• Member Since 24th Aug, 2015
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Mitch H

“What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.” ― William Lamb Melbourne


Chrysalis had come a long way from absolutely nothing - a humbled bug-horse left to fend for herself in the howling wilderness. But she's not the pony changeling she used to be, and she's set her hoof upon the path of conquest, for herself, for her crown, and for her children minions.

All she had to do was seize the commanding heights of the pony principalities, and feed her brood upon that endless supply of pony happiness which was her birthright, by all that was villainous!

If only her mother didn't keep tripping her up.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 78 )

Wow. That was a trip that's left me a little mindblown!

Great read.

It's sad, more than anything.

It's a pretty near perfect loop, Each near shift leading down a few times, until it repeats removed enough that things are not recalled. Though i am curious on why there was not a final moment of spite in a sense to break it. It's sadly, the only real way out, and yes, it is certainly a ignoble end..

I am confused to no end. Can someone explain? Chrysalis is Flurry Heart but is also Cadance?

What the fuck is going on.


She's a closed loop. Cadance begets Flurry Heart, who is transformed by some unknown catastrophe in the future, and flung into the past. Chrysalis messes with Cadance and, eventually, Flurry Heart, and is sent back to the past by Cadance and transformed once again. Cadance emerges from that chrysalis and sallies forth an adult at last, to complete the circle.

See, I read the Heinlein short story this fic is based on, so I already know where you're going with this. "All You Zombies," which was later turned into the film "Predestination." Fantastic read/watch, if anyone has the time.

Eep multiple time jumps and people who are their own parents

Saw the twist coming given the title, but this was still a most engaging journey. I do love people messing with villains' heads. The long, strange life of Mi Amore Flurrylis even works as a convoluted sort of redemption story, which is especially nice. Thank you for this.

Well damn. That's a proper mindscrew, all right!

Well, that was a mind screw and a half. Confusing at first, but this is such a cool concept. I'm a sucker for time travel done right, and you nailed it. Just one problem, the standard one for a bootstrap paradox: entropy. I assume the solution is "magic"?

Magic. The cause of, and solution to, all of Equestria's problems.

I haven't read the story this is based of, but this is... neat?

The story just feels... awkward? Like the story wants to be much more complex but never executes on it.

Definitely go read the Heinlein short. It's much more... economical. And one of the true classics.

Huh. Somehow I did not see the end coming.

That was a good and proper mind screw.

8888635 Soooooooooo... what initiated the series of events pre-loop?

Feh, this is why I hate time loop stories. Always left with unsolvable paradoxes.

8888625 I'm kinda like, if you know the loop is coming... and you know the catastrophe... shouldn't you be able to prevent it?

Buuuuuuuuut, then you're left with ANOTHER paradox in that the self who becomes YOU doesn't exist to go back and stop it!

The only solution then is: DESTROY ALL OF REALITY ITSELF!! *Alondro summons Parallax* :pinkiecrazy:

OH I'm...my own grand ma...I''''m my own grandma...

I've read SF all my life, but you can't read everything so I didn't read the Heinlein short story this was based on. I can honestly say I enjoyed it very much, so thank you for entertaining me.

This was weird. I like it.

So what I understand is that Flurry heart is sent back to the past in the body of Chrysalis. And only has vague memories of her past that she can't remember with out outside help. Then in response to this Cadence goes back into to time to try and ensure that all the events of the series play out before merges with Flurry heart/Chrysalis to erase what happened to her daughter entirely. And now as a adult before Twilight ever went to Ponyville she plans on making sure that the events that caused her to loss her daughter never transpire?

Cadance 'fixes' Chrysalis, which may have unpredictable future consequences. Chrysalis is sent back in time again, and goes through a literal catepillar/butterfly transformation, and becomes Cadance. Cadance ironically believes herself to be free, despite being quite literally locked into her future actions leading up to the return to the 'evil tree' that's her own personal time machine.

So this is a tale of how Cadence is stuck in her own self-created ground hog hole?


(Does the math, insofar as a liberal arts major is capable.)

That seems to check out.


Well, that was... certainly something. I like it.

Also, that cover art is gr8.

The question is... does that mean that Cadance's lifetime is really the only reality there exists for Equestria? Everything after Flurry Heart was transformed and sent back is an unseen cataclysm that possibly leads to a lifeless wasteland like we saw in the last timeline of the season five finale, and everything before Cadance breaks out of her egg-tree was so many loops ago that it might as well have never been?

The metaphorical reading for the chapter title neatly obscures the reality of it. Well done.

Comment posted by Starl deleted Apr 26th, 2018

So does this mean Cadance gave birth to herself?

