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Recap / Triptych Continuum A Mark Of Appeal

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By playing up the positives to be found within such meetings with the public (first revelations of new magic, innovations, personal comedy routines), Celestia has finally talked Luna into holding her own Open Palace sessions: throw open the doors to the Lunar wing once per moon and let ponies approach her to talk about — anything. Unfortunately, what this works out to in reality is a group of what Luna quickly decides are idiots too incompetent to seek out the judgment of a civil court, using her for (theoretically) non-binding arbitration. After a nearly-full night of such stupidity, a weary Luna ends the session eight minutes early, dismisses her Guards, and settles back on her throne to think, feeling as if she didn't accomplish anything real.

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Which is when the final supplicant of the night makes it into the room, having talked her way past the Guards. Or perhaps... seduced. Involuntarily.

Meet Joyous Release, a young adult metallic pegasus mare. She has a Real Problem. To wit, her talent is out of control. She can't turn it off, and it's been growing steadily stronger since her mark manifested. Both mark and talent are unique: there's no record in the Archives of any other pony ever having possessed either.

Her talent is for sex appeal. And it appears to work on anything sapient. Alicorns included. A talent which has exiled Joyous from society in the name of safety, which keeps her from having any kind of life, which nearly has Luna attempting to seduce her right in the throne room before the sight of a trembling Joyous shocks the Princess back to her senses (with the help of a little cooling down).

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Joyous has come to Luna as her final resort, with a simple request: to destroy magic and mark — forever. Something which may be just about the ultimate act of pony blasphemy. But it's also what Joyous sees as her only remaining chance.

But marks are permanent...

Potentially a rather large piece of the overall Continuum puzzle, focusing on the deeper aspects of pony magic, the relationships between the Princesses, and the ramifications of what could happen if a talent truly went out of control.

And the consequences if that condition happened to spread.

Read the story here.


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Tropes appearing in this story include:

