~Chapter 1: System Activated~
3 months later...
“WOW! I can't believe we're almost finished!” Twilight exclaimed as she was putting on the finishing touches to the new model for the Cyba program. She was wearing shaded goggles and was using a welding torch, “Back when we were first working on Project Cyba, it would've taken us at least a year to have finished. And with technology how it was back then, it wouldn't have even been as good.”
“Well if it wasn't for the work I put into my studies, I'd probably only be a quarter of the way done with the programing by now. A third at best,” Dark Angel said. Dark Angel was in front of a computer screen making the finishing touches on the AI program. He was wearing what appeared to be a pair of robotic boots that had talons on them that resembled that of a gryphon or a dragon, “Then again, part of that would be no more than a speed issue. Without these neurogloves, I'd still only be about half way done...maybe two thirds.”
Dark Angel then copied the program onto a computer chip which he picked up with one of his talons. He carefully held it as he carried it over to the 'body'. They put allot of work into this program, and this one little chip was the final piece. This one little chip was the AI program itself, the part that would make the system, for lack of a better term, self aware.
Just a little further and...
Dark Angel and Twilight stared at what was now the shattered remains of three months of hard work, “SPIKE!!!” the two shouted in unison.
“DO YOU REALIZE HOW MUCH WORK WE PUT INTO THAT PROGRAM?!!” Twilight raged at Spike, “THANKS TO YOUR SURPRISE ARRIVAL, THREE WHOLE MONTHS OF HARD WORK WAS JUST DESTROYED!!! I...”
“Hold on, Twi,” Dark Angel said as he covered Twilight's muzzle with a wing, “I prepared for something like this. I made copies of the program for when something like this was gonna happen. After all, how could I expect any less from your 'number one' assistant?”
“STOP CALLING ME THAT!!!”
“Really?! You did?!” Twilight cheered as she began to hop up and down in a similar fashion of Pinkie Pie's hopping.
“That was one of five copies to be exact. I always make copies in case of situations like this,” Dark Angel said.
“I'm sorry about that though,” Spike apologized, “What if you didn't make copies? I would've ruined all of that work.”
“If I didn't make copies, Ferra wouldn't have let you in here to surprise us,” Dark Angel pointed out.
“Well, I came down here to ask if you wanted to take a break and get lunch,” Spike suggested, “This is a big thing. I think your friends would want to witness it.”
“What do you think Twi? Your friends would probably like to see this. And we could certainly use the break,” Dark Angel said before a rumbling was heard from his gut.
“It sounds to me that you're more interested in the lunch, Angel,” Twilight teased before a rumbling came from her gut as well.
“And it sounds like you agree with me,” Dark Angel said, “I guess it's off to lunch we go! Oh, and see your friends too.”
The three of them left the lab. And with Ferra, they left the library on their way to Sugarcube Corner.
“...And so then...then Twi got her horn stuck in...stuck in the wall! And with her horn stuck, she couldn't...she couldn't release the gravity spell she put on me! So I was stuck laying flat on the floor weighing over...over a thousand pounds! HAHAHAHA!!!” Dark Angel reminisced, cracking up as he finished the story. The entire group was there laughing hysterically at the story. Pinkie Pie was laughing so hard she was in tears, barely even able to breath from how much she was laughing.
“And this was all just...just a trip to the museum?!” Rainbow Dash laughed, “Way to go, Twi! I never knew you had it in ya!”
“Well if Angel hadn't of pulled that switch in the first place, none of it would've happened!” Twilight laughed. It was in fact an embarrassing situation for both her and Dark Angel. But the way he told the story made it so she couldn't help but laugh as well.
“I think...I think we need to get Pinkie some help!” Rarity laughed, unable to keep a straight face, “I don't think...I don't think she can breath!” When the others looked down at Pinkie, sure enough she was trying to gasp for air. But her laughing fit was preventing her from getting any air into her lungs.
They couldn't believe what they were seeing. Pinkie Pie was in a laughing fit...but she was no long happy. The look on her face was telling the she was agony. And none of them knew how they could help.
That's when Dark Angel stepped up. He got Pinkie onto her belly and carefully placed his hooves at two different points on her back. Then he wrapped his wings around her and lifted her up onto her hind legs. Then with one quick jolt, Dark Angel lifted Pinkie squeezing tightly with his wings while pushing his hooves against her back. This caused her to yelp in pain as the last of the air was squeezed out of her lungs. She then fell limply to the ground, but no long laughing. She was just laying there gasping for air.
Pinkie didn't even try to get back up. That laughing fit had exhausted her.
“What happened?” Fluttershy asked.
“I think when she fell over laughing, she somehow hit a nerve,” Dark Angel said, “This caused her diaphragm to lock into a spasm. In this case taking the form of a laughing fit. I hit certain nerves while simultaneously squeezing the air out of her lungs. These combined actions caused her to go into a shock that paralyzed her for a brief moment. That moment of paralysis caused the spasm to stop, ending her laughing fit.”
“Is she going to be alright?” Rarity asked.
“She's gonna need a few hours of rest. But after that she'll be fine,” Dark Angel said with a soft grin, “Then she'll be back to her old self before you know it.”
Pinkie opened up her eyes and spoke, her voice still horse from laughing, “I never thought I'd be happy that I stopped laughing,” Pinkie said with a grin.
“Did ah jus' hear her right?!” Applejack exclaimed.
“I guess there's a first time for everything,” Twilight said.
