• Published 19th Dec 2016
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The Pieces Lie Where They Fell - Evilhumour

A thousand years after the death of Mane Six, a new generation of Bearers are chosen.

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Chapter Forty Four: Page Turner, Night Blade, Wind Breaker, Vix-Lei, Rex, Xvital, Gentle Step

Chapter Forty Four

Page Turner

It was odd to be back in Canterlot after being away for so long. The sound and smells of the bustling city were almost overwhelming her but at the same time, it felt so natural and right. She felt like she was home.

She could also feel both the edges of the minds of her hive’s changelings nearby and the rest of the group in the hivemind she’d created for them. Such a mental link was not easy to pull off with non-Changelings, but she had managed. However, some of them were still not quite used to communicating through the link.

Man, this is still very weird, Vix-Lei thought-yelled again with Page doing her best not to show her wince while she was walking around the crowd waiting to greet Tizoc and the rest of the host from the Cuanmiztl Kingdom.

Not so loud, she chided the minotaur who was standing near the back of the crowd and leaning against a building. She could feel the rest of the group begin to turn their heads to them and she had to hold back a sigh coming from both her lips and her mind. Don’t turn around to look at each other when you use the hivemind!

Well sorry Page but I agree with her, this is still very weird! Wind Breaker snarked at her through the hivemind, surprisingly coherent and steady despite having fallen off the wagon and spent the day before drinking with Xvital. The griffon was pretending to do some janitor work, pushing a broom around.

Rolling her eyes and letting out an internal snort while she kept her face the same, she knew that she could count on Rex and Ni-

I can’t help but agree Wind, Night thought with a grumble, standing in the crowd too, a fair distance away from her. He was wearing a cloak to hide his wings and his sword and glasses to hide his scar. Having magic that lets me fly is enough; I don’t need to have this thing that feels like it is pushing on the side of my head.

Page couldn’t help herself from frowning outwardly and had to remind herself that she couldn’t keep on expecting Night to agree with her on everything anymore. It wasn’t fair to him, no matter how annoying it was.

I must admit that this whole process is still a bit unsettling despite how much we practiced Page Turner, Rex, her last hope for some reasonable backup from the group said. Still, I hope you are doing well with all this Xvital, Rex directed his thought towards the ahuizotless. Unsurprisingly the Diamond Dog had grasped onto the concept the fastest and was able to act like a drone with a few months practice under their belt.

There was a delay before Page felt a Yeah from Xvital along with some grumbling that she couldn’t keep to herself. Xvital was stuck with the rest of Tizoc’s guards, pretending to be one as it was the only way she could blend in and partly due to Tizoc wishing her to be safe with his personal soldiers able to protect her if things were to go wrong.

If she didn’t have Night’s love to sustain her, their love would be a perfect replacement. She still smiled to herself when she thought of that love filled proposal some days before.

She had to admit they were a very cute couple; Tizoc taking time out of his speech rehearsals for the meeting with King Well Banded to be with Xvital as she dealt with her airsickness, spending hours in her cabin and holding her hand while she emptied her stomach into the toilet bowl. It was so romantic.

Dammit this armor is really heavy, Xvital thought out loud in the hivemind, causing Page to send off a tsk. Shit, sorry guys.

It is okay, Page comforted her. Not everyling can get the hang of using the hivemind without the hivemind body and you just started using it yourself without being a changeling.

Yeah, yeah, kindness comforting bullshit. Xvital grumbled loudly in her makeshift hivemind.

Everyone, please calm down and focus, Tizoc reprimanded them. Page had been a bit hesitant to drag him into the hivemind but Tizoc had done far more than his fair share to help them get back into Canterlot and he was putting his entire kingdom on the line for them. The least they could do was allow him to play a greater role into their attempt to find the Magi of Stars as well as get confirmation that their foe was the Captain General.

