Embers Fall

by CrimsonWave


2 - Sleepless in Seaddle

A full moon rose over the city of Seaddle. it was an average night, nothing truly unusual going on, as usual. Unless, however, you factor in a meeting occurring at the headquarters of Clausula Records -- a building near the river which was only an abandoned warehouse about 8 months ago. Why a techno record label needed a whole warehouse is beyond explanation; if it wasn’t for them, it probably would have been turned into a plaza occupied by yet another Seabucks coffee shop. Not that Seabucks isn’t bad, mind you.

“If I could give Operation Aeterrnum Obscurum a grade, I would personally give it a C.” Obscurus Noctis declared, with an obvious beat. “Actually, no, I didn’t give myself a C. It was that Sun Beamer stallion I keep going on and on about.” She continued. “On a related note,. I swear he was also going on about ‘magicals’, ‘radicals’, and ‘full combos’; is this some sort of grading scale for questionable activity? Does he think that this is some sort of game?” she boasted.

“Case in point, the SSC mind control project was good from a conceptual standpoint, but the execution was much to be desired.”

“How’d you get rekt upside the barrel this week?” a white-colored unicorn with a green mane sarcastically asked.
“Excuse me?” Obscurus responded, slightly irked at the arcane choice of words.

“Or in more professional terms, what went wrong?” the pegasus clarified.

“Thank you for using a more conventional style of vocabulary, Train Spot. Anyway, I discovered more limitations to my mental reality spells. Besides the obvious requirement to remain focused on my victims at all times, my unicorn horn is like an antenna, and only has a certain ‘signal strength’.”

“Secondly, my projections do not completely inhibit the movement of those who have succumb to them.” she explained with increasing disappointment. “Tying them down is a bit too barbaric and cliche. Finally, my mental realities are “infused” with the music that I composed and listen to in order to generate them: the reality begins to ‘fade’ like a distant radio station if the victim hears music that ‘counters’ the music I use, or gets too far away.” Obscurus concluded.

“Long story short, that yellow horse who installs effects lighting led me on a wild goose chase,” Obscurus summarized, after briefly facehoofing over her obtuse explanation. “I had to follow him, and he happened to lead me right towards the QTrot stage, where that Dream Fractal pony with the cute little bow was blasting some insane hardcore song that wasn’t cute at all; I like a good hardcore track but not at a time like this.”

“Then presumably after realizing where he really was, he sent me back towards the Solstice Fortress, where some overexcited EDM fanmare knocked one of my earbuds loose, exposing me to some overrated DJ’s overrated music. It made me lose my concentration and as a result, lose my connection to him, allowing him to get away. I think it was that white unicorn with the spiky blue mane and the purple sunglasses.” she continued.

“I’ll give her credit, though; wearing them at night is silly, but the lasers on that stage this year were nearly blinding, and I like my cool goggles. However, the real question is this: WHY IS SHE POPULAR?! HER MUSIC IS JUST THE SAME TRIPE EVERY TIME!” Obscurus blurted in anger, appraising what was clearly her rival (Or someone like that).

“But with different notes and lyrics here and there, of course. My songs are like a good novel; long and full of character. Her songs are just the musical equivalent of a Double Hayburger combo with fries and a soda! It’s all mass-produced trash meant to guarantee a profit through saturation and consumers who know no better!” she concluded, as everypony else expressed their opinions of her ridiculous, yet sensible comparisons.

Spoiler alert: they thought it was funny.

“Okay, I think I went a little too far there, but everypony understands where I’m going, right?” she asked: everypony nodded in agreement. “I also did not mean to offend Train Spot. She’s the one who’s been investigating the how and why these overrated acts are so popular, and proving her findings in the real world.” she affirmed.

“It might be the exact same stuff I’m trying to stop, but at least it’s giving us a stable source of income. No one but us knows that Railyard Records is actually controlled by Clausula. Unless you decipher the 15 different shell companies it’s hidden behind, of course.” Obscurus smirked..

“Let’s get back on subject, though. My ultimate plan was to brainwash these generic EDM fanmares and such, broadcasting propaganda right into their minds that will all but coax them to join our cause.” Obscurus outlined, as the makeshift board room began to fill with energy.

“I want to dismantle the establishment: nowadays, you can pay someone to get your song to the top of the DanceDance top 50 overnight. I prefer the brainwashing method, though. It’s cheaper, and leaves a lasting impression.”

“I don’t usually target SSC Las Pegasus because they’ve always been pretty open to genres that haven’t been overrun by overrated producers. Their fans are only interested in flailing their hooves around whilst wearing silly mane extensions, hoofbands made of ‘candies’, and other stuff. But they’ve changed lately. Then, you’ve also got that horse who calls himself a ‘Chaotic Kisol’, and is living up to his name to our loss of benefit.” Obscurus continued, as everypony roared in approval.

“Nopony should be able to topple us, let alone a lone wolf. I have friends, and he … I’m not sure if he does or not. I don’t know if he’s an EDM fan or if he’s just trying to single me out because I’m probably some evil unicorn.” she continued. “Also, unlike everypony else, who only seemed to know how to hoof-pump and stamp in place, this particular pony was doing actual dances, which I thought were going extinct. Clearly, I know what I’m up against.”

“He also follows me on FluffySound, which is always appreciated.” she happily snickered. “All things considered, while I believe my tactics are proportionately appropriate for the problem at hand, it’s still not enough.”

If that wasn’t enough, what was?