• Member Since 7th Aug, 2013
  • offline last seen June 6th


Meanest little raccoon with the cutest little boots.


This story is a sequel to What's Your Problem?

Knowledge of the original isn’t required, but you should go read it anyway, because it’s good. :V
[ Dramatic Character Study of the Exchange Students and their Homelands ]

With the second semester of Princess Twilight Sparkle’s school of Friendship in full swing, a series of field trips is planned to foreign nations.  Specifically, the home countries of the five non-pony exchange students. These will be both a gesture of goodwill on all sides, and a chance for the various cultures to be exposed to each other first hoof, claw, and talon.

Follow Gallus, Ocellus, Yona, Smolder, Silverstream, and Sandbar as they continue to mature while learning about the countries their friends come from.

This is my second long-form story on here, meant to be a deeper exploration of the Student 6 and their homelands. Expect a lot of soft world-building and minor character development, and if you get any ideas for your own fanfictions from all this exploration, good for you! :3

The arcs, in tentative order, will go through...

  • The Hive (Changelings)
  • Mount Aris (Hippogriffs)
  • The Dragon Lands (Dragons)
  • Yakyakistan (Yaks)
  • Griffonstone (Griffons)

There will also be interludes which explore the Young Six and other students, with more detailed character development / analysis than the first one.

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 72 )

“Princess Twilight, you are our greatest hope.”

Help us, Twilight Sparkle! You're our only hope! :rainbowlaugh:

In all seriousness, though, this looks to be a very promising fic indeed. :ajsmug:

I'm glad the first commenter got the reference. XD

Yeah, this one is looking to be a real interesting read. It's WAY less intense than Displaced into Nothing, but still pretty serious.

Yeah, I read a TON of fics about them, and I often run across explanations which make a ton of sense, so I end up encorporaing them into my headcanon. That one in particular is one of my favorites, so it's possible it inspired the ideas that made this one. :3

I mean it's mostly inferential, without me trying to add in things that are entirely new, more trying to build explanations and extensions around existing concepts. It's something that becomes kind of important whenever you try to write the casual parts of a setting.

I like this. The premise had my curiosity. The execution has my attention.

“...but that’s when I realized, the Earth Ponies weren’t farming the potatoes... The potatoes were farming them!”

I mean, if you view getting domesticated and replanted as a reproductive strategy, she's not wrong.

In any case, this looks like it'll be a lot of fun... aside from the Griffonstone chapter. That may prove to be the opposite of fun. Still, brilliant work with the deeper political significance of the Student Six. (Well, most of them. Sandbar's just this guy, you know? Though with his experience and connections, he probably will be ambassador material in the future.) Eagerly looking to more.

It's gonna oscillate between the fun and the unfun. And yeah, Sandbar's entire point is that he has the interest-factor of a potato. Maybe Silverstream does have a point...


Of all the Student Six, Sandbar's the least interesting. Not even from the Crystal Empire. Lame.


...Okay, I'm a little spooked. What's out there that's so bad the other nations are desperate for an alliance with Equestria?

Honestly, he really is worst pony.

For the Changelings and Dragons, everyone. For the Hippogriffs, invaders like the Storm King. For the Yaks, that's what the Ponies are trying to figure out, and I still haven't decided if they find out in this story or not...

I'm really excited to see where this story will go!! So far, I'm super interested. I'll keep an eye out :twilightsmile:

Glad somepony's watching! I was a bit confused when no one was commenting on this chapter...

I don't know if it was the case for everybody, but the notice that the story had updated didn't show up in my favorites thing here on the site. If I didn't also get email notices, I would've never known the story updated.

Ok, I was noticing some odd stuff with the update, so I'm guessing there was a glitch in it or something. Hopefully the next chapter will see more interest.

And speaking of the next chapter, I'm loving Smolder as a vehicle for some sadistic humour here. You'll probably enjoy that...

Did you, at any point after publishing the chapter, un-publish it for any reason and then re-publish it?

Yeah, that's what happened. I think I was aware of that issue, but I wasn't thinking about it. Next time I'll try to remember to make a new chapter...

Every time I see the title, I just hear these lines between the Chief and Cortana from Halo 4:
"Ready to get back to work?"
"I thought you'd never ask."
It's like when you hear 'pony' or something in public, and you're suddenly hyper-aware of the conversation.

So, like, the original title was "Do you really wanna know?" and every time I tried to write, the song "Do I Wanna Know?" by Arctic Monkeys started playing in my head.

Me neither: I've had it sitting 90% complete on Google Drive for a couple weeks now, sadly.

Never really though about a political twist story for the Young Six, you got my attention right off the bat! :twilightsheepish:

The interactions between the Young Six here are golden, especially for my fave orange dragon girl. Looking forward to the start of these international field trips next chapter! :pinkiehappy:

Nope. No Grogar in this. They all have different reasons, and none of them are show-canon.

I'm looking forward to it too, seeing as it's been sitting mostly written for the past few weeks. And it's not just a political twist, because I'm going to be digging into character study while the politics plays out around them.

Yeah, I was getting ready to finish my rough draft of the next couple chapters and post them on Patreon, and then I got sick and have had trouble keeping up with everything


Everycreature was settled in on the train car when the door to the next car opened, and headmare Twilight stepped in.  She pulled a smile for them, just as she’d been practicing, silently willing her hooves to not shudder.

