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ObabScribbler


Author and dramatic reader from YouTube. All your pony are belong to us.

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Five choices that Twilight made in the show. Five ways she could have made them differently. Five sets of consequences. Five sets of regrets. Five points in time. Five things that never happened.

Featured on EQD - 15th April 2013

[Utilises an old fanfic challenge that can be found here.]

Full cast audiobook now available here.
Or if that doesn't float your boat, a regular audiobook version is available here.

Fanfic Review video by Emerald Comet can be found here.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 109 )
BR
BR #1 · Apr 5th, 2013 · · ·

Maybe 2:00 in the morning isn't the greatest time to read this...especially number two.:twilightoops:

awsome story. one small request? can you show the aftermath of number 4? preferably from inside canterlot?

It wasn't bad, but it didn't really earn the dark tag, IMO. Aside from the parasprites, everything was left to the imagination. Didn't really seem... IDK, long enough. Just my thoughts, though.

Nice story; it's a great example of things that could have happened, but didn't.

I usually don't read very many Dark stories, but I found this one very interesting and well-written.

[Upvote Get!]

2377588

I find your comment especially amusing because #2 was written at 2am as well. :twilightblush: Apparently something about that time slot makes it optimum for darkfic.

Thanks for reviewing. :twilightsmile:

2377706

I've always been of the opinion that the reader's imagination can be the best tool a storyteller has.

I'd hesitate to say everything was left to the imagination. Twilight's actions in #3 were pretty clear, even if the gore happened five seconds after the camera stopped rolling. :pinkiesick:

Thanks for reviewing!:twilightsmile:

2377861

Thank you very much. The fact that you read it anyway even though you don't like the genre is the best compliment you could have paid me. :twilightsmile:

I've gotten an interesting question about #3. If Twilight DID commit suicide, and Discord won forever...what would eventually happen to him? Or all of Equestria? What happens when Discord gets bored? Even eternal chaos gets old after a while (though "a while" may be centuries)

As I've seen in "MLP: Anthology of Interest" (http://www.fimfiction.net/story/35438/mlp-anthology-of-interest) , if Nightmare Moon were to win and bring about Eternal Night, it shows that the entire planet would devolve into a frozen wasteland, even trapping Nightmare Moon herself into a tomb of ice.

If Discord were to get bored, what would happen? He can't just change everything back (why would he?), and he's spent hundreds of years reflecting on the fact that victory is boring. He can't just move on (can he?), and he obviously can't die.

2379100

>>I've gotten an interesting question about #3. If Twilight DID commit suicide, and Discord won forever...what would eventually happen to him? Or all of Equestria? What happens when Discord gets bored? Even eternal chaos gets old after a while (though "a while" may be centuries)

My theory? He created the most chaotic beings in the universe: the human race. And for shits and giggles he created the world exactly as it is right now, but implanted conflicting memories of creation in various parts of it, so we'd all start wars for silly reasons and general feck ourselves over at every opportunity in new and interesting ways. Plus, we have no environment empathy, so we're constantly held hostage to the whims of nature and everything in it that generally hates and wants to kill us, also in new and interesting ways. ;)

Bloody hell, that'd be a cool idea for a creation myth: humanity was the product of the boredom of a godbaby who used the remnants of a world of small colourful horses.

>>As I've seen in "MLP: Anthology of Interest" (http://www.fimfiction.net/story/35438/mlp-anthology-of-interest) , if Nightmare Moon were to win and bring about Eternal Night, it shows that the entire planet would devolve into a frozen wasteland, even trapping Nightmare Moon herself into a tomb of ice.

http://egophiliac.deviantart.com/art/eternal-night-265676790

>> If Discord were to get bored, what would happen? He can't just change everything back (why would he?), and he's spent hundreds of years reflecting on the fact that victory is boring. He can't just move on (can he?), and he obviously can't die.

Can't or chooses not to? Death, as Terry Pratchett says, is the last great wonderful adventure.

Oh God the parasprites. Excuse me while I go throw up

I always loved the "what-if" concept.

And that's how tyranids were made...

One I don't agree with is the first - I'm pretty sure Celestia did know everything in advance, she would have made sure Twilight was at the right place and time even if she hadn't got the letter.

fascinating and very unsettling. Very much "For Want Of A Nail". Aside from the parasprite scenario, which took a different (so very much) turn. Although I'm not sure where the last one diverged. I assumed Twilight would be all "No, I have to do this myself like Celestia said" and fail on that point, but that didn't happen. I may have missed the sport.

