• Published 18th Sep 2012
  • 40,530 Views, 2,274 Comments

Faith and Doubt - defender2222

After everyone fails to heed to her warnings about Cadence, Twilight gives in to her darker thoughts

  • ...

Something Borrowed

Fear attracts the fearful.
The strong.
The weak.
The innocent.
The corrupt.
Fear is my ally."

~Darth Maul

The day was perfect.

The pegasi had ensured that the only clouds in the sky were small and offered shade to those that needed it. They had even taken the time the sculpt them to resemble hearts and roses. The castle gardens had been tended by the best earth ponies in all of Equestria and it seemed, as one trotted about, as if every ecosystem within the country was represented. There was a magic in the air and even the stuffiest of unicorns had a smile on their face as they made their way into the castle.

The 5 Elements of Harmony could only look about in wonder; even Rainbow Dash was impressed by how the throne room had been transformed. They had done this…they had put on the biggest wedding in Equestria and everypony who was anypony was in attendance. Fluttershy’s birds happily sang the wedding march as Cadence walked towards Shining Armor, making Rarity’s wedding gown look like the finest thing ever created. Everypony looked upon the princess of love and felt their heart beat a bit faster. The only one not smiling was Shining Armor, but all attributed that to jitters.

Cadence took her spot next to her husband-to-be and smiled, radiating joy and love. Her lips quivered in a slight smirk as Princess Celestia began the ceremony.

“We are gathered here today-“

The doors to the throne room burst open, sounding like a thunderclap. Four of Celestia’s royal pegasus guards slid into the room, making the red carpet bunch up as their twitching bodies came to a halt. The wedding guests turned, staring at the smiling unicorn who swaggered in without a care in the world.

“Good afternoon ladies and gentlecolts,” Twilight called out, giving them all a twisted grin. “Can’t have a ceremony without the best mare, can we?” Her horn glowed black and a flask Prince Blueblood had hidden in his jacket floated over to Twilight, the unicorn taking a shot from it. “Mmmm…very nice.” She gave Blueblood a leer before returning his flask, gracefully prancing over the fallen guards. “I hope none of you mind, but I started the celebration a touch early.”

“Twilight Sparkle,” Celestia managed to finally get out, her shock at her student’s actions leaving her utterly flabbergasted, “what is the meaning of this?”

“The meaning is that I was almost late to the wedding and these boys got in my way.” Twilight lifted one guard’s head up and gave him a playful pat on the cheek. “But don’t worry, we solved things!” Her smiled darkened and she violently backhoofed the guard, sending a splash of blood to the floor. “Don’t get up on my account.” Twilight let out a drunken giggle, clearly having ‘celebrated’ quite hard before coming to the wedding.

Cadence glared at Twilight, stomping her hoof in frustration. "Why do you keep insisting on ruining my special day?" Several more of the royal guard approached Twilight, snorting as they circled her. "What did I ever do to you? Why can't you just let me have this?"

"Don't make this hard on yourself," one of the guards said.

Twilight took a moment to look at her friends and family, waiting to see if any of them would call out for the guards to be careful, to not hurt her. All of them either looked away in shame or glared at her in disgust.

'Shame and disgust...let's see if we can change that,' she thought.

Her eyes flashed and tendrils of black magic shot out from her horn, grabbing the guards and wrapping them up. The pegasi struggled but were unable to break free from her grasp. "First off, I am a bit offended. I defeated an ursa minor, Nightmare Moon and Discord...you really thought a few guards could stop me?" She sent them flying across the room, the clanking of their armored bodies striking the walls echoing through the throne room. They were knocked out cold, though their wounded pride would hurt far longer than their heads. "As for what you did? Let us just say you got on my bad side."

"You will not threaten her!" Shining Armor shouted, eyes flashing green as he moved to stand between his bride and his sister. Twilight's lips merely twitched, her suspicions confirmed at the sight of the sickly green glow that radiated from her brother's irises. A tiny bit of her hoped that Shining’s cruel words were an effect of the spell that had obviously been placed upon him. That little voice whispered that maybe, just maybe, her brother hadn't meant all the things he had said...that when she freed him he would become her beloved Shiny again.

