; her attitude seems a bit much if the former. In any case, looking forward to more, especially since I'm not sure if I've ever seen Fancy Pants and Fluttershy interacting for an appreciable length of time.

Rarity is a little... diverted by the fate of her dress. That maybe sounds a little shallow for S7-era Rarity, but (though this isn't said explicitly) she's still just a little embarrassed for the way she behaved around FP back in "Sweet and Elite". It's probably fair to say I might have made things slightly more nuanced if this had been through the usual editing/pre-reading process. As for Fluttershy, yes, that's something I'm looking forward to as well. We'll see how it goes. Thanks for giving this a look, anyway!

A promising beginning, although I'm another who found Rarity's behaviour a bit inexplicable.

See my response to FoME, really. Part of it is that when I rush things out (deliberately, in this case) there are more rough edges than usual. Whether there's anything else on Rarity's mind... that you'll have to wait and see about!

Well, darn. I was sort of expecting time travel of some sort, and then you had to throw that mess at me. Now my best guess is some sort of alternate world.

*cackles evilly* (Hmm. Is it actually possible to cackle non-evilly?) I can actually answer that quite simply... but I won't. I will say that there's more to that last line than meets the eye, but I'm sure you didn't think otherwise.

I'd have to be even dumber than the average politician not to guess that. :trollestia:

If I were a really brilliant writer, I'd write something like that and have it turn out to be exactly what it said. I have no idea how I'd make that work (not being a really brilliant writer) but it would be a great subversion. :pinkiehappy:

I don't know. The few times I've seen something like that happen, I actually felt kind of cheated. Like they set it up for some great twist, but instead everything proceeded completely normally. If you promise an unexpected element, something more than meets the eye, you have to deliver.
Of course, if there's an unexpected element, but not of the sort you set it up for, that's a great way to subvert expectations and make a twist.

That's my point, really. What would require writing brilliance is to do that and not leave the reader feeling let down.

Okay, I tried to wait until this was complete, but just couldn't.

Very promising beginning! I like the way you're writing all three characters very much. Some nice bits of description here and there, such as, A nasty feeling somewhere between ice and slime ran up Fancy’s neck. Delightful!

Oh, and is "She is the cat's mother." a Britishism? I'm unfamiliar with that one.

Righteous indignation is one thing, lady and gentleman, but maybe you should follow Fluttershy's lead and cooperate witth the authorities?

Given the guards' reactions to Rarity and Fluttershy's names—and lack of reaction to Fancy Pants's—this could be a future where the Mane Six are venerated for their deeds, or at least remembered and respected enough that their names are go-to choices for parents. Especially those who were lost to the æther so long ago, who Princess/Empress/Her Crepuscular Tyranny Twilight Sparkle has never forgotten or allowed to be forgotten. (Meanwhile, Fancy's just this guy, you know?)

Mind you, alternate universes are still on the table. Time and space blur together with this sort of magic.

Thank you! I suspect the nice prose will be scattered pretty thinly -- I've never been a great stylist -- but I'm glad I got at least one good phrase in there. I hope there'll be at least one more before the story ends. I could offer a prize for the first person to spot it! Could, but won't.

Oh, and is "She is the cat's mother." a Britishism?

Apparently so, though I didn't realise that. Given the characters involved, I'm not planning on avoiding Britishisms too much in this story! The phrase is usually expressed slightly differently ("And who's 'she'? The cat's mother?") but I changed it slightly to fit Rarity's semi-rant. The fact that she has a cat of her own and so, in a way, is the cat's mother would have been a nice touch had Rarity not been referring to somepony else at the time. :rainbowwild:


Righteous indignation

Nope, no Bucky O'Hare crossovers here, I'm afraid. :twilightsheepish:

You have some interesting ideas about where this story might be going, though I'd better not say much more than that for now. (I do know, though, which makes a change for me!) As for Fancy... we'll see, but I certainly have things planned for him. One of the fun things about writing for a character who hasn't had much canon screen time. :pinkiesmile:

Oh, I think Britishisms fit Fancy quite nicely, what with the posh accent and all! :pinkiehappy:

Righteous Indignation? Oh yeah, I know old Diggy! Nice pony, but don't get him going... :trollestia:

Trevor Devall's accent in "Sweet and Elite" really was excellent. There were maybe a couple of words in the whole episode that sounded wrong for British English. (I'd have to watch it again to know which ones.) I was very impressed.

