• Published 6th Jan 2014
  • 20,331 Views, 948 Comments

Rise of Sunbutt the Awesome - BobAlcove



Princess Celestia is the paragon of everything good and pure. And currently not available. Hi my name is Frank, the new guy in charge of this body and I'm here to fulfill all your princess needs. At least until I find something better to do.

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Family Matters

The seven o’clock train to Appleloosa over Ponyville will arrive shortly at platform four. Please secure your belongings and keep away from the gap until the train has come to a full stop. We hope you enjoyed your stay in the city that never sleeps and invite you to come back soon to Las Pegasus.

Few ponies sat at the Las Pegasus railroad station to hear the occasional announcements of incoming and leaving trains. Even less listened, fully immersed in other activities to pay any attention to something as mundane as arriving transportation.

All except one pony.

A mare sat on the bench closest to the rails, her ticket gripped tight in her hoof and eyes glued to the large clock to count the remaining seconds. She had nothing else in terms of worldly possessions on her, which wasn’t unusual in a place that had its shares of gambling and other vices, so nobody gave the penniless pony any attention.

She was pretty in a cute and innocent way, unfitting for an adult-oriented place like Las Pegasus, with the wavy pink mane and tail, spotless white coat and big innocent eyes in shining magenta.

The only imperfection seemed to be the slightly bigger than average horn on the mare’s head compared to the petite frame of her body and the cutiemark which looked like the brightness icon from a TV-remote. A thin black circle and lines formed the image of a sun on both flanks. A pale comparison to the blazing yellow and orange the mare was used to, but she cherished the fact that she could remember it at all.

Princess Celestia had not much else to be thankful for in her current situation.

Barely an hour had passed since everything had come back in a flash, figuratively and literally, turning the little bump on her forehead in a shining white horn when it felt like a lost piece of herself pushed back into her with force.

An hour she had used to its fullest for getting the gist of the current situation. Somehow her body had been stolen from her by an unknown entity, posing as her in the public eye. The lack of civil unrest spoke for the imposters ability to play her part in public, although it worried Celestia how many outrageous stories had popped up in just a week’s worth of time.

Especially the stories concerning the love affair with her own sister.

Above all else, Celestia needed more information to make an informed decision. She didn’t know the gender, race, powers, motivations or anything about her opponent. How did the imposter go unnoticed under so many ponies close to her like Luna and Twilight? What was the goal of annexing her throne and using this newfound power to turn Ponyville into the party central of Equestria?

Too many questions with no satisfying answers.

She had no real plan for the confrontation, but time was of the essence and didn’t allow for her usual approach. Or better yet, it needed the approach that had become the usual to an annoying degree; Having faith in Twilight to solve the problem.

After arriving in Ponyville, she needed to contact her student without raising attention. The body thief most likely knew her new form, betting on Celestia staying without memories and far away from any place she could intervene.

The train arrived and she entered first, searching for a quiet waggon to use the long travel time for uninterrupted thinking. The first few waggons she walked through were packed to the brim with ponies and other creatures, chatting about their shared destination of Ponyville. Excitement hung in the air as Celestia picked up bits and pieces of conversations about the large celebration in progress.

In other circumstances, she would have welcomed bringing her citizens closer together in celebration, but having it completely out of her control and being clueless about the true intentions behind it soured the experience and mood of the solar monarch.

Soon, she arrived at the last waggon as one of the train stewards came out with his trolley of snacks and beverages, closing the door behind him with a sigh and wiping the sweat from his brow.

“I would advise you to look for a seat in another waggon. The pony inside has scared away all the other travellers and doesn’t want to be disturbed since boarding in the Crystal Empire.”

“I don’t intend to bother anyone. A quiet train ride suits me just fine.”

The stallion shrugged and opened the door as quiet as possible. Celestia nodded and gave him a small smile as thanks and entered. As advertised, the waggon was deserted and spotless with no sign of belongings anywhere.

