• 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.

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Author's Note:

[IMPORTING][…Fine, you want an introduction? You’ll get a name. I’m known as Key, and I’m involved to see to it that those watching you continue to watch. The second they lose interest, you cease to exist, understood? Now follow Prancey and begin your flaking adventure already!… …Don’t be frightened by Key. You came to exist independently of us, and I for one seriously doubt that our absence would mean your destruction. I’m Zen, by the way. Now, I advise the you tell this nice pony the truth: some unknown entity has placed you in an unknown location, and fixed an artifact to your chest that channels communications from a multitude of unknown creatures into your mind, and that it has thus far only caused you difficulty… …Now Zen? Of all times to oppose me you choose now!? Twilight needs to get a move on, I’m just making sure she reeding knows that!… …Me? I’m a frog. Kind of. And I apologize for encouraging you to eat the grass. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I don’t know why either. I imagine we’re all confusing the hell out of you. One of us is waxing poetic, one is waxing hungry, and the rest are waxing confusion. We really know nothing… …Ignore the ones that claim to know about what’s around you more than you do, they are just trying to confuse you. I’m Josh by the way, weird name I know but that’s only because we’re form another world from yours, and as for our race? We are humans, you know, the things from the other side of that mirror the leads you to a world similar to ours. Also time works in strange ways between worlds that is why we seem to talk at the same time and why we seem to start talking at random times… …I apologize for the confusion we have been causing you. My name is Afizah. It means One Who Guards the Knowledge and Modesty. My sister on the other hand is named Eris. A name meaning discord. She claims to be a goddess. If you hear a voice telling you to go to the forest, don’t follow its advice for that is her and the forest has dangers you are not yet ready for. Look for the scholar’s tree and find the tome of travel, it will keep you safe in your journey to the lost mountain… …Ha! As if little miss knowledge knows what’s going on anyway. I have no desire to tell you my name. I will tell you, however, that those who say they have the answers don’t. My advice is to forget ever getting out of here for the only way out is to DIE!!! Survive if you can. HAHAHAHAH!!!… …You may call me the Wolf. Trust me when I say I have your best interests at heart. I would not recommend giving the pony your name, names have power, and you are in enough trouble. As for being able to speak, we have no control over when we can or cannot. Just that we can take advantage of when we can… …Now I see I am slightly late to the party, oh dear. I am the one they call Duke. It’s a pleasure. What appears to be happening here is a sort of reverse fourth wall break. Periodically throughout this… “adventure” a snapshot of sorts of your progress from the last interaction is sent to us, at which point we think over the situation, send feedback, and await the next snapshot… …I am really sorry princess for the verbal abuse you are receiving from us. We haven’t been able to talk to anybody in well actually I don’t know how long it’s been but… …No I will not give you pumping pie stop talking about food dam it. This is important! anyway my name is Crystal… …Hi I’m Darkus~! Does she have cake?… …Well as long as we are doing introductions, I’m Nizzy, and I do believe Duke’s assessment of the situation is accurate…]

Holy Celestia that was a lot to unpack. It'd take a while for her to sort through all that-

"Uh, hello?" Prancey said, waving her hoof in front of Twilight's face. "It's been a second! What's your name?"

"Twilight!" Twilight said without thinking. Wait, names might be dangerous... "Twilight, uh... Glimmer!" Verrry creative...

"Oh cool! Welcome to Pebbleton!"

"Uh, yeah, thanks!" Names, organize the names... Key, Zen, Frog, Josh, Afizah, Eris, Wolf, Duke, Darkus of the random food, and Nizzy...

"Oh come on, out of the grass there! No need to hide!" Prancey tugged on Twilight, pulling her out of the grass and into the open. She spread her wings out of a reflex, trying to back up but failing. Prancey gasped at what she saw - causing the entire town to turn and look, save Diorite, who remained fast asleep.

"Oh, uh..." Twilight looked down at the artifact. "Yeah, uh, I'm lost, something has placed me here against my will and stuck this artifact to my chest that tells me things. Or a lot of voices tell me things. It's not dangerous, probably, I really don't know. It's very confusing. Uh..." Yeah that wasn't confusing at all thanks for the idea, Zen.

Prancey blinked. "Oh. There's an eye thing there. Hadn't noticed. Weird."

"Then what...?"

"The wings! Unicorns don't have wings! What are you?"

