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Struggling to edit and write, and starting to read.


This story is a sequel to Pray, Hope and Wander

Case Report: Update - May 2nd
Submitted by: Verdant Vines
Location: Ponyville
Date: May 2nd
Case: Ponyville Mass Disappearance (#3467)
Classification: Top Secret

White Clover,

Given the new writings included in the addendum to the provided journal transcription, I’ve elected to continue our investigation through conversing with whoever, or whatever, is on the other side of it. They claim to be Twilight Sparkle, Princess Celestia's personal student. I’d like to request that Princess Celestia is not informed of this possibility until we can verify their identity.

As such, from this day forward I will be sending daily reports before sundown with transcription of our conversations, along with any thoughts I have. Included with these documents is a formal request of personnel transfer for Doctor Blue Sky to my team in order to assist with any psychological evaluations related to the writer of the journal. His team will continue to support evaluations of personnel working the case.

Special thanks to FloydienSlip, Petrichord, and KorenCZ11 for their help with feedback.

A print version of all the stories in this series can be found here.

Chapters (31)
Comments ( 241 )

Leaving a comment ahead of time just as with the last part: This story will be updated daily over the next week. Each day will be uploaded at roughly the same time, but it will depend on my schedule.

I hope that you all enjoy, and I'd like to just say thank you to everyone that's enjoyed the previous parts before, or the readings that have been done.


It's here! :'D

Will wait for the proper nighttime to read though...
hope they don't get me in the dark...

Eyyyyyy, more spooks. My favorite

Damn, that title is really freaking ominous, man.

My hopes for a somewhat-happy ending have diminished significantly.

It's here!

It was an honor to work with you on this. Thank you so much for writing!

YEAH! Time to read! Thank you for such an awesome story!

Anyone else using Select All to see if there are any hidden messages?

I just read through every story in this series, and I love it! Can't wait for more! Some top notch horror here.

It seems that by switching to Night mode you can see the hidden messages. (Something I didn't discover until story two and was shocked to find the original had them)

Tell me about it, it was an interesting experience to realize that. Also thank you for the Night Mode tip. :twilightsmile:

I am SO excited to see this posted all together. I first read this series while I was in a highschool and it stuck with me, so it really feels like a chapter of my life is going to end with the finale.


This will be the final story in the series. So four in total including the previous three.

FINALLY!!! I was getting scared you weren't gonna continue this!!

Oooh I am very excited for this.

Finally some details about what's going on! And poor Twilight. Awesome chapter so far!

At first I thought it was an imposter Twilight, but now I'm not so sure. It's also a bit more difficult on clues this time around...CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

I think the only real way to tell for certain that this Twilight is the real one, (or whatever is left of the real one) is by having someone who knows Twilight well ask her a question. So I'd say that having Celestia down there would probably be a good idea.

I hope this final story can bring some sense of closure, I've watched one-too-many TV Series that lead nowhere and is simply explained as "because".
I look forward to what comes next.

and now chekhlov's gun is loaded, safeguard removed. Ready to fire.

Maybe someone is already dead, and we have yet to hear the shot

Is it just me or this fourth part feels oddly safe, compared to the others? Probably it's the calm before the storm, but still

I hope this is good news. Who knows how long Solace was waiting there after his last entry though. He didn't describe himself as wasting away like that, considering how he was able to keep going without food and water for such a long time, it may have taken percieved decades for him to get to this point...

So much for the title, they’re never coming back :3

Until there's been a conversation with the guy, I'd hesitate to say whether he's really back tbh.

Okay, I think I see two ways this will go; for anyone who looks, this is the oversimplified assumption;

Best ending; they’re able to save most of the ponies, although a few like Fluttershy will put up a fight or along those lines
Middle/grey you could say ending, what I have a feeling will most likely happen, Twilight’s not lying, but not telling the full truth about something in wanting to save her friends and the whole ptsd thing she’s going through (that or not thinking things through with the shape she delivered Solace in) so, when the time comes, she’ll do something that causes everyone to come back, but in doing so, it has played into the hands of some darker force, possible Fluttershy, that throws the world into chaos, and with this being the last story, will either end with defeating the darkness, or how/whoever it is, or it will consume the land.
How there can be a worse ending after that?; bad/darkest ending; it was Fluttershy or something else impersonating twilight the whole time. While I honestly don’t think so, there’s still enough to go on with this being the case (title aside). Which we’ll probably get revealed when Solace comes too, which was why he was sent in such poor condition, so, a, he couldn’t tell everyone what ‘twilight’s’ real goal is, and b, the optimisum that is set at the end of this chapter where ponies will now gather around Ponyville to help in the relief effort will allow the darkness (or again however you phrased it/what it is) to consume, which will possible be what causes it to grow large enough to consume all of Equestria, unless, with this same route, the real twilight and the investigators are able to save the day in the end

It's either the ponies, or "Them" that are not coming back. Since somepony did get back (more or less), I can only HOPE that "They" are not coming back.