Page stared at the compasses Rex had made, still marveling at the skill the Diamond Dog had shown in creating them and other items… such as the necklace she had tucked away in her pack, or the other things he’d demonstrated, like the portable proximity wards he’d carved and set up, with her help for casting the actual spell, during their trip south. Or that… other device he’d made. She gave a silent nicker of amusement at the memory of how they’d been told about it…

"So," Xvital had said as they were preparing for their return to Canterlot over a command table with notes they had been making on their plan covering the surface. Tizoc had boldly pulled Xvital onto the same chair he was sitting and after a fierce blush and playful smacking, Xvital had moved onto the matter at hoof while sitting on Tizoc’s lap. "Let's recap. We have our weapons, our trackers..."

"Our noisemaker," Wind Breaker added.

Several faces, including Page’s looked at him and he shrugged. "When we were camping in the outer Everfree, Rex gave me an alarm that would wake everypony up in case of emergencies. I've been holding onto it ever since."

"Ah." Rex nodded. "That little item. I had hoped you still had it on you."

"And you think this might be useful?" Night Blade said doubtfully.

"The alarm’s highest setting is loud enough that if he had needed to use it, they probably would have heard it on the outskirts of Canterlot," Rex explained. "It was designed with the expectation that it could not only awaken large groups, but also startle and disorient those who were attempting to attack them." He looked at Wind Breaker. “If you would bring it out, I can demonstrate one of the lower settings.”

The griffon nodded, and rummaged in his pack for a moment. “Here you go.”

Taking the device, Rex adjusted something on it. “It’s ready… but I would advise that you all cover your ears. Even at its lowest, this is going to be loud.”

Tizoc had waved over a servant and informed them to warn the captain about this sudden testing of noise.

Once everyone had done so, Rex pressed the button with his head turned to the side.


When the noise had faded, everyone lowered their hands, hooves or talons. Vix-Lei had a big smile on her face.

“Reminds me of home!” she said brightly. “It’s just like the foghorns we have set up at the shipyards!”

“That was the idea,” Rex replied a bit loudly. “And as I said, this was the lowest setting. The highest is… considerably moreso.”

"I believe you and you do not need to prove your work, Rex," a somewhat shaken Night Blade replied.

Shaking her head, Page looked the tracker again and paled a bit. While they were close to the Magi of Stars - she was somewhere in the West, possibly near the old Castle grounds - their foe was a lot closer and getting closer by the minute.

The sooner they got through this little meet and greet between Tizoc and King Well Banded, the better. Once they got past this little publicity stunt between nations and were certain that Tizoc was safe, they could begin a proper search for the Magi of Stars.

Page couldn’t help but flinch as her tracker for their foe began to throb and doing a quick peek through the group’s eyes and ignoring their initial protests, she was able to pinpoint that their foe was with the open carriage entourage carrying the king.

It is there, somewhere with the king, Page told them.

I don’t see the Captain General, Rex said from his perch on top of a building. All I see are Royal Guards.

She is the Captain General, Night thought back. She is the strongest unicorn and she fought her way out of Tartarus. If anypony can hide in plain sight, it would be her.

Sssh, I am trying to focus here, Xvital and Tizoc thought at them at the same time, and Page couldn’t help but smile at that little accident. I need to focus on doing this just right. They did it again!

Page had to resist every instinct inside of her to squee and clap her hooves; this was so adorable and full of love.

Hey, what’s this thing I’m feeling? Vix-Lei’s question caused Page to jump a bit, her face blushing as the rest of them chimed in confusion.

Sorry guys, Page said, mortified that she had slipped in her love feeding in front of the group. That was what love tasted like and with how Xvital and Tizoc been acting, I’ve kinda been binging a tiny bit.

Huh, so that is what love tastes like… Rex thought in amusement.

Just like mangos... Night trailed off in his head with the rest about to argue on what they tasted.

No, not exactly, Page told them as she watched the carriage pull up to the stage where Tizoc, Xvital and his guards were all standing. It is both sweet-tasting and your favourite thing to eat.

Ah, so that is why I am tasting Xy right now… Tizoc thought brazenly as Xvital began sputtering in the middle of the guards in response.

Besides the fact punching you right now would blow our cover, I can’t be that angry with you because… Xvital trailed off with a mental blush, telling Page exactly what the ahuizotless was tasting.

