Episode Three: The Positronic Pony
A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Fanfiction
By Andrew J. Talon
DISCLAIMER:This is a non-profit fan-made work of prose. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the property of Hasbro. Please support the official release.
The filly, the pegasus, and the dragon ran for the only known sanctuary they could think of: Sugarcube Corner. Sweetie Belle jiggered the lock of Pinkie Pie's room open with her magic, and swung inside. Spike and Fluttershy followed, the former sitting on her back and covering his eyes.
"Ohhh... I can't believe this! Rarity, a robot!" Spike looked up in horror. "Oh no... Do you think she's been a robot all this time?"
"Of course she couldn't have been a robot, stupid!" Sweetie Belle shouted. "She's my sister! SHE'S MY SISTER!"
"Uh, oh my, Sweetie Belle, maybe you should quiet down?" Fluttershy suggested. "I mean, um, we don't want anypony to hear us..."
"Hello!" Said an unfamiliar voice at the window.
"GYAH-MMPH!" Sweetie Belle and Fluttershy cried, but Spike was able to cover their mouths in time. Very slowly he looked over at the intruder. The two ponies pushed his claws away, Sweetie in particular glaring at the dragon before looking with suspicion at the newcomer.
"Uh... Hi, um... What's your name again?"
"Ditzy Doo, mailpony!" The blonde pegasus reported, saluting with her hoof. She grinned and rummaged around in her mail bag, producing an invitation. "Here you go!"
"Huh? What's this?" Spike asked.
"How should I know? I don't go snooping into other ponies' business," Ditzy said, looking offended. Though what she was offended at, he couldn't tell given the different directions her eyes were looking in.
"Sorry, I didn't mean anything by it," Spike said, as Sweetie Belle took the envelope. Ditzy Doo snorted.
"Well good! You shouldn't do that! I mean, what if I just assumed you three were involved in a kinky three way relationship that involved rubber chickens as reproductive aids? Huh? How would that make you feel?"
"Ew!" Sweetie Belle cried, spotting said rubber chicken nearby and kicking it away.
"Oh my," Fluttershy gasped, her cheeks going red.
"Uh..." Spike's own cheeks turned red, and he fell silent. Sweetie Belle gave him a glare.
"I'd... Be very confused as to why you'd assume that," Spike finally said.
"Well, so would I about any of your assumptions about me! Especially if they involved tapioca pudding and gnomes that live in museum dioramas," Ditzy said, tapping her hoof against Spike's chest. The dragon blinked rapidly.
"I don't have to take this! I'm a mail pony! Good day!" And with that, the gray pegasus flew out the window. The sound of her slamming into something was soon heard.
Spike and Fluttershy looked over at Sweetie Belle, who had the Soul Detector out and pointed in the direction of the odd mare. She turned and shook her head.
"Can you check again?" Spike asked.
"Let's check Pinkie Pie's letter," Sweetie Belle suggested.
"What? But we shouldn't go looking through other pony's mail! It's wrong, it's immoral, we'll get sent to jail!" Fluttershy said.
"It is kind of weird that she's sending an invitation to her own party to herself though," Spike mused. "Maybe she knew we'd be here?"
"How do you figure that?" Fluttershy asked as Sweetie Belle tore open the envelope with her teeth. Spike shrugged.
"It's Pinkie Pie," he said, looking between the two ponies. Fluttershy took a breath to say something... And let it out as a sigh.
"Good point," she said.
Sweetie Belle held the invitation up with her magic and read it quickly. Her eyes widened.
"Oh no, oh no, oh no!" She cried. "Look!"
Spike took the letter and read it.
"Dear Pony. You are cordially invited to the Robot Pony Party, hosted by Pinkie Pie at the Central Gazebo. Please come as you are, robot or pony. You will become robots as well so there's nothing to worry about. If you bring oil, make sure you bring enough for everypony." Spike lowered the letter, his eyes widened in horror. "She... She's a robot?"
"Or maybe she's a pony who turned to the robot side, just as I am a robot who turned to the pony side," Fluttershy suggested. She shook her head. "I never thought she of all ponies would betray a side though..."
"Now what do we do?" Sweetie Belle sobbed. "She's gone and betrayed us, we're all alone! For all we know, Princess Celestia's been replaced by a robot too!"
Spike hugged her and patted the back of her neck.
"I know, I know," Spike sighed. "Don't worry. We'll get through this, I promise."
"I just feel so helpless," Sweetie Belle sniffled, digging her snout into Spike's neck. "We don't have anything that could stop them...!"
