• Published 20th Jul 2012
  • 16,126 Views, 1,430 Comments

The Conquering of Love - Littlecolt

Twilight finds she and her friends are trapped in their own minds and must escape.

  • ...

Pinked Ch 4 - Cherry Sour

Author's Note:

It has been nearly three years. I won't lie, I've tried and tried and tried to get back into this story. The characters and goal of the story have never left my mind, but the passion to write was just not there. I can't explain my sudden desire to start again, but it is stronger than it has been in a very long time.

Where to even begin... Back when I was in my most productive time, hitting my stride, even having enough of a pride in my work to setup a Patreon and dare to ask people to support me writing, I was killing it. I was able to keep up on multiple projects all at once. I was so happy. I felt like I had found the fire that would burn brightest in my life, and drive me to be able to achieve my dream of being a successful writer. I wasn't even just aiming for here, but the real big dream, the dream of getting published.

Did I get a novel out there? No. I languished at my dead-end job. The girl I was in love with but was unavailable suddenly became available, but it didn't work out in the end. My deep delve into lewd RP hit an all-time high as far as posts per day. I was putting more effort into roleplay than writing. I became infatuated with another girl. She stayed with me for a while, but drifted away again after a while.

What does all this mean to you as a reader? Nothing.

Have you been waiting for three years? Yes.

Should you enjoy this chapter? I certainly hope so.

Should you expect another soon after I get back from Everfree Northwest, where I intend to immerse myself in the fanfic culture so deep at that con? I once again hope so.

For those who have been in it with me for the long haul: Do I still know where this story is going? Rest assured, I've never lost that.

Is there an ending in sight? You bet your ass there is. It may be shorter than my dreams in the past, but as I've written this story over so many years now, I realize that the original vision could never be the ending. These characters are too perfectly individual to shoehorn them. Where Mulcibar, Linnai, and Ismara go in this story is more defined by them as individuals than I could have possibly imagine as an author in 2013.

It's been a long time coming, and instead of teasing and promising and saying things like "I swear, a new chapter is on the way!" here is a new chapter. It's here. It's done. It's a continuation I hope you all will love.

It's the start of the next and final chapter of the fic's long timeline.

I love you all. Literally anyone who is here and caring enough to read this. You've been in this from the start, and I can't just let you down.

I can't let myself down.

The conquering finally approaches. I am ready this time.

Book Six: Pinked

Chapter Four - Cherry Sour


“I… I know I am. I’m sorry.”

Truly disappointing.

“I can do better. I promise! Look! Rock candy!”

That don’t count, and you know it.

Pinkie Pie’s head sank and tears fell from the corners of her wrinkled, clenched-shut eyelids. Darkness surrounded her, and the voices of her parents and sisters rippled through her consciousness.

“I just can’t stay, mom! Dad! I have to set out and find my future!” she shouted to no one, her voice seeming to become lost in the void beyond. Choking slightly, she added quietly, “My future isn’t here.”

“Well, we can’t force you to stay. If that’s what you want, then…” her father’s voice spoke clearly to her, but in her mind she heard him saying something else, as if he were mumbling it under his breath.

What a good-for-nothing child. At least the other girls turned out okay.

Pinkie stamped her hoof and opened her eyes, turning her gaze upward towards the black nothing above. “I’m not a good-for-nothing! Dad wouldn’t say that!”

“Wouldn’t he?” a distorted voice asked her.

“Who’s there? Come out!” Pinkie shouted, leaping to all fours.

Laughter came in response. “I’m your best friend. The best you have in this world, anyway.”

Pinkie shook her head and frowned. “Best friend? Best friends don’t act like this! Making me think those things, that was mean!”

“It wasn’t hard, though! You were almost thinking them, yourself. Back in the dark corners of your mind, you had buried all those thoughts away, hiding them from yourself. I brought them back to you! I showed you the truth!”

The images of her disappointed parents flashed vividly in her mind. “Stop it! I don’t want to remember those things!”

