• Published 19th Aug 2013
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Fallen Equestria; Shattered Silence - Endless Nightmares



War breaks out, Celestia and Luna are pushed to the edge..and finally use one final solution.

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First Blood; Enter the Nightmare

Chapter 10: First Blood; Enter the Nightmare

Laying in her chambers on the bed, Luna rests in the dark. She rolls the bauble she recovered from the crash in her magic, staring up at its soft glow. This was the gift of her soul that she had given to her lover, and the proof she didn't wish to ever see of his death. When she had constructed the chain of her magic, lunar steel and her own life energy, it was made to only be removed by her magic, or death of its wearer. This she knew all too well.

It was this gift that had protected him, when she herself could not. The dark alicorn sighs tiredly as she gazes at it, re adjusting her position on the bed for more comfort. Her wing was still bandaged along with her neck and most of her mid section, the wrappings causing her discomfort as she laid.

'This protected him...from her...it saved him from her magic that day...so why didn't our magic affect them during the battle?' Luna thinks, continuing to stare at the star in the bauble. She was still furious with it all. Were it not for the greed of the parasite, things would be as they once were. Her pilot would be here beside her, sound asleep. Her heart wouldn't ache from his death, and her kingdom would still be peaceful. 'There is more to this..The changelings and the dragons could both block alicorn and unicorn magic, where as before they could not.'

The night alicorn rolls off the bed, her mind a whirlwind of chaotic thought. She begins to pace about the room in front of the bed. 'First was the dragon attack..but Legatus had stated it was unsanctioned by the council to attack Equestria. Then Talon discovered the parasite had infiltrated the castle only days after it...Then the queen hath appeared, and soon thereafter we were invaded.' She whispers to herself. Luna turns to the open window gazing at her moon, deep in thought now. The pieces are falling together in her mind. As she paces, her hoof steps upon something soft, catching her attention.

Looking down, she traces the softness to its source, it's Talons fatigues jacket. The blood from where she had sank her fangs into him still on the shoulder piece and collar. Luna shivers from the thought, memories of the taste of his blood causing her to feel nauseous. She remembered the event all too well, where the demon spawn first appeared- the day she betrayed her pilot, and the day the truth of the super weapon was brought to her beloved sister. This throws off her train of thought as she licks her lips, recalling also how this was where true proof of his devotion to her was brought to the light.

Using her magic, she levitates the damaged flight jacket and bauble back to the bed, with her climbing up slowly to rest as well. Once on the mattress, she sets the items down in front of her. Luna continues to gaze at the blood spot, her head lowering to rest on the jacket of her flame. 'It still has his scent..' She whispers mournfully. She breathes deep, in hailing all that she can. Still within the fabric, the smell of fuel, exhaust, and the sweet scent she never could identify. The rush of memories in her mind flooding her every thought, causing the alicorn to begin to sob quietly.

* * * * *

"Are you sure you want to do this, ma'am? Not too late to back out.." He says, turning his gaze to the white alicorn. Talon and Luna are standing inside the hangar next to the war bird. Luna has just finished raising the moon and refueling the aircraft with her liquid moonlight. He takes another pull off of his lit cigarette, and ex hails.

"Commander, are you implying that I'm afraid? If my little sister could do it, I certainly would be willing to give it a try. It seems fun, and she takes great enjoyment out of it." Celestia says with a grin. Alicorn mischief dances in her eyes as she eyes the war bird.

The pilot shakes his head and puts out his cigarette, then folds his arms. "No ma'am. But it's just...well, you're too big for the co pilots chair. Your horn alone would be too tall to close the canopy.."

Luna snickers, covering her muzzle with her hoof. She's always been jealous of her elder sisters endowments and stature. Since the pilot came along however, she's since changed her views. If she was Celestia's size, she couldn't be a lap warmer, or even a co pilot. Let alone half of the other fun things she's done with her love so far.

Celestia muses a grin, eyes narrowing to the pilot. "Well if that's your only problem, I believe I can make the correction." The elder alicorn alights her horn, encompassing herself in her own magic. Casting a spell upon herself, she begins to shrink down in stature. Before the couples eyes, Celestia has shrunk down to a filly. The light fades, and the alicorn stares up at the pilot. Her cheeks and frame look somewhat chubby, and her eyes seem to be bigger and sparkle.

The dark alicorn's jaw drops to seeing this, disbelieving her own eyes. "Tia?! Thou hath gone mad!" Luna exclaimed, flabbergasted by her sisters insane move. Talon stares wide eyed, his eye twitching. Standing there, was a short, chubby, absolutely adorable filly Celestia. If she had a bow on her head, the pilot would likely keel over from her overwhelming adorableness.

"I believe this solves the issue of my stature, Commander." Squeaked out the sun princess in a high pitched voice. It was simply too much. She was using all of her tricks now on the two, pulling out all the stops. The chubby cheeks and adorable belly, the big, watering eyes and adorable smile. The short unbelievably pink mane and tail even fluffed out. Celestia was truly going all out. She really really wanted that flight.

Luna face hoofed at this, unbelieving her sister would go so far just to prove a point. It was earlier that day when the two royal sisters were talking of the war bird, and Luna excitedly telling Celestia just how exhilarating being a co pilot was. During their talk and luncheon, Luna had joked with her elder sister saying she could never squeeze her flank in the seat, let alone have the stomach for the war birds powerful maneuvers and speed. It was Luna that had made a bet with her elder sister, and made the challenge. 'She really does want me to make her that moonshine cake again...if she's going to this extreme.' Luna thought, grimacing inwardly. She recalled then the time that she first attempted to use the oven in the royal kitchens, only for half of Canterlot's fire ponies to be called in and the royal coffers replacing most of the kitchen and dining rooms. Had Celestia of backed out of the bet, Luna would get to have her way, and have alfalfa sprouts banned from the castle for eternity.

Talon sighs and walks up to the filly, kneeling down to meet her eye level. "So let me get this straight, princess. You want me to take you for a flight....right now? Just around Canterlot?" He asks, raising an eyebrow.

The excited alicorn foal nods eagerly, smiling a wide toothy smile. The pilot fights hard with himself not to just scoop the adorable sun princess up and squeeze the life out of her lungs, seeing her smile even had a cute gap between the two front top teeth as an added detail. Seeing the pilots obvious internal struggle, Celestia grins like a Cheshire cat. 'Time to go in for the kill..' She thinks, stepping closer to the pilot. Celestia starts to nuzzle the pilots leg and flicks her tail, swishing it quickly from side to side. "Plllleeeeeaaaasssse?"

It's too much. Even with his strict military training, after all of his years of service and everything he's survived, he falters. Celestia just hit him with the ultimate act of adorableness, causing him to crumble. "Eh...alright, alright. Lets go.." He says, finally scooping up the sun princess in his arms and carrying her to the cockpit. Luna stares at this and shakes her head, a stern look of disappointment on her features. As he climbs up the steps he holds the excited and giggling Celestia filly under one arm, using his other to climb up and steady himself. All around him, he can hear the stifled giggle snorts of the Lunar Stallions, even from Captain Aegis Shield, standing guard at the hangars entrance.

He sets the filly down in Luna's seat, buckling the bite sized princess down with the harnesses. She's so small in her stature, her chubby, stubby legs don't even reach the edge. He snickers at this. "Should I get a booster seat for the royal tush?" He says sarcastically, desperately holding back the urge to drop on to the floor and die laughing.

Celestia nods eagerly, grinning widely again with that big Cheshire pony grin, and closing her eyes.

The pilot steps back down the side again, looking for something to place under her so she can see out the canopy at least. As he starts his path away from the war bird, Luna stops him and whispers in his ear.

