• Published 20th Dec 2013
  • 3,340 Views, 191 Comments

Lady Octavia - Cyber Clash



Octavia finds herself a new servant.

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Chapter 1

The Canterlotian ensemble walked out of the music hall. They had just finished practice and were about to walk home together. They chatted about their humble achievements of the day. Frederic Horseshoepin, the pianist, had mastered a very complex composition after only three days. This composition was made by Harpo Parish Nadermane, the harpist and part-time composer of the ensemble, who was impressed that the pianist could play his masterpiece. Beauty Brass, who played a variety of instruments, boasted about how she was requested to do a solo performance at Fancy Pants’s theatre.

Then there was Octavia, the cellist; she never really talked about her talents and her position in the high society. Rather, she congratulated everyone on everything they would brag about.

Soon enough, three members walked north to their homes, but the cellist had to walk south to get to her destination. She positioned her cello case on her back and looked at the advertisement posters on the building. One of them said ‘Earth Pony Cellist Octavia. Performing at Melody & Harmony Theatre!’ She smiled. Melody and Harmony were twins who owned one of the biggest theatres in Equestria. Octavia was very close to them and the twins wanted her to perform. That day is coming up pretty soon…I should make a note to practice even more than usual. There are so many shows coming up, I wonder if I could actually get any sleep.

Snapping out of her reverie, Octavia looked around to make sure she wasn’t caught doing absolutely nothing. She was known as a hard-working cellist and just one whisper could ruin her whole reputation. As her eyes shot toward various directions, she noticed something, or rather, someone. Right there in front of the music hall, was a homeless mare. The grey pony had seen her all the time when going to practice sessions, but she always felt something in her chest turn to stone when she saw her.

The cellist knew almost every physical aspect of the street mare’s being: she wore purple shades, had white fur, two tones of blue in a very messy mane and tail. She was also a unicorn and her cutie mark, a double-eighth note, suggested that her special talent was music. Octavia always pondered what would happen if she were to talk to the mysterious mare. If she were to be seen, would they see her as a pony who mingled with peasants, or someone generous enough to give her precious free time to a lonely homeless mare? Probably not the latter, for the high society had always frowned upon plebeians for some reason rather than helping them.

Octavia could feel a gaze coming from the direction of such a plebeian. She walked along as if she hadn’t been suspiciously staring at the poor pony. While she walked, she continued her thoughts.

The high society was usually represented to the rest of the world as ponies like Fancy Pants. However, anyone who lived in big cities like Manehattan or Canterlot knew the ugly truth. And that truth was that unless you wanted to be taken for granted, you had to either be unbelievably wealthy or aggressive. You had to be friends with the right ponies, marry the right pony and live up to everypony’s expectations. You had to always be on your hooves because one wrong move and everyone would fancy you a waste of time.

Octavia didn’t exactly want to be famous, but she loved her cello and her parents might do unspeakable things if she disappointed them. What were these unspeakable things? Well, they were actually so unspeakable, that her parents never talked about them. They just threatened Octavia with that.

You could probably compare all of the high class with Hoity Toity, and the ringleader being Prince Blueblood. Sure, nopony liked him; he was as stuck-up as can be, but that’s what would make him the ringleader after all. Octavia did indeed despise Canterlot with a burning passion, especially when she was caught acting like a true Canterlotian. Still, she had stayed here for various reasons: she was pretty successful, her parents told her to do so, she had plenty of friends who weren’t too stuck-up, and she had nowhere else to be.

Finally, the grey pony had arrived at her home. It was the typical Canterlotian house; the architecture was unique, with a spiral staircase leading to the entrance, a giant balcony with an amazing view from the mountain Canterlot was on, and it was quite spacious. She repositioned the cello on her back and walked up the staircase. When she opened the door, the house was quite dark due to the low position of the sun. She didn’t really have much energy to turn on the lights. All she wanted to do was practice a few pieces for the twins, have a drink, shower, and sleep. She was too tired to be hungry.

Deciding to take a shower first, Octavia turned on the cold water on her shower because it was Thursday. She always showered with cold water on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. While enjoying the sensation of water pouring down her body, her thoughts wandered toward the mare on the streets. She had seen her plenty of times. Sometimes, Octavia knew she was looking at her behind those shades.

But what if she wears them because she’s blind?

Octavia, I’ve seen her head match up with where you are going, I don’t think she’s blind.

But what if that’s because she can hear me walking?

Well, ask her if she’s blind.

I don’t even know her! I can’t just walk up and ask her about her disabilities!

