• Published 31st Jan 2013
  • 6,922 Views, 581 Comments

Of Princesses and Changelings - Vigilance


Princess Celestia and Queen Chrysalis have become a couple. Cadence is more than determined to make sure it doesn't stay that way.

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The End of This, the Start of That
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Prince Regent Shining Armor paced around the room, biting his lip furiously and giving off the impression he wasn’t afraid to slap a mare. To the royal stallion’s left sat ex-tyrant-king Sombra, sucking on a cherry Popsicle. It would be another full minute of Shining pacing like a stallion looking for a fight for the white unicorn to turn to his former enemy and huff angrily.

“This is retarded! It’s stupid and foolish and unnecessary!” He spat out, clenching his teeth at the end.

“Well no one cares what you think Boy Scout.” Discord the Draconequus replied, the spirit of Chaos sitting on his floating lawn chair with his signature large rimmed glasses on and a reflector board in his claws (he was trying to get a good tan).

“But it’s not right!” Shining retorted.

“Yeah well, neither was your pretty little wife going psycho and trying to commit buggy genocide.” Stated the Draconequus rather matter-of-factly.

“She wasn’t in her right mind!”

Discord rolled his eyes. “Neither was I that one time at the Proud Pegasus Brothel, but I don’t complain about paying child support now do I?”

Sombra sighed. “I wish I had to pay child support…”

“Awwww… It’s ok Somby, someday a mare will want to diddle your daddle, you just have to wait for that right one; that or date a floosy.” Discord floated his chair close to the stallion and patted him on the head.

Shining stomped his hooves on the ground, looking very childish in the process. “Will you two get serious?! Cadence is about to make a major mistake!”

“I tell you what’s a major mistake,” Discord started. “Eating meat in public. I mean, it causes a lot of beautiful chaos but my lord the screeching of Canterlot mares makes me want to stab out my ears!”

“I hate both of you…” Shining grumbled, plopping his backside onto the ground, crossing his fore legs, and pouting angrily.

“I think he was talking about you.” Discord said to Sombra, who gasped in sadness at the thought, he also dropped his Popsicle in the process and that made him even sadder.

The three males turned their heads to a large pair of double doors as they opened wide. Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, Chrysalis, and Cadence strode out of the room, a somber expression adorning each of them. Cadence instantly went to Shining and the two embraced lovingly. Luna went to Sombra and humph’ed at the stallion in an uppity manner. Celestia and Chrysalis watched Cadence and Shining from a short distance away, Chrysalis resting her head affectionately on Celestia’s neck.

Shining brought Cadence into a deep kiss. The two stayed like that for a minute before breaking it. “Please, Cadence, tell me you’re not going to go through with this! It’s crazy! You can get help right here in Canterlot!”

Cadence smiled at her husband. “It’s ok Shining, really. I need to do this.” The Alicorn of Love sighed. “I… did some bad things… I’d have done worse if I hadn’t been stopped. This hate I have, I need to overcome it. What better way than this?”

Shining gritted his teeth. “I can think of a million different things! Anything could be better than…”

“Than what Sir Armor?”

The stallion turned his head towards the insectoid voice, and clenched his teeth had into a dark scowl. Queen Carapace of the Changeling Collective didn’t take note of the stallion’s angry expression. She walked regally to the group of ponies, along with one Draconequus and Changeling, and bowed in a half mocking manner. The Changeling smiled at the group, her fangs brimming brightly.

Shining wasn’t impressed. “Anything’s better than her leaving to live with you and your Changelings. She doesn’t need to leave Equestria to solve her… anger issues.”

Carapace snorted. “Wow, Discord was right, you do have a stick up your butt.” The Changeling flicked her tattered orange mane. “This is the best option, Shining Armor. After all, what better way to fix Cadence’s bigotry than to give her twenty ccs of Changeling hospitality?”

“Is twenty ccs even a large amount?” Sombra asked.

Carapace and the others looked at Sombra quizzically. Carapace continued. “It’s the expression that counts Sombra. Cadence will stay with me and get a hoofs-on-experience she’ll never forget!”

Shining grumbled. “What are you getting out of this?” He asked. “What could you possibly gain from this little treatment plan?”

Carapace chuckled. “Other than having some playful revenge for trying to kill me? It is also part of my punishment for attacking the Crystal Empire, to allow an arguably hostile outsider into my Hive. That, and Celestia made me an offer I just could not, in good faith to my species, pass up.” The Changeling swung her left fore leg out and then brought it in for a fancy bow. “I assure you, Sir Armor, your wife will be safe. She is in good hooves.”

