• Member Since 26th Nov, 2011
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My entry in the Ponyville Ciderfest 2023 anthology book, "Scattered Pages: Tales from the Book of All Stories."

An all-powerful book of destiny, the Book of All Stories, has had its pages scattered throughout time and space. Containing all the stories of ponydom (past, present, and future), whoever has a page of the book can rewrite history and reality at will. One of these pages has sent Zipp Storm back to the time when Princess Twilight still reigned. If she's ever to get home again, she needs to recover that page with the aid of Rainbow Dash and Smolder. If not, whoever comes across the page can alter reality as they please, to potentially disastrous results.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 45 )

Scootaloo shook her head, so she turned to the new pony, a pegasus with a white coat and a striped mane of pink and aqua that reminded Smolder of ice cream. (Or toothpaste. One of the two—she really didn’t want to mix those two things up. Again.)

Apparently zipp either somehow found a time portal or she went so fast she accidentally travel through time

No matter how hard she tried to focus, Zipp’s mind kept falling back to that simple declaration. Admittedly, it was a bit hard to process that she’d traveled back thousands of moons to old Equestria, but she was literally standing in old Ponyville!

Sunny would be so jealous

Zipp made her way through town. Nopony seemed to notice her, but she still put her phone away after a few minutes, realizing that nopony else had them and it’d make her stand out. The lack of modern technology was a little jarring, given how much she’d taken for granted growing up with.

Well at least Twilight knows what a cell phone is since she travel through the human world including sunset

Zipp felt her face fall. “She’s not here?” She looked out the window, weighing her options. The chance to see Canterlot, the capital of old Equestria in its heyday, was severely tempting, but she might arrive in Canterlot only to find Twilight Sparkle was already heading back to Ponyville. Plus the more contact she had with more ponies, the greater the likelihood that she might accidentally change history. Or she might get wrapped up in some sidequest or other. At least that’s what always happened in Chronicles of Chevalia , and then—

Yeah for an example Back to the Future Part 2 one little change and it can really mess up the timeline

She was always aware of their limitations and was afraid of taking it too far or hurting their feelings, but that wasn’t really a concern with Rainbow Dash and Smolder since they had a similar mindset to hers.

Exactly I've always liked to see interaction with each other from old to new generation especially like the main six young six and main 5

Oh, roadapples. Not good. This was Not Good. All of a sudden she felt a belated sympathy for Misty’s position when she’d grilled her. (Of course, Misty was a spy for Opaline, but it still felt too close for comfort.)

What goes around comes around

Then, on the third hoof, if she told them about the future that could change things as much as the page itself could! If she told Rainbow Dash and Smolder about the future she knew, it might not happen! It could all be undone, along with her friends. She couldn’t tell them anything!

Time Paradox you got to love it 🙃

“Another one of those, huh?” Rainbow sighed. “Don’t tell me. You found it in an old store or a yard sale completely at random or you went on a quest to get it before some villain could use it to take over Equestria. That right?”

I'm sure Twilight and the others dealt with that a lot especially sunset in the human world when magic equestrian leak through to some portals

Scyphi #9 · 1 week ago · · ·

(and unlike Ember, Smolder could actually tell one pony apart from another, thank you very much)

And Ember hates when she rubs it in too, because there's really not anything she can do to dispute it, now is there? :trollestia:

A gargantuan beast with three heads—one a lion, another a tiger, the third a bear

Oh my!

"Whenever she’s doing something she cares about, she throws herself into it 120%."

Well, that adds up to about twenty percent more than the theoretical max, so yeah--the math checks out. :rainbowdetermined2:

“Maybe your sister likes the attention for the same reason Rainbow Dash does?”

No, I'm pretty sure it's a case of Pipp actually needing the validation. Which suggests she's actually a bit insecure about herself and her own morale now that we've touched on the subject, but I suppose that's another topic.

“That’s the thing about stories,” Zipp mused as she used the page to open a portal. “Just when you think they’re over, there’s always another one just starting.”

Normally I'd say ending a story with a line like that is kinda cheesy, but given the premise, I guess this story gets a pass. :rainbowlaugh:

Anyway, I like this fun little time travel romp, and I especially like the moral of the story--just because something ended up going a direction you didn't expect it to doesn't mean what came before it no longer matters or doesn't still matter...and vice versa. And applying this to MLP, it makes one's respect for both generations go up quite a bit thinking about just how important the coexistence of the two are for each other. :twilightsmile:

Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

You might well be right about Pipp, but I thought it was an interesting notion to chew on at least.

