The Great and Corrupted Trixie

by VelvetHeart

Chapter 1: Distortions

The Great and Corrupted Trixie
Chapter 1: Distortions
By Velvet(Velcro)Heart

Princess Luna wasn’t quite sure what to make of the ponies in front of her. She knew fashion had changed in the thousand years of her absence, but had it really changed quite that much? The duo stalking around her like feral cats playing with their prey would’ve forcefully been ejected from the courts back in her age.

“Don’t worry, Luna. All you have to do is obey their every whim and you’ll be as popular as me in less than a month. These are Eager Edge and Thunder Run, the finest, most highly-recommended image-coaches I could find on such short notice.” her sister Celestia had announced as she led Princess Luna into the overly-extravagant dressing-room where the two unusual ponies were already waiting. The tail-end of that sentence definitely didn’t do much to improve Luna’s flagging confidence.

“Darling, we’ll have to fix your mane! What did you do with it all these years?” Thunder Run rumbled in a warm, gravelly voice that would’ve made Luna’s legs weak... had it not come from an earth-pony stallion wearing an unsettling amount of eyeshadow, heeled shoes and a dress with enough frills to bankrupt half a dozen dressmakers.

“You will need a new outfit, something that will let your subjects know that you’re in control!” Eager Edge added, stalking around on four tightly-laced black leather boots that led all the way up to her shoulders and flanks.

Celestia carefully hid the faint smirk gracing her features behind a levitating porcelain cup, sipping tea from her perch upon a little nest of pillows. It made watching her slightly-overwhelmed little sister try to figure out how to act around her new ‘image coaches’ a comfortable experience.

That’s when the first distortion hit; The pearly-white princess suddenly found her eyes drawn to her teacup as her telekinetic magic fluttered uncertainly around the pale porcelain, causing the surface of the tea within to yaw a good fourty-five degrees in complete and open defiance of the law of gravity. Celestia found her head tilting in bemusement as if trying to keep the hot water level with her eyes. As the princess’ magic, normally as steady as millennia of experience could make it, continued folding in on itself like a foal’s early practice sessions, faint cracks began spider-webbing their way through the delicate earthwork. Like lightning bolts crawling through a plain of white or tributaries flooding from a recent rain, the cracks swelled and grew, the once-polished cup beginning a strangely-riveting process of disintegration.

PAFF! The sudden detonation of the teacup into a cloud of porcelain dust and herb-steeped hot water caught Celestia by surprise, splashing her front and staining the pillows under her forelegs in darker shades as the cloth greedily sucked up the proffered moisture.

All chatter in the room came to a sudden screeching halt as all three ponies turned to the sound, finding a drenched and shocked-looking Celestia staring at the dust moisture-pasted to her forelimbs. Luna opened her mouth to say something, hesitated, closed it again, and repeated the motion several times like a suffocating fish, before finally settling on the question, “Did you.. just lose control of your magic, sister? How...”

Worried eyes met shocked eyes, countless unspoken words passing between the sisters in a single glance. “...The Moon Engine...” The ancient device’ name left two mouths at once. Celestia leaped from her cushions with a sudden unseemly haste, a single step and a flap of her graceful wings bringing her to her sister’s side, “Luna, sister dear, I’ll have to entrust you with the courts and the sun for just a little while. I’ll be right back but just in case it takes a day, I want you to raise the sun, ok?”

Luna sputtered, words only half-formed on her lips as Princess Celestia’s horn met hers with an audible click. The sudden rush of power that flared into existence sent both Eager Edge and Thunder Run skittering for cover, leaving a flustered and blushing freshly-crowned mistress of the moon and sun sitting alone in the middle of the room, trying to figure out just what happened. “I trust you, my sister.” came Celestia’s final words, cast back over her shoulder as she made her way to the door.

As the clattering of Celestia’s hooves faded from hearing, the duo of image-coaches carefully came out of hiding, suddenly finding themselves unsupervised and alone with their prey. “Darling, the princess of moon and sun? Oh, even if it’s for but a day, this changes everything! You have to take charge!” the cross-dressing stallion rumbled, “I’ll have to get you a whole new wardrobe! Oh, I know just the pony! I’ll go get her, she’s absolutely divine with leather!”

