• Member Since 20th Jul, 2012
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Phoenix_Dragon


Just a friendly dragon.

E

A pegasus woke in the woods. He was lost, injured, and had only the vaguest of dreams for memories; nightmares of a Canterlot engulfed in shadow and flame, of an invading swarm lead by one great and terrible dark figure. As he begins a new life, the dreams continue to taunt him. Will he ever find out who he was? And if he does, can he -- and his newfound friends -- accept what he finds?

(Credit also goes to Mekhazzio for help with editing)

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Book cover art by viwrastupr

Lulu hardcover print

Chapters (10)
Comments ( 346 )

The story begins. Not much to say just yet, but here it is.

So let's see, I've got the "OC befriends the mane 6" cliche and the amnesia cliche. Despite that, I truly like how the story turned out. Sometimes cliches work, and I (would like to) think that this is one of those cases.

A big thing I had in mind while writing this was trying to get the characters as true to the show as possible. Nothing is quite as jarring to me in pony fan-fic than having the characters acting completely out-of-character. The strength of the characters is one of the greatest things about the show. I point that out because there may be times when a character doesn't act precisely in-line with their normal behavior, for reasons that the reader (Due to 3rd-person limited perspective) is not privy to at the time. That said, having such strong characters made it easy to write, since it was generally perfectly obvious to me how a character would react. I actually have entire scenes later on spawned entirely by realizing that one of the characters would have a certain reaction to the ongoing events that I hadn't even considered; it just flowed naturally from what I already had.

Obviously, there is some mystery about the main character's past. Personally, I think it's glaringly obvious, and that the story is more about the journey there than finding out more about his past. Of course, it's easy to think that, having an omniscient viewpoint of the entire story. Maybe I'm wrong, that'd be nice.

And finally, just because I can: :twilightsmile:

(Obviously enough, speculation and possibly spoilers lay below)

Okay, I've finished the first (absolutely gigantic) chapter, and I have a question...

Is the main character a changeling that was launched into the air by the re-established shield?

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Thanks for the comments, and I'm glad you liked it. I'm curious what errors and typos you found? I thought we'd got them all in editing, but I guess not.

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Now now, I can't be going and giving away spoilers like that. But like I said in my comment, I think the answer is pretty obvious, myself :twilightsheepish:


And on that note, Chapter 2. Off to Canterlot!

The tension! The cliffhanger! :rainbowdetermined2:

I'm wondering if Sky is a Changeling who, suffering from amnesia, is locked in his assumed form of a pegasus. It would explain the unusual reaction to the dream of Chrysalis - she is his Queen, after all; as much as he might fear her, he will also have an instinctual need to obey her.

And some more. Life goes on, Sky adapts, and... well, the dreams get worse.

Trying to keep the CMCs from killing themselves is a full-time job in of itself.

I wonder if Sky might be a former stunt flier himself. He definately knows how to fly fast and agile. He might have also been a weather pony, given his near-reflexive enthusiasm for the job.

Chrysilis definately did something too him. Could a consequence of having your emotions drained be a loss of memory? Nasty if it is the case. The Changelings are pretty close to being psychic vampires as it is.

I still can't shake the feeling that either he's a Changeling or, on a certain level, he thinks that he's a Changeling. How do those things reproduce anyway? If it's parasitic, he might be feeling the larvae's thoughts in his head as it grow stronger (disgusting I know but there is nothing about Changelings that's nice). :pinkiesick:

I wonder how the RD romance will go; she strikes me as the sort more focussed on career than anything else but who knows? She may not have met the right stallion yet! :raritywink:

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Sky certainly loves flying, at the very least. That's part of why the suggested name appealed to him.

It might be spoilers, but since I didn't put a romance tag on this story, I suppose I should clarify. The events in this chapter are as close as it gets to romance. That's why I didn't put a romance tag on it; there are some elements of romance, but it's rather small, certainly nowhere close to being a feature of the story. Similar to how there are some dark moments in those dreams, but it's not a "dark" story. Or how there are some sad moments coming up, but it's not a "sad" story.

