• Member Since 28th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen Jul 5th, 2018

Sunchaser


Chase the sun, and it will smile upon you.

E

Twilight wakes in the middle of the night, haunted by a terrifying dream—one that's not so hard to see coming true. One that whispers of a grand destiny awaiting her as a reward for all her hard work, discipline, and noble sacrifice.

But what if she doesn't want a grand destiny?

Chapters (2)
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Comments ( 170 )

Aged like a fine wine, popping the cap off this story is well worth the wait.

And good on you for deploying this before BronyCon. You're sure to have legions of fanboys sniveling at your feet, or something like that.

2951514
Wow. Your profile avatar is freakin' amazing.

Oh damn, this I liked. Very much so. The alternate ending Celestia scared the crap outa me.

This

is really good. And I like it

I've always liked your take on Celestia, Sunchaser!

well that was a nice story. But I do have a question, " Everything I've always hoped for you; wealth, titles, prestige; accolades, influence, distinguished position..." did she mean this more in a "I'd give you the world because you deserve it," type of way, or a "I was/am going to make you a noble" type of way? Because the second of kind of against the whole idea of Celestia not having plans for anyone's future.

2951682 Twilight is tempting Celestia there, outright giving the princess explicit permission to decide her life for her; and so Celestia is thinking of all the things she's ever hoped Twilight would achieve, the things she believes her student has earned, and most pertinently, the fact that she could personally ensure that they happened.

2951630 This is, indeed, the correct response. Celestia, but just the slightest bit wrong. :pinkiecrazy:

2951707
It's why I never read Dusk's Most Dangerous Game, I read the story before it and the Celestia there was terrifying simply because she was just so in character and was so wrong at the same time.

The worst part that the story was so good I couldn't walk away

2951766 I'm reading that right now, you have no idea how badly the side of me that runs away from alt Celestias like this is fighting with my need for resolution.

I always liked a more "human" Celestia more than omnipotent Celestia. People might say she's acting wrong or that it's unnerving, but exactly how many confidants does Celestia have other than Twilight? I think it's perfectly natural for her to want to keep her around and be a bit selfish.

Overall, I liked the story, and it definitely ranks as one of the better short stories, revolving around the Season 3 finale (to be fair though, quite a lot of them have been atrocious so far though.

As a critique of the season finale (if that was even your intention, I don't know) it was a little ham-handed and reaching at times, requiring a very specific interpretation of the finale and reading into Celestia's character a bit too much, if your familiar with the Harry Potter fandom Dumbledore kind of gets the same treatment, i.e. his actions are sometimes interpreted much darker than they actually are rather than being conceits of children's fiction (you have to come up with reasons the adults/princesses/demigods/etc. don't just solve all of the protagonist's problems for them). Well that and children's entertainment would be hard-pressed to get approval for a show dissecting someone like John Locke's views on free will versus determinism. I would watch the hell out of a show featuring cartoon ponies that actually did that though.

Of course maybe none of that was your intention, in which case its still a nice little story about about character's insecurities and choices in their lives. It gives an interesting and fun little take on alternate events that keeps Celestia and Twilight in character enough so as to not break suspension of disbelief, and wraps it up in a few heart-warming scenes in both the original chapter and the alternate ending.

First time I've seen good arguments against Twicorn. Bravo!

2951829
It's a terrible horrible struggle isn't it. Good luck and may god have mercy on canon Celestia.

JC

Fantastic reexamination of the Season 3 finale! I admit that I am heavily biased against Twilicorn and the episode as a whole, but even apart from that this is a well-written, thoughtful treatment of the issues and questions it raised. I especially love your interpretation of Twilight's cutie mark and her connection to the Elements. Thanks so much for writing it! :twilightsmile:

A very nice rebuttal of canon Alicorn Twilight, and I pretty much agree with all the points. The bit close to the end was very cute too.

"...I think," Twilight eventually said, stirring from the hushed embrace, "that the real reason that dream scared me so much was that if you did just arrange my life for me..."

Twilight drew her head up and looked to Celestia, her eyes wide and tremulous.

"I mean, I don't actually know if you can, but if you did just make me an alicorn, and crown me a princess, and, well, whatever else...I don't think I would say no."

That bit, and what followed felt pretty poignant.

