And this is all purely hypothetical and speculative, Steelhoof never met Rainbow Dash?
Allow me to explain.
Technically speaking, he met her. She prevented his suicidal tendencies, and subsequently helped in the resistance and eventual defeat of the robotic tide. BUT, what if, before he was defeated, the creator set in motion another plan? What if he made another android, a Mach seven model or something? A super advanced version of the androids using energy collected from everything around it? A being so perfectly created it superseded even Steelhoof’s ideals of tough?
And here’s the first twist, it’s female.
What if, this creator dude sent her and an assassin back in time to before Steelhoof reached Ponyville and had the assassin kill/assassinate or otherwise dispose of Rainbow Dash, and Steel met with the Super advanced bot instead whose duty was to first earn his trust and then destroy him?
Here’s the next twist! Steelhoof can feel something is wrong. The magic in him roils in rage with the disruption of the timeline and he knows something is wrong. Nevertheless, the appearance of another like him, although superbly advanced and obviously well ahead of him technology wise, surprises him, and she begins to travel with him. True to the timeline however, he settles in Ponyville/surrounding area. The constantly clear skies over a certain spot bothers him constantly, and he wants to know why.
The female android can’t bring herself to kill Steelhoof, because she has, in their travels and combat together, genuinely come to love him. This angers the creator who, in the new future devoid of Rainbow Dash, has amassed an army big enough to conquer Equestria and is now looking to it’s borders. However, as reality begins to distort around him, he contacts her through his newly acquired super advanced tech and, in discovering her reluctance or refusal, curses her rebellion and sends his army after the pair of them with absolutely no fear of repercussions.
The female android shares the location of the bunker she was stored in to Steelhoof. Steel feels betrayed and demands to know why she didn’t tell him. She reveals it was her orders to destroy him, and she couldn’t go through with it anymore. When he asks why, she can’t answer. The duo travel to the bunker, fighting their way through the endless tide of inferior bots, to the inner sanctum. Here they encounter the assassin and the newly awoken female bot, who steps through the portal to the past. However, this time, before the assassin can enter, the female bot (future) stops him as Steel takes on the horde of inferior soldiers baring in on him. They end up back to back and fighting for their lives. The female speaks to him, telling him his true history, then says farewell. Confused, he barely gets to say anything before she hurls him through the portal to the past just as the assassin gets the finishing blow to her. However, given that the portal only has enough energy for two ponies before it collapses, the portal closes, sealing itself to the quasi-magi-nuclear explosion caused by the female’s self destruct sequence, destroying the bunker and the androids inside.
The last thing the female says in her life, as though speaking to Steel as though he was with her, is ‘Sometimes leave means letting go’.
Future Steelhoof takes the opportunity to mourn his lost love, the sense of wrongness replaced with the sense of sheer grief. He contemplates killing himself, but pulls himself together, realising there wasn’t much he could do to kill himself, and seeks his past self out. When he finds him, he explains the situation to himself, who is skeptical. The female, who by this time is already developing an obvious emotional attachment to past steel, confirms things softly, and future Steel takes the female away with him and goes into hiding, deciding only to leave in the event of something cataclysmic happening, keeping the female with him. He deactivates her link to the creator so he, in the rare luck he may have to contact her and consequentially control her via remote, was powerless over her, and lives out an eternity with her as, true to the story, Past Steel finds love with a certain athletic, spunky pegasus with more colours in her mane than she knows what to do with.
My god, man… And I thought the timeline I already had was confusing… Ever get those times, when someone else comes up with something so magnificent and incredible that you hate yourself for not thinking of it first, and then you can’t really use their awesome idea because it’s copying? ‘Cos that’s what this is, man…
Strangely, a fair few of these ideas has some links to another robot that’ll enter later in the story… Although there isn’t any time travel or mind-bending love triangles involved… Just look out for Platinum, when I get that far into the story.
Either way, I love you for this. Just sayin’.