As for your suspicions, answers will be coming in the next chapter. Is that vague enough? Hehe :trollestia:

Also, forgot to note, this is the halfway-point of the story.

The Great and Magnificent Wolfy will gladly wait for the continuation of this truly impressive work of fiction.

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Fortunately, you won't have to wait long!

All right, Chapter 5. Where things start getting interesting.

To those who figured out what was going on, please speak to Pinkie about claiming your free invisible internet cookie cupcake. :pinkiehappy:

Not that I made it very hard, I suppose. Fortunately, the story isn't so much about the mystery of Sky's past. Rather, it's more about what happens next, now that he knows, and how it affects his newfound life.

Hey, the entire "pegasus with weird memories of the invasion, crashed in the woods shortly after the defenses were re-established" thing was kinda obvious.

Also, here's a mustachio Spike for you to draw inspiration from: :moustache:

Yes, yes, a 'good' Changeling who wants to be friends with the Mane 6; all very hearts and flowers. The problem is that "Sky" is a lie; it's an assumed personality that was created by his mind to compensate for his amnesia. What if his... its true memories return and with it his true personality and loyalties? Even if it is able to make the conscious choice that it would rather be Sky of Ponyville rather than one of the Hive, his inadvertant attack on Fluttershy suggests that he cannot control his instincts.

Twilight really needs to seperate her emotions from her decision-making process. Sky is a friend; the Changeling is a cunning and highly intelligent predatory animal with a proven talent for deception as well as inherit magc and the ability to appear to be anyone and anything it chooses to be. She cannot risk the safety of everyone in Ponyville on the hope that the "Sky" persona will be stronger than the creature's real self and can continue to rein in its instincts. No need for a pre-emptive termination just yet but precautions that will enable it to be quick and easy should it be neceesary are fully justified.

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Funny you should say that. Here's a chapter of Sky worrying about much of that, himself.

I should also point out that I think you have the order of events for Twilight wrong. Since this is in 3rd-person limited perspective, focused on Sky, you don't really get Twilight's thoughts, but I will say that the emotional engagement came after the point she had made the conclusions she mentioned in Chapter 5. Hence the sly reaction to the prospect of helping him dig up his past, her reaction (Small as it was) on the train, and the moment of awkwardness upon returning from Canterlot. And also why she seemed a bit guilty at admitting a few of those things... and even then, she's still not entirely sure.

I also think "highly intelligent" and worrying about him "controlling his instincts" are somewhat contradictory. Not entirely, but intelligence is often the ability to suppress that instinct.

As for whether he can be trusted, considering what he is and what he has done... Well, I won't go into that too much now, but somepony in particular has something to say about that in Chapter 8...

It's odd isn't it that Sky's biggest enemy may yet prove to be himself. He doesn't believe that he is anything but a monster and thus may condemn himself to being said monster out of despair.

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And even if it doesn't push him that far, he might drive himself to do something that is, potentially, very stupid.

Speaking of which, new chapter! One more to go.

Once the final chapter is up, I'm going to put up some further comments on the story, particularly some of my thoughts on the subject. For now I'll just note that I went into this intending to write a story that fit with the style and tone of the show.

Why can I hear Sky yelling at Twilight: "You know what those crazy ponies at the Spa did?!? They used furniture polish on my exoskeleton! FURNITURE POLISH!!!" :rainbowlaugh:

Seriously, that last dream was so full of obvious anxiety cues that I'm increasingly wondering if they have any significance other than a gauge of Sky's fears and self-loathing. As I have said before, on a fundamental level, Sky believes himself to be a monster and that makes him his own worst enemy.

This was an interesting chapter and I particularly like how Twilight handled the Pitchforks and Flaming Brands squad. The fact that Sky hasn't been running amok and has, indeed, been suffering enormous guilt trips every time he takes so much as a sip of someone's emotions is a good indicator of the strength of his will. The real acid test will be Celestia. Will he be able to confront his fear of her or will he lash out in a mistaken self defence reaction?

ONE more chapter? Aww, I am disappointed.

