• Published 17th Apr 2015
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Reformation of the Hives - law abiding pony

War has ravaged the changeling jungles while Queen Twilight Sparkle and Queen Rainbow Dash remain aloof of the conflict. However they will be thrust upon center stage, whether they like it or not.

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1: Rebirthday

Parties in Canterlot were hardly rare events, and when Pinkie Pie was in town, the weekly party count usually doubled. The Sparkle Manor was as lively as ever with one this very night. The large backyard and much of the manor itself was crowded with ponies and changelings alike as everyone sang to the playfully embarrassed lavender matriarch standing near the pool.

“Happy Re-birth day, to you!” They all sang with merriment filling the air along with spilled champagne.

“Happy Re-birth day, to you!” Rainbow Dash had a foreleg wrapped around her beloved sister swinging Twilight Sparkle back and forth with the rhythm of the song.

“Happy Re-birth day, dear Twilight/Momma!” Giggles spilled across the crowd between ponies and drones.

“Happy Re-birth daaaay, toooooo yoooouuu!” Cheering heralded multiple corks being launched from their bottles coupled with thundering hooves and buzzing wings in applause.

Pinkie Pie rolled out a massive three meter cake with big bold letters ‘Happy 12th re-birthaversery!!!!’ “Heeey everybody! Let’s carve this cake!”

Twilight snickered and took the large knife in her magic and cut the first piece. Barely a second after she had her plate, ponies and drones alike raced forward to devour the confectionary delicacy that only Pinkie could make.

Twilight and Rainbow Dash hastily made off with their slices before the throng of drones could crush them. The pair found a quiet corner to eat. “Twilight, I gotta say, for a birthday party, we’ve done more talking than dancing.”

“But I need to talk,” Twilight replied with a goofy imitation of Rarity’s daughter.

Rainbow retorted with mumbled sarcastic nonsense. She spotted Night Light squeezing his way through the crowd with a middle-aged unicorn mare in tow. “Twilight, honey! Even with you being as tall as you are, it’s nearly impossible to find you. I had to wait for the song to single you out.”

The aging stallion roped both queens into a hug to which they eagerly returned. The trio had caught up with each other earlier that night, but neither matriarch was going to pass up an embrace from their father and adopted father, respectively.

“Natural camouflage, daddy,” Twilight joked while flicking her mane over. She had been letting it grow longer than usual to match Rainbow Dash’s nearly meter long mane and tail. “Can never be too sure if the PCE is still hanging around.”

“Well they would be foalish indeed to attack tonight with the princesses here.” Night Light looked over to his female companion and waved a hoof at her. “Uh, I actually have someone special to acquaint you with. Please, let me introduce my new marefriend, Azure Skies.”

Rainbow noticed Twilight’s aura flicker wildly at that. Her parents’ divorce had been hard, and she was sure that Night would have wallowed in misery alone with his children living so far away from home. He has to grieve the hard way. Props to him for burying his past.

“Ah, hello, your highness,” Azure babbled, clearly uncomfortable around royalty. “I have to say it is a profound honor to meet you.” The poor unicorn wasn’t exactly sure what to do with a changeling diarch. Do I bow, curtsy, kiss her hoof, what?! Falling back on what she knew, Azure simply stuck her hoof out to shake. “I know I can’t replace Velvet, but I hope I can bring happiness to the family, if, well you know…”

Azure wilted at her own clumsy words. Twilight simply smiled and shook the embarrassed mare’s hoof. “You seem like a good mare, Azure Sky, I hope father and you make each other happy.” She noticed Ratchet hovering nearby waiting for the conversation to end.

Night Light smiled broadly at his daughter’s approval. The way things looked last time I was there, I lost all hope of getting the real Velvet back. Casting the sour thought away, he refocused on the present. “Ah what a time to be alive, when a father needs his daughter’s approval for courting another. I didn’t think I was that old just yet.” He knew full well about the Day of Mourning, and how Twilight had grieved for the loss of Velvet’s love, but he still wanted to keep his daughter as happy as possible.

With the ice broken, all four of them peeled out laughter, giving Twilight the perfect excuse to telekinetically nudge Ratchet into the conversation. “Since he’s here,” Twilight started with a sly wink to the confused consort, “you might as well meet my Prime Consort, Ratchet Altair. Ratchet, this is my father’s marefriend, Azure Sky.”

Quick on the uptake, Ratchet shook Azure’s hoof who had absently left it up after Twilight let go. “A pleasure to be sure.”

