• Published 4th Feb 2018
  • 1,415 Views, 34 Comments

My Little Mages: An Apprentice’s Holiday - Foxhelm

As the Fall nights become equal with the day, a foe long forgotten has made her move and now its up to Starlight Glimmer to show what she has learned as Twilight's student. A My Little Mages retelling of Where and Back Again

  • ...

The Mask Removed

The next day, Trixie and Starlight arrived back in Magiville. As the two enter the center of town, Starlight hopped off of the stagecoach, "Well, thanks again, Trixie."

"Next time we go cross-country, we're going to Las Magus," Trixie's word choice pointed to a complaint but her tone was actually welcoming as she too hopped off her stagecoach.

Starlight had a little chuckle at that before she turned to see Pinkie Pie hopping like a kangaroo. Starlight knew she would have to face and explain what happened so she elected to get it over with. "Hey, Pinkie Pie!" She called to the jester who turned and skipped over to her and Trixie.

"Hey!" She replied and stood there with a smile on her face, this was not unnoticed by Starlight or Trixie, but Trixie didn't seem to care as she went into her stagecoach. Starlight elected to just continue with what she planned to do, despite the seemingly vacant look of Pinkie's smile. "So... I guess you're wondering why I'm back from my old village and the festival so soon." Starlight probed in an attempt to see what was going on with Pinkie.

"Why?" Pinkie asked with her smile still on her face. It seemed to be normal, but at the same time vacant.

Starlight couldn't put her finger on what seemed to off about Pinkie today, but she couldn't shake the feeling about squarely in some sort of uncanny valley. She elected to continue, in the hopes of betting some sort of response, "Well, it was a disaster." She paused and noticed the still somewhat vacant smiled and so she elected to shout the last part as if she was in distress, "I freaked out and I couldn't face them!"

"Ooh, that sounds terrible." Pinkie said as she kept her uncanny smile. "Glad you’re back in town! Hope you have a nice day!" Pinkie said as she turned away from Starlight, "Bye!" she shouted as she continued to skip along her way.

"That was... strange." Starlight said with a slight pause as she attempted to process what just happened. Pinkie was far from normal, but that was way out there for her as Starlight could understand.

"Isn’t Pinkie always strange?" Trixie asked as rejoined Starlight in front of her stagecoach, as they watch Pinkie continue to skip about the town.

Starlight didn't turn to face Trixie, as she watched Pinkie skip into Sugar Cube Corner before she replied, "She’s… ", she struggled to find the right word, "unique, but never...like... that.” she tried to say, only get a raised eyebrow and a very dismissive 'aha' from Trixie. Starlight was about to sigh when she saw Rarity and Applejack walk from the Magiville Spa, "Rarity, Applejack!" she called to the two. The two turned and walked to Starlight and Trixie. "Hey! I'm back early.”

"Well, welcome back?" Rarity stated, but something in how she said made it sound like she was unsure or questioning Starlight. Starlight noticed that, or maybe it was something that she imagined.

Starlight decided that maybe if she were to if those closest to Pinkie would know what was going on with Pinkie, "Have you noticed Pinkie acting a little strange?"

"It’s Pinkie Pie, she’s always actin’ strange," Applejack said with a laugh in her tone.

"Told ya," Trixie said as she elbowed Starlight earning a groan from Starlight.

Rarity and Applejack giggled at that, before Applejack continued, "The trick is to not question it."

Starlight rolled her eyes and then continued, "Anyway, I wanted to talk to you two and the others."

"What for?" Applejack asked.

Starlight looked to the ground and took a breath before she explained, "Well, you see things didn't go well at the Sunset Festival."

"Oh goodness, what happened?" Rarity asked as she clutched the top of her gown were a pearl necklace would be if Rarity was to wear such a dated fashion idea.

Starlight took another breath, "I…freaked out and ran away." She answered and looked at the ground, in some way expecting some form of support, but was shocked when she heard Applejack and Rarity started to laugh. Starlight looked up shocked at the two's laugh.

As Rarity continued to laugh, "That's the funniest thing I've heard all day." Applejack commented and then continued to laugh.