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Haha, yeah, I can totally picture that, too!

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Sadly, every story has to come to an end sometime (Sad Twilight goes here). Speaking of:

Last chapter, and epilogue.

So. "Sunshine and rainbows." Kinda sorta.

So like I said, I was aiming to have the story fit the feel and themes of the show. Forgiveness has always been a big theme in the show. We've got examples of characters doing things ranging from accidental poisoning, to mind control via emotional manipulation (A couple examples, even), all the way to high treason, attempted ecocide, and potentially attempted genocide. Despite that, ponies have shown forgiveness to those who try to atone for their actions. Luna is probably the clearest example of that; despite her actions as Nightmare Moon, she's welcomed happily into Ponyville just hours later. It's not always easy, of course -- though really, doing a dramatic booming-voice-and-lightning entrance on a night dedicated to the name you bore during those actions is probably not the best way to make ponies comfortable around you. But even despite that, they still have warmed up to her by the end of that night.

I'm sure there will be many complications to Sky's life, and there will likely always be some lingering suspicions. Still, I think he's happy with where he is now.

If anyone knows about how hard it is to cforgive yourself, it would be Luna, wouldn't it?

In retrospect, it should have been obvious that Celestia knew and that this was a sort of test, both of Twilight's ability to handle the situation on her own and of Sky's true intentions. If Twilight could work out Sky's identity on relatively circumstantial evidence, Celetia probably coudl see right through his camouflage with her first glance. However, she is skilled at seeing the person inside and that is why she acts the way that she does.

The interaction with Sunflower was particularly interesting; it put me in mind of the moment in the second of the Bourne movies where Bourne goes to visit the daughter of his first victims to apologise. It is less an apology as it is being given an absolution in the face of true penitance.

Agreed with what you said about 'forgiveness' being a theme in MLP: FiM. More importantly, it is about growth as a person; going beyond who you were before and becoming a better person. Twilight learning to socialise, Rainbow learning to be less selfish, Fluttershy learning self-confidence (real self-confidence, not bluster), Rarity learning patience with Sweetie Bell and to be less self-focussed and so on.

The ending of this is significant in it shows the real reason Celestia put Sky in the position she did. She wants him to be an example to his people that co-existance with Ponykind is possible. That they can hope to be something other than monsters. Chrysilis will be beaten forever if her army finds another way to live.

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I really need to re-watch the later Bourne movies. When talking about seeing the newest one (Which I haven't seen yet), I realized I couldn't remember much of any of them except the first one. I need to fix that!

Anyway, yeah, you're pretty much right on both princesses. I really want to do a story featuring both Celestia and Luna, they're such interesting characters, and for characters that we don't see a lot of (Particularly Luna. Need more Luna!) they have a lot of material to work with. If only I had a good story idea to do with them instead of just a lot of random ideas.

And Chrysalis, too, for that matter. Such a great villain.

Well, I do have ideas for one (excessively) dark story with all three of them, but I don't know if I'll write that one. I'm not sure I want to inflict such things on such a nice world :twilightsheepish:

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And this just made me very happy! :twilightsmile:

Nice story, really nice ending. Good for a change. :twilightblush: To tell you the truth, I did kinda expect more changelings to show up :pinkiesmile:

Now, time for me to go back to the more gory stuff. :applejackunsure:

Beautiful ending! Only problem is how open it has been left for a sequel, and I have no idea if you're planning on writing one. Following you in hopes of more! :scootangel:

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There's certainly more material in Sky's life that could make a story. I don't have active plans at the moment to continue the story, but it's something I'll probably be thinking of in the future. We shall see :twilightsmile:

1121011 that or he's a changeling that got the fuck knocked out of him

1121045 same here and I find
but there is nothing about Changelings that's nice).
I shall bring down the wrath of the swarm upon you

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Correction: He got the fuck knocked INTO him, since he apparently gives one now. ...unlike those Spiderman memes...:applejackconfused:

...oh, ponyfeathers! THAT's why his feelings for RD seemed so sudden! Sky didn't have a crush on Rainbow Dash... RAINBOW DASH had a crush on SKY!

