The Master Mev : Chapter 20 – Meeting Into Project Mercury


(Audiobook Reading)

Team Awesome designated Tuesday nights as a weekly time to meet. They saw it as the beginning of their mev week, given that the flexchanges started with Starlight Glimmer on that day. Twilight Sparkle had been keen to point out that the fledgling titles seemed to be number-based even if they didn’t follow a precise pattern, besides all obviously ending in “a.” She herself couldn’t figure out how “Rexa” could mean “six”, but the “rex” part was only one letter off of being “hex,” which did. They all met regularly enough throughout the week as ponies at their pony jobs with their pony friends and families. They even met for their usual gatherings at the castle throne room already. Certainly mev talk itself seeped into conversation when outsiders were not around or distanced enough. Mev talk could also happen around outsiders who were given privileged knowledge, so it was okay to discuss matters in their presence. This Tuesday meeting was important. Discord had fully recovered. The fledglings didn’t know it yet, but Rainbow Dash had a job for them.

Starlight herself considered this particular meeting special and important on a personal level. She would sit by the master as Primeva in her own throne for such an official meeting for the first time. Being Primeva continued to feel like a special honor. She was second-in-command to the pack. No pony ever said it, not even Rainbow Dash, and yet it never needed to be said. They all simply knew. She was happy to be so quickly and easily called that morning, even if it was for something simple and just outside of Rainbow’s current magic-wielding skill level. It was a nice indicator of where they were and where they still had to go with their lessons.

Fluttershy sat at her throne with her good, close friend, Discord, standing behind her. He was happy to have his magic back, and she was happy to have been his caretaker. Their week was largely uneventful besides of course being the obvious big overarching event that it was. He got used to standing, walking, crawling, and sitting as a magic-less creature with her help and even learned to help her back in tending to animals within the house. He really didn’t feel like leaving the cottage in all that time. The visiting Awesomevs were around more to keep him company than anything else. Perhaps he over-estimated just what he needed to be without magic for an entire week. The trauma from past master mevs was a hard thing to get over, even if those memories were distant and blurred.

Rarity was rather proud of her role this past week. Her flexchange was extra special in watching the unexpected bonding between Rainbow Dash and Sweetie Belle. Her younger sister was far more curious about mevs than scared of them, which was truly a relief, especially given what she knew of how things went with Applejack and her sister, at least at first.

Indeed, for Applejack, things had started off tensely with Apple Bloom. The younger sister seemed more angry than anything when first told the news, but Applejack noticed the night of her turn that Apple Bloom seemed in better spirits. The younger sister was satiated in curiosity by learning Applejack’s title within the pack.

Pinkie Pie was simply giddy and proud with her work in aiding Rainbow Dash at the mirror pool. The master had admitted to her she didn’t quite know the rules, if there were any, for earth pony fledglings to use magic granted to them through the pack’s work. Rainbow grasped that unicorns, and alicorn in Twilight’s case, could continue to use their own unicorn magic to their heart’s content, but reserve magic was, of course, to be reserved.

Rainbow was the main one to call on it and needed to be mindful of any desired use that could be done without it. But a mirror pool clone? They had to practice to discover the rules for themselves. As they did so, they found that Penny could be called upon any time. The summon itself took no magic from the reserve, and both mevs theorized it was because she was linked to Pinkie. After all, that was why Rainbow brought her along on a hunch. Pinkie and Penny together discovered something they were eager to show the rest of Team Awesome at the meeting.

Twilight didn’t mind her minimized role within the pack this past week one bit. She was still the Princess of Friendship and headmare at her school. She was not short on things to do as a pony. She and Spike would document what they pieced together from the other Awesomevs during the week, and that was the task they were prepared for tonight as well.

Rainbow Dash herself had prepared some notes on a piece of paper since she wanted to touch on many of the things on the minds of her fledglings. To her, the big ticket item of interest was helping Scootaloo. It seemed a little strange since lists seemed to be a Twilight thing, but then, she was a master now. She had business to conduct.

