• Story: A New Breed (Update Complete!)


    [Normal][Adventure]

    Author: Polecat
    Description: It's been many years since the Imps first invaded Equestria and the first "Specials" appeared. But with the last of "The Six" now fallen under an Imp assault, can Luna recruit and train a new group of heroes to take their place? This story will take a look at one of Equestria's potential futures, where super-powered ponies battle with dark creatures from the reaches of space itself in an effort to save all of Ponykind.
    All Links after the Break! 


    A New Breed Prologue
    A New Breed Chapter 1
    A New Breed Chapter 2
    A New Breed Chapter 3
    A New Breed Chapter 4 
    A New Breed Chapter 5
    A New Breed Chapter 6
    A New Breed Chapter 7
    A New Breed Chapter 8
    A New Breed Chapter 9
    A New Breed Chapter 10
    A New Breed Chapter 11
    A New Breed Chapter 12
    A New Breed Chapter 13
    A New Breed Chapter 14
    A New Breed Chapter 15
    A New Breed Chapter 16
    A New Breed Chapter 17
    A New Breed Chapter 18
    A New Breed Chapter 19 Part 1 / Part 2 
    A New Breed Chapter 20
    A New Breed Chapter 21
    A New Breed Chapter 22
    A New Breed Chapter Epilogue
    Author Notes

    Additional Tags: Epic, Long, Superhero, Adventure


    [Adventure]
    Description: When the Imps invaded, the mares who became known as "The Six" stood against them. The Elements of Harmony granted them abilities far beyond that of a normal pony, creating the first "specials" Equestria, and the world, had ever seen. But the Imps were more tenacious than any pony expected, and long after the last of "The Six" had passed, the Imp invasion continued. Only by finding new bearers, brought together under Princess Luna as "Project Moonbeam", were the Elements able to stop the invasion, and the Nightmare who led it.

           It's been nearly a year since events catapulted the mares (and gryphoness) of Project Moonbeam into the spotlight, and life has begun to return to some semblance of order. But while some ponies struggle just to find their place in this post-war Equestria, new dangers lurk and old wounds fester. It may be more than the mares can handle...

           Sometimes just living is its own challenge.
    Prologue

    A New Breed Part 1
    A New Breed Part 2
    A New Breed Part 3
    A New Breed Part 4
    A New Breed Part 5
    A New Breed Part 6
    A New Breed Part 7
    A New Breed Part 8
    A New Breed Part 9
    A New Breed Part 10
    A New Breed Part 11
    A New Breed Part 12
    A New Breed Part 13
    A New Breed Part 14
    A New Breed Part 15
    A New Breed Part 16
    A New Breed Part 17
    A New Breed Part 18
    A New Breed Part 19
    A New Breed Part 20
    A New Breed Part 21
    A New Breed Part 22
    A New Breed Part 23
    A New Breed Part 24 (New!)
    A New Breed Part Epilogue (New!)
    A New Breed Part Afterward (New!)

    Additional Tags: Superhero ponies save the day!

    103 comments:

    1. Jonathan B. (~Yay)May 25, 2011 at 1:11 PM

      @Anonymous
      It's Adventure Time!
      *Brohoof*

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    2. The description seem interesting, shall be interesting to read this later.

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    3. As much as I love Luna, I don't wanna start reading this until it's complete.

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    4. @Louis
      This isn't going to be "complete" for a very long time. I'm only up to chapter 5 (writing, I'm keeping ahead of my releases) and I know it will be many MANY months before it's even close to finished writing.

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    5. hmmm....

      I'm liking the preview for this one.

      And you could slap that picture of Luna on pretty much anything and I'd read it.

      Luna <3

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    6. So... they're like x-men with plasma rifles and master chief armor?

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    7. @NinesTempest
      Uh, no.

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    8. Read this story, guys. Trixie is in it!
      It kinda reminds me of the Justice League, too.

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    9. @Polecat
      That was my impression from the prologue. Lol.

      Anyway, this is really awesome so far. I'd like to see some action and how they go about it, but I like how you are introducing your characters and such.

      Superhero ponies. Dang. Never thought I'd like that subject matter but it's so well done...

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    10. @NinesTempest
      No worries, I appreciate that you read further. There will be more action later on, but I'll admit I take some time introducing the characters first (I've written up the chapter 5 at this writing, I wanted a buffer so I could keep updating in the face of RL emergencies) so it may not ramp up as quickly as you'd hope. Hopefully it'll keep you entertained tho. :)

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    11. @Thattagen
      Shhhh, don't give it away. ;) I wanted that to be a surprise (which is why I asked Sethisto not to put it on the character labels).

