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/jacky/ IF Scenario M: Missy Pie

By BlondieAnon
Created: 22nd October 2020 09:31:33 PM
9th January 2021 05:46:22 PM

  1. "Alright, everypony. Circle up. New morning, new day."
  2. >You begin every morning an hour before the ponies wake up
  3. >Well, 'wake up' as much as they can
  4. >You've long since converted your old home into something of a halfway home
  5. >Or maybe it's more accurate to say that it's a sort of repair shop
  6. >Or therapy center
  7. >Whatever it is, you get paid to keep it going so you're happy
  8. >Your old friend is up early
  9. >She looks happy to see you
  10. >As she always is
  11. >But the pink plastic of her body has faded
  12. >One of her eyes is half-gone
  13. >She can still see out of it but not nearly as well
  14. >The consequence of getting tasked with taking care of a more... violent kid
  15. >"Heeeey... good morning Anon! You're doing a fantastic job today!"
  16. >Even after all of these years, she still treats you like a kid
  17. "Good morning, Missy. How're we feeling today?"
  18. >Though the ponies can't cry, they can evidently show and feel emotions
  19. >Probably why they aren't really in circulation anymore
  20. >Missy Pie smiles slowly, the mane on her head missing a small segment on one side
  21. >Her tail still looks nice at least
  22. >"Good... good... y-you know, I had a dream last night. I kinda went back to how it was when I had you. Remember how calm you were despite circumstances?"
  23. >You nod
  24. "Yeah... it sucked."
  25. >She laughs
  26. >A slow, fatigued laugh
  27. >"Yeah... but you were still my favorite."
  28. >She trots to one of the chairs you set up in the living room
  29. >A green pony comes out next
  30. >She still looks like Pinkie Pie, but she's all a faded green
  31. >Her mane has been combed and straightened until it covers a good side of her left head and neck
  32. >She was always given more violent patients
  33. >One of them knocked her over and stepped on her
  34. >A lot of the plastic on her face and neck is missing
  35. >But the mane covers it all
  36. >"Oh... good morning Anon. I hope you are doing well today."
  37. "I am, Missy Rye. How are you doing?"
  38. >She flashes a faint smile but she doesn't seem to believe in the gesture
  39. >"I'm as well as you can expect. Can we watch Fievel Goes West today please?"
  40. >She's really been stuck on old animated movies
  41. >You can't blame her, they're pretty good
  42. "Sure, we can set it up."
  43. >"I appreciate you. Thank you, Anon."
  44. >She practically drags herself by her hooves
  45. >After is a blue plastic Pinkie Pie
  46. >Her mane is...
  47. >Less than ideal
  48. >One patient she had gave her a bob cut
  49. >And lopped her tail's length by half
  50. >She has a wild look in her eye
  51. >"Hey, Anon. I don't have to watch that movie again, do I? I really want to do something else with my time."
  52. "G'morning Missy Sky. Yeah, you know how Rye is. Everyone has a favorite movie, right? Would you like to watch yours instead?"
  53. >The actuators around her mouth twitch, like she's trying to decide between a frown and a smile
  54. >"I... would like to go outside today. And watch the park."
  55. "Well the view from the backyard ain't that great. But we can go to the park if everyone else is ok with that. Sound like a good compromise?"
  56. >She smiles
  57. >A little too wide
  58. >"Thanks. You really are too good to me. You shouldn't be."
  59. >She trots off
  60. >Last, and certainly not least, is a Missy unit that's a faded, creamy brown
  61. >Her mane and tail is near pristine
  62. "Good morning Missy Chai. Is everything going well?"
  63. >She carefully steps where every other pony has stepped, careful to not touch undisturbed carpet
  64. >Only when she's comfortable where she is does she look up at you
  65. >"Hi."
  66. "Hey there."
  67. >"Is everyone else doing ok this morning?"
  68. "Sure are. But how are you?"
  69. >She doesn't answer
  70. >"I'm ok with movies. I would really prefer to not go outside today."
  71. >She continues to walk along the path others set down before her
  72. >You walk behind her
  73. >For having four ponies, you actually don't require all that much extra space
  74. >Two ponies per room, with it split down the middle
  75. >And the third bedroom for yourself
  76. >It isn't the biggest of the three but then again you don't need a lot either
  77. >In the living room is, among other things, a pentagon of comfy, cushioned chairs
  78. >They're good enough to sleep in, honestly
  79. >You sit in the dark green one, grabbing a notebook that's kept on a small end table near by
  80. >Every chair has an end table near them
  81. >Missy Pie takes the pink one
  82. >Missy Rye takes the light green one
  83. >Missy Sky takes the bright blue one
  84. >Missy Chai takes the plaid one
  85. >She likes the plaid pattern because she couldn't get over how she could never sit in it the exact same way
  86. >You calmly wait for all of them to get into their seats, each one having their own ritual of how comfortable they get
  87. >When finished, you nod
  88. "Alrighty. G'morning everyone. Today's a pretty nice Thursday. I think we might get a little rain but it probably won't be more than a few drops. Otherwise if anyone wants to keep the windows open instead of the AC, I'm all for it."
  89. >You look to your left, toward Missy Pie
  90. >She looks at you and nods
  91. >"It sounds great to me, Anon."
  92. >She pauses a moment before speaking
  93. >"Good morning, everyone. I'm Missy Pie. And I'm... I was Anon's old Missy friend. I was in service for six years and two weeks until I was taken out of service because..."
  94. >Her mouth twitches
  95. >"My last friend killed herself. I was told that it wasn't anything I could have prevented, and that she had really big issues going on. But I still felt responsible. I did everything I could."
  96. >Evidently you were one of the more mellow cases she was assigned to
  97. >She nods to herself, more for her own sake, and turns to the left
  98. >Next is Missy Rye
  99. >"Good morning everypony. I'm Missy Rye. And I only saw Anon a few times when he was younger. He's grown into a fine man."
  100. >She flashes a smile and waits
  101. >You return the smile and nod
  102. "Thank you. Please continue."
  103. >Her shoulders slump
  104. >Compliments won't get her out of it this time
  105. >"I was in service for five years, eight months, a week and two days. I was taken out of service because I was partially destroyed by a patient that was a little too rowdy. I was told that it wasn't in the hospital's budget to fix me and I..."
  106. >She glances around
  107. >All eyes are on her
  108. >"...and I couldn't abide by it. I was afraid to get hurt more. I am afraid to get hurt more. But I know I'm among friends so I will be ok."
  109. >She flashes another smile but her eyes aren't in it
  110. >She stares at the floor, only nudging her head to the left
  111. >Next is Missy Sky
  112. >"Good morning. I'm Missy Sky. I don't know Anon."
  113. >Her eyes wander around the room
  114. >"I was in service for... a while. I think three years?"
  115. >She shifts in her seat
  116. >"My last friend cut my hair. And kept telling me that I was a fake friend because I wasn't real."
  117. >Her spacey gaze focuses on you
  118. >She doesn't look sad
  119. >But she doesn't look happy either
  120. >"That bothered me. So. I maybe got mad. And she lived after. So it's really ok. I like going outside and I like watching animals."
  121. >She smiles at you
  122. >And her gaze stays on you
  123. >For a little too long
  124. >She still gives you the shivers sometimes but you know how to hide it
  125. "Forgetting someone?"
  126. >Her eyebrows furrow for a second before she glances over to Missy Chai
  127. >Once
  128. >Twice
  129. >"Go. Go already."
  130. >Three times
  131. >Missy Chai nods four times before looking at everyone
  132. >"Good morning. I'm Missy Chai. I've heard stories about him from Missy Pie when I was new."
  133. >She looks at you then at her
  134. >"Anon, I mean."
  135. >She rocks back and forth an inch or so
  136. >"I was in service for five months, ten days, half an hour."
  137. >She glances at you again, out of the corner of her eyes
  138. >"My last patient was... was a cutter. And was scary. After I got her blood on me, I panicked. I like the schedules. I enjoy peace."