Ok, stay calm, this is just a field trip.  Just do the flash cards. You’ve got this...  She took a breath, pulling her hoof up to her chest, then exhaled, letting it fall away.  Ok, breathe in, breathe out, good... 3.  2. 1. Go.

“Good morning everycreature!” she called cheerily to the car, “I hope you’re all settled in for the next few hours.  It’s a long way to the Changeling Hive, and I’d just like to take a moment to go over things one more time...”

Some of the students rolled their eyes, but they all listened quietly all the same.  After all, they’d heard this multiple times already, but she’d been taking it so seriously that they were afraid of what she might do if a student made her uncomfortable.

She pulled out some flash cards, and began to read.  “When we get there tonight, we’ll be having dinner. Once that’s through, we’ll be shown to some guest accommodations they’ve set up with the help of friendship ambassadors Spike, Starlight, and Trixie, who will meet us there.”  She flipped to the next card, taking a deep breath and getting a bit more stern, “Anycreature who goes against the rules on these field trips will be subject to disciplinary action, and possibly involved in the nasty legal proceedings which come with an international incident.  Just in case, I’ll go over the big ones again.”

She started on the next card, “We are here to learn, not to judge.  Do not insult the changelings or their culture, and do not attempt to impose whatever conflicting values you have on them.  Remember, they are in the middle of a transition from violently repressive military-dictatorship to peaceful anarcho-monarchism, and are still working out the norms of their society.  Don’t try to pick holes in whatever they’re trying out.”

“Most importantly, do NOT bring up their history as an aggressor, and especially don’t talk to them about anything they may or may not have done during an invasion or other military action.  I am stressing that last point. Friends don’t pry friends about their past mistakes. Does everycreature here understand that?” She looked around for a moment. She’d gone over this a few times, so she assumed she’d culled out any of the students who weren’t willing to put aside whatever prejudices they had in favor of learning.  Satisfied, she flipped to the next card.

“One last reminder.  Sections of the lower hive, such as their living spaces, will be off limits.  Anycreature who tries to sneak down there without a changeling escort will be banned from future field trips.” she glanced over at Ocellus, “Once again, Ocellus is the only student who this doesn’t apply to, but she doesn’t count as an escort, so don’t bother trying to guilt her into it.  We’re about to be the first large group of visitors in the home of all the changelings, and we need to respect their security.”

She glanced at the last card before setting them aside, “Other than that, pay attention during scheduled activities, be polite, and don’t make messes without offering to help clean up.  Wait until the end of presentations to ask questions. If the changelings aren’t comfortable answering a question, don’t press it. We’re all here to learn. Keep an open mind, and an open heart, and everything will go just fine.”  She smiled, looking around, “Any questions?” she barely stopped herself from flinching as a teal hoof shot up, “Yes, Patty Peppermint?”

“Do you think the Changelings will like this hat?” the teenaged pegasus pointed to the her hat, which was made to resemble a shiny green beetle, “Ocellus said it was cute a few weeks ago, but now I’m wondering if it might be offensive to them.”  Around her, other students began to question their own accessories.

Twilight internally thanked Celestia that the question was aimed at making friends with the changelings and not whether they’d have to worry about being eaten: she’d already told a few students not to come after getting those kinds of questions.  “I don’t know. Ocellus? Do you think they’ll like it?”

Ocellus nodded, “Oh, definitely: changelings wear insect shells as accessories all the time.  Honestly, we’ve had so much exposure to pony culture, unless you’re wearing anti-changeling propaganda, or anything which references... um... our former queen, we won’t be bothered.”

Peppermint beamed, knowing that her hat was still cute.  Nearby, Maple tried to hide his sudden realization that he REALLY shouldn’t have packed his “Stomp Chrysalis!” EUP Merchandise hat without asking Ocellus first.  He quietly reached down to his bag, making sure to shove it all the way to the bottom.

“Any other questions?  No? Alright. That’s one down.  Just three train cars to go.” She started walking down the aisle.

no, i meant "are you good to update now?"

That was your answer.
By posting that, I was trying to clarify that, yes, I have stuff, no, it's not ready to post. I hope to release a draft to my Patreon followers this weekend.

OMG!!! Am big dumb. I had no idea the sequel was out. :facehoof:

Sadly, it's seen a lot of delays, and we'll probably get cut down drastically with its more interesting stuff cannibalized for another project I haven't yet been cleared to announce my involvement in, but I hope to have the Changeling arc proofed and released over the next couple weeks...

released over the next couple weeks, huh?

I posted a blog about this. Pretty much all of the time I have to do Pony stuff for the past 2 months has been devoted to that big fan episode project on which I took up the lead writer position. I've already decided to cut this short after finishing the part that I've mostly drafted, but don't worry, most of the stuff that was going to be novel about this is going to be in The Magic Continues, so it's not a total loss.

if it's not gonna be updated, mark it cancelled
don't fuckin give me hope by leaving it incomplete

It's got chapters that I started writing but didn't finish. I plan to release those when I have the time to bring them up to my standard of quality, which should be soon.

I just now got around to reading this. :twilightsheepish: I'm just glad it hasn't entered the void of cancelled.

I might do what I did with DiN and post the next chapter for community proofreading: it's been sitting on my Patreon for a while...

just heckin post it
we'll point out errors in the comments

When I say proofreading, I mean editing: it's a bit of a mess.

It's after HarmonyCon now, so I can dedicate my pony time to this.

I don't know why I didn't read this earlier. Onwards, Ever Onwards!

Login or register to comment