Rainbow Dash decided to split her awareness to puppet a drone back in Phoenix’s Roost and started up a Hoofball game. If my body’s going to be stuck here talking instead of actually partying, then I’m going to put my brain somewhere else. As long as I stick around Sis, she won’t mind.

Rainbow didn’t get far into her hoofball plans when Iron Fist all but barged his way into the conversation. The old minotaur was as craggy as ever, and had aged well, revealing only a scant few grey hairs. “There, you are, Queenbow!” Rainbow gave a fang filled smirked at the pet name.

The conversation ground to a halt as Iron Fist let the head of his wooden mallet drop to the soft grass. “The time for talk is over. Now we must spar or else I’ll go mad with these docile pony customs.”

“Ha!” Rainbow came forward while eagerly buzzing her wings. “Anytime, anywhere. I’ll put you on the ground in nine seconds flat.”

“Ah, so you’ve improved. Good! My son shall assist me in battle.” He let off a deep belly laugh at the prospect of having a good fight. “Since your heir being groomed into flabby administrator, bring one of your warrior brood instead. It shall be a glorious battle, one worthy of my changeling friends and allies!”

“No doubt.” Rainbow didn’t even need to do anything more than mentally ping her sister to say her temporary goodbye. To the rest, she merely nodded before following after Iron Fist <Hey, Thunderfury! Bring your shields and report to me, we’re going to have a little fun with bull one and bull two.>

The drone had been in the middle of watching a group of griffins, sphinxes, and a few ponies play poker when the call came in. Much to his chagrin, Thunderfury had been banned from playing due to his hive mind and other drones blanketing the room. <Now that’s the kind of fun I like.> He double checked that his shields were still on his back before taking off. <I’ve always wanted to get some combat data on minotaurs.>

As Rainbow Dash and Iron Fist began to exchange bruises for the next hour, Aegis and Blitz were exiting one of the showers after a round in one of the guestrooms that the drones had decided to make a temporary ‘love palace’ for the party’s duration. Blitz was completely out of breath and was leaning against the cool wooden walls after the hot shower with her royal counterpart. <Wow, Aegis, when did you learn to do that with your fingers! By the First Mother I thought I was going to die!>

Thanks to Rainbow’s intense training regimen, Aegis was only slightly out of breath, so she was able to stand unassisted while flexing her flesh and blood hands. <Rasua showed me some moves. You’d be surprised what kinks that girl has.>

While Aegis was completely at ease resting on two legs in public with ponies, Blitz was far less keen on it. If either changeling princess dropped back onto four legs they’d easily be as tall as Luna.

As if Aegis would let me stay on four hooves around here with an excuse like that. It took her a moment to fully comprehend Aegis’ comment. “Wait, what? You bedded with Rasua?! But I thought she was…” Blitz groaned as her tired brain failed to find the words. “What do mammals call it?”

“Straight,” Aegis answered while joining her counterpart in slipping to vocalization. “Sadly I did not. Buuut, Thunderfury did, and I got both his and Rasua’s consent to watch his memories of their little get together sessions to get pointers.” Aegis rubbed her fingers together, reminding Blitz of the last several minutes.

Twilight’s teachings had given Blitz more composure than Aegis, so she was able to pass the gesture off with an amused snort. “Where is Rasua anyway? I haven’t seen her all night.”

Aegis’ eyes lost focus as she communed with the changeling half of the security detail. The act left Blitz to pass the time by looking out of the window towards the collection of Royal Guards and Jevruun Vrunningee watching over the guests. The years had seen the Equestrian military being armed with a number of infantry weapons including the new clockwerk repeating rifles. The entire weapon was covered in multiple failsafe inscriptions to make sure only the designated owner could fire it. It’s not perfect, but it’s worked so far. Plus the refit of Equestria’s military has us rolling in bits.

Aegis perked up, catching Blitz’s attention. “She’s over with Uncle Shiny talking about the Crystal Empire.”

“She’s not a very discreet spy is she?”

Aegis just shrugged. “As if our ambassador in the Federation mainland is any better. It’s how nations play the game.”

“It’s a credit to your mothers that you understand the International Game,” a voiced called out from the behind Aegis. Both princesses turned to find Cadence with a pleased expression and an aura to match. “You two are lucky to have Twily and Rainbow for both mothers and mentors.”

Aegis grinned and glomped her aunt-in-law while Blitz sheepishly twirled a lock of her prismatic mane with a finger. Crud. If she could sneak up on us, we need to stop vocal-talking about that stuff. “Hey Aunty Kay. Life in the Empire as calm as usual?”

