• Published 8th Jan 2020
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Golden Age of Apocalypse - Book III: Legacies - BlueBastard



Everything is finally ready for Sunset Shimmer to be crowned a ruling princess of Equestria, but not all is as it seems as the Covenant make their move and the history of Equestria itself is called into question as GAOA reaches its explosive end!

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Chapter 26 - Schemes of Future Felicity

Chapter 26

Schemes of Future Felicity

They met, for the final time, in what was Blueblood's soon to be former office. “And you’re sure about this?” Smokechaser asked him.

“You look more natural in the chair than I ever did,” Blueblood told him. “You’ll probably do a better job in it, too.” He went and picked up a folder off the corner of the desk, rifling through the documents and photos within. “Not even a full day on the job yet and you’ve already gone on the offensive, I see.”

“Yes. Princess Sunset made it clear to the Inariese ambassador that after last night, no more Night Adventures would be tolerated against our people, whether the kitsune like it or not. In fact, we just received word that our province in Neighpon has suffered a large number of disappearances, and given that area of Equestria’s the closest to Inari, we’ve dispatched some agents to look into it. If things need to get nasty, I’ll send in the Special Activity Squadrons—that’s why we have them now.”

“And that’s more at the start than I would have done. I probably would have done a meticulous investigation with the local authorities and then afterwards sent a couple of agents to do some investigating in Inari before anything else,” Blueblood admitted. “It shows that you’re the right stallion for the job and you’ll do well here.”

“Yes, but I wouldn’t have done it if you hadn’t called me back to duty.”

“You would’ve come back anyway,” Blueblood said with a grin. He then set down the folder. “Well, it’s my time to go and time for you to prove why you’re the new Director.” A thought crossed his mind. “Have you chosen what unsavory cover personality you’ll display? I would think after both myself and my predecessor have been considered both public wastes of space, you’ll want to try a new avenue.”

He shook his head. “No—I spoke to Princess Luna about that and we agreed that if the Agency is going to be effective as it should be, then it needs to have a recognizable and publicly available leader, not just some shadowy presence that speaks through spokesponies. So, from now on, I’ll be the public director and I only have to be me.”

Blueblood smiled. “And that change can’t come soon enough.” He offered his hoof. “Best of luck, Director.”

Smokechaser bumped in kind. “Best of luck on your new position, Your Highness.”

Blueblood grinned and headed towards the door. This era of his life was over. He was free, he was finally going to be the person he always wanted to be, and he had a gorgeous beauty to share that future with. Sure, it wasn’t exactly what he’d had in mind, but compared to the hell he’d been living ever since he’d joined the Agency, whatever his next step in life was, it would be paradise in comparison.

The storage room of Shoddythread’s tailor shop was filled with a few dozen ponies. Although a few of them wore military uniforms, the rest of them looked like civilians from all walks of life: weather center workers, carters, coopers, and so many other occupations. But all of them, in their own way, had military-fit looks to them and all of them had gathered for a singular purpose.

Broadfall, now standing straight and with a brutal stare on his face, said, “Thank you for coming. As you know, we all agreed that when the time ever came, we would end Chrysalis for what she did to us all. That we would be ridding the world of a monster beyond monsters. And now we have our chance.”

Standing at his side, Inert Caliber commented, “But we must move quickly. We have reason to believe that she is using her magic to take control of Prince Shining once more, and even more so, the humans may be under her thrall as well. I know many of you don’t know much about their world, but from the briefing we have, they have no defense against magic. And if she escapes with them, it’s all over.”

“Then good riddance!” one of the ponies in the crowd shouted. “Granted, I want to dust the bitch, but if we can get her off Equus for good, that works for me.”

Pipemine glared at the stallion. “Are you a fool? Have you seen the weapons the humans carry? They make our most advanced cannons look like spitwads! Now imagine Chrysalis coming back with millions of those things, because the human world has nearly one hundred times the population of our whole world! If she was in charge of those weapons, it’ll make the Tirek War look like a minor squabble. Is that what you really want?”

Murmurs broke out amongst the crowd, and Broadfall knew he had to get control of the situation again. “Now, listen up: those loyal to us know it’s only a matter of time before Princess Sunset heads back to the human world, and she may be affected enough that even she can’t stop it. So we have to end that monster Chrysalis tonight. Even if we’re captured, even if we have to hurt our own, Chrysalis has to be stopped, once and for all. It happens tonight. Who’s with us?

