Lazy Pines is a small town in the high country of Colorado, easily overshadowed by the bigger sights to see along Colorado State 9. When influenza strikes the town hard, it is little more than a statistical blip in a typical flu season. No one thinks any more of it as the initial wave of infection passes ... until the other symptoms begin to manifest.
Meanwhile, during what should have been a routine trip to Canterlot, Twilight Sparkle, Starlight Glimmer and Rarity stumble upon a strange anomaly which turns into an all-consuming mystery. As they discover the complex web of magic stubbornly maintaining this mystery's secrets, the Princess of Friendship grows worried what it could mean for herself and her family.
And as the residents of Lazy Pines struggle to understand — or even believe — what is happening to them, two worlds have irrevocably been set on a direct collision course.
The sequel takes place six months later, with everyone trying to adjust to the new world. However, humans are beginning to develop magic themselves, while human and pony separatist groups vie for power. Worse yet, there appears to be a conspiracy in the FBI, opposed by a mysterious council of Night Ponies. It is complete.
The main stories can be found at:
There are also a number of side stories by multiple authors:
- Pony in the Mirror
- What You Are Meant to Be
- Picking Up The Pieces
- Monsters We Make
- Desert Gateway
- Big Apple.
There was also an anthology of short stories by multiple authors in the works.
The "main storyline" clocks at over 800k words, with all of the recommended side stories bringing the total to well over a million. All stories are either complete or ongoing, and have a complete character page.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: After the transformation is complete the ponies in one shelter including a number of adults start to look towards 17 year old Laura as their leader, a role Sunset is more then happy to see Laura take up. Lampshaded in Chapter 40.
- Adaptational Villainy: In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, Sunset Shimmer was Celestia's power hungry and prideful student. While bad, she was mainly an Alpha Bitch for much of the movie who eventually reformed after being transformed into a demon. Here, she is a driven Mad Scientist who uses biological warfare to transform billions of humans against their will into ponies.
- Adorkable: Starlight's lampshaded opinion of Twilight's foalhood journal entries in chapter 22.
- Adult Fear
- Sarah and Harry witness their daughter, and later the rest of the family including themselves go through a bizarre, unknown disease no one can provide treatment or even an explanation for, even as it tears apart their lives with effects that ma be irreversible. Dr. Kevin Connor went through something similar, witnessing his wife die of cancer, which is what motivates him to try and find a cure for the transformation virus.
- Twilight and her family witness their relative, Sunset, become a horrific villain. Twilight herself is conflicted about her feelings toward Sunset, being appalled by what she is doing while still loving her and fears what will happen to her once human authorities get to her.
- Derpy was originally a young female griffin who got kidnapped from her parents by Sunset, and was subjected to her twisted experiment, turned into a different form. That would make anybody fear for their children.
- Sarah eventually learns that her daughter Laura has become good friends with a Mad Scientist and bioterrorist bent on transforming all of humanity into ponies and thanks to the FBI can't so much as warn her daughter about the potential danger and what's worse by this point Laura has started to view said Mad Scientist as something of a second mother and then there is the possibility that Laura may continue to look up to the bioterrorist even after learning the truth about her and Sarah is all to aware that there is nothing she can do about it.
- Aerith and Bob: The fact that some of the transformed are taking on more traditional pony names lead to this, though which is "Aerith" and which is "Bob" depends on whether one is from Earth or Equestria.Strong Hooves: My name is Strong Hooves, and this is Jim.
Jim: Yeah, yeah, I know, I haven't quite bought into the whole pony naming thing. Lemme 'lone.
- Affably Evil: Sunset. Despite being crazed enough to magically experiment on another species, she isn't cruel about it. She spends some of her time in Lazy Pines trying to help guide the newly transformed humans, genuinely becomes good friends with Laura, and despite Twilight opposing her, she merely sends her far away, refusing to hurt her beloved niece. Even when she debates her goals with Star Singer, she is mostly polite and civil during the debates, plus she's more genuinely insane then outright evil as she is completely incapable of seeing what she is doing is wrong.
- Aliens Speaking English: Zigzagged. Sunset didn't start out speaking English, only learning it after entering the human world. Twilight and Starlight only are able to speak Latin and Greek, the former only useful when speaking to a Catholic priest, who allows Twilight to use an English translation spell on him.
