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Survivor Shy - 'I Won't Let You Down' by Mattatatta Survivor Shy - 'I Won't Let You Down' by Mattatatta
Warning: This is very long.

"It was getting dark, but Spike and I carried on searching, knowing that we were so close to reaching our destination. Just as the Sun passed beneath the horizon, leaving the Moon that was already high in the sky on its own, we came upon the collection of caves and waterfalls that Lord Perry had said that the Element of Honesty had been delivered to. Why anybody would want to pay who knows what to have a valuable item transported here, and simply left inside a dark, labyrinthian system of caves was beyond me. I only hoped that the Element had not yet been collected, or some clues as to where it went had been left behind at least.

"'Are we really going in there?' Spike asked, looking up at the many cave entrances in the hillside. I looked up at some of them, too, and I could have sworn I saw a few pairs of glowing, green eyes peeking out from the shadows before winking out. It unsettled me, and a nervous weight dropped into the pit of my stomach.

"I took a deep breath, a shook my head. 'Not tonight, Spike, but tomorrow, yes, we will be.' I thought I saw Spike shudder. 'It's okay to be afraid, you know.' I reassured him.

"'I'm not scared, I'm just cold.' he lied. It was like a Summer's evening, and the mosquitoes were out in full force, already biting. I didn't bother pointing out his little lie, instead, I scanned around for a place to camp out. My eyes fell upon a large waterfall that fell from the very top of the hill. At the bottom, I noticed a strange glow behind the water.

"'Let's go, I think I see something.' I knelt down and allowed Spike to climb onto my back, and I began walking to edge of the water. Carefully, I eased myself into the water, so that Spike wouldn't lose his balance. The cool water came up to my barrel, and the bottom of my saddlebags took a dip, too. I hoped that I sewn up all of the holes, and that the contents would be safe inside, as I started wading through the water toward the waterfall.

"'You're going to have to hold on tight and hold your breath for a teeny, tiny moment, Spike. Are you ready?" I heard him take a deep inhale, and a few seconds later, I did the same and slowly passed through the falling water, walking straight inside a cave.

"The cave was small, and was filled with a peaceful, blue-ish glow. It was much cooler inside, with a light mist gently hovering above the water. Spike exhaled and fidgeted as he looked around, 'So why did you pick this cave when we could've just camped outside?'

"'There's a wall of water falling behind us, mosquitoes and other insects can't fly if they get their wings wet, so they won't follow us through here.' I said simply. Spike merely responded with a 'Huh' as he continued looking around.

"'What's with the glow?' He quizzed, 'They seem to be coming from that mossy stuff, do you know anything about them?'

"I shook my head, slowly heading for a sandy bank. 'No, it only reminds me of the glowing vines that I saw in the Everfree Forest.' A thought clicked inside my head as I climbed out of the water. 'Actually, I might have the answer in my saddlebags. Spike, could you bring out the copy of Supernaturals I have while I fill up our canteens?'

"Spike hopped down and plonked his backpack down as I took my saddlebags off. 'You have a copy of that book with you? When did you get that?' He asked as he took his canteen out of his backpack and passed it to me.

"I tucked Spike's canteen under my wing so that I could speak, 'I... well I borrowed it. From Zecora.'

"'You mean Zecora is still okay?' Spike seemed to get his hopes up. 'What does she think has happened to all the ponies, surely she might have some clu-'

"I put my hoof over his mouth, and looked him in the eyes with remorse. 'I never said she was there to lend it to me.'

"I turned away before either of us could see the other react, and started refilling the canteens. Spike remained quiet, and started going through my saddlebags for the book. A few moments later, I dropped my canteen beside our bags, and gave Spike his canteen as he passed the book over to me. As he stashed his water away, I flicked through the pages of the looted book until I found a page that showed a plant similar to the ones growing in this cave.

"I rested myself on the sand as I read, and Spike sat down beside me. He put his claws behind his head and rested himself against me. A moment later, he broke the silence between us. 'So, what's the book say?'