"Take her for a ride, love. Make her scream." She whispers, venom and malice in her voice. The night alicorn steps back and kisses him, then grins a deep sinister grin. If she's going to have to brave cooking again, she's going to be sure Celestia has to work for it.

He nods quickly and starts his search, coming upon a few large books laying on top of the tool boxes. Gathering these, he jogs back to the war bird and climbs back up into the cockpit. Waiting for him is a filly princess, standing on her hind legs and her little fore hooves perched on the gunnels of the canopy. After a few moments of stacking the books and buckling the sun alicorn back into her harness, he looks her over. "Princess...are you SURE you want this? Your sister was scared out of her skull the first flight."

Celestia, the master chess player here simply smiles innocently. She being the elder and sometimes very competitive sister wouldn't allow herself to be shown up, especially after learning there was cake involved. She nods quickly, grinning at the pilot. "Commander, if I didn't know any better, you seem more anxious about this than I." She jibes gently.

Turning his gaze he looks to the night alicorn, who nods slowly with a look of resolution on her features, and a small smile upon her lips. This is the go ahead he needed. He climbs in the cockpit and gets seated, flipping switches and powering on the on board computer. "Initiate Scram jet Sequence!" He calls out to the computer.

The engines begin to whine to life, the first quite whisper spinning up to a loud howl that is the banshees cry. The canopy closes and seals around them. He puts on his flight helmet, then turns around and helps Celestia with the dark alicorn's headset. Sadly for Celestia however, the headset is ill fitting due to her now much smaller stature. She lets out a small giggle snort and nips at the microphone with her lips, eliciting a groan and eye roll from the pilot. He's thankful she can't see his eyes due to the helmets visor.

Luna bounds into the air and takes off on wing, perching herself upon her balcony to watch the war bird taxi and take off from a safe distance, somewhat agitated that it was her elder sister in the co pilots seat, and not herself. As the war bird slowly makes its way to the flight line and then the end of the runway, she sighs. Her heart sinks, already missing his company. She watches the canards spread open as the aircraft spreads its wings, still stopped at the edge. Her heart pounds in her chest, experiencing the thunderous cry from outside the aircraft for once. Glancing around, she can see her Lunar Stallions all watching this unfold, they too seem to be uneasy about the situation; they themselves also seem to agree with the dark alicorn's emotions.

*****

"Last chance ma'am. Are you absolutely sure you're up for this?" He calls out on the war birds radio. He glances at the mirror on his consol and peers at her, watching for her reactions. All he can see is the tip of her horn and a tuft of her wispy pink mane. He hears a small muffled voice squeak out in his earpiece.

"Yes, lets go!" The very excited princess Celestia replied enthusiastically. In truth, her own heart was racing in her barrel, excited about finally getting to experience this for herself. She recalls the first flight the pilot and her sister had, and the joy she experienced watching the mysterious machine seemingly dance in her sunlit skies.

Talon looks ahead, his hand holding the bauble that the lunar princess had given him only hours ago. He traces the orb with his fingers, feeling the cool steel against his skin around his neck from the chain as well. Whispering a silent prayer that Luna was with him for this, he begins operating the controls. The engines throttle up, the afterburners igniting. The war bird starts to roll forward slowly at first, then faster and faster as he pushes the throttle to its limits. He can feel the pressure building upon his body as the craft rockets down the runway.

Celestia is pinned back in her seat, not expecting the initial force of the war birds powerful thrust to push her like this. Her eyes go wide as she feels the weight of the force bearing down upon her barrel, almost forcing the air from her lungs. Terror begins to overtake her mind as the aircraft tilts back, and lifts off the ground. She's never experience this before, and can only imagine what Luna's initial reaction must have been. She squeezes her eyes shut, not daring to look out the glass as the war bird takes to the skies.

He climbs hard into a steep climb, keeping the burners lit and full throttle until they reach the clouds overhead. Flipping switches, he retracts the landing gear and rolls the aircraft into a steep pitch, pulling a split S before he rights the aircraft and throttles back. "You can relax now, ma'am. We're airborne and above your city." He says calmly into the radio.

Celestia is a nervous wreck at this point, shaking and quivering in a tiny little fur-ball as she cringes. Were it not for the harness holding her to the seat, she likely would have probably shot out the canopy in fright. Hearing the pilots soothing voice in her ears, she slowly calms down and opens her eyes, looking around. Above her and all around in her vision, she can see Luna's sea of stars blanketing the night sky, with a very clear view of the moon. She feels the aircraft gently bank, the left wing tipping down slightly. Looking left, she can see the streetlights and lit windows of Canterlot. Her eyes go wide with wonder as she takes in the new perspective.

He laughs, seeing the day princess finally relax. Looking at his instrumentation, he checks over various systems and glances at the radar. The pilot smiles when he sees the sweeping needle come up with no results what so ever, indicating he's all alone in the sky minus a few pegasi or birds that are much too small for the radar to detect.

"So this is what my sister loves..I can understand why she enjoys the flights with you, commander..." Celestia squeaks out in her small, adorable voice. She giggles as she looks about, enjoying every moment of the flight. She can almost taste the moonshine cake her sister promised. 'This isn't so bad...Luna said this was even more terrifying than anything I've ever seen! Sure, the takeoff was bad, but this is actually nice!' Celestia thinks to herself, lost in the view of the city below.

"So is this all you wanted? Because I don't mind flying a few laps around Canterlot." He says, looking about around the cockpit. He can almost visualize the dark alicorn gritting her teeth right now from being away from him this long. Normally, she's everywhere he is, like a wing man of sorts. Even for her midnight courts, she demands he's there beside her, claiming it to be important to her for reasons she never listed. In truth, he found this somewhat annoying...always a loner, he never was one to be fussed over constantly. But it was a comfort, as he did enjoy the dark alicorn's company so much. He snaps back to reality when he hears the princess respond.

"I don't see what's so thrilling or scary about this. Luna painted it to be some kind of wild dance that would make even my best solar guards wet the bed." She replies dismissive. Her high pitched voice only making the comment more comedic.

'Take her for a ride, love. Make her scream..' Luna's words ring in his mind. He grins at this, and glances back to the white alicorn filly behind him. "Ok then ma'am. You want a thrill? You've got one." He presses the aircraft's controls on the panel before him, switching off the internal radio. He knows he's going to hear the little princess probably scream her lungs out next, and would prefer to keep his hearing. Finding the screen selection he wanted, he hits the next series of commands into the computer before throttling up. The canards close, and he pulls into a steep climb.

Celestia is about to speak, when she hears music loudly play once more inside the cockpit. It blares all around her, what the pilot had called 'Rock and Roll'. The aircraft suddenly pitches upwards in a steep climb, pinning her once again to the seat. Next thing she knows, the moon above her in her line of sight begins to spin wildly, and starts getting bigger in her view. The aircraft's engines howl and thunder in her chest, as it pitches violently into a dive and a hard bank. She screams.

*****

Sitting on her sisters balcony next to Twilight Sparkle, Luna grins wickedly as she sees the faint glow of the war birds afterburners in the sky, hearing the thunderous sounds rip through the air. She watches the faint glow dance and bob against her jeweled tapestry, while listening to the sounds of the radio. The most satisfying sounds of her life, her sisters panicked screams of fright from the maneuvers.

"Do you think we should tell him to land and let her out?!" Twilight worriedly says, gnawing on her hooves while she watches the war bird rocket around the skies. She can hear her mentor and lovers squeals and shrieks over the speakers, her mind filled with images of Celestia positively in pure terror.

