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Fanfic / MANE

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MANE, or M.A.N.E, is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic created by the author Br Brony 9 and published on It takes place in an alternate universe where the ponies have developed advanced technology, including aircraft and nuclear weapons, roughly equivalent to modern-day earth. The story revolves around a cold war between Equestria and their rival superpower, the Union Of Saddle Republics, or USR. With both sides possessing nuclear weaponry, an uneasy peace has held between them for some time. The events of the story kick off with a dispute between the two nations. Tensions rise as the story plays out, until things reach a breaking point. The story follows the Mane 6 and a host of background characters through the crisis and its aftermath. It can be read here:


M.A.N.E. contains examples of:

  • Abandon Ship: The Captain of the ENS San Franciscolt orders his crew to abandon ship after it is hit by anti-ship missiles.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Princess Celestia agonizes over the death and destruction that launching Equestria's nuclear arsenal will cause. Shining Armour reasons with her, saying that millions will die anyway and she would be failing her subjects if she allowed the USR to destroy them without hitting back.
  • Anti-Air: During the attack on the ENS San Franciscolt, the destroyer defends itself using anti-air missiles.
  • Apocalypse How: The nuclear attack likely causes a Class 2 apocalypse.
  • Apocalypse Wow: Chapter 8, 'Second Sun,' describes the destruction of Ponyville in excruciating detail.
  • Big Red Button: Averted. Launching a nuclear strike is not as simple as pushing a big red button. Princess Celestia has to go through a long series of steps to order the strike, and once it is authorized, the launch crews in the silos have to go through another, separate string of checks and confirmations before they can even start the launch procedure.
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  • Big Dam Plot: Subverted. The Hoofer Dam suffers a near-miss nuclear strike, but the sturdily built structure withstands the blast. Everything else around it, however, does not.
  • Blood from the Mouth: The mare trapped in the derailed train car.
  • The Brigadier: Several; General Charger, Shining Armour, General Storm.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Fluttershy wets herself during the nuclear attack.
  • Captain Oblivious: Pinkie Pie remains stubbornly unaware of exactly what is going on, despite Rainbow Dash's continued shouting, even dismissing the noise from nearby nuclear blasts as just thunder. Only when Ponyville itself is hit by a nuclear warhead does she finally stop smiling.
  • Cool Chair: The chairs in the missile silo's launch control centre, mounted on shock absorbers to cushion the effects of a nearby nuclear detonation.
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  • Cool Plane: Celestia's 'doomsday plane.' Also the Outlaw heavy bombers and, mentioned in passing, the Equestrian Air Force's high-altitude spy plane.
  • Cool Ship: The ENS San Franciscolt.
  • Clip Its Wings: Happens to the Equestrian airliner in Chapter 3 after being attacked by USR interceptors.
  • Death from Above: The ICBMs, and the purpose of the Outlaw heavy bombers.
  • Death of a Child: When Rarity leaves the bomb shelter, one of the burned corpses she sees in the street is that of a foal. It is also heavily implied that Sandy Oak, the foal watching his father's bomber squadron take off, is killed, to say nothing of the inevitable infant casualties in Manehattan (including Sweetie Belle) and other cities.
  • Death Trap: The Mayor's emergency command centre in the basement of the town hall. Unfortunately the building above it does not stand up well to a nuclear blast.
  • Deflector Shields: Canterlot is protected by a magical shield that can be raised in the event of an attack. However, Twilight expresses her uncertainty over whether magic can resist nuclear detonations at all.
  • Doomed Hometown: Ponyville.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted. The Ponyville fire department find it very difficult just to drive into town from their dispersal area. Nothing is heard from a medical convoy similarly prepositioned. Radio communications are shown as being difficult after the nuclear attack due to the ionization of the atmosphere caused by the explosions.
  • EMP: The various nuclear blasts cause EMP effects, knocking out unhardened radios and electronics, including the air raid sirens.
  • Evil Chancellor: The leader of the USR is referred to as the Chancellor. However he is the Head of State, rather than an assistant.
  • Exact Words: When asking Princess Celestia for assurances that an unidentified aircraft that penetrated USR airspace was not an Equestrian spy plane, Ambassador Silver Birch is told, 'the Equestrian government would never authorise such an incursion,' and, 'this incursion did not come from Equestria.' In actual fact, the flight was authorized by the head of the Equestrian Air Force, not the government, and it took off from Saddle Arabia, an Equestrian ally.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The USR is an obvious expy of the Cold War-era Soviet Union, since the whole story is essentially 'ponies fight the Cold War.' The USR is just one letter away from being the USSR, after all! It stands for the 'Union of Saddle Republics.'
  • Fighter-Launching Sequence: Sandy Oak watches one of these while he is standing outside Hoofstead Airbase. He later sees his father's bomber squadron scrambling, but does not realize that this time This Is Not a Drill.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The fanfic's title is an example: it stands for Mutually Assured Nuclear Extinction.
  • Heroic Fire Rescue: Averted. When the fire department convoy comes across a burning house while they are trying to reach Ponyville, a stallion flags them down and begs them to save his wife who is inside. Battalion Chief Firebrand tells him that their job is to get to town, where the damage is worst and where their skills and equipment are needed the most, that they can't afford to waste their limited water supply putting out a house fire that is already fully involved, and that with the house burning so fiercely his wife must be already dead. They leave him disconsolate by the roadside.
