• Published 5th Apr 2013
  • 609 Views, 164 Comments

Ever After - Mixer

The sequel to the Mixer Chronicles

  • ...

Darkness Falls

Chapter One:
Darkness Falls

Breeze and Flit had spent weeks building the clockwork golem with the help of Mixer. They had gathered all manner of gears, pistons, and other intricate mechanisms to complete the design. They built him in secret, down in Breeze's new house.

“Well, it looks just about done,” Breeze said, wiping some sweat and grease from his forehead.

“It requires one more component,” Mixer said.
“What?” Flit asked, pulling his head out of the open back of the metal behemoth. The golem, dubbed Colossus, was now compacted into a resting from, standing a little taller than Breeze, but when it was active it would stand a full head taller than Celestia.

“The heart,” Mixer said.

“But where would we get a crystal big enough to control the whole thing?” Breeze queried.

“You aren’t paying attention again, Breeze,” Mixer sighed. The pegasus tilted his head, looking to Colossus then back to the book. Understanding dawned on him as he remembered that Mixer could manipulate crystals.

“You want to be the heart?” Breeze asked incredulously.

“I didn’t help you make a masterwork of engineering to just sit back and watch you play with it,” Mixer said simply, the crystal glowing brighter.

“Breeze are you sure that’s a good idea?” Flit asked nervously. “I mean, he’s two hundred years old. He could be crazy for all we know.”

“Trust me. I've gone crazy before, and while it is humorous for a while, it grows tiring when you find a knife in your back,” Mixer said. "Now remove the crystal." Breeze pulled on the gem, which came loose surprisingly easily.

“Now this is an odd sensation,” Mixer said, his voice now having a more ethereal quality to it, as if it was coming from the whole room. "Never not had a form before."

“Can you even use the magic needed to power it?” Breeze asked the small crystal he held in his hoof.

“I am a little rusty. There's not much magic to be done as a book, but I assure you, I still retain my power,” Mixer said. Breeze went to the back of the golem and inserted the crystal into the heart of the machinery, letting it levitate in the large socket. When he retracted his hoof, the back of the golem closed. A blue glow emanated from the edges of the bronze colored plating.

“Breeze, I think you should step back,” Flit said.

Breeze took a few slow steps back as steam hissed from the large frame, and the sound of gears catching filled the room. From the front of the golem, Flit could see that the lens in the chest of the golem was now shining a bright blue as it started to stir.

“Hmm, this is different,” Mixer said, his voice now with a slight metallic ring. The golem shifted, growing taller on its reverse jointed two legs.

“Sweet Celestia,” Breeze mouthed as the golem grew to almost twice his height. Mixer, now controlling the golem, engaged the left arm, a thick appendage ending in three sharp claws, arrayed in a triangle. The claw opened and closed with a slight scraping sound as the claws grated together. Next he tested the right arm, ending in a three fingered hand. The two thick digits and thumb opened and closed smoothly.

“I am quite the genius,” the golem muttered.

“Hey, we built the stupid thing,” Breeze complained.

“True, and for that I am indebted to you,” Mixer said. The large golem lifted first the left, then the right leg, small jets of steam coming off as they were tested. “And now for the true test." The golem settled into a resting stance. Soon there were ice crystals forming on the outer shell of the golem and the temperature in the room dropped.

“What are you doing?” Flit exclaimed, alarmed at the sudden change in temperature. There was no response, only a slight glow from the chassis as the flakes of frost melted, and the room became balmy.

“So what, you’re a mobile heater?” Breeze laughed. His hair stood on end as a crackling sound filled the air and small tendrils of electricity arced across the surface of the metal.

“I am testing the limitations of my magic,” Mixer said finally, letting the charge dissipate.

“And?” Breeze asked, now interested at the answer.

“I can only affect the chassis, not any form of casting. Perhaps if I had a catalyst, then I might be able to project some form of magic,” the golem said.

“What is all this commotion?” a voice said from the upstairs. Flit muttered something under his breath.

