• Published 26th Oct 2017
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Adventures in The 6ix - Wiz Ahmad



After a malfunction with the Crystal Mirror during a demonstration, the Mane 6, Spike, Tempest, and Skystar get transported to another world - Toronto.

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Chapter 24: BMX Assembly and Breezy X's First Song

ZACK POV

EASTERN VAUGHAN

“And here we are, peeps,” Zack declared proudly. “The Hoffman residence.”

Pinkie and Skystar gazed out the car’s window at the home. It had a unique look and feel to it, though that was mostly the lovely arrangement of flowers and a small tree that had been planted in front of the porch.

“How long have you lived here?” Pinkie inquired.

“About six years,” Patricia replied. “We moved here after I got a job opportunity. As part of the divorce agreements, my husband handed over most of his wealth, and I invested all of it into the house. Together we’ve worked hard to make it look nice and pleasant – in fact, Zack plans to open up his own business and I plan to make this my retirement home in the far-off future. Currently we’re renting out the basement.”

“So… you’re on your own too, Zackie?” Skystar asked worriedly.

“Yep. But I’m happy to have a proud, supportive half. And half is better than none,” Zack confided, pushing the car door open. “Anyways I’ll see you tomorrow!”

“Tomorrow?!” Pinkie and Skystar gasped at the same time. “B-but…”

Zack shook his head, his neck-length windswept hair waving about. “No can do. You belong with Breezy. He’s your caretaker, after all. I can come down with your bikes tomorrow and we’ll all have fun together then.”

“Wait,” Patricia interjected. “How about I ask your mom if they can stay here? Just for the night.”

Zack turned to look at his mom and shrugged – but not before catching a blush from the corner of his eye. Pretending not to notice, he pulled out his phone and hit speed dial.

“Hello?”

“Hi, Zack. How’s it going?”

“Grrrreeeaaaaaaaat, Breezy. Just bought around a thousand dollars’ worth of bike parts. Oh dear savings, may you rest in peace.”

“Haha! You at home?”

“Yep. Anyways I’m not here to shoot the breeze, I have an important 10 second question to ask your mom.”

“Which is?”

“Can Pinkie and Skystar stay over for tonight?”

With a cute snicker, Zack reached into the back seat and pointed his phone at the two.

“PLEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSEEEEEEEEE?”

Patricia stifled a giggle and a squee – Pinkie and Skystar were just too adorable! Maybe, if this went through, it’d be a moment of youthful joy and bliss – just like when Zack was much younger.

Sure enough, Joyce’s voice came on the line.

“Sure you can, Pinkie! You and your friend have earned it for keeping to your word. Just remember to be respectful and obedient!”

“YAY!” Skystar cheered with a squeal, and Zack laughed proudly, sharing a fist-bump with his mom before bring the phone back to his ear. “Thanks so much, Joyce. And thanks to you, too, Breezy. And to Twilight and her friends, love y’all. See you tomorrow!”

“Bye, Zack.”

XAVIER POV

PARKDALE, TORONTO

It felt great to talk with my friend again. Like my mom, I was a little skeptical and doubtful on whether to allow Pinkie and Skystar to stay over, but I soon realized that I needed to show my best friend that I still trusted him. So, with a little coaxing to Mom, she relented.

“Tomorrow, we’ll head to AshBridges Bay,” Joyce announced. “I haven’t done much running in, like ages! Time to bring out those running shoes and hit the block. Meanwhile, you all can have some fun at the skatepark.”

“Whoooo-hoooo yeah!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed, pulling a little backflip.

“Sounds good,” I said, rather excitedly. “I… seriously need to brush up on my board skills. Speaking of skills, what’s a song you guys know best?”

Twilight raised a hoof. “There is one, but we have to sing it all together.”

I proudly tapped the mic stand. “This little guy can record from both sides. So three of you record using both sides, and then the other two.”

“There are several verses that are sung individually…” Rarity pointed out.

