• Member Since 13th May, 2012
  • offline last seen Jul 23rd, 2019


Benman belongs to a class of bipedal ape notable for its use of tools and clothing, highly adept at symbolic communication such as language and art.


Banished projects, miscellaneous scraps, and the detritus of larger works.

Mortal Deleted Scenes [Slice of Life, Sad] Finished scenes I had to cut from Mortal for one reason or another. Status: DONE.

One Giant Leap [Drama, Scheming, Zany] Princess Luna is ready to reclaim her rightful place as Celestia's equal, and woe unto anyone who gets in her way. Status: ABANDONED.

The Counterfeit Sister [Action, Mystery] Rarity punches some changelings in the face. Status: COMPLETED DRAFT.

Starcraft: Wings of Everfree [Action, Crossover] Twilight Sparkle tries to keep the Terran and Protoss from murdering each other. Status: ABANDONED, probably.

Durance [Violent, Dark] Long before the founding of Equestria, three ponies are consumed by war. Status: CANNIBALIZED for parts for a different story.

The King's Lament [Tragedy, Random] Sombra's heartwrenching backstory. Status: I REGRET NOTHING

Me Little Pirate: Friendship Be Magic [Alternate Universe, Swashbucklery] Do what you want 'cause a pirate is free! Status: ABANDONED

Nightmare [Adventure] Pinkie Pie faces her fears. Twice. Status: DONE.

The Elements of Style, Part 2 [Alternate Universe, Puns] Writing is important, you guys. Status: It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Sunset [Alternate Universe, Adventure] Luna’s most talented student must use the Elements of Harmony to save Equestria from eternal day. Status: The first and last scenes of the introduction.

Where The Heart Is [Slice of Life] Carrot Top goes home for the holidays, eventually. Status: DONE.

Chapters (13)
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Comments ( 53 )

This one could be a pre-Hearth Warming Night story - part of the tri-polar cold war that finally ended with the coming of the Windigoes.

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Exactly. The current plan for this setting involves Hurricane and Clover in minor roles.

Hope the new project works out, I'd love to see more of this one! :pinkiehappy:

Worth reading just for the scene involving the tactical nuke.

This reminds me of Equestria: Total War in a good way.

I'm glad to hear it's going somewhere to pre-Hearth Warming. It feels like history. Plus, that way I can tell myself that it's somewhere in the vague continuity of Haylander: Origins. :twilightsmile:


You realize, of course, that this story doesn't end here. It continues with another song you might remember from our friend Johnny Cash:

I hear that train a'comin. Its engine's runnin' warm.
Six ponies step on out and I send them a storm.
I'm stuck in Frozen Prison, and time keeps draggin' on…
But I'll retake the Empire soon as that bubble's gone.

When I was just a young colt, my momma told me, "Lad,
Don't ever touch a crystal, they're the devil's right hand"
I learned the darkest magic for a tiger's eye
Then my momma started crying. (I still do not know why.)

I see them weaving baskets, and watching jousting brawls
That unicorn is looking for my heart inside my halls
I just need to delay them, and then I can break free!
Now I've got you, little dragon —
— Excuse me, sir, did you just throw your WIFE at me?


Well, it's back into my prison,
With its fancy walls of ice
Some curtains or a crystal or a crossword would be nice
Here in Frozen Prison, where I am forced to stay
But some day, some day, some day … yes, I'll get out some day.


Your move.

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Of course you realize what this means.

We're making a mistake by focusing only on Sombra. The way we're going about this, it looks like the ponies are just one-dimensional antagonists, and that's just sloppy storytelling.

But no, the ponies are deeper than that. In their own version of the story, they're the good guys. They're capable of empathy and reason, and, yes, even love.

But how to illustrate that? Who could write a song about a love so pure and true it could overcome anything in its path—anything at all?

Oh. Right.

I’ve kept a close watch for this crystal heart
I’ve kept my eyes wide open from the start
I’ve kept you and this empire apart
To end this strife, I’ll throw my wife

My aim had better be exceptionally true
This is the hardest throw I ever threw
Our love will start the empire anew
To end this strife, I’ll throw my wife

As sure as night is dark and day is light
She kept the shield online both day and night
In an attempt to stop your evil blight
To end this strife, I’ll throw my wife

The crystal heart has finally been spied
And she has more than strength enough to glide
The time has come to catapult my bride
To end this strife, I’ll throw my wife

... You know what's funny? I never really cottoned on to the whole friendship-vs-obedience question. Too caught up in the immortality debate, even once I'd said my piece and started trying (and failing) to stay out of it.

Maybe because my disdain for obedience-for-the-sake-of-obedience is so concrete that I never even considered it a question.

So this version began with both Earth ponies in the grave? :ajsleepy: :pinkiesick:
That shouldn't too surprising, considering Pinkie's extremely limited role in the final version.

Well, this scene made me sad, especially that it got deleted.

