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My Little Pony friendship Is Magic
Reharmonization Pony POV Series
Episode Title: "Pearl Necklace Part 2 of 5"
By Alex Warlorn

The light faded for the six heroes. All around them was Princess Gaia's throne room, complete with Fluttershy's now ruined tea set and the pony shaped potted plant in the corner.

Twilight shook her head, everything looked the same, including the blood stains, broken stained glass and piles of thrown stone blocks. She could still smell the dried blood and stench of decay, it made her feel sick to her stomach.

Rarity stood up ... finding the Element of Generosity had done wonders again and healed her, her broken bones mended perfectly, her mana reserves restored, the stab wound from her own scissors days before gone.

Right next to her however, Pinkie, Trixie, and AJ were still had deep lacerations and broken bones. So much for truth healing and laughter being the best medicine. Rarity touched her horn to Applejack and said, "In the name of Generosity: Heal." Nothing. "I guess we don't have this down as much as I hoped."

"Don't worry sugah cube, I can manage." AJ said, stirring. "I'll be fine, don't worry yourself none."

"Ya know that gets easier every time we do it." Pinkie Diane quipped springing up despite her wounds.

Rainbow Dash looked at her wings, "Hey! Do we have kick-flank tattoos now?"

Pinkie Diane checked, "Erm, nope."

RD grumbled, "Dang ..." Then her head cleared first of the magic-rush, "FLUTTERSHY!"

RD madly looked around and spotted a yellow shape with a pink mane. She flew across the room as fast as her wings could carry her.

Trixie was already next to the pegasus, but was at a total loss of what to do.

"Fluttershy!" Rarity, Pinkie, Twilight, and AJ all said in turn, overlapping each other as they fought off exhaustion and pain to hurry to their friend's side.

Rainbow looked distraught at the sight of her.

"But ... the Elements are supposed to make everything alright." Rainbow Dash whispered, perplexed and helpless.

Twilight kept her mouth shut. Trixie made room.

Rarity and Pinkie Pie were at her sides, worried any action on their part might somehow make things worse.

AJ just stared intensely at her with surprising pose and control.

There was Fluttershy, a pegasus, brightly colored, normal sized, just a little pony.

Around her neck was a metal ring around a metal ring with tiny spikes that pierced her skin. Thin metal rods skewered her legs and flanks, coming out the other side. Small metal rings pierced her wings chained together making it painful to move them without pulling on very sensitive feathers. Everything was scabbed over. Her entire body quivered with her eyes shut tight. She was crying.

But what drew their attention, was the beach ball sized red piece of glass she was clutching for all she was worth. Manacles around her hooves chained it to her. Around Fluttershy's neck, perfectly within reach of her hooves, and perfectly usable in every shape and form as the chain connecting it more than long enough to reach every one of the manacles, was a key obviously meant to fit the locks.

Inside the sphere wasn't an angry half-zombie filly, but shadows. Shadows of ponies crying. Shadows of ponies moaning. Shadow of ponies yelling. Shadows of Stallions hurting mares and mares hurting stallions. Shadows of stallions and mares hurting foals. Shadows of ponies laying about listlessly and miserable. Shadows of ponies hurting themselves instead of others. Every species, gender and age from elders to foals, pegasi, unicorns, and earth ponies. Twilight noticed distantly there was no shadows of Alicorns.

Fluttershy held onto the red sphere for dear life with all four hooves.

Besides Fluttershy, was a beautiful and mighty spiral unicorn horn that ended in a stump of dry blood, the horn looked older than old, but the power it radiated seemed to call to Rarity, Trixie, and Twilight like a lover (ignoring the Pegasi and Earth ponies utterly). Such power. Such might. Twilight closed her eyes and telekinetically threw it across the room not thinking of it again. Everyone's focus was on Fluttershy and the horn forgotten.

"When did this happen-?!" Rainbow Dash gasped, looking at her tortured friend in shock and horror.

Twilight flashed back to the purified Nightmare Moon, the Elements' rainbow washing away the Mare in the Moon and revealing a filly desperate for attention.

"I reckon this here is what Fluttershy was doin' all this time. The black magic and darkness just made it all fancy-like. Ah think the Elements just took away all the window dressin'." AJ said, once again, no one questioned her.

RD reached for the key, Fluttershy opened her eyes and tried to bite RD's hoof off.

"HEY! What? Fluttershy-?!" Rainbow Dash gasped pulling her foreleg back looking at Fluttershy in disbelief.

"Fluttershy, it's time to let go." Twilight said, in that strange border between firm and imploring.

"No no no! We can't! If we do then everypony in Equestria will start hurting again-we can't let go!" Fluttershy sobbed, every movement causing anguish from the torture devices. They finally realized her face was completely tear stained, like she had been crying constantly non-stop for a lifetime.

Rarity scoffed, "Fluttershy! If you think we're just going to leave you here all alone to suffer, then you are sadly mistaken!"

"I'm ... I'm a bad pony right? An evil dictator? That's what I am, right? So therefore I deserve to be alone and suffering right? So just leave me alone! I don't deserve to be anyone's friend after what I've done to you all! This way I'm at least doing good!"

Rainbow Dash spoke in the same flat tone she had once used with Pinkamina during the incident that shall not be named, "Yeah. Right. Not buying it. Fluttershy, stop being an idiot and stop torturing yourself!"

"I know I'm a-"

"I TOLD YOU, I SHALL NOT TOLERATE YOU SAYING THAT OF YOURSELF!" Rarity snarled out of thin air. "You are an intelligent, rational, and reasonable mare! You are most certainly not an idiot! Stop using that as an excuse! You're ... don't you know you're worth more than that?!"

"If I let go, all my foals are going to start having bad feelings again. As long as I'm feeling everyone else's bad feelings instead, the balance the Shadows Who Watch demand is kept happy! And it's just me whose sad and miserable! It's ... it's a good thing."

Then 'Shy looked into the reflective surface of the red sphere and said in a cool, calm but kind voice, "Fluttershy, you need to let go. You don't need to hurt yourself any more."

The others wondered for a moment if Fluttershy had gone crazy. But her tone, her language, her posture, her expression, it was like an entirely different pony was speaking.

Twilight remembered her incident when she had begun speaking to herself in a puddle, but this ... it was like two ponies on two sides of a mirror almost. That's when she noticed the transparent pony who'd helped them use the Elements was no longer present… What had the foal said just before the Elements activated? That she'd die? Had she been wrong?

"But I can't let go. If I let go, everyone ELSE will start hurting again. It's not right I make everyone else hurt just so I don't have to."

RD snapped, "What?! Just so you can just sit there and be miserable forever?!"

"As long as everyone else is happy and healthy, I don't care." Fluttershy said, distantly.

"We care!" Pinkie Diane snapped. "Fluttershy ... .Fluttershy ..." Pinkie Diane struggled to think what to say next. "Fluttershy, you're hurting US by doing this!"

Fluttershy sighed, her entire body shuddered again, "That's why I didn't want any of you to know. If I was an Alicorn or a Nightmare ... Either way at least no one questions the burdens you take."

And for the first time in her life, Twilight Sparkle wondered about the mantle her master and mentor carried, and the weight that came with it.

Rarity turned on her hooves and trotted several paces away.

"Rarity?" Twilight asked, confusion clear on her face.

"This is Fluttershy's choice. It is hers to give. Now that I know she's not possessed or under some evil influence, I can not in good conscience force her to stop. I will neither help nor hinder." Rarity didn't let them see the tear she shed.

"The One And Only Trixe ... I-I won't force her to change her mind." Trixie said sadly as she too turned away and trotted next to Rarity. She looked scared or unsure. Rarity, trying to keep her mind off what was happening, began tending to the unicorn's wounds as best as she could in the meantime.

"It's a logical system, right Twilight? The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few." Fluttershy whispered. The tears never stopped. The shudders of pain would never stop. Ever.

Feeling like she was facing an army of dragons, Twilight took several steps back but didn't turn her eyes away from her. She tried to find any small thing she could say to get it through Fluttershy's head what she was doing wasn't needed (it wasn't needed right?), but as much as she hated to admit it, it was a difficult thing to argue against. How do you convince somepony, who loves everything so much as to put themselves secondary to keeping the world happy, into opening Pandora's box all over again? And worst of all, Twilight couldn't stop her brain from thinking: yes, it WAS logical!

Rainbow looked at her friends in disgust. "Well! I've already MADE my choice! I said I'd save you from yourself and I'm gonna!"

Applejack took a step in front of her. "And how ya gonna do that sugah? How ya gonna keep her from trying this trick again? Hogtie'er and lock'er in a room someplace?"

"If that's what it takes!"

"So you wanna do something to her, she's against you doing to her, because it's for her own good? Because she's clearly not thinking straight and you MUST have the more rational perspective? So it's okay if you take away the choice from her? It's fine she says no because you say yes?"

"Well yeah of course but-" Realization crawled across Rainbow Dash's face, "But, but that's not like, but it isn't, no it isn't but-no, no, no." Rainbow Dash's wings and ears wilted as gravity seemed to increase several fold on her as she moved with her body lower to the ground.

Pinkie Pie looked at her friends and comrades. She sighed. Her hair became straight, but she didn't lose one trace of her color, she actually looked a bit brighter. And the look on her face held an odd serenity to it. She knelt before Fluttershy. "Fluttershy. All I want is ponies to be happy too. And I know that a good prank and a good game isn't as fun as when you see how it works from behind the scenes, and it's no good to reveal how a magic trick works ... but I wouldn't be a friend if I let you carry this burden alone. My Element is Laughter, let me balance out everything you're feeling please ... "

"No!" Fluttershy's eyes widened looking at Pinkie Pie.

"I can't lie Fluttershy, I LOVE everything I've seen and heard that you've made. And you were willing to try and fix the things that were going to make it empty on the inside ... And I'd be betraying my Element if I let that laughter die out from letting bad things back into Equestria ... let me share it with you."

Everyone turned and looked, most gasped, most reached to stop her, but far too late.

Pinkie Pie reached out and touched the sphere. She gritted her teeth, tears began to come down her face. Like they were living plants, spikes and chains snaked around Pinkie Pie, piecing her flesh. An inverted spiked collar formed around her neck and a key forged itself into being perfectly within reach on her.

"No." Fluttershy gasped out, doing what seemed impossible and crying more.

"I won't let you walk it alone ... Auntie ... Auntie Pinkie Pie … will be there for you."

AJ looked with horror, but she gripped to her Element, the one thing in the sea of suffering and dead-ends she had, her Truth. She grunted out, "So Fluttershy, you gonna tell her she can't do this?"

Even as Pinkie Pie shuddered in sorrow, Fluttershy's trembles became less.

The absolute agony within Fluttershy was now halved, and the other half now coursed inside Pinkie Pie.

Dashie leapt for Pinkie Pie and reached for the key around her neck.

"Don't you dare Dashie. I swear if ... if you don't stop, I'll break your wings off and make cupcakes out of them!" Pinkie Diane grunted, her entire body shuddering and burning under half the suffering of Equestria. Tears flowed unrestrained down her face. And she let out a small laugh.

Rainbow Dash gasped in shock hearing Pinkie Pie of all ponies threatening violence on anypony!