“Friends don’t lie to each other, Pinkie Pie,” the voice said. Pinkie could feel a warm body press against her from behind and a pair of forelegs wrap around her neck, pulling her into an embrace. “Why would you lie to yourself? Shouldn’t you be your own best friend? Love yourself more than anypony else?”

Pinkie swallowed and licked her lips. “I… I guess so. I mean, you can’t love anypony else if you don’t love yourself first. That’s friendship 101, but-”

“Exactly,” the mysterious figure whispered into Pinkie’s ear. “And you wouldn’t lie to a friend… not if it meant hiding an important truth from them. A truth buried so deep that they don’t even remember it anymore. A truth as hard as rock.”

Pinkie swallowed, her mind seeming to be dragged along a specific train of thought. “The Pie family loves rocks,” she said, flatly.

“But you don’t, do you?”

“I like them okay…” Pinkie hesitated, shutting her eyes again.

“Your whole family is gray. You aren’t.”

“Y-yeah. That’s true, but--”

“Why is that, I wonder?” the voice questioned, almost seeming to pierce into Pinkie’s mind.

“Dad always said I was his little colorful surprise.”

“Is he really your father?”

Pinkie’s eyes shot open. “Of… Of course he is,” she said, jaw quivering.

Laughter echoed quietly across the dark landscape again. Pinkie felt whoever was behind her release her, and she turned to see who it was. Nopony was there, only darkness greeted her.

“I’ll leave you to think about that. I have to take care of some guests I’ve been expecting.”

Pinkie slouched down, her head hanging low. “But where am I?” she asked, her eyes glancing left and right. “What… is this place, anyway?” It was dark, but not completely black. A vast expanse of almost brownish dark gray as far as she thought she could see.

The pink pony stamped her hoof against the bleak ground and choked back tears. “I hate this place!” she shouted, but then fell to the ground, seemingly accepting her fate of hanging in this limbo forever. “It reminds me of home… why is that such a sad thing, though? Why?”

Her tears finally came falling down her face as she cried, alone and lost in the empty.

Elsewhere, within Pinkie Pie’s dream…

“You know me?” the gray pony asked as she approached Discord and the three Crusaders.

“Of course, you’re one of the ponies from the photos in Pinkie’s house down there. One of her sisters, maybe?” Discord asked, snapping his fingers and making a pipe appear in his mouth and a cap on his head. “Is my deduction correct?”

The pony nodded her head and sat down beside him, seemingly unshaken by his jumbled appearance. “That’s right, I’m her sister, Maud. I don’t actually know what this place is, but I have theories. It almost seems like it’s a made-up world just for Pinkie Pie, so it’s no surprise to hear you talking about her,” she said, her voice almost monotone and her gaze turning to the changeling.

“You’re basically right, but one thing doesn’t make sense to us,” Scootaloo said, tilting her head.

Apple Bloom nodded and continued her friend’s thought as she approached Maud. “I kind of thought Pinkie’s world would be a little, I don’t know, happier.”

“She may seem happy all the time, but she’s actually quite troubled,” Maud replied, her eyes closing softly.

Sweetie Belle poked her head out a bit and looked up at Maud. “Troubled? What about?”

Maud opened her eyes back up and turned to the foal. “When she left the farm, she felt like she failed us all. She knows it’s not true, but she hasn’t ever been able to shake the sadness,” she said, turning to look over the barren landscape as she continued. “Something in this place, this world, had resurfaced that sadness, and it just keeps getting worse and worse every day. Pinkie abandoned that world of sunshine and fruit juice rain up above for this bleak, gray place.”

“Fruit juice rain?” Discord asked, tapping his chin. “I always did prefer chocolate milk rain, myself, but I could give it a try.”

“I could do without that, thanks,” a voice called down to them. Everyone looked up and saw Princess Luna and Twilight emerging from a sparkling rip in the sky and dropping down to meet them.

“Twilight! Princess Luna!” the three foals cheered and scampered over to meet up with them.

“Thank the stars you’re here!” Apple Bloom said. “I was afraid we’d never find each other.”

The changeling groaned, glancing at the newcomers but keeping his eyes mostly on Discord. “Ah yes, more of the traitors. You’ll never make me betray Pinkie! You’ll be sorry!”

