• Member Since 16th Nov, 2019
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SpectralFury


Just your average reader and occasional writer. I like exploring 'want of a nail' type scenarios and fallen heroes. For some reason people seem to like my stories. Strange.

T
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Inspired by Parting Words, by RHJunior

Princess Celestia is the paragon of Harmony. She is kind to her subjects and generous to those in need. She is loyal to her ideals and never compromised. She has a good, if mostly unknown, sense of humor. Above all else, she is always honest. Right?

Twilight Sparkle trusts Princess Celestia implicitly and in all things. The Princess has never steered her wrong, not once. When Twilight thought that her concerns for Nightmare Moon were being ignored, Celestia had her back, even if she was withholding information.

Wait a minute.

Shortly before Celestia leaves for Canterlot with the redeemed Luna, Twilight has a conversation with her mentor that will change her perspective on the Princess forever. She will receive something new, beautiful, and damning all the same.

Cynicism.

Six Little Words or: The Question That Twilight Didn’t Ask in Canon.

Violence Tag: Implied torture.

Comments are back open. Please try to keep it cordial.

Chapters (5)
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Comments ( 213 )

*whistle* this was a lovely read. Kinda fun to witness this alternate reality where Twi doesn't ascend because her trust in Celestia is/has been broken. Not enough to hate her like I've seen done before, but enough to not really want to associate unless needed. (y'know cause she recognizes that she's a hero and ultimately she'd have to defend the realm from some kind of threat.)

Bitter but understandable, especially given an anti-immortaility premise. The show really could have written Celestia better in some ways.

I really loved this story.

Upvoted and added to favorites

I liked this up until the ending which fell a little flat. I can see Twilight possibly rejecting ascension at this time, but the elements didn't do enough. It would have been stronger if the elements had said "As you wish, but the offer still stands if you should ever change your mind." I also wonder just how shaky Celestia's alicornhood would be at this point. I mean she already lost her connection to the elements in the past by blasting Luna. What she did here just compounds things.

I could really see this as going one of two ways. Either word of what Twilight did here goes viral and Celestia loses the respect of her kingdom, or it all sweeps under the rug and Celestia essentially goes back to ruling alone without Twilight and without her sister. In either case, I feel Twilight's alicornhood is merely postponed as opposed to being denied as things might require it at some future date -- like when Tirek shows up.

The best leaders are not who want it but who have it thrust upon them and they accept it only out of duty and that they have a job to do.

NOTE in this case, I could see the main 6 ascending as opposed to just Twilight doing so.

and then Equestria is destroyed later on because Twilight is not alicorn and can't defeat the next big villain, likely Tirek. Proving Celestia right.
The fanfic followed canon until then, so no reason it shouldn't follow canon in terms of what villains arrives later on.

That being said, I did enjoy the read, so props to the author, even if I disagree with Twilight's choice.

Good fic. It always bugged me how Twilights life was basically planned out for her.

Made even worse when Sunset Shimmer rolled around and we got her backstory. Really gave the impression that Celestia just went 'Well, plan A didn't work out so well, I'll just have to tell her replacement even less.'

I wonder, without Twilight ascending, when Sunset comes back through the mirror, would Celestia just try and go back to the one who actually WANTS to become an Alicorn?

Stories like this really make you think, in a good way. The show did pretty much gloss over Celestia manipulating Twilight. But, will Twilight's choice end up dooming Equestria when Tirek or the other villains come along? Will she end up having the take the role Celestia wanted for her out of necessity? That's stuff that tends to be glossed over in fics like this, or simply not addressed.

I sure wouldn't mind seeing a sequel where that consequence is faced and dealt with.

On a related note, I never brought the idea that alicorns are immoral, but are simply long-lived.

This seems familiar...

Great chapter!!!

What happens with Tirek now?

damn, no hero moment for spike, well there's always canon and other fics.

also as an afterthought...
Don't get why Twilight is so high on the whole 'freedom of destiny' when cutie marks are literally a physical manifestation of destiny itself.
Their cutie marks literally dictate 99 % of the time what their work is for the rest of their life. Ponies doing something unrelated to their mark is the rare exception.

Ah, yes.
Good ol' Trollestia. How easily it turns borderline evil.

And then Equestria was destroyed.

