ponyville live!


More tiny sapient ungulates: Scootaloo grows up into a beefy punk with black metal piercings and a leather jacket, it is canon and I will fight absolutely every asshole brony who draws grown up Scoot as a dainty little thing with long hair.

She also rides an alicycle, which is basically a very aerodynamic bicycle that you propel with your wings (because internal combustion engines are mysteriously absent in mlp). She also has a magical disability and can’t achieve sustained flight, her wings don’t conduct magic well enough. This is probably do to her mixed pegasi and earth pony heritage, which is also one of the reasons she lives in Ponyville. Likely one of her parents or close relatives is wingless and can’t live in Cloudsdale.

The first time I’ve drawn Maud (even if just as a chbi!). I need to draw her more sometime. :0


Maud gets her “rocktorate” and graduates from college, now preparing to expand her horizons. Pinkie Pie is ecstatic when her big sister expresses interest in living in Ponyville and tries her best to convince Maud to stay. While studying rocks is a big motivation, Maud admits that she’s actually more interested in finding someone she can relate to (outside of her family, of course). This only excites Pinkie more, and she makes it her personal mission to find a BFF for Maud somewhere in Ponyville. And that candidate just might be closer to home than she would’ve thought!

Keep reading

Y'know, what bothers me, especially with endless discussions about the Mane 6’s (plus Sunset and Starlight’s) age, is that nobody seems to take Twilight’s career into consideration. You see, Twilight seems to be at university in the beginning of the series, studying magic, being on summer break between semesters. She’s been working on assignments and studying for tests throughout the first three seasons, and most likely was, and still is, aside from her new role as Princess of Friendship, also employed there. This is especially evident with Moondancer, Minuette and her other friends from Canterlot, who she (Twilight) admittedly disregarded as such. Moondancer is still studying, while Minuette and the others (I can’t remember their names, sorry) either already graduated at whatever they were studying or dropped out.

Now, you will most likely ask what that has to with their age. Well, everything, pretty much. If the Equestrian School System is anything like the Canadian, the average age of graduation from university (which is apparently completely different from college in Canada, at least if I understood correctly) is 33, which means, taking into account that the writers most likely didn’t waste a single thought on that, puts her at least somewhere in her mid- to late 20s. Sunset is probably slightly older than her, not more than 2 to 4 years, while Starlight and Sunburst are probably much older than Twilight, considering that Sunburst probably studied the same as Twilight, and most likely graduated some time ago.

I’d say the age gap between the youngest and the oldest of the Mane 6, realistically, is probably 6 or 7 years, which seems much, but doesn’t really matter anymore in a group of characters (now) in their 20s. I say “now”, because that doesn’t mean some of them already were in their 20s at the start of MLP:FiM. We all know that Fluttershy is one year older than Pinkie Pie, and it is safe to assume Rainbow Dash is too. Rainbow Dash dropped out, and started working for the Weather units, while training for becoming a Wonderbolt. She was serious about becoming a part of the Wonderbolts since she was a filly and probably started training at an early age, so she probably is is all muscle and no fat, but I digress. However what is significant about this is that she was probably still not old enough to go to Wonderbolts academy, only reaching the age required at the beginning of the series. She probably didn’t attempt to enter right away either, since she has the need to proof herself and blow everyone out of the water, and probably delayed her first attempt in order for some more training. Fluttershy’s education is unclear. She dropped from the clouds during flight camp, but that doesn’t mean she stayed in Ponyville starting from that time. She was still very young at that time, so I doubt that she was able to sustain herself. What I do think, however, is that the Sonic Rainboom and her experience on the ground shaped her experience and she decided to go live in Ponyville. She now has the job as game keeper near the Everfree Forest. Pinkie Pie came to Ponyville some time after she witnessed the Sonic Rainboom, still as a filly, as she left her old home. That was probably while Applejack was still away in Manehatten, living with her Aunt and Uncle. Rarity is a Ponyville native, but her Parents moved away some time later, probably when Rarity was already old enough to sustain herself. Sweetie Belle had her first years of education in Manehattan, but later came to live with her sister.

Based on this the list of the oldest to youngest should be:
-Twilight Sparkle
- Applejack
- Rarity
- Fluttershy
- Rainbow Dash
- Pinkie Pie.

adgerelli  asked:

You probably have answered this before but do twilight & Luna primarily live in ponyville or canterlot?

They’ll be living mainly in Ponyville with quite a few trips back to Canterlot now and again.

askmentallyadvancedtwilight  asked:

So how about that new episode, "Fluttershy Leans In"? Did you suffer greatly? Did you throw your arms up in exasperation and anguish? Did you put your head in your hands and weep softly? Please tear this episode apart to give me the strength I need to go on.

Allow me to provide a synopsis!
Fluttershy visits the local vet and discovers her widespread social influence of “almost complete isolation” has caused all animals from koalas to giraffes to travel to Ponyville in order to live at the vet’s office. This is especially astounding because most real animals live in abject fear of the vet and would do anything to be anywhere else. So of course, Fluttershy decides she wants to help by doing the same thing we always assumed she already did: run an animal sanctuary.
Rarity suggests contacting the rich ponies she met by being effortlessly successful so that Fluttershy can also catch “boring character disease” and end the closest thing she has to a non-emotional struggle. “I’ve learned to be confident,” Fluttershy lies to other ponies as she proposes this idea. “We’ve learned to unconditionally invest in the main characters of our cartoon show,” reply the Canterlot elite, who have figured out by now that they’re in a cartoon where the heroes always win.
The elites proceed to ignore Fluttershy’s every request and build a completely different project. “No, listen,” Fluttershy tries to explain, “My vision was to build a forest in the forest so that the animals would be living in the woods where they belong. If we build cages, the bear will get herpes”. And sure enough, as if on cue, the bear shows up and instantly gets herpes. The bear knows he’s in a cartoon and that the mane 6 are always right. He had no other choice. Not even the raccoons and ferrets are able to live comfortably in the structure that was being built, mainly because they don’t like the color of the drapes.
So Fluttershy fires all the trained experts and hires her friends to help her build a forest in the forest, and at the end of the day we can take away a few messages:
1. Deer are not sentient like buffalo or cows. They are dumb animals and you were all wrong for assuming that wouldn’t be the case.
2. Giraffes are also dumb animals
3. If you are an expert and your client has a vision for something, like if they want a show where the main character becomes a princess and lives in the crystal castle play set, then don’t argue. Just do it. Just cooperate and sell their princess toys like they wanted or they’ll fire you and replace you with their friends. At least that is one way you can interpret the moral here. The other way is to view this as yet another desperate plea for help from the writers of “My Little Pony”. I feel like they’ve had a few episodes now where the inspiration is “we don’t have any creative freedom but we wish we did”. They’ve also done one or two “stop criticizing us, we didn’t even want to entertain you anyway” episodes.
It really does crack me up whenever I feel like the writers are trying to send a message to their own bosses. It also cracks me up seeing exactly how often the “don’t interfere with [analogue for the writers]” gets greenlit as a story idea, because that means it must really resonate with someone involved in the process who gets to call those shots. I do feel sorry for MLP, and I hope that some day we have another revival of the 90′s golden age of cartoons, where there was a lot of creator-driven ideas full of passion and vision.
As for the final rating for the episode? Neutral out of ten. I assumed Fluttershy already took care of animals and I don’t feel like there was much rising tension. The episode before it wasn’t bad, though. We got some characterization from Glimglam - a rare gem for anything in MLP these days - and Ponko was the antagonist. I think even a good writer would have a hard time working on MLP show these days with how mangled the setting has gotten and how badly the interplay between characters has been diverted, but for what remains, “Rock Solid Friendship” did alright.

Okay so there was a ton of speculation that the pony in this photograph [See Scare Master] was Fluttershy’s mother. However with her family being revealed, that theory pretty much got thrown out the window.

SO, for weeks I’ve had this screenshot saved to my desktop and I only now managed to draw up a lil thing. I’m going with the idea that the purple pony [Sugar Plum, perhaps?] previously owned the cottage Fluttershy now lives in, and was her caretaker while she was living in Ponyville after the events of the Sonic Rainboom. 

I’m going to assume ‘Sugar Plum’ is dead in current showtime, maybe she was already a bit old when she took Fluttershy under her wing, so to speak. Not sure if they’d be blood related. It could pass, maybe they were distant relatives?

My Little Pony Season 7 Review: Rock Solid Friendship

Well now it’s time for Maud’s annual appearance for the season. Maud has quickly become one of my favorite characters on the show with her deadpan expressions and mannerisms. I was getting a little hyped for what she had in store, then it turned out to be a Pinkie Pie episode…goodie. I’ll be honest, Pinkie is my least favorite of the Mane 6, but that doesn’t mean she’s a bad character. I liked her humor and still do, but nowadays, it really wears on me when sometimes her jokes don’t hit the mark or she just gets annoying to the characters and the audience. This is also one of the reasons I thought this episode was just, meh.

So the episode starts off with Maud getting her Rocktorate (Doctorate in rocks, punny name, but clever) and decides to move to Ponyville to continue her career, but only near Ponyville as she decided to instead take place in Ghastly Gorge. Nice callback to season 2 I must say. Pinkie on the other hand, wants her to be in Ponyville so she could stay with her sister. Maud is hesitant, but is allowing Pinkie to give her a chance to convince her anything that may interest her in staying. So Pinkie tries everything from going to a gem mine, to describing the crystal castle in order to convince Maud to stay. Then Starlight comes into the plot as Pinkie tries to hook up both her and Maud to become friends so that Maud has someone to talk to and therefore stay.

So I’m really mixed on this episode, but I’ll get to the good stuff first. Maud and Starlight’s interactions are nice to hear as they actually gain a mutual understanding on rocks with Maud educating Starlight and with her actually being entertained by Maud. Funny thing is that Starlight met Maud before in the past when Starlight still controlled the town of ‘Our Town’ when Maud was mining nearby. The best part, again, was Maud herself. We got some more insight on why she likes rocks so much, and we even learned why she wants to make some friends. I always love more characterizations when it comes to the secondary cast. I also love the look of the gem mines and what eventually becomes Maud’s new home in Ponyville. Some of the jokes were also funny, my personal favorite is when Derpy got hit with a pizza box. Juvenile, but effective.

Now for the worst part, and it all stems back to Pinkie Pie. Remember in the episode, ‘A Friend in Deed’, when she tried to become friends with Cranky and was intruding on him? Well, do that again, but this time trying to convince her sister to become friends with Starlight and convince her to stay in Ponyville. It gets to the point where she is in Maud’s face so much, Maud then leaves to go live in Ghastly Gorge. Pinkie tried way too much to have her own sister live in Ponyville, and even blew up a mine tunnel just for Starlight and Maud to bond. It wasn’t funny, it got annoying really quickly, but to be fair, Maud also called her out on trying to hard to convince her. So while this isn’t as bad as A Friend in Deed, this was close.

In the end, this episode was split down the middle for me and was evenly balanced out with Maud and Pinkie. Maud kept the episode interesting with Starlight in the mix, but Pinkie’s antics and attempts to urge her sister to become friends and move, made this episode a mixed bag through and through. I may watch it again for Maud and starlight, but Pinkie sadly made this episode hit rock bottom for me.

Grade: 6.5/10

What did you guys like about this episode? Feel to like, reblog, or submit your thoughts on this episode. Until next time, take care!

“A griffon? Those are the big bird-lions, right? Hmm… I never saw any during my expedition through the Everfree, I think they live reeeeally far to the east? Do you think they meow or squawk? Maybe one of my monster friends would know, you think?”

“Aww, naaaww, it’s okay, spirit! Spirit reception is pretty bad in the Everfree anyway. And if we never got lost, we would’ve never met Tatzlpony! It was a serendipitous detour in the end! 

“…Huh? The crystal ball…? What did it say? …Oh! Well, quite a few I suppose. I tried to brush up on as many languages as possible in preparation of my quest. But uh, heh, turns out most of them are dead languages; It seems most of the outside worlds speaks a common language now… *cough* …Yet I definitely do not regret learning them! It’s my duty, neigh, my honor to preserve the history and culture of the Everfree! It would be a terrible shame to lose it all. Most breezies aren’t really interested in this sort of stuff, but it’s kinda really fascinating to me!”

“Not yet, but I reeeeeally want to go! It’s on the top of my list! Apparently there are tons of legends surrounding that castle, but I couldn’t recall any record of it in the archives! Not even Star Swirl wrote anything about it! So it must be at least… a hundred years old by my estimate, maybe more! Cataloging history is a relatively new thing for us breezies (and as far as I can tell, no other monster tribe really bothers with it at all), so there’s quite a few gaps that need to be filled. 

“But my favorite myth I’ve heard so far? It was the home of a legendary heroine who defended the whole world for centuries, finally slain by a nightmarish monster. Of course, it is just a myth. Exciting to fantasize about though!”

“Howdy Moof’d! I’ve seen my fair share of cutie marked monster ponies, but ya gotta understand not every monster has one (like our very own windigo pal). I reckon tatzlponies just ain’t one of them monsters that gets a mark. I sure wouldn’t mind havin’ one though… I think it’d be pretty nifty. What kinda cutie mark would a lil’ ol’ Tatzlpony like me have I wonder?”

“Nah, Fiddlesticks don’t live in Ponyville far as I can tell. But I guess I can’t rightly be sure where she is now though. It’s been a long while since I’ve seen her.”


