• Published 1st Aug 2012
  • 3,538 Views, 204 Comments

Identity Theft - FauxShores



100 people have been selected to go to a virtual representation of Equestria...

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Prologue

Author's Note:

Yeah, this is my first fan-fic. PLEASE point out any grammatical errors, weird wording issues and stuff like that. I got the idea for this fic a few days ago, so its not completely polished. I hope you all can enjoy it anyways though.

ON WITH THE STORY!

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“I honestly never thought that anything this good could happen to me” Jake said with a smile that would put Pinkie Pie to shame. “I’ve always had life pretty good, but this is just too much to comprehend.”

There are too many flashing lights in this place. Jake thought.

Jake remained still in his seat while the reporters moved on to ask the other winners questions. One particularly large man with a badge was trying his hardest to get to the front of the press. Armed with a directional microphone and half of a tuna melt, he fought his way to the front lines.

People will do anything to get a good story.

Jake checked his phone while the press temporarily moved on to another target.

7:30. Only a half hour of this to go. Then I can get ready for the greatest moment of my life.

Jake sat patiently as just about every question he could think of was thrown at him and his peers.

“Are you going to miss your family?”

“How do you feel about what you may become?”

“Are you scared?

The last question in particular made Jake laugh a bit.

Of course I’m scared. There isn’t a man in the world who could go into this without some anxiety.

After what seemed like an eternity of twenty questions the man of the hour arrived to pop the press bubble. He was wearing an off colored suit and a ridiculous tie.

“Ok, its eight o’ clock. Winners, if you could follow me into the back room we can start the preparation for tonight.” He said.

Jake and the others stood and stretched. Two hours of sitting and being yelled at by every major news station on the planet wasn't exactly relaxing, as it turns out. It took a minute to push through the waves of media and close the doors, but soon enough Jake was surrounded by near silence.

In front of the group was a small auditorium, furnished with theater chairs and a podium for the briefing. The “Winners” as the press liked to call them, took their seats and waited for the real show to begin. It was only eight in the morning and it had already been a long day.

Daniel Graff, President of the Integrative Entertainment Corporation took his spot on the stage while everyone got settled. He was the kind of person who loved attention, and he wasn’t afraid to show it.

“Ahem.” He adjusted his mic slightly to account for him being a tad shorter than the average man. “Good morning. How are you all on this…” he paused to find the proper word. “exciting, day?”

Exciting was a bit of an understatement. This is the most important day of the lives of everyone in here.

Daniel continued. “I assume you all got a good night sleep?” He smirked. He knew there was no way anyone in this room would have been able to sleep last night. “Today is a big day for you all.”

Jake rolled his eyes. This is the most melodramatic thing I have ever been a part of. Get on with it.

Daniel could tell at this point that everyone was beginning to get a bit impatient. Understandable, but still, he wanted to savor the moment.

“Alright, alright.” He surrendered. “I bet you are all wondering why I have gathered you here today?” Even he knew that joke was bad.

Half of the room sighed. It was going to be a long morning. Not that anyone could really complain. Most of the room would willingly cut off an arm or leg to have the opportunity to be here. A man with a bad taste in suits and a cringe-worthy sense of humor was nothing.

I still can’t believe I’m sitting here right now.

It was hard to believe that only a few months ago life was normal for everyone in the room. It had only been two months since the event was announced, and no one really expected to win the drawing that they hosted. Jake was one of the few who got this opportunity.

I still can’t believe it all happened this way.

* * *

It was the end of summer, and the convention was coming to an end. BroNYCon 2014 had been the biggest brony event in history, with over twenty thousand attending. It was safe to say that the community had grown faster than anyone could have expected.

Jake Stone and his best friend Tyler had been working their booth all morning. Tyler would sell Jake’s albums and Jake would sign them and talk to the fans. They both enjoyed doing it, and it was really great to see all the supporters.

“It’s always nice to meet a fan” Jake said, shaking the hand of one of his more active YouTube subscribers. “Where would you like me to sign? On the cover or on the disk?”

They would always ask to sign the disk. Jake was beginning to wonder why he asked the question in the first place.

As he finished signing he could tell his customer was excited. “Thanks man, I’ll be sure to tell my friends about this” he said as he walked off.

“No worries man, have a nice day!” Jake smiled. A few years ago he had never even released an album. Now he had his own booth at BroNYCon. He wasn’t as popular as Tomb or Glaze, but he had enough fans to feel important, and being important felt nice.