Rarity had one more laugh before she spoke "Oh my. Let me guess, the decorations were terrifying!" as Applejack continued to laugh. Once she was finished she joined Applejack with the laughter. This continued as Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy walked on the scene. Fluttershy flew up to Applejack and Rarity and whispered into each of their ears as Rainbow Dash turned to Starlight and Trixie.

"Hello," Rainbow Dash said with a holier-than-thou tone that wasn't lost on Starlight or Trixie, which Trixie didn't respond to but made Starlight raise an eyebrow. "Rarity and Applejack are needed for a very important friendship business." The four turned to leave, in the process Rainbow Dash turned her head so fast that her pony-tail seemed to crack like a whip. This act utterly baffled Starlight, sure Rainbow Dash had an ego, but this was beyond what Rainbow would be.

After with Starlight and Trixie just there, Trixie turned to Starlight, "I'm really not as impressed with those five or Twilight as the rest of Mystica is," Trixie commented, "Well, I am going to find a place to park my wagon overnight." Trixie said as she got back on to the driver's seat.

Starlight took a minute to think about what she saw and heard, it was then that she noticed that Rarity never said 'Darling' once in that exchange. Nor did Applejack say 'Sugarcube' and the lack of the paladin's drawl in her speech. "Pinkie's smile being vacant, Applejack and Rarity not giving their terms of endearment, Fluttershy not saying 'hi' and Rainbow whipping her ponytail." Starlight whispered to herself. "Something is..." She stopped and then began to run to the Castle of Friendship, "Twilight!" she shouted as if in she had a massive realization. "I need to talk to her!" She arrived at the front door and tried to open it, seeing that it did nothing she began knocking on it, "Spike? Twilight? Hello? Anyone?" She asked as she continued to knock, not sure why she was more or less locked out.

In the door was a small peephole with a slide, not unlike those used in the speakeasies of the Noir novel series starring the female detective Shadow Shades. The slide then opened to show Spike's eyes, "What do you want? " he asked in a harsh tone, not unlike a bouncer who had enough with an unruly bar or club patron that was taking away from the enjoyment of the other more civil patrons. "Princess Twilight Sparkle's very busy!"He declared as he opened another slot that was aligned with his mouth and blew out a short stream of fire.

Starlight quickly inferred that was a warning shot and that she had to be careful with what she said next. "Spike, I live here and I really need to speak with her."

Spike rolled his eyes as he answered her, "Then you need to make an appointment like everybody else!!" He then slammed the hatched shut as he seemed to ignore that Starlight stated she lived there.

Starlight then started to knock again, "Spike, what's going on with you?" She asked as she knocked, "Why are you being so—" she started but was cut off as the door opened.

"Rude?" Twilight finished Starlight's question, as Starlight was able to see that it was Twilight that opened the door. All the while Twilight pointed in the direction of Spike's room, as she scowled at the dragon, not unlike like a parent or older sibling giving a silent scolding. Spike huffed and headed in the direction Twilight pointed, after he was out of sight, "Sorry about that." She then turned back and cupped her hands and shouted to Spike, "A certain dragon didn't get his nap today it seems."

"Whatever," Spike shouted back.

Twilight sighed and then turned back to Starlight, "Sorry. It’s been an off day for him."

"He’s not alone." Starlight said as she entered the castle and shut the door behind her, "First Pinkie Pie, then Applejack and Rarity and then Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. Everybody's acting a little strange today." Starlight listed off not actually looking at Twilight. As her focus was not on the princess, Twilight had a second of panic as she seemed to come up with an answer.

"It must be their times of the month." Twilight suggested almost too late, but when Starlight didn't seek to follow up with that Twilight elected to change the topic, "Anyway, how are you?

Starlight looked at the floor and shook her head, "Not great." She then raised her head and looked Twilight in the eye for a second before she looked towards one of the walls, "You're probably wondering why I'm back from the village so early."

"Things didn’t go well, I take it." Twilight guessed almost too fast, or so Starlight thought, but Starlight had to concede she might still be shaken up over what happened back in the village, in fact, it might be why all the others seemed so off

Starlight took a breath as she looked at the ceiling, "Everyone there kept asking me for my input on things. It was like they expected me as their leader again. But that’s the last thing I should ever be after what I’ve done." As Starlight spoke she lowered her gaze to look Twilight in the face. Before she looked her left and at the floor in shame, "So, Trixie and I left." She took another breath, "In a puff of smoke, literally."

