• Member Since 15th May, 2014
  • offline last seen Sunday

Maran


Earth pony enthusiast

E

Years have gone by, and Smolder comes to the unsettling conclusion that her friends are running out of time in this life. But Smolder won't stand for this! She considers her friends to be her hoard, and a dragon and her hoard are not so easily parted.

Written for The Discovery - A Young Six Writing Contest.

Inspired by Ultra-the-HedgeToaster.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 27 )

I like the concept, but I feel like Twilight wouldn't take it as lightly as she seemed too. Also, the other five have lives outside, and while losing a loved one is painful, I view it as almost a necessity to grow and mature. I understand Smolder's hoarding instinct, but I didn't really expect the other five to be as on board as they were-they're throwing away their entire lives for something that seems a bit superficial. Don't get me wrong, I understand motives and such, but it seems kind of hasty.

10076363
I kinda have to agree. I'm not altogether against the concept, but I agree that this shouldn't be something just hastily rushed into. It might seem like a good idea now, but a few years down the road, the novelty might wear off. So I do feel like all creatures involved should've at least put a bit more thought into it, or taken Twi up on the offer to be dragons temporarily, get a feel for it, and then decide if they really want to make it permanent or not.

And even then...there's something to be said about the moral of accepting the loss of loved ones when their time finally comes, because it still will, and frankly it's a little selfish of Smolder to try and fight it, even if her friends are all onboard with it too. And just because they're dragons now doesn't mean they can't still be taken away prematurely--they're not any more immortal now than they were before, just longer-lived...assuming all circumstances allow them to live the healthy lives required to get that far.

Personally, I think there's an even better story to be had in Smolder having to learn to let go and move on regardless and accept reality for what it is, rather than just dread and focus on all the negatives of it because it needn't all be negatives necessarily. It's a lesson I feel some fellow bronies could stand to learn themselves when these sort of subjects come up. But that's just me.

All said, the story certainly isn't bad. But it felt it would've only benefited from fleshing out these points a bit more than it did. :twilightsmile:

10076753
If one fights furiously to prevent one's death from cancer, is it that much different to fight furiously to prevent one's death from cell death?

10076831
I'm not so much saying we all should give up and embrace death, I'm just saying everybody has their time no matter what, and I think it's part of life learning to accept that and move on from it. I would've liked it had the story addressed that a bit more than it did. But I digress.

10076753
I agree, plus there's the matter of the others' children, grandchildren, etc., as well as any other friends they have now or will have in the future. Are the five of them supposed to outlive their descendants? Are they supposed to watch their other friends die away? Are they supposed to ask of them to become dragons in order to maintain the same relative life expectany they would have had if they hadn't gone through the transformation? And if they do, what about their families and friends? Either it would cause some very awkward and hard-to-face situations for many of them, or it would potentially start a chain reaction in which everycreature would eventually become dragons (okay, not likely but it's 1 AM and I'm not in the mood for thinking up a more detail explanation), or something else would happen which would show that this was a bad idea. Having Smolder turn into a pony (or some other creature with similar lifespan) might have been less drastic (for lack of a better word), but still far from ideal. She should learn to accept death as part of life and realize that she isn't limited to her five friends and won't have to be alone after they die; all she'd have to do is make new friends.

10076953
It makes me think of a fic I read ages ago, long enough that I can no longer recall the title, in which Twilight faced the same issue with her own friends and decided to fix it by making them alicorns. This then led to the same thing happening as you describe--soon everybody and their brother were being made alicorns so to "cheat" death, and the story then proceeded to very seriously explore all the potential ramifications of this. It was an intriguing concept, but I walked away from it feeling like it sort of missed one of the biggest lessons of life--how to deal with death, accept it, and move on, remembering thereafter those who had died for who and what they were.

Luckily, I don't feel this fic has that same problem, I just more think it's opened a can of worms it hasn't thought all the way through and is potentially unprepared for all of the aftermath that could follow such an event.

...of course, I suppose one could always explore that more in a sequel... *shrug*

10076856
Sure, but if there's an option to avoid death, why not? What is everybody's "Time on Earth"? 70 years? 100? 150?

Is it "Congrats, you've reached 80, you're time is up"?

10077033
Maybe. 80 isn't so bad an age to die at. :twilightsmile:

Part of what makes life special is that it's only temporary. If it instead just goes on forever, then big whoop. Besides, from the realist perspective, death, as tragic as it is, is still necessary as it helps regulate populations and ensure there is never more than there is room or resources to provide for, at least in this imperfect realm of ours. If there was no death, not even the universe would be big enough to support us all before long.

