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  • T Lines and Webs

    In a world of peace, there must be order. No matter what the cost.
    161,563 words · 8,116 views  ·  925  ·  24
  • T Dusk's Dangerous Game

    When gods play games, we are but pawns.
    231,581 words · 7,903 views  ·  873  ·  28
  • T Stormsinger

    After four hundred and fifty years of uneasy peace, the balance of power in Equestria has shifted.
    182,953 words · 2,496 views  ·  367  ·  10
  • T Tales of the Traveling Station

    Any Thing under the Sun, Available At Cost! No Refunds, no Returns, And no Complaints.
    1,638 words · 628 views  ·  83  ·  1
  • T An Oath

    We all have something to fight for.
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  • T A Taste of Lotus

    In the distant future, there is only peace. This is the story of that path, and the sacrifices made to walk it.
    3,882 words · 1,516 views  ·  148  ·  14
  • T A Hearth's Warming Wassailing

    When the winter is at its coldest, all you really need is the fire of friends, new and old.
    23,018 words · 783 views  ·  73  ·  6

Blog Posts238

  • 3w, 1d
    No but seriously

    15 comments · 224 views
  • 6w, 2d
    Updates and scheduling and chapters, oh my!

    6 comments · 98 views
  • 13w, 3d
    On scavenger hunts and schedules

    Sorry about the late update, all. I've signed up to be a part of the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, or GISHWHES for short. It's a week-long adventure requiring cunning, skill, photography, a familiarity with the Queen of England and tea ceremonies, and numerous other skills. It promises to be quite fun, and also the only thing I'll have approaching a summer vacation, so I'm quite looking forward to it.

    Unfortunately, GISHWHES has the habit of monopolizing all of your time, seeing as the list of items numbers in the hundreds, and there is only one week in which to score as many points as possible. As a result, I wasn't going to be doing much writing next week, and I wanted to push two chapters for you at the same time so you could have something to chew on while I was gone.

    I could only get the one chapter done, though, which is disappointing. So expect that either tonight or tomorrow, and the next one a day or two after the ninth.

    In the meantime, have some quality entertainment!

    1 comments · 152 views
  • 16w, 6d
    Holiday

    Hey, all!

    Wanted to apologize about the lack of chapter this week, I took some time off for the holiday. Regular update next week, same bat-time, same bat-place!

    In other news, I finally finished Hearth's Warming Wassailing, the last update having been July 4th. Christmas in July, y'know? So if you were waiting on that, check it out! If you weren't, check it out anyway! There's no such thing as an inappropriate time for Christmas, amirite?

    I'm so totally right.

    Also, I'm putting the word out for people who are interested in joining a Skype group I've got set up. My handle there is "Airstream" if you're interested. There are a few on already, we talk about the show and other things besides. If you're looking for conversation, it's the place to be!

    Ciao!

    3 comments · 123 views
  • 24w, 3d
    A story about the story.

    The chapter writhed on the keyboard, trilling as Airstream’s fingers danced across it, knitting it together and stretching meat and skin over the bare bones of the story, heart laboring harshly as the wretched thing gasped for breath.

    The author’s fingers halted. A scowl spread across his face. The chapter was there, alright, it just seemed…wrong. Like it would surely collapse under its own weight the minute it tried to stand on its own.

    “Another weak one…” Ryeblok hissed, staring over his shoulder. “You’ve been making a lot of those recently.”

    Airstream waved a hand, and the barely-born chapter disappeared in a rush of flame, squealing once before it was completely gone, nothing more than a smudge of ashy, wasted potential. His fingers, nimble still, began to spin again. The bones of what he was trying to create appeared once more, and with a flourish and a rush of description, the heart of the chapter began to take shape once more, the beat slightly different, the tone perhaps a bit gentler.

