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Out of sequence stories and Substitute Librarians · 9:10pm March 13th

First, a quick shout-out to Estee and Scribbler on the new audiobook of One Tenth Bit. Well worth listening to it.
Now on a related note, I know how much out of sequence books disturb easily disturbed librarians, but how much does out of sequence arcs in a story disturb readers? In short, I have the ‘Mountain’ arc for Substitute Librarian done, but it’s set *after* both the Hearth’s Warming arc (about three-quarters done) and the spring piano arc (incomplete draft in my October One-Shot).

So rather than try to make a poll, I’ll leave two comments at the bottom (skip down) and a quick teaser about the spring arc and Emerald’s temp job carrying empty boxes up to a library tower for the previous Archivist's move, where he makes a fascinating discovery:

Curiosity was a dangerous thing. The underside of the piano did not give any clue to its legacy, but a small brass plaque on the side sported ornate letters and numbers, giving a date several centuries ago.

“Sheesh,” murmured Emerald, giving the massive ebon body and majestic curves of the ancient instrument a second look with far more respect. “Celestia really must have taken lessons on this thing when she was a foal. And probably hated it just as much, if she dragged it all the way over here for storage.”

The Wolffhauser in his family’s music room was about two octaves smaller than this monster, and just slightly under a century old. Every one of the children had been dragged through lessons except himself, and the resulting sibling bonding had taken off in a direction that his parents had not expected or noticed. When it was his younger sister’s turn to lie down on the padded piano bench and practice for hours, a deal had been struck with her curious older brother. One hour of noisy practice matched against one NuttyOatyOat bar, to be delivered at the earliest opportunity. Many weeks of practice while Frost studied in the same room with earplugs gave him time to get the practice pieces just about as good as he ever was going to get. Of course, all good things—like a dependable supply of candy bars—come to an end when parents find out, and to be honest, it was his fault for failing a test at school due to lack of his study time.

That padded bench was far more comfortable than the black Ironwood of this model, and the upright console keyboard easier to get situated against, but the thick, rich sound that emerged when he pressed the first key made it all worthwhile. He let the music carry him away for a short time, ignoring any mis-struck notes or shift-register misses with the excuse of time and an unfamiliar instrument. Perhaps it was easier now that he was an adult, or maybe the professional piano was balanced more precisely than the Chrysanthemum House heirloom. In either event, it was a welcome break from his normal intensive study schedule, and he was reluctant to stop when he ran out of his limited collection of memorized pieces, so he dug a piece of sheet music out of the bench and battled with Reinbits for a time until he lost the fight.

“I suppose it’s a better place for the retiring Archivist to find me than reading that book,” said Emerald as he slid off the bench and stretched.

(*sniff* That poor, poor piano.)

Comments ( 13 )

Upvote the comment you think should apply:

I should post the Mountain arc in Substitute Librarian now

Georg #2 · March 13th · · ·

Upvote the comment you think should apply:

I should not post the Mountain arc in Substitute Librarian until I have the chronological chapters ahead of it done and posted.

I will always take anything you have whenever you... Okay, that started going somewhere inappropriate in my head. :facehoof:

I'm not sure what it says about us as a fandom, that so many people remember Estee as a ruthless pianocide, but I'm sure it says something.

Piano murder is just one of those bizarre little in-jokes in our corner of the fandom. Like the weathervane technique.

Well since I’m more interested in Letters from a Little Princess Monster, do whatever will get the next chapter for that done. I swear, you can’t spoil us with multiple updates within a month or two and then just make us go cold turkey for like a year!

(*sniff* That poor, poor piano.)

I personally think there ought to be a crossover with…

EChangeling Space Program
The space race is on, and Chrysalis is determined to win it. With an earth pony test pilot and a hive full of brave-but-dim changelings, can she be the first pony on the moon? Inspired by Kerbal Space Program.
Kris Overstreet · 318k words  ·  1,551  17 · 18k views

…but that’s just me. :pinkiehappy:

5474634 The first rule of the Weathervane Technique is we don't talk about the Weathervane Technique.
5474556 From the voting, looks like you're going to have to wait a bit on this one.
5474576 I will admit to having pushed a little. And to partial blame for Fluttershy Gets Replaced by a Sherman Tank
5474801 The Letters update is *huge* and is getting quite close to being done. (and proves that Laminia is hot.)
5474809 It can be done. Just be glad they don't have much weight allowance for the return mission.

"That's one small step for Equestria," announced Queen Chrysalis as she stepped out onto the powdery surface of the moon, "and one giant--"

There was a pause, far longer than a brief hesitation, while the Changeling Queen merely stood at the bottom of the Landing Module stairs. Then she turned slightly and began walking away with effortless short bounds in the direction of a nearby large boulder that only Rainbow Dash's quick reflexes had kept them from hitting on their descent.

"What gives?" called out the landing crew's co-pilot. "I thought we had a prepared line for this. Twilight made me memorize it like a hundred times before we left, and she's yelling in my ear right now."

"I've got my long-range receiver turned off for the moment," said Chrysalis. She stopped and looked in the shadow behind the boulder with her head cocked to one side. "I swear your pony princess doesn't have to breathe when she's talking, and she was driving me crazy ever since we landed."

"Yeah, that's Twilight." Dash paused for a moment and quickly added, "Horseton Control, that's not going out live, is it? Oh. Just a minute, Chrysalis is looking at something. We'll get back on script shortly."

"It's a device of some sort," mused Chrysalis. "I didn't think we put any space probes into this area. Let me pick it up and bring it into the sunlight... I can't pick it up for some reason. My magic is just sliding off. Just a moment. I'm going to turn on my receiver and consult Princess Booksmart."

"Twilight Sparkle to Lunar One, can you describe the object? It must have been really strange for you stop like that."

"Well, it's black like it should be," started Chrysalis, "with three legs and a roughly triangular body... You know, it almost looks like a piano."

Great to hear. Left us hanging for a long-ass time though >:(.

proves that Laminia is hot.

Uh, I thought this was already extremely well established?

...Hm. I'm not sure, sorry. Fortunately, it doesn't look like you need a tiebreaker at the moment. :)

This will be the first time I'll have to use an et al. in Never the Final Word citations. I hope you're proud of yourself. :derpytongue2:

5475060 5475214
Then my work here is done. Up, up, and away! :rainbowdetermined2:

5475214 That really needs to be titled "In Space, Nopony Can Hear You Scream"

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