Chapter Ten: Relaxation/ The Hive Mind
It took a while for Shadow and Nebula to come back, but when they finally did Flurry was more than ready and willing to welcome them back. “Well, that took you long enough, what were you two talking about anyways?” she asked.
“Oh, you know, just stuff, catching our lives up, you know, the usual,” Shadow said with a smile walking up to Flurry and taking her hoof in his own.
Nebula seemed very flustered by this and blushed a little bit, “Oh my!”
“Uh, Nebula, is something wrong?” Flurry asked tilting her head sideways at her.
“No! Nothing’s wrong, I just didn't know that you two were a thing, that’s all.”
“What? No! We’re not a thing, sure we like each other but that’s it!”
“If you say so, but try telling that to all your hoof holding,” Nebula said.
They blushed a lot and awkwardly let go and blushed a lot while Nebula giggled at them, “I don't mind, I think you two would make a very lovely and cute couple! And you also have an excellent ship name too Flurry-Shadow or Shadow-Heart or Flurry-Moon!” she said with a huge smile as she rolled around on the floor.
“No! I refuse to be shipped!” Flurry said almost shouting.
“Well it’s not like you can stop anypony from shipping you darling, it’s completely out of control, I mean have you seen how many shipping stories there are? It’s crazy!” Nebula said still giggling and rolling around the floor like crazy.
“Nebula! I demand you calm yourself down right now!” Shadow said.
“Sorry brother,” she said standing up and stopping her fit of laughter.
“Sorry for my sister, she can get a bit over the top at times,” Shadow said.
“I understand, but I wouldn't know since I don't have any siblings.”
“Well they’re a bit rough to handle and tough around the edges and you have to love them no matter what happens because that’s a long-standing rule and tradition in our culture, family first and then my country,” he said.
“Well it’s nice to know where your loyalties lie in, but if we’re done here maybe we can go around and explore town a bit?” Flurry asked with a smile on her face.
“I suppose so, but if you wait a bit longer I think Twilight will be back from her trip,” Nebula said as a door opened up from below.
“Nebula! I’m back! Did you do what I asked while I was gone?”
“Well, what do you know, she’s back early this time,” Nebula said with a smile rushing downstairs as the two of them followed her.
Once they got downstairs Twilight gasped once she saw Flurry, but then they hugged and did a very old and long-standing tradition of the family.
“Sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake, clap your hooves and do a little shake!”
They giggled and grinned and finished up their little dance thing and Twilight sighed relieved, “Flurry Heart, it’s been ages! It’s so nice to finally see you again! Where have you been? You’ve grown up so much! Did your mother finally let you go out of the castle? Who is your friend here, what have you been up to?”
“Easy there, Twilight! You don't need to gush over every single little detail!” Flurry said gently pushing her away, “But if you must know I have been around a few places outside the castle, even had a changeling attack on a train ride here. And no, my mother did not allow me to leave the castle so technically I am here without her permission, and if you tell her I will be eternally upset with you.”
“I wouldn't worry about that too much, you’re safe with me. But is your friend here the brother you always speak about so fondly Nebula?”
“Yes, it is, and apparently he has a…”
“A loving sister! Gosh I would have come a lot sooner if I knew what you said about me sis!” Shadow said putting a hoof to Nebula’s mouth stopping whatever she was going to say and she vainly tried to speak in a muffled voice.
“What was that sister? I can't hear you, try to speak up please.”
“Shadow, don't be cruel to you sister, you can let her speak up,” Twilight said.
“I don't think so, but anyhow how have you been princess?”
“Just fine, everything has been perfect in Ponyville and because of me and my friends its tourism levels have slowly gone up over the years!” she said as Nebula forcefully bit down on Shadow making him yelp and hold his hoof for relief.
“And Shadow apparently has a crush on Flurry!” she finished up saying.
Twilight blinked with surprise and shock, “Oh, what, really?” she said. Shadow slapped himself on the face as Nebula giggled a little bit more.
“Yes, maybe I do have a crush on her but that is none of your concern sister!”
“Oh, but it is, after all, I have to have something to tease you about!”
“I hate you so much right now,” he growled angrily at her.
“I know! But I technically hate you more,” she said
“That’s enough fighting from the two of you,” Twilight said.
“Alright, fine then, we’ll finish this later little sis!” he said.
“I couldn't agree anymore on that!” she said still smiling.
“Okay, now that is over with want to elaborate on your trip Flurry?”
“Sure, I explored Canterlot before here and apparently there is a spy somewhere too but nopony knows who yet, and Shadow has been here with me for a few months now at almost every step of the way and I would trust him with my life.”
“Wow, that is sure a lot, but if you trust him then I guess I can too, welcome to my castle Shadow, I hope you enjoy your stay here, and feel free to look around, and if you do get lost just keep taking right turns until you get somewhere.”
“Thanks princess, but do you think it possible for me to meet your other friends?”
“Yes, I’m sure that we can arrange something for you,” Twilight said with a smile folding her wings in, “Anyhow I'll be around if you need me, or if you just want to talk feel free to do so, I love talking and making new friends!”
“Yeah, great, but I was wondering if I could check out these books,” Flurry said showing Twilight her bag as she raised up her eyes in shock and surprise.
“Are you sure? This isn't exactly subject material for a little filly…”
“Well as you can see I am not a little filly anymore, can I check them out or not?”
“I suppose so, after all they are enchanted for many various random safety reasons, the books can't be destroyed so I trust you with them, just please make sure to return them very soon, after all, they are one of a kind.”
“Yeah, I can see that, but where is Spike?” Flurry asked.
“Oh, he’s right behind me, but lately he’s been spending more time with Rarity.”
