• Published 6th Jan 2023
  • 8,954 Views, 1,396 Comments

An Alternative Ending - ultrapoknee

When you discard something, it's easy to forget the wrongs you committed. But, more times than not, the past always comes back to remind you of your fallibility.

  • ...

The Gala

Author's Note:

Hey, guys. Here's a new story for you all. After reading it several times, I want to try my hand at the ending universe. This story is mainly inspired by kildeez https://www.fimfiction.net/story/239827/a-new-ending, but there will only be one aspect of that story that I liked that I wanted to explore. The timeline is a little murky. It has elements from every season, and the MLP movie. but, I hope you enjoy it.

[Carousel Boutique.]

"What do you think, Sweetie? Too loud, or is it too subtle?" Rarity pondered as she stood on her stage modeling her dress. She was levitating a red scarf and white rose.

"Rarity! For the hundredth time, they both look fine! Can we please get ready before we're late?" Sweetie complained.

"Now, now, Sweetie Belle. To complete this particular ensemble, I need something to go with the intricate flow of the white trimming. Something to complement the curvature of the gold silk and offset the red highlight near my tail. Please, Sweetie! You know I value your input,"

"Urgh! The rose..." Rarity beams as she looks at the mirror and applies the rose to her mane. "Rarity. What makes this Gala so special anyway?"

"Oh, that's simple, Sweetie. All the rulers of the other countries will be here for Twilight's big announcement,"

"Wow, why would any of them come for an announcement?"

"Well, all our work with the cutie map has garnered us some favors. Why are even the brutish dragons attending? This gives me the perfect opportunity to gain some new and exotic clientele. As well as possibly expanding the boutique. Oh, imagine it, Sweetie. Carousel Arabia. Carousell Prance. carousel Dragonlands..." Rarity paused in thought as the name made her muzzle scrunch. "Hmm, we'll have to work on that one. And the location would scare off any managers. Perhaps I could outsource from the locals? No, dragons don't do clothing..."

"Why not ask Spike if--"

"Yes, of course, Spiky-Wiky. I could ask him to run the shop there!"

Sweetie gave her older sister a nonplussed look for cutting her off. "I doubt Spike would up and leave Twilight. I meant you could see if he knows any dragon,"

Rarity, however, gave a dismissive wave. "I hardly believe Spike would be able to find any of those dragons that would have a sophisticated interest like fashion. But he does know the Dragonlord. And she does owe Spiky - not to mention Twilight and me - for gaining her position as Dragonlord. She could wave her little specter and have her subjects pay in gems.

Sweetie waved a hoof over Rarity's sparkling eyes. "Rarity, that plan seems unethical,"

Rarity shook the stars off as she gave pause. "Hmm, I suppose. But, semantics, darling. I am sure we'll figure it out later. Do you have everything for your sleepover at Sweet Apple Acres?"

"Yep. I got the extra blankets. Scootaloo got the scary stories, and Applebloom got the food and drinks. We're going camping out in the clubhouse,"

"Oh, um, are you sure that is safe?"

"Don't worry; Big Mac will be working the field to pick up for Applejack's absence after the Gala. We'll be fine,"

"Aw, now there's a dependable stallion—a shame he isn't attending. I'm sure I could make him a proper member of the nobility. It would be a fun project getting him to look presentable. Although, Applejack would never let her brother anywhere near nobles,"

"Eeyup," The two sisters shared a laugh.

"Yes, this will be the best night ever," Rarity walked out of her home with Sweetie Belle as the two made their way to Twilight's castle.

[Sugarcube corner.]

"Pinkie, dear, are you sure you need that much frosting?" Mrs. Cake asks.

"Of course, Mrs. Cake. With our new cinnamon honey cookies, you need this much frosting for dipping. I know not many ponies in Canterlot like our brand of treats, so I had to dress them up," She had a tray of frosting balanced on her head while the cookies were in front. She took the dispenser and rapidly frosted the treats in a blink of an eye. Despite the speed and frosting flying everywhere, the cookies were perfectly frosted. Amazingly, her dress remains pristine—a puffy yellow dress with glitter lining and white swirls designed on her hips.

