• Published 25th Jun 2016
  • 6,190 Views, 377 Comments

The Wedding Aftermath - Queen Sanguine Dreams



Queen Chrysalis' hive has been scattered to the winds, but not all Changelings serve Chrysalis.

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The Motives of Evil

Garotte Wire, (Her full name, as Twilight had learned) was not the most 'studious' of unicorns. Due to the circumstances of her life, Garotte had never had much of any formal magical training. She knew how to lift and manipulate things with her telekinesis, and that was about it. This didn't sit well with Twilight, as she was the Element of Magic. She didn't know how she would even survive without all the spells that she knew, and wanted to teach Garotte anything she was willing to learn.

For her part, Garotte wasn't interested in the first place. Why should she need to use magic, if she had survived just fine as she was? It sounded like a lot of study and practice for very limited results, as she knew that practically only the Princesses were a parallel to Twilight Sparkle, Overlord of overly complex spells and all things related to books. Books, books, books!

'Oh, Garotte, have you read this book? It talks about blah blah blah blah, and brings up blah blah blah.' Garotte mocked Twilight in her head. 'Maybe if you read this book, you would know more about blaaah blaaah BLAH.' Who cares?

Twilight picked up on Garrote's mood and lack of enthusiasm after about thirty minutes of attempting to make a pony read that didn't want to read.

Or... was it that she didn't want to read, or couldn't read?

"Garotte?" Twilight asked.

She was still ignoring Twilight of course, staring out a nearby library window and longing to be anyplace but a library.

Twilight tapped her on the shoulder. "Do you... know how to read?"

Garrote's face scrunched for a moment, before turning to look at Twilight as if she'd sprouted wings. "Yes... of course I can read, Twilight. I just don't find books that interesting in general."

Twilight was nearly at a loss for words. She had made even Rainbow Dash like books! How could a pony not enjoy a good book? Maybe she hadn't found any she liked?

"Garotte, maybe you haven't found anything interesting because you haven't looked for a wider selection?" Twilight hopefully suggested, leaning towards Garotte with a smile.

She chose that moment to fall to the ground on her side, laying atop a beanbag chair she had taken from the foal's reading area because it was comfy. "Twilight, I really don't like books." She stated, wiggling her way into the chair before laying sideways so that her mane acted as blinds against the sun.

Twilight refrained from having an outburst, and opted to reply calmly. "So. What do you like, then?"

Garotte sat upright, or tried as best as she could in the beanbag chair. After some wiggling and magical assistance, she was free from the grasp of the relaxing cushion of lazyness.

"Lets go look around the stores! I'll bet theres something that'll catch your eye." Garotte smiled, before realising she said something she didn't intend. "I-I mean, if you were to want something, and to get it. On your own. With... Uh... not a gift?" She was blushing.

Twilight was taken aback by this display, but chose to put it in the back of her mind. Garotte probably hasn't had much contact with ponies in general, and it wasn't too long ago that Twilight herself was this awkward.

"I'm sure we'll both find something we can enjoy!" Twilight agreed with a smile.

Garotte allowed Twilight to lead the way. As soon as the lavender mare passed, she wiped her forehead with the side of her forehoof. 'Whew. That might've gotten awkward super fast. I only just met somepony other than the Overlords that is being nice to me. No reason to throw everything away based on... urges.' Garotte squirmed in her thoughts before catching up to Twilight, who was further down the road.


*****


Garotte gasped. "They sell Quills?!"

Twilight facehoofed. Garotte hates reading, yet she loves writing? What kind of nonsense is that?

"Twilight, they sell ink too!"

The annoyed mare looked over to Garotte, who was floating around several blank scrolls, ink wells and quills. "Do you know how much I could write with this stuff?!"

Twilight humored her. "How much?"

"Everything!" Garotte cheered, before being shushed by the staff and other customers.

"Let's just get your things and go to another store." Twilight quietly grumbled.

"Okay!" Garotte chirped, bouncing on her hooves and causing a jingly rattle from her items clanging together as she lost concentration.

"Do you want me to carry those for you?"

"No-no! I've got this!"