"Wow." Twilight declared as she was shocked by what Starlight said. "You shouldn't go back."

Starlight's eyes shot wide open and looked at Twilight with her head slightly tilted in confusion, "What?"

"You were worried about how they viewed you before, right?" Twilight asked as she began to walk in the direction of the throne room.

"Yes," Starlight answered as she was taken aback slightly by Twilight's suggestion to not go back and that she would bring up Starlight's concerns. Usually Twilight was much more tactful. She then followed Twilight.

"Well, I can all but guarantee, it's much worse now," Twilight said as Starlight caught up and the two neared the throne room door. Twilight stopped and turned to face Starlight, "You're better off cutting your losses." Twilight suggested.

Starlight had to take a couple steps back as she tried to understand what Twilight said and why Twilight said it. "That's... not advice I'd ever expect from you." Starlight said as she finally had a reply after a few seconds of thought.

"I'm the Princess of Friendship and it is a complicated matter," Twilight said as she closed her eyes with a smile as if she was patting herself on the back, an action that would be more like Rainbow Dash. Starlight was having a hard time grasping not the suggestions but why they were coming from Twilight of all people. "Besides, you don't need them. You can always make other friends." Twilight added as she placed her right hand on Starlight's shoulder. It was then that the doors to the throne room opened and inside the room was Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and... Spike? Before she got the chance to question, "Ah! Speaking of friends, the others and I have some really important business!" Twilight then walked into the throne room and shut the door behind her, if Starlight was a few steps closer, the door would have been slammed in her face.

"Cut my losses?" Starlight said as she walked away from the throne room. She couldn't believe that Twilight would ever say something like that, especially with everything Twilight did to stop her when Starlight attempted to remake history and Twilight's push to reunite with Sunburst. Starlight started toward the kitchen, she was hungry and it has been a long two days and she hasn't eaten.

Starlight was walking into her old village and everyone was going about their day, "Hey Everyone!" She shouted in an attempt to get their attention, "I wanted to apologize for my behavior earlier." she said as she walked among the villagers. She stopped near Party Favor as it seemed that no one was listening to her, "Party Favor, can you hear me?" Suddenly the sky became night and a fog rolled in and everyone in the village dissolved into the forming mist.

"I told you, you can never speak to them again!" Twilight's voice was heard as if she was shouting at Starlight. Starlight turned to see Twilight, Fluttershy, Pinkie, Rainbow, Applejack, and Rarity. All of them with scowls on their faces.

"What are you all doing here?" Starlight asked as she tried to fathom why Twilight and the girls were in the village.

Twilight walked up to Starlight and thrust her right index finger into Starlight's chest, "I am making sure you do what you were told!" Twilight continued her acting like she was angry with Starlight, lipid even, "I'm your teacher, aren't I?" Twilight asked rhetorically like she was talking... no scolding a usually obedient child that was caught in one bad choice. "Didn't I say to never come back here?!" She continued sounding not only angry but... cruel, like an abusive parent.

Starlight took a few steps back before she answered like she was trying to get away from a mean drunken father that was preparing to belt her. "Yes, but that just doesn't seem right." She replied as she noticed the others were also beginning to close in upon her, each with the same cruel scowl, and... hate-filled eyes. "You aren't acting like yourself." Starlight continued as she backed up again. But then she noticed something, Rainbow Dash wasn't flying, which meant that ... "Something's wrong!" Starlight shouted in her revelation, not noticing that Luna's voice was also present when she said it. At that moment the wind began to blow and it caused Twilight, et al, and the fog to vanish, as well as the entire village. Starlight looked at the vacant desert around her and then gave a sigh of relief, and whipped her forehead, "It was just another dream. What a relief." She smiled as she expected to everything to change to a more pleasant setting.

"Starlight Glimmer...!" Starlight heard whispered and yet echoed in a familiar voice, the voice of Princess Luna.

"Princess Luna?" Starlight asked as she started looking around for where Luna's voice was coming from in order to figure out what was going on.

"Starlight Glimmer!" Luna shouted as her voice was much louder so that Starlight could find the source of Luna's voice in her dream. Starlight looked up and saw the moon in her dream's sky and Luna was leaning out of it, not unlike one leaning out of a window. "There is no time! You must get help!"

