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🇭🇺 | "I will never trust a single word this femboy says ever again." - /mlp/ | Like what I do? Ko-Fi,

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Decades passed after the banishment of the Sun Tyrant and the return of the rightful Sovereign of the Moon. Life resumed its course, even if not exactly in the same fashion, despite the hushed whispers of Solar rebels in plain sight and dark carriages stopping at ponies' homes at night.

Applejack herself knew or cared little about this, however. As long as she had her farm, her family, and—most importantly—her apples, all was well.

At least until she harvested the wrong tree, and met the wrong pony at the worst possible time...


Now with a review!

A ponyfic adaptation of the 1969 Hungarian cult-classic, a Tanú (The Witness). No prior knowledge is assumed or necessary. For more details, please see the blogpost.

Proof- and preread by Equimorto and Jessi.

Chapters (17)
Comments ( 72 )

Damn, that was good

I wonder what changed in the timeline to lead to Twilight siding with Nightmare Moon

Oh, it's a Nightmare Moon world.... why isn't everypony dead and the Equestrian side of the planet a frozen wasteland, while the other side is a scorched hellscape?

Eh, anyway..... *strides up to NMM and STABS HER IN THE BUCKING FACE WITH THE GODSLAYER BLADE... which he stole from one of those random emo wangst fics that are plentiful on all fanfiction sites... and then kicks her corpse a few BILLION times because he can!*

Stupid pony not know Sun critical for plant life! STUPID PONY!!! :pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy:

(And that was the last time Alondro was allowed to test his tolerance limit for alcohol....) :trollestia:

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Probably to have stability and some control of things so that the world doesn't implode as bad

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I don't know
She seemed pretty loyal, I don't get a reluctant follower impression
(also great profile pic by the way, where is that from?)

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I meant more along the lines of "I can help more people in a high position of authority and control how things are on the inside."

The image was called corruption from loppsody.

11540721 And when did NMM get out this time? There's simply no way this can reconcile with the G4 timeline.

I think we must assume it's a total alt-universe where NMM was never in the Moon, but was simply on another part of the planet gathering brownshirts for her totalitarian takeover.

Lunars suck! All hail Celestia! *TAKES A HUGE BITE OUT OF AN APPLE!!* COME AND GIT ME, YAH GROGAR-DAMNED VAMPONIES! I'LL STAKE THE LOT OF YA THROUGH THE HEARTS!! :pinkiecrazy:

“No, you didn’t do any of that.” The smile on the forepony’s face slowly turned forced. “I won’t argue it! You’re free and that’s that.” He lowered his voice. “Higher orders, you see.”

Ah Yes, nothing to start a day off like government corruption
I can't wait to get to the other chapters, hopefully i'll be caught up by the end of the week

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I really appreciate it! :twilightsmile: Looking forwards to what you think of the rest.

Applejack didn’t reply immediately. There was much she herself didn’t quite understand and something told her what she experienced was unusual even compared to the standards considered ‘normal’ here. “These are higher things, Bloomie,” she finally said. “The more important a pony gets, the more convoluted things around her become.” She smiled at her sister. “Don’tcha worry about any of it. This is why it’s good to be so close to the earth, things are simple and straightforward. The Sun rises, the Sun sets, the apples grow, y’know?” A small, uncertain laugh left her lips. “I sure hope I’ll never rise any higher than I already have.”

Foreshadowing?

So far, this is looking to be really good, I am really curious about what the point of diversion to the regular MLP timeline is, or if there even is one. My current theory is one of the timelines pooped out by Starlight's time travel shenanigans, back when she was evil.

I like some of the descriptions you give for character reactions, partially Applejack's reaction to the light of the lantern right after she awoke, it's a small detail but, I think it really added to the opening.

As for The Intercreatual situation, I have no fricking clue what that's about, but I am definitely looking forward to it. Pinkie is definitely acting strange, I suspect that she works with the Solarists or is in charge of her own little organization. Also what she told to Applejack about 'we will ask something from you makes me think that maybe Twilight did not help out save Applejack, and it was actually pinkie all along, who knows!

I am looking forward to future chapters, I can't wait to see what happens next :D

And that is how Applejack became the new director of the Canterlot Royal Spa.

