• Published 9th Mar 2018
  • 703 Views, 11 Comments

Off The Air - Rainedash



After being on the air for twenty odd years, Vinyl Scratch, better known as the legendary DJ Pon-3, has decided it's time to walk away from the spotlight.

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Saying Goodbye

I grabbed the bottle and took another drink. Water, by the way, not alcohol. Though I did get in a shot in the morning before coming to the station. Been a long damn time since I’ve had to calm my nerves for something, but tonight was special.

The song ended and with a simple flick of the switch I was live once more. “Hello! Hello! Hello! Welcome one and all back to the show; back to the final segment of the final show that is. Enjoying it so far? Been a regular who’s who coming through here: comedians, musicians, actors, and even her highness Princess Twilight Sparkle. Okay, so she was more interested in the whys and hows of the radio and podcast business in the current era, but still, I had a damn princess in here for my final show. You won’t see me complaining.

“Now then, I’ve been amazed at the number of messages I’ve been getting. All of you guys from common fans to other entertainers have been coming out of the woodwork to tell me I still got it and I shouldn’t retire. Really surprised at the number of younger fans messaging me. Good to know I’m not completely out of touch. Now, I can’t answer all of your questions since it’d take a few lifetimes. Seriously, got like a thousand of them within the first day of announcing my retirement. But, there were a few questions in particular that kept popping up over and over… and over… and... you get the picture.

“The first, and biggest question was, ‘Oh golly gee, Miss Pon-3, why ever would you pick now to leave us?’ Well guys and gals... it’s time for a bit of real talk.” I pushed my glasses up and lean towards the mic. “I’ve done quite a few drugs in my time. Most of which weren’t that bad, but there’s a few in there you all really shouldn’t do. However, the most addicting drug I’ve come across is fame. No, that isn’t some fancy street name, literally fame. And there are some genuine fame junkies. Not gonna name names, but we’ve all seen them. Let me tell you, when you actually have any level of pull in the entertainment industry seeing people like that is a daily damned occurrence. This is gonna sound weird coming from me of all people, but I refuse to become a fame junkie. Listen, everything I’ve done I’ve done my way, on my own terms. I’ll be damned if people’s last memories of DJ Pon-3 are of me using three year old memes and doing asinine publicity stunts for that one more sweet hit of fame. I’m not going out like that. I’m going to walk away from the spotlight with my head held high.”

I took another sip, and leaned back again as I got to the next little point. “For the second thing, some of you got the wrong idea. I’m retiring as DJ Pon-3, that’s true, but I’m still going to be the owner of KCOLT. Aside from my slot, you can chill with all the worry about schedule changes and the station changing its style. This station is my baby. It’s my legacy. This station was created to celebrate all kinds of music in all genres, and from around the world. It’s not going to change any time soon.

“Though, this does bring me to my third point. Everyone wants to know who is going to replace me. Who is the one that’s going to take the place of a legend. Now, I had a lot of talented entertainers wanting this position. Gotta say, some of them were pretty damn good. However, I turned them all down. I created the DJ Pon-3 persona in front of you guys over the years, starting off as a lesser known Canterlot musician. To me, that’s the only type of person that should have this time slot: someone none of you have ever heard of building their legacy live in front of the world. I went out and handpicked a little known DJ to take my time slot. You guys should have seen the station manager’s face when I told him. That was great. He’s an awesome guy though, kept the station from being a clusterfuck and not the fun kind. Could stand to pull the stick out every once in awhile though. Anyways, this chick knows her way around music. Granted her taste is a bit different than mine. She’s all about rock and future bass, and you all know I’m more of a trance girl. Still, try to give her a fair shot, ‘kay?”

“And the final one. The stock question they ask everyone. Any regrets? Well… yeah. You don’t live a life like mine without screwing up a few things. I’ve dug more holes for myself than a diamond dog. Thankfully I’ve had the connections and money to get myself out of those holes, but this is why I’m not exactly the best of role models. I’m happy to inspire, but try not to live like me. Not unless you have the connections, and a few backup livers on standby. And, by being me, I’ve burnt some bridges I’d love to rebuild. Surprisingly enough being loud, not having much of a filter, and always seeking attention actually has some negative consequences. Hey, I’m just as shocked as you about that. Heh. Of course there’s the question with that, would you change anything if you could. No. Seriously, messing with history is just a bad idea. Just say no to time travel, kiddies.” I give a little chuckle. Had to throw in some humor to lighten the mood. “Now then, remember that whole thing about me doing everything my way? Well, I’m also not going to let the last memory of DJ Pon-3 to be a sappy one. It’s time for a big send off, something I haven’t done in awhile.”

