• Published 31st Jan 2013
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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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Fancy Pants' Party: Before the Festivities
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Chrysalis looked at herself in the mirror, admiring her attire. She looked like a real Canterlot Princess. Celestia had issued her lover a chest plate, armored boots, and stately tiara that looked much like the Solar Alicorn’s own armor set. There were differences, obviously. Instead of royal gold, the armor was bright silver. The tiara was much smaller, much more like Luna’s, and had an emerald green crystal etched into it. Regardless, it was extremely royal looking and certainly matched the Canterlot lifestyle the nobles of the city would appreciate. Chrysalis gave herself one last look over before she noticed Celestia coming into the bedroom. The Changeling smiled at the Alicorn.

“Hello Cellie. How do I look? Good, right?”

“You’d look better stripped and sprawled out on my bed.” The Alicorn jested, smiling in sultry manner.

Chrysalis rolled her eyes. “You’re terrible. Thank the Maker there aren’t any ponies around to hear you. They’d probably faint of embarrassment.”

Celestia chuckled. “I’m the terrible one? Before we got back to Equestria, how many times did you ask me to… what was it again? ‘Shut up and take me you solar bitch’? I’m pretty sure that was the nicest way you put such things.”

Chrysalis blushed. “Well, that… was a different me. I’m a bit more… cultured now.”

“Last night could refute that claim rather quickly, if I’m any judge.” Retorted Celestia, rather smugly.

“You know…” Luna began, walking into the room with Cadence trotting next to her. “It isn’t wise to speak of one sexual adventures while the door is open, even a thousand years ago this was true. You’re getting sloppy sister; maybe my next assassination attempt will finally work.”

Celestia turned to her darker sister, a look of uncaring on her face. “Please Luna, you couldn’t assassinate your way out of a home of terminally ill ponies.” Luna snorted at her sister’s retort, chuckling under her breath.

Cadence cocked an eyebrow. The young Alicorn was never able to understand her aunt’s type of dark, medieval comedy. The Alicorn of Love could not compute how joking about murdering your family was funny (she ultimately decided it was an inside type of joke and that she had to have been there). Ignoring the dark humor, Cadence smiled at Chrysalis. “Wow Chrysalis, you look amazing! Just like an Equestrian Princess.” If I dressed a cockroach with a crown, the Alicorn quickly thought.

Chrysalis smiled at Cadence’s compliment. “Thanks Cadence, I can’t wait to make a good impression on the nobility of the city.”

Celestia nuzzled Chrysalis (Cadence had to use her magic to keep herself from throwing up her lunch). “You’ll do excellent dear.” The Solar Alicorn stated. “This party is one of the biggest of the year for the nobility in Canterlot. We’ll start from the top and move down.” Celestia turned to Cadence. “Alright Cadence, you’ll be in charge while we’re gone.” Celestia’s overall tone suddenly got much darker. “Yes, you’ll be in charge, considering my younger sister shall not be here to do it.”

Luna, who had sat down to pick something out of her back hoof, looked up from her to her sister. “What? I’ve got a life too you know.”

Celestia glared at her. “I know that; but taking your Lunar Guard to the Crystal Empire to have them compete against Shining Armor’s Crystal Guard just for ‘the hell of it’, as you so regally put it, does not count.”

Luna pouted. “Says you… FADING!”

The Lunar Guard Captain Fading Moonlight appeared from almost nowhere. The stallion snapped to his Princess’s side and saluted, his knee-high armored gauntlet clinging against his bat-winged captain’s helmet. “Yes M’lady?”

“Get the rest of the guard together, we’re leaving soon.”

The guard captain nodded. “Of course M’lady. Anything else?”

Luna thought for a second. “Uh… Yes! Please think of some witty things I can say to Prince Armor after we wipe the floor with him and his guards. I need above-average gloating material to get back at him for beating me at every drinking game imaginable.” The ashen grey stallion nodded once more and zipped off to gather the rest of his fellows. Luna turned to Celestia, Chrysalis, and Cadence. “Have fun you three.” She said simply, getting up off the floor and heading out the door.