"Oh, I'm so sorry," Fluttershy said, nuzzling them both. "I'm so sorry..."
"It's not your fault, Fluttershy," Spike said. "I mean, you were just programmed that way."
"It doesn't make me feel any better," Fluttershy said with a sigh. "Maybe the book has a suggestion?"
"Maybe it does!" Spike said with an encouraging smile. Sweetie Belle pulled away, sniffling. Spike grabbed a hankerchief and wiped the filly's nose. She smiled at him.
"Maybe..." She opened the book with her unicorn magic, and held it in front of them. She flipped through the pages, finally coming to one that bore the chapter title Robot Weaknesses: If All Else Fails.
"It sure has," Sweetie Belle sniffled. She flipped through it. "Giant robot you yourself pilot...?"
"The nearest one we could get is at Cape Connemara, and I don't think any of us could pilot it," Fluttershy said. "Um, no offense but uh..."
"None taken," Spike said, waving away Fluttershy's apology. "Sweetie, next page."
"Upload a virus to their network," Sweetie read. Spike blinked.
"Get them all sick? That'd take forever!"
"And how would we get it to their network? Are we all connected with a spider web?" Fluttershy asked, looking around her body curiously.
"Nevermind that one," Sweetie Belle sighed. She flipped the page again. "Electromagnetic pulse...?"
"Hm? Read what that one is," Spike said.
"'An electromagnetic pulse is a burst of electromagnetic radiation. The abrupt pulse of electromagnetic radiation usually results from certain types of high energy explosions,'" Sweetie Belle read aloud. "'When this occurs, the electronics of robots who are not properly shielded are overloaded and destroyed.'"
"Oh my, I'm not sure I like the sound of that," Fluttershy whimpered.
"And I don't know how we'd set off an explosion," Sweetie Belle sighed. "It's hopeless!"
"Maybe not," Spike said, rubbing his chin. "I think I remember one of Twilight's research projects on Uses of Weather in Warfare. This general long ago used a potion on rainclouds gathered by pegasi over an enemy army. This potion released a massive amount of energy into the clouds, causing them to explode in a massive lightning storm!"
"Oh! That sounds like it would destroy the robots for sure!" Sweetie Belle said.
"Can we brew the potion?" Fluttershy asked.
"Not without getting the book we can't," Spike sighed. "And if Robo Sparkle is there..."
"Wait! I've got it!" Sweetie Belle gasped. "I've got it! We don't need the potion."
"Then what do we need?" Fluttershy asked. Sweetie Belle smiled in a way that reminded Spike of Rarity when she had an inspirational breakthrough. It actually made him blush.
"We only need one pony," Sweetie Belle said, "we need Rainbow Dash!"
The party was in full swing at the start of six, with ponies from all over showing up in various costumes of metal. At least, some appeared to be costumes-Spike didn't really think that an evil robot would just go around with a pot on their head.
The Soul Detector didn't seem to lie-There were so many robots milling around that frankly, Spike wondered if even a Sonic Rainboom Ehmp would be enough to take them all out.
But frankly, they didn't have much choice.
"Have you seen Pinkie Pie?" Sweetie Belle whispered, scanning the crowd with a pair of binoculars nicked from Mr. Cake. Spike shook his head.
"No... It's weird, why would she do this? Betray all non robots to the robots?"
"Maybe she just likes metal," Sweetie Belle mumbled. "I mean, without music from a boombox or scratch table and speakers, you don't have parties."
"Saving her livelihood at the expense of all other ponies? No, no, I can't believe that," Spike said. He frowned. "Maybe she just thinks she can bring peace between pony and robot."
"There's not going to be any peace between robots so long as they keep replacing our friends! Or... Or who knows what they've done to them!" Sweetie Belle growled. "We're gonna fry all of them!"
She looked to her dragon companion. "Now, please call up Fluttershy and ask how she's doing."
Spike nodded. "Right." Pulling out a spare baby monitor the Cakes had recently gotten for their twins, Spike flicked it on and cleared his throat.
"One calling Three, one calling Three, do you read, over?"
"Three to One, Three to One, I read. Over," Fluttershy spoke back.
"How is package preparation coming, over?" Spike asked.
"Buttered up and ready to... Um... Slide, over," Fluttershy replied.
"Roger. How soon until delivery, over?" Spike asked.
"As soon as the package finishes doing her hair... Um... In butter...? I think I lost track of the code metaphors, over," Fluttershy replied. Spike rolled his eyes.
