• Published 7th Jun 2019
  • 4,484 Views, 266 Comments

MLP: Rebirth of the Queen - The Bricklayer

Long ago, the Father of all Monsters gave birth to many creatures. Some monstrous, others wonderous. And now one has been located. Long live the Queen.

  • ...

3: The Island

Author's Note:

Okay, huge thank you to Shadowmane PX-41 for the help on the final third of the chapter. Wanted to do this one alone, I admit, but I was at a bit of a block for a good while. Please let me know what you think in the comments section below. And also, please do keep a certain item in this chapter under spoiler tags. Your Queen would very much like that.

“See? There it is again! That is not a transformer malfunction, that is an electromagnetic pulse! And it effects everything from miles and miles, and it is happening again! This is what caused everything to happen in the first place! Can't you see that?! And it's gonna send us back to the Stone Age! You have no idea what's coming.” -Joe Brody on the Male MUTO, Godzilla 2014

Beginning Isle:

Hot, sticky, sweaty. And fairly pissed off. That was Fizzlepop’s general demeanor as she found herself traipsing through a massive bamboo forest with a scimitar in hoof slicing away through the fairly thick brush. At least the rain had let up, she mused to herself. Casting a look behind her, she gazed back at Celeano who was still giving the stink eye.

“Not my fault she’s a terrible captain and not my fault Battra couldn’t stay down,” the mare thought to herself. Fizzlepop was mare enough to admit she did feel a little… bitter at none of her accomplishments in bringing down Battra being recognized but she could hold back her fury. “And in any case, it took a combination of everyone’s efforts just to just even slow Battra down.”

Fluttershy studied Fizzlepop. She knew the mare was probably sad that what she had encountered all those years ago was not, in fact, the ‘Queen of the Monsters’ as she had been named. Not just sad, disappointed even. Walking up alongside her, Fluttershy gave Fizzlepop a gentle nudge.

“If you want to talk, we can…” Fluttershy started but Fizzlepop gave her a cold look.

“Talk about what? Everything’s already been said,” the mare stated. “I’m not just some sad poor pony who’s going to break down blubbering and crying just because someone dismissed me.”

Fluttershy took a few steps backward. “O-Okay… It’s just that I… Well, you need a friend out here I think… That’s all…” she whispered looking away before sighing. If Fizzlepop didn’t want to talk to her about this, at least for the moment then that was fine. She would open up when she was ready, as always. Fluttershy knew Fizzlepop better than most. She, alongside Twilight, was one of the first ponies that the rather -at least at the time- broken mare had decided to open up to feeling rather… comforted by Fluttershy’s gentle demeanor.

Fizzlepop sighed. “Look, I understand what you’re trying to do and I appreciate that. But I don’t need ponies sticking up for me, I never have. I can handle myself.”

Fluttershy didn’t look convinced. After all, there was a mare who had suffered throughout her entire life and was only just now over the past year or so beginning to recover from her ordeal. So Fluttershy couldn’t be blamed for not believing Fizzlepop was in the best state of mind. On the other hoof, Fizzlepop was a strong mare in some ways. She’d put up with a lot, far more than any pony should have ever have been asked to do and still came out swinging if you will.

“Yes, far more…” Fluttershy thought glancing to the very visible scar across Fizzlepop’s left eye, before tearing her eyes away from it before Fizzlepop could notice. Celestia knew the mare was not a fan of being stared at for obvious reasons. In any case, Fluttershy knew she would have to keep a firm eye on Fizzlepop throughout this whole journey. And one on Celeano as well now that she thought of it. She just couldn’t find herself relaxing for very long knowing the two were liable to come to blows in such a tense situation.

She was amazed the two hadn’t already really given Celeano held a very understandable grudge towards Fizzlepop, even if she was reformed. Privately, Fluttershy wished Twilight had chosen somebody else to bring along with her for this mission. Yes, Fizzlepop held the most recent recorded sightings of Mothra’s species but she could have just drawn them up a map -or something to that effect- and stayed behind to guard Ponyville. Maybe someone like Flash Sentry could have taken her place. Would have made things just that little less tense.

Everyone was like a string right now, poised to snap at the slightest provocation. It made Fluttershy very nervous to say the least. And she admitted, she was included under that definition. She was also somewhat ashamed to say she was fairly tempted to give Celeano a good talking to for her behavior. Wiping a bead of sweat away from her face with a hoof, Fluttershy continued on. No sense in losing her head in the clouds and lagging behind. Especially in this jungle.

