• Published 26th Mar 2015
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Six Queens - Princess OtakuGeek



The Mane Six suddenly find themselves changeling queens ruling over Chrysalis's hive.

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Rainbow Dash's eyes cracked open and she let out a moan. 'Ugh, what happened?' She groaned then turned her memory to last night. She remembered she had been reading the newest Daring Do book when heart wrenching sadness hit her with the force of a train and suddenly she was crying herself to sleep on her couch. If the past two weeks had been all about some pony dying, then they probably died last night. She sighed and got up. As she prepared and ate breakfast Rainbow Dash noticed something else. She wasn't depressed anymore.

'That's it? Huh. Wasn't too bad.' She stretched her wings out only to find them incredibly stiff and sore. 'Agh. Guess I must've slept on them wrong. Nothing a little flying won't cure.'

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Chrysalis had been put in a clear crystalline green coffin for her burial. As the drones lowered her to her resting place, all was quiet. There was nothing to say that hadn't already been shared across the link. She looked so peaceful she could be sleeping; but with her gaping absence in the Hivelink, no one was fooled. Once the gravestone was in place, the changelings began to gather everything they could. They already had a general direction. It was faint, but growing stronger by the second. The presence of their queens shone like a beacon on the Hivelink, and they were going to meet them no matter what.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Applejack woke to a piercing headache like something was trying to drill into her skull. And it wasn't just her head; her entire body was stiff and sore. She moaned and thought back to last night. When she'd suddenly been assaulted by that wave of intense sadness, she hadn't been too far from home. After shedding a couple of tears, she pulled it together just long enough to get back home, run upstairs and bury her face in a pillow before releasing the floodgates.

'At least I don't feel depressed anymore.' She thought, trying to put a positive spin on what had been the worst two weeks of her life. Now if only she didn't have this headache.

For a moment, some part of her wanted to lay there all day, but she pushed that thought away. There was work to do and she was already behind due to her depression. Pushing herself upright, she ignored her spinning head as she made her way out of her room on stumbling hooves. While she walked down the stairs, Granny Smith looked up from her pot of apples and oats and frowned at her grand daughter's unsteady hoofsteps. Big Mac and Applebloom looked equally concerned but none of them said anything as they settled at the table.

"Applejack." The mare in question looked up from her oats and at her grandmother.

"Yes Granny?"

"You alright there?" She asked in concern. "Y'all look a little unsteady there."

"Ah'm fine. Jus' a little headache. Should pass eventually."

Granny Smith stared at her in concern. "Applejack, maybe y'all shouldn't be buckin' today."

"WHAT?! But what about mah chores?!"

"Big Mac an' Applebloom can take care of them. I however am a mite more concerned 'bout you."

"It's jus' a small headache." Applejack defended. "Like Ah said, it'll pass."

"When ya come stumbling in like that, ah'm inclined ta believe it's a mite bigger than ya make it ta be."

Applejack blushed a little. "Uh, maybe." She admitted.

"Mmhmm." Granny hummed firmly.

"But how can ah jus' lay in bed when everypony else is workin'?"

Granny's expression softened. "Applejack honey." She said as she put a hoof on her grand daughter's. "There ain't no shame in admittin' ya can't do something. Remember that Applebuck season when Big Mac got himself hurt and y'all had ta tackle those fields alone? Y'all pushed herself hard day and night and all it brought was grief."

Applejack blushed when she remembered that Applebuck season. She'd launched Rainbow Dash into the library. Nearly poisoned half the town. And had started a bunny stampede. Not her finest moments. In the end she gave in and let her friends help her and the rest of the season had ended nicely.

Applejack squirmed in her seat. "But ah'm not doin' mah part!"

"Oh Applejack. Y'all can always get on yer chores later. But fer now, Ah want ya ta rest."

Applejack hesitated a moment longer before capitulating. "Alright. Ah'll do it for you Granny."

Granny Smith smiled. "That's all ah'm askin'. Now finish up yer breakfast then Big Mac can help ya up tha' stairs before gettin' on tha' chores."

"Eeyup." Big Mac agreed.

Applejack wanted to argue that she didn't need any help getting upstairs, but couldn't find the energy. Once her oats were done she let Big Mac lead her up. She almost fell back down twice and, by the time they were in the hallway, she was sweating and leaning on her brother for support. She was out like a light before she hit the pillow.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

"Are you sure you're alright?" Sweetie Belle asked her sister, remembering last night's events. Rarity had cried all through the night, leaving Sweetie to coax her upstairs to her room before serving herself some soup.