“Okay, we have a lot of things to talk about,” Rainbow said to initiate the meeting, “so let’s try not to spend too much time on any of them except for an important job I’ll tell you all about soon enough. A lot of this is just making sure every Awesomev knows what’s happening in the pack, if you don’t already know. Let’s start with Discord. How are you doing, Lord of Chaos? Is your magic back?”

Discord snapped his talons and teleported himself in several places across the room. He hovered in place at a few points before snapping himself back to his place behind Fluttershy. A large garden of flowers sprouted from the table and folded back in. He concluded with a large thumbs-up sign formed over his talons at the end. “That it is, Master Rainbow Dash. Fluttershy told me you used my gift to remodel the thrones.” He flashed to Starlight’s side and studied the cutie mark symbol above her head. “Fascinating. You didn’t have any problems casting it?”

“A big crack formed on the floor but sealed itself up when she was done,” Twilight explained.

Discord looked to Rainbow with a sly smile. “I wonder if perhaps that was a deliberate dramatic effect.”

“Indeed it was,” Rainbow admitted.

“Really?” This piece of information was news to the alicorn.

Rainbow smirked. “It was chaos-mev magic after all. Speaking of which, it seems that my eyes change even more when I use it.”

“Can we see it?” Fluttershy asked.

Rainbow raised herself up and demonstrated. “The irises have to go red first and then the yellow is allowed to surface. Then in reverse, the yellow has to fade before the irises can become magenta again. They faded pretty fast when I made the throne, and I haven’t used any chaos magic since.”

Discord lengthened his own neck to raise and stare at her. “Most interesting. I never saw this effect on past masters. I was too busy trying to avoid running into them again.”

“Was this your first time to willingly be bitten?” Rainbow asked.

He stroked his chin thoughtfully. “You know what, I think it was. Why do you ask?”

“I can’t prove it, but I think that makes a difference in this,” she pointed at her eyes, “and my level of access to it in the reserve.”

Twilight looked to Spike. “Yeah, I’m getting it,” the dragon informed her.

Rainbow reverted to her standard pegasus form with fangs. “Will you be joining Starlight and I tonight for lessons?”

“I suppose I should with all the trouble I went through to even give you chaos magic,” Discord admitted.

“We have other weeks ahead of us if you want to just go home,” Rainbow assured him.

“No, I want to do it. I insist,” he said.

“Great, thanks so much Discord. I need to move onto other things, so, you stay or go, but our business in the meeting is done for now,” Rainbow noted.

Discord snapped his talons to make a hammock held up by two trees for himself near the door behind an area near Pinkie Pie’s and Fluttershy’s thrones. “I’ll be resting in chaos magic right over here and listening in, if it’s quite alright, Master.”

“It is.” Rainbow used her magic to cross an item off her list with a pencil she brought with her. “Heh, pack meetings count as important enough to exercise my magic muscles,” she commented to let the others know. “Up next, Revelations. So, here’s the thing. We cannot possibly keep ourselves a secret with who all I’ve told. Of the creatures we’ve told, some know about the whole pack, and some mainly know just about me. Here’s who we’ve personally seen to it that knows about Team Awesome. The princesses, Luna and Celestia—you know, maybe we should tell Princess Cadance. It feels kinda wrong that three of the four princesses know, and she’s the only one who doesn’t.”

“Must we?” Twilight asked, clearly reluctant.

“Just a passing thought for now. I’ll have to at least tell her about myself at some point since she rules a kingdom. I’m sure it could wait at least a week if you want to give it some thought yourself on how much we tell her about your role,” Rainbow said.

Twilight nodded. “Thank you Master.”

“Hey Discord,” Applejack called over, “have you told anyone about us mevs?”

Discord was sipping a glass of juice for himself with an umbrella straw. “Perish the thought. I know better.”

“Moving on,” Rainbow said. “Rarity, Applejack, and myself told our younger sisters directly about at least ourselves.”

“Sweetie figured me out at the Washouts show,” Pinkie Pie volunteered.

“Indeed. Sweetie thinks she knows who we all are,” Rarity added. “She asked me for our titles, but I didn’t feel right sharing that information, and from there, I haven’t told her who all is actually in the pack.”