Tizoc didn’t think anything back but he was now sporting a massive grin on his face that he carried well.

The ahuizotl prince-king was standing tall and confident on the stage. He had his taupe outer coat and russet inner coat washed and groomed well, wearing his simplest crown and golden armbands and holding his ivory scepter with his tail hand. With his silver eyes, he looked over the entire crowd brought out to see the two monarchs greet each other.

Still, where was the Captain General? From what they knew, she wasn’t one to hide herself. According to Night’s family stories about the mare; she would be the first one on the battlefield to face a foe directly, that her dealing with demons made her deadly direct to anyone she deemed a threat.

She should be here so where was she…

Something was very wrong…

She watched as the earth pony king walk onto the stage and reached to embrace Tizoc and something began to trickle into her head.

“Saludos, Principe-Rey Tizoc,” Well Banded said in flawless Burroñeso.

She began to cast a special spell that would let her see magic auras.

“And to you as well, King Well Banded,” Tizoc said bowing his head, holding the earth pony close to his chest. “I hope all is well.” He said, patting the pony’s side.

She felt the spell grow into her eyes.

“I am,” he said, beginning to trail off.

Page finished the spell and opened her eyes. She saw the small magical aura of everypony in front of her and-

She let out a gasp as she saw it, their enemy!

Six long, black tendril-like necks stretched out from its host and they were staring into each of the group’s faces.

It was coming straight from Well Banded’s body, his own aura encompassed by the thick black aura and the head that was staring at her, its jaw pulled back to show row after row after row of sharp teeth like daggers all around the throat as it sneered at her before moving its lips at her to form three words.




OHFUCKOHFUCKOHFUCKOHFUCK Page screamed to herself before yelling at the group. It’s the king! HE IS THE HOST! AND HE KNOWS WE’RE HERE!

“However, you and your cohorts are all under arrest for aiding six known traitors,” Well Banded snapped, shoving Tizoc to the ground and standing on top of the startled ahuizotl. “GUARDS, SEIZE THEM!!”

We need to run NOW! Page roared to them.

She was already turning around when Rex reached into his vest and brought out his specialized alarm clock and set it to max before hitting the button.


Everyone within hearing range promptly dropped to the ground, their hooves covering their ears in pain as an extreme version of a foghorn was sounded, shattering nearby windows. Luckily for them, Rex had prepared for this and given them earplugs as to not be affected by the sheer volume.

Page was thundering down the street, with her heart screaming in her ears. She reached out for Memorizing Gaze, her own feelings regarding the traitor be damned.


Lamella? She could feel him jump in surprise, turning his head towards her. I mean, Page Tur-

Not now! she snapped at him, thundering down an ally with the sounds of an angry mob beginning to form. We were wrong! It’s King Well Banded that is the threat and he knows we are here and is after us!

There was a second of delay before Memorizing responded. We are in the Lower East, moving to the Top as fast as we can. I will get Gent’s help and we will be able to help you.

Stay safe

Watch your back

We’re counting on you

Good luck

Be careful, my queen

Page nearly stumbled as she heard that blurted across the hivemind, with everyone at the group freezing at her second secret being exposed.

RUBY SHELL! Memorizing’s mental voice roared.

Sorry sir, sorry my que-I MEAN Lamella! the nymph stuttered in the hivemind.

Page didn’t have the time to console the nymph, she had to esca-

Huh, that makes sense, Vix-Lei thought with flippancy causing Page to blink.

Yeah, not that surprised, Wind Breaker thought with everyone else chiming in.

Doesn’t change who she is, guys, Night thought out with a grunt.

Page couldn’t believe or deal with this right now as she heard several Guards right behind her. Turning the corner, Page saw a huge gathering of her changelings and she finally froze in her running.

She knew she hadn’t been the best queen; for the princess's sake, she had planned to be the last queen of her hive and refused to ever become intimate and produce an heir. All of her changelings always asked her if she would change her mind and she knew that some of her changelings were not happy with her seemingly selfish desires to stop the horrible treatment of her hive by ending her hive.

