The Ambassador of Evil

by Queen Sanguine Dreams

The Hive, Part 1

"---aaaaAAAAAAA--Oof!" Twilight landed with a soft thud.

"-aaaaaaAAA--Oof!" Went Starlight and Shining.

They were surrounded by pitch black, nothing visible and not even the sounds of flame from Pyrelight could be heard anymore. Little droplets of water were falling from the hive's ceiling, a thick purple mucus that was slimy in texture.

"Eugh!" Starlight complained. "Where the hay are we?"

"I can't see, but I'm assuming its--" Shining began, before a blinding light interrupted him.

"This better?" Twilight asked, her horn alight with magic and providing a lavender glow around them. The 'floor' of the hive was also slimy; lifting their hooves took some effort due to the adhesive nature of it as well. There were ridges everywhere, like a great network of interlinking skeletal spines weaving throughout with intricate patterns. The place was hauntingly vacant of any life excepting the three, scattered debris from the hole above giving some small comfort they hadn't been dropped into an alien world.

"Uh, no. Not better." Starlight whimpered. "Can I go back to being blind now?"

Whispered groans followed throughout the hive, setting everypony's fur on edge as well as their nerves.

"Nevermind! Light is good!"

The three decided to stand, taking in their surroundings further. They had dropped into what appeared to be a large ante-chamber, small and barely noticeable amethyst gems were slotted into the walls at regular intervals, attracting Twilight's interest.

"What do you think these do?" She asked everypony, pointing them out with her hoof.

"The last time I was here, they lit up the hive so I could see." Shining explained. He had visited Queen Aze's hive three years prior as part of a peace talk envoy. He was the only pony allowed into the hive until this day. "I don't know why they're dark, though."

"Maybe they just need a boost?" Starlight suggested, wrapping the gemstone in a field of magic, causing it to glow brightly with a purple hue.

A loud crashing was heard in the distance, accompanied by another groan that seemed otherworldly.

"I hate this place already." Starlight grumbled, her previous elation at discovering another light source being dashed by the hive itself.

"Where do we even go?" Twilight asked, looking around. The ante-chamber was very wide; about the size of Ponyville's market plaza. The ceiling stretched all the way out of sight into a great void above, like a starless night sky. "HELLO?" Twilight yelled, causing her voice to echo a short distance along the walls before being eaten by silence.

"Okay, please don't do that ever again..." Starlight asked nervously. "This place is creepy enough without echoes."

Twilight nodded. "Okay, never doing it again, got it." She walked towards the single illuminated lighting gem on the slimy walls. "Do you think these would give us a path? I mean, the rest of them probably aren't turned on, so we should be able to see where we've gone."

"The last time I was here, Queen Aze gave me an escort to show me around. This place was crawling with changelings everywhere I looked. To see it like this, completely empty? ... I just want to get out of here as soon as we find what we're looking for."

"What are we looking for, anyway?" Starlight asked.

"Something to help return Queen Aze from her stasis?" Twilight answered uncertainly. "There's got to be something here, right?"

"You mean we went into this creepy, spooky and dead hive, on a hunch?" Starlight hissed incredulously.

"That's how my plans usually go, and they work out!" Twilight hissed back.

A distant shuffle of dirt distracted the two from their arguing, reminding them of their surroundings.

"Okay, whatever. Let's just find Garotte, find whatever we need to for Queen Aze, and get out of here!" Starlight conceded, looking around anxiously as if expecting something to leap from the walls at her.

"Lets just go along this... hallway... and see where it takes us." Twilight decided, earning an eye roll from Starlight. Shining was determined to protect the both of them and was on edge for whatever lay ahead.

They trudged through what they could only see as a hallway, lighting gems along the way as they went deeper into the hive itself. Windy groans and rumbling of dirt nibbled on their nerves, causing them all to bunch up for what comfort it would provide. Twilight's horn provided most of their light, the wall lighting being dim at best.

"Shouldn't those things be brighter? How does anypony see down here?" Starlight asked, her eyes darting around and searching the void ahead of them for anything that lurked on the edges of the light.