Yeah, I might have been slightly leaning on the fourth wall with some of the exchanges between the trio; commenting on some of the goofier elements of G5 while still defending what it brings to the table and so on.

Admittedly, this was a story that had to be written with some constraints. For one thing, what I could and couldn't do with the pages from the Book of All Stories was set by the guidelines of the event. So I couldn't do something like Rainbow Dash, Smolder, and Zipp opting to destroy it rather than have it fall into the wrong hooves, or magicking it back to the book itself. For another, the story had to be around 7k-10k words and this just barely fit within the word limit, And finally, I had a narrow time window to conceive of and write this story if I wanted it to be included in the print version of Scattered Pages--which I'm happy to say that it was. Despite all that, working within the limits forced me to think creatively about how to have things play out and what to focus on. I'm generally pleased with the final result, and it led to a very pleasant experience at Ponyville Ciderfest!

Congrats on hitting the feature box!

Absolutely great work on the dialogue, characterizations, general wrap-up and POSSIBLE sequel set-up (if you do decide to do a sequel - I fully respect that you don't have to if you don't want to). Not much I can say that other reviewers haven't already said better.

Especially liked Zipp's reflection on seeing the Cakes (and, given the nature of things in that world, it probably IS just a matter of time before Sunny ends up either finding or actually creating a "smoothie waterfall") and gaining a bit more empathy for Misty (for reasons other than what she had to put up with being raised by Opaline, which would make ANYBODY with a conscience feel for her). Also appreciated Zipp mentioning knowing A dragon (implying this is AFTER the group finds out about Opaline [which would ALSO be after Misty reformed] but SHORTLY BEFORE the G5 Mane Six and Sparky meeting the older dragons on the Isle of Scaly) as well as Smolder keeping Rainbow and Zipp focused on the mission AND the mentions of the risks of timeline alteration.

Really looking forward to more of your work in general.

Smolder and Zipp dove with her, the latter grumbling something about ‘impatient’ and ‘hot-headed.’ Rainbow suppressed an annoyed grumble. How had this pony and her friends saved their Equestria with that kind of attitude?

Takes one to know one rainbow and now you know how your friends feels about you sometimes

“If she had, I think I would’ve picked up on it when the pirate-ninjas arrived.” Rainbow rolled her eyes. “She wanted to make it a surprise.”

That sounds like that crazy music video that ninja sex party

Smolder snorted, trickles of black smoke leaking from her nostrils. “No, I get it. Sandbar’s the only pony in my group of friends, so I guess our achievements don’t really matter. It always comes back to ponies. Oh look! Earth ponies, unicorns, and pegasi are all friends again! Woo.” She mockingly wiggled her claws. “How exciting! It’s not like pony kinds have become friends, fallen out, then become friends over and over again. Me and my friends? The first time all of our species became friends? Nah, why would that be memorable at all? No, let’s ‘Ooh’ and ‘Aah’ over three kinds of ponies making friends again for—what is it, the third time? The fourth? How hard is it for you to remember the one thing?!”

Hey don't take it too personal smolder I still remember you guys it just sometimes histories can be lost in time and that's really unfortunate but I'm sure sunny have all the histories of you guys and even other ponies and creatures

Rainbow always wanted to be remembered, but what good was it if all the ponies whose lives were a part of her own were forgotten? Hay, their own lives were important enough to be worth remembering in their own right regardless of whether they were part of Rainbow’s own or not. How could any of them just be left behind like that?

Yeah that kind of sucks not just for the creatures but other ponies who been friends with the main six would basically be forgotten that hurts so much that makes you feel like you're not Worthy

“But you’ll be erasing us from history!” Zipp exploded. “Don’t you get that?!”

