• Published 11th May 2013
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Denuo Fortuna - Firecaller



She was a unicorn on the run. She needed somewhere to hide, somewhere quiet and boring. The tourist pamphlet was out of date but the place sounded ideal... Ponyville

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Chapter 19 - Hidden Things

Chapter 19 - Hidden Things

Sunbeam sat staring into the entrance to Everfree. Bringing the bottle of Jackie D she held in her hoof up, she took a mouthful of the amber liquid, before placing the bottle down on the ground.

"Father-daughter relationship. Hah! He wasn't my father, he wasn't my father... he wasn't my father! He had no right to be like a..."

Out of habit, her hoof came up to check her amulet around her neck.

A yelp was heard as if somepony had just been burnt, followed by cursing at a knocked over bottle.

Rubbing her eyes with a hoof, she reached a decision.

"I'll head back, I'm being a stupid mare even thinking about this."

Taking a deep breath a final look into the forest before she left, she tilted her head in puzzlement at some floating green lights beyond the tree line.

'Firefly's? During the day? No! Eyes! They're green eyes. Looking at me. Timberwolves!'

A half smile formed as her thinking becoming focused, confident and so very, very cold. It was Icefang that entered the forest.

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While a unicorn mare was marching into a forest, Soarin, Spitfire, and Doctor Pulse were sat by the runway at the Wonderbolt academy, watching a rainbow coloured streak perform complex manoeuvres overhead.

Two were watching her intently anyway, unfortunately for Spitfire, she found herself getting distracted from the display by the whimpers, and wing twitches, coming from the doctor at every tight turn Rainbow performed. A particularly loud whimper caused her already strained patience to snap and she spun round and thrust a hoof at the Wonderbolts chief medical officer. “Buck it doc, you’re the one who said to her ‘go up there and show us what you can do’.”

Hanging his head, he sounded broken. “I know. It’s just some of those maneuvers should have torn her wings off." Stamping a hoof he looked down. "This is impossible, she is impossible, that is impossible." Shoulders slumping, he carried on. "I just hope I can get some useful data from the G-force harness she’s wearing.”

Never looking away from the display above, Soaring spoke up. “Oh, that’s what it was. I thought you'd bought her something from the ‘more advanced’ section of a marital aids catalogue.”

A blush exploded on the doctors face.

“It’s highly advanced scientific apparatus designed to record how many G’s a wearer pulls while wearing it. It’s designed to position meters at strategic points all over the wearers body, without impeding their movement. Although now you mention it...”

Wincing, he now understood his receptionist’s reaction to it when he proudly showed it off to her.

“I think I know why Rainbow was wearing a cloak over it when she came out of the billets.”

Soarin, wearing a big smile, turned to the doctor. “Hey doc, you got Rainbow Dash to wear something that could be called downright kinky. Do you realise how many stallions, and a few mares, want to shake your hoof right now? On a unrelated note, are you going need, say, pictorial evidence of this, ‘cause... ”

Soarin tailed off as he felt Spitfire's glare land on the back of his head. Any other pony would have needed a baseball bat to achieve the same effect on him.

Still glaring at Soarin, Spitfire continued. “So doc, why do you want to record how many G’s Cadet Dash pulls?”

Raising a hoof, and pointing it at a particular violent turn the rainbow streak had just made, a despondent note entered his voice. “Because that move should have just liquidized her internal organs. And don’t even get me started on the sonic rainboom and the ninety degree turns. My medical books all weep at the thought of what she does." The doctor took a deep breath. "I just want to know how she’s doing it. So I'm trying to gather some data, even though I suspect it's just going to make me even more upset.”

Looking back up to the display, Soarin shrugged. “Hey, it's magic right.”

“No!" Stamping a hoof for emphasis the Doctor Pulse glared at Soarin. "Not at this level. All pegasus have enough magic to fly. Some though, have flying related talents, so as their internal magic flows out through their talent, magically enhancing their flying skills. Keyword here is enhance.”

Jabbing a hoof at the rainbow streak he grumbled. “What’s happening up there is not magic enhancing flying, its magic throwing the rulebook out the window and letting her do whatever she damn well pleases.”

