• Member Since 24th Dec, 2013
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Sparky Brony

I'm an electrician working in Fargo, ND. I love writing pony stories, and reading good fanfiction. My Patreon!


Its a common sentiment that a parent should never outlive her children. But what happens when you outlive all your friends? your family? What happens when year after year you watch ponies you grow close to grow old and die? How far would you go to keep somepony, anypony you love close? How much could the need for something to remain the same, to remain unchanged affect you?

I'd like to thank my pre-readers for their valuable input on this story, and let's not forget my editor, Kalash, for his hard work.

Edit: 2/15/2020 FEATURE BOX!!!! Thank you so much for the honor! And making it to the top!!!

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 51 )

holey crap this is a amazing story. and that ending wow just wow.

Yep, captures the crazy.

Ah, the classic Immortal's conundrum. So many memories. So many questions that could have been asked. Alas, Rainbow was never quite as investigative as Rarity.
"When I'm gone will you edit this memory?"
"Will you deny the others the truth of what happened here?"
Among other things, it is a rough experience for an immortal that believes through their own power they can 'preserve' everything. Some semblance of 'before.'

A good story and well written.

That said I disagree with Rainbow. She has the right to make that choice, but fundamentally, if it was you standing in her shoes, could you throw it? We can all make excuses "Oh, it will be different after X or Y happens" but after three and a half billion years of evolution, the will to keep living is strong. Failure of the drive to live typically only happen due to intense untreated pain or depression which is an illness to be cured. The rainbow in this story is giving the 'pain' explanation, but it's not particularly believable.

Sure, souls in a jar makes for a clear choice, either life or death, but just as some yell "It's a simple choice! Either you're a man or a woman! There is nothing in between!" The truth is more complex and much more interesting.

I like this story, you have more writing talent than I do, but the plot ending has been done to death (pun intended) by 1980s kids cartoons all making the easy and morally clean point that "all of us had to suffer though this so SO DO YOU!" This isn't a valid argument for fraternity hazing and it's no better as an argument for death.

If I were you I'd consider writing an optional epilogue which the reader can take or leave as the true ending. It would be Twi waking up Rainbow and turning her loose once more, this time with her complaints fixed and no memory of what happened. Then she'd wander back to the lab and put a new glowing jar on the spot, pausing to sweep up the broken glass. The reveal being that there never was any soul, and the shelf of jars was a simple failsafe test. She walks past a rack of identical copies all waiting to wake up and all equally Dash, stopping by a copy of herself to toss out the broken glass. "After all, it could happen to any of us..."

She went off towards the train station in Ponyville..... She heads off to the train station in the city of Ponyville....

You dont need to say the samething twice like this. Especially since theres just one sentence btwn the first and second times it is used. It just feels like its just said to add to your word count.

Rainbow Dash was uncharacteristically grounded as she moved through the city. Instead of flying through the air as she usually did, she’s walking.

You already mentioned that She was grounded as she moved through the city so there is no meed to mention that she is walking.
Also....if its not too presumptuous of me....i would suggest rewriting it like this:
Instead of flying like usual Rainbow Dash grounded herself as she moved through the city.

No thanks, I hate bad endings.

That is the most amazing one-shot that I have EVER in the whole history of ever read.
And the way you combined the feeling of MLP with the type of moral and ethical problems brought up by GiTS! Im not sure if it was intentional or if it just kinda flowed bc of the subject matter but i could totally picture that as an episode or arc in the Ghost in The Shell universe.
Very well done Spark. I am so glad decided to read it. It is moments like these that I wish I hadnt been so dead set against reading when I was in elementary. It wasnt till middle school when I actually read a book bc I thought it looked neat and not bc it was a school assignment. Its stories like this that make me thankful I did.

Wow, this was super-heavy. I enjoyed every word of this story. Damn good piece of writing with twists I was NOT expecting. Great job!:twilightblush:

Makes you wonder how the others handle it. Have they not come to the conclusion they aren't themselves, or have they and decided it doesn't matter they aren't really the same ponies? I could easily see AJ concluding she needs to stay around for her family, or Pinkie decided the world needs A Pinkie Pie even if it's not the original. Course Fluttershy is the only non-alicorn who can understand Twilight as Discord has made her immortal. Not every mind would react the same or think of themselves as not themselves anymore being in such a situation.

Comment posted by FarmFreshAppleTarts deleted February 15th

Hm that is not a bad ending.