Anyway, this is the AU you'll be writing in from now on? I'm looking forward to seeing where you go from here.

Edit: Facepalm. There's totally a chapter 2 I should read.

An applause is in order, sir or madam. A skillful dissection of this issue, and what the characters themselves might think of it.

2951840 This. Just a single selfish thing Celestia really allowed herself.

Does everything she have done so far for the world, for her subjects, not worth the devotion of a single pony? One that presents herself willingly, and gets... Literally, everything remotely possible in return? Is it really too much to ask or want?

No, no it isn't.

The young unicorn took a long moment to ponder, her expression at times torn, or hopeful, or worried, but finally settling on timidly optimistic, as she raised her eyes again.

"...Would it make you happy?"

Well that was creepy. Oh Twilight. Just, oh Twilight.

2952069
Yet I find myself agreeing here. This alternate ending is so deliciously morally grey, isn't it?

2952069

Yeah that was partially my interpretation of the alternate ending too, if anything I found it better than the first ending because it ties in much more closely to the actual season finale, and wraps it up in a fairly heart-warming way. The original ending just kind of goes with an "it was all a dream, nothing changes" not a bad ending, I just liked the other one better

Free will isn't just about doing what we want sans influence from anyone else, Twilight is dedicated to princess Celestia, and her choice is to take on the responsibility that Celestia wishes to give her. It's actually a nice metaphor for growing up (both the finale in the cartoon and the alternate ending here) that we don't always grow up exactly the way we want, but that doesn't mean that new responsibilities can't be a good thing, to be met with optimism, even if it's not what we planned.

2951846 There was the aspect of it, to critique Magical Mystery Cure, though most of that was constrained to needling the weaknesses of the episode that are primarily drawn from it not having been the two-parter it should have ("Maybe it was pressed for time.", and etc).

The only real issue I had with it, as was the main point of the story here, was that Twilight was never asked if she wanted to become an alicorn princess. Of course she would have said yes, but the point is that choice was never given to her; and that fact can, as you saw here, be extrapolated to some very dark places. It could have been fixed in the episode with the addition of two lines of dialogue—"Do you accept this responsibility?" "Yes, I do"—and I expect that was probably among the things that got overlooked in the rush to conclude three seasons of Ponies in twenty minutes.

The convenient part of making MMC into an AU dream for this story is that it lets me posit and address the idea that Celestia could do such a thing, and then we go through how Twilight and the princess react to that idea, resolving into the restoration of trust and closeness with the realization that it never would happen.

Except in the alternate ending, where Twilight tempts Celestia with something so wonderful, in exchange for such a small, paltry little breach of ethics. But don't worry; the princess has nothing but the best intentions...

2952116 Oh, Twilight, indeed. No one else could have tempted Celestia so, and thus we become so terribly grey. But grey's not so bad; lots of people are satisfied with gray. ...Right?

Granted, there's no guarantee that this little slip would ever end up going anywhere worse...but it's also not impossible that it could. And dear, doting Twilight would stand beside her through it all.

And finally, as for the proper ending not really going anywhere and nothing changing, Celestia does admit earlier on in the story that she has something in mind for Twilight; she's just not going to offer the mare an official title on a night when she showed up deathly afraid of being given an official title. But there are plans; there are always plans. :twilightsmile:

Or are you going to tell me that time isn't a linear progression of cause to event.

Well, from a nonlinear, nonsubjective perspective... :raritywink:

Anyway, a fantastic character study and episode analysis. It's a shame that this is the alternate continuity.

And that alternate ending... ugh. I much prefer Celestia and Twilight just reading together, not as teacher and pupil, but as friends.

2952311

I can agree with that, MMC's biggest issue was its length and all the issues that stem from that. I found the EQG movie to be inoffensive and totally didn't mind its existence (still not my cup of tea since a big draw for the normal show for me is the world of Equestria itself, with its mish-mash of magitek, airships, and early industrial revolution meets non-traditional sentient fantasy creatures), but I am still bitter that EQG was partially responsible for giving us a shortened season 3 and likely what kept MMC form being a proper 2 parter.

