• Published 15th Jul 2014
  • 1,545 Views, 106 Comments

Manehattan Madness - Ardashir



It's the Manehattan Spring Fashion Show! And for the first time ever Carousel Boutique wlll be there. Rarity and her models: Applejack and Fluttershy and a Changeling Queen searching for lost changelings -- who do NOT want to be found

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Aftermath: On The Canterlot Limited, Colton

Chapter 11
Aftermath: On the Canterlot Limited, Colton

With the squeal of brakes, the Canterlot Limited came to a stop on Track 3 before the Colton depot. Steam vented white in the mid-morning sun as earth ponies pulled mail and baggage wagons onto the platform; pegasus trackfliers glided down to the upper-floor depot balconies; half a dozen ponies trotted to the three-story Horsey House attached to the depot, led by a grey earth pony with silver bouffant mane. With a metal-on-metal crash of couplers, the Ten-Wheeler heading the train detached and chuffed away to the roundhouse.

Aboard the Limited, conductors and porters trotted the length of the train, knocking on compartment doors and whinnying announcements.

“Colton! Transfer connections for Vanhoofer, the Crystal Empire, and Ponyville-Whitetail Branch!”

A marshmallow unicorn and butter-yellow pegasus stepped out into the corridor as the porter continued down the car. The unicorn’s long amethyst mane drooped almost as much as the pegasus’ longer pink one.

“Well, girls, here we are,” Rarity said as she floated her “carry-on” luggage out of the compartment. She was traveling light for once, only about three times the volume of Fluttershy’s saddlebags and mouth-carried duffel. After the events of the past few days, she didn’t think she’d have the energy to take care of all her luggage.

Applejack was already in the corridor; after four days of being “Orangejack of Manehattan”, she was back in her Stetson and saddlebags and tied-back mane and tail and nothing else.

“Let’s check in on Fancy, Fleur, and Yellow Jacket before we disembark and wait for the Ponyville connection.”

“That’ll be tomorra, won’t it?” The palomino said, tilting back her trademark hat, proud to be wearing it again after most of a week without. “Ah guess we gotta sleep at one o’ the local Hay-and-Stays, then.”

Rarity snorted. “Applejack, dear, just because we’re returning home does not mean you have to play up that accent of yours. I heard you in Manehattan, you can speak better than I when you choose to.”

“Yeah,” the palomino responded. “But right now, Ah don’t choose ta.” AJ walked past her with a smile, her saddlebags bouncing against her sides. Rarity just gave a small snort and followed her, making sure to keep an eye on Fluttershy. As they entered the vestibule to the next sleeper car, the train shuddered with the jolt of couplers; a switcher tacking on express and mail cars for Canterlot. Fluttershy brought up the rear, seeming more at ease than she’d been for days. Since we left Ponyville. Feeling a pang, Rarity dropped back by her.

“Fluttershy dear,” she said as they passed a pair of earth pony stallions in the vestibule, “let me say again, had I known what I was doing to you, I would have never…”

She fell silent as Fluttershy smiled and nuzzled her. The two stallions gave the yellow pegasus odd, nervous looks. When Rarity raised her head to look back at them, they gave two weak smiles before almost leaping off the train.

“It’s alright, Rarity,” Fluttershy said. “This was a big chance for you, and I wanted to make sure everything went the way you wanted it to. I thought I could handle it better than I did.” Fluttershy gave a little shiver and added in a whisper, “I’m just sorry I let you down.”

“Fluttershy, no!” Rarity got between her friend and the door into the next car. “I should have paid more attention to you, you’re my friend and worth more to me than any amount of contracts and commissions.” Fluttershy still looked dismayed. Rarity added with a smile, “Besides, there was that whole business with Vespid and Audra. I daresay none of us expected any of that.”