And even if we just have a select few overcome death but not all, then that still raises the question of why does one get to escape death, but not the other. Why can one live but the other die?

It's not a matter you can just hastily rush into, because, like it or not, there are consequences that come with it.

10077044
So what, if you see someone's who's still perfectly healthy at 81, you're going to arrest them for exceeding The Limit? I personally think 200 years would be enough. And really, assuming there's an average of couples having 2.5 children, population is never going to stop growing. Its far more likely that, like when baby death was no longer so prevalent as several centuries ago, the birth rate will also slow down a lot. When China's population was getting too big, they implemented a 1-child rule. The whole sudden over-abundance of males and female-infantcide aside, they were able to reduce the population. A society with a lot of longer lived beings will also likely heavily encourage having children much later in life. Its extremely unlikely society will continue the way it is if life expectancy increases.

Also I'm pretty sure there's a few turtles and micro organisms that literally don't die from old age, only from predation and disease. In a clean environment, and a steady supply of food, they basically never die. Others are just absurdly long lived, like some whales, which can reach 200, with the population around 100 years old on average. Natural death barely is a concern for them.

There are also several tree species that are multiple centuries old, and forests aren't exactly overpopulating the planet. They just reproduce very slowly. There's an entire list of trees that are easily 1000+ years old. For the most part, animals don't even reach natural death, the most common cause of death in the wild is from disease, starvation, or predator attack.

As a final note, I never said No More Death. I only advocate against cellular death. If you're still perfectly healthy and have a giant bucket list of things you want to do, arthritis and deteriorating muscles shouldn't be the things stopping you.

Of course, this is all assuming I don't hate myself enough to see 40

10077098

So what, if you see someone's who's still perfectly healthy at 81, you're going to arrest them for exceeding The Limit?

Oh no, no, no, I think we misunderstood each other here. I thought you were asking "if I knew I would die at age 80, if I would be okay with that" when you were more asking "once everybody reaches age 80 they gotta die," and no, I don't mean that, of course I don't mean that.

When China's population was getting too big, they implemented a 1-child rule.

Yes, which China's population has long since disputed, but China's government isn't exact a democracy, so...

Basically, it's the same as your "Limit" on age you began by mentioning--if you see someone who's still perfectly healthy and capable have two children, you're going to arrest them for exceeding The Limit? It goes both ways on that too, y'know.

Others are just absurdly long lived, like some whales, which can reach 200, with the population around 100 years old on average. Natural death barely is a concern for them.

But they still die, at the natural end of their lifespans. Theirs is just longer than some. To them, dying at age 200 would be no different than us dying at age 80.

Further, those long-lived species you mention are also far fewer in number than humanity, AND have predators or other factors that keep them from reproducing out of control, so they aren't exactly in danger of overpopulating.

This is starting to get real deep into this subject more than I think either of us are really equipped for, especially as not even science has a straight answer on this (I've checked)...but I will remind that for every action there is a corresponding reaction, and trying to "cheat death" even just temporarily is no exception. I have no issue in trying to help people live longer healthier lives, but I also know that death is still inevitable, and I'd like to think I'll be brave enough to face and accept it when it ultimately comes for me.

I think that's the real issue I have with the story here--Smolder wasn't brave enough to face death. So she chose not to.

10077136
(ok, now that I've actually read the fic :V)

Its quite interesting to consider the question of whether having immortals on a planet is good or not when there's an entire species, maybe several, of immortals that already exist on the planet. None of the dragons, assuming they stick together, have to really worry all that much about their fellow dragons dying in the next century. Or five.

10076968
The fic you're thinking of is 'The Great Alicorn Hunt'. Good premise of that one, but the political agenda that was shoved in lowered its quality.

Anyway, I'm not here to dispute the idea of cheating death or argue about it. The story was good for what it was. I like the idea of the Young Six turning into dragons. You could make a series of stories where the Young Six explore the advantages and disadvantages of each other's species by transforming into each of them for one week per species. The designs would look pretty cool.

Smolder's conflict is a sympathetic one, and I'm glad she found a way to have more time with her friends.

10077244
True, and I agree--the fic is still good for what it is. Buuuuut I still would've at least made mention of these other points and discussed them a bit even if the end outcome was still the same, because they're still valid points to consider. But, again, that's just me. :twilightsmile:

As for "The Great Alicorn Hunt," I tried searching for it on the site just now so to verify but couldn't find it--is it not on this site anymore?

