• Published 9th Aug 2016
  • 1,075 Views, 61 Comments

The Song That Makes You Lose It - forbloodysummer



How do you keep going when you sing the line, 'Nothing can stop us now,' only to be proven wrong?

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Option 2ii – I Will Return To This Land

Still grinning at the memory, Sonata brought her mind back to the present. Not much had changed since she’d been away: the lights still flickered, the sofa still smelled funny. Aria was in the middle of saying something, though, so Sonata put on her listening face and made out like she had been paying attention the whole time.

“Ok,” Aria said, counting on her fingers as she said each thing, “so we can’t get ponies to use their magic for us, as they’d never trust us in our siren forms...”

Oh dear, how long had Sonata drifted off for? Not, like asleep-drifted-off, but wandered into her memories without a guide and hung out there for some time.

“...Can’t get dragons or anyone else to as they couldn’t be trusted not to overpower us when we’re magically defenceless...”

It sounded like she must have been gone for a while, as Aria was listing things like they’d already been talked over, and Sonata didn’t remember any of that. It wasn’t like she’d really have been able to add much, though; even Aria was way better a planning stuff than Sonata, when she didn’t get bored and start punching people.

“...Couldn’t buy or steal new gems as there are no other sirens to get them from...”

Yep, Sonata remembered that bit! As in, remembered talking about it. She remembered when she’d helped them realise it, too – she’d been lying on her bed, doing her nails, and Aria had been listening to – No! Stop it! Focus, Sonata, in case there’s anything you can do to help now like you did back then. No more flashbacks, they need you here.

“...And the chances of us just finding new gems we could enchant are very low when we have no magic to do so.”

That was the full list, then? No pony help, no dragon or changeling help, no siren help, and no way of doing it themselves. Dragons and changelings were always unfriendly, but weren’t ponies supposed to be nice and helpful and stuff? What was the point of that, if they wouldn’t help sirens learn to sing again?

Sonata bit her lip as she tried to watch Adagio without her noticing. Like, obviously Sonata was looking at both her sisters, because that was what Adagio had said you were meant to do when people were talking, so it was normal to be watching them. But Sonata tried to really look, to see how Adagio was doing, as it was her trying to put it all together in a way that would get them their powers back.

Was Adagio ok? Where was the little smile she usually had when she was planning stuff?

Stupid ponies, not helping and leaving it all up to Adagio to puzzle her way out of the mess! They needed punishing. No one was going to make her sister feel like that. Once Adagio found a way to get the three of them to Equestria, Sonata would...

Would what? She had no magic she could hurt ponies with. That was kinda the whole problem. Adagio had said that sirens couldn’t control ponies when they had no magic.

But then how come humans could? They didn’t have magic.

Humans kept ponies as pets. They rode them and made them pull ploughs and do whatever they wanted! So if Sonata could just find a–

I am a human!

Well, sort of. She and her sisters were all still sirens. But also kind of humans too. They looked like humans, at least. Would that be enough? Could they use their special human powers to push the ponies around?

But why hadn’t Adagio already thought of that? She’d been talking about them returning to Equestria as sirens, but they were human now. Adagio knew that, of course, so Sonata had missed something. But what?

“Why do we think we’d turn back into sirens?” she asked. Adagio and Aria both turned to look at her, but they didn’t quite look angry enough for her to think they’d already answered that question sometime when she’d been daydreaming and not paying attention. “This is what we look like now.”

In Sonata’s mind, coming from lots of memories of similar talks, she could almost see Adagio taking a sip of wine during the moment she waited before answering.

“Do you remember when we first arrived in this world,” Adagio said, “and woke up in these bodies?”

Shuddering, Sonata felt her tummy tighten up like she was going to be sick. Was she turning green just from thinking about it? “That wasn’t fun at all,” she said, looking down at the floor. Without really meaning to, she felt her hands rubbing over her belly, feeling the skin beneath her top, all smooth and tingly now. The scrapes from where she’d pulled herself along the ground that day had healed ages ago, but she still turned her head away from the memory of the pain.

