The Ambassador of Evil

by Queen Sanguine Dreams

The Study of Friendship, Fire and Apples

Celestia took in the imagery of a slightly embarrassed Queen Chrysalis wearing an extremely poofy pink mustache and promptly chose to ignore it. "I would ask for an explanation, if we had time. However, a matter of dire consequence has presented itself. I am in need of your council, Queen Chrysalis." She acknowledged. "I also need the assistance of Princess Twilight Sparkle, and those we deem helpful with the situation."

"Princess Celestia?" Twilight asked, "What's wrong?"

"You are familiar with Queen Aze, of the White Tail Woods?"

Queen Chrysalis made a face of disgust before quickly composing herself. She and Queen Aze had a 'friendly' banter that went back for as long as Queen Aze had lived. Even if that was a measly three years before she was turned into an amethyst statue. Aze had made several sniping remarks about Chrysalis' invasion plan and had also shown her up in the area of diplomacy, rendering Chrysalis' desperate invasion plan to be both embarrassing and foolish even after the analysis from various ponies about the 'Canterlot Cringe' as it was dubbed.

"What about her?" Starlight Glimmer asked, joining the group after she had heard the commotion.

Celestia gave a curious glance to Starlight before looking to Twilight, whom nodded that she was allowed to be present. "I've received a letter from her advisor that their 'Hivemind' is degrading in her absence. If it were to be nullified completely, the changelings of her hive would go into a confused frenzy all over Manehattan. I cannot allow this to happen, and time is short." She looked amongst the ponies and found one she was searching for. "Garotte Wire, please step forward."

Garotte had been hiding behind a couch when the real Celestia had shown up, and being called out by her had made all the hairs on her coat stand on end. She had no illusions of being able to come anywhere close to defeating Celestia in any kind of fight and since she was an Alicorn on top of that, held Celestia with the greatest respect as well as fear. Poking her head clear of the couch, she sheepishly moved in front of the Solar Diarch expecting some kind of punishment for blowing up Canterlot and Cloudsdale, which would include the Royal Palace.

"Y-yes?" she asked in a small, terrified voice.

This bothered Celestia. She wanted all of her little ponies to be happy when they saw either her or Luna, not to cower in fear of them. "You can relax, Garotte Wire. I am not going to punish you. You've already been frozen in stone for three years, and that was after you had already seen the error of your ways and sacrificed yourself to atone for them." She said in a soothing tone.

Garotte wasn't going to accept that olive branch if it was made out of gold and fulfilled wishes. "If you say so." She replied, able to look up in Celestia's direction and focusing on her chest ornamentation.

Celestia sighed, "I have a task for you, Garotte Wire." This caused Garotte to look up in surprise, before quickly averting her eyes. "You are to go with Starlight Glimmer and Twilight Sparkle to discover if there is anything that will aid us in reviving Queen Aze in her original Hive, in what is now called 'Pyrelight'."

Queen Chrysalis raised a hoof. "Question!"

Celestia, Starlight, Garotte, Twilight and the clones all looked to the Queen.

"What am I doing here?"

The Princess of the Sun gave a slight smirk. "You are going to assist me in reviving Queen Aze."

Chrysalis rolled her eyes. "Yes, I understand that, but how? I know how my own hive works, not Aze's."

"We will have to figure out a way then, won't we?" Celestia snarked back.

Garotte kept her mouth shut, not wanting to protest having to go along with this adventure in front of a pony that could turn her into a black smear on the crystalline floor with a thought. Starlight was grumbling to herself about having to do something with Garotte, and Twilight was eager to help.

"Excuse us,"

"Princess Celestia?"

"What do you want us to do?" The Trio asked.

"I am also interested in any contribution I could provide." Monotone added.

"Besides, being in the castle all day is boring!" Pink announced from the ceiling fan.

Celestia looked upwards to see Pink swinging around on the rotating fan blades, and decided that it wasn't worth the effort to address the absurdity of what was flying above her. She instead looked to Twilight expectantly.

Seeing Celestia patiently looking at her as well as a few other ponies, Twilight got the hint. "Oh! Well..." She tapped her chin before replying with a noise of inspiration. "I want all five of you to seek out my friends and get to know them as part of your lessons in friendship!" she declared officially.

"Aww." Pink pouted. "We don't get to go into a blazing death trap to explore a hidden changeling hive deep in an abandoned burnt out forest?"

"It appears we have the equally daunting task of befriending the Elements of Harmony." Monotone countered. "This includes The Pink One."

Pink dropped from the ceiling fan with an accompanying, "Oof!" She then picked herself up and continued, "Well, I guess that's not so bad."