I did see some fanart of the parasprite scenario a while ago (by PonyKillerX, incidentally). Yes, it was a disturbing What Could Have Been.

I liked them all honestly. Should do some more what-ifs. That or expand upon the ones you have here

I'm not agreeing with the first, but all the other ones... seemed all too plausible.
Gosh, I could easily see three happening if it wasn't a kids show. Easily. *shudders*
I liked your interpretation of Sombra.

----------

However, they seemed to know her, which was a disquieting thing as she had never sought out any of them.

Comma. You probably want that to be a "because" style "as".

Probably some of them had the ability to converse for more than five minutes about Starswirl the Bearded’s theory of temporal relativity, or Silvertongue the Gifted’s principles of esoteric mechanics.

No comma.

They were younger than Twilight but that was no bad thing.

Comma.

She kicked out, but stumbled when she tried to put the hoof down again.

No comma.

She could leave Ponyville but what would be the point? The whole of Equestria was doomed and it was all her fault.

Commas.

emptied out onto a side-street.

"side street"

Once there she vacillated, unsure where to go.

Comma.

The sign for Canterlot Central Station loomed ahead of her like an omen and she cantered gratefully towards it.

Comma.

On the other side she heard Spike cry out her name and the sound of a distant snarl.

Comma.

She had encountered evil magic only a few times in her life and none of it had ever felt as bad as that brief touch.

Comma. Also, you might want to consider changing that "and" to a "but".

So far Twilight had only ever heard him laugh.

Comma.

Overall, I liked it, but I wonder... Would it have been better in first person?
Rating: :raritycry:
:twilightangry2:^

Hmm, that doesn't format well. I'll have to think on how to better raise angry Twilight to the crying Rarity power. (BTW that's a good thing.)

Clearly I was not the only one who had that "dark" thought, regarding the spell that Twilight placed on the parasprites. :D

Great job with these. Although the endings of a couple of them felt a bit vague for my taste, but I'm sure it was your intention to end them that way.

I feel most of these - except number 2# - where out of character for Twilight.

Other then that, this story was very well-written, and an enjoyable read.

2430787 Are you the comma god?

Please, oh please, bless me with your wisdom. I brought thee an offering: :fluttercry:

Spine-chillingly well written.

It might not have a much deeper philosophical meaning than "bad choices make bad consequences", but God damn it all to hell, I enjoyed it immensley.

Good job. I applaud you.

2430914
My dear sir, is that an editing request or a veiled attempt to poke fun at me? Truly, I would like to know. (If I missed some, and I'm fairly certain that I did, it was because I was trying to not get bogged down in the editing and just enjoy the story.)

2431114 My Lord, twas but a testament of thine glory. I twas but only offing thee mine praise... and a pony.

#2 was the most horrifying for me. #1 was good but I felt that Celestia would have planed for it. The other's were all varying degrees of meh. I didn't feel the point of divergence was clearly defined. The Discord one felt the weakest.

Huh interesting views of the what-ifs, even if I did think some of them were a bit unlikely. Although what-ifs can go as far as your imagination!:yay:

Nice. To me, these aren't incredibly scary in a classic horror sense. They do point out just how important Twilight is. With or without wings, she's always finding herself at the crossroads of destiny, some paths leading to salvation, others to the destruction of Equestria. Or at least big disasters before Celestia mops up her mess.

I do find some plausibility issues in some of the scenarios. I suppose she COULD undo/overwrite the spell in the second one, damage done... I guess I can appreciate them for what they are. But in a lot of ways these are seeds of stories to me. They show us a divergence, and a really interesting one, and in some cases a glimpse of the darkness that follows. Maybe it's enough for our imagination to fill in the gaps, or take the stories to their extended conclusion.

Also makes me wonder, how many more? One thing we definitely take away from this is how large a consequence even the seemingly smallest of decisions can make. Even mundane ones. And there's something deeply unsettling about that.

2431418
Well, mine subject, thy praise is well received. Indeed, the laud is appreciated, but, if you would, give honor unto the author; without his mighty work, my comment would have never been born.

I keep imagining the Credits theme at the end of all of them. Makes it a bit funny really.

Rainbow Caught her friend rarity in the sonic rainboom, but she wasn't able to get up in time and crashed into the hard ground and everyone died

Ps, i had this comment written on my phone, but it gliched and lost it all. Damn you moble internet Damn you i say!:flutterrage:

"There didn’t used to be any ravines in the middle of Ponyville." -> "use to" (because the "didn't" already carries the past tense, so "use" remains in its infinitive form.)

