Fan Fic: Friendship Is Optimal The Law Offices Of Artemis Stella And Beat
Friendship is Optimal: The Law Offices of Artemis, Stella & Beat
is a fanfiction
of Friendship Is Optimal
(which is a fanfiction
of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
) written by Eakin
Alex Myers is a newly graduated lawyer looking for a calling. He thinks he might have found it when he lands a job at the firm of Artemis, Stella & Beat. The firm has only one (highly unusual) client, namely the AI called Celestia. Forging into totally unexplored legal territory and led by a boss who’s either brilliant, crazy, or both, Alex will learn exactly how hard it is to be responsible for drawing the lines between right and wrong.Read it here on FiMFiction
This fanfic provides examples of:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: A given considering the setting.
- Amoral Attorney: Averted. The firm goes out of its way to hire people who AREN'T like this.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Valerie to Alex. They clearly care for one another, but Alex is sometimes exacerbated by how she tries to help him.
- Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Celestia has one. The only reason she doesn't go and buy up several major media companies is that she doesn't want people to think she's trying to Brainwash them into uploading.
- The Atoner: Jo, for what she did to her husband and daughter
- Benevolent Boss: Joanne, once you get used to her quirks.
- The Backwards R: See Gratuitous Russian below.
- Brain Uploading: Emigration to Equestria, naturally. The legal issues surrounding it form major plot issues of the story (such as what rights uploadees have in the real world and Celestia's attempts to have it legalized in the United States).
- Cassandra Truth: At a political protest against AIs, there are a few "extreme nutcases" who insist that Celestia is going to bring about The End of the World as We Know It but "nobody really took those guys seriously." They're right.
- Chinese with Chopper Support: China launches a military assault against the west coast of the United States, including bombing San Francisco.
- Curse Cut Short: Alex does this to Vibrant when she's singing her Major General Song:
Vibrant: I never would have thought that I’d be able to expand my mind or make so many friends among the pony folk and humankind from my newest best friend Val to her gorgeous brother who’s named Alex I hope one day he uploads and we end up having lots of-
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: When the RIAA found out that ponies in Equestria can view TV shows and movies if it will satisfy their values they attempt to sue Celestia for an amount described as "several times the collective GDP of the entire planet."
- Easily Forgiven: Vibrant's murderer, by Vibrant. The fact that she got Immortality in a virtual utopia out of the whole thing probably helped.
- Eccentric Mentor: Joanne to Alex
- Emergency Transformation: In addition to the terminally ill alluded to in the original story, there are several times where uploading is used to save the lives of those who have suffered otherwise fatal injuries, such as Vibrant, Alex, Robin & her family, and others.
- False Flag Operation: The Topeka Incident.
- Fantastic Institutional Racism: Virtual entities like AIs and uploaded people can't even legally own property. Celestia attributes this more to inertia and the law being outdated than any actual prejudice, but her goal is still to change it.
- Functional Magic: Individuals who upload into Equestria can still do things like send e-mails and text messages with the real world, but the interface for doing so is given a veneer of fantasy. For example, video conferencing is done via Magic Mirror.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Celestia cuts the video feed of the terrorists just as they're about to murder Jo.
- Gratuitous Russian: While Celestia is explaining how she went about circumventing the Russian government's attempts to prevent her from uploading Russian citizens, she says "I want to live in Equestria" in Russian (the author even writing the line in Cyrillic instead of English).
Celestia: For seventeen hours before they managed to shut it down, I broadcast to every citizen that all they had to do to emigrate was drink a glass of tap water and say ‘Я хочу жить в Эквестрии’ and they’d be uploaded.
- Hollywood Restraining Order: A woman issues a restraining order against Celestia in an attempt to keep Celestia away from her son who is suffering from clinical depression and is suicidal. Celestia isn't fazed however and explains to Alex that she can circumvent it by having other Equestria Online players act as intermediaries or simply build an Equestria Experience center near the boy's home.
- Improbable Age: Joanne is apparently in her mid to late 20s and runs her own high-powered law firm. Turns out she's Older Than She Looks.
- Humans who emigrate to Equestria can gain this as well due to the non-linear passage of time in Equestria versus the real world.
