• Published 28th Apr 2012
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Smoke and Mirrors - TeaPartyCannon



A changeling needs the help of Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy to avoid imprisonment.

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Chapter 9: It's Personal

Twilight snorted in anger and continued to pour more energy into her shield to strengthen it as Grimoire and Spell Tome kept bombarding it with magic. Neither guard listened to her as she tried to articulate her warning about the impending invasion from behind her barrier, and their constant attacks, along with the furious uproar of the surrounding group of ponies, were pushing her frustration to dangerously high levels.

One of the blue beams of energy created a crack in her barrier, which she quickly fixed before another blast did the same thing. What was with these guards? They were acting completely out of line and ignoring every word she said without giving her a chance to explain herself. Twilight made a mental note to inform Shining Armor about their behavior after this mess was resolved.

Twilight closed her eyes and pumped more energy into the barrier, her frustration and anger reaching a breaking point. “That…is…ENOUGH!”

The unicorn’s eyes snapped open and she pumped one final burst of magic into her shield. The barrier suddenly expanded outward, knocking the two guards and most of the crowd off their hooves. The shield dissipated, giving Twilight the chance to catch her breath and rein in her emotions as the ponies before her slowly stood back up.

“Everypony, just listen to me! For goodness’ sake, you’re acting like foals having a tantrum!” Twilight yelled, “Now, I am going to say what I’ve been trying to say and you are all going to be quiet and listen! Is that understood?!”

The crowd of ponies nodded meekly, having realized that Twilight was likely not a changeling spy and being unwilling to invoke the wrath of the Element of Magic. Grimoire and Spell Tomb looked away in embarrassment, but said nothing. Twilight gave a frustrated snort, but chose not to say anything else on the matter. There were more important things to attend to.

“Everypony, we are all in grave danger!” Twilight said. The crowd began to break into confused and frightened muttering again, but one glare from the frustrated unicorn stopped them cold. “There is going to be an invasion, right here in Ponyville! There are a number of changelings among us, disguised as normal ponies, and while this will alert them to having been discovered, it is imperative that the ponies here are made aware of this threat so that we aren’t-”

She never finished the sentence, as a blast of green magic shot out and hit her from the side, sending the unicorn crashing into a nearby cherry stand. The one responsible for the attack, an armored changeling, stood on top of an apple stand with a smug look.

“I believe you were going to say ‘caught off guard’?” General Carbon smirked. He closed his eyes and raised a hoof into the air. Without warning, several ponies in the crowd burst into green flames, dying down to reveal their true natures as changelings. More pillars of fire appeared as the changelings shed their disguises, sending the marketplace into chaos once more as the real ponies panicked and fled. A horrid buzzing filled the air as the insect-like shapeshifters took to the air and began to chase after them.

Twilight slowly picked herself up, ignoring the crushed cherry juice that soaked her coat and the traces of paralyzing magic that still lingered in her body. Her horn glowed as she cast a simple rejuvenation spell to bring herself back to fighting condition.

Looking around at the chaos and destruction the invading changelings were causing, she didn’t notice the slow trotting of hooves as someone approached her from behind. “A lovely sight, isn’t it?”

The unmistakable southern voice caught Twilight’s attention instantly. Turning around, she found herself face to face with Applejack. A flash of green in the earth pony’s eyes quickly reminded her that this was only a changeling disguising itself as Applejack, however.

Twilight glared at the changeling. “Queen Chrysalis, I presume?”

The grin fell away from the doppelganger’s face. “Queen Chrysalis? Not quite, but I’m the closest we’ve got to her at the moment. The name is General Carbon; it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“So you’re the leader of this invasion, then?” Twilight asked, readying herself for a strike against the changeling general.

Carbon smirked at her aggressive display. “You could say that. With Queen Chrysalis gone, there’s quite a power struggle amongst the changelings, and this invasion is key to proving my strength.”

“Gone? What do you mean, gone?” Twilight asked. Applejack had told her that Queen Chrysalis was alive and in Ponyville, so why would General Carbon say she was missing?

“That’s not something you need to know about. All that matters now is that Ponyville will fall to the swarm, and the remaining ponies in this pitiful town don’t have the power to stop it.” Carbon said.

“Your plan will never work!” Twilight growled, “Princess Celestia will catch word of this and stop you!”

“Oh, I’ve prepared for that. You ponies fall so easily for the hostage situation, and even your precious princess will have to back down once she sees how many ponies we have at our mercy.” Carbon smiled maliciously, “Especially when we have one of your Elements of Harmony, as well!”

