Disclaimer: Don't own Doctor Who or My Little Pony. If I did, this would be an actual episode of the series.
New Settings; Old Enemies
The rolling green fields outside of Ponyville were peaceful and serene. It was rare anypony would venture out to these fields, save the odd romantic pair who wanted to enjoy some peace and quiet. Aside from that, the only other visitors were woodland creatures who wanted to enjoy the grass.
One such creature was a tiny bunny rabbit. On this day, it was wandering the fields, planning to enjoy the fresh green grass. The creature was enjoying its first mouthful when a sound caught its ear.
It popped its head up from the long grass and looked about, trying to determine where the sound came from and if it was a predator. The sound gradually grew loader. It was a deep, whirring, grinding noise that was simultaneously grating and somewhat soothing. The bunny was perplexed and somewhat nervous as the sound grew loader.
What finally sent it scurrying was the bluish shape that seemed to appear from nowhere. It ran off, not witnessing as the amorphous blue blur slowly gained shape and grew more opaque. It took the form a small wooden structure. It was tall and had the words "Police Public Call Box" over it's doors. Atop the box was a lantern that flashed in time with the whirring sound. As the sound died out in a series of drawn out whirs, the doors popped open.
A head popped out first. It was the head of a pony, specifically a stallion. He slowly emerged from the strange blue box, looking about as if expecting something might jump out at him. He was a lean young stallion with a light brown coat and a darker brown mane. He wore a brown vest that was a slight middle brown between the brown of his mane and the brown of his coat. On his flank was a mark, which looked like an hourglass. His blue eyes turned back to the box, his expression shifting to one of exasperation.
"Really? That again?" he said in a very distinctly Trottish accent. "Ever since we saw that in that inter-dimensional curio shop… You know, it doesn't really fit in anywhere. And just what is a 'Police Box' meant to be anyway?"
He paused, as if expecting an answer from the strange blue structure.
The pony sighed, shaking his head. "Oh, I guess it doesn't really matter. A TARDIS your age is entitled to a few eccentricities. Just keep the perception filters on high while I look about this place."
The pony tapped his right fore-hoof on the ground twice. The box's doors swung shut and a locking sound could be heard inside. The pony then turned and trotted off, leaving the odd thing alone in the field.
Derpy Hooves grunted as she hefted the heavy mailbag on her back. The new mail had just come in and she was eager to get started and get her daily route over-with. She was never fond of her job, mostly because it forced to interact with everypony else in town. Most ponies were civil with her, she admitted. Some slept in because they had night-jobs, so she didn't have to deal with them. But almost everypony, even the nice ones, made her feel awkward and unwanted; and all because of her appearance.
At first glance, Derpy Hooves was a perfectly normal Pegasus Pony. She had a grey coat and feathers that weren't very striking on their own, but contrasted well against her flowing yellow mane. But her eyes; her eyes were the problem. Ever since she was a filly, she had been cursed with permanent cross-eyes. Nopony knew exactly how she came to be this way. It started when she was young and never stopped. Sometimes, if she concentrated, she could get them to focus, but it hurt her head to try.
Throughout her youth, Derpy had been constantly teased about her eyes. As an adult, it was rarer that she was openly demeaned for her eyes. However, few ponies ever looked her in the face. Those that did always had a look of immense discomfort at seeing her eyes. She knew some still made fun of her behind her back. Then there were others (a certain rainbow-maned Pegasus came to mind) who lacked even that amount of courtesy and mocked her to her face.
If she had the option, she would quit her job. The problem was that there weren't many jobs available for a Pegasus who couldn't fly worth a darn and whose only talent was blowing bubbles. Even she had to admit, as much as she loved bubble blowing and for how good she was at it, it was a fairly useless skill.
Bounding down the stairs came Derpy's biggest reason not to quit her job. Dinky Hooves trotted down the stairs with her book satchel over her back. The filly shared her mother's grey coat and had a lighter yellow mane. She also had a horn on her forehead rather than wings.
Derpy managed to smile, despite her discomfort. She loved the little filly with all her heart. She would do anything to keep her happy, healthy and, most of all, safe. That meant having money to pay for things. That meant working a highly uncomfortable and dissatisfying job.
"Going on your route, already?" Dinky asked.
"Yes, Muffin," Derpy replied. "There's a lot today, so I figured I best get a head start."
"Okay," Dinky replied. "Do you think you'll pick me up from school?"
"Maybe," Derpy said, a little sad that she couldn't guarantee that, as she had no idea how long her route would take. "I'll certainly try. You can walk there yourself, right?"
"Sure," Dinky replied. "I'll walk with Apple Bloom when she walks by."