“Mmmmmmmm… no, we’re all probably “precious and adorable” by your standards. ‘Wrathful’ wouldn’t be anyone’s first choice to describe a breezie, nor would be ‘threatening’ or ‘formidable’ or anything close to ‘respectable.’ That’s somewhat of the problem I been trying to tackle on my venture.”

“You must mean my BBBFF, Shining Armor! I never really… ‘fit in’ with the other breezies, but Shiny was always there for me! And I’m very proud of him now because… Hmm. Well, Flutterbat seems to confide in you spirits, and apparently that’s good enough for me… Shining Armor is Prince of the Breezie Realm! Woo! …Mm, ahem, yes, quite…” 

“Firstly pirstly, psychic powers just run in the pie family, no discovery necessary. We have a super long and super duper mysterious family history. It, it’s all very hush-hush. Mum’s the word. Yep. As for my special super power psychic abilities… Well I can talk to you spirits! Oh, and my Pinkie Sense warns me of any vague and immediate slapstick, that’s pretty keen. Oh, and sometimes I can see into other ponies’ memories too! But only if they let me… and only sometimes. I’m still working on that one…”

“Duh! All of them are my favorite! They’re my bestest buddy pals in the whole wide world!

 Flutterbat is so gentle and nice and has a great singing voice when she thinks nopony’s listening! And Dashie is a lot of fun! She has a lot of great prank ideas! And Tatzlpony, super helpful and huggy! Clarity’s really busy most of the time, but she’s really nice too and tells the best stories! And Twily… well, I don’t understand a whole lot of what she says, especially when she starts talking in ‘Breezie,’ and she can be a little bit grumpy sometimes. But I think she’s just shy. I can tell she wants to talk to us super bad (I’d recognize those excited jitters anywhere!), she just doesn’t really know how yet.

 I just love them all soooo much!”

g3 mlp asks !!🐴🌈

pony: which earth pony is your favorite?
unicorn: which unicorn is your favorite?
pegasus: which pegasus  is your favorite?
custom: if you were to be a pony, how would you look? cutie mark, mane, outfit, personalty, etc
ponyville: which pony gang would you like the hang out with?
unicornia: would you rather make the rainbow, or see the rainbow?
butterfly island: would you be more of a town or beach pony?
celebration: in your opinion, what is the best year for the G3?
cotton candy cafe: if you lived in ponyville, where would you work?
core 7: do you think the core 7 ponies were a good idea? which pony is your favorite?
music: what is your favorite G3 song?
movies: what are the mlp movies you watched, and which one is your fave?
playsets: What are the playsets you own ? Which ones are your favorite?
G3.5: What is your opinion on the G3.5 ?
toys: how many G3 ponies do you own, approximately?

Cartoons I Highly Recommend


(I’m just doing this because I want to share my opinion about some of my favorite shows)

1. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:

Originally posted by princess-pinkie

Here’s my first go-to show I recommend to people, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. If you’re a fan of fantasy, action-adventure, comedy, and a bit of slice of life, you’ll defiantly love this show. Yes, it might be targeted to little girls, but hear me out. The lessons are actually relatable to real-life, the animation, story and characters are amazing. And it’s created by Lauren Faust. What more could you ask for? 

This show centers around the Mane 6 (Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Applejack, and Fluttershy) who all live in Ponyville, and learn lessons about friendship (almost) every episode.


2. Wander Over Yonder

Originally posted by tnilnil

Here’s my second go-to show that I recommend to people, Wander Over Yonder. If you’re a fan of Craig McCracken’s work heck even Lauren Faust’s work I highly recommend this show. At first it may seem silly but trust me there’s more going on than silliness. This show has so many dynamic relationships that are perfect such as the show’s two main protagonists Wander and Sylvia, two platonic best friends, whose relationship keeps getting stronger and stronger, which is awesome. This show will never fail to make you smile, and sometimes it might make you have happy or sad feels. 

This show is about two best friends the overly-optimistic Wander and his tough steed, Sylvia. They travel the universe together, helping people. The main villain of the series is Lord Hater, who is actually short-tempered and immature. His advisor, Commander Peepers, who is very serious and controlling. Later in Season 2, Lord Dominator comes in the series, she’s very powerful and seems to fangirl over every thing she does.


3. Star vs. the Forces of Evil

Originally posted by bleubudgie

If you like chiptune music, lots of action, slice of life, and fantasy, Star vs. the Forces of Evil is a good show for you. This show is the first Disney show actually created by a woman. There’s tons of action, silliness, dimensions and sometimes drama.

This show is about Star, a magical princess from the dimension of Mewni, who comes to Earth to practice with her wand that she got for her 14th birthday. She stays with the Diaz family, and meets Marco, an organized, safe kid, who knows karate. They fight against Ludo a short bird-like monster who is always after Star’s wand, and his army of monsters, who fail to get the wand for Ludo.


4. Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra

Originally posted by ycleptslike

Originally posted by captainmelonlord

If you like fantasy-elements, worldbuilding, policical issues, etc. The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra are the shows for you. Even though I personally like Legend of Korra more, The Last Airbender is great too. But seriously, watch The Last Airbender first otherwise the story with not make much sense to you.

The Last Airbender is about Avatar Aang as he attempts to stop a 100 year war he didn’t stop until 100 years later after he was released from ice. He makes friends along the way such as Katara, Sokka, Toph, Zuko and others.

The Legend of Korra is the sequel to The Last Airbender. It takes place 70 years after The Last Airbender, which follows the current Avatar, Korra. Her and her friends Mako, Bolin, Asami, and several others as they face political and spiritual unrest in the modernizing world.


5. Steven Universe

Originally posted by korras-gem

If you like fantasy, a bit of sci-fi, lots of action, slice of life, and beautiful music, Steven Universe is for you. From healthy relationships to real-life problems this show has got something for everyone.

Steven Universe is a coming-of-age story about a boy named Steven Universe who is half-human, half-Gem, learning about his gem powers and eventually is part of the Crystal Gems. The Crystal Gems consist of Pearl, a perfectionist, smart, and is very graceful in her fighting style. Amethyst, is fun, carefree, and lazy. Garnet is serious, level-headed, and cool. They meet other people such as Connie and Steven’s dad Greg and other Gems such as Lapis Lazuli (my personal favorite Gem) and Peridot throughout the series.


And that pretty much it, I have seen many other shows that I like but I wanted to share my opinion on some of my favorites that I usually recommend to others. I hope enjoyed reading this, and considered watching some of these shows.

Thanks for your time. :)   


  I’ve seen ponies with ask blogs before. Harmless things, it seems. Questions coming from the sky, friends that genuinely care, who want to learn about you and what you have to offer. Sure, once in a while I’ll find someone plagued by popularity, unable to sleep, even blink, without finding another glowing question before their eyes. But I’m not them. I’m not popular, not anything worth celebrating. I have no secrets and no tragic backstory worth telling. So an ask blog might be a blessing, and there’s no chance that somepony like me will ever become as attractive to questions as those famous ponies will. I might actually get some… friends? I’m not sure if that’s what you are. Followers, you’re called. But I’d like to consider you as friends, if I could. I don’t have many, if any, and I’ve grown lonely. Lonely is only one letter away from Lovely, after all.
   The problem with ask blogs, though, is that they aren’t gained when they’re wanted, really. I’ve seen some start them through computers, others beckon them willingly with smiles and greetings. But the truth is, the questions, the blog itself, doesn’t come to those in want of friends or followers. They come to ponies at random, created by some unseen force, and they precede change. So when I saw this notification, that I would be the center of a new one, I got scared. I’m terrified of change, and though I’m trying to be positive about it, inside, I’m running, screaming, not willing. The change is coming. I don’t know what it is. And I can’t stop it.
  I look up to the sky, aware that I should probably introduce myself. “H-hi,” I stutter, my voice cracking. My cheeks feel warm under my scarlet fur. I nervously brush my long, golden blonde hair away from my face and clear my throat.
  “Hi,” I say louder. Ponies nearby toss me strange looks, and my cheeks begin to entirely burn, the heat of embarrassment trickling down my neck. My voice shakes, but I do my best to smile. “I’m Lovely Laughter. Ask me anything!” I give what I hope is a convincing grin. No, this won’t work. I shake my head, throwing my hair behind my ears. Let’s try that again. I’m not shy, I can’t be! I have an audience, so I must put on a show. “Just like the comedy club,” I whisper to myself, and take a deep breath.
  I hop forward, flash a broad smile, and wave cheerfully. “HI!!!” I shout, startling the Ponyville ponies who’ve stopped to stare. But I’m focused now, my vision tunneling. They aren’t my audience, the ponies reading this blog are. “I’m Lovely Laughter!” I announce, spreading my wings eagerly. “I’m a pegasus pony living in Ponyville, and this is my ask blog! Ask me anything!”
  There. I stand, hooves firmly planted into the ground, staring expectantly at the thin air in front of me, and wait.

Featuring @asktheponypage​, @shinyshaini​, @techtalkpony@nittany-tiger​, and @ask-paradigm​.

Tonight is the Night of Two Hundred and Eighty-Nine Doors, so if you live around Ponyville you may get a visit from me, offering you a nice book to read!

Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re not familiar with the Night of Two Hundred and Eighty-Nine Doors, so I suppose an explanation is in order. But to provide one, I must tell you its history.

It all began hundreds of years ago, back in the time before the founding of the Equestrian Literary Society. At the time there was a printer named Jet Hooves, which was quite an apt name since his hooves were always covered in ink and were black as jet.

Jet Hooves worked tirelessly at his craft, trying to produce as many books as possible, selling them at a substantial discount and operating with barely enough bits to cover his expenses. But he knew how important books were, and he wasn’t doing it for money, but rather to spread joy and knowledge.

During the course of his career, he noticed that his printing shop kept receiving less and less business. This worried him, and eventually he began to look into what was happening. What he found was that book stores and libraries had ordered fewer books simply because ponies hadn’t been reading as much as they used to; they had been losing interest in books. He had been so caught up in his business that he hadn’t noticed, so it came as quite the shock to him.

Distraught, he sought a way to remedy this situation. Though being just a humble printer, he had no power to change attitudes or enact laws to promote reading. He did the only thing he could think of: took a number of books from his printing shop, went out into the night and began to go down the street, knocking on doors and asking ponies if they wanted a book, for free.

He desperately kept going through that chilly autumn night, his blackened hooves shivering as he tapped upon door after door, sometimes welcomed and sometimes met with hostility and skepticism. But no matter what, he persisted.

On his way, he drew attention, and some ponies began following him, wondering what was happening. And the further he went, the larger became his following of curious onlookers.

When at last the cold overtook him, and he could not go on, he sat down under an archway and huddled for warmth. He counted that he had knocked on 289 doors, but to his disappointment still had many books left.

It was at that time his following came up to him and asked what he was doing that was so important he risked hypothermia. He explained, and the ponies were so moved by his conviction that they agreed to take the rest of the books and hand them out. Those ponies later came to be known as Jet Hooves’ Witnesses, and were instrumental in the founding of the Equestrian Literary Society, together with Jet Hooves himself.

Every year, on the anniversary of that day, we, the Equestrian Literary Society, declare that we too are Jet Hooves’ Witnesses, and we go from door to door and ask if ponies have a moment to talk about books, as well as offer them a free copy to read. We also hand out a copy of our pamphlet, The Book Fort, which explains who we are and what we stand for. And we keep doing that, until we have knocked on 289 doors, or run out of books.

I still remember my first Night of Two Hundred and Eighty-Nine Doors, as a filly. My mother, being an Equestrian Literary Society member and quite aware of my interest in books, took me along. Everypony was rather perplexed when I offered them Advanced Calculus in Multiple Dimensions and other books and assured them they were very interesting, though they did accept them. In fact, we gave out so many books that we ran out before reaching 289 doors.

It is a very important tradition, and I hope many of you are planning to participate as well. You can, even if you aren’t members of the Equestrian Literary Society. Perhaps one of your neighbors could use a book that you aren’t reading anymore.

Watch on mlpseason7hub.tumblr.com

S04E12 - Pinkie Pride

With Rainbow Dash’s birthiversary coming up, #1 Party Planner Pinkie Pie (try saying that five times fast) is in charge of throwing her the biggest bash Equestria’s ever seen. Pinkie makes a promise to Rainbow Dash to ensure that happens. But matters become muddled when the elustrious and mysterious Cheese Sandwich (played by guest star “Weird Al” Yankovic) arrives and shows off his partying skills. What’s more, he impresses all of Ponyville so much, that not only does Rainbow forget about her deal with Pinkie, but everyone else forgets all about her as well.

Pinkie is left to question her partying abilities, but her pride won’t let her get Madame LeFlower again, and so challenges Cheese Sandwich to the ultimate all-out party war: a Goof-Off. Who shall be victorious? What is Cheese Sandwich up to? Why are these songs so darn good?!?

Grab your accordion and your pet hampster and make yourself a big balogna sandwich, because either way, this is gonna be a big one.


Hullo, my name is Storybook Sonnet. Known blank flank, grump, and overall nutso pony who lives in Ponyville with my moms, Vinyl Scratch ( Mom ) and Octavia ( Mum ). We’re pretty happy overall I guess, I like their music and they feed me. My only irk is the fact that I don’t have a cutie mark. ..My name has ‘storybook’ and 'sonnet’ in it, I gotta be good at poems…Seriously, has noone else noticed that everypony’s name has to do with their talent?

A Dragon and Other Minor Problems : An RP with Nayomi Hataki

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                               A Dragon and Other Minor Problems

                                                    An RP

                                  By De Writer and Nayomi Hataki 

                       Copyright 2014 by De Writer and Nayomi Hataki



In the news: A blue dragon has been spotted near Canterlot in recent weeks!

