• Published 26th Apr 2013
  • 4,186 Views, 82 Comments

Brag you Down - Skyeheart

Trixie's showboating skills start to get a little bothersome for the rest of the elements of harmony. So Twilight devises a plan with her friends to teach her a little humilty...with unforeseen consequences. Set in the Manehattanverse

  • ...

Act 4: Let Sleeping Ursas Lie

Luna's moon began to descend from the sky as deep within the cellars of the Equestrian Museum of Supernatural History, a line of mares sat under the dim flicker of headlamps.

Twilight circled around her friends and between several tables of maps, blueprints, and chalk diagrams. "Everypony got a clear grasp on their roles?"

"Pretty much."
"Uh huh."
"I'm also part of this conversation!"

"Great!" Twilight magicked up screen to project her mental image. "Let's do a quick run through one more time of Operation Reputation Rescue!"

"First, we need to draw a large portion of the city together. Essentially, the newsponies, Mayor Tux and the city council, and any other notable socialite have to be in the crowd. That's where Daring comes in."

A huge group of ponies crowded around a stall outside a bookstore, where Honey sat dressed in her pith helmet and explorer's vestments, holding a pen and a stack of Daring Do books.

"I'll be making an appearance as my adventurous alter-ego for a book signing at the Barns and Stable bookstore a few blocks down from the Equine's Gait Building. I know the mayor's a big fan, and Daring Do has been off the public radar for long enough to pull the media's attention. The streets there are also wide enough for something really big to come through."

The scene switched to a row of identical storage sheds. Octavia shimmied across the shadow of one, peeking around the corner to watch a worker pass on by. She silently signaled with her hoof, and Blossomforth somersaulted out in front of the door in a jet black jumpsuit, striking a Charlie's Horses kung-fu pose. She darted a quick glance back and forth as Octavia crept up alongside her, somewhat annoyed, and pulled a feather from her wings to use as a lockpick for shed doors.

"Meanwhile, Octavia and Blossomforth will sneak into the city warehouses off the south end of the industry district where all the holiday decorations and celebratory props not in use are stored."

The two mares lifted the storage doors open, and turned on the lights to reveal a line of covered wagons and decorated platforms.

"Our goal will be to 'borrow' one of the parade float vehicles."

"From there, we slink out and rendezvous with Auntie at the paper crafts factory owned by the Orange Conglomerate."

The pair pushed the wheeled platform onto an empty factory lot, where Sherbet awaited them with a pile of paint cans, sap adhesives, wooden planks, and colored paper.

"I'll have appropriated all the necessary art supplies from my factory's depot to design a very realistic Ursa Major float."

Between the three of them, the float soon took the shape of an astral colored bear with stars patterning its body. Octavia pushed out a large microphone and speaker around her size. Blossomforth then took the equipment and stuffed it into the Ursa's mouth.

"Complete with blood curdling roar, courtesy of my old friend's sound system."

Blossomforth gave a little giggle as she sat in the back and gave a mock roar through the microphone, which amplified her voice tenfold.

"Then, we wheel it out into the open, towards the crowd, where I will incite a panic using herd psychology."

Twilight ran through the streets in terror as the Ursa chased after her. Other ponies soon joined running along side her.

"After a minute or so of fanning the flames, Trixie will come out and do battle with our Ursa."

Trixie appeared in a puff of smoke in front of the float, where she shot a few blasts of magic at the paper-mache beast. The float turned and sped away from her after trading blows for awhile.

"She'll direct it out of the city and everypony who witnessed her feat with have to acknowledge her as a reputable magician again!"

Confetti sprayed the air as Trixie rose to her hindlegs, waving to the cheering crowd.

"Uh, wait a minute," Trixie cut in at the front as the magic screen faded. "Won't the ponies think something's up when they see you aren't trying to fight it off?"

"Way ahead of you." Twilight pulled out a jar from her saddlebags filled with vibrant blue flowers. "Blossomforth fetched me this plant from the botanical gardens just a while ago. According to their reference guide, it's an herb called poison joke. It secretes a magical toxin that upon contact, takes a living creature's strongest and most valuable attributes, and twists it around like a bad joke." She then proceeded to open the jar, rubbing its contents all over her body. "I won't be able to stop the Ursa because I will be magically incapacitated."

"And I-" Honey wrapped a large tape of bandages around her right wing. "-will be sporting a lovely cast at the signing, courtesy of my latest expedition to find the lost tribe of Ungulateda."

"This time," Twilight emphasized, "nothing can go wrong."

The Central Park zoo gates creaked as Specs pressed against it, but would not budge. "Aw, I forgot. The zoo's closthed on Thundaysth."