Shining snorted. “I doubt it…” The unicorn turned to his wife. “Won’t you at least take Shape Shift with you? I’d feel better if you had a bodyguard like him at your side.”

“No.” Carapace stepped in. “I’ll not have a drone from a foreign hive in my domain. And I’ll not have any equine other than Cadence accompanying me. These terms are not negotiable. Especially since I put my neck on the line for Cadence, vouching for a pardon from the Collective Council is no easy thing.”

“Shining,” Cadence said mournfully. “It’s alright. I deserve to be in prison for what I’ve done. If I’m not going to be punished like that, than this is an acceptable substitute. Besides, I’m an Alicorn, I can take care of myself when the need arises.”

Carapace pouted at that. “Yes… but know I’m not happy about you running around with your magic still intact, even if that special inhibitor ring lessens it considerably.” The Changeling eyed the faintly glowing ring locked onto the base of Cadence’s horn.

“One of my nonnegotiable terms.” Celestia interjected with calm but powerful authority. “I hope you can understand.”

“Of course.” Carapace hissed.

A Pegasus guard flew in from one of the windows. Landing and saluting, the light opal mare stood erect for her Princess. “Princess Celestia, all of the provisions for Lady Cadence’s sojourn to the Collective are ready and awaiting to be used.”

Celestia smiled and nodded. “Very good Private.”

The mare saluted. “Thank you Princess.”

It was then that Cadence recognized the voice of the guard. The ex-princess turned to the mare. “Lightning Dust?”

The ex-Wonderbolt hopeful turned to Cadence and nodded. “Hello Cadence.” The mentioned Alicorn felt her stomach twist as she looked into the eyes of Lightning Dust.

Celestia looked between the two of them. “It seems as if you two have something to discuss. Well, Carapace and I have some final preparation logistics to finish up, so Lightning Dust if you’d please be so kind as to guide Cadence to the armory.” The Pegasus mare nodded at her Princess.

“I will go with Celestia.” Chrysalis added in, turning to follow her lover and Carapace as they left for the throne room.

“Sombra and I have some things to settle.” Luna said.

“This time you shall not win!” The black stallion shouted.

“HA!” Luna laughed as the two left together. “You are simply jealous that I am fabulous and can play a foal’s card game better than you!” The Lunar Princess shut the door to behind them.

Shining stayed close to his wife. “Well I’m going with Cadence to the armory so I can…”

The stallion gagged and was cut short as Discord pulled him close. “Oooo~! Now that your wife’s going to live with the bugs, you and I can really bond as friends! Let’s start right now, to get your mind off the loss. Oooo~! Let’s go bar hopping!” Despite the stallion’s protests Discord and Shining Armor disappeared in a flash of white for a night of fun that would end with Shining getting rewarded his first arrest warrant.

Cadence watched as Discord’s flash dissipated. She stared at the spot for a minute until Lightning Dust coughed and snapped her out of her daze. The ex-mercenary bowed slightly. “This way to the armory Lady Cadence.”

Cadence nodded subconsciously. “Right… Lead the way.”

Lightning smiled and began trotting away down one of the many hallways. Cadence waited for a minute before following her.

~~~~

The Canterlot Castle armory for the Royal Solar Guard of Equestria was abuzz with activity as soldiers went about their daily business, whether that was shining their equipment, training, or preparing for deployment. Cadence and Lightning Dust were in a room near the back, where Cadence’s equipment for her visit to the Collective had been stored.

Her equipment was the standard kit for desert treks. A heavy brownish cloak with a hood to keep out sand and protect one from the Sun. Several canteens and other standard survival tools were also in the bunch along with some magically created nutrient paste. Due to Cadence’s importance but because of the situation’s issues, Cadence was granted a set of simple looking brownish leather armor with leather leg plates and even some leather plates for her upper legs. Cadence realized upon picking the armor up that it was dragon skin, meaning it could still take a lot of punishment while appearing like below average armor.

Sitting on her haunches and strapping on the first leg plate, Cadence brought her gaze to Lightning Dust. The mare was in the corner, clunking her armor against the wall in a bored fashion. Cadence sighed deeply. “Lightning Dust, what’s going on? Why are you here? Not only that but I saw a lot of the mercenaries from your company here as well.”

Lightning Dust looked at Cadence, the standard guard look of indifference on her face. “Your Aunt’s big on forgiveness Cadence. She had us all hauled here to Canterlot and interrogated. When she got all the information she needed, she gave us a choice. She said that she did not blame us for what happened and was shamed that her subjects had to sell themselves as swords to make a living. So she gave us the choice to work as guards or leave. Guess what me and the company chose?”

Cadence cocked an eyebrow. “That’s it? She just let you become guards-ponies?”

Lightning shrugged. “Well, we don’t get any of the important jobs and we are on probation and constantly watched, but it’s certainly better than being jobless in Canterlot right?”

“Yes… Much better.” Cadence remarked as she strapped on the last of her armor and placed the provided saddlebags onto her back and legs. A blue bandana with regal golden embroidery from Shining Armor was with the equipment. She stuck that in her saddlebag to use later. Finally she threw her cloak over herself.

“Ready?” Lightning Dust asked.

“Yeah, I am.” Cadence answered. “And Lightning Dust? I’m sorry for what I…”

The mentioned mare put up a hoof, stopping Cadence. “I know ma’am, and I have to say I just don’t care anymore. Anger and revenge haven’t really gotten me anywhere, no point in doing that crap again.”

Cadence nodded. “Yes… No point at all.”

The two mares made their way out of the armory. Cadence looked around at the former mercenaries as she passed them by. Each one looked at her the same way Lightning did. They didn’t care about what happened and as far as any were concerned, the Alicorn of Love and them had a clean slate with each other.

As Cadence exited the armory, she didn’t know if that fact gave her some solace about what happened or made her sick to her stomach.

