• Published 20th Jun 2013
  • 9,002 Views, 760 Comments

Technicalities - BionicBrony

After being forced from their home, a master engineer and his AI end up in Twilight's basement, their only desire to rebuild what they lost. Although not everything is as straightforward as it seems...

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Activating the core

“So, everything set?” asked Twilight.

“Yep… Just about…” Alex said, largely focused on his task.

It was early in the morning on the day of the Summer Sun Celebration. Alex had been going through a mental checklist of things as he went over the charging rig he threw together for the Power-Core. It was a surprisingly simple set up: a mobile trolley with kick stands to secure it to the ground, and a special device Alex had easily been able to put together was on top of it. Its purpose was simple: flip the large, Frankenstein-like switch on the front and energy would flow from the magically charged metal orb and into the now completed core next to it, jumpstarting it.

Alex’s predictions over the last three weeks of his building schedule were spot on. After the incident with the princess, he made it a point to devote as much time as he could to finishing the Power-Core. As a result, he managed to finish it a whole week ahead of schedule and decided to use the extra time to start working on the EMC. Everything was going perfectly.

The charging orb, however, was another story. Trying to find a titanium sphere with a tungsten core that accounted for 3.7% of the overall volume wasn’t exactly easy. With all his attention on the core, Alex left it to Twilight to try and get a hold of one. According to her, she managed to get it on special order from the princess, something that really bothered Alex. She assured him that Celestia didn’t ask too many questions, but he had no way of knowing just how true that statement actually was.

He conceded, though, that in the end, it would all be worth it. Everything was set. The Power-Core was assembled, Twilight followed Rose’s instructions about the charging orb to a T, and the charging rig was in working order.

If it weren’t for the public activation Twilight had agreed to, the core would have already been jumpstarted.

There was, however, one aspect that was worrying Alex. According to Twilight, she was able to sense “residual magic” coming from the charging orb as time went on and she fed it more and more energy. Other unicorns who visited the library for one reason or another also mentioned feeling something similar. He hadn’t thought about it at first, but he was starting to worry that if Rose’s assumption about the Power-Core being some sort of magic generator was true, then magically inclined entities would be able to sense it. If they were able to sense the charging orb, then there wouldn’t be a doubt in his mind they’d be able to sense the same thing from the core once it was activated, at least until its containment field kicked it. Not to mention the fact that the core’s energy would be exponentially more powerful.

It also didn’t help that he never mentioned Rose’s findings to Twilight, so she’d be completely oblivious up until the switch was flipped.

Alex finished going over his mental checklist for the third time and decided to sit at the table and take a few sips of coffee. If it weren’t for the fact that he had to roll the trolley out in front of a crowd later, he’d have been completely and utterly completely satisfied. That didn’t stop him from smiling, though.

Twilight walked over to him with a smile of her own. “Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this happy!”

Alex put his cup down. “Why wouldn’t I be? Look at it! It’s beautiful!” he said, indicating the Power-Core. The end result was larger than a basketball and the outside looked like a large, metal ball covered in steel plates with various tubes, wires, and other connections running along its surface. If Twilight didn’t know what it was, she’d have been completely lost as to its purpose.

“It’s certainly something, alright,” she said, taking her own seat across from him.

The two looked at the set up for a moment before Alex spoke up. “By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you… What’s the Summer Sun Celebration about, anyway? Based on the date, I’m guessing it has something to do with this being the longest day of the year?”

Twilight clapped her hooves gently and wore a keen smile, happy to teach him about another aspect of Equestrian life. “You’re right! It is to celebrate the longest day of the year! It’s an all day celebration where Princess Celestia starts things off in the hosting town by raising the sun in front of everypony!”

Alex’s face didn’t change. He continued to stare and smile at her, just like he was when he first asked her the question. Twilight smiled back at him, though as time went on and Alex’s face continued to not change, she was starting to become more and more nervous.

Had Alex been a Liandri, his response would have been something akin to “system failure,” but once his thoughts caught up with him, he finally managed to say something, still keeping his smile. “Imsorrywhat?”

