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     Asia Side-Story 
First Published: Nov. 25th 2013

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: This is revealed to be the case for Aquamarine Glimmer, who decides to pursue a relationship with Sergei after realizing her growing feelings for him.
  • Action Survivor: Yon-Soo started off as one until he asks Porter to help him take a level up in badass because he doesn't want to be The Load.
  • Affectionate Parody: "The Baker's Dilemma", a TV show Yon-Soo was the leading actor in, is one for K-Dramas.
  • An Ice Person: Blizzard Flurry.
  • The Archer: Mei Ling and Tatiana from the Underground.
  • Author Appeal: Detailed descriptions of international cuisine and dubstep and other shout outs to electronic artists are scattered throughout the story.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Both the Russian military and civilians have done this, whether it's with old rifles, bombs and tanks.
  • Call-Forward: Melnik claims in Chapter Six that things will only get worse for everyone in the world, and the war is the easiest it's going to get. Anyone who has read the Starvation Side-Story knows just how right he is.
    • Aquamarine just knows that something happened to her Royal Guard husband to make him drive her and Comet away. She's definitely correct.
  • The Cameo: Marcus and Ambassador Lyra both show up in the chapter "The St. Petersburg Diaries".
    • A "wild-bearded Menschabwehrfraktion (German HLF) man" with an MG2019 is briefly shown on the news in Chapter Six, clearing an entire street of Newfoals. Considering that Kraber claims to have done this at some point, it's probably him.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Yon-Soo suffers one in "A Journey to the East".
  • Celebrity Survivor: Yon-Soo is a former actor, pop idol and model.
  • Cheerful Child: Comet Tail, who takes a shine to the humans that rescued her and her mother from the HLF.
  • *Click* Hello: How Yon-Soo and Porter first meet Hyong-Jin.
  • Continuity Nod: Queen Elizabeth's last address is reproduced. We also get to see a glimpse of TCB!Lyra and her work prior to her death.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Comet starts exhibiting signs of this in "The Face of the Enemy" when she takes a rather sick delight in taunting an injured newfoal, and disowns her father.
  • Creator Provincialism: Played straight with regards to Yon-Soo being South Korean (as Kizuna Tallis stated in a review of Starvation that her mother's family comes from there), but averted with the story also taking place in areas of Russia, Mongolia and China.
  • Defiant to the End: A group of elderly folks who refuse to evacuate from St. Petersburg ask the protagonists to rig their nursing home with explosives, and when the Royal Guards come in to convert them, they blow the building to kingdom come.
  • Dying as Yourself: The main characters make a vow to each other not to hesitate in shooting their comrades should they get potioned; this is apparently not uncommon amongst human fighters.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Yon-Soo sees several discarded and dropped children's toys (along with clothes and other types of possessions) on the streets when he and the crew are helping to evacuate civilians out of St. Petersburg.
  • Enemy Mine: North Korea and South Korea form an alliance in the battle against Imperial Equestria, but the Democratic People's Republic is quickly overtaken by the Solar Empire's forces and promptly is wiped out by Russia's and China's nuclear warheads.
  • Fiery Redhead: Firebrand is a male example.
  • Five-Man Band: So far we have...
  • Freudian Trio: Yon-Soo, Porter, and Hyong-Jin.
  • How We Got Here: The prologue opens in the main story's present day (2023), and the rest of it recounts how the Dragons of the East were formed and how the war has been going on in the Asian front from the day it was declared and onwards.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Melnik, while using the drill in his prosthetic arm, yells "Giga... Drill... Breaker!" When Porter looks at him funny, Melnik says this in response.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: For everyone who managed to escape Moscow, St. Petersburg and anywhere else in western Russia swallowed by the Barrier in Chapter Six.
  • Irony: Hyong-Jin, a former North Korean, bemoans President Davis's decision to nuke Washington D.C.
