• Member Since 26th Jun, 2018
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Lets Do This


We're going to build an exact copy of Ponyville... right over there! We've got less than a minute!

E

"Do not speak to us of flame or wrath! Lest we show thee what the words truly mean!"

Twilight, Starlight, and Trixie go back in time to answer two questions: why did Celestia become Daybreaker, and how did Equestria survive?

Note: This story assumes the events of Friendmaker, but can also be read on its own.

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 48 )

"Oh, no! No, no, no! Nonononono--aaaauuuughhh!!!"

You know, this bit reminds me of a certain scene from DBZ Abridged...

"Trixie!" Starlight whispered.

"What?"

"Quit looking for butterflies to step on!"

AHH!!! I know, that story, I've read that story, why can't I remember the name??? Help?

Alright, two chapters in and I'm enjoying it so far!

9194016
Thanks for the feedback!
A Sound of Thunder, by Ray Bradbury, maybe? :twilightblush:
Though this is also a nod to chaos theory in general, just so it's clear that I'm intentionally ignoring it here, for the sake of the story.

Cool, or should I say, Hot, story. Excellent head canon for an alternative backstory of Equestrian history if you want to use it as such. Good show! :pinkiehappy:

Addendum. Yes, "A Sound of Thunder" is the story I was thinking of, he, he, nice working that in, and it would be like Trixie somehow... :rainbowlaugh:

9194096
Thanks for the feedback! It makes my day hearing you enjoyed it! :twilightsheepish:

And it always helps knowing what works and what doesn't work for readers!

I generally do try to stay consistent, or at least compatible, with show canon, in part because it makes it more of a challenge. That's gotten easier now that I'm caught up through Season 8. And it also means there's more things I can reference, like the Pony of Shadows, to make a particular point work.

Ri2

Well, this was a neat adventure. Not gonna lie, I was expecting Luna becoming Nightmare Moon to stop Daybreaker and it turns out that's why she changed in the first place. Glad that's not the case.

9194626
Right, this is totally not the right point in time for that to happen, so that wasn't even on the table.

And the whole point was that Luna couldn't bring Celestia back on her own... so she needed to call in a little extra help from some experts in world-threatening disasters! :twilightsmile:

Wonderful stuff... aside from the inconsistent archaic pronouns and weirdly Valley Girl-esque Trixie. Aside from that, a fantastic character study, exercise in timey-wimey logic, and lesson for Celestia on the value of both carrot and stick. Thank you for this.

This is EXACTLY the kind of Daybreaker fic I've been hoping for. An interesting concept, pitch-perfect characterization, plenty of surprises, and masterful execution from start to finish. Welcome to my Favorites.

9196641
Thanks! Yes, I debated whether to have both Sisters use the royal We consistently, and decided that would make the prose too klunky, so I went with the strategy that the more "diplomatic" Celestia would switch in and out based on the formality of the context, while the more analytical Luna simply can't be bothered and always speaks formally since that's one less thing to have to remember.

And, for Trixie, this is meant to be the reformed "Teacup" Trixie that we see palling around with Starlight in, for example, All Bottled Up. Again, I was trying to keep her from being one-note in using her "stage voice" -- it also helps emphasize the contrast with her performance in the big set-piece at the end. But I dunno, do die-hard Trixie fans prefer the earlier, third-person Trixie?

In any case, thanks again for reading, and for the feedback -- it helps! :twilightsmile:

9196730
It's not the use of first-person pronouns that bothers me, but dialect choices like "ya" and "totes" that just don't register as Trixian to me. It's a minor quibble, but still.

9196668
Thank you! You just made my day! :twilightsheepish:

I was hoping I could pull off a Daybreaker story that Daybreaker fans would enjoy. I was a little worried that the length might have put readers off, but I wanted to tell something more than the usual Daybreaker-apocalypse-with-no-ending story, so I needed the length to set up an appropriately slam-bang resolution.

I'm pleased as punch you liked it... I'm in my happy place now! :twilightsmile:

9196736
Fair enough... for penance I'll go watch To Where and Back Again, to brush up on my Trixie. (It still counts as penance even if you like it!) :twilightsmile:

9196736
I went through and gave Trixie's dialogue a tweak here and there, and it does help. Thanks for the comment!
(And I was totally picturing Trixie from All Bottled Up -- the Trixie in To Where and Back Again would never have had the confidence to pull off her performance in this story! :-)

Interesting idea and I like idea of such a time travel spell too.

