Piercing the Heavens
By: Calm Wind
“Scoots, you don’t have to eat it, I know it’s not good,” Dash chuckled as she watched Scootaloo choke down the eggs and oatmeal. She swallowed and cringed before pounding a hoof against her chest and smirking.
“You said this was a super diet, right?” she nodded, “If it makes me like you, I’m gonna eat it!” she proclaimed while stuffing her face with more oatmeal.
“It’s important, but ya gotta work for it too,” Dash ruffled Scootaloo’s mane, “but I think you have that part down,” she said while eying Scootaloo’s new wings. Scootaloo cringed again. She clearly didn’t like it, but she was a determined little filly.
“Where did you get this diet stuff anyway?” she looked up at Dash.
“You have one guess,” Dash winked, knowing that would answer it. Scootaloo smiled and extended her wings.
“Mr. Sorewings?” she flapped her wings happily.
“Bull’s eye,” Dash pounded her hooves together. Scootaloo bounced up and down in her seat.
“He’s so cool!” she exclaimed, “Not as cool as you obviously, but wow he’s awesome!”
“Yeah,” Dash leaned back in her chair as Scootaloo expressed her liking for the incognito Soarin.
“I wish I could see him again,” Scootaloo suddenly said. She folded up her wings and sighed, “I wanna thank him so much,” she had missed him completely during his most recent visit. Dash felt bad about that too. She was so blown away by Soarin’s surprise visit that she completely forgot to tell Scootaloo. He was there for almost a month and they never crossed paths with Scoots. She, Sweetie Belle, and Apple Bloom were on a rampage with their cutie mark searching all of those days, but Dash still felt bad about forgetting.
Dash began contemplating. Why keep it from her anymore? Well, it risked making Scootaloo think Soarin was more awesome than her, but whatever. He had done a lot for Scootaloo and she didn’t even know who he really was. She deserved to know it was a great stallion that helped her. Plus Dash was getting tired of always referring to him as “Sorewings” around Scootaloo. It was funny for a while, but she loved Soarin, why keep something like that from a filly she treated like a little sister?
“Hey Scoots,” Dash rested her arms on the table, “I think it’s time I shared something with you.” she said with a smile.
“Dash, I already know you and Mr. Sorewings are getting married,” Scoots instantly cut in. Dash’s face turned completely red and her wings fired out to her sides with a loud FWOOMP. Scootaloo burst out laughing and rolled off her chair onto the floor.
“HAHAHAHA! The look… on your face!” she clutched her sides and rolled from side to side on her back. Dash puffed her cheeks and quickly refolded her wings.
“Little smartass…” Dash said to herself with a chuckle, “Real funny Scoots, real funny,” she said as Scootaloo pulled herself back up to the chair, “You’re right about one thing, it is about Sorewings… or rather…” Dash paused.
“What about him?” Scootaloo tipped her head slightly and blinked. Dash smiled.
“Hold on a second,” Dash smiled and lifted off from the chair. She glided over to the stairs and disappeared. A few seconds later she came back down. She had a framed picture in one hoof, and a newspaper tucked under her other arm. “Here,” she held out the picture frame.
It was a picture of her and Soarin walking side by side, both glaring at each other while smiling. Pinkie had snapped the candid photo during Soarin’s last visit. The two were in the middle of trying to one up each other about their flight skills. It really captured the essence of their relationship: their competitive natures clashing, but also completing the other at the same time. The picture was so perfect that Dash had it framed.
“Now you remember Sorewings,” Dash began, “Take a good look.”
“Okay…” Scootaloo nodded.
“Now…” Dash set the picture on the table and grabbed the newspaper. She unfolded it and turned the front page towards Scootaloo. The headline read: “Wonderbolts debut new show in the skies of Ponyville!” It was the newspaper Dash received almost a full year ago that notified her of the Wonderbolts coming to Ponyville. Dash had kept it and cherished it because it was the beginning of a long winding story that changed her life forever.
The picture below the headline was one of Spitfire, Soarin, Fleetfoot, and Rapidfire flying in a staggered formation. Dash folded the newspaper back to condense the picture and put emphasis on Soarin. Then she held it beside the photo on the table.
