Tuesday rolled around and during a lecture for a morning class, Twilight sensed her magic return with an inner jolt. She paused momentarily. Ocellus caught it. The teaching alicorn continued, eventually levitating some chalk as she began to scribble on the chalkboard.
“Professor Dash was right,” Gallus leaned in and said in a whisper.
“I guess that’s a good thing,” Ocellus considered aloud.
Twilight was able to tell her friends during a brief staff meeting at the school. Passing students overheard a jubilant cheer from outside the door but stopped only long enough to recognize the sound before shuffling on with their day.
That afternoon, Fluttershy listened to Discord talk during their tea time. At last, he finally said, “But enough about me. What’s new with the whimsical world of Ponyville? Anything exciting happen in the past week?”
“Oh Discord, yes. You won’t believe what happened,” she said eagerly. “Tell me, have you ever heard of mevs?”
His expression grew stern with a serious frown. “Yes, as a matter of fact I have. I may have run into one or two or three in my lifetime. They’re not a pleasant sort to encounter, you know.”
“They aren’t?” Fluttershy asked. She took a moment to think. “Oh, I’m so sorry. Of course you might have had bad experiences with them. Did they hurt you?”
Discord’s right eye twitched. “They just did what they do. I take it by you asking this question, that means you’ve recently learned what they are for some reason.”
“Oh yes,” Fluttershy smiled sweetly. “Rainbow Dash became a master mev on Friday.”
His jaw dropped all the way to the floor open in horrified shock with his long tongue rolling out from it. His ears drooped. Every dish in the room suddenly shattered.
“Um, Discord?” Fluttershy asked.
The astonished draconequis slowly pulled his mouth into its standard shape. He swallowed, snapped his lion paw fingers, and the dishes fixed themselves.
“I’m so sorry Fluttershy. I just…I could have sworn you just told me the fastest flying pegasus in all of Equestria is now a Master Mev,” Discord uttered.
“I did say that,” she told him innocently.
The dishes shattered again. Discord shook his head, snapping himself out of his shock, and snapped his lion fingers to fix the dishes again. Fuming, he then snapped yet another time. Fluttershy saw a flash yet no change in the reality of their surroundings. He grind-ed his teeth with intense frustration and snapped with his eagle claw fingers as if that would help. Still a flash of unchanging reality. “I can’t summon her,” he muttered to himself. “I can’t bend the reality around her to bring her here…” his voice trailed off. He nervously rubbed the back of his dark mane with his eagle claws. “Mevs here, now…do you have any idea what this means?!” he asked in alarm, gasping in a panic.
“Discord, calm down,” Fluttershy told him. “Rainbow’s your friend, remember?”
“You…I…” the tea party guest stammered, starting to recall that was true. He took a few moments and shuddered. “Please tell me she’s eaten. You said Friday…today’s Tuesday. Has she eaten?” he asked.
“Yes. We know about the berserk. Don’t worry. It’s okay. We’re helping her form a pack. She’s not coming for your chaos magic, alright?” Fluttershy assured her friend.
Discord wiped the top of his forehead down through the back of his long neck, finally calming. “Right, of course. We’re friends now. Me and her. And you. You’re going to be in the pack?” he asked with a nervous interest, almost hopeful.
“Rainbow Dash needs my help. Of course I’ll be in her pack. If anything, you’ll now have protection from mevs, not having to fear them. In fact, we actually wanted your help with something tonight if you’re not too busy,” Fluttershy said.
“Oh?” Discord asked with innocent curiosity.
“Well, you see, Twilight was her first um, meal, and because she’s an alicorn, that means her magic came back early,” Fluttershy explained.
“Oh, that’s interesting. I wonder why I never got my magic back so soon,” Discord muttered.
“Anyway,” Fluttershy moved the topic along, “we were waiting for that to happen before we decided to move forward with letting us become her fledglings.”
“She doesn’t have any yet? Isn’t that dangerous?” Discord asked.
“Only on the surface,” Fluttershy replied. “She scared some of our students yesterday because no one knew, not even her, that she could do something she’s calling a ‘fear snare.’ Is that something you know about? Did other mevs call it that?”
“She can already do fear snares?!” Discord asked in renewed alarm.
“Why? Is that unusual? It’s all so new to us, and we just have this one book that didn’t have anything about that power,” Fluttershy replied.
Discord thought for a moment, tapping his claw to his chin. At last, he sighed. “No, I suppose it’s not that unusual. It’s been a long time since I last encountered any mevs, and Rainbow’s…quick. You don’t seem scared of her at all, so that’s a good sign.”
Fluttershy blushed. “She came to see me first for my help. It was the sweetest thing. She thought I could help because I was a vampire for a night though a very different sort of vampire.”
“Oh, right, Flutterbat, I remember that story,” Discord said.
“Yes, I was obsessed with eating apples. I couldn’t talk to my friends or think clearly. I wonder if that’s what a mev berserk is like, only with unicorns,” Fluttershy said.
