• Published 29th Jun 2019
  • 386 Views, 20 Comments

Terror Puppet - Windrunner



One usually finds Celestia in the throne room. She seems a bit odd, today.

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Not Quite Right

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"Luna nor Celestia respond to my scrolls or other attempts to reach them. Something is definitely wrong. I'm very worried something bad has happened or is happening." Twilight and Rainbow Dash were sitting in one of the finely appointed coach cars on the train to Canterlot. It was decided to take the train instead of flying or teleport hopping to their destination so they would both be well rested and at full strength when venturing into the magnificent castle that awaited atop the mountain. A structure so vast and cleverly engineered to appear as if hanging off the very mountainside in mid-air. Whatever craftsponies and whoever else built it so long ago had created a true gem of architecture renowned the world over.

"Don't worry so much, Twilight. They can both take care of themselves. Besides, if there is trouble they've got us!" Dash was her usual exuberant and confident self, sometimes a bit too confident.

"Rainbow, this is serious!" Twilight went to say but saw the smirk on her friends face and looked down shyly.

"Alright, alright. I admit it. I get jumpy too easily. We will both just calmly go investigate and make sure everything is alright, okay?" Even long after becoming a princess herself which was no easy feat to accomplish, Twilight was still occasionally prone to over-thinking things and sometimes a little uncomfortable in her own wings.

Everything seemed normal in the city proper upon arrival. A little too normal.

"Absolutely everything looks alright out here." But Twilight was frowning deeply when she said it.

"Yeah. I feel it, too. It looks right, but it feels wrong. We better hurry to the castle." Dash went to fly but Twilight held up a hoof and she landed again, looking at her quizzically.

"Wait. We don't know what we're in for. I sent a message to all our friends before we left, just in case. I think we should go in the main gates instead of the castle flyway entrances. If anything really is wrong maybe we should give the impression we aren't aware." She finished saying, looking really concerned.

"Oh, alright. There might be some adventure to be had here after all." She half-folded her wings almost in impatience, but Rainbow was always seeking excitement despite her position as a Wonderbolt amongst many other major lifetime accomplishments. She pushed hard for them. Each honor earned through sheer effort and will. Once bearing one of the Elements granted no particular clarity besides anything related to its existence at the time. She was also actually trained in some manner of combat now. They strolled to the main entrance of the castle and halted abruptly. A feeling as if some great oppressive weight fell in upon them, it felt so dark.

"Do you FEEL that? It's almost overpowering in how bad it is, what can it be?" Twilight said. Dash nodded in response.

"I would suggest getting help but it seems like there's no time." She pointed a hoof inside and they both walked in, trying to act normal and restrain themselves from rushing. This was not a petition day so only the court regulars and castle staff would be within. They approached the throne room together apprehensively. The feeling of something ill surrounded them, seeming to pervade the very walls themselves as if some token of sickness lived within them. The feeling pressed in from all sides. Something was very wrong here. Not just here, something dark emanating from the entire structure of the castle and grounds. The disconcerting feeling of wrongness did not let up as they approached the room. It was a little too quiet.

"I don't suppose Starlight is anywhere around here? I heard she was supposed to be coming here for a visit?" Rainbow inquired. Twilight shook her head. There would be no immediate assistance coming.

"She had to go home for some kind of family emergency or something. She didn't quite have time to explain and left in a big hurry so she won't be around to help us either." Twilight stretched her wings slightly as they approached the door to the throne room, mentally preparing herself for what might be within.

"Brace yourself and try to act normal no matter what, we don't know what we are going to find in there." She pushed.

As they passed the two door guards who looked perfectly normal, both almost audibly gasped. There, upon the throne sat Celestia. At least it looked like Celestia. In the way a well-crafted puppet with clearly visible cables dangling from the ceiling and controlling her could look like Celestia. This made little sense. There was no hint of anypony controlling the weird and obvious life-sized puppet. Startlingly, it spoke. A strange higher-pitched voice that somehow conveyed some evil intent while being utterly civil. For whatever reason, no one seemed to be acting like anything was wrong and continuing to speak with her like the princess was just fine. It raised it's head, the thick odd ethereal looking cables moving it about from above.

"Ah, hello Twilight, my faithful student. How are you? What brings you to Canterlot on this fine day?" It asked politely, its mannerisms were exactly like the real princess. What was this? If not for the horrible feeling surrounding and seeming to come from everywhere within the castle, this would be utterly ridiculous. Twilight found the words caught in her throat for a second. It was extremely difficult not to stutter trying to speak with this..thing in the place of her dear friend and mentor.

"I..we uh, just happened to be in the area and thought making a more formal visit than usual to the city might be a nice change of pace. If you don't mind we will go to our quarters now." Twilight steadied her voice surprisingly well.

Once more in that somehow awful yet serene high voice that came from within the puppet it spoke again.

"Very well Twilight, Dash, we will see you at dinner tonight?" It spoke so..normally, just like her yet not.

"That sounds wonderful, see you then." Dash gave her little bow then they departed the room together, heading to the permanently assigned quarters given to them ever since obtaining the Elements. Even after their loss, all six of them did remain national heroes. If only the rest were here right now. Both felt rather lost about what to do next. What was that apparition sitting on Celestia's throne? Perhaps her sister Luna might be of help. Both thought it, and worried mightily.

"We should find Luna, but what if.." Twilight stopped Dash mid-sentence.

"I know, what if it's the same thing with her? This is really bad." Twilight said sullenly. Rainbow Dash looked around, nervous. Despite the surroundings being familiar, everything was wrong. Everyone was wrong as well. Why was everypony acting so normal? Even the few griffons and rare others in the castle today had acted like nothing at all was amiss with the royalty. Could no one else actually see what was upon the throne? Was everyone enchanted in some manner?

"I even tried subtly casting an illusion dispersing spell, it did nothing!" Twilight looked fearful for a change.

"Buck up Twi, we will figure this out. We have to. Let's go find her sister, if it's not too late." They both readied themselves for whatever danger or horror might lay ahead.

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Into the rabbit hole we go..

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