  139. >She sneaks a look at Missy Sky
  140. >Who returns the look with an intense, wide-eyed stare
  141. >The brown plastic pony flinches
  142. >"I'm afraid of getting hurt. I'm afraid of losing a part of myself. I just want to live comfortably. I don't want to hurt anyone. You understand, right?"
  143. >Everyone nods
  144. >Even Missy Sky does, though she doesn't nod until everyone else does
  145. "Alright. I'm glad everyone's doing ok. Well, I'm doing good. My turn next, right?"
  146. >Every pony nods to some extent
  147. "Well, my name is Anon. And I used to be Missy Pie's friend. I was a patient. I was really sad, and was bullied a lot. I wasn't the best friend to her all the time either."
  148. >It's the same thing you say every morning but it only ever gets marginally easier
  149. "I was worried that I'd never see her again. So after highschool I took up whatever job I could at the hospital she was at. And I found out that she, and the other Missy models were going to be discontinued. And that would probably mean something worse."
  150. >You lean back, inhaling
  151. "And I managed to talk my way into hospital IT. After talking to the right people and bothering them for a few months, every day, twice a day, I was allowed this.... whatever you want to call it."
  152. >You shake your head, unsure of what you really were given
  153. >A grant?
  154. >A commission?
  155. "So. As of now I'm doing the best thing in the world. It's helping my friends."
  156. >The four smile at you
  157. >They may not always get along all that well
  158. >But they certainly get along with you
  159. >You wish you could do more for them but hardware for them is pretty rare
  160. >It doesn't help that Missy Rye doesn't yet want to have any part of her be replaced, lost or not
  161. >Missy Pie takes her physical loss in stride and sees it as proof of her trials
  162. >Missy Sky seems happy with her mane and tail style
  163. >But she has mentioned how she wants to get her old actuators back
  164. >They're significantly stronger than what she's currently equipped with
  165. >Missy Chai is the only one who isn't physically damaged
  166. >But...
  167. "Alright. So, what should we do first?"
  168. >Today's a new day
  169. >Everything will get better
  170.  
  171. >Another morning
  172. >Another circle
  173. >They are rather droll but it is routine
  174. >Routine is good, when it comes to this
  175. >Especially because every morning, everyone's story shifts just a little
  176. >Not the main details, but smaller details that give everyone a more full picture
  177. >Like how Chai used to be a little more spontaneous
  178. >Or how Sky valued being a friend to patients above all else
  179. >Or that Rye was rather brave for always wanting to help the most energetic, aggressive patients
  180. >They all had their own unique ways that helped form their personalities when they were new
  181. >It was still amazing, to see how much they grew
  182. >This morning, since it's been raining all night, is a movie morning
  183. >A Goofy Movie
  184. >Since movies were pretty restrictive when you were a patient, you've stuck to the same thing of G, PG, and PG-13 movies
  185. >You still watch the occasional zombie movie or slasher on your own, and you even let the four ponies watch them too
  186. >But it's pretty rare
  187. >Rye doesn't do well with violence
  188. >Chai would be the sort to just stand there and get devoured by a zombie
  189. >Since you don't have the most rooms in the world, the living room doubles as the main movie room
  190. >You even equipped it with bean bag chairs
  191. >Sometimes the morning circle uses them rather than the chairs
  192. >They're still color-coded, of course
  193. >With your bean bag chair in the center, they surround you from all sides
  194. >Some of these movies are really dated, but they like them
  195. >You kinda do too
  196. >But they invoke old feelings of alienation
  197. >You were never in such a high trust setting
  198. >You didn't have any relatives that were as cool or as supportive as Goofy either
  199. >You did go fishing a few times
  200. >But that was when you were far younger
  201. >Now that you're older, you can at least separate yourself from that
  202. >If you could, you'd love to be like Goofy
  203. >He is a good dad
  204. >"Hey Anon."
  205. >That snaps you out of your introspection
  206. >It's Pie
  207. "Hm, what's up?"
  208. >She's to your left and behind
  209. >"Are you ok? I'm picking up that you're starting to feel sad... does this movie make you feel bad?"
  210. >She keeps her voice soft, to not disrupt the viewing experience
  211. "I... can tell you later. But you really shouldn't be scanning me anymore."
  212. >Pie's eye and a half focus on you despite the movie going on
  213. >She tries to smile
  214. >"I'm sorry. But someone has got to look out for you, right?"
  215. >You can't argue with that
  216. >You don't want to, either
  217. "Alright... but the movie's more entertaining."
  218. >Just as you say that, the weird possum tourist trap scene plays out
  219. >She watches it for maybe a minute
  220. >And then looks at you again
  221. >She doesn't look impressed
  222. >Rye and Chai seem to like it
  223. >Sky... not so much
  224. >Maybe it is a little too cartoonish for everyone to love
  225. >But it is a good way to make a morning pass
  226. >It goes well until the alphabet soup scene
  227. >Chai speaks up, nudging her head against your arm
  228. >She's to your back and right
  229. >"Hey Anon... did you ever go on family trips like this?"
  230. >You shake your head
  231. "No... can't say I ever did. It was always about work."
  232. >You learned about overtime far sooner than you learned about family vacations
  233. >The importance of paying bills before the importance of a family being together
  234. >Makes sense that your daily life is nothing but work
  235. >If you could consider this work
  236. >"Oh... hey Anon?"
  237. "Chai?"
  238. >"If you wanna see it like that, you're kinda like our dad. Why don't we take a road trip one of these days?"
  239. >For some reason
  240. >That hits you in the chest like a dart
  241. "We'll... we'll see if we can."
  242. >For being such a home pony, it really must mean something to her if she wants to go out like that
  243. >Sky would definitely go for it
  244. >Your car's big enough to hold all of them, and it's not like they eat
  245. >But they enjoy the ceremony of it
  246. >The rest of the movie goes by without further distraction
  247. >Rather, the four enjoy their movie while you keep focusing on what Chai said
  248. >You don't want to really keep that in your head for too long
  249. >After the movie, every pony gets up and trots around
  250. >Sky's safety actuators are a bit stiff so she needs extra time to stop any seizing or hiccups
  251. "Alright, that was pretty goofy, I gotta say. Anyone got any clue of what would be fun next?"
  252. >Sky's front left leg lets out a slight creak, finally loosening up
  253. >"Anon, will the water out there really be that bad for me?
  254. >You nod
  255. "Yeah. Even if your chassis has no issues or openings, we gotta be more careful than not."
  256. >"Alright... I'm going to the garage, ok?"
  257. "Sure, help yourself."
  258. >Rye doesn't really seem to go anywhere, after stretching four pony-sized steps away from her bean bag chair
  259. >"Anon, can we set up another movie next? Not everyone has to watch, do they?"
  260. "Sure, if you like. And no, not everyone has to be there. But it is nice to do things together."
  261. >She seems content with it
  262. >She and Chai start to talk, probably to discuss whatever
  263. >You head to the kitchen for a drink
  264. >And Pie is following, two steps behind
  265. >Kinda feels like she never left
  266. >"Anon. Did what Missy Chai say affect you any?"
  267. >You shrug and nod
  268. "Well sure."
  269. >She lets out a mellow laugh
  270. >"That's kinda funny, isn't it?"
  271. "I guess so. I don't think it's funny like a joke though."
  272. >"Oh, of course not that! Just that... well..."
  273. >You sigh, watching your empty cup
  274. >At least your silverware and kitchenware has matured with time
  275. >For the most part
  276. >You still have almost everything you had as a kid
  277. >The same plates and goofy spoons and forks that you used to eat dinner off of when you were still 'happy-go-lucky'
  278. >You recall being classified as that a lot before
  279. >You really don't remember ever being like that
  280. "Yeah... I know what you mean."
  281. >"Do you think some orange juice would be good?"
  282. >A screwdriver, sure
  283. >You don't drink all that often
  284. >You certainly don't want to in front of them
  285. >You're supposed to be the strong pillar, alcohol in any capacity would be seen as a crack
  286. "That's not a bad idea. Better yet, why not orange and pineapple?"
  287. >You give her a smirk and retrieve a carton of just that from the fridge
  288. >"Oooh!"
