Report 34

by horizon

First published

When they discover that the Elements of Harmony have created involuntary emotional cross-contamination inside Princess Twilight, two changelings hatch a ticklish plot to force the truth out of her.

It's a plan as foolproof as it is audacious. In pursuit of an artifact that could spell the end of changelings' ability to infiltrate pony society, two spies in deep cover just intercepted an extremely interesting top-secret report. The influence of the Elements of Harmony has created emotional cross-contaminations inside Princess Twilight — which means that they know exactly what they need to do to get some involuntary Honesty out of her …

CONTAINS: Nonconsensual tickleplay, light bondage, hoof-licking. (No explicit content.) Written as a commission for yamgoth.

The Tour

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"And we've totally redesigned the ankle-cuffs," Oubliette said. "Instead of having three separate types — strong cuffs for earth ponies, magic-resistant cuffs for unicorns, and cuffs with wing-lock connectors for pegasi — it's all a single modular system now." The thin roan-grey unicorn floated a set of rune-inscribed bands over to Twilight Sparkle. "The individual units cost more, but it will cut down significantly on the gear required by City Guard patrols."

Twilight brought them up to her muzzle, squinting. "They certainly look impressive. But … they don't hurt, do they? We don't want to the Department of Rehabilitations to be cruel to prisoners."

"Not at all!" Parade Rest said with an unnecessary salute. "I personally made sure of that, Your Highness. I'm quite serious about carrying on your brother's legacy with these reforms. Try them on yourself, if you'd like."

"Me?" Twilight glanced around the new wing of the Canterlot Dungeons. "I shouldn't. Should I? I do have to admit, I'm a little curious." She giggled self-consciously. "At least nopony else is here to see."

She watched with some interest as Oubliette fastened four bands around her pasterns, then spread her wings to full extension as two C-shaped bangles were clamped around the primaries at her carpal joint. "Comfortable?" Parade Rest asked. He waited for Twilight's nod, then touched a hoof to the stone on his necklace, and the cuffs began glowing bright red. "Alright, try to move."

Twilight tried to give her wings an experimental flap — watching her muscles catch and strain, the joint shifting slightly inside the bangle — but the wingcuffs stayed immobile, as if embedded in stone. Surprised, she tried to lift a hoof, only to feel her limb similarly locked in place. "The cuffs all maintain their exact relative distances once switched on," Oubliette explained, putting a hoof to her chest and tilting her backward; Twilight's forelegs lifted off the ground as her body angled up. "And for unicorns …" He floated a cold-iron band over her horn, and screwed it down until it was threaded snugly into the spiraling.

Twilight experimentally rocked her body back and forth. She could lean, if she angled all her hips at once, and she imagined she could get around by lifting three hooves off the ground and pivot-walking on the last one, but from the neck down she felt virtually immobilized. The wingcuffs didn't quite live up to the comfort promise — if she strained to flap too hard, the clamps tugged at where the quills entered the sensitive skin of her margin. She made a mental note to go over the bangles with the designers. "And for unicorns what?" she asked.

There was an ominous silence. She looked up just in time to catch a dual sizzle of green fire, and blinked away the afterimages of the Guard division captains to see two smirking changelings.

"I can't believe that worked," the former Parade Rest said.

A breath caught in Twilight's throat. She charged a spell, only to feel it sputter out as her field touched the hornband. She frantically tried to stagger backward, throwing her hips side to side and managing a few inches of feeble totter. "I–I'll scream!" she said as the changelings advanced.

They stopped, glanced at each other, and broke out into laughter. "That's the great Twilight Sparkle's big plan?" the former Oubliette asked. Like his disguise, he was skinny, though he now had a crooked horn and malice in his eyes. "Soundproof dungeon, remember?"

The former Parade Rest, having dropped his white, toned pegasus form, was now on the short and stocky side, with unusually shiny wings. He circled Twilight slowly, ducking under her outstretched feathers and lightly tracing the smooth edge of his translucent wing-membrane in a line down her side. She shivered as the touch crossed the sensitive surface of her mark, the surprising coolness of the sheer surface sending a tingle racing beneath her skin. "You're not going to scream, Twilight Sparkle," he whispered. "You're going to talk. We read your preliminary field report on the ancient morphic-suppression-field projector you unearthed. Before that research goes any further, I'm afraid we'll be taking both the artifact and your notes."

