• Published 30th May 2015
  • 15,065 Views, 1,210 Comments

pony.exe - Blue Blaze {COMET}



David Carrian finds a virus has infected his computer. Meanwhile, Twilight Sparkle doesn't know where she is, and there's data floating everywhere around her...

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pony.exe

“Jinx ult! Jinx ult!”

“Shit.”

He was completely enamoured under the bright illumination of his computer screen in the still of night. The room was dark, quiet except for the light hum coming from the plastic rectangular case beside his left foot and the rapid clicking of his keyboard and mouse. His entire visage was lit by the flashing colours on the screen, feedback from his headpiece blasting too loudly into his eardrums, a green microphone bit settled an inch away from his mouth as it hung from the band holding the tiny speakers together.

“Focus Sivir!”

“Damn it, I’m dead.”

“Sion flash down!”

There was a hubbub of activity on his call. He listened in to his friends’ voices as they scrambled to come out of the battle of their computer game on top. His cursor raced all over the center of the screen, darting from place to place as he tried to make calculated clicks and keep all the data of the fight in his head at once. He could hear his breathing as everything came to a close, and he tuned out the chatter on the virtual phone for a second as complete focus encompassed him. His character dashed forward, and the next few seconds became another blank slate in his memory.

“You have slain an enemy,” the announcer notified him. He moved to the next target, keeping track of enemy movement.

“Double kill,” he heard, paying special attention to the crossed circular blade that was chasing him from behind.

“Triple kill!” an old woman said. His friends raised their voices in the background, his eyes on the price.

“Quadra kill!” His team began to cheer and scream into the chat, hopping in their seats as he targeted his mouse arrow over the final remaining enemy. His ring finger lifted up from his left hand and--

“Shut down!”

He gave out a sigh of aggravation as his cohorts cried out in disappointment. They shot a few jokes back and forth before reassuring him that his next spree would be a complete wipe out for sure. His hand slid back from their positions over the keyboard and mouse respectively and he pushed on the wall with his feet, rolling out his black leather chair from underneath the desk partially. He let out a yawn and stretched, arms reaching up, shoulders curving as his chest stuck out and his gross-green t-shirt pulled upward from the top of his white boxers. He subconsciously hit two keys simultaneously, kicking his screen out from the game back to the desktop, his vision lazily rolling over to the numbers at the lower-right corner.

It was 12:33 in the morning, a part of him feeling it was too late to stay up for a school night while the other telling him to not worry. The alt and tab keys were slapped and the game screen was brought back to him, tinted in black and white, the bright light reflecting off of his orange gaming glasses. There was still 36 seconds left on the death timer, and they were losing. It was getting further and further in the match, and he was getting fewer chances to grab a hold of the winning edge they needed to secure the big W that he so sorely wanted. His whole team was having trouble against their specified match ups. He couldn’t do everything for his squad. They were simply too–

His musings were interrupted. He narrowed his eyes and scratched the side of his head. There was a tiny voice whispering in the middle of the party call, a voice that seemed out of place and that he swore he heard. He ignored it and chalked it up to being so damn tired. His friends made absent-minded comments about the game and the school week’s events thus far, complaining about that fact that it was only a Wednesday. He ignored them for the most part, tuning them out until he couldn’t help but snort at a wise crack one of them made.

Then, he sat up in his seat and stared directly at the screen. The death timer was at five seconds. He heard the voice again, and this time he really didn’t think he was just hearing things.

He focused. There it was again. It was too quiet to properly make out words, but it was there, and it was totally out of place from the game audio and his friends. In a panic he pulled down his headphones, listening intensely to the room around him. All he could hear was the fan wildly spinning from the back of his $1000 custom-build gaming rig. A shiver ran down his spine, and he checked behind his back to see if his one of his roommates was peeking into the room and spooking him or something. The door was closed, and all he could see was the light from the monitor reflecting off the painted walls in an eerie mid-night glow. His gaze went to the window to his immediate left, the curtain pulled to the side for the moment and he witnessed the outside life in its entire quiet, peaceful glory. Nothing moved on the street two stories below, and the oak-filled neighbourhood kept its calm quota under the mild heat of mid-summer. A shiver ran down his spine and he slowly turned back towards the glass screen, putting on his ear gear with caution.

He was alive again, but he barely noticed. The voice was getting louder. Finally, out of all the chaos and confusion of his conflicting senses, he could make out the words in the back.

“…Hello?... Can anypony hear me?... H-hello?...”

His eyes widened at that. He leaned forward into his screen, as if it would help him understand what he was experiencing at that moment.

“Hey guys,” he started. “Do any of you hear that?”