"So. This is Hell, then."

another goody, see you next monday

I always see this in the Updates feed because you post new chapters around the same time I do. Finally got around to reading the first couple of chapters, it's pretty good so far. I'm curious to see what happens. I'm also mildly curious about this Hungarian movie it's based on now.

Ah, the Intercreatural Situation. Clearly this must mean a whole bunch of isekai'd weebs given obscene limitless powers and Darth Vader masks.

:trollestia:

"Do you love our Great Princess?"

Alondro paused munching the half-eaten skull of the stallion whose brain he was enjoying, devouring one memory at a time, "Nope. I hate that emo mule. Think I'll kill her now. She has begun to bore me, and that is very dangerous."

NMM felt a chill of absolute dread run down her spine, for the dread eldrich god ALONDRO, native of the horrific hell hole known as New Jersey, was coming for her at last!

:pinkiecrazy:

I am kind of confused, about why she decided to be so loud and brash, right next to nightmare moon.
But this chapter was okay
I wonder what shenanigans are next.

still good, I just hope we don't continue repeating the plot of

AJ gets job ---> Does something stupid ----> Prison ----> Gets new job

For too long, and when is she gonna realize how horrible this regime is? I would think she would start having some serious doubts after seeing the corruption firsthand, especially with what likely happened to the poor bouncer.
At least that is my opinion

Maybe she is mega brain-washed, which it does seem like she is

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I just hope we don't continue repeating the plot of

AJ gets job ---> Does something stupid ----> Prison ----> Gets new job

For too long,

Ah, don't worry, I'm aware that there is only so many times you can do the same joke without it spoiling. Things might even take a turn for the better when it comes to her employment soon!

I would think she would start having some serious doubts after seeing the corruption firsthand, especially with what likely happened to the poor bouncer.

Okay, but consider yourself in her situation. You, a complete nobody, are randomly abducted from your own home and forced to meet someone who can whistle once and you are suddenly the boss of a prestigious workplace. Under all her pleasantries, Pinkie is applying a ton of soft coercion. AJ does constantly complain that she doesn't wish to play along, but what else can she realistically do? Either way, don't worry their relationship will be examined in an upcoming chapter. Fairly soon too.

Thanks for your continued comments, by the way, I'm always happy to get them.

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Yer Welcome :D

I can't wait to see your new chapter :)

“There were no apples,” he said quickly. “There were never any apples. It was all a clerical error. You’re as innocent as a newborn foal. All accusations were dropped.”

“I really don’t get it.” The mare scratched her chin. “I really did harvest a bucketful of apples, an’ made them into pastries for my family. That’s why I’m here in the first place, ya see. Doesn’t that make me not innocent?”

Ah. I guess that answers my question about what the 1969 Hungarian book was originally about, insofar as meaning goes

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If you're curious about the inspiration, I wrote an entire post about it. But yes, basically both The Witness and The Witless are about a well-meaning and honest individual caught up in government corruption and the humor that arises from them trying not to get exploited by nor trying to exploit the system.

Ah yes, Applejack single-handedly makes an entire civilization conflate tomatoes with apples

Guess we are gonna have to call her Tomatojack now

Pfft, Nightmare Moon is just a jelly, wangsty beeyatch who deserved a long trip to the Moon.

I could kick her flank in 10 seconds flat. Nightmares? Fear? Pfft, maybe YOU children would be defeated. BUT I AM A MAN! ANDREW TATE IS A SOY SIMP COMPARED TO MY MANLINESS!

:trollestia:

“His grandma harbored Sun-loving beliefs.”

Alondro basks in the sun, like Kars after affixing the Red Stone of Aja into the stone mask. "I like the Sun a lot. Come get some from the Perfect Being." PILLAR MAN THEME PLAYS LOUDLY!! "And you Lunar twats can't use Hamon, so yer right fooked in the rectum!"

Alondro has ALL of the anime powers! ALL OF THEM!!! :raritydespair:

11579671 When do we get to the part where AJ realizes she could become One-Buck Mare and slaughters Loony and Psycho Pinkie?

I like when that happens. :pinkiecrazy:

I cast 'boost' and 'engage' on fimfic.

This is a deeply uncomfortable story to read. As the... defilement of truth is a core theme of this story, that is a sign that it is well written.

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Thank you very much! It is very much the atmosphere of the original movie that despite it being full of genuinely good jokes, it still feels heavy on one's conscience and hard to laugh at the realization that the "truth" is whatever serves the Party. I'm glad you're enjoying the story and I hope the rest will live up as well.

