There is a MIRACLE at the top of the tower...
... and I need it.
Total Quest Duration:1 years, 3 months, 15 daysTotal Word Count:137,211Total Quest Posts:1304/1412
Avg Thread Duration: 3 days, 13 hours, 17 minutesAvg Word Count:3,267Avg Thread Posts:34
Current Thread Duration:2 days, 5 hours, 15 minutesCurrent Word Count:3,302Current Thread Posts:16
Total Threads:42

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-21 04:52:29 No. 29920785
>>29918309
"Query a description of the prisoner." I look around in case they appear. "And where are the girls?"
"The only nearby Element is Administrator Applejack, ma'am."
Administrator? She must have her reasons. "Is she in immediate danger?"
"Last I knew it wasn't immediate."
"She can handle herself. And the prisoner?"
"The arcology's mainframe is not allowing this unit to log into the systems." The star circles around me, as if searching something, "As it stands, we both seem to be blocked off most systems."
"Don't you have any information yourself?" I look at the lower catwalk. I might be able to jump down there, if my earth pony magic is as developed as I think it is, and the kitchens are south of there, and the research and levitation engine rooms north.
"During your fight with it, the prisoner's body was twice as large as you are now and was covered in what seemed like several layers of robes. It also wore a bird-like mask, or had a remarkably bony face."
My eyes open wide.
Another shout echoes across the broken arcology.
"Star, when was the prisoner captured and in which conditions?"
"By the time of the capture this unit had moved to a safe location away from the fight, ma'am. My apologies."
"Can you tell me where she is now?"
The next shout, and the sound of Magic running past reinforced steel walls like they are paper, make my legs shake.
"The arcology's unstability is disrupting the radars, ma'am."
1/2

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-21 04:53:27 No. 29920795
"SPARKLE!" Shouts magic, making my head hurt.
"I advise evasion, ma'am."
I can't defend myself like this, I think as I jump to the lower catwalk. I'll need food soon if I don't want to collapse again in the next few minutes, and...
The ground, already off-level, shakes again when I land and almost makes me fall to the red-hot floor below.
I grab to the handrail jut in case, "What's the state of the arcology?"
"Recent events have sent the main reactor into a critical state, ma'am. This unit was scheduled to oversee the repair drones, but they seem to be completely missing."
The earthbone in the research center. If the arcology goes down I can't let it be destroyed.
2/2

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-21 07:20:55 No. 29921799
>>29921023
>>29921284
I trot off the kitchen as quickly as my waning strength will alow me, the star quick to follow, "How charged is your battery?"
"Seventy five percent, ma'am." There is another crash against steel. "I advise evasion."
"Prepare a shield," I open the fridge and grab as much of the food as I can, cringing when the meat enters my field. It always feels oddly liquid. "First and third physical vectors with triple the air pressure, second vector with a reaction formula to release all kinetic force accumulated," A long strip of uncooked meat goes down my throat, making me nauseous, "Fourth to sixth must have fifty percent flexibility, and all arcane resistance vectors must be set to redirect force." After a while of eating and talking the raw, pure hunger that every alicorn knows over takes me again, enough food to kill most people sliding down my gullet with barely any mastication before hand.
"The shield is ready for deployment, ma'am." Says the star as my wings grow with bursts of blood.
I feel Magic before turning to her. Her barrel is covered in what might be robes or several pairs of glosamer wings-- it's never clear and it can change at a moment's notice.
"Stay still, mother." She says, walking to me.
"What are you doing?" I step back, "Magic, explain yourself."
"I am the one to explain herself?" She doesn't stop her advancing, "You refused to seek or accept help and made me watch your descent into madness."
"I don't need any help." I shout unthinkingly, hysteria extending its claws to me.
"You've been dying for the last fifty years, mother, your mind and body withering under the onslaught of your own strength." She extends a hand until it's millimeters from my face, "Do it yourself and it'll be painless. That's all I have left in me to offer you now."

