• Published 23rd Jan 2015
  • 26,515 Views, 1,719 Comments

Changing Views - lllWarHawklll

One moment I was enjoying life, the next... well, I'm not so sure, though I was hearing voices. Now, however? I'm the last survivor of my race. I'm not even human anymore...

  • ...

[0] ...The harder they fall

Everything was going according to plan.


Well, almost everything.

Though in retrospect, the presence of the element bearers in the ceremony was practically a guaranteed thing, what with Twilight being the groom's sister; therefore all Chrysalis could really do about that was delay their arrival as long as possible.

Her secondary squadron of changelings had managed to bring the real Princess of love all the way from Baltimare to the outpost, though the Queen ordered that the pink alicorn be brought to the crystal caverns under the castle instead—which few knew of its existence—without the cocoon surrounding her. Alicorns seemed to be resistant to the sleeping effect of the pod anyway.

When a changeling used magic, it didn't actively consume the love they had gathered per se, rather the strength of their magic itself increased the more full they were on emotional energy. If Chrysalis was to overpower Celestia herself—perhaps even Luna if she got in the way as well—she would need as much love as possible before the final phase of the invasion. Canterlot being a desert in terms of gatherable emotions compared to the rest of Equestria, her main 'food' sources would be Shining Armor and Princess Mi Amore Cadenza.

...Though the way she went about getting it from the bride herself was outright cruel.

The taunting, the bullying, the smugness in her tone as she verbally tortured the poor soul...

Then she would 'strut away', leaving the princess on the crystal floor.

Rather, an optical illusion of herself walking away was visible. In truth, she remained invisible near her target, waiting for the inevitable chain of emotions.

The Princess of love would first weep, then feel utter rage against the Queen, before finally just thinking of her beloved Shining Armor... at which point Chrysalis was all but glad to drain her of all that delicious love, weakening the alicorn and preventing her from moving too much or even thinking of escaping.

Deep inside, the changeling Queen knew that this method of harvesting was wrong. She would practically never resort to it, under normal circumstances. However...

Chrysalis was irritated. So very, very irritated.

While on her train ride to Canterlot from Baltimare, her spies at the castle had informed her that Shining Armor was going to put up a sort of shield around the entire city itself once 'Cadance' arrived, preventing anypony from going in or out of it. Due to this, the increase in guard patrols and the scarcity of 'food' available, smuggling any cocooned meals in and out of the castle to sustain the spies was going to be nearly impossible, therefore she would have to order a full extraction of every changeling in Canterlot, just for their safety.

All of the ponies they had replaced were placed right back to where they belonged with the standard procedure for redeployment, though some, like Feather Wind, had to be borderline mind-controlled to prevent... incidents.

Her four accompanying children during the train ride had to de-cocoon the guards that were hidden in the final train car—which was right next to the one she was on for most of the ride—before leaving them to their posts, flying off to the meeting point.

The evacuation order meant that Chrysalis, Queen of the Changelings, Mother of thousands, was completely alone.

Away from her hive.

Away from her children.

Away from her little Artemis.

For two. Full. Days.

With yet another one to go, even.

And then there was the matter of Twilight Sparkle. That mare was getting a bit too close to putting a damper on her plans...

Chrysalis was irritated. So very, very irritated.

So for the time being, she would take out her frustration on the unfortunate pony whom she was impersonating. She might not even have to do anything to get rid of Twilight, with how the unicorn was going about so far.

Well, a bit of dramatic acting was going to be necessary, she supposed...


"My children..." began Chrysalis in the hive mind, to her relay changelings.

"Mares and Gentlecolts, we are gathered here today to witness the union of Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, and Shining Armor."

"...It is time. Begin the final phase! The shield will not hold for much longer."

While Celestia was busy spouting off the usual drivel about love and it's mysterious ways and how it would last until their last breaths, the fake bride was partly paying attention to her surroundings and for the most part draining the rest of Shining Armor's love, which indirectly weakened his magic.

'It truly is a wonder how he manages to keep that cursed shield of his up, despite days of draining him and the barrier being large enough to cover the entire city. Maybe I underestimated the effects Cutie Marks have on ponies...'

...Or maybe Shining Armor was overpowered, but we don't talk about that.

"I do," Chrysalis absentmindedly answered Celestia's question.

