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When a young Rainbow Dash spotted a mysterious alicorn and unicorn from the future, history was changed. Events and lives both big and small have been irrevocably altered, for better and for worse.

This story is an anthology of side stories set in the Little Flashes series, which started with Little Glimpses. None of the material in this story is considered mandatory reading to enjoy the series itself and exists mostly to provide some additional context and detail on characters and events that are too small or too far removed to otherwise fit into the main series.

Edited by Chromio!

Beware spoilers in the comments!

Featured on 11th of January, 2019, the morning after first publication.

Chapters (10)
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Comments ( 91 )

Ouch. Definitely feeling bad for Rainbow here. Losing your parents at a young age is rough. Losing your parents because they were trying to save you from an accident while you were distracted is even rougher. Helping fish your parents out of the wreckage of the accident and STILL losing them is ROUGHER STILL. But you did an excellent job on the exchanges, characterizations, gut-wrenchers and future chapter set-up in all the right places.

Very definitely going to be looking forward to the other chapters in this series.

I flew teleported here immediately after being informed by 1516, one of my friend.

I will not read this now, though; it’s too harsh for my heart.

Currently decided translation name: 零碎时光 (Fragments of Time, in which 零 can also be deciphered as zero).

Hell yeah it’s back 12/10 story

RIP Dashie’s Parents, man that was gruesome

JMP

Oh wow that was rough. Rainbow needing help to drag her parents' bodies out only to realize they're dead... What a way to start.

User Skijarama,

Your actions have caused serious cardiac and lacrimal problems; please get rid of onions.

Yours,
Onion-Induced Cardiac and Lacrimal Illness Prevention and Control Agency (OICLIPCA)

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9399053

I just love how you two are on a near-identical wave length.

Wait... Rainbow Dash doesn't have any family members aside from her parents? But, what about this guy?

9404141
I've long held the belief that that pony is her dad when he was well-kept looking. Stubble shaved and no ratty clothes on.

1. This probably goes without saying. But I'd like to see the others' glimpses, including perhaps Celestia's.
2. Perhaps address Starlight's story, perhaps going from when Sunburst went to magic school, or Starlight's spiral into darkness, to Starlight getting a letter from Sunburst and hope reignited, etc.
3. Perhaps show alicorn Twilight's point of view as she warns her younger alternate timeline self of what's happening, up until her timeline ceases to exist.
4. Chrysalis's point of view of the siege of Canterlot.
5. The Cutie Mark Crusaders: Little Flashes Edition.

9404681

  1. I already intend to cover Applejack and Pinkie Pie, as they were the only two who we didn't get to see until the end of Glimpses. Rarity, Fluttershy, Twilight, and Rainbow all had flashes or were known to have flashes relatively early.
  2. I already plan on covering this as well.
  3. That wouldn't really work, as Original Universe Twilight talking to little filly Flashes Universe Twilight happened almost directly before adult Flashes Twilight steps into the room at the end of Glimpses. For Future Twilight, the string of events of seeing her filly self, seeing her teenage self having the shared flash in Cloudsdale, and seeing her new adult self, all happened in the span of, like, a minute.
  4. We have Chrysalis' view, already. That was her battle against Celestia in Choices.
  5. Maybe... We'll see.

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What Skijaramas said. Granted, back then he was presumably known as Rainbow Blaze, and has a slightly different cutie mark. But "Rainbow Blaze" was just a placeholder name (if not fan created) and his design was generic for the sake of a flashback without having to make a fleshed out character. However, when you look at the younger version of Bow Hothoof...
derpicdn.net/img/2017/5/7/1431368/large.jpeg
...the resemblance is uncanny. Unless Rainbow Blaze is Bow Hothoof's twin brother.

9404699
1. That's why I said it probably goes without saying. But we never actually saw Rarity's flashes, or her parents initial response. And again, there's Celestia's flash, even if it was just the one-time thing.
2. I do like it when I can guess correctly with little information. With the first, that wasn't a lucky guess, it was a well educated guess. This time, there was little to go by.
3. My point is just like the final moments of that timeline. I know they happen one after the other from her perspective.
4. I kinda meant the events leading up to the event, as well as getting more into Chrysalis's mind and what she was thinking.
5. I'd figure the biggest change in this scenario would be Scootaloo's perspective of things.

JMP

Honestly...this one hurt more. The previous chapter was the initial wound, but now the wound is just throbbing and festering. Rainbow's apathy, borderline depression, antisocial behavior....all topped up with the salt in the wound: Fluttershy's dad breaking the news that they can't adopt Rainbow. And she gets it, too. Rainbow's always been smart in this series, and she understood things as a kid that people probably didn't think she would

Really good look at Rainbow's life at the orphanage shortly after her parents' deaths. Yeah, you can definitely understand and sympathize with all sides here.

On one hoof, I can certainly understand why Rainbow would be so depressed (not only from her parents' recent deaths, but also from the fact Fluttershy's parents did not have the resources to take care of her AND the two foals they ALREADY had .


