• Published 12th Apr 2015
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What Didn't Happen: After - Zeg



A Princess and a Queen share the same one dream, but on nights separated by over six centuries worth of time. Is the dream a warning of what is yet to come?

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Heart Shards

What Didn't Happen: After

by Zeg

Chapter XIII – Heart Shards

Princess Cadance invited the group to join her for dinner in her own private dining room that evening. There they remained long after the meals were gone and the table had been cleared as the evening gave way to night. They spoke about the coming danger to their twin timelines, and also of the very strange situation that Chrysalis and Twily had found themselves in, something that Sombra seemed to be keenly interested in.

“I’ve never even thought of the possibility of a merging of minds,” Sombra said as he stared thoughtfully from across the table at Twily.

Twily had seemed to take a sudden interest in the tablecloth, only glancing up now and then to check if Sombra was still looking at her.

Twilight noticed and, from her seat next to Twily, she lifted her wing to lay it across the smaller unicorn’s back. “Well, it’s happened. So, what are your thoughts?” she asked, directing her question at Sombra.

Sombra closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair for a moment as he let out a thoughtful hum and crossed his forelegs over his chest. “I suppose if it were to be possible, that a changeling would be the most likely candidate, since they can mentally contact each other and share thoughts and memories. However, what I know of changeling abilities is somewhat limited to only what has been explained to me. Even if I did cast the curse that first created their kind I’m hardly an expert on their actual physiology and thaumaturgy. But, perhaps it is Chrysalis’s rather unique changeling physiology that has allowed young Twily to reside within the recesses of her mind these last few years. Chrysalis is, after all, one who was once also an alicorn, and alicorns tend to be rather mysterious creatures themselves. As far as I know, Chrysalis being a former alicorn turned changeling makes her one of a kind.” He paused for a brief moment with a thoughtful look. “I’m sure it is a unique situation that has never happened before.” He then looked to Twilight. “You did say that she was incapacitated before the switch happened.”

Twilight nodded. “Yes, by accident.”

Sombra stood from his seat and started to pace back and forth near the side of the table as he spoke to no one in particular. “Chrysalis fell unconscious at that moment, and it so happened that Twily here awoke first, assuming control of their shared mind and body and essentially swapping roles. For whatever reason, Chrysalis hasn’t reasserted control over her own mind and body since,” he said, stopping momentarily as he gestured with a hoof in a circular motion. He furrowed his brow briefly, then turned back toward the table and approached the side where Twily was sitting. “Tell me, are you able to communicate with her in any way?”

Twily bearly shook her head. “It’s sort of like I can just feel that she’s there, but it isn’t something that I can really explain. I don’t hear her. I don’t know if she’s even awake. I wasn’t for the last few years. But, a few times I’ve remembered something that I’m sure is from her life and not mine, though when it happens it actually feels like the memory is mine.” She let out a frustrated sounding sigh. “I know that doesn’t make much sense but I don’t know how else to describe it. And these memories that come from Chrys, they don’t seem to last long. They fade away and I’m just left with the feeling that... there was something I knew and now it's gone. And... well, at first, those memories hurt when they came to me. A lot.”

Sombra furrowed his brow as he let out a low hum. “I once got the chance to speak with a changeling at great length about how the hive mind works and I must say, they described it as being quite different from your experience. It’s possible that your mind was in some way rejecting these memories to protect itself.” He turned away and returned to pacing in a small circle near the table as he muttered mostly to himself. “Yes, there is no telling just how intertwined their minds must be at this point, being that it has been so long. The task of untangling such a mess would be incredibly tedious at best.” He then happened to glance back over toward the table, and noticed the dejected look on Twily’s face. “Oh! My apologies. I have a tendency to voice my thoughts.” He approached Twily once again, sitting next to her and clasping one of her hooves in his. “I have never heard of a condition like yours, so all of my rambling theories are just that, theory. Rest assured, I will lend whatever abilities I have to find a way to help you both.”

Twily gave him a thankful smile and nodded.

“Somba is a very resourceful unicorn. There’s a good chance that he’ll find something,” Cadance said from her seat at the other end of the table. “He did solve our weather problem.”

Sombra smiled and bowed his head slightly toward her. “The least I could do, Princess.”

Cadance squinted her eyes at him and pursed her lips, giving him a disappointed look.

Sombra cleared his throat. “Cadance.”

She gave him a bright smile.

“However, it does seem that the fractured Heart shards have given us another puzzle to solve.”

