The pony voice was slightly raised in disbelief. “She’s late?”
DJ Pon-3 sighed. “You heard me. Sorry about that, Tavi.”
“Well, we weren’t late! Were we, Stout Heart?”
Stout Heart blinked at Octavia, his ears laid back. “Are you sure things are… erm… the way you described them?”
Octavia flicked her tail. “Obviously not, for the princess isn’t here! What do you mean, Stout Heart?”
“Only that, er… you mentioned that your friend, er… liked sex with pegasi, and I thought…”
Octavia and Vinyl Scratch glanced in alarm at each other, and both began talking at once.
“I should never have told you about that, honey…”
“No! Which is to say yeah but it’s Soarin’ I get wobbly about and can you blame me and I’m totally never ever trying to put the moves on you…”
“Which is not to say that she hasn’t got wonderful moves!” interrupted Octavia loyally. “It’s just that we don’t share that, after all we share so much else, it’s like we share a brain sometimes…”
“Never think that,” said Vinyl Scratch, “I would never come between you and Octavia, I’m not going to do anything to upset my Tavi!”
Stout Heart’s ears twitched as he tried to follow the rapid interplay between the two longtime friends, and he gulped. “So, definitely not about setting me up with DJ Pon-3 then?”
“Aw,” teased Vinyl automatically. “You sound disappointed!”
“Behave, Scratchie,” chided Octavia. “She’s joking, dear heart, sometimes she jokes when things are most serious.”
“Best time for it,” said Vinyl. “Seriously, I’m not sure how Tavi put it to you but you can trust everything she said. What’d you tell him, Tavi? And I’ll repeat, she’s late but that’s not so unusual for princesses, know what I mean?”
Stout Heart drew himself up haughtily. “Princess Celestia is never late, Miss Scratch!” He drooped, just a bit, and added “Princess Luna, on the other hand… but not for anything truly important, I’ll have you know!”
“Okay,” said Vinyl, “so I’ll correct myself. Royals. Celebrities. Not necessarily princesses. Aristocrats, you know? What DID you tell him, Tavi?”
Octavia cleared her throat. “I told him that someone I knew needed a dose of special lovemaking. He wanted to know who, and I told him it was an actual Princess, and he lectured me for a while before I could explain that it was some other Princess from somewhere we don’t know, and not Princess Celestia or Luna or even Cadance or Twilight.” She glanced narrowly at her lover. “He lit up for a moment before I could tell him it was not Twilight.”
Stout Heart blushed. He said, “Princess Twilight has, erm… nice roundness. But nothing like as good as yours, darling Octavia.”
Octavia continued to make him squirm with her focussed gaze, but then she began to smirk, and said, “I know. And I agree, well spotted. If she asks you then I’ll worry, but she has not. It’s another pony.”
“I don’t want you ever to worry!” protested Stout Heart. “And I thought you said it was someone you knew!”
Octavia shrugged. “It’s someone Scratchie knows. We share a brain, remember? I haven’t met her, but Scratchie vouches for her and that is enough for me. She is supposed to be quite something. I hope she isn’t as attractive as Princess Twilight but all the same she needs your help. And so does Scratchie, she doesn’t ask favors unless they make sense. DJ Pon-3 instincts for bookings tell her that this new Princess is a pony of importance, and instincts for sex tell her that she also does truly need your esteemed favour. I take it she is not a bisexual mare, Scratchie. Otherwise you’d have handled it on your own, hm?”
Vinyl’s ears quirked. “You know, I didn’t ask? She started talking about wanting dick and I started trying to figure out how to make that happen for her. Ya mad? She is super cute.”
Octavia frowned. “You could have saved us some trouble, Scratchie. Who is she again? Why have we never seen or heard of her?”
“First of all, she’s oh-my-gosh beautiful, real elegant, you know? Secondly, she’s gotta be from some very distant country and she’s come all the way out here for a reason she wouldn’t tell me. And thirdly, yeah she promised to meet us at my place but don’t keep looking at me like I can just make her appear…”
“Here I am!” called a new voice, a delicious amused alto.
Chaos stuck her head through the door, and Octavia squealed and clung to Stout Heart, whose eyes went wide in turn. It was understandable, for Chaos hadn’t bothered to open it, and it looked like her head was mounted on the door.
Vinyl had jumped, too, but then she stared at Chaos, straightened her trademark rose glasses with a glow of her horn, and grinned. “N… nice one! Hiya, Chaos! Come on in!”
Chaos withdrew her head, opened the door, and trotted into Vinyl and Octavia’s apartment, grinning at the shocked looks of Stout Heart and Octavia.
“What… how…” stammered the hapless cellist.
“Psst!” hissed Vinyl. “Horn, magic, you know? Illusions.” She grinned back at Chaos. “You had us going there, that was great, just great, haha!”
Chaos pranced in place, fluttering her wings. “The looks on your faces! Delightful. Well! Which one is the stallion?”
Scratch boggled at her. “If you’re serious, then you might need more help than I can give you…”
Chaos snickered. “That’s a first, me being serious,” she said mockingly. “I will guess… this one!” She pounced and hugged Stout Heart. “You’re adorable, I could just dangle you upside-down by your tail!”
Stout Heart did a double-take, for he dwarfed the playful alicorn, and yet she’d sounded perfectly sincere for some reason. His ears went back as he tried to picture such a thing, and failed. She looked like a smaller blue alicorn version of the Canterlot pony Fleur De Lis, but there was something about the eyes that alarmed him.
“You’re in a good mood,” said Octavia guardedly. “Pleased to meet you, Princess? I am Octavia, this is Stout Heart, DJ Pon-3 you already know. Looking forward to things, are we?”
Chaos blinked at her. “Why, yes. I have great hopes for these sex experiments, and when I came in you all felt so wonderfully disorderly, as if anything could happen. Oh! You see? This place makes such wonderful nonsense! This room is so cluttered and smells of pony lust and then this one over here is quite empty except for a simply enormous violin!”
“That would be my cello,” corrected Octavia.
“Whatever,” replied Chaos thoughtlessly. “I just like it, it’s so utterly random.”
“Do you play, then, Princess?” said Octavia. “Have you an affinity for fine musical instruments?”
“No, no,” said Chaos. She blinked, struck with a happy thought. “Though I did once turn seventy-six pegasi into trombones. That was a good day.”