On the other side of the sofa, she saw Aria move her normal crossed arms lower, covering her own tummy.

“No it wasn’t,” Adagio agreed, and even she looked like she’d eaten something bad, like cauliflower cheese or something. “And we were very lucky the alley the portal dropped us in was so quiet.”

Sonata’s eyes widened, not really having thought about that before. Would they even had had the strength to sing someone into leaving them alone, if they’d been found? So, so tired after the thing with Starswirl, and all bleeding as they found out how much tougher than scales skin wasn’t.

“We still did fairly well,” Aria said, “compared to how long it takes humans to learn to walk.”

And humans had never had tails, as far as Sonata knew. So they’d never had to get used to the feeling of telling your muscles to split your tail in half each time you wanted to move one leg on its own.

She looked down at the insides of her hands, again seeing smooth skin. The marks were gone, leaving no sign of her screwing her fists up so tight that the nails went into the flesh.

“We did,” Adagio nodded, looking across at Aria for a moment before looking down at the floor in front of her, “but it still took us days to get back into fighting shape. That one bit of magic put us straight out of action.”

Aria looked unhappy but didn’t argue, and her being that way with Adagio often meant she was about to snap at Sonata instead. Aria didn’t say anything else, though, so maybe possibly that hug earlier might have cheered her up just a tiny bit? Or at least made her feel like they were all trying to fix the same problem? Even if Adagio is the one who’s best at finding the answers, and we’re just here to help.

Sometimes it was freaky how thinking Adagio’s name could make her look at you, like she knew, but Sonata was pretty sure it was just very clever guessing what you were thinking, and not actually hearing it for realsies. “So, do you remember what we concluded at the time?” Adagio asked as the turned to Sonata.

Concluded at the time...?

That sirens were better things to be than people? That the new world they were stuck in was stupid, like the people in it? That being helpless was the worst thing of all, like they were just tiny little ponies or something? They had definitely decided all of those things!

Before she managed to get any closer to knowing which one Adagio meant, Aria spoke. “If Starswirl had that kind of power, why’d he wait to use it until after banishing us?” Sonata could hear Aria rolling her eyes.

I don’t know, I’m not a pony wizard, he probably did lots of dumb things...

Adagio took over, not sounding nearly as bored, just like she was trying to break it down so Sonata would understand. “He could have foregone the whole magic battle thing of him being humiliatingly defeated.”

That had been pretty funny though! At least, until he’d crawled back while they were busy laughing about stuff and cast his horrible curse. Happily giggling amongst themselves, enjoying having everything they’d ever wanted. Hoofsteps of a pony trying to be sneaky, soon leading their eyes to the familiar unicorn. Snarls of sirens. A flash of yellow light. And then the sky began to scream.

Sonata blinked to wipe away the flash of memory, but luckily it had only lasted a single moment, so she hadn’t missed anything, and Adagio didn’t look like she’d noticed.

“One use of that spell and it would have been over,” Adagio carried on. “But he didn’t, and the body change struck as we arrived in this world.”

Smack! Sonata heard the noise straight out of another quick memory she hadn’t asked for. Smack as the hole in the sky threw them out of the spinny, stretchy colours that had been making her feel sick, and dropped them from midair onto the hard road below. All they knew of their new bodies at first was pain.

Biting her teeth together, Sonata wanted to shake her head to clear the flashback out of her view, needed to, but that would make it really obvious to the others she’d been distracted when they’d been talking.

She swallowed, hoping she could force the flashback down to her stomach instead. But it didn’t work like that, did it? Flashbacks weren’t flapjacks.

“So it was probably because we arrived in this world,” Aria said.

So the magic hadn’t come from Starswirl, but from the world when they first appeared there? Even though the big problem with the new world was that it didn’t have magic like Equestria did? Maybe it just had a special bit of magic for squishing visitors from other places into new shapes.

“So we’d fit in with all the people here?”

Was there any way that the three of them could get hold of that magic and use it to help them get new gems?