"Neigh, she's enjoying herself." Luna replied dismissive as she watches the war bird break into a violent dive, only to quickly pull up and climb again very close to the ground. The machine rolls quickly into a spiral, igniting the afterburners again. She grins at the sight, hearing the screams over the radio. 'That's my Talon.' She says inwardly, relishing in every second of the moment.

Twilight only watches in horror as the bird dives, then climbs, then dives again repeatedly for several minutes. Her own stomach turning as the bird spirals and banks hard, tumbling in the air and rolling left and right. "I hope she's alright Luna...she did have a big dinner...and your sister isn't known for her cast iron stomach."

Luna smiles, eyes still tracing the glow in the sky above her. "Oh..I know." She says darkly, grinning as the air craft suddenly tumbles again in a backwards dive, then pulls up hard and rights itself. She watches as the craft zips from one end of her vision to another, and only smiles more when it rockets past the castle and leaves a loud sonic boom in its wake, rattling the stained glass windows of the palace once again. "Maybe you should ask him if you could go up next?" Luna says with a coy smile, glancing off to the side. Twilight is staring up at the aircraft shaking her head no furiously. Luna looks back up, watching the war machine finally correct its flight path and approach for a landing. The two alicorn's take to wing and glide down to the hangar, awaiting the craft to land.

*****

Celestia's stomach is in knots, the twisting and turning, the spirals and the dives making her head swim. She's dizzy and dazed, wishing to mother she didn't taunt the fighter pilot. The only thing that steeled her resolve during this was the promise of the legendary cake only her sister knew how to bake. She feels the rear wheels of the aircraft's landing gear touch first, followed by the nose gear. The war bird gently coasts down the pathway, and slows to a stop. She feels the engines throttle up again, making her face go pale. 'No..not again! Not another takeoff!!' Her mind screams in panic. Much to her relief however, it's only moving back to the ballroom. She watches out the canopy, trying her best to hide her discomfort with the regal mask she's worn for so many centuries.

Coming to a rest just outside the hangar now, he shuts down the craft and powers down the computers. Opening the canopy he removes his helmet and undoes his own harnesses, then stands and helps the day princess out of her own. He tries to maintain a stoic look as he can clearly see the filly's discomfort, despite her best attempts. "So, up for another flight?" He asks with a smile.

The white alicorn nods slowly and smiles weakly at him. "Perhaps...perhaps another time..." She squeaks out, awaiting the pilot to lift her out of the over sized seat. She lifts her forelegs in the air, and smiles as she's lifted then cradled, carried out of the cockpit and away from the war bird. She cranes her neck and sees Luna and Twilight there at the doors, both smiling at her.

"Dost thou enjoy the flight with mine pilot, sister?" Luna says, a smug grin on her muzzle.

"Why yes..yes I did." Celestia bites out, being set down on her hooves. She wobbles in her place and trots up to Luna unsteadily. "It wasn't so scar--BLEEEEHHHGH!!!"

Twilight and the pilot jump back from the projectile shower, only to watch in pure horror.

* * * * *

Luna sits under the water jets in her wade pool, scrubbing herself furiously with cloths, rags and anything abrasive she can find. Her fur, bracers and part of her chest regalia all covered in her elder sisters dinner from earlier. She grumbles angrily to herself.

Talon sits quietly on the step inside the washroom not daring to speak. He only sits in silence, watching the night princess feverishly scrub the already clean fur on her forelegs and chest, while he works slowly on polishing the now clean regalia for her.

"Ugh! I cannot believe mine sister couldn't hold down her meal! And there was just...so much!" Luna bites out, her intent on ridding herself of even the memory of it. On the flight deck of the hangar, Celestia couldn't keep the stomach contents within herself, and accidentally emptied two bowls of soup, a rather large salad and two whole Manehatten cheesecakes onto the dark alicorn's unsuspecting form. If there was ever a divine punishment, this was karma indeed coming to bite the moon princess square on the flank.

Shaking his head he sighs. "I tried to tell you both this was a bad idea, Luna. That machine is one for tactical strike missions and battle operations, not a play thing. We're just lucky she managed to hold it in until we landed. I don't want to think of the havoc she could have caused had she of unloaded on the flight controls..."

Luna's eye twitches hearing this, her pausing scrubbing for a moment to glare daggers at the pilot. She says nothing, and turns back to cleaning herself. She continues for a few minutes more, her own stomach doing what feels like twists and flips from with her, the smell from earlier haunting her thoughts and threatening her own dinner.

Setting down the regalia, he strips off his own flight suit and clothing and enters the wade pool, with a small brush and sponge in hand. He wades to her side and wets the sponge, applying soap and begins helping her become clean. He works in silence, watching Luna visibly relax slowly at first, before she finally calms down all together. He works slowly and wordlessly as he goes over every curve and bend on her form, carefully cleansing everything, even what was not hit by the white alicorn's last meal before the flight.

She stands in silence as he works, her eyes closed and mind slowly going blank. When she feels him get to her wings, she opens then slowly and lets them rest on the waters surface, allowing herself to enjoy the contact and being fussed over. She's come to love being preened by some pony else instead of managing it herself, and that some pony else being the pilot only made her relax more. This process continues for what feels like hours to her as she loses herself in the moments, her head low and her ears turned out. Even her breathing slows and she begins to hum quietly her lullaby from nights prior, relishing in the bonding.

The two finish up and dry off, her pilot exiting first and helping her brush out her fur. She nickers very softly during this, the contact only helping lull her to sleep that much easier. Her half lidded gaze falls on the bauble around the pilots neck, a smile crossing her features. She stares at it in silence, her heart warming to the thoughts. She had given him the ultimate gift; a part of her heart and soul manifested in a physical sense. Within that bauble was a star, wrapped in moonlight kisses and blessings of her love and power. The proof of her love and devotion to her flame. She watches the star lazily spin and bob within the orb, content that he had accepted her special gift of herself; loving that he wore it so proudly. It was a decision that she didn't come to lightly, but knew it was the right and proper choice.

Once he finishes his ministrations and cleansing on the princess, he stands and walks to the nearby cabinets in the large washroom, putting the brushes and towels back in their respective places. Luna walks beside him and nuzzles his side, nickering softly and showing her appreciation. He smiles and silently eyes her, his hand tracing her ethereal mane slowly and reassuring her with his actions. She knew he was not angry for being forced to fly this evening, and took comfort in knowing she was forgiven for the prank she played on her unsuspecting elder sister. In the end..perhaps being the target of a filly's ill kept meal was worth it for this. The couple retire to her chambers and climb into bed, resting peacefully in each others embrace. The only sources of light in the dark room, were the moon and starlight as well as the soft iridescent glow of the bauble.

Hours pass, Luna awakens to the once again familiar tug on her senses. She groggily opens her eyes and gazes into the shadows, lifting her head. She yawns and alights her horn, willing the moon over the horizon from her bed. The night air is chilly tonight, and the alicorn is in no mood to leave from her very comfortable and warm position under the covers while she's held by her beloved. Closing her eyes, she returns back to the vestiges of sleep and the comfort of her embrace.

*****

Luna awakens once more to sunlight invading her room. As per usual, she scrunches up her nose and buries her muzzle in the pillow, pulling the covers over her eyes. She breathes deep, picking up the pilots scent nearby. She can feel him still resting, causing her own heart to warm and beat faster within her barrel. Since the bauble was attached to him, she's noticed something curious as a side effect. She can feel his presence and his emotions more, she can sense more about him. His thoughts, desires, how he feels. All things she can sense within her own mind. Their initial embrace had connected them on a level she had only dreamed of, and heard about from her elder sister. The effect was only strengthened by the close bonding and her gift to him, giving her a sense that their connection and relationship had far more depth than she had ever known. She licks her lips and scoots closer to him, resting her head close by and breathing deep. Despite him being perfectly clean, she could still intake the delicious and intoxicating scent of fuel, exhaust and that same sweet scent about him. This caused her to wonder in thought if perhaps all humans had smelled of their machines like her flame had.

