• Published 5th Dec 2019
  • 3,081 Views, 55 Comments

The Canterlot Hive - Bronyxy



When Shining Armor banished Twilight from his wedding, she returned distraught to Ponyville, but she soon got to hear about the changeling invasion of Canterlot. With the help of some unexpected allies, she returns to try and put everything right.

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5 Confrontation

Chief Thunderhooves raced headlong towards an intersection in Canterlot and, completely ignoring the red stop light skidded round the corner to give Twilight her first view of the Royal Castle, but that wasn’t the thing that caught their eye. One of the other parties of buffalo had got there a little before them and was now embroiled in a battle with changeling guards.

Unlike the patrol they had encountered earlier, a number of these changelings were still trying to fight on the ground, and the buffalo were taking great delight in headbutting them and pitching them into solid buildings by deft swings of the head. Some had tried to impersonate the buffalo, but as Twilight had suspected, they lacked the weight to become equal sparring partners, and were sent sprawling with ease.

Taking full advantage of the diversion, Chief Thunderhooves continued unswervingly towards the main entrance where changeling guards brought their polearms to a readied position. Twilight was having none of this, and a glow enveloped her horn sending a stream of magical energy out to the levelled weapons, throwing them aside.

Twilight felt a grudging respect for how long the guards stayed in their path, as a heard of rampaging buffalo must have looked particularly intimidating. As they drew close, she watched as some changed into fearsome looking creatures to try and deter the charge, whilst the sensible ones just took to the air. Those that had remained were skittled aside like a demon bowler had just scored a strike, as the buffalo never even broke step.

When the corridors began to narrow, the buffalo fell reluctantly into single file, Chief Thunderhooves taking Twilight’s cues of pulling his fur on whichever side she wanted him to take at any turning through the corridors. The castle was surprisingly empty, most available changelings either outside dealing with the other buffalo, or on their way out there. Either way, they encountered little resistance and soon found themselves barrelling towards the throne room.

Twilight focused her magic to disarm the guards once more, but her horn failed to light. Starting to fret, she tried again, but still she couldn’t get the slightest response from it. By now they were frighteningly close to the first of the guards, so in desperation she tried one more time, focusing all of her essence into her magic. Chief Thunderhooves had seen Twilight disarm guards with menacing looking weapons before and had complete faith in her ability to do it again, so didn’t even consider for a second slowing down his charge.

The guard at the front of his colleagues dropped his weapon and flew above the buffalo at the last second to avoid an experience, that in his mind, would best be equated to being hit by a freight train. As the discarded polearm clattered to the stone floor, it bounced just sufficiently to catch Chief Thunderhooves’ ankles and he tripped, Twilight jumping off to avoid being caught as the warrior Chief tumbled.

Twilight and Zecora immediately leapt into action, pressing forward flailing their forehooves in close quarters combat against the changelings, progressing towards the large double doors. Behind them, buffalo squeezed past their fallen Chief who found himself unable to get up and join the fight.

With their Chief down, the other buffalo became more focused than ever on taking revenge as a matter of pride, determined to extract the highest price possible from the changelings for what they had done. Indeed, they paid little heed to their own injuries as they weighed in one by one, applying their size and brute strength to neutralise any remaining opposition with a headbutt here and a sharp kick there. While the mighty buffalo continued processing the guards into a groaning heap, Twilight and Zecora unlatched the doors and together pushed one open.

Twilight led the way inside, her hoofsteps echoing around the great hall, noting the deceptive calm that greeted them.

“Oh Twilight!” called a pink alicorn coming to meet her from the other end of the hall, while a white unicorn stood beside the throne staring vacantly.
“Cadance?” gasped Twilight, confused, ”Shining Armor?”

“Beware of her friendly face
There is changeling magic at work in this place”
Zecora warned.

“You must help us Twilight, we’ve just escaped!” she pleaded, “Queen Chrysalis has enslaved his mind, but I know we can break the spell once we get him out of here!”
The sound of fighting picked up outside the main doors once more, and Twilight turned to see that more changeling guards had joined in.

“Quick, while the guards are distracted, I know a way we can get out!” implored the Princess, “Follow me while we still have time!”

Twilight looked at Zecora who shot her a warning glance.

High above them, the rulers of Equestria looked down from their cocoons; Celestia trying to shout a warning, while Luna strained in vain to get her magic to work.

Twilight felt underprepared for what lay ahead as her magic had for some reason failed her, but she had one trump card; she knew the alicorn in front of her was not Cadance but the Changeling Queen, and now she had a name: Chrysalis. The longer she delayed this confrontation, the stronger Chrysalis and her changeling army would become, and even if she had lost her magic at the moment, this was probably some kind of defensive spell that she would always have to overcome. At least she knew she couldn’t rely on her magic and had to focus on other ways to outwit her enemy.