Maud glared at the changeling, showing the most emotion she had since first appearing. “You’re the ones who brought the sadness. If anyone should be sorry, it’s you. I doubt it’s a coincidence that Pinkie became so angry ever since you arrived.”

Twilight assessed the situation quickly and approached the floating changeling. “Angry is right. I couldn’t believe what I saw Pinkie Pie do to one of her supposed friends in that arena!”

The changeling gulped and looked down at her. “What she… did?”

“Yes. A changeling named Eres,” Luna continued, turning to look at Discord. “She crushed him to nothing but a bloody pulp. I believe she is using umbral magic.” Her eyes narrowed as she said the last words, and Discord nodded back to her in response.

“So, you think so, as well… she couldn’t have just come upon it on her own. There must have been some sort of catalyst.”

“C-c-crushed? Eres was?” the changeling asked, his dark face almost seeming to go white. Tears formed at the corners of his eyes and his jaw quivered. “Eres was… Eres was my friend. Crushed to a pulp?”

Discord sighed and gently set the changeling down, though he kept his magical grip around him loosely. “Oh, I’m sure he’s fine, he’ll just wake up on the other side.”

“Other side?” the changeling asked with a confused look on its face, and Discord returned the look.

“Yes, you know, the uh…” he started, then glanced over at Maud before leaning in toward the changeling and whispering. “Outside the dream world.”

The changeling blinked again, his confusing not passing. Finally, his eyes lit up, as if waking up from a dream of his own. “The outside! Of course! How did I forget about that? I completely…” he rambled for a moment, then looked around at the ponies around him, his eyes narrowing. “It’s you! You’re the ones the queen warned us about! We were sent here to take you out!”

Discord laughed and shook his head. “Take us out? Weren’t you here to help Pinkie Pie?” he asked, an idea of what was happening to the changeling forming in his head. This one was under some sort of mind control connected to Pinkie Pie. When reminded of the outside world, he was able to snap out of it, but…

“Pinkie… Pie?” the changeling repeated, his voice shaking. “Yeah… she’s our friend! I have to stop her friends! But, I’m her friend, too!” he said, staring up at Discord, his mind completely fogged up by swirling and conflicting thoughts. “What am I supposed to do? I don’t know anymore!”

Twilight stepped forward, standing before the changeling and reaching out her hoof. “Listen, I know this is confusing, but if you really are Pinkie Pie’s friend, then you should help us. We’re here to save her, to save everypony,” she said, leaning forward. “We’ve met two other changelings like you who made friends with us ponies, Linnai and Mulcibar. They’re our friends, and they’re helping us. Will you help us, too?”

The changeling hesitated, his mind racing. “But, she crushed Eres! You said you saw it! Maybe Eres just wasn’t a good enough friend! If that’s what friendship is like, I don’t want it!” he shouted.

Twilight shook her head. “No. It’s not. Friends love each other! They don’t… crush each other to death with dark magic!” She pulled her hoof back and pushed it toward him again, looking into his eyes. “You have to believe me. That wasn’t Pinkie Pie. She’s under some sort of dark magic spell. We can save her! You can save her!”

The changeling thought for a moment longer and lifted a hoof to wipe away his tears. “Fine, then! You might be a weird bunch, but what you say rings true. I don’t know what’s happening inside me, but it feels… It feels right!”

“Eugh, enough mushy stuff,” Discord said as he fully released his grip on the changeling and turned to Luna. “So, can you sense the dark magic? I can feel it, but it’s doing a good job of masking its location.”

“If you want to know where Pinkie Pie is, I already know,” Maud said, matter of factly.

Everyone turned to look at her with confusion. Discord tilted his head. “Why didn’t you say so?”

“You didn’t ask,” she responded. “I know, though. There’s a place called Candy Mountain. That’s where she is. I can feel it, somehow.”

Lucidity? Luna thought to herself. Perhaps this is one of Pinkie Pie’s focuses.

