• Published 19th Nov 2012
  • 3,550 Views, 19 Comments

Sig Alert - Dan_s Comments

New arrival to Equestria, who isn't afraid to shake things up a bit.

  • ...

Chapter 1

Sig Alert - by Dan's Comments

Disclaimer at the end of the file

The screaming agony of pain in his chest suddenly cut off, as well as the pain of many splinters driven into him. He rolled off the pile of gemstones and fell to the cold, stone floor. He looked himself over for a moment and was horrified. The powerful hands, the claws, the magnificent wings all gone. He caught his reflection in a gem nearly the size of his head. The immense gem reflected a ridiculous parody of his previous form. That gem isn't immense, it is merely large, and I am diminished, he thought then cried out in rage at his fate and his murderers, calling down every curse and malediction his heart could remember.

He sat for a moment, and considered. He was no longer sleepy, had no desire to roll himself into those gems and take a nap. Instead, smelling those gems, I feel . . . hungry, he thought. Out of curiosity, he tasted one of the smaller gems. It was as delicious as it smelled. He ate it, and another. Then he forced himself to stop.

If gems are my native food, then I will have to conserve, he thought, and hated the idea the instant it formed. Better to search. Now he laughed, a high, squeaking, yet malevolent sound. I have seen the adventurers and travelers, carrying all they can on their backs and belts. It seems I too have been reduced to that.

The baby dragon walked to the edge of the cave, and glanced around. Just outside the mouth of the cave was a plant with large leaves. He stripped off some of the largest, and carefully wrapped several of the gems in them. At least now I don't have to carry them individually. He marched out of the cave, and looked for any signs that a larger dragon might have been using this place as a larder or lair. He found no evidence. I can find my way back, he thought as he marched into the forest. A forest he once could have burned away in an afternoon.

As an experiment, he tried to light a small stick ablaze, and discovered to his disgust that his once-magnificent flame, could barely char green leaves, and left barely a scorch on the branch itself. "I have truly been brought low," he said, and bowed his head at the high and squeaky nature of his voice. "I sound as threatening as an angry squirrel." He growled and continued to march towards the river he smelled, unaware of the eyes watching him.

The black eyes closed briefly, as if their owner was debating with himself. When they opened again, their owner withdrew to carry out the decision.
[hr /]

He looked up at the surroundings as his hand cupped the water he brought to his tiny muzzle. He'd given up on the angst that his new form would be an easy meal for most predators which would have fled from him before. I am as durable as I once was, he thought, I would merely race down their gullet, and tear them apart from the inside. The thought brought a grin to his face. The flash of yellow and pink above him brought his attention around.

"A baby dragon!" the hovering, pastel creature cried out with joy.

"How can you hover?" he asked in amazement at the comparatively large creature effortlessly hanging over him.

"You can talk!" the delighted, and obviously stupid creature exclaimed.

He breathed a thoroughly pitiful fan of flame the creature easily dodged.

"Oh, I'm so sorry I scared you," the fluttering monstrosity apologized, "I just haven't seen another baby dragon. You must be scared, or are you hurt?" This thing closed in and began looking him over, it circled him so fast he could not turn fast enough to face it.

"Leave me alone!" he shouted, sounding more like a lost kitten than who he'd been denied a treat.

"Oh, you're scared," the yellow and pink fool landed and tried to make itself appear as small as possible, "Is that better? I don't want you to be scared."

The chance to claw the creature's eyes out was interrupted by a white rabbit hopping up to him. The creature was easily a head shorter than he was, but it was faster and better coordinated. The rabbit easily knocked him down.

I was knocked down by a rabbit?! I was knocked down by a rabbit? he thought as his fury grew.

"RARRAWA!" he thundered as he rolled onto his feet and charged.

"Oh, Angel Bunny, don't hurt him," the yellow fool counseled, "He's just a baby!"

The rabbit made a series of incomprehensible gestures as it retreated out of reach. Before he could close, he was hoisted into the air. The yellow one must have had experience, it'd grabbed him where he couldn't turn and attack it.

