“Hammer of the Gods”
“O That These Hands Could So Redeem My Son!”
Trixie stared intensely into the still waters of the large pool in her personal laboratory. Without saying a word, her horn glowed gently and she waved her hoof over the water. The water began to ripple slightly. She watched the ripples intently, a dark smile spreading across her face as a slightly blurred image of the Bifrost bridge appeared in the pool. Her eyes narrowed when she spotted the bright yellow figure of Spitfire speaking with Luna, who was standing at the entrance. She watched closely as the dark blue alicorn stepped inside the observatory, followed closely by the yellow pegasus and her friends. The next thing she saw was the Bifrost roaring to life and a beam of light shooting out into space.
So Lady Spitfire...it seems that you have paid no heed to my words… Trixie thought darkly. She waved her hoof over the water once more and it grew still. You shall soon pay the consequences. With that last thought, she turned and walked out of her laboratory, heading for the deepest bowels of the castle.
Daring awoke to the warm, buttery sugary smell of something baking downstairs. She clambered out of bed and started down the staircase.
"Hey who's cooking waffles?" She called out, rounding the corner to see Rainbow Dash of all ponies, standing in the kitchen, wearing an apron covered in dried waffle batter, with her mane a frazzled mess.
"Oh! Good morn Professor!" Rainbow said, waving an arm and grinning broadly. Scootaloo was quick to bounce into Daring's field of vision, a massive beaming smile on her face.
"And I helped!!!!" Scootaloo beamed, hopping up and down. She was completely covered in splatters of waffle batter and clumps of wet flower clung to her mane.
"You made breakfast?" Daring asked in shock, walking over to the waffle iron, checking for any stray flames or burning embers, which she had grown to expect, especially after what happened with Comet Tail and the Salad Incident. She still had no idea how on earth the garbage disposal caught on fire that day.
"Well I can't see any flames..." She muttered. "Seems you really know what you're doing..."
Rainbow shrugged. "No need to thank me, it was the least I could do. And I can't take all the credit, for Scootaloo was a great help in telling me how to make these pastries." Scootaloo simply nodded, the big grin seeming to only grow larger.
Daring smiled. "Wow thanks a lot you really didn't have to do this, I mean you could have just asked."
Rainbow shook her head. "Nonsense! It is the very least I could do in recompense for my past actions, Professor."
Daring let out a sigh and walked over to pour herself some coffee. As she poured her coffee, Rainbow and Scootaloo moved to the breakfast table, and Rainbow began to spout some sort of story about her slaying a dragon or something. Daring had at first tried to interrupt, pointing out that dragon’s were rather rare in this part of Equestria. Rainbow Dash had looked at her for a moment, her expression that of mild bemusement before she quickly returned to her story. Normally, Daring would have protested such a blindingly illogical story, but Scootaloo had begged to hear the story, and, at the sight of Scootaloo looking so enraptured in something other than dusty old records was enough to allow Daring to relent.
“And so, with seemingly no method of escape, I wheeled my blessed hammer Mjolnir and struck down the mighty Nidhogg and banished him to the endlessly dark realm of Niflheim!” she emphasized her words with a slam of a fist on the table top, causing the table to shake.
“Hey just as a reminder, no table slamming okay?” Daring said, sitting down at the table. Rainbow was quick to nod.
“Of course, my greatest apologies. I simply got carried away by the telling of my epic tale of victory to my young friend here!” she said, smiling warmly and pulling Scootaloo into a quick noogie. Daring simply smiled, happy to see the big grins on both their faces.
“Well just try not to break the table when you do, it’s an antique.” she chuckled, looking up at the clock on the wall as she sipped her coffee. Wait is it that late already? she thought, her eyes widening at the position of the hands on the clock. “Damn it I’ve gotta go,” she muttered, quickly downing the rest of her coffee in one gulp.
Comet Tail raised an eyebrow. “I thought you retired?” he asked, watching as Daring quickly trotted over the hat rack and grabbed her pith helmet, quickly pulling it over her head.
“I just promised to look at that hammer,” she answered hastily, with Rainbow perking up as the older mare spoke.
“Hammer? You mean Mjolnir?” she asked, eyebrow raised. There was a heavy dose of nostalgia in her voice as she said this, and despite the happy smile on her face, her eyes were sad. Daring nodded.