A roar of cheers broke out amongst the conspirators, and Broadfall smiled. All his losses, everything that he’d been left bereft of, would finally pay off. He would have his revenge, and the monster that was Chrysalis would lay dead at the alicorns’ feet, just as it should be.

“Move, prisoner!”

His paws and feet in shackles and his tails encased in sealing binders, Fujitsu walked out of the castle, guarded by a full squad of heavily-armed guardsponies.

“Let me go, you curs,” the kitsune snarled. “Do you know who I am?”

“Rather, do we care who you are?” He turned at the insult, to find the Castellan herself, Marimba Rondo, standing there. “We know who you are: You are a lawbreaker and a deviant and you threaten the peace of not only Equestria, but Inari as well. And for that, we will not stand.”

“What?!”

“You heard me,” Marimba stated. “If it were up to me, I would have you thrown into the deepest pits of Tartarus. However, Her Majesty, in her wisdom, has decided to turn you over to your own country, where you will face charges there.”

“For what? For Venturing in the Manner of the Night? You should be honored! You and those humans! I had chosen a bride on Equestrian soil and you should be thankful for even such a paltry hon—"

“FUJITSU!”

The kitsune prince turned to see Ambassador Han’nya standing there, next to Princess Sunset.

“Ah, Princess Sunset!” Fujitsu said, giving her a charming smile. “Please inform Lady Octavia that as soon as I am done with this...inconvenience...I will come to take her as she so desires. She will be a princess, and she will be mine, and you shall be honored by my choice!”

“I don’t think so,” the teen said with a smirk. “It’s hard for prisoners to do anything, isn’t that right, Ambassador?”

The look in Han’nya’s eyes was cold and had no more brotherly love in them. “That’s correct, prisoner.”

“Brother….”

“Perhaps once. But you have shamed me—and the family, and our nation—for the last time. I name thee prisoner. Thou art no kin of mine.” He then raised his right paw, snapping the digits. At the sound, a group of kitsune wearing golden armor carrying weapons made of the finest shibuichi appeared. These were the ginzashimono—the Golden Banners, the Emperor’s personal guard and those who only answered to the Emperor and those delegated. As such, any orders from Fujitsu would be automatically ignored by the steadfast warriors.

“Take him away and see that he is ready to be returned to Inari for trial,” Han’nya said.

“NO!” Fujitsu snarled as the Hoof at his side passed the control item to the ginzashimono. “I WILL NOT BE TREATED LIKE A COMMON CRIMINAL! I HAVE A HUMANESS WHO DESIRES ME TO BRING HER THE CLOUDS AND RAIN!”

“Shut it,” the ginzashimono ordered. “I doubt any individual would wish you to bring the clouds and rain.” Looking at the others, he said, “Take this fool away, so he may learn His August Imperial Majesty’s justice.” He then turned to the Hooves and bowed. “And I am honored to be amongst such impressive warriors.” He then finally turned to Han’nya and Sunset and added, “And it is my greatest honor to be amongst such luminous individuals. Might myself and my humble warriors be permitted to depart and commence our duty?”

“You have my permission and my thanks,” Han’nya said, looking nervously at Sunset.

The alicorn in human form merely nodded. “Please do so, with Equestria’s gratitude for your efforts.”

The kitsune saluted and then led Fujitsu off, who was practically throwing a tantrum and was kicking and screaming as they headed towards the airship. With a courteous bow to both Sunset and Han’nya, the Hooves did the same.

Sunset looked off towards the distance and thought, «And you can stand down now.»


From where he stood, Blueblood lowered his hand and blinked. I...didn’t know she could do that. He’d cast a spell and stood there, ready to assassinate the prince from a distance in order to make sure that he’d never get his paws on Octavia, but Sunset had made sure that would never happen anyway. And she knew he’d try this.

He shook his head. That’s what I get for dealing with the daughter of my aunt Celestia, he thought to himself.

“Blu?” He turned to look and see Octavia sitting there, unaware of what had just happened. He’d brought her up here, both so she could test out her legs and so he could continue developing his human form, he’d told her. In truth, he’d had different plans, but thankfully, they were no longer needed.

“Well, this is a beautiful place,” he told her as he sat down next to her. “The picnic I ordered for us should be here in a few minutes, so just relax and be as beautiful as you are, okay?”