I've read "'—All You Zombies—'", so I knew from the title what was going to happen, but it was still a wonderful trip. God, do I love time travel.

...So you're saying Cadance, Flurry Heart, and Chrysalis are ALL THE SAME PERSON?

Dude, you're smoking some serious shiznat there.

If this story is using an eternalism interpretation of time (which is strongly supported by the way Cadyflurrychryssi travels back in time twice, and takes the slow route forward both times, without ever affecting events) then there there’s only one timeline, and it’s immutable. So how did these events get set up the first time? You’ve already seen it: this is the first time (and for that matter, the only time). A time traveler can’t change the past because said time traveler’s interactions are already part of the past.

Again assuming eternalism is in effect, then no, the rest of Equestrian history still exists from the perspective of anyone besides Cadyflurrychryssi. From, say, Twilight’s perspective, it’s just a normal straight line of time. Only Cadyflurrychryssi has to run through events multiple times, and even then it looks like she’s just looping a finite number of times. She’s born as Flurry Heart; some cataclysm transforms her and sends her back in time; she lives a few centuries as Chrysalis; a possibly benign cataclysm transforms her and sends her back in time again; she lives her life as Cadance. It’s a rollercoaster with two loop-de-loops, not an endless merry-go-round.

But you’re right that Cadance’s future, and the aftermath of that cataclysm that turned (will turn) Flurry Heart into Chrysalis, are both huge question marks.

8889556 Eternalism is logically impossible because it assumes non-causality of events must occur. All points in spacetime are preset from the very moment the universe came into being, which then invites the notion of absolute predetermination, which implies complete conscious control and creation of all existent reality since probability forbids utterly the spontaneous formation of infinite non-random events.

This notion is too illogical even for fantasy.

this is a variation on the theme of Heinlein's classic "All You Zombies"


*looks up title on Wikipedia*

Yeaaaaah, I thought so...I remember that little tale well and was thinking of it throughout most of reading this fic...had forgotten Heinlein had written it, though.

You know, I think I like your version a little better, though? :twilightsmile:

From the title and cover pic, I knew exactly what this story was going to be before I started reading it.

I was not disappointed. (I didn't guess the in-between part of the loop though, until her true name came up. Should have, though.)

All You Zombies is a serious mindfuck, but it's a fantastic one.

You’ve no idea how much this timeline has irked me. At first I thought there were two different characters alive at once, but soon realized that not only is that pretty much impossible to get started, it’s also needlessly overcomplicated. The benefit of that timeline is that Cadance is never talking to her younger self as Chrysalis, risking the collapse of the timeline if Chrysalis does something different (because it’s her younger self, and changing your past actions changes your present)—there’s a way out, because the Chrysalis of the timeline is talking to a past iteration of herself, and can learn from her and maybe find a way out of the loop.

Here’s how that timeline would have worked: Flurry Heart is born, her mother dies, and she gets sent back. She grows up as Chrysalis, and the Cadance of that iteration gives birth to a new Flurry Heart. When Chrysalis gets sent back, it’s that Flurry who is growing up alongside her as Chrysalis. This way, Cadance can talk to a Chrysalis who is not herself, meaning that that Chrysalis can act differently from the one before her without creating a paradox. This has several obvious and glaring flaws. I don’t know why I thought that’s what was going on, because it makes no sense and couldn’t possibly work. But it did succeed in completely baffling, befuddling, confusing, confounding, and perplexing me for much longer than I’d like to admit. I got it sorted out eventually, though.

For anyone who, like me, was confused, here’s the timeline. Chrysalis and Cadance are the same pony, who grew up alongside herself each time. As 8889556 put it, "It’s a rollercoaster with two loop-de-loops, not an endless merry-go-round." And at the end of each rollercoaster, a new Flurry Heart is sent back on her own.

As Cadance is growing up and learning to love, it’s her younger self who is gathering power and breeding her hive. When Cadance gives birth to Flurry Heart, it’s the same Flurry that Chrysalis later kidnaps. There are, at the most, two iterations of the character alive at once: Chrysalis and Cadance, who are the same pony, and Flurry Heart. Since Cadance can’t possibly give birth to herself, it has to be a new Flurry Heart beginning the cycle each time: she grows up, her mother dies, she gets sent back in time to become Chrysalis, her older self gives birth to a new Flurry Heart, she kidnaps that baby and gets sent back in time to become Cadance, she grows up while her younger self tries to kill her, gives birth, then her daughter grows up for a few years before Cadance dies and the cycle begins again. The benefit of this is that there may be a way out if any new Flurry Heart is different from her mother in any way—if she thinks even a little differently, she might be able to prevent the disaster that prevents her from dying. To use Meta Four's example again, the roller coaster loops twice, and then continues on straight—a normal timeline from there on out (at least for that character; you never know who else will trapped in an endless time loop, or when).

