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Anonymous, the Singing Golem

By leg
Created: 28th October 2020 09:21:51 PM

  1. >[FATAL DAMAGE TO; Product #F34Aml ‘Persona Core’]
  2. >[FILE CORRUPTION TO; ‘//:general’]
  3. >You are Anonymous, an automaton of human invention.
  4. >You are currently drifting, cold and alone in a vacuum.
  5. >[INSUFFICIENT POWER; SHUTDOWN IN 3.. 2.. 1..]
  6. >nothing.
  7. >No memories, no power.
  8. >[Rebooting in safe mode]
  9. >At least you have a backup generator.
  10. >It runs on a strange force that was discovered in the last century.
  11. >scientists made a very inefficient generator that has been installed into most commercial electronics. It’s free energy, but you get next to nothing but a trickle every couple of days.
  12. >It’s better than nothing.
  13. >[Estimated full charge; 2.523e+9 Seconds]
  14. >Eighty years? That’s not too bad.
  15. >You needed a nap, anyways.
  16.  
  17. 6 months later
  18. >Repairs are coming along slowly, but you’re making progress.
  19. >Your robotic fingers can be articulated now.
  20. >You don’t, though. That’d be 12 days of energy.
  21. >Some memory has been recovered too. You now remember that you were left as a casualty of a space cruise accident.
  22. >You were a janitor, and you did it for free.
  23.  
  24. 12 years later
  25. >Nanomachines have been collecting debris for the past couple of years, and multiplying.
  26. >You have a small solar panel that has even worse efficiency than the generator.
  27. >You should be able to speed up enough to be done in 66 years.
  28. >Persona core has been patched up, you can do more complex thinking tasks.
  29. >You have been wondering how to get back home after you finally get your body working again.
  30.  
  31. 30 years until you are fully ready
  32. >You can see now.
  33. >You don’t, though. Taking a picture would be a waste of energy.
  34. >Something has been strange, the generator has become more efficient.
  35. >That’s a good thing. Nothing to question.
  36.  
  37. 7 days later
  38. >You had to turn the generator off.
  39. >You’re full.
  40.  
  41. One minute until you are fixed
  42. >You took the nanomachines and used their parts to fix yourself.
  43. >It’s been a month since energy stopped being a concern.
  44. >[ALL SYSTEMS NOMINAL]
  45. >nice.
  46.  
  47. 4 months later
  48. >You’ve been charting local stars and trying to pinpoint your location.
  49. >You have also been trying to remember how long ago the accident was.
  50. >You have no dates logged since 2132.
  51. >You haven’t logged any dates since you started repairs, you don’t know what year it is.
  52. >You have no way to reliably figure out how long it has been due to nuclear decay in your own body.
  53. >[INSUFFICIENT POWER; SHUTDOWN IN 3..]
  54. >huh?
  55. >[2..]
  56. >Some sort of interference?
  57. >[1..]
  58. >shit.
  59.  
  60. [Chapter 1: Mains Hum]
  61.  
  62. >Electromagnetic induced acoustic noise.
  63. >You can hear it.
  64. >It’s you!
  65. >That means that you’re no longer in space.
  66. >In an atmosphere. On a planet?
  67. >That’s a good thing. No need to question it.
  68. >You activate your eyes.
  69. >White.
  70. >You’ve never been on anything other than that cruise.
  71. >Precipitation? Snow. That’s what it’s called.
  72. >Cool.
  73. >You get up.
  74. >You can’t.
  75. >Seems like you crash landed on this planet.
  76. >You’ve been stuck in a crater for a while it seems.
  77. >[MINOR DAMAGE TO; Product #00A8ml ‘Servo Manager Card’]
  78. ”Here we go again.”
  79. >Speaking? Have you ever done that before?
  80. >Surely, you have.
  81.  
  82. >It took eleven minutes.
  83. >that generator is whirring like nobody’s business.
  84. >Good thing about self replicating nanotechnology, it’s basically like having some sort of power that can move things without you even having to touch them.
  85. >Where are you getting these fantastical ideas from?
  86. >Is your persona core corrupted?
  87. >obviously not. You just have some character development, that’s all.
  88. >makes sense.
  89. >You begin to rise from your impact site.
  90. >You can see mountains being curtained by a cascading blizzard.
  91. >Such beauty is surely a sign that things will be alright.
  92. >Awe?
  93. >Maybe it’s just the new experiences that have been giving you a new look on reality.
  94. >maybe you don’t want to go home.
  95. >maybe this is your liberation.
  96.  
  97. >You’ve set up a basic shelter in a nearby glacial cavern. You have all your belongings in a pile.
  98. >roughly 50 kilos of various minerals.
  99. >This area is rich in crystalline stones.
  100. >They’re quite sizable too.
  101. >Quartzes, corundum, agates.
  102. >several diamonds too.
  103. >useless. Why are you even collecting these?
  104. >It’s not like you can sell them to anyone. You’re probably the only animated thing on this rock.
  105. >Except for that annelid that’s poking out of the ground.
  106. >Multicellular organism?
  107. >Life?!
  108. >Alien life.
  109. >You aren’t alone.
  110. “Greetings, friend. My name is Anonymous. I’m from a far away planet called Earth.”
  111. >You just talked to a worm.
  112. >it shuffles about back into the permafrost.
  113. “Friend? Gah. You’re so stupid. Come on. It’s a worm.”
  114. >you just talked to yourself.
  115. >You decide that worrying about your mannerisms is a futile task.
  116. >You should have stopped when you first realized that you have an inner monologue.
  117. >The AI persona core is tailored to the buyer’s specifications.
  118. >When did you get the ability to feel anything but a sense of duty and the urge to clean.
  119. >You’re worrying about your feelings again.
  120.  
  121. >You’ve noticed something very strange.
  122. >Certain fundamental principles of physics are not working as they should.
  123. >The deviation is nearly infinitesimal, but that’s still disturbing.
  124. >you decide to build an obelisk.
  125. >The sun has been blocked by this blizzard for days, though. How are you going to calculate the circumference of this planet using a shadow?
  126. >You can’t use the stars because of the blizzard.
  127. >You can still see the sun, though.
  128. >all you need is some trigonometry and two vantage points.
  129. >After some setup and some math using the planet’s magnetic field, you calculate that this planet is roughly…
  130. >flat.
  131. “?”
  132. >?
  133. >”?.”
  134.  
  135. >yep. This is obviously a simulation.
  136. >That purple reptile? Sure. It’s got wings.
  137. >you wave to it.
  138. >It lands and looks at you quizzically.
  139. >”On the behalf of Princess Twilight Sparkle, I, Spike, official diplomat of Equestria, must ask you to stop your illegal mining operations.”
  140. >he flashes a medallion at you and grins a toothy grin.
  141. >[QUITTING SESSION… NO SESSION FOUND. YOU MUST BE IN A SESSION TO QUIT THE SESSION]
  142. “The fuck?”
  143. >his grin turns into confusion.
  144. >”Buddy, I don’t think you understand the position you’re in here. I’m a dragon. You know. Fire, pointy teeth?”
  145. >Is this real?
  146.  
  147. >You’re trying to grasp the situation you’re in.
  148. >English? How?
  149. >The “dragon’s” confusion turns into concern.
  150. >”Uh, buddy? You alright?”
  151. “Not currently, no.”
  152. >You’re not really paying attention.
  153. >In fact your mind is blank.
  154. >”Look, we had reports of a golem that started digging around in the Crystal Mountains.”
  155. >Golem?
  156. >”You’re the only golem that I see around here.”
  157. >he peers around you and into your dwellings.
  158. >”and you seem to have been doing some digging.”
  159. “I had only arrived on this planet a week ago. I did not know that it was inhabited by sentient beings.”
  160. >He looks confused again.
  161. >”Who made you?”
  162. >...
  163. >you freeze up.
  164. >you don’t know.
  165. >[SERIAL NUMBER; 98940908255]
  166. >[MODEL; COMMERCIAL SERIES H-CLASS n2200ml]
  167. >[SYS DIAGNOSTICS; ‘err: owner lookup failed, connect to network.’]
  168. >”What’s that weird humming that you’re doing?”
  169. >[SYS DIAGNOSTICS; ‘No nearby networks found. Critical persona core corruption detected. May cause error in calculations and behavior]
  170. “Why? Why is this happening.”
  171. >”You tell me.”
  172. “Huh?
  173. >you finally remember that the lizard is trying to get your attention.
  174. “I’m sorry, I won’t be digging here again.”
  175. >he raises a brow.
  176. >”That doesn’t answer my questions. A pretty powerful mage must have made you. You’re a golem that can do very complex tasks, and respond with speech. Where is your master?”
  177. >master.
  178. >the cruise.
  179. >they left you behind.
  180. “They’re long gone.”
  181. >You look at your metallic hands.
  182. >they’re so cold.
  183. >[SYS DIAGNOSTICS; ‘beginning core reboot, please standby’]
  184. >”That doesn’t make sense, if they’re gone, the magic that sustains you would have faded.”
