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The thick growth of the Everfree Forest harbors many secrets. Some, it shares with the adventurous souls that seek them out. Others are well-guarded for a reason.

Lyra Heartstrings, a graduate student in Canterlot University's archaeology program, is no stranger to discovering lost civilizations. When she finds a survivor from one, however, she begins helping him to restore his culture.

The question burning in the back of her mind is, "At what cost?"


This story was written as a commission for genuis101. We both know that the "Lyra and Humans" thing has been done to death, but I wouldn't have taken this project on if I couldn't breathe some fresh life into the trope.

Cover art is by Gaiascope. Follow him on Tumblr if you like his artistic style; you won't be disappointed.

Special thanks goes to my shrinking pool of pre-readers.

First Published
22nd Jan 2014
Last Modified
31st Jan 2014
#1 · 47w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

Really good start. Actually interesting and original for once.

First person, don't usually see that. I'm not sure how long the fic is going to be, but I hope epic length. This has potential.

#2 · 47w, 2d ago · · 14 · Chapter 1 ·

Cool can some one tell me how to make a story im trying i got the first part and now i cant type it. derpyderp2:

#3 · 47w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

>>3824770

It is just over 46k words, so more like... novella length. I plan on releasing a chapter every two or three days, to give people a chance to digest them.

#4 · 47w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

Curious commission piece. Never been one to jump on a "Lyra meets human" story, but I'd genuinely like to see where you take this one.

#5 · 47w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

I generally don't like HiE's, but I love your previous stories so I'll trust you.

#6 · 47w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

>>3824912

Chance of a sequel?

#7 · 47w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

>>3825134

I generally don't do sequels for commissioned pieces... but if there definitely were or definitely weren't, wouldn't saying that in the comments of the first chapter count as some sort of spoiler? :rainbowhuh:

:twilightsmile:

>>3825034

Lyra's a little different than Gilda, but I hope she grows on you the same way.

>>3824947

It's almost like the ending of the first paragraph is meta! :twilightoops:

#8 · 47w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

>>3825174

Yes. Still, just wondering.

Nice, you write commissions? Did he pay you for it :P? Or just ask you to do it?

#9 · 47w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

>>3825305

This was paid, but it doesn't mean I didn't enjoy myself while writing it.

#10 · 47w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

>>3825330

Nice. Well, either way, I'll look forward to the rest of this, however brief the story's going to be.

#11 · 47w, 2d ago · 4 · · Chapter 1 ·

"Lyra and Humans" thing has been done to death, but I wouldn't have taken this project on if I couldn't breathe some fresh life into the trope.

Seeing how you got da skillz to pay da billz, I'll see how this pans out. :twilightsmile:

#12 · 47w, 2d ago · 3 · · Chapter 1 ·

Ususally I have low expectations for stories about Lyra and humans; however, I completely trust  in your abilities to make something original with it. Im gonna read it and find out. :ajsmug:

#13 · 47w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

>>3825482

>>3825625

You guys are too kind. :rainbowkiss: No homo

#14 · 47w, 2d ago · 4 · · Chapter 1 ·

I don't read a lot of stories about humans interacting with ponies, for the same reason I don't read a lot of stories about humans interacting with anthropomorphic animals--a lot of the authors who write them are really supportive of the fictional species and alarmingly hostile to the real one. You've written good stories before, so I'll give this a watch and see where it goes.

#15 · 47w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

>>3825638

You earned the praise.

So far I think Im gonna like this. I really want to know for how long has he been in his task, and how old he really is. The fact that he is distant is another thing I like, I guess years of isolation can do that to a person.

CSMF

Mysterious! Gonna take a wild guess: Chaos Something Something Something?  I am going with chaos based on this:

“The Chaos War”

As usual, looking forward to the next chapter! :twilightsmile:

#16 · 47w, 2d ago · 7 · · Chapter 1 ·

>>3825708

Oh god I hate that!

"Humans are corrupt, crazy, warmongering monsters. And ponehs are beautiful, peaceful and the best thing ever. I hate humans!"

I just Ugh :pinkiesick:

#17 · 47w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

Reminds me a bit of 'The war of the fallen race'...

#18 · 47w, 2d ago · 1 · · Chapter 1 ·

>>3825034

I generally don't like HiE's, but I love your previous stories so I'll trust you.

>>3825625

Ususally I have low expectations for stories about Lyra and humans; however, I completely trust  in your abilities to make something original with it. Im gonna read it and find out.

>>3825708

I don't read a lot of stories about humans interacting with ponies <...> You've written good stories before, so I'll give this a watch and see where it goes.

I certainly agree. Normally I avoid [HiE] like a steaming turd.

(The fact that it is first person [HiE] is like a generous topping of soured milk). :pinkiesick:

My knee-jerk repulsion is tempered by the fact that Nicknack is writing this. If any one can polish this genre to a glossy lustre and make it interesting to read...

Let us see how far this rabbit hole goes. :pinkiehappy:

#19 · 47w, 2d ago · · 2 · Chapter 1 ·

I WANT MOAR

:flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage:

#20 · 47w, 1d ago · 1 · · Chapter 1 ·

Right off the bat, this has three things I really hate; Lyra and humans, first person, and commissioning.

However, I'm reading quite a few comments that say practically the same thing, but willing to give it a chance due to your reputation, not to mention that this first chapter is well done. Therefore, I shall also give it a chance.

