Research And Development

Gilda’s birdlike talons wrapped a little closer, protectively. She peered to and fro, uncertain.

Cuddled in those bony, furless arms, Northern Spy nestled against Gilda’s feathery chest. Her wide, fillyish eyes explored everything she could see, and there was a lot to see.

Beakers bubbled. Retorts burbled. Vile foamy liquids went ‘blurp’ ominously.

Twilight Sparkle, clad in a long white lab coat and her mane madly disheveled, beamed toothily at her test subjects. “Welcome to my other secret basement! I promise you probably have nothing to worry about!”

Lightning crashed, sending shafts of light down the stairs. In the distance, there was a hideous scream. Twilight’s grin widened.

“What’s the first secret basement?” demanded Gilda.

“What?” said Twilight, taken aback.

“You said other secret basement! So what’s the first one?”

Twilight shook her mane and it fell back into its normal bangs. “Oh, that’s just Spike’s bedroom. You can see it but it’s a big mess! He should clean up all those empty ice cream cartons.”

Northern Spy blinked cutely, and pouted through her little fangs. “What are ya gonna do to us, Twilight?”

“There are so many scientific possibilities!” squeed the lavender unicorn, prancing in place for a moment. “I must keep detailed records for posterity!”

“You better not hurt Gilda!” threatened Spy. “I’ll beat you up, I’ll wreck you!” She brandished a hoof, and then winced as it flopped over, loosely. She’d not done anything to fix her injury.

“Whoa!” squawked Gilda. “What the fuck happened to your leg, kid?”

Another squeal rang out, this one in chorus, but it wasn’t a cry of delight. Applejack and Rainbow Dash clutched each other in dismay, to see their foal so injured. “Twiiliiight!” wailed Applejack. “Fix it!”

“I thought… ow!” said Northern Spy, “that Gilda was s’posed to fix it!” She turned to Gilda. “So fix it, ‘cos ow!” She hit her griffin vampire mistress with the full force of little filly cuteness, quivering lip and big eyes and all.

Gilda gulped. “I’ll get right on it. Seriously, guys? I don’t fucking know how to do that!”

“Language!” chided Applejack, though she was very pale.

“Yes you do!” argued Dash. “You’re okay again, but I remember Fluttershy beat the crap out of you!”

“Rainbow!” protested Applejack. “We’re trying to be a good influence on Spy, dammit!” She blinked. “Aw, horseapples…”

Rainbow gave her a look. “How about we give that a rest for now? Temporary pause on good language.”

“How come?” asked Applejack, suspiciously.

“So I can say, Gilda, show her how to fix her FUCKING hoof!” cried Rainbow Dash. Applejack hugged her, for Dash had gone teary-eyed and was staring at Gilda as hard as her foal was.

“But I really don’t know what I did!” protested Gilda. “I do know it seemed to hang around for a long time—the aftermath, I mean. And I got pissed off… sorry… I got mad and just started to tell myself, it’s getting better, the bruises and stuff are going away. And it did, but it was like it happened only when I was looking at it? Those injuries just sat there until I paid attention to them. I don’t know what I was doing. I guess it worked.”

“Good!” said Applejack. “Start walkin’ through it with lil’ Spy. Right now.” Hearing her authoritative tone, Rainbow Dash relaxed visibly, confident that the healing would commence.

“Wait!” said Twilight. “We need to monitor. Just a moment while I get over there! Trixie, are you ready?” She trotted over, her horn lighting, and both Gilda and Spy flinched away from her.

“And kin you tell me WHY in tarnation she is doin’ that?” demanded Applejack, in exasperation.

Trixie Lulamoon was lying on the floor, her body pressed flat to the ground. This was because Gilda was sitting on her, holding Spy. She was their chair, or possibly hassock or stool, and her forelegs were demurely crossed with hind legs tucked underneath her. She lifted her head, her horn lighting as well.

“Trixie gets to have fun too,” said Trixie. “And Trixie is going to sense magical emanations! She and Twilight will try to triangulate on their frequencies and arcane resonances. Proximity helps.”

“I don’t see why y’can’t sit in that fancy chair with the dials and lights and things,” accused Applejack. She glowered at Trixie’s hindquarters. “And I’ll tell you right now, my kid sittin’ on your butt should not be certain kinds of excitin’.”

“It’s more the griffin, really,” said Trixie. “Trixie has never been pinned down by a griffin before. Well, sat upon, anyway.”

“I’ll get off!” said Gilda, her feathers bristling in embarassment.

“So will Trixie,” retorted Applejack acidly.

“No, please!” begged Twilight. “Not yet. Behave, Trixie! I’m sorry, Applejack. She won’t without permission, and she needs to be that close by, as I do! We’ll work with the thaumanological equipment next, but in case it misses anything we need to be right there sensing for emanations.”

Applejack snorted. “Git a rag. And once you sense them, YOU wipe them up.”

“Not that kind of emanations!” argued Twilight. “Trixie, do you hear me? Be good! Okay, Gilda, please begin.”

“I told you, I don’t…”

“It’s gettin’ to be past Spy’s bedtime,” added Applejack.

Northern Spy ignored this. She turned to Gilda, and she spoke earnestly. “Mom said Fluttershy could show me how to fix it. Can you show me how to fix it?”

Gilda blinked, helpless against the concentrated adorable. “I don’t know, kiddo. I can try.”

“Please show me?” asked Spy, and lipquivered. “Cos owie.”

Dash rolled her eyes. “Oh gosh. That’s at least a Cat Three or even a Cat Four lower lip. Since when do you say owie, Spy?”

Spy glared at her Mom, and turned back to Gilda. “Pleeeease? I gotta go home to bed. I don’t want to sleep with my hoof broken off, it’ll hurt! Show me.”

Gilda sighed. “You bet. Okay… Look at the hurt hoof, and concentrate.”

“About what?”

“I don’t know! Think about it getting better. Get mad at the way it hurts. That’s what I was doing, mostly.”

Spy glared at her broken foreleg, withering it with an alarming nasty look.

“Hang on, hold it so it’s in the right place!” objected Gilda. “Here.”

Gently, her talon grasped the injured hoof, coaxed it to lie straight. Spy gritted her teeth but didn’t complain. She just laid her little ears back and concentrated with total determination, wriggling with effort.

“Hey!” said Gilda. “Something moved! I think it’s working!”

