• Published 19th Jun 2015
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Spiders and Magic 3.5: Rise of Spider-Mare - Maximus_Reborn

Discord travels to the rule 63 universe and trades places with Eris.

  • ...

The Life and Times of Patricia Parker

Chapter One “The Life and Times of Patricia Parker”

Discord floated aimlessly amidst the astral plane with a look of boredom on his face. So far, his vacation was off to a slow start. Granted, it was barely dawn in this land of Equestria, and the rules of the world were no different from his own. One raised the sun, while another did the same for the moon. Eventually, the fair inhabitants of Ponyville would wake to start their day. Suddenly, the draconequus’ eyes widened at a peculiar sight. Small clouds of black smoke escaped from the open window on the lower level of the Treebrary. Discord smiled, clapping his paw and talon together.

A recliner flashed into existence behind the spirit, prompting him to take a seat before reaching into a bag of popcorn that floated by his arm. The show was about to begin. The trails of smoke escaped from the kitchen, specifically from the gathering of pots scattered across the stove. Some of the contents had been burned beyond recognition, reduced to sizzling chars of once edible goods. What few dishes that could be saved were carefully placed and organized on a tray, being only two pieces of toast and a glass of apple juice. Needless to say, this wasn’t going according to plan.

The kitchen itself had become a warzone with food scattered about, and at the center was a lone mare who could not escape unscathed even with her supernatural abilities. Chunks of food were stuck in her long, acorn-colored mane. She attempted to free them with her magic, only to pluck out a strand. The unicorn released an exasperated groan from her mouth. Cooking had never been her field of expertise, but she wanted to try it on her own today. Barb was the only immediate friend that acted as a guide, but she was asleep, at least for the moment, before somepony realized that the Treebrary was possibly on fire.

That same moment, Barb burst into the room with a bucket of water in her grasp. “Look out! Fire!” she yelled, tossing the water into the middle of the smoke-filled room. Unfortunately, it only collided with Patricia’s face, drenching her fur and mane. The mare stared blankly at the small dragon as what little food salvaged from the mess became soggy in its own puddle. Barb dropped the bucket, placed a claw over her gaping mouth, and carefully approached the unicorn with a sheepish expression. “So… there’s no fire?”

Patricia growled under her breath. “It was breakfast before somepony decided to turn it into a pool party!”

Barb chuckled nervously as she slowly walked towards the stove. The nauseous fumes from one of the pans assaulted her senses, causing the dragon to retch involuntarily. “It’s a good thing I showed up. What is this?” she questioned, arching a brow before closing the pan’s lid. “It smells like tofu. Eggplant soup?”

Patricia sighed, brushing traces of food off of the spider insignia over her flank with a hoof. “It was oatmeal…”

Sliding a spoon into the hardened mix next to the ‘oatmeal,’ Barb attempted to free the food from its pan, only to break the handle upon trying. “Were you trying to be creative again?” Patricia only grumbled incoherently, arching a brow the second a small flame erupted from the toaster. Barb unplugged the device, shaking her head disapprovingly. “What have I told you about that, Patricia? Rule number one of cooking: never get too creative. Some things just aren’t meant to mix.”

“Pardon me for trying! A girl tries to make a spicy cake once and she's marked for life!” Patricia snapped defensively, her voice cracking momentarily.

After surveying the damage for several moments, Barb gave the mare a bewildered expression. “Why were you even trying to cook? You know that’s my job. You and Dusk aren’t allowed anywhere near the kitchen without me… especially after your biscuit incident.”

Blinking with a wide gaze, Patricia glanced off to the side. “That was…”

Everypony sat in the living room, each staring at the tray on the table. In the basket were small biscuits, although their appearances were less than desirable. Instead of a golden brown coat, they were a pale shade of white. They resembled dough, yet they were done, judging from the small traces of steam that escaped from their surface. Applejack cringed, pushing the tray away. Rainbow Blitz cleared his throat and stepped away, muttering something along the lines of having lost his appetite. Bubble Berry and Butterscotch took a biscuit each, yet they shared a hesitant glance together.

Having enough, Elusive took one with authority. “The lot of you should be ashamed! I will accept this without hesitation!”

Dusk arched a brow, alternating his gaze between the basket of biscuits and his friend. “Are you sure about this, Elusive?”