Honestly, knowing about how Western Children's T.V. works, its very likely that MMC was originally written as a series finale rather than a season finale. When it comes to modern kid's T.V. the 65 episode syndication mark is practically a death sentence and for a girl targeted cartoon the fact that MLP is getting a season 4 and may even break 100 episodes, could very well qualify as a minor miracle, or a sign of the apocalypse. MMC was likely well into production before DHX got the notice that Hasbro would be funding a 4th season, but we still got things like the whole astral plane with clips from previous seasons (a pretty common way to wrap up a whole series that doesn't have an overarching plotline), because the whole thing was planned as a potential send-off to G4 MLP.

If its any consolation, Megan has admitted that the first 2 episodes of season 4 are about Twilight dealing with being a princess, so hopefully we'll get some expansion on MMC. If the Crystal Heart spell book is considered canon then the whole process of becoming an alicorn may be something that is automatic whenever you do something extraordinary in the presence of powerful magical artifacts. The book talks about how cadence became an alicorn, even though she started as a pegasus, and didn't really involve Celestia as necessary for it, just doing something amazing and having a powerful magical artifact nearby as a catalyst, then 'boom!' automatic alicornification.

The impression I got from the episode though is that twilight made the decision to become an alicorn for herself. Remember that in the episode Celestia doesn't cast any magic on Twilight when she transforms, all the effects come from Twilight herself, it gave me the impression that Twilight made the internal decision to accept her transformation, and that's what started it.

Either way though, like I said that's why I like your story, because it doesn't get on a soap box or act as a thinly veiled author tract. You take your interpretation of events and expand it into its own little world based on the idea that "Celestia might not have given Twilight a choice" which works on its own and even if we have our different interpretations on MMC itself, you still spin an entertaining and believable, "what if?" story.

In the end, that's part of what I think makes fanfiction so enjoyable, when an author shares a different view of popular media with their audience and can make that view interesting, even if the reader doesn't share it with the author.

Also as for your original ending, I think the alternate works better as the oneshot it currently is while the original ending would work fantastic expanded out into a full story. One where Twilight and Celestia work towards Twilight's ascension in a drawn out and eventually open manner, that allows Twilight to explore all the implications of being a princess that MMC didn't have time to expound upon.

That was quite the impressive take on that whole episode.

I could easily see this as it's own, actually.

Bravo, dude, bravo.

~Skeeter The Lurker

And the alt ending to this fic...

Not bad at all. Impressive.

~Skeeter The Lurker

Admittedly, even Canon!Celestia doesn't seem to want to micromanage Twilight's destiny, even if she's not above lobbing the occasional challenge Twilight's way or making certain opportunities and paths available. Twilight is, after all, something of a unique national resource, and Celestia does know how to motivate her.

Wow... this is one of the most... real portrayls of celestia I've ever come across, the small touches showing how well they know eachother really emphasize their bond.

That, and Celestia's refusal to "chessmaster" her students is a refreshing rain on a hot summer day.

I'm surprised you didn't do more with the discrepancy between what marks indicated in every episode before MMC and what they indicated in MMC. Or, for that matter, how Dash's mark goes from representing her speed to representing controlling the weather, something literally all pegasi can do.

But I do agree that the biggest non-metafictional issue with Twilicorn is that Twily gets no choice in the matter.

That was probably the most polite rebuttal to the Alicorn Twilight thing that I've seen. I just wish more people would be like that instead of going the throwing tomatoes with utter anger route. I sometimes hate the more extreme of the fanbase.

That aside, nice little story full of cute moments.

Well, that was a great story, and I am very glad I watched you.

And there was this whole huge ceremony, and a big procession, and you, and Luna, and Cadence were all in some ridiculous formal regalia, and the dress that I was wearing was terrible, some kind of hot pink and banana creme monstrosity, Rarity would have a seizure at the sight of it.

That's definitely a comma splice, though. I'd replace it with "Twilight let out a soft laugh" or somesuch.

Anyway, liked and faved. On to the last chapter.

While I disagree with your breakdown of the episode (I will not go farther than that; MMC has caused me nothing but grief), I will always respect great writing, and this is a very well-written story.

I think what I loved the most was that it didn't descend into anger or fury at the episode it's addressing, but rather approached things from a polite, intelligent level. You took time to explore the implications the episode raises and address them, and take things to a believable conclusion that avoids blaming any one character, but instead builds them all up in a positive manner. Both endings are fantastic and make perfect sense given what has come before, both in the story and in the show.