“Might as well find where this unpleasant pony is sitting to get a seat furthest away,” she thought, slowly inching down the aisle and scanning the rows as she passed them. “Looks like the passenger chose one of the last rows.”

She saw movement and a red mane poking over the headrest. The pony was facing the back of the train, forcing anypony to expose themselves to get a look. The interest of Celestia was piqued enough to approach and risk a little glance.

“I said I need nothing. Stop bothering me while I read.”

Princess Celestia had a perfect profile view on a face she never would have imagined seeing again, although the hope always had remained.

Sunset Shimmer.

Leaned against the backrest, eyes focused on a newspaper in her grasp, the mare looked like the day she had left Canterlot so many years ago. Fiery red and yellow mane, amber coat and piercing cyan eyes. Celestia’s eyes traveled to her cutie mark, unsure whether to risk the final confirmation of the mare’s identity, to find the familiar sun in red and yellow.

“Listen, I know you are trying to do your job, but seriously leave me alone or I will…” The agitated unicorn threw a glance towards Celestia for the first time and raised an eyebrow.

The usually so confident monarch was thrown so far off her game from this new development, she did a very stuttery and nervous impression that would have made Fluttershy proud. “I heard this waggon was empty and wanted to ask for permission to sit here.”

The nervous wince when Sunset sighed at her in an irritated manner was also spot-on, but her former student said nothing else before turning back to her newspaper. She glanced up again when the cushion of the seat opposite to her made a creaking sound from Celestia sitting down.

“You meant actually right here?”

“Is that bad?”

“Whatever.”

Both fell silent as one kept reading and the other feverishly re-evaluated the situation with her former student as a new variable. One glance at the newspaper from the Crystal Empire quelled any doubt for how Sunset had returned. It wasn’t like there were any other entry points from the human world besides the magic mirror stored away at Cadence’s castle.

Celestia herself had it brought there to have it on hoof during the Princess Summit. Routinely like a clockwork when the portal opens, she sits for three days, waiting for Sunset to come home and getting the chance to fix one of her biggest regrets. She scolded herself for breaking the promise of staying vigil this time, even though realistically, nopony besides herself would fault her for that given the circumstance.

She swallowed hard to wet her dry throat and read the headlines.

Princess Summit canceled due to prolonged Equestrian Summer Sun celebration

Princess Cadence and Prince Shining Armor announce plans for a short vacation

Diplomatic relationship with Canterlot put into question

At this point, Celestia was convinced the world had gone mad and conspired against her just out of spite.

By planning the greatest celebration at the same time as the summit, her imposter made it look like Equestria was deliberately outdoing the efforts of the Crystal Empire. A grave insult Cadence couldn’t overlook or she would undermine the authority and legitimacy of her rule.

One problem at a time though. Ponyville and Sunset are more pressing matters.

“I’m Sunny.” Celestia introduced herself to the quietly reading Sunset, but besides a small snort, she didn’t show any acknowledgement.

“I’m headed to Ponyville.” A turn of the page and no sign Sunset was even listening. “My friends are there already, but I couldn’t join them until now.”

The cold shoulder from her travel companion made Celestia anxious. She wanted Sunset around for a multitude of reasons, many of them very personal and selfish. The way things have gone wrong with her were one of Celestia’s biggest regrets and maybe fate had given her an opportunity to make things right.

If only she could get through to her. “Do you have plans in Ponyville? Maybe we could…”

The newspaper folded closed and was tossed aside. Sunset’s eyes and attention rested now sorely on Celestia. “What is the point of this whole charade? Part of me was curious at first, but I refuse to play these silly mind games.”

Her cyan eyes were the same as the day she left. Orbs full of anger and frustration against her, only closing for a low chuckle. “I don’t know how you found me so quickly, but did you really think I wouldn’t recognize you?”

Celestia could feel her heart clench then release with a sudden flow of warmth.

“I mean honestly… Sunny?” Sunset was now openly laughing. “And maybe you should have asked for my name at one point, making it not so blindingly obvious that you already know who I am.”

Somepony recognized her.

