• Published 26th Dec 2014
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Plan B - Dropbear



Chrysalis has been driven out of Canterlot, her invasion defeated. However, an old friend from her time before coming Queen is more than happy to help her succeed with her plans.

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When I Wake Up, In the Morning Light.

“Hey, let us go!”

Reflection snorted at the demands of the Royal guards, the group of five stuck to the castle wall with green goo. The stallions struggled uselessly, their spears lying on the ground well out of reach. She couldn’t believe that she’d been assigned as a simple guard for these fools; surely with her respected bloodline she would have been given a better task by the Queen.

Sitting down on the grass, she sighed to herself and watched her fellow changelings terrorise the city. A Firsthatched like her should be leading them in their attacks, sharing in the glory and the bounty of love. Instead, she was making sure that five insignificant pony soldiers couldn’t escape.

What a terrible day.

“Are you even listening to us?”

She turned, bared her fangs, and hissed. The ponies drew back as far as they could, however thanks to their binding to the wall they could only advert their eyes. It was good enough for her, and Reflection went back to watching the city.

“Stupid Queen,” she mumbled. “First time out of the hive, and I have to sit here and do nothing.”

Chrysalis wasn’t the nicest changeling, spending her time either scheming against Equestria or brooding in her room. If you wanted to go to her and request permission to court another changeling, you had to ensure that you caught her on a good day. Even then, such a simple request usually left Her Majesty in a sour mood. She had heard rumours from the old Scholars that the reason for Chrysalis’ hate for Equestria, or rather Celestia and Luna in general, was because of a long-lost lover that the princesses had apparently killed.

Reflection couldn’t believe that a pony could kill another being, or that anyone could actually love the cranky Chrysalis. She also questioned the suggestion that the reason her lineage was so revered was because her ancestor was a child of said lover, and that was the reason why Chrysalis insisted that the Firsthatched of the ten ancient bloodlines take certain names. Frankly, it sounded like a story meant for nymphs, but she couldn’t argue that it didn’t bring her benefits within the hive.

She glanced back at the trapped soldiers, helpless and unable to defend themselves. Perhaps she’d be able to get some love after all…

A smirk on her face, she got to her hooves and trotted towards a bush, the royal guards watching her all the while. Hidden, she focused and changed her form. Hard chitin changed to soft pink fur, her hairless head now sporting a lush blond mane. Lastly, and most importantly for the task she had in mind, her skinny rump transformed into a booty that would entice even the most oblivious stallion. Her disguise set, she trotted back towards the guards with rump swinging from side to side.

“Hey boys,” she greeted, fluttering her golden eyes at them. The guards returned it with blank stares.

“You didn’t really think that would work, did you?” one began. “We saw you go into that bush.”

She didn’t talk, instead she trotted right up close. Flicking her tail out, she pouted at him. Immediately, five streams of lust began to flow, Reflection drinking deep. It wasn’t nearly as good as the smidgeon of real love she was rationed each month, but it certainly was filling. She giggled, only increasing the flows of emotion.

‘These simpletons are so easy,’ she gloated, grinning. ’Are all ponies this unrestrained with their desires?’

Her enjoyment was interrupted, a pink glow appearing from the castle windows. The air hummed with energy, Reflection looking up as love poured out of the castle. It was pure, wonderful and whole.

“I take back everything, my Queen,” she thanked out loud. “This plan was perfect!”

She ignored the guards, dropping her disguise and just enjoying the buffet on display. It was amazing, and within a second she could absorb no more.

And that was when she began to worry.

It didn’t stop, the growing love appearing to almost burst. Had something gone wrong? Had Chrysalis grown too powerful and made a mistake?

Before she could even move, a pink flash lit up the sky and expelled itself outwards from the castle. Shards of glass rained down, and Reflection could only stare as a solid wall of pink rushed towards her through the castle stone.

It hit her full on, and sent her flying into the air. She couldn’t move her legs, or even buzz her wings in an attempt to resist the wave of love. Soaring into the air, she saw the entire invasion force expelled along with her. Surprisingly, they were all propelled in the same direction along with the screeching Queen.

At least, most of them were.

Reflection, in what must have been the worst case of luck in changeling history, was the lowest in altitude and collided straight into a light pole.

She winced when her left side cracked against the metal object, halting her unplanned flight and shaking the lantern atop the pole. Falling to the cobbled ground, Reflection landed heavily on her injured side. Repressing a scream and turning it into a hiss, she struggled to her hooves and glanced at the stinging pain.

Her eyes widened when she saw her cracked chitin, an unhealthy amount of green blood leaking out. Two large cracks exposed the green flesh beneath, an assortment of smaller breaks running alongside the vertical wounds. Turning her head away, she looked up instead and watched her follows make their speedy exit from the city. Slowly, she realised what was happening.

“No!” she yelled, flinching when she placed weight on her injured side. Ponies were emerging from their homes, staring at her with their accursed wide eyes. Metal hooves galloping on the cobbled stone drew her attention, five guards with the remains of green slime on them stopping to point their spears at her.

“Halt!”

Reflection bolted, ignoring the burning pain shooting through her. The sound of hooves signalled that she was being chased, and she headed towards the closest cover she could see. Dodging ponies on the street, the furry equines drawing back at her approach, she ducked under signs and jumped over benches. Attempting to fly, her wings weren’t able to make a single flap without nearly flooring her with agony.

Cursing her injury and terrible luck, she entered the palace gardens and veered around a hedge in an attempt to lose the guards.

A whistling was the only warning she got, Reflection diving to the left. Rolling, she looked up as the armoured pegasus stood over her and raised a hoof.

“You’ll pay for attacking Equestria!” the mare announced with a growl. “You’re going away for a long time!”

“I don’t think so,” she retorted through clenched teeth, the roll not helping her injury. The guard seemed surprised that she could speak Equestrian, Reflection seizing the opportunity. Lashing out with her foreleg, she nailed the mare straight in the snout.

“Ow!”

The guard staggered away, holding a hoof trying to stop the nosebleed. Refection didn’t waste any time in getting up and escaping, leaving the pegasus behind and diving through a hedge. She squeezed through and landed in on a flowerbed, the thorns from the roses leaving minor scratches on her chitin. Falling onto her front knees, she staggered back up and continued to flee.

Out of the corner of her eye she spotted more pegasi guards flying towards the gardens, and she could hear more pony hooves storming in to corner her. Reflection gritted her teeth and pressed on. She was a Firsthatched of the Reflection Lineage, she would not disgrace the name of her ancestors by getting captured by some incompetent ponies. She was not a simple drone or soldier born to insignificant parents, it was unthinkable.

Reaching the rear of the gardens, she laid eyes on possible salvation.

