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Twilight: Puppet or Pony
A tribute to: My Little Pony Friendship is Magic
Healing Pony POV Series by alexwarlorn

In darkness, a voice called.

(So the outside is done. And it is a perfect match. Now it is time to add knowledge about Chaos.)

There was so much Chaos. Who are you?

(Me? I am Discord, Spirit of Chaos and Dis… just call me Discord. I never tried this one before. The next step is to add what I know about Twilight, well most of it.)

Twilight?

(Get ready; now it will be your time to shine.)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was standing on grass before a giant blackboard. I knew that my student would arrive within seconds. I was happy to teach her something about Chaos.

There she was: A Draconequus/Pegasus hybrid, one of her kind, Fluttercruel.

I walked forward with a smile. She looked like she wants to say something. I waited for her question.

Instead she asked Discord.

"What is the difference between me and her?"

The difference? That was easy, she was the daughter of Discord, while I…

Who am I?

I remembered reading books, making schedules, learning as much as possible and some ponies that meant a lot to me: Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash and Rarity. But something seemed to miss. I looked at Fluttercruel.

Now she watched me with such a strange expression and her eyes have turned grey. What did she see? Then she looked at herself like she just saw herself for the very first time.

"This flow… was that Chaos?"

Yes, Chaos, what I wanted to talk about. Why did she take so long to be ready to listen to my lecture?

"Oh, I think we should leave the long-winded explanation to the world champion of exposition."

Finally it was my turn. Discord looked very interested while Fluttercruel just chuckled. It was her first lesson, so she didn't know better. It was time to share what I know about Chaos. I could feel a nearly endless flow of information about it.

"May I have your attention class? Today we learn about Chaos. It is usually known as the force between Light and Darkness but what does this actually mean? Neutrality? No, instead most scholars like to describe it as change or conflict. The bigger the differences between two forces the more Chaos can be found between them. This ranges from physical opposites like fire and water to the emotional spectrum like calmness and agitation."

But mere talk was cheap; I would show her what I mean. I created two transparent illusions of Celestia and Luna and showed the very power that they embody.

"Here we have the incarnation of Light – Princess Celestia - and in the other corner the personification of Darkness – Princess Luna. Both represent two forces different than each other in nearly every way. Both are two cornerstones of reality. And both govern their element and control it but there will always be frictions between these powers and this energy is known as Chaos."

I let the two powers clash and at this point they became grey and an image of Discord appeared.

I guess that was enough for the first lesson. More would follow later.

I bowed politely before my student and teleported to another part of the world.

Very little was here, just grass, floating rivers and big bubbles.

I stared blankly around the world.

I felt strange, like I was without directions.

What did a teacher do when she is not teaching?

Who am I?

I was Fluttercruel's teacher and I remember many names. My own name must be somewhere in that collection. I remembered. I am Twilight Sparkle.

I heard noises.

I walked towards the source and saw a volleyball field with many ponies standing around it. I recognised them, especially Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash. They were all cheering for a game between Discord and Fluttercruel.

Then the young chimera won. I was surprised. I saw Pinkie Pie hopping happily towards the field. I remembered how often she was happy.  

Suddenly the ball exploded before her and left her injured. She looked so hurt and sad. Why did this hurt? I was not injured but it was painful to watch. It didn't make any sense. Why? Why? Why?

I didn't want her to be hurt. I wanted her to smile. What could I do? There was no direction.

I felt the need to do something for her.

I teleported next to Pinkie Pie and put my hoof gently on her shoulder. She shuddered at first but eventually the pink pony seemed to calm down. Thankfully she stopped to cry. I felt just so relieved. How could Fluttercruel hurt her like this? But as I saw the young chimera, she seemed hurt as well. Even Discord seemed to be sad about this.

I thought it would be the best to gain some distance for now, so I teleported the pink pony and myself to another part of this world.

Pinkie Pie looked at me like a lost puppy, now I almost had to chuckle.

"Twilight?"

"Yes, Pinkie Pie?"

"Thank you, that was really nice."

"What are friends for?"

Finally she smiled again. This was well worth the effort. Suddenly somepony crashed into me.

"Ups, sorry."

As I looked around in disorientation, I could see a blue Pegasus with a rainbow colored mane hovering above me.

"Rainbow Dash!"

"The one and only!" did the self-assure Pegasus reply.

I hadn't expected anything else from her. Now I just wondered where Rarity and Applejack could be.

Despite the moon shining above me it was getting darker around here. That wouldn't make the search easier.

I illuminated the place around me with my horn and we three started to search for the missing two ponies. We could see Discord floating further away carrying his daughter and creating a giant flying house and two mountains.

After the Draconequus was gone, Pinkie Pie was immediately at the controls of one of the mountains and set it to create popcorn. Soon a lot of the stuff rained down from above and the pink pony and Rainbow Dash both kept eating it before it could fall to the ground.

It looked like they have a lot of fun.

I wished I could get some of it as well but there was hardly anything left that reached the ground. Suddenly Rainbow Dash started to catch the popcorn on her wings and hovered down to me.

"How about you try some as well?"

"Thank you, Dash."

Suddenly I felt a powerful surge of Chaos on this world. Discord was creating something special, I could feel it.

Rainbow and Pinkie reacted like they felt it was well. We were one with Chaos.

But I could also see that both were really exhausted. I could understand that, I also felt sleepy. We would continue our search tomorrow.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I could see the distorted image of six ponies from behind. I think there were Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Rarity. I didn't recognise the yellow pegasus. But she reminded me at Fluttercruel. Maybe she was a relative?

