• Member Since 13th May, 2012
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Specializing in sailing, sword fighting, and scholarship—a piratical polymath.


This story is a sequel to The Skyla Pseudonym

A miscellany of stories from Twilight's accidental kingdom in the Undiscovered West, and possibly elsewhere if the fancy takes me. Not necessarily connected to each other or in chronological order. Marked as complete, but there's a slight chance I may add chapters.

Audio version by VisualPony, HERE!

Chapters (5)
Comments ( 107 )

"Brother of mine,

My first thought: Oh, dear. It's Flam and Flim. Those poor sods are either going to be immediately recognised for hucksters or get themselves in some life threatening trouble and there will be no in between.:twilightsmile:

Oh hey, a sequel.

Not every town is Ponyville, boys :trollestia:

She smiled at him. "Oh, you've got the wrong idea. I don't want any of your snake-oil. How much for the cart? "

It’s not a proper Flim Flam brother’s story if they don’t have a potentially lucrative legitimate business opportunity staring them in the face that their impatience and greed blinds them to.

If that cart’s fancy mechanisms still function after the beating it must have taken on the scarce rough roads all the way from Equestria it’s a truly impressive piece of engineering. I imagine there are a half dozen or more profitable patents in it that they’re never going to think to register.


Something to look forward to when I finish my reread.

Which got delayed by Norris' Synthetic Sunlight story...

~Skeeter The Lurker


Oh man, this was great! I'm excited to spend some more time in this wonderful world you've created.

Funny! Would that the real world could be so rational about similar things. If only, if only…

Are we ever going to see a story featuring Cadance to complete what I’m calling, “The Alicorn Assemblage?” I’d call it, “The Alicorn Quintet,” except that doesn’t alliterate the way some of the titles of the individual stories do.

And here, class, we have a specimen of free market capitalism actually working as intended. It begins and ends with an educated customer with high standards!


That was good.

"This has been tested on griffins, right?" the fluffy little peeper persisted. "We can react differently to drugs than ponies, you know."
"I mean a real, scientific study. A proper one! Not one of those propaganda jobs out of Quaggastan. You show me your sample size and methodology and I'll tell you whether or not I believe you."

Why certainly! This is actually a triple blind phase four study being conducted by the Equestria Bureau of Departments. We conduct four test phases with our products, that is over 130% more tests than our competitors. I can personally guarantee with a sworn affidavit, that you will experience no effects whatsoever with our elixir!

Triple blind: The subject has no knowledge of which test group they are in, the scientists have no knowledge of which test they are administering, and the parent company disavows all knowledge of any tests.

:rainbowlaugh: Quadruple blind: Nobody knows anything.

The secret ingredient that makes it work is alicorns! :twilightsmile:

The Cadence Conundrum may happen someday... at this point I wouldn't rule anything out.


But Cadance had been directly involved in the fight and instrumental in Grogar's defeat.[4] We kept Flurry safe, as promised, but we were unable to keep her from witnessing the brutality and hard truths involved in fighting real monsters.
[4] A popularized account of the incident can be found in the novel The Cadance Conundrum. It is fiction, but the details of all the major events are correct, if simplified for the sake of readability.

CadAnce :rainbowwild:

Flurry's first taste of real battle came during the Chrysalis Crisis when a swarm of drones discovered that a young alicorn, deprived of her magic, was nowhere near as helpless as they assumed she would be. It also gave her the final test of her determination. Magic can be deadly, but it's usually clean. Nopony can truly be prepared for what a sharp blade or lance does to a living being. And the pony wielding that blade… well, it takes some getting used to.

Well, you've got plenty of potential material for the fifth and sixth novel-length entries in the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Trilogy Alicorn Mystery series that you can start working on as soon as someone invents the 72-hour day.

Anyway, interesting start to this anthology. Twilight would be very proud of her subjects.

Where do I get my immigration paperwork?

