Ready to move on, Rainbow Dash looked over the agenda Sweetie Belle held for the meeting.
“Sweetie here suggested we look into a way to prepare Equestria for a berserk,” Rainbow said.
Discord suddenly flashed himself to the space between Rainbow’s and Fluttershy’s thrones, standing fully and began to spout questions in a hurried tone. “Why? Do you think it’s happening anytime soon? Aren’t you eating enough? You have the full pack.”
“Actually, maybe you could help us out,” Rainbow realized, raising herself in a hover up from her seat to address him. “Since you’ve known mevs in your lifetime, did you ever see one go berserk?”
Discord sighed. “I have once, but I don’t have much to tell you about it. I didn’t know that the place I was in had a master mev residing in it. I can’t even tell you if they had any fledglings. Once I was bitten, I slept until sunrise and left as soon as I could. About the most I could tell you is that it was a town of mostly unicorns, and they all looked out of sorts as they tried to go about their morning as best they could. I certainly felt out of sorts myself. Some glanced my way, but we didn’t speak to each other.
“Still, why prepare? You have a full pack, like you should. Certainly, you don’t think you could somehow miss six feedings in a row. Or not find a volunteer between all that. Your fledglings can even summon you or you summon them. Not to mention your magic immunity and all of you being immune to magic drainage.”
“You can move the sun and the moon, right?” Rainbow reminded him. “Even though it’s Celestia’s and Luna’s job, you’ve done it.”
Discord stroked his beard thoughtfully. “Oh,” he realized. “Oh dear.”
“Master, care to fill us in?” Starlight asked, staring upward.
Rainbow turned to address the fledglings at the table while still hovering. “If the days and nights pass in a fake way like Discord has done, do I go berserk for not eating during that time?
“Well, we don’t know, do we?” Rarity inquired.
“Exactly. We have done a lot to prevent the berserk, just like we should. But maybe we should still find a way for Equestria to be ready to go a week without magic in case it can still happen such as fake days and nights. I’m immune to most magic but not all. Magic balance would dictate that some other force or forces could still cause one, and this is the one that occurred to me. The book specifies genuine sunrise, so that means whoever wrote it knew a fake sunrise was possible,” Rainbow pointed out. “Rexa Twilight, I want you to talk to Princess Celestia and Princess Luna about this matter. See what the three of you come up with.”
“Certainly, Master,” Twilight agreed with a nod.
“We’ll leave the berserk issue there for now,” Rainbow decided aloud to everyone and returned to her seat.
Discord flashed his way back to his hammock to recline and rest.
“Right then. Let’s talk Project Mercury,” Rainbow said. “I’ll start. I took Scootaloo to two different doctors, one here in Ponyville and a recommendation from him for one in Cloudsdale. The doctor in Cloudsdale said that it is most likely the wing size. She was 99% sure. The disability itself is extremely rare, so not much has been done to accommodate for it.”
“Oh no,” said a sympathetic Fluttershy.
“She said that cutie mark magic can offset a wing size issue, so my working theory is that explains Bulk Biceps. Fluttershy, you got anything to add on that?” Rainbow inquired.
“Well, I did manage to speak with him, but I don’t think it’s anything to add really. His cutie mark is that picture of weights, and he is an expert at lifting things. The rest of his body is bulky and strong, so even with the small wings, he has the strength to lift himself, given that it is his special talent,” Fluttershy said.
“Right.” Rainbow went on, “I did ask about Scootaloo’s own cutie mark magic. It does have a picture of a wing, but her wings work, as the doctor pointed out, even if they’re not enough for the lift and thrust for extended flight like most pegasi.
“I asked about other ways of using magic to offset the wings, and Scootaloo offered up that she has been able to fly in her dreams. That’s partly why I went to Luna. The doctor offered some more ideas: griffons, vets taking care of flightless birds, support on or inside wings with technology, talking to unicorns or a potions expert. We were already doing some of that stuff, but I did have Starlight expand the research some. Did you find anything?”
Starlight glanced over to Twilight to be the one to speak for the two of them on their assignment.
“We found a lot that matches what the Cloudsdale doctor told you,” Twilight said. “Pegasi have physical anatomy and what is likely flight magic anatomy. There are extremely rare cases of a disability like Scootaloo’s theorized to be the wing size. It gets complicated though. Flight magic is hard to define and understand beyond what you told us about confidence already. That certainly makes diagnosing a problem like this one hard since a discouraged pegasus with this disability will lose confidence. Even if they could get their wings to the right size, they might need some kind of extra boost or something to truly believe they could do it.”
“Hmm,” Rainbow nodded and thought. “What about going beyond pegasi?”
“Griffons have similar flight magic to pegasi though notably larger wing spans. None of the information we had talked about any kind of disability for them. You might remember the idol of Boreas,” Twilight said.
“I do. I imagine it’s still down that abyss,” Rainbow remarked. Then something seemed to register with her. “You think it could help?” she asked.
“Well, I was hoping your master instincts might be able to tell us,” Twilight admitted, bashfully tapping her forehooves together. “It is significant to griffon culture and history so could contain some magic from that.”
