• Member Since 7th Feb, 2014
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Stories about ponies are stories about people. Every challenge is an opportunity to change. My Patrons let me keep writing, at: https://www.patreon.com/RealStarscribe


  • EKnight of Wands
    Jacqueline Kessler has accomplished incredible things, but now she is almost finished. There is only one more mission to complete. One more pony left to find, and nothing in the waking or sleeping world can keep them apart.
    Starscribe · 21k words  ·  116  8 · 1.5k views

This story is a sequel to PaP: Bedtime Stories

Earth has faced terrible things since the Event transformed all living humans into ponies and scattered them across time. Equestria's own demons nearly wiped out civilization more than once, and devastating internal war nearly finished the job.

But now the worst threats are gone, the weapons ponies created to survive them are more dangerous than ever. The superintelligence Athena now rules the world, absolute authority over all civilization. With her power and intellect, she drives the survivors towards greatness, regardless of the body count along the way.

But there are ponies who resist, who yearn for something better. Jackie is not one of those ponies. But maybe they can get her help. It isn't like they have anywhere else to turn.

A ponies after people story. Requires knowledge from 'The Last War' to the end of Bedtime Stories to really make sense, but not necessarily full coverage beyond that.

This story is a patreon commission for the wonderful Lightfox Lowell, who provided the general premise. Editing by Two Bit and Sparktail, cover by Zutcha. Thanks to my wonderful support team for making this insanity possible.

Updates every Tuesday.

Chapters (45)
Comments ( 280 )

Alex isn't around to direct Athena anymore... I never thought about what that could result in.

This is going to be interesting.

It's good to see Jackie again. I always liked her

Yas! Good story!

Athena goes Matrix/Skynet/[insert machine driven apocalypse/dytopia here]? Boy, this world just can NOT catch a break, can it?

Jackie herself wasn’t even all that effected by the change,

Perhaps you meant affected?

I can see this is going to be another great story.

Who would of thought :D? Also jackie is love <3 and loooove you starscribe for more of this series

I read the title of this story and thought "Who tf names a story Malaria?"

I love stories where the goal is to build something up from pretty much nothing. Can't wait to see another Civ in story form. And, man that was a quick update.


Meliora is a Latin adjective meaning "better".

It may be used...to mean "better things", "always better", "ever better", or, more fully, "for the pursuit of the better".

Excitement! Fear! Despair! Sadness! These were the emotions I felt as I saw this story was a thing and reading its description. I am super stoked for more content in this universe, and all the heavy, bittersweet excellence that comes with it!

Though I am a little confused, it looked like it was setting up Athena taking charge of everything, but it hasn't been mentioned yet in story, has that happened yet? Has the loss of Archive rendered Alex unable to keep Athena from getting carried away somehow? Is Athena already in charge with some alicorn figureheads? If so, why would she set the castes up like this? Are the magic humans somewhere out there, still on earth? Or are they in, or building towards space to ditch a corrupted earth?

And speaking of that, how much effort will it take to clean up worldwide Outsider corruption?

So many questions already! Can barely wait for more! Now I must go cry over Riley's tomb, still not entirely over that.

Okay, wow. This definitely answers some questions I had, while raising a few more. Also holy crap at the implications of everything 'reprise' said. I am now even more eager to see where this goes.

Somehow I think the fact jackie had met alex proves that oracle's vision is correct. I believe this would be a journey for both jackie and Athena and the rest of the remaining immortals as well newcomers.

Your way with words continues to astound. You do a wonderful job of showing the passage of time, and how much strain that puts on the immortals. It's interesting to see how each of them have different goals, and how they're accomplishing them.

And the world turns on.... It reminds me a little of the Worthing Saga in how even the distant future eventually fades to legend.

And things kick right off!

It’s easy to forget just how powerful a dreamwalker with indefinite time to practice can be. Here’s hoping this expedition has the sense not to cross her, especially while they’re dealing with whatever’s prowling the outside world.

Something I forgot to comment on, but did Alex state that there is ANOTHER super big threat waiting sometime in the future? Another Outsider or something new that will emerge from the galaxies new magic system? Does it have to do with what was mentioned in the previous story about how every other world in the galaxy that once had life is now a barren wasteland? Or did I just misread that when I was blazing through this series?

the speed of light was one of those things Athena could get rather insistent about.


Figures. Athena kind of gave off a sinister vibe throughout the last story, but she was steadfastly an ally against Charybdis and I was fool enough to think the story would end there.

I'm still not clear on how many alicorns there are now, but apparently they're irrelevant now anyway.

Once again, things progressed pretty quickly but I suppose there wasn't much to talk about beforehand.

Hoo boy, we already know that making deals with antlered gods in this universe doesn't end well....:twilightoops:

deals with the gods... yeah that can't possibly end well, not with the standing track record for nature gods. seriously, the devil is more generous and forgiving in his deals than these things.

We’re talking real Stargate shit—burned leg stumps in shoes kinda deal.

Watched that episode a couple days ago. Read this chapter while watching the s2 finale. :twilightsheepish:

Sees a new story form your awesome universe, with a bat pony on it.... Much interest I suddenly have O>O

Archive's destruction still makes me sad.

The bats' plan rested on Alex stopping this?

Imagine what they will think once they find out that athena's tyrannical rule has alex's blessing.

Well, then... here’s hoping they’ll get to enjoy setting up their own civilization for a bit before something else gets screwed up.

I guess competition is the best way to make all sides better as long as they survive.

