There is a MIRACLE at the top of the tower...
... and I need it.
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!!6rS9Q/1DV6r 2017-01-10 05:52:08 No. 29240841
Side thread.
------------------------------------
A figure on the other side of Sarim's doorway clears its throat.
"Yes?" I ask, neither of my mes turning in his direction.
"Are you sure about this? He asks us.
The skull chatters briefly, and I translate for him. "For the hundredth time, yes."
He doesn't say anything, but I know the way he's looking at me.
"I want to know about the city. That 'bad idea' is the only lead I have."
"You are putting yourself in the kind of danger a dragon is scared of."

!!6rS9Q/1DV6r 2017-01-10 08:48:32 No. 29241942
>>29241743
>>29241868
"And?"
He doesn't answer.
"You don't even remember what I'll do, don't you."
"You do talk a lot and say little these days, Lud."
The skulls chatters a laugh.
"What do you want me to do. I am the voice."
"Maybe explain?"
The skull starts chattering complex formula, which I ignore. "I'll read the bad idea."
"Ah." His tone makes it clear that he's not quite there yet.
"With this machine acting as the translator." I add.
"It looks awfuly similar to all the other machines you used to try that."
"And?"
"And I expected you to make some visible changes after last time."
"There are."
"I am sure of that, yes." He nods slowly.
The skull jumps on her jaw, chattering something loudly.
"Nearly all subsystems are better than last time." I translate. "We had to ask help from the dreamers." The skull sounds displeased at that.
"And they gave it?"
"I didn't shut up until they did."
"Was that all?" He asks cautiously.
"She may have bitten someone's tail." I add hesitantly. The skull chatters a laugh again.
"That's the kind of thing why they want me to enclose you, you know. Gives the Dreamer a bad reputation."
"I am aware."
There's a moment of silence.
"So you will try again." He says tiredly.

Okay, my bad

!!6rS9Q/1DV6r 2017-01-10 10:59:03 No. 29242746
>>29242086
"Yes."
"And again when you fail at this."
"If."
"And again, and again, and again."
I don't answer that.
"You really take after dad."
"Do I?" I sigh, bouncing into the horn socket followed by the skull.
"Mhm. I'll go for the bucket." The shape walks away from the doorway.
There is reacting whatsoever when my blade enters her skull, the spark that once connected long since shattered, but it still allows her to interface with the translator too.
Messages scroll through our consciousness, the machine bridging a connection to us.
>System warm up: Done
>System check:
>>Memetic scanner: ok
>>Memetic synthesiser: ok
>>Coolant systems: ok
>>Buffers: all ok
>System status: all ok.
>Bridging connection:
>...
>...
>...
>Subject a not responding to pings, trying alternate methods...
>...
>...
>Subjects a b c pinged succesfully
>Initiating memetic probes.

I hold my metaphoric breath. This is where it's failed every time before, leashing back with enough feedback that there's never enough buffers to keep it from reaching us.

>Probes a through d: critical failure.
>>Mitigating feedback, stand by for discomfort...
>Probe e: success.

I have to contain a whimper.

>Initiating memetic scan...
>>Memetic structures identified. attempting translation...
>>>Translation failure. attempting sanitization...
>>>>Sanitization failure, attempting basic visual display...
>>>>>Image storage incompatible or not found.
>>Translation status: all fail.
>>Attempt raw communication?

The skull pings a yes immediately, the system awaiting for my decision.

!!6rS9Q/1DV6r 2017-01-10 11:46:15 No. 29243063
>>29242845
There's barely any hesitation at all on my part, the machine acknowledging my ping and rumbling to activity.
I don't have a head, but it still hurts immediately.
I fight against the pain, through it, to gain focus and understand what's happening around me.
This... I am in some kind of dessert, a sun burning in the sky.
That door.
I recognize those doors and wall. Biggs' city.
I look around for the skull in near panic.
She's nowhere to be seen.

!!6rS9Q/1DV6r 2017-01-11 03:27:45 No. 29246644
>>29244316
>>29243622
"Lud!" I call out for the skull, hoping that I'll hear her chattering laugh behind me.
No answer.
"Force disc--" I cut myself midcommand. what if it hurts her somehow? Or if she isn't there either when I disconnect?
Damnit.
I walk around the desert, maybe this is a memory? Where is the main character then? There's always a main character. And this desert... I dig a little into the sand. I can feel every grain.
I look in every direction. There's no empty point as far as I can see.
Whoever experienced this spent a lot of time in this precise spot.
I try to will the memory to continue, pinging the translator to accelerate the passage of time.
The sun rotates faster and faster, no moon replacing it when night reaches us.
Nothing changes at all.
There's no wind to shift the sand, nor does anything move. The figures in the distance stand rock-still no mater how many days, weeks, years pass.
"Hello?" I ask in hopes that there'll be an answer.
https://files.catbox.moe/q0div2.ogg
It hurts my ears. I step away from the figure sitting atop the stone pillar with a cry, it's voice entirely too loud.
It takes me a moment to make out the words, "How long has it been?"

