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An author slowly going mad from the tale that has taken over their life. News at 11. Now Accepting Tips in my Tip Jar!


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In the literal sense, its the name of a stream/river.

As an idiom, to “cross the Rubicon” is to make a choice or decision from which there is not turning back. Crossing the point of no return. It comes from Julius Caesar choosing to cross after being forbidden to bring troops beyond that line by those in power in Rome. In a sense, it was his point of no return and led to the events that made him leader of Rome.

Interesting take on the whole Sunset redemption arc. I'll be keeping an eye on this.

While you are right this subject has been done before it's always interesting to see a new take on it, plus your writing is clean and eloquent. YAY good editors! I look forward to where this goes.

Well, Sunny's rough days seem to just be starting, as have Twiggles'. Here's hoping that they can help each other out.

Aye. High school is a horrible environment as is, but when you've got someone like Sunset that ruled through fear and everyone disliked her, the blood in the water of her no longer being "invincible" is guaranteed to get the sharks circling. Bullying sucks, but the fact is, that this stuff does really happen, and its not new. It happened when I was in high school, it happened for my siblings, and it still goes on now.

This is good. Very good. Can't wait for more.

Thanks for the chapter, good stuff

I see Rarijack, I upvote~

Alright, this story is really good and deserves so much more recognition than it's getting. Great job!



Your words are greatly appreciated and I’m glad you like it so far. I promise, the story is only just beginning!

Sometimes, the best remedy for your pain is to have someone to share it with. Glad to see Sunny and Twiggles have each other for that.

Mmm, really nice touch going into Sunset's head like that! 👍

So cute. I love it. Well done!

Well, to be fair Sunny, she is the only sentient on that entire rock so far that's been genuinely good to you and given you a reason to trust her, so enjoying the sensation of being close isn't that bad a deal.

That went about as well as it could. You've got a long way to go peach-pony. Just hold it together.

Siding with Stupid Little Voice already, I see. :P *cackles evilly and steeples claws* goooood. Gooooooooood.

Character psychology is one of my favorite things to look at when it comes to both my own characters and other people's. I love figuring out how they tick and what they would do in response to given circumstances. The deep dive into Sunset's headspace is only just getting started--the first arc, aside from the interludes and a few little pieces in some of the chapters, are told from her PoV, so I take great pains to rummage around inside her psyche while I torment her with plot.

Tough times ahead for our beloved heroine. Hopefully the Sparkle of joy in her life makes it all bearable.

Well, at least AJ, Pinkie and Luna are standing by Sunset. Good on them.

You've put a lot of research and thought into this and it shows. Thumbs up.

I’m an exile from my home, probably damned to spend the rest of my life like this: trapped in this stupid body without my magic

Thank you for pointing this out. One thing that really bugged me in canon EqG was Sunset's cavalier attitude at not being able to fulfill her special talent anymore, which is made a big deal of in main FiM canon (heck, we even had the Cutie Map sending the mane 6 in when somepony was messing around with that).

Also Sci-Twi is so adorable here and the two of them are so cute together :rainbowkiss:

I really appreciate all those details on how different and *not* human Sunset is in truth, and how awkward/skittish she feels presently.

Well, truth is, at the end of the day, she isnt human...and from what we see of it, pony culture is very different from human culture, despite surface similarities. Humans are violent, aggressive, and even in first world countries have societies and behavior heavily influenced by centuries of male dominated culture wherein most cases females were considered subservient if not out right property in some places. We have much greater gender dimorphism, tech versus magic, and we dont get a magical “eureka” moment in adolescence where we figure out what makes us happy and content in life. We go to war at the drop of a hat, and murder and violence are sadly an all too common thing in any city you can name.

Ponies have their own struggles, but they are different from a bunch of psychotic bipedal apes. I’ve always considered the differences in stuff like that for characters—as a roleplayer, it was always a huge pet peeve. Theyre elves, dammit, not just skinny humans with pointy ears. Im trying to apply the same approach to Sunset—picking apart and extrapolating everything i can see in FiM to build an in depth cultural profile on ponies and then using that to say “whats different?” and “how would she view this?”


Yeah,, lots of research—ive driven my spouse a tad insane with my rambling on this story, and my beta reader and i spend hoooours pouring over character psychology. Its proved...helpful, long term.


Trust me, after every storm, theres a rainbow and sunlight. We just have to weather the storm first. *grins*

I think I might be repeating myself at this point, but I just feel the need to keep commenting- Absolutely adore the interactions between Sci-Twi and Sunset. And you delving into the psychologies of the characters is what sets this fic apart from the others IMO. Keep up the good work :rainbowkiss:

Sunset, you are a far better person than you give yourself credit for.

And, thank you for treating panic attacks respectfully.