This can be a little confusing when you look at it from the outside. The problem is that the whole universe isn’t going back in time, just Flurry, so to everyone else, it only happens once. And for it to happen only once while it’s simultaneously happened an unknown number of times for the ones experiencing it, it has to be a closed time loop, right? The Flurry Hearts have to be different from each other, because there’s no way Cadance could give birth to herself. But they also have to be exactly the same, to be experiencing the same thing infinitely and also once. If there’s ever a way out—if ever Cadance doesn’t die—that’s what happens, and while Flurry Heart gets to grow up alongside her mother, there also can’t be a Cadance, because she was never sent back to become Chrysalis, etc. Unless you consider that maybe she was sent back, because she’s a different pony than her mother, and while the world only remembered/experienced the ending timeline, perhaps the previous timelines also all still happened. That would still require some serious Deus Ex to get the timeline started in the first place (the first Cadance was willed into being by the universe, grew up without a Chrysalis, gave birth to a Flurry Heart, and then died in a disaster that set the whole thing off), and would possibly involve universe-splitting for each different iteration. Still, it might be contrivable.

All this to say that there could be hope, and that one Flurry may never have to grow up without a mother and be torn from her daughter at the untimely end of her life. Possibly. If you configure the laws of time just right.
I don’t want this to be an endless trap of timeline misery, okay?!?! Ugh... this is why my first rule of time travel is "avoid it at all costs".

Your comment reminds me of that time travel movie where the main character is the mother, the daughter, and the villain that kidnaps the daughter (who is also the father of the daughter).

There are real-world animal species that can reproduce partially or entirely by the females just giving birth to clones of themselves. Certain insects for example. So it isn’t that impossible that Cadance could give birth to herself. It’s just a logical paradox.

"until everything in her sight were lit in shades"
"until everything in her sight was lit in shades"?


They say that"
Is the extra line break there deliberate?

...my head hurts...

Eh. It started fine, then at the end it out of the blue went in a complietely alien direction with the whole paradox thing...Meh. The story would be better off without it.

And the loop is completed... Cadence make Flurry that transform into Chrysalis that is the cause to Flurry transform into Chrysalis that after that transform into Cadence that make Flurry.

I still don't know how Flurry Heart fits into this story if it's about Cadence going back in time to stop herself who is a changling queen from the same future and merge themselves together to possibly stop what turned her into Chrysalis.

I'm confused. I got that Flurry goes back in time, becomes Chrysalis, eventually goes back in time again, becomes Cadence, then dies during/before the event that sends Flurry back in time.

But, the Cadence in the story that Chrysalis is talking to isn't acting like a reborn Chrysalis watching over herself. She's acting more like Cadence managed to go back to her own past, complete with knowledge of everything as well as motherly feelings towards Flurry/Chrysalis.

I have never seen that movie. Sounds confusing.
Well, it would make sense for Flurry Heart to be a clone, so yes, she is essentially her mother all over again. But a logical paradox is still an impossibility, so even though all the Flurry Hearts ever in existence could act/feel/think the same, I still think they're technically different ponies. No Flurry Heart is born with her mother's memories--she lives her own experience, and then gives birth to a new one with her own soul/memories/life in turn.
Yet, at the same time, in any given timeline, it's the Flurry who went back in time who is also the Cadance dying, right? Again, from an outside perspective, this goes: Chryssi starts to grow up from the point she was sent back to, Cadance (a little while later) grows up alongside her, but the two are the same. Eventually, Cadance gives birth to a Flurry Heart who is then sent back--as, say, Twilight would see it, Flurry has already grown up twice, and essentially given birth to herself. I still think it's impossible, but it also has to be the case, doesn't it? And she doesn't have her mother's memories because it's the beginning of everything--the first time round, as you said. But in that case, this whole thing would be completely cyclical, wouldn't it?
Uuuuggghh... brain hurts.

So remember, Starlight HAS changed the past before, including to at least one future where everyone was dead. It means mucking with things is possible and displaced past entities continue to exist even if their past is no longer possible - perhaps as separate timelines that keep running individually, or because time travel itself might remove the subject from the ongoing need for ontology. And once this can happen, this scenario is surprisingly plausible...if you're willing to look back a few billion loops and add a new body.

