“We’re back!” Rainbow Dash proudly announced with Starlight Glimmer, Sweetie Belle, and Fluttershy not far behind. The four ponies entered the library at Twilight Sparkle’s castle.
“Master Rainbow Dash!” two familiar filly voices exclaimed as they galloped up to her.
“Well, this is certainly a surprise, Crusader Scootaloo and Crusader Apple Bloom,” Rainbow said as she looked down at them with a warm smile.
Twilight approached with Spike hovering near her. The young dragon was putting his new wings to use. The alicorn mev informed her master, “Scootaloo was hoping she’d have a chance to talk to you, and Apple Bloom didn’t want to miss out on some time with both her friends, especially if we all had time to talk about Griffonstone together like we did with the Crystal Empire last week.”
“Oh, I see,” Rainbow Dash said. “We definitely have some cool things to report.”
Scootaloo and Apple Bloom looked at each other with excited eyes and hopeful smiles.
“Let’s go to the throne room like usual then,” Twilight suggested to everyone.
The group agreed. At the throne room, all the present Awesomevs sat in their respective seats. Apple Bloom happily sat in Applejack’s, and Sweetie Belle chose Rarity’s since both thrones immediately next to Rainbow Dash were taken by Fluttershy and Starlight. The seat Rainbow made for Sweetie for pack meetings was only ever present then. Scootaloo sat in Pinkie Pie’s throne. The Crusaders liked sitting all next to each other and happy to be part of another post-travel meeting before the true Awesomev pack meeting in a couple of days.
Sweetie Belle placed the Staff of Sacanas on the table and decided to hold off on showing the idol of Boreas since she didn’t yet know if that news was to be shared with her crusader friends.
“Something interesting happened with the staff while we were down in the abyss,” Rainbow Dash told Twilight.
“Oh?” Twilight inquired.
“Primeva, show her,” Rainbow commanded.
Starlight blew out a shadow that cast itself over the surface of the table, partly touching the staff. Its form looked like a shadow of her own body.
“Whoa, cool!” Scootaloo said with interest.
“Shadow power,” Apple Bloom remarked with a smile.
The staff crystal lit up in a much brighter blue glow than it did in the Abysmal Abyss. Soon, everyone heard a spark before a tendril very similar to the one Starlight was offered appeared, except it was a white light surrounded by black lines. Like the darkness tendril, it slithered like a snake over to Twilight, circled around her neck and lingered in front of her muzzle.
“Ohhh!” Rainbow exclaimed with a huge realization that none of the others quite reached themselves.
“What? What is it?” asked a very curious Starlight.
“This is like the flame that was offered to Applejack,” Twilight said. “But I’m not sure what kind of magic this is.”
“It’s light,” Rainbow informed her proudly.
Twilight and Spike looked at each other as if they knew something everyone else at the table did not.
“No way,” Spike uttered in amazement.
Twilight stared at the light with her own interested smile.
Now Rainbow and everyone else were intrigued by their reaction.
“Care to fill us in?” Starlight asked.
“I do, but first, Twilight, aren’t you going to take it?” Spike asked.
Twilight nodded and opened her mouth, instinctively slurping the light tendril like Starlight had earlier in the afternoon in the abyss. The alicorn mev covered her mouth. “Peculiar taste but by no means a bad one,” she remarked.
Without prompting, she blew out a glowing pony shape that stood upright over the table. Like the shadow form of Starlight, it resembled Twilight’s own body. The Starlight shadow lifted out of the table’s surface to stand upright like the one of light and faced it.
The Crusaders and Fluttershy gazed on, speechless.
“I think I get it now, Master’s part at least, but why don’t you say it aloud for all of us?” Starlight said with her eyes carefully examining the two figures.
“First fledgling,” Rainbow Dash pointed to Starlight. “Last fledgling,” she pointed to Twilight. “Darkness to Light.” She grinned. “Like the dark of night to the light of day, the cycle begins anew every week for the master mev.”
The crusader fillies were collectively mesmerized.
Fluttershy was near tears of joy.
The pony shadow and pony light bowed to each other.
A curious Spike hovered up and stuck his right arm into the shadow pony. “It feels cool…” he noted, keeping his arm in it.
“You really shouldn’t stay in it long,” Starlight advised him.
Spike blinked. “Ah ah ah!” he realized and pulled his arm out, rubbing it to give it some warmth.
“Did it hurt or something?” Apple Bloom asked him.
“It gets colder the longer you touch it,” he explained.
“I’ll bet the light does the opposite,” Sweetie Belle announced.
Spike took his chance and hovered over to the light pony. He used his left limb and kept it in only a few seconds to confirm. “Yup, sure does. Its warm and gets warmer. I’m sure it eventually gets hot.”