On another hoof, you can also relate to the orphanage staff and the other orphans trying and failing to help Rainbow at least partially overcome her grief .


And, as aforementioned, it is also easy to sympathize with Fluttershy's parents when they clearly sympathize with Rainbow, but lack the resources to take care of a third foal (and are at least honest enough to admit it outright in a sympathetic manner).


And, yeah, all the characterizations, exchanges and future set-up is quite well done and I will very certainly be looking forward to more of this story.

If the first chapter was kicking a puppy, this chapter was watching the puppy land 50 yards away. Will the next chapter be the reveal that the puppy was kicked into the middle of a minefield?

9412492
I will let you be the judge of that.

JMP

Her eyes widened, and she took in a shuddering gasp. The world flickered and began to shift and distort while her chest tightened. Her breath started to come in desperate, heaving gasps, while her heart began to beat frantically, so much that it was all she could hear.

Then, a new sound filled her skull as her senses were overwhelmed. She could hear deafening metal clangs that shook her to her core and knocked her clenched teeth together. she could feel the stone shaking beneath her hooves as bits of stray rock and dirt pummeled her body from all sides. She could taste the dust in her mouth and feel the tears rolling down her face. She saw the fallen crane, and the two bodies pinned underneath…

...
...
...
It was painful enough in the main series to see Rainbow's flashbacks, but seeing the first one? You just went ham with this first arc. You really had to go all out in Rainbow suffering, didn't you? And this sticks with her for her entire life.

9422583

You really had to go all out in Rainbow suffering, didn't you? And this sticks with her for her entire life.

If I didn't go all out, it wouldn't stick with her for the rest of her life, now would it?

I feel kinda bad for Butter

I have to admit that you did a great job on this chapter. The exchanges, characterizations and future chapter set-up were all well done in all the right places. I especially liked Celestia's reflections on why she chose to adopt Rainbow (as well as giving out a reasoning that was truthful, but didn't reveal every detail). Rainbow and Celestia's first face-to-face meeting was superbly done too.

9422543
Landed in a minefield, though I wouldn't put it as callous as that. So it'd be a minefield where the mines have been marked. Let's just hope that there aren't any unmarked mines.

9422706
I agree. Butter was worried about Rainbow Dash, and yet she just can't do anything to help her. That feeling of not knowing what to do is not pleasant.

9425262
If I were you, I wouldn't worry all that much about Butter's lack of ability to help.

The exchanges between Celestia and Rainbow are quite good. Very (appropriately) emotional and excellent characterizations. Rainbow's taking the time to think about Celestia's offer AND the detail of the conditions are also great.

JMP

Rainbow has always been very mature in this series, and I think this chapter was really a highlight of that. I also appreciated the heartwarming scene at the end with Rainbow and Celestia. It's nice on its own, but it's particularly pleasant after a very heavy opener to this anthology.

Another really good chapter, keep it up, I do love this story

Part 1 was the kicking of the puppy. Part 2 was watching the puppy land 50 yards away. Part 3 was the puppy landing in a minefield, though with marked mines. And Part 4 was watching as the puppy successfully navigates out of that mine field.

And I hope you don't mind me pointing out a couple of mistakes I found...

“The little one’s come to a decision,” Dreamer beamed with a cheerful once they were in earshot. She reached down and lightly nudged Rainbow forward. “Go on, Dashie.”

I believe that was supposed to be 'Dreamer beamed with a cheerful smile once they were in earshot.'

Celestia than stood up and turned slightly, gesturing for Rainbow to step in front of her. “Please, lead the way.”

Celestia then stood up and turned slightly, gesturing for Rainbow to step in front of her. “Please, lead the way.”

I hope we can see Butter again in the future as some kind of cameo. If Rainbow’s ever on a royal trip there, I think it’d be cool for her to run into Butter. Nice little reference.

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I became a fan of Butter immediately as well, so I'm also hoping she's seen in the future.

Absolutely LOVED the chat between Celestia and her future self (as well as the showing of past-Celestia's inner thoughts following said chat). Splendid job on the characterizations and future chapter set-up.

JMP

Celestia had a lot more time than Twilight to send a message, it looks like. This gave us a lot of nice insight into Celestia's motives. She really does force herself to be a mother first, and shove her plans to groom the Elements way after.

9483910
She did indeed. A more powerful caster combined with a larger window of discussion helped facilitate this.

Really good start on this latest arc. I LOVED both Twilight AND Starlight's reflections on what happened over the course of the time travel that caused the whole mess. And, yeah, I enjoyed seeing Starlight explain her case to both Celestia and Luna as well as the reasoning Celestia gave for Starlight's second chance. The set-ups with the altered memories on certain characters was great too.


All in all, VERY wonderful job on the exchanges, characterizations and future chapter set-up.

Huh. I wonder what sequence of events made Wind Whisper a possibility in the new world...

JMP

Seeing Squall was a pleasant surprise, but I didn't expect Wind Whisper to not exist. And wow...that crack....