Pushing her body to its limits, she raced for the run-down shed. Fumbling with the simple wooden handle, she swung open the door and shut it behind her. Pulling down a pile of rakes, she used them to hastily block off the door before retreating into the darkness. In the silence, she could hear dripping coming from her side. Touching the cracks in her chitin, she pulled her hoof away and stared at the green fluid coating it completely.

‘I think… I think I’ve lost a fair amount of blood,’ she realised, continuing to stumble towards the back. Passing rows of shelving filled with gardening supplies, she absentmindedly noticed that it seemed far bigger than she’d assumed it was.

Reflection paused when the door handle shifted, and something outside tried to get in. More thumps followed, the door fighting against the rakes. “Hey, something’s blocking the door!”

“Look at the grass, see the green? It’s in here, break it down!”

“Damn it,” she muttered, increasing her pace. Even for her eyes it was gloomy, however the banging at the door was a great motivator to brave the dark room. It was likely that she wasn’t going to ever make it back to the Hive, and that was if the others even made it back. Her wound had stopped hurting and had become numb, but that was more of a worry than a blessing. There were no options left however, so hiding it had to be.

Straining her eyes to see through the darkness, her snout smacked against a solid surface. Rubbing it after stepping back, she looked up at what she had hit.

Seeing the grotesque monster looming over her, she fell down upon her rump and tried to scramble away. Her back hit a shelf, Reflection squeezing her eyes shut.

“Don’t eat me! Don’t eat me!” she repeated hurriedly, covering her eyes with her hooves. After a moment shivering in fear, she realised that no bipedal monster had eaten her yet. Looking back at it, she realised what it really was. “Oh, it’s just some old statue.” She took a closer look at it, feeling drowsy. “I wonder why the ponies keep a statue in their tool shed?” The banging at the front door increased, jolting her to full wakefulness. Realising that she was out in the open, she got up and trotted towards the statue. It would be a good place to hide, so she squeezed behind its legs and crouched down in the dark.

Just in time, she was hidden before the wooden door smashed inwards with a shower of splinters. A squad of royal guards flooded in, spears glinting in the sunlight. The same light lit up the shed, no doubt the first rays to touch it in centauries. The sunlight was the last thing on her mind at the moment however, the ponies wielding pointy weapons and angry glares a far more pressing matter.

“Find it!” a stallion ordered, his subordinates spreading out and inspecting the shelves. “It has to be in here somewhere.”

Reflection ducked her head and hoped that they would give up, the trotting of hooves growing closer and closer.

“Urrgh, what is that thing?” a mare questioned.

“Don’t you know the story? I thought we were supposed to tell it to every rookie.”

“I’ve been in the guard for two years now, Shield, I’m not a rookie.”

“Well, they say that it was the first monster that the Princesses fought. The fight levelled an entire town, and it was so evil and conniving that they stored it here so there’s no way that it can ever get ou-“

“Guards, I don’t recall ordering you to stare at the statue and chat,” the officer ordered. “Find that changeling, now!”

“Sir…” the same mare replied, silence falling over the shed. Reflection didn’t dare move as hoofsteps approached closer, but she winced when her tail was tugged.

“You’re nicked,” the guard officer told her, before pausing. “Miss.”

Her face heated up, but she had no chance to complain about the breach of privacy. Guards swarmed the statue, and she found herself forced from her hiding place. The ponies dragged her out and held her down at the feet of the statue, the clinking of chains an obvious indicator of what was to come next.

“No!” She tried to kick her way free, but her weakness was showing. One chain cuff was placed around her right foreleg, the ponies soon securing all four limbs. Almost as an added insult, a thin iron ring was placed over her horn. She could feel her magic drain immediately, a cold nothingness replacing it. Her bonds secured, the guards sat her up against one of the statue’s legs. She winced as her injured side rested against the stone, the pain prompting her to hiss at the guards. “Watch it, do you know who I am!?”

Unseen by them all, the green blood on the stone seemed to soak in.

“No,” the officer told her, but he adjusted her position anyway. “We’re asking the questions here, bug.”

A small crack appeared in the statue’s leg.

“I’m a changeling, not a bug!”

Another crack appeared, and a finger twitched.

“That’s not important. Do you have a name, Miss?”

Snarling at the reminder of how he knew her gender, she narrowed her eyes at him. “My name is Reflection, you stupid pony!”

“Stupid?” the officer growled, all of the guards leaning in with glares. “You won’t think I’m stupid when I throw you in the dungeon.” He turned to his subordinates. “Get ready to move it, and make sure that its wound is bandaged.”

“Reflection?”

Everyone, pony and changeling, froze at the low grumble. Slowly, Reflection turned her head around looked behind her. Her eyes widened when she saw the crumbling stone, chunks of masonry falling onto the wooden floorboards. Soon half of the figure was free, and its arms began to move.

“The… the Monster is real!”

“We need to get the Princesses!”

“Retreat!”

Reflection looked back in time to see the royal guards galloping for their lives… and leaving her behind.

“Hey, wait, you have to take me to the dungeon!”

Alone. She was alone with a monster that even a squad of armed royal guards feared. Trying to pull herself away, she merely tripped in her chains and landed on her side in the dust. Coughing, she looked towards the statue and shivered when it moved.

A large forelimb stretched, covered in what seemed like black plate. There was no face except her own in the reflective surface, and Reflection gulped when they turned on her. The digits on the end of its frontal limbs flexed, opening and closing as if it was the first time in ages.

“Reflection.” The monster looked straight at her, its evil blank face staring straight into her own.

‘It knows my name!’

With that information running through her mind, and her blood running out onto the ground, she finally couldn’t hold off the exhaustion.
With her likely doom standing over her, Reflection’s eyes closed and she blacked out.


Nigel M Chalmers stared down at the changeling by his feet, Reflection out cold. She looked so different to the smiling nymph that he had known before his… embarrassing setback.

‘Damn magical laser,’ he thought, taking a second to crick his neck. ‘I must have been out for at least a year.’ Peering closer at her, he noticed that she was leaking green fluid from somewhere. The pieces clicked together, and he quickly bent down to examine her and help.

She sure had grown, having reached the size that Chrysalis had been when he had first met her. He skipped the small scratches that covered her and slowly rolled her over. Reflection didn’t stir, her breathing heavy and slow. Looking down at the two large cracks in her chitin, he winced and stroked her bald head with his armoured hand.

“Oh Reflection, what did you do to yourself?” He muttered and opened a suit compartment, extracting a standard gauze patch. He wasn’t too sure how to treat changeling injuries, only seeing one minor one before. Still, he had to do something about the blood and patching it up was the best option available.

Pressing the wound together, he quickly placed the patch over the cracks in the chitin and sealed it up. He didn’t bother with the minor cracks, from the looks of things they were already closing by themselves. Reflection looked a little pale, but he was confident that she was going to be okay. Looking around at the dimly lit room they were in, he decided that it was no place for a speedy recovery.

