“A little to the left. The other left. That’s too much… stop!” Chrysalis ordered. The Changeling Behemoth had placed the cocoon in the middle of the room. A rather bland room.
Chrysalis never paid much attention to such details. Less is more, she figured.
Changelings were quick and efficient builders but they lacked any form of interior decorating skill.
“You have done well.” She complimented the massive Changeling. She moved over to him and gave him a peck on his cheek.
A small sign of motherly affection like that had the same effect as a cookie or other treat to him.
“Return to your post.” Chrysalis ordered.
The Changeling nodded. He returned to his post with a smile on his face and a spring in his step.
“Now that that’s taken care of.” Chrysalis moved to the cocoon. She tapped on it with her hoof.
The pony floating inside opened her eyes.
Chrysalis stared deep into them. The pony didn’t look away.
Eventually though, she just closed them again.
It felt like drowning, only without dying from suffocation, Twilight figured.
It kind of felt like sinking in too deep into the tub, only now she didn't rush back to the surface to breathe.
Because she was breathing. Somehow.
Her scientific studies told her that it was perfectly plausible to be breathing fluid. As long as there was enough oxygen in it.
It was warm too. Again, just like a hot bath. Only one that she couldn't get out of. Or even wanted to get out of.
It was strangely comfortable and soothing for some reason.
A thud shook her body. Her eyes opened. They stung a bit.
Something was standing outside her… she didn’t know what to call it. Cage? Cocoon perhaps? She had no idea.
But whatever it was, there was a pony out there.
Her eyes closed again.
Chrysalis smirked. Everything had gone according to plan. Well, almost everything. They had failed to take Canterlot.
But the Equestrian capital was expendable. Feeding her daughter was the main reason to replace Cadance.
Chrysalis scoffed at the mere thought of that mare. How dare she take Shining Armor’s love for herself? Her daughter needed it more than she did.
“You two.” Chrysalis called out to the two Changelings guarding the door. They walked in and bowed for their queen. “The two of you are to stand guard here.” She patted the cocoon. “You are not to leave your post for any reason until she breaks out, do you understand?”
The two Changelings nodded.
“Good.” Chrysalis said. “When she does break out, come and inform me immediately.”
The two Changelings took positions on either side of the cocoon, intent on protecting it against anything that would want to harm it.
Not that they were truly necessary.
As she stepped outside Chrysalis's lips drew into a smile.
Nearly every Changeling that she didn’t specifically assign a task was sitting outside, waiting and watching. Hundreds of them filled the hallway from end to end.
“It seems like ponies aren’t the only ones that love their royalty.” She said.
Were this any other day, she would have ordered them all to go back to their posts. But today was like a holiday, so she allowed them to celebrate the return of their future queen.
Her head ached.
Twilight felt the presence of so many ponies.
No, not ponies…
But they were there.
And there were hundreds, maybe thousands calling out to her in a language she didn’t quite understand.
A sense of belonging and worship filled her.
And it felt good.
Celestia looked over her throne room.
For once she wasn’t actually sitting on her throne. No, she was content with sitting on the pillow her servants had brought.
The last thing she needed right now was to feel above everypony else in the room. They were all suffering from the same grief after all.
“And then she turned me into a cactus!” She overheard Night Light say to Pinkie Pie and Rarity. Pinkie Pie smiled for the first time since the wedding at that, though it didn’t last very long.
The room was littered with pillows and ponies sitting on said pillows. Her little ponies were chatting and telling stories to each other.
If she didn’t know any better, she’d say that they were having a slumber party.
Unfortunately that wasn’t the case but she hoped that this would make everypony more comfortable.
Night Light was telling the story of Twilight’s cutie mark to anypony that wanted to hear it. He sounded so cheerful while he was telling it.
But Celestia could always tell how much her little ponies were hurting. Night Light’s cheeks were stained with tears. And even as he smiled there were new tears forming, waiting for a chance to break free.
