• Published 14th Aug 2016
  • 2,522 Views, 92 Comments

BINARY: Pony.exe x The Iron Horse - The Hat Man



Twilight had been living as a program in a college guy's computer, but now she's back in Equestria! Unfortunately, she's still a program, only now she's stuck inside a robot pony. No one's happy about this. ("Pony.exe"/"The Iron Horse" Crossover!)

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Turing sensed tiny Twilight’s jaw dropping. The silence that followed spoke multitudes as the two approached the vaguely tree-shaped castle.

(“No...way...”) Twilight whispered as Turing viewed it from a distance. It was as beautiful as ever, the crystal sparkling under the sunlight, as grand as how tall it stood, projecting an aura of safety and power. “That’s… That’s my castle?”

“Affirmative,” Turing responded, not slowing down. “This has been your home since the destruction of the Golden Oak Library, and as an extension, mine as well.”

(“Since… Since when? What happened to the l-library, anyways?”)

Turing took a left down the street to the front door of the crystalline structure. “I was not there during the events in which the Golden Oak Library was destroyed. However, I have stored data on what had occurred. A being named Tirek escaped from Tartarus and began absorbing all the magic in Equestria. Princess Celestia, Luna, and Cadance gave you their magic in an attempt to keep it away from Tirek, and you fought him in arcane combat. As a result, you were able to fight him to a standstill, but the Golden Oak Library was caught in the crossfire.”

Twilight gulped. (“What about the Elements of Harmony, and my friends? Did those come into the equation anywhere?”)

“At the time, the Elements of Harmony were not in your possession,” Turing continued. “They had been returned to their original location in the Everfree Forest. Your friends were ensuring Ponyville’s safety at the time, but were trapped by Discord until you successfully saved them.”

(“Discord,”) Twilight stated with a bit of malice. (“I’m assuming he escaped eventually, and that he joined Tirek in his attack?”)

“Correct,” Turing returned. She then added, “Your tone indicates hostility. However, Discord’s subsequent actions were key in defeating Tirek. He is currently one of your friends, and mine as well.”

(“Wait, Discord is?!”)

“Affirmative.”

There were a few moments of silence as Turing detected a raise in activity in her system. Twilight’s head hung loosely. (“So how do you know all this? Did I tell you?”)

“Indirectly,” Turing said, a few hoofsteps away from the front entrance. She took the handle of one of the towering doors and pulled, the flat glistening surface opening smoothly without any hassle. “I acquired that information from the journal you allowed me to read which detailed the events of Tirek’s attack and the events that occurred after. In fact, much of the knowledge I have gained was through multiple books in the castle library.”

Turing gazed through the castle doorway. Once again, Twilight was speechless.

The lighting was calming and peaceful, sunlight peeking in from the arching green windows at the sides of the hall, a design of a tree etched into the glass with a master’s quality. Turing briskly continued down the hall, not slowing down for one second, although not leaning into a sprint either. Twilight had enough time to take it all in; the smooth, waxed stone floor, the tall crystal pillars that shone bright in any light they reflected, and the green diamond doors with crystal arches stretching above them. It was like a wonder of magic how everything matched up to be, and Twilight felt truly lucky to bear witness to something that was apparently her own.

She eventually shook out of her stupor, allowing her to direct her attention to the task at hoof. (“So Spike and I live here now? Where exactly would he be?”)

“I have determined a narrow list of common locations Spike enjoys visiting,” explained Turing, taking a door to the right at a stairway. “The first location I am traversing to is the castle library, where there is a 65.102% chance of him residing there. Typically, he is either reshelving the stock, doing a variety of chores you assign him, or reading comic books.”

Twilight sat down, her expression somber. (“Heh, that sounds like Spike all right. I wonder if he’s grown at all. I hope he hasn’t gotten too greedy since I’ve been gone, although I think I’ve taught him better than that. I… I wonder if he’ll be happy to see me.”)

“He is always happy to see you, Twilight Sparkle,” Turing Test said.

