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Starscribe


Student, Author, and Programmer. Want to support? Check out my Patreon!

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Lucid Storm imagines a world beyond death, where no pony will ever need to truly say goodbye to the ones they love. When all the magic and medicine of Equestria failed one young Sweetie Belle, he proposed a radical new technique--total brain recording, taken minutes before her death.

Years have passed since that day, years spent scrounging the funding for a body and experimenting with many failed machine intelligence models before tinkerer ponies all around equestria finally came together in the perfect synthesis.

After all this time, Sweetie Belle will finally have her second chance.


Written for Lucid on my Patreon. Edited by Two Bit and Sparktail, who also sponsored it. Cover by Magfen. This brief short story will update daily.

Chapters (6)
Comments ( 101 )

Ghost in the Shell main theme begins playing.

Well, I'm hooked. Eager to see where this goes

I've seen how much research you do, so you better be doing the quote out-of-order to fit with the story.

"My workshop," he answered, settling the tablet on the table between them. [1]I'm going to unlock your motor functions, okay? Be very careful—you might be able to damage yourself, in ways a pony couldn't. Okay?"

[1] Missing opening quotation mark

11375800
You're right, thanks for catching it! Fixed.

Opened this in a tab earlier today to read when I finished what I started last night. Lo and behold, I get to the bottom and there’s a [NEXT] button.

Scrib, you’re an angel. :yay:

Sweetie Bot stories are what got me into Fan Fiction in the first place. I can't get enough of them, thank you for the great story so far! Can't wait for more. :twilightsmile:

They came to visit before a long trip, and said something about not being back in time.

That's a yikes from me, boss.

11376314
Cookie and Hondo bad parents confirmed for the hundreth time

This, has alot of promise

11376387
i wonder if they have added code to sweeties brain. probs not but i think the old question of "should the robot be able to harm people" will come up sooner or later and i hope sweetie doesnt get hurt by it

11376391
They made her strong enough to harm herself by accident with raw strength. Because when you resurrect your beloved child, you completely overkill things to make sure it doesn't happen again. (See also: Hub Hikari).

there's something vaguely wrong about the way rarity is acting with all of this, which I guess is good writing but man, part of life is to have to bury your loved ones and move on. Maybe its because I've had a string of very painful deaths in the last few years but also there's no knowing whether he's saved her or doomed her since she is just a snapshot of a pony, living in a digital network, there's no telling whether she can advance past being this child. her friends, her family, all of them are going to age and change and sweetie will be stuck as this thing

" Network Size: 8.61*10^9

8.61*10^9 can be swapped out for the simpler alternative 8.61E9

11376632
This is a particularly strange one as instead of being converted like in the FiO verse she's an outright and imperfect copy and the original died a few hours after the scan was taken.

It's implied that she consented to this and understood this would be the case, likewise her family doesn't seem to have any problem with her being a copy.

I'm expecting this to take a super dark turn somewhere (it's already quite a bit as she died and then died again another several times in failed startups) as starscribe tends to write almost exclusively tragedies, mostly cleverly disguised ones but generally someone ends up worse off in some horrific way.

Personally i'm expecting the bat to get hit by a bus and killed shortly since it's been pointed out that he's the only one that knows how to maintain her and he's wanting to put off involving others In his research until he knows more.

I usually regret reading starscribe's stuff but I keep reading them because they're so well written and interesting to think about.

She's been able to learn so far and she already seems to becoming more normal and fluent so she probably won't have any problem advancing, probably rather quickly unless they add in a way for her to sleep which may end up being an issue on it's own, a normal person requires sleep so either they've somehow managed to add in something that negates that requirement or it's going to become an issue after a few days.

The story seems to conflict with itself on that bit as she appeared to sleep/shutdown when she ran out of power shortly after activation which seemed to show that her shutting down in the future wouldn't in itself be harmful.

She will continue to be a robot but as a robot she can modify her looks and body to any degree she desires so she can in effect grow to a full size pony if she desires. As for the others the whole point of this was that they would be able to do this for others so it's highly likely it will be an option for the others in the future although everyone else may not be as comfortable with being a copy.

11376866
I'm thinking its going to be more moral outrage as starscribe's other stories are a lot of tech vs society. still, the way rarity is acting, there's something not quite healthy about it all

Well, it's not the first dead Sweetie => Sweetie Bot fic, but it's well written. The only complaint from my side would be Rarity and their parents acting.
I suppose not including their parents and sending them on a long trip was a way to avoid introducing too many characters that would be interested in Sweetie's fate, to focus more on Sweetie, Rarity and Lucid. On the other hand, it sounds really, really strange to have loving parents to be on a trip and eventually showing up next to their dying child. Something feels off, especially it's emphasized Rarity was always with her, not their parents.