“How fascinating,” Twilight remarked quietly.
The others in the room heartily agreed.
“Spike, care to test something else for me?” Rainbow Dash asked him.
He gulped but nodded.
“Starlight, try to force him to touch it and stay there with your magic,” Rainbow instructed her first fledgling.
Starlight gulped as well, but she tried that.
While she succeeded in making Spike touch the shadow, he uttered, “Oh wow” in surprise.
“What is it?” Fluttershy asked him.
“It just feels cool, but it doesn’t get colder when she forces me to touch it,” Spike explained.
Starlight released her magical grip. “Huh, that’s interesting. I guess they really are mostly for flair. Not really a danger to anyone unless they try to force themselves on this magic.”
“I guess so,” Twilight agreed.
“You two already are really powerful magic users,” Rainbow Dash reminded them.
They nodded in silent agreement at that.
Each of the magical pony forms faced its wielder. The first and last fledgling understood and sucked their respective power back into their bodies.
Rainbow Dash lifted out of her seat to a hover and elbowed Starlight playfully, “Now it’s like you’re a whole new Pony of Shadows.”
Starlight blushed. “I was thinking more like the Fledgling of Darkness.”
“Exactly!” Spike exclaimed.
Everyone looked at him.
“Go on,” Twilight encouraged. “We’ll wait here.”
Spike nodded and flew out the room for a moment before returning with a scroll. He flew close to offer it to the still hovering master mev before seating himself in his small throne next to Twilight Sparkle.
Curious, Rainbow opened the scroll and looked it over. “No way,” she repeated his statement from earlier.
“Come on already, tell us,” Starlight urged.
Rainbow rolled it back up and hid it behind her back while she stood upright in her hover. “It contains spoilers,” she said with a mischievous grin. “Probably.”
“I’m perfectly okay with that,” Starlight said with certainty.
“Us too,” all of the Crusaders said.
“I don’t mind,” Fluttershy agreed.
“Alright then. Spike the Brave and Glorious, you have the floor,” Rainbow said and passed the scroll back to him.
Spike blushed, scratching the back of his head. “Are you sure?”
“You came up with them, right?” Rainbow asked.
“Kind of?” he hesitated.
“Spike, go head,” Twilight encouraged again to support him. “You have a very interested audience,” she gestured to the crusaders.
Rainbow descended to sit in her own throne and listen.
“Okay, fine,” he confessed and before he could start, Twilight yanked the scroll out of his claws. She used her magic to make a copy of the scroll for everyone at the table and passed them to each seated pony. She passed his original copy back to him when she was done.
“Fledgling Elements?” Scootaloo asked, reading the heading of the scroll.
“Right. These are completely different from the Elements of Harmony,” Spike began to explain. “You might call them ‘Natural Elements’. Usually, there are at least a base four: earth, wind, fire, and water.”
Fluttershy gasped upon seeing the writing next to her head icon on the scroll with her wind gift. Those who did not already know of it looked over at her.
“Don’t tell me you really are wind?” Spike asked.
Fluttershy nodded and blew out a gust to run a circle around him and then Twilight.
“That definitely looks like more than just a coincidence,” Twilight said.
“Rarity is earth?” Sweetie Belle quietly questioned to herself, staring at her copy of the parchment.
“Go on,” Apple Bloom urged Spike. “There are more than four mevs in the pack.”
“Okay, I see these elements in comic books or tabletop games. It’s a running theme. Sometimes those stories go beyond the four elements. A lot of times, there’s at least a fifth, something like a heart or central point to indicate all the elements put together or connected in some way. Which in the case of Team Awesome would probably be the master,” Spike informed everyone.
The others glanced at Rainbow but kept listening since they could sense Spike had more to say.
“If you go past the main four or five, the theme often expands to light and darkness,” he gestured at Twilight and then Starlight.
“How did you know these would be our powers?” Fluttershy asked.
“That’s just it,” he replied. “I didn’t. I had the idea from the fact that Pinkie Pie has a water based power with Penny and Applejack has a fire based power with the flame Amara and I gave her. A master mev’s power is from the land, which contains these natural elements. I thought we could use those for the Nightmare Night show. Since Rainbow has chaos magic, we could just pretend to give the other natural elements to the other mevs. I brainstormed on it mostly yesterday and told Twilight about it this morning after you all left.”
Twilight nodded with an enthusiastic smile. “He totally did. I thought you might come back with one such power but for three of us to get these in a day is incredible. It was over two weeks between Pinkie Pie and Applejack.”
“So does Rainbow Dash get her power after Rarity gets hers?” Scootaloo asked with interest. “There’s a bunch of question marks next to her part on this scroll. You don’t know what it is or you don’t know what it would look like?”