"What?" Starlight asked as she tried to levitate towards the moon in her dream to understand what Luna was trying to tell her, "What are you talking about?" she asked as she reached the moon. "This is just a dream!" Starlight declared that

"No. There is nothing amidst in the dreamscape!" Luna informed as she looked away from Starlight, to Luna's left, as if she was expecting someone was following her. "But in the waking world!" Luna said as she turned to look to her right. "The Changelings and their queen, Chrysalis are back."Luna turned to look squarely at Starlight, "They've captured Our sister and are en route to capture Us! It's worse than the last time when Chrysalis only hid Princess Cadance away before the latter's wedding!" Luna exposed in an attempt to convey how serious the situation was.

"But how did you..." Starlight started to ask, not knowing how Luna could commune with her.

"You called to Us with your nightmare, and We were able to reach you through it!" Luna began to explain, the panic in her voice apparent as she looked over each of her shoulders. "You must find help! But be careful who you trust! You need all the help you can find—" Luna than gasped as she was swarmed from behind via what looked like insectoid androgynous humans with eyes that were mostly fields of blue which gradually faded to a white circle from outside in, and their canine teeth were larger than humans.

"Princess Luna!" Starlight shouted as she woke herself up and started to panted as she tried to calm and collect herself. She had to form a plan, she needed to get help to save Luna and Celestia. She went her wardrobe and got out of her sleepwear and into her usual clothes. Once dressed, she surrounded herself in her turquoise magic, "Okay, it's been awhile, I hope this works." She said as she opened the window and used her magic to hover down to the ground silently. "Okay, who do I... Trixie!"She thought as she looked around her and spotted Trixie's wagon. She then ran to it and started to knock on the door at the back of the wagon. "Trixie, it's Starlight!" She stopped knocking and waited for a response.

Trixie's voice was heard muffed and bleary as if she was deep in a dream, "Of course, Princess Celestia... I'd love to perform the banana peel for peanut butter crackers..." the illusionist muttered.

"What the... No, no, no." Starlight started to ask but stopped herself, "I don't want to even imagine." She then started to knock again, "Trixie, wake up!" Starlight ordered.

There was the sound of someone falling out of a bed and then fireworks going off and exploding. After a second Trixie, dressed in a long nightgown adorn with stars and moons, open one of the windows along the side of her wagon to let the smoke out and breath. After a few coughs, she looked to see Starlight right outside, "Starlight?" she asked with a yawn. "What time is it?"

"It doesn't really matter, Trixie. I know what's wrong with everyone." Starlight declared as Trixie struggled to keep both her eyes opened.

Trixie yawned again as she rubbed her eyes. "I have a long list of what's wrong with them." She then stopped leaning out and prepared to shut her window, “Can't we go over it in the morning?" it wasn't so much an actual question as she shut the window and went back to her bed. Starlight groaned as she went back over to the back door and used her magic to open it and levitated Trixie out of the wagon.All the while both frowned, Starlight because of frustration with Trixie and Trixie because she was being denied sleep. After Starlight lowered Trixie to the ground, Trixie sighed, "Fine!" she declared as she pouted crossing her arms across her chest, "What are we in danger of?" she asked before looked to the ground and began to mutter annoyed, "Aside from lack of sleep."

Starlight jumped to answer at first, "The—!" however, she stopped as she took Luna's warnings to heart.She scowled as she elected to ask a question that only Trixie knew the answer to, "What did you tell me never to tell anyone?"

Trixie groaned and rolled her eyes, "Starlight if you woke me up to play guessing games—" she started as she began to walk away back into her wagon.

Starlight used her magic to levitate Trixie back, she didn't have the time for this but she couldn't do more if the Trixie there wasn't the real Trixie, "After we left my old village," Starlight said as took Trixie by the illusionist's upper arms, "what did you tell me to never tell anyone you said?"

Trixie rolled her eyes and sighed before she spoke, "That even I, The Great and Powerful Trixie, has made a mistake or two." gritting her teeth all the while.

"Trixie!” Starlight shouted as she shook her friend.

Trixie growled and then answered in a near shout, “That even I, The Great and Powerful Trixie, has made a mistake or two! Okay?” She then all but hissed in anger, “Are you happy?!