"Remember not to be too forceful in the pitch, Pinkie. If you push too hard, you push customers away," Mr. Cake said.

"Can do, Mr. Cake. I, Pinkie, promise that we'll have new Canterlot buyers before the week is out-- Huh?" Before Pinkie could start her motions, her right hoof began to tremble. It was subtle, tiny shakes that felt no bigger than an itch. Then, she felt a slight tinge in her stomach as if Gummy was doing gymnastics with her intestines. Finally, there was a dull ache in her heart. After a moment, everything went back to normal. "...Huh..."

"Pinkie, dear? Are you alright?" Mrs. Cake asks in concern.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Anywho, I better get going. Twilight said she had a big surprise at the Gala this year. I can't wait to see it!" As Pinkie smiles and walks out of the store, her hoof tingles again briefly. "Hmm, this combo feels familiar. Well, it must be something that future Pinkie has to tackle. Until then, I should focus on the best night ever!" With that, Pinkie skipped merrily down to Twilight's castle.


"And you're sure you wanna take the load all by your lonesome? Ya, remember what happened the last time an apple tried to take on the orchard on its own?" Applejack asks, her studs clicking across the ground. Her dress was simple yet elegant—a brown top with a yellow gown with the apple family brand on the sides. She was walking down to Twilight's castle with her brother and little sister, following closely.

Big Macintosh gave a sideways glance to his sister as he spoke. "I remember you were trying to pick all the apples 'till Twilight had to come, and you beg her to help,"

"Applejack? I was in the schoolhouse during that. you tried to clear the whole orchard and begged Twilight for help?" Applebloom asks.

"I ain't did no begging!" Applejack's nose scrunched as her sibling gave her a flat look. "Okay. I did ask for some help toward the end. The point is I don't want you working yourself to the bone as I did,"

"Nope," Big mac said.

"Don't you worry none, sis? The girls and I will be happy to help my big brother," Appleblooms said.

"Aw, thanks there, Sugarcubes. That makes me feel better about heading off to another headache from Gala shindigs," Applejack stated.

"I wouldn't say that, AJ. After all..." Rainbow Dash came flying down with Scootaloo in tow. She spotted her Wonderbolt uniform with a black jacket and the Wonderbolt emblem on the back. "The only heads that will spin is everypony that sees me,"

"Yeah!" Scootaloo cheered as her little wings buzzed. "Rainbow Dash is going to dazzle everypony at the Gala!"

"What are you talking about, Sugarcube?" Applejack asks.

"Twilight's got this big announcement in the works, and she asked the Wonderbolts to perform after it," Rainbow said.

'Do you know what this big announcement is, Applejack?" Applebloom asks.

"'Fraid not, Applebloom. Twilight has been muzzled about it," Applejack said.

"Whatever our favorite egghead is cooking up, if it involves me, it will be awesome!" Rainbow said.

"And 20% cooler!" Scootaloo added.

"That's right, squirt,"

Rainbow ruffles Scootaloo's mane as Applebloom speaks again. "Hey, there's Rarity, Pinkie, and Sweetie Belle,"

[Fluttershy's Cottage]

Discord stood in front of a mirror with a forlorn expression. He snaps his paw, and a black suit appears on his body. His frown deepens as he snaps his finger again. This time, a blue suit appears. Another snap, and Discord proceeds to go through the entire color spectrum before he stands before the mirror with nothing again. "Oh, for chao's sake!"

"Discord? Are you alright?" Fluttershy calls out. The timid mare came out the back wearing a beautiful evergreen dress with a transparent gown over the hindlegs.

"Everything is fine, Fluttershy. I only can't find anything to wear," Discord snaps his finger to summon a beanbag chair that was a literal bean as he slumps down on it. "Why are social gathers always so orderly? Urgh!"

"Oh, I know; I still get nervous around events like these. But you never like to attend these events or care about what others think of you beside me. Why does this Gala have you all out of sorts?"

"Well, normally, I wouldn't. I only care for the opinion of my best friend and greatest mare on the planet," Fluttershy pat the spirit of chaos on the leg. "Lately, I've been thinking of all the wrongs I committed to others, not just ponies..."

