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Yet another GrimDark Fic based off the world of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Severing explores a world where Twilight Sparkle is ordered by Princess Celestia to collect the Elements of Harmony for herself. According to her research, the best way to do this is to perform an act that is the complete antithesis of that element, severing it... right at the moment of its current bearer's death. Thus, she sets out to betray each of her 'friends', amping up the sheer cruelty of each act as she works towards the one she thinks will be the easiest to claim...
Its sequel, Reconnection, brings a Peggy Sue-style spin to the table: when an Element is tampered with and Its current bearer murdered, It can return that bearer to a point in the past, allowing them to relive their life... and, perhaps, Set Right What Once Went Wrong. Unfortunately, they all arrive at different points of time, and Twilight still has Celestia's orders to follow... and her own second chance to waste.
This Fanfic contains examples of:
- All the Myriad Ways: The world of Reconnection isn't quite how those killed in Severing remember it.
- Alternate Universe: Hinted at in Reconnection, and confirmed in Breaking the Circle.
- Alternate Ending: As is common for grimdark FiM stories, Reconnection has an alternate ending wherein Rainbow Dash Puts Her Hoof Down and protests the plot to kill Twilight. It just turns the whole thing into a Groundhog Day Loop.
- Batman Gambit: At the climax of Severing, Fluttershy and Spike pull one off: knowing that Twilight plans to kill all her animal companions as her element-severing act of Cruelty, Spike mercy kills them first. Fluttershy then claims she was the one who did it, severing her own element so Twilight couldn't collect it. As pointed out afterward, had Twilight called her bluff, she would've gotten Kindness and completed her collection.
- Bittersweet Ending: Every single story. Reconnection's Epilogue focuses mainly on making it a little sweeter.
- "Close Enough" Timeline: While the differences in the Reconnection timeline throw off the rewound ponies at first, in the end, the survivors adapt.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: In Reconnection, Rarity's plans for Twilight.
- Cruel Mercy: In Severing, just before her defeat, Twilight is informed that in certain cultures, killing a lame pony is considered a form of kindness.
- Darker and Edgier
- Deadpan Snarker: Magic doesn't like Twilight much.
- Death by Childbirth: The fate of Applerush/jack in Severing.
- Death By Origin Story: In Severing, Summer Sparkle, Twilight's mother, is killed when she refuses to give up her daughter to the Princess' whim.
- Death Glare
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Reconnection.
- Rainbow Dash Puts Her Hoof Down implies this, though not in the traditional sense: after Dash is killed by Twilight, Loyalty broadly hints that she'll have to earn her happy ending by killing her former friend in the next go-round.
- Breaking the Circle sees Twilight stuck in an endless loop of worlds for thousands of years, gradually working her way towards a Heel Realization and countless attempts at breaking the cycle by stopping Celestia before she finally ends up in a world where Celestia isn't evil.
- Elemental Embodiment: Each of the Elements of Harmony has one, most of which get to speak directly to their current bearers in Reconnection.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Subverted here, as Princess Celestia is The Mare Behind The Mare, and the whole reason she came up with the plot was to make Twilight into a weapon she could use against her sister in their owngoing power struggle.
- Evil Gloating: Twilight engages in this a few times.
- GrimDark Fic
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: Twilight never considered that Fluttershy might decide to sever her own element first just so she couldn't collect it. Or, for that matter, lie about it.
- Ignored Epiphany: In Reconnection, Twilight completly ignores the implications of being reborn as anything but a second chance... to collect the elements without dying this time around.
- In Spite of a Nail: Reconnection's Epilogue reveals that even with Twilight dead, the rest of the mane cast stays close friends. The very last scene also reveals that Celestia and Luna end up battling on the same date they did in the prior timeline.
- Just Between You and Me: As part of her later betrayals in Severing, Twilight tells her victims exactly what she's done/is about to do. After all, she's figured that Horror is the antithesis of Laughter...
- Lack of Empathy: This Twilight doesn't give a damn about her friends. All she cares about is what she can get from them.
- Meaningful Rename: After marrying, Applejack changed her name to Applerush.
- Mercy Kill: Key to the finale of Severing, as Fluttershy claims to have done this, and grown-up Spike actually did. Also:
Fluttershy: Now, do you know what those barbarians do to poor lame ponies who have broken their leg?
Twilight: No! No, please...!
Fluttershy: Don't worry. They consider it a form of kindness.
- Never Mess with Granny: By the end of Severing, Twilight and her final target have gotten very old, but are still capable of a knock-down, drag out fight with a full-grown Spike thrown into the fray.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The end result of Rainbow Dash Putting Her Hoof Down.
- Pay Evil Unto Evil: Explored as one of the main themes of Reconnection, as the reborn victims of Twilight's betrayal grapple with whether or not they should seek vengance upon her.
- Peggy Sue: Reconnection. Expands into Groundhog Peggy Sue in Rainbow Dash Puts Her Hoof Down, and Breaking The Circle takes it into When They Cry territory.
- Power Makeover: At the end of Severing, this happens to the all-element embodying Fluttershy.
- Put on a Bus: Done deliberately by Twilight in Reconnection; since her assistant Spike played a key role in her original defeat, she has him reassigned. Played with, however, in that he still plays a minor role in the story as Dash's penpal.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge
- Shoot the Dog: To stop Twilight's evil plot in Severing, Spike killed all of Fluttershy's animal friends so that Twilight couldn't slaughter them as her act of Cruelty.
- Sour Supporter: Played with: Magic is bound to keep sending Twilight back, but makes clear she doesn't support her evil schemes at all. In fact, she openly mocks the futility of her insane quest, especially in Breaking the Circle.
- The Sociopath: Twilight.
- Super Breeding Program: Twilight is the result of one.
- Time Skip: Twilight takes her time with each of her betrayals in Severing.
- Tyke Bomb: Severing's Epilogue makes clear that Twilight was deliberately raised as one of these as part of Celestia's Vessel Project.
- Took a Level In Badass: By Severing's climax, Spike is all grown up.
- Villainous Breakdown: Twilight doesn't take having her plots foiled well.
- X Meets Y: Reconnection and Breaking the Circle are basically My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic meets Umineko no Naku Koro ni.
- Where Are They Now? Epilogue: Reconnection uses one to explore the aftermath.
- You Can't Thwart Stage One: In Severing, Twilight succeeds in betraying and murdering four of the other Element holders before Fluttershy and Spike can stage their Batman Gambit.