Starlight sighed as she released her hold on Trixie’s arms and looked towards the castle then back to Trixie, “Yes. Sorry. I just had to make sure you weren't...” She stopped as she wasn’t sure if Trixie was the best source of help, but she had to start somewhere.

“What?” Trixie asked as she started back to her back door and then to bed.

Starlight grabbed her by her shoulder, looked around and whispered into Trixie’s ear, “A changeling! They've taken Princess Celestia and Princess Luna!” She said trying to keep quiet so not to let the Changelings know she’s onto them if any were present.

What?!”Trixie shouted before Starlight covered her mouth with her eyes narrowed which more or less told Trixie to lower her voice. After she removed her hand, Trixie spoke in a whisper, “Are you sure?! I mean, what do we—?” She asked or at the least attempted to as she looked around in such a visible panic that the blind who also could not hear, smell, or sense by any other means and a corpse could tell she was panicking. “We have to tell Twilight!” she said after she finally calmed down a little.

Starlight looked at the ground and shook her head, “If I'm right, then it's too late for that.” This caused Trixie to take a step back. However, Starlight started towards the Castle’s Occupant entrance, Trixie followed and in a matter of seconds, they were en route to the throne room of the castle. Once there they saw the door to it was slightly ajar.

The two neared the door and peered inside. In the throne room, all but Spike were in their respective throne and muttered unintelligibly as Twilight placed what looked like a black scarab in the center of the table. “It is time.” She said as she pressed a button on the scarab. A lime-green magic shot out and then changed to be a circle showing a throne room in what looked like an underground cavern. The throne itself was far larger than all the seven thrones in the Castle of Friendship’s throne room put together, even larger if one were to add thrones of Celestia and Luna in Chantalot and the throne of Cadance in Krystalopolies. Seated on the throne was a woman that looked like a demigod like Luna and Twilight, from her back were two sets of wings one was black and not unlike the wings of Luna and Twilight in structure, the other set of wings was lime-green and very insectoid, but they seemed to be incomplete like they had been corrupted. However, unlike the two princesses’ wings which seemed to float next to the princesses’ back, these wings were actually attached to her back. On her head was a crown with a lime-green gem as the main jewel. Her hair was long, going to her hips, and was an unpleasant shade of blue, it also had stringy texture to its appearance, gave off a sense of being unkempt. She was dressed in a black gown that covered her feet with a lime-green three-part wench's belt that looked like the middle part of the insect’s body. Barely noticeable were her long-pointed ears.

"That must be Queen Chrysalis." Starlight whispered to Trixie, Starlight had not seen Chrysalis, but she did hear about the changeling queen, and the woman on the throne met the description to a ‘T’.

“Hail Queen Chrysalis, long live the queen.” The six women and dragon said as they brought their right hands, in clutched fists, to their hearts and bowed.

The recently identified changeling queen looked at the seven and gagged, “Ugh. Why are you looking like that?” she asked as she rolled her eyes, “You know how I feel about those foolish Mysticans.”

“Pardon us, your majesty,” Twilight said as she and the others raised their heads and ended the salute. The six women and the dragon were then engulfed in a lime-green fire that emerged from their chests and spread outward revealing their true forms; humanoids with long pointed ears, grayish skin and green eyes with white circles separating the green ‘whites’ from the pupils. They wore a black long sleeve shirt, dark gray pant, with what looked like three green bands that gave their torsos an insectoid appearance. Over their shoulders were tattered shawl-like green cloths that looked like the wings if in another form, the form that those that captured Princess Luna used. The one that was on Rarity’s throne had a comparable amount of cleavage in its chest, hinting that it might be female.

Chrysalis smiled at the sight, and gave blissful sigh, “That’s Much better. Now report!”

“Everything here has thus far gone according to plan!” The changeling that was disguised as Spike said, revealing with its voice his masculine nature.

“Well, there this one near slip.” The one in Pinkie’s throne informed, also showing its masculine nature.

“His tongue was in my mouth and he was moaning!” The Twilight-changeling said revealing his gender with his voice. “What was I supposed to do!”

“We wouldn't have needed to knock him out if I was Princess Twilight.” The one in Rarity’s throne commented, her voice indicating that she was female. “I would have stayed in character.”