“Add Fluttershy to the batch they’ve probably guessed since I said she was on care-taking duty,” Applejack noted.

“You two can go ahead and tell them who is in the pack if they try asking. Do not give out the titles of others. Each of you can give out your own—or I can, but you do not give out any of the other Awesomev titles, except for mine,” Rainbow instructed.

“I rather like that approach,” Rarity considered aloud, “seems to give the girls a goal and keeps them interested instead of scared.”

The others nodded or hummed in agreement.

“The Wonderbolts know that I am a type of vampire though they don’t have much of an idea of what a master mev actually does. They’re mainly aware that I have fangs at night and am fed well enough to not be a danger to them or our fans. Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, and myself did not explicitly give information about the pack,” Rainbow informed all present.

Nods of acknowledgment made their rounds through the table.

“Lightning Dust visited my cloud house last night,” Rainbow started to explain.

“Oh the poor dear,” everyone heard Discord mutter.

“Why? Is that a bad thing?” Pinkie wondered aloud.

“I’m sure Master Rainbow Dash will explain soon enough. Everyone else but Spike here is a mev in her pack, so it’s not like any of you would have a problem with it. I’m just sympathetic since I’ve made that mistake myself,” Discord explained.

“Master, what is he talking about?” Fluttershy asked.

“Short version: She was my dinner. I totally ate her fear and magic,” Rainbow told them all.

“Oh, okay.” Fluttershy smiled sweetly.

“Wait,” Spike paused. “You don’t have a problem with that?”

“Master mevs eat fear and magic, Spike,” Fluttershy explained. “It’s how they live.”

The other Awesomevs nodded in agreement.

“And she is our master,” Fluttershy reminded him.

They all nodded again.

“It is very likely Rainbow Dash asked and warned Lightning Dust about the magic being gone for a week,” Twilight added. “I certainly hope you wouldn’t have a problem with that since both Discord and myself have willingly accepted that fate.”

“Oh, well, did you, Rainbow?” Spike wondered.

“Care to indulge us with the long version?” asked a sincerely interested Starlight who was present for the aftermath. Her master did say she would be told more later.

Rainbow thought about it since she was trying move things along more quickly. Maybe she could make the long version fast enough. “It turns out my nocturnivlair is like super strong in my own house. Blitz was already out, and we were playing. She sensed and saw Lightning. I invited Lightning Dust in, with my eye enchantment fully active, so of course, she accepted. I think she was there to talk to me about something, so it’s not like that needed that much extra pull. My instincts ensnared her, and I played with her fear a bit. I offered to give her information on me as a master mev in exchange for her pegasus magic. She eventually accepted.”

“So you did warn her,” Applejack noted thoughtfully.

“Yeah, I don’t really have to ask at night, but you know, it feels like the more respectful thing to do. The mev magic is stronger that way as well,” Rainbow explained.

“And the fear thing?” Spike asked. “That’s not very respectful.”

“I told her I was playing with my food as I did it,” Rainbow said.

Starlight, Pinkie Pie, and Rarity laughed. Twilight, Applejack, and Fluttershy struggled to contain themselves, stifling their own giggles. Discord himself sputtered and offered the input, “Okay, that’s actually kind of a perfectly clever way of doing it, Master Rainbow.”

“And I explained what I was doing this morning more clearly after she woke up from the bite. So, no, it wasn’t respectful at first,” Rainbow agreed. “We got there eventually.” She considered it fair—or fair enough, in the end.

“Hmm,” Spike was thoughtful and scribbled into his notes. “Does the fact that she was an adult pony matter? You seemed to feel bad about the fear snare on the students but not this one.”

“Yes, just like it matters that it was at night and my domain,” Rainbow said.

Spike scribbled and scribbled. “You know, you sound kind of scary when I put it all down like this.”

“Good. That’s how it’s supposed to be,” Rainbow informed him. “And don’t worry, you’re fine. You’re still a kid.”

“Oh. Right. I guess I forget that matters even when I’m around you.” He added that bit into his notes as well.

“I’m rather sorry I missed it,” Rarity said. “It sounds rather fun to watch you indulge your vampire self fully like that.”

