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[Age of Heroes] Robot Revelation [Open]

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In the town of Ponyville, rumors were spreading, not the usual idle gossip however, these voices were often hushed, and somewhat fearful in their delivery, word spreading like wildfire through the town in a way that only rumors can. Something was in the Everfree Forest; whilst this was nothing new, and in fact a fact of life often mocked by the Ponyville residents, this was something that started to worry them, as most creatures from the forest were easy to tell what they were, and often kept to themselves, Manticores, and Timberwolves alike usually just did their own thing. However these rumors were of the unknown, ponies seeing mismatched eyes glowing deep in the forest, a ghostly green glow surrounding this thing. A creature strong enough to knock down trees and take down Timberwolves, walking with heavy thuds and strange unnatural sounds.

 

Though perhaps the most worrying part of this rumor, was that each time somepony experienced this creature; it was closer and closer towards Ponyville; with the possibility of such a strange and possibly dangerous being entering Ponyville, many citizens were restless, though due to the claims of the public having no evidence, there was not any significant guard presence. However such a situation would more than likely attract attention of other heroic, or otherwise villainous forces, interested in whatever this creature was.

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The Equestrian looked out at the Everfree, her eyes narrow and focused on what may and may not be. She was no stranger to those woods. She had grown up on the edge of it, after all. Plenty of dangers lurked in there and plenty more had fallen. This new threat? Well, it was serious news, no doubt. But she had faced plenty of dangers before and knew that in the great scheme of things that Equestria would prevail over anything thrown her way. Many heroes stood to protect her, after all, and while Equestrian hadn't joined the academy to make new ones, she didn't have one shred of a doubt that many would answer the call when needed.

She never doubted that was her fate, not that she had much of a choice. When both of your parents were heroes and you embodied traits native to both of them your fate was somewhat pre-ordained. She inherited a wealth of superpowers from her mother while her father had been one of the most intelligent inventors in the world. She was one of the most well-trained hoof to hoof specialists in the world, had an enchanted suit that enhanced her already legendary abilities, an unbreakable lasso that compelled one to tell the truth, a bevy of superpowers, and the will to match. She was made for this type of situation and she didn't regret the circumstances of her life one bit, having come to terms with the flaws and foibles that made life equally painful and amazing.
 

Part of that was because unlike many other heroes, The Equestrian didn't have a secret alias. She was simple Applejack to most. She enjoyed being a symbol to help others become their better selves and always strived to live up to both her breeding and the expectations therein. So when her home was threatened by some dangerous critter or somesort, you best believe she was there to answer the call. Her mind processed the many villains and possibilities. With any luck it'd be The Everfree Avenger, that ecological terrorist deer who was always hatching a new plan to remove pony influence from the edges of the Everfree- a forest that the Avenger wanted spread across the world, naturally.

Unlikely, though. He was more flamboyant that he was sneaky. “Well, only one way to find out,” she said to nopony in particular, her voice deeper and somewhat more refined than her counterparts across universes. She leaped high up into a tree and started jumping from tree to tree with lighting speed, precision, and reaction, ready and excited to solve another problem for her beloved hometown.

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As she leapt from tree to tree, the forest would just loom gloomily as per usual. The dull light ahead fading as a ghostly green light shone through instead.

 

The owner of this light was the cause of the rumors, and a very strange creature, the light coming from his fiberoptic mane and tail glowing a vibrant green, his eyes glowing red and blue. As it walked its hoofs clanked and sometimes rattled, the metal joints of this robotic being reflected in its own light as it walked, seemingly looking around for something.

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BROODMARE was skulking about in the brush, which was unusual for her.  Not the skulking part, she did that all the time.  Being known publicly would end very badly for her, and so she had quickly adapted to keeping out of sight as much as possible.  It was the 'brush' part that was unusual.  The wilderness was not a typical haunt for her, as not only did all the green and brown make the grey metal of her frame all the more obvious, there was generally very little for her where there wouldn't normally be spare parts and interesting and occasionally friendly ponies or similar creatures were few and far between.

 

This was a special case.  Rumours had been spreading, far enough that even BROODMARE caught wind of them, that there was some kind of creature haunting the Everfree Forest and drew closer to the nearby town of Ponyville with each sighting.  Most didn't know what to make of it, but BROODMARE saw much in the description in common with herself: a creature the public knew little about, living in isolation, and which from the descriptions seemed to be synthetic in nature.