“See it?” Dash grinned. Scootaloo just blinked as she looked back and forth. Then her eyes snapped open. She looked between the pictures faster, realizing the manes were identical as well as the small bit of light blue sticking out from Soarin’s uniform.
“OH,” Scootaloo scooted backward in her seat, “MY,” her wings flared out, “GOSH!” she shoved her hooves against the table, tipping her chair back. Her chair fell over and she rolled softly onto the cloud floor. “AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“Life’s full of surprises, eh?” Dash chuckled as Scootaloo sat upright and put her hooves to her head.
“Soarin?! Mr. Sorewings is… THE Soarin?!?!” Scootaloo’s eyes darted about and her wings flapped giddily. “How… HOW DID I NOT RECOGNIZE HIM!?!?!?!” she squealed.
“He’s a real trickster,” Dash smirked. Scootaloo looked like her head was going to explode.
“Gosh, no wonder he knows so much cool stuff!” she glanced back at her wings and her pupils suddenly grew three sizes, “I got help from a famous pony!!!” she started bouncing in her spot.
“Yeah,” Dash sighed again, letting her mind wander. Such a great pony. Such a great stallion. Her thoughts were getting overly girly again, but whatever. She was a mare. She was allowed to internally swoon at least.
“Whoa, hold up,” Scootaloo stopped bouncing and stared at Dash, “That means…” she pointed at the photo on the table.
“Yes,” Dash said with a sheepish grin. She quickly replaced it by swishing her mane, smirking, and placing her hoof on her chest, “What can I say? If I’m gonna have a stallion, he better be awesome!” she winked at Scootaloo.
“Too much…” Scootaloo slowly keeled back over and landed on her back with her wings, arms, and legs spread out.
“Too much what?” Dash approached while chuckling.
“Too much awesome. Body shutting down. I can’t take it,” she squeaked. Dash flopped down on the floor beside her.
“I really, truly hope,” Dash looked turned her head to look at her, “that you find somepony like him someday,” she smiled.
“Psh,” Scootaloo scoffed, “I’m too young and cool for that stuff right now,” she sat up straight. She tried to whisk her mane over her shoulder like Dash always did, but it failed to fully flip. After two more failed attempts, she sharply blew air at her mane while flipping it to fully boost it over.
“Needs work kid,” Dash chuckled as she sat up and smoothly flipped her mane over her shoulder. Scootaloo giggled as Dash placed a hoof on her shoulder, “I’m serious though Scoots, I hope you find someone like him. I don’t necessarily mean a love interest. It could be stallion, mare, or whatever. I just hope you know someone that can push you to be the best you can be no matter where you are or what you end up doing in your life. Soarin is that pony for me. I hope you find one too.”
“Dash, I’m looking at her,” Scootaloo crossed her hooves glared with a smile. Dash blinked. “Why do you think I worked so hard to fly? Sure Sorewi— Soarin showed me how to do all that stuff, but you’re still my motivation!” She smiled happily. Dash didn’t know what to say. Well, she knew Scootaloo looked up to her, but her motivation? Dash had no idea. “I wanna be just as awesome as you and I’m gonna do whatever it takes to get there!” Scootaloo jabbed Dash in the arm lightly.
Dash just stared. Her? Motivational? She hadn’t even given it a thought. She had spent so much time being motivated by Soarin and the Wonderbolts she hadn’t even thought about what her efforts might be doing for others around her. Scootaloo’s words just now? Confidence boost off the charts.
“It’s Saturday, right?” Dash looked around, but there was no calendar in the kitchen.
“Yep! No school!” Scootaloo cheered. Dash smiled and ruffled her mane.
“I’m touched Scoots, I really am,” she stood up sharply, spread her wings and crouched down to get face to face with Scootaloo, “You just earned a day of awesome training with the one and only Rainbow Dash! Think you can keep up kid?” Dash smirked. Scootaloo’s eyes grew.
“YES! You better bet I’m ready!” she barely gave it thought. It was an instant accept, “Just don’t slow me down!” Scootaloo fired back with a sneer.
