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Reharmonized Ponies POV Twilight Sparkle, "Turn The Other Flank"

Greetings and salutations! I am Twilight Sparkle! I know this seems gratuitous since you wouldn't be here if you didn't already know who I am but I feel it sets the tone for things to come. Or maybe I just want something normal and polite to anchor things down. Either way. A lot has happened since we last spoke.

I know you've all heard about how we defeated Discord and once again saved the world. But what those stories -won't- mention for the sake of the little fillies who read those stories is the weeks it's taken for the ponies of Ponyville and Canterlot to recover psychologically from the trauma inflicted by Discord (at least to where they can live their lives again). Yes yes I know, you've heard all this before but laying down the ground work like this helps me think.

And I did some hasty thinking on my part before.

"Twists and turns are my master plan. Then find the elements, back where you began."

In spite of the horrible -horrible- cost of my assumption regarding the Elements being within the hedge maze, I didn't really dwell on it long after. Discord is a -cheater-. What he did to Fluttershy is proof enough. If we had gone to say the Everfree Forest first, or to my old bedroom in Canterlot Castle, Discord would simply have had his 'game' there and if we had tried Ponyville first I -know- he would have simply moved the Elements somewhere else.

So I can not feel guilty for making the wrong choice when no matter what choice I made it would have been jury rigged to be the wrong one!

There is no such thing as fair play with Discord, the only reason we won is because he couldn't comprehend the idea of us forging our friendships back together. He was right. If Celestia hadn't sent me back my own letters to her, I'd have left Ponyville and my friends would have stayed their discorded selves. I shiver when I think of the possibilities of what -would- have happened after.

No, Applejack hasn't told me about -that- part of her visions she apparently had when she met the Princess (don't ask me how she had them) and I'm very glad she has not.

After Applejack told me about somepony who needed my help in Hoofington (after she had just spent the entire day apparently helping half of Ponyville) I had to say I was very surprised. When she told me who it was I had to help, I was even more stunned. Of course I asked how she knew. She said she learned about it during her meeting with Princess Celestia.

I still find it disjointing that Celestia would command an audience with AJ and APPLEBLOOM but not the rest of us. But I had no reason -not- to trust AJ and every reason -to- trust her.

And I was honestly more confounded on the pony who Discord had seemingly taken a -personal- interest in and thus had apparently not been cured by Discord's sealing.

But why her? Okay this IS Discord we're talking about. But while he was as insane as he acted, he was fully capable of being tactical when he wanted to be, and from all accounts, he had corrupted her the same time or soon before that Discord was picking us off one by one.

It made no sense: I know, I know, 'Discord' but seriously, when it came to breaking us there was a method to his madness. So why her of all ponies?

Maybe Discord knew about my encounter with her (like he seemed to know everything about us) and was planning on using her somehow as a plan B in case his first plan of breaking me through my friends didn't work? I doubt I'll ever know for sure, this is Discord I'm talking about and trying to figure him out is usually a waste.

You have no idea how much I wanted to leave as soon as Applejack told me. However I had responsibilities to Ponyville then and there including requested gossamer wing spells for traumatized Pegasi, making sure one of my friends didn't party herself to death, and being one of the least traumatized ponies in Ponyville acting as town organizer while other ran themselves ragged into their work trying to escape the scars Discord had left on them.

So after three weeks, and -finally- getting Pinkie Pie to sleep via cutting off her supplylines of caffeine, I knew I had delayed far too long.

Rainbow Dash -really- wanted to tell me something before I left. I had to tell her it would have to wait until I got back sadly. She looked very crestfallen at that. Maybe it was the wrong thing to do, but I saw how awful my friends were when they were tainted by Discord for (effectively) a day! A pony who had been that way for the better part of a month? I don't know if I was being oblivious, compassionate, or egocentric, but all I knew was that I had delayed going to help her more than I ever should have. I know what the others thought of her and they had every right to, but there was something too painfully familiar in that stuck-up full of herself loud-mouth drama-queen for me to just turn a blind eye to her and just brush her off as beyond saving. And it wasn't like I was going to leave -any- pony to suffer as Discord's legacy if I had a say in it.

Rainbow Dash left looking none too happy and more than a little flustered. I really wish I had two of me.

"Rarity, I don't know how long I'm going to be gone. Mayor Mare seems to have recovered from the worst of it, but just in case I'm leaving all my notes and plans with you." I floated over the best looking saddle bag I owned (knowing Rarity would have been even more likely to complain if it was anything less) full of scrolls and books.

"What?" Rarity's jaw dropped.

"I don't know how long I'm going to be gone! Could be hours, could be days. If anything disruptive happens I need the most organized pony I know besides me. Spike is staying here and you know he'll be more than willing to help you with anything you need. Now there's a couple spell scrolls in there wired so any -adult- unicorn can use them so don't worry about Sweetie Belle getting her hooves on them too much, on second thought, do worry because those took a long time to make and I'd rather not to have spend the time to make replacements. They're mostly just for some spells I've been requested for on a weekly basis, hopefully I'll be back before-"

"Twilight!" Rarity interrupted at last her manners pushed to the limit. "How can you just drop me this on me? And I'd appreciate some details on this 'mission' or whatever it is you're up to."

"I told you before coming here I'm just going to help someone Discord hurt as badly as us... . you're my only hope."

"And you expect me to hold onto your things while you're gone and I act out any duty of yours related to magic out of the goodness of my heart?"

"Yes, Element of Generosity."

Rarity said in a completely even voice. "Blast you Twilight Sparkle."

"Look it's all just in case. If anything major turns up just have Spike dragon-mail me. I hope I'm not going to be gone all that long and I'm giving these to you just in case I can't be back in time for something unexpected."

Rarity sighed, "Alright. But I'll have you know that you're not the only one whose taken on extra responsibilities for the sake of others right now."

"I'm very sorry Rarity, but I'm pulled in a lot of directions as it is. I promise I'll be back as soon as I can!"

We nuzzled each other and I raced home to pack a few essentials. I wished I had been to Hoofington before, then with some intense effort on my part I could have just teleported there. But with nothing to directly visualize except a few maps I didn't want to risk teleporting inside the wall of a newly built gift-shop. Normally there were safely measures built in to prevent that sort of disaster, but the greater the distance the more likely mistakes could happen if you weren't being prepared for on the other end. Realistically I should have spent time trying to get Hoofington to prepare for my arrival, but there had been so much in Ponyville that needed doing, so very much. After Applejack told me and I accepted, Princess Celestia sent news ahead of time that I would be coming -eventually- to see my -patient- but I had neglected to organize my arrival. Yes, I have been feeling overworked, what precisely was your first clue?

As it was, Celestia WAS willing to provide me some extra fast Royal Pegasi transport so at least the trip there would be less time consuming then the trip back via teleportation (yes I figured I could pull it off).

"Are you secure Lady Sparkle?" One asked in a ten-hut voice once we were in the air.

I checked myself over, and wondered about the addition of 'seat belts' in the chariot but made sure I was indeed 'securely' fastened.

"Yes I am." I answered politely.

"Are you sure?" Asked the second one.

If I was a paranoid pony I'd think they were kidnapping me. "Absolutely."

"Then hold on please."

Hold onto what?

And then I screamed like a little filly.

These weren't the normal Pegasi troopers who normally carted very important ponies to and from Canterlot, these boys were born and bred to move like lightning!

The wind pressed my lips and eyelids open and I shed tears from the gale force and wondered whose bright idea it was not to install a wind screen in this thing!

These boys could have made the Wonderbolts if they wanted! Instead they had opted to try and give nice lavender unicorns heart-attacks! I couldn't really enjoy the landscape below or the mountain ranges in the distance due to spending the first few minutes screaming my lungs out that my caring and considerate transport were perfectly happy to ignore. Then I finally calmed down enough to simply hang on for dear life, even though I was indeed properly secured in the modified chariot. I swear on Princess Celestia's Cutie Mark, I did not cry out for mommy!

I will not bore you with details of being dragged along through the air at near Sonic Rainboom speeds. I shall instead inform you that my transport was kind and considerate enough to slow down gradually when we approached our destination so I wouldn't go splat against the front of the golden chariot.

Realistically I suppose I should have been -very- grateful that my ride was as swift as it was, I wanted to get there fast after all. But I was too busy being grateful I had chosen on a whim not to bring any unsecured, non-gravity-immune books with me as I normally would for the 'long trip' through the air.

For a second I thought we had gone in a big loop: a relatively small town with a much more impressive building almost overlooking it in the dead of night. Then I realized what I was seeing wasn't Canterlot, nor were the streets and buildings below me Ponyville.

I shuddered almost when I realized just how much alike Hoofington was to Ponyville. Instead of Canterlot overshadowing it in the distance was a fairly impressive magic school.

I'd learn later that while, like Ponyville, it had been founded by Earth Ponies, unicorn settlers and immigrants had long since supplanted the original population into a minority.

It was rather strange seeing so many unicorns among architecture done mostly in Earth Pony style.

Princess Celestia had provided an address and who it was I should expect. And I wondered, was this really where she had come from? The Pegasi asked if I was alright right after landing and after disengaging myself from that accursed chariot and after concluding I'd live (but not live well) they were quick to depart leaving Princess Celestia's personal envoy and apprentice in the middle of a little nowhere town this time without her best (and at the time only) friend to help her along.

Thankfully Hoofington was like Ponyville in another way, the locals were overwhelmingly welcoming and friendly (apparently having more of a night life than Ponyville), though I wasn't assaulted by a congo line of ponies who seemed eager to use the word 'friend' at least once in their introduction and lined up perfectly with the personality profiles needed to use the Elements of Harmony.

I've begun to wonder greatly if Princess Celestia arranged for my friends to be assigned their positions in Ponyville before ordering me to 'make some friends' where I'd have inevitable met each of them. It was hardly beyond her to go over the psychological profile of every pony in Equestria then pull strings for them to be assigned or moved to Ponyville. Though Applejack's family had been in Ponyville apparently for generations: both Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash had moved from Cloudsdale, Pinkie Pie came from whatever it was she did, and finally Rarity acted sometimes out of place among the rest of Ponyville's locals.

I didn't know if I should feel awed or played like a chess piece if this was true, but the Princess had never had anything but Equestria and more importantly its ponies' best interests at heart, and decided that if it were true I should just be impressed what a thousand years of planning and preparation could ... A thousand years? What about decades? Had Celestia chosen me as her student -in particular- for curing Princess Luna of Nightmare Moon?

I almost stopped dead in my tracks as I had a momentary existential crisis regarding fate and free will and really wished Spike was there to give me one of his layman's terms remarks.

In a flash of paranoia I wondered she had -bred- bloodlines for the express purpose of creating ponies who'd perfectly align with the elements before I stopped myself and remembered that the Princess Celestia I knew could never be so detached even for the sake of all of Equestria.

I breathed in deep taking in Princess Luna's cold night air. This was absurd, I had to focus before I accidently drove myself crazy. No matter what games the Princess played, I knew her love for me and those under her care wasn't a performance and that was enough.

Following some very kind directions from a random unicorn I arrived at a rather mundane house. It was not run down by any stretch of the imagination, nor was it in any kind of disrepair or destitution. But it just seemed so, normal, the kind of house you'd give a glance to and never think about the first time. It was not dressed up fancy nor did it have any quirky traits that would draw attention to itself. It was a single story home with a front and backyard and a atypical front door.

I -really- didn't like the idea of showing up this late at night (or was that early in the morning?) but I figured I had delayed them long enough, and I really didn't want to go to the trouble of finding a room to rent out yet. And maybe I felt a little guilty at making them wait as long as I had, and wondered if these delays had in fact somehow made her condition incurable.

I bit the crossbow bolt and telekinetically knocked on the door.

I waited a minute, wondering if I should just come back in the morning when the residents weren't likely to be angry with me when I saw a soft blue glow behind a window come to the front door.

"Who is it?" Said a strangely familiar female voice behind the door. She sounded groggy but not really hostile for having been woken up in the middle of the night.

I stumbled over what I had been planning to say. "I was told, I'm from Ponyville, I was sent to look at who was tainted by Discord. I'm very very VERY sorry for taking so long! I deeply apologize! And I can understand if you hate me but please, at least let me try! I really want to help her I really do! But there were just so many in Ponyville who needed help too and-"

"Are you Twilight Sparkle?" The mare voice on the other side interrupted.

I was shaken out of my mea cupla, "Yes I'm Twilight Sparkle, is Trixie here?"

The door opened and I was greeted on the other side with a light blue unicorn with a silver mane and kind violet eyes. "Yes she is."

"Trixie?" I gasped out.

The unicorn shook her head gentle and apologetically and showed me her flank which showed a pair of fairy wings connected to a book. "Oh no, I'm Nyxie. I'm her sister."

I recovered slightly. "Trixie, I mean, I didn't know she had a twin."

"Oh none of us are twins. We all just happened to look more alike then most siblings do. Puck and Robin don't look nearly as much alike as we do."

I tried to stay afloat the sea of confusion and incomplete information. "Puck and who?"

"Oh I'm sorry." Nyxie bowed her head a few times. "Puck and Robin Goodfellow are my brothers. They don't live in Hoofington anymore and aren't here right now though they did visit a couple weeks back and asked us to keep them informed."

"Who is 'us?' "

"Welllll~." Nyxie turns up her eyes in thoughts for a moment, "You're here and we're all here anyway so I guess now's as good a time for introductions as any."

I opened my mouth to question that logic as Nyxie floated a copper pot and ladle towards herself and banged them together in quick succession. "EVERYONE! WAKE UP! THE DOCTOR FROM CANTERLOT IS FINALLY HERE! FRONT AND CENTER! LET'S DO THIS!"

Throughout the not-humble-yet-not-grand dwelling the ruckus of ponies falling or jumping out of bed assaulted my ears along with noises I wasn't sure I wanted to identify and before the noise of the ladle had a chance to finish ringing in my ears I was staring in astonishment.

Three other ponies galloped into the room a couple trying to shake off sleep while simultaneously trying to perform some simple cartwheels or somersaults before lining up along side Nyxie.

I couldn't take my eyes off them! I was in a room with four Trixies! Okay, I had only had this nightmare once or twice before. The first being when my friends and I had that 'blind taste cook off' and I was very sure what I got was Rainbow Dash's cooking. Maybe the pegasus would wake me up soon.

"Sound off!" Declared Nyxie holding her hooves up like Pinkie at the climax of her 'Evil Enchantress' song. The others assumed equally Super-Pony-Rangers-esque poses. I could tell they were a few years apart in age, but I still found myself befuddled.

"Presenting Mixie The Eldest!" Her cutie mark was a a pale moon with the outline of a witch flying against it.

"Pixie! The Second Eldest!" A black and white pan flute.

"Nyxie! The Second Youngest!"

"And Lexy! The Youngest!" Half a tragedy and half a comedy mask. (But unlike another pony I had once read about these masks were black and white.)

"In attendance!" Shouted Nyxie as if calling out to an audience. "The MidSummer-Night Sisters!"

When no fireworks occurred I began to suspect I wasn't dreaming after all as the three other ponies huffed and slowly broke out of their poses.

"I still think the name is corny." Said Pixie breaking pose first.