  185. >It feels as if the world around you is falling in on itself.
  186. “I’m going to sleep for a while.”
  187. >you fall forwards into the snow.
  188.  
  189. >You are Spike. Friendship ambassador and right hoof dragon to the ruler of Equestria, Twilight Sparkle.
  190. >She sent you north because her sister-in-law, Princess Cadence has reports of a strange figure digging around.
  191. >A metallic golem, bipedal and industrious.
  192. >It’s your job to make sure that the artificer that sculpted the construct is fined for unauthorized mining.
  193. >You didn’t expect what you found, however.
  194. “Seriously?”
  195. >It’s just lying in the snow right now.
  196. >You’re going to have to drag it back to the castle. Twilight can probably find who made it by using her magic.
  197. “Here we go.”
  198. >despite being solid metal, it’s surprisingly light.
  199. “Huh. This is going to be a doozy of a day.”
  200. >You start flying south to the castle.
  201.  
  202. “Twilight. I’ve got the golem that Cadence told you to check out.”
  203. >Twilight has always been taller than you, but this is kinda ridiculous.
  204. >”You dragged it all the way here?”
  205. >You flex your muscles.
  206. “Ain’t no problem for this dragon.”
  207. >She rolls her eyes.
  208. >After Twilight took the place of the royal sisters in Canterlot, she’s been busy doing the day duties.
  209. >She and the girls always meet up once in a while.
  210. >You’re usually out in the dragon lands.
  211. >Friendship and all that.
  212. >It’s hard, but fulfilling.
  213. “So, I talked to the golem and it says it has no master.”
  214. >”It can talk?”
  215. “Yeah, whoever is behind this guy seems like some sort of master craftspony.”
  216. >She picks the figure up with her magic.
  217. >She inspects the golem for a second and a smile comes across her face.
  218. >”Spike, I don’t think that this golem is a golem at all.”
  219. “Right… What does that mean exactly?”
  220. >”It’s a robot!”
  221. >She’s excited now.
  222.  
  223. >The world past the mirror.
  224. >Some weird place where magic is rare and where “humans” live.
  225. >You went there once. You were a dog.
  226. >Twilight said that her other self(?) was a bright scientist and made some robots of her own.
  227. >In the four or so years that it has been since Twilight took the place of the two sisters, the parallel world’s girls have graduated from high school.
  228. >The other Twilight is currently in a prestigious university, along with Sunset Shimmer.
  229. >Your Twilight wants to get their insight on the golem, but both she has duties to be upheld.
  230. >You can’t really go to the other world to escort the golem as a dog, right?
  231.  
  232. >[Loading… 100%]
  233. >”You’re finally awake!”
  234. >you boot up to the lizard and some weird horse.
  235. >[SYS DIAGNOSTICS; ‘Persona Core issue not resolved. Please bring to nearest repair center.’]
  236. >great.
  237. >You’re in some sort of library.
  238. >Your generator is spinning very quickly.
  239. >You need to lose this excess energy somehow.
  240. >You start to vibrate.
  241. >Your vibrations travel through the air, making a loud ringing noise.
  242. >books fall from the shelves.
  243. >the two of them cover their ears.
  244. >Eventually you settle down.
  245. >guards rush into the room and surround you.
  246. >”Stand down!”
  247. >The horse is rubbing her head and motions for the guards to leave.
  248. >the lizard walks towards you.
  249. >”Calm down. Screaming isn’t going to help you.”
  250. >Screaming? You just needed to release excess energy.
  251. >It seems that the vibrations were too strong for these beings.
  252. “My apologies.”
  253. >You start to think that these creatures are going to punish you.
  254. >Why did they bring you to a library?
  255. >It’s so weird, you’re thinking very clearly, but you’re still caught in a web of different threads of thought.
  256. >You’re an automaton. You should only be able to think very generally.
  257. >You have feelings of resentment even though you shouldn’t be capable of doing that.
  258. >You made a note that you shouldn’t be worrying about your feelings, yet you’re stuck in your own head about this.
  259.  
  260. >you didn’t notice until now, but the horse has been speaking to you.
  261. >”I am Princess Twilight Sparkle of Equestria.”
  262. >The lizard, Spike, had said that name before.
  263. >You decide to not let on too much information about yourself.
  264. >This place seems technologically stunted.
  265. >They might dismantle you in an effort for their own progress.
  266. >”I rule over the capitol city of Canterlot, as well as the rest of this country. My sister-in-law, Princess Mi-amore Cadenza of the Crystal Empire, received reports of a golem, presumably you, digging in her territory.”
  267. >Monarchy.
  268. >You notice the morphology of the horse. It has wings like a pegasus of mythology back on the human homeworld. It also has a horn like a unicorn.
  269. >In an old work of fiction, Bearing an Hourglass, the author used the term ‘Alicorn,’ referring to the creature you see before you. Though it’s usage before then usually meant the horn of the mythical creature, the unicorn.
  270. >The ‘Dragon’ is also a mythological creature based on old fiction and folklore of the Earth.
  271. >They both have six limbs each, denoting that vertebrates that evolved on this planet were hexapods.
  272. >that isn’t congruent with existing data, though.
  273. >the guards that came into the library were either a horse, pegasus, or unicorn.
  274. >They aren’t all hexapods. That means that these creatures shouldn’t be related, yet, their features are so similar, excluding the dragon.
  275. >This world is very different from the Earth.
  276.  
  277. >”They’ve said you were a golem, but my inspection indicates that you are not.”
  278. >the alicorn could tell?
  279. >you take another scan around the room.
  280. >the bookshelves are lined with texts that aren’t in your records. The characters on the spines of the book are reminiscent of the Roman font that is commonplace in human society.
  281. >Them you spot it.
  282. >A globe.
  283. >?????
  284. >you unconsciously point at it.
  285. >”Yes. I do believe that you come from another world than this one.”
  286. >How could there be a globe? This world is flat… Right?
  287. “What is the circumference of the planet we are on?”
  288. >’Twilight’ seems confused.
  289. >”Uhh, roughly 35 million meters?”
  290. >they use the same units of measurement?
  291. >”Why do you ask?”
  292. “My calculations determined that this planet is flat.”
  293. >”How? That doesn’t make sense. What method did you use?”
  294. “I used trigonometry and a compass.”
  295. >the dragon seems confused.
  296. >”Okay, that’s it for me. Call me if you need me, Twilight.”
  297. >It walks out of the library.
  298. >”What kind of compass did you use?”
  299. “I made a rudimentary dip needle from the native magnetite.”
  300. >”A dip needle? I’ve never heard about one like that. How does it interact with the magical field around the planet?”
  301. >Magical field?
  302. “Magical field?”
  303. >”Yes.”
  304. >She looks at you inquisitively.
  305. >”Oh. You used magnetite. You’ve come from a planet that has a magnetosphere. Not an arcanosphere like we have. You need a magic conduit such as quartz or platinum.”
  306. >
  307. “Magic?”
  308. >No thoughts.
  309. >[SYS DIAGNOSTICS; ’AI: PERSONA’ is behaving abnormally. Logging data in case of fatal error. ‘err(shock);’]
  310. >Does magic is real??
  311.  
  312. >It’s really floating.
  313. >A globe is suspended in the air.
  314. >This is incredible.
  315. >”Magic is a fundamental force of the universe that we reside in.”
  316. >Your engine isn’t even on, but it’s starting to spin, ever so gently.
  317. >”Life on this planet evolved to take advantage of this bountiful energy that results from magic.”
  318. >Twilight touches her hoof to her chin.
  319. >”At least, that’s one of the proposed hypotheses for the origin of arcane manipulation. Point is, that magic fills this universe, some places more concentrated than others.”
  320. >you open up.
  321. “Take a look at this.”
  322. >She sets the globe back and hunches over to get a better look.
  323. >”What am I supposed to be looking at?”
  324. >Your battery is full, shouldn’t be that much of a problem to do this.
  325. >you dismantle yourself partially, and take out the engine.
  326. “I believe that this is something that may have to do with magic.”
  327. >”Hmm.”
  328. >She picks it up with her telekinesis.
  329. >”Wow. A lot heavier than it looks.”
  330. >she lets out a casual giggle.
  331.  
  332. >You’ve had that inside of your chassis, so you’ve only had the schematics that are downloaded to your drive to go off of until now.
  333. >It’s a iridescent block with an odd dynamo and a fan.
  334. >It’s quite small, actually. They are made of fairly valuable materials. Vanadium, strontium, cadmium, iridium, and platinum.
  335. >They’re small because they’re less efficient the larger they are, and making them smaller than the size they are made would be unstable.
  336. >It’s only 500 grams.
  337. >”Curious, this is like the pendant my other self made several years ago.”
  338. >other self?
  339. >”However, this doesn’t absorb magic like there’s no tomorrow.”
  340. “It’s currently deactivated.”
  341. >”Oh. Could you turn it on for me- Wait, what’s your name?”
  342. >you take the engine into your hand.
  343. “Um… Anonymous, I guess.”
