• Member Since 24th Jul, 2016
  • offline last seen 9 hours ago

Shadow Quill

A Thestral mare who enjoys reading amazing stories almost as much as she enjoys writing them. Come on over to Luna's night and see just what you've all been missing in your sun-lit days.


Source Code Identified......
Playback Audio Feed......Operation: World Jump 2463197......Subsection; Mission Parameters......

.........Um, hello, my name is Doctor Daniel Phillips, and I am the lead scientist overseeing the Gateway Project, one of the most cutting-edge technologies in existence today. With it, we can open wormholes to worlds far beyond the reach of conventional space travel, and even into other dimensions if we can work out the right frequency. As of late we have discovered over a dozen habitable worlds that have been slated for colonization, but as of yet no signs of intelligent life. Yet I hold out hope that one day we might find such a world, however remote, and put our best foot forward in opening relations with our new galactic neighbors. Yet not all of the planets we find are poppies and roses, so instead of sending in humans to explore them, we have these little babies.

Oh, right, you can't see me because this is an audio-only feed. My mistake. Well, I guess I'll just have to explain it to you. These cybernetic wolves, known in our group as the Mech Hounds, are outfitted with the most advanced computers in the world, along with some of the most cutting-edge robotics and weapons money can buy. Now right at the moment we only have a dozen of these little critters, but don't let that fool you. Each of these little babies carries enough firepower to level a small town, although it would take them a couple days to do so if they were working alone. They also have the programing to work out almost any situation in a matter of seconds, although they still have many of the logic problems that most computers face when confronted with something that does not fit within the established parameters of their programming. Yet, regardless of their possible shortcomings, they do the heavy lifting upon initial exploration where humans cannot, dealing with threats as they see fit in order to assess the habitability of a planet for human use. I could tell you more, but that would be breaking protocol.

So, without further ado, I'll turn you over to our logistics specialist, who will be happy to tell you all about how these little babies are going to change the world, or rather, worlds, that humanity has come to call home.................

End Audio Recording........

This is a story that delves into the boundary between life and machine, where AI is something that has only been dreamed of, even with the most advanced computers available. Then again, these machines have never encountered magic before, so who knows what might happen. I guess you'll just have to read the book to find out for yourself.

Chapters (21)
Comments ( 728 )

... Okay, so if I understand it right, these scientists want to search for intelligent life and open friendly diplomatic ties with them.

And to do so, they send probes armed with enough weaponry to win a war and shape them like predators.


Great work keep up the great work

They're scouts, and if their intent was to search for intelligent life, why didn't they send someone over as well?

Anyway, I'll follow, this seems good

im reminded of that a x l movie

I am...intrigued. Will be tracking and looking foreword to an update

I am hooked with this story already. Go on...

Shit costs money, you know.

Yeah, it's just weird to initiate first contact by pointing an aggressive looking gun at people's faces. Diplomacy 101 is not to point weapons at people you want to be friends with.

So does war. And sending what by any observation is a weapon, arguably of mass destruction, that 'deals with threats as it sees fit' , is saying "Hi, we're here to conquer you" not "hi, we want to be friends."

I mean, I hope I'm wrong, but this is already feeling like a 'misunderstandings happen and tons of ponies die' fic.

The weapons are to ensure the survival of the probes and the data they carry, they're for defense as a last resort. He even tried to scare the local wildlife off before resorting to force.

They're also carried internally, so even if he encounters inhabitants (and remember, out of a dozen worlds, none have so had any so far), and if they are at a level they'd recognize them as weapons, he's not pointing anything at them unless he decides it's absolutely necessary.

And sending what by any observation is a weapon, arguably of mass destruction, that 'deals with threats as it sees fit' , is saying "Hi, we're here to conquer you" not "hi, we want to be friends."

That's nonsense. You don't send explorers to an unknown world with fuck knows what kind of dangers, and then make them totally defenseless. As demonstrated by that manticore. If they're dumb enough to attack him solely because he's armed, they deserve any grief it buys them.

