• Published 6th Oct 2017
  • 2,413 Views, 79 Comments

Mechanical Soul - The Albinocorn

One drunken night of science and magic has led Sunset and Twilight to create an artifical human named Dawn that recognizes both girls as her mothers. But the magic powering her can only last so long.

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Sunset Shimmer rolled her tongue around her dry mouth, tasting the bitter remnants of alcohol and cheap pizza. She gagged and smacked her lips, gumming down on something stringy. Cracked her eyes open very slowly, she found herself gazing into a fountain of purple hair, hints of lavender still wafting around it. The longer she clung to the vestiges of consciousness, the more Sunset became aware of her position. She laid across the cold, hard floor of a garage, arms wrapped around her girlfriend, Twilight Sparkle. Her side ached with the revelation, and she slowly pulled herself away and rolled up into a sitting position, leaning against the counter behind her.

Sweet Celestia… Sunset placed a hand against her pounding head and squeezed her eyes shut. How much did I drink last night? The drum parade continued to march through her skull, making concentration on anything other than staying awake a chore. She squinted her eyes open again, thanking her merciful teacher the lights were off.

A slight chill brushed Sunset’s shoulders, and she looked down to realize her top half was covered only by a bra. A lab coat was bundled up no to far away. Sunset assumed she had used it as a pillow at some point in the night. She then noticed Twilight had the opposite problem from her: she was missing her skirt.

Sunset blushed and looked elsewhere. She wasn’t sure why; she had seen Twilight naked before. And if the discarded clothes were anything to indicate…

Twilight groaned and turned over, her arm groping the cement. “Sunset?” she said weakly.

“Right here, baby.”

She groaned again, smacking her lips and sitting up. She scooted back and rested her head against Sunset’s shoulder. “Why did I let you talk me into this?” she said, her voice filled with overdramatic misery. “I know alcohol consumption is toxic for your body. Why did I drink anything at all? Why did I keep drinking?”

Sunset gave her a peck on the cheek. “Admit it, you had fun.”

Twilight dug her face deeper into Sunset’s side. “I would if I could remember what we even did. I’m amazed we even made it back to my garage.”

Shapes and outlines took form as Sunset’s eyes adjusted to the dark. She could make out some of the machines Twilight had built, charts, boards, and boxes of equipment scattered throughout the spacious room. With various scrap pieces and papers littering the floor, it looked messier than usual. The sharp pain in Sunset’s frontal lobe still prevented her from thinking too hard about what had happened the night before.

“I remember both of us being really excited about something,” Twilight said. “Wanting to make something I think.”

Sunset rested her head against Twilight’s. “I don’t know. My body hates me right now.” She swallowed and gagged at the sticky dryness in her throat. “Give me a sec to get adjusted and I’ll get us some water.”

“And some Advil,” Twilight whined. “I’m never drinking again.”

“That’s what they all say.”

The door to the kitchen opened, releasing a soft light, though Sunset still hissed and recoiled. She braced herself for the garage light to come on, or to be scolded by Shining or Twilight’s parents. Instead, the kitchen light faded away, and she heard something soft but metallic clanking across the floor, along with automatous whirring and clicking. Sunset raised her head, staring straight into a pair of fluorescent teal eyes, the same shade as hers. She winced and quickly looked away.

“Good morning, Mother Units,” a young, female voice said. It was light and cheery, though it carried a robotic undertone. “The time now is nine o’clock. As requested, I have come to deliver your morning wake up call.” The teal eyes flashed an emerald green, and Sunset heard a light scanning noise. “It appears you are both low on hydration, reaching only fifty percent of optimum levels. Would you like water?”

Sunset looked up again, trying not to meet the bright eyes. She saw the silhouette of what looked like a young girl who happened to be wearing her shirt and Twilight’s skirt. “Uuuh, yes?”

“Affirmative. I shall return with refreshments.” The clicking and whirring started again, and the girl returned to the kitchen.

