• Published 20th May 2017
  • 5,520 Views, 816 Comments

Brightly Lit - Penalt

The village of Brightly, British Columbia is a small, isolated place where everyone knows everyone, with a strong sense of community. A community that starts to include colourful little ponies.

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Chapter 30: Emergency!

A brief note regarding some abbreviations in this chapter:

CAJ - Canadian Association of Journalists
CFB - Canadian Forces Base
PPCLI - Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
MCTS - Marine Communications and Traffic Services

Tim Kielops was in trouble and he knew it. He’d been stumbling along the ancient stream for hours now, unable to find a place to shelter. The tall and narrow walls of the small canyon that the stream had cut into the earth, were unassailable by a man with a hurt leg and no climbing gear. Combined with the high water levels from last week’s storm, it meant that Tim had been wading through ice cold water almost non-stop.

He’d managed to get a few breaks, mostly when he’d stopped to rest by sitting on a rock or a fallen tree limb. For the most part, though, he slogged on through the water, iron determination and the stamina of far too many double and triple overtime shifts pushing him on.

At some point he found a fallen and peeled tree branch of roughly the right size, and his multi-tool served him well in trimming the branch down to a manageable size. The improvised walking staff took some of the pressure off Tim’s injured foot and things started to look up. Right up until the moment the end of the staff slipped while Tim leaned on it, and he fell heavily into one of the many pools comprising the stream.

Tim emerged from the pool completely soaked from head to toe, swearing a blue streak. He spent a full two minutes cursing the stream, the forest, and water in general, before he calmed himself and took stock of the situation. He was wet, he was cold, night had to be coming on soon and he had no shelter and no means of starting a fire.

Hypothermia had killed a hundred thousand men bigger and tougher than him, and his time in the outdoors told him that unless he changed his game plan, Tim Kielops would soon be among their number.

Feeling some desperation at the realization the big man slogged on, looking for a bank, or a rock shelf, or even a large enough tree for him to get away from the cold, wet water. He pushed on, climbing over rocks and ducking under trees. He was about to give up hope, when the walls of the ravine he was in fell away to each side and the stream emptied out into a small lake.

“Oh, thank God,” Tim said, under his breath as he looked around. The small lake would be better described as a large pond roughly thirty meters across, its edges bordered with shallow stands of tall grass and similar plants. Miracle of miracles, there was even a high rock shelf overlooking the stream where it resumed its course after leaving the pond.

Moving along the soggy fringe of the pond, Tim made his way to the rock shelf, where another lucky break awaited him. The recent storm had brought down a tree over the shelf, and its trunk now lay on its side held up by several of its branches. It was an almost made to order lean-to.

Tim sat heavily down on the rock shelf, looking around. When the tree had come down, several of its branches had snapped off, and might make for good firewood. If he had some way to start a fire that is. Taking off his work boots for the first time in nearly a day, Tim drained them before taking off his socks. Wringing them out, he hung them on one of the branches from the trunk, alternating his gaze between the clouded sky and his wrinkled feet.

Neither were going to dry anytime soon, but at least he was out of the wet water and he now had a spot where he could take shelter. It had to be at least mid-afternoon, which meant he had two or three hours of daylight left. During that time he had to make a shelter, create some sort of bedding, try to start a fire, and maybe look for food while he did all that.

At least he had plenty of water. That, combined with the big meal he’d had last night meant that as long as he could keep warm he would be okay for a couple of days, at least. He decided to check his survival assets. He had his heavy linemans coat, which wet or dry would help him retain heat. He had a pair of heavy work boots, wool socks, rugged trousers and a checked shirt.

For pocket contents he had his multi-tool, which included a sharp knife, a saw blade, several driver bits, and a wire cutter. Which also reminded him that there were also several feet of wire in his coat pockets, that had been trimmed off various bits he’d been working on over the past few days. They could be used to secure various bits of things together. Like branches for a lean-to.