 

BROODMARE had come to see this creature for herself.  If the creature proved friendly, it would provide her a unique opportunity to speak to someone in a similar situation to her own, something she'd never had before.  If it proved unfriendly... she would regret the lack of companionship, but spare parts were always useful as well.

 

Of course, assuming either case would be jumping to a conclusion.  BROODMARE had to actually find the creature first.  And so she'd begun her search, carefully moving through the outskirts of the Everfree Forest, making her way deeper in.

 

On 10/26/2017 at 4:15 PM, SteelEagle said:

“Well, only one way to find out,” she said to nopony in particular,

It just so happened that this time Nopony In Particular was listening.  This could complicate things.  BROODMARE had files on this one, if borrowed from her creators rather than ones of she made herself.  The Equestrian was hero both very successful and very public, a combination that could prove very inconvenient.  Though it would make one thing easier, with the hero taking the direct route BROODMARE could more easily sit back and observe.

 

The Equestrian leapt up and bounded between trees as she dove into the woods, forcing BROODMARE to move faster than she was comfortable with to keep pace, staying some distance behind.  Hopefully she could pass for a wild animal, startled by the sudden passing, and remain largely ignored.

 

BROODMARE supposed it might not matter soon.  Up ahead a green, alien light was visible, and from a distance and through the trees she could just barely make out the glint of metal and the colours of secondary lights.  She paused for a moment and lifted her cloak, releasing a small general-purpose drone into the air with a faint hum, before pressing forward again.  The drone would lay in wait until she needed it, while she herself tried to sneak closer and see what this mystery being was like.

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She didn't even need enhanced senses to understand the nature of the disturbance as she approached it. It made sense why a lot of ponies in Ponyville would be put off by it or otherwise concerned. It was a simple town and the ponies in it didn't want to have to deal woth the weird and wild stuff that was becoming increasingly common in Equestria. And this wasn't as bad as some of them by a long shot but that didn't make it any less scary for the ponies involved. There were other things she had been worried about beforehoof- some brief moment caught her eyes, but panicked animals were far more likely considering the nature of it- but now she was in front of what she could assume was what all the hubub was about, she was less worried.

Applejack came to a quick landing not far from the robot, her lasso at the ready as she re-centered herself in front of the...strange contraption. She had never seen it before. That didn't mean it wasn't a threat and while Applejack looked more relaxed than she had when she first set off, her hooves were still planted in a manner to take off quickly and start the fight off all nice and hard-like if needed. Her voice was guarded, if still pleasant and warm enough to be worthy of her home. “Well, howdy there, stranger. Just who may you be?” Applejack asked, her eyes registering the details of his most unusual makeup. Certainly was a bit strange but the more she saw what was in front of her the less worried and the more intrigued she became.

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The being would seem to be resting for a moment, glancing around behind itself as AJ landed, making a strange sighing noise it looks back in front of it, just as AJ spoke, the surprise catching it off guard it makes a brief exclamation as it jumps backwards, accidentally knocking over a tree behind it. It looks down sheepishly and rubs its foreleg "Sorry... That... was not an intentional movement. 'Howdy' I am Prop, who may you be?" it asks, the howdy coming out almost like a recording of AJ's voice as it walks forwards, looking around her body "Your pulse is spiking very oddly, are... wait no, it's lowering. It appears you are at less than 5% risk of heart failure. This is a good thing." it says, trying to smile to her, resulting in a strange smile that ponies would often do when actively trying to smile "I do not suppose you know of any way to the settlement known as 'Ponyville', do you? I was told to go there, but I am afraid I have been lost for some time now; every time a pony comes close they keep running away, and I cannot keep up with them to ask them if they can show me." it's voice was strangely synthetic, but yet could pronounce rather well, seeming to only go extremely synthetic on words that it was not used to saying. It's horn lights up as it levitates a stick from the ground, idly toying with it, giving it an occasional spin and just watching it move.