Twilight was starting to feel a bit nervous and played with her hooves unconsciously. Alex had strange reactions to a few aspects about Equestria, like the existence of magic or the fact that the pegasi controlled the weather, but this reaction seemed like something completely different.

Before Twilight could answer, Alex spoke again. “Celestia raises the sun?” he asked, still keeping his now creepy smile.

Twilight giggled nervously. “Umm… Yes?”

Almost instantly, Alex smashed his fist into the table, causing it and objects on it to jostle around. He quickly stood up and walked away, gripping his hair in clenched fists.

Twilight was worried that she had seriously broken him this time. “Alex, are you al-”


Twilight jumped at his sudden yell.

He turned around and looked straight at her. He looked frustrated and angry, though it didn’t look like it was directed at Twilight. “Okay, magic was one thing, but hey, why not, I’ll bite. The weather? –” He pointed straight up. “– That was a stretch! But screw it, I’ll buy that too. But this?! Look, Twilight, I understand that Equestria is my home now, but how the hell do you expect me to buy into this?!

“I don’t know! How did the sun work back on Earth?”

On its own!” He took long strides back to the table and started making invisible drawings on it with his fingers. “The sun was static and Earth rotated on an axis, giving the illusion that the sun traveled across the sky! But Celestia?! God damn, this is a physicist’s nightmare! And guess what? I’m not just an engineer, I’m a physicist, god dammit!

Twilight couldn’t help but smile a little at his reaction. “I’m sorry, Alex, I don’t know what to tell you.”

He hung his head for a moment. “You know what?” He took his cup and quickly downed the rest of his coffee. “Screw it, I’m not gonna think about it. Let’s just go.”

He unceremoniously put his cup down and went over to push the charging unit out the door. His computer was already resting on top of it, next to the Power-Core, and Rose had no doubt heard their conversation. Just before he started pushing it, Alex looked over at Twilight. “You coming?”

Twilight chuckled lightly and sipped on her own morning drink. “In a minute. I have to go make sure Spike’s awake. You go on ahead, I’ll catch up.”

Alex simply nodded once. “Alright. See you there.” With a grunt of effort, he started pushing the unsurprisingly heavy cart out of the library.

The streets around the town were still dark, though there was enough light for Alex to find his way around. There were also plenty of ponies up and about, all of them headed in the same direction as him: towards a special stage that had been set up just for the Celebration. He guessed that was where Celestia would have him active it, after using her “uber magic” to raise the sun. He scoffed at the idea.

“Can you believe this shit?” said Alex, knowing full well Rose was listening. “Their ruler raises the god damn sun here. What. The. Fuck.”

“I must admit,” said Rose, computer lid still shut, “it’s a little unorthodox, but if there’s anything I’ve learned from our time here, it’s that things work very differently in this world. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another one that worked with the moon.”

“Oh wouldn’t that be peachy…” he groaned. The cart wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to push, even on cobblestone and especially through grass. He was just happy it had large wheels and not those little spindly things on the underside of office chairs.

As Alex pushed the cart towards its destination, he noticed that he was starting to attract a bit more attention than he would have liked. Nearby ponies, virtually all of them unicorns, kept glancing at him and the cart with curious faces, some of them even holding worried expressions. He tried his best to ignore them, but it became evident that the charging orb was clearly a concern. Either that or they just liked looking at it. It was a lovely sight, in and of itself. It was very polished and shiny, making it look like an oversized metal marble, and the fact that it glowed with an otherworldly purple only added to the allure.

“You know Rose, something’s been bugging me…” Alex said as he continued pushing the cart. The stage was in sight.

“And that would be?”

“It seems that unicorns can sense the energy coming off the charging orb… I’m worried they’ll be able to sense the same thing off the core, and I doubt the princess will be an exception…”

“That may be problematic. I’m not sure how unicorns and their horns work, but I’d be willing to bet the core’s containment field should be able to keep a lid on it.”