The laughing stopped and so did all the levity from her voice. “So, what’s going to happen when we arrive in Ponyville? A flock of guards storming the train? Public trial for the runaway student? Prison or banishment?”

Two hooves flung around the wary Sunset in a shaky hug who stiffened under the sudden body contact.

“I missed you so much...” Weak efforts to push the smaller unicorn off were made and were getting weaker by the second, until Celestia hugged somepony as still as a corpse. “I never stopped waiting for your return. I never stopped hoping for a chance to amend for my mistakes thirty years ago.”

A muffled gasp rang through the room, followed by the sound and sight of Sunset activating her magic to levitate the tossed newspaper back. Eyes scanned frantically over the page to find evidence for the obvious lie, but a single glance at the date made all that hope fruitless.

“Time and space is unsteady through travel between dimensions. Days and even seconds can amount to years on the other side. My only solace was the certainty that I could use my immortality to wait, no matter how long it would take.” The last inch of space between their bodies vanished as the struggle of Sunset ceased and Celestia felt the reassuring pressure of getting hugged back. “I’m sorry, so sorry for letting you go.”

The door to the waggon slid open with a bang, the steward from earlier getting pushed inside with his food cart. The single pony had no chance against the colorful group of disgruntled drunkards forcing entrance. A wild mix of stallions, griffons and even a minotaur, most likely extending their weekend in Las Pegasus by celebrating the grand finale in Ponyville.

“Stay here…” Sunsets voice was trembling as she withdrew from the hug and wiped at her eyes, getting up and walking down the aisle with determination.

The familiar golden glow surrounded the horn of Sunset and Celestia had to act fast. Her charge had always been a sweet and polite little filly to ponies she respected, but otherwise made a name for herself with the scarily short fuse named her patience.

If push came to shove, Sunset always used a hoof to the face.

“It’s Sunny!” One of the younger griffins shouted, pointing at her and looking around for his pals to see their reaction. The rest examined the approaching Celestia closer, gasping in unison as a green stallion joined in pointing with his hoof. “By Celestia’s teats you are right!”

The little mare flinched and went as pink as her mane from the crude usage of her name. She knew ponies had implemented various phrases regarding her anatomy in the common vocabulary, but nopony used them in her presence for obvious reasons.

“How lucky can we get? I mean, what are the chances we get to meet two staples of the mare shack on the same train?”

As if waiting for a signal to enter, the door slid open again and in strode a stunningly beautiful unicorn mare in pristine baby blue coat and sparkling sapphire mane. The newcomer almost floated over the ground with her long slender legs and the hypnotizing sway in her hips, earning the attention of every male in the room.

”Guys, I asked you ten minutes ago to find a place to sit with a cold drink. I’m not used to having to repeat myself, so…”

“Chrissy!” Celestia’s mouth and body moved before her mind could catch up, reacting in a natural way to her newest friend and former work partner. The ingrained reflex also wasn’t taking the new horn into account, so the mare had to swerve her neck left to avoid a pierced windpipe. The glomp hit in full force anyway, toppling the bigger beauty onto her haunches.

The aforementioned Crystal Glamour fondly called “Chrissy”, acted how seemed appropriate to their reunion by poking the white horn sharply with a hoof. “That’s new.”

Celestia jerked from the rough treatment and regained her composure just in time to see Sunset looking at them with a raised eyebrow. “Sunset meet my good friend Crystal Glamour.”

Crystal shoved the smaller mare off and clicked her tongue once towards the male group, letting one of them brush off the dust from her body. “Friends is stretching the term.”

The resulting laugh of Sunny made Crystal’s neck hairs stand on end. It wasn’t the childish giggle she was used to but a calm and very sophisticated laughter.

And she hated it with a passion.

“Chrissy I want you to meet Sunset Shimmer, somepony precious to me from my former life.”

The introduced unicorn didn’t get more than a glance from Crystal and the sudden tenseness wasn’t lost on Celestia. Sunset never gotten along with ponies, once she had built an opinion on them. Even now, Celestia witnessed her former student processing the available data on Crystal to form a complete image, rather than attempting to get to know the mare.

