• Published 30th Mar 2023
  • 244 Views, 9 Comments

The Last of Kin - Lunaria

Glitterwing, one of the last of her kind. As far as anypony is concerned she still roams the world seeking purpose. A call to action from Princess Luna brings her back to familiar haunts, there's just one place she needs to stop on the way...

  • ...

...she seeks the horizon...

...she seeks the horizon...

She yawned as she walked through the dark corridors. She could turn the light on if she wanted, but she didn't care enough. It was kept dark by default during certain hours to simulate night.

She walked into the mess hall and took to the right through the kitchen. The mess hall on her floor was never really used, everyone tended to gravitated towards the one at the top floor of the residential block; more creatures to talk with then.

She picked out a glass from the cupboard and made her way over to the sink and turned on the water. She quickly gulped down an entire glass of the cold liquid. With a content sigh she put the glass down on the counter. Maybe she'd get a snack too...?

Something was wrong.

She froze and turned her gaze towards the seating area of the mess hall. Nothing stood out to her so she flared her wings, the light spell coming naturally for her. Yet she couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong... it took her a moment, but it was the smell she realised.

She took a few steps towards the tables when something caught the corner of her eye. Her gaze turned upwards and she could feel herself shiver. The entire ceiling was lined with green slimy pods, each filled with a black shape.

"No... she promised..."

Slowly she backed her way towards the door to the mess hall. A shrill scream rang out from the other side of the room and she turned and ran. She didn't stop till she'd made it all the way back to her own room. She locked the door and ran over to her desk.


With no answer she swore. She'd left the darn book with Celestia in her workshop, the pegasus wanted to run a comparison between Lux and Aegis to see if she could help improve Harmony.

She quickly fired up the computer she'd barely used since she'd gotten her room and connected to the administrative system of the ship. With a few taps she fired away a ship-wide warning about the threat of corrupted changelings. She'd strangle Chrysalis for this when she found her.

But first came her own survival, she needed Lux. Flutterponies could cast spells, yes, but nothing quite like what unicorns could do. That's why she'd made the tome to begin with, a way to extend her own magical capabilities.

She could try and hole up in her room till help arrived, but she didn't trust the door would last that long. Beside, she was one out of only two creatures that lived on this floor, she'd rather be closer to the others than her floor mate right now.

She put on her saddlebags and walked up to the door leading out, with a sigh she released the lock and watched it slide open. As far as she could see the corridor right outside of her room was empty, she even double checked the ceiling.

Letting out a sigh she set off towards the emergency staircases; she didn't trust the elevators right now.

The lights did not turn on at her command.

She'd not meet any resistance getting to the workshop, critically though, she didn't run into anyone else either. Sure, she didn't pass by most of the living quarters in her chosen route, but she figured she'd run into at least someone else on the way. But everywhere she'd gone had been dark and quiet.

She did not regret listening to Celestia when she told her about all the service tunnels that existed on the ship, the changelings had clearly not found them yet. They didn't span the entire way from her quarters to the workshop, but they certainly felt like the safer route in places where they did exist.

"Lux?" she asked as she stepped into the room. She didn't need to wait for long before the entire room was lit in a blaze of light; something which her eyes were not prepared for.

"Glitterwing... I'm still in the process of running a comparative analysis to Aegis."

She flew down to the table the tome rested on. "Cancel it."

"You know that's going to make Cele-"

"Cancel it!" She screamed. "The ship is crawling with corrupted changelings."

Lux's light slowly dimmed over the course of several seconds. "Did you not he-"

"I heard you loud and clear, it just took a moment to disconnect."

Glitterwing let out a sigh of relief.

"So, bug smashing duty? You do need to come up with better date ideas."

She rolled her eyes as she picked Lux up and stuffed them into her specialised set of saddlebag, one side being perfectly sized for Lux.

"You can try and take this seriously, we might already have casualties."

She took off and flew up to the door, with a tap on the panel it slid open. On the other side stood seven hissing changelings. She barely got out a swear before she was jumped.

"You're right, I really should take this more seriously, permission for free form casting?"

Glitterwing winced as sharp teeth dug into her coat. "Granted," she managed to get out through the pain as she flailed wildly with her hooves to get the attacker off.

In a flash the hallway and ramp lit up in yellow flames, followed in short order by pained shrieks. Glitterwing picked up the changeling on top of her in her magic hold and flung them towards the burning changelings. It had scarcely left her side before it too was consumed in flames mid-air.

She quickly scrambled up to a standing position and raised a forcefield in the door's opening. It barely got up before the flaming body of a changeling collided with it.

