Chrono Reflect

by Sapphire Valley


Machine: DIRECTIVE OVERRIDE

Machine – DIRECTIVE OVERRIDE

Applejack and Fluttershy wasted no time running through the door once it opened. They plowed through all the machines that tried to get in their way, as they didn't want to keep Celestia waiting for too long. All they could do was hope that she'd still be alive when they got there.

They took the elevator at the end of the hall up to the top floor, emerging in another hallway. Here they found a large circular room almost like an arena. Lying in the middle of the room was Celestia.

“Your Majesty!” Applejack cried, she and Fluttershy running to Celestia's side, “Damn it! Are we too late?”

Fluttershy looked ahead of them, and then shot to her feet getting in a fighting stance, “Applejack! Not alone!”

Applejack looked up and saw Spitfire and Fleetfoot walk toward them.

“I am surprised the aberrant isn't here,” Spitfire said with a sneer.

“This makes things easier,” Fleetfoot said, “We can kill the two of you before Athena arrives.”

“I don't know who Athena is,” Applejack said standing up and drawing her sword, “but we don't plan on dying here!”

“You hurt Celestia! You hurt Rarity! You hurt DASH! I destroy bad robots who hurt friends!” Fluttershy seethed. Spitfire laughed.

“Athena's pet has fangs it seems,” Spitfire taunted, “Maybe seeing you ripped to pieces will be the wake up call she needs.”

Now Applejack was really confused. Who was “Athena” anyway? It sounded like they were talking about… DASH-379.

That didn't matter though. What mattered was that they were in a lot of trouble. They were both strong fighters, but no one had been able to defeat these two yet, and that was with them all together. Right now, it was just the two of them.

This wasn't looking good for either of them.


Rarity, Twilight, and DASH-379 stopped at a crossroad, as the path broke up into three halls.

“Which way is it to the elevator?” Rarity asked. DASH-379 looked around.

“The radar is pointing me to the hallway on the left,” DASH-379 said. The three of them ran down that hall, but were ambushed by two security robots standing right in front of the elevator.

play song

“We're so close!” Twilight fussed.

“Rarity, are you prepared for this?” DASH-379 asked Rarity, who gripped her spear tightly.

“I have to be. I can't keep letting my fears of my powers hold me back,” Rarity said getting in her fighting stance, “DASH, Twilight, get ready!”

DASH-379 and Rarity both ran to one of the security robots, fighting them close quarter to gather energy. The robot that DASH was fighting knocked her away, and then charged up a yellow element, hitting Rarity with a lightning bolt.

Twilight got on one knee and fired her arrows at the security robot Rarity was fighting. Once she had enough energy, she charged up her white element, and used Rejuvenate on Rarity, who immediately flipped to her feet and charged up her black element.

As a testament of her not holding back, she held out her hands, launching Feral Cats at both of the security robots, causing heavy damage to both of them. Before they could think to retaliate, DASH-379 rushed in and drill kicked one of the security robots destroying it. She charged up her element, and then held up her hand, letting a lightning bolt hit it. With her hand charged with electricity, she rushed at the remaining security robot, using her Elec Sword to destroy it.

play song

“We need to hurry,” DASH-379 said turning to her companions.

“I'll hack into the elevator's security,” Twilight said running to the console. As she worked, DASH-379 walked over to Rarity.

“Hey, you said you have an alternate form like me now, correct?” DASH-379 asked.

“Something like that, yes,” Rarity stated, “Why?”

DASH-379 looked to the side and frowned, “I do not like asking for help directly, but I have to admit, even with my new power I am still inferior to Spitfire and Fleetfoot. ATHENA-Mode only works for a few minutes before I overheat,” DASH put a hand on Rarity's shoulder, “But if you and I both use our alternate forms at around the same time, we might be able to at least get an edge.”

“You want me… to use Shadow Form… to help you…?” Rarity asked, understandably nervous.

“I would not ask if I did not believe you could do it. This is… really humiliating for me… so could you please just say yes so this can stop being awkward?”

