• Published 12th May 2014
  • 7,949 Views, 168 Comments

King Of Queens - ChroniclerOfFantasies

Herds. In a world inhabited by magical ponies, that's really not too surprising of a thing... unless that herd consists of four living, breathing goddesses and yourself.

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Calm Before the Storm

“Shiny?” Twilight whispered. She took a tentative step forward, her body tense as she tried to put together what she was seeing.

“Hey Twily.” He said with a soft smile. Twilight started panting as she tried to both fight back tears as well as find words to say. A few seconds of that and she gave up looking for the right thing to say and tried to let her body take control instead, rushing towards him.

I wasn’t about to have that.

“Guards! Grab Princess Twilight and hold her down! If she resists, use force! Same goes for Cadence! Sunburst, capture that unicorn!” Cadence, who up to this point had been locked in place unable to tear her eyes away from him, and Twilight looked at me with a mixture of shock, rage, and fear. The guards obviously weren’t sure if they should take orders from me, but when they saw Sunburst take off without hesitation they quickly followed suit. I smiled. She understood my intentions immediately.

Cadence was still in too much shock to resist but Twilight made it very clear she wasn’t going down without a fight. Luckily her rage addled mind wasn’t very good for fighting and she quickly found herself apprehended. Poor mare. It was going to be so hard to salvage anything after this, but it needed to be done. Shining himself put up no resistance, allowing Sunburst to place an inhibitor on his horn and cuff his hooves while he stared at me with what seemed to be an almost approving look.

I gestured with my head for the guards to place Twilight and Cadence directly behind me before creating a protective circle around them. The remaining guards took up positions around Shining, weapons raised. I looked around, quickly assessing my situation once more before catching Cadence’s eye.

She looked at me confused and I returned with a sheepish smile. “Rade…” she whispered. “Why? Why are you doing this?” Before I had the chance to answer I was cut off by Twilight.

“I KNEW IT! YOU’RE A TRAITOR JUST LIKE I THOUGHT! YOU WERE JUST TRYING TO LULL US INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY! I BET YOU’RE WORKING WITH THE WINDIGOES AREN’T YOU?! ADMIT IT!” I sighed. Once more Twilight was allowing her emotions to cloud her judgment. Shaking my head I began to reply but was cut off once again.

“Twily calm down. He’s doing the right thing.” All heads turned to Shining Armor who was wearing a grin that seemed to radiate pride for… some reason.

“Shiny! Look at him! He’s turned the guards against us! He took your place and now that you’re back he’s trying to get rid of you! We have to do something!” Shining just shook his head. I kept a steady glare on him, studying his every move.

“No Twily. He’s just trying to protect you.” Twilight seemed taken aback by this, while Cadence just seemed to look around visibly confused and seemingly disoriented. Something told me it wasn’t going to be long before she… oh. There she goes, fainting right on cue. Not that I could blame her. Her mind is going through a lot of stress at the moment and she just let off two very large spells.

A thought suddenly occurred to me and I had to maintain my composure during an unexpected panic attack. If Cadence was out cold then how was the shield around the palace still operating? I started darting my eyes all around looking for an answer when Sunburst cleared her throat. Looking towards her I watched as she gestured to the throne with her wing. As I looked I let out a sigh of relief. Lines of light blue magic were coursing through the stone. They must have placed a charm on it to let it maintain the barrier should Cadence pass out. Of course that only brought up a new worry. Spells like those aren’t as useful as some would think. In fact they do more harm than good. Even though Cadence is resting, that chair will be continually sapping her magical power with no chance for recovery. And unlike when she’s awake, she can’t regulate how much power she uses so the shield is just going to keep taking whatever she used to maintain it before passing out. Hopefully, that wouldn’t be too much.

“Protect us?! From what?!” Twilights endless shouting snapped me back to the task at hand.

“From me. Twily, ponies don’t just come back from the dead. I could literally be anypony and he’s not willing to take that chance. For all you know I could be a changeling or using a heavy duty illusion spell. Right uh… whoever you are?” I quickly gave Shining a look that said ‘Shut-up-or-it-won’t-matter-if-you’re-the-real-deal-or-not’. His smile quickly disappeared as he gulped some air.

