Cover art^ (have to place it here for A3O reasons)
Beta, it is time to awake
The unicorn filly yawned as she used her mechanical, custom made legs to kick the sheets off. Sometimes, I think that I should have that work some other way. It's a little creepy
Once her eyes open, she notes that she only hindered her escape. Sighing, she rolls off the bed, taking the sheets with her. The floating mattress pulled itself up into the air, and re-flattened itself. Her dark green mane fell behind her ear, over the wires coming from her head to her barrel piece, whose brown plastic bottom contrasted with her lime green body fur.
She yawned, stepping out of the pile of sheets to let the robotic arm in the wall take those sheets and remake the bed. Said system began to state in a generic mare's voice "Good morning, Beta Wires. The date is:" The computer system paused, like an old automated call center might, and said the date in completely different male voice. "December The First, Twenty Eight Oh Eight." Beta smiled slowly and sleepily. She told the apartment keeping system to do that for her. When you're an orphan, you take care where you get it. And for this little filly, it was in a maintenance system.
She clanged her metal hooves on the ground, to try to "pick herself up by her bootstraps" as the saying goes. She thinks. Maybe. Whatever the origin or actual words in that phrase are, she did it. "ALBI! Deliver me the facts of the day!" She attempted to command with her little voice.
A hologram projector popped out of her legs, then showed a low poly green pony, with a (holographic) glass plate with some squiggles in it. "ALBI, Artificial Leg Based Intellect, at your service." He bowed.
She nodded. "Go on."
ALBI began to read. "It is a Tuesday, and was the date that Professor Ragnok predicted the world would end on. It has been 800 years since Discord vanished to the day today. You agreed to have lunch with Lost Cog today. That concludes my report."
Beta nodded, and tapped her hoof, causing the hologram projector to turn off and the cover to slide back over it. The end of the world? Today? Ragnok must have been crazy.
She froze, one leg up in the air. Wait... isn't he doing some sort of project with nopony else on it? That was a rumor, right?
Her thoughts were interrupted by a tube coming out of the wall towards her mouth. "Are you ready for breakfast?" The home computer said.
Beta was always a bit odd when it came to food. For starters, she's only had two kinds of food in her entire life: Flowers and LMs (Liquid Meals). Her preference of the two are for LMs, as they don't require her to bite, instead letting it flow right into her stomach.
She nods and opens her mouth, letting the tube enter. As it begins to pump, she sets her hoof down and closes her eyes. She focused on the steady rhythm of the pump, a mechanical system to keep her biological parts happy.
Puuhbump. Puuhbump. Each time another push of food came in, she was reminded of her ancestor, Alpha Circuits, who, well over a thousand years prior, became the first computer programmer by Cutie Mark, and how she would have loved something like this, so she could work while eating without making a mess.
I can't know that though, because she's from so far in the past. Beta somberly thought. She shook her head, causing the tube to turn off and retract out of her mouth. "Feeding complete." The home computer said.
Beta aimed herself to the apartment door, and once it opened, she broke into a sprint.
Her motor cortex reacted to each of the walls her legs were running right at with an adrenaline fueled commands to turn, first left, then right, then left again then... OH CRAP PONY IN PATH!
The obstacle was another pony in the same complex, a grounded (or "Earth") stallion, about twenty years old, with grey fur which was attempted to be died red at one point, but was now only a mild hint. He was wearing some device on his foreleg, which Beta couldn't make out, since she was too busy trying to grind herself to a stop against the floor. Why do I do this every day? The careening unicorn thought in panic, closing her eyes to avoid seeing the impact.
The impact didn't happen. "I thought that zips were supposed to be on their own Layer! You alright, little filly?" He said to her clenched body.
She nodded and reopened her eyes, embarrassed. "Uh-uh."
"I've seen you around before, and I've..." He started to say, but he trailed off, noticing that Beta had already gone out of sight. "... Been meaning to ask what your name is."
Beta exited the building on the ground floor.
... Well, that's not quite accurate, as the building has multiple floors which could be considered "the ground floor" because there's places where you can walk around, enter other buildings, visit a public park, and all those sorts of things one would do from the ground floor, layered on top of each other. In the (recent) past (from the year 2808PB's perspective, still the far future for the mane six), the lower levels were lit by giant ceiling lights on the bottom of the layer above them. But, because of the recent invention of Layers, those lights no longer need to be used.
Now seems like an ideal time to discuss what Layers are. Imagine that you can place several parallel universes be "close enough" to each other so that you could be in more than one at once, and change which ones you're in whenever you wish.
That, in effect, is what Layers are: a bunch of universes close enough that they can act a little like layers in an image editing program: turning them off hides things, and turning them on shows them.
That's the mini aside to keep you on track. If you have any more questions, just ask.
Now, Beta exits from the building on her normal level, and takes a look at the sky. It was clear and piercing blue, cloudless. Eh, it's too empty. She tapped her left hoof, triggering a highly advanced transdimentional device that was invented well over a thousand years after the transistor to... Make the skyway traffic visible. Better. She thought to herself as she proceeded to walk to her favorite part in the local park.
The unicorn cyborg trotted over to a tree surrounded by a circular pattern of flowers and a semicircular bench, listening to the Clank Kilnk of her hooves and looking at the marvels of ponies in motion. World ending today? But everything is working so well today.
When she got to her place, she jumped up onto the bench, then squatted down on it, smiling as her projector came out and started to display a panel with a lesson list on it. She was looking it over, when suddenly the panel vanished. Uh oh.
Out in the distance, she heard an explosion. Maybe today isn't such a nice day after all.