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    12. @Polecat
      But after you said a blue unicorn with silver mane who wears purple, what are we SUPPOSED to think? ESPECIALLY when you say she had a rivalry with Twilight.

      Regardless, comments always have spoilers, lol. Always.

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    13. @NinesTempest
      I know, I was being silly... or funny. Or trying to and failing. ^_^;

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    14. >Superhero

      YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION.

      Alright, seriously, I've read this and I'm loving it. The characters are well-done, the premise is interesting, and OH MY GOSH YOU GAVE HER AN AI. AND YOU CALLED IT MAI. AND IT ACTS LIKE CARMEN. TAKE MY MONEY NOW.

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    15. Y'know how some things just have that EPIC feel to them? Yep, this is it right here.

      Looks amazing so far, keep on writing!

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    16. It's good, but you need to research the difference between "then" and "than".

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    17. Just read this and I must say I like it. Great work.

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    18. the ending of the 6th chapter made me go d'awwwww

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    19. Please...somebody, draw Clockwork with her finished Dragonfly suit.

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    20. @Anonymous

      Frak yes, this really deserves some fanart.

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    21. anyone know who drew that picture of Luna? really wanna know.

      and I dare any of you to draw a pony in Secton 8 Armor :D and if ur gonna do the gatling guns, make sure youre using HEAVY ARMOR (vehicle) on it.

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    22. Almost everypony is dead?

      ..........

      ;_;

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    23. Ultrapony's backstory revelation makes him even less sympathetic than before, lol.

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    24. I bet Clockwork'll be the leader with MAI as coordinator

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    25. Never said Ultrapony was supposed to be a Sympathetic character. ;)

      @Shellshocker
      If anypony does some, let me know, I'll make sure the EqD guys post it here. it'd probably be more fitting then the shot of cute Luna up there (no offense to the amazingly cute picture).

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    26. Dave Mustang, the cynical BronyJuly 14, 2011 at 12:40 AM

      MLP fanfic cliche #4 have something invade Equestria for teh lulz

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    27. The personal interactions are quite well done, and the writing style is enjoyable. I was (at times) reminded of the Wild Cards series, though that may simply be because I have not read superhero books apart from that.

      The imps themselves, I must admit, seem like a rather pathetic threat so far; during the segments with the stealth imp, I kept thinking to myself, "Why is this being treated as something important, why is this thing even still alive - don't they have decent security in this top-secret base?" I could logically understand that the imps were not to be underestimated, but my gut reaction to them is basically, "Oh, more imps for the characters to cut their teeth on." I don't wanna ask for further grimdarkness, since I'm a fan of the characters - yes, even Ultrapony - but as of yet they just don't feel like a legitimate threat to such capable Equestrians. I expect that will change soon enough, once they're engaged in actual warfare. :)

      Apart from that, though, I really liked the story. Lingering attention to details and fun technobabble combined with likable characters made for a fun read so far. You're doing most stuff better than all right, and I look forward to each update. Molto bene!

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    28. Wild Cards was a series of books I thoroughly enjoyed, so if anything I'm flattered by the comparison to it.

      As for the Imps, it's back and forth it seems. I've had some thinking they're too overpowered, and some thinking they're not powered enough. I guess there is a right balance in there. The best way to compare them might be the Zergs from Starcraft, since they rely heavily on overwhelming the opponent, as opposed to tackling them singularly. Tho, as the chapter that just went up revealed, there are larger threats there as well. More about them is revealed slowly over time.

      Thank you for the compliments. I actually worried at some parts that I overdid the technobabble, so I'm glad you enjoyed that aspect of it. :)

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    29. The more I read this, the more I'm wondering whom was able to get the imps so well organised as the line of species tends to be disorganised when left to their own devices.

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    30. I'm new to this and I'm sorry, but I couldn't get past the prologue. Twilight deserved a better death scene!

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    31. ^If you think Twilight's death scene is bad, then you don't want to know what happened to the other 5...

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    32. @Brony Tom

      If you think that scene here is bad, try what Fallout Equestria did to her... And the other 5.

      I felt bad the entire day after reading the chapter it was revealed in.

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    33. The problem is that in any story where you want to "move beyond" and into the future of the Mane 6, there are readers who will want to know what happened to them. Further, NO death will ever be deemed worthy of them, because in our minds as fans we want them to live, not die.

      For me, I will admit, Twilight's death in the prologue was a tool. The end of an era... and the rest of the story is the beginning of a new one. The point is to celebrate what was done in life, not to sweat over their death, because NO death is worthy of a hero. Death stalks all of us, and our death is never as interesting as we hoped. Car crashes, slip and falls, heart attacks, or even peacefully in your sleep. The question to ask is what WOULD be a worthy death?

