• 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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VIII

Author's Note:

[IMPORTING…][We know very little of the Sweeper’s ability to create the worlds, our sources dictate that she commandeered a Plot Device. A large machine that generates ideas at a consistent rate. The Sweeper is capable of creating and destroying entire worlds at her own whim. And with no moral compass to guide her, she does so with reckless abandon. She first creates the world itself, the environment and geography, following that she populates it with Neutrally-Processed Companions, as she is fully incapable of creating true life. Next she locates a- Fwi-PPPFFKKKKK. WHAT THE SLASH ARE YOU DOING AT MY REEDING STATION??!?! Oh, hey Key, what’s uuuuuup? Don’t give me that attitude, what are YOU DOING HERE? Bosses order small fry, turns out you were upsetting the Prop too much and it was reassigned to me. NNNNNRRGGNNN Twilight Sparkle has a reeding name, I’d appreciate if you decided to use it, Shutter! Tisk, tis, listen to you, getting all buddy-buddy with the Prop. Wait until everyone hears you decided to cal 2X4TS by its real name! So adorable! Get… out… of my booth! Ah-ah! Remember that you’re on your second strike, one more outburst and you’ll be Stationed. Just… Just don’t treat her like- Okay, buh-bye now, get out before I call he higher ups. RRRrrrriiictupt. That’s what I thought. Now, as for you, i’m here to answer any and all questions you may have, and don’t worry about Key, he’s been taken care of… …Ponygood speaking. I had forgotten you knew as much as you did about our world. I, personally, feel that the place beyond the mirror and the reality we exist are not the same, and that your reality isn’t as ‘full’ as ours. I also didn’t realize Equestria had that level of technology. Aside from Pinkie, I guess. Ooh, speaking of Pinkie, are you able to summon her by saying a portion of that phrase about breaking the trust of a friend and losing them forever? Also, if you can find a fire, can you try to send a letter through it to either Spike or whomever else? Also, I am sorry that you didn’t get some sweet new stuff, but life experiences are just as important aren’t they? And on that note, congratulations on completing your first real challenge on this island! I know you might want to just block out this potentially traumatic event, but that is not the ideal thing to do. Temporarily, it’s fine, especially since you have some pressing concerns. However, when you get the chance, acknowledge your actions, but don’t think you’re a murderer. Next kill will likely come more easily now that you’ve experienced it, but as long as you remember that there is good in the world and don’t fully desensitize yourself to it, you shouldn’t have to worry about going insane or anything. I can’t relate to this, since I’ve never had to kill, but I can at least give you some sort of scientific advice. If it helps, the creature that attacked you could be seen as an evil being that didn’t deserve to exist to terrorize others. But there is something important to mention, and that is to leave violence as a last resort if you can. You don’t really have a choice in this case, but try to look for non-violent and non-fatal solutions to problems. Maintaining that ideal will separate you from the bad people in the world, those who kill for pleasure or without morality. Also, I guess you wanted us to confirm that we can hear your thoughts. “Oranges, crystals, Butt the Cloud, Starswirl the Bearded…” …Twi-light! groan. My sister… is headed.. your way… Thump… …Ponygood again. I’m putting this in a separate thought, sot hat this doesn’t potentially invalidate my other comment. There is a person in our world known as Lauren Faust. She is an important person in the creation of a little girls’ show known as ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” which details the lives and adventures of the ponies of Ponyville, but most often the bearers of the Elements of Harmony. For various reasons, people other than just little girls were attracted to the show, and have created refuges on the Internet for others of their kind. One of these sites is Fimfiction.net, in which aspiring writers can create fanficiton of and including this show. One of the people, known in our community as GMBlackjack, or just Blackjack as you know him,d decided that he wanted to create an interactive story called ‘the Influence’ in which he originally created a situation and put you in it (the room where you found the Eye), and leaves each chapter of the story open-ended, for us viewers to comment our suggestions which are hopefully incorporated into the next chapter. So, in short, you are a fictional character being used by someone to create his own story for others to enjoy. We all know that you aren’t actually Twilight Sparkle, stuck in some mysterious island. However, there re two things that might make your eel better. One: I and others are willing to treat you like a real person, and to try to help you in this situation, which we are also treating as a real situation. We want to let this story end on a good note, for your sake as well as ours. Two, it is entirely possible that our universe is just one in a potentially infinite multiverse, though we don’t know for sure. So for all week now, there is a universe somewhere in which a purple pony is stuck on an island with a host if intangible people babbling at her. That is my description of your situation, using terms you hopefully understand… …”Hello is this thing working?” “I don’t know Twilight, I Just found the thing.” “Then why did it start glowing? And why did I just hear a voice telling me her sister was heading my way?” “Think it could be some communication device?” “Could be. I mean I have been to the world where everypony was human, so maybe this can communicate with other