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Twilight Sparkle did a very bad thing, but instead of being banished and imprisoned, the Elements of Harmony blasted her to 'cure her of her evil' and ended up turning her into an Earth Pony. Now she's back home, trying to pick up her life where it left off and unlock the secrets of Earth Pony magic, assuming it exists.

Sequel/side story to Space Captain Pinkie Pie, but I'll try to make it comprehensible if you haven't read it.

Chapters (12)
Comments ( 82 )

Well I... haven't actually read the previous story, but this is a... a good start, lets say. If nothing else, Twilight wanting her magic back is a good reason to at least consider being a changeling.

I like the general concept quite a bit, but I too hadn't read the prior story... So while you have an idea here that is very interesting an appealing on its own to new readers, you've left me kind of lost as to why any of this is happening. I don't know who this Twilight is... She seems mostly like regular Twilight, but she apparently tried mass-murder and to kill Celestia? In which case, she's nothing like normal Twilight. Pinkie was either there when she was sentenced, or is lost in time, or is the Princess now and letting Changelings out of jail... I really don't know.

The concept of this story is completely appealing in it's own right, but it needs some more set-up or recap to be fully accessible to new readers.

Oh dear. Surely picking Changeling Romance as the series to read is the signal that Twilight wants to be converted!

1520986 She didn't actually try to mass-murder everypony *on purpose*. It was basically a huge misunderstanding, but it did involve her being careless with powerful magical stuff that she didn't understand. And some powerful magical stuff that she did understand, namely the want-it-need-it spell. As far as her personality is concerned it's supposed to be like regular Twilight.

Pinkie Pie's situation is more confusing -- she's either lost in time or is Princess Cadance now. I can try to, uh, more clearly delineate the confusion I guess? The important thing is that she's missing.

1521006 It's an excuse to discuss the pros and cons of being converted anyway.

1521517
As it's a lazy Sunday afternoon I've been reviewing the prior story anyway, so I now at least get the broad strokes. Still, as I think others who haven't read that one might enjoy reading this one, I would suggest working a bit more of that explanation of her intentions into this story so as not to confuse or frustrate them.

Poor Twilight's suffering quite a bit of punishment for a well-intentioned pony who was only trying to rescue everyone from the surface of the moon, losing her magic, her element and her friends. AJ, Rarity and Fluttershy seem to have moved on from her quite easily. Celestia seems to be lacking any affection for her as well. It's a rather harsh set up, and I'm curious to see what you make of it.

What I wonder is what of her and Pinkie/Cadence? Cadence was now her baby sitter, friend,, sister in law, and pony partly responsible (at least indirectly) for her losing her horn. All of that together (plus I would think she would be even more curious about the alicorn thing so I am sure she wants to look into that for her own curiosity's sake) and we really need to have some conversations between the two.

Also I do not remember if you did but in the other story you so HAVE to go back and foreshadow the event with Pinkie saying things like Shining Armor is cute and the like. It would drive Twilight crazy (thus funny) and would foreshadow that Pinkie is Cadence. That is if you have not done that already and I just forgot.

1522706 Pinkie/Cadence doesn't have a big part in this fic for roughly the same reason the moon ponies don't -- it'd be a little too confusing and also kind of beside the point (of this fic). The plan is to address that more fully in the actual sequel (and only talk about it a little in this one where it relates to the main point).

The excuse is probably that they're busy. Actually, Twilight probably talked to Cadence while she was in Canterlot. :twilightsheepish:

It'd be kind of cute if Pinkie Pie was attracted to Shining Armor, but really the only contact she had with him was in the Canterlot Wedding episode of the actual show. Where she certainly seemed taken by the thought of him and Cadence marrying! :pinkiehappy: The way I think of it is really that Pinkie Pie even as an 'adult' is still basically a kid. Cadence would certainly look at her that way!