“Yeah…” she said, walking up to Rainbow. “I’m sorry about what happened...I really am.”
Rainbow nodded. “I know. And I have accepted your apology full heartedly. But, as I said, I am paying for the misdeeds I have done. My mother is merciful though...she could have dropped me in any barren world, but instead chose here, where I am among ones who were willing to take me in and shelter me. And for that I owe you my life.”
Everyone was silent, a somewhat awkward pause in the air. Comet Tail nodded.
“Yeah...what you said.” he sipped his coffee, and Scootaloo nodded.
“Yeah Rainbow, you can stay here for forever if you want!” she pulled Rainbow into a tight hug, a big grin on her face. Rainbow looked down at Scootaloo and then looked towards Daring. Daring simply smiled again, turning towards the front door.
“Just stay outta trouble okay?” she said, opening the door and stepping outside. The door closed, leaving the three ponies there with their waffles. Comet Tail finished his meal first.
“Well I’ve gotta go, since I’m due at the observatory…” he said rather nonchalantly
“Observatory? You have observatories?” Rainbow asked, eyebrow raised. Comet Tail nodded.
“Yeah...I’m shooting for my university degree there.” he stated simply, making his way to the door. Scootaloo leaned around Rainbow and waved a hoof.
"How long are you going to be gone?" She asked. Comet Tail shrugged.
"I don't know...maybe four hours. But I'm probably going to be back before Daring is, so don't freak out or anything." And with that, he stepped out, leaving Rainbow and Scootaloo alone.
There was a pause as the two finished breakfast, neither of them really speaking.
“Um…Rainbow Dash, can I ask you a question?” Scootaloo unexpectedly piped up. Rainbow Dash nodded, moving to pick up the plates and take them to the sink.
“Speak it Dame Scootaloo, and I shall attempt to answer to my fullest knowledge.” she said, putting the plates in the sink and beginning to wash them.
“Dame?” Scootaloo asked quizzically, reaching for the soap and handing it to Rainbow Dash. “What’s a dame?”
Rainbow took the soap and squirted into the water. “Dame? Oh, it’s a title of endearment, like Sir for a knight.”
Scootaloo smiled. “Really? You would call me that?”
Rainbow nodded. “But of course. We’re friends are we not? And I’ve sworn to keep you safe as I would my own kin,” she stated simply before furrowing her brow and looking for something. “Now where might I put this to make sure it stays clean?” she asked. Scootaloo pointed down at the dishwasher.
“Right there. And you consider us friends?” she asked, a hopeful smile on her face. Rainbow nodded, giving Scootaloo a look that made it seem as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
“Scootaloo, you’ve invited me into your home, provided me with shelter and something to eat for these past two days, all for somepony who didn’t as much as care for you. If that’s not the true mark of a friend, than I would believe you are mad.” Rainbow was greeted by Scootaloo pulling her into another hug. Rainbow smiled, feeling her heart warm at the sign of affection. Her entire life had basically been turned completely upside down these last two days, but here she was, being thought of as the most wonderful pony in the universe for one lonely filly who simply needed a friend. She returned the hug gently. “Now didn’t you have a question you needed to ask me Scootaloo?”
Scootaloo blinked. “Oh yeah! What I was going to ask you was that you mentioned that you could use magic in your stories. But I thought that only unicorns can use magic?”
Rainbow shook her head. “Nonsense! Where I come from, anypony can create magic. You just need the right tools. Now, granted magic is more my sister’s specialty then it is mine, since she is a unicorn and she can naturally wrap her mind around those formulas better...” she trailed off.
“But how did you cast spells?” Scootaloo insisted.
“How do I cast spells? Oh that’s easy,” Rainbow said, motioning towards the table. “Let me show you.” she trotted over, grabbing a nearby pen that had been left on the kitchen counter. She set about drawing various runes and symbols on the paper, and Scootaloo watched, her eyes transfixed on the drawings.
“In this case, it’s heart magic we’re dealing with. The way it works is that you simply take the magic that naturally rests inside of you, more normally called ‘mana’ and give it a form and releasing it through a focus.” Rainbow explained, pointing to several complicated runes. The wondrous awe on Scootaloo’s face was enough to make Rainbow glad to have suffered through all those dreadfully boring classes with highbrow unicorns, even if she didn’t use many of these runes herself.
