Sigma is an Australian artist who also writes things.
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My name is Princess Mi Amore Cadenza. I am married to Shining Armour of the Royal Guard, and niece of Princess Celestia and Luna.
If I am dead, pass on this information to any of the three mentioned above.
This is a tale of war and horror, but one of the peace and love that ended it.
The story begins in Canterlot...
"Aunt!" Cadence's voice echoed down the halls, though with no reply. "Celestia!"
A few seconds passed. "Aunt Celestia!"
"OI!" The sound reverberated off stained glass and stone, but still no reply. She let out a heavy sigh. She slowly turned, muttering under her breath, and all of a sudden a huge white form stood in front of her.
She bounced back with a shriek, followed by Celestia's hearty chuckle.
"Damnit, Aunt, don't scare me like that!"
"Sorry, couldn't help it." She replied with a grin.
Cadence managed to catch her breath. "So, you wanted to see me?"
"I did indeed." Celestia made her way down the hall. "Something I can't deal with has turned up recently."
Cadence, who had until then followed, froze on the spot. Something Celestia can't handle?
"You're wondering what I couldn't handle that you can."
Is she telepathi-
"And no," She said with a smile. "I'm not a telepath." Her expression dropped. "My protégé and your sister-in-law, Twilight Sparkle. Have you or Shining heard from her recently?"
Cadence thought back. "No, it's been months."
"Same with her friendship letters. So far, I've only gotten notes from Spike within the last month."
"So, you want me to go and check on her?"
"Yes, I do." She lifted a bunch of letters from somewhere, and held them up for Cadence. "Here are the last five letters from Twilight."
Cadence scanned the letters, looking for... something.
Today, I learnt how some friends are not as they always seem. Some may appear to be your friends, but in actuality they are little more than lying scumbags that only befriended you for some physical wealth that you could provide. Now, this would normally be less of an issue, except that one of my closest friends has betrayed my trust. I look forward to your opinion.
Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle
Dear Princess Celestia,
I cannot believe that my so-called-friend has started a club, or a 'clan' as she so crudely put it, to denounce faith to you and your sister. Doesn't she realise that you raise the sun that warms her lazy flank when she's too busy resting to help any pony in town? I look forward to your thoughts.
Your faithful the 'faithful' was highlighted strongly student, Twilight Sparkle.
Dear Princess Celestia,
It amazes me that so many ponies have rallied to this Clan's warcries. In retaliation, I have set up my own, far better organised faction to keep your Word in good honour.
Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle.
Our Princess Celestia,
The Spectrum Clan is getting restless. I cannot keep preaching without full hostilities breaking out within town. I need your guidance.
Yours faithfully, Twilight Sparkle.
Our Goddesses Celestia and Luna,
Why are we born with only one part of your majestic forms? The unicorns have gained magic, the pegasi flight, and the earth ponies nature. I cannot find an answer from any of my texts, so I have decided to research Your Blessed Subjects to find out why.
In other news, one of the Orders has broken off the main group. I am unaware of their location or choice of action at this moment.
My faithful assistant, Spike, has grown weary of my actions, and feels it necessary to leave. But what he fails to realise is that I cannot communicate with You without him.
I'll bring you news as it occurs.
With faith and purity, Twilight Sparkle.
"That's all I've received from her, the last one three months ago." Celestia folded the letters back. "I need you to find out what's happened, and stop it if possible."
"Why can't you?" Cadence had the cryptic messages burned into her mind, and couldn't dispel them when she shook her head.
"I'm far too busy, unfortunately. Paperwork." She sighed. "Besides, if I turned up, things might go awkwardly."
"Why can't you divide the paperwork between you and Luna?"
"I already have."
Cadence's hopes dropped. "Oh... W-what about Shining?"
"If I send the Guard in, then that would mean that Ponyville is effectively gone and I'm mopping up the debris." She looked down to the cold floor. "And Shining is Twilight's brother."
Cadence opened her mouth to say something about her being Twilight's sister-in-law, but decided against it. "Ok, I'll do it."
