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AngelGrace

Hypnomusic

May 10th, 2013
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  1. “You do realize she’s been investigated like, twice already, right?” I folded my arms as I looked at the paper in front of me. A unicorn with Cyan hair looked back at me. “Vinyl Scratch; Alias “DJ-P0N3”. Suspected of using hypnosis in music.”
  2. My supervisor tented his fingers. “I am aware of that, Miss Grace. However, something doesn’t seem right to me, and you are our best investigator. If anyone can get to the bottom of this, it’s you.”
  3. Well, I couldn’t exactly turn down the job now that he had said that. I picked up the file, nodding. “I’ll interview today, then, and check out her next concert…since it’s on her majesties dime, anyway” I winked slyly as I skipped out the door.
  4. Despite her fame, Scratch lived in Ponyville, in a simple flat. I knocked on the door, and a moment later it swung open magically. Scratch came to the door, taking one look at me and chuckling. “So, another Sunburst.” She remarked, standing to the side to let me enter. “At least they sent a cute one this time. Love your wings. Pure white, just like an angel.” She smiled at me.
  5. “Well, that is my name. Angel Grace, Special Guard Service.” The name “Sunburst” had become a bit of a nickname for the division of the Royal Guard who investigated matters of national security; more detectives than fighters. “I take it you know why I’m here, then?”
  6. “Of course, of course.” The musician waved at a chair as she headed for the kitchen. “Seems like it’s once a month they send another one of you guys down, thinking I’m using my music to control ponies. Lemonade?” I nodded as I sat down, and she disappeared from view, but kept talking. “Guess a girl can’t be good at music without something enhancing it, huh?” she came out, carrying two glasses of lemonade. I took a heavy drink from the one she handed me, letting out a long breath afterward.
  7. “I wouldn’t say that. They’re just a little concerned with how…quickly you gained your fans.” I leaned back into the chair, setting the glass aside and resting my hands in my lap. “You came up pretty much out of nowhere after that one fashion show. Now, don’t get me wrong, your music is awesome, but it is a little startling.”
  8. Scratch lifted an eyebrow interestedly. “Oh, so then you’re a fan of my work? You certainly don’t have the look about you.” She held her hands a little apart, looking at me through them as if through a television screen.
  9. It was my turn to chuckle a bit. P0N3 fans did have a bit of a look about them, usually wilder and with garish makeup. My simple dress and clean face was the exact opposite of those ravers. “I’ve heard a bit of it. More of a fan of classical, though, something refined. The music itself weaving a tale in ones mind…”
  10. She nodded. “I see, I see. You’d like my roommate, then…” she rubbed her chin thoughtfully, sizing me up as the door opened again. “Speak of the devil. I’d like you to meet Octavia. Tavi, this is Angel Grace, another one of the Sunbursts.”
  11. Octavia entered the room, and she couldn’t be more different than Scratch if she tried. Vinyl was energetic, in your face, and rough around the edges. Octavia…with her, everything was in its proper place. Not a moment of wasted time, nor a bit of wasted energy. She looked me over, taking me in in one sweep. “Good to meet you.” She said in an even tone of voice, nodding her head.
  12. “You as well, Miss Octavia.” I replied respectfully. “So you’re Vinyls roommate? Would you mind if I asked you a few questions? Just want to get the whole picture.”
  13. Scratch elbowed me. “Tell her about how much you like classical!” she looked at Octavia eagerly. “You should have heard her, she described it exactly like you did!”
  14. Octavia gave me a second glace, and from that, I got the feeling I was one of the few who had merited such scrutiny. She nodded once, her tone lighter. “Yes, I believe I would be able to accommodate you. Give me fifteen minutes and meet me in my room, please, Angel Grace.”
  15. She retreated into her room and closed the door. Vinyl nodded a bit. “Well, she certainly warmed up to you pretty quick.” She said with a little chuckle. “Anyway, Rarity’s show got my music out there, and I’m really grateful to Pinkie Pie as well for recommending me to all her friends. Which, as you know, is the population of the world.”
  16. I turned to Vinyl, laughing. “Sounds right to me.” I agreed, taking some notes. So far, Vinyl didn’t seem to be plotting anything. Dedicated to her work, and very flirty, but she didn’t seem like the kind who would use her music to manipulate. She really loved it, and cared about her fans. Still, it was the closest to her that would tell the best story, so I rose and headed towards Octavias door. I knocked on it gently, and it swung open.
  17. Like Octavia herself, the room was a stark contrast to Vinyl, everything neat; yet that neatness had an alluringness to itself. A classical piece was playing from a set of speakers on the desk, and on a shelf next to the bed, a metronome was swinging back and forth at a fairly high tempo. On the bed sat Octavia herself, who motioned for me to close the door.
  18. I did so, sitting down on a chair next to the bed, nodding at the speaker. “Melody’s fourth, second movement, right?” I asked with a smile. “A rather whimsical piece, one of my favorites.”
  19. Octavia replied in the affirmative. “You do know your classics, that’s good to hear. So, you’re here to investigate Vinyl?” she asked curiously, moving the weight on the metronome up a bit to reduce the speed of the swing. “Don’t you think you have bothered her enough?”
