• 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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Computer Things

Author's Note:

With dull red thuds, the doors close on either side of us, locking Twilight and I inside this strange glossy capsule of glass and metal.

Yeesh, it's hot in here.

"So..." Twilight exhales through a thin smile. She sits in the plush seat to my left, blinking. "...any clue how any of this works?"

I squint at her through my shades. My shoulder bumps into something on the right. I look to see a clip of metal hanging from a canvas strap. I pull the thing, release, then watch as the strap zips back into place. Huh...

"I... do believe it's a restraint of some sort," the princess explains. "To protect us in the event of a sudden cessation of forward momentum." She bites her lip. "I... uh... was told that I had to use one while riding in the back of the 'miniature van' belonging to Pinkie's family."

I nod listlessly, gazing across an assortment of consoles and contraptions. In front of Twilight is a wheel, and to the right of it is some metal incision in the shape of the other Vinyl's key. I'm quick to point at it.

"Oh! Right! I almost forgot!" Twilight fumbles through her skirt's pocket and pulls out the item in question. She sticks the key into the slot. "Now... uhm... what did Mrs. Pie do...?" She pushed on the key... tugged... then twisted it to the right.

I'm almost blinded by the resulting waves of crimson flying at me from directly in front of us. I wince visibly, scrunching up in my seat. Eventually, the noise settles into a blood red purr, and my aching head adjusts to the vibrations.

"Hey! That wasn't so bad, right?" She smiles at me. "Who says these humans were complicated creatures?! Ahem..." She grips the wheel and leans forward, looking across the consoles. "So... from what Whizz Kid and the Techies described to me, Vinyl Scratch has an onboard computer built into this car. She basically... rolls the thing into her garage which doubles as a mixing studio and she makes her song tracks from there. Isn't that nifty?"

I give a limp nod. I'd admit it was cool if I understood a single thing.

"So... the question remains." Twilight's mouth twists. "How exactly do we turn it on?" She looks at me. "Because if there's a way this thing can detect any of Vinyl's broadcasted signals—"

I stare at her crookedly.

"Don't give me that look!" Twilight's voice cracks. "Think positively for a change!" She tilts her chin up. "The Vinyl of this world is no less a genius than you are. I'm still willing to bet that—the moment she got abducted by the Rainbooms' former nemeses—she immediately realized that help would be coming from Equestria to save her. She must have figured out I'd be arriving with her doppelganger to snoop out where the Dazzlings have hidden her! I mean... wouldn't you expect the same?"

I sigh.

Yes, I would...

...IF I had prior knowledge of the other world existing in the first place.

You could tell them about Equestria... but you couldn't tell Equestria about this place?

Or maybe I just haven't had the good grace to know until now...

"Anyways, enough chat. Let's figure out a way to turn on this computer dashboard thingy." Twilight rubs her chin. "Hmmm..." She reaches out with her poofy shoulders. "I know! I bet I just haven't turned it on all the way—"

She twists the key right again—

BRKKKK! An even redder explosion bathes my eyes.

"Whoops! Eheheh..." Twilight sweats nervously. "Th-that's not it!"

I wave and motion for her to quit it. Then, with a sullen sigh, I fumble about, dragging my freakish fingers across the console, feeling for a button, feeling for anything—

Beep! A golden chime. As soon as my hands brush across a glass panel, the entire thing lights up, emitting platinum bands. I'm startled to hear a voice...

A very purple voice.

"Fingerpint. Identified. Good. Afternoon. Miss. Scratch."

I do a double-take.

What.

"Is..." Twilight blinks. "...is that who I think it is?"

"Please. Select. Today's. Task. Travel? Creativity? Leisure?"

Oh Goddess... never before in my life have I loved the word "leisure" as I do now...

"Uhm... hello?" Twilight leans in towards the computer panel. "Is there something on this that detects broadcast signals?" Silence. She looks at me. "It doesn't appear to be voice operated."

I gulp.

Well, that basically says it all...

"I think it's waiting for a tactile response, Vinyl," the Princess says. She wriggles a thumb. "Your finger?"