Then there was another purple unicorn. She looked so familiar. Was she me?

There was a dark Alicorn standing before them. Her name was… Nightmare Moon.

As energy glowed around them, the image moved back further. It was like whoever saw this instinctively took a step back when this happened.

What kind of energy was that? It just seemed so familiar.

The Nightmare hesitated for one moment and as the energy became stronger, the watcher fled the room. The last thing I could see was a rainbow.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The sunlight awoke me and Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash were still next to me. And they were snoring so loud that I wondered if they did wake me up with it. Seriously, how can they even continue sleeping with this noise?

Several rings floated above us and I could see Fluttercruel racing through them. I thought that might interest Rainbow as well.

"Rainbow. Rainbow! RAINBOW DASH!"

Somehow she was still snoring. She should have gotten a bed as her cutie mark. This called for a different tactic.

"The Wonderbolts are terrible flyers."

Now she finally was awake and flew up into the air.

"AH! Who said that?"

"Sorry but that seemed to be the only way to get you awake before it is night again."

Then Dash noticed Fluttercruel flying above them.

"Now just look at her smug face, so satisfied with herself. She will never learn to move her lazy flank faster if she keeps this up."

"Sounds strangely familiar, Dashie." Pinkie Pie adds with an arch smile.

"Hah. Just wait. I will show everypony that I am Chaos's fastest flyer!"

After Discord's first flying lesson was over I approached the Draconequus. I had searched everywhere on this world and by now I was worried where Rarity and Applejack could be. I saw many other ponies but there was no trace of the two.

"May I talk to you?"

"Hm? What? How? I didn't… What do you want to talk about?"

"We have been searching all this time for Applejack and Rarity but we couldn't find them. Do you know where they are?"

"Now this is new. But just give me a second."

I could feel Discord using more Chaos and as I turned around I saw the white unicorn and the farmer standing behind me.

"Girls! I was so worried."

Instantly I hugged them and they seemed a bit startled. But it felt just so right.

"Twilight? Your mane looks messy. Give me a moment to fix that."

"Ya ruin the moment."

Eventually the group hug ended and I noticed Discord floating near to us with a strangely serious expression.

"Thank you for bringing them here."

The eyes of the Draconequus were grey for a moment before they return to normal.

"You… You are welcome."

The next days seemed to fly past so fast. Rainbow Dash began to develop a rivalry with Fluttercruel and raced her whenever possible. I knew that she baited the young chimera into most of these races and that did work.

It was weird. While she was hard to wake up once she fell asleep, I actually remembered Dash being much lazier before. But maybe Rainbow just became more reliable after Fluttercruel kept dumping buckets of water on her when she overslept. However when the young chimera missed a lesson or a race because she slept longer, Dash was there to return the favor. Both took it very well and started to chase each other immediately.

Thanks to the experience Fluttercruel got much faster over time.

After the young incarnation of Chaos complained that all meals, she didn't know the flavours of, tasted like nothing Applejack began to cook dishes for her.

"Ah show ya how it is done and then ya could give out a round of chocolate milk for everypony."

So the farmer started to make meals for her. Surely Discord provided the ingredients for them.

Since she had enough free time and the chaotic plants could take care of themselves, she began to experiment more with her cooking. With all the ingredients and cooking utensils she could ever wish for, there was almost nothing she couldn't create. Some things were pretty normal like her pancakes but other dishes were so outlandish that they immediately got Discord's attention.

One looked like a giant cake but was entirely made out of fruits, vegetables, crops and fruit custard. Fluttercruel eyed it carefully.

"This does look way too healthy…"

"Trust mah Flutter. That's good eatin'!"

Suddenly Discord teleported himself right next to the culinary creation and looked really hungry.

"I think it is my turn to sacrifice myself and be the food tester."

After his painfully fake acting the incarnation of Chaos summoned a sword and cut off a small piece of cake.

Cheerfully he ate it within seconds, before flying a small circle in the air. For a second Discord looked almost envious.

"That is amazing. You really got me Applejack. Twenty-two stars out of ten! You should have been a cook instead of a farmer."

Carefully Fluttercruel summoned a knife and got a piece of this cake for herself. She knew how strange her father's taste could be.

But soon she smiled as well.

"Wow! This is… I mean… it is not too bad."

Saying something nice is still very hard to the young chimera. I guess that in a few months there wouldn't be any flavour left that Fluttercruel wouldn't know.

"Applejack, how did you come up with this?" Discord asked the cowpony, he looked a little...confused.

"Just somethin' I thought up."

"I see...Well, it was excellent," Discord said smiling almost proudly at the pony.

One day I saw Rarity talking with the Draconequus. He was holding a long list in his eagle claw.

"Mister Discord, I need these materials and a sewing machine. Inspiration has struck and I need to create something for Lady Fluttershy. I know it will look wonderful on her."

"Sounds good, here you get everything you need."

With one snap of his eagle claw all things Rarity wished for appeared before her. Her beaming smile was wonderful and within seconds she started to sew a dress for the young chimera.

Later at the same day I saw Fluttercruel approaching Pinkie Pie and looking strangely nervous. I reacted naturally and hid in the bushes nearby and pulled out a spyglass to see where this was going.

She better not hurt the pink pony.

The young chimera didn't do anything like this. I noticed the cotton candy cloud on a dog leash she was carrying with her. Was it a present for Pinkie Pie?