Sure, and you can’t talk to yourself either?

Okay, this conversation is over.

As her internal conversation ended, the mare stepped out and grabbed a towel. She vigorously dried herself and put on a robe. Octavia went to her music room down the hall where she had put her cello. She turned on the lights and walked toward the instrument. She took it out of its case along with the bow. After a minute of balancing herself and visualising the musical notes from the songs, she began to play.

The room was filled with music. At first, the notes were slow and grim, but they grew into a staccato of higher notes. Then the harder part in which her notes had to have a sense of fear came in. The mare played as if she had known the song all her life. Her talent was very impressive. She was one of the few earth ponies that could play an instrument without any trouble. And although she denies it any time it is suggested, she might actually be the best cellist in all of Equestria.

It was already midnight by the time she finished practicing. Now she was too tired to have the drink she had promised herself. She didn’t complain, though. Octavia simply went off to bed and fell asleep after ten minutes of getting comfortable.

Octavia’s dreams were quite interesting most of the time. Like many artists, her ideas came from dreams. However, her dreams were like those of a blind pony- she saw nothing. The musician could only hear music and at most she would see a cello being played or music notes being placed on a music staff. She would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, play and record her composition and go back to sleep. Strangely, Octavia wouldn’t continue with her creations. No matter how good, she would just write it down, store it in a folder, and leave it to be covered in dust. She didn’t believe that her creations were good enough.

Tonight was one of those nights. She had had her idea, recorded it, and left it to die in a limbo of dust particles. She sighed at what she considered a “lack of talent.” I don’t even know why I keep these. They just take up space! She thought as she looked at her shelves that were entirely filled with music sheets. She crawled back in her warm bed and, once more, fell asleep.

Octavia woke up at seven and began her morning routine: She prepared a simple bowl of cold oatmeal for breakfast, and ate quickly. She went into the bathroom, brushed her hair for ten minutes, brushed her teeth, and put on her bow-tie. Once she felt presentable, she sprayed a bit of perfume on herself (her mother said it was lady-like), grabbed her cello and began to walk toward the music hall. She was grateful that it was Friday because Octavia needed her rest.

The cellist walked into the building and went upstairs to room 417, where ensemble practiced together. She greeted everyone in her calm yet cheerful way, “Good morning, Harpo,” she said kissing the purple stallion on both cheeks. “Frederic,” she moved to the pianist and did the same. “Beauty!” she said before repeating her gesture once more.

“Good morning, Octavia,” Frederic began, “Would you like a cup of rose tea?” he offered.

“No, thank you. I had coffee this-“ she cut herself off, realising that she had missed that part of her routine dammit. “Actually, I think I would like a cup.”

“I’ll ask Script to get it for you. I do believe he is in room 312 polishing the brass instruments,” said Harpo. He walked out and made sure to close the door behind him.

Beauty Brass stepped beside Octavia, “So, Tavia, we were thinking for Harpo’s song ‘Celestia Took a Star’ we should have a diva sing. I already have lyrics for it. And since you know Melody and Harmony, maybe we could-“

Octavia held up a hoof to interrupt the brunette mare, “Pardon me for interrupting, but we’ve been over this, Beauty. I am not going to have neither Melody nor Harmony work for us for free. That would be abusing my friendship and I refuse to do such a selfish thing.”

“’Tis not selfish! You are doing it for the ensemble, not just yourself,” Beauty Brass argued.

“Beauty Brass, no means no. Even if I weren’t part of this ensemble, I still wouldn’t let you use them for free. Besides, they don’t even like singing opera,” the cellist countered.

“Oh, alright. However, you do know that they wouldn’t think any less of you, right?”

“I know. They’re great friends, but I still don’t want to take advantage of them.”

“Well, I still want my lyrics to be sung…” Beauty Brass trailed off, looking down at the music sheet in her hoof.

Octavia wasn’t good at comforting, but she still awkwardly put her hoof on the blue mare’s shoulder, “We can ask Script to find us a singer. For now, let’s practice the music.”

Just then, Harpo walked in, carrying a cup of tea in a green field of magic. He levitated it toward Octavia, who thanked him, and spoke, “Now, let’s get practicing.”

Practice, although lasting seven hours, went by very quickly. Their assistant Script recorded and did some sound editing, “Bravo, everypony!” He said, clapping his hooves. “You all did marvellous! Now, by Wednesday, I will have a few auditions ready for you to decide on our diva. Until anon, and have an absolutely wonderful weekend!” The cheerful stallion made his way to his office and left the ensemble.

