Ponies VS The Internet
By Tooney D
The young pink mare galloped home, not believing what had just happened. At first she thought it was nothing, really. Just random occurrences happening, completely unrelated to one another. She had her suspicions for a couple days, but this absolutely proved it. She had to find her brother, and fast. He could already be under its influence.
It all started about a month ago when Cherry began to notice the strange ways her fellow citizens of Ponyville were acting. At first, it was just the choice of words that certain ponies would say that seemed a bit unlike them. There was a slight increase in curse words, which was a bit odd, seeing as how Ponyville was rather clean in the language department, and really had no need for it. It was a bit weird for her at first, but she didn’t want to judge another pony on the words they use to express themselves…or at least, that’s what she learned from watching Twilight.
She also began to notice sudden bursts of affection between two ponies, no matter how completely different they were. This was when her suspicions began, since most of these came without warning. For some reason, most of the couples were fillyfoolers. It wasn’t odd for lesbians to be in Equestria, but a sudden outburst of mare romance in one city was. She began to wonder if someone dropped a love potion into the drinking water again. Good thing she had her own private well down at the valley.
But the last straw was this morning, when Cherry was at the farmers’ market, sitting at her cherry cart, waiting for customers to come and buy some of her hard-work. Business, hadn’t been so good since the Apple family invented Apple Soup. The only ones who would ever come to her booth anymore were Mr. and Mrs. Cake for cherries to put on top of ice cream and such, Pinkie Pie because she was building some sort of mega-monument to herself out of sweets which she was planning on destroying and consuming after it was complete, and Fluttershy, who only came around because she didn’t want Cherry to feel left out. Fluttershy was always a big ol’ sweetheart, and Cherry always waited eagerly for her arrival. Just as she saw Fluttershy turn the corner, Cherry could feel a grin creep upon her face. She straightened up, fixed her mane, and put on her best happy face. Heck, it was like she was preparing to go on a date.
“Good morning, Fluttershy! How are you?” Cherry said cheerfully.
“Yo, what up, nigs. Jus’ came by t’grab me summa dem cherries before I head out with mah homies.”
Cherry was silent for about a minute or two, not entirely sure how to respond to that.
“Hurry it up, dawg. I got places t’go, n’ hoes t’meet.”
“…A-Are you feeling alright, Fluttershy?”
“Neva’ better. Why? Got a rash?” Fluttershy inspected her flank.
“You’re talking really weird…”
“Whatchoo talkin’ bout, nigga?”
“I’m talking about THAT…”
“Yo, you be trippin, bitch. Now shut up and gimme dem cherries before Fluttah-Fly’s gotta smack a hoe.”
Cherry, still rather stunned, handed the yellow pegasus a 5 pound bag of cherries. Fluttershy took a fistful of bits in her hoof, and threw them on the ground in front of her. Cherry just looked at her friend in disbelief as Fluttershy walked away. Of course, Fluttershy did take a few seconds to glance behind her to see Cherry’s bum in the air as she scraped up the bits. Fluttershy bit her bottom lip and grinned.
“Mmmm~mm…dat cutie mark.”
Cherry dropped the bits, realizing what the yellow pegasus was doing, and began to gallop home as fast as she could, her cheeks red with embarrassment.
Cherry raced through the orchard, determined to get home and tell her brother she wasn’t crazy. She kept going, her hooves kicking up the fallen cherry blossoms, getting them caught once again in the wind’s current, whisking them to parts unknown. As she saw her little pink and white cottage grow closer, she noticed her brother wasn’t at his normal place on the porch. He’d usually spend all morning sitting out there, reading a book, watching the blossoms of spring bloom. Maybe he was just inside getting something to eat or drink? She ran in, expecting to see her brother in the kitchen. He wasn’t there either. She started running around the house, calling for him. No answer. Finally, she noticed the door to his room was closed. She heard giggling and muffled moans and whispers from inside. Her face turned white. She hoped to god that it wasn’t some random filly off the street, and that her brother wasn’t under the influence of whatever is going on. And if not, she at least hoped it was a mare that Coke SOMEWHAT knew or had SOMETHING in common with.
Well, at least Lucky was one of Coke’s friends, right?
At first, the two of them didn’t notice Cherry walk in. They just…”Going at it”. As soon as he saw her, Cherry Coke jumped up from the bed, his mane tangled and ruffled, his body covered in sweat, and his cheeks blushed bright red.