This is a great little what-if tale, and it earns a thumbs-up form me. Nevertheless, I can't get over some of the logic:
1. Celestia knew of Nightmare Moon's return. Surely she had a better plan? At the very least leave Twilight information about the EoH, so she could eventually figure it out?
2. In the canon episode, the parasprites started eating Ponyville because Twilight didn't think through the consequences of her spell. At all. This what-if scenario averts that, and Twilight is concerned about unintended side-effects, and seemingly prepares for them. Than why is she suddenly not prepared? If she had time to pause and think, she should've put in better safeguards than that. Once the parasprites started attacking, she should have had a better contingency plan.
3. Twilight can get depressed, sure, but suicide? Just like that? It seems a bit of a stretch. And for all his "evilness", Discord laughing at somepony's death is unjustifiably dark. (Just my opinion, of course, based on my subjective impression of his character.)
4. Believable.
5. This is the least plausible one. Sombra couldn't reach into the crystal heart trap, at least not immediately; that much seemed obvious in the episode.. At the very worst, Twilight still had a few minutes left to strategize. Things could have played out badly with Sombra, but not like this.

2395346
Good, now you know how Littlepip felt when she cleared out a building full of carnivorous, radioactive parasprites. Bigger than the regular kind, too.

2432133
What happened is this: Twilight doesn't consider meat to be food, thus when she makes the parasprites stop eating food... she forgot that ponies aren't food, at least not by the definition of "food" she based the spell on.

2432133

>> "There didn’t used to be any ravines in the middle of Ponyville." -> "use to" (because the "didn't" already carries the past tense, so "use" remains in its infinitive form.)

I get the feeling some of my phrasing and punctuation comes off as odd because of American vs. British English - I have learned through reviews that American correct usage of commas is what British English considers splicing, plus a couple of other things that are different. Mayhap 'used to' is one of these? I have been teaching English for years and I have NEVER seen 'use to' used as a correct version but I freely admit I'm not au fait with the rules on this outside the UK.

>> 1. Celestia knew of Nightmare Moon's return. Surely she had a better plan? At the very least leave Twilight information about the EoH, so she could eventually figure it out?

Probably this one would have turned out differently if we had more concrete evidence of that from canon. As it is, I swing between believing Celestia is an omniscient super-being who has planned ahead for every conceivable eventuality and believing she really is just someone who tries to be good and oft-times reaps dividends thorugh dumb luck and foruitous timing.

2. In the canon episode, the parasprites started eating Ponyville because Twilight didn't think through the consequences of her spell. At all. This what-if scenario averts that, and Twilight is concerned about unintended side-effects, and seemingly prepares for them. Than why is she suddenly not prepared? If she had time to pause and think, she should've put in better safeguards than that. Once the parasprites started attacking, she should have had a better contingency plan.

>> My aim in this was to suggest that the wording of her spell leaves a loophole in the one thing she did not state they could not eat (if this phrasing is clunky I claim tiredness - it's 1am and I've been up since 5:30am). She prepared for the notion that the parasprites might start eating inanimate objects and staved them off food but forgot to mention they couldn't eat living creatures either. As for the contingency plan ... I don't know about you, but if one of my legs was suddenly missing, that's pretty much all I'd be thinking about. In my headcanon spell construction is a delicate balance of different factors and structures - none of which Twilight would be able to concentrate on properly in that amount of pain.

>> 3. Twilight can get depressed, sure, but suicide? Just like that? It seems a bit of a stretch. And for all his "evilness", Discord laughing at somepony's death is unjustifiably dark. (Just my opinion, of course, based on my subjective impression of his character.)

I was trying for a bit of implication rather than spelling this one out. :pinkiesick: The idea was that being 'discorded' robbed twilight of her confidence in her magic and, by corrollory, herself. Since for a large part of her life she has been defined by her magical ability and learning thereof (I cast spells, therefore, I am :raritywink:) it stood to reason (to me, anyhow) that the opposite of that would be a complete lack of faith in her own abilities and the destruction of her self-confidence. Suicide would be the final product of this corruption aided by Discord's ministrations and chaos magic - the antithesis of anything un-discorded Twilight would even consider doing.

>> 4. Believable.

