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Fanfic / The Negotiations-verse

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The Negotiations-verse is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic series written by Rated Ponystar that is based off of The Conversion Bureau.

Things start out like any other TCB story: Equestria appeared on Earth surrounded by a magical barrier, and they offered humanity the chance to start over again with a potion that would heal all their ills and grant them happier, more peaceful lives. But when it became clear that Equestria's true goal was to convert the entire human race into ponies regardless of whether they actually wanted it or not, war broke out, with humanity uniting in the face of a common enemy and soundly defeating Equestria. Now, Twilight Sparkle has to ensure Equestria's continued survival and make peace between humanity and ponykind in the aftermath.


This particular take on the TCB genre stands out as it focuses on the aftermath of the conflict between mankind and the ponies from the latter's perspective, that of the losing side. In addition, its tone is a more serious and grounded take on TCB, analyzing and deconstructing certain tropes common to TCB stories.

The story currently spans six parts. Rated Ponystar has also given the go-ahead to other writers to take part in the universe.

The stories in this series include:

  • Negotiations: After being forced to surrender the war to humanity following their failed conversion efforts, Twilight Sparkle must meet with a representative from the United Nations and reach an agreement for peace between their respective races, all the while she reflects on what the war has cost her personally. But as her discussion with the diplomat intensifies, hidden truths come to light that reveals the full extent of the consequences of Celestia's actions and will shake the young alicorn's beliefs to their core.
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  • Reunited: Twilight is reunited with Fluttershy (who, with Discord following suit, defected to help humanity in the early days of the war) and seeks to rebuild their friendship.
  • Truth: Right before Celestia's scheduled execution, Twilight goes to visit her former mentor and ask her why she did what she did, and the answers aren't quite so black and white.
  • Useless: Applejack and Rainbow Dash (now prominent members of the biggest anti-human terrorist cell in Equestria) have a drink as they wait for the bitter end while reminiscing on what they've lost over the years.
  • Rest: Spike, having seen Twilight fulfill her promise to fix Celestia's mistakes and nearing the end of her life, prepares for cancer to take her.
  • Future: Three hundred years after Twilight's passing, Spike, who has spent that time teaching humanity and ponykind, wonders about finding love and life.

The Negotiations-verse provides examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating: Celestia is universally despised by both humanity and the vast majority of ponykind by Reunited, with only a very small number of die-hard loyalists remaining by that point. In fact, when she finally woke up from her coma sometime before Truth, riots broke out all over the world when it was announced that she was going to be put on trial first instead of just executed outright.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Equestria first appeared on Earth in 2036. Ten years went by until Celestia delivered her ultimatum and the ensuing war went on for another five.
  • 100% Heroism Rating:
    • The sniper who killed Shining Armor was declared a hero for his accomplishment.
    • Discord is also near-universally loved by humanity, in a complete reversal of how he was initially seen in Equestria.
    • Lyra Heartstrings is also beloved by mankind, nicknamed "Hero and Friend to All Humans" for her outspoken and unwavering rebellion.
  • Abandoned Area: Canterlot Castle was left vacant and fell into disrepair for many years after Celestia was removed from power. It wasn't until a new governing body for Equestria was determined that they rebuilt it, and it later became the location of Twilight's deathbed as well.
  • Achilles' Heel: The ponies' overreliance on their magic proved to be their downfall when mankind developed the Thalmann Generators, which disable all forms of magic they're used on, leading to the barrier's destruction, the death of Luna, and Celestia being rendered comatose.
  • Aesop Amnesia: In-universe, UN Representative Anthony Doyle points out that there aren't many records of ponykind's history from before the First Hearthswarming Eve, with Twilight arguing that there is no point to remembering such a bad part of their history. Doyle then fittingly delivers the quote "those who forget history are doomed to repeat it" in response.
    • In Rest, Discord tells Spike that his reason for living should be to avert this by making sure that humanity and ponykind will always remember the important details of history and to never repeat the same mistakes again.
  • A God Am I: Zig-zagged for Celestia, who never outright states it but basically did play God with humanity when she decided that the only way the humans could possibly coexist with her subjects would be to "save them from themselves" by turning them into "peaceful and kind" ponies against their will. Lampshaded by Spike in Future.
    Twilight, when she was little, once asked Celestia if she was a goddess and Celestia answered she wasn’t, but was alright being worshiped as one if it meant unifying her ponies even closer. I sometimes wonder if being glorified made her so overconfident in her future decisions or was she like that before it?
  • All There in the Manual: This Q&A provides much of the setting's background information and history.
