• Published 5th Aug 2017
  • 2,621 Views, 187 Comments

I, Monster - Wave Blaster

Trixie gets a second chance. What will she do with that? And what will be the cost?

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Chapter 2: Baptism in Dark

The rain was still falling, but softer. The storm that hit Ponyville with the sunset started to fade as suddenly as it came. No more roars from the thunder, nor the howl of the north wind. Only rain, continuously murmuring against the empty streets of the town at night.

For Trixie, the storm could have as well continued its rampage, for the same turmoil was happening inside her own mind. She hadn't moved at all since she first saw her claws. Although she still could feel them holding her back legs against her barrel, she didn’t want to acknowledge them. She blinked the tears away, again. Were she less distracted by her condition, she would have noticed how much ticker they were than normal tears.

There was a mask lying next to Trixie. Jet black, almost as if just absorbed any light cast upon it, except for two white marks over the eyeholes. She had taken it off as soon as she realized she had it on, and since then she had ignored it. Only now did she focus on it, so she could avoid looking up instead. Up and front, where a mirror was. The only time Trixie looked up, it showed Trixie a monster the likes of which only the deepest of nightmares could spawn.

It showed her her own reflection.

Trixie sighed in defeat, as if accepting a harsh truth. Still avoiding looking up, she straightened herself and looked down. Her left foreleg was uncovered, so she could see the dark blue coat it had. Trixie would have wondered what happened to her azure color, but the claws replacing her hooves were more striking. She moved them one by one and then together, getting accustomed to the feeling. It wasn’t so hard, almost as if she had done it before. Once again, Trixie found herself realizing how little she remembered.

She looked at the other foreleg. It was still wearing the crimson glove. Just like with her left ones, she moved her fingers, noticing how uncanningly well fit the glove felt. Although Trixie did feel the fabric over her… paw, it was barely noticeable. She moved up the foreleg, finding her entire body covered by the same material, only black. Then Trixie looked over her shoulders, and saw the tall red collar over them, held in place by a chain.

She got up to see it better, realizing that what she thought were the monster’s wings was in fact a long crimson cape. Curiosity got the best of Trixie and she decided to turn around and face the mirror. Although the image still startled her, she was ready this time. She trotted closer to examine the monst-- her face. Just as she suspected, her coat there was also darker, like her foreleg. There were also the four long fangs.

But what stood out more than anything where her eyes. They were red, crimson, just like the cape over her shoulders. Trixie had to blink several times to convince herself those were hers. They looked nothing like a pony’s. There wasn’t a visible sclera, or at least not a white one, and the pupil was a vertical slit. All in all, there was a primal savagery to them, like a dragon’s. But despite it all, the face in the mirror was still Trixie’s and she could still recognize herself in the reflection.

Trixie collected the mask and the glove from the floor and put them on. She couldn’t say why she did so, but it made some strange sense. Trixie had to take hold of what little did make sense. Nothing in her situation felt real. One moment she remembered floating in nothingness, and then bang! she was standing inside a destroyed library in the middle of a storm. She turned around, spotting a flight of stairs and trotted over it. Maybe the higher ground would, at least, give her a better perspective.

In the darkness, Trixie found her way towards another demolished room. It was like the library downstairs, riddled with broken furniture and scorch marks. She ignored them when she spotted the balcony and went outside. The rain was still falling, but the storm was long past. Some clouds had even dissipated, giving space to the new moon to show itself among the dark sky. Standing there, Trixie tried to ponder her next move.

It would have been far easier for her to consider it all a dream. But she couldn’t. Something inside her kept telling her it was all real. Trixie did die once, but now she was back. She took a moment to grasp that reality, raising her gaze and feeling the water running down her face through the mask. It felt like washing her fears away, or at least it helped to believe so.

Trixie was alive, and that was as good start.

Trixie worked hard on her creation.

It was all in her mind, and it could have been finished with just a single thought. But she had learned her lesson; easy routes were not the answer. Also, there was the roani tradition of valuing the journey as much as the destination. Trixie found enjoyment in the work itself, so she didn’t skip a step. First things first was walking to some place she wanted to be. To her amazement, but not really to her surprise, the first place that popped into Trixie’s mind was Ponyville. She thanked Twilight for the tour she had around town, so she had the details she needed to work with and find the places she would need for the next phase.