Grimacing as he pulled his waterlogged boots back on, Tim started looking around for things to start making his shelter with. Walking hadn’t been the right thing to do, so now he was going to stay put and make a stand here. If that Primitive Technology guy on youtube could make a hut out of sticks and mud, he should be able to make a shelter at least. Maybe he could even get a fire going like that guy did. If only he could find some dry wood.

Brian Cummins leaned back in his chair and stretched, his mind awhirl as he tried to process what he’d heard over the past few hours. He hadn’t bothered trying to record things on his phone using his ear buds, instead choosing to write it all down. He looked at the words on the pages and shook his head.

“Just not possible,” he murmured, taking a sip of cold coffee. “It’s fake, it’s got to be some sort of hoax the town is running on me. I went too hard, and now they’re trying to put some insane scenario past me. Just to make me look like an idiot when I report this..”

Grimacing as his third sip actually tasted the bitter brew, he was reminded of the words of his journalism professor back in college, when the only coffee he could afford was just as terrible. The cautionary words, “Always stand outside the story. You are an observer, a reporter. Never merge with and become the story,” came to his mind.

“Okay, without making any guess or inferences, what do we know?” Cummins asked the empty air, as he got up to get himself a fresh cup from the heated pot.

First off, that there were a group of individuals actively helping the local VFD. Second, they called themselves “The Power Ponies” and all sounded as if they were pre-teen or early teens. Third, two of them, this “Darter” and “Skylark” were airborne in some manner. Fourth, “Seeker” had the ability to detect wavelengths outside of normal human vision. Fi—

“Seeker to Fire One,” came the radio call, breaking Cummins out of his reverie. “We’re thorry, but we haven’t found anything. Thorry.” The young voice sounded like it was on the verge of tears

Interesting, Cummins thought, keeping his mind analytical and making a note. Seeker has a lisp. A very specific lisp.

“Fire One here,” Montcalm said through the radio, a moment later. “It’s not your fault. Searches are like this. A lot of times you don’t find anything at all. You three have done a fine job, you and the rest can head for home if you like.”

“—found something!” Seeker squealed back, her transmission blocked out by Montcalm’s in her haste. “Iron Hoof says he found something!”

“What?” Montcalm asked, his voice calm and steady but Cummins could hear the restrained excitement in the older man’s voice..

“Iron Hoof says he’s found boot tracks going up one of the old logging roads,” Seeker said, in an excited voice. “My mom taught him all about tracking things.”

“Okay,” Montcalm said, and Cummins could hear the controlled interest in the mayor’s voice. “Follow the tracks and see where they lead, but stay in touch.”

“Yes sir,” Seeker replied. “Seeker out.”

Cummins looked over his new set of notes. The Power Ponies seemed to be blessed with either luck, skill or abilities beyond what was normal. Almost as if they actually could fly and do the other…

“Oh my God,” Cummins said reverently, as his mind made connections that hadn’t been there before.

Seeing how apparently unrelated events and people actually linked to each other, was one of the things that separated okay reporters from good ones, and Brian Cummins was a good reporter. His ability to make connections had brought down more than one politician, and now his mind burned with that same fire as realization struck.

In a very few days, this little community in the middle of nowhere, was going to be playing host to both the Premier and the Prime Minister. One or the other was easily explainable, but both? That could only be caused by something extraordinary. Something like a group of Canadian youngsters who had come up with ways to be of extraordinary help in emergency situations. Something that could make Canada a world leader in rescue technology.

It hung together. The kids were probably related to people on the VFD, which gave them regular access to equipment. Arnold Kye, on the VFD as their pump technician, was the local mechanic and machinist. Ernest Harding, the entry specialist, owned and ran the larger of the two local farms. “My Mom” could easily be Jean Pedersen, who was linked romantically to Kye. Cummins could almost feel the pieces snapping into place.

He could report this. This was a solid story, but it had two huge problems. One, he had no confirmation of any of this, which his editors would insist on. Second, there were minors involved. Confirmation he could get, especially if he confronted Montcalm with what he had now. Like any politician, Montcalm would cave in order to save his own skin.