Twilight was trying to make commercial-grade NPK fertilizer from 'scratch', by first rolling her own Potassium Sulfate:
Saltpeter + Hydrochloric Acid -> Potassium Chloride + Nitric Acid
Potassium Chloride + Sulfuric Acid -> Potassium Sulfate + Hydrochloric Acid

And then mixing it with fertilizer made using the Otter process:
Phosphate Rock + Nitric Acid -> Phosphoric Acid + Calcium Nitrate
Phosphoric Acid + Calcium Nitrate + Ammonia -> PN fertilizer
PN fertilizer + Potassium Sulfate -> NPK fertilizer
Calcium Nitrate + Ammonia -> Ammonium Nitrate + Calcium Carbonate (N fertilizer)

Seriously, how did anyone ever come up with this without killing themselves? I was worried that my original 'pulling it out of my butt' version was unreasonably dangerous, but when I went to research it the real thing was *far* worse. :twilightoops:

Xon

1554451
Well there is a reason, the folklore for the longest time had Mad Scientists have chemistry equipment full of unholy horrors.

Probably because most chemists where scientists gone mad with chemistry equipment full of unholy horrors that no sane individual wants anywhere near them.

Also, I recommend reading up on:
http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/things_i_wont_work_with/

The entry covering chlorine trifluoride is morbidly amusing
> It is also hypergolic with such things as cloth, wood, and test engineers, not to mention asbestos, sand, and water-with which it reacts explosively

After all this, I certainly hope that Twilight actually is an Earth Pony, and not just a unicorn without a horn.

I would think that, if she truly wanted her horn back, blasting her again with the Elements of Harmony would return it. Then again, if Trixie didn't want to be replaced, getting her to do it and getting it to work might be questionable. Moreover, it seems Twilight lost her horn in the first place because she didn't want the responsibility of that much magic hanging over her any more, as she apparently thought herself destined to end up a statue for being too dangerous to live. I'm not sure if simply being inconvenienced is enough to override that, or if she has some bigger lessons to learn.

Nice to see her relationship with AJ continuing, if a bit strained. I gather she's not gotten out much since she returned. It'll be interesting to see what the residents of Ponyville really think of her now. I'm especially curious to know what her relationship with Celestia is like at this point. She is still technically her student, correct? We haven't really gotten the Princess's take on her Faithful Student since she had declared that Equestria was at war with Twilight Sparkle.

1555044 Heh heh, I have a list of a bunch of different potential ways for her to get her horn back. 'Blast her again with the EoH' can go on the list.

Next up is meeting Ponyville's farmers, most of which were mind-controlled by her want-it-need-it spell since they were the ones the guards would have picked to draft for the jelly-jar project.

And yes, 'what would Celestia think about all this' is something Twilight would have to ask before actually acting on anypony's plan to turn her back into a unicorn, assuming she was still in control of herself and not driven insane by cutie-mark failure insanity syndrome. :twilightsheepish:

I think that Twilight Sparkle needs to stay an earth pony. FOR SCIENCE!

I like this fic, while I have yet to read its' predecessor I find the premise of a Twilight who has essentially been maimed in a way that removes her purpose and greatest joy in life a very interesting one. The fact that she brought this on herself makes it far better than if it had been done via villain or mistake, her friends partially or wholly abandoning her, perhaps even outright replacing her, for good reason makes for excellent drama and increases Twilights' anguish. She brought this on herself, it is not borough about by misconception but instead a reaction of what she did, and it may be irreversible.
My favorite scene thus far is this chapters outburst, for the emotional damage Twilight goes through, the fear and disdain that some of the fellow citizens of Ponyville would have built up over time showing through, but perhaps the most for how little it achieves in practical terms. Twilight makes a mess of her gift. In stark contrast from what he would once have done she does not unleash unholy terror, she does not put fear in the hearts of those who oppose her.
She an impotent, hysterical pony who made a mess.
She is not special.
Granted the reveal of the witch potential somewhat undermined the impact, as well as reigniting hope that she will regain her powers, but it also fits in well with the narritive. I presume that the endgoal of this story is for Twilight to regain her unicorn powers, or at the very least to become an Earth-pony witch, a concept that works very well wth the idea of nature based earth pony magic, therefore it is perhaps inevitable that the focus would shift from Twilight dealing with the consequences of her actions and towards regaining who she is but I do feel that the drama is quite well done regardless.

