• 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 Eight: Vinyl and Octavia Are Caught In A Sticky Situation

“W-wait!” Octavia managed to stammer out. “Surely you’re not going to kill me over something as inconsequential as freeing two ponies, are you?”

“If you knew how much the sacred treasure means to us, you would no doubt turn yourself over to us as penance,” Green Grass said grimly. “Whilst I hate having to do this to a guest of the village, there is no escaping your fate.”

Octavia nervously looked around the crowd in the vain hope that Vinyl had returned to the village for a last-minute rescue. But with Octavia’s luck, the unicorn was naturally nowhere to be seen. Well then, it looks as though I shall have to make my own escape, Octavia thought.

As two tribesponies, holding some sort of vine between them, emerged from the crowd, Green Grass asked Octavia, “Do you have any last words before you breathe your last?”

“As a matter of fact, I do,” Octavia said, trying to sound more confident than she was feeling. “Out of my way!” With that, she started galloping towards the crowd in the hope that in her unexpected frenzy the crowd would part.

“Oof!” Unfortunately, Octavia made the mistake of heading for one of the largest stallions in the crowd, and rather than stepping aside, he simply stood his ground, causing Octavia to literally bounce off him when she hit him. Knocked to the ground, Octavia was temporarily stunned, giving the two tribesponies the chance to restrain Octavia using their vine as a makeshift rope. She was carried back before Green Grass.

“Nice try, but what were you hoping to accomplish?” Green Grass asked. As he spoke, a nearby crowd member passed him a small knife, the handle covered in intricate designs. He took it in his mouth.

At the sight of the knife, Octavia started to panic. Although she struggled to break free of the vines binding her, the tribesponies had done their work well and tied her up too well for her to easily escape. “For aiding two criminals in seeking the forbidden treasure,” Green Grass began, mumbling slightly due to the knife in his mouth, “you shall be put to death.”

So, after surviving crocodiles, mummy-ponies, traps, and pegasi, this is how it ends, Octavia thought as she stared at the knife. In spite of how futile it was, she was still trying to break free of the vines binding her. Rearing his head back slightly, Green Grass swung his head downwards to stab Octavia with the knife, aiming directly for her heart. Wincing, Octavia braced herself for the pain.

“Aargh!” Octavia shouted out… a moment before she realised that she was still alive. She opened her eyes to see that Green Grass had somehow dropped the knife mid-swing. No, wait a moment… he hadn’t dropped it – the knife was levitating in a familiar blue magical field.

“Yo Tavi!” Vinyl called out. She was standing nearby on the roof of one of the village’s huts, allowing her to see past the crowd. “Sorry I took my time getting here – I didn’t think that even you could buck this up so much.”

“Would you kindly free me?!” Octavia called back. “I am somewhat in danger here!” The knife swiftly and expertly slashed through Octavia’s bonds. Octavia picked herself up and brushed herself down as Green Grass turned to Vinyl. Octavia contemplated trying to escape whilst Vinyl distracted everypony, before deciding that it was too risky.

“Vinyl Scratch! If you leave now, we won’t be forced to kill you as we must Octavia!” he said. “We have no qualm with you!”

“Oh yeah?” Vinyl asked, flashing a grin at the chief. “What if I told you that I have… these?!” She opened up her saddlebag and lifted out the two tablets, straining slightly to lift the two relatively heavy objects. There was a gasp from the crowd as they recognised the tablets.

“What the – how did you – return those tablets to us immediately!” Green Grass spluttered. “They are sacred relics which protect the treasure – they belong in this village!”

“Only if you let Tavi go free,” Vinyl said, deadly serious.

“You’d give up the tablets for my freedom?” Octavia muttered to herself in surprise.

“Never! She has freed the seekers of our treasure, and is – wait, do you two also hunt the treasure?” Green Grass asked as he put the clues together.

“Damn right we do! That is… unless you want to trade Octavia for the tablets?” Vinyl asked cockily.

“All we need do is take the tablets from you, Vinyl Scratch,” Green Grass replied. “Your threat has no sway over us.” He picked up the knife from the ground, where it was lying.

“Yeah? Well then, I guess you wouldn’t mind if I were to just drop the tablets now, would you?” Vinyl taunted, letting one of the tablets fall slightly to emphasize the point. “I’m sure that they’ll be able to survive the fall to the ground from up here.” The crowd gasped once more, this time in fear.