That was so Rainbow Dash. Rarity was nervous, but she nodded all the same.

“Alright then. I'll help you defeat Spitfire and Fleetfoot,” Rarity said. DASH-379 nodded, and they both walked to Twilight just as she finished.

“And we're in,” Twilight said, “This should take us right to where Celestia is being held.”

“I hope Fluttershy and Applejack are okay,” Rarity said nervously, “I mean, they're strong, but…”

“They will not be able to defeat Spitfire and Fleetfoot,” DASH-379 said, “Even with Applejack's overwhelming strength, she'd only get so far.”

“Then we better not keep them waiting,” Twilight said. The three of them ran into the elevator, taking it right to the top floor.

With DASH-379's help, they were able to navigate through the hallway pretty easily. As they ran, Twilight stopped looking into a room off to the side.

“Hey! Hold on you two!” Twilight called out. Rarity and DASH stopped and went into the room with Twilight, who was looking at a computer screen which showed some other robot project. Something called “Project SOMBRA”.

“This doesn't look pleasant,” Rarity said.

“I think this is related to what the owner of this place has planned,” Twilight said, “DASH, could you download this information and save it to your CPU? We need to show this to Discord.”

“Understood,” DASH-379 said walking to the computer. Something akin to a needle came out of DASH's closed fist, and she inserted it into a slot underneath the keyboard, “Download complete.”

“She did the Robo-Cop thingy…” Twilight said, clearly amazed.

“Come on, Twilight. Be mesmerized later,” Rarity said. Twilight shook herself back to reality.

“Right! Let's go,” Twilight said. The three of them continued down the hallway, stopping in front of a fancy looking door. Inside they heard what sounded like fighting. Rarity immediately pushed through the door, and was immediately shocked to see Applejack and Fluttershy fall to the ground in front of them.

play song

“Fluttershy!” Rarity cried.

“Applejack!” Twilight exclaimed. As the two of them ran in to check on their fallen comrades, DASH-379 rushed in and got in a fighting stance as Spitfire and Fleetfoot slowly walked over to them.

“There you are, aberrant,” Spitfire said with a toothy grin, “I have been waiting for you.”

“Spitfire…!” DASH-379 seethed. She looked back at Fluttershy, who was bruised up even worse than Applejack.

“The pink haired one kept going on and on about how you were her friend and how she wanted to make us pay for hurting you,” Spitfire said, “It was pathetic really. A disgusting organic getting attached to a machine? I bet it was you who put her up to that. So I figured I'd save you the trouble of one day throwing her away by breaking her in two myself.”

DASH-379's eyes went wide, and she turned back to Spitfire enraged.

Spitfire laughed, “Do not tell me, you think you actually care about her?! Wake up. You are not her friend. You are a machine, just like Fleetfoot and myself.”

“I… am nothing… like you…!” DASH-379 seethed, electricity charging in her hands.

“You are malfunctioning,” Fleetfoot stated, “At the moment, you cannot trust your programming. Robots of our caliber do not form relationships.”

“Shut up…! SHUT UP!!!” DASH-379 rushed at Spitfire and threw punch after punch, kick after kick, all of which were charged with electricity. Spitfire easily dodged all of her attacks, grabbed her by the arm, and threw her back onto the ground near the others.

“DASH!!!” Twilight and Rarity cried. DASH-379 stopped right next to Fluttershy, who was thankfully still breathing. Fluttershy slowly opened her eyes and looked at DASH-379.

play song

“D-DASH…” Fluttershy said, catching the android's attention, “Not… like them… DASH… good… robot…”

DASH-379 looked at Fluttershy intently. Something within her awakened. Seeing Fluttershy so hurt, yet still believing in her did something to DASH's programming. It was another anomaly, but it coincided with Fluttershy. Suddenly, she became the most important thing in DASH-379's CPU.

WRITING NEW PROGRAM

……….

