It was Saturday morning in Ponyville as three Cutie Mark Crusaders and two Awesomevs sat on a train beginning its trek to Mount Aris.
“Rainbow Dash, can we ask you about…you know….?” Sweetie Belle started to say.
Twilight tried to cast magic of some kind, but it shorted out. The three fillies looked at her blankly and blinked in confusion. Twilight herself felt her horn in confusion as well until she looked at Rainbow Dash. She wanted to ask if it was the magic immunity but remembered the spell she was even trying to cast and why to begin with. So instead, she whispered close to ask. Rainbow nodded and whispered something back. Another whisper from Twilight to Rainbow. She cast the spell again, and a bubble of silence formed around the five ponies.
“What was that? What happened?” Apple Bloom was intrigued by the exchange.
“You go ahead, Rexa. I know you like to explain things, and I’ve had and will have no shortage of chances to do it on my own,” Rainbow told her.
“Is Rexa your title?” Sweetie asked with interest.
Twilight giggled. “Yes.”
“So, what happened just now?” Scootaloo hoped to put the answer back on track.
“Rainbow’s role as master makes her immune to most magic cast on her. Unicorns can’t go grabbing her tail anymore,” Twilight began her explanation.
Rainbow silently smirked.
“The spell you see now is called a bubble of silence. I tried to cast it with her in the bubble, but since she’s immune, it shorted out and failed,” Twilight continued.
“Wow,” Scootaloo uttered.
“That must make things really hard,” Sweetie thought aloud.
“So, how’d you get it to work then?” Apple Bloom asked.
“I’m one of her fledglings. I can cast magic like this spell so long as I have permission though pulling her tail is probably still off-limits,” Twilight said.
“You got that right. I’ve had my fill of those in my pegasus lifetime,” Rainbow said.
“To be fair Master, your tail was usually pulled because you are brash…or were…the mev power seems to have settled you a bit,” Twilight noted.
“Maybe so,” Rainbow agreed.
“So, now that we have the bubble of silence, can we ask about mev stuff?” Sweetie hoped.
“You may,” Rainbow told them, “but…of course I might not answer.”
“Okay,” Sweetie said. “Who’s in the pack, for real? I know Rarity and Applejack of course, Pinkie Pie, and now Twilight. I’m thinking Fluttershy too. Is that it? Is that your pack?”
With another exchanged nod and smile, Twilight answered again. “You’ve almost got it. Yes to Fluttershy, and add in Starlight Glimmer.”
“Starlight too?” Scootaloo asked.
“Starlight’s inclusion is actually very special,” Twilight added. “She was first.”
“How did she get to go first?” Sweetie asked.
“Funny you ask,” Twilight was happy to continue. “The first fledgling must be a unicorn. Your sister and Starlight both wanted to be first, so Rainbow came up with the idea of a game for one of them to earn the spot. We didn’t all know how much the first placement mattered, just that it needed to be a unicorn. Either way, the two played the game, and Starlight won. She makes an excellent….” she stopped herself, “…first fledgling.”
“What’s her title?” Sweetie prodded.
Twilight looked in Rainbow’s direction before answering, “Only Starlight or Rainbow Dash can tell you that.”
“Master Rainbow Dash?” Sweetie asked. “Please?”
After a thoughtful pause, Rainbow said, “Primeva. Starlight is Primeva. The fledgling titles are mainly for us to use in the pack. You three already know not to speak of our business to others, right?”
They nodded, noticing Rainbow Dash seemed rather serious about this particular matter. “Good. It is important to me that you understand the titles are special names I have given them for me to use. You may use them as reference but when it comes to addressing my fledglings directly…you should still use their pony-given names.”
The Crusaders nodded as respectfully as they could.
“Can we know the others?” Apple Bloom asked. “We know the ones for Applejack, Rarity and now Twilight and Starlight.”
“That means we know over half of them and just leaves Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie,” Scootaloo pieced together aloud.
“Fluttershy is Segunda. Pinkie Pie is Quintaza,” Rainbow informed them.