“NO! You return those tablets to us immediately!” Green Grass demanded.

“Tavi. Now,” Vinyl insisted. There was a tense moment whilst Green Grass muttered something to himself, apparently agonising over the decision.

“…Fine. You win, Vinyl Scratch,” he said. “Come down from there, and we shall perform the trade.”

Vinyl slid down the hut’s roof and jumped off, carefully balancing the levitating tablets all the while. Octavia was pushed through the crowd until she was facing Vinyl. Standing next to her was Green Grass, who swiftly put the knife to her throat in case she tried anything funny.

“The tablets. Now,” the chief called out to Vinyl, who had moved a good thirty metres away from the crowd.

As Vinyl levitated the tablets across the empty space, Octavia felt a drop of sweat running down her brow. The tension in the air was so thick that you could cut it with a knife. “Please do not do anything stupid, Vinyl,” Octavia whispered. She had a nagging feeling that Vinyl had a trick up her sleeve – or was she really willing to sacrifice her quest for Octavia’s life?

Vinyl dropped the tablets halfway across the empty space between the crowd and herself. “Send Tavi back now, or I’ll take them back,” she said assertively. “I can still reach the tablets with my telekinesis from here.”

“Fine!” Green Grass said through gritted teeth – although that was probably due to the knife he was holding in his mouth. It seemed as though the events of the evening had worn down the calm, understanding personality he’d displayed before. He forcefully pushed Octavia forwards towards Vinyl, who cantered over to her friend.

“Vinyl – thank Celestia you came back!” Octavia said as she reached the white unicorn. Unexpectedly, Octavia found herself reaching out to hug Vinyl, who seemed happy to return it.

“Hey – no problem,” Vinyl said, grinning as though nothing had happened. “Saving pretty mares is what I do.” Although it was hard to see in the darkness, Octavia could have sworn that Vinyl blushed slightly.

“Well, thank you nevertheless, Vinyl,” Octavia said gratefully. “But – you realise that you just gave up any chance of finding the treasure for my sake, do you not?”

“Oh really?” Vinyl asked mischievously as her horn glowed blue. A moment later, the two tablets flew back to her and into her saddlebag.

“What is this?! I was under the belief that we had an agreement, Vinyl Scratch!” Green Grass shouted out, letting the knife fall out of his mouth. In response, Vinyl stuck her tongue out at him.

“Nyeeeeh! Try and catch us if you can!” she taunted. “C’mon, Tavi! Let’s get out of here!” The unicorn began to gallop away into the jungle, followed closely by her Earth Pony friend as she realised that she was serious about just running away from the villagers.

“After them!” Green Grass commanded as he started to gallop after the two mares. The rest of the tribesponies swiftly followed him in chasing after the two thieves.

“Vinyl! What the hay did you do that for?” Octavia asked as she caught up to her friend. “We could have gotten out of there safely!”

“Don’t you have any sense of adventure, Octavia?” Vinyl asked. “And anyway, now we just need to reach the – Octavia?” Vinyl stopped galloping and turned around to see that Octavia was standing completely still, a few metres behind her. On her face was a stunned expression.

“Octavia? You okay?” Vinyl asked, not sure what was going on. “We’ve gotta get out of here before the tribesponies catch us. Remember?”

“You – you –” Octavia breathed quietly.

“What?” Vinyl asked bluntly.

“You finally called me Octavia!” Octavia squealed, leaping at Vinyl in some sort of hug attack. “Vinyl, you really are the best friend a mare could have!”

“N-no I didn’t,” Vinyl said, pushing Octavia away from her. “I called you Oc- Tavi, same as I always have.”

“You did too! I heard it clear as day!” Octavia said excitedly. She seemed to calm down for a moment before jumping up and down in the spot and squealing in joy once more.

“C’mon, Tavi! We’ve gotta leave now!” Vinyl said as she heard the sounds of approaching tribesponies through the trees. She grabbed Octavia by the hoof and started leading her away. Fortunately, Octavia wasn’t so caught up in her glee that she didn’t recognise the danger, and before long the two mares were hastily galloping away from their pursuers once more.