Luna felt one of Eager Edge’s overly-long leather boots touch her shoulder as Thunder Run left the room with only slightly less unseemly haste than her sister did. Leaning in close, the unicorn brought her lips unsettlingly-close to Luna’s ear and crooned, “Hmmm, while we’re alone, Princess, perhaps we can start our lessons...” Pulling back, the sole remaining coach jerked herself upright stiffly and announced, “First lesson: The riding crop!”

* * *

Princess Celestia’s hooves clattered across naked stone, her blood roaring in her ears as she thundered her way through the once-secret maze, walls and side-passages rushing past in a blur. Her metallic shoes struck sparks from the floor as she skidded and swerved through her turns, assisting herself with forceful downthrusts of her mighty wings. She’d seen the tracks, the path cleared through the dust; somepony’d been here, recently, dispelling any notion that the temporary disruption in Equestria’s magic field was a mere fluke.

The Princess knew the way. As rarely as she came here, it was burned into her mind, a single red thread bending and weaving through the tunnels until...

In a cloud of recently-disturbed dust swept up by the wind of her passing, Celestia burst into the Moon Engine’s chamber, worried eyes finding the door into the machine’s collection chamber ajar. It took her only seconds to get inside, leaving her wings stinging slightly where they smacked into the doorframe. Her gaze flicked through the chamber... nopony there. The room with it’s many display panels was bathed in a warm, insistent alarm-red, a metallic cable laying draped across the floor where it’d been severed like a dead snake.

One glance at the warnings flashing across the main display panel told Celestia more than she wanted to know, and a lot less than she needed to. “Oh, little unicorn pony, what have you done?” the princess whimpered, her magic carefully lifting the dead cable and settling it back into place, broken wires reweaving themselves like tentacles seeking a loving embrace with their lost kin. By magic, the cable merged and repaired itself, returning to the worn-but-functional state it had enjoyed mere days ago.

Celestia’s magic faded, but the warnings did not, trickling across the glowing main panel’s deep red surface:

Warning, Administrator intervention required
System corruption at 19%
System stability compromised.
Emergency disengage compromised.
1000 year service complete: Freedom startup engaged.
Freedom startup failed. Please initiate manually.

The white alicorn steadily acquired more and more of a frown as she ran her eyes along that screen. “This.. could take more effort than I expected.”

Celestia sighed. “No time to linger, alas.” she murmured to herself as she carefully tapped her hoof across one of the panels and slipped the long pearly flute of her horn into the ring descending to her head. She had her objectives already planned out: Get in, fix the problem, get the problem-pony out of the system, and all would be well. She was the System Administrator, after all. It’d be a piece of proverbial cake.

Strangely, the Princess’ final thought in her own body as the machine absorbed her mind had little to do with her mission - rather, in a flash of sisterly love, Celestia spent it on Luna:

...I should’ve told her that the image-coaches were a joke before I left. Come to think of it, maybe I should’ve told the coaches...

* * *

“Coming!” Spike cried out, bucket in hand and towels perilously perched on top of his head as he carefully balanced his way up the stairs at the back of the Carousel Boutique. The door to Rarity’s bedroom had become quite familiar to the baby dragon in the past week, but even then he still felt a secret little thrill as he was granted permission to enter the sacred personal sanctum of the unicorn that still hooked his heart with her grace and beauty.

Although that beauty’d been tarnished a mite since the magical incident a week ago: Rarity’s snout was still flushed red, her eyes bleary and slightly baggy. Her voice, too, had gone somewhat nasal. All in all, though, Spike didn’t care. She was still Rarity, and the opportunity to care for her had given him a chance to spend more time with her than he’d ever had an excuse for before. “Hot water and towels coming right up for my favorite patient!”

Even wearing the little nurse uniform Rarity insisted on designing for him in her sick state was worth it to see the white unicorn draped across the oilsheet on her bed, waiting for him. “Don’t ya worry, Rarity, we’ll get you coddled up nice and hot. You’ll feel right as.. well, not rain, but something at least.”

Rarity shuddered visibly, muscles twitching under her coat. “Dear, I’d rather not hear about any rain, snow or ice for a little while. I wanted to have a magical ice-sculpture, not become one myself. I really shouldn’t have asked Twilight to perform such a difficult spell, she’s only a student after all.” she complained nasally, although her sagging ears quickly showed her regret at the harsh criticism, “Oh, I’m sounding like an angry old nag. Don’t tell Twilight Sparkle I said that bit about her, please? I didn’t mean it.”

