• Member Since 30th Jan, 2014
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Published Science Fiction Author and MLP G4 fanfiction writer. Like my work? Buy me a cuppa joe or visit my patreon!



Her best and only magic teacher, Sunburst, abandoned her when he got his cutie mark and she didn't. Her butler and guardian, Proper Step refused to teach her magic, saying it wasn't "lady-like." Magic is in her blood, so she has no choice but to run away. She learns to fight with hoof and magic, first to save her life when she’s brutally attacked, but later because she is very good at it. She doesn't realize she's being honed to become somepony's sharp tool.

This is Starlight Glimmer’s pre-redemption The Gangs of New York and Anakin Skywalker Star Wars I, The Phantom Menace novel-length origin story.

The cover image is a commission by a very talented artist, Pony-Way. Please visit Pony-Way’s page.

About the warning tags: [Sex] Off screen, rare, unmistakable; [Violence] Street gangs, mafia bosses, prizefighting, becoming a bodyguard (naturally)—blood, occasionally. Please don’t be shocked and give the story a thumbs down because bad things happen to Starlight at a level that can’t be shown in show. Adversity always makes her stronger.

The sequel to this story is The Enforcer and Her Blackmailers. This is an Enforcerverse novel, and you can view that link if you want huge amounts of context.

A big shout-out to my pre-readers: Javarod and DoContra

Chapters (72)
Comments ( 73 )

Does she wants revenge on Celestia? If so why not stay? All those titles, all that minor political influence is practically given to her from the start.


My wealth devolved from the Crown; it wasn't truly mine. [...] I did the only thing I could do to truly foul Celestia's plans... I ran away


The story will answer further in the following chapters.

Oh dear, Starlight's first crime appears to be a big one, if unintentional. Poor filly.

I do love how you've worked out the magic system for the Enforcer Verse. It's always great to see the ways those inform things in the ponies' everyday life, like the enchanted carts and Woodcutter carrying the rope.

Does The Gangs of New York have any badass women in it?

Good question. No. It's the aspect of destroying one's integrity and ruining one's life for the sake of revenge that I'm going for.

Good story! If I were to give any criticism, it’d be that Starlight is still a filly. The constant flirting with adult ponies is really awkward to read, honestly. Starlight hasn’t really faced major consequences for instigating fights with various groups/ponies.

Now, what I like about this story is probably the physical descriptions. You narrate things very well, and I’ve never really found myself bored while reading. The fight scenes are narrated particularly well.

I’ve never really reviewed a story like this, so I’m sorry if my wording/grammar is bad. I really enjoyed the story! :twilightsmile:

Thank you for your kind words. Poul Anderson once advised to have three senses in every description and I've practiced that in this story.

Your criticism about consequences is valid, as is your honesty about your feelings about Starlight's sharp tongue. I like it when readers tell me that I made them think. You get a gold star! ⭐


I spent much time agonizing about Starlight's age. In the end, I judged that it wasn't gratuitous when Starlight confesses to Sunset Shimmer the unfortunate consequences of her misbehavior in the previously published sequel to this story. See The Enforcer and Her Blackmailers chapter 4*. I judged that it isn't gratuitous in this story, either. Uncomfortable and challenging to the reader, yes, by design; gratuitous, no. It makes a point about difficult realities and the consequences of our choices, and that victim-hood is a state of mind, not what society tells us it is. I am a feminist writer. I am driven to write about the shackles society and culture put on women. Even if the constraints are right or accepted by those effected, they still must to be examined ruthlessly**.

Lastly, thank you for sticking with the story. No spoilers, but the consequences of her actions will change her immensely.

*Her age and Ch 4 ultimately discouraged me from submitting The Enforcer and Her Blackmailers to the Equestria Daily Fanfiction Update, despite being convinced the story would have benefitted from the publicity.

I am reusing the OC backstory of the character in a different genre outside of FiM and am choosing to leave her age unstated. I suspect I am being wus about that.