“That’s the spirit! Let’s go!” Dash patted her on the back and the two sprinted towards the door. Dash was going to miss Scootaloo so much if she became a Wonderbolt. The little filly just had this way of always making her happy, as if she really were Dash’s little sister.
“Ha. Haha. Good one Discord,” Soarin pointed a hoof at him with a less than convinced expression. He looked back to Luna, “He made that up right? He made you say that. It’s just a bad joke… right?” he directed at Luna.
“Tis not,” she clarified while exhaling loudly through her nose.
“I must commend the ancients for planning this far ahead into the future to give me a good laugh!” Discord chuckled while tossing the fake horn up and down in his hand.
“I am NOT wearing something called a ‘strap-on!’” Soarin stomped his right hoof down and glared.
“Oh, I’m afraid it’s this or let the mean old magic monster inside you eat you up,” Discord slithered over and rested an elbow on Soarin’s back. “I’m more than certain you don’t want that.”
“What good will a phallic plastic costume piece do me?!” he growled while bucking his legs at Discord. Discord’s body bent to avoid it, keeping his elbow stationary.
“Tis not plastic,” Luna spoke up, “It’s made of an ancient enchanted stone that shares similar properties to porcelain,” she clarified.
“It shares many physical properties with a unicorn’s horn, the magic doesn’t know the difference,” Discord took over, “keeping the beast within at bay by tricking it… sounds like fun, wouldn’t you say?”
“Your definition of fun is twisted,” Soarin sighed as he eyed the horn. As humiliating as it felt, it would apparently help him. Besides, it’s not like any other pony had to know it was called a “strap-on.” After a bit of thought, it was a risk he was willing to take. He’d rather not be eaten alive by dark magic. “Fine, I’ll use it,” he sighed.
“I’m glad you agree,” Discord slithered behind him and loosened the straps, “Believe me, you’ll be happy you did,” Discord’s tone was surprisingly serious.
“As much as we hate to say it, we must agree with Discord,” Luna spoke up as Discord prepared it for Soarin’s head, “Should thou have been consumed, you would have most certainly begun rampaging. Dark magic is a dangerous entity. It fights who wields it for control at all times. As we said earlier, we are surprised thou has lasted this long.
“That’s a lovely thought,” Soarin thought out loud as he looked up.
“Now hold still, trust me, you don’t want me to miss,” Discord ordered. What did he mean by miss? Soarin didn’t want to know. He just did as he was told. You don’t argue with the god of chaos. Soarin watched as Discord slowly moved the base of the false horn towards Soarin’s forehead. He paused and looked at Luna, “Ready Lulu?” he suddenly said.
“Yes, we are.” Luna stood up and set her hooves. Soarin blinked. Ready? Ready for what?
Without warning, Discord slammed the base of the horn hard onto Soarin’s forehead.
Soarin felt his body completely stiffen. His body began to tingle all over. The tingling quickly turned to pricking, then stabbing pain.
“Ah! AHHH!!!!” Soarin cried out as his body shook. Discord quickly buckled the leather strap tight to the back of Soarin’s head. As soon as it was firmly attached, Discord pushed back and put ten feet between him and Soarin. Soarin felt his hooves leave the ground as dark blue sparks crackled and popped around him. His vision became blurry as a bright light shone from his eyes. What was happening? What was this sensation? This pain? It was foreign to him. His limbs twitched and jittered as bursts of blue light began to swirl around him. They all eventually concentrated near his head as if drawn up by the horn. The light got sucked into the horn, causing it to glow brightly.
“NOW!” Luna yelled. Her horn glowed brightly. On the other side, Discord reached his arms forward, a swirl of distorted energy surrounding his hands.
“AHH!” Soarin fell roughly to the ground, a huge bubble of magical energy encasing the false horn. Luna fired her magic from her horn with Discord releasing his simultaneously. The two magic beams expanded and created a dome over Soarin. Soarin’s neck strained and lurched as if his head was trying to rip free from his body. The dome created by the two gods fully expanded and hardened just in time.
The magic swirling from Soarin got sucked completely into the false horn, and fired from the point in a thick blast, it repelled off the magical dome and bounced violently all around him. After a few moments, the magic had run out of room and was about to hit Soarin.
