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The Negotiations Verse is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic series written by Rated Ponystar that is based on 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 broker peace between humanity and ponykind in the aftermath.

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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 seven parts. Rated Ponystar has also given the go-ahead to other writers to take part in the universe.

    Mainline Stories 
  • Negotiations: The ponies have lost. Their attempt to convert the human race has failed. With Equestria at humanity's mercy, Twilight Sparkle must meet with a representative from the UN to reach an agreement for peace between their respective races and save what remains of her nation. There's just one complication: the humans are adamant that Celestia's death be part of the bargain. Released November 2015, complete.
  • 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. Released December 2015, complete.
  • Truth: Right before Celestia's scheduled execution, Twilight goes to visit her former mentor and asks her about the reasons behind her actions, and the answers aren't quite so black and white. Released March 2016, complete.
  • 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 and reminisce on what they've lost over the years. Released June 2016, complete.
  • 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. Released August 2016, complete.
  • Future: Three hundred years after Twilight's passing, Spike, who has spent that time teaching humanity and ponykind, wonders about finding love and life. Released December 2016, complete.
  • Warfare: A journal of an Equestrian soldier from the last days of the war. Released January 2020, complete.
  • Fallen: A story set in an Alternate Universe (not canon to the main series) where Princess Celestia's forces capture Fluttershy in a desperate attempt to use the Elements of Harmony against the forces of humanity. Fluttershy isn't planning on doing that, however. Started in 2021, complete.

    Blog posts 
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The author has also allowed writers to create their own stories in the Negotiations-verse, allowing readers to make their own interpretations for certain events that were left open for imagination:

    Fan Contributions 
  • Choice: Written by zelkova48, it tells the stories of certain important choices made by the characters during the war such as Fluttershy's defection. Canon unless otherwise mentioned. Started in 2021.
  • Fallen: Twilight Falls: Written by kildeez, another alternate ending to Fallen where Twilight Goes Mad from the Revelation. Non-canon. Started in 2021, complete.
  • Rising: Return Of A Phoenix Mare: Written by Neutral Boy, an Alternate Universe where Sunset Shimmer is brought Back from the Dead and leads a rebellion against Princess Celestia. Non-canon. Started in 2021.
  • Words of Advice from the many worlds of Twilight: Written by Joe Toon, the premise involves Twilight Sparkle traveling to different worlds and speak with that world's Twilight to gain knowledge and advice. The ninth chapter has Twilight, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash visit the Negotiations-verse and speak with the native Twilight Sparkle on her deathbed. Non-canon. Started in 2021.
  • The Tale of the Broken Soldier: Written by Julian the Dreamer, a continuation of Warfare, showing Halberd's journey through the afterlife. Non-canon. Started in 2021.


The Negotiations-verse provides examples of:

