Stoking the Fire
Have you ever had trouble beginning a story? well Twilight Sparkle here was having that very problem.
“once upon a..., no”
“in the beg..., still no!”
“it all started when... aargh!”
“what’s wrong Twi?” Said her friend who had come to check on her and bring her some apples to snack on.
“Oh, nothing Applejack.” Twilight responded.
“Are ya sure, cause you seem like yer wound up ‘bout somethin’.”
With a quick sigh she explained, “I’m just trying to start my writings of the story of all our adventures.”
A couple of crumpled papers later Applejack decided to intervene, “Seriously Twilight, ya need to take a break and come to Pinkie’s overnight party for us six girls.”
With a quick hoof to the head Twilight realized that she had forgotten,”Oh, right! that’s tonight isn’t it?”
After packing and double-checking to make sure she had everything, Twi and Applejack headed off to Sugarcube Corner. They stopped along the way at the market to grab some groceries for the next morning. And upon reaching their destination was greeted by a blurred pink mass.
“OMG, OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG, OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG, OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG, OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG, OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG!!”
Pinkie Pie breathed at once. She inhaled and continued to talk.
“Thanks for coming, were glad your here, how is the book going, am I in it yet, are you hungry, is that food for breakfast, have you seen Rainbow Da..”
“Pinkie, calm down,” interjected Twilight, “and to answer you, your welcome, that’s great, not so well, at this point nopony, not really, yes they are, and not since yesterday.”
While skipping inside Pinkie responded, “Okie Dokie Lokie, in that case come on in and we’ll munch on some cupcakes till Dash and Rarity get here.”
Later that night as the girls were settling into sleeping bags around a candle Twilight realized something. “Girls, we have never really discussed the matter of crushes and stuff.”
With a flick of her mane Rarity said that she would go first. “Well, there was this one handsome colt I liked back when i was a filly, but we promised to never speak of him again.”
“Oh really,” said Rainbow Dash who was at the moment finishing a cupcake, “then why are you speaking of him now?”
Not wanting to start anything Twilight decided to intervene, “Girls, girls, if you don't want to talk about it than that’s fine with me.”
Fluttershy, who had been quiet most of the night, sat up in her bag and timidly spoke up, “Actually, I kinda wanted to tell Twilight about him.”
:”Fine,” huffed Dash, “ but I'm gonna need more cupcakes.”
A few minutes later, as the candle continued to melt it’s wax and use up its wick, Applejack started at the beginning. “His name was Power Jolt. He was a unicorn with black fur and a dark-green mane. We five got to know him really well and one day in a far corner of the playground he showed us a spell he had been using all those years.”
Pinkie Pie jumped in, “it was an amazing spell too. He was all WHOOSH and then his horn glowed and then it didn't and when it stopped it looked like his horn had a boo boo and the tip was a swollen ball.”
With a look that seemed to stare into nowhere Rarity picked it up, “turns out it was an injury, when he was two and a half years old he was playing outside when a thunderstorm came in and struck the poor thing’s horn, and it has been swollen as long as we’ve seen him.”
“But what about his personality.” asked Twilight as she looked around her circle of friends. She looked at each pony for a few moments, starting with Applejack. As they answered and she could see why they liked Power Jolt.
“He was as honest as could be”
“He was kind to everypony and even to animals”
“He gave as generously as i ever did”
“He made the funniest jokes and his laugh was highly contagious”
“and he was always there for his friends, plus his lightning spells were pretty cool.”
As they all went to sleep Twilight thought to herself, “I would like to meet this Power Jolt some day.”
Little did she know how soon that would happen and how great the battle was that was yet to come.
(time shifts to the morning)
As usual the morning was slow. Pinkie was up earlier than the rest of the girls to help open shop.the usual customers came through getting an early cupcake or muffin to take to work.
Then, Pinkie got a strange felling. It was a twitch, yes definitely a twitch. Eye twitch then nose shudder ending with a tooth pain. Pinkie wondered what it could mean. As soon as it happened it was gone so Pinkie went to check on her friends.
“Morning everypony.” she said.
“Mornin’ sugarcube” replied Applejack who was busy doing some wake-up stretches. “How’d y'all sleep?.”
Pinkie responded with a affirmative, ‘Great!’ and went to see Rarity who was magically floating a brush through her hair.
“Hi Rarity.” exclaimed Pinkie as Rarity was counting her brush strokes.
“Oh good morning Pinkie, I trust you slept as well as I did.”