    “You know,” Airstream said, his voice tired and amused all at once, “I do believe this is the most trouble you’ve given me with one of these, Blok. You and I have worked together more than once, but I can’t recall you hanging around for this long before.” His voice grew colder, more stern. “One might say that you are overstaying your welcome.”

    The demon’s claws sunk into his shoulder. “Perhaps,” it breathed menacingly, “But you are the only one who can banish me. And you choose instead to spend your days worrying over this wretched thing.”

    Ryeblok had a point, Airstream mused to himself. It was early yet, but he could already tell that this chapter was going to end poorly as well. And a poor chapter weakened the story as a whole.

    He looked to the pen where this most recent story was being kept. Stormsinger lay content, perhaps a bit concerned that it had not been asked to perform in some time, but keeping a wary eye open and the other drooping shut. It was one of his better creations, the author mused. Some new and interesting techniques had been applied, and he was quite pleased with the result. His gaze fell on the chapter, his contented expression twisting into frustration as he dispelled this latest abomination.

    “A pity,” Ryeblok said. “I liked that one.”

    “If I didn’t know you better,” Airstream said absently, resting his hands, “I’d believe you.”

    “Perhaps what the author needs is a bit of a break?” Ryeblok suggested. “Perhaps he should visit other things? Some of your other children are awaiting your tender care.”

    Airstream cast a wary eye at a shadowy corner of his workspace, wherein was contained a wilted lotus flower and a dilapidated cart with faded paint.

    “Or perhaps he would care to start something new? The last time that happened, you were quite successful, as I recall.”

    Airstream shuddered, reminded of the…thing…he had put away in another room. It was deceptively cute, with its little beeps and squeals, and its cries of “Set phasers to hug!” and “The fun levels shall be at maximum efficiency!”, but beneath that lay a cold, dead heart, and not just because it was about a robot. The fact that it was one of his most beloved creations frightened even him.

    “Thank you for your input, Ryeblok,” he said, “But I really do think the best thing here would be to soldier on with my work.”

    Ryeblok shrugged sinuously. “Then I shall remain,” it said, “And your work shall suffer for my presence, unless you gather the nerve to banish me on your own.”

    “Annoyance,” Airstream mumbled, but it was unclear whether he spoke of the demon itself, the process of removing it, or the chapter which moved anew under his hands.

    He noticed the magic flowed less smoothly, now. Perhaps it was time he did something about that. Ryeblok was a pernicious creature at the best of times, but it occasionally provided good advice, if you could see it. Perhaps it was time he did something different, but not in the same way as his usual differences.

    A trip might be in order, he mused. There was the wedding, he had been invited to attend and it had been a long while since he’d seen his native lands without needing to observe any religious rituals. The journey back home might be just the thing he needed. Most of his tools would need to stay behind, his keyboard and such. But he could take his scribing tablet, at least.

    Then there was the fact that he had not visited the source of his power in a long while. Its new flow had stopped only last week, but he had not visited in nearly six weeks. The Harmonious Six were forgiving souls, but he needed to draw his power from them regularly, and it showed that he had not. Maybe both a trip home and a supplication to the Six were needed.

    Flame flashed from his desk as the author banished the next chapter with extreme prejudice.

    “Ryeblok,” he announced, “Remain here. I’m going out.”

    The thing blinked, coiling in the air as if unsure of how to support itself. “And when will you be back?” it burbled.

    “Eventually,” Airstream said. “No more than a week. And I’d advise you to be gone when I get back, else I’m kicking your arse up between your ears.” He grabbed his traveling hat and staff from near the door.

    “And Ryblok?” he asked, pausing at the door.

    “Yes?”

    The author smiled. “Thank you.”

    The wooden portal shut with a thud, leaving the tower in silence. Ryeblok stood there for a brief while, staring at it, before a slow smile curled upon its face, and it settled in to wait for its bitterest rival and oldest friend to return.


    Ryeblok and I go way back, back to my first ever story about airships and other terrible things. Nosy bastard ate that one, too.