The draconequis shuddered yet again. “Let’s hope you never find out. Still, what is it you wanted my help with?”
“Oh, right. The first fledgling has to be a unicorn, so that means it’s either going to be Starlight or Rarity,” Fluttershy explained.
“You mean Rainbow hasn’t picked yet?” Discord asked.
“No. But she has picked a method. We’re having a game tonight. She’ll chase them around and whoever she catches loses. They both want to go first, and Rainbow wants to hunt. And I thought…that since you do such a fine job with the Ogres and Oubliettes games with Spike and Big Mac…perhaps you would be willing to create a stage for this game,” Fluttershy looked at him with hopeful turquoise eyes.
“But then wouldn’t that mean I’d have to be in Rainbow Dash’s presence…tonight?” Discord realized.
“Is that really so horrible?” Fluttershy asked.
Discord considered it and eventually agreed to Fluttershy’s request. Upon her suggestion that they actually meet Rainbow ahead of time, he asked how they were to do that if he couldn’t simply teleport the mev to him or himself to her.
“Silly thing,” she told him. “We do it the old-fashioned pony way. I happen to know that she had Wonderbolts practice this afternoon, so she’s heading back from there to either her house or Twilight’s castle. I’m closer to her house than the castle, so we fly that way first.”
“Fly? Surely we can teleport to something near it,” Discord said.
“We fly,” Fluttershy insisted. “Or walk.”
“Fine,” Discord grumbled as he walked alongside her hovering figure.
Sure enough, as they neared the cloud house, a familiar rainbow trail streaked above them.
“Rainbow Dash!” Fluttershy called out.
Rainbow paused in her flight to look down and see the two below her. “Hey Fluttershy!” Her smile brightened as she darted down to hover facing them both. “‘Sup Discord,” she gave him a polite head nod.
“Are you…?” Discord hesitated, pointing toward her in confusion.
“Oh, you like my daytime blend?” the sky blue pegasus asked, glancing at her flapping feathered wings. “Come on, I’ll show you the real deal inside. That is why you’re here, right?”
“Right,” he admitted and raised himself upward to hover alongside the two pegasi floating up toward the cloud house.
Once inside, the three friends stood in the large foyer. Rainbow quickly transitioned into her vampire form. She opened her mouth wide so that her fangs could be seen. Then she quickly reverted. She looked up to see Discord with a dumbfounded expression. Rainbow sniffed the air and smiled.
“I’m not scared!” he exclaimed.
“I didn’t say you were,” she said, still smiling.
Discord cleared his throat. “Yes, well, Fluttershy said you wanted my help, so here I am. Because of your newfound abilities, I can’t make the stage quite as easily as I usually can. We’ll have to work around a few things.”
“So, you’ll do it?” Rainbow asked eagerly.
“I’m willing to try, yes. I’ll need your cooperation though, Master,” Discord said.
“Hey, he used the word!” Rainbow pointed in his direction using her right forelimb with a smile and looked at Fluttershy.
The visiting pegasus friend smiled sweetly with her eyes closed, saying nothing.
Rainbow addressed Discord again. “Let’s do it, Lord of Chaos.” She darted away with her typical prismatic swoosh for a moment before returning with some parchment. “I’ve got some notes of what I think are going to be the harder parts where our powers might clash on this idea…and just some ideas that you can add your own personal chaotic flair to.”
He tapped his claw and paw together, twiddling his fingers. “I’m listening.”
“Alright. So, just the general idea for the stage is a labyrinth with stairs. That way, I can fly, and the unicorns can travel upwards. The thing is, I want to make sure I’m not targeting one pony over the other. I need a way to mask the difference between them or at least how I’d know the difference between them, while still being able to use my other mev senses for the hunt. We are expecting a small audience of my other friends who want to watch,” Rainbow explained.
“Oh, that is a very interesting problem indeed, but I do believe we have what you need in your reserve.” Discord pointed to her. “If you transfer some of the magic you ate from Twilight onto them, for you and only for you, that is who you will sense. It will feel like you’re chasing two Twilights. Then I just need to add a barrier for you to recognize, so you don’t end up going after the real Twilight Sparkle,” Discord told her.
“Ha, that’s brilliant!” Rainbow said with an enthused smile.
“I know,” Discord stroked his beard, pleased with himself and with the compliment. All fear was gone and cleared since entering her domain.
“Hey, does that mean that if either of them uses magic during the game, I still won’t be able to sense who is casting it? It’ll still feel like Twilight?” Rainbow Dash asked.
“Well, technically yes, but these two have different skills, so just by nature of which spell they are using…” Discord noted.
“…I still might be able to figure it out. So, could you like, give them specific spells they can use only during the game? Combined with what I do, that’s enough to still mask it, right?” Rainbow wondered.
“Yes, yes, I could,” Discord confirmed, enjoying this idea more and more, a true magic challenge and exercise.