• Published 30th Jul 2016
  • 2,478 Views, 68 Comments

The Night Mare's Guard - Shadow Quill



The Changelings haven't been sitting idle the three years they haved been gone. Now they're back and better than ever, with their sights set squarely on the alicorns of Equestria. One dark mare, shrowded in mystery, sits right in the crosshairs.

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12 Coronation

As dawn broke over the castle and the surrounding city, most ponies would have looked to the shining light as a sign of a new day, a time to move on from the frustrations and challenges of the night before. Yet for anypony looking to the sky on this fateful morning, their hearts wouldn’t be filled with hope and optimism, because as the sun’s rays lit up the sky, so too did a black cloud descend on the capital. A swarm of thousands of changelings, so numerous they looked like a living storm front as they poured over the peak, had come to take their rightful place as the dominant race of Equestria. And I was there to watch it all happen from the balcony of Celestia’s chambers, a wide grin spreading across my muzzle as my brethren laid claim to what was ours.

Leading the mass with a smile that would put the Element of Laughter to shame, was my mother, with the Amulet of Autolycus resting against the center of her chest. She caught my gaze as she flew down to land on the balcony, the rest of the swarm flying past us as they began rounding up the ponies of Canterlot.

“You have done well me son,” she said as she leaned down to nuzzle her cheek against mine, “you have proven your right as my heir and shall be praised by all changelings as the one who defeated the ponies of Equestria and paved the way for our rule.” She looked into the bedroom and smirked as she saw the inert Celestia, “It would seem you have a bit of my dramatic flair when it comes to taking prisoners.”

Her horn lit up as the resin holding Celestia to the wall became liquid once more. She chuckled as the defeated mare slumped to the ground, her complete loss of spirit seeming to have robbed her of even the strength to stand. “Let us see how the former ruler of Equestria will react when I tell her of my plans.”

I fell in at my mother’s side as we walked into the room, Celestia lifting her head just enough to glare at us in defiance.

“The ponies of Equestria will never bow to you,” she forced out as we came to a stop before her, “your hive will never be able to control my subjects with so few drones at your command.”

Chrysalis chuckled as she bent down to level her gaze with Celestia, “Oh but I don’t need drones to control Equestria, or have you forgotten that I now control the power over night and day? Even the love of your subjects is mine to do with as I please, and I could not begin to think of what would happen if I was able to turn your precious Elements against the very citizens they were created to protect.” She smirked as she straightened, “Really Celestia, I would think that somepony of your age would have seen that coming, oh well, I guess even the elderly can still surprise you at times.”

Her horn began to glow as she created several portals of various sizes. After a moment the inert forms of nine ponies materialized from the emerald and obsidian rings, their bodies still secured with my resin and the sleep spell holding tight to their minds.

“Behold your champions,” Chrysalis said with sarcastic bravado, “the most powerful of your kingdom’s defenders, reduced to helpless foals thanks to my son.” She turned her gaze back to Celestia, who was staring at the sleeping ponies with blatant horror, “Your time ruling Equestria is over, and now we shall take our place at the top of the food chain, as is our birthright.” She lifted a hoof to the Amulet, her eyes flashing with power as her horn began to glow once more, “With your combined magic at my beck and call, nopony will stand in our way. However,” she lowered her hoof and turned to face me, “There is one unresolved issue that needs to be addressed.”

My look of confusion matched Celestia’s as my mother turned to face me fully, “What did I forget mother? Was there some mission that I failed to complete?”

She shook her head in answer, “No my son, you have not failed me. It is I who has failed you, by not recognizing your loyalty and service to the hive before now. As such, I will be rewarding your efforts here in Canterlot by giving you the one thing you have yet to receive, your crown.”

My eyes widened and I took an instinctive step back, “You mean, my coronation, it’s finally happening?!”

A true smile formed on her face as she nodded, “You have proven yourself worthy of the title, and as King you will rule over the Crystal Empire with your chosen Queen. There you will start your own hive, and one day I hope your strength will surpass even the might of my own. Tomorrow we shall hold your coronation in the throne room, and it is there that we shall cement our place as the rulers of all Equestria.”