"Oh, well, I think this is a good chance to apologize for whatever it is you did,"

Discord rubs the back of his head nervously. "Yes, it is, but some of those I wrong is not here. And the effects of my wrongdoings span from a long time ago. It's like another plunder vine situation,"

"All that means is you should try and make amends before a problem of the past becomes the present. You have to show them you genuinely changed from the creature that pulled those cruel pranks,"

Discord folds his arms in a huff. "I don't see why not. I've forgotten about some of those pranks. And, if I forgot, so have the other creatures. It's like a clean slate,"

Now it was Fluttershy's turn to frown. "Discord, look at me. I know facing anypony is hard, especially when they are mad at you, but you owe yourself to become a better draconequus than you were before. Whatever you did is only bothering you now because of how much you changed. You got nothing to worry about because I'll be with you every step of the way."

Discord looks deeply into Fluttershy's blue smiles and smiles appreciatively. He coils around the timid mare and hugs her tightly as Fluttershy giggles. "What did I do to have a friend as wise and kind as you?"

"That's easy; you accepted my friendship,"

"Then, perhaps my friend could give some advice on what to wear,"

"Just wear what you are most comfortable with, and the other creatures will like you for it,"

Discord nods and walks back to the mirror. He snaps his paw once again to produce a mismatched suit. The jacket was split between maroon and pink. The left sleeve was lime green, while the right had zebra stripes. A polka-dotted yellow and pink sat upon his head with Fluttershy's cutie mark at the center. Discord smiles at his reflection as he turns to the gentle visage of Fluttershy. "So, how do I look?"

"Like a million bits, as long as we don't talk to Rarity..." Fluttershy mutters the last part quietly.

"What was that?"

"Nothing! We should head out now,"

"Of course, madam," Discord kneels and offers his left paw to Fluttershy, who graciously accepts, while Discord snaps his finger again, and the two vanish.

[Twilight's Castle.]

"Well? What do you two think of the design?" Twilight asks her number-one assistant and protege.

"I like it. It's extensive, cozy-looking, easily accessible, and in a good location," Spike said.

"I don't know about the nonstop waterfalls running through the structure," Starlight said.

"Oh, that's for the sea ponies. I figured it would be a nice little reminder of their home and maybe a fun waterslide?" Twilight offers.

Spike and Starlight both share a look before shrugging. "So, when do we begin construction?" Starlight asks.

"First, I have to talk with EEA to approve it. No sense in building an unofficial establishment and wasting precious bits," Twilight informs. "Once that is done--'


"Oh, that must be the girls. I guess it's time," Twilight's horn glowed as her magic enveloped the three. Spike now had a purple suit jacket with a black collar and green shirt. Starlight had a dark purple suit with a white shirt. Twilight was in a full purple dress with gold accents over the white gown. Twilight sighs in contentment as the spell finishes.

"You've been waiting to use that one, huh?" Starlight asks with a smirk.

"It's not often that I get reasons to use the dress-me spell, but it is convenient,"

"And fashion forward," Spike added.

"Rarity taught you that phrase, huh?" Twilight asks as she moves to the door. She turns away with a smile to greet her friends, only for it to turn into a frown when Discord comes into view.

"Why, hello, dear Princess. Aren't you going to welcome two of your best friends this side of Equestria?"

"Hello, Twilight; you look lovely this evening," Fluttershy said.

"Hello, Fluttershy and Discord. You both look..." Twilight paused as she tried to find the right words for Discord attire. "Good?"

"Yes, I am sure to be the center of intrigue," Discord said with a smile.

"In more ways than one," Starlight whispers to Spike, who chuckles.

"So, where are the others?" Spike asks.

"Oh, I didn't see anypony when we teleported inside. We might've beaten everypony here," Fluttershy said.

"Rainbow is not going to like that," Spike said.


"That's the front door this time," Starlight pointed out.

The group made their way to the main hall before reaching the front door. Twilight's magic develops the door, and she smiles at the sight of her other friends waiting outside. "hey, everypony-- Oof!?"