She turns her head when she hears a faint knocking on her chambers door, and pokes her muzzle out from under the covers. The door cracks open slowly, revealing her full sized sister behind it. Celestia quietly steps in, a smile on her calm and serene features. Luna eyes her silently, a faint and warm smile on her own muzzle.

"Good morning, lulu." Celestia whispers softly to Luna. She smiles as her eyes trace the form of the bed, finding the pilot still asleep, resting peacefully. In all honesty, the white elder alicorn did enjoy the flight, she just wasn't prepared for such a wild ride her first time. She had no ill will or malice to him, and looked forward to planning out a small lighthearted joke to play upon him at a later time.

Luna nods slowly and gazes at her elder sister half lidded. "Good morning Tia.." She tiredly whispers. The night princess yawns a small cute yawn, rolling on her side and off of the bed. Her hooves contact the marble floor with a very quiet clip clop, as she stands and gazes at her sister. She steps forward and hugs Celestia in a light and affectionate embrace, then backs away slowly. "What..what brings you here?" She yawns. Luna looks out the window and sees the position of the sun in the sky, estimating it's still very early and likely not time for her sisters breakfast meeting the two enjoyed so many times together.

Celestia licks her lips and in hails softly, smiling sweetly. "I'm sorry for the early hour, my sister...but I was hopeful you would like to join me in the gardens this morning. A new chef has come from Fillydelphia to apply for the recently opened position of palace chef, and has presented a large breakfast for us to sample.." She whispers in a hushed tone.

The night alicorn smiles at this. She's always loved sampling new foods from all over Equestria, and especially enjoyed the ones of aspiring chefs. During the time before her banishment, variety such as today's was hard to come by, and only made the younger alicorn appreciate the new and exciting dishes more. She nods happily and yawns, quietly stepping out and following Celestia to the gardens, not bothering to place on her regalia or bracers. If her sister was going to walk around the palace today without hers, why shouldn't she?

After the doors close with a soft click, the pilot opens his eyes. He heard the entire conversation between the two and smiled. He was in fact awake, and had been since Luna had lowered the moon. He was simply listening however, to insure he didn't incur the sun princesses wrath for being a little carried away with his stunt flying. Knowing everything was fine, he sighs contently and sits up, stretching and relaxing. He climbs out of bed and gets dressed to start his day of checking over the war bird and checking the progress of the engineers for the new missiles and weapons replacements and upgrades.

*****

In the gardens, the two come to a clearing only to find an elaborately laid spread on a large square table that had been brought out. On the spread were muffins, baked sweet confections, several pies of different types and a large selection of juices, coffee and syrups. Celestia licks her lips and smiles eagerly at this; Luna however feels her appetite isn't quite normal and found her stomach somewhat unperceptive of foods this morning, despite being in fact hungry.

"Enjoy your dining, your Majesty's." They hear from one of the palace servants. They turn their heads to thank the source of the voice, only to find the owner has already trotted off, leaving the pair to enjoy their meal quietly. On the table is a small note pad and a quill, with a questionnaire for the two royal sisters. Celestia smiles at this, seeing the new chef must be very confident in their abilities to have no need to even be nearby to watch their reactions.

"This looks great lulu!" Celestia says in a wide grin, eyeing the display with the cheesecake under a glass top. Luna only nods quietly and takes a seat on the opposite cushion. In her line of sight she can see the edge of the ballroom, and a small glimmer of sunlight reflecting off of the war birds nose. It's parked back in its resting place, so she assumes the Lunar Stallions must have rolled it back for her while she had run to the washroom so unexpectedly. She turns her attention to Celestia who is already started on enjoying her meal, working quietly and princess like on a muffin first.

"Tia...why have I not been assigned any approvals or documents lately? There has not been a need for mine midnight court, leaving the nights always seemingly free for mine-self..why are thou over working..?" Luna asks cautiously.

Celestia pauses for a moment and sets her muffin back down on the plate and turns her attention back to her younger sister. She smiles sweetly, glad for the answer she is able to give. She's been waiting for this question. "Simply put lulu, that's because there is nothing to do. Equestria is not in danger of falling in upon itself. There are no floods, no firestorms, no gods of Chaos threatening life as we know it. Since Cadence is managing the Crystal Empire so well, we have had nothing but peace and prosperity as of late. Even my own workload is unusually light, leaving my days to be free for me to be to my own devices, dear sister. This is a good and peaceful time...we should enjoy it while it lasts."

Luna considers her sisters words for a moment, and nods happily. She yawns once more and looks around, enjoying the quiet morning air. The sun is warming the day quite nicely, leaving this seem like a perfect start to a wonderful day. The scent of the confections finally getting to her, she turns her attention back to her meal and slowly begins to eat, starting first on a oat and apple slice of pie.

"And I am so looking forward to that cake, dear sister." Celestia chuckles as she flicks her gaze to her sister, who has since stopped eating and replies with a nervous laugh in return. The elder white alicorn had to miss the chaos that occurred in the kitchens before, and only imagined the endearing Luna must have had when she struggled with everything. Before, the night alicorn could barely see over the counter, and has since grown. Alicorn mischief dances in Celestia's mind, she's going to be sure she's right there in the kitchens this time so she doesn't miss even a moment of watching her younger sister attempt cooking again. The idea of Luna having a massive melt down once again over a simple oven or microwave only makes her chuckle more. The elder alicorn turns her attention back to her muffin and starts munching contently.

The two sit in content and happy silence, enjoying each others company and meal together. It's when Celestia hears the faint familiar sound of boots clacking against stone reach her ears she perks up and smiles. She follows the sound with her mind, tracing its source to the ballroom with the craft in it. 'Oh wonderful...he's awakened finally!' She thinks to herself. "Lulu, if you'll excuse me for a moment, I'll be right back." She states in a sing song voice. She flutters her wings and brings then to a rest on her sides, before trotting off to the pilot in the ballroom. She wants to thank him for the flight yesterday, and invite him to join them for breakfast.

Luna nods as she sees her elder sister get up and trot off, her own mind lost in thought. She's reviewing all of the events in the last several weeks within her mind, unconsciously bobbing on her cushion and smiling. It is true, things have never been so peaceful for Equestria as a whole like lately, minus the random dragon attack. Tomorrow the delegates from the Dragon Nation as well as the ambassadors sent will be arriving, where Luna herself can question them and find out the reasoning behind the attack. Word was it had no connection with the Dragon Nation, and has caused Legatus himself to journey to Equestria to insure their treaty and alliance was still intact. Her thoughts then drift to the dogfight, seeing the pilot fight so valiantly with his machine to defend her home. Her cheeks feel hot as she blushes, thoughts of her flame in her mind.

Watching the alicorn enjoying her breakfast and lost in thought, a lone solar guard is standing guard. Its eyes fall on the midnight princess, looking intently at her. 'Hungry...so hungry..the queen has not fed us..one small meal wouldn't hurt..' The pegasus guards eyes flicker green. It's a drone. Licking its fangs within its mouth it looks over the aura the alicorn is emitting. It can feel the energy, the pure raw love emanating from her even from this distance. It's unbearable, and the temptation is too much. it begins to creep closer to the alicorn from behind, silently approaching.

