By Terrarian Pony
By Terrarian Pony
Not In Denial
That night, Octavia wasn't slepping well. She kept thinking about the animus, and her great x9 grandfather. She tossed and turned, but couldn't get to sleep. And then...
Vinyl peeked through Octavia's door to see that she's fallen off the bed, onto her nose. She chuckled, covering her smirk with a hoof.
Octavia:" What do you want?"
Vinyl:" Something wrong?"
Octavia:" No, Vinyl. I'm just... having bad dreams."
Vinyl:" Being an assassin could do that to you."
Octavia:" Apparently. What do the Templars want anyways."
Vinyl:" Peace, just like us. They just have the wrong idea of what peace is. Believe me, they think their intentions are noble, but they are something wrong. They're too ambitious."
Octavia:" I see. So in a way, we're both basically the same as them."
Vinyl scowled at that.
Vinyl:" Don't you dare say that again. We are not the same as them, you here? We don't kill innocence, we protect innocence, and kill those who bring them harm. If you ever say anything like that again, I will make sure you say nothing for the rest of your life."
Octavia's eyes went wide at that statement, and her ears drooped as Vinyl left the room. Octavia felt a tear rolling down her cheek. She didn't think that Vinyl would ever threaten her. She climbed back into bed, but she didn't even try to sleep. How could she fall asleep? Her own sister threatend to cut her tongue out, or worse. Octavia cried softly into her pillow. She couldn't understand what she had said to make Vinyl so angry, and that made her even more upset.
The next morning, neither Octavia or Vinyl were feeling any better. Octavia felt weary of Vinyl now, trying to avoid eye contact. Finally, Octavia spoke.
Octavia:" Vinyl, I need to tell you something."
Vinyl didn't respond, just looked at her with tired eyes.
Octavia:" I don't want you to come with me to Manehatten."
Vinyl was shocked.
Vinyl:" What? Why?"
Octavia:" I... can't tell you."
Vinyl:" But I want to protect you Octavia. Something could go wrong."
Octavia:" Maybe, but something can go wrong either way."
Vinyl:" Is this about last night? I didn't mean what I said."
Octavia scowled, still not looking at her.
Octavia:" It sounded very much like you did mean it."
Vinyl:" You don't understand, Octavia. Everytime I killed somepony who was of major importance to the Templars, they told me the same thing. I just didn't expect you to say that yourself. I'm sorry."
Octavia finally looked at her with a mean glare.
Octavia:" Well maybe we should both remember to choose our words wisely. Don't follow me, you understand?"
Vinyl was hurt, more than ever, but she didn't move.
Vinyl:" You're afraid of me, aren't you. Just because I threaten you once? It wasn't even a real threat."
Octavia:" All it takes is once, Vinyl! That's why I was afraid of mother!"
Vinyl sprang from her seat.
Vinyl:" Then why did you love her!?"
Octavia:" It's complicated!"
Vinyl:" No it's not! Why!?"
Octavia:" I don't know, okay!?"
They both were silent for a while, then Octavia spoke again, in a sad voice, tears streaming down her face.
Octavia:" I don't know. I just knew that through that cold, dark exterior, she loved me back."
Vinyl:" No... she didn't. Why can't you see that?"
Octavia:" Because I know! She loved both of us."
Vinyl:" Octavia, listen to yourself. Luna was lying to you to make you think you were loved. She wanted you to feel this way so it would be easier for you to end Burnan's life."
Octavia:" I don't care what you say Vinyl! I know what is, and what isn't. I'll prove to you that she loved me!"
Vinyl:" How? How will you prove anything?"
Octavia thought of an idea. If she can use the Animus, than she can prove it.
Octavia:" Princess Twilight. I'll talk to her. Maybe she can give me proof."
Vinyl:" See that's why you believe in such fairy tale. Because you like to hang out with ponies that are just as, or more egghead than yourself!"
Octavia:" Just don't follow me, okay!?"
Vinyl didn't say another word, just walked away.
