The Dreambender

by The Phantom Joker

Scootaloo's Deal With The Devil

That night, in the Girls Dormitory in the VampFlare Home For Orphaned Foals, we find a young Pegasus filly whose wings appeared to be nothing more than skin, bone, and feathers with an orange coat and purple mane and tail wearing a nightgown of some kind. This was Scootaloo, a local filly with big dreams, a scooter, no Cutie Mark, and a wing handicap brought on by a birth defect, and made worse by malnutrition from lack of a proper diet thanks to the orphanage. The odds of her being able to fly like a Pegasus should were slim to none.

And that was something Alcor aimed to fix as he approached the sleeping filly while in the Mindscape, completely unseen and undetected. Once he reached the young filly, he placed a gentle hand on the filly’s forehead. “It’s such a shame the deck’s been stacked against since birth, little Scootaloo. You have such great potential to become even greater than your hero Rainbow Dash one day. And it will all be wasted unless someone does something about your handicap. Perhaps you and I can come to an agreement that will finally allow the phoenix that lurks inside your soul to rise at last,” said Alcor, before he turned into what appeared to be thick black smoke of shadows itself.

“Now, let’s have a look at your dreams, young one.”

Scootaloo began to stir at the sound of clinking and clanking chains. Opening her eyes, she saw that she and several other Pegasi fillies and colts around her age were dangling by their wrists over a black void, their chains attached to a conveyor belt in what appeared to be a dimly-lit factory of some kind.

“Hey,” Scootaloo asked one of the children dangling next to her. “What’s happening? What’s going on?”

“We’re failures,” said the colt, no emotion is his voice, as if all the happiness had been sucked out of him. “We’ve been sent to the Rainbow Factory to be sacrificed to the Pegasus Device.”

“Wha-? What are you talking about?” asked Scootaloo.

The colt didn’t respond. A moment later, a laugh, very familiar to Scootaloo, yet horribly altered and evil., rang throughout the Factory. Scootaloo looked directly across the room and found… her hero, her legend, her idol, laughing like a wicked hyena. But, why was she here? And why was she laughing like that?

Indeed, lounging across a ebony throne, twirling a pair of dice that seemed to be made out of pure diamond, and wearing a black tanktop, blue jeans with a black leather belt, black leather boots, a long white bloodstained lab coat, black fingerless gloves, a black scarf, and black science goggles, was Rainbow Dash, and she couldn’t stop laughing at the sight of the failures before her.

“Oh, look at you pathetic pieces of slime, so weak, so helpless,” said Rainbow, a certain wickedness in her voice that had certainly not been there the last time Scootaloo had seen her. “I know what you’re all thinking. ‘Why me, Faust?’ Well, I hate to break it-no, wait, I’m lying, I’d love to break it to you, but Faust’s not listening. Matter of fact, I hear that she’s not even in Equestria this time of year.”

“Rainbow! It’s me, Scootaloo! Your biggest fan and the founder of your fan club!” called Scootaloo, desperate for her hero to recognize her and get her down from the conveyor belt before something really bad happened.

Unfortunately for the young filly, Rainbow ignored her, got up off her throne, and continued talking. “Now, I’m sure you’re also wondering why exactly you’re here. Simply put, you’re all a bunch of rejects and failures, in nearly every sense of the word. And there’s only one thing a failure’s good for around here. Being sacrificed to our crown jewel, the Pegasus Device, and having your Spectra extracted in order to for the lower levels to make-”

“LAWN DART!” yelled a voice from the shadows as what appeared to be a black katana with a handle that resembled the top part of a cane flew at Rainbow, who barely got out of the way in time to avoid getting skewered. “D’oh, I missed!” said the voice as the cane-sword then returned to the shadows.

“All right, who did that!?” snarled Rainbow, pulled a large serrated knife from a sheath attached to her belt. “Show yourself, you miserable punk!”

“As you wish,” said the voice. A few VERY tense minutes passed as Rainbow turned in circles, looking for her attacker.

And then, almost as suddenly as the same weapon had been thrown, the black katana impaled Rainbow from behind while Scootaloo watched in horror.

“NO! RAINBOW!” she screamed as a pool of crimson blood formed on the chest of the mare she so idolized before the attacker, now revealed to be a strange creature in a black suit, kicked Rainbow off his sword, which quickly turned back into a cane. “You… you monster! Y-you’ve killed my hero! You evil, evil, monster!” wailed Scootaloo.

“Uh, actually, Rainbow Dash is still alive and well, probably going to sleep in this morning… again,” said the creature. “The Rainbow I just killed is nothing more than a part of this dream, just like those chains you’re bound in. In fact. this whole damn Rainbow Factory is nothing more than a dream. Although, I’m quite curious. When did you start having this nightmare? And yes, this is all a dream. Dreams often times feel so real because, to you, they are.”

“Well… if this really is a dream like you say, then I’d say it started about a week or so ago, when Diamond Tiara told the class a scary campfire story during the class camping trip,” said Scootaloo.

