• Published 12th Jan 2013
  • 7,473 Views, 423 Comments

Melodia Apparatus - Lynked

Vinyl's a cyborg. Octy didn't see that one coming, did she? Nope. Shenanigans ensue.

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Log 1: Part 2

Log 1: Part 2

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I suppose now would be a good time to mention that nopony was hurt. Thankfully, all the ponies on the dance floor had gotten out before the elevator had crashed into oblivion. The second floor had evacuated well enough, thankfully, and the fire didn’t even hit the third floor until it was already clear. So all in all, everypony was mostly fine, except for one. Only one hadn’t gotten out.

I guess that, by now--it was the next day--I had used up my tears, which yes, I had spilt in torrents the night before. Now, I just felt sullen and quiet. I wasn’t sure how to feel, I suppose, while sitting there in my doctor’s office. To be honest, by now I was feeling quite angry; Vinyl and her genius idea to “save my life” almost killed about a hundred ponies and me, and almost certainly did her. I sighed and rested my head in my hooves, shaking it slowly.

The doctor poked her head in the door, and glanced at her as she looked at me. I laid on the long bed, waiting for the examination, but it seemed she didn’t want to come in. “It’s fine,” I told him.

“Jah, vell... I do not mean to impose,” she said, stepping in. The stark light of her office shimmered on her white fur, and her contrasting sunset-orange mane brought a bit of life back to my eyes. She trotted to a desk on the far side of the room, and I watched her all the way. A little clipboard sat there, and she picked it up and read it over. “But it vould seem that you have been through quite ze predicament.”

“Oh Mallow, I have,” I groaned. I was feeling quite complainant today, but can anypony blame me? “I just...”

“Alright, sh-sh, hush, ya?” Her slender figure moved to me, and looked down at me with soft blue eyes and that young face. “If it eases you any, ze papers say zat everypony escaped ze fire unharmed.”

“Except for Vinyl,” I muttered.

She shushed me again. “Hush. Ze stress is doing no good for your body. Did you have another dizzy spell?”

“Yes,” I answered. “Last night.”

Humming and nodding in thought, she gently pressed a hoof to my torso and pressed. Again, a whirling sense of vertigo overtook me as the world was sucked into a whirlwind. “Is zat doing it?”

“Yes, very much so,” I said, meek. Instantly she retracted her hoof, and the world was normal again. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. The stillness put my mind at ease, even if just slightly. “It was worse, I think. I couldn’t stand.”

“Ya, I imagine. I am deeply sorry to hear about Miss Scratch, yes,” she said, returning to her desk. “But you must take it easy on yourself, because after ze events of last night, your body needs some rest!”

Honestly, I agreed; I felt so tired after that, but there was no way I could sleep. I hadn’t slept the night before, and I could tell then that I wouldn’t sleep the coming night either. I rolled my head to stare up, nowhere in particular, simply up. “She was my friend, you know. She was stupid, uncouth, an imbecile on all sorts of levels, crude, sly, and mischievous. But she was my friend.”

My doctor returned to me and ran her hoof over my forehead to gauge my temperature. “Miss Octavia, I know. But ack! You are running a fever, and a high von, too. I encourage you to not put any more stress on your body. Look, I vant you to go home, and I vill send to your home a parcel with some medicine. Take it and rest, it is all to be done.”

She gripped my hoof and helped my stand, thus ending our little session. But, before I could walk out the door, I turned to her, only to ask, “Mallow, before Vinyl almost killed everyone, she said something to me about a ‘way to save my life’. Do you... know anything about it?”

Mallow looked me over, then shrugged. “Not a thing. In all my years of pony anatomy, I have not found nothing on ze cure. Now, please, go get some rest. Ze package vill be sent soon, and vill be zere even sooner. I’m sorry our session today could not be longer.”

“No, it’s quite fine,” I said, offering her the best smile I could. “See you next Thursday?”

She smiled and nodded, sending me on my way. I’ll say now that the rest of the day was boring at best. I did return home curtly, my thoughts torn between what Mallow had told me and what fate Vinyl had suffered. At this stage I think it rather humorous how I walked home that day, oblivious. Do I blame myself? No, and I don’t think anypony else would either. After all, the connection wasn’t obvious.