"'Weeping Wall Tears, also known as Glowing Moss, is an unusual plant in that it has the appearance of moss but also shares characteristics with flowers.' I quoted, 'It favours damp and dark conditions where bats are likely to nest. The style and stigma are covered in a glowing nectar that frugivores consume. Pollen is transferred to a passing creature such as a bat eating the nectar, and is carried over to the next plant, allowing pollination to occur. The nectar is sweet and is commonly harvested for use as an additional ingredient in otherwise foul-tasting medicines. The inclusion of the nectar improves the taste and gives the brew a slight glow, making it easier to give medicine to fussy, sick foals who enjoy the glowing appearance and sweeter taste.'

"I twisted around to speak to Spike, 'Did you hear all of that?' Spike had leant forward and curled up into a ball, I instantly started to worry. 'Spike? What's wrong? You can tell me.'

"'We're alone, aren't we? How could I have believed that Zecora made it through this, especially after I saw what it did with Twilight and Princess Luna.'"

"I shifted uncomfortably, surprised that he was beginning to open up to me about what happened when everypony vanished. 'Spike? Would you like to tell me what happened? It's okay if you don't want to.'

"He lifted his head and looked over to me, tears in his eyes. 'She saved you, you know. Twilight. When I was woken up to your letter arriving, I also woke up to Twilight panicking. She spoke too fast for me to catch everything, all I know is that her and Luna had discovered what was going on, and that we needed to get everypony together right now. I reminded her that everypony else was still away on their assignments, and only you had just sent a letter to me. With her magic, she snatched the letter from me and read it in the space of a few seconds, then she picked up a quill and some paper and started scribbling something strange on it. Princess Luna landed through the balcony doors, telling us that Princess Celestia was fetching the Elements of Harmony, before I could ask what was going on, Twilight finished writing and told me to send her message to where your letter had come from, before you moved too far away for the letter to find you. I breathed my flames on it and the smoke went on its way. I asked her what she had wrote, and Twilight told me that she had sent you a self-activating ward in hopes that it would protect you. Before I could ask from what, it happened.'

"Spike stopped speaking for a few moments, fresh tears starting to fall. I nuzzled the little dragon to help sooth him. 'You don't need to say anything more if you don't want to, I know what happened, too.'

"'You didn't see the closest pony to you become lost in the light, you didn't hear her scream, and you haven't been having nightmares of that moment every night since then.' Spike curled back up into a ball, and for a moment, I wasn't sure what to say. I nuzzled him again and whispered that it's okay now, as he now had somepony to turn to. He peeked up at me, and I offered him a kind smile, even though the thought of seeing what Spike saw was upsetting me, too. 'Do you really think the Elements of Harmony can bring them back, Fluttershy?' He asked.

"'I hope so, Spike, I won't know unless I try, and I promise I will try.' I looked him in the eyes. 'I owe it to you and Twilight especially, and I will not let you down.'

=~=

Survivor Shy Gallery: [link]

Survivor Shy FAQ: [link]

Follow my Tumblr! (For WIPs etc): [link]

EDIT(s): - Improved minor grammar errors and corrected spelling issues. I'll try not to rush writing in future.

Good. Grief.

This started out as a simple scene. but rapidly grew into a behemoth. I'm still learning a lot when it comes to digitally painting scenes, and the environment almost killed me.

Then there were the light sources, which I decided were fictitious plants that glow, which resulted in spending about 30 minutes alone on giving the plant a name and a reason for being (which allowed me to stretch some world building muscles and address a whole bunch of questions in the story).

Basically, almost everything became much bigger than I expected for this scene. And I hope it doesn't turn some people off when they see how long this excerpt is. I won't be making it this long again, I'll refrain from cramming so much information into a single scene in future.

Anyway. I would absolutely LOVE your feedback! So don't be shy, click the comment box and bash your head on your keyboard (don't do that).

I was a day late with this update, and I'm not sure if I'll make tomorrow's update to get back into schedule, unless I buy myself an extra day and work on an animated scene. There's one that I should really do in light of this scene. So perhaps now is the best time for it.
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:iconjagafree234:
jagafree234 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2013
Ahh how ute
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks
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:icondempsey23:
dempsey23 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
And the event itself is revealed. Chilling.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yet, it still leaves the questions "Why?" and "How?" unanswered. Fluttershy's experience of the event is yet to be drawn in order to mark the beginning of her story, but that scene will have to be done next week, assuming I have time.