- Ambiguously Evil: Triss as while she appears to be benevolent there are to many questions about her motivations and goals to be completely trusted.
- Apocalypse How: Sunset's main goal is to trigger a benevolent Class 3a version of this attempting to transform all of humanity into Equestrian Ponies, but Twilight's interference lowers it down to a Class 1 as with millions permanently transformed around the globe humanity has no choice but to adapt, it also doesn't help that the most powerful and influential nation in the world also happens to be the hardest hit.
- Arc Words: The word responsible is this for Lauras character arc as until she gets her cutie mark her whole life for the last 9 years has been defined by her desire to be more responsible and her Character Development is all about her moving beyond this rather vague goal and finding a real purpose in life, on top of that responsibility or rather the lack of it also happen to be major themes in regards to both Jenny and Eileen and the word "irresponsible" comes up more than once.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Starlight gives one to Twilight in Chapter 18 (see Wham Line below for details).Starlight: Would she have had time to scream?
- Batman Gambit: After the direct approach failed due to Twilight protecting her, Sunset takes advantage of America's policy of not negotiating with terrorists and Twilight's ignorance of said policy in order to pull off a Suicide By Soldier.
- Big Bad: Sunset Shimmer.
- Big Bad Friend: Sunset has become this to Laura under the guise of Sadie 'Sunny' Sommers and though Laura is initially unaware of who Sunset really is or what she has done the friendship is genuine on both sides to the point that Sunset has become something of a second mother to Laura and even when Laura does learn the truth about Sunset she has an increasingly hard time viewing 'Sunny' as anything other then her supportive friend and even continues to use her nickname.
- Broken Pedestal: a few examples.
- A two part villainous one for Sunset Shimmer. First in regards to Celestia when Sunset learns that Celestia not only wiped her from both history and the memories of her loved ones but also turned Twilight against her and then towards Twilight when Sunset realizes that Twilight has fully rejected everything Sunset has ever taught her and is fully intent on doing everything she can to stop Sunset.
- An initially Downplayed example for Laura when she learns that her friend Sunny is really Sunset Shimmer and was responsible for all the transformations as while Laura is trying to maintain her newly gained self confidence without falling back on Sunset's pep talks she's having an increasingly hard time seeing Sunset in a bad light and has accepted the transformation to such an extent that not only is she struggling to see what Sunset did was wrong but actually wishes she was turned into a pony a long time before she actually was, however once Sunset openly admits to what she is doing and why the pedestal is thoroughly broken but it does result in a partially Rebuilt Pedestal posthumously where Laura decides to honor her good memories of Sunset while still looking towards the future by taking on the name "Sunrise Storm" as well as taking Sunset's nickname "Sunny" as her own.
- Cassandra Truth:
- Deconstructed with Fred Turner. When serving in Afghanistan, he came across a refugee child really Sunset in disguise, that did not appear in any government records. His continual affirmation in the child's existence led to him getting discharged from the army. This turned him into a conspiracy freak, believing the government was trying to hide something from him.
- When Starlight and Twilight arrive on Earth, it takes them quite a bit of time and effort to convince anyone that they are not transformed humans, but actual members of that species from a different world.
- Catchphrase: Agent Hellers Ill take this under advisement or some variation of the same.
- Clarke's Third Law: Discussed when an FBI Agent witnesses Twilight demonstrate her magical abilities. He scoffs at explaining away such power as "magic".
- Deuteragonist: Starlight Glimmer, Dr. Kevin Conner and Jenny Tanner all fill this role rather nicely.
- Starlight is basically Twilight's Sidekick and when the story focuses on Earth if it is not following Laura or her family it is usually following Kevin and those around him, that is prior to Twilight and Starlight arriving and even then he continues to receive the same amount of focus, on top of all that Jenny goes through just as much Character Development as Laura does if not more so and has a major subplot involving a storm that happened when she was 5 which is somehow connected to Sunset and thus the transformations themselves.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Princess Celestia is this until the end of Chapter 14 as her need for secrecy turns Twilight, Starlight, Luna and the rest of the Mane Cast against her especially when it's discovered that the secret Celestia is trying to hide directly involves both dark magic and Twilight's own family.