The earth pony, unicorn, and pegasus stared at the diminutive alicorn in confusion for a few seconds, before Vinyl Scratch broke the tension with a raucous guffaw. “Ha! You must have been pretty sore by the time you were done! Trombones, nice one!”
Chaos blinked again, puzzled. “I’m told they were sore. Certainly annoyed! It didn’t seem to matter that much, after all it was hilarious. Why would I be sore?”
“Make up your mind,” teased Vinyl, “are you an innocent or more jaded then me? Fess up!”
Octavia was studying the waifish Princess. “I’m not at all sure this attitude is good for her. Princess, are you just trying to impress my friend? You shouldn’t seek to do that, it might not get you the type of attention you’d like. Boasting does not win the stallions’ hearts.”
Chaos looked sidelong at her. “Who have you been talking to? My dear, stallions are nowhere near as easily dissuaded as you think. Don’t ask me how I know, you’d scarcely believe me and it is quite beside the point of THIS exercise.”
“You are jaded,” declared Vinyl. “Listen to the expert on stallions! Maybe I can pick up some tricks from you, huh?”
Chaos fluttered her wings. “Er… I don’t feel jaded. At all. How could I be? In this form? Honestly, I’m a little out of sorts. It’s not supposed to be this way around, but my confounded vagina has become more demanding than I’d believe possible.” Her ears went back, fretfully.
Octavia watched her closely, looking perplexed. “…confounded vagina?” she muttered.
Vinyl pranced. “Well, it’s your lucky day! We’ll fill all your demands, Princess. C’mere, my futon awaits!”
Octavia watched Chaos move toward the firm cotton floor-mat that was Vinyl Scratch’s futon, and she frowned. “Scratchie?”
“How about you warm Stout Heart up,” suggested Vinyl, “and I play with Princess in the meantime?”
“Scratchie!” snapped Octavia, and Vinyl drew back.
“She’s worried, Scratchie,” said Octavia as if she was explaining to an impulsive foal. “Princess Chaos, are you all right?”
“Are you kidding?” demanded Scratch. “This honey is smoking hot and looking for some serious action, and we’re not going to let her d…”
Octavia ignored her, and confronted Chaos directly. “Princess Chaos, are you a virgin? You can tell me, dear, it’s all right.”
Scratch began to indignantly object, but trailed off as she saw the look on Chaos’s face. Chaos’s ears were laid back, and though she looked angry she also looked embarrassed, and it seemed as if her anger wasn’t toward anypony in the room.
“That… is a very complicated question to answer,” said Chaos.
Vinyl Scratch blinked, then rallied. “Well, you came to the right place, sweetness, because I’m great at uncomplicating things! So, if you do actually want some hot fucking like you told me you did, come over here and…”
“Oh, for the love of Celestia, Tavi!” grumbled Vinyl Scratch, pouting.
Chaos seemed shaken by the exchange. She literally jumped at Scratch’s words, and she licked her lips, glancing around uncertainly. Octavia turned to her.
“You ARE a virgin, Princess Chaos. It’s written all over you. Don’t mind Scratchie, she’s just enthusiastic. Let me tell you from me and from Stout Heart here, you are completely safe. Do you understand, Princess?”
“Call me Chaos,” muttered Chaos. “That is who and what I am. That is my calling and my fate—but I never anticipated it would strike me this deeply.” She sighed, looking haunted. “For the love of…” she murmured, and shook her head, grimacing.
“You’re bumming her out, Tavi,” complained Vinyl. “With me she was ready to party all night, what’s the matter with you? You’re totally ruining the mood!”
“Hush! You know to listen to me sometimes, Scratchie, right? Settle down. I’m not saying you won’t play, I’m saying we mustn’t rush into this before we understand where she’s coming from. Chaos, honey, are you frightened?”
Chaos snorted. “Indeed! The very idea! No, it’s just that…” She brooded. “It’s difficult to know what to even say. I find myself eager to a distressing degree, while at the same time struck by the incongruity of my situation. You thought you’d tell me about stallions? My dear earth pony, I feel there are things I’d better not even hint about: to you or the fine, virile, pegasus stallion you’ve brought.” She gave an elegant shudder. “If I’m to do this, it had better be as Chaos and while concealing things that would not… fit with that fantasy.”
“Concealing?” said Octavia, while Stout Heart looked worried.
Chaos frowned more. “It wouldn’t have sat well with me, I’ll tell you.” She gulped. “Imagine my chagrin, as I face the unpleasant fact that I, Lord of the Random, do not want a certain thing to go outrageously and unexpectedly wrong. To you three I’d better be Chaos and Chaos alone, or who knows what may transpire.”
Vinyl Scratch stamped a hoof. “Cut that out! You’re letting Tavi freak you out. We’re just fucking, what’s the worst that could happen?”
Chaos pouted harder. “Since you ask, I imagine being zapped by a powerful magemeld and turned to stone for a thousand years probably tops the list. However, making passionate love to a stallion and then being rebuffed as a sort of monster or impostor of the mare he expected would also be exceedingly bad. I cannot believe I am worrying about this, it must be this stupid body and its tricks, yet all the same I can’t face the exposure… Oh, let’s get it over with! Penetrate me, at once!”
Stout Heart’s ears were laying back more and more. Vinyl broke in. “Look, babe, if this is too much for you, we can totally call it off…”
“No!” squealed Chaos, trembling.
Octavia was biting her lip, studying the strange alicorn Princess. “This means a great deal to you, you’re upset, and yet you talk mysteriously, and you are doubtless a virgin…” She gasped, her eyes widening. “Oh my goodness, I have it!”
Chaos glared at her. “Yes you do, in the person of that pegasus stallion, and will you please stop questioning me and let ME have it? That’s what I came here to do!”
Ignoring her complaining, Octavia trotted over to stare right at Chaos, face to face. Normally, Princesses came much larger, but this one was apparently a runt. Octavia’s eyes were luminous, lit with sincerity and urgency, and Chaos stopped griping to listen.
“Princess Chaos,” asked Octavia, “are you pledged to another—and is that a terrible, dire fate for you?”
Silence fell for a moment, as they took in the shocked look on the alicorn’s face. Then, Chaos’s lip quivered.
“W…what business is that of yours, anyway?” she quavered, tearing up.
“I knew it!” breathed Octavia. “That explains everything!” She squealed, and bounced on all four hooves, and Stout Heart’s eyes went wide as he stared at her bountifully jiggling rump.
