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Hope


I am but a humble servant to my dreams.

E

This story is a sequel to Seconds to spare


Eris has been the student of Luna and element of Harmony for only a year or so, enjoying a new adventurous life in the long cycle of death and rebirth she is used to. But a ghost from the far flung past, Luna's once sister who Eris broke, has escaped her stony prison and seeks to return the favor.

A sequel to Seconds to Spare, the most apparent role-swap involved here is between "Discord" and Celestia, here Eris and Mirage. But in the previous story it was also revealed that Luna has taken Celestia's spot, Starswirl the Bearded took Luna/Nightmare Moon's spot, and all of the elements of harmony took alternate ponies.

Chapters (5)
Comments ( 10 )

Oh Lordy, it was a past life of Eris’s who destroyed Celestia’s sanity in this AU? The reincarnation backstory of our heroine just keeps producing fresh, organic drama. Very exciting indeed.

This is some powerful shit. That image where Spike makes a million pancakes and then dissolves into sand? That's terrifying. Good job.

10901794
Thanks! I will frame this comment because the way you phrased it pleases me to no end!

RDT

Mirage's name is very fitting. I'm afraid of what she can do with her ability to make make ponies not trust each other (or themselves).

Gah! How did I miss this fic's initial update?? No time to waste; I should've left thoughts on this chapter back when it was first published.

When Sweetie Belle lamented Rarity telling her she "wasn't real," I thought it was a Sweetie Bot moment. As in Sweetie is a robot in this continuity, who is nurtured when the world is normal but shunned after Mirage alters her surrogate sister's brain.

Obviously this chapter proves I was jumping the gun with that assumed reference. Hope I'm forgiven, because this is a wacky plot in an AU that is already kinda wacky by default. Onto things that actually happen in the story.

The repeated 'Hey Eris' mantra got delightfully sinister the more often it was repeated. Reality is explicitly untrustworthy in this fic, and when we get an actual reliable element its something uncanny and malicious. Excellent tone establishment. Ditto for the sand motif that matches Mirage's name, sun powers, and presumably smothering attitude towards the everypony in general.

Speaking of Mirage, its a curious choice to keep her unseen and unheard two whole chapters in. Certainly her villainy is noticeable via the effects of her spellcasting and the obvious dread Eris feels while spouting exposition about her, Even so, this is a big contrast from Father Time's fic. He got his hooves dirty immediately.

The past-life romance angle is another odd choice, but its clearly something that will be paid of thematically later on. The "Nice Dress" (another creepy line) is symbolic of Mirage's infatuation, so something will most definitely happen to it as Eris and Mirage's antagonism ramps up.

Speaking of symbolic props, Rarity's coffee is probably important thematic foreshadowing. When she's depressed, she pours it on her fabric and wallows in the fragility of prettiness. After Eris (literally) snaps her out of it though, Rarity thinks the stain is a bold artistic choice. This little change of perspective between "its ruined' and "its now good in its own way" probably applies to Mirage's explicitly broken mind. And also to her alleged ex-romance with Eris. Perspective may be Mirage's weapon, but that sword might cut both ways in the story's climax. Will have to see what plays out.

This chapter was a cleverly calculated yanking of the rug.

The reader gets a grip on the situation at pretty much the same pace Eris does. Get to a friend's place, Mirage issues a proxy accusation through the corrupted friend's mouth, then the obstacle is beaten with a rebuttal and a finger snap. Eris even gets complacent in the routine ("blah blah blah, stop it"), so of course the story's progression takes a swerve.

It's openly apparent that every time Eris fires up her magic to free a friend, her defenses weaken. Mirage's sunbaked summery reality turned to spring during the Rarity encounter, then autumn in the Applejack one. It'll probably be winter with the cliffhanger Fluttershy snap, and given how harrowing the encounter was with Mirage in autumn, the next scene is definitely going to be intense.

Re-reading Rarity's corrupted dialogue, then AJ's, and now Fluttershy's I realize Mirage isn't as non grata in this fic as I'd initially thought. The insults getting lobbed at Eris aren't roundabout thematics; Mirage is leveling direct accusations. And the worrisome part is that they're getting harder for Eris to argue against.

Truth be told, Eris's reincaration shtick is hefty enough to carry a story all on its own. We know from this fic and the previous one that she's done terrible things. Monstrous things. Borderline unforgivable if the damage to Mirage is a bad as it appears. Eris's defense is that she isn't that person this time around, but the more she leans on her chaos powers and anger, the more she's slipping. Mirage scores another victory every time Eris snaps, both in the emotional and physical sense. There's a horrible creeping possibility that Mirage's rampage might be creating its own justification.

This is getting heavy. Too heavy. Lets end the comment on a joke.

“You’re the worst rascal of them all!”

Such language in the presence of a lady!

11007541
I love this analysis of the story so far, and I can't wait for more! hehehe

11007575
Ooohohoho yes, yes, I love the joke! I also love that the sense of creeping dread is coming across nicely. I'm hoping to get together the money to commission some cover art for this story, which would feature Eris, the mane 5, but only a faint outline in the middle of them all, cradling Eris with the suggestion that the outline is Mirage.

11007613
Looking forward to it. Both the pic and the newer chapters.

In the meantime, there are a smattering of Eris pics already floating around the interwebs. If you wanted one as a placeholder pic, a generic cover catches more eyes than none at all.

EDIT: Wow. That was fast.

11007621
Hhehe I happened to have a pic on hand. Still hoping I can scrape together the money for the commission

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