"Hold on, I just remembered a secret entrance I overheard about on the playground." Cutup waddled over to a dense spot in the bushes. "Ahhaaah...should be around...here!" His hoof parted the foliage to bring a small spot in the wall where some bricks had come loose. Much too small for an adult to squeeze through, but for a couple of colts, just big enough.

Well, maybe colts that didn't spend four out of five school day recesses just sitting on a bench with candy bars reading graphic novels.

"Oof!" Cutup's somewhat portly girth stopped halfway through the hole in the wall. "Uh, Specs? A little help here?"

"Okie dokie pal!" His more lanky friend came up from behind and started shoving as hard as he could. "Oomph! Wow, Cutup, what'dya eat for breakfasth today? A jar of cement?"

"Just push! I can feel it working!"

A couple grunts and groans went by as they made little progress. Finally, the glasses wearing colt backed up, adjusted his eyewear, and with a sidesticking tongue he lowered his head and gave a ramming charge to his friend's hindquarters.

Too bad he forgot for that brief moment that unicorns have a pointy horn on the end of their heads. If he had, the next moment would have been a lot less painful for other unicorn stuck in the wall.

"Yeowch!" Cutup rocketed out of the hole with Specs in tow as they tumbled into the zoo lot, smashing into a full trash can. Ice cream wrappers, leftover popcorn, and peanut shells decorated the two as they crawled out.

"Well this is another fine mess you've gotten us into," Cutup said as he wiped away the half-eaten licorice on his face, leaving a small black smeared mustache just above his lip behind.

"Thorry buddy." Specs picked up his glasses and noted the new headgear they both sported. "Who throws away a pair of perfectly good bowler hats anyway?"

"Nevermind that. Let's just hurry up and find that exhibit."

The pair plodded through the empty cobblestone pathways, looking to each habitat.

"Let's see...Manticore, nope...Amphisbaena, nuh uh..."
"Ooh, I didn't know their aquarium had a new Cancer exhibit...ah! Cutup! Over there!"

They came to a stop at a huge pitted enclosure with a cave almost as large and wide as a ten story building. Around the railing, there was a large brass plaque with engraved information.

Ursa Major
Also more commonly known as the great star bear, the Ursa is largest of the astral beasts in existence. Though omnivorous, it is predatory by nature, usually hunting lesser star beasts like the Pisces or Lepus in its natural habitat. A fully grown Ursa can reach a height of 1000 hooves and weigh as much as 3000 stones.

"Wooow, that'sth big," Specs read from the info board. "So, where is the Urstha anywaysth?"

"Duh, in the cave. Here, help me grab this ladder so we can climb down and fetch it."

The two colts gingerly climbed down into the forested pit and approached the cave's entrance. Now that they were at ground level with it, it seemed a lot bigger than when they first looked at it. Regardless, they entered the darkness of the cavern undaunted.

"Yoo-hooo! Urstha Major! Are you home? We need you come out stho the Great and Powerful Trixie can defeat you!"

"Don't say that, you mook! What animal comes out just so someone can beat them up?" Cutup jabbed his partner with a poking hoof.

"Good point. Uh, nevermind that lasth comment! What I meant to sthay wasth we got thome punch and pie justh for you outsthide in the city sthquare!"

Specs looked to his buddy, who had a 'really?' look on his face. "What? Everypony likesth punch and pie."

"Specs, we don't have punch and pie."
"But maybe he'll come if we sthay we have punch and pie."
"We're not having punch and pie!"
"Okay...uh, about ice cream? Urstha's aren't lactosthe intolerant, are they?"
"No, just...just stop. We don't have ice cream either! No ice cream, no cake, no pizza, nothing!"
"Well...how about a Misther Goobar? I know you always carry one of thosthe."
"THAT is my emergency candy bar, hooves off!"
"But I'm not going to eat it, the Urstha is, and Urstha's don't have hooves."
"Okay then, paws off! Point is, he's not getting my Mr. Goobar."
"Well then, what are we going to- uh, Cutup? Where'd you go?"

By now they were so far in, absolutely no light from outside could reach them.

"Well that's just great. How're we gonna find an Ursa Major when I can't even see my own hoof in front of my face?" Cutup complained.

"Oh! Hang on! I got a light!" With a flickers and a strained grunt, Specs lit up his horn along with the whole cavern.

"Ah, that's better!" Cutup said with approval.

A large moaning growl suddenly emanated from behind, and the pair could distinctly feel what had to be a warm breath against them. The two unicorn colts turned to see a ginormous hulk of furry midnight blue rise to a hundred times their size.

And judging by it's bloodshot eyes and bared teeth, it did not look happy.