Derpy smiled wider. She was happy that Dinky was having an easier time making friends in school than she had had when she was a filly. Dinky had connected with Apple Bloom, the youngest of the Apple family who ran Sweet Apple Acres. Dinky had mentioned wanting to join up with Apple Bloom's after-school club, the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Derpy was hesitant to say yes to that, knowing all about the kind of mischief those three fillies got into with their activities. Even more than not wanting her to get in trouble, Derpy didn't want Dinky to get hurt doing the dangerous stunts the Crusaders did. Still, she encouraged her to try and stay friends with Apple Bloom, because she wanted Dinky to have friends more than anything.
"That sounds good," She said. "Just be careful on your way there."
"I will mama," Dinky said.
Dinky jumped up and hugged Derpy around the neck as the mail mare opened the door. Derpy hugged her daughter back, putting all the love she had for that little filly into it. As they broke apart, they noticed Apple Bloom standing at their fence, waving to them.
"Oh, look," Derpy said. "Seems your little friend is here already."
"Hi Dinky! Hi Miss Derpy!" Apple Bloom called out as they walked to her, after Derpy shut and locked her front door. "Ah thought Ah'd come meet Dinky so we could walk to school."
"That's wonderful, sweetie," Derpy said, shutting the gate behind her after she and Dinky crossed the fence. "Well, I have to go make my deliveries. You girls have fun. Bye Muffin."
With that, Derpy walked off while her daughter and her friend trotted to school in the other direction. Dinky walked alongside the red maned, Earth pony filly. She turned and saw her mother turn the corner and disappear from sight.
"She's gone," Dinky said. "So, what's the plan for today?"
Apple Bloom smiled mischievously. "Scootaloo thinks we might try for bungee-jumping cutie marks."
"Awesome!" Dinky replied, smiling excitedly. Then, her face turned to one of confusion. "What's bungee-jumping?"
"Ah don't rightly know," Apple Bloom replied. "Half the things she suggests 're things Ah ain't never heard of."
"Then why do you do them?" Dinky asked.
"To get our cutie marks, Duh!" Apple Bloom replied. "Tha's a silly question. It's righ' there in our name, 'the Cutie Mark Crusaders'."
"I know," Dinky said. "I just figured, if we're trying to get our cutie marks, wouldn't it be in something we'd normally do?"
"Tha's silly," Apple Bloom explained. "If we was doin' what we was meant to be doing, we'd have already gotten our cutie marks."
Dinky just nodded in submission to the childish logic of her friend, even though she was certain that wasn't how her mother had explained cutie marks to her. "Well," she said, "if it's Scootaloo's idea, it'll probably be a lot of fun!"
"Yeah!" Apple Bloom said excitedly. "Le's get to school! Ah can't wait to try it!"
The two fillies began to run off, their minds on the fun they planned with their friends. Blocks away, Derpy remained oblivious to her daughter's plans. She walked down the streets of Ponyville, ready to do her duty. Despite how poorly she usually felt doing her route, as she drew to the first house on her route, she suddenly felt an odd wave of positivity. She had the strange impression that, despite all evidence to the contrary, today was going to be a good day.
"Bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored…"
These words were uttered, ad nauseum, by one rather odd looking pony who had taken a seat on a bench in the town square. She had been there since earlier in the day, and had started saying and repeating the word shortly after taking her place on the bench. She was a white furred unicorn pony with an electric blue mane that seemed to stand permanently on end in a spiky style. Her cutie mark was a simple pair of bridged eight notes. Her other notable trait was a pair of large, dark glasses with ovangular frames that managed to keep her eyes covered from every angle. Over her head were some sort of elaborate brass earmuffs with some sort of strange cord leading to a small box at her side.
Some ponies stopped to ponder the strange pony. One or two tried to talk to her, but she seemed to tune everypony else out. After a time, these ponies would leave to continue with their business, muttering about the strange pony they left behind.
What nopony knew was that this pony wasn't just tuning them out; she was Rock-tuning them out. The device by her side was actually a miniature turntable, inside which spun a tiny record which was playing rock music. The speakers for the device were attached to the earmuffs and the music was playing, quite loudly, into her ears. This, combined with her constant muttering, simply drowned out all stimulus.
The pony, who a few recognized as Vinyl Scratch, had invented the device for her own use. She called it an I-Box; which she figured was a clever way of stating that it was meant specifically for her. It wasn't, but she thought it was.
At this moment, Vinyl was lamenting her bored fate. Her partner and friend, the party-pony Pinkie Pie, had left for Canterlot along with the other chosen ones or whatever they were supposed to be. Pinkie had tried explaining to her, but Vinyl never really understood it. All she knew was that, on rare occasions, this meant Pinkie had to leave Ponyville for several days to attend to the needs of the Royals. This meant that, for the time being, there were going to be far fewer parties in Ponyville. Fewer parties equals fewer calls for music. No music equals no fun, as far as Vinyl was concerned.