Rainbow Dash turned at the others intensely, snorting hot air. "If any of you so much as think of following Pinkie's example, I'll break all four of your legs and drag you back to Ponyville with them!"

And Pinkie Pie, as suffering ripped through her gullet and mind, managed to piece together the thought. 'Flut-ter ... shy ... was . . en-dur-ring ... twice ... this. This, whole, t-t-time?'

"Fluttershy, like Twilight said a bit ago, ya ain't an Alicorn. Yer not meant to take up this sort of thing. You're only a little pony. Scratch that, not even an Alicorn should have to take this up! Ya have the biggest heart in all of Equestria or ya wouldn't have done none of this!"

"Which is why ... why I have to do it." Fluttershy quivered.

"But Fluttershy, yer just takin' the pain! All these bad feelin's! Yer just holdin' onto'em! That's not right! Pain ... pain ... it's meant to be WORKED THROUGH sugah cube, more than that! It's meant to accepted, overcome, and let go. Pain ISN'T meant to be held onto! Ya ain't solvin' the problems, yer just coverin'em up!"

"But I just can't force THIS on everypony!" Fluttershy pleaded. The shadows within twisted and turned on themselves in their torture.

Twilight thought long and hard, trying to find something, ANYTHING, to break through Fluttershy's belief that she had to bear the grief of all ponykind on herself alone, hoping if she did, Pinkie wouldn't have a reason to either without needing to share Fluttershy's burden. How did you convince somepony to do something they didn't want to do? The worst part was the more Twilight thought about it, the more she dreaded Fluttershy was right …

Then her eyes fell on Fluttershy's Cutie Mark, the colors no longer inverted. 'Butterflies…' she thought, eyes widening. She let out a gasp of inspiration as she looked at them. A small smile crossed her face.

"Fluttershy… Do you remember what your Cutie Mark is?" Twilight asked softly, trying to be calm and relaxed. Fluttershy was silent. "It's butterflies, and do you remember how they work? They start out as little caterpillars that can only crawl around, doing nothing but eat. Then it enters a cocoon and comes out a butterfly," she explained, kneeling next to her friend. "Then, and only then, can they fly.

"It's a lot of work for them to build their cocoon, they've got to work hard and take their time building it just right. But if they don't, they never get wings. They'll never be able to fly," explained Twilight, looking Fluttershy in the face, trying not to cry at the sight of her friend in such torment. "Fluttershy, would it be mean to stop the caterpillar from making its cocoon and being able to fly?"

Fluttershy sniffled, agony tearing through her body from the simple act of moving her head to meet Twilight's gaze. "Of course it would! It'd be terrible to stop anything from flying if it could!"

Pinkie Pie lowered her head slightly as the image of pegasus wings flashed through her mind, mocking her.

Twilight said, "Well you are."

Fluttershy gasped. "But… But I haven't! I'd never do such a thing!"

"But you are, Fluttershy!" Twilight replied. "Keeping everypony foals forever is like keeping a caterpillar from becoming a butterfly! It's like Applejack said; if you don't let them endure and work through those bad feelings you're taking upon yourself, and learn how to deal with them and grow stronger from it, they'll never be all they can be! They'll be like caterpillars who never get to fly!"

Pinkie Diane grunted out through the torment, "T-Twilight ... some of t-those caterpillars? T-They just want to BE caterpillars ... t-they don't want to be butterflies. They w-won't f-find happiness as butterflies, because they've lost their wings."

Twilight looked at Pinkie Diane and tried not to break down in tears at the sight of her, "Their wings can be reattached," she stated, ignoring that was impossible with real butterflies. "All it takes is one other butterfly who cares enough to do it... I've done it myself," she said, looking to Trixie.

Rarity looked over he shoulder at what Twilight said. "... So have I..." she whispered, thinking of the little butterfly whose wings she tried to mend.

"And Pinkie Pie, so have you!" yelled Rainbow Dash, trying to glare at Pinkie Pie and failing miserably, seeing the party pony being slowly almost cut to pieces by the torture devices on her. Her face softened. "You AND Fluttershy did! You saved me! And let me tell you something, Pinkie! The 'you' who dumped all her misery on Pinkamena? She would've thrown a party or freaked out while I turned into a Nightmare! The Pinkie Pie who COULD feel everything SAVED me! All you're doing is being Pinkamena for everypony to dump their crud on!" she exclaimed, then looked to Fluttershy, bracing herself to not breakdown at the sight of her fillyhood friend in such agony.

"And Fluttershy…Sometimes to pull out a thorn, it's going to hurt a little, but it's better than letting it fester, and you're better for it after. The -actual- cruel thing for somebody to do would be to let the infection worsen rather than force it to the surface." said Rainbow, having trouble believing she of all ponies was saying something like that. "A really smart pony told me that once, and she was absolutely right! But how are people supposed to pull out thorns so they can REALLY heal if they can't feel them?!"

"Pain lets us know what's wrong so we can do something about it," sighed AJ, looking at her friends. "Now look, there's some truth in what you two are sayin'. But there's a lot more in what Twi and Rainbow just said. Let me put it this way; if all the apple trees stayed as cute little sprouts, they'd never be able to grow up and make big, juicy apples. They'd be nice and cute, they'd never risk topplin' over and hurting anypony, but they'd never grow any fruit. Ah spent a whole day running around Ponyville, reattaching butterfly wings and pulling thorns after Ah visited the Princess, but Ah had to get help pullin' one of my own to know how to do it. Fluttershy, Pinkie, it's time you pulled out a few thorns of your own so everypony else can get to work on theirs."

"My word Applejack, since when did you become such a philosophical dictorum?" Rarity asked.

"Came from hanging out with you gals too much, thank you kindly."

"I just wanted a world where violence, misery, and death weren't the rule, and harmony, happiness, and life were how things NATURALLY are. A place where life didn't need to feed off life as part of nature, instead of something we ponies had to do. A world of dreams couldn't work, a foalhood that never ended doesn't work ... Are ... are all livings things just MEANT to kill each other?! Are they just meant to be miserable and sad-?!" Fluttershy beseeched her friends, Luna, Celestia, Discord, Angel, the foundations of stone her castle were placed on, someone, anyone.

"Good things are worked for sugah cube, that's what makes'em so special, and just because there's sad stuff in the world doesn't make it a sad place."

"'Shy, please ... don't we have Cute-ceañera to plan?" Fluttershy looked at her reflection, or maybe it was her reflection looking at her.

"Cute-ceañera?" Pinkie asked, parties, no, celebrations still her special talent, even in the sea of grief.

"Yes, her's, Fluttercruel, she just earned her cutie mark, she ... it's only fair for her right?"

The ponies were completely jarred. The confirmation of the existence of the 'other Fluttershy' had just been dumped on them just a tiny while ago, apparently being the personality Discord put in Fluttershy, or at least one like it, and suddenly it ... she was talking Cute-ceañeras? ... They had all seen the cutie mark, among the rest of the havoc they were facing, but ... maybe they all needed to sit down.

"Pinkie Pie ..." Fluttershy whispered.

"Yes?"

"I think maybe this should end. Maybe it's gone on for a little too long."

"Okay. If that's what you really want."

Fluttershy didn't reply, she just reached for key around her neck and unlocked the shackles. Pinkie Diane looked at her, and did the same. Together, they let go of the red sphere.

A sound worse than any of the ponies had ever heard in their lives vibrated throughout the room. To call it a cry was to imply it came from something living, to call it a whisper would imply there was intent behind it, to call it a scream would imply it had volume.

The red sphere shattered, the pieces breaking apart into nothing. The shadows of ponies of all races from inside wildly fled from the container, their eyes and mouths empty holes, miming screaming, neighing, crying, shouting, grinding teeth, weeping, moaning, all flew through the walls, ceiling and floor like ghosts. The entire room darkened with their presence and the ponies felt a non-material wind so cold it burned! The ponies covered their ears to no avail. So alone!

And in a handful of seconds it was over. Light and warmth returned. There wasn't so much as a scar on Fluttershy or Pinkie Diane anywhere from the torture they'd endured, the torture harnesses gone. Only time would tell if Pinkie Pie's cuts from before would scar.

"My word!" Rarity gasped out first, otherwise at a complete loss for words.

"WHAT THE MOON WAS THAT-?!" Trixie exclaimed, eyes wide as saucers.

"Oh. We just released back into the world all the prejudice, depression, grudges, self-pity, malice, and self-deprecation that Fluttershy sealed inside herself using her own soul as the chains and locks: and are now free to scourge pony kind again." AJ said firmly, calmly, with full honesty, and a shrug.

Rainbow Dash tilted her head, sounding unsure, "Uh. We DID do the right thing here right?"

Twilight said sounding uncertain herself after witnessing the release first hand, "That's what we were doing our best to tell Fluttershy that it was."

"Everypony is gonna have'ta decide that for themselves sugar cube," said Applejack looking up at the ceiling and walls where the shadows had fled. "Some are gonna say we should have just let Fluttershy keep'em locked up where they couldn't hurt no pony, and others are gonna say we have have'ta deal with our problems for real and not act like they don't exist. And Ah think some will say choosin' whether or not there's sorrow in the world ain't a decision any mortal pony had the right to make to begin with."

Pinkie Pie didn't say which one she was, only looking where the sphere used to be.

"All the same, the One and Only Trixie... I think shall be leaving out the 'releasing of intolerance and sorrow back into Equestria' when she writes her memoirs."

"I do not think I shall be telling Sweetie about this part of this adventure until I am on my lavish rose petal death bed."

"If it's my choice, I'll accept releasing them as the right thing. I feel free." Fluttershy said with a surprising calm and firm voice. She wiped away from tears from her eyes. "But I can't change how I feel. I felt what everyone else felt. I guess ... I guess they'll always be with me."

"Trust me Sugar cube, Ah know how that is, but if there's a pony who can make good of it, ya can."

Pinkie Pie nearly mini-teleported next to Fluttershy and hugged her, Rainbow Dash being the fastest joined in next, Rarity joined in with the pony who she proudly called her best friend. AJ joined in next. And of course Twilight willing joined in.

"Thanks, Applejack… But I hurt you all so much… If you won't forgive me, I won't bla-"

"FLUTTERSHY OH FLUTTERSHY!" Pinkie Pie finally gushed, tears streaming.

"OH FLUTTER-GIRL IT'S SO WONDERFUL TO HAVE YA BACK!"

"Darling, do not, do not please, ever do anything so reckless again!"

"Fluttershy, you ... you ... jus ... it's just so great to have ya!"

"In case I've ever forgotten to say so," Twilight said simply, "You're my friend, Fluttershy, and I wouldn't have it any other way." She said the next part with as much self control and formality as she could, "And… Fluttercruel, if you're listening; thank you so much for helping us bring Fluttershy back." Twilight could swear she saw a sly smile cross Fluttershy's face at that for a brief moment.

Trixie looked at the sight. They looked like pieces of a puzzle, they fit together so perfectly. Trixie hated puzzles, couldn't every piece be beautiful and whole on its own? Then why did she want to be a piece right now so badly-?! Was this even her-?! It scared her so horribly.

Trixie trotted over almost puppet-like and her legs shaking raised a hoof and placed it gently on one yellow wing. "You ... you are a wonderful pony." When, when was the last time Trixie had ever praised anyone?

