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Nightmare Fuel / Fall of Starfleet, Rebirth of Friendship

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"You try to fight the darkness, but you will always suffer at the hands of death."
The Necromancer

While the original fic had its own brand of Nightmare Fuel, Fall of Starfleet manages to one up it in that department.

’’Fall of Starfleet, Rebirth of Friendship’’

  • Everything about Dark Conquest. First, there’s the fact that he feeds off of the hate that comes from United Equestria, and the first thing he does in his first appearance in the story is rape Starla, followed by effortlessly pummeling Lightning Dawn into a pulp, simply so that he could watch. And that’s just the beginning.
    • Another thing that makes Dark Conquest so terrifying is how seemingly polite he is towards his minions, yet he is incredibly ruthless towards his enemies in ways that even disturb his minions.
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    • Dark Conquest also doesn’t attack by sending a monster a week towards Starfleet, but by launching a full-scale assault against them. Which, as we’ve seen, Starfleet is not prepared to fight against.
    • The first character we see that Dark Conquest kills on-screen is Cookie Dough. He does so by disemboweling him right in front of Lightning and his friends.
  • Raven. Unlike the rest of Dark Conquest’s minions, she actually enjoys killing people. Like how she kills Myte while he’s begging for his life. Worse, she can use the Uniforce.
  • The Grand Ruler is hardly a saint himself. As the story goes on, it becomes increasingly clear that he’s not the wise and loving leader that he makes himself out to be, but a cruel and ruthless power-hungry tyrant.
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    • There’s also the fact that the Grand Ruler couldn’t care less about Lightning Dawn, and only uses him as a weapon. The way he treats Lightning is eerily similar to how Gendo treats Shinji.
    • A later chapter reveals the source of his power: Apparently, his horns are not golden, nor does he actually have three horns. It's a crown called the Tri-Horn Crown, and is one of Meadowbrook’s Eight Magical Artifacts. With it, he can manipulate the minds of other people to alter their memories, or even warp their personalities. Worse, it's powered by people believing in him, which is how he’s been able to remain in power. In addition, he has another artifact called the Orb of Reality, which was also created by Meadowbrook, that lets him manipulate the world how he sees fit. Worse, the orb is so powerful that not even Discord can reverse its effects. The Unicornicopians were his first victims with the Orb, followed by the Flutterponies, whom he turned into anthropomorphs and fairies respectively. With these two artifacts, he was able to manipulate events beforehand to make Starfleet look good. Thankfully though, the orb was taken out of his hands before his “fight” with Dark Conquest, and with no-one believing in him anymore, the Tri-Horn Crown was now useless for him.
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    • In ‘The Fall’, Operation: Boardwipe shows the full extent of his madness: First he uses the Orb of Reality, combined with a corrupted Element of Harmony to put everyone to sleep. Afterwards, he loads up a few hundred Unicornicopians, along with a hundred Equestrians into Serpentari, for which he plans on taking to another planet with the intent to start over again. And for good measure, he sends what remaining forces he has loyal to him down to the planet to either hold back, or eliminate anyone whose still awake while Serpentari charges its main cannon to destroy the planet.
    • Sure he may have deserved it, but the Grand Ruler’s death by the hands of Dark Conquest is still quite nightmarish. First there’s the fact that his wings are mechanical, as Dark Conquest painfully shows. Then he rips off the horns of the Tri-Horn Crown, and crucifies the Grand Ruler’s hands with them, followed by ripping off the third horn, which is a slot that the Grand Ruler’s real horn is in. And how does Dark Conquest finish him off? By kicking his head off, sending it flying into a stake in between two others that have the head of a gargoyle and a Kamen Rider. And Dark Conquest does all of this on national television.
  • The way United Equestria is run is eerily similar to Nazi Germany. The Unicornicopians are openly racist, the Equestrians are treated like second class citizens, and there are correctional facilities where criminals are sent to for daring to speak out against the Grand Ruler. We’re never shown what happens in these facilities, but whatever goes on in them isn’t good.
    • Ace Ray was unfortunate enough to be sent to one of these correctional facilities. In the original fic, this was treated as a good thing. Here, it's treated just as horribly as it would be, as Ace Ray’s experience left him almost completely catatonic.
    • The so-called ‘Justice System’ is just as bad. The Unicornicopians don’t give criminals a trial if they have ‘more than enough’ evidence to convict them. This has lead to many innocent people being sent to prison for crimss that they did not commit, and later chapters show they’re not above resorting to manipulating memories in order to do so.
  • Rhymey Ward is another contender. The way he tries to control Fluttershy is a textbook example of emotional domestic abuse. And when he doesn’t get his way, he proceeds to show just how little he really cares about her.
    • After Fluttershy and her friends finally get rid of Rhymey, he returns to his family... And proceeds to murder his father in cold blood, gets uncomfortably close to his mother, and goes through his family spell books to find a spell that would convince Flutterhsy to come back to him from a distance. Said spell has him invading Fluttershy's mind while she's sleeping, and the way it's described makes it seem like he came within a hair's breadth of actually raping Fluttershy in her dream. Thank goodness for Princess Luna's intervention.
  • Emil Kudos. Just Emil Kudos. If it isn't the cold way that he talks to his 'victims' or how he views life in general, it's that his way of thinking is eerily similar to Nazi scientists. Not to mention the things he does: he nearly made a friend of his fall off a cliff by damaging his wings and tried to drown a foal under a faucet in front of its parents just to prove his twisted view of superiority. And that's before he became a depraved Mad Scientist, where he graduates to lovely experiments like inflicting pain on captive subjects just to sneer about how an Earth Pony could take it, and ripping out a unicorn's heart just to see how long he can live with his blood being pumped by hand (thankfully off-page).
  • The Necromancer. He's every bit as destruction-happy and powerful as Dark Conquest, but while Dark Conquest's pitch-black sense of humor could potentially lighten up his scenes, the Necromancer has no comedic quirks, making him much more menacing. He's an Eldritch Abomination presented as an embodiment of death itself, able to destroy entire worlds in short order and raise the slain under his command. He does so to the fairies and transforms them into a ravenous swarm that can easily reduce victims to naught but bones, as one unfortunate Unicornicopian Red Shirt painfully and graphically finds out.
  • The Dark King’s backstory. Apparently, he was Shining Armor from a Bad Future where United Equestria was invaded by aliens, Cadance had a miscarriage, and the Elements of Harmony died off one by one. When the last of them died, Shining Armor discovered that he was descended from Mimic, a unicorn whose power dwarfed that of the Princesses. Tapping into this power, he attacked and killed the Grand Ruler and Celestia in cold blood, and proceeded to commit genocide on the Unicornicopians. But that wasn’t enough for him. He then went through the Canterlot Archives to find a spell that would allow him to travel back in time so that he could kill the Grand Ruler, over and over and over again. He was only stopped when Shining Armor fought him, and upon discovering the truth, vowed that he would never become him, erasing the Dark King from existence.
    • And to make things even worse; it is heavily implied that the Dark King’s hatred for the Grand Ruler was what brought Dark Conquest to United Equestria in the first place.
  • In the original fic by Mykan, the Equestrians embraced having their anatomies changed. Here however, it's revealed that when they changed anatomies, they were all blacked out. And when they came to, they found that they were no longer quadrupedal, were standing upright, and had hands. Needless to say, they were horrified by the change in anatomy.
  • Meadowbrook’s Eight Magical Artifacts were made with good intentions, but they have some uses that are less than good:
    • The Tri-Horn Crown, and the Orb of Reality have already been mentioned, (see above).
    • The Fear Ring. It does exactly as its name implies. It makes people experience their deepest fears. Meadowbrook made it to help people overcome their fears, but Dark Conquest stole it, made copies of it, and modified it to work on Starfleet, and the Elements of Harmony. His plan only failed because it didn’t work on Pinkie Pie, as she’s not afraid of anything.
    • The Lightning Wings. Meadowbrook created them after witnessing a pony use the speed force. The wings allow whoever’s wearing them to tap into the speed force, and they’re currently in the hands of Rhymey. And we all know how unhinged Rhymey is.
    • The Amulet of Dragon Companionship. Meadowbrook created this to help calm down dragons when she needed to treat them. However, it can also be used to make dragons do one’s bidding. And full grown dragons are pretty much living WMDs.
    • The Staff of Null. Unlike the Staff of Sameness, the Staff of Null is the real deal. While it was used by the Elements to render Sombra powerless, it doesn’t discriminate when used. Meaning that any magic users find their magic rendered useless within its range.
    • The Sword of Instant. A magical sword that can cut through anything. Anything. But that’s not the worse part. The worse part is that it has a rebound effect that harms the user whenever it's used. In fact, Meadowbrook almost died when she first used it.
    • The Barding of Healing. A suit of armor meant to be worn while using the Sword of Instant. It can heal any wound regardless of the severity. It can also hold back aging. This has made Dusk Shine, who is currently wearing the armor, become immortal. But if he ever takes it off, all the years warded off by the barding will come back, and he will rapidly age and die. Thankfully, when he does, the process isn't nearly as graphic as it could've been.
  • In the original fic, Melantha was one of Sombra’s generals, but had almost no personality whatsoever. However, in Rarity’s oneshot, she’s a cold-blooded serial killer who kidnaps people, and sews their eyes and mouths shut, calling them her dolls. All of her victims had bought a dress at Rarity’s Boutique, leading some to believe that her Boutique was cursed. She almost killed Sweetie Belle, but Rarity was able to find her and stop her before she did.
  • Shining Spark keeping a countdown to her own death is more than a little disturbing, especially when coupled with her cold lack of emotion.