She blushed, and he kissed her. Better that this day be celebrated with love rather than killing.

Even if that fool deserved it a thousand times over.

“So, what are we doing here?” asked Lockbox. She’d been spending time with the castle armory’s blacksmiths talking shop when the archmagus had tracked her down and simply asked her to come along. They found themselves in one of the private training grounds for guards, but the exact facilities looked far more based on acrobatics and agility as opposed to mere martial practice. “Does the castle have ninjas or something?”

“Sort of, I already explained the Hooves didn’t I?”

“Yeah,” drolled Lockbox. “I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”

“This is their reserved training grounds.”

“Okay, that makes some sense, but why are we here?”

The answer made itself apparent immediately as suddenly, a very fast moving object rushed over Lockbox’s head. Squeaking in surprise, she immediately summoned her chains for defense but the offending thing already had moved outside of her immediate range.

“What in Tartarus was that?!” exclaimed Lockbox, her dark chains rattling in an expression of her confusion.

That,” said Razz with a smirk, “was our dear cousin.”

Indeed, the fast moving object—now obviously revealed to have been running the course—reached its end and came to a halt. Much to Lockbox’s shock, it was a pegasus mare clad in a black and slate blue flight suit, which didn’t seem to go all that well with the mare’s green coat or her four-tone mane and tail.

“I thought you were going to Tartarus!” exclaimed the confused Lockbox.

“Yeah, well, turns out the kinds of things that basically would get me in there are the reason why I’m not,” said Corner Shot, approaching the two unicorns. As usual, her own instinctive fidgeting gave away that her wings had the chitin augmentations. Razz couldn’t help but be a bit nervous when she caught a glimpse of the inner pockets appearing to once again have a full complement of knives. Corner caught the look, too. “They’re blunt and just for weight training, alright? Sheesh.”

“Yeah, well, the knives you threw at us that got us sent to that hole in the ground were also blunt,” countered Lock, who wasn’t quite ready to drop her defenses.

“Are you two here to just get on my case for shit we’ve already discussed at length? I’m done with the Covenant, or really even opposing the government. I still disagree that Celestia is the best choice, but now I know the causes I was fighting for were even worse.”

“We’ll bring you around yet,” came another mare’s voice, and as the unicorns turned around they found two more pegasi approaching them, though only the stallion wore a matching outfit to Corner’s while the mare was in a dress uniform that Razz found vaguely familiar somehow.

“Archmagus Beryl, I don’t believe we’ve met,” said the mare, nodding in respect. “Capt. Shadow Surprise. I’m in charge of the Agency’s new SAD units as well as the commanding officer of the Shadowbolts.”

“Shadowbolts?” said Lockbox. “I thought they were just made up!”

“The original Shadowbolts were a division of spies that served Nightmare Moon—the modern incarnation were a specialist night-fighting equivalent to the Wonderbolts, but due to the overall Equestrian security services reorganization, Princess Luna has reassigned us to the Agency.” She then gestured to her companion. “This is Capt. Inverted Rainbow, head of the Nightflyer Squadron...and Ens. Corner Shot’s new CO.”

“Hopefully he won’t end up like her last one,” joked Razz, who noted the twinge of fear in the stallion’s eyes.

“They know what I’m capable of,” said Corner, “especially given the original offer you diverted. I...I don’t believe I properly did thank you for that, by the way.”

Razz simply smiled, “it’s never too late to be a better pony, even if it does, well, involve not-so-friendship-oriented methods.”

The plan had taken most of the day, but ultimately it had been successful. A stash of excess guard gear, obtained over weeks of smuggling out individual pieces and acquisition through less-than-noble means, had been handed out to the various volunteers. Then, gradually, in ones and twos, the fake guards all entered the dungeons. There was no log system tracking who went in and out, and the size of the dungeons was large enough that the excessive amounts of guards weren’t noticed. Indeed, only one random surprise visit of some of the humans had occurred with the target but it had not lasted long, and now with all the conspirators gathered if necessary, it was time to do what was long overdue.

“Okay, this is where it all ends,” said Caliber, surreptitiously opening the cell door. Notably, the criminal within seemed to be sleeping and completely unaware that her life was about to be finally claimed by those she had wronged.