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Never described, but more than implied to be one way in which the sisters are dealing with the aftereffects of being around Joyous. Celestia throws in teleport-based self-dunkings in a cold lake while Luna uses some of the benefits of being An Ice Person.
  • Apocalypse How: Celestia's nightmare shows a Class 6, where she radiates enough heat to kill everything on the planet except herself, leaving her as ruler over an endless sea of lava. This would also be a possible consequence for both sisters losing control of their own talents.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: Even when Joyous conceals herself in a manure-scented burlap sack, her voice is enticing enough to bypass the royal guards and drive Luna to distraction — or at least so it initially seems. Later events prove it was Joyous' pheromones which initially got everypony's attention.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The spell known as Kalziver's Severance, which temporarily blocks the link between the target pony's mark and their magic. For the duration of the spell, that pony's special talent is gone, making it one of the most effective ways of striking against those with battle marks. But it's incredibly difficult to learn and cast. It always requires the full triple corona, which means the pony working it risks death from backlash every time. The working is effectively magical blasphemy and as soon as it wears off, the caster is hit with a headache described as being "like a double-side migraine got together with the worst hangover of your life and they both took classes from the world's only three-hour brain freeze," making the spell into a last resort because after it ends, the caster won't be doing anything else. And if you have the raw strength of Celestia, it lasts for all of ninety-eight seconds. (Most other ponies can barely make it hold for twelve.)
    • The refined, functional Hoovmat Suit that Luna and Celestia get created for Joyous. It actually works, but the charcoal filters can only absorb so many pheromones before they become saturated, and while the revised creation no longer tears due to little things like normal pony movement, it can still be ripped. Overall, it can give her some freedom to go out amongst other beings, but it's not really a permanent solution. However, once the story ends, it's a fairly reliable means of being safe around some hazardous materials — but the supply is decidedly limited, and Mr. Hoovmat would have to be pushed hard before he might even remotely consider making another product which does what it promises. By the last chapter, Celestia is hoping the minotaur manufacturer who create the dealers' suits can be found so the business can be made legitimate and brought into Equestria.
    • The Princesses' ability to uplink to their respective celestial bodies. They can't brake or accelerate without drawing a lot of attention, so their time on target is strictly fixed and they have to wait until they get SUN or MOON over whatever they want to look at. SUN and MOON's sensoria are so different from pony senses that they can't retain the bulk of what they perceive. And they need external help to get back to their own bodies, and even when they do they'll suffer from withdrawal symptoms and be unable to use their magic for hours thereafter. But despite all those limits, they still have access to what amounts to spy satellites. In a pure fantasy setting, the kind of information that provides them is priceless.
  • Badass Bookworm: It turns out that Chocolate Bear's personal spell is to produce a virtual Laser Blade from his field, with literally surgically sharp edges: essentially, he comes with his own scalpel. In chapter 14, Chocolate brings a rampaging minotaur to a halt by sincerely threatening to kill him with it (or just slice the suit over the nostrils to infect him with red-tinge), despite being a doctor who's never had to fight before and who admits he really doesn't like the idea of taking life — but his medical career has seen nine ponies die under his watch. He can add one minotaur to that list.
    "But my partner jokes that I only learn by cutting. You're a minotaur, and I've never treated a minotaur. But you're also a mammal. I know where every major artery is in your body. I know where to cut you. My field is up against your left carotid. One more thought and I can use a femoral for backup. Between the two, you'll bleed out within heartbeats. Trust me: if it's you or him, I already chose him."
  • Bi the Way: Confirmed for Luna, although she notes that she's very seldom attracted to mares and has been both celibate and dateless since the Return, with too many things happening to even consider a relationship. In her own words, "Any attempt to reach out would not have been for attraction or connection, but latching onto a buoy to keep from drowning."
    • It's unclear if Celestia is a lesbian, bisexual or even "straight but swayed by Joyous' Talent". However, during her heart-to-heart in chapter 13, she mentions a nameless pegasus stallion, clearly very dear to her, who tried to help her learn to "appreciate the now". Assuming this stallion was Celestia's First Love and not her father, that suggests Celestia is either bi or "straight but swayed".
  • Blessed with Suck: Joyous Release, like every other pony, has a cutie mark which comes attached with various magical effects that boost her special talent. The problem is, her cutie mark represents sex appeal, and she can't stop the magic associated with the mark. Anyone in her presence will quickly develop infatuation, followed by arousal, followed by that getting worse. If the talent encounters someone attracted to a different gender, it creates a near-instant If It's You, It's Okay. It even crosses species barriers. In total, it's almost impossible for Joyous to even share a room with someone for ten minutes without having them attempt seduction or worse, and the plot kicks off when she asks Luna to find a way of destroying her magic, mark, or both.
