• Published 7th Apr 2017
  • 2,417 Views, 967 Comments

The Influence - GMBlackjack

Twilight Sparkle awakens in a mysterious room with a mysterious artifact - in a story where your comments influence the outcome.

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Author's Note:

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[IMPORTING][ ...Twilight immediately becomes aware of an internal compass in her mind now, pointing towards a mountain range far off in the distance to her left. as well as a brief warning against the use of teleportation, for that could cause serious harm... ...Y'know, trolls like bright shiny things. And the color purple during mating season... ...The sea of grass seems inviting, yet dangerous, and the eye seems to be looking in that direction... ...A tugging sensation pulls twilight toward the lake in the distance. As she looks at the lake a sudden feeling of longing fills her mind... ...She can see strange things lingering on the edge of her sight. They were definitely not there a moment ago, but they seem to be beckoning her... ...As her eyes pass over the town-like thing in the distance, her thoughts are filled with a faint, incoherent muttering, that gradually fades away as she looks elsewhere... ...I have a sudden craving for pumpkin pie now... ...A voice whispers to her "The Woods can set you free, Twilight."...]

Twilight extended her wings and recoiled in shock, slapping the eye artifact with her front hooves. "Stop talking stop talking stop talking!" She shouted, even though the words had stopped flowing into her mind the moment she regained control of her muscles. In her flailing, she fell, landing flat on her back. The wind was knocked out of her - giving her a moment to lay there and contemplate what had just happened.

She had been frozen - unable to move - while the voice filled her mind. She was so shocked she had been unable to think - she just sat there, frozen, as the words forced themselves into her subconsciousness. A voice that was talking about her... in contradictory ways... for the most part... ...The lake wasn't even in the distance, she was on an island in it! And she wasn't seeing anything lingering on the edge of her sight...

For the slightest of seconds, she thought she saw a bunch of moving stars flick across her vision.

...Okay, so maybe she was. She stood up slowly, scanning the room - no sign of stars anywhere. ...Was it possible that the voice spoke the truth? It had described itself saying 'the Woods can set you free, Twilight' after all... No, that couldn't be, the lake still wasn't in the distance. ...Unless it was talking about another lake?

She rushed outside, scanning the horizon, looking for another lake. She saw nothing - though in so looking she did see a mountain range in the far distance. She felt compelled to go to it - but was that just because the voice told her she had a compass? She didn't feel like it was a compass... Merely a curiosity. Then there were the things about the sea of grass... The town... It was like the voice was warring with itself over what it wanted to say, what it wanted to happen. Was it trying to give her advice?

It was almost like it was several minds talking at once, vying for control of what to say. Twilight would had believed that was what was going on, had there not been that comment about pumpkin pie. ...And she swore there was something about trolls in there somewhere. Trolls and the color purple during mating season...

She made a mental note to run away from anything even remotely troll-like she came across for the next little while.

She sighed, looking down at the artifact embedded in her chest. It hadn't moved - had given no indication it could move, even. She was certain this thing was to blame. Was it a dark magic? Was it something else? She didn't know - the voice hadn't really given her much to go on, and she didn't hear it anymore. She was just an alicorn mare with a shimmering eye in her chest.

She looked around the room one more - nothing had changed. The purple wall, the arches, the runes... all of it was exactly the same. She walked around to the outside, finding the island to be too steep to walk on, forcing her to fly around the building. From the outside it was... featureless. A purple cylinder with six holes and a pointed top, no markings whatsoever. She wondered how it was built - this 'island' was pretty much a spike in the middle of this lake. She had a hard time imagining something like this naturally forming - much less forming with a flat spot on top just the right size to build a walled gazebo.

She sighed - there really was nothing here for her. Perhaps the voice kept talking about the things in the distance for a reason - she should probably go to them. Should she go to the town? Forest? Mountain? Just fly through the grass? Or perhaps the river - after all, the voice had never suggested that. She furrowed her brow, looking down at the eye once again.

She didn't know what to think. But she got an idea - she saw the lake below her. Since she was already here, she might as well check it out. Swooping downward, she flew over the water, extending a hoof out to touch it. To her surprise the water, despite rippling and flowing like she expected, was as solid as a rock. This surprised her so much it caused her to flip head-over-tail, and land flat on her back, the rippling water flowing beneath her back.

...It didn't even feel wet. It felt like some ultra-smooth plastic was warping and shaking beneath her. She stood up with some effort, carefully planting her legs so as not to fall over from the ripples. Looking into the lake, she could see fish swimming, moving around as if everything was normal.

"...This is amazing." She tapped the water with her hoof, making a dull thud sound. "This is amazing. What is this stuff? It's... acts like a liquid, but blocks everything... how much surface tension is there?" For a moment, she forgot that she was in a foreign land, and grinned. She watched as the water flowed around her hoof, creating new ripples. "Absolutely bizarre..."

She would have stayed there for much longer - perhaps all day - but she saw the stars out of the corner of her eye once again. Turning to look, there was nothing - just a smooth, softly rippling lake surrounded by grass. She shook her head. "Just seeing things..."

She felt the rippling of the lake increase - becoming more and more difficult to stand on. She flew into the air, looking down with a confused expression. Why was it acting up now? The wind hadn't picked up...

A large, dark shape appeared beneath the waves. The surface of the water began to heave, higher, and higher. Twilight flew up a little ways, distancing herself from whatever it was under the water.

A giant shark-like creature with seven eyes pushed into the surface, stretching it like a rubber skin. Each eye was as large as Twilight herself, and all were looking directly at her. It didn't matter that the surface of the water was solid - the surface was stretched around the inside of its mouth. It could still bite her in half, using the hard surface as a weapon.

She almost teleported - but something in her mind told her that was a bad idea. The voice? She didn't care - and she didn't think. She just turned around and flew away as fast as she could. The air from the shark's movement brushed past her - making it difficult to fly straight. The shark slammed down it's powerful jaws, cutting off some of the hairs from Twilight's tail. She didn't look back - she just kept flying until she found herself over the grass, away from the lake.

Breathing heavily, she checked herself over. "Legs... check. Wings... check. Tail..." She looked at the now slightly-shorter collection of hairs. "Check. Now..." She turned to look back at the lake.

Only there wasn't a lake anymore. Where she had been moments before, there was nothing but a wide expanse of tall grass blowing in the wind. She couldn't even see the spike-like island - there was no sign of any structure where she had just been. She flew back, thinking it was a cloaking field - but found nothing. It was just grass, grass, grass. She flew higher into the air to get a better vantage point - she could still see the town, forest, and other locations... but no lake. No island. No purple building...

She bit her lip. That was... concerning.

Then she felt a warm sensation in her chest once again. Her eyes darted to the eye on her chest - it was glowing again.

"Oh no not now-"