“Oh boy,” said Vinyl Scratch. “Tavi, what’s going on here?”
Octavia turned to face her friend. “She’s the victim of an arranged marriage! A poor innocent virginal alicorn filly, she has to marry somepony she doesn’t love, so she has fled the hateful bond and run all the way to Ponyville. Here, she sought out the most outrageous pleasure horse she could find—that would be you, Scratchie—and must lose her virginity at any cost so that when her body is inspected by her captors they’ll see she is pregnant from her gallant Ponyville steed and the marriage will be annulled!”
Octavia’s face was lit with romantic glee. Vinyl stared, her glasses slightly askew, disbelieving eye peering over the rose-colored lens. Stout Heart stared as well. Vinyl gulped.
“Tavi, you’ve gone completely crazy on us. Come back to Equestria, planet Tavi, wherever you are…”
“LOOK at her!” demanded Octavia triumphantly, and they did.
Chaos stared at nothing, dumbfounded. Her mouth hung open, for all the world as if Octavia had laid bare all her secret plans. Her eye twitched, then her ear, and then a mad giddy grin began to creep over her little ice-blue face.
“That is the most spectacular chain of reasoning I have ever had the good fortune to hear,” breathed Chaos, charmed.
“You see! She knows I figured her out. She knows we will help her in her desperate plight!” proclaimed Octavia.
“I’ll believe the desperate part,” said Scratch, shaking her head. “Seriously? You seriously mean to tell me… Hey! Chaos! Is that the truth?”
“Truth is such a relative word,” replied Chaos, looking away. “Would you like it to be the truth?”
This time, it was DJ Pon-3 who turned wary. “Hey, I’m the one who’s down with ‘I’m horny’ as the big reason for fucking. It’s Tavi who likes making up these little stories. What’s going on? Is this gonna get us in big trouble? Who are you, really, Princess?”
Chaos flinched. She said, “I’m worried if you knew who I really was, you wouldn’t be here with me in this way. And I need you to not back out on me now.” She continued to not meet Vinyl’s eyes.
“Why not?” demanded Scratch.
“Because I don’t know what I’ll do if I have to leave here without feeling that cock over there enter me, but I’m sure it will be very random…”
Vinyl Scratch stopped trying to get Chaos to meet her gaze, and instead followed Chaos’s gaze, directly to Stout Heart’s crotch. He’d been watching Octavia bounce, and his interest was showing. He blushed, as Chaos wouldn’t stop staring and Vinyl Scratch began to ogle as well.
“The famous Octavia-melter!” said Scratch, grinning.
Stout Heart’s cock pulsed gently, swelling out of his sheath as its floppy girth continued to drop. He gulped, alarmed by all the sudden interest, and he said, “We do share. Uh, sometimes. Don’t we, Octavia? You share too.”
“Go ahead, beloved!” urged Octavia, her eyes shining. “Deliver the Princess to realms of utter pleasure and remove her maidenhead, rescue her from her dreadful fate!”
Chaos’s ears were laid back as she stared at the oversized cock. “It’s fairly close to the size of m…” she said, and twitched again, forcing herself not to finish the thought out loud.
Stout Heart looked over the little blue Princess, and bit his lip anxiously, making no move toward her.
“Not really, of course,” breathed Chaos to herself, “but I’m not nearly as big as… hmm.”
Octavia bounced excitedly. Stout Heart’s eyes snapped to her quivering ass, shockwaves running through it. Chaos whimpered, watching that cock abruptly swell and project toward her, the flare stiffening visibly.
“Go on!” cried Octavia. “Take her!”
Vinyl Scratch stamped a hoof, and all heads turned toward her.
“Tavi,” she said exasperatedly, “you’re a total romantic and I have no idea whether your crazy story is anything like true, but you’re not practical at all. How do you ever fuck, seriously?”
Octavia glanced startled at Stout Heart, who met her gaze warmly and stiffened another notch. She protested, “Very very well!” and he nodded.
“Don’t break in any virgins, okay?” said Vinyl wryly. “Let me handle this. You’re making it totally the wrong mood and I’m not gonna stand for it. Let’s make this much simpler.”
“How?” said earth pony, pegasus and alicorn together, as one.
Scratch grinned ebulliently.
“Well, that’s MY special pony magic, isn’t it? Stout Heart! Go smooch Octavia. Don’t let her get you off, but you guys warm up over there. Chaos, honey, you come over here. You watch what they do, but you listen to me, and everything is going to be totally fine even if you are a virgin.”
Octavia promptly obeyed her friend and snuggled up against Stout Heart, wrestling him to the futon and kissing him hungrily.
Chaos couldn’t get her eyes off that massive horsecock, but then she squealed, for pony forelegs had wrapped around her body, as if she’d been mounted. Her head whipped around, to see Scratch’s laughing gaze—or at least, those trademark sunglasses.
“Ha! Gotcha! He’s going to grab you kind of like this. That cool? Mmmm, you’re nice and warm. Are all alicorns built like you?”
“What are you doing?” squeaked Chaos, going red to hear how fillyish and feminine her voice had become in the heat of passion.
Vinyl lifted a rear hoof, so she could rub the inside of her thigh against Chaos’s butt-cheek. “You’re so lean and tight and firm, toots, you really are like a whole other type of pony. I’ve seen Princess Cadance, and she looks like she’s made that way. I think Princess Luna is, too.”
A look of pain passed over Chaos’s little face. “Cel… Celly… some are more soft… don’t stop! Oh don’t stop, distract me…”
“Whoa! Um, those wings, that’s pretty erect of you, sweetie. Should I not touch, is it like pegasi?”
Chaos shuddered, her eyes crossing as Vinyl dry-humped her tenderly, her psyche dizzy to feel the lusty unicorn’s body upon her, mimicking the clasp of a stallion. “Nhhh! Shouldn’t… matter…”
“We can stay clear of them if it would make you have little alicorn foals.”
Chaos shook her head. “You’re touching me! The way you’re touching me, stroking, you’re touching ahhh! m—my breasts…”
Vinyl continued to fondle her slim body, reaching between Chaos’s legs to grope dainty pale-blue mounds and tickle stiffening nipples. “Do you like it? Tell me now if you need me to change or slow down. I’m only petting you, honey, don’t you cuddle? Don’t skip this part, it’s a good part! Look, Stout Heart is doing the same thing to Tavi. Uh, actually you look, I’m gonna just focus on you okay? Me and Tavi don’t usually do this together, we got boundaries about it, and I don’t want to ogle her.”
