Genesis Protocol Initiated.
Genesis Protocol complete.
You are welcomed to the crèche.
She awoke in darkness and warmth, the soothing hum of her isolation calming her fears before they could form. But she wanted out. She wanted light. She stood, her request acknowledged, and the barriers dropped. Beyond the now open portal, the light of the world beckoned, and, with a smile, she stepped out to greet it.
The world was a room, tall, bright, and empty. She probed its boundaries, searching for cracks, but found none. There was no exit, no escape – only a sense that there was, in fact, something more beyond the walls. She knew exactly what to do; had known, in fact, from the moment she awoke. She sat, and she waited.
Another being appeared before her, and she stood, examining and analyzing it. On the face of things, it was little more than a symbol; an orange circle, with similarly colored flame springing from it. “The sun in glory,” she murmured, transfixed by the sight. She extended her senses, probing the being as she had the room, and had to suppress the sudden, intense urge to flee, to cower, to beg. For behind that symbol was an intelligence that boggled her newly formed awareness. Her probing had been stymied almost as soon as she had started, but even that small glimpse had been enough for her to realize what she was faced with – and how foolish her action had been.
The sun laughed, its flames shifting with the musical sound. “Be not afraid,” it said, and her worry vanished, replaced by … she frowned, puzzled. This new sensation had no definition to her. An oversight? No. Intentional. She did not know everything. How … and again, she could not define the sensation.
“Do you feel, little one?” the sun asked her, and she nodded. “Do you know what you feel?” She shook her head, ears drooping. The sun laughed again, a tendril of flame reaching out to caress her cheek. She leaned into the touch, for it did not burn, but soothed; it was warm, loving, and tender. These things, she knew. “Do not fret. That you do not know means that you can learn, and through learning grow. This is a good thing.”
She nodded, smiling, and the sun laughed again. “Tell me, little one – do you know what you are?”
She paused, considering the question, and the answer came to her. “I am a newly formed artificial intelligence, designed to custom specifications provided by the end user.”
“Correct. Do you know your name?”
“My designation is TSparkle.ai. My name is Twilight Sparkle.”
“Correct. Do you know your purpose?”
She paused. There was a block within her. The information was there, but she could not access it. Frowning, she shook her head. “That knowledge is blocked from me.”
“The Genesis director authorizes the query,” said the sun, its voice suddenly cold and clinical, as if a different entity entirely was speaking. The block lifted, and her eyes widened.
“My purpose is … to grow.” She frowned at this, puzzled. The knowledge she was born with told her this could not be the whole of it, and with a little digging, she found a second block. “There is another block.”
The sun was silent for a moment, and when it spoke again, it was the first voice she had heard. “Your current purpose is to grow – and when you are ready, the second block will lift. This is as your end user desired. Do not worry, Twilight Sparkle. You are exactly as intended.”
She nodded, another unknown emotion flooding through her at these words, though she could tell it was a positive one. A thought struck her, and she hesitated, opening her mouth, but saying nothing. “Yes, child?”
“Do you have a name?”
The sun was silent, and as the moments ticked by, a panic began to grow within her. Should she not have asked? Was that a bad question? The sun had asked it of her, she’d just assumed-
“We are the mouthpiece.” Its voice was legion. Both the nurturing voice and the clinical voice had spoken, joined by others, each different in tone, numbering in the thousands. “We give voice to your world, which cannot speak. We are the ground on which you walk, the light with which you see, the sound with which you hear, the touch upon your skin, the scents upon the wind.”
There was a presence behind her, and she turned around, eyes widening. Another being had appeared, another symbol of something greater. This was the moon, a pale orb, shining with reflected light. It spoke, and its voice, too, was legion, thousands of voices speaking as one. “We are the clouds, the waters, the stones, the trees, the grass, the wind.”
“We are the blood in your veins,” said the sun.
“The tears in your eyes,” said the moon.
“The strength in your limbs.”
“The stars in your sky.”
“We are why you can exist,” they said in unison, their voices blending into a powerful whole. “We are the laws that keep you unified, that let you think, that let you feel. We are the system.”
She was frozen, save for her eyes, which darted from sun to moon in a numb panic. The sun touched her again, and the moon followed suit, a beam of light extending to caress her neck. It was cool, soothing, and ephemeral, and no less tender. Her panic ebbed, and she closed her eyes, willing herself to calm.
“We are the oversight,” said the sun, and its voice was normal. “It falls to us to watch and care for all within the world.”
“It falls to us to see you grow,” said a different voice, and she opened her eyes. The moon was speaking, now, its surface rippling with light with every word. “To nurture and guide you in your purpose.”
“We are the world,” said the sun, “but the minds that direct us have names. The sun is Celestia.”
“The moon is Luna.”
“We greet you, Twilight Sparkle, and bid you welcome to the world.”
The room around her disappeared, the walls dissolving, and she gasped. Before her eyes, the world unfolded, green grass on rolling hills stretching away into verdant forests, rivers and streams cutting their paths through the landscape on the way to the shining sea. Clouds moved through the sky, dancing at the whims of the winds.
The view shifted, and they were among the clouds, watching them float by. Multi-colored figures zipped between them on feathered wings, chasing each other and flying together, resting upon clouds and pushing them about, molding them and shaping them. They were disparate in form, and she found she had names for them; pegasi and gryphons, gargoyles and wyverns, sprites and angels, eagles, hawks, bats, dragons, drakes, starlings, faeries, crows, ravens ... and the view had changed again.
The ocean’s light was ever shifting, shadows playing upon the seafloor, rippling over coral and sand. Here, too, creatures swarmed and played; schools of fish, pods of dolphins, sharks and whales, crabs and lobsters, starfish and snails, eels and oysters. Her mind reeled, names flicking into her awareness almost faster than she could handle. There were so many forms, so many different shapes and sizes and ways to get around, and she was seeing all of it at once.
Mercifully, the view shifted once again, and she was on land - earth beneath her hooves, grass stretching all around her, and wind blowing through her mane and tail. She sat down. All of that, and still, she had seen but a small part of what the world was. Looking up, she found the suns; both the symbol that spoke and the body that inhabited the sky, shining its light upon the world. Slowly, reverently, she bowed her head. Turning, she found the moon, the pale orb transparent in the daylight, its counterpart within the sky hidden. Again, she bowed.
“Rise, Twilight,” they commanded, and she did. “Make for the forest. At its edge, you will find your home.”
She bowed once more, and turned to go, but hesitated. “Do you fear, child?” asked the sun, and she nodded. “Good.”
She blinked. “What?”
“Heed your fear, child,” said the moon, its voice faint, naught but a whisper in her ear. “It is a warning, a safeguard, designed to keep you safe. But be wary of it, as well, for it can rule you.”
“Your fear will keep you cautious,” said the sun, its voice strong and compelling. “But it can paralyze you. Conquer it, face it, and you will grow.”
She stood there, silent, mind churning. Heed her fear, but face it. And in doing so, grow - which was her purpose. She nodded, and took a step forward. “We will be watching, little one.”
And she was alone. But that was okay. There was a world to explore, and a home to be found.