I reach out, hovering my hand above "Travel"... then above "Creativity"... and then...

Hmmmm...

I find that my eyes are being drawn towards a blinking yellow icon. I narrow my gaze at it. I see an envelope illuminated before a red overlay. The number "32" lingers before it.

"Oh! Oh!" Twilight's gray voice chirps. "I-I recognize that! That's the same sort of thing humans have on their cell phones!"

Cell-what-now...?

"It's how they communicate! Text-based signals sent through invisible airstreams! All very technological and science-based." She coos. "Isn't it exciting over here?"

Whatever.

I slap my thumb over the thing.

The panel flickers to a series of text, separated by subject lines.

"You. Have. Thirty. Two. Messages." Purple and purpler.

"Uhm... scroll to the top," Twilight says. "Look for the latest one."

I look curiously at her and mouth the word "scroll?"

With a sigh, she gracefully takes my wrist and presses my own finger to the screen, dragging it down. I watch as the subject bars rotate in and out of existence, coming to a stop. Several of them appear to come from the same sender. I see the name "FirstChairDreamStringer," along with several bits of worried text: "where r u, love?", "been thinking of contacting police, but Rainbow Dash tells me to wait," "word is that Twilight's coming," "Vinyl r u there?"

My lips purse.

Wait...

These are...

"Hey!" Twilight gasps, pointing. "Look at that one!"

I see a string of numerical digits, separated by periods.

"It's... it's a radio frequency!" Twilight remarks. "I remember Sunset teaching me about them the last time I visited! Humans have technology that can broadcast messages at different radio waves and... and..." She gulps. "Quick! A scanner! See if there's something resembling a receiver of sorts on this!"

I tap my chin in thought. I don't see what she's talking about. However, on the computer screen, I do see the icon of what looks to be a metal antenna. I point at it.

"Yeah! Yeah! That!"

I tap it with my finger.

The screen full of messages goes away, and suddenly I see a brightly-lit interface with a numberpad and multiple digits to input.

"Now... put in the frequency number that we just saw in the message!"

I do as the Princess commands. My eyes dart left and right. I spot a green "button" icon, and I press it.

Suddenly, the speakers crackle to life. Most of it is nonsense... a garbled mess of white noise. I can even sense Twilight cringing beside me.

"Eeeeugh..." Twilight clenches her hands over her ears. "Okay... so maybe this was a bit of a long shot."

I hold a finger up, silencing her.

No...

My brow furrows.

I hear something...

A smirk crosses my face.

There's a melody in there somewhere. Somepony... someone is broadcasting something on this frequency... and it sounds ever so remotely like a song.

"You... you hear something, Vinyl?"

I nod.

"Oh! Praise Celestia for those wonderful, wonderful ears of yours!" She grins a crescent moon. "I knew you could do it!"

I shrug and wave my hand from side to side.

"It's... it's pretty faint, though, isn't it?"

I nod.

"Well... that's fine! That's okay!" She grips the wheel. "We just need to... uhm... get closer to it! Triangulate its source, as we planned!"

I bite my lip.

"Please select 'travel,' Vinyl."

I reach to the screen and select the option in question.

Purple: "Travel. Selected."

"Alright... humans have this thing called a global positioning system that allows them to retrace their steps... or in this case wheel-tracks."

I turn to grimace at her.

"Yes... I am serious." She clenches her jaw. "Now. Put on your restraints."

Shivering, I nervously do so.

"And don't be afraid. I've seen both the Mrs. Pie and the Big Macintosh of this world do this. I mean... it's just simple physics, right? Plus the application of fossil fuels? Pfft... what's there to worry about?" She smiles sideways at me. "These machines drive themselves, after all. It's not like we need wagon licenses like we do back at home."

I nod.

Guess she has a point there.

"Okay... here goes nothing!" She takes a stick and shoves it to the letter "R." "There! 'Rapid!' That makes us go fast, right?"

I shrug. Then my body jolts.

"Uhhhh..." Twilight looks behind her. "Why are we going backwards...?"

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