9200448
Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, I wanted to try for something a little different from the usual time-travel-everything-gets-broken story.
A bit like BTTF, where changing history fortunately turns out to be a good thing for everyone involved.

I liked this story a lot especially the way they managed to get Celestia to see reason again.

9202120
Thanks for the feedback! Yep, a big part of what motivated me to write this was Trixie's tour-de-force performance at the end against Celestia/Daybreaker -- it was tons of fun to write! :twilightsmile:

Luna: And that's how it works.
Trixie: That's how what works?:trixieshiftleft:
Luna: Memory spell. *flashes magic on Trixie*
Luna: And that's how it works.
Trixie: That's how what works?:trixieshiftleft:
Luna: Memory spell. *flashes magic on Trixie*
Luna: And that's how it works.

9200717
Pretty sure ole Biff came out worse for wear. :trollestia:

Luna, you already dragooned time-travelers into helping you possibly change their own past. Dunno how much sympathy you can expect when you complain about their methods.

Definitely a fun romp. If I had to give exactly one criticism, it would be that you went very heavy on the exclamation points.

9239791
Daybreaker didn't fare so well either -- but to some extent that's the whole point of villains, to be the punching bag for the hero. :twilightsmile:

9239871
Thanks! And good point -- I think it's because my main characters for this one were a showpony and two stress-case-freakout experts. It's easy to go overboard on the punctuation! :twilightsmile:

I did a pass with the weed-whacker and cleaned up the exclamation points, especially in the first chapter, and it does help. Thanks for the suggestion!

I see what you did there. I don't suppose their cloaks are Holocaust Cloaks, are they? :twilightsmile:

9281470
Ohmygoodness, I honestly hadn't even noticed that. I suppose it's a good thing Trixie isn't mostly dead, huh? :twilightsmile:

And we're gonna need a wheelbarrow.
:facehoof: Trixie...
💥 We could always pop back to the future and see if Applejack can loan us one...
:facehoof: Starlight...
🌙✨ Why didst thou not list that amongst our assets?
:facehoof: Urghhhh...

9281892
Well, they DID have good luck storming the castle!

This was a good read. It was both fun for the time-travel shenanigans, serious too at points (I felt sad for Twilight, seeing Celestia's fall and being so stricken by it) and the climax was superb... A brilliant callback to the Alicorn Amulet episode.

9324791
Thanks very much for reading, and for the helpful feedback, as always! :twilightsmile:

This was a good story, i liked the chemistry between Starlight and Trixie plus i also liked how Trixie was used in a major role. Good job.

Trixie looked uncomfortable. "Want the truth? It was awful. I've still got bad word-of-mouth to live down. Houses aren't that great, so I'm barely making back travelling expenses. And after the Manticore Mouthdive it's like everypony expects me to, I dunno... Explode! Live on stage! or something like that, at every performance! I mean, come on! It was my most successful trick ever ... and it only seems to have made my everyday work harder. "

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lyrics+i+know+it%27s+only+rock+n+roll&&view=detail&mid=CDA6F6516A3A6D76E906CDA6F6516A3A6D76E906&&FORM=VRDGAR

"WHO ART THOU?" the dragon boomed down at her. "TO DISTURB ME?"

"We are the Princess Celestia! We seek to discuss a matter that is of importance to both of us."

"DRAGONS ARE NOT THY CONCERN, PRINCESS OF PONIES. BEGONE!"

"There has clearly been a misunderstanding," Celestia went on. "Thou hast taken the Crystal Heart." She gestured to it with a forehoof, making no move to touch it or claim it. "It is important to the well-being of the Crystal Empire, thy neighbors in this land. Please return it to us, and we shall leave thee in peace."

With a crash of claws and a roar, the dragon suddenly swept forward from the cave, a mountain of red crystal scales and golden spines, coming to a halt with its snout bare yards from Celestia. It grinned with a disturbing number of spike-like teeth, its golden eyes glaring down at her.

