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Aftermath of the Games
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Aftermath of the Games is a My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Fan Fic written by Darth Link 22, the creator of The Nuptialverse and About Last Night....

After the whole mess with Midnight Sparkle, Cinch gets some well deserved comeuppance. But after seeing her get hers, Twilight begins to wonder why she should have got off so easy while her principal gets all the blame.

Alternate Universe in what happens at the very end of Friendship Games and the season 5 finale.

A sequel, Integration, is currently being made. Help on the subpages will be appreciated if you are able to contribute.

Careful of a couple of Late Arrival Spoilers in Integration.


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Aftermath of the Games provides examples of:

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    Aftermath of the Games 
  • Abusive Parents: Considering how Cinch treated her own students, especially Twilight, it's no surprise she's this emotionally for Fleur.
  • Alternate Universe: Slight changes are made to the ending of Friendship Games and the season 5 finale of the show.
  • All Therapists Are Muggles: Shining and Cadance realize pretty quickly that they can't take Human Twilight to one about what she's been through, since nobody would believe them. Sci-Twi's newfound friends and Sunset's experiences of being forcibly turned into a demon herself more than make up for it.
  • Alpha Bitch: Fleur De Lis is Sci-Twi's main bully at Crystal Prep and was stated to lead other students to bully Twilight.
  • The Atoner: The reason why Sunset is still living in the human world despite being welcome back in Equestria now is so she can learn how magic works there. She then wants to teach people how to control it and adjust to the big change when it becomes more widespread, since she was responsible for bringing magic there in the first place.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Both Shining Armors are this to their respective Twilight, especially with the Human version raising his sister after their parents were killed. Puppy Spike even stated that their Shining Armor tried to train him to attack any boy that comes near Twilight. Though, in Pony Armor's case, it's more to protect jerks from what an enraged Twilight would do to them.
  • Brick Joke: Cinch's severe allergy to dogs is only mentioned once in canon and is no reaction is seen in the movie despite her being near Dog Spike in a few scenes. In this fic, Spike manages to slip into Cinch's unlocked car offscreen, shed his fur all over it, and set off Cinch's allergy as revenge for abusing his master.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Just like in canon, Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna weaponize this trope when they point out to Cinch that nobody would believe her if she tried to expose CHS's magic to the school board or the media.
    • When Cadance tells Shining about what happened at the Friendship Games, he admits that he would have been completely skeptical if it weren't for Spike's new talking abilities.
    • This trope is also why Sci-Twi can't see a dream counselor about the nightmares she suffers after the Midnight Sparkle fiasco; nobody would believe what had happened to her if she or anybody else in her family told them, because All Therapists Are Muggles.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The CMC, as part of their punishment for the Anon-a-Miss incident, agreed to help out Sunset for whatever she needed from them for a full year. Sunset tells the Cutie Mark Crusaders that playing with the young Starlight Glimmer (who followed Princess Twilight, Captain Flash, and Dragon Spike through the portal) will be considered their service for the week. When Princess Twilight asks about it, Sunset says that they're done serving their punishments they received from both the school and their families.
    • Another one to the Holiday 2014 special: Sunset states she hadn't had a nightmare since Christmas, and it's made clear that the Humane Five still feel guilty for what they had done during that comic.
    • When Princess Twilight tells her human counterpart how musical numbers are part of the magic in Equestria, Sci-Twi realizes that's why she was singing in the halls of Crystal Prep on the way to Cinch's office.
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart:
    • In the third chapter, Sci-Twi asks Sunset if she has her own human counterpart somewhere. Sunset explains to her and the others that after figuring out how to use a computer, she looked up her own name and discovered that her human self lived in another town and died in a car accident, and her own parents died of grief soon afterwards. It's the reason why Sunset decided to keep her name.
    • Princess Twilight was horrified upon finding out that the human versions of her parents were dead. Applejack and Apple Bloom had pretty much the same reaction when discovering that the pony selves of their parents died many years ago.
  • Death by Despair: This happened to the original Human Sunset's parents after her death.
  • Drunk Driver: Berry Punch killed the human version of Twilight's parents while she was driving drunk three years prior. She suffered no harm herself, except she was arrested and is currently serving a few years in prison.
  • Easily Forgiven: Justified and Deconstructed; Everybody forgives Sci-Twi for becoming Midnight Sparkle, as they know she had been bullied and blackmailed by Cinch into releasing the magic, and because Sci-Twi was never as mean as Sunset was. However, she's still haunted by her actions and fears the chance of giving into her dark side again. She's also left wondering why Cinch doesn't deserve the same treatment until Sunset explains that, unlike Sci-Twi, the principal refused to take responsibility for her actions and didn't care if people were almost hurt or killed in order to guarantee her legacy.
    • Also, Crystal Prep being Easily Forgiven for pressuring Sci-Twi into opening the amulet is justified because they owned up to their actions (and they didn't realize that uncontrolled magic would massively corrupt Sci-Twi), helped save everybody from falling through the portals, and rallied against Cinch's tyranny after Sci-Twi was brought back to normal.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: In the epilogue, a newly-fired Cinch walks into her home office to see Miss Chrysalis, don of the Changeling mob, sitting at her desk and drinking a glass of wine from her private collection. The implication is that although she's offering Cinch an opportunity to get revenge for the loss of her job, she'll be the one calling the shots in their master plan.
  • Everybody Has Standards: The Crystal Prep Shadowbolts are among the first to defend Twilight from Cinch and call her out on her actions. They also go with Principal Celestia's story that a bunch of vandals blew up the top of the Wondercolts statue when the police investigate, as a way of thanking CHS for saving the world.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In her first nightmare after the Games, Midnight Sparkle appears before Sci-Twi, and psychotically tortures the people that have given Sci-Twi the most misery note , and can't believe Sci-Twi wouldn't enjoy seeing her tormentors suffer and die.
  • Engineered Public Confession: By catching Cinch blackmailing Sci-Twi, Cadance effectively exposed the Principal's true colors. This, in turn, ensured that Cinch received her just desserts.
  • Fix Fic: To various Karma Houdini aspects in canon.
    • Cinch gets a much harsher punishment for her actions; She doesn't just lose Sci-Twi and Crystal Prep's winning streak to CHS, she gets her job, her reputation, and any future chance of employment destroyed.
    • "The Cutie Remark" ending is altered so the original Starlight Glimmer was Retgoned for her crimes. Meanwhile, the child Starlight with no memories of her old life became Princess Twilight's student.
  • Freudian Excuse: Word of God confirmed that the reason Fleur bullies Sci-Twi is because she has to listen to her mother, Cinch, all day and endure her berating for not being a top tier student like Twilight, so she takes her anger out on Sci-Twi.
  • Happily Adopted: Sunset was adopted by the Apple family after the Fall Formal.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Once Dragon Spike crosses through the portal, Fluttershy gives him a new collar that's in the shape of a dragon so they won't confuse him with Puppy Spike.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Rainbow Dash is this when she doesn't understand what's the big deal with cutie marks or why losing one is so bad, believing them to just be pictures. She sees her mistake soon afterwards when Sunset compares it to Rainbow having both of her legs permanently broken.
  • Intellectual Animal: Puppy Spike claims that besides now being able to talk the magic didn't affect his intelligence and he has always understood what people have said around him. Since everybody's eating lunch when he says this, all of them (except for Fluttershy and Sunset, both who are vegetarians for obvious reasons) stop eating and wonder if all animals are as intelligent as Spike. He assures them that farm animals are completely mindless and after a few seconds, they eagerly go back to their meals. Sunset (while sharing Fluttershy's disappointment) is relieved that at least the new magic won't affect human diets.
  • Interspecies Romance: Princess Twilight and Human Flash Sentry continue their mutual crushes from the films. Amusingly Sci-Twi and Captain Flash also develop a small crush for each other.
  • Kill and Replace: Averted. The story answers what became of the Human World's version of Sunset Shimmer. She died in a car crash and her parents eventually died of grief soon after. Much to Equestria Sunset's consternation, the Humane 5 originally thought she had done this while she had been a villain.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Unlike in the film, Cinch is punished for her action of pressuring and blackmailing Human Twilight in the games. Dean Cadance had gotten suspicious of Cinch desperately wanting Sci-Twi into the Games and calling in Shining Armor to convince her to do so. She had set up her hidden phone on record and caught Cinch blackmailing Twilight on it and stated that she will show it to the school board but will go easy on Cinch if she puts Twilight's application through. By the end of the story Cinch has resigned as Principal with Cadance replacing her, and no school will even consider her for what she has done.
    • When Fleur tries bullying Sci-Twi in front of her new friends when they are all hanging out, she is quickly ganged up on by the others, threatened by Rainbow Dash to leave her alone, and banned from the music store for six months by Vinyl.