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Or Rainbow loves herself, and Sky picked up on that. :rainbowhuh:

Or a little bit of all of that, combined with the happiness (From both of them) at having someone else around that enjoyed flying so much. Sky's having a bit of trouble sorting out just how much of his feelings are actually his own, rather than the result of those around him.

I kinda hope the earlier parts of the story have several moments like that, which suddenly get extra meaning once you know what's going on. I thought I did a good job of it, but it's really hard to tell when I already know what happens!

1199521 Hmm point taken. You win a derby:derpytongue2:

Even money says `Tia knew the moment his recounted dreams started listing events in which background ponies weren't present for. It WOULD explain her advice about not fixating on his past. Dropping him into the middle of a formal get together seems like the kind of trollish thing she'd do, but I highly doubt she'll expect him to show up al natural.

dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/emoticons/lolface_Celestia.png :trollestia:

My worry? That there will be a Judge and a Prosecuting Attorney present at the party, enough scared nobles to form a Jury, and enough disgruntled guards to play security at the impromptu Kangaroo Court.

:facehoof:

What the hay? There is a sequel to this. I ~KNOW~ there is a sequel to this. I found this story by way OF that sequel. Now why can't I find it on the Author's "Stories" list?!?
:twilightoops:dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/emoticons/misc_Twilight_crazy.png :twilightoops:

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Yeah, that does sound very much like something Celestia would do... :trollestia:

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Huh, I don't know. There isn't a sequel for this. At least, not yet. I might make one at some point in the future, though I don't have any plans for it at the moment.

Maybe you found another story with a similar theme (I admit, mine isn't entirely original...). However it happened, I'm glad you found your way here! :twilightsmile:

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Fan sequel, then. Bah. Now I have no way of finding that fic back. :facehoof:

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I started posting this up just two weeks ago, so I'd be surprised if someone did a sequel that quickly. Well, no, I'd be more surprised that someone liked the story enough to do a fan sequel! :twilightsheepish:

If you do find the story you're think of, could you let me know? Sounds like it might be the kind of story I'd be interested in!

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Lovely. Now you've given me a reason to actually watch the sequel to that horrid movie. :applecry: At least I have been told the most recent movie has no redeeming value... *Crosses hooves*

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Oh for Faust's sake! dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/emoticons/misc_Twilight_crazy.png I found the story I was talking about. :unsuresweetie:

...only it turns out that it is ACTUALLY a sequel to Thrown Abroad. :facehoof: I now officially have NO IDEA how I found this fic. dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/emoticons/shrug_Twilight_future.png

Also, the aborted Rainbow Sky shipping gives me a headache. Dash develops a crush on Sky, who in turn interprets those feelings as his own. After the Tomato Revel, Dash realizes that Sky's feelings were really her own reflected back at her, leaving her heartbroken. Sky, however, has developed feeling for her that are all his own, and her "rejection" of him spurs on the rest of the plot. FINALLY, Dash is trying to rebuild their friendship, but whenever her feelings start straying away from the "Friend Zone", she backs off, not wanting to manipulate Sky in that way. Meanwhile, Sky STILL has his OWN feelings for Dash, but is holding back because she is acting weird around him, and he doesn't want to push.

:flutterrage:

At least when Laurell K. Hamilton broached this subject, Anita Blake came right out and said that, while what she felt for Asher may have STARTED OUT as someone else's memories, what she feels for him now was HER OWN feeling for who HE IS NOW, not who he WAS. ...granted, in the most recent book, Asher got kicked out of town for being a complete dick, but that isn't the point.

:pinkiesick:

Lets just say having these two stuck in a "What Might Have Been" situation is both believable, and mind numbingly frustrating.

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Despite pretty much living on emotions, Sky is kinda clueless about them.