PROGRAM WRITTEN

ALLY: FLUTTERSHY'S SAFETY IS NOW SPECIAL PRIORITY ZERO

ALL OTHER OBJECTIVES WILL BE CONTINUED, BUT PUSHED TO THE SIDE IN THE CASE OF ALLY: FLUTTERSHY'S ENDANGERMENT

“You… fucking… BITCH!” DASH-379 said forcing herself to her feet. Spitfire charged up her red element and shot a fireball at DASH-379, who slapped it away effortlessly, not even looking up at Spitfire.

“Maybe this is just a malfunction…” DASH-379 said, her voice low and shaking, “Maybe nothing about me right now is real… Maybe… I am supposed to be like you… But if that means… I have to turn my back on her…” DASH-379 glared at Spitfire and Fleetfoot, tears of anger streaming from her eyes, “Then I accept it! I am a mad machine! A Maverick! And the two people you hurt are my friends!” she got in her fighting stance, “I'M GOING TO TURN YOU INTO SCRAP SPITFIRE!!!”

“Just try it!” Spitfire shouted. She charged at DASH-379, but was held back by Rarity's spear.

“She's not the only one who's pissed, you know?” Rarity said, her voice even and her bangs covering her eyes, “Fluttershy is both me and DASH's best friend. I was afraid of what would happen if I unleashed my darkness before,” Rarity looked at Spitfire, her blue eyes glowing red briefly, “But it looks like I have a rare opportunity to let loose my more destructive side.”

Twilight shot an arrow at Spitfire, forcing her to jump back to where Fleetfoot was. The three of them got into position, Rarity front and center as usual, and all prepared for probably their toughest fight yet.

This time, they had to defeat these two.

play song

This time, it was Twilight who attacked first, firing her arrows at Fleetfoot, who flew around the whole room to dodge. A few of her arrows hit, giving Twilight just enough energy to cast Healing Stream on herself, Rarity, and DASH-379.

Fleetfoot flew down over to Twilight ready to kick her, but Rarity jumped in the way with her spear and pushed her back.

“DASH, I'll deal with Fleetfoot!” Rarity said, “You focus on Spitfire!”

“Understood!” DASH-379 said. Still having some energy saved up, she charged up her element and activated her Elec Sword. At the same time, Spitfire activated her Fire Sword, and the two of them charged at each other and clashed weapons.

While that went on, Twilight went over to Applejack and Fluttershy, immediately getting to work on healing them.

“This should at least get you on your feet,” Twilight said as Applejack rose to one knee.

“Thanks, but we have to get Celestia and Fluttershy out of here. They're still not moving,” Applejack said.

Twilight nodded and tried to heal Fluttershy, but saw that the element wasn't connecting.

“What's wrong? Why isn't it working?!” Twilight asked, getting a little scared. Rarity flipped away from an attack and landed a bit in front of Twilight, “Rarity, my healing arts can't heal Fluttershy's wounds!”

“What?!” Rarity cried.

“She's breathing, but I don't think my healing arts can work now!” Twilight said. Rarity turned to Fleetfoot, her eyes now glowing red.

“You… hurt… Fluttershy…!”

“Spitfire, the Chrono Trigger is showing unusual energy signs,” Fleetfoot said, “It seems to be the same as-” she was cut off by Rarity grabbing her by the neck. Rarity looked absolutely enraged, almost like she were a monster.

“Oh DASH… I think it's time to go all out on these two,” Rarity said, “Don't you?”

“Affirmative!” DASH-379 said jumping away from Spitfire, “Applejack, take Celestia and Fluttershy to the room down the hall. A healing station is there.”

“Got it!” Applejack said, “Twilight, can you help me?”

“Um, well…” Twilight looked at Rarity, worried about leaving her.

“I'll be fine as long as you hurry back,” Rarity said, “I promise, I won't lose myself to the darkness.”

“You better not,” Twilight said carrying Fluttershy over her shoulder as Applejack ran over to Celestia picking her up bridal style. As the two of them left, both Rarity and DASH-379 charged up their respective elements.