Twilight and Trixie paid close attention. Applejack and Rainbow Dash leaned forward, expectantly. Northern Spy grimaced and made a little squee from sheer effort, fiercely marshalling her attention…

Gilda hesitantly withdrew her talon, and the filly foreleg stood up unsupported, back in Northern Spy’s control. Gilda beamed, her eyes glowing with pride. “Ya did it, kid!”

“Yay!” squeaked Spy.

She squirmed, and flung herself off Gilda’s lap to a position of maximum radicalness on the floor, clearly shooting for a pose that said ‘I’m going to race off into the distance faster than anything!’.

She sprawled on her face, as her fragile foreleg-mend broke instantly.

Northern Spy’s little shriek of pain was muffled by a storm of wings, but they weren’t griffin wings. She wasn’t the only quick pony in the house. Almost before she’d hit the floor, Rainbow Dash shot forward in a gust of wingpower that sent beakers flying, and had caught up her foal in loving maternal forelegs—and hovered. And for a moment, mother and daughter panted, shaken, and the little filly hoof dangled limply once more.

Applejack cleared her throat.

“Try again!” suggested Twilight. “I think we almost got a reading on what it was.”

“HELL naw,” said Applejack, with total conviction. “Northern Spy, it is your bedtime. Rainbow, come along. We are goin’ HOME.”

“But…”

“No, Twilight,” said Applejack. “We can try again tomorrow. We’ll be more careful.”

“But,” said Spy, “my hoof!”

Applejack walked over, and nuzzled Northern Spy’s little mane. “Tell you what, sugarcube. We’ll put you to bed real gentle-like. Do you remember what ya did? I bet if you do whatever it is, instead of countin’ sheep, why you’ll be as right as rain in the mornin’ and maybe you’ll have it fixed up enough to not hurt by the time you nod off. And in the morning you can get it more sturdy before you go runnin’ around, please. Okay, honey?”

Twilight bridled. “You can’t do that! We need to observe the process! Can she only fix it partway, and when she comes back we can br… b…”

She trailed off, her logical workaround abandoned unsaid. Rainbow Dash’s eyes were wide with horror, and Applejack’s were alarmingly narrow.

“Twilight, upon my life I am glad you had the wits to not finish that sentence,” said Applejack. “I understand you want to learn things, but sweet Celestia, pony!” Her nostrils flared, but she restrained herself from further comment.

Twilight hung her head. After a moment, she said, “That’s a good idea, actually. We should get Princess Celestia in on this. I think she would be a big help, and I think we can probably send for her and have her here tomorrow.”

Applejack’s jaw was tense. “Please do. I reckon there’s some things she won’t stand for, and it would ease my mind, I won’t lie.”

“Oh?” retorted Twilight, stung. “Such as?”

“Such as your marefriend gettin’ all squishy over bein’ a griffin footstool in the presence of MY foal!”

Before the earth pony and unicorn mares could confront each other, each was intercepted by their respective mates. Trixie turned and hissed “Mistress! Not now!” while, at the same time, Rainbow Dash urged, “Applejack! Take it easy!”

Trixie continued, whispering, “Let them go! Trixie has other ideas, trust Trixie!” Still balanced on her pony rump, Gilda watched nervously.

Applejack tried to push past Rainbow, but the cerulean pegasus had other ideas. Without letting go of her dangling foal, Dash leaned in to scold in Applejack’s half-flattened ear, “Stop it! You know it’s not the only time Spy’s been around an excited mare!”

“Oh yeah?” argued Applejack.

Dash just faced her down, nose to nose. Then, more like nuzzle to nose. A smug little smirk crept onto Rainbow’s face, and the ruby eyes twinkled. Gradually, Applejack blushed, as she remembered foalish cries of ‘Mama pee!’ and realized that she herself had sneakily pleasured Rainbow in Spy’s presence, when her pegasus had been too incorrigible.

“Uh… right,” muttered Applejack. “Twilight? Sorry for gettin’ all up in your face there. I think it’s bedtime for all of us.”

Twilight nodded, stiffly. “It’s okay, Applejack. We’re all pretty stressed out. I’ll send for Princess Celestia and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow. Get some rest.”

Spy glanced over from where she dangled in Rainbow’s grip. “Can Gilda come with me?”

Gilda gulped, glancing quickly at Rainbow and Applejack. “I think I need to stay here, kiddo. Okay?”

“Awwww!”

“No, you go,” urged Gilda. “Get some sleep. You did great! Look, fix your hoof enough that you can sleep without it hurting, and we’ll finish it up in the morning. I promise I’ll help. I’m real proud of you. Go on, now. Go with your folks.” She gave a harsh squawk of a laugh. “Or I’ll compel you!”

Immediately, she flinched back. Both Applejack and Rainbow Dash had scowled at her. “Kidding!” she squawked. “I was kidding! Fluttershy says that to me! Though I’m not sure she’s kidding. I was joking, I wouldn’t do that!”

Applejack looked stern, and Dash looked hurt. “Good,” said Applejack. “See that ya don’t. Come on, Rainbow.” She considered this, and added, “Unless our Spy flips out again… but she won’t! Will ya, Spy?”

Northern Spy felt the temptation to look to Gilda for direction, but she wasn’t quite that foalish. She kept her eyes fixed on Orange Mom, hoping she wasn’t offending her new birdkitty deity, and she said “I won’t. I promise.”

The look of relief in Applejack’s eyes made up for a lot.

“Come on, ponies,” said Applejack. “Home we go.”


It was dark outside, the moon hiding behind clouds. As Applejack and Rainbow Dash neared Sweet Apple Acres, Spy began struggling.

“Whoa!” cautioned Dash. “What’s up, short stuff?”

“Let me walk!” pleaded Spy. “I’m a big girl, you don’t have to carry me inside like a baby!”

“Awww,” said Dash. “But you are, Spy, you’re my little pony. Are you sure?” She blinked. “And you’re not gonna run off, are you?”

“No, I promise!” said Spy. “You gotta let me walk into my own house! I’ll hop.”

Applejack stared into her eyes critically, then nodded. “Eyup. That’s as apple-y as the day is long, and this has been a long ‘un. Let her down, Rainbow. She’s got her pride. Careful now!”

Spy stretched her good legs down and held the broken one clear of the ground, and Rainbow settled lower and lower and at last, delicately placed Spy on the grass of Sweet Apple Acres, and flew back a little way, watching.

