• Published 6th Nov 2012
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To Test is Science! - Crimson Star



The sequel to "To Observe is Science!"

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Scientists are used to failure

"What a prick!" John exclaimed indignantly. "How can anyone say the holocaust never happened?"

The group had gathered in the courtyard where they could express their distaste for Manglanosa without the fear of annoying others. The humans' end of the conversation expressed their varying degrees of hate towards Dr. Manglanosa and Nazis in general. The ponies and dragon, however, merely thought his ideas were radical and, if nothing else, quite drastic. Having only heard of Nazi atrocities third-hand had earned disbelief from many a pony, and if it weren't for the fact that the Bearers of the Elements trusted the humans, they probably would've dismissed the stories as sick fantasy.

"I know, right?" Geo added, agreeing to John's distaste. "I just wanna go up and throttle that asswipe!"

"Geo!" Twilight gasped, shocked that he would say such a thing about anyone.

Geo shrugged. "What? I'm not actually gonna do it!" He said, before tilting his head down. "While there are witnesses..." He added, in a small mumble.

Ace had knelt down next to Pinkie, his concern for her evident in the way he clung to her, and offered her comforting pets along her mane. "What's worse is that he actually believes it. Or at least, he's insistent enough to give that impression." Ace sighed. "I'm just hope I made a strong enough case to Celestia."

Twilight gave Ace a reassuring look. "Celestia will give a fair judgement, of that I'm sure. If these 'Nazis' are half as bad as you claim, then it would be irresponsible for Celestia to keep them in Equestria. And Celestia is ANYTHING but irresponsible."

"...Maybe." Ace sighed, as his eyes fixated on a point, and he started to become lost in thought.

Pinkie looked up at her husband, recognizing the look. On a few occasions, Ace had gotten this look. Behind his eyes, he had been considering the worst case scenarios, and each thought drove him to depression. If left unchecked, Pinkie knew, he would become a glum gloomy gloom-pants for the rest of the day. And Pinkie didn't want that. Out of spontaneity, she quickly changed the subject. "Sooooo Hammer raised you?" She asked quickly.

Ace looked down at the pink mare, who gave his lips a lick. A small giggle elicited from the couple. Now considerably happier, Ace elaborated on his history. "Actually, it's more accurate to say that all the Circle Eights raised me. Hammer was the one in charge of the branch that stayed where I was. And like my dad, he was an OG."

A look of confusion crossed Rarity's face "Do forgive this question if it is rude, darling, but what, pray tell, is an OG?"

Twilight raised an eyebrow, before offering an idea. "Is it an abbreviation for something?" She asked.

"Orange Grass? Oatmeal Grains? Only Guy?" Pinkie started giving rapid fire guesses as the the possible meaning of the two letters.

"OG stands for Original Gangster, and is a title given to founding members of a street gang. When you hear a gangbanger talk about an OG, that's what they're referring to." Ace stated. At the end of his explanation, John snickered, prompting Ace to continue. "...And 'gangbanger' in this case refers to a member of a violent street gang, JOHN." Ace emphasized with annoyance.

Applejack whipped John's lower back with her tail, offering him a glare. John coughed, trying to rid himself of his laughter. "Right, Sorry." He apologized. But after a quick thought, John asked a question without thinking of the consequences. "So wait, if you were raised by an entire street gang, how'd you get all your degrees and such? I mean, no offense, but modern gangsters aren't exactly known to be very intelligent." Applejack gave him another whip, thinking that the question was a bit rude.

"You mean, 'how did I become a scientist?'" Ace shrugged. "I took an interest in science. Way back when, I couldn't put anything together, but I was a monster when it came to taking things apart. Anything I could get my hands on was taken apart, and organized on the table as if to analyze it. I mostly taught myself. I knew the inner workings of a sub-machine gun by the time I was twelve." Ace chuckled. "Needless to say, Hammer was pissed at me on more than one occasion." Ace made a face, and imitated a voice that sounded like a big angry black man. "The fuck you doin' to my gat you little honkey!?" He resumed chuckling, speaking in a normal voice. "The funniest part was that the big man never found me for the rest of the day, afterwards. 'Course I made up for it when I was older by learning to put together and improve whatever I took apart. He always had the choice to ignore and abandon me, but I think he took it upon himself to try and raise me as my dad intended."