“What’s a focus?” Scootaloo asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Well, a ‘focus’ is simply a term used to describe anything used to channel and direct the flow of your magic. It can be anything really, a unicorn’s horn, a staff or wand, and sometimes, your own hoof. Of course, to channel magic through a hoof alone usually requires immense knowledge and concentration to do so.”
“So Mjolnir was your focus? Is that why it was so important?” Scootaloo asked. Rainbow’s smile faded slightly and Scootaloo seemed to notice it right off.
“Oh...I’m sorry I shouldn’t have said that…” she said, looking down at the floor guilty. Rainbow shook her head, the smile returning to her face.
“No worries, Scootaloo. You are correct in believing that Mjolnir is-was my focus. It also was my first and most respected weapon, given to me by the king of the Thestrals as a gift. I was allowed to design it myself.” she said nostalgically, recalling the fond memories she had designing it and watching the fabled Thestral blacksmiths create it before her very eyes. She sat up, letting out a sigh. She felt a hoof touch her hoof and she looked to see Scootaloo looking at her with deep concern.
“You okay Rainbow?” she asked, her voice worrisome. It was then that Rainbow realized that she had actively been crying and was quick to wipe away her tears.
“Oh I’m okay...just memories. I’m sorry, I mustn't dwell on the past. Mother always tried to tell me that the past is the past and it cannot be revoked, so no use bemoaning it. Of course...I never listened…” she caught herself, pulling back from what she could tell was going to be another rather depressing train of thought. “Now, what was I telling you about again?” she asked, looking back towards Scootaloo.
The concern left Scootaloo’s face and was replaced by happiness again. “You were telling me how to make my own magic!” she chirped. Rainbow nodded.
“Yes of course how could I forget. Now, if you want, I can teach you some very basic things, just the basics if you wish.”
Scootaloo’s smile only widened. “YOU WOULD?! That is sooo awesome!” she hopped out of her chair, wings buzzing ecstatically as she hopped up and down. “What are we going to use?” she asked, already standing by the door.
“Well, when you sent me to the closet to grab the apron, I remember seeing some old broom handles and some chalk am I correct?”
Scootaloo shrugged before scampering over to the closet, poking her head inside. “Yeah we got that. Is that what we’re going to use?”
Rainbow nodded. “Yes those would do fine. Now gather them up and let’s go, I have just remembered I am in need of running one more errand.” she said, grabbing an empty coffee mug off the table. Scootaloo smiled and was quick to follow Rainbow out the front door.
“What are you going to do with that coffee mug Rainbow?” Scootaloo asked, trying to keep up with Rainbow’s brisk canter.
“You’ll see, you’ll see.” Rainbow answered mysteriously and they turned onto Main Street, with Rainbow pausing to look around for a moment. “Scootaloo, where is that tavern we were eating in?” she asked, her eyes scanning the signs of the many shops that lined Main Street as they walked.
“You mean there?” Scootaloo said, pointing towards the diner at the end of Main Street, perched right on the corner.
“Yes! There exactly. Come now,” Rainbow answered, scooping Scootaloo up and plopping her on her back. “This way we can move faster and I can find a suitable place to teach you.” she said as she cantered over to the diner, coming to a stop right outside the front door. She beckoned for Scootaloo to climb off her back for a moment.
“Stay here okay?” she said, and Scootaloo nodded, still having no idea what Rainbow wanted to do with the coffee mug. She watched as Rainbow stepped inside the diner, walking over to the counter. Meanwhile, inside the diner, Rainbow waived towards the pony working behind the counter, who turned to look towards her.
“Yeah? Whadda ya’ll want?” she asked incredulously, looking at Rainbow with an angry expression. Rainbow smiled sheepishly.
“Um, yes, I wish to apologize for my actions the day before yesterday,” she said, placing the coffee mug on the counter and nudging it towards the mare. The waitress eyed it suspiciously for a moment.
“What are you talking about and what the hay am I supposed to do with this?” she asked, looking at Rainbow with arched eyebrows.