I completely missed it too. From my point of view, Twilight's bonds with her friends and with her mentor stood equally. That she would have to choose between them made the conflict all the more tragic, but that was hardly the heart of it.

And boy! That epilogue certainly didn't chicken out on the moral conundrum. Here, death is a thing of the past, pratically alien to some. Ponies even took other species for the ride. I shiver at the questions Celestia must have to answer!

It certainly is interesting to say the least, and reading this, I'm happy you decided not to include it - as I wrote in my review in the final chapter, the story never really was about immortality per se, so much as it was about the Ponies -- I honestly can't say that I picked up on the friendship vs obedience theme...I saw it more as a old order vs the new...again, my mind was too wrapped up I think in the immortality debate, which really exceeded it's need :rainbowwild:.

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Obedience wasn't the right word, and I've edited it out. (Not sure what the right word is. "Respect for authority"? "Need for maternal approval"? The best I can do is point towards Twilight's whole relationship with Celestia and say "that thing.")

why didnt you redeem twilight? i asked you NOT to end this with tradgedy!:applecry::fluttershbad::fluttercry::pinkiesad2::raritycry::raritydespair::ajsleepy:


Ehh, don't overthink it -- it's deleted scenes after all :raritywink:

2507940 i was talking about the epilogue from Mortal. the story ended in tradgedy, with no redemption for twilight in the end. it was actually a rather dark sendoff for the mane six.


Aww, it's no big deal -- in the end, it was the deleted scenes, so there is no need to stress out over it :twilightsmile:

"Mortal" in emoticons:
:ajsleepy: - RIP
:trollestia: - "Hey ... you know your friend who just died? You can totes make your friends into immortal alicorns. You could all along. But don't ... even ... think ... about doing it."
:fluttershysad: - "Guys. I've got pony cancer."
:rainbowdetermined2: - "Pony cancer!? Not cool! Twilight - it's alicorn time."
:moustache: - zzzz
:twilightblush: - "Um ... can we just talk about this next week?"
:fluttershbad: - "It hurts when I ... anything."
:rainbowhuh: - "Wait, you're gonna make Fluttershy an alicorn, right? Right???"
:fluttershyouch: - RIP
:rainbowderp: - "Wow. 20% uncooler."
:raritydespair: - "My leg! It's most unstylishly broken! I'm ... I'm going to the fabulous light!"
:twilightoops: - "No, not the sexy one! Okay, yes. It's alicorn time."
:trollestia: - "To the mooooon!"
:twilightsmile::rainbowwild::duck: - "How about 'no?'"
:raritystarry: - "Time for magical interior decorating! Oh, and making more alicorns. You get wings and a horn. You get wings and a horn! EVERYPONY GETS WINGS AND A HORN!"
:pinkiehappy: - "Sup? Can I get wings and a horn?"
:raritystarry: - "YES!"

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Like all good questions, this one is best answered with a song. The following is Snarkle's work; I am blameless.

I am the very model of a Pirate Captain unicorn
I've been so very fabulous since that great day when I was born
I know the princess sisters and can quote matters historical
From Discord's reign to Nightmare's bane to reunions most beautiful

I'm very well acquainted too, with the dynamics nautical
So do not think you'll outsail me, you'll find that I am not a fool
Without a high-seas venture, I am likely to be rather blue (pause)
But since I own my vessel that won't happen, I can promise you!

(But since she owns her vessel, that won't happen! She can promise you!)
(But since she owns her vessel, that won't happen! She can promise you!)
(But since she owns her vessel, that won't happen! She can promise you!)

I'm very good at haute couture and pret-a-porter finery
My customers are happier than Berry in a winery
In short, I'm just as fabulous as I was the day I was born
I am the very model of a Pirate Captain unicorn

(In short, she's just as fabulous as she was the day she was born)
(She is the very model of a Pirate Captain unicorn)

I know my fashion history, from poodle skirts and bobby socks
Through pleather, lace-and-lipstick, to ensembles that can sweep the docks
Being shipboard’s no excuse for pirates not to look their best
And I can safely say that my ship's crew are always nicely dressed

For shipshape's definition you need not look any farther, dears
From stem to stern and fore to aft, the envy of all buccaneers
A finer vessel that has sailed, the ocean's never seen before (pause)
And if you can prove otherwise, I'll eat Pinkie Pie's pinafore!

(And if you can prove otherwise, she'll eat Pinkie Pie's pinafore!)
(And if you can prove otherwise, she'll eat Pinkie Pie's pinafore!)
(And if you can prove otherwise, she'll eat Pinkie Pie's pinafore!)

So how do we pay all our bills, and still have funds for uniforms?
A lady does not kiss and tell, but I have skill beyond the norm.
In short, I'm just as fabulous as I was the day I was born
I am the very model of a Pirate Captain unicorn

(In short, she's just as fabulous as she was the day she was born)
(She is the very model of a Pirate Captain unicorn)

In fact, I can tell from afar the location of great treasures fair
My cutie mark and special gift for piracy's beyond compare
And with my crew, our talents mesh to make a force worth reckoning
If it's a challenge that you seek, you'll find my shipmates beckoning!