As for more details on the event, they'll come eventually.
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:icondempsey23:
dempsey23 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
I will read to the end my friend. Still loving it.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good, because there is so much I haven't even revealed. New characters are set to be introduced, at least two more cameos of canon characters are planned, more locations yet to be uncovered...

And, of course, Fluttershy's take on every little development in the story, and the end of the story.
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:icondempsey23:
dempsey23 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
Sounds lovely. I will consume it all! I love a good story.
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:iconcatabatik:
Catabatik Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Warning: This is very long.

My reaction: YYYUUUUUSSS!!

The longer the better in my opinion heheh :3
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm hoping you enjoyed it nonetheless
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:iconmegapatron:
MegaPatron Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
my feels are coming out again ;_;
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I still don't know how I manage to make so many feels be felt with what I create.
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:iconmegapatron:
MegaPatron Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
your good c:
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Maybe I should try unsettling people, instead
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:iconmegapatron:
MegaPatron Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
uhhhh if you wish c:
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:iconzaiali:
zaiali Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
Art is nice

Grammar and some other errors in the story though.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'll be proof-reading it today, because when I first submit a new scene, I'm also including the first finished draft of the story excerpt, and I write that in a single sitting before uploading. As a result. it's bound to be fraught with silly mistakes, so today I'll be going through it.

I shouldn't be rushing so much, really.
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:iconnameleslight:
Nameleslight Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is excellent. I can see a huge improvement on your cave drawing skills, and the water looks amazing. I bet you found a good tutorial to follow for that. The shading on spike is really good, too. Excellent work with his spikes. The anatomy on his arms seems a bit off, however.

As for the story, I don't think it's too long. Maybe you should mention how wet the bags became, as the story is a bit unclear on that. I also think they both would get pretty cold, both from being soaked in water and being exposed to the (probably rather cold) mist in the cave, not letting them dry. But in general, it's good.

And for the choice of the title: :iconrickroll-plz:
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fun fact for the title: It was the working title, and I made it that because I was trying to promise that I wouldn't fall too behind on updates. But the title also morphed into the final line of the scene.

I haven't actually read a tutorial specifically on water, I just attacked the water by considering that the depth wasn't too great, and the water was clean and safe to drink. Then I considered the glow from the plants, used a luminous layer to paint highlights in, added a darker saturation for the visible part of the bank that was underwater, and threw in some purple and dark blues for a bit of flavour (for lack of a better word).

Spike's arms are a bit odd, I know. And so is his tail (And he's missing a bandage, which I'll edit in soon). They were all too long in the initial sketch, but even now they seem a little off. Characters with arms and digits are tricky to draw, especially since I've never drawn such a character in an 'idle' pose. They've always been doing something with their arms and digits, because evil makes play for idle limbs. I've kinda shot myself in the foot, there, because I haven't worked my way up to posing, and instead dived straight into it. It's akin to climbing the Matterhorn naked. But, I'm doing better than I expected, especially since Spike is a challenge to draw.

I buggered up a lot of the story in terms of clarity and editing, blame my haste and general lack of proofreading. Let me fix that.
Basically, the air outside is said to be like a Summer's evening (and thus ideal for mosquitoes), so cold water and air inside a cave would be more welcomed in Fluttershy's case. Spike, being cold blooded (I assume, but I don't know how significantly the cold can impact a Dragon's physiology, if at all), would probably start up a fire before going to sleep in order to keep from getting too cold.