’’Evolution of Friendship’’

  • Evolution of Friendship has its own brand of Nightmare Fuel. Namely, the fact that Sci-Twi is hearing voices in her head, telling her that the Rainbooms only see her as a replacement for Princess Twilight, which is slowly eating away at her sanity. And the others are experiencing similar voices trying to drive them apart.
  • Celesto Grandruler is just as bad as his United Equestria counterpart. He reacts with total indifference to the death of some of his students, and instead pins the blame on Sunset. Plus, an investigation reveals that he got everything he has right now thanks to a Deal with the Devil.
  • Rhymey's deal with Fluttershy: first he made the Sunset-caused Rainbooms' break-up worse by blackmailing Rainbow Dash into breaking their romantic relationship, then, with her vulnerable, he started manipulating and brainwashing her into committing murders to get at her ancestors' legacy of dragon slayers. And he's a classic Bastard Boyfriend on top of that.
  • Beast Boy's whereabouts are this and a Tear Jerker: Gallant's master is "helping" him find his perfect world... By making him dream of many alternate worlds until he finds the right one. He's currently experiencing a variant of the one where he becomes a count and "he is this monster, warrior, and more".
  • Alternate!Kimberly Hart's backstory is both this and a Tear Jerker, with even Unos being horrified: her world's Lord Zedd had her tortured and raped to death, then she was revived as a cyborg and cut loose on her former friends, and after killing them she's traveling through the multiverse to scour it of every trace of them.
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