“So Vinyl Scratch,” Octavia began, panting from the galloping, “do you want me to start calling you by your full name now?”

“Wha- no, Vinyl is fine,” Vinyl replied.

“Really, Vinyl Scratch? You don’t have to be embarrassed about your name –it suits you perfectly!”

“No, seriously, Octavia. Vinyl’s fine.” Before Octavia could protest, Vinyl quickly added, “Why are you so excited about this, anyway?”

“Well, I –” Octavia faltered as she asked herself that question. “To tell you the truth, Vinyl, what with all of your coercing me into helping you look for this treasure, and your refusal to listen to me, I wasn’t exactly sure whether you were a mare to be friends with or not.”

“Fair ‘nuff,” Vinyl said, ducking under a low branch as she did so.

“But as I spent more time with you, I realised that you were a good pony, and one whom it would be worth my while to befriend,” Octavia explained. “I don’t have many friends, you see. And yet… you didn’t seem to want to be my friend.” The two mares jumped over a small log lying in their path. The sounds of the tribesponies chasing them through the jungle could still be heard, although from the sounds of things some of them had split up to make the search easier.

“Filly, are you crazy?” Vinyl asked. “I’m friends with everypony!”

“Well, that is something which I realise now,” Octavia admitted. “But earlier, it was hard to tell whether you regretted tricking me into coming on this treasure hunt with you – whether I was a burden to you. But now I realise… you do care about me as a friend!”

“Please don’t tell me you’re gonna say something stupid, like…” Vinyl stopped talking for a moment and thought of what she wanted to say. “…Friendship is magic?” she finally suggested, half-heartedly.

Octavia snorted. “Please, Vinyl. Do you really think that I am so cliché? I like to think of myself as a little more – whoah!” Unable to see properly in the darkness, Octavia and Vinyl found themselves having to try and slow down as they emerged from the thick trees and onto the precipice of a cliff overlooking another portion of the jungle.

“Close call,” Vinyl panted, looking over the edge of the cliff to the trees below. “Another second and we’d have been – Octavia! Look!” She pointed a hoof out past the cliff.

Octavia squinted, not seeing what Vinyl was. “Do you expect me to be able to make something out in this darkness?” she asked.

“Urgh, you are so blind, Octavia,” Vinyl groaned. She grabbed Octavia’s head with her hooves and redirected it. “You see that gigantic, big… thing… over there?”

“…By that, I assume that you mean that somewhat large block of darkness someplace off in the distance, surrounded by inky blackness?” Octavia asked after some more squinting.

“Yeah, that one,” Vinyl said, missing Octavia’s implication. “That must be the pyramid! We can probably reach it by tomorrow from here!”

“Assuming that we can somehow make our way down this cliff…” Octavia said nervously, as she looked over the edge and realised how high above the tree canopy they were.

“Yeah, that’s true,” Vinyl said. “And we should also probably find a place to spend the night.”

“And do not forget,” a new voice said from the darkness, “that there’s also the matter of that tribe whose sacred treasure you stole, who are still hunting you down.”

“Oh yeah, I forgot about them,” Vinyl said obliviously. “Who are you, anyway, Mysterious Voice of the Darkness?” Next to her, Octavia facehoofed as a torch was lit, illuminating the scene. “You!” Vinyl gasped.

“…Were you honestly expecting somepony different?” Green Grass asked, confused. He was surrounded by a group of four or five tribesponies – most of the tribesponies were still looking for the mares after splitting up.

“How could you not recognise the voice, Vinyl?” Octavia questioned her. “We heard him speaking not five minutes ago!”

“Yeah, yeah, everypony pick on the unicorn,” Vinyl muttered.

“Surely you shall surrender the tablets to us now, Vinyl Scratch,” Green Grass said softly. “You and Octavia have no place to flee to – unless you plan to survive a fall from that cliff?”

Vinyl looked behind her, over the edge of the cliff. She looked back to Green Grass, and then back to the cliff again.

“Vinyl…” Octavia began warningly, “don’t you dare.”

“Please, Vinyl Scratch,” Green Grass said, “accept the penalty for your crime.” He took a step forwards as one of the tribesponies passed him his knife.

In response, Vinyl grinned wickedly. “Sorry, Octavia. You’re totally gonna hate me for this,” she said, enveloping the mare in her telekinetic field.