A puzzled look crossed Cadance’s face for just a second before a flash or recognition. “Right, you did mention something like that earlier.”

“Yes,” he said as he took his seat at the table once again. His magic took up a rolled up scroll that was sitting on the table. “Of course you already know that I’ve been researching the lethargy that has been spreading among the population recently, however, our guests likely do not.” He laid out the scroll full of notes on the table and looked up to the others around the table. “Recently, many of our crystal ponies have brought forth complaints of feeling tired, even if they’ve done absolutely nothing strenuous. Very recently, within the last two days, there was a sudden increase in just how many seemed afflicted and how severe the symptoms were. And it seems that this only affects the crystal ponies. That is the one thing in common among them.”

“So, you think you’ve found the cause?” Cadance asked.

Sombra tapped one of his hooves on the open scroll. “Once I confirmed that it was only crystal ponies that were affected, I made the connection almost immediately and decided to retrieve the Crystal Heart’s shards from the vault and test them. The shards are drawing power once again. There does seem to be a connection between them and this malady.”

Twilight gestured to the open scroll on the table. “May I?”

Sombra nodded to her.

Twilight lifted the scroll in her magic and began to quickly read over Sombra’s notes. He had already managed to perform highly detailed measurements on the amount of thaumic power draw that the shards were absorbing, and also had notes on the ill effects that the crystal ponies had been experiencing as a result, from many complaints of simple drowsiness throughout the day to some even feeling physically weakened. “Why would the remains of the Crystal Heart cause an illness?” she asked as she glanced over the scroll at him.

Sombra hummed to himself in thought. “Perhaps calling it an illness wouldn’t be exactly correct. When the Heart was whole, it would gather power willingly given by crystal ponies and use that power to protect the surrounding land. Now, it seems, the shards are somehow starting to draw power once again, but instead of collecting what is given willingly by the crystal ponies, they are simply drawing power from all those nearby, willing or not.”

Twilight looked back down at the scroll, staring at the data but not immediately seeing a pattern to it. “Why would the shards do this?” she wondered aloud.

Sombra shook his head. “Don’t know. I only just confirmed the connection between the two earlier this evening. But, the power is going somewhere. Somewhere other than the shards themselves. Of that much, I am certain.”

Cadance let out an exhausted sounding sigh and shook her head. “That doesn’t sound good at all.” She looked at Twilight. “I know this isn’t the reason why you came here, but I’m starting to think that your vision leading you here might not be a coincidence. What are the odds that in all of time you’d end up back here at the same moment we discover this problem just by random chance?”

Twilight glanced from Cadance back to the scroll. “You have a good point.” She rolled the scroll back closed in her magic and placed it back upon the table in front of Sombra. “Unfortunately, these visions are usually like a puzzle that’s missing half the pieces. We had no idea why we needed to be here, only that we should be. This could be a reason why we’re here, but we won’t know for sure until the moment comes.”

---

After offering to show Twilight the Crystal Heart shards, Sombra had led the group from the private dining room to a rather normal looking hall in a separate wing of the castle. Each of the closed doors along the hall were much like the rest, except for one. This one doorway stood out not due to its appearance, but due to the fact that there was a pair of guards in full crystal armor flanking each side of it standing at attention.

“Just a moment,” Sombra said as he stepped up to the door. His slightly curved horn lit with a deep violet glow, and a similar glow encased the entire doorway. There was an audible snapping sound at the same moment that a dull flash of dark violet light cascaded away from the door down the halls as a magical enchantment was dispelled. Sombra’s magic then took hold of the door’s handle and pulled the door open before he stepped inside.

Twilight stepped just inside the room right behind him and glanced around. The office was crowded with shelves full of haphazardly stacked books and scrolls, and tables that were covered from corner to corner with various apparatuses, stacks of written notes, and disorganized piles of books. Even much of the floor was covered with loose pieces of paper and stray books that hadn’t found their way back to a shelf in some time, judging by the noticeable layer of dust upon some of them. A desk piled the highest with papers, scrolls, and books sat against the right side wall and had the only sitting place in front of it, a single blue velvet cushion.

Twilight felt a natural urge to start organizing the chaotic mess she found surrounding her. Luckily, she had gained more than enough self control over the centuries to resist acting upon those urges.

Sombra cleared his throat. “Please pardon the mess, I don’t often have visitors.” He trotted through one of the few clear paths along the floor that weaved through the stacks of books and piles of papers to a table at the back wall of the office that seemed a bit more cleared than the rest.

