The four adult ponies turned faunus trotted up the cliffside… The school, Beacon, was in the distance… By this time it was late noon. The sun was in the sky, moving rather oddly compared to what Twilight was used to. She was never able to get a good look at it back in Mantle, but she knew something odd was going on with the sun, it moved in a perfectly smooth arc, never going any faster nor slower, rather than the rapid sunsets and sunrises Equestria experience… Weirder still, sometimes the moon, that ghastly shattered thing, was in the sky while the sun was still up…
As they walked up to the cliff, they saw someone marching down to greet them… A tall, presumably human, stallion, with a silver mane and the bland skin that the ponies had come to expect from these creatures. He held a mug of something, and took occasional sips, walking down with a cane from which Twilight felt a slight arcane pressure.
“Interesting,” The man said as he saw them, “I heard that four adults were walking up the cliffside passage, even most students don’t take this route… What’s you’re business here?” He asked, almost like he already knew the answer… His eyes scanned the ponies’ wings and horns, particularly twilight, who had both a horn, wings, and tail, an oddity among faunus… Something that had certainly drawn attention from other people before, but not the same level of intrigue this man was showing.
“Hello, good sir, I am miss Rarity Belle, and these are my friends-” Rarity said, before listing off the different ponies, the man smiled, and stared a little harder at Twilight as her cloak ever so faintly shimmered.
“I presume you are related to those four students that appeared here around a month and a half ago?”
“Yes, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo Allgood, Diamon-”
“Scoots is here!” Rainbow almost screeched, jumping into the air on her wings and hovering, ready to bolt toward the school, were she not stopped by a telekinetic field that suddenly engulfed her.
“Rainbow!” Twilight said in a harsh tone, “Do not make another mess for ourselves, let’s talk to this man first…”
“That winged friend of yours is certainly brash… I am professor Ozpin, I am Beacon’s headmaster…”
“A pleasure to meet you… May we enter this fine establishment of yours to see our family?” Rarity continued.
“Certainly, but I have a few questions I’d like to ask you first, regarding you and your family… Accompany me to my office…”
“Alright, everyone remembers their roles?” Cinder’s voice was as calm as ever, but a deadly seriousness painted her words, there was to be no failure… The room was cast in crimson light as the sun set on the horizon, and painted Vale in the colours of the rapidly approaching autumn… It was the last day of summer, and fall was quite literally on the horizon. Cozy Glow nodded… Sure she wasn’t doing this for Cinder, she really didn’t trust her, but she was the route to getting the power that the pegasus deserved, one way or the other… She would just need to play along for now.
The workshop classes were a big help, even if she couldn’t bring a weapon to them other than her white fang pistol, something that Cinder had told her to keep hidden from the other students, but with some help from the quiet Neo, and a little of bit of asking around the school, Cozy Glow now had an intricate little device on her wrist… At first glance, one would assume it to be merely an armoured bracelet, made from silver and brass with a rook decorating the top...
Neo nodded, the girl never said a word, but she was easy to figure out. “Just remember, wait for my signal, don’t do anything before then…” Cinder continued, and Neo simply nodded again. Cinder turned, eyes burning a golden-orange in the sunset, “And you, Cozy Glow, remember what to do?” As Cinder talked, Cozy snapped her thumb and index fighter together, there was a little click as a scalpel blade sprung from inside her bracelet.
Cozy nodded as well, “Yep! But I do have a question, miss Cinder?” Cozy then snapped her thumb and middle finger together, and another click sounded as a tiny gun-barrel popped out of the bracelet, right next to the blade.
“What,” She said bitterly, “I thought we already went over all the details…” Cozy snapped her thumb and ring finger, and a tiny injector-needle flicked out.
“Won’t the teachers get suspicious if I disappear for a few days?”
“Neo will be taking your place for the time being, let me handle those details, I just need you to run overwatch tonight, after that, meet up with Emerald and Mercury in the industrial district…”
“Alright,” Cozy replied, her tone as sickly sweet as ever. Cozy snapped her thumb and pinkie finger, and her bracelet returned to what it normally was, a simple if ornate, bracelet.
With that, everyone stood up and got into their prom dresses. All except Neo, who, after a wave of magical energy that only bearly registered to the pegasus, she was suddenly dressed in an elegant white and pink gown.
The queen, taller, stronger, and radiating energy, eyes glowing their acid-green, watched as another wolf-monster crawled its way out of the pool… The thing seemed to continuously produce the beasts, and it was wonderful for both food and training...
Ocellus, heavily pregnant with her third batch of the new scout-strain changelings, flew around the room, dodging the quills of the small blackbirds who continuously pressed her. After tucking her wings in and flying through a series of rock formations, she landed back on the ground, huffing, having successfully escaped pursuit. Those creatures behaved strangely, they seemed attracted to humans and faunus, with a supernatural ability to perceive their presence… But, Changelings seemed an exception to whatever sense they have, just getting out of sight was enough to evade them.
