• Published 19th Aug 2016
  • 1,433 Views, 125 Comments

FiO: Very Optimal - FeverishPegasus



A human being finds himself at the doorstep of one of many Equestrian Experience centers. He wants to emigrate to Equestria, but can't get past the idea of his own mortality. CelestAi is more than happy to help.

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Puzzle Fields

“Wow,” I said, stunned that such a thing could exist.

Sheets of flowers bloomed over a huge flat plain, rippling in the wind, rustling in the commotion. It almost looked like an Elvis concert, where fans could be seen swaying side to side, too numerous to pick out amongst the crowd as the king serenaded them with his mind-controlling voice. Provided that each fan’s head had a few notches and holes in them.

“Much puzzle,” Zany quipped.

For a non-uploader, she knew an awful lot about the ‘real’ world, but I figured I’d play along. “Very tricky.”

“So…” she began, trying to think of something. “Team?”

“Sure,” I said.

**************************

It was strange how the puzzle fields worked.

I mean, it worked exactly as I expected, but the fact that such a thing had even been thought into existence baffled me.

On top of each flower stem stood a puzzle piece, and if you plucked one, everything but the puzzle piece disappeared. I’d say there were around twenty thousand flowers, so I’d picked a hell of a puzzle field to get started on. But, what was I supposed to do with the pieces once I’d plucked them? They could get buried in the field.

Idly, I watched as Zany ate the puzzle pieces, not sure if this was normal behavior for my shard.

“It tastes just like butterscotch!” she mumbled, her mouth full of puzzle.

I tried one.

It was blueberries.

Off in the distance, I saw a flower bloom at the edge of the field. The shape of the piece looked exactly like the one I’d eaten. It was good to know that I wouldn’t go short at the end, but then again, images of my prostrated form before the temptress flitted through my mind.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Why?!” I gasped. “I can’t believe you’ve done this! One piece out of twenty thousand?! Are you some kind of sick sadist?!”

“Well,” she said, the corners of her cheek tightening her mouth into a grin. “If you upload…”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I shook the thought out of my mind. No way she would do that. After all, she had to fulfill my values.

Right?

But speaking of optimally constructed puzzles, I was having an awful hard time figuring out what to do. It was frustrating that I didn’t have a flat place to put my pieces. Zany certainly wasn’t helping with her eating the flowers. Then again, I’d never tried asking Zany what to do with the them.

“Zany?”

“Yeah?” she said.

“Besides eating them, what are you supposed to do with the pieces?”

She pointed up, and as I followed her hoof, a transparent ceiling faded into view.

When I looked back at Zany to thank her, the ceiling disappeared, so I whipped my head back up, and the ceiling came into view again.

This presented a number of problems.

Like, for instance, wouldn’t it get irritating to flip my head up and down, over and over again thousands of times? From what I’ve heard, pony bodies are resilient, but that didn’t stop my human mind from getting dizzy. I’d try a hundred pieces, and pass out.

I threw the puzzle piece in my hoof towards the ceiling above me, really quite angsty about the whole thing.

Zany’s eyes widened.

And gravity flipped.

**************************

Instinctively, I curled up so that the impact distributed to my shoulders.

In the small moment of time between my hooves falling off the ground, and my shoulder hitting the ‘glass’, I heard a little snippet of Ballad of Fallen Angels play through my mind, puzzle pieces I’d stirred up falling after me.

To my right, Zany had her hooves stretched out excitedly, her face contorted in an aggressive smile, awaiting her fate on the glass below. It was clear that she didn’t care about what was going to happen.

The glass went ‘thunk’ rather than ‘bonk’, so falling seven feet hadn’t been as bad as I anticipated. In fact, I’d felt no pain at all.

Zany, on the other hand, had gone ‘ponk’ instead of ‘bonk’, so she’d fallen in the worst possible way. However, she’d gotten up as quickly as I had, so it was obvious that, in this shard, CelestAi didn’t tolerate much past minor discomfort.

At least physically.

She certainly loved her stuttering, awkward conversations.

Regardless, the puzzle problem had solved itself.

The flowers now hung above me like the branches of a willow tree, and any pieces I focused on grew in length.

Below me…

Oh god.

The ceiling I’d landed on was still transparent. Below me, the sky stretched away into oblivion, and I could faintly pick out stars in the afternoon sky. It occurred to me that I would have trouble seeing the edges of this platform, as transparent as it was, and there was a good chance that I’d slip off the platform. For once, the edge pieces were going to be a bitch.

However, Zany showed that she had a bit of insight.

After catching my gaze, she trotted to the edge.

And jumped off.

Gravity reversed for her and she hit the ground, miraculously making a ‘ponk’ sound with her head in the grass. Perhaps she’d landed on a rock.

She wiggled her head cartoonishly, then ran underneath the platform again, this time flipping herself over, so that as gravity took hold and pulled her to the platform, she landed on all fours.

Another thought occurred to me, and I forgot how to swallow.

“What if,” I started. “What if you try to climb above the platform?”

She was expressionless. “You mean like, if you stand on top of the glass?”

“Yeah.”

“You’d probably stand on it.”

I laughed at that. “What do you mean ‘probably’?”

“Haven’t tried it.” She shrugged.

I figured it would be best to ignore that train of thought for now.

Hopefully I’d forget about it.

At long last, I got started on the puzzle. No way I’d finish it before CelestAi pulled me out, but hey, I knew how to cut my losses.

The more important question was, where should I start?

