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Survivor Shy - 'The End of an Era Extravaganza' by Mattatatta Survivor Shy - 'The End of an Era Extravaganza' by Mattatatta
Non-Canon - I couldn't write that in the title

"I had veered off course while travelling back to Equestria from The Free Lands, and for a few days I wandered like a lost soul across the sky and on the ground as I searched for a familiar landmark to get my bearings with.

"Eventually, I found myself looking upon the remains of Fillydelphia. And I flew down to an apartment block to look for essential items; medicine, food, and clean water.

"When life had turned into this daily struggle, I had reservations about breaking into buildings and homes and taking what I needed. I didn't want to steal what wasn't rightly mine, nor did I want to disturb the eerie, graveyard silence that lingered throughout the land with my scratching around and rifling through other ponies' possessions. In spite of what I kept on telling myself back when this all began, the back of my mind believed that the ruins were the grave markers of the millions of ponies who had vanished, and that stealing from them was the same as desecrating a grave.

"However, as I watched myself get thinner, and found myself in need of things I simply couldn't get any other way, my prudish mindset gave way to survival instinct, and I resorted to scavenging. Now that I thought about it, I was silly to be so ashamed of adapting and trying to survive, especially when I was committing a crime out of necessity rather than a crime out of greed.

"After finding enough pressure in the kitchen and bathroom taps of a few apartments, I managed to fill my canteen and reserve canteen with clean water. A search through kitchen cupboards had given me an honest supply of tinned fruit to last a few days. One apartment had a proper first-aid kit, which went straight into my saddlebag, while another had a sickly-green mix of strong cough syrup and an unopened bottle of 'Nay-Nay Pain Away' pills in the medicine cabinet. With no more room to carry anything else, I left the apartments and began making my way through Fillydelphia's empty streets.

"As I walked through the city, I began thinking about my mission to find the other Elements of Harmony. Finding them was not a desire to reunite myself with the memories of my friends any more, it was now an imperative - without them, I couldn't make this one chance to undo the mess that I was in. But before I could find them, I had to get back to Canterlot and hope I could pick up a trail. And to do that, I needed a map.

"I started looking around at the debris and destruction around me, hoping to spot a shop that might have maps of Equestria. It was then that I realised that something was out of place; doors had been kicked in and trampled over, and window frames had been scratched up by what looked like claw marks. Shops had been broken into and stripped clean, and a branch of Fillydelphia Bank had been gutted.

"Before I could even begin to think about who could've done this, I saw the posters. They were on the walls of looted buildings, in alleyways, and on street corners, and they had all been put up recently. I trotted over to one, and read it.

"'LOOKING FOR LOOT?
COME AND VISIT
Lord Perry's
"End of an Era Extravaganza"
IN OUR BRILLIANT BAZAAR
IN THE UNDERGROUND HOME
OF THE DIAMOND DOGS!'

"My face went red as I felt myself grow very angry. The Diamond Dogs had come through here, looted anything of value, and were now selling it all on under the banner of preserving the memory of the fall of ponykind. I started kicking my hoof at the ground in frustration, trying to let off steam. I tore the poster off the wall and stomped it into the dirt, only feeling a little better afterwards.

"I sighed and sat on my haunches, staring at the crumpled and torn poster in front of me. 'Why am I so surprised by this?' I muttered to myself. 'They were only fighting Dragons in Canterlot so they could loot what was there, too...'

"A thought crossed my mind, the Diamond Dogs might've taken the other Elements from Canterlot, which meant that they might be selling them in their Bazaar. Whether I wanted to see them or not, I had to find the Diamond Dogs' underground city, and hope that I could get the remaining Elements of Harmony from them.

"And to do that, I needed a map."


=~=

Survivor Shy Gallery: [link]

Survivor Shy FAQ: [link]

Follow my Tumblr! (If you want to...): [link]


Here we, after taking way too long, I'm back with a new scene for Survivor Shy.

We're jumping to a different point in the story, here, so that's why Spike isn't present before you start asking. I'm creating this series on the fly, and the scenes I upload are usually out of chronological order, the exception being the three scenes where Spike appears.

That being said, I'm beginning to develop a nice collection of scenes in my head involving Spike, some of which are way too good to let sit. So expect some scenes featuring Spike in the near-future!

Anyway, this scene was originally going to be animated. But it proved to be way too ambitious to do without it taking far too long, so I took the scene and reworked it to be a pretty cool landscape shot. Landscapes are one of my many weakspots, and since I started this series to improve my art skills (and my writing), there are going to be a lot of pictures where I try something new for the first time.

That all said, I'm not 100 percent happy with this, but I'm tired with working on it, and I feel it is still good anyway, just not perfect.

