• Published 13th Nov 2013
  • 12,438 Views, 463 Comments

First Meeting - Terrasora



Vinyl and Octavia's first meeting, years ago, in the middle of Canterlot Station

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Train to Manehattan

“So, are you going to tell me your name?”

Octavia shook her head.

Vinyl tilted her head, bouncing slightly as the train sped onwards. “Come on! It’s a lot more fun to play with somepony when you can actually talk to them!”

Octavia glanced around nervously, scooting in a bit closer to her sister. Harmonia shifted absentmindedly, her muzzle still stuck in her book.

But Vinyl was relentless. She sat down next to Octavia, leaning forward slightly. “My name’s Vinyl! Do you wanna play something?”

Octavia shook her head.

Long Play smiled, watching his sister from across the train. He felt sorry for that grey filly, he really did. Vinyl had absolutely no tact. But then again, he thought, she’s doing a good job of distracting Vinyl. He leaned back in his seat, pulling one of the headphones out of the way in case of emergency. I can appreciate that.

“That not nice,” squeaked Vinyl in reprimand. “Come on! It’ll be fun!”

Octavia turned towards her sister, standing up on her hind hooves to reach her ears. “Help me,” she whispered.

Harmonia came out of her stupor groggily, blinking and looking around the train. Her eyes locked first on Octavia, then on Vinyl.

“Hi!” greeted Vinyl excitedly. “My name’s Vinyl Scratch! Can your sister come and play with me?”

Harmonia blinked confusedly, not quite outside of her novel’s world. “Pardon?”

“I’m Vinyl. Vinyl,” repeated Vinyl slowly. “V-I-N-E-L.” A pause. “V-I-N-Y-L. What’s your name?”

“Harmonia.”

“Can I play with your sister?”

Harmonia looked down at Octavia. The filly shook her head furiously.

“I’m sorry,” said the mare. “She’s not feeling well.”

Vinyl pouted. Then she brightened up. “Well, can I stay over here? And we can talk, and that’ll still be fun!” She smiled widely.

“Errr.” Harmonia glanced at her sister again. Octavia’s head was a blur of grey and black. “I don’t think…”

But Vinyl had already turned towards her brother, motioning furiously for him to join them. Long Play arched an eyebrow, and got to his hooves, trotting over to the seat. He locked eyes with Harmonia, a flash of recognition crossing over both pairs of eyes.

“This is my brother Long Play,” introduced Vinyl. “It’s a type of record!” She turned towards Long Play. “Right?”

“Yeah, a 33 ⅓,” he said with a nod. Long Play sat down on the bench across from them. “I’m sorry if my sister has been bothering you. She’s… excitable.”

Harmonia smiled tightly, turning back towards her book without a word. Long Play furrowed his brow for a few moments, but shrugged and locked himself in his music.

Vinyl turned back towards Octavia. “So, what’s your name?”

The other filly sighed, acknowledging her defeat. “Octavia. Octavia Philharmonica.”

“That’s a long name.”

Octavia scowled.

“I don’t think it’s cute enough for you,” continued Vinyl unabashedly. “I’m gonna give you a nickname! Oooo! I know! I’ll call you Tavi! Hi Tavi! My name’s Vinyl!”

“I’ve heard,” deadpanned Octavia with a skill beyond her years.

“How did you know that?”

“You said it. About five times.”

“Oh yeah! Tavi, you have a really good memory!” Vinyl grinned brightly. “I like you! Do you wanna go explore the train?”

“No.”

“Oh yeah. I forgot that you were sick.” Vinyl adjusted herself slightly. “Well, we can just sit here and talk. How long until we get to Manehattan?”

“Three hours,” responded Octavia automatically.

“That’s a long time,” said Vinyl. “Well, we can talk until then! It’ll be fun!”

A look of horror touched Octavia’s eyes. “For three hours?”

“Yup.”

“The entire train ride?”

Vinyl nodded earnestly. “Yup.”

Octavia thought for a moment. “Would you talk as much if we were exploring the train?”

“Mmmmm… no. Probably not.”

Octavia tugged at her sister’s hoof. “I’m going to explore the train with Vinyl.”