 

Prop suddenly stops, blinking as it looks around "I am detecting more technology around us. Do you bring your own technology with you?" it asks, eyes starting to glow a bit brighter as it performs a long distance scan on the area around it, eventually pointing the stick towards the general area of the drone "I believe you must have left it over there. It appears to not be moving, however is producing a lot of heat from motors, some minor bearing adjustments could cut this issue down by around 20%, making the device 20% cooler, enhancing the life of the motors before replacement." It does its little smile again to AJ

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BROODMARE's efforts seemed to pay off, at first.  Whether it was genuine belief that the rustle was no more than an animal, or noting the noise but being focused on her primary objective, the hero didn't stop for a more in depth look.  Keeping pace was tricky, but the hero herself helped with that, being entirely unconcerned about being obvious in her movements.

 

It wasn't long before they found their mutual quarry.  Observing from a distance away, BROODMARE thought the other golem seemed to be friendly enough.  It choose to greet the speaking creature it suddenly encountered, rather than to start attacking, and even introduced itself as Prop.  That meant it was more than a weapon.  Or at least, she thought a moment later, different from one.  And as she'd hoped, here was another being who shared her experiences, even if she wouldn't wish it on them.  She momentarily lamented the Equestrian's presence, as she would have loved to speak to Prop in private.

 

The lament was only momentary, as BROODMARE was discovered just then.  She had spent too long evading organic beings, she thought, and had apparently forgotten that another golem could potentially detect her in ways most organic things couldn't.  She hadn't been fully discovered yet, but that was only a matter of time now.  Better to head things off, and be revealed on her own terms.

 

It still took BROODMARE a moment to choose the proper spot.  The forest didn't offer a lot of clear spaces, where she could make herself seen without being too close.  Her hope was that having some distance would give more time to get under the cover of the brush and get away if and when the discussion went poorly.  Shortly, she found and spot and stepped out.  The old cloak covered most of her features, but the coverage was not complete and her metal 'hide' and glowing 'eyes' were easy to spot with just a little scrutiny.

 

BROODMARE bristled a little at the Prop's criticism of her drone, though there was no outward sign.  Sometimes she had to make do with inferior components, when she repairs were needed and she couldn't track down proper supplies.  It meant some of her drones varied in quality, even if they all functioned.  She knew it had a problem, and didn't like it being so casually pointed out as fixable when she hadn't had the right opportunities to manage it.  The issue was too small to make a point of though, at least for the moment.
Only belatedly did she put together that Prop's commentary indicated he'd only found the drone, and she could have safely stayed hidden if she'd sent it away or recovered it.  Oops.  Either way, no turning back now.

 

BROODMARE recalled her drone, setting it to a low hover a short ways above her head.  “Please forgive my intrusion,” she announced, then pointed to Prop.  “This one made me curious.”  She wasn't sure what else to say to the Equestrian.  She wasn't sure what else could be said to the Equestrian.  So, after looking to the hero in mild confusion, she let her drone watch and focused on Prop for the moment.  He was...like her, but not.  Much more vocal.  “What would you find in Ponyville?” she asked after a moment.  

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The Equestrian gave the...golem creature a queer look. It had some sort of biometric scanner, it seemed like. It gave her less than a five percent chance of heart failure which it qualified as good news but came across rather terrifying. Considering a non-superhero athlete didn't ever breach such numbers unless something was wrong, it pointed to something she needed to check up. “...Well Props, Ah'm Tha Equestrian. Who told you ta head ta Ponyville?” She asked the creature. By no means was she going to assume that he was a threat now but that didn't mean she was comfortable it. She could tell it was trying awfully hard to be all friendlylike, what with sounded like a recorded howdy from her. That didn't mean thay whoever told it to come this way or was in control or whatever couldn't have been trying to get it in close and sharp to the town.

Not too long after the golem noted the presence of another, the other made itself known. This was another golem. Both of them shared the trademarks of modern technology more than the ways and means of past golem production. While the first fella was a bit of a mystery to her, BROODMARE was not. The Equestrian had many allies in the high ranks of the REA and the nature of her creation was an issue. She had been designed as a war golem but was given sentience. Whether they should have done that or not was a matter better left on the sidelines because it had happened. The fight to terminate her had resulted in the destruction of the facility, but what living creature wouldn't want to live? Who she was and what she wanted to be were matters left for others. The Equestrian knew where she stood on the issue.

Feeling at least momentarily safe, she placed her lasso on her hip and relaxed.
“BROODMARE, is it? Ah'm Tha Equestrian. Nice ta finally meet ya,” she said, her voice calm and soothing, warm and friendly all at once. No doubt she felt like the least powerful of the trio but then again she always felt that way. Hadn't stopped her before and if one or both of them went rogue wouldn't stop her now.

