• Member Since 2nd Mar, 2015
  • offline last seen Yesterday

A M Shark


The Shark is a mild fan of MLP who is writing an MLP version of a story she didn't like to see if she can do it "better" and wishes to share the results for critiques.

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Source

This story is a sequel to The Ponies who Played with Fire


Warning: Some comments may contain spoilers

After being injured during the events of The Ponies who Played with Fire, a now-captive Discord is awaiting trial for murder, while Fluttershy and her small band of allies are facing possible enemies on every side in their desperate struggle both to clear Discord's name and avoid their own capture.

AU Fluttercord set eleven years after the first three seasons minus the Discord episodes. Inspired by Discord and Fluttershy's relationship both in the show and several fanfics (*cough* Bride of Discord *cough*) Based loosely on the plot from "The Girl who Kicked the Hornets' Nest" by Stieg Larsson. Rated T for some plot-related Murder Mystery Elements.

Edited by Nightwalker

Constructive Criticism is welcome.

Cover art belongs to me so please do not take without permission. Thank you.

Chapters (8)
Comments ( 80 )

Alright, great first chapter! Very tense and dripping with atmosphere! Great to be back in this story!

Yes! New chapter! I love it!

OMG, it's finally here!:D Squeee like Rarity!:raritystarry: LolXD Oh boy, where do I begin? Um, let's see....let's start with...noooo! Just when I thought Fluttershy could accompany Discord to the hospital, no that sweet Fluttercord is taken away from meX'0! Haha lol but it's okay though, I know that they will be reunited either soon or eventually;) Especially since we have our certain good ole paper parrot on Discord's trial on Flutters^^ Good birdie^^ Lol! Oh man, I wasn't prepared for the action and fighting to start so soon when that changeling attack at the cottage occurred:0 Welp, that was quick0-0 Lol;) Le gasp, how dare you ponies drug Discord?!:0 Lol;) XD

Also, this quote:

"Didn't you hear? That's where they caught him. Apparently he was doing that routine he's been doing all over Equestria for the past year, turning that mountain chaotic from the inside out, before the Royal Sisters flew in and brought him back out burned, cuffed, unconscious, and with his head busted open." There was another pause before he continued. "And I shudder to think what sort of fight he was putting up if they had to resort to this sort of attack to stop him."

This quote is TOTALLY making Celestia and Luna very suspicious to me;) And as soon as I say that, Celestia and Luna in this story are like in my presence:

Haha lolXD
Yay we get to go back to the Tree HAB^^!
Good job on the first chapter Sharkie:) <3!

Loved the start, but poor Discord! :fluttercry:
I don’t know how to feel about the princesses: are they a red herring? Are we supposed to think they’re acting very suspicious? I think that’s what’s good about these kinds of stories. That tense mistrust of everyone because you don’t know if they are actually who they appear to be.
Can’t wait to see how this final instalment goes :twilightsmile:

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Thank you and thank you.


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noooo! Just when I thought Fluttershy could accompany Discord to the hospital, no that sweet Fluttercord is taken away from meX'0!

*sighs wistfully and shakes head* Oh, if it were only that simple.

Le gasp, how dare you ponies drug Discord?!:0 Lol;) XD

*Chuckles* Well, in their defense, he'd probably be in a lot of physical pain right now if they hadn't.

Also nice clip for Celestia and Luna. *Snickers*


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I don’t know how to feel about the princesses: are they a red herring? Are we supposed to think they’re acting very suspicious?

*grins slyly* Possibly.

I think that’s what’s good about these kinds of stories. That tense mistrust of everyone because you don’t know if they are actually who they appear to be.

*Grins* Good to know since that's what I was going for, both for you readers, and for the characters actually in the story, experiencing it.

Thanks all of you for your comments. I'm currently hard at work on the next chapter and will have it up as soon as reasonably possible.

So in the first book, Discord and Fluttershy are together practically all the time, and we are happily bombarded with a thousand adorable moments between the two, even though a lot of them are also tragic.

The second book is a complete contrast, where they aren't together a lot and when they are, there's just angst all over the place.

So what's gonna go on with this third one, huh? Because so far, it ain't looking so good.

Which makes me sad, 'cause like... you know... I DON'T LIKE FEELING MY HEART RIP IN TWO BECAUSE MY OTP CAN'T SEEM TO FIND THEIR HAPPY PLACE! (And yet, the angst hurts so good...)

Hopefully Mache Max and Discord's tattoos will help those two out a bit... Though by the cover of the story, it seems that the two will eventually be doing some interrogation together. But by the looks of those chains on Discord, he won't be absolved from his crimes before then. Hmm...

Anyways...

Aah, Twilight, you clever ol' girl you! (Even though she's supposed to be younger than some of her friends, I believe.) I like the added touch of an invisibility spell where you have to stay very still or it wears off. It actually works well with the whole theory of camouflage/invisibility, too. After all, I chameleon changes colors to fit in with the background, but it works best if it doesn't move too, so predators don't catch the colors moving.

TO THE TREEHAB!

Now, a little nitpick from me. And again, this nitpick credits you as an excellent author in the long run, I'd say. I beg you to be careful with exclamation points. You tend to use them when something is supposed to surprise the reader in your stories (i.e., "Then a pony appeared right behind her!"). But the truth is, you're very good with suspense and catching the audience off-guard. You really don't need those exclamation points. Rather, choose your words in a way that indicates something surprising or suspenseful, so we can... Hmm, how do I put this? So we can feel the exclamation points ourselves, rather than having to see them. Let us react to your words and not the punctuation. I'm not sure if I'm being clear with this. It's similar to a piece of advice I used to get about my writing--"show, don't tell". It's almost like it lessens the dramatic tone to it. It does it my opinion, anyway. It gives it more of a comic book flair than a serious, dangerous situation where we aren't sure if the hero will prevail or not.

I don't know why I never brought this up before, but it's to my attention now. And please note that this is a tiny, tiiiiiiiiiny nitpick. You can keep writing the way you have been and it will not change my enjoyment of the story in the least. However, I do think that sometimes, the exclamation points take away the... the seriousness of the situation. Does that even make sense? Like I said, the comic book thing. Whoosh! Bam! Pow! Scenes like that are usually when the hero is beating the baddie up and the reader is just having a good time watching the hero win. Not when the protagonist is about to be walloped in the head with a tree branch and the poor thing's had a terrible day already.

(You can tell I've been rereading the first book, can't you?)

However, there ARE times when it is totally appropriate, to me. Especially when it comes to Discord. Such as in this scene, from this chapter:

Discord was scandalized. Granted he knew his mismatched appearance often unsettled ponies, and it always gave him a thrill of pleasure when it did, but that did not regulate him to the position of merely some oddball creature to be gaped at! He was the Spirit of Chaos and Disharmony for crying out loud! A little more respect was in order!

Those exclamation points are perfect! They are nods towards Discord's tendency to easily offended and to overdo things. It matches the mood, and even gives us a little bit of comedic relief (it does for me, at least).

Anyways, a great opening to what will most surely be another great book of your fanfic series. (And obviously the last.) It flowed nicely from the last book, too. I look forward to hearing about what happened with Dinky.

But I look forward the most to seeing how all of this wraps up, and how our characters will prevail through it all (because I'm hoping they do).

One last thing... You mentioned it in Book 2, I believe, when you implied that now Fluttershy won't be the one to 'kick the hornet's nest' because she lost her wings. That we have three possibilities left.

Listen, my good buddy, my dear friend, my fellow writer... You can't fool me. You be a sneaky, sneaky little writer. That's what you are. A sneaky, tricky little trickster who makes the reader think it's gonna play out one way, and then BAM. It all goes astray.

For all I know, this Pegasus could end up being Discord in a Pegasus disguise. It could be a paper mache Pegasus. It could be Fluttershy because she's a Pegasus at heart and the lack of wings mean nothing. Heck, it could even be RAINBOW DASH BECAUSE MAYBE SHE'S NOT DEAD AFTER ALL!!!!!!!!!!