Geo nodded. "Well I think I speak for all of us when I say we're glad he did. I can speak from experience when I say that following your heart is a good lesson to learn, and I'm glad he taught you that."

Ace looked around the courtyard, noticing "The recess is ending. We should get back in."

*****

"Has the forensics team finished their tests on the unknown substance?" Celestia asked, looking over to a unicorn who had entered with the evidence.

"We have, your highness." The pony replied, using her magic to unravel a scroll. "The results are as follows. 'The substance is melted grass, caused by a surge of evocational magic. With further analysis of the remnant aura, we should be able to determine who is responsible for the casting of the spell."

"What?!" Ace guffawed as the pony finished. "Melted grass?! Grass doesn't melt! It burns!" He attempted to reason.

Celestia was the one who gave the reply. "Melted grass is often the result of magic affecting it's surroundings on an atomic level. The grass isn't actually melted, just atomically restructured into paste."

Ace kicked himself for not considering magic as a candidate for the weapon used to attack him. He was in a land where magic was the norm, and he forgot to factor that in. "Does that mean it was a unicorn that attacked my base?" He asked for clarification.

Celestia hesitated before replying. "While unicorns are most commonly the ones to cast spells, there are other beings with magical abilities. Still, it is highly likely it was a unicorn who cast the spell that damaged your buildings."

Manglanosa's smug grin never left his face as he turned to Ace. "Oh, I'm so sorry, doutor. Looks like it was not my forces who attacked you, after all."

"As I've said before, other beings have magical abilities." Celestia reasoned. "Unicorns are born with magic, and other species have to learn it. It may still be possible for you to have attacked Ace's base."

Dr. Manglanosa's smile instantly disappeared, as he regarded Celestia, and paced, once again, to the center of the court. "I'm afraid that is a forgivable accusation, but I will not allow you all to remain ignorant. On the human Earth, there is no such thing as magic. None on our world know any spells, and those who say they know magic are really illusionists with cheap gimmicks."

Celestia, cocked an eyebrow, looking towards Ace. "Can you confirm this, Lieutenant?"

Ace chose his words carefully, his hesitation giving him a moment to gather his thoughts. "...Ma'am, I can only confirm that on our world, magic has always been revealed as nothing more than 'smoke and mirrors.' There is not enough conclusive evidence to support the existence of magic on our world. But while most magicians only use props and machines for prestidigitation, that's not to say that magical events and such cannot happen. Philosophically and logically, it is possible those who actually know magic practice in secret, so as to not scare those who would fear it."

"In other words, doutor," Came Manglanosa. "You have not seen any magic of human origin, but still believe it exists."

"Yes." Ace said without thinking. But he suddenly shook his head, as Manglanosa smiled. "Wait, I mean-"

Striking while the iron was hot, Manglanosa interrupted him. "Then you are a fool. How can a scientist such as yourself possibly give credence to the fact that humans can do magic? Are you going to accuse me of learning magic just to strike at your base? You would probably be impressed if I showed you the old coin trick. That makes your wild delusions that much less credible."

"That's enough, doctor." Celestia said, silencing Manglanosa. "Given the evidence presented to me, I feel I am ready to pass judgement." She turned to Ace, and gave him a sympathetic look, and proceeded to sigh heavily before speaking. "Doctor Sorou, I understand your plight. You're worried about the safety of others. Doctor Manglanosa, I understand that you have beliefs that others view as evil. Given the statements presented to me, I feel that there is no reason to exile Manglanosa or his mercenaries."

Shouts of disbelief came from the two humans in the peanut galley.
"What the fuck?! That can't be right!"
"You've got to be fucking joking!"