“I hope you’re ready to explain building this to Celestia,” the changeling said to Breeze.

“Oh boy." Celestia stepped into the room and looked at the golem and then to Breeze. Her gaze wasn't exactly accusatory, but it wasn't exactly kind either.

“Now I see what you have been busy with,” the princess said, walking around the still golem.

“Yes, it took quite the amount of work,” Breeze said, trying not to sound nervous. Celestia nodded.

“It appears so. By the way, have you seen the Mixer Chronicles lately?” she asked, finishing her inspection.
Breeze was starting to sweat under her passive, yet powerful gaze.

“Yes, right here,” Breeze said, pointing at his saddlebag, laying open on a desk.

“May I see it?” Celestia asked. Breeze slowly pulled the book from the bag, careful to not show the front to the princess.

“Right here,” he said, holding it up.

“Cogs, may I see the book,” Celestia said, and the nearby construct obliged by taking the book from Breeze and handing it, cover up, to Celestia.

“Aha, I thought as much,” she said looking at the empty socket in the cover. “Ever the crafty one Mixer,” she said, knocking on one of the large legs of the golem.

“Just looking for a change of scenery Celestia,” Mixer said.

“I suppose I have been neglecting to read you haven’t I?” Celestia remarked quietly.

“Oh come now Tia, we both know that you don’t simply forget things,” Mixer said, the orb that could be called his eye boring into her.

“And we both know that you don’t do anything without a good reason,” she countered, her tone cold. The golem shifted. It took awhile for Breeze to realize that it was a sign of unease.

“Fine," Mixer said after a long silence. "I never could lie to you for very long. I have created this new body for myself because I believe that there just might be need of me, and I know that I’m not the only one who thinks that." The eye resumed its drilling into the princess. Breeze was awestruck by the exchange, both treating the other as an equal, but not necessarily a friend.

After a few seconds of staring, Mixer broke the silence again, “In any case, how is Twilight doing?”

“She is well," Celestia said, her tone and visage returning to her regular calm demeanor.

“If it is quite alright with you, I would like to conceal my return for as long as I can,” Mixer asked.

“And how do you conceal a huge hulking machine?!” Flit exclaimed, shaken from his stupor.

“By referring to me only by the golem’s name, Colossus,” Mixer said.

“I agree that your new body might cause some...” Celestia paused, “Issues.”

“One question, how are we going to get you out the door?” Breeze asked.

"Everypony outside. I would advise giving me some room,” Mixer said.
The three of them went into the cavern outside, leaving a wide berth around the front of the underground house. There was a shaking, then a sizzling sound as the golem teleported into the cavern, just above the ground. It landed with a solid thud that shook the immediate area. Mixer held the charred husk of the book he had previously inhabited. "So that's what happens to the catalyst," he muttered.

“Mixer,” Celestia said after awhile.

“Yes?” the dead pony questioned.

“Never do that again,” all three of them said.

“Agreed,” Mixer said, with what appeared to be a nod. "Far too unstable." They moved to the lift, now able to accommodate a whole patrol of guards on one of two platforms. The floor creaked when Mixer lumbered onto the lift, but it ascended and when they arrived at the surface it was slightly darker than it should have been.

“Why is it so dark outside?” Breeze asked, looking out a window into the sky.

“Something is wrong,” Mixer said, and stem puffed out from the chassis.

“I sense it too,” Celestia said gravely. She and the golem shared a look.

“Chrysalis,” both of them said.

“The traitor queen?” Flit asked.

“She’s back,” Mixer growled, grinding gears accompanying his speech. There was a thunderous crack and a green flash from the gardens, on the other side of the castle. “Celestia, go to Twilight. I will watch after these two." Celestia nodded and took off for the throne room. Flit collapsed on the ground, his face a mask of pain.

“Get out of my head!” he cried.

“Flit! What’s wrong?” Breeze yelled, moving over to his friend. The changeling twitched about in the floor, limbs spasming out of control.

“NO! I don’t want to,” Flit screamed, the last words slipping through clenched teeth. He cried out in pain, trying to clutch his head.

