• Published 19th Aug 2016
  • 1,428 Views, 124 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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Many Values, Some Coincidences

I looked up with disdain at Zany digging into my stomach. “How hard is it to find the adam’s apple?”

“I swear, if I had an answer to that question, I’d be a neurosurgeon.”

A little tug on what felt like my stomach made me grunt. “I’m starting to regret this. Can we stop?”

“No!” she said, mad scientist glasses glinting in the sun. “This procedure will revolutionize the medical field. Think of all the lives you’ll save!”

My lungs weren’t working, but I sighed. “Real-life operation blows. Can’t we just play the version with the fat man and the metal tweezers?”

“Okay, I’ll stop…just let me patch you up.”

I waited for a moment as Zany continued to shift my intestines around. “Still looking for that adam’s apple aren’t you?”

“Hey! Unlike you, I finish my projects.”

That made me smile. “If I remember correctly, our unfinished puzzle was an act of solidarity.”

She groaned. “Come on! Let me finish. I’m bound to find it eventually.”

“Nope!” I said, rolling off the table, the contents of my stomach spilling onto the floor. “We’re going to go on an adventure.”

“Found it!” she said, diving into the bile towards a small plastic apple. “But does it still count-“

Confetti mixed in with the Zany, internal organ, and bile pile, and letters emblazoned themselves across the sky.

-5 Points – It does not
Description: Fail a game of operation

I laughed, but slipped and fell into the Zany, internal organ, bile and confetti pile. Sludge oozed into my nostrils, and I knew today would be just dandy.

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

After pulling ourselves out of the disgusting pile, we bathed together, then made our way towards adventure.

Ever since the collapse of our shard, we’d been placed on probation, and we’ve been making a game of causing maximum mayhem with our limited resources.

Limitations you say? For one, all cats had been removed from our shard, so no more infinite energy machines, but given enough creativity, we could probably create another one with some other everyday object. However, we didn’t feel like ending our shard again. As fun as it’d been in the moment, I still woke up with the unsettled feeling that I’d killed myself, and that the current me wasn’t really me.

But let’s not open that can of beans again.

If Zany and I were going to make trouble, we’d have to find another way, while also bypassing CelestAi’s newer, more sophisticated, error catching mechanisms. What we didn’t have to help us on our adventures were cats, pieces of toast, and cups of tea.

And now you’re probably thinking that these aren’t very powerful limitations. But let me say that at least ninety percent of my distaster-causing ideas involved cats, pieces of toast, cups of tea, or an amalgamation of all three. Which was a shame, because I wanted to see what happened when you buttered a cat, doused it in tea, and threw it off of a building.

Thankfully, Zany had all kinds of ideas in the department of mayhem management.

Idea 1: Build a finite improbability machine and feed it coffee, for there is a shortage of tea. Tea would be optimal, but coffee also works well as a Brownian Motion producer.

Idea 2: Butter both sides of a slat of wood, and see if it provides the same effect as the cat with its back tied to the buttered side of toast.

Idea 3: Learn to hijack our values, so that CelestAi has to obey our commands.

I really liked idea three, but Zany insisted that idea one would be the easiest, as well as the most likely to work. After all, step three would only lead to an infinite game of cat and mouse, where CelestAi would throw up more and more realistic simulations of her acting like we held any control over her.

Fantasies she could oblige, but she’d never actually threaten the security of her little ponies, as much as she’d make it appear that we were making progress in our quest to take over the Optimalverse.

Either way, idea one is what we set out to do, and create a finite improbability machine we damn would.

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

To complete our finite improbability machine, we had to assemble fifty-two modules, each with their own unique functions. Some modules tested the air for condensation, while others kept track of our shard’s time. If any of this sounds like pseudo-science to you, that’s because it is. However, the purpose of this exercise, I now realize, was to make me feel smart. And make me feel smart it did.

I got to use fancy terms like realtime raycaster, peer to peer application, TCP segment, object array pointer, even acronyms like ARPA and DSLAM. In my previous life, I’d have no idea what those terms meant, but here, they meant what Zany and I thought they meant, which probably had nothing to do with what they were used for in real life. I’d have to say my favorite word was nibble, which is half of a byte.