Cadence used her magic to smoothen Aegis’ rowdy mane. “You mean boring? Yes, though I don’t know if I should be glad or sad about that.”

Aegis gave one last squeeze before letting go. “Well you’d be far less bored if you and Uncle Shiny finally had a foal or two, ya know.”

It was an old argument, and Cadence had little hope to pass it off smoothly. “Tell that to your uncle. Part of the problem of being an alicorn is that I can’t use the biological clock of menopause as an excuse.”

“I’m sure he’ll come around,” Blitz offered placatingly. “Maybe he’s just scared of the idea after looking at all seventy one thousand offspring between Aunty Twilight and momma. At least if you count the nymphs and eggs.”

Cadence chuckled at that before an idea struck her, causing the pink mare’s grin to turn sinister. “I might just have to threaten him that I’ll get rebirthed into a queen to make my own foals if he doesn’t give me some soon. Do you have any idea how awkward it is to be the Alicorn of Love without any children of my own?”

“Probably as weird as a queen with no drones to her name,” Aegis replied flatly. She completely missed Blitz’s chiding glare and was oblivious to Cadence’s flustered state thanks to the alicorn’s careful composure.

“Well I’m sure I can get him to come around soon enough” Cadence said to shift topic. She cantered over to try and locate her husband in the crowd. “You two aren’t that far off from going off on your own.”

Aegis grinned wickedly as she looked down at her belly mentally prodding it to hurry up and start making eggs.

Even Blitz was being swayed by the royal hormones flowing through her, and had to work to keep eggs off the brain. “Yup, Resta says we should start oviparing in a couple of weeks or so. She’s convinced that being overdosed on love all the time and our proximity to,” she paused to glance conspiratorially around before leaning into Cadence’s ear, “the Tree,” Aegis leaned back to speak normally. “Is accelerating our overall development faster than Momma Twilight intended.”

Cadence couldn’t stop herself from laughing at that. “What a crazy idea. Being overdosed with love is such a bewildering concept.”

So is living without the song of the hive mind, Aegis mused defensively. Thankfully even she had the presence of mind to keep that thought to herself. “Our queen-mothers have been stockpiling building materials and bits. We’re already breaking ground, but we’re in no rush to get everything going right away. Even if we started laying tonight it would still be another three years before we had any adult children.”

“And another year or so after that for them to be educated enough to start running a hive,” Blitz stated matter of factly.

Cadence was still bewildered by the whole thing. Twilight’s rebirthday was a clear indicator on how old Aegis was. She’s not even a teenager, and Aegis is going to be a ruler soon. Not to mention Blitz is even younger. “Don’t you feel like you should have more time just by yourselves?”

The question baffled the princesses. Logically, they knew about the pony life cycle, but they didn’t truly understand it. Blitz glanced at her mildly confused counterpart before mirroring that expression to Cadence. “What do you mean?”

Now it was Cadence’s turn to feel slight embarrassment, but she still wanted to ask. She uncomfortably cleared her throat before continuing. “From what I understand, normal changeling princesses require something akin to three decades to become queens. You’re barely getting a third of that between you.”

Aegis wasn’t exactly sure how to answer that, but Blitz used every ounce of Twilight’s tutelage. “Well, I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, but we’re changelings. We’re all so different from each other it’s a wonder we can even consider ourselves one single species. What’s normal for another, would be weird for us.”

“I see,” Cadence conceded. “That must be a real pain for cross hive medical treatment, if such a thing happens.”

Aegis snorted derisively. “I doubt that’ll ever happen outside of our mothers’ bloodline. Well, the Home Guard don’t count. The war down there must be winding down by now, one would think, so who knows.”

Rasua sat at the bar with Shining Armor downing shots of whisky with the best of them. The unicorn was right there with her, matching her drink for drink. “I must say, what is it with griffins?!” She roared with inebriated delight. “Did someone pluck a sphinx in half and plant an eagle in the hole?!”

Shining’s shot glass wavered erratically in his magic. “I bet the gardener who pulled that one off was drunker than we are!”

The pair laughed uproariously with Shining ordering another round for the both of them with a wobbly shake of his hoof to the nearest bottle. Rasua absently watched the pegasus barkeep refill her shot with drunken enthusiasm. “Hey I just had a thought.”

“Careful now, those hurt ya know?” Shining laughed at his own joke, but Rasua was too drunk to process it.

“Do griffins lay eggs like other birds?”