In stark contrast, Crystal appeared to be the kind of mare that always was above the worries of an ordinary pony.

What Celestia didn’t know, the personality behind “Crystal Glamour” didn’t care for ponies period.

“Maybe we should talk more in private.” Sunset threw alternating glances towards the large group and the seductive source of their worship, who disregarded them with a dismissive wave.

“Get lost.”

Disappointed groans rang through the train and were silenced by a glare from Crystal. They all left like sheep being herded out of the waggon with vacant stares and before the door closed behind the last stallion, Crystal had already lain down on two of Sunset’s and Celestia’s former group of four seats.

“Let’s get this over with. Who are you and why are you even more annoying than before?”

Celestia smirked and opened her mouth, only to be interrupted by the sound of the door opening for a fourth time. “As your security advisor and husband, I’m strongly against going out without guards. Whoever is in there scared away a very rowdy looking bunch.”

The hoofsteps of two ponies were getting closer.

“Don’t be such a worrywart. My strong, capable prince is all I need to keep me safe, aren’t you?”

“Yes, dear.”

They were a stallion and a mare according to their voices

“Maybe the issue with the Crystal Empire can be solved sooner than I imagined.” Celestia thought gleefully in recognition and took a sip from her orange juice.

The reaction of Crystal to the new voices made Celestia’s pale in comparison. In a split second, the blue beauty froze in her lying position like a toppled statue, grabbing the seat cushion underneath until the soft filling spilled out through a tear.

“You!”

Crystal sprang up from her lying position with a look of grim determination to face the pony pointing and yelling in her direction. Pink, colorful and styled in an almost cotton candy sugary look that not many could pull off well, stood the current ruler from the Crystal Empire with her husband Shining Armor in tow.

Princess Cadence made her great entrance and Celestia saw determination turn to confusion on Crystal’s face as the pink hoof pointed past her and towards Sunset Shimmer. “You are the mare fleeing from the castle this morning.”

Sunset stared at Cadence with a contempt which intensified tenfold after her eyes landed on the folded pink wings. “What do you want?”

The icy tone and attitude against her didn’t faze Cadence. “Sunset Shimmer, right? I saw your pictures in Celestia’s private study and read the entries about you in her diary.”

A large cloud of orange mist flew over the group from a giant spittake of juice. While Celestia maintained a sophisticated and professional demeanor in public, her private quarter and especially the diary she kept there were places of selfish indulgence. She considered it therapeutic to stop worrying about outward appearance for a while and just write what lingered deep in her heart.

Sweat started to form on Celestia’s eyebrow during her coughing fit from the thought of somepony reading more interesting parts in that small booklet.

The knowing grin on the face of Cadence suggested her reading had been thorough. “I see it as my royal duty to reunite the two of you.”

“You’re late. We already started without you.” Sunset said dripping wet and sticky in a dry tone, pointing at a coughing Celestia.

Through the sudden attention, the princess almost slipped back into the persona of Sunny. The week as different pony had left its mark on the monarch, despite or maybe because of the fondness for those new memories away from the throne. Sunny was a mare without worries or real responsibilities and giving up on that freedom gave even the dedicated Celestia a reason for pause.

“My niece interrupted us, so let me try again.” Celestia had stopped coughing and took a deep breath, “Customers of a nightclub in Las Pegasus know me as Sunny, the clumsy and naïve earthpony singer that scrubs the toilets between sets.”

“I offered more than once to find a better job for her, but she kept pestering me with the silly reason of liking my company,” Crystal said to the flabbergasted Sunset, avoiding to look at the confused Cadence and Shining Armor, who let Celestia continue without interruption.

“Because it’s true. Despite the questionable nature of my employment, I cherished every second of that week and all the ponies I’ve met, especially you Chrissy.” Celestia looked into the group of faces before her, knowing the time had come to stop talking in circles and to just get it over with. “I am Princess Celestia.”