Celestia almost managed to hold her ground, faltering a step and then recovering, her eyes wide. Behind her, the pegasi guards snorted in surprise and anger, ready to leap to her defense.

"AND IF I DO NOT?" the dragon sneered. A massive claw lifted and swung down... and then scooped up the Heart as if it was a coin found in the street. The dragon idly tossed the crystal stone in the air and caught it, playing with it as if it was nothing at all, a toy or trinket.

"The Crystal Empire requires it," Celestia said patiently, keeping her voice steady. "It holds back the cold, allows them to live here in the North. It is a small thing, almost nothing to thee. But it would mean so much to them. They would be most grateful to thee for its safe return."

"THY PRECIOUS CRYSTAL EMPIRE STOLE IT FROM MY LAIR! FROM MY HOARD, HERE IN THIS MOUNTAIN. WHY SHOULD I TROUBLE MYSELF ABOUT THEM, LITTLE PRINCESS?"

Celestia's teeth grated at the slight. "As Princess of Equestria, we seek only the peaceful co-existence of all inhabitants of this realm. Thou art right to seek to protect thy home and property. We ask merely that thou show the wisdom of thy dragon race, by a simple act of generosity towards the Empire, which wishes only to live in peace with thee as neighbors in this land."

The dragon rested his head on one claw, and rolled the Heart about in the fingers of the other. Celestia winced at the fragile clinking noise it made, skipping and sliding across the dragon's scales.

"PRETTY WORDS," the dragon rumbled. "FROM A PRETTY LITTLE PONY."

Celestia's breath hissed softly. Her shoulders tensed.

The dragon's claw closed on the Heart. "TRUE, IT MEANS NOTHING TO ME. I HAVE THOUSANDS MORE GEMS, OF MUCH HIGHER QUALITY. AND THOU ASKS SO NICELY! I COULD EASILY RETURN IT TO THEM AS... AH... A GESTURE OF GOODWILL?"

It grinned, chuckling massively.

"BUT I WILL NOT! I CARE NOT FOR THY CRYSTAL EMPIRE OR ITS THIEVING PONIES, WHO HUDDLE LIKE VERMIN BENEATH MY MOUNTAIN. THE SOONER THEY ARE GONE FROM MY SIGHT THE BETTER! NOR DO I CARE A JOT FOR THY SO-CALLED UPSTART REALM OF EQUESTRIA. IT MEANS NAUGHT TO ME... DRAGONS BOW TO NO LORD, SAVE OUR OWN!"

Celestia's forehoof angrily pawed at the stone of the ground. Her eyes narrowed.

The dragon leaned closer, sneering down at her as at a pet. Or a bug.

"AND I CARE NOT FOR THEE... MISERABLE, FRIGHTENED LITTLE PRINCESS PONY!"

Celestia's forehoof stopped scraping. She glared up at the dragon.

There was a horribly tense silence.

"Then we shall MAKE thee care..."

"Sister!" Luna called out worriedly. But Celestia wasn't listening. She shut her eyes. And when she opened them again, they were ablaze with the light of the Sun itself.

The Royal Voice thundered across the plateau like the roar of an avalanche:

WHO ART THOU TO ADDRESS US SO!

Celestia flung her wings wide and leapt into the air, rising high above the dragon. Her body burst into flame, roaring and blazing. A furnace blast of heat smashed across the plateau in every direction. In an instant, the snow drifts on the ground wilted into puddles, then whiffed up as steam. And within the swirling, billowing clouds, Celestia burned with fury.

WE ARE NO MERE PONY! WE ARE THE PRINCESS CELESTIA, ABSOLUTE RULER OF THE LANDS OF EQUESTRIA!

And then Celestia simply exploded into brilliant, blinding light... and suddenly there were two Suns in the sky.

BE WARNED, CAVE-DWELLING WYRM! YOU TRIFLE WITH US AT YOUR PERIL! RETURN TO US THE CRYSTAL HEART, OR PAY THE PRICE OF THY INSOLENCE!

time for a redo!

”WHO ART THOU?” the dragon boomed down at her. "TO DISTURB ME?"

"We are the Princess Celestia! We seek to discuss a matter that is of importance to both of us."

"DRAGONS ARE NOT THY CONCERN, PRINCESS OF PONIES. BEGONE!"