It was a trap, that much was obvious, but she had no choice other than to play along. At least she had one true and trusted friend with her, and it was obvious that Zecora would stand by her side, whatever decision she took.
“Thank you Zecora” she said to herself, as she trotted after the imposter Princess.

The graceful pink alicorn retrieved Shining Armor, and then led them through a little used door at the back of the throne room, which progressed through a corridor hewn from solid rock and opened out into a cavern below.
“Down there” she said, pointing with her horn, “Is the course of the old river. It opens out by the waterfalls under Canterlot where there aren’t any guards posted – we’ll be able to get away and help your brother, then make a plan for how to stop Queen Chrysalis and the changelings.”

“Come into my parlour” breathed Twilight, “Said the spider to the fly …”

***

There was a strange feeling about the cavern, not least the unusual smell which didn’t seem to reflect the sterile and unoccupied environment she would have expected. Under any other circumstances Twilight would have commented, but for now she wanted to ensure that she said and did nothing to give the impression she hadn’t been completely taken in by the subterfuge. Besides, she doubted if they could get out now anyway, even if they tried.

Chrysalis came to a halt and Shining Armor obediently stopped at her side, Twilight and Zecora fearing something unpleasant.
“I have something to show you” announced Chrysalis, “But first I must thank you for following me into the heart of my new hive.”
From nowhere, a sound of soft clicking surrounded them and the imposter Princess shrouded herself in a column of glowing green, casting a ghostly radiance that reached into the furthest recesses of the enormous open chamber.

Princess Cadance gasped at the sudden light and put down the hatchling she was nursing, to stand up and look towards the source. She could make out Chrysalis performing her transformation and three ponies surrounded by changelings. One of the ponies was unmistakeably Shining Armor, whilst another looked like Twilight Sparkle.

Believing she would never see either of them again, she rushed over towards them before the bright green light faded back to the perpetual half-light of the hive. She forced her way through the changelings who were expecting the surrounded ponies to try and escape, rather than finding one trying to force her way into their midst.

“What do you think you’re doing?” demanded Chrysalis angrily of the real Princess Cadance.
“I want to be with my husband and my sister in law!” she retorted angrily.
“You have no idea what punishment I will extract from you for this” growled Chrysalis.
“You can’t take away anything more than you already have!” Cadance shot back, “Whatever you do to me now, at least I can be with my Shining Armor one last time!”

Chrysalis laughed pitilessly.
“You are trapped, surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered” she gloated, “But you have given me a simply delicious idea.”
Twilight and Zecora felt their hearts sink, but Cadance stared down her captor with a bold fierceness.

“Now that Canterlot is mine, I have no further need of him” mused Chrysalis, “I will free him from his trance so he can see what he has helped me achieve, then he can live with the guilt of how he betrayed you and all of Equestria. Oh, this will be so delightful!”
With that, Chrysalis lit her horn and bathed him in a soft green glow.

Shining Armor stumbled on his hooves and struggled to take in his surroundings.
“Wha … what am I doing here?” he asked, “Is this some kind of bachelor party prank?”
“Shining Armor, I love you!” declared Cadance, pushing past the last of the changelings that stood between them.
“Oh, hey Cadey” he greeted, wrapping his foreleg around hers, “I love you too, but whatever’s going on.”
He lowered his horn to hers in greeting and just before they touched, a spark crackled between them, both of their horns coming to life as wisps of magic started to spin around them.

“What?” gasped Chrysalis in surprise, moving forward to break the couple up.
“Oh no you don’t!” growled Twilight as she and Zecora piled into her, knocking her over.

The changelings were caught off guard and focused on trying to prise the two ponies off their Queen, rather than interrupting the magic building between the Royal Couple who were now lifting off the ground as the magic between them grew stronger.

“Stop them, you fools!” shouted Chrysalis to the bewildered changeling guards, but it was too late; Cadance and Shining Armor suddenly glowed brilliant white as their union caused a massive explosion of blinding pink light.

One moment the three ponies and a zebra were surrounded by the sounds of screaming, and the next, all they could hear was falling water.

When Twilight opened her eyes, she could see that everything was bathed in brilliant afternoon sunshine that poured in through a massive hole where the side of the cavern used to be, but now looked out instead through one of the majestic waterfalls upon which Canterlot stood.

“What was that all about?” Shining Armor enquired, looking stunned. Cadance just held him tight, but couldn’t answer him because of the tears of joy that choked off any response.
“Just roll with it, bbbff” said Twilight with a smile, “We have a wedding to put together, and a lot of extra apple pies to bake!”