"So what did Chrysalis do this time?"

Glitterwing hissed. "Do you think I know? I just went up for a drink and saw the entire cafeteria ceiling filled with pods."


"We can worry about her megalomanic motives once we are done cleaning up this mess."

She watched as the burning bodies tried to claw against the shield, but slowly they all turned to ash.

"I'm a bit surprised though," Lux started.

"About what?"

"Wasn't scenarios like this why you picked up that Gear in the first place?"

It took her a moment to connect what Lux was talking about, before she let out a mental swear. She'd completely forgot about it; it was still in her quarters. She'd been so much better off if she'd taken it, if nothing else she'd not have a bite wound dripping blood from one of her shoulders.

"It's in my quarters, we should backtrack there, possibly see if we can find any survivors on the way."

"Sounds like a plan, however..."

A necklace with a crystal in all the rainbow's colours was floated in front of her in Lux's aura. She blinked, recognizing it in an instance.

"Celestia left this behind?!?"

"It was needed for the analysis, but she's likely missing it now."

Glitterwing let out a swear, without that crystal then Celestia was practically just a regular pegasus.

"Do you know where she went?"

"She was going to check on the Tree of Harmony last I heard, but that was several hours ago."

Even on a spaceship hurling through space, some ponies were somehow still insisting on being night owls.

She quickly wrapped bandage around Rain Shine's wounds.

"I could have handled them," the injured kirin gasped.

"Oh we don't doubt that," Lux spoke.

Glitterwing really doubted that. When she'd arrived to the scene the kirin's flames were being beaten back by the ship's sprinkler system... not to mention that she had five changelings on her that didn't seem to care in the slightest that they were melting.

A few direct magic blasts had cleaned up their assailants.

"Did you see any of the others?" She asked.

Rain Shine shook her head. "I was getting up for an early breakfast, I didn't see anyone as usual, and these creatures attacked me on the way back."

She glanced at the clock, it was a few minutes past five in the morning. She'd never understand those who got up that early.

"Healing spells have been administrated, she'll survive."

She gave a nod, despite knowing that Lux didn't see it, they didn't exactly see the same way ponies did. They had dragged the kirin to safety of the mess hall, the one on this floor didn't have any pods at least.

"I'll do a complete lockdown of the room as we leave Rain Shine, I recommend staying put," she got up and made her way over to leave.

"What if someone else tries to take sanctuary in here?"

"Then you advice them to head up a few floors to Celestia's workshop. We put up a barrier so only creatures that aren't changelings can get in there."

Rain shine tilted her head. "And you can't do that here?"


"No, we can not," Lux interrupted her. "My reservoir of magic might be large, but it's not infinite. I'm already down to 40% and recharging will take quite a while."

A second passed in silence before the kirin nodded. "I understand. Good luck Glitterwing, Lux."

It felt bad just leaving the kirin there on the floor, but she'd survive, that was the important part. She quickly made her way out of the room and initiated the lockdown on the panel. The only way anyone would get in there would be if they forced their way through the door, or if they unsealed the area from the bridge.

She set off through the corridors again with Lux casting off minimal light; they didn't want to be discovered. They briefly stopped to check each room they passed... all were empty, some showed signs of struggle.

She frowned, something was wrong about this all. Corrupted changelings... or the spawns of Chrysalis as some called them, they were... not like this. Describing them as aggressive, almost feral, wasn't wrong, that's why it had been so impressive when a few of them had managed to break past the corruption.

Any Changeling that still bore the corruption that Chrysalis herself had been inflicted with were dangerous. They were fiercely loyal to their queen, yes, but they weren't mindless. And clearly, the ones on the ship knew how to target the other creatures aboard.

And yet... Every single changeling they'd run into so far acted as if they were completely mindless, as if they didn't even care in the slightest about themselves.

"Something is wro-" she began to voice her thoughts to Lux when the shrill shriek rang out behind her.

It was the same sound she'd heard earlier in the night.


Glitterwing slammed into the wall, losing her breath in the progress.

"Go, we can't delay," Lux exclaimed from her flank, she was amazed the saddlebags hadn't thorn yet considering all the cuts and bites she'd sustained.

She rolled to the side and quickly got up on her hooves again, she could make out three pairs of glowing green eyes in front of her; she was sure there were even more behind her.

She halted her way forwards, Lux would handle the ones behind her. Flutterponies did not have as many spells that they could channel through their wings as unicorns could... but utility wasn't always everything.

