The Master Mev : Chapter 18 – Appealing Danger


(Audiobook Reading)

Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo stood and faced each other in the CMC clubhouse.

“Why are you trying to stop me?” Scootaloo asked with an annoyed glare.

“Because it’s dangerous! Didn’t you hear her? I’m not joking about the safety rules,” Rainbow Dash said.

“I thought you loved danger,” Scootaloo pointed out. “You’re a daredevil like me—or were. Not to mention, aren’t you yourself like super dangerous just by existing now? You still let me hang out with you today, Master Rainbow Dash.” Scootaloo immediately covered her mouth, sensing that perhaps she crossed a line in her desperate search to fire off with something, anything, to get back at her sister figure.

The words cut Rainbow like a small knife, and tears welled in her magenta eyes. She sighed and wiped the tears away with one of her wings, otherwise undeterred as she told Scootaloo, “Being a master mev has its own set of safety rules too, believe it or not. I know there are things I need to do to keep other ponies safe from me. And I do them. I don’t want to see you get hurt by what Lightning Dust might have you do.”

“I can’t fly,” Scootaloo suddenly admitted. “It’s about time you understood that about me, Rainbow Dash.” The pegasus filly wiped a tear of her own. “I can’t ever be a Wonderbolt like you or one of the best fliers. I can’t be the ‘best of the best’ according to your standards. I look up to you, Rainbow, but that doesn’t mean I want to be you. The Washouts give me a chance to be something awesome. Don’t you get that? Don’t you want that for me too?”

Rainbow stared at the wooden floorboards thoughtfully. She glanced up and replied, “You…you already are awesome you know. I didn’t know you couldn’t fly. I know you’ve had doubts, but I thought you weren’t sure.”

“I’m past the age where I should be able to do it,” Scootaloo explained. “I have been for awhile now. I accepted it some time ago. I need to find my own path, and it won’t be the same as yours.”

Rainbow nodded and muttered, “Of course.” She looked over to Scootaloo and swallowed. “If somepony found a cure, would you want it?”

“I really don’t think it’s possible or that I can wait my whole life to find out,” Scootaloo said. “Why?”

“Can I tell you more about my being a master mev?” Rainbow offered.

Scootaloo nodded, not sure how that connected to this part of the conversation. They had moved on from her strange jab at that existence.

“I was granted this power by the land with a purpose. I’m supposed to maintain a reserve and manage magic. My pack helps me with my work. My title helps me think. It helps me and others communicate. All of these things together give me the power to do business with other magical creatures. Creatures includes ponies.” Rainbow looked at Scootaloo. “Ponies includes young pegasi.”

“Are you saying you could cure my flight disability?” Scootaloo wondered with hesitation and skepticism.

“No,” Rainbow told her plainly. “I am offering to investigate your disability to start you on a path that could lead to a cure.”

“And if I decline this offer?” Scootaloo asked without looking Rainbow in the eye.

“My business is my business,” the master mev said coolly, “but as for you, nothing will change.”

“Then we’re right back where we started, aren’t we Master Rainbow Dash?” Scootaloo pointed out. “I don’t know about this offer, but right now, I know that I want to perform for the Washouts, with or without your approval. I know that I can’t fly today or tomorrow, and that I have a chance in this moment to do something important to me. I’m my own foal now, and you can’t stop me.”

Rainbow nodded and didn’t say anything for a few moments as she gathered her thoughts, trying to figure out what she could do to stop Scootaloo from doing something she’d regret. “A warning then. I’m afraid you’re going to get hurt. As in, seriously hurt, like bandaged up, unable to move, drinking-through-a-straw kind of hurt.” She shifted into a strange melancholy Scootaloo rarely saw from her mix of idol, friend, and sister as she said, “I remember what it was like being with Lightning Dust. We were an unstoppable team, just like Spitfire wanted. She thought Lightning Dust pushed herself harder than I did.”

“Did she?” Scootaloo asked.

Rainbow nodded and reluctantly admitted, “Yeah, she did.” She took a breath and tilted her head as if to look up at the ceiling with her eyes closed. “I wanted so badly to be good enough for Spitfire, to be that ‘best of the best’ I saw in the Wonderbolts.”

Scootaloo watched and listened as Rainbow lifted herself into a hover.

“So fine, I would push myself harder to get there. I was willing to try something reckless, push myself a little more.” The older pegasus touched back down to the floor boards and gave Scootaloo a harsh look. “That decision put my friends in danger.”

Scootaloo looked away from Rainbow, not saying anything, and Rainbow herself looked away to the wall in shame. “They could have been that drinking-through-a-straw seriously hurt or worse, and Lightning’s response to that was that she didn’t care since it all worked out.”

“Well, it did, right?” Scootaloo retorted. “Work out. It’s not like you’ve never been reckless before that.”