Something tells me this isn't necessarily disregarding the title...

You know, I feel like even if they manage to bring any of the survivors back, it will just be like punching a hole in the bottom of a fish tank to get something out. Sure, you'll get the thing, but everything else will just come pouring out, or in this case, into Equestria.

If that was needlessly indirect basically they will get the survivor but also punch a hole through the 'planes' at the same time. Letting all the eldritch abominations pour in.

Meanwhile the foundation is face palming at spreading a pretty obvious cognito-hazard.

The third part was like that, too; it felt pretty calm and then all went to Hell in the last couple of chapters.

the foundation wouldve had this shit sorted out in an instant already

I bet twilights been turned into one of them. Though rather then being defined as a people eating monster she/it clings to the concept of 'twilight sparkle'.

In fact I bet these creatures are just ponies or something caught up in some experiment from ages past. That's why I imagine they need to break a creature and make it pliable for their own 'definition' of said creature. With the goal of finally getting enough "pushing power" to move the nowhere-place out of dimensional orbit and into the dimension proper.

20 bucks that the ponies that twilight brought back aren't actually ponies

Oh man, I can’t wait to see where this goes. This story is so compelling!

Oh man, I've just finished reading the entirety of this series in a single sitting and I have to say - what a trip it's been! I love how deeply unsettling everything is, your storytelling is really top notch and I can't wait to see how this all ends up.

Super hyped for the next chapter this story keeps me on edge the whole way through.

Im still confused, what did Twilight do? Did she pull the survivors in town hall to use as test subjects

It sounds like it. She became one of the creatures of this place, but she used it to learn, and find a way to get ponies out. Now it sounds like she wants to doom herself to being stuck in that place forever, as penance for doing what she had to do.

I just realized now that this shows why Solace kept getting his journal sent back to him, along with ink, and lantern oil. Twilight was having him do research from his own perspective. Write down how he experienced things as a normal pony, so she could compare notes. Would not surprise me if she found a way to give most of the ponies in there some kind of writing tools.

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy the wait is over for this story. I've been following this series for ages, eagerly awaiting its conclusion. I am not disappointed so far! I'm really happy Celestia is here. I keep looking at the title of this story while I read, trying to figure it out. "They're Never Coming Back" could refer to so many things!

Something I've noticed, 'Twilight' never states that someone i alive and safe in the same sentence. She also never states that she is safe, only hidden and secure. She also mentions that Solice WAS unnoticed. All of this added with her disjointed and odd way of writing plus a few odd little ways she stated things is starting to paint a very bad picture in my mind.

I also noticed Light is always all caps like hope is, this is making me think Light might be a cipher word, though Pendant mentioned the current cipher needed a four letter word. Though their might be another hidden message to come or hidden somewhere...

Well this is encouraging, especially that some of them are conscious, and able to be reasoned with. Cheerilee defending her students and her school with a sharpened yard stick is kinda badass. All the scarring on the survivors is unexpected though... That seems to imply they got caught, but got away. Not really happened before... Or maybe Twi hurt them whilst getting them where they needed to be? It's been made clear she's not really looking like herself... They probably didn't just stroll alongside her to get where she needed them...

The wounds could also be self-inflicted or the result of ponies fighting each other. The investigator that slept during the day (I can't recall his name) cut himself up a bit before trying to commit suicide, and Applejack and one of the colts at the farm went nuts and attacked other ponies.

Also I remembered seeing Targe somewhere in the story before; turns out he was one of the guards holed up at Sweet Apple Acres. Applejack's journal doesn't specify whether he was taken at the farm or was part of the group that ran at the end along with Rainbow Dash, though. Given he came back conscious I hope he gets an interview or something so we can learn what happened to the others.

Him being from that group gives me some hope that AJ and/or RD will be found. AJ really got the worst of all the torture we've seen so far though... So even if she's still a pony, it's hard to say what would happen to her...

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