After several minutes he gave up and let the creature carry him over the forest floor. He mentally marked the route back to his cache of gems, and noted the brighter colors of the trees, grass, and even some of the animals. He briefly considered the ease of hunting. Except I was knocked down by a rabbit, he thought morosely, I, the terror of the north, defeated by a rabbit.

The home was a tiny thing, or would have been at his rightful stature. The creature carried him inside and to a small table near a sink. Unbidden a fear rose up, but not a fear that would fall to teeth and claws. "Oh no! No! No!"

His salvation came in the form of an even more ridiculously colored horse-thing. "Hi Fluttershy, I have the book on . . . is that a baby dragon?"

Another idiotic expression was added to the first. This one in purple. Then, another even more disturbing, a fat, flabby face similar to what his own had been reduced to.

"Whoa! I've never seen another baby dragon. What's your name, little guy? Who are your parents? Did you get lost in the Everfree?"

"Easy, Spike, you're confusing him," the purple one said, "He might not even be able to talk yet."

"I can talk, I assure you. But you all are doing all the talking necessary," he told them. And was immediately plunged into the water-filled sink. Rage and fear at the site and method of his death reared up at him, unexpected, unable to be stared down, and utterly terrifying. He was completely and utterly lost in a maelstrom of panic. For an instant he understood what those who'd faced him must have felt.

The moment he was rational again, I'm flat on my back, wrapped in a towel he thought as he stared up at the stupid faces filled with concern.

"He must have fallen in a stream or something when he got separated," the purple one said.

"I'm sorry little guy," the yellow one told him, "I won't do that again, I'm sorry."

Again the white rabbit looked him over and had the audacity to sniff him. And the agility to avoid a clumsy claw swipe. He jumped to his feet.

"Now, Angel Bunny, I want you to be friends," the yellow nincompoop exclaimed.

The rabbit gave a sly look, which he returned. Then it put on the most ridiculously goofy grin and extended a paw, in parody of handclasps he had seen before. Vicious, underhanded and manipulative, he thought, Perhaps we can be 'friends'. He extended my own taloned hand and clasped the rabbit's. And squeezed. But the rabbit squeezed too. He grinned. The rabbit grinned. He squeezed. The rabbit squeezed harder.

"Oh, they're going to be such good friends!" the purple one exclaimed happily.

The other dragon proved more perspicacious than the two horses. "You aren't seeing what I'm seeing," he muttered under his breath. A moment later he grabbed both of their wrists and separated them. "Those are gonna need ice," he said quietly, then to a wider audience, "Okay, now you're friends." he said sardonically, "Can you tell us a little bit about yourself. Like your name."

Suddenly, again he was the center of attention.

"I am Smaug."

It is tolerable, he thought idly, picking through food he wouldn't have even considered before, As long as I assumed that the yellow and pink one is an overbearing servant, rather than master. The sacker of Erebor, slayer of kings and armies looked around the rather dismal, yet intensely colored surroundings. Watching the other animals getting their breakfasts. His gaze lit on one who, as was his occasional wont, was giving the nincompoop a difficult time. My only real rival in this place is the rabbit, he thought with a touch of gallows humor, But it seems even he is determined to be 'friends'. Although his first loyalty is to his mistress.

Days earlier, Angel Bunny had led Smaug to the small library of books the yellow one kept. It was a welcome challenge to learn and read first the new language, and then the history of the place he had found himself. The most curious was the one Angel Bunny had insisted he read, on pegasi and their biology. Full of new words and some interesting information, it could in no way warrant the enthusiasm the rabbit had exhibited. While the yellow one is a pegasus, her health was neither my direct concern, nor was it likely I could do better than her pony friends.

Rousing him from a mid afternoon nap, Angel Bunny led the dragon to a window. Outside, the yellow one was wilting under the taunts of two large, somewhat muscular stallions. The rabbit showed a rage at someone messing with his possession that Smaug could fully empathize with. The yellow one was clearly expecting the taunts and was already retreating into a mental shell. Angel Bunny caught his attention, he seemed to be simulating hiccups, then he extended his arms and spun in a circle and collapsed.

