• Published 1st Apr 2014
  • 14,944 Views, 1,427 Comments

Puppets of Tragedy - Iridescence T Wind

We all know the story, human from earth goes to Equestria from buying a mystical prop from a mysterious unnamed salesman to attend Comicon. But what you didn't expect was the prop to be a puppeteers crafting kit.

  • ...

PreviousChapters Next
Pulling Some Strings

I woke up to the minor headache. The type of headache that was accompanied with a backache as I had fallen asleep, having nearly finished with my project. It looked fantastic though, and the only smaller fine details was the small circular bolts I had left to carve symbols into around a semi circular rim that framed around the skull decorated shield. As I stirred my attention was gained and I came to full awareness as I realized who I had carelessly passed out around. Namely the black and white griffin that had 'sworn' her contract to me.

"Someones awake." Came the voice from behind me, turning around I could see the griffin in question cooking... something... on a spit with a campfire, "Mornin' boss."

I blinked, "Uh..." I said, thanking my brilliant brain for coming up with a semblance of an intelligent comment.

Great, almost forgot to mention, I'm not much of a morning person. This is evident as I shambled around to sit down near the campfire Amber had made, though where she got the wood was making me draw a blank. I was pretty sure there wasn't any wood near the top of the mountain. And in order to get wood in any sort of timely manner you would need... Oh right. She had wings.

Resisting the urge to mentally slap myself, I managed to work out a single word instead of a zombie level groan to properly respond, "Morning..."

She chuckled, and I did my best attempt at a death glare, which probably came out as a groggy questioning look. The proof was in the laughing intensifying. "Not a morning person, I take it?"

I blinked one or twice before responding slowly, "Not really... More of a night person..."

"So, your more of a star person than a sun person?" She asked, and I nodded.

"Yeah, what's it to you?"

Amber rolled her eyes, "Oh, just striking up conversation, more of an evening person personally. Stars too dark on a new moon, Sun too bright on a summers day. Twilight, Twilight is just right."

She turned back to her cooking and I sat there staring into the fire for a few seconds before she started the conversation up again, "Now that your being a bit more talkative, mind explaining what the thing on the amulet is? Doesn't look like no skull I've seen before."

I sighed, "No one would believe me if I told them anyway, so don't bother."

"Shoot." she said, "And here I was thinkin' that you were finally openin' up a bit."

She turned the spits she had around to cook the other side of the lizards, "How about this, I'll give ya one of my lizards for breakfast if ya answer a question I have about ya."

I considered it, either get my own breakfast from the nearby nest after putting on the Aku mask again and then cook bird and eggs in front of a half bird half lion mercenary, or answer a question and save myself the hassle? Well, brain, with you being slow, and my stomach being just short of growling at me, having skipped the dinner the night before while working details onto the Rosarie. Might as well answer a question, after all it might just "Fine, but it can't be on the topics I've already said no to."

She sighed before pausing to consider her question, "Fair enough. What's the plan for today?"

"Your going to need to write a list." I told her, "First, finishing the two projects on my desk. Which is then followed by number two, base building. Third is visiting ponyville, and that about sums it up."

"Visiting ponyville?"

"I need to scout around the area, formulate some things, and frustrate a certain librarian." I told her, "Besides, its a perfect opertunity to build some rep. As such, we might also end up having a secondary objective, but I'm not sure what it will be yet."

"Ah." was her reply, as she passed over a lizard on a spit, apparently it was done cooking, and after watching where she took a bite, I took a bite of mine as well.

"So. What else?" She asked, "Considering that its going to be ages before you turn anywhere into a, 'base'. Especially by yourself. Besides, how are you going to achieve that oh 'Shapeshifting master of evil'? "

I couldn't help but grin between bites, "That's only Aku." her confused look urged me to continue, "The form you fought, his name is Aku. And the mask I had you grab a jewel for yesterday is going to help."

"Pardon? How's a bunch of foam going to help you with construction?" Oh right, she saw me construct it, oh well.

"You'll see." I told her, "Things are not always as they appear young grasshopper."

She deadpanned, "And how old are you?"

"Uh... Twenty five? Why?"

"I'm a year older than you."

Drat, well there went that, I rolled my eyes, well I assumed they rolled, what with them being two blue balls of fire and all, "We are still young."