"The name is fine it's the poses that are corny." Said apparently Lexy looking at her apparent sister.

Looking at four Trixies chatting among themselves was threatening to shut my brain down but I managed to keep going.

"So you're Dr. Sparkle?" Asked Mixie trotting up to me. I finally realized I was still in the front door and slowly trotted in.

"Erm, it's just Twilight Sparkle actually, I'm not a doctor."

Pixie was in my face a little too much in an instant. "Then why are you here to help Trixie? Nyxie just said you were the doctor from Canterlot!"

For some reason, I was sweating. "I -am- from Canterlot, and I -am- here to help Trixie. A doctor can't cure what she has. So that's why I'm here." She continued to stare at me. "I know what I'm doing. I've done this multiple times before without trouble. I'm, I'm sure I'll have your, er, sister back to normal in no time."

"Hmm." Pixie continued to stare at me as Mixie then pulled her away.

"I dunno, I'm starting to like her the way she is," Said Lexy sitting on her haunches. "She doesn't try to get out of anything we want to do together with her. She's a great listener now. And--"

"LEXY! That's not funny!" Said the three other together like was a conditioned reflex.

" ... Only joking." Lexy defended meekly.

"Seriously, you can cure her right?" Nyxie asked almost pleading with rather un-Trixie-like big eyes.

"I'm absolute sure I can." I said with as much confidence as I could muster. "But I'm sad I say I wasn't given many details. What is she like now?"

"She's like a doll." Mixie said flatly.

My addled brain responded on its own. "She likes dressing up and tea parties?"

"No." Mixie responded a tiny bit harshly. "I mean like a -doll-. She barely responds to anything! Pixie has to keep an eye on her to make sure she feeds herself. And when we can get her to respond to anything, she goes through the motions like a -robot!- We're just lucky she can still go to the little filly's room by herself! Talking to her is like talking to a rock that happened to look like my little sister."

Trying to process all this information at once, I grasped at the last thing. "Little sister?"

"Trixie is in the middle." Pixie offered helpfully.

I managed to file away that piece of information. I think I was beginning to understand something, but I wasn't sure what. The overnight trip without sleep from Ponyville to here was beginning to take its toll as I spouted out the obvious.

"You all sure look alike."

"Thanks." Said Pixie politely. "When we go outside we actually like to hide our cutie marks. It's Lexy's idea of a joke. And the locals have turned it into a game to try and guess whose who when they see us ... Trixie never really took part."

"Unless I blackmailed her." Said Lexy.

"Or I guilt tripped her." Said Mixie.

"Or I bribed her." Jumped in Pixie.

"Or I just asked really really nicely." Nyxie said last looking at her sisters with an unreadable expression.

"Point is: she really wasn't a team player," Said Mixie simply, "but I'd still rather have -her- than ... what she is now." Mixie's face contorted in discomfort as she stumbled over the second half of her sentence.

"I'll get on it as soon as I-" I let out a very large yawn. My tiredness was catching up with me faster and faster.

Nyxie trotted up to me and nuzzled me in the face, "Maybe you should get some sleep first. I don't think ... Trixie is going to be any worse tomorrow morning."

"Naw I'm fine." I said before another yawn came out and my eyelids had mysterious begun to turn to lead.

"Uh. Seriously," said Mixie in a polite but slightly forceful voice. "We'd rather have you perform the spell or whatever you need to do when you're awake and won't accidentally turn my little sister into a potted plant."

"Oh don't be silly," I said my legs slowly taking on the consistency of pudding. "The only ponies I've ever turned into potted plants were my parents, and they so totally went back to normal afterwards. I think having me chosen as the goddess' Chosen One offset any chance of a pathological fear of their own child from forming. Which is really cool cause though I think of her momjesty like a mother to me, I still love my parents and my real mom too. I know I don't talk to'em much but hey, as a filly becomes a mare she's expected to strike out on her own right?"

"Right," said Trixie-With-Witch-Cutie-Mark. "So you're asleep on your hooves now. Got it. Lexy go get a blanket from the cupboard."

"Alright," said Trixie-With-Mask-Cutie-Mark.

Trixie-With-Flying-Book-Cutie-Mark led me to a nice comfy couch.

"I mean can you believe some Earth Ponies? I know their magic isn't as visible as ours or flying-ponies, but just because we don't use our hooves all the time doesn't mean magic isn't straining hard work just like plowing a field is dangit! You know what I mean?" I asked the four much nicer Trixies, not really sure which one I was talking to. And wondering where that thought had popped up. Likely the same place all these Trixies came from.

"Right right." Said Trixie-With-Flying-Book-Cutie-Mark in a voice that strangely reminded me of how Fluttershy spoke some times as I fell onto the surprisingly comfy couch and closed my eyes for a bit. Maybe I should rest for just a tiny bit after the party marathon with Pinkie, organizing the psychologist appointments for nearly all of Ponyville, casting that wing spell again, and travel far ... across the sky.

I don't know why, but, my dreams felt, 'incomplete' that night. Like they were just words floating in a black misty sea of confusion, stunted, uninspired. Not wanting to grow into complete sentences or images. And I was swimming in the mess of it. Was I really so tired I couldn't even DREAM properly? Maybe Pinkie Pie wasn't the only one who needed some rest whether she liked it or not. Maybe it was all the Trixie look-alikes I saw, but I did dream a groggy image of my filly days, listening to one of Celestia's one on one lessons. Except I wasn't alone in this broken half-dream. There was another Trixie sitting next to me, but with a cutie mark that was a color inverted version of mine. I know dreams are supposedly often a reflection of subconscious, but if this dream held any meaning, it was lost on me.
When I woke up the next morning (maybe, I felt like I had slept a week), the sun was already high in the sky. And I saw the youngest of Trixie's apparent sisters, the one with the mask cutie mark, what was her name again? Flexy? Bexley? Ugh. Who invented specialized words for personal names anyway? The vast majority of ponies were perfectly happy with compound nouns for names... . Right. Celestia wasn't exactly a common noun. Right: 'I am be dumb unicorn.' I'll change the subject now.

I just hoped I dreamed the part where I shot my mouth off last night (and digging myself in a very deep hole) were just part of my convoluted dreams last night.

Why couldn't it have been that dream with that colt I dated exactly two times when I entered the flux between filly to marehood?

"Good morning. You're, Laxy?"

"Good morning. My name is Lexy."

"Oh I'm so so sorry, normally I absorb details like a dry sponge, I didn't think I was -that- tired last night."

Lexy looked at me slyly. "Did you know you apparently sometimes spout magical formulas in your sleep?"

"I'm pretty sure it's impossible for me to be that tired."

Lexy shrugged. "Believe whatcha wanna believe."

"So ... " I finally remembered my manners. "Thank you for letting me sleep in your house last night. It was very generous of you considering how long I've let your sister suffer."

"I actually wanted to wake you up with an exploding paper bag, and Pixie wanted to some nice loudmusic to wake you up by, but Nyxie convinced Mixie to have us let you sleep in."

"I'll be sure to tell her thank you." I said getting up and stretching muscles.

"She's in the kitchen if you want, it's about time to feed Trixie anyway."

I wondered for a moment if Lexy had spoken like someone going about the routine of feeding a pet. Then I saw the pony's body language wasn't callousness, it was numbness.

"It's my turn to fetch her, hold on." Lexy walked out of the apparent living room as I got my baring. Now that it wasn't dark as night, I saw the house had clearly once been a dwelling meant for Earth Ponies, but had been modified since to service the basic yet different long-term needs of a unicorn family. Many things were placed where telekinesis was the only way of reaching them. I wasn't that shocked or really alarmed, families moved in and out of houses and different ponies had different needs.

"Trixie! Time to come out!" Came Lexy's shout. I turned my head and curiously looked down the short hallway Lexy had vanished down and saw her in front of a doorway which Lexy waited a moment before then pushing it open and going inside.

I couldn't help myself and went down the hall and looked inside the doorway. It was a room with three bunk beds and one single. The single looked like it could be, or had been, connected to one of the others if need be. But I didn't have time to take in any other real details as my attention got drawn totally to the unicorn Lexy was pulling out of the single bed.

Of all the unicorns I had seen in this house so far, this one looked and acted the least like Trixie. The fact she wasn't wearing Trixie's hat and cape had nothing to do with it. As Lexy pulled her out of bed, I saw indeed Trixie's cutie mark on this mare's flanks, but that just made it more jarring. The pony seemed to be constantly looking down, not making eye contact with anypony, her expression was a broken melancholy that never wavered. Then I saw how the pony moved.

I remembered a mechanical pony I had seen shown off by one of my classmates in Canterlot, with its halting movements and its stiff limbs, its lifeless expression, the way it moved on its own but with no life. But that pony had been tin plated, and I could easily see the key and the gears between the joints.

Here all I saw was coat and hide, breath being taken in and out, and those exact same lifeless movements.

I swallowed my gasp of shock and alarm and galloped straight back to the living room.

Lexy must have heard me, but she made no reference to it as she led Trixie into the living room. Trixie didn't even look at me though there was no way she could have missed me.

"Come on Trixie, Nyxie's waiting for us." Lexy said gently as she prodded along the pony with muted versions of her own colors.

I tried my best not to be rude, not to crowd Trixie and not to make it look like I was trying to keep my distance.

I followed them into a kitchen that Nyxie had some places already set, and had was just finishing drying a couple other plates.

"Good morning Trixie!" She said happily and moved up to her big sister. "How are you this morning?"

Trixie didn't respond.

"Well I'm sure you'll feel better after you have something in your stomach." Nyxie said with a smile.

The breakfast was generic scrambled eggs all around. I didn't mind it.

Trixie didn't use her telekinesis, I wasn't that shocked. Trixie used her face like an Earth pony. The other two didn't make any complaint about Trixie's apparent lack of unicorn table manners. I'd be told later they had tried exactly once to try and feed her manually, and her jaw had closed like an steel trap until they stopped. Lexy had apparently tried to simply close off her breathing passages to force her to open her mouth, but that hadn't ended well.

"Trixie this is Twilight Sparkle. She's the expert we told you about whose here to help you. Twilight Sparkle, this is my big sister Trixie."

Trixie's eyeballs barely shifted in my direction and I noticed it was like she was trying to soundlessly mouth my name but her jaw didn't want to comply.

"Er, nice to ... meet you Trixie." I said doing my best to be politely.

As I ate in silence and Nyxie kept trying to coax some reaction from her sister. I didn't want to look at Trixie but I could pull my eyes away either. It was like looking at some grotesque puppet show as a pony's body was moved along with invisible strings.

"So you came from Canterlot?" Lexy asked looking at me up and down as if trying to figure out some tell tale sign.

"Technically I came from Ponyville, but I was effectively raised in Canterlot, I've spent the last year in Ponyville for, er, personal studies." Admitting I was studying friendship was sure to make me blush.

"Oh I see. No need to say more." Nyxie said with a wink and smile and I had no clue what that was about.

"Where are your sisters?" I had to ask.

Lexy said. "Pixie has a rehearsal today, if you can call it that. And Mixie is out earning her keep."

I struggled not to blink at the esoteric answers from the pony who had only just recently crossed the border between filly and mare. Trixie acted as though she hadn't heard one word of what was being spoke around her. Let alone that the pony who had saved her life and at the same time shattered her carefully crafted illusion of being the greatest mage in all of Equestria was sitting right next to her.

With a full belly and not bothering with normal morning grooming I couldn't take it anymore.

"Trixie. Stand here please." I said out of the blue in a slightly forceful tone.

Trixie complied with all the obedience of an automaton.

"Stay still." I said as if she was going anywhere. Trixie's muscles locked in place instantly.

Nyxie and Lexy started and just looked on, daring to hope.

The memory spell conforms itself to each pony, making them relive the memories that truly mattered most to them and the memories that had helped shape them into who they are. Of course that's just the crude mechanical definition and isn't even fully accurate. As much I wouldn't be the first to admit it, it had always felt like to me that the memory spell was more an intense light and a strong wind, piercing the darkness and dispelling the black clouds inside my friends' hearts.

It had woken Applejack up from her self induced haze of not wanting to face reality. It had pulled Pinkie Pie up from the emotional pit Discord had tricked her into digging herself into. It had helped remind Rarity of what was actually important to her. And had it made Fluttershy remember why she cared for others (though I admitted something had felt very strange when I had cured her but I couldn't put my hoof on what). And had it had helped Rainbow Dash remember her friends -mattered- to her (again, something felt weird when I touched her, but it was different from Fluttershy).

I gentle touched my horn to Trixie's to get better magical conduction (like I had with Rarity) and let the spell flow from me into Trixie.

'GET OUT~!!!'

A thunderous roar erupted from the blackness, breaking the connection and physically knocking me onto the floor! I reactively felt my horn to make sure it was still in one piece from the backlash. It was.

Whatever that had been, it wasn't Trixie. Or I hoped it wasn't.

Of course Trixie's sisters checked on her first before me. Trixie shuddered a few times, but otherwise she was unchanged, her colors hadn't returned.

"What happened? Is she okay?" Nyxie asked.

I answered, shaken myself. "I tried to use the memory spell to cure her but ... something came between us. No, not between, it was like something pushed me out!" Nyxie helped me to my hooves.

"Trixie ..." Lexy's voice broke. "Come on. This ... this isn't funny ... don't, don't you -want- to be better? You do right? Yeah, yeah I know you do! So, so just let the nice mare help you please?"

She might as well have been trying to talk to a wall.

"FINE! See if I care!" Lexy snarled at the unresponsive Trixie her tone the complete opposite of her words. The younger unicorn left the room in a gallop.

Nyxie looked like she WANTED SO BADLY to say something, anything, but couldn't find the words as Lexy left. Finally she turned to me and Trixie.

"Are you hurt? Is Trixie hurt?" Nyxie asked politely.

"I'm fine. Trixie is no worse than she was a minute ago."

"I see." Nyxie whispered.

I looked at Trixie. This had not been the plan at all. I had hoped to be back in Ponyville in no time. Rarity was just in case. I figured if something here went wrong, it would have to do with me not being ABLE to cast the spell, or perhaps just spend some days helping her recover from being discorded so long as a way of saying I was sorry for taking so long (not that Trixie would have done more than complain but still). I hadn't picked out or CHOSEN the memories that had healed my friends, they had, in their own way, done that on their own.

And whatever had kicked me out before I had even gotten a hoof in the front door, was more than likely still waiting if I tried to make another attempt. In other words, I needed a new spell. There was the academy nearby, but I needed my own research materials more than anything and the best supplies could be ordered from Canterlot.

Things had gotten much more complicated.

I knew the smart thing to do would be to simply hand Trixie over to the experts, those with magic experience that outweighed my ability and power. To those who knew how a pony's head worked better than one who spent more time with books than with other ponies. That was the smart thing to do. The rational thing to do. It was also logical and practical, and therefore the Twilight Sparkle thing to do.

"How soon until all your sisters are home again?" I asked.

"This afternoon I think."

"I'll wait until then. I think my best chance for helping Trixie is to take her back to my facilities in Ponyville."

" ... You'll be able to help her?" Nyxie asked her eyes on the listless unicorn.

"I'm absolutely sure."

"Alright then." Nyxie said as if that settled everything.