They talked silently and it was weird to see the normally so smug and exited incarnation of Chaos so calm. Eventually the pink pony hugged her and both enjoyed some chocolate milk together. I had to smile.

Over the next few days we all started to play chess with her. I think she really enjoyed it. Rarity and I were pretty good and sometimes we won, sometimes the young chimera was victorious. But despite me trying my best to train Applejack and Rainbow Dash both weren't that good with this game. Maybe they just needed more experience?

Pinkie Pie however was completely unbeatable; nopony ever won a game against her. I think she was using her Pinkie Pie Sense to win. This ability made perfect sense to me.

Then Rarity's first dress was finally ready. On this small world it was hard to miss any event that happened. The white unicorn hid the surprise within a big present box.

"Lady Fluttercruel, I have something special for you."

"Is it the biggest hamburger ever created?"

"No, this is much better. Behold this masterpiece!"

The box was opened with Rarity's telekinesis and a mismatched jester-like outfit with vibrant colors and strange patterns such as polka dots and stripes emerged from it.

Fluttercruel's mouth hit the ground.

"What do you think, Lady Fluttercruel?"

"I…"

Suddenly Rarity looked very worried.

"You don't like it? I can make a new one if…"

"NO! Don't dare to change anything. I love it!"

The young chimera practically dove into the dress and in one spinning motion she slipped inside.

"Fits like a glove. And you made this just for me?"

"It is a special present."

"Well, it is not that a great outfit for races but when I will wear this the next time when I will obliterate you in a game of chess."

"Just try it. I will not go down without a fight."

"I won't have it any other way."

More and more life appeared over time on this world: Poison Joke, singing piranha plants, bees, bears with wings, juggling octopi and timber wolves. Discord created houses for us to live in. Pinkie Pie obviously chose the house made out of chocolate.

Applejack started to take care of the chaotic plants and Rainbow made sure that the cotton candy and sour candy clouds changed places often enough.

Rainbow made a bet that it would take the hungry pink pony less than one month to be homeless again. I think that was her way of warning Pinkie from eating her own house. The weather patrol pony herself took a floating house.

Rarity lived in an upside-down house and claimed that it gave her more inspiration for dresses. Applejack chose a house made out of cards and put her cooking equipment inside. She said it didn't matter much to her in what kind of house she lived as long as it was close to ours.

I chose the really strange house that was bound to the ground, seemed to be made out of wood and had no chaotic extras to be close to my friends.

In the next day Discord and Fluttercruel created their own house to be placed in the very center of this world. Pinkie Pie said that Picasso would be proud. I just wondered who this Picasso pony was supposed to be.

The next few days were mostly calm. Sometimes I had to stop Pinkie Pie from trying to drink the entire chocolate milk pool. I don't think she was serious about it. Once Fluttercruel had to chase Rainbow Dash over half of this world to get the pancakes Applejack had made for her back. Overall Pinkie Pie and Fluttercruel got along very well. Sometimes it was like watching two sisters but it was hard to tell who had the role of the older sister.

Pinkie Pie once walked up to me and seemed strangely serious.

"Twilight, I would like to know something."

"Sure what is it?"

"How do you take care of somepony who is hurt? I was hurt once and it felt really good when you were there for me. I… I wish I could return the favour for others but I don't know how."

"Well that is not easy. I read once in a book that if you can see that somepony is suffering, you need to stay strong for this pony. You need to be the one who appears confident and reliable, even if you are also hurting inside. You don't need to hide your pain forever but in this critical moment you can give somepony else strength with it."

Afterwards I explained a few first aid techniques to her. She really took this lesson to heart. I felt like the best teacher on this world afterwards.

Somehow I remember Pinkie Pie being different, more carefree. And I faintly recalled her living with two adult earth ponies. But I never saw any pony resembling them on this world. Was there an error in my memories?

But we all tried to stay further away from Fluttercruel when she practised her Chaos. It exploded much too often to be safe. I didn't want anypony to get hurt. Despite that she was a good student and learned everything I taught her about Chaos in a very fast rate. Sometimes one of my friends sat next to her and listened to my lessons. I think they found them boring but did it to spend some time with me and Fluttercruel.

I began to work on a few spells based on Chaos and some other spells I knew. It was impressive how many spells I could remember. Somehow it felt like I had spent a lifetime learning them.

There was a shield spell I faintly remember casting while Discord sat on a throne before me and I was floating next to a few other ponies. It was strange. There was no throne here. But regardless I began to create a chaotic counterpart of that spell. It felt good to take the individual components apart and create something new by using Chaos instead of mana. This new spell shaped concentrated Chaos into a powerful barrier. I had to admit that I was very proud on the result. I would teach Fluttercruel that one later.

One day Discord appeared behind me and said that Fluttercruel needed a lesson in chaotic transformation. That was actually much further back on the curriculum I had created but I thought she was ready for that. I rushed over to Applejack to ask her if she would want to help me with the lesson. The cowpony agreed almost instantly.

Again I remember her being much more stubborn. I am not sure why my some of my memories seem to contradict what I see and experience here. For now I need to concentrate on the lecture.

Soon both Pinkie Pie and Fluttercruel sat before me, ready to listen to another lesson about Chaos.

"Attention students. Today we learn about the magic of transformation. For an average unicorn this is vey difficult and requires a huge amount of magic but for a being of Chaos the ability to change forms is almost second nature. It works very similar to how you shape Chaos into objects and magic. But in this case you work with the outer layer of Chaos surrounding yourself and shape it into a different form. Just try it."