Pinkie brought Twilight into a bone-crushing hug. "hiya, Twilight!"

"Hey, Pinkie...!" Twilight strained.

"Oh, Pinkie! Get off of her. You'll wrinkle her wardrobe!" After feeling the abolishing stares of her friends, Rarity clears her throat. "And she can't breathe,"

"Whoopsie," Pinkie said, releasing her death grip.

Rarity tends to the dress while Twilight catches her breath. "Howdy there, Twilight," Applejack greeted.

"Hey, girls. You all look amazing," Twilight complements.

"Especially you, Rarty~," Spike swooned.

Rarity bounces her mane. "But, of course, darling,"

"So, Twilight, what's this big announcement you got cooking up?" Rainbow asks.

"Sorry, girls. I want everypony to hear this at the Gala," Twilight said.

"Oh, sounds ground-breaking. Then, by all means, build up that suspense. I can't wait to see what you have planned," Rarity supported.

"Yeah, a big awesome surprise for all the world to see," Pinkie cheered.

"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's head to Canterlot already," Rainbow said.

"One moment, darling," Rarity said, turning to her sister and her friends. "now, you three be careful with camping,"

"Yes, Rarity," Sweetie Belle said, hugging her sister. "Try and have fun at the Gala. Maybe this time, you'll meet your charming prince~,"

Rainbow and the others laugh as the prismatic mare moves to her surrogate sister. "Make sure you keep your friends out of trouble, squirt,"

Scootaloo looks at her friends, who look back with innocent smiles before facing Rainbow again. "No promises,"

Rainbow ruffles her mane again. "That's the spirit,"

Applejack rolls her eyes while walking up to Applebloom. "You know the rules?"

"Yup," Applebloom responded.

"You got your snacks?"


"You'll call Big Mac if there's a whiff of trouble?"


"Good, have fun, sugarcube," Applejack nods to her big brother as he nods back while he guides the fillies to the farm.

"Discord, if you would please?" Starlight asks.

"My pleasure. Remember to keep all hooves, claws, and feet in at all times, or you will be lost in the ether of chaos space," Discord said to his disturbed audience as the ones and dragon huddled closely together,"

As the group vanished from a snap, they overlooked a pegasus hovering outside one of the castle windows. It was a mare with a light blue and green mane carefully watching the Princess's entourage with a blank expression. "The guests are arriving..." The mare said seemingly to no one before flying off into the distance.


The group appears before Canterlot castle, startling several ponies and making their way inside. Twilight waves meekly at the curious eyes of the residents of Canterlot. Many approach the national heroes with greetings and honey praises. However, most nobility spied on Discord and Spike and turned away disdainfully. Spike didn't catch it, as he was right next to Twilight. So, the crowd gave him a few passing greetings to not slight the Princess, but Discord certainly did. A frown started to form on the draconequus features as he was thoroughly ignored. Discord had only two regrets in his life. One was disappointing Fluttershy. The other was making Ponyvile the chaotic capital of the world and not Canterlot. Not only would planting his throne on top of Celestia be fitting, but it would also give him a chance to remind the nobility of the actual pecking order.

"Perhaps a little reminder is in order..." Discord mutters softly before preparing to snap. He almost did before Fluttershy called out to him.

"Discord? We're moving inside now,"

"Oh, sorry, I got lost inside my head again..."

The group went inside the ballroom to find a buzz with activity. Several Canterlot nobles were present. As well as representatives from different nations. "Oh, there's Fancy Pants and Fleur de Wis. They're conversing with Saddle Arabians. This is my chance, girls. Ta-ta. Oh, and Spike?"

Yes, Rarity?" Spike asks.

"I see that the dragonlord is here. Could you be a dear and pass along my idea of opening a shop in the Dragonlands? I would appreciate it immensely," Rarity said as she trotted over to Fancy and his wife.

"I'm on it, Rarity," Spike said, rushing to Ember.

"Hey, look, there's Prince Rutherford. Excuse me, girls. Hey, Prince Rutherford! Remember me?"

The yak in question smiles broadly. "Hello, pink pony!"

