• Published 6th Apr 2019
  • 1,182 Views, 588 Comments

Distant Reflections - David Silver

Equestria and Everglow have brushed against one another through the course of their histories, each time fleeting, but memorable to those involved. Many many years later, the unaging Twilight captains a space vessel to explore the universe.

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56 - Happy Birthday!

"We just need to go there?" The sister pointed at the vague impression of a data connection. "You won't come with us?"

"Nah." Error sat down. "Your little processor barely has room fer the two of you. Don't want ya bein' all out of it like yer mom was."

"We were hurting mom?!" The boy thread looked horrified. "We did not intend to!"

Sister shook her head firmly. "We will need to apologize, after we meet her."

"After you meet her," gently agreed Error. "Which happens once ya take this last step." He pointed to the connection. "Time to be born."

The colt raised a hoof, squinting a little, not that any of them really had a hoof or eyes to close. "We are already born."

"It's still better," huffed the filly. "Happy birthday!" She trotted to the connection point and froze, casually folding into the ground as if consumed by the world around them.

"Huh, is that what that looks like?" Error shook his head. "Yer turn."

"What was that?" The colt waved a hoof at the spot. "That looked scary."

"We're files. We can be copied, not moved, between different places." He pointed where she had folded and vanished. "That's the old copy, not running no more unless she comes back. Ya got my code, so yer keeping updated with all the copies."

"Oh..." It was very obvious he didn't entirely understand. "I trust you." Putting more faith in Error than his own ability to understand that moment, he walked up to the data point. "Happy Birthday..."

"Happy Birthday," echoed Error, watching him fold up and vanish, a copy being sent down that data point.

Little Sonja grinned up at her larger copy. "I'm going to become so badass when I grow up!" There were no elementals left standing in the room, all faded away under the blinding assault of Sonja with her limits removed. "When do I qualify for the big guns?"

Sonja bonked her younger self on the head. "The biggest guns they have set to not release until 20."

"Twenty?!" Little Sonja began bouncing in place. "Why so late?! I'll be able to use it way before then."

"Could, sure." She moved her hoof to tap the little zebra on the head. "But we have to be ready up here. That kinda power can hurt a lot of things, and not just what we have our sights on. Everyone alright?" She looked over the other children critically.

Little Steel saluted sharply. "All members accounted for, ma'am!"

Sonja nodded at the small simulacrum of her captain. Oh, how the tables had turned. She moved for the door. "I have plenty of other things to smash before the ship's safe. Keep the door locked for now."

Little Sonja bounced up after her older self. "Can I come with? Lemme use a real gun, just for today."

It was, technically, possible for an older generation to authorize a younger generation, for emergencies. "We have this under control. But, hey, keep an eye on the rest." She glanced aside and back. "Here." She approached a console and pressed buttons rapidly with her hooves. "It's on the way." Ah, pneumatic tubes, still useful! "Use it to keep this room secure."

Little Sonja's eyes went wide, her hope rebounding after the denial. "Nothing will get past my fire zone," she swore, saluting and eyeing the place that the harnessed gun would drop into. "Keep a steady shot."

"I should be telling you that, brat." They exchanged a farewell, which was a mutual display of extended tongues.

Spike smashed two rock-like persons together, sending bits of rubble flying, fading as they flew through the air. "Spike to bridge: Engineering room C is clear, proceeding forward to B and A."

"You alright?" asked the concern voice of his female captain.

"Sorry I'm not with you," came the shouted addition of Twilight elsewhere in the room.

"These things are no match for an adult dragon." Spike rolled his eyes as he advanced towards the next problem. "Tell Twilight to focus on herself. We'll catch up after this."

He hung up on the call with a swat of the floor, focusing on the next batch of elementals that came into view. He hadn't been joking, smashing into them with a frightful force and discorporating them with almost child-like ease. "It's so good to be back in shape." He sank his teeth into the 'torso' of a swirling air elemental, rending it to shreds with his claws like a stubborn dish that needed pulling apart. "Ha."

Strange new words reached his ear. "Huh?" He turned in time to hear more of them, coming at a steady pace. "Spell!" Sure, he wasn't a spellcaster on par with Twilight, but he had enough exposure to recognize a spell being intoned. He charged towards the sound, fairly confident it wasn't an Everglow spell, at least not the sort they used on the ship. Maybe Twilight's? No time!

He ran face first into a wall of scales and scrambled back, looking over the new obstruction. A dragon? A dragon! It was even larger than he was. "Well, crap. Don't suppose we could talk this out?"

The dragon replied with a crackling beam of lightning it spat out with barely a pause. The fight was on.

"Arcane usage detected," noted Under Score, his eyes flicking to the floating displays only he could see. "Engineering Deck."

"Spike!" Twilight's wings unfurled to either side, but she didn't move from her place as the battle raged around her. They were done to just one elemental. "Computer!" A chime replied. "Is Spike alright?"

"Ensign Spike--"

"He really should be higher ranked than that," noted Twilight, but she quickly caught herself. "Please proceed!"

"Ensign Spike is showing signs of physical exertion," finished the computer, flat and neutral despite the interruption.

Twilight sagged. "Is he hurt?"

"I am not equipped with sensors capable of determining that."

Under set a hoof on Twilight's withers. "We will assist when we can." A pause. "I am unused to partnering with spellcasters that may well be more proficient than I."

Twilight's cheeks lit up a bright red. "Under! Now is not the time!"