The young chimera seemed unsure but concentrated and her mane began to change. I would recognise that ballooned pink hairstyle everywhere. As Fluttercruel opened her eyes she noticed the mirror I had summoned next to me.

Her reaction was priceless. She really seemed to enjoy it and Pinkie Pie also had her fun. Then the incarnation of Chaos became a copy of Rainbow Dash. I guess the pegasus would not like it to see another version of herself running around.

"As you see as long as you understand the basics of Chaos, shapeshifting is quite easy. But unlike the disguises used by skilled unicorns or changelings, a being of Chaos can shift the entire body in nearly every way imaginable, creating tools, joke articles and weapons whenever they are needed. Try to immobilise this target."

And right on clue Applejack appeared next to me. I didn't even need to call for her. It was like we were all connected over Chaos.

"Ah don't like where this is going…"

I just knew that Fluttercruel would not hurt her and she didn't disappoint me. I noticed the hair growing out of her tail and sneaking up on the farmer. AJ didn't see it coming and soon she was trapped by the young chimera when the hair turned into a rope and lifted her from the ground.

But after a few seconds she was carefully placed back to where she had stood before. I hadn't expected anything else. Both Applejack and Pinkie Pie went back to the plants afterwards. I think the pink pony just wanted to sing along with some of the piranha plants.

Discord and Fluttercruel raced towards their house and I teleported myself there for the photo finish. I guess technically that would make me the one of won the race. Soon both almost crashed into their home/house/construct/whatever and wanted to know who won.

"Let's see… and the winner is… dramatic pause… for the first time ever Discord actually won a race."

It was not easy to say that with a straight face. He really seemed to enjoy his first win. Discord created a small golden trophy with the inscription "Fastest chaotic personification of Chaos since breakfast" and prepared to give a speech. This might take some time.

"I want to thank Fluttercruel, for being the first being since the dawn of existence that managed to actually teach me something."

Now that was a nice change of pace. I have to admit that I was speechless that he didn't take this chance to talk about himself. Fluttercruel had a similar reaction.

Some of my memories of Discord showed him acting very different: arrogant and dismissive. I am not sure what to think about that. He had always treated us with respect and could be so nice from time to time. Why would someone like him act so mean-spirited?

Soon it was almost Nightmare Night and Discord had created costumes for everypony. Only Rarity absolutely insisted to make her own costume and said she wanted to try something really eccentric. Considering what her usual designs looked like, I had no idea what to expect.

It was the night before Nightmare Night when I took the time and looked up to the stars above me. There was Ursa Minor, the thin dragon, the great water bucket, the wet Draconequus and me. Me? Why was there a constellation of me in the sky?

The strange dream I had once came to my mind. I remembered the other version of me. Something didn't add up.

I remembered reading books in a library that didn't exist on this world.

I had noticed that all of us, besides Discord and Fluttercruel, could talk telepathically. Why did I only notice that now?

Many of my memories showed me and my friends from the outside, instead of my own perspective.

I knew so much about Chaos I never remembered learning or reading about.

Why do so many of my memories not match this world? I remember ponies, houses and entire cities that seem to be missing.

Why do I have faint memories of ponies with wings and horns turning sun and moon?

Why do I remember living with a small purple and green dragon if there isn't a single dragon on this world?

Why does my house feel too big for a single pony?

What had happened to this world?

Or was something wrong with me?

Confused I walked towards Discord's home and saw him sitting on top of it watching the stars as well. Soon he noticed me and floated down to the ground.

"Excited for the big next day?" Discord asked curiously.

"I just can't sleep but why are you still awake?"

"… My dreams were very… unpleasant. So I decided to stop sleeping for a while."

"Can you tell me who the unicorn constellation represents?"

He looked at me like he had seen a ghost. But eventually the Draconequus recovered from his shock. He teleported us to the edge of the world and nopony else was there with us.

"You have really grown. I bet you don't even notice how much."

"I don't understand…"

"You will. But first let me answer your question. Her name was Twilight Sparkle but then she began calling herself Twilight Tragedy."

"But that is my name. Is she another version of me? Was she the pony I saw in my dream?"

"What dream? Tell me about it."

And soon I described to him what I saw in this strange dream. Back then I hardly thought about it but now it seemed much more important.

"I guess I own you an explanation. What you saw was my perspective of these events just before Nightmare Moon was defeated. I often watched the other world when I was bored and the future Element of Magic quickly got my attention. I had my suspicions that she was going to be the one wielding this power."

"Stop changing topics! Who is she? Who am I?"

For a moment Discord looked sad.

"Sorry, it is just much easier for me to confuse others than to make things clearer. You saw the moment where Twilight Sparkle became the Element of Magic and defeated Nightmare Moon."

"But that doesn't make any sense. I am Twilight Sparkle and I never did that."

"... I created you from Chaos. I had done that very often before but never in all these years had I ever seen Chaos so alive."

"Then I am just a construct, a fake?"

Was everything I remembered wrong? Were all my friends just puppets? Copies of real ponies?! Was I a puppet?

Was the mean-spirited Discord I remember the real one and this was just an act, just a mask and any moment he will start to laugh that I was foolish enough to believe him?

Nothing of what I did here mattered, right? I was just a puppet to entertain his daughter and now that I have realized that, he will just throw me away and replace me with another happy version of Twilight.

Surely my development was just a mistake, a glitch and the next Twilight will be a constantly happy teacher of Chaos... Maybe I just think I've developed and I've just been doing exactly what he wanted me too...