"Uh, Cutup?"
"Yeah, Specs?"
"Sthomething tellsth me we didn't think thisth through enough."
"You just realized that?"

As the star studded bear reared up to full height, its two intruders did the only sensible thing they could think of.


"Daring! Daring! Over here!"

Honey gave a quick wave to another photographer as his lightbulb flashed in front of the booth. "Easy there, press hogs. Save some space for the fans."

Meanwhile, towards the back of the line, a familiar pair of fillies stood side to side, each with a copy of Daring Do and the Ivory Idol, as well as a pair of tickets.

"I can't believe your mom personally knows Daring Do!" Babs gushed to Tangerine. "I knew she had a lot of big connections and all but, backroom passes for after the signing? Wowsa!"

Tangerine gave a bittersweet smile that her cousin echoed. "It is a shame though that Miss Honey could not make it. Mother says she is spending the entire day appraising the artifacts Miss Daring brought back in her curio room, and is not to be disturbed."

"Yeah, too bad. I'm sure they woulda just clicked, having so much in common and all that."

"Oh, I wouldn't worry about that," Twilight said as she walked up beside the two fillies. "Daring and Honey know each other quite well on a personal basis." She barely hid a knowing smirk, turning her head away. "You might even say they couldn't be closer to each other if they tried."

Tangerine looked up to the bookish unicorn. "Um, Twilight? Your horn is floppy and covered with blue spots."

"Yes, yes it is," Twilight agreed nonchalantly.

"I got it! Twilight 'Flopple'! How's that for a good nickname?"

Twilight sighed. "Come on Spike, just let it go. I didn't really mean you weren't clever with-" she paused to note Spike was back in his journalist outfit.

"Spike? What are you doing?"

"Just getting ready for my role in the plan."

"Spike, I didn't give you a role."

"Exactly!" Spike put his claws on his hips. "You never include me in your crazy plans that just might work! I can be just as useful outside the library you know. Which is why I have taken it upon me to reestablish myself as Trixie's ghost writer! Every last detail of today's glorious epic return will be jolted down, word for word, by yours truly."

Twilight gave a giggle as Tangerine and Babs cocked their heads.
"What'chu talkin' about Spike?"
"Miss Twilight, what does he mean by epic return? Is Miss Trixie doing something today?"

"Oh, you'll find out soon enough," Twilight said with a wink as she saw an orange and a gray earthpony pair coming down the street. "Everything set Auntie? Octavia?"

Octavia nodded. "Blossomforth is driving it here as we speak. Any moment now."

"Mother? What is going to happen any moment?"

Sherbet leaned down to give her daughter a playful bop on the nose. "It's a surprise my little sweet rind, and it's one I think you're going to like."

Before Tangerine could ask further, a nudge from Babs alerted her they were at the front of the line now. "Come on! We're next!"

"Hey there squirts," Honey greeted. "Who do I make this out to?"

"Babs Seed and Tangerine Orange." The filly blew her forelock away as she pushed her copy up onto the table.

"The Ivory Idol, huh? Nice pick, that was one of my better outings."

"Ooh! ooh! Is there an opening for a junior adventurer on your next quest?" Babs asked. "Cause if there is, I could be your next Scootaround!"

Honey's face soured for a moment. "Please don't mention that little troublemaker. You definitely don't want to be her."

"Hmm? Why not?" Tangerine asked.

"Don't get me wrong, she's a good foal and all, even saved my hide a few times, but..." Honey looked to the book she signed and then passed it back. "Let's just say you need my personal extended edition to know everything that went down on that island." She rested her cheek on a hoof, muttering to herself. "Darn filly was way too impulsive for her own good..."


Everypony turned to see two colts racing down the street towards them. The ground shook moments later as a large piece of Luna's night in the shape of a bear came roaring from behind.


"Wow! You really went all out on the details," Twilight mentioned to her two friends. "It looks so authentic and lifelike, I'll bet the ponies won't even need me to rile them up."

Octavia and Orange Sherbet just stared at the Ursa, eyes wide and pupils shrunk.

"Alright Daring, showtime!" Twilight broke out of the huddled whisper to stand on top of the table, arching her back and holding her front hooves to her cheeks. "Oh no!" she enunciated. "It's an Ursa Major! And it's rampaging out of control!"

As expected, the crowd dispersed, filling the air with loud screams. The extra noise only seemed to annoy the astral beast further, as it swiped aimlessly around, knocking a few carts aside

Twilight pulled her hoof up to her horn in an ailing and distressed pose. "Woe be to our fair city! If only I could use my magic to save us!"

"Um...Twilight?..." Sherbet finally found her voice.

