• Member Since 21st Dec, 2011
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Random_User


I love getting feedback and constructive criticism. Please feel free to comment. If you take the time to comment, I will take the time to respond.

T
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Swift Message has a good life. He has a job he enjoys, a home, and a mare he is lucky enough to call his special somepony. When he becomes aware of the changeling threat to Canterlot, he tries to warn those in power without drawing attention to himself. While his warning is heeded, the defenses readied against the threat prove to be inadequate with the appearance of Chrysalis. This is the story of his struggles to protect the mare he loves during the invasion, and the trials he faced after his identity was revealed during the final moments of the attack.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 78 )

It is so nice to find another Changeling in Equestria fic that doesn't have Celestia being an evil ruthless monster bent on exterminating the Changelings... though you did a good job of making Shining Armor an ass. I think the High Captain will want to speak with him, and by speak I mean beat the ever living crap out of him. You did good with this, we certainly need more fics like this. My only real complaint is Celestia having the ability to make Swift a pony, do you mean lock his form or actually changing his race?

I don't have time to read this, sadly, but I can look at your very first paragraph and nod in my this-is-pretty-good-story face. I will give you my little like, and wish you luck.

2021397 Thank you for the positive feedback! I didn't intend to make Shining Armor an ass. I can certainly see his point of view. His wedding has been trashed, his love was locked in a cave, he was played like a fiddle, and then he is faced with Swift's surprise. What a couple of days that must have been for him. I tried to soften the blow, and show that he was not being a jerk just for the the sake of being a jerk, with his hoofshake with Swift towards the end. I'm glad that I could write his part so that it conveyed that Shining was being really abrasive. Often, I'm not sure if I convey the emotions that I am trying to get across.

(!Possible spoiler warning!) I saw what you meant with the discussion of the change being a little unclear as to what it entailed. I went back an added just a couple of things so that explains the full extent of the effects it would have.

That was amazing

2021940
I understand why Shining acted the way he did, he still acted like an ass in front of everypony.

Storm Runner: That's for damn sure, I would have his flank running laps around the Tears for his action.

Hush Storm, not my story thus you aren't in charge.

2021963 Thank you very much! I was reading another story and it mentioned the warning about the threat on Canterlot. For reasons only known to the weirdly wandering and small detail focused parts of my mind, It struck me that the source of the warning was never revealed in the episode. I thought about who it could have been that warned the guard without being found out, and then this story would not let me be till I wrote it. I'm glad that you enjoyed it,

Quite nice and short story, but do it is the end or will it have another chapter ?

nice
but very fluffy

2022267 Thank you! I'm flattered that you would ask about a second part. Right now, I'm not sure if there will be a sequel. This story ambushed me while I was getting ready to do a major re-edit to my first story, To Fear the Sun. I typically work on a one shot, or a chapter for multiparts, for right at a week. In contrast, this story flowed out in three days. I may go back to my original plan of re-editing To Fear the Sun, and then see what I can come up with for a second part.

2021940>>2021397 I did not think he was being as an ass or jerk, at least not entirely without reason. He has suffered A LOT over the last few days and he's emotions are getting the better of him, as hinting when he and Swift Message made up at the end. He has every right to be distrusting and upset, though I do think his reasoning and feelings could have been fleshed out just a bit. And I agree with Paladin, it is SO much refreshing to see the kind, loving Celesita we all know regarding this topic.

2022496
I agree he had every right in the world to act the way he did, its just one does not act that way in front of your Command-and-Chief especially when said CnC keeps telling you to hold your tongue.

Epona and Gaea... I really do think we need to start a "Ponies aren't bastards" group... far too many fics making not just Celestia but all Equestriani monsters.

2022530 But again, people's emotions get the better of them, especially in situations like this. Yes, it's easy for us to look down on SA here, but you have to place yourself in his horseshoes to understand how he felt. If anything, his abrasive attitude here was considerably tame compared to what some writers do with him, Celestia, etc in these kind of stories. He may not have acted as professionally, but I can't condemn him for that.

I would be first to join that group.

2022640
You are right, I can't condemn him either.

... you're serious? Magic care to send me a PM about it, to see if we can work out the group.

2022678 Oh well, kinda. I mean, if such a group was to come up, I would join it sure. But okay I can note you.

2022697 Okay. If it comes up, I'll definitely join.

2022640>>2022530
I want to thank you both for your comments. I truly did not mean to make Shining look like a jerk at all. I added just a bit more to the hoofshake part to clarify that Celestia and Cadence were in on what was going on. I wholly agree that you would never go against your ruler like Shining did, and I did not intend for it to seem like he did. After looking back over the story with these comments in mind I saw that I did not do a good job in relating that there was a method behind his actions. I intended Celestia's talk about Swifts feelings to Shining before she cast the spell to be her subtle way of warning him that the spell might make things a little too intense if he was not careful.