“Remember, this was for the show. I wasn’t quite sure how it would go if I went for a centralized element. I mean, the obvious thing might be a rainbow itself because even though it’s not all the elements, it is a collection of colors. It’s literally in her name, but…” the young dragon paused.
“A vampire that shoots rainbows out her mouth is kinda funny,” Apple Bloom said with an amused laugh.
“I agree with you there,” Rainbow replied.
“You don’t really think that’s going to be it, do you Master?” Starlight asked.
“Spoilers,” Rainbow said sternly.
Starlight did her best fluttering of her eyelashes she could muster.
Rainbow Dash giggled. “Fine. No, I don’t think it’s going to be a rainbow.”
“Is it at least some way of everything with the elements together?” Sweetie Belle asked.
Starlight fluttered her eyes again to indicate she longed for an answer to that as well.
“You’re killing me, Primeva,” Rainbow groaned with a hugely amused grin. “No, I don’t think it’s going to be like that either,” she admitted.
“Then what is it?” Fluttershy asked.
“Oh, that’s easy,” Spike suddenly said.
They all looked at him.
“If it’s actually a seventh element altogether, it’s lightning,” he told them.
“What? Twilight asked.
“Lightning,” the young dragon said, very sure of himself. “Look, there are other natural elements beyond the six I put in the scroll. It depends on the premise. It might be wood or uh…ice to expand beyond water. But for Rainbow Dash, it just [i]has[/i] to be lightning. A lightning bolt is her symbol for a lot of things because it’s her cutie mark. It’s on the Loyalty element. Remember, the other pack name she had in mind was ‘Formidable Lightning.’ Not to mention she named Blitz, ‘Blitz.’ That’s German for ‘lightning.'”
Everyone looked at Rainbow Dash, who wore a very proud smirk. “Read like a book,” she admitted happily. She added thoughtfully, “I certainly wouldn’t mind it.”
“I hope we’re not messing anything up by guessing yours and Rarity’s ahead of time,” Fluttershy said.
“I’m not sure Rarity would like ‘earth,'” Apple Bloom admitted. “Seems too…I don’t know…dirty…for her.”
“She has gotten better about that kind of thing,” Sweetie Belle noted. “Remember that time we went camping, and she brushed off some dirt in the cave to show specks of gold.”
“Exactly,” Spike agreed. “Earth is a very broad term,” he explained further. “Earth can include rock, just like what Sweetie said about the cave, and rock can include special kinds of rocks that Rarity does like, such as gems and crystals instead of just dirt. Three diamonds are her cutie mark after all.”
“Oh,” Apple Bloom realized. “Is she really going to be able to get that specific? It’s not quite like these other powers.”
Spike shrugged. “Maybe. Applejack can change the color of her fire. Pinkie’s water is actually Penny, and Penny is in pony form far more often than actually being water. Besides, like I said, this was just an idea for the show. Even if Rarity does get this power and can’t do that, Rainbow’s chaos magic can probably help with it for at least Nightmare Night.”
“Is she going to try to get this earth power if we tell her?” Sweetie Belle asked worriedly.
“It’s not a bad thing if she does,” Rainbow said, looking over to Fluttershy, who blushed on understanding the connection of her own attempt to regain her bat form.
Sweetie Belle smiled upon understanding her master’s response. “Got it. And the opposite?”
“When Rarity agreed to become one of my fledglings, she said she trusted I knew what was acceptable,” Rainbow said. “If she declines a gift of earth power, that is her decision. I will respect that as her friend before I became her master.”
“How are you going to shoot lightning bolts out of your mouth?” Scootaloo asked, trying to picture it.
“Oh, I have some ideas,” Rainbow said with a thoughtful, cute smile.
“Is there anything else ya’ll can tell us about your trip?” Apple Bloom asked full of hope.
“We met Gilda and Grampa Gruff, talked some business, took care of our mission, and now here we are,” Rainbow said.
“Any cool relic stuff?” Scootaloo asked. She suspected talks of going down an abyss meant something.
“Sorry Little Sister, that’s classified,” Rainbow Dash informed her.
“Dang,” Scootaloo muttered.
“Mm-hmm,” Apple Bloom agreed. “Well, I guess I better head home then. I know ya’ll got things that need being done.” She paused to look at Scootaloo and gave a small, approving nod to wish her friend good luck.
Fluttershy and Sweetie Belle joined her to head to their respective homes. The unicorn filly was again staying with her parents though she made sure she wouldn’t be needing her saddlebags this time. Starlight, Twilight, and Spike made themselves conveniently absent while taking Sweetie’s bags with them to the library.
Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo sat with only the two of them in the map throne room. The sky blue pegasus quietly waited for what her younger sister wished to discuss.