• Member Since 17th Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen Jul 17th, 2019


A crazy winter lover who likes to write, blog, and cartograph about the fun and inconsequential. Now with a website!


In the distant future of Equestria, Luna is recalled to Canterlot against her will to participate in a court case that will decide the future for sentient machines.

Chapters (5)
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Comments ( 236 )

Sweet peas!

As usual, you make pretty pony (or mechanical contraption) stories, my dear Toix!

Bizarre.... Worth a fave. But it contains some things I generally shy away from. Luna being an OOC special snowflake, Celestia apparently having let power get to her, Equestria progressing into an industrial dystopia despite the fact that a reliance on magic would prevent them from relying on technology for anything... I dunno. Conceptually, it's only alright. So, impress me.

A very unique start, and how it will go, i really look forward to.

AIs falling in love, messy moral issues, sister versus sister with some major backstory...
This is going to be good.

Digital love, baby.

For some reason, Luna reminds me of Adam Jenson from Deus Ex now

Well that was cool as hell.

Definitely interested to see where this goes.

My goodness.

It's cyberpunk.

Actual... well, post-cyberpunk, really. but still!

jz1 #9 · Jul 22nd, 2013 · · · Easy ·

This is Very good. Even better than good, in fact, it is 01000111 01110010 01100101 01100001 01110100 00100001

I want more!

Also, Celestia is a bitch.

Interesting. I'll keep an eye on this.

This reminds me of the episode in Star Trek : The measure of a man.

Well, this looks quite promising. I eager for more.

Will you explain why everything is like this? I'm quite curious to why Luna was kicked out (?) of Canterlot. Why is she no longer the moon princess?

That's what the other chapters are for. :raritywink:

I am intrigued, you have my attention now please keep it.

2914211 The good version of him at least but I do have to agree with you.

You've got my interest.

Let's see where this goes.

~Skeeter The Lurker


Cyberpunk, eh?

This is intriguing. I will be watching...

I thought that as soon as I read this. Its my favorite episode.

Blade Runner references approved!

2924472 I'm sorry but I'm going to have to say I don't like the story. But if others like your story, then more power to you.

Have a nice day!

Fries....aren't called crisps....crisps are small slices of potato that are put in bags and sold in america as lays and other brands over here "Chips" are fries :P

Just a little note because it bugged me.

I...can't believe I forgot that distinction. :facehoof: I've fixed it now, thanks.

How Luna probably felt during the meeting in the cell

Well this certainly has grabbed my interest. Can't wait to see the next chapter.:twilightsmile:

Interesting story, I'd like to see where this is going! :pinkiesmile:

Though Celestia seems a bit ... err, okay, completely out-of-character here. :rainbowhuh:

I get that she and Luna had a "falling out", and it must have been pretty... bad, for lack of a better word, if Luna hasn't even been to Canterlot in several centuries and has been either de-throned or stepped down to distance herself from her sister.
My best guess why the guards would call her a "heretic", in combination with Sapphire Circuit asking Luna if she hadn't ever "loved somepony she couldn't"...
I'm guessing there was a ... I dunno, war or something, Luna fell in love with somepony on the other side, and that got in the way of a strike against the attacking forces, and the fallout from that lead to her fall from grace...? Just... guessing.

Though it's kind of jaring to read about the you-cannot-have-a-different-opinion-from "Empress Celestia".

You see, my brain subconsciously keeps comparing the image of Celestia presented in the story with the mental image I already have, and subconsciously tries to figure out "what happened to the gentle, loving, always warmingly smiling ruler who cared for each of her little ponies?" How did she turn into ... THIS?
...and as long as there isn't anything there to connect the dots, my brain doesn't read "Ooooh, backstory!", it just reads "ERROR, CANNOT COMPUTE". In other words: It doesn't seem very believable. :trixieshiftleft:

Or maybe that's just me, and maybe I'm a bit early seeing how this is only the first chapter, but I'd have a few suggestions...

I can see that your Celestia is the bad guy of the story. The title of empress alone makes her sound "evil" and "powerhungry", as it is something I'd associate with "conquest".
But... I can't really picture the canon or the general fanon-interpretation of Celestia as becoming outright "evil".