I stomped my hoof on the ground to get all of the guards attention. “I want eight guards to take the princesses to Cadence’s room. Don’t let them leave unless I say otherwise. The twelve guards surrounding the unkown unicorn as well as captain Sunburst, escort the prisoner to the war council room we were in earlier. If you don’t know the way follow your captain. Once you arrive wait for further orders. You three.” I said pointing at the ponies I’d earlier mentally labelled as random unicorn guard seven, ambiguous pegasus guard twelve and blatant Lunawars clone ripoff earth pony three. “I want you to scour the palace and tell everypony you find to head to the ball room. I want the rest of you guards to split into three teams. The first team will be working to keep the civilians in check, basically regular police duty. There’s a lot of craziness going on right now and tensions are high. I need you watching in case a fight breaks out. If it does settle it quickly or else it might start a riot. The second will do whatever’s necessary to get the civilians as comfortable as they can as quickly as they can. I don’t care what you have to do, gather blankets, get the cooking staff to start a feast, read the foals bedtime stories, doesn’t matter. Just make sure everypony sits down and shuts up. Or at least doesn’t feel the need to put their neighbor in a chokehold. The last group needs to gather up the rest of the ‘Mane Six’. Cadences rear I hate that name.” I mumbled under my breath. “Anyways gather them up and place them where no one can see them. If anypony asks where they are just tell them they’re on some big classified mission or something like that. If they find out about their current conditions it’ll cause a panic. Also when you’re done would you uh…” I looked around the room, eyeing the carnage the sudden battle had created. Fallen soldiers and many other poor ponies lay motionless about the room, their eyes devoid of life. I was surprised by how the sight affected me. It made me sad yes, but I wasn’t on the ground sobbing. In fact it felt a little too… familiar. I realized that while it made me feel terrible… it was something I’d seen before. I let my mind wander for a moment as I contemplated what that meant. Obviously I’ve seen my fair share of battlefields, but was that good… or bad? I was pulled from my musings when a quiet ‘Yes Sir’ came from some of the ponies on my right. I gave them a sympathetic look as they saluted and began walking over to the… gah, I have to find something to call them other than the ‘Mane Six’.

“HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!” Twilight shouted. I facehooved, I didn’t have time for this right now. “YOU CAN’T DO THIS! YOU DON’T HAVE THE POWER! GUARDS, AS YOUR PRINCESS I ORDER YOU TO REALEASE ME AT ONCE!” Some of the guards surrounding Twilight began to move towards her, but Sunburst cleared her throat, drawing their attention and stopping them.

“I’m sorry princess, but that’s not possible.” Twilight glared daggers at the pegasus captain.

“Why not?!” Sunburst sighed.

“Well, due to your earlier outbursts, you were deemed temporarily unfit to rule by a political majority. After that all power fell to Cadence who, during an earlier meeting, stated quote ‘As of now Rades word is my own.’ granting him basically the same level of power as herself. Since she never stated otherwise, you’re still deemed unfit, and princess Cadence is…” Everypony looked at the passed out pink fluff ball on the floor. “Indisposed… that basically puts him in charge. At least until she wakes up. And even then it’s arguable that she’s not actually fit to take care of things herself.” Twilights mouth sat agape as she stared at captain Sunburst. Honestly I was a little disappointed. I thought everypony was listening to me because they thought I was awesome or really trustworthy or something, not because I was technically the one in charge. Ah well. Don’t mind me Sunburst, I’ll just be over here nursing my bruised ego.

“I’m going straight to the infirmary to check up on something.” I said. “After that I’ll be heading to the war room to meet the prisoner. If you need me I’ll be in those locations for the time being. That is all. Everypony get to work. It’s going to be a long day.”

Each of the guards gave a salute before following my orders to the letter. I sauntered off to the infirmary with enough worry running through my head to block off Twilights never ending screaming. That mare really has a pair of lungs.

