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In a dark, cold place bored into the core of Mount Canterhorn, a God is being born. Twilight Sparkle, the Solarian Union's most gifted mind, is overseeing its birth. When the Tower is complete, it will unite the Union and the world, overseeing infastructure, communication, automation of every kind. It is the ultimate marriage of science and magic, and the great work which will usher in a new age.

Twilight watches her creation taking shape in the void, and loses herself in its terrifying mystery. The God they are bringing into Being is not the mere machine they set out to build.

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 41 )

Oh, this is wonderful. This world you've created is beautiful, and I do so love love this Twilight you've created, a leader without friends, who feels very much like a subtly craft fusion of her various incarnations.

Will Discord appear in this story?

Well if this doesn't sound unsettling as hell. You've got my attention.


"It wasn’t the complexity that staggered, sometimes, as much as it was the simplistic nature of it all."

Because the connotations of "simplistic" are kind of negative, you might consider using the word "simplicity." For example: "It wasn’t the complexity that staggered, sometimes, as much as it was the underlying simplicity of it all."


"dain"

deign


> Celestia was smiling now. It was such a strange smile. If she were a different person, Twilight would have called it vaguely alien. It was not a smile she could match, no matter how hard she tried. No one could look like that.

I like this, especially in combination with the next paragraph. I don't know exactly what it might be foreshadowing, but I don't need to.


> So now her lab moved. It dug its supports in until it was time to descend, and then it walked along the walls in a gyre, round and round and round just like the boring machines below them all.

I enjoyed this paragraph. It's a nice image! I suppose if I think to, I could critique it on the basis of space utilization efficiency, but it doesn't make me want to, and I can think of rationalizations.

In the paragraphs after this, I enjoy the 'showing not telling' through Twilight's perspective on what's currently happening in her relationships with her friends.


> Twilight wondered, sometimes, what the appropriate response to the costs of magic were. To learn something so thoroughly that you overwrote yourself, or wrote yourself into a perfect imitation of that thing. She had always felt like it was a sort of process of approximation, as if she was always becoming something, never quite getting there.

I like how the pieces of the 'what's going on in this world' puzzle are coming together from different directions.


> It had been kept her from losing her sight.

Small 'edito.' :twilightsmile:


And what a realistically chilling chapter ending! Self-hackability is sometimes viewed through such rose-colored glasses, by some.

Was thinking it might've been Luna intruding on dreams / forcing dreams to happen, but I suppose it might just be Rarity running around in her arcology or some such. Anyways, this is really interesting so far, looking forward to more! :twilightsmile:

Fascinating story so far. I love the way you set up Twilight's situation, with her given the opportunities to spend time with her friends but being unwilling to, in service of this project. Her driving herself to self-destruction is frustrating yet so relatable. The futuristic not-quite-Equestria you present is really interesting too.

Hmm, the logo of the project is three diamonds, Twilight keeps seeing a woman with purple hair, and the story is tagged with Rarity. I wonder what this could mean...

What an excellent start for a story! I'm quite liking the workaholic technomagician Twilight here, even though it's clear she could use more time with her friends and family, and her relationship with Celestia. The worldbuilding is top-notch, too; I'm loving the idea of mages having their minds changed by the magic they learn, memories lost or tangled with arcane patterns, and even losing the regular dreams.

All in all, intriguing, exciting, somewhat ominous, and all-around very good. Looking forwards to the next chapter(s)!

Also, that's a nice C.S. Lewis reference! Or should I say NICE? :twistnerd:

Aw man, this looks like it's gonna be good. :D

I love the idea of how magic and technology work in this world as well.

We were working out the bugs of teaching machines to learn without making them into racist paperclip optimizers for years

Somewhere, a horrid proto-AI named Tay stirs in it's lobotomized cage, a lesson in what happens when morality was not a course in a machines foundational learning.

Exquisite work thus far. This Twilight is fascinating in her scars and imperfections, even as she tries to ignore them or insist on their necessity. And the Tower looms large over everything; I find myself waiting to see where and how it metaphorically topples. And of course, there's the not-so-mysterious woman... who, it occurs to me as I write this, may be more mysterious than I'm giving her credit for.

Eagerly looking forward to more.

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Tay was actually what I was thinking about when I wrote that, her and a facial recognition software I read about once

Been a while since I've seen such juicy characterization. Can't wait to see how this shakes out!

I am intrigued and engaged.

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its amazing how far knowing very little about computers and knowing way too much about Roko's Basilisk will get you. I mean, it got Nick Land some places. Bad places, but boy did he go

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I love how much Twilight is seeing her creation physically and that since it is been hearing her voice all this time it finally has figured out a way to contact her through dreams. I can't believe she's literally building Rarity! (Edited after rereading the Character tags, Though Luna still fits too)

Good start Cyne.
Keep going!

