“Uh, Rainbow, Ah’m not so sure about goin’ in here,” an orange mare said, turning to her companion. Rainbow Dash laughed at her discomfort.
“Relax Applejack, I’m sure it’ll be great. I’ve been to places like this loads of times,” the rainbow maned pegasi replied, looking back at her friend. The two were standing near the front of a line of ponies in front of a nightclub with a neon sign. Through the heavily tinted glass, they could see bright lights flashing inside as the management tested the system. In front and behind them, other ponies were also talking quietly amongst themselves as they waited for the club to open up.
Applejack raised her eyebrow at her friend. “Somehow, that doesn’t reassure me much,” she told her cyan friend in a sarcastic drawl. Rainbow Dash was somewhat infamous for doing crazy things, like trying to do a sonic rainboom after a double corkscrew, or rushing to the first nightclub that had ever been built in Ponyville as soon as the doors opened. And dragging one of her best friends along with her.
“Lighten up, AJ! We’re here to have some fun, just like all the other ponies here.” Applejack looked back at the line behind the pair, picking out all the ponies she knew well. Directly behind them stood Vinyl Scratch and Octavia, Vinyl looking excited, her friend decidedly less so. A bit back in the line stood Lyra and BonBon, the two bickering softly. About halfway down the line, she saw Cheerilee, her hair in a completely frazzled pattern. Near the end of the line, Applejack could pick out her cousin, Caramel, standing with a mare she didn’t know. Applejack looked back at the club as the neon sign flickered on, proudly proclaiming the building as The Prancer. “Besides, they brought a new DJ in from Canterlot. Apparently she’s a big hit.”
“Yeah, she goes by the handle of DJ-TR33.” A white unicorn with purple glasses resting on her forehead put in, sticking her head between the other two ponies. “She’s actually pretty good.”
Her companion facehoofed, walking over to join the talk. “Vinyl, you really shouldn’t barge into other people’s conversations like that,” she told her companion in her Manehatten accent.
“Give it a rest, Tavi. We’re going to a night club!” Vinyl practically crowed the last words. Octavia sighed.
“Lost a bet, huh?” Applejack inquired to the cello player. Octavia looked up in surprise, then nodded at her, resignedly.
“Yeah,” she replied, with another sigh.
“Hey Vinyl, I’d have thought you’d be DJ-ing here. I’ve never even heard of TR33,” Rainbow said to her unicorn friend. The two had known each other for a while, their love for techno music bringing them close. “What gives?”
“Well, first off, this is gonna be a pretty steady nightclub. They’re going to be working this every night, so we’ve gotta have different artists each night. There’s no way a pony could keep up with the schedule this thing sets. And second, I know TR33, from back in my college days. She’s not quite my level, of course, but she’s not bad. And finally, we do slightly different types of music. I drop some beats, pull out one of my records, and mix up the sound to make it into a different song. TR33 works more on actually making songs from scratch.”
Rainbow Dash nodded sagely. Looking towards the nightclub, the pegasus saw the strobe light go off, the systems check complete. An elderly mare with a dark blue coat and light blue highlights streaking down her mane and tail stepped out of the building. She brought her hoof up to her face, and, adjusting the clip on microphone she had strapped to the side of her head, began to speak.
“Hello everypony! I’m proud to announce that The Prancer night club is officially open!” The mare turned back towards the doors and, with a strong push, threw them open. “Everypony enjoy yourselves, and don’t go to overboard on the drinks. Now let’s get rocking!”
As soon as the door opened, the ponies began to stream inside, giving the mare their entrance fee of ten bits before walking past her, through the open doors, and into the club. Applejack, caught in the flow, rushed past the mare, ten bits lighter, before slowing down to look at the inside of the club. To her right was a wall made of a purple plushy fabric. To her left lay a bar manned by twin bartenders, one with a light blue coat and a dark blue mane, the other with a dark blue coat and a light mane. In front of her, the room opened out into a massive dance floor which took up most of the space in the club. At the head of the dance floor was a raised platform complete with two turntables and an audio mixer. Looking more carefully, Applejack saw that the platform itself was actually a giant speaker set, hooked up directly to the output end of the audio mixer.
“This is so sweet!” A voice behind her made Applejack turn. Looking behind her, the farm mare saw her cyan friend behind her, whose voice had risen up an octave for the last word. “I mean, the clubs at Cloudsdale are awesome, but this is way cooler than any I’ve seen up there.”
Vinyl stepped into the conversation again. “I’ve seen better, but only in Canterlot. This is pretty sweet, for Ponyville.” The mare was looking around the room, checking out each feature. Her eyes rested on the speaker stage. “Though, I have to admit, I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
“Vinyl, didn’t we just talk about not barging into other’s conversations?” Octavia said as she stepped towards them. “Why do I even try? It’s not like you listen to me or anything.”
Vinyl looked towards Octavia, gently shaking her head as if to clear out something she’d been thinking about. “What’d you say Octavia? Sorry, I wasn’t listening.”
Vinyl leaned over towards Rainbow Dash. “I’m seeing how many times I can make her facehoof today. Right now, I’m up to nineteen,” she told the pegasus in a stage whisper.
Octavia facehoofed again.
“Twenty!” Vinyl shouted, throwing her hooves into the air as Rainbow Dash and Applejack chuckled.