“Exactly,” Adagio said. “The magic of this world made us look like people, because that’s what people in this world look like.”

So Adagio definitely called it magic, the thing that made you different shapes to fit in, like how everybody at the supermarket wore the same uniform, and if Adagio knew it was magic but didn’t talk about a plan to use it, there probably wasn’t a way. Unless Sonata had thought of something Adagio hadn’t...? No, that wouldn’t happen; Adagio thought of everything. Didn’t she?

“So if we go to Equestria…” she said slowly, probably just to make sure Sonata got it. Equestria was like a different supermarket, then, with blue uniforms instead of red? So if you wanted to look like you worked there, you had to change clothes to match? Which was stupid, because everyone knew how bad it was to turn up wearing the same outfit as someone else. Like, every TV programme they’d watched had said that, so they’d make extra special sure their outfits were all different. So were supermarkets badly dressed on purpose?

“Yep,” Aria said.

“...We’ll look like ponies?” Sonata finished, only realising after she’d spoken that Aria had already answered the question.

“Wait, no,” Aria said, shaking her head quickly side to side. “Not that.” She looked straight at Sonata and made a confused face, the kind Sonata often recognised in the mirror. “So close.”

Aw, I got it wrong? ‘So close’ is good though! Maybe next time? Like maybe if next time Aria asked questions about cooking instead; Sonata could answer those easily! Or driving, maybe? She’d had to learn all that stuff for the test anyway. Even though she could have sung her way through it, if Adagio hadn’t been all like ‘do it properly so we don’t die!’

Then Aria did a big sigh. “We came from Equestria, so we already know what we look like there.”

“Like, siren-shaped?”

As in, like the kind of shape they’d been in Equestria before when they did their singing and tried to take over and stuff. Not the shape they were right now, even though they were still sirens, so human shape was also kind of siren shape now?

“Yes.”

But if there were no sirens in Equestria, because they’d been banished to this place instead, then how would Equestria know what siren-shaped was?

Actually, if they were the only sirens left, then didn’t siren-shaped mean whatever shape they were? So at the moment it really did mean human-shaped, because that was the shape that every siren alive looked like?

By that point, Sonata’s eyes were starting to hurt from being crossed for too long.

“But what if going there again makes us into ponies?” she asked. What if the shape change brain looked at them and saw no magic jewels, and so didn’t realise they were sirens?

Aria looked like she was stuck on pause, sitting there with her mouth a bit open.

“Then tricking unicorns into enchanting us new gems should be a lot easier,” Adagio said, like it would be easy and they didn’t need to worry about it. She always knew what to say of course, and she ran her fingers through her big fluffy hair as she talked. “But since that’s very unlikely, let’s not count on it while planning.”

Yeah, but ‘easier’ sounded good! So, if that was the way to make it easy, then wasn’t that what they should do?

“So if we could trick them if we looked like ponies,” Sonata said, “then why don’t we disguise ourselves?”

One of Aria’s eyebrows lifted upwards, like a pretty purple caterpillar. The thin, wiggly kind, with all the hairs pointing the same way so it looked tidy. “I don’t think a long, hooded cloak is going to cover it,” she said.

How come? That worked with their hair, didn’t it? Hoodies were sort of hooded cloaks, and after a bit of practice they’d figured out how to stuff their hair into their hoods without messing it up or looking like they had weird head bulges. So why couldn’t they do the same in Equestria with cloaks?

“Only magic would get us around the size difference,” Adagio explained in that voice which meant she was trying to be patient but it wouldn’t last much longer.

Sonata knew that voice could be a warning, and that she should perhaps not say anything else. But they were so close to an answer, if they’d just let her finish and tell them her plan just in case she’d accidentally thought of a really good one.
“And we have none,” Aria added, rolling her eyes.

But that wouldn’t matter, because unicorns! Why couldn’t Aria see? She thought she was all clever, but sometimes Sonata had to explain really simple stuff to her, like not to eat too fast or she’d get tummy ache.