“Yeah, I slept GREAT last night. This morning I bounced out of my sleeping bag and went down stairs in one hop. Then i HELPED Mr. and Mrs. Cake open shop and work the register. But while I was working i got a new twitch.”
“I see. So what was the twitch?”
“It was a eye twitch then nose shudder and it ended with a tooth pain.”
With a puzzled look on her face Rarity asked, “Did you notice anything or anypony out of the ordinary?”
“Nopie soapie, not a thing.” bubbled Pinkie who was at the moment going to wake Twi and Fluttershy.
After bouncing around the two not-so-morning ponies, the six friends went downstairs to eat breakfast. Rainbow Dash was already there, having already been out and about to adjust the weather.
The group chatted and ate a delicious breakfast. Afterwards, the group decided to clean up the shop front to help out the Cakes.
At the same time as Twilight was using her magic to move the dirt out the door, somepony, who was a unicorn, with vibrant a green mane,black fur and saddlebags on trotted in through the door and the cloud of dirt levitating in the air.
Realizing what she had done Twilight stammered out, “oh I’m so sorry, I can be such a klutz some times.”
He said, “Oh that’s OK.”
At that moment the other five turned to look at the pony that had just entered. Nopony moved or spoke for about half a minute but it seemed like hours to the girls.
Finally, Fluttershy got out what everypony was thinking. “P..P..Power Jolt. Is th..th..that really you?”
“Hello everypony. Yes it is me, Power Jolt.” He responded with a smile on his face.
Pinkie was in the corner of the room going through the twitches she had felt earlier.
Immediately, Rainbow Dash zipped over to Power Jolt. “But you said you would never return, and I quote, ‘I will not be returning to Ponyville, unless the Seven are needed to be together.’ What did that mean?”
“I’ll tell you later why I’m here, but first I need to properly introduce myself to the one pony that has never seen me before.” Turning back to Twilight, who was frozen in place while everything was going on, he bowed and spoke. “My name is Power Jolt, and you must be Twilight Sparkle. It is a pleasure to meet the prized student of Princess Celestia.”
Having just been spoke to, Twi snapped out of her shock and replied, “um, thank you. So you are Power Jolt. I’ve heard some stories about you but I would like to know one thing. I was told you had dark a dark green mane.”
“Yes, it used to be darker. As of late I stopped using any spells that affect my appearance. The color of my mane was one of them. Oh speaking of which, I need to finish what I started all those years ago in the corner of the playground.”
Having said that, he took of his saddle bags and set them on the floor. The girls just stopped and stared at his sides. More specifically, at his black, neon-green tipped wings.
Rainbow Dash was the first to speak up. “you had wings all this time and you never raced me!”
Twilight was going through a logical process to think through the current situation. “Horn on head, plus wings, that means he is an.. an...”
“Your an Alicorn!” Shouted Rarity with a gasp. “and those wings a magnificent. Why didn’t you show me before? I am now inspired to do a whole new line of suits and dresses.”
At that moment, Power Jolt was staring at Pinkie. “Hmmm, that looks like a Pinkie Sense alerting to the fact that a long lost friend has returned.”
“OOOHHHHHH!!! So Thaat’s what it was that I was sensing earlier this morning.” Said Pinkie who suddenly stopped twitching.
All this time, Applejack and Fluttershy were just sitting there taking it all in.
“I guess now that we now yer a Alicorn you can tell use why yer here over breakfast.” said Applejack pointing towards a table.
Fluttershy agreed. “oh yes, then we can catch up on other stuff, like where you went.”
As Power Jolt ate he described his current situation. “I left due to some dramatic events here, but after I left i began to study Equestria’s history and what I found shocked me. I had found an old scroll with a drawing on it. The drawing was of the Elements of Harmony in a circle, but not just a gems, they were in their current state. The surrounded another object it looked like a triangle with a small circle on the point. Underneath it was written,
Equestria with knights who have no sword
Rainbows were used to defeat Discord
Revenge and Doubt are on the way
The Seventh Element helps save the day
Loyalty, Laughter, Generosity
they are but the very first three
Honesty, Kindness and Magic complete
and Encouragement fuels the amazing feat
After reading that I knew what I needed to do and why I made that promise before I left. I am the Seventh Element of Harmony. I am the Element of Encouragement. A few days after you re-petrified Discord, I could fell a new evil in Equestria. They are the parents of Discord, the father Revenge, and the mother Doubt.”
With that being said, Power Jolt stared at everypony in the eye and knew they were determined to save the day one more time.