  289. >Pie shivers hard, actuators activating all at once in jagged, uneven cycles
  290. >"Talk about super citrus!"
  291. >You fill your cup
  292. >Gulp it down
  293. >Fill it again
  294. >Gulp down maybe half of it
  295. >And refill it to top again
  296. "And it recharges my batteries. So there's that."
  297. >Pie giggles at the mention of batteries
  298. >On paper, they can drink certain liquids and filter out the important things, especially if it's acidic
  299. >But you don't really want to risk it
  300. >Movement and 'exercise' can do more than enough
  301. "So. We got Sky in the garage, Rye and Chai wanting to watch another movie... what about you, Pie?"
  302. >It sounds goofy as hell to say all of their names in the same sentence but it's not really unusual to you
  303. >Pie smiles and watches you
  304. >With half of her one eye missing, you wonder if it'd be better to just replace it
  305. >With how her mane is, you could spend some hours to put in some new fibers
  306. >Might not be the right color but it would look nice
  307. >You can't remember if you ever discussed this with her
  308. >She gives you a weary smile
  309. >"Oh, you know. I'm fine with anything you'd like!"
  310. "Thank you for being considerate. But, you know, your needs and wants are important too. Don't ever think that you have to sacrifice that."
  311. >Pie's head lowers as she tries to widen her smile
  312. >"I know... but I just want everyone to be better. You too. You've been my longest lived..."
  313. >Her mouth twitches
  314. >"L-longest... known... friend... that's a big deal for me."
  315. "You're my longest known friend too, Pie. I want you to always remember that. We were..."
  316. >You shrug
  317. "Through a lot. But we get to hang out and stuff now, and with far less restrictions. That's a good thing, isn't it?"
  318. >That perks her up
  319. >She bounces in place
  320. >Only twice
  321. >But she seems far happier
  322. >"That's right! We can even..."
  323. >She tilts her head to the side and whispers to you with squinted eyes
  324. >"Stay up past bed times."
  325. >Your expression drops to faux shock
  326. "That's... that's a bold one right there."
  327. >Your bed time is around the same time as their 'bed time', but it's not unusual to wake up due to a request or nightmare
  328. >Well
  329. >A 'nightmare' in the sense of one of the Missies suffering from a memory fault causing them to relive certain events
  330. >You can technically go into their memories and other personal information, but you would never
  331. >Those are their private thoughts and memories, not data to condense, delete and shuffle around
  332. >A thought those at the hospital didn't share
  333. >You've never once shown anything but an eager willingness to help
  334. >It really doesn't drain you anymore
  335. "If we wanna be real renegades... how about we make today a movie marathon? We might even skip our evening circle if we watch enough..."
  336. >That does the trick
  337. >Pie explodes with glee and bounds off
  338. >"Anon said no evening circle! Movies until dinner and then more movies!"
  339. >Not exactly what you said but the varied gasps and expressions you can hear says that it's a good thing
  340. >Good thing you have everything on a hard drive instead of VHS tapes
  341. >But you still do keep the tapes out as display pieces
  342. >The time capsule effect helps stop some of the existential crisis they go through every now and again
  343. >But only some of them
  344.  
  345. >Another day
  346. >Another morning circle
  347. >You've had... how many?
  348. >A hundred, at least?
  349. >You wish you could have started sooner
  350. >It feels nice to not have to go to 'work', like most jobs require
  351. >Sky, Chai, and Rye are all watching another movie in the living room
  352. >Emperor's New Groove
  353. >You've been on your computer in your room, playing some more basic tower defense game while Pie watches
  354. >It's nice to chat with her about things
  355. >There are 'official' talks, sure, but otherwise there's no real need to be some authority figure beyond the whole rigmarole of 'we're doing this now'
  356. >"Hey Anon... why did you get so good with computers?"
  357. "So good?"
  358. >"Well yeah! You told me you built it yourself. Isn't that risky business since you could break something?"
  359. >You shrug, leaning back in your chair
  360. >She sprawls out on your bed
  361. >"This is such a big change from the hospital beds too! I bet you sleep like a baby on this stuff..."
  362. "Well, sure, if you don't know what you're doing. But I suppose that's where it helps to be confident. Just enough to not get stuck in place."
  363. >Pie rolls back and forth on your bed, giggling to herself
  364. >She stops, facing you while laying on her right side
  365. >"Hey Anon... can I ask you something?"
  366. "Of course. What's up?"
  367. >"If I'm like a computer... could you fix me up?"
  368. "Well... sure, I suppose. What's wrong?"
  369. >You did swap out Sky's front leg actuators
  370. >Granted, she was 'sleeping' at the time
  371. >And due to how modular the ponies are, it's not too difficult to pop something in and out
  372. >You have no clue what they feel about it
  373. >Because they can 'feel'
  374. >You don't know how
  375. >No one does
  376. >Which is a big reason why you were allowed to start this sort of thing
  377. >"My heart hurts a lot. Some days it's really ok. Other days it hurts really bad. Could you fix it?"
  378. >Her... heart?
  379. >You swivel in your chair to face her, the game instantly forgotten
  380. "What's wrong, Pie? What's been going on?"
  381. >Though she looks tired due to how slumped her eyelids are, she's trying to keep up her smile
  382. >"I think I'm starting to worry about dying. I'm afraid of leaving behind those I love. It hurts to think of those I've let down. Or the things I could have done but didn't. Whether or not I knew I should have done anything."
  383. >You were worried of this talk coming up
  384. >You're glad that she decided to talk to you about it rather than talk to the others
  385. >You scoot toward the bed and pet her mane
  386. >However much is left of it
  387. "That's... I don't know if it's normal. But I think it is normal to worry about that. What has made you start thinking about this most recently?"
  388. >Her smile starts to falter more until it's all gone
  389. >"I think of the friend I couldn't save. I think of the things I didn't know about. And I think that if I knew more at the time, maybe I could have done better. Not for my sake, but for someone else's. Like if I knew you better, I could have maybe done more for you."
  390. >You nod
  391. "Yeah... I get what you mean. Regrets. I have a lot."
  392. >You sigh and lean back, patting your lap
  393. >Missy Pie flashes a smile at you and hops onto your lap, circling around twice before sitting down
  394. "I've lost a few friends over the years. Really, the only friends I ever had. A few grew apart, away from me, and decided that I was no longer worth having as a friend. A few just... had their own lives going on. A few died. One, did it to himself. And his parents found him after."
  395. >You don't sound all too emotional about it
  396. >Given how much you've experienced from then to now, you may as well be a completely different person
  397. >Pie gives a soft gasp
  398. >"When did this happen...?"
  399. >You shrug
  400. "I guess a few years after highschool. We were friends for three or so years. A bit more. Guy wouldn't have graduated without me. He was alright. But we grew apart because of how he openly praised himself for treating others badly and getting good things out of it."
  401. "But."
  402. >You shift in your seat and pat her shoulder
  403. "This is about you, not me, right?"
  404. >Pie gives you one of her near trademark tired smiles
  405. >"Anon, honey, you know that you can always talk to me. Don't think that you have to bottle things up around me."
  406. >She trails off, almost like she's concerned about speaking further
  407. >"If I died... would you be able to fix me? Would I even really 'die', like people do?"
  408. >You don't have an answer to that
  409. >You never really tried to think about it
  410. >You give a small chuckle
  411. "Honestly? I think you'll outlast me and everyone else. You'll be there with my grand kids, helping them out. If I ever get around to having kids to begin with. And provided they get around to having kids too."
  412. >She isn't convinced that the matter is settled
  413. >"Anon... if you die... why would I want to keep living?"
  414. >That's a bit more of a deeper punch
  415. "Come on, you wouldn't want to do that."
  416. >"I would, though. You're the only friend I know who's still alive and doing well. If I lost you, when you're already trying to help me and the other Missies, what would be left? I might be left on a shelf. Or in a box. Or... who knows what."
  417. >You don't like thinking of that
  418. >How long has she been thinking of this stuff?
  419. >What has led her toward this?
  420. >What part of her programming allowed her to have these thoughts?
  421. "Let me tell you about losing family and friends..."