  • Alternate Universe: A few things happened differently in this version of the MLP universe before the ponies' transition to Earth: the events of Equestria Girls never occurred, Sunset Shimmer was killed and then eaten by a tribe of African natives when she visited Earth, and Starlight Glimmer was captured and ultimately committed suicide in prison instead of escaping like she did in the canon opening of season five.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: According to exposition, when the non-ponies living in Equestria revolted against Celestia, she ordered them all to be rounded up and imprisoned until the war with humanity was over, and then after they escaped and tried to flee on stolen ships they were attacked and destroyed, leaving no survivors, but whether the order came from Celestia herself or one of her naval commanders was never determined.
  • Anti-Magic: The Thalmann Generators work like an EMP wave, albeit for magic. Concentrating their power into a focused laser beam shot is what finally brought the barrier down.
  • Apocalypse How: One of a planetary scale is the fate of Equus in the absence of the alicorn princesses - without Celestia and Luna to move the sun and moon, every living thing on that planet is now dead, either burned to a crisp on one half of the world or frozen to death on the other. This realization solidifies Twilight's Heel–Face Turn, but later we find out that Equus was doomed from the get-go because its sun was already dying.
    • Earth goes through at least a Regional/Continental one. Mr. Doyle reveals that mankind lost half their nations (Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and a good portion of Africa and South America were among those lost to the barrier while much of the Middle East and parts of China were destroyed in the battles) and over three billion people because of the war, but reconstruction efforts are underway, including finding a cure for those afflicted with the ponification potion.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Given by Doyle to Twilight: "Who's been controlling the sun and moon in your old world since you've been here?"
    • Twilight asks Celestia a series of these in Truth.
  • Artifact Title: Subverted - while this is a recursive fanfiction of The Conversion Bureau, it doesn't have TCB in its title. Even still, the bureaus themselves never actually appear.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: One plot hole/piece of fridge horror ignored in the original TCB story (and most of its spin-offs) is the question of what happens to Equus without the princesses around to move the sun and moon. This story does not mince words over just how horrifying the results would be.
  • Assimilation Plot: Typical in TCB stories; here it failed.
  • The Atoner: Twilight becomes this in general after the war, working to redeem ponykind in the eyes of humanity and restore Equestria to something honorable. Her main personal goal is to find a way to reverse the effects of the ponification potion and give the victims their true bodies and selves back before she dies, which she accomplishes sometime before the events of Rest.
  • Batman Gambit: Celestia destroyed both the Vatican and Mecca hoping that the loss of their most religious cities, monuments and icons would break humanity's will to fight. Instead it achieved the exact opposite effect.
  • Big Applesauce: Twilight mentions that one of the major engagements during the war was the Battle of New York in which Shining Armor was killed.
  • Blind Obedience: Deconstructed. Ponykind's reverence of Celestia meant that they went along with her plan to go to Earth and assimilate humanity without question, and never once thought about any of the implications of this until it was too late. Twilight herself never even considered that Celestia could do anything as monstrous as leaving behind their entire planet to die and it takes Doyle's Armor-Piercing Question for her to even begin thinking about it. This fanaticism cost Celestia's people (especially Twilight) nearly everything they had, so it's no surprise that she was quickly demonized by them when they finally came to their senses.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: The Mane 6 is no more. Fluttershy was the first to go when she defected to humanity, Pinkie Pie and Rarity died when Ponyville was bombed, and Applejack and Rainbow Dash joined an underground terrorist cell and were ultimately killed.
  • Broken Pedestal: Twilight (and the majority of ponykind) goes through this very hard regarding Celestia.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Thalmann Generators not only disabled the enchantments the ponies placed on their weapons but also robbed them of nearly all their magic period, rendering them a lot easier to kill.
    • Also, Discord and the alicorns' powers are sharply reduced from what they used to be in their home dimension. Most particularly, they are no longer immortal.
      • This is somewhat subverted, however, in that despite their slightly weakened state, they were still a force to be reckoned with; Discord's mischief made him an incredibly effective saboteur after he defected, while Celestia and Luna were still strong enough to take on entire armies of humans by themselves when they needed to.
  • Call-Back: Twilight compares the newfoals' odd behavior to how the "equalized" ponies of Starlight Glimmer's village acted in the Season 5 premiere (a very common comparison fans have made ever since the previews came out).
  • Cassandra Truth: Twilight at first doesn't believe Doyle's claim that the ponification potion rendered all the newfoals infertile... until she recalls that there have been absolutely no reports of the newfoals giving birth to children in the past fifteen years since the bureaus were opened.