But when I did get home, I spent a few hours laying around, staring at my cello, eating a bit, but mainly doing absolutely nothing. The package didn’t come until the sun was setting, which was much longer than I had expected; it was a welcome arrival, though, because the feeling of vertigo was beginning to root in my mind again. The shortness of breath made it difficult to creep to my door, but it was well worth it, as I pulled in the tiny box, popped it open and dumped out a small can of pills.

I took one, and almost instantly the spinning began to die, and again I could think straight. Now, then, that I could think, I packed away the pills and scooped up the box to throw it away. Sometimes, things happen that make a pony wonder just why fate chose them to laugh at. Well, now I asked myself the exact same inquiry, as from inside the box fell a small folded note, again in that of a tiny envelope. My eyes locked onto it, and I threw the box from my sight, bit down on the note and carried it back to my couch.

Once comfortable I hurriedly unfolded it, and again was confronted with atrocious chickenscratch penmanship. Ignoring it, I instantly began to scour the note. It was absolutely, utterly, undeniably ridiculous.

So... I guess the elevator crashed, huh? That could’ve gone better. Or worse, I guess. I mean, if you’re reading this, you’re... well, reading this. Means you’re not dead. Which is good! Just want to say that. It’s good you’re not dead. Um... sorry for almost killing you. My logistics core tells me that either the elevator will crash, or we will become macaroni. I’m thinking there’s a glitch. Anyways, supposing there isn’t a glitch, and I went ahead and actually pulled that emergency lever, like my logistics core also says I’ll do, then you’re probably fine. Come to Levitation when you’re feeling better. I’ll have the elevator cleaned up and the club reopened in a few nights.

“Didn’t expect the fire, did you you nutjob?” I muttered, refolding the note. A few questions the possessed my mind. How did she predict the crash? And what in Equestria was a logistics core?

My thoughts were interrupted as quickly as they had fired up, from a knock at the door. Head sore and body lethargic, I groaned; who could possibly be here now? I rolled off of the couch and set the note down on my coffee table, and no sooner had I done so, than had a disturbing thought streaked through my mind. What if it was the guard, here to tell me that my best friend had been found dead beneath the ashen ruins? The thought nearly froze me in my hooves and set my heart afire with adrenaline.

Step hastened, I nearly galloped to the door, and almost threw it open with force. I managed, though, to keep a steady step and calmly open the door. To my horror--I mean horror, as all the blood in my face fled, leaving me pale and cold--there were two guards at my door. A desert storm had brewed in my throat, and I nearly coughed up my lungs. “Yes, sirs?”

The looked down on me, imposing, as if they were statues with live swords. “Miss Octavia?” one asked.

“Yes, that’s me,” I said dryly.

“Good, and a good evening to you,” he said.

“The very same to you,” I repeated, flashing a smile as best I could. “Might I inquire what brings you to my door?”

“Do you mind if we ask you a few simple questions? Nothing too big, we just want to fully understand what started the incident.”

“O-oh, no problem, of course.”

“We realize you were at Club Levitation last night. With Vinyl, yes?” he asked.

I nodded. “Y-yes.”

“Do you mind if we ask what were you and she doing?” the other asked.

He was gray, I noted, with dull green eyes that seemed much more alive than they were. My left ear was itching again. Once more I thought of just how easy it was to notice the little things. I still think of it.

“She and I were reuniting after almost a year. She’d taken me into her VIP booth and began talking with me.”

“So you two are friends?”

Again I nodded. “Very old friends, yes.”

“How old?”

“Why, years now.”

He whispered something to the other guard, the white one, who shook his head and whispered something back. “Alright,” the white one asked, “and this conversation; what was it about?”

“W-well, Vinyl had mentioned something, though she didn’t tell me what it was.”

“Was it by any chance,” the gray one asked, “a way to stop your terminal illness? A ‘cure’?”

I was agast. “H-how did you know about that? That is private information!”

The white one stepped forward, tossing his cohort a glare. “Ma’am, please calm down, and we will respect your privacy. Ponies say this ‘VIP box’ was actually an elevator that blew it’s magical hubs and set the place on fire. Was this true?”

I snorted. These guards weren’t here to tell me she had died; if anything, that was far from the truth. Squinting, I eyed them over, up and down with a scouring mood. “Yes, it was,” I said after a time.