“But what I’m saying is, why don’t we trick a unicorn into doing it for us? That way we wouldn’t need our own magic!”

No? Neither of the others were getting it. Aria was doing her grumpy cloud thing, with how her eyebrows sat flat, like angry hats for her eyes.

“You want to trick a unicorn into using magic on us so we can trick unicorns into using magic for us?”

“Oh,” Sonata slumped in her seat. “Well, when you say it like that…”

Adagio rubbed her chin and tapped a finger against her lips. “The idea isn’t entirely without merit, though. I imagine a disguise spell is at least easier or less specialised than a gem finding or –enchanting one.”

Huh? That sounded like it was something, then, like maybe they could at least get a tiny bit of use out of it? And her idea hadn’t been totally stupid?

“So, what,” Aria said, “any old unicorn can disguise us, and we then use that to get the help we need from one of the few unicorns who could provide it?”

All the same, maybe it would be best if Sonata kept quiet for a couple of minutes, just in case she came out with two kind of not great ideas in a row.

“That’s the theory, yes,” Adagio said. “All we’d need to do is manipulate one regular unicorn.”

“ ‘Manipulate one regular unicorn’ without using any magic.” Aria made her I-don’t-believe-you face with both her eyebrows going way higher.

That face made at something Adagio said was normally how their fights started. Next, Adagio would give Aria an angry look, saying something quietly but like she was trying really hard not to shout. And after the yelling at each other had stopped and one or both of them had stormed off to their rooms, Sonata would have to cook something that smelled extra yummy for dinner to lure them both back down again.

How could she do that if they argued now, when they weren’t at home? What could smell so good it would reach them anywhere they could run off to in the city?

Maybe if I put all the spices and chillies we have in big cauldron of tikka masala and stood outside stirring it?

“I didn’t say it would be easy,” Adagio said with a sad look.

Huh. That was different. Maybe perhaps possibly they wouldn’t fight? And Sonata wouldn’t have to find a witch’s hat to wear while cooking? You couldn’t use a cauldron without a witch’s hat; that was, like, the rule or something.

Adagio gave Sonata a smile but still looked sad. Like she wanted Sonata to be happy when she wasn’t happy herself, maybe? Then she looked back to Aria and carried on speaking. “Completely the opposite – that’ll be the toughest part, and it’s highly likely to fail.”

Sonata looked from one knee to the other as she tried to figure out the answer, but it was like trying to grow flowers when you had no seeds.

“But how could we get anyone to do what we want without magic?” she asked, tugging on her ponytail as she thought.

“Sort of the question of the evening, really,” Aria said. Grumpy cloud became grumbly cloud, like how back at the cove they’d hear thunder out at sea. Thunderstorms weren’t much of a problem when you lived in the water anyway, but if Aria went full cumulonimbus that evening it might ruin everything.

Although ‘going full cumulonimbus’ was definitely the cleverest thing she’d thought of all day, and she tried not to let her smile at it show in case the others thought she wasn’t listening to them.

After making an unpleasant face agreeing with Aria, Adagio talked more encouragingly and held out a hand like she was inviting them to join in. “So, we need to be more creative about it. If magic is off the table, what’s left?”

And Aria didn’t just snap back, she stopped and thought for a couple of seconds first with her head leaning to one side like a puppy. Which was definitely a good sign, even if she still sounded like none of the ideas she suggested were worth bothering with. “Hard leverage is pretty much out when they have magic and we don’t. Force would be hopeless, and hostage-taking almost as bad.”

Like, taking a unicorn’s family away until they did what you said? That could work! Unless they accidentally picked a unicorn who hated their family or something. Nah, unicorns were ponies, which meant they were full of love and stuff, so that wouldn’t happen.

But what would happen? Aria had already said it wouldn’t work, and she was really good at the detail stuff like that. And she was right; the three of them couldn’t just run up to a unicorn and stuff its foal into a sack, because the unicorn could just magic it back out again before they could escape with it. And then the unicorn would probably be cross and try to punish them or something unfair like that, and they wouldn’t be able to use magic to fight back.