The money wasn’t bad either. Jake was able to sell his albums for five bucks each. He didn’t really need the money, but his friend Tyler spent all he had getting here, so a couple bucks would at least let them get something to eat for lunch. Subway sounded pretty good.

Jake signed his last CD and smiled at a young girl who was giddy with excitement. “Looks like you’re the last one. Did you have fun at the convention?”

She laughed. “Yeah. This whole thing has been surreal. I never knew there were this many bronies!”

Jake smiled. Neither did he. It really was crazy to see this many people here. Maybe it was because of the movie Hasbro made.

“It’s pretty great isn’t it?” He handed her the disc. “Well I’m glad you had a good time.”

Jake looked at the clock and decided it was time to head out. He and Tyler packed up their stuff and got ready to head back to the hotel. Jake was folding the table when there was an announcement over the P.A system.

“Is this thing on? Ahem. Hello everybody, you don’t know me, but my name is Daniel Graff, and for everybrony here that has ever wanted to go to Equestria, do I have a surprise for you. Could I get everyone center stage here?”

As bad as the pun on everypony was, Jake and Tyler were interested.

“What do you think he has?” Jake asked his friend as they set down the table.

“Probably just a pony ride or something, but still, let’s check it out.” Tyler joked.

* * *

The crowd was huge. Jake and Tyler settled for a spot in the back and looked towards the man on stage. He was kind of stalky, middle aged and he had a really tacky suit and tie.

“Who do you think dressed him?” Jake laughed.

Tyler rolled his eyes and waited for the man to speak.

Daniel checked the volume on his mic and began his presentation.

“I bet you are all wondering why I gathered you here today”

Jake and Tyler exchanged looks. Yeah. This is gonna be lame.

Daniel continued “I know most of you aren’t going to believe me when I say this, but I have a really interesting opportunity for you all. As you all probably heard from E3 this year, we have some pretty interesting technology coming out.”

That was an understatement. This year E3 presented a system that allowed people to insert their minds into a computer. It was all over the news. Microsoft said that they would be able to develop games for it soon if the technology became a bit more stable.

Man I would love to play Halo on that.

“Many of you may have heard of something called “Integrative Entertainment”. It’s pretty neat stuff isn’t it, the idea of going to a world that is completely fictional, yet completely real?”

Jake and Tyler exchanged looks.

If he is going where I think he is with this, this is going to be the best convention ever.

“Some people said that our technology was unethical. They said we were doing God’s work.” Daniel laughed a bit. “Well if our work is godlike, I’d say that’s something to be proud of. Now, at E3 we said we had some projects that we would be releasing soon. Hell, we said we would be releasing information in just a few weeks! Well the weeks have passed.”

The lights dimmed. A projector screen lowered in the background and Daniel suddenly became very focused.

“In the last two years, the brony community has grown. You all are a part of a sensation that has changed the way we view maturity. Integrative Entertainment has been in progress for years. We have known what we have wanted the technology to be, but we didn’t know what we wanted to have for a story.”

Daniel smiled. “Well, a year ago we were inspired, not only by the growing masses of bronies, but by what they stand for. A year ago we learned what we wanted to contribute to.”

He flashed his arms on stage with passive flair.

“I present to you all, Project Equestria!”

He took a bow. He was the king of drama.

“One hundred lucky members attending this convention will be given a chance to live the brony dream. If you are selected, and if you so choose to participate, the following will happen. First, we will take you to our headquarters in LA, and we will prepare you for what is to come. Next, we will allow you to use our new system, which will take you to the digitally created world of Equestria. You will become one of the ponies from the TV show, and you will get to live there.”

The room was silent.

Oh. My. God. There was no way this could be legit.

The room was stunned. No one could believe what they were hearing. Finally, a brave young man asked the question they all wanted to know the answer to.

“Are you joking?”

Daniel grinned. “Not at all my friend. Not at all.”

* * *

Jake adjusted his seat in the auditorium. He and the other winners were a bit anxious, and Daniel’s routine was getting a bit old.

“Now. Before we progress I want to remind you all of what you have signed up for here.” Daniel proclaimed. “It is not too late to leave if you aren’t completely comfortable with what is about to happen.”

No one budged. This was not an opportunity that anyone here would be willing to let go.

“As I explained at the convention, there are a few things about this system that are a bit controversial.”

If you considered the entire world being at unease about it to be controversial.

“As I explained from day one, you are about to become a digital representation of one of the ponies from the TV show. Your mind will exist inside our computer systems. Computers or not, it will feel very, very real.”

I hope so.