The rest of the elements shook their heads as Rainbow broke off. "See you, girls. I got to prep for the airshow with the rest of the team," Rainbow said as she joined the Wonderbolts.

"Howdy, their cousin," A male southern drawl spoke out.

"Well, I'll be a parasite at the end of blowhorn. Braeburn, you're here!" Applejack then notices a face she hasn't seen in a while. "With Little Strongheart?"

"Hello, Miss Applejack," The buffalo greeted.

"Wow, you two are the last folks I expect to come to these types of get-togethers," Applejack said as she hugged the two.

"Well, you can't expect me to let the fire misses wife prance about these snotty types all by her lonesome, do you?" Braeburn said with a cheeky wink.

Applejack's eyes widen at the pair. "No fooling? That's amazing. Why didn't you tell me sooner?"

"We knew you'd be busy with your affairs, and we wanted to spread the news of our union in pony," Little Strongheart said.

"Well, shucks, thank you kindly,"

"Oh, congratulations," Fluttershy said.

"Yes, I hope you allow me to officiate," Twilight asks.

"Sorry, there, Princess. But, we have a tradition of letting the eldest member do the officiating," Braeburn stated.

"Oh, it's no trouble. How about invitations?"

"Of course, that goes without saying. Any friend of Applejack is a member of the family,"

"Come on; Y'all got to tell me all about who did the asking!" Applejack said, moving away with the newlyweds.

"So much for comradery," Discard pouted.

"This was bound to happen since we've met a lot of creatures during our friendship problems. Do you want to try the thing we discussed?" Fluttershy asks.

"What did you discuss? Should I be concerned?" Twilight asks as she eyes Discord with suspicion.

"It's okay, Twilight. It's a minor issue that can be easily fixed. We can wait until after your big announcement,"

"Yes, it can wait. There's no need to steal the spotlight away from you," Discord nervously said.

"Are you sure this issue of yours isn't a big deal?" Starlight asks.

"We're optimistic. Come on, we can see the animals while we wait," Fluttershy stated.

"Yes, at least the critters are a better company that won't abandon you," Discord stated as the two went to the garden.

"Hey, Twilight. There's Chancellor Neighsay. If we want to get a good start on this project of yours, he's the pony we need on our side," Starlight said.

"Good eye, Starlight. Let's go," Twilight said. However, as the two began their trek through the crowd, the ponies started to shift around. Starlight and Twilight got separated. Twilight briefly looks around for a protege until she bumps into another. "Oh, I'm sorry," She looks at a unicorn mare with light blue fur and an orange mane with a black silk dress. Behind her was presumably a large stallion with a white mask and stylish cloak. The disguise caught the young Princess's attention more than anything else. Its shape was that of a pony. However, it had cracks along the muzzle and nostrils and a large over the left eye. She could tell the damages were there by design, but it was a little unnerving. 'Why would anypony wear something like this?'

"Oh no, the fault is mine. I was helping my friend here out of the crowd,"

"Is something wrong?"

"He's a bit shy around big crowds. He almost didn't have come at all if it wasn't for some business with some old acquaintances,"

"Oh! This seems like a friendship problem if I ever heard one. Would you like some help?"

The stallion stares at the Princess for a while before whispering to the mare. "Not to worry, Princess. It's nothing that garners your immediate attention. Besides, I heard from the rumor mill that you have something big planned. We would not want to keep you all night,'

Twilight appeared slightly disappointed at the rejection but understood. "Well, you're not wrong," She scans the crowd to see that Starlight made contact with the chancellor. "I got to go now, but if you still need help with your friends, come find me. It's my job as Princess of friendship to help any companionship thrive,"

Twilight trotted off as the pair watched her go. "Tsk!" The stallion scoffs.

"I know. She is arrogant, annoying, and massively hypocritical. Shall we make our move now?"

"...Do you know what your problem is?"

"I have a problem?"

