Fluttershy smiled serenely at the young filly with a mint green coat, gold eyes and a pink mane and tail “arise, little ones, and tell me your wish.”
The other filly, orange with purple hair and blue eyes was the first to obey “we... merely wished to thank you, your majesty.”
“Oh, it was nothing, really” the mare giggled, trying to convey the motherly aura that situations such as these required.
She could’ve sworn she saw a small cloud of green powder rise from one of the twos hooves as they merrily trotted out of the room.
“Must just have been some dust.”
Twilight was striding through the palace at a steady gait, book suspended in front of her expertly positioned to keep the floor in clear view-when she heard a muffled sound.
She halted, last hoof step echoing down the hall ominously as she pricked her ears up searchingly, raising her head to scan the nearest doorways for activity.
The faint sound of something heavy getting slowly dragged across a polished wooden surface fluttered past her ears from four doors down.
Twilight frowned and spread her wings, feeling slightly disappointed that she hadn’t gotten owl like wings instead; as they would have been far easier to eavesdrop with.
She resolved to just put some silencing spells on her feathers as she half glided half floated over to the door and flapped in place.
With an ear pressed to the door, she heard the thing being dragged suddenly get cut off with the sound of rustling paper and- the sound of a book hitting the ground ricocheted through her skull.
A high pitched curse reached her soon after, and she could just hear someone whisper “you idiot, what if someone catches us, we have to get this to the queen!”
Twilights ears pricked forward, which queen?
“Yeah, yeah, ‘we need the book to reverse this accident and ensure it doesn’t happen again’ as she puts it,” another high pitched voice grumbled “I just don’t understand why she didn’t take this book as well, or was she really so arrogant to think that there wouldn’t be consequences for messing with transformation?”
Twilights ears shot up, taught as bow strings, and she released an alarmed snort, which was unfortunately heard by the two thieves.
“Shade of the mountains! Sound the alarm, execute command T4k30v3r” one of the voices cried, and the other released a barely audible combination of magic and sound that vibrated the very walls around Sparkle.
The purple unicorn kicked open the door with a snarl, coming face to face with two fillies who both looked to be half disintegrating at this point, revealing hole ridden charcoal black chitin.
“Changelings!” She spat.
Nectar of the soul.
And she was the bee that collected that nectar to make honey.
Honey to feed to her subjects.
Her poor, helpless, innocent, USELESS subjects.
Her useless, victimised, loveless, soulless subjects.
Her poor subjects who couldn’t feel anything anymore, who she made feel nothing anymore.
If they had felt anything more they would’ve devoured each other, so she took that option away.
A sharp ping of magic shot passed her and she snarled from where she stood pretending to be a maid; soon dropping the disguise and sinking her fangs into the nearest ponies throat, fiery mane singeing the stallions snout.
The battle was far earlier than she would have liked, but there was no time to dawdle, only an Alicorn could ‘kill’ an Alicorn after all.
Utter chaos and death had broken out in the kingdom.
Streets getting swarmed by millions of black beetle like ponies hissing and screeching.
Rainbow Dash had cornered a few of them in an ally way when another group dropped in, pinning her to the ground and breaking her wings with sickening cracks.
The mares scream could be heard far and wide, before she began squirming furiously underneath the heap of scuttling bodies.
Glowing soulless blue eyes streaked around her from every direction and she began to hear them snapping off barely audible words at her in between biting at her and re-breaking her wings every time they began healing.
She released a snort and wiggled again before the bugs began shifting into a multitude of copies of herself; all smirking quite viciously.
“You’re USELESS””so LAZY””What? Lonely little brat gonna cry?””such an egocentric wimp!””doesn’t deserve fans””mocks her friends””nothing but a BULLY””WEAKLING””DEAF””IDIOT DOESN’T DESERVE TO BE ABLE TO PREFORM A RAINBOOM!”
The multitude of voices that sounded just like her... the pain over her whole body... She gritted her teeth and continued to struggle.
Applejack and Rarity cantered through the castle at full tilt, firing spells at every enemy they could find as they made their way to the throne room.