“Hold up, thought I heard something...” Mullet whispered unsheathing his sword. Celeano went for hers as well. Then, they saw one of the bamboo shoots move. A scream as they saw one of their crewmembers impaled right through his open beak before the ‘shoot’ was moved upwards with the poor parrot being brought up into the mandibles of a massive spider. Blood and gore spattered all over the survivors. A sharp scream of terror as more ‘shoots’ began to move, the spider’s beady eyes watching them.

“You gotta be fucking kidding me…” Fizzlepop muttered before she went for her blade slicing through the creature’s legs. One leg went to impale her before a shot from Celaeno's pistol tore it to ribbons.

Another leg went for another pirate, and this time the initial shock and terror had passed long enough for him to get moving. All the same, it didn’t save him. Muscular tendrils trailed down like snakes and brought him up into the creature’s waiting maw. Shock was replaced by another emotion. Pure rage.

“Kill it! Go for the legs!” Mullet shouted.

Mullet and Celeano’s swords went to work, bringing the creature down to their level before a massive bolt of electricity pierced the creature’s belly. The carcass smoked and steamed as Fizzlepop pushed it away.

“T-Thank you…” Celeano whispered not meeting the pony’s eyes. Shame. Fizzlepop could see it. Shame for not reacting faster and not being able to save two of her crew.

“...This island’s going to be the death of us,” Mullet muttered to himself looking at the carcasses. Nobody bothered disagreeing. “...Makes one wonder what else lives on this god-forsaken place.”

Fluttershy cast a look to a nearby rock. On in, drawn in what she hoped was just simply just paint was a very unusual creature. A giant reptilian beast, with massive spikes jutting out of its back…

Back in Equestria, the MUTO was being tracked. Massive airships followed it’s movement across Equestria and they’d eventually found it to a valley where it had nestled itself with a chrysalis rapidly beginning to form around the body. Nobody wanted to guess at whatever it was that was going to come out of the cocoon. But this also presented an opportunity to study and learn about the beast and plan how best to defend Equestria. And any opportunity must be seized and made use out of. So that meant in no less than a matter of a few hours, makeshift laboratories had been set up via tents and any nearby towns had already been evacuated.

“So, Professor…” Serizawa was asked. “What do you make of it?”

“Beautiful…” the griffon returned as he strode up to the chrysalis, rising up out of the ground like some massive thorn and stroked it with his paw. He felt it shake, and just for a brief moment, Serizawa shuddered in fear. But he regained his composure and traced a claw along the shell feeling it vibrate and hearing the creature inside hum. It was almost as if it was… talking directly to him. “Just simply beautiful…”

“Don’t tell me you’re admiring the beast, Professor,” the same slightly haughty tone from before remarked. Serizawa turned back to look at its owner. A burnt orange mare with creamy white hooves and a dark red mane. “It’s still a Titan, remember that. It would love nothing more than to eat us all if it broke out. No, strike that. When it breaks out. You must keep that in mind.”

“Stellar Flare,” Serizawa sighed as he flew down to her level shaking his head. The head of Monarch she may have been and that while that did mean he had to follow her every order but that didn’t mean she wasn’t any less infuriating at times. “I am well aware of what the creature is capable of, but that doesn’t mean I am any less capable of admiring it. These creatures, they represent a window to the past that we ever so rarely get a chance to see.”

“...I… I…” Stellar Flare sighed as she shook her head. “Very well then. You don’t plan on telling that reporter friend of yours about this do you? Goddess knows we have enough trouble on our hooves without news of it leaking to the media.”

“Do not take me for a fool, Stellar,” Serizawa replied turning his head back to look at the chrysalis before looking back at the mare. “I know when to hold my tongue. You think too little of me. Remember, I’ve been in Monarch for just as long as you have, and was appointed to this position personally by Celestia herself. She had faith in my abilities,” he stated looking Stellar dead in the eye. He kept his sentences short and sharp. He had bigger worries. “She had faith in all of our abilities. Keep that in mind Ms. Flare.”

“Can it be killed?” Stellar asked. “I don’t mind admiring these creatures, it’s just I’d rather have them dealt with before they reach civilization and start eating ponies.”