It was decided that Power Jolt would stay at Twilight’s house because she had the guest bedroom. She was hesitant at first, but when he asked about her book collection she just had to show and agreed to let him stay.
That night they at a small meal in silence. Twi was glad that spike was gone to Canterlot to see about another dragon egg that had been found. Seeing that Twilight was troubled about something and wanting to break the silence, Power Jolt asked, “so, what’s on your mind?”
“why did you leave them?” she said blatantly.
“It was the last night of our last year in school.” said Power Jolt as he stared out the window. “the girls-choice school dance was going to happen and when the time came for somepony to choose me, well all five of ‘em went at it with all they had. It became a shouting contest then it progressed into an all out pie war. The war stopped when Fluttershy was almost hit on the head, but it was not a pie, no , it was a rock.”
“A ROCK!!” echoed a shocked Twilight.
“Yes,” he said, “a rock. when it was thrown I knew i couldn't stay. I was causing too much strife between my friends.So I left and I travelled the world. But last night I felt like all of them were thinking of me, along with somepony new. That is why I decided to return now to warn you of Revenge and Doubt. I wanted to rebuild my relations to them for the upcoming battle.”
After that conversation, Power Jolt went around town to see the sights and relive the old days.
While that was happening, Twilight went to visit Rarity to teach her a spell for automatic stain-removing clothes. After the quick lesson the began to chat. The talking eventually turned to the subject of Power Jolt.
“So Rarity,” Twilight began when the got to the time when he left Ponyville. “what was going through your head at the time of the fight?”
“It was all a blur, I must say it was a rage I had never felt before.” commented Rarity.
“But the last thing to happen that really got me was that I...” she trailed off and with a sniffle and a sob she continued. “THREW A ROCK AT FLUTTERSHY!!” she cried. deep sobs and wails ensued as the white pony broke down and fell into Twilight’s hooves.
Not wanting to upset her, Twilight had an idea. “Rarity maybe you would feel better if you apologized to Fluttershy.”
“Very well then Twilight,” said Rarity as she was calming down.” I will go apologize right away. Would you mind accompanying me?”
“I would love to.” responded twilight who was already getting up.
One trip to the lovely little cottage of Fluttershy later and we find the three girls sharing some tea as they talked.
“I’m very sorry, Fluttershy.” apologized Rarity.
“That’s fine.” said Fluttershy. “You have apologized so many times already, I lost count.”
“Well I’m glad this problem was resolved.” stated Twilight after a sip of tea. “hey Fluttershy do you have any prominent events that involved Power Jolt?”
“Why yes I do.” said Fluttershy as she put her tea down. “One day, when I was first starting to work with bunnies, a mom was having children. The new herd of rabbits came out fine, but the mother went into shock and died. Or so I thought. At that moment I saw Power Jolt walking by. I asked him if he knew any spells to bring back the recent dead. His response was different then I expected. He said ‘well, not specifically but I can bring her back if it was cardiac arrest.’ After he said that, he went to the mother, put his horn to her chest and electricity just leaked out. Then she got up and hopped to her children.
That night, at the library where Power Jolt had called the girls and Spike together.
“I’m here to hand out the gifts i brought for everpony.” He said. “first I have a feather for Applejack. That feather is the first feather I molted. It is electrified enough to cause any Zapapple tree to bloom and ripen instantly.”
“Whay thank yah kindly, Power Jolt.” She said as she stuck the feather in her hat.
“And for Rainbow Dash I have the Cloudsdale In A Bottle collectors item with working rainbow fountains.”
“Wow, this is great. Look I can see the Flyer’s camp in the little thing.” She said, as she stared into the glass jar that floated out of his saddlebag.
“Rarity, I have here the gem finder horn attachment. It is filled with magic to magnify and magnetize the locate spell you usually use to find gems. Then any jewels within the radius of the spell will unearth themselves and float to you.”
The small ring with the for point star gem inset in it floated over to Rarity and she put it on. It was a perfect fit and she looked very pleased.
“to Twilight I give this rare scroll I found during my travels that depicts the history of the use of magic in cooking during the first days of the existence of Equestria.”
“I’m going to study this right away” said Twilight as she put the scroll on the table.
“As for Pinkie Pie,” said Power Jolt. “I present the super-amazing, coffee, toffee choco-supreme mega cupcake.”
As he said that, Pinkie was already devouring it.
Turning to Fluttershy he said, “ and for you, I have an herb I discovered on my travels. When consumed, the user’s senses become more aware, up to the point that you can sense events just before they happen. I call it 直観(zhir gan). “
“what language is that?” queried Fluttershy aloud. “and what does it mean?”