A possible explanation you could come up with would be as follows:
Maybe she had to go through several hardships, and make some VERY tough decisions and morally gray, but "necessary" choices. She had to be pragmatical.
And Luna had a different opinion and got in the way... And even if what Luna did was the "morally right thing", in a situation where there probably were no 100% right choices, it had grave consequences, and poof, Luna's public image gets destroyed. Maybe whatever choices they made still is reflected in Equestrian society until this day, as a constant reminder of what tore them apart. And for Celestia, I guess the alienation from her own sister, who she patiently waited for 1000 years to return would be a heavy burden, and by itself in part responsible for how she became who she is now. :fluttercry:

But I'd advise to let at least some of the "old" Celestia shine through, even if only briefly. Maybe her doing a small gesture she and Luna used to once do, like... stretching out her wing with the intent to wrap her wing around her - only to twitch back at the last moment, with a grimace and a frown on her muzzle. Something like that.
She's kept Luna's old room as it was - so there's still something there.

Also, the guards treating Luna poorly (shoving her, leading her at gun-point, calling her a heretic) automatically reflects back negatively on Celestia herself. (It's the royal guard, after all.)
...you could show Celestia finding out about this, either overhearing it herself or reviewing a recording (possibly to spy on the conversation between Luna and Sapphire Circuit) - and reprimanding the guard. After all, even if Luna has "fallen from grace", she is STILL her sister, and she WILL NOT have her OWN GUARD treat her SISTER like THAT! :twilightangry2:

Now, as for her motivation in the trial...

"Just call off the stupid trial and let Sapphire and Rarity be together." "What they are doing is not just against the law, but our morals as well."
Uhm... that kinda makes it sound like "Robots in love? Ewwww, gay!" :rainbowderp: ...I don't think that was your intention. :twilightsheepish:;

"I will not let two machines choose if they are to work for the Empire."
THAT is a good reason. This could be expanded into "Celestia being pragmatic". Because in the past, she had to make tough decisions for pragmatic reasons. Or something.
After all, she DOES want this to be made into an example. A warning to all other sentient machines.

Because, at this point, I would imagine, sentient machines would be used in many important key-positions, in control of mass-manifacturing facilities, used where pony-life would be at risk otherwise.

And if, say, her robot-army at the western front of the Empire, currently fighting off the alied changeling/minotaur aggressors, were to suddenly go on a strike demanding equal rights... that would be a serious problem.
If AIs overseeing the mass-production of consumer products suddenly demanded minimum wage, or even just want to take a holiday - it would be an economic disaster.
Not to mention all the androids, whichs creation probably has cost hundreds of thousands of bits each - and them suddenly running away to claim freedom would be another costly issue.
And they'd NEED those robots, AIs and androids to DO those jobs they've been asigned to!

Economic crisis, civil unrest, society plunged into chaos... I'd say THAT'D be a solid reason.

As it stands... her locking away Rarity seems a bit like an effort to sabotage the trial in her own favor...
Hm. I have to wonder what Twilight would have to say about this?
Does she even know what this is about? Or would all she know just be "She tried to steal Rarity!" After all, this would be a very emotional subject for her. Could Twilight really just tell the simulacrum of one of her closest friends, an AI who she possibly has interacted with for centuries, straight to the face that she cannot have 'her one true love', because she isn't actually 'real'? :twilightoops:
Kinda... doubt that. Guessing Twilight would be on the side of the machines here. Otherwise, I doubt Rarity could ever forgive her... well, that is unless she'd just be resett to a previous backup from before she met Sapphire Circuit. Brrr, creepy.

...yeah! :pinkiehappy:

Okay. Phew! That was a mouthful. :derpytongue2: Looking forward for more!

I would like to start by saying that I'm a massive fan of 19th century politics, so Celestia is less "evil empress" and more "Her Majesty Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India."

At the risk of revealing too much, I will go ahead and say that, yes, the portrayal of Celestia is very much meant to make you question what would bring her to act the way she is. I dislike traditional villains in my stories, so you can expect plenty of expansion on her motivations and character as the story goes on and develops. :raritywink:

Not that I'm not writing down some of the ideas you gave... :twilightsheepish:

2929066 "Not that I'm not writing down some of the ideas you gave..."
No no, by all means, do go ahead. :twilightsmile:

Empress Celestia, "Her Majesty Victoria, by the Grace of God, bla bla, etc, etc..."
and Luna is a heretic.


Sorry, can't help it, automatically makes you think Celestia is evil and power-hungry by virtue of story-trope. :twilightsheepish:

...oh, and one more thing in regards to Twilight reacting to Rarity's plans for "freedom" - "If you {love; are friends with} something, you need to let it go..."