“Same,” Serizawa agreed going back into his tent and turning back to his research notes. “In between my research on various other subjects, I’ve been going through historical texts searching for any references to this creature. Or should we say… creatures.”

“Don’t even bring the other one up,” Stellar said. “It was dead when we found it. A lost cause when it comes to research. It was handed off to the Royal Guard for destruction and disposal.”

“...Was it?” Serizawa murmured not entirely believing it. “And is it? Dead I mean. These creatures as I have found can fake a hibernation state for years, long as they need until a suitable source of magical energy or natural radiation -say something like uranium- is found. That’s what this creature is doing, soaking up all the magical energy in the ground to rebuild itself a new body, grow into its adult form.”

“If that’s the case…” Stellar whispered. “I’ll get on the horn to our other facility in the Appleloosan mountains, see if… Well, never you mind that. Serizawa, you continue your work here. I want to know the minute you find something. The exact minute and the exact second, you understand?” she asked before turning towards the chrysalis.

How did it go? Oh yes, now she remembered. “Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions over the earth. They were told not to harm the grass or any green growth or any tree, but only those of Equuskind.” she thought looking at the massive structure. Perhaps these things were what those ancient texts spoke of.

Serizawa nodded. “I understand, and rest assured when I do find something you’ll be the first to know.”

Stellar’s voice softened as she drew closer to Serizawa and gave him a small kiss on the beak pressing her lips to his own. It wasn’t very professional, but she didn’t care. And if anyone talked they would have to answer to her. “You’ll do fine, I know it.”

Serizawa blushed. “...T-Thank you Ma’am.”

“What is it that you’ve been heard saying at times? The arrogance of our kind is thinking nature is always in our control?” Stellar asked. “Say none of our efforts in hiding this creature and stopping it before it grows to an adult amount to anything. What if Princess Twilight and Captain Fizzlepop’s little side venture becomes the only option and we must pit one Titan against another?”

“Your point being…?” Serizawa asked.

“Monarch was founded to protect the public from monsters like this,” Stellar continued before gesturing outside. “Hide the truth from them. What would happen if the masquerade were to be destroyed? What then?”

“We handle things as we’ve always done,” Serizawa replied putting a paw on the mare’s shoulder. “Masquerade or not. Our job first and foremost is to protect the public. So that’s what we do.”

Stellar smiled, looking at the eyepatched griffon. She knew he’d lost his eye in a battle with a young Titan chick’s talons while helping in containing it in Azteca. This wasn’t the first Titan he’d seen, and it would not be the last she suspected. So if anyone knew how to deal with them and reassure her on matters relating to them, it was Serizawa.

“Thank you…” she whispered before taking her temporary leave. When Stellar would return, it was uncertain. Closing the tent flaps behind her as she did so, Serizawa resumed his work. A fish tank sat nearby, triggerfish swimming about in the water. Notes sat nearby on the various substances found in natural waters.

It had long been a curiosity of Serizawa’s on what lurked in the waters off Equestria. Perhaps it had something to do with Gojira, making him wonder what else was out there. Casting a look back towards the chrysalis, he watched the massive structure hum and glow before whispering: “What… what is it you’re trying to tell me? Or are you even trying to communicate with us at all?” he wondered to himself stepping back inside the tent.

For a moment, he did wonder if this was all folly, that trying to speak to this creature was a lost cause. After all, surely it couldn’t understand Equuish. Why should it, given it was an ancient beast since time immemorial. What would be the point in learning the various languages of what were basically like ants to it in the end.

He flashed back to one of his many meetings with Twilight Sparkle on the subject of Titans.

“So, Titans. That’s the name you’re giving them now is it?” Twilight asked. Outside, Celeano was loading up her crew onto the Grand Lorikeet. “Thought the original catch-all phrase was MUTOs.”

“MUTOs?” Fluttershy asked looking rather nervous by the choice of name. She had been picked up in Ponyville. Outside, Daring was expressing her… displeasure about the whole stupidity of this entire endeavor. Quite loudly and quite angrily. Fluttershy flattened her ears at some of the word choices used. “What do you mean by…?”

“Massive unidentified terrestrial organism,” Serizawa clarified. “Least, that was the original working name till we discovered that some of these creatures aren’t exactly… terrestrial. Like Mothra for example. So we had to find a new name.” he explained. He already had given Fluttershy the basics on the situation that was rapidly developing. Privately, he added to himself that there was a slight possibility it was starting to spiral out of their control.

