• Story: Dusk and Dawn (Update Sequel!)

    [Grimdark]

    Author: 2%
    Description: Synopsis: Nightmare Moon has won. The world has been engulfed in eternal night. But her reign is far from perfect. For the last seven years, Equestria has been divided by the usurper's armies and those of the Dawn Militia, who devote themselves to struggling against her tyranny. Yet, the greatest danger to the resistance itself may not be the dreaded Mare on the Moon, but her lieutenant, Eclipse – formerly known as Twilight Sparkle.
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    Dusk and Dawn

    Fanfiction.net
    Dusk and Dawn

    Additional Tags: Action, One-Shot, Epic Magic Battle

    [Grimdark]
    Description: The Dawn Militia continues to wage war with Nightmare Moon's armies across Equestria. The six bearers of the Elements of Harmony–Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Trixie–have been granted extraordinary powers, which they use to lead the charge against the usurper and her reluctant lieutenant, Eclipse. But it's hardly easy. After all, what place does harmony have on the battlefield?

    Dusk and Dawn: Harmony (New!)

    Additional Tags: Superpowers, War, Messy eating, Fluttershy multiclassed into Beastmaster/Druid

    102 comments:

    1. Evil Twilight always gets a look... hope it's good.

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    2. Wow. This story looks EPIC!!!! I hope that it's well written

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    3. Would I be right to guess that Trixie is the head of the rebellion?

      I suppose I'll find out, since the concept is interesting enough to warrant a look-see.

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    4. This pic...it really good.
      Warning it has many elements of a war.

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    5. Please tell me this is worth a read. There are so many of these "Nightmare Moon won and Twilight is her bitch" stories... The only thing that happens more often is "Twilight botches a spell and everyone ends up in the wrong dimension".

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    6. Argh, torn between sleep and pony.

      Codsdarnit, I'll stick it on my list for tomorrow.

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    7. @MaximillianVeers

      What Could Have Been did it first :D

      And I usually avoid Grimdark, but the synopsis looked fantastic. I'll have to read this

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    8. Would be very interesting if it weren't so common an idea. Good writing, strong adjectives, and a strong sense of timing. But the plot is too flat. (Giggidy.)

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    9. Great story. It tells the tale really well. Not to mention this picture is awesome.

      I think I'll have to give it five stars.

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    10. Eclipse and the Dawn Militia, some badass sounding names there and the Synopsis sounds great, will be giving this one a read.

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    11. A tale of this sort that is a one-shot? I think I'll give it a looksie.

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    12. why must i be incapable of separating myself from grimdark stories? damn these emotions!

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    13. Lunar Republic on repeat as I open this.

      Let's do it.

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    14. Some of the revisionism was a little out there, but overall this was a very creative interpretation of the lore.

      It does feel unfinished, however. Several conflicts and story lines are at work, and none of them are resolved. Was this truly meant to be labeled as 'complete'?

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    15. Very well written and also very sad.

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    16. Seriously? The picture is what draws some of you guys in? I was just looking for epic Twilight pics on Ponibooru and found that.

      And are Twilight-turns-into-Nightmare-Moon's-Darth-Vader fics really that common? I haven't seen many.

      Also, figures this gets posted on the same day as episode 29.

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    17. Please don't let this stay as a one-shot. You set up a wonderful story so incredibly perfectly it would be a SIN to not continue this! Please!?

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    18. I will definitely say I enjoyed this story, and I look forward to more from you. Don't disappoint your Queen, my subject.

      ~NightmareMoon

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    19. If I'd have to know one more thing, it would be how Luna is taking all this if she's still kicking around in Nightmare's head, but for what it is, it's great. This could have been a twenty part doorstop if it was written by somepony else, but you take an excerpt of the important bits, cut everything that isn't relevant, and the story is so much better for it. Well done.

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    20. I loved this. I know it's a one-shot, but if you ever decide to continue in this universe I'll be first in line to read it.

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    21. all my stars... take them. This is an epic story.

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    22. OH MY GOD

      EVERYONE

      READ THIS STORY

      NOW

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    23. I think this deserves tons of stars. I had thought 4.5 until I realized this story was labeled complete and I went, "But this story could have set up a brilliant series!" That's when I realized how good it really was.

