• Published 1st Oct 2014
  • 3,678 Views, 438 Comments

Story Shuffle - FanOfMostEverything

Thirty-one one-shots inspired by thirty-one random Magic cards.

  • ...

Contained Blaze

Spot glared at the pony. She smirked back. He'd known this would be a bad idea. The wails of the Unpleasable Demon Mare of a Thousand Demands still echoed in his memory. But he had been busy training pups when this one had been taken. Fido and Rover had made this decision themselves, proving that they were utterly useless without him.

So much trouble from one mare. Really, they should've known. Even if she weren't a horned pony, the same cursed kind as the Demon Mare, her coat was the color of sulphur, her mane a match for the very blood of the earth. Even her haunch mark was a flame. What did they think would happen?

But no, all they saw was a flame for the forge that would need no wood or coal, only grass. They caught that fire off-guard, but never thought about what it might do once it gathered its bearings.

Not surprising. They never thought. And so he had to clean up after them. It hadn't been easy. She'd been clever. Her flames weren't able to burn the tunnels—at least, not most of the time—but she'd used quick fires to spoil the air behind her.

But they were Diamond Dogs, and they knew these tunnels better than some horse ever could. It had taken hours, but the Dig Dogs had finally managed to corner the mare and slip a ring over her horn. Spot didn't know how it worked, but he did know that the scavenged bit of surface magic would keep her from starting any more blazes. Still, she didn't seem at all worried, and that set Spot's blood boiling.

"Do you know," he growled, "how much damage you have caused?"

She shrugged. Her chainmail rattled. (And honestly, the pony was wearing armor. How did capturing her seem at all like a good idea?) "I wasn't exactly keeping track."

"Collapsed tunnels. Burnt dogs. Dead dogs. Gems cracked and ruined by heat!" He stalked closer to her. The grunts on either side of her kept their spears pointed at her eyes. "I should kill you here and now."

She quirked an eyebrow. "You're not going to?"

Spot grinned. "Oh no. The other alphas may be idiots, but they were right about how useful you could be, pony. You will make a fine forge flame."

The pony rolled her eyes. "Yeah, because that's been working out great for you so far."

Spot raised a paw. A Dig Dog walked to his side, wielding not a spear, but an axe. "Oh, but pony, how will you run without legs?" Surely that would wipe that insufferable, Firstpack-damned smile from her muzzle.

It did, but she didn't panic as he'd hoped. No, she looked serious now. "This isn't my first time getting captured, you know."

Spot felt a shiver go down his spine. He shook it off. The horse was bluffing. No magic, surrounded on all sides, she had no chance. He waved the axedog forward.

The moment the grunt took a step forward, a blast sounded from far down the tunnel. The tunnel trembled as bits of rock fell from the ceiling. Worst of all, the pony was smiling again.

Well, she'd just confirmed that she was more trouble than she was worth. "Ki—"

Another explosion, closer this time. The speardogs flanking the pony stumbled, and she shook her head. "I wouldn't do that if I were you. As I was saying, not my first time getting captured. Not even my first time getting captured with something keeping me from using magic. Frankly, I'd rather be up against you than the snake people."

"Snake people?" Spot had heard about pony adventurers, thrill-seekers and mercenaries that went where most with hooves feared to tread. He'd thought the Demon Mare might have been one. But now, somehow, he knew she was a kindness compared to this one.

"Lousy dancers, terrible sense of humor. Anyway, after that incident, I decided to find a fire spell that I could set ahead of time. One that didn't need mana to activate. I'd just need to think about it."

Spot swallowed. Time to cut his losses. "If we let you go—"

The mare cracked her neck. "Your goons are going to want to get clear."

The speardogs didn't wait for the order. They fled, and a circle of light popped into existence beneath the pony, filled with curling designs. A moment later, it burst into flame.

The axedog looked to Spot. "Dead?"

He shook his head. "We should be so lucky. She put that there beforepaw. She wanted us to corner her there."

Sure enough, once the smoke cleared, the mare was unscathed. Going by the lighting, she was also at the bottom of a shaft that went all the way up to the surface. A toss of her head, and glowing molten metal splattered against the cave wall. Her mane and tail went aflame again. "As much I like to utterly destroy places, I have to give you credit for knowing when to quit. Let's not do this again."

Then flames blasted out from her hooves, and she rose on wings of fire.

"Miss Nalaar!"

Chandra was impressed. She couldn't have been out of the dog-goblins' tunnels for more than two minutes, and purple-girl-horse-Jace had already found her. She shook the embers off of her hooves and smiled. "Hey."

Purp… okay, okay, Twilight gasped for breath. "I am… so sorry. I swear… I thought… they'd learned…"

Chandra held up a forehoof. "It's okay, really. Honestly, I was getting kind of bored until now. Getting kidnapped gave me an excuse to blow off some steam." She glanced at her escape tunnel. "Well, smoke, but you get the idea."

Twilight gave a sheepish grin. "More than you know, actually. Coming back to town?"

"Eh, why not?" Both mares began the walk back to Ponyville. "It's nice to visit a plane that actually welcomes planeswalkers, even if it does turn me into a horse."


"Right. I'm probably not going to stay for much longer, but I'll definitely remember the place."

Twilight smiled. "Well, you're always welcome, as long as you're careful."

"Oh, 'careful' is my middle name." A subterranean explosion shook the rocky flats. "Yup, Chandra Careful Nalaar."

Author's Note:

Ungula, the friendliest place in the Multiverse. This should tell you something about the Multiverse.

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