"Princess Gaia! Princess Gaia save me!" Screamed a terrified, raspy mare voice.

The double doors swung open as Angel, no longer dressed up like the White Rabbit, was bowled over inside.  

There was a mare, if it could be called that, her body burned flesh and black bone, traces of a green mane hanging from her skull. She prostrated herself on the floor at once before Fluttershy. "Princess Gaia! It's already taken everyone else! Please! Protect me! Save me!" She sobbed.

A distant echo resonated down the hall was heard, it sounded like two ponies drowning.

"Roneo!"

"Starlet! I still love-" Silence.

A chill rattled all their bones.

Nearly all the others backed away in horror, except Applejack, who somehow managed to hold her ground and keep a straight face (it wasn't easy).

No one noticed the potted plant fall over, lose it's cutie mark, and becoming a twisted pony shaped black mass of bones before black claws dragged it into the ground. Not even getting a chance to cry out, the claws being just a tad more vicious with him.

"It's not fair! The draconquus made us alive again, then the rainbow takes it away! Then Her Kindnesty lets me forget and now the rainbows take her away too?! It's not! Not fair! Not fair! Not fair!"

Snake like claws wrapped around her and began to pull her under like the surface was water, taking her back to within the limits of where she had died.

She madly mumbled to herself. "Please! We didn't know! We thought it was a curse! We thought it was evil! We thought it was the plague our grandparents told us about! We didn't mean to forget what the marks were! Please! We didn't know! I didn't -want- them to hurt her! It wasn't my fault! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! I NEVER HAD A CHOICE!"

Fluttershy blinked away tears. "I'm so sorry, Threeleaf. I'm so sorry!"

AJ really wished she had thought to bring a lasso, though she wasn't sure it'd have done any good.

The others were too paralyzed with confusion and fear to move.

Only most of her skull and front hooves were visible now as the black threads pulled her down, back to Sunnytown's ruins. "I-It's, it's, Ruby, I didn't think you-! I thought-, Grayhoof said-, PRINCESS GAIA!"

Fluttershy grabbed Threeleaf's still visible hoof and took to the air. Ignoring the freezing numbness in her forelegs, she flew backwards with all her strength. It wasn't enough. Threeleaf slipped beneath the floor.

"No." Fluttershy whispered, her forehooves feeling solid stone for any sign of Threeleaf. Angel came over and gently patted her on the side as if to say 'There, there.'

"I'm sorry Your Kindnesty, they still bury their heads in the sand and scream they're just victims of fate. They're beyond saving, and so am I." A young voice echoed like from a deep chasm.

The ponies looked up to see another undead pony, this one looked much more intact than the others, like her death had nothing to do with burning. The black threads snaked around her legs, she didn't try to flee.

AJ snapped. "Now didn't Ah tell you to stop with that hogwash?! Ruby's a friend of Applebloom! And a friend of a friend is supposed to be a friend! And no friend of mah little sister is gonna say she can't be saved!"

"Do I have to say it?! I don't want to be saved!" Mitta cried out.

"RUBY DOES! AND SO DOES APPLEBLOOM! NOW STOP BEING SO DAMN SELFISH!!!"

Mitta startled. The black threads continued to wrap themselves around her and ever so slowly drag her down.

Mitta asked unsure, insecure, "H-hey ... cutie marks? That's what they're called right? You get one for what makes you 'you', right? What do you think … my cutie mark would have been?"

"Maybe a shield," AJ suggested sounding like a mother almost, "Ya know, a pony who protects?"

"I did just the opposite." Mitta said sadly.

" ... And there ain't a pony in this here room, not in the whole wide world, who didn't do 'just the opposite' of what their cutie mark meant at one time or another, kiddo. We ain't puppets!"

Fluttershy shouted, "As your Princess! I order you not to give up! I order you to stop this!"

"I'm sorry, Your Kindnesty," Mitta lowered her head, the black threads wrapped around it, "That's a command I can't follow through. I deserve this just like the rest. Besides ... someone needs to be there to make sure the others don't hurt anypony else. I can't let go until those fools impossibly  realize their own sins ... wha?" Mitta felt a tingle, and every pony swore they saw a sparkle of something on her flank just before she was pulled under.

"Fluttershy," said Applejack, realizing what just happened. "Ah think maybe, just maybe, some good did come out of all this," she said, giving Fluttershy a small smile.

Before the others could ask questions- "While this experience I would not have chose, for it to happen again, I would not oppose."

"Zecora!" All the ponies said together except Trixie, for whom this was the first time seeing the zebra as an adult.

"I would have entered before. But that filly needed help more." She bowed her head to Fluttershy, "Greetings Princess Gaia, I think you have little to fear of becoming a pariah."

Fluttershy startled, "How did ... how did you know I was-"

"What kind of foot-zebra would I be to my queen, if her thoughts I could not glean?"

"Wait wait wait, you ARE free of the brainwashing right?" Rainbow Dash asked first, looking the Zebra over, her eyes were normal at least.

"If that is what you wish to call it, I will not object. And yes my mind is my own last time I checked."

"Then why all the 'Princess' stuff?" RD asked.

"No matter it's form, it is still love. And Fluttershy has the heart of a dove. What Princess Gaia did was foolish. But I shall not call it ghoulish. Although, I think it's best we go."

"Yes." Fluttershy nodded, "With my Contract of Omelas broken, Everkind and everything else that I altered instantly with magic rather than with effort is reverting."

Twilight, Trixie and Rarity all look -very- insulted at the biased idea that hard earned magic wasn't labor.

"Oh! I'm so sorry!" exclaimed Fluttershy, in her typical apologetic fashion. "I just meant that only the stuff that was changed manually stayed the same!"

"I don't get it." Pinkie Diane said, scratching her head with a hoof, "I mean, if Princess Gaia's magic is gone, why are Applejack, Trixie, and me are still covered in ouchies?"

Everypony took a step back from Twilight, knowing PRECISELY what Pinkie had just unleashed upon them all. The purple unicorn instantly began speaking standing up on her rear legs in absence of a soapbox.

"There's a difference between what's called 'permanent magic' and 'instantaneous magic.' Instantaneous means the spell is complete, over and done with once cast. Like teleportation, and fireballs. But many transmutation spells -cheat- and use 'permanent magic' that just superimposes a false form upon something that can be dispersed. An -instantaneous- transmutation spell means the new shape or form of the subject is their NATURAL STATE from then on.

"Permanent magic is useful in that the spell is still there, so you can still manipulate and change it however you like. But it's VERY IMPRACTICAL, not to mention downright dangerous to use for construction projects and medical treatments. Instantaneous spells ironically take more power to cast in spite of not lingering afterwards, this is due to them having a more direct effect on existence.

"I would surmise Fluttershy spread herself so thin that she barely used any instantaneous magic at all. Ironically if she had spread herself out slowly rather than going so quickly she'd have been able to slowly build up her influence and reality would have had no choice but to bow down to her revisions as natural. She had a great amount of power and a strong enough will to wield it, but no experience using it properly. Since much of it may have simply been undone by the Elements though would suggest-Uh, girls? Where are you going? Girls!"

~~~

The Sea Serpent looked around as the forest of Sunshine and Lollipops became again a Forest of Death. "That's it, I'm moving."

~~~
Healing Ponies POV Series!
[link]


Next Chapter: [link]
Previous Chapter: [link]
First Chapter: [link]


Fanart of Diamond Tiara and Screwball. Yes, even bullies and loonies have loved ones. So close and yet totally apart. [link]

FANART OF NIGHTMARE WHISPER! CHECK IT OUT! [link]

BEHOLD: A dramatic reading of how this entire series started! [link]



Fanart of Mimic's iconic moment before her death. By the one and only Firedrake.
[link]


YET ANOTHER tribute fanfiction has been written! CHECK IT OUT! This one takes a rather unique POV on the subject of Discording.
[link]

And a reharmonization you wouldn't expect! [link]

Discord's beaten, but invisible scars take the longest to heal for the mane six and all of Ponyville. Anyone can die, living is the actually challenge.

THIS IS THE END OF THE PRINCESS GAIA ARCH.


The series' very one TV Tropes page! Check it out! [link]

The series that started it all, Discord Pony POV series!
[link]


I never chose any music for this part. Though night on bald mountain might work for part of the ending.


Kendell2 wrote most of the arguments of Twilight and AJ with Fluttershy and Pinkie. So Kudos to him.

The fall of the Sunny Town Ponies, Suikoden V OST - Sadness [link]


This part was edited like crazy by Kendell2 [link]

MLP: FiM: Copyright Hasbro

EDIT: Edits thrown in to make things just a little bit smoother with help from Kendell2. I look foreword to when the rest of my editors catch up to here.

20120610 DracoDei edits.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
As we begin the story, the heroes notice how little did change around them, even the pony shaped potted plant is still the same. Rarity’s wounds, even the one inflicted by Diamond Tiara, were all healed by her own Element. Unfortunately she isn’t able to heal the others but maybe she will develop this ability later. Considering that she is Generosity, it would make sense for her to be able to cure others. Then Rainbow Dash realises in what kind of condition Fluttershy is. Immediately they all rush to her aid but are shocked to realize that the Elements didn’t fix all problems. Fluttershy looks like herself but she still holding on to all the suffering of Equestria. While the undead foal is missing, the red sphere and the torture devises remain and cause her unimaginable pain. The sphere still contains all sadness, hate, pain and self-loathing and the fluttering pony, despite having apparently lost all of her new powers, is still unwilling to unleash it back onto this world. It is also clear that the entire construction can be removed with a key any time the pegasus would want to do that. Next to her is the powerful artefact, the Elder Horn, that had increased her already great powers even further. The object calls to all unicorns in the room and in an impressive display of willpower, no one gives it a second thought and Twilight throws it away to concentrate on what it really important: Fluttershy. Twilight begins to think back to what happened to Nightmare Moon and how the Elements did reveal the insecure filly seeking attention under the guise of the self assure Nightmare about to plunge the world in eternal darkness. As the pragmatic Rainbow Dash tries to use the key to end this suffering Fluttershy starts to fight back. She knows what she is carrying for everyone else and now she thinks that she can atone for her actions as Nightmare Whisper like this. The fluttering pony tells her friends that she doesn’t deserve them anymore. When she is about to call herself an idiot again, Rainbow Dash almost explodes on her and screams that she is intelligent, rational, and reasonable. An idiot would have lost herself within seconds after obtaining the power Fluttershy wielded. She is still willing to shoulder all suffering for everyone else. After being saved herself, Fluttercruel tries to talk down her kind self. The intelligent Twilight almost instantly puts the clues together and understands who is talking right now. As Fluttershy is obviously not willing to end her pain for herself, Pinkie tries to remember her that her friends are suffering as well seeing her like this. The pegasus tells them that if she would still be the perfect Alicorn or the insane Nightmare nobody would question her choice and to avoid hurting her friends she had to keep up the illusion. For the very first time Twilight wonders what kind of burdens the seemingly perfect Celestia must carry.