As Twilight followed behind him, she noticed a sensation running along the back of her neck, causing the hackles to stand on end. She could feel a surge of magic in the air.

“Here they are,” Sombra said as he stood next to the table, gesturing to an array of a few dozen crystal shards of various shapes and sizes lying out upon a violet velvet cloth.

“I can feel it.” Twilight stepped up to the table, looking down at the shards. “There’s definitely a thaumic power draw coming from these, but it doesn’t feel like the power is collecting here. It feels like it’s just flowing to them.”

“And going somewhere else,” Sombra said with a grunt.

“But where?” Twilight asked, furrowing her brow.

“We don’t have all of the shards here.” Sombra picked the shards up in his magic and carefully started bringing them together. They quietly clinked against one another as his magic fitted them together as best he could into their original form, making out most of the shape of a heart with a large section of the upper left side missing.

“That’s a big chunk of missing crystal,” Moondancer said, speaking up from where she was standing a few steps back near the center of the room. Twilight glanced over her shoulder, seeing her standing next to Twily who was curiously looking around the office. Cadance had opted to stand just outside the doorway, as there wasn’t much room left for them to all crowd into the cluttered office together.

“What concerns me most is who or what may have found the missing pieces.” Sombra used his magic to spread the shards back out in the air. “Since these shards once all came from a single crystal, they can be identified with a thaumic rezonance spell.” He demonstrated the spell, casting it upon one of the shards in the group. As it began to glow and emit a quiet hum, the shards surrounding it all began to mimic this, glowing and humming with the same color and pitch. “They all respond to the same thaumic frequencies and in the same way.”

Twilight recalled the spell from long ago when she had helped in the search for the heart fragments. She knew that the thaumic frequency spell wasn’t just a neat trick used to find bits and pieces of shattered crystals. The glowing and humming was a result of power flow between the shards. “Someone could use that spell to draw the power from these shards to the missing ones.”

“From a short distance, yes.” Sombra cancelled the spell and laid the shards back out upon the table. “With the shape these shards are in, it should only be possible to draw energy from one shard to another from no more than a few steps away. Possibly from the next room over under the best conditions.”

“So if something is using the missing shards, it should be nearby.” Twilight glanced around, though she didn’t actually expect to find anything.

“And, the shards would normally be glowing.” Sombra tapped the edge of his hoof against his chin as he gazed at the shards laid out upon the table. “Unless someone has found a very interesting trick that lets them siphon power unnoticed from further away. I can think of a few possibilities, but it still wouldn’t allow them to draw the power from just anywhere, and the flow really shouldn’t be as strong as what we’re seeing. They’d still need to be relatively nearby and have quite a powerful catalyst to have this much of an effect.”

Twilight looked back at Sombra. “Within the city?”

He nodded. “Most likely, though I have no proof of that.”

“Would explain why we were led here,” Twilight said as she glanced back over her shoulder. She just so happened to catch a glimpse of Twily stifling a yawn with her hoof and smiled. “Moondancer, why don’t you and Twily get some rest. It’s been a pretty long day. I think I’m going to stay here a bit longer but I won’t be far behind.”

“Has been a long day,” Moondancer said as a slight yawn snuck into her voice as she spoke. “What do you say?” she asked, looking to Twily.

Twily nodded, blinking her eyes tiredly.

“Alright, I think I still remember the way to the guest rooms.” Moondancer turned around and stepped out of the office into the hallway with Twily following just behind her. She stopped just outside, glancing up to Cadance. “Down this way, isn’t it?” she asked, nodding her head down hall off to her right.

Cadance smiled and nodded. “The rooms should be ready for you.”

“Alright, we’ll see you in the morning then.” Moondancer waved back to Twilight before her and Twily walked off down the hall together.

“Good night, you two,” Cadance said as she watched after them.

Twilight stepped out into the hall next to Cadance and watched the two unicorns until they disappeared around a corner at the end of the hallway. She then glanced briefly back into Sombra’s office, noticing that he seemed to be probing at one of the shards with a spell while a quill in his magic was scratching away at a scrap of paper on the table.

“So, you and Sombra seem to get along well,” Twilight said as she turned her attention to her other side, looking at Cadance.

A warm smile appeared on Cadance’s muzzle as she looked around Twilight into the room. “Things would definitely be a bit more hectic around here without his help.” However, her smile slipped away as she looked back to Twilight. “It did take a while before ponies started to openly trust him, and there’s likely going to be some who never will. But, he’s always working tirelessly to make up for his past mistakes. He’s earned his title. I often have to remind him and others that he was also a victim of the dark power that controlled him.”