Smaug grinned and bowed slightly. It is so good to have a teacher so profoundly devious. He jumped down and headed for the door. Angel Bunny had beaten him to it and bowed as a proper door-rabbit, holding it for his liege. He marched out.

"Leave Fluttershy alone!" he roared, then hiccuped and burst of flame, as if over excited.

"Oh you take on talking strays!" one of the stallions said as Smaug easily dodged Fluttershy's frantic grab, and marched over to the stallions. He hiccupped occasionally to keep up the ruse.

The fools are going to let me get away with this? Smaug could barely believe his luck, or their stupidity.

"Don't scare him, please!" Fluttershy pleaded from her crouch.

"Aww, we won't hurt a scale on his head. Right?" one pegasus stallion asked the other, as they extended their wings.

"Naw, all in good fun."

Smaug's hiccup burnt off their pinion feathers. The two, still-smoldering pegasi screamed and raced for the nearby stream. Out of habit, they tried to fly, but with the lift damaged on one side they banked sharply into each other and crashed. They ran to dip their smoldering wings into the stream. They drew out the now-sodden wings and examined the damage. Their expressions changed from horror to fury, as would any bully hoist by their own petard.

"You damaged our wings!" the smaller and somehow stupider of the pair exclaimed.

"You were going to hurt Fluttershy!" he shouted back at them, more so the limping bear coming out of the forest heard.

"Well, maybe we're going to hurt you," the bigger of the flightless pegasi said.

"You don't mean that," Fluttershy told them, noting the bear's rather intense interest in the flightless interlopers into his chiropractor's serenity.

How can they not hear a limping bear? he wanted to ask them.

They clearly heard the roar of the bear. Considering he was so close he blew their manes straight out. Two frightened and very filly-like shrieks of absolute terror, two dust trails and a half-dozen low altitude collisions marked the departure.

"You could have fixed those feathers," Smaug asked as innocently as he could.

"Of course. You're hiccups are gone," the yellow idiot noted.

"He frightened them out of me. I should see to making some tea," Smaug said and headed back into the house. The sight of the yellow marshmallow seemingly killing a bear with her own hooves still disturbed him.

"And some warm compresses," she added as he entered.

The baby dragon accepted the bow from the rabbit, and returned one of his own, before heading to the kitchen. That rabbit can't make decent tea to save his life. And it might.

The small dragon marched through the center of Ponyville. I thought she would never let me go, he thought morosely, moreso when he realized, I again owe that idiot rabbit! I shouldn't care about such things. And yet . . . he has been useful.

"Hey, Smaug," Spike greeted him, "You heading to the library, or Sugarcube Corners, or -?"

Here it comes, he thought.

"Rarity's place?"

"I may stop by there later," he told the other dragon, "But I would certainly not keep you from your mistress." He paused. "Maybe if she styled her hair differently, you'd see the truth." Smaug left that seed to germinate as he marched on to the library.

"Hey! Dragon boy!" came what would have been a challenge anywhere else.

"What, horse-boy?" Smaug replied.

"I'm a pony, and I'm a girl!" the cyan pegasus hovered in front of the two dragons.

"This is Rainbow Dash," Spike added helpfully.

"The one who sleeps so much? From what I heard, I thought she was a dragon." Smaug replied, "Or part-dragon, part-jackass."

"Hey! I'm all pony. All pegasus! And all mare!" the cyan noise announced.

Smaug pinched his nose. "That's not all it's 'all'."

Spike snickered and covered his ears. "You got that right."

"Are you here to be insulted, or just to hear yourself talk?" Smaug asked politely.

The cyan noise struggled for a few moments, as Smaug and Spike walked on towards the library. A few moments respite, the cyan noise was back.

"You torched their wings," the cyan noise announced.

"They should keep their feathers away from dragons with hiccups," Smaug said. "The way they were berating Fluttershy, I would have thought they could fly without wings."

"That's not the point," the cyan noise said with growing frustration.