The thing is they ARE themselves.

I think you might have missed the part in the comment where it stated:

The reveal being that there never was any soul, and the shelf of jars was a simple failsafe test. She walks past a rack of identical copies all waiting to wake up and all equally Dash

Meaning that Rainbow Dash was right and "She" was just a copy. That is how it is a bad ending.

Exactly. Just because they are not in their original bodies does not make them new beings. And if forgetting most of your life mean that you are a new person, then every human alive is being replaced monthly, if not weekly.

It can be argued, thats the point, that's why diffrent minds react differently, they would come to diffrent conclusions.
I heard it like this. if you have a chair and over time you have to replace parts of it, is there a point where is is no longer the same chair? If after a certian point you have replaced every single part of that chair is it really the same chair at all?
Then there is question of what makes a person a person? Is there such a thing as a soul, if there is is that all there is to the person? Do you need more to make a person? Do you start with a soul or is a soul formed though the process of liveing?
The answer you come to determines how you respond.

My point stands and also is NOT a criticism it's an observation. It explains why Rainbow did what she did, the reason for the tragic out come. Of what Rainbow did was right or wrong is matter of opinion, but why she did it is clear cut.

I'm not arguing, I'm providing the term. :derpytongue2:

Ha! Top of the featured. I told you this was gonna be a great story!!

Thanks Mocha! Polishing took a while, but I think the time taken helped.

The whole point of a soul is that it is you, and that you can therefore continue your existence after death. If your soul is not you, then why have a soul at all? It would be either unnecessary or redundant.

Well it really seems that the issue is that the process was not perfected at the time Rainbow was made...
Death IS the baddest evilest thing that can happen.
It’s inevitability has led to the development of a LOT of “reason” why it’s good but it is not... borrowing from someone else you can imagine a place where you get hit on the head with a truncheon every day and then you develop a way of life that sees the truncheoning as a good thing as it reinforce the head... but you would be always better WITHOUT the truncheoning.

While I've read plenty of stories centered around how Twilight copes with her immortality, I must say the execution of the story was wonderful. A bit dialog heavy, but the dialog was good. The headcannon that Twilight "died" during Magical Mystery Cure and was reincarnated as an alicorn is very compelling.

I'm not sure about how I feel about the "sci-fi" twist to the story. It makes Twilight feel like a villain (though I suppose this was your intent).

What is this a crossover of?

I honestly don't agree that "Just make new friends" can fill in the void of the old friends. Getting new ones just puts a blanket over it and the moment the new friends die or no longer are there, the blanket gets ripped away and oh, look. That void seems to have gotten deeper and bigger and the pain never really was gone after all, it was just hiding under the blanket waiting to come back out.

To be honest, I wasn't pushing for Twi to come across as a villain. Desperate, willing to go to a very dark place for those she loves, yes. But I can't assign evil in intent or deed here. I tried to follow a line of thought for her. Not wanting to lose a dear friend, and thought of how far she'd go if Rainbow was taken too early. But I also had her a bit oblivious, not understanding that others thought what she was doing was wrong, or unnatural, or even really considering that her friends wouldn't want something like that. I hope it came across well.

Rainbow stood in the strange place. There were barely anything but clouds and light, but there were something. She saw a long long road in front of her. It were going on and on so far that even her pegasus eyes couldn't see the end of it. As soon as she made a step a frame appears on a side of the road and she saw her own self in there as a little filly stealing a cookie from a jar. She made another step and another frame appeared with another memory.

She went and watched her memories for hours, days, months... years. She couldn't really tell since there were no sun and moon, no day and night. It's hard to tell does time move at all when there's nothing to count. She wasn't even sure time did move at all. Well, there were her memories, though. Thousands and thousands of fragments. Some were only a few minutes long, some few hours, one memory were about a year long. So, she definitely spent here at least a year, didn't she? These were mostly highlights of her life, but there were too many of them. Way more than any normal pony could possibly had. She remembered her daughter and her husband now, she remembered how they died, she had breakdown all over again when she watched these memories, she remembered how Twilight explained to her how she "saved" her for the first time, second time, eleventh time, apparently the last one were an annual, a hundredth one and she were just a few steps away from the end of the road. So there were only one memory left to watch and she didn't need to watch it since she remembered it even though it were so long ago now.