Twilight squirmed, turning her head as far as she could to keep Shiny Wings in sight. "They're hidden. It's safe. You'll get nothing out of me."

"I think we will," he said, baring fangs in a leering grin. "Because I've also read Report 34."

Twilight blinked several times, trying to place the number. Then her eyes widened. "You're bluffing. T-that's top secret."

"She says to the Captain of the Guard." Shiny Wings continued to circle her, dropping his wingtip and tracing it across the back of her knee. "A report on the weaknesses of one of Equestria's primary defenses? You'd better believe we read it. Isn't it interesting that, since you're central to the six Elements of Harmony, they form magical interlinks inside you to go along with their social associations?"

Heat pooled in Twilight's cheeks. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Shiny Wings smirked. "For example, if someone inspires feelings of Loyalty in you — like, say, framing a reform as honoring your brother's legacy — it provokes an involuntary Generosity response. The project we proposed was an insane waste of tax dollars, but you literally couldn't have turned it down."

"Th-that's not true. Yes, the upfront costs were high, but the savings in training and equipment maintenance —"

Crooked Horn cut her off with a snort. "She knows exactly what the report says, Delta-9. She's stalling. Get what we came here for."

Shiny Wings glanced back, a frown shading onto his mandibles. "What, I can't also build up the tension enough for us to get a snack out of this too?"

"Eat when we're done."

"You have no flair for the dramatic, you know that?"

"Yes, and it's gotten us this far," Crooked Horn said. "Hurry up."

Shiny Wings' expression darkened. "Fine. Go check the hallways and make sure she wasn't expecting company."

As Crooked Horn walked past her, and she heard the hollow clop of his exoskeletal "hooves" recede into the halls outside, Twilight felt her heart sink. She had harbored a tiny, secret hope that somepony would be within hearing range, but they seemed determined to dash all her hopes today.

Suddenly, cold chitin gripped her shoulders. Twilight yelped as Shiny Wings grunted and heaved her backward, pulling her immobilized form into a rearing position. She tried kicking out, but all that accomplished was to jerk her wings downward and arch her back uncomfortably. As he continued to pull backward and she tilted belly-up, vertigo took hold, making her feel like she was plummeting backwards in free-fall — but at the last second he braced and slowed her descent, easing her to the ground with wings akimbo and legs straight in the air. Twilight gasped for air, heart racing, and tried to worm her way toward the exit, but that proved a non-starter as her shoulder ran into his firmly planted hoof. She looked up. Shiny Wings was staring at the door, scowling, but at the motion of her muzzle he glanced down and met her gaze.

He leaned in. "Look," he murmured. "What Delta-12 doesn't know won't hurt him, alright? You're not escaping, and you are going to tell us everything — what with Laughter provoking involuntary Honesty, and all — but there's still room for a little quid pro quo here. Tell me where you're most ticklish."

Adrenaline clenched Twilight's throat. The changeling wasn't bluffing — and all her deepest secrets were about to become an open book. "W-wait!" she stammered. "Can't I just tell you what you want to know? It's all in a secret panel in my desk in the Star Tower. Listen — please —"

Shiny Wings shook his head. "Don't be stupid. I'm going to have to confirm that — you know that."

She swallowed through a dry throat. "Then why should I cooperate?" she asked, trying to sound as fierce as she could.

"Because I'll make sure nodrone hurts you or feeds on you until we get you to Chrysalis. There's a lot of us who might want a piece of you along the way." He traced the tip of an appendage slowly down her chest. "All I want in exchange is for you to help me make you laugh. Then we save enough time for me to have a little snack."

Twilight tried to still her thoughts and consider the deal. She knew she should be fighting him with everything she had. On the other hoof, she was at this strange changeling's mercy — maybe it would be smart to get on his good side. It could end up creating unexpected opportunities.