To begin with, she decided to build herself a house. She imagined the entire building, piece by piece. Only when she had every detail worked out and memorized did she move on. Trixie thought about each step in real time. If it took four hours to assemble a pickaxe, she took four hours to envision the entire process. If it took three days to dig the foundations, Trixie would mentally go through the seventy-two hours’ worth of work, making sure everything was done perfectly. She even stopped to have coffee breaks. Due to that, Trixie could keep some sorts of track of time. That was how she could tell how long it took her to finish the building.

On the last day, Trixie admired her finished house, complimenting herself on a job well done. Yet, there was something missing. Yes, she was trotting inside the literal house of her dreams, filled with everything she thought to want, but it still felt empty. In addition, with the house finished, Trixie didn’t know what else to do. In a place without time like the one she was in, boredom was easy to come by if she wasn't careful. She ascended to the observatory of her new house and looked up at the constellations she could recall being over Ponyville.

In the middle of her own mind, Trixie did the one thing she still could. She told herself a story.

She started by outlining a main character. She was a unicorn, who, like Trixie herself, never met her parents. Therefore, she would go into the world looking for them. She had a pink coat with white and purple hair. The mare would face dangers all over the world, helping the needy and defeating enemies, but never through force. The heroine of Trixie’s story had to be overall smart. Instead of just fighting one side marked as ‘evil’, she set about making the world a better place through understanding.

Happy with the idea, she called the unicorn Twilight, the Errant Mage.

Trixie would continue telling herself Twilight’s story, between imaginary coffees and the occasional bourbon. First, Twilight would meet Surprise, the pegasus Trickster, who helped Twilight to bring joy back to the Gray Town. They would later clash with another party of traveling heroes; Jackie the earth pony Paladin, Firefly the pegasus archer and Sparkler the unicorn Enchantress. The five of them joined to face the Masked One, a mysterious mare who controlled an entire castle through lies. Finally, the group would be complete when Posey, the earth pony Druid, saved them all from a dragon.

As Trixie continued her tales, their adventures became more and more complex, taking place in a world that grew richer in detail as she worked to flesh it out. Each new tale was different from the previous. Some involved entire nations, others just personal struggles. Sometimes the friends would have to travel enormous distances to save ponies in unimaginable dangers, other times they would just hang around and have a quiet time among cider and songs in a peaceful settlement. It all went on like that until they met the ultimate evil, who, through manipulation and deceit, was behind many of their previous adventures; The Moon Queen.

It was her, the one who arrested Twilight’s parents. Who sent Surprise’s sisters to the labour camps. Who destroyed the fields of Jackie’s family. In the end, the six heroes found out that the Queen’s influence was vast and dangerous. Only one pony could help them to outdo such an enemy. It was the mare known as the Masked One, Abra-Ca-Dabra, an illusionist unicorn. Thanks to her knowing well of manipulation and lies, she was a great help to Twilight and her friends, allowing them to stay ahead of the Queen’s moves. In the end, the heroes managed to overthrow her, not through force, but by bringing back the previous ruler, The Star Queen, sister of Moon.

That brought peace to the world inside Trixie’s story, solving the problems of the heroes, finishing their quests and giving them a well-earned happy ending.

Leaving Trixie once again alone, without anything else to do, sitting at the top of her empty house.

She looked to the side, catching her image in the mirror once again.

“Why did it have to be red and black?” Trixie commented to her reflection, sighing. She had come off the balcony and was sitting once more in the main room. “It looks like a villain's outfit.” She inspected the chains over her forelegs and waist. “Trixie is certainly not the villain of her own story.” She turned around, catching a glimpse of the the cape billowing out. Trixie had to bite her tongue to prevent herself from admitting that looked rather neat.

More details of the suit kept appearing as Trixie looked back at it. Along with her claws, she realized the gloves over her forelegs also had small spikes on the front. Going up, above her elbows, there was a chain rounding the limb. The same chains were on her thighs, hips and holding the cape over her neck. For some reason, she hated that the most. She recalled enough to know a chain was a way to restrain something. If there was one certainty in Trixie’s blank mind, it was that she hated being held.