Spy set her jaw, and took a careful hop forward with her good foreleg.

A ghastly scream cut the air.

Spy shrieked, as Blue Mom snatched her back into the air. “Ow! Cut it out! That wasn’t me, Mom, sheesh!”

“It wasn’t?” squeaked Rainbow Dash.

Applejack narrowed her eyes. “She’s right. It wasn’t. It came from behind the barn.”

They glanced at each other.

“Let’s get it!” cried Spy, excitedly, and they were off, one determined family charging and flying toward the source of the trouble. Spy cheered, for Rainbow was blasting toward the problem without letting go of her. It hurt her dangling leg, but all the same Spy had never felt so much like a daring and bold flying pegasus pony. Her eyes widened in awe, to see that Orange Mom was keeping up and even leading the way slightly. They swerved around the corner of the barn in a flurry of wings and a hail of churning hooves…

Five farm ponies stared back at them, startled. Snowy, Hollyhock, Silver, Knothole, Fern Gully.

Silver was standing on one hoof. A feeble anguished noise came from under the hoof.

Sticking out to either side… were little beige paws.

“We found a monster,” said Snowy. “It screams, and it’s got no head. It’s some kind of monster that can’t die.”

Applejack gulped. “Reckon I’d holler too, if Silver was standin’ on my personals. What the hell do you think y’all doin’?”

“We need to know if we can kill it,” said Hollyhock, tight-lipped and grim-eyed.

Rainbow clasped Spy a little closer. “Is that what I think it is?”

“It is!” squeaked Northern Spy. “It’s one of my zombie bunnies!”

“What?” blurted Fern Gully, laying his ears back in chagrin.

Spy began wriggling like mad, and kicked her way free of Rainbow’s grip. She dropped to the grass, but did a little tumble without using her injured leg, and bounced to her three good hooves, advancing on the farm ponies. “Those are MY zombie bunnies! Let it go!”

“Spy!” shrieked Dash in alarm, but Applejack was right there alongside her daughter, her eyes even grimmer than Hollyhock’s.

“Stand down,” said Applejack directly to Silver, holding Spy back with a foreleg. “By that I mean, stop th’ balancing act and let the poor critter be. I ain’t askin. Now!”

Silver fell back in disarray, leaving a red-stained pancake on the ground. “What do you want, Applejack? What’s the kid after? We kin bury it, I reckon we got it this time!”

He flinched, as the little pile of splat made a dreadful burbling wail of agony.

“I do believe you’re mistaken,” said Applejack levelly. “Thank you very much for givin’ the poor critter even less to be happy about in its miserable-ass existence.”

Silver looked at her as if she’d gone insane. “Why are you mad? Why are you siding with a monster?”

“That there’s a BUNNY, you stinkin’ idiot!” snapped Applejack.

The farm ponies gawked, and then looked at their prey with new eyes.

The pancaked bunny wiggled what were clearly bunny paws, and began pulling itself out of the divot on the ground into which it had been compacted.

Silver sighed. “Right. So, it’s a varmint, but there’s something wrong with it?”

“Eyup,” said Applejack. “Spy’s collectin’ them. They’re from out of the Everfree. If you’da asked me, I could have tole you buckin’ em don’t work. Do you really think I ain’t tried that?”

Silver nodded. “Uh-huh. You say there’s more? What do we do with ‘em?”

“These bunnies don’t eat carrots or nothin’,” said Applejack, to murmurs of approval. “Though it stops up the noise for a while. Listen! They’re zombie bunnies or somethin’ and they cain’t die, so all your stompin’ and squishin’ them is just pointless cruelty that won’t do a bit of good. Them things can’t eat, look at ‘em. Spy is collectin’ em, they come out of the forest. If you see more, bring them around, we’re keepin’ them in a box in the barn. Come to think of it, is that where this ‘un came from?”

Rainbow Dash was making epically dismayed faces, but spoke up. “No, this one’s beige. The other one was white with a brown paw. I think they’re about equally squished though.”

Applejack bent and tugged the thing out of its crater with careful teeth on its tiny beige paw, and it emerged like a beanbag filled with jam. Gently, she deposited it on the ground and stood over it, Northern Spy also guarding it staunchly.

“Go on home!” ordered Applejack. “We got this. It’s your bedtimes too! We got work tomorrow, bright an’ early!”

Disappointed and disgusted, the farm ponies gradually filtered off to their homes. Applejack kept staring at them until they left. Fern Gully skulked off, constantly looking over his shoulder in horror at the tiny sad pulped monster between Applejack’s protective hooves. Snowy Hocks grumbled, “You really think that there’s a zombie bunny?”

“What else staggers around like that after ya buck its head off?” demanded Applejack.

Snowy rolled his eyes, and made himself scarce.

They were gone. Applejack nuzzled Spy’s mane. “Come on. Let’s put this ‘un with the other one.”

When they brought it over to the box, complete with a nest of spare burlap left over from wrapping tree root balls, they found the box empty.

Applejack scratched her head with a hoof. “Are ya sure this ain’t the same one? Poor bugger, I never saw th’ like. First me and then Silver! What’s next, Princess Celestia sittin’ on it?”

Rainbow Dash shook her head. “No. It’s different. The first one got away.” She flew around the barn, and returned. “No sign of it. How fast do you think it can go? Did it go back to the Everfree Forest?”

Applejack snorted. “I would not blame it for that. Seems us ponies ain’t exactly zombie-friendly.”

Their ears swiveled. In the distance, a scream rang out, but it sounded like a pony squeal.

“Found it,” said Applejack laconically.

She glanced down, and whinnied in alarm. Not at the zombie bunny: it sat unhappily, accepting that motionlessness was less painful than trying to hop around with every bone in its body crunched to gravel. Applejack’s attention was drawn to her filly, who stood with the broken hoof lifted, but who wobbled with fatigue.

“Northern Spy, if you doze off and put that hoof down to steady yourself, you’ll be sorry!” she chided. “Heck with missin’ bunnies. Rainbow, help me get her to bed! I reckon we can lay her sideways and it won’t be too bad.”

Spy yawned, the little fangs showing. “Nooo! I’m a big girl, I myyuuuh… walk into my house…” She wobbled more.

Applejack nuzzled her ears. “Naw, honey. It’s a parade, okay? Blue Mama’s carrying you to celebrate.”

“Celebrate… what?” yawned Spy.

