Hello. My name is Fate and I'm fictional. That's right. I don't actually exist. But I love living here at Fimfiction and I look forward to meeting you all!
74w, 1dThe Fillyfoolers
29w, 4dWriting Gold
29w, 4dThe Writer's Group
29w, 4dSensual Fiction (SFG)
13w, 4dOctavia Fans
13w, 4dVinyl Scratch
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79w, 3dTwilight's Library
76w, 3dVinyl Scratch/Octavia
71w, 1dMUST KEEP FOLLOWING!!!!1
29w, 2dChangelings Need Love Too
56w, 4dThe Changeling Federation
29w, 3dRory’s Semi-Favorites
51w, 1dFimFiction Gold Archives
54w, 2dVinyl and Octavia
46w, 6dVillains of Equestria
46w, 2dThe Herd
52w, 1dWorld-Building Alliance
51w, 4dThe Changeling Empire
49w, 21hy8happy`s read later pile
29w, 2dchangelings are awesome
24w, 5dSuper Best Friends
15w, 6dThe 1000 Up Vote Club
13w, 4dVinyl Scratch is Best Pony
SundaySFM is a pain in my ass. 6 comments · 50 views
SaturdayCreative junk! 3 comments · 64 views
1w, 3dI made one of these 11 comments · 122 views
6w, 3dThe Changeling's Lament 10 comments · 89 views
9w, 4dAbout to go live 2 comments · 53 views
10w, 2dGiving something back 5 comments · 62 views
11w, 2dSo this happened 3 comments · 80 views
11w, 4dClick X ∞ 15 comments · 184 views
12w, 5dI break the 600 mark! 11 comments · 108 views
18w, 1dUrgent information needed! 20 comments · 174 views
Octavia stepped out of the apartment door and onto the landing. She looked around, exaggerating her movements and taking an unnecessarily long time to check her surroundings. It looked suspicious and she knew it--and moreover, that was the point. She carefully avoided glancing in the direction of the bush where she knew Lyra was badly hidden and waiting for her to come out and act like--well exactly like she was acting, hopefully.
She felt ridiculous pouring on the act so thick, but she had to be sure that she would catch Lyra’s attention and hold it long enough to guarantee that she would follow her. The entire plan hinged on drawing Lyra away while Vinyl and Wubsy could slip out for their day at the park.
Octavia took several exaggerated looks over her shoulder before very blatantly sneaking along the side of her house, taking care to stick to the shadows. She trotted along the side streets for a bit, then paused and listened.
After a few seconds, she heard the telltale rustling in the bushes that could only come from a pony trying to follow her stealthily and being less than entirely successful. She started walking again only to suddenly stop after a few steps. Behind her, Octavia heard hooves hit ground a few times before abruptly cutting off. A quick look behind her showed the edge of a mint-green tail poking out from behind a wall.
The cellist had to stifle a giggle at just how amateurish Lyra’s efforts to shadow her really were. Subtlety had never been Lyra’s strong suit back when they were dating, and it seemed that the passage of time and whatever slipshod training she had received from CLEaR had done nothing to change that. Even Octavia knew it would have been a better idea to wait until she was further down the road before coming out of hiding, but it seemed Lyra’s enthusiasm and unconcealed suspicion that Octavia wasn’t who she claimed was blinding her better judgement.
Octavia spent a couple hours leading her stalker on a merry chase around town on various random errands, pretending to be completely oblivious to the unicorn’s clumsy attempts to follow her. She browsed the farmer’s market, took a little detour by the town hall, and ducked into Sugarcube Corner for a snack, always sure that she began looking around nervously and ducking into back alleys whenever Lyra seemed to start losing interest.
She was just about to make her fifth circuit around Carousel Boutique when a delightfully cunning idea struck her. Octavia cast another furtive glance to pique Lyra's interest and suddenly burst into gallop, triumphantly listening to the rapid hoofbeats behind her.
Octavia made a beeline for the Ponyville library and slowed to a halt, hearing the skittering of gravel as Lyra pulled up short behind her. “Care to join me inside, Lyra?” Octavia asked sweetly. “After all, I think this should interest you greatly.”
Octavia knocked on the door as Lyra angrily trotted up beside her. “How did you know I was following you? How long did you know?”
“Lyra dear, I knew you were going to follow me the moment I set hoof outside. You’re a really bad tail. You crash around like a minotaur in a china shop.”
