• Published 27th Dec 2020
  • 1,302 Views, 61 Comments

The Iron Horse: Robot Rock - The Hat Man

Hearth's Warming with family? Awkward. Introducing your family to your girlfriend? Worse. Not mentioning to your super traditional family that your girlfriend is a ROBOT? Buckle up, Maud Pie...

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Comfort and Joy

Turing Test and Maud Pie sat atop a tall rock overlooking the family farm.

After a festive Hearth’s Warming morning and a hearty breakfast (over which Maud Pie read several of her festive, rock-themed Hearth’s Warming poems), the family had raised the Equestrian flag over the farm. Turing Test, having won the scavenger hunt the day before, had used her magic to gently drape the flag over Holder’s Boulder with such care that even Limestone had no complaints. After that, it was time for the traditional Pie Present Hunt, in which presents were presented and immediately hidden around the farm.

“I admit that this concept of hiding each other’s presents is unconventional,” Turing remarked. “However, I can see the appeal of such a tradition. I wish you had informed me so I could have hidden my presents to your family as well.”

“I don’t think they minded,” Maud said, taking a sip of her hot cocoa. Then she smirked. “You should have seen when the Apples came to visit last year. You took all of this a lot better than Applejack did.”

“It was all worth it,” she replied. “I greatly enjoyed meeting your family. I was not certain that I could obtain your father’s blessing for our relationship, but thankfully I was able to convince him and your sisters.”

“Dad’s cool once you get to know him,” Maud said. “Also, his presents are usually easy to find. Speaking of which, we should keep looking.”

As she got up to go, Turing Test placed her hoof on hers. “Just a moment, Maud Pie,” she said. “You may have noticed that while I had presents prepared for your family, I have yet to give one to you.”

Maud shrugged. “I figured you had something planned for later. Do you?”

“Ah. Affirmative,” she replied. “You are correct. But first, there is something I wish to say…”

Maud sat back down. “What is it?” she asked.

“I… that is…” she began. “Forgive me. I have run several thousand simulations on this scenario, and yet I am still unable to determine the best way to express myself on this matter.”

Maud blinked. “What do you mean?”

“Maud Pie, I chose to spend Hearth’s Warming this year with you and your family rather than attend Twilight Sparkle’s party or visit Mustangia with my family. I will be joining my father and siblings tomorrow, of course, but it was my highest priority to spend this day with you. And I know that after today, you will return to your studies, as you are coming close to graduating with your degree.

“No matter what I do, a sacrifice must be made: time spent apart is time that cannot be regained. And while I greatly appreciate your frequent visits to Canterlot and holidays such as this, I miss you while you are away on your field studies. I… I miss you so much, Maud Pie.”

Maud draped her forelegs around her. “I know,” she said softly. “But thank you for being understanding.”

“You are welcome, Maud Pie,” Turing said. “Still, it has given me perspective on a certain matter: time.”

“Time?” Maud asked.

“As a robot, I do not age, nor am I subject to other frailties that befall organic beings. With proper maintenance, I may very well persist into the far future, which is perhaps why I chose a career concerned with creating the greatest future possible for the ponies of Equestria. Furthermore, after speaking to your father, I have gained an even greater appreciation for the value of the past than before. But what truly matters is the present, Maud Pie.

“The Hearth's Warming present, in this case.”

Maud blinked.

“That was a joke,” Turing explained. “It is a play on words meaning both the present time and the conventional ‘present’ meaning ‘gift’ that one gives on this occasion. Ha ha, Maud Pie.”

Maud gave her a half-smile. “That’s hilarious,” she said flatly. “But go on. I’m still listening.”

“My point is this: these moments with you in the present are very precious to me because I know that they cannot last forever. Our time together is limited, Maud Pie. For a time, I avoided taking action due to my uncertainty of how you would react and even doubts about if I, with my limited experience, were qualified to make such declarations. But I am no longer afraid. Or, at least, I am more afraid that I will regret my inaction than I am of being foolish.”

Maud tilted her head to the side. “Turing, I don’t get what you’re saying,” she said. “You’re rambling.”

“Ah. You are correct, Maud Pie. I should speak plainly.”

She turned to face her more directly, meeting her eyes.

“Maud Pie… I love you.”

Maud blinked and took in a deep breath.

“Yeah,” she said. “I know.”

Turing’s eyes flickered and her head went lopsided. “Oh,” she replied.

Maud smirked. “It was kind of obvious,” she said. “You didn’t need to build it up so much. But I’m happy you said it.”

“You are welcome,” Turing said, tapping her hooves together with a soft metallic clanking sound. “Cognitive loop detected. Awkwardness levels at maximum.”

Maud sighed, shaking her head. “I guess I never said it either,” she said. “I just thought it was obvious. Well, okay then; here it is:

“I love you too, Turing Test.”

Turing’s LED pupils enlarged before upturning to show her happiness. “Oh, Maud Pie… I am so happy to hear you say that,” she said, her synthetic voice sounding almost strained. “I… to hear you say that to me is so, so wonderful. Until this moment, I had not realized how much I wished to hear you say it!”

She suddenly seized Maud Pie, embracing her as she laid her head on her shoulder. “I love you, Maud Pie!”

“I know,” Maud said, patting her gently on the head with a serene smile.

“I love you, Maud Pie! I love you so much!”

Maud smiled. “I know,” she said again. “And I love you too. I love you even more than I love rocks, Turing Test. And that’s saying something. Even if you weren’t made of rare, refined minerals, I would still love you for being the pony that you are.”

“In that case, now proceeding to phase 2.”

Maud raised an eyebrow. “Phase 2?”