So if you see sails radiant break the horizon out at sea
In short, I've never backed down when captaining the Harmony
You'd best prepare to meet your match when facing mighty Rarity (pause)
Through cannon fire you’ll learn what I mean by generosity!

(Through cannon fire you’ll learn what I mean by generosity!)
(Through cannon fire you’ll learn what I mean by generosity!)
(Through cannon fire you’ll learn what I mean by generosity!)

My military knowledge, though I'm elegant and glamorous,
Has never seen its better—you might say I'm downright infamous!
In short, I'm just as fabulous as I was the day I was born
I am the very model of a Pirate Captain unicorn!

(In short, she's just as fabulous as she was the day she was born)
(She is the very model of a Pirate Captain unicorn)

Boss. :pinkiehappy:

I wonder if Upon A Falling Feather grew from the same seed?


It's not a tragedy. The outcome of the debate rests on the true consequences of the decision, not a priori the decision itself. In this epilogue, the issues Celestia was worried about were clearly either not concerns, or were solved. Open your mind.

As the parodist who wrote the Cartoon Character's Song, I could not be happier with this answer. :pinkiehappy:

2543798 there are more consequences to eternal life than just the ones that celestia went over in the story. and also in this epilogue, i see that those consequenses that were not mentioned by the princess DIDNT go unsolved. i have opened my mind, and after following the trail of questions it led me on, i have been led to the same conclusion, anyway. eternal life is never a blessing.

I can see why you abandoned it, but it is a cute concept for a story.

So I'm noticing that Sunrise is described as Twilight's youngest son, while being Rainbow Dash's grandson (with an indeterminate number of greats preceding the grand). We know that Twilight wouldn't be a remarried widow in this context (well...maybe, as she might have married someone early on who didn't want to get alicornized). This implies one of two things. Either Twilight waited a very long time to get married (quite possible, as she would be in absolutely no hurry), or else marriage is gone/drastically changed (presumably since "'til death do us part" takes on an entirely different meaning here).

Luna-given prophecy. Cool. Headcanon accepted. :pinkiehappy:

This is beautiful in its precision. There's not a word which doesn't contribute to the impact of the story. Even the bit about finding the book is elegant and essential. Wonderful short-form writing.

I'm glad that my tormenting proved so fruitful. :raritywink:

I read all of this, and now I want moar... :applecry:

Ah, yes, the redemption of Princess Rune-a, princess of the arts. (As opposed, of course, to Princess Empiricalestia, princess of the sciences.)

Ben, will you tell us a bedtime story of how Strunklestia and Moonwhite first created the Elements to defeat Discard, living embodiment of the slush pile? :twilightsmile:

There should be a continuation of this.

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I urge caution. Remember what happened last time you tested me this way.

> I am tempted to expand this into a 250k-word epic in which Sunset Shimmer learns about empathy and introspection and communication and positive reframing and such, and also teaches her friends about strategy and how to achieve goals, all done in a way that readers can actually follow along and learn the same skills as the characters …

"Sunny Shimmer and the Methods of Rapport and Amity"?

I guess I'd love to read a story like this for a couple years ;) Sooo.. get started! :heart:

I was rushing through the prereading and forgot to stop and mention how quietly lovely this is. Derpy talking about her surprise in particular is sweet. The changes you made really do help bring the story out. :twilightsmile:

While interesting, I find that this story feels .. a bit short. Not long enough to really be a story, for we don't know enough about your characters to really care for them. But that may have been intentional. From what you wrote in your A/N, am I right to believe you wished more to capture a moment?

I'm more than happy with this! Like InMyMind said, it's more a moment (or rather, two moments) than a classic narrative, but there's a simple yet important idea at its core: that family matters. And whether it's the ones you're born with or the ones you chose, whether they make you feel guilty or giddy, it's important to be home for the holidays.

There's nothing quite like being home.

Thank you for the story; I really enjoyed it.

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3685807 3686071
Yeah, it's more of a vignette than a story—or I suppose the first scene is more storylike and the second scene is more vignettelike.

"I emptied your closet!" :derpytongue2:

Best pony and friend. Always adorable, always enjoyable. Thank you for this lovely little snippet.

Somehow, this piece seems both groan worthy and inspiring.

2543798 In both epilogues, Celestia's concerns were trivialities. Compared to death, what wouldn't be?

“Spy harder?”

The sequel to Spy Hard.

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Man, this stands alone pretty damn well though.

This was pretty funny, I admit.

Oh lordy, I love this Luna.

Author Interviewer

Damn, this is so good, though. Honestly, it needs to be longer. It does at least work as a complete story as-is, at least.

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