• Published 7th Apr 2017
  • 2,492 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.

  • ...
4
 967
 2,492

XXXV

Twilence awoke.

She was on land instead of sea, though she could see the sea despite the natural darkness of the world in this time. She lit her horn to illuminate her surroundings - the first thing she noticed was Orchid. The next was the scenery - she could tell she was back on one of the Troishan islands, but there was no sign of habitation. Instead, the landscape was decidedly purple and covered in smooth thorns the size of trees. There were no visible signs of life - plants or otherwise. The waves of the sea seemed diluted, which made sense, given the fact that there was no moon and had been no moon for a long time.

Orchid raised an eyebrow. "You're awake."

"Yes..." Twilence muttered. "Where are the others?"

"I don't know. The shadowy thing attacked the boat, the strange Starlight kept attacking anyway, I tried to teleport us away and then I was here with you and apparently, everything went wrong."

Twilence glanced out over the sea. "...Siron came to me in a dream. He took over this future. Mite's dead here, and Vriska's been enslaved. There is no sun or moon. The Overseer had to abandon the world."

Orchid frowned, looking through her third eye. "I can't see much here. It's like the entire planet is shrouded from me."

"All of it might be Siron."

"Then why can't I see what's coming?"

Twilence shrugged. "I have no idea. You're the one with the future powers..." She big her lip. "We need to find the others. Fluttershy... Infinity... Pinkie... Aradia..."

"Pinkie should just be able to find us with those ridiculous powers of hers."

"Jealous?"

Orchid didn't dignify this with an answer.

Twilence frowned, poking at a rock on the ground. "...Orchid?"

"Yes?"

"Why are you so bitter?"

Orchid grunted. "The world is a horrendous place filled with evils, most propagated by ponies and dragons themselves. We are responsible for most of our own destruction. And here I am, being put into a position where I can save the world. All I'm doing is keeping it from getting worse. This entire place doesn't deserve to be saved. Yet, I just can't bring myself to let everything burn. That's why I'm bitter."

Twilence nodded. "I see. You've been shoved into the position of savior for a people you really don't care for."

"I must care for them on some level since I'm doing it, but I just know they'll continue killing and lying and cheating... Even I do it, I'm not exempt here Twilence. Maybe it's just self-preservation. Maybe I just want to see if I can force them to see something. I'm still thinking about it."

"I do the same," Twilence said. "I've been forced to wonder what I've become numerous times. It's just... How it is now. You may want to decide what your point is soon - are you here to save the world, or yourself? Are you here to change the world, or let it stay?"

"I'm here to stop an evil monster because I was chosen to do so and because I can see myself doing it." She let a sinister smile appear on her face. "Most of the time I can see what I'm going to do in the future through the sight. I don't really see the options that result in the best outcome, I just see myself taking an action and follow through with it. Sometimes without thinking. You may question your own freedom, a slave to the story, but I am a slave to fate. I can literally see what I do and I never do otherwise."

"Have you tried doing what you don't see?"

"It takes that into account - if I try not to do something I end up doing it through some convoluted method."

"What about with me?"

Orchid blinked. "...You cause it to be unsure. To have blank spots. Do I really make choices? I don't know." She shook her head. "Enough of this, we need to decide what to do."

Twilence sighed. "I think I'll consult the Influence... For ideas."

"Go for it."

She scrolled through, a smile coming to her face as she read Sunbro's comment. She found herself slightly disappointed in her past self for getting livid with comments like this - these people were just doing what they were doing for their sake. Some took her seriously, some didn't, and some were just off the wall. She really shouldn't have been so hard on Afizah - they were just doing what they wanted, which should be just fine. Just because she didn't believe anything didn't mean she had to get all defensive about that. "Yeah... Everyone, I'm sorry. You have your place, I have mine. You can be as absurd in your place as you want, I realize I shouldn't expect you to do otherwise. It's the way you are and there's nothing wrong with it. So go ahead and do your crazy stuff. Just stop forming that cloud cult - it's doing things to Pinkie."

"Ponygood, Aradia's not a mister," Twilence giggled. "She's a she, like all of us here except for Mite. Wherever Mite is... Probably in jail with Vriska right now. And I'll consider Rarity, Bearer of the Water Crystal - a healer would be nice..."

"The last altar will be different," Orchid said.

"I know," Twilence agreed. "Do you know how?"

"No," Orchid said. "Not a clue."

Twilence shook her head. "Anyway, Sonic or Afizah, thank you again for what you've done. Creek... I really don't think you 'needed' to come to terms with it, at least not that way - but what's done is done. And Josh..." She read through the next few comments, brow furrowed. "...Okay, first, Ponygood, give Sunbro a break, you were all like that early on. No need to get angry like I did. Second, this doomed timeline business... Josh, why shouldn't I know that? Do you think I'm not willing to sacrifice myself?"

Orchid blinked. "Huh?"

"Apparently we may be stuck off the alpha timeline, in a doomed timeline. The only solution may be for Aradia to go back and doom us in this time. But she can do that on her own, not sure why they thought I needed to tell her to do anything. Just... What I'm concerned about here is that... Josh, you seemed to be manipulating me. Telling me to send her back, but leaving out key information so I would act. I mean, I'll probably consider it anyway, but..." She shook her head. "...It's a violation of trust."

"Thought you didn't trust them anyway."