  • It's Personal: Porter wants to make the Queen pay for ponifying his girlfriend (who was one of the reporters that got forcibly converted at the Berne press conference), while Hyong-Jin vows to avenge his family and friends that were likely killed or ponified by the PER.
    • Aquamarine and Comet both want to get back at the Solar Empire for how it corrupted Gale (Aquamarine's husband/Comet's father) and broke up their family.
    • Tatiana hates both the PER and HLF in equal measure for being responsible for the death of her younger brother.
  • Kill It with Fire: Firebrand's fire tornado.
    • Difficult, but Awesome/Awesomeness Is Volatile: Creating one takes immense amounts of concentration and uninterrupted flying for Firebrand. On top of that, Firebrand can't control the tornado once he's out of the cyclone, plus any additional latent magic and other fuel for fire can make it become even bigger and more uncontrollable.
  • Mercy Kill: Yon-Soo does this to a fellow soldier right before the man was fully ponified. Hyong-Jin does the same to an old man with dementia that gets converted.
  • Multinational Team: A South Korean, an American, three Russians, a North Korean, a Ukrainian and four ponies join forces to take the fight to the Solar Empire.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Yon-Soo refuses to leave Porter and his friends to die at the hands of the HLF in "The Face of the Enemy". On that same note, Aquamarine and Comet angrily refuse to leave the team behind when Yon-Soo suggests they use an escape route in case the worst case scenario occurs.
  • Nuclear Option: The Russian and Chinese governments resorted to this to keep the Newfoals in North Korea (numbering the millions) from spilling over into their countries.
  • Old Soldier: Aitmatov is stated to be forty-three, and a Great Patriotic War vet in St. Petersburg pulls a Taking You with Me when Royal Guard Ponies show up at his and his friends' retirement home.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Both Warlord Zhou and Porter give these to each other in "Sunset City Is At War", the former calling the latter self-centered, arrogant and self-righteous, and the latter pointing out that the warlord is just making excuses for himself and clearly enjoys inflicting pain and suffering as his own revenge against a world he felt screwed him over.
  • Roof Hopping: The guys pull this off during the evacuation of St. Petersburg.
  • Shown Their Work: Chapter Five features numerous pieces of Russian hardware, all completely accurate for the setting. Yes, even the automatic grenade launcher.
    • Everything about the Borz pistol found in Chapter Seven is true, in that they really are that bad and unreliable. On top of that, Russia has a lot of Neo-Nazis, unfortunately. The chapter also has plenty of (untranslated) Russian dialogue.
  • Soap Within a Show: Going by the clip Sergei shows to Aquamarine and Comet, "The Baker's Dilemma" has many shades of this, most particularly including a Love Triangle that involved Yon-Soo's character (who makes a Race for Your Love dash through an airport after an apparent epiphany) and a bunch of other overblown cliches.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: As it turns out, being a Sociopathic Soldier is practically the HLF's hat. According to Porter, there's mainly two types of people in the HLF – those who use the war as an excuse to kill and murder, and those who that only join out of fear and paranoia for their own safety and end up being Driven to Madness.
  • Take That!
    • A completely unintentional example in the form of pegasus filly Comet Tail, who also shares her name with a unicorn mage from one of Chatoyance's stories. Word of Kizuna states she was completely unaware of that, and retroactively made Comet into a straight Take That!, which works as Comet's love for humans and human culture doesn't get dampened by her traumatizing stay with the HLF.
    • A newfoal references a PER agent named Jiang, which is the Chinese word for ginger. Michelson's first name is Ginger. There's also a reference to a piece from the Official Timeline of a PER squire named Nutmeg Morely getting stabbed to death with a ceramic rat by Kraber and Kagan Burakgazi.
  • Taking the Bullet: In Chapter Five, a Russian soldier named Markov pushes Porter out of the way from a potion getting thrown at him. Yon-Soo Mercy Kills him right before the conversion process is complete.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Khan mentions offhandedly that a decent percentage of the Russian HLF's membership is comprised of Neo-Nazis.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: The biggest HLF group in China is named the Blood Tigers, and they're squaring off against our heroes, the Dragons of the East.
