• Member Since 28th Feb, 2015
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Moonatik


A man with more ambition than he will ever have time.

T

Sunburst flunked out of Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns and had little to aspire for before the Lunar Rebellion, but the new regime had plans for ponies like him. Former students of Celestia’s prestigious schools were offered jobs by the Lunar state, with Sunburst himself taking one of these offers up and finding himself working for the Imperial Institute of Arcane Sciences as a researcher and magic practitioner.

Yet on the job, Sunburst is told about what became of her old friend Starlight Glimmer. Out on the Equestrian periphery, his old friend preaches an ideology advocating the elimination of cutie marks and enforces this worldview on her followers through a dystopian system of control and manipulation. Upon hearing of it, Sunburst can barely believe it.

Then he's ordered to investigate Starlight by using magic he can barely pull off.

It can only go so well.


Takes place in my New Lunar Millennium alternate universe. Some original characters from the universe are featured, but no prior knowledge beyond the general concept is required to read. More information can be found here.

Proofread and edited by Izzy Incraft.

Chapters (6)
Comments ( 26 )

Looks cool. I am always a big fan of character studies and dramas.

This is a really fun read, this have a lot of the stuff I like to read, a nervous dorky Sunburst completely out of his depth of the situation he is in, a still 'evil' Starlight Glimmer ruling over Our Town, a despotic Nightmare Moon ruling and alternate Equestria, with pore Sunburst trapped in the middle trying to negotiate and placate between both parties. By the way I love the descriptions of the outfit they are wearing, so geeky, I am sucker for that, and I am willing to draw the design just for the fun of it. I wonder if Sunburst is going to have to 'pretend' that he wants to going Starlight's cult town, or that Starlight thinks she could use him to spread her Equal cult to the rest of Equestria, I a pretty sure Nightmare Moon could use it spreading it in rebellious areas where she could more easily clamp, or use the Equalization spell on dissidences. I am pretty sure The army is just looking for an excuse to move in and take over the place at this point. Looking forward to seeing more of this story in the near future

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warms my heart to read these sorts of comments ahah

I rather like your take on Starlight's Cutie Mark story.

Fun chapter, I do like the idea that Starlight cutie mark actually symbolized a kite and it's tail, it never even occurred to me, the scene that show how it happened it also funny demonstrating he magical prowess pretty well. I wonder if she think she could have a used for Sunburst's dream walking spell for converting other ponies to her cause as another form of brainwashing which would give her an ulterior motive for her to want to get close to him again to and maybe get him to join her cause, like the guard outpost near by, combining it the dreamwalking spell with her brainwashing techniques along with the cutie mark removal spell. I am guessing she will learn of more of Sunburst's inaptitude in practical magic and will exploit it to convince her and manipulate him into buying into her spiel and join the cult or convince himself there is more to learn more about her spells and methods or try to get her to league with NMM, which in my book would be worst.

On an extra note. which I didn't thought remember to mention it before, but in the show the vault showed that there were exactly a 100 cutie marks in them so logically there are a 100 cult members in Our Town, which contradicted the first chapter, just mentioning it.

On another case, I noticed on your Twitter(X) that a lot of your illustrations a lot of ponies wear full body clothing, it NMM trying imposing this as a form of body shaming, or mass conformity to the new regime, or is it that ponies are a lot more cold these days/nights for them, with the whole eternal night thing and all?

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On another case, I noticed on your Twitter(X) that a lot of your illustrations a lot of ponies wear full body clothing, it NMM trying imposing this as a form of body shaming, or mass conformity to the new regime, or is it that ponies are a lot more cold these days/nights for them, with the whole eternal night thing and all?

Something to note about the Eternal Night is that it isn't entirely legitimate. NMM made sunlight invisible while maintaining the day/night cycle, so it looks like the night is neverending but things mostly go on as normal. Plants still photosynthesise and the planet remains warm.