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    # - D 

  • 0% Approval Rating: Celestia is universally despised by humanity while the vast majority of ponykind renounced her as their princess and goddess by the time of Reunited, with only a small number of die-hard loyalists remaining by that point. In fact, when she finally woke up from her coma, angry riots and protests broke out all over the world when it was announced that she was going to be put on trial first instead of just immediately executed.
    • After finding out that Daring Do was a member of the EFF, the remaining ponies collectively burned her books.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Deconstructed. The ponies' 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 Anthony Doyle's Armor-Piercing Question for her to even begin thinking about it fifteen years after the fact. This fanaticism cost Celestia's people nearly everything they had, so it's no surprise that the majority of them turned against her once the full extent of her atrocities came to light.
    • Choice, as well as Lyra and her Resistance, show that it wasn't exactly 100%, as more than a few ponies had reservations about the war and Celestia's plans. However, as Captain Parabola notes, Celestia set up propaganda as well as Secret Police to root out those who opposed the war, which radicalized the remaining ponies (thus reinforcing their adoration of her) and drove dissenters further into hiding.
    • By the time of Twilight's death, she was almost universally adored by both ponies and humans for her work in reversing the effects of the potion and undoing the damage that Celestia had done to the world at large.
  • 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.
  • 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. Future meanwhile takes place over three hundred years after Twilight's death in Rest.
    • At Luna's Funeral, it's mentioned that Luna only returned from the moon (and thus, the first two episodes of the series) twenty years earlier.
  • 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.
  • Absolute Xenophobe: Celestia's hidden plan, which Twilight found after the war, was to make Earth into a world for ponies - and only for ponies. Were it not for the Resistance and the defectors, she likely would have gotten her way eventually.
    • In Truth and Fallen, it's revealed that Celestia did not trust the other races with the information that the Sun would die, fearing that it would lead to mass panic and strife, and didn't think they would have had much to offer in terms of helping to find a solution to fix it.
  • 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.
    • For comparison - the ponies were steadily gaining ground thanks to the barrier, but the humans were able to hold the war at a stalemate for the first four years of the conflict. Once the generators were deployed, it took mankind slightly over one year to turn the tables, invade Equestria, and win.
  • 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 in remembering such a bad part of their history. Mr. 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 history and 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?
  • A God, I Am Not: When Cadence and Twilight ascended to alicorn status, they were worshiped as goddesses by some ponies, which Spike notes was rather embarrassing and annoying for the two near-atheists. Though Spike's words seem to be a case of Early Installment Weirdness, as Warfare establishes the Church of Harmony, which reveres Alicorns as gods. Much detail is gone into about how the church and believers react to the deaths of Luna, Cadence, and Flurry Heart.
  • Aggressive Negotiations: Downplayed in the first story - while the talks are largely peaceful and reasonable, Anthony Doyle casually points out that humanity could very easily wipe Equestria right off the map if the ponies don't comply with the UN's terms and conditions for peace.
  • All for Nothing: The ponies had a lot of this happen to them.
    • The Equestrian Freedom Fighters aimed to return Equestria to its pre-war glory, which they tried to accomplish by assassinating key pony and human politicians and protesting against humans moving into Equestria. Their cause was utterly hopeless from the start, as Equestria not only thoroughly lost the war, but they were still blindly loyal to the mare who tried to commit xenocide against an entire species. Their organization is wiped out after Celestia's execution with nothing to show for their efforts besides the deaths of several innocent civilians and the destruction of city property.
    • Halberd spends several chapters hyping up the newly refurbished Equestrian Navy with reverse-engineered human weapons that will allow them to at least slow down the humans long enough for the Princesses to figure out a way to win the war (or, barring that, come up with a way to relocate Equestria to another dimension)... and then the Navy gets sunk without firing a single shot by the human armada during the Invasion of Equestria. The Choice chapter "Dereliction" expands on this by pointing out that the range of humanity's weapons vastly overpowered anything the Equestrians had, allowing for the carefully constructed coastal defenses to be bombarded from several miles away. By extension, this also meant that the industrial cost of making them accomplished nothing more than polluting and destroying Equestria's lands even more.
    • The "Abolition" chapter of Choice has the EFF engage in a high-risk high-reward scheme to steal a scroll containing the spell that allows a pony to ascend into Alicornhood. Their ultimate goal is to turn one of their own into an Alicorn, perhaps more, and then use that power to either rescue Celestia or replace her with somepony who will devoutly follow her ideals and bring mankind to its knees. It ends in a complete failure - of the team that stole it, only two of the five survived, the scroll is destroyed by Twilight, and the one who revealed the scroll to them is arrested and thrown in jail.
    • In the Choice chapter "Devastation", Applejack admits this when all her efforts of selling out ponies to the ESS to support her farm and Apple Bloom comes crashing down as she watches the farm literally go up in flames and her sister get killed.
    • Also from Choice is "Teleportation". Twilight worked herself to the bone, skipping meals and losing sleep, trying to find a way to "hack" the Elements of Harmony so she could transport Equestria off Earth to another dimension. In the end, all she had to show for her efforts were her friendships with the other girls becoming strained and the Elements themselves (along with a bunch of other magical objects she tried to use) being rendered useless.
  • All There in the Manual: This Q&A provides much of the setting's background information and history. There are also two timelines, listed above, one of which allows one to see the progress of events from the time Equestria showed up to the time it surrendered, the other showing a timeline of events starting at Negotiations to ten years after the war ended.
  • 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 as she did in the canon opening of Season 5.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Halberd loses his wings in the kick-off of humanity's invasion of Equestria.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: 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, the ships were attacked and destroyed, leaving no survivors, to prevent any more defections. But worst of all, Celestia blamed their deaths on the humans to cover it up, driving a further wedge between the warring sides, and that's not even mentioning the Secret Police that made anypony who disagreed with her actions disappear.
  • Anachronic Order: While the events from Negotiations to Future happen in chronological order, Warfare is a story of the war (thus being a prequel to Negotiations) and Choice is a collection of shorts depicting major choices that happen in the 'verse, and shows multiple events that happened during and after the war, but not necessarily in order. A chapter about the development of the Thalmann Generators (the device that allowed mankind to win the war) took place after a chapter where Rainbow Dash joins the EFF, which took place after the war.
  • 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.
  • Anyone Can Die: Many named characters from the show don't make it out to the other side of the war. Among the dead are Luna, Cadence, Flurry Heart, Silver Spoon, Diamond Tiara, Twist, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Button Mash, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Shining Armor, and more. Useless has the deaths of Bon Bon/Sweetie Drops, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: Downplayed initially before getting worse the longer the war dragged on. In the "Annihilation" chapter of Choice, it's explained that the destruction of the barrier sent much of the Equestrian populace into a frenzied panic, with "panic buying" and supply hoarding having become commonplace. And that's not even getting to the public's morale and support for the war dropping to all-time lows. By the final weeks of the war, as detailed in the "Devastation" chapter, it's clear things are hanging by a thread that's rapidly about to snap - desperation has driven some ponies into lying and scamming their way into getting more supplies. Really, the humans could have just as well sit back and let what was left of the country collapse in on itself.
  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: Humanity was on the verge of WWIII before the Conversion War. For Celestia and her ponies, not so much.
  • 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 already 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.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Warfare is revealed to be one in the final chapter, where it's presented to Spike by a descendant of Halberd's sister.
  • April Fools' Day: The "Excommunicated" chapter of Choice is a non-canon crossover with XCOM, with elements from the sequels.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Given by Mr. Doyle to Twilight near the end of the first story: "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.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Discord's description of Celestia's bans on human art and culture.
    Discord: And the book burnings? The crackdowns on so called contraband? The destruction of my copy of the complete series of Seinfeld?
  • Artifact Title: Subverted - while this is a recursive fanfiction of The Conversion Bureau, it doesn't have TCB in its title. While the Timeline and in-universe dialogue reveal that the Bureaus did exist before the war, they were closed down when hostilities began heating up.
  • 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: As is typical in anti-TCB stories. Here, it failed and the ponies have to deal with the fallout.
  • The Atoner: Twilight becomes this 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.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Celestia's ultimate goal, this entire time, was to ensure her ponies would continue to survive. In that sense, she succeeds, as they're still around nearly three hundred years later on Earth. She may be universally hated for everything else she did, but she accomplished that at the very least.
  • Batman Gambit: Celestia destroyed both Rome 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.
  • Berserk Button: The ponies destroyed two of the three Abrahamic religions' holy cities in an effort to break the will of the humans. This backfired. Badly. Instead of breaking them, it forged the three religions into a single group who was willing to put aside their differences if it means getting revenge on the ponies that tried to kill their faith.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed:
    • During the war, several humans, soldiers and civilians alike, killed themselves rather than be ponified. Halberd Wings saw one such case with a soldier he had doused with the potion shooting himself in the head before getting fully transformed.
    • In a manner eerily reminiscent of Nazi Germany's final days, several ponies lost hope as they realized Equestria was doomed to lose the war and decided to kill themselves rather than possibly face humanity's wrath.
    • The non-canon Choice chapter "Excommunication" and the canon chapter "Abolition" reveal that EFF members have both a cyanide-filled tooth and a magical way of frying their memories if they're captured. "Abolition" has at least one pony committing suicide rather than be captured, and the other who tries is prevented by GS9 agents.
  • 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. It's noted by the author that this was the first out-and-out victory of humanity over the ponies, rather than just bloody stalemates or Pyrrhic victories.
  • Bloodless Carnage: As both Warfare and Choice show, this is heavily averted. Luna's death is described in graphic detail (as is Shining's), while Halberd describes the horrors of war firsthand with no censor.
  • Book Burning: In the lead-up to the war, Celestia made bans against pieces of human culture, with these becoming commonplace.
    • Happens again to Daring Do's books when it was found out she was part of the EFF after she was killed.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Shining Armor died: .50 caliber sniper rifle round through his head.
  • Break the Haughty: Halberd Wings, the protagonist of Warfare, starts off being confident and sure that Equestria will defeat the humans and is convinced fully of the righteousness of their cause. A few brutal battles, losing his comrades, and the death of Luna during the Battle of Jerusalem all force him to eat a fat slice of Humble Pie.
    • Following the debut of the Thalmann Generators, Equestria faced one crushing defeat after another, with the barrier getting destroyed, Luna getting killed, the Crystal Empire being wiped out, and the invasion of Equestria. The final straw is when Twilight surrendered to humanity, with many being unable to take it and being Driven to Suicide.
    • Negotiations featured the final straw for Twilight - the reveal that Celestia deliberately abandoned the other races when transporting Equestria to Earth and condemned them to extinction. Before that, she still held on to her beliefs, even if the war had tempered them a little.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: The Element Bearers' once unbreakable friendship was shattered in the war. Fluttershy was the first to go when she defected to aid humanity, Pinkie Pie and Rarity died when Ponyville was bombed, and Applejack and Rainbow Dash, enraged by Twilight surrendering Equestria to the humans, joined an underground terrorist cell and were ultimately killed.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Private Halberd Wings had this reaction upon seeing his first shelling. He gets another example when the human invasion force - outnumbering their defensive forces hundred to one - is first seen making its way to the beaches.
  • Broken Pedestal: Twilight (and the majority of ponykind) goes through this very hard regarding Celestia.
    • Halberd Wings gets this and how. He, along with nearly every pony under the princesses' rule, was raised to believe that alicorns were deities; even Flurry Heart was viewed as a young goddess. But Luna's demise sent the Equestrians into a severe crisis of faith since, according to their religion, alicorns are not only unkillable, they're supposed to lead ponykind in a final battle against evil in their version of Armageddon. Seeing one of the beings they worshiped for generations die revealed that a lot of the prophecies and faith they relied on for morale were wrong.
      • Furthermore, Halberd becomes enraged with Twilight when she surrenders to humanity, disavowing her as a traitor to Celestia and the values of Equestria.
    • Daring Do is this to many ponies when it was discovered she was a member of the EFF after she was killed, even going as far as burning all her books.
  • 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 in general, rendering them a lot easier to kill.
  • Brought Down to Badass: While Discord and the alicorns' powers were sharply reduced from what they used to be in their home dimension (with them losing their immortality in the jump to Earth), 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 common comparison fans have made ever since the previews came out).
    • Choice's chapter "Extinction" ends with Captain Parabola getting taken away by the ESS. We finally find out his fate when the ESS camp is liberated in "Oppression," when Twilight visits his grave, unknowing of who he was.
  • The Cameo: Sandbar (one of the members of the School of Friendship) is briefly mentioned in Warfare during the preparations for repelling the Humans in the upcoming invasion. He's unusually good at using a rifle, getting a 100% accuracy rating.
  • Cassandra Truth: Twilight at first doesn't believe Anthony 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.
  • The Chains of Commanding: After Celestia was rendered comatose, leaving Twilight in charge of the remaining ponies, she immediately felt a crushing weight on her, driving her to realize she had to surrender for the sake of the surviving ponies.
    Twilight: (to Applejack and Rainbow Dash) When the strain of maintaining the barrier finally took its toll on Princess Celestia, she begged for me to continue the will of ponykind before slipping into that coma. Believe me, I was more than prepared to fight to the end, just like you two. But the moment I stepped into her horseshoes, I felt it. The weight of the responsibility and trauma she was forced to carry all this time were like a mountain pressing down on my back.
    • Twilight's post-war responsibilities are pretty heavy too. As she puts it to Fluttershy in Reunited:
    "I'm just so tired. I'm tired of politics. I'm tired of having the fate of our race on my shoulders. I'm tired of appeasing, arguing, and demanding things while dealing with a nation that doesn't know if they should love me or hate me. I'm tired of humans looking at me with distrust, although I can't blame them. Sometimes... sometimes I think about just taking Spike and leaving it all. Just going away someplace and living the rest of my days alone... but I don't want to be alone... I just want a friend..."
  • Child Soldiers: Downplayed - by the time Halberd is forced to leave Ponyville and retreat to Canterlot, the ponies have been forced to resort to recruiting teenagers into what was left of their fighting forces. The younger foals were left to stay in protective shelters.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Halberd unleashes one after finding out that Thundershot died in the line of duty.
  • Control Freak: Celestia, to the point that Discord even lampshades one of the many reasons she tried to get rid of humans was that they inspired ponies to ask questions that Celestia didn't have the answers to.
    Discord: I remember hearing ponies chat amongst themselves about philosophy by Sugarcube Corner back then. They were questioning their own existence, their lot in life and more. They were asking so many questions that they didn't have answers to, that you didn't have answers to. Yet they were willing to risk something, anything, in order to find out. The more ponies talked, the more others listened, and the more they listened, the more you felt your carefully curated sense of order crumble from it's already flimsy foundation... You had to nip this in the bud the moment you realized there wasn't some convenient excuse for this and that, who and what, how and why.
  • 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.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Twilight calls Celestia out for waging war with the humans, pointing out that all the suffering and death it brought wouldn't have happened if Celestia didn't decide to force them to change and give up their way of life just to preserve the "purity" of Equestria's culture.
  • Crisis of Faith: Halberd Wings' religious beliefs were first tested at a young age when his grandma died, but they are really put through the wringer after Luna is killed, a complete contradiction against the teachings he grew up on. In the wake of this trial, he and many others still held firm to their faith, while some other ponies outright forsook theirs altogether.