- Doing In the Scientist: Its only after Twilight and Starlight convince humanity of the existence of magic that the CDC are able to prove a direct link between the flu and the strange transformations despite the obvious correlation and before the two Equestrians show up humanity had absolutely no idea how to explain or deal with all the transformations. Though this is Downplayed and Played With as magic is treated as a science with its own laws and structure just like physics and Twilight Sparkle a magical prodigy describes herself as a scientist.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Josie gets a mention and is seen leaving Dr. Conners office in Chapter 5 and gets another mention in chapter 17 and Emma had an unnamed appearance in Chapter 15 when Laura spots her out of a crowd of fellow high school students quite a while before either of them were properly introduced, and little Molly and her mom Theresa also had cameo appearances several chapters before their names were revealed.
- Early Installment Weirdness: None of the stronger night pony magics, nor the dreamwardens, are shown here, and none of the dreamwarden's societal modifications are present in Equestria.
- Ensemble Cast: this story is told from the perspective of quite a large number of characters, especially on the human side.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite the two of them being on opposite sides and working against each other Sunset adores her niece Twilight and was very much a Cool Aunt to Twilight when she was a filly, foalsitting her, mentoring her and celebrating her magical abilities. Unfortunately as the trope implies she ended up turning into an Evil Aunt, and when she learns in Chapter 42 that there is no hope of bringing Twilight to her side and that Twilight was prepared to kill her if necessary, she comes to view her niece as a traitor and a disappointment. In another example Sunset eventually developed genuine affection for Laura which only highlights the tragedy of just how cold and calculating she has become in general by the time of her death.
- Evil Aunt: This is what Sunset is to Twilight in this story, albeit not by intention. Sunset and Twilight were very close when Twilight was a filly, but her desire to forcibly transform an entire species turns them against each other, however it's slightly Downplayed as mentioned above Sunset is more legitimately insane then truly evil.
- Ex-Big Bad: Starlight Glimmer was a one time cult leader/dictator and later used Time Travel to get revenge on Twilight for taking down her cult/dictatorship, but was eventually talked down and reformed by Twilight. She offers her own unique perspective and abilities as a former villain who was not to unlike Sunset to help put an end to this crisis.
- Expy: In a Downplayed and unintentional way Laura is yet another one for Twilight as they both have had their lives set up by a pony with a ton of magical power and a sun motif whose influence literally gave them wings and then both of them went on to take the lives they were given and made them their own and both of them had very close relationships with Sunset, who was quite the Cool Aunt to Twilight when she was little and became a surrogate mother to Laura.
- First Installment Wins: The majority fan opinion, based on comments from the sequel, courtesy of the inclusion of the dreamwardens.
- Five-Man Band: There are two examples of this trope in this story.
- Lauras Family resembles this trope quite nicely
- The Hero: Laura, one of the two protagonists who ends up turning into a pegasus.
- The Lancer: Jenny, one of the three deuteragonists who ends up temporarily turning into an earth pony.
- The Smart Guy: Bob, the family geek who ends up turning into a unicorn.
- The Big Guy: Harold, the father, and an outdoor type of guy who ends up turning into an earth pony.
- The Chick: Sarah, the mother, and an archaeologist who ends up turning into a unicorn.
- Sixth Ranger: Both Eileen and Sunny qualify with the former being Sarahs sister and Bobs biological mother who forces her way into town during the quarantine despite being very sick while the latter ends up becoming something of a second mother to Laura.
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: Sunny however is really Sunset Shimmer who is responsible for practically all the hardships this family has had to deal with over the last 9 years including both the transformations and the huge storm that nearly killed Laura and Jenny when they were young and left them both traumatised for nearly a decade.
- When Twilight and Starlight start working with the humans, the group starts to resemble this trope.
- The Hero: Twilight Sparkle, the Princess of Friendship and co-protagonist who wants to stop her deluded aunt Sunset.
- The Lancer: Starlight Glimmer, a reformed villain and Twilights personal student who is mostly just along for the ride.