Sighing to himself, Serizawa looked towards a charcoal rubbing of a drawing found in a cave in the Provinces. Below the rubbing, in pen was the writing: “Titanus Mosura”. Poise and grace, that was the only way to describe the winged creature, seemingly unfurling her wings in a gentle manner. It seemed he was not the only one in awe of such a being, given the drawing seemed to have masses of equines below the creature, almost bowing to it in a way.

“So, basically you’re likening them to gods is it?” Twilight noted. “I’m not entirely sure that’s the best choice really. I don’t think it’s a good idea to worship these creatures, at least not all of them.” she continued shuddering as she looked at another drawing, this one of a reptilian beast with three snake-like heads. She didn’t quite know why, but everything about that drawing seemed… wrong. Just looking at it made Twilight want to go crawl and hide under her bed. The monster from the closet, that’s what she likened it to. She noted unlike the other Titans, this one had no given name. Twilight wondered exactly why that was.

“I… I agree with Twilight, although for albeit different reasons,” Fluttershy said having seen some of the same rubbings and trying not to think of them. “If what you say is true, then these creatures were and still are the top of their respective food chains. While they may seem like gods and goddesses to us, they are still animals.”

She knew that was why she had been brought along, her skill and ability with animals. She suspected if all went south and Mothra was unable to be recruited than her job was to try and reason with these other Titans whatever they might have been.

“Worshipping them is folly,” Fluttershy noted. “I don’t think they particularly care for worship, or Equuskind in general actually. To them, we are simply ants. Even if what these texts say are true, that this ‘Queen of the Monsters’ was once a benign part of the natural order, I’m not sure deification was the best route. It is after all, still an animal.” she continued thinking back towards the attack on Fizzlepop’s ship.

“Perhaps you’re right…” Serizawa mused.

“...Perhaps you’re right…” he repeated, back in the present time quite oblivious to the fact that Stellar Flare had returned. And then she let out a scream, and soon Serizawa saw why. The fish in the tank, flesh stripped from their bones. And in the tank, an open capsule...

“...What, what is that?” Stellar whispered. Serizawa’s eyes were soon to follow her own. For a long time now, he had been experimenting with various chemicals in hopes of creating a weapon that would stop the more dangerous Titans simply by striking all the oxygen from their lungs and rendering them unconscious. It had only been attempted in small scale tests, Serizawa wanting to know if this device would even work. However, it seemed his plan had worked a little too well, and each time he had tried for a different result. But every time, it was the exact same. He didn’t just remove all the oxygen from a creature’s lungs, he destroyed it. It wasn’t an Oxygen Remover as he had originally planned, but an Oxygen Destroyer.

“...Serizawa, did you create that?” Stellar asked nervously. Serizawa’s ashamed silence said it all. “...Why?”

“I… I had hoped to create a method to harmlessly stop the Titans before they got close to larger settlements, but as it is now, I have only created a monster as nightmarish as those which we fight,” Serizawa whispered. “If my device can serve a good purpose, I would announce it to everyone in the world! But in its current form, it's just a weapon of horrible destruction. Please understand, Stellar. Please…” he pleaded.

“I… I understand. I’m terrified beyond measure at what you have created, but I do understand.” Stellar whispered. “I will do everything in my power to try and keep this terrible device a secret.”

“Thank you…” Serizawa whispered in return. “If the Oxygen Destroyer is used even once, politicians from around the world will see it. Of course, they'll want to use it as a weapon. What else could it possibly be used as in its current state?” he asked. “As a scientist -no, as a member of Equuskind- I can't allow that to happen! Am I right?”

He looked away from Stellar, refusing to meet the mare’s eyes. Stellar understood. Serizawa was the least supportive of using magical explosives to try and kill Godzilla. They could have easily been used as new superweapons against enemy nations. Explosive against explosive, each nation destroying itself if - the White Mother forbid- a war were to ever break out and rendering the planet a wasteland. So, creating something that would rival or possibly even succeed explosives like the ones used to try and kill Godzilla was an even more nightmarish prospect for the tortured griffon.

“How do you know you can’t just hide it? Your new invention I mean?” Stellar asked.