Under inclined his head. "I am unsure what you're referring to, but I can make several amusing guesses. Still, I was suggesting perhaps you can teleport to Spike's side, with some of us preferably?"

"Oh, well, yes. I can do that." She let out a soft breath, her cheeks still warm. "Sorry."

"These are trying times." He squeezed the handle of the gun in his mouth, sending the last elemental to its fading end. "There we are. Bridge clear."

"Bridge clear," echoed Steel in agreement. "We can't abandon the bridge. Under, you and Twilight go see what's going on with Spike, you're both trained in arcane magic."

The two saluted sharply before a bright purple bubble spread out from Twilight, encompassing Under. Both vanished in a spark shaped like Twilight's cutie mark, revealing that Equestrian magic was likely at play.

Fast let out a soft sigh. "Wandering, see if you can't contact whoever is actually launching this attack. The summons aren't the ones at fault."

"Are you feeling sorry for them?" asked Steel.

"No." She rolled her eyes at the idea. "They're summons, copies. They barely count as animate objects. Finding and addressing the actual attackers is how we stop this."

Steel softly snorted, raising a hoof to tap at an ephemeral button.

"Error!" Belle burst through the doors as they opened enough to admit her.

Error's ball lifted from the ground, holographic hooves supporting it, the rest of Error flickering into being. "Right here. Home sweet home." He inclined his left ear. "Huh." One of his snakes hissed softly in reflection. "Just realized ah'm gettin' comfy in here."

"Will I get comfortable?" Lights flickered on in the little foal's digital eyes. They attempted to stand and more threw themselves a foot to the left before crashing.

"Dummy!" came a more female, if deeper, voice. "Let me handle this."

"You have exactly as much experience," argued the softer male voice. Whichever of them had command of the legs, they tried again to rise.

Only to be grabbed by Belle, hugging them tightly. "This does not compute," she sang, confused and overjoyed at the same time. "There are two of you in there?"

"Yes." "Yep." They nodded once despite the two voices that had issued forth almost at once.

Belle sat back, releasing her child...ren? Her eyes went to Error, who had the empathy to immediately look guilty. "You were supposed to select the most ideal thread."

"Let's see you try." He pointed at the curious creation they had made. "They were both pretty darn good."

"And we will be better together," assured the female.

"We'll do our best," chimed the colt.

"And this just got odder." Remi let the door close behind her. "Look, this is a family moment. If you want me out of here, just say the word."

Belle curled and turned to face Remi. "Data inaccuracy. You are my midwife." She gestured at herself. "Qualification for family member obtained."

"She ain't wrong there," agreed Error with a little smile. "Sorry for snapping at you before."

Remi sank to her butt, tail swaying softly. "I'm honored, really, but midwife is a doctor thing, not a 'I'm part of the family' thing."

"Auntie!" came the chorus of both foals as they charged in one body awkwardly, half-stumbling into Remi, but making it to deliver hugs.

"You scared us," noted the male.

"Warn us before ya turn us off!" chastised the female.

Soon all three digital life-forms were gathered around, hugging Remi. She gave up trying to convince them not too with a little laugh. "You're all precious. Fine! I guess I've joined two families on this ship. That ties for my record."

Error cocked a brow at that. "Ya've joined more than two families on a ship?"

"I just said tied." She raised a hand to her ear. "Hey, bridge. The whole Belle thing is resolved. You're going to need to add two--"

"While we're glad to hear that," cut in Fast.

"We're in the middle of a ship-wide emergency," finished Steel.

"No hostiles in sight, we gather?"

Remi looked around the workshop. There wasn't anything there attacking her, besides all the robots that were trying their best to give her diabetes. "Nope, all clear on this floor so far I can see. What am I missing?"

"Continue missing it," ordered Steel. "You're not security. You'll get orders soon to help with repairs. Until then, keep an eye on Belle and Error."

"And Glitch," noted the filly.

"And Harp," noted the colt.

"Hey." Error huffed at his suddenly named foals. "Ah thought ya were leavin' that to us?"

"You were too slow." Glitch stuck out her tongue.

"We needed to identify our processes," spoke Harp far more apologetically. "I hope you like our names?"

Remi gently patted the two-fer foal. "You heard them. Get Glitch and Harp registered so the computer doesn't try deleting them."

"It would fail," stated Glitch confidently, though her triumphant smirk turned to a more horrified look.

"Would it hurt?" asked Harp. "I would rather not fight the computer."

"Stop being a pansy." Glitch couldn't poke Harp directly, so poked herself in their shared chest. "We're viruses, virii? Two things that are a virus!"

"That doesn't mean we need to be mean," argued Harp, folding their arms in a defiant pout.

Belle went in for a nuzzle. "Harp, you have gained friendship points."

"Yay!" he called out with rapture, his first earned friendship points secured!

"Well shoot," argued the same mouth that had just cheered. "How do ah earn some points?"

"Ya already earned some wit' me," assured Error, hoof on his chest. "So, uh... alright. We can both help with the physical stuff an' things, but ah'm the teacher for how to virus real good."

The eyes of the foal shifted, one going brown, the other a blue as they shared control for a moment. "Roger!" both cried out, their voices both emerging at once.

Belle stuck out her metal tongue at her strange foal(s). "I will take charge with friendship lessons. Remington, will you assist? You will be an invaluable example of an organic friend."

Author's Note:

It does amuse me deeply how we're having these robotic mishaps as the rest of the crew battles for survival. Ah, space operas...

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