She took to the air, her wings glowing as she started rapidly flapped them. The changelings charged her, their raging screams reverberating against the walls of the corridor. Glitterwing closed her eyes, she didn't need to see what came next, she'd seen it before.

A raging gale of wing and magic coursed forwards, slashing anything wicked to pieces. The changelings were dead before they'd even realise something was wrong.

Glitterwing touched down and winced as she fell over on her side, the pain in two of her legs were too much. A quick glance behind her as she caught her breath revealed a raging inferno.

"Did we get them all?" She asked through laboured breaths.

"The ones that were here, yes. But Glitterwing, I've barely got any reserve magic left."

She swore. They'd lost the big one by dropping down a maintenance hatch it was simply too big to squeeze into, sometimes being regular pony size had it's benefits. But Lux running out of charge was what would spell their end, they'd need to either hole up somewhere to let them charge, or make their way to the Tree of Harmony.

Not for the first time she cursed that Celestia had made sure to build in anti teleportation measures into the ship. If she could have just teleported where she needed to go then this wouldn't have been a problem.

"You know, you didn't always have such a foul mouth," they were right, and she knew it. "What would Twilight say-"

"She wouldn't fucking say anything, because she's fucking gone," she could feel herself tearing up as she clenched her teeth, the stress of the situation was finally getting to her.

The sprinkler system finally kicked in, dousing the mare and the smouldering remains behind her.

She couldn't muster the energy to get up, so she just lay there sobbing as her aching body got drenched. Would this be her end? And even if she herself would survive, would there be anyone else left anymore?

The flames were starting to die down when Lux finally spoke up. "Can you stand?"

She let out a grunt and scrambled up onto her hooves, the pain of putting her weight on her damaged legs almost made her fall over again. She was about to reply when a familiar shriek rang out in the distance behind them.

Eyes widening she took to the air, flapping her wings. They were on the right floor, she just needed to make it to her room.

She could hear the galloping of hooves behind her getting louder as she flapped her wings the hardest she'd ever done. A quick glance back revealed that one of them had gotten bent at some point in the fighting; even worse was the black shape of a large changeling thundering down the corridor.

Focusing all her might in her wings she flew at speeds she hadn't flown in for years. Seeing the familiar intersection with her room, she came in for a sliding halt, swiping her hoof against the control panel to her door while simultaneously letting out a pained scream.

She barely had thought to spare to the pain in her legs before she was tackled from behind and got sent flying into her room. She rotate her body and flared her wings, illuminating her room in a cyan glow as she grabbed Chrysalis in her levitational field.

The changeling queen trashed against her hold as Glitterwing landed and slid across the room on her back and wings, she almost lost focus from the pain. She needed to find where she'd stuff that damn Gear, her eyes scanning the room.

That's when she made contact with Chrysalis's eyes, a pair of tear stained eyes.

She opened her own mouth in surprise, the changeling still struggling against her bonds.

"Getting wideband communication," Lux spoke.

She answered before she allowed herself to think. "Pass them through."

'S... a... v... e... m... e..."

Glitterwings eyes widened as she finally comprehended the reality of the tears running down the muzzle of the changeling queen, the tears that were staining her floor.

Her surprise turned into a scowl in an instance. "Lux."

"Yes your highness?"

"Prepare for network disruption."


The room lit up in a flash. When the light died down a sobbing changeling queen collapsed on top of Glitterwing.


She didn't know how long the two of them had laid there on the floor, Glitterwing comforting someone she once considered a mortal enemy. She'd gotten up and locked the door at one point, before dragging herself and the Queen to the room's sole bed.

"I'm sorry," Chrysalis mumbled again, probably for the twentieth time at least.

Glitterwing swallowed. "Do you know what happened?"

Chrysalis shook her head slowly. "I just... suddenly I just lost control of my body. I could still see, I could see feel, but it just moved on it's own."

It was hard to make out what she was saying in between the sobs, but Glitterwing was starting to get a picture of what had happened. It had long been theorised that changelings could be affected by computer systems, after all, some of the ways the species interacted with emotions was practically the same as radio wave communication.

She'd long since upgraded Lux with the ability to help with digital warfare, not because it'd brought her any joy to do so, but because it had been a necessity. Equestria had changed so much... too much if she was being honest. Twilight would have hated it, she was sure.

She disentangled herself from Chrysalis and made her way over to her desk, the Magical Gear hanging there with her otherwise spartan selection of jewelry. She picked it up and put the necklace around her neck.

"Is that?" Chrysalis's eyes widened as she made her way back towards the bed.