And with that, I had told my biggest fattest lie since the parasprite infestation and made the most selfish, self-serving, self-centered, self-absorbed, self-important decision of my entire life!

And I was honestly not sure why I had.

+++++

I spent the rest of the day asking Nyxie questions about Trixie. Sadly, since my experience with ponies wasn't exactly the best, I barely knew what questions to ask! And not knowing what questions to ask is just about the worst thing when you're trying to understand something or someone. I did manage to squeeze out a few drops of revelation that weren't just dates and statistics.

Nyxie had Trixie 'make herself comfortable' in the living room, where she sat in one of the chairs and stared out at nothing like a filly's doll.

"Oh mom and dad loved us all. And we did our best to support each other as well."

"What was she like back then?"

"Well she always seemed frustrated over something or other."

"I'll admit sometimes it was hard to tell what she was thinking."

"I swear to Celestia, I've never seen Trixie look so happy as when dad said they now had the bits for her to attend the magic academy."

"The only time she seemed upset was when Mixie said Trixie would fit right in."

"Trixie wasn't doing badly in any of her classes. Mom said Trixie was upset she wasn't doing fantastic in any of them."

"I think we all realized Trixie had problems when she tried to run away to join the circus. Mixie told her we were five parts of a whole and we should support each other. Trixie snarled that was the problem."

"Her teachers were all disappointed when she began to abandon her studies. They were all sad to see her go. Our parents were just shocked. She ended up giving her scholarship to Mixie. She became White-Beard The Gray's apprentice."

"Of course we were all overjoyed when Trixie got her cutie mark! I couldn't remember when I last saw her so -happy-! For the first time in so long she wasn't sullen! She was producing illusions and pyrotechnics out the woozoo at her Cute-ceañera, she even got Pixie to think Pixie was a baby dragon. Yes she provided the entertainment at her own party, we didn't want to stop her."

"She just left town one day. She said her goodbyes and left. It was very sudden. It was strange too. It wasn't like her act was growing stale or anything."

"She visits, usually for the Summer Sun or Winter Night festivals, except when she thinks she can make it big in one of the larger cities that year, and she shows up for the occasional birthday. The last time she visited out of season was when she made it for Master White-Beard's funeral. She spent most of it hiding from the rest of us. She looked at White-Beard just once and ran out of the room."

"All four of us actually visited Ponyville a while back, we heard our sister was going to do one of her shows there but we missed it entirely ... Mixie was not happy. Hey. YOU said you spent all of last year in Ponyville! Did you see her show?"

I did my best not to put on some forced fake grin. "I ... only really caught the end of it. My friends didn't talk about it much but they were really  too emotionally charged up about it afterwards. She left in the middle of the night that same evening so I didn't have a chance to catch a full performance." Please please please PLEASE forgive me for twisting truth like this Applejack! For some reason, this tasted worse than the bald face lie I had said.

"Too bad. Trixie really knows how to put on a show and she's a great story teller when she tries to be and puts more substance than glitter into her act."

I smiled and nodded. I decided I would not tell Nyxie how Trixie had created a complete and total lie of a tall tale of Trixie defending her hometown from an Ursa Major and had been spreading it from town to town to increase her popularity and had been passing it off as reality.

Nyxie continued to answer my questions and I didn't stop her when she began to go off in different directions that proved more natural and helpful then most of my questions.

"I keep saying we should join up into one big theater troop, but Trixie keeps saying she works best alone, Mixie doesn't want to be tied down, and Pixie's scared it'll seal off other chances for her. We've never performed all together and Trixie actually got upset when Mixie suggested Pixie and Lexy could learn a few of Trixie's tricks to spice up their performances. She left town that time before we even knew she was leaving."

"We didn't even KNOW she was in town! I was stunned when I found her! I was actually rather happy until I noticed how lifeless she was. I was worried she was hurt or something or was sick ... then Discord came to town and ... I'd rather not talk about that outside of family, sorry."

"I understand." I nodded simply, slightly exhausted from the extensive questions and answers session.

When the two other unicorns came home, Nyxie had taken the time to call two others. One was a middle aged black unicorn mare with wrinkles and a silver mane who introduced herself as Morgan. The other was an dark blue Earth Pony with a lighter blue mane named Gorlois. Nyxie introduced them as her and her sisters' parents.

I was surprised. But I thought nothing of it. That theory of mixed couples creating 'magical-inferior' unicorns had been disproved for over fifty years along with that 'pure-species' drivel.

All of her family took the chance to kiss Trixie goodbye. Gorlois and Morgan kept looking me in the eyes asking I was sure I'd be able to help their child but I never broke under their gaze (somehow).

Lexy was last, who had to be pushed to give Trixie a hug, she went though the motions but she figured if Trixie couldn't even tell then what was the point?

Of all the things going wrong, this teleportation back to Ponyville was on the last thing on my list I was spending time worrying about. And miracles of miracles, nothing did go wrong! No sudden lunar eclipse throwing us into another universe, no mind swap, no splitting us into our good and evil sides. In a simple flash of light as I visualized (along with some tricky mathematical calculations done in advance) where I was and where I wanted myself and Trixie to be. We were everywhere, then nowhere, then everywhere again, and finally in my library in Ponyville. I really didn't want anyone to see Trixie who didn't have to. The unicorn whose tall tale had inspired two idiots to lure an Ursa Minor into town might not be well received.

"Twilight! You're back! I'm so happy and-what is SHE doing here-?!"

"I missed you too Spike." I said to him as softly as I could.

The joy of seeing his de facto foster parent was rather disrupted by seeing the lying smart alec who had taunted and emotionally hurt said de facto foster parent, making Spike's head swim. "Twilight, I missed you too, but why is -TRIXIE- here?"

"She's the patient I told you I was going to visit in Hoofington."

"What?! Why would Discord waste his time on -her?-"

I didn't know if it was good or bad thing that I could swear I saw Trixie's head lower a fraction of an inch.

"Seriously Twilight! You said it was someone who showed all the signs of being someone who Discord did one of his one-on-one games with! I figured you were gonna go see Princess Luna in secret or somethin'! Not her! She's gotta be faking it! No way and no how that Discord would throw away his time on someone like her! Even he wasn't that crazy!"

Okay, that time I know I saw her head lower just a tiny bit.

"Spike, that's enough, you're not helping."

"I'm trying to help -you- Twilight! This is like you telling Pinkie that she was just jealous of Gilda! She's just bad news!"

Her head didn't lower this time, but it was like her expression become ever so slightly more blank.

I put my hoof down. "I said that was enough Spike!"

Spike looked at me in shock. I remembered how Trixie had humiliated Rarity during her show, and wondered if that was adding fuel to the fire for Spike. "Twilight? Don't tell me you're defending her!"

" ..." I breathed in and out trying to figure out what to say. "I spoke with her parents and her sisters and I've been observing her since this morning. There's no way this is one of Trixie's performances."

"Why? Too good? And they're all likely in on-"

"Spike." I said gritting my teeth in a low, calm voice that held back a volcano that threatened to erupt.

"Never mind." He responded meekly.

I sighed. "I need you and Owlowiscious to both look after her with me."

"What? You mean I play to servant-boy to ... uh, why hasn't she said anything yet?" Spike asked it finally dawning on him that Trixie staying quiet this long was as illogical as Pinkie Pie standing still for the same amount of time.

I did my best not to sound sarcastic. "I am fairly certain that just as Discord reversed the traits of our Elements, he reversed Trixie's most obvious trait, in other words, her confidence."

"Fine fine. Just cast the memory spell so she remembers that she's supposed to be acting like she's Queen of the World and throw her out the door!"

"I tried that. It didn't work."

"That's just proof it's all-"

"Spike if you don't stop it I'll throw -you- out of the front door!"

"Twilight! It's Trixie! Remember? One of the bad guys?"

"DISCORD is one of the bad guys! Nightmare Moon was one of the bad guys! She's a pony who needs help and I'll do my best to give it with or without you!"

Spike looked at me in total shock before finally speaking. "Twilight, you know I'm behind you one hundred percent on anything, but, I'm worried you're just helping someone whose just gonna hurt you for helping them."

"That's a very real possibly if I can get Trixie back to herself." I sighed.

"Then why?"

"Short answer? No one I've met who breaths oxygen deserves what Discord did to my friends and everyone in Ponyville. And I'm not making an exception just because it's someone who cared less about making friends then me. Long answer? ... There's a family who want their sister back, they can't do it on their own. I'm the only mortal pony whose managed to break Discord's taint on another pony."

"Then just ask Princess Celestia to do it and we can get this over with. I'm sure she can do it while having tea!"

"No."

"What do you mean no? You really think she'd turn you down?"

"It's not that Spike."

"Then what is it dangit-?! Haven't we had enough complications around here already?"

"I know we have Spike ... "

"Then why add more to the bundle? Doesn't Ponyville have enough problems without you bringing in someone else's?"

"Because I already promised myself I was going to. And I promised Trixie's family. And Celestia's been busy healing everyone's scars in Canterlot. She -trusted- me to help those in Ponyville. And last I checked. That's where Trixie is right now."

"Fine. Teleport her to Canterlot and THEN she'll be Celestia's problem and not ours."

"Stop talking about her like she's not in the room Spike. And I'm not going to cheat. And ... personally? I think there's a part of me that's wondering if it understands Trixie better than others do. You're right Spike. She's a liar, a blowhard, a drama queen, arrogant, and just maybe an egotist who enjoys humiliating others but can't stand it when it's done to her." I looked Spike in the eyes. "And that is PRECISELY why I am going to help her!"

Spike didn't really have much to say after that.

++++

So for the next couple of days Spike and Owlowiscious took care of Trixie who I had stay in my bedroom and myself on the couch (Spike I said I was -really- taking things too far with that one). Trixie was as quiet as a mouse, and it got progressively more disturbing. There was no way in creation that Trixie should be even more quiet than Fluttershy.

I researched everything I could about the memory spell I used to cure my friends, what information Celestia was willing to share about Discord, and I borrowed a LOT of psychology books after I had exhausted the ones in my library from various sources.

I knew there was no way in Pony Hades that I could keep Trixie a secret and I had no intention of trying to hide her if someone asked, but I didn't volunteer the information either. My friends were all happy to see me back and there was no disaster in Ponyville during my short absence. I explained the pony I was helping was staying at my place.

Pinkie Pie was still sleeping it off, and was that day after that, and the day after that! We were beginning to get a little worried. On the plus side, with the super intrusive Pinkie Pie out of the way for the time being I figured there was no way Trixie would be forcibly revealed to the others. I am the world's stupidest brainiac pony.

I explained the pony I was helping was staying at my place. I repeat. I explained the pony I was helping was staying at my place. And do I really need to remind you who my friends are? Fluttershy wouldn't hesitate to help just about anyone except Discord (and I am fifty-fifty on that one). Rarity would consider it just good manners. Applejack would be a good neighbor. And Rainbow Dash would want to see what the big deal was with all her friends in one place.

At first I reminded myself that Fluttershy was not leaving Pinkie Pie's side going as far as to ask one of the Cakes to stand in for her JUST long enough for her to fly home, feed and clean her animals and fly back at speeds that Rainbow Dash found impressive. And Rainbow Dash was counting the time Pinkie was asleep like her waking up would signal the beginning of something both wonderful and terrible (No jokes please).

And Applejack and Rarity's own projects and tending to their own loved ones kept them away ... for exactly two days ... Of course they'd coordinate their efforts to show up at the same time. Of course they'd be unannounced, and why not? We had an unspoken open doors policy with each other as true as a Pinkie Pie Swear.

Believe it or not. I did not panic. Nor did I make any pathetic childish attempts to hide Trixie from them. Experience had taught me the utter futility of such things anyway.

I simply led them up to my room and opened the door and let the cards fall where they may.

Rarity gasped in surprise. Applejack just looked on sadly.

Then I realized I had been a complete donkey this entire time. Applejack had been the one who TOLD ME about Trixie in the first place! OF COURSE SHE'D KNOW! I felt like crawling to Princess Celestia and humbly asking if I could restart my tutelage with her from day one.

The Princess was right, I really did need to stop pressing my nose so close to the books I lost track of everything around me.

"My word!" Rarity finally gasped out. I steeled myself for Rarity's tirade on what the tacky unicorn who had turned her beautiful mane she loved so dearly into a green worm infested mess was doing back in Ponyville. Rarity was at her side in a couple seconds and looked at me in concern. "What happened to her?"

My jaw dropped. So fast and so hard did it drop that the entire library shook. The fantasy flickered through my mind that Celestia had brainwashed my friends to be extra nice when I wasn't in town.

"She's the one who Discord hurt." Applejack said plainly.

"And she's been like this since Discord did the same to us?" Rarity asked in near disbelief.

"Yep." AJ said with no sense of humor.

"Twilight why haven't you cast that memory spell yet-?!"

I startled with the attention suddenly back on me and said, "I've tried, something keeps pushing me out before it can take effect. I can't figure out what. Maybe it's something Discord left behind as a going away present."

"Poor dear." Rarity said to the grayed out unicorn whom Rarity had felt garish just being in the same time-zone before.

Then I felt like an even bigger donkey. Spike had never experienced Discord's taint. Of course he'd have no idea what it was like. Myself and my friends KNEW what it was like for Discord to get down and personal on your inner strengths being made your weaknesses rather than simply snapping his fingers and twisting you into something wrong on a whim.

And Rarity was far too generous to wish that fate on anyone.

And it hit me twice as hard as I realized, Applejack had less than half of Rarity's manners, and her injured pride was harder to bruise but longer to heal. Applejack had been just as humiliated by Trixie taking up her 'anything you can do, I can do better' challenge. True, Applejack would -never- be the kind for petty selfish revenge over a wounded ego against an egotist who had already lost everything they owned. And AJ was the one who told me in the first place. But AJ looked at Trixie like she was simply a pony in need, rather than this being the upright thing to do in spite of her personal feelings.

But ...it ... wasn't like, they were being mindlessly pleasant either or treating Trixie like she was royalty. My head felt like it was going to start swimming and was going to forget its water wings.

"I can't say you don't look better without that gaudy outfit dear, but really this whole grayed out pale look just isn't you, or any pony for that matter." Rarity snapped me back to reality as she fussed over Trixie as if trying to get the unicorn to respond to the world around her.

"Ya told the others she's the one whose here sugah-cube? Nevah mind, dumb question." AJ said pulling up on Trixie's chin and looking at her in those distant eyes. "YO! Great And Powerful Trixie! How about a rematch! Just you and me! My Earth pony muscles and hooves against your magic horn! Come on! Show me whatcha got! Come on! Come on!"

I was impressed. Trixie actually shuddered on her own from that one. A gruesome thought occurred to me. That the weeks Trixie had spent this way, had simply killed her, she was dead inside, and this was an empty husk running on reactions they were talking to. I had taken too long. I killed her. I tore away that horrible image. -Something- in there didn't want me in there, which meant there was something in there to be got to begin with.

Applejack looked disappointed at the reaction. Applejack waved her hooves in front of her but Trixie again didn't react.

Rarity, ever polite, gently pulled me out of Trixie's vision and immediate hearing range. "Maybe we should hold a magic contest between you two? Find something Trixie excels at and you fall short of?" 'Besides shooting her mouth off.' I swear I could almost hear Rarity say.

