• Published 2nd Mar 2017
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Land of Equines - Daddy Joe



Who would've thought that being at the wrong place at the wrong time would bring something so surreal.

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A Queen And Her Kin

A Queen And Her Kin
May 5th, 2013

I finally left the secluded room and proceeded down the tunnel that was nearly chock-full of white, shining crystals, the amount decreasing as I walked even further down.

Near the end of the tunnel, there was a winding right turn into another room, but this was a huge grotto. The ceiling had to of went up at least one hundred feet or so and was pitch black because no crystals were up there. To my right was a destroyed rock formatted path attached to the side wall, leading to the other side and that is where I needed to be. The only other way over to the other side was to cross a bridge, a bridge that was also rock formatted and spans across an abyss. If I were to slip, it would've been a long way down.

It took me a moment to build up some courage, but I crossed. Crossing this bridge wasn't easy because it would become more narrow the farther I went out and being over seven feet tall can make depth perception more freaky, but everything went more smoothly when I thought of the idea to span both my arms outwards to help balance me out.

Once I crossed the harrowing abyss, I was faced with a wall, but the side wall path was still available to climb up and walk on. I had no idea where I was going or where this mysterious path would take me, but I was taking my chances. So, I leaped upwards and pulled myself up onto the path and continued on its intended path, but it was short-lived when I was faced with another nearly pitch black cave, where the path seems to of broken off.

"Why am I standing so close to the edge?" I asked myself, stepping away from the edge.

I said I was taking chances, but I didn't want to take too many. I thought for moment on how I can ensure my safety on entering the room because I had no idea if there was a drop-off or not. Thankfully, I remembered that there was an abundance of glowing crystals back in that tunnel back in that tunnel. And so, I backtracked myself to the tunnel, kicked about ten crystals until they broke off and used those as makeshift flares to light my way. Once again, I walked up to the entrance of the new cave and dropped one of the crystals off the ledge. To my relieve, the crystal landed in shallow water and with a faint cling.

"Good."

I then jumped down into the water with a splash and collected the crystal. I took one of the crystals and held it out while I took another and tossed it in front of me and a few others around the room. The seventh crystal I tossed revealed a structure. I was surprised to see a structure so deep in this cave. It was rather simplistic; four metal support beams on each side, a wooden, flat roof with a couple of boxes and a chair on top and a set of wooden stairs that were decrepit from water damage and aged wood. As I inspected the ground, I noticed a track that led off into a dark tunnel and followed that. Along the way, I came across a mine cart that sat on the track, all rusted up and everything. This lead me to believe that I was in some sort of mine, or what was left of it.

Finally, after a while, I arrived at the other side of the cave. But guess what? I entered another huge open room... Frustrated, I let out a sigh and inspected the open area. I then heard a loud crash from above and saw two colored figures floating way up above me. Out of all things, I realized instantly that it was Twilight, from the purple coat, and, for some reason, Princess Cadance was with her.

"Hey!" I shouted.

From the distance, Twilight and Cadance immediately noticed my voice and Cadance changed her direction of flight down towards me. I backed up a little bit and Cadance landed with a smooth landing while Twilight hopped off her.

"So, what's the big idea here? You two friends now or something? What's going on?" I demanded.

"Look, this may seem weird, but... this is the real Princess Cadance." Twilight said.

"That's impossible. There is only one Cadance and she sent me and you down here. Have you put a spell on Twilight, huh?!" I asked Cadance, clenching and unclenching my fists.

There was a silence before Cadance walked up to me.

"I know this is just so confusing to you, but that Cadance up there is not me at all, it's an imitation." Cadance said.

"What? H-how exactly is that an imitation of you? And how do I know you're not making this up?" I asked.

"That imitation up there is a Changeling; a creature that can take the form of someone you love. And look at me, I've been trapped down here for days." Cadance said.

I looked at Cadance and just then realized how messy her mane was and how many scuff marks and tiny scabs covered her body, mostly her legs.

"Okay.... then how come I've never heard about these Changelings?" I asked.

"They've haven't show themselves in years, but you've gotta believe me. Look, I wish I could explain everything to you and meet you properly, but we really don't have much time! We must to get out of here and get to the wedding alter before we are too late!" Cadance said with haste.

It then hit me on how dire the situation was for both Shining Armor and Cadance. Who knows what would happen if Shining Armor were to marry that thing. Plus, it was 12:01, just one minute past the starting time of the wedding, so I was out for a while.

"Okay. Okay! I believe you... Princess Cadance." I said, accepting what I just heard and smiling at her.

Cadance managed to beam, but I could still see the worry in her eyes.

"Now we must escape before it's too late. Here, both of you grab on and I'll fly us back to the top." Cadance said.

"Won't I be too much weight?" I asked.

"Being an alicorn has its perks. Don't worry, you'll be light as a feather." Cadance assured.