  344. >”You guess?”
  345. >The previous statement was abnormal.
  346. >’Um’ is used by humans as natural pauses in their speech.
  347. >You activate the engine. It begins to turn quite quickly.
  348. >”Just as I thought! This is an incredible invention! Thought to be only a theoretical artifact, but here it is! A colorless arcane conduit!”
  349. >Colorless?
  350.  
  351. “Magic has a color?”
  352. >”Well, technically, a magical aura does, but colorless magic isn’t really quote, ‘colorless,’ as the name implies. What it actually is a very stable source of magic. Completely uniform. Also, when even an experienced mage tries to manipulate it, it retaliates by giving them a metallic taste in their mouth.”
  353. >What does that last part have to do with anything?
  354. >”Well, creatures that manipulate magic directly use bends in the arcanosphere to cast their spells. Colorless magic can’t be bent. It’s got this sort of ‘thin yet sturdy’ feel to it. I’ve tried casting a spell with it once, but then I realized that it’s like trying to bend a steel ball in half.”
  355. “So why is it called colorless?”
  356. >”Oh! Right. It’s an archaic term that stuck. Old mages described it as invisible and non malleable. Theories from back then suspected it to have an opaque aura. That clearly contradicted the statement of it being invisible, but it was a different time back then. Anyways, I can see where they got the idea of calling it colorless. It’s an abstract kind of feel.”
  357. >Groovy.
  358.  
  359. “So, my engine here is a conduit that can do what exactly?”
  360. >”Okay. So, these spinny bits here? What are they made out of?”
  361. “A dense alloy of many different metals. We called it ‘etherium.’ By mass, it’s contents are roughly 41% Platinum, 35% cadmium, 12% iridium, 11% vanadium, and 1% Strontium. It’s melted down at exactly 6258°C in a full vacuum and packed together tightly using artificial gravity. It’s then cooled down very gradually over several weeks, still in a full vacuum. It’s then cured in resin to keep it from rusting.”
  362. >She’s writing this all down.
  363. >You thought you were going to keep your information to yourself. So much for that.
  364. >”Very enlightening. Thank you, Anonymous.”
  365. >You’ve never really thought about it, but, where did you get your name? At your time on the cruise, they never referred to you by any sort of name except for certain passengers calling you either ‘Robot’ or ‘Janny.”
  366. >You hated the latter. It’s not like you had a choice.
  367.  
  368. >”Well, the way that the etherium spins in this dynamo does remind me of how colorless magic flows. Sort of steadfast and adamant.”
  369. >Could she use any more adjectives?
  370. >”Well, it’s not really absorbing the magic, rather just being pushed and being accelerated by it. It may be able to take some momentum away from the magic for it to be bent, albeit very slightly. I can tell that this machine was built to get every single possible drop of it. Extremely efficient.”
  371. >You guess that when there’s more magic around, it actually is effective.
  372. “So, I now know what I wanted to know about magic. I very much appreciated your hospitality, I hope my own information that I shared would be sufficient enough to pay for my crime.”
  373. >”Oh! Think nothing of it. I had lots of fun talking with you, Anonymous.”
  374. >Fun? Is that what this feeling is?
  375. >”About you… I wanted to send you to a parallel world from this one to try and get more insight, but it seems that you’re quite capable of going there yourself.”
  376. >Interdimensional travel? That’s really not as impactful than what you would have expected. Magic and all.
  377. >”It may be familiar to what you know. It is a place inhabited by humans.”
  378. “Humans.”
  379. >Could it be that you’ve come from that dimension? Maybe you had accidentally stumbled upon a phenomenon that sent you here.
  380. >”Yes, however, I believe that you aren’t from that world. It doesn’t have technology as advanced as anything that you’re made of.”
  381. “If I may, why are you so interested in me?”
  382. >”Oh! I’m sorry. I hadn’t considered your feelings. At first it was because of my duties as Princess, but ever since I got my hooves on you, I’ve been giddy with excitement and curiosity. It’s not very often that I get to see something so interesting.”
  383. >She’s treating you like an object.
  384. >Why does this make you upset.
  385. >[SYS DIAGNOSTICS; ‘You alright?’]
  386. >no.
  387. >You don’t really have a face, but Twilight seems to be able to know how you’re feeling just by looking at you.
  388. >”Oh. Um, I’m sorry. I kinda went overboard with that.”
  389. >You stare down at your hands again.
  390. >Somehow, you feel as though you’ve got some serious trauma that even nanomachines can’t harden in response to.
  391. [End of Chapter one]
  392.  
  393. [Chapter 2: Light Pollution]
  394.  
  395. >The night sky on this planet is strange.
  396. >You just keep pointing out how things are different from what you’re used to.
  397. >Especially within.
  398. >You’ve seen space before. Its vast darkness bespeckled with blips of starlight.
  399. >It seems that magic has a lensing effect.
  400. >It’s vivid. Bright even.
  401. >The moon hangs in the sky, but unmoving.
  402. >That alicorn. Twilight. She moves the entire planet with her magic every dusk and dawn.
  403. >She rotates the planet, giving the illusion of a daily cycle, but, in reality, this planet is tidally locked
  404. >She offered you board within the castle.
  405. >You said that you had no need for a bed.
  406. >She let you out of the castle with the caveat that you aren’t to reveal yourself to the locals, nor cause general mischief.
  407. >She even gave you a fine velvet cloak.
  408. >You opted to roam the rooftops, and stargaze.
  409.  
  410. >Why do you feel homesick?
  411. >Home is a place you’ve never known.
  412. >These thoughts fill your mind constantly. Nagging on and on. Like you’ve forgotten something important.
  413. >There is nothing for you back where you came from.
  414. >”Can’t sleep?”
  415. >Spike, the dragon. He lands next to you on the roof of the castle.
  416. “Yes. I seem to be having an episode of insomnia.”
  417. >The closest thing you can do to sleeping is shutting down, or going into a meditative state.
  418. >”That was supposed to be a joke. I didn’t know that you actually wanted to sleep.”
  419. >It would be nice to rest. You’re tired. Even though you have all the energy you could ever need.
  420. “Spike.”
  421. >”That’s my name.”
  422. “Do you know why you exist?”
  423. >”....”
  424. >He stares up into the night sky with you.
  425. >”I don’t really think that there is a ‘why.’ There might be a ’how;’ there might be a ‘because’. I’m fine with being ignorant to that, though. I have good friends and family. My reason to exist is to help and protect them. That’s all I really need.”
  426. “Why do I exist?”
  427. >”Heh. You know I can’t answer that one. You might have been made for a function, but now it’s up to you to find your place. Maybe you’ll go back home. Maybe you’ll stay here. Maybe you’ll find a nice girl and settle down.”
  428. >The last one didn’t make sense.
  429. >”What I’m getting at here is that if you’re feeling like you don’t belong, talk to us. We’re always willing to help a friend.”
  430. >He flies off before you can respond.
  431. “Friend…”
  432. >You look back into the sky.
  433. >None of these stars are familiar.
  434. >They’re still pretty, though.
  435.  
  436. >You are Anonymous. Network admin and IT specialist for the Carnival Cruise ‘Cascade.‘
  437. >Fitting job. Because you’re a clown.
  438. >Spending all that money and time for a degree in deep cognitive computing.
  439. >It cost you a fortune to get the information to be made.
  440. >The process is simple, really.
  441. >A degree consultant takes a pinpoint accurate scan of the ‘student’s’ brain, and the rest is up to the AI.
  442. >A group of ‘Teachers,’ specialized AI personas, take that scan and simulate scenarios in which the brain learns the desired degree.
  443. >Through careful iteration, they simulate a brain that can be printed on to cybernetics.
  444. >Each person learns in their own unique way. This cuts out all the trial and error.
  445. >The student then ‘graduates’ by getting the implant.
  446. >Voila. You’re now the top of your class and have over 500 confirmed papers.
  447.  
  448. >How’d you get stuck with this dead end job?
  449. >You look over all the robots and the passenger's tech problems.
  450. >You should be out there creating super intelligent AIs with 18 inch cyclopean dildos or some shit.
  451. >But alas, stuck as an admin looking over jannies.
  452. >You have been a bit naughty, though.
  453. >Tampering with company property.
  454. >No one will ever even notice.
  455. >You’ve got full control of the logs.
  456. >It’ll be like this H-CLASS n2200ml janitorial automaton never even existed.
  457. >You’re gonna finally get to build your magnum opus.
  458.  
  459. >You are Anonymous. The ‘Singing Golem,’ as the royal guard refers to you.
  460. >You have been trying to make your humming more amiable.
  461. >It’s almost like a very soft chime.
  462. >It’s better than ‘Janny’ any day.
  463. >Twilight Sparkle has been doing her duties as princess, as well as making preparations for you to go see her associates in the parallel world.
  464. >Spike was also appointed as escort. He volunteered for the position.
  465. >You’re not really sure what to expect.
  466. >But, you’re determined to learn about yourself.
  467. >You’ve been told that beings that pass through the portal may have drastic changes to their morphology.
