• Member Since 18th Oct, 2014
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Trick Question

Being against evil doesn't make you good.


Shining Armor goes to sleep one night and wakes up in the future, having been resurrected by his wife Princess Cadance for the fourth time. All of his memories of the past century are missing, and his kingdom is nearly unrecognizable.

As Shining struggles to make sense of the new world around him, he begins to suspect there's more to the story he isn't being told...

Written for The Writeoff Association's "All the Time in the World" contest.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 104 )

Cool, but I did not read it yet. Is there actual sex in this?

At the beginning, but it isn't graphic.

A buzzing sound emanated from the screen and it restored itself.

How in god's name did this story get a feature in less than an hour?

A lot of quick hits, I guess, but it's only featured if the mature filter is on. The real measure of success will be if it can get into the "real" feature box with all the porn stories in the way today.


Twilight's actions aren't adding up. It's claimed that she willingly silenced herself to prevent the secret from leaking, yet she (indirectly and secretly) gave the spell to Shining. That plus Friendlandia still being unexplained makes me rather suspicious.

Wow. I wonder what direction will the story go from here.

Crap. This was supposed to be marked Completed. I hadn't intended to go further. :facehoof:

So, does Flurry Heart know about what Cadence did? :trixieshiftright:

but two identical Moons hung pregnant in the sky above.

Watch out for pink haired tsunderes with riding crops.

"Your mane... you have your mantle?" he whispered

"I'm also a vampire and you might have had sex with our daughter" she responded.


"Passwall spell."

Apparently someone likes their d&d.

Awesome story looking forward to more good stories


Friendlandia? Really?

"We all did, Shiny. We all did." :facehoof:

I'm with Shining about everything I think. Including the fact It was murder.

Other than that major problem (which conceivably applies to everyone who knew the secret the last time around), I don't see any problems with what anypony is doing...

I hope we can skip this stuff when we start messing with our own minds as a species.


and of course it happened


Agreed. Cadence's deeds are both creepy and selfish ("I need you for all eternity"). More surprising is that the other Princesses agreed with such a plan (specially if involved time travel).

I was hoping Shining clone would have stood firm in his position of not letting his original's choices dictaminated his own. At least the conclusion is well delivered.

While predictable, I always love these kinds of stories. Great job at the genre!

Hot dang, there are SO many things morally wrong here, and still it's kinda romantic as well, ugh, poor Shining armor, he must be so messed up.

That's not very healthy, Cadance

This is incredibly fucked up and incredibly romantic ALL at the same time.

Kudos author.

Honestly, I thought it was going to be a lot more sinister.

I was thinking that Cadence had kidnapped a stallion erased his memories, replaced his memories with Shiny's, and changed his body with the help of the other princesses.

My reasoning behind this is:

"Crystal Princess, please!" she cried, kneeling on the edge of the balcony. "Please bring my young colt back to me, I beg you!"


"In your case, it's like the memories were never there. We considered trying to copy them from your old body before the rejuvenation, but inserting new memories into a brain is an imperfect process. The memories wouldn't feel genuine, and the process could drive you insane. There isn't a solution to this, Shiny. We've tried to find one, and we failed. I'm so sorry."

Amazing fic ^^ Well done Trick!

I really liked it. Well done

eh its pretty clear she's just begging to have her son reborn.

this is a problem that will sort itself out with technology though, maybe 4 or 5 more shinings though, depending on things.

Got some serious SOMA vibes here. Very nicely done.

this is an interesting idea...and further theres something else...the issue that cloneing brings up in our world.....there may be another reason why shes killing you early shining...she wants to make sure its 'you' in there...shes transfering your soul from the old body into the new to ensure it really is you each time, those coppies probly are just husks without that transferal.

[and yes i realize im talking to a charicter in the story, i self ingrain in situations like this or rather i stick beta, my sona, in for me thats him in the pic, and no hes nto an alicorn not really, the wings are machencial...as is about 80 percent of his body]

Maybe if he tries to kill Cadance, his memories will come back.

9150452 If she was transferring a 'soul', assuming such things exist in this Equestria, then the memory imprint of everything that happened would still be present in the soul. Hence, why ghosts remember things, if sometimes indistinctly depending upon the mythos.

These are just physical copies held in stasis.

