~Chapter 2: Flutters' Folly~
“This one slight modification to the programing should do it,” Dark Angel said as he took out USB connector to the computer, “It should allow Cyba to understand basic things, so we won't have to answer one of his questions every five seconds.”
Cyba was still activated while Dark Angel was uploading the updates to the AI program, “So, Cyba, how are you functioning?” Twilight asked.
“I now understand that even though vibrating and trembling are, by definition, the same thing, they are commonly used in different context,” Cyba explained, “And when something is spoken out of context, it can be viewed as inappropriate. For example, the phrase 'Fluttershy vibrating behind Dark Angel' could be misinterpreted as a s-”
“No need to go into detail, Cyba,” Dark Angel said sheepishly as Twilight held the mechapony's mouth shut. Fluttershy bashfully hid in a corner to try to hide the blush that was quickly spreading across her face.
“M-Maybe it's about time that I go home,” Fluttershy said shyly, moving as if she was trying to sneak away.
Dark Angel noticed Fluttershy's actions and trotted over to her, “Are you feeling okay, Flutters?” Dark Angel asked with concern, “You look like you might be about to pass out.”
“I'm not exactly sure,” Fluttershy admitted, “I think I need to go home and rest.”
“Maybe I should come with you to make sure you get home safely,” Dark Angel said, “After all, if you're not feeling well and something happens before you get home, it's best that there's somepony there to help.”
“Oh, I don't want to be of any trouble,” Fluttershy said in her signature non-assertive way. But then something in the back of her mind clicked, making her change her mind, “On second thought, thank you very much. That would be very kind of you.”
“It's my pleasure. After all, even 'the element of kindness' herself needs to be shown kindness,” Dark Angel said with a warm smile that made Fluttershy suddenly giggle. Dark Angel then called to Spike, “Hey 'number one assistant'!”
“STOP CALLING ME THAT!!!”
“Can you come here for a sec?” Dark Angel asked, motioning for the purple dragon to come to him, “While I'm taking Fluttershy home, can you keep an eye on Ferra for me? She doesn't want to admit it, but she's been feeling lonely lately. Maybe you could go and talk to her to keep her company. Maybe give her some tea with a dash of Redvine oil. That should make her feel better.”
“Will do!” Spike said without question. He then headed off to check on Ferra. Then Dark Angel lead Fluttershy out and walked her home.
“Why'd you ask Spike to put Redvine oil in Ferra's tea?” Fluttershy asked, “Redvine oil is very bitter in it's natural state.”
“But for some reason, Ferra loves it,” Dark Angel point out, “She seems to enjoy bitter things for some reason. But Redvine oil is a good for keeping the immune system in check.”
“But doesn't Redvine oil weaken the immune system of gryphons?”
“Exactly. Ferra has a hyperactive immune system,” Dark Angel explained, “Redvine oil keeps her immune system at a relatively normal level. But without it, her own immune system would end up attacking her. The fact that she has survived as long as she had before I found her was a miracle in itself.”
“That's horrible!” Fluttershy exclaimed.
“If I hadn't have found her when I did, and if I didn't happen to have Redvine oil with me, then I wouldn't have my perfect little helper with me now,” Dark Angel said with a grin, “I've actually grown very protective of Ferra.”
“That sounds allot like Twilight. She's very protective of Spike,” Fluttershy said warmly. But then something came to mind, “Wait, how did you know to give Ferra the Redvine oil when you had no way of knowing what was wrong with her?”
“It's complicated. I'm not even sure if I understand it myself,” Dark Angel tried to explain as he motioned toward his cutie mark, “My angel wings cutie mark is supposed to represent that of a guardian angel. When something is wrong with somepony, I can somehow sense the problem. Then, if it can be fixed, I instinctively know how to fix it.”
“Wow!” Fluttershy said in amazement, “What kinds of problems can you fix?”
“Well, when I saw Ferra, I could almost see her insides being attacked. Then Redvine oil suddenly popped into my mind. And almost by instinct I gave it to her,” Dark Angel explained, “I can sense injuries that can't be seen from the surface. Like in Pinkie's case earlier. I could sense what was wrong. I could sense the injured nerve and knew exactly where it was. Then I just knew what to do to fix it. I don't know how I know these things, I just know. I can't cure a broken bone, but I can quicken the healing process down to as little as one week just by positioning the bones correctly. I could even make a broken bone no worse than a sprained hoof.”
“That's amazing!” Fluttershy cheered...well, as much of a cheer that you could expect from Fluttershy, “You could probably do things that could out do even the best doctors! And it was a good thing you were there to help Pinkie. Without you...she would've died.”
“Perhaps,” Dark Angel said, “But if I wasn't there to begin with to tell that story, Pinkie wouldn't have gone into that laughing fit in the first place. So if I wasn't there, Pinkie would've been fine.”
“I never thought of it like that,” Fluttershy commented, a slightly confused look on her face.
“Even kindness needs kindness? That's the cheesiest thing I've ever heard!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed soon after Dark Angel and Fluttershy left.