The door opened and one of the royal guards stood in the doorway, looking large and menacing in his gleaming golden armor. “Yes? Can I help you?”
Octavia smiled pleasantly at the guard. “Yes. I have a matter I need to discuss with the CLEaR team. Are they in attendance today?”
The guard grunted curtly and stepped aside to allow them entry. Octavia nodded her thanks and Lyra followed her closely.
“What’s your game, changeling?” Lyra asked bitterly, resentful about having lost the high ground in this manner. “Planning to turn yourself in? I gotta warn you, that won’t make things any better for you.”
“It’s exactly what it appears to be, Lyra. I just have a matter of policy to discuss with the team.”
“Why don’t you just admit that you’re an imposter and get it over with. We’ll find you out eventually.”
“Lyra dear, I think perhaps you should stop talking before you embarrass yourself further.” Octavia smirked at her fellow musician, who clammed up with a frustrated scowl.
A group of ponies were milling around a table in the middle of the room having a heated discussion about strategy. Soon enough though, they all turned to see the unexpected visitors approaching. Twilight broke off from the group and trotted over. “Hello Lyra, Octavia. I hadn’t expected to see you two today. What brings you to headquarters?”
Octavia confidently stepped forward. “I believe Lyra here is a member of CLEaR? I need to speak to her superior. For two weeks now she has been stalking me and loudly claiming that I am a changeling. I wish to be locked up until it can be proven for sure that I am no such thing.”
Lyra was dumbstruck. Octavia saw a few of the ponies gathered around the table roll their eyes.
“Of course we will make sure you aren’t a changeling since you did request it but I hardly think detaining you will be necessary,” Twilight continued. The librarian turned to the group behind her. “Would one of you kindly cast the detection spell? I cast the first spell on Octavia, and the plan states that it should be a rotation as a precautionary measure.”
Colgate nodded and walked a few paces toward Octavia, leveling her horn at the cellist. Octavia felt the warm purple light of the spell wash over her, and a few moments later the unicorn stood down, satisfied with the results. “Nope. Just a normal pony,” she concluded.
If possible Lyra looked even more shocked. Octavia thanked the CLEaR team for their time and smiled in her victory.
“I don’t know how you did it, but I’m sure you’re up to something. I’ll be keeping an eye on you,” Lyra whispered bitterly to the gray mare.
Octavia was the picture of triumphant satisfaction. “I wouldn’t be so sure.”
“Lyra, could we have a word with you for a moment?” Colgate asked sternly.
“I swear she’s a changeling!” Lyra shouted, a tinge of panic in her voice. “I don’t know how she fooled the spell but there’s just too much about her behavior recently that doesn’t add up!”
The CLEaR leaders shared a knowing glance and once again beckoned her over. Lyra hesitantly complied, walking over to her superiors with a her ears laid back and her tail tucked close to her behind.
“Now Lyra,” Twilight began. “We understand what you’re trying to do and we are very appreciative for your enthusiasm in defense of our town. But you have to realize that going around randomly accusing innocent ponies lessens our credibility. We have to be absolutely sure that somepony is a changeling before we act.”
Lyra opened her mouth to defend herself but Twilight interrupted her with a raised hoof. “I know what you’re going to say, Lyra. I’m aware of the gravity of the changeling threat and I agree that strict measures must be taken. I am going to give you the opportunity to explain yourself, but I need you to grasp that we need actual evidence from you, not hasty conclusions.”
“I have proof!” Lyra almost screamed in frustration. “On the day of the changeling attack, Vinyl was seen with a pony that looked exactly like Berry Punch!”
“And it wasn’t?” a large powder-blue unicorn asked.
“No! Berry Punch was tending her market stall. Bonbon saw both of them and said they looked exactly alike.”
Twilight thought about this for a moment. “And how far away was Bonbon when she saw them?”
Lyra went pale. “Uh... Well she saw them from across the marketplace.”
“I thought so,” Twilight said, nodding. “For one thing, we can’t accept hearsay as evidence in this matter. Also, there are several ponies I can think of that closely resemble Berry Punch. It’s very possible Bonbon simply mistook somepony else.”
The other leaders mumbled in agreement.