“Chrysalis is trying to regain control of the changelings,” Mixer stated. "She is in his mind."

“Flit, listen, it’s me your friend, Breeze,” he said, trying to help his pained friend.

“I’ll never follow you!” Flit shouted. His trashing fell to trembling, and soon he was still.

“He is free, but I wonder how many were not so fortunate,” Mixer said, and moved closer to the two. Breeze helped Flit up off the ground. "Can you stand, Flit?" the golem asked. The changeling nodded, and managed to remain standing when Breeze moved away.

“We have to help!” the pegasus said, starting towards the source of the commotion. Mixer grabbed him around the waist with his right hand and held him back.

“You are not strong enough to face Chrysalis.”

“He’s right,” Flit said, rubbing his head. Breeze stopped struggling against the immovable grip.

“Fine, what now?” he asked.

“Now we get you to the safety of the inner castle,” Mixer said, setting Breeze down. Breeze and Flit flew to keep up with Mixer’s large strides as they moved towards a more secure location. They came upon a pair of pony guards, surrounded by changelings.

“We need to help them,” Flit said.
“Who?” Breeze asked.

“All of them,” his friend said, exasperated.

“Not all can be saved to extinguish evil,” Mixer said, striding towards the group. He swung his great left arm and four of the five changelings went flying into a nearby wall. The fifth one looked in horror as Mixer was about to bring his claw down on him.

“WAIT!” Flit cried, throwing himself as a shield before his brethren. The claw stopped with a groaning of metal, and the changeling was cowering on the ground. “How can you just condemn them? They didn’t do anything wrong! The traitor Queen is controlling them,” he said.

“Please, don’t kill me,” the changeling cowering on the ground said. Breeze watched from a distance, noticing that Mixer’s glow had gone from blue to red during the brief fighting. The eye faded back to blue and Mixer went back to a resting position.

“I will heed your words Flit,” he said. "Though I doubt the wiseness of them."

“We can take you to the princess,” one of the guard ponies said. "The last we saw she was flying towards the throne room."

“What about him?” the other guard motioned to the remaining changeling.

“He will return to the queen. Try to help our brothers and sisters to fight the traitor queen’s control,” Flit said. "You will, won't you?"

“Yes,” the changeling said and scurried away.

“Let us proceed." The golem led the way as they made their way to the throne room. Twilight was there, fretting over the situation.

“Princess, there is fighting all throughout the castle. We can’t tell the traitors from the loyal,” a guard before her said.

“Where is Celestia when I need her?” Twilight asked, shaking her head.

“Princess, we were helped by these two and this, thing,” one of the guards escorting Breeze and Flit said.

“Who are they?” the purple alicorn asked.

“My name is Divergent Breeze,” the pegasus said, bowing.

“And I am Flit your majesty,” Flit said, doing the same.

“And what is that?” Twilight asked, pointing to Mixer.

“That is Colossus. He is our protector,” Breeze said. "We built him."

“Greetings,” Mixer said. If Twilight recognized the voice she gave no sign of it, instead questioning them as to what they were doing.

“We were just trying to get to somewhere safe,” Breeze said.

“Well there is nowhere safer than here,” Twilight said. There was a bright flash from outside, and a sharp cry of pain.

“Celestia!” Twilight cried.

“I will investigate,” Mixer said. His tone had shifted to something more robotic.

“Not without us,” Breeze said, flying behind the lumbering golem. "Flit, stay here," he called behind him. The changeling reluctantly sat down and watched his friend fly off towards danger. Twilight followed and a group of guards trailed behind her, all of them heading towards the commotion. Chaos was what greeted them. There were guardponies and changelings fighting all over, with Celestia and Chrysalis at the epicenter. Mixer waded into the fighting, making a straight path towards the two battling titans.

“You may have beaten me once before, but you will not this time!” Celestia roared as she fired a beam of aurite energy at the changeling queen. Chrysalis dodged the beam and fired a sickly green bolt back.