“It was,” Rainbow concurred. “But enough about that. Let’s talk about Penny.”

“I’ve been waiting to hear about this,” Twilight said with interest, shifting in her seat.

“Quintaza Pinkie Pie, you have the floor,” Rainbow offered.

Pinkie leaped onto the table. “Watch this,” she told the others. She whistled, and Penny materialized before them all on the table, facing toward Pinkie. The other Awesomevs looked on in wonder. Discord took off sunglasses he’d given himself and perked up to watch the scene. Spike’s jaw dropped a little. “Every pony, dragon, and draconequus, meet Penny, my mirror pool copy,” Pinkie gestured.

“Hi everyone!” Penny waved cheerfully.

“Master took her in on Friday night, and the three of us agreed that she could stay with me in my part of the reserve. That way, I can call on her to help us with our work, and she can have some time outside the pool,” Pinkie explained. “Penny is actually short for her title ‘Pentaza’ to share with me.”

Twilight took the scroll from Spike. The dragon was far too shocked to do any more writing, so Twilight did it for him.

Pinkie continued, “We found out that I can actually summon Penny any time, and my part of the reserve is still okay. She’s still with me, probably because she’s a copy of me anyway. And Master, we have something awesome to show you~!”

Rainbow perked up and hovered above her seat with a smile. “Impress me,” she ordered.

Penny turned into a pool of water on the table.

Rarity gasped, and Applejack’s mouth hung open. Rainbow smiled and watched with interest.

The pool of water lifted itself and curved, dropped to the table again, and lifted to show how it could freely move about as water on command by magic could. It splashed down and then Penny reshaped into her Pinkie self. “Ta-da!” Penny declared with pride. “I can be magic water or Pinkie, depending on what we need.”

“That certainly looks like a useful skill,” Starlight remarked.

“You’d think,” Pinkie giggle-snorted, “but we’re mostly finding it useful to goof around.”

Rainbow raised an eyebrow in thought, still smiling.

“Master has a challenge for us!” Pinkie told Penny excitedly while looking at Rainbow.

“Can you separate yourself and make letters?” Rainbow asked.

Penny gasped. “I never even thought of trying that!” She immediately attempted the idea and spelled out, “Yay”. Then she managed “Pen” and took shape again. “Three big letters at the most,” she admitted.

“Can you draw pictures?”

“Oh my gosh, that sounds so hard, Master,” Penny lamented. She managed to make herself into a heart, then took pony form again. “Really simple ones.”

“Are you able to touch other bodies of water and still know and shape yourself?”

“Yes!” Penny nodded. “We did try that.”

“Do you have any way to manipulate those other bodies of water?” Rainbow asked.

“No.” Penny shook her head.

“It’s fine, just asking. I am definitely impressed by what you’ve shown me tonight,” Rainbow told her.

“Quintaza, did you hear that? Master’s impressed!” Penny hopped over and gave Pinkie Pie a big hug.

“I know, you did so great Penny! We’ve done our thing, so it’s time for you to come back inside. Our turn is over,” Pinkie advised.

“Okie dokie lokie.” Penny turned herself into a curving blue line of light and re-entered through Pinkie Pie’s mouth.

Twilight magically guided the scroll and quill she’d been writing on to Spike as he instinctively and quietly settled back into his assistant role.

“Alright, now I have what I’m guessing is a big, long-term project for us,” Rainbow announced.

Discord flashed himself closer to stand near Fluttershy, between hers and Pinkie’s thrones, keenly interested to know the challenge awaiting his mev friends.

“Scootaloo has informed me that she cannot fly, to the point she has accepted it as a disability—likely for the rest of her life,” Rainbow Dash told everyone.

“Goodness, is she sure?” Fluttershy asked.

“That’s part of the job ahead of us,” Rainbow explained. “I offered to investigate this matter for her to see if a cure is possible. We, Team Awesome, might be able to do something about it since pegasus flight involves magic.”

“I don’t suppose Discord could just snap his claws and fix it.” Spike pointed to the draconequis.