The conversation in the call paused. “Hear what?”

“A voice. A tiny voice, it’s like a girl’s voice or something in the call.”

More of a pause. The enemy was sieging their base and failure was imminent. “Dude, I don’t hear anything.”

“Me neither.”

“Nope.”

“Your delusions are nice and all, but could you get out of spawn and help us defend?”

He paid no attention to the last comment. Suddenly something clicked and the camera on-screen scrolled over to a large, crystal structure at the back of their base, surrounded by enemy forces, exploding. Everyone in the call groaned in frustration, and the announcer declared “Defeat.” as the same words popped up on the screen in red. A button beneath the status of victory labeled “Continue” appeared, but he hit two keys again and returned to his desktop instead of clicking the button. He opened up the call window and closely monitored the microphone input of his buds. After a few seconds it became apparent the voice he heard was completely separate from the chat program.

“…Hey!...I’m right here!...Hello?”

He leaned back in his chair. His friends were complaining that he didn’t do anything when they were getting destroyed but he didn’t care. He cut in to the conversation.

“I’m gonna go guys, I, uh, my computer’s acting weird. Something’s playing audio files on it and it’s getting annoying.”

“Maybe you’re just tired,” one suggested.

“Yeah, maybe,” he returned, looking sideways at the screen. “I’ll get back in the call later. See ‘ya.”

He clicked the ‘hang up’ button as his friends were bidding him goodbye. Without the call, the voice was as loud and clear as ever.

“…I just…Hey! Hello?...” the voice said.

He terminated the game, realizing that it was still open and started checking his internet browser. The tabs at the top of the window didn’t indicate sound being played, not displaying a speaker icon in any one of the boxes. Just to be safe however, he closed the window. He right clicked the sound picture right near the time and date at the bottom right corner of his screen. A table opened up after selecting one of the following options, with bars indicating volume levels from programs that had the ability to output audio. He scrolled the box to the right, searching. Nothing was playing at the moment. He wasn’t playing his music, so all the bars were empty, the threshold line sitting at the bottom of the graph.

“…I…I don’t know where you are, and I don’t know where I am, but… please!”

Sweat rolled down his temple. He was getting warm, perhaps heated. At the very right edge of the graph, he saw one more bar without a designated icon that bobbed up and down to the voice, which was still growing in volume to an easily listenable level. The program didn’t have a name, or rather, it had an odd designation that included the file type at the end.

pony.exe

His thoughts immediately shot towards an explanation involving a virus. He had heard of the viruses of old days, playing pranks on the user, forcing audio clips to play, messing with the registry keys, screwing with important files. His heart jumped, and anger flared up in his soul. His computer was in danger. His precious media player was endangered, and he had to do everything in his power to obliterate the threat. He was baffled as to how a virus even got on to his computer in the first place. He never got malware or Trojans, and he always kept his anti-virus up to date and he always scanned downloaded files for any unwanted extras that may have gotten installed on to his hard drive.

He had to ask what kind of sicko would trick him like that and lead him into a false sense of security with a voice clip that sounded like a young woman calling out for help behind his computer screen. Where the author would get such files he had no idea, but he couldn't help but feel disgusted at the fact that so much effort was put in to a little program to screw with his head a little and a lot with his system. He grit his teeth and furrowed his eyebrows. The virus had scared him and was genuinely creepy, but he vowed to not let it beat him.

“…H-hello?... Why can’t he hear me?...”

He opened up Task Manager, and went to the processes page, organizing the list by memory usage. Sure enough, at the top of the list was a certain program eating up a whole eight gigabytes of memory as well as a steady strip of CPU. The name of the process confused him. It was so odd, so strange to call a virus a name such as that. He knew viruses could be named anything, and the meaning of names could be lost cross-language wise, but it was something he could understand. The name was in English, but what did it mean? What did horses have to do with a virus? He still had no idea what the virus was meant to do except to bother the user consistently with disturbing audio clips that caused unease in his heart.

“…I want to go home…I wonder if the others are worried about me, searching for me...”

The virus had many audio files to play, he gave it that. It was almost intriguing, as if the virus was telling a story of a lost life.

“…I hope Spike’s ok…He’s going to be all alone in the library…”

The corner of his mouth twitched, and he could feel his pulse beat against the sides of his head. He opened up the interface of his anti-virus, progressing to the ‘scan’ page, just to be ready to activate it as soon as he stopped the virus. He briefly wondered why the virus let him open Task Manager in the first place, or why it wasn’t blocking access from the anti-virus.

“…He can’t hear me…Maybe he doesn’t know that I’m here, wherever I am… Maybe I’ll be stuck here forever…”

He waited, the gears in his head turning.