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9509282

I didn't expect Wind Whisper to not exist

Huh. I wonder what sequence of events made Wind Whisper a possibility in the new world...

I don't plan on covering her conception, that's for sure. XD

Ah, ponies. So quick to forgive. So much unpaid suffering for it.

Let's just take Squall, who Starlight not only erased his sister, but fundamentally violated the universe in the process. He even loved her so much the paradox couldn't easily rid his mind of their memories together.

Being used as magical pony glue to stick it all back together might be a fair punishment.

9509377
I think you are fundamentally misunderstanding what has happened, here.

In the original timeline, Wind Whisper was never born. But in this chapter, the original timeline is now dissolving and turning into the Little Flashes timeline, in which Wind Whisper was conceived and born. Wind Whisper wasn't erased from existence, Squall is starting to gain the memories of his new self, and Wind Whisper is coming into existence.

9509313
Well, could you at least have a scene with her mother that explains why she wanted another kid at least?

“You are not wrong when you say your actions are not excusable. However, that does not mean they are not redeemable. ”

I'd say that that's the perfect way to put it. There's a difference between "excusable" and "redeemable". What she did was inexcusable. But because of the unique conditions of what happened, she is not irredeemable.

Although, considering what's about to (never) happen, Starlight may never get the chance to be redeemed... Though the reset makes it so that she'll never need to be redeemed... Time paradoxes are confusing.

JMP

... And there it is. All that's left is to wait.

Actually, Starlight can do the spell without the scroll. We saw it in the episodes. She even did it without the cutie map or the scroll.

And since then, more then once, she pretty much confirmed she is still able to do it.

So, yeah, your story really falls apart.


And because the multiverse is confirmed to exist in MLP, those universes existed before Starlight, and continue to exist after her.

9522468

And since then, more then once, she pretty much confirmed she is still able to do it.

I do not recall her stating this at any point. Mind providing some instances where she stated outright she can still do it?

And because the multiverse is confirmed to exist in MLP, those universes existed before Starlight, and continue to exist after her.

If you are referring to the human world and the mirror portal, or the weird portals Discord can open that lead to other spaces, I think you're thinking of other planes of existence. They may be separate 'worlds,' but they are also still a part of the same timeline. If you are referring to other universes straight up, then the only instances I can think of where that actually matches current material is with the comics, and those have so many inconsistencies and clash so much with the animated content that it's not even worth debating their validity as canon. It's pretty clear they're not to anyone who gives it even a minute of critical thought.

Aside from that, though, I can't think of anything in the show where entire other universes have been explicitly confirmed to be a thing that exists. If something has happened that confirms this, do keep in mind, this series of stories was started well before any such plot points were openly revealed, making that 'Alternate Universe' tag increasingly important to remember.

Whoa. Again, really emotional stuff. Yeah, the reactions to the new set(s) of memories (including how things ended up going down in the "Glimpses"-verse thus far was great, particularly Rainbow's anger and Starlight's guilt. So, yeah, I'll definitely be looking forward to seeing the remaining final days.

It seems that what Discord did to Princess Dash's mind was just transfer this version of Rainbow Dash's hatred into Princess Dash. That could also explain why she could only see this alternate version of Starlight whenever she looked at her.

9522468

Actually, Starlight can do the spell without the scroll. We saw it in the episodes. She even did it without the cutie map or the scroll.
And since then, more then once, she pretty much confirmed she is still able to do it.

Except that she has never been demonstrated to use the spell without the scroll. And the reason Starlight was tearing the scroll was so that Twilight couldn't return to fix things again, suggesting that the spell is directly connected to the scroll and not the caster. I suppose there was an episode that mentioned her possibly using the time travel spell to fix something. But it was never said that she could do the spell without the scroll. At best, she could rewrite the original spell. But that's it. And she wouldn't have enough time to do so.

And because the multiverse is confirmed to exist in MLP, those universes existed before Starlight, and continue to exist after her.

Different universes, and different timelines are two different things. Even if you make the argument that making a different choice splits a timeline into a different universe, the universes are still interconnected by the same timeline. And if you're making an argument for Equestria Girls, it's not canon to the show. And if it exists, the timeline split BEFORE the sonic rainboom, meaning that the destruction of this timeline wouldn't affect the EQG timeline. And technically, the main series timeline would be a different timeline than that of this story, since in the main timeline, Starlight didn't cause the end of time because Rainbow Dash wasn't distracted (at least not enough to result in her parents death).

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If you are referring to the human world and the mirror portal

Technically, Equestria Girls isn't canon to the show. For this reason, like the comics, you could make the argument that they are on a different timeline. But if you take alternate timelines as alternate universes as how I described, the EQG universe would have split from the main show universe even before the pillars defeated the sirens...because in EQG, the pillars didn't defeat the sirens, it was just Starswirl. So whether the mirror portal exists or not in the main timeline doesn't change the fact that it wouldn't be the same timeline in the human world as it is in EQG. As for as I know, Sunset shimmer doesn't even exist in the main timeline.

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