“Well, let’s go, then!” Twilight shouted turning to Maud. “We have to get Pinkie Pie and then get out of here! We’re have no time to lose.”

“I can get us there quickly, but I’ll need your help,” Luna said, stepping towards the changeling. “What is your name, new ally? I am Princess Luna. Know that you have a kindred spirit in me, as well.” As she spoke, the illusion of her alicorn form melted away, revealing her body full of holes and more angular changeling maw.

The changeling blinked in surprise for a second, and then smiled. “A pleasure, your majesty. I am a a mere guard for Queen Chrysalis, they call me Brevil. You’ll find no stronger shieldling in all of the Royal Guard,” he said, pounding one hoof against his sturdy chest.

“We go, then! To Candy Mountain!” Princess Luna proclaimed, raising a hoof into the air. As she spoke, she heard Discord and, surprisingly, Twilight, snicker loudly. “That… sounded a lot better in my head.”

Wiping a tear away, Twilight nodded. “Yes. Let’s go save our friends!”

Brevil stomped his hooves and leapt ahead of both of them. “Yes, new friends! To save Pinkie!”

Pinkie Pie’s Dream, Present…

Vitra and Fluttershy stepped quietly through the tunnels, moving as fast as they could while counting on the light from Vitra’s horn to guide them. The caves were fairly straightforward, but had several branches and forks. As they decided randomly upon which direction to go, sometimes quickly finding dead ends and turning back, Fluttershy stared ahead blankly and thought about her earlier conversation.

I’m in love with Mulcibar, and I always have been, Vitra’s voice echoed in Fluttershy’s mind. She grimaced as more words returned to her. Don’t worry. No doubt, he’ll pick you.

Pick me? Does she want him to pick me? What does she even mean by pick? She asked herself and shook her head, feeling her heart speeding up slightly. Does she mean, as a marefriend? Oh, I don’t want to think about what he might really want! Her brow began to furrow as anxiousness filled her, at least until it abruptly bumped into Vitra’s rear end.

“A three-way!” Vitra burst out, followed by a groan of annoyance.

Fluttershy’s eyes went wide and she fell back after bumping into her companion’s rump. “You think he’s like that?” she asked, suddenly, and very aloud. Her face exploded in crimson as fast as the words escaped her mouth.

Vitra sighed and turned around, waving a hoof above her head. “No, a three-way split in the cave!” she said with a snort and grinned down at Fluttershy. “And I am not sure, but it would be fun to find out!”

The both of them laughed and sighed, and Vitra took a seat beside Fluttershy. They sat in silence for a moment until the pegasus spoke. “So… what about you? What will you do?”

Vitra shook her head and kicked at a rock on the cave floor. “Right now, I have to get out of here and report what I’ve discovered to the queen.”

“Not about that,” Fluttershy said and reached a hoof out timidly. “I mean… about Mulcibar. You said that you… That you, you know…” Her voice died down as she spoke.

Vitra took a deep breath and stared at Fluttershy blankly. “This is no time to be thinking about love.”

A visibly frustrated Fluttershy tried to retain her composure in response. “That’s all you’ve been talking about this whole time!”

“Well, it’s new to me! Sorry! It’s sort of at the front of my mind.”

Fluttershy fell back and leaned against a moistened outcropping of rock. “Honestly, it’s the same for me. I never used to think about this kind of stuff, and now all of the sudden, I can’t stop. I can’t make up my mind, either. Mulcibar or Rainbow Dash?” She tapped her front hooves against her cheeks. “It’s too hard to decide.”

Vitra shrugged. “Why not neither? It’s not like you have to pick one or the other.”

“But I… I really do like both of them.”

“Well, why not both?”

“B-b-b-both?” Fluttershy asked, shooting back up to her hooves. “That’s not, I mean, I couldn’t possibly…!”

Vitra erupted in laughter and stood back up as well. “That’s okay girl, you’ll figure it out. We both will.”

“Everypony keeps telling me that about a lot of things, but I don’t think I ever will with this.”