realities?” “I wonder why that one voice wanted us to say Oranges, crystals, Butt the Cloud, and Starswirl the Bearded?” “Good Question! Hey whoever’s out there that can hear this, why did you want us to say those things? I mean, I know Starswirl is the best wizard in Equestria, but what do oranges and crystals have to do with it? Also, who the heck names their foal Butt the Cloud? That’s like calling an earth pony filly ‘the Earth Filly…” …Josh here, yes we can hear your thoughts, your test words were “Oranges, Crystals, Butt the Cloud, Starswirl the Bearded.” I saw we use this communication altar to tell celestial what has happened to you, and if she has any advice that might help also assuming this hing doesn’t just shut down after you use it, you should let your friends know where you are, they’re probably worried by now. Also, way to go Ponygood, if that doesn’t give her an existential crisis I don’t know what will. P.S. Don’t feel to bad about killing, Twilight, I’ve seen so many worlds where killing is the only way out of a situation, if anything this will only help you down the road, but don’t get too used to it, that is a slippery slope you do not want to fall down… …Sorry… …Pro tip, next time you see the stars, try grabbing one with your telekinesis. Also, the altar is probably a trap. Be wary… …Just be weary Twilight, I believe these stars are related to the monster who attacked you, and that they definitely wouldn’t like you after defeating one of them and revealing the rest of them… …I hadn’t previously confirmed our aliases were masked from you. For simplicity I guess you can call me Nickel. You have some understanding of an earth pattern world so that makes things easier for us, we use the internet as the medium which we find and interface with yours tory, but I have no clue how hat in turn interacts with your world and while I have not looked at other stories by Blackjack I can find them in the same way. I won’t add any of the content of those since you already seem breathy overloaded. There is one thing that might help us some, I don’t know when you diverged from the primary Equestria or how and its possible I missed the clues, but anything you can tell us will give us a better idea of what you have already gone through. Major events or notable occurrences are best, but may be unique to your particular variant. I don’t know what kind of interaction we have with the worlds in our imaginations, but I feel that they are real even if its only within the mind of their creators, basically another idea of what is God. Actually the fact that this is presented as a story for us means you should be fine at least for now, how many fictions have you read where they killed of the main character before the plot was wrapped up? And besides, your story isn’t marked with the relevant tags for such an ending to be at all likely. When this ends for us I hope its fairly soon by your perspective, it seldom does good things to a world for it to be bound like this for long since you don’t want a boring story so things will keep going wrong, that was my mistake for my world, I ran it for far too long and now its earns too late to save the early parts of its history since I didn’t record it then, but in that regard you’re fine… …This is Zen. Ignore the dramatics, It’s just Afizah being ridiculous, of which I have grown tired. I would prevent it in the future if I could, but I lack the authority. Your attempt to contact Discord gave me a bizarre thought. You have been transported in space, presumably by some magic. In the past, you encountered magic which disrupted your position in time. It may be that the magic responsible for your present circumstances did something similar. Specifically, this most recent speculation of mine is that you may have been transported to a time during which Discord was still imprisoned - and, presumably, understanding of the magic responsible would be able to revert you back to a place and time before (for lack of a better word) this whole ordeal began. Thinking on it, the only magic confirmed to be able to restrain Discord is that of the Tree of Harmony, and he periods during which he was imprisoned in stone are the only times he was known to have been restrained by it. However, while it does make some amount of sense, it lacks quantifiable evidence. There is unknown magic in play, and considering even just moving you over fast distances and fixing the Eye to your chest, it must be considerably powerful. Thus, I would propose an experiment: use the device to contact Princess Celestia. If it works, and I am wrong, she will be glad to hear form you, and will endeavor to help you in any way she can. If I am right, then my understanding of her would lead me to believe she would still render aid, or at least offer advice. However, if I am right, it would prove to be an emotionally trying experience, and I would think no less of you for not taking that route. This is merely a proposal, the choice is yours, Twilight… …So let me start with my own introduction I am a traveler who made a deal something just shy of a god I am a world walker given a new form to match the world in outward appearance, but retain in the gift of my eye. I can only give aid in grave situations, so I go by storm crow the bird that flys before the storm to give warning. NOT BRINGING THE STORM. I think that we can only influence the world in small ways where we have the most influence is on your thoughts, like when someone suggested you try some grass wich normally you wouldn’t even consider, but then frog said you would be attacked by a minor evil. not blaming you might just be a good guess. Paradoxically the best way to test this would be to take a course of action we didn’t mention but my saying this means that any course is now one we recommend. Of course the forest until we mentioned it so so much conflicting…]