All I'm saying is... I'm watching you, my sneaky friend. Watching you... :trixieshiftleft:

What a great start!

I love how high the stakes keep rising, and are already fairly high at only the first chapter (of the third story, but I digress!). Now that our beloved characters have nowhere else to go except Skywishes's place, there's this sense of dread. Like "Nowhere is safe, not even our own homes or our town." And these changelings are tough, which makes it all the more worrisome since characters like Fluttershy aren't exactly fighters. Although if we end up seeing Fluttershy smacking around a changeling with, say, a bat, hey, that'd be some damn good development there.

And uuugh, youuuu! YOU! Watching Fluttershy and Discord actually being pulled away from each other hurt my soul. He just wants to see her, dammit!! The thing is, it's actually a nice parallel to the previous book, where Discord was actively trying to avoid her for the most part, and Fluttershy had no idea he was around for a decent chunk of it—and once she did know, he kept pushing her away every chance they got close. Hopefully, our beloved idiots will get their time in the sun. There will be angst, but hey, who doesn't love some good old, angsty fanfiction?

I'm sooo looking forward to how this whole thing will turn out. One last book to go, so excited!!

Amazing! Absolutely amazing!! I love how tense this chapter was and I'm so glad we got a little insight on how the Changlings know where they're always hiding. I can't wait to see what you have in store for us next!

OoooooOoOo I can’t wait for the newest chapter! I binged this story last night and boy oh boy was I sad over not reading this sooner! I’m really excited to see where your goin with this

Best of luck!

Alright, this book must fill my deprived Fluttercord fuel, I'm still trying to get over the ending.

You better still be writing this, my dude.
I'm too sucked into the plot to lose it now :applecry:

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Oh, no worries there. I actually just sent the next chapter to my editor, so depending on how long the editing takes it could be posted as early as sometime next week.

First I want to thank all of you both for your comments and your patience. I'm sorry to have kept you all waiting so long, but I'm happy to report that I've completed Chapter 2 (it ended up being a long clunker) and sent it to my editor. Depending on how much editing I have to do, the chapter could be up as soon as some time next week.

Warning to my fellow Fluttercord shippers: Unfortunately Chapter 2 will be a bit sparse on Fluttercord moments, but it does have some important plot points that will help lead up to those moments.
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Aah, Twilight, you clever ol' girl you! (Even though she's supposed to be younger than some of her friends, I believe.) I like the added touch of an invisibility spell where you have to stay very still or it wears off. It actually works well with the whole theory of camouflage/invisibility, too. After all, I chameleon changes colors to fit in with the background, but it works best if it doesn't move too, so predators don't catch the colors moving.

Thank you. *Chuckles* Can't make it too easy for our heroes, can we?

Also thanks for the nitpick/writing tip on not overdoing the exclamation points. I'll keep it in mind with my future writing.

Those exclamation points are perfect! They are nods towards Discord's tendency to easily offended and to overdo things. It matches the mood, and even gives us a little bit of comedic relief (it does for me, at least).

*Laughs and shakes head* I'm glad it did. For some reason the idea of a guy like Discord feeling "scandalized" at anything just cracks me up.

Listen, my good buddy, my dear friend, my fellow writer... You can't fool me. You be a sneaky, sneaky little writer. That's what you are. A sneaky, tricky little trickster who makes the reader think it's gonna play out one way, and then BAM. It all goes astray.
For all I know, this Pegasus could end up being Discord in a Pegasus disguise. It could be a paper mache Pegasus. It could be Fluttershy because she's a Pegasus at heart and the lack of wings mean nothing. Heck, it could even be RAINBOW DASH BECAUSE MAYBE SHE'S NOT DEAD AFTER ALL!!!!!!!!!!
All I'm saying is... I'm watching you, my sneaky friend. Watching you...

*Chuckles* Oh, dear. You're onto me. (Or to quote a certain character in the upcoming chapter: "Rats, you catch on quick.") ;)

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I love how high the stakes keep rising, and are already fairly high at only the first chapter (of the third story, but I digress!). Now that our beloved characters have nowhere else to go except Skywishes's place, there's this sense of dread. Like "Nowhere is safe, not even our own homes or our town." And these changelings are tough, which makes it all the more worrisome since characters like Fluttershy aren't exactly fighters. Although if we end up seeing Fluttershy smacking around a changeling with, say, a bat, hey, that'd be some damn good development there.

*Chuckles* I don't know if she'll necessarily be going that route, but she will definitely be playing an important role in things that can't really be filled by any of the more ... shall we say, aggressive characters.

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I love how tense this chapter was and I'm so glad we got a little insight on how the Changlings know where they're always hiding.

*Chuckles* You gotta love those chatty changelings. (And the chatty doctors for that matter.)

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Thank you and thank you, for your comments, and no worries. I've been a bit busy with real-life commitments the past several weeks, but I will never quit on this story and will do my best to update as soon as I can. (Which could be sometime next week, once my editor gets his suggestions back to me.

Wohoo! Chapter 2 is here!:D Happy Day^^ This calls for a happy dance;)
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Alrighty, enough of Missy's silliness, onto the important part which is the review!

While we didn't get any Fluttercord in this chapter, but we still got some good stuff in the form of some Apps x Screwy shipping;) Yay our favorite B couple besides High x Ray are back^^ <3! And all that I can say is... Screwy is just as persistent and stubborn as Pepe Le Pew is, huh?;) And I think Apps can see this too, if Pepe Le Pew possibly exists in this universe or some pony version of it anywayXD ;) Lol!
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Although, unlike Pepe, Screwy definitely knows that his sweet heart is not interested in him. Or at least, not yet anyway;) Although, it does make you wonder if Pepe does know that Penelope is not interested in Pepe but has same mind set of Screwy's and insists that Penelope the cat is just not interested in him yet. Hmm, the world may never know;)
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Anywho, back to this wonderful story^^! I just love how epic and action pack Rarity was in this chapter:D Yes Rarity, this is why I love you <3! You can be a real action hero when you want to be;)! Lol!
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Oh wow, what a great way to reference back to the episode where Rarity and Pinkie powered a push cart all by themselves back to Ponyville by having Rarity remember this experience and use this experience to save their lives!:D But aww, poor Rarity:( She barely has any time to process that her beloved friends, Pinkie and Rainbow, are gone:( I have a feeling that once our heroes have some actual time to rest, I can sense that Rarity will have a proper break down and mourn the deaths of her two friends.
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The little equine had no idea how long she lay where she had landed. After the chaotic terror she had just escaped from, her new dark surroundings seemed so peaceful. When trapped in that force-field she had often imagined that if she were free she would be racing all over the place, trying to take in as much about her surroundings as possible. But now all she found herself wanting to do was relish her newfound solitude. She breathed in and out through the cavity that served as her nostrils, savoring the musty smell of her new environment. While it might not have been the most pleasant scent on earth, it was a scent and after living so long unable to smell anything, the little equine found anything fascinating. Just these little movements, like being able to close her eyes, or actually sleep...
But then her eyes snapped open as she heard footsteps and an odd swishing noise. Had her captors come to take her back?! No! No, they would never take her back! She scrambled up to find a place to hide. She pressed herself against the base of a tree, her orange eyes wide as she tried to spot any incoming attack.
Then about ten yards from her, she saw several creatures. They looked a bit like the ponies she had seen all those years ago, but they all seemed to be a brownish color that blended in with their surroundings. She watched them move forward, a bulky one seemed to be the leader. This leader suddenly looked her way, and the little equine pressed herself against the tree, willing herself not to be noticed.

Ah!:0 More mysteries!:0 Stop it Sharkie, now I need to make up more conspiracies and theories for my little conspiracy corner;) Lol;)!
Great overall chapter Sharkie, I can't wait to see what happens next like what's going on with Discord right now, what's going on with Apple Bloom right now, and with Scootaloo & Tank & Apple Bloom & now Gummy now, who knows what will happen next;) :D <3 Keep being awesome Sharkie^^

Absolutely so excited for chapter 3!!

Pretty bleak ending to the chapter.