Nyxie words about Trixie's rounded scores came flashing back. "I think, that wouldn't really work. Trixie seems almost completely cut off from the world around her. I think she doesn't even recognize I'm Twilight!"

"Well, that's no good." Rarity said with as much style as she could squeeze into a few words.

We looked back inside the room to find AJ on her haunches looking Trixie in the eyes. As AJ kept looking into her eyes, I was left in amazement. Trixie began to actually shrink back from her, and ... were her eyes misting up? Almost any reaction was a good reaction! Trixie then began to TURN HER HEAD FROM HER!

AJ didn't let her and had one hoof against Trixie's face. Trixie crunched her eyes closed and actually fell backwards onto the bed.

AJ ceased her assault and stood up and looked at me. "Twili', Ah ain't know nothin' about unicorn magic. And Ah know even less about fancy-smancy psychology. But ..."

"But?" I asked amazed. AJ's element was about the only thing I could think of at the moment that might have been a new factor that could have triggered a reaction in Trixie and I was going mad from for anything AJ could tell me.

"But Ah think what's been throwing you is Trixie, now hold yer horses! Ah mean a part of Trixie! Ah Trixie in Trixie that doesn't want to come out. A Trixie who doesn't want Trixie to come out of the nice darkness where she doesn't have to look at truth."

Rarity balked. "And HOW pray tell did you extrapolate all that from simply looking at her?"

Applejack looked at us intensely. "Because she was scared to death to look at -me!-"

"Applejack there could be a million other explanations for that." I heard myself say. Why was I having Pinkie Sense flash backs?

"Except this here is the one that happens to be true. Ah saw inside her Twili! No Ah ain't gonna tell you how. Ah barely get it myself! It wasn't x-ray vision or somethin' but Ah swear on great-grandpappy's grave that I could see, feel, or soemthin' that the Trixie that is Trixie is hidin' scared in there somewhere. Discord's disease has screwed her up BAD."

Rarity's eyeslids leveled to say 'No kidding.' I wonder if it was a good or bad thing I had sent Spike out on an errand. Maybe seeing Rarity showing compassion towards Trixie would change his tune. Can't solve every problem in the world. But as sure as Celestia I hadn't given up on solving THIS one!

So even if I got past the guardian, barrier, or whatever was blocking the memory spell I might not be able to find Trixie memories to make her see truth of the lie Discord had planted in her head? Once again I seriously considered simply handing Trixie over to experts who had more experience about how a pony's mind worked than I did. But I secretly chose to simply be a donkey again and continue on the path I was already down.

I knew that if Celestia found out there was a chance she would deeply disapprove and ask me if I had forgotten part of friendship was admitting when you needed help. I wonder if I was channeling Trixie somehow. But I couldn't shake the feeling this was -my- responsibility. Like there was something about Trixie I was missing, and if I turned her over, I would never find out what that thing was, and something VERY important would be lost in the process.

And maybe what Applejack had told me was the key I needed to finally unlock the first door.

"HEY TWILIGHT!" Spike ran into the room, "You won't believe--Rarity! Look! I'm sorry! It wasn't my idea to have Trixie here but Twilight insisted-"

"It's perfectly fine Spike!" Rarity said quickly, "So what has happened?"

Spike startled at the idea that Rarity didn't mind sharing a room with Trixie and managed to collect himself. "Er okay! But you gotta hear this! Pinkie Pie's finally awake!"

A wave of relief rushed through us all. It felt so good. That was one less thing to worry about. One less friend who we had to wonder about. And one more friend we could count on and one more friend who was there.

"Spike. You look after Trixie. Guys? Wanna join me in a visit to Sugercube Corner?"

"You have'ta ask Sugahcube?" Applejack said as the other two ponies galloped out of the room.

Spike of course would protest. "Now hold on, Pinkie's my teammate too and-"

"I promise I'll be back as soon as I can." I said and didn't waste anymore time. Though I found myself wondering if I was talking to Spike or Trixie.

To Be Continued immediately in the next part. 'True Healing' get ready for plenty of surprises and maybe some heart warming. You decide.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnsIhx…
The Reharmonized/Recovery Pony POV series is here!
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See and hear the epic audio adaption of this chapter with art and music! [link]

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Discord is beaten. The world is restored to it's proper balance and sanity and Celestia rule the day once again. But it's the scars ponies bear that you can't see that take the longest to heal. What was going on in those three weeks between episodes two and three of the second season?

Twilight Sparkle may seemingly be the easiest to quell, but she's got other burdens to bear, and the person who needs her help the most, is short of Celestia, the last person she thought would ever need it.

I actually intended this to be about a third longer and for the next part to be part of this part but the size limit on deviantart for story submissions (Minus 64K) forced me to break it here before continuing.

This isn't part of my Discorded Ponies POV series persay, since it's told in third person narrative. But I felt it needed to be here. Since it does count as a sort of spiritual sequel.
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Recovery POVs In order:
Fluttershy and Flutter Cruel
Rainbow Dash: [link]
Rarity: [link]
Applejack: [link]
Pinkamina: [link]
Twilight Sparkles: Here
TRUE HARMONY Rainbow Dash + [link]
Trixie: [link]
Penultimate Alpha 01 and 02 (actually part of the same chapter split due to size limits): [link] [link]
Fluttercruel and Fluttershy: [link]
Penultimate Beta02: [link]
Teacher teacher: [link]

A direct sequel to this POV.
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The theme song for this chapter is: Alan Wake Soundtrack: Poets of the Fall - War

MLP:FiM Copyright Hasbro

POV SIDE STORY CANTERLOT CHAOS: (Consider canon of your own free will!)
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AND NOW WE HAVE OUR TV TROPES PAGE! YAY! [link]

EDIT: First half and second half of edits now done by DracoDei.
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Edit: Correct some grammar bugs.

Edit20121125: The audio adaption of this chapter is HERE! [link]
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After a polite greeting from Twilight Sparkle, she reminds us that Discord did leave deep psychological effects on his victims. The purple unicorn does this to focus her thinking, still regretting that she got the riddle of the Draconequus wrong. But she isn’t crushed with guilt of the consequences but merely angry at herself that she actually thought that Discord would play fair. Twilight understands that no matter what conclusion she would have drawn from his riddle, his game would have taken place, just somewhere else.

She can see clearly that Discord only lost because in her boundless arrogance he didn’t even consider the possibility that the heroes could rebuild their friendship. But Twilight couldn’t have healed her friends on her own; she had the letters send by Princess Celestia to remind her of the bounds she can build.

Twilight is still afraid of how close Discord was to total victory and is quite happy with not learning this from Applejack. The gifted unicorn didn’t mere accept that Applejack suddenly knew all this things and now knows at least some facts about her visions. But she trusts the farmer’s opinion.

The purple unicorn doesn’t understand why the Draconequus put so much effort into breaking Trixie but she suspects that he had a reason for this. We already know what this reason is, Discord told it when he corrupted the showpony: She can wield an Element and it was a test run for his manipulations of the heroes. It is nice to see that Twilight is able to look behind Discord’s goofy facade and realises his manipulative and sinister personality.

Twilight wonders if Trixie is somehow Discord’s plan B but actually someone else is. Nobody would suspect a little filly.

The purple unicorn would have helped sooner but she had to cast gossamer wing spells for traumatized pegasi, find a way to calm Pinkie Pie down and help to organize the town, now that so many were to traumatized to work normally. But after three weeks she can’t wait any longer.

She doesn’t know if it is the right thing to leave her friends especially Rainbow Dash behind to help Trixie, but she feels a need to help the showpony who can’t help herself and not allow Discord to have any sort of legacy.

“I really wish I had two of me.” I love the irony in this statement.

Twilight also shows a lot of trust in Rarity to ask her to take over Twilight’s duties in organizing and magic in her absence. But she still isn’t willing to tell Rarity who she is trying to help. But after Rarity’s unpleasant encounter with the showpony this may be for the best. Even the organising abilities of the purple unicorn have its limits and only Princess Celestia’s extra fast royal pegasi transport brings Twilight to her destination without any further delay. Sometimes connections can be very useful.

The purple unicorn immediately notices the similarities to Ponyville with the giant building overshadowing the town, the somewhat similar history and likewise friendly locals.

Then a moment of doubt hits her. Twilight wonders if Princess Celestia had placed her future friends in Ponyville before she was sent there. After all Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash moved from Cloudsdale and Rarity seemed out of place as well. While she doesn’t loose her fait in the good of the Sun Goddess she wonders how much of what happened was prepared and planed. The purple unicorn doesn’t want to see herself as a chess piece used to save the world. Without Spike or her friends to calm her down her paranoia gets worse and worse. Eventually she remembers that Princess Celestia genuinely loves her student and the rest of the ponies and this truth finally calms her down.

Soon Twilight finds the house of Trixie’s family and it is surprisingly normal looking. She decides to enter it right now, feeling doubt if the condition of the showppony might have become incurable by her delay.

She immediately apologizes for her late arrival, and soon Nyxie lets her inside. She could have been Trixie’s twin and the only difference Twilight can see is her cutie mark. We learn that Trixie also has two brothers, Puck and Robin, thank thankfully doesn’t look like her sister.

Then Nyxie decides to introduce the other sisters and they all come into the room, doing cartwheels and somersaults, take poses like Power Rangers and introduce themselves as the Pow… The MidSummer-Night Sisters! And everyone looks almost just like Trixie, save for the cutie mark. This tells us three things: First Trixie showmanship runs in the family, second Trixie is the middle sister (they introduce themselves by age, clearly leaving this spot out) and finally such introductions NEED fireworks at the end, even Twilight notices this.

The bit where we also learn that being in a room with four Trixies was a nightmare Twilight had, when she tasted Rainbow Dash’s food in a blind taste cook off, is hilarious. The entire scene nicely lifts the mood after Twilight’s moody thoughts.

And they all have their own personality: Pixie seems to like to question things, Lexy is somewhat sarcastic, Nyxie is incredible kind and Mixie is blunt, honest and takes the role of the leader. But they all love their sister and want their Trixie back.

The description what Trixie’s condition is like is horrifying; the former arrogant and eccentric unicorn is completely broken and can hardly even eat herself. The healing wave did nothing for her. Twilight later calls it a “grotesque puppet show“ which also sums up how Discord sees everyone else: As toys and puppets to be played with.

The lack of sleep eventually catches up with Twilight and she has trouble to react properly to the situation and this condition gets worse and worse. Suddenly she talks about the fear her parents may have developed of her when she accidently turned them into potted plants. The speech almost sounds like she is drunk and she has a Freudian slip when she calls Princess Celestia “momjesty”. In this condition she can’t even tell the different sisters apart and calls all of them Trixie and starts to rant about Earth Ponies not considering magic hard work.

Nyxie is the first one to suggest that she should sleep and eventually the others also decide that they will not let her near her sister in this condition. After overworking herself the purple unicorn has strange incomplete dreams and sees Trixie with a variation of Twilights cutie mark. According to Lexy Twilight did even spout magical formulas in her sleep.

Both Lexy and Pixie wanted to awake the purple unicorn in “creative” ways as punishment for coming so late to their sister’s aid but the kind Nyxie convinced Mixie otherwise. The entire family really suffering under Trixie’s condition and start to show signs of exhaustion.

When Twilight first sees the real Trixie she can hardly believe her eyes, the showpony is her own total opposite: Constantly avoiding eye contact instead of longing for attention, having lifeless movements instead of flashy stances and gestures, not using magic at all instead of showing it off. The purple unicorn is so shocked that she runs into the next room. Nyxie constantly tries to get her sister to say anything but it seems hopeless. Only when Twilight is mentioned they get a very small reaction out of the broken unicorn. The sisters also react to the fact that the purple unicorn had spend most of the last year in Ponyville.

Finally Twilight decides to use the memory spell on Trixie, it will let her relive her most cherished and important memories and that always cured the beings corrupted by Discord. The spell stopped Applejack from running away from the truth, it saved Pinkie Pie from her own emotions, it reminded Rarity what she truly wanted, it showed Fluttershy why she cared for others and Rainbow Dash that her friends were important to her. The effects were different because the corruptions were different. But there was also something different about the healings of Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy but Twilight is too exhausted to worry about such minor details.

So she starts this spell and is immediately thrown outside of Trixie’s mind by something lurking in Trixie’s mind, it has enough force to physically knock her to the ground.

Lexy has a breakdown and starts to suspect that her sister doesn’t want to be healed. Even the kind Nyxie is speechless at first. Twilight tries to comprehend what went wrong and starts to make new plans how she could heal Trixie. She doesn’t give up that easily.

The logical thing would be to hand Trixie over to the experts. But Twilight chooses something else. She lies very convincingly about her ability to heal Trixie and asks to take her with her back to Ponyville. The showpony would be impressed by her lie. Even Twilight doesn’t know why she did this.

Then she learns about Trixie from her sisters and slowly she is able to piece the information together: Trixie had a loving family, her parents, her sisters and her brother were always there for her. But she always wanted to stand out; this was incredible hard since she had practically four look-alikes. Her frustration grew over time. She always wanted to impress and even as she was good in all classes at the magic academy, she just wanted to be great in at least one class. That is the reason Trixie fought against the idea of her family helping her, then she just would be one of them. Eventually she abandoned her studies. The day she got her cutie mark was one of her happiest because now she was in the center of attention. Then she left her family to start her career as the “Great and Powerful Trixie”.

When Twilight is asked about the show in Ponyville she twists the truth until it nearly breaks. But she just can’t tell them what happened there. It would probably be too much for the already exhausted sisters. Many would call it a white lie.

Before the purple unicorn leaves we meet Trixie’s parents a unicorn with the threatening name Morgan and an Earth Pony named Gorlois. As a nice Take That against racism we learn that the belief that mixed couples created “magical-inferior” unicorns had been refuted over 50 years ago.

The bit were Twilight is reliefed that their teleportation back didn’t cause them to be trapped in another universe, swap their minds or divided them into their good and evil sides is also very funny. For once a spell worked exactly as it should have.

The reaction of Spike to his new roommate is understandable, he had to watch helplessly as his beloved foster parent and three of her best friends (including Rarity) were humiliated by the boasting unicorn. But even in her condition Trixie seems hurt by his comment about Discord wasting his time on her. When he suggests that the showpony is merely faking it and her clearly suffering family are in on it, Twilight actually becomes angry and gives him a (very short) full name ultimatum.

Eventually their discussion boils down to one question: Why? Why help Trixie? Twilight is finally able to state not one but several reasons:

No one deserves what Discord does to his victims.
She is not abandoning Trixie because the showpony had a different opinion about friendship.
The MidSummer-Night family desperately wants their lost sister back.
She is the only one that had such a good success rate with healing others from Discord’s corruption.
The ones that seem to not want help actually need them the most.
She wants to help her.

While Spike and Owlowiscious take care of Trixie, Twilight begins her research about the memory spell and Discord. She didn’t try to hide the fact that she had a patient with her and tells her friends that there is someone else in the library. Twilight just doesn’t say that it is Trixie. Later she realizes that this was a mistake and that her friends are either too helpful or too curious to not visit her new roommate.