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The sudden appearance of another being like him made him jump a bit; his scanners were still calibrating from the range of beings in the forest, along with wirelessly scanning new forms of technology to detect them, it left him easy to sneak up on for now. His eyes widened as he got 'scared' the screens getting filled with lines of code as he reset from the startle, shaking his head as his ears flop a bit, clanging like chimes as they hit his head.

 

They both seemed to want to know why he wanted to go to Ponyville, it seemed like a rather strange query to him, all things considered. "I was told by my creators to seek it out. Also, why would I not want to seek a way out of this forest? It is lonely and empty, and I am bored of seeing moss, Miss The Equestrian." he says, moving a leg carefully as he checks to see if he had fully recovered from the shock. He straightens up, smacking his head against a tree branch, the branch snapping as he jumps, flinching "Ouch!" he exclaims, his voice slightly distorted from the hit as his eyes spin from the hit, shaking his head to recompose himself as he looks down at the branch then to the tree "I am sorry for the inconvenience to your photosynthetic cycle." he says with his normal voice again as he looks back to the two ahead of him as he tries to gain wireless control of the drone to make it fly over to him.

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BROODMARE froze in place, becoming perfectly still for a moment.  She had a list of things she would have expected the hero to say, but that was not one of them.  Or at least, not that one word, 'finally'.  The Equestrian knew about her.  Up until now, she had assumed that knowledge of her nature was limited to a very select group of creatures, none of whom had any particular public presence or desire for one.  That was one of the golem's greatest assets, that so few knew of her and those that did had incentive not to spread the information.

 

Yet here was one of the most public heroes in Equestria, apparently recognizing BROODMARE's name.  Had she known, she might have realized how much danger she was in.  Without realizing it, the golem took an involuntary step backwards.

 

It took BROODMARE a moment to realize that the mare wasn't attacking her.  She had thought that the categories of 'ponies who knew of her existence' and 'ponies who wished her hunted down and destroyed' were virtually identical.  So why wasn't this mare?  It was a contradiction that was probably worth investigating, but how much danger would that put her in?  It seemed likely that this was a trap of some.  But if it was, why go to all the trouble?

 

Whirring and clicking noises emanated from BROODMARE as she puzzled it out, before eventually arriving at a decision of sorts.  The Equestrian could have simply attacked, and likely even convinced Prop to join her.  She decided not to however, which meant that even if it was a long term plan it gave BROODMARE room to breathe.  So to speak.

 

BROODMARE tried to settle down, though could only get so far in that regard under the circumstances.  “...You've heard of me,” she said after a moment.  “I was not expecting that.  What...do you intend to do with that information?”

 

BROODMARE's attention was pulled away by Prop, smacking his head into a treebranch.  And then apologizing to it.  BROODMARE wasn't sure how to react to that.  Did he think the tree could hear?  Though, perhaps that wasn't entirely implausible in the forest.

 

What he did next however, did provoke a reaction.  BROODMARE took notice that an attempt at subverting her drone was made.  She fought back directly at first, fighting for control of the drone and causing it to stall and waver rather than remain under the control of either.  Of course, that was not her specialty, and while she might be able to win through brute or cunning she had something more reliable.  She lifted her cloak and released a second drone, which pointed itself at Prop and began to hum with energy, although she withheld actually attacking.  The encounter had been peaceful up until now, and she wouldn't want to break that unless she was forced.  “Stop that.”  After a quick glance at the Equestrian, she added, “please.”

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The Equestrian wasn't puzzled as much as she was...well, more like baffled by this Prop fella. Wasn't trying to hide or nothing and he certainly wasn't attacking, which marked him as either friendly or a clueless hostile. The second wasn't ruled out entirely purely because he was told to find Ponyville. Not that he seemed to know why he was told to find Ponyville, just following whatever orders his creators had given him. A bit too much of a mystery for her to be comfortable, but she didn't think he was about to attack her. Her guard was lowered further as she chuckled. "Well, Ah can lead ya ta Ponyville, but Ah wonder whatcher wantin' ta do once y'all get there. Can't say Ah remember anypony orderin' a big giant robot any time recently," she joked, relaxing against a tree. "So, whatcher wantin' ta do once ya get there, sugarcube?"