  • Brainwashed: It turns out the parents of Joyous Release have had their personalities all but consumed by their cutie marks. As their talents are active, they have to deliberately practice the increased magic in order to express it — which means they basically do two things: weather surveying and the basic needs of survival, because you have to be alive in order to survey. Minor aspects of the job are still accounted for, such as filling out paperwork for a new employer — but by the time they're found, even that's starting to slip.
  • Celibate Hero: Very much the case with Celestia, to the point where she says Joyous allows her to finally indulge in some fantasies without it being her fault. It's strongly suggested that she tries to discourage Luna from entering relationships along with keeping a very close eye on her sister's (lack of) sex life, and it's pretty much directly said that both siblings basically pleaded with Cadance not to go ahead with marrying Shining Armor.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Hoovmat, who has taken his great-grandfather's honest business and run it into the ground by producing the shoddiest, cheapest work he can and who is implied to use all manner of underhanded dealings to ensure his company retains a total monopoly over the hazard-suit industry. Unfortunately for our heroes, once the sisters reach Mazein, that monopoly is proven to be localized in Equestria, and the drug growers have suits of their own.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique:
    • The unnamed "Communion" between each sister and their respective celestial body. Not only is it implied to be painful, but because SUN and MOON are both sapient, very infatuated with their respective user and very lonely, there's a chance that the sibling may find their mind "stuck" after logging in, leaving them trapped outside of their body. In an In-Universe case of invoked From Bad to Worse, in chapter 13, Celestia spends a paragraph worrying if, one day, SUN and/or MOON might regain enough strength to forcibly log their respective sister in from their end, which would effectively permanently trap that sister's mind inside of them.
    • A unique working that Luna displays in chapter 14. We don't know what it is, or why it's so bad, but it apparently involves calling on someone, and the use of it absolutely horrifies and outrages Celestia, who berates Luna for using it and then refuses to speak to her.
      • Given that the working was apparently used to get through the field-projecting interference of the Hoovmat suit, added to the slight color shift in Luna's field and a few things seen over in Triptych itself, all indications point to Luna having pulled out something learned from Star Swirl. This is then confirmed in chapter 15.
  • Demythtification: An In-Universe case happens in chapter 13, where, tired of having to keep her secrets from everybody, Celestia reveals that she was born as just another ordinary pony to Joyous, though she doesn't mention how she and Luna ascended to alicorndom.
  • Disability Immunity: Joyous' parents show no signs of being affected by their daughter's mark. As Joyous puts it, they're already obsessed with something else.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Because the flower is disease and cure in a single organism (pollen and root), it can't be destroyed. Both Mazein and Equestria need to maintain a supply so they can treat new cases, in the event of anyone finding fresh stock in another wild zone. It's mentioned that eventually, every nation may need their own supply (although no one knows what the effects would look like in the other species and so they can only hope someone correctly diagnoses deep magic gone wrong), it would make a horrible weapon — and they're still going to be waiting for the individual stupid enough to try using it as one. It's basically a WMD metaphor.
  • Due to the Dead: Minotaur faith states that their ancestors (Ancients) are never quite gone. They occasionally ask them for advice, build miniature, fully-operational houses in front of the real ones to give the dead a place to stay, and even grant them a place in the government: the Skênê, where the ghosts gather to vote on the issues of the day. However, minotaurs are practical, and that vote only comes into play for one event: if all of Mazein votes to a tie, the decision of the Skênê breaks it — and that tie has never happened.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Joyous Release and her parents are cured of their Power Incontinence by the story's end. Joyous' Talent is still extremely powerful, and shows no sign of abating in strength, but she no longer has to worry about inciting orgies wherever she goes. The affected minotaurs have also been cured and Mazein's red-tinge problem is at least temporarily solved.
  • Erotic Dream: Celestia has one at the start of Chapter 4, after Joyous has effectively gotten into her head. It quickly turns into more of a Dream Apocalypse, because the other idea on Celestia's mind is that of a mark going out of control... which isn't the best thing for the world when you're personally linked to Sun.
  • Expy: The doctors whom Celestia and Luna bring in as medical consultants are named Vanilla Bear and Chocolate Bear. Remind you of anyone?
  • Fantastic Drug: Red-tinge, derived from the pollen of a nameless flower related to Poison Joke that causes fatally exponential increases in a user's magic.
  • The Federation: Somewhat, in single-nation form: Mazein is a classic democracy where any citizen (of at least moderate intelligence and proven sanity who's willing to take a test every two years to prove their knowledge of the issues) can vote. As such, their form of government is the Senate, and any interested, qualified citizens can show up to vote in their logeions: majority rules. It means the nation really doesn't have professional politicians, but the process does require someone strong enough to enforce order on it — leading to the post of Referee, determined by holding a debate between the current holder and the contender at the top of the queue, every six weeks, with the winner determined by vote. It's mentioned as being a hard post to hold onto for more than half a generation.