Octavia needed the truth. She had to see Twilight. She knocked on the big crystal door harshly. Twilight opened the door for her.
Octavia:" Please tell me you have that machine working. I really need it. I need to know something really important."
Twilight:" Whoa, hang on. I've figured out the problem, kinda. You see, we still need to make upgrades to the Animus. For now, it's only safe to explore very recent memories."
Octavia:" Well then send me into my mother's memory. I need to know something, and I need to know now!"
Octavia's tears were visible on her grey coat. Twilight put a hoof on her shoulder, and talked softly.
Twilight:" First, come in and tell me what's wrong."
Twilight let her in, and Octavia told her everything, her sobbing becoming louder as she told the story of her complicated relationship with her mother.
Twilight:" So you need to know if she loved you, or not?"
Octavia would not look at Twilight, covering her eyes with her forehooves.
Twilight:" I see. Well then... we'll see what we can do. How much time do you have?"
Octavia:" When is the latest train ride to Manehatten?"
Twilight gave Octavia the ok to lay down in the Animus, and Starlight turned it on. Octavia was walking on clouds, numbers, and symbols again for a while. Then she finally reached a memory.
Octavia was in a much younger body. She knew it was Coldheart's, but it was strange. Not exactly how far back she wanted, but would have to do for the moment. Coldheart was being forced into playing the cello. It wasn't something she wanted to do, but her parents didn't seem to care what she wanted. Her father was an earth pony, and her mother was a unicorn.
Coldheart's father:" Stand straight you ungrateful little brat!"
Coldheart's mother:" Really, I've heard mocking birds play music better than that."
Coldheart:" B-but I'm trying. I really am."
Coldheart's father:" Not good enough. Try harder."
Coldheart seemed to be more scared of her father than her mother, as she began playing.
Coldheart:" Are you trying to make music, or are you trying to kill mother nature? You can have one or the other, but you can't do both!"
Coldheart started crying, but her father wouldn't have it. He slapped her face, and dragged her to the basement, and tied her to a chair.
Coldheart's father:" I'll give you something to cry about you little brat!"
Her father brought out a whip, and beat Coldheart with it. That was the final straw for Octavia.
Octavia:" P-please! Take me out! Let me out!"
There was a bright flash, and the memory was gone.
Octavia came out of the Animus, breathing heavily.
Twilight:" Calm down. It's alright."
Twilight gulped as she watched Octavia tremble in horror, tears streaming down her face as she hugged her self with her forehooves.
Twilight:" What did you see?"
Octavia:" Y-you sent me too far back. My mother's parents... they treated her worse than she treated me! Was actually supposed to feel what she felt?"
Twilight:" W-well, unfortunately, yes. I can't really change that, but I think I can tune it to where the your senses are more resistant. Do you want me to do that for you?"
Octavia nodded, and Twilight began doing... something. Octavia didn't understand it, but she just went with it.
Twilight:" Alright, try it now."
Coldheart:" It's about time you're ready. Come, let me fix your bow tie, it's loose."
At the very moment her mother finished that statement, Octavia knew that she was in THAT memory. It was the last time she saw her mother alive.
Octavia:" Mother... eh... too tight."
Coldheart:" You'll be just fine, now hurry along."
Octavia:" Oh... alright. Can I at least loosen it, just a bit when I get there?"
Coldheart:" Fine, but don't expect me to let you do it again."
Octavia couldn't believe she was talking to... herself. It was all kinds of wrong to her. Octavia... or rather her past self... walked out the door.
The Animus began to fast forward to more recent memory.
Coldheart's eyes were fixed on a charcoal unicorn stallion, with a grey mane. He wore the Templar uniform. Octavia could already make out who it was.
Coldheart:" How did you get in here!?"
Burnan:" Oh, it wasn't easy. I was supposed to have a distraction, but the letter I sent had obviously been intercepted, and instead I had to resort to climbing in through a window."