** See my To Bring Light to Eternal Darkness for a particularly well-received ruthless example of this examination.

Yep, prewritten sequel, baybay! Remember this is a first person unreliable narrator story—sometimes Starlight dictates events to me differently the second time as she remembers them, or maybe just to her advantage. (She's done that once in this story, already.) Yes, the sequel varies slightly from the prequel; that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! :scootangel:

Btw, @bonrewaer né @CATBOI_: liking your catty avatars.

I knew I was going to comment about something, give me a sec.

I really like the character interactions.

I was going to expand on that, but my brain is malfunctioning. I'll try to remember for next chapter.

I never considered who might've originally run the library, and I suppose it does make sense Sunburst wouldn't be in the crystal empire for quite a few years yet. Poor Starlight, she was so close and had no idea...

Ah dang, I ran out of chapters to read. This story has so far been different than I expected, (less bodyguarding and mafia bosses than I has assumed to be in the story, though I'm sure that will change with time), but it definitely has been a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing where it goes next.

I love it when reader tell me they like the story! Thanks.

Guess who runs the fights? Yep. That stuff begins w/ chapter 31. I oopsied the coming-attraction flash-forward beginning part 3 in ch 32 (it belongs in part 4 ~ch 43), but I think I'll have 32 patched up in time to publish in about two weeks. The mafia-transporter episodes (part 3) flowed so well, the body-guarding mafia boss finale got pushed to a new part 4. :pinkiegasp:

Too much inside baseball. I really ought to get to sleep now....:ajsleepy:

Edit: Successful! The patch took.

To be honest, this series would make a great animated TV series or drama series.

Imagine if your story became a drama series known worldwide?

Nice complement! I'm sure you'll like my other stories on-site and off.

How can a story that updates this often not be complete yet?

With all chapters written, TRB will have 180k words; that puts us at halfway. Though I published 39 today and chapters 40-43 are now proofed, I want to preserve a backlog to ensure no interruptions in the publishing schedule. My pre-reader thinks two chapters per week is possible, so I hope to switch to publishing longer chapters or smaller chapter more frequently soon. If I could, I’d get it all out by the end of the year.

I'm just catching up to this story, and I think it's severely underrated. It's a weird feeling to see a 120k story with an exemplary upload schedule, and after thoroughly enjoying every chapter scrolling down to find not a single comment.

Thanks for the comment and the complement. Very much appreciated!

I think it's severely underrated. It's a weird feeling ... to see not a single comment.

Yeah, go figure. Not enough word of mouth or the blurb doesn’t entice readers? Dunno. Maybe I should try my luck at getting Equestria Daily to add it. I’m open to suggestions from anyone who reads this reply.


This isn't related to your comment, but the PM you sent me this morning.

Mentioned here, how do you know it's Rainbow Dash?

Well, I would have sent you a reply on that, but apparently you have me blocked so I can't actually PM you. :rainbowwild: I do have to wonder why you PMed me with a question when you apparently have my blocked. Seems counter-intuitive.

At one point you mention a "wish participle", I assume that's meant to be a predicate?

Also I have to say I really like your depiction of magic. The constant calculations are a fascinating take that I haven't seen before, and also really highlights in a way that manages to be relatable why magic is hard and how unicorns aren't just wiping the floor with everyone using OP spells. It's hard to make a few seconds of fighting last for 3-4k words and make it engaging throughout, but this achieves it.

Yikes, Dyslexia strikes again. I changed wish participle to wish predicate. Thanks for catching that.

Thanks for noticing the craft work necessary to make the fight riveting. I wanted to express that magic was hard and why average magic users (e.g., Rarity vs Starlight) can’t do more than levitate objects and light their horn. Introducing geometry and calculus changes the equation for complexity.

Not sure how to block a PM, so I’m not sure how that happened. Checking my sent PMs, I don’t see that I inadvertently sent one going back a full page as far back as October. I haven’t worked with RD for... I can’t remember. Did you possibly PM the wrong person?