  20. I nodded in agreement with Octavia, sighing a bit. I did feel bad about that. “It’s not my choice. I simply do what I am ordered to do, and the higher ups are concerned Vinyls music could be dangerous.”
  21. “It is, but only to the health of the ear.” She shook her head a bit, the metronome clicking next to her. “There’s simply no rhythm to it, it’s just…meaningless noise. I hope this isn’t too annoying.” She added as an afterthought, her finger moving the weight a little more, the clicking slowing more. “I simply find that it brings order to my thoughts.”
  22. “It’s not a problem.” I assured her, going over my notes. The simple beat did seem to make it easy to sort through them. “So then you don’t believe that Vinyl’s music contains sublimal messaging, or some kind of magic?”
  23. “None.” Octavia said, moving the weight a bit more. Seemingly satisfied with the tempo it was at now, she bent down to remove her shoes. “Even if it did, there’s too much chaos in it to affect anyone at all.” She set one to the side, then the other. Perfect rhythm. Click. Click. She looked back up at me. “That’s the key, after all. Harmony. Each thought in its place.”
  24. I nodded in agreement, in time to the swing of the metronome. Wait…wait a second. Octavia sized me up, and actually smiled a bit. “Now you’re starting to understand. Those other agents weren’t worth too much, but you…” she slid the weight a touch more, the beat slowing. “Clever.” Click. “Refined.” Click. “Attractive.” Click. “Most of all…” Click “Trusting.” Click.
  25. The ticking of the pendulum had gotten into my head, interfering with my thoughts. No…setting them in order. A new order, but…
  26. “You…you’re the hypnotist?” I asked. I was even speaking in time with the ticking now. I should be unsettled by that, but it was hard to deviate from the rhythm the pendulum was creating.
  27. “A bit of a present, for my dear pet.” Octavia replied calmly. “Not all the masses, of course, but a few key players. Sparks, carefully applied, to create a blaze of approval. Not that I approve of her music, of course, but it makes her happy…” she shook her head with a roll of her eyes.
  28. “But then how can she, with this ticking in her head? She shouldn’t be able to speak out of time.” I asked, trying my best to be confused. Didn’t work. “I know that I can’t do so.”
  29. “Oh, that?” she patted the pendulmn fondly. “I just use this for the training and programming. Finding the beat is the hardest part, really. I think I about have you down, though.” She fiddled with the weight some more, adjusting the tempo by a few fractions of a second. The clicking became more prominent in my head. “I’m glad you came, really. Vinyl has been lonely lately, my concerts are starting to gain steam as well, and I find myself travelling often. She’ll appreciate a new friend.”
  30. “But, the guards will-” I started to say, seeing where this was going.
  31. “You’re going to resign from the Royal Guards.”
  32. “I’m going to resign from the Royal Guards.” I repeated. “Wait, I…” it seemed like the right thing to do, but something…
  33. Octavia nodded a bit in time with the ticking, shifting it just a bit. Some clicked into place in my head at that moment, like I had just finished tuning a cord. “There we go.” She said, looking me over. “Don’t give any more thought to the Royal Guards.”
  34. I nodded twice, in perfect time, thoughts of how the guard would react put out of my head.
  35. “You’re going to sign on as Vinyls Assistant.”
  36. “I’m going to sign on as Vinyls Assistant.” I repeated evenly and honestly. That’s what needed to be done.
  37. “Good, good…” Octavia said, moving her hand from the metronome. She pulled a notebook from the side of her bed and turned to the second page, copying something down. “Now then, listen carefully to me, Angel Grace. I am the most important thing in your life. You will do whatever I say, because you’re my pet. But you’re not aware of this, you just think we’re really close friends. Your best friend, however, is Vinyl Scratch. You’ll do whatever it takes to make her happy, which is why you wanted to quit the guard and move in to help her with her DJing. When you’re not with her, and I’m at home, then I want you with me. Do you understand all that, Angel Grace?”
  38. I nodded. “I understand.” I replied, each word clicking into place.
  39. “Good.” She put a hand to the metronome, stopping the swinging all at once.
  40. I blinked and held my head, shaking it briefly. My thoughts were suddenly in a jumble, and it took a few moments for everything to line up. Octavia sat there patiently, the very picture of stoicism as she waited for me to recover from my episode. “Sorry, this doesn’t usually happen.”
  41. “Maybe you really are spending too much time in the guard.” She offered helpfully. “You’ve been talking about getting more involved in Vinyls work. This could be the excuse you need.”
  42. I looked up. Of course, that made sense; while not musically inclined myself, I enjoyed the time I spent around the two musicians. Helping Vinyl out would prove to be more relaxing then chasing down leads. “You know, you could be right. I’ll turn in my resignation first thing in the morning.”
  43. “I’m sure Vinyl will appreciate that. You probably shouldn’t tell them why, though. I’m sure they wouldn’t understand. Just tell them you need some personal time; you’re free to move in with us.”
  44. I smiled. “Thanks, Octavia. You’re a good friend.”
  45. Octavia stroked my hair gently, then pulled me close. “Not as good a friend as you are to us, Angel Grace.” She said softly in my ear, in perfect cadence, same as always.
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