I slide my glasses back into place, and took a deep breath. “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages! This is one final shoutout to all those that tuned in: the kiddies that just discovered me, the old bastards that’ve stuck with me since day one, the commoners doing their nine to fives, the nobles sipping their wine, the aliens listening to this when it reaches their homeworld about five million years from now – give or take a few centuries – and even the princesses themselves. I am, was, and forever will be the demon of the turntable, the party host of Canterlot, the fan-voted princess of music! This is the first, the last, and thankfully for Equestria the only, DJ Pon-3 signing off. Folks, never stop being awesome, and never stop creating.” And with a simple flick of the switch that was it; the end of DJ Pon-3.

I pulled off my glasses as I tried to catch my breath. Dear fucking Celestia how did I used to do that finale on a single breath all the time.

A knock at the door way was followed by the station manager’s, Skywave’s, voice, “Everyone’s downstairs for your party.” He was you typical, clean cut Canterlonian. Not a single damned hair out of place. Yeah, he’s that type of guy.

I responded with a halfhearted, “Give me five.”

With a nod he walked out, leaving me alone in the booth. I simply looked around at all the little flashing lights in the dark room. Always did prefer doing my show with the room lights off. Made it feel a bit more intimate.

I ran my hand across the console, briefly remembering my first ever attempt at using it. Back then I thought that I could simply use my magic to control all of the switches and buttons at once. It’d be so much more efficient, I thought. Turned out that I didn’t have nearly as much finesse or multitasking ability with magic as I thought I did. Celestia, that practice run was such a clusterfuck.

It was in this moment that it really hit me. I could practically feel the persona of DJ Pon-3 leaving me. “Been a hell of a ride, huh?” I said to the console, while giving it a few pats. “But I guess all things really do come to an end eventually.” The tears welled up in the corners of my eyes, one or two sliding down. I tightly gripped the chair with one hand and held a fist to my forehead with the other. Damn it, stop. Not fucking now! I can’t let them see me acting like this. It took a few moments of just concentrating on my breathing while tensed up to get them to stop coming. Fucking damn it, I’m not the emotional type, and I’m not gonna start being that way now. I quickly wiped them away and stood up to leave. I grabbed my glasses just in case they could tell I nearly cried, but… putting them back on just didn’t feel right. They’re a symbol of DJ Pon-3. No, they’re the symbol of DJ Pon-3. Half my damn albums are these glasses photoshopped onto things. I shook my head head, trying to get it out of my system. “Okay, I’m good. Keep it together,” I muttered to myself.

I walked away from the booth and into a back room. There’s a ton of them in the station, but only one big one that we usually use for any type of station party. The moment I step in I got a face full of confetti, like I just entered the money shot in a clown porno. Other hosts and various station workers gave me a big cheer as they stand around the tables. Cakes, beers, and other goodies are sitting all around. “For little ol’ me? You should have.” Before I can even grab one, Skywave pops the top off of beer and hands it to me. My favorite kind too, a Zebronian lager. The people over there have the good shit. I lean against the table, and got ready for the obvious question.

“So, what are you going to do for your first day of retirement?”

Predictable as always. I shrugged and took a drink. “Dunno. Sleep in until noon. Have ice cream for breakfast. Just do whatever.”

“You could always play bingo with the other old, retired mages. Swap stories of the good old days.” Naturally he had a smug ass grin to go along with saying that. I shot him a face that screamed, really? And he just laughed. “What? I decided to pull the stick out.”

“You are so damn lucky I’m a cool boss.”

“Yeah, you really are.” He took a beer and held it up. We tapped them in a toast before both taking a drink. He nodded towards one of the back corners, currently playing host to my replacement. “Try to give a good pep talk to her before leaving. You just put a newcomer on a world stage, so she might need it.”