      2%, please continue this if you have any desire to. It's amazing.

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    24. So much disappointment for the fact this will be how the story ends, but it's not everyday I decide to read a fanfic. Haven't read any other of the "Twilight is NM's pawn" fics here, but this was really enjoyable.

      Giving it 5 stars, but I don't think it's star-6 worthy (yet).

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    25. I just read the whole thing, my first grimdark since silent Ponyville. That gave me nightmares, and I was hesitant to read another grimdark. Let me first tell you what I didn't like. The subtle appledash reference irked me because I hate shipping and it seems to be in every fanfic on this site. Also, the fact that Twilight was evil bugged me, simply because she's my second favorite and I hate seeing her as a bad guy. Apart from those two things, though, AMAZING. Great job for a one-shot. This sort of dark storyline is something I'd love to see from the show, perhaps in the distant future. It's just such a contrast with the show without really breaking stride with it, and I loved it. I don't want to discuss the story itself too much considering I'm pretty early on the comments, but you have a great writing style, and the tone you created was awesome. Anyway, overall, 9.8/10 from me. So much better writing than a lot of the crap that gets posted on this site. Nicely done.

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    26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    27. Wow, that was a good read. But if your going to write something that epic and finish it like that then you have to make a sequel.
      IT NEEDS A SEQUEL DAMMIT! :/.

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    28. That was good.

      Any chance for a sequel? Would love to see what happens - Either way it ended at a good spot if its a one shot.....but I think this well structured enough for a good sequel.

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    29. Loved this story please continue it!

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    30. *SPOILERS* stream-of-consciousness reviewing fuck yeah

      1st Story was pretty well written, although it took me a bit to realize who was chained up and what the hell Twilight was doing. I like how it doesn't reveal the entirety of the ponies' fall, just the one gimpy step that lead them down the wrong path. A great short story that set the tone of futile resistance. (Actually, I guess the italicized parts do tell the story? Alrighty then.)

      Second story had a sentence structure that at first, to me at least, didn't seem to mesh well with the mood (gets a lot better as the story progresses), but did an incredible job of describing the post-apocalyptic pony landscape. Was seriously pulling for the Le Resistance movement to conquer (Trixie is always a great choice for a surprise guest :D). I'm still...a bit confused with the idea of a pony shooting a gun, but the action scenes were also pretty neat, and the buildup was impeccable. And alsoooOHHH GOD GENERAL ECLIPSE IS TWILIGHT? ILOVEYOUILOVEYOUILOVEYOU. I love Twilight's story about Celestia's 'pawning' though. I love Trixie essentially replacing Twilight. And in case any other details show up, let me just say I LOVE the re-visioned world you've created that you've created. And Trixie...was that a hallucination or a very confusing segue back into the fort? Alright back to the...fort with the copies and mind control and this story is way too smart for me.

      Twilight the Starscream trope returns to be ki---guess not. I love the irony behind Twilight's name change. I'm...a bit confused about the deal with Spike and Twilight though. Spike betrayed Twilight, but they're still close? And...TWILIGHT NO OH GOG. Well, I'm still confused why Twilight fought Applejack and the 'Dawn' in the first place, but otherwise really an interesting story with fully fleshed-out characters. This has the making of a 6-star story.

      MINOR, STUPID NOTE: "She snorted in derision." Sweet god that's some sexy word choice. And a thousand other examples, but yeah, you seriously have talent.

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    31. Finally someone being just as upset about Celestia's gambling as me! This story is really great and I can just recommend reading it, it's really worth it.

      I nearly lost it at the I never asked for this line in the end.

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    32. 2% Please don't tell me that "Complete" tag is true. This story has so much potential! At least another 2 chapters. PLEASE.

      There is so much you can do with this.

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    33. @everypony clamoring for a sequel
      Alright! Alright! I'll... consider it, okay?
      But seriously, moocow1452 and Chandler's comments pretty much sum up my reasons for making this a one-shot. I do have plans to add some more snippets of this tale, eventually. I'm considering a set-up to a final battle up to its climax, and then two endings, one bad and the other good. But my next project is much higher on the priority list, so you'll have to wait a while.
      Also, the one-shot factor certainly got one heck of a reaction. /trolling

      @bronydash Appledash? I think you're reading in to it too deeply. I don't ship AppleDash, and I don't ship in-story. And the point of the story was that while Twilight was somewhat tainted, she remained well-intentioned rather than going outright evil.