Hanging his head, his wings drooping to the point they were almost dragging on the ground, the doctor turned to leave.

Without looking back, he softly added. “When she’s finished, please sent her to see me in my office, with the G-force harness. I want to analyze the data, see if it can give me a clue on what’s happening up there... Which I seriously doubt." He slammed a hoof into his face. "Argh, she is an impossible pegasus!"

Spitfire and Soarin watched the doctor set off to his office, with leaden steps.

“I get the impression it bothers him,” Soaring stated. “And you too.” Pointing a hoof at Spitfire.

Nodding her head in agreement Spitfire added. “It does, I actually have no idea what to do with her. If she put her mind to it, she could fly circles around all of us. I just...”

The rest of whatever Spitfire was about to say was lost in the sonic rainboom that echoed over the airfield.

Everypony on the airfield just stopped and watched the rainbow steak go through patterns at sonic rainboom speeds. Spitfire and Soarin weren’t the only ponies to wince at the ninety-degree turns.

Still staring at the streak, Spitfire rubbed the back of her neck. “Okay, what have we got that can top that?”

Soarin just shook his head. Then raised his hoof to point at the rainbow streak, now at ground level, heading straight at them.

“Erm…”

Stopping dead, mere feet from them, Rainbow threw in a dramatic pose. Her late stop, in Soarin's opinion, caused him to fall over backwards and Spitfire to flinch at the near miss. At least at what any other pegasus would called a near miss.

“Awww, yeah. Err, I mean Sirs.” Rainbow’s pose changed to a hovering attention stance and crisply saluted, while Soarin was scrambling to get back on his hooves.

With a nod, Spitfire acknowledged the salute. “Cadet, I believe the good doctor would like to see you, with the G-force harness. Once you’ve changed and hit the showers.”

Rainbow’s eyes widened. “Oh I forgot I was wearing this… thing. Cloak please Soar... I mean sir.”

Soarin sat there just staring at Rainbow and the harness just long enough for it to become uncomfortable before realising and passing her the cloak.

“Thank you...sir.” Grabbing the cloak with her teeth, she threw it over her. “Can’t wait to get out of this thing, It looks… blegh.” With the cloak over her, Rainbow trotted off towards the billets, Soarin watching her all the way.

“Lieutenant!”

“Ma’am.” Soarin jumped into the air assuming a hovering attention pose, with a salute.

Looking coldly at him for a few seconds, her face split into a wide grin, a grin which could inspire cold sweats in anypony that knew her.

“Lieutenant, you have been staring at a very attractive young mare, while she was wearing very provocative attire. You are now hovering in front of me with your hips at my eye level while wearing a very form-fitting flightsuit. Please land… now.”

Soarin landed very rapidly with a noticeable thud, the blush was extra. “Permission to be excused, ma’am?”

“Oh no, Lieutenant.” Looking around she spotted a group of cadets. “Cadets! Front and centre.”

The four cadets rushed over to Spitfire and saluted.

“The good lieutenant here is now going to demonstrate how to properly wear a flight suit. Make sure he shows where the seams on the underneath go. As they so often get forgotten best to do them first don’t you think?”

Spitfire turned to leave as several cadets got out notebooks and pencils.

“Carry on lieutenant.”

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“Cadet Dash reporting as ordered Doctor.”

“Thank you cadet, please put the harness over there, I’ll begin to get the data off it in a second. Oh and please sit down.”

“Thank you sir.”

Placing the harness down where the doctor had pointed, Rainbow took the time to look around his office. Plain white walls, the only decoration being several framed certificates on a side wall. He sat behind a drab pine desk with the window behind him as the box on the desk started to download the data from the harness.

Rainbow drifted off mentally before being brought back as the doctor banged a hoof on the desk as he sat transfixed the box.

“No! No! No!” Looking up at Rainbow, he pointed an accusing hoof at her. “What are you?”

Leaning back, Rainbow blinked. “Sir?” She had long since discovered that this was the best response to such an open question from a superior officer.