    • Halberd's father doesn't believe the Alicorns are gods anymore after hearing of the deaths of Luna, Cadence, and Flurry Heart. He still has faith, just not in the Alicorns. He also still gives sermons at his church because it gives the Equestrians hope.
    • According to the post-war timeline, after Twilight Sparkle revealed that their old world was not only dead, but that Celestia knowingly abandoned the other races when jumping Equestria to Earth and lied to everyone about how the non-ponies who tried to escape Equestria really died, the Church of Harmony was eventually dismantled and the remaining ponies either became atheists, joined existing human religions (as was the case with Fluttershy becoming a Catholic and Lyra converting to Buddhism), or even looked to ancient religions that predated the founding of Equestria.
  • 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. Choice shows in "Teleportation" that attacking humans when they have the generators is nearly impossible, and the best military action they have is running straight back to Equestria.
    • Halberd's description of the invasion is this trope to a T. To say the defense forces got utterly plowed flat would be an understatement. Despite the ponies doing everything they could to prepare themselves for the battle to the point of making their own firearms to compete with the humans' weapons, the flying forces get mulched by anti-air weapons, the Equestrian Navy doesn't even get a shot off before it's set on fire by human submarines, and in less than twenty minutes, the survivors are ordered to retreat. Their forces are described as a wall of steel, and the timeline notes that the initial invasion force was 40 million strong, and that there were reinforcements on the way after they made ground. Choice established that despite all of this, the human fleet was content to sit off the coast and simply bomb the ponies into oblivion with their superior range, and didn't even bother landing troops until the second day.
    • The ponies got a few as well, mostly in the beginning days of the conflict when humanity was still disorganized and trying to figure out how to mount a resistance against an alien invasion. The first major attack Equestria launched was led by all the princesses plus Shining Armor, on the city of Madrid, Spain. The only meaningful opposition they faced was normal police officers who were trying to keep the civilians calm in the middle of rioting and a literal alien invasion. The ponies got away with a large number of humans converted and next to no casualties on their end.
  • Death by Adaptation: A very sizable portion of beloved characters from the show are dead before this story even begins thanks to them either being left behind to die on their doomed home planet or meeting their fate in the Conversion War, with more deaths occurring through other means as the narrative progresses.
    • By the time of the Distant Finale, Spike is the only character who remains alive. Justified since it's over 300 years in the future.
    • When it comes to the normal MLP timeline, Sunset Shimmer and Starlight Glimmer both died - Sunset on a scouting mission to Earth (thus preventing the plot of Equestria Girls) while Starlight committed suicide in prison after her planned community was foiled.
    • In the Fallen Alternate Universe, Discord is killed by Celestia shooting him in the heart during the battle where Fluttershy was captured. In the canon Negotiationsverse, Discord survived the war and died peacefully in a hospital bed (aside from a Jump Scare) with Spike by his side as seen in Future.
    • In the Choice chapter "Dedication," it's revealed that Pipsqueak died. However, this was not the result of the War, but a simple accident that happened years ago.
  • 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 were home to (sometimes incomprehensible) horrors that made humanity, at its worst, look benign in comparison.
  • Decisive Battle: The Battle of Jerusalem was one for humanity during the Conversion War. In one fell swoop, humanity turned back an invasion force led by one of the Physical God leaders of the enemy, slew said leader, proved that they could nullify the magical defenses of Equestria, and changed the tide of the war. It put the ponies on the back foot for the first time in the conflict, surrendering the initiative to the humans - an advantage they would never get back.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Celestia's depiction is one for the Ron the Death Eater portrayals of her that are the norm for Anti-TCB fics. Truth goes out of its way to explore what could cause one as benevolent as canon Celestia to commit such actions. A combination of desperation to save Equestria, a tragedy causing her to assume the worst of humanity, and her own belief in her absolute moral righteousness prevented her from questioning her actions until too late.
  • 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, Dinky Doo, Braeburn, Moondancer, and Flash Sentry are among those Twilight knew personally who rebelled.
    • General Valkyrie and the soldiers under her command also rebelled by trying to launch a coup, but they were put down by Celestia before they could do anything.
  • Defiant to the End:
    • Even after Equestria was rendered completely defenseless, the ponies fought on despite the enormous odds stacked against them and stood their ground until the bitter 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 rendered comatose and Twilight surrendered in her stead.
    • After being captured following her failed coup attempt, General Valkyrie accused Celestia of dooming the pony race with her actions and then contemptuously spit in her face as one final act of defiance before the princess carried out her execution personally.
    • 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.
      • It took eight years after the war to hunt down the EFF, and a further six more to get rid of the last remnants of the pro-princess loyalists.
  • Desecrating the Dead:
    • While egging on Cadence into using the Crystal Cannon, Celestia claims that this is what the humans are doing to Shining Armor's corpse. It was averted in reality - Shining's body was cremated and the ashes were dumped into the Hudson River.
    • Averted when the ponies looted Celestia's Castle after the war for revenge. While they did tear down everything that was of any value and broke into the crypt, they left Luna's body alone.
  • 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.
    • In Warfare, Halberd Wings dips his hooves into this with Luna's death after the disaster that was the invasion of Jerusalem, but he doesn't fully cross over until he learns of the Crystal Empire's destruction. He crosses it even further when he loses his wings and coltfriend Thundershot during the invasion.
    • Equestria itself crosses it in Warfare towards the end of the story. When the humans have Canterlot surrounded, and Celestia is the only thing keeping them out, more than a few ponies are Driven to Suicide, and it gets worse after Twilight surrenders Equestria to the United Nations.
  • 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.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Given the fate of characters such as Rarity, the CMC, Princess Cadence, Princess Flurry Heart, and many others by the time of Negotiations, this is naturally a given in Choice.
  • 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.
    • The Equestrian Royals never imagined that the humans and the Equestrian defectors could successfully create a weapon that could render their magical advantages moot.
  • Dirty Coward: Rainbow Dash sees herself as one because she retreated out of fear for her own life after seeing the Wonderbolts get mercilessly slaughtered during humanity's invasion of Equestria and left Scootaloo behind to die in the process. Her shame over this drove her to join the Equestrian Freedom Fighters because she saw Twilight's choice to surrender to the humans as a slap in the face to their memory.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Along with humanity's history of conflict and cruelty towards one another, Celestia's forceful conversion plot was also partially motivated by a desire to avenge Sunset Shimmer's death by the hands of some tribal hunters.
  • Distant Finale: Warfare has one that takes place shortly after the events of Future. In it, Spike is engaged to Rebecca and one of Halberd's sister's descendants is Spike's student.
  • 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.
    • Celestia's targeting of the Abrahamic Religions' holy sites also averted this, as it just made those who followed those faiths furious.
    • Ironically, given how Celestia and Equestria banked on the humans falling to this, it's played straight with the ponies. Equestria's warmongering drove Fluttershy, Discord, and the Resistance over to the side of the humans, where Discord became a hero by defending the human race and Moondancer helped create the Thalmann Generators, ensuring Equestria's defeat. Equestria itself fell deeper into Apocalypse Anarchy as it became clear they would lose the war.
  • Doomed Hometown: Ponyville, towards the close of the war, is bombed into oblivion.
    • The original world where Equestria came from, twice over.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Reading segments of Warfare can be like this, since the premise is that of a young soldier fresh out of training going to the front lines of the war with humanity. The very nature of the Negotiationsverse is that the first story created by Rated Ponystar, written IRL several years earlier, centered on Twilight Sparkle having to negotiate a peaceful surrender after the war was decisively won by the humans.
    • Warfare has Halberd loudly proclaim that the ponies are all doomed after Twilight surrendered. Instead, the ponies went on to peacefully integrate into human society.
    • Halberd proclaims that as long as the alicorns are around, the ponies can't help but win. With Twilight's passing in Rest, the Alicorns have gone extinct.
    • Early in Choice, Celestia claims that the war against humanity will be a short and glorious conflict, while Rainbow Dash says that everypony will be back home by Hearthswarming Eve, not to mention that there's no doubt that the ponies will win. Similarly, Shining Armor promised that the war would be over in under a year, according to the timeline.
    • The text in Choice points out that Cadence's use of the Crystal Cannon, which was done to avenge her husband, would see her, her daughter, and her empire all obliterated by nuclear fire less than a year later.
    • In the third year of the Conversion War, Equestria launched an especially devastating attack on the city of Berlin as a punishment for the German people due to the crimes of the Nazis. Of course, not only were the Equestrians themselves committing genocide, but the way things play out in the country during the final few weeks of the war are highly reminiscent of Nazi Germany's last days (civilians committing suicide en masse, cities getting razed to the ground, the ill-fated attempts at a Last Stand, and Celestia having a Villainous Breakdown in which she calls her generals cowards and fools ala Hitler in Downfall).
    • In the Choice chapter "Abolition," Dusty Pages accuses Twilight of being willing to give the humans all of their cultural treasures, including the Alicorn Amulet. Sadly, Twilight couldn't have done that even if she wanted to - The Amulet, as well as many other historically, magically, and culturally important artifacts were already sacrificed three years earlier in the chapter "Teleportation" to try (unsuccessfully) to get the Elements of Harmony to activate.
    • At Luna's funeral, Celestia announces that the Conversion War will be over soon and that the future will be more wonderful than anyone can imagine. She was, technically, correct, though not in the way she was thinking - the war would be over in less than a year, with Equestria defeated, and the path forward (that of coexistence) would produce great rewards for both races.
    • Carrot Top at one point thinks about how she sent a letter to her parents talking about the world-shifting and wonders how they're doing... unaware that they're dead due to that dimensional jump.
    • In "Devastation", when the Apple House is hit by a bomb, what kills Apple Bloom is the shrapnel; specifically, the coins, stamped with Celestia's face, that were propelled by the blast. The coins wouldn't have been there if Applejack hadn't turned innocent ponies over to the ESS for the reward. When Applejack pulls a coin out of her sister's skull, it's stained red; literally, blood money.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Starlight Glimmer, in this universe, committed suicide in prison instead of escaping and becoming a member of the cast.
    • As detailed in the last couple chapters of Warfare, during the final days of the war as the situation became ever more hopeless for Equestria, some ponies took their own lives.
      • Silver Spoon's body was found holding a vial of poison, and Halberd says that two of his soldiers slit their own throats. Before the Invasion, one of the recruits stole a gun and ate it.
      • Captain Hope Diamond and several others did this immediately after hearing that Equestria was surrendering to the humans, choosing death rather than live in a world where the humans now rule.
    • In his final journal entry, Halberd Wings announces his intention to do this. Afterward, we see a flashforward to Spike and a descendant of Halberd's sister, who did survive the war, confirming that he did in fact end his own life.
    • Realizing the full extent of Celestia's crimes and manipulations drove even more of her former subjects to kill themselves out of sheer guilt.
    • Twilight mentions in Truth that she's barely managed to avert this thanks to Spike and Fluttershy's support, otherwise she would have killed herself already due to how miserable her life has become.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Rainbow Dash hit the bottle pretty hard in the time between Equestria's surrender and her joining the Equestrian Freedom Fighters. Coupled with her arguing with anyone who supports Twilight and denounces Celestia, she manages to get herself kicked out of every bar in Canterlot.
    • In Decision, during the final days of the war, Celestia has been doing this pretty every private moment she gets.
  • Due to the Dead: In Useless, Applejack and Rainbow Dash, now members of the Equestrian Freedom Fighters terrorist cell, are gunned down by a human soldier as they prepare for a Last Stand. Although their friendships with Fluttershy and Twilight died due to the former's defection and their refusal to accept the latter's decision to surrender to the humans (to the point that they even tried to assassinate her once), Fluttershy and Twilight (along with Spike, Discord, and Braeburn) still give their former friends a proper burial and hold a small private funeral for them to properly honor their old friendship and mourn their loss.
  • 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.
    • Many human soldiers and civilians hit with the potion chose to commit suicide rather than let themselves be fully turned.
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    E - M 
  • Early-Bird Cameo: According to the timeline posted by Rated, General Valkyrie (at the time a major) was present at First Contact between the humans and ponies. She later tried to launch a (failed) coup attempt to stop Celestia's warmongering.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Negotiations may be the first installment in the series, and unfortunately has a few inconsistencies between it and the rest of the series.
    • Twilight wonders about what it would have been like if human technology and magic were put together. Later installments, like Warfare and Choice, made it clear that magitek (fusion of magic and technology) was common during the later parts of the war, and forms the basis for the Thalmann Generator, which are first introduced in this story. Choice even shows Twilight cursing the Resistance for defecting and allowing for the creation of the generators.
    • Negotiations also says that no one had negotiated with the humans before, which is mentioned as not being the case in the timelines - there were ten years of peace that grew more strained as time went on, and the ponies did negotiate with other polities.
    • Twilight mentions the "thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands," dead. The Crystal Empire alone is later mentioned as having 4 million ponies living in it at the time of its destruction.
    • Twilight shows signs of agreeing with Celestia's Luddite Philosophies, when Warfare and Choice establish that she was the one pushing for further development of technology to counter human tech, and was the one behind Equestria's modernization program. This program gave the ponies Second World War era technology... which was still defeated by science over a hundred years more advanced.
    • Thalmann Generators are stated to have been introduced "mid-way" through the war. While the "mid-way" wording is a bit ambiguous, they were only brought out in the last year of the conflict.
    • Twilight thinks that Applejack and Rainbow Dash joined a rebel group to continue the war... but Choice established that the two didn't join until after the negotiations were over. They did declare their friendship over after Twilight announced her decision to surrender, but the EFF did not contact Rainbow Dash until she got drunk in the wake of Twilight spilling the beans on the death of their homeworld, and Dash was the one who contacted Applejack.
  • 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.
  • Emergency Transformation: In the early days of the conversion bureaus, before Celestia's true intentions became clear, some humans took the ponification potion to cure their terminal illnesses or used it as a cost-free solution for being unable to afford traditional medical treatment for their ailments. Needless to say, the costs outweighed the benefits.
    • Negotiations notes that humans are researching the potion for precisely these qualities, and one of the things on the negotiation table is for ponies to help humans expand on these properties without the Mind Rape aspects of the original potion.
  • Empty Promise: A lot of these were made after Equestria lost the momentum in the war.
  • 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.
    • Alicorns, by the time the war begins, have only five members of the entire species (Celestia, Luna, Twilight Sparkle, Cadence, Flurry Heart). The war whittles their numbers down to just two by its end. After the war, Twilight locates the copies of the spell she used to ascend and destroys them, seeing the danger that the former Royal Family was able to inflict and not wanting anyone to recreate that. After Celestia's execution and Twilight's death, the race is extinct.
    • By the Distant Finale of Warfare, Spike is the only dragon left in existence.
  • Enemy Mine: In the wake of the destruction of the Vatican and Mecca and the Battle of Jerusalem, the three Abrahamic Religions' devotees put aside thousands of years of differences just to focus on fighting the ponies.
    • Fluttershy in Fallen flat-out states that humanity is uniting to take on Equestria, with even sworn enemies working together. She also mentions that the ponies, at the Hearths Warming, did this - teaming up as friends to fight the Windigoes and settle Equestria, when before they had been at each others' throats.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For a given value of "evil".
    • Halberd had his family and lover during the war, despite him being a speciesist who wanted to wipe out the human race.
    • One of the reasons why Applejack so utterly despises the humans is because of the deaths of Big Mac (who died in the war) and Apple Bloom (who was killed in the bombing of Ponyville). Making sure her little sister could still have a good life was at least part of the reason behind why Applejack began selling ponies out to the ESS.