“Why are you comparing a statement that somepony made with a food product?” Cyba asked.
“What she means was that Dark Angel's statement was unoriginal,” Twilight pointed out.
“Then why does she not just say that?” Cyba asked.
“Look up 'slang',” Twilight instructed.
“Accessing... Slang... And informal usage of vocabulary that is characteristically more metaphorical, playful, and vivid than ordinary language,” Cyba defined, “So you were just using a... playful comment?”
“Yeah... Let's go with that,” Rainbow Dash said as she tried to understand what Cyba just said, “Hey Twi, did you have to make him into a walking dictionary?”
“Don't blame me. Dark Angel is the one who designed the programming,” Twilight said, “Besides, it's so that he can access information if he needs to understand something.”
“Personally, I thought it was sweet what Dark Angel said to Fluttershy,” Rarity said, “I think they look cute together.”
“And that's another thing I wanted to mention,” Rainbow Dash continued, “Aren't you worried that Fluttershy is gonna steal away your coltfriend?”
“What are you talking about, Dash? We are not a couple or in any kind of relationship,” Twilight explained, “We are just good childhood friends. Nothing more.”
“Stop trying to deny it, Twi. You two are perfect for each other,” Rainbow Dash argued, “I mean, you two are like mirror images of each other.”
“I must admit that Dark Angel is your male equivalent,” Rarity agreed, “I every aspect about you, Dark Angel has his own version; he's top of his class where you're princess Celestia's number one student, he has computer smarts where you have book smarts, he has Ferra where you have Spike. It's almost like you're the same pony.”
“And that's exactly why it would be so weird for us to be together. We're too alike,” Twilight pointed out, “But our similarities do make us good friends, and help us to work together well. Without him, I wouldn't have been able to finish Project Cyba. And without me, neither would he. But I agree with Rarity in the fact that Fluttershy and Angel do look cute together.”
“Twilight, is it okay if I go play with Cyba?” Dax asked, looking up at Twilight with puppy dog eyes.
“Well... I suppose...” Twilight said, trying to think over if it was a good idea.
“YAY!!!” Dax then grabbed Cyba and lead him outside. Cyba had a confused look as he was being dragged. He was having trouble comprehending what was going on.
“If little Daxelia continues to rough house with Cyba in that manner, Cyba will be in need of allot of maintenance,” Rarity pointed out, “I do hope that you and Dark Angel are up to the task. However, if he ever is in need of a good suit, or perhaps just a polishing, you can count on me to make him look as good as new, and looking stylish as an added bonus.”
“I'm just curious. Why did you design him as a pegasus?” Rainbow Dash asked, “Not that I'm complaining or anything. Making him a unicorn just makes him 20% cooler. It's just that I would figure that you would've made him as a unicorn.”
“It's simple really,” Twilight said, “What good is a unicorn that doesn't have magic? Being a machine, Cyba is incapable of using magic. So if I were to give him a horn, it would be for nothing other than for show.”
“I guess you got a point there. What good is a unicorn that has no magic?” Rainbow Dash repeated, “But then again, what good is a pegasus that can't fly?”
“Actually, he can fly,” Twilight pointed out, “I've installed jets into his wings, giving him the ability of flight.”
“Now that's cool!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed, “But I gotta get going. I'm late for my nap.”
“I'm afraid I must be going as well,” Rarity said, “It's getting near dinner time. And Sweetie Belle tends to get a little cranky when she's hungry.”
“Well alright then,” Twilight said, “I'm glad that you two and Fluttershy were able to see Cyba's activation.”
“It was our pleasure, deary,” Rarity said, “See you again soon.” With that said, Rarity and Rainbow Dash went on their way.
Spike was just finishing preparing a cup of tea for Ferra. He was about to add in the Redvine oil when he realized something, “Isn't pure Redvine oil bitter?” he asked himself. Then he came up with an idea, “I think we might have some sweetened Redvine oil! I'm sure Ferra would like that much better!” Spike then went over to the cupboard and searched around, “Ah! Here it is!” Spike then took out a jar labeled 'Sweetened Redvine Oil'. He opened the lid and put a dash of the sweetened Redvine oil in the tea.
After putting away the two jars of Redvine oil, Spike went up to the guest room where Dark Angel and Ferra were currently staying in. He opened the door and saw the young gryphon laying in her bed, which just happens to look just like his own basket bed...other than being decorated to be a little more feminine.
Hearing the door open, Ferra lifted her head to see who it was, “Oh, hey Spike,” Ferra said with a smile before laying her head back down.
“Hey, Ferra,” Spike said with worry, “Are you feeling okay? You seem kinda down.”
“It's boring being alone,” Ferra said.
“What makes you think you're alone?” Spike said as he gave Ferra the tea.
“Can you even imagine what it's like being the only gryphon in a world in a world of ponies?” Ferra asked. Spike gave her a look that made her realize what she just asked, “Oh right. Only dragon.”