"Then, Princess Cadance and Shining Armor, it is my great pleasure to pronounce you—"

"STOOOOOOOOP!" shouted Twilight, whom had just barged into the room, interrupting the final part of the ceremony with the real Princess of love in tow.

"...What? But... ah don't understand, how can there be two of 'em!?" asked a confused Applejack from the sidelines.

'This isn't good, have to buy time for the others, the shield is almost down...' thought the shocked Queen at this unforeseen event.

"She's a changeling! She takes the form of somepony you love and gains power by feeding off your love for them!" exclaimed the newly-arrived alicorn, angrily pointing towards the disguised Queen.

'Perhaps I informed her too much... it matters not, however. I have just the thing to delay them long enough for my children to break down the shield...' thought Chrysalis, enveloping her entire frame in an impressive display of green magical fire, revealing her true self as slowly as possible in preparation for the bane of heroes and villains alike...

'...A monologue.'


Celestia could not believe her eyes.

Right there.

In front of her.

Was her cherished sister whom she had not seen for a millennia.

...Give or take fifty years.

The Diarch of the Sun was too shocked to properly react. After all, she thought she had... destroyed 'Chrysalis' all those years ago...

As the Queen began explaining her 'master plan' in excruciating detail to the ponies in the room, Celestia re-lived Discord's warning...


"You know this mirror cannot lie. No magic can affect it, not even mine. Somehow. If Chrysalis remains alive, these events will come to pass. Not that I would complain, it's quite the chaotic reunion..." he had said, showing her the future via the Mirror of Truth.

"Tia! What is he showing you!? Don't trust him! You have to believe me! It's me! Terra—"

"So what will it be? Your precious ponies, or 'Chrysalis'? Hmm?" asked the spirit of Chaos incarnate, maliciously grinning, seemingly knowing what was going to happen right then and there.

"L-Luna! Please! I-it's really me..."

As Celestia looked between the mirror showing a battle raging in some sort of City populated by ponies, invaded by these beings resembling bug-like equines and the... thing that was currently claiming to be her sister, Terra...

The choice was easy.


After the eventual defeat of Discord and Chrysalis, his 'sidekick' as he had called her, she had scoured all of Equus in search of Terra for years... only to find not a single trace of her, no matter where she looked, ever since Chrysalis appeared.

She refused to believe that she had annihilated her own sister, clinging to the hope that one day, she would reappear and claim everything was fine.

Realization of what she had done slowly set in as the seasons went by, and she was struck with grief for years.

But now, practically a thousand years later...

Terra was here.


Her Sister wasn't dead! She came back! And... and...

And she was going to invade Canterlot, just like the mirror had predicted ages ago.

"Soon, my children will break through the barrier!"


"First, we take Canterlot..."


"...and then, ALL of Equestria!"

"No!" interjected Celestia, slowly approaching the Queen, visibly frowning. "You won't.

"You may have made it impossible for Shining Armor to perform his spell, but now that you have so foolishly revealed your TRUE self..."

'In more ways than one...'

"...I will protect my subjects, from YOU!" she exclaimed, hovering in the air, powering her horn before unleashing a powerful magical beam towards Chrysalis, the latter responding in kind.

It was clear whom was winning the power struggle, however.

"Aaaugh! No!" screamed the changeling, eyes closed in concentration, struggling to keep up with the power of the sun.

Celestia hesitated, though.

'This is exactly how it went last time,' she remembered...

Every single detail of the duel was the same, down to the panicking, desperate and pleading expression of her sister, right before she had suddenly completely vanished back then...

The sun Diarch's lapse of attention was all Chrysalis needed to regain the advantage, however.

Every pony watched in shocked silence as Celestia fell to the floor unmoving, her crown clanging off the ground, her horn slightly charred and smoking.

"Princess Celestia!" gasped Twilight, bringing every being in the room out of their shock, galloping towards her mentor along with the other element bearers.

Despite the agony the Princess felt at that very moment (horns were very sensitive and linked with a pony's entire nervous system, after all), she knew one thing that was perfectly clear in her heart.

'I refuse to hurt her. I've already lost both my sisters once, but not this time... there must be a way to set things right...'

And that is when she recalled the obvious solution:

The Elements of Harmony!

'Perhaps its power will revert Terra back to how she used to be, like they reverted Luna from her possessed form?'

She managed to suppress her pain enough to notice her faithful student along with the rest of the element bearers rushing towards her.

