• Published 26th Jul 2015
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The Things Tavi Says - shortskirtsandexplosions

Let me tell you a few things about my roommate, Octavia. After all, she saved my life.

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Technological Things

Author's Note:


Very very interesting...

Cool, even...

I lean forward in the studio, playing the latest track by... erm... my other self. I'm so engrossed in the process that I've long forgotten about the difficulty of trying to stand upright in this... goofy excuse for a bipedal body.

This world's Vinyl Scratch is pretty darn talented. She... relies on bass drops a bit too excessively, for my taste, but I'm guessing that's just a matter of the local flavor, so to speak.

I brush my hands across her turntable, feeling the knobs and buttons along the instrument panel.

I can see how... easy it is to operate all of this with these so-called fingers. It's a poor substitute for magic, of course, but it allows for its own dexterous interface. I stumble to imagine how one might be pyschologically molded by purely manual application. I remember when Roadie Beau has tried his hoof at music mixing. His stuff is pretty darn good, amazing, even, but it's so far removed from the kind of stuff that I make.

There was a time when I thought it took a unicorn's touch to truly exploit the intricacies of music theory and apply it to a digestible medium. Later, I came to realize that unicorn music isn't better than earth pony or zebra... it's just different.

Human music—it would seem—is different too, and for the first time since arriving here I am actually intrigued by what this place has to offer... by what this other me has up her sleeves.

Oh, my own touches are there in her work, for sure. But it's just an underlying pattern that connects us, nothing more. There's a lot of extra padding where I normally wouldn't put it, and there's also a lot that's... lacking.

For one, I hear little to no ounce of purple or violet in all of the vocal samples.

Where is she in this universe?

Does... does she even exist?

"How..." Twilight stifles a yawn. "...is it coming along?"

The Princess has been waiting so patiently on me. How long have I been standing here, sampling my doppelganger's music? An hour? Two hours?

I know I'm here for an important reason. I fumble to bring a pen to my mouth and a pad of paper to my hands.

Smiling tiredly, Twilight simply hands me two drumsticks. "Here... maybe it'll be faster to go about Blank Speech."

I hold the items in my palms, fidgeting slightly.

"Think you've got the hang of it by now?"

Gulping, I struggle a bit, but then find that I can move, pivot, and twirl the sticks in just the right way to convey my words to her. Twilight reads carefully, and I'm actually impressed by how swiftly she's learned to understand my second language.

Heck, if she can catch on like that, then so can I. You'd think that human fingers could get the job done twice as fast. They're so... slender and pointy, after all...

At last, Twilight responds: "Now the real question is: do you think you would recognize your own music styles if you heard them at random?"

I nod.

"Even if you were forced into making a new song for the Dazzlings?"

With a frown, I twirl and rotate the drumsticks.

She shakes her head. "No. I don't think it'll work in Adagio's favor. But still..." She shrugs. "Those sirens are desperate and starving without their magics. What they request of the other Vinyl doesn't have to make sense for them to demand it anyways."

Curious, I twirled the sticks some more.

"I don't doubt they would do harmful things to her," Twilight says. She sighs. "The Dazzlings have never... treated ponies as anything more than something to feed off of. If they can't get anything out of their magical essences... th-then I fear for Vinyl's physical condition."

I rub my chin in thought. Then, brightening, I gesture in her direction once more.

She blinks. "What do you mean... a 'secret message?'"

I roll forth more and more blank speech.

"I see..." She paces about. "...so, in the event that you yourself were captured... you would try and make your presence known? Like... how? Through secret messages?"

I shake my head, then point at the turntable.

She blinks. "Musical messages?"

I nod.

She smiles slightly. "See! This is exactly why I brought you over to this side! You're a genius, Vinyl!" Clearing her throat, she leans in closer. "Now... tell me... just how do you think you would make these messages?"

I shrug, then gesture some more.

"Mmm... unfortunately that's not going to work in this world," she mutters. "Humans aren't innately magical. Even my friends over here were dormant on their own. The only reason they were able to cast any sort of Harmonic spell on this side was because the crown got dragged through the mirror and imbued them Equestrian magic." She shakes her head. "So, long story short, I'm pretty sure Vinyl Scratch can't send any rhythmic patterns through the nearby leylines for us to pick up... which we... uh... wouldn't be able to in this form anyways."

I run a hand over my spiked mane, staring at the sunlit windows flanking the studio. Then, with a grin, I point at Twilight and twirl the sticks some more.

She blinks. "Well... yes. What humans lack in magic, they make up for in technology. I'm talking leaps and bounds above Equestrian engineering. It's really quite fascinating, and totally deserving of an in-depth scientific exploration to see if we can maybe emulate what they've—"

I wave a stick in her face and gesture some more.

"Hmmm... I do suppose that... if Vinyl Scratch was given access to some crucial gadgetry in order to fashion music for the Dazzlings... she might just be able to broadcast something. If not through human radio than through the World Wide Web."

I stare at her, mouthing the three words in a dumb stupor.

"I know. Sounds weird. Think of it as Luna's dreamtrotting, only available to every human everywhere." She smiles. "Except for a price." She gulps. "Aaaaaaand maybe in only some parts of China."

I scratch my head.

"But..." Twilight paces around, skirt flouncing, as she thinks out loud: "...if Vinyl really was able to get a message sent out..." She turns towards me. "I bet you could totally detect it!"

I grin.

"I... I'm afraid I'm not adept at ascertaining all of the technological materials here. But I think I know of somepo—erm... somebody who can," Twilight says. "Over in the Audio/Visual club!"

I blink crookedly at her.

"I know where it is! Let's go there right away!" She grabs me by the hand and practically charges out of the room. "We can't waste anymore time—"

No sooner are we out in the hallway when a brown... brown voice gasps, rolling off the cinderblock walls and anchoring Twilight in her shoes.

"Whoah! Twilight?" Jubilant, breathy. "Twilight Sparkle!"

She winces, her lavender skin paling. "Ahhhh jeez..."

"... ... ...?" I turn and look over my shoulder. At a flash of blue hair, I do a double-take.

"Omigosh! Twilight!" He drops his backpack in a slump and altogether abandons his locker. The hallway is crowded with students, shuffling to and from class, and he beelines through them, his eyes sparkling. "I can't believe it's you! How've you been?"

"Oh... uhhhh..." She spins around, red as a beet, twirling a lock of purple mane hair. "...just... erm... p-peachy keen, Flash!"

I feel invisible pony ears twitching above my skull.

Ah jeez...

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