    • Cadence, while prepping the Crystal Cannon for use during the war, breaks down in tears that she and Flurry Heart are never going to see Shining Armor ever again. She also notes that ever since her father died, Flurry has been mentally broken inside.
    • In Choice, Twilight is shown to be around Cadence a lot to help comfort her in their time of loss following the death of Shining Armor.
    • Part of the reason for Celestia's Villainous Breakdown is the death of all of her family, save Twilight and Spike. Furthermore, there's the fact that she's partially motivated by wanting revenge for Sunset Shimmer's death.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Discord's love for Fluttershy, as well as his fascination with humans in general, compelled him to defect to aid humanity when she did, and he later used his powers to help rebuild ruined towns and cities in the aftermath of the war.
    • Even though he was undyingly loyal to Celestia, Halberd admits that her snapping at Twilight for "failing" Equestria in not stopping Fluttershy from defecting (and rendering the Elements of Harmony unusable as a result) was going way too far.
  • Evil Luddite: Celestia. She rails on about the evils of human technology, blocking Twilight from creating their own versions of human weapons until it was far too late. Further, during her Villainous Breakdown in "Obsession", she calls technology "revolting."
  • Extreme Doormat: Keeping with conventions of TCB deconstructions, the newfoals are this. Halberd Wings even admits that he finds it unsettling how the newfoals never say "no" to anything natural-born ponies ask of them, including requests for sex.
  • 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.
    • Celestia was poisoned during General Valkyrie's coup attempt and survived, but played possum to trick the rebellious general and her co-conspirators into revealing themselves, after which they were all killed.
    • The resistance was using this to smuggle ponies out of Equestria safely- Vinyl Scratch, Derpy Hooves, Dinky Doo, and Carrot Top all get fakes that they swap positions with.
  • 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.
      • Rainbow Dash herself is guilty of cowardice, as she had retreated from the battlefield and abandoned Scootaloo during the Invasion, resulting in her being the only survivor of the massacre that killed the Wonderbolts.
      • Applejack meanwhile became a liar, as she began selling innocent ponies out to the ESS to get a little extra cash to keep herself and Applebloom afloat.
    • Celestia herself also counts. While she meant well enough in her main goal of ensuring the continued survival of Equestria and the ponies, the actions and choices she made in pursuit of that goal crossed the line and led to all kinds of suffering and deaths that could've easily been avoided and continued to stubbornly cling to her crusade until she fell comatose.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The Crystal Cannon, a pony WMD created by King Sombra which was used to destroy Mecca and Rome. In retaliation, humanity dropped a nuke on the Crystal Empire.
  • Fantastic Racism: Applejack often refers to humans as "monkeys" (as do other anti-human ponies) and even disowned her cousin Braeburn for not only defecting to aid the humans but also for getting into a romantic relationship with one (calling him a "backstabbing, monkey-bucking slut").
    • Halberd actually dedicates an entire entry in his journal to explaining why all the other races of Equus were "inferior" to ponykind:
      Halberd: I mean, let's face it, which of the other races back in our world was decent? The griffins were lazy, rude, and selfish. Dragons always destroyed everything they couldn’t own with their greedy ways. Diamond Dogs were smelly barbarians who kidnapped ponies to be their slaves to dig their mines for gems (what do they do with them anyway?). Minotaurs were just loud and almost as greedy as the dragons. Yaks were uncultured and just smashed everything in anger. Changelings? Well, that’s one race that deserves to be mistreated in my mind. Nothing good comes from an evil creature that sucks the love out of a living being. Maybe the zebras, goats, donkeys, and breezies were okay, but they still didn’t have a civilization like ours did. To me, it’s just further proof that our way of life was just superior is all. Well, until we met the humans.
  • Freudian Slip: In the Choice chapter "Decisions", Celestia lets slip that she's partially motivated by revenge from losing Sunset Shimmer to a group of human hunters.
    Discord: You drew first blood!
    Celestia: NO, I DID NOT! THEY KILLED HER! SHE WAS YOUNG AND FULL OF LIFE, YET THEY ROBBED HER OF HER FUTURE! DEVOURED HER LIKE THE ANIMALS THEY WERE! I WANTED TO FORGIVE THEM! I TRIED TO SAVE THEM! THE POTION, THE BUREAUS, THEY WERE MY WAY OF REDEMPTION! BUT IN THE END MY HOOF WAS FORCED, THERE WAS NO OTHER WAY! DO NOT BLAME ME FOR THE FAULTS OF OTHERS!
  • 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.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Despite the odds being stacked against Equestria, Halberd still expresses hope in his journal entries that ponykind will ultimately prevail over the humans. We know that's but a fool's dream, thanks to the first story in the series being set after Equestria surrendered.
    • Three chapters in Choice focus on how Rainbow Dash joined the EFF, showing her motivations, why she feels she needs revenge, and more. Sadly, thanks to the story Useless, we know how that's all going to end - with her and Applejack anti-climactically dying in a raid on the EFF's home base and having utterly failed in their goal of "restoring Equestria". The same goes for Sweetie Drops - the finale of Useless says that she took her own life before human and pony troops could reach her.
    • Much of Choice is an example of this - they're snapshots of important moments in the Negotiationsverse, whose timeline has been charted out up to three hundred years after Equestria surrendered at the close of the Conversion War. Further, any segments of Choice that take place before the end of the war that show things from the Ponies' perspective will ultimately not have a happy ending.
  • For Your Own Good: One of the reasons Celestia tried to force ponification on the human race was 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 pony-shaped automatons that sing the princesses praises all day long, Twilight admits that even before everything that happened, the newfoals always seemed just too nice and happy.
  • Gilligan Cut: Happens more than once in Warfare due to its format.
    • Halberd's entry for August 1 mentions how excited he is about going into his first battle, then ends. The entry for August 2 starts with him freaking out as he details how everything has gone horribly, horribly wrong.
    • The entry for January 9 has Halberd expressing hope that the Crystal Cannon will be fixed up due to Discord sabotaging it after the destruction of Rome and Mecca while noting the barrier is badly weakened thanks to continued assaults from the Thalmann Generators, with gaps around the Empire. Then comes the next entry, which is dated for January 11.
      The... The Crystal Empire... It's gone... It's all gone...
    • In the entry for May 8th, Halberd's worried about how Thundershot is doing on the frontlines, but is certain he's still alive before a nurse calls him over to tell him something. Cue the next entry, with no date given.
      Thundershot's dead.
    • After Celestia is rendered comatose from the strain of protecting Canterlot from an aerial assault on July 17th, Halberd is absolutely certain that the Last Stand is about to begin and gets ready to fight and die. The next entry, which also doesn't have a date, reveals that no fight will occur, as Twilight has surrendered to humanity.
  • 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 at seeing that humanity has forgiven her.
    • Discord passes on in the same manner by faking his last breath, then making one last joke. He just couldn't resist getting one last Jump Scare on Spike for his own amusement.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Once the barrier was completely destroyed and Equestria was left wide open, Twilight and Celestia began training their forces in the usage of human weapons, technology, and vehicles in preparation for the inevitable counterattack and full-scale invasion mankind would soon deliver to their doorstep.
    • Celestia convinced Cadence to use the Crystal Cannon on Mecca and Rome, deliberately targeting cultural centers to break the humans' spirits, out of desperation over how the war was dragging on.
      • In exchange, the use of the cannon was the threshold for humanity, leading to a nuclear strike on the Crystal Empire.
  • Great Offscreen War: The war between Equestria and Earth already concluded by the time of Negotiations, with humanity emerging as the victor. The conflict went on for five years, led to heavy losses for both sides, and continues to hang a shadow over the world even after centuries went by.
    • Warfare expands on the conflict a bit from the perspective of a Royal Guard, but it's written in the form of his journal entries. It shows such things as the fighting in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, the aftermath of the Battle of Jerusalem, and the Invasion of Equestria.
    • Choice actually averts this trope, as it shows events like the use of the Crystal Cannon, the atomic bombing of the Crystal Empire, and the Invasion of Equestria from the perspective of ponies who were actually there. It also offers descriptions of significant wartime actions, such as the deaths of Shining Armor and Luna.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: Closer to Black-and-Grey Morality. 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?
  • The Gulag: Where ponies arrested by the Equestrian Secret Police are taken to. They're forced into working themselves down to the bone. When Twilight goes to visit a labor camp after the war, she notes that all the former prisoners are practically skin and bones, with the light in their eyes all but gone.
  • Gunboat Diplomacy: During the first peace treaty negotiations between Equestria and Earth, UN representative Anthony Doyle doesn't mince words that Equestria is completely at humanity's mercy and the fact that they're having negotiations is a miracle in and of itself.
  • 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 the consequences of Celestia's actions and taking the time to really think about what exactly the potion does change 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, as did Braeburn and a human civilian.
  • 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 Door-Slam: Rarity right before Ponyville was bombed.
  • 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 renounce her former teacher, turn her over to the UN's custody, and demand that she be executed for her crimes. Once Twilight reveals this to the rest of the world, the other Equestrians are just as horrified and heartbroken and join her in renouncing Celestia, with only a small number of die-hard loyalists refusing to believe it.
  • Heel Realization: As Mr. Doyle slowly reveals to Twilight just how many crimes Celestia had her subjects commit against the humans, as well as committed herself, she realizes for the first time that the humans weren't the villains in the war, the ponies were.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Twilight feels this way about herself and what Equestria as a whole has become by the time she decides to surrender, pointing out the depths they sunk to in their vain attempt to defeat the humans even when it was becoming increasingly obvious there was no way they'd ever be able to win ever since mankind began using the Thalmann Generators.
    • Fluttershy has this revelation even earlier, which is part of why she defected.
  • 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. Once the Thalmann Generators started being used, though, it became much more difficult to use these tactics due to the high magic cost necessary to overwhelm the dampening fields.
    • Halberd states that this was the only way the ponies could fight in Sri Lanka... up until the humans just started firebombing the island.
  • Holier Than Thou: Lampshaded by Mr. Doyle when he recalls Celestia's ultimatum speech and sums it up with this trope. This was also the general attitude of the ponies before and during the war and how they justified their conversion crusade. "Obsession" showed that even as Canterlot was placed under siege, Celestia still held on to these beliefs.
  • Home by Christmas: The ponies thought, with their magic, the potion, and the humans' long history of being divided over petty political issues, that they'd have the whole thing wrapped up by Hearth's Warming Eve. Five years later, the "short" war had ground to a deadly stalemate, even before mankind developed Anti-Magic devices. In Chapter 4 of Choice, Cadence calls Twilight out on predicting that the war would be this trope, since they're still at war.
  • 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 on board by the Equestrian Navy.
    • Halberd has this when he sees how proficient the soldiers that he's working with are in the use of human weapons. Coupled with reverse-engineered human tank designs and human warship designs, Equestria can no doubt hold off the inevitable human invasion until the ponies can regain the upper hand. This lasts until approximately two seconds after the fog lifts around the site of the invasion and the ponies are confronted with an armada of warships that outnumbers theirs a hundred to one. Things went downhill after that.
    • In the chapter "Annihilation," of Choice, Flurry Heart finally opens up to Cadence about how she's feeling guilty that she retreated into herself when her father and aunt died, while Cadence lets loose all her feelings that she's been forced to bottle up for a long time. The two reconcile with one another, and Flurry even asks her mother if she thinks the war was a mistake... right as Cadence spots the nuclear missile approaching the empire. The next scene is of a border guard watching the Empire vanish in an atomic explosion.
    • Rainbow Dash gets one when she joins the EFF- she's ready to keep fighting the good fight. Unfortunately it's a Foregone Conclusion thanks to Useless.
  • 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 that they even started to wonder if they might actually lose, but then the Barrier went down and the Crystal Empire was nuked; only then did the realization that their defeat was inevitable begin to percolate in the public consciousness. This realization was the basis for General Valkyrie's ill-fated coup. The final nail in the coffin came when Celestia's horn shattered from holding up the shield around Canterlot and she fell into a coma; while there wasn't a chance of victory at that point, it was the moment that things were made abundantly clear to everyone that all that was left was either surrender or death for ponykind. By that point in Halberd's accounts, he doesn't even talk about beating the humans anymore, just about dying in a glorious last stand.
    • The EFF, in the wake of Twilight's surrender, tried both to continue the war and to rescue Celestia (who was comatose at the time). This failed for many reasons, not the least of which being that the EFF was only a shadow of what Equestria at its peak was capable of bringing to the table. The other major goal of theirs was even more problematic, as Celestia's body was being guarded under heavy supervision to prevent either her waking up and wreaking havoc, humans seeking revenge from killing her in her sleep, or ponies grabbing her and restarting the war. Since the EFF fell into that last group, the defenses were uniquely designed to stop them. Despite multiple attempts to get their hooves on Celestia, none succeeded. After Celestia's execution, the group had no real hope for any sort of victory.
    • Up until the development of the Thalmann Generators, this was the war for humanity. The enemy could appear out of thin air at any time in a massive raid and convert your populace into more of themselves, with no cure. And while ponies could be fought on the ground (as seen with the deaths of Big Macintosh and Shining Armor, both on raids of human cities), the hit-and-run nature of pony tactics meant that the humans would almost always be on the back foot. Even worse, offensive action against Equestria was impossible due to the barrier, since it couldn't be stopped by any known means and would take over the earth even more effectively than the ponies. This changed once the generators were created, which allowed all of these former advantages to be nullified.
  • 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.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: Interactions between humans and ponies before the war had the latter being especially enthralled by human arts and technology. Celestia hated this, seeing the humans' existence as undermining her rule over the ponies and as a corrupting influence on the culture of Equestria, which she states she took care to keep "pure and protected" over her reign.
  • Humans Are Advanced: One of the key advantages humanity holds over the ponies is their highly advanced technology. By the time of the invasion of Equestria, handheld laser weapons, drones, plasma weapons, and flying battleships are all in mankind's arsenal.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Celestia certainly thinks so, but Twilight takes on a more nuanced view. Halberd Wings goes as far as to declare that humanity should be wiped out completely after what they did to the Crystal Empire, believing them to be beyond "saving" at that point. While this is in part thanks to propaganda, it should be noted that Halberd is a soldier on the front lines and saw many friends die.
  • Humans Are Divided: Subverted. The Princesses thought this would be the case, but they severely underestimated humanity's resistance to being wiped out. Their attempt to capitalize on this division only unified them into banding together.
  • Humans Are Special: In contrast to Celestia, this is Discord's view on humanity overall.
  • Humans Are Warriors: The humans put up a fierce enough resistance in the first four years of the war to make it a stalemate in terms of general combat despite losing almost a third 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 quickly became one-sided in humanity's favor. Specifically, it took about one year after the Thalmann Generators were deployed for humanity to decisively win the war. Halberd's journals detail how the war was going after the Thalmaan Generators were brought out, and it's a constant stream of the Equestrian forces being pushed out of the territories they'd gained and the humans reclaiming lands previously lost.
    • The Invasion of Equestria solidified this like nothing else: the human fleet was absolutely massive (the timeline specified that there were over 40 million humans in the first wave) and wiped out virtually all resistance in their way within the first few hours. Soldiers didn't even make landfall until the second day.
    • Applejack points out in Choice that ponies might have done well in a fight where it was just small skirmishes, but lack the numbers and power for a globe-spanning war like the humans were.
  • 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 Anthony Doyle of the UN's Peacekeeping Department in Negotiations, Equestria basically has a metaphorical gun pointed at its head with humanity more than willing to pull the trigger if they try anything funny.
  • Hypocrite: The whole point of the ponies' crusade was to "save" humanity and "make them into something better," and yet after the Crystal Empire was nuked and Celestia commanded her armies to return to Equestria ASAP, the newfoals were all abandoned and left behind to hasten their retreat, and some ponies attacked and killed several of them in anger just for being former humans.
    • Halberd condemns the humans for trying to wipe out ponykind, wipe out their culture, and destroying cities for their cultural impact. The problem is that he also supports ponykind doing the exact same thing to the humans.