Strangely enough road didn't just end there. Well, it isn't strange for roads to lead somewhere instead of abruptly end, but this one started from nothing in the middle of nowhere and she still were there, so it wasn't unexpected for this one to just dissolve into nothing and yet it didn't. There were a circle in the end and Dash had a feeling that something will happen when she make that last step, but what? Will she finally get to afterlife? What will it be? Will she just disappear? She ended her own way too long life with her own hooves when she broke that jar and freed her soul, but now she hesitated to make this last step. She had to break that vicious cycle since it wasn't good for either of them. It harmed both her and Twilight. Twilight had to finally move on, let her go and make new friends, so she wasn't afraid to die for the last time to stop her own unlife and let Twilight heal. Well, partially heal since there were 3 more jars and now she hesitated. She wasn't sure that her final death will let Twilight heal. She were afraid that Twilight will work even harder now to keep the rest "alive" and that scared her. She knew this won't end well for her friends and especially for Twilight. But what could she do now? She were dead, wasn't she? When she threw that jar she desired to finally pass... but now, when she went this extremely long road and finally reached its end she hesitated to make the last step. After remembering few thousand years of her life and without being forced to keep on living she actually felt desire to live again. It was so amazing to be whole again and remember everything, but this was the end of the road and past that circle were only vast amount of nothing.

She couldn't stay there forever, either. Not that something pushed her in any direction, but she knew that she'll be stuck in this limbo forever if she never make that last step. In a way her current state were worse than death since there were literally nothing more there but the road which she just finished walking and the circle. She couldn't even get back to rewatch her memories since they disappears after a while. Not that she needed to either since she remembered everything now. What Twilight did to her wasn't good. It was horrible, terrifying, but she couldn't be angry at her anymore and in a way she were thankful to her for that life. The only thing that truly bothered her at this point will Twilight accept her death and heal or will she spiral into madness? Did she already?

She made a step.

In a snap her vision were filled with the light of thousand suns. Even though she immediately closed her eyes she still seen only white and she felt like she were falling, but she couldn't flap her wings to stop this. And strangely enough she haven't felt any pain in her eyes from being blinded. Actually, she wasn't sure she felt any pain or fatigue from walking that road. Not that it was particularly strange since she almost forgot concept of fatigue due to that artificial body of her and she were supposed to be dead by now anyway... And then she stopped falling and it was as sudden as she started since there were no landing or crash in the end. Dash felt sitting on the hard floor and heared someone crying a few meters in front of her, but strangely enough she seen only darkness now... Oh, right, she closed her eyes due to that bright light! Dash opened her eyes and what she saw in front bewildered and flabbergasted her. To the left in a glass were that new body which Twilight prepared for her and right in front of her Twilight were crying and hugging... her old one and pieces of a jar? Then how is she alive?! Twilight definitely didn't manage to bring her back. It seems that time haven't even moved much since the moment she broke free and found herself standing on that road.

Suddenly, she noticed that something were a bit off with her vision. It was just on a periphery, but she never remembered anything but her mane to be up there, but this time she saw some odd protrusion sticking out of her forehead. She touched it with her hoof. It were long, conical and with a spiral pattern...

"Well, crap." said Princess Rainbow Dash.

That is utterly brilliant! Thank you for that!

Well.... this was... dark! Very very dark, and very well executed. This made me wanna cry a bit. I can see the train of thought and the effort put into making Twilight seem like a villain. Honestly- she just seems broken and lost, which is a better point to paint her from anyway. Twilight is immortal- and what lengths will she go to to keep her friends by her side? In this story -especially near the end- Rainbow just seemed like she wasn't even TRYING to see it from Twilight's point of view, or think of how she would feel if their roles were reversed. She wasn't thinking of how it would feel, which just made her look insensitive and arrogant, and while Rainbow can be VERY arrogant, she is very rarely insensitive, and this just paints her out to be too upset at Twilight to realise that 'Hey, I would be just as or MORE SO willing to do this same thing if our roles were reversed.' This paints Rainbow's element of Loyalty to be negated- if Twilight went out of her way to bring her back, going OUT OF HER ELEMENT, and creating new types of dark, twisted, and broken magic just to bring her friends back. Rainbow went out of her way to kill herself, which would obviously make her friends grieve, and in the case of Twilight, break down. Twilight is this unstable anyway, so Rainbow permanently dying we can infer would break her already weak sanity. Who knows what would be done- The sun would never set nor rise, and vice versa with the moon! If possible, we need a sequel, to see just how much this would break Twilight's sanity. If you don't want to do that, would you be fine with me doing my take on it?
Overall, 9.5/10, simply because of how this story is sad- I HATE being sad, which is why it only gets 9.5/10. Half point redacted because I hate being sad and this makes me sad. Other than that- AMAZING story! If this is a beginner's story, it sure doesn't look it! The writing and formation of everything is incredible, and could probably be lengthened out into a fully fledged fan novel!
Also, sorry for the length of this comment.