The way I imagined it, Sky draws from a combination of sources; Dash starts liking him being around, because it's someone else who feels the same way about flying as she does (...at least partially because he's literally feeling what she's feeling about it!), and he picks up on that, plus liking her for the same reasons himself, plus the general feelings of happiness compounding from both himself and her... All of which he interprets as his own feelings. When Rainbow finds out... Well, she takes it kind of lightly. The teasing wasn't to encourage or discourage him, she was just doing it because she thought it was funny. She didn't really consider it seriously.

Then he crashes, things get very serious, and she is basically forced to look at the situation much more seriously. There's all the questions of what this means, what was actually going on, how much of it was true, how much of it was just a result of feeling her emotions, etc. There's probably even a lingering doubt that he might have been acting along to get her to like him more, for more "food" (No, she doesn't believe that, but doubt can be very illogical at times). On top of that, Rainbow can be kind of insecure at times, and this is certainly an area she isn't familiar with. And he shows up, while she's still trying to figure out what to think about it all, and seems just as conflicted as she is (Or at least, that's how she might interpret his "I don't know").

So in the end, she feels incredibly awkward at the prospect of things getting "serious." He, on the other hand, isn't much better. He's still uneasy about the idea of being influenced by other's emotions, which leads him to doubt his own at times. He isn't even sure if he does like her that way, now, and her own unease is, unfortunately, likely to influence him still. As a result, he's gone a bit more cautious than he had been before, and "cautious" isn't exactly high on Dash's valued traits.

Unfortunately, the "reveal" kind of came at the worst possible time (And I hadn't even planned that). It'll probably take them quite a while to sort things out. Dash will probably loosen up before long, but it all depends on if Sky will relax and be less reserved around her. I don't see "subtle" working too well on Rainbow Dash. They're certainly friends, but beyond that? I don't know...

...For something intended as just a bit of flavor to his growing life in Ponyville, that aspect ended up having a much larger presence than I had imagined :twilightsheepish:

Very interesting story I must say, and alot emotions put into tham.
And I realy like scene when every pony find out that he is changeling, it was very realistic and detailed.

Wow, I realy enjoy reading this story, and the reaction of ponies, guard, and even Celestia and Luna were well made, I wonder why this story is not more popular, hardly any comments at all.

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I'd like to think it's just because more people haven't seen it.

But on the other hand, it looks pretty cliche early on, with an OC pony apparently becoming quick friends with the mane 6. It's not quite so simple, of course, but that detail doesn't come until halfway through the story, by which time some might have given up on it.

I tried submitting it to EQD to see if more people would see it, but it got rejected for several reasons, including that one (And several others that were about as badly thought out). Maybe if they'd read more than just the first chapter...

A nice ending of a nice story.

Okie-dokie. This story needs more exposure somehow. It is significantly better written than many more popular stories (at least from a technical perspective), doesn't do anything particularly cliche (well, after chapter 1...), is complete (an extreme rarity for changeling fics), and is, of course, rather good. I just read the whole thing on my tablet. Inches from my face... so now my vision is really screwed up, but it was worth it. Also, I blame any typos in this comment on you for that reason, Sir/Madam Author.

Also, for once in my miserable commenting career I will attempt... constructive criticism! Stand back, it will probably fail explosively.

First off, your writing is, from a technical perspective, very good. I never found the prose distracting and grammatical/typographical errors were uncommon (although "wine" for "whine" showed up a few times). The third person close perspective was held very well and consistently throughout the story (I'm guessing this isn't your first rodeo?).

Characterization was also very good, but it gets an asterisk. The mane 6, the princesses, and the townsfolk were all well done and believable. I personally would have liked to see more of the individual reactions from the mane 6 after the big reveal, as much of it is done "off-screen," but that was your call.

The asterisk is for Sky himself. While I know the Gary Stu-ness of him for chapters 3 and 4 was mostly intentional (and I admit, I was pleased enough to want to villainously twirl my mustache when it was revealed he might have just been miming everyone around him emotionally), he has things that happen to him but he never really seems to be a strong character. I didn't have a good sense of his desires and goals after chapter 4, and that might just be personal peference speaking (since finding out you aren't really a pony but an emotional vampire just might remove some of your spunk and future-planning abilities). I also would have liked to see Sky reason out why he was going to run through town undisguised; that would have been a perfect chance to flesh out the new Sky from inside his own head (seeing him decide he doesn't want to lie or hide anymore) rather than through dialogue with Twilight after the fact. Again, that might just be personal preference and terrible advice (after all, check out all the stories I've written and been successful wi- Oh look, a moose!).