Nayomi still has not returned from her trip in the Crystal Empire.

Seemingly from nowhere at all, there came a knock at De Writer’s door. The knock had some force behind it but didn’t seem threatening.

De Writer:

I muttered to myself as I gave a horn flip to shut off the Magic-Net News, in the cheap blown glass net globe. The Earth Pony news reader always tried to make every tiny thing sound like a disaster! I still remembered with some amusement the time that a single mouse seen in the kitchen of the Castle was blown into a massive rodent infestation by that same Faux News reader.

I called, “Easy there! Be right with you!” as I got up to answer the door. My daughter Black Lotus was visiting and got up from the couch too.

I opened the top half of the door. “Yes? What can I do for you?” I asked politely. The Dragon outside (the BLUE dragon outside!) was very considerately reduced in size to match the house. That alone deserved courtesy. Besides, only an idiot goes out of his way to irritate any dragon!

He was in a pony form … sort of! I mean, the blue scales, golden underbelly, bat-like dragon’s wings and those crystal like things along his neck, back and heavy whip-like tail might have given the alert among us, a clue that he was not really a pony. He was big, too.

If you are familiar with the Apples (not everyone lives in Ponyville, after all), perhaps you know Big Mac? Huge red draft horse? If you don’t know Mac, maybe you know another draft horse type pony? About that size.


The dragon lowered his head and thought to De Writer.

“You must be De Writer,” he said in an oddly soft voice.

De Writer:

Having a dragon as a granddaughter in the fascinating assortment of intelligent beings that I call a family, I was used to projected thought in the place of speech among some dragons. This one’s thought came through clearly and sounded as if it were speech, tone, inflection and all. From what I knew, that level of skill meant a fairly old dragon.

I answered, “Indeed I am. I know that you are seeing my true self. Please do the courtesy of recognizing and respecting my appearance as an elderly donkey. In this guise I go by Marchhare.

“Who would you like to be known as?”


“My name is Zale Thunder. I am known by many other names but one of my most common is Lightning Bringer” The dragon said, moving his hand slightly to get better grip on the soil below him.

De Writer:

I smiled a little at the memory that his title brought to the fore. Still, courtesy and all of that, I replied, “Zale Thunder? An interesting name, that. Come inside. If we have any sort of suitable refreshment, you are welcome to some … As long as it is not me or my daughter.”

I opened the lower half of the double door to let him in.

Black Lotus stuck her head out of the kitchen to ask, “Coffee or Tea, Mister Thunder?”


“Tea my dear, thank you” the dragon said with his own voice, rather than that of his mind. It was deeper but came across as gentle.

He smiled at her then went back to the elderly donkey. “I’m not here to hurt either of you. I felt a strange magic here and decided to investigate.

“I’m well versed in almost every kind if magic you can think of, except the one used on your crops,“ Zale said with a little smile.

"But… since I’m here, can I take your daughter out for dinner some time?” He laughed.

De Writer:

I gave Zale a sideways grin. “Got to agree with you about that magic. I can recognize Shadow Magic and even do a tiny bit of it. Can’t do what is out there, though.

“Have a seat while Black Lotus steeps our tea.

“I have a ‘slant daughter’ who did that work out in the garden. She is presently away on business. Got to admit that she is an expert at Shadow work.

“She is a blood sworn sister to my adopted daughter Wind Whisper.” I paused to chuckle at remembering the disaster of *Nayomi’s arrival – in my garden. *(Link leads to a previous RP with Nayomi)

I settled myself comfortably and said conversationally, “You have made the Magic Net Faux News. Not to worry. Won’t turn you in.”

Black Lotus, the sort of vision of grace that you would expect from a professional dancer, which she is, brought in our tea and served. Joining us at quietly sipping her tea.

After a suitably awkward stretching of the silence, she spoke up. “I heard what you asked my father, Mister Thunder. He has not answered you for the simple reason that I am here to answer for myself. We are Rom.” She paused to adjust one of her bright silken sashes and, by fiddling with it, draw attention to the richly tooled harness that was a part of her Rom dress.

“That means that I answer for myself.

“Provisionally, yes you may take me out to dinner. There may be a few practical problems to deal with.”

She sipped her tea, looking over the rim of her cup to catch Zale directly in the eye with her stare.


“My apologies. I did not mean to insult you. I would be happy to clear any issues you may have with me. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.”

He smiled, “I’m sure I can give you a good dinner. I want to in fact.” He sipped his tea.

De Writer:

Black Lotus smiled. “I would be interested in that. The practical difficulties do not lie in this room or between us.

“To be blunt, even after Royal Proclamations and Edicts, Rom are discriminated against. Even my being Goddaughter to both Celestia and Luna does not change that much.

“My being Luna’s instructor in Dressage causes scandalous talk. That Celestia and Luna, by a six hundred year old tradition, come to the Rom for performances or instruction only makes it worse.”

I chuckled and added, “What really steams their clover tops is that it is not just the Rom that they come to see at the Canterlot Fair. It is this old Rom donkey that visit with … A Donkey and a Rom! That is just about the worst Scandal Among the Crows of the court that you can find.”

Black Lotus nodded amused agreement. “After 600 years, they still can’t stop the gumflap over that. They hate that the Royal Twins will take so much time with such a lowly, base born commoner as father. Dead, Rom and donkey all at once!”

She leaned back, and laughed out loud. “Remember, father, it was what, six years back that the court tried to get an exorcist to send you to your final rest!” She wiped a tear of laughter from the corner of her eye.


“I have met many Luna’s and Celestia’s in my lifetime but never ones like the ones you describe. I tried to go and see this world’s royalty, as per normal. I chose the wrong approach. I didn’t want to hurt anyone so I decided to save it for another time.

“As for you being publicly hated, I don’t think I would be very well accepted either, being a dragon. I am offering to cook you a dinner here, if you’ll let me,” the dragon smiled, leaning forward.

De Writer:

Black Lotus held out her hoof, “I accept your offer. Father cooks a fine clover burger but those and vegetable skewers are about all that he cooks any more.”

She got up and offered, “Come, let us see the place where you will be doing battle to make me a dinner.”

She sashayed into the kitchen. I have mentioned that she is a professional dancer? Right.


Zale followed her.

“So you’re a dancer, right? An old love of mine. I haven’t had an excuse to dance in, oh, about a thousand or so years.

“Anyway, what have you got here for me to work with?”

De Writer:

Black Lotus gave a bit of a giggle at the concept of a dragon dancing. A creature the size of hill?

She began to point out things. “The stove and oven are an old wood burner. Spices are on the rack above the counter. Pots, pans and ovenware are down there. Food preservation spell is that corner over there. Watch it. It can numb your hands pretty quickly.”


“And in terms of food?” he asked grabbing some pots and pans.

De Writer:

I had ambled in after them and pointed to a smaller door. “Pantry is through there. That’s where I keep all of my dry goods. There are glass canned fruits and veggies on the shelves. Honey is not technically dry but it won’t spoil so it is in there too. There are five kinds of nuts in the bins. I have flour of both wheat and oats, whole grains and two bales of the finest clover hay.

“Over in the preservation spell, I have six kinds of mushrooms, butter, eggs, lard, cooking oils, and a variety of fresh fruits and veggies.”

I gave Black Lotus a grin and added, “Just because I cook plain fare to discourage certain pests, does not mean that I have to eat like that all the time.”


Zale thought for a moment before snapping his fingers, creating a spark!

“I’ve got it! A traditional dragon dinner vegetarian style!”

De Writer:

As I backed out of the kitchen I commented, “That is probably a good idea! The only meat in the place is US and YOU.

“You are the only one of us that knows how to cook meat so using you for the meat is out of the question. Since I CAN’T be killed and I will defend my daughter to YOUR death, the meat options are out.

“That leaves only the vegetarian options.

“Go for it!”


The now anthro dragon cracked his claws in preparation for the next hour or so of cooking. From outside, it sounded like a war zone in the kitchen. Only an hour later the dragon came out with a plater of huge bread.

De Writer:

I lighted up upon seeing the bread. Being a 3000 year old wiseacre, I had to say, “Is that all? Somehow, I expected more, based on the amount and number of assorted noises …”

I stopped like I had hit a brick wall. With another brick wall charging in from behind to finish the job.

Black Lotus, with only a few spots dusted with flour, had come from the kitchen with another platter. Loaded to the gills with goodies …

She was grinning like a bandit, to use a trite old expression.


After she laid out the contents of her tray, the bread was surrounded by plates of interesting looking dishes with 5 separate colour pallets. Brown, yellow, green, blue and white.

“Here we go, the six elemental meal. This is prepared in larger scale when the dragon leaders meet” Zale said, placing the last of the dishes neatly.

De Writer:

I am not easy to flabbergast but this time, my flabber was totally gasted!

I drew in a big double nostril full of heavenly aroma. Nodding, a said, “Well done, Sir. Well done indeed.”

We all sat ourselves about the table.


“Water, ice, nature, lightning and rock dishes with fire dragon spice bread! Enjoy,” he smiled. He took his seat and grabbed one of the yellow kabobs before anyone else. It was clearly a lightning dragon dish he enjoyed.

De Writer:

We all dug in. Black Lotus had the advantage over me. She had helped to prepare this feast. She knew, from tasting as it wen along, what was better than the rest.

The gory feasting scene which should follow has been censored for our younger readers!

We pushed back from the ruins of the beautiful feast, still ripping small bits from the breads and dipping them into melted butter before packing them into any spare corner of our now filled stomachs.


“It’s a bit different with meat but I got it pretty much dead on. What did you think?” he asked, looking at the two of them.

De Writer:

I grinned as I pointed out, “You have made easy prey out of us! I am so full that my hooves don’t touch the floor!”

Black Lotus nodded in delight as well. “This was excellent, Zale. I am not so greedy as Father was, but I did thoroughly enjoy every bite.”

She got up and gave me a small push with her magic. “We cooked. Rom tradition that YOU started over 800 years ago. If you cook for others, they clean up. Get to it.”

Grumbling good-naturedly, I gathered the left-overs first and took them to the preservation spell in the kitchen corner. Plates and cups were next. I took them into the kitchen too.

I had to admit to being pleasantly surprised at the little amount of clean-up to do in there. Zale was definitely a good guest.


“So, Black Lotus. I quite enjoyed our time together,” Zale said, smiling.

De Writer:

Black Lotus smiled back, as she said, “Me too, Zale. It was fun learning how those breads go together. You had so many amusing tales about all the things that we did in the kitchen that I was quite taken with your ways.

“I know that this sounds chauvinistic, but if you were a Rom, I would consider courting you.”


“I feel like I’ve heard that before… Tell me, what are the Rom?” He asked, blinking.

Strangely one of his amber eyes went red with a slight glow.

De Writer:

Black Lotus considered carefully before answering, “It is easier to start with what we are NOT. Most of us are not ponies. We are horses and proud of it.

“That, and the fact that we all wear a traditional garb tends to set us apart from the ponies of Equestria.

“Originally, we were horses of Gyptia that fled a drought and famine 800 years ago. We would have all died on the desert of Celestia’s Anvil but we were saved by the selfless courage of my father, the merchant Marchhare, the Ghost Who Guides.

“He brought us here, to safety. He did die on that desert. He gave his rations to our weak and young. His last living act was to point us the correct pass to get to Equestria.

“Because we have never been accepted by the other ponies, nor allowed to settle any place, we have developed a culture of our own, living on the roads. We earn our living by going from fair to fair, entertaining and selling handicrafts.”

She paused and thought some more. “Now, that it is technically legal for us to settle and mingle with the ponies of Equestria, we still do not. It is as much our tradition that keeps us apart as the bigotry and discrimination of the rest.

“We LIKE living on the roads. We enjoy the many fairs and entertaining. We will not give up our traditions and clothing. The rest of the ponies don’t want us around except at fairs. We are the draw that easily doubles the income of a fair.”

She took a deep breath and added, “In a nutshell, we are horses and a culture apart from most of Equestria and its ponies.

Black Lotus gave Zale a beseeching look. ”You are also a sort of cast-out, like us. We did take in the ponies of T'ang* (*see the narrative poem, On Equestria’s Roads), who were refugees, and we have been the better for it.

“Give me some time to get used to the idea of courting you. Father has no objection or he would have said something already.”

I nodded. “Sure would have. This Zale seems a 'fast worker’ but a really decent sort. Got no problem with him so far. He even left a tidy kitchen behind him when he cooked.”


“Well thank you for your honesty. Its sweet of you to think of me like that and I would be more than happy to wait for one such as yourself. As for the kitchen, a dragon only makes a mess when he’s in a hurry,” he smiled.

De Writer:

While Black Lotus smiled and blushed at the same time, I replied dryly, “It would appear that most of the dragons that I am aware of were in a hurry!” I stifled a snicker.

Black Lotus was looking at Zale in a whole different way. It was obvious. She suggested, “Among the Rom, Mares usually make the choices and do the courting.”

Turning to me, she said sternly, “Father, you have been unpaired for too long. We all love Hoof Dancer and she will be with us always. She would not want you to be alone, and you know it.

“There will be six bands of Rom at the Canterlot Fair. They want to hold a Maremoot for you to choose your next wife. I was chosen to bring you to the Maremoot. Please do not let your horses down.”

I saw Zale shifting uncomfortably and tried to take merciless advantage of it. “What about you and Zale? If I go, What of him?”

Before Zale could protest the matter, Black Lotus settled it for all of us. Firmly, she replied, “No more excuses, Father. I will simply take him with us. Not only can he use the time to learn the ways of horse and pony, he wanted to meet the Princesses.