Sine you're watching this story like a Hawk, did you pick out any particular details from this excerpt that seemed important to you?
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:iconnameleslight:
Nameleslight Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lets see. She mention that the glowing moss needs bats to spread. Since it's unlikely that the bats could swim in, we could assume there is an other exit connected to the cave. Mosquitoes generally prefer to stay outside, so they probably won't be much bother.
I guess that the glowing eyes she saw was glowing moss, meaning that those caves are probably rather damp too. There could however be other things lurking there.
Thinking about it, the directions Lord Perry gave sounds rather fishy. Maybe it's a trap set up by the diamond dogs? No, probably not. If they wanted to capture/harm her they could have done that while she was in their capital.
If bats eat of the nectar I guess they would glow in the dark. Not sure if more or less scary than normal bats.
It only passed a few seconds from when Twilight sent the letter to when the wave stroke. Fluttershy on the other hoof had enough time to get the letter, find a train and get far out in the wild before the wave hit her. If the wave was strong enough to knock over the train after being diminished by such a distance it must have been quite powerful at Ponyville, closer to the epicenter. It once again confirms that dragons are highly resilient to magic. Try a crossbow instead if you ever have to fight one. ;)
Spike doesn't seem quite as humorous as before. I guess that's explainable. He used to be rather bright for his age, too, but doesn't appear to be quite so here. Maybe lack of sleep and the coldness combined with cold blood have a role to play in that.
Oh, and Fluttershy confirms that the reason she gathered the elements were to bring the others back.
The book seems interesting. I hope it shows up more times.
Also, I just realized they could eat the nectar. But if they do that and forget to wash themselves afterwards, their sneak skill will be drastically reduced, which might be a bad thing.
That what I found, reading trough it like a griffon.

As for a "warm summer evening", I'm used to live rather far north, so maybe that's why it sounds so cold to me.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
>Mentions a "sneak skill"
>Discusses Dragon-fighting tactics
>Claims to live "far North", where it is apparently cold

Nameleslight confirmed to have hailed from the frozen land of Skyrim! xD

But seriously...

I like how you connected the glowing eyes with the Glowing Moss (or Weeping Wall Tears), and your reasoning is sound. Definitely something to consider in later scenes compared to what I've currently got planned.
You're right to be suspicious of Lord Perry if only because Spike doesn't trust him, and Fluttershy seems adamant that he wouldn't cross her, perhaps to a fault (or maybe not, again, nothing is actually known about her encounter with Lord Perry). I've been foreshadowing his character for quite some time (strangely, I'm foreshadowing him with scenes that occur AFTER he is met, explain that!), and from what I've shown of his actions, he doesn't exactly seem to have the best intentions.

Spike, from a Troper's perspective, is a character in the show who sometimes invokes the trope The Watson due to being a character to ask questions that the audience would be asking. This isn't always the case, because even he knows quite a lot for his age and has his own moments of providing exposition. But I don't believe he would be much of a botanist or alchemist when compared to other things that seem to interest him, such as cooking, or ageing gemstones, for example. That said, he does offer a lot of exposition through recounting his memories of the event that started this entire story in the first place.

From my perspective, Spike has his strengths. He seems to be a swift learner, since he's very smart at a young age, which may be due to growing up with a prized student. He is very mature and rational outside of extreme situations, and even in slightly stressful scenarios, he can maintain a sense of humour and snark. But when lots of stress piles up upon him, it forces him to hide behind his age and behave more like the child he technically is.

As I explore more of Spike's story, it'll become more clear how the turn of events have taken their toll on Spike. He was first encountered by Fluttershy as a gigantic, murderous Dragon, and could only be stopped by her employing her Stare in order to really reach inside to him. How he became that shall be explained, and his behaviour and dialogue later on shall change as he and Fluttershy travel together. He'll definitely reach his more upbeat nature, but this scene is a precursor to some serious business, so it wasn't appropriate for the tone of the scene.

((As an aside, I'm surprised that Fluttershy and Spike haven't got more airtime together on the show, since Fluttershy showed intense interest in baby Dragons in the Season One premiere)).

I do intend to bring the book back up in other parts of the story, if for no other purpose than to offer some distraction to Fluttershy from the world around her, offer some world-building, and/or keep my options open for ideas to take root.

As for the shockwave...
What if Fluttershy was already on the train when she sent her letter?
:iconconspiracykeanuplz:
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:iconnameleslight:
Nameleslight Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My cousins are all out fighting dragons. And what do I get? Guard duty.
I assumed Spike had locked the destination on the geographical point Fluttershy was at when she sent the letter (however she did that). But considering that magic is involved, I guess he could may as well lock it to the train.
Magic. How does it work? :iconmagnetsplz:
As for the glowing eyes, it could also been bats soaked in glowing nectar that she saw. :shrug:
And as for foreshadowing things that have already happened, that's easy to explain. [link]
And (once again) you seems to know what you are doing with Spike's personality. Carry on.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, I won't go over it in much detail in the actual story, since it's such a minor thing that the characters won't need to explain it much detail - since they already know how it works - but basically, all of the members of the Mane 6, with the exception of Twilight, were given scrolls specially designed to be delivered to Spike upon being burned. They were given this so that they could provide crucial information in an instant to Twilight, or simply inform her that they have no leads and are on their way back.