“Why, the way you protected the poor lil’ zombie bunny with me,” soothed Applejack. “An’ now we’re puttin’ it to bed, and I’m sure it’s real grateful with whatever it’s got to be grateful with, and now it’s your turn. To go to bed, I mean, not to git squished or your head bucked off.”

“They could… never,” yawned Spy. “Nuh-uh. ‘M too… awesome…”

“Rainbow…”

“Got it, Boss,” said Rainbow Dash very softly. She hovered just over her hapless foal, and just as Spy nodded off and toppled in the direction of her injured hoof, Rainbow caught her in tender forelegs and lifted her into the air.

“Are you gonna put the bunny to bed?” she asked, quizzically.

Applejack made a face. “Happens I am. Why not? What else can we do with it?” She wrinkled her nose, then lifted the sack of bunny by its little paw and laid it gently in the box, covering it with burlap as if it was a proper blanket. “There. Let’s ask Princess Celestia for some advice on these things, too.”

“Tomorrow,” urged Rainbow Dash. “You’re sleepy too.”

“Couldn’t let th’ boys torment the poor zombie critter,” said Applejack.

Dash smiled. “I know. I love you, Applejack.”

“It’d take hours… days! And they’d all miss work, still tryin’ ta kill the thing,” explained Applejack.

Dash made a face. “Uh, right. I still love you, Applejack, but that’s not what I meant.”

“Well, usually you kin kill weeds and varmints and they don’t jes’ keep walkin’ around going, braaaiinns…”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. “Boy, did they come to the wrong place! Whatever. Come on, it’s time for bed.”

The two mares walked peacefully out of the barn, headed for the farmhouse. Behind them, the remains of the bunny sulked, and then covered itself with more of the burlap, to keep warm. And eventually, everything slept, at Sweet Apple Acres.


Trixie eyed Gilda, speculatively.

“What?” said Gilda.

“Nothing.”

“No, seriously, what?”

Trixie yawned. “Oh, just a stray thought.”

Twilight had gone off to compose a letter to Princess Celestia, and griffin and blue unicorn sat eyeing each other.

“So cough it up,” demanded Gilda. “Don’t just sit there smirking. What?”

“Trixie likes your scent,” confided Trixie Lulamoon, her tail swishing across the floor.

Gilda gulped. “Uh. Thanks?”

“Oh, don’t thank Trixie yet.”

“Why not?”

“We haven’t started yet.”

“Twilight!” squawked Gilda.

“WHAT?” demanded Twilight Sparkle, from upstairs in the library proper. “Don’t distract me! I want to ask the Princess for help but remain independent, it’s vital that it doesn’t seem like we’re turning over this inquiry to her! We can take care of ourselves! Now, what’s the problem?”

“Nothing!” replied Gilda, hastily.

“Then shut up, I need to think how to phrase this!”

Silence fell again.

“What?” said Gilda, as Trixie continued to study her.

“Do you think Trixie would turn vampire if she simply tasted your blood,” said Trixie, “or would it only happen if you or she actually bit with teeth?”

“TWILIGHT!” wailed Gilda.

“WHAT?”

“Your marefriend’s going crazy! She’s going to attack me!”

Hooves drummed on the stairs and Twilight galloped down, but her reaction was not exactly as Gilda expected. First, she smacked Trixie with the back of her hoof, and the blue unicorn cowered happily on the floor. At least, it’d got a volley of excited vagina-winking out of her, so Gilda had to assume she was as happy as ponies got.

“Girl!” demanded Twilight. “You do understand the situation? Answer!”

“Of course, Mistress! Of course!” grovelled Trixie.

“What did you do?”

“Trixie inquired if she would be infected with vampirism if she only tasted the griffin’s blood! Or, of course, the reverse! That is all, Mistress!”

Twilight glared at the submissive Lulamoon. “Oh, Trixie, Trixie, Trixie. What are we going to do with you?”

Trixie didn’t answer… except with another wink. Her body quivered with eagerness, the scent of it making Gilda’s eyes widen.

“Let me correct that,” said Twilight. “I’m going to tell you what you’re going to do, and not do. Understand?”

“I swear I wasn’t going to do anything to her!” protested Gilda.

She stopped, for Twilight was giving her an odd look. The purple unicorn hmphed. “Gilda, this is for your own good, so don’t interrupt. I know some things about you. I know you’ve fooled around with both Rainbow Dash and Applejack, and you play very rough…”

“I won’t…”

“I’ll tell you what you won’t do, just as I’m telling Trixie what she won’t do,” said Twilight. “I’m pretty sure she can take care of herself with you: we unicorns have a great deal of mental fortitude. What you don’t know is the nature of my Trixie. She likes playing very rough too, and I have to say I saw this coming.”

“I’m sorry! I can leave…” began Gilda, but Twilight’s horn lit, and Gilda felt her beak being held shut by a gentle force.

“I didn’t say that, and let me finish,” said Twilight. “Trixie will be impossible for weeks if I don’t let her play, but she is intelligent enough to understand what’s permissible and what is impermissible. These are your restrictions! You and Trixie may have naughty fun however you wish, but there may be no biting, that sort of thing… I’d better define it as no biting of each other and no clawing of each other. That means neither of you may bite, incise or otherwise draw blood. Got it? That’s by intent or by accident. I don’t care if you don’t intend to have blood-to-blood contact. We know that’s a vector for transfer of vampirism and you will NOT indulge it. I think from the looks of it you get the idea, Gilda. Trixie, I mean it every bit as much for you. Absolutely no biting or anything resembling bloodplay.”

Trixie hung her head. “Yes, Mistress.”

“In fact I’m going to tighten that, knowing you. I’ll allow blunt floggers but you’re forbidden use of whips or rods or anything of the sort, including for use on yourself as we don’t know everything about transmission of vampirism. I’m sorry,” said Twilight, “but you’re just going to have to settle for vanilla. Use your imagination, I can tell her smell is triggering you and that should help.”

Gilda wore an appalled look. “I smell?” she squawked, in dismay.

Twilight gave her a weary glance. “Yeah. You smell like a big, powerful griffin. I guess we should be grateful you don’t smell like a rotting corpse. I’m sure we’re all grateful Fluttershy doesn’t, because it’d stink beyond belief by now: I have no idea how long she’s been undead. From what I know about Trixie, I don’t blame her. Heck, I’d join her… except I have a letter to compose, I’m incredibly tired, and I just won’t ever be that hardcore. You know, to be screwing griffins. I think I said once that all the ponies in this town are crazy? Well, whoof!”