"So pegasi are useless without their wings?" Smaug asked innocently. "That's seems very cruel to Fluttershy, and any other pegasus. Just hope you never lose your wings, or you'll be useless too."

"That's not what I said either," the cyan noise exclaimed as its confusion grew.

"Maybe you should give up doing stunts, so to keep your wings in good order. I have seen some of your crashes. That you still possess wings, let alone haven't broken them, is a string of luck that cannot last."

"Look, pegasi are not useless if they can't fly. But those guys have to fly to do their job. But their job isn't all that makes them useful," the cyan noise explained in increasingly confused and pathetic tones, "And Fluttershy is a special case and I don't want to stop practicing to be a Wonderbolt, but I . . . " It stared in confusion, as if the brain had shut down and only the flapping wings still had life.

"When you decide what you want to say, we'll be in the library," Smaug said and led Spike away as the pegasus tried to work out exactly where her argument had gone wrong.

"You don't really believe that, do you?" Spike asked.

"That a bit of bone defines a pony? No, but they all do," Smaug explained. "The greatest mana concentration is the party pony, with the apple farmer almost right behind. Your mistress and would-be mistress are well below both of them. Yet your mistress is the premier mage."

"Twilight's the best unicorn in Equestria." The little dragon showed his loyalty.

"I spoke of power flow. Had the partier or farmer been properly trained, your mistress would be their apprentice, and nothing more. But that piece of bone means she received training, and the others did not."

"You talk like ponies do that on purpose," Spike said.

"Has she taught you any spells?"

"Well, not specifically. But I have been there when she researches all her magic!" he replied. More enthusiasm, to hide uncertainty.

"What would your mistress do if you asked for instruction? Even if just to clarify your mistress's studies by explaining the work in process?" Smaug asked. "She would honey-coat it, but no at its heart is still no."

The little dragon looked crestfallen as they entered the library.

"You could just study the material on your own," Smaug pointed out, "Which is what I am doing."

"I've never known a dragon who liked to read so much," the purple one told him.

"You've known two dragons, both young," Smaug commented as he made notes on the principles he'd been studying, "Is that enough to draw conclusions?"

I miss 'Barrel Rider', he at least was interesting, Smaug thought as he set the book back on the shelf, and selected another one.

"There are no book on dragon biology, culture, social constructions," Smaug said, "So your limited experience may make you the first expert on dragons. Don't jump to conclusions that will send hordes of young scholars down the wrong path."

The purple one freezes, as it catastrophizes the possibility of being wrong destroying the lives of hundreds of ponies who haven't even been born yet. It's the main reason I tolerate it. That one is very entertaining, Smaug thought as the purple unicorn paced, unwinding the thought stream of a wrong guess ending the world. The other dragon hung his head, then walked over.

"I wish you wouldn't do that. Now she'll pace until she wears a hole in the floor," Spike confided.

"You should keep what's yours under better control. If you let it get away, it's no fault but your own," Smaug replied, not taking his eyes off the passages in the book.

"Twilight is not mine!" Spike shouted, bringing the unicorn out of her self-inflicted torpor of terror.

"Wrong. Your pony doesn't eat or sleep without your input. What your pony does every minute of every day is dependant on what you read off the endless lists. If you were to write down your pony had to dance on tables at Sugar Cube Corners, that would happen, because you wrote it into the lists that you actually write, and read back. You are the master. You allow your pony to feel in control because it suits you."

"You mean if I changed the list so she bought amethyst-flavored ice cream?" Spike asked excitedly, completely missing the terrified look on the purple one's face.

"What do you think?" Smaug asked back.

"Woah!" the purple one interrupted, "Spike's my assistant, I'm in charge."

"So, he is enslaved?" Smaug asked.

"No!" the purple one exclaimed. "He's my friend!"

"If a friend treated me as you treat him, I would end the friendship," Smaug said flatly, "Do without your lists, your plans, and regimentation that you've given him the heavy responsibility to oversee, for a week."

"But I have my studies, and my responsibilities!" the purple one complained.

"Then he who holds your list, is your master," Smaug said, "It's as simple as that." He enjoyed watching the gears spin in the purple one's head, as thought after thought raced to the horizon of insanity.