Meanwhile, Honey stuck her head under the table's curtains. "*psssst* Trixie! That's your cue!"

Blue smoke erupted from the booth, covering the area all around. From the mystic blue mist, an azure unicorn materialized, her starry cape billowing in the breeze. "Fear not, citizens of Manehattan! And fear not, Twilight Sparkle! There is still one unicorn with the magic know how to deal with this beast!" She whirled around to face her captive audience, who stared in stunned silence. "That's right! The Great and Powerful Trrrrrixie...has returned!!"

"A hush falls over the crowd, could there be a ray of hope after all? In the form of their very own Trixie?" Spike scribbled down.

"Trixie! No, I mean, Great and Powerful Trixie! Thank Celestia you're here!" Twilight cheered. "We're powerless to stop this unfathomable menace! Please! Help us! Only you can prevent Manehattan from becoming a smoldering ruin now! You're our only hope!"

"Twilight..." Octavia's whisper seemed to have a note of urgency in it.

"Yeah! That'sth right!" Specs chimed in from behind the row of upturned flowerpots he and Cutup had ducked under. "The Great and Powerful Trixie can beat thisth thing! Justh like sthe did in Hoofington!"

"Give it to that Ursa Major good, Great and Powerful Trixie!" Cutup echoed his friend's encouragement. "Just like when the Fillytasic Four turned Professor Calamity into an inert hunk of metal!"

Trixie marched squarely up to the Ursa, staring it right in the eyes as she puffed out her chest. "Now see here, you monstrous brute from the untamed beyond! You think you can just waltz in here, knocking over whatever you please, harming anypony unfortunate enough to tread beneath your paws? Well think again! This is still Trixie's town, and these are still Trixie's ponies! And so long as she's here, the Great and Powerful Trixie will not let it or them fall prey to any Ursa!"

With a sly grin, she proceeded to pick up some nearby rubble and pelt the Ursa's face with debris. "Have at you, fiend!"

The Ursa roared again in discomfort. It slammed its paw at Trixie, who nimbly galloped aside.

"That's it Blossomforth," Twilight said to herself. "We don't want to make it look too one-sided."

"Twilight!" both Octavia and Sherbet hissed.

Trixie summoned up a few tiny thunderclouds and proceeded to fire lightning bolts from them. "And have a few of these!" She took off her hat waved her hoof over it, prestidigitating a flurry of bottle rockets. The Ursa roared in pain as the series of mini-explosions decorated themselves over its starry hide.

"And she gives it a left! And a right! Ooh! And a cross counter with the cabbage cart!" Spike narrated over his wordpad. Cheers began to grow from the spectators, encouraging the mare that was fending off the attacking beast.

"Still haven't had enough? Well then, get ready for the finisher! Trixie's super powerful ultimate spell combo, the-"

The large swiping paw finally caught Trixie in her monologue, sending her crashing into a cart of tomatoes.

Dead silence reigned, and not a soul stirred...until the constellation goliath roared again.

"Hey!" Twilight bounded right in front of the behemoth and shouted right up into its face. "What's the big deal, Blossomforth?! That wasn't part of the plan!"

"Twilight!" Her businessmare friend finally managed to raise her voice loud and sharp enough to catch her attention. "Blossomforth can't hear you in there!"

Twilight was befuddled. "What? Why not?"

Octavia pointed down the other direction of the street, fear evident in her face. "Because Blossomforth...is in there."

A wooden starry painted framework of a bear came slowly rolling up the lane. A tiny feedback screeched from its mouth as its arms stiffly moved from side to side.

"RAWR! *giggle* RAWR! RAAAAWR! RAAAAaaaaaaawwwwwrrrr..."
The other bear grew silent and still as it stopped, face to face with its more realistic counterpart.

Twilight suddenly felt a growing pit in her stomach and a chill creep up her spine. "Wait a minute...if...that's our float..." Her neck creakily turned. "That would make this..."

The mighty bear swung its clawed paw at the large wooden newcomer, decapitating it in one strike, leaving behind a white, freckled pegasus squatting upon the open neck, a microphone clutched in her trembling hooves. "Rawr?"

The beast answered in return.

"A REAL URSA!!" Twilight screamed at the top of her lungs!

Blossomforth abandoned float just in time to avoid being upturned with it as the Ursa heaved it deep into the streets, where it crashed against a large building, sending wreckage raining everywhere. In a matter of seconds, the screams of terror resumed and redoubled as a real danger suddenly became self-evident.

Amongst the scrambling of hooves to get away, Tangerine was bumped by a larger pony and stumbled to the ground, where the piece of paper she held flew from her hooves. "Oh no! My backdoor pass!" Hopping back on her hooves, she scrambled after the prized slip.

