|Turning the Tables|
In Universe Attributes
Real World Information
|Primary Author||Stainless Steel Fox|
Turning the Tables is a storyline from the My Little Pony Loops, featuring Twilight Sparkle encountering an altered version of her baseline, and the effect of her actions while Awake in it.
The Loop begins as they frequently do for Twilight Sparkle, with her reading in Canterlot. After a cursory analysis, she determines Princess Celestia is not Awake, and takes the initiative to prank her, by turning the Princess' tendency to prank others against her. This comes in the form of brushing off the impending return of Nightmare Moon, and attending Moondancer's party.
Her letter, sent via Spike, is quickly received by Princess Celestia, who is more casually manipulative than her baseline or Looping incarnation. The solar princess is shocked by her student breaking out of her pre-established patterns simply to go to a party for Spike. Twilight, meanwhile, attends the party, constraining herself to act more-or-less as her baseline self would have. She quickly finds herself swamped by ponies, and deals with a loudmouth named Sharp Retort. Soon enough, however, Twilight receives a letter from Princess Celestia insisting they meet immediately. Twilight pretends to overreact as she originally would, and "flees". Shortly thereafter, Celestia arrives at the party inquiring after her student, then travels to Twilight's residence, only to find the mare has left, leaving a devastated Spike behind. These events shock Celestia, revealing to her just how manipulative she'd become.
Twilight, meanwhile, acquires a train ticket to Manehatten, only to teleport off the train once it leaves the station. She reappears nearly Ponyville, and disguises herself as a pony named Codex, a librarian. After a few hours work reorganizing the library, she travels to Sugar Cube Corner, where she encounters Pinkie Pie. On leaving Sugar Cube Corner, she accidentally bumps into Rarity, who quickly drags her back to Carousel Boutique. This time around, Twilight decides to engage Rarity in conversation, rather than fleeing. The two talk through to the evening, by which time Shining Armor has discovered Twilight's trip to Manehatten. With little time before the return of Nightmare Moon, Celestia tells Shining Armor her plans. Once this is done, Celestia is approached by her seneschal, who insists somepony needs to oversee the Summer Sun Celebration in Ponyville. Celestia leaves the decision entirely in her underling's hooves.
The next morning, Twilight Sparkle wakes up and decides to make her way to Sweet Apple Acres. On arrival, Twilight encounters Apple Bloom, who is already determined to acquire her Cutie Mark. Twilight gives the filly some advice, something noticed by an arriving Applejack, who invites Twilight to assist in taste-testing the Apple Family's wares. Twilight, partially motived by hunger, agrees, and soon mingles with the Apple clan. The good mood is ruined by the arrival of the replacement overseer: Prince Blueblood. The noble quickly establishes that he is as usual an aggravating prat of a pony.
Blueblood takes offense to the Apple Family's choice of food, honestly believing Princess Celestia would prefer more exotic (and expensive) cuisine similar to the sort he prefers. Twilight's attempts to calm Applejack and her family nearly blows her cover. She covers herself, and offers to find a way to stop Blueblood. On the way back to the library, she finds a distraught Rarity, fresh from an encounter with Blueblood herself. Twilight surmises from Rarity's description of what happened that his temperament is in part fuelled by a desire to prove himself to Celestia. The notion of sharing anything in common with him gives Twilight some momentary distress. After an examination at the library, the two go looking for Rainbow Dash, Twilight managing to "find" her by trickery, yelling about the Wonderbolts being present. The pranking manages to impress Rainbow Dash, though she reveals she already encountered Blueblood, and made an incredibly poor impression. The discussion quickly turns to horror when all present realize Blueblood's next victim will be Fluttershy. Unfortunately, they arrive to find him already mid-rant, up until Fluttershy's birds act in her defense. Blueblood's attempts to defend himself aggravates the timid pegasus, driving Blueblood away completely. Some good at least comes of his behavior, with Twilight confidant she can call him out on his acts. On their way to the hall, the group encounter Pinkie Pie.
On arrival at town hall, Twilight manages to successfully talk Blueblood's unwilling guards into letting her past, and confronts the ponce himself. With the help of the law, and some quick action from Rainbow Dash, Blueblood is contained. Twilight's good feelings are killed when Blueblood reveals he was meant to replace her, and that she shares responsibility for his presence. With some careful talking, all ponies present come to a peaceful accord (of sorts), and begin working on the celebration once more. With everything settled down, Twilight takes the opportunity to send a letter to Spike, albeit carefully prepared so that it can't be traced. Spike takes the letter to Celestia, who prepares for the return of her vengeful sister.
