by Colombiaguy

Chapter 8: Chapter 8- Learning a Thing

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It is amazing how a single sentence can perk you up. Twilight just spoke that particular sentence. Finally, I could get some legitimate answers.

I was at full attention. “Really!?” I exclaimed in Rainbow Dash’s voice. Twilight was as excited as I was. “Yes! I figured it out when you used your abilities just now.” I was still riding the excitement high, when my tendril reached out and shook Twilight vigorously, “WELL, OUT WITH IT WOMAN!”

Twilight was a bit thrown by the shaking (I was excited, okay?) but she regained herself and said she’d explain on our way to Fluttershy’s cottage. I was so ready for some answers.

Twilight explained her theory on our way to Fluttershy’s place. She said that when I used my abilities that there was a blackness that flowed into my host’s eyes . This suggests that I was somehow allowing something into my host’s blood that allowed me to use my abilities and might also explain the powers of the Dark-eyed Warriors. She told me she’d like to do some field tests with Rainbow Dash later to confirm. I was more than happy to assist, assuming Rainbow Dash was up for it. (More than likely she’d jump right out of her feathers at the prospect of being more awesome.)

We soon arrived at Fluttershy’s Cottage and I’d like to point something out. This was not a cottage. This was a miniature zoo. Seriously, Noah would have come to this house to get two of whatever he needed!...and I loved it! There were bears, bunnies, and birds of so many varieties I lost count. I was so enthralled by all the critters that I nearly missed the cottage. It reminded me of a Hobbit hole. The top of the cottage appeared to be made of living tree branches and the base looked like wood...was her house literally alive?

Disregarding the living house, Twilight and I approached the front of the house. The top part of the double swing- in- door was open. From my position I could see a modest bit of furniture and a small fireplace adjacent a large love seat. There appeared to be a few curio cabinets and a small bookshelf. There appeared to be a staircase that lead to the second floor and there appeared to be small alcove to the right, presumably the kitchen. All in all, quite a cozy little home.

We knocked and called for Fluttershy. A sweet, melodic voice came from inside, “Just one moment.” After a few seconds, Fluttershy came around the corner from the alcove with a small yet colorful bird perched on her back. The bird must be have been here to get treated, as one of its wings was bound. Poor thing. Fluttershy spotted the two of us and gave us a quick wave. “Hi, Twilight. Hi, Rainbow Dash.”

Twilight returned the wave. I was starting to feel nervous, Rainbow’s ears laying flat on her head further confirmed it. Fluttershy’s voice always had this calm, submissive tone. Hell, I don’t recall many episodes where her voice went above normal tones. Plus her attitude was always so kind and considerate. Now knowing she had such a traumatic childhood and that she still had the heart to care for others, made me feel like a royal asshole for having yelled at her. The only thing saving me from feeling any more guilty was the fact that I hadn’t assaulted her during my spaz out. Might as had just offed myself at that point, that’s the kind of guilt that doesn’t go away easily.

I snapped myself out of self-loathing. Despite my new form, every atom of my body was still forged in a star. Time to stop being a pussy! “Uh, Hi, Fluttershy.” I replied. “Can-can we talk?”

Fluttershy gave me a friendly smile. (Hnnnng, that smile...it’s too sweet....Diabetus!) “Of course, Rainbow Dash.”

I turned to Twilight before entering, “I’ll just be a moment, Twilight. Once I finish we can wake Rainbow and test your theory.”

Twilight nodded understandingly and I swear, as I entered, I heard her release a *Squeee*. Despite how cute that sounded...I had a bad feeling. I continued into the cottage and met Fluttershy in the foyer. “What did you want to talk about?” Fluttershy asked.

That nervousness came back again, but I beat it with a stick and threw it in a ditch. “Fluttershy, I...I wanted to talk to you about last night.” Fluttershy suddenly seemed a bit uneasy about that statement. Ugh, I must have spooked her. “I...wanted to apologize for what I did.”

Fluttershy immediately interjected, “Oh no, it was my fault. I should have known better than to pick Dante up without permission.” She...blamed herself?...Of course, she did. God, I need to fix this. Her blaming herself is making me feel worse.

“No, Fluttershy, it is not your fault. It’s mine. I got this weird feeling when you were holding me and I was worried I was going to attack or latch onto you or...I don’t know. I’m sorry I yelled at you.”

Fluttershy was looking at me funny. Had I missed something?...Oh yeah, the major detail, that I had explained twice today. I’m not a clever man..blob...Symbio...I’m just not clever. “Sorry, Rainbow let me control her for a bit so I could talk with Twilight directly. I probably should have started off with that.” I used Rainbow’s hoof to run the back of her neck..shouldn’t have done that. I rubbed myself by accident, and sent goosebumps through Rainbow’s body. Ok, learned a new thing. Poke=tickle, Rub=goosebumps. I realize that’s pretty stupid thing to note, but when your body is this unfamiliar to you, it helps to learn what you can.

Fluttershy’s demeanor got more apologetic, “Oh my! I’m so sorry Mr. Dante! I was just so curious about you and I got excited. I should have asked your permission. I’m so sorry!”

