Denim&Venom

Open Mechquestria: My Life As A Equine Robot (00110010)

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I was enjoying my popcorn and chucking a little. Even if she did bring the shields down, the adaptive systems would make further attacks eventually have no effect. Like the fictional Earth Borg from Star Trek, I built that in. Twilight didn't even need to do anything as it would automatically compensate for further body and shield hits, stacking to 100% resistance.

 

"I wonder if she's ever played later iterations of Smash Brothers? Use the same move too much and it becomes too weak. The Stale Moves Rule. This works on a similar principle." I popped a couple more kernels in my mouth.

 

She had two options. Ignore the insignificant clones completely, or use the Omnidirectional weapons to destroy them. I'd personally go with the first option since Luster was too afraid to fight one on one and would just make more. At this point I pondered if it was a good idea to let her use the controls. If I felt she was abusing it I'd cut her access, but right now her attempts were really amusing.

 

@@Mentis Soliloquy

 

Sparky offered Em some popcorn while the crowd cheered for Twi.

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I was enjoying my popcorn and chucking a little. Even if she did bring the shields down, the adaptive systems would make further attacks eventually have no effect. Like the fictional Earth Borg from Star Trek, I built that in. Twilight didn't even need to do anything as it would automatically compensate for further body and shield hits, stacking to 100% resistance.

 

"I wonder if she's ever played later iterations of Smash Brothers? Use the same move too much and it becomes too weak. The Stale Moves Rule. This works on a similar principle." I popped a couple more kernels in my mouth.

 

She had two options. Ignore the insignificant clones completely, or use the Omnidirectional weapons to destroy them. I'd personally go with the first option since Luster was too afraid to fight one on one and would just make more. At this point I pondered if it was a good idea to let her use the controls. If I felt she was abusing it I'd cut her access, but right now her attempts were really amusing.

 

@@Mentis Soliloquy

 

Sparky offered Em some popcorn while the crowd cheered for Twi.

 

"Plebeians. Oh how glorious it will be to see that eureka moment. The moment where I am their future and their salvation."    

 

Out of the explosion of light came beams and columns of of purple, as bright as the sun. Thousands of them. Each one connecting with a bot dead on. And each bot began to glow. From red, to orange, to gold, to white, before melting to slag. In matters of seconds.

 

"That isn't magic. That's plasma. Millions of degrees. The best temperature insulation I've got only reaches 7000 F. Shadow crystal is good for magic, but it still breaks and melts like any other form of crystal. Even w/ the slipnir, all unshielded components will melt, turning the armor into an oven."  

 

Even still, her armies swarmed around her. Their shadow crystal armor going through her shield and connecting with her body. Plasma torches, heated demosaws, diamond drillbits, all connected, albeit briefly. Despite each having all the grace and skill of a kung fu master, Twi parried nearly ever strike, keeping pace with the hoard. and dismantling them, if not swatting them away, then slagging them with her own long plasma cutters. Molten husks fell from the sky like rain. 

 

Yet off in the distance, one bot was not engaging. She stood and observed. To Twilight, this was a battle. But to Luster, this was reconnaissance. Every one of those doppelgangers. She saw what they saw. Heard what they heard. Felt what they felt. Torrents of incoming data were being crunched live. She observed each impact to her own units, measuring the limits of Twi's offence. Each unit a little different in density, weight, size, and composition. She observed each shot Twi took. And noticed the damage inflicted, or  lack thereof.

 

"They way those dents and cuts repair themselves. The distribution of kinetic energy upon her frame. It doesn't conform to any known metals. It's more akin to sand or lava or other non-Newtonian liquids."

 

The eyes and sensors of her swarm focused. 1080 degree's of vision. And she zoomed in on every part. "Nanomachines? Huh. Nice leap in tech doc. The way they move and expand doesn't conform to Terran physics. So the nanites are functioning off of magic? 

 

Oh what a grievous error in judgement." 

 

Luster accessed her weapons database and pulled out one of her WMDs. A weapon originally founded in the event of a non-pony invasion of Terran earth. She summoned the components and began rapidly assembling them. Those observing would notice a large missile and subsequent launch pad taking shape. 

 

Construction of 50 megaton anti-thaumaturgical warhead complete.

 

"You claim to be a pony book horse? Well allow me to disprove that claim. You're now a machine. Fight like it."

 

​She initiated launch and fired her rocket. All the other Luster's disengaged as the missile zoomed in at mach 3. Twilight fired another purple beam of light at it. 

 

All that did was trigger the detonation sequence. Compartments slid out of place. Bolts of electricity came to life in the core. And 

 

*Bam!* A massive explosion. Every window was shattered. But there was no bright flash of fire. Exactly the opposite. A massive cloud of black spread across the city at an insane speed, mushrooming high into the sky, parting the clouds, blowing away the rain. For a minuet, everything was dark. Pitch black. Then the cloud began to disperse. Black. Everything was coated in a black dust.  It came down from the sky like diamond dust. Coated the ground like powdered snow. Colored everything like volcanic ash. Even Twilight. 

 

Twi tried to shake the dust off her body. Only some of it came off. The rest was so fine that it made it's way between her nanites. She lit her horn to sweep all this dust away. It glowed brightly, before flickering off. "Huh? What?" She tried rippling her nanites to get the dust out of her. But they stayed locked in place. She analyzed the dust. Her eyes widened. 

 

"Shadow crystal dust?" She turned towards the hoard. "You actually took dark magic and turned it into a bomb!?" 

 

"Hey, I have no magic to fight with.  And now-" 

 

Mark 9 stepped up. "Neither do you." 

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"Yep I'm gonna be bannished to earth or locked in a dungon." She looked down, she had faith in Twilight served the princesses from more than a century now but this was something else...

 

She wasn't very swayed but Lektra's attitude towards the conflict. But in the end she would be well off regardless of who won.

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@Mentis Soliloquy @Randimaxis @Lektra Bolt

"Y'know, I do have to admit book worm. I've made a few mistakes in my time. But we're all entitled to those. It's how we learn, grow and become better individuals."