  • Convenient Coma: Celestia fell into a coma at the war's conclusion; this, coupled with Luna and Cadence being dead, leaves Twilight the only one capable of representing Equestria for peace talks in the aftermath.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Once humanity developed the Thalmann Generators and started putting them to use, the ponies got their asses handed to them on a silver platter from that point on.
  • Death World: While searching for alternate dimensions that could safely house Equestria, Celestia chose Earth in the end because it was the only one she found among countless others that wasn't this. She states that the others she discovered were virtual Eldritch Locations that would instantly kill ponies due to their different laws of physics or contained (sometimes incomprehensible) horrors that made humanity, at its worst, look benign in comparison.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Like The Conversion Bureau: Not Alone and The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum before it, Negotiations thoroughly deconstructs many of the usual TCB tropes. For one thing, a mostly medieval/slightly industrialized nation (whose soldiers wield swords, spears and arrows) wouldn't do well in warfare against 21st century tactics and weaponry, humanity does not take the ponies' misanthropy and Assimilation Plot lightly, and it gives a far more feasible explanation as to why Equestria would even go to Earth in the first place.
  • Defector from Decadence: Not every pony agreed with what Celestia said about the humans and the necessity of ponification, and they accordingly defected to aid humanity. Lyra Heartstrings, Fluttershy (with Discord following out of his love for her), Carrot Top, Derpy Hooves, Braeburn, Moondancer and Flash Sentry are among those Twilight knew personally who rebelled.
  • Defiant to the End:
    • Despite her crusade costing her the lives of most of her family and forty percent of her own subjects, Celestia refused to give up by choice, only stopping when she was forced into a coma and Twilight surrendered in her stead.
    • Applejack and Rainbow Dash adamantly rejected Twilight's decision to surrender to humanity, joined an underground terrorist cell to keep the fight going, and were ultimately killed-in-action.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Twilight confesses in Truth that if she didn't have Spike and Fluttershy in her life to comfort and support her, she would have killed herself by now because of how miserable her life has become as a result of everything she's lost and the sheer guilt over all the pain and suffering she helped create while following Celestia.
    • It's pretty clear that Applejack already crossed this many times before the events of Useless roll around (with Applebloom's death being the first of several). In the story, she states that she doesn't even have it in her to cry anymore and completely accepts the fact that she's either going to die or be taken prisoner by the humans.
  • The Determinator: Twilight was so dedicated to finding the cure for ponification that she refused to get her cancer treated for two whole years until she succeeded.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The ponies initially believed that the war with humanity would be easy due to mankind's history of conflict, divisions over past grudges and petty grievances against each other. Needless to say, they were completely taken by surprise and grossly unprepared for when the humans unanimously put aside their differences to defeat the one enemy that was now a bigger threat to them than themselves: the ponies of Equestria.
  • Divided We Fall: Subverted. Celestia's ultimatum (convert through ponification or be destroyed by the barrier) gave humanity the perfect reason to unite against a common threat.
  • Due to the Dead: In Useless, Applejack and Rainbow Dash, now members of a pro-Equestrian terrorist cell, are gunned down by a human soldier as they prepare for a Last Stand. Although their friendship with Twilight died due to their refusal to accept her decision to surrender to the humans, and even tried to assassinate her once, she still gives them a small private funeral as a token of their former friendship.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Along with dull coats and manes, Celestia, Applejack and Rainbow Dash are all described as having these, as are what's left of the crystal ponies.
  • Dying as Yourself: In the penultimate chapter of Future, Discord pretends to pass on peacefully so he can then scare Spike with a sudden "BOO!" before dying for real. Spike can't help but be amused by this.
    Spike: (narrating) Even in death... he was Discord.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Sure, the barrier made things difficult for humanity at first and cost them a great deal, but once it was destroyed with the aid of several defectors from Celestia's regime, they steamrolled over everything the ponies threw at them and claimed victory. Downplayed in that Earth suffered heavy losses, with several nations being swallowed by the barrier, many major cities being destroyed, and casualties standing at upwards of three billion.
  • Endangered Species: Ninety percent of the crystal ponies were wiped out when the Empire was nuked, leaving only a couple hundred survivors thanks to them being far away from the blast radius when it occurred. By the events of Future, however, their race is officially extinct thanks to the radiation poisoning-induced sterility that prevented them from reproducing.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Discord's love for Fluttershy, as well as his fascination with humans in general, compelled him to defect to humanity when she did, and he later used his powers to help rebuild ruined towns and cities in the aftermath of the war.
  • Faking the Dead: Bon Bon faked her death during the Bombing of Ponyville so she could later reemerge as the leader of the Equestrian Freedom Fighters under her true name, Sweetie Drops.