Yeah this is also another big drawback about time traveling there will always possibilities what's going to happen if you change one little thing it can affect everything maybe it could be good or ended up bad and the possibilities is endless and sometimes it's hard to tell if it will change the ponies and creatures in the future

Great Scott that was pretty heavy story here yeah I used the reference but it's true anyway so smolder was starting to head out until she saw what was going on and seeing Scootaloo talking with the unknown Pony which turns out to be zipp somehow ended up in the past and smolder wanted to meet this new pony which she did and zipp was pretty surprised to see a dragon who's not a baby not only that seeing other different creatures around this town but then she also saw Rainbow Dash who introduced herself to zipp and she couldn't believe that she is meeting with her idol and even flying alongside with both of them but then things kind of when downhill when they see something unexpected seeing like pirates and Ninjas for some odd reason then she realized that she was missing of the magic artifact and it's with Scootaloo so the three had to find her and not only that beating up these fictional characters away from destroying the town then zipp basically spill the bean and told her that she's found the future which smolder and Rainbow Dash was pretty surprised but not really but what really shocks down is how everything went down during the new generation and rainbow was pretty upset about that and even smolder that that anybody will remember her or her friends or matter of fact rainbow is also thinking about that not just for herself but her friends and family even her rivals and things really got awkward that she had to tell them the truth about why they needed the artifact but it looks like smolder how about the situation which that's pretty awesome and once they got the page zipp prepares to go back to her own future and I got to say she's got a point for anybody who was flightless maybe Scootaloo was the first one actually made The Impossible in the future rainbow and smolder said their goodbyes to zipp and taking care of the future to be honest with you it's always scary to think what's going to happen in the future like if you're going to do it right or wrong but sometimes we just had to roll with it and hopefully it will turn out okay and once again I've always like these type of stories when two separate generation meet each other and it's always nice to see that I wonder if the other main six and young six will meet the main 5 but I guess that's another story this was pretty awesome keep up the good work

Wanderer D

That was a really fun read! Well done!

I can really see how you could take this a thousand different ways. Not saying you absolutely have to, but yeah there is a lot you can explore with this. If you ever do, I'll be reading it!

Oh I am ALL ABOUT THIS. Smolder's horror that something happened and no one remembers her friends is gut-wrenching. You do a pretty great job at reconciling common complaints about G5 clashing with certain aspects of G4, bringing things together with that running theme of stories, and memory, and new beginnings. Really lovely read—I love how different RD, Zipp and Smolder all are despite fulfilling similar roles in their respective Harmony Squad.

Screw Zipp and her dystopian future. Rainbow should have bucked Zipp in the face, grabbed the page, and written Opaline dead. Now, the destruction of billions of lives are on their heads. So what if the future is changed? Twilight already did that when she beat Starlight. Everyone will still be born, their lives will just (gasp!) NOT SUCK! If anything more ponies and other creatures will be born.

This was pretty good, well done.

OK, some things to consider.

First: Twilight didn’t change the future at all; Starlight was the one doing that and she was stopping her.

Second: You know there’s also the chance the future could be worse. No offense, but Rainbow Dash can’t be trusted to handle such a delicate process. One wrong or left out detail, and everything could go wrong.

Not to mention the paradoxes since none of this could’ve happened if it changed. And also they’d be complete hypocrites.

Thank you! Yeah, I was definitely letting the characters each speak in defense of their own generation, so to speak: from commenting on the Student Six being all-but forgotten and overlooked, to pointing out some of the goofier or cheesier bits from G5 while also wanting to give G5 a chance to say 'hey, it's not all downhill, give us a chance.'

I was especially eager to highlight the similarities but even more especially the differences between the three 'tough girls' of their respective groups. One thing I'm rather critical of is the inclination from some fans to either praise Zipp as Rainbow Dash "done right" or else try to shove each of the Generation 5 characters into a FiM pigeonhole: Zipp is just Rainbow Dash, Izzy is just Pinkie Pie, Sunny is Twilight, etc. And while everyone is naturally free to create their own fan-theories and headcanons, I simply have zero interest in ones that posit "Character X from G5 is descended from Character Y from FiM." None of that cuts any ice with me and feels kinda disrespectful to both the FiM and G5 characters.

Yes, these three are my favorites from each group, but it's not because I have a general preference for 'the tough' character per se. In fact, Rainbow Dash was really the first time I ever gravitated to a character like that, mostly because of exactly how different she was from the typical archetype. While she might fit a similar role in a team dynamic, I can't say I see much similarity between her and, say, Raphael from TMNT. I can't really see you putting dialogue from one into the other's mouth and having it really fit. I was surprised to find that I also enjoyed Smolder and Zipp as much as I do. So I like these three more for what they each bring to the table rather than some common trope or team role they all play.