"Wait, we just remembered something!"

"Boss, there's a problem."

"What about your job at the Ponyville Spa?" the Trio announced.

Garotte sat on her haunches and held both of her forehooves up like scales. "Hmm, let's see. Saving Manehattan from changeling swarms, or hugging somepony I don't know for bits I don't need." she sarcastically asked nopony. "That's a pretty hard choice!"

Starlight clonked her on the back of the head. "Come on, Greymane. We have hero things to do."

Rubbing her neck, Garotte complained with "Ouch! Watch where you swing your hooves, Glitter!"

"It's Glimmer!" Starlight shot back.

Twilight facehooved. "This is going to go great."


Starlight, Twilight and Garotte had spent the needed time to gather supplies that they might have use for in their task. Starlight brought food, water and blankets. Twilight brought scrolls, writing implements and more scrolls. Garotte brought a fire-pony jacket and an axe. The three of them were walking away from Ponyville in the general direction of the White Tail Woods, lead by Twilight.

"Seriously? What are we going to need an axe for?" Starlight asked incredulously. "Are you planning on chopping down any trees?"

Garotte nodded. "Yep. Lots of 'em." she then swung her axe around in a lazy arc around her head with her levitation magic, grinning gleefully.

"You're serious. Twilight, she's serious about bringing an axe with her!" Starlight announced with alarm.

"Uh-huh." Sparkle absently acknowledged, looking at a map and using some kind of mathematics to plot their course. Garotte stuck her tongue out at Starlight having succeeded in obtaining permission by lack of saying that she couldn't bring a fire axe from Twilight.

Starlight decided she would need bandages as well now, due to an axe being involved and not trusting Garotte with the sharp object she now wielded. "Do we know how we're going to get into Pyrelight? I don't think that we can just teleport there. Garotte here doesn't seem to like using her horn for anything above telekinesis."

"What, you need anything more than telekinesis?" Garotte countered. "I leveled two cities with just telekinesis! What've you done with all your fancy spellcraft and years of learning?"

"You released Tirek to level two cities, and he did it with magic!"

"That's a technicality!"

"Would you two stop arguing!?" Twilight yelled, her mane becoming slightly frazzled as she cradled her head in her hooves. "I'm trying to get us to a hive that nopony's ever been to except for my brother, and that was three years ago!"

Garotte and Starlight then both realized they were close to another again, and hurriedly backed away before anypony could say anything again.

"My bad." Starlight apologized.

"Yep, her fault." Garotte agreed, pointing to Starlight.

"Garotte, that's not how this works!" Starlight exclaimed with a stomping of hoof.

"No arguing, Starlight." Garotte replied with condescending smugness, annoying Starlight further.

Starlight groaned in exasperation. "Twilight, do we at least know where your brother is so we can talk with him? He could tell us something about where we're supposed to go, and make this journey easier on all of us."

Twilight whipped around with a happy expression. "That's a great idea! I'll send him a letter!" She then proceeded to do just that, whipping out a scroll and quill. Garotte waited for Twilight to finish before she would point out the mistake with this logic.

"Twilight." Garotte requested with a raised hoof.

"Yes, Garotte?"

"Where's Spike?"

Starlight and Twilight both looked around themselves as if they would find Spike hiding someplace out of sight nearby.

"No Spike, no letters." Garotte pointed out.

Twilight facehoofed and Starlight glared daggers at Garotte, whom countered with a disinterested shrug. "Just saying facts, is all."

"Then where's Spike?" Starlight asked everypony present.


"-And right over there would be Carousel Boutique. That's where Rarity lives and works." Spike pointed to the decorated storefront with a stubby claw, aiming Monotone's vision in the proper direction.

"What kind of work does she pursue?" Monotone asked in her characteristic monotone voice.

"She does a lot of clothing design as well as decoration. Pretty much anything that needs to look fancy, you visit Rarity for." Spike explained.

"Does she tailor suits?" Monotone pointed to her own suit, which happened to be entirely grey. The description of her suit had escaped everypony's notice until now because of how plain it was.

"I'm sure she would be willing to do something for you, Monotone. We could check and see if she's in!" He excitedly said, moving towards the door with Monotone in a half enthused pursuit behind him. She arrived as Spike had knocked his second time on the door.

"Coming~!" Rarity sing-songed from inside the store. Monotone let out a single 'Ha' of amusement from this, confusing Spike. She didn't explain the reason for her amusement. A bit of rattling accompanied by the sound of furniture being moved across a wooden floor were heard from the other side of the door, followed by a loud bang and a surprised yelp.