“You know that they will be there to sponsor both the fair and the Rom encampment. Also, I will be giving Luna more lessons in Dressage. You are her favorite drummer. Zale can also meet both Celestia and Luna informally and the issue of introductions can be properly sorted out.”

I turned to Zale and said, “You heard the Lady. We have been outflanked and our flags captured. I am pretty sure that we have a spare harness that will fit you. When on the road, we all pull together.”


“The pulling together thing is all well and good but I’m a dragon in pony form. My strength is that of my full form. I could carry the convoy on my own,” Zale said, scraping a claw on the table.

His other amber eye went red now as well.

De Writer:

I calmly agreed, “I am sure that you could. I know enough of dragons to be aware of your strength issues. This is a matter of tradition. We Rom pull together. The foal, as soon as it can walk stably, is in harness and pulls the tiny amount that it can. The grown horse pulls its fair share, right along with any others. Our elderly, so long as they can walk, pull. It is our way.”

Black Lotus nodded, “There is much that you can learn about a stallion by pulling alongside him. Besides conversation to make the pull seem short, there are many matters of personality that will show with the hours in harness together.”

She produced a pulling harness from one of the closets of my cabin. Eying Zale expertly, she began to adjust the buckles.


“I cannot argue with tradition. Pack my cart with as much as you’d like. I wont try to pull ahead at all.”

The anthro dragon went into his large pony form, bowing to let the harness be slipped on.

De Writer:

Black Lotus smiled as she fitted the harness to Zale. “You misunderstand. A Caravan is our rolling home. We Rom live on the roads. We will pull as a team.”

She gestured at me and said, “Father is weakest of our three, so he will lead with a singletree. We,” she batted long eyelashes at him, “will share a doubletree behind him. We try to make it a balanced pull. Teamwork. You will see.”

We all trooped out. Black Lotus and I sorted the many wagon hitch parts from a locker under the Caravan floor. We set up for the pull that she had described.

“My apologies, this is all new to me,” he said, shaking the harness into a more comfortable position.

De Writer:
Black Lotus smiled as she laid out and secured the caravan hitch to the wagon.  She said, “No apologies needed, Zale.  Not only is this your first time in harness, you volunteered to do the hardest labor of it. 
“We get ponies that want to join the 'carefree Gypsy life,’ whatever that might be.  Perhaps as many as one in a hundred actually wants to pull.  They seem to think that the caravans get from fair to fair by magic.  They also do not want to work our booths, make our crafts or even learn to do a proper Dressage. 
“I saw you watching how the hitch trees are set.  I would be willing to bet that you could do it properly in only one or two tries.  If you do stay around, I think that you will be a great asset to any team.”


Zale smiled, “Thank you for your kind words, my dear. I tend to pick up skills quite quickly and I am definitely interested in your ways.”

He said, looking over to De Writer, “I noticed you have an Orb of the Ages. I don’t know if you have tried it yet, but using such an item on me is useless. My past is clouded and my future unsure. This is not my design nor my wish.

“I would still be happy to tell you anything,” he stated with a little smile. A patch of his scales turned from blue to black.

De Writer:

Black Lotus gave Zale a serious look and guided him to his place, showing him how the pulling harness fastened to the double-tree of the caravan’s hitch. “If there is any problem or emergency, Zale, pulling this line will release you instantly from the hitch. Doing it that way will not damage our equipment or your harness. That is also how we drop the hitch at breaks or camps.”

While I was waiting my turn to be hitched to the caravan, I replied to Zale’s observation. “AN Orb of the Ages? You must be from a world pretty far from this one. So far as I am aware, this is the ONLY one, at least as far as its powers can reach.

“If it cannot show you, there are three equally valid reasons. One: like me, you don’t really exist. Two: you are, in some way, a direct work of the Titans of Creation, which makes you even older than me. Three: your home world or dimension no longer exists.

“Any of those or a combination of them would explain why you can’t be seen in the Orb. As for the future, I do not know if this will comfort you or not, but it has no existence at all.

“Until it comes together to make up the present, it is only mathematical probabilities. Some, I grant, are far more likely than others. The fact remains that none is certain until it becomes the present.”

I paused to check my hitch release line and said, “Thank you, my dear. You always do a perfect hitch.” I made sure that the line was properly placed.

Black Lotus finished her hitch and I heard the familiar clack of the brake release. She cheerfully called, “Right, Pull! Left, Pull!” She gradually increased the tempo until we were up to a proper road-eating pace.

Once the pace was established, she took a moment to explain to Zale, “Everything that we have for living and making our livelihood is in the caravan. We always treat it gently if we possibly can. That start is also easier on both hitch and harness.”

We all leaned into the pull. With two fairs in between, we were on the road to Canterlot fair.


Zale called over to De Writer, “You’ve almost got it. My home was erased from time. I’m an original dragon. One from before time. We helped build the universes,” he said expecting disbelief.

De Writer:

Instead of objecting, De Writer, in the guise of old Marchhare, leaning happily into the pull replied, “That makes perfect sense. I did try looking for you. I could not find you, as you seem to know.

“I COULD trace a lot that you did. Like a Titan of Creation, you can not be seen but can be inferred by your effect on the worlds around you.

“By that means, I did track you back to near the beginning of Time as our worlds know it. That also proved that you are not a Creator Titan.

“Nice to meet a fellow immortal. How do you like the weather today?”

Turning his head back to his daughter, Marchhare said, “I should have listened to you earlier, Black Lotus, my dear. I have missed pulling far more than I realized. I have looked into my heart while we have been on the road.

“Hoof Dancer is there, as she should be. She told me to go to the Maremoot.” Tearing just slightly, he added, “The loved dead are always with us. They make the road short and the pull light.”


Zale smiled, humming happily.

As his scales became more and more black he started to realize that it was happening. Again.

“Marchhare, Miss Lotus, have I been changing?” he asked, looking slightly concerned, not for himself, but for his company.

De Writer:

Black Lotus answered him, “Some of your scales are turning from blue to black. Your eyes have both turned from amber to red.”

I added, “That, and your hooves turning into claws. Fangs in your choppers, That’s about it. So far. Anything else we should know or do?”


“Perfect” he sighed.

“Dispite what I’m turning into, I’m still the same Zale. I’m turning into a devil lighting dragon.

“I’m what you call a switcher dragon. What you saw before is my neutral side. I have a dark and a light form, This will be my dark one.”

De Writer:

Almost unconcerned, Black Lotus inquired, “If you are still the same Zale then the only real concern is, whether you can still pull. Will we will have to re adjust your harness? I gather that this change is not totally voluntary?”

Harness bells jingling, she altered pace slightly as we entered a turn, her headstall plumes bobbing in a slight breeze.


“My body will burn through the harness at some point. I will increase in size slightly and my body will appear more twisted and evil.”

De Writer:

I glanced back at Zale and replied, “So, does your body get hotter when you make the change? Is it some sort of reaction to having stuff wrapped around you? Otherwise, the harness itself is pretty easy to adjust.”

As lead, I was setting pace. I leaned into the pull a bit harder and planted feet more solidly as we started up a gentle grade.

“Twisted and evil? From what you said earlier, it is still you. Appearances have been known to be false before. We can live with that.”


“My body gets hotter during the change but returns to normal afterward. It will be another half hour or so before I get to that.”

De Writer:

I blew a breath out my mouth to flutter my lips. “Not even a problem then! There is a rest just up the way. We can park the caravan and drop my singletree. We let you walk alongside Black Lotus. I will take your place in the hitch until you have finished with the change.

“When you feel right about it, we return to this set up. Dead easy.”

It was only a few more minutes before the leveled resting area came into view.

Black Lotus said in irritation, what we could all see. “There are dray carters in the rest area. Do we have time to get to another or even a good shoulder?”


A blood red light was making its way up Zale’s scales from his claws. He shook his head, “There isn’t much time. 5 minutes at best.”

De Writer:

Looking back to Zale, the old donkey grinned as he leaned into the turn to the resting area. “Zale, old dragon, I have a perfectly lovely idea. As soon as it is safe to drop the hitch and harness, would you mind having a polite word with those truculent looking dray ponies? A big smile with lots of fangs should do just fine in introducing yourself.”

Black Lotus snickered and added, “I will help you to drop the harness as soon as I can, Zale!”


“Of course! Anything to help my friends!” he said, smiling.

De Writer:

We swept into the rest area swiftly enough that the Dray ponies could not safely block our way. Black Lotus was on the brake and had us halted well into the leveled area.

Her magic had Zale’s hitch dropped in a flash, literally.

She opened a few buckles and lifted away the endangered harness. It already had a few singe spots. Nothing that a little oil worked in judiciously would not fix.

Our guest turned to meet the advancing Dray ponies and their cudgels. He smiled. Widely. Showing some very impressive fangs.


“Hello there friends, what can I do for you?” he asked, the light slowly reaching his neck.

De Writer:

As the Dray ponies shielded their eyes from the glow, they saw even more clearly. Fangs. Lots of Fangs. Big Fangs. Trying to avoid the disturbing sight, they looked down. No hooves. Talons in claws. Big talons in bigger claws.

“What in all that is unholy are you!?” they cried in near panic.

Black Lotus, now free of her hitch, bounced eagerly over next to Zale. “I am so glad that you asked! Meet the Dragon Zale the Black and his Lightning Flame Dancer, Black Lotus!”

One of her sashes swept free, riding a torrent of her magic as she swayed to music that only she heard. The sash swirled in a vertical circle exactly between the Dray ponies and Zale.

Suddenly she cried out, “Now, Master! Lighting Flame through the ring!”

I dryly poined out, “You forgot something, sweetie! Those oafs are not the act target! Should we get it out, or just blast away?”

Black Lotus sort of sat and her sash flew back to its place. Zale was giggling.

The Dray ponies were huddling on the far side of the area, as far from us as they could get.

Black Lotus said loudly, “Look for us at the Ponyville Fair! We are introducing our act there!”


Zale whispered to Black Lotus, "If you really want an act together I can arrange for something like that.”

She could feel the heat from his body before he jumped away in time for black lightning to strike him from the sky. The lighting was strange. It was completely black but with an almost evil red glow around it that only lasted for a moment. It left a scorch mark around Zale.

He had his head in the air but lowered it quickly letting his now black tongue wag out. His underbelly was black and his body was black. His eyes were a dark red with reptilian pupils. His wings looked more torn and damaged and the crystals on his back had become sharp blade like scales. At the end of his tail was a black metal like ball. His body radiated power.

Sparks of the same black electricity jumped from one part of his body to another. His teeth looked sharpened and ready to hunt. He breathed in deeply. He exhaled out of his nose, producing a toxic gas.

De Writer:

I had to give Black Lotus high marks. With all of that happening, she stood her ground without so much as a startle. As soon as the whole thing was over, she calmly said, “I like the lightning effect. Far better control this time. The gas cloud might be over the top for a small town show, though.”

I added, “The full body light show could be really spectacular at night. Not as impressive here in daylight. Got to plan the torch placement though. I have to admit that this looks like a great act coming together.”

The Dray ponies quietly resumed their hitches and headed out of the rest area.


Zale cracked his shoulders and stretched his legs.

“Heh. I don’t think you’d want to dance with this form my dear! Dangerous.”

De Writer:

I gave Zale a judicious look. “Perhaps. That is what choreography is all about. This was just supposed to be a way to get even with those Dray ponies. Thing is, it has some real possibilities.”

I sat and gestured them close. “Was not kidding about the light show, if that effect is under voluntary control. Precision fire spitting is another good effect. So are those fangs. Those are our best assets for your act.

“If we include Black Lotus dancing around you we will have a great draw. Start thinking about the possibilities as pull. We can compare notes at the next rest stop.”

Black Lotus began to re adjust Zale’s pulling harness. It was not long before we eased the caravan back out to the road.


Zale cracked his shoulders and stretched his legs.

“Heh. I don’t think you’d want to dance with this form my dear! Dangerous.”

De Writer:

I gave Zale a judicious look. “Perhaps. That is what choreography is all about. This was just supposed to be a way to get even with those Dray ponies. Thing is, it has some real possibilities.”

I sat and gestured them close. “Was not kidding about the light show, if that effect is under voluntary control. Precision fire spitting is another good effect. So are those fangs. Those are our best assets for your act.

“If we include Black Lotus dancing around you we will have a great draw. Start thinking about the possibilities as pull. We can compare notes at the next rest stop.”

Black Lotus began to re adjust Zale’s pulling harness. It was not long before we eased the caravan back out to the road.


“That’s not what I meant. My magic is extremely volatile in this state. If I were neutral or angelic it would be different,” he said, easing back into the pull.

De Writer:

Black Lotus gave Zale a questioning look and said, “If we know what you can control well and what the dangers of the Unstable magic are, maybe we can simply plan around it.

“The basic idea is for my dance to set up the audience for whatever you can manage safely. Dragons are rare enough in civilized areas that you will be a great draw, even if you just sit or do a few feats of strength.”

I looked back at the now black dragon pulling in our hitch. I suggested, “Black Lotus, dear, perhaps we are simply not understanding what Zale means by Volatile.”

While Zale was thinking, the caravan wheels made little crunching noises on the road surface as we pulled. Shade from different trees came and went. Our harnesses creaked and jingled as the road passed beneath hooves and dragon claws.