Again, Harmonia took a few moments to acclimate to the real world. She nodded and lowered her book.

“Hey, LP!” said Vinyl, waving a hoof in her brother’s face. Long Play took of his headphones.

“Me and Tavi are going to go look through the train!”

Long Play got to his hooves. “Sounds nice. But I’m not going to let two fillies wander through a train alone.”

Vinyl pouted. “We’ll be safe!”

“I’m not gonna take the chance.”

Octavia trotted up next to Vinyl. “What are we supposed to do?” There was a marked lack of enthusiasm in her voice.

Vinyl threw another look at her brother before turning towards Octavia. “We’re gonna go up and down the train and see what we find!”

Harmonia got out of her seat, her book still clutched in a hoof.

Long Play turned towards her. “You can stay here if you want. I can keep an eye on them.”

Harmonia nodded, but stayed on her hooves.

“Suit yourself,” said Long Play with a shrug.

They set off, wandering through the cars, past ponies sleeping, reading newspapers, and generally trying to kill the three hours of time they had to spend in their seats.

“This is boring,” said Vinyl after about ten minutes of wandering.

“Of course it is,” said Long Play. “It’s a train.”

“You’re a train,” mumbled Vinyl.

Octavia furrowed her brow. “That doesn’t even make any sense.”

“Can we head back to our seats?” asked Vinyl. “The train’s not as fun as I thought it’d be.” She brightened slightly. “Or, can we go see the conductor?! That might be fun!”

Octavia perked up a bit. “The conductor?”

“Can we, LP?” Vinyl’s eyes widened and her lower lip shook as she looked up towards her brother.

Long Play shrugged. “We’ll have to turn around and head the other way.”

Vinyl broke out in a grin and Octavia, try as she might, couldn’t repress a smile. The two elder siblings were forced to step aside as the fillies raced past them.

Harmonia gave Long Play a strange look.

“What?” he asked.

She fixed her eyes forward, trotting slightly to keep up with Octavia and Vinyl. “Nothing.”

Long Play arched an eyebrow. “Alright. Sure.” He enveloped his headphones in his magic, shifting them to cover his ears. Then, with a sigh, he sent them back towards his saddlebags. “So… mind if I ask what you were reading?”

There was a slight twinge in Harmonia’s face. Evidently, she did. “The Sound and the Fury.”

Long Play let out a low whistle. “Ah, Gilliam Falcon. That’s a task to read, innit? I mean, most Griffon literature is, but Falcon took it to a whole new level.”

Harmonia’s eyes widened slightly. “You know it?”

“Had to study it for a Lit class in Uni. I liked the class. Missing it was pretty much the only con I could think up for dropping out.”

“You dropped out.” Harmonia turned away, focused again on putting each hoof in front of the other.

Long Play smiled wryly. “Yeah, I did. And I don’t regret it.”

Harmonia didn’t answer. Long Play floated his headphones back out and jammed them over his ears. Well, he thought, that was nice.

The four made their way towards the front of the train. A mare stood in front of the lead car, smiling at the fillies as they slid to a stop in front of her.

“Hi!” said Vinyl excitedly.

“Good afternoon,” said the attendant amiably. “How may I help you?”

“Can we go in and see the pony drive the train?” Vinyl grinned.

The mare glanced up towards the older ponies, both of which gave a half-apologetic smile. “Of course,” said the attendant with a smile. “I’m sure that he’ll be happy to speak with you. If you don’t mind waiting for a moment.” She turned, knocking on the door and disappearing inside. A few muffled words floated back towards the waiting siblings before the mare opened the door again and motioned them inwards.

The lead car was larger than they had thought, big enough to easily hold the four new arrivals. A large windshield opened up to a speeding landscape, with two smaller windows off to the sides allowing for a bit of air circulation. A light brown stallion with a train whistle cutie mark and wearing a classic conductor’s hat stood in front of a panel of switches and buttons. He turned towards the others with a smile.

“Afternoon!” he said. “My name’s Caboose Conductor, conductor for this train! Are you enjoying your ride so far?”

The fillies, suddenly remembering their self-consciousness, nodded in tandem.