~~~~

Night had fallen over Canterlot and a group of Alicorns and Changelings had gathered in front of the gates of Canterlot Castle. Celestia, Chrysalis, Cadence, and Carapace all stood at the gates in a small pack. Luna and Sombra were playing a foal’s card game, Discord and Shining were being chased by the fuzz, and Shape Shift was running errands for Chrysalis. So it was that only these four were there for Cadence’s departure.

Celestia sighed as she looked at her niece next to Carapace, the Alicorn of Love done up in a cloak with armor underneath. “Cadence… Though I did not voice it with Shining around I too wish you would not go through with this.”

Cadence smiled. “Thanks for your concern Aunt Celestia, but I want to try to get over this and I think this way might be the fastest way to do it.”

“I’ll take good care of her.” Carapace interjected. “Wouldn’t want her to die and then bring the might of Equestria down on my head.” She gave Celestia a glare as she said her last sentence in her usual mocking manner. The Solar Diarch responded with a glare of her own.

Ignoring the two glaring leaders, Cadence stepped up to Chrysalis. She exhaled deeply. “Chrysalis, I’m sorry for trying to kill you and ruin your life… I’ve been a fool.” It sounded terrible out loud, but it was what Cadence wanted to say. Maybe it didn’t matter that it sounded blunt, maybe all that mattered was that it was said.

Chrysalis waved a hoof at Cadence. “Think nothing of it, love and tolerate right? Just be careful Cadence, I’d really like to play tennis with you again.”

The Alicorn of Love smiled at the suggestion and nodded. “Yeah, me too…” She turned away from Chrysalis and toward Carapace. “Ok… I’m ready to leave.”

Carapace smiled a toothy grin. “Excellent! Let’s be on our way then! I’ve got soldiers at front gates of Canterlot ready to escort us to my Hive. Let us go!” The Changeling began to trot away, humming a tune to herself.

Cadence took one last look at her Aunt, Chrysalis, and the Castle. She smiled mournfully at them, before turning and following Carapace. She looked up at the sky as she caught up to the Changeling Queen. It was a full moon and the stars were out as well, all in all a beautiful night. Cadence sighed; she knew that this walk was the end of one struggle and the beginning of another.

~~THE END~~

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Comments ( 33 )

FIRST!

Also, very nice ending. Can't say I like the massive, downwards turn the tone of this fic took in the second half, but you still managed to hold on to a touch of humor, and even somehow gave us a totally satisfying conclusion that still leaves us hungry for more. Very well done, unless, of course, you don't intend on making a sequel detailing Cadence's exploits in Carapace's hive, in which case, shame on you for setting us up for a sequel that may or may not materialize.

Either way though, very well done indeed, your writing has definitely improved over the course of this fic into something truly solid and enjoyable, and I can't emphasize enough how very tidy this ending is despite the sheer amount of stuff you had to do! Very well done sir (or madam), BRAVO! :yay:

Great story and a good ending tying up the loose ends. I was afraid you would have forgotten about Lightning and her mercs for a sec.