This is just one chapter.

How hard could it be? Just write "Opaline drops dead." Problem solved.

Who cares about paradoxes? Erasing a timelines isn't murder. If anything it's just universal memory manipulation. Generation 5 is objectively worse than Generation 4. All the Trees of Harmony are dead and all the races were separated. This future needs to be ERASED at all costs.

You literally kind of just proved my point there about no specifics and dooming everyone.

There’s no reset button if anyone messes up. The risk is too great.

I will admit right now that I am a G5 brony over a G4 brony at this time, but you’re making it sound like the whole world died and it’s the apocalypse. It’s not and everything has been reborn because of what those in the past did.

Also memory manipulation does not sound much better. You give someone an inch, and they may take a mile.

I don’t want to start a war, but hopefully you can at least see where I’m coming from here.

Wanderer D

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Not gonna lie, I've been holding back on watching G5 past the movie, but this story is a very strong argument on why I should sit down and watch it now.

What right does Rainbow Dash have to change the past? There's an episode of British sci-fi series Doctor Who where the protagonist is sent back in time to erase the Daleks, the big bads of the setting. However, the Doctor chooses not to go through with it, reasoning he does not have the right to alter time, and noting that many races who would otherwise be warring foes became fire-forged friends in the face of the Daleks.

Same applies here; erasing Opaline from the timeline means Sunny and her friends will never meet. It may even make things worse down the line. Better the devil you know, than better the devil you don't.

Wow, that's some high praise indeed!

The New Generation movie is pretty good on its own, but what I think sold me on Zipp (and a lot of other fans) was the opening chapter of Make Your Mark. As one attendee put it to me at Ciderfest: Zipp and Misty are going to develop back problems later in life because they're basically carrying all of G5. I ... find that position difficult to argue with and, indeed, those are my two favorites among new G5 core characters.

didja have to shank my feels with the Smolder sideplot?


Erasing a timelines isn't murder.

Well...if we want to be technical...any time travel that results in more than one timeline means that time travel is more a part of a multiverse of timelines, so in reality, doing what you propose wouldn't actually erase any timelines, you'd just trade out one for another, with the supposed "bad" one you're replacing still fully existing, you're just no longer on the chain of events to personally observe it. But, theoretically, the other inhabitants of that timeline still are, so they're still experiencing that timeline regardless. So in the end, the only thing you'd be changing is purely for yourself, and then that just makes it very selfish--not really in character for our cast to do that.

And if we assume a non-multiverse style of time travel, with only a single timeline, then yes, actually, the paradoxes very much DO matter, and would be entirely unavoidable. Because, consider, the only reason Zipp went back in time in the first place was because of Opaline. Removing Opaline would remove any chance of Zipp going back in time, and if no Zipp, then RD and Smolder would have no chance to getting a hold of the page so to change history in the first place (or have any knowledge that they would want to), thus making your proposed attempt to change history either flatly impossible because the universe itself would be preventing it for its own sake, or it will result in a paradox potentially so destructive I can't even entirely predict just how destructive it could be, but it would probably wipe both generations from the map, and that'd be arguably much worse than what you were trying to prevent in the first place, and thus not actually worth it.

Besides, since you already brought up the Starlight time travel incident, you should know that changing history is a very fickle thing. Starlight only ever sought to change one event herself, but every time she tried, it resulted in dramatically different timelines that neither she nor Twilight could predict, none of them better than the timeline they already existed in. So applying that here, for all we know, Opaline being present in the timeline is critical for preventing an even worse chain of events from happening that none of us could predict. Further, we don't also have confirmation that Opaline was truly the sole reason the ponies divided--their division may have happened because of multiple factors that Opaline simply exploited for her own purposes, meaning that removing Opaline wouldn't actually remove all of those factors, and the ponies could still divide anyway. And without Opaline serving as a good motivator to reunite...it's possible they may never fully reunite without Opaline playing the role she is.

Further, you're acting like lots of ponies were hurt and/or killed in that division, but there's NO evidence in G5 to support that. They just divided, seemingly of their own choice, all choosing to go their separate ways than to stay together. No one was physically harmed or killed doing so that's been shown or told. It's simply been so long that the ponies we knew in the G4 generation all simply passed on from old age (with the possible exception of Twilight, but her end fate is still unclear). Further, the whole point of G5 is undoing the separation by encouraging everybody to reunite again, so it's not like the lessons or history of G4 is being totally ignored here. It's just...a new generation of it, hence the whole point of G5. It's not supposed to be just "G4 continued," you know.