“O-Oh! H-Hey, sis! I, uh, thought you were gunna be out longer!” He said, a nervous grin on his face, trying to hide his shame of just being walked in on by his sister.
Lucky jumped up as well, “T-Thanks, Coke, fer savin’ me life. I was chokin’ on that chicken bone pretty good-like! Thanks fer th’mouth ta mouth!” His face shared the same nervous grin as Coke’s did. Both of them knew their excuses didn’t work on Cherry, seeing how her face was still frozen in shock, her mouth still gaping.
Coke took a deep breath, and began to come clean. “….Look, sis--“
Coke jumped back a little at the sudden shout. “What do you mean ‘you too’?”
“Everyone’s been acting crazy lately, and it’s got you too! There’s been a sudden burst of romance EVERYWHERE!”
Coke looked at Lucky, who just shrugged and said, “Well, tis it a bad thing? I mean, all we really need in life is a little love.”
“Why are you even talking with that accent?! You never used to have one!”
“What’re ya talkin’ about? Twas’ born in Ireland, ya know. A’course I’m going to have an accent.”
“Where in Celestia’s name is Ireland!?”
Coke put his hoof on his sister’s shoulder. “Look, you’re just in shock from seeing your big brother in the arms of another colt…you just need to go lie down and take it all in.”
She pushed his hoof away. “I-I’m sorry, but I can’t just ignore what’s going on…Not just between you and Lucky, but of all of Ponyville…”
And with that, she raced out of the house, towards the library, ready to find anything that could help her.
Cherry spent the next month studying everything she could on pony minds and if it can be controlled by magic. Day in and day out she would read and read and read until her brain was close to frying. Eventually, the books stopped helping her, as she learned that not even unicorn magic could do something like this. Unicorn magic turned ponies into zombies, causing them to follow the bidding of the caster of the spell, but shutting off the ponies mind completely, making them dumb as rocks. No, this new magic was far more then that. It turned the ponies into living meat-puppets, not only being controlled by body, but by soul as well. As the month went on, more and more things began to happen. She noticed after a period of time, ponies would ‘reset’ themselves. After a certain time had passed after an incident, the ponies involved would forget all about it, and go on with their normal lives. For example, Lucky and Coke suddenly stopped dating. When she asked why, Coke’s response was, “What are you talking about? You know I’m no coltcuddler!”
One night, Cherry was walking home from the library, a new batch of books in her saddlebag. As she walked, she wondered why she was even breaking her back trying to get to the bottom of this. Everypony seemed happy with their lives, so why bother? She wasn’t being affected by whatever it was, so she really had no--
…Wait…Why WASN’T she affected?
Cherry suddenly stopped as she noticed the faint clopping that had been following her for the past half mile. She had been so trained in thought she had been unable to hear it. She froze for a few seconds out of fear before swiveling around to see a shadow being cast over her by a towering stallion.
End of Part I
Ponies VS the Internet II
By Tooney D
Cherry looked up at the large stallion before her. He was a good 15, maybe 20 years older then her. His coat was ghost-white, and his mane was a dark shade of blue, slicked backwards. His eyes were a dark yellow, unflinching as they examined her. Upon his lip was a thin pointed moustache, and upon his flank was a silver serving dish. He wore a bright red bow-tie and a pair of cufflinks on his hooves. She recognized him from town, as being the waiter at the Delicious Dishes restaurant. She never talked to him, never ate at his restaurant…heck, she never even took the time to learn his name. She stepped back…even if he was known for serving sandwiches, he still looked pretty intimidating in the moonlight.
“Bonjour, Mizz Sherry.” He said, bowing to her like a gentleman. His voice didn’t seem threatening at all. It was soft and grandfatherly, with a French twist, of course. Cherry was rather taken back from his voice, coming from such an intimidating looking fellow.
“…W-Who are you and why are you following me?” she finally asked.
“Ah, zo sorry for ‘aving to spy,” the pony said, straightening himself up, “My name is Horte Cuisine. I was waiting for you to get ‘ome, seeing as ‘ow I ‘ave no idea where exactly you live.”
“Why do you want to find my house?”
“To zee your research.”
“You ARE researching ze ztrange events of late in Ponyville, aren’t you?”
“…How did you know?”
He smiled, “Certain ponies learn things from ozzers. Words spread fast in a zmall town like Ponyville.”
“Everyone else resets after a certain period, so nobody remembers I do this at all…”
“You don’t rezet, do you?”
Cherry shook her head.