Another tall door opened with Turing’s push. Inside lay a large open space, the floor keeping round wooden tables spaced out evenly, the walls holding rows upon rows of books, all varying in appearance. The ceiling felt like it stretched to the sky, and it was just as tall as the throne room in Canterlot Castle, if Twilight had to guess. There were several oak ladders attached to the walls, sturdy in appearance and perhaps in build. There were dark lines and swirls in the violet carpet, giving the royal appearance a nice, pleasant pattern that would give rise to a child’s games in their imagination.

Turing scanned left and right while a bit of drool escaped Twilight’s mouth. The robot took to the right, trotting around a bookcase and checking around the corner. Her movements in searching were very methodical, not stopping to check twice in any location, but not making any mistakes in her viewings. The back of Twilight’s mind could tell that the library wasn’t too much of a maze as they found themselves quickly at the other side of the room from where they started, but much of Twilight’s attention was grabbed by identifying the titles on the spines of the books and seeing if there was anything new.

(“Turing?”)

“Yes, Twilight Sparkle?”

(“May I take over your body for two minutes?”) Twilight asked. (“I would just like to see what might be in here. You know, take stock. I’m wondering if there’s anything I haven’t read before here. I promise I won’t suppress you this time. I think I know what went wrong the last time I moved your body, and I won’t do it again.”)

Turing paused, considering the thought. Twilight held her breath waiting for the answer.

“Yes, Twilight Sparkle, you may,” Turing answered.

Twilight did an inward cheer. (“Thank you, Turing.”)

Twilight’s horn glowed, and with it several bits of code in the background of Twilight’s current dimension reversed direction, surrounded by a pink glow, working towards each other with a sense of fluidity and purpose.

Suddenly, Turing felt it again. She lost control of her motor systems, and instead some other entity was directing them, her limbs disconnected from herself, a loss of feedback reverberating through her body. She was almost like a puppet, with her strings being pulled by a journeymare puppeteer. Her own system did a quick status check and found, true to her word, that Twilight left Turing’s motor drivers open so she could take them back at any time, if she wished. Being controlled, oddly enough, wasn’t nearly as unpleasant as it was last time.

Twilight guided Turing’s hull to one of the many walls of books, and peered up. Turing couldn’t exactly tell where Twilight’s interest was held, but a funny intuition in the back of her skull told her it was the bright red book a few shelves up.

(“Turing, may I use your magic to grab that book?”) Twilight asked.

“Yes, you may, Twilight Sparkle,” Turing replied.

Turing’s horn appeared and Twilight got a program to channel the right sequence through it. The book was grabbed in an alluring goldenrod light and brought directly in front of her. Twilight took the hardcover in both hooves, scanning the copy of Advanced Arcane Forces, Canterlot Fourth Edition.

“Hmm, this must have been newly published,”) Twilight said aloud, not realizing that her words also came through Turing’s speakers. “Last time I checked, the latest was the third edition.”

Turing chose not to comment. Twilight flipped through the first few pages, gathering little details important to her here and there, even though the publication information and the foreword about the book’s contents. She continued reading, and not thirty seconds had passed before she was knee-deep in another intriguing paragraph. Her eyes passed over a large diagram covering the whole of a page and a half, depicting a complex equation of magical measurements. She scanned the letters until she doubled back, checking something that she swore she saw.

“No, that can’t be right,” Twilight muttered. “That equation’s all wrong, the output of the spell is less than the input.” She had to triple check, just to make sure. “Yeah, I’m not reading this wrong, Professor Firestarter actually got this wrong. They must have not triple-checked their work. I think the editors must have had a day off or something too.”

Twilight rose her head from the text after getting immersed between controlling Turing’s body and reading the book.

“Wait a minute,” she told Turing and herself, flipping back to the beginning of the chapter. “I’m already on chapter fourteen? Since when did I read so fast?” Her hoof let go of the page, allowing the textbook to flip back to the first chapter. “I read through all of this too! I remember all of it! How long has it been since I’ve started reading?”

“One minute and sixteen seconds,” Turing helpfully chimed in.

“And how did I know the answer to that equation was wrong? I didn’t even have to do the work to know it wasn’t correct! By the stars, what is going on?” Twilight said, sitting Turing’s body on the ground and holding her own head.

“Perhaps you have gained my ability to process data quickly,” Turing suggested.