"Of course I'm fine." Rarity said as she worked. "What makes you think I'm not?"

"Well, you did cry an awful lot last night."

"Yes." Rarity replied a little briskly but without hostility. "I remember."

"What was that all about anyways?"

"I have absolutely no idea." Rarity said. "All I know is that I was suddenly feeling like I was being hit by a freight train of sadness. The kind of sadness one feels when a loved one dies."

"And your sure you don't need to see the doctor? Or Twilight?"

"In due time." Rarity soothed the filly. "But for now it can wait a little. Right now I need to make some head way on these designs. I've been putting them off for too long thanks to that little bout of depression."

Sweetie didn't say anything. Instead she sat and watched Rarity work. As she watched her sister work, she squinted and leaned forward as though she noticed some small detail. After a bit, Rarity found herself growing uncomfortable under the scrutinizing gaze.

"Sweetie Belle, is there something wrong?" She finally asked.

"Hmmm. I could be wrong, but you look a little darker than usual."

"What!?" Rarity exclaimed and lifted a hoof to examine. Her sister was right. The skin under her coat was indeed darker than usual and she swore she saw indents.

"And is it me, or are you a also bit taller than usual."

Rarity snapped her head up, immediately noticing her subtly increased height. Suddenly Rarity's head spun and darkness began to push in around the corners of her vision. As she moved towards her bed, she idly thought about how fortunate she was that that she had the foresight to work in her bedroom instead of her workroom. As the darkness crowded her vision, her last thought was, 'at least I made some good headway on the design.'

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Twilight had never heard of a magic malady like this. After her night of tears, Twilight had spent her morning sifting through all her books on magic maladies, curses and more.

"Hey Twi!" Rainbow announced her presence as she burst in. Twilight slammed her book shut and turned to the pegasus. There wasn't anything helpful anyways.

"Hey Rainbow." She greeted. "Did you enjoy your book?"

"Didn't get far unfortunately." Rainbow admitted a little sadly. "Do you have a book on wing pains?"

Twilight cocked her eyebrow a little surprised. "Any reason why?"

"I slept on my couch wrong and woke up with stiff wings. I thought some flying would fix them up, but they're just worse."

"Shouldn't you just talk to a doc- wait, you slept on your couch?"

"Yeah, I was kinda sitting there reading my book when suddenly I felt so sad I cried myself to sleep right there."

"You too huh?"

Rainbow's eyes widened. "You felt it too?"

"Pretty much. And I don't doubt that the others did too."

Rainbow gasped. "Fluttershy! Sorry Twi, but I gotta-"

"No need to apologize. I completely understand. Just let me know how she is later, Kay?"

Rainbow grinned. "Thanks Twi! You're the best!" And with that, she was gone in a prismatic blur.

Sighing indulgently, Twilight began to turn back to her books when she heard a second familiar voice shout out her name. "Hey Twilight!"

Twilight jumped at Pinkie's sudden appearance right next to her. "Hey Pinkie. What can I do for you?"

"No idea!" She said cheerfully as she bounced up to the shelf.

"Uh, what?"

"I have absolutely no idea!" She repeated.

"Then why are you here?"

"Because my ears are twitchy and my knee is pinchy and that usually means go see Twilight."

"You have a combo for me specifically?" Twilight asked a little skeptically.

"Uh-huh. At first I thought it was pie day since my hooves are sore and my joints are achey, but then I remembered my Pinkie Sense doesn't have sore hooves and achey joints."

"Shouldn't you go see a doctor then?"

"I normally would, but my Pinkie Sense says I need to be here. By the way, why is the room spinning?"

"Spinning?"

"Yeah, I mean it feels like everything is spinning around and around like a Merry go Round, only different."

It was then that Twilight saw that her friend was unsteady on her hooves and instantly stepped close so Pinkie could lean on her as she guided her up the stairs. The moment Pinkie Pie was next to her bed, she blacked out and collapsed on the mattress. Just as she tucked her friend in however, the room began to spin as darkness began to press into her vision. She only had enough time to call out for Spike before fainting.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

"Fluttershy, open up! You in there?"

Fluttershy set down her cup of tea and walked towards the door. Just outside door stood Rainbow Dash giving her a studying look before looking into the house though the wide open door. On the table was a teapot and a cup of tea. And all over the floor were used tissues. Rainbow turned to Fluttershy and nodded.