The creature shrugged. “Makes sense, considering what happens when you hear a spooky campfire story,” he said. “But, where are my manners? My name’s Alcor, dream demon extraordinaire. Why don’t we change up the scenery a little? Then you and I can talk business.”

With a snap of his fingers, Alcor made Scootaloo’s restraints pop open, and made the entire Rainbow Factory disappear into nothingness. In the Factory’s place appeared what Scootaloo could only describe as a flat-top asteroid or some kind of meteor somewhere in Outer Space. On the asteroid was a desk with two black leather office chairs on each side.

“Come, Scootaloo, have a seat,” said Alcor as he took one of the seats.

Scootaloo, not really knowing what else to do, took the seat opposite Alcor.

“Now, then, kiddo, let’s get right to it. I’m prepared to give you all of your heart’s desires. A family, the ability to fly with the best of them, the best of them being Rainbow Dash-”

“My Cutie Mark?” asked Scootaloo hopefully.

“Eh… not so much. Bad things happen when you try to cheat when you’re trying to earn your Cutie Mark, as your pal Apple Bloom’s about to discover in a few days time. But, I’m willing to give you everything else your heart desires. For instance, I understand that you wish Rainbow Dash was like a surrogate big sister to you, correct?”

Scootaloo gasped in shock. “How did you know that?!” she asked.

“Please, Scoots, I’m a dream demon, a master of the mind. There isn’t one secret you have that I don’t already know about. But, why don’t we take you and Dashie’s surrogate sister relationship, and kick it up a notch to an adopted sister relationship. As for Miss Finch… well, I think she’ll get what’s coming to her soon enough,” said Alcor with a wicked grin. “As for your little wing handicap, I could fix that up blindfolded. You’d be able to take on your hero in a straight-up one-on-one race and actually have a decent shot of winning by the time I’m through with you.”

Scootaloo couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It all seemed too good to be true. Her dreams, her heart’s desires, right in front of her, ready for the taking…

A chill of suspicion stopped Scootaloo’s thoughts cold in their tracks. If this Alcor guy was a demon like he said, then there was probably something he wanted in return.

“What’s the catch?” asked Scootaloo.

Alcor smiled again. “Smart kid, always making sure to read the fine print before signing the contract. That’ll serve you well later in life. The catch is, in order to make the magic work, you need to give me something I want in return. You can’t get something for nothing, after all, that’s not how the Power of The Deal works,” he said.

A small shiver of fear ran through Scootaloo. “A-And what is it that you want from me, exactly?” she asked while thinking Please don’t let it be my soul, not my soul, not my soul.

“Well-” Alcor started to say, before everything around them started to flicker and disappear while a snippy, bossy-sounding female voice barked, “Wake up! Wake up this instant or you’ll be sleeping the incinerator room tonight!”

 “Ooh, looks like we’ll have to cut this little business meeting short, Scoots. I’ll leave some summoning instructions with you so we can continue our talks later tonight in the incinerator room tonight, as well as some supplies you’ll need for summoning me. See you tonight, Scootaloo! And remember: reality is an illusion, the universe is a hologram, buy gold, BYYYEE!” said Alcor as he and everything else disappeared.

Scootaloo awoke with a start while Miss Cinch, a serious-looking unicorn mare with a maroon mane and tail and stone gray fur wearing an old-fashioned suit jacket-skirt combo and heels looked down upon her with the utmost indifference.

“About time you woke up, Miss Scootaloo,” Cinch said with a hint of menace with in her voice. “I think a few long nights in the incinerator room will teach you not to sleep in past your required time to wake up. Is that understood?”

Scootaloo did a small double-take at the news of this punishment. “Y-yes ma’am,” she finally said.

“Good. You have 15 minutes to get yourself dressed, or else I’ll double your time in the incinerator room,” said Cinch as she walked out of the dormitory and shut the door behind her.

Scootaloo placed her hand on her face. That was one crazy dream I had last night. Well, at least it was just a- Scootaloo thought herself as she climbed out of bed, stopping herself in mid-thought at the sight of what had been written on her hand in blue ink.

The dream is real.- Alcor the Dreambender. P.S. Look what I did to your other hand.

Scootaloo looked at her other hand to find that a small hand mirror with a drawing of a beak and a chicken’s crown on it that matched up with her face perfectly had been taped to it.

Look, a chicken! was the message that had been left there.

Shaking her head, Scootaloo pulled off the mirror and discarded it before she began to get dressed in a black t-shirt, a dark green jacket, blue denim shorts, white socks, and her old hand-me-down sneakers. Putting her hands in her pockets as she examined herself in the mirror, she came to discover that there was something in her pocket that she could’ve sworn hadn’t been there before. Pulling it out, Scootaloo discovered that it was a piece of paper with some drawings on it and some notes.

This must be the summoning instructions Alcor left me, thought Scootaloo as she put the paper back in her pocket. No time to look at it now, I’ve got to join the others for the shuttle ride to school.

And with that, Scootaloo quickly made her way downstairs to join her fellow orphans in waiting for the shuttle bus to pick them up and take them all to school.