“It is Japonyse!” Said Power Jolt with excitement in his voice. “Roughly translated, it means intuition.”
“These gifts are great.” said Rainbow Dash
“Ym, mfphmghh” muttered Pinkie with her mouth still full.
Then something dawned on Pinkie Pie as she swallowed. “Hey, Joltie, did jah’ get somethin’ for Spikey.”
“Welllll” he said while raising his voice slightly and looking at the doorway that Spike was behind. “If he has any old piece of rock I can borrow than maybe I do.”
Immediately, Spike rushed up to his room and brought down the quartz paperweight he used when he was writing.
“Here, does this work?” said Spike as he could only guess what Power Jolt could give him.
“Perfect!” approved Power Jolt as he bent down to the small rock and his horn began to glow.
The spell weaved in and out through the stone and caused it to float. When the shimmer faded what remained was a deep-green emerald in the shape of a four-point star. “Can you guess what that little beauty is called?” said Power Jolt as he handed the newly formed gem to the dragon.
“That’s an Equinerald. The most complicated gem to age and pressurize into existence.” said Spike with obvious awe in his voice.
“Freshly pressurized in a matter of moments just for you buddy.” Said Power Jolt as he headed for his saddlebags again. “And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for... I will reveal to you... the Element of Encouragement.” With that he brought out a helm with what looked like an apple but yet was very basic, it looked like just a curve and a line. Twilight and the other ponies noticed that it looked exactly like Power Jolt’s cutie mark.
“So when did you get that?” asked Pinkie Pie.
“Just after you girls got yours in the Ancient Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters.”
“Yeah, Right!” exclaimed Rainbow Dash suddenly. “Wait. What did I just say?”
“You were sounding doubtful.” Said Power Jolt with an alarmed look on his face. “which means that Revenge and Doubt will soon be here.”
The next few days went on without incident. That is, if you ignore the fact that with each passing minute everypony began to become more aggressive and annoying to each other. Small scuffles ensued across Ponyville. For an entire week, things seemed bleak. Power Jolt decided to visit Zecora. He wanted to get away from all the fighting, and the anger. While he was away, a little cat mare-fight went on.
“Hey Applejack.” said Pinkie Pie who was sidling up to the mare who was bucking a tree. I bet you can’t buck this jar all the way to Dashie’s house.” With that she held out the scale model Cloudsdale-in-a-jar that Rainbow Dash had received form Power Jolt.
“Why, sure I can.” Responded Applejack who was obviously annoyed at Pinkie Pie for the intrusion. She proceeded to buck the jar right out of Pinkie Pie’s hoof. A breeze in the air blew the jar off course and it smashed through the library window. The jar crash landed on the table that Twilight was using to read the cooking spell scroll. Miniature clouds and rainbows scattered all over Twi and the scroll.
“Well then,” said Twilight Sparkle. “I guess it’s time to try my new Rapid-pie recipe I read about.
She went outside and started the spell. Unfortunately the spell packed a little more punch than she was expecting and she soon lost control. Pies flew everywhere and hit everypony. Rarity was among the first “casualties” to be hit. The pie made direct contact with the switch on the back of her new gem-finder magnifier that Power Jolt later regretted adding. It shorted out and immediately attracted nothing but clouds. Piled two ponies high in clouds was not amusing to the unicorn, so she detached the gem-finder magnifier and went to seek revenge.
“I have no idea how to go about this.” she said to herself. “Maybe Fluttershy’s 直観 can help. I’ll just have to ‘borrow’ it.”
One theft later and we find Rarity making a nice 直観 tea. At that moment Fluttershy burst in and Stormed up to Rarity.
“WHY DID YOU TAKE MY PLANT” she yelled.
“I’m just going to drink some of it” responded Rarity calmly.
“THAT’S STEALING, GIVE IT BACK.” Fluttershy shot back ans she tackled the surprised unicorn to the ground and shook her.
During the scuffle, the tea was levitated by Rarity and thrown at Fluttershy who dodged it and let it go out the window.
The tea hit a passing Rainbow Dash in the wing and grounded her, She decided to try the tea and what she saw horrified her. She saw the world as a meaningless existence that she didn’t need to participate in. What Neither Rarity, Fluttershy, nor Rainbow dash new is that 直観 is required to be ingested whole. Other variants can cause confusion, nausea, loss of coordination, and loss of willingness to do most daily tasks.