By sending a scroll, Fluttershy allowed a trail to form between her and Spike. So as far as a magical fax is concerned, there is a deteriorating route a message can be sent back along as a response. Though Fluttershy was on a train, she hadn't wandered too far from the original sending location, and the reply was able to find her in time before either she strayed too far or the trail went cold. As I said, it took mere minutes between sending her message and getting a reply.

Magic, it's like science, but also has more friendship involved.
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:iconnameleslight:
Nameleslight Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That last line was the best explanation on how magic work I've heard so far.
:iconeinsteinplz: Time is not constant, but relative to the observer's friendship.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
lol

It's definitely better than saying "It's magic, I ain't gotta explain ponyfeathers!"

Judging by how the show's rules on magic have evolved, it seems that all creatures that have a Cutie Mark (which includes Zebras) have the ability to exert or control some form of magic.

For Earth ponies and Zebras, they have a very innate understanding of plantlife and everything that could possibly come out of and stand up on the ground. So it stands to reason that they make the best alchemists, farmers, and builders.

Unicorns can wield their full magical ability thanks to having their horns, which act as a conduit between the internal strength and willpower of a Unicorn and the world outside. Thus, they are able to exert are less subtle form of magic, usually finding greater ease in casting spells relating to their talents. They seem to be more attuned to details, utilising their magic to do things that the other races find difficulty in.

Pegasi possess the ability to manipulate the weather and fly. While flying is a given to any creature with wings, being able to easily manipulate the weather at will is not. So it seems likely that Pegasi, much like Earth ponies, have a deeper understanding of the sky and making it work with them, and use their magic in subtle ways to alter the sky to suit their needs.

Alicorns, or Pegascorns, appear to draw strength from all three races, yet have other weaknesses to counter the strengths. While very little is actually said about The Royal Sisters or Cadance in the show, it does seem that the Alicorn race is extremely rare, but not unheard of, in Equestrian society, and Princess Luna and Princess Celestia are possibly two of the most powerful in existence.

As for magic itself, the general rules seem to be that nothing can use magic out of nowhere, everything has it's pool, and when that pool runs dry, so does the ability to cast spells. It is possible for two entities to share their power, giving one entity a 'jumpstart' to cast a spell they have the skill for, but not the power. Such methods seem to be uncommon, perhaps frowned upon, since the only time that has been demonstrated in the show temporarily changed the two participants (Cadance and Shining Armour) into a different form, which suggests a level of risk with performing that method. Magic usage also seems to be heavily impacted by a user's skill and natural capacity, so it is unlikely that an Earth pony would be able to cast spells with skill if they were to suddenly gain a horn - but they may possess the power for it anyway!
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(1 Reply)
:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
OK, I'm absolutely speechless on the new development, and it's obvious I can't wait for the next parts :P, so let me instead ask the following:
knowing that you upload new parts of the story randomly, has the Lord Perry character been introduced before and I simply missed him somehow, or hasn't this particular scene been published yet?
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What have you picked out from the new developments? I intentionally left breadcrumbs all over this scene that reference scenes I haven't made, but will be making. Lord Perry is one of the more obvious ones.

You haven't missed his introduction. If you may recall, I've been foreshadowing his introduction for a while, now. He is the character that is profiting from the Diamond Dogs and Hounds scavenging Equestria. Fluttershy is yet to be shown meeting him, but as this scene and [link] tell, an agreement is struck between the two that puts Fluttershy on the path of the Element of Honesty.

I reckon there is only one more scene I absolutely need to draw that includes Diamond Dogs before I introduce "Lord Perry", and who he is meant to be.
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:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
So, despite that I clearly said I was speechless, you make me confess? :D OK, here goes (but don't regret it later, because I weave some very preposterous conclusions below :D).