- The Big Guy: Agent Anthony Heller, the very cynical FBI agent in charge of the criminal investigation into the crisis.
- The Chick: Dr. Sandra Marlowe, the head of the medical side of the crisis from the Colorado Department of Health.
- The Heart: Dr. Kevin Conner, Lazy Pines' local physician who is one of the few immune to transformation.
- The Smart Guy: Everyone sort of juggles this role depending on the topic: Twilight and Starlight are experts on magic and all things related to Equestria while the other three know all about Earth and more specifically Agent Heller is an expert on criminal investigation and U.S. law while both Kevin and Sandra are human medical professionals.
- Lauras Family resembles this trope quite nicely
- Full-Name Ultimatum: Sarah pulls this on Jenny after a police officer informs her of Jenny's latest reckless misadventure.
- Genre Roulette: While this story is over all an urban fantasy family drama (focusing primarily on the Tanner family and Twilight Sparkle's own family) thanks to the Rotating Arcs it also starts out as a medical mystery half the time and a political mystery the other half before eventually turning into a race against the clock philosophical bio-terrorism thriller.
- Godzilla Threshold: Twilight eventually gets so desperate to stop Sunset that she agrees to let Starlight use her Cutie Unmarking spell on her and gives the green light to let human snipers kill her should that plan fail. She then used a spell that would likely have killed Sunset had she not willingly let Starlight's spell hit her.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Chapter 33 reveals that there might be some sort of cosmic tier threat or monstrosity roaming around in humanity's dimension that seemingly eats magic. Sunset's plan may very well result in humanity's extinction at the hands of this threat if it succeeds — worse still, once it wipes out humanity, it may well use the portal on Earth to invade and devour Equestria as well!
- Hero-Worshipper: Twilight used to be this for Sunset Shimmer as a filly however this went away after Twilight got her memories of Sunset back though Twi still greatly admires her aunts magical abilities.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: If Sunset never informed the griffons of her spell, Celestia would have never suppressed all memory of her and it would have been much harder for Celestia to counter what Sunset taught Twilight, also if Sunset had remained in the shadows instead of taking on a human identity Twilight and Starlight would have had a very hard time convincing humanity of her existence let alone guilt and thus would likely still be alive and well on her way to finishing her plans.
- Hourglass Plot: Laura started out mostly drifting through life while Jenny was sure about herself roles which reversed after the transformation with Laura sure about her path in life and Jenny unsure, also Laura starts out as the rational one who is reasonably freaking out over the transformation even breaking down into tears when her tail came in while Jenny just roles with it as one of her fantasies, however after much Character Development for the both of them again come to switch places as Jenny starts to become the rational one rethinking everything and eventually deciding to become human again, while Laura slowly but surely comes to embrace her new life as a magical pastel colored pony to such an extent that she is among the first to earn a cutie mark thus ensuring that she will be a pegasus for the rest of her life which happened 'right' after an argument with Jenny where Laura stubbornly refuses to rethink her transformation and only comes around after learning the truth about Sunset but even then she doesn't want to become human again, not that it matters anymore.
- Insane Counterpart: Sunset Shimmer is one to Twilight, Celestia and even Cadance.
- Like Twilight, Sunset is an incredibly powerful magical prodigy renowned for doing the seemingly impossible who was at one time Celestias star student and Sunset was even at one point a viable candidate for ascension to alicornhood and was being groomed by Celestia to wield the Element of Magic both things that ended up happening to Twilight, they both also happen to have older brothers.
- Like Celestia, Sunset picked out a young girl with a lot of potential and worked hard to give her a truly wonderful life while also literally giving her wings though a forced and irreversible transformation though unlike Celestia with Twilight, Sunset did all this with Laura mostly from the shadows until towards the end game and did so by convincing her to throw away her own past, Sunset also tried this with Twilight but Celestia managed to counter that, though by using some morally grey methods.
- Like Cadance, Sunset used to foalsit Twilight and Twilight absolutely adored Sunset similar to how she eventually came to adore Cadance though with Sunset it was more of a case of hero worship than anything else.