Fluttershy winced at the reminder. After rescuing Sky Talon – the terrified griffin almost had to have her claws pried off of Fluttershy, clinging to her like a grifflet to her mother – they’d spent most of a day answering questions from Manehattan’s Finest. The police seemed half convinced they were somehow more deeply involved.

Given that we had a Changeling Queen with us, they had some good reason to be suspicious. Rarity still snorted. But did they HAVE to lock us in that tacky cell in the Tombs? And clamp that anti-magic shackle on our horns?

It all lasted until well after sunset when a team of Royal Guards lead by a Captain Basilard arrived from Canterlot with a Royal Warrant, at which point the constables became very apologetic and delivered the whole lot, luggage and all, to Grand Central just in time to board the Limited. The train was barely over the Two Sisters’ Bridge when Fancy sent word that Vespid had begun laying her eggs. Rarity and Applejack were too tired and uneasy to go and see, but Fluttershy simply had to look. She came back after an hour, rhapsodizing about the miracle of life she’d just seen. Rarity didn’t mind that, but when she began describing it all in detail? The unicorn shuddered. She wondered if she wanted to see it now.

But no, we promised Fancy and Fleur and, yes, Queen Vespid too that we would. Rarity followed her friends to the door of Fancy’s extra-large compartment, normally meant for VIPs and/or families. Applejack knocked as they reached the door.

The conductor pony coming down the corridor looked them over with professional wariness. Rarity knew they didn’t look like they belonged back here, especially loaded down with saddlebags and luggage.

“Just so you ladies know,” he said, “we’ll be leaving for Canterlot in less than a half hour. If you’re disembarking here…”

“We know,” Applejack told him. “So don’t get your livery in a knot over it.” The conductor said nothing, he simply went down the hall to check on the other passengers. As he left the door opened and revealed Fancy Pants. Applejack smiled. “How do, Fancy? How are y’all doing?” She hesitated, and said, “It, uh, ain’t too bad with Vespid right now, is it?”

“She’s been better,” Fancy said with a smile, “but we’ve all seen her far worse as well.” Rarity tried to peek around him, but she saw nothing beyond a lowered bunk bed and small table set with what looked like a small breakfast of fruit and juice. She winced at the organic odor coming from the room, as well as the unhappy chitter-snarls from Vespid. “Ah, if you want to come in?”

Fancy stepped back. Fluttershy hurried in, followed by Applejack and less eagerly, Rarity. Fancy closed the door behind them.

Inside Rarity saw a hotel room shrunk to fit in a railcar, with the addition of a pull-down bunk over the main bed. A badly-stained heavy sheet covered the large bed, and was itself covered by Queen Vespid in her natural Changeling form, crown glowing in the dim light. Beside her lay six softly-luminescent ovoids. The silhouettes of tiny curled-up Changeling foals showed within, barely visible through the leathery eggshells. Fleur stood beside Vespid, holding both a wet towel and a large glass of water in her horn’s aura.

“Now, dear,” she heard Fleur say. She sounded somewhere between compassionate and amused. “This is the seventh. I’d assume you’d know what to expect by now.”

“It’s been a long time,” Vespid hissed back, buzzing her horsefly wings. She looked more ragged than even after the fight. A hiss of pain escaped her as she curled around, hiding her ovipositor from view and grunting as she began bringing her latest egg forth. Rarity glanced at the two friends with her; Fluttershy looked delighted, Applejack rather less so. She just felt happy she’d waited on breakfast.

Vespid scowled at them all.

“Like the view?” She asked, her voice harsh. Then, more gently, “Thank you for your help in dealing with Audra and getting me back to Canterlot in one piece. I am grateful, and – oh Tartarus!” She took a deep breath and snarled at the latest egg, gleaming where it lay. “Must you be so difficult, my nymphlings?”

“Hello, Queen Vespid,” Rarity said, breaking the silence. “I, er, do hope you’re feeling well.” She looked at the piled eggs and felt forced to ask, “Does it hurt? I thought there was, well, more noise, like what I remember about Sweetie’s foaling.”

