After the Team Awesome meeting and before the sun set, Starlight gave Rainbow Dash a brief lesson in using unicorn magic for a small amount of growth on a living creature. Spike was willing to let the mentor and student attempt growing out the fins on his back side for the exercise, and both ponies succeeded during it. Eventually, everyone stopped for dinner before Spike tended to other duties in the castle, and Rainbow and Starlight exchanged magic. Then Starlight teleported herself to Canterlot for dream duty.
Rainbow joined a waiting Discord and Sweetie Belle at the castle library.
“Shall we begin with memory projection?” Discord offered.
“Yeah, let’s do that,” Rainbow agreed.
“The first thing you want to grasp is that you are doing this to share with others, so it is best to change the view from first-person to third-person. You want to recall the setting before you recall the event. You channel your memory into the recollection of when and where it took place. That will help filter in and project things better suited for an audience. For this magic, you try not to add much flair except for perhaps a color tint to indicate it is a projection. Something like a blue hue would do nicely.” Discord snapped his lion paw and replayed everything he said with the library surrounding them and visible. “You try.”
Rainbow nodded and gave it some thought, starting off small with simply showing him say, “You try.”
“Good. Now try going to a different time and place, something longer,” Discord advised.
Rainbow nodded and replayed the conversation from the meeting about learning memory projection at all.
Discord applauded. “Excellent! “
The pair practiced a little more before the instructor considered the lesson over. “Now then, that aside, what else do you want to learn tonight?” Discord asked as if pulling up sleeves from his lion paw and eagle claw.
Rainbow looked at him eye level while hovering at as side, smiling. Then she smiled evilly at Sweetie Belle as well. “How about how to give my Rhezenda some new forms?”
Sweetie Belle’s eyes widened from where she had been quietly sitting in one of the library’s comfortable seats. “What?”
Discord chuckled heartily. “Oh, how I do like the way you think Master Rainbow Dash.”
“What kind of forms?” Sweetie asked, part in worry and part in excitement.
“I’m thinking adult unicorn, pegasus filly, and fake vampire, maybe fake vampire for either form but those first two first,” Rainbow said.
“Really?” Sweetie flicked her tail back and forth with wondrous interest. “Is this one of the things I can’t tell Scootaloo? I kinda want to tell her, but she might get jealous.”
“We’ll make that decision later,” Rainbow told her. “I want to learn now. I’ll tell you this much. These forms will be restricted. We’ll set some rules, and we’re starting with that I will be the one to activate them, not you, and it will be when we are together. Also, they are all temporary. For now, I’m talking about appearances anyway. As Discord’s described it to me, the chaos magic can transform a creature, depending on the creature, but only on a temporary basis. Big Mac gets to be a unicorn in a game with Discord, but he’s still an earth pony day to day outside those games. The temporary part is why neither one of us can just wave our magic over Scootaloo to cure her.”
“Yes, Master is correct,” Discord said firmly, pointing an eagle claw finger to the air. “Let’s begin.” He snapped his talons, and Sweetie Belle was whisked from her seat in a flash, suddenly standing taller. She looked full grown in front of the pair. “Whoa!” she said, staring down at her body. She spun around, continuing to stare at it and walking in place.
“Can you still cast magic?” Rainbow asked.
Sweetie Belle tried and succeeded by levitating a few books.
“Good to know,” Rainbow remarked. “So, how do you reach the precision intention?” she asked Discord.
“Right,” he said. “‘I want this pony to look how she would as a full grown unicorn.'” He snapped his talons, and Sweetie found herself as a filly. “Your turn.”
Sweetie Belle watched with wonder as Rainbow Dash turned on her chaos form, and the red eyes flashed a shimmer. The unicorn filly found herself appearing as a unicorn mare again. “It worked,” she said with a smile to her master.
“Does it feel any different than what Discord just did?” Rainbow asked.
Sweetie Belle shook her head.
“Hmm,” Rainbow said. “I need a way to connect it to mev magic,” she told the draconequis. “It needs to be linked to me when she uses it. It should feel different than what you do.”
“Right, right,” Discord stroked his beard. “‘I want Rhezenda to look how she would as a full grown unicorn, bound to my mev magic as the Master Mev,'” he offered. “Do you need a visual cue?”