“You were such a handsome cactus.” Twilight Velvet sniffed. She was clutching a thick leather photo album.
“Excuse me, miss Twilight.” Fluttershy said gently. “But why are you hugging that book so hard? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” The butter yellow Pegasus said with a small voice.
“Call me Velvet, please.” Twilight Velvet said. “And this old thing is our family album.” She pulled it even closer to her.
“I went home to pick it up. I-I just need something.” She said, tears in her eyes. “Something to show me that it was all real.” She sniffed, clenching the book even tighter. “That my foals were real. Silly, isn’t it?”
“Of course not.” Fluttershy said. “There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Velvet liked this pony. She recalled the letters Twilight had written. “You’re Fluttershy, right?” She asked.
“Twilight wrote to us about you all.” She said, a smile on her face. “She described you all in detail, that’s how I could tell.”
“That’s how we know her.” Fluttershy sighed. Twilight hadn’t been gone for long but she missed the purple mare so badly.
“Would you like to see them?” Velvet offered. “The pictures, I mean."
“Sure.” Fluttershy said, moving her pillow a bit closer.
Velvet laid the album in front of them ever so gently. With a flick of her horn the book opened to the first page.
“That’s Shining Armor.” Velvet pointed at a picture of her and Night Light. The blue stallion was holding a little white foal in his hooves.
“And here’s Twilight.” She pointed to the picture next to it. Shining Armor was a handsome little colt in that one, sitting proudly in between his parents with a purple filly in his hooves.
“That one was taken the day after we left the hospital.” Velvet said. “Shining Armor refused to let her leave his sight.” She let out a weak but heartfelt laugh. “We even had to put up a bed in our room again, because he didn’t want to leave her at night.”
“That’s so sweet.” Fluttershy said. The picture made her feel all warm and tingly inside. Shining Armor reminded her of her own brother. The whole situation made her want to write to him, to see if he was alright.
“Was he really that excited to get a little sister?” She asked, pointing at the impossibly wide smile that Shining Armor was sporting.
“You wouldn’t believe it.” Velvet said. “There was a complication when Twilight was born.” She cleared her throat. “She- we thought, the doctors thought that she was… stillborn.” She barely managed to say that last word. It burned on her tongue.
“Twilight told us about that on the train.” Fluttershy said. “Such a nice story. In the end, I mean.” She quickly added.
“Yes, nice.” Velvet muttered. “Anyway, after that he promised that he’d never, ever let her get harmed.” She rubbed her eyes. “And my little colt never breaks his promises.”
“Even right now, I think.” Fluttershy assured her. “I’m sure he’s protecting her.”
Time went on. The ponies lost themselves in the stories that Night Light and Twilight Velvet had to tell about their foals.
Even Celestia chipped in with a few embarrassing stories concerning Twilight and a filly-sized cookie jar.
A pair of Royal Guards approached the princess. “Princess Celestia.” They bowed. “We bring news. The Pegasus squads have returned.”
“Very well.” Celestia got up from her pillow and followed the pair. Before leaving she turned to the ponies in the throne room. “I hate to ask this of you but please, remain here for the time being.”
Most of the ponies just nodded.
Rainbow Dash on the other hoof groaned in annoyance.
“This sucks.” She said as princess Celestia closed the door behind her. “We shouldn’t be here, drinking tea and having a bucking slumber party!” She slammed her hoof into the pillow she was lying on, the force sending a few feathers flying. “We should be out there, looking for her!”
“I know we should.” Rarity said. “But that’s no reason to rush head first into this. We have no idea where they took Twilight, nor could we hope to stand against those things on our own.”
“I don’t care.” Rainbow Dash said. “She took our Sparkle and I don’t care how long I have to look but I swear that I will take her down!” She stood up and flared her wings in a display of anger and determination.
“Keep it down.” Fluttershy pleaded. “You’re upsetting Twilight’s parents.”