I waved off his concerns. I swear, everyone was a bit on edge about my decision. “Relax. I’m sure the kid will be fine. I’ll check on her though, just to make you feel better.”

“Thanks.”

And there was no time like the present. Let’s put everyone’s worries to rest once and for all. I quickly finished off my beer, and meandered my way away from Skyway, through the small crowd, to the green haired girl in the corner. A pair of headphones were wrapped around her neck and she seemed to be glancing around, her eyes never staying still. “Yo.”

“Eep!” She quickly stood up straight and gave a nervous laugh. “Oh, hey DJ Pon-3! Uh, great final show!”

“Thanks.” I leaned on the wall next to her. Hey, I liked to lean on stuff. “And just Vinyl Scratch will do. Remember, no more DJ Pon-3.”

Another little nervous laugh as she avoided eye contact. “Yeah! Sorry. Force of habit, you know?” She sat back down, her knee bobbing up and down as she continued looking around and fidgeting.

Fuck. Fucking fuck! Skywave might have actually been right. Okay, chill. I could handle this. “It’s okay to be a bit nervous.”

“Um, yeah...” She looked up at me. “Were you ever-”

“Yes.” It wasn’t like I had to wait to know what that question was going to be. “I’ve been nervous before a performance before. Any entertainer that says they’ve never felt that is a liar.” I pull a chair away from one of the tables and sat in front of her. “Lemon Zest, I’m gonna give you a bit of advice. The thing about fucking up is that it’s going to happen. Now matter how much you prepare or how confident or nervous you are, you will occasionally fuck up.” And she’s fidgeting even more now. Great. “Chill, I swear this is going somewhere good. Look, what truly separates the good from the great is the ability to handle those fuck ups. When you mess up, don’t freeze up. Don’t just stop everything. Roll with it. Own that fuck up. Make it yours. Make it into a great moment. Some of the greatest moments of my career comes from times I fucked up on stage or in the booth. Get where I’m going with this?”

She took a deep breath and nodded. “I just gotta be able to laugh it off and all that, right?”

“Yep. Just treat it as one of your gigs, roll with the fuck ups, and you’ll do great.” I reached down and pulled out my sunglasses. “Hold still for a second.” I put them on her. “Think of them as a luck charm.”

“Y-You’re glasses? Are, um, these the ones you’ve always worn?”

I tried to hold it back, I really did. But I doubled over in laughter. “Oh Tartarus no! I’ve broken hundreds of these.”

“Oh.” And that killed her enthusiasm a bit. “Even the originals?”

“They’re actually in a safe back at home. Little story that most people don’t know, but the originals are a pair of super cheap plastic ones. Old friend of mine won them for me at a fair and I wore them to a gig on whim.” I leaned back into my seat and shrugged. “People liked them, and before I knew it they were a part of my image.” I stood and tapped her leg. “Grab a beer, stuff your face with cake, and sleep well. You’ll be fine.” It looked like she needed to hear that last part again.

***

The party was fun and all, but it had started to get too sappy for my taste. Never been the type that liked long goodbyes, especially when they’ll still be seeing me from time to time. Probably should have grabbed a few beers for the trip home though.

Honestly, one of my favorite things about my old time slot was the walk home. Canterlot wasn’t as big as most cities, so there wasn’t a ton of noise. Plus being on the side of a mountain meant that the view was amazing. If you got close to the edge it felt like you could see half of Equestria. The view when you looked up was even better, especially after Luna’s return. Seriously, I could become one of those old people that just enjoyed stargazing at night. They were so damn bright here.

I shivered as a gust of wind hit me. Yeah, it’s not exactly warm on the side of a fucking mountain in winter. My family manor wasn’t too far from the studio so it didn’t take long before I got home. Heh, it was always fun seeing fans’ reactions when I told them that I lived in a big, old manor. Everyone expects the big shot DJ to have some smokey apartment or to practically live in the studio.