"Tangerine, look out!" cried Babs.

But it was too late. As the little Manehattanette bent down to pick up where her pass fell, a large blue paw picked her up. Fun fact, a filly's scream can actually exceed the decibels of an Ursa's roar when properly motivated.

Orange Sherbet looked to the nightmare unfolding before her very eyes in abject terror. "MY BABY!!" she screeched.

"Twilight! Do something!" Spike tugged at his infallible unicorn guardian legs like no tomorrow.

"Ah-ah-I'll try!" Twilight scrunched her face, an aura started to flicker around her horn.

But all that came out was a rather flatulent sound. Normally, the baby dragon would take this moment to fall laughing head over heels, but this was certainly not the time to chuckle at a magical faux pas.

"It's no good!" Twilight cried. "I'm still under the effects of the poison joke, I'm completely without magic!"

The world darkened before her as the looming shadow of the great star bear enveloped her. She turned to face the Ursa, their noses literally touching. A wave of hot breath poured over the disabled unicorn as her body seized up. Her mind went blank as all she could do was give an awkwardly big smile drenched in cold sweat.

And just like that, the Ursa now had two hostages in its paw.

"Let Twilight go you overgrown bag of fur!" Spike sprayed the captor's face with a burst of green fire. The Ursa blinked at its singed muzzle, then roared with such force, the little dragon went sailing back fifty hooves.

Octavia quickly fished him out of the busted pickle barrel he landed in. "I have no idea why I thought that would work," he muttered in a daze.

"In order to achieve anything you must be brave enough to fail." Octavia gave him a reassuring squeeze before placing him on her back. "I find what you did was admirable."

A goofy grin started to spread over the little dragon's face. "I think I know why I did it now..." he muttered to himself.

Trixie crawled out from the mess of produce in a punchdrunk trance. "Unn...anypony get the license plate of that chariot?"

She regained her senses by bumping into the severed head of their float. "Ahh!" She jumped back in surprise at the gruesome display that stared back at her with empty eyes, then noticed the other Ursa in the streets as it clawed the windows of a nearby motel. "Wait...what? Two Ursas? What's going on here?"

"Long story short, second one's real, plan's up in smoke, the city's in real danger now, and we got two mares in distress that need prying out of a mad bear's grip." Honey stripped off her fake cast and took off like a rocket. "It's go time!"

She whizzed around the falling glass shards and broken bricks like a goshawk. Swerving under the Ursa's legs, she looped around from behind a blind spot and peeked over the paw that held two ponies in its closed grasp. "Hang on girls, I'm getting you out of there right now!" She reached for one of Twilight's outstretched hooves and started to heave.

"Miss Daring, watch out!"

"Huh?" Honey reacted to Tangerine's warning just a moment too late. With a sudden spasm of movement, the Ursa swung the backside of its paw against the side of another apartment complex. It removed said paw to leave behind a large impact crater, with a tan and ashen gray swatted fly by the name of Honey Do in the center. Peeling off and falling to the ground, the final blow came for her in the form of a billboard that was knocked off the top of the building and followed her*.

Blossomforth, Trixie, Orange Sherbet, Octavia and Spike immediately rushed over to dig her out of the rubble.

"Okay...now I need a real cast..." she groaned with a slur, spitting out a few pieces of cement.

"Oh, this is bad! This is bad, bad, bad!" Spike spoke in a panic. "Twilight's powerless, Daring's down for the count, and to top it off, I'm out of notepad paper!"

Meanwhile, the Ursa's lumbering trail of destruction had reached the base of the Equine's Gait Building. Rearing up, the bear easily grasped the sides of the monumental skyscraper, and began to climb. The denizens of Manehattan could only gawk at a safe distance at scene before them, with varying degrees of worry and fear.

"Uh, why is it climbing the tower?"
"Dunno, but for some reason I can't place my hoof on, it seems fitting and expected somehow."
"Omigosh! Look! In its paw! There're a pair of ponies trapped in its grasp!"
"This...this is it! This is the end! Manehattan is doomed! The horror! The horror!"

Everypony looked at Blossomforth strangely as she lay on the ground, playing dead. Opening an eye, she got back to her feet, smiling sheepishly. "Sorry, took a page from my penpal Lily there for a moment."

"I am not about to let the flower of my life become giant bear food! I will throw myself at the fiend and die trying to gouge its eyes out before I do!" Sherbet snapped with motherly indignation. She yanked Trixie forward by the neck. "Now come on! You must have some idea of what that thing's weakness is if you could beat one before, even if it was made up!"