Yay! :twilightsmile:

>> 5. This is the least plausible one. Sombra couldn't reach into the crystal heart trap, at least not immediately; that much seemed obvious in the episode.. At the very worst, Twilight still had a few minutes left to strategize. Things could have played out badly with Sombra, but not like this.

I'm going to go with opinion on this one. Sombra was an ill-defined villain with simplistic motivations and a creaky 'because the plot says so!' story surrounding him, which is damn frustrating on the show but left a lot of room for interpretation. He travels via smoke cloud and, as we do see in canon, that big 'ol thing is damn fast, especially across open spaces. When I rewatched this scene while writing, it seemed to me that he set off the trap around the Crystal Heart when the alarms sounded only to keep it safe in preparation for his own arrival. I didn't state how long it took him to get to Twilight after tripping the defences, so conceivably he had a few minutes to cross that space with no Cadance/Spike fastball special to get in his way. I do have to ask why you think he couldn't reach into the trap - he built it, so it stands to reason he'd make it accessible to himself if he ever needed to retrieve the Heart. As for Twilight's strategising, or lack thereof ... okay, you've got me there. Blind panic? Self-recrimination for keeping hold of the crystal when she should have knocked it outside the circle?

:twilightsmile: I hope that answered some of your queries and I didn't come off sounding (too much) like a pompous git. :twilightoops: Also, please forgive any spelling errors etc. Again, it's 1am and I'm cream-crackered from work.

2432481

Yay! I like your theory. I was just thinking she forgot to rule out living creatures but it actually makes a lot of sense that she wouldn't consider meat a food. Cheers for that. :twilightsmile:

2432506 The "used to"/"use to" distinction is not a difference of UK vs. US English. It is a hard grammar rule that spans every major dialect of English. It's difficult to grasp because the two forms are typically indistinguishable in speech, but the rule applies nevertheless.

You can see the rule in play if you substitute "use" with a different verb that makes the conjugation more obvious. Try "want":
"I used to write fanfiction." c.f. "I wanted to write fanfiction."
"I didn't use to write fanfiction." c.f. "I didn't want to write fanfiction."
The "did" hidden inside the "didn't" has the role of specifying time, and the verb that follows must be kept infinitive.

If you are an English teacher... teachers can still learn. :twilightsmile:

Oh, man, #2 is nightmare fuel!

Oh Scribbler! Such awesome work you produce! :pinkiehappy: Although #2 was slightly jarring to my psyche.:twilightoops:

You've completely changed my headcanon on parasprites.

I really liked the story, well done.

Does your version for 4 also include changelings? Because I think that if she saw the danger Canterlot was in on her departure, she would have returned, no matter the consequences.

I still don't understand where Celestia disappeared to in the Nightmare Moon incident :ajbemused:

This was a great 'What-If' fic!!
1. That party was awesome! :rainbowdetermined2: Wait, where's the su- oh crap! :twilightoops:
2. I think I just found what's going to give me nightmares tonight. :raritydespair:
3. What the heck? What is she doi- oh my god!!!
4. Awwww, poor Twilight. :fluttershysad:
5. Dear Luna, that was suspenseful!

You are writing about possible failure states, but there were plenty of options available to Twilight that would have solved the problems she was facing much faster or in a better way than in canon. And don't let me start on all the cases where Twilight's own actions created the problem in the first place... There's no need to focus only on negatives! :twilightsmile:

I... hope I don't come off as overly critical here, but while I found the different scenarios fairly interesting I wasn't particularly pleased with their execution. :applejackunsure:

I can understand wanting to leave things to the readers' imaginations, but the lack of exposition here made it difficult for me to even feel remotely involved in the stories. The notion of Twilight committing suicide should invoke some strong emotions, but I honestly felt nothing. It seemed more like a list of five ideas rather than five stories.

I won't go on because otherwise I'd steer more into the realms of criticizing your chosen style rather than actual errors, and that kind of thing helps no-one. :twilightblush: It looks like I'm in the minority here anyway, so carry on with what you're doing and congrats on the EQD feature.

It was solid. Execution was sort of iffy and the scenarios all seem far too ill-defined for the set in stone method of diction you chose. :unsuresweetie:

I agree with the below comments about which ones seemed plausible and which didn't. Number four especially.

The second part reminds me of Stephen King's It. Everyone who has read It knows the part I'm talking about.

The concept behind this story reminds me a lot of the concept behind Doctor Who's Turn Left, where the smallest decision (turning right instead of left) resulted in incredibly bad things happening (don't want to be too spoiler-y).

