• Published 30th Jan 2019
  • 6,704 Views, 1,172 Comments

Knowledge is Power - hydra30

  • ...
45
 1,172
 6,704

12 Hostages

Chrysalis lay on her side in one of the back alleys of Canterlot, keeping her injured leg off the ground as best she could. The wound seeped green changeling blood, the ice spike that made it lay not far away, also covered in her blood. One would think pulling it out would cause massive hemorrhaging, but changelings, especially the queen, had ways to patch such wounds.

Unfortunately, it required the feeding of a massive amount of love, which Chrysalis was currently draining from the three of her own changelings that she held in her magic. With the invasion still in progress, Chrysalis had no access to pony victims yet, so was resorting to draining what she could from the small group of expendable minions that she had been able to bring to her makeshift hiding place. It meant weakening her forces, but she was not about to risk facing Twilight in her current condition, not after seeing what she could do.

"Next," she commanded after the last wisp of pink energy flowed into her mouth from her soldiers, the wounds on her face and leg slowly closing.

The next group walked hesitantly forward, watching as the previous three staggered away. But they dare not defy their Queen. Chrysalis seized them in her magic, pink energy flowing into her mouth. Her wounds were mending, but she was very vulnerable here.

She delved into the hivemind.

---

"Pharynx."

"My Queen, are you alright?" Pharynx asked worriedly.

"I have escaped harm, for now," replied Chrysalis, "What of Twilight Sparkle?"

"She is no longer a threat, your majesty," explained Pharynx happily. "After I got her off of you some of our warriors overpowered and destroyed her."

"You saw her corpse?" Chrysalis asked, suspicion in her voice.

"It was a huge explosion," explained Pharynx, "Nothing is left."

"I do not believe she is dead," said Chrysalis, fear tinging her voice.

"But my Queen, no mere pony could..."

"Twilight is not a normal unicorn anymore," said Chrysalis, "Something has changed. "

"If she is alive what should we do? Pharynx asked, his own voice worried.

"It would be unwise to confront her," said Chrysalis, her mind hatching a scheme. "At least not without some leverage."

"Leverage?"

"Come to my side with all haste, Pharynx, " said Chrysalis quickly. "And send some guards to..."

---

Twilight stood backed against a wall in the Canterlot marketplace, several changelings surrounding her at all sides. They hissed threateningly, approaching her slowly with their fangs bared. It would be concerning for Twilight, being so outnumbered.

However, she had a solution.

---

"So these are Seekers?" Asked Twilight, pointing to the creature before her that looked like the thing that had gave Twilight the hint about the book during her first day in Apocrypha.

"Yes," replied Hermaeus Mora from one of his portals. "They are my cartographers, it is their duty to organize and maintain my library.

"And the Lurkers?" Twilight inquired, shivering at the huge mass of muscle before her.

"My guardians, " explained Hermaeus Mora, "It is their responsibility to protect my library from invaders. "

Twilight looked at the massive arena which was populated by at least a dozen of these creatures.

She was here to test what would be the best strategy for a situation where she was facing multiple foes.

---

'FAAS RU MAAR'

All the Changelings before Twilight were swept over by a luminous red mist, their eyes glistening with the same color. They blinked once. Then took to the air, screaming in terror as they scattered.

Twilight immediately resumed her search for her foe, Queen Chrysalis, running down the road with all her might. She needed to take Chrysalis down, but she had no desire to harm her minions. They had served Queen Chrysalis their entire lives and knew no other way but hers. And Twilight had a feeling that once she was no longer around, they might consider a new understanding of life.

"Oh horseapples," whispered Twilight, diving between two buildings, looking out to the outside street.

A group of changelings even bigger than before was swarming the area. Twilight had seen this all over, changelings spreading, chasing and binding the population in green ropes of changeling goo. She wanted to help, but she knew that the sooner she took out Chrysalis, the sooner this would be over.

Suddenly, she heard a rustling noise from behind her.

She turned around to see a lone changeling emerging from the shadows of the alley she was hiding in. She stiffened up and let out a challenging huff. She stared at it, it stared back.

"You won't stop me," whispered Twilight, glaring at the changeling before her. "Chrysalis must pay for what she has done. "

To Twilight's surprise, the changeling looked down with a sad sigh, a single tear rolling down its face.