All during these events, Twilight was trying to salvage as much of the scroll as she could. The best she could do was recover most of the last spell. It was smudge but from what she read, the title was “Glo......s Sweet De....s.” To her it read “Glorious Sweet Delights” but what it really said was”Gloomy Sky’s Sweet Dislikes.” One bite later and she was in the corner sobbing.
The mane six got together that night and some of them were arguing. The ones arguing were Rarity, Fluttershy, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie. Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle were in two respective corners of the room sobbing away. None of them knew that they were being watched by three beings. One was Power Jolt who was returning to the library from his time at Zecora’s place and happen to stop just outside the window and was staring in.
“Girls, what happened to you.” he muttered to himself. “I need to fix this, and fast.”
The other two were elderly draconequi who were speaking to each other.
“See dearest Doubt,” said Revenge. “our plan to convert our enemies is going according to plan.”
“Yes, we already have six of them, Twilight Darkness, Utter Rage, Burglary, Crab Applejack, Dim Glow Crash, and Shifty Eye.” responded Doubt with a cackling laugh.
Power Jolt decided to venture to the Canterlot Castle in order to retrieve the Elements of Harmony. He spread his electrified wings and went to the sky. Half way there, he was interrupted by Doubt. She had a little chat to deter him.
“Your not going to make it.” she whispered.
“Yes I will.” He said as he pressed on.” I won’t give up on my friends, I’m here to encourage them and I will get them their Elements. That will cheer them up.”
“You know your not good enough.” she taunted. “You’ve abandoned them before. You left them when they wanted you most.”
“Well I’m back now and I will be. For the rest of my life.” He said, and with a burst of electricity from his horn, which added a faint green glow to his wings, and a flash of lightning from his wings; he sped even faster to Canterlot.
“Well let me give you a list of your new and improved friends.” Doubt yelled as she threw a scroll at him.
As he arrived at the castle, he found it to be empty with an evacuation countdown timer that had already reached zero. This indicated that the entirety of Canterlot Castle had left. Heading straight to the vault that the Elements are contained in. Finding that the safe door was still shut tight, he used his powerful magic, but to no avail. So he decided to try a more non-magical approach to things. He backed up spread his wings in a U shape and was about to begin when he noticed his reflection off the gloss of the metal door.
“Wow. I look just like my cutie mark.” He exclaimed. And with that he proceeded to charge his horn and shoot the electricity to his wings. That action caused an electro-magnetic field within his wings which he directed as a electro-magnet at the safe door and pulled it off it’s magic hinges. Power Jolt then retrieved the chest inside that contained the Elements. Then he flew off to deliver his packet of Encouragement to the girls.
“Alright, first stop ‘Utter Rage’.” He said as he turned towards Everfree Forest. “Hopefully the sight of her butterfly necklace will calm her down.”
As Power Jolt arrived at Fluttershy’s little cottage by the edge of the Everfree Forest, he dodged a bunny flying through the air.
“AND STAY OUT!” she yelled.
“Hey Angel.” Power Jolt said as he picked up the injured rabbit with his magic. “Is it that bad?”
the feisty hare just nodded and bounced off in an angry huff.
“hey, uh, Fluttershy are you O.K.?” He mumbled as he crept inside.
“MY NAME IS UTTER RAGE!” said the yellow Pegasus.
“No, your name is Fluttershy. You are the most kind and caring pony I have ever met. You were never like this when we met back on that first day of Kindergarten. Remember how much the other ponies picked on me, and you of all people defended me, and you used the stare for the first time that day.”
“YOU WANT THE STARE, I’LL GIVE YOU THE STARE!” The polluted Fluttershy yelled as she stared straight at him.
“Fluttershy, I'm sorry to do this to you but you leave me no choice.” Power Jolt said as he began a mirror spell fueled by his Element of Encouragement. His eyes began to glow and his horn sparked with electricity. Then “Utter Rage” began to cower back.
“YOU ccCAN’t SCcare mmme.I won’t be so easily calmed. What, wha, who, where, when, why how? Power Jolt what are you doing at my house. I thought you were visiting Zecora.”
“Well I was and now I’m back, but while i was gone you and the others were polluted by Revenge and doubt. They had you all angry and stuff.”
“Oh my, I can’t believe I did all that.” replied Fluttershy timidly. “Will you forgive me for what I did.”
“Of course, that’s what friends are for.” Said Power Jolt ans he headed for the door. “But we need to help the rest of the girls get back to their normal selves.”