      In my story, the mane 6 are dead, and those from the show that are alive are very old (grandparent age). This is not a story about them, this is a story about those who try to fill their shoes now that they are gone.

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    34. @PolecatBrilliantly put, brilliantly told, i am glued to my computer waiting for the next ones

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    35. GAH! I love this, it's amazing.
      Clockwork is an awesome character, I hope she continues being awesome and shows Ultrapony whose boss.

      But anyways, I can't wait to read the other chapters :D

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    36. I have a 12 hour flight tomorrow, hopefully these 60 some thousand words will help me through it.

      I'm looking forward to it.

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    37. lets see last time i ssw this was at part 5...now its at 11....i guess i should start reading it....this is gunna take awhile...,

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    38. also.."ill sleep when im dead"..."i can sleep when i die" was that a direct quote and rephrase to the rapper who says that(forgot the name) or something else

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    39. I got the "I'll sleep when I'm dead" quote from an old 80's hair-band actually (name completely forgotten, but I likely just showed my age there).

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    40. @Polecat

      I suppose you have a good point there, but... I mean seriously:

      Twilight- ignore all logic and head out into the middle of the battlefield, where I will magically examine a strange object that could very easily be a trap meant to kill me. Then, once I find the object, I don't even think about moving it to a safe location before studying it.


      I'm sorry, please ignore my whining. I'm just ranting.

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    41. I love it. This is an amazingly constructed story so far. An expanded universe with a new enemy, one of the better trixie redemption stories, slightly harsher language without being vulgar for realism, and OC ponies filling the shoes of "The Six", who have become legends at this point. Congratulations, this is amazing so far, I can't wait to read the rest.

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    42. @Anonymous: Part of the point was they were doing an initial examination with their resident expert (Twilight) prior to moving it to a safe location. They thought the location had been secured, and none of them suspected it to be a trap. So the logic was there, just different then yours.

      @Bronydash: Thank you. I appreciate the kind words. And yeah, I'm trying not to get vulgar, but being Ex-Navy means I have to edit myself sometimes. ;)

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    43. More! Oh god I'm addicted, I just can't get enough of this. Inspired me to make my own fanfic too, it won't be nearly as good as this one though. Keep up the good work Polecat!

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    44. The latest two chapters have been absolutely superior. I retract any and all previous statements regarding regarding doubts about the stealth imps and the whispering brain worm; the end result was very well done indeed.

      (I was the Wild Cards anon from earlier, by the way - I'm currently enjoying this story more than a good portion of the more recent books, for the record)

      Lastly, I thought you did a fantastic job of pulling off a "the fellowship has failed" moment in part 11. There's a definite sense of conclusion, but the introduction of an interesting new character makes us eagerly await the next part all the same. Keep up the good work! (if you don't mind, that is)

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    45. @TillsterRulzkennedy is a kennedy

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    46. disapproval.jpg

      If you're really intent on removing Clockwork permanently from the team because of "protocol" (treating Celestia and Luna as having all the sense of faceless bureaucratic agencies), then you've shoved her to the sidelines for good. The team is meant to carry the elements, correct? No matter what she does now she can't be as important to the others as the new OCs you plan to invent. I feel like I just wasted 12 chapters learning about a side character.

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    47. Eh, I bet you anything she'll be back on the team before this is all over. That is, if the Elements are even usable anymore...

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    48. I did not like chapter 12 at all,i lost some interest from it.

      I hope it gets better and not worse.

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    49. Luna should've had Galaxi with her when talking to Burner.

      And I don't see why the Princesses don't just make a public statement on how much of an insurmountable dick Ultrapony is.

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    50. The story isn't done yet, so I ask you have some faith. Clockwork isn't going away, and despite everything she is still the central pony of this tail.

      Luna probably should have taken Galaxi with her, but she didn't... nor did she suspect she'd need a psychic with her.

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    51. @C. Theron Vulpin

      I doubt transcendental powers can be rendered useless so easily.

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    52. I honestly doubt that Celestia and Luna, bad press or not, would allow anyone into the lab of somepony who is obviously the smartest tech pony to ever grace the planet. However, I also think that Burner should have stayed a throwaway character. His cheezyness, intended or not, strikes me as extremely... Irritating. I can't take the stupid accent he has, simply because it seems so forced.

      Other than that, love the story and I can't wait to see how this all ends.

      P.S. If you plan on Trixie being killed, I advise you to change the locks on your house... I'm watching you, bub.

      P.P.S. Your furniture looks great.