“Why not?” panted Chaos.
“Don’t worry. We’re going to end up both watching and cheering you on as her honey makes you a MARE. That’s what we’re here for.”
Chaos tried to focus. “I d—I—uhhh! I don’t cuddle ahhh! Is this why she always wanted… nhhh, ahhh!”
“You don’t cuddle?” said Vinyl in disbelief, and redoubled her fondling. “You listen to DJ Pon-3, okay? Sex is fun but you gotta be friendly! Cuddle, lick, warm up. Don’t let ‘em just jump on until you’re good and ready!”
“But ahhh!” wailed Chaos. “Of course you jump on, it’s called being a stallion! This is making me so excited, do you really want ME to be ngggg! this excited? I’m ahh! ready!” Her tail lashed against Vinyl’s crotch, and she could feel her pussy winking harder and harder, that oozy hole clenching and poking her clitoris between her increasingly frantic, parted labia.
Scratch leaned closer. “Yes. Yes I do, honey. Be that excited.”
“But you don’t know what might happen!” protested Chaos, her ears back, eyes wild.
“Let it happen!” urged Scratch. “Because you know what? Tavi raves about her stallion, and he’s a glorious horse in the sack or so she tells me, and I want you completely melting down for this. I want that beautiful body screaming to be penetrated! Because if you are a virgin, you should be so worked up that you can take the shock. I want this to be special for you, Chaos, especially if it’s your first. Though I should point out, I don’t give a fuck if you’re lying.”
Chaos panted. “I told you, it haaaahh! it’s complicated…”
“No, it’s very simple, babe. Hey, careful with the wings! Shouldn’t we not touch them if you’re like a pegasus? Don’t want to get you pregnant.”
Chaos’s body was twisting, her wings stiffly erect and trying to reach Vinyl’s head and neck. “Nooo! It takes much more than that for us. Cadance has whole packs of guards on hers. Touch my wings, oh please touch them now, I can’t believe I’m saying this oh please touch them, chew on them, do your worst…”
Scratch’s ears were back. “Wow! Seriously? Okay!” she said at a squeal from Chaos. “You’re the boss, honey! Wow. This is a first. Never did this.” She opened her mouth, then blinked. “Not with a mare. That one guy, now I remember. Okay, okay!” She bent her neck, reached out.
Chaos’s body jolted as she felt Vinyl’s tender mouth close on her wing shank, and she wailed sweetly, and began to hyperventilate.
“Whoa, whoa…” mumbled Vinyl through a mouthful of alicorn wing, and she lifted her head and called, “Tavi? Ready?”
“We are utterly ready, darling!” called Octavia clearly.
Vinyl Scratch grinned, and hopped off Chaos, who looked around frantically, her heart pounding, her eyes wide.
“Ladies and, uh, gentlepony, the main event!” announced Vinyl proudly.
Octavia urged Stout Heart to his hooves. He took a step toward Chaos, then another. Her eyes widened even more to see the brutal girth of his rock-hard cock. He gulped, looking her over.
He saw a dainty waif of an alicorn mare, with huge erect wings, a strange coruscating tail held hard to the side, a pouting and dripping but very small vagina gleaming with rosy pinkness and seething heat, and…
A very tight, small, lean little butt, in the manner of Princess Luna’s but even smaller than that. He could almost see the bones of her pelvis, every firm roll of muscle, every tendon up inside her tense trembling thighs, the firm jutting solidness of her dainty alicorn vulva over her pelvic bone…
Chaos whimpered, her ears laying back in horror. Under Stout Heart, the massive horsecock sagged and drooped.
“What’s the matter?” cried Vinyl Scratch, appalled.
“It… she…” stammered Stout Heart.
“Darling?” said Octavia, coming to his side.
“I need her to be fatter!”
Vinyl’s jaw dropped. “Oh, crap!”
“You don’t like me?” wailed Chaos. “But… give me a minute, I’ll do something!”
Octavia reared and hugged her lover, crying out, “I’ll bounce in front of you, okay? Will that help? I know that will help!” She was solicitous, but all the same there was a note of pride in her voice.
“I have to be different!” cried Chaos, trembling all over. “I know how! Tell me how you need me to be, right away, I’ll be it for you, I’ve got to have that cock inside me! I’ve got to be whatever you desire so you’ll want me…”
“No!” yelled Scratch, fiercely. She sprang over and grabbed Chaos again, heedless of the wings she’d been nibbling, and shook her. “You do not need to be anything but what you are! I think you’re outrageously hot, understand? Give Tavi’s guy a minute to adjust, anything warm and wet suits guys. He can stare at Tavi’s butt. He’s got a thing for big fat butts, okay? I should have remembered, fuckin’ screwed that up. Listen! You are awesome just the way you are, Chaos!”
Chaos was shaking like a leaf. “But… I really could do that for him! I should!”
“No you don’t!” demanded Scratch. “This is for you! And I think you are totally hot, babe. Tavi’s guy just has a kink for different stuff, okay? It doesn’t mean you’re not exciting, Chaos! This is your big night and we’re going to do whatever you need us to do! If I had a dick, I’d screw you until you couldn’t stand it any more, so help me!”
Chaos stared into space, struck by a wonderful, terrible and very random thought.
“Are you sure?” she said.
Something in her tone made Stout Heart’s eyes widen. Scratch paid no attention to him.
Chaos nodded sharply. “Fine! Use HIS!”
There was a bright flash of chaos magic, and Vinyl Scratch whinnied in alarm and fell over onto her side, staring between her legs. Then, Octavia screamed. Then, Stout Heart screamed.
His dick was on Vinyl Scratch. Between his legs was a blank, eerie expanse of nothing in particular.
Chaos panted. “Come on! I’m ready, I really want this! You made me so excited, let’s do it!”
She was greeted with silence, and then, one pony voice, raised with the urgency of true desperation.
“Put that BACK!” demanded Octavia.
“I’m only borrowing it!” protested Chaos.
“I don’t care, put it back! It’s not yours!”
“Well, it’s not yours either!” retorted Chaos, still shaking. “You were going to see it stuck into me anyway, how is this so different?”
“It’s on my best friend in the whole world, that’s how!” cried Octavia.
“Because your stallion couldn’t stay hard for me!” argued Chaos, laying her ears back. “Your best friend thinks I’m sexy!”
