• 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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Questions

"WHAT THE HAY HAPPENED?!" Rainbow demanded to nopony in particular. After she and Fluttershy had screamed their piece, Rainbow had dashed into Fluttershy's room, picked her up and flew to the library at speeds Twilight didn't think possible with their new wings. And she wasn't the only one. As soon as Rarity and Applejack caught their breath, they also ran to the library at speeds only matched by Rainbow after a Sonic Rainboom. Nopony could blame them.

Twilight completed her breathing exercises and took stock of her friends. Altogether they'd become taller and more slender than normal, with holes in their hooves, crooked horns and draconic eyes, completely covered in black chitin save the backplate. Rainbow Dash's backplate was blue like her coat used to be and her mane and tail were still prismatic. Her wings were large twin sets that shone like a rainbow when the light hit them as the former pegasus hovered in the air while she paced in agitation.

Curled up in the corner was Fluttershy, her backplate yellow and her mane pink. Her eyes were still turquoise and her wings now pink and shaped like a butterfly's. Pinkie Pie, who was breathing into a paper bag, had a backplate the same color as her old coat and her mane and eyes hadn't changed. Her new wings were round and pink with sparkles. Applejack had an orange backplate and golden wings tinged with red. Rarity's transformation was the most interesting. Her back plate was still white like her coat had been, only now it was slightly shaded grey with a mother-of-pearl sheen and her mane had become a silvery white. Her wings were angled and sparkled blue like her cutiemark.

And speaking of cutiemarks...they still had theirs. Despite the sudden change in species, their cutiemarks remained emblazoned on their flanks. And at that moment it served as a sort of reassurance that helped Twilight gather her thoughts back together and look at herself once more. Her own backplate was violet and her mane remained the same as well as her eyes. Her own wings were large and indigo in color. As she gazed at her wings, a sudden thought occurred. None of their wings were tattered like the changeling Queen's had been.

Suddenly, Twilight's eyes widened.

"Ah know that look Twi." Applejack's voice drew her back to the present. "You've figured it out, haven't ya?"

In an instant, Twilight found her vision crowded by her friends' hopeful faces. She backed up several paces. "I'm not so sure I've got it completely figured out-" She started.

"But you do have a cure, right?" Rarity asked desperately as she shoved herself back into Twilight's face.

"Now let's not get ahead of ourselves." Twilight said as she pushed her friend back. "It's a theory, but I'm almost certain that the changeling queen is involved somehow. It's possible that she might've even done something to us."

"But, you can reverse it, right?" Fluttershy asked hopefully. "You can fix this, right?"

"I don't even know what she did! Or if it's even reversible." Fluttershy wilted at Twilight's answer.

"Well then, I guess we'll just have to track that queen down and make her turn us back." Rainbow suggested, pounding her hooves together for emphasis.

"That's certainly an option." Twilight said in a calm placating tone. "But we wouldn't even know where to look and it's been months since the invasion. She could be anywhere by now. So for now, it'll have to be a long term goal."

"Fine." Rainbow folded her forelegs and slumped in disappointment.

"So what's tha plan till we get there?" Applejack asked.

"For starters, we're all going to take a deep breath and calm down." Twilight was surprised at how well she slipped into the leadership role. "Once we're done with that, we're sending a letter to Princess Celestia detailing our situation."

The others nodded. "And then what?" Pinkie asked.

"Then, we're going to tear through every book here in the library until we find something."

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Celestia inhaled and sighed. She really enjoyed these moments. After a long morning of ruling a country, it felt good to sit down and enjoy a peaceful lunch with her sister. As she sipped her tea, a movement in the corner of her eye drew her attention to the curl of magical golden smoke that heralded the arrival of a letter from her student. Once the scroll manifested, she deftly caught it in her magic and pulled it near to read. She always enjoyed reading Twilight's friendship reports.

As she read the letter however, her eyes bulged and she spit her tea right into Luna's face. As her sister read her letter, Luna summoned a guard with supplies to wash her face. By the time she was done, Celestia lowered her letter and stared ahead in thought.

"I may not know everything about modern table etiquette, but I am fairly certain that spitting one's drink into another's face is considered rude." Luna lightly teased. "Is there something troubling thy mind?"

Celestia didn't say anything, instead passing the letter to her sister to read. As she read, Luna's eyes widened in shock before gradually settling into a curious look. Finally she lowered the scroll and stared ahead as she tried to put the pieces together.