      P.P.P.S. Ok, I'm joking about the above Ps and Ss, but still... I'm begging you, happy ending :<

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    53. So much flak and I know the story continues on past this. Clockwork is a/the main character here. It's not like a superhero movie or comic never had a little side jaunt due to drama or bad timing for a reveal.

      As for Ultrapony being a jerk, well thing is everyone who knows him, who's worked with him, would realize that on their own. However, the public at large wouldn't. Plus such a thing might disgrace the Agency as a whole should it get out and a lot of bad press.

      --
      Imps attack border town! 30 ponies dead! City destroyed! Ultrapony quoted as being a flankhole who says they should take care of themselves! Read all about it!
      --

      Sure the papers would sell like mad but mister spoiled ego might turn against more than a handful of ponies at the bad publicity.

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    54. My thoughts and predictions so far. Don't read if you don't want spoilers for the current (and if I'm right, future) chapters!

      1. The Elements have been physically embodied before now, but seem to exist beyond their manifestations (based on the show, at least). I am guessing that the imps fail to understand the nature of the Elements, and will thus be defeated in a manner similar Nightmare was originally defeated in the show. Namely, ponies (and perhaps griffins, now?) who exemplify the Elements will become avatars for them, despite the sabotage.

      2. I think it is more than reasonable that the Princesses failed to expose Ultrapony as the bastard he is. From what we know, almost all specials are feared and disliked - Ultrapony is certainly an exceptions to this rule, possibly the only one. They can't afford to disown him. Furthermore, the press might well not buy the story, having invested quite a lot in the guy. Further furthermore, even if everypony believed that Ultrapony was a jerk-and-a-half, this itself would reflect badly on the Agency. "Why was he kept around; why was the public deceived about him for so long?" It's not a pleasant move, but it's a savvy one, especially considering that Clockwork is, well, expendable. The Agency's credibility is more important, especially when they're so badly in need of more recruits. Tarnishing their good name would make specials of serious talent and conviction go to the Unregistered movement instead, and those are exactly the kind of ponies the Agency needs right now.

      3. I'm not a fan of Burner being made a big-bad, but I'm not sure if he'll really end up being a major villain or not yet. His accent is kinda annoying to read and a bit silly, plus I don't much fancy the multiple-villain scenario, especially when the good guys are already fractious enough on their own. But I was doubtful about the imps themselves before, too, so ya never know. I trust the author.

      4. Of course Clockwork is not being written out of the story. I'm guessing she'll be recruiting more Elements (unintentionally) among the Unregistered. Ultimately, I'm thinking the team that takes on Nightmare won't be an Agency initiative, strictly speaking. The Princesses' gambit won't work, but the friendship will find a way. That's why I disagree with July 26 8:35 Anon - sure, the team is meant to be Element-bearers, but it was never going to turn out that way. You can't manufacture a circle of friends as strong as the Mane 6. (Unless you're the Elements themselves, as the author seems to insinuate...)

      5. Still liking the new griffin character. Filigree, if I recall her name correctly, is shaping up well.

      6. I'm predicting Rainbow Dash generation 3 will be on the final team after facing prejudice from the old members due to Ultrapony's ultra-dickishness. It would work thematically, recalling the earlier dislike Clockwork faced when joining (which stemmed from Ultrapony himself). Assuming that Clockwork and Rainbow v3 meet, I am guessing that Clockwork will reflect on that parallel at some point, causing her to warm to the new pony. (This is essentially a chain of predictions based on feelings and a few tiny scraps of info [the fact that Rv3 is established as a special, f'rinstance - I doubt that was idly done], though, so I could be completely off)

      Anyway, still enjoying the series! I do wish more stuff had happened in this one, but I understand that the action'll probably be ramping down for a while now (by action, I mean events of major and long-lasting consequence that have been built up to through multiple chapters - we're going to go back to build-up for a while now, I imagine). Keep up the great work, and please don't tell me if I'm right or wrong about anything (unless you're really good at cryptic hints)! =P

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    55. @Tast: I won't reveal what happens with Trixie/Tome yet. But we haven't seen the last of her either.

      @Anon (That last one): You're lucky you told me not to answer you, because you have NO idea how much I want to hit some of those points. The only thing I'll confirm is that... yes Filigree is the Gryphon's name. ;)

      As for Prof. Burner, he gets some time to chew up the scenery and play a minor villain. He does have a role in an event next chapter. His "plans" also get a chapter later on, but he'll never be the "big bad" of this story. That will always be "The Nightmare".

      Thank you for the feedback, both good and bad. As I asked before, just have a little faith in me. The story is barely over halfway finished; there is still a lot to tell.