“What? What do you mean?”

“I am able to detect words in a medium and process their meaning with an efficiency of two-hundred and fifty words in 0.005 seconds. The data is saved in my memory, and I can remember the details exactly by word. Through use of my system and my body, I hypothesise that you have gained my ability to read quickly. In addition, it is well known by my friends that I am able to calculate equations and logical problems in an efficient manner. Because you are a piece of software in my system, you may have access to my processing power, and thus can calculate results of any logical, mathematical, or magical problem quickly.”

“N-No way,” Twilight said. “That’s amazing!”

“It is a helpful ability in some situations,” Turing mentioned.

“Wow, I can read through a book in an instant!” Twilight declared. If Turing had a mouth, it would be wearing a grin equal to the one Twilight was adorning. “I could do research so much faster! It would multiply my speed of work exponentially! Just think, if I wanted to learn about something like the inner workings of Unix systems, all I would have to do is sit down, find a bundle of books and then bam! In an instant, I know everything I need to know!”

“Twilight Sparkle?”

“Yes, Turing?” Twilight replied, getting shaken out of her surge of excitement.

“It has been three minutes and six seconds,” Turing politely pointed out.

“Oh! Yes!” Twilight said, canceling her spells and releasing hold of Turing’s system. (“Sorry, Turing.”)

“It is all right,” Turing accepted, returning the book to its proper spot and moving away from the wall of bookshelves.

They moved to the rim of the room. There was a certain circular table covered in books, a few scrolls that were and were not rolled up, as well as a piece of open parchment with an ink pot and a quill. The work station was empty, but appeared like it was left in a hurry, with nothing put away at all and the notes forgotten. Twilight noticed in the high definition vision of Turing Test that the end of the very last sentence of notes trailed off most suddenly, as if the final word was interrupted by something very sudden.

(“I guess I was studying something here last night,”) Twilight figured.

“Affirmative. You were pursuing the studies of Arcanium Oneirology. It was reported by Spike this morning at 10:23 that you left after receiving an urgent letter from Princess Celestia. You have expressed to me in the past that I should not, ‘under any circumstance disturb anything that sits on or around’ your work table.”

Twilight giggled. (“Well, I certainly wouldn’t like my study materials moved in the middle of studying.”)

“That had become apparent after the first instance where I cleaned up your books after you were interrupted by Fluttershy visiting with her new basket of kittens.”

Twilight couldn’t stop smiling. Suddenly, something caught her eye. A blue book on the table was closed and bookmarked, and after reading the golden-ribbon title of the book Twilight’s expression went straight.

(“Hey Turing?”)

“Yes, Twilight Sparkle?”

(“Could you take a look at that blue book over there to the right of the open parchment?”)

“Certainly,” Turing replied, moving to intercept the immobile object. The robot looked down on the hardcover, allowing Twilight to see the title that was printed in a fancy flair.

(“The Graduate?”) Twilight thought aloud to Turing. (“I thought I already read that book last year. I guess I decided to read it again when I wasn’t taking notes on research. Even though it was a good book, it’s not exactly one of my favorites. I wonder what made me start to read it again. It had quite the bittersweet ending, if I remember correctly.”)

“Bittersweet?” Turing asked.

(“Yeah, you know, an overall good ending but one that is sad and hard to swallow,”) Twilight answered.

“Sad…” Turing trailed off before taking the book in her own hooves and rapidly flipping through all the pages.

Images of the words in the work flashed in Twilight’s head, and she frowned. (“Turing, could you slow down a bit when you read a book like that? I may be able to read as fast as you now, but it’s not exactly pleasant to have such a rush.”)

Just then, Turing’s legs gave out as she collapsed onto the carpet, her forehooves falling useless to her front, the book falling in a clatter as its spine was strained while it lay open, the pages folding on each other.

(“Turing!”) Twilight called out, keeping herself from screaming at the abuse Turing was treating that poor novel with. (“What’s wrong?”)

Twilight felt Turing’s body shiver several times in succession, enough to make her realize that Turing was quivering. “Twilight Sparkle... that book was so sad!”