Caboose grinned. “Great! I’m glad to hear it.” He put a hoof to his chin thoughtfully. “Hmmmm. Now, I don’t suppose you two would like to hear how to drive the train?”

“Yeah!” Octavia and Vinyl rushed forward, standing on their hind legs to get a view of the panel as Caboose began an explanation of the various switches and meters.

The attendant stood off in the corner with the other two ponies. “They’re adorable,” she said.

Long Play, his headphones now around his neck, and Harmonia nodded in agreement.

“How old are they?”

“Vinyl’s seven,” said Long Play.

“Octavia is nine.”

“And,” the attendant paused slightly, “they’re yours?”

Long Play and Harmonia glanced at each other. Then at the attendant. Long Play was the first to realize it.

“Oh! No. No. No!” His gaze shifted back to Harmonia. “No! We’re not… No!”

It hit Harmonia a few moments afterwards. “No! Of course not! We barely even met!”

The other mare turned beet red. “Oh! I’m so sorry! I saw you two walking with them and I just assumed. I mean, you two aren’t exactly old enough to have them, now that I think about it. I’m so sorry!”

“It’s fine,” said Long Play.

“Just please, don’t bring it up again,” added Harmonia.

Long Play gave her a curious look.

***

The four marched out of the lead car some minutes later, Octavia and Vinyl both armed with conductor’s hats. Vinyl wore hers proudly, the hat almost exactly the same shade as the darker part of her mane, while Octavia had opted to have Harmonia hold her hat.

“See, Tavi!” said Vinyl. “I told you that it’d be fun! Wasn’t it fun?”

“It was rather interesting,” admitted Octavia reluctantly.

Vinyl grinned in triumph.

They returned to their seats. Long Play and Harmonia immediately retreated into their serparate worlds. Octavia was forced to listen to Vinyl babble incoherently. And then, out of politeness, she began to respond to Vinyl, feeling rather ashamed of herself for forgetting her manners and ignoring her.

“You… said that you just got your cutie mark?” asked Octavia.

“Yeah!” Vinyl turned slightly to show off the bridged notes adorning her flank. “They’re eighth notes. I got them at the concert that LP took me to see. What about you, Tavi? How’d you get your trouble clef?”

Treble clef,” corrected Octavia.

Vinyl furrowed her brow. “That’s what I said.”

“No it isn’t.”

“Yes it is!”

“You said ‘trouble.’ It’s treble.”

“Why do they sound the same if they’re not the same thing? That’s dumb.”

“My sister says that Equish isn’t exactly the most rational language.”

“And what does that mean?”

Octavia thought for a moment. “That it’s dumb.”

The fillies giggled together.

“That’s the first time you’ve laughed!” exclaimed Vinyl happily.

“No it isn’t.”

“Yes it is.”

“I’ve laughed before!” protested Octavia.

“Not on the train; I haven’t seen you laugh! You should laugh some more. I like when you laugh.”

That was around an hour and a half into the train ride. The fillies would spend the next hour or so talking about whatever popped into their heads.

Then Long Play’s stomach rumbled. He took off his headphones, reluctantly turning off his CD player in the middle of a Fiona Apple song.

He never would completely forgive himself for that.

“I’m heading to the dining cart. Anypony want anything?”

“What are they gonna have?” asked Vinyl.

“I haven’t been in there at all. How am I supposed to know? They probably have, like, nachos and stuff.”

“I don’t want nachos,” said Vinyl. “Tavi, do you want nachos?”

“Not really.”

“We don’t want nachos.”

Long Play gave them a deadpan look. “Nice to know. What do you want?”

“I don’t know. What are they gonna have?”

“Alright, that’s it. You’re coming with me. Let’s go to the dining cart.”

Harmonia’s book slammed shut. She looked upwards, blinking at the three ponies without seeing them, then turned towards the window.

Vinyl turned towards the other filly. “You wanna come with us, Tavi?”

Octavia got to her hooves. “Harmonia, is it alright if I go to the dining cart?”

Harmonia nodded before standing up. “I’ll go as well. I am a bit peckish.”

Long Play shrugged, leading the way to the dining cart. As per expected, there wasn’t much in the way of selections. Nachos, dandelion sandwiches, and apples seemed to be the extent of their choices.