Luna lost in thought doesn't notice the guard approaching from behind her, until he's close enough to cast a shadow upon her. She turns around, with a small mouthful of muffin and some crumbs on her muzzle. Looking up, she sees a solar guard with a stoic look on his features. She swallows, gathering her thoughts. "Oh, hello!" She greets with a smile. She doesn't recognize the guards face or cutie mark. "Is everything alright, Mr...?"

The drone looks down upon her, seeing her aura pulse with energy. Not responding to the alicorn speaking to him he traces her visage, searching for an opening. The alicorn is completely defenseless and unsuspecting. The hunger is too great to ignore, the meal too tempting and tantalizing. Alicorn love is legendary for its potency and power, and even a small dose would be enough to feed several drones for a lifetime several times over. He opens his maw and exposes his fangs, lunging at the princesses throat.

*****

"And I simply wanted to thank you for the flight, commander." Celestia giggles lightheartedly. "Really, I'm not upset that I couldn't keep my dinner down. Yet again you managed to pull a fast one on an old mare like myself, and I already told you I rather enjoy a good joke!" She muses.

He nods, his attention focused on the white alicorn before him. "Well ma'am, you did mention you wanted a more exciting flight, the least I could do is provide that to the best of my ability's." He chuckles. "I'm glad to hear that you're not against flying then. Next time I'll take you up, I'll give you a more controlled and gentle ride so you can enjoy it for what it is."

Celestia nods happily and nickers with energy. She's excited about the possibility of another chance, this time perhaps without an over stuffed belly with treats. "Would you like to join lulu and I for breakfast? It's a new chef for the palace. I think he definitely has the job, as just the small portion we've sampled is delicious."

Folding his arms after putting out his morning cigarette, he nods slowly. "Yes ma'am, that sounds del--" The hear a scream. A loud, pained scream that Talon is all too familiar with. Celestia and his eyes meet, wide with panic. In unison they both shout "LUNA!"

They rush to the source of the scream, finding Luna laying on her side, her fore hooves held tightly to her delicate throat. Blood is trickling down from her, and her coat and feathers seems to be darkening from blue to black in patches. Her eyes are squeezed shut. Celestia looks around, panicked and angry. On the ground is loose Solar Guard armor, cast aside and discarded. She hears a sound and turns her attention, seeing a milky blue pegasus galloping away and flying. "GUARDS! ARREST THAT PEGASUS AT ONCE!" She cries out, galloping after the pegasi in question and taking to flight. Nearby guards hear the princesses call and turn their attention, the skies filling with Solar Guards all giving chase to the fast pegasi gaining distance on even Celestia.

Talon holds Luna's head in his lap, trying to calm the alicorn down as he looks over the damage. He's panicking, desperately looking for anything he can use to stop the blood flow. Luna has stopped moving and is breathing slow, ragged breaths. More patches of her fur are darkening, spreading to her cutie mark and even changing its color. He doesn't notice this, his eyes still trained on the wound on her neck. Luna's motions stop completely as his eyes go wide, he starts checking for the alicorn's pulse. "No Luna, stay with me...don't you die!" He shouts, trying to shake the alicorn awake.

Her eyes open, her draconic gaze flicking to the source of the sound. Blood roars in her ears, muffling his pleas with her. She simply sees a blur in her vision. She feels...hatred. Only pure, unbridled hatred. Her mind is clouded and scattered, uncollected and thoughtless. So much hatred and rage within her. Her eyes zero in on the unfocused blur in her vision. Her maw opens, exposing razor sharp rows of daggers. The blur seemed to notice her awakening and tries to hurriedly back away. Craning her neck in a swift motion, she lunges up and locks onto it with her gaping maw, her teeth sinking into its flesh and biting down hard. The skies begin to blacken as she wills her magic, the moon rising high into the sky despite the sun being there as well, creating a solar eclipse. Warm, metallic flow touches her tongue, a taste she enjoys greatly, and begins to suckle greedily at. The blur is fighting her, desperately trying to knock her off and get away, causing her to sink her teeth deeper into its form, drinking more and more. She pulls and yanks with her head, trying to tear away at the delicious meal before her.

His mind screams as alarms go off in his head. The alicorn he once knew suddenly attacking him, trying to rip his arm off. He can feel her teeth sinking into his back and chest as her maw tears at his shoulder and collarbone, the bones beginning to buckle and fracture under the stress. "Luna! Stop!!" He cries out. He reaches for his pistol with his free arm and starts bashing the alicorn's skull with his failing strength, knocking her as hard as he can to break away. In the fumble, the clip of the pistol falls to the ground out of the grip. He cocks back the hammer and places the barrel under her jaw, pulling the trigger. 'click.' The chamber is empty, much to his horror. In his fright he keeps smacking her with everything he has, kicking away and trying to break free. The alicorn's coat is darkening more and more, her feathers appearing black before him. He can see her eyes wide open- thoughtless, feral. Dead glass orbs much like a shark or predator on his planet. His heart is beginning to slow from the blood loss, his vision faltering.

Celestia glides in quickly after seeing the moon high in the sky, the guards having captured the enemy and dragging it to the dungeons, kicking and screaming. Her vision fills with horror with what greets her. There slowly killing the pilot, was Nightmare Moon in all of her terrible glory. No armor, no regalia, just the black alicorn of death, greedily biting and suckling the pilots crimson flow. 'She's..she's killing him!' Celestia's mind shrieks in horror. She gallops as quickly as she could, ramming the nightmare in the side with all of her might, knocking her sister away from the perspective meal. She glances at Nightmare, quickly noticing something different. The eyes. They weren't the cold, calculating ones she had seen before, this time the draconic teal orbs were feral, thoughtless. Using her magic she probes the beast before her, confirming this is the case. She could feel the hatred and anger emanating from her. The dark alicorn gets to her hooves again and lunges at Celestia with breakneck speed, its bloody muzzle and fangs gaped wide and falling on target. Celestia dodges and counters with a hard buck to nightmares snout, rendering the alicorn out cold from the trauma and sending her flying into a nearby bush, where she falls limp.

******

In the medical wing, Luna is being tended to feverishly by the entire medical staff. Being knocked out cold by Celestia certainly didn't help the already insane damage she had taken to her neck and skull, courtesy of the pilot attempting to break free. Unicorns worked feverishly, using their magic to mend the damage as quickly as possible. Celestia herself had tended to the pilots extreme injuries, repairing the broken bones with her magic. There was little they could do for the heavy blood loss, as there are no donors on the entire world that would work with his blood. He sits there in the chair, arms folded and dizzy while he stares intently at the night alicorn in the medical bed. Celestia stands beside her as well, using her magic to restore as much of her sisters mind and heart as she possibly can.

"With all due respect ma'am...what in the actual FUCK was that?!" He demands. Despite being healed by the white alicorn, he's still sore and angry as hell. His fatigues are damp with the drying blood, and he had a headache from hell. Nothing made sense now. "What the fuck happened to her? Why did she go ape shit?!"

Celestia sighs and shakes her head, pausing her healing of the midnight princess for a moment. She turns her attention to the pilot. "Language, commander." She sighs. "That was...a monster, to answer in short." She says pointedly. "My younger sisters darker half was called Nightmare Moon. Over a thousand years ago she--" He cuts her off.

"I already know about Nightmare Moon and her emo attempt at trying to make it always night time. Your kid sister here talks in her sleep." He said deadpanned. "I mean what in the fuck made her change like that?! I didn't sign up for this shit to be her fucking meal!" He snaps angrily.