So if the unicorn caught them during the foalnapping, they were in trouble. Could they do it when the parent wasn’t around, like at school? No, the teacher would just call the unicorn police if they weren’t a unicorn themself. What about when the foal was alone – maybe they could catch it walking home from school or something?

Still, though, if the unicorn had magic and they didn’t, fighting them and getting the foal back would be easy. Unless…

“What if you kept a hostage somewhere secret, so the unicorn couldn’t just rescue it?”

Would that do it? Nopony could save something they couldn’t find, right?

Aria shook her head, and it being a sad shake instead of an angry shake only made things the tiniest bit not quite so bad. “Locator spell,” she said. “Wouldn’t stay secret for long.”

“Oh.” Sonata felt her shoulders slump from where she’d perked up a moment before. “Is that really a thing?”

There was always something, wasn’t there? Some stupid little thing she hadn’t thought of, put there just to spoil her idea? Details were the worst!

“It was in that TV show we watched,” Aria shrugged, “sounds believable enough that unicorns could do it too.”

It had only been, like, an hour since Sonata had lost her magic, and already she hated unicorns so much for being able to do it. They just needed to be put in a hole somewhere. In the dark. With an owl. But nooooo, thanks to the stupid locator spell somepony would be able to find them and get them out again. And then she’d be left trying to cheer up a lonely owl, and that was a night she didn’t want to go through again.

“There are other methods of leverage, though,” Adagio said, with that low tingle in her voice that boys liked. Girls too. And probably, like, slugs and statues and everything; Adagio just had that effect generally. At least the giant sky pony couldn’t take that away. And it couldn’t hurt how well Adagio could plan stuff either, right?

Ooh, but leverage! ...Not ‘butt leverage,’ that was something completely different, but like, ‘yeah, but, leverage!’ Anyway, the main thing was that Sonata knew about that! Like when the wizard girl had pulled the lever earlier and dropped the Rainbooms in a hole. Adagio had said she’d pushed them, but Sonata knew it had actually been a lever. How come Adagio hadn’t known that, when the lever was right in front of them? Were levers just one of those things, like driving and cooking, that Sonata knew more about than Adagio? That was kind of a scary thought. She didn’t like being the one who knew the most about things! What if other people asked her about them, as she knew stuff, but she got mixed up and told them the wrong thing?

Oh, maelstrom! And what else could be on that list, along with cooking, driving and levers? What if it’s something extra-special important, and Adagio needs it for her planning?!

Sonata let out a big breath through her mouth as she looked ahead of her with wide eyes. Being clever was hard work! Maybe that was how Adagio felt always? Maybe she was tired the whole time, from knowing so much, and just wanted to sleep? And that was why she got so shouty with Sonata and Aria if they made too much noise fighting?

And if being clever was making Adagio tired, could she keep it going forever, as Sonata had always thought? Or would she have to stop and rest sometime? Maybe Adagio was stupid in her dreams at night! That might be why she got grumpy if Sonata woke her up in the middle of the night? Because that would mean she’d just interrupted Adagio dreaming of being in math class giggling over not knowing any of the answers or something?

Wait, I was thinking about something. Just a moment ago; I was thinking about something important, and it mattered for what we were talking about, but now it’s gone. Sonata hated it when that happened.

Aria was making more noises and faces about not believing Adagio, saying, “We’d be going in as sirens, as in: creatures ponies would naturally flee from.” She didn’t take her eyes off Adagio as she spoke. “And you’re thinking we can go from zero to ‘sell out your species for me’ in less time than it takes anypony else to raise the alarm?”

Ooh, that was it! Levers! If they found the right lever, then they could drop a unicorn into a hole too, right, just like the wizard girl had done? Levers didn’t just appear, though, they’d need to build a trap and then trick the unicorn into stepping in the right place.

Oh, but hang on. No, that couldn’t be right.

She’d wanted to drop the unicorns in a hole before, and Aria had said that wouldn’t work because of the map spell thing. So it wouldn’t work for a trap either, would it?