She closed her eyes, feeling her heart thud in her chest. "The bottoms of my hooves," she said faintly.

She could almost hear his mandibles scrape into a smile. "Excellent," he said.

Then something wet touched her frog.

Twilight shrieked in surprise, bucking against her restraints. Her leg shuddered in its locked-straight position, and discomfort twinged in one wing. She tried to roll away from the slimy sensation, but a firm leg caught and held hers. "Hohd stih!" Shiny Wings snapped, and she opened his eyes to see him prodding his tongue into the tender pad nestled within her right hind-hoof.

She'd known that something like this was coming, but even so, the warm, wet sensation was bizarre. He wasn't just licking her hoof, he was drooling all over it — and as the warm liquid trickled over her bulbs and seeped into her grooves, a strange, fiery prickling swept through her hoof. As the wave of sensation passed, an odd numbness seeped into her pastern, creeping down her leg and spreading through her chest.

"What are you doing?" Twilight asked, genuinely confused. In response, Shiny Wings inhaled and let out a breath across the bottom of her hoof.

Sensation exploded.

She could feel every whorl and eddy of his exhalation, the curious blend of ice and fire as the heat of his lungs evaporated the moist leavings of his lick. As that tide receded, the air played through the tiny wrinkles of her pad as if a typhoon were howling through soaring fjords. Vertigo flooded her head, sucking away her breath. There was a miniature world in her hoof, concentrated beyond any rational sense of scale, and as the winds died down, she found herself lost in it wholly, as if unceremoniously plunged back into the ocean after surfacing for a gasp of breath.

Awareness of the rest of her body dimly returned. Her lungs were burning. She suddenly remembered to breathe.

"Changeling spit," Shiny Wings said, running his tongue over his fangs and visibly swallowing. "At the point of application, it significantly sharpens your sensations in order to create the feeding conduit between us. However, outside that application point it's a general anaesthetic … wouldn't want you getting distracted, would we? So, for both our sakes, I hope you weren't lying."

Twilight worked her jaw soundlessly, overwhelmed.

She heard him chuckle. "We'll find out soon enough." There was a sharp pinching sensation in her wing — almost unpleasant, except that everything in her body except for that hoof felt hazy and distant — and then a tiny eddy of air caressing her frog. Every hair of Twilight's pelt stood at sudden attention. Above her, Shiny Wings swung one of her feathers back and forth above her hoof, a tiny puff of wind swirling around the surface of her skin with each motion.

Twilight let out an incoherent whimper. She knew she should struggle and resist — that he was doing this just to consume her emotions as he tormented her — but those fears felt oddly abstract, overwhelmed by anticipation. Were his own emotions leaking back through the conduit he'd mentioned? The gleam in his eyes was a mirror for the feelings slowly seeping through her body.

She stared helplessly into those eyes — and for a moment he froze, pinned by the intensity of her gaze. His mouth was agape, and she noted absently that there was a spreading wetness on her chest which was probably the drool falling unchecked from his mouth. Shiny Wings broke the contact, slamming his eyes shut, and made a soft breathy noise as a shudder passed through his body.

Twilight's heart quickened. There was something there. In a disturbingly pure and primal way, she knew he wanted her to enjoy herself, as much as any lover ever had — since it was exactly that connection that would nourish him.

Then he opened his eyes back up and pinned her with that same intense stare — and anticipation flooded her, choking her like water in her lungs. She immediately knew there was no hiding it, from herself or him. Even if she'd had Equestria's best poker face, even if she could have closed that conduit with force of will, he could taste how she felt, and she could feel a glorious warmth spreading in her chest as an echo of his delight wrapped itself around her.

"You dirty little thing," he whispered, mandibles bared in a giddy grin. He slowly raised the feather between their eyes. "Now, princess … laugh for me."

Twilight almost did, right then, just on the sheer force of the command. But she bit it back. Anticipation or no, it was shameful to surrender without a fight.

That was when Shiny Wings touched the feather to her frog.

