The Vinyl Equation - Part One
- ANON'S POV -
Day 578 in Equestria.
You've got it made, Anon.
That I do, Brain. That I do.
Hard to believe you've accumulated so much wealth in just... hang on... eight minus six, carry the... uh...
You groan and take your phone from your pocket. You still find it hard to believe that the ponies are able to keep the thing charged using magic. Still, stranger things have happened. Returning to the task at hand, you fire up the phones built-in calculator.
332 brain. It's been 332 days since I signed that contract.
Er, right. Thanks. I guess you've killed off the part of me which could do mental arithmetic.
You decide to cease your internal discussion and look around the swanky hotel room you've found yourself in. After a – very – lengthy discussion with Tech Beat you agreed to give him twenty percent of your income for life.
And what an income it's been! Within days of signing up to his label you had an album out, which has been selling like crazy. You told Tech Beat that you didn't create any of the tracks on it, but he had said not to worry.
"After all," he'd said, "it's not like any of those artists are in Equestria now, are they? Besides, none of the DJs these days own their own tracks. They just remix other stuff to make it sound like something new, like your friend Vinyl Scratch for instance."
You felt inclined to agree with him. After all, you were making more money than you knew what to do with. You never realised just how dull a money bath can be, until you've done it a hundred times.
You take in the ambience of your room, in the penthouse suite of a hotel overlooking the Crystal Empire. You've taken to wearing a pair of sunglasses because as nice as it is, the Empire clearly wasn't designed with human eyes in mind. You nearly went blind when you got off the train with Vinyl earlier.
Speaking of Vinyl, where is she?
She's probably at the bar.
Then let's go find her. I've got a gig to do soon.
You leave the comfort of your room and descend in the – crystal adorned – lift down to the lobby. You walk through with your head held high, getting the occasional shout of greeting from fans. You elected not to hire a security team because you felt nopony would be crazy enough to pick a fight with someone nearly three times their size. Plus there's the fact you're too tight to pay a security team, even with your massive fortune.
You enter the bar and look around. Sure enough you spot Vinyl with a glass in front of her. You take a seat next to her and take hold of her drink. To your surprise, it's water.
"Come on Anon," Vinyl scoffs, "I'm not going to make a fool out of myself in the Crystal Empire for buck sake. This is your big chance, and I'm not gonna ruin it for you by getting wasted. You're my best friend dude, so at least have some faith in me."
"Sorry Vinyl," you reply, "I guess I assumed the worst because I know what you're like. But this gig is really important to me. It could make or break my career."
"I know it is," Vinyl punches your shoulder, "which is why I'm toning down my wild side. Some of these Crystal Ponies are a bit pissed over the fact I'm a unicorn."
You do a double-take.
"Seriously?" you ask, to which Vinyl nods, "That is fucked up. Where do they get off treating you like garbage?"
"Sombra was a unicorn as well," Vinyl laments, "so they automatically assume I'm bad because of the horn. My eyes, too, make me a prime candidate for 'being evil'. Don't get me wrong, they're not all like that... it's just a few of them who seem to be trapped in the past."
You reach over pat Vinyl on the back in a comforting gesture. It seems to relax her a bit, though she still looks upset.
"Fuck 'em," you say, "if they can't accept how awesome you are then that's their problem, not yours."
This seems to cheer her up, if the small laugh that escaped her is anything to go by.
There you go again with the Voice of Reason.
Vinyl gets off her stool and turns to look at you. You give her a smile and a thumbs up in response. She grins for a moment before suddenly rearing up and hugging you.
"Thanks Anon," she says, "for being so awesome. And don't worry, the crowd is gonna love you."
She mutters something under her breath but you can't make it out. Relinquishing you from her hold she gives you a supportive smile and leaves the bar, presumably heading back to her room. As you go to follow her something stops you.
"There you are Anon," Tech Beat's unmistakable voice says, "I need to have a quick chat with you before your set later."
"Can't it wait?" you reply, "I need to get ready. And something isn't right with Vinyl either, so I need to make sure she's okay. She never hugs me when she's sober."
"Miss Scratch," Tech Beat sighs, "is the reason why I need to talk to you. It's about your association with her."
"Association?" you snort, "She's my friend. Is that a problem or something? Because if it is you can keep it to yourself."
"Speaking as an ordinary pony," Tech Beat replies, "I have no problem with you and Miss Scratch being friends. However, speaking as your producer and manager, I have several problems."
You fix him with your most deadpan stare. He doesn't seem phased by it and continues speaking.
"Many of the other high-level DJs see Miss Scratch as an obstacle in the way of your success." he says, "An obstacle you would do well to remove as soon as possible."