Hm.

‘Sell out your species for me,’ Aria had said. That sounded more like it! That’d be a much better thing for unicorns to be doing than finding their way out of holes. Would Starswirl have sold out the other ponies for them and left Sonata and her sisters to it if he hadn’t been such a loser he didn’t know how to talk to girls? If he’d tried admiring their beauty instead of being jealous or scared of it?

Maybe they should have said nice things about his ratty beard or something. Even if it did make him look like somepony who’d enjoy rubbing up against foals on the bus. But then it didn’t really matter what he looked like; they were sirens – ponies were meant to want them, not the other way around.

“We are sirens,” Sonata said, “isn’t that kind of our job?” Sometimes Adagio would get cross if Sonata interrupted when she and Aria were talking, but she hadn’t looked ready to answer before Sonata spoke.

“The odds aren’t good, no,” Adagio said. Sonata had never seen Adagio make that face before when talking about her own plans. Like, sometimes when Sonata cooked something weird-looking, like red-wined fried eggs, then Adagio would make that face before trying it. But Sonata’s cooking experiments didn’t always work. They usually tasted interesting, but not always the kind of interesting you’d want to taste again.

But seeing Adagio make the same face over something as always-right as her planning was both sad and scary, like breaking your favourite lung. Sonata lifted her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them, putting her feet on the rim of the sofa cushion.

Aria said, “Face it, Adagio: I know showing up and being adored is our thing, but without our voices we just aren’t that loveable.”

Whatever it was Adagio was looking at somewhere in front of her must have been really interesting, because she wasn’t blinking or taking her eyes off it, just staring straight ahead at it. “Too frightening to be loved, but not so frightening as to be obeyed,” she said, almost in a whisper.

Is that what we are, then? Kind of medium-frightening?

“Exactly,” Aria grunted.

Adagio rubbed her chin, like she’d be stroking her beard if she had one. Maybe she should grow one, just to show Starswirl what a proper beard was supposed to look like on a good-looking person, not just something grown by some loser pony to hide a weak chin. Not that he’d be able to see it, since he was far away and dead. But maybe it would help the three of them feel better, to see a good example of a beard? And make some happier beard memories?

“What if,” Adagio said, still stroking her not-beard, which was a sign she was thinking up ideas and stuff, “we didn’t have to start from scratch?”

But wasn’t scratching a good place to start? If ponies tried to attack them when they went back to Equestria, they couldn’t fight with magic, so they’d have to use their sharp hooves or their teeth. And they might get full up quickly if they just ate all the ponies who came at them, so scratching and stabbing was probably a good thing to do at first. At least until tired or peckish.

It couldn’t have been that good an idea, though, or Adagio would have been ok with it. Wouldn’t she?

On the other side of the sofa, Aria copied Sonata’s pose of looking at Adagio while listening to her, trying to figure out what she meant.

“What if we could manipulate a pre-existing bond?” Adagio explained. Scratch that – sort of explained?

Hee hee, ‘scratch’ that!

“Well, that’d be great,” Aria said, “but remember the bit where everypony we knew in Equestria died thousands of years ago?”

That might not be a bad thing, though, since if any ponies remembered anything about them it probably wouldn’t be anything good. So maybe it’d be better to start from– Oh, from scratch! I get it now! Sonata found herself doing a huge smile, but luckily Aria and Adagio were looking at each other so no one noticed and she didn’t have to give an awkward explanation.

“Yes they did,” Adagio said. “But if there were copies of us in this world, then maybe in Equestria there are copies of people we know here.”

Copies of people we know here? Like… Ooh, the blue girl with the wizard hat! She was the one who’d been helpful for pulling the lever and trapping the Rainbooms, so maybe the pony her would be useful too.

Shaking her head, Aria said, “But those copies would never have met us.”

“No, but part of manipulating people is knowing what they’ll respond to, and figuring that out is a sliding scale from instinct and deduction, then best guesses, to trial and error.” Adagio ran a hand through her hair. “We could skip that step and go straight to what we know works best with them.”