Gilda stared at the lavender unicorn, astonished.

“You’ve accepted my conditions, Trixie. I heard you say yes,” said Twilight. She made a face. “Please don’t ever tell me all your fantasies about this one, I think they’ll be too rich for my blood.” She snorted a wry laugh. “Hah! My blood. Seriously, Trixie, don’t push this time. Okay?”

“Yes, Mistress,” said Trixie humbly.

“You know the risks,” added Twilight. “I know how ingenious you are, but I don’t want you taking chances!”

“No, Mistress,” said Trixie.

Gilda gulped. “Twilight Sparkle, what are you suggesting here? I’m not going to hurt this pony!”

Twilight’s grin silenced her.

“Did I say I was worried about you hurting her?” she said. “I trust my Trixie completely, and she’s as smart as me. This is for your protection too, Gilda.”

“But what do you think I’m gonna do?” wailed Gilda.

The grin widened.

“Judging from your tastes in lovers, and the attitude of my very special marefriend,” said Twilight nonchalantly, “I think you’re about to fuck a pony. You’ve got my permission, within the boundaries I’ve set. If she ruins you for pegasi and earth ponies, I guess that’s just your tough luck. Remember what I said, Trixie!” She smirked at delighted unicorn and dismayed griffin alike. “Have fun! Now let me write my letter, and then I shall retire. Oh… this door is soundproof. Enjoy!”

As Gilda stared in shock, Twilight Sparkle flirted her tail, winked with one sensuously half-lidded eye, and trotted back up the stairs. Gilda’s predator’s senses told her that Twilight was, somehow, moderately aroused by this mad notion of her marefriend getting frisky with a griffin. Upstairs, the door closed. Slowly, Gilda turned to look at Trixie.

She’d never seen such a smug look in all her life… or after it.

“What the FUCK was that about?” she demanded.

Trixie yawned and stretched, wriggling on the floor where she lay. “Mistress knows her Trixie. Trixie loves Mistress, who lets her have very special presents.”

“No, I mean,” blurted Gilda, scratching her head with extended talons and disheveling her feathers, “pony fucking I get. She’s right, I’m really into it. I totally understand her telling me not to bite or claw. Please understand that’s a given, okay? The last thing I want to do is hurt any pony, especially now.”

Trixie pouted. “If we can reverse the vampirism and cure it, Trixie would really like to try it for a mad weekend. The possibilities are simply amazing!”

“What?”

The blue unicorn licked her lips. “Just imagine the intensity of punishment one could absorb if one could not die. Is it very difficult to repair? You know, bone breaks? Impalement? Would dismemberment pose a problem if limbs were actually removed from the body, or can you put them back?”

Gilda whimpered. “What?”

“Trixie is only thinking of possible,” said Trixie and waggled her eyebrows suggestively, “researches.”

“TWILIIIGHT!” howled Gilda.

The door banged open. “Trixie, take it down a notch!” yelled Twilight Sparkle, from upstairs.

The door banged closed.

Gilda gulped, staring into the calm violet eyes of her tormentor.

“Trixie apologizes,” said Trixie politely. “Perhaps you have led a sheltered life, with the earth pony and pegasus and all. It seems hard to believe, knowing that pegasus, but still. Trixie is at your disposal. What would you like, lovely griffin? We have Mistress’s permission, within limits.”

Gilda sniffed the air. “L… lovely griffin, huh?”

“Oh, yes. Trixie is very fortunate,” said Trixie, still laying on the ground where she’d served as Gilda’s footstool. “The weight of you pinning Trixie down was most arousing. Would you do it some more? You can lay across me.”

“Tell me one thing first,” said Gilda.

“Of course, lovely griffin! Ask Trixie anything.”

“Exactly why was Twilight Sparkle making you promise not to claw ME? I can see no bitey, ponies can do that. But you have hooves not claws… and a horn that doesn’t really look that sharp.”

Trixie smiled. “Twilight is responsible for that, Gilda. Are you unfamiliar with unicorns? I should warn you that if you are very pleasing, I may spurt magic from my horn. Consider it a high compliment to your prowess, if so.”

“You squirt magic?” asked Gilda.

“Trixie squirts all over the place when suitably gratified!” boasted Trixie. “And Twilight is powerful enough that sometimes she can horngasm into Trixie, too! That is why our horns are blunt, lovely griffin. It is a beautiful part of unicorn sex that you may enjoy, when you get used to it.”

“Right,” said Gilda. “But Twilight made you promise, too. So with a blunt horn and blunt hooves, how’re you going to draw blood without biting?”

Trixie beamed proudly. From behind her, a gleaming blade rose into the air, held by her magic.

“TWILIIIIIIGHT!”

This time, there was just a bang on the ceiling from Twilight’s exasperated hoof. Trixie’s face fell, and the knife quickly returned to its hiding place.

Trixie studied the curled-up ball of quaking griffin. “But… when you get used to it?”

A sob was the only reply.

Gilda curled miserably for a moment, but then she felt a touch on her shoulder. Trixie’s hoof prodded her with unexpected gentleness, and the blue unicorn’s voice was soft and unthreatening.

“Trixie is very sorry, Gilda. We don’t have to do anything. Trixie just thought since you liked ponies so much, we could play. It is all right, Gilda. Please don’t be sad.”

Gilda sniffled, then revealed her face, and glared at Trixie. “What the serious fuck, okay? Just what the fuck?”

“Why, yes,” said Trixie, placatingly. “Very serious fuck. It’s okay, Trixie didn’t know you were such a lightweight.”

“I am NOT a l…”

Gilda trailed off. Those violet eyes were so calm, but there was an amusement there, even a smugness.

Gilda tightened her beak, and glared. That got her a coo of pleasure, a widening of the smile, and the sound and scent of a wink from pony mare pussy.

“Any particular reason why you want to carve me up with a knife or flog me?” challenged Gilda. “What did I ever do to you?”

“Oh, Trixie is willing to match injury for injury, to be fair,” replied Trixie happily. The sound of another wink greeted the air, and the blue unicorn wriggled. “In fact, Trixie insists!”

“Crap,” said Gilda, and face-taloned. “Can you not do that? The smell gets me excited.”