"Fine. Then you have proven my point. Spike is your master. That he knows Princess Celestia wants you in operable condition stays his hand in keeping your regimen as you desire. But you are the slave, not him. He could make you dance to his tune as he wishes, and there is no chance you could even realize. 'It is on the list' could be his perfect defense, since those rule your life. He is your friend, but you are his slave, by your own choice and orders."

The purple one hung its head. "Not having lists makes life so disorganized."

"Order is a good servant, but a poor master. You are fortunate that neither Spike nor Celestia have allowed it to completely overmaster you."

The purple one's humiliation was enjoyable to watch. But Angel and the white cat taught me, always give the prey the seeming of an escape, he thought.

"Then trust your 'assistant'. If he is truly your friend, and neither slave nor master, let him decide what things must be done, from your previous lists, and the rest of your time, be spontaneous. Do whatever the spirit moves you to do."

"Make another list," Spike warned me.

"But no lists. No plans. Unless somepony's life or health is endangered."

"Then I can organize it!"

"You can help Spike, or someone else organize it," he told the purple one, "You are to be a leaf drifting with the wind for a week."

"Ooh!" it groaned as if struck a mortal blow.

Smaug waited for the purple one to wander out of the common room. He turned to Spike. "There will be excuses, and misinterpretation of the limitations. You will look for both, and direct them back to reality."

"I understand," Spike said solemnly. Then he grinned. "I'm going to eat so much ice cream!"

"No, you will be too busy making sure your charge doesn't break into houses to rearrange their clothing and alphabetize their pantries."

Spike was about to protest, then decided against it. "I'm not going to have any fun next week, am I?"

"You wish to be absolute master, you will find out. If you wish to be the administrator of the plans drawn up, then you will be that. But you will choose. And you will warn the others of the experiment. I wouldn't want then to unduly influence things."

"So this is a test?" Spike asked happily, "She'll pass for sure!"

"She has failed to this point, miserably. And you have helped her fail. Now is the time to stop," Smaug told him. "Now, to Rarity's."


"I have an idea, and a challenge for the tailor as well," Smaug said.

Looking at that dwarf-made stuff for a century, I did figure how some of it was done, he thought, Between naps.

Spike looked at the ridiculous clothing Rarity had stuffed him into. Then at the outfit the much younger dragon had managed to inveigle out of Rarity.

"How come you look like a gentlecolt, and I look like an addlepated one?" Spike asked.

"Two things, Rarity was intrigued by the idea of a waistcoat of fine diamonds. And second, I'm a dragon, I can make anything look good."

While Spike grumbled. The arrogant youngster stalked away in his finery.

"Please?" the yellow and pink marshmallow asked, trying to appear as 'cute' as possible.

Nothing could have made the dragon admit how frightened he was of the water. He could remember feeling the waters around Lake-Town extinguishing his fires. Drowning not only his body, what his very essence. Killing him in a way mere mortals would never understand.

"Please?" the pegasus asked again.

It was all he could do to just shake his head, and not run from the edge of the small, muddy pond. His shame at this complete cowardice made him angry.

"All right. I'll be helping the ducklings with their swimming lessons." The yellow and pink shape withdrew as he stared at the flat surface of the water. Smaug saw the white head of the rabbit approach the edge of the water, and sniff at it.

When the rabbit straightened up, and stood beside him, Smaug couldn't look at him. He couldn't even shrug off the comradely arm the rabbit draped over his shoulders.

The shove into the pond came with a scream of rage and terror as he held is arms before him. That ended when the pond came up barely to his wrists.

He turned to see the rabbit giving him a jaunty salute, and hopping over to the yellow face peeking over the shrubbery to understand the scream. Just before he broke through the shrubs, the rabbit turned again and saluted.

"RWARRAR!" he roared and raced after the bunny, intent on rending the offending rabbit limb from limb. He closed on the shrubbery and the gap the rabbit had hopped through. The stick caught his ankles and sent him towards the stream, arms windmilling helplessly as the second time in as few minutes his terror was racing towards him. His hands hit the cold water and it raced towards his face as he rushed towards it. As his death raised up to engulf him again. Then his hands hit the bottom and sank slightly in the mud as his face hit the water.

