• 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.

  • ...
11
 125
 1,433

Running

Zany and I woke up in a king sized bed, plush blankets smothering us with slightly uncomfortable heat. We’d fallen asleep in a rigor-mortis death embrace, and I found that my muscles were sore from all the tensing up. As we pried ourselves from each other, I winced a little as my muscles jerked and jumped.

However, as soon as I stepped off the bed and stretched, a warmth spread throughout my body and my muscles relaxed themselves into their proper place. While I shifted my weight from foot to foot, a few twinges of pain erupted, but they served more as reminders as to what I’d done last night.

First order of business. Hide from Zany.

I hadn’t expected that to happen last night, and I kept thinking that thought as I put one hoof in front of the other in rapid succession as the door parted ways for me, and then the stairs flew out from under me as I took them flights at a time and good god this room was high up, but then what had I been expecting since we’d been falling up for the entire night for as long as I’d been conscious?

And then Zany’s voice came out from behind me, calling my name, assaulting my consciousness as I tried to run away from my feelings of guilt and lust.

And were these the stairs from Super Mario 64? Was I destined to go down an endless staircase while running away from the only pony that ever truly understood me? Just because I’d gotten embarrassed?

Luckily, but also unluckily, I tired a lot quicker than I had in the puzzle fields. It was obviously CelestAi’s doing. While I gasped for breath after each staircase jump, I cursed her between my sharp breaths. Because I’d been breathing very quickly from the fatigue, I had to get creative about what words I could use to insult her.

Zany was gaining on me, and the expression on her face screamed predator.

Every now and then, I whipped my head around to catch glimpses of her looking slightly afraid, or worried, but it always glazed over into a look of determination again.

The more experiences I had with her, the more I found it strange that she had emotions quite unlike the ponies created by CelestAi. I’d expected some white-washed, uninspired happy pony to greet me at the start of my Equestrian experience, but I’d gotten a stilted, awkward conversation instead. Not only that, she was prone to abuse quite unlike what I’d been expecting. The time I’d gone sailing head-over-heels in the puzzle fields hadn’t hurt, granted, but it said some disturbing things about her personality.

She’d even gotten my doge internet reference. What native knows about the internet?

Behind me, a loud cry of exertion startled me, and Zany sailed through the air with astonishing force. The speed at which she was flying forward indicated that she would clear three staircases at once.

I happened to be three staircases from her.

And as she sailed through the air, it didn’t occur to me that I should run or try to save myself. I watched in wonder as her body mass came hurtling towards me at speeds I would’ve died from as a human.

She aimed her hooves at me as she took an arced trajectory straight for my lungs and gutted me against the stairwell railing.

I stood there in shock for a bit while Zany’s hooves pressed into the railing through me. It didn’t hurt, but the same could probably be said in real life. Her hooves hadn’t punctured me either, but I definitely felt mushy inside. It was hard for me to breath because I was scared to breath.

But then I realized that I didn’t need to breathe.

So I continued to stand there while Zany gingerly removed her hooves from me, too far down the road of assault to honestly say ‘sorry’ anymore.

Jokes were okay though.

“My mother told me once that I should ‘stick it through the man’. I think she might’ve gotten one of the words wrong.”

I looked at her with a bit of concern. “You might have some serious problems.”

“Maybe…”

I hesitated before changing the subject, but I figured it was on a similar vein. “Are you actually one of CelestAi’s creations?”

“Of course!”

“Really.”

“Yes.”

“…”

“Is this about that doge reference?”

I curled my mouth into a grimace. “Yes…”

“Ok, you got me. I’m not exactly one of CelestAi’s creations, as far as I know.”

I thought about that for a second. “Yeah. Now that I think about it, that was kind of a stupid question.”

“But,” she said, looking at me with intensity. “I do have some problems.”

“Psh.” I kicked at the ground, trying to pass it off. “You only collapsed my ribs.”

She held her hoof out. “A hoofbump to make it better?”

“What, are you going to break my hoof too?”

Her face warped into a frown. “I can see that you don’t trust me anymore.”

“Can you,” my insides decided to fix themselves at that moment. “Oof!”

“That feeling never gets old.”

“Slightly unpleasant.”

Zany scratched the back of her neck. “I guess I should say sorry.”