"Nonsense! In fact, you should be more grateful to have the luxury of a mare’s home-cooked meal. Did you know that a true mare puts her heart behind every meal? It shows affection, and I will not tarnish those feelings!" Elusive declared dramatically in falsetto.

Blitz picked up a biscuit. "I dunno, man. Can this really be considered a 'luxury’?"

Elusive narrowed his eyes at the pegasus. "Don't say that, you insensitive brute! You'll hurt the poor dear’s feelings. Clearly, she struggled to make them. Besides, I'm sure they are better than they look."

Meanwhile, Patricia paced back and forth through the kitchen. A smile graced her features. “That wasn’t so bad. I think I did okay this time,” she muttered, pausing once Barb hesitantly entered the kitchen a few minutes afterward. Her expression brightened. ”How were the biscuits?”

Before the dragon could reply, Applejack burst excitedly into the room. “Ya’ll gotta see this!”

Blitz’s guffaws echoed throughout the room. “Whoa! He broke a tooth?!”

Bubble Berry tilted his head to the side, staring at the hole in the ground. “It went straight through the floor after Elusive dropped it!”

Dusk alternated his gaze between the hole and his clipboard as he frantically took notes. “Such amazing density! These might actually be stronger than diamonds!”

Elusive cried, holding a hoof over his mouth. “My precious tooth! Oh, my beautiful smile will never be the same again!”

Everypony in the room hushed to an awkward silence once their gazes found Patricia standing at the door. Butterscotch carefully approached the mare. “Um… Patricia? What did you put into the biscuits?”

Patricia scoffed and removed her apron, storming across the room to thrust it at Barb. “I just wanted to do something nice for Dusk, but I can’t even do that right. You go ahead and cook.” The mare quickly made her way outside, slamming the door with enough force to send small tremors through the Treebrary. Fortunately, their home had been reinforced to withstand Patricia’s spider strength. Exhaling, she stole a glance at a stallion that stood nearby. The mare let out a deep sigh and held a hoof over her forehead upon recognizing the visitor. “Great. How much did you hear?”

“I’ve heard enough,” he said, holding a sympathetic smile. The alicorn stood over the mare, his coat reminiscent to that of the night sky. “I could undo the damage if that’s alright with you?”

Patricia mumbled under her breath for a duration before her eyes softened. “Please.”

Artemis made his way to the open window and peeked his head inside. He immediately found the source over the stove, surveying the damaged pots before channeling the magic in his horn. Barb paused, glancing at the alicorn as energy enveloped everything in the kitchen with the exception of herself. All particles of stray food disintegrated, fading from existence. Before long, the magical energies dissipated, and the kitchen held a glint not there previously. Barb smiled appreciatively and waved to Artemis before he ducked back outside.

Shrugging, Patricia waved a hoof dismissively once the alicorn neared. “Not impressed. I could totally make it look like that, too.”

Artemis smirked. “Indeed.” His expression grew stern quickly. “I wish we could exchange pleasantries further, Patricia, but we have an urgent manner to attend to. It’s in the south, nearing the outskirts of Saddle Arabia. It will reach the city within an hour unless we can intercept it.”

“Again?” Patricia exhaled, merely rolling her eyes at the moon prince’s news. Walking back into the Treebrary rather moodily, she retrieved her heroic attire from the nearest coat rack and slid the tights over her slender figure with swaying motions. Patricia pulled the mask over her head, giving Artemis a nod once her entire costume was on properly. “I so needed this. I’ve been in a bad mood all morning. Let’s go.”

Discord leaned further back into the recliner, propping its legs up after Artemis and Patricia disappeared in a flash of light. “She’s certainly touchy. I am seeing similarities, but what of other differences between herself and Peter?” Holding a talon out until a book materialized out of nothing, the draconequus flipped its pages before stopping at a particular passage. “I have a little time. It wouldn’t hurt to learn more about Patricia. Surely, Eris won’t mind if I take a peek into her diary.” His eyes read through the walls of text. “Socially awkward girl in high school? Check. Bitten by a radioactive spider at a science expo? Double check. Learned that with great power comes whatever after her Aunt Brenda was gunned down by a mugger she failed to stop? Triple check.”