"Everything okay in there, Rarity?" Spike called through the door.

"Just fine, darling!" Rarity replied. Monotone gave a blank look at Spike, whom had given a nervous look to Monotone.

"I'm sure she's fine." Spike said unconvincingly.

Another loud clang was heard from the other side, soon followed by hoof steps approaching the door.

"Do I look nice?" Monotone asked Spike.

"Wha-?" Was all Spike could say in reply before the door swung open to reveal a slightly unkempt Rarity holding the door open with her magic.

"How can I help you?" She asked, breathing heavily but attempting to control herself.

"I was wondering if you were available to suit a tailor. For me, I mean. The suit. Wait, I meant tailor a suit. Not to find a romantic partner for a tailor, which would be you. I'm going to stop talking now." Monotone stumbled embarrassingly with her words, in monotone of course. Her face remained a perfect mask of null expression, but her eyes told a different story of melting anxiety.

Rarity gave a curious glance at Monotone before finally realizing that the clone was in fact wearing a suit, even if it was so grey that it blended in with the rest of her body and gave the impression she wasn't wearing anything to begin with. "Of course, dear! I just have to fix up a few things in my boutique before I'm ready to help you. Would that be alright? It shouldn't take more than a moment." Rarity eventually replied with her best customer service voice. Due to Garotte's disdain for the nobility or literally anypony that looked fancy, the two of them hadn't gotten along well at all. She had been expecting the villain's clones to behave in the same way, but Rarity picked up that this one was actually nervous around her to the point of mixing up her words.

"Thank." was all Monotone could say before her voice decided it felt like not working anymore for the moment. She attempted to speak a few more times, her nervousness denying her best efforts. Eventually, she simply motioned with a hoof to ask for entrance.

"Oh, right this way!" Rarity caught on swiftly, sweeping a hoof towards the center of her shop which now contained a couch in the middle of being moved.

"What's with the furniture, Rarity?" Spike asked, following Monotone inside the boutique.

"Oh, I'm just holding on to some furniture for a friend of mine for the time being. I was in the middle of moving them to the basement for storage when you two arrived." She explained.

Monotone was about to explain that keeping furniture in a typically cold basement in an environment that was likely to rain would allow mold to grow on the furniture if it were ever to get wet, but her mouth wisely decided to continue it's lack of helpful vocalization and spared everybeing present the boredom of having to listen to her comment. She instead opted to look around the boutique at the dresses on display, her blank expression making Rarity assume that her designs were boring her.

"Having trouble finding something you like, darling?" She asked, her face slightly betraying her worried state.

"All nice. Pretty." Monotone stumbled again with her words, pointing at a sapphire colored dress. Spike was beginning to grow suspicious of Monotone's change in behavior at this point.


Twilight Sparkle had appeared in the middle of the boutique, just ahead of Spike with Monotone and Rarity in front of her. "Rarity, have you seen Spike?" She quickly asked.

"Behind you, dear." Rarity replied calmly, pointing towards Spike.

Twilight then whipped around to come muzzle to snout with Spike. "Perfect! You're coming with me!" she happily announced, cutting off Spike's protest with another-


Monotone stood there, blinking in confusion at what had just occurred.

"It's alright, dear. Twilight does that from time to time." Rarity replied as if to wave off Monotone's concerns.

Monotone then realized she was all alone with Rarity now, and began to grow even more nervous.

"Uh." She helpfully said.

"Well, let's see what you like, shall we?" Rarity continued, helping Monotone along with a polite guiding hoof towards the tailoring and fitting part of the store.

Monotone gulped nervously, her throat suddenly becoming dry.



"Hey, they're back!" Garotte announced, drawing the attention of Glimmer. The two of them had argued once again while Twilight was off searching for Spike, and Starlight was sitting on a log facing away from Garotte in her annoyed state. Garotte had chopped down a tree in the meantime and constructed a campfire in the span of the five minutes that Twilight had been away.

Spike was slightly disoriented from the sudden teleport, but Twilight immediately spoke up. "What happened here? I wasn't gone that long, was I?"

"Garotte Wire was bored." Starlight grumbled, shifting herself to face the group next to the campfire.

"I was also productive, helping us survive the harsh wilderness you know." Garotte pointed out, irking Starlight.

"Really, you two are destined to be with each other." Spike said after he regained his bearings.

"Spike! Stop saying that!" Twilight whispered to Spike.

Garotte and Starlight were avoiding each other's looks again; Garotte busying herself with the fire and Starlight looking up past the treeline they were situated in.