"I don't think they were made with pony eyes in mind, Starlight." Shining offered. "This place was only a little brighter than it is now, and that was when every one of these wall gems were active."

"Oh, great. So we're wandering through this hive nearly blind while who knows what stares back at us?"

"Hey, if it makes you feel better, changeling eyes glow. We'd know if we're being watched."

Their walk through the hallway ended, opening into another large chamber that held an array of gems creeping up the wall, carved specifically with hexagonal slices into the surface of it.

"I think I've been here before." Shining spoke up, walking ahead of Twilight and lighting his own horn to brighten the room a bit more. "Yeah... this is one of their Lairs."

"L-lair?" Starlight stuttered nervously.

"It just means sleeping area, Starlight." Twilight explained.

"Not helping!"

"Well, it doesn't look like there's any changelings here." Shining continued, looking up towards the ceiling. "I mean, none that are alive at least."

"REALLY NOT HELPING!" Starlight whisper shouted, not wanting to hear another echo become devoured by the creepy noise of the hive.

"Let's just keep going. I'm sure we'll run into something eventually." Twilight suggested, leading the group onwards.

"That's what I'm afraid of..." Starlight mumbled to herself quietly.

Their travels through the hive continued for a while longer, encountering more Lairs and Ante-chambers along their route. The hive itself went from areas of soggy wetness to completely parched, the 'spines' of the changeling's construction cracking and snapping underhoof. Twilight likened them to old bones in an archaeological dig she had went on as a filly, which helped the mood none for the other two present. They moved deeper and deeper into the depths of the hive, finding nothing of note for the most part...

"This is ridiculous!" Starlight blurted out, her nerves on edge. "Where are we going? We haven't seen anything but the same two or three repeating rooms for hours!"

"Well, we could always go down one of the unlit corridors that doesn't have pathway lighting..." Shining suggested. "Most of the hive is built around how changelings move, so there's also the vertical that we haven't looked at either."

"Vertical?" Starlight asked.

"Changelings can fly. Why would they build only horizontally?" Twilight rhetorically asked.

"Oh..." Starlight whimpered, her ears folding downward in worry. "But wait, how are we going to follow you, Twilight? We don't have wings."

"Easy! I'll fly ahead, make sure it's safe, then come back and teleport all of us."

"I don't know, Twily. That's going to get tiring really fast. Should we just split up?"

"No-no-no-no-no! We're not splitting up, no way, no how, not now, not ever!" Starlight protested, clinging to the both of them.

"Starlight, I'm touched." Shining joked.

"Shut up! This isn't a place ever meant for anypony, ever!"

"Well it is a changeling hi-" Twilight was explaining before being interrupted.

"Shut! Up!" Starlight insisted.

A loud crashing was heard nearby, like something fell from the ceiling.

"What was that!?"

"I dunno." Shining helpfully answered.

"Let's go see!" Twilight cheerfully replied.

Starlight was seriously beginning to question the sanity of Twilight and Shining, but followed along anyways lest she be left all alone.

Their path went down a corridor with no gem lightning, casing the oppressive and ever present void of darkness to close in around them. The hall had become claustrophobic, bearing down on them as well with its smaller ceiling. The hall eventually opened after a tense walk through it for several minutes. In the center of the room they had now entered was a large crystalline object; amethyst of course. Everything in this hive was amethyst.

"What is that?" Shining asked.

"Wait, you mean you didn't see that before?" Starlight worriedly questioned.

"Starlight, this hive is meant for three thousand changelings. I don't think I've even seen a tenth of it."

"Not helping." Starlight complained in a tiny voice, the enormity of their situation swinging full force into the glass vase that held her hopes and dreams.

Twilight had already moved ahead to examine the large crystal, her hoof hovering close to it in a moment of indecision. She finally lowered it to the ground, deciding against poking the large and unfamiliar object.