"How is this possible?" She finally asked. "The power and magic needed to completely change anyone's genetic makeup within any time frame should be impossible, even for us. How did the changeling queen accomplish such a task?"

Celestia shook her head. "I have no idea. But then we know very little about changelings, much less their magic. In any case sister, it would appear as though we have much work to do."

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Twilight sighed morosely and slammed her book shut before flinging it onto the huge pile of books. "That was a dead end." She said. "What about you guys?" Several sounds of denial followed by flying books was her only answer. She slumped to the ground in depression. Those were the last six books in the library.

"Guess we're just going to have to get used to this." Rainbow sighed as she sank to the ground.

"Don't count us out just yet." Twilight pointed out. "My library isn't filled with every book ever written. The Canterlot library, is one of the biggest and most grand libraries in Equestria. The Crystal Empire library is most definitely the oldest. And if neither of those is enough, there are dozens more in Equestria not to mention the lands beyond. I think it's a little early to be throwing in the towel."

As she spoke, Rainbow and the others found their spirits lift. "Yeah." Rainbow agreed with strength. "And let's not forget, if all that doesn't work out, we've still got a certain changeling queen to pound into the dirt. Heck, I may punch her just because she did this in the first place!"

Before anyone else could agree however, a loud belch was heard in another room. Every pony looked up as Spike entered the room, scroll in claw. Twilight instantly lifted it out of his claws, opened it and began to read.

My Dearest student Twilight Sparkle,

As you can imagine, my sister and I are deeply concerned about your newest predicament and would like to help you as best we can. And, given the nature of this matter, some discretion is most definitely called for. When you are ready, touch the seal and you and your friends will be teleported directly to Canterlot.

Hoping for safe travels to you all.
Celestia.

"So..." Twilight said at length. "What do you think?"

"Ah say we take her up on her offer." Applejack supplied. "Maybe she can fix this before we have ta go tearing through every library known."

"I know." Twilight said. "I'm just a little anxious about appearing before Celestia like this."

"Darling, we've already filled her in on the problem. The only thing that would surprise her if we showed up wearing polka dots and plaid." Pinkie giggled at Rarity's analogy and opened her mouth to suggest something before Rarity cut her off. "No we will not show up in polka dots and plaid."

Pinkie wilted a little. "Awww."

"Besides, if anyone can fix this, it's the princesses." Rainbow added confidently.

That gave Twilight some courage. "So we're all agreed?" Every pony nodded. Twilight took a deep breath and released it. "Well then, to Canterlot it is." She touched the seal in question and they all vanished, leaving Spike alone with every book in the library in a daunting pile.

The little dragon gulped before steeling himself and rolling up his metaphorical sleeves. "Well, may as well get started."

✴✴✴✴✴✴

The teleportation was rougher that it usually would be. Even when she felt like hurling, Twilight's analytical side idly suspected that it was because of the change in species. A species ponies knew almost nil about. After what felt like hours, but was in fact only seconds, Twilight found herself crumpled at the bottom of a tangled pile of limbs trying to not hurl on the carpet beneath her.

"TWILY!!" Before she could even begin to disentangle herself from her friends, she was nearly deafened by the sound of a stallion shouting out her nickname. Before she could match the familiar voice to its owner, Twilight found herself yanked out of the pile and pulled into a bone crushing hug that didn't help her teleportation sickness. It was all she could do to not throw up all over her BBBFF.

"It's great to see you too Shiny, but could you please let me go before I lose my lunch?" It was then that Twilight realized she hadn't eaten anything all day. Nevertheless, Shining Armor still released her and held her away from himself at arm's length. As Twilight gathered her senses and got her bearings, Shining Armor looked her over with scrutinizing gaze.

"Dangit Twi." He finally said. "When Celestia said you'd turned into a changeling, I almost didn't believe it. In fact, I initially thought it was some sort of prank. But she looked at me so seriously I knew it couldn't be a joke."

"Twilight!" Twilight found herself swept into a hug once more, only this time it was a bit more pleasant and less bone crushing.

"Hey Cadence," Twilight greeted as she returned the hug. "How've you been doing?"

"I should be asking you that!" Cadence exclaimed as she suddenly thrust her sister-in-law forward to look at her. "Are you feeling alright?"

"Sort of. You're not upset?" One of Twilight's fears had been how Cadence and Shining would react given their history with changelings.

"Why would I be upset?" Cadence asked.

"Wel...I thought you would freak because...you know, your history with changelings."

"Oh Twilight." Cadence pulled Twilight close to her chest. "We're not upset with you. This isn't your fault."