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To your first comment, there can be other ways to beat Tirek. Maybe Discord shows a different understanding of Twilight now that she chose her own path, defied "Destiny", so he will choose not to ally with Tirek? Either way, that's all just theory of course.

On the topic of cutie marks, there are two ways to approach that argument. First, cutie marks are a very cultural thing in Equestria, much more so than alicorn ascension, and present on a daily basis, so there can be made the case that cutie marks and what they represent aren't tied in with the concept of 'being forced their hoof by Destiny' as the ascension would have been.
Second, cutie marks in many cases are rather vague in what they actually mean. A lightning bolt can mean anything from handling clouds to being really fast to being actually lightning-affine in terms of innate magic. As we saw with a multitude of magic-related cutie marks, they may represent a certain affinity for casting spells in general but by far does that not dictate what that pony can actually do.

That was a fun read, but MAN this AU (tag pending) would have some serious problems in the future! :rainbowlaugh:

With ties thus severed between Twilight and Celestia, Discord will likely never get reformed. Tirek would probably win, or maybe the Elements can Deus Ex the day against him. Unicorn Twilight, however, isn't probably on par magic-wise with Starlight Glimmer, (who, as we know, is strong enough to fight an alicorn to a standstill) so I predict that, at latest, by Cutie Re-mark Equestria is well and truly f*cked. :derpytongue2:

I like this one. I always found Celestia's actions sorta strange but couldn't quite put my finger on it...

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Don't get why Twilight is so high on the whole 'freedom of destiny' when cutie marks are literally a physical manifestation of destiny itself.
Their cutie marks literally dictate 99 % of the time what their work is for the rest of their life. Ponies doing something unrelated to their mark is the rare exception.

I would say that, while Cutie Marks kinda do dictate what ponies would go on to do, it's still the choice of the pony, and the mark is really just a side of themselves. It's also possible that, thanks to pony culture, Twilight doesn't think that way about Cutie Marks, because she grew up in that culture.

Though, if parents were to plan (or start planning) for what the foals' Cutie Marks mean and this Twilight becomes aware of it, oh boy. She could get Celestia flashbacks and, potentially, start resenting them. She might then go on to become like the unreformed Starlight Glimmer in Cutie Mark views, except Twilight just might not take them, even if she learned how to.

Hard meh on this one. I'll be completely honest, Twilight seems a lot less like a character here, and more like a mouthpiece for the author's headcanon on how she should have acted. The writing itself lends to that, its not really a narrative so much as a bunch of headcanons cobbled together. Many of which fall apart on examination, and with the context of future events in the show Post S3.

So much of the conflict here is based on Twilight's frustrations with being manipulated by Celestia and poor communication, but she never once thinks to remedy it herself by communicating honestly and openly with her. Instead, she settles on passive aggresive jibes with Luna as though that makes her any better than Celestia in this context. It really does make all three characters feel wildly out of character.

To that end, you would think Applejack would have intervened.

As a reaction fic to the S3 finale when it was fresh, I could see it working. As it stands this doesnt really work as either a character study nor a compelling story.

Man, I wish there were more fics like this, cause this was gold!

Really liked this! Your characterization of Twilight made her feel much more independent, and her rejecting immortality in the end really felt significant, since it was actually her decision to make. Also liked that Luna was more the a shiny wall hanging.

This was great!

I’m getting too paranoid.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean their not out to get you.

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"Celestia is not trying to control your life to make it fit into her nice little plan, Twilight, you're just being paranoid!"

Damn straight that why even when I like the story. I am wary of celestia because has a thousands years to entrench her power. Ensuring that she is believed. She raises the sun. Who could stop her?

And what better way to do evil then to do it so subtly that you do it yourself? And your fellows?

I've read a number of stories like this where Twilight stops trusting Celestia. This one is particularly well written, and the characterization is spot on. Especially with regards to Twilight. Her careful, logical gathering of evidence for her hypothesis was absolutely perfect.

Well done!

Word dude word

As best they could distract Discord for a few moments.

"At."

And also "to" in your note, "on what amount for suicide missions."

I loved Parting Words when I read it, and this seems like a more fleshed out version of that. It actually shows an interesting “what if” that would be a fantastic arc in a show not designed for little girls (which is a shame but, hey, a bit heavy for small children and that’s what fanfiction is for) :twilightsmile:

Immortality a curse? If you say so.