"Just make sure the package arrives." Spike looked up from their cover quickly. "We've got enough cloud cover for it. Over."
"Roger that, over and out," Fluttershy replied. Spike turned the baby monitor off, and looked over at Sweetie Belle with a smile.
"We're all set." He rested a hand on her shoulder comfortingly. "We'll beat them, don't worry."
"Oh, Spike," Sweetie Belle sighed, leaning her head against him. "Thank you. I don't know what I would have done if it wasn't for you..."
"Well, uh, hey! You're the one who came up with the idea," Spike said with a little cough and blush.
"I know, but if it was just me I... I don't know, I think I might have just run and hidden forever," Sweetie Belle sighed. "So I just wanted to say-"
"CUTIE MARK CRUSADER MOOD KILLERS!" Cried Applebloom and Scootaloo. Spike and Sweetie Belle had no time to think before they were pounced upon.
"GAH! MY TAIL-AHHH THAT'S NOT MY TAIL!"
A moment later, they felt the familiar pull and saw the familiar glow of a unicorn's magic, and they were floating over their hiding spot in front of Twilight Sparkle, as a crowd of ponies gathered around.
The purple unicorn, replete in metal plates similar to that which Rarity had been wearing, sighed and shook her head.
"Really Spike? Hiding under the punch bowl?"
"It... Seemed like the one place ponies would avoid upsetting," Spike said defensively. Twilight frowned, and slowly nodded.
"Good point. Very clever of you, Spike. But I'm afraid the game ends now."
"What have you done with Twilight? And my friends? And Fluttershy? And MY SISTER?" Shrieked Sweetie Belle.
"We're right here, Sweetie Belle," Applebloom said.
"Yeah! And now we're all together," Scootaloo said.
Pinkie Pie hopped into the circle with a broad grin.
"Told ya they'd hide under the punch bowl!" She giggled.
"Pinkie you traitor!" Spike snarled. "When the robots are defeated you'll be sorry!"
"Foolish foals!" Pinkie Pie cackled. "Did you really think your pitiful plans would work? You hadn't a chance from the start against us!"
"We'll see about that!" Sweetie Belle cried angrily. "You won't win! I don't care what I have to do, I'll fight you until I can't!"
"Ah, but my dear Sweetie Belle, Spike, there's no need to fight," Rarity's voice came, as the elegant pony turned robot entered the circle. She was strangely beautiful, clad in metal with her artful wings spread like those of a butterfly's. She smiled almost sadly at them, and motioned for Twilight to release them. They hit the ground, and Spike and Sweetie Belle stood back to back, glaring defiantly.
"My sister wouldn't give up on me, and I won't either!" Sweetie Belle cried.
"Really? Spike, my dear, would you please use your Soul Detector on Sweetie Belle?" Rarity asked. Spike glared.
"Why would I do that?"
"Humor me, please?" Rarity asked, batting her eye lashes. Spike stared back, and Sweetie Belle saw he was lifting the scanner up.
"Spike, what are you doing?" Sweetie Belle demanded.
"Come on Spike, scan her," Twilight encouraged. "Just look."
Spike looked at Sweetie Belle, shrugged, and pointed the device at her. It beeped, and Spike's eyes widened.
"What? What is it?" Sweetie Belle demanded. Spike looked back up at her in horror, and turned the device towards her. Sweetie Belle's jaw dropped as she took the soul detector into her own magical grip.
"I... I... I'm a robot?" She asked plaintively. She felt her eyes fill up with tears, and looked at the crowd. "I'm one of you... All this time...?"
"Oh, Sweetie Belle," Spike said softly. "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry..."
"No, no, no! It's broken! It has to be broken!" Sweetie Belle wailed. "IT'S NOT TRUE!"
"You're right, actually," Twilight said with a smile. Her telekinetic grip took hold of the Soul Detector, and removed the tape on it's sides and back. "Look!"
Sweetie and Spike looked at the back. Their jaws dropped.
"'Soul Detector Prank Device, by Rover's Universal Ripsnorters?'" They read in disbelief.
"That's right! This was a very mean party device the pony who used to live in the basement of Twilight Sparkle's library invented!" Pinkie Pie said cheerfully. "I knew what it was the moment I used it on you two!"
"Wha...?" Spike asked.
"It will randomly display 'Robot' or 'Soul Detected', using a mathematical algorithm that the inventor devised to produce the most paranoia," Twilight explained. Rarity moved up to Sweetie Belle and rested a hoof on her shoulder.