Vinyl thrived on music. She loved the way it moved ponies. She loved how it could bring life to a room. She loved the rhythm, the beat, the excitement. If she couldn't make music for somepony, anypony, she felt empty. Thus, once Pinkie was gone, she would plop herself down somewhere, usually in her house, and perform this ritual. She would do this until Pinkie came back.
This day, for some reason, she felt like doing it in public. She didn't know why, but reasoned that she simply had done it in every part of her house at some point, so why not expand her horizons. Perhaps she could spread her misery to everypony else; if not through sympathy, than through annoyance.
Then, she stopped.
Normally, only three things can stop Vinyl Scratch when she gets like this, aside from Pinkie. #1: Food. #2: Sleep. #3: the call of nature. This was due to none of those things. Something, or rather, somepony had broken her out of her lamentation. Vinyl stopped the I-box and pulled off the head-speakers as soon as she saw her.
She was casually walking past, not even aware of the strange musician pony, her attention focused on a little bronze metal device in her hoof. She was a simple Earth Pony with a grey coat and a flowing raven-black mane which ran over her shoulder. Her cutie mark was a treble cleft. She carried a small, stylish saddlebag over her back. She walked in a graceful, deliberate stride. She seemed to exude elegance and class. She was clearly not a regular citizen. She had the air of a Canterlot pony, and not a wannabe like Rarity, but a real lady of the royal city. (Vinyl's thoughts, mind you.)
She was the most beautiful pony Vinyl had ever seen.
Vinyl's heart beat faster as she watched the pony walk by. Her eyes did not stray for a second. Vinyl made it no great secret that she was a lesbian. She was proud and open about her sexuality. She had even fooled about with Pinkie Pie once or twice, though they never had a serious relationship. With Pinkie, nothing was ever serious. Vinyl had had one or two marefriends over the years, but never for very long. However, this was the first time she had ever found herself so attracted to a pony.
Vinyl levitated the I-Box and attached it to her hip with a adhesive spell. She then got up and trotted after the mare. She didn't know how she'd approach the pony, but she wasn't about to let her just walk away without saying something. Celestia knows one can only say "bored" so many times before it gets on their own nerves.
Octavia looked at the device in her hoof with great focus. It was a metal box-shaped machine with an aerial antenna on the top and a metal clamp on the bottom. It had a glass screen which displayed various mathematical symbols and figures that constantly changed across the screen. In the center were several dots, which were slowly drawing closer to a large circle in the lower right corner. Octavia had no idea what the math meant, but knew what the dots meant. She moved her way through the town, as the device made soft beeping sounds. The further she walked, the louder the sound got.
However, quite suddenly, the device seemed to stop. It's screen went dark and the beeping stopped. Octavia gave it an angry glare. She sat down and grabbed it with both hooves, shaking it in the air and banging it against the ground.
"Oh, Blast!" She uttered. "I can't believe it! This stupid contraption ran out of power already?"
She shook it some more, but the device gave no response. She sighed in frustration. She put the device to her mouth and pulled out what looked like the end of a jumper cable whose cable extended from the device. She then looked about briefly before she caught sight of a male unicorn.
She trotted up to him and said, "Pardon me sir. Might I attach this to your horn briefly?"
The unicorn gave her an incredulous look and just trotted off without replying.
Octavia glared at the pony as he left. "You could at least say No!" she shouted, dropping the clamp. "Oh, I hate this! I could've asked for a unicorn partner, but Noooo. I had to prove I could do without magic."
She hated this. It was awkward asking unicorns for help, especially with a device she couldn't explain. She'd already tried it once during her journey to Ponyville and it had been extremely difficult. She had finally convinced one stallion to do it on the condition that she go on a date with him. She gave him a fake address and left before he could realize that fact. She didn't want to try that method again.
Octavia looked around some more, hoping to catch some other unicorn's attention. She was unaware that she had already caught the attention of one unicorn who had been following her for the past block. Vinyl noticed her conversation with the male unicorn and realized that her device probably ran on a rechargeable magic battery that had run out. Vinyl used the same type of batteries for her inventions.
Seeing this as an opportunity, Vinyl casually walked up to the mare who only noticed her at the last moment. "Hey," Vinyl said. "Need some help there?"
Octavia looked at the rather unusual blue-maned mare with surprise and relief. "Oh, yes!" she replied. "My machine has stopped working. I need a unicorn to power it."
"Look no further," the unicorn replied. "Vinyl Scratch, at your service."
With that, Vinyl levitated the clamp onto her horn, which glowed with magic that flowed into the device.
Octavia smiled widely as she watched the machine return to life. "Oh, Thank you so much!" she declared. "I wasn't sure what I would do without this."
