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T

Bit is the first of her kind, a pony that was made from carved crystal and supernal circuitry. For many years she worked, obedient to the will of her master in endless repetition. She knew nothing else, not boredom, not satisfaction from her work, not anger or resentment or joy. Existence was obedience to directive, purpose fulfilled.

But around her, the world was changing. Her home wasn't Equestria, but the last surviving Crystal City, defiant to the Windigos and the imperial decree of Alicorns alike. She did not know, and could not care, how much the ponies of Zircon suffered under the rule of their king. But she was there the day those whispers united in a defiant chorus.

When the fires were still smoldering, she returned to her work. Generations came and went, and still she labored. It was all she was, all she knew, all she wanted. Until the day her last broom broke.

For the first time in her existence, Bit doubted.


Daily for the first four days, because Christmas. Updates Thursdays after that. Edited by Two Bit and Sparktail. Cover by Zutcha.

A story about finding the center of the maze.

Chapters (23)
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Comments ( 516 )

The closing line is a perfect blend of anticlimax and irony.
Good stuff; I'm sure that I'm not the only one excited for the new story.
Merry christmas y'all.

She paused beside a pile of pale, fragile stones, in shapes she didn't recognize.

Oh no...

Always fun to watch an AI grow beyond its initial programming. Looking forward to the grand quest for cleaning supplies. Something tells me it'll grow in scope a bit beyond that.

Behold the grand advent of Sweeperbot, who is truly best pony.

Hopefully she will find a worthy brush.

10596764
I feel that this is a mind controlled pony. I presume the wizard was Sombra and that he implanted spells into the pony's mind to basically just be a maid.

Gods, that's heart-breaking. It's why my current pet is my last pet. I'm almost 60. I don't want to leave a dog or cat behind, unable to understand why Master isn't moving, why is he so cold and still...

Oh poor dear. I hope she finds her way enough to become truly happy :fluttercry:

10596764
Yeahhh... those aren't stones, Bit.

This story is awesome so far! Cant wait to read it furter

10597091
Get a cat, it'll eat you when you die.

10597290
I believe there are already a few chapters released on the patron. Last I check it was up to chapter four. Either way, I prefer to read on fimfiction.

10597332
Yeah, I put stories on my patreon when they don't have a cover yet. Now that I do, I have quite a bit of this story scheduled. Even if I get hit by a bus, the story lives on.

cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/295473636746330113/791919125965438976/unknown.png

10597333
Oh hey! One of the chapters just so happens to release on my birthday(The 14th)!

One day she'll realize the horrible truth. Let's hope she'll also be able to see her great conquest :pinkiesad2:

Oh dear, I have a feeling that this is one of the stories that will simultaneously feel like a punch in the gut and make me want to cheer.
And I can't wait for more.
TAKE MY LIKE

But on a shelf tucked away and sealed, she found soft cloth surviving despite all the years. With these she made a brush. Then she used the bits of brooms without bristles, and made herself a handle.

Improvisation get!

Crafting get!

Brush get!

Most excellent. She's relentlessly determined, hopefully in an optimistic sort of way, and not a paperclippy sort of way.

I like that the wizard is seemingly more and more a decent pony, not a Sombra like one

A new story. Great, let's see where this goes.

The first steps outside. Time to step into the light and see the world for what it is.

His screens were dark and useless, but he had a photograph on his wall, almost to scale with real ponies.

Between this and the whiteboards, we have some fascinating hints at the former tech level. To say nothing of the power grid. Bit has a mission. Whether the current locals will appreciate it remains to be seen.

She manages to get the power working and Crimson don't come back, be he left a message that would play after the power is restored...

That is my prediction.

oooh a starscribe video

10597957
Wrong paperclippy....
And now I can't get the idea of Clippy being a Paperclipper AI out of my head. Why did you do this to me?

Great chapter!
I am really interested to see where this goes!

But that was less an organ and more an accessory, since of course no machine had magic of its own.