Very fascinating. I could see maybe expanding each story to a chapter, but besides the slight lack of detail(length?) it was very well written.

2432506

Probably this one would have turned out differently if we had more concrete evidence of that from canon. As it is, I swing between believing Celestia is an omniscient super-being who has planned ahead for every conceivable eventuality and believing she really is just someone who tries to be good and oft-times reaps dividends thorugh dumb luck and foruitous timing.

I don't belive Celestia is omniscient nor omnipotent, but she is wise. And in the second episode, she outright stated that she "saw the signs of Nightmare Moon's return", so she would've had some way of putting her student on the right path, even if the detailed strategy would have to be up to Twilight.

She prepared for the notion that the parasprites might start eating inanimate objects and staved them off food but forgot to mention they couldn't eat living creatures either.

My point is that once Twilight started enumerating things that could go wrong, she wouldn't just stop so quickly. I see Twilight as having a very all-or-nothing approach. Either pull a random strategy out of her rump on the spot (as she did in the canon episode) or plan carefully for every eventuality. If she understood that her spell could go wrong, she wouldn't just sloppily patch it, she would make it explicitly and easily reversible.

The idea was that being 'discorded' robbed twilight of her confidence in her magic and, by corrollory, herself. Since for a large part of her life she has been defined by her magical ability and learning thereof (I cast spells, therefore, I am ) it stood to reason (to me, anyhow) that the opposite of that would be a complete lack of faith in her own abilities and the destruction of her self-confidence. Suicide would be the final product of this corruption aided by Discord's ministrations and chaos magic - the antithesis of anything un-discorded Twilight would even consider doing.

... good one.

I do have to ask why you think he couldn't reach into the trap

I phrased that badly, I just meant he wouldn't get there so quickly. Cadance's barrier was still up for a few minutes after Twilight became trapped. And it didn't seem like much time had passed in your story because of the lack of dialog between Spike and Twilight - there should have been a lot more of Spike pleading with Twi and offering up ideas - even if they didn't work.
I really think you missed out on the ideal branch point, which would have been Twilight refusing to let Spike take the heart after it had rolled near him. She could've justified it by having Celestia's words echo in her mind ("It must be you and you alone...") and becoming convinced that she could escape in time, only to fail. That I would've believed.

I hope that answered some of your queries and I didn't come off sounding (too much) like a pompous git.

You did and you didn't. :twilightsmile:

I would like to see a bit more of number four, just to see what happens. In the description you said something about consequences that come with the decisions, yet I see none. We can only assume what would happen next, not see. We know what would happen with number two and number one would be it's own story but what about the others? Discord wouldn't allow Twilight to kill herself, after all, where's the chaos in death? The wedding, what would have happened if Twilight had left?

I would like to see a bit more elaboration on the consequences.

Yeah, I had imagined that very same parasprite situation.

A good read, but slightly disturbing. Especially number two. I guess Twilight made some good choices in the canon universe, huh? I feel more disturbed than when I started this story, and since it's supposed to be dark... good job, sir. Have a moustache. :moustache: :moustache:

#5 changed too much. Mainly making Sombra have an IQ higher than 12. You made him too intelligent, when he was clearly a raving nutcase. If that changes, then what happened to him in the past would als have to be changed, given that it was likely his lack of intelligence that led to his defeat.

#1 Celestia knew that NMM was coming back and had set everything up for Twi and friends to become the Bearers. That's even explained by Celestia at the end of episode 2.

#4 Well, not sure what would happen then. Chrysalis would still have her rather ill-conceived plan rather than a stealth invasion. And then there's still the wild-card of Luna. I suppose that's why you ended it where you did. Any number of events after part 1 were arguably forced and contrived for plot convenience, and thus making 'alternates' for them still leaves them disgenuine.

#3 I could see this only if Discord was more sadistic, but if he was, Celestia would have already known that and not kept his statue right where ponies could be near him. It's the issue I have with all the 'grimdark' Discords. Celestia would never have allowed a creature who caused, even indirectly, the deaths of ponies to be right out in public. The evidence supports a mean-spirited prankster, not a malicious dealer of death and despair.

#2 I dunno... I thought of that as a joke, but never took it seriously. Still don't.

...is it terrible of me that I want to see how you could continue with the 4th vignette?

Heh I like this. 2-5 seem plasible enough. (I especialy like the parasprite ones).
But I think for #1, Twilight would have received Clestia's message anyway, and being loyal student that she is, she would have went to Ponyville.

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