  • Translation Convention: Porter is said to be fairly good at speaking Korean, though Yon-Soo (and later on, Hyong-Jin) can speak fluent English. There's also the Russians' dialogue.
  • True Companions: The main characters, soon to be called "The Dragons of the East". They even serve somewhat as a surrogate family to each other.
  • Uncanny Valley: In-Universe; Comet finds horses from earth to be unnerving and odd looking (though they're still just slightly better than the newfoals). Sergei explains this trope to her to help her understand why.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Yon-Soo has a Stress Vomit version of this after the evacuation of St. Petersburg by grabbing the nearest trash can and releasing the contents of his stomach.

     Europe Side-Story 
First Published: Dec. 21st 2012

  • And the Adventure Continues
  • Battle Couple: Stephan and TCB!Trixie become one.
  • BFS: Stephan is given a machete by TCB!Chrysalis that turns into a claymore sword thanks to Changeling magic. It's about the same height as him, but weighs less than a regular claymore.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Chrysalis crossed it after she became the last of her kind to survive Queen Celestia's xenocide of the Changelings.
  • Dirty Old Man: Peter. While he's treated sympathetically by the text, he does mention having had four wives and is rather frank about why exactly he likes Sapphire Shores.
  • Enemy Mine: The entire Middle East are mentioned to have put aside their differences to fight the TCB!Equestrians, including the Taliban and the ANA.
    • In the appropriately titled chapter "The Enemy of my Enemy", Stephan encounters Queen Chrysalis being kept on life support in an Icelandic hospital. She offers to train Trixie, a pony she once would have seen as no more than prey, in the arts of shape-shifting to strike back at Celestia.
  • The Exile: TCB!Chrysalis somehow made it to Earth after fleeing Equus.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Trixie may be self-absorbed and abrasive towards humans, but she's sickened at the idea of forcing the ponification potion down anyone's throat.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Peter's comments about being in a relationship with pony celebrity Sapphire Shores creep out Stephan, even as he's falling for Trixie himself.
  • Last Stand: What the remains of the TCB!Changeling hive did to protect Chrysalis so she could hide away and repopulate their species when the Newfoals' tainted love killed them all off. Sadly, it was all in vain.
  • Middle Eastern Coalition: When all of the countries within the the Middle East ally against a common enemy, that's when you know the world is ending.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The chancellor of Germany is an unnamed, middle-aged woman. Given that the side-story is set in 2020, Angela Merkel could still be in office by then.
  • Police Brutality: Trixie is subjected to this after being taken into military custody aboard an American aircraft carrier. The Marines fully intend to finish her off too, but Stephan arrives just in time, and accompanied by Marcus, who uses his senior officer status to overrule them.
  • Red Baron: Stephan's nickname, "The Knight of Germania", due to him being German and using Powered Armor and a sword.
  • Rescue Romance: Getting saved by Stephan from death at the hands of the vengeful Marines is the first step for Trixie to fall in love with him.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The story is littered with spelling and grammatical errors. Somewhat justified in that English isn't the author's first language.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: At one point, Stephan wakes up Trixie to give her a briefing while she's in bed. Once he's finished speaking, she points out they do have two hours left...
  • Shown Their Work: The military procedures of the Bundeswehr are told in great detail. Word of God states that the author has experience in that department.
  • Take Up My Sword: Chrysalis does this both literally and figuratively to the two main characters by introducing Trixie to shape-shifting magic and giving Stephan his signature Morph Weapon.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Stephan teaches Trixie how to fight before starting a relationship with her.
  • War Refugees: Trixie spends some time in a pony refugee camp in Iceland. Fortunately, since most human governments acknowledge that not all ponies seek to destroy mankind, the conditions there are rough yet bearable.
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     Once More Unto The Breach 
First Published: July 24th 2015
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