... Are these tears? No, I am just a puppet. Puppets don't cry. I-I'm just seeing things...I'm not real...

"Twilight! Do a back flip!"

"Wha… Why? Why should I do that?"

Discord smiled at me and wiped my face off with a tissue.

"If you were just a puppet, you would have followed that order without second thought. If you were just a puppet, you wouldn't cry about that idea." He showed me the tissue...it had tear stains in it.

What? Then...I really did cry? I made my own decision?

"And would a puppet ever realize she was a puppet?"

I look into his face, expecting a cruel smirk but his smile seems genuine. I guess thinking about it...I have done a lot of things that wouldn't make any sense for a puppet to do... Like realizing she might be a puppet and thinking about it. But they would make perfect sense if…

"Then… I am alive?"

"You were born from Chaos but that doesn't make you less real than others. But I saw many worlds in Truth. I saw many, many ways that life could be born. I saw machines developing a life and an identity of their own. In that world, I had a sister named Strife, she went to the top gods and petitioned them to be considered real life, and the gods agreed. There is a Twilight that calls herself Twilight Tragedy and I have also seen one that calls herself Twilight Sparkle. They are both equally real and just because you were born in a different way doesn't make you less real than them. There are other versions of me as well."

The memories he had given me showed me Twilight and her friends acting similar but also very different. Neither I nor any of my friends were perfect copies of them.

We had our own characters and I think, the longer we exist, the more different we will become.

And that makes sense. If there would be two versions of Twilight Sparkle growing up under different circumstances, it would only be normal that they would become more different over time. Anything else would be really strange. I may have been created as a clone of her, but if anything, I'd be more like her twin sister than a copy; we look alike, have some things in common... but we're not the same.

There was nothing wrong with me.

I had to smile; I guess this was exactly what I needed to hear. Discord really helped me to overcome this confusion. I believe him. I chose to believe him.

"I see. But Fluttercruel is different. Does she have a mother?"

"… Yes, her name is Fluttershy and you saw her in this dream. She is the Element of Kindness."

So she was the pony I can faintly remember and who I saw in my dream.

"Will she ever be able to meet her?"

"Why are you so worried about her? Shouldn't you be more interested in yourself?"

"I think somehow I always knew it but never put the pieces together. I just want to know about the difference between us and them. What is the other world like?"

"I will tell you what I know…"

Then Discord took the time and explained me how Equestria was like. How the ponies lived under Celestia's and Luna's rule. How the Elements of Harmony were like and how they overcame Nightmare Moon and Discord.

It was amazing to hear this. It was a world so completely different, so strange and yet so familiar at the same time. I just knew that it was true. Had they not defeated Discord and started his journey, I wouldn't even exist. And he'd still be the same person he was before, not the person I've known all my life. I own them so much.

"I'm so proud of you all...I've never been able to create something like you...my previous creations were really puppets doing what I programmed them...But this entire world...It's changed so much since I made it...and I think it, you all, and Fluttercruel are some of the only things I'm honestly proud I made."

"Discord...You've changed a lot too...I can hardly tell you're the same Discord from my dreams...I guess you aren't anymore."

He gave me a smile and I smiled back.

I learned so much in these few hours, about the world and about myself. I understood how we reflect what was happening there but also and what we did by ourselves. There was no reason to be afraid of this existence. Yet my house still felt too big for one pony.  

"Somehow I wish I had a companion, somebody like Spike, somebody who would live with me and keep me company. But I don't want to simply copy her…"

Discord looked thoughtful for a moment before a light bulb appeared over his head. Then the light bulb grew wings and fluttered away.

"How about you get a special companion as a Nightmare Night present? It could be a chimera with parts of a phoenix, an alligator and a rabbit."

"...Could the chimera also be part skunk and part snake?" My memories of the original Twilight had some bad encounters with those animals...but I thought they were interesting beings.

"Hmm...Ok, but only because of Nightmare Night. Doesn't that sound like a lovely combination?"

"Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! I love it."

Only then did I notice that I was hopping around in circles.

"Ahem. But you can take your time, you can wait until Nightmare Night is over and Fluttercruel is asleep."

I was looking forward to Nightmare Night. Sooner or later I would have to talk with my friends about this. Maybe they have already found this out on their own? Who knows? Who cares if there is somepony else who shares my name and my face? They have their own life, I have mine. I am not a puppet. I am just me.
This is a bonus chapter to a tribute to the anniversary of a series of fanfiction by :iconalexwarlorn: about the popular series “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” and takes place at the same time of “Fluttercruel: Chaos Theory”

Happy anniversary!

It is the story how the construct of Twilight awakens on Discord’s world of Chaos and what she sees and experiences there.

What does it mean to be created as a construct? What kind of life can you have on a world of Chaos? What makes you alive?

The title image is "Twilight sleeps" by :iconharmonicviper:

Previous: [link]

Next: [link]

Please comment.

Many, many thanks to :iconkendell2: for Beta Reading this story and giving me countless good suggestions and ideas for it. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you. Thank you for all your help!

MLP: FiM Copyright Hasbro.

This story even has its own page on TV Tropes! [link]
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014
I still ****ING LOVE this beauty!!!! 
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
Thank you very much!

It felt good to give these ponies another chance to shine.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013
It's still interesting to read. What strikes me is Discord CARING about her at the end.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013
I thought that after his development it makes sense (irony) for him to react like this.