Rarity is willing to accept Fluttershy’s choice. As her best friend she knows that it would hurt her even more if the white unicorn would tell her to give up the burden. She does even hide her own pain, just like Fluttershy did before. Trixie also doesn’t feel that she knows Fluttershy well enough to be able to convince her to change her course. The showpony wants to help her but has no idea how. Fluttershy tries to convince Twilight to accept this with logic, after all do the needs of the many not outweigh the needs of the few? Twilight is absolutely shocked, not only by the pure determination and self-sacrifice before her but also by the seemingly unbreakable logic. RD tries to force Fluttershy to stop these actions but the pragmatic Applejack reminds her that if she isn’t able to convince her friend to let go, it would never end and Rainbow would have to imprison her to stop Fluttershy from trying this again. Wouldn’t this removal of free choice almost exactly be like what Nightmare Whisper did? Meanwhile Pinkie Pie has made her own choice. She loves the world and her friend enough to share her torment with her. The others are too late to prevent it and soon the pink pony is tortured by the same devices. Fluttershy is wrecked with guilt but now the same logic she used against Twilight makes it impossible for her to tell Pinkie to let go of the suffering. And the plan of the pink pony does work and now Fluttershy must “only” care half of all the pain of Equestria. RD tries to open the lock on the pink pony but Pinkie Pie is able to stop her by threatening to make cupcakes out of her. In her desperation the only way she knew how to stop her friend from ending this was to talk about the things the version of herself, she hated so much, did. Now Rainbow in turn threatens anyone from following this example, she knows her friends enough to realize that they might try something like this. Pinkie Pie can hardly understand what kind of pain Fluttershy must have carried the entire time. The pragmatic Applejack tries to make her fluttering friend realise that this kind of pain isn’t supposed to be carried by one or two beings. Everyone has to carry it, lessening the burden for all the others and everyone has to try to conquer their own darkness. That is part of being alive. Fluttershy still argues that she can’t send all this evil back onto the world. Twilight is still struggling to think about what she could say to make Fluttershy change her decision. She knows that Fluttershy is the key, after that Pinkie Pie would let go of the pain as well. Then she looks at the now normal cutie mark of the pegasus and has an idea. She tells her to remember how Butterflies live. They start out as a caterpillar needing to gain as much strength as possible before they are able to form they cocoon and become flying butterflies. If Fluttershy would continue her actions they all would never have to endure the creation of the cocoon but they would never fly on their own. Pinkie tells her that some don’t want to become butterflies and have lost their wings, but Twilight quickly points out that with the help of others those problems can be overcome. Trixie was able to start conquering her own inner demons with the help of Twilight. It reminds Rarity on her attempt to heal Diamond Tiara. Rainbow Dash tells both suffering ponies that they saved her from becoming a Nightmare and that the constantly happy Pinkie Pie would have never been able to do this. Only the Pinkie Pie accepting sadness could understand and heal it. Then RD tells Fluttershy the same lesson she had told her some time ago. Sometimes pain and cruelty are needed to end or heal suffering, didn’t they all experience this? Didn’t they all become stronger after overcoming their own weaknesses and darkness? Applejack talks about her own experience and how she wasn’t able to help everyone by herself. Everyone is fighting their own battle and can only grow by the experience gained from it.

Fluttershy barriers begin to weaken and she laments the loss of her paradise. Neither the perfect dreams nor the eternal childhood did work, will life always mean pain and suffering? AJ tells her that a world with sadness and darkness isn’t a miserable world. Instead it makes the light all the more precious. It is Fluttercruel who manages to destroy the final barrier by reminding Fluttershy that they do have a Cute-ceañera to plan. The thought of a party is also enough to remind Pinkie Pie about what brings her happiness. By accepting this eternal torture, Fluttershy would also force Fluttercruel to share it with her, taking her chance to experience life after finally accepting being alive. The others have still trouble accepting and understanding this new being within her friend. Now both ponies are ready to let go and unseal the red sphere. Immediately the sphere shatters and within moments releases everything back into the world. AJ calms states that they have just unleashed prejudice, depression, grudges, self-pity, malice, and self-deprecation. There is doubt left if they did the right thing and one look of Pinkie Pie hints that she would have endured it all by herself, if it wouldn’t have hurt her friends. Applejack points out that this isn’t a simple matter of right or wrong, of sealing the evil or freeing it or of torturing a few ponies beyond comprehension for the peaceful existence of everyone else. Maybe this was a choice that should have never been made but mere mortals, but they were forced to choose anyway. Fluttershy is finally free from her torment and in an incredible heart-warming scene the first thing Pinkie Pie does is to hug her friend and everyone else (besides Trixie) join into. The fluttering pony tries to tell Applejack how sorry she is and that she would understand if she would never forgive her but the others don’t care. They are just too happy to have her friend back. And Twilight takes the first chance she gets to thank Fluttercruel for her help. Trixie watches the scene in confusion and wishes she could belong into this group as well and in the end she is able to walk over to the others, place one hoof on one of Fluttershy’s wings and tell her what a great person she is. The Great and Powerful Trixie could have never done something like this but the One and Only Trixie is stronger.

But there is a prize to pay. The inhabitants of Sunnytown are all reclaimed by the curse. As they turn back into the undead, they disappear one by one. Threeleaf begs Fluttershy to save her. She screams how unfair the rainbow is for taking away their healing twice. She doesn’t know that Discord just healed them to laugh in their faces when they return to normal. The curse still has an influence over them as long as they are unable to accept their own sins. And Threeleaf constantly screams that they had no choice. Despite the pain Fluttershy tries to grab the disappearing pony but she is unable to do anything for her. Soon the undead being is gone, back to her own eternal torment. Then Mitta walks inside and tells them that the murderers will always act like they are the victims and that they are all beyond hope. She has given up and as long as she keeps punishing herself her own curse will last forever. Now Applejack angrily reminds her that Ruby is suffering as well because of them and she should finally stop being so selfish. Now for the very first time Mitta wonders what her cutie mark could have been and AJ tells her it would be a shield a symbol for someone who tries to protect others. At first she denies it but her final words as she vanishes are about preventing the others from hurting anyone else. Again Fluttershy can’t do anything to help them. But just before Mitta is gone, something does change and she gains her cutie mark. There is hope left for them. Even after thousand years. Applejack manages to cheer Fluttershy up by pointing out that at least some good things did happen because of her actions. The now adult Zecora agrees with her. She still calls Fluttershy her Princess and assures her that not everyone will hate her for the Princess Gaia incident. Now that the magic stopped everything will soon return back to the way it was and Twilight enters lecture mode to explain everyone in detail why this is happening. The reason is that Fluttershy did spread her influence as fast as possible and to do that she had to use permanent magic, since this takes less mana per spell. The downside is that once the spell is over, the change disappears as well. But the others don’t care about the details and just want to move on. Just like the Sea Serpent who also decides to move as the forest is turning back.

Overall this is great chapter that continues the conclusion of the Princess Gaia arc. In the end just like Trixie the change didn’t come after a battle but after a talk between friends. Only thanks to their bounds were they able to convince Fluttershy to let go. The fate of the ponies of Sunnytown shows that not every problem was solved but there is hope left. And these events will have long-lasting consequences. But for now the group is finally reunited.

Keep up the great work.
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:iconyourbuddybill:
YourBuddyBill Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Last line wins.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014
People do seem to like that joke. :-)
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:iconyourbuddybill:
YourBuddyBill Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I have to give a presentation today and now my brain is fried from reading these stories. I still need to work them into my headcanon; some of my characters would sort of have gotten involved in this stuff. Might write something about them sooner or later. Might not post them here, but if I ever post them somewhere, I'll send you the link. (this site's community sort of wrecked me when I was in high school and helped intensify my social dysfunction, and I'm still not happy about it, so I basically refuse to post anything new here, though I do need to clean up the older gore-splattered character design's page, since all the info there was written when I was still a dense piece of crap and the story makes no sense whatsoever)
Actually, I'll just write a bit about them right now. I need to get this out of my head.
Axolotl Wenceslas, 3/4 Pegasus, 1/4 Draconequus, Axolotl is the team leader. His special powers involve Draconequus magic, as well as his "Aspect Unleashed" ability, which allows him to shapeshift into all sorts of animals. He feels he has a lot to live up to; his grandfather was (and is) a very crucial person. His closest element is actually Kindness.
Aurora and Borealis: Two Earth Pony twins separated at birth. Each grew up alone, each feeling that they were missing some part of themselves. They rarely, if ever, showed emotion, and were extremely reserved. They're both experts in "nerdy" stuff like physics and technology. After they finally reunited, they really got their lives on track, though they still work mostly with physics and the like. In fact, they're so good at calculations and the like that some people think they're cheating at life; they always win at carnival games, and they almost never miss any ranged or melee attack. Their closest element is actually Laughter.
Abraxus Eldridge: A Unicorn, Abraxus specializes in a wide variety of spells that have useful effects both in and out of combat. In practice, this means he uses both combat-intended and non-combat-intended spells for both purposes. A Bolt spell can be used to kick-start a generator, work as a defibrillator, or all sorts of other things. Abraxus has a passive "always-on" ability (much to his displeasure): his reflections in true mirrors (not just glass or water, true mirrors) don't appear in the mirrors, they appear in the world around him. He's managed to exploit this in the past to effectively create illusionary doubles of himself without using up magic power, as well as to deal with the Mirror Pool in the show canon (his reflection pulled itself in and gained sentience, and managed to rescue three individuals whose originals had been trapped inside due to failures on the parts of those who knew them). His closest element is magic, though he isn't the team leader.
Thaddeus Withers: A talkative Unicorn, Thaddeus wears a headset at all times. Thaddeus has the best grasp of technology out of the group (though Aurora and Borealis are better at working on the fly with what they have), and it shows. He's got a web site set up on a basic form of the internet, and there he stores video footage of the encounters of his team. Of course, people can only view it with the right passwords and whatnot. He also acts as the communications hub, having had earpieces surgically implanted in his teammates and helping to coordinate them. Like Rarity, he doesn't specialize in spells; most of his spells are electrical or otherwise energetic in nature (sonics is a favorite of his). Notably, Thaddeus has a Power Scream ability that doesn't require his magic reserves to pull off, and when moving at high speeds, he's figured out he can use the Power Scream to break something or other and phase through solid matter... briefly. His closest element is Honesty, though Loyalty holds as well.
Khadish : A worldly Pegasus, Khadish has seen it all and then some. His special ability revolves around alternate realities, though nobody quite understands the mechanics behind it. He remembers a great many "days that never were", and he also never forgets. He acts as a baseline for his teammates when dealing with mind-altering effects, since he's for the most part immune to them. Khadish's other special ability is that he's mastered a certain form of Pegasus magic; he can form portals straight out of Portal (by Valve), on most relatively flat surfaces. He tends to teleport-spam when in combat, and also when making a point; his teleportation ability is linked to a place he visited once, the Worldlink Center, which is deeply involved in my own lore for countless unrelated stories. His closest element is Loyalty, although Honesty holds as well.
Elliot: Elliot is an anomaly that frightens most. An adult Earth Pony who lacks their signature strength, AND who lacks a cutie mark, Elliot is considered a freak at best and a monster at worst by most other ponies. Many have questioned why Axolotl and company even keep him along at all. Elliot was born and raised as a captive in some sort of horrible cannibal's "farm" or something to that effect; the exact circumstances are unclear. He never really had time to realize any of his potential at all in that timeframe. He was rescued by Axolotl and the rest of Axo's team a little while after the others. While cowardly, traumatized, and broken, Elliot is still a down-to-earth fellow, and he seems much more "common folk" than most of his eccentric teammates. And, in reality, he has a power far greater than anyone suspects: He really DOES have a CM, but he sacrifices it every moment to give a great power boost to his friends and teammates. Axolotl's team is far more effective when Elliot is backing them; Aurora and Borealis learned the truth and told the others after extensive study determined the team's performance differences. All that said, he has a few other unusual abilities. He's able to spread a considerably less dangerous and otherwise non-contagious form of Cutie Pox, allowing temporary talents to buff others who need a hand. The results are somewhat random, but they've included some rather legendary abilities before, including True Seeing. He can also give one of these buffs to himself if he stops the sacrifice, but he generally never does. His closest element is Generosity, although Kindness is right up there too.
Epherma: The ghost of a baby dragon some thousands of years old, Epherma is the historian of the group, always trying to provide a bit of context. She's seen a lot in her times, and the others appreciate her insights; she's sort of a wise mentor to them when she can be, although her shyness gets in her way sometimes. Her abilities are mostly supernatural in nature. She ensures that the team keeps a cool head and makes sure that everything works out. She in particular is very good at long-term planning, and focusing on the bigger picture.