“It won’t matter if you do, you’ll soon be dead,” a voice came loudly from the center tunnel ahead. Vitra and Fluttershy turned and were greeted by the sight of two changelings staring at them from the cavern. The one who was speaking was lean and lanky, and sported a pale blue gem socketed into his unicorn-like horn. The other was shorter and stouter with a sharp changeling horn and glowing green eyes. “Been a while, Vitra.”

“Ah hells, Zanzi, not you, too…”

The new changeling nodded his head. “Yep, me. Insane, right?”

“You certainly are,” Vitra said, backing away slowly and gesturing for Fluttershy to do the same.

“Always so sharp-tongued, but you’re right. Why am I helping the pink pony? Why am I turning against the queen’s daughter here?” he asked, matching her retreat to keep their distance even while the gem in his horn glowed brighter.

“You don’t have to. Let us through. I am on an important mission for the queen, you know that!”

“Sorry, Vit, but I don’t follow her orders anymore,” he said, cutting her off slightly. His eyes widened and his brow furrowed with anger. “She lied to us all. Lied about this mission! Lied about ponies! Lied about love!”

“No! She didn’t!” Vitra shouted, her gem now burning bright as well.

“She did!” he spat back, a glowing magical spear materializing in the air in front of him.

“Wait! Just listen! I think I can explain--”

“I already know everything, deceiver!” He grasped the spear and leapt into the air, bringing it down straight at Vitra’s head. She dodged to the side and slammed into Fluttershy, shoving the yellow pegasus towards the tunnel to their right.

“Get out of here! He’s too much for you!” she yelled, taking notice of the other changeling who was now charging around to the other side. “Run and don’t stop!”

“I can’t just--” Fluttershy started, but Vitra shoved her again, this time swinging her body around and kicking her hind legs up, slamming them into the other changeling’s chest and knocking it back against a wall.

Fluttershy grunted but didn’t offer any further protest. She scampered away, disappearing down the dark tunnel. The two changelings faced off against Vitra, with Zanzir striking first, lunging his luminous spear at Vitra’s chest. She leapt into the air and back, but then caught a flash of motion from her right. The other changeling had leapt beneath her and dove into the cave where Fluttershy had run.

“Be sure to kill her, Boros!” Zanzir shouted.

“Shit!” Vitra tried to lurch in the same direction, but was stopped by the glowing weapon of her opponent. The two of them circled now, the tip of the spear aimed at her head as they stared each other down.

“What was it all for, Vit?”

“Stop this!”

“What did my father die for, Vit?”

“I don’t know! I don’t want to hurt you!”

“Love has made you soft, Vit! Too bad for you, it’s made me strong!”

The sound of Fluttershy shrieking echoed from the distance, reverberating off of the cave walls, along with several loud crashing sounds. Vitra gritted her teeth, not taking her eyes off of Zanzir. “It’s made me plenty strong, too! Not that I wasn’t already!” she said, her horn flashing and a wave of magic bursting out of it. Zanzir was suddenly still, and Vitra’s eyes glowed. She nodded her head upward, and the changeling rose into the air, releasing his grip on the spear against his will.

Zanzir smirked and licked his lips. “Let me go, Vit. You know I’m right.”

“You don’t get it! She didn’t lie, because she didn’t know! She didn’t know the truth!”

“Oh, that we can feel love? I bet she did!”

Vitra shook her head. “No, you idiot! You aren’t listening!”

“And you don’t remember what my powers are!”

He suddenly vanished from sight and laughter filled the air. Vitra tensed up and widened her stance, whipping her head to one side then the other. The escape artist, of course, she thought. A second later, she caught a movement out of the corner of her eye. She leapt to the side, but too late to evade the attack completely. The handle of a spear slammed against her legs at the knee joint. With a loud cracking sound she stumbled and fell to the ground.

“You can hold me with your puppet powers all you want, Vitra, but I can escape every time,” Zanzir boasted, appearing briefly beside her before flashing out of sight again. “You can never defeat me because without your power, you’re just a prissy little princess.”

The sound of more crashing and running hooves echoed from the tunnel Fluttershy had disappeared down. It almost sounded as if something had caved in.