Twilight Sparkle stood, frozen, her mind reeling from the recent import.

"WHAT!?" She screamed. "WHAT!? Are you... Ponygood what the heck is wrong with you! How on- That can't be! There's no, no way, not at all... But it makes sense... Nickel and Josh commented on it, and it they disagreed... But... No can't be - but they were all dancing around something... They all talked like it was through the Interent... Lots of creating worlds... What Key was saying makes sense now... Heh... Hehehheh...." She started laughing. "This is crazy. This is just stupid. But it makes so much sense! Why would all of you want to torment me? Cause I'm a story! Why would you keep things from me? Why would you lie? Why would you do all those things that made no sense and talk about FOOD and make SOUND EFFECTS? Story! I'm nothing to you, just some escape for entertainment..." She twitched, trying to walk out of the platform, but it kept her in, demanding to know who she wished to talk to.

She was about to cast an explosion spell on the area when she got an idea. "I want to talk to Ponygood. Now. Bring him here."

>Out of Range<

Twilight twitched. "Zen?"

>Out of Range<

Twilight glowered. "G. M. Blackjack."

>Out of Range<

She groaned, putting her hooves over her head. "Why... Why does this all happen... Why..." She shivered, trying to regain control of herself. There was just too much - and the more she thought, the more Ponygood's explanation didn't answer everything. If she was nothing but a fictional character, why did she feel so real? Was it all an illusion - or were their stories really glances into another universe? Or was the imagination a powerful tool? The line between fiction and reality could be blurred with the correct spells... She rubbed her temples - she couldn't think this deeply. She suspected there wasn't an answer... Ponygood seemed to insist he still cared about her, Josh was worried about her mental state, and Nickel had offered some help on the issue... And then there was Key - or, well, Shutter now she guessed. This was all just too much to take in...

She needed a place to think about it.

...She needed somepony she could talk too.

Who could she contact? ...If Zen was right, and she was in the past, she didn't know anypony - or, at least, they didn't know her. Calling Celestia or Luna or any being alive right now wouldn't help... But, she could try to contact one of her friends. They'd know her. Or the machine would say 'out of range' and she'd know all she needed to know. She thought. It was hard to think right now.

"...My friends."

>Singular Entities Only<

Twilight twitched. "Only one!? Come on! I..." She sighed. Okay... Who did she want to talk to right now? Who could help her? Starlight knew the most about magic and time... Spike could help her organize her thoughts... So could Rarity... Shining was worried... ...Twilight didn't really want to talk to Pinkie right now...