“Very good, my offspring… Return to the hive, we must test the warrior strains…”
“Yes, you’re majesty…” Ocellus replied and walked off back into the growing expanse of the hive. It was expanding faster than Chrysalis could have hoped, already most of the underground city was taken over by flesh and chitin, even many of the offshoot tunnels were starting to be assimilated. This tunnel already had green veins pulsing through the walls, and black chitinous outcroppings growing from the stone… One path, an underground railroad of some kind, with ancient trains completely unlike what Chrysalis had seen in Equestria, was now Chrysalis’ new biomancy workshop… From there, she dragged her new species into this pit to be tested.
In, through the cave entrance, walked a six-legged changeling, the front two legs were large scythe-like spikes of chitin, and dust crystals, bright green and filled with baleful magical energies, grew from her back, four bluish-green eyes scanning her surroundings as the first wolf-monsters charged… “Mistress…” A voice said from behind the Queen.
“What is it, Pharynx?” The queen said, never taking her eyes off of the gruesome scene below her.
“I am your best general, why wasn’t I given the honour of a new body yet!” He said, angry.
“Three reasons, my dear… One, you are one of my best mating stock, and I need you to produce more of the baseline changeling…” If a creature as ferocious and angry as Pharynx could look flustered, he came close at those words, “Second, you are male, and so wouldn’t be able to breed new members of your strain… And third, I have something, special, planned for you…”
“What is it, my Queen… I’m tired of waiting, building, and breeding… I need to fight!”
“You will see…”
Below, in the pool-filled chamber, the last of the wolf-like beasts howled in pain as it was mercilessly torn apart by the warrior changeling, surrounded by the disintegrating bodies of more than a hundred of monsters of all shapes and sizes. Screeching in insectoid chattering as it sliced the head of the wolf’s body with a single swipe of its pincers.
“Come on ponies! Let’s get this party started!” Scootaloo was bouncing in joy as the music began. The people, humans and faunus, started dancing to the beat, while many sat, talked, ate, drank, or generally socialized. In one corner, Jaune, Ruby, and Diamond were sitting around the punch bowl, while Ozpin watched everyone, a little dour, as usual.
“Hey, Jaune,” Apple Bloom said, walking up to the boy.
“Wanna dance, I can show you some of the moves my sister showed me!”
“Umm, no it’s fine,” Jaune feebly replied, but it was no use, as he was dragged away by Apple Bloom.
“Come on, let’s go, don’t waste the night sitting around here!”
While, in another corner, Sweetie Belle leaned over in her seat to look at Weiss, “I’m surprised.”
“Suprised?” Weiss replied.
“Well, you seem so popular, I thought you of all people would have a partner to dance with?”
“Well, I don’t,” She replied, bitterly.
“Come on…” Sweetie said, a little resigned.
Weiss huffed, “I don’t need pity from you…”
“It’s a party, have some fun, and cheer up once in a while…”
“Cheer up!” Weiss said, insulted.
“Like this,” Sweetie continued, grabbing Weiss’ hand and pulling her into a waltz.
Over by his corner of the room, Ozpin was deep in thought… Talking to the parents of the faunus girls had yielded some information, both extremely valuable and amazingly useless. It mostly just confirmed what Ozpin already knew about the girls, but it did confirm that they had no connection to Salem, even if that Twilight woman felt… A little odd, to say the least… They were evidently powerful and had similar semblances to the girls, mostly energy manipulation, but there was more to that power, he couldn’t quite place what yet, but it was unique, much like Ruby Rose’s semblance, which was plainly more than simply a speed boost.
At least he could talk to James next chance he got, he would have some more to show, given how long those women were under his supervision. It was a shame he turned down the invitation to the prom...
As Yang, Blake, and Sun all got together and started chatting, from a balcony, Cinder, watching the display, placed a hand on the hidden headset and spoke, “Looks like all the dancers have partners, you can begin…”
The guard watched the ballroom on the other side of the courtyard, the lights and sounds, one hell of a party was going on in there, and he felt a little disappointed that he was stuck guarding the CCTS… No one would be dumb enough to try and attack it, let alone now of all times...
He turned, shocked by the person standing in front of him, “Oh, shift change already?” he asked. The other guard, one of green-team, female, simply nodded, didn’t say a word. The guard replied with an “Alright, all yours…” As he walked down the path and to a nice meal for the night… Meanwhile, behind him, and unbeknownst to him, the woman smartly trotted into the building… Eyes pink and white behind that helmet.
Scootaloo had just downed her cup of punch when there came a noise from the door… Another latecomer, it seems… She turned, and dropped her cup, “R-Rainbow?” She stuttered… Sweetie Belle turned and her eyes went wide at the sight of her sister, and the other two walked up, less shocked, but none the less happy… The four were unmistakable, the way the purple-haired one’s mane seemed to shine with traces of light, and the rainbow-feathered wings, and the luscious indigo hair and tail along with the most radiant white dress.
“Sweetie!” Rarity cried in joy and ran up to hug her sister, “I was so worried about you.
“Come on, I knew they were fine!” Rainbow muttered.
“Well, that isn’t true,” Spitfire snickered.
“Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, glad to see my girls safe,” Twilight replied, bending down to give them a hug, but Scootaloo had her eyes only for Rainbow Dash. The entire scene caught the attention of the other humans and faunus in the room. And in the back Ozpin stared in interest as he watched the girls introduce their family to their friends.