• 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 35: Tempest Gallops and Breezy Flexes

TEMPEST POV
A FARM, JUST OUTSIDE NOBLETON

“Well, that was an experience, eh Tempy?” Nathan mused, gently patting her on the neck. A brief moment of silence stood, before Tempest finally spoke.

“I’m going to miss you guys a lot when this is over, so it’s important that I – I mean, we – make the most of it.”

Leo gulped and sighed. He knew that was the truth.

“Let’s do another run, but in grass,” Nathan suggested. “Gotta get used to this if we’re to partake in a roundup or race.”

Madeline gave a nod of approval, and Ashley eagerly ran up to the gate to the ranch’s largest pasture. “Oh yes, yes! This will be so good!”

With a gentle tug of the reins, Nathan urged Tempest around a full 180 and they walked down the path to the pasture, where Ashley was eagerly waiting.

“It’s a shame Xavier didn’t allow Applejack to be here,” Tempest mumbled through her bit, trying not to gag. “She’d be having a ball.”

“I guess Xavier’s had too many experiences of her and her friends getting carried away with fun, eh?” Ashley guessed.

Tempest reared her head and nodded, jiggling the bit a little to cease a tiny irritating feel, before stepping into the pasture. The green grass stretched out for acres, rolling up into a little hill further toward the horizon. It was the perfect place to stretch her legs and obtain a proper exercise, much like she’d done as part of her previous life as an enemy military commander.

Only this time she could do it without harm, genocide, or heartless fighting.

“Ease into it, bro!” Ashley called from the gate.

“Will do, sis!” Nathan replied. “C’mon Tempy, let’s get it!”

With an internal smile, Tempest quickened her walking pace until she was in a little trot, then did a perimeter prance all the way to the farthest end of the pasture, where the fence was rather old and down-trodden, with some sections completely missing.

Tempest shook her head in disappointment, and made a mental note to ask Leo to fix it right away. However, she had more important things to do. With a snort and a little kick, she quickened her pace a little more. Nathan lowered his riding stance a little and squeezed hard against her sides.

Realizing what he wanted, Tempest stretched her legs out and performed a little leap, before launching into a complete gallop, her chest pounding with every stride as her panting lips parted to assist her nose in taking in as much air as possible.

“Oh my God, TEMPY!” Nathan squealed in a mix of amazement and fright as the energized pony beneath him thundered along, aiming for the center of the pasture. Without even waiting for a rein gesture, Tempest re-aligned herself parallel to the fence and kept going, reaching a good thirty-five miles an hour, before dropping to twenty, ten, and finally five as Nathan pulled back on the reins to bring her to a near standstill and turn right, towards the gate. Tempest was tired, but not completely out of breath. Nathan, on the other hand, was dizzy and almost shaking.

“That was unlike anything I’ve ever felt, but it was good.” He leaned over and eyed Tempest. “Galloping is great, but not to that extreme, alright?”

Tempest just nodded slightly and panted… and then felt a sudden throbbing behind her and an instinctive tail pull from her back muscles. Immediately a loud trickling sound was heard.

Ashley bit her lip hard as Nathan scowled at her, and gently inquired.

“Um, Tempest, did you just… relieve yourself? Wow, you’re really shaping up to be a horsey. Don’t feel bad, it’s natural here. We still love and respect you, RIGHT ASH?”

“Ye…hehe – yes,” she replied in a stifling manner.

With the acknowledgement given from his older sister, Nathan resumed his reassuring voice. “So don’t be upset. Part of trying something new is expecting the unexpected. Now let’s clean that. Ash, get the hose, will ya?”

Nathan gently led Tempest to the cleaning platform, where Ashley gently hosed down Tempest’s dock and wiped her rump dry.

“Feeling a bit peckish, but still got some energy left,” Tempest confided. “Let’s do some more riding.”

So Nathan rode back to the pasture, and performed figure eights walking and trotting – all the while allowing Tempest to become acclimatized to the feeling of control through the reins and stirrups, thus turning and cornering at higher speeds in a more balanced manner.

“I’m starting to see how all this is aligning,” Tempest admitted, massaging her sore lips as she ate from her stable’s hay net that late afternoon. “I’m positive I can pass the next test. Which is it, by the way?”

“Dodging,” Ashley explained. “In cow-cutting, you have to separate an individual from a group – slip in and disperse the group, until you’ve got the target straying. Once the target is isolated, you must then outsmart the solo cow you’re faced with, head-on, so as to block it from returning. Once you’ve initiated a lock, you keep it for as long as possible. All within two-and-a-half minutes. Basically, everything about handling, mind games, agility, and the mutual communication between horse and rider.”