She rolled her eyes and continued on with her meal, as did I.

"So what are you?" She asked me suddenly.


"Your race that is," she asked, "Your clearly not Equine, the flat face mask sort of gives that away, and you have hands and feet unlike any pony, griffin, or minotaur I've ever seen."

Oh right, I lacked a snout or beak. Well that just made things harder, "Uh... Magic?" I replied, trying to dissuade this line of reasoning.

She however saw right through it, "So mind removing the mask and showing me what you are then?"

I shook my head, and she sighed, My response was incoming as my brain was a bit more alert now that I've eaten something, "A secret's worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept. In this case, that's one that must be kept from everyone."

"Whatever." The griffin brushed it off, rolling her eyes, clearly annoyed with my withholding of information still.

If she thought that was bad, I'd love to see her try and pry into my childhood, it was an unwritten rule for me not to speak of that to anyone else aloud anyway. I stretched, and went back to my workshop, taking up the tools I had left all over the table and resorting them back into their ordered places before resuming my work. I nodded to her as she eventually came over and asked, "So what are you planning on doing with all those bits of foam again? I mean, as much as it is lightweight, that's hardly going to block a spear."

"It is not the material that is important, it is the memory behind the appearance." I answered cryptically, gluing the new amber into the unfinished mask. It practically started glowing in the morning light after I had inserted it into the mask, and I was going to spend the time while the glue dried to finish the rosary's final details and the last layer of paint.

"Long term plan? World domination or?" Amber asked, and I rolled my eyes.

"You know how cliche that sounds?"

"Well, assuming that until told otherwise." Amber smirked, chewing on a well cooked lizard on a spit, "After all, most my contracts usually have one hair brained scheme after another to rule the world."

"Really now?" I questioned, if only to keep this conversation going, "And have any of them ever end up in this situation with you?"

"Nah." She replied, leaning back against a cave wall, "Most people don't have a face that can absorb crossbow bolts and spew them back out at me without being phased by it."

"Hah." I chuckled, "Or the ability to shoot lasers from their eyes I bet."

"Oh you'd be surprised." she smirked, "Some certainly had the ability to do that with their horns, or glares that might as well be shooting ya with one."

I set aside the rosary, checking how the gem was holding up with being glued in, satisfied I summoned one of my two marionette dolls, admiring how it loomed over us, almost two times taller than I was naturally.

Now if the laptop was right, all I had to do was do the same processes as though I was going to wear the new mask myself, but instead setting it over the puppets head. I slipped the mask over my puppet, thinking about everything that I knew about GLadOS and aperture science, from the thrilling campaign to the witty dialogue between the resident insane AI's. What drove Caroline to insanity, and what Cave Johnson did to grant her immortality at a cost. I shuddered a sigh, as the mask activated. sending tendrils of machinery into the ceiling as the body of the machine itself sprang into existence, its power over construction rapidly changing the environment around itself.

"What in Equestria is that?!" I heard Amber squawk as the machine rose itself to the ceiling at my direction, a simple flick with a mental order, and the floor and walls shook. Panels began to break through the stone walls as if it was only the surface layer, where once was crude uneven stone, panels of metal, were rooted, standardized black portal proof surfaces, and around the exit a slow wall built itself up made of more of the articulated joints as they stacked upon themselves like a colony of metallic rectangular ants before melding themselves in place, their construction being mirrored on the opposite side as well to provide a smoother appearance on both sides. I then juggled the broken segments of stone out of the room, each tile operating as a springboard to catapult shattered rock outside of the cave, leaving us with one large almost empty room only divided by the dragon's hoard deeper in.

"This, is Glados, another tragic villain created from circumstances that were beyond her control. Mistress of machinery I believe that this world hasn't ever seen, though currently, her lesson will remain untaught to those who need to see it..." I sighed, there was so much to do, but where would I begin?

I began to task my puppet into organizing the hoard of jewels, the instructions said they could obey basic and simple commands, and organizing that hoard into a more manageable state rather than a mess of random objects would take a while, as well as a portion of my mind, though now I was connected to the puppets line of sight as well. It was disorientating at first, seeing things through three or four different cameras was like splitting my normal eyes to one view of my perception and adding four smaller singular views around it without a line of transition. I stumbled, awkwardly sorting out my own movements from the puppets, was this how it was like to control multiple bodies at once? I couldn't imagine how they managed all of it constantly, but then again, those tended to be beings who lacked a original body in the first place.