Celestia let out a heavy sigh and looked to Cadence. “Please keep the Castle in order during our absence, Cadence. I don’t want to come home to the castle in madness…” Celestia leaned towards Cadence so Chrysalis could not hear. “I am almost sure that the rest of the night will be madness enough.”

Cadence smiled at Celestia. “Of course Aunt Celestia, leave it to me. I’ll do the best I can.”

Celestia leaned in and nuzzled Cadence affectionately. “I know you will. I am thankful that you are here.” The solar mare broke their nuzzle and turned to Chrysalis, the Changeling was fixing up her web-like hair. “Alright, Chrysalis and I have some last minute things to do then we’ll be off. Cadence, if you’d please…”

Cadence nodded happily. “Right, right. I’ll leave you two alone.” Bowing respectively, the Alicorn of Love left the two larger mares to their preparations.

After all, Cadence had her own set of things to prepare.

~~~~

“Almost ready Shape Shift?”

The Changeling Shape Shift packed the last of his markers into his satchel and clipped it shut. His preparations complete, the Changeling ran to meet up with Cadence at the entrance to the hallway from her room. The Alicorn looked over the Changeling with a critical eye.

“So, you have everything you need right?” She asked, not wanting to come back for anything. Shape Shift nodded. “Good.”

Cadence shut her door with magic and the unlikely pair set off down the hallway. It was a quiet walk, due in no small part to Shape Shift’s inability to speak. Other than that, Cadence was going over several plans involving the party Celestia and Chrysalis were going to.

The party was of course the Noble’s Ball, funded by none other than Canterlot’s own Fancy Pants. Only the richest, snobbish, usually self-centered of the Canterlot nobility would be at this prestige party for the single purpose of conversation between those of similar rank and to see has the fattest purse of bits. It was here that Celestia thought that it would be best to introduce Chrysalis to Canterlot’s nobles. She would have her lover mingle, impress, and ultimately be accepted by the rich ponies. From the top tier of society she would move downward until every social class of Equestria saw that Celestia’s lover was just as kind and pleasant as her. Cadence huffed; she would make sure this plan did not succeed. She would sabotage Celestia’s efforts and ruin the nobility’s already shaky vision of Chrysalis.

Turning a corner, Cadence couldn’t help but smirk in a saddened way. It almost hurt to resort to this but she had no choice. Cadence turned to her Changeling companion. “Shape Shift, stay.” The Changeling nodded in his normal adorable but stern fashion and plopped his butt on the floor. Breathing in, Cadence turned to the pony she saw down the hall. Walking up to the white stallion, Cadence put on a happy, yet strained, face. “Hello Blueblood.”

Prince Blueblood turned from his admiration of a particular painting and looked at his cousin. “What? Oh! Cadence! Hello. What brings you here? I thought you went with Auntie Celestia and Chrysalis to Fancy Pants’ party.”

Cadence shook her head. “No, Celestia needs me here at the castle to watch over it.” Cadence looked away in shame. “I didn’t want to tell Aunt Celestia this but… I’ve feeling really under the weather lately; I think I may have caught something.”

Blueblood gasped dramatically, moving in to put a hoof on his cousin’s shoulder for comfort (not before he took out a handkerchief and covered his snout with it however). “Oh Cadence, that’s terrible! How will you ever complete the task Auntie Celestia has assigned you?”

Cadence gave Blueblood a look. “Well cousin… I was wondering if… you would like to help me? I don’t think I could survive the night the way I am and if you would…”

Blueblood placed a hoof over Cadence’s mouth and hushed her. The prince smiled. “Of course cousin! I would be happy to help you! What else is family for but to rule their vast country when they are not able?”

Cadence shot up in happiness, though still acted weak enough to fool her dimwitted cousin. “Oh thank you Blueblood! This is really going to help!” Cadence hugged the stallion. “By the way, I kind of want to be left alone for the rest of evening so could you make sure nopony goes into my room and disturbs me?”

Blueblood nodded. “Of course Cadence, I can do that.”

Cadence broke the hug and smiled. “Thanks Blueblood, I really need this. Ok, the castle is your responsibility now. Don’t screw up!”

With that, Cadence fled down the opposite hallway she came from. Blueblood watched her leave, a confused expression on his face. “Wait… isn’t your room the other way?!” He shouted to her, she didn’t hear. Suddenly, Cadence’s words donned on Blueblood. The Prince looked at his hooves, holding them chest high. "I… have responsibility now…" The Prince's eyes gleamed. "Responsibility…"