Also, pacing felt a bit weird. Chapters 3 and 4 felt as though they would never end, and although they set up some fun stuff for chapter 5 they just weren't that interesting to me. There was pretty much no conflict. Chapter 5 was delicious and fantastic and all those other adjectives used to describe a good meal. But the whole thing comes off as strangely front-weighted. 2/3rds of the story is taken up in set-up and reveal, with only 1/3rd left to deal with the aftermath and close up. That's what it felt like, at least, while the word count is pretty close to 50/50.

I was also waiting for a proper Dash-Sky talk... which never happened. It feels like a tremendously wasted opportunity (and it would probably be quite intense), but also would probably have been difficult to pull off, so I don't blame you for avoiding it (I would have no idea what would happen, which is part of why I want to see it). Using Sky's sudden freak out to run away from that felt a bit strange, especially since it never properly came back up. Dash would also have been unaware that Sky might only have been mirroring her emotions (unless Pinkie or later Twilight told her), and it doesn't seem like her to just let it drop. I know in the comments you make it seem less serious of an attraction between the two, but in the story it seemed a bit more weighty.

However, as a whole I found this to be a very enjoyable story. Easily in the top 5 of my personal favorite changeling fics, I suppose (I fancy myself a connoisseur of changeling fics). With so many unimpressive changeling fics out there, I was shocked to see that only ~90 people have read the whole thing when 1 chapter wonders keep popping up on the hot list (oh look, there's a single chapter changeling fic up there now! Off off and away!). My eyes are still screwed up, even after manufacturing this monster of a comment.

Anyways, thank you for providing us with such a fine story to enjoy. And I deeply apologize for my inappropriate overuse of parenthesis. It's a disease of mine. I also apologize (less deeply) for not reading the comments fully, so I imagine many of my concerns have already been brought up or addressed. Now, to see if I have the nerve to post this... No! Stop! Treacherous right hand, let go of the mou

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Thank you! I'm always glad to get critique, and you certainly have some good feedback! I agree with pretty much everything you said; The chapter 3-4 stretch drags (I guess I wanted to set up his nice happy life just to smash it all to pieces), Sky tends to do fairly little (Even if he has a big effect, driving the story, he's still a bit weak as an acting character), and yeah, the first chapter in particular looks pretty cliche (Which I imagine is probably a fair part of why fairly few people read all the way through. I tried to subvert many of those tropes later on, once it's revealed why something is happening, or why something is different than how it looks, but that requires getting to the later parts to actually see that). The decisions you mentioned were ones I had to think about fairly hard, too. I'd like to think I made the right choice on them, but I could easily be wrong.

And even as I was writing Sky, knowing why he would act a certain way, it was still poking at my Gary-Stu alarm pretty hard. He hits many of the elements very close, and while I know there's an actual reason for it, and consider him to somewhat subvert that, it still kept setting off the alarm bells in my head. For someone who didn't know what would show up four chapters later, or who didn't figure out that he was a changeling and extrapolate what kind of effects that might have on his behavior, I can see why half the people reading chapter 1 didn't go any further. :fluttercry:

Still, I'm very happy to hear that you'd rank it so highly among changeling fics (And I love changeling stories, too. They're what brought me here!). So, thank you very much! :twilightsmile:

(And don't worry about the parentheses abuse. As you might notice from my own comments, I seem to have caught that same disease, some time ago! Although this site seems to have also infected me with the use of emoticons. It's so hard to resist clicking those cute little ponies on the right side of my screen...)

:derpyderp1: Wow just wow.
Will there be a sequel?

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No plans, but anything is possible, I suppose! We'll just have to see if the mood strikes to write some more.

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