My apologies. That wasn't actually addressed to you, but Starlight Nova. He/she sent me a PM earlier today asking me a question about a different story that involved RD, but they have me blocked so it is impossible for me to reply to them directly. I was borrowing their comment on your story to make the aware of that fact. The way the comment system works on fimfiction should notify them of a reply since I linked their post.

Again sorry for the confusion and apologies for dragging your story into this, but I didn't know how else to reach them.

Dance-and-song-o-mania? Nice. And not the easiest one to puzzle out without prior knowledge.

EDIT: Especially if one is too blind to read the author's notes, I guess.

No, really, I am tickled that you figured it out yourself. There are dozens of easter eggs to be puzzled out, and it makes me happy somebody was kind enough to laugh with me. Comedy is a huge part of this story, especially with a smart-ass character like Starlight who sets herself up repeatedly. It balances the hard reality she fights daily.

Okay, now that's a twist. Starlight really went all-out with this gambit. This could backfire horribly; given how many enemies she's making, and her current line of work, I can think of dozens of situations where her association with her magic teacher got tracked down, and the poor college student got "interrogated".

Countess Aurora Midnight had disappeared some years ago. While Starlight could just disappear herself and restart anew somewhere else, not only would throwing away everything she's built up to hurt (as she herself noted a few chapters ago - when she first woke up in Trigger's apartment, if I recall correctly?), but Countess Midnight surfacing briefly would be very problematic too. The search would be reinvigorated, a new lead would be found, not to mention that Gelding and Princess Grim both had a lot of public appearances and this could link all her identities together.

Going to be very interesting to see what, if anything, comes of this. Huge risk Starlight is taking - let's see if her breaking her own general attitude of distrust is going to backfire.

Good analysis, good connecting of the dots, but of course I can’t answer. With Starlight, just when you think it can’t get worse, it will. Nothing is as it seems. :rainbowwild:

You have trained under an es series of my lieutenants. Impeccable work, but you made sure they knew who was boss. With what I learned about the hedge healer, I realized rode two of them."
"Three," I blurted before better sense prevailed over the shock of her words.
"The mare? Es sneaky, hija. The two of you."

Wait quick question, I'm not sure if I'm missing something or forgot some details. Is this implying that Starlight laid with three separate enforcers?
From what I understand this would have happened during the timeskip at the end of Ch. 56, right? Other than Steeple Chase, are we supposed to know/guess who, or is it intentionally left vague?

Also, I should add, I really like the way you differentiated all three pony tribes - and with how well they fit into the world, I totally didn't expect for you to also introduce another race. Though it makes total sense for the exotic and foreign queenpin. Really looking forward to seeing what racial advantages bat ponies have (assuming we even get to know CA enough to learn).

Aha! Glad to see Starlight realise the mistake she's made with Broomhill way back then. Hopefully the witch can keep a secret well.

Since Sci-Fi's not around at the moment, I figure I'll answer your questions, since I'm his proofreader.

Wait quick question, I'm not sure if I'm missing something or forgot some details. Is this implying that Starlight laid with three separate enforcers?

Not enforcers, Lieutenants. It's implied that she realizes that training to be a bodyguard would also give her some opportunities for some carnal fun.

From what I understand this would have happened during the timeskip at the end of Ch. 56, right? Other than Steeple Chase, are we supposed to know/guess who, or is it intentionally left vague?

Intentionally vague, she's been working with various Lieutenants, those in charge of various territories in Baltimare and possibly elsewhere, learning to protect ponies rather than freight, and clearly getting some other lessons while she's at it.

I love having my story analyzed. Thank you, the both of you. It gives me the opportunity to see my work reflected through the mind of a reader.

some carnal fun

Javarod has read the entire novel, so is broadly correct. Starlight’s own words about her philosophy in life clarify her choice to do what she did:

I expect to learn something about myself.

She says this a lot.

laid with

<waves a hand hoof> Nothing so passive. She rarely credits that Proper Step raised her to be the Earl of Grin Having; she was brought up to command. “Ride”, “rode”, “ridden” are the correct horse words, consistent with a vernacular that includes human-dominance words like “saddle”, “bridle”, and “bits”. I hope this clarifies what she did, and why.