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    34. Impressive. I actually rather liked Twilight. Is it really just a one-shot? Because the ending feels a bit lacking. I know it's grimdark, and therefore as likely to end on a low note as a high, but I'd still like to see Twilight and the rebellion succeed.

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    35. First Grimdark I've read, and I liked it. I think you should keep writing more.

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    36. I suggest listening to "Time" from the Inception soundtrack while AJ, Twi, and Trixie are fighting. It makes it so much more dramatic.

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    37. I always enjoy completed fics, which is why I'm clapping, in rl.

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    38. @2% Well, some chance is better than none. And I've helped someone on the internet explain something! Yay.

      Of course I decided not to read moocow1452's comment before I posted, even though it might not have mattered anyway.

      I totally agree with your approach as to writing extensions to this. It's simple and genius.

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    39. Its good! its great! A fairly original take on a overused cliche but the good writing and story makes it especilly interesting.

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    40. I'd like to say first this this is the first pony fan fiction (and first fan fiction in a long time) that I have read.
      Despite being a fanfic writer myself I usually don't read other fanfics because:
      A) I don't usually have time and B) because starring at my computer screen intently, especially when its something that needs to be read, gives me a head ache

      but I read this all the way through I LOVED it.

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    41. Not sure what to think about the use of shotguns and bazookas in Equestria, but otherwise, this is pretty damn good.

      Not much I can say that hasn't already been said, at this point.

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    42. Definitely one of the stronger grimdark stories that I've read. The characterizations are strong, and explanations for why various ponies go ooc (as they inevitably must, to support such a dark premise) are for the most part believable. The writing was solid, and I found the whole story engaging.

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    43. @2%
      "And are Twilight-turns-into-Nightmare-Moon's-Darth-Vader fics really that common? I haven't seen many."

      Well, a quick search turns up:
      "Nightmares Don't Last Forever"
      "Night's Favored Child"
      "Disgaea: Disharmony of Friendship" (I think; I'm just going by the cover blurb)
      And.. well... that's all I could find. So yes, it's been done before, but it's nowhere near as common as 'Twilight botches a teleport and goes AU' or 'Rainbow Dash breaks her wings and is forced to move in with _____, at which point they fall in love' or even 'Trixie is starving because her career has been destroyed, it's raining, and she's forced to take shelter in Twilight's library (ar which point they fall in love.' Heck, I think it's still less common than 'Celestia is/turns evil and Twilight needs to defeat her, with no mention of Nightmare Moon.'

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    44. Well shoot, its ABOUT DAMN TIME that someone handled their Evil Twilight problem by blasting that bitch's horn off with a shotgun at point-blank range.

      I'm giving it 5 stars JUST for that lol.

      "The alicorn's glare..."

      Alicorn? Don't you mean pegasus? OH HO HO I KEEL ME :D

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    45. Oh and 2%, of course its common. Why wouldn't it be? Twi is Tia's protege and we've (ahem) seen what lengths she'll go to in order to impress her. Stop by any slice of the Equestrian Multiverse where Nightmare Moon/Sun/whatevs is running the show and its even money that Twilight is out thurr on deez streets happily slaying foals in front of their parents and vice versa IN THE NAME OF TEH QUEEN.

      Its ironic, I've always cringed at FIM depicting "loyalty" as a virtue. (y'know, human history n all) But you rarely see Dashie goosestepping.......

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    46. MOAR!!!!!!!!!!! but seriously i love the tension in the fic, it reminds me ALOT of full metal alchemist at least the war and political overtones and i love Twilight's character.

      Hope you'll make more in the near future!

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    47. Well done, sir. The story is terrifically written, and I enjoyed the story thoroughly. I can't think of a thing I'd have changed, and that includes the notion of continuing it. I felt that the way it ended was probably the best part, and while I understand everyone's impulse to demand a sequel, I disagree with it.