  • Fallen Hero:
    • Applejack and Rainbow Dash. Once they were the Elements of Honesty and Loyalty, but now they're terrorists whose actions have directly resulted in the deaths of many innocents in the wake of the war. They've fallen so far that they had no reservations about trying to assassinate Twilight for surrendering to humanity. They get what's coming to them in Useless.
    • Celestia herself also counts.
  • Fantastic Racism: Applejack (and possibly other anti-human ponies) often refers to humans as "monkeys", and even disowns her cousin Braeburn (calling him a "backstabbing, monkey-bucking slut") for not only siding with them but also for getting into a romantic relationship with a human.
  • Forbidden Zone: The Crystal Empire is now a nuclear wasteland polluted with enough radioactive fallout to render it uninhabitable for the next three hundred years.
  • For Your Own Good: One of the reasons Celestia tried to force ponification on the human race was due to her belief that it would resolve all of their problems and make them see "the light of friendship" which she felt they lacked.
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Aside from turning humans into mindlessly smiling automaton ponies that constantly sing the princesses praises all day long, Twilight admits that even before everything that happened, the newfoals always seemed just too nice and happy.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Twilight passes away peacefully with Spike and Fluttershy by her side, happy that she had successfully fixed her mistakes and seeing that humanity had forgiven her.
    • Discord passes on in the same manner.
  • Great Offscreen War: The war between Equestria and Earth already concluded by the time of Negotiations, and while nothing of it is actually shown, it's stated to have gone on for five years and led to heavy losses for both sides, but humanity ultimately emerged the victor.
  • Grey and Grey Morality: Becoming more of Black and Grey Morality, in fact. On the one hand, Celestia had to make sure that her subjects would be safe and sound from the inevitable death of their world's sun, but her handling of the human situation really could've used some improvement. And humanity certainly wasn't going to take this act of aggression (wiping out their cultures, homes, history, etc) laying down now, would they?
  • Hanlon's Razor: While her genuine cluelessness was mixed with some prejudice, Twilight initially couldn't understand why nearly every human rejected the "perfect gift" that was ponification. The revelation about Celestia (and taking the time to really think about what exactly the potion does) changed this.
  • Happily Married: After the war, Fluttershy married a human doctor and adopted three children with him: two humans and one pony. Lyra and Flash Sentry also got together as revealed later.
  • Harmful to Minors: Fluttershy's three adopted children were War Refugees who lost their birth parents during the war (and God only knows what other horrible things they and other children like them must have gone through). While her youngest is too young to remember much, Flutters states that though her two older human children are now happy and thriving under her and her husband's care, they still get nightmares from time to time.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The revelation that Celestia was completely aware that all life on Equus would die from the sun and moon not moving anymore (or just from the sun's already soon-to-be-approaching death) after she transported Equestria to Earth compels Twilight to immediately turn her over to mankind and demand that she be executed for her crimes.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: How the ponies waged war on the humans. They would teleport a large number of their forces into heavily populated cities (New York, Moscow, Tokyo, etc.), and then convert as many as they could while causing as much damage as possible before retreating, the downside being that such tactics required a lot of time for planning and could only be accomplished by either the alicorns or a large group of unicorns pooling their magic.
  • Holier Than Thou: Lampshaded by Mr. Doyle when he recalls Celestia's ultimatum speech and sums it up with this trope.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: The ponies were all completely unaware that the relocation of Equestria to Earth was this for them. Celestia for her part states that if she could've, she would've found a way to save all of Equus as well, but she didn't have enough time.
  • Hope Spot: The non-ponies living in Equestria who stood against Celestia's regime and failed then tried to flee the nation on stolen ships, only for said ships to be attacked and sunk with them still onboard by the Equestrian Navy.
  • Hopeless War: The moment the barrier went down, the ponies were done for; they just didn't know it yet. It wasn't until Luna's brutal death later on that they even started to wonder if they might actually lose, but the final nail in the coffin was the nuking of the Crystal Empire; only then did they realize that their defeat was inevitable.
    • Any hope the Equestrian Freedom Fighters had of restoring Equestria to its "former glory" died when Celestia was executed.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Celestia in Truth, due to being Brought Down to Normal, and her appearance has taken quite the beating as well. Lampshaded with Twilight describing her as a goddess fallen into disgrace.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Celestia certainly thinks so, but Twilight takes on a more nuanced view.
  • Humans Are Divided: Subverted. The Princesses thought this would be the case, but they severely underestimated humanity's resistance to being wiped out.
  • Humans Are Special: In contrast to Celestia, this is Discord's view on humanity overall.