    • The change in the season 5 finale involves this; Starlight Glimmer has been trying to Retgone the Mane 6's friendship as revenge for freeing her society from her totalitarian rule. When she shows Princess Twilight her past about living in an abusive orphanage and Sunburst being the only person who actually cared about her before being sent to Canterlot, Twilight realized how to stop the time loop and defeat Starlight without killing her. Twilight trapped adult Starlight in a crystal, found the filly Starlight, and offered her a chance to come with her to the present and to become her personal student. After some convincing, the young Starlight took the deal. By the time adult Starlight broke free of the crystal and tried to land a final blow, both she, her "free society", and the events of "The Cutie Map" were Retgoned, and everything else in the original timeline got restored.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The only clothes Sci-Twi has besides pajamas are her school uniform, since she doesn't really go anywhere else besides Crystal Prep. Rarity practically dragged Sci-Twi to Carosel Boutique to fix that as soon as she found out.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Princess Twilight isn't willing to tell the young Starlight Glimmer about her Retgoned psychopathic older self yet, but does assure everybody that the young girl will know the full story eventually.
    • Everypony who isn't the Mane 6, Spike, the princesses, or Shining Armor don't know about the whole time traveling deal, just that Starlight came from a bad orphanage.
  • The Mafia: The human version of the Changelings are an infamous mafia group who specialize in creating fake identities and profit off of them so they can pull off crimes. Sunset admits she paid them off with gems she brought from Equestria when she ran away so she could get documents to register at Canterlot High and so nobody would question her origins. Chrysalis seeks out Cinch at the end for an unknown purpose concerning magic.
  • My God, You Are Serious: Rainbow Dash doesn't understand how traumatic it is to have a Cutie Mark taken away until Sunset compares it to having a crippling injury causing you to never being able to enjoy the thing you love the most ever again.
    • In a more heartwarming example, Sci-Twi scoffs at the idea of Sunset ever being evil, or Princess Twilight being a Shrinking Violet.
  • Narnia Time: Between the human world and Equestria. Whereas it's been twelve years in Equestria since Sunset first fled through the mirror, in the human world it's only been about two. Though now that the worlds are more permanently linked, time is syncing up.
  • Never My Fault: Principal Cinch, as explained by Sunset, doesn't deserve any forgiveness or a second chance because she truly believes that she has done nothing wrong and is in the right. This can also apply to the sirens since they refused to try to change after they were defeated.
  • Nightmare Sequence: After the Friendship Games, Sci-Twi suffers a nightmare where she is running from Midnight Sparkle who is telling her to accept her as the real her and everything she wants. Midnight even tortures the figures of Cinch, Fleur, and Berry Punch, three figures who have caused Sci-Twi nothing but pain.
    • She has another one during the sleepover where Midnight Sparkle hangs Sci-Twi by marionette strings and forces her to murder everybody Sci-Twi cares about.
  • Orphanage of Fear: Starlight Glimmer was raised in a pretty bad one, which is why she was so devastated by Sunburst, the only pony who cared about her, abandoning her. It's also the reason why the younger Starlight was so easily convinced by Princess Twilight, who wanted to take care of her and love her, to come with her to the future.
  • Parental Abandonment
    • Sci-Twi's parents were killed by a Drunk Driver, leaving Shining Armor and Cadance to raise her. Princess Twilight was horrified when she found out.
    • Sunset mentions her parents dumped her at an orphanage as a foal, making it clear they didn't want her.
    • Starlight Glimmer was also raised in an orphanage.
    • Averted with Human Applejack's parents, who are still alive. She and Apple Bloom weren't happy when they found out from Princess Twilight that their pony counterparts were dead.
  • Parental Substitute: Princess Twilight to the younger Starlight Glimmer, something lampshaded by pretty much everyone.
  • Promotion to Parent: When Sci-Twi's parents died when she was thirteen, Shining Armor and Cadance were fortunately old enough to take custody of her to keep her out of the foster system.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Rainbow Dash telling Fleur to pick up Sci-Twi's stuff after she shoved her.
    Rainbow Dash: Pick. It. Up.
  • Redeeming Replacement: Played with in an interesting way in regards to Starlight Glimmer. In this universe, Princess Twilight wasn't able inspire a Heel Realization in adult Starlight during the climax of their time traveling fight, so Princess Twilight instead brought her younger self to the present. This Retgoned the villainous Starlight, while Princess Twilight took the younger one on as her student so that she could give her a fresh start and a chance at being a better person and hopefully prevent her from becoming the dangerous and unhinged monster that she became in the original timeline.
  • Redemption Rejection: Sci-Twi's friends explain to her how after the events of Rainbow Rocks they tracked down the sirens and offered them the same chance they gave Sunset, but the sirens refused and left town and haven't been seen since.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • Unlike the pony versions of Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo who are just surrogate sisters, the human Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo here are real sisters.
    • While no relationship is established between them in canon, here Cinch is revealed to be Fleur's mother.
  • Retgone: The original Starlight Glimmer becomes this when Princess Twilight convinces her younger self to come live with her and took her to the present, because adult Starlight refused to back down. Through this, Twilight is not only taking in a young student needing guidance, she's saving Starlight from becoming the monster she became and giving her another chance at life.
  • Sapient Eat Sapient: Averted; Spike assures everybody during lunch in the food court that the animals that humans breed for food are mindless, so it's okay to eat them.
    Rainbow Dash: Aren't pigs considered intelligent?
    Spike: Who are you going to believe? Human tests, or another animal?
    [after a couple seconds, Rainbow shrugs and goes back to eating her hot dog; the other girls with meat-based meals aren't too far behind]
  • Screw Yourself: Referenced - Pinkie's first response when the two Twilights first meet is "Quick, make out with yourself!". They don't.
  • Sequel Hook: Sci-Twi and Sunset Shimmer are now working with Princess Twilight to figure out how magic works in the human world before it becomes too widespread and noticeable, Princess Twilight is now communicating with Human Flash Sentry via a magical journal like Sunset has, and the now-unemployed Cinch is approached by Miss Chrysalis to discuss a common interest in magic.
  • Shout-Out:
  • The Speechless: Vinyl Scratch is explained to not be able to talk because her vocal cords never developed.
  • Split Personality: Midnight Sparkle might very well be considered to be the Hyde to Sci-Twi's Jekyll, waiting inside her to reemerge again.
  • Stuffed into a Locker: This was one of the ways Fleur used to bully Sci-Twi.
  • Talking to the Dead: After Sci-Twi gets back to her apartment, she goes to the shrine dedicated to her dead parents in a side room and asks them if they still love her even after how badly she messed up. Cadance and Spike assure her that they still do even from beyond the grave (or urns, since they were cremated).
  • Tempting Fate: When everybody shows concern about Sunset dealing with the Changeling mob to get human ID papers to register at CHS, she assures them that they simply thought she was a runaway teen (which wasn't far from the truth) that managed to get away with shoplifting a jewelry store, and that after Sunset got what she needed, they were done and haven't been in contact since. Guess who's taken an interest in magic and approaches a discredited Cinch for help near the end?
  • Wicked Cultured: Human Chrysalis is the leader of the Changeling mob. She wears expensive business attire and prefers fine wines.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: As we've seen, gems are totally common in Equestria, but rare in the human world. When Sunset ran away, she took advantage of this difference by bringing a stash of gems with her and used some of them to pay for fake ID from the Changeling mob and get other supplies.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Sci-Twi struggles with the guilt of having been turned into Midnight Sparkle, and feels she deserves to be punished like (Ex) Principal Cinch was. The Rainbooms and several other characters set her straight.
    Sci-Twi: “It... it doesn’t seem right. I...”
    Sunset: “Twilight, stop. I understand how you feel, but beating yourself up like that isn’t going to solve anything. Just be grateful you’re getting your second chance so easily.”
    Sci-Twi: "But, why should Cinch get all the punishment for something I did?"
    Rarity: "Darling, Cinch bullied you into everything. And unlike you, she doesn't care that she almost got so many people hurt. Maybe you did make a decision to use that magic, but you also made the decision to be yourself again."

    Integration 
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Starlight Glimmer's canon backstory is expanded by the author to make her more sympathetic. In this continuity, she was a neglected orphan and the friend who seemingly abandoned her once he got his Cutie Mark was the literally the only one who cared about her.
  • Addiction Displacement: Berry Punch deals with having to abstain from alcohol while employed by Princess Twilight by drinking coffee...lots of coffee.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Princess Twilight is raising a filly that is the Alternate Self of a RetGoned dictator, and has to deal with the fact that this innocent kid might become the sociopath the original Starlight was no matter what. During "Humans VI", Twilight outright admits to Flash that she has absolutely no idea what she's doing and fears that she can't give Starlight what she needs or prevent her from going down the wrong path.
      • This is lampshaded in the next chapter, when Twilight is repeating her fears to Celestia and she sympathetically replies, "Welcome to Motherhood".
      • She also fears how to tell Starlight the entire truth, as well as what happened to Sunburst.
    • Sci-Twi almost gets kidnapped by the Changelings because they want to experiment on her to extort her magic. Keep in mind that they suceeding in doing this to the Sirens.
    • The above didn't only terrify Shining Armor and Cadance as badly as it did; During the parent meeting in the fifth human world chapter, the parents who have more than one child reveal that they intend to send all of their kids, not just the Rainbooms, to Equestria because they're terrified of the Changelings attempting to do the same thing to them. "Humans VIII" reveal that they have also began to follow their children around discreetly whenever they go out in case anything bad happened.