“Vinyl! No!” Octavia protested as Vinyl dragged her over to the cliff edge. “What are you thinkiiiiiiiiiiing?”she cried out as Vinyl dropped the magic field and she entered free fall.

“Geronimo!” Vinyl laughed as she threw herself backwards off the cliff a split second after Octavia. Within moments the two ponies had been swallowed up by the darkness.

Green Grass walked over to the edge of the cliff and looked downwards. He couldn’t see anything. “A coward’s death it is,” he said with a hint of sadness. With the tablets now lost, at least until the tribe could find a safer route down the cliff, he saw no point in delaying the inevitable.

Green Grass gave the order for all of the tribesponies whom had split up to return to the village, and then returned himself. For the foreseeable future, the village would be back to normal, relatively speaking.

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

It was in the early hours of the morning that Octavia awoke. As she slowly opened her eyes, she winced as pain erupted all over her body. How did I manage to survive that fall? she wondered. It’s the last thing I can recall, yet somehow I’m still alive.

Squinting in the unexpected sunlight, it took Octavia a few moments to deduce where she was. When she worked it out, her voice erupted into a scream.

“Hey, Octavia,” a familiar voice said wearily from somewhere to her side. Octavia shifted as best as she could to see Vinyl Scratch, looking battered and bruised, yet still alive. “You noticed where we are?”

“How could I not?” Octavia asked fiercely. “We’re tied up in a gigantic spider web, for Celestia’s sake! How in the name of Luna’s wings did we get here?!”

Vinyl shrugged as best as she could. She and Octavia were both wound up in cocoons of silk. “I guess when we hit the canopy of the jungle, it knocked us out, and we landed here. I’ve been trying to wake you up for hours.”

“And what, a gigantic spider tied us up whilst we were knocked out? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!” Octavia protested, struggling now to break out of her prison. “Good job landing us into another sticky situation, Vinyl!”

“Heh. Sticky situation,” Vinyl chuckled.

“What in Equestria were your thoughts when you pushed me off the cliff?” Octavia asked now, as she gave up on breaking the spider silk.

Once more, Vinyl shrugged. “The canopy didn’t look too high from the cliff, and I figured that it’d break our fall. Then we’d be out of reach of the tribesponies!” She sounded pleased with herself in spite of the situation they were now in.

“And if the canopy hadn’t broken our fall?” Octavia asked in a deadpan tone.

“I didn’t really think about that,” Vinyl admitted. “The way I figured it, the tribesponies were gonna kill us whatever we did. By jumping off the cliff we still had a chance of surviving. And we’re still alive! How awesome am I?” Vinyl flashed a grin, as if her plan had somehow gotten them into a better situation than the one they were in.

“Urgh. Why is it that we keep going from one bad situation to another?” Octavia sighed. If she could have facehoofed, she would have.

“This situation isn’t so bad!” Vinyl said cheerfully. “Now that you’re awake, we’re sure to think of some way out of this!”

“Fair enough,” Octavia said, attempting to be optimistic. “What have you tried so far?”

“Well, I’ve tried struggling to get out of this web, and I tried shouting at you to wake you up, but neither of those worked,” Vinyl stated.

“…Alright. And what did you try after that?” Octavia asked, afraid of the answer.

“I tried waiting for you to wake up and seeing what you’d have in mind,” Vinyl said. “So, what’s your plan now that you’re awake?”

“Have you tried cutting through the web with your machete?” Octavia suggested, trying not to display her frustration.

“Nah. My saddlebag’s caught up in the web, and it’s too thick to open my bag,” Vinyl explained. “And I’ve tried tearing the web with my telekinesis, but it’s too strong.”

“Can’t you just try and get the machete out through the web? Cut it as you bring out the machete?” Octavia suggested.

“Hey! Nice idea, Octavia! I knew there was a reason I waited for you to wake up!” said Vinyl. As she spoke, a large vibration travelled down the web. “I’ll try and do that now.” Her horn glowed blue, but, to Octavia, there was no visible progress as to what was happening.

“I’m trying to cut through the cocoon from the inside,” Vinyl explained. “It’s pretty thick webbing, but I think I’ll manage.”

“Say… how long do you think that will take?” Octavia asked, with a hint of fear in her tone.