  • Fence Painting: Celestia tells Luna many things to get her to agree to an open session of the Night Palace: getting to see the magical innovations, the comedy routines, the declarations of love...
    Two minutes before Luna's first meet-and-greet had begun, Celestia casually mentioned the arbitrations. And fled.
  • Freudian Slippery Slope: Celestia keeps trying to write a letter to Joyous's parents, letting them know their daughter is safe. It takes several tries, and all of them end when Celestia spots either the rising innuendo or... well, the final attempt didn't stop there.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Very much present throughout. To some degree, Celestia and Luna are subconsciously trying to impress Joyous — something Celestia realizes in Chapter 7 — and it means that each occasionally tries to outdo the other. There's also a mention that each has the duty to occasionally take the other down a few pegs, as a reminder that in the end, they're both still just ponies.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Celestia's ultimate backup plan. Should it appear that both she and Luna have contracted Joyous' condition, and in such a way that they will ultimately turn into threats to the planet — she and Luna will summon the Bearers, have them release Discord, and turn the world over to him, knowing he'll maintain some form of the cycle to keep the world around, if only for his own amusement. The endless insanity of a new Discordian Era is preferable to extinction. And after he's freed — hide the Elements to buy him time, followed by herself and Luna committing a mutually-assisted suicide.
    • It's also implied that prior to the recovery of the Elements, at least for some period of time, the backup plan for Celestia's death was Cadance. But the only time Celestia had her try to move Sun, it put her in agony to the point where Celestia wouldn't let her continue. And it's now a moot point: Cadance has also been potentially exposed.
    • After learning that Joyous' problems stem from a rare magical plant that just generally causes an exposed victim's magic to grow incessantly until they can't consciously control it anymore, Vanilla briefly contemplates the idea of exposing himself in hopes that the subsequent boost to his own medical talent and magic will ultimately give him the "push" he needs to make a rapid breakthrough.
      • And by the end of Chapter Fourteen, it's Chocolate who's been exposed.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Invoked, discussed and zigzagged. In the final chapter, Celestia notes to Choke Hold that everyone thinks of her as being the "good" sister and, therefore, the "pushover" compared to the much blunter Luna. However, she thoroughly averts this by admitting that, even if she is somewhat constrained by the rules, she's still a pragmatist at heart — and then she uses her Wounded Gazelle Gambit.
    "I'm good by choice, Choke, and part of that is because I know what all the other options look like."
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In a reference to something revealed in Triptych, Chapter 15 discusses how Star Swirl betrayed the sisters out of envy over their ascending to alicorndom instead of him.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Chocolate and Vanilla, full stop: each would die for the other. On their worst days, they're brothers, and on the best... well, they're a little bit married.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: There's a theme of sexual references in the chapter naming, as confirmed by Word Of Fanfic Author.
  • I'm Having Soul Pains: Celestia has described the experience of handling Moon as being like shoving a spear of ice into her own heart. It's implied Luna goes through something similar if she has to manipulate Sun.
  • Imagine Spot: Celestia and Luna both find themselves contemplating Twilight's reaction to Joyous. In Celestia's mind, this entails "the sensuous opening of the card catalog," among other things.
  • Insult of Endearment: Debatable. The story concludes with Luna trying to push one more of Celestia's buttons by using the same term for her which minotaur ambassadors have been pulling out for generations, saying "Good night — Sunbutt." Unfortunately, Celestia's imagination immediately kicks in and despite predicting the ultimate consequences of chase, tickle fight, and potential gossip, she still lets her reply into the open — and so the entire story ends on the following line:
    "Good night, Crater-Ass."
  • Interspecies Romance: Pony-griffon marriages are confirmed to exist, but are also said to be incredibly rare: most relationships come from dating during experimental phases, and likewise end there.
  • Irony: The pollen of the nameless "power boost" flowers causes the deadly magic-boosting effect, but the root of that very plant turns out to be its cure.
  • Living Aphrodisiac: Joyous, and the means by which her talent operates. Her magic detects and samples the natural pheromones coming off a sapient being, then produces the exact chemical required to induce sexual interest and arousal in the other party. When viewing through the proper filter, she appears to be surrounded by a multi-hued twisting cloud of mists, which changes color as new pheromones are brought into the mix. And while the analysis and creation process are at least partially magical, the results are perfectly normal chemicals — which is why the effects she produces on others can't be directly magically countered. (Word Of Fanfic Author says using the Severance on her would temporarily shut down pheromone production, but wouldn't negate anything already in the air or which had targeted another being.) As such, the attempts to stop or contain her talent wind up mixing magic and science.