The miniature world of sensation shuddered at the clash of earth and sky — and it wasn't a single feather she felt brushing against her, but hundreds of barbs and their thousands of barbules and their millions of hooklets, spiraling fractally down into layers she didn't even have a name for, all of which closed their own tiny circuit with her hoof. The contact raced up her leg like a million tiny bolts of lightnings, spearing into her brain and jerking the muscles of her limb taut.

Shiny Wings leaned in, holding the feather steady, and blew past it. It didn't even look like it was moving against her, and yet she could feel each of the million tiny points of contact gripping her and vibrating, sending tremors through the vast plains and down to the core of the world that was her hoof. Twilight helplessly thrashed and bucked, a wave of convulsions squeezing her ribs and emptying her lungs, the feather's vibration spreading like wildfire through her until her entire universe was ablaze.

She felt the laugh coming — the prickling pressure of the earthquake spreading inside her — but closed her throat against it, desperately grasping for some control over the sensations. Then the burning reached her lungs, and a primeval instinct overruled her and gasped for breath, and it was all over. She exploded into helpless laughter, tears at the corners of her eyes, spread-eagled body straining against her bonds, desperate pleas dying half-formed on her lips.

The motion died away, and she gasped frantically for breath as Shiny Wings inhaled. "Stop —" she managed as he started to blow again.

She'd been tickled before — roughhousing with her brother, games with her friends — but never anything like this. Tickling was a full-body workout, engaging every muscle in a fruitless attempt to twitch and jerk away. But this, this, was a full-universe experience. She was bound to the world of her hoof, with its millions of feather-bristles planted like trees in an endless forest, their trunks dancing in the wind and their roots gripping and swaying the world. She could only dimly feel the thrashing of her body and the fire of laughter in her lungs, except as cataclysmic tremors that shook the world of her hoof and its feather-forest all the more. When Shiny Wings paused again, Twilight sagged helplessly into her bindings, as drained as if she'd moved sun, moon and sky.

Shiny Wings drew in a slow and shuddering breath, closing his eyes, then ran his tongue over his mandibles. "Mmmm," he murmured as Twilight panted shallowly, her breaths struggling for a hoofhold in her lungs. "Oh, exquisite. It's going to be a shame turning you over to Chrysalis." He flicked the feather through the air over her hoof, sending a fresh tremor down her leg and a fresh wave of giggles through her burning throat, and then leaned down and nuzzled her neck. "Now then, let's test this out," he whispered into her ear. "Tell me your most humiliating personal secret."

"I have naughty thoughts about my sister-in-law," Twilight blurted out. Then her eyes shot open, and her cheeks flushed. "How did you — Eeeheeeeheehee!" She squirmed, back arching, as the feather gusted air across her hoof again.

Shiny Wings chuckled. "I was right, you are a dirty little thing. Do continue."

"How did … you make … me tell the … truth?" Twilight said in between gasps of air. It was like her muzzle wasn't under her control.

"Not that — tell me more about …" His smile wavered for a moment. "Wait, what are you talking about? You wrote Report 34. I know you know exactly what it said."

"Yes, and it was mmm—" Twilight finally wrestled her lips back under her control, clamping them together mid-word, breathing frantically through her nose.

"Oh no you don't," Shiny Wings said, tracing the feather around the outer edge of her hoof. Under normal circumstances, she wouldn't even have felt it, but with the heightened awareness of the spit she could sense it as a distant, diffuse pressure.

It was enough — her mouth burst open in a fresh round of giggles. "Made up!"

The feather halted.

"What did you say?"

"Completely fake. Which makes this awkward, because it's about to blow my plans apart. I really wasn't anticipating this." Twilight stopped fighting the urge to let her mouth run; she needed all of her focus to analyze and adapt to this new development. "Has it got something to do with the spit?" she heard herself say as her mind raced. "Feedback from the conduit? Unfortunately, validating those hypotheses is beyond my capabilities in these circumstances."

Shiny Wings' mandibles opened and closed several times. "And the artifact in the Star Tower …?" he finally managed.