- It's All About Me: Jenny puts her love of fantasy role playing above the present reality, pissing everybody off to no end though through Character Development she comes to realize this about herself and starts to grow out of it.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Agent Heller is absolutely right that human society can't handle millions of people permanently transformed into magical pastel ponies with a very different cultural identify to humans showing up in what is effectively the blink of an eye, in fact no society is prepared to handle such an extreme demographic shift.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Agent Heller. While he's not exactly a nice guy (the word Hell is in his name), his heart is in the right place and he wants to do the right thing, though he defines "the right thing" as "the right thing" for the country rather then for it's people, though he is an FBI agent.
- Killed Off for Real: This happens to Sunset in Chapter 52, tragically just after Twilight has seemingly convinced her to cooperate with human authorities.
- Knight In Sour Armor/Sour Supporter: Starlight Glimmer, who is indeed very cynical about Celestia's motivations, and who is more focused and pragmatic about their trip to Earth than Twilight.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: In addition to the Canon Characters such as Twilight, Starlight and Sunset, this story has a very large number of named OCs.
- MacGuffin: Star Singer feels this way about the Elements of Harmony. Twilight disagrees.
- Mad Scientist: Sunset Shimmer modified the flu to slowly transform humans into ponies and is attempting to use it against all of humanity, Starlight even refers to her as such.
- Meaningful Rename: By the end of the story a number of new ponies take on more traditional pony names with Laura in particular taking on the name Sunrise Storm or Sunny for short as both a tribute to her good memories of Sunset and as a break from the past, feeling that she needs to focus on the future.
- Mind over Matter: Humans transforming into Unicorns quickly learn basic levitation.
- More Than Mind Control: What Sunset is doing with the transformed ponies, using the transformations tendency to make those changed perfectly comfortable in their new bodies and a dream/vision to convince them to come around to her world view.
- My Greatest Failure: Celestia comes to believe that the whole situation with Sunset and Twilight is this even more so than having to banish Luna to the moon.
- Mystical Plague: Sunset modified the influenza virus to magically transform humans into ponies complete with magic powers.
- Next Sunday A.D.: The story takes place in March 2023 but the only reason you would be able to figure this out is based on lines stating that this story happens in late winter 21 years after 9/11.
- Oh, Crap!: Starlight lets out two big ones in Chapter 50, when she realizes that Sunsets cutie mark is about to be set free and another when she sees for herself that Sunset has escaped which also qualifies as a Precision F-Strike given her word choice.
- One-Word Title: Named because a flu is an important part of the story.
- Parental Substitute: Laura eventually comes to view Sadie AKA Sunset as somewhat of a second mother.
- Patient Zero: John Barrows the Lazy Pines chief of police feels this trope applies to Fred Turner. Dr. Conner makes no effort to disabuse him of this notion even though he disagrees with the terminology preferring "index case".
- Point of No Return: Twilight and Starlight come to view getting a cutie mark for the transformed humans as this, after which they will likely be ponies forever, and among the very first to cross this point is Laura just like Sunset wanted.
- Precision F-Strike: So far there have been four once by Starlight in Chapter 34 and the other three by Twilight, Starlight and an unnamed soldier all in chapter 50.
- Reality Ensues: The U.S. Government does not negotiate with terrorists so when Sunset who is viewed as such tries just that she ends up getting Killed Off for Real though she really used this fact to pull a Suicide By Solder.
- Related in the Adaptation: In this story Sunset Shimmer is Twilight's aunt.
- Rotating Arcs: For the most part the chapters alternate between following Twilight and Starlight in Equestria and following Laura and her family as well as the events in Lazy Pines. Later, Twilight and Starlight arrive on Earth, where the story eventually settles on a similar pattern of focusing on Twilight and Starlight and then on Laura and the residents of Lazy Pines.
- Self-Deprecation: A little bit in Chapter 13.Dr. Conner: This has got to be the most bizarre thing I have ever encountered in my life. It sounds straight of a bad sci-fi story.
- Suicide By Solder: Sunset knew that the U.S. Government would not negotiate with her when she refused sedation fully aware that trying to do so would result in her death, she even tried it more directly by going against directions before Twilight saved her even if it was in vain.
- Super Strength: Humans transforming into Earth ponies begin exhibiting enhanced physical power in the middle of their transformations.