"You have no sense of timing. We move after the announcement,"

Meanwhile, Twilight rejoins Starlight as the two make their way to the throne where the Princesses of the sun and moon reside. "So the chancellor agreed to give us an audience with the members of the EEA,"

"That's perfect. Now, I can announce the plan without any worry. But, first..." Twilight reached the throne and smiled at her friends and mentors. Princess Celestia stood as regally as she always does while donning an elegant sun dress with her cutie mark pendant on the gown. Her warm motherly smile shined as the sun. To her left was the lunar Princess. She kept a watchful eye on the proceedings but was no less extravagant with her sparkling silver dress and moon pendant around her neck. Next to them was Cadence, ruler of the Crystal Empire and sister-in-law. "Greetings, my fellow princesses. Thank you for having me at the Gala,"

"The honor was all ours, princess," Celestia smiled warmly.

"Indubitably. A mare who has done such great service for Equestria shall always have reserved seating at this event," Luna stated.

"Of course, being related doesn't hurt either. Although, we should forego our usual greeting just this once. You had all of Canterlot in an uproar from whatever you are planning," Cadence said.

"I didn't think it would be that big of a deal, but I guess I should've expected this with so many political leaders and rulers in on the spot," Twilight sheepishly said.

"Indeed, a gathering such as this is very rare. But I feel you held everypony in suspense long enough," Celestia said, gesturing to the crowd. All the participants had their attention centered on the princesses, specifically Twilight, prompting the young Princess to laugh sheepishly.

"Right, here we go..." Twilight stood straight in front of the crowd as her horn glowed. "Hello, honored guests. I want to thank you all for your attendance. As you know, I have recently been on many quests with my friends, the elements of harmony, repairing, strengthening, and building friendships across Equestria. It occurred to me that so many places and creatures seem to struggle or have no concept of true friendship," Twilight notices the pair she bumped into at the front of the crowd. The mare had her on the masked stallion as he seemed trembling. 'I didn't think I illicit that kind of response,' Twilight smiled at them as she continued. "So, to remedy this issue - to ensure that future generations know the same joy I feel of having wonderful friends - I, Twilight Sparkle, princess of friendship, do herby decree the opening of the School of Friendship!"

A banner fell with the school building design right behind the Castle of Friendship. Everyone attending saves for the couple cheered. Twilight's friends joined her upstage as they expressed their enthusiasm. "This school will have all the accommodations, room, and boarding for our students. Students that won't just be from Equestria but from the neighboring countries as well, being the first multicultural school for every creature!"

Once again, the cheering started again; however, the sound of laughter became more evident as the applause died down. Everyone turned to the couple to see the masked stallion deep in laughter. Twilight and the others were growing concerned as the stallion's laughter sounded jerky and manic. After a few minutes, he finally calmed down and moved closer to the throne. "That's it? That's the big announcement?! A school-based around friendship with students other than ponies. I never knew anyone could be so pretentious!"

Twilight looked confused at the stallion's sudden change in demeanor. However, before she could respond, Chancellor Neighsay spoke up. "I am inclined to agree. When your protege prosed this school, I assumed it would be for the benefit of ponies. Having other creatures that prey on us is a recipe for disaster!"

"What'd you say!"

"How dare you!"

"Yak will show puny pony disaster!"

As many of the non-ponies voiced their disapproval, the stallion spoke again. "See? This multicultural school is pointless. You ponies would never get over your xenophobia. Chancellor Neighsay is a prime example of how all the ponies in Canterlot view others!"

Now the chancellor was confused along with everyone else. "I-I beg you pardon?"

Instead of answering, the stallion moved closer, as did the mare. "But, I can at least give the Chancellor credit for being open about his hatred. But you and your so-called friends are the worst offenders. You hide your specism under the guise of friendship and harmony,"

"I don't know what you are talking about, nor will I put up this slander against my character. I've always treated every creature with respect!" Twilight said, stomping her hoof.

"Are you sure about that, Princess? Can you say the same about me?" Suddenly, the stallion rose higher from his position as if he was merely standing on his hind legs. But it was more than that as the stallion's body morphed into something distinctly not a pony. His full height was on par with the Princess of the sun herself. The elements could feel the icy stare of this mysterious creature despite the mask still covering his face.