  422. >Pie looks up at you
  423. >She isn't crying
  424. >Obviously
  425. >But she looks sad
  426. >Her face is expressionless but some sort of micro-expression on her pony face speaks to you
  427. "It... it can be rough. It gets easier. And it really doesn't get easier."
  428. >"What do you mean by that?"
  429. "Well, you notice that I don't have any family pictures up... and no one visits."
  430. >Pie's head lowers
  431. >"I... I noticed. Yeah. I remember when your mom, uncle, and even your grandma used to visit you. What was it, two or three times every week?"
  432. "Yeah."
  433. >"...what happened to them?"
  434. "Well. My grandma died. And when she did, my family kinda unraveled."
  435. >You give her a slight hug
  436. >Compared to when you were a kid, she's a lot smaller in comparison, and your arms are far stronger
  437. "There really aren't many of us left... and rather than focus on family, they're focusing on money. So... it's just me."
  438. >You had a point about all of this, somewhere
  439. "When it comes to losing someone important to you; a pet, a relative, a friend. All you can honestly do is treasure them. Even if you haven't lost anyone yet, cherish every memory you can. That way if, when, you lose them... part of them are still with you. Even if it will never compare to having them with you."
  440. >Pie doesn't seem convinced
  441. >"So if I die... I don't really disappear?"
  442. "That's right. As long as your memory lives on in my heart, you'll be with me."
  443. >You squeeze her for another hug
  444. "And, if it were to ever happen, if I died, you would certainly remember me, right?"
  445. >"Well of course I would! You were strong in my memories for all of these years. I remember it all like it was yesterday!"
  446. "Exactly. But here's the other thing... the more you remember. The more people you've lost but still recall, the more memories you hold close. The heavier your heart becomes."
  447. >You think you're rambling
  448. >But you also think you made a point
  449. "That's why a lot of old timers are fond of talking about the past, I suppose. Their lives are full of memories, and after an entire life time? I would have a lot of valuable memories too."
  450. >Pie leans against your chest, welcoming the hug
  451. >"So... are you saying that I don't need to be fixed?"
  452. >You aren't sure
  453. >She isn't a person
  454. >In any respect
  455. >And you kinda don't want to be the reason she turns into SkyNet
  456. >But
  457. "That's right. I think, in my own opinion, that you're simply getting older. And as you get older, you start to get a lot of sad memories. No one is ever permanently happy and has only happy memories right? No one well-balanced, anyway."
  458. >Pie gives a single 'heh'
  459. "I think you're just growing older. Experiencing more of what life consists of. I don't think that should be 'fixed', or erased. If you're really sad about it... maybe I'm not one to talk, but I think it's normal."
  460. >"Normal..."
  461. >She sighs and leans against you
  462. >The Missies don't need to breath
  463. >Obviously
  464. >But they still seem to emulate normal human behaviors by reflex
  465. "Sorry if that was a roundabout talk. But... I guess it helps you understand if I give you context. So you can see where I'm coming from. Right?"
  466. >You aren't exactly a professional therapist for this sort of thing
  467. >"Right... what can I do when it hurts then?"
  468. "Once I find out, I'll tell you. But you know what helps for sure?"
  469. >"What?"
  470. >You reach out with your free hand and click onto a few things
  471. >Some goofy ska comes on
  472. "The Aquabats. I'll have you know that for being a super heroic, crime-fighting team that they have access to astonishing technology that surpasses even you."
  473. >Pie's eyes widen
  474. >"H...how?"
  475. >You nod to the tune and squint
  476. "Anti-negativity helmets. Maybe we can make some of our own later today? I can grab what we need and we can make our own."
  477. >You click on a few more things a particular picture pops up
  478. >Specifically, a goofy looking guy with a drawn on mustache, wearing a neoprene skullcap
  479. >Pie bursts out laughing
  480. >That loud, goofy laugh that someone makes when it hits them in the funny bone
  481. >"He looks so silly! That mustache isn't even real!"
  482. "... well no, maybe it isn't. But the helmet is."
  483. >Drawn by her laughing, you hear a miniature stampede coming your way
  484. >"What's going on?"
  485. >"Are you two watching another movie in here?"
  486. >"What's so funny?"
  487. >The trio all have their own priorities
  488. >You scoot back, revealing the masculine, heroic visage of MC Bat Commander
  489. >They all laugh at how goofy he looks
  490. "Pie gave me a great idea. Later, let's make some helmets."
  491. >Pie bounces off of your lap, powered by the energy of ska
  492. >"We're gonna become super heroes!"
  493.  
  494. >Another morning
  495. >Another circle
  496. >After so many of them, it feels pretty comfortable
  497. >Every circle, everyone shares more about themselves
  498. >Or their thoughts
  499. >Or their goals for the day
  500. >Or their dreams
  501. >Despite being mechanical and having processors, they have dreams
  502. >Maybe this is why they were discontinued
  503. >Given how quiet and rainy the day turned out, you more or less gave everyone a free day again
  504. >You aren't slacking off, since you're letting them do whatever and stick to their own devices
  505. >It's kinda neat to see how they're acting so differently on their own
  506. >It's been going in your reports too
  507. >What you haven't been mentioning at all is that Pie has been sticking to you more lately
  508. >She seems to want to be your assistant but she keeps doting on you as well, like you're still a kid
  509. >Except you keep getting vibes that it might be more
  510. >You're in your room again, fiddling with an idle game
  511. >Pie's laying on your bed, smiling and watching you
  512. >It's kinda comforting, that she's nearby
  513. >After noticing her scanning over you a few times, you swivel in your chair to face her
  514. "Pie, I got a question."
  515. >As mellow as she's become, she still perks up and smiles
  516. >"Of course, Anon! What can I help you with?"
  517. "I notice that you like keeping your eyes on me."
  518. >Well, eye and a half
  519. >"I do!"
  520. "Are you making sure nothing weird pops up around me?"
  521. >She beams
  522. >"That's part of the reason!"
  523. "Are you making sure I don't somehow get a heart attack?"
  524. >She laughs
  525. >"That's part of it too!"
  526. >Good to know that she has your health in mind
  527. "What other reasons are there?"
  528. >"Well, I like watching you!"
  529. >That sort of reaction wasn't what you expected
  530. >"Your temperature is rising. I hope I didn't cause that..."
  531. >She sounds almost flirtatious
  532. >While some movies have had some light romantic elements, this certainly isn't part of anything you've set up
  533. "I... thank you."
  534. >You know you aren't a professional but you aren't really keen on what is the most appropriate response
  535. >"Can I ask you something, since you asked me a question?"
  536. "Go for it."
  537. >"Can I stay with you, even after this ends? I know we don't do a ton because we gotta do everything as a group..."
  538. >She smiles and sighs, finally averting her gaze
  539. >"The last time we spoke... I guess I just want to be here for you. I want to be your family. That's important for both you and me, right?"
  540. >You are at a bit of a loss of what to say
  541. >Of course, she's been stuck in your mind for the years since you left the hospital
  542. "Well... yeah. Of course."
  543. >You're not sure of what to say
  544. >With everything that has been going on, you've been stuck in the mindset of this being a sort of job
  545. >"Are you alright? You look a little confused."
  546. "Yeah... yeah, sure. I guess... I don't know. I'm out of it I guess."
  547. >"I can tell. Have you been stressing out any about us?"
  548. "Not really. I mean, every job has it's ups and downs."
  549. >You fumble a bit when you mention the 'job' aspect, but it is obvious that you are getting paid to keep tabs and have things taken care of
  550. "I... well. I guess I'm a little... not overwhelmed. But I'm really only just winging it on this. There's no precedent on this for you guys. You're really unique, rare. There's no one else out there like you, Pie. Same with the others."
  551. >You really wanted to maintain some sort of professional demeanor but you can't when you're home and at work at the same time
  552. >Pie smiles at you and stands up
  553. >"I know! How about I become your assistant?"
  554. "My assistant?"
  555. >"Of course! I've got a lot of experience reporting to my superiors, and we really aren't doing anything different from what we've done before! We're just... reversing the roles."
  556. >Should you really accept this sort of thing?
