Twilight and Chrysalis stared each other, Twilight glaring at the memory of their last encounter, while Chrysalis was smug.
“Ah, it’s been so long since we met,” said Chrysalis, her army drifting downward with her. “I thought I’d have to draw you out, but lucky me. I found you right away. Last time I got too cocky and dropped my guard. I won’t make the same mistake this time.”
Applejack and the rest gathered around Twilight. Rainbow was the only one who looked delighted. “Ah, this is great. A real dream come true.” She slapped her hooves together. “I could use some light exercise.”
“Over six years it’s been since my defeat,” Chrysalis said wistfully. “And I realized my greatest mistake. I took the form of your beloved Cadence, but not the attitude. You exposed me, forcing me to banish you to the Canterlot Caves. A queen I may be, but being snobby and arrogant didn’t serve me in the end.
“So what have I been doing with those years? Gathering strength, of course. Little bits and pieces at a time, lowering my expectations to take the bodies of commoners to fuel my energy. It’s been very effective.”
“No matter how powerful you have become you will not prevail!” said Twilight, her horn lighting up and her wings unfurling.
“Oho,” Chrysalis said with mild surprise. “So you’ve become an alicorn, hmm? Quite an upgrade. I guess it wasn’t just all talk when you said that you’d grown stronger. Still, your precious Celestia couldn’t stop me last time, so I consider it of little importance.”
Twilight thought she’d try a shield spell like her brother and take care of things right away.
As it expanded Chrysalis chuckled. “What a one-trick pony, hmm? Thinking I’d be taken out the same way as before.” Her horn exploded with energy, shooting it at the shield which shattered like glass.
Twilight gasped at the blast heading her way and quickly teleported the group out of the way.
Chrysalis turned her head toward Twilight, snickering. “Well? Is that all? I came all this way for a good challenge. Don’t tell me you’re finished already?”
“What power!” Twilight said with a growl. “She must have fed on hundreds of ponies.”
Another chuckle met her words. “I’m just getting warmed up, you know. Come on!” Once more her horn glowed a sickly green, her horn radiating with so much energy it felt like it shouldn’t have been able to contain it all, and fired it at Twilight.
Twilight stood her ground, her horn glowing too.
Pound and Pumpkin popped in front of her, raising their hooves as a large circle of distorted space appeared in front of them, taking in the blast.
“Hmm?” Chrysalis rapidly flew out of the way as another vortex appeared under her, launching her own spell back at her. “Well, well, well. Trying to turn my own magic against me, are you? It’s the only hope you have, isn’t it? But I’m not that foolish. I’ll just have to be more careful. "
Twilight looked between the two children. They had reacted with uncanny speed, casting the same spell she had planned on using. She had to guess that they had picked up that spell from her memories. “Thanks, you two, but stay back now. We’ll handle this.”
“No can do, Twilight,” said Pound, his tail snapping as Twilight and the rest found themselves sitting down in the plush seats facing the Changelings. A shield surrounded them.
“We’ll take care of this loser,” Pumpkin said with a triumphant laugh.
Chrysalis began to laugh uproariously. “O-oh, sure! Children trying to fight me. That is a riot!”
“You’re just not worth Twilight’s time,” said Pound, smirking as they began to walk forward. “You ready, Sis?”
“Hold it right there!” Twilight said sharply. “What do you think you’re doing? You can’t fight an army.”
“Pound, Pumpkin, you get back here right now!” said their mother.
Twilight’s horn began to glow, about to teleport out of the shield, when Discord put a claw on it, snuffing out her aura like a candle. Twilight rounded on him. “What are you doing?”
Discord had his arms crossed now, floating up in the air. “They can handle this,” he said nonchalantly. “Don’t forget. They’re not just little children right now. They’ve got my power inside them.”
“So what?” snapped Pinkie. “That doesn’t mean anything! Do you really think they’re going to beat every single one of those monsters by themselves?”
“Yes,” he responded immediately. “After all…” He chuckled to himself, but didn’t elaborate.
“After all WHAT?” said Applejack.
“This is their show,” Discord said, looking at the rambunctious kids. “Ah, truly this day just gets more and more entertaining. And I thought their little play was going to be the highlight of today. I certainly didn’t expect this.”
“Your powers or not this is still beyond them to handle!” Rarity said harshly. “You should stop them before they get hurt!”
“I’m sorry, Discord, but I agree with them,” said Fluttershy. “They’re in over their heads.”