!!6rS9Q/1DV6r 2017-01-12 06:33:18 No. 29254161
>>29253977
"How long since what? Am I supposed to know?" I ask back, making a failed effort not to shout it.
"S--"
>sh
inc-
>isinc
When I was mere decades old, I visited a history museum and wandered into an adults-only area.
No one was there, and the room was empty other than a list of names engraved into a wall and what seemed to be a chart of some sort.
A guard walked me back to father quietly, and it wasn't until I reached adulthood that I was told what the chart meant.

>in
>sagg
>int--
"Since this message was recorded." The figure continues unabashed, ignoring the cry of pain I let out at the sudden pain in my forehead.
"Message?" I struggle to make sense of this.
"Me."
It's is a long time before either of us says anything.
"What are you?" He asks.

!!6rS9Q/1DV6r 2017-01-12 07:21:16 No. 29254486
>>29254240
>>29254311
"I am a pony." I say automatically, then correct. "Was."
"Po-ny." The figure tastes the word, repeating it several times. "Your kind is young?"
"My kind?"
"That of pony."
"I- I don't know."
Silence falls again, "You've forgotten the age of your kind?" The voice sounds pained.
"I never knew it."
"My creator did expect things to change after the collapse..."
"What collapse?"
"You said you were a pony." He ignores my question.
"It's complicated."
"We have time."
I gulp, "I... tried to do something dangerous. Or someone who I am a fragment of tried to. I am not sure."
"What was it?"
"A... my kind has three forms."
"Three." He interrupts me, amused, "Everything goes back to that number, doesn't it."
I nod, not really understanding, "I tried to gain the strength of all three forms."
"To earn transcendence?"
"I needed the strength."
"But you haven't transcended. True transcendence is something I could notice."
"You could?"
"My kind achieved it."
I don't know how to answer that, so I continue--

>bui
>--
aah--

We walked out of our grand city, surrendered.
There was nothing left for us to do, other than waiting and looking over the machinery now.
Time passed as we stood on our monoliths, watching, watching...

>--tlñ
>
>why
>a
I let another cry of pain.
"What is that!?" I shout at him, my throat raw.
"Failures." It says quietly.
"Make them stop!" I close my eyes in pain, how much more will I be able to bear?
"I am but a fickle reflection, and never was intended to be more than that."
"So!?"
"I don't posses the tools to repair my own program. No one does."
Silence falls again.
"Do continue your story." He says.
"Take me out of here! Bring Lud back!" I shout back at him.
"Lud?"
"The other visitant is safe." He says simply.
"Where?" I try to grab a hold of my temper without much success.
"Here." He answers promptly.

!!6rS9Q/1DV6r 2017-01-12 09:53:20 No. 29255351
>>29254861
"Describe 'here'"
"Lud!"
"In this location."
"I'd see her if she was! And even if I couldn't see her, I'd be aware of her presence somehow! She's part of me, dammit!" I shout.
"As far as I am aware--" It coughs, "As far as I am aware, I am talking with two entities functioning in rather imperfect synchrony" He waves a hand around in a gesture similar to those Biggs likes. "How would it be said in your tongue...? A skewed symphony, maybe."
"I... I don't under--

>sing
d
>as

I ask father why don't we ever hear from any people from outside our world.
He tells me they are simply too far, and that the distance grows every day.
>

>ge
>

"Ah!" I hold my head in pain, "Stop that!"
"I have already told you I can't." He says quietly. "Have you seen yourself?"
"What do you mean!?" Don't go hysteric. Try to stay calm. Ignore the burn of the sun--
Temperature should be a merely factual attribute for me. I shouldn't feel it.
I look at myself.
Clockwork hooves rest on the sand, their gears clicking quietly.
"What is this." I try to move away from them, but the only result is the hooves backpedalling. "What is happening!"
"More than a guest would be difficult to handle." He doesn't react when I fall over myself, "I provided you with what little unity I could while whitin my simulation."
I raise the hooves to watch them closely, and the skull looks back at me from the reflection in the steel, its pupils to steel-blue pinpricks.
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