“Come on, we better get you back to your mother.”

Placing his hands under her rump and chest, he stood up with her in his arms. She seemed as light as a nymph, then again his powered suit did tend to make most things easy to lift. Making sure that her bandaged injury was facing up, his boots pulverised chunks of stone while he made for the open doorway.

Stepping out into the sun for the first time in… well, he assumed a year and a bit, he was met with the site of a wonderful garden, a pretty extravagant castle, and a hundred pony soldiers in golden armour staring at him with wide eyes.

“I have… returned!” He couldn’t resist, for some reason he had been freed from his stone prison so he was going to milk it for all it was worth. He would have raised his arms to the sky like a vengeful god, but he considered his cargo more precious than taking the moment.
Dismissing the equines frozen with fear, he looked behind him to gaze upon the no-doubt air-tight prison that he had been kept in.

The smile under his helmet dropped.

“Oh come on!” he complained to the guards, turning back around and causing them to flinch. “I was taking over the world, damnit! You go and put my petrified body in a bloody back garden shed!? Who was the genius that thought that up plan? I bet they’re shitting bricks right now!” He scanned the rows of frightened guards, none responding save for the lowering of shaking spears. “Well, aren’t any of you cowards going to say something!? Don’t you know who I am!?”

“Uh…” a single guard started up. “Who are you?”

That was the last straw. He hadn’t spent a year with only his suit’s computer for company to return and be ignored. Celestia and Luna would be in for a rude surprise, but he had a few things to do before even thinking about them.

“I’m Commander Chalmers, I’m sure that you’ve heard about me, you thick simpleton.” He paced back and forth, Reflection still unconscious in her arms. “I was powerful, great! I had your entire planet trembling at my name!” He glared at them, tilting his head towards the shed. “And you have the nerve to store me in a fucking shed!

The guards flinched at his words, but he noticed movement in his arms. Reflection’s hind leg kicked, tapping against his armour. Thinking of a way out of the mess that would keep his dignity intact and would involve minimum time spent wasting guards, he sent a mental command to his suit.

Ponies, having gotten closer with their weapons as his rant continued, backed off when a square popped out of his back armour and lit up with a hot glow.

“Mark my words, colourful equines!” he informed them, powering his jetpack. “I will return, and I will rule you all!”

With a roar, he lifted off into the sky with his head raised high. It had some minor hiccups, but the plan would proceed.

First things first, however, he had some old friends to find.


Reflection blinked open her eyes, groaning as she shifted on the soft object that she was resting on. She was met with a starry night sky and a dull throbbing at her side. Wincing, she examined her wound with a million thoughts running through her head.

Her confusion was only amplified when she saw the large bandage covering the cracks, a faint green stain showing on it. Moving a hoof, she prodded it and flinched.

‘Ouch.’ That still didn’t answer why she wasn’t in an Equestrian jail cell, and who had dressed the wound. Glancing down on what she was laying on, she saw some sort of grey cloth with four holes in it. It looked like the shirts that some ponies wore, except it seemed far too big for any pony. Beyond that was just grass, and she could hear the wind whistling through the leaves of trees.

Her eyes widened as she recalled the last sight she had bared witness to, a monster lurking in the shed, a monster that had come to life before her. The pain was a certain indicator that she was both alive and awake, so she couldn’t have been eaten. Was the monster nothing but a delusion caused by her blood loss?

Willing to take the bet, and hoping to escape before any ponies could find her, she began to get to her hooves with the intention of finding her way back to the hive.

“Ach!” she stumbled and sank back down, her injuries flaring up when she tried to move. It was then that her worst fear was realised.

“Hey, calm down there or you’ll hurt yourself further.”

She froze up at the harsh, guttural voice, not wanting to look but at the same time she felt compelled to see it. Moving her head to look behind her, the same dead face from the shed was staring back at her maliciously. The figure had a front limb raised, the five digits at the end spread out as if he was going to grab her.

Listening to her natural instinct instead of the fiend’s advice, she once again tried her hoofing and buzzed her wings.

Her vision flashed red, and she quickly gave up on moving at all while she fell back down and gritted her teeth in an attempt to ride it out.
“Oh Reflection,” the monster growled, some kind of sliding sound coming from its direction. “What did I tell you?” She could do nothing as a soft thing was placed on her head.

‘This is it,’ she thought. ‘It was waiting for me to wake up so it could kill me and make me feel every second.’

Then, surprisingly, the soft thing on her head began to move backwards and forwards in a steady pattern. It ran over her ears, the top of her head, then down the back of her neck and then forwards again. Occasionally something would scratch behind an ear, or rub the fin behind her head. She felt… incredibly soothed and relaxed, and soon she wasn’t even aware of the pain. It was so pleasant that she even forgot about the origin of the nice feeling for what felt like hours, until she finally looked behind her again.

That same face hadn’t stopped watching her, and she swallowed her fear to ask the question at the front of her mind.

“How do you know my name?”

“What?” the monster questioned, his hoarse voice filled with obvious puzzlement. “Reflection, I helped raised you, remember? You, Swissy, Keith, Cupid, Holey, Joy, Buzz, Shade, Chatter and Mirror, I even gave you your name. Don’t you remember? I always gave you head rubs, you wouldn’t let me leave without one,” the pieces were slowly falling together, the monster chuckling. “You were quite the daddy’s girl, so what changed? Is it because I’ve been gone for a year?”

It was right at the back of her mind, but she couldn’t figure it out yet. So, she had to tell him the truth. “I’m sorry, whoever you are, but I’ve never seen you before in my life.”

He paused, before raising a digit to the air. “I know!” he exclaimed, the foreleg going for his head. She watched while he removed what turned out to be a helmet, a light covering of stone dust falling away with it.

A short-cut brown mane was on a peach-coloured head, no snout save for a small jut in the middle of the face and a warm smile being sent her way. Reflection was far too focused on his eyes, however, a memory coming to mind of one of the times she had overheard Chrysalis talking to herself.

‘Eyes… solid blue eyes that were both cold and welcoming at the same time. Why’d they leave?’

A cold weight settled in her heart, Reflection realising who he was and who he thought she was. She wracked her mind, trying to think of the words to explain things.

“I… I’m sorry,” she began, straining to sit up and face him. “I’m not the Reflection who you know.” She watched his smile die a little, but she had to press on. “How long do you,” she prepared herself. “Do you think you were… trapped for?”

“About a year or so,” he answered, letting out a light laugh. “As silly as it sounds, the one thing this suit seems to lack is a working clock.” His chuckles began to die out when she didn’t smile, Reflection taking a deep breath.

“Well, as far as I know, Queen Chrysalis said something about, well, a few hundred years.”

He didn’t speak for a second, before he smiled again. “Well, that’s a setback, but at least Chrysalis is alive, right?”