I had to fight to keep the tears from spilling from my eyes, “Mother, I, I don’t know what to say. All these years, I thought that I wasn’t worthy of succeeding you until you were on your deathbed. To be crowned as King while you’re still in your prime, it’s beyond anything I could have ever dreamed.”

She placed a gentle hoof on my shoulder, “Take pride in what you have done this day, because your skill and cunning will go down in history as the greatest among changelings. Not even I could have fooled the princesses after what I did during Cadence’s wedding. You have done something that was beyond even my talents, and that is the reason why you have earned your place beside me, not as my heir, but as my equal.”

I nodded, wiping my eyes as my face hardened in determination, “I won’t let you down mother, I swear by the First Queen’s name that I will make you proud of me.”

She opened her mouth to reply, but was cut off by a scoff coming from behind her. We turned and saw Celestia had forced herself to her hooves, her eyes narrowed in murderous fury and her horn pointed directly at my mother’s nonexistent heart.

“Save your prideful words for the afterlife.” Her voice positively dripped with venom as she glared daggers at us, “Even if it costs me my own life, I will not stand by and let my subjects fall to ruin.”

She let loose a battle cry and charged at us, her wings pumping even though she no longer had the magic to fly. For an instant it looked like she might succeed, until a green aura washed over her body and stopped her horn mere inches from my mother’s carapace. She hovered there for an instant, before she was flung back into the far wall with enough force to create a spider web of cracks in the marble. Her mouth gaped as she gasped from the impact, her fall to the ground only stopped by a ring of magic around her throat. It wasn’t tight enough to choke her, but it still held her aloft as my mother tisked in time with her forward steps.

“You truly are a fool if you thought you could harm me with an attack like that.” She stepped up to Celestia and pressed her muzzle against the alabaster mare’s, “And yet I won’t kill you. Seeing you simmer and fester over the loss of your kingdom is going to be far too much fun. No, I think you and the rest of your little band are going to be my personal playthings once Silver Jacket leaves for the Crystal Empire. It will be absolutely wonderful to see you agonize over the ponies you swore to protect, and yet will be helpless to do anything to save them.”

Celestia cracked one eye open and coughed up a small bubble of blood, staining her chin red as it ran down her neck, “I won’t ever stop. I’ll find a way to defeat you, even if it takes me the rest of my life to do so.”

Chrysalis cackled with glee as she pulled back, letting Celestia drop to the floor like a sack of potatoes, “That’s the spirit Celestia, boil over with rage and do whatever it takes to face me. I will watch you toil and struggle, and feast upon your hatred as your desperation leads you to your own destruction. You may have the drive to defeat me, and yet without your magic you will never again stand as my equal. I shall savor your pathetic attempts to usurp me like the good little toy you are.” She turned to face me and the rest of the sleeping ponies, “I wonder if torturing your greatest supporters would help speed things along?”

Celestia roared as she leaped for my mother, but with a simple flick of her horn Celestia crashed to the floor in a heap, her mind forcibly plunged into the realm of sleep.

“I think that is enough for one day,” Chrysalis muttered as she walked up to me, “tomorrow is a big day after all. By the way, have you chosen a drone to take as your queen once you are given your crown?”

I hesitated for a moment. It was a thought that had always nagged at the back of my mind, but I have never imagined I would need an answer to it so soon. My gaze wandered over the sleeping ponies behind my mother, and without really meaning to it locked onto the midnight blue alicorn that lay just to my left.