    Sorry for the delay, my unwelcome houseguest has been monopolizing my time and preventing me from writing effectively. I'm working on getting him gone, but he's always been the persistent sort.

    I'm headed home for a wedding (joy) and will be returning back here on Sunday, at which point I intend to catch up on the show in the hopes that it will restore my inspiration and allow me to finally give old Ryeblok the boot.

    Expect the new chapter a week from now if everything goes well. If not...well, expect it a week from now, and then we'll see what happens.

    4 comments · 258 views
  • ...
 329
 11,340
Source

Inspiration is Rarity's Element, and Sweetie Belle her greatest achievement. But the filly has questions, ones that Rarity might not be able to answer on her own. What makes a pony? How can somepony know if they really are alive? Are they alive if they laugh and cry? Are they alive if they think, if they make mistakes and have ideas?

If Sweetie Belle is nothing more than a collection of wires, is she truly alive?

First Published
24th May 2013
Last Modified
24th May 2013
#1 · 75w, 21h ago · 52 · 1 ·

My God Sweetie Bot is awesome.

#2 · 75w, 20h ago · 29 · 1 ·

Oh my god this is amazing.

Sweetie Bot is best Filly-robot.

#3 · 75w, 18h ago · 46 · 1 ·

This was amazing. I loved every minute of reading this story. Do you think that you might write more set in this universe?

#4 · 75w, 17h ago · 24 · 1 ·

I have no words.  None at all.

This was beyond excellent.

~Skeeter The Lurker

#5 · 75w, 17h ago · 19 · ·

I love the way that you looked at Rarities first dresses and thought "hey, maybe they were robots?"

Ingenious :pinkiehappy:

#6 · 75w, 16h ago · 17 · ·

Very nice. I love the twist on Rarity being a cybernetic engineer, it fits just as nicely as dress making with her personality.

#7 · 75w, 16h ago · · ·

Oh, my. That was excellently done. And very neatly encapsulates the sort of questions a self-aware robot is likely to have, too.

#8 · 75w, 16h ago · 29 · ·

This is great on a oneshot, but the AU you've built with just one chapter has a large amount of potential. I would love to see the differences in the other elements as well.

That is. If that's alright with you.:fluttershysad:

#9 · 75w, 15h ago · 3 · 1 ·

Excellent work! Really enjoyed this story, would love to see more like this.

#10 · 75w, 15h ago · 7 · ·

I loved this story. Short, sweet, and moving all at the same time.

I wonder though, how would sweetie grow? How would they size her up to mimic age, let alone a cutie mark. I expect she couldn't get one naturally.

#11 · 75w, 14h ago · 5 · 1 ·

That was such a touching story. You sir, have earned yourself a follow. :scootangel:

#12 · 75w, 14h ago · 2 · 1 ·

Thanks.

Just... thanks.

#13 · 75w, 13h ago · 7 · ·

I like how Rarity's what she always should have been here: Inspiration.

#14 · 75w, 13h ago · 7 · ·

this feels like a direct counter to background pony.

a wonderful melancholy type of sadness, with a feeling of hope and gratitude. beautiful. noting more. nothing less.

#15 · 75w, 13h ago · · ·

Too... Much... Cute Sweetie-bot...

*Explodes, then reforms*

IGNORE THAT...

#16 · 75w, 13h ago · 6 · 5 ·

And then, after suffering from extreme depression brought through never aging, Sweetie Bot goes on to upload herself to the Equestrian mainframe, and takes over the world. The end.

#17 · 75w, 12h ago · 1 · ·

Wow.

This is really beautiful story. :heart:

#18 · 75w, 12h ago · · ·

Why would you ever build sensors beneath the skin to detect pain? Seems like wasteful design to me, as soon as the skin is breached the construct should know that it is damaged and refrain from using the damaged leg.

#19 · 75w, 12h ago · 3 · ·

>>2624800

Added realism.