(“You found it sad?”) Twilight pressed, trying to figure out the problem as she searched Turing’s system from the inside, using her magic to bring up resource monitors to try and detect changes in hardware or software.

“That poor mare,” Turing continued, her voice slow and strangely unstable, completely different from her normal monotone. “That mare and her friend grew up together, best friends through their entire life with only each other for company, and in the end one of them is dead.”

(“Is this…”) Twilight began, eyeballing a graph that seemed to be similar with what she worked with in David’s computer. Her eyes widened. Turing was inhibiting her power output. (“Is this your first time experiencing ‘sadness’?”)

“I have been introduced to many emotions since I met you, Twilight Sparkle, including sadness,” Turing began to explain, unable to regain her strength. “And I have produced my own conclusions on ones I believe I have discovered.”

Twilight swore she heard a sob from the robot.

“But this is too much.”

Twilight loosened her eyebrows, her head scrambling for an answer.

“Twilight Sparkle,” Turing whimpered. Twilight had no doubt that if she could, Turing would be shedding tears. “It hurts.”

(“Oh, Turing,”) Twilight said, her voice soothing. (“Uh, we need to find you a happy book! Yes! Something happy that will fill you up with joy! Let’s get rid of those negative emotions!”)

“I...cannot…” Turing slowly uttered.

(“What do you mean, you can’t?”) Twilight cried.

Turing shook her head. “I cannot.”

(“By Celestia’s mane,”) Twilight swore, getting her magic into gear and taking Turing for a ride again. Without her own volition, Turing got up and started trotting around the library, looking left and right with a sense of urgency.

“Twilight Sparkle, what are you doing?” Turing asked.

Twilight said nothing, sticking out her tongue in concentration. Her eyes searched the spines of the books, quickly identifying which section of the library they were in. She went away from the outer wall towards the center of the maze, turning left and right, searching for the right book to use.

“Aha!” Twilight shouted, activating Turing’s U-mode and pulling down a moderately thick book. “Here, Turing, quick! Read this!”

“Why?” Turing asked as Twilight let go of the spell, sending Turing to the floor rear first. The book was released from Turing’s telekinesis and fell right before her, with Turing staring at it, miserable.

“Because it will make you feel better! I promise!”

Turing tentatively picked up the book with both hooves, analyzing the cover. With lots of hesitation, she opened the paperback and shuffled through it quickly, giving herself just enough time to catch every word on the page, the air moving from the rapidly turning pages blowing against Turing’s mane.

When the back cover closed with the final page, Turing instantly sat up, perking her ears and correcting her neck posture.

(“There,”) Twilight said, examining Turing’s vitals. Her power output was back to normal. (“The ending of that book should have been a lot more cheerful than The Graduate. All better now?”)

“That was… much more pleasant,” Turing decided before getting to her hooves. “Thank you, Twilight Sparkle.”

(“No problem,”) Twilight replied, rubbing the top of her hoof with the bottom of her chin. (“That was an odd phenomenon. I think that if I can gain innate abilities from you, such as reading and calculating fast, then you must be gaining some kinds of abilities from me.”)

“Such as a broader depth of understanding for emotion?”

(“Exactly,”) Twilight concluded.

The motor at the back of Turing’s neck whirred. “Experiencing sadness in such a way was crippling. I did not expect organic emotion to be so intense. Is that how you always feel when you are sad, Twilight Sparkle?”

Twilight frowned, choosing her words carefully. (“Feeling sad definitely has a disabling effect on what it has affected. But all emotions are like that. When you’re anxious, you feel as if you can’t wait and you need to run away as far as possible from what you’re anxious about, and when you’re angry you just want to smash everything and anything in your path. But when you’re happy, it is the best feeling in the world. You’re filled with energy, joy and hope! You feel like everything is alright, and everything will be alright as long as you keep a clear and steady head. Happiness brings clarity of thought, so I hope you don’t think all emotions are as bad as what you’ve felt.”)

Turing said nothing, putting a hoof up to her chest and looking down at it.

(“How did you feel after reading the end of ‘The White Feather’?”)

“Glad,” Turing decided. “And content with the conclusion that the author provided. I was happy to learn that the protagonist found love in the end after all she had been through.”