Rasua’s head hung low as she stared at the blank faced Shining Armor who was trying to remember. “Ya know, I’m pretty sure they do.” He wildly swung his head around to look at her. “Hey, you both have kitty cat back halves. Do you lay eggs?”

She waved an angry finger at him, but it looked comical if nothing else. “It’s not a kitty cat, it’s a proud feline warrior body! And no, we don’t lay eggs. I can’t think of any cat things that do.”

“The griffins do,” Shining deadpanned.

Rasua threw her hands up in exasperation. “What?! You gotta be crazy! Why would the bird half make the mammal back half lay eggs?!”

“Well, ask him then!” Shining Armor pointed to the figure behind Rasua. She turned around to find an immaculately dressed male griffin who was glaring at them with insulted fury the likes of which had never been seen in the aviaries before.

“So,” Rasua slurred, “what’s the deal with you and eggs huh?”

“You drunken louts are appalling.” He snorted derisively and turned his beak up. “I half expected this from you arrogant sphinxes, but you, Prince Shining Armor, I expected better.” With a loud harrumph, the griffin stormed away from the bar.

A flash of dread passed over the unicorn after he noticed griffin’s the ceremonial saber. “I think that was General Razor Beak. Oh that won’t be fun.”

“Ha ha! Prepare the royal couch!” Rasua belted off snorting laughter at her drinking buddy’s expense.

Cadista sat on a stone bench near the far corner of the hedge fence at the back end of the property. The area was much quieter, and the din of the hive mind was more than enough to keep her company. She was more than happy to let her daughter have her day with all of her pony family. The former queen was a little shorter now, about the size of a consort, and she now had the round irises and glowing eyes to match any drone. With her ability to lay eggs removed, she no longer had any expansionist desires, nor the queenly pheromones to match. All in all, the only real thing she kept of her royal blood was her gender, ability to resist mental domination, and her psionic prowess.

Yet despite her desire for a quieter corner to rest after hours of intermingling in party, she was not alone. Arya had come along with a scant few Tea’la. The plant ponies were still sluggish with integration into such a technological society, but celebrations were universal. Arya spotted the false-consort and approached Cadista with her wooden wings wrapped around several drinks.

“Hail, friend Cadista. Why you seek escape from celebration? This is grand time for living, yes?”

“For many, I’m sure,” Cadista replied calmly. Twilight was never able to smoothen the translation spell due to how different a plant brain worked. For the moment though, Cadista suppressed a sigh, refusing to let her mood fall. “But not especially for me. My daughters have become strong and independent of me. My life’s goal is complete.”

“You use strange ideas.” Arya thrust a drink ladden wing at the former queen. “Life work always there. If you done with one, get another one.”

Cadista genuinely chuckled and took a couple of drinks off of the plant pony. “I am old, my leafy friend, all I’m good for these days is being the wise elder.”

Arya gave her the narrowed gaze of a pony who had a little too much alcohol, or in her case, too much sugar. “You say that as bad thing. Is good thing, very, very important that old teach young.” Cadista wordlessly nodded at the point. “And on other leaf, life purpose not need to be better than old one. Just a new one.”

“You have a way with words, you know that?” Cadista had listened to Twilight and even Rainbow Dash say the same thing multiple times, but there was something about the green and brown Tea’la that always made those thoughts weigh heavier than usual. “So what should I do, besides advise my daughters?”

“My no know. I Tea’la, Druid Guardian of the Tree, not wise one. You know what you should do, but no do it. So you need do it or you stay sad ever more.”

“I’ll think on it,” Cadista replied automatically as she did to Twilight and Rainbow whenever the topic came up. For a moment, it seemed that Ayra would leave Cadista to her painfully sugary drinks. However, the plant pony latched onto Cadista’s foreleg and pulled her to her hooves.

“Bad mojo on you. You must have cleansing ritual, is only way to banish sad spirits. Come this way!” Ayra bounded over to the deep end of the pool and jumped in with a howling warcry.

Cadista was more amused than annoyed at being forced from her isolation, but only just. She ignored the wary looks from the scores of swimming ponies and drones and waited for Arya to surface. “Come into the pony-lake! Water is soother of spirit. I know because I am druid.”

At any earlier time in her life, Cadista would have refrained from joining the rambunctious plant pony. Now however, her pride as a queen was all but gone. I’ve done my part. Perhaps I’ve earned a chance to have some fun.

