On Monday morning at Twilight’s School of Friendship, the staff held a meeting. “Rainbow Dash,” Twilight said, “I want you to take the students from the other kingdoms on a field trip to learn about teamwork. Take Sandbar too since he’s part of their group of friends.”
“Me? Really?” Rainbow pointed at herself with a hoof in a hover. She smiled slightly at the prospect.
The others on staff blinked but said nothing, wanting to see more.
“It is what you teach as a coach, after all,” Twilight pointed out.
“She’s right,” Fluttershy noted in a small voice.
“And you want me to do even more?” the sky blue pegasus checked.
“Yeah, something out in the field, beyond the school,” the headmare reminded her.
“Careful,” Applejack said with a sly smile. “You’re gonna give her ideas saying something like that.”
“Hmm,” Rainbow considered, tapping a hoof to her chin in serious contemplation. “How far can I go?”
“See!” said Pinkie in jest. “What did Applejack just tell you? We can all see the light bulb over her head.” She mimed the image of one such large light bulb and pointed to the general direction of above Rainbow’s head.
Starlight and Rarity chuckled.
Twilight half rolled her eyes with a small smile before she said to Rainbow, “Well, staying in Ponyville is best, but I know you. If you try to take them further, just be careful. Keep the students safe – well, as safe as a master mev can manage with young creatures. It will be during the day, and they are the ones who know what you are after all. You can take someone else on staff to help. I dare say you should.”
Starlight Glimmer was sitting in her office, not doing much of anything when Rainbow Dash flew in and closed the door.
“Master!” Starlight greeted.
Rainbow flew in for a quick hug, saying “Primeva Starlight” with a sincere smile before settling down to stand on the other side of the desk to talk. “I have a favor to ask of you, but this is a friend to friend or colleague to colleague thing, not a master to servant thing. Can you do that?”
“I’ll certainly try,” Starlight nodded. “What’s on your mind?”
“I need your help with the idea I have for the field trip,” Rainbow said pointedly. “It needs magic to get where I want to go. How many creatures can you teleport at once?”
“Oh, I don’t know…twenty maybe,” Starlight considered. “How many are in the trip?”
“The six students, plus me and you, that would be eight. And it would be good if you could actually take the two of us there and back first, so I can check with the leader. Do you have a range limit?” Rainbow wondered.
“So long as I know where it is, at least say on the map table, I should get us either there or really close,” Starlight told her. “Tell me already! I’m dying to know! What leader? Where are you thinking of going?”
Rainbow blushed. “I want to make it awesome,” she emphasized with a tiny, eager smile and a small swish of her rainbow tail. “The students have lived in Ponyville for awhile. Many of them are from different kingdoms, so rather than pick one of those places or even say the Crystal Empire, I thought of one really cool place with a really cool way to teach teamwork.” The pegasus paused for dramatic effect.
“Rainbow Dash, come on!” Starlight said with an even bigger eager grin, recognizing the pause for what it was.
“Captain Celaeno’s air ship,” Rainbow Dash said proudly.
Starlight grew thoughtful, trying to remember. “Should I know that name?”
“She’s the leader of the pirates we met on our way to Mount Aris. I helped them get their groove back. They helped us save Equestria. We bonded. You know, friendship bond,” Rainbow spoke with quiet excitement. “And running a ship takes teamwork. If I can get the okay from the captain, I really think it would make this field trip…well…you know…”
“Awesome,” Starlight nodded with an amused smile.
“Twilight said I could take someone on staff, and if your magic’s strong enough, you can take us all there. We can bypass my immunity because you have my permission,” Rainbow explained.
“Are you going to tell them? You know, the pirates, about you being a master mev,” Starlight wondered.
“Yeah,” Rainbow nodded. “You know what I am, the students know, someone might drop it, and I’m asking a kind of big favor here. It just feels like the right thing to do when I think of it all together. Hey, maybe they’ll be happy for me once they know it’s not dangerous since I’m well-fed. This isn’t for mev stuff, just the school stuff, even if we’re not going to be hiding the mev part.”
“Well, I know that it’s not for mev stuff, but as Primeva, I do feel I should remind you that pirates find treasure. Treasure that might be magical,” Starlight pointed out.
“If it happens, it happens,” Rainbow replied with a casual shrug, “but it’s not why we’re going. This is for the school as uh…you know, say Team Friendship. Twilight’s team of ponies instead of Rainbow Dash’s team of mevs.” She winked. “So, what do you say?”
Starlight looked at Rainbow with a sly smile, conducting her own dramatic pause before finally responding with, “I say that this Counselor Starlight Glimmer is definitely up for escorting Professor Rainbow Dash and students for an awesome filed trip on an air ship. You do know where it is, I hope.”
“The map table will tell us, and then if Celaeno says yes, we can arrange something,” Rainbow figured. “Do you have time to check it out after school, or are you and Trixie still making time together?”
