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Fanfic / Mother of Invention

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My Little Pony:
Castaways Are Magic

Mother of Invention is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan fiction written by zaponator.

Applejack wakes up alone on a Deserted Island. Without her friends and no idea how she got here, the Element of Honesty has to figure out how to survive until she's rescued — or escapes. That would make the situation grim enough, but there's more to the island than meets the eye — and she might not be alone after all.


This fic provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Area: Applejack has found a number of these on the island, including a cabin and a greenhouse.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The magical book Applejack finds turns out to be this.
  • Arc Words: "NEC DI NEC DOMINI" (translation: "No Gods, No Masters"), which has turned up on every structure Applejack has found on the island.
  • April Fools' Day: The special April Fools' chapter had it turn out that the island was actually Syndrome's Island Base from The Incredibles, with Applejack meeting up with the family and fighting off Syndrome's soldiers. And then Harry Dresden shows up.
  • Black Out Basement: The underground facility, as a circuit breaker has been tripped.
  • Captain Ersatz: The Daedalus Foundation is directly inspired by the SCP Foundation. D-class personnel are referred to by that exact term. The Alpha, Gamma, and Omega classifications are a perfect match for SCP's Safe, Euclid, and Keter classifications. And the experiment logs we see are written in the same detached and clinical style as actual SCP experiment logs.
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  • Catapult Nightmare: Happens with Applejack's first nightmare.
  • Closed Circle: An island is of course already this for an earth pony with no access to pegasus flight or unicorn teleportation. But when Applejack tries to escape on a raft, she find the situation is actually even worse.
  • Deserted Island: Of the Castaway variety so far, though with hints of Monster Island.
  • Deus ex Machina: At first, Applejack has hope that Twilight Sparkle or princess Celestia will magically rescue her. After Applejack finally disables the Faraday Protocol, this is exactly what happens.
  • Dream Sequence: Each dream is italicized and has its own separate chapter.
  • Dream Within a Dream: Happens in "Melancholy Hill".
  • Driven to Suicide: Defied twice. First, the destruction of the raft leads Applejack to momentarily consider ending it all - but she shakes it off. Second, she almost considers simply living out her days on the island, but quickly rejects the idea upon realizing that not trying to escape is simply suicide in another form.
  • Eaten Alive: Happened to an unnamed pony during an experiment with parasprites. After reading this, Applejack understandably concludes that the Daedalus Foundation has gone from morally ambiguous to completely evil.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Hasn't quite happened yet, but it's clear the loneliness is wearing on Applejack.
  • Hat Damage: Averted, despite the struggle for survival AJ's trademark Stetson has remained undamaged so far.
  • Heel Realization: Eventually happened to the unknown scientist that wrote the book Applejack finds.
  • Island of Mystery: So far we've got a castaway, an unseen monster in the jungle, mysterious ruins, and a force field cutting off escape from the island.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Averted, Applejack's Trauma-Induced Amnesia only robs her of the memories from around the time of her injury - much like the way amnesia works in the real world.
  • Missing Time: Applejack has no memory of how she came to be on the island or what happened to her friends.
    • Happens again when AJ gets injured — she calculates that about two weeks passed but she only remembers bits and pieces.
  • Molotov Cocktail: Using a bottle of alcohol, Applejack makes one to ward of the unseen monster.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In universe, the discovery of the construction site and its contents is this for Applejack.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The unseen monster stalking Applejack.
  • Ontological Mystery: Not only does Applejack wake up on an island with no idea of how she got there, but it becomes quickly apparent that there's something not quite right about the island.
  • Parental Abandonment: Applejack's parents are gone. While they're a very painful subject that AJ does her best to not think about, her thoughts can't help but stray to them during her brushes with death. While Applejack's mother did indeed die while giving birth to Applebloom, the fic plays this trope a little differently than is usual for Applejack fics by having her father be missing, rather than explicitly dead.
  • Robinsonade: Finding food, water, and shelter make up a great deal of Applejack's struggles.
  • Sequel Hook: There's no telling what secrets still sleep within the ruins of the Daedalus foundation. It's not hard to imagine Princess Celestia launching a formal investigation of the island and its underground laboratories.
  • Teleport Interdiction: The "Faraday Protocol", which prevents magically scanning or teleporting to or from the island. It's powerful enough to even block Luna's Dream Walker power.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Applejack's hat. It was given to her by her father, and is the only thing she has left of him.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Appplejack appears to be suffering from this, since she has no memory of how she came to be on the island. She eventually remembers exactly what happened.
  • Weakened by the Light: The monster that stalks Applejack never appears during the day, from which she deduces it cannot stand bright light. She is exactly right.
  • Weather-Control Machine: Eventually revealed to be the cause of the unnatural storm that caused the accident that left Applejack stranded.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Applejack's attempt to escape the island by building a raft.