“She might have actually enjoyed the meal.” The one in Rainbow Dash’s throne joked to the one in Fluttershy’s throne.

“Enough!” The Twilight-Changeling declared, “back to the matter at hand,” He then turned back to Chrysalis, “we've replaced the six Element bears and their dragon, they arrived in Caer Sith a few hours ago. And we are getting ready to collect all the love here.”

Chrysalis smiled at the new she was given and gave a soft but evil chuckle, “Excellent. And I've just received word that the diarchs have successfully been replaced as well.” Chrysalis informed. The other Changelings then all laughed and cheered like they achieved a great victory. Chrysalis continued, “We thought too small last time. One kidnapped princess wasn't enough. With all the most beloved people of Mystica taken care of, nobody can stop us!” Chrysalis started to laugh with a ‘muwahaha’ that morphed into the fairly dorky laugh she had as she thought she had won back in Chantalot during her siege years ago. It was cut off there when the whole projection began to vibrate. “Great.” Chrysalis groaned, “I got a call on another line. Yes, yes, hail me, long live me.” The projection then ended and the lime-green magic returned to the scarab.

Starlight and Trixie took a step back, in the process the door that was slightly opened then creaked. The seven changelings turned to face the door and all but the one in Twilight’s throne hissed. “Search the castle.” He ordered as he changed to be ‘Twilight’ again.As the others started to leave, “What are you all doing! Get back into character.” The six then took on their disguises save for the one that was on Rarity’s throne who took on the disguise of Twilight. The one in Twilight throne groaned, “What are you doing?” He asked in Twilight’s voice. “You know you’re cast as Rarity”

“BUT I WANT TO BE A PRINCESS!!!” The changeling in Rarity’s throne whined as she took on the disguise of Rarity. “It’s so not fair!” She then started to bawl. “THIS…IS… THE… WORST… POSSIBLE…THING!!!” She then renewed her crying, as her tears caused her mascara to run.

“You should really invest in oil-based makeup.” The Rainbow Dash-Changeling commented.


As the changelings groaned, Starlight grabbed Trixie and teleported the two to Trixie’s wagon. Once in the clear, Trixie began panting in an attempt to halt a panic attack, “I can't (pant) deal with (pant) this! (pant) I'm just (pant) a performer!” She panted once more and caught her breath, “This is... This is demigod stuff!” She shouted as she began to run around, “But the changelings have them all…” She paused as she fell to her knees, “We're doomed!” She then curled herself into the fetal position and began to shake in horror.

“Not necessarily,” Starlight said as she patted Trixie on the shoulder in an attempt to calm the illusionist. “Queen Chrysalis only said they took Luna and Celestia.” Starlight stopped as she recalled what the two had just witnessed, well heard. “And obviously Twilight and the others were taken…” She trailed off as she tried to recall if there was anyone else. When she recalled Flurry Heart’s Crystalling and the other time she and Twilight were in Krystalopolies when she met Thorax, “but maybe Cadance is still safe.” she informed as Trixie got back on her feet. “Our best bet is to get to Krystalopolies as soon as possible, maybe we can...”

“There's no help coming from Krystalopolies,” the two women heard a male voice. The two turned to see a male humanoid appeared from the bushes coming from the north. The male humanoid had long pointed ears, grayish skin and green eyes with white circles separating the green ‘whites’ from the pupils. He wore a black long sleeve shirt, dark gray pant, with what looked like three green bands that gave their torsos an insectoid appearance. Over his shoulders was a shawl-like green cloth that looked like the wings if in another form, but unlike the other Changelings, his was solid, shiny, like a set of healthy insect wings. Trixie began to shriek but before she got too load, Starlight surrounded her in a magical bubble that kept her in an area where no one could hear her.

“Thorax?” Starlight asked as she looked the figure over.

“Yes.” The recently identified Thorax affirmed to Starlight.

Starlight then elected to address how he had changed since last they meet, “Your shawl, it looks... different.”

Thorax look at the shawl, “Yeah, as do my wings in my combat form, would like to see?" Thorax asked as he was engulfed in a blue flame to show another form, an insectoid androgynous human with eyes that were mostly fields of blue which gradually faded to a white circle from outside in, and canine teeth were larger than humans, what Starlight also noted was his wings, they seem to glitter and shine and looked much healthier and more complete then what she saw when she first meet Thorax.