    • Cadance's greatest fear is losing Shining Armor and Sci-Twi, the only family she has left, as all of their parents are dead. It's extremely hard to blame her for freaking out when she got the news about Sci-Twi's near-kidnapping.
    • Adagio's entire situation; She and her sisters are kidnapped in what they thought would be a safe place by a criminal syndicate so they can extract their now-gone magical powers. Her sisters quickly give into Stockholm Syndrome, and between that and the Changelings keeping Adagio in a separate room, she can't try to get an escape plan together with all three of them. Adagio manages to escape by herself, but now she's alone with no resources to help her. She only got money thanks to Steven Magnet willingly helping her and giving her a bus ticket back to Canterlot. She's so desperate for help (both to stay hidden from the Changeling and to save her sisters) that she's willing to pull an Enemy Mine with the Rainbooms.
    • In "Humans VIII", the parents of the Rainbooms are forced to confront the fact that they can't protect their children from the upcoming threat and that there's nothing they can do if the Changelings do come after them. The best and only thing they can do is send them to an alternate dimension in the hopes things blow over eventually.
  • Affably Evil: The human Chrysalis. When the fourth guy who attempted to kidnap Human Twilight runs and leaves his fellow Changelings behind to be captured by the police, Chrysalis doesn't punish him for aborting the mission. After Adagio escapes, she gives the two guards who were overpowered the next two days off while warning them about not failing her again. While she does blame the door guard for not properly checking the I.D., she gives him the opportunity to make up for his mistake by recapturing the siren, but she threatens that he'll kill him and his family if he tries to run.
  • Affectionate Nickname: When in Equestria, Human Twilight is referred to as "Lil Twi" in order to differentiate her from Princess Twilight who refuses to go by "Princess" in Equestria.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Once Twilight and Flash officially start their relationship Twilight shows a more flirtatious and seductive side to her. She starts flirting heavily with him in their journals, makes out with him when he visits, and has apparently been having an increase in "intimate" dreams". Downplayed as she maintains a proper image in public and only gets like this when in private, or alone with Flash.
  • Alpha Bitch: In "Humans III," Sunset reveals how bad she was in this regard. Among other things was using her relationship with Flash to boost her popularity and humiliating Rarity in front of the entire school to get her to drop out of the Spring Fling election. She's not proud of it.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-Universe, since the Original Starlight smiled as she faded from existence, Twilight is left wondering if Starlight actually wanted revenge or if she planned the whole time-travelling scheme as a Suicide by Cop gambit. It turns out that Starlight saw the new timeline as she faded away and knew that she was going to have a much happier life since Twilight was going to adopt her.
  • Alternate Self: The pony versions of the Sunny Flare, Lemon Zest, Sugarcoat, Indigo Zap, and Sour Sweet are members of Twilight's personal guard, which is led by Captain Flash Sentry.
    • Also, the human world's Starlight Glimmer is a Mad Scientist who works for the Changelings.
  • Alternate Universe: Word of God says that Season 6 won't be considered canon in the story.
    • According to Celestia, the Tree of Harmony changed form to acquire Twilight's cutie mark only after she proved herself worthy of being the Element of Magic. In canon, Twilight's mark being on it roughly 1000 years prior proves a plot point in "Princess Twilight Sparkle".
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents:
    • Flash's mother's obsession with having grandkids is humiliating for him.
    • Celestia, as Parental Substitute to Sunset and Twilight, Trolls them by threatening to tell Flash some embarrassing stories about them when they were younger.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Inverted with Twilight and Sunset. After both are adopted by Celestia and become surrogate sisters, Twilight takes on the role as the big sister despite Sunset being born long before Twilight due to the difference in the flow of time between the two worlds. When she pushes for Sunset to stop hiding the fact that she knows it is her fault the Changeling mobsters know about magic and tried to kidnap Sci-Twi Sunset jokingly calls her annoying, and Twilight just says that's what big sisters are for.
    • Zephyr Breeze. To the point where Fluttershy only has her friends over when he's not home.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • The Dazzlings, who were mentioned only in passing in the previous fic, have a more prominent role here as they have become subject to the experiments of the human world's changelings, who have been studying the girls at Canterlot High for some time now and are trying to replicate those abilities.
    • The Changeling Mafia were brought up in the previous story, but everybody's reaction to them indicated that they were not to be messed with. They become the Big Bads of this story.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: The implications of Twilight altering the timeline in Aftermath are addressed here. Twilight is well aware that what she did to the original Starlight Glimmer effectively killed her and the potentially far reaching consequences for history, regrets what she did and doubts if it was the right thing despite everyone else in the know insisting it was necessary and she had no other choice.
  • Aside Glance: Dragon Spike gives one about Princess Twilight's Hypocritical Humor (see below).
  • Asshole Victim: Pony Cinch was considered extremely horrible, so when she was assassinated and her records were erased, nopony shed any tears or bothered to find out who did it, not even her own daughter, Fleur.
  • The Atoner: Princess Twilight is extensively studying history to figure out what was altered by her erasing the original Starlight so she can fix what was left worse off. One of her actions is to recruit the original inhabitants of Starlight's village to settle in that same location, in hopes that they can regain their friendships.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Cadance tells Sci-Twi that getting to take care of her when she was an infant was what got her though the grief of losing her own parents.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After the scene where Sci-Twi was nearly kidnapped, the next scene would have you believe the same thing was going to happen to Sunset. Instead of a second attempted kidnapping, it turns out to be a sneak tickle attack from Applejack and Apple Bloom.
  • Bathtub Bonding:
    • After Celestia and Twilight make up after their brief spat, they go to the general bathhouse in Twilight's castle. Starlight joins them when her mentor invites her.
    • Sunset tells the visiting humans in "Ponies 7" that because the pony world doesn't have the nudity taboo the human world has, public bathing is pretty normal, to the point where even the smallest towns have a local bathhouse and spa.
  • Batman Gambit: Adagio actually faked being broken at the end of "Humans VI" so she could get a nicer room and eventually break out.
  • Batter Up!: Cadance starts carrying around a large baseball bat after her sister-in-law was nearly kidnapped by the Changelings.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Because Twilight was the one who saved the new Starlight from her bad orphanage, gave her a new family and was the first adult to ever show her compassion, the filly is willing to at least listen to Twilight and try to give friendship another chance despite having doubts about it being worth the risk.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Due to growing up in an Orphanage of Fear, Filly Starlight isn't a big fan of Abusive Parents, and was pretty upset when the only thing her mentor and Foal Protection Services could do to punish Spoiled Rich for her emotional abuse of Diamond Tiara was to put her under probation and kick her off the Ponyville school board.
    • Principal Cadance sees Sci-Twi as basically her own child, so she gets offended at those who indirectly accuse her as not caring about her because she came from somewhere else.
  • Better as Friends: Interlude III shows that Sunset had considered a romantic relationship with Fluttershy, since Fluttershy helped her recover from the Fall Formal incident the most, but never acted on it. She decided it was for the best after dealing with the Sirens and that the love she had for Fluttershy was not actually romantic.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Rainbow Dash and Flash Sentry save Sci-Twi from being kidnapped by a group of Changelings and manage to get Puppy Spike to a vet after he gets hurt trying to save his master.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Adagio is nearly broken after being separated from her sisters for so long. When she is able to escape the Changeling compound, she decides to form an alliance with the Rainbooms to get them out.
    • Human Shining Armor is very protective of his world's Twilight, especially since he and Cadance raised her after their parents died in a car crash. The first chapter of Integration shows him trying to train Puppy Spike to attack any boys who get near Twilight.
    Shining Armor: Now, let's try this again. (points to a picture of a human boy) This is a boy. Now, what do you do when any boy besides me gets within a three-foot radius of Twilight?
    Spike: Check online to make sure his genealogy makes him capable of producing healthy offspring?
    Shining Armor: Uh, no. That's what you're trying to prevent.
    Spike: But Twilight needs to pass down her genetics to ensure the survival of her line.
    Shining Armor: No, that's what I’ll be doing with Cadance. Twilight's prerogative is to get old and die without being defiled. Now, you really have to bite them if they try to reach for the chest...
    Spike: Oh, for...what is with humans and female chests? They're just baby-feeders. They should be displayed so potential mates can be aware of their child-rearing capabilities.
    Shining Armor: NO!
  • Big "WHAT?!": Sunset has one when Cadance calls her about Sci-Twi's near-kidnapping.
  • Big "YES!": Flash lets out a loud one after his successful dinner date with Princess Twilight, where his parents and little brother finally got to meet his girlfriend and they had their first kiss.
    • Twilight gives several bigger ones when she returns to Equestria and gets to the privacy of her own bedroom.
  • Bonding Over Missing Parents: Dog Spike as a puppy lost his mother and siblings to rabies. Sci-Twi lost her parents to a Drunk Driver when she was thirteen. She chose him out of all of the dogs in the shelter because both of them understood what it was like to have a loved one die all of a sudden.
  • Brick Joke: Remember Pinkie's suggestion that the two Twilight's should make out? Shining teases them during a sleepover by saying he doesn't want to find out they've been following up on that.