The implications of Carbon’s words quickly dawned on Twilight. The changelings had indeed replaced a large amount of Ponyville’s population, but at the very least, their leader didn’t seem to realize that Applejack had escaped. She decided to keep this fact hidden from him.

“So what are you going to do now, then? Kill me?” Twilight asked, her horn glowing in preparation for battle.

The General just laughed at her words. “There’s hardly need for that. A dead pony can’t love after all, and besides, without the rest of the Elements of Harmony, you’re hardly a threat to us. If I recall correctly, you’re missing three…”

The General turned and began to walk away, one eye kept trained on her for any sign of attack. “I believe we’ve both got more important things to do now, anyways. I’ve got to make sure a certain treacherous changeling is out of the way for good, and you’ve got your friends to worry about.”

Carbon gave a nod to his left, prompting Twilight to turn to see what he was looking at. Amongst the fleeing ponies and attacking changelings, she could see Rarity lying on the ground, her hooves held to the sides of her head and an agonized expression on her face. Her cousin Sparkler stood protectively over her, glaring at two changelings that were hovering before them. The unicorn telekinetically tore two chunks of rock out of the ground and hurled them at her attackers, knocking them away.

“Rarity!” Twilight cried out. A flash of green light in the corner of her vision caught her attention, and she turned around to see that General Carbon had disappeared. Realizing that he had teleported away, she mentally kicked herself for not having done anything about him.

Quickly deciding that there was nothing she could do at the moment, she turned to three changelings that were flying toward her. She fired off three blasts of magic, two of them connecting with her targets, and quickly teleported before the final changeling could reach her. Reappearing right next to it as it hit the ground, she fired a beam point-blank, knocking it out cold.

Twilight raced off towards Rarity and Sparkler, firing magic blasts at nearby changelings as she ran. Right now, she had to focus on the invasion. It was the most immediate threat, and the one that would need to be taken care of first before its leader could be dealt with. She could only hope they had the power to stop it.


“…Matchie? Matchie? Come on, Matchie, please talk to me!” Pinkie begged, “At least say something!”

The changeling in question kept her back turned to the pink pony. “What’s there to talk about?” She asked, her voice soft and dejected. “My cover’s blown, everypony in Ponyville hates me, you, Fluttershy, and Twilight are now wanted traitors to Equestria, and our only safe haven is this hut way out in the Everfree Forest owned by a rhyming zebra!”

Mirror’s voice pitched in hysteria, and she forced herself to calm down. Crushing hopelessness weighed down on her once more. “Everything’s falling apart, Pinkie. How can you remain so positive that it’ll all get better?”

Before Pinkie Pie could reply, Fluttershy entered the room, a tray holding four cups of steaming hot tea balanced on her back with her wings spread out. A zebra wearing several gold rings on her legs and neck walked in behind her. The zebra carefully grabbed the tray and lifted it off the pegasus, setting it down on the floor in the center of the small hut.

“Thank you, Zecora.” Fluttershy said, folding her wings back in.

”The pleasure is all mine, young Fluttershy.” Zecora said, “I am happy to help both you and Pinkie Pie.”

Zecora turned her attention towards Mirror, who instinctively shrunk down and avoided her gaze. Why does she do that rhyming thing? It’s so weird…

“And what of you, young changeling?” Zecora asked gently, “Have you recovered enough to say anything?”

Mirror sighed and grabbed one of the teacups, sipping it slowly before speaking, “…It’s just, everything’s gone wrong. How can we hope to stop the invasion now?”

Pinkie smiled and put a comforting hoof on Mirror’s shoulder. “How else, silly? We go back to Ponyville and warn everypony!”

“But…we’re criminals.” Mirror said, “We can’t get near Ponyville without the guards coming to arrest us. Besides, Ditto said the invasion would begin soon. For all we know, that could have been the final straw to start it off. We could be too late.”

“Well in that case, we go back and fight!” Pinkie said, “Even if we are criminals, they can’t refuse our help in a time of crisis. They’ll have to let us help them!”

Mirror looked away from Pinkie’s smiling face. “…How can you be so happy? So optimistic that everything will turn out all right in the end?”

Mirror could sense Pinkie’s confusion at the question. After a moment, the earth pony replied, “Well, if I don’t, who will?”

The changeling froze, stunned by the simple answer. Closing her eyes, she waited a few seconds before engulfing herself in green fire. When it cleared, Mirror sat cloaked in her straight-haired Pinkie Pie form.