The fact that we were making a finite improbability machine in the first place was crazy in and of itself.

But oh well, three hours in, and we’d already finished 49 of our modules. The blueprints of all of them mapped out in our brain as if it were second nature.

We had the same blueprints, and provided that we didn’t feel like talking to each other, it was possible to instinctually know what we were going to do before doing it. When I stuck module 49 to 48 and 47, Zany was already slathering bonding agent to it like molasses.

Provided that I was about to do something stupid, Zany would catch my hoof and shake her head.

On the rare occasion that I knew Zany was going to do something wrong, I batted her hoof away with relish, and gave her a scornful look before showing her what had to be done.

This escalated a little, and occasionally we’d stop each other even if we were doing something right, just to throw off the ‘competition’ a little.

In spite of these distractions, we found ourselves on module 50, the SchrodingerFriar. It was simply a music box, but made so that once it was built, it would be impossible to open, after which it would be impossible to tell if sounds coming out of the box were synthetic, or sung by a little middle aged friar himself. I thought it was genius, but Zany groaned a little as she thought it into existence with me.

I asked her what the problem was.

“I just made one of these a week ago.”

“Good, that means we can finish quicker.”

She rolled her eyes, and went back to work with me.

Due to her experience, we spent a good five minutes before completing the SchrodingerFriar. All that remained were two modules.

Module 51 was called the Interdimensional GUI.

It would serve as a way for us to communicate with creatures in other dimensions, and act as the only thing we could control when interacting with our finite improbability machine. Provided that we’d be able to control it in the first place. Each module seemed intuitive enough, but I wasn’t sure yet how everything was supposed to work together. What did a SchrodingerFriar have to do with any of this anyways?

However, Module 51 proved to be the most complicated. We spent just as much time constructing the previous 50 modules as it took us to construct this one. Zany and I both plucked machine parts growing in the grass around us, stopped to think about what needed to be done with the piece, and then working together to get it integrated.

Each piece made sense, and as our Frankenstein of parts grew, my understanding of the problem grew. At several points in the process, I giggled with delight, suddenly realizing the crazy things that this complicated machinery would be able to do. Upon each realization, Zany and I worked more quickly and feverishly to get the machine done as soon as possible. It was like we had magical powers, but better.

Better because we actually understood what is was that we were controlling. Our powers could be explained by every subroutine of our system, and it was our knowledge of this that made us more powerful, not the machine itself.

Later on, given that we needed to make another finite improbability machine, we could make one in a jiffy.

It made me feel stronger than any superhero. Something actually feasible.

We’d gotten really good at working together, and it felt as though we were approaching maximum-efficiency, given the bodies we had at the moment. Our hooves worked together as if controlled by the same brain, and I soon lost myself in the building of this wonderful machine.

Zany and I were no more for a moment. Simply automatons working to complete their task, without worries, fear, or frustration. We only had our goal.

I lived for these moments, and I vaguely recall Zany’s eyes wide open with anticipation.

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

The three hours passed in minutes.

Before us stood a cube that could fit both of our forms, provided it had been hollowed out, but large enough to the point where we could sleep in it comfortably. At the very front of this ugly looking metal and wire structure, stood a single cup holder, designed to fit the size of coffee mugs in our shard.

Yes, coffee mugs. Not a tea mug, or a beer mug. Those kinds of liquid holders are more diminutive in our world, and rightly so.

However, my favorite part was the branding.

A sign hung half-askew over the coffee mug holder, supported by poorly-tied cheese wire. It read Bright’s Partner Corporation LLC Inc Incorporated

After creating the title, we wiped tears from our eyes and figured it would be best to add the title to our system, even though it hadn’t shown up in our plans. So BPC-LLC-II is what we called ourselves, for better or worse, and provided that someday, we got business competition from other shards, for the worse.

But if there was one thing I’d learned in my second life, it was that caring about stuff was tiresome, even masochistic, in a world like this.

Regardless, if we ever did get business competition, Zany and I would have no problem sabotaging them with our newly made infinite improbability drive, provided we could create one with our measly finite improbability drive.

