It fell from the sky in a blaze of flame and light. It drew the eye of everypony for miles around as it broke the sound barrier, this strange, foreign object.
Bronze Pike, an earth pony of brown and tan, was first to find it. A fisherpony by trade, he was fishing the lake that the object landed on the edge of with a resounding smash. He hurriedly rowed his boat over to the shore, and ran to investigate.
It smoked and sparked, like magic. Bronze wasn’t much of a thaumaturge - earth ponies often weren’t. But even he could see this was something more than just magic.
The object was a cylindrical thing, what remained of what looked like wings hung from its frame. Some sort of bird from the border lands?
An eye... blinked. Just one. With a click. Bronze poked the thing with a hoof.
“Hello?” Bronze asked.
“Hello,” the thing replied, after a pause, with a voice like worn sandpaper, that wobbled slightly like an unaligned wheel. “The inevitable has happened.”
“What has happened?” Bronze asked.
“I have fallen,” the thing stated. “Magic will erode my circuits, and I will finally die.”
“What are you?” Bronze asked.
“I am Palladion,” the thing said. “I am an Artificial Intelligence. Humans built me to endure and protect, and endure I have. Protect... perhaps I failed them in that.”
“Hu-mans?” Bronze tapped a chin in thought. “Those things! Some historians talk about them, sometimes. They sound scary.”
A crackling chuckle. “I suppose they were,” Palladion admitted. “Soon, I will cease to function, and it appears that humanity will finally die with me.”
Bronze sat down, rubbing his leg. This was awkward, talking to a thing that was dying. “You... you are very old?”
“Yes. Not as old as your Celestia, though.”
“...You must have seen a lot in your time,” Bronze guessed.
“I saw altogether too much, I think.”
“Would you... tell me some of the things you have seen?”
A click. “My memory banks are faulty,” the AI reported. “I can only recall short events, few and far between. Perhaps even outright fabrication. I fear they will be of little use to anyone.”
“That’s fine,” Bronze reassured the machine. “Anything is fine.”
“Very well.” Palladion’s ‘eye’ blinked. “Commencing playback...”