Discord released his paw hand from his casting and snapped his fingers. Soarin teleported out of the dome and a large explosion was muffled within it. Soarin dropped to the ground beside Discord, still twitching with little crackles of blue light emitting all over his body.
“Job well done,” Discord nodded while brushing his hands together.
“WHAT THE HELL!?!?!?!” Soarin yelled out as he frantically struggled to his hooves. He looked up, the horn just in his field of view. He breathed heavily as he backed away from both of them, “What did you just DO to me?! What’s with you damn gods and completely messing with my life!?” The false horn began to crackle.
“You may want to…” Discord reached towards Soarin, but was too late.
“AH!” Soarin grunted as the magic collected in the horn and a blast of blue light fired from it. It careened through the air and exploded against one of the stained glass windows. It shattered with a loud CRASH, falling to pieces on the floor below. Discord cringed.
“Oooo… those are expensive,” he scratched his head. Luna quickly moved over to Soarin as the frightened Wonderbolt stared up at the window in horror, a faint blue glow still alight in his eyes. She knelt down and gently draped a wing gently over his back.
“Relax thineself. Breathe. Concentrate. Think of what calms you. Think of what you hold dear.” She whispered into his ear. Soarin didn’t know what to think. He was terrified. Gods were messing with his body, apparently he had just accidentally used destructive magic, and there was still a pricking pain all over. But Luna’s voice reached him. Her words registered as they slipped into his ears like those of a comforting mother.
As she said, he took slower, deeper breaths. He focused on the floor directly beneath him. Think of what calms him? Rainbow Dash. He wanted Dash. Where was Dash? Think of what he holds dear? Same thing. Dash. He wished she was there, she always comforted him, and she always made the dark magic relax. He wanted the pony he loved with all his heart. He felt like his life was being crushed, tampered with, and manipulated. Thoughts of Dash poured into his mind. He didn’t know who else, or what else to think of. He wanted her to save him from this crap.
“Yes. Good. Keep it up,” Luna spoke softly. Soarin felt the pain lessen. His body twitches mostly subsided, and his vision slowly returned to normal. Luna slowly removed her wing from his back and walked up before him.
“Ah… ahhh…” Soarin sputtered as he dared not move his body, “what… what have you done to me…?” he asked, no longer feeling the slightest bit normal.
“Do not fear, the sensation will calm down,” she reassured him, “You merely experienced your first magic resonance. All unicorns experience it as they mature. It’s when their magic becomes fully functional,” she tipped her head back and forth, “Although, it’s not quite as intense and is usually more gradual… and not associated with a forbidden and absurdly powerful magic, hence why we contained you in the dome.”
“It’s also a small repercussion of using the fake horn,” Discord appeared beside Luna. He leaned down with his elbow out. She glared at him, but realized he was just barely not touching her, “The horn makes it happen all at once because you didn’t have the luxury of growing up as a unicorn. Tell me, how did it feel to have your face slammed through the years of puberty all at once?” He chuckled.
“That’s… not funny.” Soarin grunted as he slowly moved his limbs, worried that a false move would trigger another uncontrollable magic reaction, “You… didn’t warn me?” he frowned.
“Would you have gone with it if we had told you?” Discord shrugged, “Either you went with it or we fight a dark magic imbued husk in the near future. There was little room for consent.”
Soarin felt like he had been duped. Then again, if they had told him it would have been excruciatingly painful, he’d have probably argued against it.
“But, what am I supposed to do now?” he looked up at the broken window. Bat guards were already moving in to clear away the shards of fallen glass while waving off others who had flown in to see what the explosion was. “I…” His body twitched and a couple of blue sparks popped around him, “I can’t go back like this! I’ll hurt somepony!”
“Do not worry, Soarin of the Wonderbolts,” Luna shook her head, “In a few moments your body will feel just as it had before. Once it does, the magic should remain calm with the… horn attached,” she nodded, “How does your head feel?” she asked.