Please, Please, PLEASE for the love of God, don't do some sort of language cop-out. Language software or the ponies just happening to speak some derivative of earth language, while not story breaking, could make the story less interesting. I would love to see how a cybernetically enhanced wolf attempts to communicate without opposable thumbs or a common language

I look at it from this point of view: life itself is astronomically rare, and intelligent life even more so. Since the dangers of predators outweigh the slim chance of intelligent life, let alone intelligent life advanced enough to recognize a machine for what it is, the small chance of unintended aggression outweighs the chance of destruction of a multi-million dollar machine, were it not to be armed.

this seems like it may be interesting so i'll see how the next chapter goes.

There's a rather grand canyon sized gulf between 'not being stupid by leaving explorers defenceless' and 'the firepower to level a city' though. One is logical, the other is going way past design intent and turning a diplomatic scout into a walking weapon platform. I mean, the entire point of sending probes instead of people is that probes are expendable. If you put enough weapons on them that they can level cities, that's no longer self defence.

It's a giant metal wolf, though. A giant walking predator.The chance of intelligent life seeing it and not reacting in either A: panic or B: aggression are rather slim. Especially since A will almost inevitably lead to B once the giant metal wolf starts chasing people. Even a world that doesn't have wolves is going to take one look at that jaw, its teeth and those claws and think "danger!"

Seriously, just look at that thing! If I'd encounter that during a walk in the woods I'd be wearing brown pants the very next second. I'm genuinely curious what went through the heads of the design commission when they decided their peaceful ambassador should look like a deadly predator even at a casual glance.

Just think about what they must have already encountered to think they need to have it armed as such

Remember how it registered that the enviroment wasn't bad enough for the manticore to need to survive 10,000 degrees? Imagine if they met stuff that could?

This story is going to be AWESOME!!! :pinkiegasp:
Can't wait for more chapters. :pinkiecrazy: xd
When next AWESOME update!!!? :pinkiehappy:

I couldn't have said it any better myself. :twilightsmile:

Oh yeah I can tell this is going to be a good one and if you don't update it and this is just going to be a 1 chapter thing I'm going to send you to the Bone Zone. And stuff you in my wank Shack

Any other robot animals we should be made aware of?

I was going to read this but then I saw the

Each of these little babies carries enough firepower to level a small city and has the programming to work out almost any situation in a matter of seconds.

and it instantly turned me off, did you have to make them mary sue levels? can't they just be cool mech wolves with advanced computers to function effectively? do they have to be able to level entire cities? can't they just work as a pack to outmaneuver and kill hostile threats? that would be so much cooler, instead of a wolf being able to wipe out a small city on its own


Thank you all for pointing out the rather outlandish power scaling I gave the Cyber Wolves in the story description. I figured it was just the doc giving them a bit of overdramatic flare but I guess I should have expected everypony to take it literally, so, I went back and changed the wording so that way they don't seem so overpowered, although I did keep the general gist of them being able to knock down most anything weaker than a fully-armored tank. I want these things to be powerful to stand up to almost any threat they could face beyond the portal, just not so powerful that they become unbeatable. Sorry for starting a mini war in the comment zone over this, but I hope everypony can agree that the new measure is a bit more balanced.

Thanks again for reading, and I hope to see you all next chapter,
Shadow Quill, Messenger of the Moon.

well, imma read this now, just not right now as it is literally midnight for me, also when you say they can take down a tank, you mean weapon wise right? They can't survive a tank shell? that would be kinda stupid if they could, not to sound insulting or anything but they seem like they would be heavily armored against conventional weapons but anything designed to take out armored targets should be able to damage them, like anti-tank rounds, explosive rounds, that kinda stuff, I imagine AP rounds could hurt a bit but not unless they hurt something vital.

so like claws and teeth can't really do anything unless they where really strong and even then they would need to hold the wolf down to be able to damage it, also what kinds of weapons do they have? I imagine, based on the description, that they use guns like it has a slot in its body than a machine gun can come out from, or maybe the gun is just locked onto its side? or maybe it has advanced tech like a pulse gun or even a sonic bark

Great work keep up the good work

THAT was a great chapter! :pinkiehappy:
I look greatly forward to the next one. Xd
There's one thing I've been wondering about thou, how big is shadow compared to the ponies? He said earlier they were 3 to 4 feet tall, so where does that lead him? Is he the size of a regular wolf? Or more like a dire wolf? Honestly, I'd prefer him to be a little bigger then the average pony. Xp
Keep bringing the AWESOME dude! :twilightsmile:

First a great movie, second a great chapter, I wonder how much better this day can get?