Both Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie winced at the memories the form brought up. Mirror turned around to face them, her expression still sad and serious. “I suppose you’re right. If even you lose hope, then what hope is there for the rest of us?”

This time, Zecora stepped up to answer her question. “Young changeling, of help you are in dire need, but retain hope, never give in, and you will succeed. You are capable of great strength, but only if you are willing to go the necessary length.”

Mirror stared up at the zebra, then lowered her head and sighed. “You can try to cheer me up all you want, but the fact is, we’ve landed ourselves in a really bad spot, and I’m not sure we can get out of it. And to think, this day started off so well, too…”

Closing her eyes, Mirror recalled the tune of her queen’s lullaby and sang softly to herself.

“This day was going to be perfect,
The kind of day of which I’ve dreamed since I was small,
But now my secret’s found,
And they’ve all failed to come around,
I fear I’ll never gain their trust again at all.”

Both Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy stared sadly at their friend as she finished her song. Pinkie in particular looked struck by the fact that her own voice was singing such a somber tune. The small forest hut fell into heavy silence.

A harsh knocking on the hut’s wooden door caught the attention of its four occupants. Mirror whirled around and got to her hooves, alarm apparent in her eyes.

“Ooh, I’ll get it!” Pinkie said, oblivious to the possible danger as she bounced up to the door.

“Pinkie, you don’t know who it could be! What if it’s one of the guards?” Fluttershy warmed her, keeping her voice down to a whisper.

“Relax, it’ll be fine!” Pinkie assured her, though her words failed to calm the fearful pegasus. She placed an ear to the door. “Who is it?”

“Pinkie, is that you? It’s me, Applejack.” The familiar, accented voice answered. “Open up, will ya? Ah need ta talk with ya.”

Mirror froze upon hearing Applejack’s voice, remembering what she had seen at the market before everything went wrong. I can’t let her see me!

The transformed changeling fled into another room, closing the grassy drapes that framed the doorway to hide her form. She peaked out through the small slit in the cloth to see what was happening.

“…Okie dokie, Loki!” Pinkie said. She opened the door and bounced away, allowing the orange earth pony to follow in after her.

“Applejack, for what reasons have you come?” Zecora asked skeptically, “Does it concern what these three are running from?”

“Pretty much. Ya’ll caused a pretty big commotion back there.” Applejack said, adjusting her hat. “Lots of ponies are pretty mad about it, ya know.”

“We didn’t mean to cause trouble. We were just protecting a friend.” Fluttershy said nervously.

Applejack smiled and nodded. Her eyes began to glow green, and the smile turned wicked at the alarm showing on the two ponies’ faces. “I know you didn’t mean it, but you still have to pay…”

A dark pink blur shot out from behind the drapes, crashing into Applejack’s side and knocking her into the wall. A few masks along the walls fell to the ground from the impact, and the hanging bottles rattled around.

Quickly recovering, the earth pony looked up to see Mirror glaring down at her, still wearing her pony disguise. “Get away from them! I won’t let you hurt them!”

The pony narrowed her eyes at the changeling. Rearing her hind legs, she delivered a solid kick into Mirror’s stomach, launching her off and allowing Applejack to regain her footing.

As Applejack advanced towards the winded changeling, Zecora pulled a bottle off the wall and shook it quickly. Popping the cap off, she chucked a cloud of green powder onto Applejack, the powder sticking to her coat. Her fur began smoking, and the earth pony began crying out in pain as green flames quickly laced her form.

“What did you do?” Fluttershy asked, watching the burning pony in horror.

“A simple powder to burn the skin,” Zecora explained, “And to reveal the true form concealed within.”

Finally, the flames cleared away, revealing an armored changeling where Applejack once stood. Mirror gasped in recognition. “General Carbon!”

“General Carbon is Applejack?” Pinkie asked incredulously, “How did I not see that coming? Of course an important changeling would replace an important pony! It’s so obvious now!”

“Um, Pinkie? What are you talking about?” Fluttershy asked.

“…I’m not quite sure.” Pinkie said after a long moment of thought. Fluttershy let out a quiet sigh of exasperation.

Carbon glared at Mirror as she leaped between him and her friends. “Standing against your own general, Mirror? It would seem your empathy sickness has completely consumed you, after all.”

Mirror pushed down the doubt that thinking about her empathy sickness always brought and glared defiantly at the changeling general. “I…I don’t care if my feelings are the result of some disease! They’re still my friends, and I’m going to protect them!”