“I’m no mammal, to lay here howling and cursing my stallion for doing this to me,” she snapped. Vespid relaxed back, indicating Fluttershy with one perforated forehoof. “I want to thank you in particular for your help. I thought you were weak, a coward.” She closed her eyes and winced, giving a hiss that she let out slowly. “I was very wrong. I ask your forgiveness.”

“Oh, it’s alright,”” Fluttershy said. “I don’t mind. In ways I am weak. And sometimes I am a coward.” She nuzzled against first Rarity and then Applejack. Then she went to Vespid and lightly touched noses with her. Vespid jerked her head back as Fluttershy said, “But I can be strong when my friends need me to be.”

“Yes,” Vespid said after a moment. “You can, can’t you?” She sighed and settled herself back on the bed. “Lord Fancy, Lady Fleur, I apologize for the trouble I’ve put you both to. If you ever need any favors of any sort at all, don’t hesitate to ask.” She looked at Rarity. “The same goes for you and you friends. I did like the modeling part,” Vespid grinned. Rarity flinched at the sight of those fangs. “I fed very well. If you ever want some more of my lings to help with it, just ask.” She looked thoughtful and asked, “Wait, what happened with you and the show? Did you get what you wanted?”

“Not exactly,” Rarity said, remembering how Prim Hemline, Finest Silk, Hoity and all the rest reacted afterwards. “I was told to be careful who I chose for models in the future, else I might not get invited back…” She let her voice trail off before adding triumphantly, “But they did invite me back for next year. They definitely want to see more of my work.”

Rarity bowed her head to Vespid. “Thank you for your help, Majesty. Though perhaps next year we can avoid any more wild battles on the runway?”

“Next year,” Vespid said with a toothy smile, “I’ll be sure to bring some of my Hive with me, so We can all feed. You can have even more to help, if you like.” She licked her lips. “Such a feast that audience provided, at both Hall and Hippodrome.”

“I’ll be sure to remember that,” Rarity said, no longer feeling a need to shudder. “Then again, having models who could react to the audience’s moods and change their appearance at will could be very helpful. Maybe, if I can be sure there won’t be any more problems with rogue Changeling Princesses in the future?”

“I’ll do my best,” Vespid said dryly. “I doubt Audra will ever join my Hive – thankfully, else one of us would kill the other…” The assembled ponies all gave a shiver at that.

“Huh,” Applejack looked at the small pile of eggs. “Say, how are y’all going ta get them offa the train in Canterlot an’ back ta her hive? If ya need any help…” She stopped as Fancy spoke up.

“Very generous, Miss Applejack,” he said, “but not necessary. Captain Basilard assured us the Princess will have royal servants waiting in the station, ready to bear both Queen Vespid and her eggs back to their estate.” He looked at the stained sheets. "I don't like to think what I may have to pay for the repairs, though."

Before anypony could say anything else, the room shuddered with another coupler jolt; calls neighed along the corridor. “Five minutes! Five minutes and we will be leaving for Canterlot! Anypony departing at Colton, leave the train now!” From the Limited’s head end, a steam whistle howled in added warning.

“Oh dear!” Rarity turned and headed for the door, her own train of carry-on luggage floating behind her. “Come along, girls!”

The unicorn fashionista stopped at the compartment door long enough to say, “Fancy Pants, thank you again ever so much for all your help. Fleur, I’m sorry I behaved as abominably as I did, I hope you can forgive me. Queen Vespid, when next I visit Canterlot…”

“I’ll show you the nymphlings, including my Princess,” the Changeling Queen half snarled in response. “Now go before you end up in Canterlot!”

Fleur saw them to the vestibule. As the three and Rarity’s luggage trail stepped into the light of Celestia’s Sun, a bouffanted earth pony and his entourage galloped from the Horsey House to the platforms.

“Hoity Toity?” Rarity blurted as the small herd boarded two cars down.