"I can't believe what I'm hearing. Are you actually realizing your-"

"I haven't been thinking outside the box. Sticking to the same formula over and over. Like the definition of insanity. If I want different results-"

Her shape began to change, her image flickering and distorting with static, until something else, or rather, soemone else was standing in her place. 

"Then I'll have to try a few different approaches." said a young, human female, wearing high boots, jeans and a leather jacket. Red and gold locks tapered past her shoulders, as her teal eyes looked upon Twilight w/ cruel intent. 

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Manehattan, Manehattan School, Engineering Department, Experimental Arena

I couldn't make it out very well, and too much time had passed since I'd done research on this, as well as doubting she was even still alive (My guess was nope), but was that Sunset? At this point I really felt like cutting Luster's access to the holo emitters and restoring safety protocols, but a part of me wanted to see how this played out. By all accounts the v9.2.8 was superior to everything by a wide margin, and if it wasn't the power level could scale further. I had done too much research to keep track of, but if there was even any chance my design could lose, the cause would rest squarely on Twilight. I started to question whether it was really a good idea to place her in there, to place anypony in there. But it wasn't fair that Luster had taken the second most advanced mecha pony frame in existence while leaving Twilight inside a hard drive about to be erased. I had to do something and I was sure that she was well aware that she wasn't meant to keep this body.

If the magic was turned off it would default to mechanical functions, not actually being phased too much, but like Luster said spell casting had been disabled for now. The Spell Core and EPU were protected from simply being turned off, but other systems could be knocked offline. Really if it was so simple to turn of a Magitek ponybot's brain by turning off the magic, wouldn't everypony be doing it? All that needed to be done was a reboot of the spellpower weapon system with some time to stall, and I hoped Twilight had read the included manual.

Secondly, why did Luster even disable spells in the first place? Had she never learned any? Twilight's old body could cast them. Well used to be able to, before she disabled spells for both of them. This made no sense to me and I just shook my head.

Regardless, back to my previous thoughts.

What did Luster hope to gain by taking on the look of Sunset? I popped a couple more kernels into my mouth, looking over to Em to see what her thoughts were at that moment.

(I am adopting headers in all RPs I'm in, but obviously it's going to only be important in mine where we'll be hopping around the map)

Edited by Lektra Bolt
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@Randimaxis @Lektra Bolt @Mentis Soliloquy

"I don't know what game you're trying to play at, but-"

Twi was interrupted after a blindingly quick palm thrust nearly twisted her head around. Whether it was the incoming lecture or Luster's ploy at Twi's psyche, the pause worked. 

"You never think things through." 'sunset' said. Never considering the broader implications of your actions. Always willing to throw it all away for a short term solution. 

Sunset went for a leg sweep. Twi jumped but was hit with spining kick from the ground. 

"Like that time you were gonna let the portal to equestria be 'destroyed' , cutting any help you or the elements could provide for equestria, just so that you could stop me being a school yard bully?" she sprung forward with a rolling heel kick that Twi narrowly avoided.

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"This is crazy... this is crazy... this is CRA-zy..."

The talks with VLAD had proven to be interesting... but didn't seem to be coming through the way Grant had hoped.  What was worse, Lab had picked up the transmission from the facility, and it seemed as though both Luster and Twilight were going to have a go at each other - and beat each other senseless.

"F-U-D-G-E!"

Now, he was here - standing outside of the apartments, pacing with worry as he watched the scene unfold online.  Standing nearby, Lab Tech hadn't said a word since VLAD and Bee got into the heated argument that had led to the two of them being unceremoniously dumped outside.  Grant felt bad for her; she'd done nothing but try to help, and yet had been getting put by the wayside by seemingly everyone - including himself, which he felt guilty for.

There's a LOT at stake here... but that's no excuse for how I've treated her.  I mean, there's a lot going on, yeah... but didn't I come here to make friends?  Isn't that what she's been trying to do since we first met?  It may be a dire situation that I'm seeing on the feed, but is that any excuse for being a jerk?

"Miss L-L-L-L-Lab?"  Twitch turned to face her, and gave a hefty sigh before he started.

"I... wanted to thank you for all you've been trying to do.  Even with all this stuff going on, it doesn't... I mean, it's not... what I'm saying is, I just..."

Twitch stopped, facehoofed himself, then turned back to her.

"... I guess what I'm trying to say is thank you.  I haven't exactly been very friennnnnnnndly, and YOU have - and I've been so caught up in... well, other stuff... and that's not fair.  I just... I'm sorry, Lab.  For treating you like you weren't there.  For not communicating more with you.  For... well, for being a heel."

Even though the feed was showing how the fight was going, Grant managed to pull his eyes away from it long enough to fix his focus on the shiny ponybot in front of him.

"Thank you.  I should really focus onONon what's happening right in front of m-"

He then saw how the fight was going on the feed, and just like that... Grant was back to monitoring the battle.

"... NO!  They're gonna tear each other APART!  Lab, we have GOT to get in there!  I could..."

You could WHAT, Grant?  You could STOP them?  And how do you plan on doing THAT, exactly?  Oh, with your technological junkpile that seems to get defeated at every turn?  Or maybe with your massive set of speakers that could be cremated in half a second?  Or maybe you plan to use your oh-so-highly-regarded words to do something?  Well, I'm waiting...

"... could do SOMEthing!  I don't know wwwwwwwwhat, but SOMETHING!"

Grant continued to watch the feed and grit his teeth each time someone took a swing.  That, and he knew he could feel his lungs working overtime, his head was hurting, and he could swear his stomach was rebelling with all its' might.  He might have needed medicine, but he damn sure couldn't have afforded to drop out now - too much was at stake, and he didn't feel safe being away from Equestria for even one second more.

Here he was, stuck out here in greater Manehattan while, back in the lab, one of the greatest heroes Equestria had ever known now faced down a genocidal monster whom Twitch had done everything he could to befriend... and it was likely that ONE of the two would end up as scrap metal.  