Is it ok if I build a story off of this? I will credit you.

Thanks. I thought about such possibility for three reasons. First of all Dash told that she still loves Twilight, so she haven't felt hatred or animosity towards her for what she did. She just did want it to end. The second reason were that explosion of energy when her soul got free which reminded me Twilight's ascension. And the third were the fact that Twilight did die in your universe in order to ascend. Dash wasn't supposed to do so in her life, but being stuck in the jar her soul grew and amassed power, part of which caused that explosion while the rest pushed her to another plane of existence. Technically, she could stay in that limbo indefinitely, she didn't even had to walk that road, but her love for her friends pushed her forward and that brought her back.

...and now they have a choice to either double Twi's efforts of keeping remaining jars closed or bring certain doom upon their entire everything by smashing a pink one. That one will ascend for sure now.

I'd be happy to read it. :twilightsmile:

Oh my goodness.
someone noticed me.
Oh no, I'm falling into the serotonin!
*And I thusly drown in serotonin.*

Also how do you spell your name, with the first letter a capital i or lowercase L?

Ugh... Do you realize that your idea is by a few orders of magnitude darker than the original story? Also, seems like I accidentally wrote my own take on alternative ending down there in the comments.

Lowercase L. It's actually an amalgam of Lain Iwakura from Serial Experiments Lain and Lina Inverse from Slayers.

Thank you for clearing that up.

That was very dark, I don't like it.

Oreon #41 · 1 week ago · · ·

Well written story.
I disagree with the philosophical sentiments in it, though.
I think a person is defined by their ability to experience; not their experiences as remembered.

Oreon #42 · 1 week ago · · 1 ·

I actually agree with both of you, but less due to the changes, and more due to the lack of consent. Twilight is in the moral wrong here, but she is technically correct - her sin is not modification, but the fact that she did so selfishly. Dash should be able to choose to die, even if her reasons are poor.
In terms of strict "personhood" though, I agree with him that Dash would still be Dash no matter how many Dash'es existed to experience themself/ves.

I'd say you both right and wrong. Twilight indeed went to the dark places and made wrong choices without asking her friends for their opinion on this. Even worse, she edited their memory to make them forget. She lived through her friends memories in order to decide what could be forgotten and what kept for them to keep living. She did all this with good intentions, but if this is not worst possible privacy invasion then I don't know what is. What she did to her friends is wrong on way too many levels to count.

Now, is Rainbow Dash still Rainbow Dash no matter how many memories she have and which body she possesses? This is also questionable. Our mind lives in the moment, but it makes decisions on past experiences. Without these it's in the dark and can't really make any. You is not just what you remember and not just your mind, but both. So, when Rainbow learned her memories were heavily edited (and without her consent on top of that) of course she couldn't think that she still is she and in a way that's true. She really isn't the same Rainbow Dash, but who is? We gain new experiences, we forget and we change. When she learned that she indeed have a soul and it's closed in a jar outside of her body... no wonder she freaked out hard and thought she isn't even alive at this point. Of course she started to question are she even a person and not just an artificial construct made by Twilight at that moment.

The sad part is that there really isn't a straight answer to this. Her body and placement of her soul doesn't really matter (except for hormones as it seems), but her mind and memories are. She still is Rainbow Dash no matter how many bodies are there for her to use and in which jar her soul is, but her memories are broken and heavily edited to keep her from falling apart and going insane. But she really is wrong in her argument of being long dead and gone. She is Rainbow Dash, but heavily damaged she is.

I came here to read about the tortoise-pony. WHERE IS THE TORTOISE PONY?! :twilightsmile:

Oreon #45 · 1 week ago · · ·

In my opinion, a changing of the mind is part of a personality. In this way, the new Dash is no less valid than the old Dash - including the trauma of knowing the old dash is dead.
The problem I have with this is that the people who view Dash's suicide as the correct option also fail to realize that the new Dash is essentially a no-less valid, completely self-actualized person, regardless of how heavily modified that person was from who they were before. - yes, using this logic you can go to some extremely dark places, and the question of what constitutes a person is one that people struggle with - including myself - all the time.
I decided for myself that I wanted a concrete and versatile definition of the self. I have a bad memory, and I didn't want to have any measure of "less person" than another, because that can also go to really dark places.