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-21 09:17:09 No. 29922482
>>29921862
"What are you talking about?" I move as far away as I can from her, approaching the star. "I don't have time for this, Magic. The arcology is falling apart."
"What am I talking about?" She opens her wings, revealing the anorexic body below, "What would you have done if I had told anyone about the cancer that consumes you even now? Or the nosebleeds, or the times when you fell unconscious for hours at a time, or the fact that you need constantly working self-regeneration spells for your body to even function?"
"I don't know what you are talking about." I lie, the taste of copper in my mouth, "Back off, now."
"Look at your own leg, mother." She says quietly.
I tear my eyes from her. A tumor is growing out of it, the flesh a foul dark pink with overgrown veins.
I force my horn to kickstart the cell filtering spells, weathering the painful experience of it receding back into my body.
"We are reflections of our paladins, Sparkle. Look at what you've done to me!" She lifts a claw, "Yet you taught me kindness, generosity, loyalty, and I forgave your idiocy!" She screeches, her face always impassive, always immobile, "I see now that true loyalty and kindness lie in honesty, that I lied to myself believing you'd come around, like Spike did!"
Spike did. Why did she use past tense?
"There's a growing earthbone here," I push it off my mind to calm down, trying to ignore the heat that radiates from her, "If the arcology falls, it'll be destroyed."
"This is no time for lies, Sparkle." She growls.
There's a moment of perfect silence from both of us, our stances low and defensive, maybe even a show of respect between equals.
She pounces at me.
I jump to the doorway, pushing with my wings to barely escape her wings' hit, and she impacts the wall with enough strength to make the whole room shake.
Spike.
Why did she use past tense.
Why--
No time, now. I hit the floor painfully, the skin over my bones still too thin.

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-21 10:56:48 No. 29923088
>>29922514
"What was I supposed to do!? Let myself die!?" I ask as I run away from the kitchens, the star gliding after me.
"You knew the greatest arcanists of our civilization and refused to even admit you needed help!" She shouts, the catwalk collapsing under her violent run, "It was your idiocy and yours alone that brought us here, together with Spike's and my leeway!"
The catwalk collapses, forcing me to jump and beat my wings despite the pain it is to with such undeveloped muscles.
"Where is Spike?" I wheeze for breath, almost collapsing on the entrance to the research centers. "He wouldn't act like you are!"
"Safe from your poisons!" She shouts, climbing the walls to reach me, "And lucky for it!"
"You didn't answer my question."
That makes her slow down for a moment, but she picks up speed quickly, "Spike is dead, you fool! We buried him together!"
I run away before she reaches me, my mind racing a mile a minute. He can't be dead. He can't be dead.
The feeling of humus pushed by my hooves.
He can't be dead.
His roars.
Tears flood my eyes.
He can't be dead.
Magic shouts something I can't hear.
The feeling of digging with my bare hooves, the sound of Magic's hands digging alongside me, the quiet company of it.
He can't be dead.
I hit a wall headfirst when the arcology shakes again and fall to the ground, the pain unbearable for a moment.
Magic runs for me, the star shouting something as she runs past walls and stairways.
My body feels lighter suddenly. The arcology is falling.

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-22 02:04:29 No. 29923996
>>29923337
The earthbones.
I force my legs to bear my weight again, ignoring the contusion I surely have.
A hearty bite on my tongue forces me to full awareness. I am unable not to swallow my own blood despite its taste, my body still yearning for any sustenance.
The door to the earthbones is locked.
"Star, disable scrupulous algorithm." I demand, trying to keep by breathing in check so the voice command is recognized.
"Acknowledged, ma'am."
"Spark surge at top intensity." I step away from the door. "Disable heat and energy consumption regulations."
"Acknowledged, ma'am." Electric arcs start coursing through its rays increasingly quickly until it's all released, making a red hot hole in the door.
The heat sears my skin as I jump through it, my eyes nailed on its crystalline surface.
Magic bursts into the room, charging through a wall and heading for me.
I barely have enough magic to teleport a few meters to the left, but doing so I manage to evade her hit without losing any speed.
"Sparkle!" She tries to catch me before I touch the earthbones, but only tears off a few hairs off my tail.
Everything is clear.
Everything is so clear the instant I touch the earthbone.
The surface of the earthbone is a million million strings, all intertwined into the massively complex patterns, the smallest mere atoms thick.
I am sorry, Spike, for what I have to do.
I tear off a filament from the earthbone and swallow it.
Magic flows into me, invigorating my body.
The radiation of my own magic creates more even faster than it usually does. They are purged as fast as they appear. I force a multitude of enchantments onto my body.
My body fills, the creation of mass from energy absurdly easy after all the practice I had healing Fluttershy. Electric arcs course through my insides as a sideproduct of the magic, creating burns that are healed instantly. Pleasure washes over me, making my nethers tense and my breathing accelerate.

1/3

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-22 02:05:01 No. 29923998
The weight of the world rushes into me almost immediately. Every detail. Every particle, every single electric signal in my own body and Magic's is impossible to ignore.
"With what right!" Magic hits past the shield and grabs me, breaking bones I mend with only a thought, "With what right do you steal the strength of my fathers!?"
"Eminence is not a divine right, Magic." I force her away from me, my horn burning the skin that covers it. "Eminence is a tool to use."
I stop the fall of the arcology. Can't risk harming Applejack or her pegasus, not now.
What are you doing in my head?
Get out.