Across the sofa, Aria was looking up in various directions, tilting her head this way and that while her expression changed. After a few seconds, she said, “Assuming that would be the same universe to universe.”

Adagio gave a little shrug, the movement of her shoulders sending ripples through her hair. “Seems a reasonable enough assumption to be worth a try.”

But Aria made a feeling-sick face and shook her head again. Sonata looked around the edge of the room to see if there was a bucket or something in case Aria was actually sick, but couldn’t see one.

“One of the staples of the mirror universe idea in fiction is that the good guys are evil there,” Aria said. Then she frowned, but it was more thinking cloud than angry cloud. After a second she added, “And normally better dressed.”

“Well yeah,” Sonata blurted out. “Evil people always are.” At least she’d worn the pretty, dark pink Westwood jacket the day before instead; she’d have been even sadder after getting off stage if that had been ruined too.

It wasn’t often Sonata looked to her sisters to find them both nodding to what she’d said, and it made her feel warm inside, spreading from her chest out to the rest of her. She wished she could take a picture of it to keep it forever, but thought that looking through her bag and then pulling out her phone would probably put them off.

It didn’t last very long anyway, though, as Aria said, “So the same tricks might well not work on them,” and gave a sad kind of shrug like nothing could keep her happy.

Which was a bit rude, Sonata thought, and maybe silly too, given how Adagio had always fixed everything before. Well, not getting back to Equestria since they were banished – not yet, anyway – but they hadn’t really been trying that hard. Equestria was full of ponies, and none of them had really wanted to see ponies again anytime soon, even after learning that the ones they’d met wouldn’t be around anymore.

But now they had a reason to get back there, Adagio would be thinking about the problem more, and would find a way, so it would be fine. And Aria should have known that!

Yeah, but… Aria was clever. Much cleverer than Sonata. And so if Aria didn’t believe that Adagio could fix things, maybe Sonata was being stupid for not agreeing?

Well, no, ‘cause Adagio’s, like, super-clever, and she thinks we can–

No.

No, that wasn’t right, though, was it? Adagio hadn’t said it was something they’d be able to do once she figured out how. She’d said it would probably fail, and that she didn’t even know where to begin. Just like she’d said there was no chance they could fix their gems if they stayed in the human world.

So if Adagio was always right, and Adagio could do anything, then what happened when Adagio said she couldn’t do something? How did that…?

Sonata forgot how to Sonata. She just sat, not moving, not really seeing, going back and forth between ‘Adagio can do anything’ and ‘Adagio knows everything, and said she couldn’t do something’ and hoping an answer would appear.

She could kind of hear her sisters talking, like they were echoey and far away.

Adagio’s voice said, “So until we know more about the link between worlds, it’s too risky?”

“If it doesn’t work out,” Aria’s voice replied, “we’d be back at trying to form strong bonds from nothing.”

There was a grunting noise Sonata thought sounded like Adagio agreeing, but she couldn’t concentrate enough to check.

Author's Note:

This, uh... this took longer than it should have done :twilightblush:

I was so relieved when I published the last chapter after a six-month delay, knowing I had some time to get one-shot ideas out of the way before needing to work on this one again, that I completely lost track of time doing that, and suddenly another six months had gone by. And then there were rumours of certain characters returning to the show, which would upset the plans I had for my other big siren story, Haunted Wasteland, so I had to rush to get the second movement of that one written and published before the show started airing again. So this chapter has been my main focus since March, and the second 2/3 of it are the result of that.

I was hoping this chapter would be the end of the Sonata POV option, but once I got the dialogue fully planned out for the remainder of the scene a few days ago, it became clear that it might be the same length again, and so needed splitting. I will get the third part done as soon as I can, but there are a couple of other things I'd like to get first so I can focus on it without distractions. It has 400 words written so far.