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It would be sweet if the Tower really does represent Luna, and the story is a high- tech allegory for the pilot episodes.

Let us see whether the text supports it.

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To be honest that was my thought

Oh god, there's time travel involved for this Twilight, ain't there? Shit. Hope she has a bootstrap ready to pull her out.

And all the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made...

Though it seems she’ll be anything but silent. Fascinating to watch the inchoate cyberdeity make herself known to her creator. And the experience is having quite the effect on Twilight. We’ll see what happens from here.

Ah, so mages not dreaming is why Twilight was so concerned about the dreams she was having.

Another great chapter. You really captured the feel of endless meetings with people who shouldn't be involved in the first place. That said, it does seem like Twilight is interacting with Moondancer and others more now, even if it's through meetings.

Twilight sighed. She glanced at the name tag on the woman’s chest and burned quietly with shame that she needed to. “Trade Winds, do I appear unable to work?”

HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER HER

Likely Story as a character has just as much bite as I'd expect their name to. Nice.

I've got my fingers crossed hoping for more.

Very much enjoying this one.

Interesting story. Added to my read list. :twilightsmile:

Cannot wait for Rarity to truly proclaim her love for Twilight

“Sometimes I wish I could forgo sleep,” Twilight admitted. “Not that long, obviously. But for a long time. A few weeks, maybe. A month. Life would be easier.”

God, I feel this. I feel like I have no time. And I get like 6 hours a night, so I'm already running at a minimum.

And Twilight had to admit that it would, wouldn’t it? If the Earth itself was to have a guiding hand, it would make sense for it to have its own voice. And as they talked, she couldn’t help but imagine what it might say… and in place of a voice she had not chosen, she chose the voice of the woman who walked her dreams.

Hoo boy, this is gonna get complicated fast, isn't it?

What a pleasant surprise - I was randomly reading through my backlog and found that this story had a new chapter!

I'm glad you've been able to continue this.

I still believe in it as I did the day the first reactor was fired. But the problem of complexity is still vexing.

Yeah, I want to go back to the internet of ten or twenty years ago, too.

Great to see this back! It's nice to see Twilight and the mysterious figure that isn't the AI or Rarity interact more. The scene with Celestia was interesting too, and it's fascinating to see her perspective on time.

Also, you have Celestia say this

And only when my fearful ponies begged me to stop did I relent.

I think you briefly forgot that this is a human story lol.

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We used to have an internet. A proper internet! It had HTML-learning teenagers making beautiful creative obnoxious sites and bad memes and it was going to save mankind

11295744

I was an HTML-learning teenager and I was going to save the world by replicating an LCARS interface that would be usable on my dial-up connection via the power of FRAMES and also midi music.

I failed, and Facebook consumed us.

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i do not blame you, the world was too much with us and you did what could be done


however, i do wonder how LCARS is even supposed to work. that's always bothered me. how does it work the ui looks awfully confusing

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We got a better look at it in like Voyager and the movies when they had budget and/or flat screens to build into the set, but I think the answer is that it's an unimaginable mess of context sensitivity spaghetti code and half the computer core is dedicated to making sure everyone has the right controls presented to them at their console just as they need them.

It's probably one of the ways holodeck characters keep gaining sentience. Fucking UI code for predicting user needs escapes.

If you don't have predictive AI supercomputers, its just like Windows 8 tiles. I used a whole LCARS UI replacement on my desktop waaaay back in the day. It's just tiles and a bunch of swoopy bits wasting 1/3 of your screen space for very important cool 80s-future vibes.

Ok I kind of have a feeling as to why the worlds are ending in Rarity and Twilight's shared dreams. As Rarity becomes more and more powerful physically she also senses the problems that are emerging from her existence and since she is connecting to Twilight in some way she's also using Twilight's dreams to express those things that she sees around her thus the strangeness of her and Twilight's dreams and the scenarios of what is happening around her

orp

A bit strange how they haven't yet created the AI, but are alreadly prepared to hand it the keys to their entire civilisation. There's this certainty that it will turn out both benevolent and interested in the job - as opposed to holding a series of lectures on the failings of the human species, or whatever. I'm going to assume there's enough in-universe safeguards to make that a reasonable assumption and this is not a set-up for the most obvious twist in sci-fi going all the way back to Shelley and Čapek.

Team 17 had been monitoring the power levels for a week before they’d acknowledged that Twilight’s suspicions were correct. (...)
They bored deeper until they had left the arcology behind, tunneling down and down into the mountain.

With no more wiggle room left on the surface, down is the way to go. Have they tried a concrete donkey?

orp

She told no one about he dreaming

"the/her dreaming"

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