More precarious wobbling and clattering, before they were placed on the counter. Garotte looked winded. The store mare behind the counter looked as relieved as Garotte when everything didn't go crashing down in a wave of ruined merchandise.

"Find everything you were looking for?" The mare asked.

"Oh! Do you have any Magic-Erase for Ink?" Garotte chirped excitedly, her face lighting up at the idea.

"We have a special for Magic-Erase; buy one get one half off!" the mare replied with practiced cheer.

"I'll take ten!"

This situation went on for several more minutes as the store clerk piled on bargain after deal, including a 'customer appreciation' squeaky toy of a quill. By the time the clerk had finished with her prey, there was a mountain of items that a second, pegasus clerk, had to fly over just to finish the transaction.

"How are we even going to carry all of this?" Twilight pointed out, dismayed at the pile.

"Magic!" Garotte cheered.

"Magic." Twilight deadpanned in retort.

"Yep!" She then pointed to several unicorns that were part of the staff, who smiled bashfully.

"We sometimes get very... 'enthusiastic', ponies." One nervously chuckled. They looked like the store manager.

"Do you have a cart, by chance?" A mare asked, looking around through the window in hopes of a quick trip.

"Nope!" Garotte replied, handling a sack of bits that she had stowed in her mane, somehow. "Oh! Do you sell those too?"

Twilight again smacked herself in the face, sat on the floor and groaned loudly.

"You know, you wouldn't be in pain if you didn't smack yourself so much." Garotte observed, before continuing to pay the merchants.


*****


In total, Garotte had purchased the following:

Everything You'll Ever Need!
Store #4
Couture and Coiffure district, Canterlot

Items:
Quills: 50
Pages: 300
Ink Wells: 20
Novelty Type-Writer: 2
CAI - Squeaky Quill: 1
Magic-Erase: 10
Novelty Mini-Cart: 2
I-Love-Writing Shirt: 1
I-Love-Books Shirt: 1
Quill Ear-Holder: 1
Clipboards: 10
Weatherproof Container: 5
Novelty Quill Hat: 1
Poems for Beginners: 1
Poetry for Beginners: 1
Make Reading Fun!: 1
A History of Canterlot: 1
Lullaby for a Princess: 1
Custom Quill Kit: 1
Novelty Ballpoint-Pen: 1

Total Items: Lots
Total Cost: 435 Bits
Membership: Signed Up
Discount: 10% Hero Discount (Twilight Sparkle)
Discount: 10% Ambassador Discount (Ambassador of Evil)
Discount: 10% Royalty Discount (Protege)

Adjusted Cost: 305 Bits
Amount Paid: 320
15 Bit tip

Membership Rewards: 42 Bits off next purchase

Holding the receipt and not believing her eyes, Twilight Sparkle followed behind Garotte with a 'Novelty Mini-Cart' hitched to her. Garotte had one as well, and Twilight made a point to bring up saddlebags. This had caused Garotte to become even more excited, and she soon set off to find more things to buy with her seemingly limitless wealth.

Seriously. She never ran out of money. How did she even keep all of it in her mane without it pulling her to the ground? It must weigh a ton!

"Oooh, Twilight!" Garotte gushed, causing Twilight to focus on the present. "Look!"

Garotte was pointing at a clothing store, with a display of a pony using fairly large saddlebags. They were grey and crimson, just like Garrote's uniform, and had attracted her attention.

"Um... wouldn't you rather have something that matched your eyes?" Twilight offered, remembering at least some fashion tips that Rarity had mentioned.

Her suggestion caused Garotte some pause. For some reason unknown to Twilight, she had practically spaced out. Checking to make sure, she even waved a hoof in front of Garotte's face. She was totally out of it for a good moment before blinking back to reality.

"No. It's okay." was her reply. She then put on a smile and replied with tone resembling the forced cheer of the sales ponies. "So! Would you like to get anything? I've noticed you haven't bought much."

Twilight half-smiled, "That's fine. I don't have much spending money anyway. I usually just buy what supplies I need for my studies anyway."