(“Great!”) Twilight chirped. (“That’s how you’re supposed to feel after a happy ending.”)

“When I have read books,” Turing started, “I never considered the emotions that the books tried to present to be relevant to my thought processes. I never connected with them, and did nothing but try and understand them to the limit of my ability, despite having no experience with them in the first place. I would try and read fiction to improve my understanding of emotion in order to attempt to simulate it in a real environment in an attempt to make myself like a normal pony.”

Twilight’s ears curved back. (“Turing Test.”)

“But now, after having realized the true potential of sadness and many emotions like it, I will never forget how it drastically it affected me. Thank you for sharing this with me, Twilight Sparkle.”

Twilight smiled. (“You’re very welcome, Turing.”)

***

Turing and Twilight found their way to the exit of the library, approaching the front door. Turing stopped just before she reached the doorknob, her ears lifting straight up.

(“Turing?”) Twilight asked curiously. (“What wrong?”)

Suddenly, the green door swung open, barely missing the end of Turing’s muzzle by an inch. Out came a familiar purple reptile, his eyes lazily gazing over, lost in his own thought until he almost bumped into the metal case of Turing Test.

“Oh, Turing Test,” he said, greeting her simply. “Back from visiting Pinkie Pie?”

Turing heard a heavy gasp from inside her head. (“Spike…”) Twilight said wistfully.

“Affirmative,” Turing replied. “But in an urgent matter I was directed to find you.”

“Why? What for?” Spike asked.

“Spike!” Turing said, although it wasn’t exactly her voice that came out of her speakers. Spike rose an eyebrow when his name hit his ears. “Spike, it’s me, Twilight!”

“Wow,” Spike laughed, “that’s a really good Twilight impression. I’m guessing you and Pinkie were having an impressions contest? Did she show you her Fluttershy impression? The first time I heard it I couldn’t believe that voice was coming out of those lips!”

“No, Spike,” Turing continued with Twilight’s voice. “It’s really me! I’m stuck inside Turing Test!”

Spike snorted, his lips screwing into a grin. “Ok, you got me there. Twilight getting stuck in you would be a pretty funny concept.”

“She is not lying, Spike the Dragon. Twilight Sparkle has been transformed into a program and is currently trapped inside my system.”

Spike folded his arms and looked at her sideways. “Oh really?”

“Affirmative. She appeared after a system shock that occurred at 12:55 PM at Sugarcube Corner. She has access to all my functions and faculties. We have attempted to speak to Pinkie Pie and Rarity about this, but they did not prove to be very helpful. I have returned to the castle with Twilight in hopes that you could send a letter to Princess Celestia, to confirm Twilight Sparkle’s missing attendance.”

“You can stop with the prank now, Turing,” Spike said, narrowing his eyes. “I can see right through your trick. I haven’t been around the Ponyville block without running into Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash’s antics.”

“This isn’t a prank, Spike!” Twilight exclaimed. “I’m really stuck inside Turing!”

“Ok, then prove it,” Spike challenged, putting his fists onto his hips. “Tell me something that I and Twilight only know.”

The robot sat and tapped her chin, thinking. “You make me keep your old sleeping blanket from when you were just a little drake in the closet, even though you never sleep with it anymore,” Twilight quickly said.

Spike’s cheeks flared as his gaze turned to the ground. “That was before the Golden Oak Library was destroyed,” he muttered, “but that doesn’t mean anything! What if Twilight told you that while I wasn’t around, Turing? Huh? What about that?”

“And there was that time in Canterlot Castle when you were five where you burned down Princess Celestia’s bedroom and the Princess and I found you crying in the middle of the inferno!” Twilight continued.

“W-Well,” Spike began, “Well that’s--”

“And the crush you have on Rarity!” Twilight shouted.

Spike went wide-eyed before trying to hide his face with his tiny hands, looking at Turing between the gap in the middle of his elbows. He turned around, sputtering silently at first, unable to think properly, his tail as stiff as a board. “B-B-But no pony’s supposed to know about that! Not even Turing could be that good of a guesser! Was it that obvious?”