“They’re perfectly fine,” said Discord. “Trust me. No harm will come to them. I know exactly what they’re up to, even if you don’t. I’m not going to interfere because there’s no reason to.”
“What are you talking about?” said Carrot Cake. “That is our children out there! I don’t care what you think you know. This isn’t a job for children.”
Pound shook his head. “You hear all of them, Pumpkin? No faith at all.”
“Guess we’ll have to give them a demonstration.”
They put their hooves together, and then they both disappeared.
Several Changelings went flying in different directions as Pound and Pumpkin teleported in their midst and began socking them.
Chrysalis fired a blast at Pumpkin, scoring a direct hit at her stomach. The blast went straight through her. She got a victorious grin on her face for a minute before the spell ended and she saw Pumpkin had turned transparent.
Pumpkin waved her hoof dismissively. “Ah ah ah. Wait your turn. We’ll get to you soon.”
Chrysalis growled. “What is this? How could children have this kind of power?”
“We’re not just any kids, you know.”
“That’s right,” said Pound, slapping his sisters hoof. “We’re unstoppable.”
Pumpkin’s horn began to glow, and the majority of the pond around Fluttershy’s cottage rose off the ground, and she began to strike at the Changelings with it.
Pound landed on the ground, gesturing with his hooves, pulling and shooting a barrage of earth.
Chrysalis growled. “What are you doing?” she hissed. “They’re only children! STOP THEM!”
A small group of Changelings charged up their horns, all firing at Pumpkin, who hovered in front of them and let the attack hit her. Her body began to stretch like elastic, her stomach stretching out far behind her body. It ricocheted back, sending the spells right back toward their owners, most of whom were unable to get out of the way in time.
“Pound!” she called out to her brother.
“Right!” he replied, both of them disappearing.
They reappeared behind Chrysalis, charging at her with all their speed. As they were about to hit her they were blocked by an invisible force. There was a flash of light, and then like they were hit by a battering ram the pair were rapidly sent plummeting to the ground, causing a huge crater.
Fluttershy and Cup Cake gasped. Discord’s crossed arms fell to his sides, his grin fading. Twilight rounded on him. “What did we tell you? I knew this was a horrible idea!”
Before Discord could respond Pound and Pumpkin slowly flew out of the crater, surrounded by a little blue bubble.
“Whew!” Pound said with relief. “That was too close. If you hadn’t gotten the shield up before we hit the ground that might have been the end of us.”
“She’s really strong,” said Pumpkin, looking up at the queen.
“Did you like that?” she asked, brushing her mane behind her. “That’s my ultimate shield. Nearly unbreakable and fueled by all my strength. Only the strongest of spells could break it. Now then, kiddies. It’s time to go home and let the big kids play.”
“So where’s the shield for the rest of your army?” Pound shouted. “What about them?”
Several of the Changelings looked toward their queen. Chrysalis just laughed. “Oh, don’t be ridiculous. As the leader of the Changelings it is important for me to stay safe to direct my troops and give orders. Without me all would descend into chaos and fighting. I can’t afford to spend all my energy protecting everyone.
“Now, brats, are we done here? You really should just give up before you get hurt.”
Pound and Pumpkin looked at each other uncertainly. Pound sighed. “She’s right. We can’t do this all on our own. We need the support of our friends.” The shield around the group came down.
Twilight let out a sigh of relief. “I’m glad you two are finally seeing sense.”
Chrysalis laughed as Pound and Pumpkin returned to the group. “I knew it. Powerful though you might be, in the end you’re still just little brats.”
Cup Cake and Carrot Cake ran over to their children, picking them up and holding them close. “Oh, I’m so glad you’re not hurt,” Cup Cake said thickly, rubbing Pound’s back.
“How touching,” Chrysalis said in a falsely sweet voice. “You’ll just give me even more strength.”
The twins pulled out of their parents grip. “It’s not over yet,” said Pumpkin.
“We have a plan, but we need your help!” Pound said strongly.
“A plan?” said Applejack. “What kinda ‘plan?’”
“Please!” Pound said, bowing his head. “Just believe in us. We know what we’re doing.”
“Yeah!” Pumpkin said, lowering her head humbly as well. “We need your support and belief. It’s only with your help that we’ll have the strength to win.”
Several of them looked at each other, wondering what the twins had in mind.
Rainbow let out a little laugh. “I’m game. With the kind of crazy stunts you pulled I’m sure whatever you have planned will be so wacky it will take her completely by surprise.”
“I’d agree with that,” said Applejack.
