• Published 19th Aug 2019
  • 3,885 Views, 90 Comments

Midnight at the Crystal Library - Ninjadeadbeard



While on a study-vacation in the Crystal Empire, Sunset, Sci-Twi, Starswirl, and Starlight will have to literally confront their past mistakes if Equestria is to survive.

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Epilogue - All Good Things

Two days later found Flash Sentry and Tempest Shadow standing attention at the Crystal Empire train station. One of Flash’s wing was in a cast, but Tempest had returned to her daily routine like nothing was amiss. The only indication that she’d been at the forefront of a major battle in the past few days was the way she seemed to jump at the slightest sound or sight that might even remotely trigger her honed combat senses.

“I’m just saying,” she was explaining to the commander, “it could have been Midnight Sparkle.”

“It was a cupcake,” Flash didn’t break his at-attention stance, but his voice strained to keep that composure, “It was an apple-vanilla cupcake, and I was sharing some with you.”

Tempest hid her embarrassed blush well. “Um… I did say I was sorry?”

“You did,” he said, “after you pulled me out of the rubble. That you made, when you put me there.”

“Alright, alright,” she said conciliatorily, “no party next time we survive an invasion.”

Flash coughed, “Well… I wouldn’t go that far…”

A whistling wind blew over the cold landscape, punctuating the utterly empty, still silence with the one sound that could make that silence feel more empty, more silent. Besides the wind, and the snow still on the ground, it was over all a nice day.

Tempest still shivered. “Is it eleven yet? When’s that train supposed to arrive?”

“Message said eleven o’clock arrival time. It’s still a half hour out.”

She blew warm air onto her hooves, and silently thanked Moondancer for the scarf. “So, you wanna talk about something? While we wait?”

Flash shrugged almost imperceptibly beneath his armor. “Okay… did you think Sunset Shimmer was staring at me when- “

The platform suddenly lit up as a wave of blue light swept over it, and a thunderous clap struck the air. Tempest was already dropping into a combat stance, her broken horn guttering with magical energy, while Flash took up a ready-stance as well, though several feet further away from Tempest.

Both paused, then snapped to attention however, as the Princess Mi Amore Cadenza and Prince Shining Armor had appeared on the platform.

“At ease,” said Shining, waving them down as he and his wife appeared.

“Sir!” Flash saluted, “We were expecting you by train, as your message indicated.”

Tempest cleared her throat, “Did… did something happen with the train?”

Princess Cadence chuckled unconvincingly. “Oh no! We just… wanted to slip in unannounced. It was a long trip and the train was delayed- “

The train took that moment to pull into the station. In seconds, a host of Crystal Guards poured into the station and around it, forming a secure location within moments. This seemed to be second nature, for once the guards noticed their charges had teleported ahead, no one could quite make eye contact for a while afterward.

Under Tempest’s casual look of ‘oh-really’, Cadence cracked. “Alright… so we might have been a little anxious to get home and make sure everything was in one piece.”

Shining scratched the back of his head, “Yeah, your letter made it sound like things got… heated.”

“Catastrophic, sir,” Flash Sentry offered, “Twilight described it as catastrophic.”

The royals stared with wide eyes at this remark. Flash, noticing their concern, helpfully added, “Oh, I mean, the other universe’s Twilight, sir.”

“Twilight,” Tempest stepped in, “may have been reacting emotionally to… a strenuous experience. It wasn’t a total catastrophe. Uh, I mean…”

Cadence held up a hoof this time. “Can… can we just move onto the part where we see how bad the damages are?”

“Or,” Shining Armor said, “perhaps you can tell us how Flurry Heart is doing?”

Tempest nodded. “Yes, of course. Right this way.” She and Flash led the royals and their guards back into the city, walking side-by-side.

“You didn’t hipcheck the Prince into a wall,” Flash whispered, “So I guess you’re doing better.”

She whispered back, “Just remember Flash, I can always break the other wing.”