Thank you for writing, and please do not delay with the next installment.
-BlackWinter

That was an interesting turn of events...:twilightoops:

Zakora can teach her! :D

I hope she's allowed to write it down, because otherwise I'm pretty sure she's still going to suffer Cutey Mark Insanity Syndrome. c.c

Wow. Earth ponies are jerks.

1605366 I wasn't trying to make them *all* out to be jerks. Mostly just Cherry Berry.

1604883 And in her insanity... she will write it down *without permission*!

1597793 Thanks! I'm glad that scene worked. :scootangel: I was worried about the drama.

As for hurrying up with the next chapter, it usually takes me a week or two to write one unfortunately. I see people who update their stories every day and I'm like HOOOOOW do you do that?!

Heh... So Cherry Berry is explanation enough why someone would rather freeze to death than stay safe and warm one moment longer. I do wonder what would/will happen should the new Elements actually be needed to contain a true threat and not just pacify misunderstood ponies.

I'm curious to see what Fluttershy's relationship with Twi is like these days. It seems that all of her friends are worried about her, but also clearly uncomfortable around her as well. AJ and Twi are both too stubborn in different ways, and Twi was indeed behaving like a brat, so it's not surprising that things there deteriorated. I suspect things won't go well with Fluttershy either, who seems to think Twilight is either helpless or suicidal. Really, Pinkie would have been the perfect Earth Pony to help Twilight with the transition... Or drive her completely insane. Either way, it doesn't seem to be an option now. It's looking more and more like Twi will opt to take the changelings up on their offer instead.

1665284 You have to relies that going from yay magic to hooves would make anyone insane and temperamental and twilight may be depressed. For she kind of lost her way of life also she really should have been sent to a therapist and a psychologist for she obviously has and had problems that. And her friends are probably the worst thing Celestia could have allowed for shes probably feeling a lot of guilt around them you gots to remember the surface isn't as deep as the soul. Instead of looking at the character try to see what the character thinks and feels.

1665456
Hey, I love Twilight the most out of all the ponies and there's no doubt that she's a bit of a mess right now, but she was clearly being a brat in trying to dodge the clean-up from her baking experimentation. AJ was never going to accept "You're better at cleaning than I am, so you should do it" as a valid excuse for avoiding hard work. It's the kind of thing Rainbow Dash might pull, but seeing Twilight do it is kind of new. Of course, she got into this whole mess to begin with by trying to run away from the responsibility that came with being an uber-powerful unicorn and so accidentally wished away her horn, meaning that she's not the poster-pony for responsibility these days anyway.

To a pony like AJ, letting her pull that kind of thing wouldn't be doing her any favors. I imagine from her perspective, Twi needs to either focus on getting her horn back or focus on living like an Earth Pony and all of the work that comes with it, rather than lamenting how easy things used to be while she searches for Earth Pony magic and does things the unicorn way or dodges doing them at all. Apple Bloom was right... she's a unicorn in an Earth Pony body right now, and she can't keep living in the middle of the road.

1665721 True but it feels to me like applejack is trying to force her to the earth pony side which is probably bad and no one else is really helping except the changelings in the way of "Look we know your screwed up in the head right now so here's a good solution that we can all enjoy." I say Celestia should have thought this out better. I mean her sister makes a attempt at the thrown and gets One thousand years of time out twilight makes a bunch of stupid mistakes and get her very way of life changed so fast the long term effects are likely to out way the crime in term of damages.

1665747
Didn't AJ earlier tell her she was better off spending her time finding a way to get her horn back? I feel like AJ is just trying to show her "this is what being an Earth Pony really is..." rather than making it an easy transition for her so that she can keep living a lie.

I don't trust those Changelings... When someone seemingly sympathetic shows up at your lowest point offering you a solution and camaraderie, and all you have to do is fundamentally change your life in return, well... that's how you end up in a cult.