I do have to say though that I kind of like what’s going on with Screwjob and Applejack. I don’t know if you are planning on having them get together eventually but I do like how they interact with each other. And it’s good that Applejack has finally been involved again as well as Rarity.

Loved this and can’t wait for the next.

Man now I'm even more anxious for the next chapter! What will happen to Applebloom? Will she realize those ponies are her friends? Will she somehow find Scootaloo? What about Princess Celestia? Did she...maybe got killed? Especially with how the letters are being sent to Twilight. Or maybe she's captured and stipped of her magic? Also what about Discord! I've been so curious what might've been going on with him since the alarms went off. Man you really got me pumped!!!
Also I'd like to say I love the little hints of Apps x Screwy. It's absolutely adorable & comical and I hope you'll get the chance to keep working on their relationship too as the story moves along.
Amazing chapter as always & I can't wait for the next one!

AND THE PLOT THICKENS!

I ship AJ X Screwjob now. Their banter is just too perfect for me not to. And I feel like AJ would be attracted to sass and endurance.

But Shark, much as I love you and your works, if you killed Sweetie Belle too, I may have to give you a mad emoji. Thaaaaat's right. YOU BROUGHT THIS UPON YOURSELF, SHARKIE OL' PAL.

At first I was shocked that Rarity didn't really seem to break down and hearing that two of her friends died (OR DID THEY????), but obviously she's in shock. But I liked the subtle way you had her mention Pinkie on the pushcart. It's definitely on her mind. She just can't focus on it yet.

Skywishes and Maud really need to hang out sometime. I feel like Maud would like that TreeHAB. She isn't into wood like her bf but I feel like she'd appreciate it nonetheless.

Shoot, I forgot about Scoots and Tank!
...HOW MANY PONIES HAVE YOU POSSIBLY KILLED, SHARKIE???

GET READY FOR SOME MAD EMOJIS, MY FRIEND! THEY'RE COMIN' FOR YA!

Anyways, again, another great chapter. You always keep us on the edge of our seats. You don't need fluttercord in every chapter to make this story worth it, trust me.

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Babs Seed?

*Snickers* Maybe.
And don't worry about the typos, I plan to go through this story and the earlier two to catch the typos I missed as well as fix a few other goofs. (IE Screwjob is described as having dark hair that's almost black whereas later on it upgrades to straight-up black. Not a huge inconsistency but it bugs me.)

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*Chuckles* Hello again, my favorite Koi Fish Pony reviewer. To be honest, I was a bit nervous about this chapter because in a lot of ways it felt like a repeat of my experience writing Chapter 8 in TPwPwF. Translation: It's long, it took quite a while to write, it had no Fluttercord, and my wrestling boys spend a good chunk of it earning their keep.

And all that I can say is... Screwy is just as persistent and stubborn as Pepe Le Pew is, huh?;)

*Chuckles* Yes, that he is.

Although, unlike Pepe, Screwy definitely knows that his sweet heart is not interested in him. Or at least, not yet anyway;)

*Chuckles* True again. Despite all his claims to the contrary, Screwjob's got a shrewd brain in that handsome head of his.

Although, it does make you wonder if Pepe does know that Penelope is not interested in Pepe but has same mind set of Screwy's and insists that Penelope the cat is just not interested in him yet. Hmm, the world may never know;)

Personally I think Pepe is so infatuated with Penelope that it never occurred to him that she doesn't feel the same way. (*Chuckles* At least not on camera. I think I've told you about my behind-the-scenes headcanon of the Looney Tunes as actors, where Pepe and Penelope have been married since before their first cartoon debuted, but Chuck Jones felt the cartoons would be funnier if they weren't portrayed as a couple.)

I just love how epic and action pack Rarity was in this chapter:D Yes Rarity, this is why I love you <3! You can be a real action hero when you want to be;)! Lol!

*Chuckles* You can thank Nightwalker for a good chunk of that as he gave me a ton of help with expanding on Rarity's part in that particular scene.

Oh wow, what a great way to reference back to the episode where Rarity and Pinkie powered a push cart all by themselves back to Ponyville by having Rarity remember this experience and use this experience to save their lives!:D

Why thank you. I did like coming up with that idea. (*Chuckles* Partly because it helped me get around the dilemma of sneaking them on the train.)

But aww, poor Rarity:( She barely has any time to process that her beloved friends, Pinkie and Rainbow, are gone:( I have a feeling that once our heroes have some actual time to rest, I can sense that Rarity will have a proper break down and mourn the deaths of her two friends.

Hmm, we'll see. Though without giving too much away, I can tell you Rarity is going to be playing an important (if somewhat challenging to write) part in things to come.

Ah!:0 More mysteries!:0 Stop it Sharkie, now I need to make up more conspiracies and theories for my little conspiracy corner;) Lol;)!

*Chuckles* Well, on the bright side at least you now know where that mystery equine ended up. (And we'll be getting more answers regarding exactly who and what she is soon enough.)

Keep being awesome Sharkie^^

Aww thanks. That's sweet of you to say.


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I do have to say though that I kind of like what’s going on with Screwjob and Applejack. I don’t know if you are planning on having them get together eventually but I do like how they interact with each other.

Also I'd like to say I love the little hints of Apps x Screwy. It's absolutely adorable & comical and I hope you'll get the chance to keep working on their relationship too as the story moves along.

I ship AJ X Screwjob now. Their banter is just too perfect for me not to. And I feel like AJ would be attracted to sass and endurance.

Yay! *Pumps fists gleefully* While Fluttercord was, and still is my favorite MLP (and one could argue I'm technically cheating considering Screwjob is an OC), I had a ton of fun letting Applejack and Screwjob bounce off each other in this chapter, so I'm glad to hear you all enjoyed reading it as well. And yes, I definitely plan to give them more moments as the story goes on.

Thank you all for your reviews and I will keep you updated when I have the next chapter ready.

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my wrestling boys spend a good chunk of it earning their keep.

Haha lol did they earn their keep?;) LolXD But seriously, I feel you when it comes to writing non Fluttercord centered chapters because I'm the same wayXD

Personally I think Pepe is so infatuated with Penelope that it never occurred to him that she doesn't feel the same way.

Haha lol trueXD

(*Chuckles* At least not on camera. I think I've told you about my behind-the-scenes headcanon of the Looney Tunes as actors, where Pepe and Penelope have been married since before their first cartoon debuted, but Chuck Jones felt the cartoons would be funnier if they weren't portrayed as a couple.)

Haha lol even more trueXD Oh I remember you telling me this awhile back and I still love it^^

*Chuckles* You can thank Nightwalker for a good chunk of that as he gave me a ton of help with expanding on Rarity's part in that particular scene.

Oh, in that case, thanks Nightwalker^^

Hmm, we'll see. Though without giving too much away, I can tell you Rarity is going to be playing an important (if somewhat challenging to write) part in things to come.

Yeeesssss:3 More development and an important role given to my second favorite pony:3 <3 Yeesssss <3

*Chuckles* Well, on the bright side at least you now know where that mystery equine ended up. (And we'll be getting more answers regarding exactly who and what she is soon enough.)

OMG, why didn't I make that connection?!:0 It's sooo obvious, man my conspiracy hat was not on when reading this chapter:facehoof:

I do have to say though that I kind of like what’s going on with Screwjob and Applejack. I don’t know if you are planning on having them get together eventually but I do like how they interact with each other.
Also I'd like to say I love the little hints of Apps x Screwy. It's absolutely adorable & comical and I hope you'll get the chance to keep working on their relationship too as the story moves along.
I ship AJ X Screwjob now. Their banter is just too perfect for me not to. And I feel like AJ would be attracted to sass and endurance.
Yay! *Pumps fists gleefully* While Fluttercord was, and still is my favorite MLP (and one could argue I'm technically cheating considering Screwjob is an OC), I had a ton of fun letting Applejack and Screwjob bounce off each other in this chapter, so I'm glad to hear you all enjoyed reading it as well. And yes, I definitely plan to give them more moments as the story goes on.