"The Elements of Harmony! You must get to them... and use their power to defeat the Queen!" she exclaimed, to which the six mares simultaneously looked at each other and nodded with grim expressions.

...Though even as they all ran off, throwing their dresses away to gallop faster, a certain unicorn with a beautifully styled purple mane and a shiny white coat stayed behind to make sure the elegant clothes didn't hit the ground and get wrinkled and—


The unfortunate fashionista sighed, leaving the exquisite dresses with their doomed fate on the thoroughly over-polished floor to catch up with her friends.

By then, Celestia's vision was fading in and out. She caught glimpses of the room's pony occupants scrambling out of the throne room to escape the Queen, whom was steadily advancing towards her with a sadistic smile.

It was becoming so very hard to stay awake, but she had to stay strong for her ponies! She had to—

"Any last words?" asked Chrysalis, wicked horn in the process of amassing power for a... spell the Princess couldn't quite recognize because of her blurry vision.

"...Forgive... me.......... Terra...."

Celestia lost consciousness, the last thing she saw being the changeling's shocked expression.


She... apologized.

'She actually apologized,' thought Chrysalis, canceling her spell meant to put her target to sleep.

The room was now devoid of ponies, save for an unconscious Celestia, an immobilized Princess of Love who had attempted to 'save' her beloved groom, and a certain Shining Armor whom was currently affected by an overdose of mind-control spells, having almost completely lost all free will for the time being.

Spike was curled up in a ball at a corner near Cadance, looking completely out of his element, having absolutely no clue whatsoever on what to do.

Chrysalis's children had broken the barrier and swarmed the city by then, overpowering the Royal Guard with ease and moving to intercept and ambush the element bearers before they could reach their objective.

There were no casualties on both sides.

About 69% of the guard was currently neutralized.

Two out of three alicorns were down for the count, Luna currently missing in action.

It was just... too easy.

They had practically won already.


...Then why did this feel like such a hollow victory?

"So, is that it? Are all ponies just food for you!? Did you ever just stop and think about the fact that we're living beings too!?" shouted an enraged Cadance.

Chrysalis snorted. "You can forget everything I said earlier. This invasion had nothing to do with food." She telekinetically opened the doors to the room, allowing entry to a squad of changelings who immediately began to work on cocooning Celestia.

The rage on the face of the Princess of Love was replaced with a confused frown. "Then why did you even make a speech about it? Why did you attack Celestia? Why did you ruin my special day!?"

The changeling Queen turned to face her. "To buy time for my children. For what she did a millennia ago. You were merely caught in the crossfire."

"Then just WHAT is it that you wanted to accomplish with this entire invasion!?"

Chrysalis turned to look at the Princess of the Sun, an unsettling grin on her face. "I wanted to hurt my sister, make her suffer for making me miss a thousand years on Equus. Show her what it feels like to be betrayed by your own family! What it feels like to be ATTACKED BY YOUR OWN SISTER!"

She glared at Cadance for a moment before closing her eyes and taking a calming breath, exhaling shortly thereafter.

"Do you know what Discord gave to Celestia as a choice, oh so long ago?" calmly asked Chrysalis, eyes still shut closed.

"He gave her the choice between believing I was truly her sister, despite my... new form, courtesy of himself, or to kill me in order to 'save' the ponies she would one day lead.

"Do you know what she did?" Chrysalis asked in a calm voice, slowly opening her eyes, rage coursing through them; and for once, Cadance looked on in sorrow, understanding finally dawning on her.

"She attacked me. Immediately. No hesitation whatsoever. Despite my pleading. Despite my tears! Despite knowing that Discord was A MANIPULATING SON OF A...... GRRAAHHHH!!!" She stomped her hoof on the marble floor with enough force to send a visible shockwave through the air, creating a miniature crater in the process, panting in absolute rage.

She quickly brought it under control when a couple of her children abandoned their posts in the room to comfort her, though.

Chrysalis slowly nodded to them, at which point they went to help hang the now-cocooned Celestia on the ceiling.

"But what about Aunt Luna? Didn't she give you a chance back then?"

Chrysalis snorted. "She did nothing, and that is almost just as bad as what Celestia did."

"That could mean that she believed you!" Cadance tried to argue.

"Apparently not enough to even attempt to stop our sister," the Queen coldly replied.