The general closed his eyes and sighed. “Of course. Such a disappointment. It can’t be helped, though, and besides, the last thing the swarm needs is a disloyal soldier.”

This struck a nerve. “I’m not disloyal!” Mirror yelled, “I just know there has to be a better way to get the swarm what it needs than through an invasion!”

“Um, excuse me…” Both changelings turned their heads towards the timid pegasus that had spoken. “I don’t mean to interrupt, but if you’ve been Applejack all this time, then where’s the real Applejack?”

“Oh, you don’t need to worry about her. She’s perfectly safe.” Carbon replied, opening his eyes again. “She’s confined within one of our holding chrysalises, just like all the other ponies we’ve replaced, and none of them have been hurt…yet.”

“Yet?” Fluttershy repeated, shaking slightly with fear for her captured friend.

Mirror growled threateningly at General Carbon. “You lied to me about your pony disguise, didn’t you? You made it look like you had replaced Doctor Whooves, when you had really been replacing Applejack this whole time!”

Carbon waved a hoof dismissively. “Guilty as charged. If I had shown you who I was really masquerading as, you would have told your new pony friends right away. Changelings with empathy sickness can’t be trusted. It’s why I arranged for dear Ditto to be discovered.”

“…What?” Mirror asked, her left eye twitching once.

“What, you haven’t figured it out by now? Ditto has empathy sickness. She’s grown attached to the Element of Magic, and she’s no good to the swarm now. She would have just been a liability during the invasion, so I arranged for her to be revealed to the guards.” Carbon explained, “It was quite simple, really; she brought it upon herself by not being more careful when she went out that night. All it took was to have one of my soldiers steal the photos that some colt took of her and to deliver them to the guards.”

“…You did it? You’re the reason Ditto was discovered?” Mirror asked, her voice rising in volume. “You’re the reason I had to reveal myself to protect her?!”

“You have no one to blame for your misfortune but yourself. You chose to protect her and reveal yourself. Though I must say, you doing that worked out in our favor.” Carbon said, grinning maliciously. “No pony is going to trust you now.”

“Monster!” Mirror shouted. Lunging towards Carbon, she crossed the distance between them with unnatural speed. Before the general could react, the changeling had slammed into him once more, sending them both crashing through the door and out into the Everfree Forest.

Recovering first, Mirror slammed the general into a tree, her anger giving her the strength to pin him there despite him being older and stronger. “You’ve ruined everything!”

Carbon’s horn glowed and fired a blast of energy straight into her face. It blew her into a different tree, the impact breaking her concentration and stripping her of her disguise. The general slammed his hooves onto her back, pinning her wings down. Mirror struggled underneath his hold.

“I told you, you brought this on yourself.” Carbon hissed, “If you hadn’t tried to defend her, this wouldn’t have happened.”

“Ditto’s a part of the swarm! I couldn’t abandon her!” Mirror shouted.

“She’s a mutant! She’s weak! And her empathy sickness has only made her weaker!” Carbon shouted back, “It’s done the same to you, too! Changelings can’t care for ponies, it’s unnatural!”

“What’s wrong with empathy sickness? If it was that bad, wouldn’t every changeling know about it by now?” Mirror asked, “What’s wrong with being able to feel love towards ponies?”

“Empathy leads to disloyalty.” Carbon replied, “Just look at High-General Double.”

Mirror looked up at him in confusion, then suddenly felt the pressure of Carbon’s hooves on her decrease slightly. Summoning up all her strength, she pushed upward, knocking the general off and allowing her to take to the air. The dense forest trees left her little room for movement, though, so she turned back to face General Carbon.

“What do you mean?” She asked.

“You don’t know this either? I know you’re a young changeling, but could you be any more ignorant?” Carbon asked rhetorically. “High-General Double has had empathy sickness ever since she was a hatchling!”

“W-What?” Mirror asked, her surprise obvious. How did I not know about this?

“Queen Chrysalis preferred it to be kept a secret, but it’s not hard to figure it out.” Carbon said, “A freak teleporting accident as a hatchling lead to the High-General getting amnesia and being taken in by a pony family in Canterlot, where she bonded with a unicorn filly. When Queen Chrysalis came to retrieve her and wiped the family’s memories of her, poor Double went mad trying to convince the Queen to return them to the little unicorn. The only reason she even became High-General in the first place was to gain the Queen’s favor.”