Casting hundreds of years and multiple lifetimes of decorum aside for the night, Cadista gently slid into the cool water and floated there without a word. The act spread like wildfire across the grey drones in attendance before going hive wide. Cadista was allowing herself some public form of enjoyment. Clearly, the Silver City would be abuzz with gossip within seconds.

Ayra felt happy sap spread throughout her veins. She paddled over to the lounging queen with her wings acting as poor flippers. “The spirits that watch you are happy now. Their singing is joyous, friend Cadista.”

Cadista didn’t believe in the Tea’la spirits, but she smiled at the compliment all the same. “Glad to see my ancestors approve.”

The night progressed with wild abandon. Twilight Sparkle found herself sitting a large circular couch with her closest pony family, Ratchet, Princess Luna, and Rainbow Dash who was sporting some new bruises. In addition, Rainbow’s parents had finally caught up to their daughter after her sparring match. Sadly, Celestia had to bid farewell for the night an hour earlier.

Prism was a lean but muscularly built stallion who still wore his army soft cap wherever he went, even though he was long retired. Howling Wind was a sky blue pegasus who never tried to hide the pride in her eyes every time she looked at her husband or daughter.

As was becoming the norm, the queens leaned against each other, relishing the other’s proximity. “So, Colonel Prism,” Twilight started up after polishing off her beverage. “I think father has never heard about how you and Howling Wind reacted to RD becoming a changeling.”

Rainbow glowered at her sister. “Ah come on, Twi, don’t ask them that! I have a repu-”

She got no further as that’s when Howling Wind flew over and embraced her beloved daughter. She inadvertently caused Twilight to back away a little from her sister. “Oh momma’s little flier was scared to the high heavens, she was shivering on her hooves like a frozen puppy. Wasn’t she Prizzy?”

“That she was,” Prism replied with a mirthful grin at the prospect of dishing out parental embarrassment. “Poor girl was scared stiff with just the idea of showing us her half and half state, so much that we didn’t know anything about it until after my little Rainbow woke up a royal bug.”

Rainbow buried her face in her hooves and groaned as old self-consciousness threatened to overwhelm her. Not even a military career could get her to ignore parental mortification. Not that her mother noticed, and continued where her husband left off. “She came in like the little trooper she is without using any disguise magic. Just strode right in and told us what happened.” Wind mussed her daughter’s unruly mane. “To think she believed a little thing like holes and fangs could stop us from loving our only daughter.”

“Well to be fair,” Rainbow announced through her hooves, “I had some good reasons at the time to be anxious, what with Twilight’s lack of success.”

Both Twilight and Night Light soured at that, even if Twilight was expecting Rainbow’s poor choice of words. She glanced over at Night Light and was pleased to see that Azure Sky hugged her father a little tighter. She’s supportive, even in subtle moments.

Prism glowered at Rainbow who only reacted because she sensed his aura grow chastisingly bitter. “I see your mouth still runs a mile ahead of your brain. I apologize for her lack of social graces,” he said to the Sparkle family. “Between us, her drill instructors, and commanding officers, we never could ween that out of her.”

Luna carefully watched the whole exchange, including who Twilight’s gaze was focused on. Did she really bring that topic up just to gain some insight on Night’s marefriend? Luna cast the annoyed thought aside. “So, Azure Sky, you started work quite recently at my Royal Observatory correct?”

The pale blue unicorn nodded briskly. “Yes, princess, that’s also where I met, Nighty.” She nuzzled his neck briefly. By now, Rainbow had recovered from her embarrassment and Wind was returning to her husband’s side.

“I was there by request of the Chief Astronomer,” Night Light said with wistful remembrance, “when we met each other.”

The couple went on to tell the tale while Twilight carefully masked a detection spell by simultaneously levitating her cup to drink. She’s not a changeling, or using any enchantments. So she’s probably who she says she is. “That’s interesting,” she said warmly, “I still find time to stargaze even now.”

Azure Sky grinned and was about to go into her favorite constellations when a Lunar Guard caught her attention as he whispered into Luna’s ear from behind. She passed it off to speak. “Well I’ve always been fascinated by the ponyhead nebula. It’s eerie, really.”

“It does seem strangely similar, to be sure,” Twilight conceded with a thin smile. “Although recently I’ve been infatuated with the Cat's Eye Nebula. It feels like a distant queen is looking back at me.”

Azure took a moment to truly notice the queens’ cat-like eyes. “It does doesn’t it. Although I’m sure we all thought that of Messier 57.”

“The great eye in the heavens,” Twilight identified with an interested hum.