“Trixie left this morning, so yes, as a matter of fact, I am free after school. And I’m really looking forward to meeting your pirate friends,” Starlight said.
Monday afternoon on Captain Celaeno’s airship, the crew were talking out in the open air on deck, enjoying their trek over some unknown land when there was a sudden flash of light. When it cleared, they saw one familiar figure and an unfamiliar one, similar in stature.
“Rainbow Dash!” said an excited Celaeno. She rushed over, hugged the sky blue pegasus, and spun her about. Rainbow chuckled flapping her wings to enjoy the moment.
“Captain my captain!” she said when it was done and offered a hoof that Celaeno promptly bumped back.
“What brings you here? And who’s your new friend?” the captain asked.
“This is Starlight Glimmer and do I ever have a story for all of you. You would not believe the past month I’ve had,” Rainbow said.
“Well, come on then, let’s head down to the mess hall for some grub, and you can tell us all about it,” the captain invited.
“We’re all set, Rainbow. Tell us the story,” Celaeno encouraged.
With Starlight seated to her left, Rainbow put her hooves on the table and slyly looked left and right. “In short, I turned into a vampire.”
Hearty chuckles bounded through the room.
“No way,” said Boyle with a jovial air. “You?”
Rainbow rubbed the back of mane with a bashful smile. “Admittedly, I’m not that scary of a vampire once you know all the rules. For instance, I don’t drink blood. I eat magic.”
“Hmm, how interesting,” Celaeno considered seriously.
“Captain, are you really buying this? You know we all love you Rainbow, but really?” Mullet asked.
“I could prove it,” Rainbow told them. “I can totally change up my wings, eyes, and teeth. You wanna see?”
The pirates all nodded with sincere curiosity.
She lifted up into the air above the center of the table. “Watch this.” She twirled around, and as she did so, the wings turned to their bat form.
“Whoa!” the pirates collectively said except for Squabble who didn’t speak. Squabble instead made a squawking sound.
“Eyes,” Rainbow showed them, spinning slowly in place, so they could all see as she passed a glance over them. “Teeth,” she gestured. “The teeth can even change up a little more if I want,” she extended her two main fangs to more like saber teeth before pulling them back to their expected state for a pegasus pony.
Collective gasps escaped in response.
“Unbelievable,” Captain Celaeno said, breathless.
“Are you kidding me?” Boyle asked, keeping his amused, jovial air. “You really turned into a vampire? A real magic-eating vampire?”
“Really! And not only that, I’m a master vampire. I get to lead my pack!” Rainbow Dash raised her forelimbs upward and outward with proud emphasis.
The pirates laughed, and a couple of them tapped the palms of their clawed hands to the table for extra fervor.
Starlight sat quietly observing the scene, not quite sure if she should add anything since it was a special time between her master and the pirate crew.
“Hah,” Lix Spittle said. “Who would have thought? So is your friend here some kind of food for tonight?”
Starlight blushed and stared down at the table. “Not exactly.”
“Starlight is my dear Primeva,” Rainbow said with a bow. “My first fledgling. She’s super awesome and special to me. And she is quite likely the most powerful unicorn in Equestria before and after joining my pack, so, lucky me, huh?”
The pirates cheered, followed by a collective, “Hey!” and squawk.
“So, to explain the food thing, I’ll try not to bore you all with too many logistics. One of the reasons I’m actually not really that scary of a vampire is I can eat magic by exchanging it with my fledglings.” She gestured in Starlight’s direction, to which Starlight respectfully nodded.
“Of course!” Boyle cupped a claw to his beak to tease.
“And we’re not exchanging magic tonight. Unless some unlucky sap walks or flies into my house, I’ll actually be forgoing a meal this evening,” Rainbow announced.
“I don’t know if I should feel sorry for the sap or sorry for you,” Mullet joked.
“Heh, I eat almost every day so I guess pity the sap,” Rainbow replied, and the pirates all laughed.
Celaeno wiped an amused tear. “So, did you really teleport all that way to tell us this if it’s been a month?”
“Hah, you know me. No, that’s not why I’m here but I am here for a favor. I felt obligated to tell you all about this mev thing before the other thing,” Rainbow admitted.
“Mev?” Celaeno asked.
“Magic. Eating. Vampire. Mev for short. I am the Master Mev,” Rainbow bowed politely in the air.
“She is,” Starlight offered. “Believe it or not, calling her ‘master’ actually has a power of its own. It’s her title. Outsiders can feel the power very faintly since we have a full pack, and it’s supposed to help communicate with them.”
“Do you call her that?” Lix asked. “As a fledgling, I take it you must be an insider.”
“Of course,” Starlight replied. “She is the master of our pack, like she said. I mean, we don’t always call her that, but we definitely like to do it. It is an instinct. And she likes to hear it.”
“Fascinating,” Mullet remarked. He coughed. “Master Rainbow Dash!” He paused. “Hey, it does have a little something there. You can hardly tell.”