…Is he lying? Mirror wondered, This sounds like a strange thing for most of the swarm to not know about, but then again, the elite changelings always keep certain things hidden from the average changeling. Could this be one of those secrets?

“…What does it matter?” Mirror asked after a period of silence, “High-General Double is a great leader and she does everything she can for the swarm! She’s a little weird, but she’s not crazy!”

“She cares more for one pony than she does for the entire swarm.” Carbon said, “In the wake of Queen Chrysalis’s disappearance, she is unfit to command the hive.”

“And you are?” Mirror challenged.

“Yes, I am.” Buzzing his wings, Carbon shot into the air after Mirror, who swerved out of the way and took off into the forest. The general followed after her, keeping a steady pace with her as they wound through the trees.

Constantly weaving through the thick trees, Mirror slowly put more and more distance between her and Carbon. She knew she could reliably outrun him; female changelings were smaller and faster than male ones, and the general’s armor gave him more protection, but it weighed him down as well. She couldn’t take him in a one-on-one fight, so she would have to rely on losing him in the forest.

Or that was the plan, at least, until a flare of green fire shot over her head and blew a nearby tree to splinters. Casting a quick glance behind her, Mirror dived and spun to avoid the beams General Carbon was sending her way. Of course, long distance attacks: the one thing I don’t have. Of all the times to not have any magic!

Straining her wings, Mirror put on a burst of speed to make up for the space she was quickly losing trying to dodge every attack. Looking down towards the forest floor, she suddenly saw a large patch of bright blue flowers coming up. Recognizing the plants, she grinned in delight. Oh, this is perfect!

Looking behind her, Mirror saw a green burst heading straight for her. She swerved and shot straight up into the cover of the tree leaves, avoiding the attack right as it shot past under her. General Carbon came to an abrupt halt and hovered in the air, scanning the thick foliage for any signs of the changeling. A rustling sound came from behind him, and before he could turn, Mirror shot out and landed on his back, holding his wings down with her hooves. Suddenly deprived of flight, the two changelings fell and crashed into the patch of flowers below.

Opening his eyes after the crash, Carbon’s breath caught in his throat as he saw the bright blue flowers surrounding them. Looking up, he saw Mirror still perched on him, smirking triumphantly.

“Poison Joke? Are you insane?!” Carbon yelled in panic.

“Of course I am. I have empathy sickness, remember?” Mirror said sarcastically, still grinning.

The general suddenly pushed off the ground, easily knocking Mirror off and into the Poison Joke as he flew above it. He turned and glared towards the changeling.

“Ugh, I don’t have time to deal with you anymore. I have an invasion to command and complete before the spores take effect.” Carbon said, regaining his collected demeanor.

Mirror’s smile fell. “Invasion? You mean it’s already started?”

“Much earlier than I would have liked, but yes, the invasion of Ponyville has begun. You have your friend Ditto to thank for that; that empathy-stricken foal just couldn’t keep quiet about it when she ran into the Element of Magic again. I’ll have to punish her for that later.” Carbon explained.

“Don’t you dare harm her!” Mirror yelled at him.

“And what are you going to do about it? You’re just a simple drone. You can’t do anything on your own, and I’m done with you. Goodbye, Mirror Match.” Carbon said. A burst of green surrounded him, and the changeling disappeared. Mirror glared at the spot where he had once been.

“Matchie!” Pinkie’s voice called out from behind her. Mirror turned to see Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy running towards her. The earth pony skidded to a halt at the edge of the Poison Joke patch, her pegasus friend doing the same and looking nervously down at the blue plants.

Mirror flapped her wings and flew over to them. “Come on, we have to go! I’ve got about ten hours before the Poison Joke takes effect, and while that’s plenty of time to stop an invasion, I’d rather get the cure before any weird things start happening. Now let’s go!”

“What? Has the invasion already started?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yes, it has, and I’m going to need a new form so that nopony in town recognizes me when we go back. Can you help me with that?” Mirror asked.

“You can count on me, Matchie! I have just the thing!” Pinkie said, saluting with her hoof. “I’m so, so happy you’re going to help us! That’s the Matchie I know!”

“…I’m doing this to help both you and the swarm, and for Ditto as well. General Carbon purposely got her revealed!” Mirror growled, “I’ll make him pay for betraying another changeling like that!”

“So it’s personal now? Good, because it’s personal for us, too!” Pinkie said, “That mean old changeling hurt Applejack and invaded Ponyville! And we’re going to stop him, right Fluttershy?”