As always, I appreciate comments, feedback, and even questions. So don't hesitate to drop something in the comment thread below (or FAQ if you have a question not specific to this scene)!
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:iconmegapatron:
MegaPatron Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012
Very good read :)
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, I just uploaded a new scene, too!
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:iconraenboow:
RaenBoow Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
lulz I like the fact that a commercial with Fluttershy is on the roof there :D Past meets Present, sortof. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think I said it in another comment here, but I wanted to link the writing and the art together by having them both hark back to the past in some way. In Fluttershy's narrative, she reflects upon her learning to accept and even justify her looting, even going so far as to define good and bad looting. In the artwork, the remains of Fillydelphia contain things that directly call back to a different time in Fluttershy's life when things were not as bad.
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:iconraenboow:
RaenBoow Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Having problems with looting in times like that did confuse me even in FoE :P Maybe that means I'm actually evil inside but when you are out of options and noone gives a damn anyway I would probably not have a problem with looting those buildings at all... ...But now I feel bad for actually not caring :XD: fu...

I still think it fits Fluttershy well to reflect the way she does. :)
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's a moral thing. For Littlepip, and even Wasteland Veterans such as Steelhooves, they were quite a few taboos and general beliefs on what made looting horrible or only partially tolerable. Littlepip had reservations about looting from the dead, because she was kinda grossed out by wearing bloodied armour and disturbing a corpse. But she quickly got over that bit of squeamishness after stumbling upon her first Raider camp in old Ponyville, and looting some armour to protect herself, which ironically attracted some well-aimed bullets being fired her way.

Steelhooves wasn't too bothered by looting, unless it seemed excessive or involved looting from fellow Rangers. So when Calamity would display has Pack Rat ways and literally empty entire rooms in seconds of ANYTHING of practical value, it bothered Steelhooves, who felt it was somewhat immoral.

Calamity's looting may seem extreme and unbridled, but he looted only what would benefit the living. So ammunition, equipment, etc, were things he would loot. He seemed to bear no interest in impractical, if valuable, items because it's just dead weight to him. If he took something he couldn't use himself, he'd either give it to somepony who could use it, or sell it to the next trader who could find someone to make use of it.

Fluttershy's morals regarding looting are probably closer to Steelhoove's type of morals, however, her allowances are far narrower. Fluttershy believes that there are some things too sacred to loot from, or certain items that are off-limits. But because she hasn't had to take from a corpse, she doesn't have to overcome that moral issue of practically desecrating a body to take whatever it has of use to her. If "Survivor" Shy were to be dropped into the FoE universe, she would find herself going back to square one and re-evaluating her thoughts upon looting, because she'd be seeing actual death, and faced with the issue of searching corpses for essential items.

in the Survivor Shy universe, though. There are no corpses or actual signs of death, just the empty cities and homes left abandoned suddenly by ponykind. Here, Fluttershy has only had to ask herself if taking what she needed from buildings is moral, and since buildings have never been alive, it is easier for her to forgive herself for taking from them. At the same time, however, she considers the remains of ponykind's civilisation to be much like a place of burial, a place that has to be respected. So items that are of no practical use to her (and later on, Spike), are absolutely off-limits.

Now introduce the Diamond Dogs, who simply take anything they can see good value in, and you have Fluttershy becoming increasingly disgusted by the lack of respect.
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:iconraenboow:
RaenBoow Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Student Digital Artist
:icongo-on-plz: I see :) .....Yeah I would probably go all Calamity on that loot :P
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I aim to further address Fluttershy's acceptance of looting in the future, especially since the confrontation with the Diamond Dogs will probably test her greatly.
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:iconraenboow:
RaenBoow Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Indeed.
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:iconsammykh:
Sammykh Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Student Writer
IM always looking forward to the next survivorshy. i love the pics and the story.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, I'm working on the next scene, but I must admit I'm dealing with a bit of a block right now. But the next instalment will show up by this weekend if what I'm planning with the style works out.
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:iconsammykh:
Sammykh Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Student Writer
Kk
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:icondempsey23:
dempsey23 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012
A dangerous quest. Dis gun be good.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hope so.
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:iconboofadoof:
boofadoof Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012
where's spike now???
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Not in this scene. I explained in the description that I've gone back to creating and uploading scenes out of chronological order now, which I used to do before I first introduced Spike into the story. There will be scenes that Spike and Fluttershy shall feature prominently in, but they'll appear randomly. So it'll be up to you, the reader, to take all of the scenes in the series and arrange them into what you believe to be the correct order. It shouldn't be too hard to do that now, because there's quite a few scenes, and a lot of them have very specific details that restrict to only a particular part of the story.
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:iconzaiali:
zaiali Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012
You know what? Too much sadness!