They looked at her and in unison the majority transformed into her unicorn form, while some became pegasi and all of them burst out in every direction. Page turned back into her normal self as the Guards stormed the place.

She smiled to herself; thanks to their kindness, she could escape.

Night Blade

Shaking his head from the ringing of that damn clock and learning about Page’s other secret, Night saw that a lot of the Royal and Cadenza Guards were beginning to spill out towards where the rest of the group was heading.

That was not going to happen.

Tossing the cloak to the side as well as his glasses, Night began to use his reputation for some good.


The air was split by a loud, violent bull-like bellowing as he charged a group of Guards, drawing both sword and sheath as he began swinging the two, somehow managing to avoid dealing out fatal blows this time. Yet his frenzy was sufficient to ward off those who came too close to him, and he could hear at least one voice shouting “He’s gone berserk!”

That was exactly the reaction he was hoping for as he disarmed more and more Guards and drawing more attention to himself.

“Wait a minute, that’s Night!” Night paused midswing as he heard and saw Regal Pants in front of him. “Holy fuck, it is you!” Regal paused to look him over. “What happened? Is everything they’re saying about you true?”

“Kinda,” Night said as he leaped over the unicorn to punch down a Guard while he parried another Guard with his sheath. “We’re not the true threat here and we’re trying to save Equestria and the world.” He let out a hiss of frustration as a couple of unicorn Royal Guards were trying to use their magic to steal his sword and sheath. That was some of the lowest tricks a unicorn could do in a fight and Night had little options to fight it.

He was properly surprised when Regal used his shoulder to knock down one of the Guards while blasting the other with his magic. The noble unicorn then turned to his stunned looking Guards and said, “I know this looks but I know this pony,” Regal gestured to him. “He may be one of the surliest assholes that ever existed but he wouldn’t attack unless it is absolutely necessary.” Night saw some of the Cadenza Guards share uneasy looks while the Royal Guards just seemed furious. “The Captain General once told me that we have to move past the pony and be the Guard to protect everypony. And right now, my instincts are telling me that he is doing his best to save lives.”

That seemed to do the trick as the Cadenza Guards turned around and created a wall between Night and the Royal Guards.

“Go Night, we’ll hold them back,” Regal said, snapping up a shield as the Royal Guards tried to press inwards.

Night Blade nodded. “I won’t forget this.”

“Me neither,” Regal said as he fired a quick bolt at one of the Royal Guards trying to press the attack. “Go!

Nodding, Night Blade turn and fled, grateful for the loyalty of trust that Regal placed in him.

Wind Breaker

Wind Breaker had dropped the broom as soon as he heard Page yell at them to run, wincing as he heard that damn noisemaker go off. He was certain several of his bottle broke from it going off judging by all the broken windows and what Page and that changeling revealed just caused Wind Breaker’s eyes to widen a bit before realizing how obvious it was and told her as such.

How Page managed to run and think-talk at the same time was beyond him; must be a changeling thing. Shaking his head, he turned around the corner, only to smash into somepo-no-griffon!

“Windy, is that you‽” Of all griffons he had to run into, why did it have to be his old bully from the Hatchery Diamond Back? The large griffon gripped him the shoulder and lifted him up in the air a tiny bit. “By the Goddesses, it is you! What the Tartarus is going on?”

“Diamond look,” Wind Breaker said as he heard the Guards coming up behind them. “Me and my group are on right side and I can’t get caught right now!”

Diamond Back looked at him and suddenly threw him into a doorway and slammed it shut on him. Wind Breaker was about to yell at him for this when Diamond Back suddenly started to shout. “Motherfucking asshole!

Wind Breaker froze at this and stiffened as he heard other voices right outside his door. “Citizen, have you seen a griffon with sleet gray plumage and a reddish gold coat, one blue eye and one gold eye?”

“Yeah, I saw him,” Diamond Back sneered. “The bastard just ran past me and shoved me into the wall! He went that way!”

“Equestria thanks you!” another voice said before there was sound of departing clattering hooves.