Pinkie Pie is still sleeping, Fluttershy is taking care of the pink pony and Fluttercruel and Rainbow Dash is still trying to prepare herself for her own reveal.

But Applejack and Rarity eventually arrive at the library, Twilight realizes that resistance is futile and just shows them Trixie. Their reactions almost completely and utterly confuse her. Only then does the purple unicorn realize that Applejack knew it all along, she had sent her to Trixie and Rarity knows too well what it is like to be Discord’s toy and is too generous to wish anyone a similar fate. Both Rarity and Applejack grew from their experience and became better persons.

But they have still their own quirks as Rarity begins to comment on Trixie’s look and Applejack challenges her to a contest. Both try to think of something to help the showpony but only when AJ stares into her eyes she suddenly gets a real reaction with Trixie actively avoiding her eyes.

Applejack actually seems to have taken more from Truth than only knowledge. She can see into Trixie’s soul and sees a part of the showpony doesn’t want to leave the darkness to face the world. Discord’s corruptions always have lasting effects. They are designed that way by the Draconequus himself. Twilight begins to realize that she has to find a way around this barrier and then help Trixie to help herself. What started as a simple trip to cast a spell becomes more and more. But something in Trixie calls out for Twilight.

Before she can form any further plans they learn the Pinkie Pie has awakened and rush over to see her. Little do they know…

Overall this is a great chapter with a lot of character development for Twilight Sparkle and we learn a lot about her personality, her strengths, her flaws and also her limits. Magic isn’t the answer to any problem and the interaction between the purple unicorn and Trixie’s family is truly heart-warming. Even if Trixie would return as the same jerk she was before, nobody would want to see this family suffer any further. And unlike the inner demons of Pinkie Pie this one is a lot more powerful and persistent. Trixie can’t overcome her own darkness by herself.
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:iconpersona22:
Persona22 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014
Then I realized I had been a complete donkey this entire time. Applejack had been the one who TOLD ME about Trixie in the first place! OF COURSE SHE'D KNOW! I felt like crawling to Princess Celestia and humbly asking if I could restart my tutelage with her from day one. 

Just noticed something. Shouldn't Twilight have said "No offense given" when she said Then I realized I had been a complete donkey this entire time.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014
This kinda was written BEFORE donkeys were introduced as a sapient race in the cartoon. :-( Though I did take note of it in my later work. And I was worried it would worry the clip of the phrase. What do you think? 
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:iconpersona22:
Persona22 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014
Well, if you wrote it before donkeys were introduced as sapient race in the cartoon is fine. If you start correcting everything you write to retroactively comply with the cartoon, you'll go crazy after a while.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014
I did go crazy after a while. 
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:iconpersona22:
Persona22 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014
You can be assured that fitting some of the events of Season 4 will be down right impossible already with the timeline you made during the whole Celestia Origins, so don't worry. (You'll understand once you see Season 3 and the episodes already aired of Season 4)
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:iconpersona22:
Persona22 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013
Will there ever be a Healing/Recovery story about Derpy, Dinky and Sparkler?
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013
It was written by Kendell2. 
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:iconpersona22:
Persona22 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013
What's the title? I don't think I found it on the POV stories gallery.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013
tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php… It's a recursive work. There were actually TWO DIFFERENT VERSIONS written of it. One by Kendell2, and One by MysterioKnight, but are equally optional canon.





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:iconpersona22:
Persona22 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013
Thank you for the links! :)
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013
Just be sure to read them. ANd you're welcome. :-)
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:iconpersona22:
Persona22 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013
Just finished them.
I was glad to see the character development for Sparkler, it was a very interesting approach on her relationship with her mother, which is different from the one Dinky has since Dinky is a little filly and Sparkler is in her late teens.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013
Be sure tell Kendell2 all of that! 
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(1 Reply)
:iconardashir:
ardashir Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
It's great to see this chapter again! I must have missed a couple of points before though.

Trixie didn't use her telekinesis, I wasn't that shocked. Trixie used her face like an Earth pony. The other two didn't make any complaint about Trixie's apparent lack of unicorn table manners.

I'm guessing that unicorns use their telekinesis to eat daintily, while pegasi and earth ponies just stick their snouts into the food? Given their muzzles it seems like the easiest way for them to eat. Unless they just strap on feed bags while they work. (And now I see Rarity doing that to have a quick snack of oats while working on a dress, hoping all the while that nopony catches her.)

Of all the things going wrong, this teleportation back to Ponyville was on the last thing on my list I was spending time worrying about. And miracles of miracles, nothing did go wrong! No sudden lunar eclipse throwing us into another universe, no mind swap, no splitting us into our good and evil sides.

Did these happen in some fanfics you read? I'm especially curious about that 'sudden lunar eclipse'?
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
"I'm guessing that unicorns use their telekinesis to eat daintily, while pegasi and earth ponies just stick their snouts into the food? Given their muzzles it seems like the easiest way for them to eat. Unless they just strap on feed bags while they work. (And now I see Rarity doing that to have a quick snack of oats while working on a dress, hoping all the while that nopony catches her.)"

I figured Trixie didn't have a clue how Earth Pony's eat, and she doesn't have the will power to use her telekinesis, so she eats like a horse, literally.


"Of all the things going wrong, this teleportation back to Ponyville was on the last thing on my list I was spending time worrying about. And miracles of miracles, nothing did go wrong! No sudden lunar eclipse throwing us into another universe, no mind swap, no splitting us into our good and evil sides.

Did these happen in some fanfics you read? I'm especially curious about that 'sudden lunar eclipse'?"

Those are all Star Trek references I think.
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:iconardashir:
ardashir Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
Those are all Star Trek references I think.

Now that you mention it, I think I do recall some of those as first gen transporter accidents.
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:iconsoradical:
soradical Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
i just watched the audio adaption. the part where twilight tried the memory spell literaly made me jump out of my chair and loneliness shouting to get out blew my speakers! you are one of the most talented fanfiction authors ever in my opinion
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
Be sure to tell the special effects editor and the artist who did her eyes in the adaption that did a great job.
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:iconsoradical:
soradical Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
who are they so i can thank them?
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
You can leave a comment on the video.
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:iconrose-the-mangle:
Rose-The-Mangle Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow this is confusing :x
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner May 30, 2012
What part? How is it confusing? What questions do you have? Did you start at the beginning of the series? Or did you drop down in the middle?
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:iconrose-the-mangle:
Rose-The-Mangle Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Its not confusing anymore X3 my computer was spazzing and didn't let me read it from the beginning LOL
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner May 30, 2012
Ah.
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:iconrose-the-mangle:
Rose-The-Mangle Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
X3
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012
:-)
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:icongromhellscrea12:
gromhellscrea12 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012
It's like every chapter gets more and more emotionally draining (in a good way) than the last. Spike seemed like kind of an ass, but it's understandable. Still, considering Trixie a villain is a little..extreme. I've seen characters cause a hell of a lot more chaos and such become good guys, one of which shares the lovable dragon's name (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012
"It's like every chapter gets more and more emotionally draining (in a good way) than the last."

Thanks. And thanks for the comments. I may not be able to reply to them all right away. But I will eventually.
"Spike seemed like kind of an ass, but it's understandable."

I've been told before, but I think Spike being an ass to Trixie is JUSTIFIED by the fact that Trixie humiliated Rarity and talked down to Twilight.

"I've seen characters cause a hell of a lot more chaos and such become good guys, one of which shares the lovable dragon's name (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer)."

Guess it comes down to the idea if it's actually possible for someone to change for the better.
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:iconguilrel:
Guilrel Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012
Didn't expect this to be a two parter, but then again there is a limit in the system. I just don't know how much. Especially my story is over 20 pages. I liked the introduction of Trixie's identical siblings and I symphasized with Twilight on how unnerving it is. ^^; Her personality in the last part this story in general really reminded me of the story where Twilight teleported the mane cast to their genderbent selves' world and she was worried about their male versions finding them on fear that their meeting would destroy reality. At least it's not that devastating to find out that she's taking care of Trixie. I wonder if Twilight's friends are the reason why she was able to enter Trixie's mind, only one way to find out.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012
The limit drives me nuts. And it's 64K is the limit.

I liked the introduction of Trixie's identical siblings and I symphasized with Twilight on how unnerving it is.

Heh.

Her personality in the last part this story in general really reminded me of the story where Twilight teleported the mane cast to their genderbent selves' world and she was worried about their male versions finding them on fear that their meeting would destroy reality.

How so?

I wonder if Twilight's friends are the reason why she was able to enter Trixie's mind, only one way to find out.

right behind ya.
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:iconguilrel:
Guilrel Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012
Okay same from last post, I'll be telling you about the problems I had with grammar:

>No." Mixie responded a tiny bit harshly. "I mean like a -doll-. She barely responds to anything! Pixie has to keep an eye on her to make sure she feeds herself. And when we can get her to respond to anything, she goes through the motions like a -robot!-
No." Mixie responded a tiny bit harshly. "I mean like a -doll-. She barely responds to anything! Pixie has to keep an eye on her to make sure she feeds herself. And when we can't get her to respond to anything, she goes through the motions like a -robot!-
-It's something very easy to overlook even when I copy and pasted it here, I forgot where the mistake was. Basically it's just Mixie saying "Can't" instead of "can." ^^;

>Let alone that the pony who had saved her life and and at the same time shattered her carefully crafted illusion of being the greatest mage in all of Equestria was sitting right next to her.
Let alone that the pony who had saved her life and at the same time shattered her carefully crafted illusion of being the greatest mage in all of Equestria was sitting right next to her.
-There are two "and's" in this sentence, you basically you just need to delete the second and.

>I startled with the attention back on me and said. "I've tried, something keeps pushing me out before it can take effect. I can't figure out what. Maybe it's something Discord left behind as a going away present."
I was startled with the attention back on me and said. "I've tried, something keeps pushing me out before it can take effect. I can't figure out what. Maybe it's something Discord left behind as a going away present."
-I know she's supposed to be talking in first person and all, but I think it would be better if Twilight said she "was startled" instead of just "I startled." ^^;
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012
No I did mean can.

And how's this?


I startled with the attention suddenly back on me and said,
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:icon00blazzer:
00blazzer Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011
What do you mean "get ready for plenty of surprises and maybe some heart warming. You decide." I lol'd at that. But more importantly, AppleJack is a beast. You come back into the room expecting failure, and BOOM! Instant AppleJack! But yea good characterization of Trixie. It gave me the warm feeling that she was still very sensitive and alive throughout the ordeal, just significantly more responsive to specific items. Good stuff good stuff.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011
Just saying this fanfic series has a lot to offer.

AppleJack is a beast. You come back into the room expecting failure, and BOOM! Instant AppleJack!

Hmmm?

" But yea good characterization of Trixie. It gave me the warm feeling that she was still very sensitive and alive throughout the ordeal, just significantly more responsive to specific items. Good stuff good stuff."

Interesting way to look at it. :-)
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:icon00blazzer:
00blazzer Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011
lol sorry for the ambiguity there. I was referring to how Rarity and Twilight look back into the room and see AppleJack coaxing responses out of Trixie. You did a good job in making them not just good characters during climaxes, but also unyieldingly good characters throughout the story, in various situations. Some artists tend to forget about character development, they forget that their characters have learned new skills and ideas, and so their characters kind of decay out of the story after a while. Little details things like that epitomize the quality of this work.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011
I only hope that after laying off this story for a month that I don't forget important details. Or the small details.

I don't MIND criticism of this work.
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:icontechzeropyro:
TechZeroPyro Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2011
"Her Momjesty!" XD

I NEED to see Celestia's reaction to finding out Twilight actually said that.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2011
I don't Twilight remembers. Or that it has a chance of reaching Celestia.

Celestia might feel happy about having another part of her family. Or feel ashamed that maybe she's taking Starlight Sparkle's place in Twilight's heart.

I borrowed the phrase from a humor review summary and it fit so perfectly I had to put it in somewhere. :-)
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:iconltofsmitia:
lTofSMITIA Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
After so long (again, very sorry) your incredible realism strikes me again just as greatly as it initially did. The run-on sentences and occasional awkward phrasing portray Twilight's stress and paranoia very well. It really feels like I'm sitting down and listening to Twilight talk about her everything she did and what was going through her mind.

Also, one thing I noticed that you do very well is the way you break up the seriousness of, well, everything, with just the right amount of humor. The flight to Huffington was a really good instance of that, as was Twilight's sleepy ramblings ("momjesty" xD); the chuckles balance out the story as a whole.

One thing that caught my attention, though, was Twilight's continuous use of the word donkey. Since hooved animals are have human-level sentience, isn't that a little subtly racist? I chose not to dwell too much on it, given how minor it was, but I just wanted to bring it up.

Oh, but I especially loved Trixie's family! They had such well-developed personalities, given how long they appeared. They also really helped round her out as a real pony with a life and feelings even further, as opposed to how two-dimensional she initially appeared. Which, of course, seems to be one of your major themes.

All in all, still deep and emotional and realistic as ever. Excellently done!
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011
"After so long (again, very sorry) your incredible realism strikes me again just as greatly as it initially did. The run-on sentences and occasional awkward phrasing portray Twilight's stress and paranoia very well. It really feels like I'm sitting down and listening to Twilight talk about her everything she did and what was going through her mind."

:-) Thank you. And no prob with taking a while. I took four months to do a commission that I had been paid in advance to do! :-) And smiling to know this does feel like a chat with Twilight.

"Also, one thing I noticed that you do very well is the way you break up the seriousness of, well, everything, with just the right amount of humor. The flight to Huffington was a really good instance of that"

It's great to know that the humor ADDED to the story rather than making it jarring. And thank you for the positive feed back on the flight to Hoofington. It was meant to be fun. :-) Well, not for Twilight, but still . . .

"as was Twilight's sleepy ramblings ("momjesty" xD); the chuckles balance out the story as a whole."

That one was borrowed from another reviewer. It fit so perfectly I had to include it.

"One thing that caught my attention, though, was Twilight's continuous use of the word donkey. Since hooved animals are have human-level sentience, isn't that a little subtly racist? I chose not to dwell too much on it, given how minor it was, but I just wanted to bring it up."

Only until they include intelligent donkeys in the setting.

"Oh, but I especially loved Trixie's family! They had such well-developed personalities, given how long they appeared. They also really helped round her out as a real pony with a life and feelings even further, as opposed to how two-dimensional she initially appeared. Which, of course, seems to be one of your major themes."

Thanks. It was a balancing act making her a real character with real motives and not just making her a generic bad guy OR giving her excuses for her behavior.

"All in all, still deep and emotional and realistic as ever. Excellently done!"

I hope you read the rest too! I'm absolutely in love with your reviews! I hope you read the rest of the series now I've put in so many major edits into the chapters you haven't read yet! :-)
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:icondracodei:
DracoDei Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
SPOILER ALERT!!!




Fluttershy wouldn't hesitate to help just about anyone except Discord (and I am fifty-fifty on that one).
-The parenthetical makes this sentence 20% cooler.

We had an unspoken open doors policy with each other as true as a Pinkie Pie Swear.
-Plus, you know, Twilight's FRONT door is open to anypony, seeing as she lives in a LIBRARY. Not sure if that actually matters though. The door(s) at the top of the stairs (if any), not so much. Meh... I am probably just nit-picking.