    • Despite Celestia's insistence on the ponies being better than the humans, and outright condemning Germany for the crimes of the Nazis, Choice shows her reign becoming scarily similar to extremely oppressive human governments as time goes on. Having a Secret Police that "disappears" dissidents and hunts down those who express condemnation of the war, using war crimes as propaganda, and more, become quite commonplace in the closing years of the war.
    • In the "Division" chapter of Choice, Rainbow Dash calls Twilight and Fluttershy cowards and traitors "who cracked when the chips were down." Given Dash herself retreated from the battlefront after she cracked from the fear of seeing her fellow Wonderbolts getting massacred during the Invasion and left Scootaloo behind to die, her declarations of "cowardice" ring hollow (though it's also strongly implied to be a case of Psychological Projection on her part).
    • In the "Contemplation" chapter of Choice, Applejack writes the humans off as a bunch of self-destructive savages and continues to support the Equestrian royals despite their war taking a massive toll on her business, but willingly turns in Davenport and other dissidents for the reward money, showing she's just as willing to capitalize on the disunity as the humans she claims to oppose.
    • Fallen had Celestia try and guilt trip Fluttershy into feeling bad about working with the humans by pointing out that a lot of ponies, including ones she's known and considered friends, are now dead. Fluttershy fires back that she cried and prayed for the souls of every person who's fallen in the war, pony or human, while Celestia hasn't shed a single tear for any non-ponies.
    • In the "Devastation" chapter of Choice, Rarity calls Applejack this, pointing she has no right to complain about ponies arguing over a worn-out blanket when she's guilty of doing much worse by selling out innocent ponies to the ESS.
  • 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 conversion bureaus, and then declaring war on humanity was all in the name of ensuring the continued survival and preservation of Equestria, her ponies, and their way of life. When Twilight learns the whole truth, however, she really begs to differ.
    • Moondancer feels this way about her involvement in the development of the Thalmann Generators - what Equestria is doing to the humans is absolutely wrong, but she also feels despair that she's given humanity the keys to destroy her people.
  • 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.
    • There are scattered mentions of incidents where humans that were splashed by the potion killed themselves rather than be transformed. Halberd describes one such incident that he witnessed personally, where the half-ponified victim shoots himself in the head before the transformation is complete.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: In Reunited, 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.
    • Choice shows Celestia indulging in the contents of the palace's wine cellar as the humans continue to advance on Equestria.
  • Interspecies Romance: As humans and ponies mingled after Equestria's emergence on Earth, 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 for the two races to reach peace and healing together after the conflict or unnatural and sick.
    • In Future, Spike begins to pursue a relationship with a human artist named Rebecca. The final chapter of Warfare shows that they're engaged.
    • Trixie had one with a woman named Xu Lin. When Xu was killed by the EFF, Trixie went undercover in the EFF in an attempt to destroy them from the inside and ultimately sacrificed herself to save Twilight from Rainbow Dash and Applejack's assassination attempt. Her last wish was to be buried next to Xu Lin.
  • Intrigued by Humanity:
    • Discord 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.
    • Moondancer is seen watching anime with other humans in "Innovation" in Choice.
    • Before the war, Scootaloo had several online friends and would watch videos on human weapons.
    • In general, before the war kicked off, the ponies were enthralled by humanity's many different cultures and accomplishments as a species that didn't have magic.
  • I Regret Nothing:
    • Zigzagged with Celestia - while she genuinely regrets that so much was lost in the process, she ultimately feels no remorse for doing everything she felt was necessary to ensure the continued survival and preservation of her nation, subjects, and their way of life.
    • Applejack in the Choice chapter "Devastation" makes it clear to Rarity that she holds no remorse for selling out her fellow ponies to the ESS.
  • I Reject Your Reality: According to Spike, many of the ponies who stayed loyal to the princesses and/or joined the Equestrian Freedom Fighters didn't believe or care that Celestia abandoned the other races when jumping Equestria to Earth. In Choice, Rainbow Dash is shown to believe that the humans forced Twilight to say all those things to deliberately break the ponies' faith.
  • 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.
    • As mentioned above in Humans Are Special, Discord giving a Patrick Stewart Speech. Jean-Luc rubbing off you, eh, Q?
    • Celestia ordered Cadence to use the Crystal Cannon to destroy Rome and Mecca and had Luna lead an attack on Jerusalem in an attempt to demoralize the humans by destroying their holy cities. Instead, the humans just got even more enraged and Luna is killed in battle, which demoralized the ponies themselves.
      • The text of Choice points out that the use of the Crystal Cannon to destroy Rome and Mecca, as a gesture of revenge, would, in turn, be obliterated by nuclear fire as revenge for those cities.
    • It's shown that, along with Fluttershy, Rarity and Pinkie Pie also had reservations against the war on humanity. Out of the three of them, Fluttershy was the only one brave enough to act on it.
    • When faced with the human armada during the Invasion of Equestria and seeing her fellow soldiers getting brutally shot down in battle, Rainbow Dash, the Element of Loyalty, retreats from the battlefield to save her own skin, abandoning one of her closest friends in the process.
    • The cruelest example comes from the "Devastation" chapter of Choice: Applejack sold out innocent ponies to the ESS for money to keep the farm afloat and make sure Applebloom had a good life. Then Ponyville gets bombed, the farm is destroyed, and Applebloom is killed by a piece of shrapnel when their house blows up. The kicker? Said shrapnel was a golden bit.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Discord, despite loving Fluttershy, encouraged her to confess her love to Martin and graciously let her go, despite going on to regret it for the rest of his own life.
  • It's Personal:
    • When the Equestrians tried to destroy the Vatican, Mecca, and Jerusalem in an attempt to quash the humans' will to fight, it instead enraged all the world's Christians, Jews, and Muslims, who proceeded to band together to exact God's righteous fury upon the ponies.
    • Celestia admits in both Truth and Fallen that a not-insignificant portion of her hatred of humanity was motivated by how her previous apprentice and adoptive daughter Sunset Shimmer was killed and eaten by a group of tribal hunters.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Hot Stepper, one of the two surviving EFF members who tried to steal the Scroll of Ascension in Choice chapter "Abolition" is subjected to a very angry group of human soldiers who begin asking where his allies are by strapping his testicles to a car battery.
  • Keystone Army: Choice reveals that the invading force of New York was one, as the instant Shining Armor died, the entire army scattered into easily-dispatched groups.
    • The Wonderbolts suffered from this in the Invasion of Equestria. Once Spitfire was shot down, their coordination disappeared and they were easily picked off by anti-air fire.
  • Kick the Dog: Celestia did this to Twilight just a few days before the final assault that left her comatose. After another Royal Guard Lieutenant surrendered to the humans and wrote a note to her urging her to do the same, she snapped. Twilight tried to calm her down, only for Celestia to scold Twilight for failing in her own duties as a princess for not keeping her friends together, as Fluttershy's defection rendered the Elements of Harmony useless. While Celestia did apologize later, it was a clear sign of how badly Celestia was losing her grip on her sanity as her plans crumbled around her.
  • Killed Offscreen: Thundershot.
    • Celestia's execution is likewise offscreen.
    • Diamond Tiara. As a result, Silver Spoon is Driven to Suicide, also offscreen (though Twist and other guards find her body).
  • Kill the God: Halberd explains in his journal that the alicorns are worshiped as goddesses by the ponies, so for them, if one were to die, it would be an example of this. Luna being killed during the Battle of Jerusalem was the first major hit to the Equestrians' morale. This later happens to Cadence and Flurry Heart when the Crystal Empire is nuked, and then to Celestia herself in Truth, which serves as a crushing blow to the resolve of the Equestrian Freedom Fighters.
  • Knight Templar: Celestia will do anything to protect her ponies, including 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 as a genocidal monster.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Celestia falling into a coma after using the last of her energy to protect Canterlot from a brutal aerial assault was what finally compelled Twilight 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 by Celestia's forces when they tried to escape Equestria, and afterward, Celestia blamed their deaths on humanity to cover it up.
    • After losing half of Equestria to the invading humans, General Valkyrie staged a coup to seize control of Canterlot and negotiate peace with mankind to save what was left of her people and country, but failed horribly.
    • The EFF, the Equestrian Freedom Fighters, think that they're this trope, but in reality, they're just terrorists.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The ponies were on the receiving end of this once the barrier was destroyed and humanity invaded and subsequently occupied Equestria.
  • Last of His Kind:
    • Following the revelation that all the other species died after Equestria left their original home world, Spike is now the last remaining dragon.
    • Three years after the war, Twilight deliberately took her notes on how to ascend into Alicornhood and destroyed them. Coupled with the deaths of Flurry Heart, Cadence, and Luna during the war, this means that between the time Celestia is executed in Truth and her own death in Rest, Twilight was the last Alicorn.
      • In addition, aside from Spike, Twilight was the last member of her family after the war. Her brother died in New York, her sister-in-law Cadence and her niece Flurry Heart were killed in the atomic bombing of the Crystal Empire, her parents were casualties in the Siege of Canterlot, and during the war, Twilight received a bullet wound that prevented her from ever having children.
    • 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. After she died in Useless, the timeline reveals that he helped Twilight and Fluttershy set up her grave.
    • As of Future and Warfare's finale, Spike is the last person left from the generation of the war.
  • 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.
    • The Invasion of Equestria was this for Celestia and her loyal subjects, who refused to surrender willingly and thus were beaten into submission by the overwhelming onslaught humanity unleashed upon them, ending the war at last.
    • Defied with Canterlot itself, as well as many Equestrian cities, in the final days of the war. Cloudsdale (and several others) surrendered rather than be blown to bits by human artillery. The last pony army outside of Canterlot team killed their leader and surrendered rather than fight humanity's forces. Canterlot was, under Celestia's rule, absolutely ready to make a last stand, giving weapons to citizens and recruiting anyone of age who could fight, including teenagers. As Halberd notes, there's no way that they'll win, but they'll die as ponies - or at least, they would have, before Celestia fell into a coma from the magical strain of holding a barrier against the humans and Twilight surrendered rather than continue to fight a failing war.
    • 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.
  • Les Collaborateurs: This universe's version of the PER. The timeline mentions that during the second year of the Conversion War, groups of humans claiming to act in the interests of Equestria started performing acts of sabotage and terrorism to weaken the human resistance efforts. They were quickly stamped out within a year after their emergence.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Fluttershy's adopted son, a pegasus named Feathershy, takes after his mother in terms of personality and speech patterns.
  • The Lost Lenore: Thundershot becomes this for Halberd.
    • Fluttershy is this for Discord.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: Warfare is this for the rest of the series, since it doesn't focus on one of the main characters of the show, but instead on an Original Character in the form of a freshly recruited Equestrian soldier who takes to the field during the last year of the war. Specifically, he joins the war just in time for mankind to turn the tide and put Equestria on the back foot until it surrenders.
    • Certain chapters of Choice center around Original Characters instead of the mane cast.
  • Magitek: The Thalmann Anti-Magic Generators, created from human technology fused with pony magic. New guns and military vehicles capable of firing lasers were also made with the same method. After the war, magic and technology fusions became accessible to the public, rather than being reserved solely for the military.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Celestia. She convinced the vast majority of her subjects to go along with forcibly converting mankind and wiping out their culture and planet by waging a violent war against them. Furthermore, after Shining Armor was killed, she exploited Cadence's grief to get her niece to use the Crystal Cannon against human cities.
    • Choice goes into exactly how she manipulated Cadence, trying to drive her into a frenzy by telling Cadence that the humans were desecrating Shining Armor's body. It also reveals that Celestia regretted doing so, since it was cruel, but the humans were also fighting better than expected and losses were mounting.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: One of Spike's co-workers, named Beatstep, has six children and is expecting a seventh.
    • Less than ten years after the Conversion war, and Lyra already has four children.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: This trope plays a big part in why Spike is so apprehensive about pursuing a relationship with the human Rebecca. 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.
  • Meaningful Name: General Valkyrie, the leader of a failed Military Coup, got her name from Operation Valkyrie, which was, among other things, a failed assassination attempt on Hitler.
    • The task force to hunt down the EFF, composed of mixed human and pony forces, is named "Centaur" after the mythological half-human half-horse creature.
  • Military Coup:
    • In the final weeks of the conflict, a group of Royal Guards led by the rebellious General Valkyrie tried to stage one after they realized that Equestria had no hope of winning the war and Celestia wasn't going to stop. They poisoned her and then moved to take over Canterlot after she died so they could peacefully surrender to the humans' forces, only to walk into a trap where Celestia revealed that she survived their assassination attempt thanks to her alicorn biology. Most of the conspirators were killed in the ensuing scuffle and the survivors were executed for treason, with Celestia carrying out Valkyrie's personally, and all their heads were put on pikes along the palace walls as a message to any other would-be dissenters.
    • In the third year of the war, a group of rebellious generals launched one against the Kim Dynasty in North Korea, setting the Korean Peninsula on the road to reunification. Due to the pressures of the war, many of the survivors got pardons in exchange for helping out in the Conversion War.
  • Mind Rape: What the potion does to its victims, naturally. We don't meet any of this universe's newfoals, but Anthony Doyle describes them as mindless drones that despise everything about humanity while praising Celestia and ponykind incessantly. Halberd describes them as "unsettling" and that they do whatever anypony asks of them without complaint, up to and including sex. Part of the negotiations include both finding a way to undo this effect on the existing newfoals, but also creating a version of the potion that allows one to transform without the mind alterations.
  • Monumental Damage: It's mentioned that a good deal of humanity's historical structures and important cities (with Mecca and Rome getting completely glassed by the Crystal Cannon) were lost in the conflict. On the ponies' side, the Crystal Empire was annihilated in a nuclear strike and Ponyville was devastated by an aerial bombardment when the country was invaded. Twilight's castle was completely obliterated.
    • Choice shows the aftermath of Rome's destruction via the Crystal Cannon. The only thing left intact out of countless ancient structures was a single cross from St. Peter's Basilica, flung several hundred miles away.
  • Moral Myopia: From the ponies' point of view, they were completely justified in glassing Mecca and Rome and killing millions of innocent humans with the Crystal Cannon, but when the humans retaliated and did the same to the Crystal Empire via nuclear strike, that made them irredeemable and pure evil in their eyes.
  • More Dakka:
    • Luna perished in this manner, so much so that Rainbow Dash described her corpse as looking like "swiss cheese", and it took Celestia two weeks of repairing it with magic and paying expensive preppers just to make it presentable for the funeral. Choice describes her corpse as resembling ground chuck with bits of blue fur and feathers.
    • The Wonderbolts were also killed this way, and seeing it happen right in front of her horrified Rainbow Dash so much that she retreated to save herself. Rainbow Dash first mentions it in Useless, but the scene itself is expanded on and shown firsthand in Choice.
    • Halberd mentions that he saw lots of ponies die this way in the first few minutes of the Invasion of Equestria, with one pegasus trying to use a rocket launcher simply swatted out of the air in pieces.
  • 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 Country, Right or Wrong: As revealed in Halberd's journal in the chapter "I Remember What I Fight For", Scootaloo actually liked the humans, admired their accomplishments, and even befriended several of them before the war. However, her loyalty was to Equestria first and foremost.
  • 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.
    • Halberd Wings writes in a journal entry how shaken and horrified he was after successfully killing a human soldier. Even though he saw the humans as monsters that needed to be converted for their own good, he still killed a person who had a life, friends and family.
    • In the "Innovation" chapter of Choice, Moondancer reveals that she's having a pretty big one over her role in creating the Thalmann Generators - she knows for a fact that preventing the extinction of humanity was the right thing to do, but at the same time, she's created a weapon that will absolutely in her own words, "grind Equestria under humanity's bootheel".
  • 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. And Twilight herself followed and trusted Celestia without question even when she had her own doubts.
    • Scootaloo also harbored doubts regarding the war, and before that she had her own human friends and interests on the human side of things. Unfortunately, she was still loyal to her homeland and fought against those humans, leading to her tragic death later on.