“I’m about halfway through now, so give me another few minutes then I’ll do you,” Vinyl responded. "Why do you ask?”

Octavia nodded her head to the other end of the web, where a gigantic spider was slowly stepping onto the web and advancing towards the two ponies. “You may need to hurry that up somewhat.”

“Oh buck!” Vinyl said as she took notice of the spider. With every step of its legs, the web shook. Vinyl hastened her cutting speed, and within moments the blade of the machete poked through her cocoon.

“Quickly! Help me out!” Octavia cried.

“I’m still not free!” Vinyl pointed out. The blade of the machete continued slicing through the cocoon in a sawing motion.

“Hurry, Vinyl!” Octavia shouted. The front legs of the spider were standing on either side of her.

“I’m done!” Vinyl said as she finished cutting through the cocoon. She crawled out from it and onto the larger web it had been lying on – luckily, the webbing wasn’t too sticky. “C’mon, filly, let’s get you out of there!” she said. Acting swiftly, Vinyl used her telekinesis to push Octavia’s cocoon off the web and towards the jungle floor. With its intended prey out of reach for the moment, the spider started moving towards Vinyl.

“Ouch! Would you please stop pushing me off high places?” Octavia asked as she hit the floor. Fortunately, the fall wasn’t so large as to cause further injury.

“Sorry, Octavia. Just doing my bit to help us survive!” Vinyl said, leaping down from the web herself. Working as swiftly as she could, Vinyl cut through Octavia’s cocoon. The two mares started running away as fast as they could, with their injuries, from the spider, which had started to climb down a tree after them. It seemed as though its large size slowed it down, as it wasn’t too long before it was out of sight.

For several minutes, the two mares walked in silence, Octavia trusting that Vinyl was leading them in the right direction. It wasn’t too long, however, before Octavia broke the silence.

“Vinyl, I just remembered something important I have to tell you,” she said.

“Yeah, Octavia? What is it?” Vinyl asked.

“You remember last night how it looked as though the tribesponies were going to execute me, and then you came in and saved me?” Octavia asked.

“’Course I do. What about it?”

“And you remember how we ended up running away from them? You’ll admit that they gave chase to us?”

“Well, yeah, they did,” Vinyl answered, not sure where Octavia was going with this.

“Good. Vinyl, I have bad news for you,” Octavia said, smiling slightly.

“Huh? What is it?” Vinyl asked.

“You owe me twenty-four bits.”

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

“Octaaaaaaaviaaaaaaaaa,” Vinyl groaned several hours later. “I’m huuuuuungry." It was around lunchtime, and, by now, the two mares could easily see the looming pyramid over the treetops. “Do we have any food left?” Vinyl asked.

“I’m not sure whether we do,” Octavia said as she opened her saddlebag and began searching through it. “I wouldn’t object to a bite to eat myself; I’m feeling somewhat peckish. Aha!” Octavia brought her lunchbox out of her saddlebag, which contained some small, dark berries the two mares had found the previous day.

“Oh, heck yeah!” Vinyl said upon seeing the lunchbox. “Gimme some! I haven’t eaten since the tribesponies gave us food last night!”

“Don’t forget, Vinyl – we don’t know whether these berries are poisonous or not,” Octavia cautioned.

“Pfft, are you still worrying about that?” Vinyl asked dismissively. She levitated the lunchbox open and removed some berries. “Y’know, I think that this whole jungle is a bit overrated. How many times have we actually eaten something poisonous or encountered some danger?”

“Ten?” Octavia guessed. Vinyl shrugged in response as she started eating.

“Whatever. The point I’m trying to make is that these berries aren’t poisonous; now eat them up before I finish them off, Octavia.”

“If you insist,” Octavia agreed, smiling. She reached into the box, which Vinyl was still levitating, and began eating. Within a few minutes, the two ponies had finished their small lunch. “Happy now, Vinyl?” Octavia asked, although not patronisingly.

“Well, I wouldn’t mind some grass to follow it up, but I guess that’s probably out of the question,” Vinyl said, grinning nevertheless. “Say, Octavia,” she continued as the they continued walking, “since it looks like we’ll be at the pyramid soon, do you have any plans for getting out of the jungle when we’ve got the treasure?”