Trixie just shook her head. "I-I don't! I can't! I'm sorry girls, I really wish that story wasn't a lie, but Twilight was right. There is no way to defeat an Ursa Major! I mean, just look at the size of that thing, and how violently it's rampaging!"

"Technically..." Twilight shouted over the din and across the increasing altitude in the Ursa's grip. "This isn't an Ursa Major...Woooah! This is an Ursa Minor, a baby! And it's not rampaging, it's probably just cranky because somepony woke it up from it's nap!"

"That's a baby?!" everypony chorused.

"I'd sure hate to see what an adult looks like then," Honey remarked.

"So what is she suggesting we do, rock it back to sleep?" Spike joked.

Trixie's eyes lit up at the comment. "That's it! We'll put it back to sleep!"

"Huh? I was kidding! How are we going put something that big to sleep?" the little dragon asked.

Trixie turned to Octavia. "Octavia, you know a lullaby or two on your cello, correct?"

"Yes..." Octavia looked upward towards the astral beast in the distance that dwarfed the former by at least fifty times. "But I doubt that music alone will soothe this savage beast."

"Yeah, no way she's going to able to play long enough before that cranky cub knocks her off the ledge," Honey affirmed.

"Which is exactly why Trixie says we're all putting it to sleep, so let her finish!" She switched to Blossomforth. "Do you know any plants that produce narcotic powders?"

"Oh-oh yeah! There's lots, Sandmare roses, Dozydils, Lackadaisies..."

"Can you get them?"

Blossomforth answered hesitantly. "Uh...yeah, the botanical gardens keep a ton in stock. They grow a lot of it for the pharmaceutical companies."

"Go there and grab as much of the stuff you can, pack it in a huge sack, and bring it back here on the double!"

"What? But...uh...I can't buy those flowers without a proper ID. It's about some safety rule the gardens have about substance abuse or something-"

"Just go!"

Blossomforth scrambled towards the gardens as fast as her wings took take without another moment's notice. "Yes Miss Trixie, at once Miss Trixie, Ma'am!"

Trixie then addressed Orange Sherbet. "Auntie Sherbet, get your employees together and gather every mattress, pillow, and cushion in the city and haul them back here, got it?"

The orange mare gave a quick nod, but then pulled the unicorn in close. "Just so you know," she whispered in a deathly silent tone, "If my little Tangerine gets so much as a scraped knee from your scheme, that Ursa is going to be the least of your worries!"

The showmare backed up against her cellist friend, who quipped in return as the businessmare galloped off. "Tartaurus hath no fury like a mother scorned."

Clearing her throat with regained composure, Trixie turned to the final mare of the group. "Daring, do your wings still work?"

The tan pegasus flexed her feathered appendages for a moment. "Yup, nothing broken," she answered.

"Good, get the biggest bottle you can find, fly to the nearest creamery in the city, and bring it back filled to the brim with whole milk. Not 1% or half and half, it needs whole milk!"

"Trixie, I think I can see where you're going with this, but you're still missing one underlying fact." Honey hoofmotioned her slowly emphasized words. "None of us are even going to be able to get close to that 'baby' without it pounding us into horsemeat!"

"Leave that to Trixie," the magician clearly stated. Then proceeded to walk at a steady pace towards the Equine's Gait building. "Come along Octavia, Spike. We've got a long elevator ride ahead of us."

With one paw clutching the spire at the tippity top of the tallest building in Manehattan, and the other holding its two captives, the Ursa Minor roared an echoing cry that could be heard for miles around.

"Twilight..." Tangerine clutched her only companion's mane tightly, pulling it until it hurt. "I'm scared..."

"I...I..." Twilight tried to be the bigger mare for the sake of the filly, but she just couldn't quell her nerves enough. "I'm scared too Tangerine. I never thought it would end this way."


The three heads gazed down at the balcony doors that opened for a gray earth pony with a large cello on her back, a small purple and green dragon, and a starry caped azure unicorn. "Tis not the end Twilight Sparkle! Not while the Great and Powerful Trixie draws breath!"

The Ursa Minor growled at the newcomers, ready to snap its jaws at them.

"Octavia, start playing, now," Trixie commanded in a low whisper.

Octavia placed her cello in an upright position and began to strum a calming sonnet. As expected though, the bear was too incensed at the moment to listen.

"Well, this is proving to be effective," Spike half snarked, half worried to Trixie. "So how're you going to keep it from decorating the sidewalk with us?"

"Trixie is going to do what Trixie does best," she replied with a gulp. "Catch an audience's attention."

She hopped over to the opposite end of the balcony, flashing sparks at the Ursa's eyes. "Over here, baby bear! Trixie's not done with you yet!"