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    56. Ok... I only have one question...

      Is IronJaw from Stalliongrad? I think I've been giving him the wrong accent this whole time. xD

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    57. @Poopnate: I never specified where he was from, but right from the start he always struck me as having a bit of a Russian accent to him.

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    58. I always gave him more of a Scandinavian accent (the way he says "ya" after everything just sounds Scandinavian to me). When he started saying "nyet" is when I started thinking more Russian. :P

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    59. @myself

      I also always imagined Professor Burner having the accent of the Weasel from Conker's Bad Fur Day. It fits him well. xD

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    60. Glee! A new entry. The pace picked up a good deal in this one, I noticed, and the Mai revelation was interesting. Good job, as usual. :)

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    61. Hmmmmm, I like the story, but I hope you don't plan to start killing off main characters. You've done a great job of keeping it (mostly, excepting what happened in the past) non-grimdark so far, but if it goes grimdark imma bail.

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    62. Hey, I like grimdark! Well, not really, I mean, who enjoys seeing their favorite characters get off'd, but still... Anyways, nice little Blackhawk Down kinda scene in this one. Can't wait for proper introductions on the new team - this story's greatest strength has always been the characterizations and interactions, in my opinion, overshadowing even the (really quite excellent) combat scenes. I wasn't completely enamored with the Sweetie Belle scene, but it was written well enough so whatever. Guess the only other thing was that I'd hoped to read about more team building sans-Clockwork (with her doing her own thing with the Unregs, helping out with the tech and meet 'n greeting their best and brightest), and her reintroduction to the Agency thus felt a bit hurried; still, you haven't let me down yet, and this chapter was very enjoyable.

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    63. I'm completely confused with the new team... O_o

      I can't wait for the next chapter to get explanations and introductions of all the new characters. :3

      KEEP WRITING!

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    64. Ok, something's not right here. This is a six star story with frequent updates and fifteen parts that's been around since May, yet there's a surprisingly low amount of comments. There was an update this morning, but this entire day there haven't been any comments. I don't know what's going on here, but it's freaking me out how such an amazing fic could have apparently so few people reading it.

      Personally, I'm usually not good enough to provide any useful criticism, and the usual "it's great and stuff" just doesn't do such quality work justice. :(

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    65. Overlong Analysis AnonAugust 16, 2011 at 10:34 PM

      Still waiting on more characterization for Pyre - hope she gets a few sections of screen-time next chapter. All in all, you're keeping to the high standards I have for this story; the latest batch of emotional hooks have yet to sink in for me, but I'm pretty sure I can see where they're going to come from in the next few chapters.

      Let's see... dialogue's still good, though the exposition of Gilda's backstory through the Filigree/Rainbow Star chat was less compelling than their interpersonal, light chatter. Also, I wasn't sure about Filigree's rundown of the emotional states of the different team members; it didn't feel as natural as it might have been, and I wonder if it was necessary.

      Wrapping up the Mai mini-arc was done decently, though I felt you could have played up the emotional impact on Clockwork a bit more without it becoming overdone. It felt like that should/could have been more important than the time and description given it would suggest; I'm kind of unsure about whether or not the story would really benefit from showing more of Clockwork's reaction to knowing of Mai's dissipation, since she had already lost hope previously.

      As always, looking forward to the next chapter! I really like what you've done with the story so far; the buildups are entertaining and the crescendos are absolutely stunning.

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    66. Overlong Analysis AnonAugust 16, 2011 at 10:38 PM

      @DerpmindI know, right? I feel like people must be getting turned off by either the superhero themes in the description or the "kill-off-the-last-of-the-mane-cast" beginning, which is really a shame since A) That was the best KOTLOTMC beginning I've seen in any media in recent memory, and B) The slow buildup to the team's first real encounter with the imps has some seriously phenomenal scenes in it.

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    67. @Derpmind: I'm flattered you think it was such a strong story. I wish it did get more response than it did, but it's not like I can drag folks to come read it. I can only hope more readers discover it. :)

      @Overlong Analysis Anon: On your comments, Pyre might get some, but we'll see. I spend the next chapter focusing on some other details before "it gets worse". The Gilda reference was purely self-indulgent, because I wanted to (I like Gilda, I wouldn't have written a previous fan-fic using her if I didn't). Filigree's rundown was an attempt to reveal more about herself than about the others, and to try and peg some of her personality traits. I guess that wasn't as clear as I'd hoped. I figured the bit with Mai had mostly wrapped up previously, this was more of the "aftershock" to everything, thus I didn't want to overplay it.