“…Yes, of course!” Fluttershy said after a moment of uncertainty, determination now clear in her eyes.

Pinkie smiled at the pegasus’s will to protect others. “By the way, we’re going to need to stop off at your place first. If we’re going to be heroes, we need to look the part, if you know what I mean!”

“Um, no, I don’t think I know what you mean.” Fluttershy said.

“Well don’t worry, because I know what I mean!” Pinkie shouted, pulling Fluttershy in close to her despite the pegasus’s soft protest. “Now come on, girls! We’ve got a town to save!”


The changeling invasion was quickly leaving its scars on Ponyville. Many houses and streets had holes and craters blown in them by the changelings’ destructive magic, and the invaders themselves were attacking and capturing any pony they could find. While some ponies chose to fight back against their attackers for once, most followed basic pony instinct and tried to run and hide instead, though to little avail for both given the sheer numbers they were up against.

In front of one home was Ditzy Doo, standing protectively in front of a cowering unicorn filly. Three changelings laid unconscious around the pegasus, while three more hovered above her, readying themselves for another attack. Ditzy snorted in anger and pawed the ground, silently daring them to try.

The three changelings dove in at once, and Ditzy reared up in preparation. She stopped short as a white blur shot out of the sky and slammed one of the changelings into the ground. The other two stopped and turned to stare at the new arrival, only for it to shoot back up, buck one hard in the stomach twice and then uppercut it, and drive the other one down into the ground as well. All three were unconscious in seconds.

Ditzy and the filly stared in awe at the pony that had saved them. The pony was a white pegasus mare with a bouncy yellow mane and tail, purple eyes, and a cutie mark of three purple balloons. The mare stood on her hind legs and stuck her forelegs out wide, posing for them.

“SURPRISE!” The pegasus shouted. She giggled softly afterwards. “I’ve always wanted a good reason to say that.”

“Who are you?” Ditzy asked her, her unaligned eyes showing clear confusion.

“I’m Surprise, and I’m here to help!” The mare proclaimed. “Now go, run! There are more of them coming! I’ll hold them off, so you just run, okay?”

Ditzy stared at Surprise a moment longer before smiling. “Thanks, Mirror.” With that, she pulled the unicorn filly onto her back and took off running down the streets of Ponyville, out towards the edge of the town.

The pegasus froze at her words. How did she…oh, it doesn’t matter right now!

Mirror turned to face five changelings before her, all staring at her in shock. This is so much better! Pretending to be somepony else, being able to adopt their personality, and ignoring the flaws in my own. I’ll really have to thank Pinkie later for having such a vivid idea of her imaginary friend! Mirror may be timid and a weak fighter, but Surprise is definitely suited for the task at hand!

One of the changelings finally found her voice and scowled at the pegasus. “You’re on their side now, Mirror? You traitor!”

Mirror frowned and shook her head. “Traitor? I’m not a traitor! The Queen’s word is law, and this invasion goes completely against Queen Chrysalis’s orders to blend in and stay hidden. As a loyal soldier of the swarm, it is my duty to apprehend all changelings that disobey her orders. The changelings who follow General Carbon are the real traitors here!”

The changeling that had spoken cried out and fired a large blast from her horn. Mirror easily jumped over it and flew at her. Grabbing the changeling, Mirror pointed her towards the other changelings, took hold of her tail, and spun it around, forcing the changeling to fire off beams of magic at the other four. Once all had been hit and knocked unconscious, Mirror let go of her. Looking at the changeling’s stunned expression, she couldn’t resist laughing out loud.

“Learned that one from Pinkie Pie, first-hoof experience!” She said before socking the last changeling in the face. Her victory was cut short as a magic beam hit her in the back. Hitting the ground, she managed to hold her pony form together and looked back towards the sky, where General Carbon was hovering in the air.

“Still trying to stop us? When are you going to learn that you’re just a drone, and that you can’t do anything on your own?” Carbon growled as he landed.

“But that’s just it, sir. I’m not alone.” Mirror said, casting a quick glance into the alleyways on either side of her, where two dark shapes flitted past. General Carbon was too focused on her to notice.

“We’ll see about that. You still don’t have any hope of being able to defeat me. A mere soldier stands no chance against a general.” Carbon said, rearing up onto his hind legs with his horn glowing for attack.

“Probably not, but I can still try.” With that, Mirror spread her wings and flew into the air, shooting towards General Carbon as he fired a burst of green fire straight at her.

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