“Why did this have to happen just as I was planning to leave for a new land?” Rarity bemoaned between attacks.
AJ didn’t have time to answer as she tackled yet another bug pony and shook one loose from a wing.
She heard a scream, causing her to stop short and look around.
Spotting fluttershy being dog piled down a side hall, she flew towards her “hang on, Sugarcube!”
“Appleja-!” Rarity cried in confusion before getting tackled by a particularly big swarm; and since none of the new queens were very good at combat, she gave out fairly easily.
Said orange pony had reached the mass of buzzing critters and was about to stamp down on them when the fluttershy she’d seen burst out of it and smiled wickedly at her; inevitably turning back into a changeling and dragging her into the throng.
Pinkie and her parents, who had just been having an innocent lunch together, where now under attack from millions of changelings.
She didn’t know how they’d gotten there, she didn’t know why they were there, she didn’t even know how they’d infiltrated so well.
But she did know one thing.
She wasn’t going to let them ruin her day!
Her mane and tail flared up in response to her anger, ears pressed back in fury; she pounced.
As was fitting, a storm had rolled in and now hung heavily over the kingdom, burning buildings adding a terrible smog on top of all this mess.
Screams and wails rung out through the murky shadows that had engulfed the streets below Twilight as she glided far above, fur standing on end due to the close proximity to the storm clouds.
The winds were rough, causing her to sway and wobble through her flight path; the occasional beat of her wings only throwing her off even more.
“Girls? Girls?! Applejack! Rarity! Pinkie Pie! Fluttershy?... Rainbow Dash?!” She desperately called down to the throngs of chaos.
She never got a response.
A ringing cackle of laughter, like glass being dragged across concrete, pierced her ears and she spun around-
“F-... Fire Steam?...,” Twilight started in defeat “heh... hehehahaha... I should’ve known it was you.”
The black Alicorn with holes riddling her legs and wings that glittered translucent in the fire light of her still burning hair, smirked.
“Like a Phoenix born from the ashes, I have risen stronger than I ever was before! I shall rule the ponies and we shall become the most feared species in the world! Yes, the changelings shall conquer all!” She ranted, sick grin full of fangs and saliva flashing in the darkness.
“No! You’re sick! You’re so very sick! This isn’t the way!” Twilight wailed.
“There is no other way! I have already rid the world of your parents, and I intend to do the same to you and your sisters!,” her crooked horn glowed a sickening acid green “and NO ONE will get in my way!”
Fluttershy was surrounded by the fake versions her sisters, and they were teasing her.
“Aww, little chicken gonna cry? Run along to your parents now, oh wait, the queen already KILLED THEM! I guess you gotta die too if you wanna see them again, then! HAHAHAHAHA!” A Pinkie Pie sneered.
“Hey, guess what?” Another started, before turning into one of the two fillies Fluttershy had saved “we were LYING!”
A Twilight clone stomped down on one of Fluttershys wings with a crack “cry chicken! Cry like the little hatchling you are!”
The yellow Alicorn was now very much blind with terror.
“That’s ENOUGH!” Twilight bellowed, and then-with a crack of purple magic-silence reigned.
And the sky broke, rain pelting down like tiny rocks.
Rainbow Dash wheezed, puffing air out her nostrils like a steam engine as her eyes darted around in a frenzy, ears stiff and twitching with a clamped-down tail.
She staggered back, snorting as a purple figure-Twilight-landed in front of her and carefully manoeuvred around the dead insects to carefully approach her.
Twilight winced and held out a tentative hoof; to which the blue Alicorn squealed at, tail switching hard and fast and ears beginning to fold back.
“Dash, please snap out of it, this is me, I’m Twilight. The others have already fled and you’re the only one I’ve found. Oh please calm down?” The purple mare inched forward.
Rainbow stomped her front hooves down and flared her wings, roaring like only an equine could as she reared back up.
Ears pressed back completely flat and tail flicking angrily, Dash stomped at the other mare.
Pain roiled through Twilights skull, and she fell under her sisters hooves; muzzle being slammed into the blood soaked earth as the blue Alicorn used her as a launch pad to shoot into the sky... and then keep going up.