"I'm not sure I even want to know what this is, but what if it's the key to saving Queen Aze?" Twilight argued with herself, rubbing her chin and immediately regretting it. She spent the next few moments using her magic to anti-muck her face from all the debris and slime that had accumulated on her hooves. "Blehck." she complained.

"Maybe it's a really big glow light?" Starlight suggested hopefully.

"We could find out..." Shining added.

Twilight bit her lower lip in thought. We don't really know what this does, but the alternative is to wander around aimlessly and hope we find something that we do. In a changeling hive that nopony even knows what we're doing. With a time limit. "Okay, let's do it!" Twilight blurted, sending magic through her horn and into the large crystal.

Starlight made nervous muttering noises and Shining kept watch.

"I don't think I have enough power!" Twilight strained, pouring another layer of magic into the gem.

"You mean an alicorn can't power this thing!?" Starlight asked incredulously.

Twilight dropped her attempts, nearly falling to the sticky ground. "Whew!" She exclaimed, sweating. "Okay, what's the deal with this?"

She stared at it with curious interest, placing her hoof on the surface of the large fallen amethyst crystal. She received a slight shock accompanied with a purple arc of energy into her body, making her mane frazzle. "Eeep!" she yelped in surprise.

"Okay, don't touch the crystals. Got it." Starlight noted sarcastically.

"Maybe we're looking at this wrong?" Shining offered. "What if we're not supposed to charge it with magic?"

"What else would we charge it with?" Twilight asked, her head tilted in confusion.

"Well... Aze's hive works off of harmony, right?"

"... Yes?" She replied, not understanding.

"So, what if it's like the shield we used in the forest? What if we all need to power it at once, in harmony?" Shining explained.

The three looked to the crystal, the noises of the hive and perpetual groans of weakening structure hastening their decision making process.

"Alright, let's do it!" Starlight agreed, moving towards the crystal. "Mysterious crystal thingy, activate!" she cheered, hoping this would help them somehow and charged her horn.

Shining and Twilight joined at her side, also charging their own horns.

"Okay, everypony ready?" Twilight called, all of them adding another layer of magical overglow.

"Ready!" They replied.

"Three... Two... One... Now!" Twilight shouted, three bolts of magic flying into the center of the crystal and causing it to glow immensely.

"Hey, it worked!" Starlight cheered, doing a small happy dance.

Then a sound of building power, whirring, electricity and distant whaling came from the crystal.

"Uh..." Twilight blurted.

"Uh oh." Shining added.


The three of them were blinded by the light of the crystal activating, taking them a while to clear their vision.

"Twilight?" Starlight called. "Shining?"


After a while, her vision returned and she lit her horn. "Hello?" She asked into the void that crept around the glow of her magic. "...Anypony?"


Meanwhile, Shining Armor was in a similar situation. He had found neither Twilight nor Starlight with him. He was in a completely different area of the hive than he had been a moment before.

"This can't be good." He said to himself, lighting his horn. He was in a blank area of the hive meant for through-traffic to other areas. It looked like a centerpiece in the hive's construction. "Was that thing a teleporter?"

He shook his head. "Doesn't matter. I need to find Twily and Starlight." He said with determination, looking around and finding no obvious pathway to... anything, really. "Somehow..."


Twilight was also alone. She had been dumped into a pool of thick liquid that made her desperately want to be anywhere else. So much in fact, she teleported blindly away from it and nearly smacked into a wall.

"Aaah!" She yelled, "Get it off, get it off!" She madly scraped at the liquid with her hooves and her magic, frantically flinging the liquid from her fur as best as she was able to. She resorted to shaking herself off like a dog, sending more bits of liquid away from her until she was able to calm down.

"W-what was t-that!?" She stammered in a panic, her back to a slimy wall. She was more concerned with the liquid she had been dumped into. There appeared to be several of these pools that she could see, all with differently colored liquid that she couldn't identify for the life of her. The one she had just teleported from was a yellowish green, almost like snot. "Eugh..." Twilight walked closer to it, peering over the edge at the goop.

It moved.