“Releasing all limiters! Activating ATHENA mode!”

“JUST DIE!!!”

Shadow Rarity rushed over to Fleetfoot and slashed wildly at her with her spear while DASH-379 immediately charged up her element again, this time firing her Charged Shot at Spitfire.

“What the?!” Spitfire cried falling to one knee, “How did you-” she was surprised to see DASH-379 already charging at her with her Elec Sword activated. Spitfire held up her blade to defend, but found that DASH-379 was easily able to push her back.

Fleetfoot found herself completely overwhelmed by Shadow Rarity, who was a lot more aggressive than her lighter counterpart. Instead of adding fancy flair to her moves, each and every slash was meant to kill.

Fleetfoot jumped away and charged up her blue element. She then held up her hands creating a series of water towers that shot up from the ground and hit both Shadow Rarity and DASH-379. (Water Tower) It didn't hurt Shadow Rarity too much, as she seemed to jump out of the way of most of the attack.

DASH on the other hand wasn't so lucky, and fell to one knee sparking afterward.

Spitfire charged up her red element, and then slammed her fist onto the ground creating a tower of fire that rushed over to DASH-379, who thankfully jumped out of the way of that attack. (Flame Tower)

Twilight ran back into the room and started firing arrows at Spitfire. Once she gathered enough energy, she charged up her white element to cast Rejuvenate on DASH-379, who shot back up to her feet.

“Rarity, you shouldn't stay in that form for too long!” Twilight called out, “You should pace yourself!”

Shadow Rarity turned to Twilight, nodded, and then allowed the darkness to dissipate, turning her back to normal. Rarity immediately did an elegant back flip out of the way as Fleetfoot tried to kick her.

Rarity charged up her black element again, this time holding out her hand and hitting Fleetfoot and Spitfire with her Feral Cats move, doing more damage to Fleetfoot than Spitfire.

DASH-379 charged up her yellow element again, this time casting Speed Boost on Twilight just in case. She then immediately charged up her element again, raising her hand and sending a trail of Lightning toward Spitfire, who took the attack head on. (Elec Tower)

DASH tried to charge up again, but froze in place once she saw how much she was staining her systems.

“Systems… overheating…!” DASH-379 said, her visor retracting as her body stopped charging electricity, “Can't… move…!”

As DASH fell to one knee, Spitfire sneered at her.

“Fleetfoot, Fire & Ice!” Spitfire commanded.

“Affirmative, Spitfire. Charging element,” Fleetfoot stated.

The two robots charged up their respective elements, and Fleetfoot shot an ice blast on the ground freezing everyone in place. Spitfire then spun around turning into a fiery tornado and rushed around the field hitting Rarity, Twilight, and DASH-379, knocking all three of them to the ground.

“Twilight, can you heal everyone?” Rarity asked as they forced themselves to their feet.

“Only with Cure,” Twilight stated sadly, “I don't know how to use Rejuvenate on multiple people yet.”

“That is fine,” DASH-379 said, “Cure will be sufficient. Rarity, do you see how they fight?”

“I do,” Rarity said, “Fleetfoot is fast, but not very powerful, while Spitfire is powerful, but not very fast. Spitfire overwhelms you with constant attacks while Fleetfoot keeps you at a distance.”

“Also, as long as both of them are still standing, they'll use that Double Technique Fire and Ice again,” Twilight reasoned, “We have to disable them somehow.”

“I might have an idea,” Rarity said, “It's crazy, but I need you to use that new move on me, DASH.”

DASH-379 looked at Rarity like she was crazy, but she nodded in understanding. The two of them charged up their respective elements, and Rarity jumped into the center of the field. As she spun her spear over her head, DASH held up her hand making a bolt of lightning come down onto the spear, which then spread out and hit both Spitfire and Fleetfoot, actually paralyzing them. (Double Tech: Zeus' Cry)

Twilight used that chance to quickly hit Fleetfoot a few times to get energy, and then charged up her element to cast Cure All on herself, DASH-379, and Rarity.