Great story. Really hits the nail on the head as far as my problems with Celestia's character.

I agree with your stance on immortality let alone twilights view of it. And they discover a way to beat tirek because ingenuity?

I don't know if you have read ("The Great Alicorn Hunt" by RealityCheck) He has left the site but the story can be found here. https://archiveofourown.org/users/RHJunior/works The start of the first chapter has another outcome of this scenario. Not necessarily better just different.

(Just reread the opening part. Most likely you have read it. Will leave this up just in case others want to look at it.)

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Dude, this fic was literally directly inspired by TGAH's prequel. I'm pretty sure they've read it.

I will never believe that immortality is a curse, unless it is combined with something that would be unpleasant anyway (eternal torture, becoming immortal but still aging normally). Being like Captain Jack from Doctor Who/Torchwood (can pull himself together after being blown up with a bomb) would, IMO, be awesome and not a curse at all. Maybe I would change my opinion after 100 thousand years, but I doubt it.

However, I still think that Twilight should have said "no" to either becoming an alicorn or to taking over from Celestia (and Celestia would have no way to force her) and I consider the ending of FIM to be the sad ending for Twilight. All of her friends got what they wanted, while she got what Celestia had planned for her without asking. Then again, maybe this is the bad consequence for being so afraid of disappointing Celestia and not telling here where to shove the suicide missions, I mean "tests".

bring a tear to my eye why dont you, bitter sweet, a bitter telling with a sweet background/ending?, i love that she decided to remain mortal for her friends also i read this while listening to johnny cash's song 'hurt'

Again, not something bad in of itself,

Do you mean "in and of"?

I will always live with what I did, but it was you that not only brought the Nightmare low, and helped bring me back up.”

"but helped" or remove "not only" and the comma.

This ending is incredibly frustrating. Why would she deny Immortality and ascension here? Because she lost her trust in Celestia? Really, that's all?

Earlier in the story, Twilight actively sought power in the form of an army and warship to save the Crystal Empire; she risked the lives of these ponies because she felt she was not strong enough to defeat a threat on her own. Now, when power is literally given to her on a silver platter, power that could do tremendous good for both Equestria and the ponies she cares about, she actively denies it?

Was snubbing Celestia here worth the potential future pain for Equestria and her friends? Twilight does not know what the future has in store and she is risking the lives of millions of ponies if a threat comes that she is too weak to fight against. Unlike her, however, we the audience know what is coming (considering the rest of this story is so close to canon, we can only assume the future will also be like canon). When Tirek returns and Twilight needs the ability to store the power of all the Alicorns to defeat him (Celestia explicitly mentions she needed to be an Alicorn/Princess to control the magic), she will not have the ability. I can only assume Equestria is doomed because of her selfish disregard.

The thing to really consider here in the end is not whether Celestia had pushed the position of princess onto Twilight, but rather that was the title something Twilight wanted?

Because I think Twilight did want to be a princess. Maybe not as a ruler of Equestria, (I do have issues with the finale), but as a pony who can spread the magic of friendship as far and wide as she could. She did after all use her authority to start a school. I think Twilight would have been ecstatic to have the opportunity to continue spreading friendship.

So ya, I think Twilight would have been fine with being an alicorn, but I do hope she and Celestia had a very long talk about it before the coronation.

I love A Canterlot Wedding, partly cos of nostalgia but mainly cos it’s a really fun finale with some great music.
That said it is one of those where your watching it thinking it’s awesome, then you think about it after and realise some of it doesn’t make much sense. Still think it’s great though

There is something important I came to learn about MLP:FiM, if you take it to seriously, you will be disappointed. Not that overthinking the show is a bad thing in of itself, there are many stories that takes different views, interpretations, and make great works of art with them! It can go awry however if one starts taking it to seriously as I said earlier. This guy can explain it better then me.

Your story is about something I myself thought about for a long time, then this animation came out. In the end, it was a matter of interpretation.

the most horrible of curses imaginable: immortality.

I'm afraid I have to disagree with you on that one.

As for free will, I do love me some philosophy! Now, I'm not gonna write an essay, I'm gonna link one! In short: Libertarian free will does not make sense, and hard-determinism is not practical. So "Compatibilism" or "soft-determinism" lets you keep both self determination and determinism.