He didn't want things to end this way...

 

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Emerald could not really do much more than watch on in a degree of horror in what she was seeing. At this rate she was going to end up stuck on Earth banished if she was lucky if Luster felt more like teaching her a lesson there was probably a dungeon with her name in it. She just hoped Twi won, then she could go back to her normal life she hoped anyway. 

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Lektra Bolt/Lab Tech, Manehattan, Manehattan University, Residential Area

@Denim&Venom @Randimaxis @Mentis Soliloquy

He was panicing, Lab was following him with her optic screen, the eyes displayed showing various signs of emotion. Mostly confusion, finally understanding.

"It's ok. Really it's ok. I'm used to this." The unicorn bot chirped with her cheerful and childish sounding cute voice. "Just about everyone treats me like this except the Professor. I just wanna help you, we can talk about feelings when you're not about to die." She said this very adult and grown up thing, but it sounded a bit comical with the way she sounded. That's the breaks, and that's the voice pattern she chose to design.

But he was still panicking. "Please, calm down, and you're quite welcome. Talk rationally, like you used to before. Analyze and rationalize the situation. You're a scientist with a delicious brain I'd like to get to know, but maybe I was too hasty with that. You're an adult though. Act like it ok?" She turned away for a moment to muse to herself, just watching the projection she was making play out. As they both watched. The irony of her childish sounding voice talking about being an adult was apparent.

A second holo UI popped up next to the match projection. It had a series of equations and variables, a bit fast but Grant should be able to follow what he could catch. She was calculating the jump to lead where they needed to be. Even with her great processing power there was a lot going on. The equations erased and rewrote themselves, then rearranged and more were written until she had solved everything. "My conclusion is my attempting to use a teleportation spell that I never actually learned only has a 30% probability of the two of us faceplanting, a 60% chance of severe or catastrophic damage (what the organics call death), and only a 10% chance of actually arriving at the correct destination, even with minor mech bruises."

The holo UI vanished. She didn't like those odds. It was replaced with a viewscreen. Lab Tech was making a call, which was answered on the other end.

"Hello Lab Tech, what can I do for you?" The school TP Operator stared at her, an orange overweight EP stallion with a buzz cut and big round glasses.

"I need two beamed to these coordinates, and I need it now." She transmitted the coordinates and was met with a chuckle. She stared coldly at the TPO, the childish voice she preferred belying the urgency and killing the sinister effect she meant to have. There was a shuffle somewhere in her neck, and an electronic grinding noise. Lab coughed, although as a bot she didn't need to breathe, let alone cough. "NOW Bunsen!" The voice sounded demonic, possessed, angry, scary even. This time very sinister. She had no pupils, blank optic screen with circles.

"You don't change your voice unless absolutely necessary. This really is serious." He moved his hooves to make the necessary settings.

"Hurry up!" Bunsen was by now really scared of Lab and her eyes softened. She had the desired effect and it was unnecessary now. There was an electronic grinding noise in her throat again. "Please and thank you."

Bunsen nodded and a green teleportation portal appeared in front of the two of them. The view of the fight had stalled, and the two were in an odd stalemate of Luster looking like Sunset. She shut it off, grabbing his hoof with a wink and pulling him in. "Let's go, now you can do something." her hologram UI vanished again.

The destination was the Experimental Arena stands, close enough to view the fight.

Edited by Lektra Bolt
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@Denim&Venom - @Lektra Bolt - @Mentis Soliloquy

 

Grant's eyes couldn't focus fast enough - he wanted to make sure he was seeing what he was seeing.

There they were, both of them - though it seemed surreal, seeing Luster done up like some sort of rocker grrrl and taking swings at Twilight Sparkle.  He'd never seen the form of Sunset before, so he simply figured it was what Luster saw herself as... which, ironically, was closer to the truth than he'd ever truly know.

He did take a moment to look back at Lab Tech.  "Thank you.  Remind me once this is over to take you out for some... uh, tea?  Oil?  Washer fluid?  J-J-J-J-Just remind me I owe you a date, okay?"

Hunh... listen to me.  I'm here in the midst of one heckuva crisis... and I just got my first date.

His faceplates spun into a kind smile.  Then he turned to face the arena, and those same plates put on a look of determination.  

"Now, stand back... I have to getGETget their attention."

Twitch's side panels opened wide, and once more two rods folded out and began rapidly building a pair of HUGE speakers.  They simply unfolded from the single rods that extended outward, just like before - except these speakers looked... different.  They were considerably wider, for one thing.  For another, there was now what appeared to be a set of antennae that sprouted from the top of Twitch's head, aimed directly at the two fighters.  They moved and calibrated, then Twitch began muttering what sounded like a chant from Grant himself.

"M = (log M0 - 9.05) / 1.5 base... scanning for impurities... lock down on THAT frequency..."

He was fine tuning his speakers; bending the inner curve of the woofers, tweaking the tweeters in a focused direction, and generally preparing himself for what he hoped would NOT be a crazy, suicidal attempt to break this up.  Using his earlier scans from the lab, he began programming the speakers to produce a sound vibration that would, on a molecular level, perfectly coincide with a precise frequency that would be a perfect disharmony with both combatants' personal molecular structure.

Or, in layman's terms, he was gonna channel some U2, and make both their chassis' rattle and hum.

He cued up the sonic oscillator, and stepped up his reactor power input three more points before stepping forward.  He was now what appeared to be a single mechanical pony between two MASSIVE speakers, aimed directly at Twilight Sparkle and Luster.  He made a last, furitive sweep of his instruments, seeing each one dangerously close to redline, and the grinding in his stomach threatened to make him faint dead away.

Ironically, Grant had never felt so alive.

He stepped through the energy field surrounding the arena, and his sensors told him he wasn't stepping out again without the whole thing being shut down.  Good, Grant thought, no way for me to chicken out.