I am ABSOLUTELY against Queen Meanie, Black Snooty, etc!

COME AND GET ME YA BUNCH O NAGS!! *Alondro EATS any ponies who show up! HE'S TOO POWERFUL TO STOP!!! IT'S ALL OVER!!!* :fluttershbad:

11615311 The defilement of truth is the core tenet of all forms of socialism, for there is no other way to deceive anyone into believing socialism can ever work as claimed. :trollestia:

Poor brainwashed AJ. Her background pony NPC programming couldn't take the additional stimuli. :applejackconfused:

Unlike ME!! I've rendered questioners SUICIDAL by the time I'm done twisting their dull, flat little minds into knots with my GLORIOUS CORRUPTION!!! (Alondro is Leeds, the Jersey Devil, draconequus of corruption and decay! NOW IT ALL MAKES SENSE!!!) :raritydespair:

This was a pretty good start. You got your tone set very early, the mix of comedic nervousness and lingering tension is well established from the get-go, which is crucial for a story such as this. I was a little surprised by the mention of daytime, I honestly expected that rationing of food would be caused by lower production as a consequence of everlasting night, but I might have been wrong. The idea of equating an apple tree to killing a pig is pretty humorous in itself and in a way it feels like adding parody to parody. The more sexual tension-based jokes are an interesting addition, they feel a little bit oddly placed but nothing major, it's not a problem.
Choosing AJ as a protagonist is just brilliant, I can't imagine anyone better than her for the role of Pelikán, she's got all his best and worst attributes. This is gonna be fun.

That just put the dot on the ‘i’ for Twilight.

Never heard that one in English but we have a similar expression to that in Spanish. I like it.
Man, it's kind of scary how well this movie fits the show. It's just so whimsically absurd to have this big a mess because of a bunch of apple based concoctions, just the kind of stuff I could actually see happening on the show. The cheekiness is help fast and strong, which is what matters most.
Even though many of these jokes are adapted from the source material writing them down in a way that still works and keeps the timing intact must be commended. Also, Twilight's role in this is simply perfect. Some of her interactions with AJ seem to go beyond mere friendship but I don't mind, even though I prefer to keep it platonic.
Also, Big Mac as the stud that gets everyone leering is just fantastic, I take back what I said earlier, I'm having a lot of fun here.

This is just perfect. I can so easily see every pony acting in-character while keeping to the script of the movie. It's downright uncanny. Flim and Flam are so expertly casted for this. I'm split between reading this as its own universe or as a theater production made in Equestria in which everyone has a role. More the former, but everyone so far has fit their role seamlessly.
Also, very good job highlighting the more tragic elements of the story. That small detour into AJ's past worked rather well to sell the horror of the situation while retaining the comedy that permeates everything else. One more aspect of dumb fun I liked is how even the solars are acting like a bunch of religious fanatics, it really goes to show how absolutely hopeless it all feels.

Trixie in the office yearning for her days on the stage. Funny and a little bit sad.

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consequence of everlasting night

I think "realistically" NMM wouldn't actually go through with the whole eternal night idea. She might be evil and a bit mad from jealousy, but she's still a thousand years+ old alicorn, who can surely put 2 and 2 together and realise without subjects she can't really be venerated. In my version of the story, the sun is merely dimmed instead, it felt like a decent compromise. Not to mention Cellie is implied to be still around. Unless that's just Lunar fearmongering, of course.

The idea of equating an apple tree to killing a pig is pretty humorous in itself

The idea was that during the times raising an animal illegally was an extremely risky and dangerous investment, and (while obviously we the viewers laugh at the whole situation) Dezső's death was very much a big deal. Bloomberg felt like an absolute fit to the situation.

sexual tension-based jokes are an interesting addition

I mean, even in the original Gizi is constantly lewded by whoever sees her, so I figured it'd be funny to flip the whole thing on its head and have mares oogle a stallion, especially a very socially-awkward one.

I can't imagine anyone better than her for the role of Pelikán

I believe the realisation of how well the two matched was what first prompted the whole idea of me wanting to write this. Most of the character-matchings really offer themselves on a plate.

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Never heard that one in English

It's a Hungarian turn-of-phrase. It felt appropriate.

writing them down in a way that still works and keeps the timing intact must be commended

Thank you.

