Fanfic / Chains

Chains, written by BookyBrony, is an Alternate Universe Fic set in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic universe where humans exist in Equestria, but there's one major catch:

The humans have become enslaved by the Equestrians.

Indeed, for reasons unknown even to ponies today, humans have become a source of slave labor to their pony masters, being either used for basic hard labor or as a status symbol.

The story centers around one human boy in particular named Chains, who started out just before being bought by the parents of one (then filly) Twilight Sparkle, and was assigned to be her personal servant. However, the story focuses on how the slave boy Chains and the friendship he forms with his said Pony mistress which gets progressively stronger as the years go by.

Can be found of Fanfiction Dot Net here and Fim Fiction Dot Net here.

This Fanfic contains examples of:

  • After the End: In chapter 15, humanity is implied to have nuked itself back to the Bronze Age.
  • Anti-Mutiny: Celestia actually funds several anti-slavery rebel cells.
  • The Atoner: Subverted. Even though she's currently working behind the scenes to set the humans free as soon as possible, Celestia honestly believes that she can never be truly redeemed for allowing the humans to be enslaved in the first place.
  • Darkfic: Actually mostly subverted, because despite the dark twist placed on the humans, the fic mostly follows the MLP canon to a reasonable extent, to the point where Equestria could be looked upon as a Crapsaccharine World merely from the humans' point of view.
  • Delaying Action: This was Celestia's true purpose for proposing the enslavement of mankind to the counsel and her strong desire to capture Prince Taelon alive on the day he came to visit her castle; her goal back then was to keep Taelon safe and the counsel occupied long enough until she could come up with a plan to set things right later on. But that plan literally went out the window when Taelon committed suicide before he could be taken into custody.
  • Dirty Business: Not a day goes by that Celestia doesn't regret her part in mankind's enslavement. She's seen weeping over it at several points and she can't even look Chains in the eyes because he reminds her of the human prince she betrayed, telling him that she feels ugly when she does. It's eating her, but she stands by her decision...
    • Celestia also has to explain to Luna that, sadly, some of the arguments made by the ponies that are pro-slavery actually do have some merit: Equestria's crop and food production is currently at an all time high thanks to the large plantations that utilize slave labor, as is the country's mining for mineral resources and rock farming. And not only that, if/when the humans are freed, there's then the questions of "Where would they live, what rights would they have, and how would the former slave owners be compensated for their loss of their greatest resource," questions that most ponies don't care to ask.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In chapter 17, Chains punches Blue Star in the face after he tells him Twilight would be better off without him.
  • Easily Forgiven: Zig-Zagged; Luna is willing to forgive Celestia for imprisoning her in the moon for a thousand years, but she's clearly not happy about the whole Slave Race thing.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Nightmare Moon saw Chains for the first time and found out he's a slave, she was actually somewhat disgusted by it, and this dislike still sticks when she's restored back to Luna.
  • First Time Feeling: Happiness, for Chains, when Twilight treats him like a friend, rather than property (or worse). He smiles for the first time ever.
  • Follow the Leader: There's now a ''Humans Enslaved by Equestrians" group on FIMmFiction.
  • For Want of a Nail / In Spite of a Nail: The presence and enslavement of humans has obviously changed the overall world and backstory drastically, but so far the Nightmare Moon arc largely follows canon.
  • Grave Marking Scene: Celestia visits Taleon's grave. It's implied she dug it herself too.
  • Happiness in Slavery: After he was bought by Twilight's parents, Chains has shortly developed a strong friendly relationship with Twilight and her family, and is well appreciated for his work.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Subverted and deconstructed - turns out part of why the ponies enslaved humanity was because they feared how humans were not only pretty technologically advanced, but also omnivores. And not every pony is on board with this whole slavery thing either...
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Celestia claims this in defense of her and the court's choice to enslave humanity, but Luna isn't buying it for a second.
  • I Die Free: Prince Taelon, when confronted with Celestia's betrayal, hurled himself from a balcony.
  • Interspecies Romance: Chains and Twilight.
  • JerkAss: Blue Star, a unicorn Royal Guard for Twilight in Canterlot. He constantly acts condescending towards Chains, to the point of Fantastic Racism... and attacking Chains and trying to cut off his hands. He's stopped by, and subsequently kicked out of the Royal Guard, by Shining Armor.
  • Karma Houdini: Blue Star beats Chains and is about to cut off his arms when he is stopped by Shining Armor and Celestia, who merely fire him from the Royal Guard, charge him with property damage and banish him from the castle. Subverted in that Shining Armor considers Chains a close friend and is disgusted that this is as harshly as he can punish Star.
  • Lawful Stupid: Celestia allowed the enslavement of an entire species rather than defy the council, because she was worried that if she overthrew them she would become a tyrant. This despite the fact that slavery is about as tyrannical as it gets.
  • Lured into a Trap: Celestia invited Prince Taelon over to her castle the day after she signed the enslavement order, the purpose being to cut him off from any potential reinforcements and separate the rest of humanity from their beloved leader, thus making their enslavement that much easier. Taelon himself was under the impression that he was simply coming over for an extended stay with his best friend/love interest, but when Celestia revealed the truth to him, he killed himself, completely unwilling to live for even a single moment as a slave.