So yes, I enjoyed your story; it was well written, good pacing, it didn't get booged down and kept the plot moving. The only criticism I feel worth mentioning is that the message was a bit to... "Unambiguous". It felt more like a statement. Not an essay mind you, but something in the way of "Celestia should not have done what she did, here is why". While not a bad thing per se, it did make me feel... Unwelcomed is perhaps to strong a word for it, but it did make me write all of this ("The Folly of Celestia" made me feel the same thing the first time I watched it).

Still, you did a good job, keep it up!

While there are a few parts I question as to whether or not it would be done in the pony culture, I do agree with how you approached this and with your reasons. This story is the closest I've seen to what could be written for a Twilight in an alternate timeline should she actually question Princess Celestia's character, it has credibility and I don't believe the writers of the comics could do any better.

I liked the alt U aspect you took. Strength through confidence? Win

Interesting fic, I’ve never been a fan of people saying that Celestia was actually the big bad but seeing docs explore it is always intriguing to see.

I do have a problem with this fic though, and it’s that the ending just feels like it just stops. I get the point that Twilight never becomes an alicorn but I would have like to see at least one more chapter for Celestia to actually explain herself. At a little context to her side of things. The endings not bad, and the point of the story comes across, but even in this Celestia isn’t portrayed as evil or heartless so not getting to see it from her side feels like a missed opportunity.

All that said it still is a great read, and involving Luna a bit more was a nice touch. I do feel for Twilight in this, and it comes off so naturally l

I'm pretty firmly believe that people who say that immortality would be a curse are suffering from a severe case of sour grapes. If it really was preferable to die than to live and see your loved ones die, every funeral would kick off a round of suicides. Instead, we grieve and move on, as is natural and healthy. Yes, even people who lose all of their loved ones.

Well, unless it's double-down, no takey-backsies immortality, because floating for eternity in empty space after the heat death of the universe isn't anyone's idea of a good time.

Ha, so many canon confirmed!! Well done

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In terms of immortality your argument is /still/ incredibly short-sighted especially when we look at alicorn track records.
Luna went Nightmare Moon from neglect, and while yes Twilight "has her friends to prevent that from happening" guess what? they're not being promised immortality /they'll still die/. The followup is "okay, well then she'll just make new friends and that'll keep her going" in which case really? how many do you think she'll go through before the grief outweighs any joy her new friends might give her? how long before she can't even look at another pony without asking herself "why should I bother to get to know them? they'll just die soon enough." Would you try to befirend mayflies? Why would she? And what immortals does she have to spend it with? Luna who already went insane once and may very well snap again and Celestia: the number one reason she might snap herself. So while yes she could save people/ponies/creatures in the future she also might personally kill just as many when she goes insane, after all if as per your argument we assume this will be similar to canon she ends up the sole princess of Equestria after the other two retire: there's no Celestia to banish /her/ to the moon when she goes Nightmare. But that raises a second problem with your argument: is the assumption that it will stay close to cannon even a fair assumption to make?
We already have through this fic several story arcs short-circuted: Cadence and Shining Armor aren't in the Crystal Empire so even if they have Flurry there will be no Crystaling crisis and depending on how Chrysalis' torture session ended she may very well be dead completely derailing everything in regards to cannon Changeling interactions: with two major plot points completely derailed /that we can see/ as a result of this fic who's to say more won't be, either because Celestia will plan differently without the presence of Princess Twilight or because Luna and Twilight bring more pragmatism to the process.

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Maybe Discord shows a different understanding of Twilight now that she chose her own path, defied "Destiny", so he will choose not to ally with Tirek? Either way, that's all just theory of course.

His understanding of Twilight had nothing to do with his betrayal.
He simply chose Tirek over ponies because ponies promised friendship and what he perceived as chains on his personal freedom and powers, while Tirek promised friendship and freedom, or at least he thought so. It is that simple in reality.

By all accounts, nothing about Tirek's takeover should go different until the point where Celestia, or another alicorn, is unable to defeat him, because the combined force of 4 alicorn's powers could only force Tirek to a stand-still, so the force of 3 will logically not be able to compete with him. Equestria is doomed by all logical reasoning.

I think immortality isn’t a blessing or a curse, its both. It’s what you do with it that makes the difference.

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