Chrysalis then began pacing around the room a bit, observing the various tinted glass windows which displayed the feats of Ponykind over the ages; the most recent one being about the elements imprisoning Discord once more.

"I can understand why you'd want... revenge, on my Aunt," Cadance said as if it were a foreign concept, frowning. "But did you have to bring us all into it too? Your problem is with her, not us!"

The now somewhat-relaxed Changeling Queen regarded her with a calm expression. "My sister chose her little ponies over me. She didn't even give me a chance. What better way to hurt her, than to take away what she obviously cherishes more? Perhaps I was not lying about the taking over of Equestria, you know."

By now the pod was stuck to the ceiling with Celestia upside-down in it. Chrysalis both sensed and saw the solar diarch slowly awakening, reveling in her confusion and distress.

She also sensed the pink alicorn's anger returning.

"You won't get away with this! Twilight and her friends will—"

And in walked the element bearers, surrounded and escorted into the room by multiple changelings, both the ponies and changelings looking slightly battered and bruised.

The Queen turned to face Cadance with a smug grin. "You were saying?" she taunted, before turning to face the six 'heroes' of Equestria. "You do realize the reception's been canceled, don't you?"

She didn't need to look at Celestia to feel her fear and... sorrow? "Go! Feed!" Chrysalis dramatically exclaimed to her children, which left her alone with all the ponies.

"It's funny, really. Twilight here was suspicious of my behavior all along! Too bad the rest of you were too caught up in your wedding planning to realize her suspicions were correct!" said the changeling to the ponies, antagonizing them as much as she could, turning to head towards one of the opened windows in the room.

Nothing felt better than to sense Celestia's own despair.


"Sheesh, we didn't even have to do anything."

"Well I'm glad for that, I'm not much of a fighter, anyway," replied Redstar to Sectine, both changelings viewing the city in general from an arch between rooftops near the castle itself.

"I bet you could still take down a Royal guard or two on your own; these guys have no combat experience at all!" Sectine exclaimed, throwing her forelegs in the air in exaggerated motions.

"You'd think the defenders of the pony Capital itself would be better trained than this," agreed the relay changeling. "I heard rumors here and there about them just being there for show, actually. 'Why need an actual army when your rulers are practically goddesses?'"

"Welp, if that's really what they were thinking, then that idea totally backfired on them," chuckled Sectine.

They turned to see Edge landing next to them. "Hey girls! What's up?"

"Oh, nothing, just talking about the incompetence of the Royal Guard," answered Redstar.

"I know, right? I just saw Pixie take on three on her own."

"Pixie!?" incredulously asked Sectine. "Isn't that our sister whom you dropped as an egg by accide—"

"SHHH!" interrupted Redstar by immediately shoving a hoof in the other's mouth. "You know it was an accident and that I still feel bad about that, and you said you'd keep it secret!"

Sectine smacked the hoof away from her muzzle. "But I did keep it secret!"

"...You dropped her when she was just an egg?" asked Edge, not sure how to feel about that. "So that's why she's still stuck at the size of a nymph..." he muttered to himself.

Redstar glared at Sectine, whom nervously smiled. "Ah, heheh, um... woops?"

"Hey, don't worry too much about it, she's still generally happy, and she's even given extra attention!" Edge hurriedly added, noticing his sister's discomfort.

"I guess..." sighed Redstar, looking at the ground.

"Oh look, there's Mom!" chirped Sectine, pointing her hoof towards a window at the castle.

"Yeah, I just came from that place. Did you girls know Celestia and Luna are our Aunts?" asked Edge.

"What? No way. How come Mommy never told us anything about that?"

"Well, apparently it has to do with something that happened a thousand years ago or something like that, not sure how that's possible considering we really appeared only a few years back from now. It was something about Celestia betraying Mom by attacking her. Discord was involved somewhere in there too."

"WHAT!?" screeched both mares at the same time, outraged. "How can somepony, the self-proclaimed race of harmony and friendship, their ruler even, attack their own family!? That's just... THE worst. Possible. Thing!" shouted Redstar.


The relay changeling realized she was practically choking her own brother to death. Just in time too.

She gasped. "SORRY! I didn't mean to! I'm sorry! I'msorryI'msorryI'msorry!!!"


"Sheesh Redstar, we're going to have to announce that our Captain fell in the midst of glorious combat by the undeniable power of your hugs," laughed Sectine.

