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One week after the Fall Formal, Principal Celestia is surprised to learn that a near-catatonic Sunset Shimmer has been calling out for her in the girl's sleep. Sunset has been unresponsive even to professional medical authorities, so what could have prompted her to call out in her sleep for an educator who had only occasionally interacted with her?

Cover art by The Sleepless Beholder

Chapters (14)
Comments ( 295 )

.....to see if I still feel......

Huh. Pretty good. Try to give the original version a listen sometime though. It's really good!

Of course, the doctors couldn't have known about the other Celestia, and couldn't have contacted her even if they had. (Seriously, who would even consider writing in that book unless they'd been informed ahead of time, which they haven't been because this is an AU where Sunset is in no condition to do so?)

very good first chapter i cant wait for more

You had me at the NIN references.

Dude, 8K word chapters are fine. Honestly, I prefer my chapters to be beefy.

Oh goodness, this is wonderful. You've done a great job of laying out the emotional threads in a way that got me immediately hooked, but with plenty left to look forward to. When well-written, SadSunny is one of my favorite things. This looks like it's gonna be heartbreaking.

At the same time, there's part of me that wishes this story didn't exist. If your author's note is any indication, this is gonna involve some heavy projection. I wish you hadn't had those experiences in the first place, but it's good that you're able to channel them into something like this. I turned my own struggles with suicide attempts/self-harm into stories, and it was very helpful for me. I hope you find writing this helpful for you, too.

I've read a lot of stories with post-Fall Formal Sunset, and a few have gone for the shell-shocked/traumatized angle. This story, though, is the first one to really show that effectively. She's not just sad, she's not just depressed--she's fragile and confused and fundamentally broken. It's so, so hard to get that feeling right, so good job conveying it so well.

Again, though, it sucks that you had to go through similar suffering to be able to write about Sunset's, but I'm proud of you for turning those struggles into something creative.

I'm guessing pinkie sense led Pinkie and the girls to stop Sunset from going too far.

Loved this chapter, and yet I still crave more.

I also loved the authors note picture you inserted :rainbowlaugh:

if I were to guess, you described the knife sliced tia's boob in half then kept going thru her gut and got lodged in her uterus on the down stroke when she jumped at luna

i think this is what you wanted to describe but the ordering is a bit off other then that its a good story

Zephyr Breeze is Fluttershys younger brother, not her older brother.

All the little parallels you're drawing while still going off in a new direction are quite fascinating. I especially liked your 1000 day jail sentence. What would be even cooler is if the judge had a name some way reminiscent of a star.

Definitely going to keep watching this, I'm enjoying trying to figure out how you're going to change things.

Yes, that mug is awesome, and oh so true. :rainbowlaugh:

That's the problem with dreams, even hyper-realistic night terrors. They can present things wrong, out of order, or emphasize the wrong things as the source of the terrors. I have a recurring night terror as a result of abuse trauma involving cooking hamburger meat and no idea why.

Damnit, you're right. I'll have to try to fix that latter.


I especially liked your 1000 day jail sentence.

I actually blatantly ripped that off borrowed that from another story, I just can't remember which one off the top of my head.

That Zepher thing kind of came out of nowhere. Are we assuming that he has exhibited behavior similar to his pony counterpart and he is a problem child in the EQG world?

He's canonically that bad in the EQG-verse, and hasn't gone through a redemption story arc there.

Amazing chapter. I love the interaction between Rainbow and Sunset. I like how you interrupted the girls talking with Rainbow remembering the events that lead to her being brought in by Celestia. Nice job with the fight scene as well. It was worth the wait.

Snap crackle and pop, this just keeps getting better. The flashback was done excellently, which is saying something cuz most stories with suicide attempts I've read on this site are insultingly shallow and awful. The situation you wrote felt bleak and heartbreaking and real.

Nicely informative and extremely well written chapter. Jam packed with important events too: First contact between the Celestias, a flashback to the events immediately preceding Sunset arriving at the hospital, the girls finding out where Sunset was, Loyalty showing its stuff. This story just grows more fascinating as you add more chapters, well done.