Starlight started to smile, she had someone who knew more than anyone else about the changelings under Chrysalis’ rule, aside from changelings under Chrysalis’ rule. However, she recalled what Luna told, she had to be careful about who she trusted. Her focus gem started to glow turquoise but was reactive like a star about to go nova. “How do I know you aren't some other changeling pretending to be Thorax?” she asked as he stepped closer preparing to kill the imposter on the spot if this was not the real Thorax.

Thorax had taken a few steps back and tripped on a rock and tried to crawl back a little, “You were there when Spike defended me to the Crystalborn.” Thorax said as he struggled to get to his feet. Once there, “Don’t you remember Princess Twilight’s speech,” Thorax didn’t clear his throat as he was engulfed in blue flame and became Twilight in appearance, “As the Princess of Friendship, I should set an example for all of Mystica. But today it was Spike who taught me…” He spoke in Twilight’s voice as he began to deliver the speech that really saved his life.

“Stop! I believe you!” Starlight cut him off, “I don't need the whole speech.” She finished and Thorax transformed back into the form he took when he arrived on the scene. Starlight then turned to the bubble containing the shrieking Trixie, who had finally stopped and looked back at Thorax pointing to Trixie. “Thorax this is Trixie, my first friend I made after reuniting with Sunburst,” Starlight introduced the changeling to the illusionist. Starlight then turned back to Trixie, “Trixie, this is Thorax. He's a reformed changeling. He's on our side. Understand?” Starlight asked Trixie. The illusionist nodded still very scared but seemed to be willing to trust Starlight. Starlight then dispelled the bubble.

Thorax then started to walk towards Trixie as he held out his right hand to greet Trixie, “Hi. It's a pleasure to...” he said as Trixie crawled away from Thorax on her back against her wagon and swatted at Thorax’s hand.

The fear was written in Trixie’s eyes as the pupils of her eyes constricted and her body shook, “I believe Starlight. But maybe just stay over there, for now, okay?” Thorax dipped his head and back away as he lowered his hand with a soft frown on his face.

Starlight knew that if Thorax was there and if he said that there was no help to come from Krystalopolies. She rapidly concluded that Chrysalis sent changelings there to replace Cadance, but she wasn’t sure if that was all. “The changelings’ loyal to Chrysalis got Cadance?” She asked her friend.

“Worse!” Thorax almost shouted, “They also capture Shining Armor, and baby Flurry Heart!” he continued as he started to pace back and forth. “Poor Flurry, she must be scared out of her mind!"

"Thorax!" Starlight said as she grabbed her friend by his upper arms and stopped him from pacing, she was about to slap him across the face.

"Sorry,” Thorax said as he collected himself. He took a breath, “I suggested to Sunburst that we both leave to get help, but he said it would raise too many flags if we both left.” Starlight then released Thorax as she thought about what Thorax said. Thorax then continued, “He suggested that I go get Princess Twilight's help.” He sighed as he looked at the ground. “And when you said that Queen Chrysalis managed to capture Princess Twilight, her friends, Princess Celestia and Princess Luna I knew I arrived too late.” Thorax dropped to his knees, “What are we going to do?!” He said as he thrust his hands into the sky and moaned.

“Yeah, what are we gonna do, Starlight?” Trixie asked as she looked to Starlight. “If what you and Twilight have said about your magic is true, you are our only hope!”

Starlight looked between the two, “I... I don't know!” she replied as she looked around, “There has to be somebody else who can handle this?” She asked the two.

"There is nobody else!" Trixie pointed out in fright as she took Starlight by her upper arms, "Everybody with powerful magic is gone!”

"You know, whenever you Mysticans talk about powerful magic, you always seem to forget about me." The three turned and saw on the top of Trixie's wagon something that looked like a human man, well it had a man's torso, neck, and head, a lion legs for the right arm, an eagle's talon for the left arm. For it legs, it had a goat leg and a lizard leg. He had a goat-like and an onyx-like horn on his head, with a bird-like wing and a batwing on his back. While the three on the ground continued to process who what they saw. "If Fluttershy wasn't such a kind person, I might decide to take it personally." The being said as he was sewing a stuffed rabbit.