    N - Z 
  • Never My Fault: As was shown in the Choice chapter "Obsession", Celestia took this Up to Eleven with her Villainous Breakdown. She blamed everyone except herself for all the things going wrong in the war - the humans for being so vile and evil, her surviving generals for not fighting as hard as they should, Twilight for letting Fluttershy defect - and absolutely refused to take any responsibility for her own part in the deaths of Luna, Cadence, and Flurry Heart, the destruction of the Crystal Empire, and Equestria being razed to the ground. She still has some hints of this in Truth, largely as a way of trying to justify herself.
  • No Body Left Behind: The firing squad that executed Celestia used magic-powered rifles that reduced her body to ash.
    • Discord's body disappears in a flash of light after he dies.
  • No One Should Have This Power: Three years after the war, Twilight came to this conclusion with regards to the Alicorns and their influence over the pony race and thus destroyed every record of the spell that enabled her ascension so another Celestia would never come to be.
  • Not Enough to Bury: Of the Royal Family members who were killed in the war, Luna was the only one to get a proper funeral. Shining Armor's body was stuck with the humans and cremated, with his ashes dumped into the Hudson River, while Cadence and Flurry Heart were at ground zero of the atomic detonation that destroyed the Crystal Empire and were vaporized.
    • The anti-air plasma weapons used against the Wonderbolts in Choice leave little behind except bloody mist.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • 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 Rome. Humanity then used a nuclear warhead to obliterate the Crystal Empire in retaliation.
    • Averted during the human invasion of Equestria - while other forbidden weapons, such as chemical ones, are permitted during the campaign, nuclear weapons are forbidden by the UN during this time.
  • Oh, Crap!: Halberd in Warfare was assured time and time again that Equestria would prevail, so he goes into his first battle with high spirits. Unfortunately for him, this was also the Battle of Jerusalem, where not only was the fighting there some of the fiercest of the war, but this was also where the humans first pulled out the Anti-Magic generators that they used to kill Luna.
    • It happens to him and his comrades again at the start of the Invasion of Equestria. They stand ready at the beach to face whatever humanity's about to throw at them, but then the fog dissipates to reveal legions of gigantic floating battleships speeding towards them. Bring My Brown Pants doesn't even begin to describe it. Halberd describes many ponies simply dropping their weapons and running.
    • In Choice, after Discord defected alongside Fluttershy, Applejack visibly paled at the thought of him using his chaos magic to aid humanity.
  • One-Man Army: More like one mare army with 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's forces a great deal of grief, if the descriptions of their respective final stands in Canterlot and Jerusalem are of any indication. Even after everything, Halberd reports that the Princesses were able to secure several victories against the human armies on Equestrian Soil.
  • 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. Halberd writes in his journal at one point about possibly adopting war orphans with Thundershot once the war is over, but that plan is canceled after Thundershot's death.
  • 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.
    • Halberd Wings expresses a similar sentiment after the humans were able to successfully kill Luna. Choice expands on that - Shining Armor was killed in a surprise sniper attack, at range, and with no warning. The death of Luna was not just the death of a royal family member, but the death of a goddess and proof that humanity was far more dangerous than the ponies had previously considered. Further, Luna was fighting against enemies she knew were coming, and had defenses up against the humans... and she still lost.
    • Celestia also expresses this in "Obsession", a chapter of Choice. She outright calls her ponies the pinnacle of harmony and righteousness, all the while being unable to comprehend why Equestria was losing.
    • The Thalmann Generators were one for Equestria, since they canceled out the ponies' magic. As magic made up most of their defensive and offensive abilities, this was a serious blow to the ponies... one that they never recovered from.
  • Peace Conference: The premise of the first written story, Negotiations, is Twilight meeting with Anthony 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.
  • Pet the Dog: In the Choice chapter "Teleportation", General Valkyrie (then a Lieutenant Colonel) expresses disgust and horror at the proposal to leave the newfoals behind while withdrawing the troops from human lands.
  • 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.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Choice averts this. It's made clear that when it was hit with a .50 caliber bullet, Shining Armor's head exploded, coating everything in a nearby radius (including his own soldiers).
  • Prequel: Several chapters of Choice act as this to Negotiations, while others are dedicated to the aftermath of the war.
  • 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.
  • Putting on the Reich: Despite destroying Berlin for the crimes of the Nazis a century earlier, the Ponies seem eager to put on some of the Reich's greatest hits- concentration camps for noncitizens, a secret police, a cult of personality around the leader, world domination, genocide...
  • 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, who both immediately disown her as soon as they discover what she's done) 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, with Earth's dimension being the only one she found that was reasonably safe enough, 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.
    • Once the tide of the war turned against the ponies, Twilight and Celestia started working around the clock to figure out a way to send Equestria somewhere, anywhere else. They didn't succeed before Twilight was forced to surrender. It was not helped by the fact that they used the Elements of Harmony to fuel Equestria's jump to Earth and they no longer worked since Fluttershy had defected years before and the Elements needed all six of its bearers to work. This still could have theoretically worked if they could kidnap Fluttershy and force her into compliance (as Celestia suggested), but by the time they were that desperate, Ponyville had been bombed by the advancing human forces and Pinkie Pie and Rarity were dead.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: The whole premise of Truth. Twilight loved and admired Celestia more than anypony else (even her own parents), trusting her judgment in spite of her own doubts, and in return, almost everything and everyone she cherished was taken from her, and she lets her former teacher know just how much pain she's had to endure because of that directly to Celestia's face.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Halberd already hated humanity for what they did to the Crystal Empire, but after he lost both his wings and Thundershot, well...
    Halberd: I’ll kill them. I’ll bucking kill them all. Even if I die I’ll take them all with me. Their cities will burn. Their women will suffer. Their children butchered. I will see them enslaved, mutilated, and suffer every sin their race deserves since they first learned to crawl. I will tear down their gods and statues. Every bit of their history, culture, and civilization I will see wiped from the face of the earth. I will send them to the fires of whatever hell exists before I piss on their ashes. I will never surrender to them.
  • "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.
    • Twilight herself got one in "Oppression" from the ponies that were victims of the ESS. Suffice to say, they are not impressed that she's finally come to her senses after many of them have been crippled for life by the treatment they received from the organization she helped create.
  • 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.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Warfare is basically All Quiet on the Western Front but with ponies instead of Germans.
  • 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 the primary motivation behind her actions against mankind, Celestia admits that she was partially driven by this after a group of African bushmen devoured Sunset Shimmer when she was sent to Earth to scope it out.
      • The Choices chapter "Decision" implies that it's a bigger factor in the war than she had let on previously.
    • 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.
    • Mankind dropped a nuke on the Crystal Empire to avenge the loss of Rome and Mecca after they were destroyed by the ponies' own WMD, the Crystal Cannon.
    • After the Crystal Empire was obliterated, Halberd Wings vowed to destroy all humans as payback for the deaths of Cadence, Flurry Heart, and the four million crystal ponies that were killed in the blast. Later on, he goes a step further and vows to enslave and mutilate humans after losing both his wings and Thundershot in battle.
    • Applejack and Rainbow Dash joined the Equestrian Freedom Fighters to get back at the humans for their own personal losses, and at one point attempted to assassinate Twilight for surrendering to the humans. They are not the only ones to do so.
    • After the EFF killed her human lover, Trixie vowed to avenge her by infiltrating the organization and feeding critical information about their plans to the authorities that helped destroy them in the end, but at the cost of her own life.
  • Robbing the Dead: After the Battle of Jerusalem, the humans took all of Luna's silver jewelry and melted it down, using it to begin to repair the damages to the Temple Mount, the Haram esh-Sharif.
  • Rule of Three: Celestia decided to launch an attack on the three cities central to the Abrahamic religions, believing that seeing their most sacred holy sites razed to the ground would break the morale of the humans. The first two, Rome and Mecca, were glassed by the Crystal Cannon. The third, Jerusalem, was to be taken in a ground battle (thanks to Discord sabotaging the cannon), only for them to fail at it. The humans not only unveiled their newly created Thalmann Generators and drove the ponies from the city, but also killed Luna, the first major blow to the ponies' morale and the second major victory of the war (first being Shining Armor's death in New York).
  • 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 Rome.
    • After the barrier was shattered and the Crystal Empire was annihilated, Celestia ordered all her forces to withdraw back to Equestria proper, but not before burning and destroying the lands they previously conquered so the humans could not use them.
    • The nuclear strike on the Crystal Empire left the surrounding landscape irradiated for hundreds of years.
  • 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, meanwhile, 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 the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The ponies who rebelled against Celestia. Fluttershy in particular felt that converting the humans into something else went against nature.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • The ponies who held doubts about the necessity of conversion and disapproved of the war (and weren't discovered by the Secret Police) defected from Equestria and escaped the country to aid Earth. Choice also mentions that there were groups that would run out into the wilderness and hide, planning to wait out the war, but the Secret Police would be actively hunting these groups.
    • When humanity invaded Equestria's shores and easily plowed through the first line of defense, Rainbow Dash became so horrified by the sheer amount of carnage she witnessed (which included her fellow Wonderbolts getting gruesomely massacred) that she abandoned her post and fled for her life, leaving Scootaloo behind to die in the process.
    • Once the barrier was gone and the humans began utilizing nuclear warheads against them, Celestia and Twilight tried to find a way to transport Equestria to another world and escape mankind's wrath, but they neither had the time nor the power of the Elements of Harmony (Fluttershy having defected years earlier) they needed to do it before humanity invaded. The Choices chapter "Teleportation," shows the attempts, which end with the Elements being rendered totally unusable.
  • 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.
    • Before the Invasion of Equestria commenced, the humans demanded the ponies' unconditional surrender, warning them that if they refused to comply, then mankind would go in guns blazing and lay waste to their home until the ponies either gave up or were all wiped out. Celestia chose to stand her ground and her loyal subjects followed suit, which, while commendable, didn't work out well for them, ending with the whole country being completely devastated and nearly fifty percent of the population being killed.
  • Secret Police: As the war got worse and dragged out longer, Celestia established one of these. Sweetie Drops, AKA Bon Bon, was a member. They rooted out "conspirators", "dissenters", and "traitors" who harbored doubts about the war and Celestia, as Captain Parabola found out the hard way.
  • Series Fauxnale: Warfare was intended to be Rated Ponystar's final venture into the Negotiationsverse, leaving it open to others who wished to dabble in it. This was backed up by the epilogue in that story being chronologically the final event in the 'verse. The huge popularity of Warfare and Choice convinced him to come back with the Alternate Universe story Fallen.
  • 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 after that, with Spike's romantic feelings for her fading away as a result.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sins of Our Fathers: The timeline notes that Berlin suffered one of the most damaging attacks by Equestrian forces in the third year of the war as "punishment" for the crimes of the Nazis.
  • 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. His sabotage of the Crystal Cannon prevented Jerusalem's destruction and allowed for mankind to counterattack with the Thalmann Generators.
  • Spiteful Spit: General Valkyrie spit in Celestia's face as a final act of defiance before being executed for treason due to trying to instigate a Military Coup.
    • Rainbow Dash gives one to Fluttershy in Fallen.
    • Applejack gave one when Twilight begged her to stay following the surrender.
  • Stepford Smiler: The newfoals, who are constantly and always happy. It's unsettling to humans and ponies alike.
  • Sterility Plague: All of the newfoals are infertile. Celestia states that she never intended for this 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.
    • All the remaining Crystal Ponies that survived the nuclear attack on the Crystal Empire were rendered sterile due to radiation poisoning.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: Spike thinks that this would have been the case for Halberd had he not killed himself in despair following the surrender, based on what Spike read of his journal. The war had twisted Halberd and burned away all that was positive, leaving only a hateful and bitter shell.
  • Stress Vomit: Halberd in Warfare mentions that several ponies did this while waiting for the human battlefleet before the Invasion of Equestria.
  • Suddenly Shouting:
    • In Truth, after Twilight argues that Celestia had no right to force the humans to change themselves even for all their imperfections, Celestia does this, screaming that she couldn't let humanity's cultures "poison" Equestria's own.
    • When Fluttershy told her friends she was defecting to aid Lyra's resistance, they initially try to tell her she's just confused, prompting Fluttershy to scream that she knows what she's doing and won't change her mind.
    • Celestia does this upon hearing that Lieutenant Long Haul has surrendered his forces to the humans and is urging her to do the same. It's part of her breakdown.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: The Bombing of Ponyville. Hell, the whole Invasion of Equestria could count.
    • The Crystal Empire was destroyed by a nuclear bomb as revenge for the Crystal Cannon being used to glass Mecca and Rome. Goes further in that this event ultimately led to the extinction of the crystal pony race, as the few survivors were rendered sterile from the radiation poisoning.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: The ultimate factor in Luna's demise. The victories she scored prior to the Battle of Jerusalem made her complacent and unable to even consider that mankind could make a weapon capable of harming her in any way. The Thalmann generators proved otherwise, and even then she still believed she could beat back the humans' assault, or at least hold the line until her own troops escaped. Then her protective shield was destroyed by an RPG and it was all over for her at that point.
    • The ponies as a whole, when going into the war, initially had a bit of this. They had never known an evil they could not defeat, and thus, they were absolutely sure that these divided, warmongering monkeys would fall just as easily. Several still held this belief even when the tide turned against them, and in the closing months of the war, expressed confusion as to how it could have gone so wrong.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy: Twilight lampshades how Celestia refused to give up despite the humans' victory being all but guaranteed after the barrier was brought down.
  • Superweapon Surprise: Humanity first used the Thalmann Anti-Magic Generators during the Battle of Jerusalem, which took the ponies by complete surprise, as they had no idea how to counter against a weapon that turned their greatest advantage moot.
    • The Crystal Cannon was a surprise not just when it was rediscovered, but when Cadence proved willing to use it.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The ponies eventually got around to making firearms to try and give themselves an edge near the end of the war. The initial result? A number of soldiers were hurt or killed after several accidentally shot themselves and others during training, as they had no concept of gun safety. We hear Halberd talk about this but get to see it first hand in Choice.
    • Also, the ponies were eventually able to produce tanks to combat the humans. Great, right? Except they're based on designs mankind hasn't used since the 1940s because Equestria doesn't have the materials or technology to make anything more advanced, while humanity has since developed mobile armor that shoots lasers along with other weapons using a mixture of magic and technology.
    • Moreover, even with their training and preparation, the ponies were still horribly unprepared for fighting off the invading forces. Not only were their newly developed weapons still way out-of-date by humanity's standards, but the humans also spent those last few months preparing themselves for a brutal offensive and making sure they could exploit every advantage they had. As a result, the invasion starts off as an absolutely merciless Curb-Stomp Battle that results in the quick deaths of the majority of the first defense line.
      • Worse, even if the ponies wanted to make more human-based weapons, in the wake of the Invasion, they quickly found out that they can't since all the factories that produced said weapons or the tools to make them were located outside of Canterlot, which moved all the manufacturing to other cities to keep the city looking beautiful. And once the humans started attacking supply lines and surrounding isolated villages and cities, the ability to make more was gone.
      • Further, "Teleportation" of Choice shows that the Equestrian High Command knew that they couldn't hold off the invasion, since instead of prepping for an invasion during the months between the barrier's fall and the landing, they had to devote a huge portion of their remaining personnel to maintaining social order. It seems that the fall of the barrier and the destruction of the Crystal Empire were a fairly large hit to the morale of Equestrians.
    • Chapter 5 of Choice also points out that developing these new weapons came at the cost of massive deforestation, pollution of the rivers, clouds of smog, and other associated environmental issues due to the necessity of constructing the factories needed to produce the weapons.
    • In the Choicechapter "Innovation", while Moondancer is glad that she's helped prevent mankind's extinction, she's also filled with horrible guilt since the development of the Thalmann Generators will all but ensure Equestria will lose the war badly and many ponies will die.
  • Survivor's Guilt:
    • Rainbow Dash has been consumed by this due to being the Sole Survivor of the massacre that killed the Wonderbolts. Her guilt was further compounded by the fact that she only survived due to retreating out of fear for her own life and abandoning Scootaloo to suffer the same grisly fate.
    • Spike feels this in Future due to surviving the war and outliving all his old friends, which contributes to his fear of being happy.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: In the Warfare chapter "I Rejoin the Fight", Halberd explains that with the barrier brought down and the threat of nuclear attack very real, Celestia immediately ordered all her forces to fall back to Equestria and prepare for a large-scale human counterattack. From there, everypony went about converting the entire nation into one massive impenetrable fortress while the remaining princesses tried (in vain) to find a way to transport Equestria to another world to escape the humans' retribution.
    • During the battle of Jerusalem, Luna ordered her troops to do this once their magical defenses started to fail and they started dropping like flies. She stayed behind to hold the humans off to no avail, as once they turned the Thalmann generators on her, her fate was sealed.
  • 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.
  • The Last Straw: Before she defected, Fluttershy suffered through months of the war from the Equestrian's side, silently enduring Celestia's propaganda, until it started using the Elements of Harmony to garner more support. Needless to say, Fluttershy really didn't like that Equestria was using her to promote genocide, and thus went to join Lyra's resistance.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: This is what happened to Luna in the Battle of Jerusalem. The humans wanted to make absolutely positively sure that she was as dead as dead could be, as well as send a message to Equestria that their goddesses were not invincible. What was left was stated to resemble ground meat with bits of blue fur and feathers. In both Future and Fallen, it's stated that it took Celestia over two weeks of repairing Luna's corpse with magic and paying expensive preppers to make it look presentable enough to have a state funeral.
  • This Is Unforgivable!:
    • In Reunited, 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.
    • In the final days of the war, a growing number of soldiers and civilians alike came to realize Equestria was doomed to lose, with their surrendering to humanity's armies being seen by Celestia as the worst betrayal they could commit against her.
    • In Choice, it was seeing her image being used by propagandists to promote Celestia's genocidal crusade that gave Fluttershy the push she needed to defect.
    • Rainbow Dash and Applejack, due to having lost so much in the war, refuse to forgive or accept the humans. In the Choice chapter "Division", they let Twilight know that her surrender is unforgivable not just for them, but for a lot of Equestrians. Applejack blames her for rendering the deaths of Big Macintosh and Apple Bloom moot, and Rainbow Dash blames her for the coming destruction of their culture. While Twilight fires back that she doesn't have a choice if she wants their species to survive, neither of them accepts that answer and they declare their friendship with her over. They go to their graves hating her and the humans.
  • 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 Negotiations when she is reminded of Lyra's defection and those who followed. In Reunited, 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 that her adopted kids went through during the war and how it still affects them.
  • Trash of the Titans: Twilight's lab is described as a disgusting mess in the Choice chapter "Teleportation".
  • Uncanny Valley: The newfoals are this In-Universe, summed up by Twilight as "nice... just... too nice," to the point that even she believed something was fundamentally wrong with them but was willing to let it slide because she still believed in Celestia. Halberd also confides in his journal how he finds it more than a tad bit creepy that the newfoals never say "no" to anything, asked of them including random ponies asking to sleep with them.
    • Luna's corpse had a bit of this, since the taxidermists had to somehow turn what is described as "ground meat with bits of fur and feathers sticking out of it" into something that looks like Luna. From far away it's not too bad, but up close, it's clear that they still had their work cut out for them - the horn is crooked and the body looks wrong.
  • 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 do a Last Stand.
  • 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.
  • Unperson: Celestia's Secret Police did this to any pony who disapproved of the war and forcible conversion of the humans. Captain Parabola is one such unlucky victim.
  • 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.
    • The remaining members of the Equestrian Royal Family thought that destroying humanity's religious centers would break their spirits. What happened instead was that it created an army of religious fanatics who were willing to put aside their old differences if it meant crushing Equestria.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Celestia created the potion and the conversion bureaus because she was convinced the humans were too violent and savage to peacefully coexist with the ponies and figured it would make the humans truly better.
  • Vengeful Widow: Invoked by Celestia with Cadence, who she egged on into using the Crystal Cannon to destroy Rome and Mecca by exploiting her grief over Shining Armor's death.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Celestia had an absolutely massive one of these after a Royal Guard Lieutenant surrendered to humanity and wrote a letter to her urging her to do the same.
    • Twilight herself has one in the Choice chapter "Teleportation". After spending over four months trying and failing to get the Elements of Harmony to activate so she and Celestia could jump Equestria off Earth and onto another world, she breaks down into a sobbing and screaming mess, throwing things around in her lab in a rage, and grabbing her tiara, begging to know why the Elements aren't working.
  • War Fic: For The Conversion Bureau, natch. Initially, this trope was averted, as The Conversion War was The Great Offscreen War and the series took place in the aftermath of the ponies' surrender. The conflict, though, hung a long shadow over the world and characters. However, this trope was played straight once Choice and, well, Warfare were released and showed off what the war was actually like.
  • War Hero: In a rare case of an unnamed character being one, the sniper who killed Shining Armor is highly decorated for it and viewed highly. While his name was not spoken in the stories themselves, the timeline of the war gives his name as Pablo Carvallo.
  • War Is Hell: Said word-for-word by Halberd Wings in Warfare, who admits the humans certainly were right on the money with this. The ponies really were not prepared for the sheer brutality of how the humans wage war, especially with the Anti-Magic weapons they developed turning the ponies' biggest advantage moot.
  • 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.
    • After the Conversion War, mankind starts putting these up to remember their losses in territories swallowed by the Barrier.
    • Twilight also erects memorials for those who died at the Crystal Empire and the Siege of Canterlot.
  • 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 ARE Struggling Together: "Devastation" makes it clear that if civilization is three missed meals away from anarchy, by the time Ponyville gets bombed, Equestria's missed two of the three meals. The chapter starts with two ponies fighting over a tattered blanket with more holes than swiss cheese, one of whom had already gotten a blanket from the line and was trying to cheat a second, while the other fakes having a baby in need. Shortly thereafter, the stress of the situation, coupled with Applejack's actions of selling out ponies to the ESS for money, causes a fight to break out between Applejack and Rarity.
  • 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 finally by Rainbow Dash and Applejack refusing to accept Twilight's decision to surrender to humanity. Twilight and Fluttershy do at least eventually reconcile five years after the war.
    • As with Lyra and Bon Bon. The former defected to aid humanity, leading the rebellion against Celestia; the latter stayed loyal to Equestria, faked her death during the Bombing of Ponyville, and founded the Equestrian Freedom Fighters after the war ended. Lyra was heartbroken to find those last two details out.
  • Wham Episode: Truth, due to being a real gut-punch of a reveal.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Truth, Celestia initially refuses to explain the reasons behind her actions to Twilight, arguing that it doesn't matter since it won't change anything past or present, leading to Twilight raging at her in this manner. It convinces the fallen princess to explain herself to her once faithful student.
    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!
    • General Valkyrie, the leader of the failed military coup, spent her final moments calling Celestia out for dragging the war out, ruining Equestria and dooming the ponies with her stubborn refusal to surrender.
    • Applejack and Rainbow Dash call out Twilight for surrendering Equestria to the humans after Celestia falls comatose. They tell her that she's spitting on the memories of all those who died, that she's a coward, and that she's betraying everything that made Equestria great. In the end, the two of them break off their friendship with her permanently.
    • A week before the destruction of Ponyville, in "Devestation", Rarity calls out Applejack for her willingness to sell ponies to the ESS to line her own pockets. The argument gets so heated that their friendship never recovers.
  • World War III: Humanity was on the verge of this before Equestria appeared. Celestia initially planned to use this to weaken the humans before swooping in and "rescuing" the survivors with the Conversion Bureaus.
  • 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. Also the Equestrians' original home planet counts, as without Celestia and Luna, the Sun and Moon stopped moving, either boiling or freezing the planet (depending on which side it was on). This is compounded by the fact that the Equestrian sun was also slowly dying, meaning that even if they stayed, everyone would be dead anyway. Furthermore, anyone who considered Ponyville their home wouldn't be able to return as the town was destroyed in the war and never rebuilt.
  • You Cannot Kill An Idea: Examined by both sides of the war. Played straight when the ponies' destruction of Rome and Mecca only made the humans even more determined to win, and subverted when Luna, Cadence, and Flurry Heart's deaths end up causing a Crisis of Faith in the ponies.
  • You Have Failed Me: While it doesn't go as far as killing her, Celestia says this word-for-word to Twilight during her Villainous Breakdown in the last few days of the war.
  • Young Future Famous People: Anthony Doyle, the representative from the United Nations in Negotiations, later becomes president of the United States.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Shining Armor's head was reduced to blood, bone, and chunks of brain matter splattered across Time Square in NYC as a result of a .50 caliber sniper shot.
  • 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.
  • Zerg Rush: Combined some with We Have Reserves, this is another advantage humanity had over the ponies. The human population numbered at nearly a hundred humans for every one pony and thus were able to easily drown the ponies by simply possessing greater numerical superiority.
  • 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, Stalin, Bin Laden, Mao, and Pol Pot put together as long as it means that her ponies will be safe and forgiven and able to peacefully coexist with humanity.