“Sounds good. How about jumping?”

“Yeah, we could do that. All in gradual steps.”

“Absolutely.”

As she settled down and listened to Nathan read the next chapter of Black Beauty, Tempest reflected on her new life, and how she was becoming more and more accustomed to being ridden. The only thing that could make it better would be to make it worthy of community service. It was a home-based business, after all.

By the next morning, she was up and eating a hearty breakfast and walking about even before Leo was outside. He later found her walking about the ranch, looking here and there at seemingly random areas of interest.

“Good morning Tempy. What’s got you up at this hour and observing things so intently?”

“Just taking note of things that will likely need repair,” she replied. “Like the back part of the barn rafters, the stable door hinges, and the fence in the pasture.”

“I didn’t even think to check those,” Leo replied, clearly surprised by her attention to such details.

“Always good to keep your equipment in good condition,” Tempest reminded. “Just because it works, doesn’t mean it’s working fine.”

“I stand corrected, Tempy.”

Just then, a Johnny Cash song split the air a distance away. It was Ashley’s phone. Instinctively she picked it up.

“Hello?”

“Hi Ashley. Good news – your business has been approved for community service! I’ve asked an agent to head up there so Tempest can sign a few documents, and also check up on her from time to time. Yah know, to ensure that the testified work is actually getting done in a timely manner. Alright?”

“No problem, Xavier. And thanks for keeping in touch.”

“You too. Tell Tempest I said good morning. Bye.”

“I certainly will. Bye.”

XAVIER POV

TORONTO, TWO MONTHS LATER

It had been a long and arduous two months of work. The classic Mustang restoration project was completed, and Rodney towed it down to an auction in Ohio. The car sold for a $75,800 winning bid – proving all our hard work had really paid off. As a reward, Maverick split the earnings off between us all, so I received a little over 15 grand. I really wanted to buy a ton of clothes for my friends, but my mom insisted that it was pointless given the short time they’d be staying on Earth, and that I should invest in something better.

And that’s how I ended up back in Long & McQuade one weekend. We (or, Pinkie, mostly) had come up with a big idea of throwing a party for Tempest’s return. My mom and Pinkie decided to bake, while Rarity and Skystar worked together on designing a few stickers and decorations. Since I couldn’t come up with any ideas, I simply headed out to purchase some upgrades.

“Why didn’t you get these before?” the cashier inquired, as she reached over to scan the boxes.

“Sometimes you end up learning the hard way,” I confessed. “Especially when you aren’t doing it professionally.”

I loaded the speakers, subwoofer, stands, cables, and larger audio interface (which I traded my old one in for) into the back of the Forester, and headed off to Best Buy, where I bought even more stuff – a DELL Infinity-edge monitor, a cheap LED light strip kit, and the cheapest 10-inch iPad available. After that, I got a free fridge cardboard box from an appliance store, then visited a craft store and bought a ton of ridged foam, and some glue. Finally, I bought a shelf for the desk, to elevate the monitor and tuck away the cables.

“Hi everyone!” I said enthusiastically, trudging down the steps with one box in my hands.

“There you are,” Joyce looked at me intently. “Where’ve you been all day?”

“Splashin’ out da racks on the lit stuff, brah,” I mused in a slurred, somewhat drunk voice.

Joyce frowned, and Pinkie giggled.

“Nah, I’m just messin’ with ya, Mom. I bought some upgrades for the studio. I know I’ve been slacking on my composing knowledge, so I’m getting back on track. Every day after work I’ll practice. Twi, you gonna help?”

“Absolutely! I got plenty of books.”

I turned to see a stack of five more books on music theory, mixing, mastering, and Logic Pro X tips. I shook my head – she’d brought three books the previous month, and it took me four weeks to thoroughly read them all. Twilight was a force to be reckoned with when it came to passionately obtaining knowledge.

“Ooh, looks sweet!” Rarity exclaimed, gently cutting the tape and lifting the components out. “Are these speakers?”

“They sure sugar are, Rarity,” I replied proudly. “I’ve always composed on headphones, but it’s not always ideal, and today’s a day for change. I also bought stands for them, and a better interface to hook everything up together. Still more!”

Rather excitedly, I rushed back to the car and returned with the monitor and iPad, before retrieving the LED lights, shelf, roll of foam, glue bottle, and the fridge box.

