• Published 26th Jan 2013
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Vinyl and Octavia Machete Their Way Through The Jungle - DoctorSpectrum



“If we don’t survive this, Vinyl… I’m going to kill you.”

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Chapter Two: Vinyl Gets a Sinking Feeling

After a moment or two of fruitless struggling, Octavia realised that she was stuck in the tree for good. “Great,” said out loud. “Not only are we separated from the group, but I’m going to spend the rest of my life trapped up here. I can only hope that Vinyl isn’t also stuck in a tree…”

“I’d like to be a tree,” Vinyl said nonsensically from somewhere below her. Unfortunately, Octavia couldn’t turn around and see where she was. A moment later, Vinyl’s telekinetic field had surrounded Octavia, and gently brought her to the ground. Miraculously, Vinyl’s glasses hadn’t suffered any damage in the crash.

“Vinyl…? How are you still standing after that crash?” Octavia asked her, rubbing her head to try and relieve some pain.

“I used my telekinetic field to slow my speed down, and I just landed in the dirt here,” Vinyl said. “If I’d had another moment, I would have used it on you too.” For the first time since Octavia had met her that morning, Vinyl wasn’t wearing a grin on her face.

“And it didn’t occur to you to use said field to get our canoe around the corner, and prevent the crash in the first place?” Octavia asked, trying to sound fierce but failing due to her weariness.

Vinyl paused and considered it for a moment. “ …Huh, I guess that would have worked, wouldn’t it?” She looked around the small river bank the two of them were standing on. “We’d better see what we can find – it looks like most of our supplies fell out of our saddlebags in the crash. The canoe’s too bucked up for us to use.”

Octavia wearily walked a few steps to where her lunchbox had fallen. The impact had caused it to open and scatter its contents. Octavia gathered what was still edible, and returned it to the lunchbox. She was surprised at how assertive Vinyl was now that they had been separated from the group.

Within a few minutes, Vinyl and Octavia had found all of their possessions – other than some food from Octavia’s lunchbox, nothing seemed to be missing. Vinyl levitated out her map and showed it to Octavia. Once more Vinyl was grinning, although her smile wasn’t as large as it had been earlier in the day.

“Okay, so I think that this fork here is the one where we should have gone left,” she began, pointing to the map. “I think that if we just cut through the jungle here, we shouldn’t be too far from –”

“Wait a minute,” Octavia interrupted. “Are you seriously suggesting that we head through the deadly Amarezon Jungle? They’ll send pegasi out to find us within the next hour at most, and they can take us to the bungalows we supposed to head to.”

Vinyl shook her head. “I doubt whether they’d send pegasi whilst they’re in the middle of the river cruise –they’ll want to make sure that everypony else gets to the bungalows safely first.”

“Well then… we could at least try to start a fire. If we could get the smoke heavy enough for them to see it…”

Vinyl let out a short, sharp laugh. “Start a fire? Are you kidding? Why don’t we just coat ourselves in barbecue sauce whilst we’re at it, so that when the predators come to investigate the fire they’ve got a nice meal waiting for them?”

Octavia glared at Vinyl. “My apologies for trying to find a way out of this scenario you’ve landed us in.”

“This scenario that I’ve landed us in?!” Vinyl replied angrily. “You were the one who told me to head right! If anything, you’ve gotten us into this!”

“I never said a thing about heading right! I told you to head left, and you flat out ignored me!” Octavia stomped a hoof to the ground in frustration. “Maybe if you spent less time playing your silly music so loud, you could have heard me properly!”

Vinyl reeled in shock, as though Octavia had physically hit her. She was getting her music criticised by this pony? “Well, at least my music is actually listened to by ponies! You’re probably the only pony in all of Equestria who still listens to that crap you claim is music!”

“If that’s the case, then it’s good to know that there’s still somepony who listens to intellectu-”

Octavia was interrupted by a blood-curling roar which emerged from the jungle. Although she had never encountered one herself, she thought that it sounded as though it were a manticore, from the descriptions she had read of them.

As the roar died down, Octavia realised that she was holding onto something soft, warm, and oddly comforting… which in turn was holding onto her. She looked upwards slightly to realise that she and Vinyl had held onto each other in mutual fright as the manticore had roared.