Oh dear Lord. Every syllable is like a nail into my conscious. Somehow her submissiveness makes it feel worse. “Fluttershy, no. Stop that ,right now. You’ve done nothing wrong and I will not allow you to blame yourself. And honestly, I doubt my conscious could handle it.”

Flutters quickly looked guilty......I’m going to have a heart attack. This pony is going to give me a diabetic heart attack. Seriously, this level of cute/adorable is lethal! Especially when she squeaked, “I’m sorry” If words could kill.

I had to slow Rainbow’s heart. I was in control, so if she had a diabetes heart attack because of me I’d feel pretty bad. “It’s cool, Fluttershy.” I patted her on the shoulder and gave her a smile, hopefully that’d be reassuring. She...blushed. I don’t know how to take that. Was she blushing that I did it? That technically Rainbow’s body did it?...Ok, debate this later. Time to get to know myself. “Hey, we’re gonna wake up Rainbow to do some experiments regarding my abilities. Did you want to watch?” Fluttershy broke her blush and nodded.

It was a bit of a project swapping body control between Rainbow Dash and me. We all agreed that a new method would need to be developed, there are only so many times you can wake someone up with cold water before it starts getting annoying. Really annoying. Anyway, I spent the rest of the day riding shotgun. We tested Twilight’s theory about me releasing something into my host...admittedly it took a while....I don’t like needles, okay? After Rainbow kept me from using my tendrils to keep Twilight at bay, she got a blood sample. She stored it for study, and we commenced with more physical tests. It started with confirming some of the information stated about the Dark-eyed Warriors. Twilight asked me to try and “boost” Rainbow Dash, while she teleported back to the library to get parchment, quills,ink and do a preliminary examination of Rainbow’s blood.

“What does that mean? I know she said, the warriors had incredible strength but how do you do that?” I asked Dash.

“You think I know? It’s your body. Don’t you have an idea on how it works?”

“I honestly wish I did. Ask Twilight how she thinks it works when she gets back, maybe it’ll give me an idea.”

“You know she’s gonna go the full egghead, right?”

“Yeeeeah...but I need something to go off of....even if it’s not that easy to understand.”

Twilight appeared a little after that and we asked her for her thoughts. Twilight had to think about how to explain it, she sat on her haunches and rubbed her temples. Then it seemed like she had a moment of inspiration. “Okay, based on what I found in Rainbow Dash’s blood, your Symbio body is injecting some kind of stimulant into Rainbow. This stimulant, from what Princess Celestia explained in her letter, is enticing the natural t-cells in your host to create an advance form of cellular regeneration. Assuming that you can do that without thinking, you might be able to entice the stimulant to bolster muscle mass to make your host stronger. Then,this is mostly conjecture, I think you might be able to alter certain cells in your host’s eyes.”

While, I kept up with most of that lecture, Rainbow’s mind went to somewhere else. Ok, time to analyze this info. When I’m focused my body starts putting a stimulant into my host, so maybe that’s a kind of prep? Like receptors waiting for input. If that’s true, then maybe I could focus it to do what I want. So hypothesis must be applied to experiment to lead to theory. Let’s do a science!

“Hey Rainbow, come back from LaLa land. We’re going to be awesome.”

That was all I needed to say. Rainbow snapped right to attention and asked for the plan.

“Ok, I’m going to try and ‘enhance’ your wings.”

“Seriously?! What will that do?”

“Not a clue. We’re going on the learn from experience track. Get ready to flap your wings as hard as possible. But just one hard flap. I want to do a compare and contrast.”

Rainbow’s thoughts were on how awesome she was going to be from now on. Her wings went to full extension and raised them so they were pointed at a high arch. Better take careful note, this will be a baseline. “Ok Rainbow one strong flap, hit it!”

Rainbow’s muscles tensed and she put her full strength into a single powerful flap. I felt her body leave the ground for a few seconds, before we reconnected with the ground. Ok, baseline established. Now, let’s add the juice.

“Ok, I'm going to try and enhance your wings this time. Ask Twilight to let you know when your eyes change. When they do give it another go. Hard as you can.”

Rainbow relayed my instructions. Twilight quickly scribbled down some notes. I put my focus on Rainbow’s wings. I felt the muscles, the wind blowing across her feathers. I tried to remember the sensation of moving them myself, as if they were apart of me. Something I had before but lost. I felt something twitch in Rainbow’s wings. It was quick, but I felt it there. I held focus: wings, muscles, the movement of flight. I felt the twitch a bit stronger, followed by Twilight exclaiming, “They changed!”

Ok now or never! “RAINBOW, NOW!”