“Well… to be perfectly honest with you, Vinyl, I hadn’t exactly thought it through,” Octavia admitted. “Do you think that if we lit some sort of fire that nearby pegasi would notice? Assuming that there are pegasi in the areas around here, that is.”

“Yeah, I guess that’s worth a shot,” Vinyl agreed. “And I’m thinking that we could – we could –”

“Vinyl? What is it?” Octavia asked. Her friend had placed a hoof to her stomach, and had a slightly pained expression on her face. There was a moment of silence in which Vinyl failed to answer, before she let out a groan of pain and collapsed to the ground, hugging her stomach with both of her front hooves.

“Vinyl, what is it?” Octavia asked urgently, trotting over to her friend. “Did you get stung by a mosquito again?”

“No, Octavia,” Vinyl said through gritted teeth, “it’s – the berries –”

Octavia frowned. “Don’t tell me that you’re still hungry. You’re going to have to wait if you want more food.” As she spoke, Octavia felt a small rumble in her own stomach, but dismissed it.

“Octavia, it’s the berries – they –” Vinyl was gritting her teeth and closing her eyes now, evidently in pain. “I think that they were poisonous,” Vinyl finally managed to get out.

“What?!” Octavia said, worried now. She felt another rumble in her stomach, only this one was stronger and hurt a lot more. “You’re joking, aren’t you, Vinyl?”

“Urgh… I wish I was, Octavia,” Vinyl said. As she spoke, a sharp pain erupted in Octavia’s stomach, weakening her to the point that she also fell to the ground and began clutching her stomach in pain.

“We’ve got to build another shelter,” Octavia said through gritted teeth. In the past few minutes, her body heat had increased exponentially, and she could feel her head throbbing. “We can stay in there until the poison’s worked its way out of our bodies!”

“No!” Vinyl protested. She climbed onto her hooves shakily. “We’re so close to the pyramid now, and you’re going to stop because of a little poison? Buck that!” Walking slowly, Vinyl continued heading in the direction that she had been before succumbing to the poison.

“Are you insane, Vinyl?” Octavia asked, wincing as another bout of pain caused a spasm in her body. She slowly stood up. “Neither of us are in any state to travel through the jungle!”

“Yeah?” Vinyl asked, slowly turning around. She was wincing slightly, and her hooves were shaking. “Try and stop me, Octavia!”

Sighing, Octavia slowly walked to the unicorn, trying her best not to move too much. Between falling from the cliff and now having some poison in her system, she was in quite a bit of pain. “If you insist, we’ll make our way to the pyramid,” Octavia agreed. “But please, could we at least go slowly?”

Vinyl agreed, and for the next half hour the two mares continued to trudge towards their destination. They found that drinking some water relieved some of the pain, and so they were able to speed up their pace somewhat. In spite of this, however, it wasn’t long before both ponies fell to the ground, too weakened to continue.

“Octavia… am I dying?” Vinyl asked. The two ponies were lying on their backs, looking up at the sky. Neither of them cared about whether anything would find them; they were both too weak to continue.

“I don’t know, Vinyl,” Octavia answered croakily. “I hope not.”

“…I did a stupid thing, tricking you into coming into the jungle; didn’t I?” Vinyl asked. She closed her eyes as she spoke. Why can’t this bucking poison get out of my body? she thought.

“It’s okay, Vinyl,” Octavia breathed, trying to ignore the pain running through her body. “I can admit it to you… this trip has had its fun moments.” There was a pause in which Vinyl didn’t reply. “Vinyl?”

Octavia slowly crawled over to Vinyl. Vinyl’s eyes were closed, and she was breathing slowly. It was impossible to tell whether the poison had knocked her unconscious or she had just fallen asleep from weariness. “Vinyl! Wake up!” Octavia said, slapping the unicorn with a hoof. There was no response. Octavia was about to hit Vinyl again when she noticed something that she hadn’t earlier, on account of her state.

“Vinyl! Wake up! We’ve reached the pyramid!”

Author's Note:

Holy buck, I managed to write another chapter even though I'm back at uni. And it's a big chapter!

I hope everyone's enjoyed this so far, because next chapter a lion eats Vinyl and Octavia and it's the end of the fic there'll probably only be about two chapters from here (maaaaybe three, if I stretch things out too much).