Celestia sighs. "No..she doesn't want to eat you...not normally at any rate. This was the work of a changeling, commander. More specific, a drone. Both Captain Jolt Flash and Luna's personal guard Dark Fury are interrogating it right now in the dungeons. The parasite has been quiet for several years, so I don't see this as another coupe from their queen to attempt for Canterlot again. Especially after the beating she received last time."

He pauses, getting up and angrily pacing about the room, his attention on the elder white alicorn. "The fuck is a changeling?!"

Celestia rolls her eyes, turning her attention back to the sleeping night princess. Her fur and feathers are returning to their normal color, and her breaths begin to stabilize. She smiles lightly and presses her magic further, continuing her healing. "Chrysalis, their queen is the leader of all of them. They're ponies, but not. Think giant pony sized insects that can shape shift to look, walk, talk and act like whomever their target is. The queens transformations are perfect, and nearly impossible to detect."

He thinks for a moment, his attention on Luna. "Well what does the bug bitch look like? I've got half a mind to go pay her a fucking visit for this." He snaps, still furious. "Isolated incident or not, that insect attacked Luna, which in my book is grounds for an ass kicking."

Celestia smiles hearing this. Never one for violence of any kind, it pained her heart for this to come to pass. But hearing the pilot so quickly forgive her younger sister, and wanting to go up against one of her own greatest fears filled her heart with pride. What a dedicated and loyal lover Luna has! She licks her lips, returning her focus to healing. "In short, when she's in her normal form...she's about my size. Very slender and Lilith. She has an exoskeleton casing around her, a shell of sorts. Her mane and tail are a pale green, and her eyes a vibrant deep lime green. Her horn is twisted and broken, and the wings upon her back are also insect like. Strangely enough, her legs look like cheese, with so many holes in them. She's a very strange looking creature...one I should have squished under my own hoof years ago."

"Where is this bitch? I've got a party waiting for her that'll end with a hell of a bang." He says through gritted teeth. His blood is boiling, he wants a piece of the queen desperately now. Never has Luna ever attacked him in their time together, and seeing her hurt only pissed him off that much more.

"The time to attack is not now, commander. Nor do we know where their hive is located. Violence will solve nothing here, and we should look at the big picture. Yes, I myself am deeply angered that my sister was attacked. More so that this caused Nightmare Moon to resurface once again. We're all lucky that all it took was a bop to the head to get her to back down. If that were the real Nightmare Moon, Equestria would have been in some serious trouble." Celestia says sadly, finishing the healing. She turns to the commander. "Are you well enough to fly your machine?"

He looks at her, taken aback by the question. "Well yeah. Ship shape and ready to take off anytime. The fuel tanks are good, and I have a few missiles left on board. It's not enough for an all out dogfight but--" Celestia cuts him off.

"Right now Commander, what Luna needs is a reminder of her love. The drone had done more than just bite her, it stripped her of all of her emotion. All of the love, all of the affection she had within her was siphoned out. When she wakes up she's going to be confused and very heart broken, remembering in perfect detail what happened and what she has done. That, and I'm whole heartedly expecting her to be sick, because of the amount of your blood she drank. We couldn't clean all of it off of her or out of her mouth, so she's going to also wake up and have to deal with that." Celestia says resolutely. "Be ready to take off with her and just keep her airborne, fly around for as long as you can and make her remember her love. If you don't.."

"Then the big bad Nightmare comes back out. I gotcha." He finished for her. Talon leans down and kisses Luna on the cheek, before patting her side gently and sighs. He turns his attention back to Celestia, salutes, then exits the room bound for the hangar.

* * * * *

For days, Chrysalis has waited for this opportunity. Report after report from her drones all gave her detailed locations and intelligence about the banshee, its rider and the sickening relationship the strange younger alicorn had with it. Standing there in the courtyard of Canterlot Castle, she looked around. She was under an invisibility spell, so she could move undetected. One of her drones was to distract the two royal sisters, leading them away in a diversion so she could come and steal the banshee for herself, ridding her plans of having to deal with the black menace in the skies for her invasion.

The courtyard was empty, all of the guards on patrols elsewhere in the area and around the palace walls. She makes her way around aimlessly, her gaze falling on the pilot walking away from her. His uniform is clean and pressed, his bandages carefully hidden under the flight jacket, leaving her unknowing of the events of earlier. Chrysalis licks her lips, quietly walking close behind him and following him to his destination. Much to her delight, she sees the banshee come into view not long in her walk. 'This is too purrrfect..' her mind purrs at the thought. So easy this will be, to take over. Her plan was simple, confuse, seduce, capture. This would be a quick and easy kill, gaining her the power of the banshee to strike against Equestria.

She watches intently from the shadows, outside the ballroom as the creature walks about inside. He's doing something against large red metal boxes against the wall, digging in drawers for metal objects she's never seen before. The changeling queen watches his movements carefully, studying its habits. To her delight, she notices on the lid of the strange box is a small photograph of the dark alicorn and the creature together, a soft smile on her features. Her eyes flash as she quickly whips around a corner, seeing the pilot exit away from the machine and walk into the gardens. Once he leaves, she slips inside and glances around. No pony or guards are nearby, leaving the great banshee defenseless and prime for the taking. She drops her cloak and appears at its tail section, taking the form of Princess Luna. As she steps around looking at it, her leg glances a table, knocking off one of the creatures metallic objects. It falls to the ground with a resounding metallic clatter. She freezes in place.

He walks out to the gardens, looking around for his pack of cigarettes he dropped from earlier. He figured he must have lost them during the struggle with Luna, and right now was craving one of them immensely. It's been one very fucked up morning so far. His attention is drawn when he hears a wrench drop against the ground behind him in the hangar bay. He turns quickly, seeing something unexpected. "Luna!" He calls out, rushing to her. He smiles and looks her over, seeing her standing and in perfect shape. "Wow, those medics you have really are professionals! How do you feel?" He reaches out and runs his hands through her wispy ethereal mane, eliciting a soft nickering from her.

Chrysalis nuzzles his hand, just as she was told the alicorn does when she received this contact. Her eyes focus in on the creature and she smiles, her voice silky smooth and soft. "We feel simply purrrfect...mine love." She says, looking into the creatures eyes.

He nods, hearing the royal 'we' in her speaking. Her voice is soft and seductive, her gaze sultry and loving. "Ah...I guess the bug that bit you affected your speech a bit. No matter, we'll work on that again." He says with a smile. He steps away, looking at her. "You look fine...are you sure you're better? Do you still want to go for a flight?"

The changeling queen nods slowly, her tongue tracing her teeth within her muzzle. She smiles seductively and walks past the pilot, looking around and stepping in front of the massive black machine. Her eyes trained forward. "A flight sounds...delightful." She giggles softly. This is too simple, too easy. The creature unsuspecting and too stupid to see the subtle changes. Soon, she would have him where she could break his mind, and wield the power she's heard about. Chrysalis can feel the love emanating from the pilot, the energy seductively calling for her. The thoughts of the meal she would have from him dance in her mind, causing her mouth to water. She extends her feelers magically, sipping the air for the energy; its intoxicating. So potent, so powerful..yes, he would make a fine meal indeed. This one she would kill slowly, seducing him, draining him dry of all emotion. She could sense his mind was weak, easy to control.