Zale shook his head, as he leaned into the harness, “I’m truly sorry. My magic is too much to use outside of combat in this form. Someone in the audience will get hurt or worse”

De Writer:

Black Lotus nodded her head in acceptance, making her bright colored plumes bob. To the jingle of harness bells, she replied, “Then we do not use your magic. It is a pity. That full body sparkling effect is spectacular. That simply limits us to physical things.

“You know, feats of strength or …”

Her eyes got a faraway look that I knew all too well. The road crunched underfoot and the hitch groaned it’s familiar protest under load.

“Cooking!” Black Lotus exclaimed. “You are a magnificent chef! We could set up a booth to showcase your culinary skills! Unless you have a better idea … “ she openly fished.


“Ha! Cooking sounds like something I can do. I’m sure by the next fair, I’ll be neutral or angelic so we can dance!”

De Writer:

I overheard Zale’s reply with approval. Sounded like a real trooper.

Oddly, it was passing through a patch of shade that triggered the thought. I called back to Zale, “So, I gather that these changes have something of a random nature to them? Can you tell what you will be before changing?”


Zale looked over to him and replied “Not without seeing what the changes are doing to my body. If my scales start turning blue, I’m neutral, if white, angelic and black is devilish.”

De Writer:

I mulled that over for a bit. The wheels rumbled and hooves clacked as we passed over the planks of a small bridge. Habitually I scanned the bridge for flaws or shoddy maintenance.

“So, you change state but basically do not notice until the change is underway? What differences do we need to worry about? That devilish name sounds a bother. Still, you seem to stay yourself, regardless of form.”


Zale stated calmly, "My kind are designed for balance between good and evil so I have different moralities in my different forms.

"My devilish/demonic form increases the power of my magic and my strength. It makes my attacks more demonic, like dark lighting or hellfire. My angelic form makes my body glow and anyone around me calm. My attacks become pure and holy.”

De Writer:

That required little thought for two reasons. Three, actually, if you counted the two Dray ponies as separate reasons.

With Zale in the hitch, we were making real good time. Better time than the Dray ponies with their wagons and loads. We were catching up. And they knew it.

They spread out to take up the whole road. They slowed way down. They were about to give us the horselaugh when the third reason showed up. A Royal Fast Post pony came over the hill at a full gallop while the Dray ponies were whicker-snickering at us. There was no room nor time to dodge. He ran into the Dray pony on the left side as we looked at the wreck.

The Royal Fast Post rebounded off of the Dray to road shoulder turf, rolling onto his side. Post pouches flew wildly to the road and shoulder.

The Dray pony was bounced into the rear of his buddy. Right side harness straps broke. His wagon veered wildly right, into his buddy’s front wheel. The singletree end from the displaced hitch caught in the still turning wheel. Spokes shattered and the wagon crashed down, nearly oversetting.

Black Lotus yelled, “Whoa!” and set our brakes. We all leaned into the stopping and brought the caravan to a swift but safe stop. Black Lotus dropped her hitch and ran flat out for the fallen Post pony.

He was trying to rise. Black Lotus’s magic settled over him and lifted him free of the ground. She told him, “Sir, please lay still. My father is a donkey, but is trained in medicine. He will be here quickly to see how badly you are injured.” He stilled and she set the injured pony back to soft turf.


“It would be good if I were in angelic form. I could perform a miracle to heal him or just use healing magic,” Zale sighed.

“As for both of you!” Zale growled, turning around.

His eyes glowed red. Magic trailed off of the sides of them, “It is not wise to annoy a dragon!”

His body grew to a larger, more feral form. Projecting thought instead of speaking, “Run for your lives!”

De Writer:

I looked up from tending the fallen Post pony. The use of my blue magic was being concealed by Black Lotus’ own blue magic. I had to call out, “Zale! No! The are needed for the constables reports on this wreck and interference with the Royal Fast Post! They are going to face criminal charges.”

One of the Dray ponies, limping slightly, began to try opening up a mail pouch. He broke the mail bag’s seal. Black Lotus’s magic literally slapped him away.

She politely said, “Zale, would you be a dear and make those two sit on the far shoulder, please? They have just added an attempt to steal from the Royal Fast Post.”

Turning back to the fallen pony, she told him, “Father says that you are very lucky. You have two severe strains and a minor sprain to the lower canon joint. The rest is bruises. Fairly bad bruises but no worse. You will need to be taken to the Mareimount Horspital for a proper check-out.

“When we saw the wreck happen, I made a Magic-Net call to the Mareimount Emergency dispatch. There is an ambulance and constables on the way.”

Zale, using his impressively bigger body, a show of fangs and some direct shoving, got the Dray ponies to the other shoulder and sat them like trained dogs.


Zale sat there watching them. Unmoving, unblinking. Ready to strike at a moments notice.

De Writer:

Having a big feral dragon staring you down has a quieting effect. So quieting in fact, that, aside from a kind of steady shuddering, neither one of the rude Dray ponies moved a muscle!

I had to admit that it was a major improvement in them. Aside from examining the exact position and condition of every part of the wreck and scattered dispatch pouches, Black Lotus did nothing. She was on Magic-Net, I could tell. That meant that she was transmitting visuals of the whole situation to Emergency Response.

The Post Pony was moaning, “Over 19 years in the Post without an incident! Look at this mess. It could hurt my pension.”

I put a reassuring hoof on him and told him, “You lucked out. The whole thing was witnessed by two members of the Royal Household. The lovely mare, Black Lotus, happens to be the goddaughter of both Princesses. She has transmitted the whole thing to Emergency Response. As Goddaughter Royal.”

Just about then, we heard the clangor of the emergency bells of the Ambulance. Two constables came charging over the hill and nearly became part of the incident. They managed to veer off onto the shoulder of the road.

The Ambulance ponies were somewhat more careful or lucky. They stopped at the hill top and then, seeing the situation, eased off the road and came down to where the Post Pony and I waited.


Zale sat there and watched the two of them, making sure that they don’t try to escape their fate.

Suddenly an all too familiar voice called out from atop the ambulance, much to the confusion of the workers.

“Hey dad!” A gray and white earth pony said loudly.

De Writer:

Jarred by that voice, I stared up at the pony jumping agilely down from on top of the ambulance, causing its bells to jangle again.

I called back, “Hi, Nay! Hitching rides again, I see! I think that we made the news before you did.”

Seeing her saunter, I was sure that her Crystal Empire venture had gone well.

I waived her over. “Check this Post runner out, will you, Nay? I get mostly bruises but two left leg strains and a sprain of the lower cannon joint. Is that what you get?”


Nayomi examined him closely.

“You missed the broken collar bone and the badly strained groin muscle, looks like bad damage to his left front hoof as well.”

De Writer:

I nodded agreement. “Should have checked out the shoulder after a tumble like that. The groin was a great call.

“The hoof was prior damage. Fast Post runners get that sort of thing chronically. Can’t hurt to put it on the list, though.”

A shadow fell over us. A big constable from Mareimount started to roust us away from the Post pony. “Back off, Rom! He got enough problem without you stealing whatever he got!”

I gave a sarcastic look at him and replied, “Constable Clabber! I would expect you to remember me and my daughter Black Loutus. We were there when you tried to arrest both Princesses, Celestia and Luna as Whorses! You survived the “Mareimount Massacre,” as you folks still call that day, because you did not know about the planned revolt.

“What position do my daughter and I hold in connection with the Royal House?”

Seeing the recognition dawn in his eyes was a lovely thing.

It was clear that he was now remembering the Emergency Dispatch orders. He called to his partner, “Chaz! Back off on the Rom! They are witnesses. Did not cause this. They stopped to render aid!”

Chaz did not deviate. He was going for our caravan. He called back with a grin, “Gotta search for and confiscate any possible stolen goods!”

Clabber frantically called, “NO! Stop! These is the ones that belongs to Celestia’s household! They can have the Royal Guard on you so fast your head will swim. They done it a few years back! Remember?”

Chaz stopped like he’d hit a brick wall. Hard. “Them?”

He turned away from our caravan and began to look over the wreck. He actually started a very professional assessment of the situation.

He walked over to the Dray ponies and questioned them, getting written statements signed. He came over to us, where the Ambulance crew was stabilizing the Post pony’s shoulder for transport.


Zale kept watch over the scene to make sure everything went smoothly.

Nayomi was very annoyed at the constable for pushing her away, but she kept her mouth shut. For now.

De Writer:

I turned to Nayomi first. I laid a calming hoof on her foreleg and pointed out, “This time, even though the medics have asked us for our evaluation, Constable Clabber is actually following correct accident protocol. I have seen this before.

“Constable Chaz, there, was not. Between our good Constable Clabber here and realizing that there is a perfectly REAL DRAGON right over there, in a Rom pulling harness he is now correctly doing his duty.”

Indeed, Chaz finished examining the damage and fall of the wreck and turned to us. Constable Clabber, gave him a steely eye to remind him to behave.

Very professionally, he asked, “Since you were witnesses, what did you see? This is for the official report.”

I told him about the road blocking as the Dray ponies pulld their wagons went up the rise. About the Post Pony having no way to dodge and colliding with the Dray to the left. I pointed out that the Drays had made an attempt to loot the Royal Fast Post.

He wrote it all down carefully. Then he put his hoof in it again. He made an X at the bottom and put, “Signed by the reporting officer due to illiteracy of witness.”

I had been watching him laboriously spelling out the report. With a grin, I pointed to my name in the report and said, “Marchhare is one word and it has a double H. Besides, my daughter who also witnessed the accident is named Black Lotus. Lotus has a U in it. Not an I. That one and that right there are incomplete sentences. Otherwise, not bad at all.”

Nayomi was watching his discomfort with a grin.


Zale wasn’t exactly a fan if the two police either. When they came over to question the two drays, he turned and growled, starting to walk away.

De Writer:

If Chaz could have put his hoof in it any deeper, we could have seen it - - sticking out his rear. He tried to call Zale back by yelling, “Hey, Fido! Get your butt here!”

Zale turned his head back to stare at Chaz through slitted eyes. His lips curled back from his impressive set of fangs. He yawned. Widely. The resemblance to a mobile, pony-eating piano was unmistakable. Even Chaz could see it.

As he began to back away, clearly afraid that he had provoked an attack, Constable Clabber said, “Told you not to mess with the Rom, Chaz. They don’t let pets pull their wagons or caravans or whatever they call 'em. That is a pull set up for three.”

Chaz was thoroughly embarrassed by now and had nobody to take it out on. He was fit to burst.

He called Clabber over and showed him something from the Dray pony statements and pointed vengefully at Zale. Clabber just walked around to the backs of the wrecked wagons and pointed. We heard, “Caught them lying. Not a trace of a scorch on either wagon.”


Zale shrank down to his less intimidating size and looked at the new mare in the group.

Introductions later.

He was focused on keeping an eye on the Dray ponies and the constables.

De Writer:

Black Lotus and I were keeping an eye on the constables too, but for a different reason. It was that Royal Equestrian Security Sealed pouch that the knuckle-headed Dray ponies had broken the seal on. I had a VERY good idea of what would happen if some idiot tried to open that pouch any further.

The magic on the broken seal had already sent in an alarm. Clabber and Chaz had reached an agreement about the accident and the report. They documented the fall of the Royal Fast Post pouches and were gathering them up to return to the runner. He would transfer his load to a new runner, who was already on the way.

I was afraid it would happen. It did. Chaz found the pouch with the already broken Royal Equestrian Security Seal. He saw the addressing and his mind simply stopped any semblance of real functioning. He called to Clabber, “This one going to some idiot Rom! Let’s see what’s in it! Could be royal autographs that we could sell.”

Clabber and the Post Runner both started to yell, “NO! Don’t! That is …” They got no further. Chaz flipped back the flap.

I covered my ears. Black Lotus did the same. Nayomi and Zale, not being dummies, saw us and did it too.

You have heard popcorn going off? Replace each pop with a thunder stroke. It happened overhead, back down the road and just over the hill. All at once. Equestrian Military Emergency Teleport did not waste time on niceties like removing the air at the target zone. They just shoved it out of the way.

There was an entire wing of the Royal Pegassi Battle Force overhead in complete war kit, weapons at the ready. Down the road were the Royal Heavy Armored Unicorn Infantry. About a half of a division, unless I missed my guess. The other half was the thunder from the other side of the hill.

It is unwise to mess with Equestrian Royal Security Seals.


Zale cracked a slight grin.

“Looks like you’re getting what’s coming to you Chaz!” he called mockingly.

De Writer:

While agreeing entirely with Zale, I really regretted what was going to have to happen next.

Five of the pegassi stooped at once. Like hawks. For the uninitiated, that is called a “Safety Star” formation. As the five hit dirt, they had Chaz at the center of a five point formation. Each one could shoot right through him and not endanger his buddies on the other side.

Safety for the Attackers, NOT the attacked.

Chaz was at the center of five armor piercing aerial combat crossbows. Gape-mouthed, he was staring wildly around at the huge military response to what he had thought of as a “nothing.”

The next one down landed gently in a safe place as regards the fields of fire of his troops. A full Colonel.

The Colonel demanded, “Drop the pouch, NOW!”

Utterly confused, Chaz said, “You got it wrong. I am a constable of the Mareimount Sheriff’s Office.” Confused to death, the expression goes.

The Colonel, out of patience, ordered, “Drop it.

“Weapons off safety! Prepare to fire!”

That tore it. I was going to have to do it. I called out, “Colonel! Code CL! It is hot on the Anvil!”

He turned like he’d just backed into a hornet’s nest. His eyes searching for the source of the call as he returned, “One day!”

I returned, as the Colonel saw me, “800 years.”

He asked, “Did you die?”

I returned, “I think that I would have noticed.”