The mysteries only increase. At least now we know this (probably) isn't some alternate-universe version of Rainbow Dash. Still not sure what's up with the mirrors.

Whaaaaaaatttt.... logan, why you do this cliffhanger stuff...

What's up with the mirrors? Well, who knows? Certainly not me. Oh no indeedy. :scootangel:

Because I'm eeeeeevil, of course. :pinkiehappy:

Hooboy. Flight is at once the group's best hope for survival and the worst pony they could be saddled with. No nonsense, no patience, and no craps given about the whole "not of this world" thing. Not that they've ever had a chance to get that across. For now, there are a lot more questions than answers. I just hope what the group doesn't know won't hurt them too badly.


Fancy Pants smelt the faint tinny aura of magic around the collars, and glancing to the side he saw that Rarity’s ears had also pricked up.

Brilliant way to present how unicorns sense magic in this setting.

Hmm. I wonder. It's not like we've ever seen mirrors in any relation to alternate universes in this series. :raritywink:

Flight is fun to write. Her character is loosely based on that of Holly from Watership Down, which seems to fit pretty well here. The tinny tang of magic is a little nod to Discworld -- I'm glad it worked here. As for mirrors... well, maybe. But bear in mind I wrote a story (To Be the Candle) in which mirrors played a central role but in a rather different way to their EqG use. :raritywink:

Honestly I think Rarity is more of a special fighter. One much stronger than Fluttershy. Even from the show, Rarity has shown an unnatural wiliness to become violent. Compared to Fluttershy, who would much rather just stay away from combat. Don't know if you saw it but Rarity's Father was fishing at points in the actual show. The only reason fishing would become a sport though would be because they were used for food before hand. I also find it a bit hard to believe that Fluttershy would be willing to kill an animal. I mean she didn't want to leave the breezies alone. Then again maybe i'm wrong. I know a lot about Rarity and a bit about Pinkie and stuff.

I must admit I'd forgotten about that scene with Rarity's dad fishing, so fair point there. Still, the show seems to have forgotten about her parents now anyway, and I can see Rarity not thinking about that in the circumstances. In the heat of the moment, I can think of times when I've forgotten something my parents do/like/say.

I also find it a bit hard to believe that Fluttershy would be willing to kill an animal.

Fluttershy is the pony I've thought most about over the years, and this is part of it. I'm assuming you haven't read The Book of Ended Lives, which has a short passage that explains my thinking/headcanon on the subject -- so here's a summary. I'll spoiler-cut it for those who haven't read this story.

Fluttershy is an animal caretaker, and one whose driving force is kindness. We know from canon that (in general) injuries and illnesses can't just be cured by magic. Rainbow's broken wing needed hospital treatment, and Fluttershy herself attempted to treat Philomena conventionally. So that implies that, as in our world, some injuries/illnesses just aren't going to get better. My headcanon is that in those extreme circumstances Fluttershy would feel she had no choice but to help these animals to have as calm and painless an end as possible. I think she'd consider it unkind to let a critter suffer a long, slow, painful decline. It's the same reason as when a human takes a dog who's in pain and will never get better to a vet -- because not helping them let go would be unkind.

For Fluttershy, of course, kindness is everything. Sometimes it hurts her to do what's right (as when she sent the Breezies away) but she is the (erstwhile) Bearer of the Element of Kindness. She represents kindness. As such, if she's treating a critter who is never going to get better, then I feel she'd consider it a betrayal of her calling not to help that critter slip away. Given the number of critters she looks after, she must have faced this many, many times. I think it's a tremendous burden to bear. But as a Bearer, bearing is what she must do.

Estee wrote an excellent story called Five Hundred Little Murders a few years back, and that also considered the harder parts of Fluttershy's vocation. The headcanon is slightly different to mine, but there's some overlap and it's a very fine fic anyway.

Hopefully that explains the Fluttershy aspect.

In addition to Logan's explanation, we also see her feed fish to some animals that need it. She understands that some animals are carnivores, and she feeds them just the same as she feeds the others.