2845571

Not sure how that would even work.

time for a SEQUEL!!!!!! shit gonna get good~

Sequel? :rainbowhuh:
Over all I liked the this fanfic. Very well done and an excellent transition from the humor in the beginning to the more dark and gritty parts.

oh man, without shapeshift how am i going to get my daily dose of hilarity in! dude was freaking awesome!

Dragons are intelligent creatures and yet ponies make armor from their skin....WTF is wrong with this picture?!

2845616 Don'y worry, there will be a sequel, I just don't know when it'll come out.

2845652 Forget about Lightning Dust? Never!

2846026 Well... you never know where the little guy might pop up.

2847808 Well this dragon wasn't too intelligent, any creature that dares interrupt Luna's Winter Solstice Masquerade Party with a fiery rampage isn't all that smart. As for the armor, well Luna isn't wasteful, that's just not princess-like.

Please tell me there's a sequel in the works eventually. *puppy eyes*

2848949 She carved the skin of a sapient species to make armor. That puts Luna on a level with Hannibal Lector! Why not simply make the armor something simple like maille?

Foal's card game :pinkiegasp:

This needs the adventure tag.

Uh! Why does it have a happy ending?! This sucks! I wanted Cadence to get killed for killing Chrysalis! Or Chrysalis dies and Cadence takes over! Or Chrysalis wins and Celestia breaks up with her for killing Cadence and then Chrysalis turns her back on ponies and tries to take over using the other queens to help her! Something eviler and more exciting! This ending is boring. Nice story though.

Firstly: Grand apologizes on this extremely late responses! Internet's been dead, what ya gonna do?

2849007 Yes, one day, there will be a sequel... with explosions, god willing.

2849350 Dragon skin sounds better, you must admit.

2863067 I'm sorry the ending is boring to you, but this is a comedy and one of the crucial aspects of a comedic story is that there is a happy ending, and no one dies but that one... that one can be bent at times, but not this time.

2904867 It really depends on the setting. Here, where we know the dragons are sapient beings, it makes Luna sound like a monster. That's why I'd say just use maille. No intelligent beings had to killed in order to have it.

2904904 Well... Luna did try to cover the world in eternal night, but that was a special situation I suppose. She's also very eccentric... and did come from a rather medieval time. To her, its probably not that big a deal if the world has one less fire breathing herald of destruction.

2904867 It seemed as though half was a comedy and the other half was dark and creepy. Basically, you should`ve written it as two stories. Cadence`s first approach, little tricks to embarrass her and stuff like in the first half. Then, the second half would be a different story where she gets a bit more evil. You were able to make a comedy creepy fast so you should do that. I don`t often find funny stories on this site with dark or sad endings which bums me out. I want the best of both worlds.

You know, this isn't a bad story. You have some good ideas, some of your jokes are funny, I liked some of the little details, like Chrysalis and Celestia's first date being them attempting to manipulate each other or Luna daydreaming of bloody warfare, yet somehow large chunks of it just feel flat to me. It might be one of those things that's simply a matter of taste, but it feels like the actually funny bits are too widely spaced by jokes with mild impact at most.

I wish I could put my finger on exactly why and how it feels almost padded at times, so you could improve further because there's clearly a good core here, but I can't quite get it into words. Perhaps part of it that your phrasing is occasionally awkward and things don't always flow well.

One thing I can say is that you need to work on developing the voices of the characters more. They don't always feel distinctly like themselves (or even like humorously exaggerated versions of themselves) partly because they don't always talk like themselves. The word choices are just off sometimes. Here's an example:
Shining armor says "This is retarded. It's stupid and foolish and unnecessary." This line would sound a lot better if he just said "This is stupid and foolish and unnecessary." But it's not because I have a problem with the word 'retarded', I think it would have worked fine if Rainbow Dash had said it, but rather because it doesn't feel like a Shining Armor thing to say.

There aren't any big problems with this story, just lots of small, subtle ones that keep it from being really good.

3159405 Gee, thanks! Glad to hear you enjoyed it to some degree. And trust me, I know I'm nowhere near being the best writer on the block, but hopefully I can get better at getting the point across.

Thanks for the advice on character voices... Not a convincing story if the characters don't 'sound' like themselves. As for your example, the best explanation I can think of is that Shining's really angry with Cadence and her decision. No of us are really ourselves when we're angry and we say things we wouldn't normally say (though I do get what you're saying).

Once again, thanks for reading, and I hope you'll be back for the sequel!

Predictable, but I enjoyed the story. Thank you for writing

3537863 :trixieshiftleft: And here I am wondering if I meant to do that, or if I screwed up...