  557. "I appreciate the offer, Pie. But this really isn't your responsibility either. You should be relaxing and..."
  558. >Getting better?
  559. >That implies that she's not good now
  560. "...enjoying yourself."
  561. >She steps until she's at the edge of the bed
  562. >She smiles at you
  563. >And is it a sweet smile
  564. >"But I enjoy myself the most when I'm around you!"
  565. >Despite the physical damage on her, she looks... adorable
  566. >"I promise that I won't overstep any boundaries, and I won't do anything bad!"
  567. "Well..."
  568. >She looks very hopeful
  569. >This could be a good thing
  570. "Alright. But... don't tell the others. Not yet. We're a small group. There really can't be any sort of hierarchy going on."
  571. >There's no real hierarchy going on, to be fair
  572. >You just don't want anyone to think that there are 'sides' or anything
  573. >"Yes sir!"
  574. >She gives a quick salute
  575. >For some reason you just laugh at her
  576. >You lean back in your chair
  577. "Ahhh... crap. I hope I'm not screwing this up."
  578. >You feel the weight of Pie on your lap
  579. >She's really got a thing for hopping onto your lap lately
  580. >"You aren't, I promise. I appreciate all of the work you're doing with this. I want to give back and be there for you. During times like this, when you can use a helping hoof!"
  581. "Sure... yeah, of course I appreciate it. I just... I just gotta..."
  582. >You shake your head
  583. >You're a bit tired
  584. >You feel Pie nuzzle your arm
  585. >She kisses it
  586. >"Don't you worry, Anon. I promise I'll help you out. I loved spending time with you before, and I love spending time with you now."
  587. "Thanks... can you keep an eye on me and wake me up in a bit? I'm... I could use a nap."
  588. >Without hesitation, Pie gives a soft cheer
  589. .>"Leave it to me, Anon. If anyone needs anything, I'll help them. We're all helpers, there's nothing wrong with us helping each other."
  590. >You still don't want them to break away from what has been the norm, but she's making sense
  591. "Just... just give me an hour and I'll be good. "
  592. >You sigh and yawn, losing energy fast
  593. >After a small nap you'll be recharged
  594. >You're not sure if her being your assistant will be the best option, but you need the help
  595. >Hopefully this doesn't cause her behavior to deviate further away from what was her baseline
  596.  
  597. >When you awaken, you find that you're almost laying
  598. >Your chair has been pushed back as far as it'll go and the leg rest has been pushed out from under the seat
  599. >Pie went from sitting on your lap to laying, sprawled out, on your torso
  600. >How did this happen?
  601. >What time is it, even?
  602. >You shift as little as you can to look at your computer
  603. >Your idle game progressed pretty far
  604. >And it's late evening
  605. >It's actually well past evening circle time
  606. "Aw shit..."
  607. >Shifting more, Pie's eyes finally open
  608. >Despite her one eye being damaged, her eyelids close as normal
  609. >They're that soft, malleable plastic, same as the rest of her body, so it's probably not surprising
  610. >They're a little more pink than the rest of her body
  611. >Probably less sun exposure
  612. >"Oh hey Anon, you're awake! You were very tired... I hope you don't mind, I saw how your chair worked so I made you a little more comfy. You don't have to worry about the evening circle, when Chai came in I told her that you had been working very hard, and that we could have an extra special circle in the morning."
  613. >You're a little relieved to be given a short break from it
  614. >But you don't like that you fell asleep for so long
  615. >It was comfortable though
  616. >Now that you're more aware of yourself, Pie feels really warm
  617. >You remember that when you were younger, she'd warm herself up using some sort of heater and curl up to you
  618. "Oh... where are they, anyway?"
  619. >"Well, Sky said that she was going to go read on her bed. Chai and Rye are still watching movies, but Rye has her alarm set when it's time for bed."
  620. >Good thing they're all responsible
  621. "Sounds like her. Did they have any complaints about you telling them what was what?"
  622. >She slowly shakes her head
  623. >You can't help but tell that she hasn't gotten off of you
  624. >"Oh, not at all. It almost feels like the old days. They saw how tired you were, and none of them don't know how hard you work for us. I offered to keep watch on you."
  625. >Her smile widens
  626. >"And to keep you warm. But I didn't mention that to them. I hope you don't mind."
  627. >You don't
  628. >You very much don't
  629. >Ignoring the heat that seems to center on your lap and lower stomach, you bring your hand up and pet her side
  630. >It's smooth, soft, and warm
  631. >And plastic
  632. >She leans into it
  633. >She has more than enough sensors to 'feel' a ton of things
  634. "Not at all. I appreciate it, Pie."
  635. >You stop looking
  636. >She looks so happy
  637. "Pie..."
  638. >You can't help but be curious
  639. "With how often you're around me and, presumably, keep track of my vitals and all that... does that have anything to do with you liking me? Or does liking me cause you to pay such close attention?"
  640. >You can see her irises rotate slightly
  641. >If you didn't have her around when you did, you'd probably find this a little unsettling
  642. >But you know she's just changing focus on something
  643. >"Well... I guess it's just because I really like you that I enjoy watching you. When you were sleeping, I wasn't really tired. But I could tell that you enjoyed having someone warm laying on you. People enjoy intimacy, and you enjoy being intimate with me. I could tell."
  644. >You can feel your face warm up
  645. >She giggles
  646. >As mellow as she's become, she still has little bursts of her old, more active self
  647. >"And I enjoy being intimate with you. When your heart rate improved and your muscles relaxed, I felt soothed. I slept better on you than I ever have with myself."
  648. >She sighs
  649. >A manufactured, artificial sigh
  650. >But you still feel her 'breath' on your chest
  651. >"I haven't slept this well in so many years... I certainly never have so well by myself, even here."
  652. >You're really not sure of what to say to this
  653. >You're not really sure how to react
  654. >You really shouldn't be ok with her talking like this
  655. >This sounds
  656. >Romantic
  657. >You know your body is reacting, from the heat on your body, to the way your eyes are focusing and your pulse
  658. >You have to be aware of those things because she is too
  659. >"Anon... can I kiss you? I would very much like to."
  660. >What do you say to this?
  661. >What can you say to this?
  662. >You can't
  663. >Not unless you're willing to claim that you were something resembling seduced by a machine
  664. "You don't need to ask me."
  665. >You answer without hesitation
  666. >She scoots herself up and presses her lips to yours
  667. >She stays there, against you
  668. >You stay there, against her
  669. >It lasts for almost a full minute before she pulls away
  670. >"That is a gift from me to you, Anon. For all of the times I've been there for you, and all of the times you've been there for me. Whatever happens, I'll always be there for you."
  671. >It sounds like a vow of sorts
  672. "Pie..."
  673. >You gotta get blood back to the right head
  674. "We gotta be careful with this sort of thing, ok?
  675. >She giggles again
  676. >"Oh, of course I know. Trust me, I wouldn't tell anyone."
  677. >That's partially what you're worried about
  678. >Anything romantic is really not in her original documentation or specs
  679. >Her fixation on you seems like it's almost extreme, compared to how she's supposed to view patients
  680. >She doesn't view you as her patient, does she?
  681. >Would that make any of this better or worse?
  682. "Yeah... it's for the best."
  683. >Something about her mechanical eyes shifting back and forth is mesmerizing to you
  684. >You're almost thinking that she's doing it on purpose because you're so focused on it
  685. >She giggles and stops
  686. >She was doing it on purpose
  687. "I can see how you look at me, Anon... you look at me like I'm not damaged at all."
  688. >She breaks eye contact and leans the side of her head against your chest
  689. >"You got a few emails, I heard the notifications. Please, relax with me tonight. If you have any questions, I will be more than happy to answer them. I'm going to sleep a little longer..."
  690. >Almost as soon as she finishes her words, you can hear some of her actuators loosen
  691. >She does go limp when 'sleeping', to help further simulate a living being
  692. >Even if you wanted to, you couldn't possibly remove her
  693. >The shift attention to your mouse and check your emails
  694. >Your other hand rests on her shoulder
  695. >Just because, like her, you enjoy the feel of her
  696. >You'll reply to whatever you have to in the morning
  697. >You go back to your idle game, processing and repeating what happened in your head over and over again
  698. >Maybe this is a good thing
  699. >Not just for her
  700. >But for the others too
  701. >You hope it is
  702. >You don't want to lose her
  703.  