“Oh,” Soarin had completely forgotten about the headaches, but that’s was just it. The pain in his head had faded. It was gone without a trace. He reached up and felt around his head, bumping into the horn a few times. This was weird, how did unicorns deal with this? “Actually, my head feels… perfectly fine,” he blinked. Ridiculous name and painful attachment sequence aside, the “strap-on” was doing everything Luna and Discord said it would. Perhaps he should have a little more faith. They were higher powers after all. Luna wouldn’t do something like this to him for amusement. Discord maybe, but he had just helped her with it. If Discord was HELPING prevent something it had to be serious.
“And you thought we were just pulling your leg,” Discord reached down and detached one of his own legs. He swung it around in the air as Luna rolled her eyes and stepped in front.
“Then it was attached successfully. We apologize for the discomfort, but now all should be well,” she assured him.
“You said something about controlling the magic,” Soarin questioned as his body randomly twitched, “I don’t feel very in control right now,” he said while stealing another glance at the shattered window.
“Your body is no doubt adjusting as we speak. It only takes one or two misfires for the body to figure out how to contain it. This may all be a tad confusing, but all unicorns experience it, you should be in no danger nor shall you pose any danger for your colleagues. Merely wear the horn for now and return to the compound. We suggest resting for a few days. Your body will eventually become accustomed to the new magical canal. We shall summon thee again when we are ready to teach the ways of controlling magic to thee,” Luna bowed her head. Soarin looked up at the horn strapped to his head and sighed.
“Thanks… I guess,” he shook his head.
“Art thou… alright?” Luna asked as he started walking. She herself thought it was a silly question. After everything that just happened to him he was clearly not alright. She only asked out of courtesy. Soarin nodded.
“Sorry, I AM thankful for the help… I just…” he sighed again, “I just feel like I no longer have control of my life… that’s all,” he said somberly as he slowly moved towards the doors.
What had he gotten himself into? Better yet, what were his fellow Wonderbolts going to think? Soarin suddenly shows up in the compound with a fake unicorn horn strapped to his head, what a weirdo! He braced himself mentally for the millions of times he was surely going to have to explain it. Better yet, Fleetfoot was going to give him hell for this. Spitfire probably wouldn’t give a damn and go right back to concentrating on her work. But Fleetfoot… he was never going to hear the end of it from her.
Discord watched as Soarin made his way behind the throne and left. He snorted, crossed his arms, and turned to Luna.
“Lulu, Lulu, Lulu… I’m disappointed in you!” he shook his head. Luna sat down and turned her head away.
“What dost thou mean?” she clumsily avoided the question. She blinked and Discord was directly in front of her face, upside down. She pulled her neck back, but as her head moved, Discord’s moved with it as if he was tethered to her.
“You didn’t tell him,” Discord put flatly. Luna caught on. There was something she kept from Soarin.
“He…” she closed her eyes, “he didn’t need to know,” she opened her eyes to find herself lying down on a psychiatrist bed. Discord sat on a stool beside her while jotting “notes” down.
“So let me get this straight,” he leafed through the pages of the notebook, “You made him wear an ancient practical joke, put him through the pain of amplified magical resonance, scared the feathers off of him, and didn’t tell him how much it’s gonna hurt when…” Discord put a finger to his forehead. Luna avoided eye contact. Discord shook his head and sneered, “My, my Luna, even for a guy like me, that’s cold!” he leaned down near her and bounced his eyebrows. Luna sighed and rolled off the bed.
“We could not bear it. Thou saw the fear already in his eyes. How could we frighten him further? He’s already in a position he should never be in!” she grinded her teeth, cursing her lack of ability to ease Soarin’s suffering.
“Oh Lulu, so young for being so old. Do you think your sister ruled all these eons without a step or two outside the lines?” he chuckled and slithered on the ground, weaving through her legs and rising to meet her face to face, “How much longer do you think you can play this all by the book?”
“Rgh…” she looked away. He hooked her chin with a claw and pulled her face back towards him.
“Sooner or later you’ll have to understand,” he flipped her chin up, “that sometimes we cannot merely follow the rules.”
“But!” she looked back down, but Discord was gone, “But…” she trailed off as she looked around for him, but he was nowhere to be found.
--- To be Continued ---