      Don't write more because everyone tells you to. Write more because you want to, and because it makes sense to do so. That said, if you decide to continue with this story, I have no doubt whatsoever that it will also be spectacular.

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    48. That fucking complete tag hurts to look at. But at least your considering doing a sequel. There are too many things left open for there not to be. People can leave an ending vague to let people choose for themselves how it ends. But that's something you do at the very end of the entire story/saga/etc. This is something that could place about a fourth of the way through a big saga. So there's plenty of story left to be told and gaps that need to be filled before this is truly complete IMO.

      Outside of that, this alone was FANTASTIC! Extremely well written and great characterzation. We aren't just left with "Everyone is OOC, deal with it." You actually give legitimate explanations for the most part. It'd be nice to see some more background on Spike's relationship with "Eclipse" developed from total hate to being understanding and caring again. But that's something for a sequel.

      The only thing that irks me is, because Twilight is my favorite pony, it's heart wrenching seeing her the way she is. That's all on me, though, not something the author did wrong.

      This gets 5/5 stars from me for now, and will definately have 6/5 if it is continued. The story was amazing, there's just so much I only had a taste of and I want more of it.

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    49. This story is actually really good. Usually I don't go in for grimdark, but I like it.

      Just a little cleanup needed to explain who is talking and you are gold 2%!

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    50. Eclipse's character reminds me so much of Zero from Code Geass R2, this kind of character is really the kind that gets me running for MOAR.

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    51. Take my Stars. ALL of them!

      Also, even if 2% doesn't make a sequal, this setting is ripe for spinoffs. Will Eclipse realize that Luna isn't Nightmare Moon, or will she finish her off? What if she's forced to hold NM down, and gets hit by the "Rainbow of Light" as well? Will she rip into `Tia for letting the last seven years of Hell happen? Will she forgive `Tia on the grounds that, if it have been Spike, she would have done the same thing? Split the difference by chewing her out AND forgiving her? Just what WILL she do post NM, now that everyone knows and fears her? And where the Hay is Discord in all this?

      ...also, just to be Meta, Eclipse screws up a spell and drags the Mane Universe's Mane 6 + Spike into this mess. (Taste the Double Rainbow motherbucker!) I can actually see some interesting twists to this. The older, battlehardened Element Holders (Trixie's team) would have a better understanding of the different utility uses of the Elements, while the Mane 6, post Discord, would be the more powerful due to still being "Pure". (By which I mean, Honesty not being forced to use espionage and deciete, Laughter still having something to laugh about, etc.) Mind you, this option, while awsome, would be the hardest to pull off, since "Mane 6 meets AU GrimDark Alt-Mane 6" is practicly a MLP:FiM Trope at this point, and most (Not all, but MOST) if the stories that have tried it have fallen far short of the mark.

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    52. Kickass story.

      And speaking of trope, this one just got itself an article on tvtropes. Fellow tropers, feel free to add to it.

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    53. Dang! I can't believe this is a one-shot! Most one-shots aren't this good! Is there any chance for a sequel? Pretty pleasy weasy with hot fudge and sprinkles and shredded cheese and hot sauce and chocolate sauce and whipped cream and cupcakes and everything else on top!

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    54. @chronoryono
      8[_____]
      That– This is– I don't– Wha?
      I am so honored, I can't come up with any satisfactory words to describe how I feel.

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    55. I understand the strength of oneshots. But with all the world-building and character development potential, this simply must have some resolution!

      Excellent fic, very well written. I do hope you give it justice and decide to re-visit it with a climax and conclusion.

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    56. This story... Is freakin' amazing! It's true, the NMM & Twilight get together scenario is a tad overplayed, but when you get a story like this, I honestly don't give a damn.

      Incredible writing and a whole new spin on Alicorns, the characters & settings. A great story, through and through.

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    57. Well, seeing your comment and knowing you're considering adding on is pretty good, but I'm not sure why you'd give such an ending to a one-shot, that's a fucking cliff-hanger you have there, this seems like the kinda fic that could go for 6 stars if it were long enough, being on par with Fallout Equestria in terms of writing ability.

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    58. Complete! Say what? A wonderful, well-written and explained one shot with fantastic world building that basically just ends.