"So you've been crying all night too." She stated.

"How did you know?" She asked as she let her friend in.

"Cause I was crying too. Also I talked to Twilight and she was crying too. I think it's safe to say the others did too."

"Oh my." She whispered as she closed the door.

"I know." Rainbow agreed. "So, are you okay?"

Fluttershy smiled and nodded. "Mmhmm. Angel helped me calm down and get into bed. Then he finished feeding the others. Would you like some tea?"

"Usually I'd say no, but why not? Sure. I'd like some tea."

As Rainbow Dash settled at the table, Fluttershy went into the kitchen to get a second cup. When she came back, her friend was furiously scratching her back and wings.

"Rainbow, are you okay?" She asked in concern as she set the teacup down.

"At this point, I'm not completely sure. When I woke my wings were sore. I thought I'd slept wrong and that a little bit of flying would do me some good. Except it got worse and now I'm itching like mad. I think I might need to see a doctor."

As her friend explained, Fluttershy poured her some tea. When she finished, Fluttershy leaned to the side and spotted some blue feathers on the ground behind Rainbow. "You're also dropping some feathers." She observed quietly.

Rainbow whipped her head around and cursed at the discarded feathers. "Dangit! Scratch that, I definitely need a doctor!"

"You wouldn't mind if I came along too, do you?"

Rainbow gave her a quizzical look, bordering on concern. "Why? Everything okay?"

"Since this morning, I've been having a headache. At first it was small, so I thought it would go away. But it's been getting worse and worse and now the room...is...spinning."

"The room is what?" Was all Rainbow got out before Fluttershy's head dropped to the table. Alarmed, Rainbow Dash started to surge forward only to stagger as she was hit with a wave of vertigo. "Shy!? You...oh...kay?" Was all she got out before collapsing to the floor.

Angel bunny stared at the two passed out pegasi in concern before turning to get backup. He didn't see the feather that detached itself from Fluttershy's wing and floated to the ground.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Granny Smith rubbed a cool wet cloth across Applejack's face. After she'd finished cleaning up breakfast, she'd gone upstairs to check on her grand daughter. When she got upstairs, she found Applejack tossing, turning and sweating buckets. A quick touch to her forehead told her that Applejack was also running a fever. She'd then gathered some clean cloths and a bowl of cold water. As she ran her soaked cloth across Applejack's forehead, Granny Smith paused when she felt something different. Lifting the cloth, she saw a lump in the center of her grand daughter's forehead. And it was growing.

'Well that's different.'

✴✴✴✴✴✴✴

When he'd heard Twilight call his name, Spike immediately rushed to her side just in time to catch her as she fainted. Since her bed was already occupied, Spike moved Twilight to the guestroom bed. As Spike mopped up Twilight's forehead, he noticed that her horn was growing longer and more twisted.

'That can't be good.'

✴✴✴✴✴

As Sweetie Belle tended to her sister, she saw that her coat was coming off in chunks, as the skin beneath it was getting harder and darker. Not to mention the white coloration that was creeping up her mane from the roots and the indents in her hooves that were getting deeper and deeper.

'Oh, this is bad.' She thought as another chunk came out. 'Rarity's going to freak when she wakes up.'

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Angel bunny gently wiped Fluttershy's forehead. After her and her friend had fainted, the rabbit had gotten Mr. Bear to help him tuck Fluttershy into her bed and Rainbow Dash on the couch. Now, the animals were dealing with two feverish pegasi shedding feathers everywhere. With almost all of her feathers gone, Angel was more than a little concerned for Fluttershy. And now both of their coats were going.

'Whatever's going on, it better stop.' His plea was in vain.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Rarity stirred and blinked her eyes open. Her room was darker than she remembered. At first she thought it was later in the day than when she first fell asleep, but then she saw a sliver of sunlight stretched across the room and deduced that the curtains had been drawn. The next thing that she saw as she pushed herself upwards was Sweetie Belle smiling at her like she'd just been caught with her hoof in the cookie jar.

Since there was a lack of smoke or fire alarms and the room was still in one piece, Rarity decided to file away her greeting for later since there were a few more pressing matters to attend to. As she climbed out of bed, there was a stiff soreness all over but it dissipated as she stretched herself.

"Hey Rarity." Sweetie said. "How do you feel? Did you sleep well?"

