This fanfiction is a nonprofit work.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is property of Hasbro, co.
Bioshock is property of 2K Games.
Notes:This fanfiction takes place in an alternate future, where industry has evolved rapidly, and with it massive social and economic changes. There are bound to be mistakes that the author has overlooked. Please feel free to comment on anything that seems out of place or unreasonable. Thank you.

"They told me: Son, you're special. You were born to do great things. You know what? They were right."

I had never ridden in an 'aeroplane' before! And with how comfortably quiet the cabin was—the hum of the incandescing lighting overpowered that of the engines keeping us aloft outside—I could swear that I was not even flying at all. Looking outside, however, proved this assumption false.

The night sky shined magnificently as we traveled in the space between the heavens and the earth, stars twinkling lusciously above us, the ocean below reflecting the beauty above almost perfectly. The moon had dominated the sky earlier in the night, shining its pale light over the Canterlot airport at the apex of its journey. Now it was setting in the west, Princess Luna's night preparing the way for Princess Celestia's day. The full moon seemed to hover over the body of water, its mirrored twin rising up to meet it.

I was suddenly aware of how thirsty I was. Leaning over the empty seat next to me (it was in the minority; the plane was almost filled to capacity) and signaled one of the nearby stewardesses. "Excuse me, but may I have a glass of water?" I asked. The stewardess nodded, smiling politely as she was paid to do. "Of course, sir." The golden-skinned mare unicorn walked to the front of the plane, her uniform (a blouse and dress) doing its part in giving her a professional appearance, as well as hiding her flank. It didn't stop me from observing it she walked off, her dark brown tail swaying to and fro in rhythm with her hoof steps. She had to go to the whole other end of the plane as I had taken a seat in the back.

"Thank you," I called after her (eyes still lingering on her flank), before looking back outside. As beautiful as the view was, I couldn't wait to touch down in Great Bitland. With the industrial revolution taking place all over Equestria, the growing metropolis needed as many metal working ponies and carpenters as they could find to keep in pace with the expanding population. I reflected on my good fortune of landing a job in the city as a construction work pony. I would have preferred a more local assignment, but it was good pay and the chance to go overseas was impossible to pass up!

I grew nervous as I overlooked the wing of the flying vehicle I occupied. I knew I shouldn't doubt the mechanical genius of the contraption's inventor, none other than the great Twilight Sparkle, prized mage of the Sun Goddess herself, as well as a bearer of the Element of Magic and one of the brightest minds of our time; nor could I fault the engineering prowess of Applebloom, sister of the Element of Honesty and chief engineer of this particular project in pegasus-less air travel.

Applebloom's fame rivaled that of her sister's, with her hoofwork in numerous other advancements in pony technology, including the automobile and trains that ran on gems rather than on the physical labor of other ponies. The latter wasn't that difficult apparently: we had already developed a structure that could house the fuel and expel the exhaust and had it implemented at the front of the locomotive. (Which was an odd concept; why did we have such a construct installed when the train was pulled manually?)

I had even heard rumors of another project she was involved in: the building of a sky city made of stone and mortar that would put Cloudsdale to shame! I believed it was to be called Columbia.

To my understanding, the plane ran on two magical engines (one for each wing), powered by gems that acted as power sources for the spell. These gems had to be replaced every so often, or else they risked burning out. The spell, apparently, spun turbines that forced air out of the engine at such an incredible rate that it made lift off and flight possible for even an object as massive as this plane! The dynamics of this spell were worked out by Twilight herself. It was Applebloom's design of the aircraft that made it possible, taking into account Twilight's projections of air currents and many other physics equations that I hardly grasped.

The stewardess appeared again, the glass of water levitating in a soft pink aura. "Here you go, sir."

"Thanks," I smiled, taking a sip and setting the glass on the tray before me. I couldn't help but wish I had some of that magic the unicorns had. But, being a boring old earth pony raised on the outskirts of Fillydelphia, such wishes were outside my grasp. Still, if what some ponies were saying was true, this "rise of industry" could give earth ponies a hoof-up on unicorns, maybe even render unicorn magic obsolete.

I decided to take a quick inventory of my saddlebag, mostly just to past the time. As I lazily dug through it, noting the basic supplies I had packed (a bag of bits, some cigarettes, simple toiletries) I happened upon a small, wrapped box, roughly two feet lengthwise and three feet in width. Taking it out, I noted the design (a dark blue covered in white outlines of butterflies), the simple red bow, and a photograph with a note addressed to me: Buck Flowerfields.

And yes, I did take a lot of crap for that name.

I smiled softly at the gift, as well as the picture. My parents smiled back at me, monochrome yet still brighter than the dreary lighting of the plane's cabin. The mare in photo, eyes dropping with age yet still twinkling with the spark of life, wore her mane short. The stallion, tall and muscular, seemed only a little less imposing with the slight grin on his features. In the background rose the small suburban house I grew up in. I took in a breath of nostalgia, wishing the smell of cigarette smoke were replaced with the pleasant aroma of homemade pie.

I sighed, almost homesick. I put down the photograph, then took hold of the note. It would be rude to open the present before reading what they had wrote. I opened the paper to read it. Would you kindly…?

No Gods, No Masters

The Common Ghost

And so ends the prologue. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment, positive or completely searing. I'll do my best to respond!