"There has clearly been a misunderstanding," Celestia went on. "Thou hast taken the Crystal Heart." She gestured to it with a forehoof, making no move to touch it or claim it. "It is important to the well-being of the Crystal Empire, thy neighbors in this land. Please return it to us, and we shall leave thee in peace."

With a crash of claws and a roar, the dragon suddenly swept forward from the cave, a mountain of red crystal scales and golden spines, coming to a halt with its snout bare yards from Celestia. It grinned with a disturbing number of spike-like teeth, its golden eyes glaring down at her.

Celestia almost managed to hold her ground, faltering a step and then recovering, her eyes wide. Behind her, the pegasi guards snorted in surprise and anger, ready to leap to her defense.

"AND IF I DO NOT?" the dragon sneered. A massive claw lifted and swung down... and then scooped up the Heart as if it was a coin found in the street. The dragon idly tossed the crystal stone in the air and caught it, playing with it as if it was nothing at all, a toy or trinket.

"The Crystal Empire requires it," Celestia said patiently, keeping her voice steady. "It holds back the cold, allows them to live here in the North. It is a small thing, almost nothing to thee. But it would mean so much to them. They would be most grateful to thee for its safe return."

"THY PRECIOUS CRYSTAL EMPIRE STOLE IT FROM MY LAIR! FROM MY HOARD, HERE IN THIS MOUNTAIN. WHY SHOULD I TROUBLE MYSELF ABOUT THEM, LITTLE PRINCESS?"

Celestia's teeth grated at the slight. "As Princess of Equestria, we seek only the peaceful co-existence of all inhabitants of this realm. Thou art right to seek to protect thy home and property. We ask merely that thou show the wisdom of thy dragon race, by a simple act of generosity towards the Empire, which wishes only to live in peace with thee as neighbors in this land."

The dragon rested his head on one claw, and rolled the Heart about in the fingers of the other. Celestia winced at the fragile clinking noise it made, skipping and sliding across the dragon's scales.

"PRETTY WORDS," the dragon rumbled. "FROM A PRETTY LITTLE PONY."

Celestia's breath hissed softly. Her shoulders tensed.

The dragon's claw closed on the Heart. "TRUE, IT MEANS NOTHING TO ME. I HAVE THOUSANDS MORE GEMS, OF MUCH HIGHER QUALITY. AND THOU ASKS SO NICELY! I COULD EASILY RETURN IT TO THEM AS... AH... A GESTURE OF GOODWILL?"

It grinned, chuckling massively.

"BUT I WILL NOT! I CARE NOT FOR THY CRYSTAL EMPIRE OR ITS THIEVING PONIES, WHO HUDDLE LIKE VERMIN BENEATH MY MOUNTAIN. THE SOONER THEY ARE GONE FROM MY SIGHT THE BETTER! NOR DO I CARE A JOT FOR THY SO-CALLED UPSTART REALM OF EQUESTRIA. IT MEANS NAUGHT TO ME... DRAGONS BOW TO NO LORD, SAVE OUR OWN!"

Celestia's forehoof angrily pawed at the stone of the ground. Her eyes narrowed.

The dragon leaned closer, sneering down at her as at a pet. Or a bug.

"AND I CARE NOT FOR THEE... MISERABLE, FRIGHTENED LITTLE PRINCESS PONY!"

Celestia's forehoof stopped scraping. She glared up at the dragon.

There was a horribly tense silence.

"Then we shall MAKE thee care..."

"Sister!" Luna called out worriedly. But Celestia wasn't listening. She shut her eyes. And when she opened them again, they were ablaze with the light of the Sun itself.

The Royal Voice thundered across the plateau like the roar of an avalanche:

WHO ART THOU TO ADDRESS US SO!

Celestia flung her wings wide and leapt into the air, rising high above the dragon. Her body burst into flame, roaring and blazing. A furnace blast of heat smashed across the plateau in every direction. In an instant, the snow drifts on the ground wilted into puddles, then whiffed up as steam. And within the swirling, billowing clouds, Celestia burned with fury.

WE ARE NO MERE PONY! WE ARE THE PRINCESS CELESTIA, ABSOLUTE RULER OF THE LANDS OF EQUESTRIA!