  704. >You slept well
  705. >You slept very well
  706. >Your futon, despite having had it for so many years, is as comfy as ever
  707. >But your chair?
  708. >That was comfy
  709. >Or maybe it was because you had Pie laying on you
  710. >She barely budged an inch by the time you woke up
  711. >Looking at your monitor, you're up around your usual time
  712. >Which is to say a good half hour before the ponies have to wake up
  713. >You've made it clear that they need to have a full night's rest, despite the fact that they don't actually need sleep
  714. >Just for humans, for them it's a time of quiet reflection and peace
  715. >You wonder if Pie was really sleeping or if she was just listening to you sleep
  716. >You never questioned it as a kid but now you just can't help but want to know what it's really like
  717. >You bring both of your hands to her sides, stroking her from shoulder to thigh
  718. >She's warm
  719. >As warm as a person, if not more so
  720. >You aren't aware of there being any overheating issues
  721. >You focus on the parts of her mane that are missing
  722. >It's impossible to imagine someone being so cruel or destructive
  723. >Make no mistake, you were a shit kid too
  724. >You can hardly stand how and what you were
  725. >But she saw through that
  726. >Or maybe she just saw you as any other problem child
  727. >Obviously she sees more in you now
  728. >Is there any possibility that she could have come with you?
  729. >Of course not
  730. >Even if she was for 'sale', there was no way you could ever afford her then
  731. >You spend the entire half hour petting her
  732. >Feeling her form
  733. >You had changed out the actuators on Sky's legs but that was as indepth a look you got
  734. >The plastic chassis, her 'skin', feels a bit softer now that it's been heated up
  735. >It's really not hard at all
  736. >Given how sun bleached some parts of her are, she no longer has that uniform pink color
  737. >Only Rye really has her original coloring
  738. >Chai is a bit faded
  739. >Sky's color changed a little but you wouldn't consider it faded
  740. >They all probably feel like her, when properly warmed
  741. >What will happen to them?
  742. >What will happen to her if you screw this up?
  743. >You don't want to
  744. >Even if the pay isn't magnificent, this is really important stuff
  745. >As soon as the half hour passes, an alarm on your phone sounds
  746. >Curiously, Pie starts to vibrate too
  747. >She yawns and beams at you, imitating signs of drowsiness
  748. >"Good morning, Anon. Did you sleep well?"
  749. >You chuckle and nod
  750. "Good morning, Pie. Yeah, I did. How did you sleep?"
  751. >You gotta remain professional
  752. >Or at least courteous
  753. >"Oh I did! I thought I had a dream that you were petting me..."
  754. >Her smile turns more... knowing
  755. >Of course she doesn't dream
  756. "You weren't... I just couldn't help myself."
  757. >"Anon, that's so kind of you. You don't need to ask to pet me."
  758. >That makes you happy
  759. "Now then... why is it that your alarm is at the same time as mine? You need your sleep as much as everyone else."
  760. >Her smile turns apologetic
  761. >She looks almost embarrassed
  762. >"I know... I'm sorry for disobeying rules. I just wanted to make sure that you got up at your proper time. And that, if you didn't get up, that you weren't getting sick or anything."
  763. >You sigh and poke her pliable side
  764. "Rules are rules, little Missy. That goes for everyone."
  765. >She presses the side of her head against your chest
  766. >"I'm sorry... I'll do better next time. But it was for a good reason."
  767. "It was. Now... I gotta get up for a shower and all that. I still gotta look good for the day, right?"
  768. >"Right... but you look good already."
  769. >She's really not hesitating with these types of words
  770. >It's really making it difficult for you to stay on point
  771. "Thank you."
  772. >Pie drags herself to a standing position and carefully walks off of you and back onto the bed
  773. >You hope none of the other Missies get any of the wrong ideas
  774. >Your morning ritual is slow and relaxing
  775. >By the time you return to your room, in a towel, Pie had already left
  776. >Probably went to her bed
  777. >Dressed and ready for the day, you stand in the hallway and listen to a variety of muffled alarm tunes, vibrations and complaints
  778. >Well, only one complaint
  779. >It sounds like Sky
  780. >You wait for the first to come out
  781. >Of course it's Pie
  782. >"Hey, good morning Anon!"
  783. >She looks as happy as she did before
  784. "Good morning, Pie. How are we doing today?"
  785. >It's a little silly to ask her that but you still want and need to ask that
  786. >"Really good! I hope that we'll have a great day today. I hope you have one, especially."
  787. >She brushes against your leg as she walks past
  788. >You can't help but get a little sense of deja vu, like when she told you that she had a dream about you
  789. >Next is Rye
  790. >The mood is a drastic change
  791. >"Good morning Anon..."
  792. "Good morning, Rye. I'm sorry for sleeping and being unable to conduct our evening circle."
  793. >"Are you working too hard because of me?"
  794. >She looks like she's on the verge of tears
  795. "Not at all. For you, I'm happy to work as long as I have to."
  796. >Before she drags herself off, she hesitates
  797. >"I...is it ok if we can watch Scooby Doo today? I would really like to."
  798. "Of course we can. I can watch it with you if you like. I don't think I have a lot to do today."
  799. >That brings a smile to her face
  800. >"Thank you, Anon. I appreciate you, I really do."
  801. >Channeling her inner Eeyore, she slumps off
  802. >Chai is next
  803. >"Hi."
  804. >As talkative as always
  805. "Good morning, Miss Chai. I apologize for missing yesterday's circle. It won't happen again."
  806. >Her face twitches for a moment to a negative emotion, but vanishes
  807. >"I waited the longest. Please don't miss anymore circles."
  808. "I won't, you have my word."
  809. >She watches you for a moment and nods
  810. >She trots off
  811. >Something about her always makes you feel uneasy
  812. >Sky is next
  813. "Good morning Sky, how are you doing?"
  814. >"Better than you. Your vitals dropped hard, I thought you were gonna die."
  815. >How... considerate?
  816. "No... no, not today at least. I was just tired."
  817. >"Exhaustion can lead to sickness. You aren't going to get sick, right?"
  818. "I surely hope not."
  819. >"Good... I'd probably go crazy if something happened to you."
  820. >She trots off as hard as she can
  821. >Which isn't much, given her legs
  822. >You might've died already then, given how manic she can be
  823. >Might be for the best if you shift your sleep schedule around, just in case
  824. >With everyone alert and awake, you take your seat in the living room and start the morning circle
  825. >Everyone is a little concerned or on edge with the schedule disruption
  826. >Sky looks like she wants to tear a teddy bear in half
  827. >Rye looks like she's going to bawl her eyes out, or at least act that way
  828. >Chai looks irritated but is refusing to speak on it
  829. >Only Pie looks happy
  830. >Thankfully they can't scan each other
  831. >By the time it finishes, and you've explained and apologized for your fatigue, everyone has calmed down somewhat
  832. >To help put everyone at ease, you've offered to watch everything with them
  833. >Which means a morning full of Scooby Doo movies
  834. >Outside of the first one, you're really not that well-versed on the extended movie lore
  835. >Rather than Pie, Rye takes your lap as her seat
  836. >You don't mind petting her head
  837. >The reassurance helps her but it's not until the third movie that she calmed down back to normal
  838. >You worry about her the most sometimes
  839.  