There was also a creeping though that this wasn’t the first time she’d had something unpleasant around her neck lately.

Out of frustration, she tried to yank the chains holding the crimson cape in place, if only to get rid of the wide collar surrounding her head. But when Trixie’s claws reached for the metal, something smoother touched her wrists. She looked at her forelegs, seeing the edges of the cape wrapped softly around them. Carefully, she put the limbs down. As they touched the ground again, the cape unfolded behind her. There was no wind inside the library, but the piece of crimson cloth still flapped around Trixie. It was way bigger than Trixie’s own body, extending away from her. It looked like an unholy pair of giant wings covered in blood.

“O... kay” Trixie said nervously while trotting forward. The cape’s movements following her. “This is creepy.” Just as she said so, the cape went limp as if was a piece of ordinary cloth. Trixie felt the temptation of taking the edges of the cape to try and make it float again, but something in her mind, probably her common sense, told her not to.

She needed to move. Get out and find things out. There were too many questions in her head to be answered. Trixie knew that the answers weren’t inside the dark ruins of a library. She began to trot towards the hole in the wall. She wondered why wasn’t there a door. Maybe the hole was made because there wasn’t a door. Or maybe the door used to be where the hole was. But if that was the case, what kind of being would be powerful enough to destroy a place like that, but not smart enough to figure out a door.

A corner of the cape got tangled with Trixie’s right foreleg and she tripped. Although the fall was forwards, somehow Trixie rolled to a side and ended up hitting one of the bookshelves. She tried to get up, but as she did so, her head hit the lower shelf, shaking the entire piece of furniture. She backed away and rose again, only for a small but heavy object to hit her on the same spot the shelf did. It was like the universe felt that Trixie was getting it too easy for a moment and decided to restore balance.

Trixie had to take a time to recompose herself. She looked at the crimson cape over her back. It looked way shorter than the silk behemoth it was back when it moved by itself. It had to be--

“Magic…” she whispered. There was something about it, about magic. Trixie was an unicorn, or at least remembered being one.

She looked up at her horn and wondered if she could still use spells. Trixie gazed over the floor next to her, where the small object that hit her head was barely visible among the shadows. Trixie felt strange. She knew what she was doing, but not how. Her horn ignited in the same crimson of her eyes. The mix between the red light and blackness of the night gave the library a hellish look. But Trixie didn’t notice, she was too focused on lifting the small object in front of her.

It was like walking after a lifetime of not being able to do so. Clumsily, she finally managed to get the object to levitate steadily in front of her. Now, getting a better grip on it, Trixie made it spin slowly to inspect it. It looked like a compass, not unlike the one on a ship. The cap had a strange symbol made out of multiple arrows curved and pointed in different, seemingly random directions. Trixie tried to open it with her magic, but it was too much. The crimson aura blinked and she had to catch the compass before it fell.

Once opened, the compass could only be described as strange. It kept spinning at different paces, changing direction once in awhile. At one point, it slowed down enough for Trixie to read the characters, which only added to her confusion. The only one in place was the W and even then it was painted red as if it was the main direction. Meanwhile the N, S and E directions were replaced by an A, an H and a T. As the disc kept moving without a reason or a purpose, Trixie realized the points spelled ‘what’ from the right point of view, which finally made her give up on the instrument altogether.

“Useless.” Trixie tried to close the compass, but the cap was somehow stuck. She kept pressing her claws together, using both paws, but the little thing wouldn’t yield. Trixie looked around it to see if there was a lock she missed. However, she found something else instead. She moved from one side to another to be sure, turning around over herself multiple times. Yet, the disc had become still, with the W fixed in a single, immutable direction.

Trixie looked outside, at the dark of the night. The rain was softly falling over the town, with the black clouds keeping the light from the moon and the stars away. She stepped out and, out of reflex, checked the direction in the compass again. It was pointing to her left, towards a lone road among the houses. She closed the compass without trouble, putting it inside the a pocket she knew the cape had inside it.

It would have been easier to just wait for the morning, but how could she? There she was, asking for a direction and she got one.

With one last turn, and a flick of her cape, the beast that called herself Trixie began her procession into the night.