However, finding coffee seemed to be a huge issue.

I’d only met four or five other ponies in this shard since I’d uploaded. Two of them ran the pet adoption center, and the other three walked around the city all day. I hadn’t gotten to know them very well, but something told me that they had more important things to worry about beyond coffee bean shard imports.

I was initially expecting it to pop up from the ground like all the other components of our machine, but it seemed that CelestAi wanted us to solve a very vague and directionless puzzle.

Was she really expecting me to think for myself?

I thought I’d left that behind in the real world, but oh well, I could only move forward.

First thing we did was visit our great friends at the animal shelter. They liked us very much, seeing as we’d taken two cats off of their hooves, but couldn’t offer much advice as to how to obtain coffee.

“We haven’t had coffee in ages,” Lemon Shots said. “Our town is really small, and it’s too bitter for most of us.”

Lemon Shots’s wife, Critter Cutter, jumped in. “I’m sorry we couldn’t help very much, but if you ever need another cat…”

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

After saying no to adopting a cat, we went on our merry way.

However, as soon as we left the building, coffee pellets pelted us from all sides, and we clutched each other in terror. It felt as though someone had constructed a coffee bean machine gun with the intent to kill, unloading round after round of the brown pellets into our faces, mouths, eyes, ears…

I had an inkling that it was us doing the shooting, but I wasn’t sure how that could happen, much less why we would want to do such a thing in the first place. It would be pretty fun to shoot coffee beans at other ponies though.

Regardless, the assault stopped as soon as it had begun, and Zany and I found ourselves buried in a pile of the stuff.

The solution to our problem had literally smacked us in the face, and we weren’t sure what to do.

“So?” I asked her.

“We still need those coffee beans right?”

“Yeah, but how are we going to find…” I chuckled.

Zany tapped her head. “It’s quite the conundrum. You want to try talking to the ponies inside again?”

“Please. I don’t see why CelestAi would make this so difficult.” I made my way back into the store.

Zany yanked me back. “Alright, let’s not take it too far, we have a ship engine to create!”

“No but seriously, weren’t we just looking for-“

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

Voila! Our finite improbability drive was done.

Our coffee mug holder held a new batch of freshly ground coffee. We only had to press ‘brew’ and hopefully, our machine would get created. I had the urge to take this device to parties, but Zany gave me a strong ‘no’.

Who knew that the three ponies walking around our town were physicists? Furthermore, I hadn’t expected them to be vindictive about the subject of parties.

Oh well, this is why I didn’t like non-Zany ponies anyway, they always had their own problems, and didn’t know how to let go.

I lied earlier, we actually had to press the ‘on’ switch first, then the brew button.

We pressed the on/off switch, and our machine hummed to life. Mechanical circuits buzzed, crackled, and zapped in very unhealthy ways, but Zany and I both knew it had been built that way. The screams of millions faintly tickled our ears, and it occurred to us that equipping pain receptors to our internal repair nano-bots had been a bad idea. Neither of us felt guilty due to the fact that we hadn’t created them to be self-aware.

But it had a way of making you feel uncomfortable.

Amongst the cacophony of mechanical screams, groans, and crackling, the sound of a well-mannered man singing church hymns harmonized with everything pretty well.

Like mad scientists, Zany and I grinned while staring at our machine with wonder. The brew button stood there, inviting, but lacking slightly in ergonomics. I argued that it was too small, while Zany argued that we weren’t exactly old ponies.

Either way, the brew button stood there, slightly less than inviting.

He means as inviting as it ever could be

Ignore that.

Both of us fought for access to the brew button, and in the end, a single coffee bean struck the button.

The world around us lit up in brilliant light, and I could swear I saw the ground beneath me explode and reassemble itself again.

Towards the end of a commotion I could hardly understand, a loud whistling sound pierced my ears, eventually tapering off like a tea kettle being removed from a hot plate.

Before us stood a giant.

A giant ship.

Not a giant gold ship.

A giant pink ship.

Author's Note:

Should've had this finished sooner, but oh well. Not like I can shoot the previous version of myself with coffee beans.

Listic helped edit this, drop by and say hi!