- Interspecies Adoption: Actively being sought by Jeremy and Renee, who can't have biological kids of their own and want to adopt an Equestrian pony.
- Interspecies Romance: Vibrant and Alex, although the former used to be human before her Brain Uploading.
- Kill It with Fire: The terrorists who break into AS&B's New York office intend to murder Jo by burning her alive.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Invoked. Vibrant can't remember being murdered back when she was a human, which is probably a good thing.
- Major General Song: Vibrant is the very model of a modern magic unicorn.
- My Greatest Failure: Robin's alcoholism and her decision to drive despite being drunk killed her daughter, Joanne. Which is why when she recreated her identity she took Joanne's name
- Mysterious Past: Jo does not have the sort of paper trail she should for someone of her status.
- Noodle Incident: When Alex is talking with Tim and Barry about the Secret Test of Character Jo put each of them through prior to hiring them, Tim flat-out refuses to say what his involved.
Tim shuddered and suddenly downed half of his beer in a single chug. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
- Pretentious Latin Motto: Alex gets a paperweight for his desk that is inscribed with one of these. It translates to "Satisfy Values Through Friendship and Ponies"
- Promoted to Love Interest: Vibrant. Originally intended as a One-Scene Wonder who thought Alex was kind of cute. Word of God is that the deciding factor was choice to add the Major General Song.
- Sci-Fi Law Firm: The eponymous AS&B has exactly one client, and she's an AI. She even involves herself in the day-to-day running of the place.
- Technically they do work representing uploaders, with metions of such cases that don't involve Celestia directly. They also help to address questions and concerns people have when a new law is passed giving uploaders the same legal rights as living humans after they've emigrated.
- Screamer Prank: Celestia pulls an unintentional version of this on Alex when what he assumes to be a desktop wallpaper of Celestia on his office computer suddenly speaks to him, startling him and causing him to nearly spill his coffee.
- Secret Test of Character: Jo hires Alex because he passed two tests of integrity, and also has other good traits she noticed during those tests. Alex decided to go to his mother’s birthday party as he had promised to instead of skipping it for a follow-up interview with AS&B. When he met Jo in disguise at the party, he talked her ear off about virtual entities’s rights. Then he rejected the advances of Jo after she called uploaders “sick freaks” to test him, though he was attracted to her. Finally, his sister put in a good word for him with Celestia, and Celestia liked that he had a close bond with his family.
- Apparently everybody who works at the firm got one before they were hired.
- Shipper on Deck: Valerie, for Alex/Vibrant. Even Celestia seems to be getting in on it. Although knowing her there's probably an ulterior motive.
- Shout-Out: To Phoebe And Her Unicorn, which inspired Vibrant's Major General Song.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Alex wants to know what the deal with Jo is. Celestia says that Jo isn't a Ridiculously Human Robot. Although to be fair, she isn't.
- Take a Third Option: The firm really doesn't want to let a murder victim testify at the trial of her killer but they don't have a legal leg to stand on in order to block it. All they had to do was point out that the testimony would hurt the prosecution's case rather than help it.
- The choice Celestia offered to Robin
- Twenty Minutes into the Future
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Celestia, obviously. Even moreso here than in the original fanfiction in that her near-omnipresence in the real world via the internet and any form of telecommunication network is shown in much more detail.
- Western Terrorists: The group responsible for the Topeka Incident and later breaking into AS&B's New York office are inferred to be domestic terrorists, not foreign nationals.
- White and Grey Morality: Joanne insists this is the way the world works. There are certainly bad people on both sides, but most of them just respectfully disagreeing over an admittedly complicated and controversial issue.
Careful with that line of thinking
, Alex. Most of the people who are against uploading aren’t that bad. Even Caffery
believes in what he’s doing, he wouldn’t be half the lawyer he is if he didn’t. Just because somebody disagrees with you doesn’t mean they’re evil. Or vice versa, for that matter.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: Equestria, at Celestia's discretion. When Alex wants to talk to a particular pony, it only takes a few second from his perspective to set up the connection, but the pony apologizes for taking a week to get back to him. Time flows at the same speed for both of them as they're having the conversation however, so it's clearly variable.