I'm sure that will never come up again.

Hmm. I can only imagine how the surviving scavengers, if any, will react to the plant activating again. To say nothing of what they'll think of the mare responsible for repairing it.

Oh Damn bit is a copy of his dead love interest

10599077
Personally it'd depend on if I found her before or after she got it working. If after I'd be wanting to see what else I could convince her to fix to either sell or make my life easier.

She can't possibly understand what is going on. At least not yet. Still, it'll probably be safer to remain hidden from the populace for now.

Well it seems Crimson was a good sort, to his own creations at least.

And it seems our sweeperpony is branching out into electrical engineering!

10599213
Ah, I thought all Crimson was Bit practically hallucinating her fears and justifications.

The moments where Bit's past and present are interwoven are a nice touch.
Slightly confusing and requiring a little figuring out. It's appropriate.

Is Bit only able to see live ponies? Dead ponies or remains don’t register for her?

10599396
More likely only able to comprehend live ponies. It's very possible she's never seen a dead thing nor even been introduced to the concept of death.
Once she knows about corpses or even bones I'm sure she'll have a new crisis once she combines that knowledge with the (probably cleaned up and thrown out) bones from Crimson's room

10599396
I don’t think she has any concept of death, while she can certainly see what might be corpses in the tents she doesn’t register them as being dead ponies.

One of the harder lessons, time keeps running ... even when ponies don't ...

"I'm not sure I can find it for you, Bit.

You can't, it's something she had to find for herself ...

Undiscovered Countries, sometimes it's something to change the world, and sometimes it only changes the person searching ...

A caretaker of a dead city. She'll have to leave it one day.

10600660
does she? Perhaps the entire Crystal Empire is made of creations like her.

Bit definitely isn't a paperclip optimizer, at least not yet.

She stepped over a chair that was the wrong way over, beside a table covered in a thin roll of metal. Crumbling paper blew to ash as she passed it, and crystal crunched under her hooves. She paused beside a pile of pale, fragile stones, in shapes she didn't recognize. She pushed them aside, letting the wrapping around them crumble in her hooves.

I have a bad feeling about that pile of rocks.

"I will fix this," she declared. "I will find my own brush."

And so the adventure begins.

I'm still quite interested in seeing where this goes; thank you for writing. :)

10600763
She said that she was better than everyone else (no need to sleep, won’t get bad joints, stronger work ethic, etc), which implies she was one of a kind. Presumably she was supposed to be sapient like a normal pony, but when Crimson saw she wasn’t decided not to make anymore until he could fix the issue. It looks like he never did, so she’s the only one. At least as far as I can tell.

She stared up at the portrait, searching it for answers. The ponies depicted here were young, standing so close together. The apprentices didn't like it when she got so close, and neither did the Wizard. Apparently this other pony hadn't learned about personal space yet.

But she hurt to look at, so Bit focused on Crimson.

That's an important clue.

"We'll get new tiles." Crimson touched her on the shoulder with one soft, warm leg. "Don't stress, Bit. You don't even have to do this. We have servants for a reason."

And another.

Civilization must be cleaned, and Bit is just the robot? to do it.

this story is amazing. i really love it and i cant wait for more. ^^

He gestured for her to return—ponies were staring at them, more with every moment. Well, mostly they stared at him. They avoided looking at Bit as much as they could, as though she was hurt somehow. She'd never understood it. "It isn't a rock," Crimson said, as soon as she was back on solid ground. "The Zircon is a construct of our ancient ancestors. We don't even understand why they built it, or what they could achieve with it. But none of that matters—without it, we freeze."

I get it now, Bit is Astropony in a decaying city and was stuck on metaphorical autopilot for centuries.

"Your experiment is a waste of time, son. The more of your years you squander, the more you fail to see the only world that ever mattered. Find a quiet closet somewhere to lock it away, and return to your duties."

Yep, that's feeling more and more accurate.

Im really excited to she where this goes. She is such a good robot <3

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