I felt like crawling to Princess Celestia and humbly asking if I could restart my tutelage with her from day one.
-On "basic logic" or on "friendship"? Because both work... not that Twilight made such an inexplicable or severe error. But she wouldn't be Twilight if she wasn't over-reacting occasionally...

I reared myself for Rarity's tirade on what the tacky unicorn who had turned her beautiful mane she loved so dearly into a green worm infested mess was doing back in Ponyville.
-To me "reared" doesn't fit, if you intended it as a neologism then it seems too aggressive.

So fast and so hard did it drop that the entire library shook.
-Inclusion of a cartoon-like effect? Somehow it doesn't work for me from anyone other than Pinkie-Pie, even though I know that such things happen in the cartoon itself with characters other than Pinkie Pie.

"Yep." AJ said with no sense of humor.
-Is it not enough of a difference in the time-scales to be "longer"? Or was it only by a few hours?

Rarity said to the grayed out unicorn whom she felt garish just being in the same time-zone before.
-"had felt garish" perhaps?

get down and personal
-This phrase feels awkward. Also, Spike didn't seem to have undergone and direct effects from Discord, either in the cartoon, or what I can recall of your previous stories.

and her injured pride had harder to bruise but longer to heal.
-I think you mean "had been"? Alternatively "was"?

But . . .it . . . wasn't like, they were being mindlessly pleasant either or treating Trixie like she was royalty.
-Comma seems extraneous.

My head felt like it was going to start swimming and was going to forget it's water wings.
-Interesting turn of phrase, just in and of itself. PERHAPS also ironic in that, given what I accidently learned on the TVTropes page, she is going to almost "drown" when she goes "swimming" in Trixie's head, although that may just be me. But I guess after the swimmer goes under, the lifeguard has to take a deep breath and dive down if they want to save them...

"I can't say you don't look better without that gaudy outfit dear, but really this whole grayed out pale look just isn't you, or
-Going to suggest a comma after "out" in the full knowledge that you will probably decide to leave it out.

That the weeks Trixie had spent this way, had simply killed her, she was dead inside, and this was an empty husk running on reactions they were talking to.
-Is this a reference to "The Chinese Room" thought experiment?

Trixie crunched her eyes closed actually fell backwards onto the bed.
-Add an "and" before "actually", or ", then", or " and then"... or some variation there-of.

Ah ain't know nothin' about unicorn magic.
-Change that to "don't"... even stereotyped Southern hick grammar isn't THAT bad... unless you meant to type something along the lines of "I ain't the type to", but that seems unlikely to me.

AJ's element was about the only thing I could think of at the moment that might have been a new factor that could have triggered a reaction in Trixie and I was going mad from second to second at anything AJ could tell me.
-consider removing "from second to second" and/or changing "from" to "for".

Once again I seriously considered simply handing Trixie over to expects who had more experience about how a pony's mind worked than I did. But secretly chose to simply be a donkey again and continue on the path I was already down.
-"excepts" -> "experts". Also, it looks like you tried to split two sentences into one, but didn't finish the job, leaving the second as a fragment.
Reply
:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011
Fluttershy wouldn't hesitate to help just about anyone except Discord (and I am fifty-fifty on that one).
"-The parenthetical makes this sentence 20% cooler."

Thanks, I'm doing a balance act of comedy, action, drama, and heart warming moments around here it seems.

We had an unspoken open doors policy with each other as true as a Pinkie Pie Swear.
-Plus, you know, Twilight's FRONT door is open to anypony, seeing as she lives in a LIBRARY. Not sure if that actually matters though. The door(s) at the top of the stairs (if any), not so much. Meh... I am probably just nit-picking.

Do you think Twilight would STILL be freaked out if four of her friends came barging into her house so fast they knocked the door off it's hinges?



"I felt like crawling to Princess Celestia and humbly asking if I could restart my tutelage with her from day one.
-On "basic logic" or on "friendship"? Because both work... not that Twilight made such an inexplicable or severe error. But she wouldn't be Twilight if she wasn't over-reacting occasionally..."

Either/or. If the reader can come up with their own answer without giving themselves a brain hemorrhage or me holding their hands then why not let them? They'll like any answer they come up with better than any I give them. That's why you should NEVER EVER read what the lyrics in a song ACTUALLY say! YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED EVERY TIME WITHOUT FAIL!



I reared myself for Rarity's tirade on what the tacky unicorn who had turned her beautiful mane she loved so dearly into a green worm infested mess was doing back in Ponyville.
-To me "reared" doesn't fit, if you intended it as a neologism then it seems too aggressive.

'I steeled myself?'

"So fast and so hard did it drop that the entire library shook.
-Inclusion of a cartoon-like effect? Somehow it doesn't work for me from anyone other than Pinkie-Pie, even though I know that such things happen in the cartoon itself with characters other than Pinkie Pie."

Overruled.

"Yep." AJ said with no sense of humor.
"-Is it not enough of a difference in the time-scales to be "longer"? Or was it only by a few hours?"

Trixie's now been like this for three weeks and a three days in story time. The heroes were Discorded for only a day.

Uh. That is. Dude. I REALLY didn't understand your question. :-( Sorry dude. I don't get what you're asking. Sorry. :-( Can you please rephrase the question please?

Rarity said to the grayed out unicorn whom she felt garish just being in the same time-zone before.
-"had felt garish" perhaps?

Edit made.

get down and personal
"-This phrase feels awkward. Also, Spike didn't seem to have undergone and direct effects from Discord, either in the cartoon, or what I can recall of your previous stories."

Um. Yeah, that's what I wrote 'Spike had never experienced Discord's taint first hand.' There, I removed the 'first hand' part. That make it more clear? And that was the entire point that Spike didn't know what it was like to be Discorded.

And 'down and personal' taking a PERSONAL TOUCH into their breaking rather than just zapping them into whatever he felt like that milisecond a week from last month depending on the way the hippo was facing. What phrase would you use instead?


and her injured pride had harder to bruise but longer to heal.
-I think you mean "had been"? Alternatively "was"?

Was. Thanks for pointing that one out.

But . . .it . . . wasn't like, they were being mindlessly pleasant either or treating Trixie like she was royalty.
-Comma seems extraneous.

That was supposed to be Twilight's brain getting past the strange taste of the idea. How could it be shown better?

My head felt like it was going to start swimming and was going to forget it's water wings.
"-Interesting turn of phrase, just in and of itself. PERHAPS also ironic in that, given what I accidently learned on the TVTropes page, she is going to almost "drown" when she goes "swimming" in Trixie's head, although that may just be me. But I guess after the swimmer goes under, the lifeguard has to take a deep breath and dive down if they want to save them..."

And this is why it's good to leave some stuff to reader's interpretation. They can find stuff in the natural mutation evolution and growth of your tale that you yourself didn't notice.

"I can't say you don't look better without that gaudy outfit dear, but really this whole grayed out pale look just isn't you, or
-Going to suggest a comma after "out" in the full knowledge that you will probably decide to leave it out.

0-0 I just don't see what purpose it would serve in the pacing of the sentence. What is you logic? Help me understand it.

That the weeks Trixie had spent this way, had simply killed her, she was dead inside, and this was an empty husk running on reactions they were talking to.
-Is this a reference to "The Chinese Room" thought experiment?

Never heard of it. *looks it up now*

I've heard of the experiment where you try to make an AI capable of holding a chat without know it is an AI (though most consider it just a good magic trick, not true Created Awareness). But I think that if you eventually internalize the program, then you DO understand the chinese characters.

Ironically this is what *spoilers* thinks of herself. She doesn't consider herself a pony, alive, a person, or even truly an entity!

The philosophical zombie might be another comparison here.

Trixie crunched her eyes closed actually fell backwards onto the bed.
-Add an "and" before "actually", or ", then", or " and then"... or some variation there-of.

Done.

Ah ain't know nothin' about unicorn magic.
"-Change that to "don't"... even stereotyped Southern hick grammar isn't THAT bad... unless you meant to type something along the lines of "I ain't the type to", but that seems unlikely to me."

I thought the double-negative was a symbol of the southern drawl. Or do you mean the choice of words? So you feel that choice of words damages the flow of the sentence?

AJ's element was about the only thing I could think of at the moment that might have been a new factor that could have triggered a reaction in Trixie and I was going mad from second to second at anything AJ could tell me.
-consider removing "from second to second" and/or changing "from" to "for".

Okay fine. Whatever. It's not worth it anyway.

Once again I seriously considered simply handing Trixie over to expects who had more experience about how a pony's mind worked than I did. But secretly chose to simply be a donkey again and continue on the path I was already down.
-"excepts" -> "experts". Also, it looks like you tried to split two sentences into one, but didn't finish the job, leaving the second as a fragment.

Added an 'I.'

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you very much good sir for your hunting down of these grammar bugs.
Reply
:icondracodei:
DracoDei Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
SPOILER ALERT!!!
Well... THAT was TWO adventures (getting my computer working again I mean).



I still find it disjointing that Celestia would command an audience with AJ and APPLEBLOOM but not the rest of us.
-"disjointing" seems a poor word choice.

And I was honestly more comfounded on the pony who Discord had taken a -personal- interest in and thus had apparently not been cured by Discord's sealing.
-"confounded"

Rainbow Dash -really- want to tell me something before I left.
-"wanted"

"And you expect me to hold onto you things while you're gone and act out any duty of yours related to magic out of the goodness of my heart?"
-"your things"

"Yes Element of Generosity."
-Consider a comma after "Yes".

If anything major turns up just have Spike dragon-mail me.
-How would that work? Are you assuming there is a network of dragons that handle high-priority messages?

Normally there were safely measure built in to prevent that sort of disaster,
-"safety measures"

Realistically I should have spent time trying to get Hoofington to prepare for my arrival, but there had been so much in Ponyville that needed doing, so very much. After Applejack told me and I accepted, Princess Celestia sent news ahead of time that I would be coming -eventually- to see my -patient- but I had neglected to organize my arrival. Yes, I have been feeling overworked, what precise was your first clue?
-Ok, so maybe not over-stressing on the details...

(yes I figured I could pull it off)
-MAYBE a comma after "yes".

Then I realized what I was seeing wasn't Canterlot nor was the streets and buildings below me Ponyville.
-Comma before "nor"?

I'd learn later that while like Ponyville it had been founded by Earth Ponies, unicorn settlers and immigrants had long since subverted the original population into a minority.
-commas around "like Ponyville". "subverted" sounds like it was a malicious or harmful thing, consider "overwhelmed" or find an even better word.


In a flash of paranoia I wondered she had -bred- bloodlines for the express purpose of creating ponies who'd perfectly align with the elements before I stopped myself and remembered that the Princess Celestia I knew could never be so detached even for the sake of all of Equestria.
-Oh, I dunno... a few introductions at certain dinner parties... a comment dropped by a royal guard at just the right moment... hardly RELIABLE if one wishes to respect ponies free-will but she could at least "herd the cats" in something like the right directions. Shoot, I wouldn't put a blatant polite request (NOT AN ORDER!) past her if it REALLY came down to it.

I bit the crossbow bolt and telekinetically knocked on the door.
-Took me a second to realize how this makes sense. It actually works just dandy physically as well as on the metaphorical level. I suppose it is a SLIGHT stretch from the show that they HAVE crossbows in Equestria, but that is what happens when you drop the Y rating (well, that and psychological torments to rival some of the harsher methods to be found IRL in agony-per-second)...

I waited a minute wondering I should just
-I suggest "I waited a minute, wondering if I should just "

Puck and Robin Goodfellow are my brothers.
-With names like that I expect that the Element of Laughter is well honored in that household. Don't remember enough specifics about the personalities of Nyxies (if there ever were any) to know if she would fit into that pattern. Trixie herself... falls short of good laughter, and doesn't indulge in the cruel sort per se.

before the noise of the ladle had a chance to finnish ringing in my ears I stared in astonishment.
-"finish", also I recommend "I was staring in astonishment.".

a couple trying to shake off sleep while simultaneously trying to perform some simple cartwheels or summersaults before lining up along side Nyxie.
-"somersaults" according to Firefox. Also, I see that many of them are as flashy as Trixie and/or are in/planning to go into show business in their own way(s).

and I was very sure what I got was Rainbow Dash's cooking.
-Is this a reference to the "worst baker" story writing challenge on EqD?

(But unlike another pony I had once read about these masks were black and white.)
-Who is this other pony supposed to be? I saw a "Phantom of the Opera" story on EqD at one point...

"I still think the name is corny." Said Pixie breaking pose first.
-Well, it depends on what they are DOING. I suspect that much as you COULD work tumbling into Shakespeare (Puck-the-fae certainly seems the sort to randomly cartwheel everywhere, just like Pinkie's preferred gate is skipping/hopping).

"I -am- from Canterlot,
-Not for over a year now she isn't...

"LEXY! That's not funny!" Said the three other together like was a conditioned reflex.
-I see that Lexy lacks Pinkie's refined instincts for "funny, not cruel"? Or is it a certain amount of Pinkie's conscience that is lacking?

"Unless I blackmailed her." Said Lexy.
"Or I guilt tripped her." Said Mixie.
"Or I bribed her." Jumped in Pixie.
"Or I just asked really really nicely." Nyxie said last looking at her sisters with an unreadable expression.
-Well, THIS is a nice way of further defining their personalities. Although, through no fault of yours, I still can't keep them straight... if it turns out to be super-critical I may go back and take notes.

"Point is. She really wasn't a team player,"
-I suggest replacing the period with either a : or a comma.

"But I'd still rather have -her- than . . .
-I recommend removing the capitalization, since it is continuing a sentence that started earlier.

and they so totally went back to normal afterwards.
-Is the touch of valley-speak supposed to be part of her tiredness? Seems a bit out of character for such an erudite pony to me... but then again, maybe that is just because she is the character I identify with most strongly, and people have commented that I speak like a Shakespearian actor. Actually, I am not afraid to use "low" language to communicate clearly, so that would actually fit ME, but Twilight doesn't seem to me to share that trait with myself.

think of her momjesty like a mother to me,
-Slip of the tongue on her part, or a common nickname for Celestia? In either case, I see you have adopted Sun_Tzu's language (or did he get it from someone else?). I approve of that second part. No idea on the first.

organizing the psychologist appointments with nearly all of Ponyville,
-Consider "for" instead of "with", but I could see "with" being the correct word if she was proactive enough about it (going door to door and saying "Everyone sees the psychologist, at least once, so let's figure out a time.").

Was I really so tired I couldn't even DREAM properly?
-With Twilight Sparkle? Possible. Very possible. But based on what I accidentally picked up on TVTropes about this story, I am thinking it is ALSO possible that she is getting "bleed over" from being another Element of Magic in close proximity to the entity in Trixie.

Maybe it was all the Trixie-alikes I saw,
-"Trixie look-alikes" would be the more conventional phrasing, unless the fandom has "Trixie-alike" as part of their created lexicon.

half dream.
-Consider a hyphen.

Why couldn't it have been that dream with that colt I dated exactly two times when I entered the flux between filly to marehood?
-She is a lucid enough dreamer that she is wondering that WHILE she is dreaming? Actually, a lot of this feels like that. If that is not what you intended, then I suggest you start out that section with her waking up, and then have her commenting on her dreams.

