FimFiction Link - Short ID: 506592/what-came-before
Published: Nov '21
'What Came Before' is a one thousand and seven hundred-word oneshot in which Anon, who survived till the G5-era, mourns for the loss of his friends before stumbling into the home of Argyle. In return for shelter, he tells him about the past.
I'm certainly not one for HiE/AiE stories, but after another Anon mentioned this story in the previous thread, I figured what the hell, it's short enough anyway. Now that I'm finished, I'm happy to report that it wasn't a complete waste of time. To be clear, the plot whizzes by in breakneck speed, ignoring any and all details except Anon's vague reminiscing about how he was able to survive this long after the M6's deaths. Anon faces practically no adversity (or even any other characters, aside from Argyle) and the singular "conflict" is resolved in a blatantly predictable way. Regardless, the very last part of the story, - as much as it's kind of cheating and emotion-baiting to quote directly from the show, - made me remember the kind of awe I felt when I first began watching FiM. One could argue the whole story is really just scaffolding and buildup for this one bit and for me this bumped the fic from something I wouldn't even talk about to a story worth reviewing.
However, aside from this, there really isn't anything in this fic that's worth mentioning. The prose is nice, but nothing special. If anything the story feels more like a prologue, which I guess in a sense it is.
Overall: 5/10 A lot of mediocrity leading up to a single good moment. This won't be the story that will make you like AiE, but due to its length, those that easily get emotional might still find something of value here.