All through the first half of that school day, Scootaloo couldn’t stop thinking about that dream she’d had the previous night, and the offer the mysterious Alcor had made her. Everything and anything she’d ever wished for, save for a Cutie Mark. But, she couldn’t help but wonder what she’d have to give him in return. Would she have to give him her soul? Take the life of somepony in sacrifice to him? What could he want?

After what seemed like forever and a half, the lunch bell finally rang, and Scootaloo could be left alone to consider her options on the issue that had been placed before her. and that’s exactly what she did as she sat on a bench in the outdoor cafeteria by herself, looking at the summoning instructions Alcor had left her.

Well, that is, until…


Scootaloo looked up from the slip of paper to see her two best friends in the world and fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders, Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom, run up to her. Sweetie Belle was a unicorn filly around Scootaloo’s age with white fur and a pink and lavender mane and tail wearing a pink and white striped shirt, a hot pink jacket, a yellow skirt, and shoes that matched her jacket. Apple Bloom was an Earth Pony filly around Scootaloo’s age with yellow fur and a blood red mane and tail wearing a green t-shirt, blue jeans, and brown cowboy boots. She also had a pink ribbon in her mane.

“Whatcha reading?” asked Sweetie, noticing the slip of paper in her friend’s hand.

“Oh, uh, nothing,” said Scootaloo, trying to hide the slip of paper, only to have it snatched by Apple Bloom, who studied it with a frown.

“What in tarnation is this thing?” Apple Bloom asked Scootaloo, obviously confused.

Scootaloo sighed in defeat and told her friends what had happened the previous night. When she finished her story, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle both had unsure looks on their faces.

“I don’t know if you should go through with this Alcor guy’s deal, Scootaloo,” Sweetie Belle finally said after a few moments. “I mean, haven’t you seen the movies? Oh, wait, what am I saying, of course you haven’t because of that orphanage, but anyways, deals with the devil and/or demons never end well. I mean, you could get what you want, but you could also lose what you have too.”

“What are you blanks-flanks talking about?” asked a nearby, all-too-familiar snooty voice. “Scootaloo doesn’t have anything to lose, and odds are she never will.”

The Cutie Mark Crusaders looked over and saw their arch-enemy and pain in the ass Diamond Tiara and her lackey Silver Spoon standing nearby.

“You three don’t honestly believe there’s such things as ghosts and goblins, do you?” sneered Diamond Tiara as she walked up to the CMC, her hand on her hips. “It’d make you look even more pathetic than you already are. But, then again, being blank flanks, that’s no easy task, but it’s a good try!”

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon laughed at the Crusaders. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle began to look depressed while Scootaloo’s face turned angry.

This ends now, Tiara! thought Scootaloo. I’m going to go through with Alcor’s offer tonight, but I’m going to add one more bit on my end, and that’s putting an end to you trying to tear us down!

Later that night within the confines of the incinerator room of the orphanage, Scootaloo nearly had everything ready to summon Alcor. She had the circle drawn and the conveniently placed unscented candles were lit and in position. All she had to do now was speak the incantation.

“Stella splendida vos invoco!” cried Scootaloo, the flames in the circle turning blue as she spoke. “Dico nomen vestriam: Alcor!”

The flames in the circle immediately went out as a swirling, crackling vortex of some kind appeared, which needless to say, scared Scootaloo something terrible. And yet, she couldn’t move a muscle, so transfixed she was by the vortex, until finally, Alcor came out of it.

“So… have you considered my offer?” the dream demon.

“Yes,” said Scootaloo, her voice full of determination.” But, there’s a few things I need to ask you first.”

“You want me to settle the score with Diamond Tiara, and you want to know what I want in return for giving you your heart’s desire, sans Cutie Mark, right?” said Alcor.

Scootaloo bit back the questions as to how the dream demon knew that. “Yes,” Scootaloo said.

“Admittedly, I was going to pay Diamond Tiara a visit and screw around with her head anyway,” said Alcor. “As for what I want in return… well, that’s quite simple. What I want is a foundation stone, upon which to rebuild my cults and organizations.”

Scootaloo did a double-take. “R-really? That’s it?” she asked, hardly able to believe it.

“Yes,” said Alcor. “Back in my dimension, I used have cults and organizations that had members from all over the world. Seeing as I’m not in my world anymore, I think it would be wise to take a more proactive role in rebuilding them, wouldn’t you say?”

“So… all you want is for me to become a cultist for you, and that’s it?” asked Scootaloo.

“That’s it.”

“Mr. Alcor… my master… you’ve got yourself a deal,” said Scootaloo, holding out her hand.

Alcor shook Scootaloo’s hand with his own covered in blue flames. No sooner had they shook, however, than Scootaloo began to feel dizzy and disoriented before inky blackness started to appear in the corners of her vision.

“Rest up, Scoots, for you have a big day tomorrow… not only will you be adopted by the Dash family and become Rainbow’s equal and possibly her superior, but I have a little job for you as well,” said Alcor with a wicked grin before Scootaloo finally passed out.