- Tempting Fate: Early on in Chapter 2 Twilight talks about how Chrysalis was the last real outside threat to Equestria, but latter on in the story we learn about the Devourers magic eating monsters from Earth's Universe that could use the portal to travel from Earth to Equestria.
- The B Grade: Twilight was once traumatized over getting an A- on a report she did on when the griffons threatened Equestria with war.
- The End of the World as We Know It: By the end of the story it is clear that the world has been permanently changed by what has transpired and this change has been directly compared to the death of the old world and the birth of a new one.
- The Immune: Due to a mutation that allows him to passively channel magic into his immune system, Kevin's body is able to fight off just about any disease, including Sunset transformation virus.
- The Mind Is The Plaything Of The Body: As more people start transforming into ponies, they gradually come to accept themselves as ponies, and their very social dynamics start changing to resemble them too. The reclusive farmer Turner and the introverted Laura become more social and open about their anxieties. And they start using pony terms unconsciously. This is justified In-Universe; as the method that Sunset's transformation curse uses to change it's victims messes with their heads to make it seem as if they were always meant to be ponies.
- The Protagonist: Due to the way this story is written we have two Twilight Sparkle and Laura Tanner, the later of whom fits despite the large Ensemble Cast and the Loads and Loads of Characters as half the story mostly revolves around her and her family with Laura getting the most focus.
- Title Drop: The word pandemic is used in Chapter 27 and Chapter 40 and in a meta example Twilight uses the phrase friendship is magic in Chapter 34.
- Tragic Villain: This is what Sunset ultimately is she started out living an idyllic life with a loving family and being well on her way to becoming an Alicorn Princess, but her shortsighted nature caused her to throw all that away in pursuit of an ambitious goal which not only is completely pointless but fails to see it fully realized and in the end when she realizes that she gave up everything for no reason at all and has nothing left to live for she winds up pulling a Suicide By Soldier despite Twilight's attempts to stop her.
- Unperson: Celestia erased all memory, both historical and mental, of Sunset, knowing that the merest knowledge of the latter's germ warfare could lead to outright war from other nations.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Sunset's reason for thinking that the transformation is in humanities best interest.
- Villain Has a Point: When Sunset Shimmer is confronted by the fact that Equestria defeated the prophesied threats without her plan, she cuttingly asks exactly how they did so, pointing out that, in the end, Equestria survived through what boils down to luck.
- Villainy-Free Villain: Princess Celestia acts as one until chapter 14 as she was forced to suppress all memory of Sunset Shimmer in order to prevent a war and she does come to regret doing so especially having to wipe her memory from the minds of Sunset's family including her beloved niece Twilight Sparkle.
- Viral Transformation: The transformation of people to ponies is spread by a flu virus. Sunset was able to use the self-replicating properties of viruses to replicate the magical properties of her transformation spell within a person.
- Walking Spoiler: Sunset Shimmer's very involvement is a spoiler, as is everything else about her, which is mostly why there are so many spoilers on this page, same applies to both Triss a dragon like being from humanities universe who asended to become her races equivalent of an Alicorn billions of years ago and the Devourers giant magical eating monstrosities/biological space weapons.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist:
- Sunset engaged in her biological warfare program as a means of protecting Equestria; her belief was that by vastly increasing the pony population, there would be a much larger pool of magic to use to combat the threats that Star Singer prophesied.
- Princess Celestia chose to erase the memories of Sunset to prevent war. This included Sunset's own family, and she still chose to cover her tracks from Twilight and even her own sister Luna.
- Wham Chapter: Just about every single chapter qualifies to some extent and with dozens of chapters that's just way to many to properly list though one of the biggest is Chapter 49 where Laura obtains a Cutie Mark rendering her transformation into a pony irreversible.