    • In the original fic, it's mentioned that Princess Twilight receives marriage proposals daily from various nobles whom she's never even met. Here, she's seen rejecting a proposal from an unknown noble, threatening to place him under house arrest for a week if he proposes to her again.
    • In the first chapter, Sci-Twi tells Rainbow that Cadance knew about Rainbow's crush on Big Mac and says "Cadance always knows. Always." Later in Ponies VIII after Sunset discovers that Pony Rainbow has the same crush as her human counterpart, Princess Twilight reveals she already knew about that since Cadance told her. While everyone else is surprised Twilight just says "Cadance knows. She always knows."
  • Butterfly of Doom: Discussed in the third pony world chapter; When Pinkie suggests going back in time to save Sunburst, Twilight vetos it because it will affect the timestream even more than it already had been by writing Equalist Starlight out of existence. When Rainbow Dash points out that adopting filly Starlight didn't affect the timeline that much, Twilight says that there's no way to know that for sure since they can't compare Starlight's old life to the new one.
  • Casanova Wannabe:
    • Trenderhoof. According to Sci-Twi he gets a new crush every month or two and tries to romance them. He's ultimately harmless, just really annoying to his crushes. His most recent crush is Applejack.
    • Just like his pony counterpart, Zephyr is this to Rainbow, Sci-Twi and Adagio (who managed to scare him off pretty quickly).
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the first story, Princess Twilight, after learning about the human Abacus Cinch, decides to find out about her pony self. Here, she does just that by asking her world's Fleur de Lis, her daughter.
  • Classified Information: In order to protect Starlight from getting targeted by enemies and because of her shocking origins, everybody who's not one of the Secret Keepers is told that her past is classified for safety precautions. Most accept this answer, but Pony Apple Bloom has stated that she's upset that her new friend can't tell her anything.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: The result of Twilight taking filly Starlight to the present. Other than erasing Starlight's village, everything seems the same. Deconstructed, however, when Twilight is shown to have developed a Guilt Complex over the potential that others could be worse off due her alterations.
  • Clothing Damage: Sci-Twi's clothes got a couple minor rips during her near-kidnapping, something she didn't notice until Rarity pointed it out.
  • Complete Immortality: All alicorns are confirmed to have this, though Celestia mentions that they will be able to pass on to Paradise when "their duties are finally finished", whatever that entails.
  • Cool Aunt: Both the human and pony versions of Cadance have become this to filly Starlight, who gladly refers to her as "Aunt Cadance" even though Princess Twilight hasn't officially adopted her yet.
    • Pinkie Pie also enjoys being an honorary aunt to Starlight since she gets to help give the support and affection the filly needs. She even insisted on being called "Aunt Pinkie".
    "Now [Starlight's] growing up in a big castle with a princess as a mommy and another princess as an aunt and me as another aunt! Twilight’s really going to have to be strict for all the times I’m going to spoil her!"
  • Cool Big Sis
    • Human Cadance, like her Equestrian counterpart, is this for Sci-Twi, comforting her during her post-Friendship Games nightmares, and spends a night guarding her with a baseball bat after Sci-Twi was nearly kidnapped by the Changelings.
    • In this story, the human versions of Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo are related to one another, with the former regarding that as obvious.
    • Princess Twilight becomes Sunset's Big Sister Best Friend Forever, after the latter ascends to alicornhood and Celestia asks to be their Parental Substitute.
    • Sunset became this to Apple Bloom after being adopted into the Apple Family, tutoring her on her homework and even forgiving her for the Anon-A-Miss incident. This is also Sunset's relationship with Sci-Twi, with the former helping the latter through her nightmares and providing her advice and moral support.
    • Adagio, despite her flaws, deeply cares for both Sonata and Aria, and teams up with the Rainbooms to rescue them from the Changelings.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the first fic was dark in some places, this one cranks it up a notch with regards to certain scenes, such as the Dazzlings being tortured. The author even admitted that the last scene in the fifth human chapter was the darkest scene he had ever done.
  • Death by Adaptation: Sunburst, who was first shown alive in canon in a Season 6 trailer possibly released after their death was written/decided upon in this story. It's Subverted when it turns out that the Freak Lab Accident actually sent him to Terra in the present day.
  • Death by Despair: Cadance tells Dog Spike that she fears that this would have happened to Sci-Twi if he hadn't come into her life. She also suspects that Dog Spike's life was also saved the day Sci-Twi adopted him.
  • Death of a Child: It turns out that the reason Sunburst never contacted Starlight again was that he died in a lab accident. Word of God confirmed that Sunburst's fate had nothing to do with Twilight rewriting the timeline.
    • Subverted in "Humans IX." It turns out that the Freak Lab Accident that supposedly killed him was triggered by one of Human Starlight's experiments that actually pulled him into her world.
  • Defeat by Modesty: In flashback, Sunset had Snips and Snails do this to Rarity in front of the entire school to humiliate her out of the Spring Fling running. Rarity refused to attend school for two weeks afterwards. This incident was what made Flash see Sunset's true colors during that time and he subsequently broke off their relationship.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: One of the things Starlight's orphanage did to punish misbehavior was to take away the next meal, even if it was a minor offense. This was scraped when Princess Twilight arrested the abusive caretakers in the present day and turned it into an Orphanage of Love.
    • In the case of Adagio Dazzle, it's "denied solid food as punishment." Aria and Sonata have gone along with Human Starlight's experimentation plan, so they get their favorite meals and things to keep them occupied. For her resistance, Adagio ends up in solitary confinement and gets rice pudding for every meal, delivered through a feeding tube if she really acts up.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Sci-Twi notes that Zephyr Breeze's name essentially means "Breeze Breeze" because zephyr just means breeze. Zephyr himself then says that Sci-Twi is pretty and cute.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Sonata and Aria both crossed this after losing their powers. It's why they gave in so easily to the Changelings desire to experiment on them. For this reason, Adagio couldn't work with them to escape, since they are too despondent to try.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Flash's reaction when Twilight tells him the truth behind Starlight's origins.
    Flash: Wow. That’s... that’s not what I was expecting. I mean, I was expecting some weird explanation, but not that weird.
  • Disappeared Dad: Pony Fleur says that her mother, Cinch, refused to tell her who sired her or what happened to him. It's most likely the same case with her human counterpart.
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: Another thing that Starlight's orphanage did to punish misbehavior. If Twilight hadn't saved filly Starlight from the orphanage, this is what would have happened to her because she was trying to reach Sunburst and say goodbye to him before he left on the train. In the present day, this punishment is part of the reason why Princess Twilight was able to arrest the abusive caretakers.
  • Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: Both Princess Twilight and human Flash Sentry tried to do this with the Flash and Twilight of their respected worlds. Neither of their attempts worked though because Captain Flash is too serious for Princess Twilight and Sci-Twi doesn't have the self-confidence human Flash likes about Princess Twilight. Though both learn of the others attempts neither holds it against the other one, and still remain friends with the counterpart of their respected worlds.
  • Dramatic Drop: During the tickle fight Applejack, Sunset, and Apple Bloom are having during "Humans IV", Sunset is winning it thanks to using her magic. When Sunset's cell phone goes off, she keeps the two Apples suspended in the air as she talks to Cadance. Sunset gets so shocked that her magic drops the sisters.
    Applejack: Aw, geez, Sunset, we could have broken—
    Sunset: We have to get to the police station!
    Applejack: Wha?
    Sunset: Someone tried to kidnap Twilight!
  • Dramatic Irony: In "Humans IX", it turns out that the Freak Lab Accident explosion that had supposedly killed Sunburst actually transported him to the Human World in the present day. But the Human Changlings are the only ones that actually know that, so Equestria thinks he's still dead.
  • Ear Ache: Flashback example; The night after the Fall Formal, Granny Smith, Applejack, and Apple Bloom tracked Sunset down to the abandoned building she was squatting in. When Granny Smith, horrified by where she was living, offered to set up a room for her at Sweet Apple Acres, Sunset (still broken down by her demonic transformation and feeling like she didn't deserve it) tried to refuse. Granny Smith simply dragged Sunset by the ear to the car while Applejack and Apple Bloom gathered up her things.
  • Enemy Mine: In "Humans VII", Adagio enlists the Rainbooms' help to rescue Sonata and Aria from the Changelings.
  • Eureka Moment: Human Starlight has one at the end of "Humans VII" regarding her research into magic, which she actually refers to by trope name.
  • Everyone Can See It: Non-romantic example, but as much as Twilight denies it, everybody can tell that she has motherly feelings towards filly Starlight.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Shortly after her defeat, Sunset was stunned when Granny Smith offered her a home, and broke down when Fluttershy tried to cheer her up, incredulous that someone she bullied for so long would try to help her emotionally.
    • In "Interlude I", this is part of the reason why the original Starlight Glimmer pulled a Redemption Rejection. She saw Twilight's genuine offer of friendship as a lie and thought that taking it would end up with Twilight stripping her of her magic and throwing her in prison for her crimes.
    • Adagio is completely baffled by Steven Magnet giving her a ride and travel money free of charge, with no ulterior motive, and thinks he's secretly a Changeling Spy. Of course, she had used her powers to get what she wanted, so no strings attached charity would stun her.