“Let me do it,” Broadfall insisted. “If any of this blows back, I want the traceback spells to fall on me. I can die in prison happy knowing my family was avenged. However, in case something goes south—"

“It won’t,” Caliber told him.

“You hope it won’t,” he told her back, “but this is Chrysalis we’re talking about. In any case, if it does, be prepared to attack her at once with everything we have. It will probably bring the rest of the Guard down around our ears, but better that than to let this monster breathe one more breath!”

The unicorn mare nodded, and with that, the earth stallion cautiously entered the room, drawing out a knife that had been prepared specifically for this occasion. Its finely-honed edge caught the light of Luna’s moon out of the cell’s window as it was raised, a blue glint that seemed as if he was bringing down the moon goddess’ justice on her behalf.

“This is for all you’ve wronged!” he declared in a loud whisper, quickly bringing the blade down upon the sleeping form.

Right when the knife should have made contact, there was a bright flash.

And it took a moment for Broadfall to realize he was holding nothing but a broken knife hilt—the knife blade itself having been sent clean across the room and embedded firmly in the stone wall. He then immediately glanced back at his prey, who was not only no longer sleeping but was in some kind of crouched ready stance, in her minotaur-like grasp was some kind of ornate looking short sword, largely hidden behind her back but he could just make out glimpses of what looked like veined gold in the polished black steel.

Without announcing her presence, Caliber quickly moved forward and cast the spell that would incapacitate Crisalide with her shock collar. Except...nothing happened. With growing existential dread that the changeling queenlet had somehow managed to overcome that security measure, Inert fired the spell off again and again to no avail.

“You know, if it didn’t work the first six times,” Crisalide said in a distinctive accent that sounded nothing like what the guard knew she should have sounded like, “you might as well just stop.”

“We’ll never stop!” shouted Broadfall. “Not until we’ve avenged all those you’ve killed, you royal impostor!”

Crisalide seemed confused by the statement. “Royal impostor? Oh, you give me too much credit—I’m just a normal impostor.” At that point, Crisalide stood up from the bed and was suddenly enveloped in leaves that had come from nowhere—a distinctly non-changeling trait—and where the abomination had stood, was instead Whiskey T. Foxtrot in what was revealed to be a hastily thrown together approximation of the green dress Caliber had said she’d seen Chrysalis wearing all the time.

“So, the queen has brainwashed Princess Sunset’s own guards into helping her?” Caliber accused, before she suddenly felt a tap on her shoulder. Turning around quickly, she was horrified to find Shining Armor standing there, and behind him the other conspirators had already been silently apprehended by a joint force of other guards and SIREN.

Caliber didn’t even need to turn around to verify the sudden grunt and sound of somepony hitting the floor to know Broadfall was also out for the count thanks to the fake-Chrysalis in the cell.

“I expected better of you,” said Shining, shaking his head disapprovingly. “We just dealt with the Covenant—and for another conspiracy?”

“Chrysalis is a threat to this country and—"

“She was safely in prison, while you and a bunch of other ponies plotted to undermine the systems meant to keep other ponies in place! I don’t think I need to tell you that you’re under arrest.”

Inert sighed; in her mind, Chrysalis had won now. But, how had she or the guards known about the attempt on her life?

Meanwhile, in another room in the castle, Sonata and Aria sat at a table eating pizza that had been prepared by one of the best Bitalian chefs in Canterlot.

“I gotta say, sis,” said Aria, “You probably could get a gig working for the main branch of CSIS with your skill. Those pebble-sized listening bugs you made are better than the stuff actual professional spies use. This is some real Agent 007-type stuff.”

“Hey, if anybody deserves the credit,” replied Sonata, “it’s you, Ari—you’re the one who planted them around Crisalide’s cell the two times you were there. No way we would have known to coordinate with the local Shining Armor to plant Whiskey in as a decoy while we put the real ‘bug queen’ under house arrest.”

“You think that’s working out okay?”

Sonata laughed. “Ms. Luna’s in there too and I saw her with that Playstation of hers. And Crisalide is still a teenager about to discover video games—what do you think is going to happen?”

The first challenge Celestia had faced was trying to figure out how to get Crisalide dressed into something more comfortable than a ruined, millenia-old dress. Even though the girl had somewhat protested the idea, claiming that she could just use magic to self-clean, Celestia had been insistent that the girl strip and then take a shower. Once that was done, Crisalide had finally been more open to the idea of changing her clothes, but given the dress also was the only article she’d had for so long, Celestia had to make do with what was on hand since even Rarity couldn’t produce clothing that fast.