Alex carefully made his way around the side of the already large group of ponies that had gathered in front of the outdoor stage. He spotted a pony or two he recognized from one time or another, but it ultimately looked like a giant mass of bodies to him. He also couldn’t help but notice that every nearby unicorn was looking in his direction. Gritting his teeth, he picked up his pace to get backstage.

The stage itself wasn’t terribly complicated. It was largely just elevated flooring with not much else on it besides a tall alter made to resemble the sun and what looked like Royal guards flanking the edges, each with their own brass horn to toot.

Alex approached the entrance to the back of the stage and was met by a couple of royal guards. Both of them, much to his relief, were pegasi.

One of the guards held up his hoof as an indication to stop and he did so. He eyed Alex up and down, scrutinizing him. “You’re that alien thing the princess said she wanted see, aren’t you?”

Alex frowned. “The human; and yes, I am.”

The guard snorted. “Go right ahead.”

“Thanks…” he said half sarcastically. Fucking cretin…

When he finally got around the back, he was greeted with the sight of Celestia and Ponyville’s mayor. Unsurprisingly, the princess was already looking in his direction.

Geez, she could probably sniff this thing a mile off.

Upon seeing him, however, Celestia’s expression went from curious to content and she gave her usual warm smile. “Ah, Alexander, you’re here. Where’s Twilight?”

With a final burst of effort, he pushed the cart up to the pair. “She had to go wake up Spike. I’m sure she’ll be along shortly.”

“Excellent.” Celestia turned back to the mayor and they exchanged a few words. Alex wasn’t paying much attention to what they were saying. Once they were done talking, the mayor stepped up on the stage and began addressing the crowd. As for the princess, she took her position at the back, ready to follow suit.

Looks like it’s starting… thought Alex.

Almost on cue, Twilight came around the side to meet Alex. “Hey! Looks like I’m right on time!”

Alex, who sat down on a set of steps leading up to the top of the stage, looked up at her with a smile. He had certainly taken a liking to Twilight, especially after all the help she’d been. Seeing her arrive was a great relief to him, knowing he wasn’t about go up alone. “Cutting it a bit close there, huh? Where’s Spike?”

“He’s with the others listening to the mayor. You know, he’s really excited to see this!”

Alex laughed lightly. “He shouldn’t be.”

She tilted her head. “Why not?”

“Look, Twilight, this is how it’s gonna go. We go up on stage, we flip the switch, the core makes a bit of noise - they’re probably not even gonna hear it - and then they all go home disappointed.” Alex finished with a smirk.

Twilight couldn’t help but smirk with him. “You want them to be disappointed?”

“Yes, because if they’re anything but disappointed, then that means the core didn’t work right, and if that happens, then I’ll be disappointed. If I had to pick who was going to be let down here, it’s them.”

“Well, that’s one way to look at it.”

“Nope, that’s the only way to look at it.”

Alex and Twilight has been so caught up in their conversation that they didn’t notice Celestia sneaking up on them. “Pst, hey, get ready, you two!” she said, nudging Twilight with a smile. “By the way, have either of you prepared a speech?”

Twilight shook her head. “No. Alex and Rose just want things to go by as quickly as possible, and I respect their decision, so we’re just going to go straight to business.”

The princess looked to Alex for confirmation and he nodded his head in agreement.

“Very well,” she said before making her way back to her original position.

Alex stood up and looked after Celestia, hearing the mayor finish her opening speech. He and Twilight both watched on as the fanfare started playing and the princess slowly made her way onto the stage, front and center. The musical guards continued playing their horns to a tune that Alex could only think of as surprisingly epic. Celestia herself didn’t say a single word, and let her horn do the talking instead. As the music continued playing, she hoisted herself up with her large wings in front of the solar alter, striking a majestic pose as she did so.

Unlike everyone else, Alex had to turn his head away to actually see the sun rise. To the princess’ credit, the sun did in-fact rise at the same moment that Celestia performed her feat of magic and flight. Light was pouring over the horizon and gradually going over the crowd. He normally never thought about it, but seeing the sun rise like that was truly a sight to behold.