  • Eye Scream: Adagio does this to one of the Changeling guards during her escape. Not enough to do permanent damage but still enough to not be opened all the way.
  • First Contact: Ponies and Humans working together to prepare for Gaia (pony realm) and Terra (human realm) to become inter-dimensional allies is one of the driving plot points of the story.
  • False Friend: Filly Starlight is afraid of making new friends because she is afraid they might abandon her like she believes Sunburst did. Twilight encourages her that the risk is worth it, and tells her how when she was a filly herself others would pretend to be her friend just so they could meet Princess Celestia or get Twilight to do their homework for them.
  • First Kiss: Flash and Princess Twilight have their first kiss as a couple at the end of their first date, which was also Princess Twilight's very first kiss. Twilight says later she wanted for their first kiss to be as humans because she realized how much Flash was sacrificing for her and their relationship and wanted him to at least have that.
  • Fix Fic: In part to the alternate take on The Cutie Re-Mark presented in Aftermath Of The Games (which itself was intended as a Fix Fic to). It shows that Starlight refused her canon redemption, so Twilight truly had no other choice. All the potential ramifications of it are acknowledged, and Twilight's desire and attempts to fix this the best she can is a significant part of the plot.
    • "Interlude 1" also makes Starlight's motivations more sympathetic than it was in canon. Sunburst's abandonment of Starlight has a much more dramatic blow on her because Starlight was a neglected orphan and Sunburst was literally the only pony who cared about her.
  • Foregone Conclusion: If the ending of Interlude I is anything to go by, it indicates that filly Starlight and Princess Twilight will get a happy ending; Twilight will overcome her guilt for what she had done to the original Starlight, filly Starlight will find the confidence to form friendships again and go on to do great things, and both of them will forge a strong mother-daughter relationship. In addition, efforts to bring Gaia and Terra together will be successful. How all of this will play out, however, has yet to be seen.
  • For Want of a Nail: Princess Twilight really did try to talk Starlight Glimmer down and offer her hoof in friendship. Unlike her canon counterpart, however, Starlight rejected it because she thought that as soon as she backed off, Twilight would throw her in prison for her crimes. At that point, Twilight truly had no choice but to retgone her.
  • Forgot About Her Powers: Sci-Twi uses this excuse to cover up why she couldn't defend herself during the attempted kidnapping; in reality she couldn't because the fear of potentially becoming Midnight Sparkle again caused her to freeze up. It doesn't fool Sunset or Human Shining Armor.
  • Freudian Excuse: Princess Celestia and Luna explain to the Mane Six it is possible for ponies to become monsters when they start thinking that certain actions are justified, rolling off a list of villains who each had something they tried to justify their actions by, such as Nightmare Moon bringing Eternal Night just to be respected and Queen Chrysalis staging her coup of Canterlot just to feed her people.
  • Freudian Slip: Filly Starlight almost calls Princess Twilight "mom" as she's falling asleep during her first night in the castle. This freaks Twilight out, since the guilt over what she did to the Original Starlight started to settle in around this time.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture:
    • Sunset, Twilight, and Princess Celestia have a tickle fight the night after Sunset finally steps back in Equestria.
    • Applejack and Apple Bloom later assault Sunset with one of these. It's not long before she gets the upper hand by holding them up in the air and using her magic to tickle the both of them.
  • From the Mouths of Babes: When Filly Starlight tactlessly says to Spoiled Rich, "You're not very bright, are you?", all the foals burst out laughing and Pony Guard Sunny Flare had to keep herself from joining in. Also, when Princess Twilight heard about it, she had to tell her charge that that wasn't an okay thing to say while trying not to snicker, much to Starlight's confusion.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Apple Bloom once lied that she had a coltfriend from the Crystal Empire. Applejack and Rainbow Dash also say that this might be the case with Twilight's relationship with Human Flash Sentry because they have never met him.
  • Gilligan Cut: After their run in "Humans VIII", Rainbow tells Fluttershy that they should head back to her house because she fears that Zephyr and Adagio aren't getting along. The next scene shows Zephyr introducing Adagio to a video game (a Bland-Name Product version of Grand Theft Auto) that she enjoys because she can break the law with no consequences.
  • Go Out with a Smile: The flashback sequence in the first interlude reveals that this was the case with the original Starlight as she was Retgoned, disturbing Twilight, who feared that she had been tricked into effectively aiding suicide. Actually, she was glimpsing the new timeline and better life she'd have, and was happy about that.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: In "Humans VIII", Fluttershy tells Rainbow Dash that she knows that there's a lot of bad people out there that will refuse to change, and that ultimately she can't help all of them... but it's not going to stop her from showing kindness to them or attempting to reform them
  • Green Around the Gills: Spike's scales turn a shade of green when he and Sunset walk into the Sitting Room catch Twilight making out with Flash.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Downplayed. Rarity openly admits that she's a little jealous of Princess Twilight's relationship with Flash Sentry, because she's been trying to find a relationship herself and all the previous stallions she's met didn't work out for various reasons, while Twilight found her own Prince Charming without even looking for him. Despite that though she's still happy for her friend and doesn't want for her to deny herself of love just for her own sake.
  • Groin Attack: Rainbow Dash does this to one of the Changelings who tries to abduct Sci-Twi, effectively crippling him in the process.
    • Later, Adagio pulls one on a Changeling guard during her escape.
  • Guilt Complex:
    • Princess Twilight develops a great deal of guilt over retgoning villain Starlight despite being left with no choice, especially since in her eyes it meant she killed her. Twilight also fears that maybe she was tricked into assisted suicide, since Starlight tearfully smiled as she faded from existence. All of that combined prevents Twilight officially adopting filly Starlight.
    • It's implied that part of the reason why Princess Celestia trusts that Twilight was left with no choice for the above example was because of lingering guilt from times when she doubted her student ("A Canterlot Wedding", Tirek's rampage, etc.).
  • Happily Adopted:
    • Starlight, everyone who knows about her origins, and Princess Twilight herself wants the filly to become Twilight's adoptive daughter. However, Twilight's lingering guilt over what happened with the original Starlight is preventing her from pulling up the adoption papers. In spite of this, they have a loving teacher-student relationship similar to what Twilight and Celestia had during the former's foal hood. If the Original Starlight's visions as she faded away are any indication, Twilight will overcome her guilt and officially adopt her eventually.
    • Sunset has gladly been accepted as a human Apple Family member, to the point where the parents waste no time defending their adopted daughter when a couple of the Rainbooms' parents begin to blame her for getting targeted by the Changelings.
  • Happy Ending Override: Sci-Twi gaining magic leaves her so freaked out it negates much of progress she made in overcoming her guilt and PTSD. Also, Princess Twilight has to deal with her own guilt from her prior actions and there's a chance that filly Starlight could still turn out like her old self.
  • Here We Go Again!: Young Starlight is starting to show signs of inheriting her original timeline's equalist persona, albeit this time directed at classism, rather than Cutie Marks.
  • Honorary Aunt: All of Twilight's Ponyville friends have more or less become this to filly Starlight, as they regularly stop by the castle for dinner and take time to hang out with her. As noted above, Pinkie Pie especially fully embraced the role.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Complaints about Captain Flash's Super OCD are pretty rich coming from Princess Twilight.
  • I Can Explain: Bonbon has this reaction when Twilight questions her about "Sweetie Drops" and finds out that Bonbon has incredible acrobatics and Runes that help her resist magic.
  • I Did What I Had to Do:
    • Inverted, as Celestia assures Twilight that retgoning the adult Starlight and changing the timeline without knowing the full consequences, while dangerous, was necessary and that she had no other choice. When Applejack points out that this trope sounds dangerous, Celestia admits that it's a slippery slope and that way too many abuse it as an excuse for their actions.
    • Played straight when Rainbow Dash kicks one of the Changelings below the belt to save Sci-Twi. Apple Bloom is shocked when she heard about it, since her dad taught her it was never okay to do something like that to a guy. Dash proceeds to explain to the younger girl that in a dangerous situation, you sometimes have to resort to dirty tactics to survive and that if she didn't do it, Rainbow probably would have gotten stabbed and the kidnappers probably would have suceeded in taking away Sci-Twi.
  • I Have No Idea What I'm Doing: Princess Twilight has said she has absolutely no idea what she's doing with how she's raising Starlight and it scares her to think of what will happen if she does something wrong.
  • I Want Grandkids:
    • Flash says that part of the reason his parents — or his mother, at least — are so accepting of his relationship with Princess Twilight is that she comes with "grandkids already included." In "Humans V," his mother goes so far as to pull the spark plugs from Flash's car so that he can't drive Twilight home and they'll have to spend the night together. (He quickly figures it out.)
    • As the sixth pony chapter reveals, Granny Smith is intent on living long enough to see her great-grandbabies.
    • Twilight Velvet also wants to have grandchildren. Despite Cadance already being pregnant she has Celestia pass the message on to Princess Twilight and Flash.
      • Two chapters earlier, Princess Twilight mentions that her parents were pretty excited about her unofficially adopting a filly, and that they practically spoiled Starlight during their first meeting.