My mother’s gaze followed my own, her lips curling into a knowing smile when she saw how it was that had captured my attention, “Very well then, I see your tastes lie elsewhere that in the ranks of your hive.” She moved her gaze back to me as emerald eyes met silver, her lips curling into a sadistic grin as she began to laugh, “Oh I can’t wait to see Celestia’s face when we reveal your chosen queen. For that matter, I want every pony in this room to see it.” Her eyes raked over the slumbering quadrupeds like the fresh meat they were, “This is going to be one coronation that nopony is ever going to forget.”
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The rest of the day was spend securing the capital and ensuring that nothing escaped, not even word of our arrival in Equestria. For all her bluster and idealistic views, Celestia was right that we couldn’t stop the entirety of the pony race if they banded together as one, not yet at least. Even with the power of four alicorns and more, mother was still cautious. This wouldn’t be the first time the ponies had overcome unbeatable odds, and it would be our own fault if arrogance sowed the seeds of our destruction. The Royal Guard put up token resistance, as did some of the more militaristic nobility, but that only lasted for an hour or so before they were overwhelmed by our superior numbers. Celestia and her companions were put under a stronger sleep spell, to ensure they didn’t cause any trouble before the coronation tomorrow. After that, they were transported by teleportation ring into the castle dungeons, where they would remain until we retrieved them for the festivities.

Mother chose to oversee the final details as commanders flew in to report the progress of the invasion, her head held high as she reclined on Celestia’s throne. I was rather tired, given all that I had done in the previous night. So, without really thinking, my hooves carried me up to the top of the eastern tower, where Luna’s chambers overlooked the city. I pushed open the doors and paused to take a look around, feeling a sense of nostalgia as I remembered all of the careful planning and selective manipulation I had conducted in this very room. The fading hues of the sunset were slowly overcome by the rising moon, its silver glow outlining the details of everything as I stumbled over to the bed.

I stood at the bedside, looking down at the smooth sheets and catching the faint hints of rosemary that wafted from the cloth. I realized that I was smelling Luna’s own unique scent, and for a second I hesitated, falling into habits from my time as her guard. I shook my head to clear those unneeded thoughts from my mind, and climbed into the massive expanse of satin and lace. My head came to rest on the pillow beneath the headrest, and immediately I was enveloped in Luna’s scent. It seemed to permeate the air around me, and I could have sworn that she was resting beside me, just far enough to avoid contact.

After about two minutes of that I realized there was no way I was going to fall asleep if I couldn’t get my mind off of Luna, so I hopped off the bed and walked over to the couch. I groaned as my head fell onto the plush pillow at one end, my legs curled up against my chest and my tail folded over my body like a blanket. It might be a lot less comfortable than the bed, but compared to the bare rock of the hive, it was like sleeping on a cloud. I cracked one eye open to look at the bed, and pondered for a moment why I couldn’t seem to get Luna off my mind. I shrugged as I settled in for the night, come tomorrow it wouldn’t matter anymore, because I would have Luna all to myself, without all the frustrations that came from being her guard.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The morning light pierced through my eyelids, and I grumbled under my breath as I rolled to cut off the rays. Unfortunately, I forgot that I was sleeping on a couch, and rolled right off of the damn thing. I cursed as my head impacted the floor, and I rubbed the rapidly forming lump as I pushed to my hooves. I sent a deadly glare over my shoulder at the offending couch, but it simply sat there, oblivious to the annoyances it put me through.

I stood up and rolled my shoulder joints, feeling my armor creak and pop several times as the plates realigned themselves. A quick brushing of my mane and tail with my forehooves, and I deemed myself in presentable shape for the day. I walked over and pushed the doors open, the two changeling captains on either side popping to attention as I exited the room. I gave them a passing nod as I made my way through the halls of the castle, noting that the place felt rather empty without the servants and nobles milling about.

Apparently I had pulled off my little coup better than I had hoped. With everypony that was anypony present in the castle for the Gala, we didn’t have to hunt anypony down in order to secure the nation’s elite. Top that off with most of the Royal Guard attending as well, and it all seemed a bit too easy in hindsight. I smirked to myself as I entered the dining hall, the room buzzing as changelings socialized with one another. It only proved the pony’s folly in how lax they had become after three years. It was that same blindness to outside threats that had nearly proven to be their downfall at the Canterlot Wedding. I chalked their saving grace to be a combination of dumb luck and an unforeseen ability. Other than that, the ponies would have fallen all those years back, and we would be standing as we were now, rulers of the nation that had dared to oppose us.