I felt the wings come down with full strength the wind resisted on the way down but it felt less than before. And unlike before I felt the wind whip past Rainbow’s ears as we ascended. Through her eyes I could see the ground becoming smaller, we had gained some serious altitude. We could easily clear a two story building on this single flap. I was elated. Imagine what else I could do. Then I noticed that we hadn’t come down to earth yet. Rainbow Dash was still going, but in a forward direction and we were booking. A single beat seemed to propel us further and faster than Rainbow’s usual sustained wing beats. She was repeating a pattern of beat, glide, adjust, then beat again. We made it well into the center of Ponyville within seconds, when Rainbow curved around the town hall and shot back towards Fluttershy’s cottage. Rainbow came back to the field where we had started. Twilight and Fluttershy were both balking at Rainbow as she came in, and she was coming in fast.

Right as she was about to reach ground she orientated herself upward and with another single flap blasted an air pocket that quickly reduced her forward momentum. A few more lighter flaps and we came to a complete halt and landed. I relaxed my focus, I felt Rainbow’s heart beating hard and her wings were burning like she’d just pulled a marathon. She was exhausted. She was excited, there was no question but I think that loop around town may have been too much.“You ok Rainbow?” I asked in concern.

“Yeah, *pant* just loving *pant* how awesome *gulp* that was. We should *pant, pant* go...a...gain.” She stated out loud.

“Tomorrow, perhaps” Twilight stated as she approached with Fluttershy.

“N-no way, I can go...again. Right, Dante?” Rainbow retorted. I wasn’t going to fuel this.

“Sorry, Dash. We’re done for tonight. You need to rest.”

The second Twilight was within range I yanked myself off of Rainbow and onto Twilight. Rainbow was not to happy about that. “What the hell Dante!? We could keep going.”

“Her wings are on the verge of exhaustion. I’m not risking it. As much as I’d like to learn more, I think using that enhancement stressed her wings.” Twilight concurred.

“I understand. Thank you for keeping her welfare in mind.” Twilight turned to the currently spent pegasus. “Dante, has a point Rainbow. As impressive that was, I think you are pushing yourself a bit too much. We don’t fully understand what his abilities do to ponies. We need more data.”

Rainbow Dash started to protest again but was cut off by Fluttershy, “They’re right, Rainbow. There’s no point in pushing yourself if you end up hurt.” Her voice was calm but very firm. The cyan pegasus halted her protest and surrendered. Fluttershy told Rainbow Dash she could rest at her cottage for the night and if she was up to it we could go again tomorrow. Rainbow agreed reluctantly and the two went back to her cottage after saying their goodbyes. Twilight and I headed back to the library just as the sun was beginning to drop behind the horizon.

Twilight and I arrived at the library to find that all the lights were out. Strange. Spike usually leaves the lights on when he gets home before me.”

“Maybe he went to bed early? He’s probably tired from the work with Rarity.”

Twilight accepted my reasoning but still felt uneasy. She opened the door slowly to only be greeted with a face full of confetti.

“SURPRISE!”yelled a single Pink Party pony along with a purple baby dragon. Twilight and I were equally surprised. There was a small platter of vanilla cupcakes with jet black icing with two white dots to represent eyes. Hanging above Spike and Pinkie in the center of the room was a modest banner that read: Welcome to Equestria, Dante!

I was agast. Pinkie wasn’t mad at me and she’d thrown me a party, albeit a small one. Twilight spoke on my behalf, “Pinkie, what’s all this?”

Pinkie quickly replied matter-o-factly, “Well duh, it’s Dantie’s preliminary ‘Welcome to Equestria’ party! We can’t throw a full party, because he doesn’t have a body of his own yet! Besides the others are going to be busy for a bit. And it’s a perfect way to say that ‘I accept your apology, Dantie’”

...Dantie? Was that my nickname now? What the hell?

“Besides,I figure we can throw him a real welcoming party when we find a way to introduce him to all of Ponyville” Pinkie quickly added.

“Wait, what?”

“Wait, what?” Twilight mirrored.

Pinkie looked at Twilight with a confused look, “What?”

“Are you sure that's a good idea Pinkie?”

“Huh? What's wrong with that? He's not a bad Symbio. Plus, he has super cool alien power thingies! Yeah, ponies will be spooked at first but, I'm sure they'll love him! ”

Twilight was about to question Pinkie but an old thought returned to her mind, “Don’t question Pinkie Pie.”

I could only speculate how Pinkie was so sure about revealing my pressence but opted to file it away with my growing list of questions. In the mean time Pinkie Pie, Twilight, Spike, and I, through Twilight, feasted on the Symbio cupcakes and enjoyed a bit of partying.

Author's Notes:

Ok, straight up. I wasn't feeling so great about this chapter. I really want to get things rolling, but I'm starting to encounter blocks. I promise the next chapters will get us back to where we should be.

I removed the spoiler. I wasn't happy with it and neither were you guys. I wanted to have a line from Pinkie that could advance things but that was far too much. I want to hold myself to a higher standard than that. I've opted to considering letting Dante get a body or not for later. For now I'm going to let the story progress as it should and I'll look into the body thing at a later time. I'm sorry for slipping up. I hope to do better. Thanks for staying with me.:heart:

Next Chapter: Chapter 9- Learning and Becoming a Spy Estimated time remaining: 7 Hours, 30 Minutes
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