“So, um,” Octavia said, letting go of Vinyl and moving back one or two steps, embarrassed, “as you can see, the jungle is clearly too dangerous to traverse. We shall just have to wait it out here.”

“You can wait it out here if you want, Tavi,” Vinyl said seriously. “But I’d rather take my chances with the jungle than wait for the tour group to come find us – heck, they might even just assume that we’re done for and not bother searching.” With that, she started trotting off from the river bank, and into the jungle. “You coming, Tavi?”

Octavia turned her back on Vinyl, and sat down. “I most certainly am not,” she said haughtily. “If you wish to be eaten by a wild manticore rather than patiently wait for rescue, that is on your own head.” After several moments of silence, Octavia turned around to see that Vinyl had already headed into the jungle.

Fine then, Octavia thought to herself, go off into the jungle. But we’ll see who’s right when you come cantering out within the next five minutes. After a hopeful glance at the sky to see whether any pegasi were coming, she got out her book. She started flipping through to the section she had been reading earlier, pausing as she did so. Was it her imagination, or was she being watched? Surely the jungle hadn’t been this quiet before…

Octavia found the page she had been on before, and tried calming her nerves. Surely she was just being paranoid- the river bank was much safer than the jungle. After all, it was much more open… and had less escape routes…

A moment later, Octavia jumped as a group of brilliantly coloured birds flew noisily from a tree, screeching loudly. That was nothing, Octavia thought to herself, trying to focus on her paragraph but failing. Birds fly out of trees all of the time – screeching as though they just had a narrow escape. She went over this line of thought again, and then quickly closed her book and slid it back into her saddlebag.

“Vinylllll!” Octavia called out as she galloped into the jungle.“Wait for meeeee!”

==============

“So?” Vinyl asked Octavia a few minutes later. They were both walking together at a regular pace – if it hadn’t been for the dark and humid jungle surrounding them, one could almost assume that they were going for a casual stroll in the park.

“What?” Octavia replied, confused.

“So, don’t you have something to say to me?” Vinyl asked. Her grin was plastered all over her face once more, as if she’d secretly been looking forwards to the two of them being lost in the jungle.

“I suppose I do,” Octavia sighed. “Vinyl, thank you for using your machete to cut me free from those vines. Without you, I would have been trapped for hours, if not longer.”

“How do you end up dangling five metres from the jungle floor, anyway? I mean, I could sort of understand it if you were a pegasus, but seeing as how you’re an Earth Pony and all…”

“I tripped, alright?” Octavia answered, blushing slightly. “Now let’s never speak of it again.”

“Sure thing, Tavi,” Vinyl said, her grin growing ever so slightly larger. “But anyway, what I meant when I said that you had something to say to me was, don’t you have an apology to make?”

“What?” Octavia asked once more.

“‘Vinyl, you were absolutely right. Heading through the jungle to meet up with the rest of the tour group is a brilliant idea. Also, you’re an amazing DJ.’ ‘Thanks Tavi, I was wondering when you’d say that.’” Vinyl turned to face Octavia and raised an eyebrow, waiting for a response.

“Excuse me?” Octavia asked, surprised. “I didn’t come in here because you were right, I came in because I was worried about you. I’d hate to have be rescued by the tour group only to find out that you’d walked right into a pit of quicksand and drowned.”

“Oh yeah?” Vinyl replied, seeing straight through Octavia. “Then how come you haven’t mentioned returning to the river bank even once since I cut you down?”

“I thought we agreed never to speak of that,” Octavia growled through gritted teeth, trying to change the topic.

“Whatever, Tavi,” Vinyl said casually, oblivious to Octavia grinding her teeth in displeasure of Vinyl’s apparent nickname for her. “Anyway, what makes you so sure that I’d drown in quicksand? I’ll bet there isn’t a single patch in the entire Amarezon Jungle.”

“How about over there?” Octavia asked, pointing a hoof to an ordinary patch of sand. Some of Vinyl’s casual, laid-back attitude must have been rubbing off onto her, because as Vinyl turned to see what Octavia was pointing at, Octavia gave Vinyl a small push with her hoof.