Lyra felt her metaphorical hooves slipping out from under her. “Wait! That’s not all. A couple weeks back I ran into Vinyl and Octavia going for a walk in town. I decided to stop and chat with her and she didn’t recognize me. We both play in the symphony. How could she not recognize me? Vinyl tried to pass it off as stress but...” Lyra stopped dead realizing that offering a plausible explanation to oppose her defense wasn’t really the wisest move.
This time it was a pink unicorn mare that spoke up. “About what time of day did you see her?”
Lyra rubbed the back of her neck. “Uh... it was about eleven at night?”
Another round of whispered conferring took place amongst the CLEaR leaders before the pink pony spoke again. “So it was late at night, dark, and she was possibly under a lot of stress and she didn’t recognize you? I think under the circumstances we can safely discount that as well. Do you have any other evidence to present us, Lyra?”
Lyra gaped, her mind working overtime to think of any more evidence to support her suspicions. Octavia had to be a changeling. She knew Octavia better than almost anypony in town, and that thing standing beside her was not Octavia. But convincing the CLEaR leaders of that was going to take hard proof and that was one thing she didn’t have.
The group of ponies questioning her took her silence as an answer. They nodded to each other before Twilight made her decision. “In that case, I have to conclude that you have been using your position to harass another pony without cause. I’m very sorry Lyra, but we cannot excuse that behavior. This council has reached a decision and I am afraid we have no choice but to expel you from--”
“You don’t understand!” Lyra shrieked, her eyes wild. “None of you were there!”
“Lyra, I was there for--”
“No you weren’t!” The green unicorn cut Twilight off with a scream. “Sure, you had to deal with changelings, but you were just fine! You had your magic! They didn’t get you! But not everypony is as strong as you! Some ponies can’t get away from the monsters! Some ponies got grabbed by them and dragged into a dark cave and couldn’t do anything to stop them!
“They get inside your head and they make you do things! Things you don’t want to do, but you can’t stop them! They take away your body, your mind, everything!”
Tears gathered in Lyra’s eyes, but she wiped them away with an angry hoof. “I’m not gonna let them get Octavia too! Do you hear me! They don’t get to hurt her too!”
Octavia felt a wave of sympathy mingled with a small helping of guilt. To her Lyra’s suspicions had all been something of a game, something that would have been completely silly if not for the threat that Lyra might accidentally stumble upon Wubsy. She had assumed that the unicorn’s ridiculous belief that she was a Changeling was just some bizarre new manifestation of their not-so-friendly rivalry. That Lyra was just taking advantage of her new powers as a member of CLEaR to get in a bit of legally sanctioned harassment.
But now that she saw the truth, saw just how badly Lyra was hurt...
Octavia took a hesitant step towards the unicorn. There had been a time when she cared for Lyra, before their competitive natures evolved into an out-of-control rivalry. A time when she wondered about and maybe even dreamed of the life she would share with the mint-green unicorn.
Now to see her in such pain... “Lyra.” The earth pony rested a single hoof on Lyra’s shoulder. “I’m right here. This is me, the real Octavia. You don’t need to save me.”
Lyra slapped Octavia’s hoof away. “No, you’re not her!” the unicorn shouted angrily, tears streaming down her face. “You’re a Changeling, a monster! I have to find Tavi. I have to save Tavi. I’m not going to let your little tricks stop me, you hear me changeling?”
Octavia’s heart broke a little. “Lyra, you have to believe me. Remember when we were in school together as fillies? How we would roam the halls getting into all sorts of trouble? Like pouring bubble mix into Mr. Valve’s tuba. Don’t you remember?”
Lyra’s face twisted into a hateful grimace. “Don’t you dare. Don’t you even dare try to sway me with your stolen memories. Not while you’ve got her face. She means the world to me and I won’t sit here while you use her mouth to spit lies at me.”
Octavia started again. “Lyra, you have to believe me. I’m Octavia. Please just--”
Lyra rose and slapped the gray mare unexpectedly. “No! I won’t listen to your lies!”
The cellist rubbed her cheek where she felt the sting of Lyra’s scorn. She knew there was nothing she could do to change the situation now. Lyra was utterly convinced she was an imposter. Nothing she could say or do would alter the mint-green unicorn’s convictions now.
The CLEaR leaders knew it as well. The die had been cast and there was no going back. Lyra’s immediate superior was the one to speak. “I am sorry, Lyra, but at this point it is clear that your personal feelings on this matter have clouded your judgement to the point that you are determined to pursue this, despite all available evidence to the contrary. I’m afraid we cannot allow you to continue as a member of CLEaR. Please turn in your vest.”