Yes! Victory for Sharkie and their awesome writing abilities!:D Yeeesss:3 Come join us shippers, come and join us in shipping Screwjob x Applejack:3 Mwhaha!>:D

I always worry about such loooong chapters, because it's possible to get distracted or bored because of how many words are in one single chapter. Yet I went through that entire thing. It was a great and active chapter, with tons going on but all well spaced out. I really enjoyed the action that went down—very exciting and well written (I can never ever do action scenes so lol good on ya)!

Gosh, Applejack and Screwjob have such great chemistry and hilarious back and forths. I can just... see Applejack gritting her teeth while Screwjob has this giant grin on his face. Such fun and witty dialogue between the two of them. (whispers) pst I totes ship it.

Umm, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo better be okay or I'll be throwing fists around (not at you, I promise. Those changelings have it coming)?! Just saying.

That ending though. It's-it's fine. It'll be fine, guys. Don't worry.

But everything will be fine... eventually. One day. After a load of fighting, conflict, and probably some good ol' angst thrown in there, too. Until then, fantastic chapter as per usual. Looking forward to the next update. :)

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Hey everyone. First I want to say thanks again for your comments. Second, MLP G4 may be over but that doesn't mean I'm abandoning this story. No sir, I have every intention of finishing it. (*Gets pensive* Actually considering I wrote most of The Draconequus with the Dragon Tattoo in that dead time between Season 4 and Season 5 maybe I'll have a much easier time now that I no longer have upcoming Seasons and Episodes hanging over my head like the proverbial Sword of Damocles. *Shrugs* Who knows?) Anyway, Chapter 3 was unfortunately delayed due to some technical difficulties involving my computer. However due to being blessed with good backup, and a computer-savvy father who helped me with the restoration process, that problem has been dealt with, and I'm back in business. I just sent Chapter 3 to Nightwalker (Fortunately it's not a super-long monster like Chapter 2 ended up being) so you could be seeing it soon depending on how long the editing takes.

Now onto the comments I haven't replied to yet:

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Haha lol did they earn their keep?;)

*Chuckles* Considering I can't really see the story working if I tried swapping them out with some canon characters from the show, I'd say they did.
I heard somewhere once that part of making a decent OC in fanfics is keeping most of the focus on the existing characters. (IE Fluttershy and Discord) but including the OC if you have some role that can't be filled by a canon character. (For example, I don't think the idea of the Mane 6, or what's left of them, having to trust these characters they only recently met and don't really know that much about, would work as well if I used established characters the fandom is already familiar with.)

OMG, why didn't I make that connection?!:0 It's sooo obvious, man my conspiracy hat was not on when reading this chapter:facehoof:

*Pats you on the head* Oh, don't worry about it. I was slinging a lot of information at you in this chapter.

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Gosh, Applejack and Screwjob have such great chemistry and hilarious back and forths. I can just... see Applejack gritting her teeth while Screwjob has this giant grin on his face. Such fun and witty dialogue between the two of them. (whispers) pst I totes ship it.

*Laughs and shakes head* Oh, Applejack and Screwjob.
These two in a nutshell:

Screwjob (*Chuckles* Yes, I know it's a woman singing, but just roll with it.):

Applejack (Thank you Miss Koi Fish Pony showing me this song):

Screwjob again:

Applejack again:

Also, Yes! Another reader who enjoying this couple!

Umm, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo better be okay or I'll be throwing fists around (not at you, I promise. Those changelings have it coming)?! Just saying.

*Chuckles* I don't envy those changelings. And as for Apple Bloom and Scootaloo... Well, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Honestly, I was ready for a breather. All the madness needed to take a break. I ain't Discord, after all.

But dang, AJ. *Dang*. Are we sure that isn't a changeling?

Awww. Fluttershy sighing at the moon in longing. Such a pretty vision. How I hope she sees him soon!

So happy this is being continued! You keep 'em coming, and I'll keep coming back for more!

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Are you planning on writing a parody of the fourth book in the Millennium series?

At present no, mostly because I haven't read the fourth book yet, though I do plan to at some point if only to see how it compares to the first three original novels. If while reading it, I end up getting an idea I like (*Chuckles* and that takes a hold of me with the intensity this one did) I'll likely write it, but for now I have no plans to ponify the fourth novel.

This chapter, while shorter than the previous one, was still welcome. :twilightsmile:

*Chuckles* Good to know.

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But dang, AJ. *Dang*.

*Shrugs* Well, in her defense, she's probably taking this the hardest, considering she went into hiding all those years to try and keep the changelings' sights off her family.

Are we sure that isn't a changeling?

Oh, no worries there. Screwjob made sure it was really her in his own oddball way.

Awww. Fluttershy sighing at the moon in longing. Such a pretty vision. How I hope she sees him soon!

*Chuckles* You and me both. Most of their time together in the last story was during dreams where neither of them knew they were interacting with the genuine article, and I've missed having them work together on the mystery like they did in the first story.

So happy this is being continued! You keep 'em coming, and I'll keep coming back for more!

Thank you. So glad to hear that, and I shall continue endeavoring to give satisfaction.

Applejack surprised me, but at the same time in their situation can you really blame her? Poor Fluttershy too. She's been through so much and a lot of pressure is being placed on her too.

I completely forgot this all takes place within a week or so! It's crazy, to say the least, how much can happen in such little time.

Regardless of the emotional breakouts between Applejack and the main 4, it was a calming chapter. Which leaves me very much excited to see what you have in the future!

Wohoo! A new chapter here at last!:D Let's get to it and quick^^

"Of course you wouldn't care about them. It's not like you've got anything to lose when the only family you've got has been rotting in the ground for the past eleven years!"
Several ponies sucked in their breath at this. Skywishes didn't open her eyes, or take her hoof away from the bridge of her muzzle, but her whole posture seemed to tense up, her wings lifting an inch off her back.

D'oh, ouch! AJ! I felt that! Right over here on the other side of the screen! Dang, no wonder you're the Element of Honesty, you're brutual with YOUR OWN, emphasis on her's, honesty:0 Lol! Sorry, couldn't resist;) But for real, this moment really did hit hard not only because of AJ's pain and what she said but the physical pain shown on Skywishes. This is the most hurt we have seen Skywishes. We have seen her flinch or show signs of emotional hurt when characters mention her sister's name and such, but when they did mention her, it was by accident or it was done carefully in consideration to Skywishes's feelings. Besides those moments, Skywishes has shown to be one of the strongest characters in your series, physically and mentally. Therefore, with all these added factors together, makes this scene hit hard and physical signs of Skywishes emotional hurt, the kind of emotional hurt that show more physical tension on her body than previous instants before, oof! My heart hurtsX0! Oh my girl, my sweet girlX0! I still love you AJ, you're stressed baby, but just like the girls & High said, you need to chill and not go that far;) Side note, I love how High is calling Applejack "Apps" just like Screwy doesXD Haha lol that's how you know your bro approves of your girlfriend, they do the same nickname that you doXD Lol! Anyway, another thing why this moment also really hits hard is because through out the story, the readers get a sense that Skywishes and AJ are connected because they are both actively involved in the chain of murders performed by our hybrid changelings. Despite their different positions and takes in these murders, they are still connected and now that they finally get to interact on a more personal level, their first conversation together ends with hard blows on their emotions:( Just dang:( Plus Skywishes could help AJ go through what she's going through right now. AJ just recently lost Granny along with Pinkie and Rainbow and hasn't had any time to process it, while Skywishes has had time to grieve over her sister's death.

"About those sleeping arrangements..." said Screwjob, darting a calculating glance at Applejack and grinning. "We could probably all sleep in a big pile like—"
"No!" was Applejack's immediate response before glaring at the wrestler. "And you better not try to go stealing kisses or anything like that while I'm sleeping."
He gave her a mock-indignant look. "Why, Apps, I wouldn't think of it."
She arched a skeptical eyebrow, and he rolled his head around in defeat.
"Okay, so I think about it a bunch, but I'm not actually going to do it."
"Yeah, like I believe that," she muttered.