I let my thoughts flow freely as I walked through the halls. I had to make my way through numerous ponies many of whom were just beginning to make their way to the ball room. All of these ponies were in danger. These ponies, MY ponies I chastised myself as at the moment they really were mine, were scared, confused, and miserable. And who could blame them? The crystal heart was in pieces, their city was covered in snow, the guard had been decimated, their neighbors had been slaughtered before their eyes, and that was just what they KNEW. They had no idea that I was in charge because Cadence and Twilight were too emotionally unstable to handle even simple tasks, or that a pony claiming to be their dead prince had shown up, or even that Equestria’s so called ‘heroes’ were currently encased in giant chunks of black ice, or worst of all that the blizzard outside was so severe we couldn’t hope for any kind of reinforcements. Not even Celsetia and Luna could break through that wall of ice and wind.

All this being said though I was happy… in a way. Not happy that things had turned out like this. No. Not at all. But I was very pleased in myself. Even with everything going on I had managed to keep some kind of level head and so far I had managed to buy us time and preserve the lives of most of the ponies in the empire. My quick thinking had, for the most part, gotten us through the hard part relatively unscathed, though I use that term very loosely. Considering the fact that this could have very well ended up as a rout, we’re quite lucky.

As I opened the door to the infirmary, my thoughts came to a sudden halt at the sight before me. Dozens of ponies civilian and soldier alike were piled onto the various beds. Pained moans and wails of agony crashed into my ears with the force of an earth ponies hooves. The Ambrosia and Cadence clones looked absolutely exhausted, some of them even sitting slumped against the wall catching their breath.

Before I had a chance to properly register what I was seeing I was startled by a sudden pair of hooves wrapping around me. Looking down I found the familiar honey brown hooves of Smart Cookie holding me in a tight embrace. Turning my head a little more I stared into her teary eyes and gave her a gentle smile. Normally I’d be a little apprehensive about a mare I didn’t know well hugging me like this, but Smart Cookie was just to innocent and adorable for me to care. And with everything I’ve gone through today I honestly needed that hug. “Thank Celestia you’re alright!” she said gripping me a little tighter.

“Yeah, I’m fine Cooks no need to worry. You can let go now.” She gave me a strange look before looking down at her own hooves. Her face went bright red as she let go and started stammering out apologies one after another. I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit at her expense.

“Thanks Cooks.” I said after I calmed down. She just looked at me confused.

“Cooks? And what exactly are you thinking me for Master Radiance?”

“First off you can drop that whole ‘Master Radiance’ thing. I hate titles. Just call me Rade. Cooks is what I’ve decided to call you because saying Smart Cookie takes too long and I don’t want to call you miss because again, I hate titles. Finally I’m thanking you for the hug… I really needed one.” And once more her blush came back in full force.

“Oh uh you’re… you’re welcome Ma- I mean Rade.” She added a little nervous laughter at the end, rubbing her hooves together in embarrassment and eliciting more chuckles from me. It grew quiet between us then and I took the chance to look her over, she was part of the reason I came here after all. She was covered in bandages that were tinted a little red, but for the most part she seemed fine.

“So… why are you here Rade? Shouldn’t you be with the Princess?”

“Actually you’re half the reason that I’m here.” Her eyes widened a bit in surprise.

“I am?”

“Yes. I wanted to make sure you were alright after those injuries you received. That being said, how are you doing? You seem fine to me but I’m no doctor so I can’t really say for sure.”

“Oh! I’m uh, I’m fine, thank you for asking. My armor stopped the spikes from hitting anything too important so all they had to do was pull the ice out, wrap me up and give me a few painkillers. But you don’t need to concern yourself with me. There are other ponies in much worse condition than I am. I‘ve been trying to help the nurses since I woke up. There isn’t much I can do, but I try my best.” She sunk her head low as she looked toward the ground. I gave her sympathetic smile as I placed my hoof on her shoulder. She lifted her head and looked me in the eye. The expression on her face was filled with regret and sorrow, probably because she felt so useless at the moment. A feeling I easily understood.

“Today’s been hard on all of us Cooks and I’ll be honest. I don’t think it’s going to get much better.” Her eyes shrank and her ears splayed backwards in fear as she looked at me.

“What… what do you mean?” I let out a sigh. For some reason I wanted Smart Cookie to know what was going on. Sure, I knew her for only a few hours, but for some reason she made me comfortable. She was familiar to me somehow, and right now I’d take anything that could bring my head back down to Equus.