"It's a replacement for the cup I destroyed the day before yesterday. Please take it as recompense." Rainbow said, once more nudging the coffee mug towards the waitress. The waitress looked at Rainbow and then looked down at the coffee mug, before letting out a sigh.
"Ugh fine," the waitress grumbled, taking the coffee mug off the counter and putting it underneath. "Will that be all or do you want to try and fling the salt shaker too?" She sneered sarcastically. Rainbow glared at her, fighting the strong urge to punch the snarky waitress directly in the face. She gritted her teeth, glancing back outside to see Scootaloo watching her through the diner window. Rainbow let out a huff.
Control yourself Rainbow. Scootaloo thinks highly of you...do not debase yourself in front of her like that... She set her jaw and turned back towards the waitress. "Now see here, I have come in good spirits to simply repay for my mistake. Please...take the cup and I shall be on my way." She said, her voice dark.
"What seems to be the trouble here?" Came an unfamiliar voice, and both Rainbow and the waitress turned simultaneously to see an older looking donkey wearing a white button-up shirt with a black tie and dark brown wig.
“No trouble at all sir I was just...” The waitress began before being cut off by the donkey.
“Just what? If there is no trouble Ms. Spoon then why do you and our multi colored friend here look as if you're about to tear each other's throats out?” He asked, his voice pausing every few words.
The waitress was first to speak. “Well sir if you would let me explain...”
“Hush, Ms. Spoon," the donkey said, cutting her off. He then turned towards Rainbow Dash. "My name is Tiberius and I own this Diner. What seems to be the problem?” He asked, looking towards Rainbow with an expectant expression.
“Well, Mr. Tiberius, I am Rainbow Dash. And the only problem here is that your waitress won’t accept my apology, You see dear owner, the other day when I came here for breakfast, and well...got a little carried away with myself and happened to destroy one of your coffee mugs. I have come here today with another, unbroken one as recompense in order to settle our accounts.”
Mr. Tiberius nodded. “I see...Ms. Spoon, is what she said true?" He asked, turning towards the waitress.
“Yes Sir, but…”
"And has she made good on her offer and brought us a new coffee mug?" He asked again, cutting her off.
“No buts Ms. Spoon. Now Miss Dash, I am no stranger to broken plates, mugs or bent spoons and forks. We’re open twenty-four hours and a lot of barflys show up here every night, so I have learned not to cry over a chipped mug. But I must say that you are the first one not only to say 'I am sorry', but to also to bring a replacement. So all is forgiven.” Mr. Tiberius said. Rainbow blinked.
“Is that all you ask of me to even our accounts?”
“Yes it is. So run along now Miss Dash, your sister looks like she’s quite bored." He said, motioning towards Scootaloo standing outside the diner. "And Ms. Spoon please close your mouth and stop gawking, you’ll catch flies.”
With that, Mr. Tiberius trotted back towards his office and Ms. Spoon shot Rainbow one more glare, before turning to go and talk to a customer. Dash herself stood there a few seconds longer processing what just happened. Apparently the Mortals were much more forgiving than she had thought. She smiled, shaking her head slightly as she turned back to met Scootaloo, who had been waiting outside the entire time.
"What took you so long?" Scootaloo asked as Rainbow scooped her up on her back again. Rainbow simply shrugged.
"Felt that I should repay for the coffee mug I smashed the day before yesterday." She answered and Scootaloo nodded. "Now, do you know of any large vacant areas where I might be able to better teach you about magic?"
Scootaloo thought for a moment, "Uh....well they've been meaning to build a new supermarket over there..." She pointed towards a large vacant lot where a sign that said 'Firth of Fifth Stores' stood. Rainbow nodded.
"Then there is where we shall begin her training." She said, turning towards the lot. While doing so, one thing Mr. Tiberius had said kept echoing in Rainbow's mind. He had called Scootaloo her sister. For some reason that Rainbow couldn't quite pinpoint, the idea of having Scootaloo as a sister gave her great comfort.
With a deafening clap of thunder, the Bifrost deposited the four pegasi in the middle of a desert.
“Are you sure this is where Rainbow was banished too?” Flitter asked, as Spitfire scanned the horizon.
“Well, there would be no reason for Luna to drop us off elsewhere, so yes, I believe so.” she answered.