Twilight smiled as she looked into the office once more. “I’m happy for him. The Sombra from my Equestria didn’t get the same chance.”

“He’s earned his happiness.”

“What about you?” Twilight asked, looking back to Cadance.

“Pardon?” Cadance asked, tilting her head a bit.

“Have you been happy?”

Cadance blinked once, her face otherwise devoid of any emotion. “Why wouldn’t I be?” she finally said with a light chuckle. “I get to be the princess of the Crystal Empire.”

Twilight shook her head. “That’s your duty. Life needs to be about more than just your responsibilities.” When she saw the confusion come back to Cadance’s face, Twilight pressed further. “So, no special somepony or anything like that in your life?”

Cadance’s eyes suddenly widened. “Oh! Uh, well, we don’t have that sort of relationship. Not that he would be a bad choice but... uh,” she said as she cast a quick glance toward the office. She then let out a sigh. “Honestly things have been so busy I haven’t really had much time to think about things like that.”

A smirk had slowly crept its way across Twilight’s muzzle as she listened to Cadance talk. “Well, I didn’t mention Sombra specifically, but that would be an interesting choice,” she said as she raised an eyebrow.

Cadance opened her mouth as if she were going to say something in response, but only a small, strangled squeak managed to come forth. A light blush began to show near the tips of her ears and upon her cheeks, darkening her already pink coat closer to a rosy red.

Twilight tried but failed to suppress a giggle. “Sorry,” she said as she worked to get the giggles under control. She laid one of her wings across Cadance’s back and leaned in a bit closer to her, speaking in a near whisper. “You do at least consider him to be a friend, right?”

“Of course I do. I’d be lost without his help,” Cadance whispered back. She cast a quick glance over Twilight’s back toward the office and let out a quiet sigh. “Although, we really don’t spend time with each other outside of official business.” She paused for a moment with thoughtful look and furrowed her brow. “I can’t actually recall if we have just spent time together as friends. I guess we haven’t?”

“I thought that might be the case. A word of advice from another princess who usually spent way too much time on her responsibilities when she was younger. Time has a way of slipping by unnoticed.” Twilight raised her brow slightly as she stared into Cadance’s eyes, giving her a serious look. “Don’t let it.” She then folded her wing back to her side and turned to walk back through the open office door.

Cadance stood out in the hall for a moment afterwards, muling over the words of wisdom that she’d been given. She chuckled quietly and shook her head before speaking quietly to herself. “Never thought she’d be the one giving me relationship advice.”

---

After a short and quiet walk through the halls of the castle together, Moondancer and Twily had found themselves standing within one of the guest bedrooms.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m beat.”

Twily tiredly nodded her head at Moondancer’s comment all while she was covering a yawn with a hoof. She didn’t know why, but she’d started feeling really tired as the night had dragged on, especially once they had left the dining room.

Moondancer chuckled quietly, but when no other answer came from Twily, she asked, “You alright? You’ve been really quiet tonight.”

“I’m okay,” Twily said somewhat lamely as she blankly stared forward at nothing in particular. When she glanced over and saw Moondancer staring back with an unconvinced look, she admitted, “Well, I’m a bit tired. And, I guess I’m a little worried too.”

“That’s understandable.”

“I just hope I’m not wasting our time.”

Moondancer frowned and furrowed her brow. “What? What do you mean?”

Twily let out a loud huff. “Our whole world is in danger of ending and Chrys can’t help because of me.”

“Hey,” Moondancer took a few steps closer until she was standing just in front of Twily. “I thought we talked about this already.”

“I know,” Twily said. She cast her glance off to the side as she absentmindedly ran one of her fetlocks over her other foreleg. “I just want to be able to help but I feel so useless. I don’t like being another problem to solve.”

“Well, I don’t see it like that, and I’m sure that none of the princesses see it that way either.” Moondancer stepped around beside Twily, leaning against her and laying one of her forelegs over her shoulders. “Besides, if you hadn’t given your magic to Chrysalis a few years ago, things probably would have gone really badly for... well, everything. You already saved us all, so now it’s time for us to return the favor.”

A quiet moment passed before Moondancer happened to glance over at a small clock sitting upon a nightdesk near the bed. “Oh wow, it’s creeping up on midnight. We should get some sleep.” She looked back at Twily, and gently rubbed her shoulders with her fetlock. “Maybe some sleep will help you feel better.”

Twily managed a weak smile. “Yeah, you’re right.”