“Twilight, can I use Shadow Form to finish Fleetfoot off?” Rarity asked.

“Go for it,” Twilight said. Rarity turned to Fleetfoot and charged up her black element.

“JUST DIE!!!” Rarity screamed, changing into her Shadow Form. Before Fleetfoot could move, Shadow Rarity rushed at her and slashed wildly with her spear. After a second, Shadow Rarity jumped back and charged up her black element. Instead of her normal moves though, Rarity leaned back as if to unleash something, and black blades shot out of her body tearing Fleetfoot apart.

“Function… ceased…” Fleetfoot said, her voice trailing off before she exploded falling to the ground. Spitfire turned to her fallen comrade in shock.

“Damn it!” Spitfire swore, “You and your “friends” are going to pay for that, Athena!”

“You are about to join her,” DASH-379 said charging up her yellow element, “Releasing all limiters! Activating ATHENA Mode!”

Spitfire and DASH-379 charged at each other, slashing wildly. Twilight was about to fire at Spitfire, but Rarity, who had changed back, held her shoulder stopping her.

“This is her fight,” Rarity said. Twilight reluctantly nodded and put her bow away.

Spitfire retracted her blade and threw a punch, but DASH quickly ducked out of the way and did a back flip kick knocking her away. As she landed, DASH-379 fired her arm cannon at Spitfire rapidly, keeping her from getting too close.

Spitfire screamed unleashing as much of her energy as she could, and then entered her own variant of DASH's ATHENA Mode. She slashed at the air wildly, sending fiery shock waves at DASH-379, who jumped, flipped, and rolled out of the way of all of her attacks.

“She needs help!” Twilight cried.

“No she doesn't,” Rarity said simply, shocking Twilight.

“Look at her! She's completely overwhelmed!” Twilight fussed, surprised when Rarity shook her head smiling.

“I timed it the last time she went into her alternate mode,” Rarity said, “She still has two whole minutes left before she overheats.”

“Yeah, but Spitfire-”

“Is the model made before Athena, remember?” Rarity said looking at Twilight with a knowing smile, “Combine that with her fire based moves… do you see where I'm going with this, love?”

“I… think I do,” Twilight said, shocked by that revelation. Had DASH-379 already figured that out herself? Was that why she was so calm right now?

It didn't take long either. Spitfire raised her arm prepared to attack again, but stopped herself, freezing in place.

“Over… heating…?!” Spitfire asked, her visor retracting, “What the…?!”

DASH-379, still in her alternate form, smirked and ran over to Spitfire. She then threw punch after punch, kick after kick at Spitfire, actually breaking off bits and pieces of her armored body with each attack. After a few seconds, she charged up her element one final time, slashing Spitfire with her Elec-Sword.

Spitfire, eyes wide, fell onto her back. DASH-379 deactivated ATHENA Mode to avoid overheating, and then sauntered over to Spitfire, standing over her body.

play song

“W-why…?” Spitfire asked looking up at DASH-379, “You are malfunctioning…! How can a machine… like you… defeat a superior model… like me…?!”

“You only fight to carry out orders,” DASH-379 stated, “I fight to protect the people that I care about. That is the deciding factor between us, DASH-378 Spitfire. You lack something that this malfunction has given me. That being… humanity. Also…” DASH-379 held her arm cannon at Spitfire's face and charged it up smirking, “malfunction or not, I am still the top machine in my series.”

Spitfire looked at DASH-379, and then laughed, “Well said, DASH-379 Athena. In the end, you truly were the better model.”

DASH-379 fired her arm cannon, destroying Spitfire's head. She then turned to Twilight and Rarity with a somewhat somber smile.

“Mission completed. All targets have been terminated,” DASH-379 said.

“Are you okay, darling?” Rarity asked.

“Yeah, I sort of expected more bragging after that victory,” Twilight said, “I mean, this is you we're talking about.”

DASH looked down somberly, “Could the two of you get the others and meet me outside? There is something that I have to take care of.”

