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Survivor Shy - Through The Mist by Mattatatta Survivor Shy - Through The Mist by Mattatatta

It was a misty and cold morning, and I woke up underneath the tree shivering from being damp and cold. I still felt exhausted and numb from the travelling I had done in the past week, and from the horrible night I spent underneath a tree in a rainstorm. This weather didn't fit the Season, Autumn was still a few weeks away, but the sky was starting to flow free without ponies managing it. Dread began to linger over me again, with haunting whispers in the back of my mind telling me my greatest fears at that moment - that there was nopony out there, that I was the only pony in Equestria.

I closed my eyes and tried to block the thoughts off. "No." I croaked, "My friends are waiting for me, I need to find them." I opened my eyes and stared off into the misty woods, repeating a phrase that I was beginning to reassure myself with often; "Everything will be okay."

I turned my attention to my bandaged foreleg to avoid letting my mind wander, and started unwrapping the cloth to check the wound underneath. Fortunately, the cut had closed itself and was starting to heal. There wasn't any sign of infection, which I was very thankful for, and the cut didn't seem likely to open again if I was careful. I couldn't risk falling ill out here, not without any safe place to rest and recover, nor enough food and water. The injury still worried me as it was, and I muttered to myself to take things a little more carefully and keep checking my leg every few hours.

I unfurled my wings and gave them a test flap, and then lifted myself above the treetops for a better view. The mist was still too thick to really make much of anything out except for looming shapes around me. Flying would be too risky with this visibility; Rainbow Dash wouldn't agree, but she was used to flying in almost all kinds of weather. The thought of moving a storm front, just one of the tasks of a weatherpony, were making my wings start to fall out of sync out of fear.

I descended back to the forest floor, and gathered my belongings up. I was going to follow the tracks again. I knew I was getting close, but I still didn't know exactly where I was, and I didn't want to get lost in the woods. I hovered above the ground to give my leg more time to rest, and started flying back to the train tracks, soon heading along them - hoping to reach Ponyville soon.

A few hours passed while I flew in silence, focusing my eyes into the distance to try to spot a landmark in the slowly-clearing mist. Finally, just as I came over the crest of a hill, my eyes caught sight of a ghostly silhouette in the distance, beyond the forest's tree line. I veered away from the train tracks and glided to a clearing on the edge of the woods, gently landing on three legs with a bit of a stumble, and peered off into the horizon. Slowly, as the Sun rose higher in the grey skies and warmed the world underneath, the mist began to fade, revealing the unmistakable outline of Ponyville's City Hall.

A few minutes passed as I waited for the low-laying clouds to clear some more, revealing more of the town I called home. I could see skeletal remains of burned-down homes and damaged thatched roofs, and faint wisps of smoke from the dying fires that had been feeding on Ponyville for the past week. Whatever had happened in Ponyville, the place had suffered for it, and I hoped that nopony was hurt in the midst of it all. 'If there was anypony left at all.'

"No!" I snapped at myself, voice uneven "I am not alone! Everypony is just taking shelter somewhere!" I knew I wasn't believing a word I was saying, but a part of me wanted to believe anything that was better than looking at what was becoming more and more apparent to be the truth. Imagining thousands of ponies in something as ludicrous as underground shelters was a more positive image in my head than imagining thousands of ponies being harmed.

I lifted myself back into the air, and started to fly towards Ponyville. I wanted to search the town for anypony in need of help, and then go to my cottage to pick up some things I could use, and to check on Angel and my animal friends. Goodness knows how afraid they must have been after what happened, and I knew Angel would be happy to see me again, safe and sound, too.

My eyes drifted up to the distant outline of Canterlot and lingered there, trying to see it better through the mist. "I'll be there soon, everypony," I whispered, "'I'm sorry I'm taking so long."


=~=

This will probably need revisions and further proof-reading. I wrote this while nodding off at my desk at 12:30 AM. Even the cat is asleep (he made me take an extra hour drawing the picture, because he kept attacking my screen and sitting on my tablet).

Survivor Shy Gallery (All artwork, including 'non-canon' scenes): [link]

Survivor Shy on FimFiction (Chapter Two coming very soon!): [link]

My Tumblr (WIPs, doodles, etc): [link]


So here we are finally, a new scene!