"You fell for a very cruel joke, Sweetie," Rarity said.
"But what about your skin?" Sweetie demanded. Rarity smiled and with a bit of her unicorn magic, pulled off one of the plates. She winced.
"Just a costume I devised for the party, my dear. Even as a robot, I must look my best," she said. She smiled at the crowd. "I think I accomplished that nicely."
"But... But Twilight had red glowing eyes!" Spike cried. "And we saw steam coming out from her head!"
"The popcorn popper cracked open and blew salt into her eyes," Scootaloo said.
"And you know how I react when I'm in pain, Spike," Twilight said. "My magic gets a little out of control."
"But Pinkie believed us! And there was that panicked crowd," Sweetie tried.
"Oh! I saw that you two were reading as robots, so I decided to throw a robot apocalypse party!" Pinkie Pie said cheerfully. "I went a little overboard with the advertizement, but Twilight helped me sort it out with minimal property damage!"
"... Fluttershy thinks she's a robot...?" Spike tried in a feeble tone. At Twilight's glare, Spike looked at the ground.
"I'm sorry," he said.
"I'm sorry too," Sweetie Belle said.
"It's all right," Twilight said, resting her hoof on Spike's shoulder. Rarity nuzzled her little sister. "To be honest, in a situation like that, I might have panicked a bit too."
"And it was a very mean prank toy anyway!" Pinkie Pie said with a huff. "No wonder the inventor was run off by that farmer's convention!"
"I guess it just goes to show you that one pony's carelessness can really cause a huge mess," Sweetie Belle said. She smiled up at her sister and Twilight. Both smiled back.
"Yes, but aside from worrying your families sick, and a little panic, no harm was done," Twilight said.
"Sounds like something to write Princess Celestia about!" Pinkie Pie said cheerfully. Twilight nodded.
"It does indeed... After we find Fluttershy."
Spike's eyes widened. "Uh oh."
"Uh oh?" Twilight asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh no," Sweetie Belle whispered.
"Spike? Sweetie Belle? What is it? What's wrong?" Rarity asked.
"We-We totally forgot-!"
"We thought you were robots-!"
"We really need to get out of-!"
"HASTA LA VISTA, ROBOTS!" Cried a loud, shrill voice from above, just before a sonic boom broke and multi-colored lightning flashed overhead. All of the ponies at the party looked up in dismay... Which turned into delight, as arcs of lightning every color of the rainbow shot forth across the night sky.
A smoking Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy landed on the gazebo roof, the former taking a bow to the applause that resulted, and the latter falling over in a dead faint.
"... Sweetie? Spike? Did you have something to do with this?" Twilight asked flatly. Spike coughed, and exchanged looks with Sweetie.
"... Technically, yes."
"In fairness, we thought you were evil robots," Sweetie Belle said.
"Wow," Applebloom said. "If just one Cutie Mark Crusader with Spike's help could do this..."
"Then think of everything all three of us could do with Spike!" Scootaloo grinned. The two of them hugged Spike from either side.
"CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS PLUS SPIKE!"
"GAH!" Spike cried as he fell to the ground. "H-Hey!"
Twilight, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie all laughed heartily, as did Sweetie Belle. The long day of fear was over.
She joined in the laughter heartily, the same sound over and over again long after the other ponies had ceased. They all stared at her strangely.
"Sweetie? Dear? You can stop laughing now," Rarity said gently. Sweetie stopped abruptly, and nodded her head.
"Of course big sister. Of course big sister. Of course big sister..." Sweetie shook her head, and smiled widely. "I was just... A little too charged."
"Well... As I was saying before," Twilight Sparkle stated, "Spike, take a letter and-"
"FOOLISH PONY MORTALS," boomed a mighty voice from on high, as two shining figures descended from the heavens. "THY ROBOT OVERLORDS HAVE ARRIVED!"
"THEY'RE REALLY HERE!" Screamed Sweetie Belle.
"RUN AWAY!" Spike screamed as well. The whole host of ponies ran for it, screaming and yelling in terror. The two figures landed, and the one with the lighter color scheme glared at her sister.
"Luna, did you really have to go that far?"
"Well, Celestia, my sister," Luna coughed, kicking the dirt beneath her awkwardly, "I was so excited I got a bit... Wrapped up in the role."
"The first party invitation by Pinkie Pie I answer, and this happens," Celestia sighed. "Well, on the plus side I doubt they'll forget this one."
"Neither will I," Luna said glumly. With a sigh, she pulled out her abacus and began to do calculations on the reparations to be made.