Wind Breaker waited for the hooves to vanish completely when the door was opened and Diamond Back pulled him out.

Wind Breaker stared up at him and tried to say something. “Diamond, I-”

“You are a lot of things, Windy but you’re not one to lie ever,” Diamond Back said sternly. “If you say the sky is green then my eyesight has to be broken. If you say you need to get past the guards, I believe you.”

Wind Breaker was touched by this. He never thought his old bully would be this-

“Also, I’d never forgive myself if I let this chance pass by again,” Diamond Back said before he grabbed Wind Breaker’s neck and pulled him into a powerful kiss HOLY TARTARUS DIAMOND BACK WAS KISSING HIM!!!

After far too long, Diamond Back broke the kiss off and looked down at him with a smile. “I’ve wanted to do that for so long, Windy,” he said as he leaned down to nuzzle him, Wind Breaker too startled to actually move. “Be safe, okay?”

Wind Breaker simply nodded his head as he put one talon in front of a paw as he continued to escape, replaying everything his bully had done with this new revelation.


Vix-Lei huffed steadily as she ran down one of the streets of Canterlot. Even after Page had given the order to run, the minotaur had lingered for just a minute or so, long enough to catch Night Blade’s bellowing as he charged into battle. She shook her head in amusement; if she hadn’t seen him throw back his head as he let out that noise, she’d have sworn it came from a male ’taur!

Still, she knew she had to get as far away from the pony king - their enemy, she reminded herself - as possible. Turning, she ducked down one street, but she could still hear some of the Guards yelling right behind her. So she kept going.

And going.

And going.

Finally, when she had run far enough and could see that she’d finally lost the Guards, she heaved a sigh of relief and stepped around a corner into what looked like an alley.

And smacked right into sometaur who was very, very large.

Oof!” the figure grunted as they stepped back. “Hey, watch where you’re-” Suddenly, they stopped and gasped in recognition. “Vix-Lei‽

Vix-Lei’s own eyes widened as she finally took in the view. “Herakles‽

“Big sis!” the other minotaur exclaimed. “How the heck are ya?” He turned around. “Hey, little bro! Why didn’t you tell me she was the one we were waiting here for?”

“Why ruin the surprise?” another voice answered. Stepping out of the shadows, the slightly smaller minotaur adjusted his tie. “Good to see you again, Vix-Lei.”

“Good to see you too, Argus,” Vix-Lei managed. “What… how… why are you two here‽

“We were invited,” another minotaur stated as he also stepped out of the shadows. “Not long after your little… escapade with that XJ-6, King Well Banded contacted the embassy and asked that they call in Father and some of the other shipmasters for a conference, to discuss expanding Equestria’s air force. But after what had happened, he suspected something might be up, so he chose the three of us to accompany him. Myself for my diplomatic expertise, Herakles for his muscles, and Argus because of his eye for detail.”

“Ah, you always know how to flatter a ’taur, Eusebios,” Herakles teased his younger brother as he flexed an arm. “But seriously, how are ya, sis? Besides being one of Equestria’s Most Wanted, that is.”

“Well, there’ve been a few rough patches, but in general I’ve had a blast,” Vix-Lei admitted.

Suddenly, there was a loud BOOM! a few blocks away, and Argus sighed. “Don’t worry, they won’t make it this far over,” he said. “I can see them, and they should be running into some other trouble right…”

Just then, there was a loud CRASH.

“Now,” Argus concluded. “I see the Guards haven’t improved their ability to avoid obstacles the size of buildings since they tried and failed to catch you the last time.”

Vix-Lei covered her face. “So you did see that newspaper article,” she moaned.

Saw it? I’ve got it framed and hanging on my wall!” Herakles chuckled. “Seriously sis, I know comedy’s your thing, even if some of it’s not that great. But that time… well, that time you were funny without even trying!”

Vix-Lei gave him a dirty look, but then smiled. “Yeah, I’ve been learning,” she said. “Toned down the stuff that gets on people’s nerves and getting back to what ’taurs and ponies and every other species really thinks is funny.”