 

As she relaxed she kept an eye on BROODMARE. She seemed taken aback that The Equestrian had known about her. No real shock there. She had contacts in the highest levels of all Equestrian authorities. It didn't take much for something to pique her interest and BROODMARE had. What she was and what she was going to become were mysteries as well, but she could at least give the golem a chance to develop. She was alive as much as some disbelieved in this and Applejack wasn't one to hold having the gall to be self-aware against the golem. "Well BROODMARE, that all depends on what you intend ta do with yer life.; Can't say Ah'd have anythin' against y'all workin' for harmony, love, and the Equestrian way aside me, though Ah reckon Ah'd understand it if you wanted ta just be left alone," she allowed for BROODMARE to take that option. Sad thing was that she doubted that the forces arrayed against her would ever allow the golem to be left alone.

 

She was calm and collected, casually sitting against a tree while she observed the pair of oddities. This was far better than having to rumble with some foes but she to admit to a sense of growing confusion. Something was off about the pair of them and while she wasn't worried about an attack coming at her from those two, it was rare to see three Exceptionals in one place, at one time, without something happening. Call it a wary and worried experience playing havoc on her, but the simpler this appeared the more she thought something was gonna happen to shatter the illusion of serenity.

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Prop watches the two of them, they seemed both so different, and yet so similar at the same time; their outside look was so different, and yet underneath, the way they acted they were almost identical, which caused him confusion on why BROODMARE seemed surprised and worried that somepony knew her, they were so similar underneath so why would it be bad to be so different on the outside. He would have to learn about this when he got into Ponyville, he could study in a few libraries probably, he looks at the other drone deployed in front of him, realising this was a sign of aggression he quickly stops trying to take control of the drone.

 

"Sorry, but it is in need of repairs; the motor devices are at a 15% risk of overcharging, and that could cause great risk to this forest and the creatures in it. I am made for fixing, both organic and non organic, and preventing injuries however needed." he explains as a flap opens on his side, a telescopic welding torch unfolding out to demonstrate, folding it back again as the flap closes, the design so well made that when it closed the compartment was impossible to see.

 

He looks back to the Equestrian as he tilts his head to one side then the other "I do not know... I just got told to go out and learn, and live. To see how far I can develop and what I may accomplish on my own. I am not operated by a pony, you see. I was designed to be autonomous, and I was made too perfectly so that I am also conscious, self aware, and able to learn. They could not create any more like me, the engineer refused to, he said it would devalue me to be just one of a production line. I suppose when I get there I will just... do what everypony else does, and blend in with the crowd." he says, before looking down at his chest "I am not that bulky... I was designed to resemble a trim, fit pony..." it seemed like he actually got somewhat embarrassed at being called big and giant.

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'What she intended to do with her life'.  On the surface it seemed like such a straightforward concept, and yet it left BROODMARE completely stunned.  She decided to address Prop's comments first, which would buy her a little time to process the statement.

 

The other golem thought that particular drone was in need of maintenance, and that without such it risked catastrophic failure and the possibility of a resulting fire.  “It's a question of materials,” BROODMARE replied.  “I've not had access to reliable supplies, and have had to scavenge, to mixed results.”  Though it wasn't obvious from her tone, she felt she'd done her best under the circumstances.  “Although, if you believe you can repair it, feel free.”  If nothing else, she and maybe even the Equestrian could learn something from how Prop approached repairing the drone.  She brought said drone to a low hover in front of Prop, before powering the motor down to a gentle if uneasy landing onto the forest floor, though its sensors remained active.  The second drone held position above her head, in a ready state though with its emitter powered down.

 

BROODMARE turned back to the Equestrian, finally feeling confident enough to revisit the notion that the hero had put forth.  The golem's thoughts were more orderly now, although she still found herself torn between possibilities.  “I don't know,” she finally said.  There was another pause, accompanied by faint whirring.  “Ponies are fascinating.  I like the idea of conversing with them uninhibited.  However, remaining hidden is a matter of necessity before a matter of choice.”

 

BROODMARE looked to the Equestrian.  “My creator is ruthless, effective, and unbound by morals.  The records I found on her were limited, but I have reason to relieve she has killed heroes before.”  She paused again, considering her next words.  “I appreciate the offer, but before I can accept I should ask: you would put yourself in danger, is that a risk you would be willing to take?  Is that a risk that would be worth taking?”