“Rhezenda, write that down,” Rainbow instructed.
Sweetie Belle obeyed.
“So you think it will?” Twilight hoped.
“It certainly needs to be investigated,” Rainbow said. “Plus, now that I’ve made the trip to Mount Aris, I think I should make the rounds to the other kingdoms. Introduce myself, request magic for the reserve, scout the places.”
“Do any of us get to go with you like Twilight did for Mount Aris?” asked a hopeful Pinkie Pie.
Rainbow smiled. “Yeah, probably, but let me think on it for a bit. So, anything about helping birds?” Rainbow asked, directed to Twilight now.
“Potions,” Twilight said, “so I think Applejack would be better suited to explain this, especially with what she and Pinkie Pie found out from Zecora.”
“Very well then,” Rainbow said.
“Right,” Applejack readied herself. “This stuff ain’t easy, just like you thought, Rainbow. Since by all accounts, it is very likely the wing size, the solution would be to grow the wings proper. And that takes magic. We could use a potion, but getting everything to make that potion…whew. The easy part is that we can find a special kind of flower up north, in the Yakyakistan region. It has properties that are good for fusing magic together for the different components we’re going to need.
“First off, we’re talking about changing a pony’s body permanent-like, not a temporary thing, kind of like how Discord was saying why he can’t be the one to cure her. If we grow her wings with this potion idea stirring in our heads, we need to know exactly how big they should be and the difference between what they are now and what we want.”
“So, I’m going to need Scootaloo to find another pegasus filly who can fly about her size and get that wing size,” Rainbow realized.
Sweetie scribbled her notes on that part.
“Right,” Applejack said. “But it don’t stop there. Scootaloo is not a full grown pony. The wings will need to be able to grow as her body grows, or you end up with the exact same problem. We’ll have to add something to account for growing over time with the rest of her body.”
Rainbow nodded. Sweetie wrote more.
“Why won’t they just grow with the rest of her like regular wings?” Spike wondered aloud.
“They’ll be magic-enhanced wings, so they need more magic help in very specific ways without overdoing or under-doing it,” Pinkie explained.
“Exactly that,” Applejack concurred. She went on, “So, all put together, you need growth now, continued growth, permanence, and from what Twilight just said, you might need a confidence booster of some kind too, for at least a little while. Like I said Master, we are going to need to use magic, and it’s got to be…” the earth pony sighed. “Starlight, maybe you could take it from here. You know this stuff better than any of us.”
“Certainly,” Starlight obliged. “We’re really sorry Rainbow, but Scootaloo’s going to need to wait for the solution we found.”
“But you did find a solution?” Rainbow asked as her entire body perked up, including a hopeful flick of her ears.
“Hear me out,” Starlight said. “The whole way, Master. The magic we think we can use is magic that we don’t have but want to put in the reserve. That means we need to get it, and we need to hold onto it for awhile to develop and grow before we give some of it to the solution.”
“Oh,” Rainbow realized, sinking ever so slightly. Straightening up her posture once more to collect herself, she asked, “Well…what have you got?”
“The good news is I think we can use some of the hippogriff magic you already have,” Starlight began. “It’s been with you and developing for a few days already. Hippogriffs have larger wings than pegasi, like griffons, and are even a little more similar in anatomy to a pegasus because they are part pony.”
Sweetie scribbled, and Rainbow nodded. “That is good news,” the master mev said.
“My working theory is the magic should stay in the reserve at least one week since that’s how long a recovery time is for a given meal. I think waiting an entire month is best though,” Starlight said.
“A month,” Rainbow muttered with a nod. She sounded disappointed but not surprised or angry, to the relief of her fledglings who prepared this theory. “Makes sense, Primeva. Go on.”
“For continued growth, we think we could use changeling magic fused with everything else we’re putting together as a whole,” Starlight told her.
“Which, aside from that feedback from Ocellus, we don’t have,” Rainbow remarked.
“Master?” Sweetie Belle asked. “What’s that mean?”
“Yeah,” Pinkie nodded. “That’s a new one on me too.”
“Oh, I guess it hasn’t really come up in awhile,” Rainbow realized. “Can you believe this? Based on what Discord told me, Fluttershy, and Starlight, changelings can’t take my form anymore. My vampire form even causes a shock. Still, vampire form attempt or not, it causes this kind of feedback, so I’ve actually shape-shifted into Starlight once to test out what he told us. I used another round of it to change how Penny looks.”
“Oh, so that’s how that worked,” Pinkie realized. “I just thought it was some master mev power.”
“I assumed the same,” Twilight admitted. “Her being water and in Rainbow, I figured it went something like that.”
“That was the logic for the color, so you’re not too far off,” Pinkie informed her.
“I do wish you had told the rest of us,” noted a disappointed Rarity.
“Sorry,” said Rainbow bashfully with an embarrassed stroke of the green, blue, and purple part of her mane.
“Sorry,” Starlight and Fluttershy added at the same time, averting their eyes to the table.
Rarity chortled at their sincerity. “All forgiven, just a thought, dears.”
The trio nodded and smiled warmly.