So, instead she dressed the changeling girl in an old exercise shirt Sable had brought along and some exercise shorts with the drawstring pulled very tightly to fit around the girl’s waist. That too had required some modification as it was revealed Crisalide felt very uncomfortable if her insectile wings were pressed against her back—the solution there being cutting small enough holes in the back of the shirt for her wings to fit through—and the shorts were worn slightly below the waist due to the girl’s tail. Mercifully, Crisalide’s mangled horn hadn’t proved a problem in getting the shirt on. How these non-human physical attributes would be handled in the human world would need to be addressed, but trying to hide a half-human, half horse-insect child seemed almost laughable when compared to the fact Sunset had been running around as a disguised unicorn alien for half a decade.

Now, the biggest current problem seemed to be Celestia having Crisalide stolen out from under her...by her own sister.

Crisalide, seated in front of the laptop being used as a game screen and holding a well-used Dualshock 3 in her hands—both human and magically changed chitin, already was showing the signs of a child on Christmas Day about to experience joy and wonder. She certainly looked the part of the “ raggamuffin child” given her slightly oversized attire that had holes cut in it and she was barefoot, too—her changeling leg also having been magically changed to try and be the mirror counterpart of her still human leg.

“So, why are the ghosts chasing the yellow circle guy?” she asked, pointing at the loading screen as a familiar gaming icon waka-waka’d his way on screen and chased by four familiar blobs.

“There really isn’t a plot,” admitted Luna with a shrug, “Maybe Pac-Man pissed off ghosts or something and they want revenge.”

“Weird,” was all Crisalide replied with as she continued watching the loading screen. A brief pang of worry registered on her face as the names of the five characters appeared on screen, as she hadn’t quite expected the pink one to quite literally be named Pinkie and that name alone brought on some vivid PTSD—Pony Traumatic Stress Disorder—from a previous encounter with Ponyville’s Premiere Party Planner. Thus was the explanation for why the moment the Press X to Continue prompt appeared, Crisalide couldn’t press it fast enough.

From behind the gaming setup, Celestia sat watching the duo with Sable right next to her. Technically, this was supposed to be house arrest for one of Equestria’s most notorious threats, but given it was all but assured at this point Crisalide would return to the human world under the human Celestia’s care, it seemed only logical to move the girl to her own quarters as part of the ruse to expose yet another conspiracy to undermine the authority of the Crown, well intentioned or not.

For the other Celestia, it was a much different story. The nobility truly was going all out in turning her impeachment into a gigantic media circus and trying to waste everypony’s time. The whole day had been a gigantic court session with whatever half-reasoned inanity the nobility was blaming solely and entirely on her. Fancy Pants did his best to water down the issue or otherwise make counterarguments in the defense of his liege. Unfortunately, as they had discussed, it was becoming ever clearer that Celestia was not going to win this with her place on the throne intact, as either the nobility would see her forced out by mismanagement, or by bankrupting the country in funding her own defense effort to circumvent the former.

Recent events were also not contributing to helping her cause, either.

“And as you all have no doubt heard by now,” said Brass Shock, testifying on the stand, “just earlier today there was an attempt by perfectly well meaning citizens and even guardsponies who decided to act where the government has not, and end one of the biggest threats to the country we’ve ever known!

“However, while their motivations were certainly agreeable, as I’m sure we would prefer not to keep such a big threat alive on our own expense, the fact such a plot was pulled off and almost successful just shows that our own defenses remain weak to subversion even after the events of Sunset Shimmer’s disastrous coronation ball!”

“Indeed,” said Riven Oak, turning to face the assembly. “And that is why on behalf of the nobility, I hereby declare that investigations be held into Capt. Divine Right for willful endangerment, failure to maintain his post and dereliction of duty—and that he be stripped of his title and holdings as due punishment!”

The hall burst into sounds of approval, except for Celestia’s little part. She in turn looked to the pony who had been forced to join her in subjugation—he looked stonefaced but a millennia of experience told Celestia of the sheer panic he hid within.

As the court was adjourned, Celestia wrapped a wing around her nervous nephew. “Don’t worry, Divine, nothing is going to happen.” Her eyes narrowed as she added, “I’ll make sure they don’t get the chance.”

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