The other thing is Rarity and her emotions - even if she's shocked and happy to see Sweetie Bot, I think it's a bit too mild, lacking strong emotions. Imagine Rarity from the show, remember how she cared for and loved her little sister, imagine seeing Sweetie slowly die in pain, surrounded with medical equipment, a little filly who did not deserve even a tiny bit of such suffering. I can imagine Rarity going insane with her own pain and sorrow, not eating, not working, not sleeping, trying to spend every second with her dying sister. Then one day Lucid shows up and offers a solution, a promise to undo the damage, to give her second chance, to make this nightmare go away and go back to a normal life. With Sweetie passing away and a promise from the bat pony, Rarity would be in such a bad state it's even hard to imagine. Torn between her internal conflict to feel sorrow and sadness because of Sweetie's dead, yet trying to suppress it, clinging with every fiber of her body to the promise of reviving her little sister.
Here, in this story, it feels like Sweetie been lost in a dark forest, and after a whole day of looking for her, she eventually finds her way back home. Rarity is relieved, pleased, happy. I feel the emotions she would really feel in her situation, would be much, much stronger. Speechless, fainting, crying hugging Sweetie for dear life, repeating "she's alive" - something like that.

Well, it's just my opinion, don't take it personally, I'm still waiting for more chapters.

How much time has actually passed? I assumed Rarities description would be a good indicator, but Its not really saying much.

Love the direction the story is going in so far! I do have to agree with others that Rarity's reaction to Sweetie being alive again seeming a bit... light. Although to be fair, she was probably emotionally drained having lost her sister for... months? A long time, (sorry if it was stated and I missed it) and was in complete shock when she saw her again. Her parents though... Hmm, not sure how I feel about them going on a long vacation trip right after visiting their very ill daughter in the hospital (if I understood that correctly.) Other than those two things, everything else is coming along splendidly! I'm looking forward to more!

11377289
its not light, I think she's the kind of person that is and was in complete denial over sweetie's death and has alienated everybody who wants her to move on. she was the one who brought about this whole turn of events anyways

I quite enjoyed this story. It has the appearance of a light fluffy story about a girl getting a second chance at life, but the emotional/philosophical content lurking just below the surface gives it a much more sinister feel. The question "Is Sweetie Bot actually Sweetie Belle?" is unanswered, and probably unanswerable. While every character has their own unique answer to this problem, each stemming from their own personal history and experiences, the story itself doesn't say if any one of these characters is "right". It simple leaves it open to the reader to decide how they feel and think about the situation.

Great job, I quite liked this short story.

Such a down-to-earth take on a classic fandom concept!

By the by, how did the whole idea behind Sweetie Bot come to be, anyway? Did a brony get really excited about robo-ponies or something?

How tragic. Sweetie Bot is being forced to be Sweetie Bell and her sister is in complete denial that she is actually dead. I hope Sweetie Bot gets to be herself. Maybe Twilight can employ her in the government in a few years…

Awesome story, thank you very much Starscribe!

11377636
Let me disagree here. Sweetie Bot is not forced to be anything.
If you want to be technical, Sweetie Bot is a neural network based on the personalities and memories of Sweetie Belle.
And now we are at the junction: if she thinks like Sweetie Belle, acts like Sweetie Belle, has the memories of Sweetie Belle, thinks she is Sweetie Belle... then [is she || she is] Sweetie Belle?
(CGP Grey made a great video on a very similar topic: The trouble with Transporters - i.e. what is the definition of 'you'?)

Short and sweet story. Added bonus that there were some computer technical concepts that were presented inconspicuously.

11377665
I'm of the opinion that she is "a" Sweetie Bell (to within 99.87%), just not "the" first one.

11377665
I disagree.


When she was interfacing with the computer she believed it and the bat (whose name escapes me) and it heavily implied she has hardware code embedded in; we have no idea how many shackles are on her mind.

The way the story was written heavily implies she is incapable of challenging her identity. She is able to make new memories but I doubt she could grow as a person.

11377620
IIRC, Sweetie Bot is from a really early time in the fandom, I think from a video series which took existing episodes, edited and re-dubbed them to make something new, similar to how those anime abridged series tend to go. Don't quite remember what it was called, unfortunately.

11377704
Friendship is Witchcraft maybe?

11377707
Yeah, that's the one!
Pretty sure sweetie bot is from there.

The apple filly sniffed, wiping at her eyes. "I... I remember saying goodbye last year. My sister said I wouldn't get to come visit again. They d-didn't think you'd last through the night. Hardest thing I ever did. I was just a foal when the fire... when my parents..."