  • I Warned You: Celestia expects Luna to greet her with a smug smile and an "I told you so" when she returns to Canterlot after Twilight discovers the existence of the secret organizations S.M.I.L.E. and F.R.O.W.N. and gets upset about it being kept secret from her.
  • Implied Death Threat: After Chrysalis gives the door guard who didn't properly check Adagio's swiped I.D. a chance to redeem himself by tracking her down and recapturing her, she tells him to go home to his family. She then reminds the guard that he won't be the only one who gets a bullet in him if he tries to run during the mission.
  • Insistent Terminology: Whereas Sunset, the Humane 5, and the others in the know refer to pony Twilight as "Princess" in order to differentiate her from Sci-Twi, Flash refers to the latter as "Sparkle", as Princess Twilight will always be Twilight to him.
  • Innocence Lost: Princess Celestia says that many of her past students have lost their innocence and have become just as bad as the monsters they face. She has also tried to prevent this from happening to Twilight for as long as she can by protecting her, such as not telling her she was part of F.R.O.W.N.
  • In Spite of a Nail: As pony Rainbow Dash points out in "Ponies III", bringing the filly Starlight to the present didn't mess up the time-stream as badly as stopping the Sonic Rainboom did. However, it's Deconstructed when Twilight argues that it's impossible to know this for sure since the two versions of Starlight's life can't be compared.
  • Insult of Endearment: Rainbow Dash calls Sci-Twi "Egghead" a few times during "Humans VII".
  • Internal Reveal: In "Ponies IX", Starlight discovers the Incident Report about the lab accident that (supposedly) killed Sunburst when snooping around Twilight's private study, but she decides not to confront the alicorn about it yet.
  • Ironic Echo: During Twilight's flashback to defeating Starlight Glimmer, the Original sarcastically says "Very good, you passed your eye exam" when Twilight recognized the villain's filly self. Pony Sugarcoat says "Congratulations, you passed your eye exam" when she and Sunny Flare are defending Young Starlight from Spoiled Rich's criticisms of her being a blank flank.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: When Starlight goes to bed in "Ponies VI", she wishes she could be like her mentor since Twilight always knows what she's doing. It then cuts to Twilight telling Celestia that she has no idea what she's doing in regards to raising filly Starlight.
  • It's All My Fault: Sunset feels this way about magic being in the human world in the first place. She also blames herself for the Changelings knowing about magic and trying to use it themselves because she got her papers from them when she first came to Terra and they're just another mistake from her past she has to deal with now.
  • Jump Scare: Sci-Twi has one when Midnight Sparkle shows up in the mirror at the police station bathroom.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: The three men who tried to kidnap Sci-Twi either killed themselves or were murdered in order to hide any connection they had to the Changeling Mob from the police. One hanged himself in his cell, another was given the "wrong" medicine in the hospital and the third died in an attempted jailbreak.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Pony Cinch is revealed to have suffered this as well. She, a powerful duchess, had just as much of a ruthless obsession with her legacy as her human counterpart. This, however, created a lot of enemies, who ultimately not only killed her, but eliminated all record of her, destroying the legacy she was so devoted to. And Fleur, her own daughter who suffered just as much under her as anyone else, let it happen without a second thought.
    • After Twilight brought Starlight to the present, she sought out the Orphanage of Fear the filly grew up in and arrested all of its staff for child neglect and abuse. Twilight then commissioned a new staff that will hopefully change the orphanage for the better.
    • Turns out that Spoiled Rich lost her place on the school board after her harshness towards her daughter came to light during "Crusaders of The Lost Mark". Twilight also had foal protection services pay her a visit warning her to improve her parenting skills, and her marriage became strained as a result.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: After the dinner, Princess Twilight asks Spike and Starlight to go ahead through the portal without her so she can have some alone time with Flash. Starlight asks why, but Spike (who sees where this is going) bites down on the hem of her dress and drags her through the portal before she can protest further.
  • Mad Scientist: Human Starlight is one working for the Changeling mob.
  • The Magic Comes Back: After the Friendship Games, Sci-Twi, Sunset and the Humane Five find out that Equestrian magic is starting to seep into the human world, giving them certain abilities that the inhabitants of Equestria have. Sunset, for example, regains her ability to use magic to levitate objects at ease. In turn, the Humane Five keeps close watch to see if it will give them the same abilities as their counterparts(i.e., Applejack and Pinkie Pie doing the bench press to see if they're gaining Super Strength).
  • Mama Bear: After Sci-Twi almost gets kidnapped, Cadance spends the entire night next to her bed holding a giant baseball bat in case the Changelings attempt to do it again.
  • Metaphorically True:
    • This is how Twilight justifies keeping filly Starlight currently Locked Out of the Loop about her retgoned psychopathic older self; When the filly asked Twilight why she would go back in time in order to get her, the Princess realizes that she can't lie to Starlight about her origins. As a result, she tells filly Starlight that she's not ready to know the full story, but promises to tell her when she's old enough to handle the truth:
    Applejack: I don't know about that, Twi. Maybe lyin' to her ain't the best idea.
    Twilight: I'm not lying to her. I told her I'd tell her everything at a later date. She knows I'm not telling her something, and at the moment, she's accepting it. No deception involved.
    Rarity: And what if she presses you in on it?
    Twilight: I...I don't know. Part of me is saying that that's the time to tell her, but... I don't know. I'm going to ask Princess Celestia about it. For right now, keep it quiet. Let's let things simmer a bit.
    • While Starlight can't tell anybody who's not a Secret Keeper her origins because of the crazy circumstances behind it, the reason given (Starlight being the apprentice of a Princess makes her a potential target for enemies of Equestria, so Twilight did a complete blackout of the filly's past to protect her) is also true.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self:
    • During Sci-Twi's Freak Out when she gets telekinesis for the first time, she sees a reflection of Midnight Sparkle in the bathroom mirror saying that soon Sci-Twi will become her again and she'll be waiting.
    • Midnight Sparkle shows up again in the mirror at the police station bathroom after Sci-Twi's near-kidnapping. She mocks her host for not being able to defend herself and uses it as proof that Twilight falling to the dark side again was inevitable.
  • Modest Royalty: Flash is surprised at how casual Twilight and Celestia are in their mannerisms, even when having what's supposed to be a formal meeting in Twilight's castle.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The second human world chapter ends with a heartwarming scene of Sci-Twi being comforted by Cadance and Shining Armor but becomes immediately dark. The Changelings are revealed to have captured and imprisoned and experimented on the Sirens in attempt to recreate the magical abilities the Rainbooms have, knowledge of which has been implied to come from Abacus Cinch.
    • After Sci-Twi was nearly kidnapped, the scene cuts to Sunset, Applejack, and Apple Bloom having a tickle fight. The mood quickly turned back to serious when a frantic Cadance called Sunset's cell phone letting them know what had happened.
    • The fifth Humans chapter swings back and forth between three extremes: Princess Twilight, Spike, and Starlight having a pleasant dinner with Human Flash's family, the parents of the Humane Six discussing how to keep the kids safe, and Adagio being restrained, blindfolded, and gagged to break her resistance to Human Starlight's testing program.
    • Adagio explaining her intense situation to the Rainbooms and begging them to help save her sisters from the Changelings was interrupted thrice by Pinkie and Zephyr Breeze playing with her fluffy hair.
  • Moment Killer: In "Ponies VII", Princess Twilight and Flash are getting into a heavy make-out session when Sunset and Spike walk into the room.
  • Morality Chain: Princess Celestia explains to Twilight that after living for so much longer than any other pony alive, having personal students is what keeps her grounded and reminds her of how every choice she makes affects all of Equestria. She also explains that she has plans for Luna and Cadance to take on students of their own one day when they are ready and why she wanted to talk to Twilight before she took on a student of her own (although she understands why Twilight couldn't in Starlight's case).
  • Morton's Fork: Twilight, upon discovering Sunburst's death many years ago, is faced with either letting young Starlight think that he abandoned her forever (fostering Starlight's equalist thoughts and giving them a bit of merit), or telling her about what happened (which would mean that Twilight would be forced to come clean about retgoning her adult self and telling the young filly who she was in the original timeline a lot sooner than she wants to).
  • Mundane Luxury: Since filly Starlight was a neglected orphan who had literally nothing, it's no surprise she treats all the affection and things she gets from Twilight with genuine wonder. However, the two things she loved the most about moving into the Friendship Castle was getting her own private bedroom and Twilight reading her a bedtime story. For Twilight, the latter was a painful reminder of how much care and affection Starlight was denied in her Orphanage of Fear and made it a bedtime ritual for the filly as a result.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Apple Bloom has a moment like this during her apology to Sunset when she reveals that she, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo created the Anon-A-Miss account and posted all the negative comments just because they wanted to feel popular.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: All the secret keepers of Starlight's origins agree that part of the reason why the original Starlight became a psychopath was because she was raised all alone in a horrible orphanage after Sunburst's abandonment/death, so she didn't learn how to connect properly with ponies. They hope that Filly Starlight being Twilight's student, being actively encouraged to make friends, and having a large network of ponies that love her will set her on the right path. However, there's still the nature angle they have to take into account, as some of Starlight's equalist beliefs have started to crop up (albeit aimed at class divides instead of Cutie Marks) and she has some doubts about friendship being worth the risk.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Adagio gets annoyed when Pinkie and Zephyr keep playing with her hair.