“Can you use the feedback then?” Sweetie Belle wondered.
“Uh…no. Penny has very special circumstances to make her what she is. I do believe the way it works otherwise is to only transform Master herself until the attempts run out,” Starlight explained.
Discord nodded from his hammock. “The first fledgling is correct!” he noted with a pointed gesture of authority.
“How come?” Sweetie asked.
“It’s probably like how chaos-mev magic works,” Spike guessed aloud. “The master doing something for one of her fledglings or the pack? Penny must be something like changeling-mev?” He glanced curiously at the others.
“More like she has changeling-mev magic. Penny herself is more magic water than a changeling,” Starlight informed him.
“Oh! Oh!” Pinkie declared with a realization, waving her left forelimb like she was an eager student in class. “Is that why she can switch between water and pony so easily now?”
Discord put a contemplative eagle claw to his chin. “That would certainly explain it.”
Rainbow nodded in agreement. “I think it more quickened that ability. With enough time, Penny could have developed it on her own. In the end, it doesn’t change how things stand now. I’ll have to go to the Changeling Kingdom and ask Thorax for help. Ocellus is too young for me to ask here.”
“Perhaps I could join you,” Starlight offered.
“Like I said to Pinkie, let me think on it, for bringing any fledglings along.” She smiled softly. “I kind of want to give every one of you a turn. It just feels right.”
The Awesomev fledglings smiled and nodded in agreement.
“So…there’s more, right?” Rainbow prodded.
“Right,” Starlight confirmed before continuing. “Permanence. That’s part of why Twilight and I thought of the idol of Boreas. It’s tangible and has its own permanence. If there’s griffon magic attached to it, which is related to flight magic as well, like the hippogriff magic, then maybe….”
“Ah,” Rainbow realized. “So the solution is still mainly a theory and requires waiting.”
“Exactly,” Starlight said.
“So, if we’re going to different kingdoms for different parts, let’s pretend we need something from each one,” Pinkie said. “Does that mean we go to the Dragon Lands for the confidence boost? If we even need one. Or maybe we could get helps from the yaks for that too, in addition to the super duper flower in their region. Both types are confident. And are we leaving anything out?”
“Dragons have stronger magic than yaks,” Twilight noted, “but maybe the yaks could help with a little strength to the wings as well, though just like the confidence, we might not actually need that.”
“I think Scootaloo’s got the strength thing covered on her own and that once we get the exact right wing size, I can find a way to test the confidence,” Rainbow said. She looked over to Discord.
He sensed it, pulled his sunglasses from his casually reclined position, and met her gaze. “Oh, you’re thinking of using my magic with a sort of precise, closed-in method compared to a snap of my talons. I agree with your theory, Master.”
“Or if we have time for a lesson,” Starlight said, “even unicorn magic can do temporary growth. We should go with that if we can since it’s a key source of our own magic through the flexchanges.”
Sweetie wrote down what she pieced together from that.
“Even if we don’t need dragon confidence or yak strength, I should still go and make a request for their magic,” Rainbow told everyone.
Spike paused in his own note-taking. “The Crystal Empire?” he asked. “We don’t need it for Project Mercury, but if you’re going to these other places…”
“Oh, right,” Twilight said with an air of reluctance.
“Let’s you and me talk about it later,” Rainbow said, “but thanks Spike for the reminder. Sweetie, do write that one down too.”
“Yes, Master,” Sweetie said as she formed a list of the kingdoms the Awesomevs had listed in conversation.
Rainbow continued with a flair of enthusiasm, “If we can extend mev territory far and wide with willing friends, it should totally be done.”
“And then Scootaloo won’t have to wait as long since we can go to those other three kingdoms later, if we don’t need some of these extras,” Rarity pointed out.
“Hmm,” Rainbow considered. “I think I should still visit all these places first, much as I want to help Scootaloo right away.”
“Master mev instinct?” Starlight asked.
Rainbow nodded. “Yeah, part of the job. There’s more work out there. Plus, our magic draws from friendship too, so visiting those other places will help indirectly.”
Starlight stroked a hoof under chin thoughtfully and soon nodded in agreement. The other mevs nodded too.
“Well, it seems we’ve covered most of what needs to be said for Project Mercury,” Rarity noted, “though I did have a lovely report from you, Master, that it seems is unnecessary tonight.”
“Don’t feel bad. If all goes well, that report is for helping Scootaloo learn how to fly awesomely, just like her big sister,” the sky blue pegasus said with a proud, eager smile. Then, thinking of everything that put this plan in motion with the Washouts, she added with less enthusiasm, “If that’s something she wants from all this, that is.”
A quiet moment passed.
“Or other pegasi,” Sweetie offered.
Rainbow smiled warmly. “Yeah.” After another small pause, she stated for all, “Okay, that’s a wrap for today. I need to review my notes with Rhezenda to find out where I’m going next and decide which one of you is coming with me, wherever that ends up being. Go ahead and turn in any reports you’ve got to her before you head out too.”
Sweetie Belle was glad for her next charge of responsibility, receiving a packet from Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, and Twilight each.
Thus concluded Team Awesome’s meeting for that week.