“Sounds like Boros found your friend,” Zanzir said with a grin and a laugh, his form completely invisible.

Fluttershy! Damn it! Vitra thought, trying to lift herself back to her feet. Her legs were in pain, but she didn’t think they were broken. She gritted her teeth and growled out to the other changeling. “Zanzir, she told me that she’d tasted Mulcibar’s love, and tasked me with with finding out how that was possible! You have to let me--”

“Shut up!” Zanzir shouted and reappeared in front of her. “Do you think any of that matters? Nothing matters now but revenge!”

She felt his spear plunge into her shoulder, past her neck, and down into her chest. Her eyes clenched shut and her teeth ground against one another. She felt her body slam into the cold, hard cave floor.

Fuck… Whatever...

Ponyville Outskirts, Reality, Present…

Two foals, shrouded in the shadows of the brush tall grass, made their way into the back alleys of Ponyville and headed towards town hall. Having snuck away from the group at the Apple Farm, Diamond Tiara and Snips tiphooved as fast as they could.

“I can’t believe we’re doing this,” Snips whispered, gesturing down the alley towards the main road where two ponies with faintly glowing green eyes stood guard. “Those things are gonna kill us!”

The mare filly slapped her hoof over the colt’s mouth and pressed her muzzle into his ear. “Shut up, you dolt, you’re gonna be the one to get us killed if they hear you!” she whispered gruffly. “We have to find out where they’re keeping my parents. My daddy will get us out of this, he’s rich!”

“I thought we were here to save Snails and Silver Spoon,” Snips mumbled as he pulled away from her and pushed open the back door of a house. “How we even gonna find ‘em, eh?”

Diamond pushed ahead of him and quietly made her way through the home. “That magician pony said they were keeping prisoners in Town Hall. I know a secret way in thanks to daddy. He used to go there to make deals with the mayor.”

Snips shrugged and followed, through the house and out a side window, then across a garden of tall-stemmed lilies until they came to a building with a cellar door.

“This is it. Lucky, it’s tied shut with rope. Those monsters haven’t gone in here yet,” she said, tugging at the knot.

Snips lit up his horn and pulled a pair of scissors out from seemingly nowhere. He quickly snipped the rope and pulled one of the cellar doors open.

“Wow, you’re actually useful for a change,” Diamond Tiara scoffed and walked past the colt with a slight sneer. “Who carries a pair of scissors around everywhere? Weirdo.”

Snips sighed and followed behind her, entertaining for a just a moment the thought of leaving her behind. He quickly stopped, though, as he remembered why he was here. Gotta save Snails! He’s hopeless without me!

“Once we set them free, we get out of here this same way. No noise, no fuss, got it?” the filly asked as they made their way through the cellar and then into a tunnel hidden by a hanging tapestry. “Oh, and not a word about this secret tunnel, got it? I’m not even supposed to know about it!”

Snips once again shrugged and glanced around at the rather nondescript passageway. “What’s ta mention? It’s as borin’ as visitin’ Canterlot.”

Diamond Tiara scoffed. “As if! A cretin like you couldn’t possibly understand the value of a visit to the city of alicorns! Now keep your voice down, we’re almost there.”

The two of them came to a wooden panel with two small holes, covered with a flap. Diamond Tiara lifted the flap and peeked through the holes for a second, then quickly pulled back and shut the flap. She fell back onto her flank and covered her mouth.

“Well? What didja see?” Snips asked in a hushed tone.

“It’s Miss Cheerilee and my pa… parents,” she started, but had to stop in order to grab Snips and slap a hoof over his mouth.

“Hey--” he had started to say, reaching toward the flap, as she stopped him and pulled him close.

“No!” she breathed into his ear. “They’re in some kind of… icky, green pods! I think they’re… I think they might be dead!”

Snips took a deep breath and felt his body starting to tremble. He pushed the filly’s hoof away from his mouth and whimpered quietly. “Dead? They can’t be…” He felt a hoof smack against his shoulder and he glared back at Diamond.

“You’re the colt! You go and ch-ch-check on them!” she said, her voice shaking.