      As an offside comment to your statements to Dermind, I've been told flat out that the KOTLOTMC opening has turned off a number of readers. One, who worked through it, came to enjoy the story, but more then one reader has railed on the way I "handled" the mane 6. I am glad you enjoyed my slow build for the first encounter, I wasn't sure if I overdid it, especially with some of the technobabble.

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    68. Yay!!! i was looking for something to read tonight

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    69. Been reading awhile now and just wanted to let you know I enjoy the story. It unfolds very gradually which I might find irritating if you were a slower updater but as it stands I really enjoy that we get to see these OC ponies well fleshed out and show gradual growth.

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    70. @PolecatWell, Ive been recommending this fic whenever someone talks about fanfiction. The character development is better than any fic Ive read so far. Ive even made my own pony with super powers. Haha. This fic really needs more attention. Someone should call the Cutiemark Crusader Fanfic Promoters.

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    71. @Polecat
      Thanks for the reply! :)

      Honestly, I didn't really mind the Gilda backstory thing or anything; it flowed just fine, and worked with the rest of the conversation. And I definitely got more of a sense of Filigree's personality from the describing-the-others segment; I just thought that it wasn't as subtle/great as some of the other character building conversations you do. (I'm starting to realize that the words "subtle" and "fantastic" seem to be more or less interchangeable for me at times, so this minor quibble may well be nothing more than a personal preference)

      Here's my rundown of why I loved how you handled the prologue.
      -You didn't "fool" the reader into thinking that Twilight was going to be a main character. The opener was told from an OC's POV, and Twilight was really a bit player in it. When an author is introducing a "next generation" of cast, it can be very tempting to ease the transition by starting out making an old character the center of attention. This can work if done well, but readers can feel cheated if the old character snuffs it almost immediately or gets shunted to the side in some other fashion. Now, it may have been a safer approach to simply have had the entire "mane" cast have died previous to the chapter's start, but I felt that Twilight's death really brought home how badly the Agency was hit. If folks were expecting a Twilight-centric story, I can see how they might feel irked by her demise, but nothing in the story really made me expect that. True, I hadn't expected her to die outright, but I'm not going to bemoan the death of a character (even a beloved one) unless it negatively affects the story's quality (hence why I can still read A Song of Ice and Fire, haha). And this story with Twilight as a living, interacting character just wouldn't work as well.

      -Characterization of Warpony was exquisite, especially considering how little screen time he received. Honestly, after the first chapter I was initially more upset over his death than Twilight's. Clockwork had been kinda annoying in the first chapter; it took a few pages to warm to the idea of her as the actual main protagonist. (Once I had done so, I loved her)

      -The technobabble. I love it. Some people hate it, I know, but I legitimately enjoyed how it was pulled off. There wasn't too much (we didn't get to hear a Patrick Bateman-style rundown of the different manufacturing techniques involved in every single piece of equipment mentioned) and what was present gave the story a very grounded feel - I was personally a little wary about the superhero themes at first ("Making MLPFIM even more like a comic book? I dunno..."), but the details got rid of all my anxieties.

      Basically, I guess that for me, the prologue was what really got me solidly interested in the story in the first place. I was intrigued by what I hoped was going to be Wild Cards-style adventure story (but with only one writer and less gratuitous sex), but worried that it would end up being more like one of those BIG MASSIVE HUGE SUMMER EVENT WAR things that DC and Marvel like to do (I can't get into those, I just can't; call it a personal failing). With the prologue, you basically set the foundation for something way better than I'd hoped, and then continued to deliver the goods with each successive (and successful) chapter.

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    72. ANYWAY, about the current chapter! Part 16, I believe...

      Squee! Got some character buildin' goin' on, goin' on. Pyre gets a scene, and she may not have the most original origins of all time, but I'll be damned if it wasn't pulled off well. Great blend of expository memories and emotional action. You had me missing Ion and Bulwark a bit by the end, and Pyre became a much more interesting character. Now I'm worried she'll get killed, ha!

      Flourish got some extra character, too. I honestly hadn't minded her status as "Warrior Bard Pinkie Pie", but it's nice to see she's getting some attention and depth. I can only speculate that her role in the story must be expanding. (But I've been wrong before!)

      My favorite part of this chapter was either the Pyre beginning, or the way you did the revelation about the imps' nature. The latter was very well done - you blended exposition into dialogue almost flawlessly. It was a conversation I could easily see the characters having (they're all reasonably-to-exceptionally smart, after all), and had great flow. It might have possibly benefited from slightly more back-and-forth about their conjecture regarding the spy imps as children: the concept made plenty of sense, but didn't necessarily feel like the immediate conclusion one would draw after deciding that the imps were a corrupter species rather than a constructed one; on the other hand, many of Clockwork's brain functions are blindingly fast (and perhaps instinctual), so it's not even close to a stretch that she would make that logical leap so quickly.