"Alright then." I said, grabbing onto her hind leg, causing her to look back at me.

"That works." Cadance said.

Cadance then flapped her wings forcefully and began to lift off the ground. Soon enough, we made it to the top. Well, I had my eyes closed, so it was fast. Once back on the surface, we were met with a blockage of gigantic boulders.

"No, no! It's blocked!" Cadance said frantically as she tried push the boulders out of the way.

I myself tried to push them as well, but these had to be thousands of pounds. Sucks that I still have limits.

"They're too heavy." I grunted.

"Oh, we're never going to save him." Cadance said, sounding hopeless.

"We will. We just have to find... There!" Twilight exclaimed.

Cadance and I both turned our heads to where Twilight pointed out and near the ceiling was a sliver of daylight shining into the cave. Without wasting time, Twilight teleported us to the exit. However, we were met by three mares with a pair of green glowing eyes. I noticed right off the bat that two of three were Lyra and Minuette.

"You're not going anywhere." all three said in unison

The three mares slowly approached us like zombies, causing me, Twilight, and Cadance to back up slowly to a drop-off. Cadance then levitated a bouquet of flowers that were propped up against a rock and waved it in front of the three trance induced mares, but this somehow got their attention and they completely ignored us. Cadance tossed the bouquet into the corner and the mares all shouted, "I want it!" All three of us looked at each other and shrugged before continuing onwards and climbing out, ending up in the side yard by the castle.

"Can you teleport into the castle now?" I asked.

"That I can." Twilight said with a smirk.

Us three were then teleported to the doors to the alter room that was secured by royal guards.

"Princess Mi Amore Cadenza?" the guards asked in surprise.

"Stay here. I want to prove them wrong." Twilight said.

"Go on, Twilight." I said.

Twilight then barged into the room and shouted a loud, "Stop!" The room filled with gasps before going silent.

"Ugh! Why does she have to be so possessive of her brother?" the doppelganger Cadance asked in frustration before changing her tone to a pseudo distress in order to gain sympathy. "Why does she have to ruin my special day?"

"Because it's not your special day! It's mine!" Cadance shot back, revealing herself to the whole room.

The room once again filled with more confused chattering and gasps.

"What? How did you get past my bridesmaids?" the pseudo Cadance asked.

"A pair of bridesmaids can never resist a bouquet of flowers, Chrysalis." Cadance replied.

"Hmpf. Clever. But you're still too late." Chrysalis said.

"I- I still don't understand. How can there be two of 'em?" Applejack asked.

"She's a changeling. She takes the form of somepony you love and gains power by feeding off your love for them." Cadance explained to the room of wedding guests.

With Chrysalis' cover blown, she glared with hatred at Cadance and her eyes and horn lit up with emerald, creating a ring of magical fire energy around the pseudo princess. The flames roared loudly and shot up to the ceiling and the brightness was just blinding. It only took a few seconds, but the front side of the column of fire began to fade. I'm sure I felt my stomach drop when I realized that what stood in the ring was what I saw last night; a tall, black figure with those buggy eyes staring at everyone in the room, followed by a short, sinister laugh. The changeling itself resembled an equine mixed with a bug-like appearance, around the same height as Celestia, holes littered on her legs, stringy cerulean colored hair that draped down to her front legs, a set of greenish-blue carapace armor around her abdomen, and to top it off, a tiny crown at the top of her head.

"Right you are, Princess. And as queen of the changeling, it is up to me to find food for my subject. Equestria has more love than any place I've encountered. My fellow changeling will be able to devour so much of it! That we will be able to gain more power than we ever dreamed of!" Chrysalis proclaimed as she walked right up to Cadance, now in a more evil and multi-tonal voice.

"You'll never get the chance! Shining Armor's protection spell will keep them from reaching us!" Cadance said, only gaining a chuckle out of Chrysalis.

"Oh, I doubt that. Isn't that right, dear?" Chrysalis asked a now mind-controlled Shining Armor, nodding in response.

Cadance began to run towards her fiancee, but was blocked off by Chrysalis.

"Ah-ah-ah. Don't want to go back to the caves, now do we?" Chrysalis asked, flaring her horn with her magic. "Ever since I took your place, I've been feeding off Shining Armor's love for you. Every moment he grows weaker and so does his spell. Even now, my subjects are chipping away at it.

Almost everybody looked out the window and there were hundreds of these tiny, black dots way up on the other side of the shield and ramming against it. The queen then let out another one of her evil laughs and carresed the bottom of Shining Armor's muzzle.

"He may not be my husband, but he under my total control now. And I'm sorry to say, unable to perform his duties as captain of the Royal Guard!" Chrysalis said to Cadance.

"Not my Shining Armor!" Cadance pleaded.