More ponies wear clothes as a result of thestrals/bat ponies becoming more culturally prevalent. At the start, most thestrals were Lunarists and vice versa, so they took the leading role in founding the new society. As Lunarist thestrals came to dominate cultural, government, and business institutions, elements of their culture soon became the expected norm. It was common for thestrals to wear full-body clothes for two main reasons. One is they were out mostly at night when it was naturally colder and needed the extra layers, which started as a practical adjustment but evolved into a cultural tradition. Two is that thestrals faced discrimination during Celestia's era and were often stereotyped as being dirty or unhygienic, and in a way to combat this, they dressed in smart, formal clothes with their manes and coats well-groomed to present an image of respectability and dignity (this is something black American civil rights leaders like MLK did). This started as a political statement but morphed into a general social expectation. but the main reason is that i like it that way

A lot of ponies still choose to not wear clothes, most simply because they are more comfortable nude but others use it as a political statement against what is increasingly becoming the norm.

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but the main reason is that i like it that way

You certainly won't hear any complaint from me with that honest arbitrary reason, I completely get that. But it's always fun to hear writer' in world reasons as to why it happened, it helps to imagine even more possibilities of other dynamics at play or it's impacts on a society, even if it's some time made on the spot. Hope to see more of your art stuff and designs, keep it up. I like to imagine, to help perpetuate their message, wherever the thestrals decide to set up a business, or industries, or operation they make sure that the locals they hirer have to wear uniforms or have a strict work dress code to follow, as to force them to adopt those norms in the area, as to make it more of a norm for most ponies.

I would say some more on Sunburst, but actually, I think Starlight takes the cake here. I haven't encountered a lot of fics where Starlight's next direct opponent is the entire Equestrian state (under Nightmare Moon or otherwise). Starlight may be a cult leader, but she certainly can't field enough resources to make a difference should the Empire come knocking at her door, not to mention that I think, for now, she's gotten off easy: just occasional visits from whoever's interested.

So you've got me hooked into seeing a strange dynamic where Sunburst is fearful of Starlight who's fearful of Sunburst's employers. Keep it up!

And we're back with Sunburst. I don't have much to say other than how cute it was to just see the two of them bond near the end. Away from the political intrigue that's been around in the fics I've read from you, even for maybe a brief moment, it's a refreshing turn. I'm more than intrigued to see how this relationship goes, what with the Lunar Empire bearing down on the both of them albeit differently for different ponies...

Gets a little hairy now, huh? I apologize for not having much to say, but with things closing in for both Sunburst and Starlight, I do find it endearing that, at the very least, a desire for revived friendship still lingers (or, in Starlight's case, at least wanting to have an old friend back). It'll be fun, at least, to see how Sunburst balances between some possible reform/liberation of Ourtown from this mysterious pony and staying loyal(?) to Starlight (even with, well, everything about her).

Oh boy! What's gonna happen next?
When's the next chapter?

This was a very fun chapter it's been so long sense I wished we get to really explore the Out Town setting more deeply like this.

we got to see a lot of Starlight's thought process in how she manages her cult town. For what I can see she takes a rigid dogmatic approach for her teachings of being 'all are equal' irrespective to any form of pragmatism to out side factors or reality, and doesn't take any into consideration to ponies individual needs, like the food portions forcing them to eat what is prescript by her instead of just the community providing food for everyone. The reliance on mono culture for their food, which is doomed to an eventual crop failure(think of the Irish potato famine), seems to be an extension on the control she exert on her ponies. One thing I would wonder is what does Starlight do to keep her town busy to most of the day other then working on being completely self sufficient, I doubt there are that many daily chores to keep them busy from thinking of dangerous idle thoughts, so I am supposing their have a lot of lectures and teaching involve along with constant loyalty tests to SG's indoctrinations. I would also wonder how you can make muffins out of potatoes anyway if Sugar Bell could serve them to the Mane Six? I am betting SG's control over them is strong if they can't seem to be able to conceive questioning SG's teaching, which extends to her power and authority that she represent, even as dumb and obvious as Sunburst's question he asked to them was.