I decided that I should try to 'paint' as much of it as possible. There's only so many pictures I can draw that look all clean and tidy (by my standards) before I begin to feel like it is all getting stale and too easy. So with this, I went ahead and put everything together like I normally do, with flats and everything, and then, instead of whacking on a Multiply layer of something similar, I merged things and started shading directly with a few brushes, eventually getting something much softer in appearance. I learned quite a lot from this, and it definitely helped me improve my technique.

Now, the story itself. Yes, older scenes in the Survivor Shy Gallery are becoming 'non-canon'. This is because the artwork in them is so bad in my opinion that I must redraw the scenes from scratch. And whilst I'm doing that, I'm taking the new scenes as an opportunity to rewrite the story excerpts in these new scenes.

The scene "Like Needles" and this one are both replacement scenes for the first ever Survivor Shy scene, "Look For A Purpose". While the artwork is completely different, I'm hoping that the general feel and tone of the story excerpts have been carried over quite well in these latest revisions. I don't like having to retcon things, I'd much rather rework what I have so nothing established is rendered void.

Anyway, I only have one more picture to redo and I'll be ready to get Chapter Two put together! Maybe I'll get Chapter Three done before Xmas!
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:icontophxomi:
tophxomi Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
So atmospheric! Don't give up fluttershy!
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:icondempsey23:
dempsey23 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
Good Lord that would be dreadful.
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:iconkiinastar:
kiinastar Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012
Wow...
Reply
:iconbronyman1995:
Bronyman1995 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is some dope ass art dude.

In other news, this fic better end well....I'm a baby when it comes to stuff like this. I want everything to be sunshine and rainbows in the end for everybody.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, I'm glad you like it

If you're not one for sad endings, then I'm not sure if you'll be able to handle the whole story. There are a number of scenes that get pretty bittersweet throughout the story.

I'm not saying a thing about the ending, though.
Reply
:iconsonicsatamx93:
SonicSatamX93 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Student Writer
This is really well drawn.

I like it.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconsonicsatamx93:
SonicSatamX93 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Student Writer
You're welcome
Reply
:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aw... Isn't she cute?

Please let there be survivors!

Who could've done this? The Sith?
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wouldn't you know if it was the Sith or not?
Reply
:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
If they were powerful enough to do this, then yes!
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So we can rule out the Sith, and therefore Death Stars
Reply
:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Princess Celestia?
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
She owns a Death Star to some degree xD
Reply
:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Then, my suspicions are confirmed.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The Princess is a Sith Lord.

guy in back of room: "I knew it!"
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(1 Reply)
:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
Yes, this chapter definitely needs some polishing. Be on a lookout for coma splices, missing words and overly complicated try to express more than one thought. ;)

Being the lonely survivor in an otherwise desolate world must surely be scary (or at least unnerving), but Fluttershy is (compared to any other of the mane 6; a topic which we discussed on many other occasions :) ) in a relatively comfy spot: she can always talk with some animals (like the vultures). Sadly, as we already know (but she doesn't), Angel and her other animal friends will have abandoned her hut by the time she finally gets there, so I presume it will take her more than she actually suspected it might.

As for the non-canon chapters: as always, regular practice has wonderful effects on one's skills. I noticed it a few weeks back and was wondering when you would notice it yourself (I mean the quality of your present pictures compared to the older ones). It is quite distinguishable now, when you can easily compare pics from 'now' with pics from 'then'.
I don't, of course, mean that your earlier picture are uglier or worse in any sense. On the contrary, being able to witness the growth of your skills is incredibly interesting . :)

A word of greetings to your little friend from another feline. :) We, the Cheshire Cats, always have an Alice accompanying us. They're of different sorts: some are well-mannered and smart, others crazy and armed with kitchen knives :P , but we always cherish our relationships with them. :D It seems your little friend has it quite well under your wing, too. :)
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really shouldn't write things when I'm trying to keep my head from falling onto the keyboard. I'll get to fixing things after this comment.

I do plan to have Fluttershy encounter with more animals over the course of her journey. I've recently felt that her talents with animals are neglected in this story and it would be a waste to have Fluttershy go through the entire story without using her full abilities whenever possible. The Stare is one such ability that I've had her use, but her more commonly demonstrated talents involving animals has been carelessly forgotten about by me. I have two other avians planned to make an obligatory appearance in a future chapter, who shall help forewarn Fluttershy of the danger that they are escaping from.