Bluntness and repercussions be damned, it felt good saying it out loud!

The stunned silence from three of four ponies was a reaction Celestia had expected to get, using the chance to get it all out like ripping off a bandaid. “A week ago, my real body was taken from me. I woke up as a small earth pony without memories, hundreds of miles away from Canterlot in a pile of garbage behind an alley. Only recently, my memories returned with this horn. As a matter of fact, it’s been two hours at most.”

“Can you proof your claims in any way? It sounds far-fetched, doesn’t it Cady?”

The look of Cadence showed the same doubt as her husband, but the princess didn’t reply to him as her staring contest with Sunset Shimmer had ended and shifted towards Celestia. Sunset fixated a spot on the floor while listening, deep in thought after hearing about the predicament of her former teacher.

The only pony having less and less of an expression as the explanation went on was Crystal Glamour, and her interjection took everypony by surprise. “If it’s true, it’s rather brilliant. The imposter changed places with a public figure that anypony knows but nopony knows well. The only ponies close to her are either in a position of blind admiration, busy with running another country or haven’t interacted with Celestia for over a thousand years.”

Genuine sadness overcame Celestia from the realization that there was truth in those words.

“Even more so, the unique and personal traits the imposter has shown while pretending to be Celestia only helped with the endeavour.” The questioning looks all around showed Crystal the need to elaborate further. “Simple example: We don’t know which tea Celestia likes to drink and the imposter suddenly drinks mint tea. Ponies won’t question it and think they have learned something new about Celestia, associating one imposter trait with the persona of the original.”

Celestia felt a cold chill running down her spine.

“Little by little, the imposter changes the perception of Celestia by filling the blanks, until ponies will swear the original was the fake.” The ghost of a smile appeared on Crystal’s face. “And I can’t think of nopony easier to do this with than Princess Celestia. Who can say for certain how their ruler acts when she lets her hair down? What are her likes and dislikes? Her hopes and dreams?”

Sunset frowned. “The longer the imposter can act, the harder it will get to convince the masses of the truth.”

Shining Armor frowned as well. “Miss, it sounds like you speak from experience.”

The small smile of Crystal vanished. “I had a few bad interactions with changelings in the past.”

“We are getting ahead of ourselves, don’t we?” Cadence said in a slow and deliberate manner, “How about you provide us with a proof of your claims?”

“My successor isn’t capable of figuring out a way to be sure?” Sunset shot back with venom in her voice. “Is that the reason she chose yet another student? What was the name of this golden foal? Twilight Sparkle?”

Being challenged and her merit put into question, Cadence rose to Sunset’s provocation and turned towards Celestia. “What did you say to me on the day I told you about my plans to marry Shining Armor?"

“To not do it.”

“And how did I reply? The exact words, please!” The tone had changed from conversational to an all-out interrogation, a bright light shining in her face the only thing missing to complete the picture.

“You said…” The millennia old mind recalled the scene as if it had happened yesterday. “I don’t give a flying buck what you think. If you can’t be happy about my decision, don’t show up at the wedding!”

“It’s really you…” Cadence pulled her aunt into a hug.

The tender scene between the two made Shining Armor smile and he turned towards the two other mares to see their reactions. He instantly regretted that decision. Crystal Glamour looked as uninterested as ever, only doing weird occasional flickering with her tongue and moving her jaw in chewing motions. As she noticed his eyes on her, the blue bombshell made it a point to emphasize the movement of her dexterous muscle by making it slither like a snake.

The stallion attributed this behaviour to general weirdness and hoped to find something more normal in Celestia’s former student.

He found something much worse. His trained sense of danger was tingling from the burning look of anger from this mare, even though, Shining Armor wasn’t the intended target. The seasoned guardpony flinched when Sunset ground her teeth together strong enough to draw blood from her gums.

“Isn’t that goddamn sweet?”

“Sunset?”

“Aren’t you glad one of your good students came along? You almost had to settle for me. Can you imagine it?” Sunset Shimmer stood up with a red ruby firmly clutched in her hoof, glowing dimly in tandem with her horn. “Enjoy the quality time with your precious niece, while the black sheep takes care of business!”