“You’re dead serious about this,” Joyce whispered. “It’s a little late now, dinner’s already prepared.”

We all ate together, and I explained my big plan to convert my whole bedroom into a recording studio, sell all my old stuff, and move my bed into the living room.

“Ah can’t believe you’re this dedicated,” Applejack said, shaking her head, but with a smile. “I’m seriously wishing you could come to Equestria. Coloratura would love to work with you.”

I blushed. “But I already got a crush. You do make a good point though. I should look into exporting to LP records, since Equestria still uses them.”

“I’ll admit, I’ve got big plans too,” Joyce said solemnly. “But we’ll discuss that in the morning. For now, let’s work out this basement and our stuff.”

I emptied my whole storage rack, clothes dresser, and closet. Rarity folded up beddings and stored them neatly away, while Applejack helped Joyce disassemble my bed. Pinkie and Rainbow Dash relocated other items in the living room out of the way. Slowly but surely, we got things were we wanted them to be – by working together.

Joyce put my bed in the far corner, and I added my dresser next to it. Right at the footboard, the couch was positioned, making space at the far end for her own desk and shelving unit. With no other space, I moved my shelving unit into the storage room. Twilight found an old small tote box, and stuffed all the library books into it.

The “main” desk we’d shared would now become my studio desk. I set it up perpendicular to the door, on the interior wall. Using tape and some of the foam, I covered up the window, and also applied some squares of foam to the side walls with double-sided tape.

“These will keep the sound from being distorted through reflections,” I explained, adding more to the wall behind the desk.

Finally, I vacuumed the whole room. It was time to bring in the equipment and set it up.

“We’ve got this, together,” Twilight said, with her friends chorusing the final word.

“We do,” I affirmed, unboxing the speaker stands. “Let’s get this started.”

I attached the speakers to their stands and plugged them into the audio interface along with the subwoofer, while Applejack and Rarity applied the LED strip to the back of the desk and added the shelf on top. Twilight checked the speakers to ensure they were at a 60-degree angle for level sound distribution, and Rainbow Dash brought the rest of the cables.

“What shall we record?” Skystar asked eagerly, handing me my prized Komplete Kontrol MK2.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” I confided, plugging it into the MacBook. “We’ll need to test out some samples first.”

With the keyboard attached, I then hooked up my drum pad and audio interface and wired up all the cables behind the shelf, out of sight. Finally, Joyce entered with the last piece.

“This looks lovely, son,” she said with a smile, holding up the monitor screen. “Can’t wait to see it.”

“How about now?” I mused, placing it on the shelf, in the center of the desk. I plugged it into the surge-protected power bar and plugged in the display cable. Last but not least, I pushed the ON button on the laptop and held together the cables using colored zip ties to distinguish which cables were which.

“Oh, wow, it’s running! And it looks so beautiful and real!” Skystar exclaimed, watching the large 4K desktop monitor come to life after I logged in. I opened up Logic and the hardware setup pane, and carefully went through every step.

“Here goes,” I whispered, opening up a couple of tracks – piano, synth flute, some sparkle sound effects, bass, and strings. Splitting the piano roll and the main track windows between the laptop screen and the monitor, I hit the tempo and record buttons, and began tapping away on the piano. Right away, clear, smooth sound flowed from the HS8 speakers and the subwoofer.

“IT WORKS!” Rainbow Dash all but shouted, receiving a flood of stares. “Sorry.”

“Thank God,” I whispered with a smile. “I know it’s late, but let me quickly sketch out an idea I have here. Just roll off the top end and middle-waves, and add a little jingle and reverb to this piano.”

“Hey, that’s rather jolly!” Pinkie exclaimed, dancing a little jig.

I snickered and continued until I had four melodies, then stopped.

“Okay, this should be about enough for now. It’s getting really late, and we still have a lot to clean up.”

“I second that,” Joyce added. “Cities weren’t built in a day. Let’s get some sleep and come back tomorrow. By the way, what’s that big box and the remaining foam for?”

“Budget booth build,” I replied, saving the project and shutting down the laptop. “I’m gonna make a vocal booth, which I’ll set up in the corner by the kitchen. Isolating it will make for better sounding vocals overall. Not perfect by any means, but definitely better than that live performance we did with Tempest. It’ll be spectacular.”

Author's Note:

Well, here it is! Breezy's got a new setup!

NEXT UP,

Tempest comes home, and the quest to return to Equestria begins...

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