~~~~

Canterlot at night, near the back entrance to Fancy Pants’ manor

Cadence looked at the large, almost warehouse-like back of Fancy Pants’ mansion from her spot behind nearby building across the street. Currently, there was a large group of servants unloading all sorts of things for the party from delivery wagons. Still, that wasn’t what Cadence noticed the most. No, it was the armed guards patrolling the loading area.

“They aren’t Canterlot guards.” Cadence stated. “They must be mercenaries, hired by Fancy Pants to protect the back entrances.”

WHY NOT USE A MORE RELIABLE SOURCE OF PROTECTION? LIKE THE ROYAL GUARD OR CANTERLOT MILITIA?

Cadence looked at Shape Shift. “Probably so Fancy Pants can have more real guards in the actual party protecting the guests. I don’t think they care if the mercs get rough with the paid servants.” Cadence looked back to the loading area, analyzing it in hopes to find a way inside without alerting the ponies guarding it. The Alicorn spotted what she was looking for: a large window on the roof that led right into the building and past the guards.

The pink mare turned to Shape Shift. “Come on, follow me.” Cadence opened up her wings and flew up to the rooftop of the building the two were hiding behind.

IS THAT REALLY NECESSARY? Read Shape Shift’s board, Cadence ignored it however, preferring her way of sneaking in.

Landing gracefully on the roof, Cadence stuck to the shadows, trying her best to hide her presence (cause you know, it was totally possible for a big, pink, well-known Alicorn to hide in the shadows). Gliding from rooftop to rooftop, Cadence was now only one hop away from Fancy Pants’ roof. Cadence spotted a mercenary on the roof and reassessed. With one big flap, the mare shot up high into the night air. Gliding the rest of the way, Cadence positioned herself right above the guard. Pointing her body downward and rushing towards the pony in one big swoop, Cadence tackled the pony from above and knocked him out. The guard let out a pained moan before losing all consciousness.

Satisfied, Cadence moved along the rooftop. Reaching the window, Cadence looked down on the unloading below to ensure her cover hadn’t been blown. Luckily, the mercs seemed unaware of her presence. She saw a brown-coated merc come out of the building and walk up to a slender white stallion overseeing the unloading.

“Hey Captain! New orders from up top! Fancy Pants wants us to check all the stuff to make sure it’s safe for the party guests.” The brown-coated stallion waved a clipboard at his Captain.

The white stallion turned to his friend and took the board, his blue eyes studying it intently. “Hmm… ‘Check for bombs, defects, homeless ponies… extra pay and other ‘benefits’’ if done properly? I shudder to think what ‘extra benefits’ and 'done properly' means. Oh well, you heard him boys, check to make this stuff is up to noble standards. If it doesn’t have a doily on it it’s probably gonna offended the crap out of them. Get to it!” The ponies followed their Captain’s instructions to the letter.

Cadence decided now would be a good chance to get into the building now; the guards would be too distracted checking cargo to notice her and Shape Shift. Opening the window with magic, Cadence crawled inside.

The brown-coated stallion looked his Captain, who was about to open a crate of cargo. “Hey Captain Vigilance, should we pull our ponies from inside to help with checking all this stuff?”