Oh my gosh, lol oh ScrewyXD Just oh ScrewyXD But seriously though AJ, don't worry about Screwy, he is a gentle-colt and keeps it classy:coolphoto:

"Would the Screwjob Stipulation convince you?"
"The what?"
"Cross my heart, hope to die, may High hit me right in the eye if I lie."
Applejack grimaced. "I think I'll stick with the Pinkie Promise."
"Yeah, but with that one there's no chance of me getting punched, so where's the fun in that?" Then his expression sobered.

Haha lol oh my gosh Screwy, you corny creative little genius you;)

"Plus ... I know this probably sounds tacky but isn't the Pinkie Promise a bit obsolete now that...?"
There was a thump of Highflyer's hoof hitting his masked forehead as he groaned, "Come on, Jobs..."

I'm with High on this one, face palm hard on my face:/ Good job Screwy, gooooood job:/ You were doing well earlier, then quickly crashed and burnedXD

Overall, this was a nice short chapter with a good balance of venting out feelings, focus on how our characters are doing after the action, get a break from the action, some Fluttercord fluff and fluff at the end of the chapter with Skywishes making hot chocolate:) I look forward how these emotions of the characters develop in the next chapter & how this affects the interactions they have with each other:)

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I completely forgot this all takes place within a week or so! It's crazy, to say the least, how much can happen in such little time.

*Chuckles* I know what you mean. I realized while writing the previous book that a lot had to happen in a short time, but I didn't realize just how short it really was until just looking back now.

Regardless of the emotional breakouts between Applejack and the main 4, it was a calming chapter. Which leaves me very much excited to see what you have in the future!

Well, I'm happy to report that next Chapter is out now.

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Oh my gosh, lol oh ScrewyXD Just oh ScrewyXD But seriously though AJ, don't worry about Screwy, he is a gentle-colt and keeps it classy:coolphoto:

*Chuckles* Well, at least he's honest.

I'm with High on this one, face palm hard on my face:/ Good job Screwy, gooooood job:/ You were doing well earlier, then quickly crashed and burnedXD

*Laughs and shrugs* Well, no one's perfect.

Overall, this was a nice short chapter with a good balance of venting out feelings, focus on how our characters are doing after the action, get a break from the action, some Fluttercord fluff and fluff at the end of the chapter with Skywishes making hot chocolate:) I look forward how these emotions of the characters develop in the next chapter & how this affects the interactions they have with each other:)

In that case, I'm happy to report I got that next chapter out (squeaked it out) just before January ended. It's a bit light of the Fluttercord moments but I think people can get their fill of that with Fluttercord week.

Screwjob and Applejack, sitting in a TreeHUB, K-I-S-S-I-N-G

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Screwjob: "Well, MisterEdd, I am certainly working my way in that direction."
Applejack under her breath: "And fighting a losing battle."

Every time I think of Screwjob's flirting with Applejack, I think of the song "Sucker" by Jonas Brothers.

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*Listens to song* Yep, that about sums it up. Thanks for the song.
By the way, if you enjoyed the moments between Applejack and Screwjob, you might enjoy Misskoifishpony's The Power Ponies vs The Forces of Good & Evil. It's a collection of AU stories featuring the Mane 6 as superheroes, and Screwjob guest-stars as a secret agent assigned to investigate them. And of course he's every bit as infatuated with Applejack as he is here, while she's every bit as less-than-impressed as she is here.

Great chapter. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they deal with the little equine but I hope Discord’s going to join back up with Fluttershy sooner rather than later.

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*Chuckles* Without giving too much away just yet, I can definitely tell you it will be sooner rather than later.

Another great chapter! The increasing stakes allows for good story pacing and good tension. The entire Everfree burning, oh dear. I can't imagine that, even if the TreeHAB is safe from being burned, that they can stay there for much longer because of the spreading fire.

Oh, I'm so glad we got to see the group meet up with the mysterious equine creature. And I'm still at a loss as to what it could be. I'm, like, a complete dolt, so for all I know, there have been clues strewn about since the character was previously introduced, but I still haven' t the faintest. I'm curious if it's a character we're familiar with or something, but I can't think of anyone it might be (then again, I've been out of loop with the show for several seasons soooo, haha)! Then again, it's in the mystery genre here for a reason.

And of course Fluttershy's the one who's really trying to befriend her; not just because she's the Element of Kindness, but because she also recognizes how the creature is acting out of instinct to protect herself. I'm sure the equine will start opening up to her in no time. Bonding time!!

And finally! A little reunion right at the end. We haven't heard from Discord in a while (aside from Fluttershy thinking about him... a lot; oh, sweetie, everything will get better between you two soon), so we better hear from him soon!

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*Chuckles* Well, at least he's honest.

Haha lol at least he's honest, that's very true^^ And again, that should be very attractive to Apps;) Just sayin;) Lol!

*Laughs and shrugs* Well, no one's perfect

Haha very true and good point, but good thing Screwy has High to keep him in check;)

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Dawww, thank you for prompting this story Sharkie^^ I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it^^ <3

Before I begin, I have to apologize for being soooo late in this review:0! Oh boy, irl stuff really took me away from Fimfiction for awhile and I am so sorry to post my thoughts on this one cause oh man what a chapter!:D So much stuff happened in this, where do I even begin?!XD

"Um, Skywishes?" Twilight said after they had all taken a mug. "Why do all these mugs say 'World's Greatest Grandpa'?"

"Three-for-one sale," said Skywishes before flying back into the kitchen

Haha lol nice:coolphoto: I like the way you think Sky:coolphoto:

Screwjob looked up from his cocoa. "So does that mean things like shared showe—?"

"Don't even finish that thought," Applejack growled into her own cocoa, cutting him off.

Skywishes just rolled her eyes and shook her head.

Haha lol I'm shaking my head too Sky, except I'm chuckling under my breath uncontrollably while doing itXD Lol! Oh Screwy, stopXD

Applejack watched them, then turned to Rarity and blurted out, "Rarity, I'm sorry about what I said last night! I was worried about Apple Bloom and I—"

"Oh, it's all right, darling," Rarity said quickly. "I'm worried about her as well."

Applejack lowered her eyes. "I know," she said softly. "You were there for her all those years when I wasn't."

The unicorn seemed touched by this, and moved to put a hoof on the earth pony's shoulder.

Daww my heart:') Continuity and call back at its finest, at last we're addressing this:') One of my favorite parts from the first story was the adopted sibling relationship between Rarity and Applebloom & Rarity being the best sister she can be for Applebloom after all those years AJ would help her to be the best sister she can be for Sweetie Belle <3

Fluttershy took the offered knife, and as Skywishes moved with Twilight and Applejack to check the supplies in the kitchen, Fluttershy began sawing at her mane and forelock.

Heeeyyy, Fluttershy at last achieved her cover art look:D Huzzah!^^ Lol! Sorry, I don't know why that's important to meXD It's so fascinating to see Fluttershy with short hair, don't know why. Maybe it's because I'm soo used to seeing her with long hair?

"Did it hurt?" he asked. "Losing your wings I mean."

Oh. Fluttershy felt her face flush and looked away while she considered the question. "I guess it didn't really hurt ... but it was scary at the time because I didn't know what Discord's magic was going to do to me."

Oooh that's right:0 Discord did take away Fluttershy's wings, I almost forgot about that:0

His mouth twitched in a faint smile. "Yeah, it did actually. Especially since it was designed so that all the ribs and vertebrae in the tattoo match up exactly with the bones in my actual skeleton."

Fluttershy's eyebrows went up at this. "Why go to all that trouble?"

"It makes the chiropractor's job easier."

Haha lol good one HighXD! Lol!

Skywishes remained silent for several seconds before finally answering. "Fluttershy ... the truth is ... Sunny Daze and I ... We weren't close. That picture of us on the HAB wall ... That was the exception rather than the rule. Maybe it would have been different if we were identical twins instead of fraternal ones, but as it was we were just too different in some ways and too much alike in others to get along much as fillies. And as we grew up we drifted even further apart..." Skywishes trailed off as she looked down at her front hooves which were scraping a shallow groove in the tree bark. "Fluttershy, I saw just how worried Applejack was ... is ... about her family and I..." She finally turned enough to meet Fluttershy's eyes, her expression pained. "Fluttershy, I didn't even know Sunny had died until four months after they'd put her in the ground."