“What’s the situation on the two of them anyways?” Flurry asked.
“Well, she knows about his crush now so I would say it is well,” Twilight said.
“Hey Twilight, I’m back!” a loud voice shouted up as a door slammed behind them and a very tall muscular dragon soon entered the library with a huge smile on his face as Flurry gasped with shock and surprise at seeing him again.
“Spike! You’ve grown up! I can still remember when you were just a little dragon that was barely bigger than I was! And I still can't believe you have wings!”
“Me neither, it’s really helped me get around a lot, but I am still technically just a baby in dragon years, but that doesn't mean I can't do other various random pony activities, but yeah, I’ve missed you too Flurry, I hope things have been well for you, they certainly are for me not to brag or anything,” he said.
“Well things have not been so well for me ever since my father died,” she said.
“I’m sorry to hear that, but your friends will always be here for you.”
“I know Spike, I know, I just wish that my mother was here for me.”
“She is, just not in the way you want,” Twilight said.
“You can say that again,” Flurry said.
“Yeah, well have fun and stay safe and I will arrange a meeting with my friends,” Twilight said with a smile as she trotted off and away into the castle as Spike followed her. Flurry went over to Nebula and had an idea of what to do for the rest of the day and a smile slowly crept upon her face as well.
“Hey Nebula, is there a spa in town?” she asked.
“Yes, there is, did you want to go over there and relax?”
“Yes, I would love to, maybe I need some girl time if you know what I mean.”
“Absolutely, we can go right now if you want since I’m free for the rest of the day,” Nebula said smiling at her holding a hoof out for her.
“I would love that,” Flurry said smiling back at her and taking her hoof.
“Spas, ugh, well you girls have fun, I’m going to do my own thing.”
“Alright, you do that,” they said walking out the door as they went to the local spa and had some of the best treatment given to them. “Ah, this feels so good, wonderful and incredible and amazing, it’s simply splendid,” Flurry said.
“I agree, they really do know their thing here and they don't try to profit from any famous ponies that visit here and they do their best to make everypony happy no matter what you might look like unlike some other rich pony places.”
“Yeah, tell me about it, I went to the Canterlot spa and they advertised that I was there by the next day, I don't think I'll be visiting that place again anytime soon.”
“Well that was a big city and they have to be fast, here you can just sit back and relax and take the beauty of nature in, but with our town celebrities things have been a bit more exciting than usual and tourism makes profits go up for all.”
“That’s nice to hear, but do you mind if I ask you a personal question?”
“Sure, go ahead, I don't mind,” Nebula said.
“Okay, what are your parents like?” Flurry asked.
“Sweet, kind, supporting, they always gave me what I needed in life including confidence, they helped me with magic and I didn't get everything that I wanted, but I always had what I needed, and my brother was always the crazy odd random one in the family, he’s sort of like our uncle a bit,” she said.
“That’s nice to hear, that sounds a lot better than my own family,” Flurry said.
“Yeah, I’m sorry for your loss, I wish I could make it easier for you.”
“Trust me, you being here is more than enough for me right now, thank you.”
“No, thank you for talking with me and being my friend,” Nebula said.
“Hey, I would do that for anypony who really needed it,” Flurry said.
“That sounds so sweet and nice, is there a single flaw in you princess?”
“I’m sure you could find a few if we had time, but what is your special talent?”
“Dreams and helping other ponies out, and the nighttime stars too.”
“That sounds very vague, but I accept it, I just wish I had a cutie mark.”
“I’m sure that yours will come when the time is right, it always does.”
“But I am almost a fully-grown mare and still no cutie mark! What do you think that says about me to other ponies? I felt terrible for such a long time. They never openly called me by their harsh names, but I still knew what they said.”
“That sounds horrible, but at least you’re not being called names anymore, right?” Nebula asked with a smile as they were roughly patted down.
“Yes, but that still doesn't change the past, and I wish I could,” Flurry said.
“If everypony got their wishes then life would be empty,” Nebula said.
“Fair point, thanks for the talk Nebula,” Flurry said.
“You’re welcome, I’m here for you anytime that you need it,” she said.
“Same thing right back at you Nebula,” Flurry said with a smile.
And with that said they spent most of the time in the spa in silence and then they went back to the castle and because it was late they decided to turn it in the night and long after they had fallen asleep (despite Flurry’s worry for Shadow) there was a whisper inside and Shadow crept inside into his bed and fell asleep.
His entry was unnoticed and not heard by any, and all were clueless to where he had been, but somewhere else darkness was brewing and revenge was being plotted, after all, when good ponies sleep the terrors of night wake up to talk.
A shadow slowly approached the changeling hive on the edge of Ponyville and smiled, “The mission goes well as ever and I am still undetected, soon we can enact our plan for Flurry Heart and nopony will be the wiser for it.”
“Excellent, but we still must be careful and execute it without a flaw.”
“It shall be done, I cannot wait for the day of glory for the queen.”
“That is the same with all, may the night be with you to guide your way.”
“I need not the night to guide my way, but thank you for your concern.”
“As always, you may go now, you have done well,”
“Thank you general, I will see you again soon enough, goodbye.”
And with that said the shadow left and the general smiled, everything was going according to plan, no unexpected hitches or flaws, at this rate Chrysalis would finally have her perfect day, and the changelings would be able to feed on love forever, and then the age of changelings could finally begin, and once that happened everypony would forever remember it as the greatest thing to happen ever, or at the very least the changelings would, after all, what were they more to the ponies than just faceless and mindless drones and monsters?
Well they were more than that, but if they didn't change their minds then the changelings would give them exactly what they expected, a monster. , where��'��?