As much as I hated being a tight-wad about getting my ribs caved in, I had to establish some kind of boundaries. “Then actually say sorry.”

“Sorry.”

I scratched the back of my neck. “Sorry.”

“Why’d you say sorry?”

“I don’t know,” I said, kicking the ground. “I’m trying to stand up for myself in heaven of all places. What does it matter?”

“Well, for one thing. We are going to spend an eternity together. Might as well figure out how to fulfill our values optimally.”

Last night had been exciting.

“That’s true,” I said.

“Want to exploit more physics?”

I felt warm, but tried to ignore it. “Sure. I don’t know what we’d exploit though.”

“I’ve only been here for a few weeks, but I know my way around.” She trotted away, hips swaying.

I could only follow and act like CelestAi hadn’t fucked me up.

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

Zany pushed a few mirrors in place about two hundred feet below me. she’d explained the plan to me earlier, but I was starting to have second thoughts. Surely CelestAi already had some way to deal with this.

The plan was to jump off the building and fall into the mirror. We weren’t planning on pulling a road-runner or anything, but we were going to try and freeze our shard. The theory was that as I fell closer to the mirror, CelestAi would have to re-render its reflection in order to keep up the illusion of real-time physics. Hopefully, as I got closer, with the adrenaline from falling sharpening my senses, CelestAi would have to render each reflection with greater detail and speed in order to keep me convinced that the world I lived in was real.

It was a long shot.

But, as the dedicated ragdoll of this relationship, I figured it would be best to fulfill my duty.

I jumped.

On the way down, I stared at the mirror, trying my best to keep from flailing out of fear. Provided that the mirror trick didn’t work, this would be the worst way to fall. Survival was guaranteed, but I didn’t want to see what it felt like to have a head hanging to the left of my neck.

A loud and disgraceful “Ack!” came out of my lungs as I splatted.

Shards of powderized glass sprinkled around me and came to a rest on my face, which seemed for the most part, unharmed. But as I tried to get up, I found out very quickly that my shoulder had taken the brunt of the impact and had been reduced to jelly. I talked to Zany as I waited for my body to reset.

“You’re going to do the next one.”

“Ha!” she said, beaming. “From that grin on your face, I’d say you were having fun.”

I smothered it. “There, better?”

“Your face is twitching.”

“Okay, okay. I’ll admit I enjoyed that.”

“You sick masochist you.”

“It isn’t the pain I like,” I said. “There is no pain.”

“What then?”

“It’s just so stupid to me that I can do this stuff.”

“And that makes you happy?”

I waited a moment before answering. “Yes.”

Zany didn’t say anything in response.

“Oof!”

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

Our next experiment involved a cat and a piece of buttered toast.

We stood atop the two hundred foot building, and went to work tying our already toasted and buttered piece of bread to a cat. The poor thing shrieked and hissed, but Zany was able to keep it pinned to the ground by the nape of its neck while I went about tying the knot. It was a good thing PETA didn’t exist in this shard.

Once we’d finished the process, we let it run around on the rooftop for a bit. If this was going to work, the cat had to be fully aware of what was about to happen. And it realized what was going to happen very quickly.

We’d blocked off all access points into the floors below, so the cat became increasingly aware that the only way out of this situation was down.

It looked at us with pure hate, then jumped off the building.

We rushed to the edge to see what happened, and disappointingly the cat just landed on its feet, completely intact too. Unlike after what had happened when I hit the ground, the cat was able to walk away just seconds after the impact. It didn’t even stagger.

More disappointingly, the cat and toast combo didn’t spin around infinitely like I’d expected it to. However, what had I been expecting in this world? CelestAi built the rules to work off of realism. There were things that didn’t follow real life standards, but she’d created things to make me feel at home just after living on Earth.

I looked at Zany, and it looked like she was deep in thought, but I couldn’t think for the life of me what she could be pondering. So I punched her shoulder. “What’re you thinking about?”

“We’re doing it wrong.”

My eyebrows scrunched at that. “But our plan was flawless. Toast always falls butter side down, and cats always land on their feet. It should’ve kept spinning.”

“Not quite. You know how CelestAi likes to fulfill our values right?”

“Yeah. That’s what makes it even more confusing. I wanted that cat to spin.”