"Great, let me just check the bird really quick, and we'll be on our way." He said, still smiling. He looks her over carefully, noticing the bandages around her neck are gone and the wound healed. He shrugs dismissive, figuring the elder alicorn princess must have also had the ability to seal wounds closed with magic. 'I have to thank Celestia later. She really is a great sister to Luna.' He thinks. He climbs to the steps on the side of the fuselage, peering in the cockpit and starts flipping switches, powering on the computer. He turns to her, the bauble around his neck beginning to glow brightly, the star spinning violently faster and turning a soft red shade. He also notices the shift in color and raises an eyebrow. 'Huh...poor girl must still be upset. I'll be sure this flight is extra gentle, maybe cruise around outside the city for a while. Celestia said it would do her some good, so it should..---' His thought process stops when he looks down at the screen. The on board camera in the nose gear is active, and looking right ahead. Standing there in view of the camera, he sees a black insect like pony, with a long ratty mane and tail, and long, sharp fangs protruding from her jaw.

'she's about my size. Very slender and Lilith. She has an exoskeleton casing around her, a shell of sorts. Her mane and tail are a pale green, and her eyes a vibrant deep lime green. Her horn is twisted and broken, and the wings upon her back are also insect like...' Celestia's words echo in his mind as he looks at the image. The pieces fall together. No wounds, no blood, the star going nuts and turning red, now the camera seeing the bug queen herself. 'What luck...the bitch herself shows up! Chrysalis!' He thinks, grinning. He hears Luna's silken voice call to him.

"Mine love...what taketh so long? We wish to journey away from here in thy banshee..let us depart soon." Chrysalis calls out to him. She puts on her best alluring smile, her feelers still sipping at the air for his energy. It's driving her senses wild, and she wants more. The energy is simply pure and potent, tasting to her like a fine wine or whiskey. It's making her drunk with lust.

He nods, grinning as he steps down. "Yeah Luna...about the flight, I need to fix something really quick. Maybe you could help? It's over here in the tool box." He calls out, walking towards it. The Luna look alike trots dazedly to him, smiling softly with all of her features.

"Pray tell, what is it we may assist thou with, mine love? We would like to be helpful..." She says, her tone silken and seductive. She gazes half lidded to him, still sipping at the air. She can feel a slight change in the energy, becoming more potent. It feels...like..malice. Something is changing the energy to darkness...it's even more intoxicating with the power within it.

"Oh, just something small, it should only take a minute." He says, reaching in the top drawer. His eyes are still focused on hers, still smiling a kind grin. His hand grasps the biggest wrench he could feel for, and he takes the handle into his grip. "I was thinking we could use THIS!" He swings, the wrench connecting with the queens jaw and knocking her senseless.

*******

Luna awakens, her eyes fluttering open slowly as she looks up. The sight that greets her is her elder sister standing over her, with a soft concerned smile on her muzzle. "Tia...what happened?" She asks, her hoof coming to the side of her head. Her jaw and neck are sore, her head pounding as if she's been up drinking for weeks. The faint metallic taste of blood is on her lips and teeth as she swallows hard. She knows the taste well. Her eyes open wide as memories flood her mind.

"Lulu..be still...you were bitten by a drone, my dear sister. Your guard, Dark Fury was the one to capture it. The parasite is being held in the dungeons for questioning. How do you feel?" Celestia says calmly, trying to keep her sibling from becoming excited or afraid again.

"Talon...where is mine Talon?!" She worriedly glances around. "I hurt him Tia! Is he--" Celestia cuts her off.

"He's fine lulu. I healed him myself and dressed his wounds. I asked the commander to wait for you by his aircraft, so you could go for a flight once you awakened. I already explained everything, and he was very understanding." Celestia says calmly, laying her fore hoof on the dark alicorn's withers. "He's not angry with you lulu...quite the opposite. It took all I had to convince him not to march into the changeling hive and start beating the answers out of the parasite." She chuckles softly. "You have quite the loyal lover, lulu. It's not every day you find a stallion willing to go into battle, even with his extent of injuries. You have quite the catch." She muses gently.

Luna nods slowly, the taste of his blood in her mouth filling her with nausea. Though her stomach was doing flips within her frame, she did like the idea of the flight, and apologizing to her flame for her actions. It made her at ease when she heard her elder sisters words, bringing a soft smile to her bloodied and dirty muzzle. "Alright.." she says as she rolls off of the bed, her bare hooves touching the cold stone tile. She looks out the window, seeing the war bird in the distance. Her eyes also find the figure of a blue mare by the fuselage...a blue alicorn mare. She can feel the sudden shift in Talons emotions through their link, going from loving and warm to suddenly cold and hostile. It sends chills down her spine, the rage she feels within her chest. "Tia...who is that?" She questions, pointing to the figure of the mare in the distance. She's a dead ringer for Luna.

Celestia traces the line where her sister is pointing, and sees it too. There in the distance...is another Luna. Celestia pushes her senses to their limits, probing the figure with her magic. Her eyes open wide with fright when she detects an all too familiar energy. She turns quickly and gallops out of the room, racing to the ballroom and pilot, Luna hot on her heels in pursuit.

******

Talon swings again and again, knocking the queen around the hangar. She finally drops the magic glamour and peers at him, fire within her eyes. Chrysalis wipes her muzzle with her hoof and smiles wickedly. She alights her horn and blasts the pilot square in the chest, knocking him to the ground and the offending wrench far away with a clatter.

"So...you figured it out. You're smarter than you appear, creature." She says, circling him on the ground. Her silken dual voice echoes in the hangar. "You're defenseless without your machine..but I have an offer for you." As the pilot struggles to get up, she steps on his hand with her hoof, then positions herself on top of him. She lays her barrel on to his chest, bringing her eyes to meet his. He stares up at her with rage and hatred, causing the queens own heart to race in her chest with lust.

"Join me..fight along side of my children and help us take Equestria. With your machine, we will be unstoppable...in return.." She flicks her long tongue, tracing his neck and along his jaw. She bares her fangs to him and seductively smiles. "I will give you all that you want...power, bits, or even sex if you so desire.."

He struggles with the weight of the bug pinning him down, disgusted as she traced her horrid slimy tongue along his face. He spits in her face between her eyes and glares, grinning wickedly at her and gritting his teeth. "Go fuck yourself!" He bites out, struggling against her more.

Her muzzle twists with rage as she wipes her face of the creatures saliva. "Very well, then I'll simply kill you here! He he he he.." She chuckles darkly, her seductive dual voice whispering in his ears. She licks her fangs and lowers her muzzle to his neck, and sinks in her teeth...into a shield. Her fangs are met by a protective barrier, and the bauble on his chest glows a bright deep red. "What...what is this magic?!" She shrieks out, attempting to bite again. The star spins wildly faster and faster within the orb, then blows her backward and away from the pilot with a shock wave.

He shakes his head, dazed and confused for a moment, gathering his bearings. He looks and sees the changeling queen on the ground, also dazed by the burst of magic. He grins and climbs to his feet, diving onto her. He mounts her barrel and starts swinging violently, attacking her muzzle with his fists.

Celestia and Luna arrive to the hangar, their magic charged and ready to slaughter whatever was stupid enough to come here and attack. Celestia herself already on edge from events prior. What greets them however, is a sight that makes them both drop their guard. Completely unexpected, was the pilot sitting on top of Chrysalis, beating the everlasting buck out of the poor insect. Celestia and Luna both watch in horror and excitement at the same time, unable to take their eyes off of it.

THWACK! "That one is for Luna!" THWACK! "That's for threatening Canterlot!" He swings again and again, with all of his strength. Pain is searing within his chest and back from his earlier injury, but he presses on, entirely too enraged to care. He doesn't notice the two royal sisters race into the hangar. THWACK! "And this!" THWACK "Is for being!" THWACK THWACK! "So!" THWACK! "Fucking!" THWACK! "Ugly!!" He stops beating her muzzle, only to start choking her the best he can, smacking the changing queens head against the floor repeatedly. Chrysalis only cries out in pain, making him work even harder. He wants this bug dead.