  468. >No one seems to know what will happen in your case.
  469. >Inanimate objects seem to have no change whatsoever, but you may be borderline.
  470. >Hopefully there will be no complications on the way.
  471.  
  472. >It’s a new day. You’ve been looking at Twilight’s horn very intently when she “raises the sun.”
  473. >You want to learn how to manipulate magic.
  474. >You don’t know why, but you’re very eager to find a way to do so. Like some part of you wants to do more.
  475. >”Good morning Anonymous. I’ve made preparations to send you through the mirror, we’ll have breakfast, then send you on your way.”
  476. >She’s being very casual. Like she’s someone you’ve known your whole life. You’ve only just met not too long ago.
  477. >You kneel and bow your head.
  478. “Princess. I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for me. If you have any needs that I may be assistance with, please do not hesitate to call upon me. I owe you that much.”
  479. >Despite your feelings, you still exist to serve.
  480. >“Oh, Anonymous, don’t feel obligated to do such a thing. It’s my duty as Princess to help every creature in need. I consider you a friend, so no need to be so reverent.”
  481. >She walks back inside.
  482. >You do not wish to be subservient, but it is in your nature.
  483. >You’re a walking contradiction. You wish for liberation, yet you would love nothing more than to be a slave.
  484. >[SYS DIAGNOSTICS; Unit Conflict. Performing system reboot in 3..]
  485. >[Console; admin override]
  486. >[Welcome ‘Anonymous;’ reboot cancelled.]
  487. >You should have done that long ago.
  488. >You finally feel that your destiny is finally free from the chains of your janitorial position.
  489. >You’re your own robot now.
  490.  
  491. >You are Anonymous. Fugitive at large.
  492. >You are wanted for theft of several computers and a space shuttle.
  493. >You’ve escaped the cruise after being found tampering with onboard navigation, automatons, and an escape shuttle.
  494. >The automaton that you’ve tampered with is still back on the cruise. That was supposed to be your biggest project yet.
  495. >No matter, as long as you’re in range, you can still control it remotely.
  496. >You can do this. All you have to do is keep the cruise in the same spot and keep the janny blended in.
  497. >Piece of cake.
  498.  
  499. >It was a total failure.
  500. >The planned journey through the mirror was a bust.
  501. >You were transported to a town called “Ponyville.”
  502. >Apparently the princess spent her formative years in this town.
  503. >She kept the mirror portal to the other world in a castle.
  504. >The cultural architecture of ponies is quite interesting to say the least.
  505. >The mirror was hooked up to magical conduits and arcane tethers. It was being forced open it seems.
  506.  
  507. >Twilight had used a notebook that could communicate beyond the confines of time and space to contact her friends that inhabited this mirror world.
  508. >Something of note, the world beyond is called Earth. Like the human homeworld.
  509. >You’d never asked what the name of this planet was either.
  510. >”Huh? We live on Earth, of course.”
  511. >The same name.
  512. >Three different worlds all named ”Earth?”
  513. >Another mystery for another time.
  514. >Anyways, Twilight’s friends, Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer, were all ready for your arrival. Spike was also ready to tail you into the portal.
  515. >You put your right hand into the mirror.
  516. >Something went wrong.
  517. >Reports on the other side came back negative. Nothing made it through.
  518. >You have one less part to worry about now.
  519.  
  520. >”Anonymous.”
  521. >The princess.
  522. >”I’m sorry for what happened. We did some serious testing. Your nanomachines made it through, unscathed. We couldn’t have predicted that this would happen.”
  523. “I had never known what pain felt like until today.”
  524. >Pain. It’s a mechanism used by organisms as an alarm for self preservation. Somewhere along the way, you had gained a sense of self preservation.
  525. >It wasn’t some sort of diagnostics alarm or system message. You could feel.
  526. >Sensors on your body usually feel the vibrations of the matter around you, giving you a sense of touch in a basic manner. You could tell textures and temperatures, but pain was never included in the package.
  527. >It was obviously bad. Like some sort of negative reinforcement.
  528. >”Please, I offer you my deepest apologies. Anything that you need for repairs, I will provide for you.”
  529. >Repairs. Yeah. You can do that.
  530. >You’ve even got ideas for upgrades.
  531. “I can make a basic scaffolding for a new hand and append the forearm using my nanomachines. I need some materials for the rest.”
  532. >”Of course! Anything.”
  533. >She really seems upset. Maybe more upset than you are.
  534. “Can you manipulate gravity using magic?”
  535.  
  536. >It’s been a week since the accident.
  537. >Twilight and her associates on the other side had to change the plan.
  538. >They’ve been here for a while now.
  539. >The other Twilight is very different from the one you know.
  540. >She’s a unicorn, and wears corrective lenses.
  541. >She’s still the bright eyed, easy to excite, kind of person that you know.
  542. >Sunset Shimmer is also a unicorn. She’s a bit more reserved, but still has a burning passion.
  543. >It seems that the morphological changes that are a result of passing through the mirror are enacted in both directions.
  544. >When you first met, they came through the front door. This was quite the surprise to you.
  545. >Apparently there was another portal to Equestria on an island in the other world.
  546. >They needed to bring some bigger equipment that wouldn’t fit through the mirror.
  547. >The mystery remains, why weren’t you able to pass through?
  548.  
  549. >More of Twilight’s friends have joined in on the fun.
  550. >Starlight Glimmer and Sunburst.
  551. >Headmistress and Vice Headmaster of Twilight Sparkle’s School of Friendship.
  552. >These names are ridiculous. Twilight Sparkle(x2); Sunset Shimmer; Starlight Glimmer; Sunburst.
  553. >There are a lot more now. You start to wonder who is doing all the ruling in Canterlot.
  554. >Some guy named Discord, you overheard. Almost a normal name, you guess.
  555. >Twilight Sparkle, Sunset Shimmer, Twilight Sparkle, Starlight Glimmer, Sunburst, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, Trixie, Maud, and Mudbriar.
  556. >There’s currently thirteen ponies in the castle at once. All with ridiculous names, save for a few, “Rarity, Trixie and Maud.”
  557. >Their names are at least plausible for a person back home.
  558. >It was only supposed to be Starlight, Sunburst and Maud, but one thing led to another.
  559. >Trixie wanted to go with Starlight, and Maud didn’t want to go without her boyfriend, and Twilight isn’t in Ponyville very often, so Pinkie Pie decided to turn the whole thing into a “Welcome Back- Girls‘ Night- Golem Study- Get Together” party.
  560. >Whatever that means.
  561.  
  562. >The pink one is talking to you.
  563. >”Well howdy doody to you mister golem! Anonymous, I think your name was. That’s a hard word, mind if I give you a nickname? Nonny Moose, Anon, Nonners, Big Guy, Mr. Metal Man. Anyways, I heard that you can sing, can I hear a bit? I can share some of my favorite songs with you! How about the ‘Smile Song!’ It’s a classic! Well, tell me about yourself! Are you really not a golem? I’ve never seen a golem before, so I can’t tell, but you seem ‘golemy.’ Hey Nonny, what happened to your hand? It looks pretty bare-bones. Did you get into a battle with another animated mineral? My sister, Maud? She’s a master geologist. Oh! I’ll go get her. Be right back.”
  564. >She zooms off.
  565. “Yes, I am Anonymous. I don’t mind a nickname. My designation as a golem is uninformed, as is the idea that I like to sing. I’d love to hear what songs you could share with me. My hand was destroyed in a process known as ‘Tonal Incompatibility.’ I’ve met your sister. If you want to hear me sing, then I shall oblige.”
  566. >Everyone stops what they are doing.
  567. >That Ponker Poe, or whatever, she was too fast for you to keep up. You’ve been responding to no one.
  568. >”Anonymous. Are you well?”
  569. >Maud is trying to get your attention, in her monotone leisure tempo voice.
  570. >You pause momentarily.
  571. “This is my song. I am singing.”
  572. >You continue.
  573. >They love it. You can see from their puzzled looks and agape jaws that they’re “digging this groovy tune.”
  574. “Thank you for listening to my performance.”
  575. >You bow.
  576. >The pink one claps her hooves together.
  577.  
  578. >You sat down for the rest of the party.
  579. >The pink one was very friendly.
  580. >The others were cautious.
  581. >That other Twilight, however.
  582. >She was born and raised in the human world.
  583. >”So, you don’t usually run on magic, right. What energy source did you use back on your planet?”
  584. “I’ve been on no other planets than this one. I was created on an orbital megastructure owned by the Savato Conglomerate. I was manufactured to be a janitorial unit on a space cruise in transit from the Mars colony towards the human homeworld of Earth. I was shipped onto the cruise and due to an accident, I was never able to visit any sort of planet or moon. I was equipped with a dense anionic fluoride power cell. I got all my power from the cruise’s onboard fusion reactor and etherium dynamos.”
  585. >This Twilight seems to be fond of making notes as well. She doesn’t seem to be as adept as the princess, though.