Snips rolled his eyes and took another deep breath. “Fine. I ain’t s-s-s-scared.” He pulled out his shining pair of silver scissors again, and lifted the flap, peering through the holes. He squinted and was able to make out a bit more than Diamond has mentioned. There were numerous ponies in these green pods, and if he focused hard, he could see them moving slightly, twitching as if they were dreaming. “They’re alive. We have to save them.”

Diamond Tiara breathed a sigh of relief and pointed a hoof towards a metal plate at the corner of the dead end. “Okay… That plate will open the door, so press it when the coast is clear.”

The colt pressed it, and the door opened a crack without a single sound. The both of them tried to steel their nerves as they emerged into the central office of Town Hall, now nothing more than a changeling cocoon chamber. Cautiously, Diamond Tiara stepped toward her father and stared up at him, while Snips lit up his horn lightly and started to look around at the other cocoons.

Out of the corner of her eye, as she approached her parents’ pods, Diamond spotted another familiar face. She swallowed roughly and stiffened her lower lip. “Silver Spoon. Thank goodness,” she whispered quietly to herself. “We’ll get you out of here, I promise.”

Diamond Tiara squinted her eyes now and noticed a large gash across Silver Spoon’s face. Her mind slipped back into the past, remembering the events that took place the day the changelings attacked. She and Silver Spoon had been cornered against a fence near the school. A changeling drone approached them, horn aglow with green magic. It leapt at them, hissing.

“Run!” Diamond had shouted, but the drone was fast and grabbed ahold of both of them. In a jumble of bodies, Silver Spoon lurched forward right into her friend’s tiara. The sharp tip of it sliced into her cheek, and Silver Spoon let out a shriek. In a panic, Diamond grabbed the tiara and pulled it away, and in a stroke of luck, the same bloodied tip of the head adornment stabbed into their changeling assailant’s eye. The inadvertent attack had allowed them to break away. It all happened in a flash of a few brief seconds.

“Come on!” Diamond shouted and started to run, but her gray colored friend was stunned, holding her red-streaked cheek in pain. The drone, one eye shut and dripping its own blood descended on Silver Spoon and captured her as Diamond continued to flee.

Diamond fell against Silver’s cocoon and wept, trying to stay quiet but not doing a great job any longer. “It’s not my fault! If you’d just run when I said!” she growled and punched a hoof against the cocoon’s surface. “Wake up, darn it!”

“Quiet!” Snips hissed from across the room. He magically raised his scissors into the air and used them to slice a gash right into the cocoon that held Snails. The colt game crashing down, along with a torrent of green liquid. “Ahhhh, gross!”

A second later, snails gasped for air, his eyes shot open, and he began to flail his hooves. “No! Stop! I can’t eat any more pistachio pudding!” he shouted at the top of his lungs, as if awakening from a nightmare. Snips quickly wrapped his hooves around his friend’s mouth to shut him up.

Diamond waved from where she stood. “Hurry up! Get Sil out next!” she said, tapping on Silver Spoon’s cocoon. Snips floated his scissors over as quickly as he could and cut her free. After the deluge of green goop fell, Diamond quickly grabbed her friend by the head and slapped a hoof against her mouth to keep her from screaming. “My parents, too! Come on!”

Unfortunately, there was no more time. The sound of a door slamming open came from the front of the office, accompanied with the sound of hooves. “What’s going on in there?” a gruff voice shouted. A changeling drone came galloping in and spotted the foals immediately. He stared at Diamond Tiara and laughed. “You! My lucky day!”

Diamond stared back up at him and noticed his left eye had a gash just to the side of it. She shook Silver Spoon, but realized that she had passed out. The changeling stepped toward the foals, glaring menacingly down at them.

“You should have never come back. Your friend, we kept alive, but I’m gonna kill you!” he said, laughing briefly, then then crying out as a pair of scissors stabbed into his right eye.

Snips stood, horn aglow and teeth gritted, and pulled the scissors away before stabbing them into the changelings eye socket again. Over and over, he shoved the silver scissors into the changeling’s eye until it fell to the ground, no longer screaming, body slightly twitching.