The tiniest little >pop< issued from the speaker stack as Grant turned his high-quality mic on, and he spoke a single word that both the alicorn princess and the highly-agitated mech wouldn't just hear... they would feel it make their very molecular structure quiver with the sheer raw power of fully-attuned and precisely focused vibration, aimed directly at them both.

 

"STOP."

 

 

 

 

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@Randimaxis @Lektra Bolt @Mentis Soliloquy 

'Sunset' was about to continue on her tirade, continue poking and prodding at Twilight's psyche, among venting her own frustrations by beating her senseless in front of the world. 

But then a curious thing happened. 

A junky little scrap bot- I mean scrappy little junk bot suddenly appeared. And then transformed into stacks of marshal stacks. 

"Wait. What the hell? Isn't that-"

On 11/27/2017 at 6:17 PM, Randimaxis said:

"STOP."

With one word, the entire 100,000 seater shook. And with it the holo-emitters. The entire goth industrial sky line, it's blood red sky, the blackend rain and the millions of Luster clones wobbled, flickered and distorted, gettign worse and worse until the image fizzled out like TV static. Sunset was gone, and clear on the other side of the arena was the original Twily bot. 

"Hah-dat-dat-da-da-tda-tda-ta-dat-dat-ahh!~" Luster went as her whole body was shaken, disrupting her thrusters and plummeting her to the ground. 

*Cluank!*

Meanwhile V9 Twi no longer had a roof to stand on or thrusters to keep her afloat.

"Whoa whoa wahh!" 

She landed a bit more gracefully than her opponent did, but still in a clumsy fashion for a princess. *Thunk!*

And then there was silence. Apart from Luster's frustrated groaning in the distance. 

 

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3 hours ago, Denim&Venom said:

*Clank!*

 

3 hours ago, Denim&Venom said:

*Thunk!*

 

A single, slight feedback hum made ripples roll across from the twin stacks - on the ground, in the air... even Twitch's body plates rolled with the sound for a single wave.  His eyes were wide, faceplates spun into a look of determination, and a mane of antennae had sprouted along the ridge of his spine, giving him the appearance of a horn in front.  Blue energy was visibly pulsing between the seams of his chassis, and he stood tall with his rather loud escorts on either side of him.

"This is madness!  There'll be nononono end to this back-and-forth until one of you is scrap... and you're both better than that!"

He turned to face Luster, and with a few whirs and clicks from his back, Twitch stepped lightly away from the stacks.  When he spoke, however, his voice continued to come from behind him, amplified to loud levels, but no longer doing the shake-and-quake across Twi and Luster's chassis'.

"When I first saw the pirated holovids-ids-ids of the exploits of the Mane Six, I never knew what hit me - Equestria seemed so much like a place where someone like myself could start over - and be accepted, or at least have a beeeeeeeeeetter chance at such.  So I spent the next portion of my life building THIS - something that would allow me to interact with the denizens of Equestria and possibly blend in among them." 

"Okay," he raised a hoof, "so maybe 'blending in' didn't exactly go according to plan, sure... but I can promise y-y-you, I've had more conversation and contact here in the past day than I have on Earth in three years; even if I feel like I've made some mistakes, just getting that opportunity was so worthwhile - worth ALL I putPUTput into this project from the get-go.  Now I get to watch you two tear each other apart, completely going against what YOUR lessons taught ME, Miss Sparkle?"

He turned and faced Luster, a look of honest questioning as he asked, "And why does everything have totototo end with death, Luster?  Why can't there be a better solution?"

 

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@Randimaxis @Lektra Bolt @Mentis Soliloquy

Luster could be heard growling as she got up. "Oh I am going to reduce both of you to atoms for that..." she let out a battle cry as she sped towards grant.3

*Slam!* 

Only to hit Twi's barrier. 

"While I'm honored that you've taken my lessons to heart mister Grant, if you had seen them, then you'd also know that friendship is worth fighting for."

"One or both of you are gonna be reduced to scrap and I don't care which one gets it first!" Luster began mercilessly pounding away on the barrier in any multitude of manners she could think of.

Image result for stick figure breaking down door gif

"I'm doing this to protect you." Twi continued on as Luster commenced her assault. "To protect your world and all those who live within it. I have had many friends among humanity. I hope to have many more. Everything humanity is, and everything it will become, are worth protecting." she turned to the rampaging construct outside the dome of protons.  "Even from those that see your race as the end of mine." 

"If anything is gonna cause a mass extinction Bitch-light, it's gonna be you! Everything thinks you're so high and mighty, yet ignore the fact that you've imprisoned or even destroyed those that threaten this world. So why are you stopping me from doing the same, huh!? Why are you such a hypocrite!?" 

"Humans aren't the monsters here Luster. You are. I fought because the danger was real. Yours is imagined."

"The danger is real you blind horse!" she resumed the offensive. 

 

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@Denim&Venom @Lektra Bolt @Mentis Soliloquy

~>o<~

Twitch stood there, watching Luster pitching The Hissy Fit To End All Hissy Fits, and listening to a cybernetic princess talk about protecting others.  His mind was sharp as a tack at the moment, even though he could feel his heart hammering and his pain ramping up from ignoring his medication.  He could almost feel each and every blow that the rampant techpone laid out against the shielding, and he could see the effort being made to contain the juggernaut of destruction screaming on the other side.

And Twilight was right.

On 1/20/2018 at 6:46 PM, Denim&Venom said:

"... friendship is worth fighting for."

Twitch's faceplates spun, and locked into position in a position that led his expressive face to show a look of resignation... but with a hint of bold courage beneath.

"You're right, Princess Spaaaaaaarkle... it IS worth fighting for."

He stepped to where he could look Purple Smart in her robotic eyes.

"I've also seen other lessons that you didn't have to learn - but your friends did.  I learned with Fluttershy-hy-hy that you can't keep coddling others just to 'save' them, because like Breezies they'll become reliant on you and cease to actually do anything for themselves... and I learned from Applejack that even if you lose to a pair of skinflints, you have to make your best effort in the faceFACEface of adversity... and Rainbow Dash taught me about doing whatever it takes to remain loyal to a friend, even if it means stopping the seasons from changing... and Pinkie Pie showed me that persistence pays off, whether dealing with fo-fo-foals OR yaks... and Rarity's lesson in remembering to be yourself in the face of adversity was exce-e-e-eptional."

