Destiny: Spark of Hope

by Mkchief34


Prologue-The Ancient Machine

Everfree Forest
East of the Old Castle
Around 10 PM
====

"Twilight, I understand that the Princesses gave you a special mission…" Rainbow Dash moped. "But could it have waited until tomorrow, for pete's sake?"

"No, because that magical pulse was strong enough to cause small earthquakes in Canterlot." Twilight Sparkle replied, leading the way for her friends with a lantern. "Besides, I doubt it'll take us that long. We'll be in and out, Rainbow Dash."

"I sure hope so!" Rarity complained. "My mane is absolutely filthy!"

"Speak for yourself, Rarity." Applejack smiled. "My mane is just fine."

As the girls chuckled at Rarity's resulting snort of annoyance, deep below the surface was a massive, cavernous room constructed of shimmering metal. Inside the room, apart from countless computer consoles and readouts, was an orb containing blue energy. The energy arced and zigzagged across the orb as the Vault's systems began to boot up once more after centuries of dormancy.

The energy soon consolidated into a spiked cube, and it spoke in a deep, yet authoritative voice.

"AI WARMIND HARRISON ONLINE." the ancient AI droned. "All systems functional. Length of dormant state...one thousand, three hundred and forty two years. All WARSAT orbitars are offline, lifesigns are negative. No human habitation detected. Sending report to Sol System, Earth. Superluminal transmission commencing."

====

As the ponies approached the side of Whitetail Mountain, Twilight's ears perked at a faint whirring sound. As she looked around for the source, Rainbow tilted her head in question.

"What's up?" the pegasus asked.

"I heard a noise...some kind of…" Twilight said.

Her voice was cut off when a massive beam of blue light erupted from the tip of the mountain, blinding everypony there. Twilight summoned a shield for her and her friends, and as their vision returned to normal, they could see the beam composed of bluish-white light, and it was cascading towards the sky and space.

"What is that?" Fluttershy asked.

"I don't know...but I think we should go find out!" Twilight said. She was about to march off towards the beam when Applejack held her back.

"I'm not sure that's a good idea, Twilight." the Element of Honesty said. "That beam didn't look all that friendly to me."

"Please, Applejack, what's the worst that could happen?" Twilight rolled her eyes.

"Aliens?" Pinkie suggested, while dangling a toy UFO in front of Twilight's face, while humming spooky music.

"Aliens don't exist, Pinkie." Twilight stated in a deadpan. "We're alone in the universe."

"Um, girls…" Fluttershy said. "I think the ground is moving again."

True to her word, the ground beneath them was slanting at an ever-increasing angle of depression. As the ponies watched the earth beneath them fall away, they fell into some kind of hallway made of metal. Applejack landed haphazardly on a sheet of steel.

"Ow!" Applejack yelped, picking herself up. "Geez, I must've banged my hoof on a rock or something."

"I don't think that was a rock." Twilight said. "That was metal. Wait, what?"

As the ponies looked around, they saw the pit that had ensnared them was in fact some kind of entrance to a metallic hallway. Strange screens and readouts lay scattered across, all emblazoned with a single symbol.

It was a diamond with two wing-like shapes on the top, and writing beneath it in a strange language. It was blocky and bold, and Twilight studied it intently.

HARRISON-WMND03

"See, Twilight?" Pinkie exclaimed. "Aliens! With creepy metal buildings beneath the Everfree!"

"I think Pinkie's right." Rainbow said, astounded. "I mean, who could've built this place?"

"I don't know." Twilight said. "Let's keep moving."

As the six of them proceeded into the vault, Harrison watched them through the CCTV feed built into his network. Though an ancient, Pre-Golden Age concept, it was still more effective than the motion sensors and security measures that were currently inactive.

"Unidentified contacts, six in number." he noted. "Purple one is leader, judging by point position in group...others are nervous, heart rates accelerating...the pink one is surprising, I cannot analyze her in the slightest…I must ensure further studies."

Harrison manipulated the doors and elevators to lead the six to his Central Hub, where he could initiate First Contact. However, files in his database from Warmind Rasputin provided four examples of hostile contacts made against humanity before his dormancy.

Harrison knew he had to be careful from here on out, as careful as an AI Warmind could be. He knew what he had to do.

He accessed the intercom system for a burst of communication.

====

"Identify yourselves immediately." a voice boomed from nowhere.


"What? Who's there?" she asked, head whipping around, trying to find the source. Many of the others did the same, huddling together for protection. "Where are you? How are you speaking Equish?"

"Those are questions I am asking myself." the voice replied. It wasn't natural, it sounded...artificial. Robotic.

"Okay, can we start with names?" Twilight asked.

"Proceed."

"I am Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Magic." she spoke. "These are my friends and the bearers of the Elements of Harmony. We come in peace. Who are you?"

There was silence.

"I am Harrison, AI Warmind of this world, planetary designation is Solaris II Colony." the voice replied. "We will discuss further contact face to face, Twilight Sparkle. I would advise holding onto something."

Before Twilight knew it, the floor slanted once again, and they fell down a transit chute to the Central Hub. "AHHHHHH!!" She screamed as she fell.

"WHAT THE BUUUUUUCK?!" Rainbow cursed as she fell with her friends, trying to slow her fall.

"WHEEEEEEEEEE!" Pinkie cried happily, simply letting it happen as she threw her hooves up in joy.

They all then fell into a large, open chamber, one on top of the other, causing small plumes of dust to erupt around them. After their coughing fits had ceased, they groaned. Harrison watched as they dusted themselves off, and promptly froze at the sight of his energy core.

"What are you?" Twilight asked, looking up at Harrison in awe.

"I am an Artificial Intelligence, Warmind-class." Harrison replied. "I stand in defense of Humanity and her colonies. Why are you in my vault?"

"Well, recently a few earthquakes struck Canterlot, our capital.' Twilight said. "We were sent to find the source."

"Understood." Harrison said.

"But, didn't you say humanity?" Twilight asked. "As in the Human Race?"

"Confirmed." Harrison replied.

"That's impossible!" Twilight exclaimed, mane starting to fray. "Humans are myth, legend! The most learned scholars and historians haven't found any proof to their existence!"

Harrison laughed, a deep booming laugh.

"Untrue." he replied, shortly after recovering from his mirth. "I was built and activated by humans under the leadership of the Clovis Bray Warmind Development Facility in Hellas Basin, Planet Mars."

Twilight started to hyperventilate.

"Your heart rate and inhalation frequency is increasing." Harrison said. " Are you in distress?"

"No! Wait, I'm sorry." Twilight said after her outburst, trying to salvage the situation. She did not want to lose this opportunity. "I'm just shocked. Ponies have always believed that humans are myth, and a machine built by them just shows up on our doorstep!"

"Untrue." Harrison said. "I have been active on this planet for over 1300 years. I was installed on December 19th, 2543 AD. Activated and rendered operational two days after that date."

Twilight began to hyperventilate once again, this time her friends were concerned.

"You've been here for over ten centuries!?" Twilight gasped again. "This is...unbelievable!"

"To you, that is impossible." Harrison said. "To me, it is not. I have been dormant for a great majority of my lifespan. I am not up to speed on current events and local history on this planet. Twilight Sparkle, will you inform me what has happened on this world since my dormancy?"

"Sure!" Twilight said. "But…can I ask questions about humanity?"

"I will answer such questions at the proper time." Harrison said. "You may begin, Twilight Sparkle. I am quite interested."