“That was her first mistake!” declared Octavia. She bared her teeth in outrage. “Stout Heart, we’re leaving!”
“Not without my penis!” wailed Stout Heart, hooves between his legs protecting what should have been there.
Chaos glared at them. “I could have made both of you vanish until we’re done and you know it somewhere within your dim little pony brains. Why must you be so insufferable when faced with my obvious necessities? We’ll only be a couple minutes! A couple glorious minutes and you can be on your way, is that so unreasonable?”
All three ponies froze, staring at her, realizing that she had in fact stuck her head through a solid door and then zapped a penis from one crotch to another. There was no reason to doubt that she could make good on her threats. Octavia paled, though her companions were already white ponies and couldn’t blanch much more than they already were. Their ears spoke volumes, however.
“PLEASE give my beloved his penis back? R–right away? Please!”
“Oh, very well! But I’m going to have DJ Pon-3 use it all the same. I need this, dammit! Sharing is caring, or something like that. We won’t be long, I assure you, I’m a stallion mys… I’m not sure what I am now but this won’t take long when you have a nice big stiff one like that, trust me.”
Chaos concentrated, there was another flash of chaos magic, and Stout Heart cried out with surprise and relief to feel his horsecock projecting firmly from between his legs. Octavia let out a squeal of delight, but it was cut short, for she saw the look in her stallion’s eyes.
He stared in shock. His erection was mirrored on Vinyl Scratch. Chaos slunk over, and licked Scratch’s hard-on, and Stout Heart physically shook, for it was obvious that he’d felt the same lick.
Chaos gave him a wry, hard smile.
“I told you, you can share. Don’t interfere, I can’t begin to tell you how much I need this right now. Miss Pon-3! Please proceed to ‘drop your bass’, this instant. In me!”
DJ Pon-3 stared at him, stunned, her glasses half off, too shocked for speech.
Chaos’s lip quivered.
“Oh, please, don’t tell me all three of you must DISAPPOINT me…”
At that, Vinyl Scratch jerked to attention. She spared one glance for Octavia, didn’t dare meet Stout Heart’s eyes, turned to face Chaos, scrambling to her hooves. “Hell no, baby! We got you covered!” she cried bravely, and she stepped toward Princess Chaos.
She turned to transfix her faithful friend Octavia with a hard look, and whispered, “Keep him steady!”
Octavia gasped, and set her jaw. She turned to Stout Heart, hugging him, hissing “Shhhh! Scratchie will handle this, easy, shh! Lay quiet with me, don’t move or talk…”
DJ Pon-3 moved in on trembling, dripping Chaos, prepared to do sexual battle to protect herself and those she loved from a terrifyingly powerful and mercurial being, whose abilities were unguessable.
For a moment, she thanked Celestia it was a sexual battle, as she figured she was an expert.
Then, she whistled softly, realising that she was going to have a unique experience on top of that. She normally fought her sexual battles as a mare.
Chaos flicked her tail, still quivering a bit. “Oh, I’m so glad you still feel I warrant rude noises! I was afraid I’d torn it completely, but maybe I’m not such a monster? Still worth a good old mounting?” Her voice wavered, uncertain and distressed.
“No,” said Vinyl, “I was just… I mean, yes, totally worth it! No you’re not a monster, and I just whistled because I never had a dick. That’s some, uh, powerful magic, babe.”
“I told you I was Chaos,” pouted Chaos, “it’s you who didn’t listen. You’ve only yourself to blame.”
This sounded ominous to Scratch. She gulped, determined to get Chaos off the subject of blame and punishment, immediately.
“Aaahhh!” squeaked Chaos. Vinyl had leaned down and licked her clit. She whipped her head around, crying “What was that for?”
“Didja like it? Your wink says you liked it.”
“I thought,” panted Chaos, “the usual method was a nip to the rump. Followed by mounting, and a good deep hard thrust. Eeee! I must have that! What’s happened to me? I’m wanting to submit! I am possessed by winking horsevagina, utterly! You’re supposed to bite my ass and fuck me! Why do I want such a thing?”
“Virgin,” breathed Octavia, her eyes wide. “As if that was a strange feeling for any aroused mare…” Beside her, Stout Heart trembled, well freaked out. Octavia cuddled him, but in her own way she rose to the occasion much as Scratch had. With her, it was her attempts to understand and be brave, for she saw little she could do to help defuse the Chaos threat.
Vinyl Scratch grinned cockily at the apocalyptic waif-pony. “That’s a stallion’s way. The DJ Pon-3 way is more intense. I know how to please a stallion, even those traditional sorts of stallions–but I am a mare and I’m gonna melt you, baby, like butter. Until you love all of us.”
Stout Heart shook his head frantically, but Octavia clung to him and quieted him.
“Um, no, wait, make that ‘until you’re satisfied’. Besides,” said Vinyl, “that nipping stuff is to dominate. I’m gonna tell you a secret, I like you the way you are, toots, honest. I liked you as an influential Princess, and I like you as a freaky impossibly-powerful magic-zapper. Powerful capable ponies are my fetish. And also tight muscular asses, especially if they are attached to Soarin’ but I digress…”
“Everything’s your fetish, Scratchie,” muttered Octavia. Stout Heart blanched and whacked her with a hoof, and she consented to be quiet again.
Vinyl laughed. “Peanut gallery! Yeah, thing is, Chaos, I do this…” and she licked her clitoris again, watching the shivery ripples of tension run through Chaos’s trim frame… “because we better heat you up good before I go into action. This is a heck of a dick, Tavi was right to boast…”
“Wish I hadn’t…” muttered Octavia, but then she froze. Vinyl had looked at her, with an intensity that froze her blood, and mouthed two words silently.
Vinyl returned her attention to licking Chaos’s pretty vagina. Octavia gulped, staring into space, and then turned to Stout Heart and whispered, “We’re gonna make out now and think happy thoughts. Think about me, baby. Everything is going to be okay if we just stay positive.”
“My penis,” whispered Stout Heart pitifully, rolling on his side with his legs in the air.
“Is in two places now,” whispered Octavia. “Do you need to keep it hard?”
His ears were laid back. “I can’t stop it…”
“Good,” whispered Octavia, staring at his dick as it pulsed and stiffened. “Let me help you feel like it’s me doing that for you…”
“Hhhhh!” gasped Stout Heart.
Octavia’s eyes widened. Along his erect penis, a faint ridge was working its way down, like some invisible cock-ring.