She nodded. "A Gear, yes."

Chrysalis gulped. "I... I didn't think there were any more."

Of course the changeling would be familiar with the technology, she'd been one of the first creatures to ever use one... back when she was still an alicorn.

"I forgot the name they gave this one, or even what they used as basis to make it. They never found a wielder for it before Canterlot had to be abandoned."

Chrysalis nodded. "Can you handle it?"

"I'll have to," she replied.

Lux hadn't spoken since they'd recovered Chrysalis, they were likely completely dry of magic. She'd consider leaving the extra weight behind, but since she was going to head towards the Tree of Harmony anyway, she might as well bring them.

She activated the gear, armour surrounding her as she expected.

Chrysalis got up from the bed and walked up to her, eyeing her over. "Do you know how to fight with a weapon instead of magic?"

She shrugged, at least the gear helped ease her pain and allowed her to move properly.

"I should get mine," Chrysalis added and hurried over to the rooms computer.

Glitterwing frowned. "You still have it?"

"Yes," Chrysalis said as she tapped on the computer. "It's in the storage room on this floor with the rest of my affects."

Glitterwing rolled her eyes and sighed. "Small celebrations I guess."

Chrysalis turned and smirked. "Luna would tell us to be thankful for Celestia sticking us on the same floor."

Glitterwing returned the smirk. "Yeah, well, those two can take a stick up their ass."

The two of them chuckled as they made their way out of the room towards the storage room down by the end of the hall. The mirth quickly left them as they walked.

"Look," Chrysalis spoke up. "I'm... sorry about all of this."

Glitterwing sighed. "It's not your fault."

Chrysalis turned her gaze to the ceiling. "I also mean... the stuff from before."

Glitterwing frowned as she continued walking.

Chrysalis sighed. "I know you can't just forgive me for everything I did but..."

"Look," she interrupted. "I get it, you want to make amends."

The sound of hooves clattered against the floor as they walked.


"But now isn't the time," Glitterwing continued. "I'd be willing to give... you, us, whatever, a chance," she stopped and glanced at Chrysalis. "But we can worry about that if we survive."

Chrysalis stopped and stared into her eyes, before eventually opening her mouth. "You mean when we survive," she smirked.

Glitterwing couldn't help but mirror the expression. "And when we save the sad flanks of everyone else on this ship," she extended her hoof.

Chrysalis extended her own and bumped it against hers. The two of them turned and set off again, quickly finding their into the storage room. It only took the changeling a few minutes to find what she was looking for among her crates: a crimson gem wrapped in a metal frame.

In a short flash the changeling queen's body was wrapped in scarlet plates of armour, it looked quite silly with her cyan mane and black chitin.

"What?" Chrysalis asked before looking herself over. "It looked better when my coat was pink, if you must know."

She nodded and turned to face the door.

"Do you know how to bring out the weapons?" As if you demonstrate Chrysalis's armour extended, two wings flaring out on both her sides. Glitterwing didn't need to be an weapons expert to notice the gun barrels lining the things.

"What happened to your wings?"

Chrysalis chuckled. "They are under my elytra," she smirked. "A benefit of my new form I supposed," she flexed her metal wings and frowned. "This was made for an alicorn though, but I can still fly using these wings of steel."

Glitterwing nodded, thinking back to when Celestia and Luna had explained how these things worked to her. Each Gear was meant to come with a built in weapon too, Luna's had several swords that she could de-attach and use. Of course, knowing as much did not help her in knowing what her own had.

Chrysalis walked over and studied her before lightly tapping the sides of her front hooves. "I think these parts come out into blades."

She raised her hoof and studied it. It did look like part of her armour could move there. Barely had she raised the thought and it moved, flaring out sharp blades on the sides of both her front hooves; she'd forgotten that a Gear interfaced directly with the mind.

Chrysalis smirked. "Looks like you got it, let's go."

Glitterwing nodded. "I'm heading down to the Tree of Harmony, that's where Celestia was heading."

Chrysalis smirk morphed into a frown. "I need to head to the bridge."

She frowned herself. "What, why?"

"I'm not losing the only family I still have left..."

She shook her head. "And your niece don't count?"

The changeling smiled and put a hoof on her shoulder. "She's got you."

The two just stood there staring into each other's eyes before Glitterwing eventually sighed and nodded.

"Thank you," Chrysalis said as the two of them left the storage room.

They'd barely gotten a few steps before she was stopped by a crimson armoured hoof.

"One more thing... don't use the overdrive function, it will kill you."