2/3

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-22 02:05:33 No. 29924001
[Returned to Applejack]

I tap the recorder to resume the tape.

>Sabrina, I think I forgot to say, was an historian and strategist at first. She was designed in a similar base to Cathrina's, only made to pronounce varyingly truthful statements about historical battles. The varyingly truthful part was specially important, according to Rubicon-- She was required to intertwine truth and subtle deception into her words.
>Which makes me think, can we ever escape the trappings of who we are? To repeat the old question, what does it take to change the nature of a sapient?
There's a pause.
>It's ultimately obvious that all makers of machines make what they lack. Servants are the most obvious choice, but Rubicon makes me wonder. What about a family? Friends? Right to exist, even? Who is to say that the inventor of the recorder didn't simply want to hear his own voice, unadulterated by being the one who spoke it?
>It turns into a jeopardy when artificial intelligences are concerned... the ability to make whom we require, rather than interacting and being exposed to new ideas, is I feel a reasonable worry. Make a perfect wife, always waiting in bed. Make a perfect friend, never to stop you when you are going too far. Make a perfect citizen, never to challenge your kingship. When do we stop? Do we even?
>Automatism, and hence formulaism, are truly dangerous... they lead to creeping mediocrity, which advances too slowly for anyone to notice.
>Sabrina and Cathrina are stable now, but who is to know?

"That seems to be all."
I give a discontent look to the recorder.
"So?" Asks Rarity.
"We should probably try to open that door." Mirria makes an irritated gesture at the blocked one.


3/3 and Paused.

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-22 07:59:45 No. 29931039
>>29926101
"You think so?" I walk to it, touching the concrete over it. There's broken parts, where I kicked it, where rebar can be seen.
"We've checked all other doors, right?" Mirria tries to move her bandaged wings and gives them a nasty look before facing me again. "That's the only one left I remember."

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-23 12:11:04 No. 29932579
>>29931399
"What about the beams?" I give a look to the baths, where there's a small one.
"I don't think we've got the tools for that, and Lud..."
I give Rarity a moment to continue before speaking up, "Lud what?"
"The whole of her situation dawned on her last time you got hurt. I am helping her with it, but... well, she misses her family. A little while longer for herself might be good."
"And Rubicon?" Suggests Mirria.
"That body did seem strong." Nods Rarity, "Why don't you go search him?"
"Just don't get near that beam." I walk off with Mirria.
A few minutes later we return to her with Rubicon, who spends a moment watching the concrete, "Hrm. I don't remember this being blocked."
"Huh? What was behind it?"
"The third floor was mainly for the residents," He moves to prepare a buck, "Built away from any possible visitor. It's befuddling that anyone'd block it. Let me see if I can disable the limiters..."
He is quiet for several minutes, and several pieces click inside his hindlegs. Slowly and carefuly, he moves closer to the doorway and unleashes a powerful buck on it.
Rubicon and pieces of concrete fly in opposite directions, the old stallion scrapping against the floor for a moment before stopping.
"Hrm." He stands with as much dignity as he can muster, "Was there anything else you needed?"
"I don't think so." I shake my head.
He nods and walks off, testing his legs during the first few steps.
The room is dominated by a large boulder, leaving just enough space for a normal pony to slide through. Wind enters from the other side.

Paused

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-23 05:35:02 No. 29937165
>>29932999
"Stay behind me." I start climbing the pile of rubble, only to be pulled down again by telekinesis, "Hey!"
"Nonsense," Rarity throws me off the pile with a hit of her rump and starts climbing herself, "I am the only one here who's not hurt."
"And I'd like to keep it that way." I put a hoof on her withers, but she keeps climbing.
"Nonsense." She repeats firmly.
Me and Mirria climb under her, besides each other an in a mute challenge to each other to even try going ahead.
The higher floor is small, and dominated by another portal -this one not producing any light despite the cloth-like cyan sheet that flutters, anchored to it- with a large, barrel-like bronze object behind.
"Another of these?" Mirria opens a door of the... reality normalizer? and reveals a small computer.
"Applejack?" Rarity calls me, her flashlight turned off, "I found our... friend."