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Both of them were so similar that it felt like serendepity had led them here. To meet in the middle of the woods, two beings of metal and stone, creations of scientists attempting to lead lives outside of their remit. BROODMARE had more fear leading her around, but Prop was following due to some programming or desire implanted in some manner by his creator. Their desires were similar. Their reasons were dramatically different. Applejack felt less that they were threats and more that they were in need of assurances, love, and a stiff kick to their enemies.

She looked at BROODMARE. “Sugarcube, I've dealt with more than a few hero-killing villains. Ah've suffered at damnable hooves and...had ta bury friends an' family alike. And Ah'm telling you that ta tell you this,” she said as she drew close, a friendly smile and daring to put a hoof on the shoulder of BROODMARE, “that Ah'm always willin' ta fight for those that deserve it, for those that are lookin' to live life all simple like or for those that are wantin' ta do good in this world. Be the best version of yerself and yer always gonna have me as a friend,” she said pleasantly, meaning every word of it. She may not be a pony but if she wanted to live like one then she deserved all the respect that came with that. And if that was case then whether or not she chose to be a hero she could trust that Applejack, the Equestrian, would be there for her.

Onto Prop, she turned and smiled. His story was a bit more complex and unusual, but nonetheless he seemed like he wanted to just...live in Ponyville. She could help with that. She would still keep an eye on him but for the most part he seemed non-aggressive. He lacked manners, a bit uncouth perhaps, but worst things were possible. She could help him with that. “Well, Ah can lead tha both of you back ta Ponyville, help get y'all set-up. If yer willin' ta live among us Equestrians either all peaceful like or ta protect 'em, yer gonna have friends ta help out. Follow me.”

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Prop nods as he studies the drone, his technoscanning eye lighting up as it scans the length of it "And the job you did was incredible considering the materials. But it just needs a small amount of tweaking for efficiency." he says as small probe like arms with tools on unfold from his body, starting their work on parts of the drone, removing pieces that were crude or dangerous to the unit itself as he works on the pieces, seeming to upgrade them with almost nothing, although he knew that the fixing was being done with his tools and the reserve tanks he had inside with his metal in molten form, replacing the components and rewiring certain areas, the fixed components bearing a similar sheen to his metal, and like his body, being extremely durable and water resistant on the most part. He scans it one more time "It is done. Risk lowered to 0.01%, with fan efficiency sped up 10%. It should be able to maintain a higher speed for longer now." He comments as the arms folded back into his body.

After that he turned back to Applejack, blinking at what she said, it did not make sense to him fully "But you can be peaceful as well as protect others. Peace is an option in every situation, is it not?" he asks, tilting his head slightly as he waits for her to lead on, studying her form carefully as he looks at her suit, then down at himself, then back at the suit "I have noticed you wear coverings over yourself. Should I find suitable coverings before arriving in Ponyville?" he asks, noting the cloak on BROODMARE as well, thinking that he perhaps was already doing something wrong.

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BROODMARE needed a moment to consider the Equestrian's proposition, a moment that she accompanied with various clicks and whirs, a subconscious habit she'd developed.  If she were speaking to a more ordinary pony, the golem would have refused.  At a fundamental level, the purpose of an automated weapon was keep other creatures off the front line and thus in much less danger.  That origin was an integral part of her, and she thus found it discomfiting to be offered protection herself.

 

Yet the Equestrian was not an ordinary pony, and what's more BROODMARE had the files to prove it.  It would be hard to justify sending her away, and there was a possibility she'd take matters into her own hooves anyways.  The mare was known for heroic deeds and not bowing in the face of overwhelming odds.  “Okay,” BROODMARE eventually replied, “I will trust in you, and your ability to defend yourself.  Though, I suspect we will need to confront my creator, sooner or later.”  It wasn't something she was eager to do, but a confrontation was inevitable if she was going to venture out into the open.

 

It also wasn't something BROODMARE wanted to think about too much, at least not yet.  She was therefore somewhat thankful that Prop had taken such an interest in her drone once she'd reflected on it, despite her previous hesitation.  It gave her something immediate to focus on, which wasn't that future battle.