  • Noodle Incident: A literal example in Ponies IV from Pinkie Pie telling a story involving a colt being afraid of noodles and being framed.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: When the girls with unicorn counterparts get magical abilities without ponying up, Pinkie Pie wonders if wings will become permanent, too. To see if they've grown yet, she jumps behind Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy and lifts up the back of their shirts, much to their chagrin and protest.
  • Not So Different: As Interlude II reveals, Principal Cadance lost her parents like Sci-Twi. It happened shortly after Sci-Twi was born, and the family took her in and helped her cope with the loss.
  • Once per Episode: Every chapter except for Interlude II and III begins with a journal entry of some kind: a single message to someone in the other world, a conversation between a pair of journals, a research log entry, or a phone log transcript.
  • Only One Female Mold: Discussed and Lampshaded by Flash Sentry and Human Rainbow Dash. The latter stating it's like the entire school was designed to be marketable.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Dragon Spike and Puppy Spike argue with each other a lot. They disagree over being a dog, who was cuter when they were younger, and which of their crushes is prettier.
  • Parental Abandonment: Just like Sci-Twi, Cadance's parents died during her early teen years.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • Celestia's status as this to both Sunset and Twilight is lampshaded, especially since Sunset was all but formally adopted when she was Celestia's student. Once they're reunited, Celestia insists that Sunset call her "Mom", and afterwards says that she'd like Twilight to do so as well, as long as she doesn't replace the place her actual mother has in her heart.
    • Flash knows that his relationship with Twilight will involve becoming a father figure to Starlight, and to a lesser extension Spike. It's actually the one thing that worries him the most out of moving to Equestria.
  • Peaceful in Death: The original Starlight, after being retgoned, finds genuine happiness knowing that her Alternate Self in the new timeline will get a Happy Ending.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • At the beginning of the story, Sunset tells Princess Twilight that her human counterpart is doing much better now, and is suffering less nightmares (even going through an entire night without them). However, when Rarity, Sunset, and Sci-Twi suddenly get telekinesis without ponying up, Human Twilight freaks out and locks herself in the bathroom. Since out-of-control magic was what caused the whole Midnight Sparkle fiasco in the first place, it's understandable why Sci-Twi would fear gaining permanent magical abilities. It also takes a bit for the others to convince Sci-Twi to come out, showing that traumatic experiences like what she went through take a long time to recover from. As things get worse, Princess Twilight gets Doctor Heart to be Sci-Twi's therapist.
    • While young Starlight Glimmer is now being raised in a loving environment, she's still heavily affected by Sunburst's abandonment and the Orphanage of Fear, and some of her fanatical behavior from her older retgoned self (albeit directed at class divides rather than Cutie Marks) have started to crop up. This reminds the reader that personality has many factors, and that the chance Starlight could become the unhinged maniac she was in the original timeline is still there even though she's much better off now.
    • Twilight is fully aware that retgoning the original Starlight killed her, and there's still a lot of possible ramifications that came from doing that. And Twilight feels that she doesn't deserve to be filly Starlight's mom because of those reasons.
    • Twilight didn't ignore the fact that the caretakers at the orphanage Starlight grew up in were downright abusive; one of the first things she did after getting Starlight settled into the present day was using her authority to track them down and arrest them for foal neglect. And instead of closing down the place, she personally hired a trustworthy staff and is keeping regular tabs on the orphanage in an effort to change it for the better.
    • After Rainbow Dash kicks one of the Changeling lackeys who were trying to kidnap Sci-Twi in the crotch as an act of self defense, he immediately collapses in agony and starts vomiting. He actally has to be sent to the hospital when the police show up to arrest him and the others.
    • Spoiled Rich lost her job on the school board when it was discovered how she was treating her daughter and how she blackmailed Cheerilee into not punishing her. Twilight also had Foal Protection Services put her underneath their watch, straining her marriage.
    • "Humans VIII" reveals that Rainbow Dash was warned that using a brick to fight off Sci-Twi's kidnappers could have counted as assault. However, the police ultimately don't press charges because while Rainbow took things a bit too far, she was still saving one of her friends from kidnappers who might have wanted to do something unsavory to her.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Miss Chrysalis, surprisingly, is this to the minions who allowed Adagio to escape — she doesn't blame the guards who were overpowered, even giving them a day off to recover. And while she does blame the guard who didn't properly check Adagio's stolen ID, she also gives him a chance at redemption by hunting Adagio down. If he fails at that, then she'll kill him.
  • The Reveal: The Freak Lab Accident explosion that killed Sunburst didn't actually kill him at all. It sent him to Terra in the present day, into the clutches of the Human Changelings.
  • Redemption Rejection: The flashback in "Interlude 1" makes it clear that Twilight really did try to offer Starlight her hoof in friendship. While she did consider it for a moment, Starlight refused to back down from her mission to stop the Rainboom, seeing Princess Twilight as nothing more than a Spoiled Brat who wanted to throw her in jail for her crimes. Twilight truly had no other choice.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: After Sci-Twi almost gets kidnapped by the Changelings, she reveals to her friends that they knew about the incidents at Canterlot High. Pinkie Pie assumes that the assailants are, like the Sirens, exiles from Equestria who seek to use magic in another take-over-the-world scheme. The truth is, however, that the assailants are actually from the human world and they are interested in replicating the magical abilities that Sci-Twi, Sunset, and the other girls have with the intention of using them to dominate the criminal underworld.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Due to the original Starlight being wiped out of existence, Princess Twilight is the only one out of the Mane 6 who remembers the events of Our Town. Fortunately it didn't take much to convince her friends about what had happened.
  • Rotating Arcs: Alternates between the Human and Pony worlds.
  • Running Gag: It's common for several characters to talk about Princess Twilight being a mother for Starlight and Spike, to which she responds "it's not like that". It's kinda Played for Drama in the case of Starlight, though, because Twilight feels like she doesn't deserve to be the filly's adoptive mom due to what she did to the original Starlight.
  • Secret Keeper: The story is chock full of them:
    • CHS, Crystal Prep, the Friendship Council, and the Royal Family know about the existence of both dimensions and the growing influence of magic in the human realm.
    • In the pony world, the Mane 6, Spike, the other Princesses, and Shining Armor are the only ones who know about Starlight's true origins and her psychopathic retgoned self. With the exception of Human Celestia and Human Luna, all of the secret keepers' human world counterparts, Human Flash Sentry, and Sunset also have knowledge of Starlight's unusual circumstances. At the end of "Ponies VI", Twilight makes the decision to tell Starlight the full truth when the summer ends.
    • On the pony side, all the secret keepers later also gain the secret of Sunburst's death.
    • Dr. Heart, Princess Twilight's semi-regular therapist, also knows about Starlight's origins so he can help Twilight keep track of her mental processes and can step in the event that the filly Starlight starts to become like the original. He also knows about the Human World so Sci-Twi can get a therapist that can help her overcome her PTSD.
    • Princess Twilight also helps Sunset keep dark her suspicions that the Changelings were behind Sci-Twi's attempted kidnapping as well as her knowledge of Sci-Twi's inability to use magic for fear of turning into Midnight Sparkle again.
    • The Rainbooms' parents also know of the existence of Equestria and the effects of its magic on their world, as in Humans V, they are seen discussing their concerns regarding their children's planned trip to Equestria with Principal Cadance.
    • Celestia has been very careful to keep the existence of the covert organizations S.M.I.L.E. and F.R.O.W.N. out of the public eye. Princess Twilight learns about them only after a meeting with Bonbon (a.k.a. Sweetie Drops), and she's floored to discover that she and her friends have been working for F.R.O.W.N. without even knowing it.
    • Between the two stories, Twilight told Pony Applejack about the human version of her parents being alive. The cowpony is currently keeping it a secret from her family, partially because Terra is supposed to remain secret until First Contact and partially because she has no idea how to tell them.
  • Share the Male Pain: A couple of the police officers who investigate the attempted kidnapping of Sci-Twi winced when they heard that Rainbow Dash kicked one of the Changelings in the groin to save her friend.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • According to Sci-Twi, Principal Cadance always knows when two people like each other. One example of this is her knowing that Rainbow Dash and Big Mac like each other, and encouraging Sci-Twi to have Rainbow make the first move.
    • Apple Bloom is disappointed to find out Twilight is dating someone, as she'd hoped to try and set her up with Big Mac. And then Granny Smith suggests Fluttershy as an alternative.
    • Princess Luna apparently wanted to play matchmaker for Twilight, but since she already has a strong relationship with Flash Sentry she no longer has a chance. Though Celestia assures Luna that she will like him when she meets him.
  • Ship Sinking: Several characters tease Sci-Twi about her attraction towards Captain Flash Sentry and she admits he is good looking, but when she and her family finally visit Equestria she is unable to talk to him due to him being too focused on his job. After this, Sci-Twi moves on and appears more attracted to Sunset now.