The bitter part of her heart stomped those hopes down; they only made her weak. Shining Armor had always been bad for her...she could see for the first time just how cruel he was. Her mind hounded her, demanded blood for blood…and Twilight was all too happy to provide it.

"You hear how my dear brother talks to me?" Twilight asked, startling everypony. Her voice dripped with false sweetness and it made those that knew her shudder in disgust that such an acidic tongue could be found in her mouth. "My FBBBFF is so quick to protect his blushing bride...never mind the hearts he stomps on in his rush to play gallant knight." She stuck out her lower lip, pouting as she resorted to baby talk. "Did Shiny tell mama and dada about what he said to poor widdle Twiley?"

"No," Shining Armor said gruffly. "I told them you were sick, to spare you embarrassment."

Twilight threw her head back and laughed, though it was such a wicked sound that Pinkie Pie's mane instantly deflated upon hearing it. "Oh my dear brother, always thinking of me." She took a step forward, a cruel smile gracing her lips. "Did you use that silver tongue to charm Cadence too? Or am I the only one that gets sweet lies whispered in her ear?"

"Shining, Twilight..." their mother, Twilight Velvet, pleaded. Neither she nor their father, Night Light, understood what was going on. Shining had come to them that morning and told them that Twilight had come down with a highly contagious stomach virus and would be unable to attend the wedding. Velvet had wanted to go check on her little girl but Shining had convinced her otherwise. Now...now she wished she hadn't listened to her eldest and had instead trusted her motherly intuition.

For the briefest of moments Twilight faltered. The sound of her mother's voice was like a bucket of icy water on the inferno that raged within her soul. Velvet looked at her baby girl, eyes shimmering with unshed tears as she silently begged Twilight to stop this.

'She's upset because I am ruining Shining Armor's wedding,' her mind snapped. 'She doesn't care about me...she hasn't come towards me. She's inching towards Shining even now! They care more for their first born than they ever did me! She said it herself: Shining...then Twilight. Always Shining...always him first...Twilight just gets the scraps!'

The icy water became gasoline and the fires roared back larger than ever.

"Who needs family?" Twilight muttered to herself, her eyes never leaving her mother's as she sent a blast of magic directly at her brother, sending him crashing into a stain glass window. Her brother fell in a heap, bits of broken glass raining down on him, and Cadence trembled.

'Good,' her mind whispered, ‘good.’

"You are all wondering why I am here!" Twilight called out, all her bravado returning full force. She began to approach the altar once again, her smile growing larger as she watched Cadence back away from her, rage and fear flashing on the Princess' features. "Well…I am today’s entertainment! I already showed you some magic, so how about a story, hmmmm?” She looked around; delighting in how everypony save a few cowered away from her. “Princess Slutty Slut here is brainwashing my brother. I saw it with my own two eyes. But Celestia refuses to believe that a member of her family could be evil..." Twilight chuckled to herself, idly calling back Blueblood's flask and taking a sip, "...because everypony knows Tia here is such a good judge of character. How is Princess Luna, by the way? Terrorized any children lately?"

"Twilight, stop this now!" Celestia demanded, taking a step forward. The crowd began to back away, their fear palpable at the sight of their princess facing down her deranged student. All who had seen that look upon the sun princess' face had learned just how terrible her wrath could be. "Whatever issues you have with Cadence can be solved with decorum...storming in here like a drunken mare is doing no pony any good! I did not teach you...I did not raise you...to act like this! You bring shame to your family, your friends and me with your petty actions!"

Any other time, Twilight would have trembled under Celestia's stern warning. But the fire that now burned in her heart only laughed at such attempts to snuff it out. Twilight took a step forward, cocking her head to the side, giving her teacher the most innocent of looks.

“Always about you, isn’t it, Tia?”

With that Twilight unleashed a blast of magic.

In a fair fight Celestia would have won with ease. Even if Twilight was the most powerful unicorn to be born in Equestria since Starswirl the Bearded, she simply could not compete with the power, and wisdom, of the sun princess. It would have been like a raindrop trying to wash away a mountain.