“Are they number based?” Apple Bloom put a hoof up to her chin in pondering.
“Rexa’s not,” Scootaloo pointed out. “And Fyra doesn’t sound like any kind of number-ish name to me either.”
“They are,” Rainbow assured them. “They just have some master mev modifications to make them sound cooler to my ears.”
“Really?” Twilight asked. “That’s news to me.”
“Heh, even Twilight’s learning with us,” Scootaloo remarked.
“What kind of modifications?” Apple Bloom was curious.
“You all really want to know?” Rainbow checked to be sure with her companions. “I’d think it’s kinda boring to find out.”
All four of her listeners nodded.
“Very well. Every title ends with the letter ‘a’, and the sound has a nice ring to it. In some languages, that ending is used to mean femininity. My entire pack is mares. ‘Primeva’ is like ‘primus’ which means ‘first’ in Latin.”
Twilight pulled out a scroll and quill to scribble Rainbow’s ramblings while still maintaining the silence bubble.
“I like how the letters ‘v’, ‘x’, and ‘z’ sound, which is how those letters made it into some of the titles. ‘Primus’ became ‘Primeva’, which almost sounds like ‘prime evil’. As you may know, or at least Sweetie knows…” The young unicorn grinned proudly. “…I’m not quite evil or perhaps not as evil as the phrase ‘prime evil’ would imply, but I do like to imply evil in my flair. Not to mention Starlight was evil when I first met her. Get it?” she said with a mischievous grin.
The three young fillies nodded with quietly amused smiles.
“That last part was more of a funny coincidence,” Rainbow admitted.
“I can’t believe you’ve never told me all this,” Twilight said. “That’s such a fascinating path to its end.”
“Is it? I didn’t really think so until I had an audience, but I’m happy to entertain,” Rainbow decided.
“Are you aware that ‘Primeva’ is also an anagram for ‘vampire’?” Twilight asked.
“What’s that mean?” Rainbow wasn’t familiar with the term despite all her extra reading in recent weeks.
“You rearrange the letters into a different word,” Twilight explained.
“No way!” Rainbow said with a grin. “Ha! Cool!”
“The others,” Sweetie urged.
“Oh right,” Rainbow said. She continued, “‘Segunda’ is the feminine version of ‘second’ in Spanish. ‘Mitria’ is a combination. The most obvious number reference is the T-R-I part though I choose the ‘tree’ way to say it because again, I go with how I like to hear it. ‘Tri’ is a Greek prefix meaning ‘three’ and used on a lot of words. You three are a trio, for example.”
“What’s the ‘mi’ for in ‘Mitria’?” Twilight asked.
“The word ‘mittsu’ is the Japanese word for third, so I combined the Japanese and Greek and added the ‘a’. I thought it would fit Rarity nicely since I think it sounds pretty, and she agreed.”
“And here I was wondering if the ‘mi’ was possessive akin to Spanish for ‘my’,” Twilight noted.
“Another coincidence,” Rainbow admitted.
“Rarity is third,” Sweetie realized.
“Does that mean Applejack is fourth?” Apple Bloom asked. “Her turn is after Rarity’s.”
“It does,” Rainbow confirmed. “‘Fyra’ is Swedish for the number four. Switch up the pronunciation a little to make it sound more like ‘fire’ with an ‘a’ sound at the end because that’s how I read it in my head. I like it that way.”
“Oh,” Scootaloo realized. “How do you know so many languages?”
“I don’t,” Rainbow answered. “My powers include some knowledge granted to me from the land. It’s sort of like my sub-conscious dug through what the land filtered into my head to help me pick the names. It’s not that I ‘know’ things so much as I ‘sense’ them, which is why it’s important I follow my gut when it comes to mev stuff. I have taken the time to look up where that ‘sense’ told me the numbers came from, so that’s why I can explain it better now for Twilight here.”
Twilight wrote and wrote. “Oh, how nice. Did you do that with your extra reading time at night?” she asked without looking up from her scroll.
“Yes,” Rainbow confirmed for her.
