Fragments is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic novel about a mysterious Pegasus who awakes one day, alone and injured, in the forest with absolutely no idea how he got there or who he is. With the help of the Mane Six he finds the answer to these questions. Can he face the truth?
Mostly written in 2012, with a coda added in 2013, by Phoenix_Dragon.
WARNING: As part of this story is an Ontological Mystery, it's impossible to avoid Spoilers. Read at your own risk!!!
Tropes referenced include
- Amnesiacs Are Innocent: Completely justified in this case, because Sky has no memory of how to be a Changeling and only the vaguest idea of how to be a Pony.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: Sky does not remember that he is supposed to be an enemy of the Ponies.
- Amnesiac Hero: Sky. He wakes up in the forest not even knowing his own real name, let alone how he got there.
- Amnesiac Liar: Sky claims to be a Pony, is actually a Changeling, and does not remember the fact.
- Ask a Stupid Question...: The following exchange. Doubly hilarious because both do this in complete innocence.Apple Bloom: "What's it like losing your memory?"Sky: "Oh, uh... Well, I don't really remember."
- Brutal Honesty: From exactly who you would expect to do this.Applejack: "So, lemme get this straight ... Yah got all upset because yah felt like you were trickin' everypony, and then got all tripped up on somepony else's emotions, so yah decided to drop the disguise and fly right into the middle of town? ... [[long pause]] ... "Yah know that was pretty dumb, right?"
- Emotion Eater: Sky feeds off love, like all Changelings. This is actually a clue to his true identity — from the first chapter, Sky gains strength whenever someone displays positive affect toward him, as this is apparently a very instinctive Changeling power.
- The Empath: Like all Changelings, Sky is an empath. He gets very good at it after his immersion in Pony culture.
- Everybody Knew Already: Celestia obviously figured out exactly what Sky was the moment she laid eyes (and possibly other senses) upon him. At least some of the Mane Six also suspected from early on. Celestia however realized that a more important question than what Sky had been was who he wanted to be.
- Forgiveness: Very important to Sky, because he feels guilty for his actions as a Changeling. Luckily for him, the Equestrians are rather forgiving as a culture.
- Sunflower forgives him for nearly killing her during the attack on Canterlot.
- Crucially, Celestia and Luna forgive Sky for being part of the invading army in the first place. This is vital because it means that Sky can build a future for himself in Equestria.
- Rainbow Dash mostly forgives Sky for courting her under false pretenses though not enough to make her want to resume the relationship.
- Genius Ditz: Pinkie Pie instantly realizes that Sky is a Changeling because of the strange lacunae in his knowledge and the way his energy levels shift depending on whether or not he's around strong emotional affect. This is very consistent with her characterization on the show: Pinkie has repeatedly demonstrated her possession of a powerful, though extremely strange, intellect (for instance, she personally knows and can remember salient details about the roughly 2000 residents of Ponyville). Also in character for Pinkie, it doesn't occur to her to tell anypony else, because she assumes that they can all see it too.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Chrysalis, who terrifies even Sky, who is a Changeling. Of course in part this is because he doesn't realize that he is — a Changeling aware of his identity would probably find her awesome and magnificent.
- He Cleans Up Nicely: Sky gets a makeover at the spa in his Changeling form. The result is surpringly handsome."Oh, wow," Twilight said.Fluttershy peered at him. "You look so...""Shiny," Applejack said.
- Heel Realization: Multiple ones, for Sky. His feelings of guilt are not much mitigated by the fact that in the first case he was the enemy and in the second he didn't know himself that he was leading her on.
- When he realizes that he nearly killed Sunflower during the invasion of Canterlot.
- Regarding his pursuit of Rainbow Dash, when he realizes how betrayed she feels by the discovery that he was a Changeling all along.
- The High Queen: Celestia won't repair her palace until the damage to the rest of Canterlot is repaired. This is one of the ways we know that she truly does love her little ponies.
- Humble Heroine: Twilight Sparkle gets embarrassed when Rarity mentions to Sky some of the deeds Twilight has done for Equestria. Ironically, one of those deeds was helping to save Canterlot from the Changeling Invasion, the precise battle in which Sky was wounded.
- Identity Amnesia: Sky's situation at the start of the tale. He doesn't even remember his own name: "Sky" is just something he chooses to call himself.
- Interspecies Romance: One seems to be building between Sky and Rainbow Dash, though neither realize that it is "interspecies" at the time. The Non Equine Lover Reveal comes before things get too far.
- Love Epiphany: Sky realizes he's falling in love with Rainbow Dash. Based on her own behavior, Rainbow Dash seems to have realized it sooner. Perhaps surprisingly, as she's not the most subtle pony on the show. But then, Sky is pretty innocent about being a Pony.
- Non-Equine Lover Reveal: Only marginally less painful for both Sky and Rainbow Dash because they hadn't actually yet declared their love.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The state of Rainbow Dash after she has learned Sky is a Changeling. Specifically, it demonstrates that her feelings for him were (are?) very real.She looked like crap. Her mane and tail were all frazzled, her coat mussed. Even her eyes were red. Either she hadn't been able to sleep well, or she'd been crying. He was guessing the former. She didn't seem the crying type.
- Powder Keg Crowd: One forms in Ponyville when Sky's identity as a Changeling is revealed. The Mane Six successfully calm them by pointing out that Sky isn't hostile.
- Quest for Identity: Sky's story arc. Even after he discovers that he's a Changeling, he has to figure out how what he can do now that his Hive has been hopelessly defeated, and he no longer really wants to be an enemy of Equestria.
- Reality Ensues: Sky's job search. He is only able to find either very part-time or physically-exhausting work. Just because Ponyville is a friendly place doesn't mean that they have much work for him.
- Secret Keeper: The Mane Six and Spike after Sky is revealed as a Changeling.
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: The reason why Sky is stuck being a Pony, at least until his memory returns.
- Shapeshifting: Signature ability of Changelings. Sky can't do it until he remembers what he is.
- She Never Told Us Her Name: One of the reasons why Twilight Sparkle suspects from early on that Sky was a Changeling is that he knew the name of the Changeling Queen, Chrysalis. The Queen never said her name to any Pony other than Cadance so it's improbable that Sky would have known the name unless Sky was a Changeling.
- The Tease: Rainbow Dash begins acting this way toward Sky when she realizes that he is attracted to her. Being Rainbow Dash, her teasing is athletic and often over-the-top (literally twitching her tail in his face, setting him up in a situation where they must share a bed, etc.) Luckily for Rainbow Dash, Sky's true identity is revealed before things go too far. She's still horribly embarrassed by what she was doing after the fact, though. Poor both of them.
- This Was His True Form: Sky reverts to his true Changeling form after a bad crash, just as he became Mode Locked into being Sky after the first crash.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Sky discovers that he is a Changeling. This is an especially horrible discovery for him, because he has thoroughly come to think of himself as a Pony, and therefore his reaction to this is essentially that he's discovered himself to be a monster.
- Training Montage: Sky becomes a very strong Pegasus because he hires on at Sweet Apple Acres to do farm labor. To emphasize: he is trying to keep up with one of the strongest and toughest Earth Ponies (Applejack) shown in canon, at a farm also worked by the strongest one yet shown (Big Mac).
- You Didn't Ask: This is why Pinkie didn't tell anypony that she'd figured out that Sky was a Changeling, she thought they knew already.