  • Meaningful Name: Twilight gave Chains his name in response to the chain marks he had when they first met as children, though it could also symbolize the position he and rest of his species are currently in.
    • May double as Line-of-Sight Name since she got the idea from seeing the chain-marks on his wrists.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Of the Shared Unusual Trait variety. Chains looks so much like the Prince of the Azure Dawn that Celestia can't look him in the face without her guilty conscience tormenting her.
  • My Greatest Failure: It was Celestia who proposed that the ponies enslave mankind, she herself having been too weak-willed and fearful of what she may become to stand against the counsel, especially Head Couselpony Purpleborn IV, when they began plotting against humanity.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: It turns out that not every pony in Equestria accepts the humans' enslavement. Pegasi are largely abolitionists; it's mentioned that many pegasi boycott businesses that use slave labor, and Rainbow Dash is even somewhat hostile towards Twilight when they first meet because of this; after she ran her over, she was determined to have nothing to do with Twilight-until she found out Chains can read. Applejack has human twins working on her farm, but they don't wear slave collars and she even considers them unofficial members of her family. She also mentions (quite proudly) that the Apple Family has never had much use for slave labor.
    • Fridge Brilliance kicks in with the pegasi when you remember they mostly live in (literal) cloud cities where humans wouldn't even be able to go. Even though cloud walking spells do exist, only unicorns can cast them and they are only temporary. In addition, even with such a spell humans wouldn't be able to work the weather, which makes up by far the majority of the pegasus ponies' industry. With their inability to function in a practical role and the sheer impracticality in even attempting to keep one as a status symbol, pegasi have no real cultural bias to be pro-slavery and can view it more objectively.
      • Even more Fridge Brilliance is that the pegasi could be considered Equestria's equivalent to the industrial working class next to the earth ponies' agricultural and unicorns' upper/aristocratic classes. Abolitionism flourished in the wake of industrialization.
    • Also, Luna is not at all happy to see what her sister did.
  • Mundane Utility: Rarity mentions that she'd like to purchase a human, but not for the status symbol they would give. She just thinks it'd be nice to have some help around the shop.
  • Not So Different: Nightmare Moon states that Celestia can't claim moral superiority to her if slavery is legal.
  • Real Men Cook: Chains is a great chef.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Contrary to what some people might think, Princess Celestia remains basically as reasonable and benevolent as she is in the MLP canon, even allowing Twilight to bring Chains with her when Celestia offered to personally tutor her. And while it is clear that she did allow for the enslavement of the humans, it's quite clear she took no pleasure in it and she can't look Chains in the face because he reminds her of the Prince she betrayed.
    • Twilight could be considered this as far as being Chains' mistress and Spike's boss goes.
  • The Reveal: Chapter 15 finally reveals why humans are enslaved. It's Disproportionate Retribution for two humans 300 years ago eating a pony, although the original plan was genocide.
  • Sacred Hospitality: Brutally violated; see Lured into a Trap above. One commenter even stated that this is a major no-no in even the most cruel and barbaric of cultures.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Not only has Celestia been secretly providing aid to multiple anti-slavery rebel cells across the kingdom for years if not decades, which she admits qualifies as "high treason" in and of itself, but she is also plotting the assassination of the current Head Couselpony as part of her plan to set the humans free sooner rather than much, much later.
  • Slave Collar: Ensorcelled to constrict on command.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Some slave owning ponies make a game out of seeing how badly they can maltreat their charges before they'll fight back.
    • Some humans are so ill-treated by their masters that they go insane.
    • It is also mentioned that humans were used in gladiatorial fighting rings for the public's enjoyment, but pegasai abolitionists were able to stop the practice. Underground fighting rings still exist, though.
  • Villain Decay: A meta example. The Royal Guard subjugated an entire species 300 years ago, but are shown in the TV show to be incapable of fighting its way out of a wet paper bag, and can be effectively replaced in it's entirety by a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits consisting of a schoolgirl, a seamstress, a homeopathic veterinarian with near-crippling social anxiety, a track-and-field athlete, a farmer, and the village loony.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Luna is none too pleased to find out the humans have been enslaved, and accuses Celestia of having been too weak willed to execute her Deadly Decadent Court as its cause. When Celestia also refuses to make slavery illegal immediately, Luna only has more fire to her anger.
    • Also occurred in the comments after Chapter 15, due to the reveal that Celestia was so quick to suggest slavery and doesn't appear to have made any effort to improve the living conditions of slaves. One commenter described her failure to do anything like this: "It's less like rushing into a burning building and more like stopping the arsonist from starting the fire in the first place. Celestia hasn't even been walking, she's been sitting for 300 years. By now the fire has spread and the house and rest of the town have already burned down."
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fanfic/Chains