I’ll say I like it. Very well balanced so far and not feeling the rush. Though I kind of somehow thought the first chapter was saying it was just Rainbow & Twilight going to investigate so I went back to read it again just in case.

Glad to see u fix the power issue though I did enjoy reading the comments. :rainbowlaugh:

Once he is taught their language, he will have always known what they were saying. The recordings will be very useful later on.

They mistake him for a Timberwolf; I'd assume he's about as big as one.

And if I remember they stand a head or two taller then them...good enough for me! :pinkiehappy:

I do agree but it might be crazy ride.

Comment posted by StarzGecko deleted Jun 10th, 2018

I have to agree that sending an exploration unit equipped with Internal turret mounted twin-linked PAC's is seriously overkill...

Just the energy the CW's reactor would have to be putting out to power a single fixed PAC is insane :/ ESPECIALLY since you made them AND the Raven internal :/ that means way less space for the CW's internal systems...

Honestly the Raven itself would be enough for the required mission... the CW as it is currently is more of an Mobile armored carrier for the Raven :/

Might be that you got a bit stuck on the idea of sending in a force recon scout :/ 'cause seriously? shadow's reaction to finding itself in a possible encounter with the local wildlife was to first sonic blast the creature... which would either a, scare it off or b, piss it off... a proper scout would've probably been more likely to have launched the Raven the moment it confirmed it had arrived safely in order to secure the area around itself... and it would've DEFINITELY been seeking to avoid any and all engagements until it'd gathered enough info to tell whether the wildlife posed a direct threat to it :/

but honestly the biggest issue for me would be the internal dual PAC's.... like really.... if you want energy weapons i'd rather recommend externally mounting a single Pulse Laser or something similar on it's haunches... though personally i'd have gone with either a rapid firing high powered nail-gun or a low powered MAG-rifle... especially since they're ammo based since it would've provided the CW with an actual weakness... but no matter what externally mounted :/ otherwise it'd just be so many internals having to perform WAY beyond their size in order to keep the CW operational

Well, you've passed the typo test, and it sounds interesting. I'll be tracking.

One note:
The hypercore would probably find a large, regular structure easier than a complex forested environment. Having it trigger just from trying to map a castle seems weird, not to mention that it deals with more complex things all the time back home. Or is it because it can ignore the more complex patterns in the forest, since it's open, and it got overwhelmed trying to analyze the castle's structure and materials all at once?

Even in the latter case, it implies that the robot's underpowered for an AI.

Lastly, how did it replace the name section of the introduction properly? Many languages have different word ordering or inflection patterns to identify sections. He could have just as easily said the same phrase back or said "*#(%) am Twilight Sparkle" for instance.
That part felt unrealistic, since even parsing that out of a language is hard.
A better sapience check is simple math calculations with actual counts of some object (scratches in the ground, number of paw-taps, etc). You may be interested in the data recorded on the Voyager probes for that purpose.

Your grievance has been noted, now shut the fuck up and read the book so we have enough room to point out loopholes in the book too.


Update fast!

Go fast!



Universe creates mankind and says: rise my creation, i have made this world for you.

Mankind says: Go Fast!

Universe: Are you sure you wish to do this? Evolution is a very difficult process and i need to make sure tha—

Mankind tames horse: GO FAST!

Universe: What? Is, is that what you meant? Indid not expect this.

Mankind invents car: GO FAST!!

Universe: Wait what are you doing?

Mankind creates supersonic jet: GO FAST!!!

Universe: ... what?

Mankind makes Ultrasonic Starship:GO FAST!!!!

Universe: i was not expecting this.

Mankind invents FTL travel:GO FAST!!!!!

Universe: ???

Mankind makes teleporter: GO FAAAAAASSST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a cool story I’m loving it so far

I really hope that he's got different mythologies in his memory banks, so that once he realizes mythical creatures are a thing in this world, he can start foreplanning.

Awesome story, way cool and keep the chapters coming. :yay:


Hurry with the next chapter!

Huh... I remember cliff hanger.

Going for the heart, eh, Shadow?

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