1. I was totally blown by the fact that Spike had to witness the whole scene. The poor guy. :( Never have I anticipated or even suspected something like that. I suspected the disappearance was fast, but certainly it wasn't as painless as I imagined. ;(
2. I was very surprised that Twilight knew something would happen but had no time to actually act.
3. The catastrophe seemed to spare Diamond Dogs, Dragons and maybe few other species (griffins, maybe?), but Zebras, possibly mules and other four-hooved creatures disappeared. But that was already kinda known.
4. Spike made it quite clear that Luna worked with Twilight, but at the same time mentioned that it was Celestia who had gathered the Elements. You did write it down in the way that at first glance suggested that Celestia was working with them, but the more I think about it, the more it seems as if you were too careful not to actually specifically mention it. That can only mean one thing.

(POSSIBLE) SPOILER ALERT: Celestia had gone rogue and used the Elements to wipe the ponies from the face of Equestria. The burning light seems fitting for this task for someone who wields the power of the Sun. It would also kinda explain dragons' invulnerability to it (they are fire and heatproof - I mean come on, they can swim in friggin' lava), but not the Diamond Dogs' (unless it was because they live underground where Sun doesn't reach). I wonder what happened to Changelings, though? :D. END OF (POSSIBLE) SPOILER ALERT

Sadly, the questions are only multiplied now. Mainly:
1. Why did Twilight save only Fluttershy? Because only she responded with the letter and everything happened so fast that the unicorn just hadn't had time to save the rest? Or was there something more - some hidden faith in Fluttershy perhaps? Equestriawise, Fluttershy is the best pony, but that might have made an impact on your opinion, not on Twilight's ;)
2. If my bizarre conclusion is at least on the right track, will Fluttershy have to fight with the perpetrator after having gathered the Elements?
3. Will she be able to bring the ponies back (because now it seems more than ever that the ponies didn't simply disappear somewhere, but were wiped--as in killed)?

Dear god, so many questions! Argh, my brain is gonna explode. How will I sleep tonight? XD

But, at least now, I see the many pluses of enjoying the story while it is being created. Until now I was certain that having to keep up with the wait would kill the suspense. Thus, having the choice of completed and in-progress story, I would always choose the completed one. Boy, was I wrong. :P With the media like the Internet, especially when you can dive into a discussion with the author and other readers while the story is in the process of being written, it's completely opposite. Priceless. :D

OK, I believe it's high time to end this wall of text. Have to go to sleep and go to work in the morning. :( Well, I certainly anticipate tomorrow evening. I suspect I will get a good bashing, either for inventing such bizarre and preposterous schemes, of for actually discovering the truth from the tidbits you left behind, and spoiling the story for others like the last d*ck. :D (I'm really sorry if it turns out it's the latter. :P)
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*Stretches fingers back as if to crack them, but they don't crack"
Fish oil, baby!

Right, let's have some fun replying to this.

1. Fluttershy's experience of the 'event' (haven't settled on a name for it, probably never will, because it's an event that Fluttershy wouldn't dare name or acknowledge in such a blunt manner.) Was only mere seconds long before she was knocked unconscious, so her assumption is that the event was too fast for anypony to properly reacted to. Spike witnessed it all, and was fully aware of the exact moment that Ponykind disappeared.

2. I aim to explain what Twilight was trying to learn, and what she eventually discovered mere moments before she was taken away.

3. As far as the story suggests, creatures that possess the capacity to form a Cutie Mark were lost in the disaster. It apparently left all other creatures alone.

4. Re-read "A Night in the Canterlot Warzone"

Second set of numerical questions (this is fun)

1. It is implied that Twilight could only reach Fluttershy and send her the ward spell because she was the only pony out of her friends to have recently sent a letter, if at all. Spike's flame magic may be able to reach Princess Celestia with a near 100% success rate, but when it comes to reaching other ponies, the smoke needs to be pointed as close to where the recipient is as possible, in order to stand a chance of it finding the recipient and delivering the message. Fluttershy's recent letter opened up a path for a response to follow, but only for a short time before she moved too far away from where she had sent her letter.

2. It isn't over until Equestria has been restored, the ponies saved, and the threat Twilight and Luna identified dealt with.