Fluttershy couldn't think of anything to say as she tried to digest this new information.

Skywishes looked away again. "And on top of that, I never really made the effort to see her much before that. I always found other things to do..."

"Are you now wishing you had spent more time with her?"

"I don't know. Maybe. ... But at the same time looking back at those instances where we could have gotten together, I just remember feeling like making the effort to try and get along with her was just asking for a headache."

Fluttershy's own feelings had been whipped up into a confused swirl at this. Are you saying ... your sister wasn't that important to you? But if she meant so little to you, why did you put so much time and effort into building the TreeHAB? ... Into making her dream a reality. Aloud she finally said, "Skywishes ... you might not have been very close to your sister, but I'm sure you still cared about her. I'm sure it still hurt to lose her. To lose that chance to ever build a deeper friendship."

Skywishes inhaled audibly, but took care to avoid the smoky haze around them. "You can't lose what you can't attain, Flutt—"

Dawww my heart:'( It's breaking:'( What a reveal, what a confession, oh boy:'( It's sooo heart breaking because ever since we've met Sky, we have seen her to be nothing less but an amazing sister to Sunny, doing everything in her power to solve her sister's murder and bring those murders to justice. And now, we get to see a now more realized, flaw but still amazing sister like Skywishes <3 It's fascinating to compare and contrast Pinkie Pie & Maud with Skywishes & Sunny Daze in this scenario. What these two sister pairs have in common is that they are complete opposites from one another, but they are opposites that compliment one another too. But the difference is, for Pinkie & Maud sure they were different but that didn't prevent them from spending time with one another and loving each other deeply. While for Skywishes and Sunny, while they loved each other deeply just like Pinkie & Maud, however they did let their different keep them apart and create a divide between the two despite the love they share <3 And poor Sky is blaming herself and living with regret:'( Dawww Sky:'(

What Skywishes appeared to be doing was chopping up several of the largest timber wolf logs into smaller pieces with her ax. "It's not my first choice, but food is food."

It took a few seconds for that to click in Fluttershy's brain and when it did, she was shocked. "Are you saying you ... eat timber wolves?!"

Haha lol that's our girl;) Hardcore and ready to go;) Lol!

He had just felt someone jerk several long black hairs out of his tail. However, his indignation vanished when he saw the perpetrator was Applejack. "Getting a little familiar back there ain'tcha, Apps?"

She snorted. "In your dreams. I just took your hair because it's the darkest we've got and Fluttershy needs it to stitch up her leg."

His grin took on a challenging air. "You sure it wasn't just because I gave you permission to yank away on my luxurious tail?"

"Without a doubt," she deadpanned.

He chuckled. "Keep telling yourself that, Apps. You know I'm a handsome hunk of horsemeat."

"Good thing I'm a vegetarian then," she muttered under her breath.

His grin only widened. "As am I. And I'm particularly fond of apples if you catch my drift."

"Oh, I'll catch it and hogtie you with it."

"Well, you do owe me a sparring match, so bring it on."

"I don't owe you—!"

Oh my gosh, lol, I will never get tired of this back and forth between these two I swear:3 ^^

The tube then bounced across the floor and as it bounced it reconstructed itself into the familiar shape of a two-headed, five-winged parrot. But with a lot more paper than Fluttershy remembered now added onto his body, wings, and crests.

Hey, it's our favorite baby bird boi!:D He's back^^! What message do you bring us?:)

In terms of the new equine in this chapter, revealed at last....
*Ahem, clearing my throat* (Singing) THIS PONY IS ON FIRE!!!!XD
LolXD! Sorry, I couldn't resist this obvious joke;)
In terms of what I think this creature could possibly be, besides being a nice reference to your second story "the ponies who played with fire";) (Lol!), I think this firey changeling is a malfunction result from the hybrid changelings' experiment or a natural evolution result that just slowly came to be in order to naturally come back against this hybrid changelings (but this second theory I have less faith in when comparing it to the first theory). Great chapter as always and I cannot wait for Chapter 5:D <3! Keep up the good work Sharkie, especially after MLP officially ended<3

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Sorry, meant to reply to this review sooner, but it's been a rather crazy couple months. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the review, I really appreciated it, and wanted to address something you mentioned. The following:

We haven't heard from Discord in a while (aside from Fluttershy thinking about him... a lot; oh, sweetie, everything will get better between you two soon), so we better hear from him soon!

Oh, we will. I can promise that we both be seeing him, and finding out why he's been out of the story as long as he has. (And I can also promise that is about to change.) I've sent most of Chapter 5 to my editor and we're working hard to have it ready as soon as possible because I've been keeping you wonderful readers waiting for far too long.

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Hey, no problem. You've done me proud with that story so far, and it deserves more attention.

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Oh boy, irl stuff really took me away from Fimfiction for awhile and I am so sorry

Hey, it's been pretty crazy for me as well, which is why it's taken me this long to get back to you.

Haha lol nice:coolphoto: I like the way you think Sky:coolphoto:

*Chuckles* I had fun including that little bit.

Haha lol I'm shaking my head too Sky, except I'm chuckling under my breath uncontrollably while doing itXD Lol! Oh Screwy, stopXD

Fun fact: Those lines were actually Nightwalker's idea. I swear the two of you can read my boy like a book.

One of my favorite parts from the first story was the adopted sibling relationship between Rarity and Applebloom & Rarity being the best sister she can be for Applebloom after all those years AJ would help her to be the best sister she can be for Sweetie Belle <3

Yeah, I know it wasn't a really major part of the overall story, but I enjoyed the relationship between them as well.

Heeeyyy, Fluttershy at last achieved her cover art look:D Huzzah!^^ Lol! Sorry, I don't know why that's important to meXD It's so fascinating to see Fluttershy with short hair, don't know why. Maybe it's because I'm soo used to seeing her with long hair?

*Chuckles* Well, Discord's had his own slightly-different-from-canon look for pretty much this whole trilogy, so I suppose it's only fair Fluttershy gets a bit of a slightly-different-from-canon makeover as well.
Side Note: And we also now know why one of her legs is all bloody and bandaged in the cover art as well. Now she just needs one more thing to completely achieve her cover art look. *Chuckles again* I'll let you see if you can guess what that is.

Oooh that's right:0 Discord did take away Fluttershy's wings, I almost forgot about that:0

Fun fact: So did Nightwalker while he was helping me edit this chapter. Though in both your defenses, there's been a lot of other things to focus on, and her current lack of wings hasn't really been a major plot point until this chapter.

Regarding the relationship between Sunny Daze and Skywishes: Thanks for commenting on this because I was wondering what you'd think of the fact that Sunny and Sky's situation wasn't just a carbon copy of Pinkie and Maud's. (As much as I still love those two.)

Oh my gosh, lol, I will never get tired of this back and forth between these two I swear:3 ^^

*Chuckles* I doubt I ever will either. I just find them too much fun.

Regarding the mystery equine: I like your theories but I can neither confirm nor deny them at this time.

Thanks again for the review. I know it's been quiet a while, but Nightwalker and I are currently working on editing Chapter 5 so I will have it up as soon as I can.

"This is light on the Fluttercord'' you say, you know, like a liar

Bro this chapter has me in Fluttercord-based tears. Their meeting was just...So soft and sad. God, I have a soft spot for this kinda stuff; Flutters just cares so much about Discord, and even when he's half unconscious and facing potential execution, Discord cares so much about her! Their reunion, though brief, was the sweetest hecking thing I have read in a long time.

There is NOTHING sweeter than that scene bro; just something about god-like creature being brought so low, but still having the care and love of his less magically skilled friend/lover...Agh, I have cavities... Just thinking about how hard he tried to stay awake just to see her has me in tears an hour after reading...