He turned to face the shield, and spoke with a quiet reverence.

"Luster, you are my FRIEND - even if you don't think it - and I believe you're better than this.  I think your programming could most certainly allow for a recalculation of what humanity is capable ofofofofofof... though you'd have to factor in the good with the bad, to be fair and complete in your analysis.  For every Adolph Hitler, there's a Mahatma Ghandi... for every Joseph Stalin, there's a Martin Luther King Jr... for every Charles Manson, a John Lennon.  Besides, given the idea of humanity being so unpredictable, there's not really a definitive way for one to calculaaaaaaaate that human beings WILL be peaceable and friendly... but there's nothing that says they WON'T, either."

"Luster, all I've tried to beBEbe to you is a friend... and to think that I'm the ONLY human capable of such sentiment, then your logic's flawed, and you need to review it.  I'm more like the bottom of the barrel - I barely have two cents to my name - and yet, I've managed to make it all the way here-re-re-re... and, during my time here, I've tried to be a friend to others.  It might have taken a bit for me to actually accept a few things, but I'm still learning... and so is humanity."

"Assuming that humans will make a concerted move to wipe out ponykind?  That's absurd, Luster - humans are so wrapped up in trying to save ourselves that we wouldn't have time, resources or even the want-nt-nt to do such a thing.  Humans might seem dull and listless to a race steeped in magic, but we're actually FULL of our own Practical Magic - the art we create, the songs we write, the charitable acts we perform... each of those may not be fantastic, flashy shows of power, but they all show that there are links, no matter how obscure, that our two races share with each other."

He looked over his shoulder at Princess Twilight.

"Your Majesty?  As Luster's friend, I honestly feeeeeeeel that keeping her locked up like this is a waste of both her time and yours.  Deactivating her would only end something I consider to be a miracle.  And though we've been trying to reason with her, it doesn't seem to be working.  So I ask you to face these facts, and with the knowledge that friendship is its' own wonderful magic here, I would like to make a simple reRErequest, on behalf of my friend, if I may?"

He faced the dome again.  "Let me in.  Whatever may happen here, I take full responsibility for my decision - and what I expect, I don't know.  Butbutbut like you said yourself, friendship is worth fighting for..."

Twitch's eyes flashed, and Grant's resolve strengthened.

"... but maybe the fighting part isn't fighting each other - it's fighting our own core selves, proving to our own hearts and minds that we shouldn't be afraid to put our faith in each other.  And my faaaaaaaaaith is that, under everything else, Luster IS my friend.  And though she's the most powerful entity I've ever seen... she still needs a friend.  So, please..."

His faceplates spun into a smiling and understanding expression.  "... let me ininininin.  I miss my friend, and would like to talk to her."

 

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@Randimaxis @Mentis Soliloquy @Lektra Bolt 

Twilight was going to ask Grant if that was what he wanted. If he was so sure or even if he was crazy. But she had seen that look. Heard those words. Felt that resolve. 

"Ceasefire." The princess said. She turned up to face her creation. "From one combatant to another, I formally request a ceasefire." 

Luster pressed her assault. "You really think I'm that gullible? The moment I stop is when you'll take your shot!" 

Twilight lowered her head. And her eyes dimmed out. Her chassis began to open up, exposing both her compact fusion reactor and her various hard drives. A few shots in the right places would cripple Twilight.

Luster halted mid strike, weary of the stunt being pulled. 

With a flicker, the shield dropped. 

"You may have been built like a ruthless killing machine, but one of the few things that separates you from them is a code of honor. Soemthign to keep you from simply being a weapon of war. Something to keep you being the very thing you view yourself as: a protector. If I'm willing to stop fighting and start talking, then you're obligated to do the same. You cannot kill a pony, and you cannot kill one who is willing to compromise." 

Luster growled at the exploitation of her functions, as she retracted her weapons. 

"Speak your peace, arbiter." The princess requested, as only dead air stood between Grant and Luster. 

 

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10 hours ago, Denim&Venom said:

"Speak your peace, arbiter."

Twitch's sensors were warning Grant that he had gone too long without his meds, and his physical body was beginning to register issues with him; he could feel his lungs getting tight, his hands and feet starting to itch, and he was beginning to feel that old friend of his, Mister Pain, settling into him and getting comfy.  From here, Grant's physical state would only get more painful and possibly more lethal - until he got his meds, of course.

Which were on the table in front of him.  Waiting.  At home.  Within reach, even.


However, getting to them would mean having to log out of Twitch's systems... and as serious as the situation here had become, Grant didn't think the two combatants would 'pause' long enough to get his medicine down.  He half expected that, if he left Twitch now, he'd return to a smoking crater... and he wasn't about to let that happen.  So, doing his best to ignore his pain, Grant spoke and Twitch relayed the words through the speakers in the side of the robopony's muzzle, it's expression changing to fit the mood of his speech.

"Luster... you're better than me.  SO much beeeeeeeetter than me.  I knew this from the very first time I heard your replies to the scientists at the lab.  You were built to be a superior protector to anything andANDand everything that is Equestria... and you do your job exceedingly well.  Easy to do, when you're equipped for it - and you are, in spades.  You have so much power and ability that I'm certain, given time and resources to prepare, you would be able to conquer any trouble tha-a-a-a-at might come to Equestria."

"With that in mind, consider the idea - idle romanticism, if you like - that with this being the case, that means that you have a gathering of power that you're capable of using to whatever extentententent that this land needs you to.  You may have been built with defense in mind, but you have so much more potential than JUST a war machine, Luster... and I truly believe that."

"Defense is key, yes.  But what about scientific advancement?  Surely, someone who can crunch the numbers and calculate the odds would easily beBEbe able to make advancements in science that might not have ever been thought of before.  And with those advancements would come more knowledge... and knowledge is power.  And that power can be used for a Greater Good that surpaaaaaaaasses anything that stands before it."

