Comments ( 64 )

I am intrigued. Very intrigued. It's odd how you could actually turn this into another massive epic, but Imploding Colon has you beat. :trollestia:

So, were you watching Saw or something?

This was rather morbid and very dark... Which is probably what you aimed for, I assume.

...I'm not even going to try and piece this one together.

~Skeeter The Lurker

devas #3 · Jun 17th, 2014 · · 5 ·


Isn't this tagged as Complete?
Also, I must respectfully say that I didn't like this story. It was too vague and without an understanding of what's happening it's near to impossible to be immersed in the story.

I have to say i'm impressed.

I didn't understand what was going on, but you managed to freak me out anyway.

This was highly psychedelic, very intriguing, very unusual, and almost completely incomprehensible. Have you been at the diesel oil again?

Hap #6 · Jun 17th, 2014 · · 1 ·

I have absolutely no idea what happened in this story.

Pieces of what? :derpytongue2: :rainbowhuh:

Or is the complete nonsensical nature of the task part of the point?

I... don't get it. Like... at all. I mean, I know what she did: collect the girls and Spike and give them some kind of burial but beyond that... what?

Sorry, Grorious Reader, but this one was too far out there for me. "The pointlessness is the point" isn't something that appeals to me.

If I'm reading this right, she was supposed to scoop up and collect the pieces of skull and brain matter from the previous victim and gather them up. Then she didn't do that.

I was just saying. If he didn't say, "You have two hours," it could have been an epic-length story easily just by that description. I haven't even read the story so far, and because you didn't like it, I now want to read it. XP

Wurd #11 · Jun 17th, 2014 · · 1 ·

Is the point that you are not supposed to understand, just soak up the words and piece them together?
Like your supposed to imagine it, not understand it.(There is a difference,)
Or is it something deep.Something beyond understanding?
Like Rainbow Dash is trapped in this dimension where nothing makes sense,yet it's so clear.
Or is exactly what it says: a disembodied voice, telling Dash to find the pieces and obey?

Saw was my first thought as well.

It was actually really cool to sort of make up a background story to explain what happened while reading. Awesome story telling as usual!

Well, that was...sad.

But I'm not entirely sure what happened. Something got control over the ponies, what remains of Equestria is enveloped in a dark, weightless void, and Dash, seemingly somewhat aware of what happened, decides to use the last remaining time she has of her own volition to gather the corpses of her friends and give them a viking funeral. Sad in and of itself, but I'm still not sure what has transpired. I have no idea what these pieces are, but my first guess is the Elements.

Her eyes wandered down to the pony's flank, spotting several translucent bubbles splashed against a gray coat.

Also, poor Derpy.:derpyderp2:

Hmm, this is . . . interesting, I guess. I'm not sure what to say about it. I could come up with a moral of this story easily, but it doesn't really excuse the fact that I don't know why any of this is happening and what the pieces are.

I could fathom a guess that the pieces are the Elements, and then I could draw a connection to why she burned her friends' corpses as not only a funeral but to stop whatever this thing is wanting, but there is just too little information.

However, I guess that was the point, no? Who knows. It was dark and chilling, and as many said, it reminds me of Saw.

Wow I both loved and hated this at the same time. Maybe hated is a bit too strong of a word. It was more that this story left me confused with way more questions than answers. What pieces? What happened to Equestria? Who's in control and what are their motives? Overall the visuals and gory details were fantastically terrifying and spectacular. The creepiness levels were through the roof. But mostly the whole thing lost me in a dark cave scared, alone and confused.

Cool job but some background would have made this outstanding.

How curious. Even so, I'm with everyone else- WHAT HAPPENED?!

Honestly, the fic is great, but backstory is vital to making this story work. Who's in control? What's happening? Who's the voice? Until I get an answer, I'm assuming it's the interrogator from Black Ops.

Yeah, I actually am. I can't think of anyone else, so I am.

Despite what everyone is saying, I can still certainly respect the message.
Rainbow, instead of trying to save herself, uses her last moments to honor her fallen friends.
Its enough to give a like, but not a favorite, seeing as how that is the only thing I really got from it. While I can certainly understand the concept of letting readers draw their own conclusions in regards to certain situations, this particular premise is a little too far out of understanding, considering we are given little to nothing in regards to what happened to make this bleak, depressing world. The lack of backstory of any kind will be enough to turn off many readers.