But it’s really nice that this story, the important, ongoing one that I started this account for, is finally longer than a thing I wrote on a whim about Rainbow Dash, as it’s been rather dwarfed by the other’s presence since January last year :twilightsheepish:

If it wasn't obvious, this story is ignoring the events of Shadow Play, given that chapter 2 of this story already described some of the siren banishment before that episode aired, and the details don't line up. I've always had a clear picture of that battle in my head, so that's what I'm going with here.

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Comments ( 6 )

Humans kept ponies as pets. They rode them and made them pull ploughs and do whatever they wanted! So if Sonata could just find a–

I am a human!

This is a hilariously Sonata moment. :rainbowlaugh:

Sometimes it was freaky how thinking Adagio’s name could make her look at you, like she knew, but Sonata was pretty sure it was just very clever guessing what you were thinking, and not actually hearing it for realsies.

And this is simultaneously a very Sonata and very Adagio moment. :twilightoops:

Wait, I was thinking about something. Just a moment ago; I was thinking about something important, and it mattered for what we were talking about, but now it’s gone.Sonata hated it when that happened.

Well-portrayed Sonataness in general, and all without ever making her a saint or a genius out of nowhere! :raritystarry:

The way she views the others in general here is nicely done; simple in a way that tells a lot, like the tid-bits about how she responds to both of them at certain times and how she sees them interacting with each other. :eeyup:

8983630 Thanks! :twilightsmile:

This is a hilariously Sonata moment.

I really enjoyed writing that one :pinkiehappy:

And this is simultaneously a very Sonata and very Adagio moment. :twilightoops:

I realised a few days after writing it that I think something similar happens in Sucker for a Cute Face? One of the Rainbooms goes over to talk to Aria and Sonata at their lunch table, I think, and as they leave the two sirens whisper to each other about Adagio appearing when they spoke her name or something?

I’m glad you mention that bit, though, because I wasn’t sure about whether Sonata could get away with thinking ‘for realsies.’

Well-portrayed Sonataness in general, and all without ever making her a saint or a genius out of nowhere! :raritystarry:

Thanks, she had a couple of accidentally-clever moments in the last chapter, so I had to keep an even tighter rein on them here. The risk is that that means she’s more just observing the chapter than influencing it. But she does still manage to bring about a few subject changes, often by virtue of not getting it in the first place...

Saint-wise, I hope it finds a good balance. I think it’s clear that she’s no more friendly than Adagio, and only less dangerous because she’s less able to be. But I also hope she’s not gleefully cruel just for the sake of it, and most of her nastier moments here are aimed at those she thinks have wronged her, and perhaps more importantly wronged her sisters.

Finally updated :yay:

The way you write Sonata being completely silly and goofy while also being insightful in her own way continues to be a delight. Her faith in Adagio's also really really sweet :heart: Flapjacks line was probably my favorite, but there were lots of other good ones too :pinkiehappy:

I'm looing forward to seeing this continue :twilightsmile:

8983966 :pinkiegasp: The flapjacks line was my favourite too! :pinkiehappy:

Hopefully the Sonata angle won’t get old, when a third chapter of the same arrives :twilightoops:

And the sweetness of her having that faith in Adagio isn’t lost too much in sadness when she has doubts?

Thanks! :yay:

8984825
Actually, y'know, maybe the bit about Star Swirl's beard beats it for me :rainbowhuh: Flapjacks felt like a mnemonic Adagio had drilled into her, though :rainbowlaugh:

To be honest, I suspect it'd already be a bit old if I were reading it continuously :twilightsheepish: But with the slow updates, I've hardly noticed it.

Sadness is just another layer to the sweetness for me :trollestia:

8985826 :pinkiegasp: I’d forgotten about that one! I think I wondered if Sonata would actually have used a bus at that point, but figured maybe, while learning to drive or something.

Aha, I knew there was a reason it was good to be working on this so slowly :twilightsheepish: That was totally my plan all along. I’m hoping the next chapter should have more dialogue focus, though, so the Sonata-isms won’t become too annoying.

Sadness is just another layer to the sweetness for me :trollestia:

:raritystarry: It’s like when chocolate is sprinkled with the tears of the child you stole it from!

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