“I mean if you think things were bad before, just wait till I tell you what’s happened since you passed out. We’re in a bad position Cooks, and I don’t see much of a way out.”

“So in other words we’re bucked?” Smart Cookie and I turned our heads to the new voice. A smile crept onto my face as I turned my head to find Willow standing there. She looked more than a little worse for wear. Her mane and tail were frazzled with hairs sticking out all over, her coat was matted and in dire need of a good brushing, and she even had a bit of a strong smell coming off her, no doubt from all the work she must have been doing not moments before.

“Willow!” I exclaimed. “It’s good to see you! Are you alright?” She gave me a deadpan look before putting her head down and sighing. When she looked up at me she had a weak smile accentuated by the exhausted look in her eyes.

“Yeah. Yeah I’m alright. As alright as I can be anyways. And it’s good to see you too.” I gave her a smirk and a wiggle of my brow while she shot me a look. The comedy died though as her face turned serious. “But I have to ask Rade, what’s going on? I’ve gotten to know you pretty well. You and Cadence are practically bound at the hip. If you’re here alone it CAN’T be good.”

I let out a sigh. She’s always so direct but that was one of the things I’d come to love about Willow. I had become pretty good friends with her since my arrival here, and while we’re far from the kind of relationship I have with Cadence I knew that I could trust her with just about anything.

“Both of you come with me into the hall. I’ll tell you there.” Willow and Smart Cookie glanced at each other before nodding their heads and following me through the doors. After looking around the hall to make sure it was clear I recounted everything that had happened since I rushed out of the doors. Smart Cookie began to visibly shake as she realized just how royally screwed we were at the moment while Willow kept her face relatively neutral the whole way through. Even the news about Shining Armor didn’t seem to phase her. The same could not be said for Smart Cookie however.

“The prince has returned?!” she shouted, her eyes filled with hope. Hope I, sadly, quickly had to dash.

“I don’t know. It’s a possibility. But it’s far more likely this stallion is an imposter.” I hated watching the poor mares face deflate at that, but it had to be done. I looked at Willow who had yet to say anything or even change her expression. “Willow you okay?” That seemed to snap her out of it as she raised her brow curiously.

“Yeah I’m fine. Why do you ask?”

“Well you’ve been kinda quiet.” I replied honestly.

“Oh. Well yeah I mean I’m a little surprised about Shining coming back and all, but I’m not too worried.” Smart Cookie looked how I felt, completely surprised.

“Why not?” she asked. I suddenly heard screaming coming from inside the infirmary. Hoofs began to clatter across the floor as the beeping of medical equipment suddenly increased at a dangerous rate. It didn’t take a genius to know what was happening. Willow turned back to the sound of the noise preparing to go inside and help, but turned back at the last second.

“I’m not worried because he’s in charge.” She said pointing at me. Wait… what? “If it were anypony else I might be a bit concerned. But Rade I’ve seen you pull off stunts in the past month that should have gotten you locked up for a long time and the princess dethroned. Yet somehow you always managed to cover your butts and weasel your way out of trouble. Sure, they’ve all been harmless pranks but you’ve gotten lucky so far, and something tells me your luck hasn’t run out quite yet. And besides, you always seem to be a couple of steps ahead. I’m positive you’re already working on a plan to get us out of this mess, isn’t that right?” She looked at me with a knowing smile, one I couldn’t help but return myself.

“Sort of, and that brings me back to the other half of why I’m here. I don’t know if you have it but there’s some things I need you to get me.”

Author's Note:

So this has been me just about every time someone's tried to talk to me this month.

Yeah my life kind of sucks right now. Luckily I have ponies who are more than happy to cheer me up every time I turn on the television, so it's all good.
As for this story it looks like Rade DOES have a plan, but what could it possibly be and will it even work?
I know but I'm not telling. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!
Well not until the next chapter anyways. Also I apologize it took so long for this to get out and I know, it's really not much more than senseless drivel, but I've had an issue with the chapter I'm currently writing where it was simply too long for my tastes and I had to find somewhere to split it up. I decided that this would be a decent place and had to put the break here. So again, sorry it's not much, but I guarantee the next two chapters are going to be huge.
You think me bringing back Shining was dropping a bomb? You haven't seen anything yet!