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Fanfic / Little Deceptions

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“Alright, let’s get this over with. Interrogation starting, 11:30AM. Please state your name.”

“Oooh, is that a recording gem? I didn’t know you had—”

“Please state your name.”

“Well then. Blank Slate.”

“‘Blank Slate’ is a suspect in the ongoing investigation into the recent robberies of high-profile…”

“Not a suspect. I did it.”

Little Deceptions is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic by Taranth.


Blank Slate is the greatest thief of his generation. He has robbed countless nigh-impossible marks, and his talents as a Master of Disguise are beyond par - truly, nopony knows who he is.

And now he's preparing the greatest heist in mortal memory: the treasure vaults of the Princesses themselves.

But you have to get up pretty early in the morning to get one past the pony who defines when ‘early in the morning’ is…


This work provides examples of::

  • Big Good: Princess Celestia is such a big good that a brief conversation with her can a career criminal to turn themselves in.
  • Could Say It, But... / I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: While Blank Slate is "guarding" the vault as part of the final step of his plan for robbing it, Princess Celestia suddenly appears and sits down next to him. She calls him by his real name, a name he hasn't used for 15 years, then starts gently talking about how disappointed she was that there was someone stealing things for fun, before going on to note that there's always a chance to change and begin to use one's skills for good. She concludes by smiling warmly at him and noting that with a vigilant guard like him on duty, there's absolutely no chance of the vault being robbed tonight. Cuckoo Cloud is so moved by her trust in him to change and do good that he spends the rest of the night actually guarding the vault before turning himself in the next day.
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  • Good Feels Good: Blank Slate realizes this during his conversation with Princess Celestia, leading him to turn himself in.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Blank Slate is turning himself in because he wants a second chance. One promised to him by Princess Celestia herself.
  • I Have Many Names: Blank Slate changes names with every new disguise he dons, with even Blank Slate being an alias. Being addressed by Princess Celestia by his true name, Cuckoo Cloud, is part of what causes him to turn himself in.
  • I Never Told You My Name: Key plot point. Princess Celestia addressing him by his real name - a name that no one had heard in 15 years - makes him realize that he's been caught.
  • Interrogation Flashback / Foregone Conclusion / How We Got Here: The story opens with Blank Slate talking to the royal guard after turning himself in for a series of high-profile thefts around Canterlot, because "She told me to." The rest of the story explains why.
  • Last-Second Chance: Blank Slate is given one of these by Princess Celestia herself as he stands outside of the vault.
  • Lovable Rogue: Blank Slate is one of these.
  • Meaningful Rename: As Blank Slate narrates his story, the name he calls himself by changes with each disguise. After Princess Celestia addresses him by his real name, he uses that to describe himself at the end of the story.
  • Phantom Thief: Blank Slate is a master thief, and is only caught after turning himself in voluntarily.
  • Purity Personified: Princess Celestia, in the eyes of Blank Slate.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: Blank Slate realizes this is what Celestia intends for him. It's implied in the ending that this has happened many times before.
  • Self-Applied Nickname: All of Blank Slate's names, including Blank Slate itself. All but Cuckoo Cloud.
  • The Perfect Crime: Blank Slate's plan to steal from the royal vault would have been one of these, had Princess Celestia not shown up.

     Ending Spoilers 
  • Accidental Misnaming: Princess Celestia has a spell to prevent these, as she has a tendency to accidentally call ponies by the names of long-dead relatives.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Princess Celestia made Blank Slate undergo a Heel–Face Turn just by talking to him, without even realizing he was the thief she was talking about.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Cuckoo Cloud's "little deceptions" are the many, many disguises he wears. Princess Celestia's little deception, however, is the spell that she has that allows her to know ponies names without speaking to them.
  • Irony: Cuckoo Cloud turned his whole life around because Princess Celestia knew his name. Princess Celestia can't even remember his name without her spell.
  • Namedar: Princess Celestia has it, and loves how it makes her little ponies feel special that she knows their names.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: For Cuckoo Cloud, it was a knowing act of mercy that completely changed his life. For Princess Celestia, it was a nice little chat with an easily flustered new guard she can't even remember the name of without her spell.

“Well, she’s pretty big on second chances. I’m sure she’ll be happy to see you, one way or another…”

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