The denizens of TwilightTown, as an experiment in limited government with good schools, are just not naive and gullible for the Brothers Flim & Flam.

It is nice to read more of your stories. I wish that I could write things people would want to read.

On a sadder note, I noticed a typo:

> "Flam slowly turned to face his brother, who he found was wearing the exact same expression of disgust."

Should be:

> "Flam slowly turned to face his brother, whom he found was wearing the exact same expression of disgust."

In less than a month, on 12,020-09-21 HE (Human Era), I shall return to work. I do not recommend cars hitting one.

Bloody hell, it really is Twilight Town. The essence of Twilight Sparkle is engraved onto the inhabitants' very souls

I was expecting the Cadence Conundrum, but this is even better. I always thought it was a shame we only got glimpses of Twilight Down in Skyla.

Also, typo: "odd-looking forign things "

Funny to see this come out literally right after I finish The Twilight Enigma. I'll save it for after The Skyla Pseudonym!

This nexus of ne'er-do-wells is ripe for the plucking, and not a law or regulation in sight to stop us!

Remember, if there are no laws to stop you, there are also no laws to protect you

Putting anything into their potions that had any effect whatsoever was a mistake the brothers were eager not to repeat.

There's a story waiting to be told.

Ah yes, the natural enemy of any con artist: The well-informed consumer. I'm sure Twilight will be delighted to hear of this little misadventure of the citizenry ever deems it worthy of her attention.

Looking forward to seeing what other little moments of Twilight Town you share with us.

Heeee. Poor Flim and Flam.

Oh yeah, that's the way to go. Have you read On the Rocks? That should be next.


...if there are no laws to stop you, there are also no laws to protect you

Wise pony is wise.

Typoes fix'd, thanks!


> > " ' … if there are no laws to stop you, there are also no laws to protect you'"

> "Wise pony is wise."This is true because it is a tautology.

> "Typoes fix'd, thanks!"

You are welcome.

1 of the things I like about TwilightTown is that it is pragmatic —— ¡not dogmatic!:

We have become ideologically dogmatic. The thing is that the world is too complicated for simple ideology. I imagine that, economically, TwilightTown is free-market, allows unions, and uses a counter-cyclic monetary policy.

It probably has free education, but contracts to private entities for educating the children, which has to meet governmental standards.

It probably has single-payer healthcare but contracts out the delivery to private Doctrices and Doctors. running clinics and a private organization running the local hospital.

In our country, the politicians offer us a choice of either the governments running everything, which history has shown us that it cannot, or running nothing, which means that the poor are screwed.


Oh yeah, that's the way to go. Have you read On the Rocks? That should be next.

Not yet, but it's next up on the list before Skyla. Hoping to get to On the Rocks this week then hopefully start Skyla Friday or Saturday. :twilightsheepish:

A "catspaw," in nautical usage, is the pattern a gust of wind makes on the water.

Huh, and here I'd been waiting for the other meaning to kick in.

Ah, Catspaw. Always a promising name for a young pony.
(Before reading the author's note, I only knew the term as a criminal accomplice. Which, to be fair, is probably also a viable occupation in Twilight Town.)

Truth be told (only when she thought her parents weren’t listening), she'd gone even farther than that on a few outings with adventurous friends.

The Queen would approve, I'm sure.

Yes, nearly everything in the western Crescent Bay region was named for Twilight Sparkle.

Lots of Twilights, lots of Sparkles, and the occasional Winnifred.

Delightful non-entry. I do love a good, terminology-rich slice of life.

Guessing that this is set a good few decades after Twilight Town was founded then?

Whenever Catspaw introduces herself, ponies always do an immediate cutie mark check... and then relax. Or sigh in disappointment, if they're a certain type. :raritywink:

Winnifred Wells is a nice little spa, I'm told.

Only about 15 years; Boomtowns grow fast!

D'oh, forgot to favorite this.

A rich incident in the life of a young sailor :ajsmug: There might not be any more hydras, but the water holds many secrets still.