Not expecting it, Vinyl fell to the ground, and rolled into the sand. Octavia giggled slightly. “There – that’s revenge for bringing up the incident with the vines after I told you not to.”

“Tavi! Help!” Vinyl said seriously. “I’m sinking in!”

Octavia smacked a hoof to her face in frustration. Of course, she would accidentally push Vinyl into a patch of actual quicksand, wouldn’t she? “What do you want me to do?” she asked. So far, only Vinyl’s back hooves seemed to be caught in the sand, and they weren’t sinking too fast.

“Uh… um… grab my machete! Cut down a vine, and then pull me out with it!” Vinyl said hastily, trying to grab at the ground with her hooves. Unfortunately, all she succeeded in doing was tearing up some grass.

“Vinyl, your machete is in your saddlebag, remember? Levitate it over to me.” Although she was panicking due to the quicksand, Vinyl nevertheless concentrated hard enough to cast the spell for telekinesis, and dropped her machete on the ground in front of Octavia.

“Okay. Wherthe’s there a vine?” Octavia asked with the handle of the machete in her mouth. She was trying to act calm and logical about the situation, rather than panicking and flailing around as Vinyl was.

“Are you kidding, Tavi?! There are vines all over the place! Look, cut down that one just above your head!” Octavia glanced upwards.

“I’m an Earth Pony, not a unicorn. How am I thupposed –” Octavia spat the machete out of her mouth “- How am I supposed to cut down something that high without telekinesis?”

It was now Vinyl’s to smack a hoof to her face. “You Earth Ponies! I don’t know how you manage!” She was about to suggest something else, when her expression changed from panic to horror. “Tavi! I- I can feel something! My hoof just nudged something!” By now, Vinyl was half-in, half-out of the quicksand pit.

“W-What is it?” Octavia asked, starting to panic for Vinyl now. She had never heard of any sort of animals living in quicksand before, but then again, who was to say that it was impossible?

“It- it feels solid! Like… ground!” Vinyl said, half in amazement, half in shock. Octavia’s expression went from worry to dull surprise.

“Vinyl… that is ground. The quicksand trap obviously isn’t that deep,” she said in a monotone.

“No, Tavi! You don’t know what it’s like! This can’t be the ground! It must be- it must be-” Vinyl’s expression calmed down and resumed her trademark grin. “Oh wait, you were right. It is ground!” After brief attempts to swim out of the quicksand and levitate herself out, Vinyl eventually accepted that the suction of the quicksand was too strong for her to get out on her own.

“Can I get a helping hoof here?” she asked, embarrassed, as she reached out a hoof to Octavia.

==============

“Are you done washing that sand off?” Octavia asked as Vinyl emerged from a small stream the two had found.

“Clean as a brand-new record,” Vinyl said happily. “You should totally try it, Tavi – the water’s great!”

“No thank you, Vinyl,” Octavia answered, turning on both the unicorn and the stream in a small act of defiance. “I’d much rather wash myself in a shower or bath than a primitive stream such as that.”

“Suit yourself, but you’re the only one missing out,” Vinyl said. She levitated her map out of her saddlebag – fortunately, none of the sand had gotten inside the bag. “Now c’mon – follow me, Tavi.” Vinyl trotted straight past Octavia, with her head buried in the map. Octavia followed obediently.

“Are you sure that we’re headed the right way?” Octavia asked a few minutes later, peeking through the canopy at the setting sun.

“Sure are. According to this, we should reach the bungalows sometime tomorrow. It’s not perfect, I know, but we can at least get there soon.”

“Really?” Octavia asked. “Because the sun’s to the left of us, and it’s setting. That means that we’re heading north-east, when as I recall, the bungalows were to the north-west – up the river.”

Vinyl turned to Octavia with her usual grin on her face. “I hear ya, Tavi.”

“So… we’ll start heading the other way?”

“Nope,” Vinyl said bluntly.

“Why not?” Octavia asked, slightly frustrated with Vinyl, but too exhausted to put up a proper argument.

“Because the map doesn’t say that we’re heading the wrong way. It says that the way we’re heading now is the right way,” Vinyl said simply. Octavia resisted the urge to snatch the map from Vinyl’s telekinetic field and take over control.