Who invented specialized words for personal names anyway? The vast majority of ponies were perfectly happy with compound nouns for names. . . . Right. Celestia wasn't exactly a common noun.
-Interesting world-building.

"Did you know you apparently sometimes spout magical formulas in your sleep?"
-As long as she doesn't CAST in her sleep... then again, if she really is a lucid dreamer, that might help with that sort of problem. I wonder if AJ has ever kicked the hind-hoof-board of her bed when she was dreaming of Apple-bucking?

the basic yet different long term needs of a unicorn family.
-"long-term" perhaps? Also, while it would make SENSE that unicorns would need different things, we haven't seen any evidence of such in the show itself (for instance, I would say that way too many of Rarity's tools probably have handles on them).

Lexy must have heard me, but she made no reference to it as she led Trxie into the living room.
-"Trixie"... although there is a certain amount of irony in Trixie missing her "I"... her ego, her self... I don't think that such subtly will occur to most readers and... well, I just don't recommend keeping this error on that basis. You could maybe re-work it into a discussion later if you really like what I probably just pointed out to you.

Trixie didn't even look at me though there was no way she could have missed me.
-Comma after the first "me" perhaps?

The breakfast was scrambled eggs all around. I didn't complain.
-Why would she?

She's the expect we told you about whose here to help you.
-"expert"

I'd be told later they had tried exactly once to try and feed her manually, and her jaw had closed like an steel trap until they stopped.
-That seems... odd. Although I guess if she just isn't really consciously aware of people being aware of her, then having her body manipulated that closely could be very scary since it seems to come out of no-where, and maybe the madness tries to make her stop it so there won't be any confusing contradictory evidence. Also, I assume that someone looked into matters closely enough that they know that her horn still WORKS.

Lexy had apparently tried to simply close off her breathing passages to force her to open her mouth, but that hadn't ended well.
-Did she passively pass out, did she start fighting back, or was the explanation to Twilight equally vague on this point as the way it is expressed to us?

"Er, nice to . . . meet you Trixie." I said doing my best to be politely.
-Eh, I guess if Celestia is allowed to make up transparent lies about "infestations" in other towns to allow Ponyville to save face, then this is allowable under Honesty. It isn't like they were ever formally introduced...


"Technically I came from Ponyville, but I was effectively raised in Canterlot, I've spent the last year in Ponyville for, er, personal studies." Admitting I was studying friendship was sure to make me blush.
-Who told them she was from Canterlot anyway?

"Oh I see. No need to say more." Nyxie said with a wink and I had no clue what that was about.
-I am equally clueless, unless Nyxie thinks that she is either a drop-out, or found a stallion-friend.

And had it made Fluttershy remember why she cared for other
-"others" or "other ponies"

Trixie shuddered a few times, but otherwise her colors hadn't returned.
-remove the word "otherwise" or maybe change the ending to "but otherwise she was unchanged, her colors hadn't returned."

. something came between us. No, not between, it was like something pushed me out!"
-Interesting that Fluttercruel didn't put up anything even CLOSE to that much of a fight.

helping her recover from being discorded so long as a way of saying I was sorry
-Consider "Discord-ed"... I realize that this is a very fuzzy area, but... that is how I personally would spell/punctuate the concept.

I hadn't picked out or CHOSEN the memories that had healed my friends, they had, in their own way, done that on their own.
-A question I pointed out somewhere... maybe on Sun_Tzu's thread, maybe on one of your other stories. Technically you answered it earlier than this, but... eh, I don't know why I am saying this... maybe I am just egotistical? Doesn't feel like that to me though...

And I was honestly not sure why I had.
-Guilt for not getting there sooner, with a small side dish of guilt for humiliating her in the course of saving Ponyville, would be my guess.

"What was she like back then? Well she always seem frustrated over something or other."
-"seemed", and shouldn't that be a separate quote? One for the question, one for the answer?

"I swear to Celestia, I've never seen Trixie look so happy when when dad said they now had the bits for her to attend the magic academy."
-"when when" should probably be "as when"

She became WhiteBeard The Gray's apprentice."
-Cheesy reference is cheesy. I approve. Perhaps hyphenate to "White-Beard the Gray's"

"She visits usually for Summer Sun or Winter Night festivals,
-Consider a comma after "visits"

Please please please PLEASE forgive me for twisting truth like this Applejack! For some reason, this tasted worse than the bald face lie I had said.
-It certainly FEELS plausible that she would feel this way. The lie required less thought and thus was over with quicker and more simply. That would be my thoughts.

town to town for increase her popularity
-change "for" to "to" I think?

black unicorn mare with wrinkles and a silver mane who introduced herself as Morgan.
-As in "Morgan le Fay"?

dark blue Earth Pony with a lighter blue mane named Gorlois.
-I feel like I should recognize that name, but I don't... let's see what Google has to say... Ah... Morgan's father, among other things, in Arthurian Legend.

(along with some tricky mathematical calculations)
-When I first read this is made sense. A few pages later it dawned on me that, it seems illogical for "the pony of plans" not to have picked a departure time 60 minutes from when she starts doing out the equations on paper... then again, maybe she already had the equations memorized at it is visualizing them that is important? Like... the magic does the actual number crunching, but she has to supply the equations mentally?

And miracles of miracles, nothing did go wrong! No sudden Lunar Eclipse throwing us into another universe, no mind swap, no splitting us into our good and evil sides.
-Nice lampshading... have I ever mentioned I have a vague story idea involving Twilight getting a revolutionary new teleport spell worked up, and testing it rigorously without a single hiccup... and thus causing huge problems?

whose tall tale had inspired too idiots to lure an Ursa Minor
-"two"


The joy of seeing his de facto foster parent was rather disrupted by seeing the lying smart alec who had taunted and emotionally hurt the unicorn he considered his family and it made Spike's head swim.
-Personally I would have gone for: "The joy of seeing his de facto foster parent was rather disrupted by seeing the lying smart alec who had taunted and emotionally hurt said de facto foster parent, making Spike's head swim."


I didn't know if it was good or bad thing that I could swear I saw Trixie's head lower a fraction of an inch.
-Well, on the theory I have HEARD that ER doctors consider screaming at the top of the lungs in agony to be a GOOD sign in as much as it indicates that the patient is not only alive (and with a fairly properly functioning respiratory system?), but, as an added bonus, conscious... anyway, on that sort of theory I would say that this would qualify as a positive sign.

that Trixie staying quiet this long was as illogical as Pinkie Pie standing still in the same amount of time.
-recommend replacing "in" with "for".

No one I've met who breaths oxygen
-Another Sun_Tzu reference?

There's a family who want their sister back, they can't do it on their own. I'm the only mortal pony whose managed to break Discord's taint on another pony.
-Oddly enough I think this has fewer characters in it than the "short answer".

I think there's a part of me that's wondering if it understands Trixie better than others do.
-"There, but for the grace of Celestia go I?"

I am the world's stupidest brainiac pony.
-Yes, yes she is... let me guess... Spike spills the beans (she never swore him to secrecy), or Fluttershy wants to help "that poor pony", just like she did a certain 'ill' bird but without the "removing from the building part", since she knows better about THAT now?

-Meh... this is long enough I am going to go ahead and post it, will probably start working on the next chunk immediately, but I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket.
Reply
:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011
SPOILER ALERT!!!
Well... THAT was TWO adventures (getting my computer working again I mean).



I still find it disjointing that Celestia would command an audience with AJ and APPLEBLOOM but not the rest of us.
-"disjointing" seems a poor word choice.

"disturb the cohesion or organization" Seems fitting to Twilight to me.


If anything major turns up just have Spike dragon-mail me.
"-How would that work? Are you assuming there is a network of dragons that handle high-priority messages?"

I'm fairly sure that you don't need a dragon on both ends. Spike is bonded with Twilight so I think he'd have no trouble sending her a letter anymore than Celestia.

Realistically I should have spent time trying to get Hoofington to prepare for my arrival, but there had been so much in Ponyville that needed doing, so very much. After Applejack told me and I accepted, Princess Celestia sent news ahead of time that I would be coming -eventually- to see my -patient- but I had neglected to organize my arrival. Yes, I have been feeling overworked, what precise was your first clue?
"-Ok, so maybe not over-stressing on the details…"

Or too many details.

(yes I figured I could pull it off)
-MAYBE a comma after "yes".

'When in doubt, leave it out.'

I'd learn later that while like Ponyville it had been founded by Earth Ponies, unicorn settlers and immigrants had long since subverted the original population into a minority.
-commas around "like Ponyville". "subverted" sounds like it was a malicious or harmful thing, consider "overwhelmed" or find an even better word.

Supplanted?


In a flash of paranoia I wondered she had -bred- bloodlines for the express purpose of creating ponies who'd perfectly align with the elements before I stopped myself and remembered that the Princess Celestia I knew could never be so detached even for the sake of all of Equestria.
"-Oh, I dunno... a few introductions at certain dinner parties... a comment dropped by a royal guard at just the right moment... hardly RELIABLE if one wishes to respect ponies free-will but she could at least "herd the cats" in something like the right directions. Shoot, I wouldn't put a blatant polite request (NOT AN ORDER!) past her if it REALLY came down to it."

THAT . . . is just plain scary. 0-0 No, seriously, creepy! I couldn't exactly work that into the narrative however.

I bit the crossbow bolt and telekinetically knocked on the door.
"-Took me a second to realize how this makes sense. It actually works just dandy physically as well as on the metaphorical level. I suppose it is a SLIGHT stretch from the show that they HAVE crossbows in Equestria, but that is what happens when you drop the Y rating (well, that and psychological torments to rival some of the harsher methods to be found IRL in agony-per-second)…"

They have ponies who cutie mark was a bow and arrow. So I figured crossbows wouldn't be THAT far off.

Puck and Robin Goodfellow are my brothers.
-With names like that I expect that the Element of Laughter is well honored in that household. Don't remember enough specifics about the personalities of Nyxies (if there ever were any) to know if she would fit into that pattern. Trixie herself... falls short of good laughter, and doesn't indulge in the cruel sort per se.

I wanted to go with names based on theater and fantasy. But the idea with the Element of Laughter is VERY intriguing. Please remind me about that one later.

a couple trying to shake off sleep while simultaneously trying to perform some simple cartwheels or summersaults before lining up along side Nyxie.
"-"somersaults" according to Firefox. Also, I see that many of them are as flashy as Trixie and/or are in/planning to go into show business in their own way(s)."

Edited.

and I was very sure what I got was Rainbow Dash's cooking.
"-Is this a reference to the "worst baker" story writing challenge on EqD?"

Never read that one. But nice random chance.

(But unlike another pony I had once read about these masks were black and white.)
"-Who is this other pony supposed to be? I saw a "Phantom of the Opera" story on EqD at one point…"

This was a reference to a G1 pony who had a tragedy-comedy cutie mark.

"I still think the name is corny." Said Pixie breaking pose first.
"-Well, it depends on what they are DOING. I suspect that much as you COULD work tumbling into Shakespeare (Puck-the-fae certainly seems the sort to randomly cartwheel everywhere, just like Pinkie's preferred gate is skipping/hopping)."

Interesting . . .

"I -am- from Canterlot,
"-Not for over a year now she isn't…"

Dealt with later.

"LEXY! That's not funny!" Said the three other together like was a conditioned reflex.
"-I see that Lexy lacks Pinkie's refined instincts for "funny, not cruel"? Or is it a certain amount of Pinkie's conscience that is lacking?"

Not all snarky comments come across as funny as they were meant to be. Ironically this is the kind of joke you know that would be made at the 'team 'no' man' in an 80s cartoon if they went catatonic.

"Unless I blackmailed her." Said Lexy.
"Or I guilt tripped her." Said Mixie.
"Or I bribed her." Jumped in Pixie.
"Or I just asked really really nicely." Nyxie said last looking at her sisters with an unreadable expression.
"-Well, THIS is a nice way of further defining their personalities. Although, through no fault of yours, I still can't keep them straight... if it turns out to be super-critical I may go back and take notes."

Too bad. And no, it's not hyper critical, but I was trying to give them unique personalities. :-(

"But I'd still rather have -her- than . . .
-I recommend removing the capitalization, since it is continuing a sentence that started earlier.
What about the period before it? Seriously, I'm asking.

and they so totally went back to normal afterwards.
"-Is the touch of valley-speak supposed to be part of her tiredness? Seems a bit out of character for such an erudite pony to me... but then again, maybe that is just because she is the character I identify with most strongly, and people have commented that I speak like a Shakespearian actor. Actually, I am not afraid to use "low" language to communicate clearly, so that would actually fit ME, but Twilight doesn't seem to me to share that trait with myself."

The valley speak is supposed to be her exhaustion catching up with her in the extreme!

think of her momjesty like a mother to me,
"-Slip of the tongue on her part, or a common nickname for Celestia? In either case, I see you have adopted Sun_Tzu's language (or did he get it from someone else?). I approve of that second part. No idea on the first."

Slip of the tongue, it is NOT a common nickname! Again meant to show how tired Twilight is.

organizing the psychologist appointments with nearly all of Ponyville,
-Consider "for" instead of "with", but I could see "with" being the correct word if she was proactive enough about it (going door to door and saying "Everyone sees the psychologist, at least once, so let's figure out a time.").

Going door to door MIGHT be interesting, but it just doesn't seem in Twilight Sparkle's style.

Was I really so tired I couldn't even DREAM properly?
-With Twilight Sparkle? Possible. Very possible. But based on what I accidentally picked up on TVTropes about this story, I am thinking it is ALSO possible that she is getting "bleed over" from being another Element of Magic in close proximity to the entity in Trixie."

NOW THAT is a spoiler. And Trixie's is completely buried and dormant. But it makes for a VERY INTERESTING alt interpretation!

Maybe it was all the Trixie-alikes I saw,
-"Trixie look-alikes" would be the more conventional phrasing, unless the fandom has "Trixie-alike" as part of their created lexicon.

Naw.

half dream.
-Consider a hyphen.

Why couldn't it have been that dream with that colt I dated exactly two times when I entered the flux between filly to marehood?
-She is a lucid enough dreamer that she is wondering that WHILE she is dreaming? Actually, a lot of this feels like that. If that is not what you intended, then I suggest you start out that section with her waking up, and then have her commenting on her dreams.

How's this?

I just hoped I dreamed the part where I shot my mouth off last night (and digging myself in a very deep hole) were just part of my convoluted dreams last night.

Why couldn't it have been that dream with that colt I dated exactly two times when I entered the flux between filly to marehood?

"Good morning. You're, Laxy?"


Who invented specialized words for personal names anyway? The vast majority of ponies were perfectly happy with compound nouns for names. . . . Right. Celestia wasn't exactly a common noun.
-Interesting world-building.

Thanks.

"Did you know you apparently sometimes spout magical formulas in your sleep?"
"-As long as she doesn't CAST in her sleep... then again, if she really is a lucid dreamer, that might help with that sort of problem. I wonder if AJ has ever kicked the hind-hoof-board of her bed when she was dreaming of Apple-bucking?"