"Soon, my changeling army will break through. First, we take Canterlot. And then, all of Equestria!" Chrysalis boomed throughout the room, but little did she remember that an alicorn princess lingered behind her.

"No. You won't," Celestia said, prompting both her and Chrysalis to stand-off in between Shining Armor as if they were about to duel. "You may have made it impossible for Shining Armor to perform his spell, but now that you've foolishly revealed yourself, I can protect my subjects from you!"

And like that, Celestia flew herself above Chrysalis and instantaneously shot a magical, golden laser from her horn at the queen changeling while Chrysalis did the same. Both of the lasers collided with each other and absorbed each other, but Celestia had the high ground. Celestia's laser was pushing towards Chrysalis, causing the queen to flinch in fear, but that's when the unexpected happened. I don't know if Celestia went soft on Chrysalis or what, but Chrysalis' emerald laser gained momentum and impacted Celestia, creating a loud explosion and shockwave throughout the room.

"Oh crap!" I said within the horrified gasps of ponies in the room as Celestia slid across the marble floor and laid on her side in defeat.

"Princess Celestia!" Twilight cried out, running to her aid.

Heck, even the other five girls got off the alter to check up on the princess along with a bunch of other guests. I would've went to check, too, but I wanted to keep as far away from Chrysalis as possible.

"Ha! Shining Armor's love for you has made me more powerful than I thought. Consuming it has made me even more powerful than Celestia!" Chrysalis boasted to Cadance in triumph.

Within a few second later, the girls threw off their wedding dresses and booked it to the door.

"Where are you going?" I asked Twilight.

"We gotta get the Elements of Harmony in order to defeat Chrysalis. Come on!" Twilight said.

"No, go on! I'll be all right!" I insisted.

"But..." Twilight paused, staring at me and at Spike, who was still at the alter.

"You don't have much time, Twilight!" I reminded her.

"Those bugs will be breaking through at any moment, Twi." Rainbow Dash said.

"Fine. But promise me that you'll take no unnecessary risks." Twilight said.

"I'll do my best. Now go!" I said.

With that, Twilight and the girls sprinted down the hallway and turned the corner. My attention was brought back to the front when Chrysalis began to do her evil laugh again.

"You can run, but you can't hide! Now that I think about it, I believe I could go for a small snack at the moment." Chrysalis said, grinning and bearing her teeth.

All the guests screamed and ran for the exit, nearly trampling me over. Chrysalis then randomly picked an earth pony couple and levitated them up to her.

"How about you two? I'm supposing you both love each other dearly?" Chrysalis asked.

"Let us go!" the husband shouted to the queen.

"Mmmm, nope! Just be quiet while drain both of your love, please." Chrysalis said.

Queen Chrysalis' iris and slit pupil creepily shrunk and she opened up her mouth, her forked tongue lolling to the side. A purple mist of love then seeped out of the chest of the stallion and into Chrysalis' mouth as she consumed his love for his wife. The stallion groaned in distress and squinted his eyes.

"Stop! You're hurting him!" the mare cried to Chrysalis

Chrysalis ignored the mares pleas and began to consume the mares love alongside the stallion. Anger built up inside me and I worked up the courage to walk towards Queen Chrysalis, but Cadance stopped me.

"You need to find a safe place, Caleb. Even if you were to face the queen, you would be no match to such a powerful being." Cadance said.

"But what about Spike and Shining Armor?" I asked.

"I'm going to stay with them. I'm not leaving them behind. Just go and stay safe, Caleb." Cadance said.

Chrysalis' eyes then locked onto me and she paused for a brief moment.

"Are you wanting to be a meal or something, Caleb Barlow?" Chrysalis asked me.

"Run!" Cadance shouted.

I took the advice and sprinted to the door and down the hall, trying not to look back. When I did, I was relived to see that Chrysalis was not following, but I felt bad for leaving since Spike is so defenseless. I hoped to God he was okay.

When I reached exit, the spherical shield that protected Canterlot from any all out attack had shattered. The entire capital was now vulnerable and hundreds of changelings descended upon the city and a large swarm was heading for the castle and any guests out in the open, including me. As I looked up, a swarm of ten spotted me and shot down towards me like and missiles and landed right in front of me, leaving a dent in the grass. Like the other changelings, these were shorter and had glowing blue eyes. The changeling let out a threatening hiss, bearing its sharp fangs and wriggling its forked tongue

"I thought the queen said there were only ponies in this city." one changeling said in a nasally voice.

"Who cares? There must be so much love inside a creature of this size." the lead changeling said.

The lead changeling then leaped towards me with another loud hiss, but before he could even tackle me, I had brought my leg up and back before giving the changeling a kick in the face, sending it back into the other nine changelings and knocked them over like bowling pins.

"Woah..." I said, amazed at myself.

