Rumors and whispers buzzed around the previously bustling dance floor. Could it be true? A changeling, here in Canterlot? Surely it can't be. Where did the royal couple go? They must be alright. We can only hope... The only thing more prominent than the low hum of gossip was the alicorn's hoofstep, which resonated through the populated throne room.
"Attention, loyal subjects." Her voice echoed through the hall. Not an ear went unaware of her presence. "I regret to inform that we will be cancelling the party early. Please understand, and calmly exit the palace." The party was in a low roar, discussing what they had just heard. Instead of following orders, which the Princess immediately noted with another firm hoof. The single resonating sound carried the weight of her order effectively, dispersing the crowd in a matter of minutes. A silence hung in the air of the formerly packed throne room. A guard makes his way to Celestia, stoically looking over her former audience.
"My Princess." He states, lowering his head slightly. A sign of respect. "The changeling is in Cell Block B, as requested."
"Thank you." She replies, a bit somber. A changeling, in her kingdom. Those kind always cause unrest. The simple ability to be anyone. Frightening indeed. "Take me to it, I wish an audience."
With her order, the two leave the throne room, heading to the dungeon through the castle's halls.
At the same time, a guard in training and young princess were leaving the very same dungeon. The stallion had a light green glow in the back of his eyes, fueled by his passion for the young princess Cadance, who he clearly let out of a cell she was placed in for no good reason. As they diverge down the right hallway, turning a blind corner, the incandescent Princess comes from the left side, facing the empty hall before the dungeons, making her way down.
You've tripped into mudholes running from guards. You've jumped into murky pondwater. Ran through damp woods with rotting branches.
But nothing makes you feel quite as disgusted as you do now.
The wretch is off to who knows where. You know the door's locked, it wouldn't be worth it to try. It's not like you could do so easily, you're still quite sore from the beating given to your from the wannabe guard, Shiny. Not to mention any additional pressure your frame might have unwillingly endured. Your head is against the pillow, chest rising and falling as you breathe as heavily as required by your injuries. You can feel the light breeze from the window against the wet spots on your cheek where tears once wer-
The window. Turning your head, you see the curtain sway lightly. It's open. The damn thing's open. You strain yourself to sit upright, ribs screaming as you do so. And doing so just affirms the sneaking suspicion you had. This light glance out the glass pane shows just how high you are, or more specifically, just how low the ground is compared to you.
Considering the circumstance, the thought of trying anyway crosses your mind.
You hear a click from behind you, and a slow swinging.
"...glad to see you're up." That sickly voice crosses your ears again, making your stomach wrench. Cadenza. You don't respond, still staring at possible freedom. Considering the second set of steps, you can only assume her bodyguard is here accompanying her. Turning slightly confirms this, seeing the slate white next to the pink pony. She steps forward. "Come on, we're leaving." The princess orders halfheartedly. You still don't move, secretly gauging how much it would hurt yourself to reel back and crack her in the jaw. Or what good it would do. It would definitely FEEL good, and as evidenced not too long ago, that's all that matters to some.
"Anon, she spoke to you." Now that's a voice you feel far more comfortable angrily responding to. Straining your rib cage as you turn, your heated response is stopped preemptively. Shining looks oddly...empty. And his pink companion more so. The look of fake feelings, or devilish sadistic glee, is replaced by a solemn, concerned tone.
"Anon...let's leave..." Her eyes flashed a quick green for him. Though after that line, he didn't need any further proof. No more anger. No more questioning. Nothing against your will. You've had enough, and it's time to fucking leave. You compose yourself, standing upright. It still doesn't feel fantastic, but you can move. That's a plus. You trudge forward slowly, as 'Cadenza' moves out of the room. Her empty-minded bodyguard stays for a moment. What seems like a moment too long. As you're about to pass through the doorway, you notice his gaze flick down at you. Along with a good portion of his weight, shoving you to the floor. Crashing against an endtable, knocking it's miscellaneous contents to the floor, your body burns as the pain from previous injuries arises.
"SHINING." You hear Chrissy's voice break through the guise in a moment of heated emotion. Shining's gaze is still bearing down on you, that previously empty visage now filled with rage.
"Cadance, this human is the cause of all these problems. He's in with the changelings." He states, stare unmoving. Sure sounds like a royal guard now. He's absolutely convinced that the mare next to him is Cadenza. Also, as you're previously aware, he's violently dedicated. "We get rid of him, you'll be safe. I WILL keep you safe."
A step, a glowing horn. Never thought a subtle pink would be so horrifying. Behind him, the mare that isn't Cadenza shouts frantically, even using her magic, horn glowing a vibrant green. But it wouldn't work. He was already under her spell, after all. Madly in love with the mare, to protect at any cost. And sadly, that cost is you.
A voice from the hallway called out to him. A familiar voice that was also begging the same stallion to stop. A pink princess, crystal heart around her neck. Though Shining, her dear friend, was already taken by the doppelganger. Upon turning to the new princess, his eyebrows furrowed. "CHANGELING." He barked, rushing out of the guest room, darting for the interloper. As the loud thud was heard from the hallway, the not-so-Princess Cadenza rushed to you, her guise fading.
"Anon!! Come on, get up, we have to LEAVE..." She sternly orders, like you were a drone. You would gladly follow this bug's orders, of course, if your body responded as well as your mind. The bruised aching pain shot through your system at even her gentlest touch.
"Chrys...get out of here...they're-" You're rudely interrupted.
"Shut up, shut up! We're getting out of here, both of us!" She frantically looks around the room, noticing the window that you not too long ago gazed through, a glimpse of freedom followed by the harshness of reality. For her, however, the reality was in two pairs of thin, yet strong films, on her back, which flared up at the first inkling of an escape. Scooping under your arm with a strength you've yet to see from her, she slowly drags you nearer and nearer to the window. As the pain wracks your body, you're able to catch a glimpse at the scene in the hallway.
Shining had the 'changeling' pinned, snarling like a mad dog. "I should kill you for attempting to hurt the Princess!"
"I AM the Princess!"
It's like they're a married couple. In the middle of a domestic dispute.
You can feel the light breeze from the window as you near it, with help from Chrissy. She opens it wide, hopping outside, helping you to your feet. Able to maintain balance, not without a bit of pain, you place a hand on the windowsill. She floats outside, her buzzing bug wings making a peaceful, almost rhythmic beating against the air. As you begin to climb, she gently helps you sidle over the edge. Placing your feet on a decorative ledge, you get an unsteady, but necessary footing. Turning around, you reach for her. Momentary doubts of whether she can carry you cross your mind, but you trust her with your life.
"There they are!"
The familiar roar of the royal guard, Celestia's right hand. Two onlookers peer at the fighting teens, while the Captain rushes into the guest room. In a moment of panic, Chrissy attempts to get you, a holed hoof within reach of your fingers. As you lean forward to grasp her, the holed hoof disappears. The black bug mare is forcibly dragged into the window, shouting in a mix of despair and worry. Well placed. As your hand closes, nothing in it's reach, the rest of your body falls foward to meet it. Your feet scramble for a new footing, simply slipping from the last.
The night sky is beautiful, your frantic mind decides to toss to the forefront, even as the stars quickly becomes farther and farther away.