Coldheart's horn glowed as she grabbed a decorative sword from the wall. Burnan sat up.
Burnan:" Let's not be hasty. Sit down, relax, have some whine."
He levitated two bottles of alchohol out of his saddlebags, and put one on the table in front of him, waving a hoof to it.
Coldheart:" Nothing says trouble like drinking alcohol with your enemy."
Burnan slurped down a taste of his whine, without taking an eye off of Coldheart.
Burnan:" Your call. Listen, you and I, we are in the exact same boat, here. You get what I'm saying?"
Coldheart gave a short laugh.
Coldheart:" That's quite a claim, considering I'm the one with the sword, and it's pointing at your face."
Burnan:" You are such a naïve mare, Coldheart. However, I envy you. You have all the riches, all the good stuff... and all you can think about is kicking your own daughter."
Coldheart:" SHUT UP! SHUT UP!"
Coldheart's eyes were filling with tears, but they weren't yet falling.
Coldheart:" Octavia is a special filly. I push her so that she understands the difficulty of real life, not because I don't like her, or because she is wrong! But because she needs to know that that's what life is!"
Burnan:" Or at least your own meaning. And I have to say, I agree with you, grudgingly of course. You see, you and I are the same. You don't realize that."
Octavia finally understood the anger behind Vinyl's eyes when she herself said that, and now she can relate. Coldheart narrowed her eyes, then gave a slight smile.
Coldheart:" You and I are nothing alike. Sure, I am demanding towards her, as you are with your soldiers, but it's not the same."
Burnan:" Whatever you need to tell yourself. Now, are we going to finish this, or what?"
Coldheart:" With pleasure."
Burnan put on his silver helmet, which looked like the head of a griffin, and lept from the sofa, levitating out his sword, and clashing with Coldheart's. Coldheart swung at Burnan's shoulder, but it pinged of his armor, sending sparks flying from between the two metals. Burnan turned and bucked her in the face, sending her into a coat rack. Burnan lifted the coats up with his magic, but she was gone. Suddenly he realized he walked right into a trap as Coldheart slashed at his back, leaving a blood stain in his chain armor. He turned, and swung angrily, but Coldheart didn't miss a beat. Suddenly, she teleported right above him, and he realized how she got out of the pile of coats so quickly. It was too bad he didn't know that spell himself.
Coldheart poked the stallion on the flank, nearly peircing his armor, leaving him howling, and flying behind the sofa. He came back with a slash at her neck, and she began to bleed. She lifted her hoof to her neck, getting blood on her hoof. She licked the blood off of her hoof, and grinned confidently.
Coldheart:" You really don't scare me Burnan. You and your little gang of knights. Because when it comes to the game, I believe I'm the queen."
Burnan only chuckled at that.
Burnan:" Good one. Just like old times, eh? Except this time, we're playing against eachother, and I'm at check, and mate."
Burnan went for the final blow, and Coldheart's eyes went wide as she realized her fate. She looked down at the blade in her torso, and then at Burnan with her frightened, dead eyes. He just grinned at her, as she fell to the floor with a thump. Her breathing was now labored.
Burnan shook his head, drawing his sword from her chest, and she screamed in pain.
Burnan:" I'd say I'm sorry it had to end this way... but I'm not."
He walked out of the room, probably towards the window he entered through. A minute later, the front door was opened, and Coldheart heard hoof steps. She looked up at Vinyl's face with a solomn expression. She was in her assassin robes.
Vinyl:" I was too late then..."
Coldheart:" I suppose it's for the best... Vinyl please... tell Octavia... tell her that I loved her."
Vinyl stared sadly at her.
Vinyl:" I can't tell her that, because I know it's not true."
Coldheart:" V-vinyl... please."
And with that, Coldheart drew her final breathe.
Octavia bucked the front door off it's hinges with her two forehooves, sending it flying across the living room, Vinyl ducked to avoid it cutting her head off.
Vinyl:" Octavia, what the buck is wrong with y-!?"