Thank you both again, I think that these couple of changes to the story have made a huge difference.

2022700
Look for "Ponies aren't Monsters" and there it is.
2022721
You're welcome and I shall go and reread the story tomorrow morning

Worthy of a sequel :pinkiehappy:

2021963 Thank you! It's nice to know that my stories are liked. While I enjoy writing them, knowing others like them too really makes my day and helps me get through the times when I'm stuck in my writing.

2023619 Thank you for the high praise. I have never had a story that got requests for a sequel before. I didn't really plan on making another part, but if some solid ideas come together I might give it a shot.

2023666
I'd be more than willing to serve as a wall to bounce ideas off of for any future works! ^_^

I do admit, as another user said, having Celestia offer to change him into a pony forever seems a TAD...not out of character, but breaks the 'makes sense' feel of the fic. Maybe keeping the form physically, but not eliminating his need for emotion?
Other than that....
Fluffy and adorable, with a smattering of action. 10/10 consider this a formal request for a sequel :moustache:

I'm not sure I approve of giving Celestia the ability to turn another sapient lifeform into a Pony. Other than that, nice story. :twilightsmile:

2023666
Or, barring that, give him a cameo in a future story. If the guy can't pull off a full sequel, at least he can handle a subplot.

Well, other than pulling the "All-Powerful Celestia" card,this was extraordinarily well done. It is just a pet peeve of mine when Celestia is flaunted about as an infallible being of ultimate might. That is not your fault, that is how she is in the show. I just don't like it.

2024742 Thank you! I feel the same way about Celestia. She seems a little bit too much like a reusable deus ex machina solution character. One thing that I liked about the changeling invasion storyline is that it showed that Celestia had a blind spot to changeling magic, and she could be beaten. If Twilight can change a bird and a frog into an orange creature then Celestia can change a changeling into a pony, I would think. However, I’m sure it would come with a cost.

2024967 I did find it quite satisfying that Celestia lost. I suppose it makes sense that she could transform him, but there would have to be some serious backlash for changing the entire genetic makeup of a being through pure will. Perhaps he becomes an imperfect being that feeds off of the life force of others to extend his horrible life? Or maybe she is turned into a partial changeling and hilarity ensues? Probably something less silly than those.

A very nicely written piece but doesn’t really have a solid narrative, not enough of a dilemma and Swift doesn’t really overcome any major obstacles. He just went with the flow and everything turned out alright. It would make a nice prequel, prologue or opening chapter to a larger story though.

However there was one other thing that irked me quite a bit. It was Celestia’s offer to turn him into a pony. It seems fairly out of character for her to offer such a cheap way out of things and begs the question of what is to happen to the other Changelings? Are they to be assimilated into ponies as well? It sort of gives off the idea that Swift is one of few exceptions to the rule and all other Changelings are irredeemable jerks. That being a Changeling is somehow dirty.

I apologise if I come across somewhat strong saying this but it is a matter that lies close to my heart. If that is the story you want to tell and the message you want to say I cannot object. I only ask that if it is otherwise you choose your words more carefully.

I have been absolutely stunned by the reaction that this story has gotten. This was meant to be a one shot, fluff piece, and it’s gotten more attention than all my other stories combined. It is humbling to me for authors that I respect to give me helpful feedback like I have received.

In previous posts Celestia’s Paladin and Magic Man pointed out that I really made Shining Armor into an ass, which I had not intended. I went back and ironed a couple of things out in the story to better show that he was playing ‘bad cop,’ and was not just being a jerk.

With Dormagio’s, Scopeeva’s, RadBunny, and Starcat5's respective posts I realize that I did not do Swift justice as a character, and handed him a solution that was too soft, fuzzy, and easy. And one, which I agree now that I have had time to think about it, is not in character with Celestia.

I was not planning on a sequel when I wrote this. I didn’t really plan the story out that well, it just sort of came to me. Now with the marvelous feedback that I have gotten, I can not only improve this story, but have a wonderful boost for any follow up.

I have redacted the changing of Swift from this story. For those of you want the older version, PM me and I will sent it to you.

Thank you all for your feedback, and liking my story enough to think deeply on it.