I have to say, that is a huge amount of text! You almost beat me in making text wall reviews of a story. Almost.

But just to repeat what Toix already said, thank you for this. It is really a great sight to see people so very interested in this story. And like he already said, all will be explained in later chapters. Maybe even the next one :pinkiesmile:

And I really like that saying you had in your latest comment. But you have to remember all of it! The next part is important!

If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it was meant to be.

Following, I want to see where this goes.

So many Blade Runner references i love it

Celestia is so out of character it hurts.

I trust Deckard Corporation even less, though. Sci-fi corporations are never trustworthy.


Celestia is so out of character it hurts.

Because characters can't change in 1000 years...


I'm still skeptical. She's basically done a 180 from warm and compassionate matriarch to cold and detached overlord.


You're right, you're right. I'm sorry, I just tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to fics that paint the princesses in this sort of light. They usually end up being preachy NLR shit, or end up making every other member of the cast as out-of-character as possible as well. But this fic isn't like that, I don't think, so I should just shut my whore mouth already and enjoy the show.

I don't mind Celestia getting a darker side every now and again, even immortals have phases. Unless we should think Celestia is a being who surpassed all negative impulses? Only Luna can fall, but not Celestia?

Besides, as someone who has played Exalted, I'm of the firm belief that once you surpass a mortal lifetime and power chances for megalomania and the corruption of power increase markedly, if only because you will be farther removed from mortal concerns as time progresses.

It is easy to ignore or trivialize what you do not personally experience.

P.S. I approve of Blade Runner references. Please continue.

Not in the case of immortal being, they certainly have the tendency to change a bit more slowly than mortal since the time effect them differently.

1000 years is how long it has been since the normal show time. So, think of it as the one thousand years separating Celestia's decision to banish Luna. Celestia changed quite a bit.

You are right; immortal beings change slowly. But over 1000 years (and with the big event that happened (hold on to your hats for that)), change will happen.

That second scene. :heart: Few things in science fiction tickle me quite like a landing on an alien planet. Well, planetoid. That said, a moon base ranks pretty highly too.

Mildly disappointed that the turtle wasn't an ancient, augmented Tank. Ehh, you can't have everything.

Make that an underground moon base. :rainbowkiss:

Interesting, looks like the AI Element Bearers don't seem to hold with Luna not having her title. Or maybe it's the AI circles in general.

“By the way, the holographic plates in this room are phenomenal.”
Vangelis stared at her for a minute, then raised an eyebrow. “Yes, yes they are.”


Uh, guys?


Where's Princess Twilight?

She was mentioned a couple times in the first chapter, so I assume she's where Luna goes when anything exciting happens. :rainbowwild:

Well, one would assume. But the Elements were mentioned as well.

And this is kind of a big court decision affecting one of her dearest friends.

I dunno. It just strikes as odd that all this is happening and Twilight is nowhere to be seen. Naturally, I assume this is deliberate on your part, so to summarize all of my points:

It has occurred to me, just a moment ago, that this story might have the most clever title I've yet seen.

One, it refers to transistors, which besides being present everywhere (with particular mention to those occupying both Luna, and our dear defendants), are essential in complex systems for changing the flow of power in the different components, much as the trial has the potential to change the flow of power in the empire.

It is also a portmanteau of "transcendence" and "resistance," a clear reference to the potential of AIs to move beyond their base capabilities and become free thinking- and loving- and the tendency of society, particularly Celestia, to resist this trend at every step.


Or Cadence, or Discord for that matter.


The title was obvious. Is however noteworthy, that for the moment Celestia´s guards and close followers seems more actual programmed robots than the A.I.s. The contrast between indoctrinated ponies and free-thinking machines.

Hey, just wanted to leave a comment saying that you and Equestria Daily had the same concerns about the first chapter, so I've since gone back and changed it. Not that you have to, but it would be cool to see what you think of the changes that address most of your concerns, especially about Celestia. Especially since you called it before anyone else did. :scootangel:


That's actually quite a bit better, and still raises plenty of questions. Nicely done.

Thank you. :pinkiesmile: I also learned an important lesson: Listen to That_one_guy so I don't waste a strike on EQD. :rainbowlaugh:

I´m curious about Celestia´s possible hidden reason to accept Sapphire´s request. Is she planning to use this case to bring back her sister into the fold?

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