Minors being involved though, that was a bigger problem. The CAJ was murder on journalists that didn’t take special care when children were involved. Especially on journalists that didn’t get parental consent before involving kids in interviews or reports. Cummins might not have been the most ethical reporter, but he’d be damned if he would put a child in danger, even accidentally.

Getting consent from Kye, Harding and Pedersen would be a pain, especially after he had practically shoved a camera down Kye’s throat, but he would find a way to get it. If not, he would have to find a workaround. Providing that it was their children involved in this, of course. Finding out which of the local children had Seeker’s distinctive lisp would go along way to determining the identities of “The Power Ponies.” Once he knew that, he could approach their parents for consent from a position of strength. Cummins couldn't shake the feeling he was missing something, though.

“Aircraft over Brightly, please respond,” Montcalm’s voice said over the radio. “Aircraft over Brightly, this is Brightly Fire Department, please respond.”

“Brightly Fire Department, this is Alpine Air Charter,” a chipper male voice responded. “What can I do for you?”

“You look like a light plane,” Montcalm said, “We’ve got a SAR situation down here with a man missing in the local wood. Would you be able to spend some time and join the search?”

“Alpine Air has a standard policy of helping out SAR whenever possible,” the pilot said. “I’m in a De Havilland Beaver and I can give you about two hours of search time before I have to land at Carmanah Lake and drop my cargo.”

“Roger that,” Montcalm said. “If you can sweep to the south and east, we’d appreciate it.”

“On it,” the pilot said, before turning to look at his passenger. “Dr. Carlson, I hope you don’t mind—”

“I heard,” said the red haired woman sitting beside him, pulling out a pair of binoculars from a canvas bag. “Meeting up with my old zoology student will just have to wait a bit.”

“Look, more tracks!” Iron Hoof called out to his friends. “See!”

“Wow, great work,” Shield Maiden said, coming up alongside her fellow Power Pony. There, clear as day, was another bootprint sunk deep into the mud of a dried up puddle. She looked over to where her sister, Seeker, was intently staring further up the tree shrouded and nearly overgrown road.

“I wish I could see thomething,” Seeker said, and the other two ponies could almost see Seeker’s eyes glow as she concentrated on her ability to see things beyond the norm. “Anything at all.”

“It’s okay, we all can’t have things to do all the time,” Iron Hoof said, and the three ponies moved to stand in line abreast. “With all the stuff your mom taught me, we should find that guy in no time.”

“Let’s get going,” Shield Maiden said, urging them on. “We don’t want to be out in the woods after dark.”

The three ponies set off again at a cross between a walk and a trot, eager to cover ground but also not wanting to miss anything. Iron Hoof had received a great deal of instruction about how to move in the forest, as well as the basics of tracking. However, while Jean had taught him much while she minded him for his father, Iron Hoof simply didn’t have the breadth of experience to notice small things.

Small things such as when the old road he and his friends were on crested the ridge, and began to move in a general downhill direction. Excited to be closing in on the missing man, the trio of ponies didn’t realize that they were putting more earth and stone between them and Brightly every second. Unknowingly, they soon passed the point beyond which their radios would be able to reach back into town.

“Something happened here,” Seeker said, some twenty minutes later as the old road was beginning to fully succumb to the forest around it. “Look at all those broken branches.”

“Wait, where?” Iron Hoof asked, looking up from the moss covered track. “Oh wow, it’s like a bear went crashing through here.”

“Do you think maybe the guy went down here?” Shield Maiden asked, looking down the sharp slope. “It’s really steep and look, the ground’s all torn up.”

“Gimme a minute,” Iron Hoof said, continuing up what was left of the road a short ways. “Yah, I think you’re right. If he had kept going down the road we’d be seeing lots of broken branches with the way it gets overgrown past here. Let’s go.”