Ace pounded his fist on the desk before him. "Princess, please reconsider! Keeping them here in Equestria is asking for trouble! This man follows the same belief as his grandfather, a belief that led our world into the second World War! His very roots are evil, and don't belong in Equestria!"

"And you follow the same belief as your father, a belief which spawns killers, thieves, and criminals." Celestia countered. "He may be a devout Nazi, but you were raised by a crime lord, and indoctrinated as an honorary member of the Circle Eights. If I were to exile him and his forces, I would have to exile you for the same reasons. Your very roots are evil, and don't belong in Equestria."

The company of friends collectively gasped at Celestia's statement. They realized, if any of them wanted to rid Equestria of the Nazis, they'd have to send Ace with them. Celestia tried to ease the tension, and explain her judgement in greater detail. "I cannot judge someone based on their beliefs alone. Doctor Manglanosa has shown no ill intent for Equestria or her citizens. On the contrary, much like yourself, Lieutenant, they express a willingness to defend Equestria from those who would bring harm to her borders. There is no conclusive evidence that anypony is in danger, and I believe you are blowing this out of proportion. As a result, I judge that Manglanosa's forces will remain in Equestria."

Manglanosa gave a respectful bow. "Obrigado, your highness. I am glad to see that Equestria has such a wise ruler."

"THIS IS BULLSHIT!" Ace shouted, leaning over the desk in front of him towards the Princess. He would've kept his yap shut, but he couldn't stand Manglanosa smugly brown-nosing Celestia. So he said something, hopefully getting Celestia to change her mind. "Princess, with all due respect, you're making a mistake! The Nazis have been known to-"

"My judgement is final, Lieutenant." Celestia interrupted. "I have heard both sides of the issue."

"Please, princess, there's other facts you should know!" Ace persisted. "In the years leading up to World War Two-"

Celestia raised a hoof, interrupting him again. "Lieutenant, I know you disagree with me, but no matter what you say, my decision still stands."

Finally, Ace just snapped. He brought his fist down on the desk, shouting as loud as he can, "HE'S GONNA BETRAY YOU, YOU DUMB BITCH!"

The entire courtroom was silent for a long moment. Every unicorn, pegasus, and earth pony looked on, their jaws unhinged from their mouths. Even Geo and John had joined the others in gawking at Ace, everyone shocked and appalled at the words that came out of Ace's mouth. The scientist-officer himself had a rapid change of expression as he replayed what he had just said in his mind. Other than the 'oh shit' expression on his face, he was a perfect statue. Princess Celestia's expression didn't look angry at her aggressor, but onlookers could tell the recipient of such a harsh insult was none too pleased.

"My decision still stands, Lieutenant." Celestia repeated, bringing her hoof down. "Court is adjourned. Lieutenant, I wish to see you in private. Now." Celestia said firmly, as she slowly walked out of the court. All eyes turned to Ace, who straightened himself, and lowered his goggles over his face. Holding his head up high, and placing an arm behind his back, Ace mustered as much dignity as he could, and strolled out of court, with ponies backing away from him as if he had the plague. As he exited, he idly wondered how weather was like on the moon this time of year.

A smirk appeared on Dr. Manglanosa's face.

*****

Ace let Celestia lead him to another part of the castle, looking very cross the entire time. Ace wasn't paying attention to where in the castle 'In private' referred to, he was just worried about how he was gonna defuse the situation. They arrived at an unused meeting room soon enough, in a restricted part of the castle. When the door was shut, Celestia cast a spell that sealed the room from eavesdroppers. She sighed, her expression returning to neutral as she regarded Ace. "Lieutenant, I-"

Ace spoke quickly, not letting Celestia finish her first statement. "There is no excuse for my actions, Princess. What I said was out of line, and I will gladly accept whatever punishment you deem necessary." He gulped, standing straight at attention, staring at nothing but the wall behind Celestia.

Celestia walked over next to Ace, and brought a reassuring wing down to comfort him. "I was going to say I can sympathise with your passion, and I am not offended." She said.