“Knew you could do it, big sis,” Herakles said, winking at her. “So, what’s all this mess with the Guards chasing you about, anyway?”

“I’m one of a group of six who’ve been chosen to save the world,” Vix-Lei said with a shrug. “Starting by dealing with that freaky thing possessing the pony king.”

The three brothers exchanged glances. “You’re… not joking about this, are you?” Eusebios asked hesitantly.

“Not this time,” Vix-Lei told him.

“Well. That certainly explains why Dad was getting an uneasy feeling around him the other day,” Herakles said. “And why he and the other shipmasters are holed up in the embassy for a private meeting now.”

“Then he’s safe?” Vix-Lei asked.

“Absolutely. Our ancestors built that embassy personally; it’s the most fortified building in all of Canterlot next to the castle at the very top,” Eusebios said. “Normally, I’d recommend taking you back until this whole mess is over. But since you’re needed out here… I wish you good luck.” He stepped back.

“Watch the skies,” Argus added.

“And give him a couple of good whacks for me,” Herakles said, then rummaged around in his pack for a moment, coming up with something. “Heck, give him a couple of good wax while you’re at it!” He held out a pair of candles.

“How long have you been carrying those?” Vix-Lei demanded, a smirk on her face.

“Long enough,” Herakles answered, smirking back. “I’ve got more stuff too - you never know what you’ll need or when you’ll need ‘em.”

Vix-Lei clasped her hands together. “I have taught you well, big little brother. The laughter is strong in you.”

“And don’t you forget it!” Herakles told her with a grin.

“Never,” Vix-Lei replied. “Now, much as I’d love to stick around and chat…”

“You have important business to tend to,” Eusebios said. He eyed her critically, looking straight at her hammer straps that went across her chest. “Start by putting a shirt on again, would you? Mother may be back in Ledra with the rest of our brothers, but she saw the chase photos too… and she’s not happy about you running around without a top like you were a sailor. In fact, if Father hadn’t persuaded her to stay at home with Baltsaros, Marinos, Pyrrhus and Yanni so she could ride herd on the rest of his work crew, she’d be here tanning your hide over it. Again.

Vix-Lei groaned, so not looking forward to the horror that was one of her mom’s lectures. “Now I really wish I’d kept the outfit from that other world when we got back here…”

“Other world?” Herakles looked at her curiously.

“Long story, and I promise I’ll explain when this is all over,” Vix-Lei told him. “But now I really do need to get going.”

“Looking forward to it then, big sis! And the story of how you kicked this bad guy’s butt!” Herakles grinned.

“The same goes for me,” Argus put in.

Eusebios nodded. “And myself. Now go, sister. Make our family proud.”

Vix-Lei threw him a salute, then disappeared further down the alley, hopping over a tall fence at the far end.

The three brothers, watching her go, smiled. “Gods be with you, sis,” Herakles whispered. “Gods be with you.”


On the positive side, Rex thought to himself as he ducked under a hanging line, At least we are not up against one of the strongest unicorns in living history. On the negative side, that monster is bad enough even without the powers of a Dum Soluti.

He had managed to get a great deal further away from the initial meeting area in a short amount of time, while staying in the West, following his compass towards the Magi of Stars. He could only hope the others made it to her as well.

Suddenly, his ears twitched as he detected a faint movement behind him and ducked off to one side, burrowing under a pile of junk that had been swept out of the streets.

Just a minute later, he heard footsteps. “Me Snarl certain somedog was here!” a voice reported.

“And I’m certain you’re right,” another voice replied, causing Rex’s blood to run cold and the hackles to stand up on the back of his neck. There was a sniffing sound. “Somedog is here, and I know that scent like the back of my paw.”

“You Jeb smelling yourself?” the first voice asked in a confused tone, before letting out a yipe as there was a loud smacking noise.

“You Snarl are an idiot, and that’s saying something,” the second voice grunted. “Now… I know he’s here somewhere…”

And that’s when a familiar face poked its way into Rex’s hiding spot. “Hello, Rex,” the other Diamond Dog said. “Long time no see.”

