Fists of the Evening Star

by Vermillion Prose

1 - Aggressive Diplomacy

Magic flowed in a great storm of battle, the army of Queen Chrysalis relentless in their pursuit of subjugating those loyal to King Thorax. Only the few hardened changelings who served with Pharynx as the hive guard held the line. They retreated steadily into a crevasse, clearly trying to narrow the field and reduce how many of her new brood could attack at once. Yet so too did the tightening spaces slow their withdrawal, leaving them less and less room to breathe, the noose of her forces closing on them.

Chrysalis’s cackling echoed across the battlefield as she tasted imminent victory. She watched her brood, raised for this one purpose, overwhelm the rebellious hive of her errant children, and reached out with her senses to savor the despair of the wretches as she triumphed at last.

She was disappointed and confused when she sensed anxiety, and desperation, but no crushing fear or dying hope. No, hope burned brightly. Painfully brightly. Wait…

Chrysalis buzzed back from where she had been standing on blurring wings, snarling as a heavy weight slammed to the ground and began casually swatting away her guards, a crimson giant with glowing emerald lenses for eyes. Then she noticed the emblem on its pauldron, a stylized white sun circle surrounding a very familiar mark, the six pointed pink star of one Princess of Friendship.

She screeched curses and oaths that sent the few meek amongst her horde skittering aside as she loosed a torrent of sickly emerald magic at the armored interloper. A raised gauntlet was the only sign of activity before the beam struck an invisible wall, a kine shield breaking the magic into a spray of stray bolts and fitful sparks. The enraged queen fired more in quick succession, each splashing against the psychic defense as the warrior advanced. She smiled even as she began to exhaust her reserves of energy, her elite warriors circling in from behind.

Her smug satisfaction evaporated as surely as her elites in a haze of prometheum fire as another damnable armored biped dropped into their midst. This one wore armor of verdant green, motifs of flame etched into surfaces of the plate. A resonant, bombastic voice chanted litanies of battle as it roasted her chosen. She screamed and cried, channeling all of her magic for one final, pitiless burst.

The crimson warrior closed faster than she believed a figure so large possibly could, clamping her horn in an iron grip and bringing her forcefully to the ground. When his strange, hooklike sword went to her neck, his intent was clear. The battle settled into a tense stillness as the viridian warrior regrouped with the crimson.

The red armored giant spoke in a voice that echoed through her head and boomed from vox amplifiers.

“I am Hesperos, and he Te’kan, emissaries of Princess Twilight Sparkle. Surrender, or perish.”

So much for reconquering the hive.