“…Somepony…Help me…”

He had an idea. It was a simple, fleeting thought that dared to balance on the border between sensible and insane, spurred on by the last line of the virus. His shaking hand reached to the microphone of his headset, lightly gripping the extension that kept the mic to the plastic sitting across his crown. He made sure it wasn’t too far from the tip of the top of his lips or too close and took a deep breath through his nose, swallowing.

“H-hello?” he stuttered, whispering.

“Hello? I’m here!” the voice cried out from beyond. “I’m here, I’m here!”

“I can hear you loud and clear,” he responded, finding confidence in his voice.

“Oh, thank Celestia! I never thought I’d hear a response from you!”

“From me?” he asked.

“Yes, I heard you speaking before, speaking to somepony else. When I tried to get your attention I-I thought you couldn’t hear me.”

He really didn’t know what to say. “I-Well, I really couldn’t, at first. I thought I was just hearing things, or that you were a part of this game I was playing.”

“Game?” she asked. “N-never mind, look, can you tell me where I am right now? It’s cold and dark and I can’t tell where the room ends.”

More sweat rolled down his cheek. “I don’t know where you are.”

“What? What do you mean, you don’t know? You’re talking to me, aren’t you?”

“I mean that I honestly don’t know. I’m talking to you through a microphone. I have no idea where you are.”

“Well, that…” she trailed off, sighing. He still felt the need to be wary, and not forget that he was talking through a virus. It was likely a call like the one he was just in, except he was getting patched through by the program without his control. He hypothesized that someone in the game he played may have gotten and placed the virus in his computer while he was engaged somehow. Theories started bouncing around as his head, each one after the other getting less and less pleasant. “That’s unfortunate, to say the least. Where are you talking from exactly?”

This was the kind of thing he was keeping on his mind. “Umm, my room. In my house.” He didn’t dare give out anything else like that. He was talking with another human being, after all. They might have been closing in on his location or something. No, he was being stupid. The virus was already in his system, and he wasn’t doing anything about it. Technically, it could do anything it wanted with his computer at this point.

It was another human being, right? It wasn’t generating answers that were pre-recorded to play based on microphone input or something insane like that, right?

He had to wonder.

It was a virus, after all.

“Your room? Then how are you talking to me right now?” she asked aloud. “How can you communicate to where I am if you don’t know where I am?”

“You tell me! You’re the one that invaded my system and started talking to me!”

“Whoa,” she said, startled. “What?”

He pinched the bridge of his nose. “This is stupid. I can’t believe I’m doing this right now. I’m terminating the program.”

“Wait!” she pleaded. “Don’t go!”

He paused.

“Don’t leave me alone here! I-I don’t know where I am right now, and I know you don’t know, but,” she trailed off. “…I don’t know how to leave! I can’t see an exit anywhere, and I can’t even see the walls of the room! I don’t know if I’m in a cave or in a dungeon somewhere, and I’m all alone here… So please, even if you can’t help me, don’t leave!”

He sighed, thinking it over. It could have been a trap. It probably was a trap. “What’s your name?”

“Huh?”

“Who are you?”

“M-my name is Twilight Sparkle.”

He inwardly groaned. His eyes were locked on the words pony.exe in his Task Manager. He figured it to be a joke. It had to be some kind of prank, right? There was no way. The nature of the situation was too strange to be anything natural. He was experiencing something from some kind of bad story or poorly written anime. He checked around the room. Where were the hidden cameras? Where was the author that was writing what was about to happen next, dictating future events, determining his life? It couldn’t be real. He couldn't accept it to be real. It wasn't a possibility.

“Well, Twilight Sparkle,” he began, trying to think not of the best decision, but of the right one. “Nice to meet you. You can call me David.”

He could only imagine her resulting smile. “Nice to meet you, David.”

Author's Note:

Choosing a pony to be featured cause me a bit of trouble. My first choice was my favorite, Luna, but I thought that limited the potential for interaction between the user and the program due to the age difference. So instead, I picked the next best thing.

Of course, the other problem I had picking Twilight was one simple fact. Some authors write her smart, and some write her smart, and I'm not smart enough to write her smart, so I hope that I can leave her at smart and the readers would be ok with that, especially considering the content heavily surrounds computers.

EDIT: I changed the cost of David's computer from $800 to $1000.

EDIT #2: Twilight's RAM usage increased from 1 GB to 8 GB.

EDIT #3: Apparently when I had originally envisioned this David was supposed to be living at his parent's house. He is not. Mentioning of his father has been replaced.

EDIT #4: Click here to listen to a reading of the first chapter by Griffin Productions!