An instant later he pushed himself up, and the rabbit dragged him out. The rabbit bounced out of reach, but his mistress arrived and wrapped the terrified dragon in a towel. "It's all right. It's all right. It's all right." She repeated it, slowing her delivery and somehow slowing his breathing and heartbeat as she did.

He glanced over at the rabbit, who glared back. I understand, Smaug realized, The rabbit reserves the right to be in charge. I should simply study and master his methods. Before I eat him, he thought and let the yellow bit of fluff baby him for a bit.

The unsymmetric chimera flitted from window to window and laughed at the pony princess' shock at finding the Elements gone. Smaug looked over at Spike riding the purple one's back from his own perch aboard the yellow ninny. He listened carefully to the riddle, and then to the purple one's analysis.

"It's not in the maze, Twilight," Smaug said. "If you guess the maze, then it's back in the Ponyville Library. If you guess the Library, then it will be in the old castle. If you guess the castle, then it will be hidden in your room at Canterlot. There is no right answer. Whichever you picked, before you got there, that fraud would have moved them elsewhere. 'Sorry silly, wrong guess all your trials are for nothing.'"

"Bah!" the chimera complained as it materialized, "Who is this little grouch."

"A better spirit of chaos than you could hope to be, dreary," Smaug said, and ignored Spike's warning gestures, "I too am bored with this world. But unlike you, I let my trinkets have the freedom to choose how they entertain me. You regiment them worse than the unicorn of lists, and wonder why they are stale and colorless. Because you have superimposed your own insipid personality on their behaviors."

"Have a care little dragon. I am a spirit of ever-changing chaos!" The explosion of little stuffed animals reminded Smaug of another magic-wielding braggart.

"Chaos, you? HA!" Smaug laughed. "Misery, perhaps. Sadist, assuredly. But chaos? You are as regular as clockwork, and just as predictable. Your malice towards these makes you as certain as all that you claim to despise."

"I am an artist. You wouldn't understand real chaos."

"You would manipulate them, and claim the mantle of chaos. You are a spirit of chocolate rain, and ice cream flowers, but chaos?"

"Ice cream flowers? Where did you find the ice cream flowers?" the pink party-incarnate shouted as she picked up the chimera and looked beneath it.

"I was trying to teach systematic here some new ideas," he told the pink idiot. Then to the chimera, "If forcing these to jump through hoops is the sole criterion the sobriquet 'spirit of chaos' requires, than I am mightier than you. Oh master of chocolate rain and stilt bunnies. As I just proved."

"What, rooming with an earth pony in all but fact, and playing chess with bunnies?" the chimera countered, "How does that make you the spirit of chaos?"

"Because I, dreary, let them choose how to leap through the hoops I create for them. Because I make them eager to leap through more. You, they run in terror from. They seek me out, beg me to let them entertain me with their antics. And all I need do, is let them rationalize it with 'learning lessons about themselves'. Except for the cyan noise, no one can teach that anything."

"HEY!" the aforementioned pegasus complained.

"There is a trio of bumblers who regularly match anything you could conceive of as chaos, and none will interrupt my fun with them," Smaug told him, "You, are second-rate at best. You invoke the pony princess' ire, and naught else. I have her and her sister as eager as show mares to jump and perform for me. You will break all your fun toys, teaching the survivors only new ways to hide, new ways to run from your tyranny, and wonder why there is no entertainment left. It is not Celestia the Grim you hate, but that she is a greater trickster than you. And beloved for it. It is not order you hate, but your own emptiness. A real spirit of chaos would set chaos upon the world, and sit back to enjoy. But you are a tyrant, demanding both rigid regimen and wild spontaneity, and no reward for either."

"Watch your mouth, kid," the chimera told him.