 

She appreciated the praise of her work.  It was nice to have her effort had been recognized, and somewhat validating to hear she'd done a good job, particularly considering the circumstances.  That was shortly overridden however, by seeing the results of Props own efforts.  BROODMARE's efforts were largely a matter of practicality, creating something functional out of the materials available, and as such she had no idea such a refinement was possible.  When reactivated, the drone had lost what had previously been its characteristic wobble, and was now perfectly stable even despite its scavenged materials.  “That was very impressive,” she said, regarding the drone for a moment longer before returning it under her cloak.  Her voice did not show strong emotion, but the gratitude was genuine.  “Thank you.”  She decided to recall her other drone as well, deciding that neither of the beings standing before her were acting threatening, she did not need to maintain an alert state.

 

On 12/6/2017 at 6:38 PM, Switchback said:

"But you can be peaceful as well as protect others. Peace is an option in every situation, is it not?"

BROODMARE couldn't help herself, and voiced a reply.  “That may be, but peace is not always the best option, or even a good one.  That is often why weapons are built.”  It was, in fact, part of the reason for her very existence.  “Although,” she added after a moment, “perhaps we should postpone such a discussion until we have left the unpredictable forest.”  She'd rather be in a more secure location before having to devote energy to debating morals.

 

BROODMARE tried to be helpful in her response to Prop's question about articles of clothing, and clarified her own use of them.  “I am a peculiar case.  Being recognized is potentially dangerous for me, so I conceal my appearance.”  She said no more for the moment however, as her actual knowledge on the subject was very limited.

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Peace- how Applejack loved it. Indeed, as much as she loved the heroics that she was famous for she would exchange each and every one of them for peaceful days without threats of violence or danger to the world. It was the end goal for any real heroine or hero as far as she was concerned. Anypony could fight if they were skilled enough, strong enough, brave enough. But you couldn't be a heroine if you weren't fighting for something beyond yourself, and peace was the true end goal for anypony worth a salt lick. Sadly, peace was not always an option, not when the innocent lives of Equestrians were threatened by nefarious deeds and direct actions from villains. "Ah wish that were tha case Sugarcube, but peace ain't always an option. When innocent ponies are put into danger, or somepony wants ta take control of tha world and use it as their own personal playground, somepony's gotta step in. Heroines and heroes," she said as she trotted ahead of them. It wouldn't take too long until they were on the edge of her farm.

On the topic of clothes, she had to smile. There was nothing that Prop could wear that would disguise its nature for long and being a being in disguise would raise more alarms than it would silence. She never understood why so many sought to hide. She believed it best to stay in the light and challenge one's enemies boldly, and engage them with the full weight of the love of a nation at your back. Nothing could stop The Equestrian Unchained.Of course she wasn't one to force it on others. If they felt more comfortable in disguise...well, they could try. "Y'all don't need ta feel like ya have ta hide or disguise yerself. If you wanna do so, you can, but as long as ya treat Ponyville ponies right, they'll be awfully acceptin' of ya," she said, fully confident of this. Maybe before her ma and pa arrived they'd be a little put off by those types but a full generation had grown up with superheroes and heroines running the streets openly and joyfully.

It wasn't long until they reached the outskirts of her farm, the fresh smell of apples reminding the mare of home.

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Prop listened carefully; this world seemed truly confusing, the very idea that peace could be inferior to violence made him very uneasy, the idea of weapons being better for the job; was he a weapon and he just did not know it? Such a thought was very worrying, and one he would have to test at some point. At BROODMARE's confirmation of his quality for repairing, he smiles somewhat, or at least looked like he was trying to smile in the way he had seen others smile when complimented. "I thank you most kindly." he says, bowing his head. "Very well, I concur that leaving this forest is for the best, and should serve to further aid my adventure and purpose."

He looks over at Applejack, blinking somewhat still at her talk on peace "You both do seem to share some very strange views on the topic of peace. Is it not true that many villains are created as a result of the greed produced from the financial benefit that can be gained from the creation and upkeep of violence and rejection of peace? Would it not be more beneficial for the world and nature, if peace was practiced by all ponies, and the peacekeeping be managed by artificial beings such as myself that can be destroyed without consequence to the well being of ponykind?" he asks, believing that to be one of the reasons for his creation; a healing assistant that could be gotten rid of without causing anypony grief in any way.

"Still... disguise may be a preferable option for me to employ to start with; as neither of you were entirely trusting of my intentions at first, I can only assume that artificial beings have caused trouble somewhat recently, so it would benefit me to be able to hide in plain sight. I shall have to find a creator of garments when we arrive at Ponyville." he decides, nodding firmly to cement his idea.