Rainbow Dash closed her wings again and shot them an apologetic look. "Sorry.” She added as she laid down again.
“Don’t be.” Night Light said.
“We’re happy.” Velvet said. “Happy that our little Twilight has such caring friends.”
“She’s a special one.” Pinkie muttered. The fact that Twilight was gone had hit her hard. It made her feel all gloomy. Her mane wasn’t as poofy as it should be. “We all love her so much.”
The door swung open again, revealing Applejack.
“Hey.” Applejack said. “Did we miss anything?” She asked as she came in. The Cutie Mark Crusaders came in after her.
“Not much.” Rarity said as Sweetie Belle ran over to her and hugged her. The little filly had had a rough day as well. “How’s your brother?” She looked at Applejack.
Applejack shook her head. “Still asleep. That gunk did something to him.” Worry was clear on her face. “The doc thinks that he’ll wake up sooner or later. Ah hope ya’ll don’t mind it but we want to be there when he does.”
Applebloom nodded furiously. “Ah don’t want to leave him all alone.” She said.
“Of course.” Rainbow Dash said. “No need to worry about us. We’ll keep you in the loop.”
“Thanks Dash.” Applejack said as she and her little sister walked back. “Our condolences, mister and misses Twilight.” She said to the Unicorn pair. “Ah’m sorry we’re leaving again so quickly.”
“You have nothing to be sorry for.” Night Light said. "Your brother needs you more than we do."
Applejack tipped her hat before closing the door behind them.
“Hey Rainbow Dash.” Scootaloo said. “Mind if I sit here?” She motioned towards an empty pillow next to Rainbow Dash.
“Hop on.” Rainbow Dash patted the pillow.
Scootaloo hurried over to her and jumped on the pillow. “I’m going to stay close to you, okay? You know, to protect you in case those things come back.” Scootaloo said nervously, though she tried to keep a confident look.
Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes, though a smile found its way onto her face anyway.
“Tell me everything you know.” Celestia ordered as she followed her guards into the dungeons beneath the castle.
“We found no trace of the real Changeling queen.” One guard said as they trotted slightly in front of Celestia. “We found several sets of strange hoofprints leading into the Wastelands. But they were faded in the ashes. We couldn’t follow them anymore.”
“We did capture several doubles of the queen.” The other guard said. “We now have thirteen Changelings in custody, including the ones that impersonated Captain Shining Armor and lady Twilight.”
“Better than nothing.” Celestia didn’t mean to be so negative. Her guards had done well. But not well enough to keep Starlight- Chrysalis from returning home with her prize.
Nopony had set hoof in there since… ever. She had thought the area to be as dead as the ash that covered it.
To think that there were actually creatures living there. It boggled her mind.
Luna however seemed to know of them. She’d need to ask her sister about them when she came back from the hospital.
“In here princess.” The guard pulled a key from his armor and unlocked the door.
Celestia followed them in.
And what she saw shocked her.
Eleven Changelings sat in a large cell.
They just sat there.
They didn’t move a muscle. They didn’t even acknowledge her coming in.
“I am Princess Celestia of Equestria.” She told them. “And I wish to know where your queen took my student.”
They didn’t budge.
“Answer me.” Celestia said calmly.
“They won’t.” One of the guards said. “We’ve been trying to get something out of them since they came here. It’s like they’re not really there.”
“The other two are more talkative.” The other guard said. “They’re in the next cell.”
Celestia walked to the next cell. In this one were two Changelings.
“My name is Princess Celestia.” Celestia said again. “And I wish to-”
“The pony has nothing to demand of us!” One of the Changelings yelled. “You hold no power over us!”
“That may be so.” Celestia said. “That’s why I am asking, not demanding.”
The two Changelings looked at each other, a look of confusion on their faces. “The pony’s tricks won’t work on us.” The other Changeling eventually said.
Celestia shivered involuntarily.
They looked the same, acted the same and almost talked the same as well. So unlike her precious little ponies.