Abra-Ca-Dabra held her old mask in her magic. Under that disguise, she once controlled an entire city. But then, the Six Legendary Heroes of Ponyland came in and destroyed her hold on the castle, tearing apart her dominion over the feudal land. It could have meant the loss of everything for Abra-Ca-Dabra, until Twilight, the leader of the Heroes, came back to her with an offering; friendship.

Despite Abra’s past, she and the others wanted Abra’s help. Not only that, but they actually wanted to help her too, giving her the house and companionship she never really knew and always tried to replace with power and influences. A year passed after that, at the end of which Abra returned the help of the Six Heroes by helping them defeat the Moon Queen, not by force, but by bringing her lost sister back and offering her redemption.

A year later, Star and Moon ruled Ponyland together and Abra could finally leave her past behind her.

She put the mask down in the vault, next to her old attire of hat and cape, and closed it with a key she would later hide, so it could never be used again.

Abra-Ca-Dabra stepped down the inn’s stairs. Although the Queens granted her more than enough money, as well as a room in the Midnight Castle, she prefered running an inn down in the town surrounding the royal buildings. It was the anniversary of the day she and her friends had returned of the Star Queen, and she had invited the Six Heroes as a way to thank them once more for everything. Abra sat down at the main table, where one of her employees served her a generous tankard of nord mead.

The Six Heroes shared their tales with one whom they considered to be one of them. Even if the fall of the Moon Queen’s solo reign meant an end to most of the problems of Ponyland, it wasn’t the end of all of them. Firefly, for instance, joined a guild of adventurers with the purpose of keeping peace. Twilight did something similar, with the school of magic at the north. But as they kept going, Abra realized how hollow the stories felt.

There was an idea and a character in each one, but nothing else. Almost as if they were just there for no reason, and didn’t really happen at all. Then, they began to ask Abra-Ca-Dabra about herself. She had trouble coming up with remembering. With each question, she felt like there was less to tell. That was, until Twilight asked the first question for which Abra-Ca-Dabra had no answer.

“Where do you come from?”

It wasn’t made out of malice, or with hidden intentions. It was just a friend asking another a natural part of life.

But Abra-Ca-Dabra didn’t know what to say. She couldn’t think about recall anything from the times before Twilight and the others came into her life. She was so distraught trying to build remember her own past, that she didn’t realize they were alone inside the now lifeless inn. When Abra looked up at them, her friends, the Six Legendary Heroes, vanished into nothing right in front of her.

Desperate, she ran outside. Instead of Ponyhold around the Midnight Castle, Abra-Ca-Dabra found herself in the middle of an empty valley. As she turned around, she heard the door of the inn closing, but the building, and the rest of the city, was nowhere to be seen. Abra began to walk, trying to make any sense of what was happening, but as she did so, the view was becoming more and more disturbing. There was no sound around her, not even the wind, and the few bits of green life left didn’t even look real anymore.

But something compelled her to continue trotting. There was something in the horizon calling for her, and she couldn’t find it in herself to say ‘no’.

As Abra-Ca-Dabra kept advancing, her grayish purple coat began to turn bluer, and her blond mane became lighter with each step. The green of her eyes was replaced by violet tones. When she reached her destination, at the edge of reality, there was no more Abra-Ca-Dabra. In her place, there was the storyteller without a story to tell, gazing upon the ending of her last work, unable to turn back and keep it going.

Trixie stepped out of her fantasy. She was once again alone in the white void. No world of fantasy, no companions to share it with, and no ideal home to call her own. Not even a body, or senses to feel. Only her thoughts and nothing else inside the eternal whiteness, just as she began.

Except this time, there was a black spot in front of her.

Author's Note:

Nightwalker: And so here we have our look into Trixie's mind (Not as empty a place as some may have thought :trixieshiftleft: Hey!).

She's been established as a storyteller in the first one, but this was our first chance to really show some of it. Bonus points for those who recognize her companions. Oh, and we do intend to bring them back later on.

I suppose now though, the question becomes where is Trixie being led to now, and will any good come of it?

Wave Blaster: Oh boy, the plot thickens. Trixie's... life? is about to get as weird as a Grant Morrison comic.

And a thank you to An-Twan Star for beta reading the beginning chapters as well!