“We need to check in,” Shield Maiden said, keying her radio. “Shield Maiden to Fire One, come in.” Silence.

“Shield Maiden to Fire One, please come in,” she repeated, before turning to the others. “Am I doing this right?”

“I think tho,” Seeker said, eyeing the downslope. “Maybe they’re busy?”

“We should get going,” Iron Hoof said, trying to peer through the thick trees. “Either home or to the power guy. We don’t have all that much daylight left.”

“The Power Ponies have never failed in a mission,” Shield Maiden said, standing a little taller, and glossing over the fact that the Power Ponies had a grand total of two missions under their hooves. “We go forward. We can always try the radios again later.”

“Right,” the other two ponies replied, and as one all three ponies headed down the embankment in controlled slides.

“Brightly Fire Department, this is Alpine Air,” called the pilot. “No joy on spotting anyone down there, and I’ve got to land to drop my cargo and then head to Bella Bella for fuel. Sorry.”

“Understood, Alpine Air,” Montcalm replied through his VHF radio. “Thanks for what you could give us.”

“I’d come back after refueling but it’ll be dark by then,” said the pilot. “If you still need me tomorrow, I can give you a couple more hours search time before I head back to the home office.”

“We should have the folks from CFB Comox out here tomorrow,” Montcalm said, “but any extra eyes are welcome.”

“Roger that,” the pilot said, turning toward the lake. “Best of luck, Alpine Air, out.”

“Can we head to the north for a bit before we land,” his passenger asked, scanning the sky now. “There’s some unusual birds in that direction.”

“Sorry Professor, but Carmanah Lake is a roughly and east to west lake,” said the pilot as he mentally picked a spot in the air to begin his approach from. “I need to line up my approach and please, I need to concentrate on this. Landing with the sun so low can be a bit tricky and I’d like to avoid any surprises.”

Professor Carlson made no response, except to continue to try to get a better image of the two large birds she had seen toward the northwest. She’d noticed the oddly shaped avians a few times before, and while the search for a missing person was important, unknown, unidentified and undiscovered animals were what she lived for. Particularly as she was the University of British Columbia’s resident cryptozoologist.

As the engine of the old aircraft slowed, and the plane began it’s slide toward the shining lake below, Pearl Carlson wondered if her old student was going to be surprised to see her. Wilcox had always been an indifferent zoology student, but he’d always loved a mystery, and that distinctly made him “one of hers.” He had to have known the storm he would have set off in her little office back on campus, with samples he had sent in oh, so innocently.

The plane descended past the last of the trees by the lake shore, and Carlson’s sharp vision picked out the smoke of a small encampment to one side of the dam on the far shore. Wilcox had tried to keep himself hidden, but he had to have known his old professor was more than capable of tracking him down. In fact, he may have planned it that way to make sure it was she who found him, and his samples of “unknown equine and avian origin.”

“OH SH—” the pilot yelled out, and even before Pearl could swivel her head forward again there was a sudden sound of impact, followed by a sickening wrenching sensation as she was spun violently forward.

John Wilcox had been standing by his camp, watching the plane that brought in his regular supplies, come in for its landing. He’d ordered a few special things to help further ingratiate himself with the locals, and especially with the new dam manager. There were a lot more stories to be had here, and he didn’t intend to leave before he had them all. Or, at least until he was ordered to come back home.

Wilcox hated the city. Hated how closed in everything was, how close people were to him, and how close danger was at all times. He’d been with the PPCLI during Operation Mountain Thrust, when a Taliban RPG had collapsed a wall on top of him. It had been a long and terrifying thirty minutes before his fellow soldiers had been able to dig him out.

While Wilcox emerged physically unscathed, his time trapped in crushing darkness had left its scars on his mind in the form of a moderate case of PTSD, and moderate to severe claustrophobia. He managed the PTSD by trying to befriend everyone he met, and managed the claustrophobia by taking as many out of town assignments as he could.