  • Humans Are Warriors: The humans fought on despite losing almost half of their population and civilization, attempts to demoralize them by destroying key religious locations only made them fight harder, and once they found a way to negate the ponies' magical advantage, the war became one-sided in humanity's favor.
  • Humiliation Conga: The Equestrians got this hard once humanity figured out a way around their magical advantages and destroyed the barrier: Luna was slain in the Battle of Jerusalem, the Crystal Empire was nuked (taking Cadence and Flurry Heart with it), Ponyville was bombed, Canterlot besieged, and Celestia fell into a coma after exhausting all her magical energy to protect what was left of her forces, forcing the ponies to surrender at last. By the time Twilight meets with Mr. Doyle in part one, the pony race has a metaphorical gun pointed at its head with humanity more than willing to pull the trigger if they try anything funny.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Celestia's justification for transporting Equestria to Earth, leaving the other races of their old world behind to die, starting the bureaus, and then declaring war on humanity was all in the name of the survival and preservation of Equestria, her ponies, and their way of life. When Twilight learns the whole truth, however, she really begs to differ.
  • I Die Free: Several members of the Equestrian Freedom Fighters, including their leader Sweetie Drops, committed suicide rather than let themselves be taken prisoner or killed by someone else when their home base was invaded by the Human-Pony Coalition in Useless.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: After everything she's lost, Twilight desperately wants someone (besides Spike) who can help carry the weight of her burdens, and so she seeks out Fluttershy years after they parted on bad terms.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: With the EFF's home base being invaded, her spirit broken and her imminent death rapidly approaching, Applejack uncorks the last bottle of Sweet Apple Acres Whiskey left in the whole world and shares it with Rainbow Dash before both of them meet their tragic end.
  • Interspecies Romance: As humans and ponies mingled during and after the war, some got into relationships with each other (two notable couples include Fluttershy and her husband and Braeburn and his partner). In-universe, such relationships are viewed as either a way towards the two races reaching peace and healing together or unnatural and sick.
    • In Future, Spike begins to pursue a relationship with a human artist named Rebecca.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: Discord admits he finds humans very fascinating with them being very random and sometimes extreme creatures. This, coupled with his love for Fluttershy and simply for his own amusement, is why he decided to help humanity in the war.
  • I Regret Nothing: Zig-Zagged. After Celestia admits that she feels no remorse for doing everything she could to save her species from extinction and protect their way of life, she then conveys genuine regret over everything that was lost in the process.
  • Irony: At the climax of Useless, Applejack and Rainbow Dash make a pact to go out in a blaze of glory and kill as many humans as possible before they bite the dust, only for a human soldier to kick the door in, gun them both down, and then move on to the next room uncaring of who he just killed, all in the blink of an eye. And, as if to add some spiritual insult to injury, they didn't even get to finish their drink.
  • Knight Templar: Celestia will do anything to protect her ponies, even if that "thing" is sacrificing their homeworld to complete annihilation and then attempting to conquer another and remake it into her own image. She's also determined to keep her reasons away from the public simply to preserve the peace, even if that means she'll be hated forever and remembered a genocidal monster.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Celestia's defeat and subsequent coma was what finally compelled the ponies to give up the fight, although small resistance groups still exist even years later.
  • La Résistance: Lyra led a group of ponies, including Fluttershy and Discord, to join humanity and fight against Celestia, and their combined efforts are what ultimately allowed mankind to win the war.
    • In Reunited we learn that there were also several non-ponies (griffins, zebras, minotaurs, donkeys and more) who rebelled as well, but sadly they were all eradicated.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The ponies were on the receiving end of this once the barrier was destroyed.
  • Last of His Kind: Spike is now the last remaining dragon, and Twilight becomes the last alicorn after Celestia is executed until Rest, where she passes away.
    • Not of her species, but Applejack was the only member of the Apple Clan to survive the end of the war (at least until she meets her end in Useless). Braeburn survived, but because he defected from Equestria to help the humans, AJ considers him a traitor and disowned him.
  • Last Stand:
    • Luna was killed in the Battle of Jerusalem when she stayed behind to hold off enemy soldiers long enough so her own forces could escape. She soon met her end after being hit with a Thalmann Generator and was then promptly riddled with bullets.
    • Defied with the deaths of Rainbow Dash and Applejack. They were ready to have one of these, even bantering about wanting to do a Body-Count Competition, but the soldier that killed them machine-gunned them dead without even breaking stride.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Fluttershy's adopted son, a pegasus named Feathershy, takes after his mother in terms of personality and speech patterns.