Although Alex couldn’t help but wonder if it was just well-timed theatrics.

The crowd out front exploded with applause. Even Twilight stomped her hooves, despite the fact that Alex was the only one who would notice. He was still highly skeptical of it all, but he decided to clap his hands anyway so as to not be rude in front of her.

And now with that out of the way, there’s only one thing left to do…

He looked back at the stage to see the princess land gently on the ground with a smile. Celestia did nothing to silence the crowd and the applause continued for what seemed like a solid minute before dying down. Once they were silent she finally addressed the crowd.

“Good morning, my little ponies,” – Alex unconsciously shivered at her choice of words – “it is my great pleasure to welcome you to this year’s Summer Sun Celebration, hosted once again in the lovely little town of Ponyville. After the unfortunate start of last year’s Celebration, it is only fair to allow this great town the opportunity to enjoy it as it was meant to be.

“I do not wish to keep you from the festivities for too long. However, today is a special day. My personal, and faithful student, Twilight Sparkle, and the traveler from another world, the human Alexander Laythem – whom some of you are already familiar with – have worked tirelessly this past month on a project so secret that they kept it even from myself. At my request, they have agreed to unveil it for the first time in front of all of you.

“Even now, just moments away, I am still unaware of what it is, but my student has assured me that it is truly revolutionary. They have expressed to me that they do not wish to partake in any lengthy introduction and so, without further ado, I would like to give the stage to Twilight and Alex.”

The end of Celestia’s introduction was met with a light applause. Alex felt butterflies in his stomach. He honestly didn’t care what the other ponies thought of him at this moment, or what they might have thought of him afterwards. After all, he knew they weren’t going to get much of a show from this. He knew they were all going to be sorely disappointed that nothing spectacular happened. He knew that the significance of that moment would be entirely lost on them. All of which was a good thing.

But why do I still feel nervous…?

“Here, I’ll get it up there,” said Twilight, taking the initiative and levitating the cart onto the stage.

Alex slowly made his way up the stairs, feeling the gaze of every individual pony bore into him as he made himself more and more visible. He felt as if they were all silently judging him. Of course, he was never really good with crowds.

Oh fuck me that’s a lot of people…

He felt a nudge from behind and he instantly turned to see what it was. It was Twilight, and she looked every bit as nervous as he did, although she still smiled. “Hey, no pressure, right? Everything’s going to work fine.”

He smiled, glad that Twilight was there with him. “Right. Just wish we didn’t have to make a show of it…”

Alex moved himself behind the cart and pushed it towards the center of the stage, trying his best to ignore the crowd of ponies in front of him. Once in position, he kicked the stands down and secured the cart to the spot. He checked everything briefly for a final time and picked up Rose, opening the computer’s screen and orienting it away from him.

As he walked over to where Twilight and Celestia were waiting at the side of the stage, he suddenly got an idea. An idea he thought was completely justifiable.

Twilight tilted her head as he approached. “Aren’t you going to flip the switch? Everypony’s waiting.”

Alex smiled. “I thought I’d let you have the honors.”

At first she was confused, however, slowly but surely, Twilight’s face lit up with pure elation. “I would be honored!” she said with a small bow.

Alex stood next to her and gave her a quick pat on the back. “After you.”

Twilight was practically jumping in place. Alex had never seen her so excited before! For his part, he was happy that everything was finally about to pay off. Once she calmed down, she got herself ready. “Okay… Three, two, one…”

With that, Twilight’s horn lit up with its usual purple aura. A similar aura enveloped the switch on the charging rig and, agonizingly slowly, flipped it upwards.

At first, nothing seemed to have happened. The entire crowd was deathly silent. Alex even heard one pony cough exaggeratedly loudly and had to fight the urge to yell “Hey! Fuck you, asshole!” For a moment, he was worried that something was wrong.

His worry was soon quelled, though, when he began to hear a low hum build up from the Power-Core. If it hadn’t been for the silence of the crowd, he might not have heard it. The low hum gradually became higher in pitch until it eventually disappeared entirely with a small, low pitched pop.