Ace relaxed, comforted by Celestia's feathers. "...Oh." He said, slowly catching his breath, as he drew his attention to Celestia's face.

Celestia continued calmly. "I realize that Dr. Manglanosa and his forces aren't exactly the most trustworthy folk, but then, how would it look if I just went and banished you as soon as you came here? The bearers and I couldn't trust you at the time, and given the circumstances, we had every reason to banish you from Equestria. But I decided to give you a chance, and you turned out to be the valiant protector, and have filled one of the bearer's hearts with love. Despite your criminal background, and your hostile nature when angered, you have earned your place here. Don't you believe that the same benefit of the doubt should be extended to others, so that they may earn their place here, as well?"

Ace could see what was going on, and he did agree. But he struggled to find words to try and make a point. "...I can appreciate this point of view, Your Highness. But I don't think Manglanosa and I are...cut from the same cloth. I mean, yes, street gangs at their core are detestable, and so is Nazism. But..." He trailed off, not knowing what else to say.

Princess Celestia rested a hoof on his shoulder, taking advantage of his silence. “Lieutenant, I'm concerned that your personal attachment to this situation is clouding your judgement." She stated, bringing her neck down to hug Ace. "Your wife's gypsy practices aren't exactly in keeping with Manglanosa's beliefs. But I promise you, no harm will come to her."

Ace felt very reassured by all this, especially the hug. He had to admit, he wasn't expecting this. So his wife was safe, Celestia assured him. "What about our foal?" He asked, as Celestia broke the hug.

The Princess looked up. "Oh?" She asked, her eyebrows raising in surprise. "Is she pregnant?"

Ace shrugged sheepishly. "I thought she told you already, Milady. I just received the news the other day, myself."

Celestia gave him a reassuring smile. "Then in that case, I can assure you that your entire family is safe. I ask that you have faith, and trust me. Try to think of it from my point of view, Lieutenant. After all, the Nazis haven't expressed any ill-intent for Equestria." Her expression turned more serious. "Understand?" She asked.

Ace cocked an eyebrow. It seemed like Celestia was hinting at something. Then it hit him. She wanted him to find some conclusive evidence. She was hinting that she didn't want them here, either, but for whatever reason, she couldn't just declare the Nazis banished. Of course, it was only a theory brought on by the Princess' expression, but Ace nodded, knowingly. "Yes, princess. I understand."

"Good." Celestia smiled, before wrapping up the meeting. "Keep your nose clean, Lieutenant. Don't let me catch you wrongfully antagonizing the mercenaries, or I'll take you up on your earlier offer. Dismissed."

Ace saluted, and Celestia returned the salute. With great dignity and purpose, Ace left the meeting room, and returned to the main hall, where he found his friends waiting for him. They would've asked how it went right there, but Ace looked too lost in thought to speak. So the group silently made their way to the train station, where a group of bots had been gathered. Ace's escort to Canterlot. They weren't needed while in the capital, being that there were hundreds of Royal Guard there, but now that they were departing, the bots got in formation, flying around the train car Ace and his friends were staying in for the trip back.

*****

The train trip back was long. And so far, completely silent. All eyes were on Ace, who was still thinking deeply. The subject was so sensitive right now, nopony was going to dare break the silence. That is, until Rainbow's curiosity got the better of her.

"So what's your punishment?" She blurted out.

Twilight gasped. "Rainbow!" She chastised, thinking that the question was both insensitive and offensive.

Ace held up a hand. "It's alright." He stated with a sigh. "I got let off with a warning. She was a lot more understanding then I would've been."

The group let out a breath they seemed to collectively been holding. "Well, that's good, right?" Geo asked.

"You bet that's good." Ace said forcibly. "I have no aspirations to become the next lunar colonist."

The mood seemed to lighten a little with this statement."Did you get her to revise her decision?" Twilight asked, taking advantage of the broken silence.