Fleur whickered. “He always did prefer Horsey House to the dining car.”

Then they were on the depot platform, next to the three baggage wagons piled with Rarity’s baggage, looking across Tracks 1 and 2 to the Limited framed by the smoke and steam plumes of Colton’s freight yard and engine shops.

“ALL ABOOOOARD!”

A new shift of trackflyers took wing over their heads; the huge Garrat now coupled to the train blew steam; Fleur waved from the vestibule and vanished inside as the whistle sounded and the Limited slowly pulled out of Colton for the long climb to Canterlot, twelve furlongs above the valley floor.

Rarity watched the Canterlot Limited vanish down the main towards the mountains, its namesake city gleaming like a diamond on the side of the tallest peak. Turning to the others, she whinnied just one word.

“Breakfast?”

# # #

The Colton Horsey House was one of the largest of its kind, a three-story Canterlot-styled palace that dwarfed the passenger depot and post office/express transfer house that flanked it. A pony couple in the paneled lobby’s newsstand looked up at the three mares and luggage train entering the building. At the sight of the yellow pegasus bringing up the rear, they whinnied and bolted out the door; Applejack glared at them as they disappeared.

The royal-blue mare behind the lobby counter in regulation black-trimmed white apron and ribbon-tied mane-bun looked up at the new guests. “Welcome to Colton! Formal dining or lunchroom…?” Her voice trailed off and her ears dropped; she had to swallow once or twice before she continued in a very different voice. “Today’s menu is posted… on the wall… All items four bits per diner…”

Fluttershy shrank back; the receptionist was staring right at her.

“Will you three… ladies… be needing anything else?”

“Yes,” Rarity said, starting to get annoyed. “Some good manners would be nice. Hmph!” She levitated a dozen bits from her neck-purse onto the counter, turned and headed for the lunchroom archway. “Come along, my dears.”

Fluttershy looked ready to bolt; the other two made sure to stay on either side of their nervous friend.

It got worse inside the large lunchroom. Their waitress, another Horsey Mare as well groomed as Rarity herself, half jumped at the sight of the shy pegasus. But she led them to the table, a standard eight-seat one in the back corner of the room, far from the large horseshoe counter. Rarity set her carry-ons down on the five empty seats, relaxing after the exertion of levitating them around.

Celestia’s Sun shined through the trackside windows; from the kitchens behind the counter came mouth-watering scents of oats and fresh fruit and bran and even some eggs and fish for any griffins. Fluttershy looked like she wanted to sink down in her seat. They quickly made their orders to another wide-eyed waitress and sat back to wait.

“Friendly place,” Applejack muttered. “Ah wonder what everypony is so all-fired jumpy about?”

“My dear, I have no idea,” Rarity said. She looked around at the waitresses in their apron-and-ribbon livery readying the room for the next train’s arrival and shook her head. “I still think those uniforms look so drab. At least I’m not the one wearing them this time.” She looked back at her friends, eyeing her with surprise. “What? Oh, well, you remember that time Pinkie Pie and I got stranded in Dodge Junction?” AJ blushed as Rarity went on with, “Didn’t you ever wonder how we got back home? We worked as Horsey Mares for a month to get the bits together.” She shook herself. “It was that or be can-can dancers in the saloon; Cherries Jubilee wouldn’t let us back in the packing house after what happened.”

“Wait, Rarity, that doesn’t sound right, not that I’m saying you’re wrong,” Fluttershy hastily amended. “It’s just that I remember reading that Horsey Mares had to sign a one-year contract or pay the difference out of their own pocket…”

Rarity stiffened as hooves sounded on hardwood; behind her friend she could see almost a dozen of the staff approaching. The lone unicorn bore that day’s Manehattan Times and the others clumped tight, apparently hiding something behind them. An older chestnut mare like a second Prim Hemline – the house matron, from what Rarity remembered – stepped out in front, ears and tail twitching. Applejack noticed it too. Unicorn and earth pony rose and pushed their seats back, ready for trouble. Fluttershy broke off and froze as the small herd reached the table with a snort. For several seconds they just stared at each other, the yellow pegasus shrinking behind the table and the Horsey Mares looking ready to turn and stampede.