Emanuel Wenceslas: Axolotl's Draconequus grandfather, Emanuel has been around for ages, existing before Discord's reign and helping to pull the strings to ensure that he was removed from power. Legend has it that he was a king in times long before Celestia and Luna, and he will neither confirm nor deny this. He did have a child the "sensible way" (so to speak) with a Pegasus, and that child was Axo's father. Axo's father died during a battle against a great deal of crime, but he suffered from a lot of problems; the chaos and order conflicted too much in him. Emanuel made sure to make things right with Axolotl, however, and personally trained him to reconcile the two types of magic flowing through him, before disappearing again. Emanuel works behind the scenes, shapeshifting, pulling strings, a push here, a tap there, doing his best to line everything up for the best possible outcome. During a brief time when Celestia and Luna were actually killed (a time that everyone has forgotten thanks to some strangely selective amnestics and a good few hundred years to forget about it), Emanuel arranged for their rebirth with help from a Changeling.
Kristie: Kristie is a quiet and shy Earth Pony living in Ponyville. With an unremarkable cutie mark and not much else, she lives a quiet life, staying out of the limelight. She is a very good foalsitter, and she's very kind. The catch: She's a changeling. Emanuel altered the anti-Changeling shields around Equestria (a grave risk) to allow a select few Changelings through. She only feeds on as much love as she absolutely needs, no more. Still, she was almost killed during an inquisition of sorts until Axo and company stepped in and either diverted things or set them on track; which one is unclear.

Axolotl and company were unaffected by Discord's takeover, thanks to Axolotl's Draconequus magic; as Emanuel said, "What one of us can do, another of us can undo." Of course, Discord was cheating, pulling power from someplace else entirely, but Axo managed to counter enough of it to save his team, and Emanuel maintained isolated "safe-zone" areas where he had managed to fragment Discord's madness. They did what they could to slow the madness, set the wielders of the Elements on the right track, and suchlike.
As for this canon, they would also have been unaffected by Gaia's takeover (I'm up through part three of Black Pearls I think). Once again, they have powerful Draconequus magic at their disposal. Likewise, Kristie helped to take care of the foals, knowing how to handle them and knowing how to help them. However, unlike most others, the team (and Emanuel and Kristie) were NOT happy AT ALL with what happened, Emanuel pointing out all the flaws as easily as anyone. In fact, when the strain continually started to break Fluttershy, Axolotl and his team (particularly Elliot) began pulling passing shadows into themselves, to lessen her burden as much as possible while everyone got things sorted out. While horrifying to most of the team, Elliot was far too familiar with the pain.

So that's just an overview, and I probably left some errors buried in there. I just needed to get this out of my head right now, since I have to give a presentation to a local elementary school (4th graders) in twenty minutes, and this story augments my headcanon enough that my brain is still razzle frazzle doop dop jello pudding.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2014
0-0
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:iconsplatter789:
splatter789 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Poor Steven Magnet. I wonder how long it'll take him to reach the sea.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2014
Hopefully he'll have help. Ponies are nothing if not nice, if a little prone to panic. They ARE herd animals. 
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:iconpersona22:
Persona22 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
"Their wings can be reattached," she stated, ignoring that was impossible with real butterflies.

Or pegasus that ate her wings while being driven mad by Discord...
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
Different kind of wings being referred to here of course. 
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:iconpersona22:
Persona22 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
How do you convince somepony, who loves everything so much as to put themselves secondary to keeping the world happy, into opening Pandora's box all over again? And worst of all, Twilight couldn't stop her brain from thinking: yes, it WAS logical!

Twilight, you're a Unicorn, not a Vulcan. Logic be damned! You better get your act together and talk some sense into Fluttershy!
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
She'll manage. 
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:iconepileptictrees:
epileptictrees Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
I like the philosophical theme of logical Utilitarianism (represented by Fluttershy) versus Free Will (represented by the rest of the Elements)
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
I wrote this hopefully so it can read more than one way, I hope. THank you for your thoughtful comment!~
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:iconyoshiegg64:
yoshiegg64 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013
Wow after these last intense chapters, I was glad to see a little comedy at the end of this chapter.

I love your series!!!
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013
"Wow after these last intense chapters, I was glad to see a little comedy at the end of this chapter."

Ditto. Personally I prefer these chapters to all the action chapters I end up doing.

"I love your series!!!"

THANK YOU! And it's far from over!
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:iconcapri-chan:
Capri-chan Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
Oh, God, I've been reading this entire thing all day, and now it's 3 AM. I...kinda forgot to eat for most of the day, because I didn't want to stop.

Thankfully, it seems like I've finally found a place where I can stop until morning without worrying about what will happen next.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
Happy to know this series is still catching new readers. If I have one big shame, is that I wasn't able to keep the plot more simplistic.

And yeah, this is a nice place to stop and rest. For all ponies involved.
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:iconardashir:
ardashir Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012
The Sea Serpent looked around as the forest of Sunshine and Lollipops became again a Forest of Death. "That's it, I'm moving."

I have to say, I think this is one of the funniest lines in the whole story. Poor Steve Magnet!
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012
Heh. :-)
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:iconardashir:
ardashir Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012
There's not a lot of comedy in this series (which is appropriate given what's going on), but when it shows up, it's very well done.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012
Thanks.
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:iconsarahthespartan:
SarahtheSpartan Featured By Owner May 13, 2012
The Blanks went back to their place...
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner May 13, 2012
Sadly.
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:icongromhellscrea12:
gromhellscrea12 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012
Yep, Trixie definitely needs some one on one time with each of the others, get those "friendship muscles" developed.

Understandable that some wish "Gaia" didn't disappear, don't doubt others are horrified by what happened, ready to cast blame and scream. Just hope the combined might of 'Shy and 'Cruel can survive the coming storm.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012
"Yep, Trixie definitely needs some one on one time with each of the others, get those "friendship muscles" developed."

She forms a bond with Twilight, and at least understanding with RD, and has a tender moment with Pinkie. You're very right that Trixie needs to work those 'friendship muscles.'

"Understandable that some wish "Gaia" didn't disappear, don't doubt others are horrified by what happened, ready to cast blame and scream. Just hope the combined might of 'Shy and 'Cruel can survive the coming storm."

And what a storm it is going to be! And it won't be raging, but a silent one, forceful, powerful, and frightening. It'll take a while for the Flutters to reconcile this.

One thing I FEEL PROUD OF here is that the status quo wasn't restored after the final battle with Nightmare Whisper.
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:iconguilrel:
Guilrel Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2012
Well, that was much longer than I expected. So it was all because she had powers and found some nasty artifacts somehow. It makes me wonder about how did she even find this stuff. It was great that almost all the ponies managed to convince Fluttershy to let go of that sphere that was holding and release all of the darkness that everyone has, like their own pandora's box. The explainations of each side was excellent and managed to make it rash actions like what Pinkie did a somewhat bad idea. I mean you made it seem like it was a good idea at the time for convincing Fluttershy to let go of the sphere, but it hardly did anything to sway her.

Also it was pretty nice that some good came out of all and that Mittia got a bit of closure from not being able to feel sorry for herself anymore. It was also a nice funny ending that from Twilight did her speech thing again, although, it's kind of strange that ponies can stand for a long time, but eh, they are cartoons.

Now that FlutterCruel is out of the bag, what's going to happen to her now. I thought she was freed, but not anymore.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012
Well, that was much longer than I expected.

Good or bad?

So it was all because she had powers and found some nasty artifacts somehow.

She became a nightmare on her own.

It makes me wonder about how did she even find this stuff.

She found it on Luna's castle, it was made to be Alicorn-only accessable. Sadly, which Shy was at a time.

It was great that almost all the ponies managed to convince Fluttershy to let go of that sphere that was holding and release all of the darkness that everyone has, like their own pandora's box.

The sphere was her OWN creation.

The explainations of each side was excellent and managed to make it rash actions like what Pinkie did a somewhat bad idea. I mean you made it seem like it was a good idea at the time for convincing Fluttershy to let go of the sphere, but it hardly did anything to sway her.

Personally I wanted the readers to decide if it was a good thing or not.

ONe guy actually STOPPED reading the story because he got the idea I was saying Shy's new world was a BAD thing.


Also it was pretty nice that some good came out of all and that Mittia got a bit of closure from not being able to feel sorry for herself anymore.

Not quite but she's made progress after a thousand years of self punishment.

It was also a nice funny ending that from Twilight did her speech thing again, although, it's kind of strange that ponies can stand for a long time, but eh, they are cartoons.

And they're not built like normal horses.

"Now that FlutterCruel is out of the bag, what's going to happen to her now. I thought she was freed, but not anymore."

Indeed. No easy solutions this time.
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:iconguilrel:
Guilrel Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012
Darn it I submitted too fast I wasn't done yet.

And they're not built like normal horses.
That should be something I should really explore in my third chapter. :ninjaplot:

Indeed. No easy solutions this time.
Trying to keep her a secret was hard in the first place. ^^;
Reply
:iconguilrel:
Guilrel Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012
Good or bad?
More like odd, since I thought the rest of the parts will be just as short. It's not a bad thing though, it's an okay thing..

She became a nightmare on her own.
I don't know why, but I'm suddenly thinking of Mantra since she became one all on her own, despite that it was something else that turned Luna into Nightmare Moon. :confused:

She found it on Luna's castle, it was made to be Alicorn-only accessable. Sadly, which Shy was at a time.
Oh I thought that's what made Fluttershy into an Alicorn. So she was already like that (Nightmare Whisper's true form) before she found it?

The sphere was her OWN creation.
So she made her own Pandora'sbox.

Personally I wanted the readers to decide if it was a good thing or not.

ONe guy actually STOPPED reading the story because he got the idea I was saying Shy's new world was a BAD thing.

You pretty much saw how I think of that in my comment in the next part.

That guy sounds familiar for some reason... but it couldn't be that person. :confused: Anyway, I don't think it was that much of a bad thing, since I agree with Luna in the end that she shouldn't be taking over the world like that.