Back in Ponyville, Twilight talks with her new-found friends, and Pinkie Pie inadvertently causes her to reveal her identity simply by being Pinkie. On arrival at the celebration, now with added Canterlot nobles, Twilight notices her brother present. The party itself continues as standard, with Nightmare Moon eventually making her entrance. Then Shining Armor attempts to arrest her. Acting quickly, Twilight saves her brother, and helps drive off Nightmare Moon. Unfortunately, Rarity's heart is crushed when she realizes Shining is already spoken for, and Applejack reveals Big Mac and Apple Bloom were transmogrified by some of Nightmare's stray magic. Unable to use her magic to free them without going alicorn, Twilight is only capable of turning the two into Timber Wolves. In attempting to console one another, Applejack accidentally blows Twilight's cover in front of Shining. Quickly explaining her actions, Twilight declares her intention to find and use the Elements of Harmony, getting the rest of her friends to realize they shared a connection with one another. However, when the subject of the Everfree Forest comes up, Blueblood offers the use of his air-yacht and his talent for navigation in getting to the old castle quicker. Twilight agrees, if only to get everything over quickly.
Preparations for Blueblood's yacht, The Blueblood, reveal that with everypony on-board, and even with everything but the essentials removed, the thing still weights too much. Twilight uses magic runes to lighten the ship's load. However, as the boat passes a clearing, it's attacked by Nightmare Moon, in the form of a flock of birds, which causes the ship to crash, right by Zecora's cottage. Twilight, with assistance from Shining and Blueblood, gradually talks the Ponyville ponies into overcoming their fear of Zecora
Just as the group sets out, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Bell and Scootaloo reveal themselves, the three having snuck on-board The Blueblood, Twilight realizing they were the reason for the weight problems. Unable to spare anyone to take the three back to Ponyville, the group reluctantly take them along. After some walking, they encounter one of Nightmare Moon's attacks, a spell designed to disorientate. Using Applejack's connection to the Element of Honest, they learn the spell had nearly tricked them into walking over a cliff. With some careful guiding from Applejack, the group make their way out of the illusion. Shortly thereafter, they encounter a manticore. As in Baseline, Fluttershy determines the reason why. After that, they encounter the sinister looking trees, which Pinkie Pie solves in her own fashion. Then, the team encounter the river dragon Steven Magnet, only this time Nightmare Moon has caused him to believe that they have stolen his mustache. Prince Blueblood valiantly offers up his tail in place of Rarity's, something that surprises even him.
Some time later, the team arrives at the palace itself. With the only bridge out, Rainbow Dash offers to fix it, in part at least because of her desire for recognition. She is approached by Nightmare Moon posing as the Shadowbolts again, though when she turns down their offer, they attack her. She is assisted in fighting them off by the proto-Crusaders, followed by the others, who barrel past the crowd's worth of Shadowbolts. However, at this point, having found the Elements, Nightmare Moon reveals herself. Despite the mad alicorn's best efforts, none of her attacks harm the Element bearers, or their friends. Using the Elements, and the fine control acquired after all her Loops, Twilight manages to remove the Nightmare without taking Princess Luna's power. In the process, and using her own magic to fix several other things, Twilight inadvertently goes alicorn. The gathered ponies and zebra approach Luna, quickly socializing with her, while Twilight frees Celestia from the sun. As Twilight thinks about everything that's happened as a result of her actions, Pinkie prescribes the only possible solution to everything: a party.
- At one point during her ruminations in the second installment, Celestia notes she could have turned Equestria into a land when no-one ever had to work, a reference to the vastly unpopular Generation 3, something Twilight Sparkle had already encountered in the Loops.
- In the eighth installment, Twilight mentions a pony named Spell Nexus, a character from the story Past Sins, the story from which Nyx hails.
- In the second chapter, Twilight ruminates on Diamond Tiara, and expressly believes the filly will never be anything beyond a "bad example". And then not six chapters later, Diamond Tiara began Looping.
- When offering his tail in place of Rarity's, Blueblood quotes the fantasy film, The Princess Bride.
- During the opening of chapter 7, Pinkie Pie overhears Blueblood calling a Chippendale dresser as such, and believes he's talking about the characters Chip 'n' Dale, from the Disney branch.
- MLP Loops chapters 5.4, 8.10, 16.7, 20.13, 21.1, 22.5, 30.1, 49.7, 72.1 (conclusion)