But like the raindrop, Twilight did not try to attack the mountain head-on. She wiggled and wormed her way through the hard rock that was her mentor's defenses; just as a drop of water can find a crack in the rock and use that fault to erode a great cliff, so did Twilight find an advantage and bring Celestia down. In this case, the crack was Celestia's eyes. They were the window to the soul, but they also were sensitive and unguarded. Even with the natural shields Celestia always held up, the princess had to be able to see. Twilight was able to send a blinding ball of light at her mentor's face, blinding her.

'She's been blind to my true potential all this time' her dark thoughts hissed, 'there is a poetic justice to this.'

Before any of those gathered could react Twilight rushed Cadence, throwing her down from the altar then pouncing on top of the princess of love. She could hear her friends shouting, some calling out to Celestia, others Cadence, and one of them even shouted her name. The last wasn't said with hope or joy but fear...fear of what she would do.

'Good,' she thought as her horn began to glow a sickly black, 'fear I can work with.' She grit her teeth and for a brief moment all those around her could see her very soul flash within her frame. A black dome formed around them, sealing them off from the rest of the wedding guests. They could still see and hear Twilight but now the pulsing magic blocked them from interfering. "I think it’s time you and I had a chat, Cadence."

"Twilight, stop!" Rainbow Dash shouted, the first to snap to her senses. She began to pound on the dome, trying to fracture it. The lavender unicorn ignored her and Rainbow Dash began to dart back and forth, building up speed as she rammed the forcefield.

Applejack grit her teeth, joining Rainbow Dash in the assault. "Rarity! The moment it comes down you need to tie Twilight up as tight as you can! We can't risk her blasting us!" The farmer began to buck at the forcefield, her hooves aching but her spirit not faltering for a second.

"Stop!" Celestia shouted, shaking her head in an attempt to rid herself of the spots that danced about her eyes. Fluttershy was quietly crying beside her and Pinkie Pie looked about, utterly confused and unable to think of what to do. Rarity stopped gathering up the carpet to use as restraints but the farmer and the weather pony continued to attack the dome. "Applejack, Rainbow Dash, stop now! Please stop!"

It was the way Celestia cried out them...so full of panic and fear...that got their attention.

Celestia stared at the dome, horror clearly written upon her features. "Where did she learn this spell?"

"Princess?" Rarity said softly. "What's wrong?"

"Yeah, we need to get in there before Twilight hurts Princess Cadence!" Rainbow Dash proclaimed, watching as Twilight continued to circle Cadence like a shark swam around a baby seal.

"We...we can't," Celestia murmured. "She used a soul shield."

"A...a what now?" Applejack asked.

Celestia fought back tears. 'My faithful student...how did things go so wrong? How did we get to this point?' The sun princess took several breaths, trying to calm herself. "A...a soul shield is formed by the unicorn channeling her essence into a physical form. The barrier isn’t magic but Twilight’s lifeforce made solid. It is nearly impenetrable...and thank all that it is."

"Why?" Twilight Velvet asked, finally finding her voice. She and Night Light had moved towards Shining Armor and once assured their son was still alive had turned their attention to the tinted dome that separated them from their youngest.

"Because if we break it against Twilight's will...we will break her soul. She'll die instantly."

"That...that is Twilight's soul?" Pinkie whimpered. "But it's so...dark."

Celestia nodded, a tear rolling down her cheek. ‘What drove you to this madness, my little pony?’

Before the Princess could say more Twilight's voice rose up from within the dome. "Just the two of us. You and me. You can drop the disguise now...no one can see or hear us," she lied.

"Clever little unicorn," Cadence said, though the voice that came from her lips was not her own. The crowd began to scream as the green flames ignited the love princess' skin. For a moment they all thought Twilight had truly snapped and was burning Cadence alive...but the dark laughter came not for the unicorn but her opponent. "How did you ever figure it out?" the black creature that had been Cadence hissed.

"The real Cadence is a love goddess. I spent a lot of time with her and she taught me all about her magic. The first thing she would have done after I fought with my brother at the dress rehearsal would have been to cast a 'Mend Hearts' spell. It is in her nature to want to heal rifts...she physically can't stand fighting and to run away is against everything she stands for. That's how I knew you were a fake...changeling."

Celestia gasped. The scales fell from her eyes the moment she heard that word and the sheer folly of her actions was laid to bear. She looked outside and using a True Sight spell saw that what she had believed to be birds gathering in the sky above Canterlot were in fact changelings...an entire army of them. They were assaulting the shield Shining Armor had created...and it was breaking.