Drones called their greetings as I made my way between the crowded tables, my casual nods acting as my reply before I came to a stop in front of the double doors leading into the throne room. Unlike the main doors, these ones were simply stylized with a depiction of the sun and moon, fused together so that each half of the design depicted either the radiant day or silent night. I pushed them open with my magic and stepped into the throne room itself, noting that I had come out on the side of the room, about halfway down the right wall from the main entrance.

Mother was sitting on Celestia’s throne, her body posture relaxed as she rested her head on one hoof, her elbow propped up on the left hoof rest as a trio of commanders issued their reports. I got a sense of déjà vu because I could have sworn that I had left her the previous night in this exact same position. However, she showed no signs of having stayed up all night, her eyes clear and her expression focused as she listened to her officers.

She waved them off as she spotted me out of the corner of her vision, “Thank you for your timely reports. I look forward to such pleasant news concerning future events if things move forward as they stand. Dismissed.”

They bowed and backed away from the throne, passing me as I walked up to the dais and dropped into my own bow.

“Oh don’t start that now Silver Jacket,” she admonished me with a slight smirk, “after all, today is your special day.”

I nodded as I straightened, “Sorry mother, force of habit. So, when is the event planned to take place?”

She smiled fully, her fangs gleaming in the sunlight as she sat up to address me, “Why, I was planning on starting as soon as you are ready. Why waste time when you could be off getting your hive started in the Crystal Empire?” She paused for a moment, her expression becoming slightly concerned, “That isn’t an inconvenience for you I would hope.”

I shook my head, “Of course not. I would be delighted if you would perform my coronation at any time today.”

She nodded, “Then it shall be this morning, as soon as the required guests have arrived.” She indicated the throne next to her own, marked with a crescent moon upon its backing, “Come, sit with me while we get things ready.”

I hesitated for a second before walking up and taking my seat, realizing that I was now sitting on my queen-to-be’s former throne. I cast my mother a nervous glance, but she had already closed her eyes as her horn began to glow. In an instant, a massive ring of emerald fire sprang up in the center of the room, depositing ten ponies of various sizes on the tile before disappearing. The changeling guards moved to secure them as Celestia, Luna, Cadence, Shining Armor, Twilight and the rest of her friends were made to kneel before the dais steps. All were still asleep, thanks to the power of mother’s spell, but would be awoken once the proceedings began.

Over the next hour, nobles of all ranks and station were escorted into the room, flanked by changelings in case anypony got ideas of resisting. Most gaped as they saw the incapacitated princesses sleeping in front of the steps, but their cries of dismay were quickly silenced by glowing changeling horns. Behind the nobles the common ponies were ushered in, filling the room to capacity as more and more ponies were brought to attendance. Finally, as the great doors were slammed shut, mother’s horn glowed and a splash of green magic washed over the slumbering ponies before us.

There were several grunts and groans as the ponies rubbed the sleep from their eyes, their minds still foggy from being forcibly subdued. However, that only lasted for a moment before their eyes jerked open and their heads swiveled to take in the room around them. The assembled ponies, the changeling guards, my mother and I sitting on the twin thrones, all were taken in by their wide gazes in a matter of seconds.

As her character predicted, Rainbow Dash was the first to make a move, “Why you creepy, bug-eyed freaks!” She tried to take to the air, but only succeeded in driving her muzzle into the floor when her wings proved insufficient to support her weight. She was dragged back into place by one of the changeling guards, her face a mixture of rage and confusion as her brain tried to figure out what just happened.

“What did you do to me?” She cried, her head jerking around to stare at her wings, “I can’t fly anymore!”

Twilight closed her eyes and seemed to concentrate, but when nothing happened she opened them again and turned to her friends, “And I can’t use my magic!”