Twilight and Sunset sat in the quiet dark. “Sunset… what was that?”

“I don’t know.”

The door opened again, making Sunset’s eyes water and sting. “Here you are, Mother Units.” The girl held out a tray with two cups of water.

Twilight, mouth hanging open, stared for a moment before slowly taking a cup. “Thank you?”

“You are welcome, Mother Unit Alpha. Please, Mother Unit Beta, you should drink as well. Your hydration levels are still below average percentages.”

Sunset realized the ‘girl’ was talking to her and took the remaining glass. A new wave of pain washed over her head, and she tipped the glass back, trying to save the cool refreshment restoring moisture to her throat while figuring out if she was dreaming or not.

“Your hydration levels are still low. I will retrieve more water. I am also preparing breakfast for the Mother Units, as is per custom after sleep and sexual intercourse.” The ‘girl’ turned and exited to the kitchen. This time Sunset could smell waffles and eggs.

“Guh?” Twilight said, still holding her water.

Sunset mentally agreed with her. “I’m guessing that wasn’t one of your cousins.”

Twilight shook her head. “She called us… mother units? And she sounded…”

“Like a robot?”

“Guh.” Twilight stared off into space, her glasses still askew from sleeping on her side. She took a long sip of her water, swished in her mouth before swallowing, and took a deep breath. “Sunset, what did we do?”

Sunset pressed the cold glass against her forehead, sighing at her ebbing headache. “This is going to sound insane… but I think we made a child.”

Said child walked in again carrying two more cups of water. “Your morning breakfast has been prepared, Mother Units. I have also supplied more water.” She presented the tray once more.

Eyes fully adjusted to the light, Sunset made out all of the child’s features. She looked like a very young teenager with purple hair that matched Twilight’s save for a red and gold patch up front. It was pulled back by a headband and hung down the small of her back, transitioning from purple to the colors of dawn. Her skin was a shade lighter than Sunset’s and looked impossibly smooth save for the mechanical grooves running across her. Two ran from her eyes down across her cheeks, and several ran along her neck.

The robot girl blinked, making a soft click as her eyelids closed, and cocked her head. “Is something the matter, Mother Unit Beta?”

“Uhhh… n-no. Um…” Sunset quickly grabbed the other glass of water and chugged it like the first. It felt too real and refreshing to be a dream. She nudged Twilight to stop staring, and she too took the second glass.

“For breakfast, I have prepared waffles, eggs, and a spread of fruit. Three basic food groups are provided. Calorie count is minimal.” Sunset noticed her eyes flashed with every word. “My memory banks have told me that Mother Unit Beta is a vegetarian. In response, no meat products were used for this meal. However, I can prepare bacon if Mother Unit Alpha would like some?”

Twilight kept the rim of her new glass pressed against her lip. “N-no, that, uh, won’t be necessary.”

“Very well. I shall go feed the dog Spike.” She smiled, showing off two flat white bars.

After she left again, Sunset used the table to pull herself up, helping Twilight to her feet as well. Twilight slumped over it, dropping the glasses and throwing her hands over her head. “Is that… did we really… how did we… in one night?”

“Yes, yes, I don’t know, and apparently,” Sunset said, massaging away the last of her headache. “I guess when we said we wanted to make something, it was—”

A child!” Twilight flinched at her own volume. “We made an actual, apparently fully functional, artificial human! And it thinks we’re its mothers!” She started hyperventilating, fanning her heart with her hand. “I can’t believe this. This is amazing! This is terrifying! This defies all logic!”

“I’m pretty sure magic was involved somewhere.” Sunset fingered the gem necklace dangling around her throat. Perhaps it was because the hangover was still too great, or because Twilight was already freaking out, but Sunset couldn’t bring herself into a panic just yet. She knew the dream option was out, but the situation still seemed so ridiculous. They built an automaton? Even in Equestria, that was overly advanced stuff.