The members packed up their instruments and walked out of the building together. Harpo was the first to speak of their accomplishments, “Well, it seems like we truly have improved since our last session. If all goes well, I’ll take you all out for a celebration at Le Cheval.”

“Yes, that does sound nice,” Frederic agreed, “While we’re on the topic of food, Does anyone want this bag of chips? I got it from the vending machine, but I just now saw how many calories it has. It is absolutely absurd! How can you eat this vile food from Tartarus?” he said, holding a bag of chips.

“I suppose I’ll take them,” Octavia said, “I haven’t been eating much these days and I could use the carbohydrates.”

The pianist gave the mare her chip bag and the ensemble broke apart to reach their homes. As Octavia walked, she looked at the bag of chips. Sweet Luna and her Stars! Five hundred calories?! How much grease can a pony put in these bags? Ew, is there oil coming from the sides? Octavia wanted to throw the chips away, but didn’t have the ignorance to do so. Instead she looked around and saw the mare on the streets. Surely she is hungry enough to eat anything, right? Giving her junk food isn’t rude, right?

The cellist walked up to the mare, with the bag in her hooves. She didn’t get too close in case somepony was nearby. Octavia hesitated, but then decided to throw the chip bag toward the mare’s direction and gallop away.

“Ow. I was sleeping,” the mare said groggily.

“My apologies. I didn’t mean to hit you in the face,” the cellist said, turning around.

“It’s fine, Octavia. You gave me greasy food. And greasy food is good food.”

“Still, I shouldn’t ha-wait. How do you know my name?”

The shade-wearing mare opened the chip bag with her magic, “You’re all over the posters. If you’re as good as those announcements say you are, you should keep on living your dream,” she said, eating a chip.

“Hmm…I’ll make sure I do that. Bye for now. I need to head home; my cello is really heavy.” And so the grey earth pony galloped all the way home.

Once she arrived at her home, Octavia put her cello in her music room and was on her way to the bedroom when she heard a knock on her door.

The cellist opened the door, “Yes, may I help you?”

Standing outside her door was a grey pegasus with blonde hair and crossed eyes, “Hi, are you Missus Fleur de Lis?” she asked.

“No, I’m sorry. You must have gotten the wrong house,” the grey pony said, as she was about to close the door.

“Oh, well could you point me out to where Miss Octavia lives? I can’t find her anywhere. I have this letter that Miss Melody wanted to deliver ASAP,” said the mailmare.

“I’m the Miss Octavia you seek. May I have the letter?”

“Oh, hi, Miss Octavia! I’m Ditzy Doo, but you may call me ‘Derpy Hooves.’ I have a letter for you this afternoon,” Derpy took out the letter and gave it to Octavia.

“Thank you, Derpy.” Said the earth pony as she took the letter.

“Oh, and would you like a complementary muffin? They’re free and you can only get them with Derpy Hooves Postal Service! Today, I’m giving out blueberry muffins.” The pegasus said, as she took out a muffin from her mailbag.

“I would like a muffin. Thank you.” Octavia received a blueberry muffin.

“No problem! And when you need your mail delivered, trust Derpy Hooves Postal Service! We also carry packages and give out free muffins to our customers! Bye!” the mare said before she tripped all the way down the front steps. “I’m okay!” and she flew off.

“A strange little pony, she is.” Octavia closed the door behind her and set the muffin down on the counter. The letter was, as Derpy Hooves said, from Melody. Octavia opened it and began to read:

My Dearest Octavia,

Next month you will be preforming at our theatre. Harmony is getting the details set for you, but since it’s kind of my day off, I wanted to see if we could go to the Drycker bar. I figured you’ve been so busy, you haven’t had time to relax. So, why not put down your cello, meet me at eight in the bar, we’ll have fun and come back to my house after a few drinks, baby? I’m just kidding, of course, but do come to the bar. I haven’t had a drink all week!

Love,
Melody

The cellist took the muffin from the counter and snuck a bite into it. Not bad. She decided she would go to Drycker with Melody. Octavia could really use a margarita tonight. The cellist went to her bedroom and got a book off of her shelf. She didn’t even care to read the title, and started reading right away.

From what Octavia had gathered, she had been reading an interesting novel about murder investigations. The Purple Magnifying Glass was an interesting tale about three friends and a victim of a very violent criminal. The cellist had been so immersed in reading, that when she put the book down, it was already seven thirty-three. She had long since finished her blueberry muffin and was now brushing her hair and teeth.