      Bottom line: good job! Reading this chapter was a treat, and I'm glad to hear some of your readers are recommending it to others.
      [god I text wall too much and broke the single post limit words words words]

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    73. @iastfan112: Thank you. I did my best to ensure every character has their own progression and personality to grow with. Of course the characters dragged me in a few directions I didn't suspect at first, but that's the hazard with characters.

      @Javadocs: CUTIE MARK CRUSADER PROMOTERS... YAAAAAAY! ^_^ Seriously tho, I appreciate it. Word of mouth is the best way to spread this word. That and I eventually need to get a custom image. O.o

      @Overlong Analysis Cobalt: Ack! Talk about a wall of words! I appreciate all the feedback, and try to answer (as best I'm able) real fast here. I won't argue that Filigree's assessment was hardly subtle, but then, Filigree isn't a subtle character either. ;) In the opening, I can understand that. It's why he died in the Prologue actually. To set the mood, and also let readers know that ponies will bite it if they screw up. Also you're correct why I didn't use Twilight there as my focal character ;). Warpony dying actually got a lot of responses in my early comments, people demanding more information on both Widget/Warpony and Jackrabbit. As for the big summer war... it's coming? ;)

      On Chapter 16: Yes Pyre got some character building. It was a late entry into things, and technically should have been in the last chapter, it woulda made more sense. >.< Flourish's role won't change much, but she did need some depth beyond just being a one-note character IMHO. I have a lot of fun with dialog, which seems to be my strongest asset when writing. I just wish I was better with descriptions sometimes. ^_^;

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    74. @Overlong Analysis Cobalt: Forgot to address your comment about the spy Imps being kids... that actually wasn't in my original outlines. They were just going to be "altered" Imps, not kids. I was actually as surprised as the rest of the readers when the comment came tumbling out of Clockwork's mouth. Enough that I ended up staring at the page for several moments, then shrugged and decided I liked it enough to roll with it. I apologize if it seemed sudden, but I admit my mind can work in weird ways sometimes. :)

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    75. Hard to choose a favorite of the team when they constantly change XD
      Nah, im just foaling around, and while Id like to see Pyre, Steelwings, and Spectrum have a big more characterization, im still loving this story
      But they whole "main character is kicked from the team and a bunch of new members die off screen" thing kinda irked me, seemingly game out of nowhere

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    76. Woo! Latest chapter was awesome, and not just 'cos you broke the dArt size limit (though that's certainly a plus!).

      Honestly, this one was just plain fun to read. Flourish had a great little solo scene, the escape from the moon was suitably tense and intense, Trixie's striking of her own horn was very bittersweet (plus, I'm so happy she's back in the story!), and the ending's got me eagerly anticipating the next chapter. Dream sequence in the beginning was pretty heartwrenching, too, and the comedic bit with Filigree was chuckle-worthy (slightly too vague for me to understand exactly what had happened, but this ain't that kinda fic, I'm thinkin'). Great job!

      (Oh, and regarding my comment from earlier about not liking BIG HUGE SUMMER WAR BATTLE EPIC FIGHT HAMMERTIMES: I dislike those mostly 'cos they tend to incorporate too many characters that end up crowding each other, and because I'm a continuity freak)

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    77. Chapter 20 kicked copious amounts of ass. The use of the mane cast was very, very well done. Can't wait for the next one - I'm pumped for the finish.

      [Where are the other bleedin' comments? This story deserves more love than it's getting.]

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    78. They wouldn't be in this situation if they were using guns. Things don't get stronger absorbing bullets, they just get dead.

      Equestria needs a modern military, not these small teams running around putting out brush fires. A mechanized army with air support would own the imps, and a tactical nuke takes care of Nightmare. Hell since she's on the moon a rocket with a 10 megaton warhead would turn her into rapidly expanding plasma.

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    79. Hm. Now that this is finished I think I'll give it another shot.

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    80. This story really covered a lot of ground for me it made me happy and sad, laugh and even shed a few tears. Not the perfect story, it had some rough edges interspersed but damn enjoyable all the same. I'm totally on board with the additional book(books?) pointed at end of the epilogue.

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    81. Now that it is over but it will be continuing, will Discord become a future player in this game now that the Elements have new bearers again

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    82. Also that ending was AWESOME, I am glad read this series and eagerly await more

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    83. Thanks Polecat for the great story. I'm looking forward to the new books. This story is definitely among my top 3 favorites! Great job!