"Uh... An alicorn?" Twilight was a bit taken aback, nopony ever called her out for being an alicorn.

Prancey blinked. "...Wow, you really aren't from around here are you? Don't worry, Prancey here's got you covered! I can tell you literally aaaaaaaaanything you want to know!" She looked around at all the townsponies staring at them. "But first let's go somewhere more private. Extreme case of NOSY MUSSLES going around!"

A brown and white earth pony shook her hoof at Prancey. "Shut it! We can look at what we darn well please!"

"Yeeeeeeeah," Prancey rolled her eyes. "Let's go to the inn, there's drink and less out-in-the-openness. Plus, who knows what could happen there?" She gave a playful wink. "Come on, bring your voices with you!"

Twilight blinked. "Uh... Okay." She walked after Prancey, still a little baffled from the whole experience, still trying to sift through the new dump of information. Being deep in her thoughts, she walked facefirst into the door. "Ow..."

Prancey giggled, opening it for her. "Got a lot on your mind?"

"You... Don't know the half of it."

The tavern was a small, wooden building with four tables and a bar inside. There were stairs leading to a second floor, and an unlit fireplace on the opposite wall. At the bar stood a blue unicorn stallion with the most boring expression imaginable. "Prancey, you know I don't allow you to bring in-"

Prancey interrupted. "Page, boss, page, my man, if I was into this purple thing here, I'd sneak through the back window and you'd never know I was here. Or I'd drug you. Or I'd convince you to take the night off and let me run the place for a while. This poor mare's just lost, and needs to get back on her feet!"

"Uh, yeah," Twilight confirmed, looking at Prancey. Drug him? "I'm Twilight... Glimmer."

"You have wings." Page noted.

"Yes. Yes I do. I'm an alicorn."

"...Think I could get away with charging her double?"

Prancey facehooved. "Page! I'm paying for her! She doesn't have money! Do you see any saddlebags on her?"

"No. But you never know with a unicorn." He blinked slowly, turning to walk out the back. "You take the counter then."

"Oooooo-kay!" Prancey leaped behind the counter and produced a drink from beneath it, chugging it. "So, you like blueberry wine?"

Twilight blinked. "I generally don't have alcoholic... anything really. Unless it was this cider a friend of mine made."

Prancey gasped. "You don't!? Wow. You're something special. I don't think we have cider but lemme check..." She began to rummage through the cupboards and pantries, looking for a single drop of the elusive drink. "Yoo-hoo, cider..."

As she looked, Twilight sat at a stool and thought through things. With the most recent dump of information, she was certain the voices really didn't know much more than she did, if anything. If they were humans like that one had said, they lived in a world similar to Sunset's... which meant little, if any, magic. They probably only saw what she saw, heard what she heard - nothing more. Those that were talking about strange things were just messing with her - though why anyone would do that was beyond her. She was lost, worried, afraid, and they decided that it was a good time to torment her? What kind of people were they? ...She was pretty sure that the one that wanted her dead, presumably Eris, was just evil, but the others? Darkus and his obsession with food? Afizah and his talking about the scholar's tree and the mountain? It meant nothing - unless it did. Maybe they didn't know as much about each other as they thought...

At least some of them had apologized and tried to explain how it worked to her. She was thankful for that. Though she had no idea what a fourth wall break was. She didn't know what a lot of the things they talked about were. She knew some of them were being purposefully vague...

Her thoughts were interrupted when the door to the tavern flew open, revealing a deep purple unicorn mare with a thin orange mane. She trotted up to the bar, sat on the stool, and slumped. She tossed a few silver coins onto the bar. "Blueberry wine."

"Here you are!" Prancey said, tossing her the glass, continuing her search for the cider.

The unicorn took a drink and sighed. "Why..."

"Are you okay?" Twilight asked.

"I'm fine. It's just that my clockwork swan doesn't want to work. Every time I wind the spring it makes a single ring and then won't turn more than fifteen degrees..."

"A clockwork swan?" Twilight's eyes sparkled. "That sounds amazing!"

"It would be, if it worked."

"I'm sure you can do it if you just work at it a while."

"Been on it for a week."

Twilight shrugged. "Well, even if it doesn't turn, it still makes that ring doesn't it?"

The mare looked up at her for the first time, looking her up and down. She blinked. "...There's no way I'm that drunk."