  • Hide Your Children: Averted. Foals are mentioned entering the bomb shelter along with their parents, Sandy Oak stands watching aircraft take off from Hoofstead AFB right up until the missiles hit, and Rarity sees the charred corpse of a foal in the street.
  • Hotline: Princess Celestia suggests the installation of a hotline between her palace and the Chancellery in Stalliongrad, but the Chancellor refused to have it installed as he did not recognize Celestia as the rightful leader of Equestria. Comes back to bite them later when the USR mistake an exploding ammunition dump for a tactical nuclear strike and begin to retaliate with their own missiles. Their communications have to go through the USR embassy instead, by which time it is too late.
  • House Fire: The fire department convoy comes across a fiercely burning house fire while trying to get into Ponyville. They tell the owner they can't afford to waste their water supply on his house since it is already too far gone to be saved. He begs them to save his wife but is informed that if she is inside, she is already dead.
  • Instant Emergency Response: Averted. After the nuclear attack, the Ponyville fire department takes a long time to get into the town from their dispersal location thanks to numerous hazards on the road.
  • Man on Fire: Happens to officer Surehoof when the Hoofer Dam is hit by a nuclear warhead. Later, when Rarity emerges from the bomb shelter, she sees charred corpses in the streets.
  • Military Alphabet: During the silo launch sequence, the two officers read off their authorization codes using the Equestrian military alphabet; A-Apple, U-Unicorn, etc.
  • Mistaken Identity: After shooting down an Equestrian airliner, the USR claim to have mistaken it for an Equestrian air force surveillance aircraft.
  • Mutually Assured Destruction: This concept was the reason why there had been peace between Equestria and the USR; both sides possessed enough nuclear weapons to destroy each other. The title, M.A.N.E, is also a pun on this, as it stands for Mutually Assured Nuclear Extinction.
  • Nuclear Option: Princess Celestia is left with no choice but to authorize the use of Equestria's nuclear arsenal when The USR launch their missiles after mistaking an ammunition dump exploding for a tactical nuclear detonation.
  • Oh, Crap!: Panic in the streets when the sirens sound, and a slightly more organized panic in Celestia's war room when confirmation of the first nuclear detonation comes in. A more personal 'oh crap' moment from Lieutenant Dawn Crest, as realization dawns that the missiles on his screen are real. "The thought, that single, terrifying thought, had just struck him. The missiles were heading for Equestria, and he was sitting in the middle of one of their first targets."
  • Potty Failure: Fluttershy suffers from this while cowering in the fallout shelter.
  • Pretext for War: The USR use Equestrian spy plane overflights as a justification for invading Saddle Arabia, where the flights originated from. The real reason is that they want access to Saddle Arabia's natural resources.
  • The Radio Dies First: Partially averted- the military and emergency service radio networks have been hardened against EMP, so the emergency dispatchers are able to continue transmitting until the blast wave destroys their building. However, during and after the nuclear attack, radio communications are shown to be subject to considerable interference due to the EMP and ionization effects of the nuclear blasts. Played straight when Cloudsdale is nuked, the airburst detonation knocks out the radio of Surehoof's police cruiser, which is NOT hardened against EMP.
  • Red Alert: Several Examples:
    • Police officer Surehoof hears Air Attack Warning Red being broadcast over his car radio.
    • Captain Swift orders his ship to action stations when they pick up unidentified aircraft on radar.
    • Princess Celestia receives several 'Priority Mercury' NUCFLASH alert messages during the invasion of Saddle Arabia.
  • Right Hand vs. Left Hand: Ambassador Silver Birch tries his best to maintain cordial diplomatic relations with Equestria, but finds it difficult when he has to try and cover up the USR's provocative actions. He is frequently outwitted in his war of words with Princess Celestia.
  • Scenery Gorn: The description of the destruction of Ponyville, and the ruins when the characters emerge from the rubble.
  • Shout-Out: The scene in the bomb shelter where one of the police officers calls for a blanket to cover up the dead pony is almost identical to a scene from Threads where one of the members of staff in the emergency command centre does the same thing. The collapse of the town hall onto the command centre underneath and a character wetting themselves in fear when the missiles start falling are also lifted from Threads.
  • Shown Their Work: The description of the nuclear warhead that destroys Ponyville goes into realistic detail, as do the procedures required for Princess Celestia to order a nuclear strike, and the procedures the silo crews have to go through to launch their missiles.
  • Spreading Disaster Map Graphic: In the palace war room, a digital map displays the progress of the USR invasion of Saddle Arabia. The Strike Warning Centre also has a large board displaying the tracks of incoming ballistic missiles.
  • This Is Not a Drill: Spoken word for word by Captain Swift when ordering his ship to combat stations. Also used in the Strike Warning Centre, where one of the operators slowly comes to realize that what he sees on his screen is not an exercise. Subverted in the first scene in the nuclear missile silo, where in fact the alert and the order to launch actually is a drill.
  • The War Room: There is a war room in Canterlot palace from which Princess Celestia directs military operations. Also applies to the Strike Warning Centre.

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