"If I do not, can I expect eternal boredom as my fate? Watching you ape the cleverness that is never truly yours? I have seen cunning hands and cunning minds. I have watched the plans both intricate and foul unwind slowly over years and centuries. I have watched the mightiest break under the weight of those plans. I shall outshine you, for all your airs. Even as mortal, I will be remembered when you are dust and forgotten ashes. For I live, and you will consume yourself when there is nothing else for you to destroy. Pathetic spirt of deceit and ignorance. You shame all who would call on chaos against the stultifying order of things."

The chimera closed suddenly and touched him. "Face chaos then."

Unlike the ponies, Smaug was a child of Ancalagon, a creature of Morgoth. Drawing him to chaos and evil had a very different effect.

"Uh," the chimera whispered as the dragon tumbled from his perch, and expanded across the floor.

"Oops," Smaug said as he stared down at the pathetic, mismatched worm. "Face chaos then." His jaws closed on empty air, as the coward had fled. He examined himself. "Couldn't even do a complete job, but it shall have to do for the moment." He looked back at the seven terrified ponies.

The yellow ninny actually approached him. Her trepidation manifest, but she would not fear her 'critters'. "You didn't mean what you said, about, about, about just playing with us? For your own amusement?"

He looked at his creature, and realized he did not want what she was broken, unintentionally. "What do you think of the lessons I have set for you and your friends?" he asked gently, picking her up carefully and setting her on his snout so they were eye to eye.

"Per aspera, ad astra," the purple one said, and smiled, " 'Through hardships, to the stars.'"

He set the nodding pegasus down. "I understand," she wrapped her forelegs around his fingers, several of the others did too.

"Is what you said about me true?" the other pegasus demanded.

"That you're unteachable, that is the truth."

The cyan noise squawked as it fell to the ground.

"That still leaves Discord," the pony princess said sharply, breaking the cluster around his fingers.

"He will regenerate from any wound?" Smaug asked.

She nodded.

"And he's made up of all those different pieces," Smaug said thoughtfully, "I wonder if he got the taste correct."

"Taste?" the purple one asked.

"Of course." Smaug licked his chops. "I could eat him forever, and it would always be new." He gave a bow as free of mockery as he could. "Your Highness, I beg your leave, I hear my dinner calling." He caught her faint smile as her horn glowed and the largest window opened outward. Moments later, he was outside and climbing steadily. Enjoying flight after so long.

"Just a nibble," Smaug said, returned to baby dragon form. He looked up at the statue. The picnic basket of condiments at the base of the statue, confiscated by the two pony princesses.

"No," the purple one said.

"Just a bite?" he asked.

"NO!" the eight equines shouted.

"But he was so delicious!" he said petulantly. Looked at the disapproving faces all around him. "Then can I say goodbye?" he asked, turned to the yellow ninny, "Please?"

She could never resist him. Another I owe that stupid rabbit, 'puppy dog eyes', he thought as the yellow pegasus nodded and carried him by the scruff of the neck to eye level with the petrified chimera.

"Hello Discord," Smaug said and patted the statue gently. "When you get out, in a thousand years. We'll do lunch." He laughed full and hearty as the ninny carried him back down.

"You shouldn't tease him like that," she chided.

"I wasn't teasing him." Smaug walked along beside her. "He's just so delicious!"

"Really! Does his tail taste like chocolate? Are his claws like mints? Does his horn taste like apples?" the pink party asked excitedly.

"Well, his eyes are like candies," Smaug admitted.

The pinky party stopped bouncing for a moment. "On second thought, I don't really want to know."

"That's good, because I'd have to ask Miss List what some of the pieces are properly called," Smaug said.

"AUGH!" "Smaugie!" They complained. Smaug merely grinned.

Smaug landed gently on the cloud. The spell he had painstakingly recreated using his own magic let him duplicate the pegasus' trick of flight and walking on clouds. He removed the pot from his head and took the spoon out of his mouth.

He beat the spoon on the pot rapidly. "Rainbow Dash! Rainbow Dash! I have come to demand your immediate and unconditional surrender! Immediate and unconditional surrender!"

The cyan noise stuck its head out of a window in the cloud house. Its eyes were severely bloodshot. "Why can't you say it's time to watch Fluttershy's butterfly migration."