I've read the 500 little murders, so I do understand the headcannon. I'm not sure how far Fluttershy goes with that though. I mean fish seem to be very none sentient compared to nearly everything else. It is a little weird. I think I've only seen her give fish to the meat eaters so she might supplement all the carnivores with fish... Since... pretty much every predator she watches over... eats fish... that is kind of a coincidence.

I guess all I was really trying to say is that Rarity is stronger than what was shown. I guess I also go by a lot of the IDW comic ideology too. She is shown to be very capable in the comics. Still no outright statement that she knows how to fight. But she does collapse a tigers face in and participates in a wrestling match and wins. I could understand Fluttershy putting a creature out of misery but it would have to clearly be in misery. Even if there was a chance to save the animal, I would believe she would take it. I mean she tried so hard to save Philomena. (pretty sure I spelled that poor phoenix's name wrong). Honestly I think I was a little tired at the moment and probably didn't realize what I wrote. Also the hor devouirs, or however you spell them, are usually made of fish. I actually often see Rarity as starting life poor, and needing to supplement their diet with fish.

Also yes the show has ignored her parents a lot.... Like way too much.... I sometimes feel like they might not be the best of parents. not abusive or anything but like more ignorant rather than anything.


I guess all I was really trying to say is that Rarity is stronger than what was shown.

How do you think she got the leg injury? I didn't show much of the battle, but that certainly doesn't mean Rarity wasn't in the mix. However, the circumstances meant that the first action had to involve a pegasus. Rarity can do many things, but air attack is not one of them. So it had to be either Flight or Fluttershy, and the scene worked better with Flutters.

Oh, and to put your mind at rest: I didn't include Rarity in this fic simply as a tag-along character. She will most definitely have her moments to shine in this adventure. :raritywink:

Well now. An interesting timeline, this. It seems like civilization itself is quite young. A number of terms stand out, especially the Moon Empress and mirror anatomy. I don't think Flight was talking about molecular chirality. And the Protector's identity remains a mystery...

Most intriguing. Looking forward to more.

Flight is a senior NCO. He's seen and heard a lot in his time, not all of which he was supposed to...

And the Protector's identity remains a mystery...

The Protector you will meet. You may be surprised. Or you may not. :trollestia:

Thank goodness, I just kind of thought that Fluttershy had taken out all of them. Also I've read too many fictions where Rarity is just a tag along character. Most of those fictions even forget that she is even there at times. I've just kinda gotten too worried about that in fiction. Rarity is my favorite and she gets treated fairly cruel to neutrally. There of course are the stories with Rarity being a main part, however she also gets a rash of shit for things that others wouldn't.

Anyway sorry for ranting, it really isn't the best time for me to do it. I was just under the impression that Fluttershy had knocked all of them out. Which is why I thought Rarity getting hurt was more of a sideline action. Hope this injury isn't going to cause Rarity too much trouble. Anyway conitue with your story.

That's okay; I always like getting feedback. :twilightsmile: And actually, I chose the canon characters for this story pretty carefully. I like Fancy Pants as a character, but also I really think Fluttershy and Rarity can work well together. I won't deny that Fluttershy is and always has been my favourite pony, but "Green Isn't Your Color" is one of my favourite early episodes, and it's irritating that 'Shy and Rarity have hardly had any team-up time since then. This is trying to redress that balance a bit. :raritystarry:

I did like filli vanilli. That had some really good Fluttershy and Rarity moments. Now you've got me thinking about what other episodes the two have been in.

Oh yeah, "Filli Vanilli" was great, one of my favourites from S4. :yay:

I love the episode for what it does with Rarity. She is so well written in that episode. Supporting Fluttershy without her ever knowing. It is something that is so Rarity. I'm trying to think of any other episodes that really had the two of them hanging out. Castle mania has them going to the castle but not much happens with the two of them. Can't really think of any other good episodes with the two of them front and center. Another one that I love isn't really a Fluttershy and Rarity moment but a Pinkie and Rarity moment. Dragonshy and Putting your hoof down both have good Rarity and Pinkie moments with Putting your hoof down having a decently good Fluttershy and Rarity.

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