The mercenary Faithful Vigilance stopped and stroked his hoof through his well-kept brown mane, thinking for a minute. “Yeah, might as well. Fancy Pants already has other guards for that part of the manor.” The Captain huffed out a heavy sigh. “I don’t know why this party is so important to hire an entire mercenary company and a Capricorn warlord, but who am I to guess at the intricate games of nobility?”

~~~~

Cadence fluttered down to the ground, smiling to herself. “Wow,” She began. “I can’t believe reading all those Daring Do books would actually help me in real life! Right then, Shape Shift let’s… Shape Shift?” Cadence looked around for her little Changeling companion, but he wasn’t behind her. Cadence, for reasons unexplainable to even her, suddenly became worried. “Shape Shift? Shape Shift?! Shape Shift, where are you?! Shape Shift!” Cadence looked all over for her Changeling, even sticking her head in a crate.

Not finding the Changeling, Cadence brought her head out and turned to look more. She turned a full one eighty degrees only to find herself face to face with Shape Shift, hovering off the ground. “AAAHHH!” Cadence screamed and fell back into the crates, causing a loud crash. Shape Shift landed and cocked his head at his mistress. Cadence, dizzy from the fall, looked at the Changeling with spinning eyes. “Shape Shift? Where were you! I told you to stay right behind me! How did you get in the building?!”

BACK DOOR, read the Changeling’s board.

Cadence shook her head and got up. “You got in?! How!? How’d you get in through the back door?! It’s crawling with mercenaries!”

Green, flame-like energy enveloped Shape Shift and he took the form of Cadence. The real Cadence’s eye twitched sporadically. “You’re… kidding right?”

Suddenly, a merc passed by and noticed Shape Shift/Cadence. “Oh, hi Princess Cadence! I hope you enjoy the party!” He waved at the Changeling and walked off. Shape Shift made sure to wave back as the mercenary left (Cadence’s eye twitching increased 200%).

Cadence took a deep breath and calmed herself. “You know what? Whatever. Let’s go, we have to get into the party and blend in.” Shape Shift nodded and reverted to normal.

The pair raced to through the building, trying to find the way to the main part of the manor, the part the party would be in. Finally, they saw a large, fancy door in a large open space that certainly led to the rest of the manor. The two smiled at each other and raced towards it. They were almost there…

THUD!!!

Cadence and Shape Shift stopped in their tracks and hoisted their heads up (Shape Shift's neck almost broke he had to look up so much). Before them stood a very large Capricorn, a creature with a goat’s bodily front and fish’s tail end. Such creatures were native to the world’s oceans. While normally sticking to the water, Capricorns could easily sprout back legs and walk on land. Fierce fighters and relations with other species ranging from unbreakable allies to loathed enemies with nothing in the between; the Capricorns were certainly one of the world’s… more robust creations.

The creature looked down on the Alicorn and Changeling before him. “Pass please.” He asked politely, though his deep voice made sound like a death threat.

Cadence’s eyes wandered around. “Uhh… we don’t have one.”

The Capricorn sniffed once. “Very well, please leave the premises until such time that you have a pass.” Polite sounding, but still felt like he was threating to slice off your head.

Cadence suddenly got angry. She wasn’t about to let some Capricorn guard keep her from her revenge on her nemesis. She decided to pull her royal rank, though she hated the mere thought of it. “I am Princess Cadence of the Crystal Empire! I am allowed in the party.”

“Then you should have a pass.” The goatfish replied. “If you do not, please go and have another one issued. Otherwise, please leave. Any attempts to enter this way without a pass will result in unfortunate consequences.”

“I’m getting into that party.” Cadence retorted.

“Not. Without. A pass.” The Capricorn said plainly.

“You can’t stop me.”

The Capricorn's eye twitched slightly.

Cadence’s wings spread and she was up in the air quicker than the eye could follow. The Capricorn guard had just finished his three hundred and sixty rotation that he had intended to slice Cadence in half with his tail, currently armed with sharp edges like blades. Shape Shift cowered, huddled up on the ground. Cadence had made sure during her jump she knocked the Changeling to the ground so he did not get sliced in two.

Cadence glared daggers at the Capricorn, who returned her glare with a very neutral expression. Cadence landed several meters away and teleported Shape Shift next to her. Staring down the Capricorn, Cadence knew how this was going to end. Cadence huffed a little. “That’s how it is huh? Well fine…”

It. Is. On!” Cadence lit up her horn.

Author's Note:

Next time on 'Of Princesses and Changelings': Cadence and Shape Shift fight a goatfish, stuff happens... violent stuff.

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