Interesting; thanks. :)

Truly, I am a tyrant mad with power!

Your rewrite came out almost perfect on the first pass, though. Very nice. :moustache:👌

I love Grand Admiral Bisquick's not-a-contest(s). The entries almost invariably end up completely fascinating to me. There's just something about watching ponies function that's arresting. As such, I really enjoyed this chapter.

About the packing efficiency. I work shipping sometimes. 1 of the problems with more than 2 dimensions is that we do not of efficients like 1:√2 of 2 dimensions (ISO 216). Usually, if the dimensions do not reflect the size and shape of the packed, we use crates with the dimensions of 1:2:3 on pallets with dimensions of 6:5 with 5 crates on a layer, 6 layers high. we also have an hierarchy:

  1. Items go into Sleeves.
  2. Sleeves go into cartons
  3. Cartons go into boxes.
  4. Boxes go into crates.
  5. Crates go onto pallets.
  6. Pallets go into trucks.

Believe it or not, I managed to mangle even this short thing in the first draft. Jordanis to the rescue!

Which is why all proper authors get an editor and only the most depraved of psychopaths don't give them credit.

and Queen Twilight cleaned out all the hydras,

Did Twilight just kill off all the apex predators in a delicate ecosystem? What did Fluttershy say when she found out? :flutterrage:

Yep. Anybody involved in shipping knows it's a very complex and detailed craft. Only in the movies does a ship's hold look like the jumble of grandma's attic.

She carefully and gently moved them to the Central Manehattan Monster Sanctuary and Petting Zoo where they're very well cared for.

Some citizens never get the hang of Tuesdays...

That still screws over the ecosystem itself though :fluttershbad:

When you start making confident assertions about a fictional ecosystem in Magic Pony Land, you may be taking this way too seriously. Still... If you like, you can make up some backstory about the hydras being an invasive species that were damaging the local ecosystem before they were removed, and then imaginary Fluttershy won't have to cry any more.

How often are there mixups between the sanctuary and the petting zoo sections, I wonder?

I, as a nautical noob, liked the extended author's notes, BTW. In fact, I'd argue that me still not knowing what in the bloody hells "jibbing" is probably makes a decent argument for them not being extended enough.:twilightsmile:


For BreakBulkCargo, he now have the InterModal Container, capable of going from truckbeds, flatbed railwaycars, to general cargoships. This has lead to containerization. Because of containerization, ships carrying BreakBulkCargo looks like it is full of stacked blocks instead of "the jumble of grandma's attic".


> " … but for me, it was Tuesday.":

Well... that's sort of an important point in the story, so I'll give you a short description.

When a sailing ship "tacks," she swings her bow across the direction the wind is coming from, and her sails and booms swing gently to follow the wind direction.

When a ship "jibes," she swings her stern across the wind, and that means her sails want to stay where they are until the last moment, when they want to suddenly swing all the way to the other side of the craft. The boom has to be carefully managed to make it move as slowly and smoothly as possible. And unplanned or badly managed jibe can not only sweep crew off the fore deck, but actually damage the rigging or capsize the craft.

Sometimes, when a skipper doesn't trust his crew or craft, he will loop around in a 270 degree tack to avoid a 90 degree jibe. The nautical slang for this maneuver is a "chicken jibe."

Many thanks, that's a nice and simple explanation for a landlubber like me.
Also, is it just me or is anyone else feeling this strange urge for salty air and a gently rocking ground right now?

Where mares glow and stallions chunder?


¡I see what you did there!:

Personally, I prefer New Zealand. Unfortunately, in my country, our leader is Trump, the leader we deserve, but the leader we need is New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern —— ¡she is the bestest!

I came here from Admiral Biscuit's recommendation.

It was a good one!

Thankyou for that description.

I had heard of tacking, but had no idea of jibes.
Chicken jibe. Yes, that would be an avid description.

You could take your name off this chapter and I could still tell that you wrote it just from all the sailing terms

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