Two little notes: When Celestia is pondering writing in the journal, princes should be princess. Second, when Luna is describing Dust's injuries, it should be gauche, when you add the ou, it's apparently a painting method instead (I looked up that spelling to see why a check might have missed it).

Really nice chapter, keep it up!

So, Rainbow Dash is basically the Flash now. Also, she’s amazing in this chapter. Very well done.

Those kinds of things slip through when you've written about 2,000 more words in a chapter than you like and you're trying to finish off a chapter before you have to leave work for the holiday weekend. :pinkiecrazy:

Addressed and fixed, thanks for pointing those out. :twilightsmile:

This was really good! Super enjoying this take on it, and I really hope you keep going with it!

So she's cursed five ways to Sunday? I'm surprised Twilight went skipping on back to her own world with Sunset in such a state.

I'm actually liking this, this whole curse thing is actually interesting, I haven't seen anyone use this kind before, still I do wonder if it was the curse that caused her injury's or a person, looking forward to finding out

Note the flashback to the night of the Fall Formal in Chapter 2. Sunset was only just starting to show signs that her communication faculties were being hindered, and that was hours after Twilight left through the portal.

Hope you're in it 'till the end, 'cause I'm holding off on that reveal until just before the story's climax. :trollestia:

Nice slow-mo fight sequence. I don't think I have ever seen dash's ability used like that.

Reading this for the second time today, it is beautiful
Thank you so much

Feel bad for sunset reminds me of another character from an anime I watch who's sorta in the same situation

The Sunday after the Fall Formal...

Uh oh...

This is looking like a very interesting story! I can't wait for the next part!

Also really like both Principals calling Twilight out for dumping Sunset like that; that was one if the many pet pevees I had with EqG.

If you're enjoying this fic, be sure to check out Music Box Blues. It's canonical to Empire and fits into continuity shortly after Chapter 5 of this fic without doing a spoiler.

EMusic Box Blues
Principal Celestia gets help from a completely unexpected source when trying to find a gift for Sunset Shimmer
PrincessColumbia · 45k words  ·  125  3 · 3k views

good chapter thoe i think you went a bit over the top with the damage rainbowdash did in the fight

Heh, I get where you're coming from, but if anything I under-did the damage. Keep in mind your average speedster (Flash, Quicksilver, etc.) tend to outpace bullets (which only do "piercing" damage thanks to traveling so obscenely fast that even as a blunt, non-sharpened object they still puncture anything that gets between them and physics slowing them down), RD is lucky her speed didn't cause her to accidentally eviscerate her classmates.

I wonder when we can see the next chapter I enjoying this

If you haven't already, read Music Box Blues. It's a fully canonical side-story to Empire of Dirt.

EMusic Box Blues
Principal Celestia gets help from a completely unexpected source when trying to find a gift for Sunset Shimmer
PrincessColumbia · 45k words  ·  125  3 · 3k views

Nope. I'd have marked it "complete" or "canceled" if that was the case. I just had a part of the story to tell that needed a slightly different presentation than the way I was telling 'Empire', so thus a side-story was born. Once I finish 'Music Box Blues' I'll be returning to Empire. (I'm actually tinkering a little with Empire while I'm actively writing Blues, so no, it's not abandoned)

Luna sighed in disappointed anger and Applejack whistled under her breath. “Well,” began the student, “I reckon people are a...mite upset at Sunset.” Covering the locker from top to bottom was graffiti. Some were just in marker, some in pen, at least one person managed to get a can of red and yellow spray paint into the school, and Luna was pretty sure she recognized the acrylics that the art classrooms used. Several overlapped, some were just simple single word statements like, “bitch,” others were more derogatory to Sunset directly. Luna’s stomach turned when she spotted a symbol that had been used by a genocidal madman three quarters of a century earlier and had been adopted by some radical extremists in the intervening decades. It was a symbol that had denoted racial supremacy, and seeing it painted on Sunset’s locker just confirmed what the school staff had already heard rumors of.

Ironically said symbol is a sign of prosperity in the East.

Good to hear that you are not giving up on empire. This is a very good story and to see it continued to completion would be great

You really set the proper stage for the mood.

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