2025786 Your post, along with ScopeEva's really made me think about the ramifications of simply having Celestia change him like that. I have redacted the changing part now, and it think it's for the best. I had not planned on making this a mulit-part story, but I can see it going that way. As you can tell, I did not really sit down and look at the impact that a couple of the parts would have if Swift and Grace's story continued.

Thank you for putting this much thought into my story, and giving me your feedback. It had helped me considerably, and I greatly appreciate.

2026160 There is no need to apologize at all! You have given great feedback, and it really made me sit my butt down an look more deeply at what I had written. I always appreciate constructive criticism, it is what allows me to improve. That is one of the reasons that I gave the plug to Authors helping Authors at the end of the story, my membership in that group has improved my writing more than anything else. I had not really planed to write this, but it came to me between projects and I quickly wrote it. The lack of planning has shown in a couple of spots. I have taken out the changing offer by Celestia, and I think it has improved the story quite a bit.

I did not intend to make the changelings, as a race or any other way, look like a vast collection of jerks. In no way do I think that they are dirty, or mean to convey that thought. One of the reasons I write in the first person is that I often wonder what it would be like to be that character, living in their world. While I enjoyed writing To Fear the Sun and Odds and Ends and Even Trades, this story was much more fun and interesting in some ways because of the possibility of seeing Equestria through the eyes of a changeling. They are neat in design, and they fascinate me on any number of levels. Do they only need emotions to live? Why can they not provide the emotions they need themselves? All sorts of questions come to mind, and I barely touched on just a couple with this story. I really did not think about the overall ramifications of the possible changing, and that was a major oversight on my part. With all the wonderful ideas and feedback that I have gotten, I'll just have to see where this goes.

I approve of changing that bit at the end. It felt like the lesson should have involved "We accept who you are", but it ended up kind of like "We'll tolerate who you are until we can change it."

This ending is just as tidy, but leaves a lot more leeway in terms of what can be done for sequels. This way he can show up in a side-story without being just an inside joke, encounter later conflicts, or (my personal favorite) something to do with a half-changeling child.

2028162 Well it’s good to know I helped. To be honest I probably am a little biased when comes to Changelings as they are one of my favourite things in the show. Having them portrayed as two dimensional monsters for use as a plot device seems like quite a waste of potential to me.

Though I still feel compelled to balance things out a bit. The idea of a Changeling is the one to send the warning to Canterlot has always appealed to me as fairly plausible, especially if they have any sort of individual diversity. It’s not original but it’s the first time I’ve seen it used as a major element.

Then there’s Shining Armour. Unlike others I say he has every reason to be so hostile so soon after such an invasion. Even if it isn’t the right thing to do it’s certainly the most naturel reaction to be hostile to a group that has just attacked you. However that aside his reaction did seem exaggerated so the ‘bad-cop’ roll still makes sense.

Just an idea, but building on that you could make a point about how Swift’s ability to read emotions has left him a little clueless to natural emotional reactions and excretions when cut off from that ability. The line ‘being invisible has a tendency to make one short sighted’ has always stuck with me. From Harry Potter if I’m not mistaken…

Anyway, thank you for the consideration and good luck with your next work. :twilightsmile:

Awesome story Random, I really liked your portrayal of the Changelings and their society, as well as the little back story of how Swift came to be the pony he is now. I thought it was well done and made me care more about the guy. I am also glad that Celestia was portrayed more as a wise leader and less "You attacked us so we slaughter you now" kinda thing I've seen in some other fics. Keep up the awesome job, I for one am going to be looking forward to your next work as well as keeping an eye out for more works with Swift in them :twilightsmile:

For the love of Celestia, it's 'soldier', not 'solider'!

I also felt 'maretial arts' was kind of a weak pun.

2050164 Thanks for pointing that out, I completely missed it!
As for the pun, I have no excuse. I just couldn't help it.

That was pretty darn moving.
I can't even remember a few grammatical errors here and there because of how beautifully written this is as a whole.
Take notes, other authors.
This is how you write a good Romance. And you don't even need immature sex jokes.

2129330 Thank you, that is high praise indeed. This was my first attempt at a story with any romance aspect to it. I'm glad I didn't foul it up.

2129330

Can I get a Eyyyup?
:eeyup:
Amen my good sir. :moustache:

asdfghjlbvkjherb*melt* I actually like this a bit more than Flitter. I wish you would write more on this, but it will still be one of my true favorites :pinkiehappy:

I curse the invention of the read later list. It just makes me put off good stories like this for months at a time...if not years as I think a couple stories are nearing on that accursed list.