I try very hard to treat various mental health situations, traumas, disorders, and all manner of “merits and flaws”
with a measure of respectful realism. I try to research the subject in question, and, if possible, talk to someone with first hand knowledge/perspective. In this case, while i don’t suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, a number of people near to me do, and I actually spoke in-depth to one of them about the subject to gain a better understanding of what Twilight would be going through and how she would behave. I want the characters to feel like real flesh and blood people, but a big part of that is remembering that things like an anxiety disorder or a rage problem or depression are real problems that real people face every day and to approach it the same way. They arent solely defined by these things, nor are these things nothing more than plot points or convenient tools to propel plot forward when its needed and stuck in a coat closet when they arent.

Not sure if I'm articulating it well. Wordsing can sometimes be hard for me.

Okay, you win. I’ll be nice. ;p

Still loving this so much. Celestia and Luna are so human here, and so pained by Sunset's pain. They're right to not take everything at face value, but it does lend credence to Sunset's… behavioral issues.

Thank you.

Best advice i give to RPers and writers alike is that “characters, major or minor, are real people in their world. They should have the depth, flaws, strengths, and issues of real people. They love, laugh, cry and live lives regardless of whether you're observing them or not.”

These women might only be minor characters, but they are still people. I want them to feel real, while still being true to who they are portrayed as in the canon.

I’m glad youre enjoying the end result.

"Sore wa himitsu desu." Well now I'm even more intrigued in that secret, I'm excited to know about Celestia's backstory.

Oh my GOSH Sunny! :pinkiesad2:

"I’m not sure," Luna said thoughtfully, "but I find the implications troubling. We know nothing of this world she or Princess Twilight Sparkle came from and though Twilight Sparkle seemed compassionate, we also have to consider the fact that she didn't seem bothered by the idea that Sunset was essentially being abandoned here to fend for herself."


The dam broke, and she looked into Luna’s eyes with tears streaming down her cheeks. “…She was my mom, in every way that mattered…except the one I wanted the most…”


I think your phycological analysis approach to this is my favorite part.

Gosh , IMO the hallmark of a *good* SunShim story is when approaching the Sunset-Celestia relationship and their baggage, which I think you've succeeded with honors here. Also noticed some interesting bits here and there (aside from the obvious Principal Celestia hook) and I'm waiting with bated breath to see what the implications on the story will be :heart:

Also Sunset deserves all the hugs :fluttercry:

Yeah, the baggage of the Sunset-Celestia relationship is something that I feel is fundamental to Sunset's character, in so many ways, and yet, its almost entirely glossed over in the actual canon. Even their reunion was...somewhat rushed (though filled with a lot of non-verbal cues and body language), and other than the brief synopsis of "Sunset was Celestia's student before Twilight", we don't get a whole lot. What we do get, if you pay attention though, is stuff that raises the eyebrows of anyone who understands psychology and behavior. Things that stand out to me, in particular, often raise more questions than they solve, or are little things that most people wouldn't inquire too deeply about. As an example, at the very end of the first Equestria girls movie, Twilight comes back through the portal into pony land, and while her friends and Cadence and such are asking about what she saw and how it went, Celestia's first and only inquiry is "Sunset Shimmer? Is she alright?" Everything else--the Elements, Twilight herself, the other world, the Crown of Magic, it's all secondary to her desire to know about Sunset's well-being. Or the fact that the journal Sunset possesses was personally crafted as a set and gifted by Celestia. Now it was mostly a "Magical MacGuffin" sure, but I like to explain things from a character view first, and that journal is not a piddly artifact, considering it can traverse to another realm/dimension/whatever, and then be used to force a connection between worlds that otherwise requires 2.5 years to charge up for a bare three days. Even the backstory comic for Sunset shows a level of personal interaction that we don't even see with pony Twilight.

I'm working the paths we're presented with to the best of my ability, and its drawn a very clear psych profile for me about their interpersonal relationship, and that's the route I'm going. It's...something that will be cropping up as the story progresses, because for anyone, our parents are part of what make us who we are, and are a source of a great deal of both good and bad baggage we carry through life. Sunset only remembers Celestia. That was the mare who shaped so much of her fundamental development, influenced her personality, her habits, her coping skills. The process of dealing with that broken relationship, with the wounds its left on Sunset (and Princess Celestia too), is part of the story in bits and pieces, and will both affect and be affected by other characters. I hope you enjoy how it plays out, friend, and I'm glad that you like what I've done so far.

As for the things you've picked up on, I assure you, nothing in my writing is an accident. Every word chosen, every thing noted in detail, every hint or seeming throw away comment, is deliberate. So those things you've noticed? They mean something, somewhere, in the greater tale of the universe I'm building in this tale and the eventual side stories connected to it.


I'm glad you like it. Psychology, sociology, analysis of behavior...they've always been a...bit of a hobby of mine, and are something I like bringing in when I do Storytelling, either as a written word or as a campaign.

*rubs paws together wickedly* I can't wait to see what you folks think of the next handful of chapters.


Yeah, the baggage of the Sunset-Celestia relationship is something that I feel is fundamental to Sunset's character, in so many ways, and yet, its almost entirely glossed over in the actual canon.