The base of the crystal palace was seemingly crawling with workponies, hanging warning signs and scaffolds and tape everywhere. The city itself was mostly unharmed, despite the complaints of a particularly pushy cabbage farmer, but the palace would be under reconstruction for a while. Sections of crystal floor were little more than melted slag, and huge chunks had been ripped from the support legs of the palace itself.

There was no danger to the structure, Tempest reported, but the palace would look like a warzone for a little while.

“Seems appropriate,” Cadence said as they walked past a crew of unicorns and pegasi trying to lift a wagon-sized shard of crystal out of somepony’s second-story room. “How bad were the other damages? Was anyone…?”

“I will never not be astonished at the Crystal Guard’s ability to take a hit on the chin and keep going,” Tempest actually said with clear admiration, “We didn’t lose a single guard, all told, though the number of injuries we’ve been dealing with was through the roof.”

Flash, in a moment of levity, chuckled and said, “Considering how often we’re invaded, it pays to learn to roll with the punches.” His mirth turned to a worried look instantly as he realized he was still escorting the Royals.

Shining Armor, however, slapped him on the back and laughed right along with the guard. “That’s the spirit!” he said.

Cadence smiled, “Well, I’m sorry that you didn’t find an answer to your own quest, Tempest. But I am relieved that everypony is doing alright.”

“Speaking of which,” Shining turned to Tempest, “Did… Twilight and her friends get any headway done on their own research?”

Tempest and Flash shared a quick look, and a momentary glance towards the library.

“Um, no,” Tempest finally said, “Or, they might have. They’ve been using the palace library since the battle… since the city one is also… under reconstruction.”

“And…” Flash added slowly, “since Mrs. Maresbury banned… everypony from the library.”

“I don’t suppose,” Cadence said slowly, “that you actually know the definition of a ‘catastrophe’, do you?”


Inside the palace things seemed far calmer. Damage was limited to a few cracks here and there, and the most catastrophic damages were from tables and chairs being knocked about during the most titanic moments of fighting days ago. No, physical damage was not the immediate concern within the palace, but physical healing. Injured guards filled the main hall, recuperating through entertainment.

The crowd cheered as yet another trick went off without a hitch on the impromptu stage thrown up for the occasion. Cadence and Shining Armor’s small retinue arrived just as the show ended, with the Great and Powerful Trixie and her Great and Powerful Assistant Starlight standing hoof-in-hoof before the cheering guards.

Shining Armor and Cadence’s presence seemed to lift the wounded ponies’ spirits immediately, even though the magic show had already set that bar high. Moving through the crowd of guards was slow-going, considering the amount of them that wanted to welcome their sovereigns home, or alternatively make sure Shining saw their injuries and knew they’d given their all.

Once they’d gotten past the guards and moved into the quieter living quarters, Starlight and Trixie were there to welcome them.

“Did you see the show?” Trixie asked as she bowed, “Blown away by the amazing mystical prowess of the Great and Powerful Trixie? Of course you were. I also do birthdays.”

Starlight gently elbowed her friend as she stepped up, “So… how was the trip? Diplomatic Summit go well?”

“The Yaks will hold off going to war another year,” Shining laughed, “if that’s what you were worried about.”

Starlight laughed along, meekly, “I… wasn’t until now.”

“Honestly,” said Cadence, who began walking past the duo towards the staircase up to the rest of the tower, “these summits are basically an excuse for rulers to have a vacation with other rulers.”

“Now,” Shining turned an eye on the retinue of Flash, Tempest, Starlight, and Trixie as they followed Princess Cadence, “Who wants to tell me the whole story about what happened here?”


The Royal Library of the Crystal Empire, to be completely honest, was at best subpar. It did not even begin to compare with the libraries back in Canterlot or even Ponyville, much less the city’s own library. If the researchers hadn’t been permitted to grab whatever books they could carry, Sunset Shimmer thought, this collating session would be worse than useless.

She sat at a table piled high with tomes and scrolls in the middle of a crystal-themed study on the third story of the palace. Sunburst and Moondancer scrambled here and there, making notations on scrolls they assured her would let her quickly and easily find any work on the magic of portals available.