Celestia and Luna both watch in confusion and come to rest on their haunches, watching the spectacle unfold before their eyes. They knew the pilot obviously had some kind of a hidden dark side, but never expected this. It would make even Nightmare Moon blush with giddy excitement seeing this. A dull ache spreads to their wings as they look on in wonder, jaws agape and wide eyed. **POM-POMF!**

Talon stops when he hears the sudden sound, his fist held in the air as he changes his gaze to his left, seeing both alicorn's sitting and watching. Their wings are fully extended behind them, and a shocked blush on their regal muzzles as they watch with interest. He pants hard, then punches Chrysalis once more in the muzzle before getting off of her. He staggers to them, panting heavily. Out of breath his hands fall to his knees, bent over and coughing. He holds up one finger on a hand, telling them to wait a moment while he regains his breath. When he sees them staring in wide eyed wonder, he points to the war birds nose gear. "Stand...over...there!" He bites out, rage still in his eyes. The two alicorn's nod furiously and gallop to the position pointed out, and watch with curious wonder as he slowly limps to the fuselage and climbs up, then looks in. He comes back down and nods, still coughing.

Chrysalis rolls onto her stomach, blood trailing down from her nose and mouth. She alights her horn and casts a ring of fire around herself, laughing maniacally. "I'll be back ponies! This isn't over! Hahaha!" She shouts with all the ham that even Nightmare Moon couldn't top. In the ring of fire, she vanishes from the room, the flames die down without a trace.

*****

Hours pass after the fight. Celestia and Luna sit on cushions, listening to the pilots story of what happened from start to finish, surprised and in wonder at it all. Once again, the pilots war machine has saved the day and the fate of Equestria as a whole. Luna steps slowly to him, her ears flat against her head and turned back, sorrow on her features. In the fire lit chambers, her tears glisten as shadows dropping to the carpeted floor, as she begs for forgiveness that never needed to be asked for. The two talk quietly with Celestia watching intently and quietly at this. The regal white alicorn smiles genuinely when she watches Luna lay on her side nuzzling him, her head resting in his lap as he caresses her mane and long neck.

"Commander...in all my years, I've never heard of some pony actually going against a magical creature with a wrench...and this I find both disturbing and amusing." She says with a small smile. "But I must ask, how did you know it wasn't Luna?"

Talon smiles smugly at Celestia. "Well ma'am, it's simple. My birds cameras can't see your magic. So her disguise didn't work. Technology negates your magic all together, so as far as it was concerned, it wasn't looking at Luna, just a very big ugly bug with hair." He replied.

Celestia nodded slowly, listening to all of this. She made a mental note to have the engineers build a vast array of these 'cameras' as quickly as possible, so she could easily detect anymore of the parasite. Her attention is drawn back to the pilot when he speaks.

"Princess...That bug stated she would be back. She told me what she was going to do. Your best option now is to strike first. We need to locate them and wipe them out in one swift move." He said firmly.

Celestia shakes her head and sighs. "I am afraid I cannot send our armies into battle just like that, commander. Even if she did claim those irrational plans, she couldn't possibly succeed. And even if she were to strike, she does not have sufficient forces to prevail once again."

"We don't need your armies, ma'am. We have an option available to end this right now. You give the order, and I'll see to it that your pest problem is blown straight to hell." He snaps back, passion clear in his voice. Luna raises her head and gazes at her sister.

"Sister..what he says is the truth. On his craft, he carries a weapon of great power that can end wars before they begin. We should take his advice and destroy them now before the parasite can strike." Luna says, her voice also holding the same passion of her pilots.

Celestia raises an eyebrow. "Go on...I'm listening."

Talon licks his lips, and speaks. "On board of my war bird, I was given what my people call a nuclear weapon. It's a missile that has a special type of bomb on it. It can wipe out cities or even an entire country in the blink of an eye, killing everything in the area. I was on a mission to drop that weapon on an enemy nation that had attacked my country. They killed many, many innocents, so our military was ordered to return fire with those." He takes a breath and points to Celestia. "I'm a part of your nation, your world now. I swore to you the same oath I had taken for my people, to defend my nation and all of her allies from all threats, both foreign and domestic. This is a threat ma'am, and we have the power to strike now. They drew first blood princess, they struck first. Now I'm asking you...give me the order, and Luna and I will deliver the package on that bugs doorstep as soon as we figure out where they are."

Celestia is quiet for a few minutes, staring into the fireplace. She sighs, and shakes her head. "First blood or no, commander..sister...I cannot condone the destruction of an entire race simply because of one incident like today. The parasite does not have the force required to carry out her wishes, nor will they. I'm sorry...but my answer is no. I won't ask you to remove the weapon you speak of...and I will keep it as an option. But for now, my hoof will be stayed in this judgement.

"But sister! We must take his advice and strike now! They invaded Canterlot before and nearly won, were it not for Twilight Sparkle and her brother Shining Armor! It was his spell that shielded us from their drones, and Twilight that had detected the insect! We would not be here today if Cadence didn't have her counter spell and Shining Armors love to guide her!" Luna desperately cries out.

"My answer is no, lulu. We will not use the super weapon you two speak of at this time. Now drop it for now...we have the dragon nation delegates coming in the morning, and would be best if we all rest. The Lunar Stallions are on patrol now, and we all know Changelings cannot copy them. Rest easy you two...we'll deal with this more in the morning." Celestia says sadly to Luna, still staring into the fire.

Luna and talon nod, and quietly exit the cambers as they're dismissed. The two head off to Luna's chambers for a wash, then sleep as they discuss today's events. They both agree on one thing: They need to find Chrysalis, and put a stop to her as quickly as possible. With, or without Celestia's approval.

* * * * *

Chrysalis appears in her throne room, bloodied, angry and weak. She sits on the throne and rests, licking her wounds and cleaning the blood. She fumes. A sound catches her ears and she glares into the shadow, finding the orbs again.

"Back so soon? I thought for sure you'd have the banshee with you." The shadowed figure says, sounding bored.

She hisses at the figure, continuing to lick her wounds. "The creature is protected by her magic...All of the children in the world could not stop alicorn magic, you know this...the invasion is fruitless." She bites out hotly.

"So...what's the problem? I know Celestia's tricks..I can block her magic. Try again." The red eyes in the dark say, fixated on Chrysalis. "Or are you afraid?" It laughs.

She glares up at the figure. "Then grant me that power...my children will devour all of Equestria, and you shall have your trinket." She laughs darkly. "Do not and the next meal we have will be you."

The shadow grins a Cheshire grin and laughs, a soft snapping sound is heard echoing in the shadows. "There..ha-ha..now go and finish the job, Chrissy."

Chrysalis glares ahead, feeling the power coursing through her frame. Her wounds heal themselves, her body charges with energy. She feels good...so much lustful power racing through her. She chuckles darkly in her silken dual voice, and begins to plan the invasion.

Author's Note:

Whoo! Yeah, this one was fun to write. I actually had to split 10 and 11 up, because it would have been over 20k words otherwise. Anyway! Thank you to everyone who has stuck with the story this far. I'm happy I'm able to deliver an entertaining and fun story for you to enjoy, and hope I can keep up the momentum of it for you. Special thank you to Abyss for the cover art (which will be posted after this chapter goes up.) for hand drawing such a beautiful masterpiece. I'll get his Deviant Art page and link the full sized image to you guys soon. Stay tuned folks! We have a hell of a ride coming as we enter the battle! Next stop: TO WAR!

Side note: The song playing during the flight was "Welcome to the jungle" by guns n roses. Play that while you read. haha