“I’m still not sure about this,” said Rarity, “but I’ll offer my support as well.”
“Well, Twilight?” said Fluttershy, looking toward her friend. “They’ve tamed their childish arrogance. It can’t hurt to give their plan a try.”
Twilight looked uncertain. “Look, I hate going the 'they’re children so they’re stupid' route, but what kind of plan could two six year olds come up with that would stump the Changeling queen?”
Cup Cake looked at her children, feeling unsure as well. “I know that you have Discord’s magic inside you, but wouldn’t it be better to just let Twilight and her friends handle this? There’s no need to put yourselves in danger.”
Pound looked up at her. “You’re our parents. Don’t you believe in us?”
Cup Cake and Carrot Cake winced, before Carrot said, “It’s not about belief. We do believe in you. We just feel this situation is beyond your ability to control.”
Pumpkin looked up as well. “What about you, Auntie Pinkie?”
Pinkie knew the dangers, and she had no desire to see the twins get injured. However… her gut was telling her that they weren’t just being foolish.
“Well?” came the voice of Chrysalis from up above. “Are you done talking down there? The battle is waiting, and I’m growing impatient. Equestria isn’t going to conquer itself, you know.”
Pinkie took a deep breath. “Let’s believe in Pound and Pumpkin.” She could feel the stares of Twilight and the twins parents. “We’ll give their idea a shot, and if it doesn’t work then we’ll regroup and try something else. My heart is telling me to put my trust in them. We don’t have a lot of time, so you’ll have to decide now.”
“Twilight, you’re the princess of friendship,” said Pound. “You’ve grown as much as you did because of having friends that believed in you, and because you believed in them too.”
“Mom, Dad,” said Pumpkin, “I know you want to protect us but without your help we’ll all fail. Please… please believe in us.”
Twilight sighed. “Well, I guess I don’t have much of a choice. I’ll follow your lead.”
Cup Cake felt like her mind was in two directions, but in the end it seemed like there was only one choice to make. “You’re my babies… so you better make sure you don’t get hurt, or I’d never forgive myself for letting you go.”
“That’s right!” said Carrot. “Go on and do your best.”
Discord just smirked at the exchange. Now they had won everyone over. What was next?
“Thank you, everyone,” Pound said gratefully. “Thank you for believing in us.”
Pumpkin closed her eyes, putting her hoof over her heart. “And with that love and trust and a bond that connects our hearts no matter how far away we are there’s nothing beyond our reach.”
“Hmm?” Twilight felt a warm feeling inside of her, and she could see from their friends expressions that they were feeling the same way. “Oh!” A light came out of her chest, the same as everyone else.
The lights flew around haphazardly before settling around the twins, making circles around them. The lights flared up, rotating around the two, becoming faster and faster until they were just a blur. A sphere surrounded the pair, bathing them in pure light.
The light around them slowly faded, and Cup Cake and Carrot Cake gaped at their children. Twilight gasped. They had both turned into alicorns.
“Whoa, nelly,” said Applejack.
Chrysalis landed on the ground, laughing. “Oh, please, is that all? I don’t care how you change. An alicorn can’t stop me now. I’ve grown far too powerful for that.” Her horn began to glow. “Let me give you a demonstration. I crushed Twilight’s shield spell earlier. What do you brats think you can do?”
“So an alicorn is no threat to you, huh?” said Pumpkin. “I guess we don’t have a choice.”
“So you surrender then?” asked Chrysalis. “Smart move on your part. It would have done you no good.” The glow from her horn vanished.
“Hardly,” said Pound. He turned to his sister. “You know, Pumpkin, we’re siblings. We’re really close.”
“I know, Pound. I think it’s time for us to get even closer.”
The two of them put their hooves together, closing their eyes. Once more a bright light flared to life, a vortex appearing at the nexus of their hooves. Their bodies began to swirl like a hurricane, sucking them inside.
A bright light flashed through the area, forcing all of them to close their eyes or cover their faces. Smoke kicked up all around, leaving only a shadow in the middle.
The glow of horns lit up the middle, and with a strong burst of air the area was clear once more.
“W-WHAT IN EQUESTRIA?” Applejack stuttered out.
“Whoa!” Rainbow said in awe.
Most of the rest of them were too much in shock to say a word. Even Queen Chrysalis seemed to temporarily be at a loss for words.
Pound and Pumpkin had fused together into one two-headed pony, their colors split down half and half over their eight legs and two sets of wings.
“WE ARE SUPER ALICORN POUNDKIN!” The pair said in unison.