Discord let out a low yawn. “How boring. I know all of that already. How did she find her way to Equestria?” He flipped through several pages and stopped once a passage of interest came into view. “Ah. When Eris was first freed from her spell, she had hidden the Elements of Harmony and separated the wielders. Uncertain that he could defeat Eris on his own, Dusk searched for a summoning spell. Perhaps with the aid of a great hero, he could win. It was then that he brought Spider-Woman to Equestria.” Discord arched a brow, stealing a glance at the watch over his paw. “That’s quite a contrast. That means Patricia has been a citizen of Equestria for a year longer than Peter. It also seems that she never went back to Earth. That certainly explains why she can still use her magic.”

Once Artemis and Patricia materialized on the sandy terrain on the outskirts of Saddle Arabia, Discord placed the book down and retrieved his glass of juice. “I’ll read more about Miss Patricia later. On with the show!”

Patricia took in a deep breath before exhaling. The sun’s rays shone brighter than usual, prompting the mare to shield her forehead with a hoof. The sand’s hot surface beneath her hooves burned, adding to the sweltering heat. Artemis analyzed his surroundings for a few moments, settling his cool gaze on the horizon.

“It should arrive momentarily. I suggest we wait here in the meantime,” he calmly suggested, gazing at the mare from the corner of his eye.

Keeping her back turned to the stallion, Patricia checked her web-shooters. “You should have picked a place with more shade. An oasis would’ve been nice, but it’s too late now. I’m light tan now, but I know I’ll be cooked to a golden brown by the end of the day. Something told me to bring my sun lotion. What’s a girl to do?”

Artemis cleared his throat, causing the mare to cease her brief monologue. “I know you’re upset about what happened with breakfast. You shouldn’t let it bother you.”

Patricia’s ears perked at the stallion’s words before drooping shamefully. She brushed her hooves together, unable to free her gaze from the ground. “It’s not that what bothers me. I’ve never been able to cook. It makes me wish I paid more attention to Aunt Brenda when she was still alive.” The mare let out a somber sigh. “It’s just the story of my life. Dusk does so much for me, but the second I try to do something nice for him, it blows up in my face. Sometimes, I wonder what he even sees in me.”

Artemis closed the distance between himself and Patricia, gently placing a hoof over her shoulder. “As unrefined as you are, it’s easy to see how emotionally invested you get when your mind is set on a task. Dusk knows how hard you try. It’s the thought that counts. I earnestly believe that that is one of the reasons why he asked to marry you. It’s what makes you special, Patricia. You always give your all for the sake of others, especially those that you love. What more could Dusk ask for?”

Patricia paused to clear her throat before raising the lower half of her mask. “You’re sweet, Artemis,” she lightly declared with a smile. As the alicorn mirrored her action, small tremors rushed through the ground, increasing in magnitude with each step that neared. Artemis glanced at the horizon while Patricia slid her mask back over her mouth. “Some ponies just have rotten timing.” Trails of fire rushed out, speeding past the mare before embers began to scatter across the vicinity. Patricia took in deep breaths, wiping a hoof over her sweaty forehead. “Now, I really wish I had my sun lotion.”

The surrounding temperature continued to escalate as a figure approached the pair. Its thick fur was as yellow as the sun, yet its feet, hands, and face were a dark shade of orange, as if the blood flow in the exposed regions was made of fire itself. Hot breaths escaped from its mouth, a pair of large fangs growing from the lower half of its jaw. The yeti stopped in its tracks upon spotting Patricia. A low growl escaped from its mouth before the beast slammed its fists into the ground repeatedly, sending quakes rushing through the earth.

Artemis narrowed his gaze at the yeti. “Infurnus of the South.”

Standing upright on her hind legs, Spider-Mare lowered into a squatting position. “You never learn. Sorry, pal. The world doesn’t need a sweaty flame-blower like you. The world’s hot enough with me in it. Walk away and cool off for a bit.” Infurnus snarled at the sight of the familiar foe and clenched its fists, prompting a wall of flames to rise around the vicinity. The fire circled around, surrounding everypony, including its summoner. Patricia shook her head and shrugged. “Yeah, I should’ve seen this coming. Are you going to say ‘burn to oblivion’ next? How about ‘feel the heat’ or—” She swayed to the side, dodging a ball of fire. “Why, yes. I am too hot to handle.”