Not quite but she's made progress after a thousand years of self punishment.</b>
That's what I was talking about. :nod:
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:iconguilrel:
Guilrel Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2012
Grammar Problems:

>She madly mumbled to herself. "Please! We didn't know! We thought it was a curse! We thought it was evil! We thought it was the plague our grandparents told us about! We didn't mean to forget what the marks were! Please! We didn't know! I didn't -want- them to hurt her! I wasn't my fault! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! I NEVER HAD A CHOICE!"
*She madly mumbled to herself. "Please! We didn't know! We thought it was a curse! We thought it was evil! We thought it was the plague our grandparents told us about! We didn't mean to forget what the marks were! Please! We didn't know! I didn't -want- them to hurt her! It wasn't my fault! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! I NEVER HAD A CHOICE!"
-Basic typo.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012
Edited.
Reply
:iconguilrel:
Guilrel Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012
Alright.
Reply
:icondracodei:
DracoDei Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
SPOILER ALERT!!!






The light faded for the six heroes.
-Wait... so the scene between Fluttershy and Fluttercruel happened in "Heaven"? She may not quite have her own body then.

pony shaped potted plant in the corner.
-So either it isn't Topiary, or the Elements weren't as through about undoing the damage this time. Maybe having the Regalia would have helped?

Right next to her however, Pinkie, Trixie, and AJ were still had deep lacerations and broken bones.
-Weird...

"In the name of Generosity: Heal." Nothing.
-Or maybe it is the fact that she is the only one who really cares about her appearance THAT much?


"I guess we don't have this down as much as I hoped."
-Technical flaw? Seems unlikely.

Pinkie Diane quipped springing up despite her wounds.
-Ironic statement? Then again they might have been less exhausted after Discord than after Nightmare Moon.

Pinkie Diane checked, "Erm, nope."
-Just temporary then... Makes sense, although it ALSO implies that when they WERE present they WERE something like tattoos in appearance.

"FLUTTERSHY!"
-Yeah, there WAS a reason why she didn't want them using the EoH from the start.


Trixie was already next to the pegasus, but was at a total loss of what to do.
-Something is wrong with her? She would be dead in seconds if she was still missing half her chest... maybe she is just busy in "heaven" right now, or otherwise KO... probably just busy in "heaven".


Rainbow looked distraught at the sight of her.
-Slightly increased chance of physical injuries...

Rarity and Pinkie Pie were at her sides, worried any action on their part might somehow make things worse.
-Definitely looking like physical injuries. Also I expect that Celestia and Luna may be handling the healing duties.


Around her neck was a metal ring inside a metal ring with tiny spikes that pierced her skin.
-Consider removing "inside a metal ring", maybe you meant "inside were tiny spikes that pierced her skin".

Thin metal rods skewered her legs and flanks, coming out the other side.
-This would be... a tricky job for a real life ER, but nothing that hasn't been handed before... construction workers fall on rebar sticking straight up from time to time, not to mention the guy who put a 2x4 thorough his lower back and lived to tell about it (pushed several organs to the side instead of crushing them). Still... probably beyond their medical skills(even Fluttershy's own).

Small metal rings pierced her wings chained together making it painful to move them without pulling on very sensitive feathers.
-This, OTOH, I could improve with a pair of wire cutters or bolt cutters. Dunno if Twilight can create that effect though. Rarity can probably shape metal (I maintain she makes all her own jewelry), but may not have worked with hardened steel, which this may be.

Everything was scabbed over.
-Well, that is a small blessing.

But what drew their attention, was the beach ball sized red piece of glass she was clutching for all she was worth.
-Oh... Fluttercruel or Still Flutterrage?

Manacles around her hooves chained it to her.
-Probably Flutterrage then. The chains being her unwillingness to let her anger out EVER, leading to the occasional explosion.

Around Fluttershy's neck, perfectly within reach of her hooves, and perfectly usable in every shape and form as the chain connecting it more than long enough to reach every one of the manacles, was a key obviously meant to fit the locks.
-Consider "perfectly within reach of her mouth" since that is what she would be using the most. Then again, that may just be my personal pet peeve.

Shadows of ponies crying. Shadows of ponies moaning. Shadow of ponies yelling.
-Pandora's Box in other word... wonder if Hope will be released when it is opened? Or is it just memories? Things that Flutterrage is using as an excuse to be angry about? I suspect Flutterrage may not be in there. Then again, rage without hope is depression. Violence has implicit the idea that change is possible (even suicide requires a touch of hope to happen I hear).

Twilight noticed distantly there was no shadows of Alicorns.
-Logically that could just be statistics. Many more ponies then alicorns... then again they have much longer lives... I don't see the Alicorns as morally perfect (Celestia maybe, Luna, I think Fell when she opened the door for the Nightmare), but I do see them as VERY good. You might see them as better than that. Anyway, it depends on if the box includes the sins of dead ponies, and if it is proportionate to cumulative sins over a life-time, or sins not turned away from, or recently committed sins.

(ignoring the Pegasi and Earth ponies utterly)
-Interesting that there isn't something equivalent for Earth Ponies, but... I guess that most of Gaia's earth-power expressed itself in flashy enough ways to more go along with magic (like how Luna used weather magic a lot, but only bucked a cloud once, if that. When she scared RD at the end of Luna Eclipsed), rather than the subtle power of an Earthpony...

Everyone's focus was on Fluttershy and the horn forgotten.
-Wonder what will happen to it? Probably the same thing that happened to NMM's armor, if that held the resisdue of the Nightmare's power?


Twilight flashed back to the purified Nightmare Moon, the Elements' rainbow washing away the Mare in the Moon and revealing a filly desperate for attention.
-Yeah... Fluttershy doesn't seem to have been as completely cured... maybe another point about why the Regalia really IS good to have?


Ah think the Elements just took away all the window dressin'.
-Still has physical embodiments allowing something that shouldn't be to be.

Fluttershy opened her eyes tried to bite RD's hoof off.
-"and tried" I think. Also, this is either foolishness or the hooves in your version are much softer than RL hooves (Which works for me, and certainly Rarity can get pruny hooves).

"No no no! We can't! If we do then everypony in Equestria will start hurting again-we can't let go!"
-Guess some words are needed to complete the process? Did Celestia heal something in Luna by offering her friendship/the old job back?

If you think we're just going to leave you here all alone to suffer, then you are sadly mistaken!
-They can't do any less for her than she is doing for everyone else I guess?

the incident that shall not be named
-Consider capitalizing the first letter of each word here to emphasize it. Maybe dashes instead of spaces as well (or even instead, but probably not).

You're . ..
-Extraneous space after first period.

the balance the Shadows Who Watch demand is kept happy!
-Still wondering if this and "The Real Story" share the same reasoning.


Then 'Shy looked into the reflective surface of the red sphere and said in a cool, calm but kind voice, "Fluttershy, you need to let go. You don't need to hurt yourself any more."
-Ah... wait... so Fluttershy rescued Fluttercruel in "heaven" and then Fluttercruel is rescuing Fluttershy? I suspect that Fluttershy may have been split, or that the one in "heaven" only took that form as a disguise... but that would seem dishonest given some of the things heaven!Fluttershy said... so probably fragmentation.

The others wondered for a moment if Fluttershy had gone crazy.
-I thought Pinkie knew?

That's why I didn't want any of you to know. If I was an Alicorn or a Nightmare ... Then at least no one questions the burdens you take.
-These seem to be contradictory statements. One assumes secrecy (and explains her attempted crime against Applejack), and the other assumes that others DO know. Then again Fluttershy WOULD be allowed to be slightly muddled in her speech... still I think it is better from a literary perspective to have her be more clear.

And for the first time in her life, Twilight Sparkle wondered about the mantle her master and mentor carried, and the weight that came with it.
-Where-as before she just wondered about the whole "pawn vs friend" thing?

Now that I know she's not possessed or under some evil influence, I can not in good conscience force her to stop. I will neither help nor hinder.
-This actually seems a good choice to me. In fact, I would say AGAIN "get the Sisters".

It's a logical system right Twilight?
-Comma after "system" I think.

The shudders of pain never stopped. Ever.
-Consider replacing inserting the sentence "Would never stop." before "Ever."

(it wasn't needed right?)
-Good point, and at least she isn't tempted to try to smash the globe.

to open Pandora's box all over again?
-Recommend removing the word "to" here. Also, I see we were thinking the same analogy.

And worst of all, Twilight couldn't stop her brain from thinking: yes, it WAS logical!
-Of course, it is ALSO logical that if she COULD share that burden, she would be willing to share it with those who were willing. Also (and I am sorry if I am being too annoying, but I am removing some self-control so I don't peter out again), this actually works with my cosmology, because there would be one who could take that sphere (and has already taken the eternal penalties of it, but the sphere contains SIN, not the WAGES OF SIN), and seal it away without having to continue to bear it and can tell the Shadows that Watch to go take a long walk off a short cliff (possibly after entering the body of non-sapient pigs... ;) ).

"Well! I've already MADE my choice! I said I'd save you from yourself and I'm gonna!"
-Smashy smashy... Rainbow Dash always was a hot-head. Wonder if it will work...

Hogtie'er and lock'er in a room someplace?
-Well, I think that Twilight could work out a binding against that given enough time... if not Twilight then ALMOST certainly the Sisters... hmmm... if the sphere won't break, then they may need to stab it with the horn.

It's fine she says no because you say yes?
-Well, there IS room for involuntary commitment to a mental institution, but that is a grave step, and Rainbow Dash doesn't have the judgement... especially not in the heat of the moment.

Realization crawled across Rainbow Dash's face,
-Specifically she realized that she is committing the same sin as Gaia was? Also, I wonder if the transformations (or even memory wipes?) have been undone.

Her hair became straight, but she didn't lose one trace of her color, she actually looked a bit brighter.
-Deep sadness without anger? Seems appropriate. And she is the one who can best put a spot of brightness in Fluttershy's torment... Laughter has its uses after all, and I would say that if Fluttershy is to be allowed to do this, then Pinkie Pie is allowed to devote every one of her "party hours" to trying to cheer her up against the tide of problems she has taken on herself. Pinkie's enemy is despair, and if (almost) all the despair in the world is concentrated into a single pony, then that is where Pinkie will take the fight. I am thinking the unending stand-up comedy/silly songs gig.

My Element is Laughter, let me balance out everything you're feeling please ...
-As I was saying...

"No!" Fluttershy's eyes widened looking at Pinkie Pie.
-If Pinkie was just going to put on a show this is uncalled for... unless any small joy would open the box?

let me share it with you.
-So... she is going to do stand-up, or she is going to pull out her Element and put it in Fluttershy? If that is possible... then maybe Fluttercruel can give Fluttershy the Element she lost when she turned Nightmare back? Or did she ever lose it? This doesn't make any sense in that the Sisters should have been able to go after Discord if redeemed!Luna could use the Elements. Maybe it was because Luna's motives for falling were less pure than Fluttershy's?