The Colonel relaxed visibly and saluted. “Turning control of the situation over to you, Sir!”

“Good. Tell the archers to safety but remain alert. What is your situation report, Colonel?”

“Sir! We received a Royal Security Seal breach warning at the Canterlot Cental Command. We were dispached with Emergency Teleport Transportation units to investigate. When the pouch opening alarm was received, we T-Jumped, centered on the pouch and contents.”

“My compliments to your Teleport squad, Colonel. Very precise work.”

We were now sauntering back to the unwitting and still witless cause of this commotion. Clabber was watching bug-eyed. The Cesspool that he and Chaz had landed in was deeper than they thought and only getting deeper.

Chaz still had no clue. To the Pegatroopers surrounding him, he was earnestly trying to say, “You got it all wrong. I am with the Sheriff’s Office. This is suspect stolen. Gotta examine the contents to verify and return to the proper owner.”

I replied mildly, “Might be Royal autographs that we can sell. Heard you say that Chaz.

“The Dray ponies look to lose a lot for causing the accident. There will be some other charges later.

“You got worse. For opening that pouch deliberately, with intent to steal the contents, the least that you will get is five years at labor. You do not hand over that pouch, you will not need Royal Leniency. You WILL be dead. Here. Now. At my order.”

He finally got it. Whether it was the stone faced ponies around him with heavy crossbows, the Armored Division, the full Wing of Peagatroopers overhead or the Colonel treating me like a superior officer, which I am. He cautiously handed over the pouch. He was mobbed and tied before he could twitch another inch.


Zale and Nayomi watched in pure delight. Nayomi because this sort of thing was usually HER fault and Zale because he didn’t particularly like Chaz.

De Writer:

The Colonel did his part admirably. Even though he had established who I am, he took the pouch to the fallen Fast Post runner. The medics had removed his entire delivery harness and delivery bags without opening them.

“Do you have an identity protocol for this pouch?”

“Yes, sir. I do. It is in right delivery bag. It is hoof sealed. If you bring it here, the medic can hold my hoof in position to open the bag.”

They did. The runner then directed, “My delivery inventory and the special orders are in the pocket there. I am not supposed to let the pouch go to anypony that does not pass the protocol. It looks odd, but it can’t be faked.”

He turned his head to me and asked, “Are you the leader of the Rom?”

“Not in the least. If a group’s Rom wants advice, I give it.”

He nodded. “Are you as old as the Princesses?

I shook my head as I replied, “Not according to the Rom. They say I died a bit over 800 years ago.”

“Are you a ghost?”

I held out a hoof. “Don’t think so. Try me.”

He put a hoof on top of mine. It clacked against the horn of my hoof and stayed there. Suddenly his hoof fell right through mine. I looked at it and said, “Some days it is harder to deny being a Ghost than others!”

The runner handed over the pouch. I started to glance through the parchments inside. Decisively, I returned everything and snapped the catch.

I looked up at the Colonel and said, “I have to pass this on to my superior. If you would be so good as to assemble your troops. I have something to say to them.”

I popped into the caravan and parked the pouch in a sealed chest. Breaching it would make the present mess look like a sunday picnic.

I came out to see the entire division and the Teleport Corps, assembled. The pegatroopers were still coming in, but the formation was impeccable.


Nayomi sort of shuffled over to him. She was worried about being found out too soon.

De Writer:

I listened quietly to her concern. I gave her a sideways look and said softly, “Not to worry. You did not make the news at all. There was a reason for that.

“In fact, you are about to hear what you prevented. Granted, that was not your plan. You were simply too handy not to use. If you want to earn a lot of bits, without it costing anypony anything except for some real evil ponies just hang about.

“Now I need to talk to these truly fine troops of ours.

I sauntered over to the Colonel.

He just handed over to me. None of the Emergency Troops was dumb. They could see that, donkey or not, I was the one in charge. Both good and bad. Sort of.

I raised a hoof for attention and got it. Like I said, not dumb. “Some of you are wondering what just happened. I am going to tell you as much as I can. Afraid that it is not a lot. You will see why in a moment.

“I see a lot of South Bay Beachhead Campaign ribbons in this crowd. I see a fair number of flash scars too. You cannot know how glad I am to see you troops back in action. I am going to ask those of you who survived the Mage Flash weapon to fill in the others later.

“The short version is simple. We were invaded from the south. They set up the Mage Flash weapon near our lines. After it went off, there was a five kilometer crater in the South Bay shoreline.

“We came close to being routed. The pull back to safety was rough. Ask your comrades in arms. We lucked out. They tried to sail their main fleet through the South Bay Anomaly. Whatever it is, it scattered what it did not destroy. That is how we won the campaign.

“That pouch, now properly delivered thanks to you, has prevented an evil consortium of ponies from obtaining Mage Flash weaponry.

“I hope that those two idiots who broke the seal on the pouch and tried to steal the documents inside were just that. Idiots. If they had succeeded in stopping that pouch, Equestria would have lost five major cities, including Canterlot.”

I paused and stared at the suddenly intent crowd of crack soldiers. I have to admit that I was proud of them.

“What you just did, and did VERY well, was save the Kingdom.

“Long live Celestia and Luna!”


Zale retook his large feral form and began digging up the side of the road. Despite being told to stop, he continued.

The Dragon pulled a block of dark green copper ore out of the ground. Zale pulled off a chunk and held it in his claws. Breathing on it heavily, most of the chunk dripped back onto the main piece.

Zale thought to De Writer only, “Think I can continue this at the fair? There’s enough copper here to make medals for all of these fine young stallions.”

De Writer:

I returned the thought, “Good idea. I will put it to the Colonel. That is a military matter.”

I sat casually and scratched behind my right ear with my right hind hoof. While scratching, I suggested, “Colonel, getting a ribbon or medal authorized for this would take you about three to ten weeks, right?”

He pulled a face and said, “If we can get it past the Council cheapskates at all.”

I pointed over at Zale. “It so happens that the dragon there is a skilled metal worker. He has volunteered to make your entire operation personnel medals out of the copper that he is smelting in his bare paws.

“If you give me a breakdown by Pegatrooper, Armor or Teleport, with names and ranks, he will produce them at no cost to the military. If the Council blockheads try to stop a ribbon or an Equestrian medal, you can just out flank them by declaring Zale’s medals as authorized personal jewelry.”

The Colonel grinned happily. “How soon can he get them done?”

“By the end of the Mareimount Fair. It would make a good R&R for the troops too. They earned it today.”

I could see a few of them sharing stories and showing Mage Flash burns to the others. A few were pointing to or inviting the Teleport Corps who had been in the campaign and saved so many of ours. Good troops.

The Colonel nodded thoughtfully. “I can do that. As a thought to hurry along the approval process, may I share what you just told the troops? I know some on the approval committee who would have an interest in approval.”

I grinned. “You mean like Count Wi De Bothom? I detest that pony. Go ahead. If he tries to block, tell his wife that he thinks that she is expendable.”

I happened to notice Nayomi poking about the loads of loose grain in the wagons. Knowing her, that meant ONE thing. Profit. For somepony. Her, if she could swing it.

I strolled over and looked too.

There was a heavy crossbow butt showing through the grain. Military Grade. I smiled and pointed at the broken wheel as I asked, “Using your shadow magics, just what are these wagons carrying besides the grain on the bill of lading?”

De Writer:

I returned the thought, “Good idea. I will put it to the Colonel. That is a military matter.”

I sat casually and scratched behind my right ear with my right hind hoof. While scratching, I suggested, “Colonel, getting a ribbon or medal authorized for this would take you about three to ten weeks, right?”

He pulled a face and said, “If we can get it past the Council cheapskates at all.”

I pointed over at Zale. “It so happens that the dragon there is a skilled metal worker. He has volunteered to make your entire operation personnel medals out of the copper that he is smelting in his bare paws.

“If you give me a breakdown by Pegatrooper, Armor or Teleport, with names and ranks, he will produce them at no cost to the military. If the Council blockheads try to stop a ribbon or an Equestrian medal, you can just out flank them by declaring Zale’s medals as authorized personal jewelry.”

The Colonel grinned happily. “How soon can he get them done?”

“By the end of the Mareimount Fair. It would make a good R&R for the troops too. They earned it today.”

I could see a few of them sharing stories and showing Mage Flash burns to the others. A few were pointing to or inviting the Teleport Corps who had been in the campaign and saved so many of ours. Good troops.

The Colonel nodded thoughtfully. “I can do that. As a thought to hurry along the approval process, may I share what you just told the troops? I know some on the approval committee who would have an interest in approval.”

I grinned. “You mean like Count Wi De Bothom? I detest that pony. Go ahead. If he tries to block, tell his wife that he thinks that she is expendable.”

I happened to notice Nayomi poking about the loads of loose grain in the wagons. Knowing her, that meant ONE thing. Profit. For somepony. Her, if she could swing it.

I strolled over and looked too.

There was a heavy crossbow butt showing through the grain. Military Grade. I smiled and pointed at the broken wheel as I asked, “Using your shadow magics, just what are these wagons carrying besides the grain on the bill of lading?”


“No matter how low tech, everything is worth something,” she said quietly. “But I don’t need to get in bad with the military, they can’t know what I am, just yet.”

De Writer:

“Not to worry, then. This inventory is for me. I am going to hand this little find over to the Colonel. He will likely use it as a public cover for the present “Exercise.” He and his troops are very good at tracing and dealing with this level of threat. What we will do is introduce you as one of my adopted family coming to meet me.

“That is simple truth. He will find the weapon that is visible and do all the rest himself. You called my attention to the unusual way that the wheel got broken.” I smiled and added, “That was very observant of you!”

“Colonel! Come and give this wheel a look! If it can be properly repeatd you may have a new toy for stopping enemy supplies!”

The Colonel wandered on over. I told him, “Lean just there and look down at the wheel. See?”

As he leaned against the cart, he stiffened just slightly and then looked down at the wheel. Nodding he said, “I see what you mean, Sir. That might lead to something if my master of supply agrees.”

He turned about and bellowed, “SARGENT CARTWRIGHT! Get over here please. Got a situation that is your area of expertise.”

The Sargent ambled over and said, “Cartwright reporting, Sir.” In a low voice he added “How many weapons are we dealing with here?”

“Presently unknown. Examine the wheel and wagon undercarriage as we talk.”

The Sargent got down and looked under as he said, “The lovely filly is right! We might be able to make something to do this on purpose!”

We ambled off now that we were no longer needed. I was right. They handled it very low key. I do not think that the Dray ponies had any idea that they were going anywhere but for a routine after accident check-up when they were teleported to the military prison.

Clabber made points with me and the Colonel. He came to us as we were chatting with Zale about the design of the medals. After establishing that the Colonel now had the situation in hoof, he reported, “Sir, the Dray ponies is up to no good.

“They claim that the dragon was chivying them along with sparks. We look at the back of the wagons and it was a lie. 'Sides you can easy see that he would have been toasting Mister Marchhare here from where he was in the back of the hitch.

“While I was looking at the backs of the wagons, I seen a military look crossbow hid under grain and something that look like maybe a spear.

“Thought that you should know, Sir.”


Nayomi sat on top of the ambulance that she rode in on, watching the scene play out before her. She idly flipped a bit in her hoof, waiting for De Writer, in his guise as Marchhare, to call her for her introduction to the military.

De Writer:

No time like the present. I waved her down and she hopped agilely down. The bells gave a tiny clang as the ambulance rocked. I noticed that she caught the bit and hoofed it out of sight very professionally.

As she sauntered over, I waived the Colonel over too. I introduced, “Colonel Harblack, this is my adopted daughter, code name, Nay. She is sneaky, underhanded, light hooved and has a clearance of CL-6-c. In Equestrian National Security issues there are few better at deep undercover. Nay made it possible for us to get the information that caused the recent excitement.

“To be blunt, Colonel, you have not seen Nay. I think that a Changeling Queen MIGHT match her talents at disguise.

“You are learning about Operative Nay because you are both involved in the Mage Flash issue.

“Nay, this is Colonel Harblack of the Equestrian Royal Emergency Response Force. You just saw how smoothly he can handle things like this little fiasco. He is also a CL-6-c.

“Get to know each other. Nay, you might want to talk to Zale, the dragon over there, too. Fascinating being.”

I could see Nay figuratively licking her chops at the idea of a force like the Colonel’s on HER side for a change.


Nayomi did a slight bow to show good will. “Hello Colonel its a pleasure to meet you.”

In her current form she was smaller than the stallion so she looked up at him, a neutral expression on her face.

De Writer:

For the military, Nay had hit precisely the right tone of professional reserve and respect. The Colonel smiled, equally professionally. I watched her gently probing the Colonel and His return probing as they felt each other out. It reminded me of a fencing match for some reason.

I went back to discussing the medals with Zale. It was a great idea of his, making the ERERF medals. I knew that they would appreciate it. That ass (not my kind, a pony’s rear), Count Wi De Bothom, held up the South Bay Beachhead Campaign battle ribbons for six months. The various medals for valor had not come through yet, over a year after the attack.

I really hoped that Nay was going to hit it off with the Colonel. He was a great soldier and a good pony. A rare combination.

Besides, Zale had already done his part to help us all out. It sounds silly, but little things like that can really cement Interservice Cooperation and in these days, that was vital.

Sitting by the Caravan where I could watch everything in both comfort and shade, I was joined by Black Lotus.

She observed, “It looks as though Nay and Zale are hitting it off.”


Nayomi walked over to the two of them.