Irritated, the Ursa craned its head away from the playing musician and attempted to smash the magician. Its paw connected with the body, destroying it in a puff of smoke. There, from the settling blue dust, emerged six more of the same mare.

"Come on, find the real Trixie, win fifty bits!" they simultaneously chorused. The guessing game went on for several minutes with no success on the Ursa's end. Then, the cub did something she didn't expect, it huffed a mighty inhale and blew. A blast of air melted the copies away and sent the real deal sprawling against the wall.

Before she could recover, Trixie found herself pinned by the Ursa's free claw. Growling deeply, the Ursa leaned in. Sweating bullets, Trixie lit her horn again. A bouquet of flowers shot from her hoof and right into the Ursa's nostril.


The Ursa Minor leaned back, allowing Trixie just enough room to wiggle out. However, she then saw to her horror that the beast was starting to tip back a little too much. Eyes darting every which way, she finally rested them at some maintenance cables next to the emergency fire escape. Horn glowing again, the magician played the piper to the coil of thick wires as it uncurled itself, slithered over to the edge, and tethered the back of the Ursa's neck, barely preventing a freefall by split seconds.

"Yes!" Trixie breathed a sigh of relief.

The Ursa Minor bounced back to its grip on the ledge, grabbing Trixie in the process.

"No..." she uttered as she joined the same predicament her two rescuees in the other paw faced.

The Ursa Minor bellowed its triumph grouchily.

"Sorry Twilight," Trixie quietly moped. "Looks like Trixie came up short when it really counted yet again."

"It was brave of you to try, Trixie," Twilight called from the other end. "And...and if this is it for us, I just want you to know, even if no one ever remembers you as a hero, you'll always be mine."

"Mine too," Tangerine squeaked.

But as they closed their eyes, waiting for the Ursa's mercy to run out, the drone of a nose dive reached their ears. Blossomforth appeared from out of the clouds, pumping her wings as hard as she could, huge sack almost as big as herself grasped in her hooves.

Trixie's head immediately perked up with renewed vigor. "Just in time! Blossomforth, pour it out, now!" She then shot a commanding glance to Twilight and Tangerine. "Deep breath, and do not exhale!"

The captured trio took a huge gulp of air as the white pegasus hovered just above the Ursa's reach. Unzipping the slit in her pouch, she circled around her target, letting loose a steady rain of golden sand-like powder.

The Ursa Minor swung vainly at it's out of reach focus. After five or six swings however, it's movements began to slow.

It blinked, trying a bit to wipe the sleepy powder from its eyes. Then Honey arrived on the scene, landing on the roof with three full water coolers of milk on her back. "Oh great, I leave for five minutes and now you need saving."

"Minor hiccup," Trixie called back. "Did you remember to warm it up?"

"Uhhhh..." Honey snagged Spike by the waist and gave a quick yank of the tail. Green flames washed over the containers for a few split seconds. "Check!"

"Give some warning next time," the little purple dragon said as he fanned his tongue. "Egg and cheese breakfast burritos do not taste better coming back up."

Trixie levitated up the large milk bottles one at a time to the Ursa Minor's mouth. The cub, feeling the soothing warmth of a familiar beverage on its tongue, willingly downed all three. By now, the music had finally settled in its ears, and the cub was beginning to nod to the calming sounds, its growl diminishing into a purr of content.

"And now, the final blow," Trixie uttered under her breath. With a glow of her horn, the surrounding air in the sky above them switched to a midnight starry sky. Glowing stars and planets descended and slowly spun around the Ursa Minor to make a massive majestic mobile, which the cub playfully pawed at several times before its eyes shut for the final time today.


The makeshift tether gave way as the Ursa Minor relaxed its legs, releasing all foothold on the building. Everypony gasped as down, down, down went the cub and its three captives.

Several trucks pulled to a screeching stop around the Equine's Gait building. Orange Sherbet, along with several of her stronghoof cargo workers, exited the driver's side and bucked the holding doors open to let an avalanche of pillows and mattresses pile up in a mini mountain at the building's base.

They all jumped away just in time for the Ursa Minor to make contact with the newly formed crash pad. Feathers and cotton went flying everywhere. And when the white cleared, the Ursa Minor could be seen lying backside on a layer of queen sized beds, with two unicorn mares and a earth pony filly clutching each other with eyes closed sitting on its raising and falling belly.

Twilight was the first to peek an eye open. "We're alive?"

"Way to go Trixie!" Honey cheered as she and Blossomforth descended to ground level with Spike and Octavia in tow. "You did it!"

The gathering crowd began to cheer in a frenzy.