Non-Canon and AU stories:

This section is for stories that are not part of the main Negotiationsverse narrative, such as Fallen or the April Fools' Day chapter of Choice.

    Fallen 
  • Adapted Out: In the "Operation Freebird" ending, Fluttershy's PTSD from her capture and rescue means that she and Martin can't adopt their canonical children.
  • All for Nothing: In the "Divine Justice" ending, Harmony says point-blank that there was no need to teleport Equestria to Earth - the sun would have been fine once the next generation of Element Bearers found a way to fix it and let the sun and moon move on their own.
  • Alternate Universe: Fallen takes place in a world where Fluttershy was captured and Discord was killed after the destruction of the Crystal Empire.
  • And I Must Scream: The "Divine Justice" ending's fate for Celestia - she's turned to stone and sealed in the center of the planet, still fully aware and incapable of dying until the planet does.
  • The Atoner: "Divine Justice" averts this for Twilight Sparkle, as Harmony turning all the Newfoals back into humans means that mankind doesn't need Twilight's help to reverse the effect of the Potion, so she's thrown in jail for the rest of her life. She's visited by very few people. Played straight in "Rejection," where she performs her canon Negotiationsverse action of curing the Newfoals.
  • A Shared Suffering: Fluttershy and Rarity's reconciliation is rooted in them being the only survivors of Twilight's murderous rampage in "Twilight Falls".
  • Balkanize Me: In the "Operation Freebird" ending, the aftermath of Celestia and Twilight's deaths during the raid to rescue Fluttershy and Martin results in a power vacuum where several different factions ranging from military leaders, nobles, politicians, and religious figures try to take control of Equestria, leading to a devastating Civil War that goes on for five years. After an intervention from the UN, only three nations were allowed to stand: The Kingdom of Valehoof, ruled by the remnants of Canterlot nobility; The Republic of Canterlot, where to quote Starship Troopers, service means citizenship; and the People's Republic of Stalliongrad, an isolated communist nation. All three hate each other and refuse to unite, killing off the very idea of a unified Equestria forever.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: The chapter "Fallen Star" has Celestia use a lie-detecting spell to try to prove her intentions to Fluttershy. Even though it doesn't trip, Fluttershy still proves able to counter her logic.
  • Beyond Redemption: Harmony never attempts to reform Celestia or try to make her realize the error of her ways, due to the fact that her actions are that despicable. And so they sentence her to an eternity locked in stone. Just to point out, not even the other villains such as Nightmare Moon and Discord got this, which serves to show just how monstrous Celestia had become.
  • Bittersweet Ending: All of the endings to varying degrees.
    • "Divine Justice": The good news is that Celestia is appropriately punished for her actions, the newfoals are restored back to their old human selves, and with Twilight's early surrender, Ponyville and Canterlot are spared destruction. The bad news? Well, for one thing, the Mane Six's friendship is still irreparably shattered, as Twilight is sentenced to life in prison for her crimes against humanity, Pinkie Pie just completely mentally shut down, Rainbow Dash still joined an anti-human terrorist group and was killed in action, and Applejack was killed in retribution for selling out her neighbors to the ESS. Rarity was the only one to turn out somewhat alright, and even then, she fell into alcoholism for several years.
    • "Rejection": Celestia takes every pony willing to listen on a massive suicide attack Last Stand. This action, dubbed "The March of Fools", leads to Equestria suffering worse losses in population compared to the original timeline. And it all ends the same way with Twilight surrendering.
    • "Operation Freebird" is heavier on the bitter aspects. While the raid to rescue Fluttershy and Martin does succeed and Celestia is neutralized, the experience leaves Fluttershy with heavy PTSD that she's still processing years later. Worse still, the deaths of Celestia and Twilight resulted in Equestria descending into a Civil War with multiple different factions looking to gain control of the country in the power vacuum left behind. After an intervention from the UN, Equestria was split into three different nations that hate each other and refuse to unite, killing off the very idea of a unified Equestria forever.
    • "Twilight Falls": On one hand, Twilight's rampage ends the war early and Equestria isn't so much invaded as much as it's held under the UN for rebuilding. Moreover, with so much of its central bureaucracy wiped out (namely the ESS), the anti-human resistance movements don't gain as much traction as they did in the original timeline. Plus, Fluttershy and Rarity survive and are able to rebuild their friendship. On the other hand, both are still pretty heavily traumatized by what they experienced and thousands of innocent lives were still lost on that day.
  • Body Horror: Celestia's appearance after her brutal fight with Spike in "Operation Freebird": half her body is burned, her right eye is clawed out, her left wing is half gone, the right one ripped out entirely, and she's covered head-to-hoof in bullet wounds, bite marks, and gashes that bleed so bad she leaves a small river of blood behind her when walking. While she was victorious over Spike and killed him, the young dragon went down swinging and then some.
  • Character Death: In "Operation Freebird," Celestia personally kills Spike, rendering dragonkind extinct. Since she had previously killed Twilight by a missed attack, and she dies later in the same chapter, the Alicorns also go extinct.
  • Child Soldiers: Whereas the main universe managed to avoid this, "Rejection" has Celestia willingly engage in this once the Elements fail.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Celestia engages in one in the "Rejection" ending, where she takes everypony willing to listen on a ridiculous last stand against the human invasion fleet. The humans had forty million soldiers, and Celestia essentially ordered everypony capable of holding a weapon into mass suicide wave assaults. In the canon universe, half of Equestria's population died in the war in total, but thanks to this action, coined "The March of Fools", three-quarters of them did.
  • Cruel Mercy: In the "Divine Justice" Ending, Harmony gives Fluttershy the choice of how to punish her former friends. Fluttershy inwardly admits that it would be easy to give them all sorts of Ironic Hell punishments, like making Rarity ugly or taking away Rainbow Dash's wings, but ultimately, she decides to let them be, stating that the knowledge of what they did to the other races and the resulting guilt is punishment enough.
  • Death by Adaptation: Five of the six members of the School of Friendship are confirmed dead, seeing as how they're non-ponies who got left behind in Equestria's dimensional jump.
    • In the "Rejection" ending, Celestia's suicidal Last Stand, also known as "The March of Fools", led to Equestria suffering a worse loss in the total population overall (close to three-quarters compared to the canon universe's half).
    • In "Operation Freebird" Spike dies in battle with Celestia. Up until that point, no Negotiationsverse media had been created in which he failed to survive; in fact, he was the last surviving member of the Conversion War generation in the Distant Finale, which takes place three hundred years in the future.
  • Death Seeker: By Rainbow Dash's own words in "Rejection", she's lost all hope and thinks that the only way things can be good again is if she enters Elysium, the pony version of Heaven.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Twilight undergoes this in "Twilight Falls", crossed with Go Mad from the Revelation, to the point she slaughters Celestia and everyone loyal to her in an insane but strategic rampage.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In the "Divine Justice" ending, both Applejack and Celestia demand to know why Harmony never intervened in anything, the latter moreso.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: Fallen has a few changes to the main story:
    • Discord gets killed by Celestia in this story while in canon, he lives well past the end of the war and eventually dies of old age.
    • In "Divine Justice", Applejack gets hunted down by the families of those she sold out to the Secret Police and is lynched.
    • In "Rejection", Celestia rallies a bunch of ponies into carrying out a suicidal Last Stand that would go on to be known as "The March of Fools". Rarity, Sweetie Belle, and Apple Bloom died in the March, and Equestria suffered a worse loss in the total population overall (close to three-quarters compared to the canon universe's half).
    • In "Operation Freebird":
      • As part of the rescue operation, the Elements are targeted specifically by the rescue party. Rarity dies cowering in a closet.
      • Twilight was supposed to be captured alive... except that Celestia was on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and she's vaporized in the crossfire.
      • Rainbow Dash gets subjected to Your Head A-Splode via Lyra Heartstrings and a shotgun.
      • Celestia tries to attack Fluttershy and gets subjected to the Chunky Salsa Rule thanks to the humans defending the former Element of Kindness and a brutal beatdown from Spike.
      • Fluttershy "knows in her heart" that Applejack and Pinkie Pie are dead, but she doesn't have proof.
    • In "Twilight Falls":
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Fluttershy and Rarity in "Twilight Falls" are a case where they used to be friends and the fire they go through helps them reconcile.
  • Eternal Recurrence: Implied as much by Harmony in the "Divine Justice" ending.
    "DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU ARE THAT SPECIAL? YOU ARE ONE OF THE BILLIONS OF RACES I HAVE CREATED ACROSS A NEAR ENDLESS SEA OF DIMENSIONS AND WORLDS. YOU ARE NOT THE FIRST PONIES OF EQUESTRIA I HAVE CREATED, NOR ARE THESE THE FIRST HUMANS OF EARTH I HAVE CREATED. NEITHER OF WHICH WILL BE THE LAST EITHER. BOTH YOUR WORLDS HAVE DIED AND BEEN REBORN MULTIPLE TIMES."
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Despite siding with humanity, Fluttershy hates that the Crystal Empire was destroyed, even though she understands that it was a proportionate response to the fate of Mecca and Rome. And in the "Divine Justice" ending, after learning about Applejack selling out innocent ponies to the ESS for money, even Fluttershy couldn't sympathize with the way Applejack was attacked and killed by the families and friends of those she sold out and sincerely hopes Applejack is burning in hell.
    • In the "Divine Justice" ending, the ponies who were still loyal to Celestia are all horrified after the truth is revealed that Celestia knowingly left everyone outside of Equestria's borders behind to die when she jumped Equestria to Earth. Even Rainbow Dash and Applejack, the most fanatically loyal and stubborn, break down in despair. Twilight meanwhile is so enraged and disgusted that she attacks Celestia with lethal force. All these reactions are then magnified after Harmony reveals that Celestia was going to use the Elements to wipe out humanity.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: A tragic one for Fluttershy in "Naive Magic". While thinking about the differences between how humans and ponies developed and whether Celestia's rule held them back, Fluttershy figures that Celestia and Luna's ability to control the sun and moon was what made them "qualified" to rule Equestria in the eyes of the ponies... and then she realizes to her horror that without the princesses, there's no one around to move the sun and moon anymore, meaning that everyone else they left back in their original home dimension is dead. She helps Twilight (and later, Spike) come to realize this as well. Unfortunately, Celestia employs some Laser-Guided Amnesia on the former.
  • Evil Is Petty: While Celestia might have had understandable reasons to mistrust the other races due to their history of conflict with the ponies and nasty traits, she didn't trust the ponies from Saddle Arabia simply because they never accepted Equestria's culture and rule. In other words, she left an entire country of her own kind behind in a world that would die simply because they weren't part of her sovereign.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: During Twilight's visit, Fluttershy mentally compares how Equestria developed against how Earth developed, and wonders if being ruled by the Princesses somehow held Equestria back. She then figures that probably the only real reason Celestia and Luna were chosen to rule is that they control the Sun and Moon when no one else could... and it is right then and there that Fluttershy reaches the same realization Twilight did back in Negotiations: that without the Princesses, Equus was left to die.
  • Fallen Hero:
    • Rainbow Dash and Applejack, much like their canon counterparts, went this way in all the endings. In the "Divine Justice" ending, while the remaining Elements repented and made efforts at trying to atone for their past actions, Rainbow Dash continued the fight until she met a similar fate that she had in Useless, while Applejack was ostracized by the community for ratting ponies out to the ESS, got disowned by the rest of the Apple Family, and ultimately was attacked and killed in retribution by the families and friends of the ponies she sold out. In the "Rejection" ending, Rainbow Dash died in "The March of Fools" while Applejack survived, albeit with crippling injuries, and became a member of a fringe political group opposed to the integration of humans in Equestrian society.
    • Fallen in general points out how each of the former Elements turned their backs on the traits that made them worthy, except for Fluttershy.
  • Fantastic Racism: Celestia explains that the reason she didn't trust any other race or nation with the knowledge regarding Equestria's Sun was that they either weren't as smart, were too barbaric, or wouldn't play well with "her Ponies." Fluttershy calls her out on it, as does Harmony. She also struggles to believe that the next generation of the Elements' bearers would have been composed primarily of non-ponies had she not jumped worlds.
    • However, considering that Celestia didn't show disdain towards Spike and she didn't trust the ponies from Saddle Arabia, who are of the same race as her and her subjects, it is possible that Celestia's mistrust may have less to do with racist beliefs but rather that she can't trust anyone that is not Equestrian by culture.
  • Freudian Excuse: Celestia's disdain for non-ponies stems from first watching her parents get killed by Griffin raiders when she was young, and then the personal losses and hardships she suffered while protecting Equestria from attacks by the other races all throughout her reign. However, by the time we get to know this, Celestia doesn't receive sympathy from either Fluttershy or Harmony considering that she has committed atrocities greater than any griffin, dragon, diamond dog, changeling, human, or any other race ever has.
  • Heroic BSoD: Fluttershy falls hard into this in "Naive Magic" when she comes to the realization that the other species were left behind when they jumped Equestria to Earth, and without the princesses around, this means to the sun and moon aren't moving anymore, so everyone left behind is dead. She's so horrified and heartbroken that she has a meltdown, sobbing and screaming in emotional anguish as her mind is consumed with thoughts of everyone they left behind dying horribly. Her meltdown is so bad that she ultimately passes out from the strain.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: As was the case in Truth, Celestia's justification for the actions she took during her reign (up to and including letting the ponies worship her like a goddess), as well as her actions leading up to the dimensional jump relocating Equestria to Earth, opening the Conversion Bureaus, and declaring war on the humans was all in the name of keeping her nation and subjects safe and protected.
  • I Have Many Names: Harmony claims to be all the gods, just going by different names; it lists Fausticorn and Allah, just for a very abbreviated list.
  • I Have No Son!: Fluttershy's family disowned her due to her defection. On the flipside, in the "Divine Justice" ending, Applejack got disowned by the rest of the surviving Apple Family members due to her collaborating with the ESS.
  • I Have Your Wife: Or, in this case, boyfriend. When Fluttershy refuses to work with them, Celestia reveals she's captured Fluttershy's human lover Martin, keeping him imprisoned and tortured.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • This story sees Fluttershy (after a moment of realization) ask Twilight the same question Doyle asked her in Negotiations: "Who's been controlling the sun and moon in our world since [Equestria has] been [on Earth]?"
    • In two of the endings, Rainbow Dash still joins an anti-human terrorist group and gets killed by law enforcement agents.
  • Keystone Army: "Operation Freebird" shows that Equestria was one. Without any surviving alicorns to hand the country over to the United Nations peacefully, the resulting power vacuum led to the nation descending into civil war virtually overnight. The situation was so chaotic that the UN didn't even bother with the Invasion, and just let the ponies fight among themselves.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Celestia inflicts this on Twilight to prevent her from remembering the same revelation that Equus is dead. Spike's chapter revealed that after realizing that truth, Twilight was full-on bent on murdering Celestia until Celestia used that spell.
  • Loophole Abuse: In Fallen, Celestia promised Fluttershy that she would allow the latter's human boyfriend, Martin, to go back to human lands if she was to concede using her Element to create the barrier. Of course, as Harmony revealed, Celestia was going to use the Elements to wipe out humanity after the barrier was complete, so her promise would be pointless.
  • Magnetic Weapons: Gauss Rifles are used by human soldiers in "Operation Freebird." They're described as being able to punch through nearly any type of armor the ponies wear.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: The ponies still loyal to Celestia express disgust with ponies who are in romantic relationships with humans. The other Element Bearers don't get how Fluttershy could fall in love with Martin, even when she explains that he's a good man with a kind and loving heart.
  • Medieval Stasis: Fluttershy inwardly notes that this was discussed extensively among the defectors when comparing how humanity developed versus how Equestria developed. Many possible theories were thrown around - Lyra believed Celestia was deliberately holding Equestria back, Flash Sentry theorized that the lack of any true competitors made Equestria complacent, and Derpy hypothesized that the ponies relied too much on magic at the expense of technological growth.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • "Naive Magic" shows Fluttershy figuring out that Equus is dead, causing her to fall apart into a heartbroken meltdown as she realizes her role as one of the Elements Bearers who powered the dimension jumping spell, in turn making her directly responsible for the deaths of every living thing on her homeworld.
    • Twilight, after Fluttershy makes her think about it, also has one. Unfortunately, Celestia inflicts Laser-Guided Amnesia on her to keep her on the side of Equestria. She goes through it again in the "Divine Justice", "Rejection", and "Twilight Falls" endings.
    • Spike gets the revelation in "Friendly Dragon" and spends time throwing up and sobbing his eyes out at the implications. He then joins the resistance, something he never did in the original timeline.
    • In the "Divine Justice" ending, nearly all of Equestria goes through this once Harmony calls them out on their Assimilation Plot, followed by Fluttershy asking them the Armor-Piercing Question that led to the realization of the Awful Truth that Celestia tried to hide. Even Applejack and Rainbow Dash, the most stubbornly and fanatically loyal to Celestia, are devastated and heartbroken.
  • Mythology Gag: Harmony openly states that Twilight should have been the first of the ponies to realize what a lack of a mobile sun and moon meant for their original homeworld, which was seen in Negotiations, the very first story in the Negotiationsverse.
    • Harmony describes the future holders of the Elements, or rather, who they would have been. They're the members of the Friendship School.
    • The fate that Spike had set up for Twilight in "Operation Freebird" was a fusion of her fate in the previous two endings - she'd get life in prison, but at the same time, still would have to work on curing the Newfoals.
  • Nay-Theist: In Fallen, Celestia openly dismisses the idea of gods based on her belief that no prayers are ever answered. This comes crashing down in "Divine Justice", which shows that yes, God is real, and it goes by many names, Harmony being one of them.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Once Harmony shows up in Fallen, they give several speeches to this effect regarding how badly Sunnyvale/Celestia has screwed up, how she's ruined almost all of the big plans they had, and how absolutely none of the actions that she or ponykind took were necessary.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Played with in "Rejection" where the chosen become unchosen. When the Harmony Pylon is activated, it backfires, and then all the Elements except for Kindness corrode and fade away after deeming their bearers unworthy, with Fluttershy being the sole exception.
  • Precision F-Strike: Fluttershy, of all ponies, screams "Fuck you!" at Rarity in the "Broken Diamond" chapter. She does it again in "Naive Magic" to Twilight combined with a Big "SHUT UP!".
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Fluttershy gives one out to each of her former friends for failing to live up to their Elements and to Celestia for the atrocities she's committed and for being a self-righteous hypocrite.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Happens both ways in "Operation Freebird": first, Celestia, blinded by fury and hate, accidentally vaporizes Twilight while trying to kill Fluttershy, then Spike attacks Celestia to avenge Twilight's death and is killed after a vicious offscreen battle.
    • Twilight goes on one in the "Twilight Falls" ending.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In Fallen, there are a few different ways this happens.
    • In "Divine Justice", several ponies who die in the canon stories live here, since Equestria surrendered before the humans could invade. This includes everyone in Ponyville, as it was never bombed. Thus, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and the Apple Family all survived.
    • In "Rejection", while many characters did die, Applejack surprisingly lived - though she's permanently crippled. Pinkie's fate is unknown.
    • In "Operation Freebird", General Valkyrie survived the war and took control of one of the surviving nations, begging the UN for help in stopping the Equestrian Civil War. In almost all versions of canon, she dies launching a failed coup against Celestia.
    • In "Twilight Falls", Rarity survives, escapes Canterlot's destruction with Fluttershy and Martin, and picks her life back up.
  • Stepford Smiler: Pinkie Pie has fallen deep into this, treating the war with an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality and trying to lift everyone's moods, much to their annoyance.
  • Stress Vomit: Twice, over the same cause.
    • Spike breaks down losing his lunch and sobbing in grief after Fluttershy helps him realize that they abandoned everyone outside of Equestria in the dimensional jump and doomed them to extinction.
    • Multiple ponies (including Rainbow Dash) vomit their guts out after being made to realize that in jumping Equestria to Earth, they left behind all the other non-ponies and non-Equestrian ponies to die.
  • Suicide by Cop: It's implied that this is how Rainbow Dash died in the "Divine Justice" and "Rejection" Endings, since (like the main story) she still joined a rebel group and was killed when it was destroyed.
  • Token Good Teammate: Spike. He never supported the war and only went along with it because he trusted Twilight. He's also the only one who listens to Fluttershy, commits a Heel–Face Turn (though he's not a villain) and joins the resistance. This doesn't go anywhere in the "Divine Justice" and "Rejection" endings, but "Operation: Freebird" has it result in him providing the UN with info regarding how Fluttershy is a) alive and b) scheduled for execution. He dies fighting and severely wounding Celestia.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Applejack got hit with this hard after the war ended in the "Divine Justice" ending. After it was revealed that she sold out innocent ponies to the ESS for money, no one wanted anything to do with her. Her family disowned her while letting Braeburn and his husband back into the clan, and Apple Bloom attacked her when Applejack tried to attend her wedding. Her life came to an end when the families of those she sold out tracked her down and killed her out of revenge. No one attended her funeral or placed flowers on her grave, and Fluttershy sincerely hopes she's burning in hell.
  • Tragic Bigot: Celestia's mistrust of the other races first stemmed from her witnessing her and Luna's parents get killed by griffon raiders as a filly, and only solidified further with the numerous attacks and conflicts they launched against Equestria over the millennia of her rule. Similarly, her hatred of the humans was motivated in large part by how her apprentice and surrogate daughter Sunset Shimmer was killed by a group of human hunters, with their own history of conflict and cruelty only adding more fuel to the fire. Of course, it's made clear multiple times within the narrative that this doesn't justify her bigotry or excuse her leaving the other races of Equus behind to die horribly just to ensure her subjects' continued survival and launching an extermination campaign on the humans.
  • Uncertain Doom:
    • In "Rejection", no one knows what happened to Pinkie Pie.
    • In "Operation: Freebird", Fluttershy knows in her heart that Pinkie and Applejack are dead, but doesn't provide any evidence to back that up.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Fluttershy falls into this in "Broken Diamond", slugging Rarity in the face for showing her no sympathy for what she herself had suffered in the war.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Celestia, of course.
    • In "Rejection", Celestia has one when the Elements not only fail to help her but instead help Fluttershy and Martin escape. She orders every pony (including the foals) to get whatever weapons they can and fight the human assault head-on, knowing that they'll all die.
    • In "Operation Freebird", she's so far gone and so angry at Fluttershy that she doesn't even notice when she accidentally vaporizes Twilight.
  • Villainous BSoD: The other Element Bearers (along with the other Celestia loyalists) fall into this in the "Divine Justice" ending after Fluttershy tells them to think about what's happened to the rest of the world they left behind in the dimensional jump without the princesses around to move the sun and moon anymore. Even Rainbow Dash and Applejack, the most radicalized of them, are horrified and heartbroken. Pinkie Pie's BSOD is especially bad, with her going far past the Despair Event Horizon, so much so, that she was committed to a mental asylum for several years and never smiled since.
  • Walking Spoiler: Harmony is one for the "Divine Justice" ending.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The premise of Fallen is that Fluttershy's old friends try to convince her to side with them and use the Elements of Harmony again. Fluttershy's attitude and the other Bearers' mannerisms make it clear why the trope is "Used to be" instead of "Are currently." "Operation Freebird" has her spell it out to everypony.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Harmony in "Divine Justice" gives a big one to... well, everypony except Fluttershy, but has the harshest call out to Celestia for ending billions of lives, the other Element Bearers for how they betrayed their Elements, and ponykind in general for being self-righteous jerks.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue:
    • For the "Divine Justice" ending:
      • Fluttershy married Martin, adopted three children, and lives a happy and peaceful life with them while working as an author.
      • Twilight surrendered, stepped down as princess, and was sentenced to life in prison. Her only visitors are her parents, Spike, and Fluttershy.
      • Spike became mayor of Ponyville and married Sweetie Belle. Together, they are helping Equestria rebuild.
      • Rainbow Dash became a Death Seeker, joined an anti-human terrorist cell, and was killed in battle.
      • Rarity became an alcoholic until Spike and Sweetie Belle helped her get sober, and now she makes clothes for refugees on both sides. She and Fluttershy finally made up at Rainbow Dash's funeral.
      • Pinkie Pie had a severe breakdown and was confined to a mental hospital for many years. She was eventually released and now lives on the Pie Family rock farm, but hasn't smiled in years.
      • Applejack's fate is the most tragic: the Apple Clan disowned her and she was later hunted down and lynched by the loved ones of the ponies she sold out to the ESS. Nobody mourned her passing and even Fluttershy hopes she's burning in Hell.
    • For the "Rejection" ending:
      • Rarity died in the "March of Fools" alongside Sweetie Belle.
      • Applejack participated in the "March of Fools" but survived, albeit crippled and in a wheelchair. She joined a political group dedicated to opposing the integration of humanity and ponykind.
      • Twilight took power after Celestia died, and began working on a way to transition Equestria into a democracy while also trying to find a way to reverse the conversion potion.
      • Pinkie vanished and no one knows if she's even still alive, but rumor has it that she's dead and her ghost haunts Ponyville.
      • Rainbow Dash became a serial killer who targeted pro-integration and pro-human politicians until she was gunned down trying to kill Fancy Pants.
    • For the "Operation Freebird" ending:
      • Equestria got divided into three different countries following a devastating civil war in the wake of the Canterlot Raid and the death of all the highest-ranking members of government. General Valkyrie survived long enough to beg the UN to intervene after five years of chaos.
      • Fluttershy and Martin still get married and settle down, but Fluttershy is too traumatized from her capture, interrogation, and the events of the Raid to adopt her canon children.
    • In the "Twilight Falls" ending:
      • Rarity survives and she and Fluttershy reconcile after they're rescued. She still fell into alcoholism for a while but made a full recovery, and by the time of the twenty-year Time Skip, has been sober for ten years.
      • With Canterlot completely destroyed and the government all but decapitated, Equestria surrendured in short order.
  • World-Healing Wave: Harmony uses one of these to turn all the newfoals back into humans instantly with no ill side-effects. This results in Twilight getting sentenced to life imprisonment after surrendering, as humanity didn't need her to make a cure in this timeline.
  • Zerg Rush: Celestia, having lost her mind in the "Rejection" ending, orders all her loyal supporters to use this tactic to defeat the humans once they invade. In the end, only 25% of the population survives the war, which still ends the same way: Twilight surrendering to mankind.