“And was it taking you somewhere? Somewhere below the club?”

“And if it was? What is your reason for being on my doorstep?” I demanded. They didn’t like that, I recall.

“That is private. Did a hole open in the club?” the white one asked. He was squinting too, shooting daggers at me with a glare. I could tell the shift in his voice, and it was not pleasant.

“I feel no obligation to answer that,” I said.

The gray one scowled. “You are obligated under Equestrian law to--”

I huffed. “Sirs, you’re aware of my ‘terminal illness’, so would you please leave me to rest, as my doctor has suggested? I am in no mood or shape for such abuse. So then, I bid you good day.”

And I shut the door. And waited. And listened. They didn’t knock; instead, I could hear their hooves clopping away and out of my apartment. Quickly I dashed to my balcony to look down on them, and thankfully, they had left the building completely, and were talking to each other as they sauntered down the road, away from me. Instantly I was resolved; rest be damned, I was going back to the club. Tonight.

Because that could, in no possible way, ever cause a problem.

Purple, glowing, and still smelling of smoky magic, the ruin of club Levitation was a silhouette in the shrinking sunlight. I skirted around its edge, observing that it had all but collapsed on itself. The entrance, the original one, not one of the side holes that had blown out, was sealed off by guards, which were no doubt creeping through the smoldering place.

Yes! There was one, now, just trotting by a fracture in the wall. I leapt back and waited, then peered inside again. It was a black-purple ruin inside, and truly the Canterlot guards were everywhere, easily spotted by their shining armor. They stuck out like an amateur in a symphony. Quietly I squinted, noting just how uncouth this act was, how uncivil it was to be stalking around a ruin and trying to evade the law I had been listening to all my life. But this was for Vinyl. For her.

So around this crack I went, continuing to evade the guards in the shadows and creep about. It took a good while before I was resolute on the obvious; I’d not be getting in the club. I sighed and rubbed my temples, thinking deeply. Vinyl had said something earlier, yes, something about a vent in a sewer. Oh Celestia, I was not going in a sewer! I didn’t care how much Vinyl meant to me, I was not going to step hoof in a sewer!

And then I reflected on just how rude that was. Vinyl did mean a lot to me, and I hadn’t yet gotten to hit her for nearly killing me--that was still on my to do list. Besides, I thought, was it much different from entering her home on a normal day? Likely not. So I stepped out of the shadows and observed the club. Through the multiple cracks I could see where the VIP box had been, and from there gauged where to go.

West. I went west, and at the first at the first sewer grate I got to, I stopped completely and nearly vomited because forget that, I was going home. And I almost did, too. I spun on my hooves and started trotting home. But, for the first time, and the last, in my entire life, the grate to the sewer beckoned me. The sewers seemed to call my name, call, “Octavia! Come in and wade through me!”

It was the nastiest thing to grace my thoughts.

But still, it did make me turn around and glare at the metal grate. Thankfully, nopony was around to see my staring contest with a sewer port. I glared, in this empty street, angry that the sewer had the gusto to call for me. I wouldn’t go! I wouldn’t!

Moments later I smelled like Vinyl’s analogy. There was a sidepath, thankfully, but the slosh next to me was enough to bring back my sense of vertigo. It took all my might to not collapse in a bed of loamy... muck... But still I pushed forward. It was dark. Dark and damp and rancid, that’s how I remember it. In other words, I imagine that if I had been sent to Tartarus for some horrible misdeed, it would have been very, very similar to my sewer adventures.

After a while of marching in what I thought to be the right direction (it is unsurprisingly hard to navigate in the bowels of hell) I did see a little blue light ahead. The closer I got to it, the brighter it got, until I was right next to it, against a brick wall, with a little square port in the bottom. Shoving my head in, I felt a good wind coming down the long shaft. It was a vent!

Rationally, a pony in this situation would wonder why he or she was in the sewers, peeking his or her head into a grate to avoid the guards, which he or she was doing on a dim suspicion that there was something astray. I believe that my rationality had fallen into the sewer marsh, because instead of backing out and thinking things over, I found myself crawling into the vent.