“Well, it's not like you can't go back to your own kind,” Spike said, “I could go back to dragonkind whenever I want. But the reason I don't is because that would mean leaving the friends I've made. Dragons may be my own kind. But these ponies are my family, and Ponyville is my home.”
“I've only considered Angel as my family,” Ferra said, “I've always been kinda afraid of others. But Angel has always been protective of me, so that helped me. But ever since he started his project with Twilight, he's been paying less attention to me. So I've been feeling alone because of it.”
Spike then gave Ferra a hug, “You're not alone here,” Spike told her softly before releasing the hug, “So what do you think of the tea?”
“I think it's great...” Ferra said after taking a sip. Thought she wasn't really thinking about the taste of the tea. Then something came to mind, “Spike, why do you hate it when Angel calls you 'number one assistant' when that's Twilight's nickname for you?”
“It's not the name, it's the meaning behind it. When Dork Angel says it, it's a play on words,” Spike said bashfully, “Back when then were first working on Project Cyba, they spent allot of time working in their lab. At the time, I was to young to me alone.”
“Aren't you too young to be alone now?” Ferra asked.
“Well...maybe in dragon years,” Spike said, “But now Twilight trusts me to be on my own. When she goes out, she leaves me in charge of... Wait, I was talking about why I hate it when Dork Angel calls me number one assistant.”
“Anyways... One day while they were working on the Cyba prototype, I had to go pee. And I needed Twilight to come with me to the bathroom,” Twilight said, “But she said I could hold it until they finished what they were doing. But...”
“But you couldn't, could you?”
Spike's purple face went red, “They didn't even know I went until they finished...and Dork Angel stepped in a certain yellow puddle,” Spike grinned at that last statement, remembering the look on Dark Angel's face when he realized what he stepped in.
“Let me guess. His face was something like this?” Ferra asked as she made a comically disgusted face.
“Actually, it was more like this,” Spike said making a similar face. The two of them began laughing at the memory. But then Spike's face went sad again, “It wouldn't bother me so much if it weren't for the fact that every time he says it, it reminds me of my little...accident. And I know he's doing it purposely doing it to get under my scales too.”
This time, Ferra was the one to hug Spike, “Like what Twilight said back in that old lab. Angel was never the type to take anypony seriously...unless it was imperative,” Ferra stated, “I'm guessing that your nickname for him, 'Dork Angel', is your way of retaliating?”
“More or less,” Spike said, “But it's just so easy to do anyway.”
“You do know that he's just teasing you though, right?” Ferra asked.
“It doesn't make it any less hurtful,” Spike pouted.
“Have you told him how much it bothers you to be called that?” Ferra asked, “Because if not, then you probably should. Angel would never intentionally hurt somepony...physically or emotionally. So if he knew, he'd probably stop calling you that...or at least stop meaning what it means.”
“I guess you're right,” Spike said, “But you should know how had it can be when you're alone.”
“If you're gonna tell me that I'm not alone, then you have no right to even think that you are alone.” With that said, Spike then smiled as he talked some more with Ferra about random things to pass the time.
The two pegasi continued to talk as they reached Fluttershy's cottage. Fluttershy invite Dark Angel in to rest before he headed back to Twilight's tree house.
“Are you feeling any better, Flutters?” Dark Angel asked as he sat down on the couch.
“Yes I am, thank you,” Fluttershy said with a smile, “I guess what Cyba said just got me a bit flustered.”
“You mean the implication of...” Dark Angel stopped mid sentence when he noticed Fluttershy's face going red again and trying to hide behind her mane, “I see what you mean. Hopefully he doesn't get into situations like that when we send him to school.”
“Y-You're actually gonna send him to school?” Fluttershy asked.
“The intention of this project was so that he could learn and interact with others,” Dark Angel explained, “What better way to do that than to send him to school? It'll also be a good way for him to make friends as well.”
“Do you think he'll even care about making friends?”
“He understands the basic concepts of friendship. So he'll be accepting of the idea and will respect his friends as expected.”
“Do you think he'll become one of the Cutie Mark Crusaders?” Fluttershy asked. After a moment of thought a chill went up both of their spines at the thought.
“I'm not sure if he'll be a candidate, considering that we already gave him a cutie mark,” Dark Angel pointed out, “Twi probably gave him a cutie mark specifically so that he wouldn't join them. But he probably will become friends with him nonetheless. But could you imagine? The Cutie Mark Crusaders are destructive enough as they are already! But imagine if they recruited an android.”
“With that kind of power, Ponyville would become nothing more than a smoking crater,” Fluttershy joked, causing to two pegasi to laugh.
“Well, I'd better get going now,” Dark Angel said as he got up.
“Oh...right. Well then, I hope to see you soon,” Fluttershy said, “You can come by to visit anytime you like... if that's okay with you that is.”
Dark Angel smiled at the timid nature of the creamy yellow pegasus, “I'll do that,” Dark Angel said, “See you later!” With that said, Dark Angel headed back to the library.
“I am so thrilled that Cyba allowed me to take his measurements before I left!” Rarity exclaimed as she headed back to the Carousel Boutique, “I can't wait to get started on making him a suit!”