She was out the door by seven forty-two and made her way to the bar. She roamed the cobblestone streets with modesty. Every pony that walked by had their noses held high and walked with over-confidence. The cellist, instead, cantered casually through the alleys until she could make out the flashing lights of a sign that read “Drycker Casual Bar.”

The cellist walked into the bar and relished the smell of orchids in the building. Drycker had a thing for orchids and purple and blue lights. There were small flowerpots that adorned each table and more extravagant orchids were placed in the VIP section. The lighting was dim and would gradually change from blue to purple. There was a currently unoccupied wooden stage in the back where special guests would perform sometimes. Covering the whole western side was a bar. Octavia could see a lavender earth pony with strawberry pink mane and tail waving at her.

The cellist adjusted her bowtie and walked past the occupied tables of social ponies to talk to mare, “Hello, Melody,” she said, kissing her on both cheeks.

“Hey, Octavia. I ordered you one of those special strawberry margaritas you like.”

“Thank you, Melody.” Octavia climbed onto the chair next to her friend and took a sip of her drink. She felt the cold strawberry and tequila rush down her throat.

“So how are the other shows coming along, dear?” the lavender pony asked, as she took a sip of her own drink.

Octavia sighed at the inquiry, “Well, they could be better…”

“Uh-oh. What’s wrong? Is your agent being an arse again?”

“No. Beauty Brass still wants you and your sister to sing. The more I say ‘no’, the more she insists. Even if we ask Script to find us a singer, she probably still won’t be satisfied. I don’t even know why she acts like we have to save every bit we make. We’re pretty successful; I see no reason to hoard,” the cellist ranted.
“Look, if she won’t get over it, we can sing for you guys, but I’m sure she’ll get it through her head over time. Even the most stubborn ponies give in with a bit of time.” Melody reassured her, placing a hoof on the stressed friend’s shoulder.

“And that’s not the worst part,” Octavia continued, “Now, my parents are pestering me about what to do to get more money and fame. I tried to tell them many times that I am aware of what I am doing, but they just won’t let me do what I want with my career!”

“You know, if you want them to leave you alone, you could become my personal dancer.” Melody seduced, waggling her eyebrows.

“Oh, shut up,” Octavia giggled. She took another sip of her margarita.

From her peripheral vision, Octavia could see a familiar mare sitting down one stool down. She eavesdropped on her conversation with one of the bartenders, “Hey, thanks for letting me use the staff showers, Salty.”

“It’s the least I can do, Vi. If ya need anything, just come to me.”

“Well, I’m gonna go sit down at the table in the corner. I don’t wanna be seen.” She grabbed her drink and walked off to her table.

“Hey, Octavia, are you listening?”

The grey pony jumped, “Oh, my. I am so sorry, Melody. I saw someone come in and I didn’t even realise you were talking! Please forgive me, I-“

Melody interjected, “Whoa, calm down, filly. All I said was that I’m going to the bathroom. In the mean time, you can go talk to whoever that is you saw. Unless if it’s a secret lover I should know about?”

“What? No!” Octavia said quickly.

“Thought so. I’ve got my eye on you.” She said before walking off.

The cellist moved to the bartender and began talking to him, “Excuse me, sir?”

“Yeah? What do you need?” the bartender answered. He was a muscular dark purple unicorn with a dark red and blue mane.

“Who is that mare you were talking to just now, if I may ask?”

“Oh, that was Vinyl Scratch. You seen her around or something?” he smiled.

“Sort of. I’ve seen her on the streets. Not to be rude, but how did she get into this place? I don’t see the other customers giving her any glares.”

“Heh, I guess you could say that the more accepting ponies come here. They all know about Vinyl, but there’s not much they can do about her.” He frowned.

“What do you mean? They want to get rid of her?” she asked, wide-eyed.

“Not really. Y’see, Vinyl doesn’t exactly have a place to live. Her closer friends are either strugglin’ enough as it is, or live really far away from Canterlot. And for her part, she always rejects other ponies’ offers unless it’s a small amount o’ bits.”

Octavia raised her eyebrow at this, “So she doesn’t want ponies offering her a home?”

The stallion shrugged, “I don’t know what her deal is. I’m guessing she’s stubborn, but she just brushes me off when I bring up the subject. S’pretty weird, right?”

“Indeed. Well, I think I’ll go talk to her. Thank you for the information, Mr…” she left the bartender to finish the sentence.

“Salt Rim, at your service,” he bowed.

“Thank you, Mister Salt Rim,” and the cellist was off to make a new friend.