Alex lit up, a giant smile plastered across his face. The response from the core was so simple, so small and insignificant, yet it was enough to tell him everything. He almost felt like throwing Rose up into the air as a celebration. It works… he thought. It works! Fuck yes, IT WORKS!

“Ha ha ha! It works! Can you believe it?” He looked at Twilight. “It finally–”

Alex stopped himself when he noticed Twilight. She was blinking her eyes rapidly and looked very uncomfortable, as if there was something really irritating her. Alex’s smile slowly started to fade. He looked at Celestia, who also seemed like something was irritating her, though to a lesser degree than Twilight must have been experiencing it.

The noise in the crowd soon caught his attention. He turned to see a bunch of ponies, specifically unicorns, scramble to get away from the stage.

“Alex, what’s going on?” asked Twilight. “There’s a lot of magical energy coming from the core!”

Alex looked back at Twilight. “You can still feel that? But that must mean that…" His blood chilled in his veins. "Uh oh…”

He quickly turned his attention to the core and noticed small, red spark jump across its metal shell.

“Oh dear, that’s not good…” commented Rose, apparently noticing the same thing.

A shiver ran down his spine and he unconsciously stepped back. The containment field… It’s not working… Oh no oh no oh no oh fuck!

Twilight looked up at him. “Alex, what’s happening?” Her question was answered by the look of pure, unadulterated horror on his face. She was familiar with the look of a failed experiment, but this?

This was a look of impending doom.

“Alex?!” Twilight broke him out of his stupor and his wide eyes snapped to her.

“Shut it off,” he said, just above a whisper.

“What?” she wasn’t sure if she heard him correctly.

Shut. It. Off!” he barked. “NOW!

Without any further prompting, Twilight focused her attention on the switch and lit up her horn. However, instead of the switch being enveloped in a similar aura, a purple sphere surrounded the Power-Core, preventing Twilight from magically touching it. It was bright purple at the point directly between Twilight’s horn and the switch.

The core’s new shield disappeared as soon as Twilight stopped trying. For a moment, she was stunned. It didn’t deter her though as she quickly tried again, feeding more magic into her horn. Even with the extra strength, the core was unrelenting, having the exact same effect as before. Only this time, the shield itself had become redder. Exhausted, Twilight was forced to stop.

“I… I can’t do it…” Twilight panted. “Princess… You need to flip the switch down!”

Yes! thought Alex, who was currently sweating bullets. If she can raise the sun, she can do this!

Without a word, Celestia lit up her horn in a bright, yellow glow and directed it towards the switch. Like Twilight, her magic was interrupted by the shield which had become even redder. Without stopping, the princess’ horn became an almost blinding white, forcing Alex to look away. Feeling that there was a lot of magical power at work, he instinctively put the computer down in case he had to shield himself with his arms.

Despite the obscene amount of power the princess was using to try and penetrate the shield, it never yielded. The point on the shield directly between Celestia’s horn and the switch was bright white, with the rest of it colored blood red.

Without warning, a bright red bolt of electricity shot out from the core, passed through the shield, and hit the princess directly on her horn, causing her to recoil in pain and fall to the ground.

“Princess Celestia!” Twilight cried out, moving to her side.

Celestia sat up with a groan, rubbing the base of her horn. “It’s okay, Twilight, I’m fine.”

Alex was in a panic. Twilight failed to flip the switch. Princess “sun raiser” Celestia herself failed to flip the switch. Everything was going to Hell in a hand basket. Looking at the core, more red sparks were jumping across its surface.

If magic can’t do it, then… He gulped, realizing just what had to be done. Fuck, if this doesn’t kill me… Alex quickly got to his feet and ran towards the core.

Twilight looked away from Celestia to see Alex run towards the source of her mentor’s pain. Still confused, she turned even more to see the computer and quickly levitated Rose over, placing the AI in front of her. “Rose! What’s happening?!”