And then a behemoth came out of nowhere and hugged fluttershy, the end.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I imagined a Fallout 3 Behemoth. It was rather scary
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:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012
Right until now the story had this ominous feeling... You know, Fluttershy being probably all alone, no ponies around, seemingly no sentient being left alive (Diamond Dogs and Dragons were depicted more like beasts). And now you present us with a Diamond Dog underground society.

I'm very interested to see how you will carry this. Dogs aren't ponies, they may be hostile towards Fluttershy, but where there's market there's some sort of community, and if there's community, you probably will have to change some of the only-one-survivor setting. Very interesting...
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
These sudden twists are the result of me creating stuff on impulse. The two images I drew that convinced me to turn this into a series were drawn on a whim, and a lot of the big parts of the story so far have been brainstormed and implemented on the fly. Spike's appearance, "The Free Lands", the Diamond Dogs having a much larger role in the story than being faceless hostiles - all of these things were never planned from the beginning and have been later added for a number of reasons. Some of those reasons include because the scenes are cool, because it mixes things up and keeps things from staying on a predictable path, and it gives me more possible options to take in the story.

With the way I'm creating this story, there's going to be a lot of back and forth in the coming weeks as I 'globe-trot' across the timeline to draw the long list of scenes I want to draw. The ominous feeling you described is bound to return in some scenes, because I'm certain to draw scenes from the point in the timeline where Fluttershy is certain that she is alone. Then there are the scenes that shall have Spike involved, so these will most likely have a very different tone. And then there are a few other wildcards I have stashed up my sleeve that I'm not sure about.

When I finally reach the scenes where Fluttershy confronts the Diamond Dogs, I should have settle a few good ideas for scenes that'll help establish any notable characters, provide some background information on the underground society of the Diamond Dogs, and how Fluttershy is received by them. Fluttershy's presence alone has a list of different reactions and outcomes. Say you were a Diamond Dog, and right there in front of you was a pony who had walked herself into your own 'turf'. As far as you knew, the ponies were 'extinct', and you had seen the loot from the fallen kingdom flood the market to prove that there was nopony protecting the cities any more. So what would you make of a pony had shown up unannounced among your brethren? Take up arms and get ready for a fight? Flee from the pony because she must be a curse from beyond the grave? Cheekily welcome her in and sneer at her for being unfortunate to not disappear like the rest of her kind? It's all down to who the Dogs are generally, the majority will act in a certain way in that situation, and only a few will act differently due to there own personality traits.
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:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012
tl; dr :D

No, i kid, I kid, please don't be mad. :) I read all of your explanation and am now even more curious about how you will carry the story along.
"Curiouser and curiouser," as my favorite (besides Fluttershy, of course ;) ) fictional character would say.

I specifically can't wait for those dark I'm-all-alone moments. But the scenes with Spike seem very promising too. Same with D-Dogs.
Heck, by now I'm certain I will enjoy anything you throw at me. ;)
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Righty-ho! I'll get cracking later this week. So, hopefully I'll have something new uploaded in the near-future!
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:iconsapphire475gs:
sapphire475gs Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012
Impending confrontation with the Diamond Dogs... this'll be good.

Also, lol at the continuity with Fluttershy's past as a model for that billboard... except for the fact that she's smiling instead of cutely cowering like she was always made to do. (Or is that some other pony?)
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The billboard is from S1E20 where Fluttershy becomes a model. It is based on the aerial banner that Rainbow Dash tows over Ponyville, advertising a carrot-based drink (which probably spawned the juicebox craze now I think about it).

I felt that having a direct connection to the past and this moment in Survivor Shy would offer a good contrast to how Fluttershy's life was and is now. And with her reflecting on how her thoughts on looting changed as survival became more important, both the art and writing share that focus on looking back on the past.

I placed two other easter eggs in the artwork, but they aren't as funny or bear any sort of relevence to Survivor Shy or FiM. One is just a little silliness, and one is just a jab at myself.

I'm looking forward to covering the Diamond Dogs, developing this story has made me create a lot of headcanon for myself. When it comes to the Diamond Dogs, I believe that the name is actually the name of the race, rather than a gang. Other 'MattaOfFacts' include the Diamond Dogs being talented at knowing the value of an item just by looking at it, and being very effective at bartering. Their civilisation exists on the edges and just outside of Equestria, in areas ponies seldom go. This is because their economy relies on mining gems and other valuable resources illegally in Equestria and other kingdoms, and also stealing or swindling individuals out of their wealth. The Black Market is the only market they know.

There's no telling how Fluttershy will handle them, or if they'll strike a crooked deal with her. But before I introduce "Lord Perry" and his goons, I want to set up a couple of other scenes in the timeline. We're talking a lot of build up, here.
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:icontheangelicone:
Theangelicone Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012
this looks really good.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
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