Pinkie Pie reached out and touched the sphere. She gritted her teeth, tears began to come down her face.
-Oh... was not expecting this. Is forcing the issue(I think somepony proposed this), but then again Fluttershy doesn't have the right to tell them they can't... I see Dash joining next, since her Element calls her to stand beside her friends... although it isn't as good for alleviating internal suffering as Kindness and Laughter are... Rarity next for similar reasons (might help more than Dash). AJ would be last... except that thematically Twilight has to be last. Also I expect Trixie to knock Twilight out of the way to take her place... either that or just stand by since it isn't her fight, and be there to greet the Sisters when they arrive... Maybe she will grab the horn in her mouth, fight to keep from attaching it to her head (not necessarily in that order) and stab the sphere with it? That horn seems like a Chekov's gun.

"So Fluttershy, you gonna tell her she can't do this?"
Even as Pinkie Pie shuddered in sorrow, Fluttershy's trembles became less.
-AJ is learning diplomacy... she didn't say "You can't, 'cause you say she can't tell you that." Then again she might be more diplomatic (even in the show) than I thought... the way she reminded Rarity of Tom in S2E2 when Rarity asked how RD thought that the cloud was...*Checks actual Episode* NOPE! AJ wasn't being diplomatic at all there.

The absolute agony within Fluttershy was now halved, and the other half now coursed inside Pinkie Pie.
-Reminded of the catch phrase of Callahan's Bar...

if you don't stop, I'll break your wings off and make cupcakes out of them!"
-Nasty talk... then again she isn't Kindness, is she? Shoot, she might even be justified in doing it literally.

And she let out a small laugh.
-Told you her's was a useful element for bearing this burden... the fact she is using it for herself, rather than Fluttershy is just logistics.

"If any of you so much as think of following Pinkie's example,
-Well, that might put a damper on things...

'Flut-ter ... shy ... was . . en-dur-ring ... twice ... this. This, whole, t-t-time?'
-Fluttershy isn't weak... she just LOOKS weak. Nice underscoring.

Ya have the biggest heart in all of Equestria or ya wouldn't have done none of this!
-I wonder if there is a "but" coming...

"Which is why ... why I have to do it." Fluttershy quivered.
-A reasonable argument. I would even call it sound, but we will see what you have to say about it before I get too firm in my decision.

It's meant to accepted, overcome, and let go.
-Good point... of course, I don't know as much new pain would be created in her world...

'Butterflies…' she thought, eyes widening. She let out a gasp of inspiration as she looked at them.
-Because without pain in others, how can anyone comfort them? I think this was mentioned earlier... She did get her cutie-mark by comforting others WITHOUT taking their pain into herself... she just told the animals it would be OK, she didn't cower with them or for them. She didn't show one drop of anxst during that whole process, and I don't think she was hiding any.

and do you remember how they work?
-The thing about squeezing out through a SMALL hole in the cocoon forcing blood into the wings and how if you cut it open for them they will never fly?

It's a lot of work for them to build their cocoon, they've got to work hard and take their time building it just right.
-Hard work isn't always suffering, when Rarity is "in the zone" she is working very hard, but she is also in Fashonista Heaven(a suburb of the City of Artist's Joy).

Of course it would! It'd be terrible to stop anything from flying if it could!
-For somepony who didn't fly much and doesn't deeply regret not having flown much (even if she flies more now)... well, I guess that is just her choice. HER choice. Although this also brings up how this is fair to Fluttercruel.

Pinkie Pie lowered her head slightly as the image of pegasus wings flashed through her mind, mocking her.
-No... that WASN'T fair... necessary perhaps, but NOT fair. Or was she thinking of her own wings, not feeling guilty for wishing Rainbow Dash had stayed the same, and hadn't gotten wings. Probably missing her own wings. Then again, that is what being a mad-scientist is for... She already build a gyrocopter, and... well, magitek wings wouldn't be out of the question, between that and Tank's gyrocopter.

They w-won't f-find happiness as butterflies, because they've lost their wings.
-Like PDP wouldn't be happy as a "responsible adult", because her wings were stolen from her along the way?

"All it takes is one other butterfly who cares enough to do it... I've done it myself," she said, looking to Trixie.
-Ah...

Rarity looked over he shoulder at what Twilight said. "... So have I..." she whispered, thinking of the little butterfly whose wings she tried to mend.
-And they still WILL be reattached... just got another villain to thwart...

"You AND Fluttershy did! You saved me!
-Point, even if I don't quite remember it.

The 'you' who dumped all her misery on Pinkamena? She would've thrown a party or freaked out while I turned into a Nightmare!
-Interesting point. I think Twilight would have learned from the Paraspite incident and gotten the information from her before Rainbow Dash went full Nightmare... also remember Pinkie's parties often WORK... or do you mean that Pinkie would have throw a "Your a Nightmare! Congratulations on you Pokemon Evolution!" Party? Doesn't seem TOO likely to me.

All you're doing is being Pinkamena for everyone to dump their crud on!
-Very good point. Also, I am wavering on to what degree they took away Sin, or merely Suffering (two different things... and apparently skinned knees still happen and still need mundane medical treatment).

But how are people supposed to pull out thorns so they can REALLY heal if they can't feel them?!
-Both lepers (not the Biblical sort... only a small number of them had leprosy I think), and, to a lesser extent, diabetics, have issues with this sort of thing.

Ah spent a whole day running around Ponyville, reattaching butterfly wings and pulling thorns after Ah visited the Princess, but Ah had to get help pullin' one of my own to know how to do it.
-Point.

Fluttershy, Pinkie, it's time you pulled out a few thorns of your own so everypony else can get to work on theirs.
-Will be interesting to find out EXACTLY what those thorns are... especially Pinkie Diane Pie's since she seemed pretty well adjusted to me.

"Came from hanging out with you gals too much, thank you kindly."
-Lampshade = hung

Are they just meant to be miserable and sad-?!
-No, for two reasons. First that that stuff is just to point us towards the need for something more so we can better spend eternity... but never mind that since most of those reading won't agree. The point is that misery and happiness BOTH are supposed to exist (at least in this world). Fluttershy is going overboard by saying that people are supposed to be miserable ALL the time. There IS a middle-ground.

and just because there's sad stuff in the world doesn't make it a sad place.
-VAGUELY what I was saying.

"'Shy, please ... don't we have Cute-ceaņera to plan?"
-The foal of Omelas speaking up... although I don't know how much Fluttercruel is suffering... still, it is hardly a fulfilling existence... but I really do think that someone is going to give her her own body before this is all over... ALMOST certainly.

"Yes, hers, Fluttercruel,
-"Yes, her's, Fluttercruel's,

maybe they all needed to sit down.
-Hey, at least this works out to be a HAPPY surprise, unlike most of the weird stuff that has happened today... Also I note that we still haven't had the Sunnyvillian's attacking... maybe that picture was just of AJ seeing what had happened, not something that happens here?

"I think maybe this should end. Maybe it's gone on for a little too long."
-That was a bit anti-climatic... then again this IS Fluttershy we are talking about.

To call it a cry was to imply it came from something living, to call it a whisper would imply there was intent behind it, to call it a scream would imply it had volume.
-Nice imagery, especially the last... this is MORE IMPORTANT than sounds (good thing for them too, or they would all have got their internal organs jellied, or at least had their ear-drums blown. Still don't know who the Fluttershy that rescued Fluttercruel was...

Only time would tell if Pinkie Pie's cuts from before would scar.
-Nice... and also makes me think the fact that Fluttercruel didn't return from "heaven" in her own body implies that she might get that modelling career after all.

"WHAT THE MOON WAS THAT-?!" Trixie exclaimed, eyes wide as saucers.
-Naughty naughty... do not disrespect Luna like that... Also I guess she has just been sitting quietly since it wasn't her fight (and it really wasn't except when she could have spoken up as a witness for Twilight/AJs side as to her being a butterfly whose wings were put back on).

AJ said firmly, calmly, with full honesty, and a shrug.
-AJ learning a bit of Laughter there? Then again, what else CAN you do but shrug? Well, I think the whole point stands since one COULD break into tears.

And Ah think some will say choosin' whether or not there's sorrow in the world ain't a decision any mortal pony had the right to make to begin with."
-Cue arrival of the Sisters? And they could have tried to fetch the sisters...

I do not think I shall be telling Sweetie about this part of this adventure until I am on my lavish rose petal death bed.
-And even then? Well, I guess SOMEONE needs to know... wonder how many people AJ will want to tell?

Trust me Sugar cube, Ah know how that is,
-I was just about to say...

"FLUTTERSHY OH FLUTTERSHY!"
-Indeed... VERY Fluttershy...

"OH FLUTTER-GIRL IT'S SO WONDERFUL TO HAVE YA!"
-HAVE YA BACK!" <-Maybe

She said the next part with as much self control and formality as she could, "And… Fluttercruel, if you're listening; thank you so much for helping us bring Fluttershy back."
-That took self-control? Does she find it WEIRD, or is she afraid of Fluttercruel because of her past?

It scared her so horribly.
-Point, although really, Chaotic Good people can have friends too... also "I rejoice in our differences"... the Vulcans may mean that as "I am glad you are not like me." but it works almost as well in the meaning of "I am glad I am not like you."

"Princess Gaia! Princess Gaia save me!" Screamed a terrified, raspy mare voice.
-Who is this? Ruby?

"Princess Gaia! It's already taken everyone else! Please! Protect me! Save me!" She sobbed.
-Undeath returning or Cutie-marks, or what?

A distant echo resonated down the hall was heard, it sounded like two ponies drowning.
-Weird... fighting in a fountain?

"Starlet! I still love-" Silence.
-Huh? Did she raise two drowned lovers from the dead? Did one of them kill the other? Does being dispersed back to the bodies they were the libedo of before being incarnated sound like drowning? But the "still" would argue that there was something else going on. Maybe they were just an estranged couple who Gaia reunited, and they are making up now that they CAN make up, and the drowning noises were the transition and the silence was a kiss? Seems to ominous for that. Were they Sunnyvillians who found their purpose in life in eachother despite being without ambition?

who somehow managed to hold her ground and keep a straight face (it wasn't easy).
-Had me fooled up until this... yeah, they are kissing... perhaps with her neck turned around backwards in the limber manner of Little Ponies...

Then Her Kindnesty lets me forget and now the rainbows take her away too?!
-Wait... she turned one of the Sunnyvillians into topiary? Doesn't seem like a very nice existance... then again maybe she isn't the only own who really WOULD like to be a tree... Also it may be that it wasn't a smile or knowing snicker that AJ was repressing.

began to pull her under like the surface was water,
-Ok, so maybe the Lovers WERE from Sunnyville...


AJ really wished she had thought to bring a lasso, though she wasn't sure it'd have done any good.
-So yell for Twi to grab him with telekinesis? That probably ALSO wouldn't do any good, but it would be as likely to work as the lasso (maybe more-so since Twi can life multiple tons of concrete while holding back multiple tons of water).

Fluttershy grabbed Threeleaf's still visible hoof and took to the air.Ignoring the freezing numbness in her forelegs,
-That works too... and is more meaningful as far as "I can't take on other people's problems for them, but I CAN help them, and even when it DOES hurt.

It wasn't enough.
-Chain of Ponies time! (or just on of the mage's TK... or MAYBE even Rarity's).

her forehooves feeling solid stone for any sign of Threeleaf.
-Oh, really WAS too late... though Fluttershy's hooves were into the floor... then again Fluttercruel MAY know the way to "hell"... if that is an acceptable thing to do in this cosmology.