“She is.” Reflection didn’t like the way his grin improved, she hoped he wasn’t about to think that-

“You changelings mustn’t age past a certain point then, it makes sense considering your abilities.” He looked, almost hopefully, at her. “Hundreds of years, you guys must have run out of names if you used Reflection twice.”

Shaking her head, she reached out a hoof and placed it on his forelimb. Looking around, she saw that they were in a quiet meadow away from any civilisation. Facing him again, she sighed.

“Look, I’m sorry, but it’s like this…”


Celestia continued to stare out of the window, her eyes locked at the area of sky where the ‘monster’ according to her guards had flown off. They were correct in that it was indeed a monster, but not in the same way as a hydra or a manticore. The being that had been freed would be back, and she knew that he would return with murder on his mind.

“Commander Chalmers,” she whispered to herself, haven’t heard that name for centuries. The memory of their meeting was still deep in her mind, how could it not be? He was the first creature that had been imprisoned by the power of the Elements, the artefacts she had foolishly thought to be ‘Godstones’ in her teenage centuries. She had been foolish, after the Discord incident she should have remembered about the second prisoner and restrengthened the spell with conventional magic. What had possessed her younger self to store it in a simple shed, she had no idea.

It was too late now, and what was worse was the news that a changeling had both entered the shed and then had been carried out by the creature. Judging from the words that the Queen she had… ‘met’ earlier, it was more than just simple coincidence that the Human spared its life and even helped it.


She struggled in the gooey prison that she was in, the changeling queen having forged the green substance from the vile phlegm that had been coughed up. Changelings, unarmoured ones the Queen referred to as drones, and armoured ones called soldiers were watching over the area. Chrysalis had ordered the nobility and other wedding guests to be escorted to the dining room, apparently not being able to stand their noise.

It was no use, she couldn’t move her hooves and her horn had been covered with the same substance which also seemed to curb her magic. She was trapped, her only hope being the return of the Elements and their subsequent use on the invading creatures. Outside she could hear the pandemonium in the city as the changelings terrorised her subjects, and she hated the fact that she was trapped and useless.

A huff drew her attention, Celestia turning her head to look down upon the steps. The unresponsive Shining Armour was staring blankly at the wall, Chrysalis rolling her eyes at him while Cadence watched from the sidelines.

“I don’t know what you see in him,” the Queen muttered, Cadence not responding with anger, but with her voice dripping spite.

“I wouldn’t expect you to,” Cadence hissed, Celestia noticing the three soldiers nearby watching closely. “You’ve shown that you don’t know anything about true love.”

The throne room went silent, the Queen oddly not sending a reply back. Observing from the position forced upon her, she saw that the changelings were all backing away slowly while adverting their gazes from Chrysalis.

“True love?”

The Queen’s reply was short and sharp. ‘Cadence must have hit a nerve,’ she thought, continuing to watch.

“Did I stutter?” Cadence retorted, long past maintaining civility. “A vile bully like you could never-“

“Don’t you dare finish that sentence, pony.” Chrysalis turned on Cadence, stalking forwards while the frightened Cadence retreated.

Celestia renewed her futile struggle, Chrysalis backing Cadence up against the wall. She had to strain forwards to hear what the Queen was hissing, the changelings all giving Chrysalis a wide berth. “I’ve loved, long before your ancestors were even born. He was kind, funny and loyal, and then…”

Celestia found the stare turned on her, Chrysalis’ glare tinged with what looked like sorrow. The Queen left the startled Cadence pressed up against the wall, Celestia soon face to face with the fuming Chrysalis.

“You stole him from me and our children, forever.” Trying to search her mind for any trace of meeting a changeling before, she could find nothing while Chrysalis continued. “Do you have any idea as to what I had to do to keep them fed with him gone? You, Celestia, living in your glittering palace and throwing weddings. Blessed with spending your days amongst your own children while they are oblivious to what you really are, a murderer. What do you have to say to that, Princess Celestia!?

The gag was removed, Celestia taking a breath before giving the angry Queen a gaze filled with pity and honesty.

“Chrysalis, I swear to you, I have never killed anything, much less your lo-“

“Enough!” The gag was replaced, Chrysalis shaking her head with disgust. “You’re a terrible liar.” Chrysalis moved closer, her glare still remaining but there was a tinge of anticipation. “Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to refresh your memory as soon as your country in under my full control.”


She turned away from the window and returned to her throne, sitting down with a sigh. How could she have guessed that Chrysalis and the Human knew each other, let alone in that capacity? Many questions plagued her mind, and she slipped a hoof out of a slipper and rubbed her forehead.

How had the containment spell been broken? Was it a deliberate act or a freak accident? What would the Human do now that he was released? Would he return to Chrysalis and once again attempt to reign over the world? Most importantly, if there was one human, then were there more waiting to join their fellow in his plans?

“Gah, why couldn’t I have been wiser back then?” she muttered, her eyes closed and her head back.

“Um… Princess?”

Looking down, a lone guard officer was standing in front of her throne, his helmet held in his foreleg. Judging from the plume he was a lieutenant, and she made an effort to smile warmly at him.

“I’m sorry, I was lost in my thoughts. I assume that you have a report?”

“I do,” the guard replied, bowing his head before clearing his throat. “I’m sorry, but we’ve lost the Monster.“

“The creature you pursue is called a ‘Human’,” Celestia informed, before making a decision. “I wouldn’t bother with continuing the search, he will return to us soon.”

The guard paused. “Excuse me for asking, Princess, but how can you be so sure that it will return? With the changeling attack, our forces are on full alert and-“

“Alert or not, they will not be enough.”

“P...Princess?”

“The foe that has awakened on this day is not one that will shy away from spears, crossbow bolts or magical bolts.” She shuddered slightly, remembering what happened when one unfortunate unicorn attempted to harm the human with a magical bolt. The memory of the coppery taste of blood and other unmentionable substances was still bright in her mind. “Pull back the guards, leave the search for both the Human and remaining changelings be. We need all available forces to fortify and defend Canterlot, I suspect that when reunited with Queen Chrysalis, he will make a beeline towards us with the goal of conquest.”

“Reunited… Conquest…” the guard was evidently being hit with too much at once, Celestia sighing before nodding.

“Indeed, now please inform the Generals that I require their consul in the war room this evening. In addition, fetch all of the tomes from the restricted section of the royal library and bring them along as well.”

He saluted at her orders, placing his helmet back on his head and ruffling his feathers. “Of course, and do you wish for your sister to be-“
“There is no need for such action.” The guard turned, Luna trotting into the throne room. The two door guards, as well as the two night guards that had escorted Luna in, all left with the Lieutenant taking the hint.

“I understand, your orders will be carried out immediately.” With that, he left them in peace. The doors closed behind him, leaving them both in silence. Celestia waited, Luna gazing out the window towards the early evening sky.