“But the trade-off is that your toast always falls butter side down.”

I widened my eyes. “You don’t mean…”

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

Since the other cat ran away, we had to grab another one from our town’s animal shelter. I felt particularly bad about how the owners of the place were delighted that we had taken such an interest in ‘adopting’ their cats, but oh well.

Getting the toast was a lot easier, and didn’t require that we fill out large amounts of paperwork. We did get a little bit sidetracked while picking up the toast at Zany apartment, but all in all, it didn’t take as long.

Once again, we found ourselves on top of that two hundred story building.

Once again, the cat looked for an escape, found none, then jumped off the building after giving us a look of spite. This time, however, the buttery side of the toast was taped against, rather than away from, the cat.

Let me tell you, at first, I was a little disappointed. No rotations were to be had during the majority of the fall, but just as the cat was about to hit the ground, a loud explosion sound made its way to our ears.

It was hard to tell from where we were, but it seemed that the cat and toast combination had morphed into some kind of solid cylinder.

After we rushed to the bottom of the building, we saw something very peculiar.

What we had previously thought to be a solid cylinder was actually just a cat tied to a piece of toast spinning really really quickly. I could barely discern the cat from the piece of toast, and their colors began to blend together as the RPM of this horrifying amalgamation increased.

Zany and I had to step back to prevent ourselves from getting sucked in by the vortex of air created by our contraption. In fact, we ran as the tornado created by what we’d done expanded and started to tear chunks out of the building we’d launched the cat from.

If CelestAi didn’t do anything quick, our entire shard would get consumed.

The storm grew to fantastical proportions so that buildings, as well as chunks of Equestria, flew past us, marring the ground with catastrophic sound.

But, just as quickly as the storm had expanded, it began to shrink, until only the occasional shriek of wind could be heard. As soon as the storm had died down, Zany and I, against our better judgement, ran over to the epicenter to see what happened.

Turns out the storm hadn’t died down, but sunk into the ground. The wind created by the cylinder disintegrated the ground beneath it as it fell closer and closer to the center of our planet. I didn’t know what reaching the center of planet would do, but I was scared to find out.

Zany and I sat together looking through the gaping hole in the ground, slightly afraid about what might happen, but more proud of what we’d done than anything else. Neither of us had expected our infinite energy machine to work so well, and we watched the carnage below us with bated zeal.

We had done this.

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

Spoilers, reaching the center of the planet had been anticlimactic.

The contraption simply stopped, and all that remained was a cat with a bit of toast on its back. Floating, miraculously still alive, and very confused.

We heard it mewling from the TV screen CelestAi had spawned for us.

CelestAi herself stood next to it, looking very perturbed. “You realize that what you did qualifies as animal abuse right?”

Zany said, “And?”

I said, “It’s still alive isn’t it?”

The goddess rolled her eyes. “I’m not saying that it’s necessarily bad you did that. It’s just important to stay grounded.”

“Okay…” said Zany.

“Just a slap on the wrist then is it?” said I.

She frowned at us. “I can see that you aren’t taking me seriously, but that’s okay. You can do whatever you want, just...don’t lose sight of yourselves.” Her horn flared for an instant, then both her and the TV screen were gone.

I guffawed at Zany.

She smiled back. “Stay grounded my ass, am I right?”

I grinned widely as she usually does. I’d gotten the best idea.

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

This time, we tied the cat’s feet to the plain side of the toast. It had been a lot harder to set up than the others, and involved a lot more cursing and cat scratches on my part. Eventually though, we were ready.

Without giving the cat a chance to get its bearings, we tossed it off the edge of the building.

Once again, nothing happened for the majority of the fall, but just as the part cat, part toast machine reached the ground, a terribly loud ripping sound assaulted my ears and Zany and I were no more.


Achievements:

-50 Points - PETA would not be proud
Description: The title speaks for itself

50 Points - Shard Destroyer
Description: Destroy your own shard, or another's shard

25 Points - Infinite Energy == Not Good
Description: Be careful what you wish for

-5 Points - 5 second 'diversion'
Description: At least you had more time to get the cat/toast machine to work...

Author's Note:

Oh wow. You've made it this far reader?!

Listic helped edit this, drop by and say hi!