So, something had come out of this waste of a vacation, she thought.

Starswirl sat nearby, scribbling notes and thoughtfully stroking his beard. He hadn’t said much in the past few days, instead burying himself in work of some sort.

“Hey Starswirl,” Sunset said playfully, “working hard? Or hardly working?”

He seemed to snap out of a trance. “I beg your pardon?”

“Oh, no… it’s…” what was the point? “Nevermind. What are you working on there?”

He glanced down at his notes, then took on a serious expression. “I promised I would help you with your Equestrian magic problem, and I believe with this I can make amends for causing it in the first place.”

Sunset tried to comfort the old stallion, “No one blames you for- “

“I do,” he said firmly, standing up and holding the scroll with his magic, “and while I have been exploring many avenues of new magical research this little adventure has conjured up, I made doubly sure to leave you with something worthwhile.”

The scroll rolled itself up, and a blue and gold ribbon fastened tight about its middle.

“This,” he presented the scroll to Sunset, “needs to be cast upon the mirror to your world. It will encrypt the passage, and prevent any more errant magic from entering your new home.”

Sunset stared at the scroll. This was it? This little thing? She took it, gratefully, but she almost couldn’t comprehend it.

But Starswirl was not done yet. “Be warned, Sunset Shimmer,” he said in a grave tone, “the magic already within your world is still active, and I do not know how you might rid it of Equestrian magic entirely. Even destroying the portal wouldn’t help now. I fear you may have a long, long road ahead of you.”

Sunset could only nod, slowly. Then, scroll set aside, she reached out and gave Starswirl a deep hug. The old wizard was taken completely by surprise… but it was not an unwelcome one. He returned the gesture, gratefully.

Voices echoing down the corridor suddenly grew louder as the library doors opened.

“…so, while Tempest grew up again, we agreed to combine our efforts to- oh!” Starlight gasped, “Why Starswirl! I forgot that you wanted to speak to me just now!” Starlight threw every ounce of her acting talent behind that stiff bit of dialogue. Even Trixie seemed embarrassed for her.

Luckily, Starswirl didn’t need to be a good actor to know a bad one. “Actually, I do want to talk with you Starlight, if you can spare a minute.”

Starlight turned to the royals, “I’m sure Tempest can complete the tale from here.”

Princess Cadence nodded, and then continued on her way, husband, Flash, and Tempest in tow. Tempest spared a single, chilling look Starlight’s way before she moved on.

Trixie winced. “You’ll pay for that one. She’s craaaazy.” Then, sniffing the air, the Great and Powerful Trixie smiled. “Think I’ll raid the kitchen for whatever grub they can spare. Work out these new chompers you magic’d up for me. Trixie will graciously bring something back for you.”

Sunburst looked up from a pile of scrolls, “Why, thank you Trixie. That’s very- “

“Trixie was talking to Starlight,” Trixie said, already walking out the door.

Sunburst and Moondancer shared a glance that conveyed their respective, annoyed feelings towards the magician. Sunset, for her part, noticed the way Trixie smirked on her way out, and had an idea that food might just be on the way. Starlight and Starswirl moved out into the corridor as well, for whatever talk they needed to have.

Sunset Shimmer sighed contentedly. She finally felt like the words would come to her. She picked up her quill with her magic, and went back to the blank book pages before her.

“Dear Princess Twilight…”


“Thanks for getting me out of that,” Starlight was saying, and she meant it, “I did not want to have to explain everything all over again.”

Starswirl said nothing. He let the silence between them speak for him.

Starlight held onto the hope that he wouldn’t expect her to say anything. She held onto it for several long, long seconds. But as he didn’t say anything himself, she knew she had to.

“I… guess you actually did want to talk about something?”

He nodded. He seemed to be picky about what words he would use, “Starlight… what are your thoughts today about the incident?”

“What part are you referring to?” she asked, still hoping he maybe just wanted to talk about magical theory.

“The alternate timelines.”