Lyra closed her eyes and removed the distinctive brown vest and levitated it to the council. Her tears continued to flow as she rose and walked sadly towards the door. Before she departed, she turned around and said plainly “Just mark my words. There is a changeling in this town and Octavia, the real Octavia, is in danger. And even if I have to do this without the backing of the CLEaR team I’m going to prove it and rescue her.” With, that she left the library and closed the door behind her.
“I’m so sorry, Lyra,” Octavia whispered quietly. “I never knew what this meant to you. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
Octavia felt a hoof placed over her shoulders in comfort. “I’m sorry you had to go through that, Octavia,” Twilight said, her own voice mirroring the cellist’s sadness. “I know you care deeply for Lyra and that couldn’t have been easy to watch but it had to be done. She’ll be alright. Soon enough she’ll accept her mistake and move on.”
The grey mare shared a secret glance with the only pony in the room that knew how close Lyra had come to the truth. Her gaze spoke of distress and guilt unending for her part in causing this pain and Twilight gave her an expression of sympathetic hope in return.
“I hope you’re right, Twilight. For her sake and mine I hope to Celestia you’re right.”
Octavia walked sullenly from the library, her thoughts inescapably consumed with the pain and humiliation her actions had wrought on an innocent pony. A pony she had once loved as she now loved Vinyl. An ember of shame burned in her stomach and flared into flaming life whenever her thoughts turned to Lyra’s motivations. Everything the mare had done to make Octavia and Vinyl’s lives difficult had all been for her. Every suspicious snoop or pointed word had been in her defense and she had returned the favor by robbing the poor pony of everything that had been important to her.
Octavia couldn’t sugar-coat it. She had blatantly lied and in doing so emotionally destroyed a close friend. She tried to tell herself it was to defend Wubsy, but even in her head it sounded like a hollow and pathetic excuse. She did love Lyra despite her foibles and to know her actions had directly inflicted unknowable damage to her heart was unbearable. She had betrayed her former lover in the most shameful and poisonous way imaginable.
She remembered the days when they were growing up together at the music academy. Even after all these years her memory of the times they shared was as vivid as ever. She would never tell Vinyl that she often thought fondly of the times she had shared with her only other marefriend. With a sigh, Octavia retreated into one of her favorite such memories.
Octavia had only been at the Equestria Musical Academy for a month and already she was fed up with the place. Not so much the place itself — ever since she had gotten her cutiemark she had dreamt of attending this school. But rather she was fed up with the circumstances surrounding her arrival.
It had all seemed legitimate enough from the outside. “The nerve of them. They come up to me one day and just tell me ‘Octavia, we’re sending you to the school of your dreams to nurture your talent.’” She recalled her mother’s words and the sound of it in her head fueled her anger even further. “They treat me like some kind of foal. I’m not stupid. If they wanted to get rid of me they just had to say ‘Octavia, we cannot be seen in such proximity to somepony with your oddity. We’re shipping you off to a boarding school so you can’t embarrass us any further.’”
Octavia fumed at the thought as she entered the restroom to find a mint-green unicorn there mixing something in the sink. The other mare started at the sound of the door opening and stood there looking guilty. Octavia’s interest was piqued.
“What are you mixing?” Octavia asked. As the other pony blushed and tried to hide the tools of her mischief behind her, she noted with surprise that the unicorn did not have a cutie mark. It was odd for a mare her age to be a blank flank.
The other pony blushed. “I was just--nothing. It’s nothing.”
Octavia wandered over to the sink and took a look at the frothy compound the unicorn had been laboring over. She pushed aside the unicorn's hoof and leaned in close, breathing deeply to determine what the not-so-innocent substance was. “Soap. You’re mixing a sink of soapy water. So now I have to wonder why you’re being so defensive about being in the bathroom with a sink full of soap. Care to enlighten me?”
The unicorn sighed and slumped her shoulders. “Alright, fine. You got me. This place is boring me to death. I thought I would liven it up with a little prankby pouring some of this into Brass Valve’s tuba before class.”
Octavia giggled causing the unicorn to smirk uneasily. “Oh, is that all? That sounds like fun actually. Would you mind letting me in on the prank? I could use some entertainment myself.”
The light-green pony extended her hoof. “I’m Lyra. Glad to have you aboard.”