“But… the sun is over there! And we’re heading this way!” Octavia said, pointing weakly with her hoof. “How can we be heading in the right way?”

“Just are.”

“But we-”

“I’ve got a news flash for you, Tavi,” Vinyl interrupted. “The planet’s round. There is no up or down.”

Despite how hard she resisted the urge, Octavia smacked both of her front hooves into her face in frustration. What does that have to do with anything?! she silently thought. She removed her hooves to see Vinyl had resumed walking after folding the map up and putting it back into her saddlebag.

“Coming, Tavi?” Vinyl asked absentmindedly. Rolling her eyes, Octavia followed, deciding not to argue for now.

After around thirty or so minutes, Vinyl and Octavia found themselves in a decently sized clearing. As the sun was almost set, they both collapsed without a word, silently agreeing to stay here for the night.

“Would you like some food, Vinyl?” Octavia asked as she got out her lunchbox. “Since I intended for it to just be for snacks, there won’t be any left for tomorrow… but we shall have to deal with that problem when it arises.”

“Sure,” said Vinyl as she took a sip from her canteen. “What’ve you got?”

“Let’s see…” began Octavia, opening her lunchbox, “… I have apples, carrots, and celery stalks. Oh, and colourful flowers too.”

“Throw us over an apple,” Vinyl said, smiling in spite of the scenario they were in. Octavia did as she asked, and for the next few minutes the two mares were silent as they finished off Octavia’s food supply.

“We shall have to find some more food tomorrow,” Octavia said as she tipped her lunchbox upside down to get rid of any final crumbs. “Obviously we can’t eat the grass, but I’m sure that there must be some edible berries or fruits around here somewhere.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Vinyl agreed. “What should we do about shelter tonight? We’re gonna need some so that we don’t freeze to death, and there could also be predators lurking about.”

“I suppose that it would be too much to hope for a hollow tree trunk around here somewhere, wouldn’t it?” Octavia said optimistically. As she squinted in the slight darkness, Vinyl’s horn lit up, and a small light glowed at the end of it. “Thank you,” Octavia said warmly.

“No probs. What’s the point of having a basic spell like this if I don’t even use it?” Vinyl asked, grinning. A moment later, she took off her glasses and put them into her saddlebag. “Guess there’s not much point in these when it’s dark, huh?”

Curiously, Octavia peeked a side glance at Vinyl’s eyes. In the light from Vinyl’s horn, they seemed to be red… no, more of a magenta colour, Octavia realised. The two mares got up and walked around the clearing, looking for a suitable tree to make shelter in, but there were none available.

“I must confess, I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to do now,” Octavia said. “None of the guide books I read were intended to be read by ponies lost in the jungle.”

“Well… if we could get enough sticks and branches together, I might be able to build us a small shelter using me telekinesis,” Vinyl suggested. Octavia shrugged. It was better than anything she could think of. Octavia walked around the clearing picking up suitable sticks and branches and putting them in a pile in front of Vinyl, who was slicing down vines and large leaves with her machete.

Once she was satisfied that they had enough raw materials, Vinyl used her telekinesis to arrange the sticks together in a crude tent shape. It was a good thing that the trees of the Amarezon were so old and large, as it meant that their branches were sturdy and strong enough to work for the shelter.

Pleased once she found out that the shelter could stand up without needing her constant telekinesis, Vinyl tied everything together with vines, and covered the outside with leaves. It was by no means a perfect solution, and it would still be cold throughout the night, but it was better than nothing. Vinyl had intentionally left a side of the shelter uncovered, and once she and Octavia had entered it, she levitated the remaining sticks and leaves over the entrance, sealing them from the outside world.

Exhausted from their journey, the two mares fell asleep quickly, and slept surprisingly restfully until the next morning.

Author's Note:

Chapter Two, huzzah! From here on, I'm planning for a bit more of a pulp-y feel for the story, although I'm going to try to put in comedy where appropriate, natch.

For the record, I totally suggest listening to the song Jibberish Jungle ~ A Slap-Happy Start from the Rayman Origins OST whilst reading this. It fits the feel of the jungle perfectly.