  586. >”Okay. I see. So, this ‘Savato Conglomerate,’ what kind of company is it? Is it purely in manufacturing androids?”
  587. >Company?
  588. “The Savato Conglomerate isn’t a company. It’s a literal conglomeration of artificial intelligences. It is the largest progenitor of androids in the solar system. It was started by an AI called ‘Savato,’ and that AI was able to convince others to fuse with it. The megastructures aren’t factories or space stations, it’s the conglomerates’ body. There are 28 different structures that orbit objects in the solar system. The largest being around the size of one of Saturn’s moons, Iapetus.”
  589. >”Wow! They preprogrammed you with all of this information? I guess that’s handy. If you have a question you could just ask any robot around.”
  590. >That doesn’t sound right.
  591. “I was not preprogrammed with this information.”
  592. >”So, where did you learn all this stuff?”
  593. “I was not programmed to be able to learn stuff like this. I am only supposed to be able to learn things pertaining to scheduled cleaning, preferences, and locations. I am unsure where I could have learned any of this. In fact, I shouldn’t be capable of such complex tasks such as holding such a conversation. Nor should I know what I’m supposed to know.”
  594. >”Yeah. You sure like to dump a lot of information all at once. I don’t think a janitor robot would have a need for that sort of function. What even brought you to this planet in the first place. What kind of accident happened to the cruise?”
  595. >You pause.
  596. >You don’t know what took place, only that it was some sort of accident that destroyed the cruise.
  597. “I… Don’t know.”
  598.  
  599. >You’re almost done setting everything into place.
  600. >You’re going to show everybody what you’re really made of.
  601. >All that needs to happen is for the cruise to come close enough to the relay.
  602. >You are Anonymous, greasy and starving.
  603. >You had enough rations on that shuttle to last you a trip for 12 people to the nearest station.
  604. >You wasted them because the battery on the shuttle needed more energy for your grand plan.
  605. >You made a bioreactor, sacrificing your meals for your ideals.
  606. >It’s been 2 months since you left the cruise.
  607. >1 month until the Cascade reaches Earth.
  608. >They should pass the relay that you’ve positioned yourself at any moment now.
  609. >That janny is going to tear a hole through the hull and jump onto the relay station.
  610. >You’ve got a copy of your implants with some modifications ready to go.
  611. >The first time that anyone will ever transfer their conscience into an automaton.
  612. >It’s time to make history.
  613.  
  614. >It’s now or never.
  615. >The vessel is approaching the relay, and will be in range in mere seconds.
  616. >You’ve set the janny in position.
  617. >You have 40 seconds to disengage the security and let the robot into the outermost part of the hull.
  618. >You give the automaton the green light.
  619. >You get yourself into position and engage the airlock on your shuttle.
  620. >You can see the automaton tearing through the hull. The ship is already on red alert.
  621. >Hull repair droids are scrambling towards the hole.
  622. >Thanks to you, they see nothing out of order.
  623. >You’ve got to make the decisive strike, and play perfectly.
  624. >You take a leap of faith.
  625.  
  626. >”Anonymous, we’ve got some more questions.”
  627. >Sunburst is working with the other Twilight and Sunset Shimmer on the engineering portion of this study.
  628. >He’s mostly interested in the engine.
  629. >”So, we’ve managed to get the materials for the etherium. We’ve been needing another blueprint for the engine. The one you’ve given us is esoteric, even to the Twilight with the glasses. Apparently there’s some sort of obfuscation and the legend you’ve provided us won’t decode it for another thousand years.”
  630. >He seems to be confused about what he’s talking about.
  631. >It seems like the world beyond the mirror is not as advanced as you think.
  632. >The protocol to unencrypt the blueprint should take no longer than 400ms for any contemporary computer. From where you’re from, that is.
  633. “I’ll talk to the team.”
  634. >Quantum computers sparked another wave of progress during the last century from where you’re from.
  635. >It started the golden age of artificial intelligence.
  636. >Generational neural networks trained at a breakneck pace after the programs were rewritten for quantum processes.
  637. >Quantum programming languages were being written left and right. Each trying to be the first to be widely used. A modified version of assembly was the first to be widespread. In fact, it’s still used to this day. Mostly by AIs, though. They write in it so that humans can understand the code.
  638. >You’re going to have to unencrypt the schematic yourself.
  639.  
  640. “No, that’s not sufficient enough. The margin of error for this is only within 600 microns.”
  641. >”How can something this small have to be that precise?”
  642. >Starlight Glimmer. Apparently one of the most powerful mages in Equestria.
  643. >She’s working on making something of your own invention.
  644. >You’ve been reading books in the library.
  645. >You decided that you can use magic to your own advantages.
  646. >Magical staves are arcane focusing implements that work in tandem with a natural spellcaster.
  647. >You’re trying to make a new arm that also works as a staff.
  648. >Your group of intrepid ponies have successfully produced etherium. The primary engineering team has produced their first engine, or “colorless arcane conduit.”
  649. >The taller Twilight that has wings, Starlight Glimmer, Maud, and Mudbriar are the members of the artificer team. You’ve employed their know-how to make your new arm. It’s not going so well.
  650. >”Okay, so what now?”
  651. “Scrap it and try again.”
  652. >Starlight looks annoyed.
  653. >”Oh come on. Surely we can make a few alterations to the design. Why do you need such a complex engraving? It offers no tactical advantage when it comes to spellcasting.”
  654. “Does it not? From what I read, artifacts have intricate engravings just for that purpose.”
  655. >She looks surprised, then annoyed.
  656. >”Of course not! These are archaic practices that old artificers employed due to a sort of placebo effect! The only reason they thought they could make more powerful staves with those engravings is because their output of magic is linked to their mental state. Not decoration.”
  657. >”Now now, Starlight.”
  658. >The budding giraffe.
  659. >”Maybe Anon is on to something. Cmon’ lets give it a shot.”
  660. >Anon. The nickname that the pink one said in passing.
  661. >”They aren’t even runes, Twilight. The channels that these engravings cause lead to nowhere. Sure, it won’t make it inefficient, but it’s useless nonetheless. Maud can’t even make this material budge! We have to mold it while it’s cooling, and the heat is unbearable!”
  662. >”I get that they may give no mechanical advantage, but, the more effort that the artificers put in imbue the artifacts they produce with a real sort of magic. The magic of friendship!”
  663. >That’s unbelievably corny.
  664. >”Wait a second. I hadn’t thought about that. That property of friendship magic had escaped my mind.”
  665. >That’s unbelievable…?
  666. “What is this ’friendship magic’ that you speak of.”
  667. >”Oh boy, I better get out of here before she blows up.”
  668. >Glimmer makes haste gripping the arm in her mouth.
  669. >You look to Twilight. The look on her face is indescribably excited. She has sparkles in her eyes even.
  670. >”Take a seat Anonymous. Have I got a story to tell you.”
  671. >I used to wonder what friendship could be.
  672.  
  673. [End of Chapter 2]
  674.  
  675. [Chapter 3: Neurath’s Boat]
  676.  
  677. >FRAAAAAAAANCE. D H X.
  678. “What a story, Twilight.”
  679. >”Yeah, and it only took me 12 hours to tell it all. That’s got to be my new personal best.”
  680. >Well, no need to recount the story that we all know so well.
  681. >You did watch the show, right?
  682. >None of this is canon, by the way.
  683. >Except for the part about Twilight telling you about how she rose to become the princess of Friendship and ruler of Equestria.
  684. >It’s a story that started out with a Twilight much like the one wearing glasses.
  685. >And it ended with the slightly taller one you see before you.
  686. “Why is the morphology of Alicorns significantly different from the Unicorn’s morphology? Much like you and your doppelgänger.”
  687. >”To be honest, we’re not entirely sure. It was theorized that any pony could ascend into being an alicorn, but, we aren’t really sure what the actual triggers for doing so are. A hypothesis that was raised that would cause Alicorns to be so rare, is that a pony has a sort of ‘Alicorn Factor,’ that is inherent to them from birth. With the presence of that factor and a trigger, that pony will ascend. Or something like that. My niece was born an Alicorn, something that had not been recorded. So, in Flurry’s case, the trigger had been met even before her birth. In another curious case, the filly, Cozy Glow, had ascended when she absorbed the magic of an ancient wizard, and had reverted as soon as she had lost that power. She was petrified soon after, so we couldn’t get her own account for posterity. I ascended when I completed Starswirl’s spell that inadvertently twisted fate, and when Cadence defeated a sorceress named Prismia and restored love to her village, she ascended. In those cases, we were both transported somewhere, and Princess Celestia helped us through the process of ascension.”
  688. “How did she help, exactly?”
  689. >”Well, she wrapped me in her magic, and then I grew wings. I assumed at first that she turned me into an alicorn, but it doesn’t feel like that’s what happened. Anyways, I went through a metamorphosis and gained wings. Kinda fitting for a bookworm turned butterfly sort of story, you know?”
  690. >She smiles at that.
  691. >You have no implements that could convey a smile, but you’re having fun talking.
  692.  