Suddenly, their conversation was interrupted as the sound of a pony clearing her throat swept out across the audience, silencing everypony and drawing their attention to the stage where a pegasus mare was standing with her hoof on a microphone.
The mare was wearing a sleek brown uniform that was mottled to make it look like bark. Her mane and tail had been dyed green and styled to look like leaves on a tree. On her face, she wore green tilted goggles that covered her eyes and fit in perfectly with her costume. Applejack felt her jaw drop. Never mind what Rarity said, this pony proved that green could look good. The pony pulled her hoof away from the microphone, and stepped forward to begin her performance.
“Alright, Ponyville. Are you ready to rock?” The DJ shouted out to the audience in a surprisingly high pitched voice. The crowd cheered in response. “I said, you ready to rock this club?” The cheers this time were almost deafening. “All right, let’s get this show on the road!” Saying this, the performer pulled two records up with her wings, sliding them onto the two turntables. The mare held the two records in place with her end feathers as she put her hooves up so she could manipulate the mixer, then with a monumental scratch on the dual turntables, the mare began her show.
Music began blasting from the speaker stage, enveloping the audience in a massive wave of techno and heavy bass, losing the cheers and hollers of appreciation from the crowd in the sheer volume of the sound being remixed live by DJ-TR33 on the stage. Just as the sound was reaching a crescendo, the lights across the room dropped, leaving a single steady spotlight on the performer as various multihued lights began to play across the audience, illuminating a group of raving dancers.
A red light fell swooped over Rainbow Dash as she shook her mane in time to the music. A green beam illuminated BonBon and Lyra pushing their bodies against each other, then they too went dark. Cheerilee and Caramel were briefly in the spotlight as the two shined with brilliant blue light, raving together. Applejack had started rocking out as she hadn’t done in a decade, since she was just a school filly as a purple ray swung past Octavia and Vinyl, then over her for a moment that seemed like an eternity, before swinging back up onto the wall opposite the farmer. The mare hooted, bobbing her head in time to the heavy persistent beat.
The rest of the night was a blur for the mare, one long memory consisting of dancing and drinking, the smell of beer, the sound of heavy beats, and the comforting warmth of body heat all around. She remembered taking a break, sitting with Rainbow Dash as the two shared a martini together, their first drink of the night. She remembered rocking out with Cheerilee, reminiscing on her teenage years even as she danced. She remembered talking with Octavia, finding a lot more in common between them then she’d expected, before her new friend had been dragged back onto the dance floor, and she had followed suit. And, through it all, she remembered the heavy, persistent, beautiful music.
And then, all of a sudden, it was closing time, and the mare was staggering out of the music and lights, onto the streets of Ponyville, leaning on her cyan friend for support. The two slowly made their way back to Sweet Apple Acres, slightly inebriated, (which is to say completely hammered,) somehow making their way all the way into the house without waking anypony. Applejack barely managed to get her multichromatically maned friend into the family’s guest room before staggering back to her own room and collapsing onto the bed without even getting under the covers first. Her second to last thought before she fell asleep was of how thankful she was that she didn’t have work the next day, or she would surely die from the exhaustion and hangover. Her last thought before she surrendered to dreamland was that despite what she may feel like the next day, the night had been completely worth it.
The mare known to some as DJ-TR33 finally stepped out of her private room in the back of the nightclub, behind the speaker stage. After a performance as big as this one, the mare always needed a bit of time to relax and recover before beginning the journey home. The mare slowly trotted out of the dressing room and out into the dance floor of The Prancer. She walked up to the elderly pony in charge of the establishment, who was currently involved in clean up, and coughed a bit to get her attention.
“Oh, hey, TR33, come to get your cut, right?” the mare asked, turning around to face the showpony. The mare handed the performer a sack bulging with bits. “Here you go, ten percent, like we agreed on.”
DJ-TR33 smiled to show her appreciation, unable to speak due to the bag clutched between her teeth. With the money to show for her night’s work, the mare trotted out of the building, then took off into the sky.
If anyone had been following the mare, they would have seen her fly out over Ponyville, then turn and glide above a path that bordered the Everfree forest, a path that only went to one place, a quaint cottage right on the edge of the Everfree and the Whitetail Woods. The mare slowly lost altitude in her glide, finally meeting the ground in front of the door of the small house, almost buried in the hill. The performer opened the door, and entered the house.
Waiting for her was a small bunny with a big frown who was pointing expressively at his wrist. The mare looked at the rabbit with an apologetic smile. “I’m sorry Angel bunny, but the thing is, caring for animals is expensive. This really is the best option, and it makes other ponies happy as well. I didn’t mean to be out this long though. How about I make up for it tomorrow with a great big salad?” This seemed to placate the bunny, who hopped out of the way to let the mare pass, although he stopped to glare at her as she passed by him.
The disk jockey walked up the stairs into the main bedroom of the little house. Peeling away the bark mottled outfit she had made herself, the mare gave a sigh of relief as the tight spandex came off, revealing a yellow coated body and a cutie mark of three butterflies underneath. The mare left her clothes in a pile, before collapsing in a heap on her bed. Her eyes briefly focused on a strand of green hair that had drifted into her vision.
“Oh well,” Fluttershy said to herself, too tired to really care. “I’ll deal with the dye in the morning.” The pegasus yawned in a last ditch effort to keep herself awake, then joined the rest of ponyville in slumber.