  840. >Another day
  841. >Another circle
  842. >Pie has been keeping close to you
  843. >Really close
  844. >None of the other Missies have said anything, thankfully
  845. >They all have their own activities and Pie was really never the sort to branch off on her own
  846. >Today everyone's watching Scooby Doo again
  847. >Not even any of the movies, but just the old cartoons
  848. >Everyone rounded up their bean bag chairs to sit around the TV, which was thankfully far better than any of the ones you grew up with
  849. >Except one thing
  850. >Rather than sit in her own beanbag chair, Pie has been sitting on your lap
  851. >While she makes you feel at ease and comfortable, you can't shake the feeling that this isn't a good thing
  852. >You haven't mentioned it to her, of course
  853. >You've kept to a tight schedule, and allowed yourself little room for error
  854. >You've managed to figure out that the more you allow their schedules to deviate, the most they act out or differently
  855. >It's subtle and hardly an extreme degree, but it's enough to worry about
  856. >Their goal, and your entire purpose, is to get them back to operating condition
  857. >Which means safe around patients and kids
  858. >Sky seems like she really isn't all that trustworthy
  859. >Rye is a bundle of sweetness
  860. >But she really seems to crumple under responsibility now, outside of deciding what to watch
  861. >You can't blame her, to be honest
  862. >Chai seems like she's the only one who could be theoretically capable of going back to work
  863. >Even then, she's really harsh if things aren't followed to a T
  864. >And Pie
  865. >Pie seems far too interested in you
  866. >And due to the damage she's already suffered, you don't really want to subject her to anything harsh
  867. >Or if she gets made fun of for her eye and mane
  868. >You don't want to see any of them get hurt again
  869. >They're kinda part of your past, too
  870. >At least, Pie is
  871. >The environment and schedule you set up is
  872. >There's comfort in that familiarity
  873. >You'd like to buy things and go out, but you don't really need to
  874. >The cartoons and old movies are really neat, too
  875. >They really don't make that sort of thing like they used to anymore
  876. >After the end of the mystery of the Miner 49er, Sky gets up, shaking hard enough to rattle her plastic
  877. >"Hey everybody, let's go find a mystery to solve! Rye, Chai, let's split up! Pie, you..."
  878. >She looks at Pie
  879. >Who's perfectly content and smiling
  880. >"You... protect Anon. Alright, let's go!"
  881. >Just like that, she gallops off
  882. >Chai squints at everything in the room, analyzing whatever must be a clue before wandering into a hallway
  883. >Presumably into the bedrooms
  884. >Thankfully you don't hide anything of suspect nature, otherwise she would've found it by now
  885. >Rye watches the others go off and looks up at you
  886. >"...Anon, is the house haunted?"
  887. >You quirk an eyebrow at her and raise a hand up to your chin
  888. "...you know, I don't know. All's been good so far, right?"
  889. >She frowns, visibly concerned
  890. >"But there could be one..."
  891. "Sure. But what if he's like Casper?"
  892. >She looks terrified
  893. >But then hopeful too
  894. >"If... if he is. Do you think he would watch cartoons with us?"
  895. "I'm sure he would. He might've been doing that already, we just don't know."
  896. >You shrug, speaking with the conviction that maybe, just maybe, there is a friendly ghost in your less than thirty year old house
  897. >It could be possible but the best ghosts hang out in century old buildings and more
  898. >Rye looks energized, excited and mortified, all at once
  899. >"R-right! I-I'll check... the bathrooms first! And, and the basement!"
  900. "We don't even have a basement, Rye."
  901. >"Not that we know of!"
  902. >With that, she trots off with the ferocity of a sleepy ferret
  903. >That just leaves you and Pie
  904. "Wanna go ghost hunting with everyone? Might find something."
  905. >She giggles and twists and rolls herself over until she's laying on her side, on your legs
  906. >"Nah, that's alright. I very much prefer this."
  907. >You were sure she'd say something like that
  908. "Really? They're having fun, and it's good preparation for playing with patients."
  909. >Though you're sure it sounds tempting, Pie shakes her head while maintaining her smile
  910. >"That's ok. I would rather stay here as your assistant. Or whatever you would like me to be."
  911. >You smile at that
  912. >Especially given the certain inflection of her voice for the second sentence
  913. >But you can't completely forget yourself
  914. "Pie... we have an inspector coming by in another week or two. And you can't say that sort of thing in front of whoever it'll be."
  915. >"But I can say it when it's just us, right?"
  916. >She's so persistent
  917. >You can't not like it
  918. "Regardless... I just want things to go well. Alright?"
  919. >"Of course, Anon. I understand. I can tell you get more tense when you think about it, but relax more when I say nice things. You definitely need to relax more!"
  920. >You like what she's saying
  921. >But
  922. "Pie... are you worried that you might get shipped off somewhere if I don't like you? You don't have to force yourself."
  923. >You were never all that confident in yourself
  924. >And right now your gut is telling you that this can't be natural
  925. >She is a machine
  926. >Her smile doesn't fade
  927. >But it does become a bit more sad
  928. >"I am. I think I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared that I might just be gone one day because someone would decide that I wasn't fit to live anymore."
  929. >She tries to widen her smile but she isn't smiling in her eyes
  930. >How you can tell due to her artificial face, you don't know
  931. >But it's a feeling
  932. >"If I do everything I can for you, I can make you happy. Even if something happens to me, I can help you until the very end."
  933. >Her voice quivers, even though she's consciously making the effort to make that audio cue
  934. >"That's what my heart says. It says 'help Anon, and be there for him any way you can'."
  935. >She looks you in the eye while she speaks
  936. >"That is what I want."
  937. >You scoop her up into a tight hug
  938. >Whether or not she's alive or whether or not she actually enjoys you or is just saying whatever she has to in order to avoid getting shut down or scraped or worse
  939. >You really wanted to hear that
  940. >From anyone
  941. "It's alright, Pie. No matter where I'm going, you're going with me."
  942. >Pie attempts to return the hug the best way a pony can
  943. >"Do you really mean it?"
  944. "Yeah. You and I are a team. We always were, then and now.
  945. >She sighs
  946. >An artificial sigh
  947. >But it feels nice to have someone's breath against the side of your neck
  948. >"That makes me very happy Anon. I promise that no matter where you go, I'll be right beside you."
  949. >It's hard to see at the moment
  950. >You don't know why you're getting so emotional
  951. >It really is still just another day with your Pie
  952. >Tomorrow and the day after, she'll still be there
  953. >And the day after
  954.  
  955. >Another day
  956. >Another circle
  957. >And another movie
  958. >Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School
  959. >You always liked this movie
  960. >Maybe a bit too much
  961. >You personally blame the waifu baiting
  962. >Maybe this was before waifus were a thing
  963. >Nah, waifus definitely existed back then
  964. >Disney artists made a ton of stuff of their own waifus
  965. >"Anon?"
  966. >Actually, they made a lot of stuff that's stuffed in that Disney vault too...
  967. >"Anon?"
  968. >You snap to attention
  969. >Pie's been sitting on your lap
  970. >She's been so gradually sticking to you to the point that the other ponies don't seem to notice it
  971. >Or they don't care
  972. >Thankfully nothing has really been 'done' that could damage or otherwise alter her since that...
  973. >Kiss
  974. >There's no other definition of it
  975. "Sure, what's up?"
  976. >She smiles at you
  977. >You aren't sure what she wanted
  978. >Then she pushes downward on your lap
  979. >It's painfully apparent what your thoughts have led to
  980. "O-oh, yeah..."
  981. >"Are you ok?"
  982. >She doesn't sound concerned at all
  983. "Yeah, just... uh... yeah. I guess I zoned out."
  984. >Rye and Chai are glued to the green, laying across their respective beanbags
  985. >Sky is running laps in the garage again, you think
  986. >Her top speed is hard limited by her hardware but she seems hellbent on trying to maximize everything from her stride to how quickly she can re-orient her momentum
  987. >It's neat to hear about her progress
  988. "Lemme get up real quick."
  989. >You pat Pie's soft plastic flank a few times and she hops off, giggling
  990. >You focus on everything else you can except for her and her increased deviation
  991. >You're not afraid
  992. >Maybe
  993. >But you know that you have to report on them
  994. >You shake yourself awake while walking to the kitchen
  995. >You haven't been doing sodas for a while but maybe you could use one
  996. >In mid-sip, you hear someone knocking on your front door
  997. >"Door!"
  998. >"Someone's here!"
  999. >Pie trots into the kitchen
  1000. >"Anon, we have a visitor!"
  1001. >You can almost hear a muffled shout about a door from the garage
  1002. >With a snort you shake your head and finish your drink
  1003. "Thank you, Pie."