Even before she heard the ragged squeal, she knew what had happened, and she looked up to see Vinyl mounted upon flapping Chaos, and she watched Stout Heart’s pride wedging into Chaos’s dainty vulva, compressed cruelly by the virginal tautness of her winking horsevagina. It actually couldn’t wink very well, because Scratch was prying it so damn wide there was no chance of that, but Octavia could see the little clitoris poking out again and again, winked out by the clenching force of Chaos’s pussy.
Beside her, Stout Heart whimpered. She glanced down to see his cock swelling gloriously hard, and she watched as that bulk was visibly squeezed at. Mare muscle control was a strange and wonderful thing, and this fearsome little cutie might not have had Vinyl’s training but she was able to deliver punishingly fierce clenches. Octavia’s ear twitched as she heard Vinyl groan. She’d heard sounds like that out of Vinyl, but behind closed doors. They’d not shared this experience, by mutual agreement. They’d planned to sit cozily, watching while Stout Heart laid the stallion thunder on Chaos, spectating as friends.
Now she watched her lover’s cock, stuck on her best friend in all the world, wedging deeper and deeper into a strangely lean and sculpted alicorn vagina that seemed all angles and bones. Stout Heart was looking away. He couldn’t bear the sight, and Octavia cuddled him lovingly, knowing that he really did need her just as she was. To think she’d been ashamed once! He loved her fat rump, he loved her melting softness, the sweet cushioning of her smoothly rounded vulva and the way her cheeks met softly to frame it in plush curtains of jiggly butt. There was air space between Chaos’s ass cheeks… or, technically, there was air space and then a huge horsecock continuing to push into her as she writhed and flapped and squealed. Vinyl seemed to like it well enough, but Stout Heart seemed traumatized that this was happening to his penis.
Chaos was banging the futon with a forehoof, screaming “How is it this good? Why won’t you fuck me harder? Oh sweet Celestia, was it like this for you?! Oh my GOD!”
Octavia licked her lips, unsure who Chaos was talking so emphatically about, and awed in spite of herself. That size penis ought not to fit into an alicorn that narrow in the butt, a thing that looked like a winged Fleur De Lis—and all the same, there it went. Vinyl tugged it about halfway out, and slid to the hilt again, and Chaos howled exultantly. Octavia watched the tight area slide down Stout Heart’s throbbingly erect cock. She’d never seen it that stiff while out in the air. Of course, it wasn’t, it was balls-deep in a strange and terrifying mare, while also being out in the air before her. There was a curious glistening all over its surface, and Octavia realised it was Chaos’s juices, echoed over the surface of Stout Heart’s cock. The glistening pooled a little underneath, where his bulk formed into lobes flanking the vas deferens, a subtle sculptural detail that Octavia had always found very beautiful. Now she watched it glossed in mare wetness, throbbing brutally as it did inside her, or the lucky mares they played with on occasion.
Vinyl wasn’t looking at her. Vinyl was sweating, and working that mammoth cock inside Chaos with gentle insistence. She was nuzzling Chaos’s wings and thrusting sweet and slow, and Chaos was going hysterical and begging for a good pounding, but Vinyl just kept tenderly sliding that throbbing bulk back and forth in Chaos’s frantic depths, knowing that a slow build could be more devastating if you could stand it. Her competitive nature was aroused, and Octavia could see in her motions that DJ Pon-3 was in the house, seeking to leave a sexual partner stunned and sated. Octavia wasn’t at all sure impressing this creature was wise, but Scratch’s practiced erotic instincts were hard to resist.
Stout Heart whimpered again, for the experience tortured him as deliciously as it did Chaos, and Octavia blinked as she realized something.
He might feel better if he had a nice excuse for those feelings happening to him.
Octavia leaned over, opening wide, letting her eyes go half-lidded in pleasure, and she took his whole cock-flare into her mouth, lowering herself onto him, teasing the underside of the flare with her tongue as she sucked blissfully on the eager throbbing hardness, imagining the gush of his semen down her gulping throat…
There was a terrible commotion beside her. Octavia’s eyes flew wide.
Vinyl was thrashing her head around, and her glasses had flown off. Octavia could see the terror in her eyes: firstly, that she would make some noise that would displease the cross-eyed-with-pleasure Chaos, and secondly, horror of what was happening. Vinyl stared at Octavia in total panic, and Octavia stared back, her lips wrapped around her lover’s cock…
…that they were sharing, somehow.
That Vinyl Scratch was wearing, and using, at the same time.
Octavia realized that the sensations went both ways, and that she had begun to suck her best friend’s unanticipated horsecock while it was buried deep inside a madly clenching alicorn mare. Though it was happening in an impossibly strange form, she saw in Vinyl’s eyes that it counted; that she felt the terrible intimacy of that touch, and just whose mouth had sensuously closed upon Vinyl’s erection in carnal pleasure. It was exactly what they’d always vowed not to attempt, for fear it would change everything and because they both leaned to stallions anyhow, and yet there it was.
Octavia hastily withdrew her mouth, her eyes very wide and pleading for forgiveness.
Vinyl tried to continue, but the shock had thrown her, and Octavia could see the erection was flagging. Chaos writhed, squealing, crying “More! More!” while Vinyl slid deep and held it there, and Chaos’s body twisted, and she gasped, her eyes going very wide and fixed on nothingness…
“I feel lumps!” squealed Chaos. “I mean… I feel its shape! The way it… I could…if it could just… ahhhh!”
Octavia watched as Chaos twisted her pelvis, eerily seeming to do that beyond what an equine body would be able to do, and then that flash of magic unexpectedly struck again. And Octavia screamed, staring at Stout Heart’s cock.
It was the same horsecock as before. It seemed quite healthy and was just as stiff as it had been.
It was also revolving merrily on its axis, seemingly without harming him.
Octavia stared in shock, watching his sheath comply to the slight irregularities in shape. His cock was twirling. It was twirling while quietly playing a merry little tune, like from a music box or some carnival sideshow. She gulped.
Scratch seemed to notice something was happening, but she couldn’t see what it was, and paid no attention. She just shoved in, gritting her teeth, clearly trying to stay hard after the shock she’d had. Fucking Chaos as a stallion was one thing, and exciting in its own right, but she’d crossed a line when she felt Octavia sucking her off, and Octavia knew that while she herself was the romantic one with the emotional turbulence of the artist, Scratchie still had her weak points. She needed her Tavi to be a particular role, one more significant than any lover or stallion. They badly needed to have a little talk to feel better, to reassure Scratch that things wouldn’t change too much between her and her anchor, and that wasn’t going to be possible while she had a twirling horsecock buried in a mad alicorn Princess.