3. Fluttershy's plan isn't entirely her own, as future planned updates will explain. She receives hints from a trustworthy source that set her on a path to discovering a possible way to undo what has been done.

Tomorrow's planned scene is another foray into animation. Which shall set me back on schedule since I allow myself three days for an animation, no matter how simple or complex, as part of my personal challenge this month. I should get it out tomorrow evening.
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:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
* looking at how carefully you dodged my Celestia implications *
Still say she had something to do with all of it. :D Canterlot Warzone didn't hold any real proof for or against it, though. Well, it mentioned that the castle had been burned, but it could have been because of the Dragons. :P
"I was looking at the very last place the Princess was before she disappeared, like all the other ponies except me. She must have been trying to get the Elements to all of us, but... she was too late." <- This is only Fluttershy's opinion who knew nothing about what had happened at the moment of catastrophe and it can't be counted as any solid evidence. :D
Well, I will be eagerly awaiting the scene that proves me wrong about Celly. :D
Reply
:iconnameleslight:
Nameleslight Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lort Perry was mentioned in 'The End of an Era Extravaganza' [link]
But the story where she meet him is still to be written, as far as I know.
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:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
Ah, yes, thanks for the reminder. Indeed, he was mentioned as supposedly some Diamond Dogs Bazaar keeper but has yet to have an encounter with our glorious heroine.

Incidentally, now that we know it wasn't an accident that Fluttershy survived, I wonder why Twilight chose especially her... I wonder why Mattatatta chose her. Well, she's the best pony, obviously :D, but I have no doubt that Mattatatta will at some point justify his choice. :)
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:iconnameleslight:
Nameleslight Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think it sounded like Twilight meant to save them all but didn't had the time. As for why Mattatatta chose her I've always assumed it's simply because she's best pony. But yeah, maybe there is more to it.
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:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:music:Bravely bold Sir Flutters
Rode forth from Canterlot.
She was not afraid to die,
Oh brave Sir Flutters.
He was not at all afraid
To be killed in nasty ways.
Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin.

She was not in the least bit scared
To be mashed into a pulp.
Or to have her eyes gouged out
And her elbows broken.
To have her kneecaps split
And her body burned away,
And her limbs all hacked and mangled
Brave Sir Flutters.

Her head smashed in
And her heart cut out
And her liver removed
And her bowls unplugged
And her nostrils raped
And her bottom burnt off
And her crev...
:music:
"That's... That's, uh... that's enough music for now, Pinkie. There's dirty work afoot."

:music:Brave Sir Flutters ran away. ("No!")
Bravely ran away away. ("I didn't!")
When danger reared it's ugly head,
She bravely turned her tail and fled. ("No!")
Yes, brave Sir Flutters turned about ("I didn't!")
And gallantly she chickened out.
Bravely taking ("I never did!") to her feet,
She beat a very brave retreat. ("All lies!")
Bravest of the brave, Sir Flutters! ("I never!")
:music:
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Bahahahahaha
Reply
:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Think you can do something this silly?
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not from Camelot, so no, unfortunately.
Reply
:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I mean... Use that very song as her theme song?
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Might be a funny excuse to draw Spike in a leotard, prancing around like a bard. I might have to file it away for future use
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:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Maybe.
Reply
:iconnasc2:
nasc2 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
Thanks for the update !
Cannot wait for the next :)

As to the feedback – here is a bit chaotic set of my thoughts.
'Survivor Shy' is one of my favorite fics. I cannot refer it as gallery or something - in my opinion it is full scale adventure post-apocaliptic fiction story with original concept.
Your texts and illustrations amplify each other and we have something wonderful as a result. The story itself being series of unsorted snapshots leaves huge space for reader's/viewer's imagination. And filling gaps with your own imagination after each update and discovering new splinters of the story during each update - this fragile and invaluable experience is something which I like most of this project.
'Survivor Shy' reminds me project of one of my favorite offline authors - 'Ideal novel' by Max Frei - book which consist of several dozens unwritten novels of various genres, or to be more precise it consist of last few paragraph of each novel, leaving reader to imagine the rest.

Thank you again for the story!

P.S. And btw I think ‘Survivor Shy’ is worth publishing on fimfiction.