“We, as a species, are weak animals. Even if I burn my notes, the secret will still be in my head. So what then, I ask you?” Serizawa asked looking Stellar dead in the eye daring her to try and come up with an answer. For the moment at least, none came.

“I… I don’t know…” Stellar whispered back in reply. “I just don’t know…”

“That’s what I thought…”

Beginning Isle:

“An uncharted island? Let me list the ways you're going to die. Rain, heat, mud, disease-carrying flies and mosquitoes. Sure, you could load up on the atabrine for the malaria but what about the other bacteria? We haven't even started on the things that want to eat you alive. But hey, what do I know? I’m just the expert who’s been going around the world for five years now...” Daring muttered to herself the group having taken shelter for the night in a cave. These were the exact same words she’d told Celeano and her crew before the whole thing started. “...And as that turns out, it’s pretty much anything and everything,” she muttered on said things that wanted to eat them.

“Well, this little venture’s gone just fine, hasn’t it?” Celeano deadpanned the rain having resumed its torrent outside the cave. “Oh, go to a mysterious island venturing on the hope of finding some giant moth who can save us all. This is folly, and we all know it!”

“Hey, I didn’t come up with the map that said ‘Here’s a giant moth that’s been sleeping on your planet for Celestia knows how long’, Celeano.” Fizzlepop rolled her eyes. “You’ve gotta take this stuff with a pinch of salt when it doesn’t lay everything out for you. How the hell was I supposed to know that Battra wasn’t who we were seeking?” she asked.

“But you did,” Celeano stated walking over to the mare. “You told us that he, or she or whatever it is attacked your ship a year ago. You didn’t think: “Hey, maybe this thing isn’t so friendly after all?” she remarked. “No, you just thought: “Hey, let’s go and search for it again! Maybe it had calmed down.”

“...And here we go…” Daring muttered having known long ago that these two would come to blows. It was only a matter of time after all.

“Would you rather take a giant moth creature or a giant parasite that would make any pony run in terror at the sight of it?” Fizzlepop asked turning back to Celeano and looking her dead in the eye. “Sure, sure. I can understand what I look like. A madmare leading you all to your deaths. Before Twilight and her friends happened, I was in a very dark place. But this isn’t just something that we can do nothing about. How are we gonna manage the Titans if they end up burying all of us sixty feet under? That’s why I came here, to try and give back to ponykind. If I can save them, then maybe I can atone for the years of my life I spent conquering settlements. Give back, instead of taking…” she whispered.

Twilight sighed. “Celeano, listen. I know you don’t like Fizzlepop, but for the time being, you’re going to have to put your grudge aside. This is bigger than us. We need to find Mothra if we’re going to-”

Celeano whirled on Twilight. “You. You’re hardly innocent in all of this either.”

“Excuse me?” Twilight asked as Fizzlepop got up off the cave floor and walked towards her friend with a nasty glare plastered on her face. Twilight sent her a look. She could take care of herself.

“Princess, this whole little adventure of yours is folly and you know it as well as I do. This whole little adventure just hinges on an idea that may or may not even be true. That thing could have very well have been Mothra, and from the look of it he wasn’t exactly friendly was it?” Celeano asked. “Or did I miss the moment when it brought down my new ship?”

“But the texts gathered up by Monarch said that-” Twilight started before being cut off again.

“Well then, you’re a fool Twilight!” Celeano squawked loudly. “Look around you, does our current situation say anything about Mothra actually being friendly? And I thought you were loyal to the end with her. Celestia really should have taught you that excessive loyalty is bad for you…”

“What does my loyalty to Celestia have to do with this? Yes, she founded Monarch along with so many others, but the whole idea was to study these creatures and mount a defense against them. And last I saw, it took me dropping part of the ocean just to even slow Battra down! I didn’t see your ship having much luck, did you? Right now, we need Mothra or something just like her to stop those creatures back on the mainland!” Twilight shouted back.

“The Princess is right,” Fizzlepop agreed. “Okay, yes, maybe I was mistaken about Battra being a force for good, but that doesn’t mean Mothra can’t exist as well. Battra may just be an elder member of the species. An exception to the rule if you will.”

“And do you have any proof of that, aside from these so-called ancient texts?” Celeano questioned. “Look, I’ve been around the world more times than I can count by now, and in my experience, you can’t always take things at face value. You have to actually see things for yourself before you can make a call. And everything I’ve seen so far pretty much says this whole mission is folly!”