Pinkie's smile faded and sadness filled her eyes as she looked toward Dark Angel, “If you weren't here, I would've died, wouldn't I?” Pinkie whimpered.
Dark Angel's sigh told her and the others what his answer was. But then Dark Angel replaced his serious expression with a foalish grin, “Well, I could think of allot worse ways to go,” Dark Angel said, “I could just imagine the headline now. ELEMENT OF LAUGHTER DIES LAUGHING.”
Dark Angel's little joke make Pinkie laugh weakly. But then it was followed by a groan, “Don't make me laugh right now.”
“Alright,” Dark Angel said. Then he turned to the others, “Come on. Let's get her inside so she could get some rest.” The group did as told and helped Pinkie Pie up to bring her inside. They then laid her on her bed and watched as her eyes slowly closed as she drifted off to sleep.
They all headed back out. “Well, Pinkie Pie's out of commission, so she won't be joining us for the activation,” Twilight said.
“Ah don' mean ta be rude or not'in. But I'd rather not go either,” Applejack said honestly, “The idea of a life form bein' made from all that technowatzits don' sit right with me.”
“Well it's not really a life form. It's only an artificial intelligence program,” Dark Angel explained, “Technically, Cyba is not much more than a walking talking computer.”
“Well, Ah still don' like it. It jus' ain't normal,” Applejack said, “Ah hope ya don' mind if Ah don' join ya fer the act'vation.”
“It's alright Applejack. We understand,” Twilight said, “Does anypony else prefer to not attend?”
“I think this is gonna be AWESOME!” Rainbow Dash cheered.
“I wonder if it will let me make outfits for it,” Rarity said, going off into her own fashionista world.
“Well...uhm....no, I'll watch,” Fluttershy said in her usual apprehensive manner.
Dark Angel only knew Fluttershy for three months. But he knew about how shy she was. And maybe he was just imagining things, but she seemed a little more apprehensive than usual. As they were heading back to the library, Dark Angel walked next to Fluttershy, “Is something wrong, Flutters?” Dark Angel asked, calling her by the nickname he had given her, “Is something bothering you?”
“Well...it's just that...I'm just a little nervous, that's all,” Fluttershy said.
“You're more than a little nervous,” Dark Angel pointed out, “Then again, that's not really anything new. You're afraid of Cyba, aren't you?” Fluttershy's lack of an answer was proof of his claim, “Don't worry, Flutters. I promise that Cyba will be friendly. There's nothing to be afraid of.”
Although her thoughts didn't really change, Dark Angel did help to calm her nerves. Since she met Dark Angel, she felt as if he helped to calm her nerves and even make her feel more confident. There was also something else that she felt. She didn't know what it was, but she's never felt this way before.
DATA PROCESSORS ONLINE...
AUDIO SYSTEM ACTIVATED...
Rainbow Dash: You two didn't mess this up, did you?
Twilight Sparkle: No, of course we didn't!
Rainbow Dash: Then why's it taking so long?!
Dark Angel: Just be patient. It's a large complicated program. It'll take a little while for it to fully load.
VISUAL SYSTEM ACTIVATED...
The android opened up it's eyes to see a group of eight watching them. Three fully grown pegasi, two fully grown unicorns, one unicorn filly, one baby dragon, and one gryphon child.
The android had a child-like form. He was a polished silver. He had a mane and tail that resembled rows of blades that were colored gold, silver, gold, silver, gold, silver. His 'hooves', like his mane and tail blades, were made out of pure gold. His eyes were gold. His 'wings' were long curved golden bars that connect to his back. The gold bars extended outward into long silver blade-like protrusions. On his flank was an image of a computer chip cutie mark.
“YES! It's working!” Twilight cheered, “Let's see if everything is in working order. Do you know what you are?”
“I am Cyba,” the 'mechapony' said in an emotionless robotic voice, “An artificial intelligence created by the combined works of Twilight Sparkle and Dark Angel.”
“Nice, nice,” Dark Angel approved, “What is your function?”
“My function is to learn through experience,” Cyba said, “To achieve this task, I am to interact with other ponies and learn to live as they do.”
“Do you have any...friends?” Dax asked curiously and shyly.
“Accessing... Friend... A pony attached to another by feelings of affection or person regard,” Cyba defined as he accessed his database, “I have not been activated long enough to make... friends. Therefor, to answer your question, no. I do not have any friends.”
“Well if you want to live like other ponies, you have to have friends like other ponies,” Dax stated, “Do you want to be friends with me?”
“Want... To feel a need or desire for,” Cyba defined again, “I am incapable of feeling need or desire. I am incapable of feeling anything. Therefor, I am incapable of wanting friends.”
“Well deary, you don't have to want friends to have them,” Rarity pointed out, “Having friends just... happens. Sometimes even when you don't expect it.” Rarity looked toward Twilight when she said that last sentence.
“So, would you like to be my friend?” Dax asked.
“I cannot like to be... Correcting... Yes. We shale be friends,” Cyba said, receiving a 'squea' from Dax.
“He's already making progress!” Twilight exclaimed, “He's already learning!”
“Since we're all already friend in here, that makes you one of our friends too!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed.
“Why is the yellow pegasus vibrating behind Dark Angel?” Cyba asked.
Fluttershy was hiding behind Dark Angel, trembling in fear of the mechapony, “This is Fluttershy. She's just scared,” Dark Angel explained, “What she's doing is not vibrating. She's trembling.”
“By definition, are they not the same thing?” Cyba asked.
Dark Angel couldn't help but facehoof at Cyba's comment, “This is going to be one interesting experience.”