“I know,” Rainbow replied. She reached out to touch a hoof to Scootaloo’s shoulder, but the younger pony tensed. “I know, but that’s when I saw my line, Scoot—a line I never even knew I had.” She put her hoof back to the floor and her gaze peered down again. “I would not push myself at that cost. If you go to the Washouts—if you go to Lightning Dust—you’ll find somepony every bit as intense and thrilling as you hope she is and then some. But that doesn’t mean you’ll find what you want from this moment in front of you.”

With fiercely narrowed eyes, Scootaloo replied, “You don’t know anything about what I’ll find or what it’s like to be where I am.”

“But I do when it comes to Lightning Dust!” Rainbow insisted.

“This isn’t just about her. I can’t fly, but I can do stunts. Guess what the Washouts are about? Stunts! It’s called ‘opportunity.’ You don’t know what it’s like to not be able to fly like every other pegasus you know—ever,” Scootaloo pointed out. “Not just a week because you got hurt or a day because some monster took your magic. No. Every. Day. You don’t know anything about that. And all the expectations from ponies like you that come with it.”

Hurt and guilty as charged, Rainbow studied the younger figure before her. “You’re right. I don’t,” she admitted and sighed. She walked out, hanging her head and drooping her ears, accepting the futility of her position. Soon after, she lifted off and flew away.

Scootaloo glared bitterly at the door. She was determined to prove herself, prove her capability as an athlete, and prove that Rainbow Dash was wrong.


The Sunday show for the Washouts had another huge turnout. Rarity, Sweetie Belle, Applejack, and Apple Bloom clustered together on one of the bleachers. In the row below them sat Twilight Sparkle, Starlight Glimmer, and Pinkie Pie. “Where are Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy?” Apple Bloom asked the mares. “You’d think Rainbow wouldn’t want to miss Scootaloo’s big show.”

“Rainbow Dash isn’t on the best terms with the leader of the Washouts,” Twilight explained to them.

“Oh my gosh, the drama!” Pinkie Pie declared, singing out the last syllable. “Rainbow told me and Penny last night that it’s Lightning Dust, the very same pony who convinced her to start a tornado at Wonderbolts Academy. She’s totally worried about Scootaloo. I’ll bet she’s just watching from the wings to make sure everything’s okay.”

“So, Saturdays are your turn?” Sweetie Belle asked with a sly smile. “Wait, who’s Penny?”

“Yeah, how’d you know? And Penny’s my super duper nice mirror pool copy that Rainbow drank Friday night, and I drank last night,” Pinkie answered honestly. She added with a touch of pride, “I can now summon her myself.”

“Let’s try to be a little more discrete about what we say on that sort of thing while we’re out in public,” Starlight suggested. With Rainbow not present, that put Primeva in charge of Team Awesome for the moment. “Put it off until later if that’s what it takes.”

“Heehee right. Sorry Starlight,” Pinkie smiled with closed eyes and bashfully rubbed the back of her mane.

“As for Fluttershy,” Applejack changed the subject, “she’d rather stay home on care-taking duty today. She can leave her patient. He’s not so bad off, but I guess it’s just enough that’s where she wants to be now that she doesn’t have to worry about work at the school.”

“Who is this mysterious patient anyway?” Apple Bloom asked. “Both you and Rarity have gone to help her out last week.”

“We’ll tell you later,” Rarity said with a wink as she looked at Starlight, who gave her an approving nod.

The announcer came on to start the show, this time introducing Lightning Dust by name, as she flew in to land for her entrance. The Washouts captain removed her helmet to talk to the crowd, describing the area and equipment already set up. “In just a moment, the newest member of the Washouts will be rocket-sledding down that hill, up that ramp, and over all twenty-two wagons, to land on the other side…in one piece.” She scoffed and added, “Heh, if she’s lucky.” She quickly moved on, “Put your hooves together for Half-Pint Dynamite!”

Rolling Thunder and Short Fuse held a trampoline for Scootaloo. Clad in Washouts attire, she jumped through and into a flip, before she landed with her hooves on the ground and to the sound of the cheering crowd. Lightning Dust soon joined her, so that Scootaloo could ride on her back. They flew to the hill for the anticipated stunt.

Along the flight, Scootaloo lifted her visor from her helmet. “Lightning Dust?” She went ahead with removing the helmet completely to talk more freely. “I have to tell you, I actually started Equestria’s first Washouts Fan Club—as far as I know. So this is a real honor, ma’am. Um, do we call you ma’am?”

With a smirk, Lightning replied, “You land this jump, you can call me whatever you want.”

They soon passed through a thin layer of cloud and landed on the hill where Scootaloo saw the considerably large rocket attached to her scooter that would propel her for the stunt. Her eyes widened in fear as she nervously began to state, “Wow, that sure is…”

Sensing the young one’s trepidation, Lightning finished, “Dangerous? Nah…” Then she seemed to give it a dash of thought. “Well, maybe a little.”