Ace shook his head. "No. She says there's a distinct lack of evidence pointing to Nazi hostility. And if I try and do something, it's gonna reflect badly on me."

Twilight felt hurt by this. She had earlier told Ace to trust Celestia to make a good decision, but when she gave a decision that was contrary to what everyone expected, she felt that she had given some bad advice. "I'm sorry, doctor." She said, disheartened. Geo offered her a hug.

"Don't worry." Ace said, trying to reassure the saddened unicorn. "I'm not angry about it. I'll figure something out. In the meantime, I'll go back to working on my bots and keeping Ponyville safe."

Thinking that this wasn't a good subject to talk about, Geo tried to take the reins. "Speaking of bots, doc. I can't help but notice a few new ones you developed. Care to tell us about them?" He looked out the window to see some humanoid robots flying out the window. They all had smooth surfaces, and two beady eyes set in an otherwise featureless face. They had upper torsos, but not lower ones.

Ace followed Geo's gaze. "The ones flying next to the train? They're Float-bots. They're gravity manipulation robots designed to be mass produced. As such, they have basic A.I., and only crude G-manipulators. I made one that was far more advanced, but too resource heavy to even consider mass producing. As such, my prototype, the Grav-bot, has been promoted to the de-facto leader of the unit, since it's far more powerful, able to manipulate gravity in such a way that it can lift entire buildings off the ground. I even put a prototype portal generator on him."

"When you're talking about Grav-bot, do you mean that squid thing?" John pointed out the window at a robot that was a perfect replica of a twelve foot long squid, flying through the air as a normal squid swims through water.

Ace nodded with a smile. "Yep."

"What about that small ball?" Fluttershy asked, pointing at a small sphere flying with the others. The thing was so tiny, it could fit in the palm of your hand.

"That's Hydro-bot." Ace explained. "I created him to put out fires."

"He doesn't look like he can do much to them." Rainbow said, skeptically.

"That's 'cause he needs a water source to fill up on." Ace shrugged. "He creates energy fields that absorb liquid, making him take on a goo-like appearance. He then manipulates the fields in such a way as to make either a high pressure water hose, or a number of water tentacles. He can fly around all he likes, too, with his hover device."

"Do you ever stop creating bots?" Geo asked, feigning annoyance.

Ace just stared at him for a moment, creating an awkward silence. His expression told him 'You did NOT just ask that.' Ace shook his head. "...Geo, you might as well ask me not to breathe. My life's work is to create the best bots I can, and use them to improve life for ponies everywhere. And my latest bot may be my most groundbreaking, too." Ace showed his PDA, which he tapped a few keys on. A 3d turntable of a perfect humanoid with heavy armor appeared. The armor as flat and smooth, but had long spikes on the shoulders, back of the head, and down the spine. "I purposely installed my new Dark-bot with no abilities, because I theorize that his power source will be all the abilities he needs."

Geo cocked his eyebrows. "And what's his power source?"

The image of Dark-bot disappeared. "Remember that raid I pulled off on the Diamond Dog mines?" The party collectively nodded. "I acquired a magic gem there from Chief Whatshisname, I forgot the jerk. Anyway, I'm using that gem both as Dark-bot's main source of power and his memory core by utilizing holographic memory. When he's completed, he's gonna be my most intelligent bot I've ever created."

"Are you so sure that's a good thing?" Geo asked, concern in his voice. "I saw what that gem did to his second-in-command. I think the thing's evil."'

Ace shrugged. "Hey, this is a prime opportunity to try and blend science and magic. How often do you come across a magic gem? Besides, it's a prototype. It probably won't even work."

Geo seemed reassured, as he relaxed with Twilight. "Well I'd still keep an eye on it, doc. Who knows what kind of trouble that gem could cause?"

"I'm more worried about what kind of trouble Manglanosa can cause." Ace replied. "I'm sure he's up to no good, but my hands are tied. If I so much as step towards his property with hostile intent, I'll be in deep with the Princess."

John tried to steer the direction away from the disappointing subject. "Sorry to hear that, man. But hey, look on the bright side."