At some point, there would have to have been a First Cadance who wasn't originally Flurry. She isn't at all recognizable as our Cadance. She may not be a pegasus, or even actually named Cadance. First Cadance ascends, takes the Empire without changeling interference, births First Flurry, and unknown cataclysm happens. First Flurry is sent back in time and becomes First Chrysalis, and changes the past by raising hell at First Cadance. First Chrysalis is sent back a second time as a completely different pink pegasus, to grow up alongside First Cadance's ascension as therapy, causing a nice stable loop-de-loop.

This may have worked. It may have even worked many times. But at some point, the Flurry-Chrysalis that gets sent back as a pegasus accidentally hijacks First Cadance's destiny and ascends instead. Her unique experiences and perspective end up causing whatever love magic involved there to gravitate to herself instead - a lower energy reaction, if you will. First Flurry has become Second Cadance, and from here on, First Cadance ends up having a completely different life and no longer ascends. Later iterations of Chrysalis may not even know they were supposed to befriend her at all. WHOOPS.

Second Cadance desperately tries to keep the timeline intact, which eventually requires producing her own Second Flurry. She knows this works, because she's still hounded the whole time by a Second Chrysalis - not quite exactly like her own past self, but quite similar. She uses whatever selective genetic manipulation she learned as a changeling to produce a near-clone of her past self.

Over many loops, this process stabilizes into a kind of tidal lock, enough that they're essentially the same person each time and their memories are near identical, producing the illusion of a true loop and a being who's simply injected herself into causality with no true genesis and continues to birth herself - an illusion that even the actors now fall for.

Mind you, all those older loops may still be running on the side, which would essentially make this a temporal memory leak. And just for extra Marvel/DC style insanity, Discord might reach across the veil and drop First Cadance on Current Cadance just to see what would happen.

I think there are already enough spoiled spoilers, so screw that noise.

So, did Cadence die when purifying/sending back Chrissy? If so Flurry/Chrissy would remember her mother dying/growing up without her. Else the loop if only their origin story, and Cadence lives on after that.
Oh that conversation must be hilarious, once Flurry gets sent back and she's not worried: "So, honey, Twily, aunties, I'm actually Flurry. And Chrysalis. Apparently I'm a destiny butterfly whose maturation cycle requires a couple centuries and at least two travels backwards in time. Good news though, I'm a grandmother! And mother of some several thousand too.
Well, you did ask!"


Good read, but time-travel in stories is a bit of a pet-peeve for me. It completely throws causality out of the window, which is the entire basis of a storyline, and just leaves the reader wondering "WTF just happened. How even. Etc."

I think it goes (prob innaccurate)

Villain steals daughter via timetravel who grows up to become mother, mother has child with father (but villain steals daughter), mother becomes depressed and becomes male and meets mother via timetravel and have daughter, father becomes vengeful and kills villain after daughter stolen but becomes villain, villain steals daughter via timetravel, villain dies by vengeful father

This... I can't like this.

Not to say that it was written poorly, but its entire premise is fundamentally flawed. Either time travel stories adhere to the multiverse theory or they simply do not work. 8890990 comes closest to explaining a possible origin of the closed loop, but it still ascribes heavily to the multiverse theory (the antithesis of a closed loop) and requires the original Cadence being removed from the loop. That's the most important question in the story, and it's barely addressed, let alone adequately explained. This sort of story that requires this much thought on the part of the reader must be self consistent and not have logic paradoxes, or at least a damn good explanation for them, and I'm not seeing one.

I might be missing something or might be just too tired to really think over the story and its timeline shenanigans, but as is, this is an odd story that has an intriguing hook that unfortunately crumbles under the weight of its paradox.

I'll still keep an eye on this, because I'd like to dig deeper into this thought experiment, and a continuation of the story that goes into the origin of the loop might address the issues I have.

I agree with that assessment. I've done no end of thinking on this, and everything I could possibly come up with still includes a small paradox or two. A multiverse might help, but I still think it comes back into the same traps eventually. I'm starting to feel it's the story itself that is fundamentally flawed, and not my logic that's failing. Something like this simply doesn't work. It's paradoxical. It makes no sense and requires a whole lot of thinking to figure out even that much.
Still, the concept was interesting to explore. I can't say that I hate or even dislike the story, despite the timeline difficulties, simply because it did make me think, and it was a truly unique story, at least on this website. It was fascinating, and I can't blame the author for writing it, even though it can't possibly work in any kind of reality.

A fun story with a twist. Cadance's dialogue is fantastic.
So to make sure I understand this right, Chrysalis reproduces parthogenetically right? She's able to pop out spawn on her own? I'm asking because, regardless of what force originally created her before the time loop stabilized, I really need to know she's not actually biologically related to Shining Armor.

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