P.P.S.: Please do not be afraid of long texts. At least in my opinion: 1) your writing is good enough; 2) your texts (including current) are very short. For example current story is only 1.4K words – it is typical _small_ chapter on fimfiction.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm only concerned about the length because it's the longest so far, and it needs to remain relevant to the scene. I do consider what I wrote here to be relevant to the artwork, but I also feel I crammed a lot in. If I make it too long, I risk including important information that isn't supported by the artwork at all, and that just isn't good to me. There's also the fact that I also post the story excerpts on Tumblr and Derpibooru, and those sites aren't really meant to house long bodies of text in a single post. So I try to keep things short for the purposes of keeping focus, not assaulting screens with text walls, and to make the story accessible to new readers.

Thanks for your thoughts, I was beginning to wonder if the splintered and fragmented approach was helping or hurting the story. On the one hand, it helps me by allowing me to leave a certain part of the story and come back later if I have trouble with what happens next, but on the other, it creates a lot of 'whiplash' as I hop from scenes where Fluttershy has Spike, to scenes where she's completely alone, to scenes where she's encountering other characters or enemies.

Since you know fimfiction better than I do, is it possible to embed pictures into a chapter? I need to be able to embed animated pictures, also, so that I can keep the artwork and the writing together. I reckon I'll reach a point where I can start releasing Survivor Shy scenes as chapters on fimfiction, but I'm so unsure if it is even technically possible that I haven't considered how I'd publish the scenes. Whether I'd group certain sets of scenes directly related to each other into a chapter, or release each scene as a chapter, or even if I should maintain the random order or wait until I'm done with the series and then publish the scenes in the correct order all in one go.
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:iconnasc2:
nasc2 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
It is 100% possible to include pictures into stories. As far as I know animated gifs should be ok also - there always a lot of them in comments and blog posts. There is even a way to embed flash.

Also - if you want to know my personal opinion - I like non chronological order in which you are posting it here. It is part of this story identity for me.
I'd rather see it described in story description in similar way as here in FAQ and posted as picture=chapter in similar order. More so - imho it would be better not to post all already finished chapters there at once, but with some delay (chapter per day or so ?) to give reader some time to think and enjoy aftertaste.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'll look into it. I'm not sure if it'll do well, though. It might get slammed mercilessly for all I know. It's got a different format than typical stories, and it's all a learning experience for me. It may not have been my first submission to FimFiction (Don't even look for that submission, I deleted it), but this is the first project I've actually stuck with that involves writing a fanfic.
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:iconnasc2:
nasc2 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
I recall seeing totally graphic story at fimfiction.
Here it goes: [link]
Accepted and published comic-strip story by Conner Cogwork.
(btw I recommend to check his "On a Cross and Arrow" and "On a Whisper of Wind" if you did not read it before).
Reply
:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
That's the first time I see FimFiction considered more selective than any other pony archive (if I may call it that).
I mean, come on, I have published 5 stories there so far and not a single was one was ever rejected before. I don't mean to say that they publish every last crap, but none of my stories should ever be considered good, even in my wildest dreams. :D Definitely they can't even be compared to the distilled greatness Mattatatta produces. :)
Anyways, FimFiction has a clearly defined set of rules and Survior Shy abides every last one of them, as far as I'm concerned.
What I try to say is that if Mattatatta decides to publish there, the community should let him in with arms wide opened. :)
But I'm curious how his way of publishing chapters in a random manner would work there. Probably no one would object, though. ;)
Reply
:iconnasc2:
nasc2 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
I do not think that fimifiction could be called as selective in any way.
99% published there stories are total crap.
But..
1) it has working rating and favorites system
2) it has advanced story search
3) it has best usability (imho)
4) it has large (may be largest) community dedicated to fim fiction ;)
Reply
:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
I see what you mean. :) True, I can completely agree with all the points you mentioned above.
The featuring system could stand some improvement, however, but Overlord Knighty sees all and hears all and constantly seeks ways of making the site better. :D
Reply
:icontechzeropyro:
TechZeroPyro Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
Eh. This isn't so long. Its a pretty good update.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, I'm hoping to sketch up and bring out a new scene tomorrow.
Reply
:iconme-smith0211:
me-smith0211 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012
I feel like crying now :'( So something of light did this...
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