#20 · 75w, 11h ago · · ·

>>2624800

Why do animals have sensors beneath the skin to detect pain? We can detect that our skin in breached and refrain from using the damaged leg. However, knowing something and feeling that it really hurts gives you a greater drive not to do stupid things like walk on a damaged leg, and real animals (including people) can do spectacularly stupid things without the right motivation.

#21 · 75w, 11h ago · · ·

Do I have permission to cry?

#22 · 75w, 11h ago · 2 · ·

Well, that was amazing. See this everyone, this is what a one-shot should be. I could ask for a series for this, but this story doesn't need anymore, the lesson is enough.

(10/10, would read again. Sweetie Bot is my favorite fanon character.)

-Mis

#23 · 75w, 11h ago · · ·

>>2624667  Until Jeff Bridges enters the net and destroys the M.C.P. (Master Control Pony), gathering the data to prove he was the original creator of the M.L.P. (Matrix-Like Plot) in the first place.  :rainbowlaugh:

#24 · 75w, 11h ago · 2 · 1 ·

traje de flamenco
It's "flamenca". If it ended in an "o", it would mean it was for a male, and that would be ridiculous.

Also, I'd like to point out that the name Minuette is already taken. The pony nicknamed "Colgate" by the fandom is actually named Minuette.

#25 · 75w, 11h ago · · ·

It was an interesting story.  I would be serious and all except for this line which initiated T.S.C. (Troll Sequence Compulsion) in my CPU (Cerebral Punification Unit).

>>>and the audience with Princess Celestia to offer her a jester made of clockwork and amethyst,>>>

Clockwork jester, eh... You mean something like this?

:trollestia:

#26 · 75w, 10h ago · 1 · ·

What's so nice about this is it very simply outlines the differences between a mere computer and a living machine.

A living machine will be able to think in the abstract, consider potential beyond its current limits, imagine random thoughts and then act upon them in physical conditions.  

It will be a new form of life, a conscious mind without an organic body and force us yet again to reexamine what life is.  

For we think of bacteria and plants and many other organisms are alive, yet they possess no mind at all.

I have always felt that sapient life is a truly higher form of life, one that has taken a step beyond merely being a metabolizing, reproducing biochemical machine.  As such a thinking machine will have gone beyond its own material composition.

And then we get "Ghost in the Shell"... :raritywink:

#27 · 75w, 10h ago · · ·

And it turns out the world is going to love her, so she doesn't need to teach it to fear her instead.

#28 · 75w, 10h ago · · ·

>>2625000

Then the extra sensors still wouldn't make sense. The reason animals etc have nocicereptors (pain nerves) is indeed because we are quite dumb and tend to forget when we are hurt. However, a mechanical construct has near perfect memory.

Even if the actual simulated personality is just as dumb and forgetful as we are a simple memory chip that remembers skin breached locations is a lot cheaper and more efficient than implementing thousands of extra sensors. Just have the memory chip send a pain signal to the simulated brain whenever it tries to move the afflicted leg and you have the exact same effect as we experience.

Besides, don't you think it is quite annoying that we have pain nerves? Yes, they evolved to help us. But an ability to shut them off is highly useful. That's why doctors invented anesthetics. For a robot the ability to switch off pain should be much easier. It seems needlessly cruel to have Sweetie Belle suffer if Rarity could simply disconnect her pain sensors for a few seconds.

#30 · 75w, 10h ago · · ·

This is beautiful in so many ways.

#31 · 75w, 9h ago · 2 · ·

>>2625265

It could be an unintentional side-effect of Sweetie Belle's sentience.

#32 · 75w, 8h ago · 4 · ·

I think a certain truly sentient Geth construct with the designated codename Legion would love this story.

#33 · 75w, 8h ago · · ·

I really really really liked this.

But when I read the last chapter...

It's like in public school when the teacher says, "The last paragraph of an essay should be a summary of everything you've said before." And it really made the whole story fall short.