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    59. I told myself to stay away from these grimdark stories, but something pulled me towards this one. GREAT job on it. I thought it was a bit hard to follow at first but eventually it sucks you right in. That ending cannot be the end of it, it's such a cliffhanger. You simply must bring a resolution to this

      Rarity: Please? PleasepleasepleasePLEASE!!

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    60. To the people complaining about the ending:

      I disagree. I don't think the story needs any more. It is perfect the way it is. The main focus of the story, Twilight's character, has been fully revealed, and the ending does a miraculous job of explaining what's likely going to happen next.

      Nightmare Moon's behavior seems to imply that she's fully aware of Twilight's treachery, but she doesn't care because she knows Twilight won't betray her. At this point, Nightmare Moon understands Twilight better than Twilight does. She's conditioned Twilight well, and so no matter how much Twilight tells herself that she's just biding her time and that she's still the same girl she was before the Eternal Night, it's a comforting lie.

      Twilight has been completely broken. She's opened herself up to Ngihtmare Moon's manipulation. At the very end of the story, she realizes this.

      A story doesn't have to have a happy ending to be complete. This story, which wraps up all the characterization and world-building without any major loose ends, is complete.

      As for the accusations of Appledash, I noticed it too. I believe this was the line that sparked it:

      “What is Trixie going to tell Rainbow Dash if you get yourself captured or killed? Or Big Mac?”

      What the line showed was that Trixie considered Rainbow Dash to be a higher priority in Applejack's life than Big Macintosh. And Applejack as always been shown to be close to her brother.

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    61. @uberPhoenix
      ...
      Erm.
      No.

      Is that really the impression I left? Nightmare Moon is only aware of Twilight's more obvious transgressions – e.g. her snarking and the order of martial law – but as she says, she's convinced that it's only because Twilight is acting like a rebellious child. Twilight's support to the Dawn meanwhile goes unnoticed. Afterwards, Spike's lines (are supposed to) indicate that she's still capable of coming out victorious despite her wallowing in despair and loathing of circumstances and self.
      Perhaps I'll have to make this more clear in-story.

      As for the AppleDash thing, Dash just came to Trixie's (read:my) head first, because she's much more familiar with Dash than Big Mac.

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    62. A sequel is needed..
      Or else I'll bawl my eyes out like eclipse. ;)

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    63. Well then, I wonder this says about me?

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    64. Hey 2%! This was some awesome world building. And, I have to say, this is probably the most legit alicorn Twilight I have ever read. I would love to see where you went with it if you ever continued. Thanks for writing/posting/sharing!

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    65. @uberPhoenix
      That you like bad endings more than bittersweet endings.

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    66. I do believe uberPhoenix's interpretation is valid (not [i]correct[/i], but still valid), and it sure made me look back over the story in a new light.

      The author's word on what things mean carries more weight, sure, but I'd advise just agreeing to disagree here. =D

      Bittersweet or downer, both endings make for a powerful one shot - and personally, I've always favoured bittersweet.

      However you wish to think of it, what matters is that you enjoy.

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    67. So I read thru once and loved it taking more of the positive read of the ending....then I saw uberphoenix's comment and reread the story, definitely a valid interpretation imo(though one the author doesn't seem to personally vouch for). Just a pretty awesome one shot. I'd love to see more but it certainly isn't necessary. Some stories its nice just to let the reader imagine his own endings.

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    68. ok i read most of this before i left for work, and i spent my whole shift thinking about this fic. came back finished it, and want more lol. i saw your earlier comment and i'm willing to wait, but know we support more from you. good job, and 5-stars from me.

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    69. You can't finish it when it's at its fullest peak, potential and outmost awesomeness man ;/
      *cries*

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    70. aaand i just found out it was a oneshot. Shoot. I actually had this one bookmarked too! I guess if i had to throw up a complaint now is that all that world building is a bit wasted now. I'll hope for spinoffs. Also if that's the end then that was fairly bleak. So i'd certainly classify this as grimdark.

      I know on your fanfiction page you said that you weren't that great at making epic stories. I say give it a shot! You seemed like you put a lot of effort into the story you can probably do something. Anyway thats my two-cents its your choice anyway.