“Oh… hayseeds,” she muttered. “I was actually kind of hoping not to think about them just yet…”

“It’s a serious thing to consider,” Starswirl intoned like a judge handing down a verdict, “those worlds, and all the ponies now living in their doomed timelines, owe their existence, and perhaps their fates to actions you took while concerned only for spiteful revenge. I can only imagine what you must be feeling.”

Starlight’s eyes widened and her mouth hung open. That was… to the quick. Starswirl clearly did not want to bandy about on this. And… he was right. It was her fault, after all.

She lowered her head. “I… I’ve already said how awful my actions back then were. But I took small comfort from the idea that those timelines had been fixed. That they didn’t exist anymore.” Tears began to build in her eyes, “I ruined so many ponies’ lives, in so many worlds.”

“You had no way of knowing,” Starswirl placed a hoof on her shoulder, “and you have tried to make amends wherever you could. I don’t think you could have done more.”

“But what about them!” an edge of anger slipped into her voice, “Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy! The ones from those worlds are back now, without any of their memories of saving our world! Or of each other. Or of the friendships they might have otherwise had!”

Starswirl let Starlight yell, and stand before him and silently weep.

He said, “Starlight? Did you, or anyone else, convince those time-displaced ponies to leap at Midnight Sparkle?”

She looked up into his eyes, eyes that reflected back nothing but kindness now. “No,” she whispered.

“Those ponies came from ruined worlds,” he said softly, “Worlds where endless war, monsters, and demons run rampant and tear down all that is good in this life.” He leaned in close to Starlight, and smiled. “And yet, ponies so damaged by an unforgiving world were able to cast aside that darkness and allow friendship into their hearts.”

Starswirl wiped a single tear off of Starlight’s cheek. “If they could do it once, they can do it again. I think they can still turn their worlds’ around.”

“Thank you,” Starlight said, just a touch of happiness returning to her face, “I think they can do it too.”

“Naturally,” Starswirl spun back towards the library, “I will continue to do some research on this subject. It was still my spell that started this whole mess. And, who knows?” he turned to smile back at Starlight as he opened the door, “perhaps one day you and I will cast a spell to make this all worth it.”

Starlight couldn’t help but beam a little bit with pride. Starswirl had addressed her as… not an assistant, but as an equal! And if he wasn’t willing to give up on those other timelines, then neither would she!

She stood in the hall, practically glowing for several seconds while Trixie struggled to drag a cart filled with pudding up the last step of the staircase.


Finally, as Tempest finished relaying the events of the previous few days to the royals, who had picked up their pace steadily as the tale was told, Princess Cadence and Shining Armor reached the royal nursery where Flurry Heart was supposed to be sleeping.

In truth, the alicorn princess was cooing and gurgling happily in the air when her parents entered the chamber. She seemed content to fly in small circles while holding onto a small, pink stuffed bear. And as soon as she caught sight of them, Flurry flew into their open embrace.

“Awww,” Cadence sighed with parental relief, “How’s my sweet filly doing?”

Shining Armor shushed his wife. Then, when she threw him a look that eerily reminded him of their first wedding, he quickly pointed with his hoof towards another sight. In the corner of the room, Twilight Sparkle slept peacefully in a chair. She was curled up, snoring softly, and seemingly at gentle rest. Spike (the dog, Shining reminded himself), slept curled up beneath the chair itself, also equally at peace.

Cadence smiled. “She reminds me of Twilight, when I used to foalsit.”

Shining ruffled the young pony’s hair lightly with his hoof. “You did good, kid,” he said with genuine warmth. “You did good.”

The royal couple, Flurry in hoof, turned and quietly exited the room to let their guest enjoy her nap. Flash Sentry followed in their wake, but Tempest held back. She stayed a moment longer, just long enough to grab a small blanket and throw it over the sleeping pony.

Twilight stirred, “Tempest?”

“Yeah,” she whispered, “get some rest kid. You earned it.”