Each pony made their choice, Octavia and Harmonia coming away with the sandwiches and some apples, Vinyl with a sandwich and Long Play, after much debate with himself, took the nachos. They made their way back to their seats, digging straight into their food.

“So you finished your book, right?” asked Long Play.

Harmonia nodded.

“What did ya think?”

“It was fine.”

“Was it your first time going through it?”

Harmonia nodded.

Long Play smiled in sympathy. “Must’ve sucked. I didn’t get anything out of The Sound and the Fury the first time I went through it.”

“It wasn’t that bad,” said Harmonia.

“I guess. Once you get passed all of the symbolism and allusions, that is.”

“I rather enjoyed that aspect of it.”

“Well, yeah. But it’s annoying as all Tartarus. Did you catch everything that Falcon snuck in there?”

“I should think so.” And I certainly don’t need you to explain it to me, she added mentally.

“Good,” said Long Play absentmindedly. “Good.” He unstuck a few chips, tossing each of them into his mouth in turn. Harmonia turned towards the window. Vinyl and Octavia had, at this point, returned to their prior topic.

Harmonia winced as Long Play continued talking. “Have you ever finished a book and felt yourself acting like one of the characters? It’s happened to me with a couple of fantasy books. I really hope you didn’t get that from The Sound and the Fury, though. Everyone in that book is crazy.”

“No, Mr. Play, I do not have that feeling.”

“Just LP is fine.”

Harmonia gave him a look. “Mr. Play.”

Long Play held up his hooves. “Alright, that’s fine. Just trying to make small talk.”

The mare smiled tightly. “I’m sure.” She turned to look through the window.

A voice sounded over the intercom. “Passengers, this is your conductor speaking. Please begin to secure your belongings; we will be arriving in Manehattan Station in approximately three minutes. Thank you for riding with us today.”

“You know, Miss Philharmonica, I’m starting to think that you don’t like me.”

“I’ve barely met you.”

The fillies ran over to the window, staring out of it in awe as the train pulled into the station, the skyscrapers of Manehattan looming far above their heads.

“Which makes it even crazier that I’m getting this feeling,” responded Long Play.

“I have no way to make calls upon your character, Mr. Play.” Harmonia gave a cursory rummage through her bags, making sure that everything was in place.

“Really?” asked Long Play, floating everything into place in his bags. “There are plenty of ponies who think that the way I look is enough. Most of them are from Canterlot.”

The train ground to a halt.

“I would never do something like that,” said Harmonia resolutely.

“I hope that’s true.”

They marched off of the train, exiting out into Manehattan Station. It was remarkably similar to Canterlot Station, as train stations tend to seem until one notices that the advertisements adorning the walls are written in a different language,

Vinyl and Octavia stayed next to their siblings, following close behind as they exited Manehattan Station.

“Bye Tavi,” said Vinyl. “I had a lot of fun.”

“Me too, Vinyl.”

Harmonia and Long Play nodded their goodbyes, quickly checked the street signs, then cantered off. In the same direction.

Octavia blinked. “I… guess that we’re not saying goodbye yet.”

Vinyl grinned widely and let out a high-pitched cheer.

Harmonia and Long Play gritted their teeth and continued on their way, confident that the other would deviate from their path. The pattern would repeat at every intersection. The two sibling pairs stayed in perfect step. Vinyl and Octavia, not quite sure where they’d end up but glad to have the extra time together, fell back to talking.

“Are you following me?” asked Harmonia.

Long Play snorted. “As if I’d ever do that.”

They turned onto one final street. About midway down the block, Harmonia turned away, climbing a quick set of stairs to the front door of a home. Vinyl and Octavia were forced to say their goodbyes.

“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.” Long Play walked on, stopping in front of the house, checking its address, trying desperately to find some kind of loopholes. “Celestia hates me so much.”

Vinyl glanced curiously at her brother, then up and down the street, her eyes eventually settling on the house to the immediate right of the house Harmonia had approached. The filly grinned widely, literally jumping for joy, a shower of light blue sparks falling from her horn.

“We’re neighbors!”

Author's Note:

This is totally gonna be a series. Not a long one, but the story's continuing. Curse you people, making me write more.