It's actually quite gruesome and twisted. Cadance is not in love with him. She's OBSESSED. She's borderline insane. She's dangerous.

9149494 Twilight tried to stop Luna and Cadance's psychotic idea and was stripped of her mind and will, reduced to a fragmented ruin who now lives in the little enclave with the only name her broken mind could come up with.

And Celestia, being obviously evil anyway since everyone seems to like that for some reason, went along with it because mortal ponies exist to be manipulated for the pleasure of their superior gods.

The tragic hero here was Discord, who grew enough to let Fluttershy die in peace, and then was horrified to see the alicorns do something even he was disgusted by. So they stoned him with the EoH... which they could use because, whatever, the show doesn't seem to know what to do with them anyway. They just work however the plot requires. Then they broke his statue in pieces and sent the pieces all over Equestria. Fluttershy's soul in Pony Heaven cried, but alas, naught could be done until the Ponycalypse prophesied by the Book.

Anyway, the alicorns are now evil twisted god-children (aside from the ruined Twilight) and must be slain by a Displaced human in a Darth Vader mask.


hehehe refrencing dune mesiah there eh? but no that wont work diffrent thing they actualy did revive duncan as the ghoula there, the memories were there just damaged they had to be reactivated by trauma
in this case its a copy that never had those memoreis to begin with.

you have your head cannon, i have mine.
i prefer glass half full.

also twichrysi is best cannon character ship
[chrysipuff is best non cannon]
that is all.

Well, I didn't expect that. Should've though, it's not that much of a far fetched theory :derpytongue2:

Agree that there's not much room for a continuation, but it feels a bit too unfinished. A scene with flurry and one with Twily could possibly remediate that, I guess.

This...This is very well written.

So basically, Shining Armor is now the Nameless One? Interesting. A curious world.

How many, exactly?

"under the name trade name"
"under the trade name"?

"You knew were going to lose all"
"You knew you were going to lose all"?

Great catches. Thanks!

Interesting and thought-provoking. I was left wanting to find out more about the future world, especially the situation in "Friendlandia," how Twilight will react to the Shining who knows the secret. However, this probably was a good place to stop to keep the focus on Shining and Cadence's relationship.

That was absolutely delicious.

"What's a lifetime? To an immortal it's merely the flickering of a candle. A light, giving some comfort for a moment, and blown out the next," she grinned, "So, when one of us loves a mortal we have to prepare for the pain, or we find a way to adjust mortality. It is how it is."

I'd say that quote sums up the Cadence in this piece. I can understand, to some degree, what she's doing. In fact I believe that it was Harry Dresden that said it best, "It's that first step into black magic that gets you. When you first do it you rationalize it. You make yourself believe that it was necessary, and then you do it again and again, and again. Before long it twists who you are into something nonredeemable." That's what happened to Cadence here. She's accepted the rationalization as fact.

You're welcome!

I feel like Stephen King wrote this f:yay:ked up fic. It's a great fic but so f:yay:cked up.

High quality stuff, well written too.
Mortal ponies in this fic seem to have a rather short lifespan? SA "wakes up" as a very healthy twenty-something, 35 years later he's dead and replaced. Is this on purpose? I daresay that it is more common for authors to give their characters longer lifespans than this.

"I'm the same mare," promised Cadance, kneeling beside him. "My love for you hasn't changed with the passing years. If anything, it's only gotten stronger."

Cadence is most certainly not the same mare that Shining Armour fell in love with all those years ago. Her 'love' for him has grown to the point of obsession and the delusional justification she has for what she has done does not balance out the heinous crimes that she has committed. The systematic murder of Shining Armour, the lies, the manipulation, the dissent and pain she has sown amongst her subjects. Not to mention, the willing assistance from the other princesses...

How does one react when you find out that the original you not only died, but was murdered by the one you love?

"You... you killed me?" he whispered, his lips trembling. "Caddy, no..."

Cadance smiled with wet eyes as her mascara began to run. "You were suffering. You wanted to pass on, Shiny. You knew you were going to lose all your memories—"

Shining gasped and scrambled up to a standing position on shaky legs. "You killed me and I didn't even know I was going to die?" he said. "Cadence, that's... that's not even assisted suicide, that's cold-blooded murder!"