But Twilight, though clearly groggy, would not so easily submit. She pointed by jabbing her horn towards a nearby desk. “Made you,” she yawned, “something…”

Tempest, a bit confused, walked over to the small desk normally used for changing Flurry Heart… and saw something lying atop it.

“What… what is this?” she could only just get out.

Twilight yawned, “I thought I’d spend a few hours last night trying some things out. Figured… figured that if magic wasn’t doing you any good… science might…”

Tempest slowly lifted up the tiny apparatus. It wasn’t much, but it was also something she’d never seen before. It was a sliver of crystal; deeply colored magenta like her. It was suspended in a copper wireframe that… well it almost…

She placed it over her broken horn, and found a small piece that spun in place. She tightened it, and tightened it. Tempest nearly sprinted over to the mirror on the wall. She had to see it. She just had to-

“It’s perfect.” There was no other way to say it. The crystal didn’t look exactly like her old horn… it was better. It was like having a horn again! She could even, faintly, feel it! She looked about, and then reached out with her magic towards a rattle lying in Flurry’s crib.

Up! Down! Up! Down! The toy followed her directions, it flew up and down with her thoughts and with her magic! It worked! It worked!

Tempest turned to jump and cheer… but saw Twilight fast asleep again. With careful, silent precision, Tempest walked up to the sleeping pony. She lowered her face, and simply settled her forehead to Twilight’s.

With the barest whisper, hardly above silence itself, Tempest thanked her friend. “Don’t you dare ever let somepony compare you the Princess. You’re every bit as wonderful, and more.”

She quietly left the room, and turned out the lights.


That night, under the blackness of a moonless sky, four figures slipped out of the crystal palace and moved to the latest military structure of the Crystal Empire. Fort Cabbage, built within hours of a sinkhole appearing over the remains of a cabbage patch, was guarded by a lone sentry who allowed the hooded figures in without a word.

Starswirl the Bearded, Flash Sentry, Moondancer, and Tempest Shadow each removed their hoods and made their way down into the tunnels beneath the city. Starswirl led the way, he and Flash consulting a small map as they went along. Moondancer carried with her a small pile of scrolls, all while hiding a grin as Tempest simply picked up and dropped smaller rocks with her horn.

The four entered an enlarged chamber where several crystal earth ponies were finishing their work. Support beams were in place, and the chamber walls and floor were properly leveled. A set of three towering mirrors stood in the middle of the room, set in just such a way so that a pony standing before them could see each one fully.

Into this spot, all four settled. Before them, many ponies stared back from those mirrors.

“Boy,” Applejack’s voice came in clear from the leftmost mirror, “I can’t believe this is happening!” She stood in what looked to have once been a barn, now turned into an industrial farm. Around her stood ponies in similar workclothes, including a Fluttershy and Rarity, as well as a Pinkie and Rainbow Dash in military fatigues. They even had a Twilight Sparkle, a bookish unicorn standing awkwardly amongst these ponies she did not know, yet.

Behind them towered Princess Celestia, who looked on in awe at this most welcome sight. “I… Starswirl! I didn’t think I would ever see you again.” Her mane was a touch more frayed, her voice filled with more worry, but it was still the Celestia Starswirl knew.

He nodded to his old student, and turned to the central mirror, whose reflection held a Zebra mare covered in green paint, flanked by a Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy who seemed… far less angry than they had before. And behind them stood, a bit worse for wear, a ragged band made up of their own Dash, Applejack, Rarity, and Twilight.

“Ooh!” Pinkie Pie nearly hit the mirror as she leaned forward, “did ya bring the baby? Look! We got our friends back from the changelings! Isn’t this great!?”

Zecora, speaking over the sudden wash of confetti cannons, said, “So I see it is you, at times so late, come with bright news to deliver our fate?”

The rightmost mirror reflected back not only an armored Rainbow Dash and Rarity, but a host of similarly armed and armored pegasi, unicorns, and earth ponies. Starswirl thought he even saw another Twilight mixed into this group as well.

“Reporting in!” Rainbow Dash saluted, “Resistance HQ is ready for instruction!”