“Which is why I’ll record each one individually,” I replied. “For better audio clarity, I’ll stay here in the living room while you record in my bedroom. It’s got enough space for decent ambience without too much background noise.”

I removed all the excess items from my room that could potentially cause distortion to the audio pickup range, and placed the mic stand beside the bed, with the boom extended so it hung low in front of the bed, where I placed a small stool for my little singers to sit on. Twilight elected to go first. I checked all cable connections, opened up a new Logic Pro X project, created a new track, and hit RECORD.

“Friendship used to make me all queasy-queasy,

But you made it all so easy-easy.

Now I don’t have to say what I’m thinking,

You already know without even blinking.”

Nice one, I thought. If only I knew how to edit and process vocals properly…

Sitting back, I looped Twilight’s vocals three times, listening closely for any pauses or noise. It seemed decent, so I removed what little noise was there and applied her vocal preset I made earlier, then played it back again. Now it sounded more normalized and clear.

“Is it done?!” Rainbow asked eagerly, hovering over my shoulder.

I smiled and shook my head. “Far from it. But now, I need to concentrate and try and make a beat off of Twily’s vocals. It’s gonna take some time because for over a year I’ve done it vice versa.”

Closing my eyes, I tried to imagine what a score would sound like behind Twilight’s voice. Adding in an appropriate tempo, I played it again and again and again. Opening a new simple felt piano synth, I bumped up the hardness just a little and started pressing keys, trying to figure out the chord progression. Finally, I figured it out – a wave pattern from C4 all the way to C6, with a repetitive three-part lead over it. There was more to the track, but I’d figure it out later.

“Yeah, getting there…” I whispered to myself, pressing the keys yet again to try and match the sequence I had in my head. Eventually, I got it right. Opening up the roll, I quantized it and tweaked two notes that were misplaced. On another track, I added in the three-part lead. I pulled out my headphones and cranked up the MacBook speakers as I hit play.

“There, that’s it! It sounds great,” Applejack said quickly. “Ah still feel there’s somethin’ missin’ though…”

An idea popped into my head. “Forget singular mic sessions, why don’t you all just sing it together on my bed so I can hear the sequence?”

“Alright,” Twilight agreed, slipping off her headphones. She sat down near the foot of the bed, and her friends formed a row behind her, their heads pointed upward. I repositioned the microphone so it would capture all their voices overhead at a 45-degree angle, and hit RECORD. Twilight kicked off with her verse, with her friends following in immediate, almost fluid succession.

“Friendship used to make me so queasy, queasy

But you made it all so easy, easy.

Now I don't have to say what I'm thinking,

You already know without even blinking!”

Applejack then took it up:

“You girls are the apple of my eye,”

Then came Rainbow Dash:

“The race that doesn't end in a tie,”

Since Pinkie wasn’t available, Fluttershy altered her voice to fill in, before switching back to her normal voice:

“You are the funnel cake at my fair,

The warm hug of a fuzzy bear!”

Finally, all of them chorused together, though I still felt that it could be better – evidently due to Pinkie’s absence:

“Best friends until the end of time,

We'll have each other's backs,

And let our true selves shine,

And that's because everything we need,

Is all right here when we're with our team!”

Twilight Sparkle then continued the next part of the song:

“I simply can't imagine there'd be a day,

That I wouldn't want to be walking your way,

Whatever new problems there maybe, maybe,

Our friendship is always the door with the key.”

Finally, Rarity had her turn:

“You are the jewels in my friendship crown,”

Twilight Sparkle added in one last filler verse:

“The sparks that make my world go 'round,”

Finally, they all chorused together to close it up on an uplifting, well-filled, and somewhat motivational note:

“We bring the best out, that's our goal

There's no telling how far we'll go!

Best friends until the end of time,

We'll have each other's backs,

And let our true selves shine,

And that's because everything we need,

Is all right here when we're with our team!”