Garotte's eyes searched Twilight's face, darting around as if taking in every detail. She then sighed, looking away for a moment before returning her look. "You know what?" Garotte made a tiny stomp with her hoof. "I'm going to buy you something."

"What?" Twilight didn't know what to say. Had she made friends with this 'evil' pony so quickly?

"Anything you want, Twilight."

"But... why?" Twilight was skeptical, Her eyebrow raised.

Garotte took a moment to breathe deep before sighing. "I don't expect you to understand hardship, Sparkle, not like I do. When you live your life with nothing, you'll see where I'm coming from. I have everything, even If most of it is out of my reach. The least I can do for my first friend is buy them a gift."

Yikes.

Trying to soothe over the nerve she had unintentionally flash fried, Twilight maneuvered her cart around so that she could give Garotte a hug. "Are you okay?"

Garotte stood there in Twilight's embrace unmoving, before finally relenting and returning a partial hug with a hoof. "I'm fine." Then, to Twilight's surprise, Garotte started speaking angrily.

"Bubbles." She grumbled.

"Bubbles!" She shouted.

"Bubbles!" She yelled, causing ponies nearby to look worried.

"Garotte, what are you doing?" Twilight hissed, trying to avoid the stares and glares.

Garotte was now giggling. "I just can't!"

"Can't what?"

"Try it!"

"Garotte, you're not making sense and ponies are staring!"

"Say 'Bubbles' as angrily as you possibly can."

"What!?"

"Just do it!"

Twilight grumbled. "Bubbles."

"Come on, get really into it!"

"Bubbles!" She shouted, and the ridiculousness of the situation was starting to get to her.

"Again!"

"Bubbles!" Twilight yelled as loudly as she could, her magic unintentionally causing some windows to rattle as she went overboard.

"There! Still angry?"

Twilight took a moment of introspection. She was in fact... no longer mad. How did that even work?

"Is that a calming spell of some kind?" Twilight asked, now interested.

"Nope! It's something I learned when I was living on the streets!" Garotte chirped, before gasping and covering her mouth with her hoof.

"Wait. You were homeless?"

"Not important!" Garotte squeaked, turning away from Twilight and cantering off. "Come on! We need to find you something you like!"

Twilight sighed. Garotte was probably the second strangest pony she had ever met. Actually, third? Does Queen Aze count as a pony?


*****


A library. Had to be a Library. Of course! Why wouldn't it be a Library with Twilight Sparkle involved.

Bubbles.

"So, Do you know what you have in mind?" Garotte asked.

"Oh, yes! There was a written compendium of Starswirl the Bearded's spells, writings and even musings! It should be somewhere over here." Twilight cheerfully replied with nerdy enthusiasm.

"Good luck finding it! I'm going to look around, I guess." Garotte called after Twilight, who had run off in search of her book.

Well. I've always liked poetry. It says a whole lot more than a book does, and with fewer words too! Maybe they have a selection of poems I could look at?

With this in mind, Garotte began searching around. She had once again stumbled into the foal's section of the library, as she was naturally drawn to the beanbag chairs that decorated the area. She sat down in one of them, moving around to make a spot for herself, before standing up again. She would use this chair as her lair, and return there when she had found something worth reading.

Looking around, she spotted Twilight in what looked like a heated argument with an older stallion. She figured that Twilight would be alright, given that she had fought with the god of chaos and won.

Maybe she should just write her own poetry? It would be more time consuming than just browsing the works of others, and it could probably be entertaining too. She certainly had the supplies for anything she'd ever want to write, anyway.

Deciding that this would be the best use of her time, she brought her mini-cart next to the chair and promptly plopped into it, sinking below the sides and feeling like she was being hugged from nearly every direction. Beanbag chairs are great.





Meanwhile, Twilight had just finished winning her argument with an older scholarly pony that insisted on Starswirl being a swindler and a hoax. This was impossibly ignorant, and Twilight had argued until the other pony was blue in the face. This was a feat in itself, as the pony had a deep rose colored coat.

"Twilight Sparkle?"

Guh. It was the old stallion again.

"Yes?" Twilight snipped, though trying to remain polite as her temper would allow. "What do you want, Rosebud?"