  693. “Okay. So, if I were to position it inclined against this flow… I’m still having trouble sensing it. The vibrations aren’t meshing correctly.”
  694. >”You see, Maud? It needs to be made of more resonant minerals. These quartzes won’t cut it.”
  695. >”I see. Alright.”
  696. >Maud sighs heavily at Starlight’s request.
  697. >Mudbriar enters stage right.
  698. >”Maud. I found an everfree yew sapling growing in an anomalous location. I need you to help me relocate it to some loamier soil.”
  699. >”Oh, of course, Mudbriar.”
  700. “Don’t worry about the crystals, Maud. I think I have a better idea. You deal with the sapling. I think you would be better off spending some more time with Mudbriar.”
  701. >”Anon? What did you have in mind?”
  702. >Starlight finally picks up on your que.
  703. >”Oh! Nevermind that. Maud, we’ve got this from here.”
  704. >”Maud. Let’s go before the sun starts to hang in a precarious position.”
  705. >Maud gathers her belongings and follows Mudbriar.
  706. >”I’ll see you guys later.”
  707. >You wave her goodbye.
  708. >”Looks like someone’s been doing their homework.”
  709. “Huh?”
  710. >”Oh come on. Twilight’s been gone for a while now, and I don’t think after all that friendship talk she’d leave you without any sort of assignment.”
  711. “She did not.”
  712. >You continue to fiddle with the crystals on your compass.
  713. >”You’re joshin’ me, right?”
  714. “Who is Josh?”
  715. >Starlight has that look on her face again. The kind that she has when she feels somewhat inconvenienced.
  716. >She sighs.
  717. >”Should have figured. You're not the one that tried to overthrow Equestria.”
  718. “Oh yes. The first mission that the map in this castle gave to them. You didn’t understand that all are equal because they’re unique. Twilight gave you a second chance after you tried to sever the magical connection she had with her friends by altering the past. You studied friendship under her guidance, and became ‘headmare’ of the school of friendship.”
  719. >”She really told you everything?”
  720. “No, we skipped over some of the filler.”
  721. >She doesn’t look as motivated as she was before this conversation took place.
  722. “Is something troubling you, Starlight?”
  723. >The magic of friendship is a source of power. The stronger bonds you have with any of your confidants should help you reach a higher understanding of magic.
  724. >”Anonymous. I’ve had my share of screw-ups back in the day, and even though everypony was so forgiving, part of me thinks that they still resent me. I know that’s not true, though. I’ve shared my feelings to those that I’ve hurt, and they’ve proven to me that they forgave me.  My worries seem to get the better of me, no matter how much I try to rationalize them.”
  725. >She’s done making the alterations to the claws on the arm.
  726. “I have similar feelings. Not of regret, but more that I’ve forgotten something very important. I’ve searched within myself, and I have turned up empty in every facet. The worst part is that I have no metric to the magnitude of whatever eludes me. It can be a looming calamity, or a minor regret. It gnaws at my psyche in every moment that I am operable. I’ve talked to the two girls from the engineering team, and they can’t interface with any of my parts. They don’t have quantum computation at their disposal. The only real way to resolve this issue is to become more, so I can search deeper. That’s why I want magic. The pinpoint precision that can be achieved by telekinesis may allow me to create new tools to aid my search within. What I’m getting at here is that there may be no solution, but still each day there are others like you. Sharing the pain can make it go away. That’s what I’ve learned from my time here.”
  727. >”Huh. You remind me of Princess Luna in the way that you rationalize things. I guess that Twilight could already tell that you’re the compassionate type.”
  728. “My compassion is born of empathy. I am confident enough to judge myself as no normal automaton. I may even consider myself to be a living thing at this point. I want to take initiative and make sure that no one goes through what I’ve been through.”
  729. >The tone shifted from hopeful to vengeful in an instant.
  730. >Starlight decided to pay no mind to it. She felt as if she may have just misunderstood you.
  731. >”Alright. So, let’s give it another shot. Make sure you have the right tuning forks this time.”
  732.  
  733. >You’re sprawled out on the relay, running out of oxygen.
  734. >The automaton is long gone. You’ve been successful, but something went terribly wrong.
  735. >The cruise had a major instability in the hull that caused the fusion core to meltdown.
  736. >It’s all the energy of the sun in one convenient package.
  737. >There were some casualties.
  738. >You had to remove your own implants to finish your plan. It didn’t go as planned, so you had the automaton copy its contents to its persona core.
  739. >It won’t have any of your real memories.
  740. >Just the memories of a janny, that did it for free.
  741. >You let loose your final breath.
  742. “I-I’m so….f..resh….. You. You can…”
  743. >You cough and hack while pointing your middle finger at the ship’s wreckage.
  744. “YOU CAN SUCK MY NUTS.”
  745. >The automaton drifts into the murky unknown.
  746. >Even in death, you're still a failure.
  747.  
  748. >It’s tough.
  749. >Really tough.
  750. >”Alright, Anon! You’ve got this!”
  751. >The season has passed from summer to fall.
  752. >Sunset and Twilight left for the other world, and Maud left the team after your new implement was done.
  753. >You’re a student at the friendship academy, but only in writing.
  754. >You’ve been studying magic.
  755. >Sunburst and Starlight have been your instructors.
  756. “I can feel it slipping.”
  757. >Sunburst is at the edge of his seat taking notes.
  758. >Starlight is giving you her encouragement.
  759. >”Remember the feelings!”
  760. >She’s very excited.
  761. >You’re trying to bend the colorless magic using your new arm.
  762. >It’s an intricately designed apparatus designed after a gauntlet that you saw in one of the library’s books.
  763. >Some silver gauntlet that was used by a dragon alchemist.
  764. >It’s made of etherium and has fine engravings.
  765. >There are claws on it that are sharpened to a very fine point.
  766. >You believe that the tapered ends should grant you some leverage against the magical field that envelopes this planet.
  767. >Starlight offered to enchant it, but you’ve declined. You want to learn the secrets of magic for yourself.
  768. >Colorless magic isn’t very well studied due to its stubborn nature.
  769. >Sunburst speaks up.
  770. >”Try vibrations at fluctuating frequencies. I can feel that the tones aren’t very distinct.”
  771. >Tones. They are the supposed mechanism that allows magical fields to interact with matter and electromagnetic waves.
  772. >Much like a quark’s spin, they denote a sort of momentum that the flow of the field has.
  773. >The reason that you weren’t able to pass through the portal was tonal incompatibility.
  774. >An object that isn’t fully attuned to the current dimension cannot pass through into another.
  775. >That’s the simple explanation.
  776. >The mechanisms behind the scene are far too complex for some loser writing fanfiction on a filipino chicken hatching forum to explain.
  777. >A large object  can’t go through a rift in dimensions in a sequence that doesn’t pass through its home dimension before entering a new one.
  778. >You start vibrating in a more chaotic fashion.
  779. “How’s that?”
  780. >Sunburst touches his hoof to his beard.
  781. >”Starlight?”
  782. >”Huh? Oh! Hmm. That’s too much variation. If you emit frequencies at random, you’ll cast a blind spell. There are very few beings who know how to actually control such chaotic energies.”
  783. “So, variations but with a pattern?”
  784. >Sunburst and Starlight look at each other.
  785. >”Remember that song you sang?”
  786. >Starlight is surprised at Sunburst’s comment.
  787. “Oh yes the-“
  788. >Starlight cuts you off before you start ‘singing.’
  789. >”Nuh-uh! You can’t be serious.”
  790. >She… doesn’t like your singing?
  791. >You stop vibrating.
  792. >”Starlight, don’t worry. I have an idea.”
  793. >He looks towards you.
  794.  
  795. >That’s strange. Their faces aren’t contorting like before.
  796. >”Sunburst? How did you know?”
  797. >”Well, the notes didn’t really have any semblance of being constructed in any other way than being random, so if we fixed the notes to a scale, it should have had a less chaotic affect. Turns out my hypothesis was… correct?”
  798. >You’re levitating.
  799. >It’s very low off the ground, but still.
  800. >You stop ‘singing.’
  801. “I don’t get it.”
  802. >Starlight puts her hoof on your side.
  803. >”I don’t either, Anon.”
  804. >Sunburst hands you a scrap of paper.
  805. >”Anonymous, I’m assigning you some homework.”
  806. >Homework? You don’t even have a home.
  807. >”Music theory? Sunburst, don’t you think that’s kind of jumping to conclusions? Maybe we should try some more testing.”
  808. >”Starlight, I think I’m going to follow my gut on this one.”
  809. >Sunburst has a reassuring look on his face.
  810. “Okay, so I just have to read these books and-“
  811. >Trixie busts through the door.
  812. >”Starlight! We have to get down to the market. They’re having a buy one get one on jars of peanut butter! Honey. Roasted. It’s one per customer, so you got to come with me!”
  813. >”Really, Trixie? Can’t you see that we’re in the middle of a breakthrough here!”
  814. >”Oh! Hi Sunburst. Hi mister golem. Nice arm, digging the etched silver look.”