“Certainly,” Rarity said. She hugged DASH-379 and then walked with Twilight out the side door. DASH-379 looked at her hand seriously.

“We are… machines made to kill humans,” DASH-379 said, “Humans like Rarity, Twilight, Applejack, and… Fluttershy…” the image of Fluttershy broken and beaten replayed in her CPU, “I must protect Fluttershy. No matter what that protection means. Even if it means I have to…” she closed her hand in a fist, and then sauntered out of the room.

She made her way back to where the other DASH-units were. She looked at all of them seriously.

“DASH-377 Fleetfoot and DASH-378 Spitfire have been terminated,” DASH-379 said activating her arm cannon, “Proceeding with immediate termination of DASH-units 002 through 376.”

She then got to work, ripping each and every DASH-unit robot in that facility apart. Her new objective: terminate all units within the DASH series. By the time she was done, her files marked only three DASH-units remaining. DASH-000, DASH 001…

And DASH-379…


play song

After what felt like forever, DASH-379 ran out of the facility, which was now blowing up behind her. She met up with the others, pleased to see Fluttershy was up and okay. Fluttershy immediately ran into DASH's arms hugging her tightly.

“DASH!” Fluttershy cried, “You okay! Not hurt!”

“I-I am fine,” DASH-379 said slowly returning the hug, “Are you okay?”

Fluttershy nodded vigorously to DASH-379, “Machine heal all wounds, just like last time!” her stomach growled at that moment, and she wilted, “But machine still not cure hunger.”

Despite herself, DASH-379 laughed before rubbing Fluttershy's head, “You are truly my closest friend, Fluttershy.”

“You my friend too,” Fluttershy said smiling warmly.

“Glad you came out when you did,” Twilight said as the rest of the group gathered together, “We were worried that you were planning to commit suicide or something with how grim you looked.”

DASH-379 looked at Twilight, then looked away somberly before pushing past the rest of the group, “How is Celestia doing?”

“She's still not moving,” Applejack said, “We tried to use that healing machine on her too, but it didn't do anything. It's like she's just a hollow shell at the moment.”

“We need to get her back to her house,” Rarity said, “Maybe Discord knows what's wrong with her.”

As they all walk off, Applejack grabbed DASH-379's arm.

“Hey, you okay?” Applejack asked.

“I am fine, why?” DASH-379 asked.

“The way you looked just now was sort of scary,” Applejack stated, “When Twilight mentioned you killing-”

“It is not important at the moment,” DASH said picking up Celestia's body, “We need to focus on rescuing the Celestia of your world.”

Applejack pursed her lips, but nodded all the same, “Just don't do anything foolish, alright? You're life is important, just as important as everyone else.”

“I know,” DASH-379 said walking off, “That is the problem…”

She didn't want to talk about it anymore today. Right now, she just wanted to figure out what was going on with Celestia so they could get back on track in finding and defeating Lavos. Besides, she still had no idea where Units 000 and 001 were, nor were their any leads.

But something told her that both might be closer than she originally thought.


play song

“So Spitfire and Fleetfoot failed,” Tirek said to himself, slamming his fist on his desk, “Damn it! I made Athena too strong! At this rate…”

“Don't fret, Tirek,” Luna said, walking up to him and embracing him from behind, “Based on the data we received, the Chrono Trigger is almost fully tainted. Once she's fallen into the darkness, Athena will be quite simple to defeat. Besides, you do have that trump card, don't you?”

“Ah yes,” Tirek said, pulling out the file on his latest creation, “A machine capable of controlling all the machines in this world. With this, Machine will be ours for the taking.”

“Then there's nothing to fear,” Luna said, “No one can oppose us. Those world jumping fools are fighting a losing battle. As for you,” Luna pulled out a small computer device and smiled at it, “I hope you enjoy the show. I gave you a front row seat after all, dearest… sister…”

On the screen, Celestia appeared, frantically trying to scream to get Luna's attention. Sadly though, all that was heard was silence.


play song
Back in Celestia's home, Discord wasted no time checking Celestia to see why she wasn't moving. Rarity and the others decided to wait in the living room of the mansion as he worked, as to not get in his way. When he came out to join them, he did not look happy.