“This harness is rated up to two hundred G’s. You maxed it out before you even got to the sonic rainboom. Most meters are broken now.” The accusing hoof returned. “You should be a sticky paste on the runway. A red mist even. What are you?” His voice rising in volume and pitch.

Leaning back further, Rainbow stared at the now irate doctor. “Sir, it is the cadets duty to report that the doctor is making the cadet feel… uneasy… sir.” Her hard-won training being tested to it’s limit not to buck the doctor into next week.

With that, the doctor’s anger collapsed. With his elbows resting on the desk, he sank his head into his hooves. “I apologise to the cadet. If you feel this matter needs to be taken further I will not attempt to…”

“Nah we’re cool doc. Sir. Been called worse by friends. Just it was a little…” Bringing a hoof up she rubbed her jaw. “It does seem that you’ve been on my case ever since I got here doc, why? I mean, may the cadet inquire why sir.”

Still keeping his face in a hoof, he waved the other in Rainbow’s direction.

“Because what you do is impossible. No pegasus can do what you do without major magic assistance, but there are no external spells. You are doing it all by yourself.”

“I just have awesome flying skills, sir.”

Doctor Pulse looked up at that, but the glare was half-hearted.

“Even with your talent being ‘awesome flying skills’, the normal magical boost you’d get from your talent still falls short of what you do. Unless, of course, you have so much magic trying to vent through your talent, you should just burst into flames.”

“Sir? I don’t follow.”

The doctor sighed. “Okay, magic builds up in you. This magic needs to vent out, which it does through your talent. This vented magic enhances your talent, meaning you can do it better and...”

Bristling, Rainbow cut the doctor off. “Thank you... sir. Bit I am fully aware of how cutie marks work.”

“However, what I doubt you know is that having too much magic in you is dangerous. In very rare cases magic builds up faster than is can be vented. In this case the poor ponies talent is massively increased as more and more magic tries to vent through it. ‘Tipping Point’ is point where the magic starts building up inside you faster than you can vent it. ‘Saturation Point’ is where the magic starts finding its own way out.”

His mind wandered to the description of ‘Saturation Point.’

The subject’s internal organs suffer total failure as they basically cook from the inside out, but the magic maintains the consciousness of the unfortunate subject until it has been fully exhausted. No painkiller, spell or drug, has been know to work. The subject’s vocal cords are distressing active in those moments. Those in attendance frequently require therapy after witnessing such an event.

Rainbow watched the doctor shudder with a raised eyebrow.

“You!” The doctor pointed the hoof again. “The only way I have to explain your abilities is that there is a huge magical charge in you, which is venting out through your ‘Awesome Flying Skills’ talent. However, this is rendered invalid as you are still very much alive. So, you fly in the face of everything I’ve been taught, it's… frustrating, to put it mildly.”

“Sir.” Was Rainbow’s only response.

“I’ve been through your medical files many times looking for any information regarding magical check-ups, but they seem to be missing. You’re supposed to have a magical build up check every five years after you develop your cutie mark, but I can’t see one being done on you in over...”

“Three weeks ago sir, at Canterlot Castle. All the bearers get one every month.”

Sitting back in his chair the doctor blinked. “Every month! Once every five years is viewed as sufficient.”

Rainbow raised her eyebrows. “Well, Princess Celestia herself insisted. Top of the line stuff with best docs in the field, I've been told. We’ve all been going every month ever since we first used the elements. Odd that it isn’t recorded in my file.”

Doctor Pulse had a sinking feeling wash over him.

“Yes, odd that, all that specialised, sensitive data regarding a, a, 'national defence asset' being absent from your file." His voice became hollower as his mind started presenting uncomfortable scenarios to him. "You know, I sent a request off, asking about a 'magical build-up' check for you, plus the fact it wasn’t in any of your files. All official like...I signed it and all”

“Doc, you okay? You suddenly look pale.”

“Tell me Rainbow, when did you first perform a sonic rainboom?”

“When I got my cutie mark.”

Doctor Pulse nodded, while his gaze was now distant.