Rosebud coughed into his hoof, and pointed towards the Foal's section. Twilight had taken so long that Garotte had passed out in a beanbag chair, and ponies were trying to wake her. She was snoring very loudly and getting drool on the furniture, as well as some paper with writing on it.

"Oh!" Twilight spotted Garotte, then sheepishly smiled to Rosebud. "Um, thanks. Sorry."

He nodded, and slowly walked off in search of other ponies to hassle and or confuse. Twilight first found the book she had been looking for, (Everything Old Wizards Didn't Want You To See!) and checked it out at the library desk without incident. All that was left was to deal with Garotte and wake her up.

Setting her book in her own cart, Twilight soon politely pushed past the small group of shushing ponies that had yet to wake Garotte up. A few had given her some concerned looks, and Twilight noticed that Garotte had been writing something. Her quill and ink well were out, and a single page lay across her lap, a bit of ink having gotten into her mane and smudged some writing.

Using her magic, Twilight lifted the page from Garotte and read.

Garotte's attempts at poetry, part 1

If you're reading this, you shouldn't be!

Here goes. Took me a while to figure out what to say for this one, but I hope it gets my message across.

Take a good look; call me a thug.
Walk right past? I would've given a hug...

Take a good look; say that i'm poor.
Call me names, but I'm not a...

Take a good look; scoff and prance away.
What I would give for food, just for a day.

Tell me you're good; tell me i'm bad.

A curse on society? Lamentable Irony!

Take a good look. What do you see?
Criminal, Thief, Orphan and more.

Evil is the path I make,
Because good... I never could take.

I swear, Twilight. If I wake up and see you reading this, I'm going to be very... something.
I'm not sure. I've been trying to find a way to explain everything to you, but I keep seeing the same pony that just won't ever get it.

Lowering the page, and finding Garotte still thankfully asleep, Twilight had a whole list of questions now. Was Garotte homeless her entire life? Did she have no parents? Was she a thief? A Criminal? She had no way of knowing without asking her, but the Garotte she had known so far was light hearted but very sensitive. Not the type she would consider Evil by any stretch. Sure, she had a rough life from what her poem had said, but it still didn't explain everything. Deciding to keep this in mind for later, Twilight set the page down in Garotte's lap before shaking her awake.

"Garotte? I'm ready to leave now."

"No!" Garotte shouted, jolting awake at the touch. She looked frightened when she stared into Twilight's eyes, but that soon vanished as she remembered where she was. Holding her chest, Garotte regained control of herself. "Sheesh, Twilight. You really know how to wake somepony up!"

"It's a talent of mine, I think."

"I think you said you got everything?"

"Yep! It's all in the cart. Now all we have to do is put it in our rooms at the palace, and we can meet my friends!"

Garotte smiled nervously. "Uh, yeah! Heh... friends."

"It'll be fine, Garotte. They're not mean at all, just a little rough until you get to know them."

"Sure..."

Before the situation could become more awkward, Twilight turned around and hitched herself to her cart with magic. She offered the same for Garotte, and they soon left for the palace.

*****


Garotte was waiting in a separate room, but she could hear everything being said through the door.

"What do you mean she's your friend?"

"Twilight, 'Aint she the one that turned the town evil for a bit?"

"I don't know how you could befriend a pony like her, darling. An 'Ambassador of Evil'? Honestly, the only thing that was truely Evil was their sense of fashion. Grey, red and black... how Cliche'."

"Um... I liked her mane?"

"Does this mean I get to throw a 'Thanks-for-not-being-evil-anymore-even-though-you-really-are Party?"

"Girls, please!" Twilight yelled. At least Garotte knew one pony's voice in that mess. She wasn't expecting so many friends, considering that Twilight seemed nigh obsessed with books and study. "You're being really hard on her, and she isn't like that!"

"Isn't what, Evil?"

"Yes! Well, I mean she says she's evil, but I don't think she is. She's really nice, and interested in poetry!"

"Of course you would make friends with another Egghead, Twilight."

"She's not an egghead, Rainbow. If anything, she's closer to you in personality than me."

"Really? Do we need two Rainbow's runnin' around?"