“The core’s overloading, that’s what’s happening!” Much to Twilight’s anguish, Rose looked and sounded more afraid than anything else. She had never seen the AI afraid before, and that fact alone truly scared her.

“What happens if it overloads?!”

This town becomes a crater, that’s what!

Upon hearing this, Twilight’s ears and jaw fell limp as she finally grasped the true severity of the situation. Her mind completely blanked as pure fear overwhelmed her.

Alex, for his part, was standing just outside of the limits of the invisible magic shield, taking deep breaths. The Power-Core was almost completely enveloped in small red electrical sparks. The switch, the one thing that needed to be reached at all costs, was just a few steps away from him.

It’s just a few steps, Alex, he tried to reassure himself. Just get in there, flip the switch, and it’ll all be over. If you don’t do it, you and everyone else here dies. No biggie. Taking a few final breaths, he breached the boundary.


More pain than he could ever imagine. He was able to physically pass the shield that the ponies’ magic could not, but upon doing so, countless bolts of red electricity jumped from the core and assaulted him. Every nerve in his body was yelling at him, screaming for him to turn and leave. Unfortunately, it wasn't an option.

Alex took a step. His muscles started seizing. He tried to breath, but his diaphragm refused to respond. He felt a painful force build up in his head as he tried to let out a breath.

He took another step. He began to lose control of his left arm. His bicep involuntarily contracted, bringing his forearm up and locking it against his shoulder. Other muscles spasmed as well, giving the impression that he was shivering violently.

He took another, agonizing step. He brought his right arm out in front of him in a vain attempt to reach the switch. It was still too far. His fingers started to curl up on their own and he feared he might not be able to gasp it. He could feel his heart beating erratically. It couldn’t take the amount of electrical abuse it was receiving.

He stepped again. The switch was almost in reach. He watched numbly as the hair on his arm was burnt off and his dried skin started to peel before his eyes. He couldn’t help but wonder if the same thing was happening on other parts of his body too.

With a final step, he placed his “good hand” on the large switch. Using every ounce of willpower he possessed, he forced his aching fingers to curl around it and pulled. He managed to pull the switch a quarter of the way down before his fingers gave out and his hand snapped back. Realizing his hand had lost all its capability, but that the switch had come away just enough, he wedged his fore-arm on top of it and used his weight to bring the switch all the way down to its OFF position.

All at once, Alex’s world went black. It was as if flipping the switch on the charging rig turned off the sun itself.

He suddenly felt very aware of his body and noticed he wasn’t in pain anymore. In fact, he was able to feel that he was lying down on what felt like an incredibly smooth floor.

Alex blinked a few times, unsure if the blackness was because he had his eyes closed. He managed to confirm that yes, the environment he was currently in was pitch black.

What the hell just happened…? Where am I?

Feeling he was well in control of his body, Alex sat up and noticed something strange. While the environment around him was pure black, he was still able to see himself perfectly, as if a dim, unseen light were shining on him from every imaginable angle. He examined his arms and, to his surprise, they was perfectly fine. His hair wasn’t burnt off and his skin wasn’t peeled. This only added to his confusion.

Feeling enough strength to get up, he did so. He looked in every direction, seeing exactly the same thing. Everything around him was black. Alex couldn’t distinguish the floor from anything else, and a slight sense of vertigo prodded his senses. He was in a void. No other name could give it justice.

“Hello?” he called out. He could hear his own voice, but he didn’t hear an echo.

How big is this place? And more importantly, where the fuck is it?

“Hello, Alexander.”

The voice was coming from directly behind him, but it sounded off. In-fact, it sounded synthetic, but it certainly wasn’t Rose.

When he turned around he was greeted by the sight of a glowing green, horizontal bar, floating in front of him at eye level. Once his eyes adjusted, he noticed that there were two points on it that were brighter than the rest, giving the impression that they were some sort of eyes. He realized that it wasn’t a simple bar he was looking at, but a green glowing visor. Something was looking at him.

“Who are you?” Alex asked. “What are you?”

“Hm hm hm…” Its slightly bemused laugh was deep and robotic.