“Well, go on,” Apple Bloom said. “You’ve still got to tell us two more.”
“Quintaza is like ‘quintus’.’Quintus’ is Latin for ‘fifth’. I wanted a little more pizzazz than just replacing the ‘us’ with an ‘a’ at the end. The ‘z’ seems like a good letter for Pinkie Pie. She can be kinda zany, you know.”
Twilight’s expression grew contemplative. “Penny?” she asked.
Rainbow’s eyes darted from Twilight to the three fillies, back to Twilight again.
“Who’s Penny?” Scootaloo asked.
“Pinkie told us she’s a mirror pool copy Rainbow Dash gave her or something like that,” Apple Bloom managed to recall.
“Mm-hmm,” Sweetie confirmed.
Rainbow face-hoofed on realizing the girls, at least two of them, already knew.
“Sorry Rainbow,” Twilight told her, having forgotten this point was not well-established to her master. “Pinkie let it slip at the second Washouts show. Starlight suggested she be more discrete from then on, and she did apologize.”
“Good,” Rainbow re-composed herself. “Good on Primeva.”
“So Penny has a title too? What is it?” Sweetie asked.
“Yes,” Rainbow answered. “‘Penny’ is actually short for ‘Pentaza’ to match Pinkie as ‘Quintaza’. The ‘penta’ is a Greek prefix meaning ‘five’. So, I gave her a name in ‘Penny’ and a title in ‘Pentaza’ to share her place with Pinkie. They’re both very happy with how that worked out.”
“Pinkie’s happy with it, even after all that mess from the first time she copied herself?” Apple Bloom asked.
“She’s learned a lot from that experience, and Penny is different from those other copies. They’re doing great work learning some new magic for Team Awesome,” Rainbow informed them.
Apple Bloom’s eyes lit up, “So it’s like how you said Applejack could develop fire power or something. Earth ponies in your pack get to use new magic.”
“I’ll bet Twilight can’t wait to hear the explanation for hers now,” Scootaloo said, moving the original topic along.
The alicorn nodded in the affirmative. “I very much want to know. And Master Rainbow Dash, you knew I wanted to know,” Twilight pointed out.
“I didn’t want to talk about it at the time and figured I’d get around to it eventually. Now here we are at ‘eventually’. Plus, I did want to look up some of this stuff first,” Rainbow explained.
“Fair enough. Please do continue,” Twilight urged.
“‘Rexa’ is based in part on the Greek prefix, ‘hexa’ that means ‘six’ just as Twilight thought,” Rainbow began.
“I knew it!” Twilight proclaimed with a victorious smile. “How does the ‘r’ come in?”
“Well, ‘hex’ can also be used to mean a curse, which would be a thing to avoid for a title on a team meant to reserve and manage magic that is hopefully for the better with the land-given power.”
“Ohhh,” Twilight realized.
“The Japanese word for six, ‘roku’ starts with an ‘r’,” Rainbow went on.
“So, it’s another hybrid like Rarity’s?” Twilight asked.
“Yes, and it sounds cooler than Zexa or Vexa, and I later realized, ‘rex’ can mean ‘king,’ and while you’re not a king, still seems kinda cool, kinda royal-ish to me,” Rainbow concluded. “And that’s how Team Awesome was made,” she added with a smile and wink directed to the listening crusaders, feeling it made for a good flow to the end of her explanations.
The fillies giggled, and Twilight smiled as she put away the quill and scroll. She sensed well enough that Rainbow was done talking about mev affairs, informing the girls of her logic. Rainbow gave a confirming nod, so Twilight removed her silence bubble.
The crusaders began to chatter with each other about hippogriffs and Mount Aris. Apple Bloom relayed what Applejack told her and was caught in a tall tale proclaiming her sister defeated the Storm King. Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle were both quick to correct her that many friends, such as themselves and Applejack, banded together to do that. Those friends even included one hippogriff they met in Seaquestria: Princess Skystar, daughter to Queen Novo.
Apple Bloom sheepishly conceded the point, and the quintet of ponies enjoyed the rest of their ride together.