Some of her interactions with AJ seem to go beyond mere friendship but I don't mind, even though I prefer to keep it platonic.

Yeah, it's not just friendship and that will have some importance later, but I also tried to not push it too hard, because it wouldn't fit the mood of the original, which I was hoping to largely preserve.

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I think "realistically" NMM wouldn't actually go through with the whole eternal night idea

Yeah, I can buy that. I do wonder how dim the world actually looks like know. I'm imagining everything the same shade of grey as in the cover, maybe less exaggerated.

Bloomberg felt like an absolute fit to the situation.

He was; there is another layer of humor in how well that fits, knowing what it is parodying makes it even funnier.

even in the original Gizi is constantly lewded by whoever sees her

You are entirely correct and that's why I retracted that statement later, it is entirely fitting. I had forgotten about that part, even though she actually had Pelikán's old friend in bed.
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It's a Hungarian turn-of-phrase.

I figured, but I got the message so it works. Maybe because it reminded me of a phrase in Spanish, as I said.

Spoiler

I see. Guess I'll roll with it, I'm sure you know what you're doing.

Man, this chapter really consolidated for me how great this fic is turning out.

The intercreatural situation is intensifying.

It begins, the start of the runniest running joke.
But mainly, I have to say that I really, really like the characterization shown here.
AJ just has made sure to convince me of how perfectly cast she is here. You have a mixture of emotions and reactions that is not that usual. She remains optimistic, cordial and open about everything, but not because she's oblivious. She knows what the consequences are for her "crime", she's aware of the thin ice she's treading and that at any time she could be "exiled" (whether it is an euphemism or not, I don't know nor care because of how fitting either is for this story. Although I think that keeping things PG means staying closer to the canon and I kind of appreciate that). But she still stands strong through it all very valiantly, which just makes her all the more endearing. She's actually courageous, not stupid, but she's not defiant over it, but resigned, without being depressed over it. It's such a fantastic portrayal to see in the protagonist of a dystopian setting,
Her goodbyes to her family makes as much sense to her character as her abrupt confession at the sight of an apple, but whereas the former is tragic the latter is comedic. That is very difficult to pull off, in my opinion, so it is worth noting.
Pinkie, on the other hand, is an amazing government official. I love how she's taken over her office in such a deranged way, while keeping true to herself. Her sudden mood swings are honestly creepy and hint at something darker at play, which I think is a great idea. Also, I really love how you've used her trait of knowing everypony's name in such an unnerving way. I guess Pinkie lends herself well to working with totalitarian regimes; I think the earliest example I can think of was Fo:E. Either way, I really like what you're doing with her here.
This chapter was just great and very entertaining. I'm looking forward to reading what comes next!

Man, Pinkie Pie is so damn unnerving in this, I love it. I am actually kind of intimidated by her presence in a way that I haven't with a fimfic character in ages. Also, a colonel. Sweet merciful Luna and stars above, what the hell. AJ's pleading to keep her job felt so very real in this chapter, I love it, because it does work really well as comedic but also rather saddening. I feel her pain despite feeling like laughing a little, but at this point it's more of a nervous laugh than anything else. Really loving how you've been carrying out the scenes and adapting the source material.

On the one hand, this being Nightmare Moon whom she disturbs is even funnier than the movie's version because there's no way you can sell here the "she wasn't wearing a uniform" here, but on the other I wonder how colonel Pie is going to talk her majesty out of this.
In this chapter we can see something I had been wondering ever since the story started and it gives me a chance to address it.
What might be the biggest difference between settings, on a fundamental level (beyond the pastel colored horses) is the idea of ideological substitution.
The movie has a lot of nice contrasts between the previous nobility and the new ruling communist clash you can see in the background and foreground. For example, how the statues in Virág's office are covered by robes, shown before he says in a latter scene how nudity is a Western vice. There's also the socialist messaging, such as the pool being made for the workers. Here, however, we've only seen a change of monarch, not of ideology. The nobility stays in place, alongside a lot of the social order. Which means that AJ's motivation for letting everyone in is different.
Now, I'm not criticizing as much as I am commenting. That she goes "this place is in a rut and I have to fix it" is on the same level of funny as Pelikán's socialist convictions of equality. But this difference seems like it could be a pretty interesting way through which to translate future scenes in more unexpected directions, which is always good.
Also, I cannot stop imagining Blind Devotion as Tree Hugger and I kinda wish she had been the one to take on that role because I find it so funny.