“What are your names?” Celestia asked. She needed something to tell these two apart.
“Names?” The Changeling asked. “We do not have names. We have no need for them.”
“Fine then.” Celestia started to get annoyed. “I will name you…” She thought hard about it. The only thing that came to mind was an old rhyme that she had taught Cadance so long ago.
“I’ll call you Sunshine and you Ladybug.” She pointed at the left one and then at the right one. She assumed that the right one was female, as her voice was slightly higher in pitch.
The Changelings hissed. “The pony thinks she can name us, like we are common pets!” Ladybug snarled.
The other one, Sunshine, nodded. “No respect whatsoever.” He hissed.
“Why wouldn’t you want names?” Celestia asked. “They’re a way of identifying yourself in the crowd, a way to be an individual.” Celestia frowned as the Changelings just got angrier.
“We are not individuals!” The female Changeling shrieked. “We are one! We find your ‘individuality’ stupid and counterproductive.”
Celestia didn’t know what to say to that. These strange creatures were confusing her.
But she gathered up her thoughts and continued her interview.
“Who is this ‘we’ if I may ask?” She asked.
“The queen!” Sunshine said in awe. “We are her and she is us. We are all parts of a greater thing!”
“I see.” Celestia said. “Yet you seem to have independent thoughts. You can be offended. Why is that?”
“Remnants of time long gone.” The Changelings said as one. “We do not like it, it hurts. We all want it to go away!”
Celestia felt very uncomfortable right now. They looked so similar to her own little ponies but they acted so differently.
She had always encouraged her subjects to be who they wanted to be. To be different. To be happy.
The Changelings were only happy if they were one and the same apparently.
“What about your brothers and sisters in the next cell?” Celestia asked. “They haven’t moved since they arrived here. Are they sick?”
The Changelings laughed. “No pony, they are not sick. They are truly one.”
“Explain yourself, please?” Celestia needed as much information as she could get.
“Truly one, they are truly one with the queen!” Sunshine said with glee. “Without her, they are nothing! We are so jealous!”
“Envious.” Ladybug rubbed her hooves together in frustration. “So very envious.”
“You should be glad that you have some independence!” Celestia said, her voice betraying her frustration. “How can you make art, write stories, sing songs when everypony is the same?”
“We have no need for those things!” Sunshine yelled.
“Nor do we need names!” Ladybug added.
Celestia noted that their voices had changed. They even sounded the same right now!
The two captives looked at each other. Their wings spread out as they began to buzz around the room.
Celestia watched as they spun in circles, figure eights and pretty much every maneuver that they could perform in that cramped area.
They were moving so fast!
And then they just landed next to each other again. Celestia had no idea which one was Sunshine and which one was Ladybug. A wicked smile ran over their faces.
“Very funny.” Celestia sighed. The creatures were starting to grind her gears.
“And here I was, thinking that you of all ponies would appreciate a joke.” The Changeling on the right said.
“Huh?” Celestia looked up.
One of the Changelings was on her knees, bowing before the other one.
The upright one’s eyes had a green circle in them, with in the center a black dot. “I have assumed direct control.” The Changeling said in a familiar voice.
“Chrysalis? Is that you?” Celestia narrowed her eyes. “How are you here?”
“That’s Queen Chrysalis to you. I am speaking through one of my children. You really shouldn’t name them, I could feel their distress all the way over here.” Chrysalis said angrily.
“And where exactly are you?” Celestia asked.
“None of your beeswax.” Chrysalis said. “Do ponies still say that?”
“They haven’t since almost a thousand years ago.” Celestia said with a disgruntled tone. She had questions of her own.
“What have you done to my student?” Celestia asked politely, keeping on a straight face. In truth, she wanted to wrap her hooves around the queen’s neck and squeeze until she answered.
“Your student is fine.” Chrysalis said. “I am with her right now. She’s beautiful. Oh I wish you could see her Celestia.”
“I can, if you tell me where she is.” Celestia tried.