  • Magitek: The Thalmann Anti-Magic Generators, created from human technology fused with pony magic.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: One of Spike's co-workers, named Beatstep, has six children and is expecting a seventh.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Part of the reason why Spike is so apprehensive about pursuing a relationship with the human Rebecca is because of this trope. This also played a part in why Discord never acted on his own love for Fluttershy, and he tells Spike before he passes on not to make that same mistake.
  • Mind Rape: What the potion does to its victims, naturally. We don't meet any of this universe's newfoals, but Mr. Doyle describes them as mindless drones that despise everything about humanity while praising Celestia and ponykind incessantly.
  • Monumental Damage: Not actually seen as per the Great Offscreen War, but it's mentioned that a good deal of humanity's historical structures and important cities (with Mecca and Vatican City getting completely glassed by the Crystal Cannon) were lost in the conflict.
  • More Dakka: Luna perished in this manner, so much so that her corpse was declared "swiss cheese" by Rainbow Dash, and it took Celestia two weeks of repairing it with magic and money just to make it presentable for the funeral.
    • The Wonderbolts were also killed this way, and seeing it happen right in front of her horrified Rainbow Dash so much that she just ran off to save herself.
  • The Mourning After: Right before he dies, Discord reveals he had loved Fluttershy ever since she reformed him, but made up all sorts of excuses for why it would never work between them. She was the only one he ever loved and he goes to his grave regretting never having acted on those feelings.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Twilight is hit hard with this over the course of Negotiations, first with the revelation that the newfoals are all sterile and later when she realizes that everyone they left behind on Equus (i.e. the whole population) is dead now without the princesses there to move the sun and moon.
    • Celestia has plenty of these to choose from, but her greatest regret is revealed in Truth after Twilight spells out in exact detail everything that she lost by following Celestia and how miserable her life has become as a result. It's this that convinces her to share her reasons with her former student.
      Celestia: Out of everypony, I hurt you the worst, Twilight. You have been like a daughter to me, and I have never forgiven myself for all the suffering I have brought upon you. Not even if I were to die a hundred times would it be enough.
  • My Greatest Failure: Rainbow Dash left Scootaloo behind to die when Equestria was invaded and she was frightened by the sheer carnage humanity wrought, her desire to make up for it becoming her motivation for joining the EFF.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Spike didn't agree with what the ponies were doing to the humans, but went along with it without complaint because Twilight did.
  • No Body Left Behind: The firing squad that executed Celestia used magic-powered rifles that reduced her body to ash.
  • Not So Different: When Celestia goes on about how humans are so cruel and destructive, Twilight coldly points out that she's known a lot of cruel ponies herself, citing her former mentor as an example.
    • Discord also compares himself to Spike, noting that they both made excuses to keep themselves from happiness.
  • Nuclear Option: The ponies used their Crystal Cannon superweapon to destroy Mecca and Vatican City. Humanity then used a nuclear warhead to obliterate the Crystal Empire in retaliation.
  • One-Man Army: More like one mare army in regards to Celestia and Luna. Even though their powers were greatly reduced during the jump from Equus to Earth, they could still put up a hard fight and gave humanity a great deal of grief, if the descriptions given of their respective final stands in Canterlot and Jerusalem are of any indication.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Twilight lost her entire family (save for Spike) and nearly all of her friends to the war. Fluttershy's adopted children share the same story.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Shortly before her demise, Rainbow Dash admits that she can't understand why ponykind could not overcome the human race when she and her friends already fought and defeated beings who were godlike in comparison prior to them.
  • Peace Conference: The premise of part one is Twilight meeting with Mr. Doyle, a member of the UN's Peacekeeping Department, to negotiate peace and long-term goals between their two races now that the ponies have lost the war and are currently at humanity's mercy.
  • The Power of Blood: It turns out that Celestia's blood was a key component in perfecting the ponification serum, while Discord's was essential in creating the cure.
  • The Promise: Twilight makes a vow to Celestia that she will never reveal the truth behind the latter's actions in order to preserve the peace between humans and ponies. In Rest, we see that Lyra and several other UN employees also know the truth thanks to the recordings taken at the time; they also vowed to remain silent on it so as to not make Celestia look like a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: Crossing out the "victory" part of this trope, this definitely applies to Celestia. She abandoned all life on Equus to a slow, painful death before trying to force the whole of mankind to convert into more ponies and house Equestria on Earth so that her subjects would be spared their sun's death, and in return lost everything she held dear: her whole family (sans Twilight and Spike) was killed, her nation was invaded and completely devastated, nearly all of her beloved ponies turned against her, and finally she herself was executed after waking up from a coma that lasted for several years, and afterwards will be remembered as a murderer and monster even worse than Hitler by future generations.