“The Monster that was released…”

“It was him,” Celestia confirmed, before tilting her head. “What do you remember about it, Luna?”

Her sister’s eyes were narrowed when they turned back to her.

“He tried to kill you,” Luna stated bluntly. “He’s a wicked creature that is a threat to our ponies. If what you said was true, about the changelings, then the threat that we now face has been doubled.”

“I doubt that, Luna,” she replied, circling a hoof on her throne’s armrest. “The changelings are trivial compared to the being we both fought. If he attacks, then we must be ready.”

Luna began to pace in front of the window.

“But if we allow him to build up his strength, then we will also be faced with disaster.”

Celestia nodded, it was indeed a conundrum. “True, however right now we need to assist our ponies with recovering from the attack they have just suffered. We need to find a weakness, Luna, something which we can use to force him to surrender or leave.”

“We must,” Luna agreed, pausing her pacing. “I fear what wickedness awaits us, I will organise a squad of my guards to track him and observe.”

“Very well, but only send a few.” She watched Luna trot out of the room, no more needing to be said. The trotting of hooves drew her attention, a line of guards returning into the city from the mountain path. Celestia leaned back and closed her eyes.

They were going to need more than just soldiers, if they wanted to win this upcoming battle.


Chalmers sat while the hoof continued to pat his armoured arm, Reflection silent after explaining it all.

‘Hundreds of years,’ he thought to himself again. It was certainly a shock, learning of the length of time that he’d been out. He couldn’t believe that he had been abandoned for that long by his empire; however the news that everyone but Chrysalis was dead was far more concerning to him at the current time.

Looking at the changeling sitting next to him on his leant shirt, he couldn’t help but continue to rub her head. Aside from the obvious physical resemblance to Reflection, their manner of meeting was strikingly similar. He realised that it could have just been his mind playing tricks on him, but he swore that he could see the resemblance. That, however, brought up a slightly disturbing question.

“Reflection,” he asked, the changeling looking towards him. “You said that you were part of the ‘Reflection’ bloodline, what does that mean?”

“Well, I don’t know for sure how it happened,” she began to explain, glancing up towards the rising moon. “But as far as I know, there are ten family lines that the Queen is adamant about keeping alive. Don’t get me wrong, she controls all the breeding rights and dictates who does who, but not on this level. You already know the names of the lines, and you obviously knew the changelings who started them, but other than the fact that the firstborn of the right gender is always named after the line name I don’t know much else.”

“Do you know how…?”

Reflection shook her head. “There’s rumours that the Queen merged with another, weaker hive after taking it over, but that’s only one of many. I’m sorry that I don’t know more.”

“It’s okay, I can’t expect you to know it all,” he cricked his neck. “I’m just disappointed that I missed them all growing up.”

Reflection tapped her hooves together, and he noticed her looking him over. “So, did you and Chrysalis…”

It took him a second to process her line of questioning. “No,” he answered, smiling slightly. “In fact I only told her that I felt that way in my ‘death video’.” He chuckled, however it was obvious to him that she was lost. “But no, the original ten were rescued from a trader who claimed that he had brought them from the west. No blood relation to us at all.”

“So, we’re not even related to her?” He paused at her question, giving her another ear scratch.

“Well, I’m not sure if she slept with anyone while I was-“

“Please,” Reflection held out a hoof, her face scrunched up. “Don’t talk about the Queen in that way, I’d rather not dwell on her…”

“I understand,” he told her. “To answer your question, she has no relation to your ancestor. She still loved them like her own, though, and I did as well. That should be more than enough, right?”

“I guess, but the Queen is, and excuse me for saying this about her, not very nice.”

“Oh?” He tilted his head. “How so? She was one of the sweetest beings I’ve had the pleasure to meet. Prone to jealousy, extremely protective, and a little naive, but sweet nonetheless,” he smiled at the memories. “The last thing I did was give her a kiss while she was sleeping off a hangover from a dinner we shared. I’d hate for that to have changed.”

The changeling shifted on the spot, lowering her head. “You might be surprised.” He noticed her declining of mood, and aimed to rectify it.

“Hey, I’ve been asking all the questions, don’t you have any?”

She looked back up at him, solid eyes widening with a smile returning to her face. “Really?” He nodded, and she thought for a second before continuing. “So, you were awake in the stone? How did you stop yourself from going insane?”

“Insane?” he questioned back, Reflection shifting a little closer to him. “Who’s to say that I was sane before I was so inconveniently put away?” She laughed at that, and he continued on. Tapping his helmet, he waited until she had given it a good look over. “To keep it short, this helmet contains a machine called a ‘computer’. Thankfully, I still maintained the link with the computer and I managed to find some pastimes that obviously worked very well.”

“Pastimes?”

“Yeah,” he puffed out his chest. “I, Nigel M Chalmers, have achieved what many thought unachievable. After lengthy study, I have gained a most acclaimed award.”

“What?”

He grinned at her. “I am now a Doctor in the field of philosophy, making me an official genius.” There was silence, save for the chirping of crickets. Reflection tilted her head once again. “It’s a very prestigious award, despite what everyone else says.”

“It’s an award that takes hundreds of years to finish?”

He fidgeted, his hand leaving her head. “No, it’s what some would call an ‘easy’ award, and I finished it like nothing, but before I managed to start on molecular physics I got… distracted.”

She nodded for him to go on. He had many choices, but he decided to tell the truth.

“It turns out that, for some reason, there was… ahem, a large porn folder and…”

“Porn?” she interrupted, before her eyes brightened. “Oh, you mean like those magazines that ponies have that show all those mares and stallions-“

“Yes, yes, yes,” he quickly halted her, waving his hands before scratching her behind the ears again to get her to stop talking. “Admittedly, it probably wasn’t the best idea given said imprisonment, but it sure passed the time.”

“Hundreds of years,” Reflection muttered, enjoying the scratching. “That’s a lot of porn.”

He didn’t know what to say to that, so instead he changed the subject. “Hey, you must want to get back to your hive, and I can’t wait to meet Chrysalis and the rest of you. Do you know where it is?”

“Hang on.” She seemed to concentrate with closed eyes, the fin on the back of her neck quivering for a second. Her eyes opened again, and she pointed with a hoof towards the west. “In that direction, I don’t know how far and the link is weak, but it’s in that heading for sure.”

“Link?”

“With the Queen,” Reflection explained. “She can send us simple thoughts, orders, and occasionally she accidently lets her emotions through. We can also find our way home by following it.”

“I recall Chrysalis mentioning something about that, something that only a changeling queen could do.” He smiled, leaning back against the tree. “So, she actually became one. I wonder how she’ll react when she finds out that I’m alive, if she even recognises me.”

“I don’t imagine that she’d ever forget something like you, I’ve never seen or heard about another human around.” He noticed her frown. “Besides, she’s always muttering under her breath and sometimes I overhear things that I used to think were strange until now.”