Moondancer gave Twily a quick hug before heading for the bedroom door. She stopped just outside the room looking back in. “I’ll be in the room right next door. Anything happens, just give a shout, I’ll be here.”

“Okay. Thanks. Good night, Moondancer.”

“Good night, Twily.”

As Moondancer left, she pulled the door closed behind her with a quiet click, leaving Twily standing there in the silence of the room alone with her own thoughts. She stood there for nearly a full minute staring blankly at nothing, her hooded eyes blinking slowly now and then. Her mind felt like it was moving at a snail's pace and she wasn’t sure why. She finally shook her head and glanced around the room. A queen sized bed framed in a crystal material similar to the rest of the castle’s walls sat centered against the far wall, flanked on each side by matching mahogany nightstands. Two wall lamps covered with off-white lamp shades, one above each of the nightstands, provided the lightsource in the room. A narrow corner shelf holding about a dozen books was attached to the far corner of the room’s walls right next to a silver framed, red velvet sofa. The walls were decorated with various pieces of silver framed artworks, but other than that, there wasn’t much else within the room to look at. Twily noticed a couple doors on the wall to her right. She walked over to them, taking a quick peek behind each one, finding one leading to a sizable bathroom and the other to a closet with little of interest inside.

She felt physically exhausted, as if she’d just ran for hours, but her mind was swimming with a whirlpool of thoughts and a strange mix of emotions. Was it fear? Worry? Maybe a bit of both? She wasn’t entirely sure, but it left her with an almost sickening feeling in her chest. Whatever it was, she was sure that the anxiety was going to make sleep a bit elusive in this unfamiliar place, despite how dead tired she felt.

A quiet knock at her bedroom door caused her to flinch, sending her heart racing in her chest. The veil of exhaustion that had seemed to be looming over her dissipated all at once as she stared wide eyed at the room’s door.

“Are you still awake, your majesty?” a muffled, unfamiliar femenine voice called from the other side of the door.

Twily hesitated, and for a few seconds she wondered if she should try to call out to Moondancer for help, but she didn’t want to needlessly cause a scene.

“I brought an extra blanket. The nights in the Frozen North can get a bit cold,” the voice called from the other side.

Twily let out a heavy breath and rolled her eyes. She was getting herself worked up over nothing. It was likely one of the castle maids. Afterall, if it wasn’t, why would they bother knocking? Twily walked up to the door and, after just a short moment of hesitation, she cautiously opened the doorway just enough for her to look outside with one eye.

Out in the hall she spotted a mare with a glistening cream colored coat and curly two tone fuchsia mane and tail. She was fully clothed in a black with white frill maid dress. Upon her back laid the aforementioned blanket. She smiled and asked, “May I come in and place this on your bed for you?”

Twily stepped back and pulled the door open, allowing the maid to enter. The maid trotted past her with a quick thank you and quickly got to work, spreading the blanket out upon the bed. Twily stuck her head out into the hallway long enough to look around, finding the halls to be completely empty.

“See anyone out there?” the mare casually asked as she worked to smooth out the wrinkles in the blanket.

Twily’s ears shifted back at the odd question. “Uh, n-no?” she asked as she hesitantly turned back to face the maid.

“Good. I wasn’t followed then.” The maid finished up her task and walked back around the bed. She stopped near the foot of the bed, seeming to be waiting expectantly for something. As the silence grew more awkward, she finally spoke up, quietly asking, “Um, should we close the door so we can talk?”

“Why?” Twily backed up a couple steps until she felt her tail brush up against the wall. “Who are you?”


The maid seemed shocked. She began to take a step closer but stopped and quickly pulled her hoof back when she noticed that Twily drew one of her forelegs back against her chest guardedly in response. “Don’t you recognize me, my Queen?”

My Queen? The two simple words stood out in Twily’s mind. It was different than how all of the ponies had been typically addressing her. The only other creature that she had heard addressing her that way since she had woken up was Graphite.

Twily’s eyes widened.

The confused mare tilted her head. “My disguises never fooled you before. I thought you’d be able to tell. Has it really been too long?”

Twily could hear her heartbeat drumming away in her ears. There was no doubt in her mind, this mare must have been a changeling. However, she seemed rather friendly, if not a bit submissive. Maybe she was one still loyal to Chrys? But if so, why had she followed her here? Perhaps she could keep up the facade that she was actually Queen Chrysalis and get some answers.

“I-I asked you a question. Who are you?” Twily asked. She mentally cursed at her failure to keep her nervousness from slipping into her voice. “If you try anything suspicious, I’m calling for help.”