I practiced my control as I moved, trying to manipulate both cybernetic arms that deployed from the ceiling and began organizing the treasure horde, finding my own bodies movements hard to maintain more than a brisk walk as I divided my attention between our two bodies, it would be much easier if I could, say, stimulate some of the personality cores that once dwelled in Aperture Science, but that would be impossible, no matter how life like it was, this Glados was still a puppet, though not that anyone else had to know that. I chuckled, it reminded me of a game I used to play when I was younger and alone, one I called Imaginary Chaos.

The rules were simple, take someone in your mind, be it from a book, show, movie, or game, and pair them up with another one. Then imagine how they would interact with each other with what you knew about them. This could also be seen as a rule of theater when one person would act the part of a character they'd been assigned without a script as part of a game. As I saw Amber slowly approaching the hanging white and black metallic shell that made up Glados's core body, I could only smirk as I imagined the response and had her follow it through in the monotonous synthetic voice of the mistress of science, "Hello, and welcome to the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. Though keep in mind, while fun and learning are the primary goals of the Enrichment Center activities, serious injuries may occur."

Amber slowly backed away from the machine, "Okay then..."

I stared at her through the machine, swaying the puppet forward until it was inches from her face, "For your own safety, and the safety of others, please refrain from-" the rest of her words momentarily dissolved into fast words of gibberish for a few seconds before ending in an understandable, "And death."

The griffin took another few steps back until the yellow glowing eye wasn't nearly bashing against her beak, "Uh, can you repeat that?"

"Don't worry about it overly much," I told her, shutting off several of the cameras so I was left with just my normal sight and the sight of my puppet's singular eye. It was much different than controlling the default model, which lacked any sort of facial features. Though it felt more restricted then a humanoid form it had by default, yet at the same time it felt more free, like the entire facility that was building itself into the ground below our feet was an extension of myself. Sterile flooring, walls, roofs, sorting devices, after hours of work, I could now build an entire laboratory where it would of taken human construction workers months, maybe even years of efforts to build one above ground. Yet with an entire mountain below us, this was just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.

I continued to dedicate a portion of my mind to the construction of my lair as I walked to Amber, "Let us go," I told her, "I can finish the Rosary as we walk." After all, it only needed a few finishing touches with an knife to cut through some of the details that had been covered or filled, and it would help me increase my ability to multitask between two states of beings.

She gave me a stoic deadpan, "What, not going to teleport us Boss?" I rose my hand and opened my mouth to speak and offer making a portal gun to satisfy that need, but she cut me off before I could speak, "I'm joking. Eesh. Don't take the fun out of everything, alright?"

I chuckled, and grabbed the only mask that wasn't in use, attaching it to the side of a smaller backpack, a worn weathered one from the mountain of wealth that used to be a dragons horde. I wondered if he'd ever come back for it, far more than likely, after all there was more than a kings ransom in here. I took a few bits from the hoard as well, for casual spending purposes. Should we happen to get the chance to shop without being attacked by a crazy pony, something that was more than likely judging the next place I was going to visit.

At the leisurely pace we went, it was around noon by the time we arrived in the town, my new necklace around my neck, small exacto knife in my bag and remaining marionette doll hanging off a clasp in my jacket. What I first noticed, about the town however, was that no one was in sight. Not to say that it was all bolted down in fear of me, no, some doors hanged open, windows open to all the sunlight that would filter through it, and carts left unattended. It was like a ghost town, in a way. And my mind rattled for what I knew. Discord had just been defeated, less than a week ago. The next episode chronologically would be 'Lesson Zero'. But that couldn't be possible because the very basis of that episode had been caused by almost an entire week having gone by without a friendship problem. So that meant something else, right?

"On your guard." I said needlessly, Amber had already put a talon on one of her pistol sized crossbows and was peering around just as much as I was.