AJ bucking in her sleep? Likely.

the basic yet different long term needs of a unicorn family.
"-"long-term" perhaps? Also, while it would make SENSE that unicorns would need different things, we haven't seen any evidence of such in the show itself (for instance, I would say that way too many of Rarity's tools probably have handles on them)."

Oh GRANTED, I'll give you that. But if I figured any could pick up the differences, it would be another unicorn.

Many things were placed where telekinesis was the only way of reaching them. I wasn't that shocked or really alarmed, families moved in and out of houses and different ponies had different needs.


Lexy must have heard me, but she made no reference to it as she led Trxie into the living room.
-"Trixie"... although there is a certain amount of irony in Trixie missing her "I"... her ego, her self... I don't think that such subtly will occur to most readers and... well, I just don't recommend keeping this error on that basis. You could maybe re-work it into a discussion later if you really like what I probably just pointed out to you.

Fixed.

Trixie didn't even look at me though there was no way she could have missed me.
-Comma after the first "me" perhaps?

The breakfast was scrambled eggs all around. I didn't complain.
"-Why would she?"

I once read a very good fanfic, that as a minor note had some dissonance between some ponies on whether eating eggs counted as going against their vegetarian creed.

The breakfast was generic scrambled eggs all around. I didn't mind it.

I'd be told later they had tried exactly once to try and feed her manually, and her jaw had closed like an steel trap until they stopped.
"-That seems... odd. Although I guess if she just isn't really consciously aware of people being aware of her, then having her body manipulated that closely could be very scary since it seems to come out of no-where, and maybe the madness tries to make her stop it so there won't be any confusing contradictory evidence. Also, I assume that someone looked into matters closely enough that they know that her horn still WORKS."

Hmmm. How would you address this dissonance in story?

Lexy had apparently tried to simply close off her breathing passages to force her to open her mouth, but that hadn't ended well.
"-Did she passively pass out, did she start fighting back, or was the explanation to Twilight equally vague on this point as the way it is expressed to us?"

I've learned that sometimes you should let the reader draw their own conclusions on some times. They'll invent their own answer that'll be much more accepting then anything you could come up with. So the answer is yes to all those.

"Er, nice to . . . meet you Trixie." I said doing my best to be politely.
"-Eh, I guess if Celestia is allowed to make up transparent lies about "infestations" in other towns to allow Ponyville to save face, then this is allowable under Honesty. It isn't like they were ever formally introduced…"

I figured all those parasprites they rolled into Everfree ended up rolling straight into Fillydelphia.


"Technically I came from Ponyville, but I was effectively raised in Canterlot, I've spent the last year in Ponyville for, er, personal studies." Admitting I was studying friendship was sure to make me blush.
"-Who told them she was from Canterlot anyway?"

Likely the same one who told her she was coming, and figured it would sound more impressive than coming from Ponyville.

"Oh I see. No need to say more." Nyxie said with a wink and I had no clue what that was about.
-I am equally clueless, unless Nyxie thinks that she is either a drop-out, or found a stallion-friend.

It was supposed to imply the latter. (I don't do vagueness ALL the time, that would make it feel like laziness).

"Oh I see. No need to say more." Nyxie said with a smile andwink and I had no clue what that was about.


Trixie shuddered a few times, but otherwise her colors hadn't returned.
-remove the word "otherwise" or maybe change the ending to "but otherwise she was unchanged, her colors hadn't returned."

Done.

. something came between us. No, not between, it was like something pushed me out!"
"-Interesting that Fluttercruel didn't put up anything even CLOSE to that much of a fight."

You'll see.

helping her recover from being discorded so long as a way of saying I was sorry
"-Consider "Discord-ed"... I realize that this is a very fuzzy area, but... that is how I personally would spell/punctuate the concept."

Hmmmmm . . . naw.

I hadn't picked out or CHOSEN the memories that had healed my friends, they had, in their own way, done that on their own.
"-A question I pointed out somewhere... maybe on Sun_Tzu's thread, maybe on one of your other stories. Technically you answered it earlier than this, but... eh, I don't know why I am saying this... maybe I am just egotistical? Doesn't feel like that to me though…"

:-D

And I was honestly not sure why I had.
"-Guilt for not getting there sooner, with a small side dish of guilt for humiliating her in the course of saving Ponyville, would be my guess."

Very possible.


She became WhiteBeard The Gray's apprentice."
-Cheesy reference is cheesy. I approve. Perhaps hyphenate to "White-Beard the Gray's"

Done.

"She visits usually for Summer Sun or Winter Night festivals,
-Consider a comma after "visits"

Please please please PLEASE forgive me for twisting truth like this Applejack! For some reason, this tasted worse than the bald face lie I had said.
"-It certainly FEELS plausible that she would feel this way. The lie required less thought and thus was over with quicker and more simply. That would be my thoughts."

Cool! Happy it worked! :)

black unicorn mare with wrinkles and a silver mane who introduced herself as Morgan.
-As in "Morgan le Fay"?

Yes. That's where I got the inspiration for the name.

dark blue Earth Pony with a lighter blue mane named Gorlois.
"-I feel like I should recognize that name, but I don't... let's see what Google has to say... Ah... Morgan's father, among other things, in Arthurian Legend."

Heh heh heh. Yeah . . . :-P

(along with some tricky mathematical calculations)
-When I first read this is made sense. A few pages later it dawned on me that, it seems illogical for "the pony of plans" not to have picked a departure time 60 minutes from when she starts doing out the equations on paper... then again, maybe she already had the equations memorized at it is visualizing them that is important? Like... the magic does the actual number crunching, but she has to supply the equations mentally?

In a simple flash of light as I visualized (along with some tricky mathematical calculations done in advance) where I was and where I wanted myself and Trixie to be. We were everywhere, then nowhere, then everywhere again, and finally in my library in Ponyville. I really didn't want anyone to see Trixie who didn't have to.  The unicorn whose tall tale had inspired too idiots to lure an Ursa Minor into town was not likely to be well received.

And miracles of miracles, nothing did go wrong! No sudden Lunar Eclipse throwing us into another universe, no mind swap, no splitting us into our good and evil sides.
"-Nice lampshading... have I ever mentioned I have a vague story idea involving Twilight getting a revolutionary new teleport spell worked up, and testing it rigorously without a single hiccup... and thus causing huge problems?"

No, you have not!


I didn't know if it was good or bad thing that I could swear I saw Trixie's head lower a fraction of an inch.
"-Well, on the theory I have HEARD that ER doctors consider screaming at the top of the lungs in agony to be a GOOD sign in as much as it indicates that the patient is not only alive (and with a fairly properly functioning respiratory system?), but, as an added bonus, conscious... anyway, on that sort of theory I would say that this would qualify as a positive sign."

Granted. But Twilight's indecisiveness is supposed to be part of the tension here on whether Trixie 'reacting badly' or her 'reacting at all was good' or bad.

No one I've met who breaths oxygen
-Another Sun_Tzu reference?

Ironically that thought DID cross my mind.

There's a family who want their sister back, they can't do it on their own. I'm the only mortal pony whose managed to break Discord's taint on another pony.
-Oddly enough I think this has fewer characters in it than the "short answer".

Yes. I noticed that too.

I think there's a part of me that's wondering if it understands Trixie better than others do.
-"There, but for the grace of Celestia go I?"

HMMMMMM???? Elaborate! Elaborate! Please elaborate?

I am the world's stupidest brainiac pony.
"-Yes, yes she is... let me guess... Spike spills the beans (she never swore him to secrecy), or Fluttershy wants to help "that poor pony", just like she did a certain 'ill' bird but without the "removing from the building part", since she knows better about THAT now?"

You'll see soon enough! :-D

"-Meh… this is long enough I am going to go ahead and post it, will probably start working on the next chunk immediately, but I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket."

Good luck.
Reply
:icondracodei:
DracoDei Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Story:
I'd learn later that while like Ponyville it had been founded by Earth Ponies, unicorn settlers and immigrants had long since subverted the original population into a minority.
Comment on story:
"subverted" sounds like it was a malicious or harmful thing, consider "overwhelmed" or find an even better word.
Author:
Supplanted?
Me:
Sounds good.


They have ponies who cutie mark was a bow and arrow. So I figured crossbows wouldn't be THAT far off.
-Huh... I assumed you made that up...

Too bad. And no, it's not hyper critical, but I was trying to give them unique personalities.
-You almost certainly succeeded, I said it was a problem of MINE.

What about the period before it? Seriously, I'm asking.
-I think one is supposed to exchange it for a comma? Been a while... check an English textbook, or the online equivalent, but I am pretty sure.

NOW THAT is a spoiler.
-Good thing I marked the post as such, yes? Although normally I just mean that I quote stuff freely so I can give... well the detailed reviews I do without making them puzzles to figure out where the errors actually ARE.


I just hoped I dreamed the part where I shot my mouth off last night (and digging myself in a very deep hole) were just part of my convoluted dreams last night.
Why couldn't it have been that dream with that colt I dated exactly two times when I entered the flux between filly to marehood?
"Good morning. You're, Laxy?"
-Yeah, that works.

Many things were placed where telekinesis was the only way of reaching them. I wasn't that shocked or really alarmed, families moved in and out of houses and different ponies had different needs.
-This works.

Hmmm. How would you address this dissonance in story?
-Nothing comes immediately to mind.


Granted. But Twilight's indecisiveness is supposed to be part of the tension here on whether Trixie 'reacting badly' or her 'reacting at all was good' or bad.
-Oh, definitely. I was just saying where real world logic for experienced professionals would seem to me to lie. Twilight, for all her highly effective heroism, isn't one by the standards of a real life EMT/Firefighter/Police Officer/Soldier. This is mostly due to Equestria's near utopian nature.


Story:
I think there's a part of me that's wondering if it understands Trixie better than others do.
Critique:
"There, but for the grace of Celestia go I?"
Query:
HMMMMMM???? Elaborate! Elaborate! Please elaborate?
Elaboration:
Well, let us consider an alternate universe in which Twilight DIDN'T lose control of her magic during her entrance exam. Let us further suppose that Celestia was still looking for her Element of Magic when she saw a show that included Trixie. So Celestia and Twilight never meet, but Twilight is still top of her class. In such a case, without the direct tutelage of someone who practically has Humility as her seventh element (I mean... you don't earn the fan-nick-name "her Momjesty" by being a distant and impersonal "I'm an immortal alicorn and you aren't" ruler) it is quite easy to imagine Twilight ending up with a BIT of an ego problem. Thus Twilight could be remembering some of Celestia's lessons on how to maintain a servant's heart even while wielding POWER OVERWHELMING(tm) and thinking how much like Trixie was prior to the ursa minor incident she could have been without said lessons.

General Principles/Endnote:
Alex Warlorn: You'll see soon enough! :-D
Draco Dei: Incidentally, when I propose theories as to how a story will turn out, I never EXPECT a response. If it helps discussion (such as in cases where the part of the story with the answer in it hasn't been written/posted yet) I am willing to hear such answers, but my goal with such theorizing is ALWAYS to give the writer an idea of how one reader's thoughts are running as they read the story (well... that and I AM a bit of a show off about my ability to predict plots... not that that reduces my enjoyment of said plots any).
Reply
:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011
They have ponies who cutie mark was a bow and arrow. So I figured crossbows wouldn't be THAT far off.
"-Huh… I assumed you made that up.."

NOPE!

What about the period before it? Seriously, I'm asking.
-I think one is supposed to exchange it for a comma? Been a while... check an English textbook, or the online equivalent, but I am pretty sure.


"Hmmm. How would you address this dissonance in story?
-Nothing comes immediately to mind."

For the record she's AWARE she just doesn't CARE!



Story:
I think there's a part of me that's wondering if it understands Trixie better than others do.
Critique:
"There, but for the grace of Celestia go I?"
Query:
HMMMMMM???? Elaborate! Elaborate! Please elaborate?
Elaboration:
Well, let us consider an alternate universe in which Twilight DIDN'T lose control of her magic during her entrance exam. Let us further suppose that Celestia was still looking for her Element of Magic when she saw a show that included Trixie. So Celestia and Twilight never meet, but Twilight is still top of her class. In such a case, without the direct tutelage of someone who practically has Humility as her seventh element (I mean... you don't earn the fan-nick-name "her Momjesty" by being a distant and impersonal "I'm an immortal alicorn and you aren't" ruler) it is quite easy to imagine Twilight ending up with a BIT of an ego problem. Thus Twilight could be remembering some of Celestia's lessons on how to maintain a servant's heart even while wielding POWER OVERWHELMING(tm) and thinking how much like Trixie was prior to the ursa minor incident she could have been without said lessons.

Interesting.
Reply
:icondracodei:
DracoDei Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
the weeks it's taken for the ponies of Ponyville and Canterlot to recover psychologically from the trauma inflicted by Discord.
-She either has a different definition of "recover" than most people/ponies or ponies are more resilient than humans in that regard. Given the character and the setting respectively, both are possibilities at this point.


And I did some hasty thinking on my part before.

"Twists and turns are my master plan. Then find the elements, back where you began."
-I believe you said on Sun_Tzu's thread that it was scary how well your stuff meshed with episode 3... I guess we will see Twilight getting grid-locked or driven to distraction by over-thinking/over-planning?

So I can not feel guilty for making the wrong choice when no matter what choice I made it would have been jury rigged to be the wrong one!
-Or maybe not... unless "shouldn't" and "will not" don't end up matching up in this case... or if she decides that when you AREN'T facing a neigh-omnipotent cheater that THEN you have to mind EVERY SINGLE DETAIL!



... My computer is acting up, so I am going to post this, and try rebooting.
Reply
:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011
"the weeks it's taken for the ponies of Ponyville and Canterlot to recover psychologically from the trauma inflicted by Discord.
-She either has a different definition of "recover" than most people/ponies or ponies are more resilient than humans in that regard. Given the character and the setting respectively, both are possibilities at this point."


I know you've all heard about we defeated Discord and once agains saved the world. But what those stories -won't- mention for the sake of the little fillies who read those stories is the weeks it's taken for the ponies of Ponyville and Canterlot to recover psychologically from the trauma inflicted by Discord (at least to where they can live their lives again).




And I did some hasty thinking on my part before.

"Twists and turns are my master plan. Then find the elements, back where you began."

"-I believe you said on Sun_Tzu's thread that it was scary how well your stuff meshed with episode 3... I guess we will see Twilight getting grid-locked or driven to distraction by over-thinking/over-planning?"

See for yourself.


"So I can not feel guilty for making the wrong choice when no matter what choice I made it would have been jury rigged to be the wrong one!
-Or maybe not... unless "shouldn't" and "will not" don't end up matching up in this case... or if she decides that when you AREN'T facing a neigh-omnipotent cheater that THEN you have to mind EVERY SINGLE DETAIL!"

We'll see.

"… My computer is acting up"

See you later when it calms down.

Still LOVE YOUR REVIEWS TO DEATH! :D
Reply
:iconshritistrang:
Shritistrang Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2011
This didn't feel as deep as the previous parts, but still entertaining. I didn't see Twilight dealing with her own problems, but instead thinking about everyone around her, Trixie included.

And to see Trixies family was interesting as well.
Reply
:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011
I know. I figure either Twilight achieved her freedom when she reread her letters with Celestia, or when she helped Trixie out of the darkness herself. How does that sound?
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