“Yes, understandable. When you first get your cutie mark it does tend to vent all the magic that had been stored up for years since you were born. Perfectly safe and normal. When next?”

“At the ‘Best Young Flyers Competition’.”

“Tell me, was that ‘after’ you became a bearer?”

“Yes, why does that have anything to do with this?”

“No, no, no. These monthly tests you go for, strictly routine I take it.”

“Oh yes. Just routine they say. Both Princess Celestia and Luna are there every time, they even cast spells on us with the other doctors.”

“I see. Well, thank you for your time cadet, you are dismissed. I h-have a few things I need to get in order before… before... Dismissed.”

With a puzzled expression Rainbow left the doctor’s office. When Rainbow had left Doctor Pulse sank his head into his hooves.

There was a knock on his office door.

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The timberwolf dashed through the trees as a white beam hit the trunk of a tree close to it.

“Come back and fight me you coward!”

After it had become clear the wolf wasn’t going to be coming back, Sunbeam sat down and looked around the clearing. It was a small clearing, the twisting trees trunks reached up and over, leaving only a small gap in the middle for a sunbeam to come in. The rest of the clearing was bathed in a green light that had filtered through the leafs. The remains of the rest of the timberwolf pack were also scattered around the clearing.

‘I'm gonna need a bigger monster.’

Twisting her head around, she levitated another bottle of Jackie out of her saddlebags, while applauding her foresight to pack several bottles.

Sitting there, staring off into space, she opened it and took a swig from the bottle.

‘Where can I find a bigger monster in the Everfree? Throw a rock normally...’

‘Look in a mirror.’

Sunbeam sat in shock for a few seconds, before her lips drew back, baring her teeth and...

The birds close to the clearing took all took flight. The fleeing timberwolf paused in its flight and threw its head over its shoulder looking back.

As the echoes of the scream died down, the forest seemed strangely quiet.

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Sunbeam had positioned herself so that she lay with her back against a tree, between two root buttresses, with her rear legs splayed out and her tail trapped under the right leg. An empty bottle lay at her rear hooves with a new one hovering in a white glow. Her now empty saddlebags thrown to one side.

She could hear something approaching, it was making no attempt to be silent as if it wanted to be heard.

The hovering bottle moved into a forehoof and the glow around it died as the hoof took its weight. However, the glow around her horn increased in brightness.

It was getting closer, approaching from the other side of the clearing. Sunbeam took a swig from the bottle while watching the perimeter of the clearing intently.

“Goodness, what a mess you have made.”

Sunbeam raised the hoof with the bottle in it and shook the bottle.

“Have a drink with me Zecora?”

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Princess Celestia sat in the corridor, next to the door to the janitor's supply closet, as guard ponies thundered past her. The castle was in an uproar, somepony had broken into Prince Blueblood’s chambers and the guards were turning the castle upside down looking for them. She found it quite amusing as the guards tried to run past her and bow at the same time.

Turning her head, she sat there in silence, watching as Shining Armour approached.

“Any news Captain?”

“None your Highness. Whoever broke into Prince Blueblood’s chambers is not around anymore.”

“Goodness, anything of value taken?”

“Just that damn… I mean just the rose he was trying to wed my sister with.”

“I do hope that your personal opinion of the Prince will not hamper your search for the miscreants captain.”

“Of course not your Highness.”

Princess Celestia tilted her head in thought, while looking at the janitor's supply closet door. “You know, it strikes me that we should concentrate all the guards to the south part of castle. I know it will leave the north part empty of guards but I am sure that is where they are. It would be unfortunate if the miscreants were to go to the north gardens. With all the guards in the south part of the castle, a, let’s say, grey pegasus and a mint green unicorn could escape by going north."

Shining Armour set his face in stone and saluted.

“Your highness, I will order all guards to go to the south, while leaving the north clear of guards. It should take about five minutes.”

Princess Celestia nodded and watched Shining Armour depart yelling orders at any guard that passed.

The Princess addressed the air next to the door. “You know, Prince Blueblood is quite a nice pony, once you get to know him. He does actually have a thing for Princess Twilight. Hopefully, he should move on once he realises she’s not interested in him. It is just the nobles encouraging him down the wrong path. You really should give him a chance.”