"As well as one can. How long was I out?"

"A few hours." Sweetie answered quickly.

"Hmm. That long? Well, I do believe that you're right. I probably should go see the doctor." She moved towards the door, only to be intercepted by a grinning Sweetie Belle.

"Oh, there's no need for that anymore."

"Sweetie darling, I may not be a doctor but even I'm sure that anything that knocks me out for a few hours is reason for a visit to the hospital."

"But what if what you had ran it's course while you were asleep and now you're all better and don't need to go to the hospital?" Sweetie Belle suggested with a smile.

Rarity leaned down and studied her sister, not noticing the abrupt difference in height. Her eyes narrowed at the tiny beads of nervous sweat for a minute before she spoke. "Sweetie Belle, is there something I ought to know?"

Sweetie briefly considered lying, but as she stared into those firm eyes, she knew she couldn't lie to her sister. Her smile dropped and she shuffled her hooves as she tried to think of a way to put it tactfully.

"Well, um, while you were asleep, you had a fever and sweating."

"Is that why you don't want me to go out? Sure I'll need to take a shower and brush before going out, but if that's it-"

"That's not it exactly." Sweetie interrupted. "While you were out, you kinda changed."

"Changed? Changed how?"

Sweetie bit her lip. Here was the most delicate part. "Um, I think you'll need to look in the mirror for this."

Rarity cocked an eyebrow and walked towards the mirror as she talked. "Very well. But I highly doubt I could've changed so....dramatically."

Rarity froze the moment her eyes landed on her refection and Sweetie Belle pulled out her earmuffs in preparation of what was to come.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Twilight groaned as she came to. The was a sore stiffness in her limbs, but that was quickly disappearing. 'Something feels different.' She thought. For a moment she was confused when she saw she wasn't in her bedroom, but that quickly melted away when she recognized the guest room. 'Of course. Pinkie's in my bed. Spike must've brought me in here. Speaking of Pinkie....'

She began to push herself up so she could check on her friend when she felt Spike's claw on her shoulder. "I'd stay still for a bit if I were you." Spike said in a worried voice.

"Spike." She said before yawning. "How's Pinkie?"

Spike fidgeted. "She's....fine. Bout as fine as you are."

"Oh good." She sighed and began to get up again only to be gently pushed down by Spike once more. Twilight quirked a eyebrow. "Spike I'm fine now. Just need to check in with the doctor and everything will be okay."

"I'm not sure if I'd use that word just yet."

"Why? And was the guest room bed always so small?"

"Not exactly; and you may need to stay sitting for a moment." Spike then pulled out a tall mirror with the back faced to Twilight. "Just try not to freak out." Was all he said before he flipped it around. Twilight froze at the reflection and Spike jammed ear plugs into his ears.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

In Twilight's bed, Pinkie twitched before leaping out of bed with a shout. "CUPCAKES!"

"Who!?" Pinkie turned at the startled hoot and spotted Owlowiscious flapping his wings to regain his balance on his perch.

"Oh hey Owlowiscious!" Pinkie greeted him with a smile. "Sorry I startled you. Were you waiting for me?"

"Who!" Came the reply as the owl shook his ruffled feathers.

"Well good morning to you! Or is afternoon?"

"Who."

"That late huh? Welp, I better get going!" Before she could trot out however, her face was suddenly filled with feathers as Owlowiscious flew in front of her face and herded her back into the bedroom.

"Who! Who! Who!"

"Hey! What's going on?"

"Who."

"Well why can't I leave?"

Owlowiscious flew to the mirror that Pinkie was certain hadn't been in the room when she passed out and tapped on the glass insistently. "Who!"

"You want me to look in the mirror?" Pinkie asked.

"Who." Owlowiscious confirmed.

Pinkie Pie shrugged and began to walk over to the mirror. "Well okay then. But I'm not sure what could be so urgent I can't.....leave." Pinkie Pie froze at her refection and Owlowiscious immediately evacuated to the next room.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Applejack woke to find her headache gone. There was a dull throbbing and she felt a little stiff, but the throbbing was quickly fading and there is no better cure for soreness than a good stretch and a day's work. As she stretched, she noticed a couple of new details in her room that hadn't been their earlier: her curtains had been drawn and there was a bowl of strange orange liquid at her bedside. But she didn't dwell on these differences and grabbed her Stetson of the bedside table before going downstairs.