"Hey, what's that supposed to mean?"

"Um... everypony?"

"It means yer a hoof full."

"Well duh! Nopony else is gonna be this awesome, so I have to make up for it!"

"Excuse me..."

"That's exactly what I mean, Rainbow!"

"Girls, this isn't helping us. We have a pony waiting on us and it would be terribly rude to ignore her."

Garotte had already entered the room quietly, and spotted Fluttershy. The real Fluttershy, that is. They had shared a moment of awkward glances as the group argued, and Fluttershy had tried to gain everypony's attention. Understandably, the quiet pegasus didn't do so well.

"Fluttershy, right?" Garotte asked quietly, so the others would remain absorbed in their bickering.

"Y-yes, That's me." Fluttershy hid her face behind her mane, caught in the awkwardness between her friends arguing, and the pony they were indirectly arguing about.

"Do you want to go someplace quieter than here?" Garotte whispered.

Fluttershy, surprised to find the 'Evil' pony wanting a place of quiet like herself, happily nodded. She could get past the anxiety of meeting somepony new if it was in a calm and relaxed setting. All of her friends meeting with Garotte at once had seemed more like a tribunal than an introduction to her.

"Ah'm just sayin' that you could stand to tone it down, now an again!"

"Applejack, you clearly don't understand how difficult it is to keep all of this awesome contained in one mare!"

Garotte, walking away from the group with Fluttershy, was particularly glad to not have met all of them at once. She knew that Twilight would have her hooves full just keeping them from strangling another at this point. Maybe the stress of meeting her had set them off? She had expected the Elements of Harmony to be more... harmonious?

She looked over to Fluttershy, who was staring towards the ground and keeping her mane between them like a mirror.

"Are you okay, Fluttershy?"

Her head raised in surprise, and she looked with wide eyes to Garotte. "Um, yes. I'm fine. How are you?" She awkwardly replied, accompanied with exaggerated smile.

"You know, we could save this meeting for another day if you're not feeling up to it."

"No! That's fine. I'm just nervous is all. I've never met an evil pony before; and you seem so nice."

"There's a difference between evil and being a jerk. Evil ponies can be nice, they just have different motives for it is all."

"So... you mean somepony like Sombra could've been nice once?"

"It was probably his nice-ness that caused him to become mean, honestly."

This caught Fluttershy off guard, and she had to stop while her brain rebooted. "Wait, how would being nice make him evil?"

Garotte pivoted around to talk to Fluttershy, whose interest in the subject far surpassed her anxiety. "Well, take Princess Luna for example. Before she was banished, she was the protector of everypony during the night. She would personally ensure the safety of all her subjects while her big sister, Celestia, slept. She would fight off monsters in the night, chase away nightmares, decorate the entire sky, all for the sake of her little ponies. She was probably even more kind than Celestia, in that way." Garotte took a moment to point to a nearby bench, as they were standing in the middle of a hallway and blocking the path of other ponies.

Sitting, Garotte continued. "Because of her selflessness and willingness to help others, they all took her for granted. They rested easy at night, knowing she was there to protect them. Eventually, they forgot that she was even around, because there was no reason to fear the night. Not finding any reason to keep their foals at home during the night time, they started coming up with tall tales and other stories to frighten their young so they wouldn't get lost. Luna, being unable to fight rumors and fairy tales, grew upset that ponies were now avoiding her night all together. Ponies had begun to grow up with stories about the horrors and evils of the dark, so they would just sleep through it entirely. Nearly all of her efforts having come back home to bite her in the flank, Luna became distraught. She thought that maybe if ponies had more time to enjoy the night, then they wouldn't make up such horrible stories and discredit her fight against the actual monsters that occasionally threatened Equestria." Garotte then looked over to Fluttershy, seeing if she was still interested. To her surprise, she was listening attentively and hanging on every word.