Anyway...just wanna say: I enjoyed this.:twilightsmile:
Have a thumb.

Hope Swift and Grace do well, I'm sure they'll have some sort of adventure at some point.

This was a really good story. The fact that Princess Celestia had been warned of an attack but didn't know any of the details has been bothering me for a while, and I think you tied it up in the best way possible.

2518049 Thank you so much for the review! I'm flattered that you liked it, and that you had trouble filling in the cons section of the review. I had Curse of Coltinado on my reading list, and I will get to it as quick as I can. I know I'm going to enjoy it. I thought Dashing Do and the Unobtainable Item was a heck of a fun romp, and I instantly recognized your avatar. I cannot wait to see what you have done with Daring Do, as Colt of the West is one of my favorites. I have no doubt, the combination of that story line mixed with your writing is going to be great.

Well now. This premise sure looks familiar :rainbowwild:

I like the start, but the piece after that is bit too tell-y. Granted, it's just retelling what happened in the episode, so for anyone who saw the episode it isn't too exciting anyway, but I still think that instead of assuming the reader knows it all, you could've actually gone through the whole thing to show us his emotions throughout the whole ordeal.

“Since we don’t have the luxury of option one, we’re going to have to take option two.”

Kind of odd for him to say that, since he never actually voiced these options to her. Well, I guess he just likes thinking out loud.

"I had no clue that Chrysalis was going to try to overthrow Celestia."

Small detail... Chrysalis' name was never mentioned during the episode. So the fact that he knows the name of the invading creature should raise her suspicions through the roof right at that moment :trixieshiftright:

All of which was true.

I laughed at that :rainbowlaugh:

She slowly reached out her hooves, and began touching me, like a curious foal would.

This whole damn paragraph... gave me chills. Seriously. Wow. It reminded me of that scene from 'Hook', where the small kid pulls on Peter's face to get rid of the wrinkles, to recognize the young Peter Pan in him. Sublime.

“I therefore sentence you to two years of serving as the royal and lunar guard’s trainer in how to prevent changeling infiltration.” She mischievously smiled and added, “At your current salary, of course.”

Dammit. There goes his chance of getting a raise anywhere in the next two years :rainbowwild:

“and came out of the experience with a light sentence.”

Actually, just a change of job description :rainbowlaugh:

Overall, a very nice story. Its theme seems to hold the middle ground somewhere between "Flitter" and "Mendacity"... being about a pretty well integrated changeling, and about the warning before the wedding. The background lore isn't nearly as developed as either of the aforementioned stories, but seeing as this is just a short and sweet personal story, it doesn't really have to be, either.

Anyway... faved and upvoted :twilightsmile:

Some corrections:
> Complete with all the emotions and fears that goes along with that.
should be "that [go] along with that".
> what is going on in this situation. ”
Remove the space before the end quote.
> Not a solider
"soldier"
> you would act like your acting now
"like [you're] acting"

2518049
Graceful Lattice felt much better developed as character than Morning Rain was :twilightblush:
(it's one of the things I keep beating myself up about, tbh...)

2518049 You were the second person to mention Flitter. Thanks to your comment, I have read the story and was shocked at the similarities. Then I got a comment from the author of Flitter himself, which about made me pass out. He is obviously a much better writer than I am.

2520682 I saw that you favorited and upvoted my story, and I freaked out. I just read Flitter last night, and I loved it. It's amazing how similiar the stories lines are, but we came at the idea from such different directions. I cannot thank you enough for your help with the corrections, and your feedback. Thank you too, for being so kind as to not yell copy cat at my story. I truly did not know that your story existed, or I would not have attempted mine at all.

2521335

I truly did not know that your story existed, or I would not have attempted mine at all.

Well then it's a damn good thing you didn't know about it :ajsmug:

By the way... if you haven't already, be sure to check out Mendacity as well. It's an utterly different background lore than mine, going for the more classic fae world, but it's just as intriguing :raritywink:

I have a wonderful announcement to make! Thanks to the pointers, grammatical help, and contributions from all of you, I am happy to say that "A Swift Message" has been featured on the the site Equestria Confidential as the Read of the Week!

I cannot thank you enough. Without your help, my story would not be near the quality it is now. I appreciate you taking the time to read my tale, helping me improve it, and all the encouragement you have given.

Thank you!

not the first take on this idea I've read but that only highlights how this is definitely one of the better reads I've had. I love the interrogation scene, it felt very touching and true to life.

well... this was a very interesting read^^ I approve of this^^

Marvelous little story. Absolutely loved it.

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