“Pardon me, miss,” One of them finally said, looking at the pegasus hiding behind her mane, “But are you the Fluttershy? The model? From the Fashion Show in Manehattan?”

“Ye-yes,” Fluttershy finally managed. Her ears were down, her wide green eyes darted over the half-dozen mares in aprons. “W-why?”

“Just,” the unicorn waitress pulled something that glowed a livid green out from the center of the clump, shoved it in the pegasus’ face. “THIS!”

“EEEEEEEEEP!”

Rarity flinched back, horn glowing. Fluttershy dived beneath the table, wings flaring. Applejack jumped forward with a snort, clearing the table and sending the mares scurrying back with a shriek, their copy of the Times falling to the floor.

“Alright!” She snorted, staring the matron in the eyes. “Now just what the hay is goin’ on in this here town? Ah…” She saw what they held. Her muzzle worked for several moments as she fought uselessly for self-control. She lost, and the laughter spilled out of her.

It was an ornate brass lantern glowing brilliant green that had, until recently, sold very well in Equestria. Mostly because it’d been enchanted to reveal hidden shapeshifters. Like Changelings, such as those on the front page of the newspaper laying face-up before the three Ponyville mares. A full-width photo of two Changeling Queens, one without a crown, battling it out amid the wreckage of Dressage Hall. The camera had caught them in mid-shapeshift – one looked part griffin, the other resembled the butter-yellow pegasus cowering under the table. Beside the lead photo was a smaller one of Fluttershy from her earlier modeling career, comparing the two.

The headline ran in a font size worthy of Discord’s Return:

ELEMENT OF HARMONY
A CHANGELING QUEEN?

How Long Did Celestia Know?

The Ponyville mares looked at the suddenly-shamefaced waitresses. The matron shook herself with a snort and began ushering them back to their tables. “Now go on, you saw, it was all a lot of nothing, we’ll be giving these three ladies free meals to make up for our bad behavior…”

From under the table, Fluttershy looked up at her two friends, cheeks reddening through her coat. Applejack fell back laughing, pounding a hoof on the floor. Rarity just looked at her pegasus friend in dismay.

“Fluttershy, remember two months ago…? That Wolf you hid out in that ponysuit as moi? How for weeks afterwards,” Rarity’s voice grew smaller as she near whispered, “Everypony in town thought I was really a wolf?” She opened her mouth as she’d had to do too many times, showing off her equine dentition.

Fluttershy shrank into a little yellow-and-pink ball, said just one thing that covered the entire situation, from what she could look forward to in the weeks ahead to the quality of the Times’ reporting to what the events of the past four days in Manehattan had done for all their reputations:

Eep…

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Comments ( 35 )

Dude, you're on fire! :rainbowlaugh:
Gimmeh moar!

4790850 MY editor and I both look on the Changelings as having a claw on the end of their legs when in 'normal' form. Think like some spiders, such as tarantulas, who have semi-retractable claws on the ends of their legs.

And thanks very much for posting that art.

4790964 There will be more, but not for a while, sorry to say. But the next story will be a one-shot and it will once again involve Ardi.

And thanks for all the support and praise for this story!

4790022

Poor mares...

Poor how? Fluttershy will have to deal with the (false) reputation of being a Changeling, true. :fluttercry: But she has her friends around. And Rarity got a reminder about her own behavior which she needed.

Happy endings all around! :D

Glad you like it!

4716385

If you remember, it was partly inspired by Alex Warlorn's having him show that ability in the Diamond Tiara arc of Pony POV.