      My only wish is that this story was more popular.

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    84. Superb ending. Not entirely the ending I might have written, but I'm not the author, and you've proved time and time again that you know what you're doing.

      What can I say? The emotional releases post-battle were suitably heartfelt, setup for a sequel wasn't too forced (though I'm not sure about Ultra-Nightmare yet), and I sincerely got the sense that the world you've created is still going on. If and when you do make sequels, that's something I wouldn't mind seeing some of, by the way: how do the non-military ponies live in this technological powerhouse Equestria?

      Anyways, great job, Polecat. Seriously, this was a great trip and I'm very glad to have had you as a guide. Now, all we need to do is get everyone else to read this...

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    85. There's a small error with the chapter's number.

      CH.21 part 1 and part 2, here, are listed as CH.21 and CH.22.

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    86. @All Thank you for the kind comments. I won't argue that it had some rough edges, but given I only started writing in February, I think I'm doing something right. ;)

      There will be a "book 2", I already have a few ideas and plot sketches in mind, as well as part of the prologue actually written, but I wouldn't expect it until the end of the year... at the earliest.

      @Nova25: Yeah, I know. I mentioned it to them, but they seem ill inclined to fix it. Honestly I'm just happy it got bumped when it posted this time. They didn't bump it to the front page on a few of my updates...

      @Overlong Analysis Cobalt: Oddly I wasn't originally going to do a sequel, but too many threads were left hanging, and it just felt "too easy" to wipe out Nightmare entirely like that. True evil never stays down for long. As for the ending, I'm glad I wasn't totally predictable about it. ;) I'm glad you enjoyed the story, and the mares will be back in due time. Just gotta get some creative juices flowing again.

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    87. @Polecat
      Hey Polecat! It's been a while. Just wondering if you're working on anything, related to this story or not. Just wondering!

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    88. Polecat. Thank you

      I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story, it is definitely one of the best here on Equestria Daily, and it deserves much more attention and praise than it currently receives.

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    89. MOTHER OF GOD. IT ACTUALLY, REALLY, UPDATED. Well, I'm not sleeping too long today, am I?

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    90. Oh hell yes. Been waiting for this for ages :D

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    91. It took me a while to get it going, but yes, Book 2 has arrived! Took longer than I thought it would to get it up and running, tho as a warning, this will have a slower update schedule than book 1 did. I've switched to a "post when done" strategy this time. Less stressful, honestly, than trying to make sure everything was ready weekly.

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    92. i wish this were on fimfiction.com.. my poor tablet can't open deviantart. i do almost all of my reading on my tablet! blargh!

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    93. Can't see story 2 part 3. What update don't I have?

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    94. @Firemane: not using Fimfic is a conscious decision. Fimfic has become a bit of a sewer of posted fics, catering to the worst as well as the best with no discrimination. That, and I've been on DA for 7 years now, I prefer it.

      @God: No idea. If you could see the previous Book 2 chapters on DA, then you should be able to see the 3rd chapter as well (despite EqD's amusing error of calling it "book 3, chapter 3".

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    95. @Polecat: And as I said to you previously, as much as I liked dA back when I first discovered it, the refreshing ads they have installed since then has all but killed it for me. Sure, my brand new computer can handle it now, but it STILL leaves a bitter taste on my tongue. Have you considered mirroring this on Fanfiction.net, PonyFiction, FurAffinnity, or quite literally anywhere OTHER than [email protected]: And as I said to you previously, as much as I liked dA back when I first discovered it, the refreshing ads they have installed since then has all but killed it for me. Sure, my brand new computer can handle it now, but it STILL leaves a bitter taste on my tongue. Have you considered mirroring this on Fanfiction.net, PonyFiction, FurAffinnity, or quite literally anywhere OTHER than dA?

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    96. Huh. Odd error, that. Anyone know how to fix it?

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    97. @Starcat5 - I post on DA because it's a central point I can get good feedback from. I posted before on Gdocs, but I can't get the feedback I prefer. Fimfic is a sewer I refuse to post on, and FurAffinity I have had problems with in the past and I refuse to have anything to do with. The others I will look into, but as of now, Deviant Art is where I have made my decision to post, and that is unlikely to change.

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    98. @starcat5
      Ads ? On DA ? ...ooooh, right... Well, I use 'TACO' (a plugin of Firefox). It does wonders for those pesky things (the difference it does is refreshing).

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    99. @Nova25: I use "Noscript" myself, ever since an ad posing as a legit banner infected my system from a reputable site.... I don't turn it off for nopony now.

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    100. Sounds quite like Fear Factory, I'll read it soon :3

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