Octavia didn't even let Vinyl finish her sentence before she smacked her across the face as hard as she could, knocking Vinyl to the floor, holding a hoof on her face.
Vinyl:" What the hay!?"
Octavia:" You didn't tell me!"
Twilight and Starlight came in swiftly, seeing the commotion.
Twilight:" O-octavia, let's be rational, please?"
Vinyl:" Tell you what?"
Octavia:" You purposely neglected to tell me mother's exact final words! You said it wasn't true! How could you!?"
Vinyl:" Because it wasn't, okay!?"
Octavia:" No! It's not okay! You want to know why? Because I've been waiting for that one word to come out of her mouth, and neglect to tell me she said, right in front of your own face!"
Vinyl:" How do you even know!?"
She looked at Twilight, then back at Octavia.
Vinyl:" You know what, I'm pretty sure I don't even want to know. It doesn't even matter anymore, Octavia. She's gone! There isn't anything you can do about it."
Starlight:" Octavia, please. Violence won't solve anything."
Octavia glared at Vinyl harshly, tears seeping through her eyelids. Finally, her face began to soften, and Octavia began weeping into her hooves. Vinyl picked her up and hugged her, Octavia returned the hug soon after, if only to feel the full warmth of her sibling's coat. Her face was red from her previous rage, and her tears were uncontrolled. Even Vinyl began to shed a few silent tears herself, occasionally sniffing.
Vinyl:" Octavia... at some point, you have to let this go. I've tried to be here for you, but lately you've been pushing me away. I know you think she loved you, but you have to face the fact that she never did."
Octavia:" No Vinyl. I... I just can't. Because I don't keep thinking that, it's going to kill me. No matter what mother did, she was showing me that this is life. And it is. Her methods may have been cruel, but her own father had done worse to her, than she had to me. I was lucky, Vinyl. I know because I saw it for myself. I can't exactly explain how, but I saw it. You have to believe me."
Vinyl:" Octavia... just please promise me you kill your self over this. If you do, I won't ever forgive you for it. And I'll be alone for the rest of my life."
Octavia:" Only if you promise not to follow me everywhere I go. Including when I go to Manehatten to... you know. This is something I need to do on my own."
Vinyl:" Fine. I understand you can handle yourself. it's just... I hope you know what you're getting into. Be careful, please."
Octavia:" I will."
It was almost time for Octavia to board the train. She gave Vinyl the chance to walk with her to the station.
Vinyl:" Are you sure you don't want me come, just in case you have an emotional break down?"
Octavia:" I'll be fine, Vinyl."
Vinyl:" What will you do once you catch him? Will you be staying with the creed?"
Octavia:" I really don't see myself doing anything else. Apart from playing a wooden instrument, that is."
Vinyl:" Sounds a lot better than going around stabbing ponies."
Vinyl only gave the slightest of smiles.
Vinyl:" I'm really going to miss you, Tavi. I wanted to give you something before you left."
She levitated a small heart-shaped locket from her saddlebags. On the front it said "Best Sister". Octavia couldn't help but feel this gift was a little cheesy, but she smiled honestly. She opened it up, and there was a picture of them both as younger fillies, holding eachother and smiling.
Octavia:" Thank you, Vinyl."
They hugged, and then the train arrived.
Vinyl:" I'll see you when you get back."
Octavia nodded, and boarded the train.
Octavia realized she made a big mistake, as when the train started leaving, she instantly felt alone. She looked out the window, watching as the trees went by. She put on her student assassin robes, just to cover herself with something, but left the hood down. She also needed it to cover her hidden blade, just in case she was compromised, or randomly mugged. She figured nopony, not even the Templars would notice an assassin apprentice outfit, seeing as it doesn't have the assassin's insignia. Suddenly, she heard a voice from the seat across from her's.
???:" Hey there. You're Octavia, right?"
Octavia turned around to see a purple pegasus filly, about her age, and had a blue mane, and a tornado for a cutie mark.