Vinyl Scratch was sitting at a booth in the corner, drinking whiskey. The cellist approached her, “Would it be too much trouble if I sat?”

The mare shook her head, “Nah, you can sit.”

Octavia took her seat and asked her, “You remember me, right?”

“The mare who threw a bag of chips at my face? Yeah, I remember. Good times, right?”

Octavia blushed out of humiliation, “I-it was an accident! I didn’t mean to!”

Vinyl Scratch laughed, “I know, don’t worry. You were generous enough to give me food. How you give it to me doesn’t matter.”

Octavia quickly took the opportunity to broach the subject, “Speaking of giving, do you have a home? Because if not, I wouldn’t mind a roommate.”

“Not this again…” Vinyl Scratch angrily murmured, “Look, Octavia, I appreciate the offer, but I’m fine, okay? I can manage without any help.”

“For Celestia’s sake, Vinyl, you live in the alley in front of my workplace!”

The mare adjusted her shades with a hoof, “So? I sometimes crash at my friends’ houses. And no offense, but you just met me, why are you randomly offering me a roof over my head?”

“Because I-“ Wait…Why am I offering her my home? For all I know, she could have escaped from prison! Well, maybe that’s too farfetched, but the point is I hardly know her! “Because it would benefit the both of us. You need a home, and I need a roommate.” Why do I keep going with this?

“Octavia, please. I just don’t want to. It’s not because of you, I just…” Vinyl trailed off.

“It’s just what? Pray tell, why won’t you just accept my offer?” the cellist asked slowly.

“Because…” Vinyl sighed, “Because if I accept, I’ll have to pay you back, and I doubt I’ll ever be able to.”

Octavia smiled, “Vinyl Scratch, this is just because I want to, I’m not expecting anything in return.”

“Yeah, but I have to. I’ll feel guilty if I don’t,” the mare said, crossing her hooves.

“Well, how about returning a favour with a favour?” the cellist offered.

“Fine, but it has to be a huge one. It can’t just be like, ‘you can organise my closet’ or something small like that” Vinyl required.

Octavia tapped a hoof to her chin in thought. She let a malicious smile grow on her face, “Well…that’s one thing you could do for me. I think…I’ll hire you.”

“Hire me? Like a job?” the homeless unicorn was interested and sat up straight.

“Yes, a job,” Octavia held out a hoof and loudly offered, “Vinyl Scratch, I want you to work as my butler.”

Vinyl Scratch deadpanned, “A butler? Really? That’s as big as you can get?”

“Oh, it isn’t a small job, Vinyl. You’d have so many chores, and I might ask you for extra favours quite often. Oh, and I need to be satisfied with your services,” Octavia spoke excitedly.

“Well…okay. Fine, but no easy favours. I have to be worked hard.”

“Deal. Now shake my hoof. I can hardly feel the blood rushing to it.”
Vinyl completed her first task, “Okay, I’ll meet you out the door when you’re ready to go home, okay?”

“Right.” Octavia had a large smile on her face as she walked back to the bar.

“Octavia, what the hell! You know the rule! Never leave your margarita unattended. It looks so lonely…” the lavender pony looked sadly over at the drink.

Octavia quickly apologised before downing her drink, excited.

“Damn, filly! Calm down. That has tequila in it!” Octavia put down the glass and placed a few bits on the table. Melody noticed the smile on her face, “What? Did something happen between you and that mare you were talking to? Octavia was about to say something but was immediately cut off, “Oh, no…don’t tell me…she’s your one night stand, isn’t she? How could you Octavia? I thought we had something!”

Octavia felt the weight of her friend against her as she was hugged rather hard, “Melody, ponies are looking! Get off of me.”

“But you’re so soft,” the lavender pony muttered into her fur.

“Are you drunk?”

“Nah. I’m sober. Well, maybe a little drunk. But I can call a cab. You go have fun with your playmate, okay?” she giggled, and got off of her friend.

“Cut it out, you. I’m not interested in anything sensual,” she said getting off of the stool.

“Fine. Have fun, anyway.” She waved.

The cellist exited Drycker and, as promised, her butler was waiting for her, staring blankly ahead, like a soulless servant, “There you are. Shall we go?”

“Yes, my lady,” she bowed, with a grin.

“Cut it out,” her master chuckled.

And they began to walk toward their home.

Author's Note:

Here, this is my Hearth's Warming present to all of you. Hopefully I corrected all the errors I have there, but if you spot something, let me know and I shall fix it.