As she walked down the stairs, she banged her head on the first floor. Applejack frowned. Wasn't she always just below that? No matter. She'd think about that after chores.

"Applejack?" Applejack paused her journey to the door and turned to Granny Smith.

"Oh hey Granny." She greeted, not noticing the odd change in her voice. "Ah was jus' going out ta get started on my chores since mah headache is gone now."

Granny Smith didn't say anything at first. She just stared at Applejack for a time and it was then that Applejack noticed the hoof mirror her grandmother was holding glass down against her chest, making a part of her feel uneasy.

"Come here, Applejack." The older pony finally said before leading Applejack into the living room and settling into her rocking chair with the mirror pressed into her lap. "Sit." She said in a commanding tone. Applejack obeyed without question.

For a time they sat there, Applejack on the floor with Granny Smith in front of her studying her closely. As the seconds ticked by, Applejack began to squirm uncomfortably before finally speaking.

"Uh Granny, is somethin' wrong?" The question seemed to snap Granny Smith out of it and she sat back as though considering what to say to her grand daughter. Finally she picked up the mirror and held it, glass side down, towards Applejack.

"Y'all need ta look in here." She finally said. Applejack grasped the mirror, but before she could flip it, Granny continued. "But remember, no matter what you see in that mirror, you'll always be an Apple and my grand daughter."

Applejack pondered these words and for a moment was afraid to look. But she needed ta know the truth, so she steeled herself, flipped the mirror around, gazed into it and froze. Nothing could've prepared her for this. She was dimly aware of Granny Smith raising her hooves to her ears.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Fluttershy woke to find Angel sitting on the bed near her and waving. \Hey there.\ He said in bunny. \How are you feeling?\

Flutter smiled at his concern. "I'm feeling much better. Thank you for asking." Seeing that she was now in her own bed, Fluttershy guessed that Mr. Bear or Rainbow Dash had helped her into bed. "Rainbow Dash!" She suddenly remembered. The last thing she remembered was fainting while Rainbow was there.

\She's okay.\ Angel quickly said. \She fainted after you did, but she's doing fine now.\

"Oh dear." Fluttershy said as she began to get up from her bed. "I should go check on her."

\Uh, I think you've got bigger problems.\ Angel said as he pushed against her to prevent her from going anywhere.

Fluttershy cocked and eyebrow at him. "What do you mean?" She asked.

The white rabbit reached down the side of the bed and pulled up a mirror. \See for yourself.\ He said as he offered the mirror. The moment Fluttershy looked in the offered mirror she stiffened as Angel began jamming cotton in his ears.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Downstairs on the couch, Rainbow stirred, turned and nearly suffocated herself in the fur she jammed her muzzle into. After coughing and heaving, she finally steadied her breath and took a look at her surroundings. She was in Fluttershy's cottage, on her couch with a blanket wrapped around her. For a moment she wondered why she was in Fluttershy's cottage when she suddenly remembered what happened.

"Fluttershy!" She immediately jumped up....and rammed herself into a wall of thick fur. 'No, not a wall.' She thought once she regained her bearings. 'A bear.'

There, right next to her blocking her path was a huge brown bear. "You must be Mr. Bear, right?" She asked.

The bear snorted and nodded.

"So you're Fluttershy's friend, right?"

Another nod.

"So, Fluttershy's okay, right?"

Yet another nod. Rainbow sighed in relief and dropped back to the couch. The bear gave a throaty roar that got her attention and fumbled with something too small for his paws. Rainbow Dash watched curiously, as the bear finally managed to get a handle on a small hoof mirror and offered it to her. Rainbow Dash picked up the mirror but didn't look.

"What's this for?" She asked the bear. Mr. Bear roared again and pointed to the glass.

"What, you want me to look at the glass?" A nod. Rainbow shrugged. She already knew she was awesome. The second she glanced at the mirror however, her train of thought exploded as she froze, staring at her reflection. Mr. Bear ducked and put his paws over his ears while the other animals evacuated.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

All over Ponyville and Sweet Apple Acres, six simultaneous screams rocked the foundations of all the buildings and several timber wolves howled at the sound.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Hundreds of miles away an entire hive was immediately staggered or dazed by the torrent of emotions that poured into them through the Hivelink, the primary emotions being shock and distress. And it all poured in from their future queens, which could mean only one thing: they were in trouble. The hive doubled their speed. It was now imperative to get to the queens.