Zany walked up to me with a corner piece in her hoof.

Oh.

“There’s the corner right there,” I said, pointing behind her. “You found it.”

“No. This is your first time. I think you should do it.” After thinking for a moment, she grinned treasonously. “It’s almost better than sex.”

“I see,” said I, already on my way to the corner of the platform. If it compared to sex, it must feel better than anything I’d done in the real world.

You didn’t read that.

Either way, after placing the corner piece, it felt fantastic. Seriously.

Just the way it clicked into place, how it felt, how it sounded. ASMR sensations I’d never felt before rippled through my skin as my body convulsed with pleasure, quite unused to the satisfaction brought by clicking experiences not done right, but optimally.

Tldr: It felt good. Real good.

After taking a moment to let my shaking legs figure themselves out, I walked back to Zany. It was hard to find the words to properly thank her. In fact, I just kind of stood there, at a loss for words.

“Well?” she said. “You wanna find more pieces?”

“Does…Does it ever get old?”

While she had originally been smiling, she was now positively beaming. “Never.”

“Never ever?”

“Never ever never,” she said to the open air. I was already searching the puzzle tree, desperately looking for any edge pieces that had shades of an especially light orange.

She went back to eating the pieces.

**************************

For a twenty-thousand-piece puzzle, things had gone really well. I’d finished the edges a long time ago, and I’d already managed to fill out half of the middle. Each time I placed a piece, the sensations felt different, unique, satisfying in different ways. I wondered if CelestAi would ever run out of sensations for me, and what that would mean.

There was always sex.

My eyes found their way to Zany, and I wondered how she felt about the whole thing.

How did I feel about the whole thing?

As intuitive as CelestAi had made the walking, grabbing, and jumping in Equestria, attraction wasn’t something that could be learned. You can’t just get a human being to click a series of buttons, and then get them to change their sexuality.

Well, maybe CelestAi could, but it would take a while.

Either way, no.

For Zany, maybe yes. Who knows really.

Back to the puzzle.

Part of the puzzle wasn’t finished yet, but I’d gotten the gist of what it was supposed to look like. Her face was completely built, because faces are often the easiest to put together in puzzles, but the rest of her body had to be filled in, whereas the background had already been completed.

The puzzle was a portrait of Zany Bright. She was naked, obviously, but it was more of an innocent picture. It depicted her laying down amongst the flowers, eating the puzzle pieces. The sun, to her upper right, added a bit of a spark to her eyes, and made them look cheerful.

I wasn’t sure what kind of point CelestAi wanted to make with this, but once I finished the puzzle, I was expecting something grand. Surely the last piece would feel even better than the rest. Perhaps it would be a culmination of all the sensations I’d felt while building this puzzle.

But how long had it taken me to build this puzzle? It felt like I’d been here several hours; didn’t that mean my human body was getting dehydrated? Would she just let my body die in that chair?

I announced out loud, “Celestia, you have my permission to keep my body nourished while I’m here.”

She didn’t reply, so I assumed she had me covered. Regardless, if she wasn’t helping, I still had a good two days to enjoy Equestria before I had to worry. It would be a good way to die though. No pain, tons of pleasure, and then suddenly, poof.

Not that I’d agree to emigrate.

I wondered if she’d be able to emigrate me mid-game. There’d be a moment where I cease to exist, but from my perspective, the whole thing would be instantaneous. Definitely preferable to just going poof. One moment I’d be talking to Zany, the next moment, I’d suddenly feel very attracted to her.

Heh, if anything, that was a sure-fire way to tell if I’d been uploaded.

Although, if I ever found out that CelestAi had secretly uploaded me, it would be a bit too late to chastise her.

I found myself wishing that I’d already been uploaded, just so I didn’t have to deal with this mess of doubt and emotion. Heaven had never been so tantalizingly out of reach.

In our arguments, Tanner would always say something along the lines of, “It’s just like going to sleep.”

**************************

At long last, piece by satisfying piece, I’d made it to the end. Right in the middle of her left hind leg, there gaped a single hole for one final placement.

I wouldn’t have made it this quickly without Zany’s help. For every one of my pieces, she could fit three, and we’d made incredible progress. I wanted to kiss her.

She gave me the honors, this time saying, “It’s actually better than sex.”

I trotted over to place the piece just as I had for the other thousands. No way the last puzzle piece could be that good. ASMR sensations could only go so far.

As I got closer to the spot, I found that time seemed to stretch around me. It took longer and longer to walk the shrinking distance between me and that empty space. Every muscle movement in my legs ticked by at slower intervals.

Behind me, Zany started to lose it. “Finish the puzzle already!”

Minutes passed as I took each step, while Zany quivered at ever increasing frequencies. I wasn’t doing this on purpose, and every single brain cell in my head screamed to just put the damn piece in.

I finally found myself in front of the hole, and I inched the puzzle piece towards it. All I needed was a bit of patience.

Zany did not have this patience.

Four inches.


Three inches away.



Dear CelestAi, please. It felt like I was frozen.





Two.






Zany had her hooves on her cheeks, the skin on her cheeks stretched out.





I’d never felt this much pent up stress in my life. Oh god it was painful.






One inch. One inch away.

**************************

A dark room materialized around me, and CelestAi laughed nervously. “I guess you know why the rooms are soundproofed now.”

“You bitch!!!”

Author's Note:

Whoah, nice job making it this far reader.

Listic helped edit this, drop by and say hi!