“Sadly, Trixie cannot but help show her enthusiasm,” said Trixie. “The scent of YOU gets Trixie very excited! If you are excited, and Trixie is excited, what sorts of pleasures suit our lovely griffin? Please tell Trixie. Trixie wishes only to bring you joy!” She blinked. “Though we are skipping things. Rarity would beat me senseless! Miss Gilda, we must agree on a safeword this instant.”

“A what?”

Trixie tsked. “Exactly! Lovely griffin, what we do with each other is voluntary. Even if it should go to unthinkable, darkly erotic places of terrifying intensity! A safeword is what you say when you want to say no, when it is time for the games to stop. Before we proceed, just in case Trixie can persuade you into deeper waters, you must provide Trixie a safeword! Think carefully, now. What words will you say, if you need to tell Trixie to stop?”

Gilda considered this. “Uhh… ‘no, stop’?”

Trixie just stared at her for a minute.

“WHAT?”

Trixie sighed, and rolled her eyes. “Nothing. ‘No stop’ it is: or, rather, any combination of those words.” She snorted. “Lightweight! But a lovely sexy lightweight, so don’t fret. But do please attend: Trixie’s safeword shall be ‘Ursa Major’. Repeat it, please. ‘Ursa Major’.”

“Ursa Major,” said Gilda. “That’s a constellation, right? Also a really ridiculously big bear thing nobody would ever try to take on. Trust me on this, we griffins have seen them.”

A little smile played around Trixie’s muzzle. “Oh, you have? Intimidating, are they?”

“Don’t worry, they wouldn’t come out here,” reassured Gilda. “So, if you’re getting hurt you call Ursa Major?”

Trixie snickered. “Trixie never calls Ursa Major! Or almost never. It is for emergencies. Getting hurt is half the fun, Gilda!”

At this, Gilda shook her head admiringly. “You ought to visit a griffin colony. You’d last about ten minutes, but you’d have a lot of kinky fun while you lasted! Except they don’t really do ‘no, stop’. Or ‘Ursa Major’.”

“And there is the difference!” said Trixie. “Between us, safewords are a thing. We are agreed on this? I’ve promised Twilight to play responsibly, plus Rarity would never forgive me if I didn’t honor her good example while subbing.” She was beginning to pant with excitement, and her eyes shone.

“Sure,” said Gilda. “It won’t matter, I’m not going to hurt you. But I’ve been spending a lot of time around Fluttershy and it’s making me really horny. I don’t know if this sounds weird to you, and you might not be used to it from a griffin but… would it be okay if we put all this stuff aside for now and just got into some serious pony pussy eating?” She licked her beak. “It’s been a long time… and ever since flight school, that’s been one of my faves.”

“Lovely griffin yearns to perform oral sex on lucky mares?” teased Trixie.

“Yeah!” squawked Gilda. “Lead me to ‘em! Oh, wait, here’s one. How’s about it?”

“How do you want me?” purred Trixie.

“Lady’s choice,” said Gilda, fidgeting from paw to paw. “You could lay back, that works. Do we have a bed here? I see some sacks in the corner.”

Trixie was fidgeting as well, grinning widely. She winked, a shiver running through her body. “Those are sandbags, from a difficult time Twilight and Trixie shared. Trixie has a better idea,” she said.

“Oh yeah?”

“Take me from behind,” moaned Trixie. “Like the fierce beast you are!”

Gilda blinked. “Uh… pussy eating isn’t always fierce, sweet cheeks. It’s a special treat. It’s also a calling. You don’t want me to work up to it? Even Dash needs a minute to…”

Trixie whirled, and flicked her tail to the side, standing before Gilda with her ass up and her head down. She winked, glistening pony pinkness splaying out before her griffin lover. “Take me!” she moaned, wantonly.

“Wow!” came Gilda’s awed voice. “Oh, baby…”

Trixie’s head spun. She could smell the musky jungle-cat scent of Gilda all around her, could feel the big griffin shifting from paw to paw behind her, and as she helplessly winked again, her flanks quivering with excitement, she could feel Gilda’s hot breath on her private parts. Trixie’s heart slammed in her chest as she waited for the slathering lick of affectionate tongue, waited poised already on the brink of orgasm from anticipation alone.

What she got was far more shocking.

She felt the press of a hard and flat surface against her vagina… Gilda’s beak, nuzzling her, careful not to scratch. Trixie gave an abandoned little cry of lust and felt her body judder, a gush of mare-juices surging forth. She heard Gilda suddenly draw a deep breath, as if suddenly intoxicated by her nectar oozing forth…

…and harsh, searing stimulation rasped across her vagina, thrusting into her.

Trixie’s eyes flew open in shock. She had only time to draw a deep, panicky breath of her own, her body shocked by the abrasiveness…

Gilda made a little mewling noise, and then sharp deadly talons clamped onto Trixie’s ass, as if trying to seize all of her rump in one bite, and with a snarl the wild griffin shoved her scratchy tongue deep into Trixie’s pussy.

Trixie’s eyes bugged out, her mouth opening wide, and in a single mighty throb she cut loose: vagina clenching in frenzied climax, while gouts of magic gushed from her horn. For a horrible moment she felt like she was ripped asunder and devoured and was completely helpless to do anything but gush juices and magic in orgasm, her breath locked within uncooperative lungs, her heart seizing up in its final grinding thumps. Then, Trixie shrieked out like a madpony, two clear words in a last desperate effort.

“URSA! MAJOR!”

The voracious griffin tensed, and Trixie felt that devouring grip almost tighten… and then, Gilda released her bottom and yanked herself backward, suddenly not there.

Trixie staggered, shaking and winking and still gushing magic and marecome… and collapsed.

“Oh shit!” wailed the griffin. “What happened? Trixie! I knew I should have worked you up to it! Are you okay?”

The blue unicorn wasn’t okay. However, her exact state was unclear. She squirmed weakly on her side, flopping about like a post-coital griffin, still dribbling horngasm and shuddering from the aftershocks… but her expression was dismayed. She fought to speak. “I pro… I promised! It was too… too far…”

“What’s the matter? Talk to me, baby! Too rough, the tongue?”

Trixie shook her head, her eyes tearful. “The claws!”

“The what? OH! Oh, shit, I’m sorry…”

“I’m… a vampire pony…”

Gilda was shaking her, seizing her shoulders in those talons. “No! No, listen, please listen. Uhhh… no stop! safeword! Agh! Please stop freaking out and listen!”