  • The Shrink: Princess Twilight has been seeing a psychiatrist for her Super OCD semi-regularly ever since the events of "Lesson Zero", and recruits him to help Sci-Twi with her own PTSD.
  • Shoot the Dog: Celestia makes it clear to the Mane Six that part of helping Twilight rule means that they'll occasionally have to face difficult decisions with harsh consequences. When they all show fear of doing this, Luna tells them that that's actually good, because hating the responsibility means that they'll be able to handle it better than most ponies.
    • Everybody in the know about Starlight's origins assures Twilight that she had no choice but to wipe the original Starlight out of existence, and they know that she would've taken a better option if it was available. It doesn't make her feel better about it, though.
  • Shout-Out:
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Flash gives one to Twilight when she talks about how it takes time to realize you are attracted to someone of a different species and how she understood that Flash was already sacrificing so much to make their relationship work.
  • Sleep Cute: Filly Starlight falls asleep on the couch in the Sparkle's apartment with her adopted brother, Dragon Spike, curled up next to her, in the second "Humans" chapter.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: Averted. After the events of "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", Twilight contacted Foal Protection Services so Spoiled Rich could be investigated for her emotional abuse to Diamond Tiara. As a result, Spoiled Rich was put under probation and kicked off the school board. They also helped Twilight out with bringing Starlight's former abusive caretakers to justice.
  • Sole Survivor: This is Dog Spike's backstory; after his birth, his mother was bitten by a rabid dog and contracted a horrible case of rabies because her family (before they gave her up to the Animal Shelter) didn't keep up with the dog vaccinations. She accidentally spread it to her puppies, and the vets at the animal shelter were forced to euthanize all of them. Spike was spared because he was the only one who wasn't infected.
  • So Proud of You:
    • When Sci-Twi agrees to spend summer vacation in Equestria to learn magic and become a key figure in First Contact, her brother says that he's proud that she's confronting her fears and doing something to help others.
    • Played for Laughs in "Ponies IV"; After Starlight's blunt comment to Spoiled Rich, Sugarcoat tells her — in her monotone voice with no change of expression — that it was totally tactless and that she's never been more prouder of anything.
    • When Starlight gets upset about Princess Twilight not being able to do much about helping out Diamond Tiara with her emotionally abusive mother, she accidentally snaps at her mentor. When the filly shamefully tries to backtrack, Twilight tells her that she's proud because it shows that she was worried about a friend-in-need and wanted to help her out.
  • Social Climber: Twilight instructed her personal guard to make sure Starlight stayed away from these kind of ponies. Spoiled Rich is a good example; she yelled at Starlight for playing tag with her daughter, and then when Sunny Flare and Sugar Coat ran up to intervene, Spoiled Rich realized that Starlight was Twilight's apprentice and attempted to butter up.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: The Changelings are implied to have been keeping tabs on Canterlot High ever since Sunset first arrived on Terra and the Fall Formal, which introduced Equestrian magic into the human world.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Sonata and Aria got this after the Changelings kidnapped the Sirens, as they don't really have anywhere else to go, the Changelings treat them well since they don't resist any of their experiments, and the two of them crossed the Despair Event Horizon after losing their powers. Sonata even wonders why Adagio keeps trying to resist the Changelings.
  • Stunned Silence: This was the Mane 5 and Celestia's reaction to Twilight telling them about Starlight's true origins.
    • Also Princess Twilight's reaction to Princess Cadance blatantly talking about her and Shining Armor's love life.
  • Suicide by Cop:
    • Part of the reason why Twilight's haunted by her retgoning the original Starlight was because when the villain realized that Twilight was adopting her younger self, she willingly and quietly let herself fade from existence with a tearful smile on her face. This makes Twilight fear that she was tricked into assisted suicide. It's subverted, because the reason why Starlight was smiling as she faded away was because Harmony showed her a great future for her younger self and knew that both she and Twilight were ultimately going to get a good life and a happy ending.
    • One of Sci-Twi's near-kidnappers died in a jailbreak in order to avoid the police's questioning.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Gets Invoked: After Sci-Twi almost got kidnapped, her friends wonder why she didn't use her newfound magic to defend herself. Sunset realizes that Sci-Twi's PTSD got in the way, but spares Sci-Twi the embarrassment by suggesting that she probably forgot about it in her panic since it's so new to her. Sci-Twi wasted no time agreeing with that statement.
  • Squee!: The collective reaction of the rest of the Mane Six when they hear that Twilight and Flash have had their first kiss; Twilight expresses surprise that Rainbow Dash and Applejack are capable to making such a noise.
  • Take That!:
    • The characters' disgusted and horrified reactions when they discover raunchy internet drawings of Midnight Sparkle and Daydream Shimmer is, according to the author, not only a slam at MLP Rule 34 works, but against fan art porn in general.
    • In the same chapter Sunset points out to Principal Celestia. that humans have every single computer in the world connected together, but the majority of people just use it to complain about TV shows. One specific example she uses is not liking a newborn character, a real life reaction to the birth of Princess Flurry Heart.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Twilight feels that she doesn't deserve to be a mother to the filly Starlight because she realizes that retgoning the original Starlight effectively killed her, an action with effects that may or may not have extended to others like Sunburst.
  • Too Much Information: Twilight's reaction to Cadance talking about her and Shining's love life.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon really have become kinder since the events of "The Crusaders of the Lost Mark", to the point where Starlight was shocked when she heard about how they used to act after she joined their class.
  • Undying Loyalty: Gets briefly discussed in "Ponies IV". When Starlight learned about Diamond Tiara being a bully in the past, she wonders why Silver Spoon stayed friends with her. Silver Spoon explains it was because she thought it was the right thing to do since they had known each other since they were little, but both learned that loyalty is a two-way street. When Starlight asked Rainbow about it later, the Pegasus confirms this statement because anybody who doesn't keep his/her friend's best interest in mind isn't a loyal friend.
  • Un-person: Happened to Pony Cinch after her assassination, as the assassins didn't just want to kill her, but also deny her the legacy she was so obsessed with.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When Starlight first enrolled into Ponyville Elementary, Twilight assigned Royal Guards Sugarcoat and Sunny Flare to accompany her student and stay there throughout the school day. While it had been awkward for everypony at the school at first, they become used to it and none of the students judge Starlight for having them.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Adagio takes interest in a video game because she can kill people, rob them, break the law, and do anything she wants without facing any consequences.
  • Villainous BSoD: Adagio shows signs of slipping into this when Starlight tries to break her and when she's separated from her sisters. She breaks out of it, however, and escapes.
  • Villain Team-Up: The Changelings use their recently-established connection with ex-Principal Cinch to use magic in order for them to rule the criminal underworld unopposed.
  • Was It All a Lie?: During a flashback Flash is crushed when he breaks up with Sunset and she hardly reacts at all to it. When he asks if it really meant nothing to her she says it was just a way for her to get popular and Flash is a fool if he's going to dump her now.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The second chapter in the pony world has Sunset return and be reunited with Princess Celestia, only for everyone to discover Sunset has ascended on her own and become an Alicorn.
    • In "Humans IV", Sci-Twi almost gets kidnapped by the Changelings, and was only saved thanks to Flash and Rainbow showing up at the right place at the right time. This event makes the Rainbooms realize that somebody in the Human world already knows about Equestrian magic and wants to harness it for their own purposes.
    • In "Humans VI", Adagio successfully escapes the Changeling's captivity and plans a return to Canterlot High so she can pull an Enemy Mine with the Rainbooms in order to save her sisters.
    • "Humans IX", Human Starlight going through with her experimental prototype despite the warnings Chrysalis gave her over how dangerous it potentially was brings Sunburst in pony form to them, revealing that the Freak Lab Accident didn't actually kill him.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Averted. This fic explains that after the Dazzlings rejected the Rainbooms offer of friendship, they were captured by the Changelings and experimented on so that Miss Chrysalis and the Changelings can harness magic for their own purposes.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Twilight is not happy when she finds out that Celestia has been using her and her friends as part of F.R.O.W.N. without their knowledge.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The "Interlude" chapters flash back to important events in various characters' lives. The first one explains in full detail how Twilight unofficially adopted Filly Starlight and erased the original version, the second shows how Sci-Twi and Dog Spike met and help each other get through the grief of losing their parents, and the third focuses on Sunset's fall from grace and her running off to Terra.
  • Worth It: Twilight tells Starlight that while friendships may sometimes be painful and have their difficulties, they are absolutely worth keeping. Sunset later says something similar to Sci-Twi after she tells her about the Anon-A-Miss incident.
    • Shining also states that Cadance and him holding off the fancy wedding ceremony and having a baby so they can focus on raising Sci-Twi until she graduates high school is worth it.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Princess Celestia tells Twilight this when the latter tries to not make her and Starlight's relationship seem like a big deal;
    "Don’t even try to tell me you don't feel that way about her. I can tell, and I have Luna and Cadance to back me up. They say the look of pride you give her when she does something great is the same one I give you."
  • "You!" Exclamation: Rainbow Dash on encountering Adagio again.


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