He checked over his shoulder. Turing visibly wilted, her ears folding, almost looking exhausted at Spike. Spike had never seen such seemingly organic body language like that from Turing before.

“Please, Spike,” Twilight said, “Please, you have to believe me. I would never lie to you. Listen to me, please?”

Spike had sweat rolling down his temple. He shifted his eyes left and right, away from Turing’s robotic gaze, unable to meet it. He chewed on the end of his claws, his mind turning as he said nothing, trying to make something out of the situation. Twilight waited, leaning forward in Turing’s head, muzzle inches away from the visualizer. Turing listen in the back in silence, not bothered at all that Twilight grabbed the reigns of her body without asking again.

“I…” Spike began. “Oh, alright!” He threw his fists down, throwing a shaky scowl at Turing. “I’ll go send a letter to the Princess. But, I swear if this is a trick, Turing, then it isn’t funny one bit!”

Spike stormed off without another word, exiting the library.

Twilight breathed a sigh of relief. (“Oh thank goodness.”)

“Indeed,” Turing agreed, grabbing control of her body again and following Spike with due haste.

Spike hurried down the hall with Turing following directly after. Turing matched his speed, which threw Twilight for a loop when she could barely keep track of the doors passing by in Turing’s vision. She had no idea where they were in the castle anymore, and although she guessed that Turing had a visualized map of some sort, she didn’t want to disturb Turing by either asking if she could display the map inside her head, or trying to find a way to display the map herself.

Turing entered the open door, looking around, trying to see where Spike was. Twilight took in the room with haste. The walls were slightly closer together than what she saw of the rest of the stronghold, making it more homey and welcome. The walls had books consisting mostly of non-fiction and binders holding some sort of important records, although there were notable gaps between some of the bundles of pages. The bookshelves were relatively new and were kept free of dust, along with the wooden maple desk near the end of the room right before the open balcony hidden behind purple curtains. There were two black file cabinets placed against the walls, closed. The desk had all sorts of papers littered around it, with a coupled used quills on top right beside long documents not of the normal paper size.

Spike was facing the balcony, hastily scribbling into an open scroll. He stopped, turning to look behind when he heard heavy metal hoofsteps. He shot a cold glare, rolled up the scroll, took a breath and set the parchment on fire, sending the ashes between the curtains and out the balcony.

(“No!”) Twilight cried. (“Turing, I need to use your voice! And I’m sorry for grabbing it from you before without asking!”)

“Apology accepted, Twilight Sparkle,” Turing replied. “Access granted.”

“Spike!” Turing called out with Twilight’s voice, slowly approaching the young dragon. He turned around, his expression unreadable. “You should have let us read the letter first before you sent it.”

“What if I didn’t want you to see it?” Spike challenged, folding his arms.

“It was inadvisable to send that letter without us checking its contents,” Turing popped in. “We did not have the chance to give our recollection of today’s events, and your message might be biased.”

“Spike, you know better!” Twilight accused. “This is really important! What if you said something that wasn’t true? The Princess needs to know everything! We need you to write another letter right away.”

He turned his head away, closing his eyes. “No.”

Twilight grit her teeth as she stared at him through the window of Turing’s eyes. “And why not?”

“Because I still don’t believe you!” Spike shouted. “I saw Twilight just last night, inside the library, doing her studying as always! She was practically up until midnight! How could she have gone from the castle, to Canterlot, to inside you, Turing? It just doesn’t make any sense.”

“But it’s true!” Twilight claimed. “I already told you Spike, I wouldn’t lie to you about something like that. Can’t you see?”

“Oh yeah? Well here’s a question for you, ‘Twilight Sparkle’,” Spike said, pointing an accusatory finger at Turing. “When I turned in for the night last night, what were the last words you said to me before I left the library?”

“I,” Twilight began, looking left and right, sweat forming on her brow. “I don’t know!”

“Ha! See? You aren’t Twilight Sparkle! If you were, she would actually remember that detail!” Spike concluded, smirking and folding his arms.

“Twilight Sparkle has been experiencing amnesia since she arrived in my body,” Turing explained. “She cannot recall recent events, nor can she recall her acquisition of the Castle of Friendship. She cannot even recall her position as my designated end user.”