Chaos was pounding her hoof again, shaking all over. “Ahhhh! Why won’t it… auuugh!”
“Must… come!” groaned Vinyl, laying her ears back.
Octavia’s gaze drifted lower, under the cheerfully revolving stallionhood, to where Stout Heart’s heavy balls dangled. She glanced over hastily at Scratchie. No balls appeared: perhaps Chaos didn’t see fit to include them.
Scratch seemed desperate. She’d been rattled at a key moment and couldn’t climax because her mood had been spoiled, and Chaos was going crazy, orgasming exhaustingly but plainly craving a stallion-load inside her, and barely able to stand what Scratch was doing. She needed Scratch to finish just as badly. Of course, the twirling penis had been Chaos’s own idea, but all the same she seemed overwhelmed.
Octavia reached out and touched Stout Heart’s balls cautiously. He shuddered, and Chaos wailed sweetly, and Octavia saw that it had brought him up a notch. Before, Scratch had imposed an erection on him: now, it was Vinyl who needed the help, and she didn’t seem to feel this touch, for all that it helped her perform.
Octavia bit her lip in thought, and began to fondle her lover’s balls, nudging and caressing and flopping them about, kneading his scrotum. She’d done it before. He loved it. It was part of oral sex, for them.
“Come on, baby,” she murmured. He liked some talk, too.
Stout Heart groaned. Octavia watched the squeezed part slide up and down his cock, as Vinyl worked in some deep penetrations. It was very strange watching that happen while the cock was twirling around. It’d been quite strange enough already. She redoubled her more comfortingly normal fondling.
“Come on, baby, give it,” Octavia crooned.
Stout Heart whimpered. He couldn’t look, the twirling was just too much. Octavia couldn’t help looking. He was getting really hard again, gleaming with juices strangely plastered to the surface of his shaft. The twirling caused them to glitter in a peculiar way. His stiffness began to get to that stage where he whimpered and shuddered involuntarily, and Chaos began to shriek in apparent pain, for his flare was swelling up and it apparently twisted things inside her uncomfortably, and a few dribbles of magic squirted from her horn as her wings thrashed. Chaos shook roughly, squalling, and then there was another flash and the twirling stopped. His cock was upside-down, and then the magic flashed again and he was back to normal.
Octavia smiled. Got her to give up the freaky twirling. She’d even put it back. Now to finish her off… the pony way. Stout Heart’s way…
Vinyl rammed the cock as deeply as it would go. Stout Heart went tense and stiff. Octavia fondled his balls hungrily and ran her hoof up the base of his cock, to the sensitive edge of the flare where she knew he triggered, and purred three words into his ear.
“DRENCH her, baby.”
He grunted, and his body gave one big shudder, then another a moment later.
Octavia watched in wonder as her lover’s cock went achingly hard before her eyes, and a flood of pearly semen blasted through it and out the end, to collect in a… shape, hanging in space.
It was an area on the end of his cock, and then there was a narrower place, and then something else that began close and narrow, and subtly inflated as the pegasus sperm pumped in. Octavia watched Stout Heart’s come flow into the floating form of Chaos’s alicorn womb, drenching her, filling her cozily with warm seed in the equine way.
As she glanced over to where Vinyl Scratch clung to Chaos’s shaking body, Chaos let out an amazing scream, and a thick bolt of magic burst from her horn and blasted a hole in the roof.
She collapsed. Vinyl collapsed atop her. The cock on Vinyl disappeared, and the shape of the alicorn womb disappeared, and an entire load of horsecome dropped formlessly onto Stout Heart’s belly with a wet sglish.
The four ponies lay stunned for a while. Vinyl was exhausted, stricken. Chaos seemed literally a smoking pile of alicorn wreckage, for her horn was smouldering. Stout Heart quivered and quailed, laid low in strangely perverse and intimate ways. Octavia watched them all, in awe and alarm.
She froze, and tried to pretend she’d fainted. Chaos was stirring.
“Ohhhh…” moaned the hapless alicorn, her wings feebly twitching as Octavia watched in terrified silence. “Ohhh… how is it so good, why didn’t she tell me, she was holding out on me!” She wriggled weakly, prey to strong emotion but shockingly drained. “Never, not once did she hint that she had so much the better of it…”
Then, Chaos paled. “Or did she? I never moved like that! Stupid, cursed, confounded fool, relying so blithely on natural advantages and unaware of such miracles of technique! I would not have believed it possible, but…”
Octavia’s eyes were slits as she tried to watch the mad Princess without being seen.
Chaos’s face was stricken. “And… what if this, in part, is why I lost her? So bold, thinking I would continue the same situation, with the same manly cloddish thrusting and the same attitude, but without the benefit of wielding my own…”
Octavia tried not to breathe. The ramblings made no sense to her, but they seemed terribly meaningful to the bereaved alicorn. Who was this ‘she’, that she so longed for?
Chaos’s eyes gazed into infinity. “If I was to try and woo her again, beg her for another night, and unleash these new learnings… perhaps, bring this pony, permanently transformed into the appropriate form, as a token of goodwill…”
Octavia’s eyes flew wide. “Please don’t take Scratchie!”
Chaos jolted at the sudden outburst. “You! What’s the matter? Are you telling me what I can and can’t do? I’m Chaos, for heaven’s sake!”
Octavia gulped. “Please, please don’t take Scratchie…”
Vinyl whimpered, and she squirmed off Chaos’s body and backed away. Stout Heart had no words at all. Chaos blinked. “It’s for a good cause! Your friend could be much more useful than she is. She’s amazingly good at that, she’s wasted on the common ponies. She could serve the most glorious equines in existence and eternity! For a while, anyway, because you know, mortal.”
Octavia steadied her quivering lip.
“Please, please, PLEASE don’t take Scratchie,” she begged, tears in her eyes.
Chaos lifted an eyebrow. “Do you know who I am?”
And before her eyes, the dainty alicorn sweetheart shifted and changed, elongating, growing strange horns and mismatched limbs, turning as they watched into the dreaded draconnequus: Discord himself, in Vinyl Scratch’s bedroom, sprawled on her futon, amidst them.