"Um, Skywishes?" Twilight said after they had all taken a mug. "Why do all these mugs say 'World's Greatest Grandpa'?"

"Three-for-one sale," said Skywishes before flying back into the kitchen and returning with a large soup pot.

This is one of the reasons you're a good writer. You make it so darn relatable and do a great job of comedic relief. Also, this is obligatory at this point, so I will randomly add:
But are Pinkie and Rainbow really dead?

Screwjob looked up from his cocoa. "So does that mean things like shared showe—?"

"Don't even finish that thought," Applejack growled into her own cocoa, cutting him off.

I'm pretty sure he already finished it, though. Another thing you're good at is making OC's we actually care about. Personally, I don't normally care about OC's. I just want my ship like the disgusting shipper person that I am. But I love your OC's. They're all so good. And I still hope that Rainbow and Pinkie aren't REALLY dead, because DANGIT THE OC NEVER GOT TO PROPOSE TO HER, HE DESERVES HER HAPPINESS, COME ON COME ON COME ON.

"It's all right, girls. I'll go with her."

Twilight and Applejack both gave Fluttershy startled looks.

"It'll be okay," she tried to reassure them, then whispered, "Let me talk with her alone."

Understanding dawned on both her friends' faces. While Skywishes hadn't mentioned Applejack's harsh words from the night before, that didn't automatically mean she'd forgiven the earth pony. In fact, despite her claim to the contrary, she was likely still seething over them. We'll have enough problems to worry about without being at each other's throats, Fluttershy thought. But maybe if I talk with Skywishes privately, I can convince her to forgive Applejack. After all, Skywishes had unbent a bit at Fluttershy's gentler approach the night before.

Fluttershy's quiet strength is what makes her such an amazing character in the first place. She's the most easily terrified of all the girls, and yet she goes on the exact same adventures as they do despite herself. And now your stories have followed canon in terms of her development. It's an interesting parallel, because the show wasn't like this at all, but Fluttershy is still becoming stronger and more confident each day. I love it.

But apart from that, its entire body was covered with a sort of black exoskeleton like an insect ... or now that she thought about it ... like a changeling. But she'd never seen or even heard of a changeling with such ridged bony-looking armor and a skull-like face. The whole effect was ... well ... almost as if the creature were a pony with its skeleton on the outside.

...Wait a second. Pony with its skeleton on the outside? I didn't realize this the first time I read this chapter, but... an inside-out pony...

Skywishes' story breaks my heart. I can't even imagine what it's like for her. And now I have an idea of what the fire-breathing thing MIGHT be, but you and I both know you're not going to reveal anything yet, because where's the fun for either of us in that???

...An inside-out pony... but what of the fire? Could the changelings be making a new breed...? The others that were attacked, like Derpy, they were reported to be inside-out balls of themselves... Could they have not been through the entire process...?

An excellent chapter, as always, from one of the best series on this website! On to the next one!

Oh my goodness. Such a good chapter. It wasn't even necessarily action-packed, but I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, because this mystery has me in its grips. That, and I got REALLY excited when Fluttershy said she'd go see Discord.

I agree with Spiritofchaos227. That scene was soft and sweet, but tense and packed with emotion. And all their touches are so soft and meaningful. Discord tracing her face, exhausted. Fluttershy nearly kissing his fingers. It's true this series is a slow-burn, but oh, it is such a ssatisfying slow burn. You do what you need to do, friend. This is all going to pay off, I'm sure.

And oh, I'm so proud of Spike! Gosh, I love him. I love him, I love him, I love him so much. Skywishes is pretty awesome too. Once again, an OC I are about, when I don't normally care for them. But you make all the characters so raw and real and every word you put into this is so clearly thought out and worked through. I'm very curious about Bonfire, especially now that I've got this new theory in my head that is probably wrong because I'm not very good at solving mysterious, like at all. I'm quite terrible at it.

Please tell me we will meet Big Tim and Aunt Moonshine. They sound so amazing. I wanna meet Big Tim!!

Amazing as always, Shark. I'm so impressed with your writing and dedication to finish this series. It's one of the best.

YAYYYY!:D At last, Chapter 5 is here at last and oh boy was this chapter good, like really good^^ Like my favorite so far due to, well, obvious reasonsXD Lol! What can I say?;) I'm biased and I never admitted to being not biased;) This favorite ranking of chapter will definitely change in the future, but I do not care^^ Lol!

"But Screwjob, if you do that, it might see you as nothing but an enemy from now on."

This was greeted with a short chuckle. "Fluttershy, I'm a heel. It's in my job description to be the lightning rod of hate. Plus, it's not like our mystery guest has exactly warmed up to any attempts to be nice so I doubt it could hate my guts any more than it probably already does."

Haha lol oh Screwy, never change you heel youXD!

Screwjob cocked his visible eyebrow. "This time? What happened to her?"

Applejack looked away and tugged her hat down before muttering, "She's dead. Died just five days before all this started."

"Oh..." Screwjob seemed at a loss for words. "I ... didn't realize that. She ... meant a lot to you?"

"Practically raised me when my parents died," she spat out, bracing herself for him to make some tacky remark.

But all he did was murmur a soft, "Ahh ... I'm sorry. That's hard."

She frowned at this, surprised he hadn't tried to turn the situation into an attempt to flirt with her.

Dawww what a sweet Apps x Screwy moment <3 ^^

Highflyer sucked in a breath. "Oh, boy. Applejack, the Screwjob Stipulation is a joke. It doesn't mean squat to that old heel—"

"I'm not that old!" Screwjob protested.

Yeah High, don't call Screwy old in front of his marefriendXD ;) Lol!

With all this talk about Moonshine and Big Tim, I hope we get to see them in later in this story and I especially want Apps and the others to meet these two particular characters;) <3

"Hmm. You seem to do that a lot," Skywishes muttered. "How about we call you ... Fireball?"

The creature responded with a series of clicks that sounded displeased.

At this the group called out a host of other fire-related names.

"Flame!"

"Wildfire!"

"Coal!"

"Charcoal!"

"Ember!"

"Conflagration!"

"Conflagration? Seriously, Jobs?"

"What? We could shorten it to Connie."

More ideas were called out but all were met with disdain.

"Smoky!"

"Glow!"

"Flare!"

"Blaze!"

"Sparky!"

"Bonfire."

The creature's ears pricked and she let out a short inquisitive thrum.

Skywishes, who had suggested the last name, raised an eyebrow. "Oh, you like that one? Bonfire?"

The creature trilled softly, sounding almost pleased.

Dawww I never thought that a name like Bonfire could make out to be such a cute name^^ I love it cause they can shorten it to Bonnie:) We can't shorten it to Bon Bon because well, obvious reasons, looking at the actual Bon Bon we have in the showXD Lol! Also I love how she's so in theme with, not only her whole appearance, but in theme with your other story "Ponies Who Play With Fire";) Lol!

All this time Mache Max had been straining wildly, but mercifully silently, toward the air duct.

"I think he wants us to go in there," Fluttershy whispered.

Skywishes eyed the air duct doubtfully. "I'm not sure we'd fit."

"One way to find out," Spike whispered, scuttling toward the air duct on his stomach.

OMG this is like that Season 9 episode, celebrating the 200th episode special where Spike and Fluttershy get to be spies together and they're going through the air duct together and whatnot^^!

To an uninformed observer, it might not have seemed so horrible. Just a shimmering opaque bubble with a myriad of tubes stuck in it, all connected to machines and bags of fluid. But Fluttershy knew that inside that magical shield was Derpy's horribly contorted, wrong-side-out-but-still-alive body. She shuddered at the thought of being trapped like that. Even if the doctors found a way to reverse the spell, would Derpy's mind ever recover from the experience? What must it be like for her now? Was she deaf and blind to the world around her, or still somehow aware of it? And which would be the worse of the two?