“What?” Spike exclaimed. “Are you serious? For Pete’s sake, this is getting ridiculous! First, ‘Twilight Sparkle’ is stuck inside of you, and now you tell me that because you can’t answer Twilight-specific questions about recent things because she has amnesia?”

“That is not the case, Spike the Dragon.”

“I don’t want to hear any of it! There is no way in Tartarus that Twilight is trapped inside you!” Spike yelled, turning around to try and ignore Turing, steaming.

Twilight gasped after hearing Spike’s outburst. She looked away from the visualizer, eyes gazing at the transparent ground, her mind a storm. She deactivated her shared control of Turing’s speaker. (“What do we do, Turing? He won’t listen, and I can’t press my authority because he doesn’t believe either of us. I don’t want to force him, but he’s our only way to get the Princess's attention.”)

“There still is a possibility that Spike did send the correct information on his letter to the princess without much bias,” Turing responded, making her voice quiet enough so only Twilight could hear.

(“But we still don’t know what he put in there,”) Twilight pointed out.

The two of them said nothing, Twilight stressing over time. She saw Spike glance over his back slightly, probably wondering about the sudden silence they were submitting him to.

“I am detecting large amounts of emotional distress from Spike the Dragon,” Turing informed her.

Twilight looked up. She watched as Spike sniffed, lifting up a claw to wipe something at the bottom of his eye.

Twilight stopped, sat up and blinked, going wide-eyed before her ears stood straight up, wiggling slightly. (“Turing Test?”)

“Yes, Twilight Sparkle?”

(“May I use your body one last time?”)

“Yes, you may,” Turing replied without hesitation.

There was a change in pilot. Spike heard Turing’s hoofsteps and the music of magic being performed before a hoof went over his shoulder. He turned around to look at Turing.

“Spike,” Twilight said. “The last thing I remember in Equestria was leaving on a train. It had been a month since we went to the Crystal Empire. You remember that, right? You were the one who saved the Crystal Heart when I couldn’t?”

“That’s not something I would forget,” Spike said.

“Well, a month later, I had gotten a letter from Princess Celestia inviting my friends and I to attend a technology convention in Vanhoover, but the letter had seven tickets. So I asked if you could come too. You said yes, so we all piled on a train straight to Vanhoover. We fell asleep overnight on the train, and when I woke up, I was in a computer.”

Spike stared up at her for a moment before searching the ground, tapping the bottom of his lip. “I remember TecCon, and I remember the train ride, but nothing happened overnight on the train. I mean, you didn’t disappear or anything, and we all went to the convention center together the next morning. You were there the entire time.”

Twilight took Turing’s hoof off of Spike. “That’s the latest I can remember. I don’t have any more proof that this is me inside Turing than my voice and my memories, but I’m glad that you sent that letter to the Princess, even if I didn’t get to read it or have any say on what was on it, and I’m glad I knew you for half of my life as the best little brother a filly could have.”

Spike held his hands clenched near his heart, tears pooling at the bottom of his eyes. Twilight was trying to keep herself from crying, too. “T-Twilight?” he asked tentatively.

“I’m sorry I seemed demanding at first, and I’m sorry that I was angry at you for sending the letter without my approval. I was just so happy to see you that I couldn’t control myself.” Twilight paused, looking for her next words. “I-If you’re not going to believe me, Spike, could you answer me one question?”

Spike nodded slowly, breathing from his nose, unable to rip his eyes away from Turing.

“Why was I given a castle after the Golden Oak Library burnt down?”

Suddenly, a burst of white light erupted on the balcony, pushing the curtains aside as Spike shielded his eyes and Turing’ visual sensors rapidly attempted to adapt to the new brilliance.

Spike opened his eyes, carefully looking at the balcony, not believing his eyes at first. “T-Twilight?!”

To be concluded...

Author's Note:

One more chapter until this story is complete.

Of special note is that while previous chapters included sections written by us both, it worked out that this chapter was all done by BB, and the next chapter is all me. However, no matter what the case, we both got a lot of help and advice from each other to stay true to each other's characters and stories, so you'll find our marks on each other's sections regardless.

See you next time! :twilightsmile:
-The Hat Man