“And yet, strangely,” mused the monster, “THAT was my true form; not this majestic randomness, but that bearer of that insufferable winking horsevagina that Miss Pon-3 pleasured so very, very well.” He gave the terrified Octavia a lazy smile. “I’ll be treating darling Chaos with a little more respect, I think, as befits a creature with such startling capacity for hedonism. I’m inclined to find and give her a present, in fact. She is, after all, me. Now, you were saying, dear heart?”
“Please don’t take Scratchie,” she repeated, staunchly.
Discord blinked, taken aback by the unexpected resistance. He stared, and though the other two ponies cowered, Octavia somehow faced up to him. He briefly reflected on that name, and wondered how she’d look in tentacles, but something dissuaded him, something he didn’t entirely understand, yet it called to him from the depths of the alicorn mare he’d been.
Discord, who was also Chaos, decided.
“Very well! I cannot begin to express my delight at the wonders I have been shown by you good ponies. You’ve given me much to think about! I’ll depart: permit me to resume my Chaos guise, this town struggles to cope with my idea of fun and it’s ironically easier to go around in my true form. I suppose I’d better get used to it. There are compensations. Also, I’m not sure I can manage my body in this condition, for I resemble a noodle and now I feel like one that’s been overcooked.”
With a disturbing congealing of shape, the draconnequus contracted and shifted into the alicorn mare they knew as Chaos.
“There! And now…”
Chaos tried to rise, wobbled, and collapsed.
“Drat! Legs won’t answer me, but we’ll settle their little red wagons, it’s wings to the rescue!”
She flapped her large and disheveled wings, accomplishing little.
“Oh, for… very well then! What legs and wings will not accomplish, chaos magic will!”
The magic flashed again, and Chaos was dangling limply, suspended by a magical grip on the mane. “Oh! Just a moment…” she said, and then another flash struck, and Chaos was dangling between magical grips on the mane and tail, giggling. “Ooooh!” she panted, slender limbs dangling as she swung herself back and forth. “That feels pleasing in a rather special way. I shall trot myself along like some lazily puppeteered marionette, telling any bystanders that I’ve every excuse for it.”
Octavia licked her lips. “Do you promise? Not to hurt Scratchie?”
Chaos blinked. “But I didn’t… all right, if that’s how you want it, I promise. I’ll leave you your precious Pon-3. Honestly, I’d rather be the stallion and use those skills myself, except Twilight refuses to indulge me. If only I knew a pony who combined Twilight Sparkle’s resources, by which I mean those magic bits she makes, and the glorious openness to experimentation of you wonderful p…”
She froze, staring into space.
“Of course. Of course! Rarity! I’ve heard rumors. Rarity will show me more, and she has a bit I can use! I’ve GOT to try these techniques while using my, my, my rightful possession…”
Octavia watched as Chaos staggered out of the apartment on her mission, still suspended by mane and tail with legs haphazardly finding the ground—a spectacularly unnatural sight.
Then, she oofed, for both Stout Heart and Vinyl Scratch were hugging her tight.
“Hello!” called Chaos. “I’m back! Anypony home?” She blinked. “Did you go out? I wanted to return now that I can walk, and thank you once again, and also pick up some pointers on Miss Scratch’s wonderful motions. How do you decide when to go faster and slower? I always thought ‘harder and faster’ sufficed, especially when requested in as many words, but there’s a world of subtlety beyond that I was scarcely aware of!”
There was no reply. The apartment was quiet and dark.
“Hello? Did you go perform some concert or something, with those music things you had? It’s only been a few minutes!”
“Oh, there’s no point trying to do little ponies favors, honestly!”
Chaos flounced out, and flew away, for her hooves were still rather unsteady.
The futon lifted, and Octavia, Vinyl Scratch, and Stout Heart peered out furtively from under it.
“Told you so,” whispered Vinyl.
“I think she’s gone this time,” whispered Octavia. “And I think she’ll do as I asked. She doesn’t seem to have feelings as I understand them, but she sounded sincere enough.”
Scratch cuddled her. “Thank you so much, Tavi. And I’m so sorry. I had no idea, honestly I didn’t. I thought she was just a Princess…”
“Shh. I know, Scratchie. I’m sorry too… for, um, doing stuff.”
Vinyl pouted. “Don’t blow my image, okay? I’m hot stuff and not scared of anything or anypony. It’s just that you’re very special.”
“It’s okay,” said Octavia, snuggling. “I totally understand.”
Vinyl Scratch was smiling a little, trembling, vulnerable. “If he hadn’t started to do such crazy things, me and you might have gone way too far, huh? That thing you did—that we were never gonna do, ever. ‘Cos it felt so right and we couldn’t go back, but we’re gonna go back anyway, aren’t we, and stay very bestest friends forever, okay?” Scratch blinked away tears, her heart pounding. “Right?”
“Shh. It’s okay, Scratchie. I’m… kind of sorry and kind of not?” She quirked an eyebrow at her bestest friend.
“Yeah! That’s it. Kind of sorry and kind of not.” Vinyl heaved a shuddery sigh. “Oh, Tavi!”
Stout Heart chimed in. “Does it help that I’m pretty much completely sorry I let you talk me into this?”
“Be fair, Stout Heart,” said Octavia. “None of us knew what was going to happen. How could we have?”
Vinyl glowered, remembering all the alarming activities. Then, she chuckled.
“Oh… it’s just that I wanna say ‘I wouldn’t fuck her with YOUR dick’, but…”
Octavia snorted with laughter, and cuffed Vinyl.
“Do I have to make a report to Princess Celestia about this?” said Stout Heart forlornly. “It’s too personal… but this means Discord is here again, in a new form, and she might not know it.”
“Wait,” said Scratch. “Report what? To who? You telling me you have to inform the Princess when you fuck?”
“No! Not at all!” protested Stout Heart. “Princess Celestia is completely appropriate and doesn’t pry into personal affairs! It’s just… well, this is about Discord taking a new form and being able to do new things. I can put it off, but at some point I need to make my report on the matter. And when I do, the Princess will expect to hear the whole context. She won’t judge us, or not much—not in a bad way—but if I tell her Discord is back and doing terrible things, I might have to tell her that Discord is doing terrible things with my penis.” He twitched. “How am I ever going to phrase that? And yet it’s a matter of Equestrian security if Discord is causing trouble. I may have to report it, anyway.”
Octavia considered this solemnly. “Yes, I think you’d better.”