The pirates laughed.
“Well, go on then Master Rainbow Dash,” Celaeno encouraged. “What’s the favor?”
“Twilight opened a school about friendship, and me and our friends are now teachers at this school,” Rainbow began to explain.
“Was this before or after the turning into a vampire thing?” a curious Boyle wondered.
“Before actually,” Rainbow said. “She wants me to take some of our students on a field trip to teach teamwork. And I wanted to make it…you all know the word…” she smiled slyly.
“Awesome!” four of the five pirates all cheered together, lifting up their mugs. Squabble followed suit with a squawk.
Starlight did the same, using her unicorn magic and smiling as well. She chuckled. “We even named our pack Team Awesome.”
“Hey!” the four pirates cheered together yet again with another Squabble squawk amidst them.
“That’s our Rainbow Dash,” Mullet remarked.
Rainbow smiled at him and gave a salute before returning the subject in talking to the captain. “And I thought the way you have to run this ship together would be a great demonstration. Our students are from all over the world, even beyond Equestria. One of them is cousins with Princess Skystar. You remember her, right?”
“Oh, that’s right,” Celaeno realized. “Sea pony turned hippogriff. Yeah, sure, it sounds like fun. You gonna show off another Sonic Rainboom?”
“You’re the captain,” Rainbow winked, “and the lesson is for showing how to work as a team, so you know..” She waggled her eyebrows up and down.
Celaeno laughed. “You got it, Master. I’ll have you top it off as part of our demonstration. Is Starlight going to be teleporting your class then?”
“Yes. Tomorrow afternoon at 1:00. Can we do that? It’s right after lunch at the school. We can find the ship through this magic map we have back home though it would be easier on Starlight if the ship isn’t moving too fast,” Rainbow noted.
“Sure, sure, we’ll park right over Basalt Beach,” Celaeno offered.
Starlight nodded respectfully. “That’s much appreciated, Captain.”
“Students from different kingdoms, huh? Are they different creatures?” Celaeno asked.
“Well, only one of them is a pony,” Rainbow explained. “You’ll see when we get here. They’re great kids. I kinda accidentally scared them when I first turned into a mev, but we’ve all moved past that,” she told her pirate friends.
“I thought you said you weren’t that scary of a vampire,” Mullet said.
“Once you know the rules. It doesn’t mean I’m not scary at all. Hey, you want to hear about my dread?” the master mev offered with a smile.
The pirates nodded and murmured with interest. Rainbow Dash relayed the explanation of what Blitz was and the fear snares they both could create.
“Very interesting,” Celaeno rubbed a claw to her chin. “Do we get to meet this Blitz?”
“Here and now?” Rainbow asked them.
“Probably best to do it before you bring along the kids if she scared them back then,” Boyle pointed out.
“Yeah, we’d like to see her,” Celaeno said.
“Alright,” Rainbow replied and plopped onto the table. A red circle formed around where she stood, and Blitz peeked out.
“Whoa!” Boyle said.
“Ain’t she a beaut?” Lix remarked with interest.
“Come on out,” Rainbow told her pet. “These are friends of mine who helped me save Equestria back when I wasn’t a mev.”
Blitz lifted herself fully to examine the room, staring down at the pirates.
“Ha, I thought a leviathan was a large sea serpent,” Boyle said.
“Oh, that’s part of the power,” Rainbow explained. “She’d be way too big in a tight space like this or most rooms back home, but I got to see her full size in the ocean once. She could definitely encircle this whole ship outside a few times over if I wanted.”
The pirates looked at each other. “Well, don’t you want to, Master?” Mullet offered.
Rainbow looked to Captain Celaeno, and the captain nodded with approval.
All the pirates, Starlight Glimmer, and Rainbow Dash went back on deck. Blitz followed her master.
“Alright, Blitz,” Rainbow said. “Looks like we get to show off today. My friends here appreciate awesome, and you know what? You are awesome. Let’s give them something worth seeing, alright? Get all ghostly and big, a sea serpent snake circling around an air ship. Be fantastical. Let’s do it! Well, you, really, heh. Go on. Master wants this.”
Blitz slithered up away from the ship and grew much larger. She did exactly as Rainbow bid, and the pirates looked on in true awe. They knew Rainbow as their friend, and they wholly believed she nor the mysterious snake would harm them. Yet even so, they were at least a little scared at the enormity of the essence. “So, you’re eating off us right now?” Mullet whispered to Rainbow.
The master mev nodded. “It doesn’t hurt you beyond the fear itself. I’m not actually draining it away, just kind of soaking it in while it still stays with you. It tastes like chocolate.”
“Heh,” he remarked.
The spectacle soon ended, and Starlight teleported herself and Rainbow Dash home to Equestria. From there, the two close mevs hugged their farewell until the next day. Rainbow went to the Cutie Mark Crusader clubhouse to pick up Sweetie Belle while stopping to say hi to Apple Bloom and Scootaloo.