I think this could have ended with "And really, wasn't that enough?" The last chapter is very distracting...and a really good story like this needs a strong ending.

#34 · 75w, 8h ago · 3 · ·

>>2625552

It could also be why we have pain receptors beneath our skin, so we know what other than our skin is damaged, even if the skin is not.  It is actually easy to damage tissue beneath the skin without doing much damage at all to the skin.  Houdini was killed by a punch to the gut that did not leave a bruise.  In several types of robot, especially those that are shown on robot wars, damage to underlying components often happens before the outer covering layer is damaged in any noticeable way.  So having pain receptors under her skin would make sense.

#35 · 75w, 8h ago · · ·

sweetie bot in here? im in!

#36 · 75w, 8h ago · · ·

Sweetie Bot is the best Robot.

I've been dying to read a Sweetie Bot fic and I'm happy that I finally got to see one. The ending was meh. But up to the last paragraph it was awesome, and I'm glad that she got a happy ending.

#37 · 75w, 8h ago · 4 · ·

*in which Bronyman1995 kicks himself in the foot for not going with the idea of science Rarity in Iron Mare*

This story was awesome.

You were able to tackle the subject of free will AND what makes someone human all without seeming preachy or heavy handed.

I TIP MY HAT TO YOU SIR.

#38 · 75w, 8h ago · · ·

>>2625250  dats what i was finkin (i dont know why but i feel orky tonight:facehoof:)

#39 · 75w, 8h ago · 1 · 1 ·

It's a lovely story, with only one discordant note, for me.

> “Legend has it that Celestia and Luna made the first ponies out of clay, clouds, and stars..."

Why, oh why?  That was like a sudden dash of cold water in my face.  :raritydespair:

#40 · 75w, 7h ago · · ·

This was..... AMAZING!!!!!!!:heart:

#41 · 75w, 7h ago · · ·

Cogito!

Ergo, sum.

Heh. Not so bad, friend! It's a curious idea--Sweetie Bot and Rarity as a scientist. I almost want to try it.

#42 · 75w, 7h ago · · ·

Feels, D'awws, and Laughs. This was worth my time. A pity I can't vote for it more than once.

Feels at the repair, d'awws at Sweetie Belle's reaction to Minuette, and laughs when she asked to use Rarity's make-up.

#43 · 75w, 7h ago · · ·

>>2625000

At the risk of repeating everyone else. :P Learning is essential to survival among other things. It would do us no lasting good if we simply stopped using the leg until it was better. We could bang ourself on the same spot over and over and suffer continually. By recognizing the source of the pain, we can avoid it. Besides, by, say, realizing that fire burns and causes injury we can yank our hand out of the fire, before irreparable damage occurs.

In the context of the story, an autonomous robot cannot depend on a handy repairman, and so it would be best to be avoid catastrophic damage itself/"instinctually".

P.S.

Sequel, please? :twilightsmile:

#44 · 75w, 7h ago · · ·

I'm going to try and will that tag from Complete to Incomplete now. Wish me luck.

#45 · 75w, 6h ago · · ·

I like your Rarity, a lot. :raritywink: The whole scientist thing fits well, surprisingly, with Rarity. If there was a more futuristic version of MLP your Rarity would be a deadringer for it.

#46 · 75w, 6h ago · · ·

...So why is this called "Minuette's Lesson," when clearly the summary and character list indicates that it's not about Colgate/Minuette?

#47 · 75w, 6h ago · · ·

>>2626286

Maybe because Minuette taught the lesson?

#48 · 75w, 5h ago · · ·

... And THAT is why Sweetie Bot is best Pone, Crusader, and Bot. Period.

#49 · 75w, 5h ago · · ·

>>2625132 You know, that would actually make for a good fic.

P.S.: That means write it NOW, since it was your idea.:moustache:

Comment posted by Moon_Fire deleted at 3:41am on the 25th of May, 2013
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