“Well?” Rarity asked, “How is she?"

Discord sighed gravely, “She's not even in there. What you gave me is a hollow shell. All of her personal files have been removed.”

“You talk as if she's a robot,” Applejack said, her eyes going wide at the realization, “Hold on… she is a robot, isn't she?!”

“What?!” Twilight cried, “But how's that possible?! She didn't seem like a robot!”

“It's true,” Discord said, “The Celestia of this world is a robot. She was created by Tirek, but escaped his control once she learned what he planned on doing to her and her sister.”

“Is that so…?” DASH-379 asked raising an eyebrow. Fluttershy looked at DASH in confusion before focusing on Discord again.

“The reason you couldn't tell that she's a robot is because of a phenomenon in this world called “The Pinocchio Effect”.

“Oooh, more big words I not understand,” Fluttershy pouted.

“Wait… Pinocchio? As in the story of Pinocchio?” Twilight asked. Discord looked at Twilight surprised.

“You are familiar with the name?” Discord asked.

“Both of us are I think,” Rarity said, “In our worlds, there's a story about a puppet who magically came to life and sought to become a real boy. The puppet's name was Pinocchio.”

“It's the same here,” Discord said, “The phenomenon called “The Pinocchio Effect” is when a machine gains human level sentience. Instead of merely imitating and emulating human behavior like DASH-379 and myself, the robot begins to feel actual emotion, and their programming adjusts itself as a response. The end result has the robot be essentially no different than a living person.”

“This effect causes a lot of controversy in this world,” DASH-379 added, “Most of the time, robots that fall prey to this are decommissioned immediately.”

“Hold on, you mean they just kill them because they gain free will?” Rarity asked aghast, “That's totally barbaric!”

“That's easy for us to say,” Applejack said catching everyone's attention, “But the people here view robots mostly as tools and weapons, remember?” she pulled out her blade and showed it to everyone, “It would be like this suddenly moving on its own deciding who to kill and who not to kill.”

“In most science fiction stories, that's an issue that's tackled a lot,” Twilight said, “Whether a robot is a living person or just a machine. But that isn't just fiction here. That's actually real.”

“And this world knows about Pinocchio, and every world has a legend concerning Lavos somehow,” Rarity reasoned, “It's almost like… all the worlds were connected at some point.”

“That's all well and good,” Applejack said, “But what about Celestia? If she's unconscious, she can't tell us where my Queen is.”

“And if Celestia here is unconscious, other Celestias in trouble too,” Fluttershy said.

“Yes, we need to rescue the Queen as soon as possible,” Rarity said, “DASH, even if she's a robot, can you still get her DNA and track her down?”

“Negative,” DASH-379 said sadly, “Robots do not have DNA like you do.”

“Damn it!” Applejack swore shooting up and walking off a bit, “We were so close!”

“Not give up,” Fluttershy said walking over to Applejack and putting a hand on her shoulder, “Maybe we get… DNA thingy from other Celestia.”

“Not wise,” Rarity said, “All the other Celestias are being watched by their respective Lunas, and by now she'd know that we're onto her.”

“We need to rescue her now, but there's no way to rescue her now,” Twilight stated, “Geez, what do we do then?”

Everyone was silent for a few seconds thinking. Fluttershy looked up suddenly.

play song

“Wait! There is way!” Fluttershy said.

“How?” Applejack asked.

“Remember what Celestia tell us? She connected to all Celestias. Connection still there, even if she is robot like DASH. All life connected, so we use that connection to find Applejack's Celestia.”

Fluttershy ran over to DASH-379, took her hand, and pulled her into the room where Celestia's body was resting. Everyone shrugged and followed after them.

“Here. You find connection, and lead us to Celestia in Applejack's world,” Fluttershy said.

“But how can I…?” DASH-379 asked.