It's largely due to your version of Fancy Pants and Fleur that I wrote the following paragraph into Rarity's reverie in Chapter 13 of Divine Jealousy and the Voice of Reason:

Once, she had met a fit mate -- an older Pony stallion of higher status who was attractive, brilliant, kind, and was both attracted to her as well and treated her with the utmost respect. He fully-understood her dream and had developed his own version of it before he'd ever met her. He was also very happily married. Rarity seriously considered trying to become his mistress, but was checked by her own sense of honor, his sense of honor, and the fact that she also liked his wife. Fancy Pants and Fleur-de-Lis became her friends, her mentors and her social sponsors. But Rarity remained both single and frustrated.

This is in the context of a very Sparity-shipping section, in which Rarity is realizing that she's almost never met a Pony stallion who matches up to Spike. The sole exception is Fancy. But, unfortunately for Rarity, he's taken.

It's meant very much as praise of Fancy Pants.

4711651

And I'm glad that you like the part were the ponies quarrel over the 'real' version of Escape from Midnight Castle; in-setting there's at least three different versions (one for each or the three tribes), and probably a near infinity of re-interpretations of it. There's almost certainly going to be one more when the real Tirek eventually gets free!

Not to mention popular adaptations of Princess Twilight's epic battle with Tirek, I'd wager!

4792050 Thanks for the comments and fave! And for letting me know I inspired even a small part of your own work. Yes, I imagine Rarity could easily fall for Fancy and be happy even as his mistress, if not for the fact that he's a one-mare stallion and married to Fleur.

4792647

Not to mention popular adaptations of Princess Twilight's epic battle with Tirek, I'd wager!

No doubt!

By the by, did you get deep enough into the story thus far to read about what happened when Twilight tried to start a discussion group for 'classical' Equestrian literature, and Lyra started to talk about her theory of Megan's origins?

And part of me still wants to write a one-shot about 'Twilight Sparkle, Savior of True Literature, versus (pony) Ray Palmer and the Shaver Mystery, purely as a joke. It may be a sort-of sequel to 'A Night at the Fights' where Twilight learns that her other friends have their odd and private little hobbies too...

4796298

Oh ... hee hee hee ... you know about it! It's basically the most hilarious, elaborate Erotic Mind Control fantasy anyone ever devised, and it's both based on and probably inspired any number of pulp science fiction stories. Now that I think about it, parts of it sound like (much dirtier) versions of some Doc Savage novels I've read.

I want to see Twilight's face when someone starts telling her about the little dwarf android eohippuses with the stim-rays. I just want to see her face ... :rainbowlaugh:

4797317

Oh ... hee hee hee ... you know about it! It's basically the most hilarious, elaborate Erotic Mind Control fantasy anyone ever devised, and it's both based on and probably inspired any number of pulp science fiction stories. Now that I think about it, parts of it sound like (much dirtier) versions of some Doc Savage novels I've read.

I came to it from the fantasy RPG end, with those 'dero' from several AD&D/Pathfinder books. I also like reading about odd things (what someone once politely referred to as 'alternate reality books'), and if you read about the Hollow Earth at all, you'll stumble across Shaver eventually.

Heck, right now someone's reprinting his somewhat less than divinely inspired madness in both hardcopy and Kindle. They are BIZARRE books, but man are they fun if you're in the right mood.

I want to see Twilight's face when someone starts telling her about the little dwarf android eohippuses with the stim-rays. I just want to see her face ... :rainbowlaugh:

I will have to include that scene then. I was wondering who among the Mane Six would be writing it (because of course it's going to be one of her friends). It all seems to boil down to Pinkie Pie. Because really, for sheer lunatic invention who else could match Shaver?

I was hoping Asterion and Applejack would run into each other one more time.

4805855 Sorry, maybe he'll show up again in the future. There will be more minotaurs in future stories.

4891276 Thanks, I'm glad you like how I handled Rarity and Photo Finish. I was worried fans of hers would think I made her too nasty here.