Is an android, with memories taken from a now-dead person, not itself, a person? they have memories, emotions, experiences. the New Dash had all of the things necessary to be a 'person' - and any death is a bad thing, in my opinion.

ie: The new Dash had a right to suicide - in the same way that anyone else does, I just personally find her reasons poor, because they're reliant on the idea that she's "not Dash" or "not alive" - it's a valid emotional viewpoint, but I feel like it's being told as a philosophical or literal one - or at least interpreted by some that way; that's what I disagree with.

ie: Dash has the right to define herself, in this story, and none of our definitions matter in the face of that, but isn't it a tragedy that a new being - even one based on the death of it's memory - dies due to emotional trauma?
People are far, far too quick to celebrate the death of a character as the "best of horrible possibilities" in stories like this, and it bothers me a little.

Dash could have escaped, could have lived her life coming to terms with her synthetic existence - eventually going through the stages of guilt of her old life, and coming to be a completely new, completely valid, completely beautiful new person - with or without Twilight.
Instead her death is being hailed as the "best" situation for this story, and I view that as just plainly wrong.

Edit: in other words, the reason this story bothers me is because it's a similar trope to the "clone" issue. If I had a clone, I would be a changed person, and the clone would be me. I am no less valid than they would be, and they would be no less valid than I am. If Dash could be considered a clone, of which the original died, then she is still her own person. Names are common, experiences, personal ones, are not. The original Dash never experienced becoming a machine, but this one did. Is that experience less valid because the machine's memories are based on Dash's? Is it less valid because it shares the same name - some of the same experiences? because it's experienced amnesia?


A machine Dash's life is just as worthwhile, just as valid, as the Dash's prehumous existence; and it should, though it clearly doesn't to many of you - carry the SAME amount of loss and tragic loss of life that would have been felt by those close to the original; THIS is where I disagree with Twi. You can't force someone to live, and it was the right of the CloneDash to wish to die.
What isn't right is to celebrate that death by claiming it was the best choice.

Agreed. Synthetic Dash was just as much a real person as original organic Dash, and her death was just as tragic.

Was she the same person though? Well, that depends on what you mean by "the same", if it even means anything in this context. A perfect copy of an original isn't actually a copy. Instead you have two originals. Complicated, mind-bending stuff to be sure.

But yeah, Twilights real error was not allowing them to refuse it.

It's really hard to write about this stuff. The common interpretations of concepts like "identity" and "the same" are no longer applicable, or maybe even meaningful.

P.S. I think I'll stick with lainverse's Princess Dash ending though :)

Yeah, that's more or less what I meant. the idea that people think that a completely original version of a person - a completely singular entity - *should* be dead just brushed me the wrong way.. My own sense of identity is somewhat warped, to be fair. I have no attachment to my past, or the way I experience things currently. Alot of identity-based internet-level philosophy would brand me a non-person just for not having a singular, consistent personality, so my definitions are just as warped.
If a person came from me, and they remembered part of my life from my perspective, I would want them to keep living..

I don't think anyone has a singular, consistent personality. People all behave differerntly in different situations and around different people.

And yes, it rubs me the wrong way too when people dismiss clones and the like as non-persons.

I meant more the expectation. I'm not.. socially skilled, and I talk like this in real life, too. It puts people off when I disagree with them about how much a person is a person ie: I'm sensitive to the usual topics to a degree that I would almost agree isn't healthy. Like when people bad talk a bully, all I'm wondering is what got them to that point, and it's something I love talking about.

ie: It's not that my identity is 'more' changing than others, it's that I embrace those changes pretty openly, which makes me inconsistent SEEMING from the outside, even if I'm the same, and just more accepting of the changes that happen to me or my perspective. I've met alot of people who change and never know it because they're never comfortable with the changes, and try to keep going back to what they were until it sinks in that they can't. for a lot of them, it's something as small as suddenly not liking their favorite food anymore, for others, it's as deep as not liking their own body after years of loving bieng who they are. Get what I mean?
I think I'm oversharing though, this is probably gonna be my last response XD

Where did you get the inspiration for this?

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