Redstar released her hold on him, gasping once more. "I'M SORRY!" she shouted before lunging towards her brother with renewed vigor.

"NO, IT'S FINE! I FORGIVE YOU! NO MORE CUDDLES OF DEATH! PLEASE!" shouted Edge, desperately backing away from his panicked sister, barely holding her at bay with his forelegs.

Sectine ultimately decided her brother has had enough and magically induced some calmness into her sister's system, almost immediately returning her sibling back to her regular serious demeanor.

"Uhh... heh, sorry," sheepishly smiled Redstar, now aware of how she was overreacting. "I guess I just got so angry that Celestia had hurt our mother, her own FAMILY and OOOH I JUST HAVE TO GO AND HIT SOMETHING REALLY HARD RIGHT NOW." She yet again grabbed Edge, lifting him in the air this time with nothing but her forelegs. "WHERE ARE ROYAL GUARDS! I MUST HEAR THEIR LAMENTATIONS! NOW!!!" she screeched.

Edge meekly pointed towards a section of the city where the guards had barricaded themselves inside a few buildings, causing Redstar to release her hold on him and zip away towards the final pocket of resistance in Canterlot.

He merely looked on, bewildered and somewhat afraid. "Angry Redstar is scary Redstar," Edge simply commented, shivering.

"Tell me about it. She was totally refusing to go join in on the action before you came," Sectine replied before turning to look at her mother, who was still observing the city through the castle windows. "Huh, that's a new one," she muttered.

Edge shook his head hoping to get rid of the images of his near-death experience. "What?"

"I believe... that's the face of a certain mother whom is about to experience a life-changing revelation that will seriously affect her," she said, tapping a hoof on her chin in contemplation.

He looked at their mother before turning back to his sister while wearing a confused expression. "Really? She looks sort-of fine to me... feels fine too."

Sectine smirked and looked at her brother. "Trust me, if I could get a cutie mark like the ponies...


As Chrysalis viewed the rest of Canterlot from the castle, observing her plan flawlessly coming to fruition, her smile ever so slowly faded.

Why was she not happy? They had won! Victory was assured! She finally got to have her revenge on Celestia!



Her sister had apologized, hadn't she?

...Well, an apology was obviously not enough to make up for years of accumulating rage.


'Terra...' thought the Queen. 'It has been so long since I have been called that...'

She felt a presence behind her moving across the room; Twilight Sparkle if she sensed right. The Queen didn't really care about that though. Nopony in the room was currently strong enough to defy her, every single one of them being currently weakened while she was practically at her prime.

'Does that mean that she truly believes I am her sister? Was I foolish to not consider that after all these years, she would come to realize that and genuinely regret her actions?'

Even now, she could feel the sorrow emanating from the cocooned Princess. But sorrow for what?

'Is she sad about what I've become? Or is it in worry for her subjects?'

Oh how she wished she could read minds right now.

As she viewed ponies all across the city being chased by her children, felt the fear in the air and saw the damage caused by the changeling's literal crash landings, she began to seriously doubt her decision to enact revenge on Celestia.

'I-I... w-what am I doing!? She obviously remembers me, despite being gone for a thousand years! She even remembers my true name! AND she apologized! Cadance was correct, I have no right to bring other ponies into this!'

She turned around with the full intention of releasing Celestia and halting the invasion.

Unfortunately, she had managed to completely distract herself with her thoughts this one time.

Which meant she had completely missed what was happening with Shining Armor and Princess Cadance, as they magically floated in a swirling aura of love magic........


"...it would be in deciphering mom's expressions."

Edge scrunched his muzzle. "Why do I get the feeling you had this exact same conversation multiple times?"

"Mayhaps this exact same conversation did happen multiple times. Mayhaps I was right every time, too," smugly replied Sectine.

Edge shook his head. "Anyway, Mom gave me the green light to head back to the Hive and check on Artemis, wanna come?"

"And miss all this awesome action? Nah, bro. You go on ahead, I'll be relaxing up here while eating popcorn."

"...What's popcorn?"

"I have no idea!" she cheerfully exclaimed.

He would've rolled his eyes if he wasn't in his natural form. "Whatever, I'll see everyone back home, take care!"

"You too!" she called over to his retreating form, returning to her self-imposed objective of trying to figure out what was up with Chrysalis.