But Chrysalis just shook her head. “I am not telling you Celly.”
“Only Luna may call me that.” Celestia gritted her teeth.
“Oh? So I’ve lost that privilege then?” The Changeling transformed into a yellow Unicorn with a red mane. “You wound me Celly.”
“Stop assuming that form.” Celestia half demanded, half pleaded. “Please.”
“Well, if it makes you uncomfortable.” Chrysalis smirked. She made no attempt to change into something else.
Celestia sighed. “Is it really you?” She asked. “Starlight, I mean. Are you truly Starlight?”
“Once upon a time.” Chrysalis said, her tone heavy with sorrow and regret. “I mean, once upon a time in the magical land of Equestria.”
Celestia recognised that sentence. She had always fondly remembered it. “It’s still around.” Celestia said. “The book, I mean.”
“I know.” Chrysalis said. “Who do you think left a copy in her room?”
Celestia wanted to say something but was cut off by Chrysalis.
“She succeeded where we failed, didn’t she?” Chrysalis said. “To think that of all ponies, my daughter would become the element of Magic.”
“If she truly is your daughter, then where have you been all this time?” Celestia questioned.
“Watching. Waiting.” Chrysalis said. “It’s hard, seeing your daughter being raised by ponies you barely know.”
“What do you mean?” Celestia asked.
“The real Twilight Sparkle died when she was born.” Chrysalis said, her voice filled with sadness. “So I replaced Velvet’s stillborn foal with my nymph. Nopony ever noticed.”
Celestia felt sick to her stomach.
“Starlight, I will find my student.” Celestia said coolly.
She had had it with this. “She is very dear to me and her friends. I will stop at nothing until I have her safely in Canterlot with me.”
Chrysalis hissed at her.
“She is not yours!” She spat. “I’ve waited years for her to be brought home and I will not let you ruin it!”
“If I know my student, and I do, then she will probably return home on her own.” Celestia said smugly. “I am confident of it.”
“Bah, what makes her so special to you anyway?” Chrysalis said angrily. “You never came to find me, did you?”
“Starlight, I didn’t know!” Celestia said but her words fell on deaf ears.
The Changeling’s eyes had turned back to normal, signaling that Chrysalis had left.
Celestia turned to the two guards that she had come in with. “You will forget everything you’ve heard.” She said to them.
They just nodded. They did their job and they did it well.
Celestia turned to the Changelings again. The two chatterboxes had fallen silent. The other eleven were flying around in a mild panic for some reason.
“Keep them under close watch.” Celestia ordered. “And keep them alive, find out what they eat and give it to them.
“As you command, princess.” One of the guards said.
Celestia sighed as the door was locked behind her.
She had never expected that her niece’s wedding would turn out like this.
“How are you feeling sister?” Celestia looked up to see that Luna was waiting for her at the top of the stairs.
“Bad.” Celestia said as she climbed the stairway. “Useless even. You?”
“Worried.” Luna said, walking besides her sister through the hallway.
“About Twilight?” Celestia asked as they headed back to the throne room.
“Indeed. We are very fond of her.” Luna said, the events of Nightmare Night still fresh in her memory.
“How’s Cadance?” Celestia asked. Luna had taken her to the hospital while she handled her subjects.
Luna looked down. “Not good. She’s suffering from severe malnutrition and she has an infected ankle. She may be an Alicorn like us, but she is not as durable as us. The doctors say that she has a long way to go before she’ll truly recover.”
Celestia nodded. “Poor dear. I’ll go visit her first thing in the morning.”
Her heart was full of worry at the moment.
Worry for Twilight, worry for Cadance, worry for Shining Armor. And worry about what this new threat could mean for her ponies.
“Luna, what can you tell me about Changelings?” Celestia asked. She needed to know more about this threat.
“Not much I’m afraid.” Luna frowned. “They are a rather docile race living in the Wastelands. They are loyal to the death to their queen. They feed on emotions, feelings. They adore love.”