...Fluttershy. That... She'd be the best to talk to right now.

"Fluttershy." Twilight said.

The magic field around the platform vanished for an instant, and suddenly Fluttershy was there, blinking, and a little confused. Twilight had hardly noticed any magic sparking at all. "...Huh?" the buttery yellow pegasus said, looking around confused. "Where- Twilight!?"

Twilight started crying with a smile on her face. "...Fluttershy. Hi."

Fluttershy gasped. "We've been so worried about you!" She rushed her into a hug.

"I... I... Fluttershy I... Everything's going wrong..." She buried her face in Fluttershy's mane.

"Shhhh.... I'm here now. Don't worry. I, uh, don't really understand what's going on right now, but I'll do what I can. What... What happened?"

"I... I woke up in a room after the ceremony... And this... EYE fixed itself to my chest... And it's kept pumping things... voices... into my mind... They all think I'm some sort of... Of story! And... I destroyed something... I... I don't know anymore..." She hugged Fluttershy tighter. "I... Wait."

"...What is it?"

"How am I touching you?"

"...Cause I'm here?"

"...This is just supposed to be a communication thing, you're not actually supposed to be here." Twilight bit her lip, looking around. The ancient technology had dulled its glow - as if it was done. "No..." Twilight said, panicking. She flew up to one of the outer spires, flooding it with her magic, trying to activate it - and getting nothing. "No..." She rushed to another pillar, then another, then the platform itself.

Fluttershy grabbed her. "Twilight! Stop! Just stop!"

"I... I've gotten you stuck here with me..."

Fluttershy hugged her closer. "You needed me. I... I'll be fine. Okay?"

Twilight collapsed into tears again, unable to take it. Fluttershy just held her close, "Shh... Shh..."