“Don’t you worry, Rarity. We all know you’re not feeling yourself today. ‘sides, it’s not like Twilight was the only pony to have a little magic spaz. We got off quite light. Half the parents in Cloudsdale had to visit the hospital from the shock alone. Can you imagine the pegasus cloudwalking magic suddenly cutting off like that? For most pegasi it was just a startle, they have working wings, but the young foals... It’s lucky they all got caught in time.” Spike continued the conversation with his hands in steaming water, dunking one of the towels in until it was thoroughly soaked through. A firm wring or two removed all the excess moisture, allowing Spike to wrap it around the unicorn’s hindquarters without accidentally turning it into a shower. Several towels later, Rarity’d turned into a very content-looking caterpillar-pony hybrid, wrapped from neck-to-tail in hot, moist cloth.

Rarity sighed, eyes closed to thoroughly enjoy the warmth soaking into her sore muscles. Eventually, though, she forced herself to open her eyes and admit to something that’d been bothering her for a while now, “You’ve been such a kind dragon, Spike, and I’ve done nothing but whine and complain for the past week. How can I ever repay you?”

Spike let out a little squeak, and physically pummeled his heart out of his throat and back into his chest with a few blows of his small fist. Lowering his voice as much as he could in an attempt to sound appropriately manly, he peeped, “A noble knight such as me requires only the favor of such a fair lady as yourself, or, perchance, a kiss..?”

The baby dragon felt surprise blossom as Rarity actually seemed to consider it for a moment and finally, gave a small, curt nod. “A lady always pays her debts. Just one kiss, though, my loyal knight.” A faint smile played around her lips as she indulged the noble little dragon’s fantasy, lifting her head and closing her eyes.

Her white lips met Spike’s nervous ones, his heart bursting into a gallop as his one true dream was finally starting to come true... and that’s when he felt that sudden, familiar warmth swell in his belly.

No! Not now!

He tried to hold it in, at least long enough to finish the kiss. Alas, the fates were cruel indeed, and the pressure on his body too insistent: As unicorn and dragon separated, Rarity found herself staring cross-eyed at the saliva-coated scroll now protruding rather rudely from between her lips.

And that’s when the letter from a princess hit Rarity’s gag reflex.

* * *

Twilight Sparkle never felt so justified in an expenditure as she did right that moment. The shower she’d gotten installed in her home might not have been up to library regulations, but the glorious flow of hot water pouring down her flanks forced the filly to finally realize how badly she needed to relax. Since the magical incident last week, the purple unicorn’d researched nonstop in a variety of awkward positions, to the point that Spike’s complaints about her personal hygiene almost reached the intensity of her muscles’ protests. The frustrations of countless dead ends and the sheer pressure of her self-appointed task hadn’t helped either; if the fact she accidentally covered Rarity in ice wasn’t bad enough, the light shower of flightless foals over the lands beneath Cloudsdale had a way of hammering home the importance of discovering just what caused the ponies’ natural magic to go haywire.

For the moment, however, Twilight Sparkle was enjoying her own personal heated rain and engaging in a pastime she hadn’t enjoyed since she was a little foal: Singing in the shower. “~o live without my ma-agic / would be impossible to do-o / ‘cause in this world of troubles / my magic pulls me throu-ou-ough! Epic gargle solo! Arglarglarglarglarglegarglegargle- Ptooie! SPIKE! What are you doing in my shower?!”

“Washing ponyvomit off my snout.” a chagrined-looking Spike deadpanned, “And thanks for spitting a mouthful of water in my face, it’s the perfect ending for an otherwise perfect day. Here’s a letter from the princess, I’m going to take a nap. I just want this day to end.” The baby dragon grumbled, holding out the tightly-rolled scroll before hopping out of the shower and, still dripping, heading out to his soft, plush dragonbed.

Twilight pulled a face as she carefully levitated the scroll, going through the effort of wiping Rarity’s saliva and gastric fluids from it’s surface before unrolling it. “Finally, a response!”

But the letter wasn’t from Celestia...