Before the others could express their own lack of abilities, it was Celestia who focused the collective attention of everypony present with her voice, “You will find that your usual abilities are beyond your control, my little ponies.” Her gaze washed over them before turning to glare at mother, “The Amulet of Autolycus steals the ambient magic from any living thing and allows the wearer to use it as they wish. We were ambushed after the Gala and our magic was stolen by one who we believed to be a trusted ally. Captain Silver Shield was in reality Prince Silver Jacket, son of Queen Chrysalis and heir to her throne.”

Twilight and her friends gaped at her, the lavender alicorn stuttering over her words before she could speak, “B-But how could he have defeated you?! He hadn’t been feeding off the love of ponies like Chrysalis had so how could his magic overpower yours?”

Celestia sighed, a look of remorse washing over her features as she stared at the floor before her, “Sadly, by the time Silver Jacket came for me, he had already stolen the magic of the rest of you, meaning he had more than enough to overpower my own magic and then steal it from my body.” She glanced sidelong at them, her expression one of a mare who had given up, “Forgive me my friends, there is nothing we can do now that can stop them.”

“But what ‘bout when Tirek stole the magic of everypony in Equestria?” Applejack asked, “We used the power of the rainbow to kick his sorry flank back to Tartarus. Why can’t we use that now?”

“Because the magic that we used to defeat Tirek was used up creating my castle.” Twilight replied, her voice soft as she turned to face Celestia, “That’s why we haven’t been able to use it since then, right?”

Celestia nodded, “Indeed my faithful student, and because that power is lost to us, I fear there is nothing that can stop Chrysalis from taking over Equestria now that she has our magic.”

Mother yawned as she reclined on her throne, “Do you ponies always talk this much, or is it just something you ten like to do?” She muttered something under her breath before sitting up straight, “Never the less, I feel that things should get underway before we lose sight of why I called you all here.”

She cleared her throat before speaking in a near perfect imitation of the Royal Canterlot Voice, “PONIES OF EQUESTRIA, CHANGELINGS OF THE HIVE, I HAVE GATHERED YOU HERE TODAY TO CELEBRATE A MOST MOMENTOUS OCCASION. MY SON, PRINCE SILVER JACKET, HAS PROVEN HIMSELF TO BE WORTHY OF THE TITLE OF KING. THEREFORE, UPON THIS VERY DAIS, I WILL BE PERFORMING HIS CORONATION, WHEREIN HE SHALL CHOOSE HIS QUEEN AND THEN TAKE HIS PLACE BESIDE ME AS MY EQUAL. BE HONORED THAT YOU CAN BEAR WITNESS TO SUCH A RARE AND SACRED RITUAL, FOR FEW HAVE EVER SEEN A CHANGELING CORONATION AND LIVED TO SEE THEIR HOMES AGAIN.”

She paused for a second, her voice still ringing from the archways as she turned to face me. Without prompting I stood and walked around
so that I was standing before her. I bowed my head and bent my front legs, spreading my wings in a true changeling bow as she stood up from her seat.

“Prince Silver Jacket,” her voice had returned to a more normal tone but still carried across the room, “you have proven you are worthy of taking on the title of King. Take pride in your accomplishments, but be humbled by the responsibility that you will now take upon yourself. Lead your new hive with a just but firm hoof, and care for your drones as a parent should.”

She stepped forward and I could feel her mane touch my own as she touched the tip of her horn to my forehead. The carapace just behind my own horn grew hot as her magic slowly poured into me, and I felt a surge of tingles move through my body like electricity. That feeling spread through my body until if filled my entire being, before slowly moving back towards my head. As the sparks came to a focus where mother’s horn connected with my body, she pulled up and away from me, causing the sparks to move with her horn as the carapace of my skull shifted and grew.

In a matter of moments, it was done. I opened my eyes as my mother stepped back, lifting my head to look at her, her eyes filled to the brim with pride. She raised her voice, so that everypony present could hear her, “Rise, King Silver Jacket, and claim your place beside me as a ruler in your own right.”