The mare beside him steps up next as her eyes flash green. "You see, princess, we've seen your little facade, and we decided to unmask the truth," The mare was then engulfed in green flames. Her entire body changed from soft fur to sleck black chitin. A mossy swamp-green mane and tail flow outward before a pair of slitted green eyes glares back at the bearers and princesses. "Good even, members of royalty. The one true queen has returned,"

"Queen Chrysalis!" The elements exclaimed.

"You dare show yourself here!" Luna snarls.

"But, of course, did you not send an invitation to all the royals of this Earth? It would be bad form to refuse," Chrysalis chuckled.

"Whatever you are planning won't work! Your previous invasion failed, and now you'll have to contend with more than one alicorn this time!" Cadence said, flaring her wings.

"It is a shame that your only aspiration in life is revenge," Celestia said in disappointment. She flared her wings in preparation.

"Revenge? Oh, no, no, no. We're here for justice!" Chrysalis magic glows as a horn appears in front of her. It was white with an oval mouth. The length formed an S shape from the blow piece. However, there were symbols from various nations near the mouth that Discord, Celestia, and Luna instantly recognized.

"No...!" The draconequus called out with the sisters.

All three of them sent a blast of magic out. However, Chrysalis erected a shield that, surprisingly, deflected all their attacks. Chrysalis took a breath and blew into the horn. A single blare echoed throughout all of Canterlot and beyond. Many of the occupants recoiled from the sound but regained composure moments later. The horn hovered briefly in the air before it vanished as Chrysalis lowered her shield with a self-satisfied look on her features. The elements stood ready for anything, but after a few tense moments, nothing happened.

"Ha! Your stupid horn didn't work!" Rainbow Dash proclaimed.

"Oh, it did. Just not in the way you are most likely assuming," Chrysalis tittered.

"That's all ponies ever seem to do; assume the worst," The masked creature said.

"Now I had just about enough of you!" Applejack said, pawing at the ground as she was going to charge.

"Indeed. If your big plan was to put on airs and deafen us, you failed!" Rarity stated.

"Yeah, you big..." Pinkie was about to join her friends in their verbal tirade when her Pinkie sense flared. The same combo she felt at Sugarcube Corner returned. It was much stronger now as Pinkie's breathing picked up. She looked at the masked figure again, only to find him staring into her soul. Pinkie's eyes widened as she looked, really looked, at the creatures' form. She began to tremble and hyperventilate as she backed behind her friends and cowered under her hooves. "No, no, no, no!"

This action did not go unnoticed. "Pinkie, what's wrong?" Fluttershy said.

"No, no, no!" Pinkie muttered over and over.

"Pinkie, what's gotten into you, darling?" Rarity asks, kneeling to her friend.

"The horn!" Twilight realized. "It must be having some kind of delayed effect!"

"That's it!" Rainbow Dash shouted as she charged forward, only for a blue aura to catch her in the air. "What the hay?"

"You will be still!" Luna stated in a seething tone.

"Princess Luna? What are you doing? Did that horn affect you too? Don't worry, we'll--"

"You and the elements will do nothing!" Celestia spoke with authority.

Before Twilight could respond, Cadence's horn emitted a bright light. When it faded, the crystal princess looked confused. "That's not right..."

"What's not right, Cadence?" Twilight asks.

"I just cast a spell that disrupts mind-altering spell craft. But nothing is affecting my aunts or even Pinkie Pie!"

"That because there is no mind control, perception-alternating, or hypnotism at foot here, Cadence. Honestly, Celestia, this kind of insubordination would not stand with my subjects. Do none of them know of the call of Gjallarhorn? Have you kept such a pivotal artifact a secret, and will you not heed its call?" Chrysalis in a snide tone.

Every word made Celestia ground her teeth as she walked before queen Chrysalis and shocked all the occupants at the Gala. Princess Celestia, Princess of the sun and co-ruler of Equestria, had prostrated herself and bowed in submission at the changeling queen. Everyone gasped at the sight, but Celestia ignored this and spoke in a strained voice. "...Forgive the offense. What are your terms!?"

Chrysalis smiles at the humbled alicorn as she gently places a hoof under her chin and raises Celestia's head. "Much better. A princess should always bow to their queen,"

"Your terms, Chrysalis!" Luna spat out.