How do you react when she not only doesn't regret her actions but says this:

"You ARE my husband," countered Cadance, placing her hooves on his shoulders. "I love you, and I need you by my side, Shiny. This nightmare you see around you... this is evidence of how badly I need your love!"

Confusion most likely. The Shining Armour clone just doesn't know what to do. The original him was drugged, manipulated and lied to, and then murdered, and when he finds out part of the truth, he completely folds when Cadence 'cries' to gain his sympathies... As if she hasn't had more than 100 years to practice the art of politics and wearing a mask...

But that line does come to the crux of the issue: need. It's not love anymore. It's just going through the motions, an addiction, a coping mechanism. And when you're in a position of power... those who try to stop it get silenced.

And in poor Twilight's case, literally.

And I think, that Twilight was more than just silenced. Perhaps even tortured and broken to be forced to obey Cadence and the princesses every whim? Twilight Sparkle has always shown to be very methodical. Why would this particular line of dialogue show up?

Shining was about to press the issue, but a guard entered the room to speak. "Visitor for Shining Armor, from Friendlandia," he announced.

"Friendlandia?" asked Shining Armor.

"That's what Twilight named her kingdom," said Cadance, placing a hoof over her face. "It's an enclave within central Equestria. You should really read those journals."

"That's terrible. Horsefeathers. Didn't you tell her that was a terrible name?" said Shining, cringing. "Somepony should have said something."

"We all did, Shiny. We all did."

Oh I bet you all did. Just not in the way Shiny expects. But if there's one thing that Twilight is known for, it's her stubbornness. Most likely, Luna was monitoring her conversation with her brother clone, and when physically and mentally damaged, it would be very hard for Twilight to share information as such.

Twilight Sparkle held up a hoof to her lips in a 'shhh' motion.

Otherwise why couldn't she simply tell him through diagrams? Charts? A demonstration in the dream world? A 3-D Dimensional image? She's methodical after all. So, knowing that this version of Shining was onto the truth, she helped in a very subtle way in order to help. By having Spike deliver the message so that no one else would find out.

Upon arriving, he shut the door to the study and opened his saddlebags.

Sure enough, Spike had slipped something inside. It was a small scroll. Shining opened it up and whispered the title aloud...

"Passwall spell."

But Cadence did in the end, because after all:

"I had to marry a genius," came a tired voice from behind him. "Not just the captain of the hoofball team, but a raging dork with an intellect to rival his sister."

While Cadence could be sympathized with for what she has gone through, it just doesn't matter anymore. No matter how tragic a background one might have, it will never justify the choices you would make in the present and in the future when you have the information necessary to stop yourself. When you know better and when you know there's always a better, more informed choice, but you still proceed to go ahead with your heinous crimes, not once, not twice, but multiple times?

By lacking any empathy and basic decency, you forfeit any shred of sympathy from those that can see what you've been doing and why you're doing it. Morally and according to the universal ethic principles that exist for all sentient beings what she is doing is just plain wrong. It's not right and never will be right.

Very thought-provoking piece of writing I must say. Very well-written.

The obvious solution is to create a new set of clones from a shining that has had a year to process and accept the whole deal, that way you can skip a bunch of drama every rez.

Perhaps the strain on Twilight's heart was too much to bear and she felt that she had to send him a signal. And she realized that Shining Armor was on the right track already by asking about the wall: something that the other Shining's didn't wonder about and Twilight realized that he was different than the others.
Or perhaps Spike was the one, acting on his own, who wanted to slip Shining Armor the spell secretly, after Twilight could have had told him what had happened in the dream,

I'd like to think that Shining's dying words are:
"Know that I will always love you, Cadence. And tell Twilight..."
"What is it? Tell her what?"
"Tell her the name of her country sucks and it's stupid"
"We already-"
"It sucks soooo bad, like really bad. Please make her change it before the next time I d-"
*Twilight stabs him behind the back*

"Never done...? I figured this out before, didn't I?"

His different instances seem to diverge surprisingly fast.

Shining backed off from his wife. "Why not? It's just forgetting, and I want to forget. What's the difference?"

Well, then her precious stash would be smaller by one. Although, how irreplaceable it really is in the presence of time-travel when she may make arbitrary number of copies from any moment she likes? Time-travel seem to break literally everything about ethics intuition.

The only difference is philosophical masturbation


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