"Guards! Reinforce the shield!" She called out. The guards Twilight had thrown aside, having finally woken up, slowly rose to their hooves and hurried to find some royal unicorn spellcasters to help hold up their last line of defense. "You two, find my sister! We will need her!" A changeling...their queen from the mare's appearance...had hidden right in front of her this entire time. They had shared meals together, chatted over tea and talked of simple things. Celestia had never seen it...and the thought that she had come so close to binding one of her subjects to the parasite made her feel ill.

The realitization that she had sided against her student in favor of the creature that had kidnapped her niece…that nearly did her in.

The guards began to move, but a flash of green magic within the dome stopped them all in their tracks. 'Cadence' had tackled Twilight and pinned her to the ground, a smile on her lips as she took the form of Shining Armor. "You were a fool to confront me like this!" 'Shining Armor' said with a snarl. "The spell I used on your brother to feed on his love will work all the same on you! Once I have feasted I will use your magic to lay waste to Canterlot, its ponies and your friends!" The Changeling Queen pressed her horn to Twilight's, the emerald magic swirling in Twilight's eyes. It was a nasty spell, daring out the feelings a pony had for the disguise a changeling wore. The lavender unicorn's body pulsed and swirling energy began to drain from her body and into the Queen's as she spoke. "I only wish Cadence wasn't trapped in the caverns...I'd love to see her face as I use your pathetic love for your brother to-"

The Queen screamed. Everyone in the castle trembled and felt their knees buckle at the gut-wrenching sound. It was the cry of a dying animal and a weeping widow kneeling at her husband's grave, rolled into one trembling, soul searing scream. The Changelings overhead paused in their assault, letting out their own cries as if they were being sliced apart by thousands of hot swords.

"And you were a fool...to think that using Shining Armor's visage would provide you with a scrap of love." Twilight kicked her 'brother' off of her. "I did my research, changeling. Your kind feeds on positive emotions...love, hope, joy...that is why you must hide your true forms! If any saw them, they would know only fear and hate...and those emotions are a poison to you." Her horn flashed and now the two combatants found their roles reversed. Twilight’s voice distorted as she channeled all her magic into her horn. Her eyes glowed black, her body darkened, and her cutie mark began to twist and distort. “Care to guess what I’m filled with right now?" Twilight, defying all logic, sent more of her emotions along the link the queen had created.

"STOP!" The Queen pleaded, slamming her legs against the ground. The green flames flared up and she took the guise of Celestia. "Twilight please!” the queen screamed in Celestia’s voice.

“…I hate you.”

Twilight sent another wave of emotion at her.


The Changeling Queen transformed into each of Twilight's friends, only to get the same result. It didn’t matter if it was Applejack or her father or Princess Celestia…each guise had the same effect. All outside watched as the unicorn tortured the changeling that wore her loved ones faces, the drones outside falling unconscious under the attack to the hive-mind. The entire time Twilight just kept smiling as tears rolled down her cheeks and she screamed and cursed at the visages of her friends and family, pumping hateful poison into the changeling queen. For 10 minutes this went on and no pony blamed the stallion or mare beside them if they retched on the floor or lost control of their bladder. The screams of the queen hurt each and every one of them and soon there were ponies screaming for Twilight to show her mercy, to end the attack and just let her go. Everypony that cared about Twilight found themselves feeling as if they were physically struck as she screamed out her hatred for them, taking out all her anger on the shapeshifter.

Finally, when the Changeling Queen could no longer even hold her head up, Twilight released the dome. She looked at her family and friends before collapsing, her own energy spent, a faint smile on her lips.

‘Good…good…’ the wicked little voice in her mind whispered in approval as Twilight’s world went dark.

Her mother and father rushed forward, gathering her up and sobbing as they cradled her limp body. Her friends could not move, their hearts in their throats and their eyes overflowing with tears as they looked upon the broken mare they called friend.

"What...what did you do to her?" The Queen whimpered as Celestia approached her. Her eyes were wild with fear and if she had the strength she would have run from Twilight’s broken form. "By the Creator...what did you do to her?"

Celestia could not answer.