Rex sighed. “Hello, Jeb,” he said. “I suppose there’s no point in hiding anymore.”

“You got that right,” Jeb said before pulling back so Rex could uncover himself. Once he had a clear view, he looked around.

“Snarl, Slash, Slug, and Scorn,” he said quietly, recognizing each of the other four Diamond Dogs accompanying his former pack leader, who had backed away and smoothed his short red coat. “I’m surprised to see you all up here.”

“Me Slug surprised you not making tracks,” the grouchiest Diamond Dog retorted, a tan individual with a broad, well-shaped face, stated. “You made enough running from our pack last time.”

“I did not run,” Rex replied quietly. “I may have been exiled, but I did so with dignity.”

Another Diamond Dog, this one much taller with a square jaw and a solid black coat, snorted. “Me Scorn say-”

Enough,” Jeb boomed, cutting him. “Rex, we aren’t in the tunnels, so technically I got no right to pursue you. But with recent events, I have to wonder…” He leaned in closely. “Rumors are saying that you and some others are wanted for plotting regicide.”

“That is an utter falsehood spread by the creature possessing Equestria’s king,” Rex replied. “Admittedly, it is our enemy, but we bear no ill will against King Well Banded himself. Just the thing controlling him.”

The five Diamond Dogs reacted with instant surprise, and began muttering amongst themselves. “Me Snarl not hear of this,” the shortest and skinniest of them said, sticking his pointed face in Rex’s direction. “When this happen?”

“Several weeks ago,” Jeb said. “Where’ve you been, underground?” He paused. “Oh wait.”

The last Diamond Dog, who was black and tan with a thick coat, let out a bellowing laugh. “Me Slash love it when you say things like that!”

Jeb snorted. “So you’re up against the king because he’s possessed, you say.”

“I am,” Rex replied. “Now if you will excuse me, I must go. My new pack and I have somewhere we need to be, and the fate of all Equestria is at stake.”

“Steak? Where?” Slug shouted.

Jeb smacked him. “Shut yer yap, ya bonehead,” he told the other Diamond Dog before turning back to Rex. “The fate of all Equestria… well, if that’s the case, yer gonna need some help. And what better help than the biggest and best distraction we can come up with?”

“And what might that be?” Rex asked.

“Here.” Jeb pulled a jar from his vest. “We traded some stuff for this… and we got a fair amount of it stashed away. With this flamin’ gel and some of the explosives we got, we can make a big enough flame and boom to make even Rufus happy. Should be a suitable distraction to draw all the Guards away, idn’t it?”

“That is… very generous of you,” Rex managed. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Me Scorn say you could say thank you,” the tallest Diamond Dog contributed.

Rex smiled. “Thank you,” he said. “All of you.”


She had let out a hiss as the guards around her created a barrier between her and Tizoc with that creature standing on her Tizy!

"¡Señora, tienes que correr!" a guard snapped at her as they tried to push back the Royal Guards to to get Tizoc’s side as Banded was quickly being aided in securing her husband to be in handcuff.

"A la mierda; necesito ayudar a Tizoc!" she snapped back, shifting on her feet as she slipped on her knuckle busters and drew her knife. She could see the Guards drag him away, with her special someone bound and cuffed!

"Nos ordenó que nos aseguráramos de que está a salvo, señora," the guard said as he raised a shield to block a sword swing. "¡Ahora corre! ¡Corre para que puedas luchar otro día! ¡Equestria no se saldrá con esto!"

I will be safe Xvital, they cannot physically harm me without setting the world against them, Tizoc told her through the mind shared thing. Xvital, please, get out while you still can.

With a snarl, Xvital had no other choice but turn her back and race towards their airship. As much as she might hate airships, it was still sovereign territory of their lands and it would be a true declaration of war if they tried to board the ship and take her away.

As she ran, a small group of Tizoc’s guards broke off and formed a circle around her. It was a pointless gesture as the Royal Guards pounced on the broken army formation with the unicorns picking off her guards one by one.