As they all laid on the grass and slowly rose back up, I took the state of the situation and ran away from the area until I got into the city, hoping to find a building to hide inside. Changelings and ponies were littered throughout the streets. Ponies were running from changelings while the changelings chased the ponies. There was a few times where I just to stop and help out ponies that were pinned down by changelings or that were already getting fed off of. But... there was one situation that I'll probably never forget about.

Before I could head towards a building that I thought would a good place to hold out, I heard this scream that stood out from the rest of the crowd. It was a unicorn family that was cornered in a shady alley by four changelings. I couldn't just leave the parents and the little colt like that, so I just jumped into action went into the alley to help out. I came up from behind one of the changelings and it flew upwards a little bit, so I jumped up and firckin' dropped-kicked it into the wall. It groaned for a second before lying still, knocked-out, of course. The three other changelings hissed in response and one of the three charged at me and tried to bite my arm, but I was quick enough to grab its head and slammed my knee into its forehead, knocking it out as well. With two left, another quickly flew towards me, but I side-stepped and directed its flight to the ground, causing it to skid across the pavement. The last one didn't put up much of a fight and simply flew away from the area.

"Thank you, Caleb Barlow!" the mare thanked.

"Yeah! That was wicked cool! You went into them and just- pow-pow-pow!" the little colt said with excitement, getting a smile out of me from how adorable it sounded.

"No problem, guys. Now, you should get out of here before-"

"Hey, behind you!" the stallion alerted.

I quickly turned around and the last changeling was flying at a rapid speed, gritting its teeth in rage. I don't know what happened, but I instinctually clenched my fist and punched it as hard as it could as it closed into me at a high speed, clonking it in the side of the muzzle. But that's when I heard a sickening, deep crack and the changeling landed in a real shady spot in the alley. I gritted my teeth and my eyes went wide from the sound alone, ignoring the pain in my right hand.

"Go. Get your colt out of here." I said in a daze.

The mare and the stallion then directed their son out of the alley and ran off, thanking me again. I stared at the shady spot and it was a little tough to make out the changeling from its black skin, the blue eyes only showing where it lied. I wasn't sure, but I was scared that I did more than just knocking it out.

"Is it dead?" I asked myself, inching towards the changeling.

But after I asked myself that question, the sound of buzzing came from above and their about thirty changelings all staring down at me, but not in anger or hostility, but curiosity, and they were sniffing, too.

"Pheromones." I thought to myself.

Staring upwards, I noticed a larger figure approaching from above and landed twenty feet away from me. It was Queen Chrysalis. She sniffed and stared over me, looking in the shady area where the changeling had landed. She had a look of concern at first, but changed to anger when she looked at me.

"Get out of my way, human." she growled, tossing me behind her with her telekinesis.

I landed on the pavement and watched Chrysalis walk up to the changeling before stopping and staring at it. There was a few seconds of buzzing before she looked at me with anger once again.

"Do you think I find this acceptable?" Chrysalis asked, staring at me in the eyes with a fire.

"F-- find what acceptable?" I stuttered

"You know what I mean! Do you think I find the slaughter of my subjects to be considered even close as acceptable to me?!" Chrysalis boomed, levitating the deceased changeling in front of me to see what I had done.

The changeling's tongue lolled out of its mouth, the neck was visibly broken, and light green blood dribbled out of its right nostril and onto the pavement. I was shocked at that moment. I had no idea my strength was that powerful. After showing the body, Queen Chrysalis ever so gently set the body to her left and glared at me.

"I'm so sorry." I genuinely apologized. "I didn't mean to do that to him."

"Then why did you do it, Caleb Barlow? How did you not mean to kill Larynx?" Chrysalis demanded.

"I said I was sorry! But your subjects were terrorizing a family and I did what I had to do!" I shouted back.

"Oh, I so have plans for now, Caleb Barlow. You're going to wish you hadn't of done that." Chrysalis said, approaching me and lighting up her horn.

I didn't know what to do at that moment of fight or flight. And so, I chose to try and punch Queen Chrysalis in the face as well, but she instantly caught my fist with her magic.

"No! I will have none of this!" Chrysalis yelled, tackling me to the ground and sinking her fangs near my collar bone.

I gritted my teeth and grunted in pain as she bit down hard, injecting some liquid inside of me that slightly tingled. She then let go and spat some of my own blood out of her mouth.

"I never really did like the taste of bitterness." Chrysalis remarked.

I looked at my wound and it began to close up, leaving a little blood stain on my shirt.

"Go on. Run away." Chrysalis prompted.

I then rose up to my feet and ran away, but that's when my legs gave out and I landed smack on the pavement again, unable to move at all. Chrysalis' shadow casted in front of me as she stood above me and slightly chuckled.

"Temporary paralysis," she said into my ear, my hearing beginning to fade and everything going dark. "Take him back to my new lair."

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