  • Mundane Utility: Earth pony magic is perfectly suited to detecting pit traps, at least for those which have been placed into the local soil.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Discussed In-Universe when Celestia and Torque talk about how, although the magic-boosting effects of red-tinge are powerful, they're far too unstable and deleterious on a user's mind to be successfully weaponized. But they still have to keep the plants in existence in case anyone ever gets exposed to the stuff in the wild, and they have to be aware that, at some point, some absolute moron may try to use it as a weapon all the same.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Suggested to be the case with some pony talents, with certain new ones only emerging when the time is right for them. (However, this may also just indicate that such talents aren't recognized until they reach the proper environment.) This led to one fan theory suggesting Joyous' existence means Equestria has reached the point of creating brothels — and later on, a combination of details from Twilight's Escort Service and Word Of Fanfic Author went on to establish that, yes, Equestria does have legalized prostitution, although brothels are generally only found in the largest settled zones.
  • Not Quite Back to Normal: While Pleasant, Rapture, and the affected minotaurs wind up completely cured, Joyous only gains control over her magic: the strength of her talent doesn't decrease. The Doctors Bear theorize that because the disease was in her system prior to her mark's manifestation, Joyous' body has no idea what a pony normal is — and so the final level she'd reached before consuming the root becomes it.
  • Oh, Crap!: Luna undergoes one of these after discovering that Joyous's parents have a similar affliction where their marks have overridden all other aspects of their personalities, and being forced to consider that Joyous's condition might possibly be contagious, and that Celestia, Luna, and Cadence have all been exposed to her.
  • Power Limiter: The revised Hoovmat Suits protect their wearers from many forms of potential infection, along with confining Joyous' talent inside charcoal filters. They also cover horns and completely stop wing movement. The majority of unicorns and pegasi would find their ability to use magic negated while wearing one, and the sisters wind up fighting through so much interference on their field workings that the heavily-sparking results can affect, at best, one target at a time. This makes the fight against the minotaur dealers into a difficult affair, at least until Luna does something she hasn't attempted in a long time.
  • The Power of Love: Cadance is the only pony on the planet who can directly manipulate love. This includes its creation and destruction. The effects are temporary, but all too real while they last. She is horrified by her own potential and feels that the Lie, that she can only rekindle forgotten or faded love, is the only way any relationship in Equestria can be trusted for as long as she lives.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Do not strongly suggest to Celestia that solving the problem may require Twilight to start studying mark magic, because apparently it's just a little bit of a bad subject. "It. Is. Not. Going. To. Happen!" (She apologies to Luna almost immediately, and it's suggested there's a number of bad memories backing the declaration. Bringing in Twilight is eventually added to a long list of last resorts. Through the current point in the story, it hasn't happened.)
  • Reality Ensues: Just because Joyous and her parents are ultimately cured (although the Doctors Bear want to see all three regularly in order to make sure everything's still normal) doesn't meant their lives are instantly perfect afterwards. Pleasant and Rapture have huge gaps in their memories from the years when the disease was effectively thinking for them, have to reconcile what happened to Joyous because of it, and Rapture's taken on some extra self-blame because she's the one who originally spotted the flowers. Joyous has all the issues listed for her above, plus she has to take make-up classes in order to finish school and has no idea what a pony whose talent is being sexy is supposed to do for a living. Luna makes a point of providing the name and address of a therapist before the family leaves the place, and it's safe to say there's going to be a lot of sessions in their future.
    • The raid on the dealers' farm didn't exactly follow any level of legal procedure, which means a lot of the charges might wind up being dropped. Celestia has to resort to her Wounded Gazelle Gambit in order to put Choke Hold behind bars, and that's successful — but it's possible that some of his employees could wind up walking away.
    • Also, because Celestia and Luna couldn't tell Mazein exactly what they were up to during the national tour (used to give them a cover story for being present to investigate), they arouse suspicion from Referee Moonsault — who ends the story realizing that she was lied to and, while the results of those lies seem to be positive, she doesn't know what the truth behind them is. She's less than happy about it, and relationships between Equestria and Mazein are going to be strained for a while.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Luna's original perception of Cadance. The two rather decidedly do not get along.
  • The Reveal: Chapter 12 has two big ones.
    • Joyous and her parents' condition is due to exposure to a flower that amplifies a being's natural magic to dangerous levels. In minotaurs it makes them stronger...and doesn't stop until their bodies give out from the strain. Ponies instead lose themselves in their marks.
    • The Sun and Moon are sentient, possibly Magitek, artificial beings, and Celestia's and Luna's talents revolve around their mental bonds with them.
    • Several very personal details about Celestia and Luna's origins are revealed in chapter 13; they were born to an ordinary pony couple during the Discordian era, as the third (Celestia) and fifth (Luna) of seven foals (five fillies, two colts), they don't know their birthday due to there being no way of keeping track of days during Discord's era and the days that modern ponies think of as their birthdays are actually the closest-guess anniversaries of major fights against Discord, they buried at least one stillborn little sister, and their illustrious manes and tails are a side effect from carrying so much magic — added to a potential minor case of wish fulfillment.