Plus, good things have come out of G5 for Equestria, because magic is dramatically different in their era and, by all accounts, far more potent and capable for all (pony or non-pony alike) than it was even in G4, and would you really want to risk messing that up for those creatures too?

All the Trees of Harmony are dead

And this is not true. True, the Tree(house) of Harmony from G4 is still MIA (well...the movie did something that could suggest it's still out there, but G5's to date not done anything to follow up on that yet), but G5 has recently introduced lore for magical trees that, while not called "trees of harmony" specifically, very clearly still all function in the same way (and then some as a few new traits have been introduced). So, in reality, G5 actually has four Trees of Harmony that we know of, with the potential for more still quite open.

And yes, none of these trees have produced their own version of the Elements of Harmony...but they don't need to. The Unity Crystals introduced in the G5 movie have since been revealed to be based off of harmony/elemental magic, thus making them elements in their own right, so-called "Elements of Unity," if you will. So...we're covered there too. :raritywink:

Very excellent job my friend on this story.

And that ending scene did give me something to think about in g5, what zipp says is correct but it also don’t make it right.

Still thought we can all agree that the g5 writers didn’t watch the show though.

A writing friend of mine did take the position in one of his stories that altering/changing timelines (even if it was only resetting a timeline that was itself altered back to its original state) was indeed an act of murder, though he didn't simply portray the timelines as ceasing to exist but rather had them actively decay and die in a real sense. It was rather horrific.


It was a somewhat contentious affair, especially in what it said about Twilight and Starlight.

An interesting enough theory, I suppose it could be one approach to how a temporal paradox could potentially resolve itself that is, yes, horrifying, but not totally unreasonable for reality.

Of course, in real life, I expect time travel will either prove to be totally impossible altogether precisely because of the potential for paradoxes prohibiting it, or it's done via traveling a multiverse, in which you would be less time traveling and more just jumping from one parallel universe into another parallel universe in such a fashion to create the illusion of time travel. But, you know, that's not always as fun for story-telling purposes, so... :rainbowlaugh:

Well this was an excellent time travel story and hopefully Zipp wrote in it that all the other species were just waiting to be rediscovered.

Incorrect. Erasing Opaline means Sunny and her friends will meet SOONER because the races will never become segregated.

I hate that story. It is completely illogical that changing a timeline would be anything other than instaneously. That's like when you turn off a light switch, instead the light bulb just turning off, it randomly explodes for no reason. Or when you turn off a faucet, the water randomly changes states of matter instead of simply ceasing to flow. Time is either a line or a branching path. When a line stops or is cut off, it simply ends. The decay of matter has nothing to do with it. At most, time space itself would decay, but then the people there would be unable to perceive it until their reality has fully been transformed or dissolved.

Breaking news in the latest G5 episodes! Dragon Lord Ember dies! Spike is forced to take her job! All dragons, an entire race, are forced into comas! If the freakin dragons were so badly effected we can assume that the changelings are probably all dead at least.

Yeah, but you said, and I quote, “Opaline drops dead”

You never specified when that happens. Which kind of gets into the point that the page is like that Papyrus from Ducktales. Dangerously literal and can’t be handle to by anyone.

That’s a guess at best. Possibly correct guess, yes. But still a guess

Removing Opaline from the timeline does not remove the millenia of racial tension that existed between the Three Tribes, as she is not the root cause of it. G4 makes it clear that the three pony races only came together because the alternative was death by windigo, and they largely stayed together because they shared the same enemies (enemy of my enemy and all that). Furthermore, the three groups clearly had underlying distrust if all it took to break them apart in S9 was a few unsubstanciated rumours, and they lived pretty much segregated anyway (Ponyville is described as being unusual for its highly diverse population). Seeing as groups who lack a common foe go back to hating one another once the common foe is defeated (see the Cold War), removing Opaline would have little to no effect.

Okay, really good story here. :) I haven't really gotten into G5 beyond the bare bones of it, but I was able to follow along well enough. Kudos, there. :)

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