I rose to my hooves, feeling a slight tingle cross them as some of the leftover magic cracked between my hooves and the floor. I walked up and turned to face the amassed ponies, their jaws having collectively dropped to the floor at what they had just seen. Only Celestia and Luna remained in control of their features, although I could see the spark of interest in both their gazes. I didn’t even need a mirror to know that a crown just like mother’s now adorned my head. The only difference being that the three gems would be silver crystal instead of emeralds.

Chrysalis turned to me with a smirk on her face, an expectant look in her eyes, “So, King Silver Jacket, have you decided on who you will choose as your queen?”

I opened my mouth to answer, but was interrupted by Rainbow Dash muttering to Applejack, “I wouldn’t want to be the unlucky bug that gets saddled with him.”

In an instant, Rainbow Dash was enveloped in green magic before she was jerked into the air and moved until she was floating directly in front of Chrysalis. Her eyes widened in terror as she met my mother’s murderous gaze, and she cried out as the magic began to bend one of her wings the wrong way.

“Now, what was that little comment you made about my son?” Her voice was deceptively calm yet held all the venom of a pit viper.

“Go kiss a bug zapper.” Rainbow hissed before crying out as her wing bent further behind her back.

“Now, now, we can’t have talk like that in front of royalty.” She spoke in a mother’s tone like she was scolding a foul, “We might need to teach you a lesson so you won’t forget to hold your tongue when you speak before us.” Rainbow was actively crying as the joints in her wing began to creak with the strain, “Maybe if I cripple your ability to fly you’ll learn your lesson.”

Rainbow looked like she had just been issued the death sentence, “No, please, anything but that. I don’t care if I can’t fly without magic, just leave my wings alone.”

“Let her go Chrysalis,” Celestia warned with a fire in her tone that spoke of her past connection to the sun, “if you cripple a helpless mare just for the fun of it, no power in this world will save you from me.”

Mother turned to the weeping Rainbow Dash, who had closed her eyes in preparation for the inevitable. “Very well, but you shall bear her punishment in her stead.”

Before anypony could react, Rainbow was tossed back into her friends, who watched in horror as green magic enveloped Celestia’s left wing. With a sudden jerk and a sickening crack, said wing was bent backwards until it separated clean from its socket. Celestia bore it with dignity, barely wincing as her wing fell limp at her side, her gaze locked firmly with mother’s as the ponies around her cried out in horror. Luna made to stand, her gaze murderous as she flared her wings, but with the magic of three changelings securing her to the floor, she didn’t get very far.

Chrysalis nodded to me, the whole incident seeming to take less of her attention then a mosquito, “As I was saying, you were about to tell us who you chose as your queen?”

I nodded, stepping forward until I stood at the edge of the stairs. My eyes moved from one pony to another, until they settled on the seething navy orbs of Luna.

“My choice for my queen,” I paused for dramatic effect, “Is the former Princess of the Night, Luna.”

It was like I had slapped the entire room with a wet rag. Everypony’s jaw, even Celestia’s hit the floor with a resounding thunk. Luna was so shocked she couldn’t even speak, her rage forgotten in the wake of my words. I stepped forward until I stood directly in front of Luna, my eyes locked with hers as the rest of her companions stared between us.

Finally, she seemed to regain control of her body, her teeth bared in fury as she spit at my hooves, “If you think I would be your queen then you must truly be a fool. I would sooner die then join you.”

I couldn’t help the smirk that cross my lips, “You fail to understand. I’m not asking for permission, I’m telling you how it is.”

“Over my dead body,” Celestia hissed, her broken wing forgotten as she tried to rush me. However, her efforts were stopped by a sudden magic burst against the hanging limb. She cried out and slumped to her knees as her eyes watered, her gaze locked onto me even as she battled the pain.

“My son has made his choice,” Chrysalis said in a measured tone as her horn’s glow faded to nothing, “you would do well to remember that I am the one who passes final judgment now. I would be careful of your actions Celestia.”

“Buck your blithering judgment,” Celestia hissed through grinding teeth as she pushed to her hooves, “My sister is not a toy for you to play with. I would sooner die then see her mistreated in such a way.”