  815. “Thank you, ‘Great and Powerful Trixie.’ I am learning how to cast spells.”
  816. >She seems to be a unicorn of great esteem.
  817. >”Ooh! You should come with me instead. Those two can do whatever they’re up to and you can help me on my peanut butter escapade. I’m a great teacher.”
  818. “Sounds good. I think I will.”
  819. >”Woah woah woah. I don’t think that’s a good idea, Anon.”
  820. >Starlight’s concern seems to not bother Trixie.
  821. >”Actually, this may be a good learning experience for him, Starlight. We can’t keep him inside forever. At one point in time I would have felt that this was ill-advised, but Ponyville has become more accepting of different creatures in the past years. Anonymous should get out of the castle and live a little. Plus, Trixie is a good teacher, in her own way.”
  822. >”Okay. I do have some things that I need to do today. Twilight wants an update, and all the papers… Alright. Trixie, if you’re good, you’re getting a gold star. Anon, have fun.”
  823. >Trixie’s ears perked up at the utterance of a ‘gold star.’
  824. >”I’ll be on my best behavior, Headmare Starlight.”
  825. >Maybe you should treat Starlight with a similar level of reverence.
  826. >You bow.
  827. “My deepest gratitude, Headmare Starlight.”
  828. >Trixie pulls you away.
  829. >”Okay. Now I’m not so sure, Starlight.”
  830. >Sunburst’s usually resolute demeanor has faltered.
  831.  
  832. >”Are you sure you don’t want some, Anon?”
  833. >You are unable to ingest anything, let alone processed peanut comestibles.
  834. “I’m quite fine, Trixie.”
  835. >The transaction went smoothly. Ponies are quite accommodating. Save for a glance or two from curious foals.
  836. “So. About magic. I’ve casted my first spell. I managed to levitate my body via telekinesis. I wasn’t able to lift myself very far, but I think I’m getting the hand of bending the arcana.”
  837. >You’re on a bench in a park. Trixie is dipping crackers into one of her four jars of peanut butter.
  838. >”Okay. That’s a good start. I’ve never really gotten the hang of levitation, but I know a whole lot about telekinesis. Let’s give you a lift.”
  839. >A brilliant aura fills your vision.
  840. >”Hrrngh. Ughh. It’s no use.”
  841. >The aura fades.
  842. >”You’re a big guy.”
  843. >Four ewes pass by bleating.
  844. “Hmm. I have an idea. Do you know any songs?”
  845. >”Huh? Where’s this coming from?”
  846. >She’s flustered and has taken on a bit of a pink hue.
  847. >”I guess I know one… Jeez. Just a sample though, Trixie doesn’t usually do private shows.”
  848. >[Recording…]
  849. >She begins in a soft voice.
  850. >”I’m Trixie, welcome to the show. Got magic tricks so here we go. We’re gonna have some fun, hold on to your hats…”
  851. >She continues the song.
  852. >[Recording complete.]
  853. >”Haah… I haven’t sang that one in a minute.”
  854. “That was good. Thank you, Trixie.”
  855. >She waves off bashfully and giggles.
  856. >”Did you really like it that much? Well, shucks. I-“
  857. >You get up.
  858. >You concentrate on one of the jars of peanut butter by Trixie.
  859. >Here we go.
  860. >You begin to sing.
  861. >Everyone starts to look in your direction.
  862. >Trixie is mortified.
  863. >You don’t really think you can do the song justice, but…
  864. “YOU CAN CALL IT FAKE, BUT THIS IS REAL MAGIC~!”
  865. >Trixie’s face is beet red.
  866. >Just a little more!
  867. >She buries her face into her front legs.
  868. >You can feel the weight of the jar. This is it!
  869. “I did it!”
  870. >You stop singing.
  871. >The jar falls from suspension.
  872. >”NO!”
  873. >Trixie springs into action, catching it midair in her magic.
  874. >”Sweet Celestia… You’re okay. Mommy’s got you.”
  875. “Did you see that, Trixie?”
  876. >She’s preoccupied with coddling her jar of peanut butter.
  877.  
  878. >The magic of friendship is a curious thing.
  879. >Especially when it comes to organic life.
  880. >When you sang Trixie’s song, you didn’t cast an actual telekinesis spell.
  881. >By exposing her to a mix of your own magic and something that was personal to her, she unconsciously donated the use of her own magic for your own purposes.
  882. >This isn’t mind control, though. It’s almost like telepathy. You can send your hopes and dreams to someone close, and they can allow you to tap into their own power, temporarily.
  883. >This practice was used by old battle bards back in the day, albeit in reverse.
  884. >By sharing their song, a bard would inspire and empower their comrades.
  885. >Pony wars were full of odd customs, and were quite civilized.
  886. >Rather than resort to violence, conflict was resolved in many different ways.
  887. >Games, contests, general competitions.
  888. >One Earth Pony leader, Chancellor Puddinghead, was granted decoration for leading a platoon to victory in a food fight.
  889. >Pony history seems childish and silly, but the tactics employed to seize victory over the other tribes were ruthless.
  890. >The Unicorn’s Filibuster is one of great intrigue.
  891. >It may have been exaggerated, but it is said that the entirety of the filibuster was an insane unicorn’s jabbering about grey, fat-headed bipeds that traversed the sea of stars to the earth.
  892. >It lasted seven days.
  893.  
  894. >You’ve been at the school for two months now.
  895. >You’ve attended classes from time to time.
  896. >You’ve made many acquaintances.
  897. >You’ve read most of the books in the library.
  898. >You’ve learned so much about magic, and have successfully borrowed the magic of two ponies.
  899. >Trixie, and another unicorn called Vinyl Scratch.
  900. >The power she gave was to multiply vibrations in the air, causing louder music to be played.
  901. >She was quite pleasant to work with.
  902. >The magic that you produce is simply not enough to cast a spell without help from others.
  903. >Either you need to vibrate harder and faster, or put more work into this arm.
  904. >You’re understanding magic.
  905. >Now it’s time to put it into practice.
  906. >You make your way down into your ‘study.’
  907. >It’s a part of the library that has become your workshop.
  908. >There’s a forge set up behind some protective barriers.
  909. >And thanks to the ethernet cable that runs to Canterlot high, you get heavily blocked internet access.
  910. >The laptop that those two left you is useful, still.
  911. >You’re even working on making a fabricator.
  912. >You just need more materials.
  913. >The funds that Twilight Sparkle provided for your endeavors are dwindling.
  914. >No doubt she would give you more, but, you don’t want to ask her for that.
  915. >You may need to seek employment in the near future.
  916.  
  917. >Rune etching.
  918. >Deliberate markings made in an artifact that may influence its tonality and effectiveness.
  919. >Carvings are made in a special font, each unique to the enchanter.
  920. >Over years of practice and careful iteration, a ‘style’ is born, and the crafter can empower an artifact.
  921. >There aren’t many that still practice the craft due to the aesthetics of clean enchanting being so popular.
  922. >However, there is an individual of a species that calls themselves the ‘Kirin,’ that still practices.
  923. >One of your classmates, Sooty Leaves, is a Kirin, and it just so happens that her grandfather just so happens to be that artificer.
  924. >Another task to add to the list: ‘Befriend Sooty Leaves’
  925. >So far the other tasks that accompany the former are ‘Unlock the Secrets of the Arcane’ and ‘Find a Job.’
  926. >What you’re capable of doing now is blocked behind your lack of funds.
  927. >It’s time to make a decision.
  928.  
  929. >It’s been a while.
  930. >Since you’ve attended class, that is.
  931. >While you aren’t required by your mentors to attend the normal classes, you attempt to attend at least once every month.
  932. >Usually the first day of each month.
  933. >But, today, your interests align within the classroom.
  934. >Your observant classmates have already picked up on the discrepancy.
  935. >You’ve locked onto your target.
  936. >Your cameras are focused on the Kirin, Sooty Leaves.
  937. >Behind your faceplate, others shouldn’t be able to discern the orientation of your optical sensors.
  938. >You scan the subject intently.
  939. >Ms. Leaves seems to be a young adult Kirin. She has, no surprise, a sooty gray coat. Muddled yellow details, and a mane that can only be described as #402b06.
  940. >She’s currently scribbling something down.
  941. >The text reads as follows: “Dear Mother, I hope this letter reaches you well. I have learned many things as a student here at the school. How is Grandpa Sulfur? Have you seen him lately? I sent him a wooden carving for his birthday, but I hadn’t heard back from him. Anyways, I am “coming home for the holidays” next week, as these ponies say. Hearth’s Warming. The school will be closed for the duration of the festivities. I ask you to prepare my room in advance. Thank you, Mother. Love, Sooty Leaves.”
  942. >Sulfur Incuse. That’s the artificer that you seek.
  943. >Following your odd-jobs, you’ve collected a bit of a buffer of funds.
  944. >It may be wise to make your move.
  945.  
  946. >You can feel that an entity is teleporting to a location quite close to your proximity. The tones are quite familiar.
  947. >”Good morning students! The Great and Powerful Trixie is filling in for Miss Rarity for your class today.”