I'm sorry Your Kindnesty, they still bury their heads in the sand and scream they're just victims of fate.
-Point...

and so am I.
-Unlikely...

AND SO DOES APPLEBLOOM!
-AND SO DID APPLEBLOOM! <-I doubt Applebloom needs saved from anything she would plausibly feel guilty for... Actually wasn't Applebloom with Cheerilee? Then again, I doubt Cheerilee escaped unless... wait, IF she was heading for Canterlot, and IF the foals could gallop fast enough they MIGHT have made it in time.

who didn't do 'just the opposite' of what their cutie mark meant at one time or another, kiddo.
-Huh... interesting point... was going to say that the Element Bearers might be that pure in their particular Elements, but... AGAIN, those. aren't. their. cutie-marks. I need to convince my subconscious of that.

"As your Princess! I order you not to give up! I order you to stop this!"
-Good try... wonder if they will be able to save Ruby...

I can't let go until those fools impossibly realize their own sins
-the word "impossibly" seems out of place and has two spaces after it.

and every pony swore they saw a sparkle of something on her flank just before she was pulled under.
-The light of reincarnation/heaven showing? Fluttercruel might recognize it... Also, I would think that the Alicorns MIGHT be able to lay the evil zombies to rest, thus removing Mitta's excuse.

said Applejack, realizing what just happened. "Ah think maybe, just maybe, some good did come out of all this,"
-Oh, I doubt more than a few good things happened because of this if people retain their memories (and they did after Discord...) a day in even a poorly made paradise gives something to strive for. Remembering at time when you were without your faults means you have a reminder that is difficult to ignore of what those faults ARE. Shoot, some of the physical healing she did might even stick.

"What kind of foot-zebra would I be to my queen, if her thoughts I could not glean?"
-That she was afraid of becoming a pariah? Or that Fluttershy WAS Gaia?

and everything else that I altered instantly with magic rather than with effort is reverting.
-Well, so much for the healing...

insulted at the bias idea that hard earned magic wasn't labor.
-biased

"I just meant that only the stuff that was changed manually stayed the same!"
-That is better, and I still think that the physical healing might prove to be an exception... then again, it was her letting go of the sphere that reverted the world, not the EoH blast so the whole "Leave the BEST stuff" idea doesn't really work.

"I mean, if Princess Gaia's magic is gone, why are Applejack, Trixie, and me are still covered in ouchies?"
-Indirect effects...

knowing PRECISELY what Pinkie had just unleashed upon them all. The purple unicorn instantly began speaking standing up on her rear legs in absence of a soapbox.
-*SNERK*, and exposition time...

An -instantaneous- transmutation spell means the new shape or form of the subject is their NATURAL STATE from then on.
-Hoping that Gaia used the good stuff for the healing...

and medical treatments.
-Gaia may have known this instinctively...

construction projects
-Yeah, I am guessing that having a bunch of earthponies and unicorns break their legs (or necks) when the floor vanishes below them is not part of the plot you have in mind.

Uh, girls? Where are you going? Girls!"
-To see how many people died when the floors vanished etc?

The Sea Serpent looked around as the forest of Sunshine and Lollipops became again a Forest of Death. "That's it, I'm moving."
-So they were (more specifically) going to rescue any ponies who were in Everkind when it turned back into Everfree?
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012
Around Fluttershy's neck, perfectly within reach of her hooves, and perfectly usable in every shape and form as the chain connecting it more than long enough to reach every one of the manacles, was a key obviously meant to fit the locks.
-Consider "perfectly within reach of her mouth" since that is what she would be using the most. Then again, that may just be my personal pet peeve.

Problem is that it's around her neck, so it would be hard for her to reach with her mouth.


Twilight flashed back to the purified Nightmare Moon, the Elements' rainbow washing away the Mare in the Moon and revealing a filly desperate for attention.
-Yeah... Fluttershy doesn't seem to have been as completely cured... maybe another point about why the Regalia really IS good to have?

Tools exist for a reason. We create tools for a reason. You can move a giant rock without tools, but it's a lot more likely to result in injury rather than a moved rock.



"No no no! We can't! If we do then everypony in Equestria will start hurting again-we can't let go!"
-Guess some words are needed to complete the process? Did Celestia heal something in Luna by offering her friendship/the old job back?

Basically. This is Fluttershy as she was under all that darkness (shouldering the pain of everyone). Just as what Luna was underneath all that darkness (a small filly wanting attention).


If you think we're just going to leave you here all alone to suffer, then you are sadly mistaken!
-They can't do any less for her than she is doing for everyone else I guess?



the incident that shall not be named
-Consider capitalizing the first letter of each word here to emphasize it. Maybe dashes instead of spaces as well (or even instead, but probably not).

the balance the Shadows Who Watch demand is kept happy!
-Still wondering if this and "The Real Story" share the same reasoning.

'The Real Story?' Never heard of it.


Then 'Shy looked into the reflective surface of the red sphere and said in a cool, calm but kind voice, "Fluttershy, you need to let go. You don't need to hurt yourself any more."
-Ah... wait... so Fluttershy rescued Fluttercruel in "heaven" and then Fluttercruel is rescuing Fluttershy? I suspect that Fluttershy may have been split, or that the one in "heaven" only took that form as a disguise... but that would seem dishonest given some of the things heaven!Fluttershy said... so probably fragmentation.

You made me think of something very important. Thank you very much. I've now an idea. But it would a spoiler to tell know.

The others wondered for a moment if Fluttershy had gone crazy.
-I thought Pinkie knew?

She knew there was a 'another Fluttershy' inside Fluttershy. Do you think it would be better if Pinkie was an exception then?


That's why I didn't want any of you to know. If I was an Alicorn or a Nightmare ... Then at least no one questions the burdens you take.
-These seem to be contradictory statements. One assumes secrecy (and explains her attempted crime against Applejack), and the other assumes that others DO know. Then again Fluttershy WOULD be allowed to be slightly muddled in her speech... still I think it is better from a literary perspective to have her be more clear.

If I was an Alicorn or a Nightmare ... Either way at least no one questions the burdens you take." That work better?


And for the first time in her life, Twilight Sparkle wondered about the mantle her master and mentor carried, and the weight that came with it.
-Where-as before she just wondered about the whole "pawn vs friend" thing?

Among several other countless things.


Now that I know she's not possessed or under some evil influence, I can not in good conscience force her to stop. I will neither help nor hinder.
-This actually seems a good choice to me. In fact, I would say AGAIN "get the Sisters".

You know how to bring a guy down ya know?

The ponies are caught up in the moment. They want to settle things. And Twilight as Celestia's student and wanting to please her has a psychological aversion to 'running to mommy' for help. The rest aren't used to the idea of having their goddess on speed dial.







Realization crawled across Rainbow Dash's face,
-Specifically she realized that she is committing the same sin as Gaia was?

Yes.

Her hair became straight, but she didn't lose one trace of her color, she actually looked a bit brighter.
-Deep sadness without anger?

Deeply serious without depression or rage.


The absolute agony within Fluttershy was now halved, and the other half now coursed inside Pinkie Pie.
-Reminded of the catch phrase of Callahan's Bar...

Which is?


She said the next part with as much self control and formality as she could, "And… Fluttercruel, if you're listening; thank you so much for helping us bring Fluttershy back."
-That took self-control? Does she find it WEIRD, or is she afraid of Fluttercruel because of her past?

I don't remember. I think it's because Cruel started the mess to begin with.


AJ really wished she had thought to bring a lasso, though she wasn't sure it'd have done any good.
-So yell for Twi to grab him with telekinesis? That probably ALSO wouldn't do any good, but it would be as likely to work as the lasso (maybe more-so since Twi can life multiple tons of concrete while holding back multiple tons of water).

The others were too paralyzed with confusion and fear to move.




AND SO DOES APPLEBLOOM!
-AND SO DID APPLEBLOOM!

She still wants to save Mitta.


Due to being the only receiving person at my work place, coupled with receiving orders of absurd sizes due to wanting to big the discount (rather than making several small orders), I've basically 'crimson scenario.'
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:iconbrightdark89:
BrightDark89 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011  Student General Artist
The good old Everfree's back, Nightmare Whisper's gone, Steven Magnet's going to move, and Mitta got her cutie mark. A happy ending for everypony except Fluttershy, Sunny Town, and Steven Magnet.

And I forgive you, Fluttershy. About the whole foal thing.
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:icondracodei:
DracoDei Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Totally DIDN'T figure out the Cutie-mark for Mitta thing... thought she was going to "heaven". I also wonder if that will mean she will be in a constant war with the other Sunnyvillians... maybe she will move out and live NEARBY and warn travelers... shoot if she doesn't need to eat or sleep she could walk a circuit around the village continuously...
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:iconbrightdark89:
BrightDark89 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Student General Artist
Well, according to Three Leaf in Sunny Town's Tumblr blog, they can only go so far into the forest until they crumble into bones, so none of them bother leaving town.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011
If you can call Everfree 'good.'

So you figure releasing the Windigos and the grief Fluttershy absorbed from everyone was the right thing to do?

And you know that's what she needs to hear so badly.
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:icondracodei:
DracoDei Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I ALSO didn't figure out they were Windigoes... I would have thought that the suffering of the big winter would have been just as much an imbalance to "The Shadows that Watch" as what Gaia was doing.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2012
Or she absorbed them due to what they were MADE of.
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:iconbrightdark89:
BrightDark89 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011  Student General Artist
Everypony has their flaws. Fluttershy was just trying to fix that but she went off the hook. Like with Spike being a dragon, making him prone to greed. The Ursa Minor was just cranky. And why did most of Sunny Town kill Ruby? Because of fear. Luna became Nightmare Moon out of anger and resentment, Twilight went crazy because of fear, Rarity's behavior in Sonic Rainboom was pride, and without hatred, Equestria wouldn't have been founded.

The Windigos are also needed in Equestria, to keep an eye out for any hatred by threatening to do the same thing they did before Equestria's founding.
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:iconkendell2:
Kendell2 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2011
The names for the creatures from Story Of The Blanks have been confirmed, the zombies are Nightmares and the skeletal ones are Bone Fiends. Just thought I'd let you know.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2011
How did they get confirmed? And that kinda sucks.
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:iconkendell2:
Kendell2 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2011
There's an Easter Egg in the game that lets you see the Level Editor, that reveals what the names of the specific types of monster are. Why does it suck?
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2011
Because I've established Nightmare as the name of a pony who has taken their talent or Element to their unreasonable extreme after being corrupted by the same Black Magic that corrupted Luna.
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:iconkendell2:
Kendell2 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2011
You could just use Bone Fiend to refer to the zombie ponies or not use the offical things, those might not be offical names anyway, just what the sprites are called.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2011
I see. You know me. I always try to work around canon rather than contradict it.
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:icondracodei:
DracoDei Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Lesser Nightmare vs Greater Nightmare?
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012
Hmmm?
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(1 Reply)
:iconkendell2:
Kendell2 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2011
Possible way to go is that since Nightmare Moon cursed them, they WERE corrupted by the same dark magic corrupting her and thus Nightmare also applies to them.
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:iconfrostybrand:
Frostybrand Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011
See ya Steven! Hope you find a good river!
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