At first Discord was shocked how life-like they were this time and mostly went along with it out of curiosity. At the same time he begins to care more and more for Fluttercruel and she befriends the chaos ponies. This in turn leads to him continuing to be kind to them and to notice how much they grow in this relatively short time. And he loves how unpredictable they can be.

There is nothing he can do for Twilight Tragedy (despite still being very grateful for what she has done for him with a few words) or the Twilight outside in Equestria, but this one Twilight is within his reach.

So in the end when Twilight is hurt, something Discord would normally consider hilarious, he actually cares more then enough about her to help her realise the truth about herself.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013
Very interesting.

Nightmare Eclipse for the record was completely disgusted when she saw Nightmare Phobia, seeing her as an affront to everything she thinks a Nightmare is. I never said it was logical. She's disgusted at the idea of 'parasite' Nightmares.

It's the same reason she feels disgusted at Nyx. (Nightmare Phobia and Nyx and the Nightmare Force all fall into the same category in her mind.)
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013
Ironically Nightmare Phobia is more of a child of Luna then a parasite possessing her. Somewhat similar to Piccolo and Kami of Dragon Ball or Fluttcruel and Fluttershy.

When Luna became insane from magic abuse, Discord's manipulation and being able to see that most of the mortals hated her, it was 100 % Luna who became Nightmare Moon. Nightmare Phobia was really born in the moment when Nightmare Moon was hit by the Elements of Harmony and in panic accidently cut off a part of herself.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013
Never said she was right.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013
Ironically I can understand why she hates Parasite Nightmares since they are completely different beings that merely possess the bodies of her friends and likely remind her way too much at Discord's and Fluttercruel's method.
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:iconkendell2:
Kendell2 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013
I still love this chapter, it's a nice way of showing how much Discord changed.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013
It really does and since it runs parallel to both his and Fluttercruel’s development, in the end Discord is able to heal Twilight’s soul.

The same person who broke so many minds and friendships not only tries to comfort her without hesitation but does succeed thanks to what he himself has learned.
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:iconkendell2:
Kendell2 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013
Yeah, very very true.
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:iconbrutalityinc:
BrutalityInc Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
Oh God, it drove me to tears. Nicely written!
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
Thank you. I am glad to hear that you felt something for these characters.

Was there anything you liked in particular?
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:iconbrutalityinc:
BrutalityInc Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
Was there anything you liked in particular?

Sir, I loved ALL of it.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
Thank you.

To hear that means a lot to me.
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:iconbrutalityinc:
BrutalityInc Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
So what now after you had finished the series?
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
To be honest, the next months will get very hectic and I will likely not be able to write any story for quite some time now.

I am just happy that I was able to finish this series.
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:iconbrutalityinc:
BrutalityInc Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
Okay.
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:iconsplatter789:
splatter789 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooohh! I've read this!
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
What did you think about it?
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:iconsplatter789:
splatter789 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It was great!
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012
I am glad that you enjoyed it!

Was there anything you liked in particular?
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:iconsplatter789:
splatter789 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
When Discord said "Hey Twilight do a backflip!"
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012
:)
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:iconsplatter789:
splatter789 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:)
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
Ironically they're similar to the creations of the Other Mother from Coraline, of course, it turns out that even some of her own creations can't stand her.

Who are you?

What point is there in an automaton asking that question?

Twilight?


I figured that curiosity wouldn't be part of her programming of being an exposition mouth piece for Discord's lessons to his child.

I bowed politely before my student and teleported to another part of the world.

Surprised she wasn't just flicked out of existence like most NPCs after they serve their purpose.

It was like however saw this instinctively took a step back when this happened.
It was like whoever saw this instinctively took a step back when this happened.

if they did wake me up with this.
if they did wake me up with it.

Of course, we don't really question our own memories or our own context.

In Kingdom Hearts Chain Of Memories, the memory illusion of Areith tells Sora, more or less "I sense things I shouldn't, and do not know things I should." Being the only memory illusion to interact with Sora like this, warning him that his memories are capable of lying to him.

For Twilight Sparkle, I imagine her thinking how Fluttercruel and Discord are child and parent. And it hitting Twilight that she has no idea who her parents are or what they look like.

Similar to the purple haze in Captain SNES web comic, where minor NPCs (you know the type) suddenly become aware that they have no family, no place to live, and don't even know their own name! This begins to damage reality in Video Land.

And what happens when AJ suddenly realizes she has no idea where Applebloom or the rest of her family is, or where Sweet Apple Acres is, depending how much or what information was programmed into her and if Twilight MIGHT have had an idea of her parents (if Discord had seen them too as part of his spying) AJ would HAVE NO CLUE AT ALL what her parents are or who, since they were dead before AJ would have come to Discord's attention!

This realization of TRUTH of the holes in her existence would result in a run time error.

"Mister Discord, I need these materials and a sewing machine. Inspiration has struck and I need to create something for Lady Fluttershy. I know it will look wonderful on her."

"Mister Discord, I need these materials and a sewing machine. Inspiration has struck and I need to create something for Lady Fluttercruel. I know it will look wonderful on her."

You know. It's kinda STRANGE Discord just GAVE INTO her requests like that!!! What happens when the toys become more demanding than the toy owner? Down that road lies the attitude of treating your creator like a servant.

Twilight of course doesn't even know it's illogical their world is a flat plane and while she knows Celestia and Luna are incarnate of night and day, they aren't moving the sun and moon which would be part of their basic profile.

"NO! Don't dare to change anything. I love it!"

SHE REALLY IS DIFFERENT from the other two Fluttercruels we've seen!