She put her hands on Twilight’s shoulders to stop her from shaking. “Sparky, baby, calm down. It’s gonna be fine.”

Twilight took great gulps of air and slowed her breathing. “Sunset,” she said in a panicked whisper, “we’ve done what scientists have been trying to do for years! We did it in a night! And now our… our…” She started trembling again as she forced the words out. “Our daughter is in the next room making us breakfast! Oh God, we have a daughter! Oh God, her first impression of us is being hungover! We’ve only been doing this for five minutes and we’re already terrible parents! We’re parents! We can’t be parents, we’re not even married! We just started college!”

“Twilight, this is the opposite of calming down.”

“How can you be calm right now? We built an android with a fully functional and self-aware AI!”

Sunset gripped Twilight’s shoulders harder. “Because if I think about it too long, my headache comes back. I know this is big. Like, really big. But freaking out over it isn’t going to help us. Let’s go in there, eat, see how it… she functions, and try to remember how we even got to this point.”

Twilight slowed her breathing again and started to nod her head. “Okay. Okay. You’re right. Calming down. I just… I can’t believe it.”

Sunset moved her hands down to Twilight’s and she rubbed her palms. “It’s gonna be all right. I promise.” She kissed Twilight on the nose and led her into the kitchen. Upon entering into the light that came in through the windows and the backyard screen door, Sunset’s eyes wailed in pain, and the spike returned to the center of her skull.

The girls eased their way to the dining room table where two plates had been set out for them. Spike munched on his kibbles off to the side, raising his head out of the bowl as the girls sat down. “Looks like your mad science experiment worked.”

Twilight rubbed her forehead, eyeing her food with a slight green in her cheeks. “Spike, do you know what we did last night?”

Spike shrugged as well as a dog could. “The basics. You girls came barging in, giggling and going on about how you wanted to make a baby or something.” Twilight let out a mortified groan. “Then you went into the garage and were working all night. I got bored really fast, so I went to sleep. But it looks like you did it.”

Sunset poked at her eggs, trying to get her appetite up. “Well, there goes our only reliable source of last night’s activities.” She picked a piece of her scrambled egg up. It was fluffy and well-seasoned. It certainly looked appetizing. Her stomach, however, readied an assault if she dared try to pass it down her throat.

Their cybernetic creation walked in, and Sunset realized she was barefoot. In this better light, Sunset saw this girl was extremely well put together. There were no wires showing, her joints were perfectly attached, and her metal skin shone in the morning sunlight. How the hell did we make her hair? Sunset thought, watching it catch a soft breeze.

She looked at their full plates and frowned. Sunset could actually see concern in her optic eyes. “Are my mother units dissatisfied with my cooking?”

Sunset rapidly shook her head. “No, no, it’s not that. We’re just… still recovering from last night. It looks great.”

Twilight forced a forkful of eggs into her mouth. She chewed thoughtfully, giving a genuine smile before her cheeks bulged for a quick second. She strained herself to swallow, following it with a deep breath. “The eggs are wonderful… um…” She and Sunset locked eyes, passing a note of uncertainty.

Sunset cleared her throat. “Sweetheart, forgive your moms, they’ve had a long night. But…” Sunset bit her lip, but knew there was no unkind way around this. “What’s your name?”

The girl blinked slowly, staring at both girls. Her eyes then turned purple, matching Twilight’s, and a light beeping could be heard from her head. Her eyes turned teal again. “Familiar name not found,” she said, her voice more metallic than before.

Twilight pulled down the sides of her face. “We did all of this and didn’t give her a name. We are horrible parents.”

Sunset had no argument this time. Surely a name would have come up sometime last night. Robot or not, they had to call the girl something. Sunset looked her up and down. How did one name a child? Was it like naming a pet?

“Dawn!” Twilight blurted out. She saw the inquisitive Sunset gave her. “Look at her hair. It looks like the sky before dawn.”