“Your time is up Celestia!” Chrysalis snarled. She was preparing to fire another bolt when a large clawed arm slammed down in the space she had occupied just previously.

“You are no match for all three of us!” Celestia said, as a burst of purple bolts flew from Twilight.
Chrysalis began retreating from the flurry of magic bolts and burning swipes from Mixer’s now magically charged arms. The few attacks she fired off in return simply bounced off of the hulking golem. She eventually turned and ran, her changelings breaking off from whatever fighting they were engaged in.

“You haven’t seen the last of me!” Chrysalis spat back as she fled.

“What do we do?” Twilight asked, landing next to the now cooling Mixer. "We can't let her regroup."

"That's all we can do,” Celestia said, landing on the other side of the golem. "Our force is scattered and confused right now. They won't be able to tell friend from foe." The princess looked about her at the aftermath of the battle. "And we have injured ponies to attend to. The best I can offer is to keep her flying out of Equestria."

“I will have her wings for this!” an angry voice roared. The true queen of the changelings descended beside them.

“Silk. How many have converted?” Celestia asked.

“That traitor took more than half of my swarm,” Silk fumed.

“Then she will not have as strong a force as I feared,” Celestia said.

“But she still has a small army,” Twilight pointed out.

“From the direction she took off, it looks like she will end up in the frozen north,” Celestia said.

“Good, I hope she freezes to death, her and the whole traitor swarm,” Silk spat, venom in her every word.

“The Crystal Empire has enough of a fighting force to stop a weakened changeling force. Your grandmother won’t last long,” Twilight said.

“Don’t call her my grandmother,” Silk said, disgusted.

“Calm down you two. We have pushed her back and she will be dealt with,” Celestia said calmly.

“Very well,” Silk said, calming down some, blowing on a stray lock of hair.

“I hope that’s the last we see of her,” Twilight said, remembering the first time she met Chrysalis. Back before she was an alicorn, Twilight Sparkle was a simple unicorn. When her older brother, Shining Armor, was going to get married to Cadence, Chrysalis impersonated Cadence in an attempt to take over Equestria.

“She has been a thorn in our sides for too long,” Celestia said.
Chrysalis had lost some of her changelings to various guard patrols on her flight out of Equestria, and even more to the frigid temperatures of the frozen north. Now she was on a low mountain peak, looking up through the clouds.

She was staring far beyond the clouds, into the depths of space where there lurked a powerful ally.
“Return...” she said, both physically, and mentally through magic. After what seemed like ages, still nothing happened. She was ready to give up, the cold seeping through her ebony form.

“Yes...” a voice hissed in a whisper.
The clouds parted and showed the black depths of space. A portion of this blackness seemed to detach itself from the sky and descended to the mountain top, defying the white surroundings with a pure, unchanging blackness. From this blob of darkness emerged an alicorn, black as the void, with a deep indigo mane, studded with pinpricks of light. He was garbed in armor the color of tarnished silver, and his eyes burned with a cold fire, two red orbs of malice.

“And who do I have to thank for releasing me from my imprisonment?” he asked in a voice that was smooth like velvet, but dark, like a predator.

“It is I, Queen Chrysalis, and I have released you to take what is rightfully mine,” the changeling queen said, shivering not only from the cold, but from the small swirls of shadow that seemed to fall from the alicorn’s wings.

“So, it is you." The alicorn stared at the changeling queen. "You have my thanks. Now begone!” he said, and a terrible darkness surrounded Chrysalis. Tendrils of the stuff oozed from the alicorn, wrapping about her.

“Wait!” she cried just before the blackness consumed her. The shadows halted, licking at her mane. "I have an offer for you."

“And what would you have to offer me?” the dark voice asked.

“I can help you, plan with you,” Chrysalis said, fighting panic. The alicorn thought it over, and the seconds stretched to minutes. Finally he nodded.

“Very well. You will serve me,” he said, and the shadows receded.

“And what shall I call you master?” Chrysalis asked. The alicorn grinned.