As for Celestia, we don't really know what her opinion of all of this is. It wasn't her idea to de-horn Twilight, after all... that was the result of Twilight's thought process and the culmination of the plan executed by Dash. We never heard what Celestia's sentence was going to be for Twilight's misadventures, or what she had to say about it afterwards, but I suspect she's looking at all of this as a lesson for Twilight. Twi has simply become too powerful to keep her childhood habits of making a mess in her eagerness to learn and discover and then leave that mess for Spike to clean up (or the Princess, should things get out of hand.) It's time to grow up, behave responsibly not let things get carried away in the first place. (Which is not to say that I think Twilight actually is that irresponsible... she's one of the more responsibility-minded ponies. But when you can do as much damage as Twilight can, growing up means having to take things to a whole other level.)

I think Twilight needs to come around and want to take up that responsibility again, instead of looking for another way out of her troubles. If and when she truly does, I imagine that Celestia will want her to have all of her power back as well... she's invested quite a bit in that little pony, after all.

Poor Twilight definitely needs some counseling from someone though, you're right. And Celestia and Twilight do need to talk through that theory Twi has about her fate always ending in stone imprisonment. That's pretty heartbreaking.

1665932 I don't think applejack was like you should try to get your horn back she was more along the lines of you have no horn therefore you may need other skills the Changelings were released by pinky so I think this is more along the lines of thanks here's a gift so you can tell pinky we did something good.

Celestia is twilight's teacher she should have dealt with those habits when they first started showing not now when she knows no other ways.

I believe that Celestia,Luna and Candice need to sit down and teach twilight right from wrong in the way she does things because they are probably the three biggest ponies in twilight's life and as the teacher, sister in law and hinted friend they should be trying to improve the way she handles these things.Not punish her for things she obviously doesn't understand.

Although I do agree with you she does need to learn responsibility is this the way to do it no can it be learned this way yes but only through blood, hate, sweet and tears.

A good chapter, Twilights' difficulty with Witchcraft has been established in a manner that flows from characterization perfectly. She still has yet to fully adjust to the idea of being an Earth Pony, notable in her habits that despite has no doubt been quite some time since the de-horning she still has unicorn instincts in regards to manipulating objects as seen in Fluttershys' house. The part that stands out to me is that when she gets upset she lashes out to both the immediate target (Applejack) and Celestia.
She may have brought this on herself but she still seems to very much blame Celestia for her loss, and in a way she is has a point. When one thinks about it Celestia was her Teacher and mentor, yet despite having spent years with Twilight it took the 'Want-it need-it' incident for her to notice her Students borderline psychosis about deadlines, nevermind her various other issues. Still, it hardly puts the blame of the previous incidents on her, Twilight is for all intents and purposes an adult who is responsible for her own actions. However it is a reaction one would expect from the former unicorn despite having earner her punishment; her mentor was supposed to guide her and assist her, and now that she has lost essentially everything short of her own home she is nowhere to be seen. She certainly failed the friendship assignment, the pain of losing her friends is quite obvious, and apparently Celestia no longer has any interest in her so of course would only add to her loneliness and feelings of abandonment.
The Scene at Fluttershys' cottage was good for exposition but I would have like to have seen more of Fluttershys' new relationship with Twilight. Her saving the former unicorn and attempting conversation are to be expected but it would have been nice to see how Fluttershy feels about and around Twilight after everything that has happened.

As always, an enjoyable chapter to read,
BlackWinter

So I'm very confused, but I like the idea. The changeling!pony is painfully obvious when trying to create his(her?) own identity; the 'ponyponypony...' cutie mark was just hilarious. :rainbowlaugh:

Mirror-ponies? Makes me wonder if any of the others are in there...

“I’m guessing none of this ‘witchcraft’ is written down, because Celestia forbid earth ponies keep a written record of any of their techniques.”

:rainbowhuh: Seems rather... tyrannical? sociopathic? something? of her. Jarring because everypony else seems spot-on.

Cherry Berry is a jerk.

I'm liking this story, but I'm so confused...