“Well then, we should start looking for Rainbow’s tracks…” Flitter said, her eyes already closely scanning the ground. “We shouldn’t be too far from Rainbow’s location, so look for something like a campfire or…” she trailed off, looking towards Soarin with raised eyebrows. “Soarin what are you doing?” she asked.
Soarin had wandered off from the group aways, and was now gazing up at a nearby ridge. “I spy some sort of fortification…” he paused, rustling his wings. “And I can feel quite a lot of magic...can’t you?”
The other three all traded glances. Spitfire narrowed her eyes slightly. It was true that she could feel a strong aura of ambient magic. She couldn’t quite place where the magic was coming from, but she knew it wasn’t Bifrost derived magic. Where’s Bifrost magic often felt wispy and airy, like smoke, this ambient magic felt heavy and dense. “Feels like Thestral magic…” She said, trotting over to Soarin. “Feels like it’s coming from that ridge as well…” she added and Soarin nodded.
“Do you think it could be Mjolnir?” Cloudchaser called out.
“Makes sense to me.” Flitter was quick to add.
Spitfire nodded. “Then we head over the ridge,” she said, beckoning for the group to follow. “Good work Soarin.”
Soarin nodded. “Welcome Spitfire…” Spitfire smiled and nodded, before jumping into the air, quickly followed by the other three. As they flew towards the ridge, Spitfire called out for Flitter.
“Flitter! What do you see?”
“A large fenced in area with several hastily constructed buildings and what seems to be several recently worn paths including one leading to what looks like a village.” Flitter replied, holding a hoof over her eyes to block out the sun. Spitfire raised an eyebrow.
“Which way does the path to town go?” she called out. Flitter pointed to the west and Spitfire was quick to look in the direction Flitter had been pointing and could see that, indeed, there seemed to be a small town on the horizon. Spitfire motioned towards the town and the group all turned in unison to head west.
Meanwhile, several hundred feet below, Agent Spike closely watched the four small, pegasi turn towards Appleloosa through his high-powered binoculars. Without looking away from the pegasi, he reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a small walkie-talkie.
“Agent Pie, this is Agent Spike can you read me, over?”
“Ten four Spikey Wikey! Whadda need?” Pinkie was quick to respond from the other end, her voice it’s characteristic buoyant and effervescent chirp.
“Keep a look out for four pegasi coming your way, over.” Spike replied, carefully studying the pegasi. They seemed to be flying abnormally fast compared to most pegasi he had seen.
“Okie dokie loki. Gotta description of them?” Pinkie asked, and the sound of her rummaging for her notepad greeted Spike’s ear.
“Yeah we got bright yellow, sky blue and two identical lavender ones. They’re dressed in what looks like renaissance era clothing.” Spike said, using his draconic sight to his advantage.
“OH!! Is there a Ren Faire in town? please say yes!, please say yes!” Pinkie squealed, and Spike could have sworn that he heard her hopping up and down in the background. He simply sighed, rolling his eyes slightly.
“No there is no fair Agent Pie. Just track the targets and be careful about it okay?”
Pinkie let out a sigh, her voice sounding noticeably disappointed. “Oh all right Mr. Grouchy Pants. But can I still give Soarin a pie when all is said and done?” she asked, her voice returning to it’s standard chipper tone. Spike blinked for a second.
“Soarin?” he asked confusingly.
“Yeah, you know, Soarin! The blue pegasus who lost his pie in the last chapter! Really Spiky you need to stay up to date with the story.”
Spike honestly had no idea what Agent Pie was talking about, but years of working with her had meant he had grown accustomed to her non-sequiturs. “Whatever Pinkie, just keep an eye out for them okay?”
“Sure thing Spikey Wikey! Over and out!” Pinkie Pie chimed, and there was the typical static of a walkie talkie being turned off. Spike simply rolled his eyes again, stuffing the walkie talkie back in his jacket pocket. He turned towards the compound. He stepped inside, leaning over Agent Glimmer’s shoulder to look closely at the computer screen in front of him.
“We just got a strange spike of magical energy Agent Spike,” Glimmer said, pointing towards the display. Spike nodded.