Too bad Alex is both retired and lost her archive centric abilities, she's always been super useful for bootstrapping primitive societies.

Depends. If the threat is far off in the future than tech development from an arms race would be useful. Otherwise, any fighting or mistrust between the two would make it that much easier for the threat to take over.

Worse case scenario is that future generations will develop a adversarial rivalry large enough that each side may attempt to manipulate the threat into taking the other side out when the two sides need to cooperate the most. To be honest, if this happens, I'd probably be rooting for the monster.

But… if you want it, you haveta do something for me.”

Oops, a typo.

That's actually a clever way to cash in on your debt. Get all of them to pay you back.

Nice of Voey to make his price actually be to their benefit. This new city will be like Kelethin, one of my favorite fantasy cities anyway.

They'll have to work hard to come up with theme music that can top what the wood elves of the Greater Faydark did, though.

Sydney wasn’t just empty land, it was the site of a terrible battle. She fully expected some of the wreckage of that ancient conflict to linger on, ready to rip its claws up through history and tear apart the unwary.
She made her way to the edge of the crater, where someone had dragged out the body. A bat had been electrocuted, most of his body burned so badly that his original color was now lost, and some of his bones emerged from crispy flesh.

Oi mate, throw another bat on the barbie!:trollestia:

Yep, between this and Little Problems I'm seeing a pattern in these post-post-postapocalyptic civilizations. Of course gods are involved in both cases, so heading back to nature should be expected somewhat.

At least the debt didn't involve the blood of the firstborn.

Though I wonder if voey knew of the bats initial plan in the first place and knew jackie would need him? He just "happened" to be in the right place at the right time. He wanted this too.

It's apparently his civilization-building project now. At least until jackie's dead. And that's not coming anytime soon.

And I can't wait to see athena's face when she discovers that mundi's greatest rival, the one she wants to encourage growth and development, is actually a hippie commune.

Whelp, Thestralia has claimed it's first barbie victim. Was he small?

Well, I look forward to seeing what became of the deer over the thousands of years since we last saw them and how they might help make this civilization path a viable rival for mundi

Yaaa except one ittisy bitty problem. I don't know how close the sun is to it's Red giant stage but it has to be close and that won't leave much time for the populace. The earth would become like the next venus and no amount of hipping is going to save them from that unless "magic" shenanigans. Reason why Technology > Nature. This meme sums it up best i.redditmedia.com/wTOlRnttXu_sG6Iuc8dllqWTxrjoyuypJ43lot-mJUw.jpg?w=911&s=e58945aa18d98727aa8499acf1fe84bc

Uh. If I remember less than 10,000 years have passed. That's nowhere near the sun's red giant phase.

Ahh okay, couldn't remember how much millennia has passed. But it would be a issue in the future if it ever came to that point.

They are still getting refugees, and those have a strict cutoff date at 10000 AE.
But it's more than a billion years until the sun growing would concern Earth's life (not the red giant stage yet, more than 4 billion years until then). If any of the species that they have will manage to survive at least a single percent of that time, that would be a feat very few complex lifeforms on Earth had ever accomplished. Even their immortals have a snoball chance in Hell to survive anywhere near that long.
So it's basically soneone else's problem in its finest.

Okay, caught up with enough PaP lore to follow this one. And darn if it isn't an intriguing story to follow. Eagerly looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Finally, a new (to us at least) Alicorn! (Sounded like an ascended Mystic Rune at first, really.)

Well now, this is convenient. Between gods and alicorns, Jackie may yet bargain up a nation for these bats... though I shudder to think of the conflicts of interest that might arise between her various sponsors.

Civilization continues apace. Hopefully Jackie's being paranoid, but I suspect interesting times are on the horizon...

At least things are remotely stable for the moment....

Pretty sensible reasons for starting a tree city, even more impressive considering Jackie's basically BSing it.

I am really looking forward to seeing how this new civilization turns out, but I suddenly wonder if they will ever hear from that moth breezy civilization from Little Problems that also has connections to Voeskender. Depending on how well that did, axis mundi might one day find the majority of the planet ruled by civilizations that use alternate technological paths.

Ominous words to end on.

Well damn. If Jackie ain't an Alicorn then she sure ain't far from it. Seems like she has more going on in the sensory department than most other powerful beings too if she can sense them like that. Great story.

She's a batpony, extra hearing comes with the territory. And considering Alex's time spent dead, Jackie is the oldest pony alive. That's enough time to pick up some tricks, even without any supernatural alicorn magic.

Hmm. I highly doubt Athena actually expected that to work. The question is what she really wanted it to accomplish... or whether she even had any input on the assassination. The Mundi probably don't have that level of autonomy, but the possibility exists.

Indeed, this seems too badly thought out to have been anything but an opening gambit, rather than a proper attempt on Jackie’s life. Or not, depending on who this “Mercy” is. Either way, looks like the tutorial stage is over.

that put it near the living Heartwood of the tree.

Heartwood in the center is usually dead. That's why it can rot away or be gnawed out by animals to make a den without seriously harming the tree. The sapwood, wrapped around the heartwood and within the cambium and the bark, is the living part of the inside of a tree, where the (go figure) sap flows and carries nutrients from the roots to the leaves, and stored energy from the leaves to the roots.

Jackie... :facehoof: An assassin jumps you, you and he disappear from in front of a live audience, then you just pop back and nonchalantly announce the bar is open?

That's so you. :rainbowlaugh:

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