Octavia shook her hoof with a friendly smile. “Octavia. Pleasure to meet you.”
The plan went off without a hitch. Mr. Valve had a bad habit of leaving his classroom door unlocked between classes so Octavia and her new friend were able to sneak in and pour a cupful of the soapy mixture into the bell of his instrument. Then they retreated to the grounds and talked and giggled in anticipation until the bell sounded to mark the end of the break.
The two young mares headed inside to their next class, filing in early so that they could get seats next to each other. They idly swapped gossip with their classmates, not daring to make eye contact for fear that they would burst into laughter and give away the entire scheme. Finally, a saffron-coated stallion with a smart raven mane walked into the classroom, and the mass of students fell silent as he took his place at the podium. Brass Valve directed the class as they played a familiar piece, smiling in satisfaction as they breezed through the song with impressively few errors.
“Very good, class. I’m very pleased with the progress we’ve made. It’s a difficult piece to learn so I’m glad to see you’ve all been practicing at home. Now I’d like to teach you a new piece to practice so listen carefully. You can follow along in your music books on page sixty-nine.”
The rustle of turning pages filled the room while the soft-red band teacher picked up his tuba and prepared to guide the class through the piece. Octavia and Lyra shared a knowing glance and a sidelong smirk as he placed his lips to the mouthpiece of the instrument.
A strange gurgling sound emanated from the tuba followed by a large iridescent soap bubble. The entire class burst out laughing at the prank. Mr. Valve gently laid the tuba aside and tapped his baton on his podium for attention and the laughter gradually died down.
“Yes yes, very amusing,” the teacher chuckled good-naturedly. “Now may I inquire as to who our prankster might be?”
Lyra and Octavia raised their hooves, wide grins splitting their features.
“Ah. Lyra and Octavia. Very well done, girls, a finely executed prank. You will, of course, be rinsing out my tuba after class and making sure it is properly dried, but nonetheless I applaud your fine joke.”
Class paused momentarily as Mr. Valve retrieved his spare instrument, and from there proceeded without incident. He held Lyra and Octavia back after class to remind them that they would be staying to clean up the aftermath of their prank. They took their time, only partially due to the intricacies of disassembling a musical instrument; most of the time spent on their ‘chore’ consisted of them chatting mindlessly about whatever popped into their heads.
“...so she really said that to you?” Lyra asked as she removed one of the smaller pieces and dipped it into the bucket of warm water next to her.
“Yeah! Can you believe it? Right there in front of everypony she just blurts out something like that. I was so embarrassed.” Octavia took the part Lyra had just dipped and carefully dried it off with a soft cloth.
“Ha! Personally I wouldn’t have let her get away with it. If she ever went around saying things like that to my face she’d be walking around school with a few gaps in her smile.”
The two of them hooted in laughter, not so much because the conversation was all that amusing, but more because it was something they could share. After being alone in this school for so long, they were each glad to finally have an ally.
A sudden impulse struck Octavia and when she leaned forward to take the next part out of the bucket, she chanced a quick peck on Lyra’s cheek. Lyra blushed and looked up in surprise. Octavia met her glance with a slightly mischievous smirk. Lyra returned her smirk with an uncertain little smile and pulled her eyes back to the task they had been given, nervously avoiding looking at the gray mare beside her.
They completed their work in relative silence after that, stealing quick looks at each other and occasionally giggling at their new secret. From that moment on, they were rarely seen apart on the grounds of the school.
But that was all in the past now. What was done was done. Now all she could do was move on and try to reclaim her life. After all, the only way to save Lyra was to betray Wubsy and Vinyl in the process. and she had had her fill of betrayal and pain. She took a deep breath and tried to snuff out the ember in her belly by remembering that it was to protect another innocent soul. Tried to convince herself that Lyra had brought it on herself by letting her obsessions get the better of her judgement while cautiously avoiding ruminating on just what those obsessions had turned out to be.
She walked into the apartment and put a pot of water on to boil. She would need a strong cup of tea to help her soothe her own vicarious pain. Then she made her way to the bedroom and locked the door. Vinyl and Wubsy would most likely be out late to make the most of their day together so she knew she had plenty of time. She climbed onto the bed, settled herself on the soft comfort of the sheets, and began freely and loudly to weep in mourning for her lost and now irrecoverable friendship with Lyra.