The confused look on the mare’s face was quickly replaced with panic. “No! Wait, please. It’s me, Arista.”

“... Arista... Arista?” Twily mulled over the name. Something about the sound of it actually did feel familiar, but she couldn’t quite figure out why. It was like the answer was right there, but every time she tried to focus on the thought it darted away to another corner of her mind to hide from her.

The mare cast a cautious glance at the open doorway and then side stepped toward the wall, keeping herself out of sight of anyone who might be passing through the halls. She closed her eyes, and then a ring of green flame quickly flickered over her form. There standing in place of the mare was now a changeling wearing the same maid outfit, one with a short, curly two tone mane and tail of fuschia hair and a dust-grey carapace. She opened her eyes, revealing cat-like irises that were close to the same shade as her hair, not the compound eyes that Twily had expected to see. She wasn’t just a drone.

New memories flooded to the forefront of Twily’s mind all at once. She knew this changeling. She was one of her Coven, one of her most trusted leaders that she’d left to guard her hive during her absence many years ago. “Arista!”

A happy smile appeared on the changeling’s muzzle and her wings buzzed excitedly at her sides beneath her outfit, however her smile very quickly vanished when she heard the sound of approaching hoofsteps from the hallway outside. Both Arista and Twily turned toward the open doorway just as Princess Twilight poked her head in.

“Twily? Who are you talking... to?” Twilight trailed off as her eyes met with that of a changeling maid.

A few silent seconds passed as they stared at each other.

Arista opened her mouth to speak, but only managed a short “Uh—” before letting out a quick ‘eep’ when Twilight activated a binding spell that froze her in place.

“Wait! I know her,” Twily said as she quickly put herself between Arista and Twilight. “She’s a... a friend?” Twily found that while she did remember Arista clearly now, she knew she had very clearly not recognized her only a moment ago. These must be Chrys’s memories.

Twilight silently looked from Twily to the changeling and then back. “Are you sure?” Twilight had considered for a second that the changeling maid could actually be employed at the castle, one that had migrated there from the Canterlot hive, but Cadance hadn’t mentioned anything about any of her staff being changelings.

“I... yes. I remember her,” Twily said as she furrowed her brow. “She’s one of my Coven. Like... like Graphite. She’s one of the good ones! Please, let her go.”

Twilight seemed reluctant to release her spell at first, but Twily was doing a very good job of giving her the sad little puppy dog eyes. She let out an exhausted sounding sigh. “Alright, if you insist,” she said as she allowed the spell to dissipate.

“Thank you,” Twily said, and turned toward Arista, who seemed a bit shaken up. Her ears were pinned back flat against her head, and she was keeping her eyes mostly on Twilight while she remained huddled next to the wall. “It’s alright Arista. I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you at first. It’s just... just been a really long time since we’ve seen each other.”

“Why is she here?” Twilight asked, and then added, “In your room, in the middle of the night.”

“I don’t know yet, she just arrived a moment ago.” Twily reached out and laid a hoof gently against Arista’s shoulder, drawing her attention. “Arista, why are you here?” When she saw Arista’s eyes glance back to Twilight once again, Twily said, “It’s alright, she’s a friend too. She was just trying to protect me.”

Arista let out a long sigh, and seemed to visibly relax a bit. “I’m sorry,” she said as she hung her head. “I really did try to follow your last order as well as I could, but, we were attacked, and we failed to protect your home.”

Order? What order? Twily realized that this would likely be something that Chrys would know, but from what she could recall at the moment, Chrys hadn’t seen Arista since before she became trapped in the mindscape, which would have been.... “Sixteen years,” Twily said quietly.

Arista nodded her head. “Yes, it’s been a long time since you gave the order to protect your throne. We kept your home safe, waiting for you to some day return once you were ready. But, we... I failed.” Arista seemed to cower a bit lower as she looked down at the ground floor and quietly said, “Your throne has been shattered.”

Another memory came into focus in Twily’s mind, that of a throne made of porous green and black rock. Her throne, the throne that sat at the center of the wasteland known as the changeling kingdom. “How? Arista, who did this? Who attacked you?”

Arista looked up, directly into Twily’s eyes. “She called herself Amber.”

Comments ( 2 )

curious how Amber is and what destorying that throne does.

Oof. I had forgotten the context of the story and started again from the beginning, then put that away too. I'm now re-reading What Didn't Happen. Look at what you made me do! :twilightsheepish:

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