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-23 06:34:22 No. 29937683
>>29937253
"Is he well?"
"Only asleep. I wouldn't call his rest peaceful, though."
"You think so?" I read the screen.
"Why else would I say it?"
"Yyyeah. Hey, did any of you read the sign below?"
"The sign? It said this place's closed down for rebuilding. And someone wrote that was bullshit all over the sign." Mirria watches the screen quietly.
>LOW ENERGY MODE.
>PRESS [S] FOR SPECIAL FUNCTIONS
>PRESS [N] FOR NETWORK STATUS
>PRESS [U] FOR UNIT STATUS
"You know, you never answered me." Says Mirria jokingly.
"What?" I tap the U and N keys.
"The first time we found one I asked you where did you learn how to use computers."
"I am curious about that myself." Adds Rarity. "Equestrian computers are quite different."
I use the scrolling text as an excuse to think before answering,
>BATTERY LEVEL: 30%
>!!WARNING!!: REPLACE IMMEDIATELY.
>PROBES TWO THROUGH SIX DISCONNECTED OR MISSING.
>PORTCULLIS: CONNECTED. BATTERY LEVEL HIGH ENOUGH FOR ONLY ONE TRAVEL.

> !!WARNING!!: ONLY THREE NORMALIZERS IN THE NETWORK RESPOND TO PINGS. MEMETIC RADIATION FROM ONEIROS REACHING DANGEROUS LEVELS.
>NETWORK STATUS: OPERATING AT 10% EFFICIENCY.

"I think I learned here." I say after a moment.
"You didn't seem to have any issues with the first." Mirria gives me a look.
"Do you remember what Sabrina said? That we had asked her that before?" I think of my words for a moment, "It's like a dream, but I think I've done this a lot more times than you remember."
Mirria and Rarity don't answer, their eyes wandering across the room.
"What's that?" I gesture at the small gray thing in a shelf in the wall.
"Hm?" Rarity turns on the flashlight to see it better, "Looks like some kind of generator:"

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-23 08:16:00 No. 29938535
>>29937894
"Can you tell what it runs on?"
"Well..." Her horn alights, "Not on unicorn magic, for one."
"Wood?"
"Maybe?" Rarity opens a small gate at its side, "Do we have anything to burn?
Inventory at https://pastebin.com/4bxDE86F

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-23 09:55:45 No. 29939185
>>29938603
"Worth the try, I guess." Mirria and me give a longing look to the whiskey bottle before I throw it to her.
Rarity catches it in telekinesis and, after some fidgeting, opens a hole in the glass with her rapier and puts it in what looks like a burner, careful to close the door well.
After jumping to us and away from the generator, her horn sparks several times with magic before light escapes from the edges of the door, a sound similar to that of a welder coming from it.
The screen alights more brightly almost immediately, text scrolling unusually fast. By the time the flame dies down, it reads:
>CHARGE LEVEL: 42%
>WATER LEVEL ON GENERATOR LOW.
Paused.

!CammyIzMqA 2017-04-23 10:08:18 No. 29939254
>>29938603
"Worth the try, I guess." Mirria and me give a longing look to the whiskey bottle before I throw it to her.
Rarity catches it in telekinesis and, after some fidgeting, opens a hole in the glass with her rapier and puts it in what looks like a burner, careful to close the door well.
After jumping to us and away from the generator, her horn sparks several times with magic before light escapes from the edges of the door, a sound similar to that of a welder coming from it.
The screen alights more brightly almost immediately, text scrolling unusually fast. By the time the flame dies down, it reads:
>CHARGE LEVEL: 42%
>WATER LEVEL ON GENERATOR LOW.
"Wait me here." I climb down the rubble and notice that Winona's staring intently at the hole in the wall. "Something wrong, girl?"
She only barks softly.
"You warn the others if there is." I pat her and go down for Sarim.
"Hm?" Asks the cat the moment I enter, splayed across the table that dominates his library.
"Mind if I grab some wood and water?"
"Do try to bring some back later." He leashes his tail, "I can't make it from nothingness, you know."
"Will do." I head for the forest.
"There's buckets besides the doorway." He says, then lowers his head to sleep again.
A few minutes and a trip later, we fill the generator and spark it on again, the roar of a good fire coming from inside it.
I tap the computer's keys again, this time heading for the Special Functions menu.

>PINGING PORTCULLIS NETWORK...
>1 PORTCULLIS ENABLED. LOCAL PORTCULLIS DISABLED. DO YOU WISH TO ENABLE THE LOCAL PORTCULLIS? [Y/N]
>ENERGY LEVELS SUFFICE FOR FIVE TRAVELS. THIS DOES NOT ACCOUNT FOR THE CURRENT RECHARGE RATE.
>METASPACES CONNECTED TO THE NETWORK:
>>SEA
>>NIGHTMARE
>>TUNDRA

"Ha... What... Pony? What are you doing here?" Asks Quibra, his voice no longer that of a child.

Paused.
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