With a quick turn of my key the door opens, and a I take another clown money shot. “There’s my darling princess.” Dad rushed over to me and pulled me into a hug. He was kinda old, obviously, but still got around very well. Typical old rich playboy that was still enjoying life. Probably because he was new money. Mom on the other hand…

“There’s my darling little Scratch.” She was old money through and through. I mean, she knew how to have a bit of fun and was always supportive of the whole DJ thing, but besides that, she was the typical Canterlonian nobility. “It was a perfect finale, dear. I’m sure your fans loved it.” She rushed over and hugged me as well. “How are you feeling? Want me to break out the ice cream?” Ice cream as my comfort food was one of the few traits I got from mom. That and the blue hair.

“Guys, I’m fine. Really.”

“Are you sure, princess?” asked dad. “You seem a little...”

“Drained?” I asked, finishing it with a big yawn. “Yeah, that’s true. I’d love to stay up with you guys, but I could really use some rest.” Thankfully they took the hint and backed off a bit. I love my parents and all, but I kinda wanted to be alone at the moment. “Night guys.” The front door went to the living room, and to the side was the stairs leading to the second story. Beside them was the family butler, Jhooves.

“It’s nice to see you home, Lady Scratch. I left a couple bottles of your favorite on your coffee table, just in case you need them.” Despite the fancy tone in his speech, he was pretty cool, and knew everyone in my family like the back of his hand.

“You da best, Jhooves.” I gave him a quick fist bump and headed upstairs.

Many doors down was my room. I use the term room loosely here. It was the size of an apartment. Even had my own little kitchen area with a minifridge. And as promised two beers stood on my night table beside my bed. I don’t even bother to stop walking before I started stripping off my clothes and tossing them to the floor. A quick trip to the closet and I’m in my typical sleep wear, a big ass shirt and underwear. I jumped onto the bed and just laid there a moment.

Another little note about me, I hate things being too quiet. My mind just races when there isn’t noise. Thankfully that’s when my phone started going off. Though it sucks when you’re comfortable and have to get up to fish your phone out of your pants pocket.

The acoustic guitar ringtone let me know right away who it was. “Hey, bro.” My brother, Long Play, was a musician like me, so I just used one of his older songs as the ringtone for him. “How’s it hanging? A little to the left?” A long, disappointed sigh came on from the other end. No matter how old I get I will never not enjoy being the annoying little sister. “Seriously though, what’s up?”

“That was a great final show, sis. Really wish I could have been there.”

“Yeah, yeah. Believe me, I understand why Mr. Bigshot Manehatten Music Producer couldn’t get away from the office. It’s the downside of getting into the business side of music.”

“Right. I’ll definitely be there this weekend though. I just wanted to check on you after the show. I know this is a big thing for you. And don’t try to just play it cool. You’re talking to a fellow musician here. I know how it feels to stop doing yearly tours and all that.” Long Play never was one to take my bluffs. He seemed to always see through me.

“Honestly? I don’t even know right now. Nearly cried after the show, can you believe that? I think I just need a ton of sleep and something to distract me for awhile. Oh, also, make sure to bring my sister-in-law and nephew when you visit. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen them. Mom even setup a room for him.”

“Heh. Let me guess, something like, ‘the family home must always be ready for the return of any family member’ or something like that.”

“Exactly. You also better bring your guitar. Been way too damn long since we had a jam session.” We didn’t exactly have similar styles, but fuck it, it was just fun playing music with my big brother. He taught me a ton about it back when I was a kid.

“You got it. I need to head off, but stay strong. You’ll get used to not being her anymore.”

“Yeah, thanks. Later, bro” With a click the phone goes silent. The room was silent again… Yeah, not going to let it stay that way. I popped open one of the beers and turned on the tv.

“Today Princess Celestia signed an alliance renewal with the-” Blah blah blah, politics. I quickly changed the channel. “Are microbes having sex in your drinking water? H, two, Aaaa-ooo! Next, on Sick, Sad World.” Think I’ve already seen this episode but meh. It’ll be good enough for background music. I tossed the remote aside, chugged the rest of the beer, and laid back.

I had no clue how long I stayed just laying there and staring at the ceiling. I stopped hearing the tv after awhile. My mind was too busy trying to focus on not thinking. But then a new noise came through, my phone’s generic ringtone. I debated whether I should answer or not, but went ahead and did it. I picked it up, looked at the screen to see who it was, and… and… had the air knocked right out of me.

It rang a few more times before I forced my phone to click on it, and brought it up to my ear. “Hey, Octy... It’s been awhile.”

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