Embers Fall

by CrimsonWave

21 - Obscurus Noctis invades Duskgem Basin

Soon after, Obscurus and Eight Track also rolled up to the entry stations, encountering the exact same pegasus.

"Welcome to the Gathering! I'll presume you know the drills around here, given that I almost got reprimanded by my supervisor for slowing down the entry queue because I spent just a bit more time than usual talking talking to some very famous DJs!" she gushed.

"But who?" wondered Obscurus. "By the way, we're both DJs too. I'm Obscurus Noctis, and the driver here is Eight Track."

"Hello there." welcomed Eight Track.

"I've kind of heard of you, Eight Track. But I've never heard of Obscurus." reported the pegasus, as Obscurus blushed in uncertainty.

"But I've definitely heard of Train Spot and Wave Rider!" exclaimed the pegasus. "They told me they were going to form a DJ duo! Those two ponies really do like each other..."

"We run Wave Rider's label. Without us they're wouldn't be him. But please, feel free to check out our other works." replied Obscurus.

"Okay?" questioned the pegasus.

"Oh, and someone told us that you also have to give gifts to others out here. How about a copy of our new EPs to expand your musical tastes?" offered Eight Track. "Ahem, how about a copy of our new EPs?" reiterated Eight Track, trying to prompt Obscurus to do something.

"Yes, of course!" confirmed Obscurus; she opened another box in the back seat and levitated over some CD-Rs, enclosed within small, hoof-labelled manila packets that gave them a questionable, underground feel.

The perimeter pegasus slipped the musical objects into her saddle bag. Hopefully she could accept the fact that there was more to life than progressive house.

If anyone had not yet realized what they had gotten themselves into, this was the moment they would. Obscurus, Eight Track, Train Spot, and Wave Rider had waited about 3 hours in the lineup at the perimeter, and now they were stuck in stop-and-go, but slightly faster traffic leading towards Duskgem proper. Dusk had fallen over the desert, and their estimated time of arrival was now about 2 minutes or so.

When the Tanta-bus closed in on the outskirts of the Ring, Obscurus decided to take a glimpse out the window to see what was in store for her over the next few days.

"This is exactly what everypony said it was going to be like. It's the lights of Las Pegasus, mixed with a satisfying post-apocalyptic overtone." observed Obscurus. "I think we're going to fit in here."

"Yep." replied Eight Track, as he began to circle the Ring to head towards their campsites. "Do you want me to call you the Engraged Equine too?"

"Actually, no." Obscurus reluctantly replied. She had differing interests in this particular genre.

"Why not 'Arakiss Fremare'?" asked Eight Track

"I guess that works. Sounds like a good name for a bandito." acknowledged Obscur-ahem, Arakiss. "Guess you could say that 'Arakiss' is going to cause 'a ruckus'."

Eight Track chuckled a bit."Nopony will ever get my obscure pop-cultural tastes." he remarked, as he finally parked the Tanta-bus. "Anyway, I guess we can now officially welcome ourselves to Duskgem City."

Obscurus put on her steampunk goggles, as well a very freaky looking grin of excitement, and slid open the door. "The deviance begins ... now!" she announced, stepping onto the sandy playa like she was the first pony to walk on the moon without being banished there first.

Eight Track, on the other hoof, did not place such a large emphasis on this moment, and was instead focused on scouting out the landmarks around them that would help them find their way back.

"Think of the Ring like a clock. We're at about 7:45. Just over there is a camp with some sort of animatronic draconequus sculpture. Over there is the blazicorn, and of course, once its built, this is where Eight Track's House of Pancakes is going to be. Last but not least, over there is where of the sentry towers is going to go." explained Eight Track

"Given our changes in plans for next Saturday, you can still put them up, but what I really need access to is an FM radio transmitter." noted Obscurus.

"Radio? There's only two radio stations out here, one is called 'Gem FM' and is basically music mixed with talk about the Gathering and all that. The other is something called 'PVFM'; they got a few DJs but apparently they do allow others to come over to the studio and hold shows." Eight Track elaborated.

"Then I'd need a show during the burn. Hopefully they didn't pre-schedule someone, or else I may have to preempt them for my 'dynamic multimedia experience'." added Obscurus. "But for now, I think I need to stretch my legs a bit."

Obscurus put on the rest of her outfit and set off; she wanted to acclimatize herself to the atmosphere, but also wanted to see if she could find Train Spot and Wave Rider. Her surroundings were dizzying; everything was either a campsite, neon-lit, or shooting out fireballs every so often. A large fraction of the population were riding around on bikes with glowing wheels, or on bizarre-looking trucks that looked like dragons and cerberuses (and, of course, could also breathe fire. What did you expect?). The pegasi above almost looked like multi-colored fireflies with the lights and glowsticks they were brandishing.

Then, Obscurus found what appeared to be a nightclub built inside a string of train cars; she debated whether she should treat this as a spoiler to Train Spot or not. A few moments later, she found another makeshift building with a yellow, animated sign reading "BREAD", in cursive writing, for no perceptible reason.

"Bread?!?" she loudly whispered to herself. "Is there some inside joke here I'm not getting? Is this a commentary on something? I need to know the context of this. If any."

"Thenagain, it's art. Does it even need to make sense?"