“I stated earlier that I wish to work for the best possible future,” Turing said. She then held out her hoof, turning it upwards. “But the best possible future is one with you in my life, Maud Pie.”

There was a mechanical hiss and the hidden compartment in Turing’s hoof popped open, revealing an object concealed inside that rose into view.

Maud’s eyes bulged and she actually took a step back.

The object was a golden ring. The gem affixed to it was a highly polished piece of rose quartz, the same type of stone she’d given to Turing Test for her first Hearth’s Warming present.

“Maudalina Daisy Pie… will you marry me?”

Maud swallowed. Even with her usual, rock-solid demeanor, it would have been obvious to anypony, robot or otherwise, that she hadn’t expected this surprise.

She took a few deep breaths as she stared at the ring, then back to Turing Test.

“So, um… I guess that explains why your hoof sounded different,” she said.

“Correct,” Turing said. “Father helped create it. I thought the gesture would be sufficiently romantic. I had not anticipated that you would notice the difference in sound, but I am glad you were unable to guess what I was concealing.”

The two were silent for a moment as Maud’s eyes shifted from Turing Test to the ring and back again.

“So… you want to get married?” Maud asked.

Turing Test nodded. “Affirmative.”

Maud swallowed. “Right now?”

Turing’s ears twitched. “That was not my intention, Maud Pie,” she answered. “However, if you wish to—”

Maud shook her head. “No,” she said. “I… I still want to finish my studies, you know. And even then, I still want to find more rocks to study. Are you willing to wait for me, at least a little while?”

Turing nodded immediately. “So long as you share my intentions, I am willing to wait. If you wish for a future with me as I wish for one with you, then that is a future worth waiting for.”

Maud smiled. “Okay then,” she said, taking the ring from Turing’s hoof. The ring was attached to a necklace that she fastened around her neck. “Sure thing. Let’s get married someday.”

Turing began to tremble. “Maud Pie… you do not know how happy that makes me,” she said softly.

“Sure I do,” Maud said, and hugged her tightly. She then planted a kiss on her metallic cheek.

“Ah. Engagement initiated,” Turing said. After a long moment, Maud’s lips still on her cheek, she asked, “Maud Pie?”


“Do you think we could return to the human world again soon? This form lacks lips, and right now, more than anything, I really want to kiss you.”

“Mmhmm,” Maud murmured. “Mmm? Mmm. Mmm. Mm!”

“Maud Pie? I do not understand what you—”

As she turned her head, Maud moved with her and began frantically tapping her on the shoulder.

“Ah. It seems that your lips have frozen to my cheek in the frigid weather.” She carefully scooped her up in one foreleg and began making her way back toward the farmhouse. “We will commence defrosting back at your home.”

The newly engaged couple made their way back across the snowy fields of the rock farm to spend the rest of Hearth’s Warming together. And though it was off to an awkward - Maud would say “rocky” start - it would remain in Turing Test’s heart as one of her most precious memories as not merely their first Hearth’s Warming together…

…but the first of many.


Author's Note:

Thanks for reading, everyone! If you enjoyed this, please feel free to check out my other holiday stories, conveniently collected here.

I hope you all had a wonderful (and safe!) holiday season this year. See you all next time!

Comments ( 24 )

Oh, Yes.
Totally reading now.

And now that I've finished, this was far too cute.
Or maybe just the right amount?

Thanks for writing.
And I hope there are still more stories to tell.

Simply wonderful. Why say anything more?

Damn you!! Now the song is stuck in my head now 🤣

What song? I think I missed it.


Well, TT has lips now. They're just attached to another pony until she can get defrosted.

Aww, this was just sweet. Great job on another great story!

Why the eqg tag?

Ah, that was quite nice; thank you for it. :)

First chapter spends a decent amount of time in the human world. I figured it was worth it to be up front with any readers in case they really hate EQG.

The song stuck in my head is the "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" version from the 2018 Grinch film with the West Side Story carolers.

"I have been meaning to install a new warming mechanism to my outer frame, but my duties have distracted me from completing such work.”

Well, this chapter just made that mechanism a priority...

Definitely Ponyville-adjacent.

We got on blue ray this year and watched it, it was quite good.

Thank you for another extremely heartwarming special. This really does bring back good times...thank you.

I am so glad this went well, even if Maud did get A Christmas Story treatment at the end.

-_Ƣ ~ Stay classy.

Awwww! This was very cute. MaudxTuring is amazing. While at first, I hated Mud Briar, but he grew on me, and in my honest opinion, he is a great partner for Maud in canon. But the canon pairing doesn't even come close to this gloriously cute pairing you have graced us with!

Very meaningful story. I personally would have prefered some more explanation of the Pairing Stone, however I am well aware of its overall insignificance to the story.

In all, this was a very enjoyable short read, NOW I RESPECTFULLY DEMAND TO SEE THEIR WEDDING. That is all. Good work, Hat Man.

Signing out,

Loved this story. Cheered me up after a hard day. I really hope it gets more attention.

That sentence honestly got me the idea of what fic where she accidentally call twilight mom in front of her,would really like to see that the hat man!

Well, Mother's Day is coming up... Hmm...

Yeah, that would've been a pretty good one with Spike and Twilight's family, can you see if you could make one, Hat Man? I mean, I know, Mother's Day is over now but still... actually, what about Georgia's mom? Could you add something with her, too? On that note, what did Turing do to connect with Cloudy in order to gain her approval? Other than the dishwashing conversation that Maud had with her.....

EDIT: What you made here is definitely better than what Hasbro did for Maud, in my opinion....

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