A sudden, yet distant roar swept the area, causing Celeano’s raised claw to become limp, hanging down as shivers ran up and down her body. She wasn’t the only one, though, as the trees and even the plant life around her seemed to join in on the shakes.

“Do you call that folly?” Twilight asked, watching as Celeano tried to recompose herself.

“...I… I think we should get moving…” Fluttershy whispered. “I’d rather not meet whatever that belongs to…”

“Oh yes, I forget about that,” Celeano snapped fighting back tears. “Squabble and Boyle, you think they signed onto this mission only to end up killed by that giant spider? Huh, did they? God knows what else lurks on this island…”

“Captain, this fighting’s going to get us nowhere!” Mullet barked trying to calm her down. “You’re only going to attract unwanted attention!”

His pleas went unheeded.

“...I… I accept that I may have made a mistake bringing us here,” Fizzlepop whispered. “But what else was I supposed to do?”

“Yes, what were you supposed to do, Tempest Shadow?” Celeano asked narrowing her eyes. Daring and Fluttershy sucked in breaths, knowing exactly how much Fizzlepop hated to be called that name and reminded of her past.

“Excuse me?” Fizzlepop asked with narrowed eyes in a low tone of voice. “Do you care to repeat that?”

Another roar echoed throughout the jungle, this one much closer to the group, causing the entire area to rumble and shake. Though Tempest and Celeano still locked eyes with each other, completely unfazed by the noise. Call it the heat of the moment, or the deep-seated tension between the two of them that had been building, but they were not about to let their confrontation be shut down by a monster, no matter how big or small it was.

“Yes, Tempest Shadow. Or whatever it is you go by now, I don’t particularly give a damn,” Celeano repeated. “Far as I see it, you’ve just changed loyalties from one ruler to another. How do I actually know you’ve changed as a pony?”

“Fizzlepop has been nothing but good since she came into Twilight’s care,” Fluttershy said. “Celeano, I understand and sympathize with you for the years you suffered under the Storm King’s thumb, but that doesn’t mean you should take your anger out on-”

“The Storm King’s right-hand mare?” Celeano asked.

“Celeano…” Fluttershy whispered. She knew that the parrot’s grudge with Fizzlepop ran deep, but not this deep. While she understood and empathized with the captain, there was a time and a place for things.

“Do you really not trust me that much?” Fizzlepop lifted a brow. “Do you really think I haven’t changed, that my rallying to her side was a fallacy?”

“Way I see it,” Celeano stated. “You just switched sides to Twilight simply because you knew the Storm King was going to lose, and you simply wanted to save yourself.”

“You’re an even bigger fool than I thought you were in that case,” Fizzlepop replied. “Twilight saved me. Take that as you will, but she saved me. It’s the least I can do to repay the favor and help save her country by-.”

“By leading us all into a deathtrap?” Celeano asked. “Battra, that giant spider thing, and who knows what else. Mothra or not, this island is not safe. Just look around you, we barely got out of that alive! You and Twilight, you’re both fools!”

“Say what you will about me, I can take it. But the moment you even speak a word against my Princess…” Fizzlepop growled out before tackling Celeano to the cavern floor. Shouts rang out, Mullet and Twilight, both trying to pry Fizzlepop and Celeano off each other as they punched and kicked each other. Fluttershy, she stood back not sure if she should help or not. Daring did nothing. She knew this was a personal matter that the two needed to settle between themselves before they could move forwards. So she did nothing.

Blood was drawn as the two bit each other, rolling outside into the cavern as the fight progressed. Picking themselves up off the ground, both Celeano and Fizzlepop punched each other even as the rain poured down. Fizzlepop let out a rage-filled scream as she landed a powerful right cross before Celeano grabbed her and pulled her down with her back into the mud.

“...So… So, this is what it’s come to?” Fizzlepop asked breathing hard fighting back tears. “Me having to reduce myself to this just to prove myself to you. I… I am deeply sorry for how I treated you and your crew all those years ago.”

She stopped trying to fight back against Celeano, whispering: “There you go Captain, left myself wide open. Go on, take a shot at me.”

Celeano let out a screech of rage, and drew back her fist before… before nothing really. The blow never connected. Instead, Celeano bit back a sob and fell to the ground sniffling. Fizzlepop wasn’t far behind, thinking back to all the terrified faces she’d seen over the years during her time spent as the Storm King’s right-hand mare.