“Focus, Patricia!” Artemis yelled, deflecting a fireball with his magic once it neared. The alicorn retaliated by launching a beam of his own, blasting the yeti in the middle of its chest. Infurnus was knocked back several meters, but his momentum ceased as he dug one of his claws into the earth. Artemis held his ground. “Take him down quickly!”

Patricia grinned, watching the alicorn before he disappeared in a flash of light. “I wonder what’s got him all fired up?”

Spider-Mare ducked underneath a flaming orb, managing to flip gracefully over a second. Infurnus released a third from its mouth once the mare landed on her hooves. The flame grew in size as it neared its target, matching that of a small house. Leaping to the side at the last moment, Patricia spun out of harm’s way and skidded across the sand in an upright position.

“Hot tamale!” Spider-Mare quipped, lowering into a defensive stance as the flames surrounding the yeti increased in height and temperature. Patricia staggered, taking in labored breaths before wheezing. “Is it hot in here, or is it just me?” Beams of energy dropped from above, raining down onto Infurnus. The yeti lost its footing while the energy attack assaulted its back, and the surrounding walls of flames lowered slightly. Artemis materialized by Patricia’s side, sharing a glance with the mare before she shook the cobwebs from her cranium. “Here I thought you had a hot temper, Arty.”

Artemis scoffed. “This beast’s flames pale in comparison to that of my brother’s, but they are dangerous nonetheless. Do you have any suggestions?”

Patricia nodded. “I’ve got one. Follow my lead.”

Spider-Mare galloped forward at full speed, and Artemis took flight, following the mare while matching her pace. Infurnus punched the ground before hopping back to its feet and unleashing a shockwave at the alicorn. Artemis stopped, generating a magical shield around his body. The force of the blow knocked him back and sent his frame pinwheeling before he managed to force himself to a halt while airborne. Infurnus turned its gaze to the pony galloping towards it, driving its glowing fist into the ground with enough force to break the earth.

A fissure split open, with flames erupting from the cracks. Patricia skidded to a near halt, hopping in response to each wall of fire that she neared, but her momentum never ceased, matching a blue-and-crimson blur. Mere hoof-lengths apart, Infurnus took a wild swing at the mare. Patricia slid underneath the yeti’s claws before throwing a kick into the back of its legs, causing the beast to fall flat on its back.

Spider-Mare quickly rolled across the ground and flipped to a standing position, wincing as embers tore through the leg of her costume and ate away at her flesh. Placing a hoof over her leg, she shook her head. “Artemis! Now!”

That very moment, Artemis materialized directly above Infurnus. A magical shield formed around the yeti, acting as a bubble. In response, Patricia’s horn glowed, and her own energies intertwined with that of the alicorn’s, adding to the defense. Infurnus stood, punching wildly at the barrier that encased it, but the energy merely vibrated, holding firm. Growling viciously, the yeti stared intently at Spider-Mare while its flames grew inside of the shield.

Patricia huffed, straining. “Go right ahead! Give it your best shot!”

Infurnus raised its hands, unleashing waves of fire within the shield. However, the yeti fell to its knees after a few seconds. The flames on its body slowly dissolved, prompting the fires surrounding Patricia and Artemis to do the same. Infurnus watched the pair with an exhausted gaze. Its breathing matched the sound of glass scratching against a rough surface. It soon collapsed into an unconscious slump, and the shield dissipated, dropping the yeti.

“Fire needs oxygen to burn, and you just used up all of yours,” Patricia declared, walking over to Infurnus before holding her hoof under its jawline. She let out a sigh of relief upon finding a pulse. “What a hassle.”

Artemis made his way to the mare’s side, smiling. “Excellent strategy, Patricia. I shall return Infurnus back to its cave before it wakes. I shall also make certain to seal the entrance with a stronger spell. I only hope it can hold Infurnus in place longer this time.”

Patricia arched a brow. “Remind me. Why we can't just use the Elements of Harmony to turn him into stone or something?”

“The Elements only work on those with wicked or chaotic intentions. Infurnus, as you know, is just a beast trying to survive. So, by the laws of nature, it isn't necessarily doing anything wrong,” Artemis coolly replied.