"Okay. Spike, I need you to send a letter to Shining Armor." Twilight finally addressed to Spike.

"Oh, that's why you needed me?" He asked without annoyance, more surprise than anything in his voice. "Alright. Do you want me to read the letter out loud first?"

"No, I triple checked everything so it should be fine. Thanks, though." Twilight levitated the scroll to Spike, whom prepared to immolate it with his dragon breath.

"Twily! There you are!" A familiar voice called through the treeline, causing Spike to let out his held breath and incinerate the scroll. The smoke trail then moved several hooves over to Shining Armor and the scroll re materialized, impacting him in the side of the face. "Ouch." he complained.

"Shiny? How did you know where we were?!" Twilight asked in surprise.

Shining Armor looked at the scroll that had fallen to the mossy ground next to him. "Do I still need to read that?" He asked jokingly, returning the scroll to his sister, Twilight.

Garotte, meanwhile, had seen fit to hide from sight the second she heard the voice of the Guard Captain and unofficial King of the Crystal Empire. Shining Armor was a hero, she was a villain, all that business. This amused Starlight, whom reclined slightly uncomfortably on the log she was resting on to watch the coming exchange.

"How?" Was Twilight's helpful question.

"Princess Celestia thought that you might need help getting into Pyrelight to find the hive. Since I'm skilled with shield magic and I've been to the hive before, she sent me out to find you." Shining explained.

Twilight facehoofed. "Oh, of course. That would make getting around the fire a lot easier if we could just ignore it." she grumbled.

"Twilight, you should get that looked at." Garotte couldn't help but call from her hiding spot of a nearby sticker bush. Her fire-pony coat helped with the discomfort, but she had been through worse than a sticker bush before. Besides, who hides in a sticker bush? "I'm pretty sure that smacking yourself stuff's caused head trauma at this point."

Twilight removed the hoof from her face with growing annoyance that she did her best to wish away. "So, do you know how close we are to the hive?" Twilight asked Shining.

"Well, we're on the wrong side of the forest where I was dropped off at with Queen Aze when I visited her hive before."

"Why did she let you into her hive?" Starlight asked from her easy-log.

"I was part of the Crystal Delegation to see if her hive would be allowed to stay in Equestria when it was revealed. Queen Aze let me accompany her back to the hive while she returned some eggs she had laid back in Canterlot."

"Eggs?" Garotte asked.

"She was only a Proto-Queen when the peace talks started... and I may have flipped her over myself into a dresser at some point, causing her to lay an egg and start a chain reaction where she laid about fifty in total that same day." He explained abashedly.

"You flipped a changeling queen into a dresser, and she didn't immediately try to obliterate you?" Starlight asked with great interest, mixed with incredulity.

"She's a really nice queen?" Shining helplessly shrugged.

"Wait, what was happening with Princess Celestia and Queen Chrysalis? You must've been near them when they called you to find Twilight." Garotte pointed out, losing her sticker bush disguise and joining the discussion properly.



"At least she reflects the light nicely." Chrysalis commented.

Princess Celestia and Queen Chrysalis were standing in the center of the Museum of Evil, next to Queen Aze's display. Celestia had cleared out the entire museum on her request before they arrived to avoid any drama that would be caused by Chrysalis wandering around with her. Queen Aze sat regally, encased entirely in Amethyst atop a crystalline throne and surrounded by a protective magi-glass case.

"Without her assistance, we would all be slaves to Tirek right now, you know." Celestia replied with a hint of annoyance.

"I helped too, you know." Chrysalis snarked.

Celestia sighed. "This isn't helping our situation. We need to find a way to release Queen Aze from this... stasis."

"Isn't that what Sparkle and her 'friends' are doing?"

"I sent them to Pyrelight to help with her studies in friendship more than to assist with Queen Aze. If they can help, that would be a generous bonus. I'm sure the second she finds anything remotely helpful, she'll send me a letter about it."

"Then what was the meeting in the tree for?"

"Well, she wanted a role and to have a purpose. Now she has both for this, and doesn't feel left out. Besides, there's always the good possibility she will find something faster than either of us can. She has a knack for that sort of thing." Celestia winked.

Chrysalis and Celestia both looked to Queen Aze, with differing degrees of thoughtful expression.

"Have you tried giving her a hug? That worked with Garotte." Chrysalis halfheartedly asked.

"A lot of ponies have attempted it. We're obviously not sure what it takes to release her, and her hive has been trying almost everything they could think of the past three years."

"Well, standing here and talking about how we have no idea what we're doing isn't going to help. Have any ideas?"

Chrysalis and Celestia then stood there, thinking intensely about their options.