Comment posted by Learn for Life deleted Jun 18th, 2014

I'm with Timelord. She was depriving whatever had captured her, of what it needed. I'm sure the pieces were the corpses of the Element Bearers, and Dash was victorious :rainbowdetermined2: however, there's very little to support that assumption, it's purely on a thematic level and on the assumption that, whatever Dash was up to, she was victorious. That last glint of her eye as she lied to the thing… in your FAAACE horror scary monster stuff :rainbowhuh:

Consider the idea of tangible objectives, and put aside the vaunted Mystery Box and mysteriousness. It's okay to know what's going on, honest :ajsmug:

Ill toss in my 2c I guess...

I think the pieces are the elements, the bits that reside in the bodies of the ponies themselves (as popular fan theory goes). This intelligence, whoever it is, destroyed Equestria and scooped up pegasi survivors from Cloudsdale once they realised they needed the debris searched for the elements. I'm assuming they saved Rainbows body for Loyalty. Rainbow showed her ultimate Loyalty by finding and destroying their bodies so that this intelligence cannot win.

I'm probably wrong but whatever. I'm not usually a fan of super dark stories, but this was nicely done, Skirts.

That certainly was dark and bleak. :pinkiehappy:

I don't suppose I can add much speculation to what's already been said in the comments, except to say that I wonder if the entire world was demolished. I don't remember there being any mention of actual ground... just floating chunks of earth. That, and the lack of gravity. Though, what could pulverize a planet without incinerating the materials on its surface, I can't begin to guess.

I, for one, liked the ambiguity, and think that too much explanation would've softened the blow. The oldest and deepest fear is the fear of the unknown, the fear of what's beyond our understanding and control. It's not the monster coming through the open door that scares us, but the monster that might be on the other side of the closed door.

Sad, gruesome, but enjoyable nonetheless (maybe I'm just weird for liking dark stuff).

I, for one, really enjoyed the vagueness. Lets my mind fill in the blanks without taking away from the enjoyment. The fact that Rainbow didn't freak out at the entire situation makes me thing that either she was familiar enough with parts of it to know what to expect, or she is just that awesome at keeping her cool. And then it doesn't strike me as if she was intent in finding whatever pieces she was supposed to find, as much as just seeking out her friends, as if she already knew about their fates. It seems like she only felt her time was running short as long as she still had friends' bodies left to retrieve. I'll probably be turning this one around my head for a while.

On a "meta-fiction" level, this appears to be an exploration of Rainbow Dash undertaking a final courageous act of Loyalty, demonstrated through actions rather than speech or thought. In which case, it does this well; as an exploration of character only a bare minimum of setting the stage is required and that is exactly what has been provided.

On a "story" level, there is far too little context and too many unanswered questions for me to find this enjoyable. What are the pieces? Why only two hours? Why does a power that is capable of scooping Ponyville into a weightless void require pegasi to retrieve the pieces? Why not retrieve them itself? Are the pieces themselves unimportant, and it's the act of finding and retrieving that is?

In trying to puzzle out the answers to these questions, it becomes a little nonsensical and distracts from the Rainbow Dash character exploration, which I feel is the strong point of the fiction - a little too much noise that's hiding the signal.

That said, it's thought-provoking enough for me to give it an up-vote.

The Ponytrician.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the how and the why of Rainbow Dash getting into this situation are ultimately unimportant to the story.

What happened to the world?
Who did it?
How did Rainbow Dash avoid the fate that befell her dearest friends?
Why can't whatever it is go get the pieces itself?
Does this strange tormentor know that Rainbow is the Element of Loyalty? (Personally, with how casually it destroyed her I would have to believe it didn't. Or perhaps the elements were never it's goal at all and her connection to them was unimportant.)

All of these questions, while certainly interesting, are meaningless because the real story is in Rainbow's choices. I feel as thought the purpose of this piece was to showcase Rainbow's character. To show that even in this impossible and hellish situation where something other has near complete control over her fate she is still unwaveringly loyal to her friends and herself, even unto death.