“Not a bad idea. Maybe red eyes,” Rainbow considered. “Or a circle around the cutie mark. It needs to be subtle.”
“The musical note in the mark,” Sweetie suggested. “You could make it red like your vampire eyes.”
“Perfect,” Rainbow said rubbing her hooves together. “Back to filly first, then adult unicorn bound to the master mev. Got it?” Rainbow warned.
Sweetie nodded. “Yes, Master. I got it.”
Two flashes of magic later, and Sweetie stared at her mark to see the difference.
“You feel it now?” Rainbow asked.
“Mmhmm,” Sweetie Belle confirmed for her.
“Good,” Rainbow said with approval. “That’s better. Moving on…”
The pegasus filly transformation went more quickly and smoothly than the adult unicorn given that Rainbow had a better feel for what to do and how to do it with Discord’s guidance and Sweetie’s input. Sweetie flapped her wings out of sheer curiosity to find she indeed had little idea what to do with them and could not fly. For the fake vampire form, they started with combining it with the adult unicorn form. Sweetie was tickled to receive fangs. After that, Rainbow decided that the pegasus filly form shouldn’t have a vampire form after all. It simply didn’t feel right given her nature to not bite kids at all on an instinctual level.
“So, can I tell my Crusader friends or not?” Sweetie asked once the lesson ended, and Discord was about to leave.
“I think you should let her,” the draconequis instructor piped in. “The magic lessons aren’t exactly a secret, are they? I know I haven’t been treating them as such.”
“So be it,” Rainbow consented. “You have my permission to tell your friends.”
“Is there a reason we didn’t try for alicorn?” Sweetie wondered.
“Well,” Rainbow started, “I think each form will help deal with outsiders on some level, depending on where we are and who we are with. If you were an alicorn, that would cause a lot of attention. My work and existence is not a secret, but some discretion is proper and preferred, as the book notes. There is no discretion in having a right hoof alicorn at my side compared to any of the other three.”
“Oh, okay,” Sweetie accepted that as a response. “But you could do it?”
“Discord?” Rainbow asked.
“Actually,” he said, “I’ve never tried it.” He snapped his talons, and Sweetie turned into a filly alicorn. She hopped in place with excitement.
“Woo!” said the fake alicorn.
“And there you have it,” he said, snapping his talons to put her back as she was.
Rainbow tried it herself just as quickly, saw the same result, tried again with the mev connection, succeeded there as well. She was satisfied enough to end the attempts and deactivate it. “Alright, cool, cool, let’s head home. We need to make plans based on our meeting today. You and I have a lot to do,” Rainbow told Sweetie.
“Yes, Master,” said a very happy Sweetie Belle who was having a grand time being Rhezenda to the Master Mev.
“So, let’s focus on how to get the proper wing size,” Rainbow said. “Since you see Scootaloo a good chunk of the day at school and know other kids in town, I want you to talk to her and whoever you can find for this particular assignment.”
“Yes, Master,” Sweetie said with a smile. This task fell exactly in line with the idea that Sweetie would be a good link to child outsiders, so she was rather proud to see it happen so soon.
Rainbow rubbed a hoof thoughtfully. “When do you see Rarity next?”
“Tomorrow afternoon after school, I’ll be at her boutique. I’m staying the night there,” Sweetie told her.
“Perfect! See if Rarity’s got time to spare to help with getting the proper wing measurements. I want her to even get me something like gloves for feathers. That’ll help us all get a feel for understanding the size the wings are, the size they need to be, and the difference. I want one of each,” Rainbow instructed.
Sweetie wrote the instructions down on a scroll.
“Try to get all of this done tomorrow with Scootaloo, a filly friend, and Rarity. I’ll stop by the boutique myself for a report on how things are going,” Rainbow said.
“Okay,” Sweetie acknowledged.
“Now then…” Rainbow used her feathered wings to hold up Sweetie’s notes and examined them. “Let’s plan out the kingdom trips a bit.”
“Awesome,” Sweetie said with a smile. “I get to go too, right?”