“Emotion?” Celestia asked. These Changelings were truly confusing her.
Luna nodded. “Happiness, sadness and everything in between. But love is their main food source.” Luna shrugged. “They are a peculiar species.”
“You mentioned a Queen Amethyst or something?” Celestia recalled.
“Ah yes, Ammy.” Luna smiled, fondly recalling a memory. “She was a friend of mine.”
“You were friends with a Changeling?” Celestia was a bit surprised. “How come I never met her?”
“We weren’t speaking to one another back then.” Luna reminded her. “And she rarely ventured into Equestria, I usually visited her in the Wastelands.”
Celestia stared at her. “Luna?” She tried to stay calm, but failed utterly.
“You know where they live?” Celestia was livid. “Why didn’t you tell the guards?!”
“Because we do not know!” Luna cried out, using the royal ‘we’ once more. “Ammy never told us! We met at the edges of our nations before venturing out into the Wastelands!”
Celestia sighed. “I’m sorry Luna. I shouldn’t have yelled at you.”
“We forgive you sister. You are worried.” Luna gave her sister a much needed hug.
After a few minutes Celestia broke the hug off. “We should go and tell Twilight’s parents and friends about what I’ve learned.” She said.
“Indeed, I too wish to know what you have learned.” Luna said.
The regal pair continued their walk.
“Luna?” Celestia asked as they trotted to the throne room.
“What is it sister?” Luna asked, stopping at the double doors.
“Should we retaliate?” Celestia blurted out. “Against the Changelings?”
Luna considered her answer carefully. She hadn’t thought about it yet.
“I mean, they assaulted Cadance, threatened Canterlot and kidnapped two of our precious subjects.” Celestia listed.
“Were we who we used to be, their lands would have been burning by now.” Luna said darkly, reverting to her old speech pattern. “We do not wish to be like that again.”
“Neither do I.” Celestia draped her wings over Luna as she hugged her.
“We could try that modern thing you so much enjoy.” Luna suggested.
“Diplomacy?” Celestia offered.
“That’s the one.” Luna sighed. “Let’s try that one.”
“Oh that’s just precious!” Rainbow Dash snickered. She and Scootaloo had moved and were now on either side of Twilight Velvet and looking at the family album.
“That’s on Twilight’s very first Nightmare Night.” Velvet held her hoof at the bottom of the picture.
It showed a disgruntled little filly dressed like Daring Do, wings and pith helmet included. It would have been a normal, cute picture if it weren’t for the fact that Daring Twilight was ten feet up a tree and clinging to a branch.
“Those firecolts were so nice.” Velvet pointed at the picture underneath, where Daring Twilight was sitting on the helmet of a burly brown stallion with a fire axe as a Cutie Mark.
“Ma’am, you do realize that I will make fun of Sparkle with this when we get her back, right?” Rainbow Dash informed her.
“I know, and I know she’ll forgive me for showing you this.” Velvet smiled weakly but genuinely. “Eventually, I hope.”
The doors swung open again. Everypony turned their heads towards the princesses.
“We bring news.” Luna said as she closed the door behind her sister.
“Though not much of it is good.” Celestia said grimly.
The walls were breaking!
And this time she was pretty sure that Pinkie had nothing to do with it.
Twilight struggled. Her sanctuary was disappearing quickly, the green ooze seeping away through the cracks in the shell.
She pushed against the wall as hard as she could, hoping to make it break away, so she could get out.
The walls gave way, splitting apart.
She was swept out of her cocoon in a torrent of green gunk. Her body hit the floor with a resounding smack.
She tried to crawl to her hooves, only to collapse again as her body twitched and spasmed. Moments later, she expelled the fluid that had gathered in her lungs.
Twilight took a deep breath and coughed sickly. Her second breath caused her to dry heave and her third breath was finally somewhat normal.
For the first time, in what felt like days to her, was she breathing in air again. Good, clean air! None of that green air-wannabe fluid.
