• Published 4th Mar 2018
  • 3,457 Views, 29 Comments

Fizzlepop's Wish - milesprower06

Hearth's Warming has come to Ponyville once again, and Fizzlepop Berrytwist has been asked to put on a fireworks show. You never know who might show up.

  • ...

Duty Calls

Snow was tossed up in the wake of the trio of galloping hooves as Major Fizzlepop, Commander Thunderlane, and Lieutenant Starlight Glimmer ran down the main street of Ponyville towards the Everfree Forest.

"It's a seriously ticked off manticore," Thunderlane reported as they galloped. "Came out of the forest and started coming towards town. South patrol is keeping it back while Captain Rainbow came to get me and you, and Lieutenant Rivet went to go get Fluttershy's assistance. Rainbow bolted back over there as soon as she alerted me, and I went to go get you."

"Certainly an exciting way to kick off Hearth's Warming." Fizzlepop mused as they ran through the central market square towards the southeastern outskirts. She was suddenly grateful that Rainbow had convinced as many guards as possible to volunteer for patrol today. Those that were active today and tonight would be given the day off tomorrow to spend with family and friends. She initially thought about giving almost all of them the day off today, given that nearly all of Ponyville's population would be in and around the castle for the festivities tonight.

She had of course assumed that potential non-pony problems that occasionally wandered out of the Everfree Forest would stay in there for Hearth's Warming. Wishful thinking on her part, but that's why Captain Rainbow was the perfect balance when she started to go soft every now and again.

As they reached the southeastern outskirts, they heard growls, roaring, and the sound of beating wings. The trio veered off the road into slightly deeper snow towards the forest, where Rainbow Dash, Rivet, and Fluttershy were contending with the manticore in question. It was still a good 200 feet from the road, but it had come out of the forest considerably.

"Fluttershy has a magical ability that can subdue it so she can try and reason with it, but if she can't get close enough or it's not calm enough, it won't work." Starlight informed Fizzle. As they came closer, that appeared to be precisely the case, as the airborne animal caretaker attempted to maintain eye contact, only to be forced to dip down and away when the manticore turned and swatted at her with its scorpion tail, breaking the eye contact in the process.

As the beast turned back around and prepared to take a swipe at Rivet, Fizzlepop's horn lit up, and she fired off a bright ball of energy that landed directly in front of it. When it landed, it sizzled and sparked. It was physically harmless, but it served its purpose as the startled manticore took a short leap back and let out a snarl. Nonetheless, it gave the group a little more room to work with.

"You guys take the scenic route?" Rainbow asked from above, as she circled overhead, trying to make sure the manticore's attention wasn't focused on any single pony for long.

"Fluttershy, ideas to end this?" Fizzlepop asked.

"Anything that can calm him down, or at least slow him enough where my Stare can work." Fluttershy replied.

Major Fizzlepop turned to her newly-appointed Battlemage, whose horn was already aglow.

"Prohibere!" Starlight exclaimed, her horn firing off a bolt of energy that hit the manticore square in the chest. The glowing blue aura now surrounding him didn't seem to make him any less angry, but his flapping wings and swishing tail seemed to slow considerably.

"That enough? You've got maybe ten seconds." Starlight warned the yellow pegasus, who then floated down and once again initiated her mystical Stare.

This time it seemed to work, as the manticore maintained eye contact, and his aggressive stance seemed to soften as Starlight's spell started to dissipate, though her horn was glowing and ready with another if Fluttershy needed to take cover in a hurry. But several seconds later, the manticore, effectively stunned, stopped growling and went into a sitting position in the hoof deep snow.

"Now," Fluttershy began, landing a foot in front of him. "What seems to be the problem?"

The manticore let out a series of incomprehensible meows, growls, and grunts, but Fluttershy nodded in understanding.

"Well I don't think anypony out here would have any reason to go that deep in on a day like today. I'm sure whoever did it is sorry, and is long gone. But shouldn't you be headed back there in case they try again?"

No one present was sure how Fluttershy was communicating with the creature, but sure enough, he stood, turned, and ran back into the forest, disappearing behind the trees and shrubs in moments. When the fading rustling ceased completely, Fluttershy turned back to the group.

"Something disturbed its den, took some food, woke up his young. He was following a scent when it spotted Rivet just outside the treeline." Fluttershy informed them.

"Huh, talk about bad timing." Rivet replied.

"Well, hopefully that's our excitement for the day. We should head back; got a festival to help put together. Including a fireworks show, right Major?" Rainbow teased, getting a smirk and a tint out of Fizzlepop's cheeks for her efforts.

Several dozen feet back into the forest, well camouflaged behind a bush, the gray pug-faced hedgehog stared in silent astonishment. The only reason the manticore had lost his scent was due to the intervention of the pair of armored patrol ponies that had been nearby. Having been too petrified to move from his hiding place, he witnessed how they held the beast at bay for nearly ten minutes while help arrived from more than one place. First came the first guard that left and returned with a light yellow pegasus, who tried, rather unsuccessfully, at calming it down.

But then she arrived.

He was beside himself when he saw Commander Tempest, horn completely restored, run up in the same style armor the other guards had been wearing. She, along with the robed mage accompanying her, cast spells to help calm it enough for the yellow pegasus to work her magic.

And just like that it was over. After an incomprehensible conversation with the pegasus, the manticore had retreated back into the darkness of the forest. After making sure everyone was unharmed and accounted for, they moved back towards town.

'Just... How?' The hedgehog wondered. After seeing Canterlot magically and fully restored to its previous state before the invasion, he thought that surely Tempest would have been killed, or at the very least imprisoned. Such was his state of shock that he didn't move until they had returned back the way they came, and the only evidence of their previous presence was hoof tracks in the snow.

One thing was certain; that was the last time he'd follow his nose into a cave in search of a meal.