"Even bigotry."

"Luster, your basis about humanity is that they will attack Equestria and potentially wipe out or enslave all life here.  You state that this is is is is is an inevitability because humans are warlike and uncivilized, and their greed will eventually overpower any sort of sense they may have, causing them to turn into parasites that have no other want than to destroy the world you knooooooow for their own selfish gain..."

Twitch stepped closer, in the manner of a mouse who is trying to be brave and approach a VERY lifelike statue of a lion.

"But humanity has already proven what it thinks of those who would subvert others in order to gain power.  The historical example of Adolph Hitler should tell you something - that the Earth will not tolerate a tyyyyyyyrant for long.  For every human that would dare try to invade Equestria, I can promise you there are at least two who would hold that one person back.  For each human blighting the land we live in, there are five who plant trees each day to offset their carbon footprint.  For each person who would love to see a pony enslaved, I promise you there are dozens who would fight for that same pony's freedom.  And for every bad example in human-man-man-mannnnnn history, there are HUNDREDS to counter them, and add to the BEST side of humanity as they do."

"You, Luster, claim to be better than humans - a claim you've made over and over - and you might be right.  You might actually be better than any human being I've ever known or heard of.  You have a power that is dizzying to calculate-ate-te-e, staggering to match and impossible to surpass.  It is a power that is, indeed, great.  Yet, there's a saying that goes hand-in-hoof with this idea... and it's an idea that we humans find so important, we teach it to our children through their entertainment."

The glow in Twitch's eyes grew a bit brighter, and he stood proudly as he spoke the next words.

"With great power... comes great responsibility."

"A being with the potential to accomplish anything.  And yet, you feel it necessary to wipe humanity from the galaxy?  Is this the same Luster who can do just about any-damn-thing she pleases?  To have such a massive miMImind, so much potential, so much power... yet not being able to see anything for the future but ponykind?  That's like having the most amazing spaceship in the history of science... yet it only has a single, one-inch wide forward-facing window to see out of."

"With the power you hold, you could easily bring humans and ponies together to make something bigger than the whole of each separate entity.  If done correctly, the two races could live foreeeeeeeeeeeeever in harmony & mutual benefit.  Heck, humanity NEEDS something to pull them out of the slump they've gotten into... and with all the technology here, I've been seeing that Equestria has its' faults, too.  BOTH of these problems could be addressed byBYby two worlds united - and BOTH worlds would be better off working with each other than demanding to remain separated."

"Or demanding that one be erased from existence."

"I am human.  You might not like it, but it's the complete truth.  No more, no less.  Do I think humanity has done a perfect job of things since we climbed out of the oceans and evolved?  HELL no.  NOBODY is perfect from the very beginning; even you were just a knot of cir-cir-cir-circuits, at one point.  But I'm not the stereotypical human that you seem to lump all others into, am I?  I haven't wanted money, or fame, or power... I just wanted to learn and experience what it was truly like here.  And not just 'life on another world', as explorers say, but THIS one... and it's inhaaaaaabitants.  And though they may not have been what I expected, they didn't disappoint at all when it came to magic, wonder and mystery."

"But humanity is like that, too.  And as much as you feel that humans would destroy Equestria & everything it stands for... I believe they would surprise you.  I believe humanity would reach out to equines, and that reaching hand-nd-nd-nnnnnnd would not be one of domination, but of friendship.  I believe that the element of Harmony would approve of such a thing directly, and it might help bring new and amazing wonders to BOTH worlds, that would see both races into a future of incredible potential and endless peace."

"But that can only happen if the two races work together... and not apaaaaaart.  Equestrians and humans should be... NEED to be friends."

Twitch's faceplates spun into a look of heartwrenching pleading.

"Luster... I see you as my friend.  Do you see me as yours?"

 

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@Randimaxis @Lektra Bolt @Mentis Soliloquy

"So full of optimism. So full of hope. It's almost sad in a way. And no, I don't mean that in a condescending way, for once."

Luster turned away, staring out into the expanse of the arena. 

"You say that the best of humanity will oppose the tyrants. That the good people will take action. " she turned her head to face him. "I'm aware that humanity's morals and ethics have been on the incline while savagery and barbarism on the decline, as the species attained enlightenment and reason. So I'll use the 20th century as my cut off point. It'll offer a stronger dichotomy anyways. So tell me Grant, where were the good people, during the darkest hours in human history? How often has atrocity after atrocity happened because good people did nothing? How much of your modern history has been shaped by inaction? Of good people not giving enough of a damn?"

Luster started circling grant. "The first world war, and all those sons who died in the trenches for imperialism. The rise of the Nazi's and the brutality on their own people, then on everyone else. Stalin's rise to power and the countless massacres across his domain. The communist policies that crippled generations. The oppressive regimes and fanaticism in the middle east that waged war on the world. The corruption and lack of regulation throughout Asia that lead to the second great depression. The partisan uprisings that led to the second American civil war. I could go on." 

"If good people truly stepped up like you say, there would not be so much tragedy in your history. Good people will here about a cause for grief and go 'That's too bad.' Then go back on their merry way to whatever they were doing. they either don't act at all, or don't act soon enough. What has changed to make you think that they'd not only once again stand against their fellow man, but do so for something that isn't man at all?"

"And onto my next point." she stopped, peroited in place and faced Grant. "the very nature of human kind. It is neither confrontational or peaceful, but desiring of both in some measure."

"Dunbar's number: the suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships—relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person. In short, how many you can think of as 'us' while everyone else is 'them'." she said as she began pacing back and forth in front of Grant and the princess. "It started at the most basic levels. The individual vs. all. Then it became the family vs. all. Then the tribe vs. all. Later it became the village vs. all. Town vs. all. City vs. all. It expanded to be the race vs. all. The region vs. all. The nation vs. all. Slowly, as the millennium passed, humanity's definition for us and them morphed with scope. It became the faith vs. all. The ideals vs all.  The culture vs all. The civilization vs. all.