Tossing her borrowed guard armour at the Royal Guards as a means of distraction as well as lighten her load, she knew all she had to do was turn the corner and she’d be sa-

“Hello, Element,” Well Banded said to her, smiling far too widely for any creature. “You’re coming with me.”

He, or it, then spun around and kicked her in the face, knocking her out.

Gentle Step

Gentle Step was in the middle of a chaotic conference room with her Guards running around to report the latest news coming in from the city and it was tasking her incredible resolve not to show any sign of frustration at her inability to leave the room. She hated being stuck in her offices while her city was under siege from varied enemies.

Not only were traitorous six back inside Canterlot, the fact that the ahuizotls had betrayed almost a thousand years of trust and loyalty between the two nations by supporting a group that were aligned to kill their king and topple their government.

She remembered everything she’d read about Tizoc; a clear connection to Xvital as they were once about to marry before the forgery-based con artist had left on their wedding day. It was odd that she had left the wedding ring behind as it was worth a medium size fortune.

Gentle Step frowned to herself; a number of things were off about this entire case and the were bothering her as things did not add up to a proper answer. There must be something she was missing-

Her ear flicked as she heard the clatter of hooves outside her office and she had half drawn both Justice and Protector when her door exploded open to reveal her Captain Memorizing Gaze running inside.

“Sir, the traitor six have been framed by an entity that is possessing the king due to the fact the six of them are the only ones capable of defeating it,” he said in a clear voice with all of her Guards staring open-mouthed at him.

It took her a second to process what he said, but she had known Mems since they were foals and he had never once lied to her about anything, so she was convinced that this was actuality of the situation. “Understo-”

“Changeling!” Clear Vision shouted, the unicorn mare horn’s glowing as she prepared a spell.

“Stand down,” she barked at the Guard before turning to her Captain. “Do you know where the six are?”

“I have a -”

“Sir, that is a changeling in Guard armour!” Clear Vision protested with the other Guards beginning to back away as Gentle noticeably narrowed her eyes and snorted.

“Memorizing Gaze is one of the six Captains of Canterlot and is the Captain of the Secret Protectors. You will show him proper respect,” Gentle Step informed the mare before turning back to Memorizing Gaze. “Do you know where any of them are currently located?”

“Yes,” Memorizing Gaze tilted his long muzzle upwards with his shimmering blue eyes narrowed to a slint. “In the Gem Room.”

Gentle Step accepted this and teleported everypony in the room to the door that led to the room. Instantly, she could see the security features of the room were activated and she frowned at this. Only if the capital was invaded were they to be activated and only as a means of last resort to save the royal family by teleporting the entire room to a random location even she wasn’t privileged to know.

Even more troubling, she could see the king standing up in the middle of the room over several individuals. He had been in the Middle West of Canterlot according to her latest reports and there was no possible way for him to have traversed the distance that quickly.

Seeing that Memorizing Gaze was proven correct about the king being not himself, she turned her Guards and said to them, “Send messages to each of the Captains to be on high alert; activation of the Shining Armor Shield may be imminent. I want a team of our best enchantment breakers here now to open these doors and the janitorial staff that are assigned to the room.”

“Sir?” one of her Guards asked her as the rest did as she ordered.

“They have to clean the room on a regular basis and you cannot honestly tell me that there is no pony that would not try to show their special somepony this view. They would need to take the keys to this office and must know how to deactivate the protection spells in case something went wrong.”

“Understood, sir,” the Guard saluted her, leaving her alone with just a small squad of Guards and Mems, leaving them alone to look into the ro-.

“Gents,” Memorizing hissed his old foalhood nickname for; a sign and signal that something was deadly wrong. “Vision of pure sight, the tenth level, now.

She did as she was told and froze. She could see the blinding pure light that Sweet Surprise reported coming from the stirring individuals on the ground as well as the swirling dark mass that was inhabiting her king. But it was the aura of the dark mass that caused her to pause which made her Guards let out small snorts of worry and fear.

“It’s not demonic,” she said in a hushed, awed tone. “It’s divine.”

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