"I know, " it whimpered in a soft male voice.

Before Twilight could react, the changeling morphed into her visage, then sped past her down the street.

"It's her," said one of the other changelings. "The one who attacked our Queen."

Twilight watched as the changeling led its own brethren away from her. Why had it done that? It was no secret that she was bent on destroying their Queen.

---

Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo, the renowned Cutie Mark Crusaders, had hidden under a random bed in a random room when they had fled the wedding. They had never been so scared in their life when that monster emerged, its grotesque eyes and scary appearance burnt into their minds. Now they did not know what to do.

"Stay calm, girls, " whispered Scootaloo, "Everything's going to be okay. "

"How do you know that?" Sweetie Belle shot back, shaking with fear. "You saw that thing."

"Scootaloo is right, Sweetie," said Apple Bloom, her face slightly less panicked than Sweetie's. "Our sisters have fought monsters before, they can beat this one too."

They heard the door to the bedroom suddenly open.

"Something is coming," Sweetie whispered in terror.

"Stay calm," repeated Scootaloo.

"No noises," whispered Apple Bloom.

"Is anypony in here?" A deep masculine voice asked. "This is the royal guard, we have come to evacuate everypony from the castle until the crisis is over. "

"Oh, thank goodness," said Sweetie Belle, rushing out from under the bed, followed by her two friends.

"Follow me," said the lone pegasus guard that awaited them.

They took off down the hall, the girls' formal dresses billowing behind them. They ran through the palace halls, but the girls never saw any other groups being led to safety. In fact, they saw no other ponies at all, the castle was deserted.

"Where is everypony?" Sweetie Belle asked.

"We've already evacuated the castle, I was just doing a final sweep when I found you," answered the guard.

"Stop worrying, Sweetie," said Scootaloo. "We're safe now."

Their eyes widened when they entered the next room. It was a large room with a window at the end, but no other way out but where they came in. But what really drew their attention was that the room had at least half a dozen black, pony shaped creatures similar to what they had seen at the wedding.

A flash of green lit up the room behind them, and the girls turned to see that the guard had transformed into another one of those monsters.

---

"HELP!"

Twilight spun around, looking to the distant castle. From her vantage point she saw a party of changelings about seven strong smash out of one of the castle windows, three of them carrying tiny thrashing figures. They dropped down, flying low between the buildings and Twilight teleported to the roof of the tallest nearby structure to get better look.

She has only heard it faintly, but she recognized the voices calling out for help. And sure enough, she soon made out that it was the CMC struggling in the changelings' clutches, kicking and screaming against the grasp of their captors. With a ferocious snarl, Twilight began galloping after them, teleporting from roof to roof as she ran.

"I don't think so, Chrysalis, " snapped Twilight, guessing what the changeling queen was planning. "I won't be subdued by dirty, underhoof tricks."

To her dismay, the changelings that held the CMC captive disappeared into the alleyways behind the Canterlot buildings before she could get close enough to see which direction they were going. She tried to listen for the fillies' screams again, but the chase had brought her closer to the rampaging changeling swarm again, and she couldn't hear anything through all the noise. But she was not defeated, she had other ways of finding out which way they went.

Focusing on a set of words, Twilight open her mouth: 'LAAS YAH NIR'

Instantly, Twilight's vision filled with glowing red clouds in the shape of ponies. Below she could see the changeling army rampaging through Canterlot, those inside buildings showing on the outside of the wall. Looking down the alley she had lost track of the CMC in, Twilight was relieved to see very few things were visible, most too small to be ponies or changelings.

"There they are," she whispered, spotting a shifting mass of red about a block or two down the alleyways.

Lighting up her horn, Twilight cast a teleport and was relieved to find herself in the path of the fillynapping changelings.

"This as far as you go," said Twilight, stomping her hoof for emphasis. "Let the foals go free."

"TWILIGHT, HELP US...PLE..."

Sweetie Belle's plea for help was cut short when she and her friends were seized by green changeling magic, and lifted into the air. Unable to even move a muscle, the three innocent fillies were pushed before the group of changelings and left to hover between them and Twilight. Her stomach twisted once she realized they were being used as shields.