Octavia:" Y-yes. Yes, I'm sorry. I was lost in thought."
The pegasus smiled sadly.
???:" Yeah, that happens."
Her expression quickly brightened.
???:" I'm Twister by the way. I've always been a fan of your work. You are a true artist. I've been to your concerts."
Octavia:" Oh, I wasn't aware I had fans, just an audience."
Twister:" Are you kidding? You are always really good."
Octavia:" It comes from an entire life of discipline."
Twister frowned at that.
Twister:" You mean to say you don't like your special talent?"
Octavia:" Where did you get that impression?"
Twister began to panic, blushing furiously.
Twister:" I-I didn't mean... no... that's not what I... I was only... I-I'm so sorry! I shouldn't be bothering you. I'm sure you're really busy. I'll sit somewhere else.
She was about to get up, but Octavia stopped her.
Octavia:" No! P-please stay. I-I rather enjoy the company."
The purple pegasus's face couldn't be redder.
Twister:" I'm sorry. It just sounded as if your talent was forced."
Octavia:" Well it was, but it doesn't mean I don't like it. My career as a cellist is dear to me."
Twister:" Oh... sorry."
Octavia:" It's quite alright. Would you like to sit next to me?"
Twister blushed again.
Twister:" I-it would be an honor."
Twister lept from her seat, and sat down next to the grey earth pony, as the purple pegasus smiled nervously. Octavia couldn't help but chuckle at the timid filly.
Octavia:" Relax. I'm not that special."
Twister:" Oh, I beg to differ. You're a rather exotic pony."
It was Octavia's turn to blush.
Octavia:" That's a bit much, don't you think?"
Twister:" Sorry. I'm getting way ahead of myself. Can we... start over?"
Octavia:" Alright then, I'll start this time. I'm Octavia, and you are...?"
Twister:" I-I'm Twister. I-it's really nice to meet you."
Octavia:" Likewise, miss Twister. Where are you from?"
Twister:" Oh, well I was born in Cloudsdale. I just came from Ponyville, and I'm visiting Manehatten for three days."
Octavia:" What a coincidence. So am I."
Twister:" Really? I'm just visiting so I can see what it's like there. I've never been before."
Octavia:" Any reason you aren't flying there?"
Twister:" Well... I've never been a train either. I wanted to see what it was like. To be honest, I'm actually kind of freaking out, here. Talking with you is the only thing keeping my head on straight."
Octavia:" Don't worry. I'm sure you'll get the hang of it."
Octavia:" What's wrong?"
Twister panicked again.
Twister:" S-sorry, it's just... you aren't exactly how I thought you would be?"
Octavia:" Cold, mean, and snobby? Sorry to disappoint, but if you're looking for that, you should have met my mother."
Twister was shocked to hear her laughing at such a comment.
Octavia:" Really, I don't quite like to be like her. I'm an elegant, and sophisticated pony, sure, but I'd never have the heart to be a stuck up snob. I try to avoid it as much as possible, especially now that my mother is gone."
Twister:" Oh... and that's... a good thing?"
Octavia:" If only I could look at it that way. She was murdered, and all I could think about for a while was getting rid of the crook who did it. And I will, that I am sure of."
Twister:" Oh. I'm sorry."
Octavia:" Please, no more apologies. I'm fine, really. I just have to get through these three days without causing damage to myself."
Octavia stared into the purple pegasus's eyes sorrowfully. Her left eye was yellow, while her right eye was green.
Octavia:" Do you think you can stay with me, you know, when we get off the train? I don't want to be alone."
Twister smiled softly, a small shade of red on her cheeks.
Twister:" I would love to stay with you, miss Octavia.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Chapter summary: So yeah! Octavia and Vinyl seem to be having some issues, so Octavia returns to the Animus to prove that their mother loved both of them. Octavia figures out a small bit of her mother's younger life, and finally gets some sort of proof. She leaves on a train to Manehatten, and meets a timid pegasus named Twister, who seems to have a crush on Octavia.