• Published 21st May 2019
  • 493 Views, 29 Comments

Nyx Takes Charge - Bronyxy

Celestia is excited about her wedding to Twilight, but Luna feels left out. All of them have become consumed by the forthcoming event to the exclusion of their responsibilities. Everything is not as innocent as it seems and only Nyx can save the day.

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4 Invasion Plans

They followed the meandering course of the river to the left and back again to the right as it carved through the verdant countryside. Finally they emerged at the splash pool of a majestic waterfall, the constant crashing roar denying them any chance of hearing anything else. Nyx gestured upwards with her forehoof and climbed vertically until she reached the top and peered tentatively over the cliff.

Fortunately there were no changeling guards posted anywhere near, but she was suddenly struck by the constant drone of the swarm’s wings as their massive aerial armada anchored over Equestria’s capital city. She paused for a moment to watch as she could make out individuals hovering and then diving down, their places immediately taken by others flying back up as they took turns, presumably feeding off the love of ponies down below. The thought sickened her, and she quickly located the concealed entrance, signalling to Luna as she launched herself over the edge and made for the start of the passageway. Nyx ran over and opened it quickly, holding back the curtain of creepers and assorted weeds that concealed it so effectively. Luna took her cue and flashed past her, just as Nyx reached back to close the access behind them.

“Well done Nyx” congratulated Luna, “I do not believe we were seen.”
“No, but seeing how many of those creatures were up there, I don’t think we should hang around.”
Luna snorted and nodded assertively as Nyx lit her horn and charged off down the passageway as she followed in hot pursuit.

They found themselves at a sturdy wooden door that looked like it hadn’t been used in centuries, which other than for Nyx, was probably true.
“OK, Princess” said Nyx, “The other side of this is the old laundry; it’s a storeroom now. To the right are more storerooms leading to the servants quarters, and to the left are the kitchens. Do you want to take over now or shall I go first?”
“If they have not already been captured” pondered Luna, “They will probably be in either the throne room or my Sister’s apartments.”
“Which is the best to defend?” asked Nyx.
“The throne room” confirmed Luna, “The Royal apartments have balconies and large glass doors.”
Nyx nodded, stepping aside and deferring to Luna’s seniority. She moved forward and gently lifted the latch in her magic, opening the door and sliding through the gap once it was just wide enough to accept her with Nyx in tow.

The sound of fighting echoed along even these corridors that were so deep down in the castle, counterpointed by occasional pony screams and whinnies. The sound of ponies suffering seemed to galvanise Luna and her pace quickened, taking to the air, her wingtips even at full stretch just clearing the walls. Nyx watched spellbound as Luna powered her way along corridors clearly not approved for flight, skidding on her wingtips as she took blind corners way too fast, oblivious to the consequences of crashing into anypony or anything in her way.

They quickly approached the throne room, counting at least two dozen guards on the door. Nyx had never seen such security in the castle before and gasped as Luna backwinged furiously before she could knock them all down like skittles. However, none of the guards flinched, but raised their weapons, all clearly intent on protecting those inside the throne room to the death.
“Your Majesty, we are under changeling attack” announced the Master at Arms, “Confirm who you are please.”
“How shall I satisfy you that I am not a changeling?”
“The name of your pet, if you please, your Majesty” he demanded politely, pointing his pole arm directly at her and leaving her in no doubt of his intentions should she answer incorrectly.
“Tiberius” she answered levelly.
He smiled and all the guards present relaxed visibly.
“Thank goodness you’re here, your Majesty” he greeted, bowing before her, “Princess Celestia and Princess Twilight have not issued a single command and we dearly need your leadership if we are to prevail this day.”
The guards parted and two of them opened the large doors allowing the alicorns inside, closing it again firmly after them.

“Nyx” pleaded Luna, her self-confidence evaporating, “I need you to take the lead once more; I … I cannot face either of them. I am sorry.”
“No problem, Princess” she replied, moving forward confidently, “I got this.”
Nyx felt compelled to show reverence in such a venerated place and advanced slowly along the rich maroon carpet towards the thrones as if seeking an audience. The crash of a piece of masonry flying in through one of the stained glass windows snapped her from her reverie. Suddenly it dawned on her that this was no time for observing elaborate etiquette with the changelings clearly intent on pushing home their attack. She immediately launched herself into the air and skimmed around the room, finding a sorrowful white mare curled up behind her throne and her heartbroken Mom in a dark alcove.