The feature had caught Sunset’s attention before, but it felt a little on the nose. At the same time, she could see the poetry in it. “Okay then.” She looked at the girl. “How about it? Do you want to be called Dawn?”

Her eyes turned purple again, and the beeping returned. “Registration complete.” She closed her eyes and smiled. “Hello, my name is Dawn! Nice to meet you, Mother Units!” Her voice returned to its normal cheery synthetic tone.

“We should probably do something about that ‘mother unit’ thing later,” Sunset whispered to Twilight. “So, Dawn, what do you like to do?”

Dawn placed a finger on her mouth as she thought. “I like books. I like spending time with my friends and mother units.”

Sunset put a hand to her forehead. “Yep, she’s definitely ours.”

“Why don’t you go up to my room and read?” Twilight suggested.

Dawn gave a single nod and smiled again. “Okay, Mother Unit Alpha.” She turned and headed upstairs, almost skipping up the steps.

Sunset frowned. “How come you get to be alpha?”

Twilight ignored her. “Spike, why don’t you go keep her company?”

Spike raised an eyebrow. “You mean spy on her?”

“Just do it.”

“Fine,” Spike grumbled. “But she gives me the creeps. Her scent is all weird. Makes my nose itch.” He trotted up the stairs after Dawn. The girls looked at their plates of food, poking them in silence.

While Sunset could keep her panic down, confusion roiled in her stomach with the leftover alcohol. “Oh boy, we’ve done it this time.”

“We built her,” Twilight said, dazed again. “How did we build her. Why did we build her? What’s she capable of?”

Sunset stood from the table. As much as she wanted to eat the food Dawn had painstakingly made for them, her stomach wouldn’t allow it. “We have to have made some notes. Let’s check the garage and piece this together.”

Twilight stood up and froze, her cheeks turning red. “I’m not wearing pants.” She looked down, her face burning brighter. “Oh my God, my daughter’s seen me in my underwear!”

Sunset bit the inside of her cheek, trying not to laugh. “Look on the bright side: at least you’re not wearing the thong.”

Letting out another mortified groaned, Twilight quickly buttoned up her lab coat. “I’ve had bad ideas and I’ve had really bad ideas. This was a really bad idea!” She followed Sunset back to the garage and flipped the lights on, revealing the mess to be a lot more extensive than Sunset had first thought.

Some of Twilight’s other inventions had been gutted for parts, leaving pieces all across the floor along with tools, papers, bottles of hard cider, and an empty pizza box. Sunset picked up the nearest paper, finding a poor drawing of Dawn.

Twilight walked over to her desk and picked up a set of notes. She squinted through her glasses and turned the paper over in her hands. “I can’t believe it… this handwriting is barely legible!”

Sunset walked over to a board where a crude schematic had been drawn in chalk. The lines were squiggly and uneven, and the words were cramped together. “Horsefeathers. It’s like two completely different people were here last night.”

They went around the room, gathering all of the papers and compiling them into a neat pile. They poured over them, trying to decipher the drunken handwriting and pictures made by their past selves. Aside from some basic outlines and a few words, progress proved near impossible.

Twilight flipped the page and gasped. “Sunset look!”

From all the trouble it has caused, the drawing was easily recognizable. A modified version of Twilight’s magic sucking amulet took up the center of the page with various notes scribbled around it. One word that Sunset could make out was ‘core.’

“Please tell me we weren’t dumb enough to remake this thing and stick it in a robot,” Sunset said in monotone.

“I think we did,” Twilight said, flipping the page. The next illustration showed the amulet in the center of Dawn.

Sunset dropped her head against the desk. “Drunk and stupid. I now understand every teenage drama movie. What do we do with a magic sucking robot?”

Twilight kept flipping through the notes. “Well, she doesn’t seem dangerous.”

“Isn’t that what you thought about the first magic device?”