“Fizzlepop, are you…” Celeano asked.

“It’s just the whiskey, okay?” Fizzlepop snapped. “Just the damn whiskey… Let me… let me save some face okay?”

“Okay…” Celeano said in return. “It’s just the whiskey. That’s the story we’ll both stick by for both of our… emotional issues.”

The galloping of hooves was heard and Fizzlepop looked to the left and saw Twilight and the others running down to them.

“You okay?” Twilight asked.

“Ye… Yeah, I’ll be fine. Though I’m not sure for how long…” Fizzlepop muttered noticing the rustling of the bushes and then two massive tigers, white in color with antlers sticking out of their head marched out of the bushes. Atop their foreheads were changelings. Well, maybe. They certainly looked the part, if not for the fact that they were much smaller than the norm. The odd thing was, despite being the size of children they looked fully grown.

“Oh, we heard quite a commotion,” the twin changelings(?) asked in unison. It was sorta creepy really. “We had heard the Battle Moth had been defeated, we just couldn’t believe it till we saw it. We thank you for that.”

“...Thank us?” Daring asked quite confused.

“Oh yes. Our Lord was once a protector of this great land, till the power went to his head.” the twin Changelings answered. Twilight’s eyes widened in recognition. They couldn’t be… could they?

“...Isn’t that always the way? Give someone power, and he thinks himself a god…” Daring muttered.

“Sad as it may be, without his demise, our great Lady couldn’t be reborn. From the father passes the powers to the daughter.” the twins explained.

“Wait, you aren’t the Shobijin are you?” Twilight asked digging into her saddlebags for the book on them.

“Yes, we are in fact the Shobijin. However did you know?”

“...I… I read,” Twilight admitted flushing red. “I like to study up on… things…”

“So we have heard. Oh, we have heard of a great many things about the Princess of Friendship!” the Shobijin said making Twilight blush harder. “Come now! You do want to meet Mothra do you not?”

And so they were led inside a great temple, the two tigers flanking them on either side. Twilight and Daring brought out sketchbooks, scribbling away at the intricate designs painted on the beautiful creatures. This was indeed a lost world. But the most beautiful aspect of it all was yet to come.

The group wandered to a room of almost solid gold, with scriptures spread across the walls telling the tale of the titan towering over ponykind. Small pillars lined the steps up to the top of a pyramid, wherein Mothra sat quietly curled into her body, surrounded by the gigantic temple. As the group got closer and closer towards the slumbering moth, they only briefly took notice of how large it was, how small it made them, and just how high above the ground they were. One wrong step would spell the end from them, as their heights became so dizzyingly tall that the ground turned to a muddy, blurred mire.

“Thank Celestia for wings, eh?” Daring joked as curiosity overtook Fluttershy and the pegasus gently strode forwards towards the massive larva in front of her.

“Um… hello?” Fluttershy whispered overcome with wonder. It amazed her how creatures of this great beauty could have been created by Grogar. And yet, despite this being a child of the Father of All Monsters she couldn’t find herself to be afraid. In fact, if anything Mothra seemed to actually want to initiate contact as the giant larva just barely free from her egg leaned forwards allowing the Element of Kindness to stroke her with a hoof. “So… you’re the Queen of Monsters… You… you don’t seem like a monster to me do you?”

“So… she really does exist…” Fizzlepop whispered fighting back tears. It hadn't been all for nothing after all. She looked towards Celeano who had seemed to have been overcome with a similar sense of wonder. Not that she could blame her. Not all monsters were bad, it seemed. And some were downright beautiful.

“Queen of the Monsters?” the Shobijin said in unison tilting their heads in a quizzical motion. “Is that the title she has been given?”

“Well, yes but um... “ Fluttershy whispered. “If you don’t like that title we can stop calling her by that. I… I mean, if you want that is.”

The Shobijin could only stifle giggles.

“What’s… what’s so funny?” Twilight asked.

“Oh, it is nothing Princess Twilight,” the Shobijin said. “It is just it is a very fitting title indeed! It is, in fact, Mothra who has always calmed and tamed the King throughout his many rampages throughout history!”

“But… but she’s just a larva,” Daring remarked. “How can she possibly have…?”

The Shobijin could only share a small secretive smile. Twilight meanwhile, breathed a sigh of relief. So there was hope after all.