The elder stallion, for a moment, felt a stirring of fate in his heart. “As soon as I realized,” he began, “that the Elements of Harmony had protected your memories from my spell, I knew there was a chance. A chance at not only redeeming myself for past mistakes, but redeeming the lives you were all denied by the quirks of fate, chance, and anger.”

The scrolls Moondancer had brought sparkled with Starswirl’s magic. They drifted up into the air and melted into the mirrors, appearing in the worlds on the other side.

He continued, “These scrolls possess the spells necessary to track down the Elements in your own worlds. However, without knowing how to use the Elements, they will be useless to you.”

Moondancer and Tempest retrieved a large pile of books the work ponies had dragged down into this chamber beforehoof. Each book was purple, etched in gold, and emblazoned with a familiar set of symbols. The two began feeding the books directly into the mirrors.

As they did this, Starswirl continued with his speech, “These books were written by a group of very, very special friends. They contain the greatest magic I have ever experienced; the magic of Friendship. Read these well, take their lessons to heart, and they will allow you to use the Elements of Harmony for their grand purpose.”

Each of the ponies in each of the other worlds marveled at the scrolls and the books that appeared before them. Eager hooves grabbed at the books in particular, and began to drink in the knowledge within. It nearly brought Starswirl to tears as he watched the hope begin to be rekindled within each of them.

“My little ponies,” he said, “these mirrors shall remain open if you need to speak with us again. I hope to hear from each of you soon, and to hear of your success.”

The Rarity from the rightmost mirror, the world of eternal night, scoffed. “Darling! I promise you’ll hear from us first thing at dawn!”

Applejack, from the left-mirror, whooped at that, “Now that’s the Rarity I know!”

“Good luck everypony,” the Fluttershy from the central mirror said, “and farewell!”

The mirrors faded as each of the groups turned and headed out on their way. And in the stillness that followed, Starswirl turned to the three who’d followed him down to this room.

“We will have to keep our eyes on here,” he said, “and to be ready for anything.”

Moondancer sighed, “Why didn’t you tell Starlight what you were working on? I’d think she’d be excited to know about this plan of yours.”

He nodded, “When there’s something to report, I will make sure she is the first to know. But right now, I think she needs to process things in her own time.”

Tempest sat at attention in front of the mirrors. “Well, regardless, it’s time for everypony to be asleep. Flash and I will take first watch. You two head on back.”

Moondancer and Starswirl nodded their thanks, and after checking with the workponies and the few guards assigned to the fort, went on to their beds. As Flash sat down next to Tempest to begin their watch, he smiled and began to rummage through his satchel.

“Now, don’t be alarmed,” he said, chuckling, “but I brought a couple of cupcakes along…”

Author's Note:

Finale.


Sequel Hook. Natch. Got two in the works; one dealing with Sunset and Sci-Twi heading back home. The other... well, Starswirl was serious about doing something about those doomed timelines. Guess we'll see what that entails.

Thanks for reading ya'll!

Comments ( 41 )

This was a really good story. Lots of fun, good plotting and characters, and managed to keep the feel of the show. I really enjoyed it!

Good shit m8 :raritywink:👌

Ri2

I can't decide whether keeping open portals is a great idea or a terrible idea.

Fantastic, a mix of old faces and new, a brisk plot well executed, and a satisfying ending that feels like it came right off the show we all came to know and love. I especially like the way Starswirl sets up the portals to fix things in the end, it feels like tying up a loose end that was overlooked on the show, one I hardly even realized was there.

A review for this story has been posted on "I Just Want A Comment." Check it out.

This was exactly like reading an actual episode. Very nice job on this, especially on mentioning but not dwelling on the little things that most might overlook.
Good work :pinkiehappy:

I loved it! Great job! I love how Twilight made Tempest a new horn that was a really cool way to solve Tempest's problem.

9851387
Tempest kinda deserved something after getting blown up, beaten, de-aged, and humiliated so often in the story. :raritywink:

This seemed at times like it might go darker than expected, but it turned out pretty sweet. Certainly in keeping with the spirit of the show!

