FimFiction Link - Short ID: 524576/the-legionnaire
Published: Oct '22
'The Legionnaire' is a six thousand and three hundred-word oneshot. Twilight gets stuck in the limbo between teleportation and now she is many.
Stories about teleportation going wrong aren't a new concept. One only has to think of 'Blink' for a story that explored the topic, however, this story is an inversion of that. While in 'Blink' there was an abundance of discarded bodies and selves stuck in limbo, here it's Purplesmart's consciousness trapped in the so-called "interstitial" from which she can send back versions of herself that are somewhat independent, but also connected.
If this sounds complicated to you, I'm with you. Though the base concept is not that complicated, the nuances made this fic pretty hard to comprehend for me and the way it wildly jumps around in time didn't help either. So before we try to tackle it, let's talk prose: I'm not sure what to say. On one hand, I really want to call this story pretentious. Both in usage of words and in the jumping-around it felt a bit too smug for my taste. But I must also admit that I'm not sure if you could really depict the situation without resorting to these tools. The author wants to show a state that's a bit like dreaming, but also Twilight turning into a being so beyond normal that it can't properly be described, so it's a catch-22 of whether to do so in an easier to understand but more mundane way or in the way it was done here. Bottom line, while the prose is competent and varied, I didn't particularly enjoy it (except for a few colorful turns of phrases,) even if I understand the 'why.'
As for story: There is much I like a about it. The fact that just because Twiggles became this eldritch entity, she didn't lose her equinity and isn't causing pain to her copies because she's suddenly evil, but rather because she's so eager to share is a breath of fresh air, while also being a nice distant homage to many Lovecraftian creatures not really being malicious, just so beyond us that their very presence is harmful. I like how Twilight's casualness about death contrasts with the situation. She doesn't much care about losing limbs or even dying, it's "meeting her maker" that really scares her. This is a far better way of establishing the power dynamics than spelling out things directly.
However, I found it lacking how loose the author handled the way others approach her "clones." The M6 is too casual about it and the way Dash started asking questions about Twilight's state felt quite a bit OOC to me. There is also little to no mention about how the Princesses feel about the whole thing (they must be somewhat receptive at least if there is a Twilight in Canterlot.) It just felt like a glaring hole in an otherwise fairly round story.
Overall: 7/10 This one is hard to score. I believe the story deserves a 7 for the idea and most of the execution, but manner in which it was portrayed might make it a hard read to some.
Neat idea, decent execution, but sadly the author decided to toss the whole story in a blender before publishing it. If it was presented in chronological order, this would be the story of Twilight (and the reader) figuring out the details of the rather bizarre situation Twilight finds herself in. But as is, it's a bit of a mess. In roughly the first half of the fic, we get enough scenes from late in the timeline, when Twilight already understands the situation, to pick up most of what's going on. But then the second half includes a bunch of mid-timeline scenes of Twilight struggling to figure out what's happening to her, which, having already seen the answer, just feels like the author is inflicting needless suffering on the character.