That got Trixie’s attention. “That’s not what a safeword is! It’s not grab me with the claws more and shake me! Ohhhh, Trixie fucked up, bigtime…”

“You did not! Look at your butt, will you?”

Trixie blinked. She looked at her lovely blue rump. There was no sign of any damage, not the slightest scratch.

“Now look closely at these claws,” insisted Gilda. She held her talons right up in front of Trixie’s eyes. Trixie studied them, and it was plain to see the tip of every claw was smoothed, rounded. She stared a stunned question into Gilda’s fierce predatory eyes.

“We know exactly what condition our talons are in,” vowed Gilda. “Griffins hunt with them! Usually they’re real sharp, but you know where I’ve been? I’ve been with Fluttershy. For weeks I knew I was going to seek out Fluttershy. I didn’t want to have sharp claws when I saw her. We can still hunt anyway, you know? Talons can clamp down tighter than anything, there’s still stuff you can do, mercy killing… I don’t want to talk about it, I tried to avoid it. Trixie, these are totally blunt by griffin standards!”

Trixie stared, still dumbfounded by her experience.

“I’m not saying I couldn’ta fucked you up,” admitted Gilda. “But I know exactly how much force it would take and I just… I knew it wasn’t gonna scratch ya, and that glorious ass was right there, and I just had to GRAB it… Aw, Trixie, I’m so sorry.”

Trixie twitched. Her ears were laid back. She licked her lips. “Whoof!”

“I even know what happened to you,” admitted Gilda. “Happened to Dash once… no, twice, once in flight school and then once more recently. Damn it, stupid stupid griffin! You can’t do that to a pony, they flip. If they feel talons grabbing their butt, you’re gonna get kicked in the face, that’s just how it is. And I latched on and just went after your pussy, deep as I could get! I can’t believe I forgot that. I was so fucking excited to get my tongue in a pony again. Dammit!”

Trixie licked her lips again, her ear twitching.

“Uhhhh…” said Gilda, “you weren’t actually kicking me in the face, though. You were doing… something else.”

A wobbly smile began creeping onto Trixie’s face as she realized she’d gotten away with the experience, unharmed.

“You okay, Trixie?” asked Gilda.

The response wasn’t in words. Trixie reached up with her forelegs, grabbed the solicitous griffin, and delivered a big smooch, pony muzzle to beak.

“Awk!”

“Trixie has never got off so hard!” exulted Trixie. “Ever! And Trixie has not got a scratch on her, she has complied with Mistress’s demands! Yay!”

“Uh… yay?” said Gilda.

“Was it as good for you as it was for Trixie? Was it, was it?”

Gilda licked her beak, looking flustered. “Uh. Kind of… ponyus interruptus? Which is okay! I’m so glad I stopped and that it turned out okay! We’re good! Best time ever!”

Trixie gasped. She wriggled around determinedly, and got to her wobbly hooves. “What? WHAT? You thrust your tongue into the Great And Powerful Trixie, and you did not climax instantly? You are not DONE?”

Gilda whimpered, cringing backwards. “I… ow! it’s okay, really…”

Trixie blinked. “Ow what? What ow? What did you do, sprain a claw on Trixie’s magnificent rump?”

Gilda boggled. “Wow. And I thought Dash was full of herself. Which is good, though, nothing so sexy as a pony who loves her own body… but it’s not my claw, Trixie, my back tensed up. I’m fine…”

Trixie’s eyes widened, then narrowed in determination.

She marched up the stairs and banged on the door twice. There was a brief pause, and then the door opened and a small metal object was flung through it, narrowly missing Trixie and bouncing down the stairs.

“I’m expecting an explanation for that Ursa!” cried Twilight Sparkle. “If that had kept up…”

“Of course, Mistress! Everything is fine, Mistress!” called Trixie. “Thank you Mistress! Everything is as wonderful as the most wonderful thing ever!”

“Errrrrhhh!” growled Twilight, and the door closed again. Trixie trotted unsteadily down the stairs, smiling.

“She is such a worrier. No matter,” said Trixie. “You shall have this!” She bent, and picked up the object in her teeth, and a thick horsecock dropped from between her legs. Trixie grinned a wicked grin, around the little metal cylinder.

Gilda’s jaw dropped. “No way. But yeah, that’s where they get them, isn’t it? You guys make these!”

“You kn’w of our little toys?” demanded Trixie, haughtily.

“That’s… not so little…”

“Get on the s’ndbags!” commanded Trixie. “Payb’ck t’me!”

Gilda’s eyes were comically huge. She kept staring at Trixie’s marecock, and she gulped. “I, I…”

Trixie lifted her head with stallion imperiousness, and stamped the floor with a forehoof.

Gilda squawked, and scrabbled along the floor to straddle the pile of sandbags. So extreme was her sexual agitation, that her gait looked like she was slithering along the ground. “Oh, fuck, oh fuck!” she wailed. “Just do it! Fuuuuck!”

“For you,” said Trixie, and trotted over in a staggering of dizzy, sated hooves.

Gilda screwed her eyes shut, her body feeling like a soon-to-be-violated knot of tension. She wrapped fore and hind legs around the heavy sandbags, nuzzling her face against another, expecting her pony lover to pounce at any moment.

Then, she cried out lewdly. She remained unpenetrated… but little blue hooves were kneading her back and shoulders.

“OHFUCK! Ahhhh! There! Oh shit! Unnnhh!”

“R’lax,” urged Trixie.

“Ohmygosh! Fuck! Best aahhh! pony ever ahhh!”

“R’lax more…”

Gilda’s eyes flew wide. Artificial stallionhood was braced against her furry mound.

“Oh, YES,” moaned the shuddering griffin.

Even as she kneaded Gilda’s body, Trixie coaxed her hips slowly forward and her thick flare began to tuck into seething griffin nook.

The first one was very gentle. Gilda groaned obscenely, as Trixie penetrated her. It was tight, hot, and sloppy, the griffin vagina a molten ooze-pot that squelched when the horsecock tucked in and kept sliding.

The second one was very slow. Trixie was working on Gilda’s back, kneading with her hooves. She felt that strange, furry, short-haired tail thrash against her crotch as she steadily sank deeper into Gilda, savoring every little tremor.

The third one was very deep, and that was when Gilda Griffin jolted like she’d been struck by lightning… and Trixie grinned a wicked grin around the bit held in her teeth. “Mmmmmm…”

“Ohfuck,” panted Gilda. “Be careful. I…”

The fourth one was even deeper.