She sat there for a few more minutes.

“Oops look at the time, best I better be going, glad there is nopony around right now.”

With that, she turned and left the janitor's supply closet with a slow, prancing step that echoed down the hallway.

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Doctor Pulse sat in the little office deep within Canterlot Castle, no windows or any decoration on the wall, just a desk, an artificial light and the midnight-blue unicorn mare, sat the other side of the desk, watching him.

Looking down at the document before him, he knew he had lost all control of his life right now.

“Can I read it first, before I sign it?” He asked, more in hope than expectation.

“A copy is yours for reference, after signing.”

“Do I have an option?”

The unicorn, who had a full moon behind a cloud for a cutie mark shook her head, she had never offered a name.

With a sigh, he picked up the quill in his mouth and signed on the dotted line.

“Excellent doctor, please come with me, someone wants to see you. By the way, that is a magically binding contract. Thy will not be able to communicate anything you learn or currently know about this to anypony. It's all explained in detail in there.”

Standing up, the unicorn magically opened the door and went through it. Pausing on the other side, she gave a head flick, indicating he should follow.

The unicorn took him through what could only be the service hallways of the castle. They were tight, dull and only illuminated with glowing crystals. As they progressed the hallways grew in grandeur and size. Only when he passed a window did he realize it was now dark outside.

Stopping by a pair of big, pure white doors that were decorated in gold, the unicorn knocked politely on them.

“Come in Lulu.” Came from the other side.

The unicorn opened the doors and gestured for the doctor to go in.

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Zecora fixed Sunbeam with a baleful eye.

“You wish to die? For this seems to me to be what you seek being in this forest this deep.”

Rubbing her temple with a hoof, Sunbeam closed her eyes. The shadows in the clearing had grown longer and the green tinge had become deeper. She was feeling so tired right now, leaning back onto the trunk of the tree, her eyes closing. The bottle in her hoof was brought to her chest and held there with both hooves.

After a few seconds, Sunbeam fixed a stare at the zebra. “No! I panicked when I found something I wasn’t prepared for and I ran. I just needed to get away from everypony. The thought… the thought did cross my mind though.” Sunbeams head slumped down onto her chest.

Looking around Zecora took in remains of the timberwolves. “May I inquire to the source of your distress?”

Sunbeam, remained quiet for a while then scrunching her eyes tight, spoke softly into her chest.

“I looked up to him like a father. I swore never again afterwards.”

Opening her eyes, she looked directly at Zecora with a humourless smirk

“Isn’t that a riot, I swore never again.” A giggle followed.

Zecora stayed silent, letting Sunbeam get whatever she wanted off her chest.

Sunbeam fell silent herself, her eyes looking at something only she could see. She wrapped her forehooves around the bottle and hugged it tight. Her voice cracked as she spoke.

“I - I tried, I tried so so hard.... I swore never…never again. ”

Sunbeam took a swig from the bottle her hoof noticeably shaking. She spoke in a whisper, her ears flat.

“It took him less than a week to break me.”

Sunbeam leaned forwards and curled up into herself.

“I don’t even remember who it was anymore, I can't even picture their face. I can only remember being so glad it wasn't me.”

“He stood there watching us when I....”

Looking back up at Zecora, Sunbeam’s voice became calm and quiet. A distant look came into her eyes, a slight smile playing on her lips.

“My mummy used to tuck my up in bed every night. She’d kiss my nose and tell me I was a ‘good little filly’.”

Her expression morphed into pure rage. The half empty bottle of Jackie D was launched across the clearing.

“That bastard Scrolls called me a ‘good little filly!...the blood was still wet on my hooves”

Author's Note:

Chapter was planned to carry on until the next day (and a more upbeat note) but as it came out, that seemed to be a good place to end it.

Any problems you spot, continuity and grammar especially, let me know and I'll do the honours.

This would have been out earlier, but work needed me to work last weekend. This working for a living thing seems totally over-rated imo.

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