“You must be Black Lotus,” she smiled. “Its a pleasure. Nice to see your father wasn’t being modest about your beauty.”

She smiled. “Should I reveal myself father?” she asked tentatively.

De Writer:

I grinned. “The short answer, Nay, is yes. The longer one is not yet. Some of those military types over there are a LOT sharper at observation than you might expect. Besides, I want to see if Black Lotus can sort it out for herself first.”

My lovely daughter looked at Nayomi for a few minutes in silence. “I won’t say anything about you being a Changeling Queen because it does not bother father any. You have had a rough life, haven’t you? That much shell damage would kill most changelings.”

I held up a hoof to forestall any outburst on Nayomi’s part. “I have not told Black Lotus anything about you. Part of the reason that she has such a high security clearance is not jokingly called stealth magic. She can suppress the visible portion of unicorn magic.

“Black Lotus does a lot more than merely dance, however well she does it. And she is accounted the best Exotic Dressage dancer in all of Equestria.”


Nayomi walked over to the two of them.

“You must be Black Lotus,” she smiled. “Its a pleasure. Nice to see your father wasn’t being modest about your beauty.”

She smiled. “Should I reveal myself father?” she asked tentatively.

De Writer:

I grinned. “The short answer, Nay, is yes. The longer one is not yet. Some of those military types over there are a LOT sharper at observation than you might expect. Besides, I want to see if Black Lotus can sort it out for herself first.”

My lovely daughter looked at Nayomi for a few minutes in silence. “I won’t say anything about you being a Changeling Queen because it does not bother father any. You have had a rough life, haven’t you? That much shell damage would kill most changelings.”

I held up a hoof to forestall any outburst on Nayomi’s part. “I have not told Black Lotus anything about you. Part of the reason that she has such a high security clearance is not jokingly called stealth magic. She can suppress the visible portion of unicorn magic.

“Black Lotus does a lot more than merely dance, however well she does it. And she is accounted the best Exotic Dressage dancer in all of Equestria.”


“Speaking of which I used to be a dancer, far a while at least. For now, I have to go 'strip’ for some soldier types.” She laughed to herself.

De Writer:

“I heard that!” Black Lotus said sharply. “When you are done, how much of their pay are they going to have left? Or do you mean a debriefing?” Then she relented a bit and added, “Have fun, just do not cheat any of these. They really are good troopers and I both know and like quite a few of them.

“Not many units will give the Rom a fair shake from the start. This is one.”


“Relax, too many men here for me to put on a show. I just meant remove my guise.” She disappeared into a puff of black smoke, reappearing next to the Colonel.

“If I may make a request, Sir? I want to show you and your men something but I have to be sure that no one will point a weapon at me. I don’t take kindly to those that do, even if they are my friends. You all have to see this though.”

De Writer:

The Colonel, knowing that Nay was my operative, looked over to me for permission. I nodded.

He turned to his still assembled troops. He raised a hoof for attention and got it, near instantly. “We have been formally commended for our part in this action. It was not directly revealed, but many of you have guessed that you were seeing and hearing a VERY highly placed member of the Royal Intelligence Service.

“The RIS is giving you another thing. This is Classified CL-6-c. I am formally ordering you to set your weapons down, in easy reach, safeties on where that applies. RIS has their own reasons for this order.”

He waited while weapons were placed, ready but requiring thought to use.

When all was ready, he stepped aside, introducing, “This is an RIS Special Operative, code named Nay. She was the one whose actions gathered the intelligence data that we saved. She has something that RIS for its own reasons wants you to see. That is the reason for the present weapon precautions.

“Special Operative Nay.”


White fire burned from her hooves, progressing slowly up to her head, revealing her true form. She was now taller than the Colonel.

“I hope that you now understand the need to have you lower your weapons. I am Queen Nayliah, shadow mistress,” she said in her new, raspy voice.

De Writer:

The massed Division watched in utter concentration and amazement. Someone who resembled one of the nation’s worst enemies stood before them. Not one trooper even reached for a weapon. I have said it before. Good troops.

The Colonel simply faced the now revealed Changeling Queen and asked, “If it will not breach security, how many forms did you need to assume to find the information and proofs to save Equestria from this sneak attack?”


“Just one. I am very good at my job.” She looked out over the men, her bat wings folding back over her body.

“I realize that I look like Chrysalis. That is because I am her younger sister. I am a very different changeling however.

“I work with ponies and I call them my family. I’m marrying one very soon. I’m not someone to fear. I have only good intentions.”


The Colonel was truly unflappable. Standing next to her he turned to his troops and pointed out, “I think that we can begin to appreciate the depth of the skills and expertise that RIS has on tap. I have not yet been informed of why the RIS has chosen to reveal the nature of Operative Nay.

“The one thing that I can be sure of is this. We will either find out why or not but there is an excellent reason based in the security of the Realm.”

Off by the caravan, I watched and listened with approval.

Zale paused in refilling the hole that he had made getting his copper ore to stare at Nayomi.

Nayomi walked back over to Marchhare after revealing herself from the front of the battalion. “That went well.”

De Writer:

I grinned said sarcastically, “Any time that a Changeling Queen shows up in front of troops and does not get shot at, it is going well!”

I took a moment to point over to our dragon friend, Zale. He was staring at Nay drop-jawed. Might have guessed, or at least hoped, that the not-ponies would get along.

“Seems that you made a conquest, Nay! Zale is an oldie. I really think that you ought to talk to him.”


Nayomi scratched her head as she nervously said, “See, me and dragons have a bumpy past.”

De Writer:

I raised a skeptical eyebrow. “Bumpier than the Nightmare Wars? Take them case by case. The look that Zale is giving you is not, 'Oh, goodie! Dinner!’ Trust me on that.”

Black Lotus grinned and offered, “I could go and bring him here. It looks to me like he has a case of Lust at First Sight. Being a Dancer, I am very familiar with that particular look.”

She started to sashay over to Zale.


“Looks like I’ll have to explain my sexuality and relationships again,” she sighed.

De Writer:

I thoughtfully pointed out, “Only if the subject comes up. Try just being friends first.

“You two are kinda different, you know. You can change a lot. I have my doubts about becoming the size of a largish hill. Sheer mass issues for you, though not for a dragon.

“Besides, he is a great cook. If he offers, accept.”


“I’ll give it a go. Only because you insist. I actually showed up because you wanted me for something at the fair.”

De Writer:

I grinned hugely at the memory. “Right. Ponyville fair. We are going to be putting on a play based on but quite different from the Royal Wedding fiasco. We need a really good villain. Your acting is superb, MS Villain.

“I have scripts in the caravan. Because you are such a fine actress, I would appreciate your input on the role. It was almost written for you. Not really. Script was done before you rifted here.”


“Well I’d be happy to be a part of it,” Nayomi smiled, sitting next to him.

De Writer:

“That is good. We do have some fine actors and actresses among the Rom. I have seen you in action. I think that you are the best of the lot.”

Sobering only slightly, I added, “Someday, I would like to hear your tale as you tell it. Because you are from a different world and have been to many others, you are difficult to follow in the Orb of the Ages. If you were a threat, it would not be hard at all.

“By the way, congratulations on the sheer smoothness of your recent Crystal Empire operation. Absolute poetry of action.”


“Thank you father. I didn’t think you’d be so supportive of me doing something like that.

“I have the gems with me. I’m not going to sell them this time.”

De Writer:

I looked at her with a grin. “What did I say about that? You will keep these ponies on the tippy-whooves! Staying alert and such is valuable to them.

“You will do that excellently. Following you in the Orb after you left was both fun and a true challenge. Shadow magic DOES show but not in the usual ways. Been simply AGES since I tracked a Shadow Mage and he was nowhere near as good as you!

“Thanks for giving an old donkey a fun exercise. Don’t worry about the gems. You gave us the leads that we needed to keep the Kingdom safe. Was not kidding about that.”


“I’m not going to lie to you. My efforts will never intentionally help the kingdom unless I’m asked directly to do it. I’m rather selfish in my dealings.”

She shifted uncomfortably at her confession.

De Writer:

I had to grin hugely at that.

“Now, Nay, I would hardly be much of a Father to you if I did not ALREADY know that! Like your recent adventure, you will greatly improve the security of Ponies and their assorted kingdoms by making them INSECURE AS A WORM IN AN APPLE THAT IS BEING EATEN. They will take care of the security.

“They just need to be properly goaded to do so, that is all. You not only probe their weakness, making them stronger, you get richer at the same time. An unbeatable combination.”


“I’m not going to lie to you. My efforts will never intentionally help the kingdom unless I’m asked directly to do it. I’m rather selfish in my dealings.”

She shifted uncomfortably at her confession.

De Writer:

I had to grin hugely at that.

“Now, Nay, I would hardly be much of a Father to you if I did not ALREADY know that! Like your recent adventure, you will greatly improve the security of Ponies and their assorted kingdoms by making them INSECURE AS A WORM IN AN APPLE THAT IS BEING EATEN. They will take care of the security.

“They just need to be properly goaded to do so, that is all. You not only probe their weakness, making them stronger, you get richer at the same time. An unbeatable combination.”


“So just keep doing what I do then? I can do that!” Nayomi smiled.

De Writer:

With sarcasm so thick that you could cut slices to fry, I replied, “Oh, REALLY? I thought that you would find it difficult to decide which you is the real one!” I gave her a gentle hug to let her be sure that I actually cared.

Black Lotus snickered. Zale, behind her was grinning. A happy but toothy grin.


Nayomi smiled at the dragon as Black Lotus walked him over. “Hello there, its nice to meet you. I’m Nayomi”

The dragon stopped before her. “Its my pleasure Miss Nayomi,” he said, grabbing her hand and kissing it.

She slapped him. “Don’t you know that it’s rude to kiss the hand of a married woman?” She glared at him.

He rubbed his cheek. “My apologies, I had no idea. Who’s the lucky man?”

Her name is Deceptivesun. She and I are very close. I had planned to talk to father and Black Lotus about their parts in my wedding,” she said, calming down a bit.

“How sweet. Marchhare and I have been chatting for a while. I’m also rather fond of your sister!” He gave a slightly cheeky grin.

“She is rather attractive yes, but I’m engaged. I can’t think about things like that.” She placed a hand on her forehead and shook it slightly.

“Oh, we all get fantasies sometimes. It never hurts to just look!” He chuckled to himself.

De Writer:

I could not help myself. The opening was just too big. I had to drive a caravan through it. With a grin, I pointed out, “Are you sure about that 'never hurts to look, Zale?’ I can see her hoof mark on your cheek from here!

“Do not forget the other side of that. Nayomi had the nerve to slap down a dragon, even though she knew exactly what you are.”

I paused to reflect, and added, “I expect that Nay will get along best with your current form and your Neutral form but possibly not as well with your Angelic form.”


“Why would you say that?” Nayomi asked tilting her head.

Zale responded, “It never hurt me to LOOK but i kissed her hand. You never kiss the hand of a married woman and that was my own fault”

De Writer:

I said dryly, “You are both murdering the oysters of speech but the pearls of my wisdom are rolling away! Deserved or not, she just clobbered you. It can hurt to look, if you get caught at it. Ask any spy.

“However, my point was that Nay KNEW what you are and went right ahead and pasted you one. That should say worlds about her. You took it like a gentleman which should tell HER worlds about you!

“Plus, neither of you even noticed the point about your shape shifting, Zale.”


They both nodded, agreeing with the statement. They couldn’t deny that one series of events gave them better understanding of each other.

“What would his form change about me liking him? Either I do or don’t,” she said bluntly.

De Writer:

I pointed out politely, “Zale changes more than just his form. I gather that his morality shifts too. He has an Angelic form, a Neutral form, and a Devilish form, which he is now in.

“It has something to do with the Balance of Creation. He has not explained it to us very well yet. No time, really.

“I am not saying that you won’t like him, I am saying that you need to be prepared for his changes. That is all.”


“Hmm… thats an interesting biology.

“Wait! Power of creation?” she asked.

Zale smiled. “Yes, I’m one of the beings responsible for the existence of the multiverse,” he said.

Nayomi looked at him dumbfounded.

De Writer:

I sort grinned, “Remember, I told you that he was an oldie. I meant, like REALLY OLD! Old enough that I can’t see him in the Orb of the Ages. I can see the results of his presence though.

“I told you to get acquainted for a reason. Have fun!”


“H-how…” she asked, with a confused expression.

“I’m not sure really,” he said in return. “One day I simply came to be, along with five others. We started using powerful magic to create entire dimensions. We were timeless”

De Writer:

I interposed, “The fact that there were six, like the Elements of Harmony is a coincidence. I have taken the trouble to verify that.

“Besides, the Elements are not things left from Creation. They came to being, grown from and embodying a particular set of needs. They are not much use outside of their set scope.”

“I can say for certain that the Dragons of Creation were not our Universe’s Creator Titans.

“That’s is about it. The rest is just details, like how many Universes they made, and how they were all linked. That includes how the universes of the Titans were linked and intercommunicate. Similar systems and methods, very similar.”


“While its true we weren’t the Titans, we did assist them greatly throughout the millennia,” he said with a smile.

Nayomi stood there in shock. She couldn’t comprehend this.

De Writer:

I could sort of sympathize with her. Still, what he was saying made perfect sense, if you had the same sort of knowledge that I did. What Zale was speaking of explained quite a few of the odder things that went on during the Creation of this world and a few others that I was familiar with.

I kind of had to chuckle as I scratched behind my right ear with my right hind hoof. “So much that I have seen in the Orb, during those earlier parts of creation make way better sense now!

“There were some extra helpers that were not the Titans!