“Of course, my Rhezenda. We might even be using those new forms I got for you. Let’s see here…I think I should go to the Crystal Empire first. I’m most familiar with that place, and it is time Princess Cadance was informed. Thanks to the summon to Mount Aris, Queen Novo found out before she did. Then again, Twilight’s fledgling status was not discussed there. So, actually, I need to talk to Twilight sometime this week because she needs to decide what she’s telling her family.”
“What about bringing one of the other Awesomevs?” Sweetie asked. “Even if Twilight goes, you’re still bringing somepony else, right?”
“Right,” Rainbow nodded. “Here’s what I’m thinking, write these down…”
Sweetie readied her notes.
“Crystal Empire, Applejack. Griffonstone, Starlight. Changeling Kingdom, Fluttershy. Dragon Lands, Rarity. Yakyakistan, Pinkie Pie. You got all that?” Rainbow asked.
Sweetie nodded. “So you’ve already picked who’s going where?”
“Initially. No rule that says I can only take one fledgling, The point is I want to take at least one and give each Awesomev a turn, which is why I’d take Twilight and Applejack to the Crystal Empire if Twilight decides to go, which I’m pretty sure she will,” Rainbow remarked. “Plus, even though Spike isn’t a mev, he has strong connections to three of these kingdoms, so he might be a good ambassador to have with us.”
“Oh neat,” Sweetie thought aloud.
“I can talk to Twilight at school easily enough, so I’ll let you know when I know her intentions. I’ve got a Wonderbolts show this Saturday, and most of my week is full with the other jobs or Wonderbolts practice, so I’m aiming to make the Crystal Empire trip on Sunday. You’ll be free then too.”
“Right,” Sweetie nodded in agreement.
“Another thing. To practice your drawing, you try to draw up what you can of the wing size stuff while you’re coordinating everything tomorrow too,” Rainbow added.
“Yes, Master,” Sweetie said. “Wow, already so much to do.”
“Mmhmm. Makes me glad we bonded when we did,” Rainbow remarked. “Well, this master mev is actually ready for some sleep, so that means I’m walking you to bed and turning off your nocturnality to get you to sleep first.”
“Okay,” Sweetie agreed to the plan, gathering up all her notes to take to her room.
On Wednesday afternoon, Rainbow Dash arrived at Carousel Boutique to find Rarity, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Apple Bloom. As she arrived, she saw the two unicorns hard at work on their designated tasks.
“Master Rainbow Dash,” Scootaloo trotted over to her and gave her a hug. “We found another pegasus filly my size with a proper wing size like you asked. She’s already left for the day.”
“Hi Master Rainbow Dash,” Apple Bloom walked over at a slower pace. “We see you got Sweetie hard at work already. Say, I was wondering, I know we’re not supposed to use the fledgling titles to address them but what about Sweetie’s? That one’s different since she picked it, and she’s not a fledgling.”
“Have you asked her if she’s alright with it?” Rainbow asked.
Apple Bloom shook her head. “Not yet. She’s been way focused on everything, and I figured I could ask you now.”
“I’ll leave it up to her. I certainly don’t have any problems with it, so long as she doesn’t,” Rainbow replied.
“Can you tell me more about how the project is coming along?” Scootaloo asked. “Sweetie would only tell us the part she was told to do today.”
“Let’s see,” Rainbow considered. “The main thing you need to know, and it’s more of a reminder, is that this is going to take time. We do have a plan in mind, and it’s a good plan, but it’s going to take at least a couple of months, if not longer.”
“Well, compared to my whole life, that’s not so bad,” Scootaloo said.
“We are going to use magic, and we are going to use reserve magic with the vampire powers. That is why it’s going to take time,” Rainbow added. “How’s that? Enough info for you, I hope.”
Scootaloo nodded eagerly.
“Anything else we can do to help?” Apple Bloom asked.
“You let me and Rhezenda worry about that, and I promise, we will let you know if we think of something. Scootaloo, I am going to need some of your time soon, after Rarity gets me these sizes.”
“Finished!” Rarity declared. “I actually have them for you now, Master. Do come see.”
“Awesome. You got more time today?” Rainbow asked her young client, now hovering as she prepared to see what Rarity had ready.