“No,” Discord said and folded his arms, “I cannot. My magic has certain limits even if it does bend reality to my whim. It follows me. At most, I could give her the ability on a strict temporary basis. Once enough time passes or I’m out of a certain range or both, the magic wears off or out. It’s far too dangerous and volatile to use as a solution.”

“Right, thank you Lord of Chaos,” Rainbow said. “Primeva, write all that down.”

“Yes, Master,” Starlight said, making a scroll, quill, and ink appear as she obeyed.

“But I’m already writing it down,” Spike told Rainbow.

“Rainbow Dash is having Starlight write down some highlights that are specifically for her to review, so she doesn’t have to dig through everything we document,” Twilight explained. “Trust me, you’re doing a great job, and we all appreciate what you do. Starlight has her own special job as Primeva. Don’t be jealous.”

Spike glanced in Rainbow’s direction.

“She’s right,” Rainbow affirmed for him. “Thank you, seriously.”

“Well, alright,” he said and went back to his own notes. “Wait…” he paused. “So how does Starlight’s throne work? It hasn’t moved, and Rainbow’s been away plenty of time…I think…maybe…just how long does it take to disappear? And the distance?”

“No, no, that’s different,” Discord explained. “Mev magic has a different set of rules as does chaos-mev hybrid magic, which is what Rainbow used. The master made that throne in service to her pack. Mev magic is exceptionally strong in that situation.”

“Oh, neat,” Spike said and wrote all that down too. “Sorry, everyone, I’m done interrupting the flow of things here. Go on.”

“Go on, Rainbow,” Fluttershy added another for encouragement. “We’re all listening.”

“Here’s the plan. I need to talk to Scootaloo’s family about getting her to a doctor to see if we can find out the cause. It might still remain a mystery, and it’s still good for us to understand pegasus flight as much as we can because we might have other business that’s like or related to this type of thing. So, in the meantime, Starlight and Twilight, you two are going to gather up all the books you think are relevant to this particular job. We’re talking mainly things like pegasus magic, pegasus anatomy, and pegasus biological development,” Rainbow said.

The alicorn and designated unicorn nodded.

“Fluttershy, I want you to make some kind of report on your own experiences as a pegasus,” Rainbow stated.

“Of course I will, Master, but is there a particular reason why?” Fluttershy wanted to know.

Rainbow explained, “You’ve struggled in your own life with flight. I don’t think Scootaloo’s problem is any kind of confidence block, but so long as we’re gathering this information, we need to check and have it on record, if we want to really understand what’s stopping her. While you’re at it, I want you to get with Bulk Biceps. Interview him if you must, but I want to know why such a large pony with such such small wings can fly because Scootaloo seems to think it’s her wing size. Bulk is proof that small wings is not a guarantee to prevent flight.”

“I’m on it.” Fluttershy nodded with a firm and determined expression.

“What about you, Master?” Pinkie asked. “You are super advanced in knowledge when it comes to pegasus flight. Some of that is bound to be useful.”

“Not a bad idea, Pinkie,” Rainbow agreed. “I suppose I should make my own report too, but I’d like some help.”

“I’ll do it,” Rarity volunteered. “You dictate, and I’ll transcribe.”

“Many thanks Mitria. Let’s do that.” Rainbow accepted the offer.

“How about us earth ponies?” Applejack wondered. “Surely we can help out somehow.”

Rainbow paused to think. What else could be done? “I want you and Pinkie Pie to go to the Everfree forest and ask Zecora for help. After that, be on standby to help Twilight and Starlight for actually researching through those books.”

“Woo-hoo! Operation Help Scootaloo Fly is a go!” Pinkie declared with a smile and shot a hoof up from her seat.

“While such a phrase is certainly accurate, I’m not sure I want to call it that,” Rarity stated.

“I agree,” Starlight said, “but a name for a job like this in general is not a bad idea. How about Project Mercury?”

“Very well, Primeva,” Rainbow approved. She gestured in Pinkie’s direction. “Quintaza, if you will…Pentaza may join you, if you are so inclined.”

Pinkie jumped onto the table this time, whistled out Penny, and whispered her instructions. Together, they shouted up at the ceiling in unison, “Project Mercury is a go!”