So...good job. You get a happy Twilight. :twilightsmile:

Beautiful, just beatiful. Seriously, just that.

I remember reading another alternate ending in Deviantart, something of a similar nature but with a vastly different execution, I don't know if would be correct to just post the link here but if you're interested just search Magic Mystery Cure Alternate Ending on Deviantart.

Everything was going pretty well! Then... those last five lines. And then I was all like "Back away slowly..."
archive.4plebs.org/foolfuuka/boards/tg/image/1367/68/1367680501721.gif

And that italicization on the last "Her" was brutal.

I don't usually comment, but I have to say that I think the non-alt ending version should be the opening of S4, it was that good.
Well written!

Okay, judging by the comments, this is NOT one of those "MMC sux lulz" stories that are so common these days...

But honestly, I just don't know if I can bring myself to read this. I liked MMC, and I don't want someone else's interpretation of it to ruin the episode for me. It's happened before with this show (I can no longer enjoy "A Canterlot Wedding" without nitpicking a few things, for example), and I don't want that to happen again.

I'm sure this is a fantasically well-written story, but I just... I just can't do it. Please don't hate me for that.

YAY! Anti-Tyrant Celestia works. This is a good work. I just have one questoin.

What's Emperyean Arrangement?

The alternate ending sort of creeped me out. Always. :pinkiecrazy: I loved the story though.

I'm glad I still decided to read this story, though I doubted at first. I liked it, especially this little creepy scene at the end. :trollestia::twilightblush:

2952311

It could have been fixed in the episode with the addition of two lines of dialogue—"Do you accept this responsibility?" "Yes, I do"—and I expect that was probably among the things that got overlooked in the rush to conclude three seasons of Ponies in twenty minutes.

And people would still say that Twilight was not given time to think, she was forced to say "Yes, i do" or something like this.
I think it's for the best that they decided to skip it than to take question that would have completely changed Twilight's life in a mere five seconds.

2953255
Suck it up, wimp. Expand your intellectual horizons.

Besides, Twilicorn is just the beginning of MMC's problems.

2953399 Empyrean Arrangement, or the Harmony Form, is a magical structure consisting of six bind points containing an energy mass, spatially arranged as a regular octahedron.

It's the least complex / most efficient independently stable structure in arcane magic, at least in the canon I'm building here. :twilightsmile:

2951682 I imagine she meant something along the lines of "I want the best for you, and I know you can handle the responsibility, so if you desired such things I would give them to you in a heartbeat"

Accordingly, the alicorn elected to her tried and true solution to situations where she had no idea how to proceed.

Complete honesty.

I like your version of Celestia. She may handle things with a deft touch, but she's old and wise enough to know than nine times out of ten honesty really is the best policy in the long run. It make a nice change from "Celestia the Manipulator".

wut? another "woe is me, I am alicorn, it is baaaaaaaad" fic?

2952311 it must be mentioned that the Elements changed Twilight, not Celestia. But reflecting on it it did seem rather manipulative of her, so I can see where this gripe comes from, and the nitpicks are all valid. Also, more Twilestia is never unwelcome :pinkiecrazy:

Alternate Alternate ending:

"Are you kidding? I've been looking forward to this for months."

"Wait, Twilight. I should ask you: Do you want to be an alicorn princess? Your wings would be so pretty!"

"Well, only if you marry me first."

They shared a laugh, the chiming of magic accompanying the opening of a new book filled with fresh pages of adventure, and then Princess Celestia and Twilight Sparkle settled in, and started to read.

And one day and 16 hours later, I've edited this stupid joke a little bit. It's still the same joke, just a little less terribly done.

This story is EXCELLENT. It hits every problem with the series finale dead bang center.

As I've said elsewhere, I got NO problem with Alicorn twilight, or even PRINCESS alicorn twilight. (heck, I want the whole mane 6 to become alicorn princesses) .... my headache was with the execution of it.

This alternate ending is good too--- but it raises the great big ten ton question:

If this spell exists, why aren't they up to their elbows in alicorns?

2953461

What would have really fixed it would be clarifying that her ascendance was NOT caused by the princess, or by the spell, but was a natural metamorphosis--- that she was a nascent alicorn right from day one (my own headcanon, and the one used in my own fics.)

Congrats on getting Featured! Will read later tonight. I was wondering when you'd post this, Chaser.

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