I was beaming with joy as I hit the STOP button to end the recording. The power of these little ponies’ voices was unbelievably beautiful and powerful. While they drank some water to cool off their vocal chords, I adjusted the audio levels so they all sounded the same throughout the whole song. After listening to it for the jillionth time, I felt like I knew a couple of good sequences that, when put together and mixed properly, would be the best score to fit the vocals.

“I need to add another sequence to fill in the gaps of the main lead, and the main lead itself needs a different, somewhat harder-sounding pattern behind it to drive you forward. And there’s another simple melody behind that that I think I should add to give the main lead just a little more background clarity. In rap, you often put the highest piano note or the clap on top of the last 808 kick or sub bass line note to push the listener forward onto the next line. So that’s what I need to add – I call it the ‘driver’.”

“Can I help?” Joyce asked, looking up from her beadwork.

“Sure, Mom,” I offered, sliding off the chair. “You’re the one that got me into music, after all.”

ZACK POV

EASTERN VAUGHAN

Entering home, Zack kicked off his shoes and washed his hands, before entering the kitchen for a quick snack, contemplating on what he’d done. Almost all his savings were used up. If any good opportunity came up to purchase something, he’d have no means to get it.

“But that’s life, isn’t it? Some opportunities just can’t be grabbed. It’s all about the control of destiny,” he thought. “Besides, it’s about more than just yourself. It’s about doing things that, when all is said and done, will allow you to sit back and feel that you made an effort to make others happy.”

After a good meal of bagel sandwich and a chia seed smoothie, he changed into more workman-type clothing – jeans and an old, thick shirt. Stepping into the garage, he opened up one door, and set to work – first opening up all the boxes for Skystar’s bike parts.

The Hofmann garage was a unique one, with a very sophisticated yet clean setup. It contained two storage racks, a workbench, two bike stands, and some basic tools. Zack had three bikes – a childhood heirloom/memory, an off-road/dirt racing assembly, and a freestyle/park bike, which he used the most. On the racks, spare bike parts, tools, and other miscellaneous stuff were stored. This was Zack’s favorite place – a place to work on bikes and invent unique, cool stuff.

Pulling off the plastic packaging, Zack mounted Skystar’s Stranger frame to the stand and began assembly, starting with the front forks. He lubricated the top of the crown race and then pushed it up through the front hole of the frame, before attaching the top headset cup and then the stem, screwing it on tightly. The handlebars were put in afterwards, which were tightened with equal torque to ensure a proper squeeze and a secure fit.

Next came the seat, which was attached to its post, slid in, and tightened with a small screw – no more than three minutes for a BMX expert like Zack. After the internal spacer, lubricant, and bearings were inserted into the frame, the cranks were attached at opposite ends so they formed a proper straight line. Tightening the bolts, Zack then attached the pedals, ensuring that the left and the right were not mixed up.

Attaching the wheels came next. The front wheel came on with a simple pair of nuts and washers, with the front pegs added in as well. The back wheel was then attached, with the chain wrapped around both sprockets and locked together with a tight but even fit that allowed proper, smooth motion of the pedals turning.

Finally came the brakes, brake system, and handlebar grips. The gyro system threaded the brake cable through the stem, so it wouldn’t twist when the bars spun while doing a trick. Finally, the brake pads were hooked up and the bar grips were pushed onto the handlebar ends and stretched out to properly fit. Last but not least, he added air

“And it’s done!” Zack exclaimed proudly, checking every part to make sure that everything fit properly and aligned correctly. “Now to test it.”

Taking the newly completed bike off the stand, he rested it on the front wheel and spun it around – a quick tailwhip. It rotated smoothly without any stutter or squeak. He then gently dropped it and shook it a little. It bounced in a double tap – a good indication the tire pressure was okay – around 100-110 psi.

“Right,” Zack huffed, glancing out the garage door at the sun, which was on its way to the horizon. “Now onto Pinkie’s!”

Author's Note:

Pinkie and Skystar at Zack's home... this will be interesting! Stay tuned - there's still a lot to go in this story!

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