“Did you zink you were ze only one? Zat you were ze only pony to noteece what was ‘appening? Ze only one unaffected?”
“…Well, yeah. Nobody else believed me when I told them.”
Horte chuckled. “Even if we don’t zay much, zere are still many, many ozzers like you and me who know ze truth. We zimply choose not to act in public. Ze more attention we attract, the more susceptible we become to zem.”
“Two questions…who are ‘we’, and who are ‘them’?”
“‘We’ are zose unaffected. ‘Zey’ are zose causing it.”
“More specific, please…”
“I’ll explain to you after I read your research.”
Cherry was silent, thinking about her decisions. She could either deny him, getting rid of her only real lead and go back to researching on her own (and getting nowhere with it), or let this stranger into her house to mess with her research, yet possibly finding out more of what was going on. She sighed, knowing that it was pretty impossible for her to get a chance like this again.
“Alright, c’mon then…”
Cherry led him into her cottage and up the steps to her room. Taped and strung to the walls with twine were vast diagrams of the pony brain and notes on events that had happened in the past week. Books upon books were stacked around her room, leaving only a small pathway from the doorway to her bed. Horte pushed past the books, knocking a few of the leaning towers over, examining all the walls.
“W-Watch it, please!” Cherry said, as she began picking up the books on the floor.
Horte ignored her, examining her notes. “Impressive…You’re almost close to being halfway right about a quarter of ze situation.”
“You’re still very, very far off, but you’re closer zen most ozzer new recruits are.”
Cherry looked at him a little puzzle. “Wait wait wait…new recruit?”
“Oui. I am ‘ere to recruit you, Mz. Sherry.”
“But recruit me for WHAT?”
“Well, come with me to ze Everfree border and I’ll show you.” Horte turned, and exited her room. Cherry hesitated for a few seconds, as would any pony in a situation where a stranger follows you home and tries to get you to go out into the woods with him in the middle of the night. Even still, though, there was something about him that made her think he wouldn’t be the type to lie, and would only do bad things to those who truly deserve it. It was probably his gentlemanly nature. She sighed, and followed him outside.
Horte lead her to the edge of the cherry orchard, where the beautiful cherry trees were exchanged for the twisted elks of the Everfree Forest border. Cherry shuddered. Ever since she was a filly she was terrified of the forest, ever since a Manticore attacked their farm and almost killed her father Cherry Pepsi. That was before the magic barrier was put up after the Usra Minor event to keep any other beats from escaping. Even still, she always looks out of her window at night to make sure no creatures were coming to get her.
“Zis way, Mz. Sherry,” Horte instructed as he walked on a path into the forest itself, “Stay close, you don’t know what kind of ztrange creatures may be lurking ze forest tonight.”
“W-Whoa, whoa, whoa…you said we were just going to the border, not actually inside!”
“I never said JUST ze border. We’re here at ze border, no? So it was no lie. And now, I’m taking you into ze forest.”
“Its not even zat far, Mz. Sherry. What many people do not know is zat zis pathway is protected by ze barrier. No animals will attack us.”
Cherry hesitated, then sighed an “Alright…”
“Good, now stay close.”
The two ponies walked through the forest for about a good hour or two, all the while Cherry was shacking and shuttering. A few times, she saw creatures standing at either end of the path, staring at them as they walked passed, licking their lips greedily. Parasprites, Walking Trees, Vermicious Knids, and even a few Manticores as well. At a few times she began hyperventilating, almost passing out, while Horte kept trotting along as if those monsters were just more trees and moss. Eventually, the pair reached a small clearing in the middle of the forest, with a large tree-stump planted in the center.
“We’re ‘ere,” Horte said with a smile, as he walked to the stump. He rapped his hoof against it in a rhythmic knock-code.
Steam shot from the sides of it, the air filling with mechanical whirring and cranking. The top of the stump swung open like a hatch, out of the smoke rising a silver elevator with glass windows and large gears sticking from the sides.
Cherry sat there for a few moments, her mouth gaping, her eyes wide and her pupils small as peas. She was silent, staring up at the large contraption before her. Horte simply smiled and ushered her inside, swiping a keycard into a small slot on the inside. More steam was let out as the machine descended below the forest.
Horte looked over at Cherry, still frozen in place. He nudged her with his hoof, “Mz. Sherry…”
“…W…W-What IS this place?!”
Horte smiled. “Mz. Sherry, welcome to ze BPIB: Ze Backround Ponies Intelligence Bureau.”
End of Part II