1743230 Celestia didn't actually forbid it; Twilight was using a figure of speech and Applebloom took it literally. :facehoof:

I am delighted that you have updated, I always enjoy reading this fic.
In terms of criticism, comparatively this chapter held little in terms of plot against the other chapters, perhaps the drama of Twilights' choice could have been played up a bit more. Right now the pain of losing her horn is dulled by hope and the alienation from her friends is diluted, giving greater balance to the scales so to speak, and in turn more potential for personal conflict.
Of course, there is possibility that perhaps Luna may instead reject the Changelings entirely and strike out at Twilight, probably letting the whole of Equestria know that she held with the changelings at the time and perhaps resulting in her being seen as a traitor, resulting in further shunning and destroying the second chance of sorts she has with her friends. In the case something along those lines occurring then this chapter will have been a nice build up to that.
The book club discussion was an interesting tibit, perhaps Twilights' resignation to becoming a changeling in that scenario was a bit of foreshadowing? I like how you have given Twilight multiple alternate paths, there is the possibility of the wishing star to change her back, if not the star there is witchcraft to guide her back to her horn, and even they both fail Twilight still has the temptation to make a deal with the devil or sorts to regain her magic. It may be the case that witchcraft is simply too alien to her, or not a sufficient enough replacement for her unicorn powers, Of course, witchcraft depends on whether or not Applejack is willing to allow her to learn in the first place now that she knows about the connection between Twilight and the changelings, she isn't stupid, so she'll be confronting Twilight as to why she was calling out for one sooner or later, and their relationship is certainly not so close again as to keep such a secret for Twilights' own sake.
Anyhow, theorizing aside, I will say once more that I have enjoyed the chapter and await the next one with great anticipation.
BlackWinter

“I’m too tired to sleep?” she suggested, smiling nervously.
“Ditto,” Applejack said.

While it seems clear that AJ knew she was dealing with an imposter, it's amusing to me that this exchange leaves it questionable that she guessed Ditto's name at all. Regardless, if the changelings didn't keep showing up at Twilight's place wearing her friends' faces, then she wouldn't have made the slip in front of the real AJ anyway.

There's an interesting ebb and flow to the relationships with her friends. Here, most of them are apparently on the upswing, while admittedly she's at least in a spat with AJ (that'll likely grow more interesting as the fallout from the changeling revelation gets going.) At least the heat of that disagreement shows a care at the center of it that's better than the awkward disconnect and isolation Twilight was feeling from her friends before.

I really wish we could have been in on that conversation about Twilight between Rarity and Fluttershy. Honestly, I'd love to hear the honest thoughts of the all of the Elements about her.

and held off a three-headed hydra while my friends ran to safety

if you are referring to the scene from "feeling pinkie keen", the hydra had four heads.
http://mlp.wikia.com/wiki/Ursa#Hydra

1743230 I am pretty sure Twilight's "Celestia forbid" is rhetorical, on the lines of saying "God forbid we do this the sensible way."

Awww, poor Twilight. :(

Yay! Expose ALL the secrets, Twilight!

1750125 How else will you become a crazy prophetess shouting prophecies of doom from atop a roadside soapbox? :trollestia:

You're doing:

Quite a good job with the changelings, actually. I've never tried working them into a story 'cause I've been completely unable to figure out how they might work--even ponies using doors with doorknobs makes more sense to me than changelings as they've been presented in the show! :pinkiehappy:

Mike

I have to say, Twilight Velvet is taking the presence of changelings in her house very well, I was expecting a far more explosive reaction if they were caught. Still, it is good to see the story progressing further, although I feel that there could have been a lot of drama between Twilight and her mother over not only bringing Changelings into her house but considering becoming one herself.

Awaiting the next chapter.
BlackWinter

I really liked this chapter, the casual tone of the previous one has been diluted in favor of drama. It is now clear that Luna will never help the changelings, and even if she were willing to do so neither Twilight or the changelings themselves would be so foolish as to do so. What the Princess of the night did to that changeling was utterly unforgivable by any standard and at the very least should have gotten her another few decades on the moon.
Of course, the question is now where does young Twilight and co go from here? A confrontation with Luna is inevitable, and whatever goodwill that remains with the royal Pony sisters will almost certainly vanish. Thus if Twilight should ever choose to convert she will be ostracized from Equestrian society forever, assuming Luna does not ensure that happens when she finds her consorting with beings she considers so low that she would do such things to a living member of their species.
What will happen to the changelings?
Will Twilight still have the option of becoming one of them, or should the other options fail will she be stuck as an earth pony forever?
Will Twilgiht loose even more than she has through this gambit, and be befrit of both Equestrian support and that of the Changelings?