"I should probably send Twilight more help. Fire tends to burn, right?" Celestia asked Chrysalis.

"You're serious? You don't know how fire works?"

"I stare directly into the sun to see if it's sick on a daily basis. I don't let my anger show because it would melt the palace. No, I don't know how fire works, Chrysalis." Celestia snarked.

"The sun can get sick?"


"Care to elaborate?"

"No!" Celestia smugly chirped in reply, turning her head away from an annoyed Chrysalis. After a moment's thought, she realized just the pony she needed to help Twilight.

"Letter time!" She announced, pulling an ink well and quill from her ever flowing ethereal mane.


Dear Shining Armor.

Twilight needs your help entering the Hive in Pyrelight. She'll probably be somewhere close to helpful, but not quite useful for her adventure.

Just look around, I'm sure you'll find her.

Princess Celestia


"That's seriously the letter she sent you?" Twilight asked, re-reading the letter for the fifth time.

"Yes, Twilight." Shining replied tiredly, having answered that question already a great many times.

"You're sure it wasn't Chrysalis?"


"Really sure?"


This continued for several more minutes before Garotte had enough with Twilight's mental loop, and promptly smacked her across the face with her hoof.

"Ow!" Twilight yelped, nursing her cheek. "What was that for?!"

"You're annoying when you're confused." Garotte explained, promptly walking next to Starlight and plopping herself down on the log. This caused Starlight to become slightly uncomfortable and she shifted a short distance away from Garotte. Shining was annoyed that Garotte had smacked his sister, but felt that it was needed anyway. Still he would've rather been the one to do it.

"So, what do we do now?" Starlight asked. "We could wait for the sun to come up again, since it's getting dark, or we could wander around in a magically lit eternal forest fire looking for a lost hive in the middle of the night."

"I vote sleep." Garotte yawned, laying on the ground and curled up with her fire-pony jacket as a makeshift blanket.

"You know... one of us should've brought camping equipment.

"Don't worry, I'm sure your bandages will keep you warm." Garotte snarked.

Starlight grumbled and was about to retort when she was cut off by Twilight. "Enough! Just get some sleep everypony, alright? We'll deal with all of this in the morning."

"I'll stay up for the first few hours to make sure that the fire doesn't head this way, then we can switch out so that everypony gets enough sleep." Shining Armor announced.

Spike was already passed out, because he is a baby dragon. Baby dragons need their sleep if they're going to grow up and become big, strong and greedy dragons.

"Thanks, Shiny." Twilight yawned.

Starlight chose to stay up with Shining and sat next to him. "So... do you know that shield spell well enough to teach it? It would be helpful if we had a backup, just in case."

"Yeah, I know the spell inside and out." Shining smiled, approving of what he assumed was Starlight's need to protect others. In actuality, she simply wanted to make sure she didn't burn to a crisp if everything went horribly wrong. Even more, it was another spell she could lord over Garotte not knowing.


"Pony dig!"

"Pony dig."

"Trio, Trio, Trio!" The Trio happily chanted, attacking the ground with shovels in Applejack's orchard. The three had asked the farmer if she needed help with anything, and explained their task of making friends. Applejack needed spots for some new trees to be replanted, and had given them shovels in order to help out. She now looked across her orchard, noticing a great many holes in perfect lines spaced enough for planting and idly wondered how the three had figured out what they needed to do. She was also a big unnerved by their habit of finishing each others sentences in a particular order and their vigor with physical activity, them being unicorns.

She took this opportunity to lounge in a folding chair, sipping apple cider with Rainbow Dash.

"Ya think this whole 'rehabilitation' thing is gonna work out?" Applejack asked, pointing towards the Trio.

"Probably. It sort of worked with Discord, right? If we can help somepony like him, then why not Garotte and her clones?" Rainbow reasoned.

Both of them sipped their cider in unison.

"Yep. Probably." Applejack agreed.

"Uh, Applejack?" Big Macintosh, her brother, asked in his deep voice. "What's with the unicorns out in the field?"

"Oh, hey Big Mac!" Rainbow said happily.

"Howdy, Rainbow." Big Mac nodded.

"Those three wanted to help out and become friends, so I told em how they could help out. I didn't know they'd take so quickly to it, though." Applejack replied. "There are three of 'em, I guess."

"Still, can we even manage that many new trees?"

"It'll be fine, Big Mac. Applejack and you've totally got this!" Rainbow reassured him.

Big Mac grumbled as the Trio dog-piled onto a cart filled with apple seeds and began throwing them around the field like rice at a wedding.

"If you say so." He conceded uncertainly.