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MachinaA country populated by (benevolent) mad scientists and inventors, with Crazy Ant, an Autumn Court Changeling, as its leader. The founding of Isle Machine happened by complete accident - after Crazy Ant discovered the wonders of steampunk technology and tried to make a steam-powered toaster, he and his lab assistant, Silver Screw, found themselves stranded on a remote, deserted island in the middle of nowhere. Crazy Ant, being the crazy guy he is, was quick to capitalize on the situation and built a laboratory there so he and Silver Screw could invent things without interruption.
Eventually, Machina began to attract brilliant minds from all over Equus, turning the island into a intellectual and technological powerhouse. By the time it became a small, independent nation, Crazy Ant was unanimously elected as its leader, much to the Changeling's surprise. Unfortunately, Machina's successes caught the attention of the Changeling Courts, with the Kings of the Summer Court intending to conquer Machina and raze it to the ground. Crazy Ant ended up saving the island by coming up with an ingenious plan: He personally contacted Emperor Blackthorn and Empress Blackrose, then informed them that he had (somehow) collected every secret kept by the Spring and Summer Courts, including information on the Progenitors and their children themselves. He also created a "dead man's switch" that would be triggered upon his death, so if he were to be assassinated, all the secrets that he collected would automatically teleport to every single country in Equus for all to see. This forced the Spring and Summer Courts to leave Machina alone... but not before Blackthorn applauded Crazy Ant for his competent scheming, something that made his sons who attempted to destroy Machina in the first place start fearing for their own lives.
Like many Autumn hives, Machina is ruled by a democratic government, with the leader selected by a common consensus. However, because of the prevalence of intellectuals such as scientists, inventors, mathematicians, etc., it is a technocracy, with said intellectuals populating the government by fulfilling every position. Politicians do not last long since in Machina, one could not get by with words alone, and the inhabitants are frequently tested on their intelligence and work. Despite the craziness of Crazy Ant and the frequent building/experimenting that takes place in Machina, unethical activities are heavily discouraged - Crazy Ant does not approve of those who misuse their intellect for evil pursuits, and at best will personally have his giant mecha, Colossus, stomp through the offending person's laboratory roof. At worst, the offending person would have their grants and rights stripped and be exiled from the island, along with being blacklisted in almost every country.
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- Crazy Enough to Work: With Crazy Ant as Machina's leader, many things in Machina tend to follow this line of thought.
- Fantastic Racism: Averted. Despite being a very successful Autumn Changeling hive, it welcomes people of all races and allows them to indulge in whatever field they specialize in... as long as said people don't participate in unethical experimentation and the like. Notably, Crazy Ant has accepted Fiery Flight, a pegasus collaborator on the infamous Vortex Engine, into Machina and has provided her protection from reactionary tribalist factions such as the Scions of Hurricane - even making it a point to mock them in public by doing an 'In Your Face' dance during an announcement.
- For Science!: Generally unethical experimenting/inventing is heavily discouraged in Machina. Despite his craziness, Crazy Ant will not hesitate to put his foot down if his subjects come to him with shady ideas, stating that he's "crazy", not a "psycho". The punishment of indulging in this trope is quite severe - at best, Crazy Ant will personally have Colossus stomp through your laboratory roof. At worst, the offending person would have their grants and rights stripped and be exiled from the island, along with a magical document that details their list of crimes and is teleported to concerned people, effectively blacklisting them.
- Humongous Mecha: Colossus, a gigantic steam punk mechanical golem that defends the country. Crazy Ant has also been known to use it for stomping the laboratories of anyone who participates in unethical experimentation.
- Mad Scientist: An entire country of benevolent ones. Crazy Ant himself makes sure no one in Machina starts going down the unethical side of science and technology, with the worst offenders being exiled and blacklisted in almost every country.
- Steam Punk: The country's primary theme, made possible by domesticating fire and heat-generating animals to act as Living Batteries in a humane fashion. This was such a crazy solution to the pollution problem from steam engines that no one else thought of it.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: The rise of Machina as a Changeling country that's completely independent of the Royal Changelings' rule caused both the Summer Court and Spring Court to see it as a threat, with some of Blackthorn's Scions intending to raze it to the ground. Crazy Ant saved Machina by blackmailing them into silence lest he reveal their people's secrets to the world. The plan was noted to be so crazy that even Blackthorn himself was impressed.
Crazy Ant/Grand Head Engineer Copper Cog
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's which dog has the better robotic suit!"
The leader of Machina. A brilliant scientist and inventor, an eccentric but effective leader, and quite definitely and completely off his rocker. Nevertheless, the unholy mix of good character with mad genius is what made Machina so prosperous and successful today.
- 100% Adoration Rating: He's the democratically-elected leader of Machina, and he was elected without even realizing it'd become a country. Technically he can be challenged, but few ever do, and he's won every time because the citizens of Machina adore him.
- Achievements in Ignorance: He founded Machina by complete accident because he somehow stranded himself and Silver Screw on a deserted island while trying to build a steam-powered toaster. He was also unaware of Machina's growth into its own nation, having treated it as his own workspace where he could invent things without interruption, and he was genuinely surprised when the people who moved in unanimously selected him as their leader.