“Sunset wait!” A fierce red light was the only warning before the embedded magic charge of the stone released to fulfill a singular purpose Celestia recognized far too late.

A moment later and the amber unicorn had disappeared.

“Long range teleportation spell...” Celestia muttered to herself, having a pretty good idea about the destination.

Sunset was prepared as always and had never let go of her escape route, ready to use it at a moment’s notice. Using a mana-infused stone as an amplifier for spells was as brilliant as it was reckless, fitting for the lifestyle of her former student. Celestia had to admit how impressed she was by the feat.

Teleportation was a difficult spell under normal circumstances and said difficulty went higher exponentially with distance. The necessary higher output of magic muddled with the accuracy and causes most unicorns to overshoot their destination by miles. Powering a spell like this through a fully charged magic stone was a surefire way to overshoot by countries.

Fortunately for Sunset, Celestia considered her one of the few unicorns who could pull this off with pinpoint precision. If magical prowess and ambition to use it had been the only requisites for ascension, Celestia would have turned over the throne to Sunset after her first year of tuition.

She wouldn’t mess up the spell, because ability had never been the problem.

“Celestia, where did your other friend go?”

Unless she didn’t travel alone.

“Oh, no…”


The wondrous spell of teleportation was revered even among the class of high level magic. The power to change the position of mass in an instant had sheer endless potential, and so it was only fitting for Sunset Shimmer to have made it her signature spell. Nevertheless, the unicorn felt like chewed up and spit out when the familiar wave of nausea hit from the magic backlash.

She took a deep breath and counted to ten, trying to regain composure from the task that turned out much more draining than calculated. Only amateurs leave things to chance and one glance around showed her, that the error didn’t come from missing the target.

The outskirts of a small town, filled to the brim with booths, attractions and festival decorations. In the sky above hovered a massive golden airship, casting its shadow over the center in the distance. A multitude of festival goers walked by, a pot-pourri of colors and races enjoying themselves to the fullest.

Ponyville, the new party central of the world.

Sunset didn’t miss, so what went wrong to make her this exhausted?

The answer came in the form of groaning and a wet sound as unhealthy looking green liquid splashed on the ground left to her. Being prepared for a long range teleportation is taxing enough, but being whisked away as passenger without control was ten times worse.

Queen Chrysalis, still in disguise as Crystal Glamour, demonstrated this effectively by throwing up everywhere.

“How are you still standing?” Sunset Shimmer felt wobbly and almost stepped on the caustic puddle that started to glow in neon-green. “What… are you?”

The last droplets of acid vomit dripped off Crystal’s chin and she wiped off the remaining residue with her hoof. The changeling monarch didn’t believe in fate, but this opportunity had to be taken or she would regret it for the rest of her life. Hitching a ride with the cocksure dropout had been as easy as grabbing on at the right moment.

Besides the health hazard of unplanned teleporting, risks were high this deep in enemy territory and one wrong move could destroy everything. Even so, she needed to make this new powerful party her thrall or at least an ally. The method of the imposter showed a kindred spirit to their kind and maybe there was some common ground to sink her fangs into.

“I asked you a question!”

If only there hadn’t been this perfect specimen for unresolved mommy issues on her case. Chrysalis felt too weak and drained from the magic travel to think with confidence she could win a fight against one of Celestia’s students. Nonetheless, she called upon her reserves as did Sunset to duke it out, when a voice cut the building tension.

“Could you two move?”

Both did a slow turn towards the entrance of a small Equestria version of a gas station they both had missed somehow up to his point. Their eyes fell on slender white legs and their eyes had to travel upwards to see the face of Princess Celestia.

“You are blocking the exit.”

Seeing the features of her former mentor rattled Sunset more than meeting the body displaced original. Whatever she did, the massive stature of the princess always demanded attention if not reverence from the surrounding ponies. Somehow this feeling wasn’t diminished by the giant afro made of frizzled rainbow hair, brown stains down the white chest or the grocery bag filled with questionable adult literature.