He took in the information and looked up towards the moon, it was almost in the middle of the sky. Stretching and enjoying the freedom of being able to move, he stopped the ear scratch he was giving her and clapped his hands together. “I actually can’t wait to see her again; I bet we could get there in a few hours, tops. What do you think?”

“Sure,” she grinned, shaking her head. “I can’t wait to get back, and away from this horrible country.”

Chalmers watched her struggle to stand, her injuries still giving her pause. It didn’t take him long to reconsider their plan. It was a warm and clear night, and they were well hidden from any patrols thanks to the shadows and the large tree. Gently, he placed his hand on her back and halted her. “Hey, why don’t you get some sleep? It’s okay, I can wait until tomorrow.”

“No, I don’t want to keep you from seeing Queen Chrysalis again.” Reflection was sincere, but he could see her shaking. Slowly, he pushed her back down onto the shirt serving as the makeshift bedding. He didn’t need to put in much force, she sighed and laid back down while tucking in her legs. “Are you sure? It’s going to be a long way away.”

“I’ve got my ways,” he reassured, patting her back. He was surprised when she rested her head against his side, Reflection looking up at him curiously.

“You don’t mind if I do this?”

“Not at all, you’re something like my great-great-great-great-great granddaughter after all.” Slowly, her eyes closed and her breathing grew slow and heavy.

‘Heh, just like old times,’ he remembered, taking the time to relax and gather his thoughts.


Chrysalis could barely control her rage, her teeth grinding while she skulled into her chambers. Sand dropped from her mane, the desert landing having been a rough one. Still, she was luckier than some of her subjects in that she escaped major injury. There had been many cracked exoskeletons and a few broken horns and wings, but all of it was easily treatable. She had a few minor scuffs on her chitin, but what hurt far more was the shame and embarrassment.

She had promised them all an unlimited supply of love, just like she had tasted once before. More space to grow, better living conditions and increased freedoms. Life in the sun and in grassy fields, far away from dour conditions of the hive and desert that they lived in now, was something that she needed them to have. How could she deny them that, after she herself had lived that life before? Seizing Equestria had been her only chance to secure that dream and get revenge at the same time, but in the moment she’d gotten greedy and had blown it.

‘Why did I completely forget about that pink bitch!?’ she lamented to herself, heading straight to her bed. It was the largest and the only one in the hive to have actual cloth sheets, her subjects having to settle with smoothened bunks due to their numbers. Collapsing down onto the sheets, their colour matching her mane and tail, she rolled onto her back and covered her eyes with her hooves.

“It was all going so well, now I know what Nigel must have felt when Celestia and Luna blindsided him.”

Her muttering stopped, the trotting of hooves approaching. “My Queen?”

“Yes?” she grunted, still not opening her eyes at the female voice. “I wish for rest.”

“I know,” the changeling that she guessed was a nurse replied. “But after your fall-“

“I’m fine.”

“Your Highness, at least allow me to examine you and apply treatment if necessary.”

“I said that I am fine,” she repeated. “Don’t others need more immediate attention, attention that you could be using your time on instead of some light scratches?”

She could hear hooves shuffling awkwardly. “Actually, Ma’am, the casualties are all healing well. It also turns out that not all of the love we gained was lost, and our stores have been filled considerably.”

“Inform General Scuttle to give everyone an extra ration of love,” she requested. Before the nurse could leave, Chrysalis thought of a final thing. “And news of Reflection?”

“As far as I know, she is still missing,” the changeling answered, Chrysalis biting her lower lip with worry. “She’s the only one who has not been found, but I’m sure that she’ll return soon.”

“I’m sure she will,” Chrysalis reassured herself out loud. “That line has always been stubborn. That will be all, please transfer that message.”

“At once, my Queen.” There was a brief brushing sound, no doubt the nurse bowing, before the trotting of hooves sounded and grew faint. Cursing her lack of foresight to have a door installed, she rolled over and wiped the tears from her eyes. She’d come so close, so close to achieving everything, and that sudden… love bursthad crushed her dreams in the most ironical way possible.

“I won’t let you get away with it,” she mumbled to herself, a glare on her face. “Your soft-hearted ponies will pay.”


Reflection yawned when the sun’s rays hit her face, the throb at her side almost unnoticeable now.

“Good morning.” She raised her head from the cool surface it was against, the owner of the voice patting her on the back. “Sleep well?”

“I did,” she answered, surprising herself while she nuzzled his armour. “It’s good to sleep without nearly having a heart attack.”

“That’s pleasant to hear, you okay to head off? I’ll carry you of course.”

She nodded, all of her fear having disappeared since she had realised who her rescuer was. Standing, she allowed him to carefully pick her up by placing an arm under her torso. Chalmers held her close to his chest, much like she imagined he once held her ancestor. It was surprisingly comfortable, and she was grateful that she had someone to carry her home so she didn’t have to wait until her wound was healed.

“Now, you probably won’t remember it, but we’ve done this before. Just focus and concentrate on keeping us on course, and I’ll concentrate on keeping up in the air.”

Furrowing her brow, Reflection looked at him with a raise eye. “I’ve flown before, you know. The wings aren’t just for show.”

“I’m sure you have,” he chuckled, placing his helmet on his head. A small roar started and remained steady, Reflection glancing back to see a small glow coming from behind Chalmers. “But this is probably going to be a bit different to what you’re used to.”


“Hey, Beams.”

High Beams, Sergeant Major in the Royal Night Guard, repressed a sigh and turned to her second-in-command, Sergeant Bites. The last place she wanted to spend her day was in a sound-proofed cell in the dungeons, even if it had been refurbished to serve as a briefing room. She especially didn’t want to spend her precious sleeping time with Bites constantly asking her unanswerable questions.

“What is it, Bites?”

Her reply prompted the bat-pony stallion to lean across further in his chair.

“Do you think this has something to do with the monster that attacked during the changeling invasion?” She snorted, cursing the silly rumour that the Solar guards had started regarding some old statue stored in a garden shed. “I heard from one of the Sunnies that it was this huge, black, two-legged-“

“Really, Sergeant?” One of the four corporals in their squad, Corporal Belfry, spoke up from the left. The mare shook her head, Beams finding it hard to not agree with her. “This again? It was probably just some changeling turning into a minotaur.”

“Ah!” Bites exclaimed, raising a hoof off of the desk in front of him. “But if they could change into minotaurs, then why didn’t they all do that during the invasion?” He paused, as if waiting for applause from them all.

“Ma’am,” Corporal Sweeps requested, directing it at her. “Permission to speak freely?”

Beams grinned, she knew what was going to come. Nodding at the stallion, she gave Sweeps the go ahead.

“Sergeant,” Sweeps turned his head towards Bites. “With all due respect, you’re an idiot.”