“No wonder that it got so messed up!”


“Hah! Hey, we didn’t mess it up! Our job was to throw in bits the Titans didn’t have time for!” he said with a grin.

Nayomi was still piecing it all together.

De Writer:

“I never said that you did, Zale. The cooperation among the Titans was falling apart along about then. Even with you and the others helping the Titan of Life Creation, my foster daughters have over a hundred factors to keep track of for each correction of the Solar/Lunar cycles.

“Tell me that is not messed up. It was the Titans’ screw up. It is now manageable but still a mess.”

I gave him my best sideways grin with right ear flopped at half-mast.


Zale spread his wings.

“Excuse me a moment!”

One flap and he was gone. What sounded like thunder rang out. Only moments later the dragon landed heavily, sliding along the ground.

“You’re right. It’s pretty bad up there!”

De Writer:

Watching the tangle of dragon legs and wings with amusment, I gave a chuckle. “Told you so! This world was probably the worst job of any that the Titans did.

“My foster daughters have it sort of under control. What you hit was the result of THREE THOUSAND YEARS of corrections and fixes. Early on, it was REALLY bad.”


Zale spread his wings.

“Excuse me a moment!”

One flap and he was gone. What sounded like thunder rang out. Only moments later the dragon landed heavily, sliding along the ground.

“You’re right. It’s pretty bad up there!”

De Writer:

Watching the tangle of dragon legs and wings with amusement, I gave a chuckle. “Told you so! This world was probably the worst job of any that the Titans did.

“My foster daughters have it sort of under control. What you hit was the result of THREE THOUSAND YEARS of corrections and fixes. Early on, it was REALLY bad.”


“I could do something about that. It breaches my banning but no one really enforced it in the past anyway.”

He smiled, stretching out his wings.

De Writer:

I frowned at that. “Since the Fillies have been working on a hundred plus equation matrix and careful observations to handle this for over three thousand years, it might be pretty rude to mess with it without consultation.”

I paused thoughtfully. “If you just stick with us to the Canterlot Fair, you will get to meet them in person. Then might be the best time to sort out what you can do, and what needs doing. If you can make it easier for Celestia and Luna, that would be good.”


“Alright. I wanted to see them anyway!” He smiled and wagged his tail.

De Writer:

I was so tempted to call him Fido, just then … But, you know? I really did not want my immortality tested against dragon fire.

Did not really expect it, but I had seen just how close Constable Chaz came to getting toasted.

Instead, I just said, “Yep. They will both be at the Canterlot Fair. It is a tradition. I am sure that they will want to discuss the mathematical issues with you.”


Zale smiled, agreeing.

Nayomi had recovered from her shock. “I wanted to meet them as well.  Remember?”

De Writer:

With a wide grin, I replied, “Oh, I most certainly do! This meeting is going to be more fun than watching an enemy accidentally open a barrel of bees!”

I paused in my giggles and explained to Zale, “Nay here, once sidetracked all of her pursuers after an amusing and profitable job. She left a barrel marked, “Important Evidence, DO NOT OPEN!” behind her.

“The idiots opened it! It was full of bees! Really pissed off bees! You should have seen it!”

Zale gave Nayomi a look of respect as he also chuckled.


“Father will only tell you the funny stories. I’ve done some very bad things.  I don’t regret them. And those weren’t bees.

“They were white sands stinger-jacks. Their venom causes arthritic like pain as the victim’s bones are turned into a liquid the hive can live on.”

De Writer:

I raised an eyebrow skeptically and retorted, “I will too tell on you if there is a good reason.

“You should know that by now, even with our short acquaintance. The trick was hilarious and bees or stinger-jacks, the final (and I do mean final) result was the same. The idiots died of their own idiocy.

“There were a multitude of ways to check the barrel or they could simply have bypassed it. It was your sign that was the stroke of genius.”


"While that is true, my real prowess is in dealing with targets as smart or smarter than I am. They’re a true challenge.

“Then there are brutes like Pendleton. My true opposites,” she stated with a smile.

De Writer:

“Perhaps not as opposite as you might think, my dear. His approach is pretty brute force, but there are brains behind it. That pony is not stupid at all.

“He and I have a sort of working agreement. He comes nowhere near this world and I help him to subdue some of the higher level deadite demons. It can be really hard to kill them but destroying their host bodies is not that hard.”

With a grin I had to add, “Most of the time.”

I saw Nayomi getting ready to question why I would do something so stupid. I forestalled it. “Got a question that can solve your difficulty with why I would do it at all.

“He has agreed to stay well away from this world. I go where he needs help and give it. Often behind the scenes and out of sight. Now the question.

“If you have to defend your Hive, where would you rather do it? Right there in the Hive entrance? Or, say, do it by hitting the enemy camp while they are still on their own turf?

“That is what I do. I go help Pen to keep the deadites confined, or at least away from any world that he cares about, by judicious assassinations. I destroy key demons directing the ones that he is fighting.

“They are often not even on the plane where he is fighting. They are ones that he knows of but can’t get to. He lets me know who and where. Then I go. That helps a friend and keeps HERE AND NOW safe from the vile things.

“All clear?”


“You realize that I’m from his world right?” she asked tilting her head. “Pen says that I’ll have to fight those demons sooner or later. I’m worried about being turned. Changelings are weak to their influence and my shadow nature doesn’t help.”

De Writer:

I agreed at once. “Of course I know what world you are from. Unlike Pen, you do not actively draw demonic and deadite influences with you, wherever you go. He does.

“Comes of being the Chosen One and all of that.”

I eyed Nayomi askance for a moment. “We all fight the monsters and have to. That is part of life. If you stayed in or near Pen’s influence you would have to do direct battle with the assorted things that he draws like a magnet.

“If you establish a Hive here, in this Equestria, it is unlikely that you will need to do direct battle with them. Your battle then will be in the nature of creating the sort of living order that the rot does not thrive on.

“His world is past the point where there are many choices at all. This world offers choices. You are the one who will have to make them.

“It is not easy. Trust this old donkey on that. I know how difficult such choices can be.”


“The process of moving is too stressful on my children and eggs, it won’t be good for them if I leave.”

De Writer:

“Oh, absolutely!” I agreed in my best “non-judgmental, I am not blackmailing you, I am merely pointing out facts,” tone of voice.

“Far less stressful for them to stay right there in the direct path of invading demons, deadites and such nasties.

“Besides, battling demons, deadites and what have you, builds character!”

I paused to look her in the eye, my left ear at half mast. “Comically put but seriously meant.”


“My children and I will be fine. Chrysalis has our back.” She smiled warmly at the thought of her sister.

De Writer:

I shot back, “Right up until one or more of those nasties is literally ON HER BACK.

“The world that you are from is a BATTLEFIELD. There is a lot of active work going on to keep this one from becoming one.”

I paused and gave her a puzzled look. “Pen and Chrysalis have known each other for a long time. He does not want her to be destroyed any more than any of the other friends that he has.

“She could move here too. I even know where her kinds of operations would benefit the world. Why not?”


“I offered her a move but she declined. She will stay in that world until it becomes unlivable. So I will too. She is my sister. I love her like I love Wind and Black Lotus” Nayomi stated with a little smile on her face.

De Writer:

“Well, this world will, I hope still be here as a refuge when, not if, you need it. Try not to bring any nasties with you. Of course we do have our little ways of dealing with them.

“I hate frying whole worlds, but it does tend to stop baddies from using them to come here.”

I paused and cocked my head in thought. “Black Lotus, dear, make a note that we need to re heat J-R-1301 again. Crustal rock is starting to form in several places.”

As Black Lotus made a note, I cocked my ears toward Nayomi. “I can see the question. If we can do that, why was a Mage Flash weapon a threat? It is precisely its controlled scope that makes it deadly without being a world destroyer except by accident. World Burning does not need or use such limits.”


“Worlds fall all the time,” Zale butted in. “I even reset some destroyed worlds to repair as a little weekend project!”

De Writer:

It was Black Lotus who replied, “I am sure that they do. We only fry them if they have fallen to the assorted demonic nasties out there and they are being used as a springboard to invade this one.

“We have a zero tolerance policy for demonic invasions here.”

I quietly put a hoof in Black Lotus’s hoof and said, “Dear, this may be something that we have been looking for.

“So, Zale, when you reset a world, what happens to, say demons like deadites when the world that they are on gets reset?”


“A world reset consists of the ultimate burn, destroying everything that exists. No stars, no planets, nothing lives,” he replied.

“Even if something does live, I create reapers to kill or eat anything not destroyed in the fire,” he smiled.

De Writer:

I gave a lip pursed smile. “If it is only one planet gone bad, wiping out a whole universe seems a bit extreme to me. We just look for the worlds being used to mount an attack. If there is still hope for it, we do spot frying, not too different from Mage Flash weapons but an entirely different principle.

“If the whole world has gone bad, we try to find any good survivors and remove them before we toast the entire world.”

I put a hoof down firmly on the turf and rotated it, like stomping out a stray ember from a fire.


“Its extreme yes. But creating world’s is much easier for me since I accidentally killed my brother and took his power”

De Writer:

I raised an eyebrow skeptically. Black Lotus said it all with just a few words. “Accidentally killed your brother but wound up with his power?”

Being me, I had to put in a wisecrack. “AX a Dent?”


“Well, he challenged me as he did to everyone. I had a bit more energy than I thought. With one attack he was dead.

“As is customary upon death, the power of the dead was transfered to the victor.

“His name was Dresk and he was the dragon of heaven and hell,” he sighed, looking down at his demonic form.

De Writer:

Being the keeper of the Orb of the Ages lets me be the ultimate snoopy dad. I do treasure both my adopted and blood fillies and colts, including Celestia and Luna, my blood daughter Black Lotus, and adopted kin like Nayomi.

I pulled the Orb from its normal parking place in the absolute instant of the present and looked. Deeply. It was hard to do. Not only the distance of worlds, it was the fact that dragons of Zale’s stripe, along with Creator Titans, are invisible to the Orb.

Their actions and the results of them are not. Makes tracking them hard indeed, but by no means impossible.

I gave Zale a hard look. “OK, I will buy the accident part. Now how about telling us the rest? Truthfully this time.”


His ears splayed back. “Right… the earth dragon knocked me into an open pit pit of hell where my brother was working. I sent out a reaction burst of electricity powerful enough to fry hell and everything in it…”

He sighed.

“With my brother dead, someone needed to take his power and continue his work. I was voted the one, since I was the one to end his life”

De Writer:

Thoughtfully putting away the Orb of the Ages in the Absolute Instant of the Present, I looked at Zale with a bit of compassion.

“That squares with what I saw. Totally unfair to stick you with Dresk’s power, since it was the Earth Dragon who knocked you down there.

“Still, done is done. Fair or not, you are stuck with it.

“Better for all of us to know the truth of things. Makes me far less likely to put a hoof in the works.”

I was turning to go into the caravan when I was hit by a thought. Darn near stunned me with its brilliance.

“Nay, my dear, you are planning to return to be by your sister’s side in a world that is becoming a battlefield between real life and demons. That is a commendable idea. Not wise, maybe, but truly honorable.

“Three thousand years plus of experience in matters like romance leads me to believe that Zale likes you. A lot. Where it comes to raw power and knowledge of how to use it, few are his equal, and none that you are likely to ever run across.

“Take him with you. There will be no disturbance here and a huge plus for you and Christa. Including the ability on his part to simply grab you both along with eggs and young, and bail in the ultimate emergency.”

I climbed the steps of the caravan and looked back at the two of them. “Think it over. Friends and Allies beats demon invasions every time.”


“I’m sorry,” Zale said sadly. “It’s against the rules for me to interfere with the events that can save or destroy a world”

De Writer:

Like I said earlier, the ultimate snoopy dad, if needed. This was needed.

“That is a pile of Bull and you know it, Zale. I told you that I looked in the Orb. You saw me look. True, I can’t see YOU. You ARE that old and you did help with a good bit of Creation in many universes.

“I can see the results of what you did and do. You have no more wiped out and reset universes for a weekend project than I have.

“Which does not mean that you are not a really strong and powerful dragon when you choose. You are not being asked to interfere with events that can save or destroy any world and you know it.

“Your job is to go to that world with Nayomi. Bring her and her sister, along with their Hives here to this world if things there go bad.

“With Pen on the job, it is a good possibility that they won’t. At least not in the lifetimes of Chrysalis and Nayomi any way.”

Black Lotus gave a Rom Trill of applause. “The things that he was saying were so full of holes that I wondered when you were going to call him on it!”


Zale stood there shocked. He couldn’t think of anything to come back with. Nothing to charm away this problem.

“Fine, I’ll go with her and see what I can do,” he sighed turning and bumping into Nayomi. He apologized and kept walking.

She showed a fresh vial of blood. Dragon’s blood. “This could come in handy,” she said with a slight grin.

De Writer:

With a cheerful nod, I agreed. “He has a strong tendency to tell whoppers but he is basically a good sort. Keep him on a short leash!”

From inside the caravan, Black Lotus called, “Don’t forget to visit! Things get fun when you are around!”


“Dont worry sis. I’ll be back” she smiled and hugged De Writer “I’ll see you soon okay?” She ran off with Zale taking him home.

De Writer:

Black Lotus gave me a stern look. “OK, Dad, I know that something is going on. Give.”

I looked back with my best “utterly innocent” stare, which my dear daughter, having known me all of her life, did not buy for one second.

Not even cringing under a stare that could have broiled the sun in the sky, I said, “She may give us something. Not sure of that, though. I can’t see the future.”


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