Excellent story. I'll continue on with the sequels!

Magnificent work throughout. Thank you for it. I'll be sure to check out the sequel.

9951185
Some timelines are more or less awful than others. Clearly, Changeling Timeline Pinkie had at least some amount of joy in her life.

Or, she lived in a humid forest that did nothing for her hair. Either way... :pinkiecrazy:

Great fic, i love It!

10090249
Oh my! Thank you! What was your favorite part? :twilightsmile:

10119344
I mean I dont like the guy but he's tolerable

Finally finished this story. Bravo. I loved it.

this was wonderful!!

10224697
Aw, thanks! This story's got a special place in my heart, so I'm happy you enjoyed it. :twilightsmile:

10224710
I am reading its sequel now!

For a short 6 chapter story, this was quite good.

What a fantastic story that balances such a large cast.

Where is alicorn Sunset Shimmer?

10324802
Well.... there are some sequels... :trollestia:

Though I hope this means you enjoyed this story. It was my first adventure fic on the site, and I'm still quite fond of it. :twilightsmile:

Yup, still good all these years later. Wait, what do you mean it's only been one year?! STAAAAAARLIIIIIIIGHT!!!!!

10504933
Time travel.

Not even once.

That was a fun read. You have a few instances of odd wording here and there, but nothing that took me out of the story.
Well done! I hope to get around the other stories soon!

10872588
Sorry, poor wood choice at a late hour. I meant a mess for the characters, they cast a time spell and now there are characters from 3 extra dimensions and also 2 spare demons in the fray to the extent where not everyone is even clear who they should be fighting and different ponies are punching other ponies in the face, on top of the 9 or so who were already on the scene and I was just going bwwwuhhhhhhh in my head trying to keep track of the 15 or so that were there - which is partially the point of the fic really, not something I hold negatively against it.

If I were to reword what I reactively thought not so much at the story but at myself,

"Wow. This has really descended into complete anarchy." - followed shortly by what I thought at myself - "Oh. It's called the Anarchyverse. Geez Pete, of course it has."

10872600
Heh heh, it's alright. Carry on! Hope it concludes most satisfactorily for you! :twilightsmile:

10984142
now that you mention it it makes more sense now thx, plus I regret waiting til now to read this story since I've read the 2 other stories that come after this.

10984150
Reading my stuff out of order is surprisingly common, weirdly. :rainbowlaugh:

10984161
he he, something I often feel embarrassed about myself since some stories don't interest me at first til I end up deciding to give them a shot.

The train took that moment to pull into the station. In seconds, a host of Crystal Guards poured into the station and around it, forming a secure location within moments. This seemed to be second nature, for once the guards noticed their charges had teleported ahead, no one could quite make eye contact for a while afterward.

Good timing.

“Speaking of which,” Shining turned to Tempest, “Did… Twilight and her friends get any headway done on their own research?”

Wow, totally forgot all about after the unexpected happened and trying to fix tempest's broken horn.

“Um, no,” Tempest finally said, “Or, they might have. They’ve been using the palace library since the battle… since the city one is also… under reconstruction.”

Well that's a relief.

But Starswirl was not done yet. “Be warned, Sunset Shimmer,” he said in a grave tone, “the magic already within your world is still active, and I do not know how you might rid it of Equestrian magic entirely. Even destroying the portal wouldn’t help now. I fear you may have a long, long road ahead of you.”

Damn, wasn't expecting to hear that from starswirl. But at least she knows how to fix the problem with the portal. :twilightsheepish:

Shining Armor shushed his wife. Then, when she threw him a look that eerily reminded him of their first wedding, he quickly pointed with his hoof towards another sight. In the corner of the room, Twilight Sparkle slept peacefully in a chair. She was curled up, snoring softly, and seemingly at gentle rest. Spike (the dog, Shining reminded himself), slept curled up beneath the chair itself, also equally at peace.

Well, that explains why those two weren't in the library with the others.