Diamond Tiara screamed. “That’s disgusting, you violent idiot!” She smacked him in the flank several times with her forehooves until he stepped away, wiping the blood-soaked scissors against the carpet.

The colt glared back at her, his breath fast and heavy, and his eyes wide. “Nice thanks for saving us! Let’s get outta here!”

Diamond nodded her head and looked over at Snails, noting that he had also passed out. She groaned. “They’re both asleep again!’ She tapped a hoof against Silver’s face and shook her head. “We don’t have time for this!”

As if in response to her frustration, the sound of another changeling outside shouting came through the walls.

“It’s the farm ponies! They’re attacking!”

Snails and Diamond nodded to one another and began dragging their friends’ bodies across the room toward the secret doorway. Together, they lifted them up and pushed them into the corridor and shut the door. Inside, they took a moment to catch their breath. Snips stared at his scissors and let out a sigh.

“They’re supposed to be for cutting manes, not… killing,” he said softly, opening and closing them a couple of times in the air.

Diamond shook her head and softly slugged the colt against the shoulder. “This is no time to be feeling sorry about that!” she said, her cheeks revealing the slightest blush. “Besides… you saved our lives. You had to do it.”

Meanwhile, on the outskirts of the town…

Trixie found herself charging forward, right towards where she knew the changelings were waiting, alongside Zecora. Behind them and to their flank by a good amount ran Big Macintosh, along with several other ponies from the farm.

The zebra turned her head to look at Trixie’s face, taking note of the anxious expression she wore. “Remember the plan and steady your heart! If you see those two, you must pull them apart!”

Trixie nodded her head and swallowed nervously. Teleport spell! Teleport spell! You can do it, Trixie! Just stay calm!

Ahead of them lay Ponyville Square, and a battle that they would all remember for as long as they lived.

Comments ( 18 )

Yay for living!
Unfortunately it's been so long we've mostly forgotten what's been going on... But hey, lots of moving going on here!
Keep going! ;)

I'm glad I set you up in my feed reminders.
I was so worried that this story would never complete.
Enjoyable chapter, please go on.

Its always great to see a story update after a long period of inactivity. Glad to see you're back. Sounds like you've had an interesting couple of years. Hope things have settled down a bit.

Awesome to see more story! I am really excited to see more of the Pinkie arc as she is my favorite. I still wonder if Rainbow Dash or someone else will be really important to helping Pinkie out.

Diamond Tiara using magic? Am I forgetting something here?

What the? It's alive?! I had always hoped but this makes me very happy.

*insert It's Alive from Young Frankenstein here*

This is a mistake of mine and I definitely will fix it after I get home from the con. I don't know why I reinvented her as a unicorn in my brain.

Fixed now, thanks.

Ohhhhh I remember absolutely living this story!!! Welcome back.

So many good stories being updated after so long... good times. Good times.

Speaking of time. Reread time.

Welcome back!

And things are even more chaotic than I remember... I should probably reread this when I have some time to spare.

I've been working on the next chapter this past week after sustaining a knee injury, so hopefully by the time you're through re-reading it, there will be yet another chapter.

Hoping for a new chapter soon...

Haven't read the, new chapter yet, mainly because I plan to re-read the story from the beginning.

But seeing as this is the first update in a while I wanted to leave a comment about how excited I was to see it had updated; and how much I am looking forward to reading it once I've caught up to this point again.

Also I'm rooting for Linnai to get her Happy Ending; both she and her brother grew on me over the first reading.

Welcome back.

Being quarantined into my home may just lead me to the free time I need to get this done. Don't expect another update unless it's to completely finish the book.

We were reminded of this fic from a forum post we made several years ago. Coincidence. Hope everything is going well for you! 😘

Hey! Hope you've been feeling better. I'm not one of your older readers, but i love the story just as and will wait however much to see it completed. It's sad that i decided to enter MLP fandom too late and couldn't see the hype on good stories like this.

Continue on your own pace and take care!

Really sucks that this story is no longer updated. Had a lot of potential in being completed. :ajsleepy:

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