So, when one of the floats of his supply plane hit something with a terrible crunch and tore free, Wilcox was in motion even before the plane finished cartwheeling into the water. Without a second of panic or hesitation Wilcox took the few steps into his camp, grabbed his satellite phone and toggled the “Emergency” setting.

“Mayday, mayday, mayday,” Wilcox said, speaking clearly, but with urgent speed. “Any station receiving, please respond. Mayday, mayday, mayday.”

“Station calling mayday, this is Prince Rupert MCTS responding,” came a calm, professional voice. “Station calling mayday, please respond.”

“My name is John Wilcox, I am on the south shore of Carmanah Lake near Brightly BC,” Wilcox paused for breath, before continuing. “A light plane has just crashed into the lake near its north shore. I say again, a light plane has crashed into the lake near its north shore.”

“I’m relaying this to the closest assistance,” said the coast guard operator. “Are you able to see anyone emerging from the aircraft.”

“Negative, Prince Rupert,” Wilcox said back, squinting his eyes. “The aircraft is on its side and beginning to sink. Request you expedite, Prince Rupert.”

“Already done, sir,” the woman on the other said, keeping her voice calm. “Brightly Fire Department is dispatching emergency services now.”

“Darter, Skylark, there’s an emergency at the lake,” Montcalm said, switching to the fire department’s radios. “A plane has crashed. Get there, and get anyone you can clear of the wreck. I’ll send Rescue One and Two to follow you as fast as I can.”

“Yes Sir,” Darter said, and Cummins could hear the wind rushing past the mic as he listened in. “What if someone spots us?”

“We’ll worry about that later,” Montcalm replied. “Get to the crash, if everyone is clear of the wreck then just stay high and report. If not, get them out and we’ll talk to them after. Now get going!”

“Yessir!” snapped a pair of young voices.

“Shield Maiden, did you catch all that?” Montcalm asked, and repeated himself when he didn’t get a response. “Shield Maiden, did you hear that?”

“This is Rescue Two, what’s going on?” Kevin Banta said, into the frequency. “We got part of it.”

Montcalm resolved to call Shield Maiden later, even as he began telling his two paramedics what was going on at Carmanah Lake so that they could join the response to the crash. While he was doing that, the brother and sister pegasus team were already closing in on the sinking floatplane.

Darter, being the faster of the two, arrived first to find both the passenger and pilot unconscious, in a plane already half filled with water and sinking fast. Frantic, Darter wrenched at the door on the passenger side, only to find that the twisting of the airframe had welded it shut.

“What’s wrong?” Skylark asked, arriving overhead and hovering. The cockpit was nearly full of water now and tipped toward the pilot’s side of the plane.

“Door’s stuck, I can’t get it open,” Darter replied, trying to find a way to brace himself. “Do something! The plane’s going under.” Skylark quickly looked at her options. The other doors were either under water or weren’t going to be fast enough. Which to her mind left only one choice.

Moving to the front of the plane, Skylark grabbed onto the engine as tightly as she could and began to pump her wings. The silver tips of her wings began to glow as instinct channelled her particular magic into them, and power in flight was hers again. Skylark’s hooves and the engine became a fulcrum around which the plane rotated, until it was pointing straight up and down, its tail pointing directly at the bottom of the lake.

“Can you lift it any higher?” Darter asked, bracing his rear hooves against the side of the plane.

“Too… heavy,” Skylark grunted out, her wing beats echoing like thunderclaps, as she held up not only the mass of the fallen aircraft, but the weight of all the water within its fuselage as well. The pegasus pony was at her limit, but it was enough, and she held the cockpit area just above the surface of the water.

“I’ll be quick,” Darter said, heaving with all four hooves and ripping the passenger door completely off of the plane. Looking inside, he found both people inside unconscious, but breathing. It took him only a few panicked seconds to figure out how the seat belt worked, before he was able to slide the woman in the passenger seat out into the lake.