The two sat and hugged in the center of a magitech altar...

~~~

Twilight didn't know how much time passed before she felt like she could talk. "Okay... I'm calm now."

Fluttershy nodded, looking at Twilight with her deep, wide eyes. "...Can you tell me what's happening now?"

"I... Think so." She told Fluttershy everything - from the moment she woke up in the room, to the stars at the edge of her vision, to the town, to the forest itself, the creature she had to kill, and the Witch's Eye - and the Influence themselves.

"This Influence told you that you were a fictional character?" Fluttershy said, frowning.

"Yeah... And... I think they believe what they're saying."

"They've been wrong before, haven't they? You said so."

"...Yeah. But this is different..." She sighed. "I guess I'll just have to live with it."

"Yeah..." Fluttershy smiled. "But you can still live with it, I think. Whether it's right or not, you still live your life. And understand them better."

"...Thank you Fluttershy," Twilight said. "I... I needed this."

Fluttershy nodded, hugging her again. "I know."

"If.... If I hadn't called you..."

"Don't think about it," Fluttershy said.

Twilight beamed, a bright smile coming to her face. "You know... despite this, I feel like everything's going to be fine now. It feels... bright."

Fluttershy smiled. "I'm glad."

"We should head to town. I've got some poines I want to introduce you too."

"Pebbleton? It sounds like a nice place. Though... that Prancey sounds odd."

"...Think I should get her that powder she wants?"

Fluttershy pondered this. "Might as well."

Twilight grabbed one of the flowers with her telekinesis and ground it into a powder. Then she took off into the sky, Fluttershy right behind her. "Town's over there."

"I can see it," Fluttershy said. She started lazily flying in that direction, humming to herself. Twilight smiled - Fluttershy was a lot stronger than Twilight gave her credit for. Though... Now everypony at home was now worried about two missing ponies... They'd just have to find a way back soon. If the machine found Fluttershy, there was definitely a way to get back. She just had to find it.

"...What are they like?" Fluttershy asked.

"Huh?"

"The voices. The Influence. You told me what they told you, what are they like?"

Twilight blinked. "...Well, let's see... Zen is the nicest, and most reasonable, he seems the most interested in my success. Then there's Key... who... I'm not sure what's going on with him. He seems terrified and angry of things nobody else is, and I keep thinking it seems... forced, like he's either exaggerating or not right in the head. Course, he's just been replaced by someone new, Shutter, and I don't know what to make of them. Akumakami is also nice, though a bit long winded and sometimes says odd things. I... Don't know what to make of Ponygood. He wants to tell me... A lot of weird things, and he seems convinced we're on an island. Then there's Duke, who's pretty reasonable, though doesn't show up as often. Josh is... Kinda just there. I should probably pay more attention to him... Oh! Afizah and Eris, sisters, both of whom are crazy. Afizah seems to speak random things and Eris seems to want me dead. Then..." She stopped flying forward, eyes widening. "...I heard someone that sounded a lot like... me last update... Hey! Other me! Uh... Sorry I didn't say anything yet. I'm Twilight as well, and... I really don't know what to say. Can you tell me how you're talking to me?"

"...They can all just hear you?" Fluttershy asked.

"Hear my thoughts as well," Twilight said.

"Do you have any privacy?"

"Nope. It's a bit... Annoying."

"I can imagine."

They landed in Pebbleton, drawing a few glances. The town itself had calmed down from the moment with the sun earlier that day. Prancey ran up to them. "Oh my gosh another new pony who are you how are you?"

"Fluttter-" Fluttershy began.

Twilight nudged her. "Flutter... Skii. Flutterskii. That's her name," Twilight said, blinking.

Prancey narrowed her eyes. "...Oooookay. Did you get the stuff!?"

"Yes. Though I want to know what you're going to use it for."

"To drug my boss, duh, what else would I use it for?"

Fluttershy blinked. "That not very nice."

"Oh, he likes it."

Twilight smirked. "...I'll give it to you if you can get me a cloak to hid my wings and Eye, and a map."

Prancey grinned, running off to get those things. Twilight blinked. "Well then..."

Fluttershy shrugged. "At least you'll get what you need."

Wound Dream ran up to Twilight. "You might want to make yourself discrete."

Twilight blinked. "Huh? Why?"

"Because-"

"AHA!" A high-pitched voice rang out. "FOUND YOU!" Fluttershy and Twilight turned to see a white unicorn with a red and pink mane running at them. She stopped right next to Twilight, lighting her horn, and lifting up her wing. "They're real alright..."

Twilight pulled her wing back. "Uh... Who are you?"

"Infinity. I run the library." She grinned. "I must say you're absolutely fascinating! Want to come with me to do some tests!?"

"Uh... No thanks," Twilight said, backing up.

It was at this moment Prancey returned, throwing a deep purple cloak on Twilight, covering everything but her face. Annoyed, Twilight took off the hood, but left the rest on. She looked to her sides, examining it closely - she couldn't see her wings unless she moved them. Good.

Infinity gasped. "Oh that's a brilliant idea! Hide the wings! Nopony would be the wiser!"

"Here's a map!" Prancey said, shoving a piece of paper in front of Twilight. It was labeled 'The Known World' and showed a continent she didn't recognize. They were inside the largest nation sown, Peran, towards the northern border. To the southeast, on a peninsula jutting out into the ocean, was Peran's capital, marked as Chalak. To the south, there was a large swath of land called the Ice Shelf, and a small archipelago called Troisha. The southern oceans were labeled with iceberg icons. The east ocean was marked as Kraken Territory. To the northwest was another nation, Moissan, along with mountains that spilled off until the edge of the map. "Here be savage dragons" was written on the northern edge of Moissan. To the northeast was an area called the Lost Desert.

Twilight blinked. "...Huh. This... Helps, and at the same time it doesn't."

"How so?" Infinity insisted, grinning.

It was at this moment Twilight felt the Witch's Eye activate again. "...Great."