Thorax then spoke as he seemed to have a guess of who the being was, "Wait, you're Discord!" the changeling declared. "Spike wrote about you in his last few letters, you must be one heck of quest master for Ogres and Oubliettes."

"Being the avatar of Chaos allows for many things, my good lad.” The recently identified Discord said as he leaned in to look at Thorax, “And you must be Thorax, strange, you don't look like a normal changeling, you're taller than I expected, and not as gray.” He then returned to resting on Trixie’s wagon. Trixie was clearly irate as she watched Discord stay on her wagon, while Starlight and Thorax looked at each other and then at Discord. Discord yawned, “Well, isn't this quite the combination of secondary characters?" He asked in a mocking tone as he looked at the three present and noticed the absence of six particular women, “So where are Twilight and the girls?” he asked almost dismissively.

“First, how do we know that you're really you?” Starlight asked as she had to make sure Discord was in fact, Discord. The Erisadies scowled as he snapped his fingers. The wagon was changed into a large purple pumpkin, the open ground became soap, causing Trixie and Starlight to fall to the ground while Thorax hovered as his shawl became like wings, the grass became white and flowers sprung to dance like an old animated film. After a few seconds of this chaos, “Okay we believe you," Starlight informed on her part and the others as she and Trixie got to their feet. Starlight turned to Discord, “Chrysalis and the changelings loyal to her are back and they have kidnapped all of the most powerful humans in Mystica! Celestia, Luna, Cadance, Shining Armor, Flurry Heart, Twilight and her friends. We need to—"

Discord snapped his fingers and turn everything back to normal as he leaned in to look Starlight in the eye and ask, “They took Fluttershy?”, his anger still buried deep down but the three could tell that one wrong move, one wrong word and he would explode.

“... yes...” Starlight whimpered.

Where?” He asked as a fire burned in his eyes; a fire that would consume the world, leaving it nothing but ashes if there wasn't a one in an infinite chance that Fluttershy was still alive.

"The fortress mound of Caer Sith, the capital of the Changeling Kingdom,” Thorax informed.

“And with you on our side, we can—” Starlight started as she grew confident that with the power of one able to alter all of reality, there was nothing that could stop them.

She was, however, cut off when Discord snapped his fingers again and the four vanished in white light. They reappeared in a wooded area, a few hours before dawn. Trixie was dressed as she normally would when she gave a show, in addition to a backpack like those used by mountaineers to carry their gear. Starlight and Thorax also had similar backpacks as did Discord, but his appearance changed to one much more human. His skin changed to look dullish brown-gray, his horns white hair shaped as the horns, his talon was a normal human hand with longer nails than most men, giving a talon-like appearance, compounded by the fact that his shirt’s sleeve ended above the elbow. His paw was replaced by a hand and arm in a yellow gauntlet that went all the way to his shoulder. His blue bird-like wing became a pauldron over his left shoulder, as did the bat-like wing for his right shoulder. His goat-leg became human and looked normal as his reptile-leg matched but was armored like the gauntlet on his right arm but was green in color. He wore light brown pants, a waistcoat that’s exterior was a more reddish brown than his pants with a long tail which seemed to be redder to replace his dragon tail and a high collar with gold lining it and where the coat connected in the front. “That's even.” Discord said as he looked around the area searching for Fluttershy. Given what they have heard about Discord, no one elected to attempt to correct Discord, he was the embodiment of chaos after all. “I was trying to take us right to Fluttershy and the others,” he said as he lifted a large boulder and having his eyes literally snake along the ground, “but there is no Fluttershy.” His eyes returned to their rightful place and he allowed the boulder to fall back to the ground.

Trixie looked away from where Discord was looking for Fluttershy as Thorax and Starlight seemed to and saw a ledge, she walked closer to the ledge and saw what she thought at first glance was a black stone mockery of the Castle in Chantalot. As she allowed her eyes to adjust she saw that it wasn’t a castle, but a mound, shaped like a castle and like a hive. Trixie pointed to it and began to whimper, “I think I have a pretty good idea where she might be...” The other three turned to see what Trixie pointed out.

“I'd hoped never to see that place again," Thorax said as he fell to his knees and began to shake in terror.

Author's Note:

This is getting intense... O_O