"She's right." Shining confirmed as he placed his hoof on Twilight's withers. "Cadence and I are big enough ponies to not discriminate changelings in general just because of what their queen did. Especially if that changeling is my LSBFF."

"Which is exactly why we are here." Celestia's calm voice cut in. Now that Twilight had the chance to look around, she found that they'd been brought directly to Celestia's private study. While she'd been speaking with Shining Armor and Cadence, Celestia and Luna had helped disentangle her friends and get them on their hooves. A couple had actually thrown up into bags that they'd had on hoof just in case.

As Twilight joined her friends to make sure they were alright, Celestia looked them over with a sad eye. Suddenly her horn lit up and the six changelings were hit by a brief wall of golden light that made them stumble back a step and a small pinch was felt by them.

"What was that?!" Rainbow demanded.

Celestia smiled apologetically. "Apologies my little ponies." She said. "That was a powerful scanning spell designed to examine your body and magic. Sorry about the pinch."

"Fascinating." Luna whispered as she went over the information on a screen that she projected out her horn. "We knew that a spell capable of transforming one species to the other would be impressive, but now that I look at it, I hesitate to even call it a spell."

"But you can fix it, right?" Pinkie asked.

"Hmmm." Luna hummed as she and Celestia examined the information.

"That was a yes right?"

"Pinkie, give them some time ta look at it." Applejack said. They sat there in tense silence for several minutes as Celestia and Luna examined the info with expressionless faces. Finally Celestia pulled back.

"Impressive." She said.

"That means you can reverse it, right?" Twilight asked. Both of the royal sisters frowned.

"The sheer complexity of this is staggering." Celestia explained. "At some point while the queen was here you were all infused with some form of magic that latched onto your DNA."

"Wait. Wouldn't we have noticed ifn' there was somethin' there?" Applejack asked. "Jus yesterday Twilight cast a magic scanning spell on all of us an we were all tested at the hospital. Neither found anything' unusual."

"Not very surprising since scanning spells are designed to find active spells." Luna answered. "Not to mention by then it had been in your system for months and had quite literally become part of your DNA. Essentially, nothing would show up as wrong when there isn't anything wrong to begin with."

"What do you mean 'nothing wrong'? I'd say there's something wrong!" Rainbow exploded before Twilight yanked her back. She shot Rainbow a hard look before turning back to Luna.

"You said that my scanning spell didn't pick it up because it wasn't active, what do you mean by that?" Twilight asked.

"Quite right Twilight Sparkle." Luna said. "As you well know, scanning spells are designed to locate active spells, but are useless against inactive spells. From what I've deduced, you and your friends were exposed to this oddly complicated magic that latched onto your DNA and remained inactive until something triggered it."

"How exactly does that work?" Applejack asked.

"Imagine holding a compressed spring tightly in your hoof." Luna explained. Applejack nodded. "Now when one removes their hoof, what would happen to the spring?"

"It would spring outta mah hoof." Applejack answered simply.

"Exactly." Luna said with a smile. "However, I still have no idea how the changeling queen could activate the spell remotely. But then again, this is an entirely new field of magic we've never seen before."

"Yeah yeah we get it." Rainbow groaned in boredom as she floated off the ground. "There was some sort of freaky changeling magic in our systems and it changed us. Puhleeze tell us you can fix it?!"

Luna looked at Rainbow sadly and bit her lip. "I wish I could tell you all that we can, but we cannot."

"WHAT??!!" Was the shouted response of every pony except Celestia and Luna.

"Aside from the fact that we have absolutely no idea how changeling magic works," Luna began to explain. "And this is no ordinary transformation spell. You have each been transformed on such a level that even your magic has been altered. We were very lucky to even catch a glimpse of what magic perpetrated this. If we were to even attempt to reverse this, none of you would likely survive."

"So...we're stuck like this?" Rainbow asked, sinking to the ground. Luna nodded, hating to be the bearer of bad news. Silence permeated the room as that news sank in for the six changelings. A minute later, they started freaking out. Fluttershy started crying into Cadence's shoulder while Twilight slumped to the ground and began rocking as she went through various magic calculations as she tried to salvage the situation. Shining Armor sat nearby, rubbing his hoof up and down her withers as he futilely attempted to calm her down. Even as a changeling, her mane still started to stick out in all directions.

Rarity was in a similar state as she kept going on about how bugs are and never will be in season and Pinkie Pie was breathing through her paper bag so fast they were afraid it would pop. Rainbow Dash ground her teeth and stomped the ground so hard it cracked.

"YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!?" She shouted. "The Wonderbolts are never going to accept a changeling into their ranks!!!"

"We're gonna be changelings fer the rest of our lives and THAT'S WHAT YER CONCERNED ABOUT!?" Applejack exclaimed. She was trying to keep calm for her friends, but she was quickly cracking as well.

As Celestia and Luna attempted to comfort them, the door burst open and a unicorn rushed and saluted. "Your highness, there appears to be-" The guard halted the moment his eyes landed on the scene before him and crouched into a defensive position, his horn lighting up. "Your highnesses, please back away from the changelings."

Cadence only pulled Fluttershy closer while Shining moved nearer to Twilight. Celestia stepped forward and spread her wings in a protective manner in front of the changelings who didn't seem to notice the intrusion/threat. "At ease, Star Lance. These changelings are not a threat."

Star Lance hesitated. "Are you certain?"

Celestia glanced at the still gibbering Twilight and her equally inconsolable friends. "I am certain." She confirmed.

Star Lance straightened and defused his attack spell. "Very well, your highness. You of course realize we'll have to scan all of you for any influences."

"Of course Star Lance." Celestia replied evenly. "But for now you came to report something..."

"Of course your highness." Star Lance replied, having remembered the reason he'd come here in the first place. "Princess Celestia, there seems to be a large number of changelings gathered just outside of Canterlot."

That got everypony's attention fast. Celestia frowned.

"How many?" She asked.

"Much much more than were present at the invasion." Star Lance reported grimly.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Kormac stood atop a cloud overlooking Canterlot and stared down at the city with a confused frown.

"Commander, are we certain that our new queens are here?" Forzik asked. It was a redundant question of course since the Hivelink clearly told them they were here. Kormac didn't bother answering Forzik since he knew that the younger changeling was only asking because he was nervous at the thought of being near the Equestrian capital. Instead he focused on trying to figure out what was going on.

Since the initial burst of shock, distress and panic, their queens' emotions had been fluctuating from distress, to hopeful, to gradual despair, to soaring hope once more. Now they felt crushing hopelessness so intensely it was enough to make him and the rest of the hive fidget anxiously. Every part of Kormac screamed to rush to his Queens' aid, and he wasn't the onlyling feeling like that. But this was Canterlot. And not just Canterlot. According to the Hivelink, their queens were in Canterlot castle. The home of the Celestial Sisters. Kormac could tell they would need to tread lightly.

~I'm going down there to retrieve the queens.~ He called out over the Link. ~All those who wish to accompany me, say aye.~

Kormac received more than a thousand volunteers. It only took a moment for him to pick out a few. No need to antagonize the ponies. They only wanted their Queens. And by the Empress, they were going to get them.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Celestia frowned. True to Star Lance's report, there were indeed much more changelings than the invasion. But for some reason they weren't attacking. Instead, they were clustered together just outside of the city. Some sat on clouds while others milled about in the sky.

"Dangit that's alotta changelin's." Applejack muttered. "Why are they here?"

"Maybe the queen thinks that with us as changelings, we'll be out of commission." Rainbow suggested before snorting. "As if. After a day like today, I'm ready to kick some changeling flank."

"Even if that were so, it's not much of a battle strategy." Twilight remarked. "They aren't even attacking. They're just sitting there. Also if the changeling queen had this many changelings at her disposal, then why didn't she bring them to Canterlot in the first place?"

As she spoke, a hooful of the changelings broke off from the main group and began to approach the city. "It appears as though you may get your answers." Luna commented as the group landed.

✴✴✴✴✴

Kormac and his chosen changelings landed in the courtyard in front of the castle and were immediately surrounded by guards. Glancing around at the ring of armed ponies, he quickly located a pegasus who appeared to be in command and took a step towards him.

"Soldiers of Equestria," he spoke in a commanding tone that surprised the ponies. "I ask that you stand down and allow us passage."

The soldiers bristled and the pegasus that the command had be directed at snorted. "As if we'd ever let you bug brains past." He retorted.

Kormac felt nothing but respect for the soldiers. Had he been asked by one whom he'd perceived as his enemy to stand down while they entered his hive, he would've denied them. Though probably not in the way this pegasus had. Respect or no however, Kormac and his fellow changelings still had a mission.

"As much as I respect you and your soldiers for doing their duty, we still have a mission to complete and we refuse to be denied. So once again I ask that you stand down and let us pass."