"Josh was one of the ones I did. And Zen. And Akumakami - speaking of, haven't seen him for a while. I'm getting a little worried. Nickel, you're right, we aren't sure how much time has been messed up with all these additions. Zen... The Tree of Harmony. That... That might still exist. The Elements might even be around it..."

"Nope," a new voice said.

Orchid and Twilence turned to see a figure that definitely hadn't been standing there before - bright red robes with a white sun symbol in the center, scarlet wings coming off the back, and red eyes with eight pupils total. Seven in one eye and one in the other.

It was Vriska.

Only it wasn't. Her face coursed with strange, dark magics, and her expression was pained. She twirled in her hand six magic crystals - the Elements of Harmony. "I have them right here."

Twilence tensed. "...Siron?"

"No," Vriska said. "It's still me. Not like I can ignore the bastard's commands though. He's a sick freak, by the way, much like myself when I was younger. Except much more successful."

"...I'm sorry."

"Yeah, well, not like you even really caused this, from your perspective you were going to go back and fix things later," she laughed bitterly. "Heck, you still might."

Orchid glared. "What are you going to do with those Elements?"

Vriska put them all into an 8-ball. "Taunt you, apparently. Then I'm supposed to sit here and smirk while he grabs your friends."

Infinity and Fluttershy were lifted out of the ocean by two giant, shadowy tentacles. Neither was conscious.

Twilence looked at Vriska. "Come on Vriska, you can fight this."

"I am. I'm not smirking, am I?" Vriska pocketed the 8-ball and shrugged.

Orchid readied her stance. "Is there some game here we can play for Siron's amusement? If we beat you, we can go home free or something?"

Vriska nodded. "You'll be going home regardless. Siron wants to do it over again." She lifted her hand and an orb of red energy - Vester - appeared. "We can activate the Time Tunnels. But yes, Orchid, Siron loves games. He'll probably cheat in one way or another."

Orchid nodded. "I fully realize this. What are his terms?"

Vriska sighed. "Beat me, you guys go home without a problem. Lose, you help him open the Time Tunnels."

"I ACCEPT!" Pinkie said, popping out of nowhere. "Are you ready for this!?"

A smile came to Vriska's face. "Can I just say how glad I am that you are willing to cheat? Three on one. Fair enough. You do all realize this is just a game to Siron and that he's going to get what he wants either way? Maybe not in the exact same way, but he'll get something."

Twilence nodded. "Probably. But at this point, I'll take what I can get."

Vriska drew her sword. "He won't let me go easy on you."

"Course not," Pinkie said.

"Go!" Vriska yelled, flying into the air - throwing her dice on the ground.

8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8

Pinkie rolled her eyes. "Of course."

Vriska stood before them in some kind of powerful black armor lined in bright red, a slasher smile across her face. Her wings grew slightly further, and the aura of Vester surrounded her, summoning literal blood around her in a sheen. She glistened in the light of Twilence's horn. "Going to be honest here, this is gonna to be fun."

Pinkie swung with the frying pan, "Let there be a just death today!"

Blood shot from Vriska's body and stopped the pan in its tracks.

And then something unexpected happened.

A strange ring of magic appeared on the frying pan, eldritch circles activated by the magical blood. A black hole opened up and a strange hexagon shaped being of perfect flatness appeared, charging Vriska. She cut it in half with a swift motion, but its sharp shards cut her in many places with perfect slices.

Pinkie looked at the frying pan in mild disbelief. "Now if only I know how to use this-"

A fist of blood drove her into the ground in her distraction. Orchid moved next, the five spirits she had focusing their power on Vriska. She somehow dodged attacks made of gravity itself, appearing behind Orchid and kicking her to the ground. Twilence got kicked in the head before she could do anything.

Fluttershy screamed from her vantage point - apparently, she had woken up. "Twi!!!"

Twilence groaned, feeling the Eye activate. Why did it happen so fast?

She saw Aradia and Starlight appear in the sky for a split second and then vanish into time...

~~~

[IMPORTING...]

Vriska looked at the chief of police - a diminutive dragon - with an intense gaze. "So."

"So," he said.

"Want to tell me why you're still holding me?"

"There's no way anyone's that lucky. You cleaned out the house."

"Did you sense any magic? Did you find any methods of trickery? I'm just that good!"

"Casinos have never been cleaned out in the history of this city. Ever. There are laws in place that ensure casinos are allowed to rig games to keep it from happening."

Vriska laughed. "Those are some stupid laws."

The chief of police grunted. "I can hold you on delinquency."

"I think you and I both know you can't really hold me for anything."

"You are an unknown species. I can send you to the royal scientists, to be locked in the palace, never to return."

Vriska grinned. "Oh! Yes! Do that! Been trying to get to the palace anyway!"

The chief of police turned and tried not to scream. He grabbed a phone. "I've got prisoner 8888-8888 - how in blazes - here. She's an unknown so get her out of my sight the way only you people can do. She won't resist, and no I don't know why that is just take her already I am so done."

"Ineffective."

"What did you just say?" The chief shot Vriska a look.

Vriska shrugged. "Wasn't me, but I think it was implying you aren't a very good chief of police." She grinned. "So chop chop! Where are the royal scientists?"

"Here," a white dragon said, appearing in a puff of white magic. A tranquilizer shot was pressed into Vriska's shoulder. She wasn't sure if this was lucky or not. She passed out.