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Which means that AJ's motivation for letting everyone in is different.

I guess this is a little spoilery, since it's never said out so directly but, I envisioned AJ as someone, who is completely uninterested who's running the show as long as she's left alone to tend to her trees. She's giving the Lunar-side a honest chance even if they're harassing her a little, since she got burnt hard by the Solars. Her actions largely come down to be motivated by wanting to do a good job, instead of making any strictly political statement. Basically the subtext is less in focus, because of simply there is no history (like IRL) to meme on, so I made the Solars exaggerated enough to keep the reader guessing whether they're truly an irredeemable bunch of religious fanatics, a much saner group besmirched by propaganda, or somewhere inbetween.

Also, I cannot stop imagining Blind Devotion as Tree Hugger and I kinda wish she had been the one to take on that role because I find it so funny.

If I have one regret about the story, it's not realizing that sooner myself. It really would have fit so well. Oh well.

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Yeah, that's what I figured, and I really like that approach for AJ and her life in this new world. Kind of reminds me of my great granduncle, who during the dictatorship my country was under just cared about tending to his vegetable patch without being bothered by the resistance nor the police.

To Applejack’s surprise a simple foal’s game about throwing rubber spiders into a comically large web proved to be particularly popular with the Princess.

That's both a nice reference as well as an indicator of the Luna behind the mask of NMM.
I was curious as to how you'd approach the boatride and I was pleased with the result. Instead of going just for terror, you've also approached regret. I really enjoy that extra layer that is entirely pertinent to the ponified setting. Even though you could possibly read the general in the original movie being confronted with how he was seen by the public, the thought didn't occur to me then. In this version, even without NMM explicitly stating it, I could immediately tell that she was ashamed and saddened by what she was seeing. It's a pretty significant twist that might be missed if you didn't see the movie.
That actually leads me to believe that we might get a different conclusion for the fic, but we'll have to see.
Also, Pinkie is surprisingly more intimidating in here than Virág, which I think it's kind of hilarious on a metatextual level considering the material we're dealing with here, as well as the prospect of "exile".
Another aspect that became much more apparent is that in written form you can really delve into AJ's thoughts in a way that clearly states her awareness of the situation, whereas Pelikán was harder to read, obviously because of the medium he was in. Nonetheless, I think this deeper dive into the character's psychology is rather great and I'm quite enjoying it.

“B-but this is an apple.” Decades’ worth of agricultural experience gathered in this one statement.

Really loved that one.
Man, the famous Lunar Tomato scene. What can I say? You paid proper tribute to the Hungarian Orange with this one. The delivery of the joke was particularly fast, I wonder if an extra sentence between AJ approaching Colonel Pie might have helped or not, but I do really love how there was no hesitation at all to produce an apple, as though she had seen it all coming.
When watching the film this was one of the scenes that made me think the most of AJ, that questioning of honesty. It's a good look into a fundamental character trait that remains truthful even in dire circumstances. My favorite aspect of this fic might actually be how none of the characters feel really OOC despite playing much different roles.
Also, some of the quick descriptions regarding the rewriting of Equestrian history are pretty damn funny too because of how nonchalant and impossibly wrong they are, I really like how fast you zoomed past them without showing them off, it added a lot to the humor.
Also, AJ cries on the inside, great stuff.
Finally, I do find the implication that tomatoes are extinct as kind of disturbing, in a way. It really speaks of how much control over the narrative AND nature the new regime has. It might actually land as more cynical than the original movie in that regard. Basically, this story has acquired its own flavor little by little and that's the most interesting aspect to observe in it.

“Don’t forget: Who isn’t with us, is against us. The pony who doesn’t trust us, doesn’t trust herself. And the pony that doesn’t trust our moonlit future is a stinky, no-fun traitor.”

Giving that threat the Pinkie Pie treatment makes it all the more unnerving. At this point I'm just repeating myself, but I do really like how creepy she comes across here. It's a difficult mood to get right, and it should be mentioned. The way her bright episodes get progressively infrequent adds gravitas to the situation, like an unseen ticking bomb.
I am also wondering how much of the solar menace is in their heads at this point, NMM is not precisely the soundest mind around and having an entire governing body sharing that kind of mentality is bound to cause problems down the line.

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