...are we supposed to know/guess who, or is it intentionally left vague?

If this led you to guess, my bad. Sorry. Not a fan of red herring, even fried up as spicy kippers. They were random lieutenants working for Carne Asada, as Javarod pointed out, and it was supposed to be vague.

However, AU, you get a gold star 🌟for the passage you quoted. Read it again. It is a key passage that highlights Carne Asada forming her ideas about how she will employ Starlight going forward. Sadly, Starlight isn’t paying attention.

I really like the way you differentiated all three pony tribes - and with how well they fit into the world

<blushes> Thank you for noticing, pointing out, and complimenting my craftsmanship. I am humbled. In college, I studied non-western cultures, folklore, and mythology. As an SF writer, I employ that and cultural relativism to build alien cultures. I am glad you are enjoying my worlds.

...assuming we even get to know CA


By the way, the discussion about who Starlight is just clarified something I really needed to understand as I finish remastering the last chapter of The Enforcer and Her Blackmailers, so thank you again.

I fell waaay behind on this fic. Time to catch up! This chapter was great btw.

I accept your challenge! I present to you an intersection on E. Redwood St and Light St in the city of Baltimore! 17 Restaurant is even there.


This chapter was fantastic! That's one way to deal with the constables.

How fun! I was hoping someone would try. You get a gold star! 🌟 Most of the addresses in Baltimare, Hooflyn, and Prancetown correspond to city locals you can Google. Forces me to accommodate to a real world issues, which makes characters getting around more interesting to the story. Canterlot conforms to the city grid built up from other stories I’ve written.

Sadly, unsupported format. This link from the address bar will display Google Maps (on a Mac at least): E Redwood and Light, Baltimore

The mane conditioner scene also appears in Love, Friendship, and Gangsters, from Crystal Skies’ (differently biased) POV.

I'll have to make sure to give that a read once I'm all caught up on this fic.

I kept to Carne Asada's one rule. I did not become pregnant. The emotional toll of ensuring I remained so...? That would wait until I'd meet Sunset Shimmer in Canterlot, but that's a different story.

Well colour me interested in reading the sequel. Not sure if I should've read that one first instead or not, but I'll defiantly get around to reading it regardless.

Well that explosion was rather large, both in your story and in the linked video. I look forward to seeing how all of that comes to fruition in the next Part.

Lots of delayed trauma. Wait for the remastered version, which should start publication with the last chapter of this one.

I'd beat him.

I'd won.

Won't he just, ummm, return? (with pals maybe?)

I given it a lot of thought; thanks for asking since it's a point in another sequel. 50 pony lengths (4 ft x 50) = 66 yds. She set his tail (and by implication his stallion parts) on fire, and superheated the rain to steam at 66 yards. We'll learn her magic won't let her kill, but still... Him? Return? Nah. This pony survived the wrath of a god and will see her lurking in every shadow for the rest of his miserable life.

Sadly, she remembers, too.

"You've entered Pommel Turf you stupid C. A.'s!" called a gruff mare.

Coco's made a lot of mistakes in her turbulent youth?

Hehehe, found an easter egg. You earn a gold star. 🌟

"Wish predicate" haha, I honestly super LOVE all the magical terminogy in this story!

The focus on wishes is really interesting. Iirc g4 rarely mentioned much about wishes. Is that at all inspired by g1? Or just unicorn mythology in general?

I'm a folklorist and mythologist; my schooling, not professionally. My training filters into my writing. In this case, I'm referencing the medieval unicorn associated with purity and the girl-culture fascination with unicorns the series leverages. Thus magic that grants wishes and the frustrating limits it evidences when trying to hurt ponies. Good fiction has limits so readers can predict and empathize with the characters' travails. Wish-magic provides that in spades.

Great question. You get a gold star. ✨


Now I have to catalog all of it so I can get it right in future stories!:twilightblush:

The amount of thought put into a counter-unicorn fighting style is amazing!

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