As one, every single nocturne in their squad burst out into laugher. That is, everyone save for the Sergeant in question.

“Oh, very imaginative,” Bites growled, his fangs flashing momentarily. Beams sent him a warning look, how the short-tempered stallion had attained the rank of sergeant was a complete mystery to her. Just before she was about to tell her squad to settle down, the highest authority did it for her.

“Ah, what is the source of this merriment?”

The laughter died right out and all six saluted immediately, Princess Luna trotting into the cell with Captain Ultra by her side. The dour senior nocturne gave her his own warning look, before Beams found herself receiving an expecting gaze from the Princess.

“We were just sharing an inside joke,” she quickly explained, Luna nodding her head before trotting to the front of the room.

“I’m afraid that the time for joking is far gone,” Luna explained, glancing down towards the Captain. “We have a new mission for you all, one of upmost importance to Equestria and myself.” The Princess began to pace, possessing a nervousness none of them had even seen. “I know you’re not the most highly-decorated or experienced, but you have all shown a certain aptitude for noticing small details and hence your positions on my favourite recon team.”

Beams couldn’t help but straighten with pride. “Thank you, Ma’am.”

“You will soon withdraw that thanks,” Luna informed, unsettling Beams. “Your assignment is to find, track, and observe the creature that escaped imprisonment yesterday. You are to not interfere , but to record anything you can about him and his interactions with the changelings. You will maintain communications with me and Captain Ultra alone, and you will imminently pass on all information about any weaknesses you find.”

Luna paused and looked at them all, studying their reactions. Hesitantly, Bites raised his hoof and asked his question at her nod.

“Excuse me, Princess, but are you saying that the monster in the tool shed… is really a monster?”

Princess Luna sighed, her horn lighting up with a glow. They watched on, awed, while a small panel of glimmering magic formed on the blackboard sitting at the front. “A monster indeed, but not one that you are likely expecting. Please excuse me, this memory retrieval spell is complex.”

Beams watched and waited while Luna went silent and concentrated. Her understanding of magic was limited, nocturnes of course possessing neither the needs nor want for it, but she could see that it indeed seemed difficult to cast. Slowly, the colours formed into an image, before with a shower of sparks it formed a clear scene.

They collectively winced as the biped punched Princess Celestia right on the snout, blood coming away on the black armour. Their viewpoint, Beams assuming that it was Luna’s, clung desperately to an arm in an attempt to stop the monster strike Celestia again. It was in vain, and the memory wavered and fizzled out right before it made contact. No-one spoke, Luna taking a breath before heading towards the blackboard.

“I remember him telling Celestia to not worry, that he wouldn’t kill me after he killed her.” Beams frowned, seeing the Princess shudder. “Now, it’s been a long time, but this is what we know.” With another burst of magic, the blackboard was flipped over to reveal a side filled with chalk writings. “Captain Ultra, please continue.”

“Yes Princess,” the Captain obeyed. “Now, the creature you are going to be watching is called a ‘human’, that is what is calls itself. As far as we know, no other humans exist but there is strong evidence to suggest that it is… alien, to our planet.”

“Great,” Bites smirked. “So not only is it a monster, but an alien as well. What, is it here to abduct farmponies and-“

“The Human’s goal is world domination,” Luna interrupted.

‘That’s almost as cliché,’ Beams thought, wise enough to keep it to herself while Luna continued.

“However, now there is a different element involved. Princess Celestia and I are of the belief that Queen Chrysalis and the Human know each other, very well, so we can assume that if they meet up then they may be inclined to seek revenge.”

“Excuse me, Princess,” Corporal Dream raised a dainty hoof. “But are you saying that the Changeling Queen is hundreds of years old?”

“I am,” Luna answered. “She is likely almost as longed lived as myself. However, the Queen is a secondary concern. The Human is named ‘Commander Nigel M Chalmers’, and we suspect that he has some form of military experience.” Luna frowned. “Despite this suspicion, he behaves much like a child. He is compulsive, prone to anger, however he is also cold and is not afraid to kill.”

Luna ran her hoof down a list.

“He has shown to be capable of constructing complex machinery and structures, his armour is stronger than steel and possibly your own enchanted armour. He has been seen using weaponry of both explosive and energy in nature, and many of these are stored in his armour.” The Princess fixed them all with a warning look. “By far, it seems that his most dangerous weapon is manipulation. He managed to coerce cooperation from both peasants and kings, so don’t discount anything as it may be an act to obtain your trust or divert your attention.”

She removed her hoof from the board, nodding towards them.

“You are to observe and record, nothing more. If he sees you, do not engage him but escape instead. What we know is just a small amount, hence your mission. The Human is dangerous and unpredictable, I myself can testify to that. Follow your objectives and remain hidden, that is all that we require of you.” Luna gestured to Captain Ultra. “I’ll let the Captain inform you of the rest of the details, I have to assist my sister with a few duties.”

A chorus of ‘Thank you, Ma’am’, followed, Luna giving them a final nod before departing from the cell. Captain Ultra, uniform dark grey with a blue mane of all the Night Guard, cleared his throat and ruffled his wings.

“As you have just heard from Her Majesty, the creature you are pursuing is incredibly dangerous and a threat to us all. Your squad was requested because all of the Solar guard are occupied with fortifying the city and reassuring the population. Hence, a squad of nocturnes from the Night guard was decided upon.”

Beams could understand the reasoning behind the decision. After all, with their bat-like wings and fangs, nocturnes weren’t exactly reassuring to the ordinary equestrian. Still, there were a few questions she had to ask. “Sir, what equipment will we use and when do we begin?”

Ultra seemed to have a small twitch at the corner of his mouth, but he still answered. “You have, and I must stress that this was not my choice but that of Princess Luna, access to the entire armoury and equipment store.

“Even the restricted section?” Ultra shook his head at Bites’ request, Beams sharing his apprehension.

“Yes, Sergeant,” Captain Ultra informed with a frown. “Even the restricted section.”

The grin on the Sergeant’s face was a stark contrast to the solemn looks on the other’s faces. Beams fidgeted in her chair, tapping her forehooves together. “Sir, the time we leave?”

Ultra began to wipe the blackboard clean with a wing. “You have an hour to each write a letter back to your families at home… in case you don’t come back. Then, you are to prepare your equipment and supplies before heading out straight away.”

Once more there was silence, save for the sound of the eraser running over the board.

“Sir, is a letter like that really needed?” Belfry ‘s question was shared, Beams nodding her head as well. Surely the mission wasn’t going to be that dangerous.

“You have an hour,” was all Ultra stated in a flat tone. “Dismissed.”


“Excuse me, Your Highness?”