"Aaaaaah!" She shrieked, falling backwards and nearly landing in another pool. This one was reddish orange in coloration and viciously lashed out towards her. "AAH!" She doubled in fear, squirming away from that pool as well. She held her hooves close to her body, trapped between the two pools and not wanting to move for the moment.

"I'll just... just um... here is good, yeah." She babbled, her composure shattering from exposure to the liquids she was still wet with. "Hehe... um, everything will be fine!"


Starlight, meanwhile, was frozen with a different fear.


She hadn't moved a single step from where she teleported in at, and was having no issues keeping it that way. She was all alone now. No Twilight, no Shining. Just her.


This feeling wasn't helped by the fact that the void of darkness was ever-present in the unlit hive, causing her paranoia to spike and render her motionless.

"Ah... maybe they'll come and find me?" She tried convincing herself. "I mean, it's only a hive for... three... thousand..." she squeaked.

Not helping.


Shining Armor had pressed on, navigating his way through the cross section as best he could. The entire area was arranged with small resting pillars stretching across the room like a net, presumably to allow passing changelings a spot to rest their wings before carrying on. He had been traveling along these pillars, doing his best to not slip and fall into a bottomless pit. Shining's hoof slipped, sending some dirt noiselessly below him and causing him to pause.

"Hooo-kay. Time for a break." Shining decided, lowering himself down onto the pillar he was walking on and laying down. His horn was providing some light, but from his view he appeared to be in the center of a great nothingness, walking along amethyst encrusted spines of grey and black that cracked under every step. For now, however, he was able to listen to the dripping of what he hoped was water and the wind going through the hive.

"Now that I actually took a moment to listen... this place is creepy." Shining realized.


Shining looked behind himself quickly, almost wrenching his neck as he stood unsteadily on the pillar. "Who's there!?" He yelled, his voice being swallowed by the void.

"Spoooky ghooooosts!" A familiar voice taunted from the darkness.


"OOoooOooooO!!" She continued.

"Where have you been?" Shining asked of the darkness.

"I dunno, around?" Garotte replied, hiding from sight.

"Are you gonna come out where I can see you?"


"Why not?"


"Garotte?" Shining asked.


"This isn't funny!"

Shining's plea was answered by a pair of glowing amethyst eyes appearing before him, growling ominously in a way that made his entire body crawl in fear.


Twilight was laying on her back between a pool that made her fur tingle and another that made her want to scream in rage.

"I need to get out of here!" She yelled in frustration, teleporting herself upright and quickly moving between the two pools towards a wall. Taking deep breaths to try and calm herself down, she eventually leveled herself out to a normal state.

"Okay... what the hay just happened?" she asked herself, her analytical mind taking over. "One moment, everything was fine. We were all channeling magic into the big crystal and suddenly, Poof!" She waved her forelegs to encompass the various pools of questionable content. "What are these things even for?!"

"Fun!" A familiar voice called out.

"Garotte?" Twilight asked, lighting her horn. "Where are you?"

"Around!" She replied.

"Seriously, we've been looking all over for you! Where are you?"






Starlight had decided that enough was enough, and took a single step away from the crystal.


"Aaah!" Starlight yelped, retreating to the safety of the crystal. "Who's there!?"


"Wait, really?"

"I dunno."

"Garotte, you scared me half to death!"




"Don't leave me!"

She was answered by a wet growl that immediately caused her body to sprint. "AAAAAAHHH!!"

Twilight, to her surprise, heard two very familiar screams in opposite directions running towards her. "HEY, I'M OVER HERE!" She yelled at the top of her lungs.

"TWILIGHT!?" She heard Shining yell.

"GET IT AWAY FROM MEEE!" Starlight screeched in panic.

Both of them had their horns alight, giving Twilight a bearing on just how large the room she was in actually was. Setting her own horn as a beacon, the two began a long sprint towards her, looking over their shoulder for something. The room itself held countless pools, vats, chrysalis' and containers that looked to be made from living material. Sometimes a pool would lash out towards Shining or Starlight; other times it would retract away or make bubbling noises at their approach.