“Has anypony tested it before?” Scootaloo asked, starting to worry.

“Where’s the fun in that?” Lightning Dust asked pointedly with a smile.

Scootaloo clenched her teeth in a frightened frown and gulped, recalling Rainbow’s words of warning about her ex-teammate.

Lightning Dust grabbed more duct tape and attached a small rocket to the larger one.

“There’s more?” Scootaloo asked shrilly.

At this point, the older pony became annoyed. “You’re not thinking of backing out, are you?”

“No!” Scootaloo immediately denied, then cast her eyes to the ground as she admitted, “I’m just thinking about drinking through straws.”

Lightning Dust knew what that meant even if she hadn’t been in the clubhouse where Rainbow and Scootaloo confronted each other. She remembered Spitfire always gave a speech about safety rules with an emphatic, loud warning that included such an example. No doubt Rainbow Dash put that idea in this pegasus filly’s head. She had no sympathy for such a fear. With a disapproving expression and irritated voice, Lightning asked, “Are you the president of my fan club, or not?”

“Of course!” Scootaloo insisted. “It’s just…”

Before she could finish the thought or the words, Lightning was in her face. “You wouldn’t want to get impeached for dishonoring my wishes, would you?”

“I-is that a thing?” Scootaloo was now confused on top of her growing apprehension.

Lightning Dust’s forelimbs grabbed Scootaloo without another word and plopped the pegasus filly onto the scooter. The mare quickly and firmly put the helmet back on Scootaloo as well. “Light it up!” she yelled from the top of the hill. Fire surged upward into each of the twenty-two wagons waiting down at the main field.

In that moment, it dawned on Scootaloo that she was literally staring into a line so much like the one Rainbow described from her own experience. “Okay, now I am thinking about backing out,” she admitted.

“Too late!” Lightning Dust growled with eager fierceness and pressed a red button.

The rocket shot forward at a high speed. Scootaloo whimpered as the scooter approached the ramp, shooting her even higher—ever so high. Lightning Dust looked on at the scene from the hill. A familiar rainbow blur swished over her, wind sweeping over her mane. The tremendously fast blur followed the same path as the rocket-attached scooter—just above the ground and up the same ramp, catching up to the frightened filly. Rainbow Dash grabbed her young friend off the rocketing scooter, pulling her to safety. Cradling Scootaloo in her forelimbs, Rainbow gave a small smile before saying, “I know I was supposed to let you make your own decisions, but that doesn’t mean I can’t swoop in and save you from time to time.” She winked and smiled again. The younger pegasus smiled back, and the two nuzzled.

Rainbow landed near the ramp by the wagons. Hovering not far above that point was Short Fuse as he extinguished the fire on the closest wagon to the ramp.

“Rainbow Dash!” Lightning flew in, clearly irked. “You didn’t let her finish the stunt!”

“In case you didn’t notice,” Rainbow pointed her hoof with a glare, “she was in serious danger!”

“Yeah!” Scootaloo added her voice and similar expression, standing firmly next to Rainbow. “I started having second thoughts, and you knew that, and you still put me on that scooter.”

Lightning Dust growled and glared right back before finally saying, “Fine, I’m sorry. Now just get off our field for the show.”

“Gladly,” Rainbow said. “Come on Scoot. Let’s go.”

Scootaloo silently complied and threw off the Washouts attire.

The pair found a small clearing off the field and far enough away from the show to talk again.

“I’m sorry Rainbow Dash. Even after everything you told me, I still didn’t want to believe that I was putting myself in that kind of danger or that Lightning Dust was who you said she was. She didn’t care about me being scared or putting me in danger. She only wanted a good show, even if it meant I got hurt.”

“I’m sorry too,” Rainbow said, “for making you feel that you could never be what I consider the ‘best of the best’ because of how much I focus on flying. It was totally not cool on my part. I’m lucky enough to have had you as a fan for so long, thinking I’m the coolest.” Rainbow rubbed the top of Scootaloo’s mane with her hoof. “I want to be worth it. I know to try for being a master mev; I should try for being a big sister too.”

Scootaloo smiled at the gesture, and the two ponies hugged. Still held in Rainbow’s wing, Scootaloo looked up into her sister’s eyes and began sincerely, “Master Rainbow Dash, about your offer—yes. Please. I want to know more about why I can’t fly and if there is a path to cure it.”

Rainbow blinked and became contemplative before her expression softened into a caring smile. “Then I’ll have Team Awesome get right on it,” she said. She closed her eyes, allowing the irises to turn red and the sense of her mev power to surface. This job would not be easy, maybe not even possible, but she still liked a good challenge.