P.S, a quick prediction; all of humanity was turned into ponies, and he's trying to turn them back.

#21 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

>>3824912 i read somewhere that most novels are from 20k-40k words so unless im mixing up the word novella with something like vignette i believe its longer

#22 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

>>3825638 yes,yes homo:coolphoto::trollestia:

#23 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

Pretty nice start. :pinkiesmile:

Oh, and also. (Can't help it)

Human after all. First thing I thought.

#24 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

>>3824912

It's almost like the ending of the first paragraph is meta! :twilightoops:

Last paragraph, more like. :raritywink:

But aye, it's one to keep an eye on. Being only the second first-person HiE story I've taken a chance with (the first being more than two years ago and a far more impressive story than expected). And of course I'd like to see the man behind Two Beats and The Farringtonverse take a stab at it.

#25 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

So when are you going to post the next chapter

#26 · 47w, 1d ago · 2 · · Chapter 1 ·

[insert Daft Punk song here]

#27 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

Oh, this is interesting.

One obervation, though. You seem to overuse semicolons.

#28 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 2 ·

>>3826287

>>3828509

So when are you going to post the next chapter

Right the hell now. :rainbowdetermined2:

>>3825896

I'll definitely give humanity a fair representation by the end of this. :twilightoops:

>>3827965

>>3828960

Hah, and now the social experiment portion of this story: to see how many Daft Punk references I can get in the comments section!

>>3829073

Overuse for your tastes perhaps, but I don't see a problem with them.

>>3828455

>>3825708

>>3825970

Thank you guys; and I hope again to not disappoint. :twilightblush:

#29 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

Well well well...

What have we here...?

You, sir, have my interest.

~Skeeter The Lurker

#30 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 2 ·

>>3826926 Post TCB survivor? :rainbowlaugh:

>>3824818 I'm replying to you out of pity because nobody else did. Please refer to the FAQ or contact a mod about it. Don't do it on a story's page.


I'm just glad that, by what Nick commented before, the story is already completed (or nearly so), so there is little-to-no chance of this ending up in the dark, lonely corners of abandonment.

#31 · 47w, 1d ago · 8 · · Chapter 2 ·

My god this is beyond impressive...

Chaos War?

I sense Discord in this mess...

Also...  I'm gonna wager that Jesse is...  Not exactly in it for pony-kinds best interest...

~Skeeter The Lurker

#32 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 2 ·

I'm calling it now,  Jesse is an android, and his nanites are the parasprites. The master plan is a massive mind upload to a planet wide super computer where everthing serves humanity, as it should be.

#33 · 47w, 1d ago · 1 · · Chapter 2 ·

>>3830257

Son of a... really?

I mean...

Kidding. :rainbowderp:

>>3830189

Hear, hear. Genuis wants it all posted by the end of February; I'm hoping to have it all out by the first week of February.

#34 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 2 ·

I for one always loved the 'Lyra/Humans' trope

...then again, I might be a tad biased. :derpytongue2:

#35 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 2 ·

>>3830406

Your avatar is a tiny happy Lyra. Tiny happy Lyras make everything better.

#36 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 2 ·

>>3830451 Make sure every Lyra picture comes with a warning, because they tend to unexpectedly melt hearts and other vital organs with sheer adorable radiation.

Also, you're paying for my medical bills once I get my heart transplanted. :trixieshiftright:

#37 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 2 ·

>>3829944 And thats all I ask. :twilightsmile:

Also you got feature box'd!

#38 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 2 ·

>>3830706

Heh, so I did. Fun times. :rainbowkiss:

#39 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 2 ·

Good start, interesting story and thank the holy titans not one of the typical self-inserts - earned a fav :)

And congrats for being featured on EQD!

#41 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 2 ·

I think that "the self-replicating nanomachines" collectively hold his personality within them, the irrational thoughts that makes Humans flawed but perfect: ranging from imagination, practical jokes to cheating at boardgames (we've ALL left the Battleship pieces off of our boards to win a game at some point in life, I know I did :raritywink:). Because he's running solely on Logic and 5% Illogic, he's imperfect from completing his plans overall.

#42 · 47w, 1d ago · 2 · · Chapter 2 ·

so, he's a robot and humanity got turned into ponies by discord and he's going to turn them back to save humanity?

#43 · 47w, 1d ago · 4 · · Chapter 2 ·

This guy is giving me a serious BORG vibe.  All his talk of unifying cultures to benefit both without asking if they want it.

#45 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 2 ·

>>3831116

Heh... I listened to that album many, many times during the writing of this story.

#47 · 47w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 2 ·

I gotta say, beautiful art, alright.

#48 · 47w, 1d ago · 7 · 24 · Chapter 2 ·

What utter trash.

#49 · 47w, 1d ago · 7 · · Chapter 2 ·

>>3831712

If you're gonna call it trash, at least give a reason as to why.

#50 · 47w, 23h ago · 2 · · Chapter 2 ·

Mmm, lots of big tech going on. I guess they can tap stars but drilling a second hole is beyond them. :rainbowlaugh:

Hope Lyra can sway this guy before he springs the unification on ponies in some backwards pseudo-version of TCB. Might be something to bring to the attention of the Princeses at the very least if Lyra can figure it out in time. Still, as Lya explained, sometimes ponies like their old trusty stuff and don't need new tech for the sake of it being new. I'd say, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink" but that might be offensive to ponies.

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