It was so tight a fit, I felt like a bonbon in a wrapper. Were it not for the wind, I would have probably suffocated, but luckily the air was forced into my lungs as I pushed against it, and eventually the vertigo died down with the oxygen. In I crept, pressing my hooves down on the metal shaft, in the dark, feeling very much like a secret agent. Which I wasn’t.

I was a cellist.

And this was weird.

And I thought it couldn’t get much weirder, too, until a whole section of the vent shrieked and snapped almost the instance I put my hoof to it. It was the elevator all over again, with less furniture, alcohol, and potentially homicidal mares. The crash, however, felt very much the same, like a sausage being dropped on a kitchen floor.

In crawling out of my packaging, I stood and leaned on a stark white wall, part of a white box, with a white door right next to me. Above me was the collapsed air vent, glaring down down at me as if it were angry that I broke it. I breathed in the air it spewed, thankful to be able to stretch out my hooves again, instead of being processed and packaged.

It wasn’t for a while that the simple thought crept into my mind: where was I? Beneath the club, no doubt, because Vinyl had mentioned it explicitly so. But that didn’t quite tell me where. Shoving myself off of the wall, I wrapped my hoof around the door’s handle, and pulled it it to me. It swung open with a groan, and a dim light greeted me as I stepped into a long hallway, as stark white as the room I just left.

Looking around, I couldn’t gather my bearings; there was no marker. Anywhere. At all. So, after consulting the almighty foalhood song, “Eny meany mieny mo” landed so philosophically on the left. So down that long hall I went, taking another left at a corner. Dim lights lined the ceiling in this new hall, which was much unlike the other, but this one had, on it’s left, a wide staircase that bore into its side.

I went up these grated stairs to find a door. A burnt door, a black door. A screen was on its side, blinking dimly with the shape of a hoof. I pressed mine to it, and suddenly it flashed red, but still the door opened. Cautiously I stepped through, and what I saw nearly sent me in a fit blackness. I was suddenly short of breath, stumbling on my hooves. If it weren’t for the wall beside me, I’d have been on the floor in a heartbeat (and I wasn’t even sure if my heart was beating anymore.

This large square room wasn’t bland and directionless, like the rest. There were three normal walls, and two doors. The other wall was an opening to somewhere, but what had my attention was the very same thing that had the red flashing lights here going off with a frenzy. The elevator from Levitation was here, collapsed, crushed, lead. Shattered glass was strewn about the room, and the floor and walls were black and ashen, as if the fire had spread down here. I glanced quickly above, and sure enough there was a huge door, seemingly stuck and sparking.

Quickly I ran and ignorantly thrust my own head into a small part of the elevator that could be opened. Though, now that I think about it, sticking my head into glass was a terrible idea. It hurt, stung, and the shards bit into me. All for nothing, too; Vinyl wasn’t here. I yanked my head back out and gulped down a yelp. Trickles of red danced their way down my face, but I didn’t care right now. I didn’t care about the shards in my skin or the burnt metal around me.

My head whipped around to face the exit to this chamber, which was a short, descending staircase that ended in a large, long door that was stuck ajar. I had to wipe a strand of red-tipped mane from my eye to see through it, but it seemed to be... oh dear Celestia, why was it this?

Cursing my luck, and everything that gave me luck, and everypony who wished me luck, I stepped forward to the elevator. It was white, too, with grated walls and another pad on the wall blinking of a hoof. In I stepped, and pressed my hoof to the screen. Just like it’s twin, this one blinked red, but still the doors responded, closing tightly with a hiss. Then, the elevator jerked and hissed as it began to descend.

I was now resolved to never step in another elevator. Ever. Never again. But on this ride I did manage to catch my breath and think. All around me were white walls, nothing more. White walls and an elevator, one actually attached to a wire this time, thankfully. I was underground, beneath a burnt club, looking for a mare who’d almost killed me, in the middle of a strange facility of white walls, on an elevator going somewhere that I was pretty sure was the right path.

Eventually my ride stopped before another set of doors, and these too hissed open. Carefully I stepped out, only to see a large room that seemed almost like a viewing deck. Slanted windows came down from the ceiling, fixing themselves halfway to the floor with straight panes. A few lights made the walls here glitter behind their paneling, and I could almost feel the magic that was powering the station.