“All life is connected, DASH,” Fluttershy said, taking DASH-379's hands into her own, “Human, robot, not matter. Both alive. Celestia is robot like you, so you can find life stream and use to lead us to other Celestias.”

DASH-379 looked at Fluttershy intently, “You really believe this.”

Fluttershy nodded. Rarity had to admit, it was somewhat touching to look at. Whether it was because she didn't understand fully, or she somehow understood more than anyone did, Fluttershy knew in her heart that Celestia and DASH were alive.

“I say give it a shot,” Rarity said, “What do we have to lose? Either it doesn't work and we're back at square one, or it does work and we're in business.”

“I can't believe I'm saying this,” Applejack looked away somberly, “but please DASH, at least try. I'm terrified for my Queen, and if this is a means of us finding her…”

DASH-379 looked at Applejack, taking note of her trying to hold back tears. She then nodded and walked over to Celestia, kneeling down next to her. She took a deep breath, and then took her hand.

“Beginning scanning procedure,” DASH-379 said, “Searching Celestia's CPU for connection to other Celestias,” after a second, she looked up, “Hold on… I believe… yes! I have found something!”

“You did?!” Twilight asked.

“Is it the Queen?!” Applejack asked hopefully.

“I have found a stream of energy. It is foreign to this unit, but it seems to be intimately connected to it as well. Also… it is connected to multiple other sources that match this unit!”

“Oh my God…!” Rarity said, “That's her soul you're seeing! The sources must be the other Celestias!”

“Applejack, I need your assistance,” DASH-379 said.

“Sure, anything!” Applejack said running to DASH's side.

“I need to hold your hand, so I can find the energy that matches your world,” DASH-379 said.

Applejack nodded, knelt down next to DASH-379, and took her hand. As she worked, DASH-379 started smiling in awe and wonder.

“This is… incredible…” DASH-379 said.

“What is?” Rarity asked.

“It is like… I can see her soul…” a single tear fell from DASH's eye, “She is truly alive… just like the other Celestias…”

Rarity smiled to herself. It looked like this showed DASH-379 something about herself as well.

“There! I have made contact with the Celestia of Medieval!” DASH-379 said.

“You did it! You actually did it!” Twilight cheered. Fluttershy folded her arms nodding proudly.

“Told you it would work,” Fluttershy said.

“Can we contact her?” Applejack asked.

“I will try,” DASH-379 said, “Celestia… this is DASH unit number 379. Can you read me?” she was silent for a second, confusing everyone, “We are using your Machine version to establish communication with you. Can you tell us where you are? Seriously?! They are not going to be happy about that. Thank you. We will retrieve you immediately.”

DASH released Celestia's hand and stood up to face the others, “She is in a castle on the far reaches of Canterlot. She said that it is Luna's personal castle.”

“I know where that is,” Applejack said, “She has invited me there many times. You mean my Queen has been held there the whole time?”

“Affirmative,” DASH-379 said, “Your Queen has granted me permanent access to the universal network, so I can track her down wherever she is.”

“Then we can't waste any time,” Applejack said turning to everyone, “Right?”

“That's right,” Rarity said, “Now that we know where to go, we need to head there immediately.”

“But, what about the Celestia of this world?” Twilight asked, “We can't just leave her like this, can we?”

“There isn't anything you can do for her at the moment,” Discord said, “For now, worry about your Celestia. I will protect my Celestia,” he walked over to DASH-379 and placed a hand on her shoulder, “The files I granted you along with your new ability to connect to the universal network will allow us to be in constant contact. I will call you if anything happens.”

“Good, thank you Discord,” DASH-379 said, “Let us depart immediately.”

As everyone ran out of the room, Discord walked over to Celestia and took her hand elegantly.

“I wonder if she realizes how lucky she is that worked,” Discord said, “If the two of you weren't of the same series, she wouldn't be able to connect to your network like that.”

Discord brushed the side of her face, briefly revealing her robotic cylindrical ear, which had a number etched in it.

000…