Gilda’s whole body shuddered. She heaved a panicky breath…

Trixie lowered herself, and wrapped her forelegs around Gilda’s body as best she could, her backrubbing put aside for the time being.

“H’ld on,” she murmured into Gilda’s ear. “S’feword means I st’p doing this.”

Gilda was panting, her eyes wide and wild. “But… Trixie, if you do that I’m gonna…”

“Use the s’ndbags,” murmured Trixie. “Y’r energy goes into the s’ndbags. L’ke M’stress. Safew’rd if it’s time to stop.”

Her hips drew back, and then swung forward, and horsecock slurped deeply into Gilda’s sandbag-clinging body. All the hairs on the tuft of Gilda’s leonine tail bristled out at once.

“Gyaaaggg!” croaked Gilda, her eyes crossing. “But, but, but, if I bite…”

“B’te the sandbags!” ordered Trixie. “Here c’mes Trixie!”

Her hips drew back even more, and pistoned forward, and Gilda squalled, her insides thumped solidly by equine erection.

Trixie sweated, gritting her teeth on the bit. “Now t’ke the ride! Or s’feword!” she demanded. No safeword was heard. Instead, Trixie felt Gilda’s rump and her squishy, strangely yielding feline pussy grip onto her, squeezing the sides of her shaft as if in a challenge.

Trixie never, ever passed up a challenge.

For a while, the secret basement was oddly quiet. There was just faint keening noises from the big, trembling griffin, clinging to a pile of sandbags with desperate strength, so hard the canvas of the bags creaked under the strain. Her tail vibrated, held twanging to the right, and every muscle on her feline body stood out.

And over her, the blue unicorn mare bore down on her magic bit, swelling the magic stallionhood, and her back doubled again and again as she drove hard horsecock deeply into her lover. Her tempo was not rapid: indeed, it was ostentatiously languid, never even developing into a rhythm.

She would withdraw, flick her blue-and-white tail, wriggle her pretty blue hips, and then with a gritting of teeth, Trixie Lulamoon sank horsecock into her tame griffin again: thrusting as deep as she could shove, and then pushing harder. Each time, she seemed to hesitate longer, to plunge more sedately, yet always finishing by hunching over, body doubled up, Gilda’s writhing rump pressed up against her crotch. She could feel what she was doing, and the raw danger of it thrilled her. But she also knew three things.

Firstly, that she was not the undead vampire with mysterious recuperative powers. Gilda was. It was a pity, in a way, but Trixie had some generosity of spirit and had had her fun.

Secondly, the hideously powerful, completely hysterical creature her cock was sunk to the hilt inside, was clutching a row of sandbags. She also bit them as needed, though Trixie noticed she was trying to bite where rope tied up the sacks, because she’d already bitten a hole in one sack and got a beakful of sand for her trouble.

Thirdly… no safeword.

Trixie felt Gilda tense up as though she was penetrating a creature made only of bones and sinews. Tears were pouring from Gilda’s eyes, but there was no cry to halt, not a peep. She tugged the throbbing stallionhood partway out, against the resistance of frantic tightnesses and cramps inside the griffin, and Trixie growled around the bit, feeling her climax irresistibly approach.

At last, she allowed her tempo to build, working the horsecock in and out even as it went achingly stiff and unyielding. Gilda’s pussy began to clench with terrifying force against it. Gilda screamed into her mouthful of sackcloth, screamed again, and her body ripped at the sandbags she clung to, convulsive strength tearing the canvas like it was wet paper.

Trixie bucked into Gilda and cut loose, and a gush of stallion come squirted through the cramped-tight confines of Trixie’s clenched-on cock and sprayed into Gilda’s feline womb in copious, sticky gushers.

Gilda squalled horribly into the sandbags, reeling, her body thrashing uncoordinatedly… and then the peak had passed, and pony and griffin gradually eased their spasms, relaxed, softened, quieted. The aftershocks hit each in turn, as if knocking them back and forth between each other: Trixie jolting, setting Gilda off, and back again.

Finally, Trixie sagged across Gilda’s body, and let her magic bit fall from her mouth. The horsecock shrank away, and a flood of feline goo and magical horsecome splashed out, half of it evaporating even as it poured from Gilda’s stricken vagina.

Gilda’s eyes were rolled back in her head, but she was still breathing harsh rasping breaths. Of course, she didn’t really need to, thought Trixie, but all the same it was considerate.

Gilda coughed, cleared her throat, unable to lift her head from the sandbags.

“Sweet Celestia,” she cursed, awed and rather appalled.

Trixie, mane drenched with sweat, blinked. “Trixie didn’t know you were a fan of Big Snobby. Would you like her to have a go? It might take some arranging.”

“That’s not what… I meant,” managed Gilda. “Fuuuuck. Griffins should know better. Ponies. Are dangerous. Ohhhfuck.”

“Did Trixie please you?” asked Trixie, panting slightly with her efforts. “Trixie thought you were responding to deep penetration. And since it can’t injure you as a vampire…”

“Do you know what I liked?” asked Gilda, trying again to lift her head, again failing.

“What?”

“You rubbed my back, with your hooves,” said Gilda. Trixie saw the gleam of her eye, dazed but still trying to connect. “I already knew ponies could blow me beyond the clouds. You liked me enough to rub my back.” The visible eye glinted. “I liked that. But it seems like the part you liked was screwing me senseless until I was kinda dead all over again?”

Trixie leaned over, inquisitively. “Did it work? Was it the hardest you’ve ever come, ever?”

Gilda didn’t respond at first.

“Well? Trixie’s pride is at stake!” protested the blue unicorn.

“Trixie,” said Gilda, lifting her head with a heroic effort.

“Yes?”

“Understand that I’m only saying this to vent my feelings, and that I still intend to deal with things the way Fluttershy wants me to. Okay? Got that?”

Trixie bounced, though she was tired. “Yes, yes?”

“If I do get cured of being a vampire,” grumbled Gilda, “I ought to fucking SHRED you for what you just did. And you call yourself a pony!”

Trixie responded with a squee of pony delight, and another bounce.

“You’re welcome!” she replied, as Gilda stared in total disbelief.

As Trixie scampered happily up the stairs to tell Twilight how well she’d done, Gilda laid her head down again.

“Fluttershy…” sniffled the exhausted griffin, and with that, she slept.