In the stories description is says Sweeties been dead for years (meaning more than one) but in the story it say only 1 year. I know its a small detail but I'm just curious. Overall this was a great story.

Love the happy-ish ending

This felt like it could have been the start of something much longer until you wrapped it up. Here’s hoping your muse bugs you about it in the future. :rainbowwild:

11376632

art of life is to have to bury your loved ones and move on

Prove this boolshit

This is the first story I've seen that took what is basically a meme character, and did a story that really made me think. As other commentors noted, it's been done before, but never with this level of unsparing humanity ("pony-anity?") to it. Weaving in the issues of informed consent at the heart of so much IRL ethics - this version of Sweetie was suffering a terminal illness and "agreed" to something she really wasn't in a position to understand - makes this all the stronger. Applebloom's question of "does Sweetie Belle (Prime) have a soul" is particularly apt here. This one... she does, and that's good writing. I wish there was more, but leaving it open-ended is a very good way to end this too.

I'm liking this so far. It's not often we get to see the testing phases in a story like this. I'm looking forward to the later chapters.

(And, BTW, if I ever do write the sequel to The Once and Future Elements I promise I didn't lift the idea from you.) :unsuresweetie:

That was cute, but I wouldn't call copying someone's memories to a robot a 'resurrection'.

sweetie bot must make toast, this I demand! but you don't have to listen to this comment or its silly demands

11377968
this is something the Bobverse books kind of deal with, well, except there's no magic there...sort of. they did end up finding what can be described as a soul in the 4th book but Bob basically understands that he's both the Bob and also an artificial intelligence constructed from the brain scan of a guy who did something as silly as paying to get his head frozen, and then getting hit by a car. its a duality he's accepted which is kind of why he was the only actual successful human-generated AI (since he also meets an actual sentient machine born AI at some point)

Wow, that was a lot shorter than I thought it was going to be and mostly sweet, annoyingly leaves a variety of questions unanswered like whatever happened to her parents or how they feel about the whole deal.

11377616
She's not sweetie belle, she's a copy but no one involved cares so I don't think it matters.

11377636
I don't think she can be said to be being forced anymore than you could say you're forced to be you, she has the memories and personality of sweetie belle, she is an imperfect copy but to her she is sweetie belle.

If someone made a copy of you, it would still believe itself to be you and would be upset that someone was already living its life.
In sweetie's case the original is dead and the copy can take over.

Sweetie seemingly knew this would be the case if they were successful, she passed on everything she could to sweetie bot.

11377697
She had also just woken up and wasn't in the best mental condition as she's an imperfect copy taken of someone in pain and very poor health running on an imperfect simulation and she was the first one to function well enough to not collapse on startup. She should be allowed some initial confusion. She seemed to stabilize and seems relatively normal later on in the story.

11377746
It is a basic fact of life.
Life ends.
Until true immortality happens, it's a undisputed fact.

11377746
wow I mean if you haven't had to, then good but I've had to watch 2 grandparents die from horrible degenerative diseases, 1 cousin die behind the wheel, and recently lost my closest grandmother whom I was taking care of, and my uncle in the span of 2 months, and someday I'll be arranging my mother and father's funerals, its just a fact of life.

11377994
tell that to the immortal jellyfish

11378007
and ?
no, not a fact

11378116
do you just not have any family then? like i'm deeply confused on the hangup here, everybody has to confront the death of someone in their life at some point, and one thing everybody will inevitably have to do is confront the death of their parents, and quite possibly their siblings. Even the death of pets is fairly traumatic, you can't spend a decade with a dog or cat and not be heartbroken when they're gone. its just a fact of life that you are almost certainly going to out live your parents and possibly one or more siblings, and your pets. its so much a fact that a very large chunk of human culture revolves around death and how to cope with it. hell, britain just shut down for 10 days to mourn a queen.

She'd have to ask the bat engineer about where her “soul” was in the robotic body he'd built. Maybe he could add room for one in the next update, if he hadn't thought of putting it into her already.

import soul

11378125
there is.
to whom do I owe it?)
prove that this is a "fact of life")))
oh, how conveniently and imperceptibly you replaced "this is a fact" with "almost certainly":trixieshiftleft:
no, the culture revolves around death because of the fear caused by this.

A pretty good little story.

Anyone else get Undead Robot Bug Crusaders vibes from this Sweetie Bot? There's plenty of differences to be sure, but spoilers are very similar...

Heck. This was great.

Thank you for writing this Starscribe! it's every thing i hoped for and SO much more! I'll be fighting for more chapters as soon as the opportunity to do so arises. (so glad so many are enjoying it)

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