"SSSSHHHHHHHHHH!!" Each of the Manehattan six raised a hoof to their lips. "The baby's sleeping!"

An entire brass collection played fanfares later in the afternoon after the slumbering child was hauled back to its habitat at the Central Park zoo. Once again, Mayor Tux marched on up to his platform on city hall, where Trixie stood in a shower of confetti.

"Trixie Lulamoon, you have once again saved our fair city from utter catastrophe! And for that, I speak for everypony in this crowd when I offer you our utmost thanks and apologies."

The ponies continued to go ballistic as a small group of mares and dragon sat backstage, watching from behind the curtains at the showmare bowing again and again. "Anypony else getting a sense of déjà-vu?" Honey sarcastically remarked.

Twilight just shook her head. "It's what we wanted anyways. In fact, Spike, take a letter."

Dear Princess Celestia,

Today I learned that friends don't always agree with each other. Everypony is different, and those differences can sometimes make you see a pony in the wrong way. Sometimes, when you see what you think is a bad habit, and you try to change it without asking permission or talking it through first, you might actually end up making it worse or hurting the friend you wanted to help...a lot. And being hurt...is so much more painful when it comes from a friend. To quote another friend who quoted another pony, 'the road to Tartaurus is paved with good intentions'.

Damaging a friendship is easy, but fixing it is so much more harder. But if you're truly friends, if you truly trust each other, you'll be able to see past all the pain, sadness and anger, even if it takes awhile, and realize none of it was on purpose.

What's more, I've also learned something very important, not as a friend, but as a pony in general. At some point in all our lives, we ask ourselves many common questions. For the past few weeks, one such question like has been the topic of conversation for me and many ponies in Manehattan. What is it, that makes a hero...a hero? Strength? Ability? Virtue? Fame? The events leading up to this lesson have made me realize something. There is no true answer for a question like that. A hero, a real hero, is not a pony nor a concept that can be defined solely by one set of ideals. A hero, perhaps in the most broadest of sense, is just somepony you look up to. Whether it's saving a city from a giant bear, or just standing next to a pony when she's lonely, a hero is somepony who does things that inspire you to be a better pony than you already are.

In that way, everypony needs a hero, just like how everypony needs a friend. So if I see a friend who's maybe too boastful, too selfish, or maybe even ditzy at times, who am I to say he or she isn't a hero to somepony else who does? Everypony has their faults, learning to see past them and take a more 'moderate' approach to addressing them is just another quality that defines a friend.

Your faithful student,
Twilight Sparkle

"So to commemorate your brave heroics in the face of adversity, we would be honored to engrave your name into our city's hall of recognition!" Mayor Tux held out a golden plaque with inscribed words 'The Great and Powerful Trixie'. "May your legacy be remembered for generations to come in Manehattan!"

The audience stamped their hooves in approval. "Trixie! Trixie! Trixie! Trixie!"

“Yes! Yes, celebrate ponies of Manehattan! For the Great and Powerful Trixie has saved the city all by herself! She truly is the greatest equine who has ever lived!” She then caught a glimpse of the imploring eyes of a certain orange, green maned filly. "*Ahem* That is-" She got back down on all fours, a bit of a sheepish grin on her face. "She only did what any other pony would've tried, given the circumstances. And...perhaps she had...a little help this time."

With a wink of her horn, he curtains pulled back to reveal her five mares and dragon, caught in a stunned surprise as she stepped to the side. "So let's give a warm round of applause to Trixie's wonderful partners in the making! As their names-" her horn zapped her plaque to show six new names under hers. "-shall be immortalized in the Manehattan hall of fame with her!"

A spotlight flashed on top of the five ponies and dragon, as well as a few camera bulbs. They all gave an awkward, embarrassed smile at the sudden wave of adoration that overwhelmed them. But gradually their grins became more genuine as the sudden shock wore off, and they bowed/waved side-by-side Trixie.

"Spike, make an amendment."

P.S. While it's true you shouldn't try and showoff your talents every chance you get, having the spotlight shine on you every so often is actually a pretty good feeling, especially when you're sharing it.

Author's Note:

*Ironically, it was an ad for her current health insurance company, Slate Farm: Providing coverage for all rock related injuries and more.

For those of you that don't understand the wordplay/pony pun, ungulate is the scientific order that equines fall under.

For the record, I NEVER wanted this to be a hate fic nor even gave it such thought and still don't think it is one. All I wanted was to give more character depth and retell some episodes that obviously had a lot of controversy that no one was immune to, including myself. I actually thought the original episodes weren't that bad, just lacking in a few areas. If you still want to review harshly, go ahead, but don't drag the rest of the universe into it.

Small epilogue coming up.