Suddenly, a burst of blue electricity escaped from the entity, causing Alex to jump, and revealing an outline of its body against the void. It was humanoid, but clearly wasn’t human. He could make out certain aspects of its body. Its figure looked like it was encased in armor, with parts of its limbs looking jagged and metallic, yet flawlessly symmetrical. But the most prominent thing he could make out were two sets of what looked like twin pylons sticking straight out of each of its large, rounded shoulders.

Alex truly had no idea what it was. It could have been some sort of Liandri, but he had never designed one like this.

“Isn’t it obvious?” the synthetic voice continued to answer his question. “I’m you. I’m everything you are. Everything you want to be. Everything you will be. I am the Alpha and the Omega.”

Alex could hear heavy, metal footsteps slowly approaching him. With every step the entity took forward, he took the appropriate step back. His started taking quick breaths as his heart beat into his throat.

“Th-that doesn’t make any sense! How could you be me?”

Its response was another burst of electricity. The robot’s outline looked as if it were walking towards him.

Adrenaline shot through Alex’s body and he backed up faster. He had to stop, however, when he felt himself back into a wall. He turned his head around to see what exactly was blocking him, but it was just as black as everything else. Upon looking forward again, the glowing green visor was directly in front of him.

Before he could react, he felt a powerful hit to his right shoulder, throwing him back and turning him so he landed frontwards. Somehow, the wall that was previously blocking him no longer existed.

Alex had forced his eyes shut as pain shot through his shoulder. He pushed himself up onto his arms, putting more weight on his left, and opened his eyes. He was greeted by the sight of a limp arm. The hair was burnt and its dry skin was peeling away. Hesitantly, his eyes trailed up to take a look at its owner.

He gasped in shock at the mangled body before him and instantly backed away. His retreat, however, was blocked by a hard hand grabbing the back of his head and thrusting him forward. Not wanting to give in, he shut his eyes as tightly as he could to avoid having to look at it.

His actions were met with a strong electric shock, forcing him to cry out in pain and open his eyes. Alex began hyperventilating, drowning in fear of whatever the robot was and whatever it wanted to do to him.

“Take a long, hard look at yourself, Alexander Michael Laythem…” its robotic voice was slow and deadly serious, almost threatening. “Look at what you did to yourself, what you did to me.”

The hand gripping his head backed away, only to be replaced by another around his throat as Alex felt himself hoisted up. He could only look down on the visor as his assailant held him in the air by his neck with a single arm. He tried to grab its fingers, to grab anything in an attempt to release himself, but couldn’t managed to get fingers underneath its steel grip. Instead, he grabbed its invisible metal arm to try to prevent himself from getting choked too badly.

“You’re no good to the Liandri if you’re dead…”

Alex's breath evacuated his lungs as the unknown Liandri then slammed him into the ground. Splayed out, he felt a weight as it positioned itself over him, pinning him down. He could only stare back into its green “eyes” as its hand prevented him from turning his head.

“…So just be glad I’m here to rectify things…”

Alex’s eyes swiveled to its free hand, which hovered a few feet above his head. Countless electrical sparks were jumping between its fingers, and it began to slowly come down over his face. Adrenaline shot through him again and he started to struggle. He grabbed its choking arm and tried with all his strength to remove it, but it refused to budge.

His breathing picked up the pace and he began hyperventilating again. Nothing he did caused the Liandri's inhuman strength to falter. He continued to struggle until the electrified hand was only a few inches above his face. Realizing that it was ultimately futile, he clenched his eyes, bracing for the inevitable.

Author's Note:

Obviously written before season 4...

The way I'm trying to write this story is that there are things that happen that aren't explicitly explained. If you're someone who likes to analyze things, then here's my advice: keep what happened after he flipped the switch in mind. It won't be explained why that happened, but it IS an important detail that's worth remembering. In other words, it's a Chekhov's gun with a really, really long fuse.

Don't take everything at face value when reading this story! You'll get a lot more out of it if you think and reflect about things, trust me!