"I really do have an eye artifact in my chest, and wings. And a horn. I'm Twilight Glimmer."

"Wound Dream. In about three minutes the reality of your existence is going to hit me and I'm going to start staring, be warned."

"Uh... Okay?"

"Found it!" Prancey said, slamming a mug on the table and filling it with a browned liquid. "CIDER! Back of the pantry, been there for probably a decade!"

Twilight blinked. "Wouldn't it spoil by then?"

"Your cider, maybe, not this stuff though! This is industrial-strength-power!"

Twilight took a sip. It tasted vaguely like Applejack's cider - nowhere near as good, but still refreshing. "...This is pretty good, actually."

"Score one for the prancester!"

Wound rolled her eyes. "Another blueberry."

"Right at ya!" She tossed Wound another blueberry wine. "Now, Twilight, you must be lost and confused."

"Yeah... I just want to get home."

"Well, maybe I know where your home is! C'mon, test my vast stores of knowledge!"

Wound snorted at this remark. Twilight decided to give it a shot. "I'm from Ponyville. ...Equestria."

Prancey blinked. "...No idea. Sorry."

Twilight sighed. "I wasn't expecting much. I'm pretty knowledgeable on geography myself, and I have no idea where I am. These lands are so alien..."

"Our nation is called Peran, if that helps," Wound offered.

Twilight frowned. "That... Sounds like I may have read it in a book somewhere one time. So no, not really."

"Sorry," Prancer said, frowning, "we'll help you find your home if we can."

"Thank you," Twilight said. It was at this moment Wound started staring at her. Twilight sighed. "...What?"

"Wings. Horn. How?"

"I used to be a unicorn as was given wings by powerful magic."

"You're a mage?"

"It's my special talent."

Wound started grinning crazily, the face of a mare getting ideas. "And what about the third eye? Legends say things with three eyes can see the future..."

"Uh... It sometimes dumps information into my head. Several different 'voices' talk to me, and they really don't know as much as they let on."

"Where'd you find it?"

"Where I woke up. In a strange purple gazebo-temple on top of an island in a lake... a lake that no longer exists, apparently."

Prancey tripped. "The vanishing lake? You were THERE? You woke up THERE?"

"Uh... Yeah! You've heard of it?"

"Every pony here knows the legend of the lake that is filled with huge monsters and can never be found by the same pony twice! We all thought it was a folk tale!"

"You didn't," Wound said.

"Unimportant. Were there really giant seven eyed sharks? Was the water really solid?"

"...Yes and yes." Twilight affirmed.

"You're amazing. Just what this town needs, some excitement!"

"The Mayor and Diorite are going to want to talk to her..." Wound said, still staring at Twilight. She looked like she wanted to say something, but didn't.

"Yeah, of course, but that can happen later." Prancey gave Twilight another mug of cider. "Right now, she relaxes, away from the public eye!"

Twilight smiled. "Yeah, that'd be good. Thank you both for showing me such kindness. It means a lot." She frowned. "...Hey, what do you know about that forest?"

"The Bluemish?" Prancey asked.

"Stupid name," Wound muttered.

"Maybe?" Twilight said.

"Magic forest, lots of spirits there. I would usually say to stay away from it, but you do seem the magic-y type, so you'd probably be fine. It's got a lot of weird spells and ancient rocks everywhere, plus those flowers will totally mess with your head! Hey, if you went there, think you could get me some? I'm running out of sleep powder."

"Uh... I don't know if I'm going there."

"No biggy, only if you're there." Prancey shrugged. Then she leaned in and tapped the eye artifact. "Hiiiiiiii there voices! How are you this fine day?"

There was no response.

"Aw... Guess they don't want to talk."

"It usually takes a while for them to call again," Twilight said, "they just talked to me back when I met you."

"Oh so thaaaat's why you froze up. Gotcha. That's gotta be annoying."

"You have no idea..." Twilight yawned. "...Celestia, I'm tired..."

Wound raised an eyebrow at the use of 'Celestia', but said nothing. Prancey shrugged. "I can get you a bed upstairs, but the mayor and Diorite will want to talk to you."

Twilight nodded. Then she felt the warmth in her chest. "...It's happening agian."

Prancey stuck her ear to the glowing eye. "I don't hear anything."

"It goes directly to my mind, you won-"

Then Twilight's mind was flooded once more...