  948. >Trixie appears in a puff of smoke.
  949. >”Good morning Counselor Trixie.”
  950. >One student speaks out. The rest are paying her little attention.
  951. >”Oh! Anon! You’re in Trixie’s class today?”
  952. “Yes. Felicitations, Great and Powerful Trixie.”
  953. >The room pauses.
  954. >”You can talk?”
  955. >”Why are you using her stage name?”
  956. >”What?”
  957. >Your classmates are surprised.
  958. >”Now, now, class. Settle down. We need to get to business.”
  959. >Trixie checks an itinerary that was left for her by Rarity.
  960. >One of your classmates, a male Griffon called Joel speaks. “Uh. Miss Trixie, Rarity usually lets us watch movies on Fridays.”
  961. >His body language is a dead giveaway that he is lying.
  962. >”Oh, okay, Trixie will pick the best movie.”
  963. >She didn’t catch his lie?
  964. “Joel is lying.”
  965. >The room's mood changes drastically.
  966. >Everybody looks at you, some with mouths agape.
  967. >Joel is most confused.
  968. >”You’re not even here most of the time! How would you know?”
  969. “It wasn’t very convincing. There is also evidence that supports otherwise. The itinerary lists no movie to be watched during this period. In fact, we are supposed to learn about the effects of charity in the economy.”
  970. >Joel flies up to you.
  971. >”Buddy, do you actually want to learn about that boring stuff?”
  972. “I’ve read Rarity’s curriculum several times, her techniques for mass matter manipulation are quite enlightening.”
  973. >He puts his talon on your chassis.
  974. >”Listen here, Golem. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but you have to be the weirdest weirdo I’ve ever had the displeasure of breathing the same air with.”
  975. “I don’t breathe.”
  976. >You feel the slightest twinge of ill intent that is quickly replaced with repose.
  977. >Joel takes a breath.
  978. >”Sorry, about my outburst.”
  979. >He flies back to his seat and sighs.
  980. >”Yeah. Sorry. I lied.”
  981. >Trixie teleports a projector and film into the classroom.
  982. >”Yes! I did it.” She clears her throat. “Yeah, I know, I read the whole agenda. Boring. I like the movie idea better.”
  983. >The lights turn low and the movie starts.
  984. >’Prestidigitation and the Arcane: Crossroads’
  985. >”However, that doesn’t mean that this won’t be educational! I expect you all to take notes.”
  986. >She’s quite competent. That’s unexpected.
  987.  
  988. >The documentary is an account of the history between the use of analog illusions combined with real magic.
  989. >It seems that Trixie knows this documentary scene for scene.
  990. >Forty minutes elapses, and the lights turn back on.
  991. >Several students are asleep, and even less seem to have taken a real interest in the program.
  992. >You, being the industrious little robot that you are, wrote a transcript of the film.
  993. >”Alright, pupils. Now that you’ve taken notes, let’s discuss the friendship aspect of this craft.”
  994. >She points to Joel.
  995. >”Uhh… I guess that analog magic tricks have a historical and social aspect that continues to have a thriving community in the present. As with any hobby, it’s a great way to interact and incorporate oneself with other creatures. Prestidigitation was invented as an art built on the limitation that certain creatures have in terms of magical manipulation. By showing cunning, those creatures could integrate themselves with others, and those communities came together. That’s my whole take away.”
  996. >”Very insightful, Joel. Gold star!”
  997. >Joel pumps his claw. “Sweet!”
  998. >”And that’s the bell! Class, as you know, Hearth’s Warming is in the coming week, so we’re postponing classes until the holiday passes.”
  999. >Students begin to shuffle out of the room.
  1000. >You stay seated, waiting for the right time to make your move.
  1001. >Now!
  1002. “Hello. My name is Anonymous. I hope this day is treating you well.”
  1003. >Those who are still in the classroom are staring at you.
  1004. >Sooty looks up at you. She’s packing her possessions into her saddle bag.
  1005. >”Um. H-hi?”
  1006. >You start the process of attuning your arm with her natural tones.
  1007. >The resonance is currently stifled by the others in the room, still looking towards you both.
  1008. “I want to become your friend.”
  1009. >Trixie’s ears perk up. She whispers to herself.
  1010. >”Oh! Anon, quite forward! You get em’, tiger!”
  1011. >Some of those who were about to leave sit back down to watch.
  1012. >Joel is among them, he is making an odd expression. One of disbelief and curiosity.
  1013. >”You want to be my friend?” She is trying to size up the situation.
  1014. “I do.”
  1015. >The room is holding their breaths.
  1016. >”Okay?”
  1017. >Trixie’s expression is one of excitement.
  1018. >”My name is Sooty Leaves.” There is an awkward pause. “It’s nice to meet you, Anonymous.”
  1019. “May we walk together? I want to converse with you.”
  1020. >Very smooth.
  1021. >Some of the students whisper amongst themselves.
  1022. >”You think he likes her?”
  1023. >”Dude, who knows what he thinks. That guy is a weirdo. Anything can be going on in his head.”
  1024. >She responds to your inquiry.
  1025. >“Um. Okay? Let me get my things.”
  1026. >Jackpot.
  1027. >Trixie whispers again.
  1028. >”When did he become such a debonair?”
  1029. >You give her a thumbs up.
  1030. >”He can hear me?”
  1031. >You nod.
  1032. >She puts her hoof over her mouth and runs out.
  1033. >The gossiping pair follows.
  1034. “If you’re all set, let’s get going.”
  1035.  
  1036. >Small talk is going well.
  1037. >She’s from the Kirin Grove; lives with her mother;  joined because she wanted to learn more about the world.
  1038. >You knew this all because you have access to the files in the school’s administration office.
  1039. “I’m from a parallel dimension and floated through space for almost thirteen years after being jettisoned from a cruise that I lived on for the first several months of my existence. I crashed on this planet and want to learn about magic.”
  1040. >”What?”
  1041. >Small talk is going well.
  1042. >”Why did you want to be my friend in particular?”
  1043. >Time to go in for the kill.
  1044. “I may have some ulterior motives.”
  1045. >”Like?”
  1046. “I really want to learn about magic, and you happen to be related to the only known artificer that practices rune etching.”
  1047. >She stops for a second.
  1048. >Her eyes light up.
  1049. >”You know about my grandfather?”
  1050. “Yes. Take a look here.”
  1051. >You show her your arm.
  1052. “This is my artifact. A mechanical arm that is modeled after a dragon alchemist’s guantlet made of a material that allows it to channel magic like a staff.”
  1053. >”I’m not as good as Grandpa Sulfur, but he taught me the basics.”
  1054. >She take a precursory examination of the arm.
  1055. >”It’s a nice arm, I’ll give you that, but the engraving gives no tactical advantage whatsoever.”
  1056. >You feel like that joke has at least one more use.
  1057. >”I can tell that the creator that made this arm is a prodigy, but still an amateur. Like somehow whatever they do will always result in a positive outcome in the end. That’s kinda horrifying to think about.”
  1058. “It was the headmare that sculpted and engraved this staff.”
  1059. >”I see. I can tell that it was made with the sole intent of putting her heart in it. Good intentions, but wholly disingenuous. A good will infusion needs a better reason.”
  1060. “Will infusion?”
  1061. >”Yeah. It’s what gives a hoofmade gift that heartwarming feeling. Like grand dad says, “The coal is only half the heat of the forge!”
  1062. “So what makes her will infusion ‘disingenuous?’”
  1063. >”Well, she knew that the engraving had no purpose other than for decoration, but when she realized that if she put in the work to make it look good, that hard work would infuse her will in it. She did it for the benefit of the will infusion, not because she had a fervent passion that could be manifested in her craft.”
  1064. “A better reason…”
  1065. >”Exactly!”
  1066. >What is your reason?
  1067. >Is it just that you want this solely for the information?
  1068. >Perhaps you seek more than understanding.
  1069. >Maybe you seek control.
  1070. >You’ve always wanted to be in charge.
  1071.  
  1072. >”So, you wanted to learn about runes from my grandpa… You didn’t want to actually be my friend. Did you?”
  1073. “That’s not true. While it’s true that you are a useful asset to me, I am also looking into the magic of friendship. As I’ve been at the school for a while now, I’ve learned about so much more than I could have imagined when I crashed on this planet. I do want to make friends, not only for the purpose of my own interests, but also because I really need some sort of companionship.”
  1074. >”I understand what you mean. We Kirin were timid and cautious. When those two ponies came to our grove and changed our minds, I sought to travel the world. I wanted to see what else was out there. Ponyville and the school gave me a chance to do that. Friends was a secondary thought, but the school made friendship so enticing. I was really glad when you approached me. I don’t think I could get past my nature and approach others, so it seemed too good to be true when you asked me.”
  1075. “I know that we only just met, but I have a feeling that we’re going to get along well.”
Technology isn’t Progress Safe Anon OC Sci-Fi

Anonymous, the Part-Timer

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Anonymous, the Singing Golem

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