And then Celestia simply exploded into brilliant, blinding light... and suddenly there were two Suns in the sky.

BE WARNED, CAVE-DWELLING WYRM! YOU TRIFLE WITH US AT YOUR PERIL! RETURN TO US THE CRYSTAL HEART, OR PAY THE PRICE OF THY INSOLENCE!

there, :D


Celestia paused, astonished. "Luna..." She replied archly, "right now I feel better than I have in years. Come! Let's return this --" She swept up the Crystal Heart in her magic. "-- to the ponies who need it!"

so she turned into Daybreaker because she liked the power rush it gave her, Christ..... no wonder why Tia don’t want to remember that embarrassing time, i sure as hell wouldn’t,


also, for some reason, i hear that dragon as Smaug, ya know,

<--- this big bitch, i mean the checkmarks are there, one, he’s a Wyrm dragon, so he’s fucking

MASSIVE!

two, he’s very Smart, and three he’s thrist for GEMSTONES is big,

Question, why doesn't Twilight just use the potion she used in Princess Twilight Sparkle? It allows the user to see historical events without changing them and being alike to more of a ghost.

9682428
Good suggestion -- a few reasons:
a) Zecora's potion could only be used by a single pony (and an alicorn at that), which would make independent corroboration difficult, and you know Twilight's a stickler for the scientific method. With the time lens spell, you can bring multiple observers, equipment, etc.
b) the potion works by inducing visions, which probably would not be admissible as a matter of historical record, except as a plot device in emergencies
c) we don't know Zecora had (or could make) more than the one vial of potion
d) if they couldn't affect history, there'd be no story: Celestia would never have recovered from being Daybreaker without Twilight's intervention, and there would have been nothing they could do about it.

And, the most important reason of all:
e) I just didn't think of that. :twilightsheepish:

Thanks for reading and commenting! :twilightsmile:

Hated the story. No, quality is good, everypony is in character, and that is exactly why. Celestia had all rights to feel offended. In our world it's said - "war is what happens when launguage fails". I'll leave you to find where it's from. =) But still. Language fails Celestia it seems, when she fails to communicate how much suffering can be avoided, and how much lives can be saved to Starswirl and Luna. What I would do after being saved from Daybreaker - I would dis... No, not disown them. But I would certainly wouldn't want to hang around with stupid teacher, and his favorite warrior pupil. Not when they brought about my suffering with their blatant disregard to working diplomacy. The worst thing is? It's completely IN CHARACTER for Starswirl. It took Twilight, a fanfilly, to question and press him(with help, but that is not what is important) to what works and what doesn't. BTW, wander what happened to his motto "once a villain - always a villain" when it came to Celestia. Keep writing.

If only she could've strike a balance between Daybreaker and Celestia, a heck of a lot more could have been done much sooner!

Oh, yes! How I like it!
The Day shall last Forever!

What, what, and charisma can not be taken away from Daybreaker. She's just insanely gorgeous! Oh, how I would like to see it in the series.
And well, yes, Twilight Sparkle seems to have a cognitive dissonance.

(RU) Надеюсь автор когда нибудь прочитает этот отзыв, ну или хоть кто нибудь его увидит и поймёт.
История была довольно хороша, мне как как фанату Daybreaker и правда зашло то каким вы её изобразили. Но есть несколько моментов которые меня опечалили: во-первых, то что вечный день уничтожит всю жизнь на планете, Daybreaker конечно, немного безумна, но не настолько, чтобы уничтожать всю жизнь в мире, плюс как мы знаем Эквестрия вполне нормально перенесла в каноне вечную ночь, при ней даже холоднее не стало, так что и вечный день скорее всего тоже бы нормально перенесла бы.
Во-вторых, довольно странно всё время поддерживать свою огромную проекцию в небе. ну ладно это нужно когда ты хочешь сделать объявление, но на постоянной основе её держать просто немного нелепо.
В-третьих, на мой взгляд концовка оказалась немного слитой. Всё же неприятно смотреть как твой любимый злодей терпит унизительное поражение и навсегда исчезает из реальности да и как то уж слишком легко они убедили её снова стать Селестией. По сути вышла копирка сцены с пони теней, что не есть хорошо. Просто поговорили и всё... Причём поговорила даже не принцесса Луна или Старсквирл, которые дороги Селестии, а какая то незнакомая пони.
Опять же на мой взгляд лучшим вариантом было бы следующее: Daybreaker догадалась бы, что это обман, что Трикси помогают и сорвала бы маски со всей помогающей ей троицы и в ярости собиралась бы их троих просто сжечь, а принцессу Луну хорошенько проучить после, но в последний момент принцесса ночи бы собой закрыла героев отчего бы получила бы серьёзные травмы и в этот момент в сознании Селестии бы что то щёлкнуло. Она едва не сожгла живьём пони которую любила больше всего на свете, Селестия бы огляделась и все пони вокруг прячутся смотря на неё как на чудовище и тут она бы поняла, что это не то чего она хотела, а после она бы повернулась к одному из зеркал смотря на своё отражения и увидела там самое настоящие чудовище, чудовище которым она стала и именно в этот момент она бы отвергла Daybreaker и снова стала принцессой Селестией. Мне кажется это была бы шикарная концовка.