“You misunderstand,” I countered, my gaze locked with hers as we faced one another, “Luna will become my queen in every sense of the word. She will live like she has as a Princess of Equestria, only now she shall rule at my side instead of yours.” I turned to face Luna again, my eyes flashing green as I activated a mind spell, “Isn’t that right Luna? You want to come with me and rule the Crystal Empire at my side.”

Her eyes flashed the same green, her expression going blank as my magic overwrote her mind, “Yes my love. I want to be with you, always and forever.”

“You beast!” Celestia screamed as she charged at me, although this time it was my magic who intercepted her, not my mother’s.

“If you continue to bother me, I will take the liberty of breaking your other wing, and each of your legs for each transgression.” I glanced at her out of the corner of my vision, “Choose your next words wisely, for the amount of agony you endure is now up to you.”

“Buck you!” She growled, struggling against my magic even when there was no use, “You might as well kill me, because I won’t stop until you let her go.”

I sighed, “Very well, if that is your wish.” There was another sickening crack, and this time Celestia held nothing back as a blood-curdling scream echoed across the room.

“CELESTIA!” Twilight and the others cried as they collectively made a dash for the now crippled diarch. However, they were stopped by my magic as I pinned each of them in place.

“Do not interfere, or else your wings and legs will be next on my list.” They immediately stopped struggling, their eyes wide with fear as their looked from me to the now unconscious Celestia.

Both of her wings now hung limply at her sides, the muscles and ligaments holding them in place having been ripped beyond repair. Even with magic healing, even if she had the use of her pegasus magic, Celestia would never fly again.

Cadence and Twilight were holding each other and crying their eyes out, the rest of Twilight’s friends doing the same for each other. Shining Armor was looking at me like I had just murdered his mother, while Luna still gazed off into the distance, the green light of my mind spell holding her consciousness captive.

I dropped Celestia to the ground, her body making a solid impact with the floor as I turned back to Luna, “Now, where were we? Ah yes, I remember now.” My eyes flashed green again as I worked to finish what I had started, “Shall we retire to our new home, my love? I hear the Crystal Empire is lovely this time of year.”

She nodded, a wave of love washing over me as my magic took effect, “Yes my love, take me with you to a place we can rule together.”

I smiled, ending the spell, leaving Luna’s eyes with their green glow as I walked up to her, “Then follow me. We have a hive to get started.”

I turned and walked back up the steps, Luna following in my wake as we came to a stop before my mother. She smiled before placing a hoof on my chest. A surge of magic washed through me like a tide, and I gasped for a moment before I got it under control.

“Think of it as a going away present.” She said warmly, “It should be plenty to teleport you to the Empire from here. Send me a letter once you get things worked out, and let me know if the locals give you any trouble. I’d be more than happy to send some of your brothers and sisters to support you if need be.”

I smiled at her offer, “Thank you mother. I will let you know as soon as the Empire is under my control.”

I turned to face the assembled ponies, most of them still reeling over the fact that Celestia had just been crippled before them. Even Cadence, Twilight and the rest of the gang were still holding tight to each other. I smirked, knowing that if nothing else, that little stunt would cement mother’s place as ruler faster than any invasion could. I focused my magic on teleporting me and Luna to the palace in the Crystal Empire, and a ring of emerald fire erupted under us. We dropped into the black dimensional rift, and I heard a voice that sounded like Celestia call out just before the rift closed above our heads.

“LUNA!!!!!!”

Author's Note:

Welp, here's where the gore tag comes in. Also, sunbutt actually tries to do something for once but gets her flank handed to her on a silver platter. Not my finest moment. :facehoof:
Also, sorry for taking so long to update, I've got a killer cold so trying to come up with ideas while coughing my lungs out isn't all that fun. :pinkiesick:
Anyways, hope this is enough to hold you over for a bit, although, knowing you guys, it'll only make you hungry for more. :twilightsheepish: Hang in there, I'm going as fast as I can.
So, I wish you all the best of luck, and I'll see you next chapter,
Shadow Quill, Messenger of the Moon.