“That we do, Agent Glimmer. Get the boys ready. I have a feeling those pegasi I saw and those energy stats have a lot in common…”
Agent Glimmer nodded, and got up from the chair, already barking orders. Spike meanwhile, walked to his personal office, reaching into the desk drawer to pull out a small bottle of Lyrish Whiskey, dated 1922. He had a gut feeling he would be needing some of this today.
“Well my friend it seems that we’ll be having some fun…” he muttered, stuffing the bottle into his jacket. With that, he turned back out of the office and towards the waiting vehicles.
Trixie strode through the deepest dungeon of the palace, barely acknowledging the guards as they saluted her as she passed. She came to a stop in front of a tremendous wooden door etched with a seemingly endlessly web of runes and symbols, all glowing a dull orange. Without saying a word, Trixie lit her horn and a green tendril of magic stretched out towards the ornate door knob and it glowed, and the glow in the door faded slightly, slowly shifting to the same color as Trixie’s magic. A small smile appeared on Trixie’s face as the door groaned as it opened slowly, and she stepped inside the special chamber.
She knew exactly why this chamber had been enchanted with some of the most complicated spells in the kingdom. Inside it held a creature, a monster that had brought pain and suffering to hundreds, if not thousands. A beast of monstrosity hardly ever witnessed outside the blackest nightmares.
But Trixie’s heart held no fear.
Trixie’s heart only grew heavy with sorrow at the sight of the mammoth wolf chained to the wall. His sleeping breaths sounded like a blast furnace and she could see the area where the chain was linked to his neck had since grown raw, the hair having long fallen out.
Trixie came to a stop less than three feet in front of the sleeping wolf, and felt her eyes begin to water slightly. She reached a hoof out and gently stroked his head, feeling the once smoothness of his coat now rough and unkempt. “Wake up my darling…” she whispered quietly. At this, the wolf’s eyes bolted open and he let out a deep, rumbling growl that caused Trixie to take two prudent steps back as he began to struggle violently against the chain tied to his neck.
Trixie felt her heart breaking at the sight of her child in such a state. Holding back tears, she stepped forward, holding out her hoof. “No my child…” she whispered. “It’s alright...no need to fear me…” The wolf looked towards her, now standing a full head and shoulders above her. He seemed to noticeably calm, as his hackles came down and he took a step towards her. Trixie smiled sadly as she and allowed the wolf to nuzzle her gently.
“Yes...I am greatly pleased to see you as well, Fenrir…” she cooed, gently petting the massive wolf. The wolf let out a quiet wine and laid down on the ground, resting his head on Trixie’s shoulder. Trixie continued to pet him gently, and his breathing soon became steady again.
“Oh my sweetheart...it’s been so long since I last saw you…” Trixie said, her voice now sounding broken, tears now flowing freely from her eyes. “But worry not...we’ll soon be able to once more be together, my son. All will be redeemed, be patient.”
The wolf seemed to nod slightly, and it nuzzled Trixie again gently, even going as far to gently lick her hoof. Trixie smiled sadly, memories of his smiling face and his cheery voice drifting through her mind. She took a deep breath, biting her lip as the real reason for her coming here once more brought itself to the forefront of her mind.
“My son, I wish to ask you something,” she said, leaning close to whisper into his ear. The wolf’s ears perked up and he seemed to be listening closely to whatever it was that Trixie was whispering into his ear. As she spoke, Trixie’s horn glowed green again and Fenrir’s deep blue eyes shifted to mirror the color of her magic. He blinked, shaking his head as if to protest whatever magic spell was being cast upon him. Trixie was quick to return to stroking him gently, her voice calm and placid.
“No need to fear son...’tis only a clairvoyance spell. I shall now see what you see and hear what you hear. Now, will you fulfill the task that I have asked of you?” she asked, looking Fenrir in the eyes. Fenrir seemed to nod slightly, and nuzzled her once more. Trixie reached her arms around Fenrir’s gigantic head and hugged him gently.
“Your mama loves you, my sweet Fenrir…” her horn glowed and the collar chaining him to the wall became loose. “Now come,” she said, her voice taking on a darker and more authoritative tone. “We have have much business to attend to.” She beckoned for Fenrir to stand and climbed onto his back. She leaned down next to his ear and whispered her final order.
“Now let us fly my son.”
Fenrir nodded, and bolted out the chamber as fast as his legs could carry him.