A chill went down her spine. She felt cold. Her body was soaked to the bone and the cold dusty floor didn’t help either.
First things first, she needed to find out where she was.
She also needed to clear her mind and figure out what had happened to her.
The last thing she remembered, before the warmth and the goo, was getting tucked into bed by Cadance.
And then nothing.
“C-Cadance.” She croaked, the last drops of green fluid leaving her lungs as she spat them out.
She got up. Her legs felt weird. Very light all of a sudden for some reason. Unstable too.
She fluttered her wings in an attempt to balance herself.
Twilight craned her head to look at her back.
Two blue wings fluttered on her back.
Twilight took another deep breath.
And she screamed.
“I see that you have awoken.” A familiar voice spoke as the door opened up.
Chrysalis walked into the room. “How are you feeling?” She asked, concern clear in her voice.
“I-I have wings, I’m hurting all over.” She muttered. “Who are you?” Twilight rattled as her mind tried to process everything that was happening right now.
“You have wings, yes.” The queen said. “The pain will stop sooner or later. As for who I am?” Chrysalis showed Twilight an honest smile.
“I am your mother.” Chrysalis said.
Twilight stared at her.
“No, no, no, you must be mistaken.” She panicked. “I have a mom and a dad already. We live in a house in Canterlot and we’re very happy there and-”
“They are not your birth parents.” Chrysalis interrupted her. “Think of them as your foster parents, keeping you safe and fed until you could return home.”
“Home? No, Canterlot is my home. I mean Ponyville, Ponyville is my home.” Twilight stammered. Her mind was all over the place.
“I know this is hard to accept.” Chrysalis stepped closer to her and laid a holeriddled hoof on her cheek. “And I don’t expect you to accept me right away. But it’s the truth. I am your real mother. And I love you very, very much.”
“If you’re my real mother, then why did you leave me?” Twilight scrambled away from the touch.
“Because I couldn’t feed you.” Chrysalis said, though she made no attempt to touch Twilight again. “You would have starved.”
“What do you mean? What are you anyway?” Twilight took a moment to take in Chrysalis’s form. It was hideous, yet beautiful in its own way.
Chrysalis smiled again, though this time she made no effort to hide her fangs.
“We are Changelings.” She said. “A race descendent of ponies that live off of emotion and feelings. Especially love.” Chrysalis informed her.
“And I couldn’t feed you my love without starving the rest of the hive.” The queen explained. “A Changeling princess needs more love than one parent can give. So I swapped you with some other foal. Your foster parents never knew the difference.”
Twilight’s eyes widened. “What? How? How could you do such a thing?” She took a step back, away from the queen.
“I did it for you!” Chrysalis nearly screamed. “So that you could live! Do you know how it feels? To see your child being raised by others?”
She reached for Twilight again. “Eighteen years! Eighteen years I had to watch from the sidelines as those ponies shared in every milestone in your life. Your first word, your first day at school. Everything!”
Chrysalis felt tears forming in her eyes. She lifted a hoof to wipe them away. “I haven’t cried in nine hundred years.” She said.
Twilight wanted to reach out to her. She sensed no deception or lie in the queen’s voice. She actually felt the love she had for her.
It confused her greatly.
“I-I-I, I don’t know what to think of this.” Twilight stammered. “I’m sorry!”
The once purple mare slipped past the Changeling queen and into the hive, desperate to get away.
“Wait!” Chrysalis cursed as she let her daughter pass her by. “Come back! Amaryllis!”
“So let me get this straight.” Rainbow Dash said. “Our Sparkle isn’t actually Twilight Sparkle? Instead she’s some kind of pony from way beyond Equestria?”
“It would seem so.” Celestia frowned. “I am so sorry Velvet, Night Light. But you needed to know this.”
Night Light and Velvet looked at each other.
“It’s okay princess.” Night Light eventually said. “We’ve always known.”
Am I doing it right?