3585899 You're welcome and I'm glad you enjoyed it :pinkiesmile:.

I liked this fanfiction, at least in part because it was kind of funny during the first half. The second half had its moments yet still. Like playing with embers, and then going to a full bred pitfire.

Considering how Cadence reacted to the news of the changeling queen being Celestria's special friend... Goodness knows that the sequel will probably feature Shining Armor mirroring, since he seems to be a thorn in the hay stack for 'all is well that ends well' bit.

While in the moment I enjoyed Discord's ending version better, looking back now, I have to say that the reality was much better for the story as a whole. The show seems to be a lot about friendship and redemption, and it would be kind of tragic if one of the alicorn characters did not have a chance at reforming.

King Sombra canon-wise excluded from this sentiment. Oh well, the line has to be drawn somewhere I guess. Enslaving an entire kingdom and indirectly resulting in them being frozen in time, compounded with an attempt to reclaim the throne warrants imminent destruction.

Attacking royal guards, betraying the royals, threatening a coup almost in parallel with Nightmare Moon, messing with the elements of harmony, among other things, warrants a stern punishment that you have to live through. In hindsight, being destroyed is probably an easier way out.

read a second Cadence villain story: check. Read a Shining Armor villain story: in progress I believe.

Sooo, here we are. This story had a lot of ups and downs. A lot. Let's get started, shall we?

Usually, I'm all for comedy and having a good laugh. The humour throughout the first half of this story, though, strained my patience somehow. It just seemed forced to me. Like watching one of those so-called 'comedy-shows' in television. They even tend to tell you when you have to laugh, just so you don't miss the point... :applejackunsure: While others said different, I feel that you improved throughout the story, especially in the second half. It still had it's 'in your face'-moments, but they weren't that bad or frequent any more. What still bugged me right until the end though - the fourth-wall-breaking. It's a funny little gimmick, yes, and especially characters like Discord or Pinkie have a knack for it, but there should be a a balance between 'oblivious to existing readers' and 'rubbing self-conciousness right into readers faces'. Here, it was just too much. Funny, still, but too much.
I'm still unsure, unable to decide if this story should be tagged as 'dark'. Nopony - or other creature, for that matter - died, yeah, sure. But still, with Cadance' brilliantly written transformation into another Nightmare, the undertone you set was a grim one. To see her descend like that... managed to create a hostile, depressing atmosphere - right along all the funny jokes and the laughing. I congratulate you to that achievement!
I was pleased with the portrayal of Celestia, the mane six and oh my gosh, you created sooo many OCs... and most of them were likeable. First and foremost, of course: Shape Shift. Although that little bug got things started in the first place, I still can't not like him. (Though, his side-romance with Photo Finish was really, really scary, creepy and all sorts of weird. :rainbowlaugh:) Recycling Lightning Dust and Sombra the way you did was... unexpected. But you pulled that off rather well, too. Actually, that bromance between Shining and Sombra was just simply hilarious! And I'm glad Lightning became some sort of closure.
Speaking of closure: I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate that Cadance didn't got off-hook that easily. After all the stuff she did, going downright batshit-crazy, it's really nice that there's some impact, some consequences to her schemes.
With Luna, though, I had a problem. She appears as... dunno... some sort of comedic relief? Stuck in her archaic ways, speaking everything out bluntly, a forceful brute only caring for her own entertainment and desires... that may be an alicorn with the same colour patterns, but that surely wasn't Luna. It was like a caricature of Luna. Overdrawn to the point where I couldn't recognize her at all if it weren't for her appearance and name.
Aaaand then we got Chrysalis. From the first chapter onwards, she was that nice, caring, forgiving, demure not-pony who only wanted to be happy. That... was really, really disappointing. At first, anyway. It felt like you just didn't do her justice. Where's all the bickering? The verbal out-lashing? Where are the dirty words, where's the cursing while others would pamper their beloved? That was my mindset, what I expected and, to be perfectly honest, what I hoped for. I still wish you would've shown us waaay more of that transition she got through. You only tapped that topic lightly and there would've been much more potential, too. Buuut... I can live with it. I can live with her being more of a plot-device since we got another changeling queen with more personality that was, to be honest, more intriguing and funny.

Sooo... yeah. That was a fun ride. It wasn't what I expected, but I enjoyed it extremely nonetheless.

Thank you.

6231965 TRUE, but she was possessed by an evil magical force..... Cadence was still clearly SOMEWHAT in control of her actions.

That was fun. I loved the characterisations and your Chryssie was hella cute. And pretty much everyone got a good ending.

Cya
Raziel-chan

Was good rereading this fic again, ido hope see more from the sequal soon,

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