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    71. Um, I'm gonna copy over the review I left on FF.net, 'cause I'm a narcissistic bitch like that.

      This was...absolutely heartwrenching to read, frankly. Twilight is, along with Dash, my favorite pony, so to see her like this is saddening. Even more so to know that, even if the Dawn eventually wins out with her help, she'll never be truly accepted by those that should be her friends. I personally also have little love for Trixie, so her taking up the replacement Twilight role (by the way, AJ telling her that she's nopony's replacement was actually really touching, and a nice use of dramatic irony to boot since we all know that she really is in truth) is a double punch. I also found Spike's new relationship with her to be really interesting, even with and perhaps because we're left in the dark on how it got to where it is (and again, that ending was heartwrenching, to the point where I was getting a little choked up myself).

      Honestly, there's not much else praise I can give that hasn't already been said, and said better than I could do. It's your story, but if you do decide to continue it you can count me among those that would read it the day it comes out.

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    72. Great story, and I loved the characters. But this is NOT complete. I suppose one could imagine how it would turn out in the long run, but still needs another chapter to wrap it up IMO.

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    73. Great story man. You took 3 hours of my time and I enjoyed it! The story definitely doesn't need any continuations. After the ending you can imagine what's going to happen (Eclipse being obedient to NMM and giving up her crushed plans about treason and overthrowing NMM)
      5/5!

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    74. I just wanted you to know that this is awesome, you're an excellent writer. Thank you for this marvel.

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    75. NOoooooo!!
      Needs moar :(

      It's awesome. :)

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    76. Well, this is certainly one of the best, more action PonyFics I've read so far.
      Hope you still consider writing a sequel or even better, already writing it.
      It must be written!

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    77. I want more of this, it's awesome <3

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    78. Please 2%, can you write some more /begging <- Look what you've reduced me to!

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    79. Though I can understand Phoenix's interpretation. I don't agree at all. I thought it very clear that twilight is playing NMM like an instrument, allbeit from a weak position. Keeping up the ruse seems to be incredibly straining to twi's sanity though. Her abhorrence of Celestia is completely believable as her months of torture at NMM's hand have obviously left her bitter.

      Though it works incredibly well as a standalone... I too would love a climax,regardless of which way you go with it.

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    80. What I substitute as a climax, in my mind:

      [NMM is dead; freed Celestia is on the floor, too weak to stand up, Eclipse approaches her]

      Eclipse: You no longer need to sacrifice for your people. You no longer need to bear the weight of your crown. I have taken care of everything.
      Celestia: Twilight?... What are you doing?
      Eclipse: Succeeding you, Princess.

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    81. Just want to say, after all this time this is still my favorite fanfic :D

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    82. This is the first and only story tagged grimdark I've read, and that's because the TV Tropes page on it got my curiosity too high.
      But this is fantastically written. You've created a dark world, and in a dark setting, without it being disturbing, or written just for shock value, for lack of a better phrase.
      I've noticed you've added a teaser to the Google Doc. I hope that's a sign of things to come! I'd like to see a sequel.

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    83. ...
      *takes a sip from a water bottle*
      *spits it out*

      HOLD ON, WHAT? ALREADY?
      I just sent that e-mail an hour ago! I was going to go to bed!

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    84. EqD has been waiting for this update just as eagerly as ~I~ have, apparently.

      /)^3^(\

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    85. It easily deserves it man, great fic,

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    86. Oh shit! That was my first fic! Not only the first ponyfic but fic as a fic in general! You've actually made me a full blown brony, man.
      Well... There may be better ones out there but you know, one never forgets his first ;)

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    87. Holy sh....
      A sequel...I didn't see that coming ._.

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    88. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    89. Sequel to a legendary Grimdark one-shot?!?! Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie!!!!!

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    90. Yeah.. that's right guy who was content with the other ending and said it didn't need to be continued. In your face.

      Thanks 2%.

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    91. @Sun Ray

      Hi there.

      I'll read this soon, and prepare to eat my words, depending on how the read goes.

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    92. @uberPhoenix

      Ahhh he actually posted XD, and only 12 minutes from my post.

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    93. Cool to see this sequel-totally-wasn't-going-to-happen happened.

      :p



      Seriously, though, a great start so far.

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