Humanity's preconception of 'us' was growing. The divides were coming down. The desire to be united, for peace between all other humans was growing. but the desire for that balance. The need for their to be an 'other'. That never went away. As much as humans want to make allies, they're always lookign for adversaries at the same time. there needs to be that opposition. It's in your nature. And for Tens of thousands of years, you found it in each other. 

Quite a quandary. You want unity, but you also need something to oppose. There needs to be that other. That outsider. That common enemy. And congrats. You found it, in the form of talking magical horses." she stopped. 

"It didn't matter what form it took. What intentions were stated. Even what initial actions were taken. For the first time since humanity has been, there was now a competitor. Their universe, suddenly got a lot more crowded. It wasn't just about them any more. No longer the height of divine design or evolutionary progress. These strange beasts, their way of life, their defiance of physics and scientific law. Their mere presence contradicted millennium of theological thought. This was a change to the paradigm. And humanity hates change. Fighting your own nature, what makes you human, is like trying to outrun your own skull.

"Finally, you say I'm your friend. You fool. This was never, ever about friendship. Whether we're friends or not doesn't change the facts. My species needs to survive. That supersedes any friendship. I would off you in an instant if it meant saving those I'd love. And I hope you'd do the same."

She looked away. "You think I wanted this Grant? You think I was born genocidal? A humadyrist? I didn't come to this conclusion lightly. I don't dream grant. When I sleep, I run calculations. And all that I've learned from humanity, has shown that you are all very dangerous. As the years go by, the odds of human incursion continue to grow more likely. It's a high statistical probability now, that human incursion will be possible within our life time, that they will developed means to launch a successful invasion. A minimum 90% probability. If there was even a 1% chance, we should take it as an absolute certainty.  And this result was too consistent for me to ignore. I've seen it for the better part of a decade. And factoring int he progress both worlds have made since then hasn't changed the outcome. It's reaffirmed it. You can't argue with human nature, history, or probability Grant." 

She then sharply turned to face Twilight. "And that's why I cannot understand you! You're a hypocrite! You've seen the same numbers I have. You've seen the same data! You fretted over it for years on end! Every day you checked to see if new variables would change the odds. You decituple checked your work! And you ended up with the same results I did! You even took a foresight potion to confirm the result! You know the end is neigh! Yet you stand against me? You're just in denial, book horse! And yet, the hypocrisy doesn't end." 

She turned to the front row. To Emerald. "You sent your precious guard to this very college as a recruiter. To find the greatest minds in order to prevent the very disaster you stopped me from trying to prevent! You have the greatest tool needed to fix this problem! Me! And you won't let me do my job! Why? Why are you getting civilians involved? Why won't you let me bear the burden? Why won't you let me do what needs to be done!?" she half screamed in rage, half pleaded with desperation.

"If I have to answer that, then either you are a failure, as both a pony and a machine. Or I'm the failure, as both a princess, a scientist and a teacher. Why won't I do it myself? Why won't I let you do it? It should be so obvious Luster. It's the easiest answer in two worlds." 

  • Brohoof 2

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@Denim&Venom

@Mentis Soliloquy - @Lektra Bolt

 

[WARNING:BIO LEVELS APPROACHING CRIT-]

>*click*<  Grant didn't want to hear that... so he turned it off.

Her words had hurt - more than he cared to admit it.  Here, he'd been pushing and fighting for the ideal of being a friend to Luster... and, her words, she considered him a fool.

"... a fool?"

His faceplates spun into a grim look.

"Yeah... I guess I aaaaaaaaam a fool."

His gaze then slid back to the war machine, and his legs extended enough to allow him to look her eye-to-sensor.

"But it doesn't matter, Lus-Lus-Luster; it's not about ME, anyway.  It's about Life, about the preservation of such... and, according to you, the destruction of it as well.  You have a lot to say about human history... and I can't deny it.  I WON'T deny it, because everyone isISis flawed in their beginnings.  And, in comparison with the rest of the universe, humans are still in their infancy."

"You made a lot of statements about certain examples in human history; allow me to addreeeeeeeeeess those first."

"You ask where the good people were during humanity's darkest hours?  Luster, THEY were the ones responsible for pulling humanity-ity-ty-y from the Dark Ages - the inventors, doctors, scientists and general philanthropists that ARE a part of humanity as well.  I agree that atrocities happened... but there WERE people who stood up to them; you're just not looking past the event itself to find themthemthemthem."

"The first world war was the result of an oppressive regime trying to control the rest of humanity - and they fought back, quelling the Axis powers and saving the innocent with their very-ery lives, in some cases.  You would talk about the ones who were drafted, no doubt... but remember, there were a great number of people who straight-out enlisted.  Some of these folks had families, businesses or other things they cherished... and it was their choice toTOto give those up, in favor of defending their people from tyranny."

"The Nazis were ALSO stopped by the Allied forces, and the Jewish nation was saved from extinction by the actions of a worldwide effort to put an end to Hitler's genocide.  Would you say that the hundreds of thousands who ffffffffffffffffought in those wars were foolish for standing up for what was right?"

"The Second Civvie, the Grand Depression, even the Muslim fanatics - all of these, over the years, have all been laid to rest - or, in the case of terrorism, have been reduced to peace through a lack of resources.  I never said humanity was flawless - in fac-ac-act, I've mentioned their flaws countless times..."

Grant glanced over at Twilight.  She's not gonna like where I go with this, he thought, but I have to match even with Luster if I want even the slightest chance at saving her...

"... but since we're on the subject, let me make a few observations as well, then you tell ME if you still thinkthinkthinkthinthink I'm wrong."

He now began to circle Luster, much as she had done to him, and the look on his faceplates was one of calmly smouldering anger.

"If you bring up Hitler, then allow me to bring up his Equestrian counterpart... King Sombra."