  • Race Against the Clock: Three hundred years before Nightmare Moon's return, Celestia discovered that Equus' sun was dying and so dedicated herself to try and find a way to save their entire world before it was too late. First, she tried to find a way to extend the sun's lifespan, but that (and everything else she tried after) failed, so she opted for the Homeworld Evacuation route. She searched high and low for a suitable dimension that could house their world and eventually did (Earth), but despite her best efforts, she was only able to save her own nation and species with what little time was left by that point.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Twilight delivers a powerful one to Celestia at the end of Truth:
    Celestia: I know my methods were wrong in many ways, but my intentions were good!
    Twilight: Did Luna think so? You kept it from her, didn't you? The real reason we came? I watched her die trying to save us from the humans in Jerusalem and we risked bringing her body back here. Did you realize your mistake the moment you held her dead body and cried, or was it after the Crystal Empire was nuked and left an entire race to decline? Did you realize your mistake when they bombed our shores? Killed my friends and family? Sent Canterlot into flames?! Or was it when you woke up with a million voices screaming for you to die?! (momentary silence) Celestia. You may have had good intentions, you may have been trying to save us... but you once told me that the right way is always the hardest and difficult way. But you must follow it because the rewards are everlasting. You failed to follow that. Your methods were too extreme. Innocent life of all kinds has died... and if there is an afterlife, you will have to answer for that.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Twilight and Mr. Doyle are able to negotiate the terms of ponykind's surrender and overall future status on Earth relatively peacefully... owed largely to the fact that Equestria and what's left of the ponies will be wiped off the face of the Earth if Twilight doesn't comply with the UN's bigger demands.
  • The Reveal: Why did Celestia do all of this? Because Equus' sun was dying and she didn't have enough time to save their whole world from the coming destruction, so she transported Equestria to the only suitable planet she could locate (Earth) knowing what fate would befall Equus after they left, and as for the bureaus themselves, those were made to prevent humanity from "poisoning" Equestria with their influence.
  • Revenge:
    • While not her primary motivation behind her actions against mankind, Celestia admits that she was partially driven by this after African bushmen devoured Sunset Shimmer when she was sent to Earth to scope it out.
    • After Celestia's true crimes were exposed, her former subjects ransacked her palace and wiped it clean of all valuables to get back at her for nearly ruining their race with her leadership.
    • The biggest reason why mankind dropped a nuke on the Crystal Empire was to avenge the loss of Vatican City and Mecca after they were destroyed by the ponies' own WMD, the Crystal Cannon.
  • Sadistic Choice: Celestia was faced with one after she discovered that there was indeed a safe dimension (i.e. Earth's) to use as an escape from the death of Equus' sun but had no means to transport their whole world there. Her options boiled down to either wasting even more precious (and very limited) time trying to find a way to save their entire planet, or sacrifice all other life on their homeworld to at least guarantee the survival of her beloved subjects as opposed to nothing at all. Guess which one she picked.
  • Salt the Earth: Thanks to the immense power of the Crystal Cannon, anything it fired upon was reduced to a barren, scorched wasteland a la "glassing" from the Halo franchise, as was the fate of Mecca and Vatican City.
  • Scars Are Forever: As a result of her role as a combat medic during the war, Fluttershy now sports a few battle scars, and Twilight can never bear children now thanks to a bullet wound she received during the conflict.
    • Spike also bears several emotional scars stemming from the harsh reality that not only is he the only dragon left, but he also has no means to carry on his people's legacy after he dies due to knowing next to nothing about dragons overall thanks to his upbringing.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When humanity invaded Equestria's shores, Rainbow Dash became so horrified by the sheer amount of carnage wrought on her side that she abandoned her post and fled for her life, leaving Scootaloo behind to die in the process.
  • Screw Your Ultimatum!: When Celestia told humanity to either convert into ponies or be wiped out by the barrier, they collectively declared war against Equestria in response.
  • Sex for Solace: Rarity, after she lost her husband in the war and her child was stillborn, turned to Spike for comfort. It was his first time, and things were awkward between them afterward. Spike's romantic feelings for Rarity faded away after that.
  • Spanner in the Works: Before the barrier was destroyed, Discord would often teleport back to Equestria and act as a saboteur on humanity's behalf; he never killed anypony, but his methods proved to be very effective in distracting the ponies and giving his new allies a much-needed edge during the early days of the war.
  • Stepford Smiler: The newfoals, who are constantly and always happy. It's unsettling to humans and ponies alike.
