A few weeks later, Obscurus Noctis’s crew met in their board room once again. “Before we get to our main topic of discussion tonight, I’d like to take a moment to evaluate the sales numbers for my new EP.” Eight Track began.
“‘Flashpot’ has, so far, been my biggest release since ‘The Generation’. It’s actually at #4 on the DanceDance best-selling deep house tracks right now.” he noted. “Though, I presume you’re all interested in how the remixes have been doing.”
Train Spot was eagerly waiting in anticipation for the results, given that her labelmates had treated this as an internal competition of sorts.
“Train Spot’s remix is actually outselling my original track five-to-one. Though it’s admittedly easier to climb the deep house chart than the EDM chart; just so much competition.” he explained.
Train Spot climbed on the table; “Y’heard that everypony? I’m the prince of this kingdom! Or maybe I’m the princess!” she exclaimed. “Or a little bit of both. Depends on my mood.” Train Spot clarified, adjusting her accent accordingly.
“Yeah, we understand. You’re not quite a mare, yet not quite a stallion either.” Obscurus interjected. “So, how did my remix do?”
“If we go by the top 3, it was basically Train Spot, Wave Rider, Obscurus.” Eight Track elaborated.
“Oh, you know what this means?” Wave Rider warned, “You remember what we agreed to, right? Whoever finishes in last place has to perform a dare, decided by us. We signed the agreement with our hoofprints and everything.”
Obscurus gulped; fearing what they had in mind, she decided it would be easier to change the subject, for now. “Yeah, my music is not as popular as yours. We know, and have scientific proof." she sarcastically interjected. "We can talk about this internal affair later. Our real order of business tonight is the Gathering. It’s only four weeks away, so it’s time for a status report on our preparations.”
“We got the tickets in the mail yesterday. It comes with a ‘beginners’ guide that I think you should be studying.” Wave Rider noted. “As we discussed earlier, you and Eight Track, and me and Train Spot, are going to be travelling and camping separately to avoid suspicion related to Project Euphorius. Eight Track is going to be hosting a sound camp called the House of Pancakes. Don’t ask how he came up with that name.”
“I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet.” Eight Track replied.
“Anyway, I found a few surprise guests you’re really gonna like.” Eight Track declared. “However, it’s apparently an unwritten rule of the Gathering that you never announce your performers in advance. I don’t think we’d want to spoil the surprise, would we?.” Wave Rider and Obscurus shared a guilty grin on their faces.
“Yeah. Got some, ahem, top talent. Some friends of mine. Still not gonna say who.” Eight Track affirmed, awkwardly backing away.
Wave Rider booted up another slide show. “Me and Train are going to be riding there in this semi-truck we found. We’re making it into a DJ truck, or, well, train, because it’s going to look like a train. Don’t ask who suggested it.” he explained, as Train Spot squeed.
“Yeah, just who would suggest that?” Train Spot replied, all but admitting that they were responsible.
“Obscurus, you said you eventually wanted a tour bus. Well, we found you one, and it’s parked just outside.” Wave Rider explained. “I’ll show you later.”
“That’s fine.” said Obscurus, “Let’s change topics for a moment; we need to finalize Project Euphorius.”
“I got a slide for that.” Wave Rider advanced the presentation. “The approximate locations we supposedly need to place flames are around the outskirts of the basin, as denoted by this diagram.”
He brought up another slide, depicting an odd, triangular sentry tower. “We came up with a design for our flame apparati the other day; elected to go with a sentry-inspired appearance, with a remote-controlled heat conduit embedded in its base.” Wave Rider explained.
“In order to reduce suspicion and justify their presence, we will be portraying these missions as an effort to spread the gift of light across the Basin. It’s in line with as much of the official lore and practices as possible.” he continued. “One of the traditions is that you have to bring gifts for everypony else. Plus they look like the kind of experimental artwork that everypony puts out at the Gathering to begin with.”
“Color me impressed, Wave Rider.” Obscurus responded with a hint of curiosity. "I presume the gift of music counts too?"
"Yeah." Train Spot clarified.
“We have a prototype tower out in the parking lot, right next to the new, used bus we found you. Follow me.” Wave Rider led the group out to the small dirt parking lot of the HQ. There was a giant tower with a lantern-like light at the top, made from a wooden frame, and with colored cloth coloring the base.
“That sentry looks pretty good, to be honest.” Obscurus commented. “I presume the real purpose of the tractor trailer you mentioned earlier, is to transport all the materials for building these things?”
“Actually, yes.” Wave Rider confirmed.
Right next to the sentry prototype was an old-looking van, coated in a dark blue and purple paint job that sparkled in the sentry’s light. “While we're here, I’d like you two to meet the ride of your nightmares: the Tanta-bus!” Wave Rider announced.
Obscurus and Eight Track fell over from laughing so hard; nopony knew exactly how much work it took for Wave Rider to come up with that pun.
“Dear Celestia that is so…!” Obscurus couldn’t even complete her sentence as she continued to chuckle at their comedic genius.
“Psst, I think that was a pretty good pun.” Train Spot whispered.