But when I stepped forward, I finally saw what would change everything I ever knew and my life forever from that point. As I peered down the viewing glass, into the room below, I first saw three large tubes on either side of the room that stretched up to the ceiling, which was on the same level of the viewing deck. I think noticed the spiderwebs of wires that tangled themselves throughout the air, attaching the tubes to tubes and then to the wall.

The next thing I noticed was the darkness of the room. The only light came from the glowing tubes, casting a haunting, cold blue glow on the room that made it seem almost arctic and lonely. I could dimly make out large painted letters on the back wall, in the blue glow, reading Port - V.

Wondering, I turned from the strange room and examined the one I was in. There was a door on the wall, one I assumed would connect this deck with the room below. Then beside it was a switch in the wall, underneath which read lights. Perfect.

I reached out a hoof, oh so slow, not knowing that such a simple action would have so many consequences. I clicked it, flipped it down, and waited for the lights that never came. Eyes curiously locked on the room below, I waited for the lights to flick on. I waited. And waited. And waited.

Eventually it became painful to wait. I wanted to know where Vinyl was--I needed to know. But when I looked behind me, I saw that the elevator was no longer with me. It had left, and I saw no way to get it back. Furious, scowling in boiling anger, I turned back and accepted that I was, indeed, trapped.

It was then it happened. There, on the far back wall, between the aisle of blue tubes, two fiery, glowing orbs lit up. They were like flashlights, shooting out two beams of crimson light into the darkness. Then I saw four rings light up--hoof shaped rings, I realized. I nearly gasped, and would’ve too, if I hadn’t been petrified.

Then red lines shot up the middle of this... thing, perfect, precise, almost like... wires. Scarlet lightning darted up it, covering every inch of this thing in perfect lines, all the way to her horn. Yes, her. Even her mane glowed, a stark blue now, as if there were lights running in a straight line up her neck for the sole purpose of illuminating her.

I heard a deadly hissing from the chamber, and amid the glow, I saw in the dim light three long, snake-like tubes pop off of her head, a blue glow shining from within them. They hissed and writhed as if something had breathed life into them, then died completely and hung limp on the wall. Then, from her back, six more tubes, tiny and evil like little tendrils that were wrapped around her, strangling her, but in truth I could see that they had detached from her back.

She fell from the wall, onto her hooves, and those fiery flashlights glared up to me. What I saw in that moment shot waves of dizziness and vertigo through me. I stumbled on my hooves as that thing, that demon of Tartarus, had taken my Vinyl! It came up the aisle of tubes, and as quickly as it had come to life, it disappeared. My stomach knotted and twisted in a hurricane of sickness.

I turned to the elevator doors and ran. I just ran. Unfortunately, I ran right into a set of grated doors. The impact came with a great clash that echoed through the long shaft, sounding off like the speakers that were once above this place. But there was no time for pain now! I could hear her hoofsteps on the cold floor, behind the door now, opening the door... there was no time!

I pressed my hooves to the grates and tried to spread them with all my might. It was a fit of frenzy, and I began to pound against the metal, as if it would free me. Everything in my body shouted at me to flee, to find a way out. Problem was, there was none. And then came the awful hiss of the door as it opened. My heart just about leapt out of my chest and spilt itself onto the cold floor.

Instead, it just decided to stop. I was sent down to writhe in a ball, hugging my tail close as a sense of spinning once again swallowed me. Why had I left my pills at home? I needed them! Now! Oh Celestia I don’t think I had ever been more terrified than when I had laid on that floor, trapped, as something that wasn’t Vinyl, wasn’t my Vinyl, slowly stood over me.

I’ll never forget the first thing it said. That horrible first thing, the masquerade of Vinyl, the pretending imposter’s first line...

“Wow Octy, you really know how to... turn me on! Hah, get it?” It laughed. I dared not look into its eyes, those awful, fire eyes that would surely burn a hole in my soul. “Um, Octy? You there? Hello~!”

That voice, that mechanical voice! That was it, I couldn’t take it. The vertigo had gotten me; not even my medicine could defeat it now. Spin had taken me; it was so fast I felt as though I would fly off the face of Equestria. The last thing I saw before I blacked out for the first time in years was a glowing red hoof reaching for my cheek and a strange look on this Vinyl’s face that almost look like fear.

I had had it. I was out.