Translation of Jura18511861's comment (via Google Translate), for reference:

(RU) I hope the author will read this review someday, or at least someone will see it and understand it.The story was pretty good, as a Daybreaker fan I really liked the way you portrayed it. But there are several points that saddened me: firstly, the fact that an eternal day will destroy all life on the planet, Daybreaker, of course, is a little crazy, but not so much as to destroy all life in the world, plus as we know, Equestria quite normally suffered an eternal night, it didn’t even make it any colder, so I would most likely have tolerated the eternal day just fine.Secondly, it’s quite strange to maintain your huge projection in the sky all the time. Okay, this is needed when you want to make an announcement, but keeping it on a permanent basis is just a little ridiculous.Thirdly, in my opinion the ending was a little blurry. Still, it’s unpleasant to watch your favorite villain suffer a humiliating defeat and disappear from reality forever, and somehow they convinced her too easily to become Celestia again. In fact, it was a carbon copy of the scene with the pony of shadows, which is not good. We just talked and that’s all... And it wasn’t even Princess Luna or Starsquirl, who are dear to Celestia, who talked, but some unfamiliar pony.Again, in my opinion, the best option would be the following: Daybreaker would have guessed that it was a hoax, that Trixie was being helped, and would have torn off the masks from the entire trio helping her and, in a rage, would have simply burned the three of them, and taught Princess Luna a good lesson after, but in At the last moment, the princess of the night would have covered the heroes with herself, which would have resulted in serious injuries, and at that moment something would have clicked in Celestia’s mind. She almost burned alive the pony she loved more than anything in the world, Celestia would have looked around and all the ponies around were hiding looking at her like a monster and then she would have realized that this was not what she wanted, and then she would have turned to one of the mirrors looking at her reflection and saw there a real monster, the monster she became and it was at that moment that she would reject Daybreaker and become Princess Celestia again. I think this would be a great ending.

11712544
Many thanks for your kind and thoughtful feedback, Jura! As a Daybreaker fan, it's great having your perspective on this.

I hear you, and if this were a story only about Celestia/Daybreaker, your ending would be very appropriate. But this is as much a story about Twilight as Celestia, about Twilight learning to see her beloved tutor as less than perfect. And it's kind of a sequel to Friendmaker, in which Twilight faced her own version of the Princess ego-trap. It was also a way of exploring Daybreaker from an unusual angle: as something that happened in the past, prompting one to ask how Equestrian history survived it. (Ask anyone living through the Cold War in the 80's/90's for a modern equivalent.)

And yes, the resolution was similar to that for Stygian. As it was with Luna, in an earlier story in this sequence, Nightwaker. This is intentional, as a way of showing Twilight's similar approach in each case: talking each of her powerful friends down from the ledge they've climbed onto, so to speak. It's kind of her role as Princess of Friendship. And in this case, as Twilight herself notes, it's a way of giving back to the pony who's meant so much to her throughout her life.

Even if the ending wasn't quite your shot of vodka, I'm grateful you gave it a read, and shared your thoughts. I enjoyed writing this story, and receiving comments on it from readers like you makes my day!
:twilightsmile:

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