She landed next to the lilac pony and hugged her.
“Go away” croaked the forlorn figure sadly.
“No. You have always stood by me; now it’s my turn to stand by you.”
“Please leave me Nyx. I’m not the pony you believe me to be. Equestria is falling and it’s all my fault.”

Nyx tried to reason with her, but it was futile. It was also not like her Mom to surrender to her feelings when ponies were at risk, so she stood back and focused the energy in her horn into casting a spell to help her suppress her emotions and think clearly. There was a flash as she let the spell go, but then she stared in disbelief; her Mom was surrounded by a green aura!
“What …?” she gasped, stepping backwards in shock, “What’s happened to you, Mom?”
Twilight merely swiped a forehoof in her direction as if swatting an imaginary fly and returned to wallowing in her self-pity.
Nyx lit her horn again and this time, probed the alien magic, feeling it and getting to understand what it was. She muttered something indecipherable under her breath and then shouted, “Princess Luna, I need you here now!”
Her request echoed round the room and was answered by a meek refusal.

Quickly, Nyx span on her heels and flew back to the opposite end of the throne room where she skidded to a halt on the marble floor just in front of the Midnight Princess.
“Princess Luna, there is a curse on my Mom and I’m willing to bet there’s a similar one on you and Princess Celestia too! Quick, let me check you over!”
Luna did not argue, and Nyx repeated the same spell on her as she had on her Mom.
“You’re the same!” she announced triumphantly, ”It seems to be a spell that heightens the desire for love and feeds off the love it receives, so the more it gets, the more it wants, but it also seems to work with the denial of love, driving you to emotional desperation. It’s cruel, but very effective.”
“Unrequited love” said Luna.
“Precisely! You and Princess Celestia both fell in love with my Mom. You were the more reserved, so haven’t been as badly affected, but the other two fell in love way too deeply, way too quickly and then both had their hearts broken. We must lift this curse from all three of you; can you help please?”
“A green aura, you say?” enquired Luna.
“Yes, a kind of yellowy-green. Why?”
“Chrysalis!” Luna swore under her breath, “This has all been engineered by her as a plot to invade Canterlot. With the Princesses out of the way, she knew the ponies would be unable to defend themselves.”
“The guards need to see an alicorn to rally them. I am the only one who can do that right now” stated Nyx, “Can you lift the spell by yourself?”
“Not while I am cursed myself, no.”
“Very well” said Nyx, “I shall make myself everywhere at once.”
Her horn began to glow and as Luna watched, she saw Nyx divide into an army of clones, just as she had done when she had protected Ponyville from the monsters of the Everfree.
“I recall your telling me of this trick, but never thought I should see it with my own eyes” gasped Luna, “Be careful Nyx, remember how vulnerable you are now.”
The small army of black alicorns in front of her thanked her, and while three remained in the throne room, the others made their way out to join the battle by flying up to the broken window; trying to explain to the guards that multiple copies of the same pony was nothing to do with changelings would have been so much more difficult.

Those that had chosen to remain settled down closely with their respective patients and cast a spell to send each of them to sleep. Twilight was the first to succumb and once Nyx was sure she was asleep, began a meditation that enabled her to transcend into the dream realm too. She arrived to see only one dream bubble anywhere around, which was hardly surprising considering that the castle was under attack and everypony within it was engaged in fighting off the changelings.

The bubble was coated in an opaque yellowy-green film that swirled mercurially around the surface. Although she couldn’t see inside, it was evident that this was her goal and she lit her horn, reaching out to the contaminated surface.

Immediately, all the green migrated to the spot where her magic had touched it and started glowing angrily. She stopped and watched as the surface gradually began to return to a less inflamed state, running through a list of banishment and other anti-magic spells she knew.

Far away, on a different plane where a battle raged, somepony took notice. Just like a hoof accidentally catching on a concealed tripwire, a warning had been sent to the caster of the spell and in response a pair of holed blue gossamer wings buzzed into life and a command was issued.

Oblivious to events escalating on the plane she had left behind, Nyx lit her horn again and fired off the first of her spells, focusing hard on the magic. Once she had cast the spell, she quickly risked a peek and saw that the bubble was glowing an even more menacing colour than before. Without delay she tried another spell and another, but nothing seemed to work.

She had one last weapon left and that was to fire raw magical energy at it, but knew that whilst this would probably work, the damage it could cause to her Mom inside may be catastrophic, and it was not a chance she was prepared to take. By now, all three Nyx clones were reaching the same conclusion and looked to each other across the dreamscape, each hoping that one of the others had a better idea. They didn’t.

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