“It’s perfect.” There was no other way to say it. The crystal didn’t look exactly like her old horn… it was better. It was like having a horn again! She could even, faintly, feel it! She looked about, and then reached out with her magic towards a rattle lying in Flurry’s crib.

Wow, can't believe it that sci twi made that! At least tempest looks more normal ish with that now.

Into this spot, all four settled. Before them, many ponies stared back from those mirrors.

I have so many questions on how those got there in he first placexand why there's underneath the crystal empire.

But all in all I think this story was great even if I didn't read it til now it was worth it in the end.

Flash + Tempest ship...

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The best ships are the most bizarre... :pinkiecrazy:

Howdy, hi~!

A review from the Oracle to you!

The only indication that she’d been at the forefront of a major battle in the past few days was the way she seemed to jump at the slightest sound or sight that might even remotely trigger her honed combat senses.

oh no, PTSD!

“You didn’t hipcheck the Prince into a wall,” Flash whispered, “So I guess you’re doing better.”

She whispered back, “Just remember Flash, I can always break the other wing.”

hehe, never thought about how pony Flash and Tempest Shadow would get along, but this is a fun dynamic

The city itself was mostly unharmed, despite the complaints of a particularly pushy cabbage farmer, but the palace would be under reconstruction for a while.

callback!

“Honestly,” said Cadence, who began walking past the duo towards the staircase up to the rest of the tower, “these summits are basically an excuse for rulers to have a vacation with other rulers.”

oof, quite the contrast with the empire-threatening danger that their home was in at the same time!

“…so, while Tempest grew up again, we agreed to combine our efforts to- oh!” Starlight gasped, “Why Starswirl! I forgot that you wanted to speak to me just now!” Starlight threw every ounce of her acting talent behind that stiff bit of dialogue. Even Trixie seemed embarrassed for her.

given how that went in “Road to Friendship”, yeah, i’d be very embarrassed of Starlight’s acting abilities!

Sunburst and Moondancer shared a glance that conveyed their respective, annoyed feelings towards the magician.

Trixie stays winning

“Those ponies came from ruined worlds,” he said softly, “Worlds where endless war, monsters, and demons run rampant and tear down all that is good in this life.” He leaned in close to Starlight, and smiled. “And yet, ponies so damaged by an unforgiving world were able to cast aside that darkness and allow friendship into their hearts.”

Starswirl wiped a single tear off of Starlight’s cheek. “If they could do it once, they can do it again. I think they can still turn their worlds’ around.”

aww, that really is a heartwarming lesson!

Cadence smiled. “She reminds me of Twilight, when I used to foalsit.”

aww, full circle with the foalsitting Tempest had to do

Up! Down! Up! Down! The toy followed her directions, it flew up and down with her thoughts and with her magic! It worked! It worked!

and yeah, a working horn prosthetic seems like a much better direction to go in than messing with timestreams, silly Starswirl!

Moondancer and Tempest retrieved a large pile of books the work ponies had dragged down into this chamber beforehoof. Each book was purple, etched in gold, and emblazoned with a familiar set of symbols. The two began feeding the books directly into the mirrors.

aww, there is something very poetic about the sum total of lessons learned in the canon timeline being what helps the dystopian timelines that spun off from it!

“My little ponies,”

nice

“Now, don’t be alarmed,” he said, chuckling, “but I brought a couple of cupcakes along…”

Starswirl, Moondancer, Flash Sentry, and Tempest Shadow really do work well as a diverse (if unicorn-heavy) array of secondary characters that could have been far more important to the adventures of the mane cast, but instead did not do much after their respective episodes/movies. pairing them with the fates of the dystopian Starlight-created timelines, which were also never really thought of by the show again is very neat, and actually confronting and doing something about those loose ends is much more satisfying than the alternative. 

looking forward to seeing where you take this universe and these characters next, especially Trixie, who is always the best

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Aw, thank you! And thank you for all the wonderful, long comments. You truly know the best thing for a writer to see first thing in the morning. :twilightsmile:

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