"Also never existed. I'm sorry." Twilight gave him a sheepish look. "I really was going to tell you sooner or later. But if it helps —"

"Wait," Crooked Horn's voice said from the doorway. "We walked into a trap?"

Twilight's eyes widened to match the ones atop Shiny Wings' stunned expression. "Yes," she said before her brain processed the alarm signal and desperately fought for mouth control again, "but —"

"Fewmets!" Crooked Horn snarled, galloping into the room. "Nine! Knock her out! Plan B!"

Twilight's heart sunk. And it had been going so well, too.

"Safeword, stun!" she shouted, and a burst of light flared out from the runes of the cuffs. Behind her, she heard Crooked Horn's body crash to the ground and slide toward her, right as Shiny Wings' eyes rolled up and he slumped backward. "Safeword, free!" The cuffs glowed and sprang open, falling off her legs and wings, and she fumbled with her forehooves to unscrew her hornring. As the changelings staggered back upright, Twilight's horn flared out — and then their world went black.

* * *

"Hello, Shiny Wings."

Drone Delta-9's consciousness slowly filtered back in. He squeezed his eye-membranes more tightly shut, and tried to shift a forelimb to rub the exoskeleton of his throbbing temple. His leg didn't seem to want to move.

He forced his eyes open, blinking back haze. That limb — along with the others — had a cuff clamped around it. One of the old-style ones, without any magic. His limbs were spread out, with solid bars linking the cuffs, bracing two of his legs up in the air even though he was lying on his side.

Twilight Sparkle slowly trotted into view, crouching down next to his immobilized legs. She gave him a smile — he felt genuine affection behind it, but it still left him scared and queasy. "You know," she said, "I can't believe that worked."

"Bzuh?" Delta-9 mumbled, struggling fruitlessly against his restraints. Screw this, he thought, shifting his shape into a foal small enough to wriggle out of the cuffs — or at least he would have, if a painful vibration hadn't suddenly bit into his ankles as he tried to change, disrupting his thoughts and dispersing his spell. Fewmets! Cold iron!

"Report 34, I mean," Twilight said conversationally, ignoring his escape attempt. She stroked a hoof gently on his hind knee. "I knew you'd take the bait of capturing a princess one way or the other, but it was a long shot that you'd fall for my flimsy lie about magical interlinks." She glanced down at the floor and chuckled self-consciously. "I'm still not sure you did, but I'm really grateful you played along."

Delta-9 looked wildly around the room. It didn't look like a dungeon cell — he was lying on a white-and-blue rug, near a table that had been pushed up against a wall out of the way. The door was a dark, rich wood, with the bolt thrown, and there was a large picture window with curtains pulled shut. "Where's Delta-12?" he said.

Twilight's face fell, and she let out a small sigh. "Down in the dungeon … a Hive loyalist to the bitter end. I'm afraid he hasn't been very cooperative, but we're treating him fairly, and offering him plenty of chances for rehabilitation before it comes down to a trial."

"And what are you going to do with me?"

The smile crept back onto Twilight's muzzle. "You … well, you're different." She gazed back into Delta-9's eyes, suppressing a giggle, and he felt his mouth begin to water. He stared uncomprehendingly at the princess as she continued. "I don't think you're as loyal to Chrysalis as all your hivemates think you are. You and I might be able to … shall we say … work something out, if you're willing to cooperate with me. Oh! But first."

"But first?" he repeated, swallowing a mouthful of drool. Oh, stars, he was almost getting a meal off of her smile alone …

Wait. How was the feeding link still open?

"But first," Twilight said, "the self-defense spells I cast before luring you into the trap apparently reacted strangely to the feedback loop from your saliva. I canceled them before you woke up, but the honesty trigger still isn't wearing off. I never imagined a Report 34-style effect was even possible — but it is, and it's linked to you."

What was that emotion through the link? He'd never felt that from a pony before …

Twilight's smile broadened. Her horn lit up, and a bright purple feather drifted into Delta-9's field of vision.

"And," she whispered as the feather dipped down underneath his chin, "it goes both ways."