These questions entice me, and I await the next installment with anticipation.
BlackWinter

EDIT: Actually, one more question coms to mind, has Queen Chrysalis approved the Changeling plan? Presuming she is still in charge of the hive surely she would have had to think twice about letting her former enemy into her hive? Or does she have something more in mind I wonder...

1891295 Chrysalis and all the changelings that followed her were banished by Shiny & Cadance, at least according to what they told Twilight earlier.

1891584

Alright then, I must have missed or forgotten that bit. Regradless, thank you for telling me.

BlackWinter

A sad chapter, surely. I admit, I too hadn't considered how they would feed. I'm very eager to see the meeting between Twilight and Celestia however... My biggest question all along (ever since Twilight lost her horn) has been what the Princess really thinks of her Faithful Student. I'm not sure if Twilight knows either. Being replaced among her friends in the Elements of Harmony seems painful enough... Losing the Princess' affection and mentorship would likely be devastating to her. It seems like its not that serious, but then she is "disgraced" after all.

An excellent chapter, I was surprised that the changelings took the death of their comrade so well considering that she could have been saved, and had been a pony most certainly would have been, but instead was kept alive just long enough to be maimed and then eviscerated but what are you going to do in the face of the Alicorn of the night? Now their only hope for a legitimate existence in Equestria comes from the sun princess and whatever favour Twilight still holds with her.
Do tell, is Twilight still her official student? I would have expected Celestia to selected a new one by now considering that she probably believes that Twilight will never use magic again, and without doubt would consider her unworthy regardless. Though I do wonder about the Alicorn remark.
What will come next I wonder, I doubt that Twilights' pleading will cause Celestia to change her mind about the beings who she has been imprisoning on sight with lethal force authorised for resisting arrest. The question is; where will Celestia and Twilight stand after this?

Awaiting the next installment.
BlackWinter

One important bit that I've lost track of over time and multiple pony continuities... what's the status of Princess Pink...er... Cadance? I gather there isn't a Crystal Empire yet. Clearly, if there's one Princess that Twilight should unload the Changelings onto, she's the one (all things considered in this continuity). At the very least, she should be taking some responsibility to help instead of just snogging Twilight's brother day and night. I recall a mention of a sequel to focus on the whole Pinkie thing, but surely there must be a reason Twilight isn't considering going to her for help.

1930786
I don't know that Celestia would consider Twilight unworthy of being her student... She'd most likely just consider this whole thing another lesson, and be waiting to see what Twilight made of it. Then again, she did declare that Twilight and Equestria were at war, and we never did hear what she was going to sentence Twilight to as punishment for her recklessness...

1932718 The main problem with unloading them on Cadance is Shining Armor who hates changelings more than anypony. That part at least should be mentioned in the next chapter. :twilightsheepish: Although I was trying to hint at it earlier. Twilight wouldn't even consider her because she already saw Cadance dealing with changelings in the last chapter of SCPP (by rounding them up with her husband to put back in prison).

Also, I don't see her having the political power of Luna or Celestia which means she wouldn't be able to override Celestia's order. This is between seasons 2 and 3 so the Crystal Empire hasn't returned yet.

1930786 "Am I still your student" is something Twilight should probably ask Celestia; officially she was studying 'the magic of friendship' which would not require her to be a unicorn, but she hasn't gotten any new assignments in a while so she'd worry.

Well, that went as well as could be hoped, I'd say. It's interesting (and understandable) to see how Celestia takes the long view in the Changeling issue... essentially opting to let sympathy build for the changelings so that there's a demand for their equality. Of course, she might get an easy out after all with the return of the Crystal Empire, assuming things follow the same path as the show.

Also good to see where Twilight stands with her mentor. All in all, she seems to have resolved quite a bit with this chapter... or at least came to a kind of resigned acceptance. I'm curious to see where this story goes from here.

I don't have:

Anything specific to say except that I continue to enjoy the story. Thank you for writing it! :twilightsmile:

Mike

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