For the possible cult member spy, seeing that she has probably been there a while, I am taking that she is impersonating one the residence that might have tried to escape the town, or just plain impersonating them, seeing that SG has unmarked all the townsponies herself, she probably knows them all by name at that point. I take it she hasn't been able to get close to SG despite being there for way longer or that her mission is just strictly monitoring, or that their previous attempt to have their own spy when nowhere or was successfully brainwashed SG, which I doubt is that case. I am betting Sunburst will eventually be ordered to subject himself to the Cutie unmarking, along with the equalization process, and that she will study/monitor the effects on a 'loyal' NMM subject, along with maybe.

For the mention of at least three other ponies leaving the town(assuming without their cutie marks), I strongly suspect that they were captured by the army and were intensely studies and integrated on the effects of ponies having their cutie marks remove or replace and haven't managed figure out on how to decode the process of how she does it yet, from them alone, or that they broke their subject they had and needed more. I am pretty sure Sunburst wasn't informed of what happened to those three in the report he was provided with. I would wonder if Starlight had built in counter measures from magical tampering on her equal mark and what happens, what happens if the Equal mark spell is unraveled on a adult pony and there isn't their cutie mark near them to take back it's place. Are equal ponies eventually driven to come back to the cutie mark vault and are compelled to stay near Our Town, because of their links to them? I am betting their previous subjects they couldn't get anything useful from interrogating them, or couldn't articulate what they wanted to know, and SB was a better test subject to to monitor, or better describe what happens when a pony is unmarked.

Looking forward to see what happens next.

Rain sighed through gritted teeth, his eyes at the floor. “I’ve always wanted equality.” He turned up to look at Sunburst, stepping closer to him. “And twice I’ve been burned by madmares who throw the word ‘equality’ around and twist it to suit their own crazy purposes. First the Nightmarists, now Starlight.

I will say Moonatik, great job at giving your world even more depth. I really like the idea here that even Rain, a Thestral, is still against the Nightmarists because he finds the whole "Thestral Superiority" a bit extreme.

Also, oh crap.

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actually something i want to make clear is that thestral supremacy isn't much of a thing in lunarist circles, it just so happens that most thestrals are lunarists and most lunarists are thestrals at the time of nightmare's takeover due to historical circumstances. thestral supremacists exist, but they're generally sidelined.

Fun chapter keep it up.

When's the next chapter?

DAMN, Sunburst snapped.

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Took the words right from my mouth.

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Yeah that was some tongue lashing he gave her, but Starlight kinda did have it coming

More information can be found here.

Does the Google doc also say the order of stories you should read this series in?

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It doesn't, but I think I'll add that. There isn't a "correct order" to read them, but there is a chronological order.

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Actually, at the top of my profile I have 3 stories specifically to get people oriented in the setting. Check those out if you want.

The fact that Nightmare Moon never appears in either this or Pinkie’s story reminds me of how neither the Emperor or Darth Vader ever make a direct appearance in Andor. The characters are so far above those their system oppresses that they don’t bother to go to backwater towns and planets, instead relegating low level security officers and inspectors to do the job for them.

Huh, I didn't expect it to end on the sixth chapter. Blame me for not being as detailed as Starlight's boss to not notice the status indicator on this story.

That aside, I believe it does work in its favor. It's not a happy ending but a hopeful one... Starlight still gets punishment, and Sunburst might be stuck working for a dictator for who knows how long, but one thing's finally beginning to be fixed and that's their friendship (perhaps relationship in more ways than one?) I apologize for not commenting on the last few chapters, but the lashings out in the previous chapter (Starlight seeing Sunburst's lies, and Sunburst blowing up at Starlight in the train) really help make this last chapter cathartic.

I do look forward to seeing Starlight and Sunburst more in whatever future adventure you have for them in your AU, Moonatik. Thank you for this story!

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