    Choice 

  • Better to Die than Be Killed: "Excommunicated" establishes that EFF members have cyanide capsules in their teeth. While this was canonized in "Abolition", it also serves as a way to turn the EFF into this universe's version of EXALT, whose operatives would perform this trope if you try to capture them.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Excommunicated", Celestia was aware of the threat of the Ethereals, but the Barrier kept Equestria safe, and by the time the Ethereals were in a position to invade the Earth, the Barrier would have covered the whole world. Thus, they would be a non-issue... except that in order to survive, humanity destroyed the Barrier, rendering everyone vulnerable again.

    What If 
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: After the New Haven nation (a nation consisting of 100,000 members of each race of Equus) appears on Earth, reactions are such:
    Scientists all over the world are stunned. Religious leaders try to figure out what this means in their holy texts. Furries go straight away to making huge amounts of porn.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: King Sombra, Lord Tirek, and Grogar agree to work together with each other to ensure their survival, becoming known as the Triumvirate.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: Discord was killed by Tirek, having been led into a trap and having his magic stolen. Princess Celestia, meanwhile, would die in a Last Stand, fighting off the army of the Triumvirate.
  • For Want of a Nail: It's shown that if Celestia informed the public about the sun dying and accepted help from the other races, they would have built a giant ark called "Project Faraway Haven" to ensure the survival of a decent amount of each race. With Celestia and Discord staying behind to try and save their world, Princess Luna would be the one to lead everypony after Haven got jumped over to Earth. And because Luna didn't share her sister's paranoia and didn't have to see her apprentice get killed by humans, she would be more willing to cooperate with humanity and both sides would come to work together much earlier, thus avoiding the war and all the pain and tragedy associated with it, although not without trouble appearing further on the horizon...
  • Hate Plague: Downplayed. Those left behind back on Equestria become angry, bitter, and resentful for not being chosen to escape on the ark that was New Haven. The Triumvirate would further fuel their hatred by using propaganda to say that everyone on Haven deliberately abandoned them and left them to die.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: In this scenario, this happens on a much bigger scale in the form of Celestia working with the other races to guarantee their survival by making sure that a sizable number of their own people can be sent along with a number of ponies to Earth. They create the nation of Haven, with members of each race making up the residents on a patch of viable land. It gets jumped over to Earth.
  • No Ending: The scenario ends on an ambiguous note, with the united forces of Humanity and the nation of Haven gearing up for war against the Big Bad Ensemble of Tirek, Grogar, and Sombra and their dark vengeful army of those that were left behind.
  • What If?: In this universe, Celestia decided to reveal the sun was on the verge of death to the public and worked with the other races to find a way to ensure the survival of not only the ponies but their people as well.

    The Tale of the Broken Soldier 
  • Afterlife Antechamber: Halberd is in one of these, accompanied by the spirit guide Garen, whose duty is to help him cleanse his soul of the hatred and anger that's consumed it.
  • Brutal Honesty: Garen finds all wars and conflicts to be stupid, a side effect of having worked with soldiers and warriors in the afterlife.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Garen appears as a diamond dog to Halberd. His true form is incomprehensible to mortal minds.
  • The Journey Through Death: The main premise of the story is that Halberd needs to let go of the anger and hatred that's poisoned his soul so he can be able to pass over to a heavenly afterlife. If he doesn't, he'll become twisted into an ugly and horrific demonic monstrosity.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Garen shows Halberd that ponies were just as divided, greedy, selfish, and violent in their past as the humans before the establishment of Equestria and Celestia and Luna's rule. The Crystal Empire in particular was not always a benevolent place, conquering and enslaving other races.
  • Psychopomp: Garen is one for soldiers and warriors.
  • The Spartan Way: Before the three pony tribes came together to form Equestria, the pegasi engaged in this on a cultural level, up to and including killing foals that were deemed weak and useless to their society.

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