    • In chapter 15, it's reconfirmed that Starswirl created the Alicorn Amulet — and then we find out that Celestia did something to him on his deathbed. (This turns out to be the incident she was talking about in Blessing.) All we know about the working is that Luna describes it as an abomination, and that Celestia was in some way trying to call him back.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The sisters, in large part because they can't trust many other ponies to get involved with the problem. However, the consequences of this are fully explored. There are reasons Celestia and Luna seldom act directly, and the most major one is that losing both of them means there's nopony left who can manage Sun and Moon. Having an obligation to stay alive means forcing yourself to sit on the sidelines most of the time — something neither is happy with. To have both siblings saying they're going along with the raiding party, even with the protection of their Hoovmat suits, nearly puts Torque into a rather justifiable rage.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: In-'verse example. The Doctors Bear run a series of alicorn origin myths past the sisters, desperately hoping to hit the right one. These include split dragon skulls, transformed windigos, and a Ménage à trois with superb climatic timing. None of them are right. (They can't bring themselves to ask about the egg.)
  • Secret Keeper: Following the events of Chapter 9, the Doctors Bear are two of three living ponies to have been directly told by Equestria's royalty that the sisters and Cadance were not born as alicorns. (The third is Fancypants.) This, along with their service in Joyous' cause, ultimately leads to the revival of the Royal Physician post and the granting of limited permission to continue investigating the workings of the alicorn body, in the hopes of heading off a few potential future disasters. They're granted that honor because of everything they did — and because Luna realizes that when you have two doctors willing to try crazy things on that level, you need to put them where you can keep an eye on them.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Luna's throne is designed to amplify a stamp of the hoof to a tremor that forces everypony nearby to either sit down or fall over.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Invoked, discussed and averted in chapter 13, when Celestia confirms to an indignant Chocolate that there was indeed a war fought where the enemy physically cut off marks to try and nullify the inherent magic of captured ponies — then firmly tells him to forget it, as those who committed the acts are generations past being dead and dust. She also kindly decides not to illuminate him that the war was fought between ponies, and that those self-same ponies were also more than willing to hack off horns and wings from their captives along with flaying off their marks.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Luna's opinion on the effects of holding her first-ever open Night Palace session, after all it leads to is a succession of citizens asking her to advise them on completely petty, pointless problems... right up until Joyous comes in.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    Celestia: Even the Cakes don't bake all the time.
    Luna: They have a pair of foals. We can safely assume they have worked on a mix together at least once.
  • Vetinari Job Security: Discussed. During the fight with the dealers, Celestia briefly considers stepping forward, identifying herself and her sister, and gambling that the dealers will still be sane enough to remember that if she and Princess Luna die, the world (including those same dealers) will die with them.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Philomena is explicitly described as "essentially Angel Bunny with wings, extra centuries of prodding experience, somewhat improved long-term planning skills, and a nastier sense of humor," but it's clear that Celestia gives as good as she gets. And both know the phoenix is irreplaceable.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 7 ends with the realization that Joyous's parents are not neglectful, they are insane, the implication that whatever affected them is the same thing that's affecting her, and there's no guarantee that insanity isn't contagious...
    • Chapter 8 ramps up the wham factor as Celestia and Luna discuss the theoretical consequences of their own potential exposure, up to and including their own deaths through mutually-assisted suicide.
    • The whams just keep on coming in Chapter 9, as the sisters have to tell the Doctors Bear that to their knowledge, there is no such thing as a natural alicorn, they were both born as normal ponies, and the secret is kept in part to keep ponies from trying to make the transformation — because when ponies know it's possible, some do try. And at least one attempt has produced fatalities.
    • Episode 12: The sun and moon are sentient, implicitly being magitek Artificial Intelligences, and Celestia & Luna's talents basically stem from having a direct mental link with each celestial body.
    • Chapter 14: the flower behind the disease is recovered, but at the cost of Chocolate being exposed.
  • Wham Line: "It's - not magic?"
    • As of Chapter 9, when the Doctors Bear figure out how Joyous' talent actually works, it is and it isn't.
    • In chapter 12, we have the first on-screen words of a major character: Sun:
    U-USER
    USER ONE ACKNOWLE-DGE-DGED
    ACCESSI-NG
  • What's Up, King Dude?: The idea behind the Open Palace sessions — in theory. Not so much in practice.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Invoked; Celestia uses the ability of a skilled unicorn to hide their telekinetic field to first release Choke Hold from his bindings and then manipulate him like a marionette into striking her whilst Mazein police watch through the one-way privacy mirror. Combined with the mirror's sound-blocking qualities having kept the witnesses in the dark about the actual discussion, this means that Celestia has just put Choke Hold into a legal bind he cannot hope to wriggle his way out of, as there's no way he can ever threaten her into dropping the assault charge.

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