- Wham Line: These happen a lot due to the shear amount of Wham Chapters.Twilight: It's dark magic noteTwilight: Sunset Shimmer. noteJenny: They kinda looked like horse ears. noteHeather: Hooves, His feet have turned into hooves. noteTwilight: I think she was searching for a way to make the transformation permanent. noteHeather: It looks like it's coated in glass, doesn't it? noteCelestia: Sunset planned to deliver her spell by utilizing a virus. noteCelestia: She was not seeking to open a portal to another part of Equestria, she was seeking to open a portal to another universe. noteStarlight: Would she have had time to scream? noteSadie:: My name is Sadie Sommers, but all my friends call me Sunny. noteStar Singer: I was responsible for what Sunset claimed she believed. noteStar Singer: She had a condition where one eye drifted, so she had trouble focusing. noteSunset: I sensed only one pony traversing the portal. noteStar Singer: That little sample you gave me? Something in it is channeling magic! noteCelestia: Oh, my dear, poor, deluded Sunset, how could a pony so brilliant be so horribly wrong? noteStarlight: You believe that Star Singer saw a vision of some sort of magic-eating monster? noteStar Singer: Devourers? There's more than one?! noteEmma: L-Laura! On your hindquarters ... i-is that ...?? noteAgent Heller: Terminate Sunset Shimmer. noteLaura: I'm going to be as happy as I can, and be the best pegasus I can be, but not because of you ... but in spite of you. note
- Base-Breaking Character: The Dreamwardens. Seriously, read the comments on any chapter containing them.
- Continuity Lockout: Courtesy of several important, but less-read, side stories. This became a problem with certain plots.
- Doorstopper: While this trope is normally associated with Truly Massive works, in relative terms, this applies. The first chapter comes in at nearly 14000 words, and most others are at over 10000. Few of ASGeek's other works or chapters beat the 8000 word mark. and only the last 2 chapters of the first story exceed 10000.
- Kudzu Plot: Lots of changes between different characters and stories every several chapters, though they all intermesh and conclude.
- Not Quite Back to Normal: Many individuals remain in their partial transformation state after the virus was dispelled. Jenny herself retained some elements of her transformation, like super-strength, and many others, including Jenny and Ryan, are developing unique magics.
- More Than Mind Control: Averted, here. Not only is Ryan's magic outright mind control, but the vision is viewed and shown by the Dreamwardens to have been true mind control right now.
- The Mind Is The Plaything Of The Body: Magic appears to operate this way, no matter the species. This doesn't necessarily make it safe, however.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Dreamwardens, until they become the Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering.
- Tragic Villain: Downplayed with Ryan. He may have been tortured by Sha'am, but he still decided to use his peculiar talents to mind-control people of his own free will.
- Averted largely with Fuller. He claimed to want a safer US, but appeared to be more interested in personal power.
- Averted in a different way with the Dreamwardens- their main goal was to ensure that no one realized that a large portion of the pony population was theoretically capable of mind control. When that became impossible, they asked for openness and legitimacy.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: The Dreamwardens. Unusually, a heroic example, though an unpopular one.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: A downplayed example with the Dreamwardens- they wanted a society with free minds.
- Especially with Sha'am: She cared more about having a purpose than creating any utopia. She decided on eternally torturing herself when she realized that her ego hurt the Warden's cause.
- Walking Spoiler: Just about everything involving the Dreamwardens. And Ryan's real name, late in the story.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Fuller, possibly. And maybe Ryan/Billy/Night Song. And evidently the Dreamwardens.
Pandemic: What You are Meant to BeMatthew Gilmore of Charleston, South Carolina, is transforming into a night pony during the ETS crisis. A friend of his discovers a greater complication, however, when she reveals that his sex is changing; Matthew had likely been transgender and deeply closeted, helped in no small part by being attracted to women. Matthew meets, and grows close to, a fellow night pony. Taking the names Phobia Remedy and Rosetta Stone, the two try to begin understanding their new world. It is complete.
- Gender Bender: Matthew/Phobia. Zigzagged, in that he was a deeply-closeted and transgender, but unaware of this until the transformation.
- Second Law of Gender Bending: Matthew
- The Fundamentalist: Charlotte/Sunset and Tom start off as this. Sunset stays as this, albeit with a different bent.
- Slice of Life: Most of the Story
Pandemic: Picking Up the PiecesPhobia Remedy takes on a new position of power amongst the night ponies, despite personal difficulties. Meanwhile, Rosetta considers marriage to Phobia, and other family issues, while the woman Devon must deal with raising two pony foals. Meanwhile, Tattered Wing adjusts to a new life in law enforcement, and Sunset Blessing adjusts to Machiavellian politics. Complete.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The first story wasn't exactly full of humor, but this one includes shades of Gray and Black Morality and has a darker overall storyline, along with the slice of life elements.