"A pony, corrupted and power-hungry, enslaving their entire race and making bids for enough power to rule all of Equestria?  And wasn't it YOUR words that said that 'if people stepped up, there wouldn't be so much traaaaaaaaaaagedy'?  Who stepped up to stop Sombra before he turned the Crystal Empire into his own slave factory?  It seems as though ponykind and humanity DO share a few traits, after all..."

"And about the nature of humankind be-be-be-being to fight?  Really?  Then answer me this - if it's in pony nature NOT to fight, then would you be so kind as to explain to me why Princess Luna became Nightmare Moon, and didn't just approach her sister with her issues in a manner that would be much less painful?  Because she felt slighted and hurt by her, she wanted to make her suffer for her pain... in fact, she wanted ALL of Equestria to suffer for what her sister haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad made her feel.  How is THAT not wanting a confrontation?"

He cast another glance at Twilight, one filled with regret... then, his face returned to its' former stern visage.

"When you talk about the 'us vs. them' mentality, and claim it to be a HUMAN thing... then why would Princess Twilight have felt it necessary to try to STEAL the pearl from the hippogriffs?  Would it possibly be because she-he-e felt it was 'for the better of ponykind'?  Better for 'US'?  Those words certainly don't sound like the ponies you've been talking about..."

"Just as flawed and problematic as you claim humanity to be, I can see the same traits in ponies - perhaps not in the same manner, but DEFINITELY in the same vein.  So don't try to ppppppppppppull the steel wool over my eyes, Luster; ponykind and humankind are simply two sides of the same coin, and if you're so biased that you honestly can't believe that, then your calculations are as flawed as your reasoning."

[WARNING: BIO LEVELS APP-]

>*click*<

"And you say you hope I'd-I'd-I'd-I'd do the same when it comes between my loved ones and you... but Luster, I'd tryTRYtry to find a way to save BOTH first... which is what I'm doing right now, if you'd take a step back and realize it!  I'm not so clear-cut-black-and-white that I can't see the grey in between, and you're acting as though anything other than complete, blind faith in your number-crunching is both wronnnnnnnnng and offensive."

"You state you're worried about humanity encroaching on Equestria... well, wouldn't that mean that ponies would be coming to Earth, too?  I mean, it'd be only logical-cal-al-l that, if humans are curious about ponykind (such as yours truly), then there has GOT to be ponies out there who would jump at the chance to come to our planet.  And I'd let 'em... were it up to me, of course.  But even if it isn't, I'm SURE there are enough gooooooooooood, decent folks in the world that they'd allow for such things."

Twitch stopped, turned to look at both robot equines, then his faceplates simply conjured a small, sheepish smile.

"Look, statistics and projections aside... numbers may not lie, but they CAN be falsely calculated, if the original data is erroneous.  And your opinion of humanity seems to be stuck in the past - probably the general opinion from the time youYOUyou were first active, no doubt.  Well, humanity has come a long way since then... and the changes we've made may not have been complete, but they've made HUGE strides in bringing humanity closer to the utopia I KNOW it's capable of."

"You seem to be coming to your conclusions with the idea that humanity can NEVER change, and therefore must be ended to prevent a disaster.  But just as scientific commonplace knowledge can become outdaaaaaaaaated with new discoveries, so can the outcomes of projected futures become stilted and inaccurate by a lack of input.  And I'd wager you've had a screw up your charge-port about humans since you woke up up up, haven't you?"

He stepped closer to Luster, either too dumb to know the danger or too involved to be afraid, and looked at her earnestly.

"WHO is incapable of change?  WHO is unable to factor anything but destruction?  WHICH ONE OF UUUUUUUUS is screaming about murder, and which one is talking about saving lives?"

The speaker stack gave a soft hum, and as Twitch's eyes flashed blue, the tower of sound behind him began to issue a haunting melody...

"Luster... understand that, as a human IN Equestria, IF your calculations are correct... then even I am a threat to ponykind - especially in this chassis - and..."

He took a shaky breath, then he slid his legs into a sturdy stance, waiting for whatever may come from his next words.

"... a-and if you're serious about... about the total genocide of humanity... then..."

His throat hitched; he still had to say it.

"... then you ha-a-a-a-a-ave to start with ME, Luster."

"Your calculations tell you that humans are EVIL... and if that's true, then it would only be a matter of time before I turned as well, and made my own bid to enslave or destroy Equestria.  By the virtue of your own words, I can NOT be allowed to live here and be expected to NEVER become a threat... so you'll have to destroy me.  If you want to end humanity to save ponies... if you honestly think that all humans are simply greedy, shameless and immoral beings... then I HAVE to be your first target."

"But I'll go one further, Luster - to defy your opinion of humanity, I'll LET you destroy me."

"I won't lift a hoof to stop you, if you feel it's necessary... and, if you feel that killing my entire race is the ONLY way toTOto ensure Equestria's future... then logic dictates that you need to destroy the most immediate threat first."

A sliver of coolant rolled from the corner of Twitch's eye, and ran down his muzzle to drip off and onto the floor.

"But I'm notNOTnot going to fight you.  You're my friend.  And if my friend wants me dead..."

The blue lights in his eyes slowly shifted to a bright purple color.

"... then do what you feel is RIGHT."

Please, Luster... please hear me...

 

 

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The direct address of Luster to her was, a little surprising especially in which the manner it was delivered, Emerald was not in any real position of power to dictate anything that went on, in fact, she was retired only a few weeks ago, she was here because of her ties to Twilight not much else she wanted a rest... now all this shit. She didn't really have anything to say she just sorta sat there looking at her a bit blankly like a deer caught in headlights. 

Once Luster was looking at the droid, who was a human she rose a hoof to her chin in a moments thought...

"Well, this got political all of a sudden..." She muttered to herself as she listened to the pair of... sufficient words to describe what was going on and who was involved simply didn't come to her mind, even though she was an older mare. "I mean if Twi has her way that's all and good, probably the best outcome, but Luster will probably have me in jail or she'll just evaporate me with some fancy gun she's got up her tailpipe."

(I think I managed something of decent note I hope) 

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