What's really interesting to me is that line from the antagonist "Did you even find them?" and how depending on your interpretation of "them" the story can change. Basically, is it talking about the pieces or the bearers? Rainbow's thoughts as she answers seem to point to "them" meaning the bearers. She seems to have some understanding of what this thing wants from her given that she was never confused by its demands, If we assume that Rainbow had some prior knowledge regarding what was expected of her then it's possible she made the decision to die even before the story started. Determined to keep what was left of her friends from being used by this monstrosity she destroys their remains in the last act of rebellion left to her. When she answered no and if in this case "them" is her friends then here she makes the final confirmation of her death and takes the knowledge that this things quest will go eternally unfulfilled into darkness with her. Thus frustrating whatever ultimate plan this thing might have had even though it seems as though her entire world is already forfeit.

Now then, what if we assume that "them" is referring to the pieces? That could mean that it doesn't know or care about the bearers or even that whatever it's after isn't the elements at all. Again, its casual destruction of Rainbow Dash suggests that either it didn't know or didn't care that she was one. I suppose it's possible that even dead it could take what it needed from her body if indeed it did need something from the bearers. But it seemed to pay no more attention to her remains than it did to those of Derpy. It simply used her as an example for the next pitiful bastard. This is an important distinction as here her decision to destroy her friends remains is an entirely personal one and has nothing to do with stopping whatever it is. While I don't doubt that there would have certainly been an element of this in the first case, here it would be the only motivating factor. One last action of her own choosing before the end. In this case as well she might have chosen death before the beginning of the story. Given the choice of helping the thing that had destroyed everything she cared for or death I would think she would chose the later. Her one last act of loyalty to her friends being sending off their bodies before she inevitably joins them. Perhaps a slightly different shade of loyalty here than in the first case. Looking at it this way it could mean that her thoughts as she was questioned was just her looking back on things and really had no significance to what the thing wanted after all.

Edit: This came to me right after I posted
A third option presents itself that could be an amalgamation of my previous two. If we assume that the thing is after the Elements it's entirely possible that it doesn't really understand what they are. It could be looking at them like some simple magical artifact. A thing that can be easily taken. This would help explain why it gives no special significance to Rainbow as she is just one of many disposable means to an end. But Rainbow knows what the elements are and the connection she and her friends have to them. So fearing that whatever it is might eventually figure something out from the bodies or just that it would desecrate her friends remains in the attempt she makes the decision to destroy them. Obviously she isn't given a choice as to whether she wants to be sent out to search but she uses that opportunity to destroy any chance this enemy might have had of understanding the elements and takes the knowledge of that to her grave.
End Edit-

It's late, this is way more than I've ever written for a comment and most of it is almost defiantly rambling nonsense so I'll finish quickly.

Good one Skirts, I really enjoyed it. The brutality here was more than I expected based on the other stories of yours I've read but it's well done and fits the story nicely. You handled it in a straight forward way that makes it all the more chilling than it might have been otherwise.

Ah one last thing, I believe that the title of the story "Tethered" refers not to the literal tether connecting Rainbow and her tormentor but instead the strong and enduring connection she has with her friends even after they are gone.

I like the idea behind this, but I didn't really actually like it much as a pony story; it reminds me of The Cough in that respect, as it is an interesting idea for a story, but it doesn't really seem like it gained anything by involving ponies.


It's been a year and then some since I read that tale, but it really is the perfect analogue. The tale is well-written, yet ultimately pointless in its inclusion of ponies; there is nothing here that couldn't be done in any other universe where the bodies would be recognizable in some way. And while even with a 'why' it could no doubt take place in other realities, the 'why' becomes more important here.

Interesting, but...I do not know.

Well, that was certainly something alright.

Hehe, thats what I thought at first too.

I get it! ...I don't get it...


THANK you. Everyone is going on about 'how deep' this is, but... It was just wasted time for me.

Interesting... reminded me a little of Jeff VanderMeer's 'Annihilation'. Good though.

Ok, not bad. I think even if someone doesn't like the story they would have to admit that it was pretty well written. I liked it, thought it was worth the read, but that's about all. I see two interpretations of this story. One is that the pieces are the Elements bodies. If this is true then I think it's very plausible that Dash did what she did to both honor her friends and spite the evil power. Sadly, the next guy in line is royally boned:twilightblush:. Sorry buddy. Second interpretation is that the Elements aren't the pieces. This would explain why the thing didn't think that Dash was more valuable than Derpy, or go out of its way to preserve the other Elements on its rampage. This also shows that Dash was more inclined to honor her friends than to help that evil thing. Or she didn't even know what the pieces were. I mean, come on, Jigsaw gives better instructions than find the pieces.