"Our Queen has a proposition for you, pony," said the changeling who was holding the fillies in his magic. "Surrender, and give yourself up, or these three die."

Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and, Scootaloo's eyes all widened in terror at what was just said, filling with fearful tears.

Twilight glared at them with a face of barely restrained rage, itching to show this jerk why it was a huge mistake to threaten foals in front of her. But one look into the CMC's eyes made her reel in her anger. They were right in the line of fire if she used anything at the moment.

They were so young, they deserved better than this. Images of Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash appeared in her mind's eye and she knew she would never forgive herself if she let anything happen to the little fillies that her friends loved so much. She could not risk their lives.

But if she gave up now, what would become of Equestria. If Chrysalis had the gall to threaten foals like this, what would she do if Twilight did surrender? She was a greedy, egotistical tyrant and she would probably drain every drop of love from even the foals of Equestria if she claimed victory.

Twilight was the only hope for Equestria now.

But she could not endanger the lives of these three, she had grown close to them too. They looked up to her, she could never let them come to harm. She needed a plan.

If only they were not between her and the changelings, then she could use her shout. Maybe if she teleported somewhere for an angle she could use and not harm the fillies. Going over them was to dangerous, the shout could hurt them...

But what if it couldn't. What if the CMC were unable to be harmed. A plan formed in her mind as she jumbled the words in her head.

"Girls," said Twilight, her eyes fixated on the three fillies before her." Do you trust me? "

They were quivering in terror, but nodded yes.

"Very well," said Twilight, looking to the changelings in front of her. "I surrender. "

"Good, " hissed the lead changeling. "Now just...."

'FEIM ZII HII'

The shout raced from Twilight's mouth, engulfing the fillies in a blue cloud of light.

"KILL THEM!" shouted the changeling.

The group moved to pounce on the fillies hovering in the air, but much to their surprise, they passed through them like they weren't there at all. They impacted the ground with a crunch, the changeling that held the young trio lost his grip on them, letting them fall to the ground, miraculously unharmed. All seven looked up at Twilight before them, horrified at how vulnerable they were now.

Twilight still did not want to hurt the drones, but these seven had just threatened her friends sister's.

'FRO KRAH DIIN'

The shout raced over the seven changelings in a dark blue mist, encasing them in ice. They then flew backwards, over the startled CMC, whose bodies were now transparent. When they hit the far wall, they all shattered like brittle glass, chunks of red debris tinted with green flying all over the ally.

Twilight looked on with conflicting feelings. She had just ended seven lives in less than a blink. Yet she felt nothing.

All she could focus on right there was the fact that the CMC were safe now, and that was all her heart would focus on. The three fillies had their eyes glued to the horrible scene before them, never noticing their bodies return to normal. Twilight wished they had not had to see that, but at least they were not hurt.

"You need to leave," Twilight said, gaining the stunned fillies' attention. "Find a place out of sight and remain there, and do not come out for anyone. Got it?"

Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo just nodded, running down the ally in a direction that didn't have the sound of destruction coming from it. Twilight watched them with her still active Detect Life, and sighed with relief when she saw them take shelter under something and remain still. Then she got an idea, she could use this to track down Chrysalis.

---

The next trio of changelings dropped from Chrysalis's magic, barely conscious. But her wounds were fully recovered, and that was all that mattered now. But she still needed leverage if she were to take down Twilight, that she knew for certain.

"My Queen." Chrysalis turned to see Pharynx fly up to her.

"Pharynx, " said Chrysalis, "Finally, you've arrived, have your scouts procured the hostages? "

Pharynx looked down, unable to meet her gaze.

"What is it?" Chrysalis asked impatiently.

"They've failed, my Queen, " said Pharynx nervously. "Twilight Sparkle liberated the hostages before they could be delivered to you."

Chrysalis just stared at that. How had Twilight even intercepted so fast? Changeling warriors were masters of stealth.

She must have tracked them somehow, and if she could do that, how long until she was discovered? She needed a plan, fleeing was not an option. She had come too far to back down now.

She looked at Pharynx, and the changelings she had been feeding on.

She may not have hostages, but she still might be able to use Twilight's heart against her.

Author's Note:

Sorry guys, but I need a break. Need to let my muse rest a few days, then I will start writing again.

Again sorry:ajsleepy:

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!