- Cosmic Horror: The Dreamwardens eventually become this.
- Doorstopper: Almost as long as The Lord of the Rings, and containing vital information for the sequel.
- Dream World: Formed from the consciousness of all magical beings, including any humans with any exposure to the ETS virus, but where entire sentient beings, as well as knowledge, can reside.
- Gray and Black Morality: What is justice, and who should be dispensing it? And how, and when?
- Kudzu Plot: Becoming dreamwarden, taking care of children-turned-foals, reuniting a family, handling a rape, dreamworld trials...
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Magic Ais Magic A: averted with regular pony magic, and dream magic.
- Missing Plot Point: Phobia being transgender is how we were introduced to the character. This fact is largely irrelevant in the sequel, only being relevant as part of Sunset's character development.
- Photographic Memory: Apparently, Tonya has this, because she was able to remember everything that she said and did (including her own thoughts) when she realized that Phobia had been raped well enough to satisfy a dreamwarden trial by sharing said memories.
- Poor Communication Kills: A downplayed example, but Phobia caused all kinds of consternation when it was revealed that she knew Tonya didn't kill Swift. Up until that point, that had been a major driver of the plot.
- Power Creep: The Dreamwardens are by far the most powerful beings in the setting.
- Rape as Drama: Phobia, early on.
- Voluntary Transformation: The Broken One Dan must decide whether to rehumanize, or live with his injuries.
Pandemic: Monsters We MakeThanksgiving, six and a half years after ETS, life in Riverview goes on. Wild Growth goes around the world, working to restore the environment and to provide crops (and make a killing in cash); Jessica the six-year-old is a child prodigy, just starting High School, waiting for a human brother and collating knowledge on Astronomy, hoping to shortly join NASA; Tonya helps her wife, Sunset Blessing, enable temporary transformations. Yet, events are moving forward, and life is changing. It is ongoing.
- Child Prodigy: Jessica, who is just at the edge of what humans have ever done. Justified, because the magic of ETS may have caused it, with her having been born severely prematurely.
- Karma Houdini: The Dreamwardens committed many technical crimes, and were very guilty of conspiracy, yet they faced no repercussions for doing so. Neither did Luna, for creating immortals in human society.
- Missing Character: Phobia has a viewpoint character for the first two stories in the series. Not this one, though.
- Welcome Episode: To it's sequel, departures.
Pandemic: DeparturesAfter travelling around the American Southwest, seeing human wariness, isolationist hydroponics farms and a cult in the Grand Canyon, the Dreamers begin building an Oasis in the Desert, where ponies and humans can build a better future. Complete.
- Actual Pacifist: Most of the ponies are this, aside from some night ponies. Unusually for a pegasus, tinker averts this, inventing pony-compatible self-defense weapons.
- Not So Episodic: The several seemingly-unrelated plot threads come together near the end.
Pandemic: Desert GatewayThe Oasis in the desert hits a slight snag: Oases require water. To rectify this, they hire a fledgling weather team from Marquette, Michigan to assist them in controlling the local weather. One small problem: that isn't strictly legal. It is complete.
Pandemic:Pony in the MirrorTesting out a time spell, preacher Sunset Blessing meets her past self. Complete one-shot.
- All Just a Dream: Unusually, this one impacts the real world. It was also spell-induced.
- Stable Time Loop: Creating one is the entire plot.
Pandemic: Big Apple
- Big Applesauce: Well, what did you expect?
- Furry Reminder: Ponies are required to carry blankets onto public transportation, to protect the seats from their hooves.
Pandemic: HopeBart, cursed by a debilitating disease which afflicts his mental stability, spends the vast majority of his days at the Saint Junivus Psychiatric Ward. He faces a constant uphill struggle to piece apart reality and fantasy, and he is dogged to do it alone.
When a global outbreak changes everything about his already shaky reality, he must explore what life means to him. The ETS (Equine Transformation Syndrome) pandemic could become his salvation... or it could become the very thing that forever breaks his mind.