Sunset took the initiative with blurting out the first thing that came to her mind. “Princess Celestia, I have returned from the magic mirror to make amends!”

The heart of Sunset did a jump when magenta eyes fixated on her and widened, giving the first possible clue about her opponent. Hesitation showed insecurity and caution, which led her to believe the information about Celestia wasn’t spotless and the fake didn’t recognize her.

She had one way to find out. “It’s been so long and I’m so sorry to….”

The large mass of flesh and feathers in front of her sprang into motion and sprang into motion fast. Sunset saw her life flash before her eyes as the only possible explanation for the alicorn’s action in her opinion was to smash the nuisance into a paste. She imagined those massive but elegant white hooves squeeze the life out of her body and shrieked at the first contact. But unlike imagined, the hooves around traveled from the impact zone on the shoulders down to her barrel and lifted the whole body of the unicorn like a doll.

“Water under the bridge my little Shimmy! Every teenager has a rebellious phase and should be excused by her parent as a youthful indiscretion.”

The response simultaneously elated and frightened Sunset. The friendly reaction of the imposter meant she was not getting annihilated for now, but she was still concerned because the enemy apparently knew her even though she’d been away for thirty years.

Although a word Sunset had heard tingled in the back of her head. “Wait a second… parent?”

The smile on the otherwise always regal face got even wider, as the massive alicorn spun around in a circle while still holding Sunset Shimmer like a puppy. “No matter what, mommy will always love her little Sunbun. Do you need money or a place to crash?”

“You… you would take me back in?”

“Sure, why not? We have so much to catch up on, now that my little sunshine is back in my life!” The eyes of Frank travelled to Sunset’s back. “No, that won’t do for a daughter of mine!”

The word daughter hit Sunset like a truck. She knew this wasn’t the real Celestia, but hearing such words from the familiar voice of her past mentor figure subverted all reason within the bitter unicorn.

“But there are certain rules and I can’t just break them, can I?” Sunset was stroked through her emotional rollercoaster like a cat while Frank mused loudly. “Ah what the hell, you have surely done something impressive with magic on your time away!”

Before Sunset could get over her new position as pampered house pet, she realized her body had floated upwards. The light emanating from her body blinded everyone around, including herself, until she felt being transported in a whole different way than the earlier teleportation.

While teleportation was in theory a displacement of mass that was so quick your senses only notices the change once it’s done, this movement felt like slow motion to the point Sunset could tell when every single atom of her body changed dimensions. Images flashed before her eyes of an endless room covered in fog and floating screens of her life, a stunning repeat of the fear induced flashback.

She saw her good. She saw her bad.

The trip through memory lane ended suddenly during a vicious scene of her last argument with Celestia before leaving Equestria. She remembered the angry words spoken towards her mentor on that day by heart, but seeing her actions from the outside gave the whole situation a weird detached feeling.

The numerous Celestias on the screens looked like they always did with a condescending half-smile as if she would talk to a bratty teenager, showcasing the stark contrast to the current one besides Sunset with a bag of popcorn. “There’s usually a whole song and ritual involved in this, but I don’t think you are the type of pony who enjoys all the bells and whistles.”

“What is the point of...?” Sunset stopped mid-question as she realized that the imposter was watching the floating screens around them with rapt attention. She didn’t scare easily, but the implications of the current situation filled the little unicorn with a healthy dose of worry.

The imposter had gained access to her memories in an almost casual manner, robbing Sunset Shimmer of a vital advantage in their future confrontation. If the same had happened with other ponies close to Celestia, the plan of unmasking the fraud by revealing a lack of knowledge was off the table immediately.

Luckily, she had a few more ideas.

“I think we are done here.” Frank said, tossing the empty bag.

Another flash of light and she stood back in the same spot in Ponyville with an unfamiliar weight on her back. She took a hoof to brush the object from her shoulders and touched feathers. Frantically, Sunset traced along the plumage and found the point where it connected with her flesh.