10076363

10076753

10076953

I don't want to argue point by point because I don't want to be That Guy (or girl in this case), but I will address a couple of issues raised:

1) There is already a glut of fanfics about Twilight learning to deal with the loss of her friends, and I didn't have anything new to add to the topic. Also, in my headcanon Smolder isn't the Element of Generosity or the Pillar of Bravery, so she wouldn't do the most selfless and courageous thing.

2) I would have liked to address the particulars of the other Young Five's children and other loved ones and how they came to terms with this change, and whether or not they eventually decided to become dragons as well, but as the deadline loomed, I ran out of time. But keep in mind that this situation doesn't exactly correspond with anything in the real world because they have a sapient species whose natural lifespan is at least 8 times longer than most other species - probably closer to 25 times longer if Torch was a full grown adult in the time of the Pillars. To Smolder, her lifespan is "normal" and the others are unnaturally short. She'd not only lose her friends, she'd also have to go through that grief again and again with their descendants.

“Oh. I thought you were Garble.” There was a pause as Smolder walked deeper into the cave. “But it's still a valid question.”

This says so much about her relationship with her kids. I love it.

See, my friends are all grown up and raising their own replacements, and I'm still barely older than a juvenile!

I'm not sure what I like more here, the very draconic view of shorter-lived races' offspring as replacements or the semi-explicit use of D&D dragon age categories.

...and only ponies can become alicorns, so that's not an option for anycreature besides Sandbar

Putting aside the question of what exactly Sandbar might do to ascend. Maybe hatch a world-turtle.

A fascinating twist on the usual immortality blues, and some great character interaction between Smolder and her mother. By dragon standards, it was almost sappy. Thank you for this.

10077301
Unfortunately not. From what I understand, the author had a big argument with the mods here and moved all his fics to other archives as a result. If you search other archives or TVTropes, you'll find it.

10078127
*does that*

Huh...actually that's not the fic I was thinking of anyway. The one I was thinking of was set in the future, where all the Mane 6 (except Twi) are getting all grey and wrinkly, among other things, and Twi and Celestia spend most of the story debating to make other ponies alicorns or not to make other ponies alicorns before basically ignoring each other and both going to do their own thing anyway...

Oh well, it's not a big deal anyway. The only thing I'd probably want to do is review what, if anything, I had commented on it, as I dimly recall mentioning all of this whole subject there then too. :twilightsheepish:

Here is why making the Mane 6 all alicorns is a really stupid idea. Applejack probably would outright not want any part of it. Plus she'll probably live a long time anyway. Freaky Apple Family genetics and all that.

Rainbow might want it, but I can't see her abandoning Scoots like that. Unless Twilight also makes her an alicorn too.

Rarity would want it. But what the fuck does she know about know about ruling? And I mean that in the real sense, not whatever fantasies she has in her head. Plus I can see her being the one to try and overthrow Twilight when the power goes to her head.

Do I need to explain why alicorn Pinkie Pie is unhealthy for the entire multiverse? Equestria would be better off with Chthulu.

Fluttershy is the only one I can see being the only safe choice. Not only can she keep Twiggles sane for all eternity. But she is also the only one to not go insane in the whole series, for one reason or another.

All this is probably why Twilight never actually did make them like her in the show. And if she is as smart as she thinks she is, she won't do it now.

Or the girls wise up when she does it here, and reject making it permanent.

Be fair Twi. If they decide later that it was a mistake they literally have centuries to work out a solution.

10078046
Thank you! It was fun to get inside the dragons' heads for a change.

10079372
That's a great point.

10078254

A better solution would be not making Twilight an alicorn in the first place. Then, the issue of lifespan would not even have emerged because it wouldn't be relevant. It was unnecessary to begin with.

10129075
I am not getting dragged into any anti Twilicorn horseshit. I just think making the rest of the girls alicorns isn't worth it.

An interesting idea with a lot of good lessons, characterization, and prose. However, I feel it was a little rushed near the end. I'd like to see a continuation, maybe one that explores if some of the characters decide to back out or change their mind. Maybe there is another long-lived or everlasting species that they would like to be. Like, maybe Sandbar wants to try for Alicornhood. You clearly have a knack for handling topics like this a mature and comforting way. Thank you for writing this.

10211272
Thanks. A lot of other people seemed to like the concept, but thought it was rushed. I probably should write a sequel that takes its time to explore the consequences of the Young Six's decision.

10213211
Yes, yes! Please let the sequel flow! I'd read the heck out of it.

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