I'm not sure where else animals can play a positive role in Fluttershy's tale, but I'm certain to come across opportunities as I progress through the story. There's definitely going to be a number of creatures that remain non-negotiable, though. After all, as cute and adorable Fluttershy is, it would be way too overpowered for her to be respected and off-limits to even the meanest creatures, and it wouldn't make sense for desperate critters to not see Fluttershy as a viable target. Equestria has essentially gone downhill, and fallen into the turmoil of a sudden transition from everything being carefully managed and organised to a world of complete and total anarchy. The weather has gone wild, so it stands to reason that the wildlife is cracking under the pressure, too.

The cat is a very mischievous one, he seems to enjoy climbing up the xmas tree and chewing on the lights. He also likes to attack my screen when I have desktop ponies on or if I'm moving the mouse around. Still, he's very friendly and patient with my baby brother - who keeps pestering him and chasing him around the house every day.
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:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
Ah, but of course. No one really expects you to suddenly make Fluttershy form an Animal Alliance and Equestria Rescue Party. :D After all, that would kind of destroy the lonely and foreboding feeling you cultivate throu the first chapters of the story (until meeting Spike then Diamond Dogs, or the other way around). But I'm glad you noticed that her talents seem neglected slightly and will certainly await the moment when you make her use them some more. :)
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I reckon that animals can, at the very least, provide directions when Fluttershy is lost. Other things would likely come at the cost of a favour, but since neither Fluttershy nor the animals she speaks to will have all the time in the world to honour their commitments, even favours will be very light assistance - such as shelter.

The way I see it, the wildlife that hasn't fled from Equestria are just as focused on survival as any other living being. So they cannot spare much of their time without it inconveniencing them more than it is worth. Still, there should be some exceptions with specific animals.

Sorry, I'm pretty much brainstorming in the comment box :P
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:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012
Well, as for the wildlife usefulness, one would probably have to take into account the particular animal's size and its position in the foodchain, so to speak. Because I don't think a bunny, or a badger, or a friggin' butterfly could be of much help in a desolate wasteland (Fluttershy, however, would most definitely feel compelled to help them if such a need arose). And after she meets Spike (I'm not sure how far into the story that is), Fluttershy would not really need any other company to keep her sane. :P

So yeah, those vultures in the beginning were a brilliant touch, but the more I think about it, the harder it seems to be able to squeeze in similar gems. ;)
But I will leave the final word on that to your writing skills. :D

Heck, it's your story and your comment boxes. I should be the one apologizing for always littering your personal deviantart space with overblown comments. :D
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think the key isn't to look for another moment with the vultures - where the reaction the readers are expecting is not only subverted, but turned completely on its head in the process. That part was spur of the moment and probably worked because of how spontaneous it was when I wrote it in.

The more I think about the other avians I plan to include (which I mentioned earlier), the more I think that those two critters have great potential to help tie things together and support key plot points I have late in the story. So if there are next to no other interactions with friendly animals (which would be rare anyway, given the strong implication that Equestria is not safe for those kinds of creatures anymore), the interaction I do have planned could become a lot more than just addressing one of Flutter's talents.
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:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012
When you write "avians" I translate it to "griffins" for some reasons. :D
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"I read it this way because reasons."
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:iconnameleslight:
Nameleslight Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"haunting whispers in the of my mind"
That's quite impressive shading, and the mist look really mist-y too.
You've certainly improved quite a lot since you started with the series. ^^
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Egads! Errors everywhere!

I've always enjoyed shading, even when I was absolutely terrible at it and broke numerous rules regarding it (such as never shade with black, because shadows are not always black.) so I'm happy that I've improved on it over time.

I'll get to revising the story excerpt and fixing the mistakes I made. I was too tired to notice when I went wrong :S
Reply
:icondoughnutjoe:
DoughnutJoe Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012
:music:Through the mist, through the wood, through the darkness and the shadow.
It's a nightmare but it's one exciting ride.
Say a prayer then you're there at the drawbridge of a castle
and there's something truly terrible inside.:music:
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Guitar solo?
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