“As I also explained, this technology is new, and it is as of now irreversible. By volunteering to do this, you are volunteering to leave this world forever.” For the first time in his life he looked serious. “You can’t come back from this machine. Is that clear?”

Everybody nodded.

“Ok. Again, you can leave if this is uncomfortable.”

The room, as a whole, was extremely uncomfortable. No one, however, would leave. Everyone here wanted this more than anything in the world. Equestria, unlike Earth, was a place that was truly good. No one would pass that up.

“Furthermore” He said. “There are only one hundred of you going in. As you probably know, there are more than one hundred ponies in Equestria.”

Eeyup.

“The ponies that are not being controlled by you will be controlled by people here on the outside.” He said. “We have pretty complicated systems set up, but we are pretty sure you won’t be able to tell the difference between the two.”

Bet he already got dibs on Celestia.

Daniel gave a slight smile. “Moving on, as you all know, the population of Ponyville is mostly female. Of the 100 ponies we selected for you all to represent, 82 of them are female.” Daniel paused as he looked around the room. “As I’m sure you all know, most of you are male. To be exact, 76 of you volunteers are male. We don’t want to let you all pick which pony you will become because there would obviously be fights over who gets to be the more popular characters. You will all be assigned a random pony.” Daniel looked around the room again.

“That means a lot of you males are going to find out what it’s like to be female. Are you all comfortable with that?”

Everyone nodded.

He continued. “And unlike the show, in this world being female means you will actually be female.” He smiled. “Do you get what I’m saying?”

Everyone nodded again.

My sex is not important enough to me to make me pass this up.

Daniel resumed his speech. “Okay then.”

He shifted his balance a bit. ”As you all know, we do love this show, but we are doing this for a profit. To make money, we are going to broadcast Ponyville to the general public.” Daniel adjusted his mic a bit. “You will all have someone who is focused on keeping a virtual camera on you most of the time. Obviously there are a few exceptions as we do respect your privacy.”

I don’t care if I am a tool for your economic goals. I need this.

“Are you all okay with this?”

Again, everyone nodded.

Daniel looked to his crew. “Well, those are the main things, we can discuss smaller details as we get going. This show is set to kick off at midnight. Are you all ready to get going?”

Everyone stood up and nodded.

“Let’s do this.” He smiled.

* * *

It was eleven forty-five. Fifteen minutes until Jake would literally become a pony. He wasn’t sure if he was excited or if he was afraid. It was probably a bit of both. These last few months had been stressful. Ever since he had the winning draw at BroNYCon he was making life altering choices.

Naturally, there were people in Jake's life who did not want him to be here. His family was completely against it, and when he told them that he was going to do it anyway they didn’t understand.

I bet dad still hates me for abandoning them. It’s not my fault. Why can’t they understand how much this means to me?

Jake sighed. Some people would never understand what it was that made him feel this way. This opportunity was just too much to let slip by. If he decided against it he would be incredibly depressed for having given it up. His parents wouldn’t want that would they?

Jake closed his eyes. It didn’t matter anymore. What was done was done. He remembered back to when he told everyone he was going to do it. Dad freaked out and drove off. Probably to a bar, which was weird because he never left like that. Mom had told him that she understood. She probably didn’t, but it was nice to hear the support. His brother, and non-brony friends thought it was cool he would be on TV, but they didn’t understand why he would want to be a pony.

To be honest, hearing anyone say “I want to be a pony” is kind of odd.

“My family doesn’t get it” He said to himself. “Almost no one does.”

With that he brought his hand up to his chest and felt a loose necklace around his neck. Jake and the others had been required to strip down to their underwear so the technicians could properly apply nodes to different areas of their bodies. The only thing they were allowed to have with them was a small keepsake. Daniel said that they could all have a small token of Earth to bring with them into Equestria. He said the programmers would make sure they would have it when they woke up in the morning.

Jake smiled at the thought of being able to take a small bit of his life with him. He gripped the necklace tightly. That necklace had memories.

Are you still happy for me?

Jake rubbed the handmade piece as he waited for the event to begin.

This is my last night on Earth.

He still couldn’t decide if he was excited or scared. There had never been a moment like this for him. There had never been a moment like this for any of them really. It was a new experience, and he was living it first-hand. Or first-hoof. God this was strange.

Suddenly, he felt the pressure in the room change. A thick fog filled the room and Jake knew it was the beginning. As he breathed in the chemicals he began to lose consciousness.

Tomorrow I wake up in Equestria. He thought. And as soon as he did he was out. Flashes of light captured his essence and began to build his new life in a new world.

Tomorrow Jake would wake up someone else.