Patricia’s eyes softened as she gazed at Infurnus. “Yeah, yeah, I know. I just feel a little sorry for the poor guy. He's either the last or only one of his kind from what our research can tell. So... he’ll never find a mate. His only purpose in life now is to simply eat and survive. If you ask me, that sounds... rather lonely.”

Artemis nodded. “Indeed. However, he cannot be reasoned with to live with ponies in harmony. We have tried that several times over the eons. I’m afraid this is all we can do about him.”

Letting out a deep sigh, Patricia was silent for a duration before managing a smile. "Yeah. We'll just have to keep putting old hothead in time-out until he gets the picture.”

Artemis stole a glance at her leg, specifically the singed fur and pink flesh. “I will take care of Infurnus. You should return home and heal. I’m certain that Dusk Shine is worried about you.”

Meanwhile, after both ponies vanished from sight, Discord clapped lightly. “That was fairly entertaining. So, Infurnus is this world’s equivalent to Glacius. He seems much more stubborn. Glacius at least avoids areas where he was defeated.” Stretching his limbs overhead, the draconequus chuckled before returning to his imprisoned physical state. “This vacation is already proving to be quite promising. I wonder what further chaos awaits?”

Several minutes had passed before Patricia gingerly entered the Treebrary. She tossed her costume across the room, dumping it in the basket. The mare cringed upon laying sight on the stairs to the bedroom. The stinging pain coursing through her leg only further demotivated Patricia. She collapsed on the sofa instead, the nearest place of comfort, and rolled onto her back.

Patricia closed her eyes, ready to drift into slumber, but her ears perked the second that the alarm clock upstairs chimed. Dusk hopped from the bedroom with a bounce in his step, and Patricia only groaned, grabbing the nearest pillow before attempting to smother herself. It was eight in the morning, signaling the start of their day, but her day had already been under way for three hours. All she had to show for it was charred breakfast and second-degree burns.

“Why do I even try?” Patricia muffled, exhaling once the pillow levitated away from her face.

Dusk placed the pillow down with his magic, giving the mare a smile as he closed the distance between himself and her. “Rise and shine! Don’t think you can sleep in today, Patricia. We have to—” The stallion trailed off, his eyes widening at the sight of the mare’s leg. “How did that happen?!”

Poking her lips out, Patricia glanced off to the side. “It’s no big deal. I just had to deal with Infurnus again— Ow!” It was swift, even for one with a sixth sense for danger as Dusk flicked his hoof against Patricia’s horn. The mare whined, rubbing the sting out of the appendage. Dusk stared intently at the mare with a stern, violet gaze, but he eventually let out a frustrated sigh before retrieving a small medical box from underneath the couch. As Dusk rummaged through the supplies, Patricia forced a laugh. “If it makes you feel any better, we took care of old hot stuff in record time.”

Dusk offered no immediate response. Instead, he placed the medical cream on the exposed pink flesh before spreading it with his magic. Patricia cursed under her breath, wincing. Finally, Dusk sighed. “You still snuck off without telling me. I know you can take care of yourself, but I worry. You know how badly you got hurt the last time you fought Infurnus. If Prince Artemis wasn’t there…”

“I’d be a pot roast. I know,” she replied, her eyes softening as Dusk gently wrapped bandages around her leg. “Arty was there with me today. See? There was nothing to worry about.” Once the task had been completed, Patricia brushed a hoof over her bandaged limb. Dusk gave the mare an earnest smile, earning a flushed expression for his action. Patricia stammered about, glancing off to the side. “Oh, Dusk. I, uh, meant to…”

Dusk raised a hoof and shook his head. “Don’t worry about it. Barb already told me what happened. I can just order a pizza. My treat.”

Patricia chuckled as she gave the stallion a sweet smile. “Pizza for breakfast? What’s this world coming to?”

Dusk lowered his head, planting a soft kiss at the center of the mare’s forehead. “At least you tried, honey.”

Smiling contently, Patricia snuggled into Dusk’s chest and rubbed the side of her head against his affectionately. They remained as such for a few seconds, reveling in each other’s warmth. Patricia’s cheeks flushed as a thought came into mind. “Dusk?”

The stallion smiled. “Extra pineapple toppings on your pizza?”

Patricia leaned further into his chest. “You know me too well.”