  • Sterility Plague: Subverted. Celestia never intended for the ponification potion to make all the newfoals infertile and hoped to rectify it after all of mankind was converted, but now Twilight has taken it upon herself to cure humanity of ponification instead.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: The Bombing of Ponyville.
  • Tears of Joy: Shed by both Twilight and Fluttershy when they reconcile.
    • Twilight sheds these again when she sees the candlelit vigil, equal numbers of humans and ponies alike, standing outside of her home right before she passes away.
  • This Is Unforgivable!:
    • Twilight states that out of all the things her former mentor was directly responsible for and knowingly did, the one thing she refuses to forgive Celestia for is the fact that Spike often cries himself to sleep at night due to knowing that he's the only remaining dragon now thanks to her.
    • In Truth, after learning the reasons behind Celestia's actions, Twilight asserts that although she can understand and even sympathize with Celestia's position, she absolutely cannot forgive the fact that her former mentor dragged Equestria into an unnecessary and entirely avoidable war that caused so much loss and suffering because she chose to believe in the worst of humanity and disregard all their good aspects rather than try to make peace with them.
    • In Rest, we learn that Spike absolutely despises Flash Sentry for having broken up with Twilight (and accidentally hitting her in the process when they were arguing) and defecting to aid the humans. He states that while he understands his reasons in hindsight, he still won't fully let it go.
  • This Means War!: When Celestia delivered her ultimatum to humanity, they responded in kind.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Fluttershy trained to be a combat medic during the war and would often travel to the front lines to help wounded soldiers despite the danger. Many other Equestrian defectors are noted to have done the same.
  • Tranquil Fury: Twilight displays this in part one when she is reminded of Lyra's defection and those who followed. In part two, Fluttershy shows signs of this when she assures Twilight that everything that happened was Celestia's fault alone, as well as when she talks about the trauma her adopted kids went through during the war and how it still affects them.
  • Uncanny Valley: The newfoals are this In-Universe, summed up by Twilight as "nice... just... too nice," to the point that even she believed that something was fundamentally wrong with them but was willing to let it slide because she still believed in Celestia.
  • Undignified Death: In Useless, during the invasion of the EFF's home base, Rainbow Dash and Applejack are gunned down right as they were preparing to share one last drink together.
  • United Nations Is a Superpower: The UN is stated to have become a lot more powerful and far more of a peacekeeping entity during and after the war.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Upon learning that his species was now extinct and the role Celestia played in it, Spike became so enraged and sorrowful that Twilight gave him an entire forest to vent his grief on. He destroyed the whole thing in less than a day.
  • War Memorial: One was erected in the ruins of Ponyville. Twilight visits it once a year to remember all those who died when the town was destroyed including Rarity, Pinkie Pie, the Crusaders, the Cakes and many others.
  • We Are as Mayflies: In Future, Spike has angst over this, as he has outlived many of his friends and is afraid to pursue his feelings for Rebecca because of this.
  • We Could Have Avoided All This: Twilight points out several times that everything could have gone a lot smoother had Celestia not decided to forcibly determine mankind's future for them.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The Mane Six's friendship was shattered by the war, first by Fluttershy defecting to help the humans, and then Rarity and Pinkie Pie being killed, and then by Rainbow Dash and Applejack refusing to accept Twilight's decision to surrender to humanity. Twilight and Fluttershy do reconcile a few years after the war.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Truth, Celestia asks Twilight why telling her the truth even matters as it won't change anything past or present, and Twilight angrily rages at her in this manner. It convinces the fallen princess to explain her reasons behind her actions.
    Twilight: You were my mentor! My hero! I loved you even more than I did my own mother! Yet I lost everything following you! I lost friends, family, and ponies I've known for years! I lost my ability to have foals! Two of my friends hate me because I did the right thing by surrendering and now I have to hunt them down like criminals! My very hooves are stained with the blood of Equestria knows how many innocent lives from either the potion I helped create or my magic alone! Not to mention I played a part in leaving an entire planet with millions, if not billions, to die because I trusted you saying they would be okay! If it wasn't for the fact that I still had Spike and Fluttershy, I'd just kill myself and end my miserable life right now!
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Fluttershy still considers Equestria to be her home, but knows she can never return at this point because of everything that had happened under Celestia's rule.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The Equestrian Freedom Fighters are fighting for and clinging stubbornly to the "old" Equestria, but they are little more than terrorists who have murdered and assassinated many innocent humans and ponies in the years following the war's end. They're all wiped out in Useless.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: Not that she planned for or intended it, but Celestia is completely willing to be hated by everyone and remembered as a historical villain more detested than Hitler himself as long as it means that her ponies will be safe and able to peacefully coexist with humanity.


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