"Excellent." Celestia smiled, and pulled out a small blue book from the saddlebag that Cadence just noticed. "Here, keep a journal on the event. We need first-hand evidence for history, if it is so important."
Cadence looked at the cover. On the front was the shape of a scroll and quill etched into the board, likely the makers of the book. "Thanks."
"Now, you'd better get ready. You'll get a lift to Ponyville; I've made sure of that."
Cadence smiled and wrapped her hooves around the giant mare. "Thanks a bunch, Aunty."
"So, Celestia's sending you to Ponyville to check up on my sis?"
Cadence looked down, not at all interested in the landing port's marble floor. "Yeah... She said that you'd make things too awkward, with you being in the Guard and all."
Shining smiled, which brightened Cadence's spirit. "Don't sweat it, Mi Amore. It's probably not as bad as I think it is."
Cadence's mind flashed back to a few months ago to now. She had heard rumours that Ponyville had stopped contacting Canterlot and Cloudsdale recently, but dismissed it. Until Twilight stopped sending letters via mail to her brother. But... it probably wasn't that bad.
"Anyway, you'd best be going." Shining said, almost remorseful.
Cadence grabbed her husband of three years and drew him close. "Not before saying farewell."
She kissed him gently, before pulling back slowly.
"I'll be back, honey."
A loud cough startled them both. Cadence turned to her chariot drivers, one of which was looking at her. "I'm sorry, Princess, but we have to go now."
Cadence looked back to her husband, who nodded to the cart. She gave him one final squeeze before stepping on the wooden board.
Shining smiled and waved as she left the port, growing smaller in her eyes. When he was no longer in sight, she turned to the front of the chariot and watched the clouds roll by. A lone pegasus passed by, giving a short wave before heading the other way, and she swore she could make out the shifting form of two pegasi obscured by cloud, but otherwise the trip was uneventful.
Within an hour, Ponyville came to view. It seemed... different from when she had turned up for their honeymoon. It could've been the light or her memory failing, she thought.
All of a sudden the sky around her broke out into sounds of incendiary lightning, and one of the pilot's wings spattered a red fluid behind him, fortunately missing Cadence. The other pilot looked around furiously, and Cadence caught a blue pegasus ducking behind a cloud.
"Damnit!" The wounded pilot said, still flying fine despite a bleeding wing. "Where did these bandits come from?!"
"There's one there!" Cadence yelled and pointed to the cloud from before.
The wounded pilot broke out of the chariot and kicked something on his side. Two long, thick poles stuck out from a complex mechanism, and then flashed with a thunderous noise. The cloud that she had pointed to fractured, one part slowly turning red with a shrill cry.
"What the hell did you just do?!" Cadence yelled over the high winds.
"I shot a bandit, nothing that major!"
Without any warning, a hail of fire rained on the wounded pegasus, causing him to convulse before falling from the sky, red streaks trailing behind him. Cadence turned away, horrified.
She turned back just to see a splatter of red pass through the other pilot's head, and the chariot started falling. Fast.
She unfurled her wings and grabbed the wind, lurching off the tumbling skycart. She felt both relieved to be away from danger, and sick from the whole ordeal.
A burst of noise hit just before a searing pain hit her wing, causing her to lose altitude and yelp.
"Go back to your palace, freak!" One of the pegasi, a stallion, yelled out.
Freak? Freak?! A surge of adrenalin hit the alicorn. She leapt out with her mind, grabbing the nearest heavy object and flung it straight for the accuser. Before he could dodge, the chariot smashed into him, followed by a horrible cracking noise.
"Nopony calls me a freak!" She smashed it into another pegasus, then another. Both were sent hurtling to the ground, small trails of red arching behind them.
Then her adrenalin dropped. She lost all magic focus, and started falling. She felt very light-headed, and lost consciousness before she could feel the ground.
I had fought before, mostly mock battles with Shining, but I had never been wounded that badly.
Nor had I been insulted about my boon of both wings and magic for many years.
Nor had I experienced death around me. The Changeling Queen was nothing compared to these normal ponies in terms of sheer horrible, cruel nature.
But this is only the beginning of the story, and there is so much more to tell.