Pinkie Pie obviously chose the house made out of chocolate.

How long will that last? (reads a little further) I see I'm not the only one who thought of that.

It's strange. FIRST the chaotic plants take care of themselves, and suddenly AJ is taking care of them? Huh?

I chose the really strange house that was bound to the ground, seemed to be made out of wood and had no chaotic extras to be close to my friends.

In a world of chaos, the norm is abnormal.

"But that doesn't make any sense. I am Twilight Sparkle and I never did this."
"But that doesn't make any sense. I am Twilight Sparkle and I never did that."


"If you were just a puppet, you would have followed that order without second thought.

Or a first thought.

Other things of course include political, social, environmental, depending if Discord programmed that information in or not.

So Discord created doubles of two other of the mane six when Twilight began asking where they were.

Discord is the embodiment of random, but I wonder what other NPCs he created while he was at it and which purposes.

After Twilight fully awakens to the gaps and contradictions in her exist, the biological: like eating, sleeping, and the almighty going the bathroom THAT IS NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT in video games and thus the last thing NPCs themselves would think about.

The world Discord describes kinda reminds me of Minecraft. And the sad, empty, meaningless feeling you get when there's no one to share it with.

Picaso, heh, I saw what you did there, thanks.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
“Ironically they're similar to the creations of the Other Mother from Coraline, of course, it turns out that even some of her own creations can't stand her.“

Good point and it is very understandable that some of the Other Mother’s creations couldn’t stand her if you consider her control-obsessed personality and her tendency to get bored with others very soon.

“What point is there in an automaton asking that question?”

“I figured that curiosity wouldn't be part of her programming of being an exposition mouth piece for Discord's lessons to his child.”

Her reaction could also be seen as the inability to come up with a better response because of what she knows and doesn’t know at this moment.

“Surprised she wasn't just flicked out of existence like most NPCs after they serve their purpose.”

She didn’t fulfil her purpose completely. There were more lessons of Chaos planed. If you would compare it to NPCs in videogames then some vanish after their scene is over and others just stand around and give one to three replies when you talk with them. Okay, there are also games where the NPCs have their own circle of actions and follow these on their own, without the player, but these are usually rare.

“Of course, we don't really question our own memories or our own context.”

“In Kingdom Hearts Chain Of Memories, the memory illusion of Areith tells Sora, more or less "I sense things I shouldn't, and do not know things I should." Being the only memory illusion to interact with Sora like this, warning him that his memories are capable of lying to him.”

Good point, we usually don’t question our memories even if they contradict our surroundings but at first she merely notices the differences and isn’t willing or able to question them. Only later as she grows more, she begins to realise that they don’t fully add up. For example Discord gave her all memories he connected with her magic but this also meant that she would at least faintly remember events from the battle of the heroes against Discord, since Twilight did use several spells when that happened. Many memories are connected to each other and it is impossible to draw clear borders.

“For Twilight Sparkle, I imagine her thinking how Fluttercruel and Discord are child and parent. And it hitting Twilight that she has no idea who her parents are or what they look like.“

“Similar to the purple haze in Captain SNES web comic, where minor NPCs (you know the type) suddenly become aware that they have no family, no place to live, and don't even know their own name! This begins to damage reality in Video Land.”

“And what happens when AJ suddenly realizes she has no idea where Applebloom or the rest of her family is, or where Sweet Apple Acres is, depending how much or what information was programmed into her and if Twilight MIGHT have had an idea of her parents (if Discord had seen them too as part of his spying) AJ would HAVE NO CLUE AT ALL what her parents are or who, since they were dead before AJ would have come to Discord's attention!”

“This realization of TRUTH of the holes in her existence would result in a run time error.”

That is another good point. Discord did notice Twilight before her awakening, mostly since she was the student of Celestia and that got his attention very early. So it would be impossible for him to miss all information about her parents. Actually Applejack is an interesting case. I think that because photos exist in this world, she must have at least somewhere a picture of her parents and from time to time the farmer or the rest of her family may talk about them, so Discord might know at least a few things about them.

And maybe not all forms of existences need families. For example machine life would also lack a parent and maybe see their creator in a parent role. Or the Nobodies from Kingdom Hearts were created when a being with a heart was ripped apart and never seemed to long for family. But they did seem to long for friendship or at least comradeship. But then again in their case not being interested in families might be because their focus was to get their own hearts back, which is much more painful when it was later revealed that Nobodies could develop hearts of their own over time.

I think in the end realising what they miss might cause a breakdown but it might also lead to them filling the holes in themselves with something else.

“You know. It's kinda STRANGE Discord just GAVE INTO her requests like that!!! What happens when the toys become more demanding than the toy owner? Down that road lies the attitude of treating your creator like a servant.”

Well it was for his daughter as well and he is curios where this leads to. But thinking about it Celestia and Luna have the same problem. It is completely expected of them to keep the day and night circle turning. In the Shining Armor storyline it was clear what a shock it was for many beings to see Celestia not raising the sun for such a short time. The mortals took her work for granted.

“Twilight of course doesn't even know it's illogical their world is a flat plane and while she knows Celestia and Luna are incarnate of night and day, they aren't moving the sun and moon which would be part of their basic profile.”

Good point. I should add this as one of the things she does eventually notice. Thank you!

“SHE REALLY IS DIFFERENT from the other two Fluttercruels we've seen!”

I am happy that this worked out. While she does share a few character traits with her other versions, she had her own history and completely different persons influencing her, resulting in a very different person compared to the other Fluttercruels.