Chrysalis glanced towards the soldier armoured with blue chitin, drones and scholars rushing around the throne room preforming the usual daily duties. Soldiers mingled around, she had heard rumours that there were some changelings thinking traitorous thoughts and as such she had increased security. She had tried to use the mental link to find out if it was true, but had been unable to gleam anything useful save for a few, understandable, thoughts about whether she had made the right call in invading Canterlot.

Secretly, she was a little thankful that her control over them was that limited.

Tapping a hoof on her foreleg rest, she nodded for him to go on.

“The noble, Reflection, has returned to the hive. She is injured but the wounds have already been dressed.”

That brought a smile to her face, her last subject having returned safe and sound. She’d be a lair if she tried to claim that she didn’t treat her descendants better than the rest of her subjects, always giving them more of her attention. Stretching her legs, she prepared to leave her throne and ensure that Reflection was safe and sound.

The soldier seemed nervous, causing her to halt. Looking around, she caught many of the drones and scholars glancing at her as if they knew something she couldn’t. Seeking answers from the shared link, she detected traces of apprehension, curiosity, and… amazement?

“Soldier,” she addressed, not bothering to check his name. “What else is there?”

He hesitated, so she narrowed her eyes to get the answer out of him. “Well, there is apparently an armoured, two-legged, creature with her. It’s apparently a male, it helped Reflection get home, and it claims that it…”

She felt frozen, but she had to know. “It claims what?”

“It claims that it knows you, my Queen. It said that you’d be very pleased to see him again.”

“Where are they?” she barked, startling him and causing him to flinch.

“The main entrance-“

Chrysalis didn’t wait for him to finish, bolting from her throne and galloping out the room’s entrance.

She didn’t slow as she passed the nursery, the stairs leading down to the food storage, the many changelings that gave her shocked looks while she raced past. Her hooves thundered on the hardened mucus that made up the hive, not flying thanks to the low corridor roof. Space was at a premium, but her mind was far from any thoughts of civil planning at the current time.

‘It can’t be him,’ she tried to convince herself, shaking her head while she galloped. ‘He’s dead, there’s no way that it’s him.’

Despite her words, a spark of hope was kindled in her cold heart. She increased her pace, barely dodging her subjects in her rush to verify the rumour. It became problematic near the entrance, a crowd having gathered in force. Chrysalis had to slow and find a path through them, but they parted as soon as they noticed her. They whispered while she passed, Chrysalis noticing that there were nurses and drones, soldiers and scholars all observing the spectacle.

Eventually, she made her way to the front, the midday sun shining in through the entrance. It framed two forms, one she recognised as Reflection with a bandage wrapped around her torso. The other… the other she hadn’t seen in centuries.

“Nigel?” she asked, stepping forwards towards him. She couldn’t believe it, he didn’t look like he had changed at all since she last saw him. Slowly, she approached and stopped just short, almost able to look him in the eyes thanks to her size. He took his helmet off, Chrysalis staring at the face that was revealed. He truly hadn’t changed at all, but that was impossible. Slowly stretching out a hoof, he made contact first when he ruffled her mane.

“Of course it’s me. My, you’ve certainly grown a lot, and look at that magnificent horn. What’s up with your voice though? It’s certainly different to-“

He was cut off when she jumped up to throw her forelegs around his neck. Hugging him tight, she could barely contain her happiness.
“I’m so glad to see that you’re alive! Where were you? Me and the nymphs were all alone and-“

“Hey, I’m sorry,” he apologised, patting her on the back. “I was blindsided and imprisoned in some sort of magic stone, if I had known that…”
“It’s okay,” she forgave, pulling away and smiling. “I understand that it wasn’t your fault. I’m just glad that you’re alive, were you awake all that time?”

He seemed to hesitate. “It’s a long story.” His attention turned to something behind her, and she glanced behind to see her subjects watching them with confusion. “Look, I know that we’ve got a lot to talk about, and I myself have a lot of questions I need to ask you. But, Reflection was very helpful and she told me that you’ve managed to get a lot of subjects. Why don’t you introduce me first?”

The idea didn’t really appeal to her, she wanted to know everything now. Still, her subjects would no doubt spread rumours, so maybe it was the best thing to do. “Are you sure, what do you want me to say about you being here?”

“I am sure, and you can say whatever you want,” he reassured. “You do remember the words I left you, didn’t you?”

She did, no need to scour her memory for them. Hugging him again, she nodded. “I do. Does that mean…?”

“It only took me a few years,” he joked, pulling out of the embrace to stand up. Holding his helmet in his arm, he tilted his head at her. “That is, if you still want that to be happen.”

“I’ve waited eight hundred years, and yesterday I tried to get revenge for you.” She scuffed a hoof. “I failed, though.”

“Heh, I didn’t exactly achieve my goal of world domination either,” he chuckled, and she couldn’t help but smile with him. She got an idea, and she gestured for him to come closer. He bent down, so she whispered to him the suggestion.

“We could try together,” she pointed out with a smile, earning an eyebrow raise.

“Together, hmm? What a positively evil idea.”

“I learned from one of the best,” she replied, earning a much-missed ear-scratch. Chrysalis enjoyed it for a brief second before it stopped, and once again Chalmers was smiling at her subjects.

“I wouldn’t call me that. Say, why don’t we do the rounds and then we’ll have a good talk?” He shrugged. “Or, since you’re now a Queen, you could decide on what to do.” He stood back up, and she confidently shook her head in reply.

“You know what? I think your plan is a pretty good one.” Turning towards the waiting subjects, she stood next to Chalmers before giving Reflection a thankyou glance. “Changelings, I know you all must be confused, but this new being means no harm to us.” She looked to him again, and he gave her a thumbs up in encouragement. She continued, long-needed happiness flowing through her.

“I also have something I need to announce, and I hope you all will understand what it means…”


“Sergeant-Major, you think we’ll manage to complete this?”

Beams looked towards Belfry, the other mare already dressed in her lacquered purple armour. Pausing her selection of survival knives, Beams shrugged her shoulders. “I honestly don’t know, Corporal. I’m just as clueless as you are; I guess we’ll have to use some of that initiative the Drill Sergeant tried to stomp out of us.”

That earned a laugh from Belfry, and the Corporal reached out a wing to select a short sword. Beams smiled and returned to her task, now confident that their mission wouldn’t go too badly.

“Sweet!”

She turned her head to see Bites, armoured in heavy armour, trot out of the restricted section with a massive crossbow sparking with electricity held in his wings. She was gobsmacked, the bolts looked large enough to stop a minotaur.

“Bites,” Sweeps spoke up, shaking his head. “What in Tartarus are you thinking?”

“Let’s see that monster conquer the world with this baby in my hooves,” Bites cooed, cradling the enchanted weapon like his own child.
Beams reassessed their chances.

Maybe it wouldn’t go as smoothly as she hoped.

Author's Note:

Well, the sequel that people wanted is finally here.

Once again, feel free to comment and let me know if I made any mistakes.

Until next chapter.

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