"And what kind of mission is that huh?" The pegasus countered. "The conquest and enslavement of ponykind? Go fly back to your stinking bug queen and tell them she'll never get Canterlot."

~Calm yourselves brothers.~ Kormac mentally spoke as he felt the others bristle at the insult leveled at their queen. ~We do not wish to start a fight unless necessary. ~ The others relaxed a little but a couple still eyed the guard. Kormac however was a little too busy analysing that grain of info. Insult aside, the pony had told him to fly back to his queen, meaning they had no idea what they had and Kormac wasn't planning on letting them know until he was certain his queens were safe.

"What we do is our business and our business alone." He stated calmly, though given the current situation, it was a flimsy reason.

"That ain't how it works buddy." The pegasus growled as he jabbed his spear towards Kormac. "Either you and your buddies leave." The guard briefly flicked his spear, gesturing towards the swarm. "Or we force you out." The other guards pressed closer, swords, spears and spells at the ready.

Kormac stood firm as his brethren pressed closer in a defensive position. "We are not leaving till we get what we came here for." He reinforced his statement with a stomp of his hoof.

The pegasus charged at him, spear at the ready. "THE HECK YOU ARE!!!" He shouted as he raised the spear to bring it down on Kormac's head. Kormac's horn flashed and he easily deflected the blow with a shield.

"If you wish to bring battle, then we shall fight to defend ourselves." He said calmly. ~Do not harm the ponies.~ He commanded his changelings. ~Defensive moves only. We have to trust that the rulers are more understanding than their soldiers.~

~YES SIR!~ Came the simultaneous reply from the others as they fended off their own guards.

✴✴✴✴✴✴

Celestia sighed as the 'negotiations' dissolved. The group had watched and listened to the whole thing. Luna watched with interest as the changelings remained in a defensive circle, incapacitating any guards that charged them with minimal injury to the opposite party. Shining Armor had face hoofed at Lt. Wildfire's conduct during the talk, though he didn't fault the pegasus. Given the way changelings had been introduced to Equestria, any pony would be a little on edge. Especially the Royal Guard.

Twilight for her part was curious about the lead changeling. He stood tall and spoke with a calm placating tone, though his stance was a little guarded. And judging by how the others seemed to look to him, he must've been someone they respected or was in a position of authority. Or both. But the thing that piqued her interest the most was how they had reacted when the Lt. insulted their queen.

'They won't give much of a reaction when they themselves are insulted, but insult the queen and they look ready to fight.' She noted. 'Interesting. Agh! I wish Spike was here to take notes!'

"So what do you think Twi?" Rainbow asked as she hovered at eye level. "We going down there to kick some changeling flank or what?"

Twilight shot her friend a glare. "Rainbow! Weren't you paying attention at all?" She demanded.

"Kinda." Rainbow said with a shrug. "What I do know is the lings want something here in the castle but they ain't getting it."

"Let us not jump to conclusions just yet, Rainbow Dash." Luna cut in. "I say we go down there and cease this battle before it gets out of hoof. Then ask the changelings what they wish of us."

"Agreed." Celestia said and the entire group began moving towards the door leading out to the courtyard.

"And if they step out of line, I can punch them right?" Rainbow asked.

Celestia chuckled a little. "Very well."

"Good." Rainbow said with a wicked smirk. "I've been dying to punch something all day." Despite the situation, everyone chuckled a bit. When Shining Armor pushed open the door leading out to the courtyard. Luna was the first out the door, followed by the others.

The moment they entered, the lead changeling glanced up and froze, dropping his shield. Seeing this, a unicorn guard began to take the initiative, only to find himself frozen in the grasp of blue magic.

"CEASE THIS MADNESS IMMEDIATELY!!!" Luna thundered in the Royal Canterlot voice. And just like that, time seemed to freeze. The royal guards that hadn't been incapacitated immediately snapped at attention while the changelings' gazes swiveled in Luna's direction.

"That is much better." Luna said a little proud of herself as she looked over the guards. "At ease, and tend to the wounded." As the guard followed her orders, Luna turned back to the changelings, only to find that they hadn't even moved and remained staring at Luna. No, not Luna. Behind Luna. Or to be more specific, Twilight and her friends, who were quickly becoming uneasy with the stare down.

"Uh...hi?" Twilight waved a hoof. That snapped them out of it instantly.

"Ah, apologies for our rudeness." The lead changeling quickly said and they moved from their defensive position and bowed before the six bewildered transformed ponies and spoke simultaneously.

"We are forever at your service, your Highnesses."