Rainbow Dash nudged her sister. <Hey, Luna looks like she’s about to step in.> Once she had her sister’s attention, Rainbow sat up. “Something wrong Luna?”

All eyes turned to the midnight mare who rose to her hooves. “There are two changeling drones at the front gates claiming to be from the ‘Home Guard’.”

Rainbow remembered that only pony guards were stationed at the front. No wonder I didn’t hear about it first. “This must be important if the HG are coming all the way here to speak with us personally.”

Twilight kissed Ratchet before joining her sister on getting up. “Excuse us, everypony, we’ll be back shortly.”

Rainbow took a slight lead in moving to the front. <Aegis, Blitz, report to the front gate pronto. We have emissaries from the Home Guard here.>

Aegis had been contemplating on finding a way to see what Cadence’s love tasted like when the call came in. Both princesses shared a bewildered stare before taking to the air. <Why would they come here when our hive’s way down south?>

Blitz lightly slapped her counterpart’s head. <Haven’t you been paying attention to our training? The Home Guard are traditionally barred from speaking to puppets if there is a major species wide issue. They must speak directly to the queens and nopony else.>

Blitz made sure to keep Twilight and Rainbow in on the conversation, to which Twilight was equally pleased with Blitz as she was displeased with Rainbow’s area of instruction. Rainbow knew exactly what her sister was going to say before the words even formed in her mind. <Hey, we’ve had to crash course them in queenhood 101 in barely four years. What do you think Blitz’s job is?>

“Neither one of us had the luxury of all these extra years,” Twilight reminded her.

“Exactly,” Rainbow all but shouted, temporarily drawing eyes towards her. “I wouldn’t wish that on anypony, let alone our royal kids! Besides, we had our pony lives to draw experience from.”

Twilight followed her sister out the front door and saw the two princess buzzing over the roof to join them. “Let’s just be glad we have them in-hive for at least another four years while their drones mature.”

Twilight’s instincts surged at the prospect of Aegis maturing into a proto-queen soon, but her logical side was adamant in training both princesses before they moved out.

Aegis and Blitz landed next to their mothers right outside the gate where a pair of thestral guards were watching over the two undisguised Home Guards. Blitz had to remind herself that most changelings didn’t have fur. Ugh. I hate chitin. Looks so cold and uncomfortable to snuggle up against compared to fur.

The two chitin bound drones genuflected at Twilight and Rainbow’s approach while the two ponies backed off a ways. “Queens Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash, we thank you for granting us an audience.”

Twilight gave a respectful bow, prompting the others to do the same. Then both queens started speaking in unison. “Rise, honorable Home Guard. An audience is the least we can do for your ageless service. What brings you here?”

Assuming the speech pattern was a show of unity, the left drone barely reacted to it. “Your highnesses, it has been four years since Queen Silandrus’ death. With war still raging across the home-jungles, the Ebony Throne has remained vacant for too long. By ancient accord enacted by the First Mother, since no one has stepped forward with enough support to name themselves the new Prime Matriarch, we are calling a temporary end to the fighting. By the First Mother’s will, we will name a new Prime Matriarch, as is our right by tradition.”

Rainbow spoke with dubious interest at the news. “That could be trouble. Who did you pick?”

“That can only be disclosed officially at the Summit itself,” replied the right drone. “We can only say that every surviving queen must be in attendance. Failure in this could lead to being declared rogue. Including any heirs, as usual.”

“As if we’d miss a Summit meeting,” Twilight replied flatly. “When will it be held?”

“In two weeks’ time, your highnesses” replied the first with a slight twinge of relief.

“Then we will depart tomorrow morning,” Rainbow announced definitively. “Blitz, I want you to lead the preparations first thing tomorrow morning. Aegis, shore up the security detail. We’re still open to attack until a three days before the meeting itself.” She looked at the pair of princesses with a stoic glare. “I want no surprises between now and the start of the Summit.”

“Yes, my queen,” they barked back. The princesses physically paused while giving off dozens of orders to the various naval crews, but ultimately it didn’t take them long.

Twilight mentally nodded in satisfaction with her sister’s commands. “I guess now we’ll get to see our grandchildren.”

“That’ll be a hell of a reunion,” Rainbow scoffed. “I don’t think we’ll be able to take any of them to court for visitation or custody battles.”

“We’ll see,” Twilight replied crytically. “For now, we should enjoy the rest of the night while we can.” With the orders given, the princesses joined their mothers inside, but everyones’ thoughts remained in the jungle.