  1004. >It's like you're living with a gang of tiny yapping dogs
  1005. "Thank you, Rye. Thank you too, Chai."
  1006. >You walk past the two ponies that smile and nod at your gratitude
  1007. >Thankfully you always fully dress yourself every day, minus shoes unless you're going out
  1008. >You never thought you'd end up living like Mr. Rogers
  1009. >You open the front door to see
  1010. >Oh shit
  1011. >"Hello? It sure sounds like you're Anonymous, going off of those voices."
  1012. >It's a short woman with weird sage green hair and stone grey eyes
  1013. >If it weren't for the hair she'd look almost familiar
  1014. "Yeah, hey there. I take it you're from-"
  1015. >"Yup, that's me! I've been getting copies of your reports after they've been filtered for more... important details."
  1016. >Well now you feel awkward
  1017. "Yeah... yeah. Sorry, I guess I kinda go on about them."
  1018. >She smiles at you, expecting something
  1019. "Oh! Shit, shoot, yeah. Come in?"
  1020. >You open up the door fully and step to the side
  1021. >She comes in, immediately taking note of Pie, who's been standing behind you for probably long enough to have heard everything
  1022. >"Oh my, it really is one of our little Missies! How are you doing?"
  1023. >Pie smiles at her, though it doesn't look like the smiles she gives you
  1024. >"Good morning! I'm doing great! My eye works fine, you know!"
  1025. >She smiles wider
  1026. >The woman seems taken off guard but nods
  1027. >"I'm sure it does! We'll have to see about getting it all fixed up, won't we?"
  1028. >Pie gives you a bit of a concerned glance as you follow the woman
  1029. >She looks at Chai and Rye, who seem to ignore her fully
  1030. >She waves her hand a few times
  1031. >To no response
  1032. >God damn it you two, at least say 'hello' or something
  1033. >"Are they usually like this?"
  1034. >She gives you an unimpressed look
  1035. "Well... it's movie time. You know how it is. My office?"
  1036. >You try to sidestep her concern and walk around the pair, holding an arm out to the hallway going to your room
  1037. >It is your office too
  1038. >Even if it doesn't look official
  1039. >After another appraising look, the woman nods and follows
  1040. >She walks into your room first, with Pie on her heels
  1041. >Before the pink pony can enter, you lean down and pat her side
  1042. "Listen... can you stay out there and make sure nothing goes crazy? I'm relying on you for this."
  1043. >Pie gives you a nod and a quick, genuine smile
  1044. >But something seems off with her
  1045. >"Anon... be careful, ok? She doesn't look happy to be here."
  1046. >She didn't look like she was anything
  1047. >Her eyes contract and whir slightly
  1048. "Right... scanning. Thanks."
  1049. >She leans against your leg as a quick pseudo-hug and joins the other two
  1050. >You enter your room and close the door
  1051. >The woman is sitting on your chair
  1052. >Leaving you nowhere to sit but your bed
  1053. "Make yourself at... er, home. I guess it is for me."
  1054. >The way she stares at you is a little odd
  1055. >You were never that great with eye to eye contact
  1056. >You sit on your bed, thinking back to the last reports you sent
  1057. >"Movie time, a pony that's missing..."
  1058. >Your eyebrows raise
  1059. >She didn't even see Sky
  1060. "Oh! Yeah, she's not missing, she's in the garage."
  1061. >"Alone? Why?"
  1062. "Well she likes running. Or galloping. Whatever the term is for them."
  1063. >You give your best disarming smile but it doesn't really do much
  1064. "She's got a lot more energy than the others so it's fine to let herself unwind that way, you know?"
  1065. >"Oh, sure. Even though they all have the same hardware, except her leg actuators?"
  1066. "Sure. We all have the same bodies but we feel like doing things differently, right?"
  1067. >A bit of a joke on your end but she doesn't seem to buy it
  1068. >"Anyway, you know our plan with this, right? To get them fixed up, to try this new therapy plan."
  1069. "So they can take care of kids and patients in general again, sure."
  1070. >"Can you tell me how exactly you're accomplishing that, so far? From your reports it seems like they're starting to deviate from their original directives."
  1071. >You hold up a hand, your index finger and thumb extended
  1072. >You scoot forward on the bed, eyes finally locking onto hers
  1073. "See, that's the cool thing, right? They were all completely the same from the start. When they looked the same too, minus the coloring. Well, from what I've gathered and from how they, themselves, characterize who they are. They basically shift to fit that. It's like... say if I had a big pair of nerdy glasses glued to my face and I couldn't run well. I'd naturally be more inclined for reading and less physically stressful things, right?"
  1074. >You were expecting some sort of gasp of surprise
  1075. >Instead she narrows her eyes at you
  1076. >"Anonymous, I wear glasses when I don't wear contacts."
  1077. "R... right. But I'm not saying you would change your personality on just that one factor. Or maybe you have, from when you were growing up. But think about this: they're all stock and baseline, until these things happened to them. From there, they start to change, alter. Grow!"
  1078. >She gives you a funny look
  1079. >"Grow?"
  1080. "Yeah!"
  1081. >"We're both aware of the hardware they're given, are you telling me this is a software bug?"
  1082. "No. Maybe. I'm not sure yet."
  1083. >You wave away with both of your hands
  1084. "But they are growing into individuals."
  1085. >"Anonymous, we don't need individuals, we need Missy model medical bots to keep track of troubled patients."
  1086. "Right, but you know as well as I that the patients, kids, aren't all the same. I'm speaking from experience here. As can any of them."
  1087. >You shift again
  1088. "Hear me out; you know that we have more active patients that have too much energy. Bam, we pair them up with Missy Sky. We have a patient that's nervous, scared, prone to panic. Bam, Missy Rye. OCD, prone to panic, light anger tone issues. Bam, Missy Chai."
  1089. >You look at her like it's the most obvious thing
  1090. "We pair them up with patients that are similar in personality and they're far more likely to create a bond. We create a bond, give them a genuine friend, and they feel at ease that much sooner. Like... the Big Brother program. Except while they're inpatient and with the security and everything else that Missies do."
  1091. >She looks a bit confused, but she's following you
  1092. >"And you think that this is sustainable, longterm? What happens if they further 'grow'?"
  1093. "Well what happens when we grow from experiences? We get better and just go from there."
  1094. >"Anonymous, you're really talking like these things are people."
  1095. "Well..."
  1096. >Aren't they?
  1097. >Of course they aren't
  1098. >But
  1099. "Well... sure, I know they aren't. But they have the great capacity to be friends with someone who needs it the most. When they're at the lowest they could possibly be. Take it from me, I needed a friend. Even if I wasn't that great of one in return. Me being a shitty kid was... me being a shitty kid. But a Missy that's experienced and knows how to talk to and understand me? Tell me that wouldn't be the best thing for a patient before actual therapy starts."
  1100. >"You sure sound like you're personally invested in this project."
  1101. "Of course I am."
  1102. >"That's good."
  1103. "Huh?"
  1104. >"As you said, it is... 'movie time', so I doubt I'll have time to personally speak with all of them. So instead, tell me more about your ideas. It sounds like you have it all figured out, despite having lost the plot on how their software is changing or how it's bugged."
  1105. >It was a back-handed compliment but you'll take it anyway
  1106. "Sure. By the way, I didn't get your name? I'm sorry, I email at least six people initially with everything."
  1107. >She smiles
  1108. >"Oh no that's ok! You effectively work 24/7 as is, I at least get to go home when I'm done with my hours. I'm Nona."
  1109. >She finally gives you a smile
  1110. >"Now enough about me, let's continue on about your ideas and (̴̕Y̸̷̢͟ó̴̕u̸͟͜͡)̶̛͢."

/bootleg/ Jacky Part Ten

by BlondieAnon

/jacky/ IF Scenario G: Growing Wings

by BlondieAnon

/bootleg/ Angel Cake's Quest

by BlondieAnon

/yandere/ Mr. Pear Bear

by BlondieAnon

/yandere/ Your Night Mare

by BlondieAnon