- Beyond the Impossible: This mad genius blackmailed the Spring and Summer Court into leaving him and Machina alone - up to and including the two Royal Progenitors of their people - by threatening to release secrets too important to be leaked to the world in event of his death, secrets that no one has any clue how he managed to get. And it works.
- Blackmail: How he was able to keep both the Spring and Summer Courts away from Machina - Crazy Ant devised a "Dead Man's Switch", in which should he die or willingly activate it, all the secrets Empress Blackrose and Emperor Blackthorn had kept would be released to all of Equus. It was so crazy and ingenious that even Blackthorn was impressed.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a hammy, and completely insane stallion, but he's also an incredibly brilliant scientist who's done an extremely good job leading his country.
- Confusion Fu: His forte: he's so insane and unpredictable that it's hard to guess what he'll do next.
- Crazy Enough to Work: Literally his answer to everything. The reason his plan to keep the other Changeling Courts from doing anything to Machina (which is a Free Hive in the Autumn Court) worked so well is it was so brazenly insane that even the incredibly intelligent and Crazy-Prepared Summer Court Kings didn't see it coming. In-Universe many acknowledge, including himself, that many of the things he does only work at all because he's insane.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: He blackmailed both official Changeling Courts to leave Machina alone and got away with it.
- Emperor Scientist: A benevolent example. He's an incredibly brilliant scientist and ruler of a small, yet extremely prosperous island nation, yet he makes sure that none of the people who live in Machina participate in unethical and/or shady things.
- For Science!: Averted. Crazy Ant greatly disapproves of those who misuse the wonders of science and technology, and will use Colossus to stomp through the roofs of laboratories belonging to those who try. If the offense is even worse, then he will have the culprits permanently exiled from Machina, accompanied by a magical list of their crimes that effectively blacklists them. As he said himself, "I might be crazy, but I'm not a psycho." It's implied that he was once a Summer Court changeling who fled to Autumn out of fear that his works would be misused by Emperor Blackthorn and his sons for selfish/evil purposes.
- Mad Scientist: Self-proclaimed as such. He's a benevolent example, however, as he came up with a solution to build animal-powered machines without the inhumane aspects, and his people quite adore him.
- No Badass to His Valet: Enforced. Crazy Ant may be the craziest of crazy geniuses in Machina... but he is more or less reigned in by his assistant/vice-engineer, Silver Screw, who effectively serves as his Cloudcuckoolander's Minder and general voice of reason. Crazy Ant himself even gave her the power and authority to "full right to snark any and all citizens of Machina including Crazy Ant".
- Super Intelligence: Despite being only a Common Changeling, he's incredibly intelligent to the point of being one of the few beings Blackthorn has acknowledged the brilliance of. Given the Progenitors and the Royal Changelings are themselves some of the most intelligent beings on Equus, that is saying something. Queen Dazzleglow even states that Luminiferous predicts he has the great potential to become a Royal Changeling just like Thorax did before him, which might have ramifications for the Summer Court, especially Blackthorn's sons/Scions.
Vice Engineer/Lab Assistant Silver Screw
Allignment: Neutral Good
Type: Scientist/Genius/Snarky Assistant (included at request of Crazy Ant)
"I love that Pony/Bug, but do you have ANY IDEA how stressful it is to put up with him?!"
Silver Screw (her entry here) is the Vice Engineer of Machina, and Crazy Ant's most trusted laboratory assistant.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: She always serves as the voice of reason for Crazy Ant, trying to guide him away from dangerous options and pointing out the logical fallacies of his plans. Crazy Ant trusts Silver Screw a great deal and thus recognizes the advantages of a sane mind in a country full of mad scientists like him, so he promoted her to Vice Engineer, with "full right to snark any and all citizens of Machina including Crazy Ant".
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Discussed and Subverted. When it is revealed that Colossus included certain 'Relic-Tech' in its cogitational systems, alarm was raised over the possibility that this giant mecha-golem, built to defend Machina, might become self-aware and then turn on its creators just like virtually every other series of Artificial Intelligence ever created through and even before Known History. Crazy Ant reassured doubters and alarmists that they have nothing to worry about. He was right.
- Benevolent A.I.: On top of being implied to be self-aware, the entries involving Colossus also indicated its Artificial Intelligence is also benevolent.
- It Can Think: Heavily hinted throughout all entries involving him, with apparently almost no one noticing... except maybe Crazy Ant, but one can never be sure with him. Prince Steel Barricade's entry notes that he somehow sensed Colossus' growing emotions, revealing that he has developed "technological empathy" as part of his Technology domain, though it remained unconfirmed in-universe due to Steel Barricade keeping his abilities a secret from his anti-A.I. father and brothers for a time.
- Walking Spoiler: Colossus is apparently self-aware, and his A.I. is benevolent to hoof. His gaining sentience is believed to have signaled the emergence of Prince Steel Barricade's "technological empathy", even by Steel Barricade himself, when he sensed Colossus' emotions despite such a thing being an impossible feat at the time.