So I guess it all comes down to lack of background, allowing us to infer whatever we choose. I honestly wish there was backstory so I could just know why, but at the same time it would take away from the 'watching as it happens' feel, which gives the story more intensity.

My theory?
Equestria, or at the very least Ponyvile, has gone "splody" in a weird and deeply traumatising way...
the only survivors being the ones who were absent at the time..
"Voice" seems to be acquiring pegasi to grab the pieces (of Ponyvile) in order to rebuild it...
Dash, who seems to be suffering from survivors’ guilt, believes this is equal to tomb robbing and just wants to leave her friends to their rest... or at least prevent their bodies being misused..


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Wow! Skirts, that was an awesome story. Dark, sad and completely in character for RD. Well done! :fluttercry:

Cryptic. I can't help but suspect that one of the purposes of this story is to see how we react. We're left floating in uncertainty, with only a zero-G Viking funeral to light our way.

Don't get me wrong, I liked this story. It's Dash at her best, defiant and loyal to the end. But I suspect that she didn't even look for the right "pieces." Maybe this is actually some sort of psychological test; it isn't the goal but the journey the mysterious voice is judging. What that means for Thunderlane, I have no idea.

In any case, it was certainly interesting. Thank you for it, though I hope you explain what you were going for at some point.

My mind hasn't been this filled with 'what' since I read Double Rainbow. But after thinking about it a bit, it really works. The more I think about how things could have ended up that way, the more my mind fills in the blanks on its own with ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING images. And I get the feeling you intended it to be that way. So good job, SS&E.

Well, that was fucked up.


Really awesome, skirts. Not often do I see a story where the lack of explanation works in the story's favor. I'd love to discuss this with you, but...
Like and favorite for now.

That really cheered me up.

An excellent Psychological Horror.

An excellent show of friendship.

Badass description.

Badass Rainbow Dash.

An awesome ending.

Cheers for this Story.

'...the end is never the end is never the end is never the end is never the end...'

So apart from exploring Rainbow's character a bit, this story was pretty much just sad for the sake of sad.
First story from SS&E that I actually dislike.

This had a kind of Saw and Silent Hill feel to it.

I love ambiguity when it's done right. The author just lets the reader drift about in their head in thought, pondering the goings on in the story. All it takes is a few more simple nudges and the readers imagination takes hold and sends them to far more horrifying places than even the author intended. It is wonderful. Simply wonderful.

Rainbow had an hour to stew as she flew about in nowhere. That is a lot of time to
contemplate the situation. Did thoughts of vying for freedom even come to her? Did fear entrap her soul? Did she have any hate in her heart? An hour is such a long time, yet not nearly enough to think. It was very good show to make the reader wonder this for themselves.

I do have to wonder what Derpy would have gone for to bring back. Muffins? Dinky? The Doctor? I think everypony went for someone or something they held dear, thinking those were the pieces that were asked for, otherwise bringing things that might be valuable like bits or food.

Or maybe the thing they were suppose to find was freedom. Maybe find a way to get loose from the yoke. Maybe find the limits of being shackled down and try to snap it at that point.

...I'm still trying to comb this story for a cat-pony reference of some sort. I am most certain they are there.

Everyone has their own theories or their own critiques on the vague and dark nature of the story. Two points I see that are most agreeable are the characterization of Rainbow Dash and the theme of loyalty in this bizarre scenario. For what her actions meant in symbolic sense, Rainbow Dash succeeded in giving her friends a proper goodbye. It does not take too much context to realize that, and that is the gem of this story.

But then again, I am no fan of vagueness when it is deployed with almost no explanations from the author whatsoever. The whole situation, especially the ending, is so dark and gory without any sort of prelude to justify the atmosphere and tone. The plot is an attempted dive into surreal horror, but I cannot see anything - no mystery, no substantial hints, no reason to care - in this abyss of ambiguity.

There is a lack of narrative tools and devices for a reader to make a reasonable interpretation - a big mistake when writing an abstract piece.

I feel like there was meant to be a deeper meaning and a sublime feeling that would be left with the reader once the story ended, but it never surfaced. I was not shown the layers, and thus, I was left out of the intent.

I don't get it. You know, like the other commenters.

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