"So," Garotte continued, "She went to her big sister and asked her a favor. Perhaps she could leave the moon in the sky just a bit longer, no more than an hour or two, and the ponies would see there was nothing to fear? Well, Celestia knew about her ponies, and she knew the panic that changing their schedules would cause. She denied her sister, and told her to simply speak with the ponies about it." Garotte sighed, coming towards the end of the tale. "Luna tried as her sister recommended, and found that ponies had forgotten her entirely. They had no idea who this 'Princess Luna' was, as she was always asleep during the day to guard the night. They had forgotten that there was even a second Alicorn princess!"

Garotte paused as a guard team walked by, giving her suspicious glances.

"Completely crushed, she locked herself in her room. She had gone over everything she had done out of kindness for her ponies. All the wounds she had endured for their sake, and they didn't even know she had done anything. Her desperation to be accepted by those she had sacrificed so much for became too much for the Princess of the Night to bear, and her grief and sorrow twisted her, transforming her into Nightmare Moon."

Garotte stopped, as everypony knew how that particular story ended.

"Um... Garotte?"

She looked over to see a slightly sad Fluttershy. "Yes? Did I say something wrong?"

"Would you mind finishing the story?"

Garotte blinked. "Why? Doesn't everypony know the end to that one?"

"Well..." Fluttershy scratched her chin. "I've never heard it told by an Evil pony, so I'm interested in your view of things."

Huh... That was unexpected.

"Alright," Garotte smiled. "Just for you, then."

Garotte cleared her throat, and resumed. "As Nightmare Moon, her emotions became a fuel so bright that it overwhelmed her normal, kind self. Nightmare Moon was in charge, not Luna. The Nightmare was going to give reason for her subjects to remember her, and if they couldn't bring themselves to love her as she should've been all along, then they were going to fear her, and never forget."

Garotte glanced around, and finding nopony, she continued. "As Nightmare Moon, her own powers combined with the energy of emotion left her very unstable. She reasoned that everypony would remember the rise of Nightmare Moon if she made a show of it. If she Eclipsed the sun with her moon and challenged Celestia's right to rule Equestria. Moving forward in time, The two fought in the forests of what is now the Everfree. The magics released during that fight were so twisted, so corrupt, that they changed the nature of the land itself. Feeding from those magics, the life in that forest became as twisted as Nightmare Moon, and sought their own path in life. I think that is the reason why ponies don't travel to the Everfree very often; bad memories of things long forgotten but buried deep in our species as some kind of memory, passed down to each generation like the natural instincts of birds to fly south for the winter."

Shaking her head to refocus, she resumed with the main part of the story. Fluttershy was still listening intently. "Celestia, having been defeated by the rage and grief of her sister, used the only option left available to her. The Elements of Harmony." Garotte paused for effect. "Celestia had no idea what the intent of the Elements were going to be. She had wished for a second chance; to ensure that Luna would know how dearly she was loved by her, and to right the wrongs that she had overlooked as unimportant concerns. To her dismay and ultimate regret, the Elements heard her wish, and banished her sister for a thousand years to the moon that Luna controlled. She would get her second chance, and she would have time to ensure everypony knew of The Mare in the Moon."

There was silence for a few moments, before Fluttershy spoke up. "Wow... I've never heard it told with such passion before!"

"Well, there's a reason for it. I think everypony that hears that tale gets something different from it. Sort of like poetry, in a way."

Fluttershy thought for a moment before asking a question. "What does the story mean to you?"

Garotte sighed, "To me, It's a reminder. A reminder that anypony, no matter how noble their intentions or how earnest their goodwill, can become evil from sheer apathy. I'm sure that you wouldn't mind being left alone?"

"Oh! Um... that would be nice."

"But what about forgotten, or ignored? What if nopony ever took the time of day to even spare you a glance, or ask how you were doing? You would be alone, alright. Not the kind that anypony wants, however..."

Garotte was saddened by this, and began muttering to herself.

"Garotte, are you okay?"

Garotte looked up with a tired smile to Fluttershy, and simply said, "Bubbles."

Author's Note:

Bubbles!

Hopefully this more 'Slice of Life' chapter wasn't an unpleasant break from the pacing of the story. I wanted to have some fun giving Garotte more character, as she's mostly been two dimensional and unexplained until now.

More Aze will return, I promise!

Also, One thousand views!

*Squee's until implosion*

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