“How long will that last? (reads a little further) I see I'm not the only one who thought of that.”

:)

“It's strange. FIRST the chaotic plants take care of themselves, and suddenly AJ is taking care of them? Huh?“

In her case it is more like the plants CAN take care of themselves but Applejack LIKES to take care of them, when she isn’t cooking something.

“In a world of chaos, the norm is abnormal.”

Exactly, it wasn’t easy to come up with a different description for a normal house, since to Twilight it wouldn’t appear normal but the opposite.

“Or a first thought.“

Yes, she wouldn’t think about it at all. Do you think “without any thought” would sound better in this situation?

“So Discord created doubles of two other of the mane six when Twilight began asking where they were.”

Yes, after he recovered from being surprised that she even was able to ask where they were.

“Discord is the embodiment of random, but I wonder what other NPCs he created while he was at it and which purposes.”

Good question. Considering that the world is not that big there wouldn’t be that many functions to fulfil. He could set up ponies to take care of supplying Applejack with ingredients for her food and Rarity with materials for her dresses. Or maybe actors for plays, “Cupcakes” was a success (or will be a success at this time).

“After Twilight fully awakens to the gaps and contradictions in her exist, the biological: like eating, sleeping, and the almighty going the bathroom THAT IS NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT in video games and thus the last thing NPCs themselves would think about.”

Actually she did eat and sleep in this story. But you are right going to the bathroom is such a rare event in videogames that I can remember that it was almost a running gag in some videogame series that despite showing huge buildings where people where suppose to live in, there often wasn’t a single bathroom.

“The world Discord describes kinda reminds me of Minecraft. And the sad, empty, meaningless feeling you get when there's no one to share it with.”

The machine world seems empty and sad at the first glance, especially when you think about it that the machines might remember their creators and that they have lost them all. But on the other hand they might over time build their own society and create their own children.

“Picaso, heh, I saw what you did there, thanks.”

You are welcome.

And thank you for the long comment and for all the corrections!
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
And dude, all your points are valid about how family is where you find it. I'm just saying for the original AJ, family crisscrossed every aspect of her life, so it depends what memories if any her double was given which would trip that there was something important missing.


“Or a first thought.“

Yes, she wouldn’t think about it at all. Do you think “without any thought” would sound better in this situation?

Maybe.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
Good point. Applejack is - even in the show - the main character who shows the connections to her family the most. The next one would likely be Rarity with her bond to Sweetie Belle but even that doesn't come into play in most episodes.

Since Discord must have mostly seen Applejack work on the farm and interact with her family, her copy must have memories of that as well. And they should mean a lot to her construct.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
YOu really think Rarity would notice Sweetie Belle isn't around? It depends how often Sweetie is WITH her sister.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
Good point. It would really depend on how often Sweetie is with her parents and how often with her sister.
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:iconeric-emanwu:
eric-emanwu Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Also, love the reference to the law of survival petitioning to make machine life considered life.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
Thanks. It did fit the theme of this story very well.
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:iconeric-emanwu:
eric-emanwu Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
So not only has Fluttercruel and Discord become something different, but even the avatars are beginning to gain free thought? Discord's become almost more powerful for this: creating LIFE? He's become much more unpredictably powerful and good. Twilight with her pet draconequs. Nyuck, Nyuck.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
They all begin to develop and change. Discord’s earlier constructs did reflect how empty he truly was before his journey through Truth. But Discord’s change and the interaction with Fluttercruel and the other constructs allows Construct!Twilight to grow and gain free thought. And she really thought that the chimera Discord promised her sounded really cute.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Don't have time to read it all the way right now.

But I have to say I'm actually surprised she HAS thoughts at all when she's first made since she was created just to give a face to Discord's exposition.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
Take your time. Read it whenever you want to.

But the thoughts she has at the beginning are extremely limited and mostly relate to her function to give exposition. Even when she isn’t able to come up with a name for herself at the beginning, she is hardly fazed by that.
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:iconbrutalityinc:
BrutalityInc Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Interesting take...
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013
How was it seeing her develop her own Ego?
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:iconbrutalityinc:
BrutalityInc Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013
A welcoming development.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
How is it interesting?
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:iconbrutalityinc:
BrutalityInc Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Interesting in the way a facsimile of Twilight gradually develops individuality from its own programming and the few scraps of memory it was given.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
She was created merely to recite lessons about Chaos to Fluttercruel from information downloaded into her from Discord with an overlay of Twilight's personality. Like an NPC made in RPG-Maker. Or a character from a holodeck adventure on StarTrek.

But Discord didn't think to simply erase her after he was done like he normally does.

And she began to THINK, and above all the one thing an NPCs NEVER EVER DOES, she QUESTIONED! And she suddenly began to realize the contradictions in her created reality rather than one that had evolved.

She basically went from being mindless, to sentient, to full blown SAPIENT!

And of course feeling emotions that fell outside her context as Fluttercruel's chaos teacher.
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:iconbrutalityinc:
BrutalityInc Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
Yeah, pretty much.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
And then she ultimately does the only thing living things can do.
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:iconbrutalityinc:
BrutalityInc Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
I know. :tears:

She will be remembered dearly, as a heroine and a living being.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012
And the mane six will have no idea their clones ever existed.
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(1 Reply)
:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
You've read the other parts right?
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:iconbrutalityinc:
BrutalityInc Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Yes. I did. The Truth section in Unwanted Half Pt 2 is brilliant.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Thanks.

I got the idea to show their POVs from alexwalorn.
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