"Twilight! Get me out of here!" Starlight yelled, still only halfway to Twilight at this point. The room itself was larger than Sweet Apple Acres was!

"Is anything following me!?" Shining also yelled, looking behind himself.

"No? What are you two talking about?" Twilight hollered back.

"Monsters!" They both shouted in return.

"Do you mean like Leafy?"


They were now just past half way to Twilight at this point.

"What do you mean, then?" Twilight yelled.

"THIS ISN'T THE TIME, TWILIGHT!" Starlight screamed as a nearby pool lashed out towards her. She narrowly avoided contact with it, thankfully.

Twilight decided to stay quiet while the two made their way to her. After a few minutes, they had finally arrived and out of breath.

"How did you two find me?" Twilight asked.

"Didn't... find... scary... ran..." Starlight huffed.

"Monster... glowy eyes... never again!" Shining added helpfully.

"Shining, do you have any idea where we are?" Twilight asked.

Shining took a moment to catch his breath, looking around what could be seen of the current room. "No idea...Twily." he answered between breaths.

"I fell into one of those pools... the one with yellow and green? I haven't had the urge to run away that bad in my entire life..." Twilight commented.

"What do you think... they are?" Starlight asked, almost recovered.

"I have no idea, but I know they aren't anything good."

"Why have them, then?" Shining asked.

"Maybe its only good for changelings?" Starlight suggested.

"Maybe... All I know is that we're not going to get any answers by waiting around here." Twilight decided, standing to help the others.

The three stood side by side, staring out into the void that was barely illuminated by the pin-prick of light from their horns. Twilight took the lead, navigating between the pools of mystery liquid that each reacted differently to them as they passed along. They were of every color and hue, every consistency and viscosity, some were even see through... or just empty. For some reason the empty ones made all of them even more nervous.

"Okay. So... we really have no idea where we are now, do we?" Starlight asked quietly.

"No, not really." Twilight admitted.

"How are we going to get out of here, then?"

"We'll find a way." Twilight replied confidently, turning back to smile reassuringly at her friend. To her confusion, her brother and Starlight looked extremely frightened. "What? Did I say something?"

"B-b-b-behind y-y-ou!" Starlight stammered, pointing a hoof.

Twilight quickly turned, finding glowing amethyst eyes staring at her from the void ahead.


"Leafy?" Twilight asked the void.

The eyes blinked, disappearing from sight for a nerve wracking moment and reappeared closer.

"Twilight, I don't think that's Leafy!" Shining urged with a cautious tone.

"Come on, that's definitely Leafy!" Twilight replied, unphased.

Shining decided his sister was being stupid and threw up a shield between the three of them and the eyes in the dark.

*Tap, tap* went the shield.

"Shining, what else is going to be down here with us besides Leafy and Garotte?" Twilight asked.


"Twilight, I'm telling you, that isn't Leafy!"


"We have to get out of here, Twilight! Shining can't hold the shield much longer!"

"Pssh." Twilight scoffed. Her horn then charged with magic suddenly.

"Twilight, don't!" Shining begged.


Twilight re-appeared a few spaces behind the eyes. "Alright, play times over, Leafy!" She declared, brightening her horn to almost blinding levels.


"That isn't Leafy." She declared simply.

What stood before her was a hideous mesh of plant, changeling and amethyst. It was coated in various colors of what looked like the fluid and liquid in the room, and didn't look too friendly either. It's jaw parted very similarly to Leafy's, however it didn't hold any of the subtle charm that Twilight would have associated with her pet leaf-monster.

This thing just looked like it was hungry... very hungry.

"Everypony run!" Twilight yelled.


She had teleported the three of them to the opposite side of the room, leaving the new monster very confused. Its purple eyes glared at them from across the room before an ear splitting shriek came from it in anger.

"RUN FASTER!" Twilight urged, the noise from the monster causing her body to flood with adrenaline and carry both Shining and Starlight in her magic while she flew blindly through the halls even faster than before.