"I said what I meant," Smaug replied.

The cyan noise actually considered. "Yeah, I guess you're right, it does apply. Are you going to be watching Tank? Or should he come with?"

"I believe that the migration will be just his speed," Smaug told the pegasus.

The head vanished back in the house. "Okay, I'll just wind him up." The door opened. "How the hay are you standing there?"

"Well, there was an egg, and the warmth and humidity were just right to -"

"I mean why aren't you dropping through the clouds, and did you use a catapult to get up here?"

"I flew. It's not hard, once you know the trick."

"Are you going to teach that trick to Pinkie Pie?" the cyan noise asked worriedly.

"No, but Big Macintosh is a fast learner," Smaug told the fool.

"Just don't teach AppleJack. " The cyan noise chuckled nervously. "I gotta keep some advantage over the rodeo queen."

"Who do you think taught me?" Smaug asked.

There was a crash behind the door. A moment later, the tortoise flitted around the door, and gave Smaug a mournful look, then back at the still figure of his mistress.

"Yes, I can carry her down. But let's get some ropes first." Smaug said as he considered delivering the hogtied pegasus to the butterfly watching. "So she doesn't fall off. I'm not as good a flier as I let on."

"Revenge?" he shouted, "You? Ha! I, am, SMAUG!" He stomped a foot to punctuate. "The King under the Mountain is dead, where are his kin that dare seek revenge? Girion Lord of Dale is dead, and I have eaten his people like a wolf among sheep. Where now are his son's sons that dare approach me?"

The yellow marshmallow squealed and retreated across her living room.

"I kill where I wish, and none dare resist," he told her as he backed her across her house. "I laid low the warriors of old, and their like is not in the world today. Then I was but young and tender. Now I am old and strong, strong, STRONG!" He stomped to accentuate his strength. The pegasus cowered and whimpered in a corner.

"Thief in the Shadows!" He raised her chin so she would have to look at him. "My armor is like tenfold shields! My teeth are swords! My claws spears! The shock of my tail, a thunderbolt! My wings, a hurricane. And my breath death." He had showed her the power of each as she tried to draw herself deeper in the corner, whimpering and crying.

Suddenly she threw herself forward and surrounded him in legs and wings. "Oh am sorry. Was `new Fluttershy` really so mean and terrible?" she whimpered even more pathetically, "I am so sorry." She kissed the stunned dragon on the head and raced off. "I don't deserve wonderful friends like you Smaug. I have to apologize to everypony."

Smaug had the presence of mind to catch her tail.


"Just apologize to your friends," he managed, "Everyone else, doesn't need to know."

He received another hug and kiss, and then `new-old` Fluttershy was gone. The dragon looked around, and spotted the rabbit. It stood, mouth agape, its mail shirt hanging off one shoulder, its helmet askew and the meat cleaver that would have served as a battle-axe slipping from nerveless paws. "And you think I understand what just happened?" the dragon asked the stunned bunny.

He marched over to hop up to the writing desk, and selected a parchment and quill. He considered briefly, using his considerable skill with language to craft the appropriate phrases.

Salutations to Her Highness Princess Celestia, Master of the Sun, Liege of All Ponydom, First Bearer of the Elements of Harmony,

I have come to the inescapable conclusion that your subjects, when faced with a show of gross irritation, will rationalize it as an expression of friendship, whenever possible. And will equally misinterpret questionable gestures of friends as somehow abysmally harmful. This has led to the further conclusion that this is Hell, and I have been sentenced here for my `crimes` in the eyes of Eru Illuvatar. I am content with this.

Respectfully I am, Smaug the Golden, slayer of kings, despoiler of Dale, sacker of Erebor, Last true King Under the Mountain."

He dispatched the note as Spike had taught him, and walked off into the forest to find something that would scream in pain when he damaged it. The battle ax-wielding bunny hopped along beside him to watch.

DISCLAIMER: My Little Pony is the property of Hasbro, Inc.
Smaug is the property of the Tolkien Estates

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