She winced. “Fair point. But, even while under the influence of alcohol, I think I would be smart enough not to make the same mistake twice, especially with you helping me.”

Sunset rested her chin on top of her hands. “Sure, but until we can read this mess, we can’t prove that.”

“Well, what are we supposed to do in the meantime, shut her down?” Their eyes met, and a profound silence dragged out between them.

“I mean, she’s… just a robot, right?” The words slowly poured out of Sunset’s mouth like molasses. “She… it won’t feel anything, right?”

Twilight dropped the papers and pressed her hands to her head. “She smiled. She looked at us and smiled. She called us her moms.”

“It could just be in her programming.” Sunset’s heart couldn’t buy into her words. Magic had been involved, meaning this robot was possibly something more. “I’m sure we didn’t mean to make her dangerous, but we don’t know what she can do with this thing as a core. Until we can figure things out, let’s just turn her off.”

Twilight didn’t vocally respond. She barely nodded her head but allowed Sunset to take her by the hand. They walked upstairs, tiptoeing past Twilight’s parent’s room and into Twilight’s. Dawn sat on the bed, quickly flipping through a book. Spike laid on the other side of the room, watching her carefully.

Dawn looked up as the girls walked in, closing the door behind them. “Hello, Mother Units,” she said chipperly. “Mother Unit Alpha, you have a vast collection of books to read.” She held up the one she was currently engrossed it. “This one is about space. I have learned that I like space.”

Twilight put her hands together. “That’s great, Dawn.” She smiled, and Sunset could see the hesitation beginning to take hold. Looking at Dawn’s innocent smile, the smile of someone just learning about all the marvels of the world, Sunset could feel her own hesitation rising.

On top of that was just a slight hint of annoyance. “Seriously, why do you get to be alpha?” Twilight nudged her in the ribs. “What? I wanna know how that got established.”

Twilight went back to ignoring her, and Sunset had a good idea that it had been her design. They watched Dawn finish her book, spending only a handful of seconds on each page. She set it down and turned her wide eyes on the girls.

“I have finished reading. Would my mother units like to engage in a family activity?”

Hesitation hit Sunset in full force this time. It… she… it’s just a robot. Just turn her off. But those eyes. Magic lived in those eyes; not just sparkling energy and pixie dust but the magic of life. A consciousness.

“Um… Dawn,” Twilight said gingerly, “what is your primary function?”

Sunset stared wide-eyed at Twilight, her heart constricting. Did Dawn know she wasn’t human?

Dawn tilted her head. “I do not have a primary function. One was not assigned to me upon initialization.”

After a quick sigh of relief, Sunset shot a glare at Twilight. She knew her girlfriend’s social interaction skills were still a work in progress, but Twilight could have shown a little more tact.

Okay, so she knows she’s… not human. Not sure if that’s good or bad yet. But we didn’t give her a protocol. So why did we make her?

“My mother units seem troubled. They are producing minimal amounts of the average serotonin levels.” Dawn stood up and took Sunset and Twilight’s hands into each of her own. “Are my mother units sad?”

The metal alloy that acted as her skin was cool, but not cold and unfriendly. Just beneath Dawn’s metal fingers, Sunset could feel something stirring, almost like a heartbeat.

Sunset understood then. They hadn’t just made a robot. While it was still mechanical and synthetic, they had done the impossible.

They had made a soul.

One look into Twilight’s eyes told Sunset she had come to the same conclusion. Tears threaten to fall down her face as Twilight knelt down and wrapped her arms around Dawn.

“No, sweetie. We’re very, very happy you’re here.”

Author's Note:

A few months ago, the insane minds located in Novel Idea's Discord server shared a comic featuring our favorite ship and their android creation. From there, many ideas were formed. Justice decided to take a more comical approach to the subject with his Don't Drink and Science, while Oroboro and I decided to take things a little more seriously.

So yeah, fun times ahead.

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