You glare at him over the top of your sunglasses.
"In other words," you snarl, "you want me to dismiss Vinyl as my friend so that I can better myself in the eyes of a few elitist jerks?"
"That's one way of putting it," Tech Beat says, "but yes. The other DJs believe that Vinyl is merely attaching herself to you to better her own career and make herself look better."
"I know Vinyl," you growl, "and I know she's not like that. She believes in me. She believes that I can do this."
"Oh?" Tech Beat raises an eyebrow, "Do you not recall how excited she got when I offered you the chance to sign under my label?"
You think back to that night in Vinyl's club. Sure, she was a bit excited, but that's because you had been offered the chance to live your dream... right?
502 Bad Brainwave.
You shake your head furiously and stand up. Tech Beat does the same as he watches you warily.
"I am not dumping Vinyl as a friend," you snap, "and that's the end of it. I don't give a fuck what you or anypony else thinks."
Tech Beat nods slightly.
"As you wish Anon," he replies, "I will not pressure you to do something you're against. I'll let you go and get ready for your set. Have fun, and remember: the Equestria Games is the biggest crowd you'll see in your life. Don't mess up."
"Relax," you say as you walk away, "because I don't intend to."
- VINYL'S POV -
After leaving Anon at the bar you headed back up to your room to lie on your bed and think about what he had told you. You had to admit that he was right. Just because you're a unicorn, that doesn't make you as bad as Sombra was. Besides, that jerk is gone now... yet it would seem that his infamy remains. It's understandable though, the reactions of some of the Crystal Ponies. Given what they went through at the hooves of Sombra, and the fact he's not here now, it's only natural they'd want to blame unicorns as a whole for what he did.
Even if that is a little misguided, as well as a bit racist. But Anon managed so soothe your worries. And then you tried to do the same with him and his fears regarding his set.
"Thanks Anon," you had said, "for being so awesome. And don't worry, the crowd is gonna love you."
And then, under your breath, you had muttered three little words which Anon thankfully didn't hear.
"Like I do."
You let a loud and long groan. You can't help but wonder why all of these... feelings... are bubbling up now. Besides, Anon doesn't even think of you like that. What was it he always used to say to drunken mares who hit on him?... Oh, yeah...
"Thanks for the offer, but I'm not sticking it in you. I just don't feel comfortable with the idea of doing that with a pony."
Rolling onto your back you let out a small sigh. You don't want to think about this right now. You need a drink.
Getting off the bed you walk over to the minibar and throw it open. Time to do what you do best — get drunk and show your affection for Anon. Affection he believes to be friendly.
... the fool.
- ANON'S POV -
If you thought that the crowd at Vinyl's place could be called a 'sea' of ponies, then what you see now must an entire ocean. Thousands of ponies, as well as gryphons and minotaurs – you can even see a few groups of Diamond Dogs – are standing shoulder-to-shoulder on a grassy field outside of the Empire. At the end of it is the stage upon which you stand. Tech Beat calls out to you from backstage.
"Remember," he says, "don't buck up. Do so, and it is the end of your career. Many DJs would kill for a gig this size, so let them know that they made the right choice in hiring you!"
You nod and pick up the microphone.
It's now or never, Anon. Do your thing and show that crowd the best time of their lives!
You grin wickedly and throw up the horns. The crowd goes wild and you start yelling, your voice amplified by magic.
"Good evening sports fans!" you yell, "Are you ready for the gig of a lifetime?"
The crowd shouts back in the affirmative.
"I can't hear you!" you bellow, "I said, are you ready for the gig of a lifetime? And don't tell me, SHOW ME!"
Hooves, claws and paws are stomped into the ground as the crowd roars back gleefully with the force of a small earthquake. The grin stays on your face as you respond to the cheering.
"That's what I thought!" you yell, "I'm glad you're up for a gig, because it just so happens that I am go—"
"Hey Anon!" a nearby voice interrupts.
You turn around to see Vinyl leaping through the air towards you. Not only is she wasted, she has a goofy smile on her face.
Bracing for impact in three... two... one...
Vinyl crashes into you, sending the pair of you flying through the air. The sound of thousands of gasping patrons fills the air as you collide with your mixing deck. You land on the ground as something within you snaps – quite literally in fact.
You groan in agony as Vinyl sits on your chest. She still has that smile on, and seems oblivious to the guards making their way onto the stage. She prods you with a forehoof, also oblivious to the fact your leg is bent at an awkward angle.
There's too much pain and not enough endorphins. Sorry Anon, but it's time for you to pass the fuck out.
"I made it Anon." Vinyl says, "I made it to your gig."
That's the last thing you hear before everything goes black.