This is something of a pet peeve of mine with both Luna and Sunset's "fall" stories. Canon just seems to handwave with a "They were wrong, Celestia was right", and I find those completely unsatisfactory. In Sunset's case we're just told she was "power-hungry" but never *why*. If she desired power, there must have been a reason that seeded that lust in her, even if by the end she had completely forgotten it.

I'm working the paths we're presented with to the best of my ability, and its drawn a very clear psych profile for me about their interpersonal relationship, and that's the route I'm going.

I've read several stories going into Sunset's past and her relationship with Celestia (the MADverse and Sunset Reset are among my favorites), but this here IMO is what sets this story apart. I can't remember other stories who have gone into such detailed analysis of the characters' psychology.

It also helps that this backstory pretty much aligns perfectly with my headcanon for Sunset's past, so I might be biased a bit :trollestia:


I...actually think its because people miss the point of Celestia. If you pay close attention, Celestia isn't "always right", but the public PERCEPTION is that she is. Celestia shows some traits that Sunset shares in the few episodes that dig deeper into her character: Self doubt, a temper, and self-flagellation (all three are present in the episode where Starlight Glimmer swaps her and Luna's cutie marks, and we see her confronted with the concept of Daybreaker as well as the memory of Nightmare Moon.) Celestia is a good example of an immortal who is still just a "person" at heart--she wants to do right and good, but she's not perfect. She makes mistakes, just like everyone, and when one is essentially an immortal God-Queen, even if you aren't actively worshiped, not a lot of people are going to feel like they can challenge your statements and decisions. No one ever seems to say "...Hey, Princess? You sure that maybe this is a good idea?"

As for the detail, I dont like plot holes or unanswered questions about things, so I go dissecting everything I can find to piece together the answer. Character psychology tops the list. :P

While I *do* agree with you in that, I think the issue is in part a fault of the writers. With the limited interactions the audience had with her early on we didn't really get to see any flaws on Celestia as a character. The first chink in her armor was the Wedding, and even there it was more a case of her being railroaded/getting an idiot ball stuck on her horn for plot reasons. It wasn't until later seasons (4 and onwards) that she began to be written as a more flawed, "human" character.

What I mean to say is, IMO, back when both Luna and Sunset's backstory were written, it was way before the writers really began to delve into Celestia as a character, so the perception, not only amongst the pony public, but also among the audience, she was still the Big Good who can't do no wrong.

Fair enough, and there is probably a measure of truth in that—the target audience was, after all, little girls, and i suspect Celestia was never meant to be anything more than a sort of nebulous background/minor character initially. They certainly didn't plan for the show to...explode...quite the way it did, especially with the demographic it ended up with as fans (or in the case of some of us, returning fans. *hugs a very well loved vhs bootleg of rescue at midnight castle*). And even if the creative team did write up a complex backstory for luna or even sunset, it may have simply been something they couldn't fit in or find a place for, for any number of complicated reasons, be it ratings, time, censors, finding a good place to put it in, etc. It’s not uncommon, at least in my experience, to end up with more story than you have the ability to tell easily and quickly.

“Happy Nightmare Night, Princess!” she cried gleefully, prancing happily in place, the mock guard armor over the tiny filly body bordering on comical to any adult eyes. Not that Sunset cared—at five, it was the best costume ever! “I’m your guard for Nightmare Night!”

Nnnggg~ filly Sunset is just criminally adorable!

Why do you keep playing with my heart like that? :fluttercry:

Double update? You spoil us~:heart:

My shipping sense is tingling!

—Then why are you staring at her butt?—

Stupid sexy Twilight!


If that tingling lasts too long, i recommend seeing a doctor. ;p

And you guys deserved a bit of spoiling. The response ive gotten here has meant more than I can say—I was super nervous to even share this story at all, given how nasty people can sometimes get because of the anonymity of the net. But the positive comments have...really made me feel good about my writing abilities. :)


You're welcome! I can safely say without hyperbole this has been one of the better Sunset stories I've read, and I really wish it had more recognition. I've tried to plug it in as many places I've been able to, but being a relative newcomer to the fandom (only started last year) I don't have many place I'm active in.

Stupid murder monkeys and their weird values

Sunny, you have no idea just how much I echo this sentiment.

Glad AJ's willing to understand that Sunset may want to be friends, but she's also suffering from a heck of a lot of anxiety, and being surrounded by all that hate is a bit much for her, no matter how much she thinks she deserves it.

Sunny, it's okay. We all know you're Twisexual. Just accept it and enjoy your Lepechinia flavored treat.


Sunset’s a big fan of that river in Egypt. ;)

She’ll figure it out eventually. Maybe.


I appreciate the compliment, even if im not sure i would agree (im not sure my ego is large enough to let me, lol). Im honestly surprised as many people are reading it as there are—it was never about the numbers for me, i just...my friends and beta reader convinced me to put it up, that maybe some other people might enjoy reading it like they did.

It does make me feel good to see yall enjoying it though, and it definitely is motivating me to keep writing and crafting.

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