There was a gravel beach a few dozen meters away, and lacking the wingpower of his sister, Darter had to tow the woman through the water. He deposited her on the beach and flew back to get the pilot, his sister continuing to pound the air to keep the plane from sinking the whole time.

Darter repeated his feat of strength on the pilot’s door, noticing as he did that the float on this side of the plane had torn away, leaving a large gash in the side of the aircraft. He had some trouble pulling the pilot free, who was up to his chest in water, but he finally managed to get the man out and start dragging him through the water was well.

“I’m out!” Darter called up to his sister, whose eyes were screwed shut in concentration. “You can let go!”

Skylark opened her eyes, momentarily confused, then released the plane. Several tons of plane and water sank downwards, then turned turtle before finally stabilizing upside down just under the surface of the water. Skylark for her part, didn’t watch the ballet of buoyancy, preferring instead to glide the distance to shore, arriving just behind her brother. So it was her who spotted the growing red smear on the gravel.

“Darter, look,” she said, pointing her wingtip at the pilot’s leg. Darter swung his head around and saw the sliced open pant leg of the pilot almost immediately.

“Oh crap,” the young pegasus gasped. “This is bad, really bad. He’s really hurt.”

“Skylark to Rescue One,” Skylark said, keeping her voice calm and steady in a way that Kylara Harding never could. “Skylark to Rescue One, we have a problem.”

“Rescue One here,” Jessica said, in a breathless voice. “We’ve just about got everything cleared away and are about to head your way. What’s the problem?”

“We got the people out of the plane,” Skylark said, as her brother tried putting pressure on the pilot’s wound without success. “But one of them has a really bad cut on his lower leg. He’s bleeding a lot.”

“What colour is the blood?” Jessica asked, jumping into the truck as her partner started the vehicle. “And is it oozing out or spurting?”

“It’s bright red!” Darter yelled, fear in his voice. “And it’s kinda pulsing!”

Kevin and Jessica shared a quick look as they started moving forward. That kind of bleeding meant a deep, life threatening wound that could kill in minutes. The ponies needed the help of a skilled medical technician and they needed it fast.

“Okay, if the man is wearing a belt, I want you to take it off of him,” Jessica began, as Kevin started the lights and siren to get the crowd of returning searchers out of the way. “Put it around his leg about five centimeters above the top of the wound and cinch it down as tight as you can. Got it?”

There was a long pause from the radio that gave Jessica time to calculate time and distances. By the time the radio crackled again, she had made a decision that she knew would affect her life for a very long time to come.

“It’s working!” Darter shouted, over Skylark’s radio. “He’s barely bleeding at all. Should I let go of the belt?”

“No!” Jessica shouted back. “Whatever you do, hold that belt tight. We’ll be there as fast as we can.”

“Okay,” Darter said, sounding a little uncertain. “But hurry up, okay?”

“Kevin, get me to the Pedersen place,” Jessica ordered, and her partner shot a quick look of surprise at her.

“The Pedersen’s?” he asked, turning his eyes back to the road as the last of the crowd melted away from in front of them. “Why?”

“Because it’s going to take us about thirty minutes to reach Darter and Skylark,” Jessica said. “I can make it there in five, if I fly.”

“Fly? What are you—” Kevin began, before his eyes went wide in realization at what Jessica was planning to do. “Oh no. No, you don’t. You can’t.”

“You know how long it’s going to take us to get to the lake, unload the inflatable, and get across to the far side,” Jessica said, noting that even as he argued with her, Kevin was taking them where she wanted to go. “We load me down with the suture tray, I fly there and close the wound. You follow behind and take care of the aftermath.”

“I don’t like it. Too much can go wrong,” Kevin said, screeching to a halt in front of Jean Pedersen’s home. “But I can do the numbers too, come on.”

The two paramedics jumped out of the truck. Kevin opened a compartment on the side and quickly drew out a pair of flat trays sealed in plastic. Turning to find Jessica beside him, he shoved them both into her hands.