Gone was the smile on her mother's face; her ears had the faintest twitch, her eyes were ever so slightly glazed, as they always were when she was in very deep thought...

"Maybe she thinks taking over Canterlot was too much? We were pretty fine on food... Not sure what we're gonna do with all these ponies."

Sectine really started to worry when she noticed the signs of panic manifesting through Chrysalis's body language.

Suddenly, every changeling in Canterlot—which practically meant almost every changeling ever—stopped whatever they were doing and turned to look at the castle when they all felt the fear emanating from their mother.

Chrysalis had never felt fear like this before. Ever.

"Forgive me, my children."


The last thing they would see would be a rapidly expanding pink barrier.

The last thing they would hear would be their own screams.

The last thing they would feel, would be pain.


The moment she scanned the swirling aura of magic, Chrysalis knew it was over.

The raw amount of love condensed into it was... too much.

No changeling would be able to handle it. To be in contact with it would overload their bodies in a matter of seconds.

"Forgive me, my children."

She turned to see Celestia, who was completely ignoring the display of magic and instead was still focused on her, with that same sorrowful expression.

The changeling queen quickly ripped the pod open with her magic, releasing the Diarch of the Sun whom yelped before collapsing in a heap in front of her.

Chrysalis had to say one last thing before everything ended.

"I'm sor—"



Every pony in the throne room was entranced by the show of magic. As the wave of love hit them, they felt utter bliss, lost in a trance for a few moments.

Every pony, save for Celestia.

She lay next to the twitching form of her sister, whom was seemingly having a sort of seizure, appearing to be suffering in complete agony.

"T-Terra! What's wrong!? S-say something!" cried the Princess of the Sun, unable to stand watching her sister in such pain.

Said sister was slowing down, yet not looking better at all.

"Sa.......S-save........Artemis.............B-bad...l-lands...." Chrysalis managed to say, before any motion she had going on stopped completely.





"Te... T-Terra?"

Celestia nudged the corpse, nuzzling the chitin near Chrysalis's face.

"T-Terra, t-this isn't f-funny! W-wake up!"

The other ponies in the room were then returning to their senses, and it was hard to not notice the loud sobbing of their cherished ruler.

"n-no... No!... NO! N-NOT AGAIN! I REFUSE TO LOSE YOU AGAIN!! DON'T LEAVE ME!!!" she shouted, channeling every single healing spell she could think of into the deceased body of her sister in a futile attempt to bring her back, despite knowing full well that it wouldn't work.

Celestia promptly collapsed out of exhaustion, wailing in a heart-wrenching display of loss, embracing Chrysalis for what it was worth.

The streets of Canterlot were eerily quiet for the rest of the day.


Three days had passed since that fateful day.

Three days since Celestia holed herself up in her room.

Two days since she sent an expedition team to the badlands to retrieve this... 'Artemis', whatever it may be.

Two days since she herself saw Luna... or anypony else, for that matter.

The lunar Diarch had given a very similar reaction to Celestia's once she woke up. Luna had nowhere near the amount of guilt her sister felt, however.

While both Diarchs had isolated themselves for a yet undetermined amount of time, Princess Cadance had taken it upon herself to lead the day court in Celestia's absence. Fortunately, during these times, the main topics were much less about politics, and more about reconstruction and relocation.

As they had been gathering the various changeling casualties, they had come upon an outpost of sorts, which contained various ponies inside of green pods, seemingly asleep. Once released, they woke up with varying degrees of gaps in their memory. Some remembered everything up until a few days ago, others could recall events until a month ago or so. Luckily, none suffered from any sort of side effects, though the places they originally lived in varied greatly. They had almost all been sorted out so far, though.

A flash of light signaled the arrival of a scroll, which Celestia slowly picked up through levitation and opened. She barely perked up when she read it was the results of the expedition team she had sent.


She didn't care about the hundreds of thousands of bits they found.

She didn't care about the various artifacts they discovered.

...She kind of cared a bit about the guard whom got injured on certain traps, though.

Celestia's mood started to decline even further when no mention of anything linkable to 'Artemis' was noted as she read further and further...

Until she got to a certain line, at which point she froze at its contents, re-reading it repeatedly to make sure that she wasn't just seeing things, her eyes widening in shock, disbelief and hope.

'We found an intact changeling egg.'