“You… you did…”

The alicorn population of Ponyville had risen by one.

“Speechless? See it as late sweet sixteen gift from your loving mother.” A gust of wind hit Sunset as Frank showed his impressive wingspan. “Don’t be shy give em a spin.”

After a few tries, Sunset did her first tentative flaps of her new and beautiful amber wings and was soon hovering in place with constant small wing beats. The rush of excitement pushed the new alicorn to zoom around like a hummingbird under the watchful gaze of her senior who sported the biggest grin imaginable.

From one moment to the next, Sunset Shimmer had gained the ability to prove everyone wrong. The initial plan had been to get her wings from Celestia by outdoing the competition in solving this crisis, but doing so in a form that the princess refused to give her was so much sweeter. She would show anypony how much she deserved princesshood and how much better things would have been if her stubborn teacher had listened to Sunset’s request.

Everything to become the greatest princess ever!

The first hurdle in accomplishing this goal was to figure out her new self-proclaimed mother figure. Possible ulterior motives or not, the stranger had given her a real chance, more than she ever gotten from the real Celestia. She won’t be fooled into thinking this gift came with no strings attached, but the benefits of playing along were obviously too great to pass up on.

“Who’s your friend?”

Frank’s harmless question made the mare and changeling aware of each other again and tension flared back up in an instant. The two didn’t know where the allegiances of the imposter lied and how he would react to news like the impending arrival of the real Celestia, their knowledge of his identity or the fact Crystal Glamour wasn’t a real pony.

Nothing would be gained by being hasty and both parties involved had enough experience to know that, so they exchanged a meaningful look and a barely noticeable nod.

They would settle this between themselves later.

“She’s a friend I made on the ride to Ponyville. Her name is Crystal Glamour.”

Chrysalis opened her mouth to speak as the alicorn drew closer for a hoofshake, but the moment they came in within a few feet of each other, she almost buckled under the assault on her senses. The aura of emotions radiating from the body of her hated nemesis Celestia was so different, the changeling would have recognized the alicorn as a fake with her eyes and ears closed.

On instinct, she used her powers to get a reading of the being, stealthily and invisible to the naked eye.

The flavour hit the former queen like a freight train. She never had tasted anything like this before, a rich and mouth-watering pool of emotions causing havoc on her taste buds like fireworks. The largest part of the cocktail was concern for her, a usually blander dish compared to this delectable morsel.

“Amazing, simply amazing!” She fed and fed in infuriatingly small sips to stay undetected, when something unexpected happened; a growing pressure around her stomach and chest. The changeling panicked and sped up her feeding, but soon felt something she never felt before.

Chrysalis was full.

Somehow, the imposter had provided enough emotions to sate her endless hunger without becoming a dead-eyed empty shell.

Changeling folklore had old tales of such beings, creatures that never ran out of love to feed on. Their appearance always followed a long era of prosperity for changelings as they were cared for by the hive like valuable commodities until they inevitably died of natural causes.

This specimen right before her nose, rare and precious beyond worth, would live for all eternity.

The knees of Chrysalis buckled again, this time from the weight of this revelation.

*Gurgl*

Followed by a painful churn of her guts.

Overeating in her condition hadn’t been the best idea, but at least the puke came out in a much more pleasing and non-acidic hot pink.

Sweet, love saturated mucus that looked quite dashing against pristine white coat.

“So much for a good first impression…” Chrysalis thought as magical jetlag, food coma and embarrassment took its toll, her body collapsing forward into the soft yet sticky chest of her ticket back into the hive. “But I like a good challenge...”

Author's Note:

I added the Alternate Universe tag, because I changed a lot from canon in this chapter (Let alone the multitude of changes in earlier chapters)

Because I was so long away, I edit chapters on my own again, so I'm thankful for anyone pointing out errors. (English isn't my native language and I'm not as practised anymore)

If you have the time, tell me what you thought about this chapter.


And of course... obvious title reference is obvious:trollestia:. (Turn on the sound)