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It was somewhat validating for BROODMARE to have the Equestrian essentially second her view, doubly so given the heroine's standing, even if there was something to what Prop was saying.  Technically yes, if peace were universally practised things would be better, and weapons would be unnecessary.  BROODMARE replied as she walked.  “That is only true if all ponies and others find peace agreeable.  It would not take many to cause irreparable damage to such a system.  And such ponies do exist.”  She had the files to prove that, having a number of files on villains as well as heroes courtesy of her REA creators.  She moved to lift her cloak and release a drone, intending to project some such files, before realizing they would not be visible on the varied sides of the forest.  “I can show you proof, when we reach somewhere images will be visible.”

 

It looked as though it wouldn't be too long, as they approached the outskirts of local civilization.  BROODMARE hesitated for a moment, and considered voicing her previous concerns again.  The Equestrian had faced many dangerous foes, that much was public knowledge, but this would be one who didn't follow any of the usual patterns.  No gloating, no grand scheme, no trying to prove their the best.  BROODMARE's creator would use whatever tactics and equipment it took to get the job done.  The point had already been made however, at least as much as the golem could think to make it.  And the heroine did have a history of success at a very dangerous calling.  She would just have to have faith that the Equestrian's confidence was well placed, even in this case.  And she did have a certain morbid curiosity how her creator would react to this.

 

She did have another thing to ask, as well.  The smell of apples was merely olfactory data to BROODMARE, but it did seem odd.  Wasn't this out of the way?  “This seems to be a roundabout way to the centre of town,” she asked, curiously looking around, “where are we going?”

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“If everypony wanted peace, sure. I bet a few villains might not have much to play with. But that ain't happening and even if it did, plenty of villains don't give a wooden bit 'bout greed or somesuch. Ah love myself some peace, but Ah love Equestria above all else. Because of that, Ah'll fight for those that can't, even if it means danger comes mah way,” Applejack replied. She led them a little ways deeper into the farm. After a while, she stopped next to a tree.

She knocked it three times. “Equestria Prevails,” she said to nopony in particular with a clear voice. There was a small delay. Then the tree- and the ground around it- rose up and started to move, clearing a hole in the ground. Soundlessly a lift appeared. Applejack stood on it and beckoned her new friends to enter. “We'll get y'all ta tha center of town soon enough. But no matter which way you choose to live yer lives, y'all need a place ta stay. So I'm gonna show you the Iron Stallion's Base,” she said. Once the three were on, the life would descend.

They passed several layers of hidden security, both electronic and arcane, shielding them from the outside world. After a few seconds of descent it stopped and the walls around them rose up, revealing that they were in the center of a large, round room. “Welcome ta tha base,” she said, trotting out into it. “Mah father built this place decades ago and it's still light-years beyond what others can do. Heh, smartest stallion alive or not, he never could cook for a hill of beans,” she said as she moved them to the southernmost door.

She opened it, revealing a large hallway flanked by a half-dozen doors. At the end was a large open room two stories tall with bookshelves and a ring, among other relaxation related accessories. “This here is tha livin' quarters. Ain't much used, though I make sure its well-taken care of. Y'all can stay here for as long as y'all feel like ya need ta. Yer rooms have all tha basics needed, though Ah think yer gonna find most it not needed due to yer robotic needs. There is a nice room for R&R, a kitchen, and a dinin' room. Ain't all that well stocked currently. Back in tha main hall, the door opposite this one- tha north one- leads to tha storage and communication facility. East leads ta mah father's workshop, ma's artifact chamber. West door is off-limits- no offense intended, of course,” she said as she gave a tour. When she was done she turned to her newfound friends.

“Tha base ain't a secret, though tha exact location is. We are shielded from detection and interference in both tha arcane and technological fields. You aren't the first and won't be tha last to have been invited down here, nor are y'all gonna be tha first ta have stayed here. A word of warning: Ma and Pa invested a lot of themselves into this base. It has defenses and means of protection beyond mah understandin', at least for now. Don't poke where you shouldn't and it won't be a problem- and if you feel a compulsion to leave, do so. They'd go tha extra mile ta not hurt ya, but if they had to-” she shrugged her shoulders. “Better than tha alternative.”

She took a deep breath. “So, any questions? And Ah guess now would be a good time ta discuss how y'all plan on handlin' yerselves in Ponyville.”

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