“Take both of them in case something goes wrong with the first, good luck,” he said, pausing only long enough to give her quick squeeze on the shoulder before jumping back into the truck, and peeling out just as fast as he’d come. Jessica was heading through the gate to Jean’s place when she heard someone behind her.

“I’m over here,” Jean Pedersen called out, from the Harding’s front door. “What’s going on?”

“Not time to explain,” Jessica said, sprinting over to the tall witch. “I need you to change me back into a pegasus, right now.”

“Whoa, wait. Why?” Jean said, holding up a hand. “Hang on, let’s get inside.” Jessica dashed into the Harding’s house to see a startled Lynn Harding looking up at her with a mass of straps in her hands.

“Plane crash at the lake,” Jessica blurted out. “There’s a man bleeding out. If I can get there in time I can save him, but I need to fly there to get there in time. Change me, please.”

“Only because it’s to save a life,” Jean said, nodding. “Lynn, you better get clear. No sense all three of us turning into ponies.”

“No problem. I’ll be in the backyard, and I’ve got your work harness right here, Jessica,” Lynn said, picking up another batch of straps and stepping in a lively fashion toward the back of the house as Jessica started to throw off her clothes.

"Why are you-" Jean asked before realization hit her. "Oh right, ponies." She got out of her own clothes and in very short order the two women were standing nude in front of each other.

"Okay, I'm ready," Jessica said to the tall witch. "Make with the magic."

"For life," Jean said, reaching inside herself with an effort of focus and will to touch the power inside of her.

The power of magic responded by flowing into Jean like a raging torrent. Warmer than any fire, sweeter than any child, more potent than any drink, the power entered Jean's being, becoming one with her. To Jessica, looking from outside, the joining of woman and magic was just as profound. Jean's hair shook loose of its braid and began to flow in an ethereal wind. That flowing mane began to glow with a purple light so dark in hue that it turned the hair around it almost black in color, save for twinkling fey lights that moved and swirled about.

"J-Jean?" Jessica asked, holding back an urge to drop to her knees.

“Call me Foxfire,” Jean said, opening eyes alight with indigo flame. With a gesture, the chant blurred out as almost a single word, and where two women had once stood, there were now a pair of mares. One unicorn, horn, mane and tail, aglow with a rich, smokey dark purple and one pegasus, who shook out her red and white feathered wings.

“Get going,” Foxfire said, trying to bring the power inside of her under control. “Fly, you fool.”

“Thanks, Jean. I mean, Foxfire,” Jessica said, galloping out into the backyard where Lynn waited for her, her joy in the transformation overriding her worry about Jean. Lynn Harding knew her craft, and in less than a minute the cream coloured pegasus was fully harnessed and watching the seamstress secure the precious suture trays into the panniers on either side.

“Go save some lives,” Lynn said, giving the transformed paramedic a hug. As Jessica exploded upwards into the air, inspiration from a movie she had seen seized her mind, and she toggled her microphone.

“Fire One, be advised,” Jessica said, exultation in her voice as she climbed at a steep angle. “Rescue One is changing call signs. Rescue One is now ‘Medevac’.”

Author's Note:

Growing up, one of my favorite shows went by the simple name of "Emergency!" and starred a guy with what to me, was the manliest name of all time, "Randolph Mantooth." I mean the guy even has "Man" in his name. How awesome is that?

Also, I had written a different, more over the top sequence with Jean and Jessica, but it just far too over the top. So I toned things down a bit, and after some convincing, did not delete the scene but stored it away for future days.

Also, Gab0o0 has come through for me again and done up some new art for this story. When I get a chance I will likely replace the cover image with it. Here is the Furred Five, having a sit in the woods.

If you like this and other stories of mine, you can support me on Patreon for as little as a dollar a month. Patreon is probably one of the best things ever for keeping content creators like me in keyboards, coffee and chairs. Some months you folks really make the difference.

A big shout out to the ongoing support through Patreon by:

Canary in the Coal Mine,

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