Now that's how you conclude a story! :ajsmug:

Great work, my friend!:pinkiehappy:

4895733 Thank you! I'm pleased that you liked the story enough to comment on it several times and to fave it. I hope you like some of my other work when you read it.

5359563 Sorry, but no, Ardi doesn't return in this story. This one is mainly Vespid and the 'Mane Three'. He WILL be retuning in some upcoming stories, though, and thanks for asking.

Also, thanks for adding Wolf In Pony's Clothing to your favorites.

There was a sequel, and I didn't know? :pinkiegasp:

This has been rectified. Good story :ajsmug:

5391141 And I'm so very glad you like it enough to fave it! There will be more stories set in this universe, probably post-holidays.

And thanks for the comments, too!

5584100 Yeah. Poor Photo, I think I may have gone a bit too far with her nasty portrayal here, and I don't even like the character all that much!

And thanks for liking this story enough to comment on it.

5594477 I must admit that I chuckled a bit as her overactive imagination (and poor taste in literature) devolved into that.

Yeah, Sky Talon definitely needs to find some new reading material.

And thanks for the fave!

6263722 I'd say it was a mixture of pride and paranoia that got them killed. Hive Triscolia was set up right on or in the volcano itself. When it went they died instantly. And if they saw anything about the message to clear out, they were too suspicious to believe them.

And thanks for the comment.

7218117 So can your changelings forcibly transform other species?

Can't remember if Celestia was mentioned in that kind of cocoon as canon, or if it was in-verse fiction.

Maybe they can transform others, right now I'm not sure myself. If they can, I imagine it's limited to other ponies -- wolves and griffons and the like would be immune. Sky Talon's panic-fueled imagination was running on maximum when she thought about that.

Also, how is this series so overlooked!?

Probably due to my uncertainty of how to publicize it properly. And I am glad that you like the story enough to comment on it, and thanks for the new faves. I hope the works I publish in the future here continue to entertain you!

Poor Fluttershy!

Another well-done story. Twists and turns all around, yet without looking like it's begging for attention.

7519500 Thanks for the comments and fave on the story.

7520326 No prob.

But after I posted that comment, I thought of something: IIRC, a Changeling Princess automatically becomes a Queen if the current Queen dies, right? So if the Red Princess (sorry, forgot her first name) is still a Princess, doesn't that mean that the Queen is still alive?

7520340 There's a trifle more involved than that. She'd have to be fed more royal jelly to actually become a queen than she already got to become a princess; and after that she has to either fight the old queen and kill her, or leave with enough Changelings of her own to start her own hive.

With Audra there might also be psychological factors. She values her independence highly, and may not want to start her own hive after losing her old one the way she did.

7532471 True, but when this was written his actual character was all still very much up in the air.

7532476 I took it for granted that she pretty much just up and went back into hiding to make more schemes.

Just a heads up: your short description has an error:

Rarity and her models: Applejack and Fliuttershy and a Changeling Queen searching for lost changelings

8098686 *Checks* That's right. And for pity's sake, I never even noticed.

Thank you so very much for bringing that to my attention. It's been corrected.

Well, this was a fascinating ride. Mystery, intrigue, one of the most disturbing spins on a fan song since Rainbow Factory (and at least that one was intended to be disturbing,) and some truly glorious insanity to round it all off. Thank you for it.

Still, I have to wonder how this will impact Discord's reformation. After all, if anyone can lift the queens' curse, it's the one who put it there in the first place...

Thank you for this. :twilightsmile:

8104997 Thanks for the watch, the comment, and the fave. I'm glad this this entertained you as much as it did.

And with Discord, that's assuming he remembers how to remove the curse. Or cares to.

This was a good story I might be being a little pushy here but will we ever see more of Ardi and his pack's interactions with ponies?

9985958
We may. I'd like to write a little more about Ardi, the wolves and the ponies, but it all depends on getting the time, a good enough plot, and the availability of my editor.

EDIT: And thanks for commenting.

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