The Petriculture Cycle by Kwakerjak is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction
series that all starts with Twilight asking the question: "Just what IS 'rock farming', anyway?"
Suffice to say, the answer turns out to be far more complicated than she could have imagined...
The series consists of the following five stories: Petriculture
, and Pandelirium
. (Also, as the premise of each successive story is more or less grounded in the surprise ending of the previous story, be extra careful of spoilers below!)
With the ending of Pandelirium
, the author has declared the cycle complete.
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- Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Penumbra, without fail, quits or gets herself fired from every job that she can find.
- An Entrepreneur Is You: Penumbra's final solution to steady employment is to just go into business for herself! As a cloud artisan she gets to both bring back an old tradition and not have ponies question her attitude at work.
- Berserk Button: Scones are supposed to be PLAIN.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Subverted. Penumbra is unquestionably good at several the jobs she applies to, but ends up losing each one due to her own person being... less than unquestionable.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Considering the plot of the Cycle at large, the story synopsis is essentially: Nightmare Moon goes job-hunting.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: Take a guess.
- I Read That As: Penumbra applies for a job as a barrister which turns out to be a position as a barista for Starbucks.
- Morton's Fork: Penumbra being a thousand years old, she has no idea how modern workplace relations work. In the various jobs she tries, she is sent mixed signals of the highest degree, in one instance being fired for being too cold and "only doing her job" while in another quitting over sexual harassment.
- Mundane Utility: Penumbra is a pseudo-alicorn super-pegasus with enhanced everything. What does she consider most useful? Her super preening oil! That she is actually a thousand years old just means she has planty of experience with preening feathers!
- Noodle Incidents: Because Penumbra withholds details from her letters in an effort to put the most positive spin she can on her actions, many of the events described come off feeling like these.
- Overcomplicated Menu Order: We have a "venti two-thirds decaf low-fat soy caramel macchiato with whipped cream, mocha sprinkles, and a sprig of hay. And a cranberry orange-peel scone."
- Scrapbook Story: The story is told through a collection of letters written from Penumbra to Luna (whose responses are not included).
- True Art: An In-Universe example, and Penumbra's reasons for selecting cloud sculpting and construction as her final job. She just got fed up with the mass-produced versions floating around everywhere.