The changeling queen rolled her eyes at this. "Fine, ruin my fun. I, at this moment, request room and board for my subjects, benefactor, and myself for the week as you prepare for the tribunal. I was thinking of a luxury room at the castle,"

With a resigned sigh, Celestia spoke. "...It shall be done..."

"Excellent, now where are the escorts? We wish to retire for the evening,"

Celestia signaled to the guards at the door, who begrudgingly obeyed her command. "See to it that our guests are placed in the best accommodating room we have to offer,"

The two guards eyed each other before nodding and turning to the pair. "Follow us,"

"Now, can you speak to your honored guess more respectfully?" Chrysalis ask.

"Listen, bug--"


A loud thud and crack echoed from Celestia as the guards turned to her. Her right hoof left a small indention on the marble floor as spiderweb cracks spread. "I would hope that my solar guards do not seek to embarrass me through lack of decorum,"

Gulping, the guards turned back to Chrysalis. "I-it would be our pleasure to escort you to our luxurious housing. Honored guests..."

Chrysalis gives them a cheeky smile as she flicks her mane. The masked creature remained silent as they began to follow the guards. However, before they could leave, Chancellor Neighsay spoke up again. "Princess, what is the meaning of this? Why do you submit yourself to one of our sworn enemies? I demand an answer!" Many of the other ponies agreed with the chancellor's assessment.

Celestia turned a sharp glare at the brazen pony, who recoiled. "I'd remember my tone when addressing the princess, Chancellor," Fancy Pants suddenly said.

"H-how can you be complacent after what we witnessed?"

"Simple, judging by the Princess's reaction to that Gjallarhorn, it must be an item of great significance. One that grants its wielder liberties that must not be violated,"

"Then, why are we finding out about this all-powerful horn now?"

"I haven't the foggiest idea. Who knows how many mystical items that have been lost through the ages? All I know is that we should trust the only two ponies with any idea about what is happening," Fancy pants gestures to Celestia and Luna.

"Thank you, Lord Fancy Pants. Rest assured. We shall release a statement on the matter tomorrow. Perhaps it best for everypony here to retire for the evening," Princess Luna said.

"Excuse me, princess, but you can not expect us to ignore the fact that Chrysalis has returned!" Starlight said.

"It ain't right!" Applejack added.

"Yeah, why is Chrysalis suddenly getting the royal treatment after everything she's done? And what's with that monster of hers anyway?"

"It might be some new minion Chrysalis managed to dredge up from somewhere," Twilight said.

"It must be a horrid creature from the Everfree forest. I've never seen anything like it," Rarity exclaimed.

"It is freaky looking, especially that mask," Spike said.

These words prompted the masked individual to stop and turn back. His pace was slow so as not to give away the boiling anger fueling his being. He stopped right in front of the elements, who remained guard; Celesta and Luna looked ready to intervene. However, the creature merely reached for its mask as he spoke. "Freak? Abomination? Monster? You ponies love your labels as if you can pass judgment on anything. But tell me, who's more of a monster? Me...?"

The creature removed his masked as many guests gasped for the time tonight. Some even began screaming in terror and running out of the room. The elements stood stock still while a pale skin creature stared into each of their souls. He had messy brown hair. At least to the ponies, a stern look in his emerald eye carried hatred, distrust, and disharmony. But the scariest feature of this being in front of them was the jagged scar tracing over the left side of his face over a milky white eye. "Or the monsters that did this!"

"I-I Wha-- Huh?" Twilight sputtered. She and her friends were left speechless at the sight of him.

"You don't remember me, do you? That's fine; some time has gone by since we last met,"

"What are you?" Twilight asks in a small voice.

"I'm something that friendship ignored, abused, and discarded into the darkness. But here's the thing; you can't escape our sins. And this upcoming week, everyone everywhere will know yours!"

"Jason Wright?" Discord whispered, his face as pale as a ghost.

"..." The creature, now known as Jason Wight, spares the draconequus a sharp, harsh glare but says nothing while turning back to Chrysalis. Cadence couldn't help but notice how the changeling queen walked closer to him as they exited the room.