"It's no big," Vinyl replied, trying to act confident in front of the lovely pony. She looked that the device and noticed its display. "What it that thing anyhoof?"
"Oh…" Octavia froze. She had to think of something to tell her to avoid suspicion. "It's… It's a… acoustic checker!" she stuttered out. "It checks areas for acoustics. I'm a musician you see," She pointed to her cutie mark, "And I was thinking of holding an outdoors concert. So I'm trying to find an area with good acoustics for my performance."
"Oh, cool!" Vinyl declared. "I could really use a gizmo like that. See, I'm a musician too." She motioned to her own cutie mark. "Well, sorta. I'm actually more of a DJ."
"A what?" Octavia asked, having never heard of such a thing.
"A DJ!" Vinyl replied. "You know; a disc jockey; a master of ceremonies; the pony that changes the records out during a party."
"Oh," Octavia replied, giving the pony a confused look. "That sounds… interesting."
"Yeah…" Vinyl felt off-put by the other pony's reaction. She had a feeling that she'd made a bit of a fool of herself. She decided to try and relieve the tension. "So, what do you play?"
"I'm a cellist," Octavia replied, trying to focus on the device's charge meter and not invest herself in a conversation with the power source.
"Oh," Vinyl said. "That's interesting. I've never actually heard a cello before."
"That doesn't seem too surprising," Octavia said, now trying to discourage the other pony from further conversation.
Vinyl sensed the cold shoulder, but refused to give in. "Where'd you get that gizmo anyway?" she asked. "I'm sure I could use one at some point."
"It's… one of a kind," Octavia replied. "I had a friend make it for me."
"Really!" Vinyl said excitedly. "Your friend sounds great! I'm actually a bit of an inventor too. I build all sorts of gizmos for my shows. I actually made this thing." She hovered the I-box in front of them.
Octavia eyed the simple looking box with confusion. "A… box?"
"Actually, I-box," Vinyl said proudly. "It's a mini turntable that plays mini records. You use these to listen."
Vinyl hovered her headphones over Octavia's ears and activated the device. Octavia's horrified reaction reminded Vinyl that she had the volume on maximum and she quickly removed them. The earth pony swayed in a daze as Vinyl suddenly felt all hope of getting to know this pony better just got shot to the moon.
"Oh, sweet Luna!" she exclaimed. "Are you alright?!"
Octavia rubbed her ears as she tried to recover from the blaring rockand roll music she was just exposed to. "What a…" she restrained herself, not wanting to make a scene. "… clever device. If only its power were used for good."
"Oh, jeez," Vinyl said. "I'm so sorry. I swear, I forgot it was up that high!"
Octavia looked at the pony. Despite the oversized glasses, she could see the genuine concern on her face. She decided not to hold this against her and simply replied, "It's alright. I'm sure it was just an accident."
The device in Octavia's hoof beeped three times rapidly. Octavia knew this meant the device was charged. She motioned to the clamp, which Vinyl caught on to and removed. The two sat awkwardly for a moment before Octavia stood up to leave. Vinyl's face was red as she mentally berated herself for how stupidly she acted.
Vinyl's head shot up. She was shocked to see it was Octavia talking to her.
"It was Vinyl Scratch, right?" Octavia asked.
"Yeah," she replied.
"I'm Octavia," she said. "And, thank you again for the help."
Vinyl smiled widely as the other pony continued to walk off. Once she was a ways away, she pumped her hoof in the air and declared, "YES!"
Octavia rolled her eyes. She smiled a bit as she thought about the strange pony. Clearly she had an attraction to her, which was probably why she had helped her. "At least she had the good taste not to try and bargain for it," she said, thinking back to the male pony. "Still, she was kind of cute. Too bad I have more urgent matters."
Pushing the encounter out of her mind, Octavia returned to the task at hoof, as the small dots on her screen grew ever closer to their destination.
High over Equestria, above the atmosphere, where only the royal sisters could go, several small objects flew towards the peaceful planet. They hit the atmosphere, glowing brightly in the heat of entry. Any scientist would tell you that objects this small would sooner burn up in the atmosphere than reach the ground. However, these objects seemed to willfully defy that notion as none of them was destroyed as they continued to fall.
Farther away, a strange set of glowing blue eyes was focused on a monitor. This monitor displayed an image similar to the one on Octavia's device. Unlike that device, this one had strange symbols of unknown meaning rather than mathematical formulas. The eyes watched as the blips began contacting the planet.
"It Begins," a cold, synthetic voice announced. "Prepare to receive data."
More eyes light up in the dark chamber. The first set draws closer to the screen, its light illuminating its face. It was a metal face with a neutral expression. Over the head was laid metal tubing of unknown purpose. As it spoke, its mouth glowed.
"Prepare for planet-wide upgrade protocol."
To Be Continued