Oh man, shooooooot :0 I think this is the first time that Flutters has seen Derpy like this... oh man, how in the world is she going to explain this to Dinky? Will she even tell Dinky? </3

To my fellow Fluttercord fans: Since this chapter was light on Fluttercord moments,

YOU LIE! AND I CAN APPROVE IT WITH THIS SWEET FLUTTERCORD MOMENT AND IT IS BEYOND LIGHT! IT IS FULL BLOWN INTERACTION IN THE REAL WORLD!

Fluttershy heard the hooves moving away from the bed. Then the lights dimmed and the door closed. She stayed under the bed a while longer, allowing her eyes to adjust and wanting to make absolutely sure the staff had left before she dared to venture out. Turning back to the bed, she saw that they had indeed taken the oxygen mask off Discord's face. Ever since that one time she had seen him without his tattoos and piercings, she had secretly longed to see him without them again. But not like this. Then she noticed how he seemed to be fighting not to nod off, and suddenly wondered if there had been some type of sedative in the painkillers.

He struggled at the sight of her, the beeping of his heart monitor increasing both in speed and volume. Fearing it would bring the staff running back to investigate, she hastened to calm him.

"It's okay, Discord. It's me, Fluttershy. Remember when we were trying to find out who killed Applejack? I asked if you had a photographic memory and you told me you had a cinematic one. Then you took me inside it to show me."

His struggles seemed to lessen slightly at this, but he still strained against the straps on his wrists, fingers outstretched toward her. Fluttershy quickly lowered her face to his paw, and he ran his fingers under her chin and up her cheeks, tracing their shape.

"Fluttershy..." His voice was now much softer and more uncertain than earlier. "What are you doing here?"

"It's a long story," she murmured, nuzzling at his paw, luxuriating in his touch despite the desperate circumstances.

You're wasting time! a small voice in the back of her head shouted. You're supposed to be here to ask him questions!

Fluttershy looked up, intending to do just that, but the sight of her former partner looking so disoriented as he fought to stay awake brought tears to her eyes. She quickly turned to wipe them away.

"Don't leave me..." Discord's voice was heavy and slurred, but still held a clear desperation.

"I'm not. Don't worry. I don't want to," she whispered, quickly putting her face back within his grasp. But her wants didn't change the fact that she might have to leave him soon. She had just barely escaped detection earlier. She might not be so fortunate a second time.

His caresses became more languid then stopped all together. She looked up to see his head lolling to the side with eyes closed.

"Fluttershy!" She jumped with fright at the soft hiss from above. She looked up to see Spike waving down at her from the opening in the ceiling, and briefly wondered if he'd gotten the tile back in place before the hospital employees had shown up, or if it just hadn't occurred to them to look ceilingward. She turned back to Discord. She longed to wake him, if only to spend a bit more time with him, but that might only alert the hospital staff again. Even just staying there, waiting for him to wake up on his own was too risky.

Still she couldn't leave him without at least some form of goodbye.

She leaned down and took his paw in both hooves and nuzzled it one more time. "They're not taking you, Discord," she whispered against his paw, her lips pressing against his fingers almost like a series of kisses. "I swear, they're not taking you this time."

When she finally released his paw and hurried to climb the dangling rope, she glanced down to see his moth tattoos were all crowded together at the top of his neck just short of his skull bandages, and were hovering there, watching her. Further below them the dragon tattoo had also moved higher than usual on its owner's neck and seemed to be watching her with a longing expression as well. She tried to give them what she hoped was an encouraging wave before disappearing up into the ceiling.

Pen Pal time for the Odd Couple!

OMG YES, Letter Writing/Pen Pal time!:D

Once again thank you so much for producing such a great chapter and thank you for advertising The Mare Who Became Queen to all & for always supporting me & my projects <3

I like where you’re going with the little equine now. And yay progress with Discord. Now just need to know about Apple Bloom and Scootaloo. Hope they’re ok.

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Also, this is obligatory at this point, so I will randomly add:
But are Pinkie and Rainbow really dead?

*Chuckles* And you can probably guess my obligatory answer (or lack thereof) at this point.

I'm pretty sure he already finished it, though.

*Chuckles* Very true.

Personally, I don't normally care about OC's. I just want my ship like the disgusting shipper person that I am. But I love your OC's. They're all so good.

Why, thank you. Believe it or not, I actually felt the same way towards OCs back when I was just a lurker reading fanfics, so I was a bit nervous about using some in this trilogy. Hearing that you’re loving them really brings a smile to my face.

...Wait a second. Pony with its skeleton on the outside? I didn't realize this the first time I read this chapter, but... an inside-out pony...

Skywishes' story breaks my heart. I can't even imagine what it's like for her. And now I have an idea of what the fire-breathing thing MIGHT be, but you and I both know you're not going to reveal anything yet, because where's the fun for either of us in that???

...An inside-out pony... but what of the fire? Could the changelings be making a new breed...? The others that were attacked, like Derpy, they were reported to be inside-out balls of themselves... Could they have not been through the entire process...?

*Smiles calculatingly* I can say that a few of those ideas are a bit on the right track, but I won’t say exactly which ones nor how they are.

An excellent chapter, as always, from one of the best series on this website! On to the next one!

*Bows and says in a pompous voice* I endeavor to give satisfaction, sir.

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"This is light on the Fluttercord'' you say, you know, like a liar

I agree with Spiritofchaos227. That scene was soft and sweet, but tense and packed with emotion. And all their touches are so soft and meaningful. Discord tracing her face, exhausted. Fluttershy nearly kissing his fingers. It's true this series is a slow-burn, but oh, it is such a ssatisfying slow burn. You do what you need to do, friend. This is all going to pay off, I'm sure.

YOU LIE! AND I CAN APPROVE IT WITH THIS SWEET FLUTTERCORD MOMENT AND IT IS BEYOND LIGHT! IT IS FULL BLOWN INTERACTION IN THE REAL WORLD!

*Laughs and raises hands in surrender* I stand corrected. I said that this chapter was light on Fluttercord moments because when I was writing it, those moments felt like they were only a small portion of the overall chapter and thus didn't seem like a lot to me. (Of course, it probably would have felt different if this chapter wasn't such a long clunker, but I digress.) *Chuckles* However, judging by your reactions, it seems I was wrong. But if it means I delivered more Fluttercord than I initially thought, I am happy to be wrong.

With all this talk about Moonshine and Big Tim, I hope we get to see them in later in this story and I especially want Apps and the others to meet these two particular characters;) <3

*Chuckles* Well, we’ll see. I’d like to have them show up, and meet the other characters but we’ll have to wait and see how it works with what else I have planned.

Please tell me we will meet Big Tim and Aunt Moonshine. They sound so amazing. I wanna meet Big Tim!!

Screwjob: “No, you don’t!”
*Chuckles* Ignore him. He’s biased due to the fact that he and that rattlesnake have a mutual hate relationship.

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I like where you’re going with the little equine now.

I'm very curious about Bonfire, especially now that I've got this new theory in my head that is probably wrong because I'm not very good at solving mysterious, like at all. I'm quite terrible at it.

Dawww I never thought that a name like Bonfire could make out to be such a cute name^^ I love it cause they can shorten it to Bonnie:)

Ahh, it feels so wonderful to finally call her by a proper name, doesn't it?

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And oh, I'm so proud of Spike! Gosh, I love him. I love him, I love him, I love him so much.

*Chuckles* I love him, too. Spike is awesome.

OMG this is like that Season 9 episode, celebrating the 200th episode special where Spike and Fluttershy get to be spies together and they're going through the air duct together and whatnot^^!

The funny thing is I wasn’t even thinking of that when I wrote this scene. *Chuckles* An unintentional reference. Cool.

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Amazing as always, Shark. I'm so impressed with your writing and dedication to finish this series. It's one of the best.

And thank you for the support and kind comments.

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Once again thank you so much for producing such a great chapter and thank you for advertising The Mare Who Became Queen to all & for always supporting me & my projects <3

No problem, I'm happy to. And thanks for all the support you've given me and this series as well.

How many chapters long will this story be?

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Eighteen chapters total with no prologues or epilogues this time. So yeah, 1/3 of the way there so far.

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