“Let me check out what my Mitria has,” and Rainbow flew to Rarity’s work station. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo followed not far behind. Sweetie set her drawing pad down to turn her attention with everyone else’s.
“I’m curious Rainbow, how did you know that these sort of feather-gloves could be done? They’re not a common fashion item,” Rarity said.
“I saw them in one of your fashion magazines I borrowed,” Rainbow admitted.
“Oh of course,” Rarity realized. “Well, what do you think?”
Rainbow nodded. “Good, good. Let’s all head outside by the clubhouse at Sweet Apple Acres. Does everyone have time to go there today?” she asked.
The others nodded.
“Then let’s head over there. It’s a good space for what I want to do,” Rainbow informed them.
All the ponies agreed to that, and on their arrival, Applejack came to watch as well. Big Mac and Granny Smith were tending to other business in town.
“Alright, Scootaloo, you stand here,” Rainbow directed the scene. “Everyone, back off over there to give our pegasus friend some space.”
The other ponies complied.
“Let me see you with the current size ones on,” Rainbow said.
Rarity magically guided the feather gloves over.
“Good, good. Now the corrected size,” instructed the master mev.
Rarity put the correct ones over to show, and it was evident there was more space for feathers in comparison.
“Now let me get a good look at the difference right in front of me, just levitate them where I can see them nice and not too stretched or compact,” Rainbow said.
Rarity did that too.
“Perfect. Okay, Scootaloo, here’s more that I can tell you. This is super important, and aside from the magic I’ll be casting, it all relies on you. Got it?” Rainbow said.
Scootaloo nodded. “No pressure,” she joked.
“Actually a lot of pressure, which is my point,” Rainbow emphasized with utmost seriousness. “I want you to feel pressured because it will matter. Now listen up. This is not a solution, and I am only doing this as a test phase of this project. The point of this exercise is to see that if your wings were grown to the size we think is needed for flight, you have what it takes to work them properly with confidence. If you can’t bring up your confidence, you still won’t be able to fly. Pegasi need to learn confidence under pressure. You’ll be under a lot of pressure if we do get a proper solution later. I need to know if we need to factor in your confidence. So, lots of pressure but still work up the nerve, got it?”
“Got it,” said a now more determined and serious Scootaloo, eager to prove herself.
“Good. When I stomp my hoof, that’ll be when I cast the magic to grow your wings. I’m aiming to make them exactly the size we’re aiming for in the end. Then you try to fly,” Rainbow instructed.
Rainbow Dash made good on her word, activated magic with her red eyes, cast the spell, stomped her hoof, and said, “Now!”
Everypony watched with baited breath to see the young pegasus filly flap her newly altered wings to lift herself off the ground. She hovered in place a little longer than usual before wobbling back down to the ground. Scootaloo scrunched up her face in frustration.
“Keep trying,” Rainbow urged. “Think about your dreams and swimming in Seaquestria. Those are times you felt like you could truly fly, right?”
Scootaloo nodded and tried again. She managed a much longer hover and a strong glide. “Rainbow Dash, I’m doing it! I’m really doing it.”
“You’re doing great, Scoot. Go a little higher,” the sky blue pegasus directed her.
Scootaloo flapped her wings up higher with a smile.
There. That was it. Rainbow Dash knew, more as a pegasus than a mev. The confidence could and would be there when the time came.
“Come in for a landing,” Rainbow instructed.
Scootaloo did as told without any trouble and felt the magical growth disappear. Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom rushed to hug her and cheer. From a standing distance with the other mares, Applejack wiped a small tear from her eye. Rarity looked on with quelled amazement. “Well, Master,” Applejack said, “That’s an encouraging step, if I ever saw one. Or ‘wing flap’ if we want a pegasus term.”
Rainbow nodded. “I think so too.”
Scootaloo finally rushed over and gave Rainbow a huge hug, pushing the older pegasus to sit on her haunches for the embrace. Rainbow Dash wrapped her feathered wings around her younger sister. “I got to fly for real!” Scootaloo exclaimed. “Not just swimming or dreaming but right out here in Ponyville, even if it was just for a few minutes. Oh, thank you so much, Master.”
“Glad to be of service,” said Rainbow with a warm smile.