"What bright side?" Ace asked.

John struggled for an answer, prompting Applejack to take the initiative. "Well ah reckon ya'll have an excuse to hang out with your friends, now. Ya'll been spendin' yer free time in the lab too much, doc. Ah swear, yer underground more often than a skittish rabbit. Don't ya reckon you should go out with yer pals once in a while?"

"Yeah, Ace." Rainbow said. "As soon as you finish one experiment, you've been too preoccupied with the next. I don't mean to sound sappy, but I'm kinda starting to miss you."

"You can't raise a finger against the Nazis without bringing down some kind of Hell, anyway, so I imagine your schedule's been freed up." Geo added, logically.

Ace rubbed the back of his head. "Well, I dunno. I mean, I had a pretty large breakthrough in my black hole research the other day. And I wanted to upgrade Slender-bot when we got back..."

"Aw, come on, Acey! They're right! I mean, the lab's a fun place to be, don't get me wrong, but you've been studying and researching WAAAAAAY too much. You should hang out with everypony, Ace!" Ace was about to speak, but Pinkie brought a hoof up to his mouth. "No. I know what you're gonna say, and no. Don't make me play the 'I'm-your-wife-now-do-it' card, 'cause you know I will. This is for your own good." A series of grunts and moans struggled to find their way out of Ace's mouth, trying to form a sentence. Pinkie merely narrowed her eyes, and spoke in a serious tone. "Just nod your head 'yes' to my question. Are you gonna hang out with us, or not?" Ace nodded. Pinkie beamed, bringing her hoof down. "Good! We're gonna have SOOOO much fun!" She exclaimed happily, snuggling up to Ace, and resting on his chest and stomach. She sighed contentedly, her head using Ace's shoulder as a pillow.

John and Geo exchanged an amused expression."Wow. Pussy whipped." John muttered, prompting both of them to burst out laughing. The ponies, having never heard such an expression, merely looked at the two as if they were crazy.

Ace nodded, as he rolled his eyes in a 'The shit I put up with' manner. "Yeah, yeah. Yuck it up." He said. "Alright. So what do you guys have planned when we get back?"

*****

Dr. Manglanosa was hard at work in his lab, mixing together a batch of chemicals. His experiments seemed to be mutating rats into various monstrosities, if the bodies being lined up on the autopsy tables were any indication. However, he evidently wasn't having very much success with the end product. A soldier marched into the laboratory, and saluted Manglanosa. "Doutor, I bring a report from our associates. They tell us that they are encountering no resistance, and are encouraging us to keep up the good work."

"Bom, muito bom." Manglanosa responded with a smile. "Tell our partners that phase one of the operation was a success. Phase two will be commencing, soon." The soldier saluted, leaving the lab.

Manglanosa proceeded to take another rat from a cage, and hold it down. The rat struggled to get away, as a needle sunk into it's stomach. A bright green liquid was injected, and the needle removed. Manglanosa tossed the rat towards the wall, prompting the guards in his lab to aim their weapons at it. The rat immediately began growing, it's muscles bursting out from it's skin, and it's skeleton developing horrific features, protruding spikes and claws. The rat grew to the size of a pony, snarling aggressively, and lashing out at the doctor, who took a few cautious steps back. The soldiers watched as the rat let out a pained yell, and fell to the ground, dead. Manglanosa frowned.

"Bah. Another failure." Manglanosa said, waving some of the guards over to put the creature in with the others. He took up a voice recorder, and spoke into it. "Day seventy-two. Subject thirty-four is a failure. The subject lasted at least twenty percent longer than the previous subjects, before succumbing to the agony brought on by rapid bodily change. The addition of the previously successful regeneration serum may be taking effects, and could explain the increase." He proceeded to go back to the drawing board, trying to glean some new perspective on his formula.

Author's Note:

OH MY GOD! CRIMSON STAR UPDATED?!? THE WORLD REALLY IS ENDING!!!!!!

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