Deeper into town we walked, and I couldn't help but grimace, it was unnatural how the sky didn't move, not a single wind in the outdoors. It was less noticeable in the high mountains, considering I've never been so high before, or in the medieval industry that was Canterlot where stallions and mares in their fancy pantless suits and low cut dresses ran thick as pudding. It was clean, sure, without any of the human worlds heavy industry or smog. But it was still all the same. Back on earth we had poisoned our planet, brought it to a slow moving death that no one seemed to be truly worried of expiring. This was a different type of death, animals were meek, their natural instinct for survival drowned in trust for ponies. I could see the edge of the only surviving spot of true nature as we walked through the town, the Everfree Forest. The last truly free speck of land in all of Equestria, or Equis as some fans called the planet.

The first sign of trouble was heard rather than seen, "Just look at that amazing doll!" an homely twang rang out, followed by the sounds of a distant mob chattering, and bickering, as the sounds that could only be matched by a desperate stampede that went nowhere, neither gaining or losing ground. Great, so it was this episode. I immediately turned around, "Nope, nope, nope!"

Amber did a double take as I marched in the opposite direction, "What, not going to find out what's going on Boss?"

"I know what is going on, and what is about to happen, and unless you desire to be put under the effects of a 'want it, need it' spell, which is by far one of the most unimaginative names I've ever heard for a spell since 'flames', I suggest we go find the tree-library of this town known as Golden-Oak and nab a few books on the rules of magic and inner working of Equestria while there is just about no one there."

"How do you know that?" Amber asked with a look of interest, well assumed look of interest. I was never good at reading bird beaks.

"I can see the future, remember?" I muttered, breaking into a light jog.

"And you need to know the rules of magic for unicorns why exactly?" Amber asked, catching up to me with a few flaps of her wings, and passing me, keeping pace while flying backwards of all things.

I grumbled, "Because a wise person once said that half of a battle is knowing your enemy, and I've yet to have been proven wrong."

"Fight a great many enemies, have you?" Amber asked, leaning back into her flight path, "Considering you're a new bounty and all, I'd think not."

I rolled my eyes, "There are more kind of enemies than just the crown and its servants. Bullies for children, villains for heroes, thieves for merchants, beggars for the rich, muggers for the poor. And others, and the key to fighting each of them is to know them. Thus why I give as little as they desire, and wish to take as much as they allow."

"Funny how villains are on that list, considering you're one of them."

I tilted my head upward, looking towards her and the blinding sun that loomed over her shoulder in the distant sky, "Something you must know, is that history is written by the winner of wars, and good is a perception that differs from individual to individual. We are all heroes of our own story, yet there are villains that many renounce, but does this make it fact when countless consider the same exact thing?"

"Pretty much." she nodded, shrugging as I started to glare.

"It is an opinion. I'm guessing that this... nation. Has a story labeled something along the lines of Frankenstein correct?"

"Frankenstallion. Actually."

Great, should of saw that one coming, "And tell me, who was the villain?"

"The monster of course, why?"

I sighed, "And what drew you to that conclusion?"

"Well he was called Frankenstallion's monster for one." Amber pointed out.

I gave her my best deadpann expression, though it might of come across as the face one would accuse another of being a complete idiot, "A name assigned to a peaceful stallion with a heart of gold who was being chased and attacked by the civilians of a town who wanted him dead because he was different, and you see the newly risen creation of a doctor as the monster?"

"I... uh..." She muttered, her wings skipping a beat.

My eyes narrowed at her, "And people wonder why I want the world to change, both back where I came from, and here."

She tried changing the topic, "And where do you come from?"

"None of your business." I answered just as quick, "Besides, it seems we're here."

True to my word we had arrived in the only giant tree in Ponyville that had somehow been magically changed into a mix library and house. The door had a sign saying closed, and I flipped it to open, before knocking on it. I knocked again, and again, and no response. Great. That either meant spike was out as well, or that he was an extremely heavy sleeper. Either way, searching outside of the library door predictably lead me to finding a key under Twilight's doormat, ponies were a rather too trusting lot it seemed. It was a surprise that many have left their front doors wide open, as if suspecting not a single thief to dare to enter their homes. I rolled my eyes, even if I hadn't bothered with finding the key, it would of been a simple matter of slipping under the door through the mask that was hanging off my bag. But that was cheating I suppose.

So we entered the Golden Oak Library, and its secrets, would be mine.

PreviousChapters Next